Who writes this stuff?

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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

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Adventure

Our Thanksgiving day was wonderful, and I will have lot of pictures of it later, but we are still at my parents, and time is short. For now, I just wanted to share one story.
There is a saying I heard once, "It isn't really a holiday, until someone has called the Fire Dept." Well, we got to live that one on Thursday.
Late Thursday evening, after full bellies, washed dishes, several rounds of dominoes, and then some more eating, I set Zion in front of the television downstairs. All of the adults were upstairs, playing board games, talking on the phone, etc. I had checked on him once, but after a little while, Andy suddenly goes "Do you smell smoke?"
The answer to that question was a definite "YES". No parent ever wants to hear those words.
Andy and I both went running down the stairs. My parents have a gas heater in the basement, so our first assumption was that Zion had stuck something in the flame there. He has never touched it before, and knows he is not supposed to, but that was the first thought.... however, there were no charred remains of anything near the heater.
That made is a little more scary. If it wasn't the heater, now we started thinking electrical fire, hidden wires, something smoldering - So, I called 911. They, of course, tell us to evacuate the premises.
All of this had taken less than 5 minutes so far, and had included sending Canaan upstairs to find my Dad, (who was on the phone with his parents) and who came running with the fire extinguisher. It had also included sending Zion upstairs, where he had sat with Kelly, a friend of the family, and cried, and babbled, continiously. (We assume now that he was probably trying to confess... but she certainly couldn't understand what he was saying!)
Anyway, while I was looking for coats and shoes for our children to "evacuate" with, Andy, somehow, had the brilliant idea to open the microwave that my dad keeps in the basement to make hot tea with. This is what he found, after the smoke cleared....

It use to be a lint brush. It belonged to my great grandmother in the 1960's, and has been used to brush lint off clothing in our family for 5 generations. (yes, I am serious)
Now, it is charcoal.

I can promise you that it doesn't take long to turn plastic into charcoal in the microwave, because Zion was not down there by himself very long, and the microwave was not running when we starting smelling smoke and ran down there.

I called the Fire Dept. back immediately, and they didn't even come. The excitement was over. Now we just had to deal with the stink of burnt plastic.
Side note....The smoke detector didn't even go off!
That was our Thanksgiving adventure!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The ABC's of Thankfulness

First off - I have missed the internet! I know it has only been about three days, but when you are use to posting every day, going three days without so much as even reading your E-mail is a huge thing. However, I have been having a blast with my family, so it has been worth it.

Now, on to the important stuff. I heard a DJ talking about his list of things to be thankful for the other day. He was trying to be creative, and move beyond the basic, usual, "family, health, etc". So, he tried to come up with something for every letter of the Alphabet. I thought that was a fun idea. I am tired, and it is almost 1am, so mine will be non-creative, and include a lot of names, but, here it is.

A - Andy (of course)
B - Books (is anyone surprised by that one!!!)
C- Canaan
D- Diapers, and the fact that my kids don't need them anymore!
E- Eggs, one of my favorite foods
F- Flip flops
G- Grandparents - mine and Andys, and those that belong to my children (ie, my parents, and my in-laws)
H- Hugs
I- Icecream - especially Breyers all natural Vanilla
J- Jesus - enough said
K- Kindness
L- Love - I know that is cheesy, but hey, it is my list, and I am thankful for love!
M- the Military - I hate that there is a need for it, but I am glad my husband has a job, and that it works to keep our country secure.
N- Nuts - an alternative source of protein, for my vegetarian days.
O- Oranges
P- People - lots of them
Q- Quilts, especially ones made by my talented sister
R- Recipes - I love to bake, and I love new ideas, or old ideas
S- Sisters, my "real" ones, and the ones I have "added" over the years.
T- Thanksgiving, a time to remind us to be thankful!
U- Umbrellas - Zion thinks they are really cool
V- Voices - both literally, and figuratively
W- Water - we would die without it, so duh....
X- X-men - the world is a better place because of Wolverine, or at least because of Hugh Jackman dressed as Wolverine, so I can be thankful for X-men, right?
Y- Yeast - it helps make some yummy bread
Z- Zion

So everyone - be thankful. Remember WHOM we are thankful to. Blessings!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Miracle on 34th St.

It is official - my oldest is now a theater geek. Canaan proudly had his first ever speaking part in a theater production. On Friday and Sat. night Act 1 productions put on "Miracle on 34th Street", and he played "Jake", who sits on Santa's lap and asks for a fire truck. My dad has a video of it, but it isn't very clear. I may post it later, if I can clean it up a little.
Act 1 is sort of my Mom's "baby". My younger sisters got involved in theater, after I was already grown and gone, and Mom was a very involved parent. By the time they finished growing up, Mom was hooked. She is the producer, costume mistress and general "whatever needs done" lady, and has now managed to rope in her best friend, Eva Jo, and her two younger kids (who were the flower girl and ring bearer at my wedding!) into it too.
But, that wasn't enough. She needed a family member. Since Mary and Kelsey are too old, it was time to recruit the next generation. So, Canaan has crossed over to the dark side - or turned to the light - depending on who you talk to! HE LOVES IT! He has been here (at Mom's house) all week for tech week, and has gotten slightly spoiled. He has gotten to hang out with teenagers. I have discovered multiple pictures of him on Facebook, hanging out backstage with cute girls. Let me tell you, that is slightly disconcerting ~ to discover pictures of your five year old, with comments to go along with them, all over Facebook. Luckily, so far the manners I have "raised" him with seem to be proving themselves, and the stories I am hearing are mostly good, and all innocent. The only thing bad I have heard so far is that he drooled when he laughed, which with his allergies and the old building they had the play in, is not at all surprising!

