Monday, June 30, 2008

Whining and Ungratefulness

Is there a connection? I think there must be.

Today, Chris and I decided to go camping with the kids. But in order to do that there are things around the house that need to be done. The grass needs to be cut, the house cleaned, laundry finished, etc. The kids don't really whine anymore about their daily chores. (Thanks for the chore chart idea, Jenny.) But if you tell them to do something else, like... picking up their own stupid toys out of the yard, well apparently that's just unreasonable. They were created to play, right? To be served hand and foot by their maid, oops, Mother, right? Grrrrr.

At the start of things, they flopped and slumped and whined and dragged their feet. My gracious response? "Waaa-waaa-waaa. Boohoo. Hate it for ya. You are part of this family. Good, bad and difficult. What is our motto?"

*eye rolls* "Do the right thing at the right time whether you want to or not." *sigh*

Suppressing the urge to strangle my offspring, I respond with "Obedience with a bad attitude is the same as disobedience."

They got my meaning... if they follow the letter of the law and do their chores with these attitudes, we won't go anywhere. I don't care how clean the house is. Ingrates.

And then somewhere along the way I begin to think about my own heart. Dang. Self-righteousness has a definite appeal to it. I don't whine out loud that much anymore but my heart flops and slumps and drags, fighting the will of God. I'm not grateful for more work. I'm much more inclined to sit on my rump. Does this mean that I'm ungrateful for the blessings of God? That I don't want to serve Him but be served by Him? I think the answer has to be "Yes."

So where does that leave me? My children are sinners just like their momma. Yuck.

First Catechism:
Q. 42: Who can change a sinner's heart?
A. The Holy Spirit alone.

Q. 63: How can you get the help of the Holy Spirit?
A. God has told us to pray for the Holy Spirit's help.

What am I teaching my children? Am I teaching them the power of the gospel? Or am I teaching them to try harder-do better? Hmmm. What do I depend on: the gospel or myself? Who do I serve: myself or Christ?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I added some songs to my playlist. They're down at the bottom. B52s, Stray Cats, etc. The kids love dancing to it. I do too. Fun times. Hope you enjoy it too. I put it at the bottom because they're not songs that I want to listen to every day. But they are fun. I dare you to give it a listen and not dance or at least tap your toes.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I am very sunburned on my legs. And a little on my face. I don't like it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Trip

I enjoyed the trip immensely. I think that I really needed to go. I saw God work in our kids. There was very minimal conflict, just your ordinary stuff. There were, of course, your different groups but they mixed pretty well. Brian's teaching was convicting and thought provoking. All in all, I was challenged, entertained (Palmer and Jordan were there, after all), affirmed, convicted and allowed by the Father to deepen relationships with the kids. I am thankful.

Things I want from you:
1. Please pray for our youth. Pray that they would realize that God is real, not a concept. Pray that God would give them a deepening love for Him and that they would grow in the knowledge of Him.
2. Tell the kids individually that you're praying for them. They need to hear it.
3. Don't expect the worst from them. Expect God to grow them. Expect maturity from them.

Now, I know that many non-youth people read my blog but I must exclude you for just a moment. I'd like to take a minute to pay tribute to 'my girls'.

Here is a list of memories from our trip:
1. pineapple pie
2. Pumpkin!
3. peanut butter shrimp
4. the would-be Go Go dancer at the bookstore
5. Johnny Depp *sigh*
6. Hispanic stalkers
7. short shorts
8. George
9. Nilla wafers at the pool
10. chips out the van window
11. Cobi
12. The Bourne tactics
13. chip pushers
14. country music
15. Kurt Cobane's notebook
16. pictionary at midnight
17. One-eyed Abby
18. Old Greg
19. "Aww, doo-doo! I stepped raght in that wawter!"
20. Muenster cheese
21. Evan's shirt
22. "It's crackin'! I can hear it!"

This trip was awesome. I laughed soooo hard! Thank you girls for letting me be a part of it.

A brief memory of each person... Palmer with a bag on his head. Jordan wearing a cape. Heath outside late at night "getting his stuff". Justin on the bungee swing. Evan and his friend "Ryon with an O". Jeremy and his seaweed tricks. Ben's enormous splashes. Caleb's socks and flip-flops. George's need for Tylenol. Cobi and Rock Paper Scissors. Andrew and the giant crab. Blakely/Brinkley/Betty Sue. Katrina playing with Witt. Haley's awesome pictionary skills. Shareen stealing my sunglasses. Abby stealing my pillow. Becky's drawing of Stokes. Ashley's straight hair. Hannah Grace and the bookstore. Kayla's cool t-shirt. Emma's need for sleep. Stokes' uncontrollable laughter. Steven's funny responses on the walkie talkie. Boo's grocery list skills.

Now I must get off the computer and finish unpacking everyone from this trip and start packing for Mississippi. See you soon.

