Friday, August 29, 2008

Labels of life

Warning: today was a yucky day. If you are expecting a cute, funny, piece of fluff to read before bed then find another blog, cause I am feeling every ounce of my God given melancholic temperament tonight. And please don't tell me that understanding my own temperament is the same thing as making excuses for it, because I have already heard that one today. GOD made me a melancholic. GOD made me a first born. GOD gave me to the parents that provided the environment into which the raw materials of that temperament were molded into the person that I am today. If you don't like it, then TAKE IT UP WITH HIM.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She was a timid little thing with a cute pug nose and freckles. She lived in a little house with her mommy and daddy and baby sister. For some reason that escapes her, she felt responsible for her baby sister from the day her parents brought her home from the hospital. No one told her that this was her solemn duty, but she felt this grown up burden, nonetheless.

One day, her mommy told her that she did not like her. She can't really remember why mommy said that that day, because she was too hurt to pay attention to the reason. That was the first time that she understood that there would be many labels that she would collect in her lifetime. Her first label was "unlikeable". She will spend a lifetime trying to put off that label, but somehow cannot escape it. Over the years, she acquired many labels; some placed on her with much flair and volume, some inferred with hints and innuendo, some placed on her back when she wasn't looking.

When she met Jesus, He taught her how to give the labels to Him so that He could dispose of them properly. She tries to do that daily, but sometimes it is so hard when they are falling like rain. She doesn't understand why these don't hurt others like they do her. But they do. Jesus gave her a label of her own. Her own desire. It says "personal integrity". She will wear it for Him... proudly and without apology.

Some days living with a clear conscience before God is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes it is not the popular choice. Sometimes it makes you look like you think more highly of yourself than you should, but it is always right.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Summer hugs

Pork roast in to roast: check
Laundry caught up &/or hidden away: check
Welcome basket of goodies ready for placement: check
House reasonably ready for 9 people and 6 dogs for 3 days: whatever

It's the quiet of the morning here. I've been up since before five (not a normal occurance, I assure you:) doing last minute things getting ready for the great summer visit of 2008. My kids are still sleeping, sister's kids are alseep in the camper. I will be leaving a note of things for said children to accomplish while Diane and I trot off to the airport in rush hour to pick up our daddy. My how things have changed. Not so many years ago, it was him coming to pick us up at the airport in rush hour.

I will never forget the feeling of his hug when we got off of that plane. Months would pass and I would not see him, maybe not even really hear from him. We didn't have internet back then (gasp:) and writing letters when you are a child is really just more homework. But... I would get out of that plane and there he would be. My dad is not really the demonstrative type. Doesn't express his feelings much, and isn't generally very huggy. Guess I get that from him. BUT... that hug said it all. He would hold on like he had been waiting his whole life to fold me into his arms. Oh, and it isn't a perfunctory quick "hi" hug that we southerners are known for... it is a real, genuine, "where have you BEEN, I've missed you SO MUCH" kind of hug. I get another one just before he leaves and he knows that it will be months before we see each other again. Sometimes, when I am in a little girl moment in my mind and I am not sure if I really matter to him, those hugs are there, reminding me.

Have a good weekend all, I'll be busy with my DAD!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Stop the celebration already!!!

I case you are wondering. I haven't got a call from the bank yet. They said two weeks, which we all know means, " we need time to think; don't call" and yet I am hopeful. One of the ladies at the interview looked over at the bank manager and said something to the effect of, "she's been home schooling for years; clearly she is very organized"... if she only knew how much:)

Moving on... Yes, my sweet church friends, we missed last night. Just let me say that all of this "back to school" celebration is killing my getting back to school schedule. Would someone please look into the faces of these teenagers. THEY ARE EXHAUSTED! Week ago Sunday night was a service devoted to the teens and all about their summer activities, Wednesday night was a special "back to school bash" with food, bull riding (not sure how that fits), preaching, music, etc. And because my kid is home schooled, which is code for "doesn't really do anything," she was one of the ones staying late to clean up. Got to bed an hour and a half late that night. Then, this weekend was the "back to school" leadership conference for kids with leadership potential. They spent the whole weekend working on a mission project and staying up late each night. Followed by the special speaker last night who I really would have liked to hear, teaching about discipleship of our teens. When we got home from morning church yesterday, I looked at Bethany and said, "you are in for the day". She only had the energy to pout. Make no mistake, she wasn't happy... she was just too tired to argue the point.

