Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

For some reason this week ideas for my blog just aren't running around my head like crazy. It is almost like a blog blackout in the 'noggin. So, I've been working alot on other things around the house. I was amazed at how well yesterday went. If you read yesterday's post you would know that I was somewhat stressed about all I needed to get done. Well, the majority of the stuff got done. Here is a breakdown:

1) started and finished a load of laundry. It was supposed to rain so I didn't use my clothesline. That felt weird. Oh yeah! Chris fixed my clothesline on Sunday. Thank you, Honey!

2) Packaged ALL of the eBay auctions that sold this past weekend. That included an ENTIRE set of dishes with eight place settings. That was a pain to package due to everything being so fragile but I got it done and now I don't have to do it today. Yeah!

3) Picked up the house after the weekend.

4) Helped Caleb practice his walking. I am such a proud Mommy.

One good thing that happened yesterday is a lady from our local YMCA called to say that our scholarship application had been approved. Yeah! Chris and I looked at our budget last night and put the YMCA in there at the level the scholarship allows. No, it doesn't fit perfectly into our budget but Chris decided that the YMCA is a worthy cause for the entire family and said to go ahead and join. I am beside myself with excitement. Very soon I will take Caleb down there, join up, and hopefully work out. Chris and I have been exercising at home for a long time now and now I will have the external motivation that a gym provides. This new YMCA has a fitness room to die for, plus a spinning studio, every aerobics class you could ever want, and an AWESOME swim area with a very cute kiddie are that has water spraying up from the ground. That will be my tackle for this morning and ongoing tackle. I am going to tackle this baby weight that has held on for a year now. Whoohoo!!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Busy Day Today

Today is promising to be very busy. As always, I have to recover from the weekend by cleaning the kitchen, picking up the house, and getting started on laundry. That is usual Monday stuff.

Then, ALL my eBay auctions sold this week which I am very thankful for. The majority of them, a set of dishes from Chris' mom, had no bids all week and I was planning to take her dishes back to her. Well, one person bid on every part of the dishes. WOW! So, I am now facing packing these dishes up and shipping them out. The problem with dishes is you have to be extra careful when packing because they might break in shipment. That takes extra time and tender loving care.

Chris and I are also liquidating his Magic Card Collection to help fund some other things our family wants to do. Chris has been working very hard putting lots together and he already has almost thirty of them. So, I have a lot of pictures to take and listings to create.

Whoo! Busy Busy Day!! I'll be back as soon as I can.

FYI...Caleb took his first real steps yesterday. GO CALEB!!

Friday, July 27, 2007

I Feel As Though I've Lost a Good Friend

It finally happened today.

I was outside hanging our bedsheets and my blanket on the clothes line for a lovely sunny drying this morning. Chris and I LOVE for our sheets to dry out on the line. They feel wonderful and they smell even better. The first night after they've been washed and dryed is always the best night's sleep we get in awhile.

I had Caleb in his Hip Hammock and I was hanging away. I had put my blanket on and I was arranging the fitted sheet before I put the clips on and then...SNAP! The line broke and I saw our beautifully clean blanket and sheets fall to the wet, dewy ground. OH NO!! I thought the line had just come unattached to the hook in the tree. Surely, that's what happened. Nope!! The rope snapped in two. I snatched up the now dirty sheets and blanket and went inside in a state of sadness and even a slight panic.

What am I going to do without my clothesline? Yes, I have a perfectly good clothes dryer in the house and I use for things like underwear (which will NEVER go on the line) and other stuff on rainy days or days I'm not going to be home enough to put stuff on the line. I just find hanging clothes on the line relaxing and when the electric bill comes in my love of the line is reinforced. I guess it also helps the environment by me using less energy. I gotta do my part especially since I am a die-hard disposable diaper user.

I have written an email to Chris detailing my desperation and hopefully my line will be back up soon. I think I'm going to look at my backyard and maybe even pick a better place to put it. Maybe it will be even bigger! Oooohhhh!!! The possibilities are endless.

Needed: Mommies

Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an, often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed.
Extensive courier duties also required.

The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

I saw this over at Retro Mom and had to share. Go on over to see her and say hi.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Learning to Listen

Lately, I am learning that my prayer life is very one-sided. I talk with the Lord very often, during my devotional time and throughout the day. I sing my praises and I voice my concerns and sometimes I just talk about what's going on in my heart and mind. I ask for wisdom and guidance often. But, I don't seem to be very good at listening. How can I seek guidance if I'm not willing to listen. I say I'm not willing to listen because when I receive an answer I often don't believe that it really is from God. I will pray and pray over something seeking an answer even though I keep getting the same answer each time. It is almost like I don't believe God will answer ME and yet I do believe he will because I'm praying about it to begin with.

