Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Weird Dreams

I took a sleeping pill today because I was just so exhausted and couldn't sleep. When Lowell picked me up from work, he decided that we should go out to breakfast because it was his friday. It was great being 'just us'. We ate and talked and laughed... And then we went home. I played with Boogie because she asked me too and because I want to spend time with her... And I worked on my homework and by then, it was noon. So, Lowell started making lunch and insisted that I go to bed. He woke me up at 9:15 tonight and I was soooooooo dead asleep. I was also in the middle of a yucky dream. Can anyone explain to me why I recurringly dream about someone from my past who I don't have any unresolved issues with and I haven't spoken to in years?????? Why does this person keep showing up? I dream about him at least once or twice a week... It bugs me. Lowell thinks I'm silly to pay any attention to my dreams, but I know that there are issues in my past that I can't deal with while I'm awake and so I process them while I'm asleep. Anyway, that question aside, when I wake up from these dreams I am exhausted. I don't feel like I've slept at all. It seems like whatever I've been doing in my dream, I really was doing. My muscles hurt, my neck hurts... Its ridiculous because I don't get any rest at all! Does anyone know what I'm talking about??? So, so much for getting a bunch of rest today. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better. I did, on a positive note, write a really good paper tonight! I was proud of myself! :) Hope you're feeling much more rested than I!
Oh, and PS - January 28th is "Have Fun at Work Day" :) So, Have fun!


Tuesday was the first day of my new 12 week Beth Moore Bible study. I am very excited! :) She is just as wonderful as I remember.. :) And the book of Revelation is so timeless, relevant and interesting. I am hopeful that I will learn little nuggets of information that I can pass along to you here!
Today I have a lot planned... Get off of work, get a flu shot here at work (maybe), go home, finish a little homework, shower and then sleep......... Until 9pm. That's my day! I have been stretched thin on sleep lately.. Some of it is my own doing - I choose to stay up with the babies instead of sleeping, and some of it is just a requirement of my many job titles. Whatever the reason, I'm worn out. There is a case or two of bronchitis at work and I really don't want to get sick so I'm going proactive: I'm eating Airborne like candy and I'm going to catch up on rest. Lowell is going to pick the kids up from school and take them hiking in Buckeye Hills again (so long as its not raining) and then take care of dinner so that I am completely off the hook. I'm so spoiled, aren't I?
I'm spoiled at work too. I'm blessed to have a co-worker who is picking me up on Tuesday mornings so that we can go to Bible study together. She has also been emptying out her freezer as of late and sharing many yummy homemade treats with my family! I get lots of food welfare each night when I come to work from my second shift buddies too... Chips, soup, soda, candy... Just what I need, right? I feel so lucky that I really like the people that I work with. I don't know that my job itself is all that rewarding.. But I do enjoy the people!
Today is the end of Week 3 for this quarter at school. Each quarter is 8 weeks long, so I'm almost half-way done with another class. Next quarter I'm going to be doubling up - taking two classes at once: one in person and one online. I'm registered for Group Counseling, and Tests and Appraisals. It'll be nice to see my ground (on campus) classmates again but I'm not really looking forward to doubling up, working and doing all the at-home responsibilities. Online classes tend to be very frustrating and don't offer near the quality of education that I get when I'm actually in a classroom with a professor. I'm trying to remind myself that I will only get out of it what I put into it whether the class is online or in person.
Tax time is fast approaching and Lowell and I are anxious to see where we stand with our refund... We are so very close to being completely out of debt and Lowell is very anxious to go to school so that he can change jobs. I need to say that again because its so exciting... We are almost completely out of debt. That means in a very short while, we will not owe anyone anything.. Our only responsibilities will be our monthly bills. We are soooo excited to be nearing the end of this journey. We set this as a goal for ourselves quite awhile ago and, at the time, it seemed unattainable but now, there is light at the end of the tunnel!!! We are going to be out of debt and actually have money in savings. God is blessing us soo much! And, poor Lowell is so desperate to be away from his current job... I am very excited for him!
This also means that I may be getting close to being able to stay home full time again. I will be able to be a full time student (4 classes each semester instead of the 3 that I'm taking now) and actually take care of my kids and my house! The clean clothes may actually make it into the closet/dresser before they end up in the hamper again... I have mixed emotions about staying at home. I will miss my co-workers and I will really, really, REALLY miss my husband (he will be gone a lot for his new job) but for the betterment of our kids, we both believe that me staying home is the best choice. And the sooner I finish the classroom portion of my degree, the sooner I'll be able to go to work doing what I want to be doing - and doing it during the day while all the kids are at school. We really just need to get through another 15 months so that all the kids are in school full-time and I'm ready to do my internship. Jillie will start kindergarten in the fall, but the charter school they go to now has kinders going 2 full time days each week. Other schools in the area have them attend 5 half time days. Neither of those schedules would allow me to work so I believe that I'll be staying home until she enters the 1st grade. (Holy crap, did I just say that Boogie will be in 1st grade?!?!? That can't be really only 15 months away, can it??) Until then, I'll be able to volunteer in their classes again... Yay! :)
On that note, Nathan is starting his multiplication tables, Chloe is adding and subtracting triple digit numbers and they are both reading above grade level. Jillie is also learning to read. She's blending sounds and is tackling some Dr. Seuss. (That man was a genius! :)) They are all still loving their Wii but we only have 2 Wii-motes so they have to take turns. I'm looking forward to the day when they can all play together. Another Wii-mote for Jillie's birthday in March sounds like a plan... I still want to get a Wii Fit for me but I've decided that since we're working so hard on reaching our financial goal, maybe our fitness goals can wait just a little longer. My birthday's in January... :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

