Hello. Who Are You Again?

Hi!  I feel like I should reintroduce myself since I manged to fall off the face of the earth.  Actually, after my last post (of being on the mend), I ended up getting more sick.  The pneumonia came back full force, only this time in both lungs.  Needless to say, I was dead to the world and writing was the farthest thing from my mind.  So, I have no new update for you except that I did continue to lose.  I just don’t know exactly how much since I’m still coming off of the steroid that the doctor had me on.

Life still continued to go on while I was busy making sure the couch didn’t float away.  We were really worried about that happening, so I felt like it was my duty to prevent it.  I am happy to report that the couch is in fact still sitting in my living room.  While, I was securing it to the floor, Tevis (being the wonderful man that he is) painted the living room.  Finally, we are starting to update the house.  It was going to be “our” project, but I offered moral support (from the couch, of course).

A couple days ago was our 17th wedding anniversary.  It’s so funny to sit and stare at him and think about us.  We have this joke about how I stalked him.  In high school, I worked at Taco Bell.  So did a friend of mine (Derrick) who wasn’t allowed to work on Wednesdays or Sundays because of church.  One Wednesday night, after church, Derrick and a friend came in to get something to eat.  He asked me if he could bum a couple cigarettes and while he was filling his drink, I went to the break-room to get my cigarette pack.  When I came back, Derrick’s friend was standing there at the counter.  I handed him the cigarettes, he turned and walked away, saying nothing at all to me.  (We have long since quit smoking.)

The next day, Derrick and I were sitting in the break-room, getting ready to clock-in.  I said, “Derrick, I don’t know who that guy is that you brought in with you last night, but I’m going to marry him!”  He said, “Who?  Tevis?” “Is that the guy with the long hair and ripped jeans?  Yes!  Him.”  Derrick just laughed at me.  That’s when I made sure that I was wherever Tevis was.  I started going to his youth group.  Started drinking Dr. Pepper (YUCK!).  Started going with the crew after youth to wherever it was that they went to eat.  Yet, he would never talk.  Or I would only get one word answers (he’s an introvert).  This went on for months.

Spring Break came and for some strange reason we had 3 feet of snow…IN MARCH!  I got the nerve up to call him and see if I could come over. Southern Indiana doesn’t do well with a lot of snow, but I was willing to risk it to be able to pursue the man I was going to marry.  Whatever it took! I made it to his house, his parents were gone to the grocery and I had to park at the end of the driveway because of all the snow.  I made it into the house and for 3 hours all we did was sit and watch TV…in silence.  Not one word was said….oh and I had to pee.  Really?  Now?  There is NO WAY that I’m going to let him know that!  Finally, I gave in and asked where the bathroom was.

His parents came home and were shocked that he had a girl over.  I was the only one he had ever had over.  I stayed a little while longer and then headed home, feeling like this was a complete disaster.  Especially since the only talking done was me asking for a potty!

After that, we started talking every night on the phone.  I forgot to mention that he lived in a different county and went to a different school, so it took effort to stalk him.  We learned a lot about each other and in May (22nd to be exact) while I was getting ready for Youth and talking to him on the phone, I finally mustered the courage to ask him to go out with me.  He said yes.  Though years later, I asked him why he said yes, and he told me that it was because he hadn’t had a girlfriend in a while…sure whatever.  It didn’t matter, because 3 years later (almost exactly), I married him!  Who’s laughing now!  HA!

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Yep, I love him!

We are buddies.  I like him.  He’s fun.  Sure we fight, but we can cut up and hang out and just have fun together like 2 friends…but we have benefits.  I laugh at people who say love at first sight isn’t real.  Was it love?  No.  Was I twitterpated?  Yes!  Real love changes and evolves and deepens with time.  But, I knew.  I knew the minute I saw him.  I knew he was the one and nobody was going to tell me any different.

Every time Destiny has talked to me about a crush she has had, I have always asked her 3 questions.

  1. Can you see yourself married to him?
  2. Can you see the man that he is?
  3. Can you see the man that he can/will be (with age and maturity)?

She has never been able to answer those questions until last year.  Its been awesome to watch her and Sam’s relationship develop and to see the foundation that they are building.  They’re relationship has mirrored our relationship so much (timeline-wise) it’s scary.  But, she knew.  She knew he was it and nobody was going to tell her any different, either…wonder why she’s so headstrong?!?

Anyway,  Tevis is amazing and sexy and loving.  We’ve been to hell and back together.  Still, he stood there.  Strong and tall.  I adore him.  He’s became the man that I saw in him 20 years ago.  He is my Mr. Steady.  He loves me.  All of me.  Even the ugly side of me.  That takes courage on his part, because I can be pretty mean when I’m upset.  He keeps me grounded, yet lets me fly.  He’s my rocker…even though he won’t grow his hair back out.  I.Love.Him.  And nothing is going to change that.  =)  Be Blessed!

