Jonesy and I are in week Five of the Financial Peace University classes. We had incurred some debt we were not happy about--medical bills and such and really wanting to prepare our family finances to make sure bringing in our new little ones would be a smooth financial transition. We have been kicking some Medical Bills to the curb and saving money, but we also have been selling a ton of stuff to make our goals more obtainable, quicker. We are going to be listing a ton of stuff on craigs list this next weekend, when we can move the stuff to photograph it and we are participating in a FPU yard sale the first weekend of October.
As I have been preparing for these sales, I have looked at my house with fresh eyes. I really love our house although it has current scars from wall removals and a need for some new floors. We have such great plans for this, our FOREVER home, but right now there are a lot of things in this house we don't love. I have thought about this a lot. Why do we buy things and bring things into our home when we don't love them? I think for me, it is impulse and lack of planning. Some things are things I loved once upon a time, but have moved away from loving.
I think I am going to write on my wallet, "Buy only what you love." Or maybe, "Do not settle to purchase something you like, if you can save and wait for something you love." How divine would it be to turn and in every cranny of your home you saw only things you LOVED--not liked, not functionably ok, but LOVED? I imagine you would have a lot less stuff and you would smile about 80% more than you currently do.
Married to this idea is being in love with what you have. Oh how I long to be content. I thrive on change...a gypsy living in middle class suburbia. I think if I surrounded myself with things I love and only the things I love, then I would lose my wandering eye a bit. BUT, I must also work on maintaining my love affair with the things I have. I am incredibly blessed before you get to the stuff in my house by having an amazing husband, children to write books about, a roof over my head and enough food to keep me from being the size I want to be. All the other stuff is just stuff--and why I have to admit I love stuff, I am refocusing my life to love what I have and only have what I love.
Day one: Assignment: You meet a man in a bar in a strange town. He has a cat on his lap, and he orders a cup of coffee, slowly spoons sugar into it. He strokes the cat's black fur and says, "This contact is illusory. The cat and I are separated as though by a pane of glass, because man lives in time, in successiveness, while the magical animal lives in the present, in the eternity of the instant." What do you say back to him? And he to you? What does the cat do? What happened to this man before he came into the bar?
The cat twists his neck into the man's hand and leaned its head back satisfied at the rhythmic touch of skin to fur. The man distracted by the hot sweetness of his coffee continues to speak to no one in particular, "What divinity to live just in the moment." As I pull out the stool beside him, he turns recognizing for the first time I am there. He forces a grin that fails to manifest in his eyes and he looks at my bags and back at his coffee.
"Traveling?" "Yes, heading out west for a job interview." "See what I mean. You are heading somewhere. Always moving forward. Never stopping. I assume you are moving away from something too." This was not a question, but a statement of understanding. He had walked a similar walk before.
I looked at the single page menu and ordered a coffee and two slices of toast.
"You see this cat does not care what will happen in the next minute. It knows right now it is happy. It is drunk in the now. It will stay and its inners will vibrate in a contented purr. It remembers nothing of the moment before and refuses to care of the moment to come."
"Well, I, uh, I never really thought of what a cat is thinking before," I stammered out words not knowing what to say, nor really feeling inclined to pursue the conversation. "I guess it would be nice to live in the moment....but I would not know how to start."
"What if your destiny lies in this minute."
I turned to look at him and realized he no longer was looking at me, talking to me, but was instead lost again in his own thoughts. His face flat and lost in the what ifs of days gone by. He was destined to never live in the present because of regrets of not embracing moments years before.
"I think I will take this order to go." This was my destiny. I did not embrace the words of this sage, but would learn too soon how important his message would prove to be.
Well, this blog seems to have just died. Not because I have not wanted to sit and write, but because life has been so crazy. I am also keeping an adoption blog and it is taking precedent--that is what is going on the most right now.
Just for myself and to keep perspective on our family history, we went to Indy last weekend and were able to go to the National Championships. It was a lot of fun. The children were able to meet Michael Phelps. It was awesome!
