Category Archives: Kids

Neglected, but Resurrected

Are you all sick of hearing excuses and apologies for my not being faithful to this blog? I’m tired of giving them to you. So…here we go again. I figure if I’m going to be leading out in a Women’s Writing group, I’d better be writing. I’ll talk about life, my crazy life, as the SAHM of two teen girls, two dogs, more cats than I need (we are fostering a litter of 8), a hubby who travels for work (which sucks), my continued journey of seeking a healthier/smaller me, and our ups & downs. I’ll share my crafty – Susie Homemaker type projects, both successes and failures. I’ll share my guilt and perceived failures on things domestic. On that last note, I’ll share that this summer’s garden fits into that category! I am ashamed to say the weeds are taller than all the plants, except the corn, because I’m not good with keeping up with things like that without a strict schedule. We got a lot of cukes and tomatoes (grape, mostly) from the garden, so it wasn’t an absolute failure.  Our carrots were also a big WIN. We managed to get some huge, flavorful carrots…the whole row seems to have done very well.

Life in general is busy, as usual. I’m leading out in our local fiber group, called “Stitch, Please.” Hopefully, soon, the women’s writing group will start. Bug is in Driver’s Ed, participating in Scholastic Bowl again this year, joined Chorus at school, and is in the musical Guys and Dolls, so we have lots of practices and rehearsals to go to. Pally has started her 8th grade year, so there is a lot going on, but band seems to be the thing that keeps her & I the most busy…and Pep Band starts next week – so we have to have Pally at numerous middle school basketball games in the next few months. We’ve already done two parades this year, marching band, ya’ll…but she gets better, and better every year.

We are settling in nicely to the new house. It’s been almost a year here, and we couldn’t be happier. We are still trying to get ourselves organized – a never-ending project, it seems. We keep rearranging things, and some of the rooms. Currently, I’m on the hunt for a cheap Chinoiserie screen or plans for one, to separate my desk/office area from the rest of our dining room. I’m also working on a couple of knitting projects – always having more than one project cast on at a time! Even though I feel like half of my projects get abandoned, and never finished. It’s something I’m working on this year, just one of my personality quirks.

So, thanks for coming back. Hopefully this time I can stick it out with you! If I seem to falter, or fade, give me the what-for.

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Renewed

I woke this morning with a renewed sense of faith and hope. I had somehow forgotten that “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to the purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV. Our Father works stuff out for us, even when we can’t see how it’s going to turn out, or that we want it to turn out a specific way. We lose sight of God’s plan for us, and forget that His answers to our prayers aren’t always obvious, or what we are asking for. Some of you know that I’ve been very committed to improving my prayer life, to the point that I am using electronics to keep a list of my prayer lists and have set a reminder. Now I am renewing my commitment to my personal devotions and Bible studies. I discovered there is an app for our denominations quarterly study. Downloaded! I also have committed myself to finally reading the Bible cover-to-cover over the course of a year. Can you believe that even with 8 years of religious education, I can’t say that I’ve read the entire Bible. I imagine I have come close, but usually only in bits and pieces, and fits and starts. That will be my morning devotion. With God’s help, I will also be reading a daily devotion in the evening from Beautiful in God’s Eyes, a daily devotion for women.

