Friday, October 30, 2009

Something old, Something New

My cousin's daughter is getting married next week. Mom of the Bride has mentioned several times lately how excited she is about the new family forming. That was a concept I'd never really thought about. Needless to say, (but I'm going to say it anyway - you know me) with the two recent engagements and a wedding in a month and a half, I've been thinking about the whole thing bunches.
Neither of the boys have lived here in years. They became adult men and fashioned their own worlds and homes. So the separation isn't anything new. However, this separation to form a whole new family is different. It's a creation of something new and alive. Something that has form and meaning and legal standing, a future and a past.
When my friend from Indiana was here, we talked about marriage a lot. She and her husband have a marriage ministry ( and she talked about one person arguing when she said God invented marriage. Eventually he had to agree with her. Interesting, isn't it?
I find myself looking around at the families that started out this very same way - kids taking vows, getting jobs, moving around the country, having children, buying homes. Adding on to that new creation, that family, day by day. Now, like my cousin's wife, I find myself mesmerized as I watch Robert and Carrie, and Ryan and Casey. A brand new creation being formed right in front of my eyes.
That God - he's pretty smart.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Overheard at T.J. Maxx

In line at T.J. Maxx a while back, I heard something strange. Two boys, around middle school age, were with their mom. As she finished paying for the purchases one boy said, "Thanks." The other quickly added his "thanks." I spoke up (I know you're shocked) and told the boys how impressed I was and how much it always meant to me when my kids said "thanks". I told them they were a tribute to their mom. The mom was appreciative and the boys looked embarrassed. But kudos from strangers stay with us, embarrassed or not.
My kids said "thank you" a lot. They still do. And it's still just as appreciated. One time when they were younger a friend overheard one of them thanking me at the end of a meal and she commented on it, saying her kids had never said "Thank you" to her. That got me thinking.
What I realized was that Mike always - always - tells me how much he appreciates meals. "Thanks, that was good." And so the kids thought that was what was right.
Last night at the church's Fall Festival I was in charge of the ring toss. Almost every child was prompted by parents to say "Thank You" when I handed them their toy or candy. The older ones who were by themselves were pretty good at remembering, too. But I found myself wondering if they knew to say thank you for things at home. Things like clean bathrooms, folded clothes, going to work, fixing dinner?
This morning Mike thanked me for his coffee. He said, "I'm the luckiest man to come down and have my cup of coffee sitting here waiting on me." Now how could I have a bad day after that?
Saying "Thank You" for special things is nice, but I think I like to be thanked even more for the things I've done hundreds of times.
What mundane thing needs to be appreciated in your life today?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vampire Teeth and Reindeer Antlers

I love this time of year! Colorful trees, woodsmoke, pumpkins, costumes, spooky things, football, foggy mornings, chilly nights, flannel sheets, and those are just a few reasons to be excited. On facebook I'm so enjoying getting to share this excitement with other holiday folks. "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" was on TV last night and so many folks talked about watching it. And becoming a facebook fan of the movie, "Elf" means lots of inside info on elf etiquette - and how can that be a bad thing? More syrup, please.
Dressing up, decorating the yard, watching sappy holiday movies - again and again, loving how even traffic lights are Christmassy (red and green) make me happy. I'm thrilled to find so many other folks like me because sometimes being silly and exuberate gets you those looks. You know, those looks that say you're juvenile and not that smart.
When I did the children's sermons each week in Illinois, I did an experiement the week before school started. Before church I gave each child a scrap of paper and told them to right "yes" if they like school and were ready for it to start and "no" if they didn't like school. No names were on the papers. I collected the scraps of paper and then during the children's sermon talked about peer pressure to do what others think we should. I then asked those who like school and were ready for it to start to hold up their hands -only one child raised his hand. However, I then revealed that on the scraps of paper, when they were anonymous, every child had written "Yes" they liked school.
Not like I needed a lot of encouragement to act out my silliness, but this gave a huge boost to my belief that everyone wants to act as crazy as I do, but they're worried about what people will think.
So - here's to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas - plastic vampire teeth, turkey decorations and reindeer antlers in public. Let the fun begin!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Legacy in Yarn