Here's a recent example. I was asked to join my local MOPS Steering Team. I am going to be the Prayer and Care Coordinator. I am very honored to be in this position and I am excited and even scared about the upcoming MOPS year. One of the things I've needed to do this summer to prepare is to ask a couple of women to be my prayer warriors. They would be "undercover" and support me and other MOPS moms with their faithful prayers. Once I was informed by my predecessor that I needed a prayer team I started praying about who to ask. Very early on two ladies popped into my head. I'll call them A and B. I prayed and prayed about who to ask every day and every day A and B came to mind. I couldn't "shake" it. Once I realized what was going on I prayed that God would confirm even more that I needed to ask A and B. That went on for a couple of weeks. Finally, I was praying yesterday when God basically shook me and said, "Sarah, I've been telling you who I've chosen for you. ASK THEM!! T.O.D.A.Y!!!" With that I sat down and wrote an email to A and when I was out running errands I called B.

When I called B, she said that she had been thinking about me a lot over the last three weeks. That was about the time I've been praying about this. I asked her and she was thrilled about the opportunity. B was a definite 'yes.' I was so excited and encouraged. When I got home from running errands I had an email waiting on me. A said that she had a feeling that she was being called to do this but she was leaving it up to me to ask as a confirmation from God. Needless to say, she was a 'yes' too.

Wow! While I was praying for these women to be revealed to me God was preparing them for the job. I struggled over who to ask all the while God was making it very clear. I was in such shock that it went so perfectly. I know I shouldn't be in shock. Isn't that how God works?? I am so thankful for this experience because I have grown in my learning to listen.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Once You Are Done With Harry Potter...

British Lawyer Goes Swimming at North Pole--Good Lord! I've heard of the Polar Bear Club but this is INSANE!

New Orchid Smells Like 'Smelly Feet'--I love orchids. I'm just not so sure I would make a 'pilgrimage' to see this one.

Children of the Reformation--A very interesting account of how the Protestant Church went from being 100% against birth control to being in support of it. Makes you think.

For Us Moms...When the days are long--I was touched and encouraged by this post over at Joy in the Morning.

Teen Claims Spiders Alerted Her to Fire--ICK!!! I HATE spiders! They are worse than ants in my book and my regular readers know I hate ants with a passion. I would've run from the room too and probably out of the house with the Orkin Man on speed dial.

Private, Private, Private--This post from Laine's Letters will really make you think about God's place in a couple having children...and no one else.

Extraordinary pictures that show the Pride and Joy of a Lion King
--BEAUTIFUL pictures of lions and their cubs.

Father and Son Treasure Hunters...
--What a find!! Persistance does pay off.

In Other Words

Image courtesy of Joy In The Morning

I find that serving or service does not come naturally for me. Or at least the type of service that requires physical labor such as cleaning a kitchen or moving chairs around to prepare for a worship service. I am right there to sit and talk to people when they want to be heard. I also want to talk to those who have gone before me and gain wisdom from them. Work will always be there to be done and can be done later.

I find that my resistance to physical service can cause friction between me and women who naturally jump up to help out. I will hear, "Sarah, why don't you come help us clean up?" My reply is often, "I'm coming in a minute just let me finish this conversation." I know that I can sometimes come across as lazy and unwilling to help. And I know that this is a flaw in me. I need to find a happy median between helping out in the kitchen and talking to people.

In my efforts to broaden my service I find myself trying to build relationships through conversation while I clean the dishes or set up tables. It is a fight against my flesh to get out and do it. I would so rather just sit and talk and/or listen. But, I also need to respect the people around me who are beautifully gifted in service.

When I think about Mary and Martha and their time with Jesus I would love to think that I am more like Mary than Martha. But, I know better than to put myself on such a pedestal. Would I stay with Jesus despite Martha's complaints because I know with whom I speak or would I stay to avoid the physical service? I am trying to figure that out. Until then I think I will default at helping out first thing unless the hostess says otherwise. Once the work is done I can relax and enjoy conversations knowing I am doing my part in both types of service.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Weekend of Fun and Friends

I am currently working hard this morning reclaiming my house after having an incredibly fun weekend. My house basically went to the pits as I was out and about having a swell time with family and friends. Caleb's schedule also went to the wayside but oh, it was worth it. Let me tell you about it.

