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Monday, November 25, 2013

A Sweet Disaster

I think I've mentioned here before about how Dracen likes to help his popaw with various hobbies and that one of those hobbies is beekeeping. He sells some of the honey for a very reasonable price and a couple of teachers at Dracen's school like to buy a jar or two from time to time. 
A couple of weeks ago he came home from Popaw's with two big jars of honey and asked me to put them in his bookbag that night because one of the teachers at school had requested to buy them. So that next morning I managed to squeeze them into his already near-full-to-capacity bookbag and was planning to make a very clear point for him to be extra, extra careful with that bag before we left for school.

But you see I never got the chance because, for reasons known only to Dracen, he decided to pick that bag up and carry it (one- handed) to the hall bathroom where Devin was getting ready while I was in another bathroom brushing my teeth. I walked out to be immediately hit with a very disconcerting "Mommm" (you know the one) from Dracen that had me quickly bracing myself for what he was about to tell me.

I think I blacked out for a second or two because I only recall hearing the words honey, bookbag, fell, and broke. I came to just in time to see Devin carrying the unbroken jar of honey (with honey seeping down the sides) and Dracen doing some serious fast-talking about how it was all just an accident.

"!" were the words I managed to get out. They had left it in the floor at the edge of the hall and the living room. Y'all. I wanted to cry over what I found in that poor little innocent bookbag. Just curl up in a ball and call the whole dang day off because HOLY-HONEY-BOMB-BATMAN-WHERE-DO-I-EVEN-BEGIN-TO-CLEAN-THIS-DISASTER-UP?!!!

Instead, knowing we only had about five minutes before we needed to pull out of the driveway, I fished the couple of things he said he had to have that day out of the honey glass, cleaned them off the best I could while cussing under (and maybe a little over) my breath the whole time, threw them in the drawstring backpack he brought me and delivered the little minions to their schools.

When I got back home I fought the good fight against the sticky on the notebooks, library books and folders for over an hour, finally declared the bookbag a total loss and threw in the towel. But the honey war was far from over since I spent the next several days attempting to rid his books, school supplies, and any and every flat (and not so flat) surface in my house of the honey, which I am now convinced is the stickiest substance known to man. And animal. And bee. 

Dracen finally confessed that he was only trying to show Devin how heavy his bag was (in other words, he was SHOWING OFF), Popaw has informed him that he will no longer be placed in charge of honey deliveries, his fifth grade agenda and data notebook will never be the same, and I will never look at a jar of honey the same way again. 

Oh, and Popaw asked me to get the bookbag out of the trash and bring it over to his house so he can place it near the bees, assuring me that they will take every last drop of it back to their hive! 

Well played, honey bees. Well played. 

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Checking In...

Clearly I have lost some of that loving feeling for this little blog here. It's not that I haven't thought of writing...I think about it constantly...I know I should write...I really need to write...What should I write? Then I read something, clean something, feed something, or practice my piano-playing instead.

Learning to play it has been challenging. I'm finding it much more difficult than the clarinet (that I haven't played in over 20  years). I had no idea how much it would require the ability to pat my head and rub my belly at the same time. Actually, I think that's easier. But learning to play it, I am. My only regret is that I didn't start learning to play years ago. Each time I learn to play through a new song without mistakes, my soul is soothed.

And soul-soothing is always good.

So I guess I've been turning to the piano instead of to this blog where I practice that which has brought much peace to my soul in the past...writing.

Sometimes when I can't find the words, I'll look back through the archives and read some of my old posts and am sometimes amazed to come away feeling as if my spirit has been lifted by my very own past words that often times, I barely recall writing.

Tonight I stumbled upon such a post I wrote in March of 2012, A Mother's Goal.

I believe I still have much left unwritten inside me and I'll get it all written...eventually.

But for now I leave you with A Mother's Goal...

I was 27 years old on that Halloween day when I took the test that told me I was going to be a mother in nine months' time. 

I was married...happily.  I was plenty healthy.  We both had good jobs.  A nice little three bedroom with a big yard in a small town. And I had said I wanted to be a mother...someday.  But I was shocked and scared. Terrified!  So much so that I cried quite a bit over the next couple of weeks.  

Darin was elated. Over the moon. 

One day not long after we found out, I broke down and cried and cried in front of him as I expressed my fears and doubts.  I didn't know if I had it in me to be a good mother.  I doubted myself because I knew how huge this was, how ginormously important a responsibility this was and how very much our lives would undoubtedly change the minute that baby took his first breath in the world. 

