Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hiding presents...or chocolate...

I was the obnoxious, frustrating kid who used to get into all the Christmas presents in my parents deep closet to the left of their bed next to their porch doors. I was much younger when I got into all the gifts my Mom carefully wrapped and hid. I don't remember too many of them, except for the robe one year and the wooden instruments another year, and the books and art supplies the following year. Something like that - I guess I remember more than I thought. One Christmas when I was older, though, my Mom got me. She asked me to store this big, wide, nondescript cardboard box in my bedroom. She told me that it was a gift for my uncle. Over the weeks during December my clothes, shoes, books, and general teen clutter amassed on the top of this box. Perhaps it was so overcome with my junk that I forgot about it, but on Christmas morning after all the gifts were opened my Mom told me to get the box from my room. I proceeded to follow her directions and was informed that this was my Christmas gift. My Mom was smiling a smug "I finally fooled you, and am so happy I did" smile as I opened the box. In it were four beautifully framed lithographs of Monet's most popular paintings. My Mom knew of my interest in the famous watercolor artist's paintings and thought I would like them. I did. They have hung in prominent places in every home we've owned. It was probably the best Christmas gift I've ever received and am reminded of my Mom's clever persistence to finally surprise me on Christmas morning.

Interestingly enough, you'd think with six daughters I'd have one that would find and open our Christmas presents. Nope. Amazingly enough, we manage to hide them well enough. We do have one, or two kids, that manage to ransack the other girls' Advent calendar chocolates, however.This is a serious problem. It happened last year and again this year. It was a fleeting moment of forgetfulness coupled with exhaustion and distraction that led to the big no-no: I left the flimsy cardboard calendars with cheesy Christmas scenes on the counter before I went to bed one night. Uh oh. What proceeded the next morning was predictable: my early birds arose and imagine their surreptitious joy when they discovered the calendars, with chocolates in them !, on the counter with no adult or older sister to stop them. So, an hour or so later I get out of bed and stumble into the kitchen to discover the proof of chocolate thievery: little cardboard tabs with various numbers on them, strewn over the kitchen floor amidst the cardboard containers that had been greedily ripped apart. The cardboard carnage was all over the kitchen floor. The guilty ones were watching T.V., buzzed on chocolate, and smiling in a way that said "We've completely forgotten about our chocolate heist and will pretend we know nothing about it - before blaming the other sister." The shrieks of horror and outrage expressed by my older daughters at the unthinkable deed quickly prompted a round of discipline and a good talking-to with the younger girls. When am I going to learn? Perhaps the lesson I need to learn is not to do Advent Calendars - or, fill them with nuts and veggies instead. That'll do it: a healthy Advent Calendar! Yeah, right. Well, at least we don't waste wrapping paper on prematurely opened gifts -yet.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Most Amazing Birth Story

I don't stress over Christmas. Christmas should be enjoyed, but I don't get overly sentimental about it. However, I was thinking recently about how profound it is that God chose to reveal himself to the world as a baby. He actually had to be born-through a birth canal, no less. Jesus was considerate enough not to need a c-section; he wouldn't do that to Mary!(And I'm sure he didn't get stuck, either!) Besides, they didn't do c-sections back then and Joseph was a carpenter, not a surgeon. Birth was especially dangerous in those times, and yet God saw to every detail, even a warm, safe place for Jesus to be born. Apparently, the Inn was an open-air, very exposed place. The stable was much preferred for a laboring woman. Joseph, the unsung hero in Jesus' early life, actually delivered the Savior. This is quite astonishing if you think about it. I bet Mary got skin-to-skin contact right away and bonding with Jesus, with the sheep and cattle mooing and "lowing" nearby. Wacky environment, huh? Very natural and down-to-earth!I bet Mary also nursed Jesus shortly after birth, with no trouble at all. Can you imagine breastfeeding God?! I bet he never bit her after he got teeth! But, back to that miraculous night....Of course, there were the shepherds who had just been informed by the angels shortly before of the Savior's birth nearby. I'm sure Mary was all cleaned up and covered up by the time they arrived. I'm positive the shepherds were very considerate of her regardless of how she looked.

