Friday, May 30, 2008

Genuine Fellowship

Something recently made me think about fellowship. I just looked it up on and was somewhat pleased by the definition.

1. the condition or relation of being a fellow: the fellowship of humankind.
2. friendly relationship; companionship: the fellowship of father and son.
3. community of interest, feeling, etc.
4. communion, as between members of the same church.
5. friendliness.
6. an association of persons having similar tastes, interests, etc.
7. a company, guild, or corporation

The girls and I had some friends over to swim this afternoon and I was so blessed by the fellowship that we had with them. The kids had a nice time and I was able to sit and talk and share with my friend. Just the simple task of being together brought such joy to my week. I need to make the effort to carve out more time for this type of friendship.

We are all busy and our lives are crowded with lots of things to do. Important things. Valid things. But there is something beneficial to spending time with someone who uplifts you. The type of friend that builds you up rather than suck the life out of you. Someone who spurs you on to be better. Encourages you when you are down. Someone asks about your world.

It is a shame those types of friendships are few are far between. Though tonight I am thankful for all of those friends in my life. I dearly miss the ones I have moved away from. But I am grateful that when you come by the "Peapod", it's almost like we could sit and have a cup of coffee together. Sharing. Connecting. Encouraging. FELLOWSHIPING.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mother or Therapist

Sometimes I wonder if I am the Mom or the therapist. You see, I have a child that struggles with anxiety and being nervous. And to be totally honest, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. There is some family history on both sides of worrying. In fact, we all worry about different things in our lives.

But sometimes I feel like fear or worry over takes my little one. I saw examples of it yesterday that made me realize this is something we need to keep working on. Not only does she feel nervous about a variety of things, but the worry escalates and can often cause fainting. In general, I am a pretty patient and understanding parent. I know that this child was given to me, for I know how to teach her to cope with it (results of being raised as a counselor's daughter). What do you do when you give your child the skills to succeed and they don't choose to use them?

I can't really understand why she has such worries in her life. Compared to most children she has nothing to worry about. She has her basic needs met, she lives in a loving home, she doesn't have to ride the bus to school with bullies (she is home with me for homeschooling). I wonder if her worries are rooted in the fainting. The feeling of having her body do something that she can't control.

One of her triggers is TV/movies/videos. She is afraid of watching something that will scare her. My kids haven't been desensitized by TV. We haven't done the typical Disney movies (lots of scary characters) or other kids shows. They are 8 and 9 and still find joy in simple shows (Peep, Curious George, Max and Ruby). We don't do them because they end up in tears when it is bed time afraid of bad dreams. All that to say she was worked up about going to a birthday party where they might show a movie/video. She was in tears about it before we got there. She felt fainting when we arrived after she saw the blankets in front of the TV. I had given her ways to handle the situation. {Tell herself the truth, bring a book just in case you don't want to watch it, I even asked the Mom what they were going to show...} But her fear "got the better side of her".

I also saw her fear take over yesterday with school. She got so worked up about something she couldn't focus or concentrate. Almost to the point of a panic attack. It is like it swarms in like a cloud of bees and consumes my child. I hate to see this happen. Especially at a young age for such simple worries. I did what I could to help her cope. Which is why I often feel like the therapist. Reminding her how to handle life and deal with it the best way that she can.

I am not sure my purpose of posting this. Whether it is to get advice or just process my motherhood frustration for the week. I have to pray that God works in her life. And that all these years of instilling the right tools in her life will pay off someday.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why do YOU blog?

I was recently thinking about WHY I blog. It started out to be a way to for me to sort through my thoughts as we were entering a stressful stage in life (moving last year). I was also hoping to stay connected with friends and family who live miles away. I hate the idea of only getting a Christmas card once a year to hear how people are doing. I like to feel more connected to those I love.

