Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday

I don't necessarily make it a tradition to get up and go out on Black Friday, although Jeff and I have done it in the past sometimes. This year my friend, Laurin, asked if I wanted to meet her for some shopping and since Jeff had no particular interest and the kids would be sleeping, I figured - why not! I was in my car at 4:30am and excited about Christmas shopping. Just the idea of the hustle and bustle is fun for me, coupled with Christmas music and a good cup of coffee-Love it! I got to W*lmart at 4:40 and there were no parking places left so I parked in an adjoining lot and walked in and the people I came in with were in great moods - laughing, talking, smiling, until we hit the door and then I noticed an eerie silence (as if it was time to get down to business). By the time I got there all the carts were gone. Oh my goodness- I have never been at W*lmart as it opened for Black Friday or any other place for that matter and I was met by an awesome sight- the entire middle of the store was roped off and there were lines all over the place. There were checkers at every stand but no lights were on. In fact there was only one checker open and I bought a Dr. Pepper and proceeded to go stand in a line. The man on the speaker came on a few times to direct people where to pick up holding tickets for certain items. Once you got your ticket you went to stand in that line, and you could only get that item if you had a ticket. If the tickets were gone then the items were gone. I guess that was a really great way to prevent total pandemonium. As the minutes ticked by I noticed that people were no longer in lines they began to group in. It didn't matter if I had been standing there for 20 min if there was a place to squeeze a body in - someone squeezed in. As they began to cut off the plastic from the pallets in the aisle the announcer came on the speaker and asked for there to be no shoving or pushing and to please walk when the ropes were cut. Since I had no agenda, I felt like I was in good shape to just wonder and if I saw a really good deal ok, maybe I would pick it up. The ropes went down and I am not kidding it took me 20 min to get to the back of the store. I saw a whole pallet of something already gone and overheard 2 women who were together but had come from different areas exclaim - "I can't believe they are already gone!" The store had been open for only 10 mins by the time I got to that area. When I arrived at the back - they rolled out a pallet portable DVD players- I didn't know the price but knew it would be nice to have one for the trip at Christmas, so, I picked one up as the plastic fell to the floor. I came back by that pallet 5 min later and it was completely gone- there was something new in it's place. I did find a cart in the toy section that had been abandoned so I was able to get one and by this time had 3 things in it. I have to say it was much easier to shop without it because there was very little kindness when it came to "traffic shopping laws". I must have pushed that cart around with my mouth dropped open because I was appalled at the lack of kindness and the amount of not just rude but blatant disregard for human beings all for the sport of saving the almighty dollar. I've decided that Black Friday at a place like that should be for people who only make a certain amount of money per year and that if you can't show proof of how little you make, then you can't come in until the doorbuster sales are over. That was just one of the thoughts that came into my head as I was standing there waiting to get my cart out into an aisle. If you know me at all, you know I am a people watcher and so I had no problem at all being patient and kind until a man who could see that I was stuck between a pallet and an endcap (the wheel to the cart was stuck) and I was having a hard time getting my cart through, decided to try and squeeze between my cart and the endcap without helping me get unstuck. He could have gone around on the other side of the pallet (although it was somewhat blocked on that side as well). He could have turned and gone down the aisle and gone around and come down the aisle that was behind me. But, NO, he decided he would try to squeeze through my stuck cart and the empty shelves on the end of the aisle. A moment took over me and I said as I touched him on the arm, " Umm sir I would be more than happy to let you go by if you would help me get my cart unstuck." He stopped and looked at me like I was crazy but did go back around and give the pallet a push. That was all it took. I was free! I had to shout thank you to the back of his head- talk about a man on a mission! Waiting in line was pretty much uneventful because I was in the 10 items or less lane. There was a lady in front of me that was a talker and that was nice. She has a tradition of shopping every Black Friday and when I commented about the lady who passed with 2 carts full of toys and asked how that was possible, she said that that lady was the cart woman and she probably had a team of 3 other women or men and each had a list of what they were responsible for grabbing and when their arms were full they would meet at the cart drop off their stuff and go back for more! Ahh, the man on the mission : ) All in all in was an awesome experience and I think next year I would love to have a shopping possy. I won't even ask to be the cart girl- I'll get out there and grab with the best of them! Any takers? As I end this very long post, my favorite quote from yesterday comes to mind. A lady on the phone was overheard saying, "THIS is why I never shop @ W*lmart, it is just chaos!" The lady to the right of me just behind my shoulder started laughing at the same time I did and asked me if I thought she knew it was Black Friday? DUH!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Can you still hear the bell ring?

