Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This Day Sucked..... Until I Cleaned the Kitchen.

So, yeah.... The day didn't get any better.  I was on the verge of tears several times today.  There wasn't any one part that was particularly bad, but all of it was wearing on me.  Plus, I must be hormonal, because I can tell I'm being moody toward Paul, and short with the kids, but I just don't care.
Zadie slept a total of less than an hour all day, and that was in two parts, so it wasn't even a stretch of productiveness.  I did get half a load of laundry folded and the rest of the Christmas decorations put out  while she entertained herself (I needed the empty tote to take to Sam's Club tomorrow).  Jacob woke up from his nap whiny and sick-ish.  I had to install all 3 car seats in the van before we left, and I couldn't get the L.A.T.C.H. system to work on Zadie's, so was wrestling with that for what seemed like 15 minutes - meanwhile I can hear Zadie inside screaming because she is so tired, even though I had tried nursing, rocking, everything for the previous two hourst. I came in from the carseat debacle and Jacob still hadn't touched his supper, so we had the meal time showdown, while Zadie continued to scream.  Jacob ended up going to Cubbies, but not allowed to play or participate until he ate his supper (which he never did).  I didn't get a chance to prepare for the lesson, and we were one teacher short, and Zadie still wasn't asleep, so I didn't get a chance to study after we got there and ended up just reading it from the lesson book, which the kids totally zoned out during.  Paul did come get the kids after work, so I didn't have to wrangle them out the door and into the van, but when I came home, the house was a disaster (just like I left it), and Zadie - who had fallen asleep on the way home - was awake again.  An hour later, she still wanted nothing to do with sleep, so I put her in her crib and walked away.  She screamed bloody murder.  I can't even begin to relax while listening to that, so I started banging things around in the kitchen.  Paul figured out pretty quickly that I must have been upset (I hate cleaning the kitchen) because he jumped up and started trying to help, and ended up going upstairs to rock her because he couldn't stand listening to her anymore.  When he came down, he flipped off the light in the kitchen, thinking I had put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and I was done.  "No, I'm not done.  I'm not going to get a chance to clean the kitchen tomorrow, and if I don't clean it tomorrow, it won't get cleaned all weekend, so just go to bed without me."
Did I mention I was moody?  That may be an understatement.
I am definitely not one of those people that thinks doing dishes is therapeutic, but the end result is.  In the chaos of the rest of the house, the kitchen is all clean and gleaming.  And it gives me hope for the rest of the house.  And when my house is organized, it makes me feel like life is a little more organized as well.
If she sleeps......

One of Those Days

I seriously need to be cleaning this house.  It looks like every closet, shelf, drawer, and even the outdoors stepped into the middle of every room and vomited.  What a crap pile.
But it's one of those days.  I just had to get on here to let out a huge GAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hate days like this.
It started out with not sleeping well - which has been going on for weeks.  I haven't had any caffeine since Saturday, so I know that's not the problem.  But on top of not sleeping well, I was up for an hour with Zadie in the middle of the night.  I woke up with a headache.  Not a huge one, but just that kind of niggling, irritating, just-don't-feel-quite-right kind.  And then the house smelled like we'd had a house fire (probably the cause of the headache) because there's a leak around the doors of the wood stove or something.  Which has been that way since we first lit it a month ago and we still haven't done anything about it.  Then when the sun came up, I noticed there was definitely smoke in the house, so I had to open all the windows to get it out, and whereas it got rid of the smoke, it didn't get rid of the smell.  (And need I remind you it was like 20 degrees this morning?)
Then the boys are fussing at each other.  They both are a little "off" as well; I think they're trying to get sick.  But not sick enough that they want to just lay on the couch and watch TV.  It's the whining, arguing, disrespecting "off," and continually nit-picking each other.  I didn't spank either one (they were threatened with one more offense), but they both got sat on the couch, sent to their room, or sent outside.  (I probably should have just spanked them.)  And then Zadie was off as well.  She wasn't happy doing anything.  If she was nursing, she wanted to play.  If she was playing, she wanted to snuggle.  If she was snuggling, she wanted to eat.  If I gave her food, she wanted to play.  So I didn't have 10 minutes of peace this morning, without having someone hanging on me or whining at me.
Then the bank called.  We closed on our refinance, but they forgot to collect the accrued interest for this month - nearly $400.  There goes my Christmas ideas.
And I'm just frustrated with several little things.  Things that have needed said or done for a long time, but I keep ignoring them, because it's easier to just keep the peace.  But I've been stuffing it long enough, and soon the kettle is going to blow.
And I'm sure my stress is a lot caused by this filthy house, but I am continually spinning my wheels trying to get it clean.  One person picking up after 5 is seriously out of balance, and I can never quite get it done, between school, lessons, church stuff, and being needed.  It seems like a neat house is only a priority to me, even though everyone around here functions better when it's picked up.  (Nathan can not focus for anything when there is stuff piled on the dining room table during school or a mess on the floor when he's practicing violin.)  Even when someone tries to help me out, they don't do it right, or don't do it completely.  I hate that I can't be grateful for a small amount of help, but it seems like it doesn't really help me at all when I have to finish or redo it.
And lovely.  I should have used these 15 minutes of ranting to pick at least one room up, because now Zadie is awake, after only a half an hour.
May I say again:


I want to hatch that egg.
(I want to crack that egg.  Jacob, while helping me make scrambled eggs.)

