Thursday, October 26, 2006

Facing the Giants, Part 2/La Vida Loca

Ok, if there is anyone out there still checking my blog, you may have guessed I've completely forgotten WHAT I was going to write for "Part 2." Apparently there is no "Part 2." (No, I'm not gonna talk about how the Cowboys did or did not face the Giants Monday night!!) I really am not completely losing my mind (I don't think!). I'm just very scattered right now. I'm learning a new job (which, by the way, is quite tedious) and I'm trying to stay up with homeschooling my kids (which, by the way, is what I want to pour ALL of my energies into) and let's not even talk about the laundry, dusting (yes, I live in West Texas and dusting MUST be done from time to time), and cooking a nutritional meal at least once in a while, friends/church, extended family stuff, & let's not forget a football game/world series game thrown in from time to time, etc. AND I need to lose 20 lbs. or so....what's new???

All in all, I'm just livin' la vida loca! Life is good. If it wasn't crazy, it would be awfully boring - right?

I guess maybe this IS "Facing the Giants, Part 2" after all. I continue to face the Giant of "getting it all together." But I am pretty sure I have a sling and a rock and the "gifts" to use them. It won't be easy, but God likes to use the "weakest" things to show His strength and I am happy to be his show piece!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Facing the Giants, Part 1

We went to see this wonderful movie last Sunday. Our neighbors had gone on Friday night and came home just "beaming" about it. I've never seen them like they were that night. Anyway, we got our friends together (there were 25 of us) and went Sunday night. It was a VERY encouraging movie and I've been thinking about it all week. The movie is called "Facing the Giants," but I thought it an appropriate title for my entire blog today.

I feel like we've been facing our own "giants" lately. Trying to keep up with homeschooling, parenting, and the past couple of weeks we've been holding down 5 different jobs!!! Yikes! That's way TOO BIG for us puny little weaklings! Fortunatley, we serve a BIGGER GOD! He has seen us through all of this and will continue to work on our behalf. I am thankful for that! He's been working mightily while I was too weak to even blog over these past couple of months.

Last night was my last night at the grocery store. I never did really figure out what food I would be if I could be a food, but I did learn a lot and loved interacting with the people....both the customers and the other employees. I did, however, hate being away from my family in the evenings. I had been praying that God would show me how to get through this time and that it would be temporary and that He would work out something else I could do to help out with the finances and still be home more. That prayer had barely left my lips when I got a call from someone I hadn't talked to in over a year with a job opportunity!!

They tracked me down and found me and I was hired within a couple of days. I will be working for an marketing company for attorneys and will be working with the internet part of that. I am so excited because that means I get to work from home...more money, more hours...flexible enough that I can do homeschool. It seems too perfect. But that is my bigger-than-giant-God for you!!

I accidently posted this before I was finished, but I don't have time to finish it now, so I will just write a PART 2 post later.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Back to Work and School

I just wanted to update everyone real quick....I am going to try to write something more interesting in the next day or so. Things have been a little crazy....I DID get the job at the supermarket and our family is trying to adjust to all the changes that brings. I was glad we had a couple of weeks to get used to that before school started again. Yes, I am still determined to homeschool the I homeschool during the day and mid-afternoon I usually head out to work until sometimes 11:30 pm. On Fridays Eric will school the kids while I work a morning shift and then he will go off to work (he has Fridays during the day off) in the afternoon. I know this sounds crazy, and it probably is, but we are going to try to make this work.

We started back to school this week and so far, so good. I LOVE the curriculum I decided to use this year. We have a lot of work to do to get back into the "school" routine. I've been busily working on planning for the year.

Anyway, that's why my blogging came to an abrupt halt a few weeks ago. A combination of learning a new job and working 20 hours a week and planning for the school year has zapped my time and I've hardly had time to look at the computer at all....except to do some research for school! I hope to be making more time for writing as we settle in here a little....don't give up on me! I love writing this blog and don't want to give it up.

The kids and I are working on a diorama of the Nile River this afternoon, so I need to run for now.

Friday, July 28, 2006

What Kind of Food Are You?

Ok, I did it. Here I am a college graduate (don't all supermarkets have great need of a person with a BA in Biblical Studies?), a middle-age mom who has stayed home with her kids for 11 years ...and I'm as nervous as a skinny teenager looking for her first job!

