Monday, January 29, 2007

January 29

Today, even as we are filled with joy and celebratory spirit, we are also consumed by grief. Last night, my husband's grandmother passed away. This morning, my son Bug turned seven years old. Please ask the Lord to be with us and to guide us today as we teeter and totter between the expression of our love for both of them. Please ask the Lord to help my little family through the great adventure as we attempt to drive to California to pick up Bug from work and then to Colorado for the funeral. It will be interesting to say the least.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

100 Day!

Wednesday marked 100 days of school, at least in our neighborhood. In honor of such an important day, I decided to list 100 Things I Hope To Do Before I Die. I guess I didn't quite get there, but hey! it's harder than it looks. I challenge anyone else to come up with a full 100! I'd love to know what would be on your list, too.

  1. Relearn German. It was my first language, as I was born in Germany, but I have since forgotten most of it.
  2. Take my kids to Germany to see where I was born. The Air Force Base has been closed, but it's probably still there.
  3. Have another baby!
  4. Knit a sweater.
  5. Crochet a ripple pattern afghan. (I've tried, but for some reason I just haven't figured out the pattern, and I'm really not that dumb. This one just eludes me.)
  6. Write a book. I know there's one in me somewhere.
  7. Learn to speak Spanish. It's a beautiful language, and it will be so useful and practical to know, living in Nevada and all.
  8. Read and understand the Bible. What's the use in reading it without understanding it?
  9. Go to Ireland.
  10. Have a good relationship with my mother.
  11. Start a MOPS group here.
  12. Train the puppy not to pee every time someone pets her.
  13. Remember to use coupons at the checkout.
  14. Take my husband to DisneyWorld. Aw, heck, the kids can come too.
  15. Make a soufle that turns out how it should.
  16. Ditto for meatloaf.
  17. Teach Bug to ride a bike. He turns seven on monday, and I'm beginning to think he'll never learn. What does that say about my parenting skills?
  18. Watch each of my children graduate.
  19. Try stand up comedy just once.
  20. Plant a vegetable garden.
  21. And an orchard.
  22. Learn to can the fruits of said garden and orchard.
  23. Stop using words I know I shouldn't use. (I'm really trying)
  24. Win at monopoly without Hubs letting me win.
  25. Finish reading the Chronicles of Narnia series.
  26. Find a way to show my mother and father in law how much I really do love them. I tell them, but I don't feel like it's enough for how wonderful they are!
  27. Get to know my dad better.
  28. Tell my father's second wife how much she hurt me by trying to turn me against him. She needs to know, or maybe I need her to know.
  29. Get the money together and get my husband's adoption of my kids done, already! They all want it to happen, so it's up to me to be the organizer.
  30. Ride my bike again.
  31. Play soccer again.
  32. Learn sign language.
  33. Volunteer on a political campaign. What a neat learning experience!
  34. Give birth at home.
  35. Wear my pre-baby jeans.
  36. Hold a grandchild and smell that sweet new baby scent. I am so looking forward to that part of getting older!
  37. Make a quilt.
  38. Decorate my house. You know, take the blankets off the windows and use real window treatments! Paint the walls, that sort of thing.
  39. Finish our family cookbook.
  40. Figure out how to fix things when they break instead of helplessly fuming at them until my husband can take care of it for me.
  41. See all 50 states.
  42. Go camping with my family, real camping in a tent with sleeping bags and fishing and campfire cooking.
  43. Figure out how much is too much christmas or birthday presents.
  44. Stop going waaaay over that limit!
  45. See a truly good movie in a movie theater. This is not as easy as it sounds, with my husband working so much.
  46. Figure out why the schools insist on celebrating 100 day like a bona fide holiday, but ignore real learning opportunities like Martin Luther King Jr Day.
  47. Take my kids to the North Pole, Santa's Workshop in Colorado.
  48. Find a church home for my family where we feel, well, at home.
  49. Dig up all the yucky juniper bushes all around the edge of the house and replace them with berry bushes.
  50. Remember birthdays of people I love who don't actually live in my house.
  51. Find a haircut that is actually flattering on me.
  52. Reconnect with my friend Shannie from high school.
  53. Reconnect with my friend Quianna from high school.
  54. Write really good letters, and mail them before they're a year old.
  55. Complete my Barbie doll collections. Yes, I know, it's wierd. I don't care.
  56. Banish my acne before the wrinkles take over.
  57. Take my family on a Volksmarch. Volksmarches are so much fun.
  58. Start my own business.
  59. Save someone. From themself, from the world, who knows? I just want to help.
  60. Bungee jump. Fear of heights begone!
  61. Go skiing again. Hopefully a lot. The one and only thing I truly miss from my pre-mommy days that I'd like to get back. Well, I wouldn't mind having a waist again, but given the choice I'd go with skiing.
  62. Remodel our bathroom.
  63. Keep falling in love with my husband over and over again, every day for the rest of my life.
  64. Take the kids to Hershey, PA. My mom took us, and it was such a great vacation. Hershey Park, the Amish village, Gettysburg. I could spend a month there and not get bored.
  65. Adopt.
  66. Go to the March for Life.
  67. Visit my father and his wife in Oregon, instead of them always having to come to me.
  68. Get all of my photos in photo albums. Yes, I know it's way old fashioned, but there's something magical about turning those pages with the kids, telling them stories about when they were little, or when Mommy was little.
  69. Go rock climbing.
  70. Go white water rafting again.
  71. Remember how to play dolls, so my daughter doesn't think I'm rejecting her when I'm just lost when it comes to that.
  72. Continue to be transparent to all who know me, in real life or online. I used to view my honesty as a character flaw. Now I realize that it really isn't. I just need to temper it with tenderness and grace.
  73. Forgive myself.
  74. Accept the forgiveness of others, especially God.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Just got done with one of the more awkward conversations I've had in awhile. Can a phone conversation with your priest in which you (gently) accuse everyone in the church a busybody and a know it all be anything but awkward?

