Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yikes! That was depressing!

I know I have been overwhelmed and busy lately. I know I have felt tired lately from everything. I just didn't realize how incredibly depressing I sounded until I read my last post! So sorry about the melancholy writing. Next time, feel free to tell me to get a grip! Hopefully I didn't depress you all away from my blog!

So, here's what's on my mind lately. The last three movies I have seen in the last month are...
1. Beverly Hills Chihuahua
2. High School Musical 3
3. The Secret Life of Bees

I believe they all have something in common. What, you might ask, does a movie about a dog, a musical about teenagers and a coming of age movie have in common?

They all speak to our deepest need in life which is to be loved. Have you seen these movies? And let me just clarify...I have kids. I didn't pick the first two movies. (Although if truth be told I did not mind at all going to see HSM3 and in fact will probably take the kids to see it again) I also found the Beverly Hills Chihuahua surprisingly tolerable. But as I was watching all the movies I couldn't help but think about the message and how it comes across to us. Doesn't everyone want to be loved? And don't we all on some level, whether we admit it or not, want to experience some amazing relationship here on the earth? To be loved completely and accepted unconditionally. To know and be known. To matter to someone. OK, maybe I am being a little dramatic, I think you get the point.

Take Lilly from The Secret Life of Bees. She's a 14 year old girl who through some traumatic circumstances finds herself growing up without her mom and being raised by a drunk and abusive father. They live in the South, it's the early 60's and Lilly runs away with her housekeeper. They end up at a home where the sisters who live there sell honey and Lilly thinks somehow they are connected to her mom. Early on she makes the comment how, she would give anything to be loved. At one point she talks about the void left in her heart by her mom. Basically, she just wants to be loved and feel accepted. (I'm not going to review the movie here, but let me say, I loved it. I'd like to see it again.)

Then there's Troy and Gabriella in HSM3. In love and in high school. Trying to figure out what the future holds. Remember back to your days in HS. It was pretty much the same...sports, good grades, wanting to be in love, wishing for the future, etc.

I guess what I am saying is this, everyone has the need to be loved and the only one who can love us completely is God. Anyone else and anything else just doesn't cut it and never will. It's not supposed to. And if you are anything like me, I am learning this ever so slowly. I find in my own life I usually surrender to God's all enveloping love as a last resort thinking it can not be enough, there must be more or something else.

It is enough, though.

Here's the bottom line. People fail. They disappoint. They hurt us and even wound us deeply. But the truth is they were only meant to be a guide for us. Granted, some have done a much better job at guiding us towards the only one who can completely satisfy than others, but people were never intended to be our all in all. More like the icing on the cake. The extra, the over the top after we are already satisfied. And after the dust settles, at some point we have to take others "off the hook" of unrealistic expectations, unmet needs, etc and see others for who they are...broken individuals like us on the same road to redemption, who are in our lives to teach us lessons about God's love, not to replace the love that only God can give. Once we release others from this impossible task, we are free. Free to see others for who they are and what they have to show us.

Am I saying the movies are wrong? Absolutely not. They're entertainment. They tell stories. They teach life lessons. I just want to keep in my mind that the solutions they offer may not be the right answer and more than likely will never offer me the only thing that can completely satisfy, and that's God. What about you? Do you think this is true? Do you find yourself, like me, searching at times for that next thing that may somehow complete you? Have you found anything that satisfies like Jesus? Do you think He is enough? I would love to discuss this more and hope I am not the only one who struggles with this!

Take care,

PS...have any of you seen the preview for LOST?! I am so excited and cannot wait for January to come! Yippee!

PSS...Thanks for coming by my blog and always leaving such kind comments for me. It really means alot. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"I AM"

Hey there!

It has been awhile. Somehow life just got a hold of me for the past week and would not let go. I am sure it is no coincidence I have been overwhelmed with "life" lately now that I am working on being intentional.

Anyone else feeling challenged by life lately?

I am so there. Worn out physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Sick kids, birthday parties, field trips, friends who have recently lost jobs, illness in the church, friends who have lost a parent, troubled economy, Texans recovering from hurricane Ike, upcoming election. I could go on and on. Heavy issues that drain.

It is tough times for everyone.

This is what I know though and I am placing my hope in this truth.

God is still God. He is on His throne and He is unchanging and unmoveable.