It just amazes me that God chose birth as his way of entry into the world. He could've chosen a different way: I'm sure of it. (I'm just not clever enough to think of how.) That he would choose a helpless, vulnerable baby that would one day save people from their sins is nothing short of incredible to me. It made me think about birth itself, as I have experienced this past year. (The picture above is one of two happy pictures taken of Julia's delivery. I'm so grateful Tim was able to capture it.)I believe God has a special grace and place in his heart for those who give birth and those who help them. I'm convinced that those who love to witness and aid in the miracle of a baby's birth, be they midwives, nurses, doctors, doulas, or the occasional husband (intentionally or with great surprise), are close to God's heart. My prayer for all those birth providers this season is that whether they call Jesus Savior or not, they would be struck with the realization that they are doing God's work in bringing vulnerable, needy little souls into the world who will hopefully love and serve God one day.

On a personal note, I think and pray especially for the scared, inexperienced nurse who delivered my baby this summer. Although she used horrible judgment and deserved to be let go after my delivery, nonetheless, she was used by God to deliver my baby safely and quickly. I pray that God would give her special comfort this Christmas season. I also pray that she learns all that she's supposed to from her time with me, Tim, and our precious Julia. And regarding my last obstetrician: I know my labor and delivery will not rank as a career highlight for him. I'd like to believe that had it been any other day my experience would have been different. But I belong to God and he orders the events of my life, including my babies' births, with kindness and excellence to accomplish his greater purposes. In that truth, although I've wrestled mightily with it, I rest.

And to all my pregnant friends: I'm praying for you! May God grant you a joyous, peaceful delivery in 2009. I'm here for you!

Friday, December 5, 2008

"There Must Be A Better Way To Do This"

As I was getting dressed for another wearying day of washing laundry and combing my girls' lice-infested hair out this morning I asked God for wisdom about this daunting, seemingly unending situation I was facing. "Is there a better way to do this God?" I queried the Almighty. He made head lice (or was that the Devil?!!)and he knows the number of hairs on our heads (and so do I after combing each of my children's hair and checking every strand for nits dozens of times!), surely there might be a better way to go about this situation. Later that morning the school secretary called to inform me that Chloe and Leanne's school work was ready to pick up in the office. As I arrive in the office they inform me that now I'll need a doctor's note because the girls have missed so much school. "Huh?" I say. "I'll go talk to the school nurse."
"We've just been talking about you," the school nurse tells me after I introduce myself and ask about the doctor's note I apparently needed. As I describe all our lice treatments - lice shampoo, mayonnaise and vinegar and tea tree oil and the countless hours of combing - she looks a little puzzled and tells me that head lice usually goes away in a couple of days after a treatment and combing. As she describes nits, eggs, and lice, it became apparent that all the little white eggs we were constantly combing off the girls' scalps - "When you flake at the scalp, girls, look at all the eggs that come out! Oh my!" - was dry scalp. OOHHHHH!!!UUGGGHHH!!!!
I asked her to check me and she declared me lice-free. I left quickly - laughing most of the way home with a gut-busting, hearty laughter that I haven't felt in a looong time - knowing the girls would be ecstatic when I declared them nit-free.
Although I felt like an idiot for thinking that dry scalp flakes were lice eggs - "Oh look at that big one!" - I was grateful that God answered my cry for wisdom. My girls were ecstatic that the party they had already cancelled on for Sunday was resumed. My mood improved considerably as well.
I now declare myself an expert on all things related to lice, egg, and nit identification and removal. And, to boot, all of our hair is super-shiny and combed beautifully straight. And I know each of my children's scalps intimately. Ha! Ha!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Would you like a little head lice with that turkey and gravy?