Don't get me wrong. I didn't use those words. But I feel like I might as well have. I tried to be nice, and I tried to be gentle. I could still hear the hurt and disappointment in her voice. I just broke up with my church and it was harder than breaking up with a boyfriend ever was.

She called to tell me she (and the rest of the congregation) had been missing us, and were we all right? I thanked her for her concern, and informed her that Jerhomy and I had decided I needed to worship with the children at home for awhile. She asked why, understandably. I told her that the children had been having many behavior problems, especially Bug, and that we had pinpointed the church as the source. Not a surprise, the priest was very distressed and asked for clarification. I explained that every time (not most times, every) I disciplined any of the kids I would be undermined by a grandparently type person telling the offending child, "Oh, it's ok, kids will be kids." or telling me not to be so hard on them. They might as well have told the kids that their mom and dad don't know a darn thing and they should do whatever they want whenever they want! On a weekly basis! The behavior was atrocious on weeks following our church attendance, and not so bad when we skipped for a week or two.

I understand that with mine being the only kids attending the church regularly for the past year or so, and with most of the congregation being into retirement, the urge to grandparent probably got the better of them. However, as their parents, Hubs and I had to make the decision that we felt was best for our family. I just wish he'd been the one to handle that phone call. I feel like such a bad person right now.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dean, over at has been writing about the effects of modern secular society on today's young women. Recently, he posted about a young woman, going by Raggedy Ann, in despair over not being able to find a husband. I would like to share my feelings about the matter here.

Raggedy, and others like you, please know that there are worse things than not finding a husband. You are doing much better than you give yourself credit for. You know that you want a husband, and I think that you have at least some idea as to what you are looking for in a husband. That will save you so much heartache down the road.

I was not raised with a strong moral compass, or with a loving home environment. It was not an abusive home, but there were not many hugs or "I love you"s. And what little guidance there was was based on fear. "Don't have sex before you get married. If you do, you will no longer be my daughter." "Don't get pregnant before you get married. If you do, don't expect to live here." "Don't have sex with another woman. If you do, you are a pervert and you are not my daughter." You get the idea. I was also taught that a woman should put her career first, that if a woman doesn't have a career she doesn't have any worth to speak of. I was taught that being a mother is secondary to being a teacher, doctor, psychologist, etc. The career was supposed to be first, then taking care of oneself, then the husband, then the children, then God or church.