Mama taught me to crochet when I was in elementary school. I made doll clothes and doll blankets and then when I was sixteen I crocheted my first big project - a bed spread for my double bed. I still have it, although it's really huge and the colors are a little optimistic and sugary (even for me). Mama even crocheted bathing suits for my dolls.
Mama learning to sew is one of my earliest memories. Daddy read the instructions and then helped Mama figure out what to do at our dining room table. Neither of them knew how to sew, but they didn't see a problem with learning as adults. Fifteen or so years later, I canceled the wedding dress I'd just ordered when I drew what I really wanted on a paper bag at work and Mama said she thought we could make it. And we did - exactly what I wanted.
My brothers even sewed sleeping bags for their G.I. Joe's.
Mama ran "The Yarn Barn" from our house. She and her partner would buy yarn in 16 pound hanks down in Dalton, Ga and then sell it in the room Daddy built next to our garage. Daddy invented a machine to wind 4 oz balls of yarn from the 16 lb. hanks. (We got paid to sit and wind the balls.) The 16 lb. hanks would fit around a large, outside sized garbage can turned upside down. The business flourished, until the supply of yarn dried up.
Daddy macrame'd an elaborate hanging bird feeder one time. He rigged it to hang above his easy chair so he could sit there, macrame and watch TV.
And we didn't think any of this was unusual.
Watching my parents taught me if you want to do something - figure it out and do it.
Now that's a legacy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kick-start for a Monday

God loves my children more than I do. My friend visiting from Indiana this week reminded me of this and it got me to thinking.
First, God loves our children more than we do because he's capable of perfect love. No matter how much we try, our love is always tainted by icky human stuff: selfishness, pride, ambition, vanity, and on and on. One of our pastors pointed out that he believes one reason there won't be marriages in heaven (as Jesus said in Matthew 22:30) is we'll be able to love perfectly and so won't love one person more than another. Interesting, isn't it?
So here's where I got to thinking - What other important things in my life is God more involved with than I've imagined? What else does he love and care about more than I do?
Does God love my marriage more than I do? Obviously, because I've not treated my marriage at all times as I should. So God loves my marriage and cares for it on a more consistent and deeper level than me. Cool. Little intimidating.
My home, My job, My friends - the things and people God has put in my life, things which he loves perfectly and I treat - well - not so good all the time.
My writing? Authors say their books are their babies and I know that feeling. So, wait a minute, God isn't ignoring my book or indifferent about it - he loves it more than I do? He wants the best for my writing? Wait, and he even actually knows what is best.
God loves my life more than I do AND he wants the best for it AND he knows what the best actually looks like. Well, now that makes for a good Monday!

Friday, October 23, 2009

I have a Theory

I have a theory on giving. (Those of you that know me best are probably saying under your breath - "Well, of course you do. You have a theory on everything!")
One type of giving: We no longer have a need for that item. Like the kids coats we took to church last Sunday. Funny, you could tell we'd lived in the frozen North as the coat were big and thick (and one had Chicago Bears logos all over it.)
Another type of giving: We have an abundance. I've never had one of my kids ask for canned food to take to school for a donation drive when I haven't been able to go to the cupboard and fill a bag.
Another is giving off the top , or in church circles - tithing: Several places in the Bible we're told to give to God first and of our best, not from what's leftover. It's a spiritual principle we often seem to miss in stewardship campaigns.
But none of these quite cover my theory.
My theory on giving is that the very act of giving tells me that I have more than enough. Tells me I have an abundance. My heart and mind then begin believing I dwell in a place of abundance. So, I have more to give away and the more I give away - joyfully - the more I must have, so . . .
What do you want more of in your life? Understanding? Joy? Encouragement? Friendship? Time? Peace? Try my theory and start giving that away like you are full to the brim with it. And see what happens.
Live today as if your heart is over flowing through your open hands stretched toward those around you.
Or don't. After all, it is a choice.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Mama on Reality TV