The Bucket List – it keeps growing…

I have started a bucket list.  I have come to realize that it might be slightly important to have one.  Mainly just to keep me on track with a goal.  Crazy as it sounds, I think that Tevis and I would enjoy having one together, but I figured I would start my own first.  So what is it that I would like to do???

1) My first one would be to take piano up again and refresh my skills at it.  I miss playing.  If I would be honest with myself about it, I really did have a great time playing.  I loved it when I competed in the IMTA (Indian Music Teacher’s Association) competition.  I also feel like I could then be of some use to my wonderful husband.  Why I have been avoiding it is beyond me, but I love the piano.  What a beautiful instrument.

2) Travel to several different countries.  Mainly: Ireland, England, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, and Italy.  I’m sure I will come up with more as time goes by, but these are ones that i would love to see.

3) To learn at least 2 other languages.  I’ve already started this one with Korean.

4) Lose a lot of weight.  Stupid for a bucket list, but hey, I’m the one making the list.  It needs to be on here.

5) Take a 10 second (or faster) car down the track.  I love speed!  The faster the car the better.  I WILL get this done at some point in my life.

6) Adopt 2 kids (possibly 3 if we are unable to have another of our own).

7) Speak before a large crowd of people.

8) Record an album with Tevis.

9) Publish my book.  haven’t decided on which one but I want to make sure at least of them gets published.

10) See my son perform on stage in a play at least once.  I honestly believe that he would be great at Theater.  He is so animated.

11) See my daughter publish her first manga.  I know she is more than capable of doing this.  I just wish that she would believe in herself enough.

12) See my husband record his first album.

13) To fulfill my purpose according to God’s plan.  This is a lifelong thing.

14) To walk more in the confidence that I should have.

15) To write my first screenplay.  Whether anything happens with it or not, I want to at least get it written down.

16) Have the songs I’ve written recorded.

17) Publish my poetry.

18) Start a restaurant.

19) Send Destiny to study abroad for a short time.

20) Build a hot rod.

21) Live abroad for an extended period of time.

I think that is a decent start.  I would like to get to 50.  Not suer what my deal is with my lists having to consist of 50 things, but it feels like a good number.  So, what are some things on your bucket list?  I would love to hear about them.  =)  Be Blessed

The Potter & His Clay

Six years ago today, we had a beautiful little girl.  We named her Faith Elizabeth.  Faith because that is what it took and was going to take to walk the path that God was taking us on.  Elizabeth because we believed and prayed for that child.  Our Valentine’s Day will be forever changed because that is the day that we were induced to have a child that we knew God had taken back home.  Thankfully, labor took long enough so she was born on the 15th.

I had to have a blood transfusion before they would induce me because my overall blood volume in my body was low.  The day they put me in the hospital to have her, it so happened that it was a full moon, so everybody in Louisville was going into labor.  It was interesting to have a doctor come in and tell you that you had to wait to have your child because they had to take the women who had “viable” babies first.  I totally understood that, but it was still unsettling.

A week after Faith was born, I had to go back for a checkup.  This was one of the hardest things I had to do.  Needless to say, there were A LOT of women in for their checkup.  I sat there and listened to some young (late teens) mothers complain about how they had to get up every 3 hours to feed their babies and how tired they were and on and on.  I so badly wanted to point out to them how selfish they were being and how they should be grateful that their child was even alive!  And how having to feed every 3 hours is nothing.  Try doing it every 45 minutes with a premie!  (Hunter was a premie and would eat that way because it wore him out so quickly.  Can you tell I was angry???)  I finally got called back to my room and my doctor had been paged for a delivery so I had to wait.  Down the hall they had a mother having a Fetal Stress Test done, so for an hour I got to sit and listen to a baby’s heartbeat.  I left the doctor’s office broken and hurt.  I went and bought my first pack of cigarettes in 5 years.  In my mind, at that moment, it was either smoking or drinking.  So, I chose the lesser of the two evils, so to speak.

Over the next few months, I grew more and more bitter the more I thought about it and the things that I witnessed around me with new mothers.  I couldn’t understand WHY God would allow drug addicts, young teens, irresponsible people (the list goes on and on) to have babies.  I can honestly say that I was so angry at God that I hated Him.  I was mad at myself and Tevis.  Why was I having to go through this?  What good could possibly come from this?  I was at a pivotal point in my life where I had to make some decisions about the direction I was going to go.

