Thursday, January 31, 2008

Have I ever told you...

That I hate Thursdays? I don't know why. Well I do kind of know why, but really, it's quite ridiculous for me to hate a day. I mean, what has Thursday ever done to me?
I suppose it's never done anything TO me but it sure doesn't do anything FOR me either.

Take today for example. I woke up to a little girl telling me she had peed in her bed.
I walked into the bathroom...clothes on the floor. I walked into the kitchen...dishes everywere.
I walked back to my room....laundry piled up again. I walked down here to the office...grocery list staring me in the face next to the school work. Next to that is my typing work that I have to do on Thursdays too.
Todays Thursday will be raining. So I have to change up Thursday. Grocery shopping this morning, school in the afternoon, typing tonight. But what about the peed in bed, the clothes piled up and the fact that we don't have a clean spoon?

AGHHHH...is it Thursday's that I hate or the fact that I just really can't get my act together?

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Power of One

A couple of Wednesday nights ago Lana's Sunday School teacher, Ms.Valerie, told Lana not to eat breakfast on Sunday morning because they would be having breakfast all together in class that day. So Thursday, Friday, and Saturday went something like this...

Me: "Lana, come eat your breakfast."

Lana: "Ms. Valerie said not to eat breakfast."

Me: "Ms. Valerie meant on Sunday, you can still eat breakfast today."

This went on for 3 days. When Sunday actually arrived she was sooo excited.

Several weeks ago I was listening to a conversation between some Moms talking about their little girls. One of the girls had asked her Mom if you could get to Heaven in a rocketship. The Mom of course said no, and the little girl then asked..."Well, how then?"

The Moms answer was this:

"Love Jesus and be nice to other people."

And the childs obvious response, "I do love Jesus and I am very nice to other people."

It's amazing to me the power ONE person has to affect another. In Lana's case about the breakfast, she loves Ms. Valerie so much that if Ms. Valerie said not to eat breakfast, well then OK, whatever she says. Ms. Valerie as Lana's Sunday School teacher has a lot of power in her words. If Lana is willing to sacrifice 3 days worth of breakfast to wait for one day, then what else is she learning from Ms. Valerie? Thankfully I can say that that one person in my daughters life is making a big postive impact. Not at all that we are using Church as our kids sole source of Biblical teaching. But I am thankful for teachers like Ms. Valerie that are helping us to plant seeds of Godiliness into our daughters life. I'm thankful that we are able to use Sunday School and childrens Church and Awanas as a catalyst for more Bibilical discussion at home.

Imagine the confusion if Ms. Valerie, whom Lana loves, wasn't teaching the truth.

In this case, the power of ONE person is a blessing for us and a person we are thankful to have in our childs life.

But what about the Mom I was listening too? What about her little girl and her new perception of how to get to Heaven?

"Love Jesus and be nice to other people."

Wow...that ONE statement from that ONE trusted person. It made me sad to hear that Mama say that. I mean what 5 year old is not going to say they don't love Jesus and are not nice to people?

What if instead that Mom said...

"Well sweetie, because we're not always nice to others and because we don't always obey, we are sinners. Because we are sinners we need a Saviour. And because God loves us, He sent His Son Jesus to be our Saviour."

Of course a 5 year old does not fully understand what a Saviour is, but at least now the issue of salvation is not how good we are but instead that we are sinners that God loved enough to send a Saviour for. Loving Jesus and being nice to others is now something that is right to do, but not a criteria you have to meet to get to Heaven.

The power of ONE is an amazing concept. ONE kiss in the morning from your husband can start the day of right. ONE hug from your child can make you feel like all is right with the world. ONE unexpected gift can lift your spirits. Sharing the Gospel even ONE time is at least planting a seed and is for sure obeying and therefore Glorifying Christ.
The power of ONE can work against us as well, but for today I am thankful for all the powers of ONE that are working in my life.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Name that Handiwork!

Be the first to correctly identify the person that created this for me and I will send you a prize! The orginator cannot win so don't try!





What is your song?


I recieved this today from a daily email that I recieve, I loved it and wanted to share it with you.