He is "I AM". I will sleep at night clinging to that truth.

Listen to this song by Nichole Nordeman. It is beautiful and I have been listening to it quite a bit recently. It's called, "I Am". Hope you enjoy it.

Let me know how you are doing lately.

Take care,


Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday's Favorites

The other day I was praying whining to God about the weather. (Anyone else care to admit, like me, that sometimes your prayers are more like whining than a conversation with God?) I grew up in the Midwest. The Midwest has 4 seasons. All different. I have now lived in South Texas for almost 3 years. The South has pretty much the exact same weather, give or take 20-25 degrees. My mind can not wrap itself around the fact that although the calendar says October, which in my mind equals cool weather, leaves changing, sweaters, fires, etc. the weather here equals summer, as in 92 degree summer weather. In the middle of October. This just doesn't seem right. I was talking to God about this. How I could really use a break from this hot weather. Something, anything a bit cooler. I was starting to get depressed about it. Guess what came through last night? Yes, a Texas kind of cool front. Guess what the high temperature was today? 71 degrees! TWENTY degrees cooler! Noticeably cooler. So much so that as I am writing this I have all the windows open, I'm wearing a fleece and I am playing Christmas music! That's Texas weather for you!

Thank you Lord for loving me enough to listen to my pathetic whining and graciously lavishing South Texas with a break in the weather. You are so kind.

Anyway, for Friday's Favorites I thought I would talk about favorite things about fall. Please feel free to add any you can think of. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

1. sweaters
2. fire in the fireplace
3. opening up the windows and airing out the house
4. pumpkins
5. cool temperatures
6. leaves changing
7. hay rides
8. wearing jeans and not roasting
9. reading a book while covered in a blanket
10.flannel pj's

What are your favorite fall thing? Let me know.

Take care,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

He Always Keeps His Promises

Today as I was pulling into the parking lot at my kids school I was greeted with the rainbow you see in the pictures above.
Isn't it amazing?
What a reminder to me that God always keeps His promises, all of them and because of that I can trust Him 100%. His thoughts are not my thoughts. His timing is not my timing, but "God is not slow in keeping His promises, as some understand slowness.He is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."(2 Peter 3:9 NIV)
Sometimes He speaks to me in a still small voice. Other times He shouts out His love for me in big, bold ways. Maybe today, you like me, need to be reminded of Him in an unmistakeable way.
"The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made." (Psalm 145:13b)
Take care,

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

We've Taken This To an Entirely New Level

Not too long ago my oldest son (he is 8) said to me at the dinner table, "Mom, guess what kind of hat I want."
I replied with the obvious answer (obvious in our house), "An Aggie's hat."
To my surprise he said, "No."
To which I replied, "What kind of hat do you want?"
His answer, "A Longhorn's hat."
Me, in a shocked voice, " A Longhorn's hat?"
"Yes" he replied, "a hat with the Longhorn's upside down and sawed off."

Oh my, oh my! Yes, we have taken this to an entirely new level!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This will not win me the "Mother of the Year" award

I am embarrassed to write about this story. It shows a side of me which is very real and flawed as a mom, the side you don't want others to see. I mean, don't we all want others to think that somehow we have it all together? We never mess up. We always respond appropriately. You know the part. But it's not reality. The reality is I am flawed and human and mess up and blow it, sometimes more often than not. However, God is so good and He is continually teaching me, albeit through humbling circumstances, what it takes to become more and more like Him which in turn makes me more and more like the mom I am supposed to be. So, there you have it.

On Friday my four year old son Petey and I left home to run a couple of errands before picking up the other kids at school. (Jack and Ellie) He asked if he could bring a DVD to watch in the van and if he could load the DVD himself. I said yes he could, BUT you have to WAIT until mommy turns on the van AND says it's ok (those two points will become critical to the story)

Here's a couple of things you need to know before I proceed with the rest of the story:
1. We ended up buying a new van on Monday. (the van that is talked about up above). A 2005 Nissan Quest which we bought for a great deal. It has very low miles, very well taken care of and it came with a DVD player, which we never had in our VW Eurovan. Having a DVD in the van was like a God send since my family lives in Ohio and my husbands family lives in Iowa. Considering the price of airplane tickets for a family of 5, suffice to say, we drive almost everywhere. "How great that the kids can watch movies on long road trips!" and "This is so awesome!" were two of the most repeated phrases in our house this past week between my husband and I and the kids.

