Monday, November 26, 2007

Yearly Themes

Last year, instead of making and quickly breaking New Year's Resolutions, I decided to pick a broad goal and run with it all year long. I made it my goal to do things I am intimidated by during 2007. I was coming out of some mild depression, had a new baby, a new church, and some new friends to add on to Shane's new(ish) job. There were a lot of adjustments to make and most of them depended on me to be stretched. Believe it or not, there are A LOT of things that intimidate me-speaking to crowds, driving in a new/large town, making conversation with people who might not like me, sometimes even toting the kids around alone can intimidate me. As I reflect on this, I know those things didn't go away, I'm still intimidated by lots of things, but I also see myself as just a smidgen more capable. I will still have to talk myself into doing hard things, but at least I know I can do it.

Here are a few things I did this year to work on not being intimated:
*Drove all the girls-alone-an hour away to buy rollar skates
*Sewed several slings for gifts and to sell (sewing was tops on my list of things that I feared doing)
*Took the girls to a new church Sunday after Sunday (of course it didn't stay new, we joined that church this year).
*Went to two or three church events without Shane-either at other peoples' homes, which was the scariest, or at the church.
*Went out on a limb and initiated conversation with new faces at church, along with trying to start friendships with gals from church.

Okay, so you get the idea...

I have much work to do and I hope to keep up the challenge this year but I'll be adding another theme to work on.

My new goal is to live life more "in the Spirit" in 2008. That is simply church talk for being right on target with God each day, reading the Bible with a passion and zeal that opens up more communication with God, leading to me hearing Him speak to me throughout each day. I've been in this place before, but it was before I had Jaybird. I find myself continuing to adapt to the life of a mom with four active children and a very busy husband! But I want more than survival, I want to thrive, I want my family to thrive, and I know the only way to do this is to draw ever so close to God. Nancy Leigh DeMoss's ministry is centered on encouraging women to have quality quiet times. I'm planning on listening to her teachings via her website as I work in my kitchen. I think I'll also revisit her book A Place of Quiet Rest for more inspiration.

That's my plan. What is your 2008 theme? I'd love to hear your heart's desire for the new year. Finish this sentence: 2008 will be my year to ______________.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Real Thanksgiving

I'm so proud of our church's children's program. It's SO much more than a program! We have excellent people who pour themselves into the children's lives week after week. Ash's Sunday school class adopted a few families to buy/serve Thanksgiving dinner to. The 3 oldest girls spent yesterday evening preparing mashed potatoes, turkey and dressing (while donned in these great aprons!).

To be quite honest, my holidays with our families often fall short of how I want to celebrate. As a Christian, I have many traditions I'd like to start at the Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner table, but can't because I'm not the hostess. Instead, we seem to revolve our holidays around football and food only. Of course, these things aren't bad, but when this is all we celebrate, there is nothing there honoring the Lord, and that's my heart.

Serving the poor, however, definitely honors the Lord! May your Thanksgiving be full of the Lord's presence, after all, He's the One who gave us everything we're thankful for!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Do you know any weird people?

So, in your circle of pals, do you have anyone who stands out as weird? You know the type...the ones who might do the following:

Breastfeed forever
Make their own bread
Let their husbands make the decisions
Resist traditional medicine-at least some of the time
Drink raw milk (straight from the cow)
Don't watch TV
Have big families
Search out organic produce
Own a juicer, Vitamix, or Bosch (sp?)
Don't know pop culture
Use all sorts of crazy contraptions to "wear" their baby
Vote conservative

Well, while I don't know anyone like that, I just wonder about them. Do they know they're weird? Did they become weird one step at a time and never realize when they'd gone too far?

What if you knew someone like that and then found out they were considering using cloth diapers? Would you even associate with them? Maybe if they promised you wouldn't have to change one of them?

If you're eyebrows perk up at some of that list, yet you like me anyway (and not just so you can get cheap entertainment out of laughing at me over dinner) thanks ;)

PS, I'll keep disposables on hand for when you watch my kids, lol.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Food for Political Thought

Reading the Making Home Blog (Thanks Summer for the link to this site!) has really blessed me the last few months. This week was no exception. Jess highlighted a great blog entry by Randy Alcorn regarding ABC voting (Anyone But Clinton) verses voting for the candidate that matches our morals and standards. No matter what side of the fence you're on, it's good stuff.

Jess also had a great Show & Tell selection this week. I read one or two of the articles and plan to go back and visit more. If you've not visited Making Home, you're missing out...and if you're confused about what to do regarding Hilary, Alcorn's entry might give you some insight.

In case you're interested, I think we're a Huckabee Family.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Day with My Man

Shane and I spent most of the day about an hour away from our three oldest kids. Don't worry, we had plenty of fun without them! Jaybird and Adri were with us and I planned to give Shane no option but to wear a baby.

