Monday, June 30, 2008

Biblical encouragement...

"From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live."- Acts 17:26

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Learning to wait...

Ok, I know you're wondering what happened with the house hunting. Here goes... we met the realtor at his office at 10:00, and then we drove to 4 houses that he'd set up to show us. All of them were in a 10 minute radius of where we currently live. I think all of them had been on the market at least a month.

I like the realtor pretty well. The description I got of him doesn't really match his personality, but I think I'm ok with that. I thought he was going to be a quiet, smiling man who asked me questions about what I wanted and nodded and answered questions he was asked. Instead, he's a slightly grandfatherly type who has definite opinions about things. He notices whether there are power lines in a yard and how close a house is to a major road with lots of road noise, for instance. He knowledge is useful, but I also need to take it with a grain of salt. I need him to notice things and point them out to me, but I also need to be able to disregard his bias if I don't agree with it.

For instance, he told me in passing that he wants to "get us out of that neighborhood as soon as possible." He's grown up here, he's a native North Carolinian, and I don't think he can easily discern between actually dangerous and kind of run down. We will probably never be able to afford the neighborhood he lives in, and I'm not sure that I would want to if I could. I like the chance to meet people who are a little grittier than me... if I don't have to live right smack dab next door to them. =)

So, we saw these 4 houses. Only one of them seemed like it had potential. The others were only so so, and some of them would've required a good bit of painting, at the least.

Yesterday was a tough day for me, emotionally and physically. Something was blooming that I'm really allergic to, so I felt pretty awful. And thinking about all that will go into this house search was, well, stressful. I was a little angry and disgusted with how little there is available in our location in our price range. The amount that some people want for a mildly unattractive house is astounding. And if you actually want grass and trees in your back yard, you have to pay what to me is a small fortune. At this point, I have no problem with the thought of offering someone $35,000 below their asking price. I think their asking price is ridiculous. And since we have a good place to live for as long as we want, I'm in no rush, and if you laugh in my face, I'll move on. Good luck getting your list price from someone else.

Today, I'm not as angry, I'm willing to limit myself more to looking more strictly in our price range without wild plans for lowballing, and after culling through the long list of potentials the realtor sent me, I'm happy to sit and wait and go see an occasional house when something new pops up. We have a few more we'd like to look at before that, maybe this week, and I'm also going to ask him about the potential of foreclosures. I'm trying to settle in to some mild limbo.

David reminded me that I am quite familiar with limbo. The whole time I was getting a master's degree, I wondered why I was doing it, and if I'd ever finish it. I would've thrown the whole thing over in a heartbeat if I could just get pregnant. My heart was divided between trying to get pregnant and trying to get a master's degree. It was hard to plow ahead with something that I didn't know that I'd see through until the end. But I did it, and God had plans for me to finish.

This is absolutely nothing compared to that limbo time. I don't even really WANT to move right now. Maybe in a few months, but only if I fall in love with a place. I need to just learn to wait and sit tight and relax and be ok with casually looking. Yeah, that's it, I need a big emphasis on the "casually" part. That would help. I just need to stuff down my type A-ness and become all type B and relaxed.

I don't plan to vomit middle class housing angst all over this blog too often. =) Thanks for putting up with me this weekend. I'll let you know if there's something more to know in the process.

Now off to do something cheerful, like make jambalaya for our Sunday school teachers and another couple...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Check out the sidebar...

I don't know how long some of my readers have been around, but I thought these posts under "A Little Sampler" might give some additional context to this blog for some of the newbies. I may add to or change these out from time to time...

We're looking...

About a week after I wrote my post entitled, "We're not looking," circumstances suddenly changed, and we got the go ahead to start looking. God has a sense of humor.

During the past several months, my feelings about this have fluctuated up and down. Some days I am totally in love with my little house. I think it's the most awesome place in the world, and I adore the view from my back porch, and I can't imagine packing up everything and moving again. I love the location of this house, since it is close to so many wonderful things, like pools, parks, and the library. It also isn't more than 20 minutes from David's office, and with the price of gas the way it is, that is awfully important.

Other days, I think that living with the inconsiderate neighbors and the drug dealers down the street and the abandoned house around the corner isn't such a good thing. I realize that this house is just a little small for homeschooling, since we have no extra room to use for a schoolroom, even if we piled all three kids I pray to have in one bedroom. This probably isn't the best place for us long term, even though its wonderful in the short term. I worry that interest rates will only go up, so we should get cracking. The market is good for someone who doesn't have anything to sell and wants to buy. And, God provided for the timing here, so that must mean that we're supposed to start looking... right?