2. Our Volkswagen van, the one for which this post was named after, was still in the shop being repaired. 5 and 1/2 weeks after we dropped it off.

In a (to us) van and new DVD player.

So, I am getting in the van to turn it on, after I clearly told Petey to wait for me and as I am turning on the van I turn around to look at him and I hear him say proudly, "I did it! I put the DVD in!" I look at the DVD player and its saying "No disc" and then it hits me HE PUT THE DVD IN UPSIDE DOWN!! This is the part of the story that gets embarrassing for me to write about because to put it simply, I started going down hill from that point on.

I immediately start pushing the eject button in an attempt to see if the dvd will somehow come out. All the while I begin muttering under my breath, "I cannot believe this is happening! I cannot believe this is happening!" After several futile attempts to remove the dvd, the sad truth sinks in...the van that we've owned for four days now has a dvd stuck in the player rendering it completely useless.

Four days-broken-no dvd player.

I was upset. Mainly, two reasons come to mind.
1. My son disobeyed me
2. We now owned a van with a broken dvd player.
I started saying things to Petey like, "I can't believe you didn't wait for mommy like I told you to" and "Our dvd player is broken now because you didn't obey mommy" and " I am very angry at you now" and "Do you feel bad that our dvd is broken?"

Oh my goodness...I am so embarrassed as I am writing this. How I wish I could take back my words. But I can't and I didn't and I kept up the phrases above for several minutes.

Then, I called my husband because what says "Hey! I'm angry! Let me ruin your day at work honey so you can be mad too!" like a call from your upset wife? I spent a few minutes with him rehashing what had happened making sure I was talking loud enough for my son to hear me just in case he missed the part that I was mad at him. My husband listened for a couple of minutes and then responded with, "Well, so much for that. Got to go. More patients to see. Bye" (he's an EM doctor)

By this time I was at the mail store on the island. It's a cute little coffee shop, gift shop and mailing store all in one. I stopped to mail a package and honestly I was still in a huff. Telling Petey to "Come on!" and "Hurry up!" We got into the store, stood in line and it was right there that the Holy Spirit started doing a much needed number on my angry little upset heart. "So, I take it this is how you want me to start treating you the next time you sin? Going on and on, letting everyone know how upset you are and beating you over the head with your sin repeatedly?"


In my mind I started thinking "No, no that's not how I want to be treated with my sin. I want to be forgiven and shown some grace." but then I went on "Isn't it ok to be upset? I mean it was brand new?"

"So let me get this straight...what you're saying is you value stuff over people so much so that you're willing to break their spirit to make your point?"


The conviction fell hard.

"Is that what I've done?''
And, yeah, basically I had. Did Petey need reprimanded for disobeying? Yes. Is it good to be responsible and good stewards of our belongings? Yes. But never at the expense of hurting someones spirit and valuing stuff over relationships. I had gone overboard and I needed to make it right with my son and I wanted to. The Holy Spirit had done his job in effectively convicting me and causing me to repent.

I mailed my package and Petey and I headed out the door. I said to him, "Petey, I am so sorry I yelled at you so much about the dvd player. I love you so much more than any silly old dvd player." He looked at me and softly replied, "If a child says they hate their mommy two times will they have to go in their high chair for a time out?"

I just wanted to cry. (side note about the high chair... the high chair is where Pete goes if he gets in trouble and needs a time out. It's a basic, plain plastic IKEA high chair and could probably hold all our kids)

I stopped in my tracks, got down and looked him in the eye and said, "Oh Petey, is that what you feel right now?" He said, "A little." I picked him up and squeezed him tight and said, "I am so sorry Petey. Mommy loves you and I am sorry I used such angry words with you. Will you forgive me?" He put his arms tight around my neck and said, "Yes. I didn't really hate you either!" I said, " I know, sweetie, you were sad and had hurt feelings." By this time we were to the van and I sat him in his car seat. As I was hooking him in he grabbed me by the neck and pulled me close and said, " I'm never going to let you go!" I hugged him back and said, "Good!"

