Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wednesday Confessions on Thursday

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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Last Day of School

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!

Monday, April 27, 2009

This makes me so happy I almost cry...

Oh to have an elaborately choreographed song and dance number happen to me during my delightful!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Grin and Bear it.

"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,

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Investments in smiles

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 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.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednesday Confessions

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.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A slip cover that just about covers

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 $ 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.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chocolate covered Sunday with a cherry on top

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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday Confessions

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?

Monday, April 13, 2009


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.

Back home and Easter

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!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


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!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

IKEA high

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......

Monday, April 6, 2009

Starting Over

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.