Warning: gross post ahead. So, we all start scratching our heads on Sunday and I'm thinking "Oh, no...perhaps it's dry scalp? Oh, please God, let it be dry scalp - really dry!" as I'm seeing Leanne scratch and scratch and Chloe and me and Elena scratch, itch, itch....Are you feeling itchy yet? By Monday afternoon Elena says again "Mom, I'm really itching!" I had already checked their necks at the base of their scalp to see if I could identify any critters, but I didn't. I checked the top of her head, the crown, and sure enough this nasty, ugly little louse was crawling around. So, I put in a second call to my friend who's dealt with several bouts of it. As we're talking I'm realizing that yes, we all have head lice. I say to her "Hold on a sec" as I breathe in deeply and try not to scream. I'm totally grossed out and horrified at the prospect. I inform Tim and thus begins loads and loads and loads of laundry, special lice killer shampoo, and combs (a flea comb works the best). In fact, I've spent hours and hours combing out everyone's hair, including my own. So, Thanksgiving is approaching and my family asked me and my lice-infested brood not to join them. I cry and am upset, but I quickly alter our plans and thanks to Trader Joe's, we have a slightly altered Thanksgiving. It was just us 8 and we had a good time. While eating all the yummy food, Camille notices an egg on Elena's head and picks it out - right during dinner at the table. I'm very happy that she had such keen eyesight and that one of those little buggers has gone down - one less to comb out! We all start laughing about how this will go down as "The grossest Thanksgiving ever." If ever there was a contest on "Your grossest Thanksgiving memory" you would win, I tell my sweet little children. We laughed and had fun. But, the loads continue, the combing continues, and the quarantining continues. On a positive note, my good friend Holly brought some pies and wassail over and my friend Lisa (the lice expert) invited us over for dessert that night. We went (Tim stayed home to do, guess what - laundry) and we had fun. We weren't so rejectable after all!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving thoughts

I can't believe it's been several weeks since I've written on my blog. My computer was down for a week or so and I've been fasting and keeping a "fast journal." This outlet for writing has satisfied my need to express myself, but I would like to update my blog with other things that could be made more public. However, now that I'm sitting here I can't think of anything to write about. Thanksgiving is this week and I'm actually looking forward to it. I'll be with my Dad and Stepmom and sisters and one stepsister, Camie. Our kids get along very well together and Camie is just as sweet and funny as can be.
I like Thanksgiving. It's always been one of our favorite family holidays growing up. I remember the Thanksgiving when my brother, an older teenager at the time, came in to the dining room from the kitchen and sat down with the rest of us to finish eating. We said: "Michael, you've been picking at the chocolate cake." To which he responded: "No, I haven't." We then proceeded to point the chocolate crumbs on the side of his mouth that he hadn't totally wiped off his face before returning from the scene of the crime. Caught! Chocolate handed!
I also remember waking up late in the morning on Thursday one year when I was in high school to the smells of dinner cooking and seeing my mom working hard to put it all together. It was so nice to sleep in, to see my mom in the kitchen, and to smell the yummy smells of Thanksgiving dinner coming together. I miss my Mom.
Although 2008 has been one of the hardest years I can remember enduring in a long time, there are an overwhelming amount of things I can be thankful for. The sheer number of blessings God has graciously granted me are staggering. How could I complain about ANYTHING or focus on negative things? Even the negatives will in turn be blessings in time. He will turn my ashes into beauty....Everything in its time.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sweet Honeybees

