Monday, April 30, 2007

What I Didn't Take Pictures Of

This weekend was a busy one, but I didn't take any pictures. Surprising, I know, since with the cool digital camera, I usually take about a hundred pictures of the boys watching TV, or the dogs playing, or some other routine thing like that.

But Friday I didn't take a picture of Josh going to his first dance. I figured it would be an uncool mommy thing to do, and I don't want to put any more strain on the mom/teenager relationship, so I didn't make a big deal of it, and I didn't take pictures. Plus he pretty much told me he didn't want me to. So I didn't. But now? I'm really wishing I had a pic or two. Even if he would have been scowling at me. He had a blast at the dance. I didn't get much out of him about who he danced with, but he liked the line dances and being with his friends. It is so funny . . . and weird . . . watching him begin to really act like a teenage boy. Why oh why do they have to grow up?

Saturday was our week-long awaited event. The boys counted their money all week and counted down the days until the annual Mission's Auction at our church. The auction pays for much of the summer short-term missions trips for the year, so it is an important event for our church. Everybody really gets into it, donating goods and services for others to bid on, and shopping at the silent auction and then again at the live one. The thrill of my heart this year was when my two little ones began looking around for things to donate to the auction. They they took their own money and bid and bought things. I'm sure AJ will eventually regret buying four necklaces (for himself, nonetheless!), and three pairs of earrings (two for me, one for a little girl he's friends with), but I let him spend his own money. He also bid on and won a soft Christmas throw pillow. Stephen bought one of Mrs. Vera Mae's coconut cream pies, and got in a bidding war with one of the older ladies over a cherry cheese cake. He won the bid on the pie, and the lady finally admitted to him that she really just wanted the plate the cheesecake was on, so she would give him the cheesecake if he would let her have the plate, and she'd pay for it. It was too good a deal for Stevie to pass up, and I think she got a good deal too since he revealed to her that he had over $40 with him (and I think he'd have gone all the way to that!).

So what did I do? Well I had way too much fun! I helped out a little with the sweet treats, and I bought a couch with a fold-out bed (hopefully to replace a well-worn loveseat in my living room). Hooray! No more arguing over who will have to sleep on the floor when the boys sleep downstairs! I sat with my small group at the live auction and we had agreed together to bid on some things (a hot dog dinner with the pastor--really fun when we did it last year, and an ice cream social put on by one of our church leader's groups) My best friend and I bought a quilt and pillow for our very generous friend who is expecting her fourth baby and second boy. I think just being together was a lot of fun. We giggled and laughed and bid on things, and I'm not so sure they will let us sit together next year. (Except the chairman of the missions board is in our small group, so we're probably safe!) And I didn't take pictures of all that fun . . . because sometimes . . . well, it's just more fun to be cameraless.

Of course the last thing I thought of doing was taking pictures of me at two, and three, and four o'clock in the morning working on a project and on my Sunday school lesson. Yes, I did way-over-committ myself this week. I was tired, so no. No pictures of that.

So you see, it was a very fun, eventful weekend. But I didn't take any pictures. So I guess you'll have to "see" with your imagination. Please imagine me 60 pounds lighter. Thanks.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Why I Can't Really Complain

Forty Reasons to Give Thanks for My 40th Birthday:

  1. My parents who were both believers and who really loved the Lord and lived it, and loved each other sacrificially.
  2. My mom who modeled the importance of being a wife and mother.
  3. I got to spend my dad’s last years really getting to know him and love him.
  4. I have three very healthy, fun, energetic children.
  5. Every now and then, God gives me glimpses of how He might further His kingdom through my children and through me.
  6. Every single day, God woos me to look at Him again, even if I’ve completely forgotten Him.
  7. Books.
  8. My car: even though it’s giving me fits right now, for now it’s paid for.
  9. Through means I don’t understand, my house is somehow also paid for.
  10. God has given me so many people to be my covenant family and to turn my eyes back to Him when I get down, even when I whine and complain about not feeling celebrated on my birthday. (Thanks Gara, Wanda, Eva, and Cheryl)
  11. I get to homeschool my kids, and I LOVE doing it! They are so much fun!
  12. I live in a free country where I have too much stuff, too much food, too much time on my hands, and things actually come pretty easily.
  13. God has actually met my hearts desire to have a huge family by letting me be part-time “mom” to a number of other kids (oh, and how I love them!).
  14. I am in a church which teaches, lives, and loves God’s inerrant, infallible Word!
  15. God isn’t done with me yet, and yet He lets me see how far He’s come with me.
  16. God continues to meet our physical needs, while giving me a simple life.
  17. I can walk, and talk, and sing, and work . . . all pretty much pain free.
  18. God has amazing, exciting, awesome things planned for my future.
  19. Even though I don’t have a husband with whom I can share intimately, God has given me the most amazing couple of best friends who let me be me, and still love me. (What a miracle!)
  20. Books.
  21. God knew I needed the insights of men from time to time, and has given me friend’s husbands and a very special good friend to give me male counsel.
  22. I have probably thirty copies of God’s Word in my personal possession.
  23. I don’t have to worry that at any minute someone might break in the door and take me or my children away without any explanation or justification to do so.
  24. I have indoor plumbing.
  25. I have two sweet dogs who let me love on them even when the kids won’t.
  26. So far, I haven’t been blown away by a hurricane.
  27. Did I mention books?
  28. The Internet.
  29. God has given me relationships with some amazing single women who confirm and encourage my calling to stay home and care for my home and family.
  30. The whole Watkins clan who still claim me as family (how I love you guys!).
  31. In spite of anything I go through, I still have heaven to look forward to.
  32. God has made me spiritually wise. This has NOTHING to do with me. It is ALL Him!!! But it is SO cool to see connections in scripture and know that for reasons beyond me He has chosen to show me things.
  33. Pastors Barry Leventhal, Jon Krug, Greg Holladay, Rod Whited, and Phil Smuland who have fed me meat from God’s Word since I was very little until now, without shame or compromise, and who have modeled servant’s hearts for me. You guys are one of the biggest reasons I love scripture so much. Thanks for never trying to dumb it down for me.
  34. More songs to sing than I will sing in a lifetime, and more to learn once I get to heaven.
  35. My camera and the opportunity to use photography to tell a story and to minister to people.
  36. A college education that might not be earning me big bucks right now, but which taught me to think and to write.
  37. Twelve years with a man who was a wonderful husband and father, and who taught me about serving and loving another person. I really miss him.
  38. An understanding of how dangerous and destructive sin is, and a deep desire to never get trapped in its grips.
  39. Grace, salvation, and righteousness which I never would have had if God hadn’t loved me so much that He sent His best gift, his son Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life and to pay my price in exchange for my sin. I still think I got the better end of the covenant deal.
  40. All of my books, and all those I will own in the future.

Now, I think I will head to to buy me a birthday present.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I Thought I Was OK with It . . .

. . . but now, I'm really not.

This week I turn 40. It was really no big deal as I saw it coming. In fact, I wanted to celebrate it . . . wanted to have a party to celebrate all the people God has given me in my life. But late March hit and I feel like the weeks are now crammed full of end-of-the-year activities and I can scarcely breathe. So no party. I'm not at all where I thought I'd be at this point in my life, and yet in some ways, I'm farther along than I dreamed.

It will probably be a quiet day. This is the time of year I really miss having close family nearby, and a husband who adores me. And I'm feeling again like I did last year: I want to pretend it's just another day . . . nothing special.

Or maybe this year I should wear black.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

How boys are like dogs.

