Thursday, June 30, 2005

oooooooh.........Dora underwear.

Cody is officially potty training. I just got tired of him having a raw little bottom because he wouldn't tell me he was poopy. (I don't know why I couldn't smell it - that's a scary thought on its own.)

So. No more diapers.

Yesterday we went through all of his Bob the Builder underwear pretty quick. Just little dribbles before he figured out it was time to "go."

So we went to Toys R Us. All the cute underwear ends in 4T. Wiggles. Elmo. Blue's Clues. None of them in size 6. He's not into the superheroes much. He doesn't yet know who Batman is or that Teen-something guy. So we are looking looking looking....

He happens to turn around and THERE it is.

"Ooooooooooh........DORA underwear." His whole face lights up. He sees Dora, Cinderella, Barney, more Wiggles. All girl's undies. Panties.

Poor kid. He just doesn't understand that stuff yet. He just knows their friendly faces.

We bought Wiggles, Elmo, Matchbox firetruck, and Nemo all in 4T. They'll probably fit for a week. And we got the Incredibles and plain white in a size 6. Lots of boy underwear.

And a soft Dora potty seat.

Dear children, let us not love
with words or tongue
but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

i am visual.

I am so affected by what I can see. Clutter drives me crazy. I can't think clearly when there are piles or messes around me. So I am usually not thinking clearly because I can't seem to control the clutter.

And here's the weird part - the part that sinks my Good Ship Lollipop on a daily basis. If I can't see something, it's kinda not there. I know, most people grow out of this when they are about 9 months old. If I can't see it, it's gone. I just have this fear of forgetting about I leave them out where I can see them. That creates clutter.

It's a vicious cycle.

So I'm working on it in a couple of different ways. I'm decluttering as much as possible. Clean lines, no extra decorative stuff sitting around. Just fresh flowers, some plants, my kids art. That way, all the stuff cluttering up my visual space is fair game for being either put away or thrown away. The other thing is that I am still working on storing everything (I mean everything) in clear, labeled storage - one deep. So when I open my closets and cabinets, I can see everything I own.

And, honestly, don't we own so much more than we need?

Over the last two years, I have really enjoyed minimizing the amount of "stuff" that we own (with the amazing help of the Flylady). It has made a gigantic, immeasurable difference in my quality of life. This definitely benefits every member of the family. (Cuz you know if Mama's happy...)

My scrap room is a bit of an exception to my "minimizing" strategy, but I'm getting there.

The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

since you asked.

My friend Mar asked me if I had eaten anything from my garden yet.

We've had broccoli (although most of it went to flowers while we were in TX. It's just too hot for broccoli.), baby carrots (because I am having to weed around the carrots and the weeds are so big that they are pulling up the carrots.) that are so yummy, lettuce (another cool weather crop not liking the heat), and a yummy little zucchini.

Fresh vegetables from the garden just taste SO GOOD.

I have more zucchini coming and squash blossoms, green tomatoes waiting to be ripe, and different varieties of peppers. I never got my beans in, I might still try to plant some this week.

The gladiolas are looking happy. They will probably bloom in a week or so. I think I lost my zinnias and my cosmos and most of my sunflowers during the late freezes we had (hard to image a freeze at the moment).

Things I wish I had planted:
cantaloupe (never have luck with them, but I still wish I'd have tried again)
more flowers
cucumbers (I have the seeds, what happened?)
peanut M&M's (just because I want some)

The two-week trip we took, the lack of rain, the intense heat, the weeds, the Japanese Beetles, and the rust - all of this is "bad company" for my garden. But I am working on it, cleaning it up, weeding, and replanting.

Whatever I get from my garden is still a harvest.

Do not be mislead: "Bad company corrupts good character." 1 Corinthians 15:33

Monday, June 27, 2005

in my garden today.

The weeding is about 74% done. Amazing how fast the weeds grew while I was gone to TX for two weeks. I have had to water like crazy just to get the ground soft enough to do the weeding.

There is a frog (toad?) named Timothy in the garden. The kids name critters immediately upon finding them, always biblical names. So Timothy is the frog in the garden. I think he likes being found. We saw him yesterday too.

