Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I am interested in the reasons that people are choosing to homeschool and the reasons they are not choosing to homeschool. I want to compare to my own thoughts.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Explanation of God

Got this email today:

It was written by an 8-year- old named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula Vista, CA. He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to "explain God."

"One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth He doesn't make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers."

"God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off."

"God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have."

"Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church."

"Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people w ho didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K."

"His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important."

"You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time."

"You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God!

Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway."

"If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids."

" shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases. And..that's why I believe in God."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Oval Is A Shape

Sometimes I forget there's spiritual warfare going on around me. Today was a terrible day. The girls are sick and not much I am doing is helping. The house was a wreck...I know I covered this in an earlier post about how badly the day was going. Anyway, I didn't get dinner started in a timely manner and Brian got home later than he said he would. I was supposed to be going to Bible Study tonight (since the girls are sick) and then go to the gym. I got the green beans started and first let them boil over all over the stove and then I let them burn black while I went upstairs to help Brian get the girls up from their nap (at 6:15). As I was leaving, I gave Brian some money so he could order a pizza. It seems nothing I have touched today has gone well.

I still don't have anyone to watch Darcy while I am gone and I am very hesitant to try and find someone at this point. It would totally be a last minute thing and I would definitely not know anything about them. For a couple of hours, that would be one thing, but this would be all day for 2 days and I'm just not comfortable with that, especially with Brian working 40 minutes away. I keep thinking that I won't go to Nashville if I can't find someone to watch Darcy, but I don't think I'm going to find someone. I do have a contingency plan, but I don't want to use it.

I made it to Bible study and sat by (and talked to) a new person. Actually, she sat by (and talked to) me first. It's such a good thing that everyone is so friendly here or I'd be sitting by myself at a lot of these functions. Bible study was good...I like the girl/lady/person that leads it. It's a lot different (and shorter) than what I'm used to, and what we're learning is extremely applicable to my life right now.

I made it to the gym and a couple of things surprised me. First things first, I went for 10 minutes (almost completely non-stop) on the elliptical machine. The very first time I got on there, I could not go for more than 45 seconds. I thought my thighs were going to abandon ship. Today, I was glad to see the end of 10 minutes, but I wasn't dying to see the end. That is a completely new phenomenon. When I went to the treadmill to do the 2nd half of my cardio, I didn't even start breathing hard until the last few minutes. I kept my heart rate in the target zone, but not too far above (like last week) and I still felt fine. When I went to the weights, I did the weights that I had been doing, but this time, my muscles weren't begging me to stop. My workout was almost (dare I say) easy. And the scariest thing of all....after the Body Blast class on Saturday, I wasn't even sore. I WASN'T EVEN SORE!! Of course, we didn't do all that hopping around that we did the first 2 times, but still...I WASN'T EVEN SORE!! Tonight, when I told Brian all this, he asked me, "Do you know why that is?" He said it's because I'm in better shape now than I was 2 weeks ago. Oval, my friends, is a shape, too.

Meltdown Mode

It hasn't actually happened yet...but I'm getting close. The house is a wreck, the girls are sick and cranky with noses running everywhere and I've got to get things together to be gone for several days and make sure that the house is relatively clean and organized so I won't be embarrassed when Brian's parents come (even though I won't even be here) and make sure there is food in the house, ready to eat, so Brian won't be tempted to go out every meal. Whew! That looks just as bad all written out.

One of the things that I don't like about this house is that if there is just a few things not put where they go, the whole place looks like a disaster. Oh, and the fact that we're still waiting for the carpet to be replaced upstairs and the downstairs bathroom has this very nasty smell due to the major leak that was coming from the upstairs bathroom. We have ants that come and feast on Darcy's crumbs before the meal is even over. But other than's not too bad a place. On the outskirts of town, Brian and I found some new townhouse-looking apartments. He wants to check them out, but I told him that I'm not moving from one apartment to another. The next time I move, it's going to be into a house and for a long while. Once they get everything taken care of in this place, it won't be too bad. Oh, and when we get some things up on the walls.