Blogging has turned out to so much more than what I thought. Not only have I stayed connected with my dear old friends...I have made MANY new ones. I have found friendships (kindred spirits if you will). Almost like present day pen pals. People that I care about, pray for, banter with. One of the biggest blessing about my blogging friends, it that these are friends that I can take with me when we move again.

I have also found it to be an opportunity of influence. Not only have I been able to influence others, I have been influenced. I have shared my passions (ie: composting) and life interests. I have also grown in my thoughts and ideas in many areas (adoption just to name one - I would link you to all my adoption friend's blogs but there are too many {and I love that there are too many}).

Not to mention accountability. I know that you all out there in blogville will keep me accountable. I often blog what is going on or what is taking place in our life. It keeps me accountable to stay positive. To do what is right. To be a better me.

These are just a few reasons of why I have come to LOVE blogging. These don't even mention encouragement, support, ideas...the list could go on. So, why do YOU blog?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Quirky Me

My blogging friend Trish tagged me to list 6 quirky things about myself. I have taken a few days to think about how quirky I really am. Let's see if I can come up with 6 good ones.

1. I am a bit accident prone when it comes to my toes. I have broken them too many times to count. I have banged them on chairs, doors and walls. In fact, I broke one (baby one on my right foot) on Friday. Chuck says I would be better off if my feet were always in shoes but I do love to run around barefoot.

2. I am totally grossed out by someone drinking the milk out of the cereal bowl. I can't stand it. And those bowls that they sell with the straw attached are icky to the max. I dump my milk down the drain where it belongs.

3. I have to have make sure the car is locked. I have had Chuck leave the airport, ride the tram back to the long term parking to check on it. I always second guess that it is locked. I need to hear the chirp when we are walking away (can we say control freak?)

4. I am a creature of habit. I tend to eat about 3 different things for lunch. Every day I either have a smoothie, a salad or meat and cheese wrapped up. Not much variety there. I always grocery shop on Tuesdays. I make pizza every Friday night. I park in the same area of the parking lot at the store...I like consistency.

5. I hate fire ants. I have always reacted terribly to them. I swell up so bad that my skin turns black and blue from bruising. If I get bit really bad I end up at a walk-in clinic. You won't see me running around the grass barefoot.

6. It really bugs me when my debit card number or my credit card number is printed on the receipt. I will either say something to the manager, not go back to that store or restaurant, or pay in cash only next time.

Like I said. I definitely have some quirky traits going on. I am a little odd on some things.

SO in the spirit of not leaving anyone are all tagged. Share the quirky bits about yourself.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Renewed HOPE

Sorry I was a little down in my last post. There is part of me that badly wants to share my struggles and pain and then there is part of me that would rather just ignore those feelings and not think about it. The change in weather has that crazy effect on me (like I am an animal or a group of grade school children that act out when it rains).

I wanted to share some of my renewed hope. I mentioned before that I am choosing to focus on the positives of my life. I am fully aware that lots of families live without 2 parents in the home and I have the hope that this is only for a season. I have such respect for those military families and single parent homes. I bet there is more relying on God in those homes than I can even comprehend.

To share the little things in life that bring joy...the growth in the garden. Remember when we dug and worked and weeded and planted? And then that post about not sure if we could harvest what we started? Well the garden has exploded. Growth everywhere (even weeds Ginny). I am amazed at the whole seed growth process. Talk about a spiritual lesson. I can do my part on those seeds and plants (watering, weeding and such) but the growth ultimately is up to God. I can NOT make those seeds sprout and produce a plant. And how come some of the plants do well and others do no? That is up to the grace of God. There is no point in me getting worked up about controlling those plants. They will do what they are going to do. Get over it Cris (and learn this lesson in your own life too ~that is me talking to myself).