I really wanted to use the Ergo, but knew Shane wouldn't be caught dead in this sling:

Or any sling. He's told me the only men who wear slings are forced by their wives...So, Shane has never "worn" a baby. Until Today.

Unfortunetatly, his baby was about as green at baby wearing as he was. Here she is at the library:

There's just something she didn't like about Shane today...(she's holding her nose, but I was laughing so hard, the camera shook a bit).

That's okay, we went to lunch and she got a break from that perpetual piggy back prison. You'll notice we tried to be good caregivers and feed the girls vegggies first:

But she really got happy when we brought french fries to the table!

Don't worry, Jay got a treat, too

When you don't get coke often, you have to be intense about it:

Okay, now we're ready for some shopping! we go to the mall. Shane found these pants:

When he saw this, he said, "This you have to blog about!" This is why America is falling apart. It started with a simple 2 shirt combo-when you think it's a set, but the two are sold seperately. Then it moved down the slippery slope to display shirts under jackets. Now, underwear is boldly accessorizing jeans. America-stop before it's too late.

Side note here, Shane bought a different pair of jeans in a different store and the clerk asked if he'd like to buy bla bla bla for layering...I didn't hear what the bla bla bla was, so I thought she must be talking about the boxers right behind her! Wow-that's bold. I cracked up, but alas, it was actually a sneaky ploy to get you to pick up a few more items. It worked, he got 3 shirts (at $3.50 a piece). I hope she works on commission.

Okay, while were were doing all this discussing about clothing and politics, the girls had better plans:

They napped for a while, getting lots of ooohhhhs and aaahhhhs. People probably thought we had twins. And the best part, Shane was finally baby wearing! He was a trooper! He kept catching himself in the mirrors :)

Adri put up with the baby wearing thing until we were checking out at Old Navy, our last stop. We got her to the car, changed her diaper and gave her a bottle while buckling her up for the ride home. She seemed relieved...until about ten minutes on the road when she kind of gagged a little and then vomitted a little. I cleaned her up, thinking she was fine. Uhhhh, she wasn't so fine :( About 3 minutes later she erupted! Shane kept smiling this smart little smile while handing me baby wipe after baby wipe. What's up with that?

He was thinking how great Adri's timing was. Me too. I would have hated to have vomit in my Ergo ur, I mean on my husband. (PS, Adri's fine).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Food Show

The girls participated in the County 4-H Food Show today. Daddy got to be at this one, after missing last year's. He had to miss the Dallas Cowboys in order to go...but he did a fair amount of sneaking out to the car to listen to the game :)

Jaybird enjoyed the Ergo:

Hope, a Clover Kid, got a great participant ribbon for her M&M Pudding Parfait

And Ash won 1st Place with her Greek Salad:

Our little 4-H Club did great--all/most of the girls won 1st or 2nd place ribbons and will advance to District! Way to go!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Ergo has arrived!

So, after our geocaching trip on Halloween Weekend, I decided I needed an Ergo baby carrier. I watched ebay for a while and saw they pretty much sold for what I can buy a new one for-even the worn out used ones. So, reluctantly, Shane told me to go ahead and get one, although he didn't see why I'd need one. After all, I own almost half a dozen slings.

I found a great site that sells below suggested retail. Although she doesn't seem to answer her emails (or at least not ones from me), she shipped very quickly. Everything arrived in a nice pretty Ergo box...

I was a good girl and finished putting together the training Power Point for next week's training at the Pregnancy Center, then we popped in the DVD and learned how to use my new, blue Ergo.

Jaybird woke up cranky from her nap and wasn't quite as excited as I was to try it out, although she tolerated it for a bit.

The good news-it does distribute the weight well. I really like the feel of it. The bad news: in the back carry, it's much prettier if the wearer is a size 7 with a flat tummy. The little black stap doesn't flatter if you're fatter.

Maybe in addition to the backpack, zippered pack and tote bag Ergo sells as accessories, they should sell a control top Ergo strap. That's what a woman needs!

Off to do some crunches so I can look decent in my new Ergo-or else Jay will be stuck in the front carry position, where I can't see what the black strap is doing to my hips/rear!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

From the mouths (and bottoms) of babes

Here's some humor for you!

Bethany was quite sick last night so I took her to the urgent care clinic while the girls went to Awana. She felt miserable and wanted to just be in my lap all evening, so I held her until bedtime. The housework just had to wait, that's not as important as my sick girl.

I stayed up too late, wired from caffiene and Bethany's demands. When I got up this morning, the only thing I wanted was a nap. When I was about to slip back to bed so I could nap before the girls got up, in runs Bethany with a huge grin-she was elated to be feeling better. I told her I was really tired and wondered if she wanted to go back to bed. She said, "No Mommy, I don' don't need to go to sleep, you just need some coffee!". She's 4! What in the world does she know about coffee fixes?!

