Hope of the World

You might remember I’m in a Homeschool Co-op…one of the teachers worked with our 4th-8th graders this first semester to put on a Christmas drama…I know that barely anyone reads my blog anymore, and chances are if you do, you’re a friend on Facebook, and you’ve already seen this. HOWEVER…I’m putting this out there just on the off chance that it could be a blessing to some passer-by. 🙂 Remember…it may be cliche, but Jesus IS the reason for the Season.

*note the strikingly tall and beautiful girl in the white shirt is my eldest daughter, thank you very much. 🙂

Lost: Sense of Humor

So this morning, I googled: “lost sense of humor”.

I came across a very uplifting and encouraging article about how I’m probably in the throes of depression or have a serious psychological disorder that needs medical attention. I don’t think that’s very funny.

So they could be on to something.

I had a few insights I was going to share about the last three months of living with my mom, but since we’re still here and she’s buying the groceries, I should probably wait until we get home before I talk about some of these things. I mean, we have to eat.

Instead, I’ll share a Top Ten list of reasons why you should never move back in with your parents (even if you are the one trying to help them):

Top Ten Reasons You Should Never Move Back in With Your Parents as an Adult:

  1. Every single pile of crap in the house will get blamed on your puppy, never mind the fact that another bladder-challenged dog lives in the house.
  2. You’ll have to listen to the virtues of how important it is to potty train whilst scraping crap off the wheels of her motorized wheelchair and cleaning up the mile-long trail of smeared turds that she left before she noticed she had driven through it in the first place.
  3. Your kids need their own space – a place away from critical eyes and opinions that would never be shared if you weren’t living with parents.
  4. Because old people can’t eat food unless it’s going to burn the fake skin off the roof of their dentures, and that requires reheating everything they eat  multiple times during one meal.
  5. You will never pour a cup of coffee and make it to your chair without having a parent finish their first cup and ask for  a refill, which means standing at the microwave for two minutes to heat a new cup up past the boiling point.
  6. If you have siblings, you will always be the bad guy. Always. Just accept that and move on.
  7. The fact that you have lived on your own successfully for the last 24 years will not prevent your parent from treating you like a child again.
  8. You’ll start to remember why you moved out at 17 in the first place.  Alpha Females – there can be only one. ‘Nuff said.
  9. You’ll begin to believe your mom when she tells you that you’re not the person you used to be and that you’ve completely lost your sense of humor.
  10. No matter how hard you try to get along, after a certain period of time, you’ll lose the cool facade that has been hanging on by a thread and you’ll say something you regret, or at the very least, compose a Top Ten list of why you shouldn’t have done it in the first place.

(no old people were harmed in the making of this post)

Movin’ in and movin’ on

The past two weeks have seen me prepping my family and my mom’s house for her homecoming. She has been in rehab for three weeks after spending a week and a half in the hospital recovering from knee surgery.

Never mind that she didn’t have bad knees – until she fell off a stepladder in her pantry and drove her femur into her tibia, dislocating her kneecap and splintering the crud out of her leg. Surely you think I’m horrible. I know she didn’t mean to do it…I do. Sometimes I wonder if she’ll ever listen to her doctors or any of her children, or if she’ll continue the rest of her life “knowing what’s best”.At what point is it okay for a child to “take charge”? There are no easy answers, I don’t think. I’m trying to put myself in her place, even when she frustrates the living crud out of me…because it has to be hard for her.

It must be difficult to give up control of your life – have your daughter, her husband and three kids move in to take care of you. There’s a loss of dignity in the realization that you just can’t take care of yourself BY yourself anymore. My heart breaks for her in that regard.

There is a teeny tiny part of me that wants to be angry with her. Angry for putting everyone else through what we must go through in order to take care of her. I’ve not been able to work one day this week – between home school, caring for her, and prepping for our home school co-op’s first actual day of classes (I’m the Life Skills teacher) – my days fly by with little accomplished on my ever- mounting list of to-do’s. I’m letting people down and I don’t like it. I feel like this is more than just a scheduling problem and it’s more than overwhelming at times.

But. God is still in control. He gave me a verse last week that has stuck with me, and keeps popping into my mind when things have seem particularly hard or unjust – Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” I can’t explain what that verse has come to mean to me – I’ve heard it in church a hundred times, maybe more. But now I have understanding, because God is allowing me the opportunity to apply it to my life. I’m so thankful for that, even if I don’t always sound like it or show it.

So I’ve told you we have moved in with my mom for a few months, but I haven’t shown you where we are staying. Oh..and the reason we moved in with her is her house is about 5,000 sq ft, our is 1,350 – so hello. That should be fairly self-explanatory. 🙂 So here’s where the accident happened (the infamous pantry incident):

What is it about older people (my mom is 79) that they stockpile food like there’s no tomorrow? Tell me it’s not just my mom.

Here’s my room:

Don’t mind the clothes – I was still moving our stuff in. It’s all put away now. The only thing I can’t figure out is what the heck to do with all those pillows on the bed when we’re sleeping on it. Seems wrong to throw them on the floor….but there’s no where else to put them!

The girls have a nice little room. Abby has already put her stuffed animals all over the bed, thus “marking” her territory:

I would show you where the boy is sleeping, but he doesn’t have a place. He’s on the couch. Poor kid. We didn’t want to put him upstairs by himself and we needed to be on the first floor in case my mom needed me.

