Friday, December 31, 2010

Grass Roots Immigration

The mess that we've made of immigration scares me. It scares me for my children, my grandchildren, and my heritage. I agree that we should love one another and help one another, but at what cost? Our infrastructure can only support so much, even the great America has limits. I welcome anyone who wants to go through the proper channels and I thank God that I was born in such a great nation and I'm sorry for those who weren't. Truly sorry. However, I believe to keep our nation as great as it can then we have to adhere to our rules.  If we abandon all order we will all be equals, but we will be equally dragged down.

In my home, we have rules that help maintain it successfully.  My rules aren't perfect, and there are times when it would be easier to overlook the rules completely and throw caution in the wind but there are always side effects to such things.

One of our rules is that we keep the doors closed so we don't have uninvited guests roaming in and out (insects and neighbor pets in our case or even strangers) however, come to my door, ring the bell, and introduce yourself and we'll probably invite you in and treat you hospitably.

Another rule we have is that everyone is expected to know the rules and obey them. We have taught our children the rules and I expect them to do what they know they should. If there is a question, ask. If they don't obey the rules, there are consequences.  Claiming that they didn't know what a rule was will get them nowhere!  They have been taught and I expect them to know what the rules are.

The last of our house rules I'll mention is that everyone contributes. Even the smallest member of our household is expected to uphold certain responsibilities. (Lydia's are pretty basic, but we are laying the foundation).  We work together as a team and we all do our part, there are no free rides in our home.  It is full of love and support but everyone does their part.

I say all of that to say that even though grace has allowed many of us to be Americans, not hard work or sacrifice, the foundation is still there and needs to be maintained. We have an obligation to maintain, obey, and enforce the rules of our nation in the same manner we run our households and with the same purpose-to make it be the best it can be!  We need a grass roots immigration policy!

A Look Back at 2010

As I sit in my childhood home on New Year's Eve I can't help but reflect a little.  I thought I'd live and die in Centertown, KY.  The fact that I've moved all over and lived in so many different places never crossed my mind as a possibility when I was younger.  I LOVE my life, and I feel so blessed to have this life but it is in no way what I would have predicted for myself-it's better!

We spent our first full year in our home in 2010 and I'm still not feeling antsy!  This is a very good sign for me!  I haven't spent any time in 2010 perusing the internet to find a new place to live, not a new house, new town, or new state!  Unless you count Hawaii and I stand by that one...if Keith ever comes across a good paying job there we will be HI bound!  I feel pretty confident that I wouldn't bump into the Obama's anyway, but it'd be worth the risk!

Keith was baptized in May of 2010!  Great news for our family!  That may come as a surprise to anyone who knows Keith, but he is a definite "look before you leap" kind of guy and he doesn't do anything unless he's picked it apart and is sure!  It's all in God's time though!  I can say that and mean it now that I'm on the other side of the waiting game too!  I have always felt blessed to have Keith as a husband because he's such wonderful man and an amazing daddy but now he's a strong christian too!  God is GREAT!

I had my gallbladder removed in 2010 and I must admit, that sucked!  I'll pass on anymore surgeries!  Bleh!  I felt terrible for days and I had an allergic reaction to the meds which really made it interesting.  On the positive side, I no longer tell Keith that if I have a heart attack later in the night to tell the ER that I'd been having chest pains all day and I can eat nearly anything I want again!

I've been on the HOA board for a full year now, and I've learned that it takes more than I thought to keep our little neighborhood running!  I haven't decided if I'll do it again when my term is up or not.  There are parts that I love but honestly, using QuickBooks has made it pretty horrible.  In case you didn't pick up on that, I HATE quickbooks!  I feel like I use my brain more and I like being involved in what's going on and then I realize that I have to add the info to quickbooks...bleh!

There seems to be a little more peace in our lives that there has been in awhile and I'm so thankful for that!  In September I started feeling very overwhelmed and realized I was taking on too much.  Anyone who isn't a stay at home mom will probably guffaw when reading that.  I told one of my best friends (who isn't married and doesn't have kids) and she was like "WHAT could possibly have you this overwhelmed?"  She didn't mean it in a catty way, she just thinks that I'm a stay at home mom and I should have TONS of free time-I agree!

Turns out though, when you over commit it doesn't matter if you have a "job" or not!  I was on the hospitality team at church so I was doing welcoming things on Sunday mornings, then teaching the 3 year old class, and occasionally doing Kindgom Kids, which is our kids ministry during worship time.  Add that to me working at Hadley's school 1-2 times a week, a women's accountability group on Monday evenings, a women's bible study on Wednesday morning, being a member of our women's ministry committee, a tag along bible study with another dear friend via the phone, being the HOA treasurer, taking Hadley to her activities, taking Lydia to preschool twice a week, being Mom and wife and I WAS EXHAUSTED!  I went into autopilot and realized there was a problem.  I was at an HOA meeting with Bob and his wife and started crying telling her how overwhelmed I was, then I went to my doctor and started crying over the same thing and she very bluntly told me to lighten my load a bit.  She explained it to me in a way that no one else had before. 

As a woman who formerly had a "real job" I couldn't understand why I couldn't do it all but my awesome doctor helped me slow it all down and I've relinquished some of my responsibilities and started enjoying the ones I'm still committed to, turns out that the world can spin without  me driving it!  My bible study group (who I also cried in front of, um, can we say HOT MESS?!?) gave me the most empowering advice...Instead of making an emotional commitment and saying yes because I really want to help out, tell the asker "I will pray about it and get back to you in a day or two" I know that sounds simple, but wow!  I'm trying to live that now and I'm feeling better, I've even said no to a couple of things!

I got to fulfill a lifelong dream in honor of Hadley's seventh birthday.  In September, I saw the Grand Ole Opry in the Ryman Auditorium!  On top of that, they were filming Extreme Home Makeover while we were there!  This was Hadley's birthday gift from Nonna but I got to tag along and it was amazing!  It was so surreal and I was giddy through the whole thing!  Carrie Underwood sang and the Riders in the Sky were there, along with Hank Jr's daughter, and a really awesome bluegrass group who I can't remember (shame!)

Hadley started full time school this year and it nearly broke my heart!  I prefer to have my babies at home with me, but she's loving school and doing great so I can't complain.  I try to keep my internal grumbling, internal!  I see so many flaws in the school system that it makes me a little sick but we are blessed with a very good school and an awesome teacher so that helps.

Hadley has continued to amaze me with her kind heart.  She is such an amazing little girl who cares so much about people.  She is very intuitive to others, more so than me and a lot of adults.  She still relates better to adults than children and she is unimpressed by a lot of first grade antics.  She's an old soul and we are blessed to have her as our daughter.

Lydia is still keeping us laughing!  That kids keeps us on our toes and keeps us smiling.  Lydia started school this year too and I hear that she's well behaved and keeps her teachers laughing too!  Keith has asked me, more than once, if Lydia's "okay" because she's wound so tightly and my answer is always the same.  "She's fine, she's just a different kid than Hadley."  And, she is fine, she's perfect in fact! 

