Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Know I'm Not The Only One..

I, faintly, remember the days when I looked down on those who used the "one eyed monster" as a babysitter.

My own "warming" to the idea started in the 5th year of marriage when I was pregnant with our 5th child. We had not had a TV in our house previously, but a friend had loaned us a 7" screen/ VCR combo. I occasionally used it to entertain Homer (4) Marlene (3) and Jon (2) for 20-40 minutes in the evening while I cleaned up after supper. It was a time of "blessed quietness"!(Delphia, 9months or so, was generally sleeping on Homer's lap. He was a great one for rocking the babies!)

Over the years the screen has gotten slightly larger, though still small, and we can play DVDs as well. There are times I have overused it as an excuse for being lazy. But all in all I find it like everything else in life: Balance is the key, and balance is actually much harder than reverting to one extreme or the other.

So, anyway, today we had a little friend over who had not previously visited without his mom. There was some question as to how things would go but thanks to Dora and Diego we have found a common ground. 20 minutes of the overly cheerful, bilingual toddler plus some fruit snacks and they are off playing on their own and I am trying to find the house I KNOW is somewhere under all the piles!

One last note. Due to Delphia's former craze with all things Dora we have quite a few episodes of her show. Monday I had to take Jesse to U of I hospitals for the yearly check up on his leg. During a down time out doors Jesse stayed busy running back and forth on a rise in the sidewalk asking me, "Mom, what does ___________ mean?" He threw in various, I'm assuming, Spanish words. I did know what Amigo meant, but beyond that, I had no idea if he was even saying a real Spanish word or just making one up. I'm not real crazy about being the uni lingual parent of a bi-lingual child. We may have to nix that chipper chick!

P.S. I am trying to choose flooring, I found some I LOVE!!! Guess what, it's the most expensive out there! Go figure. It's hard to pick something else when you've seen your hearts desire. I just have to keep remembering the choke inducing price tag!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Well Said

Please read this post. I found it a precious reminder of the power of redemption, and also of God's perfect plan.

10 Year Anniversary! (yestserday)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Getting Things Accomplished

Drum roll please!
We have an address!

We have GREAT work hats!

We have fine dining!

We've had our address since last summer, but we finally have our "Emergency Response" address marker in place. Don will be working on getting the mail box up here soon, then we will be able to get mail!! I am planning to start changing the address on all our stuff as soon as the mailbox is in place. I drive by there 2x a day, and it will be one less thing to do at move time!

The tractor is the kids favorite place to "stay out of the way".

Also, as of today, our septic tank and seepage bed are in place. Now we just need to get a toilet set up and we will have a bathroom! Thrilling I assure you! No more poison ivy scares!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Controversial (t)issues

Today we FINALLY have a break from rain, clouds and humidity! Yeah!!! I really enjoy the cooler weather and needing to layer.

My children are not real tuned into the weather changes and thus have been experiencing some "costume malfunctions". Due to continuing to go barefoot outdoors in the chilly weather, and possibly due to having a water fight in this chilliness, I have needed to place the tissue boxes at their winter posts rather than just stick with the single "summer" box of Kleenex.

Having some drainage issues of my own caused me to seek out a new winter favorite of mine: Vick's Kleenex. I LOVE these things! All the perks of a Halls menthol cough drop PLUS a thick layer of Vicks under your nose, but none of the mess! I just send the kids to bed with one and tell them to lay in on their pillow. (away from their eyes!) Personally I have not found a better way to clear out the morning mucus than smothering your self with all those fumes!

And herein lies the controversy. Not every one likes these "Spicy Kleenex". (my kids named them that)
Can you believe it? There are those who would rather not have a burning sensation run thru every orifice in their head when they wipe away a stray drip. Funny how that works!! Granted, these are not the tissues I use to wipe my eyes, but even as I sit here I am enjoying the proximity of these and the head clearing affects they have.
(Warning: this originally random post has just brought
to light a much deeper principle I'd like to delve into)

Someone very near and dear to me does not like these tissues. Better said, I think she may even hate them. They offer no comfort to her, and even a box of plain tissues set next to these takes on too many fumes for her to handle.

