Monday, December 29, 2008

Resolutions

Christmas is over, the New Year is just a couple days away, and this is the time of year that many people re-evaluate and try to make a fresh start. Time for "New Year's Resolutions." Batman and I are working on a couple, and most people have at least one. Some resolve to eat better, to lose weight, to get in shape, to live simpler, to learn how to knit and finish that washcloth you started almost a year ago, to finish that book you've been planning for - what feels like - ever. Some resolutions turn outward and might be to spend more time with your family, to help others more, to volunteer more, to be a better parent, to be a better spouse, or friend, son or daughter, brother or sister. Maybe it is to read your Bible more, or to pray more... What I have found is that most people, in their resolutions, are trying to be a better person. And when they fall short the first time, many people give up. So here are a couple things I want you to consider as the New Year approaches:

The first day of the year is, essentially, just a day. Nowhere does it say that you must eat right, or exercise, or quit smoking, or read your Bible starting ONLY on January first. Really, that isn't a law anywhere. Today is just as good a day as any. Why wait?

On January 5th or 6th, when you screw up and eat that greasy burger, or forget to pick up your Bible that morning, DON'T QUIT!! I sincerely hope no one is ruffled or offended because I said "when"... I have just been there, done that, and know enough about human nature to know that WE ALL SCREW UP AT SOME POINT. Look, if you were already perfect, you wouldn't be making a New Year's Resolution to begin with. So, WHEN you mess up, don't GIVE UP. Every single day is a fresh start. God doesn't work like that. He doesn't hang out in Heaven, looking down and say to us, "Nope, I forgave you for that only the first time you asked. You do THAT again and you are up a creek." No. Rather, He gives a clean slate again! Which is not to say that we get to keep on messing up on purpose just because we know we'll be forgiven, but there is grace. God sees the heart, and He forgives when we come to him and once again washes us clean. So, if God doesn't give up on us or deem us to be "unchangeable", why should we do that to ourselves? Each day is a new, fresh start, regardless of the burger we ate or the Bible we didn't pick up yesterday. And God is waiting with open arms for us to come running to Him and ask Him for a fresh start.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Hands on

Knuckle touch.



















Solid.



















Punch.



















They do love each other. Really.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Debut

Sunday morning Little #1 had his first public debut.... A cast on daddy's foot makes drumming a little difficult... Bud was our fill-in, and let me tell you, he did GREAT! Yes, I realize that, as mommy, I may be a little biased, but seriously, this ten year old did a great job! *applause, applause* Good job, Bud! This mommy is looking forward to your next session on the drums.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Score

Twas the first day of hunting season, and all through the woods,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a deer... (too much rain).

The guns were all loaded and licenses displayed
In hopes of bagging the ultimate prize.

The hunters were all nestled snug in their blinds,
While visions of wall mounts and tenderloin danced in their heads
And momma in her fuzzy slippers and Batman in his camo
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap
When momma looked up at the clock and gasped
"Get out there and try again! We've six tags to fill!!"
Batman sprang from the couch and out the door he ran,
In to the truck he went, and away like a flash.
And to momma's wondering ears should ring,

The cell phone and Batman's voice on the other end,
"Honey, I'll be just a while,
Two deer I have killed,
I'll be home when I'm through."

As darkness fell, Batman pulled in the drive,
Smiling proudly as he showed off his fresh kill.
He and the boy set out to work,
A place to hang the deer had to be built.
When the pounding and sawing came to an end,
Batman stuck his head in the door and announced,
"Momma, I need your help here.
The little one there, I hung him up with ease,
But the bigger one here,
She's too big for just me."
So momma and the boy each grabbed a front leg
While Batman grabbed the hindquarters and started to climb the ladder.
One second he was up, with the deer almost hung,
Then next second he was down on the ground.
Such awful sounds came from him.
A great big scream and a laugh.
Momma knew what a laugh meant with pain,
So she tried to bully him in to the doctor right then.
Batman would hear nothing of the sort,
Instead, went to bed and did not sleep for the pain.
The next evening Batman's foot looked bad,
Like a football with Vienna sausages stuck on one end.
Momma finally won then,
To the hospital they did go to get it checked out.
Doc R. wanted to know, why the wait?
Thanks, Batman, for trying to tough it out,
But you are broken for sure,
And need help now!
A soft cast for the night,
Then to the orthopedic in the morning.
He will have to give you an ok before you can work, you know.
Doc H. was so helpful, and patched him up tight,
With a new blue cast, he can work alright.


One week later and it back to Doc H.
For the first cast was breaking,
A red one this time, please.
Here's hoping Batman gets better soon,
And that Bambi's daddy won't be out to get him, too.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!