It's Monday and Daisy and I just returned from Target. I have nothing interesting to write about. I saw a movie yesterday afternoon: The Secret Life of Bees. It was good. I like Queen Latifah and she did a good job in this movie. Dakota Fanning's performance was excellent, too. I read the book about a year ago and it was good. I thought the movie did a great job of captivating the look and feel of the book and I recall the book events were closely followed. They didn't captivate the sweltering, suffocating, humidity of the South like the book did. Also, most of the women seemed younger in the movie than they were in the book. It was still excellent but it didn't really grab at my emotions like I was hoping for. I was hoping to really escape for the afternoon. I didn't. The thoughts and feelings I was hoping to take a break from never really left me thoughout the whole movie. Oh well....back to reality.
One thing I realized this morning is that when I'm tempted to focus on something that I shouldn't, I should actively praise God. I have in mind to meditate and memorize Psalm 103. There are a couple of other scriptures I'd like to look up in various versions to memorize and focus on throughout the day to bring comfort, truth, hope. I realize that this is a very valuable discipline that will help me dig myself out of the emotional hole I find myself in sometimes. It really is a conscious decision of my will and that shovel by little shovel I will dig myself out and come up for air. I will walk away from this season and into a brighter field, so to speak. Of course, I love the field behind my house and I love bees. I love that they drink nectar out of flowers and make sweet, sticky honey. I love the flowers they drink from and how productive they are. I love that their whole life is about getting something for others to benefit from. Do they think about themselves and their short life? Do they care that they are one of thousands in a hive, a colony and that they are not unique? Do they care that they contribute only a small amount to the overall honey crop? No - they are just busy, busy, busy. So, I think I will need to get busy, busy, busy in this business of committing God's word to my thinking and letting it affect my emotions as only God's living, breathing, true word can. I am not that important, but the little I contribute to the world in the big picture adds up to a small taste of sweet honey. I hope to be sweet and affect those around me accordingly. Let me drink from those sweet flowers of God's word and let them work themselves into my heart, thoughts, and words.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"How do you do it?"

I don't have much to write about tonight, just random thoughts. I was thinking the other day how many times people ask me how I manage six kids or "I don't know how you do it" comments. I must field those comments and questions several times a week. Quite frankly, I don't think six kids is that big of a family. Although, there are times when I think, "I have six kids! How did this happen?!" Anyway, I've learned that the best answer is to say, "We laugh a lot. We don't take ourselves that seriously. And I say 'no' a lot, too. I'm rather unpopular at any given time with friends, family, and neighbors." I have learned that this seems to be the secret to enjoying my larger size family. I don't have lots of expectations for myself or my kids other than the basics of dishes, laundry,general neatness, healthy meals, and kindness and patience. To achieve all of this even one day a week is an astonishing, sound-the-trumpets (do ya' hear that David?) day!As this season of having really little ones changes, I'm sure the bar will be raised higher. At this point, though, I can't imagine adding in piano lessons, soccer practice, dance lessons, art lessons, Girl Scouts, etc. To be pulled in so many different directions time and money-wise is bordering on insanity. My children are learning to be creative in their backyard and to play with one another. "I'm bored" and "There's nothing to do" are not acceptable phrases in our home, although I have one child who regularly utters these banned words. I'm still thinking and praying about how to answer her so that she is creative with her options and resourceful before she utters those dreaded words. I think I'm going to have a talk with her tomorrow and see how I can help her "think before she speaks."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Shoe Shopping