After asking my hubby SEVERAL times if I looked OK, I drove to the store and asked for my friend, the Store Director. Now, you have to understand that this is really a friend. He's not just a casual acquaintance. This is the husband of one of my dearest friends. We've only known each other for about 9 months, but we've all hit it off. We have worshipped, prayed, studied the Bible, played games, gone to movies, played volleyball, and eaten together. Our kids are best buds. My husband is going to Promise Keepers with him in a couple of weeks. I have great respect for this man. What I'm saying is, this shouldn't have been a hard thing. I had pre-warned him I was going to do this and he was great. WHY AM I SWEATING AND FEELING SO AWKWARD?

He smiles as he comes out of the office and says he's sorry to tell me he has no applications left. He takes me into his office while he looks to see if he can find one more and we engage in small tired our kids were after camp, the church softball game last night, the possibility of rain this afternoon. AARRGGHHH! I'm acutely aware my voice sounds strange....even to my own ears. CALM DOWN GIRL! It's not like I'm trying out for cheerleader or something ... (you see how I've gone completely back to that time of my life?)

He tells me he had a big stack but the college kids (just what I was worried about) have been coming in by the droves over the past couple of days and he just doesn't have another one. He tells me to go to another location a couple of miles away and get one there and fill it out and bring it to him on Sunday. I breathe a little bit easier when he says he really wants to get mine in ASAP. As I leave his office, I suddenly can't remember how to get out of the swinging door and then as I'm finishing the conversation I turn around to leave only to almost slam into the pole guiding customers to the customer service desk! Right in front of him! How confident and together I must look. (Uh, "Have any openings for a clumsy, middle-aged pole dancer?")

I leave the store relieved in one way and disappointed in another. Relieved to stop acting so completely insecure and disappointed not to have it all over with. I walk through the rain to my big ol' honkin' mini van-that-is-making-an-awful-noise-and-is-almost-on-empty and immediately drive to the other store lecturing myself on my insane behavior (ironic, huh?) the entire way. When I ask there, they have applications out in a holder by the front shortage at this store. Leave it to me to pick the most popular location!

I bring it home and begin to fill it out. Am I bi-lingual? Do you think it will help that I've taken 2 years of Greek? I guess there probably isn't much call for Greek in Lubbock, TX! As a matter of fact, I would guess there are people who would argue we don't even speak English here. Guess I'll check a big fat NO on that one.

How about job history? Mine is really HISTORY. I mean, George Bush WAS President the last time I filled out a job application for a "real" job, but the W was conspicuously absent. I did the best I could to make myself sound good. I worked my way through the application and then realized that job applications have changed a little in the past few years. I don't recall ever answering the question "If you were a food, what kind would you be and why?" before. Now this has me wondering....does this mean I will have to dress up as this food while I work? What kind of food gets preferential treatment? Does chicken have a leg up on broccoli? Will they make me the expert dairy checker if I say "Milk?" What is the most dependable, hard working food? Most importantly, what kind of food gets paid the most? I just don't know what the right answer to this question would be. But I settled for "hamburger" because everyone likes a hamburger and it is enhanced by side dishes but can also stand on its own. (????)

I took the application over to him this evening (I had to run to his house because his wife was cleaning out her closet and had some shirts she thought might fit me....and I took her some carpet cleaner for a stain her neice had just made with some lip gloss...) and just to show I was a person who goes above and beyond the call of duty, I gave him the extra application I had accidentally picked up. I'd hire me....wouldn't you? I was much more relaxed seeing him at his house....WEIRD. I think I'm just nervous about whether this will work out.

I guess I'll know something in the coming week. In the meantime.....If you could be food what kind would you be and why???

Family... Changes....

The kids are back and they had a great time. Great sleep took place last night...after showers! I don't think a lot of showers took place while they were gone and I'm pretty sure my son wore the same shorts (not underwear - I have taught him SOMETHING!) the entire time! Oh well, less laundry for me to do!! When asked what their favorite part was my son said "the Bible Study....we learned about friendship" (although he talked about new friends he made, he couldn't remember any of their names) and my daughter said "the Worship time." Pretty cool. They still seem very thankful to be home this morning, although I think it's time to get started on school since they told me they were "bored" just before noon and asked if we could do some arts & crafts or something! Anyway, our family is all back intact and back to normal...whatever that is.

I am very nervous all the sudden because this afternoon I am going to apply for a job at the supermarket down the street. I will try to get them to let me work the evenings when hubby is NOT working so one of us will be here for the kids all the time. It stinks because we won't see each other much during the week, but maybe it won't have to last for too long.