Even my seven year old nephew that I watch in the afternoon is exhausted. He comes in from school and flakes out on my couch; we go out to the pool and he flakes out on the chaise; we put him at the table for a snack and he flakes out in his lunchable. You get the point.

After years of home schooling I have learned the magic word. Are you ready?? Here it is... MOMENTUM. If we start out dragging in the morning, the day is shot. If we start out dragging on Monday morning, the week is shot. Let me just say here that we are in the TENTH grade this year. Don't judge me until you are there:) We may find ourselves missing a number of Sunday nights in order to get a good start on Monday morning, so I apologize here for those I may offend.

Speaking of which, I have ten minutes to get off of this computer before she boots me off:)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mid life Crisis

Today I had a job interview.

I hate job interviews. Hate having them. Hate giving them. Yuck. How much can you really get to know a complete stranger in an hour. (yes, it was an hour. that's good, right?)

So now it's three o'clock in the morning and I am rehashing everything that was said in the entire hour. Am I the only one who obsesses about this stuff?? They asked me to bring a list of references. Why didn't I have a list of references with me?? It's been years since I have done this so I am COMPLETELY, hopelessly out of practice. I've been under a rock, teaching my children for YEARS. They think I can do anything, but can I convince a man in a bow tie that I am invaluable? He doesn't care that I can fold the perfect t-shirt. or that I make a great apple pie. or that I can make a Yorkie pee on command. or make an 18 year old shake in his hundred-dollar sneakers.

So, as I am laying in bed reliving this hour of my life I suddenly realize... I left off three years of work experience from my resume. YIKES. what now? Do I redo the resume, break in to the office, and replace it with an updated copy?... (did I mention it was a bank?) Probably not a good idea. Do I redo the resume, admit that I am an airhead who doesn't remember 1996-1999, and hand it in with the references that I need to turn in tomorrow? Or do I forget the whole thing and hope that it doesn't look like I was hiding my time in upstate NY. (did I mention it was a bank?)

All that said, the family has been very supportive. When I got out of the shower to prepare for my interview, I found that Bethany had rearranged my bedroom into a beauty parlor, ala baby girl. When I got over the shock of standing naked in front of my 15 year old, I pulled it together, put on my big girl panties (literally), and sat down for the full treatment. She repainted my toes so I could wear my cute strappy pink flip flops. (can you wear flip flops to a job interview?) She then proceeded to "do" my hair and make up.

Side note: This is one of those "mommy" moments when you want to look at your child and say, "are you CRAZY? this is a very important job interview and mommy would feel MUCH more comfortable doing her own hair and make up." I mean, it was not that many years ago that Bethany "doing" my hair meant several colors of sparkly rubber bands and shiny clippies in various places on my head.

But, I chose to submit to the beautiful young lady before me who now does her own hair and makeup and though she knows her mommy well enough not to experiment too much, she did an outstanding job and I will treasure her encouragement in my heart in the place where I keep my most special memories.

Just as I was pulling out the drive to leave, she ran out the door, pulled open the door to my car, plopped onto the edge of the car door jam, snatched my hand with a flourish, and prayed for me. WOW! Is she amazing or what?

THAT'S what I was doing from 1996-1999.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

see blog: "no, I did not pee in the pool"

Working with Mom on her most recent flip. Too tired to have anything to say, but...

Funny thing happened yesterday... went to the pool supply store to get the new pump (not funny):( When I was standing at the counter waiting for the pool guy to come out of the "back", which is where they keep all of the really expensive stuff; on the counter was a box of bottles for taking pool water samples. Box said, "free, take one". HAHA!

Sippy cups musta scared him:)

Monday, August 11, 2008

There's a fungus among us

Can you hear it??

It is the sound of algae growing faster than a teenage boy can plow thru a box of his sister's favorite cereal.

Sis/BFF came running in the house the other day. "the pump to the pool sounds REALLY loud," she says. We go out... I THOUGHT that that was getting louder. But, then I figured it was just my over active imagination. By Saturday, it was so loud that I was unable to enjoy my leisurely float in the pool.

BTW, the pool is SUPPOSED to be for exercise. Floating burns no calories whatsoever, but is much more fun.

By Sunday, Hubby turned off the pump because it sounded like a 747 was landing in my backyard. We are afraid that the neighbors are gonna call the cops for the noise hazard. If they don't, I will. No wait, it's my pump. Rats.

