Monday, November 30, 2009

Fair Warning

Circled in the Hearthsong Christmas catalog, with this note: "Look out Cailin."

This one will definitely be under the tree. Consider yourself warned, Cailin! (But there may just be two under the tree ...)

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Jump In

Daddy filled the ditch with deep piles of leaves, and the girls and Sadie fearlessly dove in. What a metaphor for the way I want to live life... jumping fearlessly in, knowing fun is to be had in the unknown, and knowing my Heavenly Daddy has prepared the way for me and will keep me safe when I jump.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sisterly "Love"

I spent some time Saturday afternoon sorting through pictures and keepsakes, and found the following message, written to me by Cassidy when she was around 7 or 8:

Dear Mom,
I am very sorry for doing stuff to Cailin on accident. Now I know I need to be a little bitt carefuler around miss senstative one. And I really don't know what I did, I'm just writing this because you told me to write a letter to you.
Innacent Cassidy
(The mis-spellings are my favorite part. Seriously, does it get any cuter?)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Night Sounds

I love the sounds that tell me I am home. The football commentary from the family room. The stomp - clapping of Cassidy as she walks anywhere, unable to put one foot in front of the other without additional movement. Cailin singing or calling out for her little sister (or even more frequently - ME!). The gentle sound of classical music I leave on throughout the day until one of the girls has enough and shuts it off.

May I never forget the joyful sound of a normal evening... it is a gift I treasure.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday Thoughts, Except It Is Tuesday

  • Why was I so convinced that September 21st was the 1st day of fall? I still think I am right:-) There's no way I could have been wrong all these years and have just now discovered the fact!
  • I am so grateful for the automatic lift up gate of my minivan. How convenient to push a button on my key and have it open from a distance. Driving my other, older non-automatic gate minivan this weekend made me have a whole new appreciation for this feature. Oh how I wish I had it when the girls were little... and my arms were always full and I was afraid to put a child down lest they run straight into traffic or be abducted. (Yes, these were my thoughts every single time we went shopping. I think I need to relax!)
  • I'm thinking the above statement says volumes about our household. We have two minivans. I swore I would never own a minivan. Two now reside in our garage, joined by Rusty's 16 year old Jeep wrangler. I don't think anyone covets our cars. That's ok. I wouldn't want to make anyone sin.
  • So far in 7th grade Cailin has begun a fantasy book report, created an island with accurate topographical features, learned about castles and medieval times, and is tackling pre-algebra. She is also on the Praise Team and running for Student Government. 7th grade is fun!
  • For the first time , 5th graders at our school have lockers and change classes. Cassidy loves it, praise the Lord! Except I just remembered that she told me Friday her lock broke and I need to buy her a new one. Ugh! Will I ever be caught up?
  • I began Beth Moore's "Daniel" study last week and am so captivated that I raced through 3 days of homework in one. I am now trying to pace myself on the last two days to postpone being finished and wanting to skip ahead. Wow! This one is a good one, and clearly what God has been preparing me for all summer.
  • I really hope to get caught up on my to do list this week. I have been carrying over the same things for so long I should have them permanently engraved as daily tasks.

I better tackle that list, maybe I can cross one thing off today. Happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Time Is Of The Essence

Ephesians 5:15 Look carefully then how you work!
Live purposefully and worthily and accurately,
not as the unwise and witless, but as wise.
This is one of those verses that resonates with me every single time I read it. Maybe because I am a classic procrastinator. Maybe because I frequently bemoan time with the girls slipping through my fingers like sand. Maybe because I complain too often about "having" to work.
Whatever the reason, this is clearly a Word God wants me to hear. So today I'm going to post this verse throughout my house as a reminder to be diligent and use every precious minute God has blessed me with. Time truly is a gift, and I can't keep putting off what needs to be done. The girls are only this age once, and instead of being sad at the passage of time, I need to embrace the days and celebrate them wisely. Not witlessly.
Gotta go. There's lots to be done today!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Blessings

It's cool, in the 50's, and there is just enough breeze to flutter the leaves. The threat of rain is making the sky that magical shade of blue that makes me want to stay inside and listen for the first drops to fall. Cailin is finally recovering from the flu, and feels well enough to sit up and draw. I am snuggling into my comfy chair to enjoy a hot cup of coffee with pumpkin spice creamer and start my new Beth Moore study.

