Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hubby's Half-Birthday

Hubby's half-birthday is today. What is a half-birthday you may ask? Well, my darling hubby's birthday is December 30th, which is a tough birthday to have being just 5 days after Christmas and all. Sometime when we were just getting serious I realized that poor Hubby had always gotten gyped as far as birthdays go. Many birthday presents were wrapped in Christmas paper and he almost never got a day all to himself. So I decided that it would be best to celebrate his half-birthday as well. It still isn't as big of a deal as his real birthday is, but we do celebrate with a special dinner and desert and a small gift. I love that we can take this time to celebrate when we aren't just coming off of the Christmas rush. Tonight it was a little more difficult to set aside the time with him working and then softball game for the twins, but we were able to have a mini celebration to tell Hubby how happy we are to have him in our lives.

So Happy Half-Birthday, Sweetie! I love you!

Proverbs: 31 Chapters in 31 Days

Tomorrow is July 1st and I have committed to a new Bible study. There was a group created on facebook inviting people to read Proverbs this month. The idea is that there are 31 days in July and 31 chapters in Proverbs. We are reading a chapter a day to get through the entire book by the end of the month. If you are on facebook, I encourage you to look for Facebook the Proverbs: 31 Chapters in 31 Days: July 2010
and join us. You can post your comments and reflections on the discussion pages. If you aren't on facebook, join us in reading anyway. You can always comment on here and I am going to try to post some of what I'm getting from it on here as well. This is going to take discipline for me because I am going to be on vacation for a week this month and will have to be sure to make time in my schedule to do this.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Prayers in the Dentist Chair

This afternoon I had an appointment with my most favorite person in the entire world...NOT! I had to go back to the dentist. This is why I don't like going to the dentist in the first place. As soon as you let them get in there and look at your teeth, they always want you to come back so they can fix something. I had to have a filling and let me tell you I thought I was going to die just when he gave me the shots to numb everything up. Ouch! Then, as he started his drill he said, "Tell me if something bothers you." Before he even got the drill to my mouth I said, "It's bothering me." To which he replied, "Yeah, I figured." Well that was my attempt at humor with the dentist. My dentist is very dry so that was as good of a reaction as I could expect.

Anyway, I found a way to get semi-comfortable, OK well maybe comfortable isn't the word, but I can at least tolerate the sound of the drill. Today as I was laying back in the chair with my mouth opened much wider than it was ever meant to be, I prayed for those hands that were drilling my tooth. I prayed that the Lord would bless this man that works to keep my teeth healthy. I prayed for all of the people that work in that office and for their families. As I prayed, I realized that my focus wasn't on the uncomfortable situation I was in, but it was on God and how big He is. My mind was focused on others and their needs. Before I knew it, the drilling was done. My how things change when we stop worrying about ourselves and think of others. I have done this before when I was in the hospital and had to have unpleasant medical procedures and tests. I always pray for the doctors and nurses that I come into contact with, but today was the first time I thought about praying while at the dentist.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Family Ties

I'm so glad Prince and Princess are growing up close to their cousins.

I have had the good fortune of being born into a close-knit family. I grew up in a town with both sets of grandparents and I got to see my aunts, uncles, and cousins frequently. I took that for granted as I was growing up because it was just a normal part of my life.
When Hubby and I married 8 years ago, he was working 6 1/2 hours from my hometown and off I moved. I had never really been away before, except for the semester I tried college 2 hours away, which was not a good fit for me. So this was an adventure, being so far away from everyone I knew, but it was really good for me...for is. It was great that Hubby and I were beginning our new life together in a town that was all our own. We had wonderful times there, just the two of us, but once we had children, it was hard to think about them not growing up near their grandparents. It also became a necessity that I have help, given my health complications with Crohn's.
Thankfully, Hubby was able to find a job back home and we moved back closer to family. In fact, after being away for 6 years, while we were house hunting, I wanted something with a little bit of distance...close enough, but not too close. We must have looked at 30 houses, but THE house, the one that felt like home and was a price we could afford, was in the same neighborhood as the rest of the family. So we live one street over from my sister and two streets over from my parents and my grandmother. This is a good thing. You might think that having everyone so close would be claustrophobic. It really isn't. Mostly we are busy, doing our own thing and we are busy with school, work, dance lessons, softball games, etc. But it is surely convenient to be so close and it is fun. After church this afternoon we had a super fun cook-out/pool party....just because. I am so glad that my children will experience the love and support from a close-knit family. This is a good thing and a blessing from the Lord.