What do I do? Do I sacrifice the person for the preference??

Duh!!! No!!!! We just have two kinds of tissues in this house.( plain, spicy and extra crispy (Just Kidding! Please smile that was funny!))

This whole preference on tissues issue has really gotten me thinking about other preferences we all have and how they drive us and effect those around us. For example: music, hair, clothes, movies, books, food, family size, vehicles, bed time, parenting, teaching.... the list could go on forever!

More often than not, two people do not match up PERFECTLY when it comes to preferences. Even more uncommon is to find a group of people living lives with perfectly matched preferences. So how do we handle these others?

One group of people we interact with often is our church family. Don't you think we should all agree on everything?!! Isn't that what unity is about?

I am convinced, "Not so much." Beauty lies in variation. Contrast brings depth, and nuance.

Which brings me to what I have been learning. I am responsible before God for my response to the preferences of others. I don' have to join them, but I neither do I have to "beat" them.

Who knows, He's may even want me to facilitate THEIR preferences and die to my self!
(P.S. please do not confuse conviction and preference as you read this)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hurried Updates

I had a major case of envy this past summer.... concrete envy. I would see one of these trucks,

rolling down the road and I would think, "OH! I wish they were headed to our house!!!!" The trucks finally rolled into our place last month to supply the concrete for our basement floor, and once again this weekend to pour the stoop cap, and bases for our egress window wells. It's funny how simple a deal it seems now, but I do remember how painfully I wanted them to be going to our house!!

Exhibit B is rather hard to make out, but at the top of the picture there is a flag which is mounted on the tip top of the equipment our well drillers are using. Yeah!!! A well!! (another big milestone!)

And finally, Exhibit C:

Granted, Don was less than trilled to pose for this picture, but it is a tribute to my mother and her sewing skills. They have saved us a fortune!!!!

I just cracked up, no pun intended, (I am a McCallum by marriage) when Don was headed off to work Saturday morning. At present this pair of work jeans has 3 patched holes in the back, and one new one needing patching. This doesn't include the patched seam in the front... Let's just say we needed to keep the work clothes G rated....

So again, thanks mom! We started this project with 3 pair of grubby jeans, but were it not for patching I would have been spending money on new jeans just to have them destroyed!!! One pair was sacrificed for the patching material, but we still have 2 pair in circulation.

Oh! Funny note: My dad and Don's mom share a birthday, today! Happy Birthday!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Good, The Bad & The Mini (van)

Cooler weather
Fuzzy pants
mint M&Ms
Quiet time
Kids doing well at getting around in the morning
Ladies Bible study up and running again
Kids Club starting tonight
20+ MPG, double what we've been getting with the Suburban
Filling up the tank for $70!
Well is getting drilled this week!
Just bought the last bag of limited edition mint M&Ms (maybe that should be on the good list)
I miss driving the Suburban
No power windows (the kids call the crank windows "Magic"! I need to get that one straightened out!! I think they just like it that the windows work when the car is off and I can't lock them!)
Headaches, daily
Too much to do, too little time and energy
Hubby stressed to the max trying to juggle it all
Mini van
(it needs washed)
For the record... I am thrilled to be saving on gas, but I mourn the things I've lost in my Suburban. We are driving this to prolong the life of my dear VOC (vehicle of choice). The kids think it's great, for now..... They are even getting along better with LESS room, just to promote purchasing this "new"car,
I think I am going to have to get a big hat to go with my sunglasses for camouflage. "Who drops our kids at school?" "Oh, that is a friend......"
Happy Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I felt a bit of "testosterone overload" yesterday. I spent the afternoon and evening with our boys cleaning up a tree. Don had cut it down last week to make room for the well drilling equipment that is to arrive sometime this week. The boys work very well with direction and gallons of Gatorade. We trimmed some branches up for firewood, and burned the rest. I pointed out they would be less likely to get scratched if they wore a shirt, I was in long sleeves, but it was hot and they can be bareback, so they stayed that way. They were filthy by the time we got home!!

I thought about taking Don's picture....All three boys together were only half as dirty and far less stinky. Don spent all day working on various things. It was quite muggy and hot. We can't wait to have the well dug and the water hooked up!