Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Terrific Tuesday

On this terrific Tuesday I have the opportunity to serve yummy treats to my friends at Ladies Bible Class. I love that God has allowed me the time to be able to go to spend time in study and fellowship with these women. My life is richly blessed because of them. On the days that we have Ladies Bible Class I am convinced that it will always be a terrific Tuesday!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's more than that...

Many of you know I walk in the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer 3 - Day. This is an event put on by the Komen for The Cure in an effort to find a cure for breast cancer. In this event we (my team... Team Tiara) spend 3 days walking, a total of 60 miles, in an effort to show our support for the "Pink Warriors" past and present. We dream of a day that there will be no need to call them "Pink Warriors" for we dream together of a day where there will be an end to breast cancer. Each of us is responsible for raising $2300.00 per year for the privilege to walk those 60 miles. It is an honor for me to do so. My Grandmother was a "Pink Warrior" as was my aunt. Sadly, my aunt lost her battle just 2 months ago. Someone asked me today, why? Why do I choose this whole fight against breast cancer? Why do I choose to walk 60 miles in 3 days? I pray constantly that God will allow me under any and all circumstances to minister to whomever might come into my life. I pray that even if I am going about the "mundane" errands of life (like the grocery store) that I can minister to anyone who might need me for whatever. So I consider this whole 3 -Day thing as a ministry. It isn't just a walk... it is more than that... it is a way for God to use me for whatever He sees fit in whatever capacity when it comes to finding a cure. It is a cause that has now become a passion. I see daily opportunities that God is presenting to me (to the team) where I am asked to serve. My friend D'Lyn recognized that our team could do more than just walk to honor the "pink warriors". In this 5th year of our team being together we have now gained non-profit status and God is using us like crazy to minister in so many ways to people who need us. Just this afternoon I had the wonderful opportunity to sit with a new sweet friend who just had a mastectomy on Friday. Team Tiara has had several opportunities to minister in several ways to women who are going through chemo (currently). We have also ministered to families who have lost their "Pink Warriors". So why do I walk... because I believe we will find a cure but more than that because I know that God is using me for a higher calling. If you are reading this and you are interested in anything that Team Tiara does please feel free to email me @ kayrenbabcock@yahoo.com. If you feel compelled to help out financially, I am still trying to raise my required $2300.00 for this year and would love to receive any donation at all. I thank God for each of you who have chosen to read this post and will say feel free to share it with anyone you think might be interested! God Bless!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Above Reproach

This morning the phrase "above reproach" has been on my mind. Growing up it was not something that I heard from my parents, but something I often heard from coaches. They would tell us to remember that we are a team and to function with the spirit of a team and be above reproach in order to have success. They would say it before a game, before we got off the bus, before we were in some sort of competition. It was spoken of often at sporting camps that I attended. The coaches that said it knew that there were always people out there who were full of jealousy, people who were mean spirited, people who cared more for themselves than for others. As a representative of a team I never wanted the team to do poorly so I tried my best and I supported the others on the team and encouraged them to do their best. As a team we presented a united front of positive, encouraging energy! It made for amazing moments when we won of course but it also made for the whole "lean on me" thing when we lost. As a team we won together and we lost together and because we behaved in a way that was "above reproach", the wins and losses were that much sweeter - they brought us closer together as a team. Getting involved with the Breast Cancer 3-Day for me was a no brainer. The idea of team spirit was one that I grew up drawn to because of the wisdom of the coaches that I had with their above reproach attitude. It meant that I was really a part of something that I could be proud of while I voiced my opinion of how much I hate (yes, hate is a strong word and I choose to use it here) Breast Cancer. I loved that first year standing in the midst of all the pink fighting/walking/protesting Cancer. Together daring to imagine a world without Breast Cancer. We stood all 3300 of us together above reproach knowing that each and every one of us from the crew to the safety people to the walkers all worked together and did our best. We were able to hold our heads up high. I don't know what it felt like to be an onlooker in the crowd, because I was in the middle of the pink- in the middle of the team of 3300 people dreaming of that world without Breast Cancer. Being a part of a team means you can't look inward... that is why the power of "The Pink" (another way to refer to the seas of people protesting Breast Cancer) is so amazing. It is an insane number of people thinking about the men and women who have had to suffer from this disease bonding together to do something about it. There is no "I" in Breast Cancer because those who are suffering don't have to suffer alone thanks to "Breast Cancer 3-Day. And friends there is no "I" in TEAM. Are you a part of a team? Are you a part of something that makes you think about being above reproach? Are you behaving in a way that will build others up the way Teams do? I am challenging you today just to think. In 47 days the team of walkers in the Breast Cancer 3 Day will be walking in DFW. I pray that we will all gather strength from each other and that those who are suffering will not feel alone because we will be supporting them!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What season is it again?!

I realize that there are 4 seasons per year that are marked by the changing of the trees/temp/weather for most of us. But, I think I have sort of added a season- or should I say renamed a season. I almost feel like instead of being excited about it changing from Summer to Fall that I get excited because the beginning of Fall is really for me the beginning of Fundraising for the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day. Sure there are people out there that fundraise all year and on my team there are many who have already reached their goal. I applaud them! I guess I just feel like having a "season" to fundraise works well for me. So, beginning Sept 1st, my wardrobe changes dramatically... you will be hard pressed to find me not wearing something related to breast cancer. I am almost always wearing some sort of tee-shirt that advertises the 3 Day or Team Tiara (I am a walking advertisement) and if I am not - I am usually wearing a pink ribbon somewhere on my clothes. I use my wardrobe as a conversation starter... an avenue of breast cancer awareness if you will. This year 50 days out of the 3 Day walk I will be doing a Fabulous Fundraising Friday. I would love to be able to have 50 friends donate 50 dollars 50 days out - of the event in order to reach my goal- I am excited about the opportunity to try this. Be watching for an update!

by Kayren Babcock on Wed, Sep 15, 2010 @ 10:51 AM CT

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I am reminded today...