Overall, 2010 has been full of surprises, blessings, and love!  We have had a wonderful 2010 and I pray that 2011 is just as good  or even better!  For all of you who have helped contribute to our wonderful 2010, I say THANKS!  LOVE YOU!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Santa Does WHAT?

Last week Lydia and I delivered Christmas cookies to member of our church who are in a local nursing home. The bible class I go to on Wednesday morning does a cookie swap and packages up cookies to take to the firehouse and shut ins and Lydia and I volunteered to deliver to the nursing home. We had such a great time! I grew up, basically, in a nursing home because my mom was a nurse and I would go with her to work and visit the patients and hang out. I've always had a soft spot and a fascination with elderly people and I hope to pass that on to my kids. I remember many residents not having family or friends visit them and I always thought that was tragic. How do people dump someone off like a stray puppy after they have been a part of their lives? I don't understand it, but that's a whole other blog posting! ha!

I should start by telling you that Lydia is terrified of Santa! TERRIFIED! Hadley was always in love with him and since she could walk, if Santa was near, she'd tackle him with a hug! I just assumed all kids were like that so when Lydia was six months old I plopped her down in Santa's lap and said "smile." She froze for a minute and then screamed and panicked! It's been that way ever since!

So, as we were delivering cookies all of the people we would see would ask Lydia "are you ready for Santa?" and she would smile and say "nooooo..." and then do something else and pretend this conversation wasn't happening. Each person who asked thought it was the attention span of a three year old, they didn't realize it was her defense mechanism against a phobia!
We visited several folks and had some great conversations and Lydia was SO WELL BEHAVED! (Divine intervention, I'm certain!) and it was a great day! We had one more person to see and then we'd be done. We went to Will's room and he wasn't there so we scurried around until we found him in the dining room. He was a nice guy and had a fun personality so we chatted for a bit and that when it happened...

Lydia noticed out of the corner of her eye that there was a "Lydia Sized" Santa standing near the Christmas tree. That's when the day started spiraling down hill! She began hiding behind me and got very shy and was basically just acting strange. This nice man that we were visiting noticed and was trying to smooth it over a bit and said,

"Don't you like Santa? He's a nice guy."

Rapid head shaking in the NO direction from Lydia

"Santa comes to your house and brings you presents, while you sleep" he says with a big smile.

"HE WHAT? WHILE I SLEEP?" with a shrill voice and wide blue eyes!

"Yeah, and he's always watching you! He knows that you're a good girl" Will says in a comforting tone.

"HE'S WATCHING ME NOW?" she shrieks!

"mommy, is he watching me NOW?" panic growing in her voice.

To which Will overhears and responds, "Yes, he's always watching! I'm sure he sees what a good little girl you are!"

Well, that about wrapped up the day for us! I thought it was probably a good time to go on and say good bye and Merry Christmas.

On the way to the car I stopped Lydia and told her to put her coat on when she says with a little fear in her voice, "Mommy, is Santa, really always watching me?"
And, in true mommy fashion, I couldn't help but say
"yes, but put your coat on and he can't see you!"
Yeah, it was probably mean but it worked! And, it was cold outside! Ha!

All of this happened on Wednesday and we went on Friday night to the mall to get a picture with Santa. It took a lot of conversation, bribery with a trip to Godiva, about 10 pictures, 15 minutes, and a lot of patience on Santa's part but we DID get a picture!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Not Always WHAT You Say...

Today, I can't get a memory out of my head...dare I say, the holy spirit has planted it there for me to work with?!?

A while back, a very dear friend of mine was having marital problems. It seemed to me it was the type we all go through occasionally. (Except for Keith and me, because we are perfect! ha!) I listened to her tell me she wasn't happy and defend herself as to why she wasn't happy and something kept tugging at my heart through this whole conversation. (That pesky holy spirit again, possibly?)

I wanted, so much, to reach out to my friend and say "Leave the slob, you DESERVE to be happy! You DESERVE better!"

(There's that word again! That word seems to get us all in a lot of trouble! We use it liberally and believe it every time we say it!)

I didn't know her husband at the time, and I loved my friend and wanted to make it all better. I wanted to follow my gut instinct and tell her she DESERVED to be happy, but, I couldn't. I didn't know what she deserved. I wasn't in that marriage, I didn't know her heart, her motives or her husband.

I had no idea what I was supposed to say and how I was supposed to react. My heart hurt as I listened to her, and throughout our entire conversation I kept a continuous dialog with God running in my head.

God, this feels like something big...I don't know what's going on in her life, but PLEASE do the talking for me. PLEASE don't let me blow it!

So each time, I felt that "D" (deserve, not divorce!) word creeping up in my throat I swallowed it back. I let her talk and I listened until God decided to do the talking for me. I don't remember word for word, but I remember telling her repeatedly to make sure that what she wanted was to serve Him and not her, God's needs come first.

I drove home after that long talk with my dear friend praying each mile of the road. I prayed for her husband, I prayed for her family, and I prayed for whatever God was going to do with their situation.

This is one of the first times that I've gotten out of God's way enough to let him handle a situation and what He did with it was amazing! I'm happy to report that through much hard work, love, devotion, and prayer my friend and her husband have gotten over their hump.

I had zero influence their success story, and I don't even know if anything I said that night mattered, but I do feel pretty confident that what God kept me from saying did matter. God kept me from telling her that she deserved better, and God decided what she deserved! He kept me from encouraging her to make the wrong choice, and He led me to encourage her to come to Him.

I'm humbled that God worked on me so hard that night and kept me from blurting out what I thought she deserved. (He must have big plans for that marriage! I know keeping MY mouth shut was work!) I'm blessed that He has let me watch as my friend and her husband remodel their marriage into a true christian definition of marriage, and I'm so happy that I now have made an effort to know her husband and I think he's a pretty cool guy!

I've learned a ton of lessons from that night and I'm so blessed that God used her situation to teach me so many things, and I'm so honored that He continues to bring us all closer to each other and closer to Him!

Passive Agressive is NOT Good on Me!

I have a real hate of passive aggressive behavior. I mean, it makes me want to punch someone in the nose, seriously. There are very few things that make me angrier than a passive aggressive attack, however, I occasionally catch myself in the middle of a passive agressive battle.

In life we all have disagreements with people we love (and people we don't!) and I'd much prefer to just hash it out and be done. Punch me in the nose and let's walk away friends! That's how boys do it, right?!?

As women it's much more difficult than that. We have to get mad, be emotionally injured, tell someone who's not involved about it, replay it over and over in our heads, then launch an attack. In the end, a friendship may or may not be salvaged and will forever be damaged. It's painful, pointless, and tiring, yet we do it over and over again!

I shared with a friend when she "hurt" me. I told her what hurt, why it hurt, and how it hurt. I thought we'd worked it out. She apologized, I apologized, we went on our way as if nothing happened. And there was the if nothing happened.

Well, something did happen and we should have learned from it but we didn't and that's too bad. Since then, this friend has done the same thing to me as before and instead of going through the process again, I ignored it and played it out as I described earlier in the blog and I am relatively certain that our friendship is not only damaged but probably destroyed.

I, finally, apologized and assumed everything was okay, forgetting about the cycle we'd completed and the damage that was done. The crack in our friendship progressively got worse until it is seemingly destroyed.