This is a picture of my parents with the Prince and the Princess

P.S. I realized while looking for pictures of us al together, that we have been slacking on taking group pictures! I couldn't find anything really recent.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chaotic Conversations and Messy Rooms

When I look at my life with these two precious children, I sometimes find it quite hilarious. This has been a funny and crazy week.

A few examples:
The other day my sister and I decided to go to Sam's Club together with our lovely children. Add to my twin 5 year olds, her 3 boys ages 5, 3, and 1. Good times. I had the Prince and middle nephew in my buggy and she took Princess, and her oldest and youngest in her buggy. The two in my buggy sounded like this, "Aunt Ro, know what Aunt Ro? I like to go to the Hampton Dinn. We used to stay there but we don't anymore. Do you like the Hampton Dinn? I wish we would go back there. Hey, look at that trampoline. I like trampolines. I wish I had that trampoline. See that beach umbrella? We don't have one. Miss B shared her umbrella when we go to the beach." Simultaneously, Prince was saying, "Don't run over that old lady with the buggy." I was trying to talk to Middle Nephew while hoping that the sweet white-headed lady in front of us did not hear Prince call her an old lady. As my buggy came up beside said lady she turned and said to Prince, "Do you think this old lady would let anyone run her over with a buggy? I wouldn't get run over." Me trying to cover, "Prince, I wouldn't run that nice lady over. Don't you worry."
We finally find my sister and are doing the last little bit of looking.
Sister: Is there anything else you need or are you ready to go?
Me: Um
Middle Nephew: Can we go home now Aunt Ro?
Me: Almost
Sister: What else do you need?
Me: Nothing else. I'm done.
Sister: But you said you were almost done. I thought you needed something else.
Me: What?
Sister: You said almost. What did you mean?
Me: I did? Why did I say almost? I'm done I don't need anything else.
Sister: I don't know, but you said almost.
Prince: Mom, can we get an icee now?
Me: Oh, I know why I said almost. I was saying it to Middle Nephew because he asked if we could go home now.
Princess: Icee? Can we get an icee now?
Oldest Nephew: Can I have one too?
Sister: Oh. OK, so should I get in line?
Me: Yes we'll get icees, yes get in line.
I couldn't help but laugh in my head as there was so much going on that it was utter chaos. Many years ago when my sister and I imagined our lives as mommies, I'm pretty sure we didn't know we wouldn't be able to have a cogent conversation.

Yesterday I was trying to clean house and I sent Princess and Prince to clean their rooms. Princess came out to announce that her room was clean in a short amount of time and I have to say that she did a great job. She is a good little cleaner upper. Prince on the other hand, sat in his room for a good part of the afternoon playing instead of cleaning. There are action figures of all different kinds on his floor...GI Joe, Planet Heroes, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, little green army men, name them, he's got them. It came time for softball practice so the room was going to have to happen at another time. I walked, I mean tripped across his room and said, "Prince, it is ridiculous how messy this room is." Without skipping a beat, Prince replies, "Ridonculous even, Mom." How could I not laugh? It's a good thing he's funny and cute. That has saved his hiney many a times. It's what keeps me from leaving him out on the side of the road on trash day. Kidding! Just kidding! Don't call Dept. of Children and Families on me. Besides, if I did leave him out on the road, I'm sure Grandma would drive by and pick him up. She's always saving my kids from being in trouble.

