Tuesday, June 25, 2013

tuesday's doings

Outside my window...

It's a drizzly one moment, sunny the next kind of day.  This moment the sun is popping out, while raindrops still glisten off the trees.  It is 68 degrees.

I am thinking...

Of change, and thankfulness, and conviction, and mostly just CHANGE.  I'm ready and it's coming.

I am thankful...

For birds that come and sing in my yard.  For coffee that is warm and sweet.  For dogs that smile with their entire selves as they greet me good morning.

In the kitchen...

Sweet tea, hummingbird solution, pancakes for breakfast, banana bread for a treat, spaghetti with sauce from a jar (gasp!) for dinner along with a cucumber, carrot, raisin salad.
I am wearing...

Jeans, red/white/blue tank top, curly hair, no makeup

I am creating...

photo CD's for past year's photo's.  I'm all the way up to 2010 now.  My goal is to get all these photo's backed up to CD because when I do, I'm getting a laptop.  Maybe those two things don't seem to go together but in my head, they do.

I am going...

to town later to run some errands and take the boys to swim lessons

I am reading...

I'm trying to read The Shack by William Young but time constraints allow me only a page or two every once in awhile.  I think it's going to be good.  I read a little review that compared it to Pilgrim's Progress which is a rather lofty compliment for any book.

I am learning...

Humility when it comes to school lessons with my boys.  It is soooo difficult to not be able to grasp a concept enough to teach it to them, to just reach a point where it's too much.  We've had a difficult couple of weeks in the area of school for many reasons, one being that I have limits.

Around the house...

Today is my one day off this week.  I am forced to use it to catch up on housework.  So, the bathroom is being scrubbed down, the washing machine is running, while the bread is baking and school work is being completed.

One of my favorite things...

A few plans for the rest of the week...

Work, church, school, work, swimming lessons, work, school, errands, sleep

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Today I'm extra thankful for my husband.  He's such a good man.  Too often  I take that for granted.  I mean, we've been married for a long time, we're best friends, he's faithful and wonderful and amazing.  And when you get to live with that everyday, it becomes normal, 

          when it's anything but.

He's the one that can take my face in his hands, fix his eyes on mine, brimming with tears, and bring me back to earth.  See, it was a meltdown I was having.  The sort where you realize that no matter how early you get up, how late you stay awake, how many little things you brush aside, it is not enough.  In my mind that sounds like, "you are not enough".

But his eyes, his gentleness says, "Those things are not important right now".  And I know he's right and the tears fall anyway.

And I'm reminded that marriage is intended to be a picture of Jesus and us, His saved ones.  And I get it, because I see the love my husband has for me, the sacrifices he continually makes, the tenderness, the effort, the patience.  And that is what Jesus does for us, every day, every moment.

So I'm thankful to my husband for reminding me where my focus ought to be.  And I'm thankful that our relationship shows me a portion of what my relationship with Jesus Christ means.  And I'm thankful to God for creating me for this man that holds my heart in his hand and is so careful, so tender.  And I know that Jesus also holds my heart, looks into my soul, and whispers "those things are not important right now".

Monday, June 17, 2013

the tomboy in me

At the end of a very long week I woke up and it was my birthday.  Responsibilities would not let me spend the entire day in bed as I had wanted.  My exhaustion had me functioning on the level just above zombie but it was still my birthday and there is always that special place in a person's heart for the day that is all their own.

My boys made me a cake.  Chocolate cake with a little help from Betty Crocker, lovingly frosted by youngest son.  They even sang to me.  Sigh.

We spent the evening at the Speedway.  Awesomeness!!  Deep down, I'm a tomboy.  I just love the rumble of an engine and the dirt that flies off the track when the cars speed by!  The tickets were free which pleased the sensible side of me but we spent our fair share of dollars at the concessions; popcorn, huge soda to share, 3 ft long licorice.

This guy was serious about his racing.  Notice the folding stadium chair, the racing magazines, the ski goggles (for dirt), and the lucky race t-shirt.

Across the racetrack was a beautiful sunset that kept drawing my eyes and attention away from the excitement.  I couldn't help but to train my lens on the sight.

The racing was seriously exciting, the competitive parts, the spin-out parts, the tire flying off parts.  And the best of all was the demolition derby.  I could seriously watch that every day! (told ya I was a tomboy!)

The demo winner, he was able to drive off the track, with only three wheels and a bit of smoke.

So, I'm 35 now, staring down a new year that already promises a lot of changes.  Again, I'm thankful for the years I've been given, the life that I've been blessed with, the trials that shape me.  I'm thinking I'm like that derby truck, beat up, rolling on three wheels, but still rolling.  : ) 

Monday, June 10, 2013

writing at Starbucks

This was penned in my notebook a couple days ago.