In retrospect, it makes sense to me that I struggled with all of these ideas with every fiber of my being. Somewhere inside, I knew that these priorities were completely wrong. It sure was hard figuring that out though. I was trying to do right, but not knowing how. I knew I should be honoring my mother and father, but I also knew that what my mother taught me was somehow wrong. I didn't know what to do.

So I messed up a lot. Looking back, I'm amazed at how much worse it could have been. God surely must have had His hand on me even then, even when I didn't truly know Him. I don't know how else I could have avoided drugs, alcohol abuse, and promiscuity. I did however get married to the wrong man, for the wrong reasons. I was 19, he was 27. I don't know why he wanted to marry me. I don't know why I married him. I'm glad I did, only because of my two oldest children. I wouldn't give them up for the world.

Marrying the wrong man took me further into sin than anything else I ever did in my life. I worked as a stripper, and did irreparable damage to my relationships with my family, and to my soul. I allowed my ex-husband to treat me like posession, which I see now as the darker side of submission to a husband. I didn't even understand what was happening at the time. Time and distance have helped me to see that going to that job every night to support him was not by any means what God intended a marriage to be.

Even after I filed for divorce, I allowed this man to control and manipulate me. When I discovered I was pregnant the day after the divorce was final, I told him, and asked him what he wanted me to do. In my heart, I wanted him to tell me to have the baby. I didn't have the guts to make my own decision, and have regretted my weakness ever since. Our story didn't end when that pregnancy did, but my self respect did. I moved away, and he followed, convincing me that no one else would want me. Because I believed him, I got pregnant again. Lucky for Kathryn, he wanted to have another baby. He was using her to trap me with him, to force me to keep doing that job that I hated to support my family.

Completely by accident, I made a friend while doing that job. That friend listened, and loved me without any expectations, and when the time came for me to finally free myself and my children that friend was there for me. He's my husband now, and my best friend. He's not perfect, but I believe he is who God intended for me. He has shown me what love can and should be since the day I met him.

So, to Raggedy, and others like you: Please don't despair. God has a plan for you. If you are meant to be married, please let God lead you to your chosen mate. No husband at all is better than one who treats you like property, who manipulates you, traps you, verbally abuses you, cheats on you and says it's your fault, pressures you to do things you know are wrong. I have a lot to answer for from that period in my life. I hope you don't have to go through what I did to learn to trust God.

God bless,

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A recent conversation with my daughter:

Kat: Soccer balls has white spots and black spots.

Me: Yes, soccer balls are white with black spots.

Kat: So...... Can I go color?

There you have it folks. The queen of the short attention span. In our very own home.

Friday, January 12, 2007

My seven year old is such a cutie.

He overheard Hubs and I talking about trying for another baby (nothing too graphic, of course!), and jumped in with, "Mommy, I don't want you to have another baby!" To which, I replied, "But why? Didn't you say you wanted us to have a dozen kids?" Bug says, in all seriousness, "Yeah, but having a baby is painful and I don't want you to be hurt!" Awwwwww. My heart almost burst for him, and I almost wet my pants trying not laugh at how cute and funny and beautiful he can be. And then I reassured him that the pain is really worth it to me. He thought about that for a moment or two, and said, "Ok, mom, but only if you're really sure."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Look at that beautiful hair on that man. Hubs told me today that he has decided he will have to get a normal hair cut, in order to get promoted at work. It's not a written requirement, but nonetheless a requirement. I've never seen my gorgeous husband without long hair. I expect to be shocked. I just hope his adjustment to his reflection won't be too painful. He wants to have the whole family there to witness the event, mainly so that the kids don't run away from him when he doesn't look like Daddy anymore. If they see the change as it happens, hopefully it will make more sense to them.
Big News, Folks!

Got your attention, didn't I? Check this out:

That's one of the main headlines in this corner of the world. Isn't it a great corner of the world to live in when that's one of the bigger headlines?

