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wife. mom. adjunct professor. we homeschool. i'm a little bit OCD. i love math. bright colors and geometric designs make me drool. we live with a medical rarity, and Jesus saved his life. through that, Jesus is changing us. The american dream and status quo is overrated...and sometimes just plain wrong. our lives, our family, our careers, our faith are all now filtered through a new lens-- thank you Jesus. welcome to our crazy. feel free to take some of it with you, we have plenty to go around.
It's not the load that breaks you down; it's the way you carry it.
-- Lena Horne


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.-- Jesus Christ

Sunday, September 25, 2011

i needed a map!

So here I sit...taking a break from the sewing machine and other busy-things that are getting the stink eye from me today.  You can only stare at something for so long before you just need to get away from it....something so inanimate shouldn't annoy me, but I've spent too much time with that stupid machine lately, and she is starting to wear on my nerves. So she gets a break. And I get some iced coffee.

My kitchen bar is covered in coupons...and a Homeland ad.  I fought hard for that ad....get this-- I subscribe to the paper here...on Sundays and Wednesdays. Before we were paying subscribers, we freely received a little bundle each Tuesday with some classifieds, TV show scheduling, and the weekly grocery ads.  This was convenient, because it was free.  It was convenient because the sales for our store start on Wednesday...so getting the ad on Tuesday meant I could decide what I wanted to buy the day before I went to the store (yes, there are blogs like this wonderful one that match all of that stuff up for you...but I'm too type A or something and have to always check the ads myself as well).  But getting the paper twice a week means I don't have to get up or have my husband get up super early Sunday AM to go purchase a paper so I can clip the coupons.  The nice delivery people just make sure there is a newspaper in our yard on Sundays and Wednesdays.  But once I started paying for said papers, the free packet no longer arrived.  Which meant I couldn't see the grocery ads until Wednesday morning, but by the time the paper gets here, I've already been to the grocery store.  That just wasn't going to work for me.  So....I requested the free packet anyway. On the phone, I was told that can't happen.  Via email I received no response.  So just to be safe, I also emailed our grocery store and asked if they would just mail me an ad.  Lo and behold, this past Tuesday, I had the free packet thingamabob in my driveway, just like it used to always be.  I also received a Homeland ad in the snail mail on Saturday (which is super early considering new sales start Wednesday.)  Sometimes, it pays to say something...I mean, really, I could get the packet (which most people just throw away...) for FREE before, no problem, but now that I am PAYING, I had to beg to get one of those?  Really? that makes zero sense to me.  Sigh...I got what I needed, anyway, even if it took a few calls/emails to make it happen.

So.  aside from that...I am bracing myself to get up and clean up that mess on the bar, and plan this week's school activities for the eldest child in this house, and grade some tests from my other teaching gig....