I am reminded today of how big but how small he still is. I am reminded of how little he was and how big he is. I am speaking of Mason. My sweet itty bitty cutie patootie squishy little first born... how did he get so big all of the sudden? When did he start decided that he needed a haircut and ask for them instead of me looking at him thinking... I think I will take him tomorrow for one. I got the opportunity to take Mason shopping for school clothes and then on to his golf thing at First Tee. First of all he is an awesome shopper... he knows what he likes and if he doesn't see it then he is outta there. My kind of guy. How I remember the little outfit that I put on him that they gave me in the hospital. Tiny little froggy shirt with a matching hat. It was so tiny it fits one of Zoe's baby dolls now. Today, I shopped in the size 12-14 section - that's right people from 4lbs 13oz and 18 inches long. I know every parent feels this way... I know some of you are looking at you kids and saying wow, they are going off to college or wow they are going off to kinder or whatever. But, since this is my blog this is me going wow... when did he get so big. Then my feeling was enforced even more when I took him to his golf thing! He looks just like his daddy when he swings that golf club. I am not even kidding! From the way he addresses the ball to his follow thru it is scary how similar they are. I was happy to have had a hat and sunglasses on so that I could hide my tears. I was so proud to be Mason's mom today! I mean I am proud of him every day but today was one of those days that just hit me what a cool kid he is. I love his sense of humor and his desire to do well on the things that interest him. Notice I didn't say desire to do well on everything... he is after all a kid and if he doesn't like it... well he will let you know. He is getting better at expressing himself verbally, like with the right tone of voice and everything. I appreciate his willing spirit to help around the house too. Why just yesterday he "cleaned his room" and even vacuumed it and then asked me to come look at it. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw all the things he had stuffed under the bed. I also had to laugh when I asked him what he did with the blue tub of stuff that was in his closet... he said, "oh, I put that in your closet." Nice! He learned from the master how to "stuff clean" tee-hee. But when all is said and done, He still wants to sit close to me and hold my hand. Yeah, he likes to hold my hand. He always did... when he was nursing he wanted me to play with his hand. Today while we were coming home he reached over to hold my hand and we had a laugh together about something (oh his hands are like his daddy's too just in little kid size). I am blessed to call this child/big boy my son. I am blessed that God gave him to me! Thank you God for the gift of Mason!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You know it has been a long time when...

You know you haven't blogged in a while when you have to go to someone else's blog to hop onto yours because yours fell off "the favorites" list and your too lazy to type it into the search engine. (Kidding of course but I did have a hard time remembering where I bookmarked it). I know all 11 of you followers have been waiting with bated breath for me to update. So here we are... almost at the end of the summer. It has been a good one- I think the kids have enjoyed it. I have to say the highlight was our vacation at the beach. In fact, Zoe when she has cried lately has asked to go back to the beach- I go beach- she says. I want to cry with her sometimes and say me too! She and Jaxon have really been busy playing together this summer. It has been fun watching them. Cooper has been completely engrossed in everything Star Wars and Mason has enjoyed video games, books, and football camp. I have learned several things over the summer. 1. Must have a plan at all times- this avoids meltdowns. 2. No Naps- early bedtme 3. Put children in bed and allow them to read but insist that they may not get up. This one has worked really well over the last 2 weeks and I think we are really going to be onto something when school starts back. I have lots of things to "talk" about but I will leave it at that- it seems that when the 2 yr old and the 4 yr old drag the container of cars into the 1/2 bath and shut the door that nothing good can come of it... I think I will just take a peak to see what if any damage has occurred : ) Until next time!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Accepting the things I can not change

Ok so I really had some awesome thoughts on Paul's thorn in the flesh and how God used Paul (faults, pain and all) to touch so many via The Bible. That will have to wait... I try to be the epitome of an open book in the hopes that something I think/purge out of my thoughts will bring Glory. I have found myself trying to remind myself (I know that sounded rough) who I am in God's eyes. I began therapy last week. I needed to clear the muck to see through to God. Today was my second session and I was reminded that I have to own many of the decisions that I made years ago that brought me to where I am today. Well, Duh! But by the same token having anger and hurt over those decisions is ok I just can not allow it to run my thought processes now. As I say that... I can't get out of my head... did you know that it takes 8 non sexual touches from a loved one (ie your husband) per day to make a woman to feel loved. Did you know that Adam and Eve had perfection and yet they felt imperfect, they were unhappy. How do we today in our imperfection allow ourselves to feel God's love when we are looking for love from a human perception? I don't have all the answers- but I learned today that I have to let out the dark in order to let in the light. It is not a simple task. But until I open myself up completely to be loved I can't love. I know that I jumped around in this post but something might have touched you... if so feel free to comment... if not trust me that I am no where near done... there will be many posts to come!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Paul's thorn in the flesh will have to take a back seat