Jacob, you need to come help me, 'cause you're my best friend.
(Apparently, we need to emphasize that it's not a contractual obligation.)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Encounter the Cross

My dad, brother, and brother-in-law (sister's hubby) went to a men's retreat called Encounter back in May, (Paul was supposed to go, but the timing was bad with his work, and having just taken vacation for Zadie's birth).  In September, they returned, taking Paul, two men from church, and a neighbor.  Then Paul went back to yet another last weekend, taking his dad and his uncle.
I can't tell you a lot about it, other than the second-hand info I have heard from him, but it is obviously incredible.  It's a 48-hour retreat, that covers all aspects of a man's life.  I have absolutely no doubt the Holy Spirit is powerfully present at this event, from start to finish.  I have heard no negative feedback from anyone attending (except for the food :) ).  For those of you that know Paul, you know that he isn't a bad guy at all - he's a committed Christian, a great husband and father - yet the change in him has been amazing.  He's reading the Bible daily consistently for the first time since we've been married - he wants to, not me reminding him to.  He's stepping up and speaking out.  I am so proud of him.
I don't know the exact history, but it sounds like a church puts it on, then rather than the event for that church getting larger and larger, they train other churches how to do the event themselves.  True discipleship.  They are training men to be men, to stand together and stand for Christ.
If you men want to change your life, go to this.  If you women want your man and marriage changed, encourage him to go (although nagging him into it is not the best approach).  If you have any questions, my husband would be happy to answer them via email.

And can I just say that a husband who is on fire for God is incredibly sexy as well? I think the boys are tired of seeing us kissing in the kitchen.  ;)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


One my sidebar, I have links to friends' blogs.  On one of my friends' blogs, she has links to other blogs.  One of those blogs is Life and Grace.
Talk about a lesson in perspective.
This woman is about to have a baby.  A baby that won't live very long after birth.  She's known that for most of the pregnancy, and yet chose to carry the baby (not abort her) and celebrate the life.  She's simultaneously planning a birth and a funeral.  And yet the strength and grace and absolute trust in the Lord she has blows me away.  Every time I read it, I am so humbled.
If you have the time, read it.  You will be blessed.  And if you have any heart, you will bawl your head off.

Monday, November 5, 2012


We didn't celebrate Halloween this year.  The last two years, we've done something, but I decided this year that we were going to stay away from the mainstream celebration of Halloween.  Instead, I organized a game night for anyone else who didn't want to do the trick-or-treating thing, or wanted to be out of the house so they didn't have to deal with greedy kids banging on their door all night.  (I will admit, it's partly laziness.  I don't want to come up with costumes.  Or deal with wrangling 3 children while Paul's at work.)
Two years ago, we did the whole trick-or-treating thing.  I just did home-made costumes (Nathan a construction worker, Jacob a sailor).  One of the boys' friends was having a birthday party on Halloween night, and they were going to go trick-or-treating on their street afterwards.  The boys were freaked out.  It was dark, there were kids (and adults) in weird and scary costumes all over the sidewalks, being loud and boisterous.  And half of the porches we went up on had freaky decorations.  
So last year we did something a lot less scary.  We went with friends to a local nursing home.  The kids had decorated miniature pumpkins, and handed them out to residents - instead of it being gimme gimme gimme,  they were also giving something.  And I did like that.
But this year, the more I thought about Halloween, and how our culture celebrates it, the more I wanted to distance my family from it.  If you celebrate Halloween with the costumes and candy, I'm not judging you.  I do think it is possible to participate in Halloween events with innocence and good motives.  But you can't get away from what the holiday glorifies..... death, ghosts, witches, and evil - it's everywhere!  I wish it wasn't that way.  You may send your kid to school dressed like a ballerina or baseball player, but their friends (and teachers) are dressed up as witches and zombies.  A trip to nearly any store has costumes and decorations portraying gore and death.  Do we really want our kids thinking those things are okay?  That witches are no big deal?  That ghosts are friendly?  That death is not serious?
I wanted to find out the "roots" of Halloween.  I looked up the Wikipedia entry on Halloween (rather than use a biased Christian site).  Halloween the way our country celebrates it is based on the Celtic holiday of Samhain - which was the day before All Saints Day, or All Hallows Day - thus the name All Hallow's Even[ing], later shortened to Hallowe'en.  The holiday morphed from pagan and "Christian" traditions. 
The custom of wearing costumes has been linked to All Saints/All Souls by Prince Sorie Conteh, who wrote: "It was traditionally believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints' Day, and All Hallows' Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognised by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities".
That's not any kind of Christianity that I practice.
But where it came from aside, I am more concerned with de-sensitizing my kids to the seriousness of the occult and witchcraft.  I don't want them to start thinking that because we laugh at people that are dressed as witches or zombies or whatever, and that we celebrate fear and death on this one day, that they're no big deal.  If my kids met a witch in real life, I want them to be scared out of their wits and praying for God's protection like they never have before.  If they saw a dead person walking, I want them realizing it would only be from demonic possession.

Nathan kept asking me when it would be Halloween.  How long 'til Halloween?  Who's going to be at Halloween?  So I asked him, "What do you think we are going to do on Halloween?"
"We're going to go to the church and play games and laugh and have fun."
Last November, we had a game night at the church, and there were pumpkin decorations on the table.  Apparently that's what he remembers as our Halloween.  And I'm okay with that.

So that's what we did.  
(Minus the pumpkins, or decorations of any kind.  Because I'm lazy like that.)