Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Hello there, blog.

I nearly forgot about ye.

Just kidding. Things are moving and changing so much around here...honestly, I have things whirling around in my head but I just can't concentrate. ON ANYTHING. Ugh. It is so frustrating. But I know if I don't MAKE myself sit down and write a few thoughts, they will be gone forever.

I know, right? What a great loss.

So, Joshua had his last outing for the summer. He will really miss his routine...and miss seeing his friends. I will have to make an effort to get together with them over the summer. Let's see, what else...OH! Logan moved home and OH.MY.WORD. the stuff that child brought into this house. How in the world did it all fit into a small dorm room? It SURE doesn't fit into his bedroom. I wish I had taken a picture of all of it. He piled it up on top of the ping-pong table. Stacks everywhere. And some on the floor.

Did I mention we are trying to keep the house neat for any prospective buyers?

And, Clark...it's really hard to figure that kid out. My heart aches for him...I know he is really sad about the move. I am, so I'm sure it's even harder for him. It has just been hanging over our heads for so long...since November...and now that it's time, we are all ready to just GO already. I mean, it's inevitable, right?

We've been able to see Holly and Aaron several times lately, which I always love. Sure wish they lived closer. Jim says I would like it if they lived in the backyard, and to that I say "nuh-uhhhh." 

We've had lots of kids we know getting married, and more to come. We've had high school and college graduations (and more to come). We've had a couple in our SS class get engaged! Yay for weddings! I think it's that time of year. We've celebrated family birthdays and anniversaries...and have more of them to come this summer! Such fun times!

We found a house we like in our new town and now have a contract on it. We've listed our home here with a realtor. Things are moving along. It is really hard for it to be SUMMER time and to have THREE boys here and to keep the house neat and clean. I don't think "boys" and "neat" go together, but maybe that's just me. And maybe that's just my boys. Because clothes drop off their bodies at various times of the day and in various places...shoes, shirts...MORE SHOES. It's like the rapture has just happened.

(seriously, they have no room to say a WORD about their sister having lots of shoes).

I have to get up and get ready early now. No more padding around in my robe and pig slippers until mid-morning. I've got to clean house and pick up and make things look nice. You know, make the "fake house?" Yeah. Like anyone could ever truly live like that. I can do ALL the laundry so that you can actually SEE THE FLOOR in the laundry room (I can almost hear the angels singing). Just as I am about to get a sense of pride and accomplishment, I can 'round the corner into the kitchen and...no sign of a human anywhere, mind you...but there will be 3 pairs of shoes on the floor, a cap hung on a chair, and food left out on the table. Wha...what? I can literally trace their steps...what they did, what they ate, where they made it, etc. Because they LEAVE A TRAIL. And then...POOF! They're gone!

These are the things that make me crazy right now...and the things that I miss when it's Fall and the house is quiet again.

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives to His beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD..." Psalm 127:2-3

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekend update...

We had a great weekend. On Friday, after school, the 4 of us jumped in the car and headed down to watch Tori compete in the 6A State Track Meet. It was held at Lake Hamilton High School, and they have a great track there. Tori did GREAT! She tied for 2nd place in the 800...IN THE STATE...and she's just in 9th grade. Watch out! After dinner, we went to eat at Chili's with the Sanders' and Jerry's folks. It was such a fun evening. Lots of talking and laughing. I love to laugh.

Clark had soccer at 10:30 on Saturday morning in NLR, so we were up and out of the house early. Jim had left even earlier to run in a 5k here in Bryant...and then he had to go to Conway and work a Rotary breakfast. Clark's team lost their first game. We were shocked, b/c we haven't really lost much at all...but we won the 2nd game. Stacy, Aaron and Tori came for the 2nd game, and then Tori came home with us. She hung out with us here, and then we went to eat at Zaxby's for dinner. I took her and Clark to Orange Leaf before going to meet her mom. I lost approximately 2 years out of my life, just waiting for them to choose if they EACH wanted ice-cream or they were going to share...what flavor(s) they wanted...and then which toppings. Argh.

Note to self: never take them to the 31 Flavors place...