Ahh, isn't forgiveness a wonderful thing? The freedom that comes from admitting what a mess up you've been and the restoration that follows. It is absolutely worth the humbling and pain. Aren't you glad, like I am, that God doesn't treat us and our sins the way we treat others? He forgives and He brings it up no more. When He convicts us and chastises us it is completely out of love not anger or condemnation. Oh that I would be more and more like him each day. As I am sitting here writing this I can hear my oldest singing the chorus, "His grace is enough. His grace is enough. His grace is enough for me." Yes, it is indeed.

Lord, may I be more of a grace giver than I have been known to do in the past.

We all could use a little more grace in our lives, don't you think?

Oh's the amazing follow up to this whole saga. On Saturday my husband went out to the van to see if he could get the dvd out and guess what? Petey had missed the slot altogether and my husband found the dvd wedged on top of the dvd player under the seat. It was never broken!

Take care,

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday's's a dump

*Updated to add: I originally had this written for last week but opted to post something else that was on my heart. Hope you enjoy it one week later.

Hey there!

Did I get your attention with the title for today? Let me do a little explaining. Oh yeah, in case you are new to Friday's Favorites you can read all about it here.

This week's favorite is a recipe for a dump cake. Why, one might ask, would you post a recipe for a dump cake as a favorite?

One simple saved me this week. Not saved me as in I was dying, but came to my rescue in a time of need.

Let me backtrack a bit. Friday is the end of the first 6 weeks at my kid's school. One of the kindergarten room mothers thought it would be a great thing to do some kind of teacher appreciation event for all the teachers in the school. (thankfully it's not a huge school) It was decided that the Pre-K and Kindergarten wing of the school would provide for a teacher appreciation dessert on Friday. Since I am room mom for my daughter's kindergarten class, the responsibility to find eager parents who wouldn't mind adding one more thing to their already busy plate, fell on me. I sent out an email talking about the dessert and how our class was asked to provide two fruit desserts and paper plates.

You all know where I am going to go with this one. Within minutes I got a response back from a parent wanting to bring the paper plates. I knew it was coming. Who has not been on the other side where a sign up sheet is going around and you think to yourself, "Man, I hope there's something easy I can sign up for like paper products!"? After the sign up for paper plates I had no takers on the fruit desserts. I resigned myself to the fact that I would bring in a dessert. So I sent out a second email later in the week asking for a fruit bowl. I thought that maybe someone would rather run into the HEB grocery and pick up a pre-made fruit bowl instead of whipping up a fruit dessert and that I might get someone's attention.

I was wrong. As I am writing this, I still have no takers which more than likely means I will run to the grocery and pick up one of those convenient pre-made fruit bowls I promoted earlier.

Just to keep things really interesting, I have had a sick child for the past few days which has confined me to the house and left me with a child who fluctuates between being clingy and wanting to play CandyLand after the medicine he's taking kicks in and he feels good.

So, earlier in the week when it became apparent that I would be making a fruit dessert, but before I had a sick child, I had the clever idea of doing a fruit pizza. Sounds good, right? In theory, yes, but with a sick child, a husband working long hours at the hospital and being stuck at home without any of the ingredients and no time to slice a bunch of fruit for a pizza, let's just say, "It's not going to happen!" Plan B then...a dump cake. It fits all the categories I contains fruit, it's easy and I can take sick child to the grocery and buy the ingredients in no time flat.

However, before I went out and bought the ingredients to make a dump cake I needed to check with my good friend, Yvonne, who is the room mom for her daughter's kindergarten class at our school. See, Yvonne's class was assigned to bring a cake for the dessert and I figured since great minds like ours think alike, I should probably check in with her and make sure she wasn't planning on bringing the same thing. Plus, I wanted to get a little go ahead for coming up with such a brilliantly easy solution to the dessert dilemma. After talking to her and finding out that she also had taken creative liberties with her "cake" assignment , deciding to instead bring a cinnamon struessel bread, I got the thumbs up and "dump away" from her.

That, in a nutshell, is why today's Friday's Favorite is a dump cake. It has 4 ingredients, one of which is 2 sticks of butter and I figure what says "Teachers we love and appreciate you and are not trying to clog your arteries and cause you to have a heart attack" like a cake with two sticks of butter.

There you have it, Dump Cake. Here's the very easy recipe.

