Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Converation on Conversation

Let me let everyone in on one of my dirty little secrets- we haven't gone to church consistently this summer.  Wait, I should be more honest.  We've been to church twice this summer.  For various reasons- vacation, sick baby, time changed to Faith's nap time, excuses are a dime a dozen.  To even be more honest, I haven't felt one little bit bad about it.  Coming out of a place where we went to church at least 3 times a week, whether you were running a fever or not, its been nice to just relax and not feel so pressured.  Having said that, last week my heart's desire was to go to church.  I was a little sad to find out we were having an "out" week and would be all meeting at SkateLand.  At the expense of looking like someone who only comes "to the fun things" we went.  I really love those people.  They're genuine and unlike any church family I've ever been around.

Back to my desire.  I really think it was about abiding with God.  Opening a constant flow of communication between me and God instead of a text message in times of need.  So that's what I've been consciously trying to do.  Abide- live with- be with- the Father 24 hours a day. 

Today Faith and I were going around town looking for bedding and I was just talking with God about things.  I start thinking about how He must be so annoyed with me that I think I can just pick back up where I left off with Him.  But guys- HE'S SO NOT ANNOYED.  And better than that, he confirmed that to me by speaking to me in big ways today. Here's how:

1. I was really worried about finding a dress for Emily's reception.  We are working hard to save and pay off silly debt and I didn't want to spend much money on it.  Also, I wanted a purple or blue dress. And a maxi dress. And it needed to be long. And I'm a smidge picky. I hit all my regular honey holes with no luck.  I really felt like God was telling me "Don't pay over $15.99 for a dress.  I have one for you.  Just be patient."  At first I really felt like I may have been making that up because, really, I haven't been abiding and I thought somehow God would punish me for not abiding by making it hard to hear His voice.  But guys- HE SO WANTS TO SPEAK AND BE HEARD.  As I went from place to place I'd look for the blue or purple long maxi dress that was $15.99 or less.  Faith and I hit one last place, TJ Maxx  (where I have never found a single thing that fits these hips) to look for a quilt for her bed and I swing by the clearance rack and there it is- a blue, long, maxi dress and it was $15.00!!!!!!  I know it sounds silly, but I know God did that for me.  Because He loves me, He's rad, and He didn't want me to go to the reception in daisy dukes and a tube top!

2. My niece's friend committed suicide.  I didn't know her, but it was tough on my niece.  All day today I'd been really talking to God about my niece and her mourning and the girl's family.  Honestly, I couldn't get Shea off my mind.  I just needed to be with her.  I was contemplating driving to Enid just to take her to Sonic and hang out for a little bit, but I didn't have the gas in my car and its around 2 1/2 hours away.  I went back and forth about going to Enid today or tomorrow when my phone beeped that I got a text.  It was Shea.  "Do you think I can come visit this weekend?"  Seriously?!?!?!?  I called her right then and I'm picking her up Thursday for the weekend.  Guys- HE SO WANTS TO TALK WITH US!

I was so encouraged today.  God doesn't hold a grudge with me.  Or you.  If you don't believe me, talk with Him.  He'll tell you.  He loves you to pieces.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fingernails: An Unfortunate Tale (or two)

My mom was always the lady that cooked the big yummy meals at church.  Once when I was little the youth were having a special speaker come and the youth pastor asked my mom to cook up something wonderful.  When the speaker got there everyone was talking up my mom's cooking and how great it was (like they always do) and as she put the finishing touches on and the dinner prayer was said she noticed something unfortunate. Very unfortunate.  One of her long pink fingernails was broken off.  She had no idea where it was.  At this point it was too late to start over so she called the youth pastor over and told him what had happened.  And he was forced to do the unthinkable.  He ran the bell (remember the bell for everyone that went to 12cbc?) and announced that a fingernail had been lost in the making of dinner that night and that it might be lurking in someone's dinner.  And who do you think found a bright pink fingernail?  Yep, the guest speaker.  Fortunately he had been around youth a lot and just dug it out, announced to the crowd he was the lucky winner, and kept eating. 
Well, last week I had an unfortunate tell of my own.  I, too, lost a fingernail.  I lost a fingernail in the making of pickles.  I had cut and was chilling about THIRTY, fresh from the garden, almost organic cucumbers.  I sat down to relax, got busy cleaning like a good little wife attended to my screaming child and noticed it soon after.  I thought about just making them anyways.  But I just couldn't.  I was forced to throw away 30 cucumbers and start over.  Thankfully I was able to pick enough for 6 quart jars of pickles in one day.  Read 'em and weap, Vlasic.  There's a new pickle in town.  Some have deemed them the best pickle they've ever had.

