Monday, June 26, 2017

Ain't That the Truth!

Because it's Monday, I thought I'd give you a few  facts you can share with others to make your day just a little more interesting. Keep in mind that I have not personally verified all any of these facts. But I found them on the internet, so I'm certain they must be true.
  1. Banging your head against a wall burns 150 calories an hour. Or you could just ... you know ... exercise.
  2. Pteronophobia is the fear of being tickled by feathers!  And nomophobia is the fear of being without mobile phone coverage. What's your point?
  3. When hippos are upset, their sweat turns red. Does it happen when they realize they've run out of coffee in the morning or just when they get cut off in traffic?
  4. A flock of crows is known as a murder. And a group of jellyfish is known as a smack.
  5. “Facebook Addiction Disorder” is a mental disorder identified by Psychologists. The danger is real!
  6. The average woman uses her height in lipstick every 5 years. I prefer to put it on once a day, but to each her own.
  7. May 29th is officially “Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day“. And today is National Chocolate Pudding Day. Now that makes more sense!
  8. Cherophobia is the fear of fun. And thaasophobia is the fear of being boring.
  9. Human saliva has a boiling point three times that of regular water. Who tested this?!?!? Eww!!!
  10. Bananas are curved because they grow towards the sun. This just makes me smile!
  11. During your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools. How is it even possible to test this?
  12. If Pinocchio said “My Nose Will Grow Now”, it would cause a paradox.
  13. Polar bears can eat as many as 86 penguins in a single sitting. I'm sure there's a polar bear or two that could squeeze in 87 if he didn't mind feeling a little stuffed.
  14. Heart attacks are more likely to happen on a Monday. Well of course! 
  15. in 2015, more people were killed from injuries caused by taking a selfie than by shark attacks. How sad is it that this doesn't even surprise me?
So there you go--topics for lunchtime at work. Your welcome.

P.S. Which facts do you really believe to be true?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Surprise!


Shortly after my husband and I were married I found a job working at a psychiatric office. I worked five days a week, and had an hour long round trip commute. On Mondays I worked ten hours, which were always long days considering where I worked and the type of people that came through the door.  



One Sunday evening after church we were relaxing in our apartment, and we were looking on Craigslist at different things. Just for kicks we started looking at the animals. We all love looking at adorable animal pictures, don't we? We came across some disgusting snakes, some puppies and an adorable orange cat. When we got to the picture of the cat I looked at my husband and said, “aww, it’s so cute.”

Well, Monday rolled around and off to work I went. When my day ended, I called my husband and let him know I was on my way home. This particular Monday he sounded a little short, and was quick to get off the phone. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, so the whole way home I was wondering what was going on. As I walked in the door of our apartment, Matt was standing there smiling and all of his brothers were sitting very quietly on my couches. They were all waiting for a reaction. A reaction to what, you ask? It was all very weird. The blinds were all shut, the lights were all off except the kitchen, and there was a smell, a nasty smell. That could have been the boys; the jury is still out on that one. It took me a few minutes to figure out what they were all up to. A few seconds later I saw a little orange fur ball come out from around the couch. My husband said, “SURPRISE!”. That it was. I was not happy. I went to my room, closed the door and cried!



Did I mention I am allergic to cats?

I didn’t like my job, it was a long, bad day, and I was definitely surprised to come home to a room full of boys and this new cat. Matt came to our room to check on me. I told him I appreciated the gesture, but the cat had to go. Then I proceeded to tell him just because I said it was cute didn’t mean I wanted it. He said, “it was FREE”. 

That also doesn’t make it better. There was probably a reason it was free. Perhaps his SMELL? I said, “Please, get rid of him.” Well at that point it was too late in the evening to give him back. I gave the cat some water and put him in our guest bathroom … all night. It might have been a little cruel, but come on! What would you have done? 

The next day Matt took the cat to his parents' house to stay the night. My mother-in-law wasn’t too happy, but my husband assured her it was ok because they already had two cats and it would be fine. It was just for one night. Wrong--it was there for two nights. By Wednesday the little orange fur ball was back to it's owner and I was still working on getting the smell out of our apartment.

So the moral of the story is, just because a woman says something is cute doesn’t mean she always wants it. Unless it’s a purse or a pair of shoes. Then, yes, you do indeed have permission to surprise us!

Have you ever been surprised with something you didn’t want?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

VBS!!

Well, it's VBS week at our home church. Which can be exhausting in and of itself, but our church does it very uniquely. We also have our missions conference in the same week. We do VBS from 9 - noon, and then come back for the evening service at 7 every evening. So, I thought in honor of all of us here at my church, I would do a "this is VBS" post.

    It starts weeks before VBS even starts. First comes the announcement. The get excited and go sign up for a class announcement.
Then comes the recruiter because not enough people signed up to help. It's an unpleasant job, but someone has to be the bad guy.
Then comes the first day excitement. You wake up like this guy.

and then you go a little overboard because it's day 1 and you're excited! 

By around day three, the kids have pulled you in every direction, spit on you, hit you, and cried over not getting prizes. But all of that is ok, you're sill smiling and
you've still got a few days to go 


By the end of day three and day four, you're pretty much past the point of no return. The kids have had so much candy that they couldn't calm down even if they wanted to . 