But now that the time has come... I'm scared. I worry about all the unknowns. I turn into Chicken Little and worry that the sky is falling. What if we look, and we find something, and we buy it, and we budget wrong, and its more than we can afford? And if that happened, what if that means David has to change jobs, and I have to get a part time job at Burger King because we can't get out of a mortgage like we can a lease? And then of course the house will have toxic mold that the home inspector didn't find. And the furnace will go out the first year we're in the house. And all our savings will be eaten up fixing the termite problem that we'll be sure to have. =)

I've seen too many things go iffy on friends and family who bought houses. And all of a sudden, I've become newly thankful for renting. If there's a problem, it's the management company's problem and the owner's problem. If the problems get too big, we can walk away. You can't/shouldn't walk away from your own house. Even if its a big mistake. A big costly mistake.

At this moment, I know at least two stay-at-home moms who are thinking of getting part time jobs because they just bought houses, and they're not able to meet their expenses each month like they thought they could. This is sobering. My job security here with Seth means the world to me. I am afraid of compromising it by making a bad decision we can't get out of because we figured wrong.

I know it's not as bad as all that. I'm just spewing all my fears that I have in my worst moments. We are both pretty conservative in our budgeting and planning, and David is extremely good with numbers. My dad was a banker, and he knows many of the ins and outs of mortgages. God has blessed us with a good down payment. David has a very secure job. The housing market here is such than we can afford a nice house in a good part of town near David's office. We have been so incredibly blessed. I just need to put aside all my fears and allow God to give us this blessing without being paralyzed by worry about the unknown.

We have gotten a referral on a good real estate agent. He's even a deacon at our church. Tomorrow, we'll be taking our maiden house hunting voyage with him. We'll see four houses at 10:00 a.m. It's exciting, and it's scary, all at the same time. We have plenty of time to look. The owner of this house has told us we can go month to month indefinitely after our lease is up in July, at the same rent, so we have all the time in the world.

How are we supposed to know if we find the right thing? Do you just have the feeling that this is your house? I've been told you do. I wonder... I hope it'll be super clear. I just want to do the right thing. At the right price. In the right place. Arrghhh! =) I'll let ya know how it goes...


I am angry, so I probably shouldn't be posting, but I need prayer for a good attitude, and I hope you can give me some. This is where I give an update on the barking dog neighbors...

After I talked to the woman of the house next door, she told me that she'd put the dogs up at night so they wouldn't bark and bother us. For several months, that's what she did. They were in the house at night, all night long. Things were pretty good. We'd trade babysitting favors back and forth, she'd come over to use the phone, I'd get her to air out our house for flea bombs. I asked her to go to a kid's singing time with me, and she came, and we had fun.

But now... one of the Wiemeraners had puppies. Not just a few puppies. Drum roll, please.... 12 puppies. That would be 14 dogs that are now living a few feet away from us. The puppies are still small, and they're in the house. They're trying to sell them for a whopping $600 a puppy... and I found out that they have no papers on the male dog. I'm concerned that they're not going to sell easily. =(

But... now that the puppies are inside, the male dog has been relegated to outside at night. That means that he's out all night long, and if he feels like barking, he does. I now have to sleep with earplugs.

Not only that, but the woman of the house started leaving the back door light on for the dog because she worried that he'd be lonely out there in the dark. That back door light is quite bright, and it shines directly into our bedroom window. All night long.

So, about a week ago, I told her about this in casual conversation, and she said she'd stop leaving the light on for him. But... that hasn't happened. Last night, someone came home late, and they deliberately cut the light on for the dog. I put beach towels over my window.

Tonight, just a few minutes ago, the man of the house came home, and he cut the light on. I saw the kitchen light on, and I saw the light in back go on. Since I knew he'd just come home, and he'd come home to an empty house, I went over to ask him to please cut off the light. I could see lights on in the basement and in the top of the house. I knocked three times. And then I left.

As soon as I got back here, I looked back to find out that he'd cut off the light on the front stoop where I'd just been standing. And now I am angry. I deduce from this that he heard me, he knew why I was there, and he decided not to answer the door. Because he is an extremely inconsiderate man, and I have to live beside him.

In order to fall asleep at night, I have to use ear plugs and beach towels over my window. I have bad neighbors. And I'm tired of it.

I feel like I've tried really hard to be a good neighbor. I don't get angry at them. I never go over just to complain. If I ask them to do something, its in passing, and I've asked for two things, just to put the dogs up and to cut the light off. I've invited her to numerous things, and we've have good conversations. We've never had a single angry conversation. She came over to talk to me when she was sad because her cat died. I want to be a Christlike witness, and I want to turn the other cheek. But it's getting harder to do. So please pray for my attitude.

I grew up on 20 acres. Our nearest neighbor was about 600 feet away, maybe more. I'm realizing how hard it is to live in a suburban neighborhood. You're at the mercy of people who occupy a house several feet away from you. If they want, they can make your life more difficult in tons of ways, not limited to just barking dogs. Living in community is something I'm struggling with right now. And I'm aware of how vulnerable peace and quiet really is. It's kinda scary...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Morning dip...