We are getting ready for our annual beach vacation. Although we aren't leaving just yet, I have been gathering things I know we'll need to take with us and trying to be sure we have what we need. Despite my saying that we aren't leaving just yet, Princess decided that she was going to pack herself this morning. She brought out a Minnie Mouse bag that was packed to the gills. This evening as I was looking in it, I found that she really has a better idea of what she will need than I do. The bag contained about 5 bathing suits, flip flops, her kid "i-pod," and a few other toys. What it did not include: real clothes, panties, toothbrush, hairbrush, etc. In her mind, she has all she will need.

Today Hubby and I took the kids to the movies to see Toy Story 3. And I cried. The kids loved it and I thought it was very well done. Just made me sad to think about my own kids growing up so quickly. These last almost 6 years have really flown by.

On another totally random note, does anyone have a recipe that would replicate Publix's Cranberry Walnut Bread? It sure looked yummy tonight but I didn't want to pay $4 for the loaf. I want to try to make some with my whole wheat flour.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Restored Relationships

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and early loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14

Something really great happened this week. Once upon a time a dear friend and I had a parting of ways. It wasn't as if there was this huge fight or anything, we just stopped communicating and then as the years went on, we lost track of each other. This has bothered me and I prayed for God to heal my hurting heart, but each time I thought of the broken friendship, those feelings of hurt and upset were still there. I think that when friendships are broken we mourn that. A few months ago, I came back into contact with this friend through email. We began to catch up on life and have a few exchanges about what we are currently doing, but the issues from before were not addressed. This week my friend and I were able to discuss the issues that had come between us and we forgave each other. What a freeing feeling! After all of those years of praying that God would restore this relationship or at least give me some closure, it finally happened. We both were able to see things from the other's perspective. We were able to see that we both had some growing up to do and that it took time for us to understand the other's point of view.

As I opened my Bible tonight, these were the verses that my eyes were fixed upon. It's amazing how God does that. He knows what we need, when we need it, whether it be affirmation that He is working things out according to His plan or words to convict us of wrongdoing. His Word is always true and always relevant to whatever is happening in our lives.

These are for you, friend...our favorite once upon a time snack, until we can share them together again.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Keys, Camps, and Other Happenings

It was the weekend I dreamed of....a trip to Key West with good friends. Hubby had never been before and it's been more than 20 years since I have been. Our friends, who have been to the Keys many times, showed us the ropes of where to eat, where to go, and how to have a great time in Key West. Although I missed my kids like crazy, I needed this time away and I did have a relaxing time and came back with my batteries recharged.
This was the view from our balcony at the hotel

And how could I not relax while sitting on a boat watching this beautiful sunset

While in the Keys I:

~tried new foods I have never had before such as raw oysters. I can't say that they are my favorite, but I have tried them and they were OK. The conch fritters were the bomb!

~went snorkeling over a coral reef, which was a neat thing to see the different fish. I must admit I was a little scared of the baracuda I saw.

~took Hubby to the Southernmost Point. I went many years ago but this was his first visit.

~visited Ernest Hemingway's house and took the tour. I don't know how people lived without air condition back then. I guess we are all just wimpy, spoiled people but it was HOT in that house.

~laughed A LOT. It's a great thing to be with friends you can laugh with and enjoy being around.

The food and drinks were yummy, the atmosphere was beautiful and the company was awesome. So thankful for adventures with friends.

Sorry this one's a little blurry. That drink must have been stronger than I thought! Just kidding ~ mostly. Actually, this was taken with my i-Phone and I must have moved while taking it.

The guys did a much better job taking our picture.

Random Quick Topic Change:
Last night as we were walking from the car to the baseball field, there was a lady standing on the sidewalk waiting for someone else who was a ways behind us. As we get close to her, Prince says, "Excuse me lady but you are gorgeous!" Thankfully I don't think she heard him and I tried to shoo him on as quickly as I could. What would posess him?! She was a nice looking lady, but he's 5! I wanted to crawl in a hole. That Prince is quite the charmer.

