Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rainbow Reminder

After my flippant comment about flooding the world a couple days ago, I couldn't help but feeling like this rainbow was just for me.

Thank, God, for your truly amazing grace.

"It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23, Amplified

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Funny

Been meaning to post this for awhile now - it totally cracks me up!

"Water glasses are strewn about the room
Got to make a plan to do the dishes soon..."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Friendship, that glorious gift...

So, to follow up on my rant about those awful people... let's talk friends :)

They're precious. And I took many of my friends back in PA for granted. When we first moved there, we had just graduated college and gotten married, so I was quite content to just bask in wedded bliss for awhile. I started working at the same company as my hubby and we connected with a few people there (including several newly weddeds) and we were quite happy to pile onto beanbags and watch movies together. Things changed as children were born, moves were made, etc. but we had some really good connections. It took awhile to find a church home (attending a megachurch is fine for checking the "went to church" option off of the weekly checklist, but really tough for connecting), but after our son was born God led us to a great church family where I in particular made some amazing friends as I navigated the overwhelming, emotional waters of mothering a colicky baby, missing the sense of sense and accomplishment provided by a "real" job, discovering #2 was on the way, and single momming it while hubby was on extended international business trips. Truly, I don't know how I would have gotten through those things without the support of friends.

And then we moved to South TX. It's been 2 1/2 years, and I still know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is where God wants our family right now. But I'm still struggling. I have a couple friends, but nothing like the amazing network that I previously had experienced. I've whined about it, and even had many women comment that they've felt the same way (women who've moved numerous times for military, schooling, etc. say that this has been the toughest area for them to get connected). There have been some great articles over at (in)courage about friendship, and this one in particular called out to me. I'm an introvert and I hate putting myself out there! But this idea about a women's group just kept coming up - books I was reading, blogs, and even news articles about how research was finding new health benefits linked to friendship.

So I'm doing something about it. Invitations have been sent to 5 very different women to join me next month, with the specific intention of building friendships. I've asked them each to bring someone with them - and I'm both excited and terrified. God knows about this lack in my life and I know He's working it all out... and well, I'm being stretched in the process.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

People. Tough Issues.

How does God put up with us? How does our perfect, sovereign Lord put up with all our issues?! Because honestly, if I were in charge I think I'd flood the earth every couple years with the hope that "this batch" will turn out better. Sigh.

How do you handle the zealous person? You know, the one that suddenly decides they should cook healthier for their family, so every conversation you have with them turns into a lecture about how YOU are poisoning your children with the stuff you're putting on their plate... Or perhaps the person who sends out constant emails with updates from an orphanage in Russia, or a pregnancy center, or a community farm in Zimbabwe or whatever cause they've devoted themselves to.... Many of these are good things, and there's something to be said for being made aware.... But if you don't embrace their cause, does this mean that you don't care, that you are actually on Satan's side?

And what about groups at church? What happens when one study group suddenly becomes *the* thing to be involved with -- and well, I'm pretty sure that's not where God has me right now, and I somehow feel like I need to justify my lack of participation...

And what about that person that you reach out to, and while you consider her a friend, she feels you should play a much larger role in her life? How do you deal with the guilt when you see her phone number come up on the caller ID, and you don't even answer because you don't want to hear about her drama and decline yet another invitation to get together...

And then we have the kids. What happens when a friend comes over, and you see the friend's inappropriate behavior? How do you handle discussions when your child comments that a kid in his or her class has yet another new daddy?

How do you show God's love in a messed-up world?

I'm going with the dig into the Bible and pray option. Still struggling with how the answers play out on a day to day basis.

And don't be upset if I don't respond to your email right away -- or answer the phone ;)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Feelin' the Love

In case you haven't noticed the stuffed animals holding hearts, candy, and cards everywhere - Valentine's Day is tomorrow! So when did expressing one's love require spending so much money?! I've told my husband on more than one occasion that flowers are fine, but PLEASE never buy them on Valentine's or Mother's Day when they double in price. Anyway, all of that rambling aside, we did want to show a little love at our house and we all got involved in the efforts. I have this adorable little heart topiary that I got on clearance at Target several years ago, and it's on the table in our front entry. There's also some heart garland from the dollar store (the reds stuff hanging down in the arch), and although you can't see it, I even printed out a free 8x10 love-themed subway art type thingee that I found somewhere when blogsurfing -- unfortunately I don't remember where, but you can find all sorts of free printables simply by googling. Next I had the kids help me cut out hearts, and then I wrote conversation heart sayings on them and stuck them to a mirror using glue dots. Love how that came out! And the last photo is of my beloved tree branch that hangs across from our washer and dryer. I don't think I'd posted about this before, but my hubby thought I was absolutely insane when a huge gust of wind blew some branches down back in November, and I informed him that I really wanted to keep one. Yeah, I really was serious! I hung it using some fishing line, and had great fun decorating it for Christmas (with paper snowflakes that we all cut out), so decided to do something each season. Those hearts were really fun, and the kids are already talking about what they want to do next (shamrocks? chicks and bunnies? I'm leaning toward some kind of flower).