I walked away, cried a little, mourned the loss, and moved on but then the passive aggressive attacks began finding their way into my life. I first said something that was perceived as a passive aggressive attack (I PROMISE, it wasn't geared toward this friend in any shape, form, or fashion but she believes otherwise.) and a passive aggressive counter attack was launched. (Or at least that's how I feel-who knows).

But, this time, as I started to react (and I had quite the zinger prepared!) I caught myself and I prayed.

I said "God, please help me here. I'm feeling way too much pressure from way too many sides and I'm getting ready to make a bad decision. I can feel it. Please, God, don't let me take this farther than it already is, please don't let me make it worse."

And, He didn't. I kept my catty reply to myself and although the friendship is still damaged pretty bad, God kept me from destroying it completely. We may never be the friends we once were and I'm sorry for that, but I can now walk away without shame.

James 3:6 says: And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

It doesn't matter which translation you read, it all sounds bad! Women fight with our words (tongues) and they are a powerful weapon. Without even a thought, our tongues can destroy friendships, hurt lives, and scar us forever.

My goal is to eliminate passive aggressive behavior from my repertoire and to bridle my tongue better. Praying for help really worked (who knew!) and I'm trying to slow down and remember that! If I will let Him, God will help! And, if by chance the "friend" I'm referencing reads this-I'm sorry. I truly am.

What really makes me happy?

Lately I've been thinking about what makes me happy...I've spent time telling everyone what I want for Christmas and listening to what they want, but I am trying to figure out what makes me happy.

On my wish list...
Black Uggs
Comfy Sweatshirts for the LONG winter
Southern Plate Cookbook
A Massage from Dolce
THIS awesome necklace

My shopping list isn't bad either, but I can't share it...just in case Keith ever stops by to read the blog!

With all the hustle and bustle of shopping and buying I've been focusing on who gets what and why. I'm still really focused on basing our Christmas around homemade gifts of love but I feel this pull of buying gifts too. The way I've defended this to myself is by making sure I'm not just buying stuff. I'm actually putting thought and consideration into the gifts I'm buying. Some of them are cheaper and some are more expensive but I figure it all balances out in the end and each gift is bought because I think the recipient will like it, not because I have an obligation to buy for them.

After looking at my wish list though, I won't deny that opening those gifts and having them will make me happy but what really makes me happy is knowing that my husband is spending hours working on Hadley and Lydia's big gift and that I'm working hard on their other gifts. We are putting a labor of love into each gift they are getting, whether they are homemade or bought with love, each gift has thought behind it.

What really makes me happy is that we strive to make each other happy. We devote time together, enjoying each other. We eat dinner together, pray before meals, read books, watch TV, and snuggle together and that's what REALLY makes me happy. So, this Christmas, whether all or none of my wish list gifts are under the tree I know I will be happy! I am loved and that makes me happy! My family loves me, my friends love me, and my savior loves me and that makes me HAPPY! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010 Be or Not to Be

We have had an excellent series of sermons about hospitality and what it means to be hospitable and describing what christian traits we should be exhibiting. I've really enjoyed the sermons and I like hearing things preached that I was raised on. These are the things my Grandma Ruth LIVED, and I love to hear them. In fact, last week while our minister, Tim, was preaching Keith began nudging me at all of the bullet points. So much so that I finally said

"WHY do you keep doing that?"

To which Keith replied "because these are all the things you are always harping on."

I don't know if he meant it as a compliment or if he was giving me a hard time but either way, it's true. I do harp on hospitality and I make it an effort to be hospitable. I've lived in places where they wouldn't know hospitable if it slapped them in the face and while I was there, I vowed to myself to do it the way I was raised! Be hospitable in the ways that my Grandma was, and in the grand scheme to be hospitable like Jesus was. When we bought our house I told Keith as soon as we settled I was going to start hosting again. My Grandma always had people over for dinner, coffee, tea, lunch, conversation, prayer, and the list goes on and one. When we moved to Louisiana I had people over all the time. Probably not as much as I would have liked but I did have a baby in the midst of it all! I got out of the habit when we moved to WV (but that's a whole other story!)

When we first moved to Indy I seemed to always have an excuse...we were in an apartment and it was too small, then we didn't have a dining room table so there was no way because I didn't have enough seating, and the list goes on and on. When we bought our house that's when I made the personal commitment to do better! I have tried to make sure to have someone over for dinner at least once a month and to allow Hadley to have a play date at least once a week. I don't always adhere to that and I definitely don't let that hold me back if I want to have more people over more often, and I love it! My daughters have come to expect to have our house full of people and they think nothing of bringing a gaggle of friends in. It's never even occurred to them that there can be such a thing as "too many" kids at a play date or that there might not be room at the table or enough food for everyone to eat. I try so hard to have an open door policy and it's paying off!

Last Sunday at our small group (or home church, or one another group-whatever you may call it) we were discussing the morning's sermon and what we all think hospitality is. There were a couple of people who made comments that "the Richardson's are examples of hospitality" and it humbled me beyond belief! I'm not bragging when I say this, I'm truly humbled that others see this trait in my family.

My food is not always the best (usually edible though!) and my house is rarely "company" clean, and to be honest you probably wouldn't even use the word clean on most days, but my door is opened and clean or dirty, good food or just edible food you are always welcomed here! A good friend once told me "If you're coming to see me, you're welcome anytime. If you're coming to see the house, make an appointment." That's some of the best advice I've heard too because my house is not a show place, we live in it.

I love seeing my friends kids feel comfortable enough to come in my house and grab a cookie, and it feels so good when one of them tackles me with a big hug, or I notice when one of them has a new hair cut. Having our lives intertwined through our children and through shared time together over meals.

I always say (jokingly, but with a lot of truth!) "if we can live in it, company can visit in it for a few hours!" I came to realize that I'd rather have a dirty house full of love than a clean house that's empty! There will always be an excuse not host, the house is dirty, the food didn't turn out right, the kids are cranky...yep, I have all of those things too, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying good times at my house! I quit looking for excuses not to host and started finding reasons to celebrate!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lydia's Zingers

When chinese carry out was delivered
"Hello Chinese man!" "Hello Chinese man" "That Chinese man was nice!"

and yes, since I've been asked-the delivery guy appeared to be of Asian descent.

"Mommy, can you give me something to pick my nose, it has boogers"
I reply, "go to the bathroom and get a tissue to BLOW your nose."

We said our prayers at bedtime and they were sweet and good, then we finished by saying "Amen"

Followed by Lydia "AMEN BABAY!"

At Lowe's a couple of weeks ago when the employee told her she looks pretty, she says
"Thanks BABAY!"

When she spilled her drink,

"Don't worry babay, it's not a big deal."

Every time she's excited "ROCK AND ROLL, BABAY!"

When we're walking into preschool
"Let's Rock and Roll Mama!"


I'm so sick of hearing people (in real life and on commercials) talk about what they deserve.

It all started with a Nintendo commercial where the kids are putting on a Christmas play and suddenly everything changes and they set up a scene from Super Mario Brothers, one of the lines is "we deserve..." Are you kidding me?!? What makes anyone think they deserve anything?