In due time, if it was meant to be, those seeds will turn into the plants which produces the fruit. And just enjoy the process. Step back and look at the big picture ( talking to myself). Enjoy the beauty of the growth and the outcome of the mature plant. I desire to not get caught up in the details of life that I miss the growth process. And LOOK...we get to harvest some of these seeds that we planted. {Clover got to enjoy those radish tops}.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Heavy Heart

For a variety of reasons I have had such a heavy heart today. I am sure by now you all have heard of the tragic death of Steven Curtis Chapman's daughter. I read about it early this morning and it has hung with me all day. I am lifting up that family and especially their son, in prayer today.

I think my heavy heart started last night when both girls were crying and missing daddy. We had a very busy day and I wonder if that had to do with the evening tears. I want to comfort them and care for their feelings but at the same time, my mind keeps drifting to other families that are also going through difficult times. Even the perspective of other's pain, doesn't take away our current hurt.

We have been calling out to God, seeking His mercies on our family. I know the truth that God hears our prayers and the He cares for our every need. But...right head knows the truth but my heart feels the pain. The unknown time period that we will be in this holding pattern is so hard. It has official been a month that our home is on the market and no offers yet. In fact only 2 lookers (plus an open house). Chuck has been gone about 2 weeks. We expect a good weekend with him home and we went ahead and got another ticket for him to come home again in another 2 weeks. All this adds up to trying to really hard to hang onto hope. Hoping for the best. Staying positive. Choosing happiness. Focusing on all the good in our life and not the bad. (OK, that was the little pep talk that I needed to give myself).

I hate this heavy feeling on my heart. Even to the point of chest pains and hard time breathing. The weather here has changed to full on humidity and I know that always takes a little getting used to. Today, I take it as a reminder to lift up these families that are dealing with DEEP hurt.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Birthday Highlights

After such a sweet and wonderful post from Chuck, I don't know if I can top it. I did want to share the highlights of the day in pictures.

The girls and I went to a local tea room for lunch. It was so special. We all got dressed up and did our hair. I even wore a dress (a bit of a change from work clothes and yard boots).

The view from the table. This place it too cute. I realized how much I like quaint things.

The day was full of flowers. First the flowers that Chuck gave me. He always gives me wild flowers...which I LOVE. And my dear in-laws sent a gorgeous bouquet of tulips, which are some of my absolute favorite flowers. Then the girls got into bringing flowers to the front door and ringing the doorbell and running off.

The flowers from Chuck look great in the custom built-in hall tree that we

made (I say we meaning my Dad and Chuck).

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Hijack!

Hi everybody, this is Chuck... I'm hijacking the Peapod to wish Cris a happy birthday! Please join me in sharing your birthday wishes to help her have a special day! -- I arranged for a friend to deliver flowers to the front doorstep this morning (thanks Perry!) -- I was on the phone with Cris when he snuck them to the door... then he lept over the flower bed and ran through the trees. She said, "Why is there someone running through our woods? Is that Perry?" -- Fortunately, she liked the flowers. =)

Well, hon, I don't have any jewelry for you this year... but I did take some time yesterday to write this for you... I hope it reminds you of a time when I wrote you things like this more often!

>>In Ribbon and Bows<<

On this special day
I wanted to say
that you're on my mind
and you're in my prayers
and though I'm not there with you
I needed to share with you
wherever you go
I need you to know that
I give you my heart
I give you my life
I'm blessed as a man 
to have you as my wife
so I offer my faithfulness
I'll give you my all
I'll give you assurance
I'll be your safe place to fall
and though I am far away
my heart's there with you today
and I need you to know
so I'm wrapping my soul
in ribbon and bows
and though it's not new
I give it to you

Happy birthday Cris! I love you!!!!!



Sunday, May 18, 2008

Step aside Goldilocks

So...I was at the mall the other night and got a call from my neighbor on the cell that there was a bear in the back yard of my next door neighbor. You heard me right...a BEAR. I was beyond surprised. She said that they (other neighbors) had all stopped in front of the house with cars still running and doors wide open to check out this site. He was up on the playset in the back yard.