Today I feel a lot better, so Seth and I decided to go and check out one of the local pools! We haven't tried this before, and now that I've been, I'm really excited about the possibilities.

There are two city pools within a 5 minute radius of us! One of them is closed for renovations this summer, but the other is open for business. It cost us all of a whopping $.75 for Seth to get in, and it'll be $1.60 for me to get in once I get a punch card. The price without the card is $2.75, which still isn't bad at all!

There is a HUGE kiddie pool with a lifeguard, and you can take your float in there. The deepest it gets is 18 inches. Seth "walked" around in his floatie and watched the other kids to his heart's content. At this point, the other kids are the biggest attraction wherever we go. He's quite the little observer.

Right next to the kiddie pool is a splash park. It has fountains and this thing that fills up buckets and dumps them, and a sprayer that comes on randomly that you can turn on your unsuspecting friends. I'm keeping Seth far, far away from the bucket dumper. He was already a little afraid of the splash park. I can imagine him getting caught under the dumper and refusing to go back to the splash park until he's 36. I'm hoping to avoid this scenario: he's six, and he has a nightmare, and he tells me through trembling lips that it was about the "sp- sp- lash park," and I have to nod and tell him I had that one last week. I hate the bucket dumper, too.

Here's one of the best parts, and I applaud whoever came up with this rule. In the mornings, the kiddie pool and the splash park are open to individuals and families only. No large groups. That means that no summer camp will bring 50 8-year-olds and 2 16-year-olds to the kiddie pool when we're there. I have to clap my hands with glee over that one. We can go, enjoy a morning there, and come home exhausted for a good afternoon nap.

And can I just say, I love this job! I'm a minivan driving, suburban mom. Sometimes that still hits me as I load my stroller up, and I look around me furtively, sure that someone will find out that I'm a fake and take away my license. It's still a new position to me, and I feel a little weird in my skin when I have a new mom experience. This is what stay at home moms do sometimes. They take their kids to the pool on a weekday and watch them enjoy the stuff out of it... and if they're lucky, they get to chat with another mom and get a tan in the process. What an awesome thing to have that in the job description! =)

I've got a chicken in the crock pot, and it smells great. Which leads me to a story. I hate raw chicken skin. I attribute this to a particular cheapness of mine in college. I was living with Amanda in a little house our senior year, and to save money, I bought a bunch of bone in chicken with the skin on, and we took the skin off and froze it. And now, I won't touch raw, skinny chicken with a ten foot pole. Don't even think about asking me to take the skin your chicken. I'll laugh at you.

But... a whole chicken is so incredibly cheap. Sigh. So I thought I'd try cooking one and making David take all the meat off the bone. Have I mentioned I also don't like taking chicken off the bone? I would have to become a vegetarian if all the chicken processing plants were suddenly shut down. I'm hoping that I can strike a deal with the aforementioned husband that I'll do the dishes if he'll make the chicken look less like chicken and dispose of the carcass for me. Wish me luck! He's not a pushover...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ok, this one is tempting me...

Hi, all. Well, Seth got sick, and then I came down with it. I haven't thrown up since Sunday morning, but now that the nausea has subsided, I have a cold. Ugh. But it's not a bad one! =)

I've started Persuasion by A.S. Byatt today during nap time. I think it's going to be good. A novel about a historical researcher is right up my alley. And I found this quote right off the bat...

"The individual appears for an instant, joins the community of thought, modifies it and dies; but the species, that dies not, reaps the fruit of his ephemeral existence."- Persuasion, p. 6

I think this is an auspicious beginning to the book... =) I like big words and I cannot lie.

But... that is not why I write tonight, gentle readers. I have found a template that tempts me, truly tempts me, to give up the gnomes. I know, I know, you've heard it before. But indulge me. Go here, and tell me what you think... It's widget friendly.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Interesting link...

I got this link from another mommy blogger in the UK (bonnet tip to ya, though I wasn't sure you'd want me linking to you from this post, so I haven't) who picked it up, and I thought I'd link. I thought it was an interesting look at how homeschooling is sometimes viewed. I wonder how many people share his opinion? What do you think about this way of looking at the issue? I'm curious...

We're not at VBS...

... because Seth has a stomach bug. He threw up on Tuesday night, had a pretty good day yesterday, and is currently lying listlessly in his bed. Poor baby. He doesn't want to get up at all today. Please pray for him. I've never seen him this sick before. He usually is still up for playing, even if his tummy isn't up to eating anything but crackers.

I'll be cleaning today because we're having company tomorrow. My closets are finally starting to get on my nerves, and the bathroom is nasty. But, I shall leave you with a link that I got from Sallie, who is blogging again. Anyone remember A Gracious Home from my sidebar?

She led me to this site. I thought it had some really interesing insights about being a stay at home mom. I read this page and then kept clicking. Try out the 5 missing pieces link at the bottom of this article. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Parenting advice...