Taking Care of Yourself Series ...
"You are unique. There is no one like you and God gave you callings and abilities that are unique to you. I'm not sure who said it first, but
"It's a sad thing for someone to go to their grave with their song unsung" and I suspect this kind of personal lack is at the heart of most depression. We all need to express those things that God has put within our hearts. What are your gifts? What do you do well? What has God placed on your heart? You may not be able to jump full throttle into what you love, but you can begin to make small steps toward "singing your song." If you love to write, get a journal, work a few minutes each day on your novel, help with a newsletter or create a website for writers. If you have a heart for young moms, babysit for a friend, write a parenting book or organize a mom's group or co-op. These things really are not that impossible if done a tiny step at a time. We all need to express ourselves and those around us need us and what we have to offer. Please don't diminish your song. It needs to be a part of the symphony of the body of Christ." - Lori
"We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light."- Mary Dunbar.

I love that because how often do I get discouraged because I feel like I'm not doing everything I want to do...probablly alot because I don't start with baby steps. I'm one of those people that doesn't just have one song to sing, but many. Right now I feel like my main song is and should be that of my family and the choices we have made for our life right now, including homeschool. I think that song is coming through loud and clear and sometimes way off tune and sounds a bit skreechy. My other songs are on mute at this point. So maybe as a balance to that I could just start humming another tune and take those baby steps towards really belting it out!
God has shown me a lot this week, like the fact that my children and this life are not my own!
But while He has given me both for however long He has ordained, I need to be a better conductor of the music we are making while we are here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Planetarium Update


Ok ladies...I spoke with the Planetarium lady today and the soonest we can get in is Friday Feb.22 at 1:00. The presentation is 50 minutes and then she does a project with the kids. So I would say that the whole thing is around 1 1/2 hours. She said that since the presentation is 50 minutes it's best not to bring little ones if possible.

Including adults we have 20 people right now, and we can handle up to 40. So if anybody else wants to take part it's not too late!

Also...if you want, I can try to reserve the FLC at my church for that morning. We could do some intro stuff and then have lunch and carpool over there. We are near HWY 78, so I think we could just hop on there to get out to Bham Southern.

So give me some feedback and let me know if you want to meet at my Church for lunch and all that so I can get it reserved.

Sounds like it will be a fun presentation.

Looking forward to seeing some of you that I haven't seen in a long time!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Happy Birthday!

video

Today is my Mom...Marsha's Musings...birthday. I will not tell you how old she is. I will tell you that I am 32 and she had me when she was 23! So for 32 years I have been her pride and joy. She actually used to carry a picture in her wallet and then ask people if they wanted to see her pride and joy....unsuscpecting people would say yes, and then she would show them a picture of a bottle of pride and a bottle of joy detergant. She also had a picture of her kids which was a picture of baby goats. This is the kind of person that raised me if that helps you to understand me a little better!

My sister coined this phrase about our Mom years ago. She said..."Our Mom takes something simple and makes it spectacular." If you've ever read Mom's blog, you know that this is true. Everything she does and everyone she loves, including the Lord, she does so too the fullest. On our own, my Dad, my Sister, my Brother, and I would be simple. But with her in our lives, she has strived to make us spectacular. I'll never reach the highest level of spectacular, but her input in my life definetly pushes me in that direction.

My children adore her. In the above video Logan states his favorite thing to do with Marmi is burping contests. I know that there are many other things he loves too, but as a 7 year old boy, burping contest are a big deal! Simple burping made spectacular!

Lana states that her favorite thing to do with Marmi is go to Christmas bizzares. I think Lana's favorite thing is actually Tea parties, but put on the spot Christmas bizzare is what came to mind. However just a simple thing like going to a Christmas bizzare, in Lana's mind was made spectacular by her Marmi.