Batman: 2
Bambi's mommy: 2 (one point per "permanent" cast)






Monday, November 03, 2008

Think about it

I don't generally go into anything political here, but with the elections tomorrow, what better time to start? I received the following "funny" - or rather, sad and scary - cartoons in my email yesterday and thought I'd share them with you. The last one seems especially accurate.










I immediately forwarded it to my dad and several others. This morning I got this response from my dad:

Great stuff. Here's a good one for you, true story .... Observed activity in our back yard, this morning while I was off at Rehab: Oscar was out on his "zip" line and as he often does, got tangled around the fence. Meantime, a large black lab wandered into the yard. Strangely, Oscar didn't bark or strain at the rope, but rather just observed this dog in silence. The strange, or should I say, foreign, dog went about his business, just sniffing around the yard. Finding a bone that Oscar had taken outside a couple of days ago, the black stranger sniffed at it with interest for a time and finally picked it up and trotted away with it. All the while Oscar just watched in silence. Perhaps he was just incredulous at the audacity of the black stranger and was at a loss for words, or rather, barks. Observing this whole scene from the picture window, Z was just laughing and as the stranger walked off with the bone, commented, "that was Obama, re-distributing the wealth!". Hmmmm .... Perhaps it's a word to us. We cannot afford to stay silent! Dad

I think many of us (perhaps most?) don't fully understand what is at stake for our country this week. Not only are there the economy and war issues, the immigration issue, and the dozens of unanswered questions about Senator O, but there is also the issue of life and death. Yes, the abortion issue is absolutely on the table, and I will personally always vote for life. Period. But I wonder... how many people are aware (or really thinking of this due to all the other issues) that right now there are two Supreme Court judges who are in line for retirement/replacement? These two judges are currently the most liberal judges on the Supreme Court. Who replaces these two men and what these new judges stand for depends solely on who gets elected into the presidency. If our next president ends up serving two terms, that president could potentially replace up to five of the Supreme Court justices. Five new judges handpicked by the president would change the majority of the SC judges. Hmm.... Think carefully. Choose wisely. Not only do we face "today's" issues, but also the shape and direction of our country for the next 40 years. Do you value your way of life? Is the sanctity of life important to you? Marriage? Do you want to live in a socialistic country? And what about things as simple as the right to homeschool our children? Or for that matter, choose their school for them at all. There are other countries that don't have the choice to homeschool or send their kids to private school, or even to a different public school so they can play a sport otherwise unavailable to them. There are countries whose citizens don't even have the freedom to read their Bibles or pray anywhere. Choose carefully. That could be our country.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Perfect timing...

There is something that God is always faithful to do, and yet, for lack of a better word, it always surprises me slightly. It really shouldn't, but I admit, I always feel pleasantly surprised and definitely more at peace.

I've talked with someone recently about decisions they are personally facing, and gave the following advice: "Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray! God seldom uses neon signs in the sky to point the way, but instead, speaks in that still small voice. Pray, and He'll guide you." That's the shortened version of my advice to them. :) J and I have been talking a little about a decision we are facing ourselves and know that we need God's direction for this decision.... Which way do we step? Left? Right? Or should we just stand still for the moment? We talked more in depth about it today and discussed how we both really need to just seek God's face in the matter and trust Him to guide us. When we arrived home this afternoon, I sat down at the computer, opened our mail and found these verses in our inbox. Hmm......

He is Our Guide

For this God is our God for ever and ever;
He will be our guide even to the end.

Psalm 48:14 NIV

__________________

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying,
"This is the way, walk ye in it,
when ye turn to the right hand,
and when ye turn to the left. "

Isaiah 30:21 KJV

__________________

I will lead the blind by a way they do not know,
In paths they do not know I will guide them.

I will make darkness into light before them
And rugged places into plains.
These are the things I will do,
And I will not leave them undone.

Isaiah 42:16 NASB


That last verse speaks of God not leaving us "undone" and "undone" is absolutely how I have felt lately!! It never ceases to amaze me how God knows my exact feelings and thoughts and will speak directly to my soul. Yes, it was "merely" confirmation to seek His face and when I seek His face, He will guide me... There was no specific "direction" found in those verses, but it was that gentle reminder and affirmation of the exact thing that J and I had finished talking about no more than half an hour earlier. I love it!!


Thanks, God.



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Look what I learned!! (WW post - MAYBE)



Hey, maybe I can get a job with Batman, now!! :) (I did say it was MAYBE a Wordless Wednesday post....)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

NNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

I am NOT ready for this. Not at ALL. Not this week, or next. I am not even sure I'd be ready next month..... This just isn't right...........