Canaan especially loved the idea that he gets gifts after a show. We decided he probably wouldn't care for flowers, so he got matchbox cars, a Curious George book, and candy after his shows. I was definitely afraid he was going to be spoiled rotten!
However, he proved me wrong. Today was the last day to deliver the "Operation Christmas Child" shoeboxes, so we were wrapping them, and putting the finishing touches in them. I noticed that one of them still had some extra room, so I asked Canaan if he could share one of his extra toys. I suggested that he share the Lego I had gotten him when I went out of town last week, since he hadn't opened it yet. He had to think it over for a few minutes, and I didn't push, but in the end, he cheerfully shared.
So, I was super proud of how clearly he said his lines on Fri. and Sat. night. And I was thrilled that he cooperated nicely backstage with the older kids. But more importantly, I was just blessed by the fact that even after spending a week eating icecream every night and getting a toy out of the machine every time they went to the grocery ("It only costs two quarters!!" he cheerfully quoted) (and my Mom made sure to stop by at least every other day, just for him!) Canaan still has a spirit of generosity. That gives me joy.

Be Thankful. Be Blessed, Bethany

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On a lighter note...

A few weeks ago our friends Amanda and Emily Anne came to visit. I posted our Halloween pictures while they were here, but I never got around to posting the pics of "just cute things". Emily's 2nd birthday was the week after they came, so she opened her present from us while she was here. I needed to post something happy, so.... here are some pictures!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Emotions

 I logged on here after a good cry, thinking that maybe a time of "venting" my emotions would help. But then I read Carrie's blog about being positive, rather than negative, so I tried to tame my emotions. Then I read Marcy's cute tales about Disney, and Mary's adorable story about her son, and his robot. 
 It is hard to stay depressed. Which is a good thing I guess. But I do need some support. I need to know that people are reading this, and hopefully lifting me up in prayer. I wouldn't mind an occasional comment in the comment section too - just a little suggestion there, for anyone who is listening (wink wink). Seriously though, prayer. Prayer is what I covet. 

 It seems I cry a lot lately. I pulled out the Christmas CD's. Listen to Third Day's Merry Christmas  on Rhapsody and tell me it doesn't fit my situation. I think I am justified in crying with that song. As much as I am trying to move forward, I am still attached to my little Gifty, so this video made me burst into tears. She has been so sick still. I check on her often, and her adoption has still not gone through. My heart breaks, daily. Now, we have moved our adoption plan to another country, (Benin) and been given a picture of another little angel. 
 Everyone, this is Glwadys. She will be three in March. We are hoping to make her ours.  
 I didn't want to fall in love with her. After Gifty, I told myself to just do the paperwork. Just stay calm, and efficient, but disconnected. But then we got this picture. And I started to bend a little. Then, that gosh-darned Third Day song played over and over (because I had the CD on repeat play in my CD player....) and I lost my ability to stay disconnected. Now, I want her to be here. I want to buy her Christmas pajama's, and fill a stocking for her. I want to hold her so badly. So so so badly. 
 
 I knew when we started this journey that some days would be easier then others. I didn't realize that they would all be bad, but that some would be simply bad, and others would be horrible. 

 So, today was just one of those days. Canaan has been at my parent's house all week. He sent me a letter in the mail, and I got it today. The first letter I have ever received in the mail from my son. I know it won't be the last. Before I am ready, he will grow up, and move away. Today was just a slightly spooky glimpse of that, getting a letter from him in the mail. 
 Yesterday my Mormon missionary friends came by, again. They are regular visitors here. I think they have hope of converting me. I just like to feed them. They are so young, and far from their mothers. My heart breaks for them, because they are so closed to any new ideas, any possibilities of anything outside of the strict code they have been brought up with. I argue with them, in a friendly sort of way, and promise that I will read the literature they leave with me. I do my best to follow through - I respect them too much to ignore what they believe, even if I cannot accept it as truth. Yet another part of my heart to hurt - it was heavy still today from their visit yesterday. 
 Then, when I was at the Salvation Army, out walked this young, young girl - 23, 24 at most, with THREE young children. The oldest, who couldn't have been more than three, was wearing shorts, and was barefoot, at a store, in November. I wanted to cry. I wanted to puke. I wanted to yell at God. Why? Why does this little girl, who obviously is in way over her head have three children, when my sister, my mature, responsible, stable sister is having to work so hard to get pregnant? Why does God make things like that happen?
 