Check out the other blog if you are following along...www.jonesjourneyoffaith.blogspot.com
As I sit in my cozy home their are high winds ripping down trees and the lightning that pops outside of the windows fizzle in a sizzling sound and then a boom of noise that is shaking the house. Inside we are sitting with the news on so we can track the tornado warnings that are surrounding the area. It is dark, lik it should be a few hours from now, and I am sitting thinking of what a great day it is!
Noah has decided to give his life to Christ today. I have been making arrangements for his baptism tonight at 7:00. He will be getting baptized in the pond of a neighbor and we will be having a reception afterwards. I am hoping this storm blows over quickly so I can run to town and get the things I need to pick up.
It is an amazing thing the feelings I am feeling as my son is making this decision. I am humbled that Jesus has offered His life for my son. I am full of praise for God who is willing to have a relationship with Noah. I am full of wonder at my beautiful son and his beautiful heart, who is searching for it's place in this universe. I am full of tears in the goodness of knowing my son will be wearing the robe of the Creator.
Praises be to God for such a day, praises be to God for giving us hope and light in the midst of the storms. Praises be to God for the joy of Noah and my love for him.
My life has gotten in the way of my blogging lately. I have notes and scribbles written in the journals I have lying around the house about all manner of things I find worthy of sitting a writing about--things like the kids leaving for camp for the first time, a special day and some change with my favorite six year old little girl, and some hither and yon thoughts I have had lately, but those will have to wait for another day, when my head is not foggy from lack of sleep.
However today I received the news that a dear friend Mike Oswald died this past weekend after having a heart attack. I remember very clearly the first time I ever lay eyes on Mike Oswald. He had a full head of curly salt and pepper hair and he had a very distinctive swagger as he walked. He and his wife Vicki began to worship with our church group in Tustin, California while I was in high school. Mike became an acquaintance to my dad and Vicki a friend to my mom. It was in their interactions I began to know Mike and Vicki. I found Mike fascinating, a VERY intelligent man, a great story teller (his stories were always punctuated with a nervous tick of some sort) and a person who was genuinely interested in the going ons of my often silly life. Vicki had the best laugh I ever heard and her story telling is great with a vivid arsenal of expressions and hand motions. I loved sitting at their house hearing their stories and having a willing audience to the stories I had to tell.
I would house/dog sit for their dogs and would gladly give them their cheese nip treats for good behavior. I was often an invited guest to dinners with them and loved sitting at their feet learning of travel, theater, and books. After their New Year's trip to New York City and a viewing of Miss Saigon, Mike burned me a tape of the soundtrack. I played that tape over and over learning the story of Kim and John and falling in love with the music. It still is my favorite musical and the movie haunts me.
Mike believed in me. He would tell me how much he thought I would accomplish. I think he was amused by my confidence especially in relation to my naivete. He would write me notes and he would hand me riddles on Sunday mornings. He talked with me and made me feel special. He knew that there were times I felt I could not please anyone and in those moments he would always find ways to build me up and show me he had a huge amount of faith in me.
Mike collected books--signed first editions--and he shared several books with me. When I graduated from high school he gave me a book by Thomas Payne. He wrote me a very great note that started out "To one fiery revolutionary to another." I kept that note in the book and it stays there still.
Mike would send letters and cards while I was in college. He was one of the only men I have ever known who signed his and Vicki's names to Christmas cards he picked out, addressed, wrote notes in.
About 12 years ago his heart gave him a scare. He was a high strung man living a high stress life and it was catching up with his health. That year he traded his NYC New Year's trip for a Hawaii trip and he adopted the Hang Loose philosophy of life, wearing Hawaiian shirts from then on.
It means the world to me how he insisted on taking Nathan and I out to dinner each time we would make it to California to visit. I loved how he really wanted to get to know Nathan and would spend hours around the dinner table asking him questions about his thoughts on God, life, being married to me, and etc.
It will always be a blessing to me to have had Mike Oswald in my life. Every young person needs a Mike in their life to tell them that the world is their oyster. He challenged me and made me feel special. I look forward to hearing his stories on the other side of the Jordan.
