Friday, June 27, 2008

Fear of...

What are you afraid of? Bees? Snakes? Heights? Confined spaces? Rejection? Disappointment? Failure?

My Manly Man (I just found out he doesn't like "hubby" or "big boy"...sorry babe, I love you!) and I have both been dealing with a sense of failure in the recent past, for a lot of different reasons. I feel like I let him down when the house isn't clean or laundry isn't done, or I don't cook a good enough dinner (or dinner at all for that matter). Now, Manly Man never complains! I am truly blessed with a wonderful husband who doesn't get upset over the aforementioned things. I feel like I let my boys down when I don't play with them. I love my boys and wouldn't trade them for anything (most days...some days I would trade them for an hour of quiet and a skinny iced mocha), but I don't "play" well with them. I just don't love race cars or trains the way they do. Or guns. I feel like I let my friends down for not keeping in better touch. I feel like I let the Lord down for not sitting at His feet more consistently.

I also feel, recently, like I am gun shy to commit to anything. Why you might ask? Because I am afraid that I will fail at it. Am I alone in this? I so desperately want to not ever feel this way again. I don't want to pass this on to my kids. I don't want to be afraid to try. I remember my dad would always tell me "Can't never could."

So, where is all of this coming from? What is the point that I am trying to make? Here goes...

Anyone else familiar with those "last ten pounds?" You know, the ones that won't go away after baby. Maybe they all went away after baby one. Maybe not. Mine did, when I got pregnant with baby two and started back to work. Baby two's last ten, nope. They won't leave.

My story is one that is really hard to explain. Most people don't understand it. Most people just don't get it or just don't believe me. I will simplify it to this...I want to be healthy for the Lord. If those last ten pounds never leave my body, then so be it. I just want to be healthy! My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I want to honor God with my body, just as the Bible exhorts me to. I want to have a healthy relationship with food. It isn't healthy now. (I won't go into detail here.) I want to "eat to live." I don't. I think this is hard for a majority of be happy with themselves. I think a lot of stay at home moms have "issues" with food. I didn't have any problems until I became a stay at home mom and did ALL the shopping and had "tons" of time on my hands.

When Manly Man and I got married, I gained the "marriage weight," kind of like the Freshman Fifteen! Remember that? I lost it through Weight Watchers. It is a wonderful program, because it allows you to eat whatever you want, in moderation. That is the problem...they stress the healthy part, but you don't have to do it to get the weight gone...just lower your calories (watching your points). Because I truly long to be healthy, I have had a hard time going back to the program. I find myself just eating junk, and then falling off the "wagon", and not wanting to get back on. "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels"? Have you not ever eaten!

I am scared to to accountable for the needed weight loss. I am scared to fess up to what I eat. I am scared to be honest for people. I am afraid they won't like me or will will not want to be my friend. It is that failure thing.

So, I am venturing out, because I don't know what else to do. I am asking you who read this blog to please leave a comment if you have any encouragement or want to offer some sort of advice, without being critical. I want to do it the "right" way. The healthy way.

The Ten Dollar Challenge, Installment 1

My boys' cars and trucks were overflowing the blue bin and either we fit in what we could and the rest stayed on the floor or we got them all in and then the bin didn't fit where it was supposed to. Enter the metal container. It was $14.99 at Michale's, but I had my nifty 40% off coupon! I also purchased a piece of felt to go in the bottom so it wouldn't be so loud when the boys put their toys away! So, I spent, including tax $10.38! I am excited and can't wait to get another one. I am trying to organize the toy mess so that homeschooling in the fall can be a bit easier!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cookin' It Up!

Update on the leg quarters...they were yummy! The boys weren't so excited about them, but Hubby liked them. He wanted me to turn the crock pot off a couple hours before I did, but I didn't want them to sit and grow germs so he has said that I can cook them again, but turn them off about 2 hours earlier. And, as I washed off his plate to put it into the dishwasher, I swear I saw a kidney slide off the plate!!!!

I am trying a new recipe for dessert tonight. I am a sucker for desserts and love having them. I feel like they make the meal complete. I am not sure where I get this from because we rarely had dessert growing up...I wonder why? Anyway, my friend Teesa over at The Klear Life posted a recipe for brownies made from scratch. I have always used the box kind...little work, good batter to lick, great brownies. I decided to give it a try. I used the Special Dark, no nuts, but added in milk chocolate and peanut butter swirled morsels. Not much better for a girl than chocolate and peanut butter! I also needed my loyal stoneware pan for the chicken I am cooking tonight (did I tell you my AC is had a leak!) so I cooked them in my cast iron skillet. Never done this before, but had heard of it and thought that I would give it a go. Well, they turned out delicious! I really love that recipe. The dark chocolate makes it not sooo sweet and the peanut butter was a nice touch. I had to bake them for 40 minutes in the skillet at 350. Thanks Teesa for sharing! Also, I brined my chicken for the first time and that definitely helped with the moisture issue!