More Pics

My wonderful husband took us around a couple of days ago to some places in town that I've been scouting out for good photo-shoot sites. These are a couple of the shots I got.. I was a little bummed because it was a little bit cold and the kids didn't want to take a whole lot of photos. They were sooooo good but I rushed a little too much and I didn't check my shots all that well, so I missed a couple of blinks.. I discovered that our local park has a three-seater slide - perfect for my little ones.. And there is a old building on main street that I was really excited about. We also took some pix in front of an old fence but we got a lot of wind action in those... So, we'll try it again on a different day. Sooo fun! :)


Lowell met us at church today so, on the way home, Chloe and Nathan rode with him leaving me alone with Boogie. Of course, I asked her if she had fun in Sunday School and then what she learned. Each week, there is a theme for the children's program. Last week was "Jesus/God can do anything." They learned about Jesus walking on water. The week before that was "I can talk to God when I am afraid". This week was, "Jesus wants us to obey". So I asked Jillie what 'obey' means. She said that we do what we're supposed to do. I clarified that we do what God wants us to do. So Jillie said, "Right now, God wants us to go home." :) So, to home we went. On the way, we were identifying shapes out of the cloud made by the nuclear power plant off in the distance. First we had an elephant, then a 6 legged camel, and then a Tyrannosaurus Rex with something on his back. Jillie said, I think its a dinosaur with a blender. Ok Honey, whatever you think. :)
I love going to church. And I love that my children love it too. And I'm very thankful that I have a husband who will work all night and then still make an effort to be at church. I appreciate that he makes it a priority and that he will demonstrate to his children that church is a priority. I'm very blessed.
On that note, I have been feeling much better. I got an email from my sister in law encouraging me to not feel guilty about needing "me" time. I appreciate the reminder. :) Its a hard thing for moms to remember, isn't it.. In addition to the encouraging note, I'm also confident that I had prayer on my side this week. I know it because I can feel the difference. I've been reminded that I have the power, in Christ, to take captive each and every thought and conform it to the will of God. I do not have to be ruled by my feelings, but can stand on Truth. Thank you to everyone who prayed for me. I know my kids appreciate it too. :)