Friday night we had Chris' company employee appreciation picnic. During the day I worked hard to get my chores and errands done because I knew the weekend would be busy and I wouldn't have a chance to do anything after about 5 pm, Friday. It was HOT on Friday. I usually try to put myself together a bit to run my errands and that usually means putting on jeans and a nicer shirt instead of wearing shorts like I do at home. Anyway, it was so hot that I didn't even bother putting on pants and I ran my errands super casual. I asked myself as I sweated inside my house because the AC system was struggling to keep up why Chris' company was having their outside picnic that evening. Ick! I was thanking the Lord when the storm clouds rolled in and dropped the pressure and made it feel more comfortable. It didn't even rain but it was more comfortable.

The picnic was loads of fun because there was plenty of food and games. I didn't play any games because I was watching Caleb the whole time. A good friend was there with her 6 week old baby and we had a good time catching up. Getting together has been a struggle ever since her kidlet was born. I met several of Chris' co-workers and friends and many people got to meet Caleb for the first time. Chris won a gift card to Applebee's!!! Yeah!! We have a fancy date coming. For people who are being super frugal to get out of debt and usually go to Taco Bell for a date, Applebee's is FANCY! I was thrilled. Then my friend with the baby and her husband won a gift card to Applebee's too. I said Chris and I could babysit so they could go out alone but they said why don't we both get babysitters and we can have a double date. How fun!! After plenty of good food, much better weather, and tons of conversation we took out tuckered out little boy home. He got to bed 2.5 hours late.

Saturday was a super busy day too. We went to a friend's house for a few hours of game time. The men in our circle of friends like to get together to play games. The women generally aren't really interested in playing those games so we just hang out and gab. Caleb plays the whole time. Chris and I went prepared to put Caleb down for his nap this time. We put the porta-crib in a back room. Caleb slept for about 1.5 hours. Once he woke up we all took the party to another friend's house for a surprise birthday party for my friend who I mentioned above (the one with a new baby). It was so much fun surprising her and making her feel special. I know how much that means to a new mom. The whole day was spent surrounded by friends. What a blessing!!!!

A special treat was when a good friend came into town for the party. He has been gone for awhile and we all miss him. He spent the night at our house. So, we got to catch up on all his news while he was here.

Sunday morning while I was sitting with Caleb as he drank his morning cup of milk Chris' parents called to ask if they could kidnap Caleb for the day. What?! A whole day with just my husband to do what we want to do?? Yes! You may kidnap Caleb!! They came over within 20 minutes and swooped him away for his own day of fun with Grandma and Grandpa. Chris and I then enjoyed our remaining time with our friend by talking and eating lunch at Zaxby's. We came home and took a long nap. That was so refreshing!!

Finally, Chris' parents said they were ready to give Caleb back and were heading our way to drop him off. Caleb was completely zonked out when they got here and was laid straight into his crib. His schedule was royally messed up. I profusely thanked them for the lovely day and off they went.

The spell of the weekend was broken when Caleb woke up. He was G.R.U.M.P.Y!!!!! I even called Chris' parents to ask what they did to him (lovingly, of course). We spent a couple of hours trying to calm him down. It wasn't until Chris let Caleb "play" piano that he turned into a cheerful boy. We played with him until bedtime. Once Caleb was down Chris and I enjoyed watching an ENTIRE movie together. We brewed some decaf coffee and ate a big bowl of popcorn. After the movie we got into bed and enjoyed remembering our weekend.

Now, we are back to normal and I am reclaiming my house that looks like it exploded. I have to say, though, that all the extra work today is quite worth the joy we had this weekend. I am thankful to the Lord for all the wonderful friends we have and for blessing us with a wonderful time with them. I am also thankful for times like this to remind me how great quiet days can be.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt

Theme: Tiny

This adorable dog is named TINY. She is a Rat Terrier/Jack Russell Terrier Mix and belongs to my In-Laws. She was a "replacement" when Chris went off to college and she has been a family member ever since. She loves to play with our dog, Eowyn, and does especially well with Caleb. It almost seems like she thinks Caleb is her pup. The above picture was taken years ago by my sister-in-law when Tiny had a lot more spunk. The picture below was taken a couple of weeks ago when we were dog-sitting her at our house. That is pretty much what she does these days. ;-)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Memories of my Childhood Home

The house that I grew up in is the house where my Dad still lives. There was another house to which I was brought home from the hospital but we moved out of there when I was four years old. My arrival and eventual growth caused that cute house to become too small. I was the third child. More space was required along with a better school system. So, we packed our bags and moved across the county line. That was the biggest move of my life until I went to college.