This ever present sense of entitlement is not only frustrating but depressing. My kids are not immune either, as much as I try to make it different, they still believe they are entitled to whatever they want. They think nothing of assuming that I will take care of everything, all the time. Hadley loses her new pack of ink pens and assumes I will replace them. Lydia trashes her bed room and assumes I'll clean it up. Hadley brought home a scholastic book catalog and circled several things she wanted (8-10, seriously) and just assumed I'd get them ALL for her.

I added up the cost and said "you asked for 9 books that cost $48!" (estimating by memory)

She looks at me with all sincerity and says "WOW! That's not much, you can get me ALL of those!"

I nearly lost it, and then I said "fine, if it's not much-go get your money bank and YOU can pay for it!" I was SO mad and really just wanted to scream, but I held my cool.

Hadley brought her money bank down, emptied all of her money out and began counting. A few minutes later she realized she didn't have enough money for it, so smugly I waited for her to tell me, and she did...

"Mommy, I only have $36 so you'll have to chip in the rest and then I can get all the books I want"


Cue tears and pitiful, victimized, look. No, I shouldn't have yelled at her, but for crying out loud, it's not like I slapped her or even said anything unreasonable. And, I was SO mad!

Jennifer Lancaster is one of my favorite authors. She's not a deep thought, provoking author but she's extremely entertaining and I LOVE her! I'm convinced that she and I would be best friends if we were ever to meet! Erika has always said how much Jen L. and I are alike (with the exception of her abundant use of the "F" word!) and her husband is SO similar to Keith. She's a bit obstinate, a conservative, NRA supporter, and she's even from Indy! Can you tell why I think she's awesome!?! Ha! Anyway, she did an interview not long ago where she really describes herself well.

On her blog, in October, she said everything I've been feeling this holiday season.
She says:

I'm frustrated by the lack of respect/sense of entitlement I'm seeing more and more often. There's a whole generation of Special Snowflakes out there who've been raised on soccer and social media and cellular communication. If you want to talk about narcissism, I refer you to the kids who've yet to accomplish anything, but have been acting as their own ad hoc publicists for years, broadcasting messages about themselves since the minute they got their first internet connection.

Isn't that the truth! And, things are changing around here from my special snowflakes! None of us "deserve" anything, not as Americans, Christians, or Humans, and it's time we realize it! We can work towards happiness and make our happiness but we don't just deserve it. Christ died for our sins and we certainly didn't deserve that grace.

I PRAY that we can all FIND happiness and that we can have everything we need, but it's time to learn need versus want and earn versus deserve.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sarah Palin and Aunt Julie

Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin is coming to town! I'm not convinced I want her to be the next president of the US, although she'd beat the heck out of the current one, I'm just hoping for a Regan incarnate-rock star republican. However, she's a great speaker, a wonderful motivator, and an interesting person.

Lydia was playing with my iPhone on Monday and has managed to lock me out of my voice mail and delete my ring tone so I've been slightly incommunicado this week. Keith's Uncle Bob calls me every few weeks just to check in, and he's called several times this week and I kept forgetting to call him back. Finally, today, we got in touch with each other and as it turns out it was actually his wife Julie calling to see if I wanted to go to Meijer with her this evening for the Sarah Palin book signing.

First of all, I thought he was only calling in to check on us and Keith's grandma, so I hadn't made a great effort to call him back (oops!) and secondly, I didn't know Sarah Palin was coming to town tonight!

Bob who I'm pretty sure swings to the left a little but won't talk about it with Julie and I, who are both hard core conservatives, said in a very unimpressed tone

"Julie's been calling to see if you wanted to go sit in a parking lot and wait for Sarah Palin sometime."

"Sure, when is this happening? I'd love to hear Sarah speak and I'd love to hang out with Julie. Do you know any of the details?"

"I don't know, I'll have her call you. She asked me to go and I told her she was crazy if she thought I was going to sit in a parking lot for hours! I wouldn't wait in Meijer parking lot to hear the president of the United States speak!" Says Bob.

"I wouldn't wait to hear that guy either!" I quickly chime in.

"Well, Julie's wanting to go but I'm not sure when it's happening. I think it's crazy to wait for hours for a book signing or to hear her speak. I wouldn't wait to hear President Obama speak" he says again.

Must not of heard me the first time so I say it louder and with more feeling "Yeah, I wouldn't wait to hear Obama either. In fact, I probably wouldn't even open my door if he was on the front porch." I added that last part just to make sure I drove it home!

Insert patronizing chuckle here, as Bob changes the subject!

I just googled to see the details on Sarah's arrival and I see why Julie hasn't called back...people actually camped out in Meijer last night for the 6pm arrival (TONIGHT) of Sarah Palin. I'll be the first to admit, those folks are more hard core than me! There is NO WAY I'd sleep on a cold floor of a super store to wait for Sarah Palin. In fact, I can't think of many people who would be able to get me to do that!

On a side note, Obama was in Kokomo last week and I don't remember hearing anyone camping to see him...maybe a few enthusiastic T.E.A. Party-ers who wanted to make sure their signs were visible, but there wasn't a fan club waiting for "I told you so Tuesday." I'm just sayin...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Homemade Christmas

I am working on the kids homemade Christmas right now and it's been so much fun! I have to admit, I'm getting as much out of the homemade gifts as they will be. I made capes for them and I'm about half way through with their personalized aprons and I have several more items on the list. I am getting nervous about time constraints though...Hadley has 3 weeks left until Christmas break and I can't do any of this with her home-she's too nosy (not unlike her momma!). I have a LIST of things left to do and I'm worried that I won't get them done. I'm not stressed (yet) but I'm extremely aware of my time limits! I'll be running the mid western sweat shop over the next three weeks!

Root Canal-Check (twice!)

Lydia had her second root canal today and from what I can gather, the meds didn't exactly "sedate" her, they made her act a little more like the only drunk girl at a non drinking party. (I know it's a tacky example, but if you'd seen her staggering around the dentist office and slurring incoherently you'd totally get it!)

Lydia LOVES the dentist! (both girls do, actually) We presented the root canals as a pajama party at the dentist's office, she got to bring a blanket and a toy and was allowed to wear pajamas and slippers. She was super excited about it this morning, when she woke up I said "don't change clothes, you get to have your pajama party at the dentist today" Lydia replied, with glee "YESSSS!" (Deep down, she's a 17 year old surfer dude!)

We got to the dentist, settled in the consult room with the lights off, a tv, a blanket and pillow, and enough drugs to tranquilize livestock. We cuddled up for 45 minutes waiting for the meds to kick in, Lydia watching The Little Mermaid while snuggling Dog Dog (her lovie) and I fell sound asleep. Needless to say I was a little startled when Lydia jumped out of my lap and squealed "PAJAMA PARTY" as the dentist opened the door. I like to think I recovered well and that Dr. Graham didn't notice that I was SOUND ASLEEP.

Did I mention that Lydia had been fasting before taking the drugs, so food was of the utmost importance at 9:45 when Dr. Graham picked her up. She said "can we eat? I'm hungry" and Dr. Graham tried to appease her by saying "it's time for the pajama party!" to which Lydia replied "yeah, but will we eat there?" I don't know what else happened, because like I said, I'd just woken up!

