Friday, December 14, 2007

Keepers of the home...

This week I came across a blog of someone I have never even met. She is a Christian, she is a mother (I think to 7 children), a homeschooler, and a pastors wife. I was so intrigued by her latest blog. It talks of doing what God made you to do: love your husband and kids, serve God, and be a keeper of the home. It reminded me of my father's most recent message this past sunday. He talked of expectations. Mostly those that we allow others to hold us to, or those we put on ourselves. The woman's blog said that our first priority should be to God and our family. If our house is in constant chaos, there is never anything to eat, no clothes to wear because they are all dirty, then perhaps we are overcommitted and need to reevaluate. Now perhaps you don't agree with her philosophy. I suppose it would depend on what you feel called to do. As someone who feels called to be a stay at home mom, I agree with her remarks for myself. I felt rather convicted by the sad state of affairs here at home. Yes, my situation is a bit different. Part of my job is to also watch 2 other children in my home. I'm also pregnant, which definitely has an effect on my energy level. I also try to make extra money for my family this time of year by selling jams at shows. This year was my most successful yet, and our reward will be next month when we go furniture shopping for new living room furniture. However, in the midst of all this, my house and patience has taken a backseat. I was short on sleep and long on stress, so I snapped more easily at the kids. My floors had berry juice stains on it, and my kitchen table was always covered in jam jars, thawing fruit, etc. Meals were put together in a hurry and laundry began to look like Mt. Everest. I'm so grateful to be back into a more normal swing of things now that my last sale is over with. Its still a little busy with the Christmas season, trying to get Christmas card pictures taken, shopping, Christmas parties, packing for a 10 day trip away, etc. Is there ever not a busy time in life? In the midst of all of this I'm making a true effort to be the wife and mom that God wants me to be,and to put my family first. I'm trying to remember what this season is all about. I'm figuring out that certain things have to be dropped because surprise, surprise...I'm not superwoman! I'm all too aware of my limitations. I want to "be all things to all people"...basically, the perfect wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend. I know that I should strive to be the best I can be, but realize that perfection will never happen. I doubt anyone will be seriously let down by me, but in my head I hear "this isn't how the perfect "so and so" would do things. Yes, my house would look like Martha Stewart lived here, and my patience would never run short, even in the midst of tantrums and whining. I would actually find myself with extra time to myself and have everything done ahead of time, never rushing. However, I'm me. I fall short. Period. All I can do is ask for more strength and wisdom and learn from my mistakes. After all, laundry will always be there for me.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


They say that smells can trigger more memories and emotions than just about anything else. I believe that. Whenever I smell lasagna cooking, I think of my Nana. She was such a kind lady, and although she was not Italian, her second husband was. She honed her Italian cooking skills to the point that I always thought she was Italian during my growing up years. Her food was that good. That smell always floods me with happy memories.

This morning greeted me with not such happy thoughts. After taking a shower and getting dressed upstairs, I came down the stairs and was greeted by a terribly offensive smell. Before I was even down the flight of stairs, I said to Matt, "Ugh...that smell! Disgusting!!" He said, "What? I don't smell anything!" I said, "Are you kidding me?" He wasn't. Before going any further, I must admit to a strange trait I have. It might be a family thing, as my sister Missy also posesses this strange trait. Neither of my parents or other sibling do, though. You see, we have a very heightened sense of smell, along with a habit of having to smell everything. I will smell things and Matt will stand there clueless, like this AM. Well, after fully coming down the stairs, I rounded the table to find 2 piles of dog vomit on the tile floor. Further searching revealed an unbelievable mess in our living room. My dog had diahrrea in about 8 spots all over the hardwood floor, in addition to the vomit. The last week she has only been eating the cats food. I think she must not like the food I got her (although she has had it in the past). I tied a scarf around my nose to block the smell. For someone who already smells things that others do not, I'm also pregnant which seems to make my stomach very sensitive to those smells. My mouth was watering already, as if I might throw up myself. The scarf mostly helped. I didn't puke, but I coughed and gagged, and my eyes watered, and my nose clogged. After 30 minutes of cleaning up and bleaching the floors, I was finally done. I boiled water and added cinnamon and cloves, and it really helped with the smell. I hope I don't have to deal with that for a long time!!