What has brought this all up? First, I imagine we all, at one time or another, have struggled with our faith in some fashion. I am no exception. Also, I haven’t exactly been the best example for my kids. Sure, I believe, and profess faith, and belong to a church. They see that, they see that I also try to live right, and trust God. Have I ever had devotions with my kids on a regular basis? No. Do they see me having regular devotions? No. Do we attend church like we should? No. Do I realize that they are coming to an age where their friends and family within our denomination will start being baptized? Yep. In a way, I am glad my girls don’t attend church school. They will not feel the pressure that comes with the stage they are in school/life where all their church school friends are being baptized, because it seems like the thing to do. Yes, there is an element of peer pressure there. “Everyone else is doing it, I should too.” I honestly sometimes wish I’d waited. I’m pretty sure I was 13. My husband has expressed the same feelings, I believe he was even younger. (Caution: slight deviation & rant to follow.) At the time of my baptism, there were things I said in my baptismal vows that I didn’t adhere to. (Unless I’m delusional one of them involved not going to the movie theater.) I felt like a hypocrite. I did and do still adhere to 99.998% of what I remember vowing. I just looked up what the current baptismal vows are, and they seem to have been adjusted. Maybe I am not remembering my vows right, as it was 23 years ago, that the movie theater thing wasn’t involved. Honestly, as an adult, looking at the current baptismal vows, the only thing I’d have a problem committing to now is not consuming alcohol. Not because I need it, but because I enjoy the occasional drink. I do not get drunk. I don’t enjoy that. I can honestly say I’ve NEVER had a hang over from alcohol. (I say it like that, because a couple of years ago, I burned my right hand terribly, and was given a shot of Dilauded in the ER, which left me with a hang over.) I don’t waste tons of money on drink, I don’t spend my grocery money, my house payment, or my utility payments on drink, nor does it cause me to neglect my family, my home, or any of my responsibilities. I consider it a non-prescription form of Valium, Xanax or Ativan. I do not have a drink every night, nor every week, nor every month. (I’m also not saying it’s wrong for anyone to do, it’s just my personal preference.) I enjoy having a drink, now and then. I do not find that these things interfere with my relationship with God. And to use a tired example, Jesus did turn water into wine, and it wasn’t grape juice, you can’t get drunk off grape juice. The verses I am referencing here are John 2:1-11, NIV. The summary is: Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding, and has it taken to the master of the banquet, where the master of the banquet is quoted after trying the wine, “everyone brings out their choice wine first and the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” Would your perception of the quality of grape juice be affected by when it is served? Um, I don’t think so.

Back to the baptismal issue….I want my girls to make their own choices in this regard. Do I want them to be baptized and to join our church? Yes. More importantly, I want to set a good example for a relationship with God. Most of all, I felt a need to draw closer to my God, to understand better what He has to say to me, that includes not just strengthening my prayer life, but by studying God’s word.

Friday the13th IS Lucky

My baby, Pally, turns 11 today. My how time flies.  You know how a lot of blogger mom’s share their birth stories? Well, I’m not going to do that, not exactly.  My memory isn’t good enough to share reliably. (Yes, my family makes tremendous fun of me for being forgetful. I have been known to ask a kid about homework 3 or 4 times in the same afternoon, and the Hubs claims I am NOT a reliable witness.) I thought I’d share how Friday the 13th has become something lucky for us, as parents.

Pally, doing what Pally does.

It all started in 1999. I was expecting Darling Girl No. 1. She was a breech baby, we knew she was breech, and I’d been doing the “stand-on-your-head” exercises that they give you on the handout when the Docs know your baby is the wrong way around. I was scheduled for an external version (where they try to turn the little peanut from the outside) at the 38 week mark. Guess what day that would have been? You guessed it Friday the 13th of August. Did I make it to that day? Nope. I didn’t go a day over 37 weeks 5 days with either girl. Darling Girl No. 1 (from now on referred to as DG1) decided that she should start making her entry into the world on August 10. That bought me a night in the hospital, being administered meds to try to stop my labor until the OB decided he wanted to crawl out of bed, and be at the hospital to see us at 8 a.m. (Can you tell I’m still a little miffed about that?) The OB and our family doctor, who would have attended the deliver if DG1 had flipped the right way around, spent what seemed like an eternity trying to turn her. But, nope, she was trying to escape both feet first. And it didn’t remain an external version. Our family doctor, Dr. Walrus* spent some time trying to dislodge DG1’s feet. Yes, the OB dilly-dallied around long enough that things were progressing a little faster than he expected. So, I got a nice trip to the O.R. where I proceeded to vomit & itch during the entire procedure. I ended up with a healthy pink (actually, her first few hours she was purple, but I guess that happens with c-section babies) bundle of cuteness, so it was all worth it.