Dump Cake:
1 20oz. can of crushed pineapple (do not drain)
1 21oz. can of prepared more fruit cherry-pie filling
1 box of yellow cake mix
2 sticks of butter

1. Dump the fruit in a bowl and stir.
2. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.
3. Sprinkle the cake mix over the fruit
4. Melt the two sticks of butter.
5. Drizzle butter over the cake mix.
6. Bake at 350 for 45 min. to an hour (May take more or less depending on your oven)

Take care,

Thursday, October 9, 2008

9 on the 9th

My friend at All That Naz has a monthly meme called "9 on the 9th". I have not always done the best job with this. One time I did, "almost 9 on the 9th" and another time I could not come up with 9 of anything.

Anyway, I am back and participating 100%. Since October is Breast Awareness Month I thought I would come up with 9 things you can do to help find a cure.

1. Get a mammogram. If you have a family history of breast cancer, go get one earlier than is recommended.

2. Do something to raise money for the cure. I did the Avon Walk but there are plenty of others, including Susan G Komen's race for the cure races. (

3. Give to a charitable cause that supports finding a cure. Susan G Komen's organization has raised millions for research as has the Breast Cancer Research Foundation .

4. Do a monthly self-exam. All the experts agree that early detection is very important.

5. Buy products that support the cure. These days the pink labels are everywhere.

6. Listen to a survivor tell their story.

7. Offer to help someone with breast cancer. Bring a meal, run an errand, clean their house, etc.

8. Wear a pink bracelet to show your support.

9. Talk to your health care provider about your questions, concerns and family history.

What about you all? Any others to add?

I got something in the mail just this week about World Pink and Estee Lauder's involvement in a breast cancer awareness campaign. You can find out about companies that support the cure by going to Some companies listed on the brochure include: Aveda, Clinique, Estee Lauder, Origins and Prescriptives just to name a few.

If you get a chance, go check out my friend's blog Bubba's Sis click on her pink ribbon link.

Have a great day! You can go find more 9 on the 9th at: All That Naz.

Take care,


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Elizabeth Jane

I am going to be honest with you all, I always knew I wanted to have a girl, even if I only admitted it to myself.

Why? I am not exactly sure. Maybe it was because I grew up in a family of all girls. Maybe it was that I figured I would stand a better chance of having success in parenting a girl, since I am one and all. Maybe it was so I could buy great girl clothes for her. Or maybe it was because there weren't any girls of either side of our families. Whatever the reason(s), I wanted a girl.

We had an ultrasound early on to confirm the pregnancy. I knew as soon as it would be possible, I wanted to know whether we were having a girl. Partly so I could "plan" but mostly because I was too curious to wait.

When I was far enough for the ultrasound to confirm what we were having, I had the ultrasound done.

"You're having a girl." I was told. I remember asking (more than once) "Are you sure?"

Elizabeth Jane.

Her name was chosen before, long before her. She would be named after my older sister, Elizabeth and my grandma, Mary Jane.

Ellie is what she would be called.

I ended up being induced a few days earlier than my due date. My OB doctor said my fluid looked low and and suggested induction. I felt as if I was ready to burst so it didn't take much to convince me.

She was born right after midnight, a beautiful, peaceful, laid back baby...qualities which haven't changed over the last 6 years.

After she was born the doctor noticed something unusual with my umbilical cord. She had what is called a "true knot" which is a complete knot in her umbilical cord. No one knew how long it had been there, only to say that had she had been born later, her ability to get nutrition through the umbilical cord would have been cut off with potentially fatal results.

Thank you Jesus for bringing our little girl safely into this world. I am grateful.

I love this little girl who is growing up right before my eyes...our animal loving, no training wheels biking, great swimming in the pool, always sharing little girl.

I love you Elizabeth Jane.

Take care,

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

And the Winner is...but first a story

When I was a kid growing up my mom would have my sisters and I draw a number to help determine what order we had to follow for certain chores. For example: When it would be time for us to take a bath we all would say we didn't want to go first or we all would say we wanted to go first and then things like, "Beth got to go first last time" ,or "no, Melissa went first last time!" and on and on and on. So we'd pick a number. Whoever picked number one would go first and so on. Since I don't have a random winner picker gadget, I used my mom's old-fashioned method and my husband picked a number and the winner is...

D at! Way to go girl! Just email me your address and I will put in the mail the book "Breathe"!