Top Chef is a reality show pitting chefs against each other in weekly challenges. I've watched it for several seasons and really enjoy it. Of the seven chefs left this year, two are brothers. They are easily two of the better chefs and seem like nice guys - however their rivalry with each other is just plain ol' sad.
Mama and Daddy raised three of us - I'm the oldest and I have two brothers. We're two years apart in age from each other. Mama was home with us every day and she just didn't allow us to treat each other badly. She'd say, "Why would I allow you to treat each other worse than I'd let a stranger treat you?" We weren't allowed to call each other names, just like we weren't allowed to call our friends (or even strangers) names.
Of course for those rules to work, Mama and Daddy had to do more than just give 'em lip service. They had to live them - after all - we weren't stupid. We were watching them to see if the rules were just talk or if they were good enough for Mama and Daddys' lives. And they were. They didn't call each other names or treat each other shabbily. They didn't call folks in traffic, or at work, or even on TV, names. They treated the people they lived with as good as the folks out in the world. What a concept.
Sure made for a happy, peaceful place to grow up. Mama was sometimes asked how she kept my brothers from fighting and her response was, "If there's going to be any fighting, I'm going to be in the middle of it and I'm going to win." That may not sound that peaceful, but if you're going to set down rules they better be backed up by more than wishes and good intentions. You better be ready to live them - and ready to enforce them.
Wouldn't you like to see my Mama make a visit to the Top Chef kitchen? Now that would be some good reality TV!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When versus If

When people ask me if I'm always happy my standard answer is, "I tried sad once and didn't like it."
Well, now I've tried being an "if" person and that's not working out for me either. A week ago I blogged - "However, in endeavors we spend so much time saying, "When I get the scholarship. When I get drafted. When I get an agent. When I get the job. When I get discovered. When we get the bid. When When When - Never the dreaded word "IF." Never. In the world of keeping on-keeping on, saying "IF" shows lack of belief, faith, determination."
I have nothing more to base a "when" on than I did last week, but I'm a happier person and way more functional dealing in belief. Sure, it may be delusional, but maybe it's like my feelings about fairies from a blog in August (
"I'd rather believe fairies exist, than deal with a world where they don't."
For the past eight days I've lived in a world with limited possibilities for publication of my book. Last night I realized that's not who I'm called to be. I'm called to be the fairy-believing, hope always, laugh when you mess up, look for signs everywhere, know God has a plan and is CRAZY about me, person.
I do want to say thanks to those of you who know me well and have kept me in your prayers this week. Your cards and emails meant a lot to me. Sorry you have a friend who would drag you along for such a dreary ride! Here's one of my favorite quotes from the Anom. guy.
"Until further notice - Celebrate Everything!"
That Anom. sure sounds like a "when" person to me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Against My Will

I read a book this weekend I didn't want to read. This book would never have made it into my home and never been opened if it had been up to me. It looked sad. It's a memoir, about a boy in a foreign land in horrible situations. Nothing about it appealed to me.
However . . . the book club I joined this summer had picked it out to discuss for our meeting tonight. It finally came in the mail Friday so I resolved to at least start reading it Saturday during the boring parts of football games.
Well, it was so good I couldn't put it down and I forgot to keep track of the games.
Kien Nguyen was eight years old when Saigon fell in 1975. His mother was Vietnamese. His father, an American soldier, left when Kien was three months old. Racism and Communism are terms I've heard all my life, but in reading this book, written in 2001, I learned them anew. So many memoirs are about times before I was born. How could this have been happening on this planet when I was in high school in Kingston, Tennessee?
Books like this, The Unwanted, are why I'm in book clubs. I will not of my own accord choose hard or unhappy things. And yet I say I want to grow and expand my horizons. Again I've learned something - against my will.
Thank goodness I don't always get my way.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pizza is as Pizza does