I was on the phone this morning with Brent back and forth a couple of times about shutting down the utilities and he mentioned that the deed had recorded. Our rental property had sold and we no longer owned it. It was just very matter-of-fact. I have laughed a little more throughout the day, though, and perhaps it will hit me on the 3rd of next month when I don't have to pick up rent checks anymore. Ohh...Tim is still mopey and rather depressed about the whole thing. That bothers me and I'm tempted to be impatient with him about it, but I'm praying about it and thinking of a way to comfort and encourage him. I'm not responsible for his feelings, though, and perhaps he just needs time and God's help in seeing it His way.
Anyway, I was taking Camille, Leanne, and Chloe shoe shopping this evening at the mall. I really dislike that whole part of my job. I have to exhibit patience and determination to make sure that the girls are totally comfortable in their new shoes before we buy them so that I don't hear a week later after they've worn them all over town: "They hurt my feet" and I've just spent $40. (This has really happened more than once!)However, the shopping gods were good to us and Chloe and Leanne each got 2 pairs of shoes and then we were off to PayLess for Camille's shoes. Camille was searching out her shoe choices thoughtfully while Chloe and Leanne began picking out high heel boots, platform shoes, and very "diva" like shoes to put on. They were getting the shoes stuck on their feet if you can believe it (this was hilarious!)and I kept telling them to put the shoes back in their correct boxes. I was watching the PayLess employee straightening out all the shoes and putting them back and I was hoping he wouldn't escort us out the store for making his job impossible to do. Needless to say, the girls got the shoes back in the boxes after unsticking them from each others' feet. It was funny. As I watched Chloe in one high-heeled pump walk down the aisle away from me I was struck with a vision from the future. One day those shoes would fit and she would walk away from me for good. She would be a grown woman and leave home. The thought of it almost brought me to tears. I just keep thinking she'll be 5 forever. That's how it should be, right? Oh, a hard reality check. As we were getting in the car later, after the requisite stop at See's candy for lollipops and their tasty chocolate samples, she said "Thanks, Mom. I had a great time. You're the best. I want to be like you." Driving up Baldwin Avenue in the dark of night the tears finally slipped down my cheeks after I heard those words. Camille had to clarify them for me because Chloe's articulation is still a little weak at times. I laughed at first because it was so earnest and cute, but was struck at what a compliment I took that to be.I hope she's much better than me when she grows up. I hope and pray that with God's grace she will be a lovely woman who fulfills God's purposes for her life to the fullest. Knowing her intense,driven, enthusiastic spirit I don't doubt she will.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's Almost Over...

It's Tuesday and we're approaching the middle of October. We are also approaching the end of escrow for our rental property. Tim has severely limited what I can write about the intense negotiations, but suffice it to say that God has put generous and kind people in our path. In about a week I will breathe a BIG sigh of relief. It will be amazing to think that after nine long years I won't be picking up rent checks, fielding calls from tenants, factoring in our rental property numbers in our financial talks and just always living with that property in the back of my mind. I really liked our current tenants - the ones I knew. I wish them well in their lives and wonder if I'll ever run into them again. I hope so. They were nice people and I pray that they find God and have peace with him. I'll write about my feelings when that last signature is signed and the keys are handed over. When I've gotten the call that the deed has recorded I will try to remember that moment. Perhaps a couple of my kids will be noisy or laughing or needing something from me. Perhaps I'll be running out the door or cooking in the kitchen. I'll write about it after it happens.

Monday, October 6, 2008

"Our" Disney Princesses

OK, so it's obvious things have been a little uneventful lately. Our sweet Daisy, 2 1/2 years, saw a book she chose from the library featuring the Disney princesses and pointed out "Snow Wipe." Well, I thought this was hysterical. She said it so innocently and it was just funny, funny,. funny. We started renaming all the princesses: we now have "Smelle," "Hairy Hell" (I know - I shouldn't laugh about bad words, but I'm not that sanctified yet), "Moolong," "Cinderswella," and "Weeping Beauty." We think she's weeping because of all the bad names her princess sisters have, or maybe because Snow Wipe is wiping her with snow! It is possible that Smelle has shown up and it's unbearable for all of them, even Hairy Hell who's shedding everywhere! We have irreverant humor and I'm hoping God can forgive me for leading my daughters astray. Perhaps we shouldn't laugh anymore, but it's been rather slow lately...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Smelly memories and caramel sundaes

My earliest childhood memory involves me standing on a patch of grass next to my garage at the house I lived in as a small child on the corner of Madeline Drive and Pasadena Avenue. The lawn next door had just been mowed and it was St. Augustine grass. That particular type of grass has a distinct, clean, "freshy" smell. It's hard to describe, but every time I smell it I'm brought right back to being 2 1/2 years old. I love that smell. Isn't it interesting that a smell would characterize my earliest memory? I still drive by that house from time to time and I always point it out to my girls. "That's the house I lived in when I was a baby!" I tell them. They've heard it a million times, but I'm glad they can see some of my history. Both my parents grew up far from where they raised me, and I never saw my Mom's childhood home. There's this huge part of her life that I can't relate to. I can take my girls past the pre-school I went to, the elementary school I attended, and all of the schools I went to for that matter. I can point to the parks I played at as a child, the store I got my ears pierced at when I was 5, and the restaurant I went to after high school football games - Twoheys. I would order the caramel sundae and it was gooood. Some of those calories, however, are still sitting on my hips! I've taken the girls there a couple of times and they can get a feel for one part of my life that holds good memories-and they get to eat a yummy sundae.(It's tradition - we have to get the caramel sundae! I'll get back on my diet tomorrow...)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"I bet you cry about your nose"