So Happy Birthday to one of the most spectacular people that I know! I hope your day was as spectacular as you are!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sheperding a Child's Heart

Check out my friend Jeri's blog.
She has a link for the new Ted Tripp book that is coming out.
If you haven't read "Shepherding a Child's Heart", it's a great book!
If you have read it, pick it up again.
I'm looking forward to this new one.
He has such a refreshing approach to parenting.
It all comes back to pointing our kids towards Christ.
I imagine this new one "Instructing a Child's Heart" will be even better.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Planetarium

Attention my fellow homeschoolers:
It appears we may all have a case of the wintery homeschooling blues. Or maybe it's just me getting tired of winter sickness!
But anyways...Did you know there is a Planetarium at Bham Southern College?
It's only $2 a person for groups of 10 or more.
That would be a fun winter day field trip.
Let me know if you are interested and what day would be best and I will see about setting it up.

Also...what if in conjunction with this field trip we do a Hot Soup/Hot Cocoa lunch with a planetarium type lesson or craft for the kidos?!

Come on...you know you want to!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

SNOW!!!









I don't know about anybody else, but it is coming a flood of snow at our house right now!
The kids are soooo happy!
Logan can't find any gloves so he is running around outside with socks on his hand...very ingenous!
And Lana keeps proclaiming that its the best day of her life!
I know it probablly will stop soon, but it sure is pretty right now, and the kids sure are loving it!
Hope it's snowing where you are!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Yada Yada

So I went to the Dr today and I have...drum roll please....
Eustachian Tube Disorder
Sounds very technical doesn't it.
Bascially my sinus tubes in my face are inflamed and hence pushing on my ears and hence causing the dizzy-drugged like feeling.
I got a nice Steroid Shot, a nasty nose spray, and an antibiotic that cost me $115.
Yes folks you heard me right...$115.
Do they think paying my co-pay, paying for stuff to squirt up my nose, and then paying that much for an antibiotic are going to make me feel better?
My head was spinning even more and my hand began to shake as I swiped my debit card through that machine.
So now here I sit...$150 poorer. Head still swirling...steroid shot making me jittery as all get out, and another day of minimal school time.
I hate wasted days!
I can tell you however how things work, what myths have been busted, how Charles Ingalls found Laura (again), and what Paula Deen is making for supper!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Blahs

I feel yucky! My body hurts and my head is spinning and my ears feel clogged. I stayed home from church yesterday and just layed on the couch all day. Now today seems like another wasted day. Everytime I get up to do anything my head starts spinning. It is very hard for me to do nothing. I have to do at least a little something. So I put dishes away and started a load of laundry. Then I had to sit. That makes me crazy!
I am however taking Zycam...thanks to Kims constant endorsments! So hopefully I will feel better by the end of today. I've only had 3 doses of the stuff.

So for school today, Lana is watching Dora the explorer and Logan is watching Myth Busters and How it's made. I've got some of his worsksheets for him to do to. This morning I thought how nice it would be if I could send them to school today...but then I thought about the fact that I would have had to make them lunch, get them ready, and get them too and from school. This is much better...I can lay on the couch, they can bring me stuff, and I don't have to go anywere!
Just kidding...they aren't bringing me stuff...but maybe they should!

On a happy note, according to my scale I lost 3 pounds this week. I don't know if it's right or not. Stacy thinks the scale is off...but it's brand new, so I don't know. So for the sake of encouragment to carry on, I will hold to the fact that the scale was 3 pounds lighter today.

I must go lay down now. Hope everyone else is having a non typical Monday!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Vessel of Mercy

"What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured
with much long suffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that
He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He
had prepared beforehand for glory."

Sunday through Wednesday of this week our church had our January Bible study. This was my first year to be able to attend the adult class and it was wonderful! We went through a book called Amazing Grace and it was a study through Romans. Our Music Minister/Ed.Minister, Brian was the teacher.

While I got a lot from this study, the above verses...Romans 9:22-23, where my favorite. Several thoughts came to my mind.

One is the importance of reading through books of the Bible as you grow in your walk. It has been a long time since I've read through Romans straight, and reading it now, with a different perspective and the growth I have experienced in my life was really amazing! In Sunday School we have been in Ephesians, and I have been thinking the same thing there too. It's like verses that I read before, are more alive to me now. I love that!