What a delicious Friday morning!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Happy 'Ber Day... or is it Brrrrr Day?

We began married life with Rusty still in college and working as a football coach and assistant athletic director, so our life followed the rhythm of his sport seasons. When September 1st rolled around, the chill in the air heralded the official beginning of football season, which for us meant cool Saturday afternoons in the stadium, followed by chili dinners at our tiny apartment. We realized that September also marked our favorite cool "ber" months, "September, October, November, December" and so we decided to commemorate September 1st as "'Ber / Brrr" Day, and celebrate with the first chili dinner of the year.
After 17 years, this has become one of the most anticipated celebrations of our family, whether enjoyed with a large gathering of friends by the fire pit, or just the two of us with toddlers, barely able to feed ourselves for the little mouths clamoring for their own bites. Each year is different, but special in the way it represents our family at that stage of life. So today when Rusty awakened me with a gentle "Happy 'Ber Day" this morning, I felt a little butterfly in my stomach, remembering the fond memories made and anticipating the fun the next few months hold for our family. Guess I better go get out the crock pot!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

Listening to the gentle sound of the steadily falling rain, Beethoven playing, and the warm scent of coffee brewing is a recipe for my perfect Monday morning. I am snuggling up under the softest blanket within reach and spending some alone time with God. I need to thank Him for this wonderful start to a new week.

(Missing my girls, and these sweet pictures of them picking blackberries on our back to school fun day makes me miss them even more. We had so much fun at the berry farm though, and now have 2 dozen quarts of freshly frozen blackberries frozen for winter goodness.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Normal Is Good

Healthy kids. A happy marriage. Parents who love me.A good job with an amazing boss. The ability to worship my God without fear of consequence. Clothes to wear. Food to eat. A car that is reliable (even if filled with fast food wrappers.) Great friends. A puppy who provides unconditional love. Air conditioning on hot days, and heat on cold ones. Money in the bank. A Christian school that shares God's love with my children as well as academics. A bus that picks them up and brings them home. A pantry full of food.

Sometimes I need to remind myself of the "normal" things that aren't normal for so many hurting people in our world. My prayer is that in the daily rush for more or better, I never lose sight of the abundant life I already have.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to Reality

No more hanging out in hammocks, swigging soda and rocking in the breeze. Today was orientation day for the girls, and tomorrow the first official day of school. Well, it was fun while it lasted.

So long summer days of leisure. See you next year!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Chincoteague Round 2

Summer has been busily humming by, full of so many sweet moments to treasure. I have learned so clearly over the last 12 months to savor the time we have with our family and not to sweat the small stuff, and have found life to be so much more enjoyable and relaxed as a result. However, if I don't wake up and record these memories I'm sure to forget them all too quickly in the chaos of back to school preparations.

I have teased the girls that all I've done this summer is pack, unpack, launder, and re-pack their matching rolling suitcases. The joke isn't far from the truth! We spent some time in Williamsburg as a family, came home in time to pack the girls up for a week away at camp, returned home, and then set off with Nana and Papa to Chincoteague. We met them for the weekend, and had so much fun we decided we needed a return trip.

Here are some pictures of that second trip after Daddy and I had arrived for the weekend. (The girls, once again, went Wednesday with Nana and Papa, wore them out, and then reinforcements showed up for the weekend. Tag team parenting / grandparenting!)

One of my favorite shots... Papa teaching the girls the intricacies of crabbing, ie... tying the chicken necks on rope to be dropped into the marsh below." Good times", as Cassidy says. Woohoo- a keeper. They have to be 5" across and male to keep. Next time maybe we will have enough time to catch enough to make a meal. This trip was purely recreational and competitive for the sisters.

Trust me, Cailin very quickly caught her 5 incher. She decided it was 5 1/4", of course. Anyone spend much time with pre-teen sisters?