Sitting here in Starbuck's, it is a quiet evening; one hour left before I pick up my boys from open swim at the pool.  To my right sits a couple, quietly chatting.  To my left sits a young man and a young woman, awkward friends.

I'm sipping an americano with white chocolate and cream, along with an ice water.  With me I have brought the boys' weekly quizzes for grading, which I've just finished.  I'm the queen of the red correcting pen, applying liberally, as needed.

Work for me began at 5 a.m.  This was the fourth day in a row of 9+ hour shifts.  My work is NOT sedentary and those are NOT easy hours.  My body aches, like really aches at the end of the day.  I try to spend a few minutes doing a series of stretches when I get home from work to ease my back pain.  I've found I hold a lot of tension in my hips which directly affects the tension in my lower back.  Stretching makes a world of difference.

After work, after stretching, after changing out of my black t-shirt,  I spend a couple of hours with my boys and their schoolwork, they are schooled at home in case you didn't know.  This is our one on one time, going over corrections, giving extra instruction where needed,  chatting; sometimes it takes as little as an hour, sometimes it stretches to three.

Our evenings are spent at swim, at church, chillin' with board games, pizza and movies, or lately for me, early to bed.  I'm spending every last ounce of energy I'm given.

Aww, how sweet, the barista just brought me a FREE butter croissant fresh from the oven!  I shall take it home to my husband.

I talked with an acquaintance today.  Tammie owns and runs her coffee stand and works a second job.  She can only say she's learned to just eat and sleep, that's it, eat and sleep.  And I know.  I know what it's like to wipe out every unnecessary thing from the slate just to keep breathing.  And there can be a LOT of unnecessary.

One eventful day this week looked like this:
  • work 9 hours
  • one hour of one on one schoolwork
  • to library to complete food handler's course online (needed the compatible computer)
  • class takes longer than expected, rush to get boys to swim lessons
  • pull up to pool, they hop out and I head over to pick up a couple things at WalMart
  • receive text from pool receptionist (a friend of mine), youngest son grabbed his library bag instead of his swim bag.  Not practical to head back across town for this so, no swim for youngest son)
  • at WalMart, ready to pay, reach into purse, no wallet because I left it on the back seat of my Jeep.
  • run outside, grab wallet, run inside, pay, run outside, zoom-zoom to get to pool just as lessons let out
  • youngest son teary-eyed
  • mom feeling inadequate, overwhelmed, spent
If you sit in Starbucks long enough you just may receive not ONE but TWO fresh from the oven butter croissants to take home to your husband!!

As I read over what I've written here, I am aware of the selfishness it portrays.  I'm thankful for the trials, for the reasons behind my exhaustion.  

  • I'm thankful that I have a job, that I can earn money to help out my family.  
  • I'm thankful that my boys can be schooled at home, that we manage to chug through the hard days, that I can see them grow and learn before my very eyes.  
  • I'm thankful for a home, for a car.  
  • I'm thankful that my boys can enjoy an "extra" such as swim lessons.  
  • I'm thankful for unexpected gifts like butter croissants.  
  • I'm thankful that I can sit and sip a coffee and relax for a few moments.  
  • I'm thankful for health.  
  • I'm thankful for safety.  
I know there are women around the world, mothers with sons, wives with husbands, that will never know the luxuries that I can take for granted:  mothers that scrape by on what they can, sacrificing so their children can eat one meal; the mother that cries herself to sleep at night knowing she can't afford an education for her son who will spend his life in the same squalor she has, mothers that hold down three jobs just to put a roof over the heads of their children.

I know.

And it causes me to really take stock, to fill my heart with thanksgiving, and regard the things I've been given, or spared.

It's time for me to pack up my stuff and head over to pick up my kiddos, then get home to get some dinner ready, just leftovers tonight, but a meal.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


A bright spot in my day was trying for the first time this little treat called a "beignet" (pronouned bay-net).  A co-worker is from New Orleans (he says "Newawluns") and beignets are a common deal there, served with coffee.  Imagine, if you will, deep fried golden crescents of dough, shaken in a paper bag of powdered sugar, and eaten while still warm.  Oh, they just melt in your mouth!  I'm hooked.

Most of this Saturday was spent at work, a typical Saturday.  Husband is also working.  The boys devoted this day to their weekly quizzes for school.  I left them with some chores too, some dishes, some sweeping, that kind of thing.  They are pretty good at helping out once schoolwork is complete.

The rest of the afternoon I'll be giving haircuts, correcting and grading quizzes, recording the week's grades, preparing food for our afternoon meal at church tomorrow, and making my family dinner (cajun pasta carbonara).  Then sometime, after all that is over, I shall rest.

Have you thought to thank God today?  He is gracious with blessings that we so easily dismiss.  The very breath in our lungs comes from Him.  Thank you Lord, for health, for the love my family shares, for a home, for your mercy.  Allow me to serve you with what you've given me.