My first thought should have been, how cool, the girls would have loved to see it. But Oh no, my thought was, Chuck is miles away in another state and I have to get home before it gets dark so I can water the garden with out running into our new neighborhood mascot. I am playing out the whole imaginary scene in my head. How would I ward off a bear with my garden hose and BB gun??? We quickly ended our trip and got in the car and headed home. All the while I was trying to down play the whole thing so the girls wouldn't be scared.

As soon as we got home I got my garden boots on to get out there and water those veggies. Just as I was another neighbor lady drove up in her golf cart to say she heard there was a bear over here and wanted to see if we had seen it. I am thinking to myself, the sun is going down and I need to get these plants watered so I can get inside, I don't have time for chit chat. Instead I say, come on into the garden and we can visit while I water. She does and we do. I turn around and notice the door on the guest house (above the detached garage) is WIDE open. First panicking thought...the bear is up there. So with my neighbor in tow, I climb the stairs (listening first) to check it out. Now I would be lying to you if I said my heart wasn't pounding just a little faster than normal. By now the sun is down and it is dark. I lean in and turn on the lights. Whew. I thought for sure I would find remnants of scenes out of Goldilocks and the 3 bears. I was just positive there would be the table thrown over to the side and the cupboards wide open and a big ol' black bear sleeping in the bed. But, nothing. No bear. No mess. The door must have swung open in the wind or something.

What a crazy night full of drama. I have enjoyed living out in the country. I guess it does have its ups and downs. I am all the more praying for out home to sell so we can reunite with Chuck. I mowed our 2 1/2 acres myself yesterday and felt pretty proud of myself for getting that done and being brave enough to investigate the possible bear in the guest house. And I am not sure what I would have done if I did come face to face with a bear sleeping in the bed. I hadn't gotten that far with my plan.

Here is a picture from my neighbor of the bear. He is cute, but look at those claws.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Living in a Pretend World

I am not sure that all kids are like this, but my girls love to pretend. They have done it for years. They are always acting out some story or book or show and pretending to be different people (sometimes even animals). There is a part of it that I LOVE, and some that I don't. I love that they are living in the innocent world and do not worry about the cares of real life. I love when they dress up and look adorable. I love that their world is pure and unblemished from our society. I guess we do sort of live in a bubble.

There is part of the pretend world that I don't like so much. Like when one of them is always the main character (insert sounds of bickering). Or when they make their little forts all over the yard but don't want to pick them up. Sometimes they are such in a pretend world that they are not even aware of what is going on right in front of them. We have to have times when we say, you are going to be Tally and Tissy and not Laura and Mary.

There is also part of the pretend world that I envy. I would like to escape reality and "be someone else" for the afternoon. I don't want to keep my house perfect (for it is on the market), I don't want to pay the bills, I really don't want to do the chores and the needful. I would like to ignore all the responsibilities. I would like to have a little pitty party for myself. I don't want to be strong today. UGH. It has only been one week with out Chuck here and I really don't want this to go on for too long. ***yikes this was supposed to be about my sweet girls in their adorable dress up outfits and somehow my raw feelings spilled out***

All and all, we are doing just fine here. I am relying on God's strength to get me through and I am appreciating all your thought and prayers. Since we don't live in a pretend world we will manage to get through this and be better for it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Most magical place on earth (?)

Just a week ago we had the privilege to enjoy a day at the Magic Kingdom. It was a LOAD of fun and I have the pics to prove it. (Again, disclaimer on too many pictures. Chuck hasn't even seen these yet, so enjoy sweetie)

We were given passes for the day as a gift and it was a great last hurrah as a family before Chuck left for his new job. I just have to say...we know how to do Disney. For starters, we walk fast (I learned that from my dad). The average Disney visitor walks about 8.5 miles a day. No wonder my feet were sore and I had the Disney hangover. We move quickly around those families that just stand around waiting for the crying child to "get over the fit" and pick up the souvenir.