Unfortunately, the earliest memory of that house is that of fear. We went to my grandmother's house for Thanksgiving and were gone for a few days. We lived in a gated community and my parents didn't think twice about asking the guards to pay extra attention to our house because we were leaving on a short holiday. When we got home, exhausted and ready for bed (a four year old's perspective), we arrived to a completely trashed house. I remember seeing papers strewn all over the floor along with other precious things. The only room that was untouched was my room. My Dad quickly sent us outside and called the police and our trusted neighbors. I remember standing in the driveway for what seemed forever. After much investigation the police told us they pretty much knew who was responsible and that they were a professional group. They couldn't be sure due to a lack of good fingerprints. The majority of prints on the window through which they entered were mine. The guard my Dad asked to "watch" the house skipped town the next day. My sense of security and safety was completely crushed. I was convinced a bad guy was upstairs waiting to get me and that went on for years.

Thankfully, through the Lord's healing power I am free of that fear. The rest of my memories of my childhood home are good ones.

My Mom stayed home with her children from the day her first born arrived. Having my Mom at home was all I ever knew and came to expect. I couldn't quite comprehend my friends who had to go to daycare or even use their own keys to enter an empty house. I took the bus all the way through elementary school and would walk home from the stop. Sometimes just because she felt like it or the weather was bad, my Mom would come to the stop in the car and drive me home. Starting in middle school my Mom drove me to and from school. I am thankful for those drives because middle school was such a hard time and my Mom's car was such a peaceful, happy place.

There was always some kind of a snack waiting at home. It wasn't always homemade but it was there. Homework was encouraged after a time of winding down and oftentimes I would go ahead and get it done because that way I could enjoy the rest of the night. If I watched TV it would either be a show on PBS or something like Little House on the Prairie, the Waltons, or Andy Griffith. I LOVE those shows to this day and will probably show the DVD's to my children.

Dinner was always enjoyed as a family around the table. My Dad was a physician and even with his busy schedule he would be home for dinner. Of course, there were nights he was on-call and couldn't leave the hospital but those days were the exception, not the rule. Dad would call home to say he was leaving for home and my Mom would do the finishing touches on dinner and when Dad got home we all sat down for our family meal. If I wanted to be big like my parents and drink tea I had to drink my glass of milk before dinner and I remember sitting on the counter top while my Mom cooked dinner drinking my big glass of milk.

Reading was a very high priority. My first memories of reading were when I was in preschool. My teacher would give us a book to take home to read to a parent and then they would write a short note saying we did it and then we would get the next book to do the same. Many times my Mom would put a kitchen chair in the middle of the floor while she cooked and I would read to her out loud. If I struggled with a word she would come to me and help me sound it out. A love of reading was born. Every summer the library was a treasured adventure. I remember there was a particular tree we would always try to park under because it gave extra shade on a hot day. I would bring my tote bag and we would fill it with all kinds of books for the week. I was always part of the summer reading club. TV was off limits during the day because my Mom said "there was nothing worth watching on the TV till at least 4 pm." So, the summer afternoons were spent either playing, napping, or reading.

I also spent the summers at the community pool. However, I could either go in the morning before 11 am or after 4 pm. The hours in between were when the sun was too strong and bad for our skin. My Mom slathered the sun screen on us. I hate sun screen to this day but protecting my skin is so ingrained in me that I can't help but do the same things. I stay out of the sun during the "strong hours" and I always use sun screen. But, back to the pool. I LOVED swimming. My Mom would often drop my brother and me off in the afternoon for a couple of hours. When we were ready to come home we would call from the clubhouse and she came to get us. We were famished but there was always a wonderful dinner waiting for us once we took our showers.

Summer family vacations were extremely important. We went to the same place in the mountains every year for as long as I can remember. Apparently, I went there even when I was still inside my Mom's womb. This place was perfect for a family vacation. You can do as little or as much as you want. There were plenty of activities and we often did them but there was also plenty of time to, of course, read. Every person in my family would bring a stack of books. These vacations were the only times I remember seeing my Dad devour a book after book. At home he only had time to read the newspaper. But, he sure did read on vacation. My Dad still goes to the same spot and invites all of us when we can go. I can't wait to take my own children someday.

Now for a little family dynamics. I am the youngest of three. My sister is 6.5 years older and my brother is 5 years older. I was in fifth grade when my sister was in her first year of college and my brother left right before eighth grade. So, my eighth grade year was the first year I was an "only" child. I missed my sister and brother a lot and I was always so excited when they came home for the weekend. Sometimes my sister would take me out for special "sister time." We still try to do stuff like that when we get together. I also felt like big stuff when my parents would drive me up to where my sister was in college and I would stay with her in the dorm. We would go to a football game and hang out with her big, college friends.