But Friday...last Friday...two days ago....here's what I was doing--

wake up.
get ready.
get children ready.
eat breakfast.
start eldest child on math and writing assignments...read a book or two after that...practice our memory verses...review the four seasons we learned about this week...count to 20 in spanish....
in between all of those things, fold laundry, change poopy diaper, clean up dishes, pack diaper bag, try not to go insane...
load children in car.  begin driving.  to somewhere i used to be able to locate as easily as I can locate my own home.  only this time, it was different.  because i hadn't been there in about 6 months.
drive drive drive, until i could see the downtown part of the city....then think, "oh crap. i don't remember which exit to take."
turn on GPS...quickly look through "recent found places" only to find what I'm looking for isn't stored there.  because I haven't been there 'recently'. 
finally locate on the GPS where I need to go, but by then most of it's coming back to me.  but it took awhile. it was probably something like riding a bike, but not as fun.
take my exit (which is all jacked up because seriously, there is so much construction going on right now....which really inconveniences me when I am driving home from teaching at night....it's late, and i just want to go home, and i can't even get on I40 to get home...sometimes.  i know, not the biggest issue in the world, but I'm allowed to find it a mild inconvenience....because that's what it is. nothing more. nothing freakout worthy. but annoying.)
arrive at parking garage of said destination....and even this feels foreign.  in my brain i'm thinking "dont' forget to stop so they can give you a parking decal thing." then i remember to myself, "oh no, you don't do that here, you just push that button and the ticket prints out."  so I do that.  and i pull to the back of the garage where we 'always park' except that we don't. because we don't go there anymore.  and it isn't until i see there are no spots back there that i realize the garage is all different. even different than it was six months ago when it was already 'different' and being reconstructed.  it's changed again. and i had driven into our area of the garage, going the completely wrong direction.  thankfully, no one was coming the RIGHT direction to hit me head on.
so i back out, find another spot, and head in, both children in tow.
we head towards the elevators. no one stops to say hi and ask how we are doing, bc no one recognizes us.  this isn't normal. except, it is.
we get on the elevator, and i don't even think about the fact i'm not holding ridge, like i 'usually' do when we are here.  he's just standing beside me, holding my hand, while we go up/stop/let someone else on/go up/stop/etc....everytime we stop he gets this weird look on his face, and i think 'how does this seem so weird to him? we've been on an elevator hundreds of times in his life.'  only, he hasn't. not really. he HAS been in one, with ME, hundreds of times.  but he hasn't been in one, WELL, and standing beside me.  and the stop start that gets some of our stomachs turning was getting him.  and scaring him, just enough that i could see it on his face.  and i was thankful.  thankful that he didn't know what that feeling was. thankful that he didn't remember.  thankful that when we finally stepped off the elevator and walked towards the clinic, because by now you have surely figured out we were going to the hospital, he didn't know anyone sitting at the desk, not because they didn't know him (although one of them was new and I'd never met her before, so of course she didn't know us either), but because he didn't remember them.  he and the eldest child found a seat and started watching Cars on the Disney Channel...when our name was called, in typical child fashion, as soon as we got to the room for him to be weighed, he begins crying hysterically, even though the nurse was one very familiar with us.  he didn't know her.  he didn't remember her.  and glory be, that boy cried and cried in fear of the doctor's office. because he doesn't go there all the time. because he isn't comfortable there.  because it isn't NORMAL.  and i let him cry and cry and i smiled the whole time.  Because THAT is okay.  THAT is normal.  I wish he felt comfortable there only because I don't want him to be afraid, not because I want to be regulars there.  So if he freaks out a little because the nurse wants him to lay down so she can measure his length (height and weight both on track, by the way)...then I will praise Jesus for that because THAT is normal.  and we don't HAVE to be normal.  But I am thankful that my feisty, fit throwing toddler showed up that day in the clinic office, not my passive, trusting, thinks living in the hospital is normal, baby.  I love him no mater who he is or where he is, but Friday...we were normal.

....And in fact, sidenote,  I cried in the parking garage, not because I was sad to be there.  I cried because I was so unbelievably grateful that we do NOT have to be there anymore.

When the nurse took us to the patient room to wait on the doctor, Ridge cried some more until she said, "i'm leaving! i'm leaving!" and as soon as she was gone, he was happy.  And as we waited, I wondered if we would have much cooperation out of Ridge once the doctor arrived...we were just there for a checkup (which is pretty much just verbal/checklist stuff), but there is some minor physical contact between dr/patient...and i wasn't sure how the feisty 2 year old would handle it. I mean, granted, this is the doctor who has seen Ridge through it all, counseled us with sound advice and listened willingly to our suggestions/thoughts/worries/ideas....the doctor that I believe God placed in the right place at just the right time.  But even though I know this, the 2 year old might not be so understanding of the man in the white coat...But you know what? When Dr. A walked in the room, the first thing Ridge did was smile and wave.   Ridge remembered Dr. A.  And maybe one day, he won't.  But maybe...in a very, very good way, he always will.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

zzzzzzzzzzzzz....

I'm so tired I'm practically drooling right here at the computer.