A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was sterile and remained childless. 3 The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said, "You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son. 4 Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, 5 because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines."

6 Then the woman went to her husband and told him, "A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn't ask him where he came from, and he didn't tell me his name. 7 But he said to me, 'You will conceive and give birth to a son. Now then, drink no wine or other fermented drink and do not eat anything unclean, because the boy will be a Nazirite of God from birth until the day of his death.' "

8 Then Manoah prayed to the LORD : "O LORD, I beg you, let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born."

9 God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. 10 The woman hurried to tell her husband, "He's here! The man who appeared to me the other day!"

11 Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, "Are you the one who talked to my wife?" "I am," he said.

12 So Manoah asked him, "When your words are fulfilled, what is to be the rule for the boy's life and work?"

13 The angel of the LORD answered, "Your wife must do all that I have told her. 14 She must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, nor drink any wine or other fermented drink nor eat anything unclean. She must do everything I have commanded her." - Judges 13:2-15

David and I read the Bible together just about every night. Lately, we've been going through Judges. I have trouble sometimes with reading the Old Testament in snatches at night because there is so much food for theological thought in the passages. There are lots of stories without much explanation of which parts were/were not sinful, and just before bedtime isn't the most fantastic time for us to be racking our brains for exactly where the specific biblical injunctions are against, say, killing your daughter because you made an oath that you'd kill the first thing that came out of your door to greet you. I don't like stories like this before bed. Or ever. They're sad. And they make me mad at the sinful people involved. But, I digress...

This is a happy story! It's about a barren couple who are told that they're going to have a child! What could be better than that? =) An angel comes to give them the news and some instructions.

One thing I noticed right away was that they didn't doubt for a single second that the angel was telling them the truth. They didn't laugh in disbelief. They didn't have a wait and see approach. Nope, they were so sure that they were going to have this baby, despite years and years of infertility, that they wanted more specific instructions on how to raise the child... the child that she wasn't even pregnant with yet.

Another thing that I noticed was that they wanted to prepare right away to be godly parents. They didn't have copies of Babywise they could pick up from their local Lifeway. They could look around them and see how the other families were doing things, but that wasn't good enough for them. No, they wanted to hear from God exactly how He wanted them to raise this child for Him. They knew that he'd set aside the baby to do something special for Him.

I can almost hear the desperation in Manoah's voice as he begs God to send the angel back to tell them how to raise this child. I have a familiarity with that tone of voice. All Christian parents can recognize it pretty easily. We've all been there. Before the baby is born, as we're painting the walls and registering for 4 different children's Bibles, we're asking, "Lord, please tell me how to raise this child for you."

God hears their desperate, faith filled prayers, and he sends the angel of the Lord back. I can imagine Manoah's wife running back to the tent for some goat's blood and camel skin to write down the detailed instructions that he will be sure to give them. This is what they've been waiting for! God has sent somebody to give them the instruction manual. Now there's no way they can screw this up!

They wait, with bated breath, and the angel tells them... exactly the same thing he told Manoah's wife before. He doesn't give them anything more specific. He stays around while they make a sacrifice to the Lord, and then he ascends back to heaven. He leaves them right where they were before, with a baby on the way, and with no additional information. Nuts.

We read this last night, and we smiled at each other, because just as God didn't give Manoah and his wife a detailed instruction manual for raising the mighty warrior, Samson, He doesn't give us one either. We have His word, and it is up to us to seek what we need there. When we're worried and confused, He comes in person to comfort us... but He's not going to tell us exactly which devotional curriculum will be most effective when Johnny is 4. The Bible is not going to tell us specifically whether or not time outs are ever appropriate or if spanking is the only way to go. I've looked for that verse, believe me. God is probably not going to show us the perfect Bible song CD to play in the car and tell us exactly how many times a day to play it. He's not going to give us the minute details we sometimes crave in our desire to get it this godly child rearing thing exactly "right."

If He did, we wouldn't have to trust Him. We'd trust the program He handed to us on the day they were born, and we wouldn't look up along the way to ask Him for grace and guidance in the every day battle for little souls and minds. But, as in the story, I'm glad He shows up in response to my heartfelt call. I hope when He does that I'll always prepare my offering instead of tapping my pencil impatiently because He hasn't answered my list of questions.

Pop-up card linky...

We like to make homemade cards around here. I don't like paying a lot for something that someone will probably throw away in about 5 minutes anyway. The cards I tend to save aren't the prettiest cards I get. They're usually the cards that have something special written on the inside.

With that in mind, go here. I didn't know how to do this before, and I'm guessing I'm not the only amateur card maker out who will like this tutorial.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


We finished spraying the house with flea killer last night. I vacuumed this morning. I have not had any fleas jump on me today! Yeah! We may have solved the problem without the Orkin Man.