Princess is participating in Cheerleading Camp this week. She is so excited and has been cheering all over the house. I think she really likes being with the older cheerleaders. Fact: I know nothing about being a cheerleader. I was a band geek. Hubby calls me "Queen of the Band Geeks" since I was drum major. Those were good times.

Prince is attending what I call "Mommy Camp." Yesterday he wanted to know where the other Mommies and kids were. Apparently he thought there would be a group of people and he didn't understand that it was just going to be the two of us this week. Today he and I went on a movie date. It was a fun day and it made me realize that Hubby and I don't do enough one on one things with the kids. We tend to think of the twins as a package deal. Guess we'll be working on that.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Visit Seeking Peace

Hello All!
I've been on vacation and am trying to get back into the groove of things. I am a featured guest blogger over Here.
Rachel has lots of neat things on her blog from recipes to decorating tips to awesome devotionals. She is truly a talented writer and she has such a heart for God. I'm hoping to get her to do a guest blog on here soon.

Next, I'll be back to tell you all about my vacation!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Retreat

This has been a different week for me. Hubby has had a work retreat in Orlando and I was asked to come with him. So I arranged for our wonderful babysitter to come and stay with the children so I could go and stay for three days to support my husband. Did I mention that we are staying at a really nice hotel and it's quiet in the room by myself?

Did I mention the view?

The truth is, I have had a great time while supporting my husband and meeting with the other wives. Every once in a while it is nice to be able to concentrate on being a wife and be able to think about who you are as your own person as well. You know, without having to hear, "Mommy I need..." in the background. It's strange because I have been looking forward to these few days of retreat, but I miss my Prince and Princess terribly. I also find that I don't really know who I am without them. The other wives have grown children and grandchildren. They know who they are and they know what they want to do. It seems conversation steers itself back to my precious children because they are my life.

And while my children miss me being there, they are being spoiled rotten by their too cool babysitter. They have Vacation Bible School in the mornings. Yesterday afternoon they talked her into taking them to the zoo. Today they went to the movies. They got a pretty sweet vacation out of the deal.

In between missing my children, I am having a good time, though. We are eating at amazing restaurants. Last night the University took us to Emeril's and to see Blue Man Group. I have been shopping and lunching with wonderful women, who have been so gracious to include me, and I have had uninterrupted conversations with Hubby. All of these things are pluses. (Fun Fact: Did you know that pluses could also be spelled plusses? I looked it up to be sure.) Tomorrow I will return to reality and will hug my children tight and listen to all of their adventures from when I was gone. But for now, I am off to enjoy the quiet with a good book.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fruit Salad

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." Galatians 5:21-26

Fruit salad is so refreshing. All of those different kinds of fruit, which are good on their own, are delicious and sweet when they are mixed together. Lately I've been thinking a lot about the Fruits of the Spirit and what a difference it makes when I consciously apply all of them to my life. It's like making a fruit salad. Take any one of those traits by themselves and it is a good thing, but put them all together, and life is sweet, refreshing. That refreshment comes from the Holy Spirit when we are walking in the ways of the Lord.

I once heard someone say that love and self-control are the bookends of these traits. It isn't easy to have joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness without love and self-control. When we love others, so many times that love manifests itself in ways that demonstrate joy or peace or kindness. And if we don't have self-control, it is difficult to show the other fruits as well.

The Message translation says, "But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely." We are treating others the way Christ would have us to treat them, living a life of integrity with Christ-like principles, and God rewards us for it. He brings gifts into our lives and blesses us beyond measure.

It isn't always easy though. There are times when I am not patient or kind and I don't always show self-control. I am a work in progress but it has to be a conscious decision on my part to demonstrate these traits. It doesn't come all at once and God doesn't ask that we do it alone. He is there to help refine us and help us to become more like Him, if only we ask. Today I choose fruit salad. I choose to ask God to help me show others the sweetness and refreshment that can only come from Him.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Children's Miracle Network

Yesterday morning when I was checking out at the grocery store, the cashier asked me if I wanted to make a donation to Children's Miracle Network. There are certain organizations that I always give to, and that is one of them. It happened yesterday that the twins were with me and it was an opportunity to share with them. I explained to them that Children's Miracle Network paid for some of the equipment they used when they were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as tiny babies. Because they helped our babies, we want to help other babies. It's just that simple. Before our NICU experience I never knew exactly what organizations such as CMN and March of Dimes do. I now know all too well, from first hand experience and would encourage you, if you are asked to donate, to consider doing so. They help give babies and children a good start in life.