Saturday mornings start super early now that I teach a class at 8 AM....on Saturdays. I'm not complaining-- the students are fantastic, the material is easy to teach, and I get to wear jeans.  It's just early. 

This weekend, on my agenda, is a whole lot of nothing.  I hope to get caught up on some sewing, because I never am caught up on that...and to take naps...because I do that at least 3x a week now :)....and maybe to watch some movies (at home) in the maybe-it-will-be-rainy weather.  If I can keep my eyes open long enough to read, I also would love to read as much of Radical as possible...
Sunday, church and grocery shopping are the name of the game...Did you know this Sunday is national "Back to Church" Sunday? I didn't. I just learned that this week.  So...now ya know.  Unless you knew before.

You know what I think is funny about parenting?  Is how it changes you completely and you don't even see it coming. You know a baby will totally rock your world...but last night, at 8:45, I was the only one up and doing stuff in my house.  My kids were in bed, and BDawg was in there with them.  I think he was asleep, but maybe he was just resting.  :)  And it wasn't even weird.  I mean, it is weird, to be an adult and in bed (or want to be in bed!) at 8:45 PM...but it ISN'T weird in the sense that it is uncommon...bc it is NOT uncommon-when you have kids-to want to go to bed that early...if you're me, you want to go to bed even earlier!  I thought this year would bring a couple hours each afternoon to clean up the house and do some crafty stuff while the kids napped/rested.  Nope.  Like I have already mentioned...at least 3x a week, during their nap, I take a nap.  Because I'm tired.  Because chasing my favorite 5 yr old and 2 yr old around the house all day makes me tired.  Being a parent also means that while it is super fun to go out with friends or the husband, even though both occurrences are rare, it is also just as fun to have the house all to myself for an hour...whereas before kids, why would that have been fun at all?  Kids....changing the game completely.  Love those kids (no really, I do.)

I have to go to work.  What's on your weekend agenda?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

burns all the way down....

Fall-ish weather here has really gotten me in the mood for soup. Like, for every meal (minus breakfast...I'm on a greek yogurt kick there).....It's a bonus on the soup since Progresso was on sale this week and with a coupon I was able to score cans of it for about 75c each.   They won't last long with my habitual soup eating, though.  My problem is I can't wait for it to cool down a bit before I eat it.  I have to eat it right away so that my lips, my tongue, my esophagus, and my stomach are all blistered by the time I'm finished. Ridiculous.  I have no patience.  Of course, homemade soup is always better, but the same problem exists with that.  But bring on the colder weather-- it's time for chicken and noodles, chicken and dumplins, chicken/lime/cilantro soup, good ol' fashioned stew, baked potato soup, broccoli cheese soup...chicken and rice soup....gosh there are so many. my poor blistered digestive system.

In other news, we are going to try to get Ridge a flu shot this year.  We were pretty gung-ho about the flumist, which is what sawyer and I will get, but there are a couple of red flags on it for Ridge, so perhaps the flu shot is in order....We haven't done any vaccinations since he turned 1 year old, so I'm a little freaked out...In the past, vaccines have caused him to bleed. Please pray that if that happens, it will be minimal.  We have not had to STAY in the hospital in 9 months or so, and I am more than okay with that.  Ridge had a blood transfusion in March, and another in June, and that is it in the last six months.  Oh how I like this so much better than the other! That life was hard...every day it was hard. 

What else...Ridge can take his own diaper off now. That's funny...and inconvenient. I sent the kids outside to play the other day and BDawg looks out and says, "um...look out there."  and there's my naked two year old...diaper under the picnic table...he's just playing in the dirt.  He's funny. 

Sawyer's so smart (I mean, we all think that about our kids...so it's okay if I say it.  Your kid is so smart, too.).  He can write his numbers at least to 50, probably higher, I just haven't asked him to do so, yet.  He can count to 100.  He can add almost anything (as long as it doesn't require carrying a 1 or something) you ask him to, as long as you give him an example of how to do it if it's a bit trickier (like 51+23+12).  He is reading really well and spelling things by sound, even if the actual spelling isn't spot on.  We are very much the same, so time at home can be difficult, but most days it is wonderful and we get a lot accomplished.  He has started going to Wednesday night class at church, and when he came home last week he said, "that's the most fun i've had in my whole life!" :)  He is getting so big....