I know it's crazy to be nervous, but I am. I even know the Store Director and have mentioned this to him and he was very positive, but's been a long time since I went to interview for a job. I hope I'm not too old to learn to do something new. I'll be surrounded by cute, young college students. Yikes! I can check myself out at Wal-Mart...does that count as experience? OK, enough putting it off. I need to go get ready and do this thing.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Life without kids

I guess my life hasn't been too interesting with my kids away at camp. We've enjoyed the peace and quiet, but it's time for those kids to come home. They haven't even called me :)......They haven't even called me :-0.....They haven't even called me :(.

Hubby & I have had a nice time, but we miss them. We have been reading a Thr3e by Ted Dekker and enjoying that. Yes, we read books "together" when we get the opportunity. We really enjoy doing that - we trade off each chapter reading aloud. We've been doing this for almost 15 years now and it is something we savor doing together. It's much better than TV.

We got the opportunity to see Lady in the Water too. I know the critics don't like it (the movie doesn't like critics either!) but we really enjoyed it. I like M. Night's movies....they make you think and are definitely about faith. I appreciate a movie that makes you think and put things together and figure out what the story is trying to say. (Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I've been watching kid movies for the past 11 years or so!)

Yesterday I got to spend most of the day "creating" (scrapbooking, etc.) with friends. It was a totally fun day and I actually accomplished something amidst the laughter.

It is time to go pick up the kids so I will continue my blog later.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A "Letting Go" Moment...(or Few Days)

I remember when my son was born and we brought him home from the hospital. We had him in a little bassinet next to our bed for the first weeks. We lived in a little one bedroom garage apartment (we were still in school). It was actually pretty good size for a one-bedroom (approx. 800 sq. ft). We decided not to move when we found out we were having a baby. There were two nice sized walk in closets, one in the bathroom and the other one in the living room. After much measuring and brainstorming, we made the closet in the living room into a "nursery." His crib and a little dresser fit perfectly. I put up a Noah's Ark border and tried to make it cute. I know it sounds weird and we laughed a lot about it, but it worked out quite well and saved us a lot of money and trouble. We loved that apartment and were able to stay another year (until we finished school and moved out of town).

As he began to look a little cramped in the bassinet, we knew it was time to move him out of our room and into the "nursery" across the hall. The door to the closet was probably only 6 ft. from the door of our bedroom, but it was a hard move for me. I cried. I remember saying to my hubby that day that the "letting go" started early. (I'm sure he wanted to laugh at me, but he showed great restraint and was very understanding.) It struck me with great force that from the minute they cut that umbilical cord the rest of our relationship would be a series of "letting go" moments. In that moment, I saw them all stretched out before me.

This week is one of those moments for our family. We sent both of our kids off to camp yesterday. We all did surprisingly well. I didn't really cry, although it wouldn't have taken much to push me over the edge. My son didn't seem anxious at all about leaving, he hugged me quickly and jumped in the truck with his buddies staying as "cool" as possible. My daughter (who I thought would fall apart) gave us several hugs, but went about "helping" another girl who was crying and struggling with leaving her mom. I was so proud of her. Although I know she was feeling uneasy herself, she just went over and held the girls' hand and made sure they had seats together in the van. They know each other, but not well. I am willing to bet they come back as fast friends.

They are only going to be gone a few days, but it is the first time in all these years that our house is so quiet for this many days. It's just hubby & me again :). It is eerily quiet here this morning. It's nice and awful at the same time. I miss them but I am excited about what I know will be an awesome time for them.

Hubby was off work yesterday, so we (wow, just the two of us!) enjoyed our day and evening very much, but it did seem very odd. No one was complaining when we spent an hour in the book store - JUST LOOKING. We finished sentences. We didn't have to worry about getting home and relieving and PAYING a babysitter.

It's much like that day we put our son in his "closet nursery." It's another step toward their independence. It is good (even fun) for hubby & I and healthy for our relationship, and it is good (and fun) for the kids.

Now I just have to spend this morning putting my house back together after tearing it apart getting them ready to leave!! They'll be back with piles of laundry in just a few days reminding me that it this is just another SMALL "letting go" and we have many more to go.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Places I've lived (Yes, really!)

1. Hereford, TX

2. Bennington, VT

3. Garland, TX

4. Abilene, TX

5. Shafter, CA

6. Boise, ID

7. Maynard, MA

8. Owasso, OK

9. Portage, IN

10. St. Peters, MO

11. Weatherford, TX

12. Longview/Kilgore, TX

13. Lubbock, TX

Can you believe that? We call this our "American Tour." Each place holds a special place in our hearts and special friends still live in each area. Even though it's not been our plan and it hasn't been easy, I don't think I would trade for the experience of living in any of these places.
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