So, I go to Wal-Mart to get her Rx filled. The wait was over half an hour, then I had to get gas on the way home. All the time I was shopping, I was stressing over not being home, not cleaning up from last night's neglected chores, from not doing school, and so on. It didn't help that I was tired. My cell rings while I'm getting gas and Ash calls. Here's the dialog:

Me: Hey, what do you need?
Ash (in hysterics, laughing): Mom! Jaybird took her diaper off and there's poop everywhere! She's trying to play in it!

At this point the only thing keeping me from a full blow weeping session is that I'm pumping gas. In public.

Me: Ohhhh, you've got to be kidding. Okay. Where's Daddy (why do they always call us when Daddy is available???)?
Ash: We have bath water'll be okay, Mom!

Thankfully, Shane comes to the rescue just in time to see Hope getting into the bath with Jay to help wash her. After she got in, he said she looked down at her feet and started screaming, "I'm standing in poop! I'm standing in poop!"

I'm so glad that when I got home (ahhem, I DID NOT take the long way home. We need to establish that right now. I'm a good mom and never leave my husband to clean up messes meant for me. Never.), yeah, when I got home, Jay was wrapped squeaky clean in a bath towel and all was good--and clean.

Tonight, I hear Bethany say, "Mommy, I think my stomach hurts. I have a butterfly problem." I say, "Oh, really. I'm sorry." She says, "No, Mom, that's good. But it does make you feel polka-dotty. Polka-dotty is bad...I need a Tums."

I know what you mean, kid. Sometimes I feel polka-dotty too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Okay, here it is...

The LEO wives blog is ready! There's not a lot to show and it still needs work, but its a start!

The good news is, while exploring the net looking for links, I found what looks like a great site with a little forum community of LEO wives/girlfriends. There seem to be a good amount of Christians on the site and lots of good articles and support. It even has a section for homeschooling moms! It's in the links section of my new blog.

The blog's name is currently Thin Blue Line Wives, for lack of a better one. Blogger makes you pick a name early on in the process and I was itching to get it going last night. I'm open to name changes...and one of Shane's buddies suggested Beside The Badge...keep 'em coming and we'll see what all we come up with.

Thin Blue Line Wives

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'm feeling led to a new ministry...

I've had something on my heart for quite some time. When I'm quiet, it just gets louder and louder. I've searched the net for something like it and not found much. I've needed this ministry for myself and have come up very, very short in my searching.

There seems to be little out there for wives of law enforcement officers (LEO). Wait-I meant Christian wives. I'm not trying to be snobby about it, there's just something different about being married to a man in LE, and the way a woman copes with that life is hugely affected by her faith, or lack of.

I love to write and when I was younger and thought I knew more than I really do, I thought I'd write a book someday. I've thought about topics, but each time, when I really thought hard about what I'd actually say, I found I really knew nothing about it that hasn't already been penned and published (good grief, that's how I learned about it in the first place).

There are only about two books I've seen out there for spouses of officers. I read I Love a Cop to prepare for this new career, but I had to filter it all through my Christian glasses. The other, Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement, is on my wishlist. I don't think it is a Christian book, either, but I've heard great reviews.

So, maybe someday God will have me write a book about the issues related to being a Christian LEO's wife, but in the meantime, I believe I'll start a blog about it.

I need a catchy name for the Behind the Badge or something to do with the Thin Blue Line (the fine line between LE and civilian life)...only more clever...feel free to loan me your cleverness; I know it when I see it but I possess no cleverness of my own :)

So, if you understand the 4am calls from the ER, when your'e trying to sound composed and strong but you're freaking out on the inside, or if your husband spends more time with hookers, addicts, gang members and sex offenders than he does with you, if you "get" walking on his left side, worrying if he left his gun in your car again, overprotection, if you noticed he just mentioned face planting someone in a story you've never heard and you wonder how many other dangerous situations he's guarded you from, or if you've ever run into an ex-inmate at the Dairy Queen and not known what to say (I bet you looked good in stripes??), then follow me to my new blog.

I promise it won't sing the theme song from cops or have pornographic avatars (there's some kind of thing going on with all these cops wives making a very sexy online persona...I have my theories but that's another post--or an entire book! Ha!). It'll be a place of real support-prayer coverage for any who ask, posts that relate to LEO life, links...who knows what God has in store, but I'm excited to find out. I hope you'll join me there if this is a ministry you need, too.

When it's ready, I'll put the link on this blog.

