Who writes this stuff?

My photo

I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Monday, August 25, 2008

A confession

It has been a little harder for me to write on here the last few days because I have been having to do a little soul searching. I have come to the realization that I let myself become less than positive over the last few weeks. I feel slightly ashamed and definitley embarrassed. I guess what I am coming down to is an apology. I have always felt that my theme is "Joy", and yet I feel now that I was less than joyful lately. I am sorry.
It is a huge relief to feel physicaly better. Mentally, I am still processing all of this. I think that I am still just so relieved that I DON'T have a brain tumor that I am truly and honestly happy to have migraines! Now that I have gone almost a whole week with out any visits to my "alternate reality", no blackouts, no intense moments of deja vu... I can say that I am feeling much more stable. I still spend a large portion of my day dizzy or with my eyes "fluttering", but, as those are a much lesser problem, I think that I am beginning to feel sane again. It is a beautiful thing!
Thank you for prayers and for encouragement. I am continualy amazed by the ways my Savior sneaks grace into my life and suprises me with Joy when I have quit expecting it, and least deserve it. Thank you for sharing my Joy with me, and for making it multiply.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Just so you know....

Two thirds of the Freeman crew are heading north for the week.  I have dreadful cabin fever, since I am trapped at home day in and day out lately. My beautiful, amazing, fabulous sister and her handsome, amazing, fabulous husband are meeting us in Macon this afternoon and taking the boys and I to my parents. I will be there all week, so any of ya'll in the North GA area, give me call or drop me a line. I would love to play. I still can't drive, but I will be a lot closer to several of my friends (Christina, I am talking about you!!!) 

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A double rainbow


Sometimes, when the rain is falling so hard that you think you will never see the light again, is when you see the most beautiful rainbows. Maybe the rainbows are brighter when the storm is darker. Maybe colors really are clearer when seen through fog. Maybe it is just because you appreciate the rainbows more when the rain has overwhelmed you for awhile. Whatever the reason, the Freeman family had a brilliantly colored double rainbow yesterday. Even though the rain isn't over yet, the light is definitely shining through the clouds. And I am awestruck. 

Our first rainbow came early in the day yesterday. The results for the Staff Sergeant test came out, and Andy passed. This means a promotion and a raise, as well as a strong plus to add to the package for OTS (officer training school), which is where he is hoping to be this time next year. Andy barely missed the staff test last year, and we were VERY discouraged at that point in time. This year, when the time came to take the test, he studied some, but since he was also taking college courses, didn't have as much time or energy to put into it as last year. Then, the day of the test, he found out that the study guide that he had was missing a full half of the information. So, he went into the test knowing that he had not studied for half of it at all - had never even seen the information. (it was mostly technical data on several planes that were recently added to his career field, and that he hasn't ever worked on) So, we tried not to have any hopes for this year. Finding out that he not only passed it, but got a good enough number to be in the first wave of promotions (he will become a staff sergeant next month, as soon as he finishes this six week course he is currently 2 weeks into) was absolutely breathtaking. Not that he hadn't earned it. If promotions were based on work ethic and the opinion of your overseer, then Andy would have had it last year, or earlier. But a huge part of it is based on a written test, and we all know how Andy and tests get along.  

My second rainbow came near the end of the day. My fabulous neighbor Amy watched the boys and a wonderful woman from church, Cheryl,  came and picked me up so that I could go to the Neurologist for my EEG.  That was a pretty short test - slightly slimy, and leaving me in great need of a hair washing, but nothing horrid. Then, wonder of wonders, they said that I should wait and that the doctor would discuss the results with me. THAT SAME DAY! I had quit expecting answers, so I was completely shocked. I had to wait about 30 minutes, but after six weeks of being baffled by my body, 30 minutes really wasn't too much to suffer through! He said that my MRI and EEG were clear, which was a good thing. No tumors, blood clots, aneurysms (sp?). I was trying to see the good, but was mostly sad, because I thought that meant we had no answer still. Then he said the magic words... "We can't completely rule out seizures, but I am pretty sure this is an atypical migraine" Migraine???? I only have headaches with these things about half the time. Seriously? But, I wasn't going to turn down a diagnosis, even if it seemed wrong. What do I know? I haven't been to medical school! He put me on a medicine that is used preventively for both migraines and seizures, (Topamax) so both of the top two possibilities are covered. I will increase the dosage slowly over 4 weeks, then see where we are. 
 I have been surfing the internet this morning (between schooling Canaan, building train tracks and watching a few minutes of the Olympics) and I am beginning to think that the Neurologist could be right. I am not completely convinced, but it has possibility. If you would like to read about atypical migraines, click here. I have several of the symptoms, (dizzy, flashing lights, nausea) but I am not sure that migraines really explain the "alternate reality" thing that has been happening inside my head. Although I did read that some people have hallucinations during the "Aura" part of a migraine. I seem to have the Aura part only most of the time, and only rarely have the headache! I guess I shouldn't complain. Anybody else who read this have migraines? My grandfather had them, so that covers the genetic part. Also, anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis (I am flattering myself. What I should say is, Carrie and Mom) do you remember when I blogged about the 3 day headache in June? Maybe that was the first migraine?
 I think I am a little bit in information overload. At the same time, I am just so relieved that I am not completely out of my mind that I can't help being happy. My favorite quote of the day from the doctor comes in response to my question, "How long will I be on this medicine - will this be a lifetime thing?" His response was that we would try it for a year, then slowly wean me off and see what happens because "You are young  - you could still outgrown this". I had no idea that I could still outgrow things at nearly 30 years old, but I am thrilled to learn it! 
All in all, I am in awe of my rainbows. My dryer is still broken, and the checking account is lower then I would like and Zion still pees his pants too often, but my Savior has blessed me beyond measure. I am happy. Joy was never completely lost, but happiness slipped away for awhile. Once again, I AM HAPPY.