Thanks everyone for your comments! I love reading them all and appreciate everyones kindness and ideas. Blogging is great because of friends like you all!

Wednesday is my daughter's 6th for the post coming up soon!

Take care,


PS Today is Bubba's Sis's birthday at Go wish her a Happy Birthday if you get a chance! Happy Birthday Bubba's Sis!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Being Intentional

Intentional: "a plan of action, an aim that guides action, deliberate"
Deliberate: "careful and thorough in deciding or determining"
(Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary)

My husband has been re-reading Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life" and sharing some of the highlights with me. One of the ideas from the book that hit home to me is the principle of doing less in life by focusing on what matters most.

I have found myself thinking about that concept continually over the past few days. What does matter to me and just as important, do my actions reflect what I say is most important. All of this has caused me to think about the idea of being intentional in what I say, do and persue.

I remember when I was back in college and I first met my husband. I wanted him to notice me. I knew his class schedule and worked very hard to coordinate where I was so I could appear to just "happen" to bump into him in between classes. I was intentional in my efforts to see him, get to know him and be around him. This took time and energy.

Last April I participated in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Houston ( The walk covered 39 miles in two days in an effort to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness. For three months prior to the walk I got up at 4:30am two days a week and forced my tired body to go to the gym for a boot camp class to help get my body ready for the walk. I was intentional.

But that's just two areas of my life. What about all the other areas? Am I being intentional in my marriage or am I just taking it for granted? What about raising my kids? Am I being intentional in seeing that I am training them in the way they should go? What about my relationship with God? Am I putting the time and energy into deepening my faith and love for God? How about my friendships? Do I prioritize spending time with Godly friends who know me and can help me become a better person?

If I am not being intentional then life just happens and I get caught up in whatever comes along. I need to take the time and give all areas of my life a good long look and ask myself "Is this (whatever the "this" may be) something that is going to help develope my life in some positive way? Is this activity going to further the kingdom of God? Lastly, does this activity bring joy to my life? If there are activities in my life that don't meet these requirements, I need to seriously consider how much time I should invest into that particular activity.

I feel the need to add a disclaimer here...there are activities I do every day that do not meet the criteria above yet I still participate in them because they are a part of what I need to do. For example, I don't always enjoy doing laundry or cleaning the house or packing lunches, yet I do them because I love my family and I want them to be taken care of and feel loved. I guess what I am really thinking about is what or how I choose to spend any free moments I have or activities I feel committed to participating in.

All this leads me to the concept of creating a mission statement for my life. I have never done this before, surprisingly. I guess I have sort of thought of mission statements as something of a glorified New Year's Resolutions list...too lofty and not completely or easily attainable which leads to another area in my life to potentially fail miserably in. I am a dreamer not a planner. I love the idea of being spontaneous versus rigid and scheduled. Yet, being a mother of three kids calls for a certain level of planning and scheduling just so we can function. Maybe that's why I have avoided a mission statement for my life...fear it would just seem so canned, not real. But, as I am getting older I am beginning to see the wisdom and value in them. Having purpose and a clear plan of who I want to be will enable me to sift through the myriad of things that come my way more clearly and help me to make better decisions about how to spend my time.

I love the verses in Jeremiah 17:7-8 that say,
"Blessed are those who trust in the Lord...
They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they go right on producing delicious fruit." (NLT)

That's the kind of woman, wife, mom and friend I want to with deep roots.

The more I think about it the more I think I could benefit not only from a personal mission statement, but a family mission statement and a marriage mission statement. I will keep you posted on what I come up with, if anyone is interested. Let me know if you have your own mission statement for yourself or family or marriage. I would love to hear about it.

Also, on that note...I have been reading a good book that is helping me focus on all of this. I like it enough that I bought a copy to give to one of you. It is called "Breathe" by Keri Wyatt Kent. It's about, "creating space for God in a Hectic Life". Good stuff, right?! Just leave a comment for me about anything you do to take time for yourself. I will leave the comments open until Tuesday, October 7th at 9pm (cst) I will randomly pick a winner and post the winner on the 8th. Have fun commenting!

By the way...just a few updates
Yes, the kids are feeling better and headed back to school.
Friday night was girls book club out here on the island. A dozen women sitting around outside on a wonderful evening talking about, "The Shack". Does it get any better? (in case you are new to this blog, let's just say I love the book!) Also, my daughters birthday is coming up on Wednesday so be watching for that! Finally, I should be back to another installment of "Friday's Favorites" on Friday! Have a great week!