We had soccer again on Sunday. We don't like playing soccer on Sundays, and we usually don't have to...but this was a tournament. Jim got someone to teach our college SS class, so we all could go to the game. We won! Yay! Don't really know what all that means...I mean, it's the last game of the season. There were no play-off games or anything...so...whatever! We had planned on going up to help Logan move some stuff out of his dorm room after the game, but he called and told us he thought he could get everything in his vehicle...so we didn't go. Instead, we decided to go to Conway and eat lunch. We drove by a few houses just to look around, and then came home. We were all so tired! Jim and Clark mowed the yard and I went to the grocery...

I also cleaned out the filter in the vacuum cleaner, washed 5 loads of laundry and killed a spider.

Real nail-biter of a weekend....

Leanne and kids spent the weekend in Fay for a campus visit for Max. I was sad we couldn't go up there to see everyone, but it was also good for Holly and Aaron to get to be the hosts...they all had a great time! Watched the Hogs play baseball, saw the campus and the town...and H/A's home, and ate out! So fun! Not really sure what all Logan did this weekend, but he had his last test this morning...and his sophomore year is in the books. I just hope it's a GOOD book! ;) He is coming home tomorrow...yay!

Entertaining angels...

I love Pinterest! When I first heard about it, I didn't really know much about it at all...how addicting it could be, or how WONDERFUL.

Because, OH THE IDEAS!

(I'm sure it will come as no surprise to know that I have about 9,000 recipes on my "food" board. Ha!)

When I first started on Pinterest, I got a message from a dear friend. She was concerned about Pinterest and how it was affecting...or could affect...young women. ALL women, but mainly the younger ones who are just starting out in life and marriage. You know...you're all excited about having a new place, or your new place with your new husband...and you have wedding gifts to use. You want to fix everything up!

Gotta admit...I didn't really think about it like that. My main concern up to that point was that Pinterest could be a HUGE time-sucker for me if I let it. Now that I have the (used) iPHONE, I can lay on the couch...or in bed...and just look and "pin" away! It's so fun! I'm, like, "oooo" and "ahhh" and "why didn't I think of that?" It never occurred to me that it could be a stumbling block for someone, but after listening to her concerns, I understood.

I'm a pretty content person. I don't care much about fashion, altho I do like to look cute! I'm not obsessed with having something new for myself or my home each week. I am perfectly content to go to the mall and just walk around and not buy a thing. I think it comes from how I was raised. When I was a teenager, going to the mall was a regular, social experience I had with my Mom and sisters. I remember on Saturday or Sunday afternoons...that was THE thing to do. I feel a sense of calm when I'm walking around a mall...maybe because everything is familiar...the stores, the decorations, the "mall sounds." Even the food! We would always get pretzels with cheese. YUM!  And Christmas time is the BEST! As long as I'm not feeling pressured to buy gifts, I love to go to the mall during the Christmas season! I don't mind the hustle and bustle and all the people. I love the decorations...and the music...ahhh...

But I digress...

Or, as Clark would say..."notthepoint..."

My friend said she was connected with lots of young women at church and in Bible Study who feel pressure to be the "perfect" wife or mom. Even in churches, you have those groups who seem to compete with each other. Oh, yes, we do. The stay-at-home Moms vs the "working" Moms...the Moms who are barely making it through each day vs those Moms. You know the ones. Whether they home-school their kids or put them in school...they seem to have it all together. Their kids knew PASSAGES of Scripture, while mine were trying to memorize "Jesus wept" in the car on the way to AWANA. They do all the cute crafts, have coordinated clothes for their kids, make the healthiest lunches, throw the coolest play-dates for Moms and kids. Sigh.

Why are women so competitive with each other? Why do we attack the ones we think have it all together? Really, no one has it ALL together. They can't. They just present a good front (this is what I tell myself and the only way I've gotten thru the past 26 years of parenting, so please don't tell me any different!). Seriously, it's like Jr. High all over again. We get into "packs" with like-minded women, and snicker at other women. Or maybe we are quieter and sneakier about it...and adopt an air of pride as we look down on them.

Now throw in Pinterest with the party ideas and crafts and fashion and ways you can work out in your own home and how to do your hair like the pros...and this pushes some women over the edge. When faced with suggestions on how to do it all...many women become frustrated and depressed because they feel "less than" in some way. Or in many ways. This is not to say that "young" women are the only ones susceptible to these feelings...OH NO, MA'AM. Not at all. I think that we all put a lot on our plates. We want to be the best wives and moms and sisters and friends we can be. We see pictures of what we think our lives COULD be like...what the world tells us our lives SHOULD be like. It's exhausting, really.