I hope Timothy likes Japanese Beetles. They always arrive in the last week of June. And they have just arrived. How do they know? They eat fast. Except for my sunflowers, they seem to be attracted to the weeds more than anything else. Well, they like the broccoli, too, but it's history now.

We also found a lot of worms today. ("These are my favorite worms, Mama." says Cody.) Big, huge, thick earthworms. But here's the yuk: the earthworms came out while I was watering and then they died in the heat. This attracted a lot of flies. Ick.

I pulled the broccoli (7 plants) out because it was gigantic, like scary movie gigantic. And because it had rust. I figured it wasn't going to get better, so out it went. I think I'll put some pumpkins in there.

Nobody came in with me from the garden today. Yesterday, I had two lightning bugs in my shirt when I came in. (Tickle, tickle. I don't like bugs, but these are very nice. You don't want to hurt them because they made these pretty little lights at night.) The day before that - a daddy long-legs perched right on my shoulder when I got inside. Like a really goofy spider-loving pirate. But I didn't find anything on me today.

But I did find a size 10 (little boy size 10) trail of muddy footprints through my house because after Cody said goodbye to Timothy and the worms, he came inside and played dollhouse. I know EXACTLY where he went, there's mud everywhere.

I love my garden. It's in pitiful shape. The weeds, drought, beetles, rust, slime (on the lettuce since I watered - total yuk), etc make it a lot of work, but the process is rewarding (I love to think while I work out there and I tend to get to do it alone) and the harvest, however small it might be, is so worth it.

I plant the seed, but God makes it grow.

He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. ISAIAH 53:2

Saturday, June 25, 2005

another find. it rocks!

I did it again. I don't think Doug gets excited about my "finds" like I do. He just doesn't like the "process."

Driving down a neighborhood street yesterday, I saw a pretty and quite comfortable-looking rocking chair on the curb for you guessed it - the trash!

It's in my sun room now. And I love the way it rocks.

It's not my first curb-side rescue. I have some Radio Flyer wagons that I have gotten from the trash piles in various towns and neighborhoods. I use them for pretty little container gardens - they are absolutely charming. (One time I saw one full of weeds, dead plants, and branches out on the curb and I just happened to think of actually asking the person who lived there if I could have it instead of just hauling it off like I usually do. Good thing I asked! She used it to put her yard waste out but she didn't actually want the city garbage collection people to take the wagon! Or me. She was very nice, though, and I think she decided not to use it for trash pick-up any more.))

I also picked up some white wicker furniture for my porch. My quilts look so pretty on it. Geraniums go perfectly with white wicker.

Let's a gigantic picture frame. Haven't used it yet. I'm thinking it's one of those you put on a shelf or the mantle with no picture in it.

I have also gotten a Little Tykes workshop toolbench thing and some wonderfully huge Boston ferns that lived happily in my home for about TWO YEARS.

One person's trash certainly is another person's treasure.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, June 23, 2005

worse than not winning.

I just found out. Truly I did NOT know this before yesterday: Not winning an honorable mention in a contest is *WORSE* than not winning the contest itself.

What a surprise.

At least to me it was a surprise.

When I went to the Melissa Frances website to see if they had finally named the HM's....they had. And I wasn't one of them. What did I expect? Well, I think what I expected was that I didn't win the contest because although they just adored my entry, they couldn't choose 4 winners and I was the next in line. Truly, I think I was subconsciously believing that all along. And then when the HM's were named, that little bubble was popped!

So unless I want to pretend that I was the next HM in line, we all have to agree (even me) that they just weren't as excited about my entry as I was.

Imagine that.

Oh, well. On to the next.

Today's verse is brought to you courtesy of my sweet Darby:
Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:2

Monday, June 20, 2005

the mighty mississip. a real-time blog. (that means I am blogging this as it is occurring.)

Crossing from Illinois into Missouri we go over the Mississippi River. {165 miles to Memphis.} I hate hate hate bridges. My feet sweat and I expect the whole thing to collapse, dumping my family and me into the muddy, warm, snake-infested river. Traffic has actually – no kidding here, it wouldn’t be funny anyway – STOPPED. ON THE BRIDGE THE TRAFFIC HAS STOPPED. The guy two vehicles in front of us has gotten OUT of his truck.