A pretty wicked thunderstorm rolled through Alvaton last night. Around midnight the sky was lit by the cracks of lightening and the thunder ripped through the air. I love a thunderstorm--it is a joy to me to sit out on the front porch and watch it roll through. Noah,however, does not share my joy in storms. In fact, his anxiety about storms can be at times a bit overwhelming. As the storm settled over our house,I could not get to sleep.I opened our windows so I could hear the pitter pat of the hard rain hitting the siding as it blew from the side into the house. I decided to go ahead and get out of bed. I woke Noah and asked if he wanted to sit out with me on the front porch to watch the storm. He was conflicted in sitting out on the porch during the storm, but the desire to be up out of bed and on a bit of adventure beat out any fears he was feeling. We cuddled up in the wicker seats and wrapped in a sheet to keep the wind from giving us too much of a chill. I sat there holding my boy who is getting too big to sit in my lap in the midst of a storm and began to think how it was not so long ago that same little boy would barely take up the space of an arm. I thought how in the not so distant future the idea of sitting in his mom's lap would seem a bit too small for him, though he assures me that even if he is 62 if I want him to he will cuddle up on my lap. Holding him there, I thought of the imagery of me holding on to my boy in the midst of the storm and how I hoped always to be able to hold his heart in the storms of life that face him. I thought of how that is what being home is...sitting in the arms of the embrace of the people who love you the most when just feet away there is lightening and thunder and a storm falling hard.
I hope that there will always be a sense of security in the midst of life's storms. Several weeks ago after a spring shower while we were at the soccer fields two large rainbows formed one under the other over the fields. You could see the bows each touch the ground on the left and the right. It was amazing. We chatted last night about how amazing a sight to see not one but two full bows. Noah then stated, "I guess you have to deal with a storm to get the benefits of seeing the rainbows." Oh to have learned such a lesson at 9. May he write that wisdom on his heart and may it bring him comfort when he is in the midst of his own storms. May he always be seeking the beauty of the rainbow as the rain clears.
Last night will be engrained on my heart forever. What a blessing to have such a son. What a joy to sit and hold him during the storms.
So it is Tuesday morning and I am using my oh so not useful meditating skills to try to keep from scratching my arms, legs, torso. This is day 11 of the Poison Ivy fiasco of 09. I thought last week, I could not be anymore miserable...that will teach me to make a challenge to the misery monsters! Saturday I was so frustrated because I was seemingly becoming one large patch of poison ivy itchiness. So I called around to a few friends who have experienced this lovely itchiness and took suggestions for topical creams to help....as I discovered last week hydrocordisone and calamine--not helpful. So I got Benadryl cream and a neat little menthol enhanced number called stop ivy or some other clever name. I decided to try the stop ivy first. It said it worked on contact. If working on contact means that you smell as if you took a bath in Vick's vaper rub and that your arms would feel like they stop itching only because they were now burning...then well it worked. However, if you were looking for something to sooth the itch...not so much. Wait three hours. Now I am going to try the Benadryl cream. I ooze it out and onto my arms. Feels good. But what is this? My arms, fingers, hands, and ears are swelling and burning. I am now covered from head to toe is hives (which are causing my itching to itch.) My wrists are so swolen my hands look like barbie hands attached to Cabbage Patch Kid arms. You know how if your skin gets stretched really far out, it sort of itches. It is the triple whammy of poison ivy, stretch swolen skin and hives!! Sunday morning I insist Nate take me to urgent care. I am the fifth person in that morning with Poison Ivy issues (it is 9:00 a.m.)
When I finally get back to see the doctor she states, you have the worst case of poison ivy I have seen all year--me and my overacheiving ways!--and thinks that I not only am having an allergic reaction (she is not sure if it is to the antihistamine creams or the toxins of the ivy), but that I have earned a notable infection in all this mess. So one shot in the buttocks, a rx for an antihistamine, a steroid treatment, and amoxicillan and I am out the door. Nate brings me home and then is off to the pharmacy and Walmart to get replacement pillows (Could have ivy oil on them--not taking chances!) and the rx. Once he is home I pop all the pills one at a time in 15 minute increments. I am still a bit worried about antihistamine being the reason for the allergy break out. I start with the rx antihistamine...sure enough within 20 minutes I am swollen even more, my face is a lovely purple color, I am covered with even more hives and I am ready to just peel off my own skin.
After a call to the doctor, I am advised not to take anymore antihistamine (ya think?) and to just stick with the steroids and the antibiotic.