Day five, you're back to this over enthusiastic guy, because hey, why not. It's the last day so finish strong!

On Friday evening this is you. Almost in unbelief that the kids are all going home. 

Followed by this guy on Saturday. 

  Well, that's our week. I'm loving every second of it so far, but I'm also really looking forward to passing out on Saturday. How does your church do vbs?







Monday, June 19, 2017

He Said, She Said

I have spent the past thirty-one years sharing my life with the original Indiana Jones, and I've been raising our five sons for the past twenty-eight years. That amount of time has allowed me an up close and personal look at the way males view things. Once I got past the shock and horror of this knowledge, I realized that I am in the unique position of being able to interpret male thoughts and actions that are incomprehensible to most females. I thought I'd share a few of these insights with you.

Say you and your husband pass another woman in a store or a restaurant and you make some kind of a comment to your husband about her. (I don't like her dress, shoot me if I ever try that color on my hair, etc...) Your husband responds by saying, "You're prettier than she is." Here's what's going through each of your minds:

She:  I never asked if I was prettier. Why would he say that? Does he think I'm insecure? Does he think I'm comparing myself with her? Is he comparing me with her? If I'm prettier, does that mean he thinks she's pretty? Is that his idea of beauty? Does he hate the color of my hair?

He:  I gave her a compliment. Brownie points! Is that a squirrel?

You've been concerned about your child all day long. He doesn't seem as energetic as usual, and he has a runny nose. You share this observation with your husband when he gets home.

She:  Do you think he's teething or is he getting sick? What color is his snot? Does he feel warm at all? Does he feel too cold? Is it too cold in here? Should I turn the air conditioning down? Am I causing us to spend too much on our electricity so that we can't afford to take our son to the doctor to get checked out because I think he might be getting sick? I think I must be a terrible mother!

He:  I don't want to touch him if he's getting snot all over everything. Is that a squirrel?

You know your husband never remembers important dates, and you don't want to spend all of Mother's Day being angry that he forgot, so you gently remind him that Mother's Day is coming up this Sunday. He responds by saying, "Did you get my mom a card?"

She:  Your mother?!?!? What about me? Don't I deserve a card? Am I that terrible a mother that he thinks of his mother before he thinks of the woman that gave him all these kids? Do my children think I'm a bad mother? Does his mother think I'm a bad mother?

He:  Did she get my mom a card?

Your anniversary falls on a Wednesday. Your husband is traveling home from a trip that day, plus you have church that night. You're going to go away overnight the following week to celebrate your anniversary, but you suggest to your husband that you also go out to dinner the day after your anniversary to just at least acknowledge the day. Your husband says, "Yeah, sure. Whatever."

She:  Whatever? That's all our anniversary is worth to him now? Is our marriage in trouble? Are we falling out of love? Do I need to get some self-help books about keeping the romance in our marriage? Am I letting myself go? Should I get a gym membership? Do I need to lose a few pounds?

He:  What did she say we were having for dinner?

Remember that men in general are not very subtle so what they're saying is what they're usually thinking. And the one rule above all others is this:  don't ask what they're thinking unless you really want to know. And in most cases, you probably really don't want to know.

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Dad and His Daughters

Happy Father’s Day Weekend!



In honor of Father’s Day I thought it would be fun to do a Q & A with my husband and our daughters.

Matt, if I was not at home and wouldn’t be home for another two hours, you have one child that threw up and the other went number two in her diaper, what would you do?
Matt: Call my mom and ask if she was busy at the moment.

Me: How old do your daughters need to be in order to date?
Matt: Mid-twenties to early forties.

Me: What type of guy will your daughters marry?
Matt: for Stella probably someone who can be henpecked, someone she can boss around. For Talia, a man’s man, an adventurer, someone who will climb a mountain because she’s climbing onto everything. For Olivia, i’m not sure yet.

Me: What are the girls’ favorite foods?
Matt: for Stella it’s chicken nuggets.(Close, it’s cereal and milk) 
For Talia, it’s Nutri-grain bars… she’s always climbing on the counter to get some out of the cabinet and for Olivia it’s Ramen. 

Me: What is something that Dad always tells you?
Stella: “obey now”
Talia: “get down” (because she’s trying to get the Nutri-grain bars)

Me: What are their favorite colors?
Matt: Stella’s is pink and so is Talia’s, although Stella says it’s purple because she doesn’t want to share a color with her sister.

Girls, what is Daddy’s favorite color? 
Both girls: Um, Blue!

Me: What is Dad’s favorite food?
Talia: Cheez-it

Me: What is dad’s favorite toy?
Stella: XBOX, is dad’s favorite but that’s my favorite toy too! (who said that?)
Me: What is daddy good at?
Stella: Juggling ( I didn’t even know he could do that)
Talia: He saves the day (We were visiting my parents once and her balloon blew into the neighbors tree and he rescued it.)


Me: Where does dad like to go?
Stella: The gym. He has big muscles. 
Talia: “The Hostibal” (That means hospital, and she thinks we like going there because we’ve had to take her so many times. )

Me: What is your favorite thing that you’ve done with daddy?
Stella: “when we goed to the movie and get candy at the store”
Talia: when we got marshmallows



On Father’s Day, take a minute and have your husbands do this with you children. I would love to see what they would say! Copy and Paste the Q & A in the comments with their answers!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Too Soon??