Four years later... a little update. They weren't migraines. They were later diagnosed as localized partial seizures... although I think they change their mind on what to call them every time I see a different neurologist!
Please, see my "Made in His image" page to see the latest news in the ever changing brain of Bethany

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Zion's Wordless Wednesday

Yummy Tummy time

My friend Carrie called me the other day to ask for the recipe for The World's Best Peanut Butter Cookies. You can read her blog about it, and see a lot of delicious pictures, and hear the story. My job in all of this is to post the actual recipe. First, a little back story.  This recipe came from a cookbook called "Cherished Recipe's" that was acquired by my mother at one of the many churches either her father or my father preached at sometime in the late 1970's or early 1980's. I LOVE church cookbooks, because you never know what kind of hidden treasure they will contain. They almost never try to be healthy, and the recipes they contain are usually absolutely delicious in their unhealthiness. Since I grew up with this cookbook, I am especially fond of it. I even tried stealing it from my Mom's house when I first moved out. She noticed, and reclaimed it. Sad times. 
 Do any of you remember me mentioning in an earlier blog, Homeschool wonderworld, how I clearly remember cutting a recipe in half while I was studying fractions? This is THAT recipe. So, not only is it delicious, it is full of history. 

1 1/4 cup butter (the real stuff) 1 1/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy, depending on your mood) 1 1/4 cup white sugar  1 1/4 cup brown sugar  3 eggs  2 1/2 tsp vanilla  2 1/2 TBSP milk   2 1/2 tsp baking soda   1 1/4 tsp salt   4 1/2 cups flour  Hershey Kisses if so desired

Cream together all ingredients. Roll into balls and slightly flatten. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Top with Kisses immediately, and remove from pan to cool. If you prefer plain, they are plenty delicious without kisses. I sometimes put dark chocolate chips in and bake them like that. 
 Of course, since this is me, the health conscious diabetic, I usually use Splenda instead of the white sugar, and half the flour is freshly ground whole wheat. That still doesn't make them good for you, but a little less bad.... 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Something that touched my heart

I have spent the day today reading this blog. The whole thing, from January through the present. It has touched me, over and over again. Listening to a mother love, and mourn, and rejoice, and question God, and trust God, and just be real. It has taken me the whole day to read it, with multiple stops to cry, as well as take care of my kids, (who do have to actually be fed, and schooled, and put to bed, etc). The link I am posting here was one of my favorites. Warning, it is very long, but I love how it ends. It is something we have to hear, to learn, to believe, over and over again. I cry out with my whole heart "Bring the Rain".  
 The following song is one of my favorites, ever. After I became a mother, it became harder for me to sing, harder to truly mean. After I became a mother with a child I didn't get to keep, it meant more to me than ever. Because when I sing it, I mean it. I can't sing it every minute, because sometimes I forget that I am not in charge. But every day, I try. I think that is all my Savior asks of me.