Deep breath. I can do this.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

It's Just Like Cheerleader Camp...

It was only a matter of time before the girls got sick. I took Lily to the doctor on Thursday and got some cough medicine that's not doing her any good. Yesterday, Lily was coughing so hard in the car that she threw up. And now Darcy's sick with the cough, congestion, runny nose and fever. All of this before I'm supposed to be gone for 4 days this next weekend. This is making it very difficult for me to go, even though I've already paid my money.

We didn't take the girls to church this morning, but I went to Sunday school to see if I could talk to a girl about watching Darcy for me at the end of the week. Then I went shopping. We did a little shopping yesterday, but I didn't get done what I needed to, so back to Fort Worth I went. Between Lily throwing up in Brian's brand new car and neither of the girls getting a nap, yesterday's excursion was not a pleasure. Today...much better. Except Darcy's 101.7 fever when I got home. I wasn't going to go to church because it was rainy and nasty and I wanted to see my babies, but they were having a meeting about the MOPS convention after the service.

Now I don't want to go.

First of all, we are meeting at 4:30 in the morning to leave. That is unappealing in itself. The second and most important thing: Our MOPS Coordinator wants us all to dress alike!!! She said that most of the "girls" there all dress the same and do cutesy stuff with bows and on this day we're all going to wear black shirts and on the next day we're all going to wear white shirts and it's going to be so fun!!!! And everyone but me thought it was a great idea. I was crying on the phone to Brian on the way home from church telling him how much I did not want to do that. She actually said that it is "just like cheerleader camp." I actually came home and was crying about how I didn't want to go because I wasn't going to fit in and if I wanted to fit in, I was going to have to do all this stuff that just isn't me. I'm not bows and foo-foo and matching clothes and all that stuff. It's fine for some people, but not for me. And the thought that I have to do this is making me very unhappy. I'm wondering if I shouldn't have waited to do this thing until next year when we're more established there, people would know me better and know how ridiculous it is to suggest that I do anything remotely resembling anything cheerleader-y and it would be easier for me to find a babysitter.

Brian's parents are coming this weekend so they can see Darcy for her birthday. Technically it isn't until next Friday, but Brian will probably be working 7-12s by then anyway. They are coming on Friday and leaving on Monday and since I'm not getting back until around 9pm on Sunday night, that shortens the amount of entertaining I personally have to do. Brian is having trouble with his phone and since his brother lives and works in Plano, that's where Brian needs to go to have the phone looked at. Everyone will probably make a big pilgrimage to Plano to see Uncle Lonnie.

I'm sure that this is the devil getting between me and this trip and I'm trying to recognize that, but I'm also trying to be myself and not some plastic version of me that doesn't exist. This anti-foofoo thing isn't just affecting my feelings on this trip, but it's also affecting the way I feel about my girls and myself. I'm wondering why God gave someone like me girls...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's Finally Happened...

...I've hurt myself. I've finally pulled a muscle...alongside my kneecap. I thought maybe it had torn, but Brian says that I'd be on the ground writhing about in pain so I know that's not the case. The funny part is...I wasn't even working out when that happened. I was carrying Darcy and I started feeling this shooting pain go through my knee. When I bent it to sit down, the pain was excruciating. It's a little better today. I made Brian take me to the gym to find my trainer so she could tell me what to do for it. I iced it and then last night after church, I took a muscle relaxer. I told Brian last night that I needed it to be better by today so that I could go workout. That's certainly a change from before.

After 3 months of good health, Lily has developed a cough. I don't want to be paranoid, but she almost never gets better by waiting. And I don't want her to give whatever she's got to Darcy so it's probably best to nip it in the bud now. So we'll be seeing the doctor this afternoon. Darcy has had some problem because she has been so fussy that I can't stand it. I just go into meltdown mode whenever both of them are whining, fussing and crying at the same time. And with Lily not feeling well, I am frequently at my wit's end. Actually, I think I'm doing better with coping than before we moved. Brian had a much more flexible schedule and if he wouldn't come home right when I wanted him to, I would get very mad at him. Now, I know that he's not coming home until the end of the day, barring some emergency. (I did verify that he would have come home yesterday if I'd torn something in my knee.)