I then grew up and went off to college myself. As you can see from my profile I went to the University of Georgia. Go Dawgs! My Dad said that if we went to UGA we got a free ride through his generosity. Anything more expensive than that was up to us be it through scholarships and/or a job. My college decision was an easy one and UGA was even the only school I applied to. My parents let me take a car to school and paid for me to park in the parking deck near my dorm. They wanted me to be safe and able to come home whenever I wanted. I went home pretty frequently until I started dating my now husband. It is kind of funny how a beau makes you not want to leave town. ;-)

A very sad came not too long after I graduated from college. My Mom passed away rather unexpectedly. My family grieved in our own ways but we found great comfort in knowing she is in heaven with her Savior. My Dad has since remarried to a wonderful lady whom I am proud to have as my son's Grammy.

I love going to my childhood home. We only live a couple of hours away. Sometimes I will pack up Caleb and we will do during the week while Chris works. I can relax when I go there because I am surrounded by such great memories. One highlight of my year is Christmas when we all descend on that home. I know that is a big reason why my Dad doesn't want to sell that big house and get a smaller one. I will be very sad when he does but we will always have memories of our childhood home.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thankful Thursday

Today I am home without a car because my car is getting serviced. When Chris gets home we will go pick it up and everything will back to normal. On days like this I am reminded of a few things that I am thankful for.

1) I am thankful that we have two paid-for cars.

2) I am thankful for days without my car so that I can appreciate my car that much more.

3) I am thankful for days at home because I get so much done around the house and so much playtime with Caleb.

4) I am thankful I have such a hard-working husband who allows me to stay home with our son.

5) I am thankful for these slower days because I can have an extra long, in depth devotional time.

6) I am thankful for all the faithful ladies in the blogosphere who make this big world feel a lot smaller.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jesus, Bring the Rain

Here is another video on one of my favorite songs these days. It is Jesus, Bring The Rain by Mercy Me. I LOVE IT!! I think it really speaks to me because I really do love rain. I love cloudy days and all kinds of rain. I know I am opposite from most people because it is during the summer and especially during a drought that I get sad and depressed. The sun does not help me. Clouds are beautiful, especially storm clouds. Thunder puts me right to sleep. Granted, there are times when rain storms can down right scary and destructive. That is no good.

But, those days that are overcast with a light,steady rain is renewing to me just like it is renewing for the earth. Rain brings life and I was even happy when it rained on my wedding day. It was like God was putting life into our future.

I love the imagery of this song. God can use anything to bring glory to himself even our hard times. During those "rainy" days God can breathe life into us through his Word and Spirit. Everything becomes good when it brings him glory. Jesus, Bring The Rain!

For Your Reading Pleasure

Kimberly-Clark Rolls Out First Automatic Toilet Paper Dispenser--How much of our lives need to automated and regulated? Toilet Paper??? That is too sacred!!

More Than 100 Christians Expelled From China--Geez! China is NOT on my good list.

China's Deadly Goods Wreak Havoc--Like I said, NOT on my Good List. And these people are going to host the 2008 Olympics?

California's Wine Surprise--Hee Hee! My sister brought some Two Buck Chuck at Christmas and it was pretty good..from someone who doesn't really like wine.

Christians Face Uncertain Future in Anarchic Iraq--There is so much more going on in Iraq than the war. And "they" want a troop withdrawal??

13-year old boy breaks vow of silence after 10 years--Good Lord! I can't even imagine any child purposely not talking for 10 years. I know I am already in for it because Caleb "talks" like crazy and chatterboxes run the family. My nephew, who is a kindred spirit of mine, is a major talker and one time his Daddy asked him, "Why do you talk so much." He replies, "So you can hear all the interesting things I have to say!" That is exactly right. ;-)

Parents Neglect Starved Babies to Feed Video Game Addiction--Okay, I am friends with some major gamers and I am in awe with how gamers can play their games for so long. I've been known to get lost in a game for a few hours...pre-children mind you. But, this is insane!! Unfortunately, I can see how this would happen too. Gamers are crazy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

I found this carnival just last week and I am excited about it. There are so many things in my house that I have got to tackle. As is the case for many new moms my house has gone to pot as I chase after my one-year-old. I'll be folding laundry and he will have fun unfolding the laundry. There are so many areas in my house that I will walk by and get that painful "AH! I have got to tackle that" feeling and alas, it never gets tackled. Every time I walk by it just hurts more. My husband is incredibly patient and understanding of how busy Caleb keeps me. Thank you Honey! But, now is the time. I will transform my house right here for all to see. Thank you to the ladies at 5 Minutes For Mom for running this carnival. You inspire me!

The first thing I have done is rearrange my kitchen cabinets.

Caleb is one and is into everything. I knew I had to tackle kitchen when I turned around one afternoon and saw him sitting on the floor with a can of wasp spray. Aaaaahhhh! Time to baby proof! I know I am way behind on that revelation. At least all the power sockets are covered.

I went to Wallyworld and bought some locks for the lower cabinet doors. I am greatly lacking in carpentry work and poor Chris is too busy to help with this project. I worked all afternoon installing those boogers only to find out that they weren't aligned right and Caleb could get past them. Heck, my dog could have gotten past them. I really didn't want to redo them. I remembered that my parents never installed those things in their houses. They just kept dangerous items up high and fun stuff on the bottom. The pots, pans, Tupperware, towels and such were accessible to the kids and often times we would just bang away while Mom cooked. Genius! That's what I'll do.

Caleb has already found all the spices because they were in a lower cabinet and he LOVES them. I didn't mind him playing with them because he can't open them...yet. I've had visions of looking in the kitchen and seeing all my garlic, oregano, basil, and bay leaves all over the floor. Yet another reason to re-arrange.

Here he is already getting into them as I try to take pictures.
All the spices on the counter were from me taking them away one by one so he wouldn't spill them.

The Tupperware was in a high cabinet as were all our coffee mugs and plastic cups and the spices were down low as I mentioned above. So, I pulled all the spices, Tupperware, and cups/mugs out and this is where they went. The Tupperware ended up where the spices used to be and where Caleb could go at it. The spices moved up to where the cups/mugs used to be and the cups/mugs moved to where the Tupperware used to be.

Here is Caleb already enjoying the fruits of my labor.

The beauty of this tackle is that I was forced to organize more too. The spices looks all pretty and sorted and I even found all the lids that go with the Tupperware. I even organized my pantry. Wow! Chris was so happy when he came home from work. Organization helps him relax.

Once again, Thank You Ladies!! I will be here from now on sharing all my tackles.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Ant Saga Continues...

Have you noticed that I absolutely DESPISE ants? I am sure that they serve a unique purpose on this beautiful earth and that is why God created them in the first place. BUT, I don't want them anywhere near my house, my child, my dog, my hubby, or me. NO WHERE NEAR!!!

Last week on Thursday, Caleb and I were stranded at home because Chris' van was in the shop and he was driving my car to work. Caleb didn't even get out of his jammies. It was a comfortable time. The day went well until about 4 pm when Caleb really needed to stretch a bit more and go outside. So, I put on his sandals and gathered up his new dump truck, sippie cup full of water, and camera and off we went into the yard. Caleb had a blast walking around with his dump truck. Thanks, Granddaddy and Grammy! He would just walk and walk all over the yard. I was snapping pictures like crazy because this was the best walking I have seen yet. There was no furniture to hinder his stride. Caleb was beyond proud of himself too.

This was also the time that Caleb discovered dirt. I knew this had to happen because I have a boy-boy. When Caleb fell down he fussed a little bit but then discovered this interesting stuff on his hands and of course, he had to taste it. My first instinct was to rush up to him and make him stop. I kept myself contained knowing that a little dirt won't kill him and I didn't want to ruin his moment of discovery. Our outside time followed the pattern of walk, play with dirt, walk, and play with dirt some more. It was a fun time...until.

Until the ants came. Caleb was sitting on the ground playing with the dirt when I noticed he was getting more fussy and fidgety. I thought, "that's odd." I picked him up and his bottom was covered in ants. Aaaaahhhhhh!!! These were the mean, bite-the-heck-out-of-you ants too. I started running into the house all the while swiping those ants off of him. A few actually got up his shorts and one made it into his diaper. I stripped him and put him in the tub for a good rinsing. Caleb caught onto my panic and that really upset him too. He scrambled to get out of the tub, slipped in the water, and bumped his head on the bottom. I wrapped him in a towel and just held him for awhile while the tub finished filling with water. I put him back in and let him splash as much and as hard as his little heart wanted. I got soaked but my boy was happy again.

So, the ants need to consider this story as a warning. You DO NOT mess with my boy and live to tell about it. You weren't safe inside my house and now you aren't safe outside my house. Consider yourself warned. Grrrrrr!

When You Give a Mom a Muffin

by Kathy Fictorie

If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
The coffee will get spilled by her three-year-old.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she will find some dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do some laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over some snow boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she
has to plan supper for tonight.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook. (101 Things to
Make with a Pound of Hamburger.)
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse that is being
dumped out by her two-year-old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two-year-old.
While she is changing the two-year-old the phone will ring.
(Of course!)
Her five-year-old will answer it and hang up.
She remembers that she wants to phone
a friend to come for coffee on Friday.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that
she was going to have a cup.
She will pour herself some.
And chances are,
If she has cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Words of Wisdom

"If I could hear Christ praying for me in
the next room I would not fear a million enemies.

Yet distance makes no difference.
He is praying for me."

--Rober Murray McCheyne

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt

Theme: Shadow(s)

I took this picture during our trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is right inside the main gate (see left) which is casting the shadow. I was touched by the flowers left on the cart (see right). You can see how the train would pull in right here and then the people would be "selected" further down the way and they would either go to the right to work or to the left to go straight to the gas chambers and crematorium. So much evil was done here and that will forever cast a shadow on the beautiful country of Poland.

Friday, July 13, 2007

You Know You Need "Non-Mommy Time" When...

You try to put a bottle nipple and cap on your water bottle and can't figure out why it just won't fit right.

My Childhood Home

I was reading a post from Rocks in My Dryer when I learned about this great meme/carnival suggested at Owlhaven. It is entitled "My Childhood Home." On July 20th post stories and memories from your childhood and home. I think it will be a great way for all of us to learn about each other and to even get ideas of how we want to raise our own kidlets. I already have ideas and can't wait to share. Go here for details. See you Friday, July 20th.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Oh, The Carnage!

Chris and I have been fighting the ants in our house ever since we started getting a little bit more rain. Darn that rain! I preferred those ants being deep under the earth and NOT in my house!! I have to clean out the kitchen sink every night before bed or else we'll have steady line of ants by morning. We ate the last pieces of Caleb's cake last night and I "forgot" to put them in the dishwasher. Needless to say, I saw a line of very happy, icing-eating ants. I was MAD and ready for WAR!

Now that I've given you the background listen into what happened next.

Me: Aaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!! I HATE ANTS!!!

Chris: (Silence) (He was trying to read his Bible before he left for work)

Me: Where are you boogers coming from?? I'm going to find your little hole and YOU WILL PAY!!

Chris: (More Silence)

Me: Ah Hah! I found it...the hole! (I promptly grabbed the ant spray). You are going to regret you ever came into my house! You are going to writhe in pain and the carnage, oh the carnage!

Chris: Honey, It is kind of hard to read the Bible and pray when I hear you delight in the massacre you are about to inflict.

Sarah: 5
Ants: 0


Thankful Thursday

I don't have much to say this week. But, I am so full of thankfulness. Go to this previous post. It sums up all that I am thankful for this week.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What I've Been Reading This Week

Study: Cloth Diapers Just As Bad--Now I don't feel so bad about all those disposables. Yes!

It Gets Easier by Rocks in My Dryer--This is an old post from over there but I keep going back as a reminder.

Fun Family Activity: Making Peanut Butter
--YUM!! What can I say? I will definitely be doing this soon.

Living Through Live Earth--A little off-color at times but quite funny.

Get The Government Out of Sex Ed
--Amen! I want the government out of a lot of things but this one is near the top of my list.

Quick and Easy Banana Bread--I found this recipe at Biblical Womanhood. I made it with some extra ripe bananas my Dad brought over this weekend and it was SO GOOD!! Try it out!

Have We Lost The Gospel?--Way too many churches are soft on presenting the Gospel from the pulpit and elsewhere. Preach it, Brother!

I Know I Could Use This...

I was over at 5 Minutes for Mom and I saw that they are having a really neat contest for a really neat contraption. Do you feel overwhelmed with paper clutter? Are your file boxes/cabinets overflowing and yet you still have more to put away? Do you have way too many keepsakes but you can't even fathom throwing away that adorable painting or homemade Mother's Day Card?

Well, it looks like us pack rats have an answer to our problems. The NeatReceipts Scanalizer!! Y'all this thing is so cool!! The original purpose of the Scanalizer was to store receipts and other important documents on your computer. That way business owners wouldn't have to hang on to all their receipts till Kingdom Come and sink their office and/or house into the ground. Love It!

