Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

Well, it has been raining today, so we are enjoying fun and games inside. Yesterday,all day long, it looked like it was going to rain any minute, but it never did. It was cloudy with a cool breeze blowing and the smell of rain was in the air. It was kinda nice. I sat on the front porch and visited with my neighbor, as we watched our children play together back and forth between our front yards.

I have such a blessing in my friend and neighbor, Datha. We watch each others houses, feed each others fish and get the mail for each other, when one of us is out of town. The day before we left for our vacation to Denver, Mark's car broke down, so we let him borrow our other car while we were gone, and he returned it washed, waxed, and vacuumed out. We help each other out, and genuinely enjoy one anther's company. I know we may never find that again. I will miss them so much when we move. I mean how many friends can you sit and share prayer requests with and everything else from recipes to books and advice on jobs, husbands homes and children.

We were all going to go to the zoo together today, but, it did actually start raining. So we have been playing cowboys and Indians. We have a small set that are like the little green army men. The set was a gift from my aunt Karen to Trey and it came with a mat, tee pees, boats wagons, and horses. We sat in the floor for an hour playing. We also used the face painting set I had for Anna Grace's birthday party this last weekend. We didn't have a chance to use it, so we opened it up today. We've gone to the gym and played with their friends next door, and now the babies are watching Elmo's Christmas Countdown. Yes, I realize it is July, but, sometimes you're just in the mood for a little Christmas music, (right Ashley?!)

Vacation Bible School was so awesome last week, and I'm so glad I got to be apart of it. I had the preschool class, and everyday my class grew bigger and bigger. On the last day I couldn't even fit all the children in my class, so we went outside for our lesson and story time. Three children at VBS accepted Jesus as their personal savior last week. Praise the Lord!!!! That might not seem like a lot for VBS, but we have a very small church. We probably had 75 kids at the most in the whole program for the week. I was so proud to see Trey and Anna Grace learn their first couple of scripture verses. I thought Hugh was going to cry when they came home and said their verses to him. You can't help it. It is so sweet to see your little ones growing in the love of the Lord.

Now that VBS is over, however, I am back in the gym. We are down to the wire, with a year left before we go home, and I will not go back over weight. Hugh and I had done so well on weight watchers, and I have to be honest when I started having all the trouble with my step-father about this time last year, I started eating emotionally again. And I gained it all back and then some, so now is the time to let that weight go and all the yuck it represents in my life. Off with the old and on with the new, as they say. I've made a few attempts in the past year, but, it was like my heart wasn't in it. I was still holding on to too much yuck, and when I don't feel very good about myself, I self medicate with food. Even though I know this it's going to be a hard habit to break, so that's why I'm giving my self a realistic goal of a year, to change my life style and eating habits. Slow and steady wins the race. So, I'm going to be back in the gym everyday, except Sundays, and I have a good support system in my husband, my friends Heidi and Datha, and my sister Demetria, who all are going to be encouraging me everyday and keeping me accountable. I am also looking into a couple of new things health wise, just for me.

My cousin, David, was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. We've never had cancer in our family, and it was a scare, let me tell you. But, we prayed him through it and the Lord took care of him through his surgery, and he is now cancer free. Well, when I saw him in Denver, he looked better than ever. He told me he is running everyday, and that he and his family have moved to a vegan diet. Since we stayed with him a couple of nights while we were visiting, we eat they way they did. And I liked it a lot. Now, am I becoming a vegan? NO. But, I am adopting a few things and incorporating it into my lifestyle.
1. I am going to make sure I am eating more whole foods. -LOTS of Fruits and Veggies.
2. I am going to stay away from processed foods, as much as possible. Now this is going to take a little getting used to, only because it is going to take a little more time and effort on my part to prepare meals, snacks, ect. As we all know anything in a box is much quicker and easier, but, unfortunately, not as healthy.
3. We already eat whole wheat pasta bread, and of course brown rice. But, I would like to buy, as much as we can afford, organically, or naturally and locally grown as possible. And I'd like to be able to but "free range" meat, because it isn't pumped with as many chemicals. It's more natural. (This is one thing I know will not happen for a while, because of the simple fact of finances. But, it's something I want to read more on and look more into.)
4. For me, and me alone, I am going to try to slowly eliminate dairy from my diet. I was dairy free for a little over a week, and I couldn't believe the difference in my energy. So, maybe that is the way to go. I could use more energy with two toddlers. The hardest part is going to be cheese. I love cheese. But, I went a week with out it and I substituted rice milk in place of my dairy milk, and it went really well. For a whole week I ate granola cereal with rice milk for breakfast, and eliminated all other dairy, and it was kinda startling. As far as the difference in the way I felt. So, I'm gonna go with it. I will keep you updated. So, that's my new plan for the year. That and exercise, exercise! Well, I'm off to clean the kitchen, while the babies nap! Hope you have a wonderful day! ~Blessings!