 It took me the rest of the day, an argument with poor, unsuspecting Andy, then me crying all over him - plus a nice soothing load of laundry, before I finally stopped being miserable, and yelling at God, long enough to listen to Him. Thankfully, He is patient.  
 I was reminded that God doesn't make things like this happen. God made us - individual, imperfect, but in His image. We choose which way we will live. Whether we will make wise decisions or foolish ones. Whether we will close ourselves off, or give ourselves fully. Whether we will have joy or sadness, anger or forgiveness. WE CHOOSE. 
 And if I can be so heartbroken about the bad choices that people have made, and I am just another person, just think how heartbroken the Creator is. If I want to cry, I cannot even imagine how much He hurts for those He loves who choose, over and over, to hurt themselves. He hurts too. Every moment, of every day. He hurts for us. I know Him, love Him, have Him as my best friend. And still, I break His heart daily. And that is just me. Multiply that by billions. That is just overwhelming - and it put me in my place.  

 Let me close with an excerpt from my devotions this morning. (note that God was trying to warn me... too bad I didn't listen close enough) 

Blessed is he that waiteth. Daniel 12:12
 "It may seen an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God's warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption?
  No, but simply wait. Wait in Prayer, however. Call upon God and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of aid. 
 Wait in Faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him. Believe that if He keeps you tarrying even till midnight, yet He will come at the right time; the vision shall come, and shall not tarry.  
 Wait in Quiet Patience. Never murmur against the second cause as the children of Israel did against Moses. Accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, ' Now, Lord, not my will, but Thine be done. I know not what to do. I am brought to extremities; but I will wait until Thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if Thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon Thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for Thee in full conviction that Thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.'" Streams in the Desert, Nov. 20th
 
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I was tagged...

(The problem with finishing this late at night, is that I forgot to reset the date on it, so it got posted to a spot three days ago - sorry!) Here it is! 



 I was tagged, and flattered, by my new blog friend Karlie. She did a really cool job with hers; lots of pictures, inventive wording, creativity. So.... I am trying to be creative too. It's not really competition, per se. Just making me get off my lazy, stuck in the mud, usual way of doing things, hiney. The topic is, Five Things I Love




 If you have ever read my blog before, and actually, even if you haven't read my blog, and have only read my profile, you know that I love Jesus,

 my amazing, wonderful, beautiful family

and the good ole, US of A.
       

So, what else do I love, besides the obvious?


1. I love jewelry.  
 When I was younger, I loved jewelry. A lot. Middle school, Highschool, even college, I loved earrings, and bracelets and funky beads. Then, I had babies. Babies love to reach out and pull. When they are nursing, they like to grab. Plus, I was tired, and my outfits were really lucky to have both a shirt and pants and shoes, forget worrying if they matched. So, bit by bit, I quit wearing jewelry, until I was down to just my wedding rings and very small, very basic earrings. 
 But my sisters kept on collecting, (and I have raided their "leftovers") and my wonderful husband still bought me the occasional piece, and now, five years later I have suddenly realized that I have the time to pick out jewelry in the mornings again. And what a joy that is! Dangling earrings with their splashes of color on the ends. Bangles that clink and clash and make music as I move to the rhythm of life. My (few) elegant gemstones that catch the sun, and reflect the glorious artistry of nature. Jewelry makes me feel beautiful. And it is so much easier to be cheerful and shiny when you are wearing something cheerful and shiny! I love jewelry. 

2. I love Target.
 Yes, the store. They have such wonderful clearance! Markdowns are truly marked d o w n ..... there, and I LOVE it! Sometime, just go and walk around the "outside loop" and see what you can find. It is like a treasure hunt! Body wash, 2 pack with a "poof", $3.00 (and this is where coupons come in really handy too!) Organic, whole grain granola bars, .24 cents! The "old version" of the Mach 4 razor blade - half price. When you have a military husband, this is a priceless find! I bought 8 packs! Yeah, it was a lot of money at one time, but in the long run, it was worth it! And don't even get me started on clothes... just take, for instance, this "dress" (which I wear as a shirt) I purchased for $5.74 and the belt to go with it, less than $4.00! 

 I asked Andy to take my picture for this posting, and he encouraged an entire modeling show. After I stopped laughing my head off, he insisted that I post at least one of the silly ones. Zion "helped" too. 

3. I love Words
 All kinds of words really, but especially the written kind. The flowing descriptiveness of Poetry. The slightly naughty, silly times of romantic fiction, like Nora Roberts and Susan Elizabeth Philips. The heartbreaking pain of love and loss that I both hate and yet love, like Nicholas Sparks and James Patterson. The challenging inspiration of famous biographies. History- things that really happened. Science fiction- pure imagination, and mostly things that I hope will never happen! Francine Rivers, Gilbert Morris, Jane Austen, Stephenie Meyer, C. S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Aston, any of the Bronte sisters - the list goes on and on.
 The wonderful, fun books that I read to my children - Clifford, Curious George, Dr. Seuss, The Berensteins, Little Critter, Thomas. 
 Most importantly, and imperatively, the words that give life. As the DC Talk song says, "the words written in red". I love words. 