Take care,

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I can't think of a title, which goes along nicely with the theme of this post

Somewhere down this road called mothering I have been walking down for the past eight years, I feel like I have lost something.

Mainly, my mind.

I know it seems funny, but I remember back in college when I used to sit around with others and carry on in-depth conversations about life, faith, the future...basically anything and nothing for hours on end. Convictions were challenged, friendships were solidified and time seemed to never end.

I feel like I have now been reduced to a bunch of short, simple phrases like, "Put your shoes away." or "Do you want fries with that?" or "No." or "Remember your backpack."

How did I end up here so quickly?

Most of the time I am so busy caught up in the busyness of raising three kids that I don't even realize I have spent most of the day on auto.

And then I will catch a glimpse...

Reading a great blog, watching a movie that makes me think or a random conversation with a complete stranger and it comes back, albeit slowly, that part of me that needs to be filled apart from my mothering role.

I try to jump in...adding a comment on a blog I like, joining a book club - good attempts, but going back for a second glance my attempts seem almost humorous. Something I wrote that seemed witty to me at the time seems so embarrassingly lacking or conversations about my opinions seem weak or disappointing, they just don't convey me adequately in that moment. Give me a day to respond or write a comment and maybe I can come up with something better.

Do you ever wish you could get a second chance for people to glance at who you are or that at any moment you could accurately convey your heart, even in the midst of chaos? I know it takes time and being intentional, two things I seem to be lacking at this stage of my life with three young kids, but I need to start, at least somewhere.

And I wonder, how do other moms do it? Or dads for that matter. Moms (or dads) whose writing and thoughts are examples of where I want to be or can articulate what is in my head so much clearer than I can. How do I get there in the midst of raising kids and sometimes just getting by?

Do you ever wonder how people see you? I think about my blog stuff and it seems to be such a tiny fraction of what I really am about. If someone glances at my blog they will see quite quickly I am an mom and that I am a Christian or that I live in Texas; I write about my kids and my day to day life, but it is just a part.

I am not even completely sure what I am trying to get at except that I want to work on my writing so it will better reflect more of me or the direction I am trying to head to, apart from being home room mom, or the trips I have taken or birthday parties at Chuck E Cheeses.

So, if you're new to this blog or you're just stopping by and see me writing about the things I have mentioned above, don't just write me off. Come back again sometime and maybe you will catch a glimpse of something that is deeper than what it may appear to be.

Take care,

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just Checking In

Hey there!

No, I have not gone away or quit blogging. Life has just been a little crazier than normal and somehow, unfortunately, my blogging got left behind.

Let's see...what have I been doing lately?

We celebrated my son's 4th birthday at Chuck E Cheese's this weekend and I am happy to report, everyone survived. It was our son's first official party where he invited friends. Let's just say, he is now a fan of birthday parties and the gifts that come along with it. We had a great time. I must say though, I am amazed at how many kids do not want a big stuffed mouse coming towards them unaware. Not that I blame them. Lots of running, yells and tears when Chuck E Cheese came out to do the whole "Happy Birthday" routine complete with dancing and singing. Maybe the restaurant could just get rid of the mouse and keep everything else. Sounds like a good plan to me.

On Monday I had another chance to substitute in my daughter's kindergarten class. I am happy to report that the second time is definately easier than the first. Experience gave me the upper hand this time. I could remain firm when faced with the dilemma, "What do we do if one of the door holder/flag holders is absent?" or how to respond to the question of "Teacher may we put our nap mats by each other during rest time?" I was so naive the first time, but not this time. I had a great day and love those little kids.

The birthday boy must have worn himself out as he's been sick the past couple of days with a fever, cough and congestion. He must feel sort of okay because we still managed to get in five games of CandyLand on Wednesday, of which I only won one. I didn't even rig the game.

My oldest has been enjoying the Karate kids class he takes after school once a week. (Sister takes the class too, but I get the impression she's in it more for the social aspect of it...her best friend from her kindergarten class is in karate too) The oldest has been showing us the moves they learn. Jackie Chan better watch out.

Hope all is well for you all. Drop by when you get a chance, I'd love to hear from you.
Take care,