I love the whole Christmas season- I mean I love love love it all!! The decor, the music, the gift shopping and giving, the movies, the whole idea of the magic of Santa. My kids believe in Santa and I love that. There are several of his friends who have been talking to him... and when he asked the other day I referred to the movie "The Polar Express"- I asked if he could still hear the bells- he said, "yes"- He then promptly went to school and told the kids that if they could hear the bells ring then the Spirit of Christmas was still alive and well-hmmm right out of my mouth- I like that he won't let others tell him what to believe- I hope he keeps that with him forever- I like that he didn't just take a friend's word for something, but came to me instead- I hope he keeps that with him forever too. Tonight we got out the Christmas deocr and the kids worked together despite their little sister's efforts to destroy things and the tree is perfect! Not in the sense that it looks like the ones in the stores but it looks like a mommy and daddy enjoyed watching their kids creative freedom and enjoyed watching them work together. Jaxon must have said thank you a least a dozen times after we got it all up and turned out the lights. As I was putting on his night time diaper- he said thank you again and this time said, "thank you, mommy, for the Christmas tree you let me build". Too Cute - that boy! We watched "Polar Express" twice while we worked. Cooper seemed a little sad towards the end and when I asked him why - he said that he just loved that movie so much that it made him love Christmas so much. He is my little deep thinker! So I end today and do as I have done at the end of many days, doing as Mary did with Jesus and treasuring all these things in my heart!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Is that an elephant in the room?

As the holidays approach I am thinking a lot about families... specifically families that try to make it all work right when there are issues that stand in the way. These families put things aside "for the sake of the holidays" and try to make it all look good and work right when deep down there are issues that could clear the air and allow these families to make a new fresh start and bond them together again. In essence the giant elephant in the room is ignored so that "tradition" can take on a role and the actors (ie family members) create more issues instead of just finding a way to come to grips and get rid of the elephant. I speak from experience of course but also have friends and acquaintances who struggle with this particular state of affairs. Several years ago, my family was in this position as we dealt with some pretty serious issues in my family. I remember getting the kids settled in with entertainment and sitting down in the living room with all the adults in the family and airing out what needed to be aired. It took some time and not everything was solved that day and it certainly not what I would call the perfect family holiday get together, however, it brought some of us closer together for having been there. This time last year, Jeff and I found ourselves in unchartered waters and we were trying to keep our heads above water and smile and make it all "look good". After much soul searching and a brief conversation with a friend and his wife- we took the opportunity to out the elephant in our marriage at an extensive weekend marriage conference. It was intense and it was expensive but it was totally worth it. As the holidays approach this year things are very very different. I am thankful that God grace covers our mistakes and places people in our lives to help see us through when the going looks impossible from the inside but we are not willing to let others see that. I pray that God will lead people to these struggling families and see them through to peace as he did ours this last year!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A glitch

Ok so there is a glitch in the whole potty training thing- everything is fine if he is naked- no accidents or anything- he will go to the potty for pee and poop- no fear, no nothing. However, if he has undies or pants or anything at all on - then he doesn't go- he has accidents. Not all the time but during the late afternoon and early evening- as if his brain is too tired to remember that he is not wearing a diaper- can you say wearing thin on mommy? So here is my delima- I will be driving home with the kids alone to Nashville the week of Christmas- do I hold off and wait knowing that the excitement of being at my parents with cousins and friends etc... will set us back and don't even get me started on the 16 hours of driving there and then 16 hours back OR do I wait and concentrate after the new year? Any thoughts out there?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Potty Training

I have been pretty laid back when it came to potty training with my kids. I have followed pretty much the advice of my pediatrician gave me with Mason - "when he is ready he will let you know and you won't have any problems" along with advice about paci's and blankets came the advice that they will not go to kinder with a diaper and will not go to college with the other two things she has been very good about encouraging just to let all things just work when the time is right. So, with Mason, the summer before he turned 4 he said one day that he wanted to wear big boy undies and I let him and after the 5th accident that day I told him I thought we should wait a week or two. Along with that comment came the discussion of we didn't want to make a mess in our undies on the pictures that were on there. About 3 weeks later he said he wanted to try again and we never had a problem after that. I don't remember having any accidents. Now, he was still wearing night time help, but that is a whole other story. Anyway for us it was easy squeesy. Fast forward to Cooper at 3 almost 4 - showing interest but not really ready, unfortunately I started back to work just before he turned 4 and the preschool said, he had to learn- it took about 2 weeks total because he was almost ready- he surpassed the kids that were in the class because he was almost ready and there were very few problems with him as well. It hasn't been as smooth with him because he tends to be one of those who waits till the last minute but as far as the teaching part - not to bad. Fast forward until now- Jaxon turned 4 on Oct. 17th and despite many encouraging comments on getting him out of diapers and off the paci - I continue to remain faithful to our pediatrician's wisdom. Yesterday he spent half the day in his undies and we even went to the grocery store in them. I asked him yesterday if he wanted to wear them and he said yes. The few other times I had asked he had said no. Today is day two and he has been in the the whole morning with no problems. It will be great to have only 1 in diapers when all is said and done! I am very proud of Jaxon and we have done many potty dances around these parts over the last 24 hours. A big thank you to cousin Henry for his encouragement this weekend in going to the potty at MarMar and Poppy's house. Jaxon said,"it was magical!" I guess it was time for Jaxon to become magical as well. "Potty on!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm Back and almost into the swing of things again