I think I've passed this trait down to my kids. Noah more than Rylee. Last night we were at a church dinner and I asked him if he wanted chicken. He said, "Can I smell it first?" I added a little piece to his plate and lifted it to his nose, fully understanding him. He inhaled, but wasn't quite sure. He asked, "Can I smell it again?" I obliged, and he ended up eating some. My oldest sister was there and laughing her head off at the whole exchange. "Oh man, you passed it on to him?" She laughed. Yes, my son has inherited my weird trait. This is the reason he will not eat cheesy popcorn. It smells to him. I agree it stinks as well. I mean, have you ever truly smelled it? The white cheddar is the worst. I love the taste, but the smell is enough to gag me. I even remember my brother getting frustrated when I was a kid. We were eating dinner, and I didn't start eating until I had smelled my fork. Why, you ask. I don't know, I just do it. He said, "Would you quit smelling everything and just eat, for goodness sake!" So, if we are ever at a party, and you catch me sniffing something (the cup, my shirt, the silverware, etc.), just know its nothing personal and something that I just do. Don't ask me to explain it, because I cannot.

PS-So sorry if you are eating breakfast while reading this. It was not meant to make you gag as well!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Well, it seems as if that is all it has done the last 5 days. Although I absolutely love it, I must admit that now that my husbands job for the last 2 years has involved snow removal, I almost cringe knowing when snow is on the way because it means he will be away from us long hours. He put it over 17 hours of overtime this weekend between snow removal and a lengthy meeting. Monday AM he left for work as usual, and we did not see him until tuesday at 11:00 am. He was only able to get a few short hours of rest, and it made more sense for him to just sleep on the floor of the office in a sleeping bag rather than try to brave the terrible roads and come home. He was home for about 4 hours yesterday before heading back out. He's still out, and its 8:00 am on Wed. He was going to get about a 3 hour break, and once again, it just didn't make sense for him to travel over 20 minutes in 1 direction on little sleep, just to sleep here. I know he must be exhausted as well as his boss and coworkers. They should get a little break for the most part today. At most, it looks like we will get 1 or 2 inches, tops, today. I'm sure they are all breathing a sigh of relief knowing that. Our little area of the county got hit much worse than other parts. We got 8 to 10 inches of snow, although now it has settled and packed down a bit so it looks more like 6. My normal thoughts on snow are that if its going to be really cold, we may as well have snow on the ground. Now, I'm reconsidering that if it means not seeing Matt for long periods of time.

On a sad note, I found out that some aquaintances of ours from our former church, lost their first baby to a stillborn birth. The mom was 8 and a half or nine months along. I don't know a whole lot of details about what possibly went wrong, only that last tuesday they were not able to hear a heartbeat, and started induction. Wed. the baby was born dead. I cannot tell you how much it grieved me to hear such sad news. It was one of those sorrows that you literally feel in the pit of your stomach. It brought back memories of a close family member losing her baby to miscarriage at 5 months. That is how far along I am, it its so hard to think of that. I don't allow my mind to dwell on it because it would cause so much anxiety, which I know is not healthy for anyone. The only things I know are this: God promised to never give us more than we could handle. He also has numbered all of our days. For some of us, we will live to be old, while others are only given shorter times. I don't pretend to know why. Perhaps they only need a short time on earth to accomplish their purpose. It all comes down to when sin was introduced into our hearts thousands of years ago. It set a clock in motion that was never intended to be. We are created as everlasting beings. It was God's intention, I believe, that those "immortal" or "everlasting" lives were meant to be lived out on earth, but sin destroyed that. We are still "immortal" or "everlasting", its just that only a few of those years will be lived out here on earth. The remainder, well...its our choice. It makes me so glad to have peace that I will spend those years forever in heaven. I think of those parents who lost their baby. I hope they are able to see a long way down the road and remember that because they are God's children, and chosen a relationship with Him, that they will spend eternity with their son. He is not lost to them forever.

On a very happy note, our good friends, Claude (Mikey as he has always been known to Matt), and his wife Jewel received good news about their baby girl, Eden, who although she is officially adopted by them from Vietnam, was not granted a Visa like her sister was. Mikey and Jewel had to leave Vietnam with only Jordan, not Eden also, as was the plan. After a few months of writing senators, expensive lawyers, and many tears and prayers on their part, the official investigation into the facts surrounding Eden's abandonment have shown no corruption. Their lawyer is confident that not only will the baby be given her Visa, but that she will be home with her family in time for Christmas. If that isn't the best gift, I don't know what is! We are so excited to meet both of our God-daughters later this month when we go to Indiana for a Christmas visit. Their family will be visiting as well from California...what perfect timing.

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