Two, these verses about the potter and the clay. It is a humbling and amazing thought that I am God's vessel of mercy. That He prepared this vessel for His glory. I love that Christ is the only thing Glorious about me. It's not even me that's glorious...it's Christ in me! I love that the angels, upon my acceptance of Christ call on my life, were in awe of His power to save me. I love that the gospel has the power to not only save, but to daily sanctify. What if I had only heard the gospel once...believed...and then never heard it again? What a sad an unfulfilled life I would lead. It is only by the power of the Gospel in my life daily, through the spirits working in this vessel that God has in His sovereignty poured mercy out on, that I am afforded the honor of glorifying Christ. How amazing that God through mercifully saving this vessel, glorifies Himself and show His supremacy. If the angels never tire, never cease to be in awe of this merciful act, how dare I go through a day without praising Him for my salvation.

I am thankful for this study through Romans, and for Brian's insights as he lead us through it. I am thankful for our pastors that are rightly dividing the Word of the Lord and that the bottom line always comes back to the Glorification of Christ! I am thankful that God is making known the riches of His glory, through unworthy vessels of mercy!

New Blogger

My hubby has finally started a blog.
I am not responsible for what he says!
And Vica Versa :)
The link is to the right.
Woman, encourage your guys that have blogs to check into his and I will hook him up with your mans too.

Have a good day peeps!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Consignment Sale

If you've never participated in a kids consignment sale let me warn you it is a lot of work and only kind of worth the effort. (I usually average $75 per sale)

I got my flyer in the mail today for one at Trussville UMC. I have participated there in the past. The seller fee is $5 and then you keep 70% of the profit from your clothes.
If you sell you also get to shop early and if you work a shift you get to shop earlier than that.
I skipped out the last two seasons but I think I will do it again this year.

If you are interested in selling or just shopping, the dates are as follows...
Drop off items- Tuesday thru Thursday Jan 29-31
Shop if you sell or work- Thursday Jan 31
Shop open for public- Feb. 1 8:00am-6:00pm
Feb. 2 8:00am-12:00pm

You can call Amy at 655-0583 if you are interested in selling.

You can call me if your interested in helping me tag all of my stuff!!!
I'll make you something yummy :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

40 in 40

Well today hubby and I have launched our new lifestyle plan.
It is too include eating less, exercising more, and juicing on a consistent basis.
Our goal is to lose 40 pounds in 40 weeks (each)!
Of course he, being a man, will lose it much faster than 40 weeks, but for me I think 40 in 40 sounds much more manageable than "I want to lose 40 pounds".
One pound a week. I can do that!!!
So if you see me walking around with a bowl of Ice Cream or a Mtn Dew, don't even hesitate to yank it right out of my hand and then squeeze my squishy stomach and say "Is that what you want?"
Unless of course it is that time of the month and then I will bite your head off!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

My Paw-Paw



Boyd Harwood. He's my grandfather. I am his 2nd grandchild, but his 1st granddaughter. His wife, my grandmother was Margaret Harwood. She died when I was 11 years old after battling cancer. Almost 16 years later I named my daughter after her. I can remember as a kid spending Friday nights at their house. They made the big fat hot dogs. The kind that are hard for a kid to eat. Grandmother always had Butterfinger Candy Bars in a container in the top of her cabinet. She always gave me one. They are still my favorite.

Grandmother died young. She was only in her late 50's. I have a lot of compassion for my dad and his siblings now. They were young too. Too young to loose their Mother. They had little ones at home that wouldn't even remember her. My brother was only 2 when she died. My uncle had children well after her death.

She was a woman that nobody had anything negative to say about. I'm sure my Mom was a little irritated at times early in her marriage to my Dad when Grandmother would send along recipes stating that "This is Michael's favorite". Her recipes weren't complete either. A pinch of this, a dash of that. But now some 22 years after her death, my Mom has been entrusted with many of her recipe cards. And in hind sight, I guess any Mom would want their baby boy to be well fed living up north, away from his southern roots and Momma's cookin. Mom and Grandmother grew in their relationship and I have never heard my Mom speak ill of her even once.