Such a delicious day! There are already sunbeams coming through the trees. The sky is a nice, hopeful peachy-blue and my coffee is fabulous. Falcons won last night, Tennessee didn't play so Saturday was relaxing, and I got to drive Lizzy back to Carrollton Friday and spend time talking with my daughter. My book for Tuesday's book club finally came in the mail on Friday and it is so good I almost finished it. (The Unwanted by Kien Nguyen) We got to share a meal with good friends and heard an unbelievably great sermon by a lay person on Sunday. Then last night we did something very familiar, but completely new - we helped serve youth dinner at our new church.
Since Robert hit sixth grade we've prepared many, many meals for the church youth group. And the pizza I've ordered - wow! I even had the nearest Pizza Hut and Domino's on my speed dial. One friend who left youth ministry to become a senior minister said he planned to never eat cheap pizza again.
Last night we didn't know the kids, but some of the adults were familiar as the volunteers were all from our Sunday School class. Still, it had that deja vu' feeling and isn't that cool? To think of all the kids and adults doing the same thing on Sunday nights across the country. To walk in and feel at home, because it's not about the building or the people. It's about belonging to a calling. Belonging to a calling of shepherding young people toward God. So cool.
Oh, and guess what the kitchen had cooked for us to serve - - - Pizza!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pruning is the Best!

A friend posted on her facebook status this morning my favorite Bible passage. It's from John 15.
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."
There's more that makes it my favorite, but this second verse is what I like best. Jesus is saying his branches (his followers) are pruned if they don't bear fruit. Since I'm one of his followers, I'm subject to pruning. I love that!
Most of you have probably figured out I'm not shy and retiring. I don't mind taking chances and I think life should be lived, really lived. Knowing that God will prune me says to me that I can move ahead confidently and boisterously because God will let me know when it's too much. He'll let me know when I need to slow down or be cautious or change direction. It's not a guessing game.
It's the freedom of a toddler in a backyard. Free to run, fall down and get back up. Freedom granted because there is a fence behind all those flowers and bushes.
And yet, we've all seen what happens when that toddler (or teenager) finds their fence. There's the choice. Do I kick and yell at the fence? Grow resentful at everything being kept from me, which must obviously be SO much better than this lame yard? Do I allow the fence to diminish what was moments ago beautiful, exciting and fulfilling?
The promise to prune, is one wonderful way I know God is involved in what I do and where I go. Time to stop staring at the fence. Life is too short to not enjoy today!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wanted: One Magic Wand

Yesterday's blog ended with me equating God to the parent who sits next to their child when they don't make the team, don't get the part, or receive the college rejection letter. As a parent, we hate that pain, but know we wouldn't have stopped our child from dreaming, even if those dreams never happen.
But, since God can make our dreams come true, maybe he should only let us have dreams that he plans on fulfilling?
However, when I think of the dreams I've watched go unfulfilled, I have to believe God has a purpose in the dreaming.
A friend in Louisiana started a ministry, Sarah's Laughter, for those struggling with infertility and child loss. A vibrant, alive ministry built on broken dreams. And adopted children fulfill dreams in ways rarely anticipated.
We walked with a friend through the dissolution of her marriage for reasons she had no control over. That dream shattered into a million pieces around her, but her three children are blessings not even imagined when the original dream blossomed.
Alfred Lord Tennyson said, "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." -
When I look around I see evidence that God's position is "'Tis better to have dreamed and lost than never to have dreamed at all."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What Dreams May Come - or Go