So there you go...a happy memorial day weekend! I am feeling about 80% better today. Not having the hives and swelling gets me back to what I thought was jusy plain miserable last week, the ivy itching. THe steroids are drying out the patches so I feel like I am going to be back to normal in the next few days.
I asked Nate if I could get a pass on all things yardwork for the rest of the year? He just laughed and said, "Yeah right." I am taking that as a NO.
Leaves of three.....let it be.....may that be your mantra!
I have poison ivy or oak or something. I am miserable. I am ready to just pull the skin off my arms and hands so the iching will stop. Calamine lotion is useless, hydrocortisone is a joke. UGH! Poor me.
There are no words to express to you how much I love being your Mom. As I have watched you today I am reminded there is no job more worthy, more important, or more fulfilling than being your Mom. I learn daily from you and find such joy in your little movements of life. I am constantly astounded in the faith and trust you place in me. I know you will realize so soon just how flawed I am, but for now I will strive to live up to what you believe me to be. Thank you for loving me and I praise God for the gifts you are in my life.
It took a mere five months, but the bathroom Nate and I share is finished. (Well by finished I mean I am moving on to another project and will revisit it later when I have the budget to add crown moulding.)
This week I have been a total bum. It is our first official week of summer vacation and I have embraced the nothing to do spirit by doing NOTHING. Yesterday I awoke with a horrible headache and so this was my permission slip to do nothing. My confession: I laid on the couch all day and watched an America's Next Top Model season. What a goofy show. These girls are ridiculous.
A quick Happy Birthday to Adam Wilcoxson. He is a bright spot in our lives and we are so happy to call him a friend. Happy Birthday buddy. We love you!
I guess I should first confess that I totally forgot to write Wedndesday confessions yesterday. So I am trying to be faithful, and get it done today.
My official confession is that I would like to go on a vacation all by myself. I would like to go somewhere and sleep and do what I want to do, by myself. I would probably hate it after the first two days, but for two days the silence would be my best friend.
Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day, I have a beatiful feeling School is ending today!!! YEEHAW!
I have to admit I am not sad about putting this year to bed. It has been my least favorite of our school years. I am glad it is over and excited for a few weeks of just enjoying the children in a non academic forum!
Tomorrow we will just goof off, go to the pool, and enjoy the lack of "we must get this done"ness! What a great day!
"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ."
I have been thinking about this verse a lot over the past several days. It carries with it a lot of responsibility. It carries with it a charge of being Christlike and open to other people, both as the person who has burdens which will be shared as well as the person who is sharing in the burden.
I have struggled for the past 10 years to understand exactly what "church" is supposed to be. I don't think it is a place you go, something you do per se, but instead is who you are as you are connected to other disciples everyday, each day. It is the intimate intermingling of individuals making up cells so connected that when grouped together with the Blood of Christ, all you see is the Body of Christ. This requires great relationship. It means sharing yourself with others, as well as being able to share in the lives of others. It is bigger than the local congregation--it is a universal connection to all believers all over the world in all times. Talking about a huge family!
I remember about 10 years ago an acquaintance was killed in a car accident. I did not know her well, but we had many common connections--the most important connection being our Savior. She was killed on a Wednesday afternoon, and as we went to midweek that night I could not stop crying. Someone asked me if I knew her well, and I said no. They could not understand why I would be so affected by her death. I thought it funny at the time. A young mother and wife, a sister a daughter, a friend had died. People I loved were hurting. How could I not be in tears? How could I not bear this burden with them? My sisters and brothers were in pain--my tears were not for a personal loss, but for the loss of many, and for the loss I imagine God feels each time one of His children experiences the evils of death. (Let us remember--it was not the original plan for us to die, but instead to live.) I have thought about that day often. How many times have I cried for the hurt and pain of fictional characters on the TV, people I will never meet on the evening news--how much more so will I be rent for the people I know and love.
People are meant to be connected to others. There are to be no other more connected people in the world than Christians. I am afraid there is a sect of Christendom that thinks it is better to drive out and away, than to draw near. Isolationism and secularism pervaids how we think. It effects our ability to share ourselves, to confess to one another, to receive love, to receive friendship--and because of all these inabilities there will be a tendency to fail to receive God through Christ.