Check them out...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Jonathan is playing kangaroo right now. This is new to me too. He is a 4 year old girl kangaroo who has an egg. The egg has hatched and the baby kangaroo has eaten the eggshell and she is now in Jonathan's pouch. They have matching hair with brown polka dots. The baby kangaroo's name is Tipty. He is hopping everywhere. This is too much for me. I love you so much Jonathan! You make me laugh...a lot! I wonder what his father will think? Well, baby...what is your opinion...leave me a comment since you rarely do!

The Beach

Last week my dear friend and I ventured out to the beach with all four of our boys, total, for the first time. I have been way to chicken to do this, but was desperate for something fun to do with them! I don't have many pictures, but they had a great time. I was even able to breathe for a few minutes. We learned that a falling tide is the best time because there tend to be tidal pools that are perfect for the boys to play in, and there are even minnows to chase! We enjoyed playing in the sand and building a sand castle. (Sorry to the boy who has MAJOR anger management problems for getting too close to your "thing" you were is a public beach!!!)

My friends' boys.


Jonathan getting some sun

Jakey...well, being Jakey

Monday, June 23, 2008

Chicken Kidneys!?@#*!

So, it has been really hot in our house lately. There is something wrong with our AC unit. We don't know what it is. But I think that our power bill is going to be about a bazillion dollars the time around.

What does that have to do with chicken kidneys? Is that what you are wondering right now? Me too. No, just kidding.

We, well, I have decided that this summer is the crock pot summer. Hubby doesn't like the crock pot a lot. He thinks that all food cooked in a crock pot tastes the same. That is probably because I use the same spices and seasonings every time I use it! Not every time, because I don't ever use it get the point. So, I am...nope, the crock pot is cooking BBQ leg quarters right now. They smell yummy! I am hoping they taste...different!

So, kidneys...right. I open that enormous bag of leg quarters...10 pounds!!! I put 6 leg quarters in the crock pot this morning. I am not a huge fan of raw meat. (Anyone up for some raw burger?) I just can't stop thinking about the germiness of it. So, I'm rinsing off the leg quarters and putting them in when I notice something red wash over my hand. Now, I have had to clean out the "bag o goodies" one time before from a chicken and I promise, I will never do it again! So, that red was the kidneys. GROSS!!

I made it through and decontaminated the entire kitchen. Gotta kill that salmonella!

Then, it dawns on me later....what if that was the heart?

Helping A Friend And A Very Cute Bag---FREE!!!

My friend and her husband have started a new business venture. To help bring "traffic" to their new website, she is hosting a free give away! All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. You can get two entries...just read the post and do what I did!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The $10 Challenge

In case you haven't figured out, I am not all that creative, very short on funds, and desperately wanting a "cute" house. The last might be too much to ask for considering I have 2 little boys (4 and 3) and one big boy (love you Hubby!). As I was making the guest bed today I was wondering if I could make some subtle and inexpensive changes to help on the "cute" level in our home. So, I made a decision.

I am issuing a challenge for myself and anyone else who wants to join in the fun!

The challenge is to spend no more than $10 a week and to make a creative/ inventive/ useful change to your home. Take a before and after picture and post in on your blog. I will be doing the same, so check back late next week. If you decide to take me up on it, leave a comment so I know to come and check it out! Why $10 you might ask? Well, I think I can manage to cut $20 out of my grocery budget every two weeks. I think. I hope. Maybe it will be cereal for 3 nights instead of 2 :) (Love you Hubby!)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We had a fun-filled weekend with some good friends from our old town. I have no pictures of them though :( Lee and Stacey, come back anytime! We had a blast!

On Sunday, after church and lunch we ALL came home and took a nap...our friends, BOTH of our boys, and Hubby and I! We were sooo surprised! And thankful!

That afternoon, after our friends left, we decided to see if the sprinkler system in the front yard still worked.

It does....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Beautiful Imperfection

The Nester is hosting a party celebrating beautiful imperfection. She says "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." So, here is my beautiful imperfection...

This is the "head board" for Jonathan's bed. It is two art canvases painted by my boys (I painted them blue to start with and they did the rest). They are just hung on the wall with picture hooks.

It might not be perfect, but it was done by my boys, and that is perfect enough for me.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


As I continue to contemplate my struggle with contentment, God is continuing to use my boys to help teach me. I really do love how being a parent has opened my eyes up to a glimpse of how God must feel when I do or say things that disappoint Him.

