Month: July 2007

Packing my bags up for a good night’s rest…not.

The last Sunday of every month, our little church has a Birthday/Anniversary Fellowship and all the members bring a potluck style dinner for after services (where the fellowship part comes in – we Baptist LOVE us some good food). We had more folks come out of the woodwork this last Sunday for some free fixins than I have seen in a long time…funny how they only come when there’s food, but I digress.

I said all that to say this – when we got home Sunday night, it was fairly late (like 11:00…at NIGHT late) and as we were driving up the driveway, I saw a little orange furball laying lying prone on our bottom step, an offering from its young mother who could not care for it. Apparently, she knows I am a total softie when it comes to babies and neither I nor my husband was willing to just leave it out all night mewing its little heart out for mommy.

So…we brought it in and began feeding and caring for it as any good parent would. Today, he got his first bath (not fully immersed, mind you) because he had some very pesky fleas and I just wasn’t willing to bear a repeat of Flea Fest ’07. He actually enjoyed the sensation of the warm water running over him and the gentle warm breeze of the blow dryer. Almost as good as a day at the beach, but not quite. He’s still a tad bit “wierd” looking, as most babies are — big googly eyes and really scrawny. I’m feeding him every three to four hours and he’s finally taken to the syringe (sans the needle). I am guessing he’s about 10 days old, since his eyes are open and he’s got his incisors.

The kids have all named him – different names of course. Jake Tiger Sweetheart. I’ve decided we’ll call him Tiger for short. It’s simpler and he really doesn’t look like a Sweetheart (that was AJ by the way).

Proof positive why I have big bags and dark circles under my eyes:

(kindly disregard the fat belly under the towel…that would be mine.)

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The Three Faces of AJ

Tomorrow you will be FIVE! YEARS! OLD! You are one extremely talented and diverse kid. You are an artist whose drawings will forever hang in the annals of mama’s scrapbook pages, you are a superhero who knows exactly when mom needs a “power hug”, you are a big brother and a little brother at the same time, trying to find the balance between asserting your manly strength and controlling your temper. I am blessed beyond measure to know you. Thank you for making my life a whole lot brighter than it ever could be without you in it!

Happy Birthday, AJ! Mama loves you!

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Can I get a witness?

A father wanted to read a magazine but was being bothered by his little girl, Shelby. She wanted to know what the United States looked like.

Finally, he tore a sheet out of his new magazine on which was printed the map of the country. Tearing it into small pieces, he gave it to Shelby and said, “Go into the other room and see if you can put this together. This will show you our whole country today.”

After a few minutes, Shelby returned and handed him the map, correctly fitted and taped together. The father was surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly.
“Oh,” she said, “on the other side of the paper is a picture of Jesus. When I got all of Jesus back where He belonged, then our country just came together.”

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How could this be?

This weekend several of my graduating classmates are gathering for our 20-year reunion in Homer, Alaska. Without me. I ask myself, how can 20 years have passed? Moreover, how can 20 years have passed and I still don’t have it all together?

I have spent most of my day today thinking back to my graduation night. My best friend Dina and I sang with Tony Darling a song called, “Great Expectations”. Tom Bodett spoke at our graduation on the very same theme…(yes, he’s the “We’ll leave the lights on for ya” guy…he’s from my hometown). I threw my hat up in the air (but not too far up, because I wanted to keep it for my scrapbook, so it had to be mine that I caught, you understand), hugged whoever was next to me (I think it was a boy named Toby Fenex) and then set out to find my boyfriend at the time…Jimmy, who was a junior and still had his senior year ahead of him. I got caught up in the throng in our cafeteria and was hugging kids I had gone to school with for the last 7 years of my life when it hit me like a ton of bricks. This was a life-changing occasion. Yes, we had all looked forward to our graduations, but mainly so we could leave that little hamlet by the sea. Everyone I knew wanted to get out of Homer, because it was a dead end town – with nothing to do and no jobs available, unless you wanted to fish for a living. But in the dimly lit cafeteria, I looked across a sea of faces and realized I would never again see many of these people. People I had seen regularly almost every day for the last 7 years would just leave and I’d never find out what happened to them. Tears welled up in my eyes just as Jimmy found me – I sobbed into his shoulder because I realized that even we would be separated by time and distance within just a few short months.

And that’s how it’s been for the last 20 years. Today, I find myself wishing I had been able to go to our 20 year reunion. But it’s over 5000 miles from me now…another world. So many things have changed, yet so many have remained the same. I am much more confident in who I am now…I have grown to love myself because I have accepted that I am not perfect…I am a sinner whose sins are forgiven because of a precious Savior who loves me more than I’ve ever loved myself. I am not as prone to being melodramatic…with three kids, you just can’t make a production out of everything. I’ve realized that life is not a popularity contest…some people will be my friends and some won’t…I forgive those who are either willingly ignorant or just too plain stupid to even make the attempt. I would still be known as the “goody two shoes”…after all, I married a “Preacher”. I would still be the one who talked the loudest and laughed the longest…after all, I still have a little bit of melodrama in me, even after 20 years and three kids.

I have not even done a good job of keeping up with some of my best friends, either! Although that would not surprise anyone that knows me well, because although I often think of others, I rarely ever pick up a phone. I have done a little bit of research and know that Kara is in Arizona, Dina still lives in Homer, and Jimmy is now married and a Doctor. (Guess I shouldn’t have let him go so easily, huh?)

But what I wonder is this: did I make an impact on anyone there? Does anyone think about me the way I think about them? Does my name ever even cross their mind? Or am I long forgotten, like that graduation night of May 20, 1987?

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I can see the Horizon from here…

Those wonderful gals over at 5 Minutes for Mom are sponsoring a contest for $300 worth of coupons for free dairy products from Horizon Organic. So don’t go enter, because I really need to win this one myself – my kids could drink a gallon of milk every two days – at $4 a gallon, that totals out to $60 a month they could drink! It would be such a treat for our family to win, since I love organic…and before we were on this painstakingly strict budget, we actually were Horizon Organic customers!

So moooooooove on over, guys and gals. This one’s mine. All mine.
Oh, okay, go enter, but just don’t tell me if you do it.

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A Good Word…

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, “God! How could you do this to me?” Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.

The Moral of This Story: It’s easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering.

Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.
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