How sweet the day when the tears of the burdens of this world will no longer need to be shed. But until then, it is ours to bear each others burdens--even when they are not wished to be shared. For to be like Christ who is the fulfillment of the Law, we must do so. It is not to be dismissed that he bore the burden of so many who have rejected him, yet he bore them anyway. How amazingly strange to have the opportunity to be so like Him in every way. What a great blessing of responsibility to be joint heirs with the Messiah.
May our hearts be open, May our minds be forgiving, May we love even when those we must love seem unlovable. May we be open to allowing our burdens to be shared. May we live in eternity Because of God, Through Christ, with the comfort of the Spirit, AMEN
Yesterday we spent the better part of the morning getting expanders and braces fitted into the mouths of the Professor and my Pigeon. They handled the process fairly well, they are sore still today, but better than last night. They will have the expanders for six months. The braces I think will be on a bit longer. This is phase one of their Orthodontal treatments. They most likely will have full braces on when they hit about 12. Both children seem to have gotten the small umbiture of my mouth and Nathan's large teeth. Having lost baby teeth, the adult teeth just have no place to come in at. This is making a mess of their teeth, their gums, and ultimately those amazing smiles.
I was thinking yesterday as I was writing that fat check to the office manager, that in terms of value, I will over a lifetime be paying fractions of a penny for each smile they use. Not a bad investment.
Going through this process, I have however learned a ton about medical/dental offices. I think it has really changed my thinking A LOT! These thought processes started changing after the Profressor's surgery last year. He was drugged and being wheeled away by complete and total strangers. I thought to my self then, where else would I allowed my child to be drugged and taken away with total strangers--NO WHERE! All medical and dental care can have a profound effect on the safety and long term well being of my child. So a list of things I have started to use in choosing care.
1. This is by no means the most important thing, but shopping for doctors is very important. In determining what Orthodontist to use, I shopped prices and procedures. There was more than a $1000 difference per kid for care between multiple doctors. I was blown away by this! Insurance will pay for reasonable and customary fees...in some offices there were Otis Spunkmeyer cookies being cooked on site, others had video games and flat screen tvs to keep your kids occupied. You are paying for that stuff--not better care!
2. Interviewing the doctor and getting references from several former patients is not only a good idea, but really would you leave your child alone with an unkownn babysitter for even 15 minutes, much less hand your child's wellbeing over to a total stranger? All the doctor's I have talked with recently are welcoming to this interview process. If they are not....well really if you can not comfortably sit and talk to a doctor about concerns, do you really want their services?
3.Paying up front will save you a bundle. Whether you are insured or not, whether you have a hsa or not...ask if you can get a discount for paying up front. I saved more than $300 for paying for all the orthodontal treatment in one sum at front. That is a huge savings!
4. Doctors are people. Do not put them on pedestals! If you have questions or concerns--demand answers. If you feel that they are not seeing something...point it out. These are your kids. No one knows them like you. You may not know the science of any one given section of anatomy of your kid, but you know the whole child. If you see issues, behaviors or things that just don't seem right...demand answers, solutions and respect.
I have learned that one of my duties as a mother is to advocate for my children. I am blessed with fairly healthy kids, but due to eyes, allergies, and teeth, I am advocating for my children with medical professionals quite a bit. I have so glad to have found some amazing doctors to provide care for my children, but we have walked away from some doctors who I felt were not the best fit for the needs of my children.
So here is to clearer vision, the ability to breathe... for me, having peace in the care of my children...and straight toothed smiles which I look forward to enjoying all the days of my life.
The truth is I really am not sure who it is I am. I am almost 35 years old and I am still iffy on who and what it is I am and want to be. I recognize myself by the identity I am to other people...but who am I to me? Nathan says that is who I am. I am not sure.
Last month I happened upon a delightful home happy when I realized the Holiday Inn Convention center was trading out its furniture. I went and purchased four club chairs and 2 ottomans for the whopping price of $14 for the lot. In my trek to ATL I was determined to buy a few Ektorp covers for the chairs from IKEA, but realized once there they were not going to be a perfect fit. I wanted white covers and the Ektorp white covers were $29....so I bought one, thinking I could maybe figure out a way to make it work.