So, I was in the library on Wednesday night dealing with library "issues" (damaged tape, found the "lost" book that I had paid $22 to the library for weeks ago, picked up books I had transferred from elsewhere in the Pasadena library system, etc) and I was making friendly conversation with the librarian who had braided his coarse, black, long beard. He had a mustache and other interesting hair designs on his head and I found myself curious about his creative personality. (He was one of those cool artist types that I admire. He would never say anything silly or rude - like me- because he's too cool. I really admire that.) He was very down-to-earth and friendly, but it was taking awhile for him to write up the paperwork for the damaged tape that my new $25 tape cassette player from Target had eaten up (ugh! That replaced tape will cost me $14!!!)I noticed on the desk a paper that read "Banned Library Patrons" and insructions to call the police, other libraries, security, etc. I started laughing at the thought of crazed library patrons harrassing unsuspecting library goers and staff and I asked Cool Hair Guy about it. As we're talking about it this short, rotund, pleasant-looking lady with a rather nice nose, I might add, comes walking over to me and says very seriously, "I bet you cry 8 days a week about your nose." I quickly replied, "Oh no, I love my nose. " "No," she contended, "you must cry 8 days a week about your nose. You couldn't like your nose. And you have that scratch on your nose..." It was true about the scratch. (Where did that come from?) I replied with great confidence, and rather amused at how rude she was, "I love my nose. God gave me a great nose. It's the perfect nose for my face." Cool Hair Guy intervened at this point and shooed her away. She departed from me and he apologized for her rudeness. I laughed heartily and remarked, "Oh, don't apologize. She must be one of those banned library patrons that list refers to. I'll have a great time retelling this story." According to him, her reputation for harassing innocent, vulnerable (hopefully not vain) library patrons is, in library terms, "well circulated."
On a side note, I think my husband Tim has one of the nicest noses I've ever seen. My daughter Elena has his nose and it is very lovely. It got me thinking about rhinoplasty and you can almost always tell when someone has had a nose job. It's too perfect. Their nose has that slightly pinched look to it. I will notice those perfect noses and begin to wonder what their faces looked like before they got their new nose. It's quite distracting to me, actually. I also wonder about the children they might bear. Their children will expose their real noses if the Gene Pool doles out (most likely) Mommy's nose. How will they feel about this? On the other hand, I once knew this man that had this rather narrow face with a VERY wide nose. It really filled his face up. But it was his nose, it made him unique, and a narrower, more "perfect" nose wouldn't have looked right. I realize this whole topic makes me sound really shallow. I'm not really that shallow - I'm just a very visual person. Who loves her nose.

Opening escrow

Ahhh...Wednesdays...My older girls are gone all day (from 8:15 am till 4:40 pm!) and my middle girls are at school, of course. That leaves me at home with my little girls who are napping right now and I should be, too. I just got off the phone with my realtor/stepbrother's(Brent)assistant to open escrow on our rental property. Amazingly, we found very interested buyers for the property and get to start the mind-numbing process of selling the property with appraisal and inspection "events," loan approval deadlines and paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. Thankfully, it's a 30 day escrow so hopefully it's just a month of stress and paperwork and then we'll be out of that property. Hopefully, we'll close escrow and come within pennies of having to bring any money to the table to get out of the loan. We lost a LOT of cash on the purchase of that property. I'm trying to think through what I could have done differently to have avoided such a loss...A couple of thoughts come to mind, but nothing concrete. I will ask God to show me what I can take from the whole experience. In the end, it's just money. We still have our house, our health, our family, and our finances are fine. All of our basic material needs are met. In the end, isn't that what really matters? Keep falsehood and lies far from me: give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. Proverbs 30:8-9