Moral of the story- long fingernails are for suckers.  Or the very least, people who don't cook. Or Perkins women.  Or women whose brains go faster than their hands. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blunder of the Week, Part 1

Last Wednesday I loaded up Faith for her first mini concert.  The Sugar-Free Allstars were playing at our library and I knew she would just love it.  I dressed her cute and funky and put her hair in dog ears so everyone would think she was adorable.  (I mean, really, if you've seen the kid you know she's the cutest thing EVER, but I can add at least a point or two of cuteness with the right clothes and hair accessories.) Back to the story, I pull into the library and there are just a few cars there.  I, of course, start bashing Noble and how nothing is ever going to grow there if people don't take advantage of the opportunities that come our way and we look like we don't give a rip about those things when we don't show up and on and on and on.  Now, its just me and Faith in the car so she looks at me like I'm wweird and I move on immediately. "Well, WE are are going to show the Sugar-Free Allstars how cool we are, Faith.  We're going to go in their and rock them out with your amazing intellect and my superior early childhood development know-how."  Again, crickets from the little one in the back.  Tough crowd, I think.  So I unload Faith and walk in.  We're quickly ushered by a nice lady to the "children's program" in the back, but when we walk in there was just a lady with a basket of books.  No guitars, no men in brightly colored shirts, no Sugar-Free Dang Allstars!!!!  I, of course, play it off like nothings wrong at that we're there for whatever is going on.  But I was fuming.  I HAD COME ON THE WRONG DAY!!!!  And it wasn't like they were going to be there on Thursday so all was well, they had been there the day before.  The day when I was sitting at home with Faith telling her about how much fun she was going to have tomorrow when we went to the library!  Faith had fun at story time, and she even got to pick out a book and a bag of goodies.  And she didn't know any different.  So I guess all's well that ends well.  But still, people. Still. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

When It Rains...

Faithy is sick.   We came home from NM last Friday and she became sick promptly after that.  Well, I guess I should say that Friday we got home, Saturday we had to re-stock the groceries, Sunday we had an impromptu 4th celebration and Monday she woke up with a fever. I thought the fever was related to teething since she STILL only has two bottom teeth and 7 or 8 top teeth.  But I was wrong.  The fever lasted 3 days then came the congestion.  We went and picked up my niece Thursday and Friday I decided to take her to the doctor.  On the way to the doctor's office I had to pull over and jerk her out of her car seat because she was choking on her phlegm.  I was so scared!  Then she was a TERROR waiting for Dr. Kuhl's, who took his DST by the way.  I mean pulling chairs, throwing toys, and ripping tons of the paper they put on the table into shreds.  I finally got her calmed down before he came in my playing with her in the mirror.  A few minutes before he came in she fell and bumped her mouth on the mirror and that was it.  She screamed, flailed, and all around went crazy while he was examining her. As we walked out to the car in the pouring rain I see that Faith had accidentally rolled down the back window of the 4-Runner and her new box of diapers were soaked.  Then she cried the ENTIRE WAY HOME!  I was thinking she take a long nap, but she woke up 40 minutes later HYSTERICAL with a mysterious bug bite on her face.  I searched her bed frantically for a spider, but I didn't find anything.  She also has blisters on the back of her feet from a new pair of shoes and mosquito bites all over her legs!  She has basically cried, hit, and been a little banshee for a week.  I'm tired.  And ranting.  Tired and ranting.  And oh, did I mention my husband's on a fishing trip that he left for today and won't be back until Tuesday?  Because I would hate to leave that out of my tired ranting.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Fruits of Our Labor

I love our garden!   Look at the harvest from just ONE DAY!!!!

Squash, cucumbers, cherry tomatos, roma tomatos, banana peppers, jalapenos, and GRAPES!!!!

Faith loves it!  She goes out with us and picks her own banana pepper every single time.  Then she gnaws away at it as we pick the rest.  On the fourth of july I was able to make jalapeno poppers from our jalapenos.  And my mom helped me make fried squash for TJ since its one of his favorites and I'd never made it before. 

I am so glad it has done so well.   One of my main goals for the garden was to give away a lot of what we grew.  I am still waiting for my tomatos to ripen up, but if you like banana peppers let me know.  We have
A LOT of them and would love to share.

Mark this resolution as a SUCCESS!!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

When vacationing with an 18-month old baby:

1.  DO take along a dvd player of some sort.  God bless Ariel and Sebastian.  They saved my life with their calypso grooves.
2. DON'T expect your child to eat a single vegetable the whole week.  Even when your child has a diet of 50% fresh fruit and vegetables they will not eat one on vacation.  (Not that there were any available, but I'm just saying.)
3. DO budget money for a pedicure when you get home.  Even if you don't believe in pedicures, you will need one if you ever want your husband to cuddle with you again. 
4. DON'T bring any type of reading materials for yourself.  The books will stay in the door pocket of your car where you packed them so just forget about it.
5. DO let your husband's aunts take your child on walks and play with them when they ask.  It's the only 10 minutes of rest you'll get that day.
6. DON'T get upset when people continually tell you "Amanda, you look tired" after waking up at 5:00 am, catching a train to Santa Fe, walking miles around Santa Fe being led by two men that feel a happy pace is running, chasing a 1 year old around the square, and taking a 2 hour train ride home with a baby that didn't nap a lick. 
7. DO go to Sonic and get a Route 44 DDP at 10pm after your baby goes to sleep just to get out of the house.  Who cares if people think you're crazy!  Its your vacation and you can enjoy it however you want.
8. DON'T stop and eat at real restaurant on the way home.  People will look at you like you are homeless or just escaped from the prison down the highway.  Just a get a dang Happy Meal and call it good.
9. DO let your husband take you for a ride in the hills on a 4-wheeler.  Its pretty, a smidge scary, and you'll get a good laugh when a bug goes right down his throat going 60mph on the ditch bank.
10. DON'T get upset when your child sneaks off, finds a container of salt, and pours it throughout the house on the carpet.  Just go through and move it around with your shoes until its unnoticeable.  I know, I'm horrible, but I don't care.

Please feel free to comment and leave your own tips for traveling with toddlers.  I'd like to know what kind of company I'm in.