Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Okay, so I do have memories of my sister Anna, 11 years my junior, going through a phase of changing her clothes several times a day when she was somewhere between 3 and 5, I'd have to ask my mom exactly when. It was a humorous and cute, if not a little annoying at times, habit. But it didn't really affect me that much.
Now I have Marissa, 2 1/2 years old. Lately she has been surprising me with her clothes, or lack thereof. Sometimes it's just a change of pants. One day during naptime, when she was supposed to be asleep, I found her in Corban's room, wearing only panties (she had been wearing a pull-up and clothes), put on with one leg through the waist opening. Another day she was traipsing down the hallway just in panties, dress-up slippers, and her pink blanket draped around her shoulders like a shawl. But today really took the cake.
We had a busy day and a short time for naps before heading out for Corban's gymnastics. I had just gone downstairs for some water and came back up to hear some mysterious noises in her room. I opened the door to see her completely naked, playing with her dollhouse. What??? I can't figure out what got into her! Her jeans had been put in a drawer and her shirt and pull-up were on her bed. She had no explanation for why she had disrobed and was happy as a clam. Ridiculous. It's not like that kind of behavior is modeled around here.
Boys just don't do this sort of thing. At least, mine never has. Why do girls feel the compulsive need to change clothes or take them off altogether? At least it's only in the privacy of her own room during sleep times....thusfar, anyways.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
1. You are Loved. No matter where you are in your life or who you are, God loves you. Even when your house is a mess and you've yelled at your kids all day and dinner is burned, God loves you. That will never change. You cannot make Him stop loving you.
2. You are Chosen. God picked you to be the Mom of your children. He knew exactly who they would need as a mom and who you would need as children. He put you together.
3. You Matter. You have an influence on those around you, whether you see it or not. Your children are constantly watching you and learning from you, and even if your daily routine is mundane and repetitive and you feel like nothing worthwhile is accomplished, you DO matter, to your husband, your children, and to God.
4. You are Not Alone. Whatever life throws at you, the Holy Spirit is always with you. Whether you're starting out in motherhood or a 70 year old veteran grandmother, living in prosperity or need, you will not be forsaken by your heavenly Father. He will always be there for you.
Well, I wish I had gotten to actually take notes during the message, because I didn't capture nearly all that she conveyed here....but I was nursing and rocking a noisy, fussy Annika to sleep....so this is it.
Here's a photo of the girls on Sunday...because it's just not a good post without at least one picture!
Aren't they cute? Thanks for the gorgeous dresses, Grandma!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Yesterday as Marissa was using the bathroom and Corban lounged on the floor outside the door, the following conversation ensued.
Corban: "That was a toot...that's funny!" (giggles)
Marissa: "Toots are NOT funny, they're yucky." (furrowed eyebrows)
Corban: "No, they're funny!" (more giggles)
Marissa: "Okay, they're funny, but they're yucky too." (reluctant smile)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Corban loves showing off how good he is on the rings.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Today, however, it was interesting to watch them at a playground nearby. There was a little girl, Abigail, probably a little older than Marissa, playing at a sand table with a plastic cup. A 4 year old boy Evan (who was MUCH smaller than Corban) who knew her was playing nearby, chatting with Corban. He approached Abigail and sweetly asked if he could use her cup to play when she was finished. She yelled "NO!" and pushed him vigorously away. This continued for a couple of minutes, with the occasional holler from Evan's mom several yards away for him to leave Abigail alone. Corban was continuing to play but stole glances over at the argument, while Marissa stopped all she was doing and stared. After awhile, Marissa piped up to Abigail in a soft voice, "Be nice, okay?" Abigail ignored her and kept shoving Evan away. After they finally moved away, Corban added, "She wasn't sharing, Mom. She wasn't being nice at all".
Well, whaddya know. My kids DO know what ugly behavior is, they just don't want to admit it when they are the offenders. Now that I think about it, that's not unlike most adults I know. It's much easier to criticize the mistakes of others than to admit our own. Hmmm...that's a good reminder to reflect on Matthew 7:2-4 (New King James Version):
2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
I turned 20 on April 12, 1998. I was a junior in college at the University of Arkansas. I got my wisdom teeth cut out the next month, but much more traumatic than that, my dear sweet Grandma passed away that October. Losing a beloved grandparent was very difficult, especially since we had lost Grandpa a couple of years earlier.