Shortly after 11:00 the dental assistant came to get me and tell me that everything had gone well. We were standing at the administration desk waiting when I hear that cute little shrill voice booming from the other side of the door. Unmistakably Lydia! Chatting a mile a minute and basically blabbering incoherently! She sees me, breaks loose from the dentist, and comes running-serpentine! Ha! I got a little panicky at the thought of her falling and needing MORE DENTAL work so I picked her up and she began telling me all about her experience. The dental assistant took her to put on a tattoo so Dr. Graham and I could talk (yes, it was that much talking!)

That's when Dr. Graham says sheepishly "She's a very busy little girl."

"No kidding" I couldn't help but reply

"We gave her all those drugs to sedate her and she never quit moving. Her hands were going, her feet were moving, she was trying to talk. I'm just not sure I've seen anything like it before." She continues.

"Welcome to my life!" I know, I was being sassy, but she did interfere with my nap! ha!

Dr. Graham isn't our regular dentist, we usually see her partner Dr. Donnelson and they worked together on this, so she's not used to Lydia and she's much more reserved that Dr. Donnelson (or us!) so I'm not sure she knew how to take it all. I'm guessing her appointment book will be full if we ever try to see her again! Ha!

I have to include something I read today, for a good laugh...

Description of a toddler

1 Toddler
Lots of toys and games
1 house to wreck
Tons of love and patience from Mom and Dad

A toddler is built to a design that is perfect in every way- except for one small defect; they have all the activity of a major International Airport, but are lack the direction of a control tower!

That about sums up Lydia!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble til You Wobble

It's officially Thanksgiving! Of course, I'm getting ready to go to bed and not doing anymore prep work for the night, but still.

This is the first year that our family hasn't been going through some major life change for the holiday season and I AM EXCITED!

Our house is decorated, we have 4 Christmas trees up, garland, stockings, table cloths, holiday trinkets, etc. all in place. I have the kids holiday pictures and artwork proudly displayed throughout the house. All of the desserts and nearly all of the side dishes for tomorrows feast are prepped and ready to go. The house is clean and the kids are in bed. There are no boxes in disarray from having just moved, there are no plans that involve loading small children and pets up to drive several hours. It's just THANKSGIVING and I'm loving it! I have never been this prepared and UN stressed during the this how normal people live? I mean, those people who don't move every year or two? WOW!

May everyone have a relaxing and blessed holiday season! Let the gobble til you wobble good times begin!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

There is a hole in my workout plan...

This morning Lydia was sleeping late, I'd been up since 6:30, Hadley was at school, and Keith was working so I decided to use my time wisely and get a jump on some Thanksgiving preperations. I made some bread and a chess pie and I was watching Fox News while waiting on my pie to bake. As I stood there I realized I hadn't had breakfast yet and decided to grab something easy...a glass of milk and some donut holes.

There I stood, watching the news, doing my leg exercises, and eating donut holes...If you ever hear me complain that the exercises aren't working-remind me of this!

I thought this was hilarious when I realized what I was doing so I quickly texted Jaime because I knew she'd also see them humor here. Jaime replied "you MUST blog this-call it a hole in your workout plan!"

Done! Thanks Jaime! Love you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Best Part of the Day

Each night when we sit down for family dinner I ask Hadley what her best part of the day was. Hadley had a tendency to focus on the negative so I feel like this helps her center on the highlights and puts us in line for positive conversations.

Tonight Hadley said her best part of the day was playing with Bailey, from next door. They played soccer, climbed trees, and seemed to get along great today (which isn't always the case!) I was glad this was her best part. After Hadley starts, I usually go around and ask everyone else what their best part was, then when it comes to me I share mine. Tonight I said "I'm still waiting on my best part of the day."

I had a busy, pre holiday, errand day planned and even though I'd stayed up too late last night and woken up in in the middle of the night when Lydia climbed in bed with us, I had everyone dressed and almost ready to go by 8am! Lydia and I were sitting at the bar, she was finishing breakfast and I was reading Jaime's blog about "Letters to God" when it happened...

I heard a gurgle, a burp, then blehhhh....and Lydia was throwing up all over the kitchen bar, bar stool, floor, clothes, bowl, etc. Seriously, I fixed her 2 pieces of toast for breakfast and a sippy cup to drink from, not a big gulp and shoney's buffet! It was the never ending vomit! There seemed to be break in the action so I picked her up and carried her to the bathroom and pointed her at the potty. I went back to the kitchen and with my extremely weak stomach gagged my way through the clean up. I cleaned up, mopped, cloroxed...gagging every step of the way. It's almost embarrassing how weak my stomach is! I went back to the bathroom and Lydia was naked and sitting on the floor, it was so pitiful.

I wiped her down with a wash cloth and warm water then tried to use hand sanitizer as much as possible. I wrapped her in her new quilt that mom made her and laid her on the couch. She was so sad looking, I can't stand to see my babies sick, even when I know it's not serious it breaks my heart! We spent the next couple of hours cuddling on the couch watching cartoons, I browsed the internet and stalked facebook a little, and Lydia didn't move.

I was nearing a pity party because I'd had so many plans when a friend commented on facebook that she was sorry for Lydia and offered to help watch the girls this afternoon. What a blessing...her youngest daughter recently spent over two weeks in the hospital and is still on the mend but she was showing me compassion for whining about have a few hours of a stomach bug. It really put it in perspective for me and I was very humbled by it. It turned my day around quite a bit too because my attitude improved. Instead of focusing on what I wasn't doing, I appreciated the quiet time with Lydia. So, tonight I found the best part of my day...Lydia and I are back on the couch, watching Scooby Doo and singing songs. Thank God for the simple blessings!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Christian Open Door Policy

I'm hoping this post will be cathartic and bring my aching heart some peace tonight...

Today I was in my bathroom finishing up my makeup, so we could go Thanksgiving shopping, when Hadley brought in a notebook and asked if she could color in it, she had gotten it out of a bag of magazines that mom had brought over last week. I told her that I wasn't sure because I hadn't really had a chance to go through them and I didn't know what they were. Hadley agreed and left the notebook with me so I opened up and started looking through it. What I saw, knocked the wind out of me...The notebook was full of notes, and reminders, and menu planning, and Rook scores.

Grandma Ruth died in June of 2000, just six months after I'd moved to Louisiana. This was her tablet that held all of the planning she'd done for the holiday season prior to that. It was our last perfect Christmas as the "Shrull Family." There was a menu for Thanksgiving that included all the regulars and delicious treats that only grandma could make. There was a menu for my birthday that is just a few days after Thanksgiving.

This birthday menu is one of my favorites because she made poppy seed chicken, macaroni and cheese, homemade rolls, and pumpkin pie. Keith and I weren't married yet, we were both living with friends, and we were broke so Grandma made me SIX pumpkin pies for my birthday because they were my favorite, except-they weren't (and aren't, I still can't stand them!) I think they are Nick's favorite (who's birthday is a few weeks before mine) and better yet, for this particular birthday Grandma forgot to put sugar in the pies! I have never eaten so much whipped cream in my life! I didn't want to hurt her feelings and neither did Keith, so we ate multiple pieces (each) and slathered whip cream on them to make them go down smoother!

