Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #110

Each Thursday I make a list of my thankful thoughts. I spend time throughout my day appreciating the little and big things in my life. My posted list gives you a glimpse of my thankful heart.

This Thursday I cannot stop thinking about my son's peanut allergy. It's on my mind a bit more than normal because Halloween is around the corner. Let me tell you some of the things I am thankful related to his keeping him safe.

1. My son's Kindergarten Teacher: She is doing a great job keeping me informed. She emails me when she is going to be out of the class and lets me know what the plan is for my son's Epipen. She calls me when there is going to be a class party. She sent the safe candy list home with the kids. She made sure the mom organizing the class party worked with me. I am very thankful for my son's teacher.

2. Kind parents: So far there have been 2 class birthday parties. Both parents were wonderful about picking party food from the safe party food list I provided. I am so thankful for their great attitudes.

3. Support from teachers that aren't my son's teachers: Each kid at school gets a chance to earn "Read At-Home" prizes. The prizes are often candy. The person in charge told me she is now going to order non-candy prizes.


Well, I started this list much, much, muuuuuch earlier today and well, it's LATE.

I thought I'd post this little list and let you know I am thankful for every one that supports my son and my family as we protect my son from the dangers of his peanut allergy.

Tomorrow's class party day (you know, check-all-of-the-treats-to-make-sure-they-are-safe-day) so I better get some rest.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Moments that Matter

I spent much of last week looking forward to the weekend because I was going to watch the football game and then go out on a date with my husband. We don't get out all that often without the kids. I thought we were going to have a wonderful time. As the week wore on, my daughter seemed to be getting sick. By the time Friday arrived, I knew that I couldn't leave her with a babysitter. She had a miserable cold. She felt crummy. I cancelled our babysiter on Friday night and then proceeded to pout. I was in a bad mood. I told my husband that I didn't care what we had for dinner but I didn't want to cook. My husband ordered pizza. I didn't do much of anything that night.

The next morning I woke up with a different attitude. I had soccer games to go to and a football team to cheer on. I was determined to make the best of everything- even if my sons' teams lost their games (they did), even if my daughter felt bad (she did), and even if I had to console my husband when his football team lost (I did). I was determined to enjoy myself.

I enjoyed the weekend and my family.

I came away from the weekend thinking about all of the little moments of love. When I don't have the right attitude or I fail to slow down, I miss moments with those I love. I'm often too busy thinking about the next thing to enjoy the current moment. I missed out on some laughter with my kids Friday night because my irritability left me wanting to be alone.

I'd still like to go out on a date soon. I will before too long. My missed date doesn't matter that much. Weeks from now, I won't recall how I missed going on a date.

I will remember my 8 year old holding my hand at the pumpkin patch.

I might remember the double high fives I got from my 6 year old when he scored a goal.

I will smile at the picture of me tickling my kids.

I will reminisce about snuggling up with my daughter to watch her first princess movie.

The moments that matter fill my heart with joy. I never want to be too full of myself or too busy to enjoy the little moments.

I want to make time for moments that matter. I need to plan some of these moments. I also just need to pay attention so I don't miss them.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halftime Photo

At Halftime the score was Alabama 9 - Tennessee 3. We took photos of the kids.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Flashback: Game Gone Wrong

The year was 1993. My boyfriend came from the University of Tennessee with several of his friends to watch the football game at the University of Alabama. I had a whole group of friends from Tennessee there to watch the game. I didn't watch it with them. I watched it in the Alabama student section with my college friends. I was thrilled to have so many friends in town. I couldn't imagine how I was going hang out with them after the game, though.

The Game-
With 1:54, Alabama was down 17 to 9. The quarterback drove down. And then on the last play of the game, Alabama scored. With no time left, Alabama went for 2 points. "David Palmer (Duece) took the direct snap from the center and ran around the right side and scored..." (That's a quote from my husband.)

I was thrilled with a tie. My boyfriend wasn't. In fact, my boyfriend is now my husband. The rest of the quote from above was "and that was the worse night of my life." He's being a bit dramatic. But, for him, it was literally traumatic.

