Thursday, December 23, 2010

I have had a bad attitude this Christmas season

I have had a bad attitude this Christmas season concerning gifts.

Money is tight, real tight. I miss cash in my wallet, eating out, traveling to visit friends and family, candles, Netflix.  I had myself a genuine pity party a few days ago. We were late heading home and everyone was hungry. Instead of swinging through a drive thru we went to the grocery store and grabbed a loaf of bread, cheese, meat, and chips and made sandwiches in the car.  As I made the sandwiches and passed them out my heart shrank three sizes. Instead of being thankful for never feeling true hunger I was mad and tired and fed up. I am ashamed of myself as I type this out.

My loss of wants has been fueling my bad attitude. For the past few months I have been sporting a chopped up haircut I attempted on myself to save money. And I have to find money to buy gifts. (I am feeling really ashamed now.) I must clarify that this frustration is not for children’s gifts. That’s where the fun is. As I type, Blake is beside himself shaking every gift under our tree. He’s also been carrying one certain present around with him all day. 

We decided that we could only buy children gifts this year. I believe that was a wise decision, the money just isn’t there. And borrowing is a definite never, not for Christmas gifts.  Had I not been harboring a hardened heart on our current financial status, that would be the end of it, but I made the choice to let the anger, selfishness, and resentment create guilt.

Enter Proverbs 30:8-10 via my friend’s blog . “…give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise I may have way too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of God.” After prayer and meditation on this verse my heart grew a little. I pondered the few people I know who probably live day to day and the countless others around the world who would scoff at me as I whine about my poverty. I decided that if God wanted me to live for my daily bread, then I would, thankfully. *

The following day was shopping day. I thoroughly enjoyed the first hour or so, picking out items for the kids in my life, imaging the excitement and thrill. The last half was amongst the crowd at Wal-mart, not so fun.
Today was wrapping day. As I wrapped and stewed (somewhat) over adult gifts I began to soften. And a verse popped into my head. “Silver and gold have I none…” I couldn’t remember the rest, but that short phrase stuck in my head. I had to find out the rest. Acts 3:6, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have I give thee…” Giving out of poverty, Elijah and the widow woman with a sick son, the woman who gave her last coin, all these accounts were flooding my thoughts. (In my best Grinch voice) “I’m feeling”. My heart grew three sizes.

I carried firewood down to my brother’s house this evening to start a fire and warm their house since they’ve been gone for a week. Silver and gold I have none, but I have firewood.

Tomorrow we will visit neighbors. I can’t give them expensive gifts, but I am giddy at the thought of giving potatoes, canned green beans, homemade soap, maybe even some of the local beef we have stored in our freezer. 

* The following evening I received an email notification of a scholarship. I have been awarded the Lottery scholarship, 5,000 a year. This should cover my gas and remaining book expenses. And after I was such a whiny, thoughtless person. Shame on me. Thank you Lord. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Deck The Halls

 We cut our tree every year. The last few Christmases we've chosen a pine. I love the bright green color and the sparse heavy boughs. And of course it smells great!

 The kids weren't very interested in the choosing of our tree.
 Silas was with us again this year. He brought along with him a broken candy cane decoration from our yard. It was a sword/weapon of some sort. 

 I can't seem to locate our tree decorations. No problem, the kids made some. The above is Darth Vader. Silas asked if he could make Star Wars ornaments. Of course!
Blake's snowman. With a light saber. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

I want to be like Ben.

Ben lives in our yard, free to hop through the leaves, nibble on grass, and dart away when Lola tries to catch him.

He once lived in a wood and wire cage on the side of our garage. His food and water bowl were filled every few days and he watched the world through the holes in the chicken wire. This was for his safety.

For months I tried to talk Savannah into letting him go free. “Haven’t you seen the way he kicks his heels when we let him hop through the grass?” I would ask her. “Yes, he may only make it a few days, but they will be the happiest days of his life.” I would tell her.

Ben has been living happy and free in our yard now for many months. He’s made it longer than we ever expected. Every time I spot him across the yard my heart swells. And I think about myself. When my days are numbered, when I’m feeble and can’t take care of myself as I once could, please don’t lock me away in a cage. If I beg to stay at my home, where I’m free, please let me stay. Don’t make me watch the world through a cage. Yes, my days may be shorter living in my freedom, but I will go out clicking my heels.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What Did You Do On Labor Day?