There were menus for Christmas and Christmas gift lists of what she'd bought already and what she wanted to get everyone. There were several pages of rook scores for her and Grandaddy and Geraldine and Berman, they must have played a lot of rook in 1999!

Then, my favorite was all the notes that were in there. Grandma used to leave a not on the kitchen table telling whoever came in, where she was and when she'd be back. Her front door (all of them actually) was always unlocked and family and friends were welcomed to come right in. I love this memory of grandma! So, as I flipped through the note, I saw a note that Grandma had left "We took Michael to Sebree, will be back in time it takes to get there and back." Following that note was one from Geraldine saying she'd been by and sorry she missed Grandma. There was a note from Cassidy and Keri saying they'd stopped by and "stolen" chocolate cake. And the notes go on, and so do my memories. I used to love to add notes to Grandma's table and I always knew where to look for her note and so did everyone else.

I want, so much, to have that type of relationship with my family and friends. I crave having people "drop in" for coffee, or lunch, or even dinner. Entire families would drop into Grandma's house for dinner and she'd never bat an eye! She'd just throw more food on (if necessary) and welcome them with open arms. I don't even remember ever hearing Grandmas say "oh, the house is a mess..." she accepted everyone for who they were and she accepted herself the same. I have often said that Grandma is the one person who ever loved me unconditionally, but it wasn't just me. Grandma loved everyone wide open, full force, unconditionally.

Tonight, I miss her so much my heart is hurting. I don't know how it's possible to be this overwhelmed with the pain of loss ten years after we lost her, but I am. When Grandma died, I didn't just lose her, I lost that connection to so many people who loved her and so many of us who were held together by her and didn't realize it. Cassidy once said that Grandma was the glue that held our family together and she was, but she was so much more than that. She was the glue that held our family, friends, and even some lives together. I wish she was here now so she could see the life Keith and I have finally made for ourselves. I wish she could meet Hadley Ruth and Lydia, she'd love them so much. I wish she could meet my cousin's children and my niece and nephew. I think she'd be so proud of all of us and I wish she could be here for it. She always had faith in us, I wish she could see she was right! We didn't let her down.

As much as I love having Thanksgiving at our house and I always say we bought this big house to fill it full of family and friends and love I'd trade it all for one good ole fashioned holiday at Grandmas. Her holidays were filled with awesome food, amazing love, great times, family, friends, and the occasional rif raf or straggler and unforgettable memories. I pray that I can have that wonderful Christian open door policy in my home and that my friends and always feel welcomed and invited into my home and into my life. Thank God for the years I had with Grandma and all the wonderful things she taught me in those years.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

God & His Angels are keeping me up!

Lydia has figured out that if she comes down stairs in the middle of the night, I won't make her go back upstairs. If I'm asleep I have no interest in getting out of my warm bed to take a toddler, who's going to scream at me, back up stairs and fight with her about where she should sleep. Lydia figured this out pretty quick, she comes down nearly every night! She walks all the way from her room where there is a night light, down the stairs and into my room neither of which have lights and claims she's scared of the dark-puhlease!

Keith put her to bed in her room she put up a fuss and said "I don't want to be all alone in here!" Keith has tried to combat this by saying "you're never alone, God is always with you and his angels watch over you." It seemed to work for the first couple of nights and I can just imagine she was laying in bed working this out in her head. I can picture it!

Finally! She's found a hole in Keith's comforting words...

Monday night Lydia came into our room and said "I can't sleep, those angels are being TOO LOUD!" Apparently, her room turns into a regular Christian jubilee after we walk out! What are we supposed to do with that?!?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I really dislike the cold!

I really dislike cold weather...I don't like wind, coats are an inconvenience, I can't use my iphone with gloves one, my hair looks ridiculous in a warm hat, and I'm a terrible driver on snow and ice!

But, I do get so excited on the first snow, and the first BIG snow! I turn into a giddy child when I see snow falling. Seriously, I get butterflies in my stomach and I get this weird high pitched voice. When the weather person predicts a BIG snow, I stay up all night running from window to window and switching between the local channels and the weather channel, obsessively. Then, the next day when it's at it's peak warmness for the day, I bundle everyone up and drag them around in the sled, throw them all around the yard for the "perfect snow angel," throw snowballs, and gather up bowls of untouched snow for snow cream, then head inside for hot chocolate and warm baths. I do all of this, except the warm baths, with a camera in hand, so by the time bedtime rolls around I can barely move I'm so tired and I LOVE it!

Then day 2 of the BIG snow rolls around and I wake up's cold, the roads are plowed enough that school is back in session but our street probably hasn't been touched because it's not busy enough. I have to wake up at least 15 minutes earlier so I can bundle everyone up like we're in Alaska, walk through ____inches of snow to catch the bus, then trudge back-all before 8am! Then, I continue this routine 5 days a week, until spring!

A List of Why I Dislike Winter

*The sun rarely shines in Indy in the winter! This is such a bleak and dreary winter town December til March. What we lack in sunshine, we make up in artic winds though!
*Indiana is FLAT farm land, and without corn to block the gale force winds they bluster and blow dropping the already low temps to unspeakable levels.
*Everything is brown and grey with the only occasional evergreen dotting the landscape.
*My children's energy level doubles during winter and I'm sure their IQ's drop because of all the TV I allow them to watch.
*We eat all day and all night, because despite the fact that all we're doing is watching TV, crafts, or playing board games-we are all starving!
*Since we are hungry all the time we cook all the time, and I clean the kitchen several times a day.
*I'm not sure I understand why, in the coldest place I've ever lived, the stores and most public buildings keep their temps set at 65. Seriously, I'm coming in from the artic and they can't bear to have me thaw on their watch!
*Everything is dirty. The snow gets dirty and gross after a couple of days and then it sticks to our boots and I have to mop twice as often (okay, I should mop twice as often)

This winter I'm making an effort to see the positives of the bitter cold Indiana winters! Starting today. I finally cleaned my oven! Why? you wonder...because I can heat the entire first floor of our house while the oven runs on self clean mode. The fridge will probably have new life forms by spring, but I'll have the cleanest oven in town!

Positives of Winter
*I have to admit, I LOVE Uggs! Second only to J. Crew wedge flip flops as my favorite shoe.
*I also love how excited I get when it gets above 45 for the first time after a long winter. It's the giddy snow day all over again!
*I'll also save money this winter because I think I'm going to go back to brunette and stop dying my hair blond until summer.
*I enjoy the movie watching in winter with the kids because they will snuggle up and pile on top of me and I love that!
*I actually love to cook and winter really encourages oven use!
*It's good to slow down after those frantic days of soaking up the "last day of nice weather" with the kids and friends.

So, clearly the list isn't as long as my "why I dislike winter" list, but I'm working on it! It will be a good winter and I will make the best of it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sleepwalking Beauties

I could write an entire book about the great stories of my beautiful babies sleepwalking. I don't know where they get it, I don't know of Keith or myself ever sleepwalking but these girls do!

Tonight, Hadley came downstairs grinning from ear to ear, eyes wide open, with her sleep mask pushed up on her head, carrying her lovey, horsey.