I was thrilled. I could get all of my friends together. No one lost. No one was happy. (Ok, ok, my husband insists that the Alabama crowd was happy. We were happy that we didn't loose.) But at least, we could all hang out. We went out for pizza. I have lots of fun pictures from that night.

Here's my husband and I (in 1993) after the game. He smiled for the 1st picture (how did I make him do that?) but he shows his real feelings in the 2nd photo.

Some comments about the photos (because I can't resist):
Check out my lovely perm.
Don't you adore my shoes?
How old does my boyfriend look??
He was 19 and I was 20.

THANKFULLY, NCAA started implementing overtime. No, no, noooo... there will be NO TIES during tomorrow's game!

I'm linking up with Alicia today at
More Than Words. Join in the fun with her Friday Flashback meme.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #109

I did not have a good day yesterday. It was the kind of day when everything seems to go wrong. If you had asked me what made my day bad, I wouldn't have been able to pinpoint one thing. My day was made up of a combination struggles and frustrations. At the end of the day, through tears, I said, "Sometimes my job makes me feel so stupid. I hate that." I was frustrated with everything and everyone- especially myself.

I started today with an emotional hangover. I woke up exhausted. I also woke up with a crick in my neck. I wondered, "How am I supposed to have a thankful attitude today?"

A few hours later, I found myself looking through the pictures I took yesterday (yep, I pretty much take pictures everyday). I found a picture that not only made me smile but it gave me a reason to be thankful.

Last Night's Sunset

The sunset picture reminded me that today is a new day. More importantly, I remembered that I have a compassionate God that I can depend on throughout my day. Verses in Lamentations came to mind that talk about every morning being new. I looked up the words (found in chapter 3):

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness

I am thankful for LOVE, COMPASSION, FAITHFULNESS from my God and I am thankful for a new day.

I hope you take time to be thankful today. I am going to spend my day being thankful for the good things in my life.

Now, I have to get back to the playdough party that just started in my kitchen.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Redefining Crazy

We are redefining crazy at my house.

My husband has lost his ever livin' mind.

Before I explain, let me back up a bit...

We grew up in the South. We grew up watching and loving SEC football. We both grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. I went away to college to the University of Alabama. My husband went to the hometown University of Tennessee.

This past Sunday our house was full of music. It was scary. Sweet Home Alabama followed by Rocky Top followed by Sweet Home Alabama followed by Rocky Top... thank goodness our windows were shut or our neighbors would have thought we had lost it.

My husband has lost it.

He just informed me that he is going to continue to cheer for Tennessee when they are winning this weekend even though I am going to be sad. He says he knows I am going to be sad and it isn't going to stop him.

I thought I knew what crazy was until now.

Alabama is ranked #1 or #2, depending on which poll you look at.
Tennessee isn't ranked.

The beauty of SEC football is that it is going to be a good game. I have no doubt about it. Even so, the odds are slightly in Alabama's favor.

Between now and Saturday, we are going to redefine crazy at my house. We are going to trash talk. We are going to reminisce about past football games. We are going to encourage our kids to root for our teams. We are going to listen to the songs. We are going to trash talk about football. We will not stop until we hear the last song at the game - whether it be Rocky Top or Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer.

For anyone that's lives in the Pacific Northwest with us, well... our behavior this week might be a bit unnerving. Don't let us scare you. We will return to our normal grit lovin', southern twang talkin', sweet tea drinkin' selves next week.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #108

Each Thursday I make a list of my thankful thoughts. I spend time throughout my day appreciating the little and big things in my life. My posted list gives you a glimpse of my thankful heart.

Today I am thankful for:

Cub Scouts
Excitement about homework
Nebulizers and Inhalers
Being ticklish
Monster Drawings
Hearing "Watch This, Momma"
Imaginary Meals
Dandelion Flowers
"I love you as much" Contests
Ice Cream
Rocking Chairs
Handmade blankets

If you haven't guessed, my thankful list is about my children. I am listing ways they make me smile as well as things that I am thankful to have for them. I'm going to keep making my list all day. It's making me smile.

I am thankful for my kids.

Yesterday after school the boys were admiring some brilliant red leaves, I grabbed my camera, positioned my daughter and told the boys to turn around and smile.