So I have been thinking and have some serious thoughts that I would like to purge by way of blogging. I have heard through the grapevine that my blogging has been missed by my 4-5 dedicated readers : ) and I do have some thoughts to share... However, today is one of those days that I am ready to pull out what little hair that lady left on my head. 7 weeks ago I got a haircut and the woman cut it shorter than Jaime Lee Curtis' hair. Now, it is finally where I wanted it to be when I went in in the first place. (that was just so you guys could get an idea of how little is there and yet I am still ready to sacrifice it for my sanity). So this is the conversations that happen in my house- I will use K if it is a kid talking and M if it is me:

K: I want a popsicle (or popkeepull depending on who is talking)
M: No or not right now
2-3 min later there are children eating popsicles
M: I said no
K: But I wanted one

K: I want to paint
M: No or not right now
a few min later there is paint and paint brushes brought to me and begging begins so I figure maybe if I let them it will keep them busy long enough that I can get something done

I work they paint- they finish and while I am cleaning up they are destroying another area that I have just finished putting back together

K: Can so and so come in to play
M: no because the house is a mess and I don't want any other messes to clean up or people to correct
2-3 minutes later there are 2-4 other kids in the house and everyone wants a snack or a movie or both or to go get on the trampoline or to go upstairs and play video games or whatever

K: Can we go to mcdonalds
M: no we need to go home to eat
K: crying and whining and yelling begins

On an somewhat hourly basis I let out big gigantic sighs!

I am feeling like I want to back up a dumpster to the house and throw all of it out and I do mean all- the toys, games, clothes, dishes everything into that dumpster- I want to keep the books and just tell my children- you have one pair of pants one pair of shorts and 3 shirts- beyond that you need nothing else and the next person to speak after I speak will be severely beaten about the head and shoulders! Here is your food that I choose for you to eat and when you finish with it go throw your plate in the trash. I know I have issues when it comes to raising my children and I know it comes from not wanting them to have to go through what I went through as a child. But by the same token I think they just don't give a flying flip about me or what I say and there is certainly no respect whatsoever- so I chose to put myself into therapy. Monday was my first appointment. I want to better me so that I can better parent so that my kids know how to effectively parent and they don't look back and think "what were they thinking"! As I type this I have told my son to get off of something that he doesn't need to be on twice- the first with respect- the second with authority and the third time with a threat of a spanking shouted towards his direction. I think this whole love and logic is a crock of poo. Giving kids choices - gimmie a break. But then the other side of my heart and brain says how would Jesus parent- that is what I want to get to the bottom of... stay tuned - the thought processes are just beginning. In the meantime if you hear children wailing and a mommy yelling and carrying around a wooden spoon you can believe that this mommy has snapped and is ready to redirect some tiny heineys!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ahhhh, OMG How are you? It has been forever! You look great!

The title of this post is to be squealed like cheerleader chicks who haven't seen each other in forever and it helps to toss your hair or pretend to toss it and hug and fake kiss... you know what I mean. Anyway it has been forever and since the last post we have celebrated birthdays, Easter and other stuff in the Babcock house. I have been spending a lot of time treasuring all the things in my heart and with all that has been happening have not made the time to post. When I am not spending time with the kids I have been purging closets and cabinets and the like. I seriously think the house looks like it could be on hoarders. You think I jest but sadly, it is true! It has been hard to purge and keep the kids entertained at the same time. Here is an example... Jeff is gone with the boys and as I post, Zoe just ran up to me with a purple marker in hand. She is more of a handful than the boys ever were. I thought girls were supposed to be easier but I am thinking if you have the energy of a boy and you have to keep up with brothers and you are a smart, inquisitive little 2 year old wow! She is into everything and I do mean everything! I am thinking that when she grows up and asks to get a tattoo, the only one she can have is one that says "tenacious" that describes her personality to a tee. Although it might run close second with independent. Our baby girl has really rocked our world. She turned 2 on the 23rd of April and Cooper had turned 7 on the 21st. Because the kids were out of school on Friday (Zoe's actual birthday) I took the roller skating (the boys had been wanting to go) on Friday and we met some friends there. Zoe even had a little pair of skates and she got out on the floor and stayed for forever. I took her to buy a pretty pretty birthday outfit and while in the store she found what she wanted, picked it out and brought it to me and said, "bootiful" - so she got 2 outfits... one for skating and one for her little party with the family. Can I just say that a pink feathery outfit with chunky legs, pink princess skates and a big pink bow on a blue eyed, dimpled cheek smiley 2 yr old baby girl was enough to make mommy cry several times. Cooper was amazing with her and took her to the middle several times to "teach her to skate". The "ref" of the skating rink kept skating past her and patting her on the head- he let her stand out there during the limbo and "help" with the stick. School is winding down and you can tell it is time for summer- Cooper is ready to be finished - his behavior has been great at school up until the last week or so. Bless his heart he needs a much shorter school year- he has done really well this year and we are more than blessed to have had Mrs. Blue as his teacher! She has been the perfect teacher for him. I had the younger two up at school with me the other day and she mentioned how blessed she was to have gotten to know our family. She said she wanted to have all the Babcock children in her class. I said well it will be several more years before you get The Princess (that is how Cooper refers to Zoe sometimes) and she said, "well I will be here- they will have to take me out of here kicking and screaming" - love it! It is fitting that Zoe and Cooper have their birthdays so close together - they are peas in a pod- On other things... TAKS is over and had it not been for everyone else talking about it ie... school, news, others in the outside world, I think it might have come and gone without any of us knowing. Mason didn't say a word about it unless asked and he didn't seem stressed about it. He enjoys school but is ready for summer so that he can just veg out completely. He has been playing golf every Saturday with Jeff and has a beautiful swing. Jeff is really enjoying being able to spend time with just Mason. Jaxon is doing well but is really going through a mommy phase. He left the house this morning with Jeff and was crying because he didn't want mommy to be left at home alone. So very sweet of him to be concerned : ) Was it wrong of me to run really fast out to the car and buckle him in and then skip back inside the house like a little girl while Jeff was pulling out of the driveway with 2 of the 4 crying in the car as they drove away?! Nah! Well that about catches everyone up on the kids. Jeff and I are hanging in there- I will be posting a little more often over the next few weeks as I use my blog to purge my thoughts again. You will understand more as you read the upcoming posts... We are richly blessed to be washed in the blood of Christ and have God as our almighty provider!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We are still here

