Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Fritters

Okay, corny title, I know. But, I didn't have anything even remotely original to share and thought I would just ramble a bit. I know. The excitement is more than you can bear.

Have I mentioned how much we love our church? Well, we do. It is very casual in atmosphere but very serious about scripture and fulfilling our purpose as a church. To say we have a great band sounds very shallow, but they are great to me, not only musically, but in how they lead us in worship. I know I've mentioned our homegroup, and I love them even more now than I did before. Very real people on a real journey with the Lord. Does it get any better than that?

Yesterday Emma and I went to our second science class for homeschoolers which is sponsored by a non-profit group that helps take care of a section of the Colorado River. Anyway, the first one was on mammals, and this one was on tree bark. Doesn't sound thrilling, does it? But, it was really pretty fun. The foresters brought all different kinds of bark samples, and we wound up down at the river reserve on a nature walk. Pretty cool, and it was a gorgeous day! I'm starting to really love where we live.

There is also a state park about 15 minutes from our house where we have planned to go camping. in. a. tent. in April. I'm afraid. I need to hurry up an get Aubrie potty trained because I really want to be pull-up free during the day. I haven't camped in a tent since I was a kid. We've done the cabin thing several times so this is something totally new. There are lots of families here who are totally into the camping, cycling, outdoors thing, and who wouldn't be when it's in your own backyard? In some cases, literally. I have two moms who've promised to make lists for me of things I need to bring. Any suggestions from the blog world?? I so need them!

As you know, I've had a bit of a hard time lately, but this was Todd's week to struggle. Things were just rough at work, but they've been rough for a while so it made things even worse. Anyway, I just think it's pretty wonderful that my attitude seems to be on the upswing so that I can emotionally support Todd.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Meme

I did this for Facebook a while back and just recently realized that Missy had tagged me on her blog. I thought I would cheat and just copy what I had already done. On #20, I enjoyed my class and am getting better at strumming. They actually taught a couple of strumming patterns that I can practice, and I think it's helping! Also, I'm getting some nice callouses on my fingers...I can't wait for practice to not hurt.

1. Given the choice of doing something with someone or by myself, I usually prefer to be alone. I even go to movies alone.

2. I love to read. Right now I'm reading a book by Francine Rivers. She's one of my favorite authors.
3. I have such a temper - when I was seven, we were having family pictures, and I didn't like what my mom wanted me to wear so I stormed off on my bike, ran into a tree branch and had to have stitches in my eyelid. I also have a nice scar in my eybrow.

4. My hair was blonde as a kid and didn't start turning darker until high school and college. I still don't realize sometimes just how dark my hair is now.

5. Colleen and I used to never tell on each other when we were little. We both had too much dirt on the other to make it worthwhile.

6. I wanted to be a ballerina when I was little and read all kinds of books about different ballet companies. I broke my fingure in ballet class once...probably a good thing God shut that door!

7. I lived in a van with 13 other people for four months on a singing tour- not really. We actually got to stay in a lot of Motel 6s and other people's homes. I still like these people! :-)

8. I used to refuse to do Bible studies by Kay Arthur and Beth Moore because I hate bandwagons or Christian "trends." (I'm so badly stubborn and slightly rebellious.) Finally, I came to my senses and am a Kay Arthur nut. I really miss my Bible study group at Morrison Heights. Since I'm w/o my group, I'm doing a Beth Moore study on John.

9. I've lived in 1) Grand Prairie,Texas, 2) New Orleans,LA, 3) Independence, MS, 4) Hernando, MS, 5) Columbia, MS, 6) Rocket, TX, 7) Red Oak, TX, 8) Clinton, MS, and 9) Cedar Creek, TX, and this is all since being married for only 11 years. Yes, we are semi-nomadic! :-)

10. I worked at DBU for about eight years.

11. I've been a substitute teacher.

12. I've been a 6th grade teacher.

13. I've been a 9th grade teacher.

14. I've been a college lit. professor.

15. I've been a houseparent (w/Todd) to 9 boys at the same time! Crash crourse in learning to cook for large groups!

16. I've been a literacy grant coordinator.

17. I homeschool my sweet girls. And, let me put my two cents in, that of all the jobs I've had, being a mom is the toughest and the most rewarding.

18. One of my favorite things to do is to go out to eat with Todd. We love to eat and talk and never get tired of trying new places...we both eat anything - including crawfish and raw oysters. See #24 below. Truly, a match made in heaven!

19. I like to make baby gifts for people - blankets, diaper bags, burp cloths, etc. I really want to take a sewing class so I can actually know what I'm doing.

20. I am signed up to take a crash course in guitar on Feb. 6 and hope to actually learn how to strum. The class claims it teaches this so we'll see!

21. I bite my nails. I actually quit when I'm pregnant so I have this theory that I'm missing something that I'm supposed to have that will make me quit (not that self-control has anything to do with it...).