How do you ever really feel READY for something like that?  

He assured me that I would be a wonderful mother.  He just knew it.  So I dried my tears, put on my big girl panties (literally...I gained 50 pounds with that pregnancy!) and adopted a Yes, I can! attitude.  

I read all the books, What to Expect When You're Expecting (and every other pregnancy/parenting book that had ever been published) took all the Lamaze, Parenting and Baby CPR classes...Did everything I could think of to prepare myself for motherhood.  I was going to be the best mother anyone had ever seen and there would be no surprises because I would be fully educated and ready for whatever motherhood threw at me, darn it! 

I had always suspected God had a sense of humor and motherhood removed any doubt that still existed in my mind about it.  

I loved that baby boy more than I ever dreamed I would.  Just looking at him brought me to tears. He was so beautiful and precious and just...perfect.  Absolutely perfect. Heaven sent. 

But motherhood?  As beautiful as it is?  Is hard. Damn hard.  

The diaper changing/toddler days were tough...the lack of sleep, lack of showering, lack of going to the bathroom alone time, lack of so many everyday things we take for granted.  But my God, their precious little faces when they smile at us and put their little hands in ours, fall asleep on our chests, or look at us with big blue eyes and say, "I love you, mommy" with their sweet, melodic, angelic voices...

Life just doesn't get any better than that.  Those are the moments that make it worth living.  

We wipe away their tears when they cry, put band-aids on their boo boos, rock away their fears and disappointments, and soothe them to a peaceful sleep with a bedtime story and a lullaby at the end of each day.  

Motherhood is Love defined.  

The only greater one I know is that of Christ's Love for us.  

And it never changes. Never falters...No matter what they do or say or how much they disappoint.  It doesn't change when they become defiant, challenging adolescents who test our patience, sanity and all around good graces on a daily basis, week after week after week.  

Being a parent is not for the weak or faint of heart.  It takes strength, persistence, determination and a relentless spirit to raise a child up in the world.  And sometimes it feels like nothing we do or say or try is right, is getting through to those stubborn, strong-willed minds.  

We may feel like throwing in the towel and saying, "Do whatever you want to do! It's your life, not mine, and I'm tired, darn it!"

But it's not that easy or that simple. God gave us a job to do.  Perhaps the single, most important one anyone has ever been asked to do. Because He knew we had that extra special something within us that could get the job done.

And one day, not so far away, those little people we were entrusted  with will be big people who will, hopefully and God-willing, look at us with great love and respect and say (or at least just think) something like this...

"Thanks, Mom. Thanks for teaching me right from wrong and for never giving up on me during those years when I was a little pain in the ass. Because although I thought I already knew everything there was to know about life back then, I really didn't know much at all. I can see that now...Thank you for helping me see and for raising me with love and perseverance. I needed it more than I knew."  

That is the goal we must never give up on attaining as we trudge through these often stormy waters of this difficult, challenging, amazing, life-altering, beautiful thing called motherhood.   

Be Back Soon,

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Evolution of a Clown

Coulrophobia: the fear of clowns

To the best of my knowledge I've never been a coulrophobiac. And neither has Dracen. He seems to possess some sort of fascination with clowns since he has chosen to be one for Halloween three times since 2007...

Cute and Silly Clown
He was not quite so camera shy back then.

Scary Psycho Clown

Homie the Mullet Clown
He got to dress up for school on Halloween.
We didn't put this together until a couple of days before when he suddenly announced that he was going to be a clown again. As cute as that 2007 clown was, I have to say Homie here is my personal favorite. I laughed so hard. 
He was being more of a curmudgeon than usual when he first tried it on Wednesday night which Charlie said reminded him of Homie the Clown from In Living Color. I sort of halfway remembered that so I Googled him to find that it was actually "Homey D. Clown". (which I found even funnier)


Homey D. 

Happy Clowning,

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Friday, November 1, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY (November 1, 2013)

Outside my window... it is rainy (68 degrees) and the leaves on all the big trees have finally changed, giving me the most glorious view. I can't stop staring at their beauty, even on this rainy today.

I am thinking...of possible solutions for a recent (somewhat surreal) problem/situation that has nearly knocked the wind out of my sails.

I am thankful...for my personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the reminder of His Promise.

In the kitchen...I just put a roast into the crockpot.