We pack snacks and water and get a locker. I need to bring a special drink for Tissy and I pack it in a small cooler with ice and ride the train back to pick it up half way through the day. Wear a back pack full of what we need. If you know me at all, I am prepared. I have the essentials in the back pack. We nip the "can we buy this" before it begins. We let the girls get these hats a few trips ago and they wear them every time. We skip seeing the characters. We did that the first time but we don't need to see them every time. It takes a LOT of time to do that. And we divide and conquer. Chuck and Tally hit the big coasters while Tissy and I do some mellow things.

We did have a great time and it was a blessing to enjoy our time together. I am so grateful that we have good spirited kids that are enjoyable to be with on a day like this. We did have a magical time.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I can't believe it, when did this happen?

I was driving home from our weekly "trip to town" (we really go more than once a week it just sounds so "little house" to say it that way) and was SHOCKED by the gas prices. The last time I filled up it was $3.62 and I had a hard time with that. But it was still closer to $3.50 rather than 4 bucks. But today I noticed it was $3.77. Did you get that??? $3.77. Ugh. I feel like I need to re-evaluate what constitutes a trip to the store or a trip anywhere. It seems like a battle that you can't control. It seems like we are going to be paying over $4 a gallon soon. Is it like this everywhere? And what are you doing about it?

I guess we could all pile on Chuck's scooter (which gets great gas millage) and get around town that way. =) I am not sure we all would fit, not to mention, I am not sure how safe it is. LOL

Monday, May 12, 2008

What would you change?

I find that asking people questions is a great way to get to know someone. I wonder if you could change one physical attribute about yourself, what would it be? I know, I know...I might like to change a few, but if I had to choose just one it would be my eyes. I have had to give up wearing contacts in the last 2 years and I miss going without my glasses. I miss that feeling of being able to see really well when you put on your make up. I miss running and not having my glasses slip down my nose from the sweat. I really miss wearing sunglasses. I am tired of that feeling of not really being myself (I am surprised how sluggish I feel in glasses). So for me, if I could do my "I dream of Jeannie blink" (you know, arms crosses with the head boink blinky thing) I would give myself perfect vision and healthy eyes.

How about you? What would it be? Taller, better hair, thinner...what would it be? Let's just pretend for a moment that it really would change if you could wish on a star.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Musings

I have to say that Mother's Day was, at one point in my life, one of the hardest days for me. I know that sounds a bit odd, but let me explain. I have been one of those statistics of a woman who has struggled with infertility. There was a time in my life that I wondered if I would ever have the chance to be the Mom that I longed to be. And when Mother's Day would roll around it was hard to cope with those feelings.

I am so grateful for the blessings of my children. I am thrilled that God answered all those prayers with my beautiful girls. After years of hoping (and a little help with fertility drugs), I joined this Motherhood Club. I take motherhood pretty seriously. I find that I really understand the calling in my life to influence my children in a positive way. It is such a huge honor to be a Mom.

So on this Mother's Day, I am again so grateful. So thankful. So honored to be the Mom. I am thankful for the wonderful example of a great Mom that I grew up with and count it a privilege to be surrounded by top notch Moms. You each bring such great characteristics to the Motherhood Club...creativity, patience, easy going attitude, persistence, humility, love, enthusiasm, mercy, determination, gentleness, kindness, list could go on forever. I am constantly challenged and spurred on to be a better Mom. You all are not a bunch of bon bon eatin', soap opera watchin', telephone gossipin' gals. You are Proverbs 31 babes.

So, Happy Mother's Day to you all. May your day be filled with the reminder that being a Mom is a privilege and blessing from God.

Friday, May 9, 2008

"Do you think Daddy wants to go?"

This is what my little one asked me tonight. "Do you think Daddy wants to go?" At that moment I think my heart broke just a tiny bit. My answer was "No, he doesn't want to...but he needs to go."