4. I love these hands.
 They work hard, every single day. They turn a wrench, and get covered in grease, then open a book and write a term paper. They make really delicious, creative, never before tried food, then, if needed, wash the dishes too. They can turn raw clay into a decorative pot, or random recyclables into works of art (he was an art major when I married him after all), or change the oil in my car, or plant a tree in our backyard.
 After more than seven years of marriage, just the thought of those gifted hands can still send shivers of anticipation up my spine. Yet those hands can just as easily turn the pages of Seuss, and tuck youngins into their beds, then fold in bedtime prayer with our boys.  
 And those hands belong to me forever. That permanent band of ink around the finger of his left hand state that loud and clear, even when he is at work where rings are a safety hazard. I love these hands (and the man whom they belong to!)
(here is a very silly picture - what can I say - he is a silly guy, who really didn't want to pose for pictures)
 

5. I love being green
 I can't help it. It is just important to me. It's not like I came out of the womb saying, "recyle, reduce, reuse" or anything. But when I was in college, someone came up with the nickname "Captain Planet" for me, and it stuck. I organized the recycling drive, first for my dorm, then for the library, then for the entire campus. 
 I love finding new ways to be kind to this earth that my creator commanded me to care for. I firmly believe that we are called to watch over the earth. It is our job, as humans, created in God's image. 
   I love recycling. I love trying to grow some of my own food. I love eating organic and local as often as I can possibly afford it. I love driving my tiny little fuel efficient vehicle. I love turning the air up to 78, even though Andy would rather it be set at 72. I survive leaving the heat set at 68, even though I think my toes are going to fall off, because it is better for this beautiful, amazing earth. I love encouraging other to try to do any and all of the above mentioned things. I love being green

Now, my turn to tag five more people. I tag Carrie,  Mary, Lindsay, Kathryn, and Emilee, (who has to tag Abby for me, since I ran out of turns) 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

There are birds, and there are birds, and then, there are turkeys....

     I hate birds.
Maybe hate is a strong word, but I strongly dislike them. I know that when I was very young my grandparents had a pet bird. Maybe it bit me, I don't know. I don't have any clear memory of it or anything, but I do have very strong, very clear memories of years worth of nightmares about birds. Birds chasing me, attacking my family, betraying our position to the "enemy". 
And I have never even seen "the movie"!   

Maybe I don't hate them at all - I am just, plain and simply, terrified! 

But despite all that, I still can't enjoy eating them. (maybe because the "evil" birds are usually crows, and the ones I eat are usually innocent and slightly dumb looking chickens?) I read an article this morning about a bird-free Thanksgiving, and it sounded delicious. I am aware that most people associate Thanksgiving with a Turkey, but really, isn't it about thanking God for all of our blessings? That doesn't have to include a turkey.  

Now, I am aware that the people that I will be eating Thanksgiving dinner with are going to be reading this blog. So, Mom and Ellen.... think it over. Then, if you think it over and don't think it sounds good, I promise I will be quiet. Those who will not be eating Thanksgiving with me, think about branching out. Try something new and different. The pilgrims did! 

 On a similar train of thought - The tofurkymobile is trying to travel "around the globe", based on pledges to be meatless just one day a week. If you visit their website you can sign up for a fun info pack which comes with coupons, recipes, etc. If you read the information, you might be interested in trying a meatless day, just once a week. It can't hurt, and you never know what it might help!  According to their website, "We have calculated that the amount of green house gas emissions reduced by going meatless just one day a week is equal to the amount released when you drive a car that averages 20 mpg 16.5 miles." 
 Because of all the grain needed to feed the animals, and transportation to get them to the butcher, then to the store, the electricity to keep them refrigerated or frozen, then to cook them... well - just try going meatless one day a week. Eat fresh, locally grown fruits, veggies and grains. (see my new widget to find local markets) 
 Try making your own bread - trust me, it tastes so much better, simply because of the love your own hands put into it. Add some protein and fiber rich beans to your diet. Maybe some fresh, local organic cheese and butter. Try some nuts, straight off the tree. 
 I love food. There are so many wonderful, edible things out there. All over the globe, humans have discovered amazingly delicious concoctions. And everything had to be "new" at one point in time. Someone had to be the first one to try it. So, remember that, and be creative.
 
 Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner, no matter what it consists of! Just make sure it includes a small amount of chocolate, because no day is complete without chocolate, and remember most importantly to be Thankful!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just a quick word of encouragement