Six Weird Things Meme

Really. I only get six? Did you look at the title of this blog? Allright then, here goes:
  1. I am terrified/disgusted/mortified/sickened by the sight, or even the thought of ants. It's awful. Stomach starting to heave as I type, so, moving on.
  2. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. That might be because I'm not really sure I want to grow up. It's so much more fun playing with my kids all day, especially when they're little.
  3. And that must be the reason I'm not sure when I'll stop wanting more children. My parents, my husband's parents all think we're crazy for trying for another when we have three already. Once again, refer to the title of this blog. Normal is boring.
  4. I collect Barbie dolls. I hate to play dolls. This drives my poor daughter completely insane. I admit, even I am confused by this.
  5. I used to be a cat person who would tolerate dogs if I had to. Now I'm a dog person who tolerates cats. What happened? Our family rapidly acquired three cats and two dogs in a very short amount of time. (Totally my fault by the way.) Guess which ones behave better?
  6. I have extremely high expectations of my children and animals. I love them all, but I fully expect the best that they can do. And they know it. I hope that they will be better people for that in the end, you know?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Recent conversation in our house:

Bug: "Mom, why am I the oldest?"
Mom: "Because you were born first."

(ten minutes later)

Bug: "Why was I born first?"
Mom: "Because God thought you make a really good big brother."
Bug: "Why?"
Mom: "ummmmmm, can you go get the dogs please?"

hehehe. I thought I had a slam dunk. Guess they always getcha somehow though.

Friday, January 05, 2007

I suppose it's resolution time, eh? I think I'll set some goals, rather than resolutions. That way, if I don't get there this year, it's not broken, just delayed. And in that spirit, my goal is to move my family a few steps closer to self sufficiency through better stewardship of our resources. I managed to accomplish one step last year that was very difficult for me. In fact, I had been struggling with it for my entire adult life. I can now keep the thermostat under 80! I even keep it right at 70 most of the time now. That is reducing our heating bill quite a bit, and the kids are sleeping better at night now that I'm not broiling everyone else.

This year, I want to learn how to knit or crochet sweaters for the kids to wear next winter. I have taught myself how to do basic knitting this week, and am following a pattern for a blanket. It's the most basic knitting pattern I could find, and I do my best progress through baby steps. I also want to plant some berry bushes around house to replace the awful junipers that the previous owners were obsessed with. And in the hole that used to have a tree before Hubs ran it over with the moving truck, I want to put the coolest tree I've ever seen. It's called a fruit cocktail tree, if I remember correctly, and it bears around three different kinds of fruit. Everything I plant on this property should have a purpose, a way of helping us toward self sufficiency, be it through bearing food for us to eat or through supporting those that do. Can you tell I'm ready for spring?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Something has been bugging me lately. Well, more than just lately, but now I just have to say something about it. I have read many bloggers commenting on the subject of modesty, be it in the manner we allow our children to dress, or the manner in which they behave. These are worthy subjects, to be sure, and I agree that teaching our children modesty in both dress and behavior is necessary for their well being.

I believe that the problem I find confronting me on a daily basis is intrisically related to the lack of modesty in today's children. I am finding a general lack of respect everywhere I look. I feel assaulted when I see a liscense plate frame or bumper sticker reading, "I want to be Barbie, that ****** has everything!", or " F*** you!", or adhesive pictures of Calvin urinating on various logos. I avoid driving down my town's main street, preferring to instead drive past the whorehouses. (I live in Nevada.) My children are less likely to see indecent or just plain tasteless advertisements when I drive past the whorehouses. That really makes me so sad. Everyday Mommy at discussed writing on t-shirts that can be downright offensive, and I agree completely with her. But, the way I see it, the problem extends far beyond that. I can't believe what some people do/say/display on their vehicles/homes/businesses where they have to know that children will see. But apparently they just don't care. And that is why we have to fight so hard for modesty, while protesting that we really aren't prudes. Because we are seemingly outnumbered the people that don't care about our children or theirs. I don't know if they truly out number us, or if we are too frightened of being called "prude", but I, for one don't care anymore.

I will not tolerate it when I don't have to. When someone uses foul language around my children, I won't cover their ears. Instead, I will either politely but firmly ask the offender to stop, or I will explain to my children (so the offender hears too) that this is what a lack of education sounds like, and surely there are better words in the english language to express the offensive statement. When my children read the offensive statements on t-shirts and ask "why would he wear that?", I will tell them to politely ask the wearer, because I just don't know.

Just my two cents.