Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat

Well, I suppose this year's trick or treating excursion was successful. We had fun and got way too much candy.

I let each kid keep a gallon size ziploc full of candy. And Chris has about 6 pounds of leftover candy to take to work. Good grief! I'm sure some of the women he works with might hate me for sending it to work but I have to get it out of my house. Otherwise, we all know what would happen to it.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


I wonder if everyone is like me. Does everyone have moments of feeling like they're on the outside looking in? Like all the people they're with are deeply connected and they are just the "pity" friend? Maybe it is just me. If so, why do I feel that way?

I had such a marvelous day. We invited new people from church over for lunch. Boo and Evan came too. So did Jessica Wright. I had fun... hopefully they did also. Then we went to Laura Leigh's surprise birthday party. It was so great to see her have a good time and receive all the love that everyone has for her.

Last night we had the Fall Festival at church. Again, fun.

My church is my family. Debi Manville put it so well tonight. She said that some families are linked to you by blood, but our church family is linked to us by Jesus' blood. I am very deeply connected to my church family. Words cannot explain it.

So why, in the midst of all of this, do I feel like an awkward, unwanted pest? Maybe it's because G teases me too much. Nah, that's not it. Secretly I like the affirmation he offers in his own weird way.

I think it's because they all seem too good to be true. They know me too well and profess to still love me. They regard me with patient love. They call something out of me that is beautiful. It's quite unsettling.

Larry Crabb has a unique take on this in his book The Safest Place On Earth. His thought is that when we really believe that the Gospel is true (that we are more sinful than we can imagine and yet more loved than we ever thought possible) that this belief generates spiritual passions. These spiritual passions are then the centerpiece of true spiritual community. "They are what we pour into one another. True spiritual passions communicate more truth to deeper places in people than well-presented teaching, because they can exist only if the gospel is true."

My friends arouse spiritual passion in me. They pour life into my soul through our interactions. This is at once, satisfying and terrifying. Intimate and uncomfortable. Real and mysterious. This kind of interaction helps me hear the gospel on a whole new level. The gospel tells me not just that God loves me, but that so do his people. My church family has a way of loving me that touches my very soul. They don't try to excuse my sin or ignore my failings. They know them, many times, before I do. Yet they choose to love me. To see Christ in me. They don't condemn me or look down on me because they're just as bad as I am.

Wow. How is it possible to accept this kind of affirmation? Only thru the gospel. Their love recognizes Christ in me when it's very hard to see for myself. He does love me. He pays attention to me. He never ignores me. He seeks me out. He knows my sin and chose to love me to death. The only way I can receive this is with humility.

I am unworthy. But, man, am I loved.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I Miss My Blog

I miss blogging. I don't know why but ever since we got DSL it's harder to post. I think it's cause the phone interrupts me now.

Much has happened since my last post. Too much. I can't possibly go back and catch up. I'll just have to start where I am.

My kids have been sick. Gracie started out with croup and ended with bronchitis. Ty started with a sinus infection and has progressed to pneumonia. He was on antibiotics when he developed pneumonia. He's been on even stronger antibiotics and can't seem to shake it. It aggravates his asthma too. This pretty much freaks me out. Long story. He's the short version. Ty is my Uncle Dennis's doppleganger. (don't know if that's spelled right) He looks like him, acts like him, is tempermented like him, has his mannerisms, has the same illnesses - like allergies, nosebleeds, etc. My Uncle Dennis died when he was 17. They thought he has pneumonia. He didn't respond to treatment because he didn't have pneumonia, he had blastomycosis. That's a fungal infection in the lungs. He got sick on October 11th, 1963. Ty got sick on October 11th. Add to this my raging PMS and I've been battling to trust God with my child. I know, I know. I am deranged.

We've had a couple of mice in the house this month. I have personally seen to it that both mice were executed. It's a long and very funny story. The first mouse took up residence in our big chest of drawers in our room. It pooped in every single drawer. We put out 4 snap traps and 2 glue traps. At 4am one morning it got stuck. But only its back paws, so it proceeded to drag itself across the carpet, screaming. Lovely. I put a bucket on top of the trap so that it wouldn't escape. So for the rest of the night I lay in my bed and listened to a screaming mouse headbutt the side of the bucket. The next morning Chris and I took it outside and 'let it go', which actually means that Chris stomped it til it died. That's what it gets for making me have to wash all of my clothes.