Life has been busy since we returned from our trip and I just last night was able to try out the cover. SO CLOSE. I think I know how to fix the problem, but I think it is a bit above my very minimal sewing capabilities. I am hoping to get a friend from church to look at them and see if she can come up with a solution~ I just left the almost covered up chair in my bedroom and I am now trying to find a reason to head to ATL or to Cincinatti to get more covers so my chairs can break free from the garage.
The ottoman are going to be a bit on their own as I am going to have to sew a cover for it. I am pretty excited about trying to figure out a way to make that happen...on my conservative days I am thinking a soft sissal canvas, and the other 5 days of the week I am thinking Zebra stripe. I guess it will depend on what day I end up shopping!
When I can I will post pictures. Andrea go get you 2 of those covers! I think they will work for your chairs.
Happy Sunday! It is a wet day here at my house. The sky is a warm white sun being blocked by stubborn clouds, but I think the sun is gaining strength. The grass and the trees are wearing their best green for the efforts of these little rain clouds and between the white and the green is the most amazing azure air. I love when the air is golden and the smell of rain lingers at the windows. I remember as a child seeing the golden air and thinking it the most magical of days. It still doesn't dissappoint.
Much has happened this week and there has been little time to sit and write, so apologies on the front for what may be a long entry.
Soccer season shot into full swing this week. Pepper is a soccer playing all-star and I AM LOVING IT! My little fabulous diva can take it to the field! Jonesy says her mean streak has found a productive outlet. I am so proud of her..she got out there and gave it her all. What a champ! Macy and Noah followed her in a game (they are on the same team) and they were great as well. The Professor is proving himself a really talented goalie.My Pigeon is a great forward. She has a great ability to weave in and out of the field dribbling to the goal. She lacks leg strength to be a power house kicker, but her size and speed makes her a great asset to the team. I am coaching both teams and LOVE it. Who knew?
Since before we were married, Nate and I have wanted to adopt a child. We have considered this over and over through our marriage, but pregnancies put our anticipation of adopting on the back burner. We are currently taking the foster to adopt classes in order to be a step closer to this goal. For the next 10 weeks we will be taking these classes and undergoing all the activities to gain approval of the state. I have found myself laying in bed at night thinking about the future of our family and what God has planned for us. The past couple of nights I have been bothered by the thought that our little boy is out there somewhere in a very bad situation or is about to enter into a bad situation. This thought is so disturbing to me I am having trouble sleeping well. If you think of us, please pray on this.
We will be hosting a boarder. She has been the children's baby sitter and a dear friend to Nate and I. Mary Poppins will be moving into our home the first of May. She will be making the third floor her home until the end of the year. This is such a blessing to us, as she has agreed to watch our children while we are taking the FTA classes. She is oodles of fun, and the children are so excited they can hardly stand themselves.
Finally, and some of you will find this amusing, I have taken a job at UPS as a seasonal employee. I will be unloading trucks in the wee early morning hours. Jonesy and I have some bills we want to knock out and I am keeping my eye on the wood floors goal. I begin in May and am contracted as a seasonal employee. We will see, I may take to the workout and continue to work! We will have to see how I handle those early mornings.
Well that is this past week...I guess we will see what is in store for us this coming week. Blessings to you all.
As I have perused blog after blog through the little blogspot hemisphere, I have enjoyed seeing certain days of the week assigned to specific topics. Coupon Fridays, Blog drawings Mondays, Makeover Saturday. Well here at Keeping Up with the Joneses, we will promote Wednesday Confessions. This will be a weekly exercise in getting to know each other better. A place where we can get things off our chests. Humor added is definitely a plus. Got something to get off your chest--well feel free, you are amongst friends.