Now, for Darling Girl No. 2 (who will now be referred to as DG2). I was due sometime at the end of July, 2001. No, I don’t remember the date. I assume it was around the 29th, but I don’t know which box in the basement has the baby books in it, so….we’ll go with that. I had good contractions on and off all that week. So good in fact that we were at the hospital twice in the first half of the week, where things would be going along pretty well, and then stop completely. By Thursday, at my regular weekly appointment my midwife, who also happens to be a friend, said we could think about some “help”. She’d already done everything she could to help get things moving, outside of my being admitted to the hospital. Everyone one agreed that it was the best idea to get the ball rolling. It didn’t help that the Hubs was leaving on SATURDAY to start a new job in Tennessee, so I kept thinking every time my labor starter, “Wahoo. This is it. Now I don’t have to worry about him getting here on time.” After conferring with the supervision OB, and my having spent the rest of Thursday hiking around our neighborhood trying to get things moving, she called and told me to be at the hospital bright and shiny Friday morning. I think we checked in around 9. By 5 p.m. we were snuggling our new, healthy, beautiful baby girl.

So, Friday the 13th, you don’t scare me. I look forward to them, on every one of them my thoughts turn to the day my DG2 was born, and then I think about how DG1 could have been a Friday the 13th baby as well. I expect something good from Friday the 13th. I could have received the greatest blessing on that day in 1999 (if my scheduled version hadn’t worked, they’d have done a c-section that same day to deliver DG1), and I did receive the greatest blessing on that “scary” day, almost two years later in 2001, with the birth of DG2.

 

* Dr. Walrus was NOT his real name. Bless that wonderful man, but he had a crazy, huge, very full mustache.

No Rest for the Weary.

So, the last time I was here I was talking about having a sick kiddo. She’s all better now. Well, except for the occasional cough. We had a quiet Friday night, it was great. The Hubby had the whole weekend off. Yeah! On Saturday afternoon Bug had friends over. Cousins “C” (whose overly organized mother I mentioned before as being completely done with her freaking Christmas shopping by Halloween) and “S”. “S” is a former neighbor girl. For three years it was almost like she lived here. She and her family moved this last spring, to the very next town, only about 5 minutes away, but it might as well have been across the state, as busy as every one has been. We’ve seen her twice in the last 6 months, and I find myself missing her. The girls originally came over just to hang out on Saturday afternoon, but it didn’t take long for someone to ask if they could spend the night. Of course I said yes. They did make-up and hair, and even I got in on the hair action. I love people messing with my hair and when “S” asked if she could do mine, I couldn’t resist. On Sunday, we had smoothies for breakfast, and then “real” breakfast for lunch. Before breakfast I made a humongous batch of non-toxic play dough, and that kept 4 girls ages 10-13 busy for hours. We colored it, added a little sweet orange oil to make it smell pretty, and then I let them open my 100 count cookie cutters and go crazy. Yesterday, I found that I messed up the recipe, when I noticed it was molding. Gross. I wrote down the salt amount in tablespoons instead of CUPS! No wonder the stuff took so much work to get to a nice texture. I guess I’ll have to try again another day.I think “S” missed me. She was very helpful, and talkative. They drew for a bit on Saturday night while I was cooking supper and she made me a card, then later asked if it was okay that she called me Mom, and wanted a goodnight hug when my girls got them. I was happy to oblige. She has always been a good kid.

I divvied up the dough so both of the visiting girls could take some home with them. I managed to fill a lunch meat contain (you know, those reusable ones) with 6 different colors for both of them. I also woke Sunday morning to a very full living room. The girls decided to sleep in my living room. Bug and “C” were both on the couch (no, it’s not a pull out), “S” was in the recliner and Pally was wedged between the couch and the coffee table. Silly kids. Hopefully my next house will have a bigger living room or family room so that we can just have the kiddos crash right there in the floor.

Of course, by Sunday night I was sick! I think I caught Pally’s cooties. My throat hurt for two days. However, I finished Pally’s fluffy eyelash yarn scarf, on Sunday. I made it for her for Christmas last year. It promptly started to unravel on Dec. 26. I unraveled the whole darn thing and started over. Finished just in time for the cold weather snap we are having. She has worn it EVERYDAY since I finished it. I have one skein of yarn left before the Feather & Fan baby blanket I’m working on is done. I can’t wait. Hopefully by early next week I’ll be working on Bug’s scarf. It’s a simple ribbed scarf.  Maybe by Christmas I’ll have their hats started (or done if I’m really industrious). I’m also planning on starting another baby blanket in the Raspberry stitch. Maybe. I figure I can keep them in reserve, as gifts.

So, how busy have you been?