Friday, January 28, 2011


There's a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that I absolutely love.
OK. That's not exactly true, I love every song by Steven Curtis Chapman.
It's just that I've been thinking lately about one song in particular;


      I made a list wrote down from a to z
      All the ways I thought that you could best use me
      Told all my strengths and my abilities
      I formed a plan it seemed to make good sense
      I laid it out for you so sure you'd be convinced
      I made my case presented my defense
      But then I read the letter that you sent me
      It said that all you really want from me is just

      Whatever whatever you say
      Whatever I will obey
      Whatever Lord have your way
      'cause you are my God whatever

      So strike a match set fire to the list
      Of all my good intentions all my preconceived ideas
      I want to do your will no matter what it is
      Give me faith to follow where you lead me
      Oh lord give me the courage and the strength to do

      Whatever whatever you say
      Whatever I will obey
      Whatever lord have your way
      'cause you are my God whatever

      I am not my own
      I am yours and yours alone
      You have bought me with your blood
      Lord to you and you alone do I belong
      And so - whatever

We are told in Ecclesiastes, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven . . .".
What we are not told is our exact place in that season.

~*~ In the spring of my life, third grade to be exact, I knew I was being called into missions. I had it all planned out! Graduate from high school (early if possible), proceed to college, then finish up with medical school. I was to be a doctor on the foreign mission field by the time I was thirty. I could think about a husband and family after that. First things first you know!

~*~ In the summer of my life, I had married my best friend. Missions was still very near to my heart, but I knew I was where God wanted me to be.
I would be a career woman. None of that ho-hum stay-at-home mom stuff for me! That's the last thing I wanted! I had a great job as an office manager that would afford me the opportunity to travel. Yep. I was on my way! Until I laid eyes on my newborn baby girl. Every dream of a big city corner office melted away. I knew instantly I never wanted to leave this child's side.

~*~ At 41, I'm leaving summer behind and heading into Autumn. This season, I'm trying to have no preconceived notions. I'm just honestly seeking the Lord's will.
This is the time Joe and I will seriously begin to look at retirement. When and where are the biggest questions. And what to do after? I've been looking at heading back to school. But what to study? I still love medicine, but by the time I finish - well, who's going to hire a 60 year old doc who's still wet behind the ears?

Believe it or not, there is a freedom that comes with realizing you are not in control.
We may think we know what is best. We can try like the dickens to convince God. And to His credit, He patiently allows us to plead our case.
But ultimately, all He really wants is our willingness, not our will.

I don't know what this roller-coaster of a life may bring, but I'm learning to throw up my hands with with excitement, mingled with a little fear, and shout to the heavens, "Whatever!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The wrong crowd.

If we've said it once, we've said it a thousand times - take care in choosing your friends!
This is something we've tried to teach our kids from the time they could talk.

Well, one of the kiddos has chosen poorly in this category.
This new 'bestfriend', as young as he is, has already proven to be

When he first started coming over to play we loved it! He was such a cutie, and always had a smile from ear to ear.
He'd wait on the back porch for the kids to come out. They'd play for hours and were as happy as clams.
I even spoke on the phone to his mother. She seemed nice enough, but kept asking if he was being a bother. Maybe that should have raised a few red flags.

Anyway, it wasn't long before the trouble started.
I don't mean the normal kid stuff. I mean big trouble, like vandalism and thievery!

We started noticing things around the house being really messed up; the gutters, our mailbox, some of the girls' toys, Joe's grilling equipment and storage.
And then things started disappearing from the back porch - most recently one of my throw rugs and a bag of  charcoal.
We've also seen things thrown here and there that we know came from neighboring houses.

Joey has had to ask the kid to leave more than once. But every day he's back, hollering for our youngest to come out and play.

How do we explain to our little one that the 'bestie' is no longer welcome? How do you say "No!" when those big brown eyes are looking at you just begging to go out and play?

If you have any ideas, let me know.
I'm at a loss.

Buddy - our youngest

Sergeant Petey - the new best friend

Monday, January 24, 2011

Let's leave the walking on water bit to the Almighty.

We were finally getting over the sickies and it was time to wash - everything.
If you're family is anything like mine, you know how germs can spread! The girls slept with us, we slept with them, we cuddled on the couch, shared blankets and pillows and on and on . . .
Operation sterilization was going well, until I decided to try washing my comforter.
I have a super-size washer. I wash the girls comforters all the time. What's the worst that could happen?
My daughter walking on water, that's what!

I heard a loud gasp and looked up from the dishes. There stood Shelby in an inch of water, eyes as big as hubcaps!
Apparently the load was just a bit much for old 'Sir Washalot' to handle. The rinse cycle had overflowed and water was running from the laundry room, across the hall, and out the back door!

Flowing out the back door...


And filling the boot tray!
Six towels, one blanket, and several moppings later and the water was gone. My sweet girls, still not feeling their best, pitched in to help.
Shelby handled the mop and Maddie wrung out the towels (in her own way) and laid them on the back porch to dry.

The up side? That's probably the cleanest my floor has ever been!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's time . . .

It all started late last Wednesday night with Madison and a sore throat.
That's all it takes to move me to def con 1 in the mommy-nurse position. My girls can hit 104 faster than OJ on the interstate, and sure enough, Maddie spiked at 3 am.
We've all been playing a nasty game of 'catch the cooties' ever since.
I'll spare you last weeks' details. It suffices to say, a body knows when it's time to get back in the game.
And finally we're seeing the light at the end of the tylenol/cough drop/theraflu hazed tunnel!