In the spirit of kicking this off with a bang--I am going to confess something you all know-- I AM NOT A GOOD HOUSEKEEPER. I have neither the inclination nor the patience to be a housekeeper. This is a horrible problem when your current profession has the title "HOUSE WIFE", I prefer "Stay at Home MOM." You see housewife connotes there will be clean laundry, daily bed makings, breakfasts made with love and a happy morning spirit, and A square meal every night. I am afraid these things are often MIA in my house. As a stay at home MOM, I homeschool my children-and that is a messy business, I run from here to there and back again getting each child to their activities, I make bags of supplies and then I drop them on the floor, pick up the next bag of supplies and then move on to the the next thing. In my little head, stay at home Mom, allows me to be about the business of things non-cleaning-the-house related. Now before you start to question my logic...don't, mainly because there is no logic to question, it is just good old fashioned justifying that makes this title differential make any sense to absolutely no one but me. But it is true. I would much rather run 100 errands than spend one hour in cleaning my house. So I am currently looking for an ALICE (Brady style) for my life. Wouldn't that be grand? Where does one find one of those great blue dresses and white shoes?
I just completed our 2008 taxes. I have to double check on a couple of numbers, but I will be ready to press the send button on the efile site soon. I really dislike doing taxes. Every year I put off doing them until the last week and every year I promise myself I will do them the first of February next year... I am not holding my breath for Feb. 2010. While I, like any other normal person, dislike paying taxes, I understand the need. However, lately, as I have been redefining my political beliefs, I am beginning to hate paying them. I hate paying for the wasteful spending, the immoral funding, the padding of pockets and the stupid programs which serve to benefit no one, in any way, ever.
Sometimes I wonder about how little tax money we would need to pay if we just all followed basic Christian principles--you know like don't steal, don't murder, don't commit adultery? Government has become the means to protect possessions, protect life (or at least some of it), and to fill in the gaps of broken families with entitlement spending. What if neighbors really treated each other as they would want to be treated? What if we really gave away one coat when we had two? What if we created families and kept them together? What if we did not spend money we don't have and stop the insanity of enslaving ourselves with debt? Oh --the what if 's are infinite.
I wonder why so many are calling for the government to be more responsible when the population is unwilling. We think we are entitled to everything we want, when we want it. Nathan and I experienced the absolute insanity of the mortgage mess when we purchased our first houses. We were told we could afford mortgages on houses so far out of our price range, we would scarce been able to feed ourselves. We spent half of what the banks told us we could afford. But why would you not believe the banker who is looking at your finances? Why would he put me in over my head?. Because you want him to. Most people in their 20's and 30's want to live the HGTV dream of a picture perfect house in the best neighborhoods. Their parents took years of laddering up real estate properties to get to the point they are in these neighborhoods.
I think it is time to see that the Government and its populace are sort of like the chicken and the egg. Which comes first? A government for the people and by the people is often going to resemble the people. And a people looking for government to lead them will soon follow what the government is doing. Maybe the answer is for each citizen is to be responsible in their homes, communities, and financial institutions, then maybe just maybe the government will begin to look responsible. And it is all together possible if we stop putting irresponsible and immoral men at the head of our ship, we will see the population rise up and be responsible and moral.
Ahhh, it is so great to be back home. Traveling is always nice, but there is nothing like getting back to your own bed, your own routine and of course your very own JONESY! We got home middle of the afternoon Saturday and I needed to kick it into gear to prepare for all things Easter morning.
Sunday morning at 5:30 a.m., Jonesy and I awoke to children anxious to get down to see what the Easter Bunny brought them. We scurried them back to bed and told them the Easter Bunny would not be happy for his gifts to be opened until after 7:30! From 5:30 until 7:30 there was no rest for any of us. Molly had slept on rollers and started to take the rollers out of her hair. She was very displeased with the initial look of her coif--we heard her cry in her mirror--"I look like an idiot!" This was in addition to her crying the night before as I was finishing putting rollers in her very tender head, " I didn't even want to have curls. Macy told me I should get rollers so I could stay up later!"
At 7:30 we made our way down stairs to see the children rustle through the grass in their baskets. Our Easter tradition is for the children to eat chocolate bunnies for breakfast. They tore into those bunnies ears first and soon faces and hands were covered in Easter happiness.
After some dying of eggs and a serious washing of children, we headed to church services. I can not express the appreciation I have for our church family. Celebrating the resurrection of our Savior is an amazing experience with these great people!
We had an Easter dinner potluck with our church family and then we had an egg hunt for the children. It was so sweet to watch the excitement and timidity of the below four year olds as they came out to the back field of the elementary school to gather their eggs. About five minutes later the doors exploded as the 5 to 11 set came to search out their eggs. It seems it took less than 10 minutes for all the eggs to be found. So fun!