22. I cannot stand shopping for clothes and do it only when the girls are running out of things to wear.

23. I love to cook (and eat) and am so thankful for a mother-in-law who shares all her incredible family recipes with me!

24. Todd and I started dating on a trip to New Iberia, LA, for Habitat for Humanity. I went on the trip mainly because my tax return didn't come back in time, and I didn't have enough cash to go on my church ski trip. Thanks, IRS, for a wonderful 11 years of true adventure!

25. We have been to seminary twice and have no degree, we thought we were going to Africa in March but wound up in Cedar Creek, TX, and though I have no idea what God has next for our little family, I KNOW it will be good because He is good all the time, and all the time He is good!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A New Day

I'm so glad that God's mercies are new every morning. It's amazing how his word can lift me out of the pit over and over again; usually the pit of my self-pity. Today, I read in Ephesians because it's what our homegroup is studying. Here's just a run-down of the good stuff God pumped into me today:
1. I have been called to hope.

2. I have the riches of a glorious inheritance.

3. I can know the power of God that a) raised Christ from the dead - it can also transform all the "dead" spots in me, b) seated Christ at the right hand of God - His work was done/complete, and c) placed all things under Christ's feet and placed him at the head the church.

That's some pretty powerful stuff and has so helped my despairing attitude of yesterday.

So, I was thinking about how aggravating it is to not know at least a little bit of the big picture when I started thinking about the small picture and the things I know I should be doing regardless. Loving my husband, loving the girls, loving on the folks around me. And, let me tell you, there are plenty of people who need loving! Back in Clinton, homeschool mom is synonymous with Christian mom. Not so here. There is such a cultural mix here at our playdate group and even at church. So many people are seeking and looking for answers, and Jesus is right there waiting for them. It's pretty exciting to have a mission field that is so ready for the harvest right in front of our noses. I think God may get a chuckle out of that one. "I'm not sending you to Mozambique. How 'bout Austin?" Our homegroup which meets twice a month is the biggest breath of fresh air I could have ever longed for. People are there from all different backgrounds and some don't know Christ at all. But they come to home group. Amazing. God is really at work all around us.

Okay, I was just sitting here typing and realized that I've left out a big part of my frustration. A few weeks before Christmas, Todd got a pay cut. A big one. So, we moved to Austin for a promotion with a certain plan in mind; a few acres to learn to be chicken/goat farmers, and that plan no longer exists in its original form. Not life-shattering, I know, but still more change in an already big transition time. I'm just not so great at that. I like a plan. I like a plan even more when I get to check off all the steps. So, we are trying to look for a house where we could still possibly have chickens (sorry goats) and trying to decide what our revised budget needs to look like. This majorly stresses me out because we can't seem to land on a new plan.

More random stuff. One of Emma's best new buds is a hoot, and she and Emma are peas in a pod. Emma's lost some more teeth, and we're thankful to have Olivia around so she can be in good company! :-)

Yes, they both have their pajamas on. We had Olivia's family over for dinner, and Melinda said they would love to come but that they would probably bathe their kids and have them come in pjs. Sounded like a great excuse for a pajama party to me!

Last random tidbit. I'm no photographer, but I had some fun playing with some pictures I took of Mary, Micah and Judah. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Grumbling and Really Fun Stuff

I told myself that I wasn't going to wait this long again to post, but here we are. I think an underlying reason for my lack of posting is a general negativity I feel in myself. I don't think I'm upset about not going overseas, but I think I am experiencing some real frustration over not knowing what God has for us. I realize that probably most folks find themselves in this position from time-to-time, but this seems to pretty much be the theme of our lives. And, I'm tired. I'm weary. It's one of those moments that I want God to write on the wall and spell it all out for me. I'm ready to not feel like I'm on hold. I want so much for God to use our family for eternal things, and most days I just feel so mundane. I realize that I'm echoing the tune of a million stay-at-home moms, and I know that pouring into our sweet girls is a high calling indeed. I just need a little space to air my grievances.

Now, the daily activities of my life definitely don't feel like I'm on hold. There's been a lot going on around here. We just recently bought a new history curriculum that we love. It's called The Mystery of History, and it beautifully intertwines what is usually left segregated: Biblical and ancient history. It's truly so much fun, and Emma and I have had a blast with it.

Adam and Eve - in case you couldn't tell!

Emma's own cuneiform tablet

Emma as a mummy - Jessie and
Aubrie had a big time helping with this one.

On another exciting front, Mary, my youngest sister, had her baby Monday night. We drove down that evening in the hopes of getting to see her before the C-section, but she was already underway when we got there. I had to bribe the girls with donuts for breakfast because they were so disappointed. Anyway, we got up the next morning to go meet Judah Micah Coop, and I know I'm biased, but he's beautiful! Mary had not really wanted a C-section, but the stinker was breech and had already dropped so she and her doctor decided it was best to ahead and get him out of there.