It has been a bitter sweet week for us here in our home. We have really enjoyed having Chuck around the house more. We even took a day to do Disney (pictures to come later). We had a few last projects to finish up and the computer has also taken some of Chuck's time. But we all know that he leaves on Sunday. Job starts on Monday morning and he needs to be there to begin.

I had been thinking that I was going to have the more difficult end of this adjustment to our family. Being here with the children, taking care of our know...holding down the fort. As I said before, we are staying here until we get our home sold (that is why I have been asking for prayer). But sipping coffee with Chuck on the front porch this week, I got a glimpse into his soul. He shared about how hard it really will be to go and start this new adventure with out us. He even shared that when he leaves, he will feel almost homeless. He will be camping out in different places that are available for him, but he won't really have a home. It will be harder than I had thought for him.

One of my inspirations is a blogging friend whose husband is in Iraq. She is always by herself. Always alone. I often think and pray for all those families that are dealing with more difficult circumstances. We are not the only ones to be dealing with hard times.

So...back to the question. I don't really think that he wants to go. But, sometimes we need to do hard things. This is the hard thing that we are doing. I know that God won't give us more that we can handle. I also know that He will give me the strength to get through these times.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Blog Roll

I think I need to make a blog roll. Since my computer has crashed I am having a hard time checking on all my blog friends. So, if you want to be on my blog roll...leave me a comment and I will add you to my list. See you soon in cyberworld. (Can you tell I am tired tonight? I have a feeling I am going to have the Disney hangover tomorrow.)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ohhhhh technology!!!

My laptop crashed on Saturday...and we have been cut off from the world since then. We are still here and still kickin'. A quick recap...
  • Had some dear friends come and stay in the guest house this week. The girls had a blast playing and having a sleep over with their daughter. (Oh, we had fun too!)
  • The girls and I enjoyed Chuck's send off lunch from his work on Friday (they are going to miss him).
  • Showed the house on Saturday morning. We hurriedly cut the grass and had it show perfect in less than 2 hours. (They said it was their favorite so far).
  • Had a big open house on Sunday and had some folks come through.
  • Enjoyed some of Chuck's work friends here last night for a little hot dog BBQ.

So...that is our busy and exhausting last few days. We are still hoping and praying for God to provide the buyer that we need. I am still clinging to hope and eager to see how the next few weeks and months unfold. We will keep you posted.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Back door friend

When I was growing up we had a sign that hung outside our side door (the one we used all the time) that said "Back Door Friends Are Best". It was a cute sign and it really was a statement. We did have a front door but we hardly ever used it. Our side door came right into our kitchen and it was where all of our friends came to when they came over. When we had "company", they would come to the front door and we would welcome them through our formal living room.

In the different homes that we have had, I always wanted to have another sign like that one and have that familiar back door friendship with others. Most homes now have an attached garage and when families come home they enter through the garage. We had that in our last house. Though it was convenient when it rained to drive right in and stay dry, it really wasn't the most welcoming entry into our home. We would pass through our laundry room and it always seemed like it was a reminder of the chores that I hadn't finished.

This morning I was enjoying our front porch (see all my pics?). I sat on one of the chairs out there and was just enjoying the view. I was trying to focus on the positives of our current situation. It dawned on me, the longer we are here (even though it will be a hard separation from Chuck), the more I get to enjoy this porch, this view and all that we have here.

Today, being May Day, we visited our neighbors and blessed them with a May basket. It is such a highlight of spring for us to bring a basket to a friend's home and ring the door bell and run away. The girls love this tradition and had fun making the baskets and their favorite part...ringing the door bell and hiding around the corner.
I realized though that we are leaving these baskets on the front porch of these homes and no one really uses the front door. Most of these people go through the garage and will miss the baskets all together. That is, all except for my neighbor who told us to come to her side door when we come to visit her (we left her basket there). I am glad to be someone's back door friend.