   You know those moments in life, where it’s always too soon to bring them back up? 

   Well, on my hubby’s side of the family we have quite a few of those. Where do I start? There was the time when My hubby and I got engaged. Both my hubby and his younger brother were preparing for marriage at the same time, and his brother’s fiancé and I had gotten very close. Every time I would come to town to visit my future in-laws, I would stay with her. When the time came for my hubby to propose, he told his brother not to tell her because she wouldn’t be able to keep the secret from me. That resulted in her not being able to get off work and be there with everyone else when he actually did propose. She really wasn’t thrilled, and to this day when the topic of our engagement comes up and we do the “remember when’s”, she gives us a look. Our response, “Too soon?”.

   Then there was the time, when I returned her the favor.  I was on my way to her wedding. I took the time off of work, got up at 5 a.m. so that I could get there in time to do some of the family festivities, and got on the road. Around 2 ½ hours into the trip the weather took a turn for the worse. Did I mention it was January and their wedding was in West Virginia? A brilliant time and location for me to take my first long road trip alone, right?!? So, 3 hours into the trip, I hit black ice. Enough said. My car spun out of control, I hit the median a couple of times, and then my car went into the ditch on the other side of the road. In that thirty seconds I just knew I was going to die. I know, I know, slightly dramatic, but I’m owning it, okay. Needless to say, I never made it to the wedding. Now when they do their wedding “remember when’s”, my brother in law looks at me and says “remember that, Steph? Oh wait, too soon?”. My other brother in law is getting married this weekend. I’m really hoping to make it to this one.


   There’s also the “too soon” that goes back to before hubby and I were even dating. He worked at Kohl’s and I went in there one day to say “hi”. He was working on cleaning up a display table and we just chatted for a while. After a while I looked over and there was one of those Hawaiian shirts hanging next to me.  You know the ones that make you think of a guy like this?
So, I picked it up and told him "these shirts are just so ugly!". He looked at me dead serious and said "my dad wears those every day". I thought it was a joke, so I laughed. He wasn't joking, but he was laughing. He continued laughing and called his dad right then and there in front of me and told him what I thought of his wardrobe. His dad had never even met me, the girl interested in his son, and here I was insulting his wardrobe. Five years later this is still a "too soon" for us. We don't really talk about it, I just tell him often how awesome I think his shirts are. I don't think he believes me, but we pretend. 

  This is just a few of our many "too soon's".  I'm sure that we all have some. What are yours?

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Real Truth About Marriage

Indiana Jones and I will be celebrating thirty-one years of mostly marital bliss this Wednesday. What have I learned in thirty-one years of marriage?

1.  Fairy tales are best left up to Disney. In real life scenarios I don't always get to be Beauty. Sometimes I'm the Beast.

2.  I-love-you's are sometimes said with a warm hug and a kiss, and sometimes they're said by taking out the dog when it isn't your turn.

3.  No one really understands the "in sickness and in health" vow until they've had to take care of someone with a bad case of the stomach flu.

4.  Men are sometimes right. (Don't tell them I said so.)

5.  There really aren't sides in a marriage. It's more of a big, messy circle.

6.  When Solomon said there was a time to keep silence and a time to speak in Ecclesiastes 3, he was probably thinking about marriage.

7.  Every day you have to choose to love each other. Sometimes that choice is easy, and sometimes you choose to love each other because you promised God you would.

8.  Generally speaking, marriages are happier if you never run out of toilet paper.

9. There can't be a "his" and "hers" in a marriage. It all has to be "ours".

10. The exception to #9 is toothbrushes. You really need to have your own.

Oh come on. Were you really expecting something profound?











Friday, June 9, 2017

Ready or Not Here I Come


Everyone loves a good game of Hide & Seek, right? WRONG! If you are playing hide and seek with your child then, yes, that can be loads of fun. However, when it’s your belongings that are hiding and you are trying to seek them… that’s a different story. Our daughter, Talia, is a mischievous little girl. At times she will be playing near something (like keys, phones, remotes, etc…) and she’ll decide to hide it. Thankfully, we have found everything she has hidden so far (I think), but this has to stop. I can remember a few instances very clearly, with the most recent being yesterday.

At first, it was our car keys. Luckily we have two sets. My husband usually has the bigger set because he has the car key, house key, and then of course all the keys he needs for working at the church. I have the smaller set with the car key and the house key. One time, Matt had driven to the church that morning but had walked home for lunch. He was getting ready to head back to work and asked for his keys. I told him they were on the table, but they weren’t. I looked on the dresser, maybe he had put them there instead. Nope. We began to look everywhere for those keys! He remembered earlier that morning he had given them to one of his brothers who then gave them to his mom. (We all serve at the church together). We called her just to be sure and she was positive she had given them back. I knew for a fact that I had seen them on the table… where Talia had been playing, so we asked her where they were. She said, “um… maybe at the church?” Ya, right. “Talia did you hide daddy’s keys?” Her response, “mmhmm”. We told her to find them and of course she was looking in the toy room and any where she could think of. I told my husband we needed to think like her or we won’t find them. I went back to all of the places she had been that morning which was pretty much everywhere. Sure enough, the last place I checked is where I found them.