A round-about comment

My Mom forgot her password to sign into blogger, so rather than leave comments on my page, she E-mails me her response. This was the response she sent in reply to "the opposite of homeschool wonderland". I just wanted to share it. 
Dearest and most precious Bethany,
I sincerely hope that the rest of the day and week go better... do not get discouraged, you ARE doing the right thing. Little boys (and girls) pee (or poop.. Mary at the mall) their pants and run around naked (Emilee) and write sloppy (Mary Faith STILL) and have trouble reading (Kelsey) and break bones (Emilee again)and get lost (Mary again) and yell at their sibling (probably all of you at one time or another). BUT you are doing the right thing and it is wonderful and they grow up really quickly and leave the house and then you are alone and reading for a few days is nice then you want to hear all the noise and laughter and you get sad and decide to just go and visit the grandkids so you can experience all that you get tired of right now.. again...I LOVE YOU  MOM!

It makes me appreciate my life, RIGHT NOW, EXACTLY how it is... because time WILL keep moving forward. 

Saturday, August 16, 2008

there is this old saying that goes....

"it never rains, but it pours." Yesterday night, it really felt like that. I tend to ignore negative old saying like that. Instead, I am a huge fan of the more positive old sayings. For example, "There is always a light at the end of the tunnel." The problem is, what if you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, because the POURING RAIN is blocking your view so thoroughly that you can't even see your hand in front of your face? That is how I felt. 
 Yesterday was actually a pretty good day. We had friends over for a playdate and lunch. Zion only went through 2 pair of underwear over the course of the day. Canaan didn't argue about his school work. 
 For some reason though, everything felt so heavy. I was so tired, and emotional. I was so tired of being sick, from one thing or another, constantly, for the last 16 years. I had paid the bills online, and I couldn't actually pay them all in full, which was insanely depressing. Andy has three classes right now, and is stressed, which can't help but rub off on me. I could not come up with any ideas for what to make for supper, so Andy had gone out for pizza, making me feel like a failure, both as a cook, a mommy (can we say lacking nutrition?) and as a budget keeper. And to top it all off, my dryer quit working. Round and round it spins, making plenty of noise, but nothing gets dry. Andy and I were talking about it all, right before we put the kids to bed, and when I told him about the dryer his comment was "It never rains, but it pours." And that is when I started pouring. 
 But I had to stop crying and read to my children. I had to, so I did. This is the part that gives me chill bumps. Just by chance,(or not, right?) our "God story" for last night was the story of Elijah and the widow. God tells Elijah to go to the widow, and ask her to feed him. She tells Elijah that she was about to use the last of her flour and oil to make one last meal for her son, and then they were going to starve to death together. And Elijah promises her that if she will just trust, God will make sure that her oil and flour never run out. They will last as long as she needs them to. And they do... end of story. I needed to hear that SO BADLY. God didn't wait for me to pull out my Bible - he used the night time routine I have with my children to speak directly to me. He knew that I needed to be comforted, and He didn't wait. That just thrills me, that My savior loves me so much, that He doesn't wait. 
 I would like to close with a verse that I was reminded of last night. This is The Message translation, so it is a little different than usual, but I like it. "Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise! So we're not giving up. How could we? Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making a new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebrations prepared for us. " (emphasis added) 2 Cor. 4:15-17
 I love promises that I can depend on. I will hold onto it. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

100th post

Here is the second try. Hopefully it will work this time!

For my 100th post, I am stealing a cool idea I saw on my friend Lindsay's blog. She, in turn, got the idea from another college friend, Mary. I don't know where she found it, but it is probably traceable back through hundreds of people. Why don't I ever think of anything original? Anyway, what you do is answer the questions by typing the answer into Flickr, then posting the first picture that comes up to match. I cheated a couple of times and used the second (or more) one instead.
Oh well... here it is. 

Age you'll be on your next birthday:  This is what came up when I typed in age 30. 


Place you would like to visit: Uganda, Africa 

Favorite place: Curled up in my chair, reading a book


Favorite object: God's word



Favorite food: Dark chocolate peanut M&M's 



Favorite beverage: Diet Dr. Pepper



Favorite animal: Turtle



Favorite color: blue



City where you were born: Knoxville, TN



City where you live now:  I recognized this building immediately! I can walk to it from my house! (but who would want to, in this heat?!?) I don't know the lady though... 



Favorite band: Third Day



I am adding one - my favorite musical artist (not a band): Keith Green 



First name: Bethany - this was the first thing that came up, and it made me laugh, so I kept it. 



Last name: you know it! Andy still tries to claim that he (Morgan Freeman) is related to us, distantly, somehow! 