 Andy has requested several new books lately. When Andy asks for a book, I pretty much never tell him no, since he rarely finds something he wants to read. I, on the other hand, will read pretty much anything that comes within my line of sight... but more on that another time! 
 Right now, along with Trig. and Ethics and his CDC's (which are plenty of reading on their own), Andy is reading "No Atheists in Foxholes". It is his book, so I haven't read much of it, but I have borrowed it now and again. I wanted to pass along this little excerpt. 
 The setting is Iraq, and the backstory is that an Iraqi child has been accidently shot by insurgents during some fighting between American soldiers and insurgents. The father brought him to an American checkpoint and just handed him over, trusting that he would be taken care of.  
 "He (the father) tells us that when his son was shot, he didn't hesitate to risk not knowing where his son was going - as long as his son was with the Americans who would give him the best medical treatments available. The father explains that he has faith in our doctors and that their reputation is known all over the area. And so, without hesitation, he handed over his son - his firstborn son, his helper on the farm, his pride and joy - with complete faith and trust. The translator has explained to him what I am and what I do as the chaplain for the surgical unit. The father turns to me and says that God is good and that he knew that God and the Americans would take care of his son. He says that all of life in Iraq is in God's hands. 
 It does not matter that his son was prayed for by a Protestant chaplain and operated on by a Catholic surgeon and a Jewish surgeon. Those are mere details about the people who are instruments of God's hands during this time of crisis. Here, in a war torn country during the Islamic season of Ramadan, I am learning what living faith really is. I - a Christian chaplain - am learning from an Islamic father that faith means letting go and trusting God and other people at the absolute worse, most traumatic time of your life. I am learning that faith means risking everything to save someone you love. I am learning that faith is a blessing that comes with an unwavering belief in God, and sometimes in humanity, despite living in the midst of the worst of humanity's action. I am learning about faith far from home and not from a book, not from another chaplain, not from a sister or brother in Christ, but from a Muslim father." 

 Lessons in faith are everywhere, if we only look and see. I thought this was a beautiful story. I loved the part about the people who are instruments of God's hands. Look for instruments in your life, and try to be one, every chance you get. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Words

 While I was on my little vacation, Mom helped Zion name one of his stuffed animals. It is a little boxer that Canaan "bought" for him when he was first born. He carries it around quite often, so she thought he needed a name. It is a fairly tough looking little dog, so they named it "Butch". 
 There is only one problem with that name. Zi has a small speech delay. Rather than say "u" in the middle of the word, he says "i". As in, the proper name for a female dog. 
 His Noni says he is just advanced. No need to teach him silly, baby words. He is just going straight to proper, technical terms. 
 We'll just make sure we leave that stuffed toy at home in the future, so he isn't announcing it's name in the middle of Target, or better yet, church! 
 
 Mom is really enjoying my kids and words it seems. She took Canaan home with her his week (which is another whole blog, since poor Zi does not know what to do with himself without a brother to pick on!) Mom asked Canaan, "Can you buckle up by yourself?" She couldn't hear his answer clearly, so she asked, spelling it out, "C-A-N, can, or C-A-N-T, can't?" Canaan replied, "N-O, no" He couldn't spell the whole word she wanted (although he could have, if he had thought about it... but I won't push that part of it!)  so he just changed to another word, which he was sure he could spell! 
 
 On a small side note, while I was on vacation, I was "tagged". I am working on it, I promise... it is just taking me a little while to figure out what I want to say, and compile the pictures I want to use. So, be forewarned... it is coming, and I will be tagging others. So beware!  
 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Watch your words...

...for they may come back to haunt you. 

 I found this blog that I started to write several weeks ago, that I never finished, and never posted. I think that today is the day instead.  

 My friend Lindsey was blogging today about our example to our children. What we say to our children is important. We have to tell them a lot of things, teach them a lot of things. But over and above that we have to model the behavior that we want them to learn. 
 And not only our actions, but our attitude too. It isn't enough to tell them to be polite. It isn't even enough to say "thank you". We have to truly and honestly have a grateful heart. Children pick up on those things. At least mine can. They know a fake attitude, and Canaan especially is not afraid to call me on it. 
 Today my children gave me an example of some my own greatest faults. This afternoon Zion was playing on the computer. His daddy came up behind him and started to tickle him. His response was, "Not now Daddy, I'm playing Elmo!" He is two, with speech delays, so it wasn't quite that clear... but we knew what he was trying to say. Now, I wonder who else in this family might be likely to say "not now".....?  Surely not me! 
 Then when we were sitting down for supper Canaan pulled on the waistband of his pants and said, "I think I'm getting fat." 
 WHAM! Talk about a smack in the face. Perhaps I care a little too much about what size my pants are, and how they fit? 

 What I never finished saying is that, thankfully, we have a Heavenly Father full of grace. HIS example is the one we can count on. HIS example is there, written down, and available for us. 
 I am so sorry, Canaan and Zion, for the many many time I have failed you, and for the many many times I am going to fail you in the future. I will do my best to point you toward the example I am trying to follow. Please, don't follow me. Follow HIM. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

All good things must come to an end

Ahh..... Vacation. Carrie and I had a blast. 
We didn't end up relaxing too much, which was our original plan, but we had fun. I am still struggling with getting pictures to go where I want them to, so we'll just see how this turns out! We went to Downtown Disney on Thursday and bought some goodies for our kids. The Lego store really was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Can you find me, among the crowd of Lego people? 

Later we met up with Marcy and Scott, who were visiting Disney for their anniversary. I went to college with Marcy, but I had never met Scott, and Carrie had never met either of them, so we really enjoyed getting to spend some time together. There were several fun stories to tell about how Marcy and I met (it seems I have been quite opinionated and outspoken for awhile now!) and how Carrie and I ended up best friend-in-laws. (our husbands are best friends, thus, we are best friends by marriage!)  Also, how my big wedding is what is partially responsible for Carrie's very small, very hurried wedding. (attending mine gave her a small case of stage fright!) 