Next, we came home from being gone after a long day and just wanted to relax and watch some TV. The remote was nowhere to be found. Again, we looked to Talia to help us find it. She was SUPER helpful (I’m being very sarcastic)… She looked under the couches and proceeded to tell us she didn’t know where it was and that she didn’t hide it. I took a few minutes to grab their pajamas and get their beds ready for bedtime. I pulled back her comforter and guess what I found: the remote. She hid it under her covers. Apparently she thought the remote needed a nap? When I asked her if she put it there she just smiled.

Yesterday was my husband’s day off. We were trying to get some things done at home, some inside, some outside. Well, in our house we have 2 back doors. When you come in the main back door, you can go down into the basement, or you can go up to the second door which leads to the house. [Back-Story: The knob on that door has became loose and we’ve had to tighten it a few times. It got to the point where we just started using one side of the door knob, the hand and the part that actually opens the door because it was just easier. Some of you are probably wondering why we don’t just replace the whole thing, right? If we had extra time and money we would do that… and my husband thinks that if we get robbed, the thief is going to have a really hard time getting in if there’s no door knob… (New blog post idea: How to theft-proof your house when you can’t afford to.)] Since this door knob is removable, the girls think its pretty cool and like to try and open and close the door on their own. Sometime yesterday, the door knob went missing… Talia did something with it. Usually, I can remember what she was doing when it went missing. Not this time. We had to use a screwdriver for half the day to open and close the door. Yesterday evening, our sweet little Talia found a neat new hiding spot: our hall closet!



Until next time…


Perhaps I should start hiding her things…Would that keep her from hiding ours?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

      Diets. We’ve all been on one at least once. Well, after having each of my babies, I went on a low carb diet. It’s done really well for me and I’ve been able to get back down below my pre-pregnancy weight both times. Yay me!  My second baby is now almost a year old, and although I’m under my pre-pregnancy weight, I still have more that I want to lose. But that’s easier said than done. I have been doing a low carb diet off and on since the holidays.

 But it's times to get back on the wagon, so my mom and I decided to do a kick start diet together to help us both get strict again. It’s called the Military diet. Military as in how strict the diet is, not as in this is what they actually eat in the military.

     Day 1
          Breakfast – ½ Grapefruit, 1 slice of toast, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, one cup
                              of coffee (black)
          Lunch – ½ cup of dry tuna, 1 slice of toast, 1 cup of coffee (black)
          Dinner – 3 ounces of any type of meat, 1 cup of green beans, ½ banana, 1 small
                              apple, 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

·        So, I started out really optimistic. Those meal plans didn’t seem too bad, despite the fact that I had to drink my coffee black. And I have two little kids, so skipping coffee was not an option! I’m not gonna lie, I actually thought about mixing the peanut butter in my coffee to sweeten it, but I wasn’t sure how that would turn out. So instead I put the peanut butter on the toast and took a sip of coffee after every bite. By lunch time things were still going well. That was a decent breakfast do I was fine. Lunch was at 11:30 and it was dry tuna on a piece of bread, which was fine at the time. Then I put the kids in the stroller and went for a walk. Still fine. Around 3:30, I started to get hungry, but I decided that it was psychological and I could just convince myself that I wasn’t really hungry. Even though my walk had walked off all of my lunch and I was in fact getting very hungry. That wasn’t working and the diet didn’t say anything about whether or not you can have a meal item at a different time, so I made a judgment call. I ate my apple early. The apple helped me get to dinner time, where I had some left over grilled chicken and my cup of green beans. I knew that I would really crave it later, but you know the whole “after 6 it sticks” rule so I decided to go ahead and have my ice cream and ½ banana about a half hour after dinner. I did get the munchies later that night, but I pushed through them! Successful day one!
 
   Day 2
        Breakfast – 1 egg (cooked any way you want w/o fat), 1 slice of toast, ½ banana,
                             coffee (black)
        Lunch – 1 Cup of cottage cheese, 1 egg, 5 saltine crackers
        Dinner – 2 hot dogs (w/o buns), 1 Cup of broccoli, ½ cup carrots, ½ banana, ½ cup
                            of vanilla ice cream

·        Again, the day started out fine, although that black coffee was just really hard to get down. The trouble came when I decided at 10:30 in the morning that I was going to run some errands. The errands were about forty minutes from my house, and I had several stops to make. So, needless to say, I didn’t make it back for a while and by the time I did, I was starving. So the small lunch that I did get seemed even smaller. The diet also has substitutions for certain items, and you can use one per day. I used mine for the cottage cheese. Whoever thought cottage cheese would be something suitable to eat had to be out of their mind. I am not a picky eater and I can choke down some foods that I really don’t find appetizing, but cottage cheese is not one of them.  It’s like curdled milk. Who eats curdled milk?? Okay, sorry back to my story. So I ate my 5 saltines, 1 egg, and a slice of cheese. That lasted me the afternoon and dinner was pretty decent too. So day 2 was not a bad day! Only one day left and I was feeling great about it.