Friday, January 22, 2010


I'm working on being very intentional in my words. I am trying to be sure that whatever I say is what I really mean. For example, there are times when I get help from a stranger - like a person in the bank, and in the past, I might have said - "Oh! I love you!" In reality, I should have expressed gratitude without saying the 'L' word. I believe that "love" is much too frequently used. At least I find that I have used it very flippantly. So, in order to better appreciate the real meaning of love, I've decided that I will be very careful about when I use that word. I love my kids. And I love my husband. And I love Moron and my daddy and.. Well, a lot of people. But I don't love the bank teller. There are other times when chosing my words carefully has been very important too. For example, when I'm trying to express why I'm frustrated or why I'm hurting. Using very specific language can lessen the likelihood of a misunderstanding and will also ensure that I'm better aware myself of what I'm really feeling.
Along that line, lately I find myself telling my husband that I like him. I definitely love my husband and I still frequently tell him so, but in addition, I genuinely like him. And I think that's special. :)
We are getting closer to the time when, most likely, Lowell will be gone for a significant period of time and I'm really dreading it... I want to stay home with our kids and we've both agreed that it is best for them if I stay home with them but the sacrifice of having my husband gone... Well, its definitely going to take some getting used to. I can almost guarantee that the majority of my posts during that time will revolve around him.. That and how crazy I'll be going as a "single" mom.
On that topic, its amazing to me how drastically my feelings have changed in just a couple of weeks. I was re-reading some earlier posts and I was surprised. I can tell you when I noticed the change.. I just don't know why its happening. I had a three day MLK Jr weekend and I spent almost all of it on the couch. I didn't want to play with the kids, I didn't want to take care of them.. I just wanted to be selfish and read and relax. And I kept getting grouchier and grouchier as they continued to demand my attention. And the grouchiness continues... I was really tired the week before Martin Luther King day and so I thought a couple of days of rest would do me good. It turns out that the opposite was true. I seem to do better on less sleep but then I get the selfish bug and turn into a, well, ... B&%*$
Selfishness is a major hurdle of mine. And, unfortunately, so is guilt. So after I'm selfish, I feel guilty about it and feel even worse. And then the hole is hard to climb out of. So, today, that's where I find myself. I have finally gotten the schedule that I wanted so that I can be with my kids. And I haven't read them a bedtime story in almost 2 weeks. And I was completely grouchy with them today... (A couple redeeming moments - I did have a tea party with Boogie before we picked up the others at school and I did read a couple books with Chloe) But I don't feel like these little things are enough...
One thing I would really like to work on is saying no. There is more than one way to say "no" and some ways are much better than others... Most of it has to do with attitude and I know that I'm not doing it right. One way I can tell is through the attitude of my kids...
Anyway, as you can tell, I'm struggling with doing a good enough job, being a good mom, and heaping guilt upon myself every time I don't feel like I've done the best that I could have. And because of it I'm not experiencing the joy that I was only two weeks ago. And that really saddens me. I am so blessed and so lucky.. And I want to live like it! And I definitely want to show my kids that I appreciate, love and enjoy them. I want them to grow up knowing that their mom and dad love them unconditionally and that we are proud of them. And thankful that they are here... I'm not sure how to get back to the way I was feeling and behaving at the beginning of the month... But I'm going to be working on it and praying about it. Could you pray about it for me too?


In the church bulletin Sunday, a new Bible study was listed to begin in a couple of weeks. Its Beth Moore's 'Revelation' and I'm so excited!! I love Beth Moore and I am very excited about the possibility of doing another of her studies. The one catch is that the series is at 7 am on Tuesdays. I usually work until 7:30 am, so I checked with my supervisor to see if I can adjust my schedule for that day so that I can attend. She said yes! :) I've been very blessed to have a lot of Christians on staff where I work and I'm thankful that they understand. My next issue will be transportation... One of the major benefits to being on graveyard is that Lowell and I carpool. After the first of the year, I had a couple of weeks on swing shift and then they were able to put me on graveyard permanently - the one catch is that I work Monday through Friday so I no longer have the same days off as my hubby. We try to carpool as much as possible because it makes such a huge difference in our gas bill but now we are limited to three days a week. If I go to this Bible study, I will have to drive separately on Monday as well so that I can get to church on time. My only other option is to, selfishly, invite one of my co-workers to come with me so that she can pick me up... We'll see what happens... I'm really excited to be getting more involved with our new church and hopefully, meeting some new people. But I'm also very excited about getting back into a deep study of the Word.. I can't wait to hear what God has to teach me. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010