I remember clearly my Grandmothers funeral. I remember the smell of the Church. That's weird, but I do. I remember lots of crying. I remember younger siblings and cousins being in their own little worlds thinking about the fact that it was ten days before Christmas. I remember riding in the car going from the house to the Church. I was sitting up front in the middle, next to my Paw-Paw. We drove right by the cemetery that she would be buried in. He started crying and I can remember trying really hard to be brave for him. I put my hand on his leg and he just gripped it really hard like he was holding on to something for dear life.

I've never told anyone that.
These are all feelings and memories that came flooding back to me this week while I visited him. I think that is the moment that changed my relationship with him forever. I was always close with my grandparents, but until the time of Grandmothers death, I was just a child. When she died, Paw-Paw needed a friend and I think I must have taken it upon myself to be just that.

10 days after she died was Christmas day. We didn't have Christmas at their house. We had it at ours. But after dinner, Paw-Paw asked me to take a drive. We drove to his house. There he gave me 2 special belongings. One was a Teddy Bear that my Grandmother had enjoyed while she was sick. The other was a silver bracelet of hers. I've never worn it. I just like to look at it.

2 years later we moved away from Charlotte to Atlanta. But somehow I was still close to Paw-Paw. I can't explain our relationship. It's not like we've ever sat for hours and poured out our innermost thoughts, but I have sat and listened respectfully as he shared memories of his life. Even if I had heard them before. I went and stayed with him one time while I was in High School during spring break. I could have done a lot of other stuff, but I chose to work in his garden along side of him. We even went and rode Go-Karts. Nobody could believe that Boyd Harwood actually rode a Go Kart! But I guess that was part of our relationship.
When I had my heart broken in college, he called me and shared a story of heartbreak that he had experienced before he even met my Grandmother. It made me feel special, like I knew something no one else did.

I have heard for many years now that I am his favorite grandchild. It's always made me feel bad because there are 11 of us. Two of them being my own siblings. Don't misunderstand. Paw-Paw loves all his grandchildren. But for some special reason, I have also been his friend.
Listen, this man can be the most frustrating being on the face of this earth. Even before his Alzheimer's started he has repeated himself, been known to be very grumpy, and made no bones about telling you things you really don't want to hear. Now that he has Alzheimer's, it's even worse. You don't know what he is going to talk about and you have to keep a straight face. No easy task! His children all have issues with him. It's easy to see why. I don't fault them in the least. They have a different relationship with him and have known him a lot longer. If I was his child, I would probably have issues too.
But God has graciously given me a unique relationship with him. One as his favorite Grandchild. A position that I have felt bad about for 20 years. Until now!

This last visit made me realize some things:
One, it's not my fault he says that. I have never rubbed it in to anybodies face. I've never made him say that.

Two, I have done nothing but show him respect for 32 1/2 years. Maybe sometimes I've rolled my eyes behind his back, or laughed with others at the crazy things he says, but I have made an effort to spend time with him, listen to him, and get to know him.

Three, at this stage in his life, with his mind beginning to fail, the respect and the effort I've made really mean something to him and he holds on to it.

Would he really care that I traveled 7 hours to see him if he didn't know that I really wanted to? Would my visit mean as much if it was out of obligation because he's old and loosing it? At this point, I think it means something because of those things. In a year, who knows.

Alzheimer's is a nasty disease. All of the bad things about your nature come out 10 fold. All sense of propriety is thrown out the window. You tell people things that maybe are inappropriate. Your selfish nature is magnified to the thousandth. You have to depend on others to take you out, or leave you in. You remember too well the past, but can't remember the present. Since it's hard to live in the present, you idealize the past and maybe tweak it a little better to your liking. Why would you hold on to the bad things? If you have nothing to look forward to but loosing it all, why not pat yourself on the back for all the things you think you've done right.

It's a completely selfish and self centered existence. And it's owe so sad. My heart breaks for him. He's still physically in good health. That has to make it harder for your mind to go. Most of the people around him at his assisted living place are using walkers. It's a real traffic jam at meals when they all crowd into their appointed dining time. It's sad to see this generation of people that have served in world wars, wept as a president was assassinated, stood by as America's youth have gone through ups and downs, fads and crazes, over and over again...now having been reduced to being told when to eat, what to eat, when to go, where to go.