Day 3
     Breakfast – 5 saltines, 1 slice of cheddar cheese, 1 small apple
     Lunch – 1 egg, 1 slice of toast
     Dinner – 1 cup of tuna, ½ banana, 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

·        Okay, day 3 started out small. Which was fine because I don’t always eat breakfast, but by lunch time I was wanting more than 1 egg and 1 slice of toast. But I ate my 1 egg on my toast and I waited. My egg didn’t hold me over very long and all I and to look forward to was dry tuna. I enjoy tuna with mayo on bread or crackers, but just plain and dry is kind of nasty. Finally, after what seemed like a very long afternoon, I choked down my dry tuna and then waited another hour before I had my banana and ice cream. I’m just gonna be honest. The thought of that ice cream is the only thing that helped me stick to the diet that day. I did make it though. All three days, and I lost 7 pounds too! I was pretty excited and it was definitely a good way to kick off the diet again.


     Low carb doesn’t seem so bad after that diet.

Or does it?? Well, here I go! How do you think you would do on the military diet? Any takers?

Monday, June 5, 2017

A Winning Proposition


In most independent Baptist circles, fundraising is frowned upon. God ordained the church to be paid for by the freewill tithes and offerings of His people. I agree with this teaching.

However, we do allow our teens to do fundraising for specific events like camp. They've done spaghetti dinners, hire-a-teen campaigns and carwashes to raise their camp fees. I know Christian schools that do yearly Christmas card fundraisers or pizza fundraisers to help with additional school expenses or senior trips.

I believe that the regular bills of the church need to be taken care of by God's people, but perhaps extra needs could be done as creative fundraisers. Such as:

Need to update church kitchen tools and supplies? Have a "Walk-off" Fundraiser. Everyone knows that kitchen dishes, pots, spices, etc., tend to "walk off" over time. (RE: someone took them home.) So the walk-off fundraiser works like this:  if you've ever (admit it. You have) accidentally walked off with something that belonged to the church kitchen, you can make it right by bringing a brand new updated version of whatever you took. That way you can keep the towels you've grown to think of as yours, and the church gets brand new ones.

Does the nursery need some refurbishing? Have the nursery workers do a diaper fundraiser. They can get people to commit $1 for every diaper they can change in an hour. Extra pledges can cover dirty diapers, and creative clean ups when you're down to that last wipe in the canister.

Need new Junior Church materials? How about a candy fundraiser? People can pledge money based on how many pieces of candy you can hand out during the junior church hour. (These have to be individually handed pieces of candy. No hurling fistfuls into the crowds.)

But I think the best fundraising idea I heard of involves moms. This fundraiser is great for updating and remodeling in the auditorium. Have a sleep-off. Moms can collect pledges for dollar amounts based on how many consecutive hours they can stay asleep. Now, since this is a church fundraiser, of course it must be done at the church. Service requires sacrifice, Ladies, so you'll have to leave your children at home with your husbands for the duration of this fundraiser. Make sure to bring whatever pillows you need and your comfiest jammies. Eye masks, earplugs, fans and white noise machines are encouraged. In the interest of fairness, Benadryl and Melatonin may be used as necessary, but Ambien and other pharmaceutical helps are banned.

While sometimes it might be hard to get people to participate in a fundraiser, I'll bet the sign up sheet for this particular one would be miles long.

Put my name at the top of the list. I'm willing to make the sacrifice. How about you?

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Kid Who Never Sleeps


I asked my two year old the other day what my blog post should be about this week. She said, “um, ME!” Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.



Have any of you ever had a child that didn’t require much sleep?

Back when Talia was about four months old she was diagnosed with Eczema. This poor girl would itch and itch, and she just couldn’t get any relief. Of course, we had a ton of people giving us advice and unwanted diagnoses. So, we did what a normal parent would do and took her to her pediatrician who then referred us to a dermatologist. It wasn’t a fun experience, she was miserable, we were miserable. However, they had a solution, they sent us home with “special lotion”. It literally worked like magic, we would put it on her and it was instant relief. Have you ever watched a dog have and itch and someone rubs his belly and he has that look like, “Oh, that feels so good”? Well, that’s what this “special lotion” did for Talia. It was amazing and sometimes humorous!

The eczema has gotten so much better since then and now we just have an occasional flair up which can affect her sleep. If she gets too warm or wears something that isn’t a breathable material she will just start itching in her sleep, which lead to her waking up and crying.

I don’t think this child has ever slept through the night. I would love to blame it all on the Eczema, but I don’t know if I can. I think she just doesn’t require a lot of sleep. I have tried several possible solutions, and nothing seems to work. If she goes to bed before nine o’ clock, she is up by midnight and wants to be with me. If she stays up until ten or eleven, she’ll sleep for four hours and then I find her at my bedside asking to cuddle. It should be noted, if she is in my bed she sleeps all night. Don’t get me wrong I love cuddling my babies. However, there should be no cuddling from at least ten pm to seven am. Momma needs her time too. 

So the question is, how much Benadryl is too much?… Just kidding! You guys take things way too seriously.


So the REAL question is: What have you done to keep your kids from crawling into bed with you?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Making Memories... or Reliving Them??

     The last few trips we’ve taken have definitely been the kind that you remember years down the road. We have plenty of those stories from when I was a kid and my family was on deputation, and now my family is adding to those stories.