It has been a while- we are still here- we are still alive- I am just busy and haven't had a lot to say. Or maybe I have too much to say and can't figure out how to say it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

"Bipolar Blogging"

Ok so this idea isn't new I read it on someone else's blog the other day and it totally pegged me. I don't even remember whose blog it was on so that I could go back to it and read it and thank them for the post... maybe I commented on it but I didn't bookmark it so I can't go back and read the blog again which of course is frustrating to me. But I digress... I was thinking about the many thoughts that I think "ooh I should blog about that" that run through my brain during the day. Today I thought of a few things... Cloth diapers, why can't I sew, I think I might be a hoarder, what can I do to make my husband's day today and each and every day (that came from the New Beginnings workshop that we went to last year and I saw a paper from it today while clearing out some papers), music that takes me back to times when my self-esteem was higher, the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day... whew I am tired... my brain hurts. Are there others of you who think about that many things in one day along with the ordinary day to day stuff of laundry, toys, dishes, food, diapers etc... Am I the only one who balances that many thoughts? If I am maybe there is more wrong with me than I thought and I might need some professional help. Seriously, is this what they call bipolar on the upswing? Anyhoo, it always helps me to get these thoughts out and the other day someone told me I was a deep thinker- not the first time and yes, I know that I am- I am happy to have a way to think out loud and touch the lives of others as I do so. So I guess to the blogger creator- thank you! To those who follow me on this blog- the above list will be in some of the upcoming posts- I know you will stay tuned. Until then I wanted to let you know that I will be teaching a class on Tuesday of next week (March 2nd) on God's love. Easy topic right?! Not so much especially when I consider that in order to truly love God I have to love myself- yikes- I don't at all. I mean really I don't. I think I have some serious issues to deal with and if I have to deal with them I am going to have to wrap my brain around how God feels about me. I am reaching deep down into my soul on a daily basis trying to find this lesson. Who knows I may just stand there and say nothing except God loves you, the end. Rest assured as I piece this lesson together I will have more to get out of my bipolar head- btw- if there is anyone out there that is diagnosed bipolar this post is not meant to offend (I really do think I might be able to relate). No judgements just one of God's children marching to the beat of my own drum! Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Death (a very lengthy post)

Yes I know morbid title... But my mind is running again. This week I have known several who have lost loved ones to death and my brain is filled with what if's... What if it were me... me losing Jeff, me losing one of my children, me losing one of my parents, me dying. What would happen from here? What would I do without Jeff (ok I have to say that one stays close to my mind on a daily basis)- the thought of it leaves me almost breathless... I wonder how I would breathe if it happened?! It isn't that I worry about what would we do, where would we go etc... I know we have plenty of family and friends that would help, encourage, etc... I mostly play out the motions of pulling my life back together and knowing where to go and what to do. Morbid, yes... necessary yes. Many years ago I began to play out things in my head and what I would do if any of these things happen. I have put into action several of these plans. Before I was married my dad was to have surgery on his neck... at around 4 in the morning on the morning of the surgery my phone rang... mom said in a very shaky voice, it's ok but... it's funny but that is exactly what my dad always says when something has happened to him but he is ok and calls to tell me about it. He had an allergic reaction to a pre-op antibiotic and had been put into ICU and was on a respirator blah blah blah. That was what I heard. I was already out of bed putting my towel in the bathroom and looking for my suitcase. I knew what clothes I would pack and even what black dress I would wear if the end result was death. I even knew how much money I had on my credit card so that I could get a plane ticket and fly home. I have always been a daddy's girl and the thought of losing him - well, I try not to go there in my head very often. He was ok. My brother Chris and I got our lesson plans done, packed, purchased tickets and rental car and were walking into the hospital by noon that day. (I will never forget the look on my mom's face when she saw us coming across the waiting room- she had told us not to come that everything would be ok- yeah right- try to hold us back mom-not) Anyway, my mind has flashed back to that moment several times this week as I have received news of several who have lost sisters, wives, mothers, daughters, fathers, husbands, children, aunts... an endless stream of death this week. The celebration is Heaven must be amazing this week! I imagine what it must be like to kneel at the feet of God and ask if it would be ok if I put my head in His lap so that he could touch my head and I know that all is as it should be- no tears in Heaven? Maybe streaming tears of Joy!!! So what happens here though- Jeff is leaving and will be gone for a week as of today... what happens to the mess in the house if the unthinkable happens. Or if something should happen to me and someone comes into this mess of a house- judgement? I hope not- I hope the fact that my house is dirty and my clean clothes are in piles and there are toys and dishes all over the place will be met with- wow she really didn't care about the day to day stuff save the squeezing of the children and the feeding of the bellies and the loving of her God! Would I effect over 9,000 + on my caring bridge pages like Mrs Jenny that we have been praying for? Again not looking for schmoozing words, just thinking out loud. I can tell you that if either of my parents were to lose their lives today, I don't know that we could get in touch with the number of people who might like to spend a few moments honoring their memory- the same goes for siblings! I am without a doubt incredibly blessed! I can't help but think though about what my grandmother kept saying just over a year ago when we were asked to come home because her end was near... when she woke up when I was sitting with her in the ICU she said, "I'm not finished". I laughed, smoothed her hair back and through my tears as I kissed her forehead said, "are you kidding, you have done plenty... Grandaddy is waiting" She said she knew he was but he could wait a little longer- she hadn't finished writing with the man in Co that was of a different faith (she said it but it isn't important here) and wanted to know more about her faith. She said she hadn't converted him yet. With a blood pressure that most don''t pull through and kidneys looking as if they were shutting down - she was worried about someone else's soul. She did live for several months longer- little stinker- what an amazing woman! I woke this morning at 4 thinking the same thing... I'm not done... there is someone in the hospital I haven't gone to see - to minister to. There is a weary soul in need of encouragement, there are so many things that I need to do... I want to make the most of my time here so that when that time comes - I can close my eyes and know that I used my time for good- that I used my time for God! Celebrate the lives of those who have walked into the presence of God Almighty this week and make it count as a reminder of carrying on His love today and every day we are still here waiting! God Bless you today!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What is not being said...