 Favorite Store: Target



Favorite item of clothing: Flip Flops



Favorite movie: This was a really hard one to decide.


the opposite of homeschool wonderworld

I totally should not have written about how wonderful school was going this year. I should have know that it was a sure fire way to have today be absolutely terrible. So far, it is living up to the promise! 
 Currently (11:10 am) both of my boys are in their beds, crying. Zion took his underwear off while I was doing my workout this morning, and put them on his head. No big deal. Then, while I was trying to get Canaan back on track with his handwriting, Zion puts his underwear back on then decided to pee in them, and on my floor. While I was trying to clean that up, Canaan tried to do his handwriting sitting on the bed, instead of at the desk. That, of course, didn't work very well, and it was terribly sloppy. So, I asked  him to do it again. He cried. In the meantime, Zion is still naked. I tell him that he has to wear padded underwear or a Pull-up now- no more "big boy" underwear, since he peed in them. He proceeds to thrown an enormous temper tantrum. In the middle of that, I hear the phone ringing, and it is Andy's ring, so I rush to answer it. He is calling to tell me that he and a female student in his ALS class are going to the commissary to pick up some food supplies for the class. (he just wanted to make sure I knew, since the AF works just like a small town, and if he didn't take the time to tell me, then someone would see him, and be sure to call and tell me that "Andy was driving around base with a strange woman in his car")

Okay - It is now two hours later. I got interrupted, and am just now coming back to the blog. Don't you know that is how it works. The rest of the morning went just as badly... probably worse. Zion ended up getting a spanking. Canaan cried some more. 
 But, we have had lunch, and I am feeling renewed. Hopefully we can have a fresh start this afternoon. I hold onto hope with both hands. And that is how I will end this post - with hope. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Homeschool wonderworld

Yesterday Canaan came to understand the absolute joy of homeschooling. We had just finished reading time, and were about to transition to math, and he asked if he could have a snack. I told him he could have some fruit. He went to the fridge, picked out a plum, and came back to tell me, "Mom - we use to have four plums, one for each person in the family, but I am eating one, so now we only have three". My immediate response was "Let's put that in different words. 4 take away one, or minus one, equals three." And for some reason, that clicked with him. He counted everything throughout lunch, adding and subtracting. He still has to actually count to get the answer - we counted grapes, animal crackers - but the concept is there. And that is what I love about homeschooling. In school, a teacher will have a word problem, with pictures in a book, of "Johnny had three apples, but he ate one. How many are left?" My 5 year old had actual plums, and grapes to work with. Math time did not end when math time was over. He voluntarily carried it over into lunch time. And that is why homeschooling works for me. Neither family time nor school ever end. They are both constantly happening. Life is learning. 
 My friend Carrie called me to ask for a recipe the other day. It is for peanut butter cookies, and it is a recipe I have been making for YEARS - one of those "church cookbook" things. It was originally for 13 dozen. I clearly remember when I was studying fractions, around 9 or 10 years old, one of my school projects was to cut that recipe in half. It is written there in the cookbook, 1 1/4 cups sugar, instead of 2 1/2, 2 1/2 tsp soda, rather than 5, etc. That was school. I am pretty sure my friend Michelle, who was also homeschooled, was over that day. We probably weren't actually doing any bookwork - but my Mom had the idea to have us make cookies. Picking a recipe and finding it in the table of contents was reading. Cutting it in half was math. Watching the chemical reaction of mixing, then baking was science. She probably came up with a way to have history thrown in there too, knowing my Mom. I am not saying that every day of my education was like that - obviously I had to actually read history, and literature (like that was a hard subject to talk me into!) and learn algebra and biology - but my life as a homeschooler was full of LIFE skills. I really want to pass that along to my kids. 
 Having Canaan just "get it" while doing something totally not school related was thrilling for me. It reminded me, and confirmed to me, that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. 

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Bedtime stories

I pulled out a photo album today full of pictures of myself growing up. (side note - I don't recommend looking at pictures of yourself from middle school, or highschool for that matter either! At least, I didn't like looking at my clothing in them!!!)
 Anyway... I wanted to look at pictures with my kids of myself when I was their ages. We were flipping through pages, and I was pointing people out to them and Canaan says "Wait. That is Papaw? I didn't know he used to have black hair!" And that really threw me for a loop. My Dad is now gray headed enough that Canaan doesn't know that he has black hair! That kinda freaked me out. Here is a picture of my Dad reading me a bedtime story when I was about 6 years old. 


 And here is one of my Dad reading to my boys sometime earlier this year. I think that 20 some odd years have been good to him, don't you? 

I guess the really good traditions never die, huh? Dr. Seuss in both pictures... anybody notice that? 

Thursday, August 07, 2008

12 Skinny Guys...

Don't be in too much of a hurry, because he hasn't actually written anything yet... but (drum roll please....) Andy has started a blog. His  is mostly going to be malarky I think, but that fits, right?
 Check back in a day or two and see if he actually gets around to writing anything here! 