     Ours started two weeks ago on our way to a Wednesday night meeting. We had left my parent’s house, and we were stopping for a meeting in Indianapolis, then we would head home the next day. We got about an hour and a half into a four hour trip and then it happened. Our ten month old started throwing up. Now, he’s a baby, he spits up all the time, but this was different. Chunks of animal cracker were coming back up, and he couldn’t stop. I was suddenly very glad that I had been hoarding grocery bags in the front pocket of the diaper bag. So we pulled over and cleaned him and the car seat up. As we started to get back on the road, he threw up again. The next three hours consisted of him occasionally puking and me cleaning it up. We had grocery bags piled around with puked on clothes tied in one or two and vomit clean up in the others. After three days of continually throwing up everything that went in, he finally seemed to be getting better, which was just in time for us to leave for our next meeting. Praise the Lord!

     So, we hit the road the next day for West Virginia. Three hours into the trip, our daughter was incredibly whiney. She’s two, so she tends to be whiney quite often, but this time she was more so than normal. I reached back to hold her hand and it was very hot. So I got out the thermometer and took her temperature. Sure enough, she had a fever. Here we go again. We made it to our destination in West Virginia without a vomit incident, which were praising the Lord for, but the next day we had another three and a half hours to go up to northern Ohio. Well, that morning she had some diarrhea diapers and then that afternoon, an hour into three and a half hour drive, she threw up. A lot. Maybe I shouldn’t have given her three cheese sticks and two glasses of milk that morning.  I’ve learned there is a very large and very smelly difference between a ten month old’s vomit and a two year old’s.  After stopping to clean her and the mess up, we rode the rest of the way with the windows down and the air on full blast to mask the smell. It didn’t really work, by the way. When we finally made it, hubby ended up having to go to the meetings alone because she little girl was still throwing up.

     These are definitely times we won’t forget, and they are reminding me of some similar memories we made when I was a kid. Like the time that Joel (the one who now exists) got carsick and then as we pulled over to clean him up, I believe I got sick and so did one of my other brothers. Then there’s also the time that we stopped at a hotel and I rocketed out of the van as fast as possible and promptly hurled all over the ground next to our van… and also next to a very nice sports car. Then after my older brother got out and saw what had happened, he proceeded to throw up right there as well. My dad may or may not have gone back later and moved our van away from the puke and very nice sports car.


     Ah, the memories! We are now all puke free and my littles are just as rambunctious as ever! And now that we’re home and well, it’s time for potty training to begin… again. Hey, third time’s the charm right? We shall see. This stage has ended up being one for the memory books as well, but that's a story for another time. So does anyone have any tips for me??

Monday, May 29, 2017

Revealing My Sources

Happy Memorial Day. I hope you both enjoy the day off AND remember and thank God for those who gave their lives defending our country and our freedoms.

I've been doing some research over the past week or so for various items that our church has needed for Vacation Bible School, that our ladies have needed for our Ladies Extravaganza in August, and some items of clothing I needed for the summer.

That's a lot of research. And it occurred to me that some people who read this blog might have some resources that would help me. And then it occurred to me that I might have some resources that help others.

So that's what my post is about today. Here are some random websites I've found for various things I've needed either in the ministry or at home. Feel free to bookmark this post and use any of the links I've listed here. I am not receiving any kind of compensation for recommending them and I don't necessarily endorse everything these sites offer, but I've found them helpful and I wanted to share. If you've got any links you've found helpful, list them in the comments. I may occasionally update this with a new post as I come across other helpful sites.

Printing tracts, invitations, announcements, prayer cards, postcards, door hangers and banners:

http://www.calvarypublishing.org/home/ -- they're very helpful and have done a great job with anything we've asked of them. Very reasonably priced, too.

https://www.gotprint.com/home.html -- never used them, but they got high recommendations from a great many people in the ministry.

VBS programs and curriculum (I have not ordered from all of these companies, but these are the ones I thought looked promising. My criteria was looking for stores that used the KJV version of the Bible in their lessons.):

http://hastenhome.com/shop/product-cat/vbs-curriculum/

http://www.vbs.bogardpress.org

http://www.pkpublications.com/products-page/vbs-material/

http://www.thekjvstore.com/church-supplies/vacation-bible-school.html

http://regularbaptistpress.org/vbs/

https://mercyandtruthministry.com/product-category/teachers-resources/page/2/

Modest clothing (I've not shopped at all of these places, so I can't vouch for their quality or customer service. I found most of them when I was looking for culottes, skirts and swimwear):

https://www.junees.com/collections/ladies

http://www.modestapparelusa.com/modest-clothing-for-women.html

http://www.myculottes.com

http://modestyinmotion.com

http://www.1611skirts.com

http://www.far-above-rubies.net

http://meanttobemodest.com

http://fashionbelle.com/modest-clothing-reviews/culottes - this is a directory of websites for modest clothing.

**Keep in mind that my idea of modest may be more conservative than some of the items offered on these websites.

KJV Bibles:

http://localchurchbiblepublishers.com/bibles/

https://www.thekjvstore.com

https://www.christianbook.com

http://www.cambridge.org/bibles/bible-versions/king-james-version#p2oCjhTEq70FH19L.97

Again, bookmark this page for future use. So what about you? Do you have any resources to share? Add the link in your comments. It can be websites dealing with the items above or just anything at all that you've found helpful.