My absolute favorite thing about my mom’s house is where we’ll be doing our school. It’s in her sunroom and I el oh vee ee love it. I’m a sucker for light – and this room is perfect to me. We’ll get lots done in here:

And I’ve set up my temporary workstation in the corner of the room – until today, it looked like this:

Now it looks worse. Bwuahahaha. Okay, not really…but I didn’t take an “after” photo. I miss my desktop -I’m used to working with both a laptop and a desktop and this will definitely be an adjustment for me. See the little electronic gizzywidget in the bottom right hand corner? That’s what a Life Alert station looks like. It saved my mom’s life June 25th, 2010.

So that’s pretty much it, unless you count this huge mailbox I found while cruising one of the older neighborhoods in town a few weeks ago. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with ANYTHING, but I wanted to show SOMEONE. So pretend it’s relevant. Thanks.

Why on earth would someone need a mailbox that big? I’m just sayin’…

Change is hard

Fall is here and we are in our fourth week of homeschooling. Wishing I could say it’s been an easy transition from summer, but the truth of the matter is – it has not.

Some of the things we have learned:

  1. 3rd grade math is much more difficult than 2nd grade math.
  2. When the curriculum states you must do a book report, guess what? You must actually read the book first.
  3. Rambling sentences with lots of dashes and ampersands do not a story make.

Something just feels a bit off this year for me. Perhaps it is in part because of the hectic and emotional summer we just came through. Or maybe it is because I am getting old.  It could just be that my heart is not in the right place…I seem to be too focused on myself and how I feel lately…what I need versus what I can and should be doing for those around me who are hurting.

I am always joking that “I don’t have time to fall apart, there are too many people depending on me”. But honestly? I think I long for solitude more than anything right now. The ability to get away from everyone and everything and just be with God. I don’t have that luxury for a while, however – we are about to uproot our family and move in with my mom in order to take care of her while she rehabilitates from her latest injury (she recently fell and crushed her knee – consequently had knee surgery and is in rehab for another week or so).

While I consider it a true privilege and blessing to be able to minister to my mom, there is a small part of me that wants to cry out, “When is it MY turn? When do I get to rest?”

I am moody and irritable, easily “set off” by small things that shouldn’t affect me in this way. I am at what feels a bit like an impasse  – wedged firmly in between wanting to minister to those around me and a continual desire to just be left alone by everyone. Makes so much sense, I know.

It’s an odd place I find myself. I am certain I am not being a very willing vessel for the Lord of late.

I have been reading in the Psalms for my early morning quiet time  and this morning came across the familiar verse from Psalm 141:3 – “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.”.  Like gentle hug from God, this verse really spoke to me this morning. We must quiet our own hearts and mouths if we are to be able to listen to the voice of God.

Even though I may feel discouraged, overwhelmed and stressed out, it is important that I remember that God is more than able to see me through it. I must not allow my feelings to dictate how I respond to my husband or my children. I pray that one day, change will be easier. Right now, it is just so hard.

Some people are so creative…

WordPress Code Cloud by Jackie Ann Patterson

Lately, I’ve been having problems of the creative kind. It could be stress. It could be burn out. It could be homeschooling.

It could be all of the above.

Whenever I find myself in this situation, I surf the internet for inspiration. Contrary to what you may be thinking, I don’t always look at other websites. Inspiration can come from so many places. Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order:

  1. Mila’s Daydreams – you have to stop reading this right now and go to this woman’s blog. Oh my word – the cuteness. It’s positively indescribable.
  2. Shop 24 – full of some of the cutest stuff to fill your home with – I love the homey goodness and earth tones.
  3. How About Orange – Jessica is a talented graphic and textile designer who is always finding the coolest stuff on the internet. One guess what her favorite color is. 🙂
  4. decor8blog.com – Holly’s blog is a fab place to go for inspiration – lots of curated content to choose from.
  5. deviantart.com – Not my favorite name, but some uber-talent in this pool. Love looking through some of the art they have created.

Hoping I get my creative spark back soon. I have more than one client that will be really happy.

What do you do when you’ve hit a wall?

What You Should Know About Moving from Blogger to WordPress

I’ve touted WordPress for the last two years to my clients. Yet my own personal blog remains on Blogger.

Hypocrisy? Not really. It’s more like the lady that was married to the plumber…her home’s plumbing was always messed up because her husband was always fixing everyone else’s and neglected hers! I’m the plumber’s wife. Or the plumber, some might say. But without the crack, okay?

So this is a note to let you know I’ve FINALLY moved my blog to WordPress. I’ve imported all 880 posts and 5432 comments and haven’t designed one whit of anything for it. I’ll be changing the theme and design around as I have time and will be adding some additional fun things for anyone who decides to stop by.

If you’re subscribed via google reader or mail, nothing should really change. I’ve moved the feed to the new blog and should you click over, you should see the new blog.

So what is it you should know about moving from Blogger to WordPress?

  1. You need a domain name
  2. You need a host to host the free WordPress platform
  3. You need to talk to us about moving you!
  4. Or, if you’re budget conscious, you can follow one of the excellent tutorials here:

So there ya have it. Welcome to the new digs. Pardon me for showing up in my underwear.

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