I gave my first exam in one of our classes this week- it was amazing how I had all of the exams graded and all grades posted/averaged in about an hour's time...the program we use is so excellent, much less work on the educator's part...and the tests graded SO quickly.  I am still not quite adjusted to a schedule of being gone two nights a week and Saturday mornings, but once I get there, it is fantastic.

I have picked up David Platt's book, Radical.  If you've read it, feel free to weigh in here...Don't spoil any of it- I'm only a couple chapters in.  But it's like kick you in the face good.  I'm sure many of you have read it or are familiar with it, but aaaaaah-- it's all about what truly following Jesus means-- and it will totally uproot your thoughts/comforts of living the American Dream.  Pretty much every page makes you want to be real, be devoted, and stop playing around.  I mean, we're talking legit stuff here.  The true cost of following Christ....something so many of us are unwilling to do even though we claim we are believers.  The dedication required would actually cause some to stop and think, logically, if it was really worth it.... you know,are you really willing to really be a follower of Christ or not if THIS (whatever THIS is) is what He asks of you?  Not just someone who says you are a follwer, but really...you aren't at all.  I mean, totally slams you in the face.  In a good way, I promise.   I don't have a lot of time to read, but this is one that I won't be able to put down....one that I even ordered on CD so my husband would "read" it too! :)  But it's another thing that "burns all the way down" like the soup....instead of through my esophagus, though, this time, straight through the very core of who we are....not just am I a good person...but am I DOING anything to show that I am WHO I say I am?  Are any of us?  I could ramble about it forever, but I'd say instead, read the book! Totally!

Well...I'm going to take a Saturday nap. yes. I am.

Monday, September 5, 2011

dream chaser? dream catcher? dream weaver? don't stop believin'? what do we call this...???

You know how when you're little, you have these dreams-- these unspoken goals...things you don't realize are, by the world's standards, unattainable for most people?  Whatever those dreams are-- I mean, for me, at one point, "livin the dream" meant I would be an aerobics instructor.


{PAUSE}

I left a big ol' pause there, because anyone who knows ME is probably STILL busting a gut on that one.


So this is most assuredly not a post about me saying I'm going to be following THAT particular long forgotten dream.  No realization like that has smacked me in the face-- I mean, that dream is from way back in the days of early morning Mousercise on the Disney channel....and Barbies in unitards and legwarmers. I mean, those were my catalysts.

But really. Let's think here for just a minute.  Dreams.  Desires.  Goals. Aspirations....we all had them.  We all probably STILL have some semblance of them.  But it is the few who actually live them out. I'm not talking about saying, "I have a home I love, and a spouse who loves me, and great kids...I'm livin' the dream."  I mean, if you are, that's fantastic-- really! It is!  But that isn't what I'm talking about.  Am I crazy to think, that deep down, in ALL of us, there is a hunger for more?  There is something MORE we are created for?  Of course you know where I stand spiritually on the issue--  the "at the root" more we all are created for can only be fulfilled in Jesus Christ...but let's talk past that-- or within that-- or I don't even know what term I'm looking for here.  I mean, after you get the spouse, get the job, get the house, get the kids, have the vehicle and the church home and the dog and the clothes and whatever because we all know the list is tragically endless...after you have all of that- and of course all of that by the grace of God... I mean, is that it?  Really?