Yesterday at church, the sermon was entitled "Why?" Pastor talked about why bad things happen to good people, and why God allows suffering and natural disasters - obviously in response to the earthquake in Haiti. I'm sure that there are a lot of people asking those questions. The first answer that my pastor provided was "I don't know". Because we don't know. There is a scripture, 1 Corinthians 13:12, that says "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." God is too big for us to understand and His logic and ways are too mighty for us to comprehend. But we are promised that one day, we'll know.
Then our pastor spoke about how we live in a fallen world. God created Eden perfectly. There were no natural disasters. And then He placed man in it... Man with a free will. And man chose to disobey. So God, being a just God, punished him by removing him from the garden and placing him in a world with natural consequences for sin... ("He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice." Psalm 9:8) So, I'm not saying that Haiti is being punished for sin, that's not true at all. What I am saying is that because there is sin in the world, God has allowed natural consequences to follow. We were given free will and we chose to go our own ways instead of following His... And it wasn't just Adam and Eve as my pastor likes to say. If they didn't screw up, we certainly would have. No human is perfect... That's why Jesus came - to be human, and yet perfect.. The world is living in a 'fallen' state. We are promised that one day it will be perfect again, however!! :)
"1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:1-4
I'm sure I'm just massacring this message and confusing everyone.. The point is that God can make something beautiful out of this tragedy. That's what He does. He takes things that are broken and makes them even more beautiful than they began. As my pastor said, there has been chaos and disaster in Haiti for decades - child slavery, no industry of any kind despite massive natural resources, a terribly corrupt government, hundreds of thousands of orphans... And now, with this earthquake, the focus of the world is on Haiti. There has been need there for a long time but now we're all paying attention... Maybe this will be the beginning of a new Haiti that is safe, self-sufficient and thriving... God can do it. He can do anything. :)
It is my prayer that my intent was conveyed here... And that whatever confusion rises out of this post is attributed to me, not to the Word of God or to my pastor. I just really wanted to offer some explanation to anyone who may be questioning as a result recent events...

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Prayer Today

Its everywhere. It's almost impossible to turn on the TV, read a newspaper or be in a public place without hearing the word "Haiti". And it should be everywhere, because its terrible.
I have a confession. I wasn't really moved by this story. I was, terribly, stuck in the us/them mentality. And I was busy and not really paying attention to the news. I was preoccupied and absorbed in my own little corner of the world. And then I watched the slideshow on MSN with images of the destruction and I realized that these people are hurting and they're in desperate need of prayer and compassion. It doesn't matter what color they are, what country they live in or what language they speak - they are children of God and they are hurting. And I am absolutely not in any way too busy to pray for people who are broken. My heart broke for them when I saw little bodies covered in sheets or just laying out in the open streets of the city. I saw the anguish in a mother's face as her daughter was pulled from the rubble of her school and I saw myself. I saw the pain that I would be feeling where I, God forbid, in a similiar situation. I can only imagine the depth of their pain. And so, I'm praying for them. I'm praying for their country, their people, the relief effort and for their souls. I pray that they can find comfort in God who can bring them peace and help them through this terrible time.
And I'm praying a prayer of gratitude that God has opened my eyes a little wider and softened my heart a little more for His people. Unfortunately, as with most disasters, in their wake we all remember to hug our kids a little tighter and hold our tempers a little longer.. I wish it didn't take mass destruction for us to realign our priorities though. Regardless of the reason, I'm going to hug my kids a little longer today and take a little more joy in the mundane because I'm so blessed to be where I am. So, thank you Lord for all of the blessings You've given me that I am so horribly undeserving of. And Lord, be with Haiti.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