OK, these little carts were the most fun! They were basically moped bikes underneath and Daddy and I had so much fun driving around the island. Cailin was initially quite concerned that I was going too fast and was going to plow right into Daddy and Cassidy, but she settled down just in time for ours to flat out die. Right beside a cemetery. We had tons of fun taking pictures while we waited for Daddy and Cassidy to rescue us. It is always something with this family.... usually something fun:-)

After bicycling out to the pony overlook. Brought back so many fun memories of my own childhood vacations. Also made me glad that at 39 I am comfortable enough in my own skin to not care about being photographed with what is conceivably the worst hair of my life.

So that is the second trip of the summer to Chincoteague Island, and the beginning of a love affair for another generation. I am beyond thrilled that the girls have fallen in love with a place that holds such a special place in my heart.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy 12th Birthday Cailin Anne

One month ago my sweet Cailin turned 12. We are now 30 days closer to having a teenager, and for the life of me, I can't figure out how this happened! It seems like just yesterday that I was the one wearing bonne belle lip smackers (Dr. Pepper flavor) and riding my bike back and forth to my best friend Stacy's house. Shouldn't I be the one tying up the phone chatting endlessly about nothing, and not my firstborn, who now texts rather than calls, and sends pictures and messages just as silly as mine, albeit more tech savvy?

How can it be my child who is now consumed with her clothes (and rolls her shorts up twice at the waistband until I pull them down!) and the mirror? The same girl who just last year was still wearing her old tattered preschool jammies ( and yes, they were much too small!), now wants to shop only at Aeropostale. Instead of me complaining that nothing is made to fit petite figures, it is now my girl, crying over the fact that while everyone else can shop in the junior department, she is still stuck in children's sizes, also known as "babies" according to her.

Wow. These days came much sooner than I was prepared for, and I find myself desperate to hold on to "Cailin the child", and not quite ready for "Cailin the pre-teen". I love her so much, and every stage has truly been delightful, but I have entered each one kicking and screaming, and this one is no exception. Even though she is appropriately more concerned with appearance and friends, I'm thankful that she remains pretty grounded and respectful, even still enjoying time with her family.

I wish time would slow down, but since it won't I'm going to enjoy these days, watching the metamorphosis of growth in my firstborn.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

And They're Off!

Nana and Papa pulled up at 8:30 a.m., and were greeted by two overjoyed girls bouncing off the front porch with luggage in tow. The girls had decided to wait in the front porch rockers, so they didn't lose valuable time waiting for them to walk up the driveway and ring the bell. Too sweet! Why the rush? Well, this is the first camping trip of the season, actually the inaugural trip for the new 5th wheel camper Nana and Papa just had to have, so their girls could sleep in bunk beds and have their own little cozy space.

Someone once told my parents to enjoy the grandchildren when they are little, because there will be a day when they don't always want to hang with you. Well, they took it to heart and do their best to soak up the lovin' while it lasts. I have no fear of things changing anytime soon... these girls are crazy for their grandparents that once they take off with them we almost have to abduct them to get them home!

Adding to the excitement of this trip, though, is the added bonus of heading to a location the girls have dreamed of since reading "Misty of Chincoteague" a few years ago. Finally, they get to experience the destination I was blessed to visit summer after summer, Chincoteague Island, Virginia. They are so eager to see the wild ponies that roam the island (actually they are on Assateague Island), see the lighthouse, ride their bicycles all over this quaint little fishing village, and go crabbing for the first time.

We are heading over to meet them this weekend, and the memory of driving over the bridge and crossing into town gives me butterflies in my stomach. The last time I visited was on my honeymoon, 17 years ago. I can't wait to see things through the eyes of the girls, and show them all my old favorite places, including where Mommy and Daddy shared the first days of our married life. (Somehow I think they will find this far less interesting than an actual pony sighting!)