On a random side note, I think the entryway of our house is next on my attack list. The molding is only on part of the walls, but where it is split, I'm leaning toward painting the bottom white and the top a rather vibrant turquoise/teal. Still debating on the exact shade, but I know I want something with a bit more punch. And that mirror with the hearts stuck on it? The previous owners left it behind, and I'm thinking it's going to be painted white and some gray & silver antiquing, an then move it to where that shelf is over the table. I do love that this place is feeling more and more like our real home...

Friday, February 10, 2012


Two posts in a single week - been quite awhile since that has happened!

This morning I drove an hour to take my husband's car in for a warranty repair. I had called to schedule a time earlier in the week, and the chipper little receptionist told me they don't make appointments, but just to come on over. I dropped the kids at school and was at the dealership shortly before 9. After going in 2 different doors and talking to 3 different people I finally found the right person. And she informed me that they were already full for the day. What?!?! To say I was unhappy would be an understatement. She told me that I could just leave the car and someone could take me back home (offer was rescinded when she found out where I lived). She then told me to be there first thing on Monday morning at 7:30. Yeah, right! Ugh. She obviously doesn't understand the finer points of coordinating schedules when hubby works in another country and it isn't safe for him to take my car over the border, not to mention having children in school. I growled a bit and asked if there was a manager I could speak with - nope. And of course there's no other Subaru dealer within a 75 mile radius.

Anyway, at this point I decided to take advantage of my proximity to "good" shopping (a/k/a TJ Maxx and Burlington Coat Factory) and enjoy a bit of retail therapy before heading home. My find of the day was this 18x24 canvas print that you can write on with dry erase markers. How very cool! Even hubby admitted he liked it (this is HUGE, as he couldn't care less about what's on our walls). It's currently sporting the verse our son is working on for AWANA.

And lastly, for your viewing pleasure, I present the coolest kids ever... and what happens when they're set loose with Picnik (may it rest in peace, sniff sniff). A had been asking for curly hair, so she tolerated me wrapping it up last night. D was an unwilling participant, but he still had fun playing with all the effects.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Science Night

So last night was our elementary school's science night. This means that parents show up with their kids and we bond over some simple experiments while a few teachers mill around and take photos.

I stayed with our daughter and hubby took our son.

Our experiments included making a paper clip "kite" and flying it with a magnet, creating a telephone from disposable cups and yarn, etc.

A quickly got bored with the simple kite idea and started testing the industrial magnet on random items. She thought it was pretty funny that she could pull her earlobes around by the earring. She discovered that the metal piece holding my purse strap together were magnetic.... she then started digging around in my purse to see what else she could test. She grabbed my cell phone and was slowly dragging the magnet across the touch screen (I was helping the child on the other side of me at this point, as his mother was busy discussing something of great importance with the lady across the table). Thankfully I was able to grab my phone from A in time and have a little discussion about how electronic gadgets and magnets don't mix.

She started singing "Red Solo Cup" when we made the telephone, and then was yelling into the cups when we were supposed to be testing how the sound traveled.

The finale was filling a balloon with carbon dioxide. We started by pouring vinegar into a water bottle. As A was reaching for the water bottle, she knocked the cup with vinegar in it right into my lap. Mmmm, I love it when I smell like pickles! She found a spare cup and managed to get it poured into the bottle this time. Next, we were to use the funnel to shake baking soda into a balloon. Of course there was already vinegar on the funnel, so the baking soda was sticking a bit. I was poking a pencil around to dislodge the clumps when A decided to help by squeezing the balloon. Which caused the baking soda to shoot out. All over my shirt. Sigh. We managed to refill the balloon, stretch it onto the water bottle (while holding the part with the baking soda off to the side) then shake it down into the vinegar. Cool, but A was disapointed that her balloon didn't inflate all that much, so as I was tying off the balloon, she was trying to shake more baking sode into the bottle (without using the funnel).

At this point I grabbed her hand and announced it was time to go, so I could spend the rest of the evening patting myself on the back for being a good parent.