As Dr. Phil says... "I spend a lot of time hearing what people say but more importantly hearing what they don't say means even more." I do that to... If you were to look at my Myers Briggs results you would see that I am an ESFJ which means I am extroverted, sensing, feeling, and judging. Basically, I use my inner voice to interpret what is going on around me and I am extroverted in a crowd. I need people to help me feel more alive and it doesn't matter if they are friends or family or whatever I just need people. Church is a great place for extroverts if you have the time to visit and talk... but that is not always the case when you have 4 depending on you to get them out of class, when those 4 have the patience of a gnat (so they don't stand patiently while you get to know someone better or just laugh and talk with them a bit), when there are Bible Class teachers are depending on you to pick up your 4 so that they can pick up theirs, or when you are married to an introvert that would rather just move on to the next phase of the day. I recently had a conversation with someone about how hard Jeff works and how blessed we are that he does. Because of his hard work, our family was very blessed to receive a large monetary bonus that was awarded to all who were eligible. Jeff was without a doubt eligible and I really thank him for it. That having been said I was then reminded by someone later that it is a dog eat dog world out there and he does work hard! Within the confines of the conversation I felt as if I was being challenged to do more as a wife and mother to "be" there for this hard working man. So how do you do that... at the end of the day, where do you muster the strength to be wife, mother of 4, maid, cook etc... How do you keep the peace, keep the house, and have enough energy to "keep him happy"? (Settle down, I am not looking for advice in "that" area) I am just thinking out loud here. But, when the soul, spirit, and body are physically and mentally exhausted where do you turn for more. When you feel you don't have any what do you do? Where do you go? I have found myself sitting in the car in my driveway many a night or sometimes in the middle of the afternoon when all 4 are sleeping/eating snack and chilling, and I sit in there and bathe myself in music. Not just any music but Christian music... I have an awesome sub woofer in my van (some dad before me insisted on that being the coolness that it took for him to drive it I'm sure). I listen to songs that will wash over my soul and remind me that Our God is the only source of strength. Yet, I still find myself weary in a really rough time of our lives. Yes, I know this too shall pass and out of it will come the strength of amazing growth in my relationship with God and the knowledge that He will allow me to glean from this refining time in life. Until then I cling to the cross. Nothing that anyone can say... or not say in many cases can separate me from the love of God and that is the only thing that matters! Thank you for tuning into this online pep talk- if you find yourself weary and hurting the only place to be is at the foot of the cross! God Bless you and your day!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Go Baby Go

Go Baby Go is where I have gotten all of my cloth diapers- I even won a gift basket from them once that included some great diaper rash stuff and some soapy foamy stuff for cleaning tiny hieneys. Wanted to give them a shout out during their share the love of cloth diapering time. They have consultants here in SA as well as others across the US and also have a set up in Cradle Catoire (spelling) in Artisan's Alley. If you are interested in more info let me know and I will give you the name of my rep. They also sell other products as well including wraps and slings : )

