Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In the wrong pigpen?

I think I must have been born in the wrong place and time. Upscale Palm Beach in 1973 might have provided a suitable start for my life, but I realized very early on in my childhood that I just didn't feel like I belonged. Now...well, now I KNOW I'm a fish out of water in modern city life. In fact, a lot of typical American life now befuddles me and makes me long for the stories of my great-grandmother and the books I clung to as a young girl--penned by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I just don't feel like I fit in "here".

I always wanted to be part of a big family and live on a farm. I grew up in a city not but a stone's throw from the beach, and our family gatherings during my childhood...well, they were boring. One brother, four cousins, my grandparents, and a few aunts and uncles were it. I listened to my great-grandmother tell me about her family of twelve siblings and was in awe. Her stories about living in a farming community in northern Alabama were just riveting to me.

I tell ya, piddling with FarmVille on Facebook is just not cutting it. Browsing the real estate brochures and finding a bunch of available farmland (some with some really nice houses!) and knowing I'll still have to wait a year, maybe two, before we can even seriously look for a home of our "own" is tormening me...so I just let Pete look and dream. For now, I'll read the blogs of those who are living that rural dream and live vicariously through their words and pictures.

Our family is *close* to what I always dreamed about as a child, although I do wish my kids had some cousins to play with and that their grandparents were closer to us (maybe in time?), but the dreams I had of just leaving the size of our family up to God's blessing has been brought to a screeching halt by my bad health. It is what it is as it is, and that's okay--it really has to be. I do hope that one day before the girls are too big that we can move to a place where they are safe to spread their wings and enjoy God's creation a bit more than in the teeny little postage stamp of a backyard they are confined to now. As odd as it sounds, I'd like for my girls to know how dirt feels between the fingers! I want them to be able to play in the mud and jump in puddles. And one of these days, I hope we have a huge dining room table and way too many grandchildren to fit around it!

For now, I guess I'll just fill notebooks with pictures cut out from magazines; I'll collect gardening tips, browse homesteading websites, and try not to look TOO longinginly at oil lamps and wood-burning stoves. There are plenty of simple luxuries to be found in the here and now, and plenty of blogs to read of folks who are living that wonderful dream of country simplicity. Maybe one day....

Monday, September 28, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook, 9/28/2009

FOR TODAY...September 28th

Outside my window... The grass that Pete finally got to mow yesterday is starting to brown. Two weeks of rain really made the lawn shoot up and the clumps of fresh-cut grass are covering the entire yard, it was just so long when he cut it! The first signs of Fall are peeking out of the green trees, and we're all looking forward to the cooler temperatures that the Weather Channel is promising us for later in the week.

I am thinking... That I simply must convince the girls that eating from the Cookie Crisp snack bags that they didn't touch yesterday does not constitute as breakfast, but logically I know that there is far more sugar in the blueberry waffles I just offered as an alternative...

I am thankful for... My sweet hubby (and the daughter and temporary "foster" son) who finally moved my computer downstairs so I now have the opportunity to steal a quiet moment to blog! YAY!!!

I am wearing... Ash gray warm-up pants and a light blue tee. I guess I should change before my PT session?

I am remembering... That I have to make this short so I can clean the school table of all of the stuff that was piled on it last night as we moved the desk and the computer so the girls have a workspace to do their schoolwork on.

I am going... To physical therapy at 10:30, then back home. It's our new policy to stay home during the week, and I plan on sticking with it! The only exception is to physical therapy appointments, plus using our day "off" to do grocery shopping and whatever other weekday errands need to be done.

I am reading... "Do Hard Things" by Alex and Brett Harris. Amazing read. Very challenging even to my not-so-teen-anymore self!

I am hoping... To continue the trend of getting one room a day "done" so that in time we don't have clutter and chaos ruling the house.

I am hearing... Dora the Explorer, and three girls yelling "THE MAP!!!", as Shelby tries to keep up, saying "MAAA!!!!" along with them. Cute!