Monday, June 29, 2009

My Technorati Registration...

Just ignore this post. I am registering with Technorati. So here's my code. 2dhizx4wna.

UPDATE: Here is a little advertisement button for Technorati.
Technorati blog   directory

If you are totally confused....well I found this site though my friend Ashley, who found it through her bloggy friend Kelly, who gave the suggestion just for fun - "If you register your blog on there - it will show you who is linking to your blog and where your blog ranks among the millions of blogs out there!" ~Y'all know I'm always up for fun, so let's join together!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Hodge-Podge of Thoughts....

Hmmm. so it's been a while. Quite a while. I just haven't stopped to write my thoughts down lately. Life has been busy, but, not in a chaotic or crazy kind of way. It's been wonderful. (Does anyone else ever feel that way?) I mean sure there have been moments of stress or frustration here and there. But, minor in the scheme of it all. I really love my life. I really enjoy it. And sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one....

It's so easy to complain, and to get caught up in that vicious cycle. Let's point out everything that is wrong, or that could be done better, or that needs to be improved. BLAHhhhh already.... It makes me tired. Lately, I have stopped putting myself around people and situations that are so draining. And it's nice. Peaceful. I've found that a lot of my stress is based on other people's reactions to things or situations. (at least at this period in my life..) I can be coasting along, enjoying the day, my children, or my husband, and in steps a person who is filled with anxiety, bitterness, or chaos and drama, and I immediately react. Mainly because I am a very social people person and a people pleaser, and I want to make everyone comfortable and happy. I can't stand tension and negativity and so I try to defuse it right away. But lately, I've grown tired of that. Mainly because I've let it rob me of too much joy. I've learned that no matter how hard you try to help someone, they just won't meet you halfway. They don't want to be happy or at peace. Or I should say they aren't ready to be happy or peaceful. Because they aren't ready to give up the anger and bitterness, and drama (mostly self created,) that surrounds them. So, lately I just ignore it. Or rather, I don't react to it.

Now it isn't that I just don't care anymore or that I've become unfeeling in some way. It's more that I"m just not going to take it personally, anymore. And letting go of that, even in a small way, that need to control the situation, even if it is in a nurturing and comforting kind of way, is so freeing. I feel like a huge burden has been lifted.

OK, so if you're totally confused right now, let me paint you a little picture. I have a friend, whom I love dearly. She is a beautiful and intelligent woman. She can be so much fun to be around, but, she can also be so draining. I feel like she finds things to complain about. -Finds them, because she looks for them -Her job, family, children, husband, and yes, friends. I know she cares about me, and considers me a friend, but I obviously don't live up to her standards and expectations. And she is not always, as subtle, as she thinks she is, about expressing it. I was offering a weekly Bible study in my home. I love to entertain and I wanted to offer my little ladies group a time away from their homes, where we could gather for food, fellowship, prayer and deep conversations and time in the word. Well, that has some how turned into an expectation of something else. There has been expressed irritation that it's hard to concentrate because my children are always there, and they from time to time interrupt us because they need tending to. I was offering a full meal every time we met in the beginning. But, as our group grew and budgets got a little tighter, I scaled back to drinks and snacks; like fruit and chips and dip. The change in plans was not graciously received. I decided to try meeting out of my home at different fun places in the community. We met at little cafes, book stores and coffee shops. Since I had my husband start watching the kids this meant that we couldn't always meet on the same day, due to his schedule. Well, of course that seemed too unorganized. Well, I give up. I can't make everyone happy, even when I try to change things around. Mind you that the food and atmosphere is not what is important here. The Bible study is, right?! And I'm not going to lie I felt hurt. I open my home and for someone to come in and complain about the food or my children, -like "this is it?" -But then I noticed that when we were out, there were times she was visibly unnerved or upset also. So, that is when I decided to ignore it. I was not going to let this set the tone or mood for our worship time, so I acted like I didn't even notice. Moving on people, moving on! We are here for a time of restoration and rejuvenation. It's a time of praise and worship and connection and fellowship with other Christian sisters, so you can join in and let the Lord move you, or you can sit in your pity party, but, I will not sit with you any longer and I will not let it rob me of the opportunity to worship and be joyful.