Monday, February 1, 2010

What's on my mind

I have logged on several times to update my blog over the last few days, but the words don't come to me. I have so many things in my head that I don't know where to start. I am in a fight my dear friends. I am in a fight with Satan. I have never really thought of how he really does march around earth looking for those he can devour but he does. He is trying to devour my marriage, my children (via parenting skills etc...) and he is working hard on us. But I have decided this time no matter how hard he tries, I will not let him in. Yesterday for example- Jeff took Mason yesterday morning as he has the last 3 weeks to spend some bonding time with him. The two of them have struggled with "understanding" each other for the last 6 mos or so. Not hard to understand why- they are cut from very similar molds ; ) Anyway, I took the other 3 to church where I dropped them off into their classes, taught the cradle roll (we had 11 babies), went to second service where I was the interpreter for the lesson, picked everyone up (thanks to my friend Dena for bringing the younger two halfway and then helping me to my car), took them to lunch, (we did the Jason's D*eli Sunday lunch dance- lots of people and my 3 were not overly well behaved although not too bad), and got ready to come home for naps when I remembered that I had not gotten all the stuff that I needed for the guacamole that I had volunteered to take to small group at 5:30. It was naptime, I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was come home and get in out of the cold and under the covers and snuggle with the kids who wanted to nap. My mind began to run through a list of excuses that I could use when I called to excuse myself from small group. After all Jeff had to go to work and I really needed to hurry and get home so he could leave. That would leave me with all 4 to take by myself to small group and I was feeling weary as each thought ran through my head. Oh the power of Satan on weary mommies! I have been working soo hard on bathing myself in the love and wonder of Jesus Christ and our Father. I am really trying to draw closer to Him and delve deep into an intimate relationship to the One who gives me strength. I told the 3 that were in the car with me that Mommy was going to listen to some of her songs... in order to do that at this time of the day... I turned on a movie for them- and put the speakers up front only. I picked up the first CD that was within reach and out of the many, many CD's to pick up I picked up Natalie Grant's Relentless. Oh the power of God over Satan- I said out loud, "not today, you will not get me today" - on the way to the grocery store I listened to "Make a Way" - God will make a way for me today- I drank the words in like a weary nomad in the desert. It worked! I went to the grocery store, praying for peace with the children and got what I needed without a hitch. As a matter of fact I stepped into the line and within two minutes of waiting a new line opened up right beside me and they asked me to go ahead and move over to check out. I whispered a loud "thank you God" ! We came home, changed diapers, put children down for nap and rest time. Warm, full of food, happy! I had set the alarm to go off in time for us to get ready, make the guacamole and get to small group on time. Satan starts working on me again. I had read the clock incorrectly- or messed it up while setting the alarm or something, Instead of 4:25 it was 5:25 when I came down to put the guac together. For a split second my mind said, "well forget it". Then I thought, no way I am not going to let you win- you have been working on me all day and you will not win! I love the conversations that go on in my head- I was of course speaking to Satan. So, I put all the stuff in a bag, got all the kids pulled together and got everyone in the car... called the place we were headed to and said we were on our way but running late. 4 kids-check, clothes and shoes-check, seatbelts-check (by the way I am performing this mental checklist as I am driving down the road to our destination) stuff for guac- check, gas- oye light on, not a problem there is a little place up the road and I will just put a little in, short stop no big deal, oh bank card- on the dresser- no room left on credit card (maybe a little) too bad Satan - can't win that one either- I had enough for $2 which was all I needed. I went to small group- was blessed by the fellowship and got home to Jeff safe and sound! I know this is a long post and I really appreciate that you guys are still with me. I just need to let others know that they are not alone in their struggle with the day to day pressures that weigh each of us down and allow Satan to get a foothold. I want each of you to know that I am praying for you as a mother/women that we will use our broken moments to gain a more intimate relationship with God who is the perfect provider of strength! May each of you be blessed as you walk through your day! As Natalie Grant sings "sometimes the sun stays hidden for years and the rain falls for days- but our hope endures- let the earth quake- our hope is unchanged!!!- Love to all of you-

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Man, he is strong

I really hate it when I am in the midst of feeling like God is totally in control of my life and I find myself in a place of peace and gratitude with a heart filled with love for God Almighty and satan finds a way to hit me right where he knows it hurts the most! For all of you who know this feeling, maybe you've been there or maybe you are there now, I lift you up in prayer as I lift up myself and my family! I will not let him in! I will not let him in! God is soo much stronger than anything we are facing and it is through His strength that we will win the battles we are facing!!!! Pull out you sword of truth my friends and pray for us as we are praying for you! The evil one is strong but not strong enough!

Friday, January 22, 2010

thoughts for today

I have had many thoughts clogging up my brain lately-

My friend Mr. Mundy often posts the birthdays of the undead and the dead as his fb status and the other day it was Bobby Goldsboro's birthday - it reminded me of the amount of music that we listened to growing up together as a family. Mom made sure that there was music going most of the time in the house and she really taught us how to appreciate different genres of music as well as how to listen to them. She taught us to feel how the music made us feel. She taught us how to listen to the different beats and the tempo etc... She also taught us that listening to the words is a very important part of music appreciation. I try to teach my kids that as well. A song may be good because of a certain beat or something but the words can make or break it. I still love the song that goes something like "you.... you got what I need.... but you say he's just a friend.... yes you say he's just a friend" LOL- I know the guy didn't sing it so well, but the beat was good and I liked the repetition. We listened to different artists that I bet most of you didn't (The Seekers. The Stylistics, Bobby Bear, Glen Campbell {ok most of you have heard of him and John Dener}) But it just reminded me how much music is a part of my soul.