I sent an email to my parents with a couple pictures of the girls. No response. I don't know what I'm expecting. I guess I'm still surprised that after everything my brother has done, they're going to disown me. My story of my family is blog all by itself.

This weekend we are going to Fort Worth for shopping. It's starting to get a little cooler and Lily doesn't have any fall/winter clothes. I need a few things, too. Tonight, we don't have anything going on so I think I'm going to make Brian his favorite dinner: skillet barbecued pot roast and all the fixings (except green bean bundles). I'm even going to make chocolate fondue for after the girls go to bed. Actually, I think that Lily would like fondue because she loves "sauce". Anything you can put on anything else is sauce. Doesn't matter if it's mayonnaise or cream cheese or queso. It's all sauce. And she "needs" it. That girl just cracks me up sometimes. And Darcy...she's something else, too. That child has no fear of anything. She loves to throw her head back or hang her head off the end of our legs. Her newest trick is giving me an ulcer. Throwing her body around in the bath tub like it's a slip-n-slide. I was in the bedroom and I kept hearing her head bounce off the side of the tub. Brian said it was like trying to hold a greased pig. And she kept hitting her head and it didn't even bother her!!! When she finally started to cry is when Brian took her out of tub so that she could be dried off. Darcy has a mind of her own, that's for sure. I'll close this with a picture of Lily practicing to be a mama....

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Sunday, September 10, 2006


This week has been busy, busy, busy. Last Sunday, I was so stiff and sore, I could barely move. After church, Brian and I drove to Fort Worth to meet Brian's younger brother who was getting us the deal on the cell phones. I like the new phone, but I haven't had the time (nor the inclination) to enter my address book into it. All in good time, I guess. If you're interested in our new numbers, let me know (either by email or by noting...I've got everyone's email that reads, I think) and I'll be glad to give it to you.

In Sunday school last week, we got the book that the Sunday School class is doing. It is called "Love & Respect". Brian and I read some of it on the drive to Fort Worth. It actually had one of our arguments in there...nearly verbatim. I think God is trying to show me something in the way that I communicate with Brian. I know that I'm not the only person that deals with this thing so I thought about sending an email to all my old friends and let them know about taking a look at this book...but I see that another church I know is doing a study with this book. We haven't read very much, but I highly recommend that wives take a look at it...especially if they want to better things in their marriage. Ladies, we are not giving our husbands what they need and therefore, we are not getting what we need. I know that we have touched on this in Bible Study a couple of times, but maybe we have glossed over the really important part. (At least I didn't get the important part.) The Bible tells us to respect our husbands. And I know that we think we are...but we're not. What we're doing is loving them and it's not the same thing. So much emphasis is put on love when it's our respect that they crave. They would do without our love just to have our respect!!! Absolutely mind boggling to me. Something God revealed to me is this: you can learn everything in the world about love languages and try to talk to your husband with that...but the key to that is that men don't question our love...they question our respect, because we do things that are disrespectful. Me...I have tone of voice problems, but I think my tone of voice does belie the way I feel alot of times and my poor attitude is doing damage to our marriage. I hold Brian to a standard that I don't hold myself to and expect him to get accomplished things that I can't or don't, especially when he is alone with the girls. And I make my displeasure known by questioning everything that he is done or doing. I harp on the things that aren't done instead of thanking him for what is done. How is that showing him that I respect him and his contribution? By demanding that he come home and take over for me, is that showing respect for him going out in the world and earn a living? He needs time to decompress. It certainly isn't as if he isn't willing to help out once he gets home. It's all the little things and the little critcims that are tearing him down. I guess I could go on and on. I heard that the Bible study saw a video that probably discussed this. Brian and I heard that author on the radio a week after we moved here when I was taking him to the airport. I think God is really trying to tell me something... The really neat thing is that I see these opportunities coming up for my old friends to learn the same things that I'm learning here!!! I didn't intend to go into all this detail, but God is trying to work in this marriage on this issue and I know that I'm not the only one.