I've actually had other ladies in the group question why she still bothers to come. They thought I should confront her. But, my thought is this....I'm not going to give her a reason not to come. She needs to be there as much as I do or any of the rest of us. God can take care of her heart and attitude. That's not my job. I've prayed hard and long about it and the Lord's firm answer is "Do Nothing." It is obviously not the right time, and there may never be. He may just take care of it quietly. I accept that He may not need to use me to resolve this. And realizing that has made me learn and grow. So, with that little situation checked off my list, there is a big sigh of relief......

So, I'm enjoying my summer, how bout you?! We are taking frequent trips to the park, and to see free out door concerts offered on the square every Friday. We've taken walks in the rain and jumped in lots of puddles in the last couple weeks. We are busy with VBS this week. I'm teaching the pre-school class, and I love it. I am asking for your prayers though. I have been struggling with a virus of some sort, and it has really wiped me out lately. But the Lord is faithful. He has given me the stamina and energy to keep up with my class so far. I have eight students between the ages of two and six.

We are enjoying the return of a mother bird, who has laid a nest of eggs for the second year now, in a basket that hangs on my front door. The kids are so excited. We got to watch them hatch and fly away last year.

I am having the hardest time with big, black ants this year. They are every where. I love to keep my windows open, but, I don't like chasing them out. Are there any traps for big, black ants?

I miss my hubby. He is working so hard this month, and he is not enjoying it. He has an hour drive to and from work, and the hospital he is at is the last place he wants to be. He actually said that if he had had to do his residency there, he might have changed his specialty. Yikes! -You gotta know it's a bad month for him, if he's gonna say that.

My house is a mess right now. I want to clean it up, but, somehow I can not seem to will my self to do it. I want it to be nice for my hubby, when he comes home. Because, I want our home to be a sanctuary and a place of rest and relaxation for him. But the reality is I clean it up at least three times a day with two, count them two -1, 2 toddlers, on the loose, and then I just give out. We are constantly dragging toys, books and games from room to room, and I am at home in it. I call it my beautiful chaos. hee-hee. No, really, I know I need to clean it up. Maybe typing about it will motivate me to actually do it. Which reminds me....I should go to bed so I can be on top of things for tomorrow. ~Blessings from above!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Highlights from our Trip to Denver -Part 2

I am a picture person, as you can probably tell by now. There were just so many pictures from our trip, it's hard to pick just a few to share. So, here is part two.

On the second day of our trip my aunt Karen and uncle Dave took off of work to take us up to the mountains. The kids wanted to stay behind and play with their cousins, Ian and Layla, again. My aunt Rose, whom we were staying with, keeps her grand children during the day. She bought a little pirate ship pool for them to swim and play in, in her front yard. And she took them all to the park later that day. Needless to say, they had a blast, and didn't even know we were gone.

Hugh took some of the most extraordinary pictures of the scenery. Isn't it crazy that when we left the kids were swimming and then we drive a little ways and suddenly it's snowing. It was such a beautiful day. Here is a picture of my aunt Karen, myself and my aunt Linda below. Me and my aunt Karen.

We got to see sheep, mountain goats and marmots (which are like little groundhogs.)That evening we took the kids to the Aquarium. Two of my cousins work there, so they got us in free. My aunt Linda and her kids came too.
This is my little cousin Samantha. She was my flower girl in my wedding. She's such a sweetheart. This was a part of the aquarium where the kids could "pan for gold and gems,"
This reminded me of the Grand Canyon. It shows you how the river comes rushing through the canyon rocks. I think this section was reminiscent of the old west and how this area of the country began.Anna Grace and her aunt Rosie.Trey is petting a Sting Ray. They were very slippery and soft. You could feed them too.
I can't believe I actually forgot my camera for my grandma's birthday party, but it was beautiful. And she had a wonderful time. She was so surprised, she cried. I think it really touched her heart. They had a tent set up with food, cake, presents and a sound system. My uncle Frank read a poem, he wrote especially for the occasion. And Trey sang You are my sunshine to her. Sooo sweet. I got to sing to her as well. Afterward, we went with my cousin David to stay a couple days with him and his family.
I love to hear David play. He plays the guitar, and native American drums and flute. He played a blessing for our wedding the night before at our rehearsal dinner. Below is his son, Brandon "Black Elk." Although we are primarily from Hopi and Navajo decent, David and Dawn were able to adopt Brandon from the Laykota reservation.
While David and his family were off to a wedding, we met the rest of the family for a last little get together down at a park. We cooked out, visited and played volleyball, and then we got rained out. But, it was fun while it lasted.