Ironic how life really does go full circle. The first time I visited Chincoteage I was 12 years old, and now I am returning, seeing it through the eyes of my own 12 and 10 year old daughters. What joy!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Few Rocks Loose

Edited to add: My Mom saved the day, as usual! While I was at VBS with Cailin Monday evening, she came by and neatly reassembled my wall. It looks great! My Mom rocks... pun intended:-)

So we moved into our new home two months ago, and it has pretty much rained nonstop ever since. Rusty has been hobbling around in a back brace, unable to bend over, and I have been scrambling just to maintain. Not progress, necessarily, just maintain. We have great plans for our home, and can't wait to turn it into the show place we can envision, but with busy schedules and a recovering husband, we haven't been able to implement them yet. Oh, yes, and we also are waiting for the architectural review committe to approve our "radical" color choices of black shutters and red doors, as opposed to the current faded hunter green.

The house sat empty for 6 months, so there were a lot of maintenance things that required our immediate attention, such as a new water filtration system, exterminator treatment, gutters full of leaves and a lawn that is growing at the speed of light. We inherited a pseudo- retaining "wall" at the front of the property, which never has appealed to me, but seems to have potential in Rusty's eyes. The problem with it, is that it consists of stacked rocks which pitch forward and refuse to stay in place, an ironic dilemma for something supposedly supporting the dirt behind it. Nevertheless, it could be beautiful given much time and attention, and undoubtedly some money for good measure. All things we are currently in short supply of. Basically the wall is on our list, but it hasn't inched its way to the top, just yet.

So today as I sat with my girlfriend Susan, chatting and eating pizza while my fresh from the shower wet hair dries into a frizz, the neighborhood association president stops by to ask me if I (or my children- small girls, by the way!) could pick up the loose rocks in the wall because "people have been complaining about it". You have got to be kidding me. I'm not talking a stone wall that has fallen down into rubble here. I'm talking about a 3 row high stone edging for a flower garden, with rocks kicked loose from the deer who clamber up the incline on a nightly basis. You can barely even notice them. I mean, we don't intend to leave them, but to complain about them?? Seriously??
I took the girls to see what we could do, and the answer is nothing. Those rocks aren't light, and they aren't budging! So I guess we will be forking over some cash this weekend, to repair the wall that I don't even like.
Let's hope they don't peek inside the house. After this weekend's festivites they may see worse than a few loose rocks!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Must Be a Tween Thing

This story cracked Rusty up, and he had to call me from the car to share in his laugh. My disclaimer: we demand respect from the girls, and her comment was truly given in the spirit of fun, and the result of a long standing joke about Daddy singing in front of her friends.....

Saturday Rusty did all the chauffering of the girls for me, and even managed to carpool several of their friends to CYT. On the way to pick the friends up, he asked the girls what song he should sing for them.

Without pause, Cailin replied, "It's called "Keep Your Mouth Shut and Drive". Hmmm... wonder if it has a beat he could dance to?

Monday, May 04, 2009

I'm Back... Sort of...

Computer troubles have plagued me since we moved in a month ago. First, it took us two weeks to have our internet service connected, then I couldn't get on to my blog to update for some unknown reason.

Thought I'd try again today, and woohoo, it let me access my own blog!

It has been a busy month, moving in, getting used to all new routines, and surviving the adjustments involved in moving while your husband is recovering from surgery. Thanks to family and friends, though, we are settling in and loving our new home.

I'l be back soon with updates and pictures... if I can find the cord to uplaod pics from the camera. Ugh!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Moving On

I've been so focused on making this move happen that I haven't had time to reflect on the magnitude of what we are really doing. At least I haven't thought about it until this morning, when I took the girls to school, walked back into the house, and promptly burst into tears on Rusty's shoulder.

It suddenly all threatened to overwhelm me... leaving friends, not waving to the same dog walkers each morning as we leave for school, no more hot tub or amazing deck, no more bonus room over a garage for the girls to share, saying goodbye to the plants we have lovingly nurtured over the years, saying goodbye to the burial site of my beloved Gizzy... giving up the dreams I had of the girls growing up with the children on our cul de sac... I just sobbed and sobbed, as Rusty comforted me and let me get it all out.