What do you think? Anyone out there need this, too?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Two things I really want right now

1. I want to build an old looking farm house with vintage (or vintage looking) stuff.

2. I want to be a minimalist-not the zen type, the country type.

The farm house thing evolved from our longings for a log home. About 7 years ago, Shane presented me with log home brochures on Valentine's Day. We bought some land and moved to town. Kind of backwards, but that's how life works sometimes. We've been in town for 5 years this month but next year we are making a HUGE family effort to put every extra (and not so extra) dime towards debt so we can build in 2009.

Back to the farm house. Shane and I are big Smallville fans. Clark Kent (you know, Superman) grew up in this sunny looking, warm yellow farm house. After watching every epidode, I fell in love with the farm house look. In a way, it complements the home we live in now, which was built in the 1890s.

I don't want a "kountry bumpkin" home with home sewn bunny vacuum cleaner covers in mauve and country blue...I don't want a hunting lodge look either, I want a rustic, charming, simple farm house with eye pleasing lines and simple furnishings. After reading this blog, I have some concrete images to go with my tastes. This is a big step for me since for several years I've struggled to identify my style, I just knew what I liked when I saw it (old colorful quilts, simple handcrafted tables with notches and scratches, weathered wood in worn red, sage, brown, or robin's egg blue, mismatched old dishes...)

In my present home I'd love to be a minimalist. Rid my house of all unnecessary clutter. However, the reality is I can only start decluttering more so that we won't move into our new house with so much stuff. It's hard for me to judge how much stuff we have. You see, much of my Grandmother's belongings are still here. On top of that, some of the decor just naturally makes it visually busy (like the 2 rooms of darkish paneled walls), so even if it were bare, it would still look cluttered in a way. Also, I have 4.5 children (.5 is my cousin's baby Adri who's here each weekday, lol), who have STUFF. And Grandparents who like to give STUFF. And a husband who doesn't like to get rid of STUFF.

How do you rid your life of excess with a big family? I find the age range of my kids makes it hard to minimize their stuff. The toddler has her own set of toys, the middles play with Polly Pockets, and the oldest has big kid stuff-so that adds up to a lot of stuff!

My fantasy is to get my mom to watch the girls for a day while all my friends come over. A couple would help me pitch the junk while another one or two organized what was left. Another one would take all the stuff immediately to the thrift store. I'd also have unlimited cash and time to paint, redecorate, and replace mismatched or worn out furniture. Ahhhh...

Reality is-minimalizing takes work-continuous work. It's a great goal for our move. After all, I don't want STUFF in my Clark Kent farm house!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Good morning Muggle*!

In an email a friend asked me what geocaching is. I'd been thinking about blogging about it, so here's the scoop!

Geocaching is treasuring hunting using GPS coordinates (waypoints) posted on a central website to lead you to a "cache" of goodies (or sometimes just a tightly rolled up paper inside a tiny container).

You drive or walk by geocaches many times throughout your day, I'd bet. If you live in our town, you walk by two every time you go to the park. There's one on the service road leaving Wal-Mart, one past Brookshires, and many more throughout the countryside.

A geocache is a small containter-like a film canister, a mason jar, or maybe a big pickle jar that usually contains cheap trinkets and a pen/paper log. Sometimes it contains a special coin or "travel bug" that is tracked as it goes along from cache to cache. Our next one will contain Pirates of the Carribean chapstick, scented bubbles, glo-sticks, mini flashlight, party poppers, mini picture frames, and so on.

A geocacher finds the info on each cache on, a free site where all things geocaching are discussed, tracked, logged, and advertised. Once the geocacher decides which cache(s) he or she is going after, they enter the waypoints into their GPS and head out with the family to find some treasure! When the treasure is found, the log is dated & signed by you and you can exchange a trinket in their cache with one you brought along. Upon returning home, the cacher logs the find on the cache owner's online log.

Its harder than it looks! There's a local one we've visited twice with no luck. It's probably that we need more practice using the GPS (although I noticed my friend Brandi logged it as a DNF--Did Not Find--too). There's a learning curve for sure and the first few treks result in a list of things not to forget next time: flashlight, bug spray, toilet paper, gloves, a pen...I'm sure we aren't done building our list, lol.

Even though we aren't so good at it yet, we're getting out of the house getting some exercise, and making good memories together. It's pretty cheap, too-after buying the GPS and gas!

There are more aspects to the game-like puzzle caches, themed caches, benchmarking (a similar game not invovling caches) and more. Hop over to to learn all about it and to see how many caches are in your area!

PS-I just saw last night that there's a forum page on the site that helps hook up people wanting to buy a GPS with people upgrading and selling their old GPS.

*A Muggle is a non geocacher-especically one who might be in the area while you're walking around the same tree for the 5th time mumbling to yourself while fixated on a small gadget in your hand.