These kids fill my heart with happiness.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Words

I spent last night thinking about the power of words.

I was challenged yesterday by a statement that my blog had become boring. That word grabbed my attention. It also made me think about my words here on my space of the internet. I could not stop thinking about the reason I blog. Why I am writing? What is the purpose of my blog? Am I trying to inspire others? Is this a simple recording of my thoughts?

I started my blog simply because I wanted a place to write. I wanted a creative outlet. When I began blogging, I was a stay at home mom with a deployed husband. I wanted a space that was all my own. I desperately needed a spot of space without sticky hand prints. My blog was a place for me to write anything and everything, just whatever I felt like writing.

The blog world has turned out to be distracting and addicting for me. I did not imagine the blog friends that I would make. I had no idea there was a blog community.

I have made numerous blog friends. I am blessed by a tremendous allergy community that I didn't know existed. Bloggers have encouraged my quests to develop spiritually and as a mom. I have also enjoyed the carnival side of blogging. I have participated in different memes. They are fun and it is fun "meeting" other bloggers that way.

I am in a much different place than I was when I started blogging. In many ways, I am more mature. In other ways, I am a like a teenager looking for her friends at a party. Years ago, I didn't know there was a party.

Words are powerful. With one word, I can discourage or uplift another person. One word can make my 3rd son pull out his fists in aggression. One word can make the same boy run to me with his arms open wide for a hug. One word can make tears spring into my 2nd son's eyes. Words can also make his face light up brilliantly like 4th of July fireworks. Words are powerful. My attitude can be affected by the affirmation of others or the lack thereof.

For better or worse, the comment about my blog being boring is making me think about my words. I will never strive to inspire others. I do aspire to be real. I want to be authentic.

My words are a glimpse of me.

Sometimes I am boring. Sometimes I am goofy. Sometimes I am thoughtless. Sometimes I am unique. Sometimes I am a face in the crowd.

My words, my blog, reflects all of that.

I do not have a problem with being boring, goofy, without depth, unique, or status quo. I am all of that so I know it will be part of what I write. I want my words to reflect more than me. I want my words to be pleasing to the One that I strive to follow. I want my words to be pleasing to the One that gave me my variety of personality traits. I want my words, my blog, to be pleasing to my God.

I consider God my rock and redeemer. (See Psalm 19:14) I run to Him for comfort and affirmation. No amount of comments or lack thereof can change where my happiness is to come from. A powerful comment from an esteemed blogger or a thought-provoking comment from an anonymous commenter will not build or shake my confidence.

The anonymous comment prodded me to think this through. I came away with something that I can use in blog world and in day-to-day life with face-to-face encounters with friends and people in my community.

My confidence does not come from my blog (the stats from statcounter or my comments). My confidence does not come from how well I am received by others. My confidence comes from God (See Jeremiah 17:7). To that end, I am trusting in God. I am praying that my words, here on my blog, in my emails, and straight from my mouth, will reflect more of God than me.

I am praying that my words will be more of God than me.

I am not sure how or if this will change my blog. I am often thoughtful in real life but I am also a mess cleaning, preschool song singing mom that longs to have a little fun. I know my blog will reflect all of this.

Words are powerful. I am thankful for the words that made me think this through. I am praying Psalm 19:14 today.

Psalm 19:14
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Keeping it Simple on Monday

Each week my blog friend, Nicole (from He Gives Me Grace), posts a "Simple Woman's Daybook" (Read more daybooks here: Simple Woman’s Daybook). I always enjoy reading her answers so today I decided to participate.

FOR TODAY...October 12th

Outside my window... frost on the rooftops

I am thinking... "Oh, I am tired"

I am thankful for...weekends

I am shirt, black cardigan, and green pants

I am remembering...a sweet tea party that my daughter went to yesterday

I am going... to wake up eventually (must get more coffee...)

I am reading...Jodi Piccolt's "Handle With Care"

I am hoping... I can get rid of the clutter on my kitchen counter today

On my allergic son's first substitute teacher

Noticing that...I am moving really slow today

Pondering these words..."Whoever or whatever controls our identities controls our happiness."