Doing some Google searching this morning.
Of the 100,000 high school seniors playing football, 9000 will play in college and 215 will make it to the NFL. That's about 0.2% of the seniors playing this Friday night.
Of those playing high school hoops, less than 1% will play in the NBA.
And I couldn't find any statistics on coming from high school baseball to playing in the Major League. However, of those playing baseball in college, less than 1% are signed in the Major Leauges. And even of those making it to the Minor Leagues - only 10% of them make it to "The Show".
That's a lot of dreams left on the field of play.
Wonder how many musicians never get recording contracts, or how many actors or models get enough work to be considered successful?
Yesterday I had the thought, "what if I never publish a book? What if it just doesn't happen?"
I'm not in a negative, woe is me place like a couple weeks ago when I was singing the Hee Haw song ( Thank Goodness.
However, in endeavors we spend so much time saying, "When I get the scholarship. When I get drafted. When I get an agent. When I get the job. When I get discovered. When we get the bid. When When When - Never the dreaded word "IF." Never. In the world of keeping on-keeping on, saying "IF" shows lack of belief, faith, determination.
"You don't want it bad enough" is said by some, if giving up is considered. Really? Or are there times when dreams end? How many years in the minor leagues is enough? How many walk-ons do you attempt? When do you stop trying to get into "that" college, or "that" field, or "that" company and decide to lower your sights? When do you decide the investment of time and effort isn't making sense and find better ways to spend your time?
One of the hardest things as a parent is sitting with your child, for whom the sky's been the limit, on the day they don't make the team, don't get the part, or receive the college rejection letter.
I believe God is the giver of dreams. I believe when they end, he's right there to hold our hand and cry with us. Just like the good parent he is.

DVR = Life Changing?

We kept being told, "DVR will change your life." Folks always added, "I know when people told me that I thought they were exaggerating, but they weren't."
Still don't know I'd go that far, but I really, really like it. The ease with which you can tape makes it almost too enticing. Just push the red dot button.
Mike was in Orlando last night and I watched a lot of TV. I enjoyed every minute of it! I'm hooked on a new show (well, new for me), "Ghost Whisperer". It's several years old so it comes on a lot. So, if I want to watch one later I just push that little red button and it's waiting for me.
We've used DVR most to record the show, "The Office." We'd never watched it until this summer. Now we record it everytime one comes on and now we have something to watch whenever we want thirty minutes of TV. You know how you sit down with a snack, or you want to watch a little something before going to bed and there's nothing on?
When Mike and I went through pre-marital counseling with the priest who married us, he gave us several surveys. One was to determine our arguing styles, one laid out our individual financial patterns, and one was about our sense of humor. The priest said we both like lots of funny things. Not too discerning, apparently.
For a few years, I tried to maintain my distance from The Three Stooges, but one day when I heard all three kids and Mike belly laughing at Curly making pancakes (remember that one?), I decided to join the fun.
So I don't know that the DVR has changed our lives, but watching a half dozen "Offices" a week, is sure increasing the laughing at our house. I know that's a good thing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Changed My Mind.

Writing to a young friend on facebook, I said one thing about growing older is that if you stay open you find yourself changing and evolving. So many opinions I firmly held, got dropped or changed when they were actually tried. Or when circumstances put my beliefs on the line.
Government and taxes became more than an exciting, inspirational campaign when I got that first good check - with all those minuses.
My views on abortion shifted the moment I felt my baby move.
Raising children got a jolt of reality when I got a few of them.
Girls and boys being raised the same way was a theory that lasted about as long as it took Lizzy to stomp her foot and tell me "You hurt my feelings." (The boys and I just stared at her and wondered where that came from.)
No - absolutely No - on the boy-girl sleepovers after prom was a standard I didn't even realize had slipped until we'd had several at our house. Somehow, having them under our supervision was so appealing we changed our opinion without even blinking an eye.
Unless you have the HOPE scholarship you can't live on campus, faded from our vocabulary and we didn't even try to rationalize it. We'd just changed our minds. By that time we didn't need to rationalize or make excuses - we just realized we often made decisions and decrees with what we knew at the time. New knowledge, New Opinions.
When is it being wishy-washy and when is it being flexible? And is this realization of growth and change happening, the truth behind wisdom coming with age? I know I'm way more careful about making pronouncements about things which I have not experienced yet.
On the other hand, there are things I've tried and tested over my 48 years which have stood strong. Love always wins, Faith leads to peace, It could always be worse, and Smiling makes you feel better. I'll stand on those - unless I change my mind!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thank God for Dirty Dishes

Thank God for dirty dishes
For they have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We're still eating well.
With Health and Home and Happiness,
We surely shouldn't fuss.
For by the "stacks" of evidence,
God's been very good to us.