And we're in the middle of Vacation Bible School this week. I'm in a room with 12 children about to turn 2. It's been a lot of crazy fun. I'm in there with some other moms from our Sunday School class. We're doing crafts, changing diapers, holding sobbing youngsters, scraping chocolate cupcake icing off of every conceivable surface, etc. Seth and I will be partaking of all this fun every day this week from 9-12. I can tell that we're both going to be totally exhausted by the time the week is over. =)

So if you've emailed me or called me, this is why I haven't gotten back to you yet. I'll get there. After I'm done making macaroni necklaces...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day...

Every day is Father's Day around here. Every day is a day when we're both incredibly thankful that David is a wonderful daddy. Here we have Seth, hoping that he might get packed up to go along on David's trip tonight. =) No dice, munchkin.

I think one of the most important components of good fathering is the same component that makes you a wonderful friend/husband/servant of Christ. That indispensable element is... selflessness. David has it in spades, and we benefit from it so much. Because he's such a servant, it seems natural to him to be there and involved in everything pertaining to daily life with Seth. He jumps in to change stinky diapers, he wants to put Seth to bed every night, and he is quick to suggest taking a long walk with a cranky baby to give his mommy a break.

David worked really hard all week. He got almost no down time. And yet, on Saturday, he was the one who selflessly watched Seth and Isaac while we made lunch. After lunch was over, he did all the dishes. No one asked him to do it. He just knew we were tired, and it needed to be done. He gave Seth a bath tonight before he left. He does these things without being asked, with a cheerful heart, and with a wonderful attitude.

David would not commend himself to other men as a model that they should follow for being a good husband and father. He's not that kind of guy. He just quietly goes and serves us in ways that makes God's heart glad. He blesses me with his genuine servant leadership. We love you, honey. I always knew you would be an incredible father. I hope Seth grows up to become half the father and husband you are. Thank you for teaching him by your example each and every day.

7:47 p.m....

It's 7:47 p.m. The baby is in bed. My husband is somewhere between here and Wilmington, hopefully talking on his cell phone to his dad. I have done the daily, hopefully flea egg killing, vacuum cleaning. The house is.... quiet. I am very relieved. I will have pleasant things to say about the weekend later. This is where I talk about how it wasn't what I'd hoped. =)

Of course, it all started with the flea infestation on Friday morning. This led to flea bombing our house, covering things, having the neighbor open up and air out, going somewhere else to babysit, etc.

David got to Terri's dad's house by 4:00 p.m., so that was great! But... his trial wasn't over, so I had him going back to Wilmington tonight to look forward to all weekend. Blech. We both had slept horribly all week, really, him worse than me. He'd gotten 3 hours of sleep the night before. He was running on fumes.

Mom pulled in the drive at Terri's dads around 8:00 p.m. Then we had to do all the saying goodbye and forgetting things and remembering things and just the general chaos of packing up and coming back home for the night.

I was still worrying over the fleas, praying that the bombing had worked. We got home, and we went to bed. And I got bit by fleas in my own bed all night long. They were in my hair. I woke up several times. I'd made the tactical error of putting a sheet over the bedding before I bombed. Bad move. The fleas decided to come there and eat me since the carpets were a little less safe. I think the cat had slept on my pillow. In the morning, I picked a flea off David's pillow before I got out of bed. Gross.

So on Saturday morning, I was grumpy and worried. And David had already left to run a 5K with a friend that he'd planned to run long before this trial came up. He wasn't home, and I was flea bitten and worrying about what to do. Mom and Dad were here, and Mom was fixing a 5 course birthday lunch for Vance. I had to make homemade rolls. I was getting bit by fleas in the kitchen. Fleas love me. I'm their favorite flavor. I taste like kitty cat covered in chocolate sauce.

The kitchen filled up with stuff, since it's small, and we decided to move the kitchen table out on the porch to eat there. It was lovely, but very hot. Next time, I'm putting a picnic blanket on the floor and insisting we use paper plates.

Vance and Terri and the kids left, and David and I still had to figure out what to do about the fleas in the bed. So we went to Home Depot and bought some flea spray. It's supposed to kill fleas and their eggs. We got this huge bottle with a sprayer, and we stripped the bed. We moved furniture, we sprayed the mattress, and we washed the sheets, the pillows, the bed skirt, the mattress pad, and the duvet cover. We opened the windows and aired it out, and then we went out for fast food. We were really missing each other, since we hadn't seen each other all week.

No fleas in the bed last night! Thank you, Jesus, it worked. We still need to spray the rest of the house, and I'll be vacuuming religiously, but it seems to be getting better. So we went to church this morning, and it was the soul refreshment I needed. Which is good, because other refreshment would be in short supply. Vance and Terri came after lunch to drop off the kids, who then took over the bedrooms to nap. Mom and Dad were taking them home with them after their naps for a couple of days. I made myself into a pretzel on an armchair in the living room, and David just fell asleep on the floor. I really begrudged my adorable niece the use of our room at that moment. I love you, Claire.