I was informed that the lights on the Disney castle are LED lights, and that they take less electricity to run than your refrigerator, so I was not allowed to complain about them being "un- green". Carrie enjoyed the fireworks enough for both of us, so my slight (and I must point out that it was only slight) negative comment about the waste, when there are thousands of starving children around the world, was cheerfully ignored. Carrie really is a good sport, to invite me on her vacation, then put up with my inability to stop feeling the need to save the entire world! 

 I have to brag just a little bit. We were pretty much dared (by our husbands) that we couldn't eat on $30 each for the whole trip. So, of course, dare a couple of frugal freaks, and just see what happens. We brought some food with us. Granola bars, string cheese and Triscuits will last a long time. We managed to spend less than $45 (combined!) on food and beverages the entire 4 days we were gone. AT DISNEY!  That was, strangely enough, really fun. We walked a lot too. So even though a lot of what we ate was junk food, we burned it all off! 

This is where we stayed - The Swan
It was very elegant, and it smelled fabulous! They had Bath and Body Works soaps and shampoo samples, so I assume that is what the lobby smelled like too. Whatever it was, I think it was my favorite part. They also had really excellent feather pillows, down comforters,  which were deliciously comfortably, and this waterfall, which was part of one of the three or four pools. I enjoyed that! The pool was totally empty when I took this picture, but by the time we got around to swimming, there were a lot of people there. Not enough to be crowded, just enough so that it didn't feel like we were in "Left Behind" or something! 

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. Now I am glad to be home. I missed my boys, all three of them. I am ready to get some more paperwork done. I am ready to add a girl to this family, and in order to do that, I have to just bite the bullet, and do the nitty gritty boring stuff! So, bring it on! 



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We're having fun

The pictures are not doing what I want, so they are not in any order, but this is my vacation, and I am ont going to fight with them, so... Oh well!!


















Carrie and I went to Mickey's Christmas party last night, rode multiple rides, saw cute and friendly characters, and stood in very few lines. We did not carry any babies, did not change any diapers, did not stress, pretty much at all.
I took this picture of the moon from the top of the Swiss Family Robinson's tree house. That was one of my favorite things when I was 10, and remains one of my favorite still. I love the Disney movie, and love the original book even more. If I am every shipwrecked in a deserted island, I sincerly hope that 1.) I have a copy of the book with me, since it is so educational and tell you have to survive on a deserted island, and 2.) I have such a positive attitude. I am inspired by them, and by the silly little sign that I took a picture of.














Last, but not least, here is me with Rafiki! This was the only character that Carrie and I were patient enough to wait in line for, since his line was only 3 people long, but he was friendly. He even gave me a kiss, which was super exciting!! Too bad Andy wasn't there to defend my honor and punch that monkey! Just kidding!
Well, Carrie and I are off to eat food that our hubbies don't care for (lots of veggies and hopefully some chocolate!) and see what else we can find to do. Hopefully after that, we will hit the pool.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Pirate Afternoon

I forgot to take my camera to the Fall Festival at church today, so I decided to throw a few pics from earlier this week on here instead. Here are my handsome boys, just being boys.


To go with the slideshow, here is a short video of my boys in their "pirate ship". I especially love the end.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

My vacation

Surprise.... I am going on vacation!! Just me - no kids, no husband. You must be asking, how in the world did you manage that?! That is a good question, and to be completely honest, I am still not sure. My friend Carrie called me yesterday (my goodness, was it just yesterday?) to say that she had won a 3 nights stay at a luxury resort in Orlando!! The only catch was that in order to claim her prize, she had to use it next week! But, she is a homeschool mom, with a fabulous mother in law who happened to be available to watch her kids, so it worked out. She was originally going to take the vacation with another friend of hers who lives just down the street. But, I live on the way to Orlando, so I told her that she had to stop at my house on the way down. We got to talking, and she said, "Bethany, why don't you come too?" Of course, my first thought was, "There is no way Andy would let me go on such short notice, and who would watch my kids?" But, just for giggles, I called my wonderful, amazing, Mom, who said... "Sure, work is slow, I can take next week off and watch your kids." Then I called my wonderful, amazing husband, who said, "I will be working 12 hour shifts all week next week, so I am not going to see you anyway. Sure, go ahead". So, with about 4 days advance notice, I am now going to Disney for a 3 night stay at a very fancy resort, spending one evening at Disney World for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, getting to see my college friend Marcy, who just happens to be spending the week at Disney at the same time, and just relaxing by the pool, reading a book, trying to vacation as cheaply as possible. Carrie's original friend ended up not being able to come after all, so it may just be the two of  us - we're still looking into a third "partner in crime". No worries - we can handle it! 