From the kitchen...Spaghetti for dinner

Around the, way too many toys

One of my favorite things...a clean kitchen floor (which just doesn't last long enough around here)

From my picture journal..a picture of my daughter from yesterday at her 1st tea party (There were 4 little girls there. It was the sweetest thing.)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Birthday!

All the way from some cuties in Oregon to my wonderful Dad in Tennessee...

Happy Birthday Daddo!

Here's a little video of your youngest grandchild saying "Daddo".

Friday, October 09, 2009

Friday Flashback: 5th Grade

I made a fantastic find today. I found 2 notebooks of my grade school papers and class photos. The boys had fun trying to find Mama in the school pictures.

I laughed really hard at some of the pictures.

Here's my 5th Grade photo.

I was a sweet girl and I was also smart. I made sure that I would know myself when I was 36. I love that my name and age wasn't enough and I had to add "(Me)".

Now, that's priceless.

I'm linking up with Alicia today at
More Than Words. Join in the fun with her Friday Flashback meme.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #107

Each Thursday I make a list of my thankful thoughts. I spend time throughout my day appreciating the little and big things in my life. My posted list gives you a glimpse of my thankful heart.

This year, I mourned the loss of summer. Fall arrived and I didn't smile. I wanted more sunshine and warmth. I am finally settling in and enjoying fall. I have spent the last day or so thinking about how Fall makes me happy.

I am thankful for Fall. Here are some of the reasons.

1. Open Houses at School:

2. Colorful Leaves:

3. Pumpkins:

4. Sweaters:

5. Lambs grazing in the fields:

6. Costumes:
These pictures were both taken on Wednesday. My kids dress up regularly and these aren't their Halloween costumes this year. Batman was here for Halloween last year - and many, many days in between. Elmo just likes dressing up like her brothers.

7. Fall Sunsets:

I am enjoying Fall now. I haven't given up on wearing Birkenstocks yet but I am enjoying Fall.

Take time to be thankful today. You will be glad you did.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Dirty Dishes, One Big Mess, and a Humble Heart

I have two goals today. Today I am going to get my kitchen clean and provide my kids dinner. I have been feeling icky for days and my place is a wreck.

There is a pile of laundry waiting to be folded on the couch. I had to put it there because there was a pile of washed laundry waiting in the washer to be dried.

There are little pieces of paper on the kitchen floor from yesterday (I think it was yesterday) when my 4 year old was practicing cutting (he needs those cutting skills).

The toys are all over the living room. That's a given on most days but today it seems worse.

The kitchen is the worst it has ever been. The waffle iron is still sitting on the counter to be cleaned from Saturday night. The griddle from last night's grilled cheese sandwiches just got washed. Thankfully for the counter space, we ordered pizza on Saturday night. We have managed to run the dishwasher each day but, beyond that, the leftover dishes have not been done. It is bad. There are also Sierra Mist cans sitting out. I don't know why but when I feel bad, I want Sierra Mist or Sprite to drink. So, the empty cans clutter the counter waiting to be recycled.

My husband and I have been feeling bad since Saturday. He stayed home from work most of the day yesterday. Today he has to work and he won't be home until after the kids are in bed. Today, it's all me and I don't feel up to it.

I have had 5,467 interruptions since I started writing this post.

I almost can't remember why I started this post. Oh, right- I remember...

I feel real. This is a bit of real life -dirtiness, struggling to keep up, constant interruptions, and distractions. It's humbling to be in this place. It's real.

I sat down with my cup of coffee, my bagel, my good book, a pencil and some paper. I read a bit. I had to keep my daughter from drawing on my devotional book. I had to keep her from tearing the fine paper pages of my Bible. After a bit, I gave up, put the binder, book and pencil on my counter.

I am not sure what I got from the verses I read today.

It doesn't matter. I am hanging on. I am holding on to all that's left to hold on to.

I don't feel good and I despise the state of my house.

I am pressing on.

I am bringing my dishes to the sink, washing and scrubbing, and setting them out to dry.

I am bringing my dirt, unashamed, to God.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Good Enough

Sometimes I struggle.
I wonder if I am doing a good job.

I am my worst critic. I evaluate what I do in all areas of my life and I don't measure up. I see my flaws.