From the Mouths of Babes

Let's see... Funny things we've heard in our house lately... An argument between Chloe and Jillie..
Jillie: "We should take turns. Lets go me, you, me you."
Chloe: "Yeah, we'll go you, me, you, me."
Jillie: "No! I said, 'me, you, me, you!"
Chloe: "That's what I said, 'you, me, you, me'. "
Jillie: "Me, you, me, you!"
Chloe: "Its the same thing because we're both us!"
We got popsicles from the ice cream truck and Nathan decided to read the nutritional label.
Vitamin A, vitamin D.. And Mom, 0 gallons of fat!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Good Things

A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to be used in a big way. Through a couple of benign circumstances, I ended up staying about a half an hour late at work so that, when I was leaving, I was alone in the parking lot. As I started to drive off the property, I noticed a young girl walking by herself. After watching her for awhile, I realized that I knew her. Long story short, there was a very vulnerable girl walking in a very bad neighborhood very early in the morning. I was in the right place at the right time and was able to get this girl home safely. I am soo thankful that God kept that little girl safe. And I'm blessed that I was able to see Him working so poignantly. She had run away from home... My prayers continue to be with this little family.

On another note, I recently turned 29. That's not completely real yet, but I did have a good birthday. My day began when I got home from work because I work graveyards. The kids, except Jillie, were at school and so I tried to get some rest. There was a sign on the girl's bedroom door saying "Pppresets in my room Do not com in" and one with a very sad looking stick figure that had a big circle around it and a line through it. This one simply said, "no mama". My feelings weren't hurt because there were a lot of blue hearts on the sign too. On my birthday I was blessed with a stuffed giraffe, a game for the Wii, handmade cards, some of the kids own toys, a bracelet set and necklace and, the piece de resistance, a deluxe micro-plush Snuggie. That's right, I have a beautifully soft, dark blue, blanket with sleeves. And three beautiful children who I adore! I sooo appreciate them and their demonstrations of love! I also got some money to allow me to print all of the 200 pictures I have saved on my memory card in my camera, free movie tickets and my co-workers bought me a cake. They've never been so happy to see me come through those doors. :) Cake if very popular at work. "The World's Best Advocates!"
I also got lots of well-wishes via Facebook and some texts too. I even got one from my little brothers! That was super special!

Friday, January 1, 2010


I went to work today. And then I came home. I didn't realize that today was a holiday and that I didn't need to work. Well... So I took the kids to the park. :) A much better use of my time! :) I also took down the Christmas tree and cleaned up the living room. Usually taking down the decorations causes me to feel sad, but this year was different. I didn't feel bummed by the passing of the holidays and I didn't feel nostalgic about New Years either. I didn't feel the desire to look back over the year or to try to find meaning in the passing of events... Part of this change I blame on simply not having the time, but additionally, I think this new years finds me in a much better place than I have been as of late. My family is healthy, we are incredibly blessed financially, and our little family is doing really well. I just feel so much joy about my life and I feel so much gratitude for each and every day! I am so thankful for our lives and so honored to be living this life... So, instead of looking back, for the first time in awhile, I'm looking forward. And I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings! :)

A huge part of my excitement for the new year comes from wanting to see what the future holds for my little angels... Lately, this little one has become my muse. I can't seem to get enough pictures of her... And I've been struggling to keep track of the little "Jillie-isms" that she brings to our world. When Jillian is around, there is always laughter. She is so adorable and so silly! :) Recently we've been calling her "I'm okay" because that's what we hear... Running, running, running - Bam! ..pause... "I'm okay!" Its so funny. She's such a klutz but she's tough. And she's so beautiful! I love photography anyway, but I'm so lucky to have such great models. Nathan is pretty sick of posing and is in that stage where he likes to be silly instead of handsome anyway, so most of my pictures are of Chloe and Jillian. These are some of the latest pics of my baby... Hard to imagine that my baby, my youngest, will be 5 in three months... FIVE!?!?!? You've gotta be kidding me! My little angels are growing too fast... Maybe I should be spending a little time looking back after all - time is going forward much too quickly!