Then, he reminded me of all the wonderful things we are going to... acreage, a beautiful neighborhood with a pond, closer to Mom and Dad, closer to many other friends, an amazing house that we never thought we could afford (ok, it needs some work or we still couldn't!), a deck off our master bedroom where I can do Bible study in solitude, and so much more... Logically I knew all those things, I just needed him to remind me of them and reassure me in my moment of hysteria.

What I love so much about being married to Rusty is that even though this move was my idea, not his, in my moment of weakness and doubt, he didn't join in my fear. Instead he reminded me that this was God's plan, that we sought God all through this, and we can be at peace. He always knows exactly what I need and how to comfort me, so much like my heavenly Father. I am so grateful to God for giving me not only a Christ- like Dad, but a husband as well. So as we move to another house, I am peaceful and excited, knowing it is just a house, and wherever Rusty is... there is my home.

I'm ready to go.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

  • Parents who show up at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning to shuttle your children to their activities so you can pack.
  • Parents who stay for the day, hauling away excess stuff to the dump, and then packing the garage into a trailer for the move on Friday.
  • Parents who are willing to spend a busy week night evening helping my select a washer and dryer, and then reassuring me that I made the right choice when I agonize over the expense.
  • Friends who send meals and call to see how your husband is feeling, and really want to hear the answer.
  • Friends who send brownies with their meals:-)
  • Friends who show up unsolicited and spend their Saturday afternoon helping you pack up your overstuffed house.
  • Friends coming in the back door, just as another heads home out the front door.
  • Friends bringing boxes. And more boxes.
  • Friends who help your daughters with their math homework when they can see that you are clearly overwhelmed and about to blow.
  • The narcotics that give your husband relief from the excruciating pain of spinal surgery, and keep him resting, while the upper two floors of his house rapidly disintegrate into a storehouse for cardboard boxes.
  • Bedtime.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Roller Coaster

There's a perfectly good reason I don't like roller coasters- the constant dread. I spend the entire ride fearing the inevitable twists and turns, climbs and sudden descents, that take my breath and make me feel as though I'm on the verge of a panic attack. My daughters, however, both love them, begging to ride the bigger and more thrilling rides; and when they do, I spend the whole time in prayer- for their safety or a change of heart that will send them out of the line and back to me. Clearly I like security.

This month has been a roller coaster of activities and emotions, and I've had to fight the same feelings of panic, calming my spirit with God's Word and reminders of His faithfulness to me in the past. So as I have had many highs and lows, the thrilling part of this "ride" has been how God has met me at each turn and held me through each free fall. The highs have outweighed the lows, and I am frantically journaling the process, because this will be at the top of those times I refer back to for reassurance of His faithfulness. Despite my feelings, I have in fact, had the constant security of knowing my Heavenly Father has great plans for me.

Here's what's been going on around here...
  • Sell our house for less than we hoped, but more than the market predicted.
  • Frozen pipe burst shortly before accepting contract, and the next 4 days were a flurry of carpet cleaning, plumbing, and writing of checks. UGH!
  • As soon as we offered a contract for the house we've wanted since January, another offer came in and we entered into a week long bidding "war". (It's hard for me to call it a "war", though, since I was praying for the other family and trusting God that it would all work out for every one's best.)
  • During the home inspection of our current house, radon was discovered in the basement, as well as the potential threat of a leak in our water main. Which is located beneath our driveway. Translation: a VERY expensive repair... on a house we wouldn't even be enjoying any longer.
  • We received the news that we did, in fact, "win" (at a higher cost than hoped- noticing a trend here?) the house we have been dreaming of. Woohoo!
  • After 2 plumbing companies and the county water workers inspected our lines, we were deemed leak-free. Woohoo! Of course the buyers still want to come back for yet another opinion, so I am praying the same verdict is given today.
  • Rusty had a spinal fusion last Wednesday, which is extremely painful and requires him to basically do nothing but rest and take two short daily walks for the next 5 weeks. Perfect timing ... we don't have much going on anyway, other than packing 3 stories of treasures and moving them across town.
  • Spring has sprung, despite the temperatures feeling otherwise, which means field hockey joins our schedule of play practice, gymnastics, girl scouts, and youth group.