After turning 21, I graduated from college with a degree in therapeutic recreation, did my internship at a rehab hospital, and moved to Nashville with my sister to support her dream of musical stardom. I worked at an alternative school (boy, the stories I have from there!) for 2 years, took up swing dancing, and met my husband when I was nearly 23. Right after our second date, my last surviving grandparent, my dad's dad, passed away. I flew to Kansas City for his funeral, especially mournful because I had seen him so infrequently during his last years. Five months later, in July of 2001, Grant and I were married.
Being a military wife was full of new challenges, since not only was I immersed in a brand new culture, in a new town where I knew no-one, had to find a job, and oh yeah, I was married, September 11 happened and our whole lives changed. Grant was part of the initial ground troops invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq, leaving me to cope with living alone (which I had never done) and worring about my husband in war zones, with whom I rarely had contact. What did I do with my oodles of spare time? I learned how to mow my own large yard, put together 2 1,000 piece puzzles and had them framed, and helped lead worship at my church. And yes, I spent a lot of time writing letters and moping. And praying. And moping more. And visiting my sister in Nashville.
During his deployment to Afghanistan, my younger brother, almost 16, was diagnosed with AML, a fast-moving, life-threatening form of leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. Thanks to God's providence, 3 of us 4 siblings were perfect matches. A miracle in itself. I was chosen to be the donor and the transplant occurred on September 11, 2002. Grant had just gotten home the month before. Despite a few setbacks along the way, my brother is fully recovered and close to graduating from college, Praise God!
Just before Grant left for Iraq, I got pregnant. I was 24. That was a tough deployment. Okay, they were both tough. I can't really say which was harder.
Anyways, again Grant got home just in the nick of time, a month before delivery. He got to come home before the rest of his division because he was separating from the Army. Corban was born on October 20, 2003.
We bought our first home and settled in. Our home was on a double lot and Grant spent nearly 2 years going through the process of splitting the lot so we could either sell or build. We built. We broke ground just a month after our daughter, Marissa was born...October 28, 2005.
We moved into our new home (right next door....easiest move by far!) in June 2006. I was 28 years old.
Fast forward a few months and I'm pregnant again, another baby girl. Annika was born September 6, 2007. We are so blessed with big, healthy, beautiful babies and good deliveries. One of the special things about this daughter; my Grandma was the second daughter (3rd child) of her mother. My mom was the second daughter (4th child) of her mom, born when Grandma was 30. I am the second daughter of my mom (3rd child), born just weeks before she turned 30. Annika is my second daughter (3rd child), born 7 months before I turn 30. Kinda cool.
So let's see. Nutshell version. In the past 10 years, I've lost 2 grandparents, graduated from college, moved 4 times, had 3 different jobs (other than wife and mother), gotten married, gone through 2 deployments, donated bone marrow to my brother, had 3 babies, bought and sold a house, built a house, and started a blog. Not to mention all the "little" things like mastering cheesecake baking, making lots of new friends, joining MOPS, growing in leaps and bounds in being a good wife and mother (though I have so far to go yet), and starting homeschooling.
It's been a good 10 years. I'm excited to see where the Lord takes me in the next 10.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I often try to make dishes as healthy as possible without compromising taste or appearance. One of my favorite substitutions is evaporated skim milk for cream. Now I love a good sauce with cream, but my goodness, my bathroom scale doesn't.....so I'll just use equal parts of the fat free evaporated milk and maybe add a little cornstarch (dissolved in a tad of cold water) for additional thickening, as evap. milk is truly not as "creamy" as cream, go figure. The main recipe I use this with is Cajun Chicken Pasta. It's delicious and SO much less fat without the cream. Give it a try!
I'm not sure that's completely accurate, especially the "constantly in the center of attention" part. Shoot, I don't know about being "lively" or "always interesting" either. "Charming" and "amusing"? Definitely me. (ha ha)
I don't know how valid these sort of quizzes truly are, but it was fun to take. Try it and tell me your results!
So now whenever I start to feel down because I can't seem to make my house as neat as I want, even for social gatherings, let alone every day, and I lack that knack for decorating you see in the magazines, I try to remember that all that stuff probably doesn't make real people feel better anyways.