I was going to go back to the gym on Tuesday, but Brian and I went to Dallas to look at a car that I found on eBay. End result? We now have a 2nd vehicle!!! We found a 1997 GMC Suburban for about half what we were going to pay for Brian's company car. It's got 170k miles on it, but seems to be in good condition. Obviously, it has a lot more room than the Impala and a Suburban was more what we really wanted anyway, but didn't think that we would find one that we could afford and that looked nice. We saved enough money by buying this vehicle that we can take it to a mechanic and get it inspected very closely and fix anything that is an immediate need. And I have a car that's paid for!!! The dealership put new tires on it and delivered it to our apartment so we wouldn't have to drive back to Dallas (about 2 hours away).

And with the new car I can put Lily into the preschool program, go to Bible Study during the day, go to MOPS during the day, workout during the day (because the gym has child car during certain parts of the day) and pretty much anything else that I have a mind to do. It's really fascinating how God provided this truck. We have been waiting since the end of May for Brian's car. (Everyone knows how we have been waiting!) In fact, we are still waiting although it's scheduled to be delivered sometime in the very near future. I found this truck on eBay in Dallas. It is much easier to get to Dallas from here than from where we were living...and this dealership would have normally sent this truck straight to auction, but decided to give it a go on eBay. The auction price was way below retail and there were no bids on it. Even while I waited for Brian to get off work so we could look at it, there were no bids. We were able to get someone from the church to come watch the girls at the last minute so that Brian and I wouldn't have to worry about them (since we didn't get home until midnight). And then we got to the dealership and the truck was exactly like the ad said and the sales manager came in and told us exactly what we were getting. Closing the deal was an easy process involving me writing a check and signing some paperwork. What a blessing.

Thursday: Back to the gym. I followed the program given to me by the trainer and felt good when I left there. I walked a mile and a half on the treadmill increasing both speed and incline. When I finished, I knew I'd gotten a good cardio workout and then I did 3 sets of 12 reps on 3 upper body machines and 3 lower body machines. I'd felt the "burn" and was proud of myself.

Friday: Worked out with Amy. That girl is tough. She really pushes me and when I accomplish it, I feel so good about myself. She said I had already improved from the previous week and that makes me feel like I'm making progress. I like coming home all sweaty with muscles shaking and tight because that makes me feel like I've done something.

Saturday: After some hemming and hawing, I went to the Body Blast class. Last Saturday, I felt completely out of my league, even though I felt good for having made it through the whole class. This week, it was taught by someone else so it was different, but still hard. The hardest part for me last week was that they ran some laps in the parking lot to warm up. I am so not a runner so I was about done after the running. But I talked to the instructor about warming up on treadmill instead of running laps, but since there were so few of us in the class, everyone warmed up on the treadmill. That worked out much better for me. Of course, after that, I was worn out. My arms were so sore...I could hardly pick the girls up...but that's a good thing. Brian says that pain is weakness leaving the body!! I feel much better today and am looking forward to trying a kickboxing class tomorrow morning even though I am still a little sore from Saturday.

I think God has been working on our hearts regarding this church. I have felt since Day One that this was the place that God had for us. Brian was reluctant to commit. Until this morning. So, we are officially members of this church and it makes me very happy. It is also very scary to me because I am much more comfortable to hang back and not take the lead, but now, I want to be involved with everything! I think my time to rest is past and it's my season to work. They have a nursing home ministry where they go every Sunday and sing songs and bring a brief message. This morning they told of a need to have more people participate so I went. God has really given me a heart for the elderly and I'm so pleased that this is a place where I can serve. In fact, we may be able to start an extension of that with a shut-in type ministry like our old church.