Last night we regrouped with our boys & V for Sunday night dinner. We met at the park for a pizza picnic and played on the playground until it got dark and started to rain. The stormy weather brewing combined with going down the slides made for some amazing static electricity charges. The sparks were flying from fingers!
The only downside to being home is the large loads of laundry which need to be addressed, taxes needing to be calculated and the desperate need to go to the grocery store...but alas...this is part of what makes home, home....and there really is no place like it!
Spring Break is running at a record pace and we are at our midpoint. The children and I are still in Atlanta and having a really great time. Last night Carli and her friend, Robert came for dinner, the children put on a talent show and we just hung out and chatted and checked out comedy sketches online. We put the children to bed earlier than they had been going down through the week (10:30 last night--). They could not understand why they had to go to bed so early. Appears they are in full vacation mode!
Today we are going to make the trek to the Habitat for Humanity REStore. I am super stoked about checking it out. The REStore in Nashville is one of my most favorite places so I have high expectations for ATL. Their website inventory has not been updated since November...of 2008, so it is hard to say what all they will have. Hopefully we will find some treasures!
We leave tomorrow to head to Lori Lancaster's for the remainder of the week. I am anxious to see her and her new house. We will have an Uppercase Living party on Friday evening. Then home on Saturday. I am super ready to see Jonesy!
Andee and I made our way sans children (There is a special place in Heaven for Jay for keeping all 7 ofthe kids!) to Atlanta proper to visit the IKEA. WOW OH WOW OH WOW! We were there for about 3 hours and it just was not enough time! If we had limitless time, I would have touched, held and read everything I saw! There will just have to be another trip in the very near future. Oh the ideas I had for everything I came across....yes I see a weekend trip to Atlanta in May--maybe Nate and I can come for a romantic weekend and fit Ikea in. I have a feeling that a few hours of happiness in Ikea could. be. very.romantic. Yesterday we made our way to Andee's favorite Goodwill...I found some serious treasures there too. My favorite-- 3 oval frames, when once painted black will be perfect for pictures of the kids. I also found a great candleabra for $5.00, I just need to build my faux fireplace for it to go in! Andee and I split a pair for cast iron doves that are painted white with the greatest rusty patina. They are just so spectacular we HAD to have them. I will have to post pictures soon. I also got Nate a TBN frame for 55 cents. It will be a great Easter present--it cracks me up. I guess another day I will have to share the stories of Nate's weird addiction to TBN--thanks Andee for not only finding this little treasure, but sharing it with me. Well I am off to find a picture of the pope to fit in the frame......
It is probably a bit telling of my lack of attention to my blogger site that I could not remember the address to get to the blog. So in the spirit of fresh starts, I have started a new blog--I have actually written down the blog address AND the password in a place I can find tomorrow. I am a writer--or at least I fancy myself one. I write everyday. Mostly I write for myself. The written word is easier to think through--there is less traffic on paper and computer screens than in my often congested head. I write what I am thinking about in the moment. In the past, as I have written in the moment I have found myself in trouble with those who want to assign my momentary thoughts into permanent record. However, if you could see the things I write as the rough sculpting of ideas--sometimes they are masterpieces, sometimes they are kneaded back into blobs and reformed and reconsidered. Often I have more opinions than sense..there will be times I share them and you will disagree, chances are I will read what I write in the months to come and I will be my worst dissenter. But I think thoughts, ideas, opinions and stories should be written down, discussed, argued over and listened to. So here are mine. Thanks for stopping by.
Thanks for stopping by. I am a disciple of Christ striving daily to reflect His beauty, a child of an Amazing God, the fortunate wife of Mr. Perfect, the blessed mother of three beautiful blessings whom I homeschool. I would say I was a housewife, but that seems to connote cleaning and such, and well that is not my favorite thing. I am currently making my future dream home into my actual dream home and loving every project. I am an Independent Demonstrator of Uppercase Living products-let me know how I can help to make your home an inspiration!
Welcome to my spot where I write, opinionate, act goofy and share what is going on in my little part of the world. Make yourself at home.