Our life has been crazy and thrilling, with lots of ups and downs this month, but I have to say that it also has been one of my favorite times. God has been more than faithful to send me a special word at the perfect moment, or a friend who offers to spend an afternoon packing or bringing dinner so I can pack and not cook. I doubt if I'll ever be a fan of amusement park roller coasters, but I have to say, the ride that is my life... I'd wait in any line to do it all over again. With God, it's a thrill a minute!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Nothing is ever simple...

Well, the sign says it all. Our house sold, and because we can never do things simply, the same day we signed the contract a frozen pipe burst and required an emergency (read expensive!) visit from the plumber and cleaning company.

Saturday was supposed to be a relaxing, unscheduled day, but those plans rarely come to fruition around here. (A friend swears our family motto is "Nothing is ever simple with the Davis' ".) As I relaxed on the sofa with a magazine and the girls played wii , Rusty burst in the house and ran back and forth to the basement shouting out on each succesive trip "leak!", " I need help", "don't know where", "I can't find the shutoff valve". Then ultimately, the words I knew were coming, "Call a plumber!". Speaking to the chaos our lives often are, our girls barely raised an eyebrow, only later coming out of their wii stupor to ask what was going on with Daddy.

After getting the water shut off, and thankful that only a minor amount of water actually made it into the house, Rusty went for the shop vac to dry out the carpet. When he immediately came back in the kitchen, cradling his hand, I knew that couldn't be a good sign. Sure enough, as he reached in the shop vac, which apparently had recently been used to suction up glass, you guessed it, he sliced his hand! So he came in the kitchen to clean up, saying he hoped it wouldn't need stitches, (which unnerves me- that means it is bad. Don't look!)only to realize he had shut the water off and would have to douse his wound with purell until I could lug the water purifier upstairs from the basement fridge. So as he stood at the sink bandaging his hand, I opted for plan #2, calling in professionals to clean the mess. Servpro was more than happy to come and clean up minor water with major equipment and price tag. So much for my planned day of shopping.

So for the past 4 days we have had 5 industrial strength fans and a dehumidifier humming along in our basement, creating a wind tunnel of carpet. Sadie, the shih tzu, has enjoyed standing in the breeze, ears billowing behind her like a model in a fashion shoot, and is sure to be sorry to see them go today, although she will be alone in her sorrow. The hum is a bitter reminder of the check we had to write to cover this little venture, ouch, and I'm ready to move on. No pun intended.

Of course, we still wait to see if we actually will be moving, because as soon as we had a contract on our house, we offered a contract on the house we have been desiring for 2 months. On the same day another offer was given for the very same house. By neighbors on an adjacent cul de sac in our current subdivision. For a house in an entirely different neighborhood. What are the odds?

Oh, for us I'd say pretty good. After all... "nothing is ever simple for the Davis' !".

Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Joy

The day is still young, but the morning has already delivered some pure moments of joy. I love Fridays!
  • My car is being serviced today, and several items are, unexpectedly, covered under warranty.
  • The repair we expected to cost over $500 can be done for $250.
  • The surgery for Rusty's spinal fusion that was originally declined by our insurance carrier has been approved. Praise God!
  • Even better, although the original surgery date of March 18th had been given to another patient when Rusty's was declined, the office manager called and managed to get him back on the schedule for the exact date. Praise God! This means he won't miss so much of school, which is critical to this crazy principal:-)
  • I am having a really good hair day.
  • Sadie goes to the groomers and will soon cease to look like a tangled yak. (Although there is a very real chance she may come home looking like a hairless cat!)
  • The girls have a half day of school today, and we can hang out and relax this afternoon.
  • My house is being cleaned today, so I have the weekend off. Hallelujah!
  • Tonight is bunco night and I get to spend the evening laughing with some precious friends.
  • Whether we move or not, it's almost time to hang ferns from the front porch and that always makes me happy.
  • God is so good, and I love the way he shows up each day in so many ways.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

To Do

I woke up feeling somewhat un-rested (is that a word?) this morning, after tossing and turning a good portion of the night. I realized that most of the feathers from my down comforter had migrated to Rusty's half of the bed, leaving me sleeping under the equivalent of a sheet. So the first order of the day is re-plumping my comfy comforter.