The kids got up, got fed, and Mom and Dad left with two babies and half of Seth's toys. May God have mercy on their souls. And then we had all of an hour and a half together as a family before David had to pull out again.

I know that there are many, many worse things in the world than a tiring weekend that didn't go how we planned. But right now I'm feeling a little blue about it. We saw Vance and Terri and our adorable niece and nephew, and I wouldn't give that up for the world. We don't get to see much of them, so we bask in it when we do. But why did the house have to get fleas and David have to have a trial in the middle of all of it? Probably to remind me, once again, what a grump I can be when I have plans, and they don't match up with God's plans. I need to handle the teeny bumps in life a little better. I'm going to look back at this and laugh one day. Maybe after I stop scratching my legs. =)

Friday, June 13, 2008


This day hasn't quite gone the way I planned. =) I was supposed to have my nephew, Isaac, and my niece, Claire, come to stay with us this afternoon while Vance and Terri were at a rehearsal and dinner. But... this morning we woke up to a big flea problem. I had noticed that the flea medicine we've been giving the cat seemed to have stopped working for whatever reason. I hadn't let her in the house for several days.

I can't figure out why, but it seemed like the fleas in our house decided to show themselves this morning. I had no idea we had so many! I had 6 jump in me in an hour time frame. I picked a couple off of Seth, one that jumped on his face! That was the last straw! I called Orkin. They wanted to charge me $250 to come out and fumigate. So... off we went to local Home Depot. I got a couple of flea bombs for $10.

We had to change around the plans. Seth and I are over at Terri's dad's house. Her kids are currently crying. They are supposed to be napping. Hopefully, they will quiet down again soon. I'm supposed to give them a few minutes before I get them up. =) And my neighbor should've gone over and opened all the windows and turned on all the fans by now. I'm praying this has helped the flea problem and that it doesn't smell too nasty when we got home tonight.

The good news is that David is coming home early today from his trial! He has to go back for closing arguments on Monday, but I'm so glad that he's home for the weekend.

If anyone knows anything about how to get rid of fleas, let me know. Any experience with the bombs? I guess I'm hoping somebody will tell me that my house won't smell like a toxic waste dump when I get home tonight. =)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

First swim of the summer...

Today was our first swim of the summer. It's been unmercifully hot here, nearly 100 degrees most of this week. Sarah and I headed out to the pool this morning. She's watching a cat for friends who live in a community with a lovely private pool, and we got to tag along. It was wonderful! There was only one other lady there with her grandkids, and we got to talk and bob in the cool water to our hearts' content. Poor Sarah. She said she felt like her normal weight in the pool, but coming out was hard because she felt those heavy twins even more afterward. Only 7 weeks left until those twins don't want to go in the water anymore! =)

Last summer, Seth wasn't too interested in the pool at our apartment complex. He would cling to me and cry when we went in together. He was better with the baby pool there. My, the difference a summer makes. He can still wear the same size swim diaper I bought him last year, but he's much happier to be in the big pool. He fussed some after awhile in his floaty, and I let him get out and crawl around a little bit and eat soggy Ritz crackers. Sarah was about to gag, they looked so gross. If anyone had told me a couple of years ago that I'd let my baby eat wet cracker bits off a concrete poolside floor so he'd be happy and I could stay in the water a little longer, I would've shaken my head in horror at them. What kind of mother does that? This kind, apparently. =) It'll build his immunity. Yep, that's it. I just care about him having a healthy immune system.

Anyhoo, he got back in after all the crackers were gone. Yes, I let him eat all of the ones in the little baggie that I brought. Bad mommy. =) We discovered we could keep him happy if we floated him back and forth between us. Now that was the ticket. He was Captain Seth of the Baby Flotilla, conquering the waves created by benevolent pool goddesses, tossed about by their whims. We kept that going for 30 minutes, and he squealed the whole time. I love Walmart. This baby float is perfect, and it only cost me $3.50.

So that's how I spent my morning, watching the baby enjoy the big pool for the first time, talking about anything and nothing with my oldest friend, and to top it off, getting "cheap" gas on the way home. We were out of town a little ways, and I filled up for $3.89 a gallon. Sweet!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Weekend and the single's scene...