This is not a post against Pinterest. I love it! I just think that we, as women, need to be sure we are finding our value and worth in GOD...who sent His only Son to die on the cross for OUR sin. It was because of HIS love and HIS mercy...and not because of anything we have or anything we are. There is nothing wrong with creating a beautiful and tasteful home...but we can balance it with what we actually NEED, and can afford. That's one reason why I love Pinterest. Besides the recipes (which, DOH), there are so many ideas on refurbishing "old" stuff...how great is THAT? Not just for young women starting out, but for all of us!

Today I read this post and was totally convicted...everything I just said about being content and not needing things...when I compare myself to this mom and her situation...it's all a big lie. I DO care about my appearance, my home, and what people think...and about serving just the right things to my guests. I looked at the pictures of this Tanzanian woman...so beautiful, so open, so full of JOY as she welcomed guests into her home. Sharing the love of Christ and being thankful for the blessings He's given her.

I want to be like that.

"Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:1-2)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"What would you do...?"

So, as expected, it wasn't long before we had a little "ish-ah" with Joshua-and-the-unsupervised-Facebooking.

Joshua has a friend from school that contacted him through Facebook. We grew up knowing this young man. He and Joshua were friends from Kindergarten until graduation, and he is...troubled. And even tho the circumstances he was born into were not his fault, we still had to be very careful.

Because Joshua is innocent.

We tried to talk to Joshua about limiting contact. Not totally cutting things off with the friend, but just about being careful...about not giving out any personal information. This boy, his friend, was abandoned as a child. He's dealt with rejection and abuse. He is sweet and childlike. He has also been violent. We just couldn't take any chances.

Joshua didn't understand. "WHY won't you let me be friends with him?"  Argh!!!. It's so hard to know what to do, and talking logic to Joshua does not work...he doesn't think like that. Innocent. Pure in heart. What is it the Bible says about that? "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matt 5:8)

Well, that's Joshua.

He said, "I think I can be a witness to him...because his family abandoned him and he doesn't have anyone else. I might be his only friend. I might be his only hope."

It finally got to be too much...the contact between Joshua and his friend. It was just over the phone and Facebook, but it had to end. So, we told him we couldn't allow him to talk to his friend anymore, and we were very sad about it, but that was our decision. And we prayed about it, and we prayed for his friend.

One night, Clark and I were out with friends and someone sent me a text saying, "aww...that is so sweet what Joshua put on Facebook!" And then I started getting several texts about it...about how sweet it was and how Joshua must sure love his Dad.

Ruh-roh, Raggy.

When I got home, I asked Jim about it. He has a flair for the dramatic at times and goes, "oh...YOU missed it!"

Joshua cannot hide the truth. He tries, blesshisheart, but he just can't. The boy loves to talk...and, given enough time, will tell you everything...and rat himself out. So, it was just the two of them at home, and apparently Joshua started talking about his friend (this was after he was told not to have contact with him)...and he and Jim had words over it that ended with Joshua stomping to his room, muttering under his breath the whole way. Jim said he gave Joshua some time to cool down, but then went in to talk to him. He found Joshua, iPOD in hand, carefully and seriously typing out a Facebook status, letter by letter...


Jim asked to see what Joshua was writing and this is what he had typed:

"what would you do if your parents wouldn't let you witness to someone who needs Jesus?"


Well, Jim FLIPPED. OUT. (dramatic, I told you). He told Joshua in no uncertain terms that if he posted that status, he would take his phone and iPOD away, and he would never, ever, EVER see Facebook again.

Which led to more words...and more time to think...

And an hour later, Joshua came in to apologize, and to show Jim the new status he had written:

"My Dad and I are great friends. I understand that he is a furious protector. I know that we don't always get along, but I know he does love me."

Ahhh. Forgiveness and reconciliation are always the goals after discipline...

"My son, obey your father's commands, and do not neglect the teaching of your mother; keep their words always in your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk, their counsel will lead you; when you sleep, they will watch over and protect you; and when you wake up, they will advise you. For their command is a lamp, and their instruction a light; and their corrective discipline is the way to life..." Proverbs 6:20-23