Next up is making a complete list of all the things that are nagging me to be done; calls to be returned, school applications to be mailed, and credit card charges to be disputed. All minor, yet when carried over on my mental to do list for several days (or weeks- yikes!) causing me stress and sleepless nights.

After that, I am headed (with some chai tea) to my cozy spot on the sofa, where my ottoman is already covered with my current study materials, highlighters, and pens. I'm hoping that some time focused on God's Word will change my perspective on today and give me the encouragement I need to tackle that to do list, and maybe even get some work done, too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Puppy Talk

The girls needed some current pictures to submit for a contest, so we had an impromptu photo shoot, one night last week in our old standby, in front of the fireplace in the living room. Of course no picture is complete without a shih tzu puppy, so Sadie tolerated the flash in exchange for some extra loving.
She will pretty much do anything for attention, being the most social dog I have ever seen. If this dog were a girl, she would be a partier for sure! As I write this she is doing her best to talk to me as she coos, nibbles on my laptop, and drops her slobbery ball at my feet. She is as jealous as a toddler of me being on the phone or at the computer, which means she spends a good portion of her day trying to distract me. Chewed up tissue are a favorite tactic, followed closely by chewing on Daddy's house moccasins and my going out flip flops. (As in "taking the dog out, not going out-out").
When all else fails, she simply starts biting our toes, and nothing will stop her except going to purgatory, the crate. Actually, I take that back, the sound of Rusty's reverberating "No!" also stops her in her tracks, but unfortunately has the added bonus of making her tinkle, not good, especially when he is holding her. In fact, until the last few weeks, if she thought he was going to take her out she would cower and soldier crawl to the door, which made me laugh, but didn't really encourage him to take her out, a habit of which I am a great fan of. So I started attaching her leash, taking her to the door, and then doing the old bait and switch with daddy as they headed out the door. We'll show her who's boss around here!
At 6 months old, I guess it's high time to start teaching her manners, otherwise she will never be the true southern lady her big hair suggests she might be. A bow can only cover up so many indiscretions, you know. She is loving and fun, but doesn't understand "sit, or stay, or come, or down", so she pretty much runs around like a ping pong ball in a tile room, until bedtime when she collapses in a blessed heap on the floor.
So that's how our (Sweet Tea) Sadie is doing... she's pudgy and feisty and has some serious hair. Hmmm, I guess it is true what they say about dogs and their owners!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Random Monday Thoughts

  • Two days in bed will certainly make you appreciate your health, once restored. Oh my word, last time I was sick I discovered a Jon and Kate marathon, and became temporarily hooked on that show. This time, Tori and Dean was running a day long catch up on the last season... fascinating in my fever induced state. Not so much in retrospect. Oh, well, it go me through the day!
  • Loving my chai latte today, soothing the last of this sore throat away.
  • Crazily, at the height of feeling sorry for myself Friday, Rusty called with the news that the contract from the other people fell through on the house we wanted. (Oh yeah, we pulled our bid out Tuesday because we felt like it was too much stress to carry two mortgages, and we truly believed it shouldn't require such jumping through hoops if it was Gods plan. Still really felt it was "our" house, and trusted God to make it work.) So yesterday I frantically organized the pantry and bagged food to take to the food pantry (Who needs 3 cans of crushed pineapple or 3 bags of flour? I clearly need a better shopping system- we don't even use crushed pineapple!), while Rusty sorted and purged. I guess our house goes on the market today or tomorrow, not quite sure, I'm still in a stupor over the turn of events. As long as our house sells first we should be fine, but if the other one is sold, we are staying and not looking anymore.
  • I tore apart the scarf I am knitting, for the second time. Geesh! It was turning into an afghan instead of a scarf, and since we don't live in the arctic, I don't really need that much wrapped around my neck. I'm trying it again with only 18 stitches, we'll see if it grows, too. I hope I get it completed before spring... trying to appreciate the hobby, and not necessarily just the outcome.
  • My house is a mess, the shelves in my office collapsed under the excess weight I loaded on them, and missing one day of work seems to have set me back a week. It feels like I will never get caught up today, but I am trusting God to just carry me through:-) I made the time to do today's homework from Esther, and it feels so good to be back in an organized Bible study. I love my daily devotions, and my own studies, but there is something to be said for a concentrated study of one book over 10 weeks time. I love the continuity, and Beth Moore truly seems to bring to the surface things I never would have noticed on my own.
  • I need to sign Cailin up for spring field hockey, and write the congratulatory ads for the girls play (due weeks ago!), and also help Cailin write a formal rsvp for her junior cotillion formal dance. Oh, that reminds me that I still haven't returned the dresses from the semi- formal in December that she opted not to wear. Have mercy, do you see how behind I am. Guess blogging isn't the best use of my time, and on that note, I'm off to work.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fun ??? Friday