This week starts the women's Bible study and MOPS and I'm looking very forward to it all. I am very anxious to get involved. I think it's going to work out that I'm going to be able to go to Nashville to the MOPS convention and I'll have the opportunity to get to know other moms in the church during this trip. I know that God has some very exciting things for us here and I am so anxious to be used.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

My New Mistresses

Yesterday I met with the trainer for the first time. She reminds me very much of my very dear friend, Kari B. They have the same style of encouragement and talking and I really feel comfortable with her. She's very kind and really wants to help me. She worked me out for 2 hours last night. I don't know if I'll always get that kind of treatment, but it was nice. They had a Body Blast Boot Camp class this morning that I thought I would check out, and that my trainer encouraged me to check out.

I showed up this morning thinking that I was going to give it a try, that I'd done okay last night and that I wasn't sore this morning, just a little stiff. I was very, very, very naive. I was so out of my league, I should have turned around and went home. But I didn't. Apparently, this was not a beginner class, but more an intermediate to advanced-level class. Oops. But I stayed and toughed it out. Of course I did have a moment. Anytime I get really frustrated, I am very likely to start crying. That was very nearly the case this morning when all these incredibly fit people are doing things that I could only stand and watch. I was definitely wondering what in the world had possessed me to think about doing this.

Now I can't move.

I shudder to think how I'm going to feel tomorrow. I was going to take kickboxing classes next week, but I was very politely told this morning that I might want to wait on that. But you know what? I'm not going to wait. I'm going to go to those classes just like I intended.

Friday, September 01, 2006

What Have I Done???

Instead of going to Weight Watchers last night, I went another route...and I'm very, very frightened. I joined a gym. Not only did I join a gym, but I signed up for personal training. Did I say that I was very, very scared? I am the most unathletic person I know. I have always struggled with my weight to one degree or another and I have never liked (or stuck) with any form of exercise. So I have no idea what is possessing me to do this. But it's a done deal now...I have my first session with the trainer tonight. One of the most encouraging things was that she didn't weigh 500 pounds. (I have seen women teaching aerobic and kickboxing classes that looked like me...definitely not encouraging.) Amy has a 13-month old baby so that was also reassuring. The gym offers a ton of classes and they even have a day care so I'm not completely limited to evening classes. Unfortunately, my biggest limitation is the fact that we still only have one car. Can I say that I'm getting very.very.very tired of that?

The upside is that I'm not missing MOPS or Bible Study. This church has evening MOPS and Bible Study for the ladies that work. And I think that is incredibly awesome. That was a problem that I had at our previous church. When I was pregnant with Lily, I wanted to go to Bible Study, but of course, the one I was interested in was only available in the morning. And since I was working, it felt like that was a punishment. "What? You don't care enough about your family to do your duty as a woman and stay home to take care of your family? Well, until you get that part right, you don't need to learn anything else."

The MOPS coordinator has asked me to go with their group to the national MOPS convention in a few weeks in Nashville. Brian thinks I should go. She says that she sees me as a future leader in MOPS and wants me to be a part of this....I would like to go, but I am very scared of what that means. Not to mention...I don't know any of these people! I don't know if I want to be stuck in a car for a long time with people that I don't know. Of course, there is probably no better way to get to know them. One of the major drawbacks is that someone is going to have to watch the girls because very likely, Brian will be working 7-12s preparing for an upcoming outage. If he's going to be gone 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, I'm going to have to pay a babysitter to watch and take care of the girls. It's bad enough that he's not going to be around, but for me to be gone, too? That just seems like too much for them. If Brian was working regular hours, I would have less reservations. And I haven't even mentioned the fact that I don't even know any of the girls that babysit...

I thought we were going to be able to come home for Darcy's birthday at the end of the month, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. Brian is gearing up for this big outage and I don't want to have to travel all that way with the girls by myself and then plan a party. It doesn't seem fair to Darcy to not have a big party for her first birthday like Lily did. I don't want to set a precedent that Darcy gets the short end of the stick compared to Lily her whole life.

Maybe we'll be able to come home for the holidays. Brian hasn't taken any of his vacation for the year (since we didn't have a baby this year!) and he's got another school to go to in December. I'm trying to talk him into us all going down there and him taking his vacation after the school. We'll see what happens.