 I am so excited! Contrary to what Carrie's blog says, I have been to Disney before. However, I haven't been since I was 10, so it has been nearly 20 years. Also, I haven't been on a vacation in a really really long time. Especially one without my kids, which is, in and of itself, a vacation. Not that I don't adore every minute with my kids. I am just really really excited about getting a few days to not have to think about the toilet needs of others! Just for a few days....

 So, that is my exciting update for today. I think I might still be in shock. I haven't even made a list, or started packing, or anything. It isn't quite real yet. We leave on Tuesday, so I better get my act together soon! Just give me a few more hours...

Friday, November 07, 2008

A little video

Andy says I shouldn't post this, since Canaan is wearing such a "stereotypical" (Bible Thumper) shirt. In ten years, he might hate me for this... but I think it is precious! What makes it even more precious is that he is actually wearing a belt with a pirate sword tucked into it also. Quite a combo there. It would have been perfect if he had a pen and pencil in his shirt pocket. I must admit that at one point in time during the day, he actually did have a pen and pencil tucked in there! Now who did he learn that from, hmmmm? (Papaw!) 


Because Canaan had a video, Zion wanted one too. So, here is Zion's "performance". In case you can't tell, he says "choo choo", which is pretty much his favorite thing in the whole wide world.  


Music

 Just a few musical "notes".... (hahaha)

 Andy plays his Ipod in his truck. It is set on "random", but for some reason, every time you start the truck the first song that plays is "Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but Nobody wants to die", by David Crowder. For some reason that I cannot explain, it is really amusing to hear a 2 year old chime in from the back seat "nobody wants to die"

 But that wasn't what I got on here to say. I have gotten several comments recently about my blog's music. Mostly that there is too much country... I would apologize, but I am not sorry, so it would be a wasted breath. Besides, there really isn't THAT much country. If it bother's you that much, just hit "refresh" and something different is bound to come up. 
 Andy added some new music for me last night. Since he does not every update his own blog, he feels the need to be involved in mine on occasion. He has specifically asked that Corey, (and anyone else who is interested) check out The Mexican Scotsman and Group 1 Crew. I can't say that I would have picked them on my own, but Andy has rubbed off on me over the years, so I gave my approval and let him put them on my blog! 

 Last story. When we were in the truck last Sunday, driving down the road, listening to whatever random Ipod song popped up, I started writing down Canaan's comments. Here are a few.

"The words are too fast".... Rap (don't worry, even the fast words are double checked for cleanliness!)

"They sound like they are on the farm"..... Bluegrass

"Now this is good music".... Rock ("and Roll" according to him, but it is actually more "hard rock" in my opinion, albeit Christian)

 So, if you have musical requests for my blog, let me know. I have my Zion and Canaan songs, (check them out, they are pretty amusing) my sisters song, Handel, Bach, Keith Green, Rich Mullins, even some Elvis, and a touch of rap. If I am missing anything, except the Beatles, please, let me know! 

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A good day

 Yesterday was just an all around good day. My friend Lindsay recently introduced me to an extraordinary woman's blog, which is filled with happy moments. It encouraged me to share a few of mine, just because...

P.S. All photo's are courtesy of Canaan, from a few weeks ago... It is really cool to see the world from his point of view. 


 My boys woke up cheerful. 

All that talk about old college shirts ad put me in a nostalgic mood, so I dug out one of my old favorites. A peasant blouse, all filmy and flowing. For some reason, that is just a good way to start the day. Just because.
 
My friend Christie called me, just to see what I was doing, and since my day was totally open (nothing planned!) we decided to let our boys play. We made pumpkin bars, enjoyed the cookies she had brought with her, and made homeschool plans.  Just because. 

 After our friends went home, we enjoyed just being together, my boys and I. We sat on the back porch, ate pretzels, and sampled three different kinds of citrus fruits. Just because.
 
 Then we dressed up like pirates, complete with eye patches and swords, and went hunting for treasure in the empty field next to our house. Just because. 

 For supper, we ate "Taco Soup", (but with a vegetarian adaptation) and delicious chips and cheese dip. Just because.   

 I read some really inspiring words, that encouraged my walk with Jesus at Hallelujah Anyhow.  I am convinced to agree, and proclaim Hallelujah Anyhow!!! Just because. 

 I talked to several of my good friends, through several the wonderful forms of communication this modern world has to offer. The cell phone, texting, Facebook, E-mail. I appreciate technology. Just because. 

 Andy has class on Tue. and Wed. nights, so it is usually just the three of us. The boys often go from bedtime Monday until after work on Thursday without seeing their Daddy, since he comes home after they are asleep, and leaves before they are awake. But last night, Daddy got home early. Just because the professor felt nice. 

 He was there to tuck them in and say prayers with them. Zion has been on a "My Mommy" kick. He claims me on a regular basis. (I keep reassuring him that no one else wants me, but he still feels the need to claim me anyway!)  As we were saying our final "goodnights", Zion declared, "My Mommy, Canaan's Daddy".  I guess he has decided that he can share Daddy, but not Mommy.  We just passed hugs around for everyone, and reassured him that we all belong to each other. Because I love them, all three of them, more than I could have imagined was possible. That makes for a very good day, every day. 
 
 Just because. 


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The day after....