From the learning rooms... Our second week of school begins today. Kelsey will start the Physical Geography text that we dug out of the book box that Pete finally found, as well as getting her last class loaded up on Switched-On Schoolhouse (geometry)--she doesn't need the additional math credit, but even though she has geometry covered through Saxon's Algebra 1 and 2, she really just needs the additional math practice. One more credit won't hurt. She'll also start the German language program today as well. She learned enough while we lived over there to hold a basic conversation, ride the train by herself (much to Mom's chagrin), find a bathroom, order a meal, and answer the phone. That counts for something, right? No reason to require any other foreign language than the one she lived for three years!

Noticing that... Jamie seems to almost NEED to sing every waking minute of the day; it's as if the silence frustrates her. Right now, she's singing the names of the judges of Israel alternated with the apostle song. The kid can list more at the age of 4 than I can at 36, all from the songs she's learned. Wow.

A few plans for the week... Right now, the only things on the to-do list include physical therapy, grocery shopping, and schoolwork! I kind of like it that way. Pete does begin the preliminaries for his retirement physical and applying for a job that is opening this week. It just amazes me that after 20 long years, the time has finally come to face civilian life!

From the kitchen... Time to get back into the routine of making a meal plan each week! It's ironic that blogging actually helps to keep me MORE organized! Tonight, we'll have London broil, roasted potatoes, and field peas. Yummy!

Around the house... The refrigerator is still dribbling, so I think it's going to need replacing. Thankfully, living in military housing means that's someone else's problem, not ours! There are messes to clean up, of course, but we're really getting a handle on that problem in a hurry, and I'm thrilled that neatness is becoming a regular thing.

From my picture journal... the reason I can't seem to keep my pantry clean! Well, ONE of the several reasons, I should say.

Many thanks to Peggy for hosting The Simple Woman's Daybook!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gettin' it together!

It's taking a while, especially after taking almost a full month off from any of my own daily duties for that bear of a recovery from my c-section (and the, er....complications) but I think we're finally back in some semblance of a routine! I convinced Pete while he was home on paternity leave (thank you, US Army, for that wonderful little gift of ten days!) that we really NEED to weed through this mountain of stuff we've amassed and....gulp.....GET RID OF IT!!!! He was slow to come around to a lot of the things that he thinks we'll somehow need "eventually", but we're getting there. One huge dish-crate packing box and three garbage bags full of clothing went to a clothing swap earlier this month, and I don't know how many boxes of junk we've just thrown away, but it's getting less and less cramped in here by the minute!

My biggest organizational challenge this year was really finding what works for us and how to get the house arranged so I'm not spending valuable time backtracking all day. Probably the last issue is getting the computer downstairs. Yep, I am still typing in my bedroom while the girls play downstairs. I don't like it! Pete says the issue is getting the wireless thingie working again....I know it works, because his laptop has wireless access and it works just fine. It's THIS computer that seems to need to be hardwired. That stinks. Maybe this weekend?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Game day reflections

For some reason, when you watch a markedly one-sided football game, you just have to feel for the underdogs...and especially those who play some of the not-so-glorious but ever-so-necessary positions. I got to empathizing with a poor little place kicker on Saturday, then wondered to myself why on earth I was drawn to HIM of all the players to feel sorry for. Well....after meditating on it a wee bit more that night whilst rocking a fussy baby to sleep, I realized I've played that position a time or two in life. Come with me to the playing field of my mind, will you?

It's the first play of the second half. My team is down by too many points to ever come back from; shoot, at this point we can barely save our dignity, we've been whooped up on so badly. Most of our starting players are already injured and the second and third strings are showing signs of exhaustion from the sheer mental torment of this horrid game. We just want to go home, but we have to get through another two quarters. Here I stand, staring down the field at the largest line of human beasts I've ever faced, all with one goal in mind--the ball I have to kick downfield. No big deal, right? Hey, I've been trained to kick this ball well. I've been doing this for several years already, and I'm pretty good at it. So why on earth am I so scared?