It all came down to pottery.  Potters have to do a lot of work to the clay to make it into what they are trying to shape.  Pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes all the water from the clay, which induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape.  Prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared. Kneading helps to ensure an even moisture content throughout the body. Air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed. This is called de-airing and can be accomplished by a machine called a vacuum pug or manually by wedging. Wedging can also help produce an even moisture content. Once a clay body has been kneaded and de-aired or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. After shaping it is dried and then fired. (Wikipedia)  

I was (am) a very bull-headed person.  I don’t like being moved from my comfort zone.  I like to be in control of things.  It gives me security.  What I learned through Faith’s death was I needed to be refined.  And for stubborn pieces of clay, they take some extra work.  Extra HARD work, because they are difficult.  They have to be broken down to be able to build back up.  Once they are finally workable and are shaped, the piece is then fired at temperatures between 1800 – 2500 *F.  That’s hot!  The product that you get in the end is one of treasure and durability.  But it has to go through the entire process to get that way.

I can now say that I am thankful for the trial that we got to walk through with her death.  The bitterness has subsided and I’m no longer angry at God.  I still have those nagging questions as to why us but I understand a little better for what purpose.  I have had the opportunity to talk with other women who have just lost or are currently walking through that same hurricane.  He gives us each our own storm so we can bring hope to others going through the same thing.  Though I am struggling this year with it, I know the good that can come of it.  I just have to let the process continue and trust that in the end, the piece of pottery I will become will be something worth treasuring.  The storms come and the storms go but God’s loving hand is always their even though we may not feel it at that moment.  He’s crying when we cry, laughing when we laugh and He’s still always there, cheering us on.  “Take another step my child.  Trust me.  Take another step.”  So, on I walk.  Praising Him through each storm He sends.  =)  Be Blessed!

The Fun of Conspiracy (aka Birthday Dinner)

Today is my birthday.  Well, not actually.  This is the day that my dad says that I was born.  He has always teased me about it.  Mainly because he missed me, his first-born, emerge into the world because he went and got coffee since it was taking so long.  So, he calls me on Groundhogs Day every year and sings me happy birthday…and to aggravate my mother (who reminded me this week how close to 40 I was), since every year she tries to correct him about the date.  I love it!  It’s our thing.  My father is quirky.  He has a lot of little things that he does or says that make him special.  Like, I am his “Number 1 Daughter” as so he calls me and Ruthie, my beautifully blonde sister, is “Number 2 Daughter”.  Anyway, I digressed.

Truthfully though, yesterday was my real birthday.  Oh what a wonderful time we had last night!  Mind you, I had no idea that there was conspiring going on behind my back.  I had a “plan”.  I had coupons!  Birthday coupons!  So, I went on about my day, being none the wiser, until I was informed that there was to be a dinner and game playing later.  I have to be honest about something here.  Those that know me well will be shaking their heads in agreement.  I struggle with having nice things done for me.  You can ask my husband, I don’t like for him to get me stuff for Christmas, because I fear his disappointment in my reaction.  Same thing goes for compliments.  Maybe that’s the underlying thing with all of it.  Fear.  Who knows.

Anyway, It was great!  Brad & Connie (our Lead Pastors), Cody & Stephanie (our Youth & Children’s Pastors) and all our chitlins (definition:children).  Merriment abounded!

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Clockwise: Cody, Stephanie, Brady (on Steph’s lap), Brad, Connie, Myself & Hurley the Dog


I have come to realize that memories are, most of the time, made unexpectedly and for the most absurd reasons.  I think sleep deprivation is the cause of a lot of it since 2 of our 3 families have babies and we are sleepless over making a decision about a house to buy.

We played Logo after dinner.  It’s like a trivia game.  I don’t think that I have ever laughed so hard or so much in my entire life.  There was tears shed by nearly all of us.  Tevis and I had a headache by the time we left.  One time in particular, we were laughing so much we couldn’t laugh anymore or breathe.  It made poor Hurley the Dog so nervous, he started eating my pants legs.  NO KIDDING!  He just laid beside me chewing on the bottom of my pants.  Reminded me of the mini-dach we used to have that would suck on his tail to go to sleep.  You can’t make this stuff up!

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Stephanie serving said delicious cake.

Then we had cake.  Wonderful, delicious, scrumptious chocolate cake.  It was really, really good!  Too bad the kids didn’t have any.  Okay, well, maybe two of the kids had cake.  They had more important things going on, like Minecraft (whatever that is).

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Tevis devouring said delicious cake.

Overall, I am so thankful with who God has placed in my life.  I still become awestricken when I really think about it.  We have only been here 2 months and to me it seems like we’ve been here forever.  The way we’ve all just melded together and fit like a glove.  It’s been effortless in one sense.  We’re family and I am so thankful to have them in my life!  Home.  What more can I say!  =)  Be Blessed!