What is all the fuss about?





Can you see it? I had to take a picture of it on the dog so you could see....

Here, a little closer.....











Yeah, SNOW. *shudder*

The kids are quite excited about it, though....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Guess What I Found?!?!?!?!




AAAHHHHH!!!! An EGG!!!!! Needless to say, I am VERY excited about this. I was beginning to fear that our chickens would not start laying until the Spring. Not good. But, when I went in to the coop to check on them today, I looked down and saw this:




The littles are quite excited as well.









Bud gets chicken duty this coming week, so he will be able to check for new eggs in the morning. He looks excited about it, doesn't he? (Guess what, he really is!! Although, we'll see how the two of them feel about "chicken duty" in six months or so. :) )

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Worth the Wait?

Well, for all of you who have been waiting so patiently for the famed (as long as you follow the tag board anyway) tattoo and sneaker pictures, here they are:

To keep the MOH feeling comfortable, we all added tattoos with a message. "You go girl, we love you!!"


















And of course, the infamous converse sneakers.




















Too bad all the guys didn't get the converse memo. They were jealous of Batman's comfort.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bucks and Doe and Bears, OH MY!!

Hunting season is nearly upon us again... With one MAJOR difference this year......

....... ME.

This past spring, my girlfriend and I took the hunter's safety course together because it is needed to get your pistol permit. I still haven't quite figured out why I want THAT either, but apparently, I do. Anyway, this year our woods and fields are, according to the DEC anyway, more overrun with deer than normal, so each hunting license was going to be accompanied by doe tags. Yay. So, J figured I should get a license this year since I have completely my hsc and can obtain a hunting license and then we would have two times the amount of tags to fill out. Brilliant, I tell you. I went along with it. Sure, honey, you can shoot more deer, fine with me!!! Then these well laid plans began to crumble before my very eyes today....

Everything went smoothly at Walmart... I am now IN THE SYSTEM and in possession of my very own hunting license. When we got to the truck, I proceeded to hand my license over to my husband with a sweet smile and an innocent, "have fun, honey!!" comment... I'd remain safe and sound at the homestead and do my wifely duties of cooking him a hot lunch when he goes out. That was MY plan, anyway.

He shook his head, refusing to take the papers, and said with a maniacal grin, "oh no, honey, YOU are going hunting this year, too!!"

Wait, what? I think I misunderstood. I am sure that I didn't hear right....... You want ME to go out into the woods, SIT QUIETLY - ALL day, HOLD a gun, AIM a gun, and actually shoot accurately???? At something LIVING?! There must be some mistake.

Nope, no mistake. Number one, he isn't filling all those tags by himself. Number two, they are my tags, I apparently have to fill them MYSELF. Something about some law or something. I was tricked, I tell you.... TRICKED!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Frenchman

We have a rooster that has guaranteed his space at our homestead.... Why? I just like the look of him. I think his lop-sided crown makes him look like a little Frenchman wearing a beret. He's even taking a bow - it's all very sophisticated.


















That's my take anyway.

There are others, however, who don't share the Frenchman sentiment. They say that perhaps he is..... um..... ahem..... handicapped and it isn't a French style crown, but rather a............... defect. Ahem.






















It has been said that rather than hearing "Cock-a-doodle-dooooooo" out of him, we might hear "Doodle-lada-cooooooock." What I DO know is that, Frenchman or unfortunate rooster, when he does crow, it is a short and sweet "Cock-a-doooooo." Very nice. He's a keeper.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Breath of fresh air....

The sun is shining, the sky is a deep blue with fluffy white clouds passing by.... and I actually have a free moment to breath....

Weddings are over, family has returned home, ambulance calls over for the day, and I actually slept last night!!!! J essentially shoved a sleeping pill down my throat, but I SLEPT!!!! There were no thoughts of "is this or that taken care of for the wedding?" or "what time do I have to have our crew there to transport Mrs. X?" It was just peaceful sleep curled up in my husband's arms. *sigh* Much better.

I also got to see my parents TWICE in the last week. Very nice. And I was able to spend time with friends I haven't seen in a while.... for some some it has only been TEN YEARS and for another, it has been a couple months since we've been able to just relax and catch up and talk, but that is not nearly enough girl time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Exhaustion

Have you ever been so tired, so wiped out, you felt like you couldn't even think anymore?

I am so there. I could cry from the frustration of it. Eyes burning, throat aching because you are holding it all in kind of cry. With every passing day, I feel like I am getting more and more tired and run down. I don't want to clean, I don't want to do laundry, I don't want to exercise, I don't want to teach, I don't want to cook....