  • When they're playing, it looks like they're fighting.
  • They'll eat almost anything, without questioning where it came from.
  • They need lots of space to run.
  • They tuck their tails when you fuss at them.
  • Every one of them has to be king of the hill.
  • They have to be taught that it's not funny to hurt when you're playing.
  • They love to lay on the couch.
  • They need frequent baths or they smell bad.
  • All it takes is one cute female . . . .
  • They love to chase a ball.
  • Their bark really is usually worse than their bite.
  • Even though they don't always mean to, they sometimes still bite.
  • They CAN be trained.
  • They make life more exciting.
  • They make life more fun.
  • They require a lot of work, but it's worth it.
  • They really can be your best friend.

Please don't be offended. I am the boy's number ONE fan!!! (I have three, and love 'em dearly!)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Why I Love PhotoShop

Because I can take this picture:

and make it this:

Cool, huh?

Hmmmm . . . now maybe I'll work on that shadow.

The Honeymoon Is SO Over!

The cute, sweet little puppy is now a demon! Well, not really. But he bites!!! He's only playing, but he bites hard . . . and it really hurts. And ankle biter? Well, that's really him! He chases me biting at my ankles!

And he barks at EVERYTHING now! His bark is kind of funny and usually makes me smile. He has the howly kind of bark, kind of like a wolf. Of course I laugh just before I tell him to hush.

Princess is finally getting used to him. They are actually playing together outside now, and kind of rough too. She play-growls at him the whole time, which is hilarious. Inside, she's OK most of the time, but he still gives her the evil-eye now and then, followed by growling and chasing her away. And she LETS HIM!!!

But the thing that's really driving me crazy is that he has laid claim to my bathroom. WHY??? He has pee'd in the hall to my bathroom twice!!! And I just found a towel on the floor in my bath that he marked too. So he's really not allowed upstairs now . . . and if the kids forget to close the gate . . . whoa be it! They're going to be cleaning up dog pee. 'Cause I'm sorry, he's cute and everything, but I'm just not doing it.

I know. Yeah right.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"That Little Fiend!" . . .

. . . is something I am starting to say regularly. Along with "What a rascal!" and "Quit biting me; I'm NOT a chew toy!" The puppy has settled in, and is beginning to believe it's for good. I can tell because his personality is starting to ooze out all over us. We love him to death, but he is a booger.

  • He plays really rough. He has been socialized by dogs, with all the biting and chasing that goes along with it, so he has been slow in learning that he can't attack us with his little teeth!
  • He has the German Shepherd terrified! She can be doing NOTHING and he suddenly goes off on her. I think he is part Dr. Jekyl, part Mr. Hyde.
  • I want to name him Stitch, because living with him is just like living with Lilo's Stitch.
  • The third day we had him, he discovered his voice. The dog that I never heard bark at the shelter, and who said nothing when we got him home, now barks at EVERYTHING. Think I should explain to him that I don't really need another barker?
  • He has also discovered he loves our stuff . . . and he chews on anything he can find, as of today. I think he knows he's home now.
  • I forsee a problem with the trash can. Only now I have so much stuff in the closet (where I kept it when Princess was a puppy) that I don't know how to secure our discards.
  • I'm seeing (again) my weakness: I am a push-over for a cute face. I told him no upstairs . . . yet I found him upstairs with us this afternoon. I told him to stay off my bed . . . yet he somehow ended up snuggling with me. I still haven't given in on letting him sit on the furniture though!

I must admit though, I am really enjoying him. And he has the sweetest face!!! (What a marketing spin!) I'm so glad I got him for AJ!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Evidence of God's Hand (and Sense of Humor)

* My car repair was only $100. No damage from the fire.
* Most of our school work done, in spite of a crazy week!
* The second car, the one I borrowed, also broke down, but it was at the church where the couple who loaned it to me both work, and Mr. B. was able to confirm that day that it didn't break because of anything I did!
* My car was ready by the time the second one broke down, and God even provided someone to get me to the shop to pick it up!
* No major problems in getting the puppy settled in here.
* My Sunday School lesson managed to get done (by 3:00am Sunday morning)
* I stayed awake in church today.
* My house was actually clean by the time my small group met here tonight.

So often we look for God in big things, and miss Him in the little things. I'm glad I had a week when I could see Him so many different ways.