Thanks for sharing!




Friday, May 26, 2017

Four Tips on Selling



Have you ever come across an ad for a yard sale, it has awesome pictures and you just can’t wait to go to it? It’s the moment you see the items that you want and start making plans of what you would do with those items if you had them? Well, that happened to me this week. Tuesday, I was on Facebook and saw this HUGE barn sale that was happening yesterday. I had two whole days to look at those pictures and I got so excited! They were selling a TON of Primitive and Rustic decor. I saw it as a great opportunity to re-decorate my house. Well, my husbands day off was yesterday and we were able to go to it. They had rented a tent and had a pole barn FULL of things. As we walked up, I said to my husband, “I am for sure leaving with something today.” He looked at me frightened and said, “okay.” We started walking around and I started looking at the price tags, this was no yard sale, this was a private craft show. These were not yard sale prices. I became disappointed and walked away with nothing. Sad, right?

Well, from there we went to Goodwill. We love Goodwill! Yes, sometimes their prices can get high too, but we can usually always find a good steal. Not only do we find a good deal from time to time, but it also helps us make some extra money. When we lived in Florida we needed to make a little extra money and so my husband got started buying and selling items. I really didn’t like it at the beginning, until one day at a yard sale Matt came across a pair of Gucci Sneakers. He came to the car and asked me about them. I said, “yes, get them.” He came back to the car with them and he got them for a dollar! Yes, one dollar! So we took them home and listed them on Ebay. Three days later we sold those Gucci Sneakers for $137. After that, I changed my mindset on buying and selling and it was a whole new ballgame! 



Here’s a “How To” on selling stuff:

1. Do Your Research
     - Look up your item and find out how much it is worth.
     - Know your item. Is this a good brand or should I even waste my time trying to sell it?
     - Is this Genuine or a knockoff? There are a lot of knockoffs out there but it’s not too difficult to tell whether it’s real or not.

2. Determine where to sell it and how to price it
     - There are a few options of where to sell. Our go to places are Ebay, Facebook, Etsy and Craigslist. Ebay is for your higher priced items. Etsy is for your homemade things.
     - You can’t sell something on Facebook and expect to get what you paid for it if you bought it brand new.

3. Sell it
     - Take a few minutes and clean the items if they aren’t clean already.
     - Take a good picture. You don’t want to have a background with dirty clothes on the floor or garbage laying in the background. It’s not hard to add a nice background and keep it from being blurry.
     - Have a good description, it doesn’t have to be a long one. It does however need to be well written. It should be very clear, and detailed with no spelling mistakes.

4. Follow through and protect yourself
      - When shipping an item, always include a tracking number.
      - Depending on how much the item is worth, you might want to include shipping insurance.
      - If you have to meet someone, meet in a public place during the day.
      - Try and always take someone with you.

Do you have any tips that you would like to share?


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Knight's Tale

     Tomorrow will be mine and hubby's fourth wedding anniversary. It's incredibly hard to believe that four years have come and gone. In some ways, it feels like there's no way we've been married for four years. In other ways, it feels like we've been together a lot longer than four years. For instance, I never would have imagined that after only four years I would have a two year old and an almost one year old. On the other hand, I do not feel old enough to have a two year old, an almost one year old, and to have been married for four years.



     Our love story is not your typical love story.  You know, love at first sight and falling head over heels. Side note: I have never understood "falling in love" or "falling head over heels". Love isn't a mud puddle that you fall head over heels and splat into, but maybe that's just me. Anyways, ours was not love at first sight, it was "eh" at first sight, and then, I don't remember how or why, but one day we did start talking and then a little over a year later we got married.

     There you have it, "Eh" at first sight turned into marriage and two babies. Through it all, though, my hubby has been my knight in shining armor. When we met, my family lived in Florida where my dad was pastoring, but I had moved back to Alabama and I was living with my old youth pastor, his wife, and their daughter. After "eh" turned into a friendship and possibly something more, my knight in shining armor went and asked permission to date me from my youth pastor and my dad. These days, not many guys even ask the father's permission to marry a girl, much less to date her; and then on top of that to ask two people for permission would probably be out of the question for most guys.

     We hadn't been dating for very long before my knight in shining armor came to my rescue. You see, I was quite poor and I had some debt. So between gas, food, and paying off debt, I didn't have a lot of extra money for anything else. I had a little pay as you go phone that was like a half step above a flip phone. I pretty much used that phone to talk to my mom and that was it... until we started dating. Well, using up my minutes and only being able to call at certain times got really old fast, so my knight decided to rescue me from the stone age and buy me my first smart phone. Needless to say, at this point we knew we were getting married. Nothing like a phone contract for a commitment!

     Six months after we started dating, my knight proposed. Again, he went and got permission before he asked. Sometimes I still wonder how we ended up where we are, especially considering my dad's initial answer was "no" 😲 . After my dad gave permission, my knight set it all up for me to come visit his family since he was going to be there for a hunting trip.  Then on opening day of gun season, after hunting of course, we went out to dinner with his family and some friends. After dinner, he disappeared for a few minutes and when he came back he had my parents on Skype. He asked me to stand up, he got down on one knee, and popped the question. I was so shocked, and I believe at one point someone asked "wait, did she ever actually say 'yes' ? ".