I said "what are YOU doing up?" Normally, at this time of night, it's Lydia who gets up and crawls in bed with mommy.

Hadley replies through her goofy grin "uh, um, uh, uh..." She always stutters incoherently when she's sleepwalking, it's a true sign.

I told her "okay, let's get you back to bed."

She agrees and takes off at a speed walker's pace, stomping every step, and tosses horsey into the rocking chair, nonchalantly, as she walks by it. I picked up horsey and followed her to her room with Belle, the dog, prancing along behind every step. Hadley climbs into bed, throws the blankets over her, and slings her head back on the pillow. I covered her up, gave her horsey back, and said "I love you, honey."

In her sweet little sleepy voice she said "I love you too, DADDY! Thanks, DADDY! Night DADDY!" Yep, that's it...she called me daddy THREE TIMES!

Since I'm on a roll, I have to share another one...

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting in the upstairs living room, rocking Lydia to sleep and I heard Hadley banging around in her room. Her door pops open and she's carrying something and sleep walking. I wasn't sure if she was sleeping or awake so I said "Hadley" and I hear "uh, uh, umm, uh."

Lydia was sleeping and I'd been struggling with her for nearly an hour so I yelled "Keith, Keith, get Hadley." Keith was in his office playing a video game. (I use the name "office" loosely, it should probably be called his play room!) Anyway, he didn't hear me so I tossed Lydia into the recliner and took off after Hadley right about the time Keith came out of his office.

I scared Lydia to death when I put her, abruptly, in the recliner so she was screaming her head off and Keith brings Hadley and her ELECTRIC BLANKET, which had been plugged in and on, upstairs. He found her and her electric blanket, which she's yanked out of the wall, standing in the kitchen!

She woke up later int he night because she was cold! (For some reason, Keith was worried about plugging it back in the wall! Ha!) We let her spend the rest of the night in our bed and when she woke up I asked her what she was doing in the kitchen...she had NO IDEA what I was talking about!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Too Much to Do, Too Sick to Do It!

Have you ever noticed that when you're not feeling well everything is an irritating shade of bleak? Or, is that just me?

I have been battling with a kidney stone for awhile now and I have, yet, another UTI because of it. Unfortunately, over the past year I've gotten several of them so it's nothing new. This particular UTI is making me crazy! I usually get one, feel a little icky for a day, get my antibiotics, and bounce right back.

This time...I've felt like I got hit by a truck for three days now. Ugh! There seems to be no end in sight of this one and it's wearing me out! Not only does my body feel battered but I'm emotionally drained too. This may sound a little dramatic but I am a very high energy, on the move, love to go kind of person and being down for three days is down right depressing. Oh, did I mention it's the best weather of the season and today is the last day of it, per the weather man, so I'm overly annoyed today.

I'm annoyed that I have an event at church tomorrow and I'm completely unprepared for. All I need is coffee and pastries, but I haven't felt like getting either together. I also need to make cute Christmas-y note cards, but that's really optional...plain note cards would suffice.

I'm also annoyed that when you get sick you have to get dressed, get the kids dressed, load up the family and go to the doctor. Then, you get to the doctor and they give you some antibiotics and send you on your way. Takes me over an hour to actually get to the doctor and ten minutes with her. After that, if you're lucky (or not) the antibiotics don't work so you spend a couple of more days feeling like you got plowed down by a truck. Repeat that first annoying step and go in for blood work. UGH! Guess what, still sick...look like a pin cushion, even grouchier and nothing has been accomplished!

I have a budget presentation for my HOA on Sunday and that's completely unprepared too. You guessed, I'm annoyed! It's not a hard job, but I need to do it and I need to have a clear head to do so (which I don't) and I need to talk to people to finish and I totally don't feel like it! I would be perfectly content to curl up in bed and wait this out!

Oh wait, can't curl up in bed because the dog threw up in there this morning. And peed! See, why I'm so grumpy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Friends & Memories

In December of 2005 we loaded up our GMC Yukon and pulled away from Demanade Dr in Lafayett, LA for the last time and we headed north It was such a bitter sweet time that I don't know how to describe it.

I look back at Lafayette and still call it home...its the one place that I've ever fit in. It really was home, it was full of people who accepted and loved me (and still do!) for who I am. It is where my first baby was born, had her first birthday, said her first word, took her first steps, and first taught me what love is! It's a place where one of my best friends in the world lives, with her daughter ,who Hadley will still tearfully tell me "I've never had a friend like Brooke."

I pray for Hadley, a lot, to find another friend like Brooke. Hadley's like her momma on this...Lafayette the place she fit in best. Moving so much has been difficult for her, and she's never bonded with friends the way she did with Brooke. I think that she learned, at a sensitive young age, that things change too fast. I know that God has something special in store for her, though. He has placed such an amazing heart in that little girl, I'm sure she's destined to serve Him greatly! I remind myself of that a lot as I watch her struggle to find where she fits in now. I feel guilty for pulling her roots up and leaving her normal behind, all in the name of getting closer to family.

The ironic part is, we saw family a lot more when we were 12 hours away than we do now that we are a mere 4 hours north. At least when we lived in LA the family that would come visit actually stayed long enough to build relationships, unlike now when they sweep in for 2 hours of time before bed and leave when the sun comes up. My kids believe that's how family see them for 2 hours, every couple of months and they bring gifts. It's no ones fault, it's just how it works out unfortunately.

Geography will probably always be a problem for our family. We will never move back to Centertown or Madisonville and as long as we are more than 30-45 minutes away regular visits with family are near impossible. What I've learned from all this is how important it is to surround yourself with people who love and accept you, if that can't be family it should be friends. Friends become your family.

Friends love you like family, they are there for you through it all, they make you laugh when you cry, smile when you're sad, and hug you when there are no words. Thank God for the wonderful friends I've been blessed with!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

So, I said a Prayer...

I heard a man on KLOVE today, he was the author of the book, The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven. He said his son told him he is in constant prayer. He told his son "I know, but next time you pray..." and his son replied "Through the Holy Spirit my brain is always in conversation with God. My mouth is what I use to talk to people with." WOW! What an amazing thought! Really, can you imagine? I would love to say this is true about me, I mean I do pray a lot, but I'm not in constant prayer.

One thing I pray about often is my daughters. I pray for the lives they live, I pray for the challenges they will meet, I pray for their friends, I pray while they're at school, I pray for the men they will one day marry and the children they will one day have, and I pray that I absorb every moment of their childhood. Each time my girls do something cute or sweet or wonderful, I whisper a quick prayer "please, God help me remember this all of my life and let this be my comfort when they don't need me anymore."

Yesterday as Lydia and I stood outside waiting for Hadley to come home on the bus Lydia's anticipation kept growing and growing until it was near eruption. By the time Hadley got off the bus Lydia was giddy! She looked up at me with those big blue eyes and that mussed up strawberry blond hair and said "can I get her?" I nodded and she launched out of the yard towards Hadley, screaming every step "Hat-we! Hat-we! Hat-we!" Her voice was so shrill and excited and she nearly tackled Hadley when the met on the sidewalk! Hadley promptly hugged her back and picked her up, then they raced home. It was one of those moments that warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes, and I whispered a prayer.