I didn't get a single picture of the fantabulous wedding. Drat. We had an outdoor wedding complete with hay rides and a bluegrass band. I have a sweet shot of me hitting a volleyball in my wedding dress. This was not that kind of wedding. It was much more formal... you know, in a cathedral with Trumpet Voluntary, etc. They wrote their own vows. We wrote our own vows, too, but they were nothing like this. These were very thorough and extensive. He vowed to have regular family devotions with their children. She vowed to make their home a pleasant and lovely place. We were both a bit surprised that he didn't specify the amount of time he would be spending by her bedside in the nursing home one day. Hey, I guess you can't get it all in there. =)

We looked at each other afterward and decided that our vows seemed kinda short and vague in comparison to all those we've heard since we vowed them. But, hey, we hit the high points. I think the best you can vow is to stay married no matter what. Most other things are just good goals to strive for as you go through married life, but you're going to slip up and break them in some form or fashion along the way. One day, our friend will realize he hasn't had family devotions with the kids in about 3 months... I think he'll be ok; he'll just start them up again. I tease, but we're very, very happy for them. They're going to have an awesome life together.

Oooh, but you should've seen the reception. Her dad paid for a sit down dinner for 350 people. There were beautiful centerpieces on every table. There was a prime rib carving station. The wedding cake had strawberries in it. After everyone got cake, they passed another dessert tray around the table. It was very nice and very elegant, and we were glad to be invited to celebrate with them. I love going to weddings and remembering how it felt to get married. I watch them pull away in their car and remember what it felt like to be leaving for our honeymoon. It's such an exciting time when you're beginning your life together...

Now I shall switch gears. We came back to town on Sunday night in time to go out to dinner with one of our single friends. She invited a group of us to go out with her for her birthday. We weren't sure how Seth would do, but we decided to give it our best shot. We've noticed that our single friends really appreciate it if their married friends with kids make an extra effort to stay integrated into their lives, despite all the changes, so we try to make that effort when we can.

We were at the end of the table, and we were the only ones there with a baby. Most of the other guests were single, and most of them we didn't know. We weren't sure how this was going to go, but then we started talking to Kim's roommate and a single guy friend of hers. It ended up being a good conversation about singleness and how singles fit into church culture and secular culture. David and I weren't single after college, so we know nothing about all this. I didn't realize that Christian singles often have the choice of either a) hanging out alone or b) going bar crawling on Friday nights. For some reason, it's not cool to go to the movies or bowling on a Friday night. Finding friends who don't want to go out and get drunk is a challenge for the Christian single. I need to take time to pray for all the singles I know who are faced with this challenge.

They also talked about how the church has trouble integrating singles into church life. The roommate said that single's groups are often mainly places to socialize. The idea is to get the singles hooked up so they won't be single much longer. I wondered why singles didn't work alongside each other, ministering in the church. After all, they're in a wonderful position to minister in ways that its harder for those of us with children to do. They were wondering the same thing. They felt that the church expected singles to be self absorbed, so they didn't attempt to get them more involved because they thought they wouldn't want to minister to others. Now, I may be misrepresenting some of this, but I hope I got the jist of it right. It was really interesting to me.

Our church is large. The marrieds do their thing, and the singles do theirs. I think it would be good if we found a better way to intermingle. I told the singles we talked to that they were welcome to come by our house. We don't want to hinder their social life, but we're usually around after 8:00. =) Maybe we can't do much, but I don't want to add to the problem. We're all one big family of Christ, and I want the single members to know that the marrieds are happy to have them around.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Doctor's visit...

Well, I kept Seth's doctor's appointment for today. He was so much better with his teething/cold by last Saturday that it seemed safe. He's been in a great mood all week, zooming around on his hands and knees, and squealing with joy at everything.

I talked to my doctor about the vaccination schedule, and he was great about it, to my relief. I chose to give him two shots today, and he'll get two more at the next visit. I'm pushing off chicken pox until he's 3 or older. The shots that I chose today were ones that vaccinate him against diseases that are currently being seen in children in my town, so it felt best not to wait on those. We're waiting on the polio booster until later because children aren't getting polio here currently.

Seth is a skinny minnie! He's just about 21 pounds, in the less than 5th percentile for his age. However, his height is in the 38th percentile. The doctor smiled when I told him my husband is 6'1" and weighs 155 pounds. Looks like somebody is going to take after their daddy. The doctor was great about waiting and talking to him for a little bit before closing in with the ear thingy and the stethoscope.

I did think it was funny that he was concerned that Seth might have a hard time with the examination because I stay at home with him. He thought he wouldn't be used to other people. The doctor's daughter stays home with her kids, and he's told me before that she's looking for ways to get out more. I told him that for me, staying at home means that we start from home and go everywhere together. =) Seth did great with the exam, and he appears not to remember his fall from the last time he was there. So far, so good.

Please pray for David this next week. We're going to my home town for a wedding this weekend, and Mom and Dad are keeping the munchkin while we go. But... he has a trial starting next Wednesday, and he's getting stressed about the prep for that. There's just a lot to do to schedule witnesses and pull together exhibits. Oh yeah, and pray for us while he's gone. I hate having him away, and he'll probably be out of town for the trial for most of the week.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ordinary Wednesday...