       Two months after we got engaged, my knight came to my rescue again. I had wrecked my car and like I said before, I was quite poor. There was absolutely zero money or credit for a car. For a week I stayed with a friend and she gave me rides to and from work so that I wouldn't lose my job. During that time, my knight went searching and bought me a car! Yes, we were engaged, but we weren't married yet and he did not have to buy that car for me, but he did.

     Four months later we were married, 
and for four years now my knight in shining armor has been coming to my rescue and keeping me in complete awe of him. It's not just the big things that make him my knight, but the little things too. Like taking the kids when they are both crying so that I can have some time. Or the time that he helped me wash out the puked in car seat in the hotel bath tub (That one was just yesterday, by the way). Or all the work that he does every day to provide for our family and to get us to the field that God has called us to. My hubby truly is an amazing man and he's above and beyond anything that I ever could have asked for.

     Right now my knight is fending off the kids so that I can finish writing, but I wanted to end with this question. What are some things that you appreciate about your knight?

   

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Crisis of Identity


 
This is Joel. He does not exist. I would have thought he did. After all, he's lived with us for nineteen years. But I've recently tried to help him get a state ID card, and the Secretary of State's office is not convinced that Joel is ... well... Joel.

Funny, because I sure remember staying pregnant for an extra day so that he would be born on April 2nd instead of April Fool's Day.

But what do I know? I'm just the mother that was induced and then endured many hours of labor before this bouncing, 9 lb, 2 oz baby boy came into the world.

You'd think that experience alone would qualify my word to carry weight, but it doesn't.

The problem, you see, is that, in order to get a photo ID, you need a photo ID. Which Joel would have if he'd gone to the local public high school. Since we're not very impressed with public education, we homeschooled our children. And the only photo ID they have is one that I made for them.

The Secretary of State's office was less than impressed with my desktop publishing skills.

Never had this problem you say? That's probably because you got an ID for your child before he/she turned eighteen. Apparently that coming-of-age age is quite the sticking point.

This is Nick. He's only seventeen, which is why he's able to exist. Last year I took both Joel and Nick to the Secretary of State's office to get them each an ID card. (We're not doing driver's licenses yet because we can't afford them on the insurance.)

You may or may not be aware that certain documents are required in order to obtain a state-issued identification. First, you have to prove your social security number, which you can do with your social security card. Keep in mind, though, that your social security card cannot be used to verify your identity. Or your legal presence. It can only verify your number.

Next, you need to have proof of your legal presence in the United States. I'm not sure how so many people who don't seem to have this end up getting licenses and even federal funding, but that's another blogpost too, and probably a little too political for some people. Suffice it to say, Joel and Nick both have birth certificates proving they were born in the United States. Unfortunately, the birth certificate can only verify your legal presence in the country. It cannot verify your identity.

And here's where we have a problem. You have to prove identity, and in order to do that you have to have a photo ID. Since Nick did not have a photo ID, and since I was listed on his birth certificate as his mother, and since I had the ID to prove that I was, indeed, the woman listed on his birth certificate, they accepted my word for it and gave Nick an ID, which means that the State of Michigan acknowledges that Nick Boyd exists.

Which brings us back to Joel, who does not exist. Joel also had no photo ID. I'm also listed on his birth certificate as his mother, and since I still had the same ID to prove that I was also Joel's mother, it should have been easy for Joel to get a state-issued identification card as well.

Not hardly.

Joel had turned eighteen two weeks before we went in to get their ID's. And since that was the case, they could no longer accept his mother's word for his identity.

Since when do I stop being their mother when they turn eighteen?

Never mind that they had just agreed to issue identity to Nick, standing right next to Joel. Never mind that the parents listed on their birth certificates were identical in every way.

Never mind that I have the grades and the report cards to prove that I taught this non-existent child throughout his life. Never mind that I have the medical records for when Joel broke both his arms and ended up the emergency room in Florida. Never mind that I have the medical records from when Joel took a line drive to the mouth and ended up in the emergency room in Michigan.

Never mind that I have a shot record from the health department declaring his immunizations are up-to-date. Never mind that he's had a legal hunting license in the state of Michigan for the last three years.

Since Joel doesn't exist, he certainly does not teach a Sunday School class at our church for boys in the third through sixth grades. And I suppose he couldn't possibly be responsible for the fact that he has boys saved in his class almost every week.

He certainly doesn't sing tenor in the choir, since he doesn't exist. And I'm not sure who is getting the benefit of his piano lessons, but it couldn't be Joel. Did I mention he doesn't exist?

At any rate, I've collected all these papers and documents to prove that Joel Boyd does, indeed, exist. I'm taking Joel and the documents to the secretary of state's office tomorrow in the hopes that they will also agree that Joel exists. Please pray that things go smoothly and that we can get his identification card.

If not, we have only one option left. They will accept a department of corrections prisoner identification card. But it seems a little drastic to have Joel commit a crime in order to prove his ID.

I'm getting desperate, and I'm afraid Joel will eventually fade away like the character on Back to the Future. So help me out. Leave a comment if you believe Joel exists. We could use the reinforcement.