A plaque with that saying on it hung above our kitchen sink as I was growing up. I didn't even realize I'd memorized it until it popped up in my mind one day after I was an adult. Since then, I've used it in devotionals, children's sermons, and classes. This morning I used it to get myself in a better frame of mind.
I'm thankful for vacuuming because it means my house is carpeted.
The clouds this morning, and rain forecast for the weekend, make the sunny days brighter.
Not getting news about my writing endeavors means - I still have a shot!
Spending money on weddings and college, means my kids are in love and getting an education.
There, that's much better.
And always, I'm so thankful Mama and Daddy are grateful people who would not only have a plaque like that hanging in our kitchen, but that they lived it everyday.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What kind of pumpkin do you pick?

Lizzy made me gift for Mother's day this year, which sits on my desk. It's a 12 x 16 painting, lots of bright colored stars and flowers make up the background. Then she painted some of the words to the Taylor Swift song, Best Day, in black.
"I run and run past the pumpkin patch, oh look the sky is gold. I hug your legs, fall asleep on the way home. You're not scared of anything at all. You were on my side even when I was wrong. I know I had the Best Day with you."
And yes, we did go to pumpkin patches when the kids were little. And I always knew which kind of pumpkin each kid was drawn to. Big, Small, Tall, Stemmed, Round . . .
This weekend, with the kids and fiances here, we talked a lot about them as children. Carrie said at one point, how cool it is to see the same traits in them as adults, that Mike and I talk about them having as children. We are born with certain traits, abilities and preferences, aren't we? And throughout our life we reject who we are, enhance who we are, embrace who we are and attempt to change who we are. Then just when I get it set in my mind, something shifts and I'm someone else. I barely got used to being an empty nester and now I'm going to be a mother-in law!
There are lots of reasons to believe in God or to need to believe in God. However, I think it's the idea of being known that strikes deepest in me. To be known without all the world's labels.
To just be known - and loved in spite of it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Peyton Manning and God

Is peace attainable, or is it granted? Or is there a certain state which must be attained before peace is possible? Peace in the midst of chaos? Peace in the middle of anxiety? One passage in the Bible says God's peace "transcends understanding."
There's that sign, "If you are able to keep your head while all others are loosing theirs . . . you must not understand the situation." Is that the secret to peace - Ignorance? So does it follow that being anxious means you're more knowledgeable? I believe we often attribute weighty thinking to weighty countenances. And happy, content folks are labeled "naive" or "polly-annish."
Peace for me comes from knowing God is crazy about me and he has a plan. Peace for me comes from the knowledge that God is big enough to take my griping and whining. (like yesterday's blog). Peace for me means doing today, what I'm supposed to do today. When I try to control and manipulate yesterday and tomorrow - I'm way out of my league. It would be like me stepping into the Indianapolis Colts huddle and telling Peyton Manning what he should've done last play and what he needs to do next. Got the picture?
Hopefully, Peyton would be as nice to me as God is when he lets me have my say, smiles, points me back to my place and says, "Thanks, I think I've got it."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me - remember the Hee Haw song?

Active hope is tiring. Only thing is, it's the only thing I've got.
Blue Ridge Novelist Retreat is this week. Last year it was fantastic. Fifty writers in the North Carolina mountains talking constantly about writing. Much published authors teaching exhilarating classes and becoming "real" as everyone shares meals and worship. This year, with two in college and two weddings around the corner, it just wasn't in the budget. I felt good about that sacrifice--until I started seeing facebook statuses from my friends at the retreat.
Why keep doing this? Just so I can say my computer memory is more full of original writing than yours? Honestly, that's about all I have to show for it. I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of not knowing. I'm tired of keeping on, keeping on. Calling myself a writer, because that's what I do. But if there is no one to read what you write . . .
There's this deep terror that I'll be in this same place in 10 years, or 10 months, or 10 days, or even for the next 10 minutes.
I wish I could be more noble and say it doesn't matter. That just being able to write is enough for me. But I want validation for my time, my learning, my work. I want something to base my writing hopes on. And sometimes I just want to not think about it, stop networking, quit working out scenes, stop the writers e-mail loops, not try and figure out a way to learn more.
But not today. I'll go downstairs and write - at least today. I believe I have enough hope for today, but as for tomorrow . . .