I am wearing...dark jeans, a casual free-flowing top, my leather and pearl bracelet (a gift from Charlie), my pearl ring(a gift from Darin he had made from a pearl he'd had since childhood), turquoise earrings (a gift from Michelle) and bare feet. 

I am creating...a more artful life (or at least attempting).

I am continue to take life one day at a time.

I am life can somehow still manage to get all messy and twisted up, in spite of our very best attempt and intent.

I am hoping...for better days ahead.

I am looking forward to...the completion of our new master bathroom and finally soaking in that claw foot tub I've been dreaming of for a long forever.

I am play the piano.

Around the house...there are people in and out (working on the bathroom) and the dogs are barking (more than usual!).

I am pondering...some big changes.

A favorite quote for today..."You are a mess. You are and I am and everyone else is too. Some of us do a better job at hiding it than others, but it doesn't make it any less true...But you are designed to reflect the glory of God, and when you release the fullness of who you most deeply are, we will see God because we're finally seeing you...Being a mess doesn't disqualify you from having an influence. And it doesn't make you any less of a poem." ~Emily Freeman

One of my favorite things...(the only thing I've yet eaten today) a fun-size pack of M&M's heated just slightly in the microwave.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Pray...deeply breathe in, deeply breathe out...pray...deeply breathe in, deeply breathe out...pray...(repeat as needed)

A peek into my day...

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Something to Talk About

"So did you stay out of trouble today?", I asked Dracen when I picked him up yesterday afternoon. 

"Yes", he said. 

"So no silent lunch or laps today?", I replied back.

"Umm...well, I did get silent lunch." 


me: "Why did you get silent lunch? Talking again?" 

Dracen: "Yeah, but I wasn't actually talking to anybody this time."

me: "Who were you talking to then, yourself?!"

Dracen: "Well yes, I was. I was talking to myself. Actually I was mumbling...I just mumbled about this assignment and how it was...{and then I didn't catch exactly what he said here because he was sort of mumbling}and then the teacher said, 'SILENT LUNCH for you', just like that!... when my-self."

I looked over at Devin who was in the passenger seat trying so hard not to bust out laughing and then I couldn't hold my own laughter back because who-the-heck-gets-in-trouble-for-talking-to-himself? I recovered quickly though by slapping my serious mom hat back on and giving him a stern little talking-to.

But then I cracked up again when I told Charlie about it later. He said, "This is like my life as a kid being replayed all over again". (because he was/is a talker as well)

It's all difficult for me to comprehend since I have never been the talker type.  I was (am) so much of a non-talker that I find it all sort of baffling and downright fascinating to be honest, which is why I also find it so incredibly difficult to lecture him on it. It is foreign to me. 

I was always secretly amused by the kids who were completely comfortable talking out of hand in class because I could not even fathom what it must be like to possess that level of carefree social comfort. Social situations have gotten easier with time, age and wisdom but I'm mostly still just as socially awkward as I ever was (at least on the inside)...

So what did God do? He gave me a chatterbox to raise. Oh yes, His sense of humor is alive and well, my friends...alive and well. 

Laughing through it,

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Just a Little Happy List

Well the week was far from over when I wrote that post Friday morning. I can't go into the details here so you'll just have to trust me when I say that it was not the best of days. Oh don't get me wrong, I've certainly experienced far worse days in my life. But was not a good day.

Rather than wallow in it, however, I thought I'd do just the opposite by making a list of some things/moments that made me smile last week.

Because there is always some happy mixed in...

1. Holding my best friend's newborn baby at the hospital on Wednesday morning. We've been friends since the second day of tenth grade (way back in 1986) and have experienced many a life milestone together. I'm so thrilled for her and her family on their newest addition (baby girl number 3). Congratulations, Michelle!

2. Playing one of my all-time favorite hymns, Just As I Am, on the piano. I've still only had the one lesson so far (since things keep coming up) and I have a long way to go and a whole lot left to learn but I have been practicing and feel like I am finally on my way to accomplishing this thing I've been saying I'm going to do for years and it feels good.

3. Dracen making a 106 on his science test. Granted, he did have a note in his agenda on the same day about his constant talking in math class which we did not blow off. But he is somehow managing to keep his grades up in spite of his endless chatter so amen for that.