P.S. After yet another attempt to stay awake for Raider's of the Lost Ark, I must admit I was unsuccessful. I slept through it again.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Seaside, Books and the Search For Truth

"She walked through the bookstore in search of truth. She was cold. She was wet from the rain. She needed to use the bathroom. But all these things paled in comparison to her desperate search for truth. She couldn't shake the feeling that one of these books, one of these colorful, rich, tantalizing books, would change her life. If only she could find it."

I know the feeling. I took the girls to Seaside today. We ate ice cream and shopped and ended up in a book/music store. I walked through, as I usually do, wondering which books are the "good" books. I start out any trip to the bookstore with excitement, which fades to wonder, which fades to bewilderment. And then I rarely buy anything for fear of spending money on something I hate. Oh well. I realized today that, as much as I love to read, I always wait for someone to hand me a book or recommend one before I try it. I find that curious. Now I will think on that for a bit...

The beach is great. The trip has been wonderful. Thanks for praying for us. Please continue.

Thanks to George for the use of his laptop. I needed a blogging break.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Things I've Learned The Hard Way

1. Avoid giving your kids red Kool-aid when there's a stomach bug going around.
2. Always make a list.
3. Never force an otherwise good eater to eat a supper of chili. You might wake up at midnight with chili-vomit in your hair.
4. Always look where you are going.
5. If black diamond ski slopes scare you, don't attempt them.
6. Chose your orthopaedic surgeon wisely.
7. Always say "I love you" to the people you love before you part.
8. Never assume that an electric fence is off.
9. Never guess about how much money is in your checking account. (this leads to #9b- sign up for overdraft protection)
10. Finish everything that needs to be finished before you move into your new house, otherwise it will never get done.
11. Be very specific when dealing with children.
12. Speak up in crisis situations. If you want an autopsy done on your mother, insist. You'll never get another chance to find out what really happened.
13. Don't avoid conflict too much. It only gets worse.
14. Periodically check on the activities of your children. You just never know.
15. Don't be afraid to call Poison Control. They are very nice and helpful.
16. Study theology. Know who God is.
17. Don't ignore certain passages of Scripture. It's all important.
18. Respect your husband.
19. Floss every day.
20. Choose a dentist with flexible payment plans.
21. Pay your water bill.
22. Know how to change a tire.
23. Learn some PR skills.
24. The Post Office does not make mistakes. Or so they say.
25. Know yourself. Learn what you like. Or don't like. Stand firm in who God made you to be.
26. Don't waste your life trying to please everybody.
27. Add 10% to any building budget.
28. Keep up with warranty information.
29. Don't allow your kids to eat or drink in your vehicle. You will regret it. (think spills, stains and vomit)
30. Don't be afraid of the plan of God.
Well, I suppose I should update. It's been a while. I was surprised to see how long it's been since I've blogged last. I guess I've been pretty busy.

I'm trying to get the school room taken apart. Maggie's getting her own room... finally. We've outgrown our school room. We haven't used it for anything other than storage this year. The living room has worked just fine. So, Chris built me a great big built-in bookshelf in the living room. It has cabinets on the bottom and shelves up top. All of my school stuff fits perfectly. And it's gorgeous. I'm so so pleased. You should come see. So now I just have to finish emptying the school room, clean all the writing/marks off the walls, putty the holes, prime, and paint. Simple...

I leave in the morning to go on the Sr. High Beach trip. We come back Monday afternoon. Then we leave Tuesday to go to Mississippi. I really have a lot to be doing right now.

I went over to Kara's yesterday. Several of us got together to watch Jane Eyre. (which is my favorite book and now my favorite movie) The movie is all that I desperately wanted for my birthday. It's almost 4 hours long but worth it. There's something really wonderful about watching a great movie with your friends. We laughed together. We cried. We cheered when they finally kissed. The comments were funny. Emma and I had a great time since we'd both read the book recently. We had our own little short-hand.
"Is this the..."
"No that's later."
"After the..."
What a great time! I felt such a lovely feeling of belonging. Everyone loved the movie, which affirmed me... not sure why that is.

Well, I'm gonna go. If I think Of anything else to blog about (meaning, if I feel inspired) I'll blog again before I leave. Otherwise, see ya later.

Monday, June 02, 2008

My Day

Guess what? Still clean. I know. Amazing. No dirty clothes or dirty dishes. Clean living room. I'm enjoying it too. Not taking it for granted.

Today I worked in the garden and cut the grass. For supper we ate grilled chicken, grilled corn and mac and cheese. My tummy's full and my body's tired. And a little smelly. Right now, all I want is a bath, a cup of coffee and good book.

But first the kids and I are going to read about Joan of Arc, our person of the week. Turns out, she's not Noah's wife at all. She was French. She was a teenager. And since 1920, she 's a saint. Hmmm. Cool.