This picture was taken in the NICU when the twins were just over 2 weeks old.

Look at how far they have come!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Today's Reminder

When the Prince was a tiny baby, he was quite high maintenance. It doesn't look like it to look at this sweet face, does it?

This kid would scream and cry every day as I was trying to cook dinner and it was time for Hubby to walk in the door from work. I called it the 5:00 Fussies. Well, I only found one remedy for the 5:00 Fussies and believe me, I tried everything I could think of. The only thing that would work was to put him in his bouncy seat to watch...get ready for it....the Bill Gaither Gospel Hour. Can you believe it? Let's just say that listening to the gospel hour over and over was much better than listening to a screaming baby and I got to know some of the songs quite well. The in-laws got Prince a DVD so we could listen to it any time he wanted. Had it been a VHS, we would have worn it out long ago.

Anyway, it's been a while since I've listened to the music from this show, but I have the songs on my i-pod and sometimes I play a song or two from it and relive memories of having little babies. Today was one of those days and although I have heard this song a million times, it struck me in a whole new way. It's Ivan Parker singing "When I Get Carried Away."

Good ol' Ivan has a great message in this song. The first verse says, "Well, I don't know why I become a little shy when I get around a whole lot of people. And I can't figure out why I never can shout about the love that floods my soul. I must confess, I can't express the feelings deep inside me, The things I know and cannot show one day will overflow." This got me to thinking...why is it that I get shy around people and can't always share the joy that Jesus puts in my heart? I love Jesus so much that I want to shout it from the rooftops, so why don't I? In a world where we have become so politically correct, it is sometimes hard to openly share with others if you don't know what they believe. Then there's the whole thing about being seen as one of those overly zealous Bible thumpers. What's really so wrong with that? When you are in love with someone you want to tell everyone about it, don't you? This afternoon I was not only reminded of my sweet little baby Prince and how much I love him, but also of the fullness in my heart with the amazing love I have for Jesus.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm Back

I have been a bad blogger. It's been over a week since my last post and I apologize to the two whole people who read this. Honestly, every time I sit down to write, my mind feels too tired to even think of what to write. My brain just needed a little bit of a vacation. But now I'm back.

This afternoon I did my absolute least favorite thing in the whole world. I went to the dentist. Let me tell you, I would rather go to the gynecologist than go to the dentist. That's how much I hate going. And guess what...did you guess? I will be going back to my least favorite place in just a few weeks. That's right people...I have to have fillings. Oh, how I hate going to the dentist and it isn't like I don't take care of my teeth. I blame my mother (sorry Mom, but I do). Why is it my mother's fault that I don't have good teeth? Because she doesn't like milk. I think she didn't get enough calcium when I was in her tummy and now my teeth aren't good. I have no scientific proof of this, but it sounds good to me. So please pray for me that I can survive the next visit to the dentist, which will come way too soon for me.

My little princess played awesome ball tonight. That is not just a prejudiced mother talking to you, OK, maybe it is. But let me say that she is pretty good for a beginner. She got to play catcher, just like her Grandaddy and she got 2 hits. Prince is still a little afraid of the ball after that first practice when it hit him in the nose and he bled. He's got spunk, though and his coaches have been wonderful working with him and encouraging him. It will be neat to see how much both of them improve this season.

In other news, Hubby bought me an i-phone this weekend. I am so excited to be in the modern world now. I still don't text, but I am moving up in the world. Holla, Hubby! Thanks for the new phone. I promise not to wash this phone in the laundry as I may or may not have done to other phones in the past.

That's all for tonight. I've gotta go floss.