The house hasn't been spotless in weeks. Which, of course, for a person that gets annoyed by mess, isn't a good thing. Mom came over last week and I was so proud of her... Her eyes didn't bug out of her head... She just said, "yep, it does look like a bomb went off in here," and didn't say a word when I replied, "I really don't care right now."


Laundry is a must. We can't go around naked for lack of clean clothes.

Exercise might not be essential.... I'm not sure. Somehow, without touching my elliptical I am maintaining 120.... but I can feel the difference!!! It doesn't take long to lose the "fit" shape when you don't stick with the routine.

Homeschooling the kids makes teaching pretty essential.... In the exhaustion, the patience has flown out the window. Even the little snipping at each other that most siblings will do drives me batty. There are moments I wonder if duct tape is illegal. It isn't nice anyway. Don't worry. I won't actually use duct tape on them. Every once in awhile I do just wonder... I'm pretty sure that duct tape advertises that it can hold anything together.... Even running mouths?????? Just a thought. Really.

Cooking is also extremely important... Maybe I could live on carrot sticks, bagged salad and apples, but I don't think the meat-and-potatoes hubby or the kids would really appreciate such things. J wants to eat by noon every day so when he leaves on his bicycle (what a good man, he is exercising WAY more than I am at this point!!) everything is well digested and doesn't threaten to come back up due to vigorous activity. But in order to have lunchsupperdinner on the table by noon, I have to get up long before that. "Sleep in and order a pizza," you say. Do you know what a pizza costs these days?? I could feed our family for two days for the same price as a pizza. Plus, since I am being so bare-my-soul, show-my-vulnerable-under-belly honest here, even if I did have the option to just sleep and sleep and not worry about waking up and taking care of anything or anyone, I CAN'T. Hours before I am ready to wake up and face the world, my brain turns back on with a sudden flip of a switch... Or mayabe in never shuts off... Thousands of thoughts race through my head... What I need to do, what I haven't done, what I should do, will this work out? Will that person be ok? Should I put my two cents in over here? Was that "two cents" too much? Am I doing this right? Did I screw that up completely? Now there has been a fatality where J works and so I have that much MORE swimming in my head.... How much will come down on him because he is party of the "safety commity"? How are they even handling walking back into the building?? When will the funeral and calling hours be? Will we be in town for them? And most of all, one I never gave TOO much thought to before, is he safe there??.... DEAR GOD, keep J safe at work today. PLEASE.

I am just SO TIRED. Every day I get myself out of bed and run through a little list in my head of all the things I would like to accomplish today.... And by the time I get down the hall and into the dining room, my ambition and motivation for any of it is gone. I'd love to throw everyone a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and go lock myself back in my room. But then I think I would be a shoe-in for bad-mom-and-wife-of-the-year award. Rest. I need rest, I think. Sleep I get every night. Probably not as much as I should, but I do sleep. I don't think I've been able to REST, though, in a while. And the conclusion I am coming to? Without that rest, I will eventually crash and crash hard, and that crash seems closer and closer with each passing day.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Meet Drumstick







Yes, I said "Drumstick."

Yes, Drumstick is a CHICKEN.

Yes, I see the irony. The kids named her. Rumor has it that the ugliest/smallest chickens are usually the best layers. Here's hoping.....

Drumstick feels she is a member of the family. Perhaps after the kids named her, she realized the connotations of her name and decided she better integrate herself into our family a little more. I'll give you an example....

Thursday the kids were outside at the picnic table doing school. Drumstick hopped up on the bench next to T and watched for a couple minutes.



















She then proceed to get in T's lap and "read" with her.




















She wandered away for a couple minutes only to return to T and watch her put her hair up.



















After spending a few more minutes with T, she wandered a couple feet over on the bench and perched next to JT and observed his "math class".




















Drumstick loves all four of us and has no qualms about parking next to the dog, either. She is more than happy to follow us around, weaving in and around our legs, and is even happier to be CARRIED around.

Dear God, PLEASE don't let this chicken be a rooster in disguise and PLEASE make her the best layer we have. I don't think I would have the heart to eat her. Amen.

Friday, August 22, 2008

And God said...

... let there be DIRT!

And a big hole to fit a house in. Hurray!!




















Isn't it pretty?




















We started with a hill, took a bulldozer, and removed a big chunk of hill.




















Then we realized that not enough hill had been removed to fit a house - our bulldozer friend had to come back. So hurray for the new hole in the hill!! Lots of dirt to move now...




















The kids said the piles made great play-things.



















Too bad, so sad, the piles need to go. I think I'd rather have the house....