That deserves my complete respect. Whether I see him as selfishly fantasizing about the past or griping about the present.

Someday, my parents will be in that position. Someday I will be in that position. I can only pray that I have family around me who love and respect me enough to let me live out my last years with semi present memories, with as much dignity as I can possibly have.

So how do I feel now about being called Paw-Paw's favorite?
Well, in one aspect I still feel bad. I can only imagine how that statement being said out loud makes others feel.
But as far as my relationship with this man goes it makes me feel honored.
I feel that it is a reflection on (1) my relationship with God...that I can honor Him by being respectful to others. (2) my upbringing...that even though my Dad may have issues with his Father, he has always recognized and tried to encourage and nurture my relationship with his Dad. And (3) I see it as a challenge to raise my own children to respect their grandparents and value the importance of a relationship with them. To teach them to seek out and value them. To give their grandparents cherished memories to hold on to for years to come. For their own sakes and for that of their grandparents.

It is a horrible thing to see someone you love heading towards a dark tunnel.
Memories can be haunting or they can be a blessing.
I am thankful that God has graciously allowed my Paw-Paw and I to have blessed memories. I pray that as he heads closer to the dark tunnel it is filled with God's light. I pray that it is filled with God's warmth and that he can feel His loving arms holding on to him. I pray that even if the memories he has left are fantasy and not facts, he holds on to them for as long as he can.

While I can't say that Paw-Paw has been the greatest life teacher or any of that, I can say that his life and our relationship has touched me.
It was sad for me to walk away from him with tears in his eyes.
I'm thankful he cared enough to cry.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Traveling makes me tired!

I think I am getting old. After two seperate trips in the course of less than two weeks, I am wiped out! I have also been fighting a bug that makes me have fever and feel sick to my stomach. I think God is trying to tell me to stay put for a while. OK, I will!

We did have a very nice trip to NC. It was wonderful to see my Grandfather.
I will post a picture and blog more about him later.

We stayed a night with my Uncle Dean and his family. He is only 10 years older than me. My cousins are 12, 10, and almost 7. It's a different dynamic. Poor Logan couldn't figure it out and finally just said..."So is Jackson my grandchild?"
They are only months apart! So we had a good time staying with them. My other aunts came over and we ate and talked and I felt like one of the adults and not just the niece. That was nice.


We then went and stayed with my lifelong best friend, Stace' and her family.
We have a great time with them.
Logan and Ethan stayed outside and played all day no matter the temperature. They loved building a fire. I guess boys are like that.
Also my son is brilliant and was swinging himself on a rope swing while trying to cut the rope with a knife. I don't know were he gets his genious from!

Lana and Erin love tea parties and they had alot of fun doing that and making scones with Stacey. Erin is 2 years older than Lana and does a great job doing fun stuff with her. Lana loves her!

Stacey is by the way one of the greatest homemakers of all time. She is very organized and structured. I always come away from her home with a new resolve to keep up with things better. I also come away with new recipes as she is a very good cook!



I don't have a picture of David, but he is a fun young teenager. He and my Stacy had a good time going to the mall and playing piano. He is a great kid and a good example of how a teenage boy should act.

The best part of our time with Chuck and Stacey was just the fellowship. We sat up on New Years Eve and talked about all sorts of theology. I think that we are all in the same book but on slightly different pages, so it was encouraging to have rational discussions and leave with insights to think on and study. It truly felt like "Iron sharpening iron" in many ways over the week.
It's one of God's truest blessings to give us lifelong friends that know you pretty much inside out, know were you've come from, travel with you when things are rocky, sharpen you when you need sharpening, and laugh at you when your funny (or not!) It's a comfortable and comforting friendship that I wouldn't trade for anything. I'm thankful that our families are growing in friendship as well.

So we are home now. My in-laws came in today. They are all watching a movie and I am sitting by myself blogging. Like I said, traveling makes me tired.
But not too tired to blog!