Mom says the bearings (probably spelled wrong, but I am a girl and the spell check ain't gonna catch it) in the pump are going out. Gonna need a new or rebuilt pump. Double rats. Did I mention that my Dad was coming to visit in less than two weeks? Did I mention that David is taking a week of vacation time to enjoy the last of the season? Did I mention that I have had to buy curriculum? school supplies? uniforms? music school tuition? Did I mention that this month's income was $$$$ LESS THAN last month?

So much for my cocky blog about how I can fix stuff. Don't tell the kids.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tough Love

So here's the plan... because you know I have one. Thought that I would take a minute to explain the "windows in the shop" comment from the other day.

We have a shop in the back yard by the pool. It is about 15x15... you've seen it; it looks like a yard sale was dumped in there. It's actually in better shape these days, because Brian still does not have a job and I am running out of manual labor for him around here in my attempt to make him miserable enough to motivate him take this job hunting seriously.

Speaking of Brian, he is quickly approaching his 19th birthday. Young men this age need to work. They need to be in school. They need to have a car OF THEIR OWN. They need to at least be on the road to independence, if not there. To that end, Brian is moving out... to the shop. It is unfinished in the extreme. It has a roof, a door, a concrete floor, electricity... oh, and a refrigerator. All that a boy/man could need.

I have bought him two windows for his birthday. He will have to install them with his grandfather. He has already bought an air conditioner. It's in a box on the floor. We have been talking about this move for months. Brian loves to talk. He's not so big on action. I have told him that on the day after his birthday ( 15 days from now) he will be parking his carcass in his own "studio apartment" and that I may invite him for dinner now and again.

I remind him how the eagle momma lines her harsh nest with love and bits of fluff and leaves and softness in anticipation of the baby's arrival. Over time, as it grows, she throws out the comforts until she finally has to throw him over the cliff to teach him that he really has the capacity to fly. I am throwing him over the cliff... because I love him. I am also tossing out a case of Ramen so he doesn't starve.

He told me the other day that one of his friends (another 19/20 year old, eating at his momma's table... and mine these day) said that he couldn't live in the shop because it is a "health hazard". I would love to take him to Central America so that he could see the conditions that the majority of the world lives in to help him with his perspective.

I told him that there were no health hazards to sleeping in the tent.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

So much to do... so little time.

Dad will be here two weeks from Friday. I need to paint the kitchen and finish the trim that is taunting me with its one coat. I need to get some blinds for the kitchen since I refused to put back up the ones that were here when we moved in. Previous owners were smokers; do you have ANY idea what nicotine does to vinyl blinds AND the strings that support them? Up until now, we have just made a conscience effort not to be naked in the kitchen... Hasn't been TOO hard. But, with Dad coming I just sort of feels like it should look finished; not that I anticipate nakedness with Dad here.

I need to clean and get all of the laundry caught up. I need to finish cleaning out the shop and install the windows and window air conditioner (gotta reason, I'll explain later:) I need to install a clothesline and the fence on the last side of the yard (okay, I don't think that's gonna get done:)

Diane is going to pull her camper over here so that we can park it just outside the back door by the swimming/company bathroom. I spose we will have fun setting up a little cabin getaway with the fridge stocked with his diet drinks and other little happy surprises to make him want to come back (i mean- feel at home). I LOVE having company.

On a side note, yesterday Bethany came running in the house after taking Schatzi out for a little potty time, screaming that the pump on the pool had exploded. Oh great... just what I need now that I have priced the curriculum, music lessons, uniforms, supplies, etc. for the new school year. Not to mention that Brian's birthday just happens to be this month, Dad is coming, and Hubby has the entire last week of the month off for "vacation"... code for swim and eat. whatever.

I ran out to check said pump and found that it was working. If you call pumping all of the water out of the pool and on to the yard, working. fantastic. I flipped off the pump (by the switch, duh!), and took apart the filter to see what was wrong. Really, I was pretending to know what to do, because I am pretty sure that they never mentioned this one in bookkeeping class. Everything looked fine to me, with the exception of the water all over the grass and the pool several inches below the skimmer. oops... hope we didn't burn up the pump, since it is supposed to pump water, not air. I filled the pool back up to the proper level, put the filter back together and flipped it back on. TADA! Worked like a charm. I didn't even know that I could fix a pool.

I AM a genius. I have been telling my children this for years.