Other thoughts:

Money and the lack there of for us these days- since I stopped working money has been tight to say the least but we have yet to miss a house, car, utilities, credit card, whatever payment- we are really blessed! That having been said it has really bugged me lately the importance that some put on haves and have nots- I feel like I might be becoming (I know the english teachers just cringed) a reverse snob. In other words I feel like I might be starting to harbor feelings that are less than positive towards those who have money and their attitudes reflect it. I'm not talking the rich per say because we are considered rich- I am talking those who must "keep up with the Joneses" weather it is the house, the cars, the way our houses are decorated on the inside, the clothes we wear or what we dress our kids in whatever. I have just seen an increase in the albeit desire for perfection and I feel like that desire affects our ability to truly portray Christ. I don't think that Jesus would have cared what type of car we drove- I think he would have been more concerned with who we did or did not speak to at Church and during our day. I don't think he would have cared what we wear to Church and would care more if we were teaching our children to be friends with everyone not just the children that everyone else seems to be friends with while others stand in the corner alone and wondering why. I don't think he would care that there are clothes and toys scattered around our homes with their semi decorated walls or for some of us our perfectly decorated homes with perfect colored walls and toys put away etc... I think He is more concerned with who we invited in to visit with because they seem stressed out or lonely or just outright sad. I think it is possible to have everything and yet still reflect Christ but I have been the recipient of the former and not the later- I have watched a young girl at Church struggle to fit in just because she doesn't look the same. How is that possible after all the examples we are given about how to treat others and act in a way that includes all. It is time to examine ourselves and ask if we are becoming the snobs of the Church and neighborhood or are we walking the way Jesus would walk?

And last but not least...
Haiti- heart wrenching to say the least- I have to say I was intensely disturbed by Sunday night's announcement at Church- yes, we are going to collect money to help with relief but because of the number of Church's of Christ in that country we want to make sure it gets into the right hands ( now maybe I misunderstood - did that mean they didn't want it to fall into the wrong hands (twisted government and what not) or was that we want to make sure it goes into the hands of just the members of the Church of Christ). If it is the later- why do we still have that attitude? Really? Isn't the whole country hurting- and what about WWJD did he or did he not eat with even the tax collectors? I know of a Church whose contribution is going specifically for the children who are without parents- I also know of one whose contribution is going to help with water purification systems. Help that will effect many and not just "said believers" I hope I just misunderstood- I really hope I did-

I know this sounded very soap boxie but these are the thoughts- as always comments are welcome- may your day be blessed with great things!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

thoughts for today

First let me say how much I appreciate the comments left on the last post-Jill, apparently God found his way around birth control several times for us - so I know He can do things like that : ) I got a call on Friday to fill in and keep sweet Samantha on Monday to help out a friend whose normal caregiver was unavailable as was her backup. Then, I got a call from a friend who has a friend who is going back to work this month after being on maternity leave and has a 2 and 1/2 month old - they asked if they could pass along my number and info in case they hadn't found care for their little one. I love how God opens doors and creates amazing possibilities. I don't know if it will happen but the prospect reminds me that God has always been faithful in honoring my requests! That having been said... What is on my mind for today?

Single parents and military families...

Jeff has been working very early mornings into late nights- it seems the longer he has this job the longer the hours- I'm not complaining- it is a fantastic place for him to be and has had tremendous growth opportunities with lots of bonus' and raises in order that we can raise our family. I love him for his work ethic and that he cares about his job and wants to do his best! Tax time has always been a busy time for him, but now this last year they asked all the managers to get their CFP. I remember a friend of mine when I was single getting paid from the company that he went to work for right out of college who got paid to just study for like 6-8 months just to prepare for the CFP. Wow, wouldn't that be nice! So now not only is he working the late hours but he is taking the little tests that are required in order for him to take the big one in March. I guess you could say he is burning the candle at both ends with the stuff at work (ie tax time and lots of questions from his team members and from USAA members) as well as preparing for the test. He is at his desk 7 days a week because he can't study at home. The kids miss him and I miss him. I had about 3 min of quiet time this morning to reflect on how my sister (who raised her children alone) and other single parents that I know as well as mom's and dad's who have spouses that are deployed. I spent the time praying for their mental tenacity. It is hard to be with your children 24/7 with no break. I don't count sleep as a break- because mom sleep is different than sleep that comes when you know that your children are being cared for and you don't have to get up if you hear them, see them, know that they are counting on you to meet their needs in the middle of the night. Side note... people ask how I can sleep in a pink tent on the ground after covering 20+ miles a day at the three day... no children- ask my tentmate- I never even hear her getting up or down/ in or out of the tent at night- I am better rested in the morning the first and second mornings than ever- don't get me wrong the 60 miles of the Breast Cancer 3Day catch up but I'll go back to my thoughts for today.
As I was saying to those single parents and those military families- I salute you for being in the lives of your children 24/7 without a break. I think that is what I am struggling with the most during this time where Jeff is working so much. It isn't just the basic care it is the all encompassing day to day everything. From paying bills to doing the laundry, cooking, cleaning, care for the kids as well as the house and helping with the school work- I try to keep it together so that the time that Jeff is home he can spend time with the kids when he is home without having to "worry" about any of it. I want him to be able to connect with the kids as much as possible since they are not seeing much of him either. As I often say... if I can get it out of my brain I can move on to other things- so that is what I am doing this morning... getting the noise of being a "single mom" and "thinking of others in a situation that is even harder than mine" out of my head. I hope you will join me in praying for those who are struggling. My friend Bryan Hall used to always play a song for me when Jeff and I would go over to the Hall house (before children) it is by Accapella... "now to Him who is able to do immesureably more than all we ask or imagine ... " if you get the chance to listen to that song somehow today- may it wash over your soul and give you strength to carry your load for today!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I know I am crazy