I believe our identity is found only in Jesus Christ. I believe God to be our creator and redeemer.  I believe if all I have done in this life is accepted salvation from Jesus Christ...then my eternity is sealed.  But...we are here. On this orb right now...definitely any man's time on earth is temporary.  But Jesus promised us that he came to give us  not only life, but life abundant!  And call me crazy, but I think that encompasses more than a dream home or a great lawn or a beautiful family.  And call me crazier, but I think that could look like a lot LESS than a dream home or a great lawn or a beautiful family in the eyes of the world.  I believe our dreams, or passions, if we will be awake to them, are from the heart of God.  (because I suppose everything needs some sort of disclaimer these days, I also believe dreams that are obviously in opposition to the things of God can not possibly BE directions from God)....ANYWAY.  These passions...maybe they are small, maybe they are great.  I don't know.  But I think they are ours for the taking- for the glory of the Lord.  I see people doing such great things-- things that the "world" might call crazy.  Things like picking up what little, or lot, you have and moving to the wrong side of town, because that's where you can reach out to a family you already know, and you know they need Jesus.  You can be a tangible gospel to them, because you are right there, and you said, "I don't need this house on this side of town..I need to love these people, and I can do it better from here."  Or things like taking in children to be your own-- whether fostering or adopting-- children from the town you live in, or children from all the way across the world-- because they need saving, literally-- from lives that would be short lived, due to drug abuse around them, or starvation, or disease, or neglect.  People are doing this-- and saving lives, literally saving these children.  Not all of these people have the money to do that- but they do it anyway.  WHY?  Because we, if we are children of the Lord, are called to BE Jesus to this earth!  Not to just get up and go to work and be like everyone else.  Not to say, "well I don't feel like I need to do that, but I am doing my best to be my best at work and at home and with my family."  Well, good.  Good for you. Good for ME...but how "out there" is THAT?  I mean, ANYONE can do that!!!  And trust me, I'm pointing four fingers back at me if I'm pointing one at you at all.  This is not a blame game- this blog, often times, is my outlet, not just a place to update you on Ridge (although he is doing excellently!).  What are we DOING to make a difference in this world!?!?!  I agree that our family is our first priority as far as what God has entrusted us with-- we are to love them, to nurture them, to provide for them, to not neglect or forsake them.  We are to do that.  But is it so insane to think that we are supposed to show them how to LIVE the gospel?  I could rant this for days and days....to myself, about myself...and if most of us were honest, we could ALL rant it about ourselves...because the truth is if we look around-- those who are out there doing LITTLE things that are BIG at the same time...are few and far between.  And I'm all for being the silent blessing, the one on the sidelines...the seed planters.  So don't think I'm knocking that.  But we get ONE shot at this lifetime in THIS world.  Shouldn't we be making it count?  Not by spending as much time at the park with our kiddos or on dates with our significant other or having fun at the golf course...not that anything is wrong with ANY of that. fun is fun and it is good to have fun-- but I just don't think that's ALL that life has to offer!  We have this great big world right at our fingertips-- even within our own communities-- there are needs to be met, and why are we not meeting them?  The church, collectively, is called to be living testaments of Jesus Christ- we are to be out there BEING Jesus to a world in need....and that could mean great great things! It might mean living on the wrong side of town, or it might mean acting on that nagging you've had to start some business or ministry or whatever...or taking in that young person you heard had fallen on some hard times...or whatever....just to in turn receive a tremendous blessing.

Who knows? I don't. I'm just talking.  You don't have to listen....and if you are still here, it's okay if you don't like it.  These are just some things that have been filling the conversations in our household lately.  Once we accept the greatest gift we can be offered-- salvation in Christ...what are we gonna do with it?  Because I certainly don't think just sitting around enjoying a normal life like "everyone else" is the right answer.  I think there is more. I think we were ALL created for more.  And i think it's time we start claiming that and doing more.  More in faith- for our dreams, and for the dreams of others.  We know as believers, eternity will be incredible....and we know, as believers, that we will endure hardship here on this earth, in this world...but since we are aware of that, and we know it will happen regardless of whether we are living life like everyone else or living life incredibly....why not do great things???  Not for US....because we all know that chasing a dream for our own glory will NOT be fulfilling in the least... but for the Kingdom...for something greater and bigger than ourselves....why not do what we were created for???

I don't have a good closing sentence/wrap up/whatever.  My thoughts aren't finished.  But this post is. :)

good night!
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