If you happen to catch your daughters cold, and feel like doing nothing other than burying your head under the covers until the 3:00 carpool, I recommend the above items. You probably will also want to put the puppy in her crate, so she won't be trying to lick your nose when you fall asleep.

I'm off to follow my own advice:-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Big Day

I want to remember the hype surrounding todays inaugeration, because like all major life events, soon this will be nothing more than a memory, as our country gets back to focusing on the business at hand.

The local news shows image after image of traffic snaking along, trying to find parking in the metro lots which were already 90% full at 6:00 a.m. Police predicted that we, 50 miles south of DC, could be in gridlock for 24 hours. Locals are renting rooms for $1000.00 a night, while I saw on t.v. that others opened up their home for free, hosting Germans, students, and middle Eastern guests.

It's a crazy time, as so many celebrate our new president as a savior for our country. I don't see him as such, and honestly oppose much of what he stands for. However, as the leader of our country, I choose to pray for him, and ask God to give him the wisdom he needs to protect and lead the United States.

In the midst of the hoopla for the inaugeration, Rusty and I wait to hear if our offer on a new house has been accepted, and if we are going forward with this move. It has been incredibly stressful to weigh the pros and cons in a pretty iffy real estate market, but we have sought God and feel He is guiding us. Once again I am reminded that we have to "step out of the boat" if we want to allow God to do great things in our life, and honestly, I struggle with this. I realize I am often content to keep paddling along, safe and comfortable, instead of trusting that God will carry me and allow me the blessing of walking with Him, in unknown territory, if I just step out in faith.

So today is a big day for our country, and a big day for our family. I'm so thankful that I have the assurance of God's sovereign grace for both circumstances.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What A Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday I was looking forward to a long overdue dinner with my husband and close friends. At Bonefish. One of our favorite date restaurants.

Instead, I spent 2 hours in the pediatricians office, waiting for the results of strep and flu tests. By the time we left their office the lights were off and the parking lot was empty. Cassidy was starving, so I caved and said yes to nuggets and milkshakes from McDonalds. Bad idea for the sister who has been coughing uncontrollably for the better part of two days. Daddy will be cleaning up the floor mats tomorrow morning. 'Nuff said.

Thanks to the drive through window at CVS I was able to obtain the magical cough potion that promises sleep for us all tonight. I'm especially hoping it is effective, as the little sister started sneezing this evening, and is apparently nipping at the heels of the cold Cailin has been battling. Ugh!

Yesterday I believed this would be the view of the laundry room entry of my new home...

Today the realtor called with the heartbreaking news that another offer had been made for "our house". The "good" news is that if we are willing to sell our soul, sacrifice equity, and attempt to own two homes indefinitely in a plummeting housing market, I can still have my dream home. Hmmm tough decision.
Yesterday I was very proud of my ability to trust God in everything.
Today I realized it is easy to trust God, when things are going my way.
Father God, please keep my eyes and heart focused on you. Always and in everything.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Little Things

Soft music playing, refrigerator humming, taco soup simmering, and warm bread rising.

Nothing special, but it fills my heart with contentment this cold January day to know that all is cozy in my home.