I notice what I didn't do or what I didn't say. I think about what I shouldn't have said. I wonder if what I said came across wrong.

I think about how I could be more attentive to my children. I think about how I could be better at disciplining them. I could be training them to be more organized. I could if only I were more organized.

I think about the places in my community where I have gotten involved and I wonder if I am making a difference. I wonder if I am spread too thin. I wonder if every activity and group I am in suffer because I am doing too many things at once.

Sometimes I grapple with my insufficiencies so much that they consume my attention.
Instead of seeing myself, I see the worst of myself.

My life may be a beautiful web of interactions with people, involvement in activities, and development of my faith but I often focus on my weaknesses.

I see the parts that aren't just right.

I think, "If I work hard enough, I can do better." I want the best.

I get hung up on my deficiencies. When I do that, the small problems overwhelm me. I see holes that I cannot fix.

I was not meant to be perfect.

This truth is hard for me to reckon with. I have vision of how I want thing to turn out. I cannot think of a time when I have been able to accomplish everything I wanted. Something could have always been just a bit better.

When it comes to myself, I struggle with focusing on the positive.

I am learning that to be satisfied accomplishing a task even when I know I could have done better.

I am learning that despite my flaws, God can use my efforts.

I need to trust that God is giving me the tools I need. He will use my best efforts.

As long as I am not focused on what went wrong, I can still be effective in what I am supposed to accomplish.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Halloween is Around the Corner

It's almost Halloween. My kids love this holiday. The treats are really tricky for my family due to my son's peanut allergy.

As you are getting your candy this year, consider providing peanut-free candy options to the Trick-or-Treaters.

Here's the list I am providing my son's teacher (click on it to enlarge, and of course if your child is allergic, always check the labels).

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #106

When I think through my week, I realize that I have many reasons to be thankful for friends. I received encouraging emails and facebook comments. There were real-life moments when people made a difference in my day. I appreciate the people in my life.

Today, I am thankful for my friends.

1. Friends that make concessions for my family because of my son's allergies. I had a friend that had a special event planned last week at her house. She moved the event because my son has been having a terrible time with his asthma and he is allergic to her dogs. I was grateful.

2. Friends that played with my daughter while I tried to get a few pictures of my sons playing soccer. It's wonderful to be able to run over to the perfect spot knowing that my daughter was happy and in good hands.

3. Friends that come over, hang out, and don't care that I didn't really get the table clean before we ate dinner. Sadly enough, I had cleaned the table. I just didn't do a good job. I love friends that don't care about things like that.

4. Friends that swap babysitting with me. Tuesday morning, I watched a friend's kids so she could work in her son's classroom and then she came back and watched mine so I could get some PTO work done. It worked out wonderfully. We both got some things done that we needed to and our kids had a playdate.

5. Friends that send pictures of a coffee mug to me on my phone. The picture was special because I knew what it meant. My friend was drinking out of our special "prayer mugs" and she was praying for me.

6. Friends that share tough feelings. I read a blog post this week from a friend that I have met in real life but that I don't know well. She moved into the town we left right after we left. Anyway, I appreciated her open and honest post about friendships, wanting intimacy in relationships, and needing to rely on her faith.

7. Friends that offer help without me asking. I had a friend call me and ask me what she could do to help. I was getting ready for a PTO event. She was able to help me and I didn't have as much to do before the meeting.

8. Friends that understand when I have to change my plans.

9. Friends that encourage me to be true to myself. I tend to be the kind of person that empathizes with everyone. This makes it hard for me to do what I need to do to take care of myself. I hate disappointing others and letting people down. I had a friend remind me that I need to take care of myself. I appreciate that.

10. Friends that compliment my children. I appreciate the kind words of friends. Sometimes, my children seem like little Tasmanian devils. Compliments are sweet to my worn-out mom soul.

11. Friends that read my blog. All of you are my blog friends. I am thankful for each of you. There is a special sweetness when I know my 'real-life' friends are reading my blog.

12. Friends that bring me lattes. Any takers? Oh well, a girl can dream (and reminisce), right?

Take time to be thankful today, you will be glad you did.