While it will take me awhile to decompress and be able to post about this year- it is good to be back and back into the swing of everyday life. As I write this the kids are eating dinner and watching tv and I am sitting in front of my computer eating and catching up on emails - clearing out the trash etc... I signed up to teach ladies Bible class before I left and taught this morning and have no idea what I said really or if anything came out of it but it was good to write the lesson and allow God to speak through me- I did not at all stick to my notes and went way over the time limit but in the end I was reminded that we cannot appreciate the highs unless there are lows, we cannot know what it is like to walk on mountaintops if there are no valleys, we cannot sore like eagles unless we know what it is like to be down at the lowest point and rise through the provision from God to bring good from the bad that is in this world. Bad things happen to good and bad people- but those of us who love God have perspective to see through the dirt and find and are thankful for the fresh and clean when it comes back around. I am thankful for only 3 blisters after 60 miles but I am more thankful that I was able to hear and share stories of hard times and victories with many- again it is close to the end of the day and I find myself so thankful to serve our Awesome God!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

These Shoes were made for walking...

just you wait and see one of these days these shoes are gonna walk all over you... I don't know who sang that song and I know I know it's not shoes it's boots but it has been running through my head all night! As I leave I want to say thank you thank you thank you to all of you who had encouraging words, thoughts, actions, monetary gifts, prayers etc... I am surrounded by a great group of cheerleaders. I ask that you pray for safety for all involved and that God be Glorified!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Last day to get prepared

So this is it- the day before I leave and my brain is full of lists- my packing list, the kids packing list, grocery list etc... I don't feel stressed out too much I am resigned to imperfection but things being better than they were. I am excited to have some time in the car to sing loud with the windows down and use the time to praise God for his goodness- I went yesterday and bought 3 new praise CD's - Today I need to get my car packed and decorated!!! Be looking for quick blog or FB updates while I am gone if you want! Be sure and Check you Chi Chi's (it is the first of the month), massage your melons, survey second base, knead you knockers- whatever phrase you have coined- you are your boobs best first defense. I am crazy- 60 miles or "BUST"!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A kid at Christmas

I feel like a kid at Christmas time- 2 days 2 days 2 days!!!!! AAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHH- Kara that was for you : )

Monday, November 2, 2009

T- minus 3 days again

I don't know what I did but the previous lack of post posted was just a tiny example of how things are going as I prepare to leave for the 3 day walk. I find myself in a very stressful place- perfection is desired but I know unattainable and so why do I stress? Why do I feel it necessary to have my house in a state of perfection (or as close to it) as I leave? Why do I feel it necessary to have all clothes clean before I pack the Jaxon and Zoe in order to take their stuff to Mar Mar and Poppy's house? Why do I feel it necessary to make sure that my room and bathroom and closet for that matter are nice and tidy? Why is it necessary for all the boys to have their clothes perfectly put away with clean sheets on their beds and groceries in the house ready for them to eat their favorites- why do I feel myself getting sick when I think about getting in the car and not having everything done. Why do we as mother's put ourselves in the position to make sure everything is perfect? Or is it just me? Is it so I can mentally let go of this part of my life so that I can be all that I can be on the 3 day? Maybe! Or is it the foothold that Satan needed to get under my skin and grab hold of the insecurities and time that have played a role in my life for so long. As I have been putting together my lesson that I will be teaching next Tuesday at Ladies Bible Class I have found myself more and more aware of how Satan has a way of grabbing a hold and not letting go! So much so that last Thursday I spent the day in bed sleeping because of the meds that I had to take to stop puking. Yes, I had worried myself into sick- no one else got sick and I didn't eat anything unusual- and then yesterday I found myself panicked again and ended up with the beginnings of a migrane - I nursed that bad boy headache for most of the day until I forced myself to go to the grocery store and get the things needed in the house for the week. On the way home I was pondering on my lesson again and thinking about what we had talked about in class just that morning. How we are to rejoice during the hard times, how things come along in our lives and blow us off our path- because it is narrow and winding not straight and easy. I have yet to jump up and down and clap for joy and smile when facing adverse conditions. I am human - but what I am learning is that it is all about perspective- I am being refined- I am being refined- you see, we never were promised easy but we were promised to not be left alone! And as my mind said this I said it out loud in the car. Yes, I do that sometimes and then I said, "God you can see me, you can hear me, you can see my insides- I need peace, I need perspective, I need... I don't know. I listen to K-Love all the time, all the time- my radio may be stuck on that station actually. And then as with all the other times before a song came on the radio and it was just the right one at the right time! Mark Shultz "Remember Me"- basically remember Me because I remember you all day every day- and then peace! No headache, no stomach ache, no worry, no stress- joy- Joy in the middle of trial- joy in the middle of a messy house with too much laundry both dirty and clean not in the right place, with dirty dishes in the sink, with children not wanting to go to bed, with a husband who was stressed about work and needing to leave early in the morning so that I was the parent getting everyone ready and out the door. Joy that I am remembered- peace that Satan does not have the foothold that he thought because the Holy Spirit dwells in me and reminds me that we were never promised ease but we were promised peace- I love my God- I will do what I can to get ready to leave in 3 days- by using my excitement and turning it into energy to get done as much as possible and then know that it will all be ok- because God will use this time and glory will be to HIm! What an awesome God we serve!

T-minus 3 days and counting