Mentally, I am FREAKING OUT. Feet are sweating PROFUSELY, heart pounding. On the outside I am a pillar of strength so as to not upset my kids. They have no idea how hard this is for me.

I am considering getting out of the suburban and walking to the end of the bridge. ANYTHING to get off of this bridge.

Truly, I cannot believe this is happening. Don’t these people know how bad it is to just DRIVE over this bridge? Stopping, putting our cars in PARK…completely insane.

Completely insane…that’s what I am going to be if this line doesn’t get moving off this freakin bridge.

The other side of the bridge is not stopped. So 18-wheelers drive by and make the bridge shake. Icing on the having-a-nightmare cake.

Minutes pass. Huck Finn rafted on this river, didn’t he? It continues to flow beneath me…as it has for years and years. It’s old and it laughs at me in my moment of fear.

We’re moving again. It could have been worse.

We didn’t even get wet.

I lift my eyes up to the hills-
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

always there.

Driving through southern Illinois. The hills and trees are beautiful and I wonder why I am surprised to see it. We drive to Texas a lot. {Maybe we should move there.} Doug says that we usually drive through this area at night and I think, “Of course.” So this beautiful area was always there, just covered by darkness.

I think of how there is a certain amount of darkness {even amidst incredible blessing and beauty} in my life these days: my weight struggle, our uncertainty with Doug’s job, the house I live in and hate, serious health issues with our parents.

Am I missing something beautiful under the cover of darkness?

You. O Lord, keep my lamp burning, my God turns my darkness into light.
Psalm 18:28

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

is that a person? part 2

Just FYI:
I am not a vegetarian,
but Jolie sort of had a good point.
Yuk on picking meat off of bones
that look like people-body and eating it.
The ribs smelled amazingly good,
but I couldn't bring myself to eat them.

If you keep biting and devouring each other,
watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
Galatians 5:15

is that a person?

Jolie turned seven last week, but she's still pretty naive. I'm so glad about that.

Doug smoked some ribs outside in the smoker-cooker-pit thing for us. They brought them in for lunch. Jolie looks at them and says, "Is that a person?" Because of course we have charts of the human skeletal system on the wall at home (good homeschooling family that we are) so she has seen human ribs in a picture.

I can't get her to tell me whose ribs she thought they might be, though.

You will keep him in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

Monday, June 06, 2005

that ellen keller was cool.

Jolie has just read a book about Hellen Keller. She said, "That Ellen Keller was cool."

I love that she is reading.

I love that she loves it.

And I really love when she makes old things new again to me because she has just discovered them. Like the story of Hellen Keller.

And like this joke: Why did the boy take a ladder to school? Because he wanted to go to HIGH SCHOOL!!! (Giggle, cackle, oh, she's so funny)

Not a new joke. But new and VERY funny to her.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Sunday, June 05, 2005

kittens in my mouth.

Sarah keeps moving her babies. They are 2 weeks old, little meow-y furballs. We had them and their mama in the laundry room, but if we left the door open, she'd sneak through the house with a kitten in her mouth and take them to Doug's closet.

I don't know why the laundry room wasn't good enough. Too busy? Too hot? Too loud? Just not what she had in mind? Sarah herself may not even know why she's so determined to move the kittens, but she definitely is determined.

So now she and her babies are under a table in my scraproom (I'm trying to think of it as my *studio*). The TV's on, kids in and out, sewing machine, crawling baby, etc. But she seems so satisfied and of course her kitties don't care.

Watching her moving those kittens over and over made me think of myself. I know I don't want to live right here. But where to go? I am not really sure, but I do want to move. So I'm kind of like Sarah, sneaking around with kittens in my mouth, knowing I want out of this particular place, but not really knowing where to go.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


We are going to Texas. Visiting. In June. Not the best time to visit Texas.

I know.

I'm from Texas.

It's gonna be hot. And even though I know it's going to be hot, I will still be surprised because you can't remember that kind of hot.

When I say I will be surprised, I don't mean, "Oh, what a nice surprise! It's hot here." I mean, "$#@*! It's so hot! How could it be this hot? How can people stay alive in this heat??" THAT kind of surprised.

Because that kind of hot is like severe pain. You can remember it happened, but not what it actually felt like.

Just some random summer vacation thoughts...