The second mouse took me by surprise. I got up about 2am to take care of Brody when it ran across the living room and about made me wet myself. So, being Zena the Warrior Princess, I grabbed the broom and sat on the couch very quietly until it ran out of its hiding place. I jumped up to pursue but it made it to the school room. I stood in the hallway but was way too skittish for that; so I sat on the arm of the couch and waited. After about 15 minutes, it ran out of the school room, with me in hot pursuit, straight to my bedroom! Oh, I was mad! So, without even thinking, I flip on the light switch and sit on the end of the bed with my broom. I was determined that this mouse was gone before the night was over. (At this point Chris woke up... I have no idea why.) Then I remembered the chest of drawers. Within 15 seconds of yanking out the bottom drawer, I heard the mouse start gnawing. Gotcha! I ran and got the flashlight and looked under the chest but nope, not there. Then I looked behind the chest and saw the cable to the TV start shaking. It was trying to get out thru the hole in the floor. Oh, I don't think so! Chris took the broom handle and started hitting it. Then... silence. No movement. We moved the sock that I had previously tried to stuff in the hole. At first we saw nothing, but after looking a little harder we realized that it's butt was stuck in the hole. All we could see were a tail, two feet and a poop hole. I grabbed the video camera 'cause it was the funniest thing I'd ever seen. Chris got the tongs and pulled it out. Then we took it outside and 'let it go', which means that Chris dropped a brick on it. I have no mercy for vermin that carry disease and poop on my clothes. Hate me if you must.

Kim and Terri and I are contemplating taking the kids on an RV trip to DC and Philadelphia. Won't that be fun? I mean it's only 2000 miles couped up with 6 kids. But it is cheap and educational.

Leslie and I decided to print up tshirts for the kids to wear on field trips that say "Homeskooling is grate!" That makes me laugh.

Well, that's all for tonight. I'll try to be more faithful with my posts.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Been A While

It's been a while since I've posted. Our computer monitor died. We were without a computer for almost a week! That seemed like forever to me. And I was really busy getting things ready for a baby shower for my cousin. (It was a tacky disaster... thanks for asking) Life's been racing along and I've been trying to keep up.

I could blog about a million different things but I don't wanna. So I'll just blog the first thing that comes to my mind.

This will only impact you if you know the story of my mother's death.

Day before yesterday, I was cooking supper. Maggie came into the room and randomly asked, "Momma, when we all leave the house, will you start marking your calendar?"

Marking your calendar.... huh? "What?"

"Will you start marking your calendar?"

"I don't understand what you're asking. What do you mean?"

"I mean, will you start, you know, x-ing the days off your calendar?"

"Why would I do that? And what does that have to do with you kids moving out?"

"Well, that way I'll know exactly the day that you die. Not like Bubbe."

I never realized that it bothered Maggie so much that we don't know the exact day that Mother died. That she was dead for days before we found her. She wants a way to know for sure. I told her that I hope that she and I will be close enough and talk and visit enough that it won't be an issue for them. And I hope that I die of old age with her at my side, holding my hand.

She's very thoughtful, my Maggie. I pray that she never has to suffer the pain of a disentegrated maternal relationship the way Kim and I did.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Vacation Part 2

Day 5: Friday

Kim and Quinn left before lunch. The house seemed really empty once they were gone.
We went to Dave's Dogs for lunch. So good! We eat there every year. He makes his chili from scratch. The kids always get chili cheese nachos. We spent the rest of the day at the outlet mall. Nike, Fossil, Hanes, Gap, KB Toys, Big Dog, Tommy Hilfiger and the linen place that I can never remember the name of. For the first time in our married life, Chris and I bought towels. (We got 28 towel sets for wedding gifts) The kids shopped wisely. They each had $25 to spend. They did really well. Can't remember what we ate for supper. But we swam again. Oh, and we went to Krispie Kreme again. ;o)

Day 6: Saturday

Good day. We rode our bikes down to the State Forest. Long ride. We swam when we got back. We snacked and ate at home. We watched movies that we'd bought the day before. The kids watched Cheaper By the Dozen 2. Chris and I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I really liked it. Kind of confusing the 1st time you watch it. We went to the beach. We flew the kite and built a huge sand castle. After supper, we drove down to Seaside to get ice cream. There was a free concert in the square. (which isn't actually a square... more of a semi-circle bowl.) We stayed for a while and enjoyed it.

Day 7: Sunday

Plan: go bowling and eat out. Reality: I fall down the steps and wrench my knee. Very painful. I had to sit with ice on it for a while. Then we went to Walgreens and bought me a knee brace. It was still a good day. Chris and the kids bowled while I videoed. Gracie bowled a 102. 2 strikes and a spare. Amazing. We ate out at our favorite diner in Destin. We bought Brody an air-brushed t-shirt with his name on it. We swam. All in all we had a great last day.

Day 8: Monday

Time to go home. We woke to the sound of rain. How appropriate. We packed up and headed out. We ate at McDonald's in Luverne. The kids listened to music and played with each other. We had a scavenger hunt. (Find the statue of Elvis. Find the giant cow sign. Find the boat on top of a building. etc.) We enjoyed our time together.

As I think back on our vacation, I mostly remember the quiet relaxation. We truly enjoyed being together. The kids didn't complain very much. The parents didn't have to say no very much. I got to sleep. Chris got to eat out. The kids got to swim and ride bikes. We all got to get new stuff. Everyone got what they wanted most: family time.