- When the girls are wearing bikinis because their unmentionables are all dirty, it's time to do laundry.
- When every surface is covered with crumpled Kleenex, it's time to take out the trash.
- When the kids are eating cereal out of a coffee mug, it's time to do dishes.
- When you start recoiling from the light like a vampire at dawn, it's time to throw open a few shades.
- When the house smells like a chemical plant due to the Lysol and vapo-rub, it's time to open the windows.
- When you've been living on a steady diet of saltines and sprite, it's time to hit the grocery.
- When a weeks worth of home school lesson plans don't have a single completion, it's time to hit the books.

You get the gist.

Anywho, it looks like the worst is behind us. (And a lot of  'catch-up' is ahead!)

Ahhh. It's good to be back.

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's who you're with. I'm just sayin' . . .

A date.

One of the best gifts Joey and I can receive - a date.

Sounds simple doesn't it?

Well, let me walk you around in my shoes a bit!

The military life is a mobile life. When you move to a new state in this great union every year or so, it's hard to make third level friends.

Let me explain.
*First level friends are really only acquaintances. You may or may not know their name, but you know who they are and wave when you see them.
*Second level friends are those whose names you know, and actually may have had conversations with.
You may know of their job, bake them cookies at Christmas, or even have them for dinner some time.
*Third level friends are the ones you truly know. Where their from. What they believe. Do they have a criminal record.

Now, back to the date. We can only go on a date if we have a babysitter.
I will only leave my girls with third level friends. And even then I leave a cell phone with them and a ridiculous list of 'do this' instructions for 'if that' situations.
Call me overprotective. It's OK. But I'm determined you will never hear some over coiffed anchor telling my kids' sad story on the evening news squeezed in between headlines of new Pandas at the zoo and the local high school winning a playoff!

What it boils down to is this - we have date night when family is in town.
It's not that often, so we try to make the most of it.

This Christmas we found the best new date place!
Valet parking, Maitre'D, white linens, candlelight . . .Yeah, there was none of that.
It was 1:30 in the wee hours of morning. Joe couldn't sleep. Neither could I.
All of a sudden he hopped up and said, "OK. Let's go!"
"Are you serious?"
"Sure. Let's go!"
Don't have to ask me twice! I put in a ponytail and threw on some sweats. Joe did the same - sans ponytail.
We left a quick message for the 'rents and the kiddos, and slipped away into the night!

Now the big question, where to go?
Hattiesburg, being the booming metropolis that it is, had many choices to offer. There was the IHOP, the Waffle House, the Huddle House, the coffee machine at the gas station down the road. . .

In the end, we went here.

It was a misty, moisty, cool morning. We were greeted with a smile and a hello holler that made me feel like Norm walking into Cheers.
The waitress called us 'darlin' and was johnny on the spot with our order.
We pretty much had the place to ourselves, so we took our time.
We had grown-up conversation and great coffee!
It was perfect.

It's not what you wear, or where you go that matters. It's who you're with.

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Twas the Night Before Christmas . . .

. . . Momma with her Kindle,
      Me with new apps,
      Had settled on the sofa,
      With a few Christmas snacks.

      Dad in his new trailer,
      Dreaming of road maps,
      Joe overworking the coffee maker,
      While watching football snaps . . .

Ok. So it wasn't exactly the story book version we all know and love. But it was, in a word, wonderful!
Mom and dad arrived on the eve of the big eve, and were able to stay the whole week! The girls put in some major overtime with the new Wii games, and mom and I worked together on a Christmas scrapbook - something we've wanted to do for a long while, but haven't had the chance.
There's nothing like family for the holidays!

Now, I know I'm playing catch-up in Bloggyland, and that Christmas is past, but I still have a few things to share on the subject.

As I mentioned above, the greatest part of the holidays is family! But then - there are the presents!
I love to give them! I love to get them! It's just all part of the fun! 

This year, however, I noticed more than ever a slew of - shall we say - questionable gift items. Not under the tree thank goodness! But in the stores as I was looking for that just right something-or-other. 

For you're viewing, ahem, pleasure.

The 'Fart' book - with sound effects

'Drunk' deer wine holder
The 'Toilet' coffee mug

Tooting ornaments

Pole dancer alarm clock

Toilet time putting green

I believe this one pretty much speaks for itself!

I haven't quite decided yet. Are these items truly tasteless? Or do I suffer from a testosterone deficient funny bone?
Most of these items were recommended by guys. 
Alas, I have daughters and am unprivy to the inner workings of the adolescent male mind. 

Take this next item though.
I found this to be an absolute dream of a gift! A gift I'd display with pride!
Allow me to present;

Porn for women! A beauty of a calendar chock full of beef-cakes in various stages of house work.

*A man scrubbing the toilet saying, "I'd never dream of letting you do this job!"
*A man holding a Hefty bag saying, "As long as I'm around, you'll never take out the trash again!"
*A man vacuuming the floor saying, "Leave the dishes. I'll take care of everything!"

How could a gift like that go wrong?!

My beloved took one look at the thing, rolled his eyes and moved on.

Humor, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder!