Monday, October 22, 2007

In The Middle


Icky, hard day.

They're destined to come but just as you forget to prepare yourself..BAM-there they are.

If you haven't purchased the new Casting Crowns cd, you should. The little I've heard of it, the more I believe it's their best one yet.

I thought "East and West" would be my favorite song but my friend Anne made me listen to this one and the words came back to me tonight.

So, I'm posting them for me...and maybe you'll relate to them, too.

Somewhere In The Middle

Somewhere between the hot and the cold
Somewhere between the new and the old
Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me

Somewhere between the wrong and the right
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Somewhere between who I was and who You're making me
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle
Are we caught in the middle

Somewhere between my heart and my hands
Somewhere between my faith and my plans
Somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves

Somewhere between a whisper and a roar
Somewhere between the altar and the door
Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more
Somewhere in the middle You'll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Lord, I feel You in this place and I know You're by my side
Loving me even on these nights when I'm caught in the middle
Caught in the middle

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Even Women Will Be Girls

Small observation from my regular Saturday dinner with my girlfriends, Anne and Di.

*Even when you are in your thirties...and maybe WAY MORE than when you were care about getting just the right picture!

It was cracking me up what an event it was just to take a nice picture of us in our Halloween shirts. Inevitably one of us didn't like our hair...or our profile..or our hips...etc, etc, etc.

I still didn't end up with a clear shot but I love the pictures because of all the vain attempts to come across defying our flaws!

Girls will be girls but even more...Women will sometimes be girls!

(Want the in person video of the critiquing...check out the video Matt took below!)

Steph..this one is for you! Look at Di's adorable Charlie Brown t-shirt! You would sooo buy that!

The only decent shot! Good grief!

Let's get approval!

Gotta love digital cameras!

Posted by Picasa

(Sorry, it is very grainy for some reason. It was taken with Matt's cell phone.)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

100 Years and Counting...

Today my neighbor Sanford turned 100 years old.

We were excited to go to his long planned birthday party and celebrate a good life.

I laughed this past week as I talked to his wife (she's twenty some years younger than him) and she filled me in on her concerns for his birthday party.

"I want to make sure he's not overwhelmed before we get there. I want him to have gone to the bathroom...get a good nap...have a decent lunch so he's not grouchy! OH...and I hope he doesn't catch some virus and is too sick to go!"

I told her she sounded alot like a mom of a one year old getting ready to have that first big party!

She agreed..there are many similarities of you 1st party and your 100th party!

Happy birthday, Sanford! I hope you have many more!
Jo getting ready to sign Sanford's card
Me, Sam and Jo with Pat, Sanford's sweet wife and my friend
All of the people who have cared for Sanford
Posted by Picasa

Sanford, Pat and Sanford's sister

The Salon

We have converted a section of our playroom into a "salon". To save on cash, I'm cutting all the men's hair in our house and Matt cuts Milo's. We really were blessed to get very passive, quiet boys and our dog is much the same!

I walked in this morning to find Milo realxing during his "spa treatment" with Matt's jazz music playing in the background. It was cracking me up!

Posted by Picasa

Sam's first fundraiser

Well..I'm in a parental dilemma.

I got notified a couple of weeks ago that Sam's third grade class had been invited to the fourth and fifth grade's spring field trip to Alabama/Atlanta. It is an overnight trip and costs $250.00 per child.

They are trying to kill me...seriously.

Of course, I have the typical concerns...I don't want him off overnight in that setting by himself without us...What about supervision at the hotel-I mean we barely know these people still!...What about at rest stops?...What about age appropriateness?...WHAT ABOUT THE MONEY???

Matt and I had a meeting with the teachers and while they see our points, they feel they are good to go. They have arranged fundraisers for the kids to be able to knock a bit off of their costs but if one of us decides to go, it's another $250.00!

He's NOT going without one of us!

I figured someone else would decline the trip but everyone else is sending their child. Am I willing to make Sam be the only child that doesn't go?

I don't think I can do that to him.

So, we sat down with him at home and told him our guidelines:

1. One parent must go, so Sam has to earn $500.00 not $250.00. (I'm not being rigid...I will chip some in but he needs to know that God must give us ALL the money or we will have to change our minds-even in the last month.)

2. He must be willing to earn a good deal through odd jobs and fundraisers. He is also going to decline many Christmas presents to get money instead for the trip.

3. He must be dedicated to the cause. If he gets lazy or acts like he doesn't care, then we call the whole thing off.

I gave him a couple of days to really think about whether he wanted to go and he took those days. He came to me this past week and let me know that he was up for the challenge. He said, "I checked and I already have 3 dollars so only $496.00 more to go!"

What an optimist!

So, this week we had our first fundraiser. The kids were to go to Fudrucker's and take care of people needs and get drinks, clear tables...etc. while some of us used coupons to eat with the school getting 10% back from sales.

Sam made me take him 15 minutes early and that kid worked his fingers to the bones for two and a half hours. He was so cute. I only got a few pics in the beginning because my batteries went dead but you should have seen them in full swing, running all over the place for ketchup and drink refills and soppy washcloths to wipe table with!

Matt and I got asked 642 times "if we needed anything"...and Matt came home running into the bathroom after 20-something refills. No kidding!

So cute and a great time to spend with our friends at the school. I'm totally hooked on fundraisers now!

Posted by Picasa

Niven's and Flat Stanley

Here are a few pictures from Jo's first class field trips. The first set are from an apple orchard here near where we live called Niven's and the second set is from a play that we saw called "Flat Stanley". He had a great time at them both and it works well for me because all of my children I work with are in K-5 so I'm free to go without missing work.

(Not so happy right at first!)

(Caught Mid-jump!)

Posted by Picasa

(Everyone make a crazy face!)
Posted by Picasa

Jo and his buddy Christian

Jo and his teacher, Mrs. Paris. She is so sweet and we've become great friends!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Stress Test

My dad thinks he's so funny.

I told him that Matt was having a stress test today and he asked me what kind of stress test it was?

"The kind where he gets on the treadmill and they watch his heart or the one where they put him in a small room with me (Charity) and our bills for the afternoon?!"


I do kind of idle at "financial awareness". I'll admit it.


He didn't exactly pass his stress test. There were some irregularities and so they feel he should go on to the cathaterization type test and see what they find. In a nutshell...there's a 60% chance that his heart has some bad spots.

Ironic. The one person that I would say really almost does have a "good heart"-doesn't!

It makes me wonder what mine looks like? Eek!

I'll keep you updated. Pre-authorizations are underway and so it should be a few days until that one happens. Meanwhile, diet and exercise are on the docket.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Pain in the...chest" appears I should open mouth, insert blog foot!

I arrived at work today late to find my husband back in heart pressure.

My poor husband and I spent the night at the doctor/cardiology office attempting to get a good look at Matt's painful, pressured heart.

So far so good. The first two beginning tests he has passed. No fluid on the heart or lungs and he didn't have a minor heart attack up to this point. He heads for blood work and a stress test on Friday. Meanwhile, they've given him the Nitro meds in case the pain goes back to intense with strict orders to "CALL EMS" if anything starts up again. They're also starting him on digestion medicine in between to see if that helps at all.

So far..he's feeling a bit better.

I have heard my fair share of "...I know so and so who died of a heart attack at 30 something..." stories today and frankly-that's enough! I get it! Pay whatever so that Matt can have life! Apparently "heart pressure and pain" for men (especially with a family history) is like a "lump" of ANY SORT for women. You just don't ignore it!

It's just a hard call because you face spending a bazillion dollars most likely to find out you're painfully burping dinner!

It struck me last night just how many truly financially challenged people die every day because they don't have an extra 5 or six hundred bucks!

We, of course, were attempting to giggle and laugh our way through the appointment and the nurse and doctor were NOT amused. After a good reality check-we sobered up a little! :)

I was relieved when he passed the first few tests but then I remembered that his dad also passed those test 8 years ago right before he had his six bypass surgery. Eek.

This was a very stressful day and we faced this after being up most of the night with Josiah who has a new virus. Excellent...

I am thankful that God provided a doctor that would see Matt, new patient with lots of pain, the same day we called thus making it much cheaper for our insurance...and I have to mention the blessing of childcare (thanks, Manda) even though Jo was sick so that I could go with Matt. I also should include a school full of teachers and administration that surrounded us with prayer today and much concern to accommodate our schedule for calls and support.

I'll keep you updated. We're holding out for the "indigestion or acid reflux" diagnosis!

That would better.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

"I Choose Life"

Okay...I don't know what it is like to be married for 20-some years like my sister or 30-some like my mom and dad or even 60-some like my grandparents but I can speak with some academic knowledge on what it is like to be married 11 years.

So, if you are at about year 5 or 6 or goodness-help-us SEVEN...(then there's the awful 10! EEK)...hold out hope. I've got good news.

Year 11, with some good Biblical marital counselling and possible a stiff drink (I'M KIDDING, ANNE! I don't support the "save your marriage by liquor movement"!) you may begin to truly enjoy your spouse.

Matt and I, well quite frankly, we've been through the ringer. If it's not our marriage that is crazy-it's somebody elses and laughter has been last on the docket.

For whatever reason (and I believe it's the blessing of God for faithfulness and possibly just plain numbness)-we have moved into laughter mode.

We are constantly cracking up at ourselves and each other over the most stupid things.

We're completely broke, everything we own is falling apart, we clearly need a few more hours of sleep, both raising two recently "very embarrassed of our parents" boys, and have a love affair with processed foods that is just not healthy!

So...the other night, right in the middle, dark part of the night, Matt has what he is convinced is a mild heart attack.

Granted, heart disease runs in the family and his cholesterol is through the roof and so his suspicions aren't far off.

Matt is one tough cookie (having called in sick TWO times in seven years) and he's not easily shaken but this little episode-did the trick.

He has been freaking out for a week!

Now...the beginning of this post would lead you to believe that I have been laughing at him and at first, I wasn't. I was pretty worried. I mean, he asked me to make him a doctor's appointment! (Wha-huh?) He STOPPED eating junk food! (Come now??) He's walking in the morning! (Hold on!!!)

He's even told me that he now has compassion for people with panic attacks! Listen, if you know Matt, you know he hasn't panicked a day in his life! He barely has adrenaline! He's the most laid-back guy I know!

So, I've been fretting a little by imagining what it might be like to be a widow? Where would I live? How would I survive financially? Who wants to hang out with a sobby, flabby 33 year old woman with very embarrassed little boys??!?

(Now I'm panicked!)

Then the laughter...

This morning while I was making breakfast, I selected pancakes. The boys love them and they learned their appreciation from their father.

I put an unreasonably small pancake on Matt's plate and told him that's all his heart gets. He turned to me at the sink and soberly said, "That's okay, hon...I choose life."

I started cracking up.

This is getting ridiculous. Between you and was indigestion that happened the other night. I'm sure of it. I fed him beans for supper! Regardless, I'm letting him get healthier because he WILL have problems if he doesn't.

Meanwhile, he is amusing me. And really, isn't that what marriage is all about?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Dance

Alright, my husband already beat me to putting this on his blog but I'm going to go ahead and post it.

In church this morning, we viewed a dramatic interpretation. I'm usually not much for these as I feel that it's pretty impossible to humanly "act out" the gospel in an adequate and appropriate way but this...I fell in love with.

I've always described myself as the girl nobody ever really asked to dance. It used to bother me to be "average". Who am I kidding? It REALLY bothered me to be average! Sadly, that drove me to make some selfish decisions in my life and hurt many people.

I've met many women like me since then...girls who want to feel "value". They seek it in places they don't belong and in people who cannot fulfill. They look for it in a new dress or a better size on the scale. More money, more security, more safety-more. All of these things that promise to bring your life worth only end up making you feel more worthless. The vastness deep inside of us...only gets emptier. It is a dark place to live even if you find ways to "manage" it for a while. It leaves you contemplating permanent escape.

Women, wonderfully created in God's image and desperately longing for the "dance".

I'm okay being who I am today. While I'm average and faulty and not so good at any one thing-I'm the choice select of my God. I'm His prize. I'm beautiful to fact, I'm perfect in His sight. He fills that vastness in me and cleans me off to give me true worth.

He's my dance partner.

Please take a second to watch this video. I feel it is me that it is portraying. I couldn't keep the tears from coming as I watched it. If you feel He's rescued you-You'll cry too!