But, there is so much you can do with it. The possibilities are limitless. I'm already having visions of scanning all those sweet drawings Caleb does in the church nursery and his A+ school papers (Proud Mommy!). Once all those papers are scanned I could then email them to ALL my family and friends because I just KNOW they would want to see them. ;-) I also know that my computer geek, minimalist hubby would appreciate not having anymore paper clutter in our house.

Go on over to 5 Minutes For Mom and put your name in the hat and perhaps you too could experience the joy that is The NeatReceipts Scanalizer. Ten people are going to win! Go!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Birthday to Remember

This past weekend in many ways is a blur and yet the memories are still vivid in my brain. Friday started out quite normal. My plan was to use the entire day to prepare for our guests coming in that day and Saturday. I did just that for a good bit of the day. But, the thing overshadowing the joy was how Caleb woke up feeling hot and he was tugging his left ear a lot. Around 11:30 am I took his temperature and registered at 101.9. I quickly remembered his doctor saying, "if Caleb ever has a temperature of 101.9 you need to bring him in." I called and set up an appointment at 3 pm. Knowing I would have to leave at 2:30 and also give him a snack before we left I went ahead and put him down at 12 pm. Amazingly he went straight down without any hesitation.

The monkey wrench in this whole plan was that my sister and her family were on the road to our house and I had no idea when they would get here. How would they get into the house? I first prayed they would get here in time and then I wrote a note with directions to my in-laws house in the event we missed each other. They arrived at 2:20 pm. I asked my sister if she wanted to go with me and off we went while my brother-in-law and my two nephews stayed in the house.

Caleb indeed had an ear infection in his left ear. We went to Walmart dropped off the prescription and then perused, sipped a fountain drink, and gabbed for about 45 minutes. We picked up the prescription and headed home. I was so blessed when I found out they wanted to take us out for Mexican food for dinner. Whew! This whole ear thing already had me desperately behind on my housework (and I'm still catching up.) We ate our yummy food, headed home, put our drugged boy to bed, and enjoyed each other's company.

Saturday started out pretty well and fun. Chris and my brother-in-law ran an errand to prepare for the party and then brought home breakfast. Yum! Then my sister and I left on our errands. We attended the new YMCA Grand Opening in our county and picked up the birthday cake. The cake was beyond cute! It was in the shape of a sea turtle and had a matching baby cake. We came home and continued to enjoy each other's company as we waited for my Dad and Step-Mom to show up which they did around 1:30 or so. Caleb got up from his nap and we headed to the party location after his snack.

As Chris pulled the van into the yard our eyes popped out of their sockets. We saw Chris' Grandparents' (Caleb's Great Grandparents) Cadillac in the driveway! They had driven from Rockford, ILL the day before, stayed in a hotel, and surprised everyone. The aunts showing up was enough to completely throw us off. My boy is so LOVED!!!

The guests arrived and we had such a wonderful time. I am still in awe of all the people who came out to see Caleb celebrate one year (plus nine months) of life. Thank you to everyone for such a wonderful party for my boy. We ate hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. It was all so yummy. Caleb opened his presents with some help form Mom and Dad and then it was time for his cake. He was as messy with his little turtle as you would expect and/or want. Everyone clapped for him and he started clapping too. He thought it was all so hilarious. Icing was going everywhere...face, hair, arms, floor, etc. A short bath was in order. I only shampooed his hair and rinsed the rest. I put him in his pajamas and he played some more with all his new toys.

Caleb got to be so tired and everyone left. My sister and her family left for their home in Atlanta from the party (sniff) and my Dad et. al came back to our house for the evening. Chris' grandparents had requested going to church in the morning. So, even though we hadn't planned on going to church we planned for Granddaddy and Grammy to babysit Caleb while we went to church and they would meet us for lunch afterwards. All went well and we had a wonderful brunch together.

The rest of Sunday was spent napping, talking, making banana bread and seeing my Dad off.

Now, our house is empty of its guests but it is full of new toys and little boy laughter. I will always remember Caleb's first birthday as being a time of surprises, celebration, and love. Thank you to all our friends and family who made this weekend so special. But, above all I thank God for giving me such a wonderful little boy I can call my own.

Such a Comfort to Hear!

I LOVE THIS SONG!! I heard it the first time online and then I started hearing it at church. I've always enjoyed songs written by Matt Redman but I think this is one of his best. No matter what is going on or how I am feeling this song helps me put my thoughts where they need to be and to remember that God will "Never Let Go."

I am in the process of taking back my house after this wonderful weekend of birthday revelry. I will be back, hopefully today, to tell you all about it. Until then, enjoy this song and soak it in.