Grandma and Betty (above) Me and my aunt Sherry (below)Alexis and Samantha, two of my younger cousins. Such beautiful young ladies.

Poor Anna Grace, we wore her out. This picture is priceless. I can't believe she actually fell asleep standing up. And she still looks like a precious little angel. Well, I'm sure you're worn out as well, looking at all our pictures. But, I hope you enjoyed seeing our vacation. It was wonderful to see all of our family. Blessings!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Highlights from our Vacation to Denver...

The car ride itself took two days, one way. There was a lot of time for silliness, games to play and of course time for naps. Baby girl loves to wear her sunglasses upside down.

We stopped in Iowa City for dinner one night with one of my good friends, Amy. We used to teach together in KC, MO. Later that night, the babies enjoyed gymnastics in our hotel room. hee-hee. Trey announced, "I like our trip."

When we got to town, we stayed with my aunt Rose first. She had a big dinner of spaghetti, salad, corn, green beans and bread awaiting us. And we spent the night visiting with family. The next day we took the kids and two of their little cousins, Ian and Layla, to the zoo. We spent the whole day there and still didn't see it all. To me the day couldn't have been more perfect.
That evening, we all went out to dinner for my grandma's birthday. She thought this was her "birthday dinner," but we actually had a surprise party planned for that weekend.
Father and son. I love this picture. Could they be any cuter?
This is Anna Grace with her great aunt Linda. Did they have a time together. Here she is putting whip cream on her face and then patting it off with a napkin. Too cute!
Anna Grace and her great grandma Teresa.
This is going to be longer than I thought...So, this concludes part one, or our first two days in Denver. I'll post more later today....Hope you're enjoying your day...Blessings!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Learning New Things as a Mother, Everyday...

After having two little ones, I've gotten into a rhythm. We get into our routine and go about our day rather smoothly. But then, every once in a while a little light bulb goes on. Yes, even I can still learn a thing or two.

I noticed, while on vacation that our little ones had trouble staying at the table through out dinner. At first, I thought it was all the excitement. They hardly finished their food at any meal the whole time we were there. And let me tell ya folks, I've got two healthy eaters. Then, I blamed it on the fact that they sometimes sat with us, and other times at the kids table. Inconsistency. Hummm.... That makes sense. Hugh's schedule is so erratic, we don't always have meals together at home. There's another inconsistency. And even though I sit with the children at lunch and dinner, I don't always sit down with them at breakfast. Sometimes, I serve them and go about the business of tidying up and getting things ready for our day. And that's been OK up until now. But, I'm learning that flexibility and change are part of the challenge of motherhood.

So today, I started sitting with them at breakfast. It's not only about the fact that I want my children to have good manners. It's also about the tradition or ritual of gathering together at meal time. My mom and dad and I always had breakfast and dinner together. I want that for my family. It wasn't just about the meal. It was a time of sharing our day and just being together. It kept us close. And in their memory, it's something I want to establish and preserve with my little ones.

Do you ever have those light bulb moments? A little epiphany. Times where flexibility and change are needed? Let's ponder and share...Blessings on your day!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Home Again...

We got in at around 2:00am this morning. We had a wonderful trip. Thank you to all of you that prayed. (Thanks Denise! ~ I think you might be my only reader left.) It took us longer than I expected to get out there and back -driving. But the kids did remarkably well. We went prepared with pillows, blankies, snacks, a cooler full of food and drinks, books, doodle pads, toys and a DVD player.

The kids kept them selves well entertained. Trey only asked twice on the way out there and once on the way back, if we were there yet. I think that's pretty good for a three year old and an almost two year old. Trey and I even balled up a plastic bag and threw it back and forth from the front and back seat. We enjoyed the rolling landscape of fields and farms along the way. Hugh and I saw lots of turkeys and deer, and the kids enjoyed the horses and cows. We even invented a cute little game called "My Cow!" It all started when the kids were waking from a little nap, and Anna Grace asked, "Where are my cows?" Trey retorted with a "My Cows!" That went on between them back a forth a few times, before Hugh and I stepped in and decided that all cows on Trey's side of the car are his and all cows on Anna Grace's side of the car are hers. From then on, they would point out their cows and we would talk about what color they were. It was fun.

It took us two days to get out there, and two days to get back. And we had four wonderful days with our family. I wish Janna and I could have gotten together, but I couldn't seem to find a free minute. It was so nice to see Trey and Anna Grace play with and get to know their family, especially their cousins. Trey even cried the morning we left, because he didn't want to leave. He said he was having fun. -So Precious!

I have so much to share, but for now, I must go and unpack and do a little laundry. We'll catch up later. Blessings!