Saturday, June 25

Girly girl is 10

Sweet Lynae Marie just turned 10. We took her shopping and she picked out a pair of shoes, a Polly Pocket set, some cute jammies, and a chair for her room. We also got her a camping chair and a clip-on watch, and Toby got her a gerbil. A good time was had by (nearly) all.

She spent the week at a 4-H day camp collecting and identifying bugs and leaves, building a birdhouse, and fishing. She had a blast, and was totally exhausted by Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, when I picked her up, I had to tell her that Gracie let her gerbil out. As of now, he hasn't been found. I figure he's fine somewhere, as long as she didn't flush him.

Wednesday, June 22

God is so good

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.

There is peace in trusting God.

I wish I could do that truth justice by elaborating, but I don't think I can. It is so much more complete without my limiting influence. So take a moment to think on it before reading on.

So often, people say that God is good and then share what He has done for them that makes them feel good. His goodness is not limited to our happy feelings. He is good even when we don't see it.

I realize that I am not God, but my children's relationships with me constantly teach me about my relationship with God. I have one child who often tells me whether or not he thinks I'm a good mom. I'm a good mom when I make sure he has clean clothes to wear, a pillow for his head, a tasty or healthy meal, books to read, and a smile from me. In fact, when he's happy, he's as likely to praise me for giving him buttered broccoli as for letting him go swimming. He's generous with his gratitude and praise, as long as he's in the mood to give it.

On the other hand, when he is in a bad mood, he's quick to tell me I am a bad mom. When I require him to wear clean clothes, lie down on his bed, eat the food that's been prepared, read a story, or if I dare to smile at him, he will let me know I'm a terrible mother. As far as he's concerned, perception is reality.

I will admit, it took me a couple of years to stop taking it personally. But I'm learning that his perception of me is sometimes like our perception of God. Sadly, my son may never bond with me to the point that he knows I'm a good mother regardless of how he feels. (And anyway, there are moments when I'm not a good mother. That doesn't help.) I hope that someday, in spite of his relationship with me, he will grow close enough to God to know that God truly is good all the time.

Sunday, June 19

SMACK! - the sound of reality

I just found something that Loren has been trying to hide. (Lest you think porn is the worst thing out there, let me assure you, it's not exactly porn. Nor is porn the worst thing out there.) I wasn't surprised, though I have since had a brief fit of rage. It's old news. I've handled it so many different ways over the years I can't even remember them all. It never has mattered if I knew where it was or not... I could always be fairly certain it was around somewhere. The only difference is that when I find it again, this event or that will begin to make sense. For example, it now seems fitting and downright amusing to me that Loren ran over a dead deer recently and had rotting carcass stuck in the undercarriage of his car. Yes, I'm even chuckling as I type it.

The big picture is far from amusing, don't get me wrong. God just has a way of coming up with far more appropriate consequences than I ever could.

This time, rather than dispose of it, I put it in the living room. It's been affecting our family for years - it's time the kids knew what influence has been at work here. The older ones were suitably dismayed. When they felt sick, they left the room. The younger ones, predictably, thought it was cool. That just fits on so many levels. I figure it's time to give Toby and Lynae the opportunity to ask Loren whatever questions they may have about it... it's not my job to cover it up anymore.

So much for me having a sweet and lovely blog. Welcome to my life in broad daylight.

Wednesday, June 15


It began innocently enough. We were talking about being able to buy anything on eBay. It turns out we couldn't find the particular breed of dog Toby mentioned. It doesn't look like they sell dogs. But my fingers were quick to show him, which I learned about from my LL@H friends.

Just for kicks, I pulled up dogs in our area. Sure enough, there was the chocolate lab Toby had mentioned. Satisfied, he turned his attention to other things. I scrolled through the listings and happened upon India. I clicked. I enlarged. I left her picture in the background as I went about my business.

This morning, I found myself jumping out of bed to look at her picture again. Wait, it gets worse. Or better. I called Loren at work and told him I wanted a dog for my birthday. He was, understandably, stunned. I called the shelter. She was still there. We raced to town. I called my friend Kathy and asked her advice. We had poor reception, so she wasn't able to talk me out of it.
45 minutes later, we had adopted India. Here's the picture from her listing:

We brought her home. Manoah was, understandably, stunned.