 I have talked to a lot of people today. About disappointment, and happiness. Discouragement, and excitement. God's will, and what sometimes seems to be the power of satan. About the past, and the future. Grown-ups and children. The precious, unprotected unborn children, and pregnant pigs. 
 
 And it is only 1:45. 
 
 I am hopeful. I choose to be hopeful. This morning when I opening my devotional book, the first thing I read was "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Gen. 18:14  And the answer to that is a resounding and absolute NO! Nothing is too hard for my Lord. 

 As you all know, I read a lot. A LOT. All the time. I found this site a while ago that sums up a little more eloquently the reason why I could not vote for Mr. Obama. Mostly, what it boils down to is that I believe that life begins at conception, and Mr. Obama does not. However, I do agree with Mr. Obama on some issues. I think that he has some interesting ideas, brings some new ideas to politics, and, because of his skin color, has the potential to hopefully draw us together as a nation in unity. I can't say I agree with everything, obviously, but I respect him as my president, and as my husband's boss. I am optimistic about the wonderful things that CAN be accomplished during this presidency. Because, Gen 18:14 is answered with an absolute NO.

 Also in today's reading, "God is in charge of deciding human destiny". James 4:12a (the message). Do you think that my Savior had a word for me today? Isn't it in the book of Esther where there is a verse about us being called to a place "for such a time as this". We are not in control. We do not run this universe. We do not know or understand everything, or sometimes, anything! We simply choose whether or not we, as individuals, will follow our Savior's commands. Every day. Every breath. Every command. 

 One last verse... I told you I read a lot. "Train me in good common sense; I'm thoroughly committed to living your way.... With your very own hands you formed me; now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you.... What you say goes, God, and stays, as permanent as the heavens. Your truth never goes out of fashion." Psalm 119:66, 73 and 89 

 So now I will pray for my new President elect. I will pray that Jesus will touch his heart. He has two young daughters, who could someday be carrying his unborn grandchildren in their bellies. Maybe that will give him cause to think for a moment, when he considers signing the Freedom of Choice Act, as he has promised he will. He seems to be a likable man. I am going to do all in my power to like him, and pray daily that true wisdom will guide him. 

 

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Co-op voting

Here are the pics from our day of voting. We had a tie after the first round of voting. That means that Canaan's "independent" vote would have been the tie breaker. (I guess every vote does really count, huh?!) However, since he went with the Starburst party, the grown-ups ended up voting too. We must have all voted with our fond memories of childhood, because Kit-Kat won with a huge majority after that! 
 On this day of grown-up stress, enjoy this moment of lighthearted childhood fun! 

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween pics

I know I am running a few days late, but here are the Halloween pictures finally. We went to the mall first, which was actually, surprisingly, fun. Then we went down a few streets in our neighborhood before deciding that bed sounded like more fun than anything else. 
 Canaan was Anakin Skywalker. Zion was a "British" pirate (according to Canaan). Please take note of Zion's boots, which are ladies size 6 or 7 and are huge on him! It was hilarious. Also, please excuse the mustache... it didn't last long, but it was cute while it lasted! 

New Baby

(This is Naomi and I, ages 10 and 13)
I just wanted to send a congratulations out to my friend Naomi. She had Esther Marie early Sunday morning. 6 lbs, 19 inches, with a beautiful head full of dark hair, just like her mommy. Esther joins 5 big brothers, who are very eager to give her lots of love. 
 I have known Naomi for a very very long time, (she remembers me as an infant in a baby swing) and I am very excited for her and her whole family! Esther has a few medical problems, so please ask God for some special patience for Naomi and her family, and for wisdom for the doctors. Thanks!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Election countdown...

 It seems that the only thing to talk about now is the election. It is on the news, certainly on my mind, huge time of prayer at church, and even what we are discussing for homeschool co-op tomorrow. With our 4-6 year olds. 
 Of course, our kids are having a mock election to pick which candy bar they think is best. At least they aren't going to have to pick the president. However, Canaan did say that he would pick McCain... for anyone who wants to know. (I am sure all of the grandparents are proud right now!) And I didn't coach him to say that, or tell him who I was voting for. He just listens entirely too much, to absolutely everything that is said around here! 
 I am already getting the impression that my son is going to be a rebel. I told him the two candidates up for election tomorrow were Kit-Kat and Special Dark. He said he was going to vote for Starburst. Hey, this is a democracy, and I guess write-in votes are allowed. His Daddy would be proud. Andy hates the two party system and often speaks out against it. I guess someday, when it is my turn to run for office, I will have to run as an independent. I don't really fit into either of the two party choices currently given anyway. I think I am too conservative for either of them! I want to "save" both the unborn child and the spotted owl, the starving children and the redwood forests, money and time (I guess I need to come up with a few more actual concrete plans as to how to accomplish these things, right?)... I will just be a write-in vote too!  
 Everyone just remember that when it is time to vote for me in a few years! 
 Anyway, I just wanted to remind everyone to vote on Tuesday. Be responsible. Be a good citizen. Be involved in our country. VOTE! 

P.S. I voted early, so the poster at the top is true - I did vote already!