Household Notebook (Part 3)

(Continuation of the series on creating a household notebook.  Read Household Notebook (Part 2) here.)

Today, I will cover the Menu Planning section in creating your notebook.  This is my favorite section.  Mainly because I love to cook.  I  love to try new things.  The sections I used in our notebook (Financial is a separate binder for us) are:

Goals

Calendar

Schedule

To Do

Menu Planning

Ministry

Blogging

Contacts

     Menu planning can be a huge asset to your family.  Not only is it a money saver, but with some careful planning, it can be a time saver as well.  It is also healthier.  I have used several methods over the years.  I have done the bulk cooking where you cook everything for a month and freeze it, planning for 1, 2 & 4 week periods, and I’ve done no plan at all.  Normally the no plan method doesn’t work real well for us.  We would end up eating more convenience and quickly type stuff.  Not real nourishing.  

     In this section, you can have different types of things.  You can have subcategories also which would include: grocery list, restaurant menus, favorite recipes, recipes to try, holiday plans.  You can plan for all the meals you have in a day or you can plan for just supper.  It’s really your preference and depends on what your schedule looks like.  

     To start, find a menu sheet that you like.  Some suggestions are:

Fab-N-Free – 20 great  printables, mainly for weekly planning

Money Saving Mom – Great list of all the different ways (weekly, biweekly & monthly)

Holy Spirit Led Homeschooling – Love her site!

     Once you have your printable, get your calendar out and plane the busy days first.  For us, those days are normally crock pot cooking.  It’s easy to whip together and just toss in and it will be ready when we finally get home.  When you figure out those days, then you can move on to the rest of the days.  We like to leave a day of “Fend For Yourself”.  Those are our leftovers days and they fall on Sundays typically.  It all comes down to your schedule.  We even have built-in “dining out” days.  Those fall on Wednesdays since we have evening service and worship rehearsal afterwards at church.  Once you get the hang of it, you will find that it really does help with the flow of the family.  And it’s a huge stress reliever to you.  

Please let me know how your notebooks are coming or if you have any tips, ideas or things that you do that work wonders for you family.  I would LOVE to hear.  =)  Be Blessed! 

Household Notebook (Part 1)

I cannot tell you enough, how much I LOVE having a Household Notebook.  I am actually redoing mine…completely.  I decided to put our budget and financial section in it’s own binder.  Since we just moved, I am using pages that I have found across the internet to fill my notebooks.  I am in the process of creating my own pages so they fit our needs better.

So, over the next several days I’m going to do a breakdown of building your own household notebooks.  Today, I’ll cover the  tools that are nice to have included in your binder and the first 2 pages.  You can pick and choose what works for you and your family.  The sections I use for this notebook are:

Goals

Calendar

Schedule

To Do

Menu Planning

Ministry

Blogging

Contacts

So, what is it that you need in your notebook?  Here’s a list of “The Gear”:

Gear for Notebook

1″ Binder with clear cover

Pencil Pounch (with holes for binder)

Pens

Pencils

Highlighter 

White Out – (I’m currently out)

Calculator

Sticky Notes 0r sticky tabs

Hole puncher 

Plastic Dividers (I used Avery Style Edge Insertable, that way the labels wouldn’t fall out)

Folders or Receipt Envelope

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First things first.  You will your goals to be the first tab in your binder.  Do you have any?  Have you written them down or are they floating around in your head.  Put some solidity to them by writing them out.  What is your families Mission Statement?  You always want to have a direction.  Setting goals at the beginning of the year is a great way to set the course for that year.  What goals do you have for yourself, your marriage, your kids, your job, financial?  Whatever they are, write them down and put them in your binder.  Reference them often.  We plan to do this this evening.  Finally getting back on track.  I’ve always had mine but this time I will be including a page for everyone in our family.

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The next tab in your binder should be your Calendar.  You will want  monthly ones and one that has the entire year on it.  You can find these all over the web for free.  All depends on you style.  I have used:

Creative Mamma – Very colorful

Who Needs A Calendar – Basic, but has room to write

The Printable Calendar – Also basic, but has room to write

Mein Lila Park – GREAT list of all kinds

Ellinee – These are the ones I used for this year

I also, at the beginning of the week, fill out a weekly shot of what is going on and put it at the front of my calendar.  I’m using this printout from Mommy Tracked.  If you want, you can print one off and put it in a plastic sleeve and use a dry erase marker and fill it out every week instead of always printing them out.

I will the next 2 pages on Monday.  Have a wonderful weekend!  =)  Be Blessed!