So... if you know me you know that I love love love babies! I grew up wanting to be a "nurse in the nursery of a hospital) - that is what I used to tell people when I was little and they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I dreamed of the day when I would be married and have babies of my own. I think from the time I was 7 or 8 I would sit and hold babies (little ones) when visitors came to our house for Bible studies in Africa (my parents were missionaries). I can remember asking to hold every baby at Church (Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night) and mom's would let me. I loved being able to be around my nieces and nephews when they were babies (and I still love them now)- I can't tell you how many times I have had the distinct honor of being in a hospital room with a woman who is giving birth. It stirs my soul and I am thankful for each baby that I have seen come into the world and for each family that has allowed me to share in the experience with them. I have 4 amazing children of my own and goodness gracious I remember what it felt like to have their sweet little newborn faces right next to mine as they were handed to me for the first time! I love that first kiss on their faces in that space right below their nose and above their upper lip. My pregnancies were difficult- I threw up A LOT! I don't mean just a bit but every day for weeks and instead of getting better each pregnancy got worse- I threw up through week 31 with Zoe- and yet I loved being pregnant! I loved feeling my children move and kick inside- I loved that God used me as a tool to grow His creations. I was very sad to have not carried all of them to full term- Cooper was my only full term baby- the rest had to stay in the NICU after birth and it was heart-wrenching to say the least to leave them at the hospital knowing that I was not going to be with them after I had carried them. So at 40 years old why in the world am I going through "baby ache" again. They say you will know when you are done having children- I am not so sure that is true. I have found myself feeling that old familiar feeling again. That- awww my little one is almost 2 and my arms and heart are lonely for another little one- what is that? Why in the world does that feeling not go away? My head says, "are you nuts?" but my heart says, "awww where is the next one that I am supposed to care for?" And hello 40- Jeff is 42- enough already-so my question is - does that feeling ever really go away or is it something that women just decide to ignore and go on- obviously the Dugg*r family hasn't ignored it and there are others who have more than 4 who haven't- in fact I have noticed that there was a time period where 2 was sufficient and it seems like now we are in a time period where more 3 or more is the preference. Financially, it is a no brainer- done - with regards to time spent with each individual child it is a no brainer- done- with Jeff it is a no brainer- done, but why is it so difficult to convince my heart? When there are so many out there who haven't had children why would my heart even think of going there again? My cousin and her husband have been trying for several years without success to have children of their own- I know there are others- so what drives that passion within us? How do we settle that ache? These are just some thoughts that have been running through my head lately and because I use my blog like an online journal in case there are others out there that feel they are alone... I just thought I would write it all down. For those of you who are concerned... don't be I am not going to have another one unless God chooses to take that opportunity with us again- we are doing what is necessary to make sure that doesn't happen if under our control. Until then- If you see a baby in my arms- know that it is my way of filling my arms and heart when they ache for the feel of a little one. I think I have a lot to offer to the mommies and the babies of the world - I hope God will lead me to the right places this year.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Catch up

Ok so I know that you have been waiting.. so here is the synopsis of Christmas and New Year...

I drove with the 4 kids to Nashville and it wasn't too bad actually- the first day it did take 7 hours to get to the other side of Dallas- but then they settled and I was able to get to New Boston - we slept in a fancy hotel (according to Cooper) and then started out the next day bright and early at around 10:30- Mason was a huge help on the trip and the second day went much better- We were able to make it into Nashville around 9:30- I spent the week helping mom and dad get stuff sorted and put away where they had "inherited" stuff from both Grandmother and Granny. My brother and his wife and their two kids came in and so did my sister and her 3 kids and my younger brother made it in for about 24 hours maybe a little more- so all of us got to see each other even if for only a short time. We enjoyed some great food and some good laughter. Not that it was all smooth- There were some "family" moments but overall it was good to be together. I was able to see my high school friends that get together each month and have dinner and that brought with it some fun memories and more great laughter! By New Year's Eve, everyone had gone with the exception of Jeff, me and our kids- we went bowling with Dad (the church they attend had rented out the bowling alley) and we had a great time watching the kids bowl and watching my dad "work" the crowd- I get my social butterflyness (I know not really a word) from him. We left New Years day and made it home on Saturday night before midnight. We spent Sunday pulling our brains back together for the beginning of school and work. All in all a successful holiday! Santa was very generous and the kids have enjoyed playing with their Wii- thank you mom and dad. As I look back over 2009 I can't help but be mindful of how God has blessed us over the last year (that post to come later) - I know everyone says that but considering how we started 2009 and how it ended- I am so very thankful for God and how he works in our lives! I hope to be able to post pictures soon but I took a bunch of old disposable cameras with me to use up and currently they are waiting on me to take them to be developed. May God bless each of you in 2010.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'l be back

I know it has been a while- Christmas and all and I do have a lot running through my thoughts- fun of Christmas- changing dynamics in my "Norwood" family- what is going on with the kids- new year thoughts- resolutions and al- but I can't get it all straight in my head with out it being an insanely long post- I guess you could say I need to decompress from the last few weeks before I can wrap my brain around all the noise- I will be back with a few posts when I calm the noise- I can tell you that even with all the sodas and other junk food from travel and 2 weeks at my parents I have lost 11 pounds- you really can't tell unless you know my double chin and the lack thereof of the second one or unless you are one of my unmentionables- fitting better and might need to purchase a few things soon : ) That is just fine by me! For now it is back to water, and making better choices for food consumption. For all of you who chose weight loss or body fitness as a resolution - good luck- I wish you all the best! Until next time... keep up the good work!