4. This. 

5. Charlie's son, Ryan, and daughter, Shana, turning 24 and 20 yesterday! I've always thought it was so awesomely coincidental how they were born on the same day, four years apart and Devin and Dracen were almost born on the same day (17th and 18th of July),four years apart. But 20 and 24?! Where has the time gone? It just keeps speeding up on me.

6. This. 

 7. Wearing my winter hats. And scarves. And boots. I don't get the opportunity to wear them all that often around here but Dracen's baseball games Friday night and Saturday morning prompted me to dust them off and put them on because hello-where-did-fall-go? It got down below 30. In October! Charlie thought my boots were new. I had to remind him that I bought them four years ago but normally only wear them in the snow and well, we haven't seen much of that around here in quite the long time. I'm thinking this may be the year. Although its is back to a high of 70 this week so who really knows what the winter holds.

8. This Cross My Heart Pullover Sweater by Free People. I just recently bought it and while it was a bit of a splurge, I have no doubt that I will get my full money's worth because I cannot stop wearing it. It is the best, most comfortable sweater I have ever owned. 
(It comes in two other colors)

I was wearing it in the photos I posted of our little mountain drive last week.

9. The baseball pictures I took Saturday morning. I finally remembered to take my camera when they were all wearing thermal underwear and hoodies. And of course Dray wouldn't wear the black hoodie that matched because well, he is Dracen. One more game left, tonight. I'm going to try to get some better ones so fingers crossed that it will at least be warm enough to shed the hoodie.

10. This daily devotional book by Sarah Young. It always seems to give me the guidance I need, just when I need it most.

Peace in His Presence,

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Is this week over yet?

Well I am still somewhat congested and having the occasional coughing fit but I did rejoin the land of the living this week. Why do the bugs Dracen brings home always seem to hit me ten times harder than they do him? I suppose it is due to that whole resilience thing kids have working for them.

In other news, we had our first parent/teacher conference with one of Dracen's teachers this week. It seems he is doing well as far as grades go. His only problem (which was no news) is his inability to stop talking incessantly. He gets a lot of "silent lunches" and laps at recess and doesn't hesitate to tell me all about each incident (which usually involves some tattling by a girl) as soon as he gets in the car in the afternoons. Giving Dracen laps to run is more of a reward than a punishment but I guess it at least stops him from talking for a few seconds.

Data notebooks came home for the first time yesterday and inside was his behavior chart for October where all his laps and silent lunches were listed along with some questions he had written answers to. When asked why he didn't meet his behavior goal, he wrote "because I was talking a very, very, very lot!" Did this child get even one of my genes?  Because seriously, I NEVER TALKED in elementary school. Seriously. I think some of the kids (and maybe teachers too) thought I was a mute.

And then there's his brother...the one who looks like me and even has my introverted nature yet has somehow managed to get himself labeled as the class clown.  I had such high hopes for high school, thinking we were leaving these problems behind us with middle school. Turns out, I was wrong because while I was grocery shopping Monday afternoon Charlie received a call from his math teacher. Her words were "I need some help." Apparently he threw a piece of paper and then proceeded to hum while she was trying to teach the class. So she put him on the phone in order for Charlie to give him a good talking to. 

Oh yes, we've been having us quite the fun time around here this week what with the teacher phone call, the coughing fits (Charlie got hit with it this week) my lecture to Dracen on "girl drama" and why he should be trying to steer clear of it at all costs, the Devin lectures, and the fact that Dracen seems to have forgotten that one should be wearing shoes in order to attend school and to leave the house in general. The child forgot his shoes twice for school this week and once while going to Popaw's in the afternoon. One day we were already late leaving so the turning around after we were almost out of the neighborhood landed him a tardy. 

Also, it has turned COLD. Way too cold for baseball which has continued to carry on this week. I may be sporting my bibs and snow boots to Dracen's game tonight. It was 34 degrees on the car thermometer this morning and yet Devin (for reasons way beyond my level of comprehension) refused to put on a hoodie over his short-sleeved t-shirt. So while I was fussing at him, he was rolling his eyes over the backseat at Dracen..."Who forgets to wear SHOES?!" 

Thank the good Lord it is Friday! 

We did manage to make our yearly trip up the mountain last Sunday to see the changing leaves. I usually always forget until the leaves are past their peak but for whatever reason this year (maybe it was all that record-breaking rain over the summer?) they have decided to take their time about changing since many of them were still green. But some spots were absolutely breathtaking and we got a few good photos....


Happy Friday,

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