Monday, August 4, 2008

School days

It's official. I have joined the ranks of the Tipton County rednecks. You know how I know?? Last week I got my dump pass. Never had one of those before. The dump out here is just past the giant pine tree with a confederate flag attached to the tippy top. Definately Dixie. Can't wait to take dad... Oh, and be careful when you tell people about your dump pass. You forget either one or both of those p's and momma will wash your mouth out:)

For those who were frantically wringing their hands about the decisions I was making about school... We have answers! Yippee:) Veritas was a go for high school humanities (Bible, English, & History) but not enough yet for math and science so I am not completely off the hook yet. But this is a very happy medium for a long term home school momma with a high potential for burn out. We have spent the last couple of days scouring the internet for math and science options. We have been using Abeka DVD's for several years, but we don't want to just use what we know if there is something we are missing. I think that we have settled on Apologia for Biology and Saxon for Algebra II. Saxon has this cool CD rom thingy that is new, to go with the text. A little chalkboard comes up on the computer and shows how the steps work, which is good since baby girl has exceeded her mother in the math department. She has a pretty high GPA in Alg I this year, so I think that she will be fine. If not, we will be checking onto our local tutoring establishment. I heard that they are pretty good. Hopefully word will spread about the Veritas by next year and she can take Chemistry and Advanced Math THERE!! She is also excited about the possibility of doing a little dual enrollment her senior year. That is really the long term goal. I told you that I had a thing about a five year plan:)

The good news is that math and science is what we have been stressing about not being finished with so we can relax, work hard, complete our lessons & tests at a reasonable pace and just start our new Biology and Alg II when we are really ready. Wow! I can feel my insides untangling at the thought.

She is so cute. I have been home schooling Bethany since the first grade. She is SO excited about going shopping for school supplies and uniform shirts and a backpack. It's not like she has never had school supplies and back packs, but she has never done the whole "school shopping extravaganza" before. I remember the excitement for shopping for supplies and clothes every fall. The fights that my parents would have about the money...they were divorced and I think that part of the decree said that dad had to buy school clothes and that was mom's chance to stick it to him. Or at least he thought so. One year she sent us up to him to do the shopping and I am pretty sure that he never complained again. That was the only year that most of our waredrobe didn't come from the disabled veterans store or the salvation army.

Curriculum: $500

Music lessons: $500

Uniforms and supplies: $150

Day time hugs and kisses and talks about "real" stuff: priceless:)

Wouldn't trade these years for the WHOLE WORLD, Bethy.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Let's go Krogering

I hate my Kroger card. I find it insulting to my intelligence for them to force me to get a card in order to "save" money on my purchases. I mean, they give the card to just anyone. It's not like you have to pass a test or something. You don't have to have special cooking skills in order to get this card, you pretty much just have to be breathing. If the criteria for receiving this card is simply that I am a customer, then isn't the fact that I am standing in line with $300 worth of merchandise enough proof. I mean REALLY.

Does anyone actually believe that they are "saving" anything on that box of cereal that they just bought and then had to prove that they were a customer in order to get the special price. Come on... We all know that these prices are inflated so that we can feel good about being robbed.

It reminds me of a friend that I had at one time who told his wife that he spent $3000 on a stereo unit for their home. When she freaked out about this huge waste of capital, he calmly announced that it was really only $1500. Whew! Look how much I saved. whatever.

And then they had to go and get new computers (probably with all of the money that they made from the suckers who don't have a card:) and what do you know... It no longer has the count down telling how much I "earned" with my Kroger plus card. ARE YOU KIDDING!!! When I complained, the little checker boy said, "but ma'am, your savings is on your receipt." Riiiiiight. No, Sonny, I want to watch the count down on the COMPUTER SCREEN! There are so few true joys in life and Kroger has robbed me of that too, along with my Christmas club. I know that I am not the only one.

And someone please explain why we are now being accosted at the front of the store and directed to the correct line. I WANT TO PICK MY OWN LINE! If I make a mistake and choose a slow moving line, that's my problem... If I want to browse thru a copy of People magazine while I wait and then leave it on the shelf, then LEAVE ME ALONE. Maybe, just maybe, it is the only peaceful moment that I have had today and you come along and yank me out of line and put me where you want me. I actually got into a fight with some Nazi Kroger manager in Cordova because she wanted me to go into the 20 and under isle while I clearly had more than 20 items. I do not do that... Personal pet peeve, you know me and my rules:) The lady was very offended when I refused to submit to her direction. When did this become a communist country? I can check out anywhere I please, can't I????

What's next, mandatory valet parking?