Dum de dum de dum... It's just an ordinary Wednesday around here. I took a meal to a gal who just had a baby in my MOPs group, and we stayed and played until it appeared that our presence was no longer required. I am super sensitive to that, or try to be, when someone has a new baby. Sometimes they want you to hang around because they hate being cooped up in the house, and sometimes they're so tired and stressed that they just want you to leave the food and go.

Anyhoo... after that, Seth had his short morning nap, I fed him lunch, and then we picked up Sarah and headed to Target. Seth did really well. At this point, I pick up random items from the Dollar Spot up front for him to play with while I shop. Today it was a lint roller, a plastic cow, a plastic tractor, and a dust mitt. After each thing hits the floor twice, then we're on to something new.

I also let him get down and crawl some. He can really make time. Sarah may have been nervous that he was going to make his way all the way to the door, crawl out to the parking lot, and drive the van home by himself before I picked him up. It's definitely a new challenge for me. A couple of sweet, non mom looking gals (they looked well rested and well dressed) behind us at the checkout made a barrier with their feet so he couldn't get out of the lane while I paid for my purchases. And since Sarah is currently great with twins, I'm not allowing her to pick up my 25ish pound child. Anybody have any theories on the best, most humane way to handle toddlers in the store?

Now, we're back home. He's down for the afternoon nap, and I made this for dinner. It looks like it's going to be wonderful. Beautiful table presentation, and it makes a lot. I left out the cilantro, since people either love it or hate it. And I thought the green onion was enough, so I left out the red, too. I have my mentoring gal coming over for dinner... And its the season for ice cream sandwiches now, so we're having those for dessert. Yum.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"We're not looking..."

Americans are obsessed with houses. Big houses, little houses, townhouses, condos, etc. Even if they already have one. Even if they're really not in the market at all. I read a book with the provocative title, "House Lust." The author wrote about the popularity of HGTV and the recent phenomenon of "renovation counseling" for troubled couples in the middle of ripping out walls and putting in granite countertops. It's a sickness, I tell you.

And I'm caught up in it just as much as anyone else. I go online occasionally to a favorite realty website and look at what's selling in neighborhoods around us. I keep my finger in it. My pinky finger, but still, a finger.

This is not good for me. Because of circumstances completely beyond our control, we will not actually be "looking" for a house to buy unless something very specific happens between oh, say, tomorrow, and say, next March. At first, I was completely cheerful about this. I thought it was fantastic! I wouldn't have to decide when the perfect time would be to buy... this thing had been decided for me by circumstances orchestrated by the All Knowing Almighty. I was at peace.

But my peace is in danger of being chipped away. It seems that everywhere we turn, someone is saying, "So, are you looking for a house yet?" "Your lease is up soon, right?" "Where do you think you're going to go?" I used to try to explain, give a little background, and this would inevitably lead to frustration on my part as it brought to mind all the uncertainty of the unknown in this real estate market.

I know everyone means well. Shoot, I ask the same questions myself if I know someone might be in the market for a home. But, in order to keep frustration at bay, I've decided on a new answer when someone asks these perfectly innocent and friendly questions.

"We're not looking."

Monday, June 02, 2008

Guess who just...

... finally learned to crawl on his hands and knees! Oh yes, people, yesterday was a big day in this household. At the ripe old age of 16 months, Seth has arrived at knee crawling. He is no longer shackled to his old combat style. He has moved on. In honor of his new achievement, I got out the Megablocks I'd been saving for a special day like this. And, as there are a bajillion of them in the plastic tote bag, we are also learning how to put our toys away before going down for a nap. Big doin's, I tell ya.

We went to a Sunday school planning meeting at our church last night. Seth stayed in nursery for a little while, but I went and got him, and he played on the floor while we talked. It was then that we realized that he was doing more than the single one knee, two knee, collapse, thing we'd been seeing for a few days. He went 10 feet down the hall on his knees. He's our superstar!!! =)

It was a great weekend, but relatively exhausting. I LOVED hanging out with the MOPs leadership team. There was no lack of good conversation. We got to hear how everyone in the room came to know Jesus, and there were some really awesome stories there. We spent some time in prayer on Saturday morning, and it was the sweetest group prayer time I've had in I don't know how long. I had come back from Friday night's session really late, though, and it was an early morning. By Saturday afternoon, I needed a nap. Everybody got one, and we woke up groggy, but we had company coming over in 30 minutes. I love how I overschedule. =)

Oh, since I asked for movie recommendations, I've been asked what type of movie I like. David and I like quirky films and romantic comedies. Nothing bloody or gory. M. Night Shamylan? is as spooky as it gets for us. Some of our favorite movies... Raising Arizona, The Princess Bride, O Brother, Where Art Thou, Napolean Dynamite, Nacho Libre (me, mostly), The Importance of Being Ernest...

Oh, and the picture above was taken a few months ago when our gigantic azalea was in full bloom. I love this shot.