Tonight I had another one of those moments of sweet simplicity that I beg God to help me always remember. It was so simple, Hadley was walking across the family room with her messy hair (she fixed her own hair this morning because I am sick and Keith is not a stylist!) half of her hair is in a pony tail and half is knotted around the pony tail holder. Of course, she had macaroni and cheese on her, because she ALWAYS spills her food (always!) and she walked across the room, paused the TV and went to blow her nose. I don't know what it was about that moment, but I realized how much she's growing up and how fast. When did she get so tall? When did her hair grow so long? When did she learn to use the remote...? So, I said a prayer.

Having these two amazing daughters has definitely increased my prayer life, and I can continue to strive towards constant prayer.

This is Hadley 2 days after she was born!

And, here's Lydia when she was a day old!

Megamind Review


I have to start by saying that I LOVE the Shrek movies. I watched the first Shrek several times before I even had kids, so I had pretty high expectations of this movie since it was "created by the minds behind Shrek."

It was pretty funny. The music absolutely made the movie though! AC/DC, Rolling Stones, James was great!

The previews lead you to believe Megamind and Metroman will spend the entire movie battling out the age old battle of good vs evil. That's not exactly how it goes. Megamind defeats Metroman within the first few minutes, realizes that life is dull without their battles, creates a new super hero who goes bad...and I'll leave the rest for you to watch!

Although the movie was good, I'd suggest it for older was one of those movies where the humor went over my kids head. I found myself laughing on the verge of tears and my kids had no idea what I was laughing at. There really wasn't too much that was scary and the violence was minimal considering the type of movie, and there seemed to be no sex or innuendos.

HERE is the best review I've seen.

One part of the movie ruined it for me though, and had it not been for one line of the movie I would tell parents to take their kids. Because of this line, I suggest skipping this one. Tighten (Jonah Hill), one of the main charachters in the movie that you DON'T see in the previews kidnaps Roxanne (Tina Fey) and screams at her, "there is no Easter Bunny, there is no tooth fairy, and there are NO HAPPY ENDINGS." Akward! Hadley had just lost a tooth a few minutes before we went to see the movie and the tooth fairy was on the top of our thoughts, so when I heard this I got all uncomfortable and squirmy. Hadley seeemed to not notice and a couple of seconds later, just for good measure, I said to Lydia (loud enough for Hadley to hear) "you know NOTHING in this movie is real, so you don't have to be afraid...its ALL PRETEND." That seemed to work, and the tooth fairy paid up last night so there were no questions!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm proud of you...

Such simple words, but they can mean so much.

For Christmas some people celebrate the birth of Jesus and some celebrate it as a wonderful time filled with family and friends but I refuse to spend another year celebrating it as an overexcited, overstressed, overspending consumer! This year, we are going back to the real meaning of Christmas! I'm trying to take the consumerism out of Christmas this year (as much as possible) and focus on what the holiday really means.

Because of my goals for this Christmas, we are doing test runs of all the recipes and crafts that we will be giving to people this year. Yesterday we made homemade caramel corn and homemade marshmallows. First of all, yum! The trial runs are loved and appreciated by my family and neighbors!

My dad's cousin asked me for these recipes after I posted pictures on facebook, and I sent them to her along with a short story of where they came from and why we love them. She sent a short and sweet reply and the last sentence really resonated with me..."you look like you have some good ideas for Christmas, I'm proud of you""I'm proud of you..." Wow! Amazing, how at that moment God touched my heart with those four small words. They really sunk it and made me think. When is the last time someone said that to me? When is the last time I said that to someone? I've never felt terribly "proud" of anything I've done. I'm proud of Hadley and Lydia, and I'm proud of Keith, and I'm proud of my home, but really proud of myself...probably not, and that's okay. Really. I have a great life that I LOVE, and I wouldn't want to be "full of pride" but at that moment I really felt good. This is just a reminder that what we say to people matters. I don't think Cindy was trying to touch my heart when she said that, she was just saying a kind word that came naturally to her.

Take your words very seriously! You never know who's listening!God Bless!

Why I'm "blogging"

Keith has been telling me that I should write for years. First, he said I should write a book so I bought a notebook and pencils and wrote about 100 pages. Then, decided writing was too hard and made my hand all crampy...if I only had a laptop, I'd write my memoirs, I was sure. So, Keith got me a lap top...and I broke it...and never wrote a single page.

Then, it seemed as if every single person I know was starting to blog...What the heck is blogging? Seriously? Where did that come from? Wiki says it's a word combo of "web+logging=blog" Seems a little goofy, but what the heck! I adore writing snippets on facebook so, why not?

Although, I must confess...I'm pretty sure Keith wants me to write so badly in hopes that I'll talk less. With two daughters and a wife, all who LOVE to chat, we run short on quiet time in this house!

The other reason I think Keith may be pushing the author in me to escape is because three of my favorite topics are those "hot button" topics that you aren't supposed to bring up in social settings...parenting, politics, & religion. Ahhh...the trifecta of good conversation, as far as I'm concerned! I LOVE topics that get people so impassioned that their faces turn red and they start to sweat a little. However, one ability that I seem to have that a lot of people are lacking is letting it all go, when it's over-it's over. I love to get riled up and argue my side of a debate, but when I'm done we can all still be friends.

Recently I had some comments deleted on a friends facebook page because it inflamed some of her other friends. Obviously, it was her page to do with it what she wanted, but I was a little irritated that some liberal agenda preaching moron was able to control this person's page.

Here's how it happened...this girl made a comment that republicans had taken control back and it was a good day for Indiana...I promptly posted "double like" (you know, because facebook has that "like" option, but it just wasn't' enough for me!)

Then, this random guy posts (I'm paraphrasing) "great! now we can go back to living in fear, and pushing people around all in the name of God and Liberty-so that makes it alright"

Me: Are you implying that people aren't living in fear now?

Random Guy: blah blah blah...9/11 was Bush's fault. The economy is Bush's fault. George Bush hates black people...(oh wait, that one was Kanye.)

Me: (still paraphrasing) In 1996 President CLINTON was warned that Bin Laden was DANGEROUS! And did nothing...9/11 happened before Bush would have had any opportunity to make fundamental changes to our national security. And, the economy...we ALL play a part in that! Clinton, Bush, American's ALL ours! And FYI, if the Republican tag line is God & Liberty, sign me up...I happen to LOVE those two things!

Random Guy: If you had a brain...blah blah blah, you'd be a democrat. If you weren't so stupid, blah blah blah...

Me: Why is it, when things are going a liberals way they get personal? I refuse to debate with someone calling me juvenile names and personally attacking me. Thanks for ruining a good debate, I'm sorry bipartisanship scares you so bad!

Person who owns the FB page: Can't we all just get along, no debate...I'm deleting any comments that are in attack.

(she deletes "random guy's comments)

Random Guy: They don't make sense when you only delete some of the comments. You should delete the Republican's words too...waaa, wahhh, waaa! (clearly, still paraphrasing)


So, now...I am blogging and I can write whatever nonsense I like! I can debate, get riled up, get mad, be happy, argue, hug, and talk all the politics, parenting, & religion I want! Yay for blogging!