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Stream Runs Through It

I feel rather philospohical this morning. I went to the Corner Bakery last night with Julia in her car seat just to get out of the house and read my Bible and think. I got just a soft drink and, like usual, they gave it to me for free. This happens to me all the time there. They know me so well, and I've spent so much money there on food that they figure they'll keep me happy and coming back with free soda. They're right. Now, I don't expect a free soft drink, but they almost always give it to me if that's the ony thing I order. (I brought my own cookies last night because they were good and they were virtually free).
Anyway, while sitting in a booth watching a worker out of the corner of my eye sweeping up their outdoor patio, I got a picture in my head of a stream of water. It seems that pain, in the form of trials, disappointments, etc. is that stream of water, sometimes rushing and sometimes gurgling, that God uses to soften the rocky places in my heart. Where pride, bitterness, selfishness, and ignorance are deeply wedged in the landscape of my heart those trials seem to bring a softening. And that's good. It just hurts. This is not a profound thought. Of course pain and trials hurt! I was reading in the Psalms about God responding to David's cry for deliverance and then about God bringing satisfaction and joy to those who trust him. These thoughts must have resonated in my thinking last night because when I awoke I found myself aware that I've been viewing life rather pessimistically lately. It's been a challenging season these last 10 months - perhaps one of the most challenging seasons of my life. Maybe God will bring it to a close and joy and satisfaction will arrive anew. Maybe that stream of water will have a sweet little boat with a diet Coke and a big chocolate chip cookie (from Carl's Jr. no less)and it will take me to a new place where calmer waters and a more picturesque landscape exist. I believe a better season is ahead where hope and faith in the goodness and mercy of God will take me. We'll see. I'll keep you posted...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Moody Monday

I generally like Monday mornings. It can be a bit tough getting the kids out of bed, but then that's true every morning. This Monday I had a hard time getting out of bed. After Julia woke up at round 3 am I fed her and then lay in bed thinking and unable to go back to sleep. The current challenge I'm facing just kept swirling around my brain and a peace about it wouldn't settle in my thinking, and then - wah la!(Is that how you spell that? The thing magicians say when their magic trick has reached its point of, well, magic?)The answer came to me and it was a thought, a realization, a thread of wisdom that will help me sew together a solution for a problem that I'm dealing with. I now need to pray for wisdom and God's provision to see how this solution materializes. Right now, however, my darling Daisy is wearing a turtleneck, a pull-up that smells like it's going to demand some attention, and reading a book to her brown monkey that she's placed in Julia's baby swing. She's just put on my big size-10 tennis shoes and has proceeded to carry the monkey off. Well, I need to go attend to her and then keep working on the numbers for our rental property. It appears we have a potential buyer for our 4-unit property and if this sale goes through then we will be done with a stressful, costly, difficult chapter of our lives. We'll see. I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Sunday in September

It was a lovely, breezy, early Fall day in southern California today. I'm still amazed at how lovely the early Fall days have been lately. Tim went to Don-Don's to help him set up his TIVO. We love TIVO! So does Don-Don! He actually gave us our TIVO box and we have been big fans of it. I can even use it and that's amazing, given my technological imbecility (is that a word?) Well, this blogging thing is new to me. We'll see if I stick with it. My sweet little Julia, 10 weeks old today, is sqwuaking in her crib right now. Oh, I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight today! Something to celebrate! I've never gotten 35 pounds off in 10 weeks after having a baby. I think it's happening partly because I'm sleeping better than with my other babies and it's a mental thing, too. I'm done having babies and I'm ready to shed all this baby weight that's accumulated around various body parts. Love handles they call them? (Yeah, I "love" to "handle" chocolate chip cookies from Carl's Jr., apple pie from Marie Callender's, chocolate muffins and scones from Beantown and bagels from Noah's -do you see the high carb theme here?!)Anyway, off to tend to my adorable sqwauking baby!