After Bible Study today at church, the boys asked for ice cream sandwiches. I told them no, they were only for dessert for church gatherings. Jonathan replies: "But, I haven't had one in a whole day." It has been much longer than that, Bud.

As Harris Teeter today, the boys wanted to ride in the car cart. You know, the really big, really obnoxious (is it just me?), really hard to steer one. They have only ridden in it one time, yesterday. I told them it was a treat and we weren't doing it again. So, of course, they asked to do it again. Luckily for me, there were not any available. Whew.

Then, we pass the cookies. You know, the free ones that are yummy! Mommy, I have been good, can I have a cookie?

Leaving Harris Teeter, they saw Chick Fila (which they had yesterday by the way). Mommy, I want Chick Fila. I tell them that we had it yesterday and they were are not eating it again today because we are trying to spend our money wisely. Again, "But I want a chicken sandwich."

I send a snicker up to the Lord. "I get it."

I am tempted to blame myself for their "wanting." Truth is, we are born sinful. The wanting...really wanting...that is sin.

I wonder though how much they hear me saying "I want." I am aware of how my words and actions are watched. And repeated. Just ask Jonathan to say "whatever." He has the attitude down pat, and almost the eye roll too, except that he knows he will get spanked for that part.
I thought about how sad it made me to hear my kids say "I want." Sometimes I am sad because I can't give them what they want because we don't have the money for it. Sometimes I am sad because they aren't happy with what they have. It made me aware, even if just barely, of how the Lord must feel when I start in on the wanting.

I can imagine that He looks down at me and shakes His head in disappointment. "Nan, when are you going to be happy, not just OK, but really happy and joyful, with what I have blessed you with? When? I have given you everything you could ever need. And then some. I gave up my Son for you. My only Son. I want you to learn to be content with Him, Nan. He is all that you need. He can make you happy. He can make you joyful. He shall supply all your needs."

Thank you again Lord, for using my boys to open my eyes, even if only for tiny glimpse at how You must feel.

Lord, help me to be content. Help me to be joyful!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Broken Pot

They broke my pot. My pot! THEY broke MY POT!!! MY BOYS broke MY POT!!!! Not just any pot. This pot...

The pot that Jacob made for me at school from Mother's Day. The first Mother's Day gift that he has ever made for me. The one with his finger prints for flowers, leaves, butterflies and caterpillars. Yep. They broke my pot. I am not exactly sure what happened, but they were both there when it happened. I was upset. No. I was mad. No. Livid. Yes, I think that describes how I felt. I almost lost it. I told that kids that I had to go take a break because if I didn't, I was going to spank them, hard and bad. I know, not the best route. That is why I took a break. As I walked away, I started to cry. I was really upset that it was broken. Then the boys started to cry. They both have such tender hearts, that when I cry, they cry because they are concerned about me. Sweet. Breaking the pot, not so much.

So, I retreated to my bathroom and shut the door. My oldest wanted to come in and I told him not right now. (Turns out he went to his bathroom and told his brother the same thing. Is that good or bad??) I wept. I just sat there and cried. I kept asking the Lord why I was so upset about a pot. I mean, it isn't a very big pot, so it wouldn't hold very big plants, but I could start a tomato or something in it. It wasn't an "expensive pot." But, it was priceless. Why was I so upset though?

Prior to this happening, I had just been praying for contentment with our life right now. Lately, I have found myself wanting. Wanting stuff. Wanting to be able to do stuff. Wanting to be able to have stuff. Nothing major or even all that selfish. To be able to take the kids to a pool this summer. To have a membership to the aquarium so that we can go a lot this summer. A shelter tent so I can take the kids to the beach. Things like that. Again, not major or all that selfish. Money is very tight for us right now. It has been since we had our first child and I quit teaching to be home with him. My husband works very hard for our family and we are and will continue to trust in the Lord for his provision. Things are slowly starting to turn around for us. But not to the point that we have extra cash laying around. The mortgage business is having a little action for Hubby, but the money takes 30 to 60 days to come in. My lack of contentment and wanting to be able to have/do things with the boys doesn't help his self-confidence at all. He works a lot and hard for us. He is also a very hands-on dad. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. I am so thankful that the boys love him and that he adores spending his free time with them. I am truly blessed. There isn't much more that he could do.

So, there I am. Sitting in the bathroom, crying and crying out, trying to understand my ache.

I had just confessed my sin of coveting and sin of lack of contentment. I have a lot more time that I need to spend on my knees with regard to this, and a lot of time to be spent searching the Word to fill the holes that the lack of contentment has caused. But I am being broken. Broken like a pot.