Where is my backup?? My special team....their job is to make sure that ball doesn't get returned to our end zone by these behemoths, they aren't in the business of protecting ME! But yet, here I stand behind this teed football, feeling very small and insignificant all of a sudden. Oh, get on with it already, feet....let's just kick this ball, get tackled by the stampede, and get off the field. That's my job, right?

Sometimes in life, trudging through the rough course of life side-by-side with people of like goal is encouraging...but sometimes, even having a whole line of people running right there with you in the same direction can leave you feeling isolated and vulnerable. Why? Well, because they aren't always there for your protection. Like the special team assigned to a kickoff, every player has his or her own job to do--and while the team as a whole works well together, that can leave one weak player open to attack while the others are off tackling their own giants. The game of life is not easy; God never promised Christians a quiet, calm, peaceable life free of turmoil. He never promised protection from the harms of this life. He DID, however, promise us that as long as we're "playing for the right team", even though we may be the underdogs at times, He's right there at the sidelines, coaching us on and offering guidance and the protection from spiritual harm.

Satan has some mighty big players on his team, but those of us wearing a jersey washed in the blood of Christ have a distinct advantage--we're playing a game that has already been won!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What a wonderful night!

We have been having a wonderful revival meeting with the preacher whose feet I grew up at--Dan Jenkins baptized both me and Pete into Christ (me at the age of 11, Pete a few days before our wedding) and even officiated our wedding, so having him here in Huntsville has been like a bit of "home" in our new home...which, ironically, was Dan's childhood home! You know, ever since we moved back to Alabama last year, we've had a bunch of full-circle moments, and last night was yet another--one neither of us really saw coming!

Twenty years ago yesterday, Pete was immersed into Christ...and last night, following yet another amazing sermon, a guest of Kelsey's (a soldier here on the Arsenal) named Chris confessed Christ and asked to be baptized....by Pete! As thrilled as we all were to see a new Christian being born, it was just surreal that it all happened as it did. Neat, huh?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Houston, we have a problem...

Shoe overload!!! With six girls in the house (of course, only five wear shoes), we are amassing a terrifying mountain of footwear. What's more, we can never seem to find even one pair of appropriate foot attire for every person that has an available match! Why? Well, I dunno...you look...
My intentions were good. I had a shelf, dedicated to shoes, right there in the closet. No such luck keeping things organized, though. Methinks we're going to have to break out the big guns for this organizational project!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Long time, no blog!

Oh my, what a busy, busy, BUSY couple of months I've had...and to think that most of it was spent sitting on my duff trying (in vain, I might add) to "relax". HA!


I am attempting to convince hubby to move this puter downstairs into our schoolroom so on the rare occasion I *do* catch a free moment while little ones are sleeping, quiet, and working on seatwork or a project, well then maybe, just MAYBE I can catch up on my emailing or blogging!? He's not convinced. Why? Well, he likes the puter in our bedroom, and he doesn't have an issue in the slightest with finding free time for his own puter needs when he's buried in his CAVE....see?
Anyhoo....if I had the puter downstairs, I'd be much more likely to find the time to do even quickie blog entries, and I'm finding that with the life I've got now, I really NEED that few minutes of brain-downloading to regain my sanity. I guess it's just not a priority to SOME people to have Mom sane....

Okay, I know some of you are probably getting really tired of me not updating with our news, so here's the big announcement. Kasey Lee was born by c-section on August 5th--she weighed 8lbs, 7oz, and was 21 inches long. Our biggest yet! She also sported a full head of dark, dark brown hair--truly a shock to Mom, Dad, Grandmas, sisters, pretty much everyone! She sure does stand out in this family full of toeheaded girlies! Here's a three-ish week-old pic:

I've got a lot more pics to upload, a ton of stuff to blog about, and hundreds of other things...but right now, my five minutes of puter time is up, as I'm being summoned by a little squealing thing who is not so happy that Mom put her down! How dare I...
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