Monday, October 5, 2009

Paid by the Smile

When a friend was getting ready to become a full-time stay at home mom (SAHM) after the birth of her second child, I told her one thing that's weird is how you start liking Mondays. Monday's become like Fridays for everyone else.
For me, Friday leads into the biggest performance time on my job as a SAHM. One main thought, and benefit, of me staying home was to make the weekend more fun. Trying to keep mundane chores from taking over the weekend was my goal. Grocery stores, laundry, vacuuming did not belong on Saturday or Sunday. As I wrote in a previous blog, each week I wanted to have the house clean and stocked by Friday afternoon, so I could relax during the kids nap time, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the beginning of the weekend.
I love the weekend but it takes work and planning to make it relaxing and stress-free. That work and planning is my responsibility as a SAHM. Sunday dinner after church doesn't happen if you don't buy the groceries for it earlier in the week and plan for doing the prep work. Snacks for watching the game or a Disney video don't magically appear. Not worrying about cleaning the bathroom or kitchen can only happen if someone worried about it earlier.
And by Sunday evening, the house is worn out. We've had all the fun we can stand. The kitchen is decorated with stacks of dishes (some clean), dirty clothes lie about in heaps, left-overs fill the fridge and I'm ready for them all to go back to school and work.
And Monday morning, I sit with a cup of coffee and it feels like Happy Hour. Whew. When my family has had a great weekend, I know I did my job well.
Payment in smiles isn't bad.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Home again, Home again . . .

Getting ready today - all three kids and the two fiances' will be here this weekend! We haven't seen Lizzy since we left her there in August, so we're extra excited about that AND we get to see both rings! Carrie's mom and Casey's folks will be here Saturday night for dinner. We're thinking we can squeeze it in between the Georgia and Tennessee games.
It's fun getting ready for the kids to come home. I actually went down all the aisles at the grocery store yesterday. I rarely do that anymore. Mike had to straighten up his office/guest room and I guess I need to check the bathroom down stairs.
Favorite foods are in the plans for today, chicken casserole for Lizzy tonight, unbaked cookies, pumpkin bread all are on my to-do list today. Tomorrow there are ribs and a turkey breast for the smoker and, of course, champagne.
I've got the fall decorations up, pumpkin spice candles, a cinnamon broom and Mike has hung his decrepit skeleton in front of the garage. I'm hoping he can't find that lighted tombstone the kids drug home from someone elses garbage one year. (It's plastic with lights inside and a string of orange bubble lights draped over it's top.) Can anyone say - tacky? But if it makes Mike happy, and it does, then so be it.
Home sweet home - a full house tonight when we go to sleep.
Having them leave is hard, but having them come home is wonderful compensation.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm watching . . .

Rush Limbaugh responded yesterday on his show to questions of why he hasn't written any more books or done another television show. He said television requires set up and planning out, where and when you need a picture or prop, so it's confining and gives him less freedom. As for writing he said he can't write as fast as he can think, so he looses the flow. He finished by saying he knows speaking is his best format, hence why radio works for him.
I think about a blog before I sit down to write it. Scenes in my books play around some in my mind before they appear on paper. However, I need my fingers on the keys to make it happen. Doing this daily blog has really taught me that. My thoughts can only go so far and then I get that itch. That itch that says I need to put my fingers on the keys for things to continue. Now, I've seen it happen so often that it's a real thing to me. I need to see and read the words before the final thoughts can form.
Before I started doing this blog, I don't think this connection had been made in my mind. I think better and can express myself better when I'm writing.
Is that what is all around us? Folks who express themselves best through flower arranging, music, cooking, car repair, cleaning, building, teaching, caring and every other possible thing?
So, for those around us, helping them identify in what way they express themselves best is important. But that requires me paying attention and then speaking up. How cool!
To be on the lookout for people expressing themselves and to then acknowledge it. Excellent!
Life just gets funner and funner - doesn't it?