I cried because that pot was precious to me. It might not matter to anyone else, but it was the best flower pot I had.

I think God used that pot to assure me of His love for me. He might have wept for me because I was broken. Wept because I am precious to Him. Wept because it hurts to watch the ones you love learn hard lessons. Wept because of the sin that I had let enter in my heart. Wept because I finally started to let go and allow the breaking to happen so that junk in my heart could get the heck out of it.

Thank you Lord for the beautiful picture that you allowed me to see. Thank you for the lesson. Thank you for your grace that sustains and the forgiveness that never ends. Your love endures!

Boys, thank you for helping me learn. Thank you for breaking my pot.

I love you boys.

I love you Lord.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Laundry Room "Mistreatments"

I got the laundry room mistreatments up today and thought that I would show them to you. They are two panels. Again, no j hooks or tie backs yet because this is about functionality!!! I wanted fun material in the laundry room, since I didn't feel like I could do it anywhere else because of other furniture/ patterns in the room. I will post the living room mistreatments later tonight or tomorrow.
By the way, we hit our fourth record high day in a row. Today was 101. That is just insane!!!

Summer Plans

So, summer is officially here in good ole' NC! It is sweltering. But have no fear North Carolinians, a cold front is on the way. The high tomorrow is ONLY to be about 94!!! I am doing my happy dance! NOT! Did I just say "NOT!"????

We are going to be homeschooling Jonathan this coming year and are trying to figure out what that will "look like" for us. We just aren't sure yet. Will Jacob go to preschool still or not? Which math curriculum will we use? Tons of decisions to be made. But, NOT today. More mistreatments to get finished, ice water to be drunk, playing cars with the boys to be done, and maybe some ice cream to be eaten!!! I am feeling cool already :)

OK, to the point. I am wanting to structure my summer some, so that we don't eat bon bons in our pjs all summer long. I am planning a trip to the aquarium, children's and train museums, maybe the zoo, and the beach some. Swim lessons are also in the works, as well as a music camp at my parent's church.

Any other ideas out there? Any suggestions? What are you summer plans shaping up to include? Any suggestions on how to let the kids play outside early in the morning when you really want to be at the gym...or is that just me?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Nester's Window Mistreatment

OK, if you haven't visited The Nester, you must do so immediately!

Now that that is taken care of, I can continue.

The heat has been unbearable here since we got back from Disney. Our poor little AC unit is running so hard, but it just can't cool our house that has NO SHADE!!! We have bought an extra fan and I decided that now was the time to try out The Nester's window mistreatments.

How did I do?

Now I know that the room desperately needs to be painted, and I am thinking about a tan/latte is our guest room/ office. Also, I will put in a tie back hook or something, but that isn't of the greatest concern right now since it hit 88 degrees in my house yesterday!!! Yep, 88. I know, jealous aren't you? So, it will look fancier later, but for now, it is all about functionality!

The Disney Trip, Part 1

Our Disney trip was WONDERFUL! I will give you a brief highlight of it all, mostly with pictures, in parts so not to feel so overwhelmed.

We headed out on Friday morning and drove to Savannah to spend the night. The boys loved watching movies on their DVD player. Hubby and I enjoyed the headphones that we got for them. We were actually able to have a conversation in the van! What a concept!

We were able to see my grandfather at supper time in Savannah, which was really nice. Hubby had a bit of a stomach bug (that I had a few days before we left) but it was gone by the time we left Saturday morning for Orlando.

We were able to watch the Discovery space shuttle launch from a beach south of Daytona on Saturday afternoon. We got some video of it, but no still photos. It was so cool! I think the two things that amazed me the most were the fact that we were able to see the two solid rocket boosters separate with our naked eyes and that the rumble from the launch was heard about the time we lost sight of the shuttle, about 2 minutes after it launched! Very cool!

On Sunday, we went to Epcot. This trip was with my family. My mom had only been to Epcot one time...never to the other Disney parks! My dad had only been to the Magic Kingdom and that was all! My boys had never been to any of it. We were in for a treat!

The boys were in awe! They had a blast! The first character they saw was Donald Duck. They saw him in Mexico in Epcot. They got his autograph and loved every minute of it.

We packed our lunches so that we could save a little bit of money. It really helped a lot!

The boys did a decent job of walking. There is so much to do and so much to see, but only so much that the legs of a 3 and a 4 year old could do!

Epcot isn't the most exciting park for kids to go to, but Jonathan did get to see the "Eiffel Tower." He has been so intrigued by it since he studied France in preschool last fall. His aunt and uncle just got back from Paris for their anniversary a few days before we left for Disney. Here is a picture of the real thing from their trip!

OK, more later!