A slideshow


Andy is a dork.... but I love him. Please, feel free to laugh at him. I certainly do. And yes, he actually took shampoo out there, and washed his hair. Just because.  

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Itchy, itchy itchy

I despise cardiac monitor adhesive. Hate, abhor, dislike with all my being. 
 Okay, all better. I just had to get that off my chest. haha... wish I could truly get it "off my chest". I really don't think I will make it 30 days. That is a long time to itch! The technician did order the sensitive skin adhesive for me, so hopefully that will come soon. I am not sure it will fix the problem, but it will hopefully be slightly better! 
 Anyway... I was at the Cardiologist yesterday. They did an echocardiogram, and set me up with this 30 day event monitor. I just hit a button if I feel a spell coming on, and it records my heart rate for about 2 minutes. I then call a phone number, and play the signal back, over the phone. It is pretty cool, really. Annoying and itchy, but cool. 
 I actually had a pretty big episode last night, and got it recorded. The recording ended before the episode did... so I don't know if that is a problem or not. I really don't think my heart is the problem anyway, so this is probably just a waste of time. Oh well... it doesn't hurt to eliminate possibilities. 
 I now have an MRI scheduled for next week, and and EEG for the week after that. Hopefully we will be educated soon. 

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Another Binkley Sister Blog

Side note... my sister Emilee has started a blog. I added it to my "lineup" on the side, but I just wanted to point it out, for any of you who know her, and want to read about her life too.  Check it out here

You're going if I have to drag your butt to church....

I don't know if any of you listen to country music, but that line from the Darryl Worley song was quoted several times on Sunday at our house. Strangely enough, Andy was the one saying it to me. I guess what I had written a few days before, about accepted whatever God had for me, hadn't actually begun to work in my life yet. As I mentioned before, last week at church I went forward for pray. I was truly and honestly open to healing, but truly and honestly open also to a "no" from God. I just wanted to "no" to include a diagnosis, something I could Google, and learn more about, and have a plan of action for. I HATE the "Just wait" answer. 
 But, Andy quoted good ol' Darryl, and dragged my butt to church. We are three minutes late, after dropping the kids in sunday school and nursery, and they have already started the BABY DEDICATION!!!! If we had been on time, I might have had time to get my emotions under control before it got started, but walking in on it already started.... I had no chance. So the entire first 30 minutes of church I just cried. Sniffled, then tears running down my face, then wipe them off, and try to pull myself together, only to start all over again. Sometimes, I really hate being a girl. Andy was TOTALLY unaffected. He truly didn't seem to know why I was crying to start with, then when I told him, he still had no understanding of why. He tried to help, by telling me how hard it would be if we had a 4 month old and we were dealing with whatever this sickness is too. Like that would help me feel better? I truly can't understand what he was thinking. Did he really think I had the ability to be relieved that my baby had died? I think he did... and I can't be mad at him for that. I guess his stress level is lower then it would be, if he was trying to support a third child. But I cannot feel anything resembling a happy thought, a positive spin, on NOT having my baby. 
 But, I am glad I went to church. Even when I am confused, and hurt, and annoyed, it is a good thing to be surrounded by my siblings. God is with me everywhere, so I don't have to go to church to be with HIM. But other Christians are a blessing. 
 I am not sure what kind of comments I am thinking will come from this. I didn't really write it for the comments, or input from others. I just had to vent. It never goes away. I already know that, just from my Mom losing her babies. Those three little siblings are still in my heart. But I thought I was in better control with my own little one... I guess not.
 Thanks for listening.

A recipe

I was cooking supper the other day when Carrie called. I was kind of making it up as I went along, and she wanted to know how it turned out. It was actually really good, so here it is. 
 1 very large potato, baked and chopped
 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
 1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
 1/4 cup black olives, chopped
 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped 
 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
 1 can cream of mushroom soup, mixed with...
 2 Tbsp milk

Layer ingredients in casserole dish then bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (basically, until warm all the way through) 
 This recipe came about because I was just trying to use up the feta cheese and mushrooms before they went bad, and happened to have two chicken breasts already cooked and in the fridge.  I LOVE it when that works out (because, trust me, sometimes it REALLY doesn't work out!)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Video

I just wanted everyone to know that I have some really cute videos, and I AM going to figure out how to upload it onto here! Just a warning.... so be prepared. 

Saturday, August 02, 2008

4th of July


Camping, 4th of July weekend

First, the boys tied Mary into the hammock. 
Then Canaan wanted a turn.
Zion, wearing his brother's boots. 

Mom, trying to hide from the camera, and Emilee, loving it
Climbing a tree.