The guys grilled steaks.
Lola enjoyed being indoors. She is going into heat and we are keeping a close eye on her.
Blake played with the fire.
Granna showed the girls how to make corn husk dolls.
Speaking of Granna. She never slowed. I prescribed her 20 minutes of relaxation. She never took it.
But because of her determination the cabin now has covered walls. Thanks to the hard work of Rex and Grandpa too.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weekend Retreat

I spent the weekend at home. I was exhausted. Friday was also Rex's birthday and we had a big crowd over for burgers. Silas came home with us. He's a champ, fits right in. My Dad and Debbie came in for a visit too. I made it until 9pm. When my pj's went on and lights went off, party goers began to scoot out the door. Sorry for being in hospitable! I just couldn't function. I couldn't help but think of Shana. She has no respite from the fatigue. I believe God gives moms something extra to endure during these times.
We had a lovely swim in the creek on Saturday and watermelon from our neighbor's garden.
Chillin' the watermelon

Lola and me shelling peas for supper.

Dad mending the dam.

Savannah is back with her big sister. She missed little Eli and needed another week of baby, too. By Sunday morning I felt well rested and ready for week 2. I missed the babies. And couldn't wait to get my hands on them.
Here we go....


Here I am.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

There Was an Old Spider Who Lived in a...

Here are my mowing, gardening, mud, just don't give a darn shoes. 
They've sat here on the porch railing for just a few days, drying out from my last heavy use.
Just a few days. That's all it took for a spider to take up residence.

I removed the web, unlaced the shoe and slowly stuck my hand down into the shoe. Not really. I'm not that tough. I stuck a metal file instead but came up empty. There was a small space I couldn't see at the very tip of the toe. I decided to leave it out on the railing overnight and see if my spider would rebuild it's home. I mowed barefoot instead. Not really.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


You can always find them by the poo they leave behind. It's big!
These dudes can annihilate several plants over night.
But because of their size they are easy to find.

Tomato Hornworm

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My All-Time Favorite

In my past life I was a hairstylist. 
I decided recently to "open shop" right here on my porch one Saturday every month or so for my neighbors and anyone else who wanted to make the trek to our home. 
My first day was a success. Not because I raked in the big bucks, but because I had my all-time favorite customer. 
I've been asking Hyde to let me cut his hair for years. 
It was just as much fun as I thought it would be. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Here and There

I love different cultures. During our last trip to my birthplace of southeast Texas I had the realization that my new home and my old are just that: two different cultures residing in the same country. I thoroughly enjoyed the diversity. Here a just a few:

Swimming in the Gulf.

Swimming in the Little Mulberry.

Driving in Houston.

Driving home.

Taking an evening walk.

Walking to the creek.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Meet Lola

Lola came to live with us this month. She was a very deliberate addition to our family. Airedales are the "King of Terriers" and just what we need to keep the varmints out of our yard. 
Lola is my new friend. 
She gets bigger every day.

She sleeps in my house until I have the nerve to make her sleep outside. I will, I promise!

She eats my plants, sits on my flowers, and digs in my gardens.

She chews my shoes.

She's perfect.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Flying over Texas

Yesterday my dad took us to a local go-kart track. No ordinary go-kart track. These are the big dogs. The complex also includes a full size race car track. We were unaware of the "close toed shoe policy" and the kids and I had on flip-flops. Access denied. 
A friend of Dad's and pilot, Bruce Bohannon, lives only a few miles down from the track. We decided to stop in for a visit. While there Bruce offered the kids a ride in one of his planes. His son David was a well trained pilot he assured me. I was extremely nervous, but knew it was a fear I had to get over so that the kids could have this experience. 

And we even got to fly with our "open toed shoes". 

Monday, June 7, 2010

To-Do List

Yesterday Blake asked what the difference was between the little ticks we find on us and the big purple ones like on dogs. I told him the purple ones were full of blood.
(gross picture, I know.)

Silence and wide eyes. He was horrified to hear that ticks ate blood. "You mean they suck my blood?" he asked. "Yes." I also listed several other bugs that suck blood, it's not that uncommon.
He was quiet and contemplative for a while. Enough time for me to busy myself with whatever I had been doing. He then said, "We need to make a list."  Now this isn't the first time he has said this to me. I am a list maker. I have on-going grocery lists, to-do lists, summer project lists, etc. When I begin rattling off jobs or chores for the kids, Blake always wants to make a list. He loves to scratch them off as they are completed just like I do. I keep all my lists on a small clipboard on my counter. 
Here is Blake's list I found sitting near mine. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dipping in the Little Mulberry

We do this every day during the summer.

 And as best as I can remember, the kids never tire of our daily, sometimes twice daily dips. It just can’t get much better than a cool, clear swimming hole that requires no cleaning or chlorinating. 
Today we found a little friend sharing our swim.

He was stinky and after a few minutes starting snapping, true to his name. So we let him go. Someday maybe we'll see him again. Only next time he may look like the other snapping turtle we found on our way down to the creek.

Thankfully he wasn't snapping, but then again we weren't holding him.