I've bathed her twice. She smelled better than Manoah, who was involved in a skunk incident a week or so ago. They just spent some time running through the sprinkler together, so we'll see how they smell tonight. They get along pretty well. Manoah is being quite a goofy pup, showing off and asserting his dominance over this sweet, docile, smaller dog.

Who woulda thunk it? No one who knows me, that's for sure!

Almost Typical

It was such a long, hot day today that I made a list of household chores for the kids, and upon their completion I took them to Sonic for supper. Instead of the usual water, I got each of the little ones a slush. Not smart.

We took the long way home, and I stopped at the playground just as it was getting dark. The kids played in the light of my headlamps, then I started the truck and indicated for them to come buckle up. Four of them did. The other stood and stared. Then he turned and walked away. Long story quite a bit shorter, it was 20 minutes before we got him in the truck (completely wet and soiled). It was another 10 minutes before we found Toby, who had been sent to get his brother. Turns out, Toby hadn't seen him and had walked nearly all the way home. Meanwhile, Lynae and I were yelling for him down at the park. Oh, the drama!

So we got home, and then I had to do the poop-cleanup routine. This time, it took until 1:00 AM. Though we do it several times a week, he still asks me for clarification each step of the way. Tonight I got smart. Lynae and I set up outside the bathroom doorway and played cards while he decided between dawdling and cleaning. She couldn't see him, and I could - it was perfect.

He's finally asleep, and I am too, actually. I hope this post doesn't need to be proofread. LOL

Monday, June 13

Don't let the sun go down on your irritation

When Loren and I are tired, like we are tonight, we're more likely to get snippy with each other. Inevitably, he'll go to bed and I'll stay up half the night. That part is pretty common. But most often, our snippiness shows up when he has to work back-to-back shifts the following two days, so I don't see him for some time.

Thankfully, we've learned it's worth taking a break from each other for a few minutes, cooling down, and making up. If we didn't, with his work schedule and my addictions, we would be right back where we were 10 years ago - ready to separate. I'm thankful that even during our worst times since reconciling, we've never considered splitting up again. It seems strange to me that after surviving two years of separation, doing so again would be unthinkable because there's too much at stake. I guess fear of the known in this case is worse than fear of the unknown was all those years ago.

On a cheerier note, Toby comes home from his 4-H trip tomorrow. We couldn't redo his room, but we spuff it for him this evening. If I weren't so tired, I'd be shopping for a desk to replace his table and getting him a real closet rod. All in all, though, I don't suppose he'll care about that so much. With everything cleaned, decluttered, and organized, he'll be thrilled to have room to dump his stuff when he gets home!

Decluttered: food dehydrator I picked up at Goodwill and never used, cheesy tabletop pool game, empty boxes, canned spinach, cute little busted water cooler, crayfish (live), rocks, powdered milk, dirt, recycled containers, and clothes he outgrew long ago which aren't in hand-me-down condition.

Saturday, June 11

Gosh, he's getting old!

My firstborn is twelve today. He's getting all sentimental about it, which is sweet. This morning, he even played "horsey" for Gracie and invited both of his sisters to sit on his lap.I know he'll be over it soon enough, and swinging from the top of a tree, thrilled to be sweaty, grubby, and on top of the world.

I'm so glad, at times like this, that we homeschool. I cannot imagine having missed so much of his life by sending him off to public school. The years have flown by fast enough as it is.

While he and Loren put a roof over our back porch, I took a stab at cake decorating. Never having done it before, I was certain it would look ridiculous. I think, though, it turned out just ducky. :D

Thursday, June 9

Turning a new leaf

Actually, it's late spring - all the leaves are old enough to know better and have been turned by the storm which just blew through from the northwest.

As always, I've begun this endeavor after midnight, sometime between exhaling and yawning. As I unwind, I find myself wondering who I will be here. Will I be poetic? Clever? Depressing? Boring? Will I be honest, or will this be another exercise in bluffing? Will I ever come back and write a second post?

It's late. I don't know. My teeth are clenched in sleepiness, wishing my fingers would take a hint and finish typing.

It's true what Jerry Seinfeld says, "Night Guy always screws Morning Guy."