I was inspired to start my own journal and when it finally dries from all the layers of paint that I have put on it, I will share it here! Get inspired, get your hands dirty, create because you were fashioned in the image of Creator God.
30 September 2007
I was inspired to start my own journal and when it finally dries from all the layers of paint that I have put on it, I will share it here! Get inspired, get your hands dirty, create because you were fashioned in the image of Creator God.
29 September 2007
28 September 2007
Speaking of our small town - I wanted to share two interesting things I have noticed about it with you. As you would expect, there are a lot of cattle and ranches here in this part of Texas. I have been noticing an interesting phenomenon lately about the grazing cattle - often times, now becoming more of a rule than an exception, you will see a duck sitting at the feet. I took these pictures yesterday at several different ranches so you could see what I mean:
Okay the last one I just threw in cause I thought she was beautiful.
And another interesting thing to share was this sign from a local cemetery. I have wondered what this could mean that burial is prohibited without permission? Freaky.
Life in a small town is interesting indeed. There are things I really love about it and some things that take some getting used to. This past year has been a year of very high highs and extremely low lows. Bracing myself for year two!
27 September 2007
I also think that I have officially brought all blog traffic and comments to a complete standstill - and I hope that it is not because I mentioned that we need donations for our mission trip. It'd be great if anybody wants to help us in that way - because personally while I would like to say I am trusting a great big God to provide all our needs - the truth is that I am totally panicking. Completely. I think that is why I can't think of anything to blog about, because my mind is full of worry. So could you PLEASE pray for us? It is very stressful. I HATE it that I am so weak in this area - especially because of the many times I've seen God provide so much more.
Anyway, I watched Legends of the Fall tonight again. Such a sad movie - I can really only watch it every ten years.
Hope y'all are doing well. I look forward to catching up on your blogs tomorrow!
25 September 2007
- we love missions trips and being with people serving and loving them for Jesus
- it is an excellent opportunity to bond with some of the families at this new co-op
- lately I have felt like we are floundering a bit while we learn how to live outside of a specific congregation and I know how missions trips can be a faith lift (I know a missions trip is not for us or about us - but it is definitely a benefit!)
Thanks so much. Blessings to you ~ Julie
24 September 2007
Our tile floor in our bathroom has been cracking since we moved in. There was a leak which evidently got to the boards underneath. I asked my husband, knowing how he gets halfway through a project and decides he's finished - not to start until he could do the whole thing. Here is a picture of it halfway out - I couldn't bear to show you what it looks like this morning!
I was thinking after this busy weekend, I would spend next weekend just relaxing until my husband informed me that he wants to go camping! If you know us at all, you'll know that we are electronic loving, electricity using, indoor plumbing kind of people. I am imaging National Lampoon's Vacation movie! Good Lord start praying now people!
22 September 2007
It appears they already have a "date" to go to the prom in April 2008 - should I be worried?
On the way home from the store, there was a super segment on the local Christian radio segment about moms cooking healthy foods for their children. The guest on the radio show has a website called Mom-a-licious and I spent some time checking it out earlier tonight. It was terrific. There is a cookbook by the same name. The website has recipes, and all sorts of resources and ideas for feeding your children well. One of the best resources offered is a segment on their website called "a fresh start", that details what to throw out of your pantry and what to add in. Very informative.
Happy Healthy Eating!
21 September 2007
Now - weird situation with my blog - if I use IE to view it - I get a little white square with a red X in the box where the header should be. If I use Firefox, I don't have anything - not even the space where the header goes. Please tell me what you see when you view this blog - it is all so strange!
20 September 2007
We were at co-op most of the day and afterwards I ran a quick errand to the pharmacy - quick being the operative word as I was desperate to get home for a nap. After waiting for 45 minutes they tell me that they are sorry, but my husband's prescription that I dropped off on Tuesday morning was ordered incorrectly. They don't have the medication, nor does any other pharmacy in the area and they won't be able to get it in until sometime on Monday. I had to drive an hour north to the town we used to live in, knowing they keep the medicine on hand just to get it filled. The hubby-man is an electrician, and his ADD medicine has to be at a consistent level in his system or he is a major hazard to himself and anyone else he may be working with - so it HAD to be done. I almost fell asleep on the way home, and had to pull over at one point in a church parking lot and sleep for 10 minutes before I could drive again. Thankfully that helped me endure.
This evening we went to a bonfire - the same one that we attended last year at the local high school in celebration of homecoming. This year we missed the parade of football players on 4 wheelers, and girls in tiaras in the back of pick-up trucks. My girls enjoyed watching what amounted to a teenage mating ritual around a large fire. For us, "homecoming" is and always will be a permanent marker of the time we've spent here. Almost a year. Wow.
On that note, I say good night!
19 September 2007
18 September 2007
17 September 2007
What's your weather like?
16 September 2007
On another note about prejudices, we have a new Valero store that has opened in our town by people of Middle Eastern descent. Yesterday, I went inside while my husband and kids waited outside because the machine was not taking my debit card. When I went in there was some cultural music emanating loudly from the computer on the counter, and an older man shouted in a foreign language at the teenage boy who promptly cut it off. The man behind the counter told me to come back in and pay after I had pumped my gas. When I went back in my husband went with me to get a cup of coffee. The men did not even know I was there. I was the one making the transaction, and the clerk would only speak to my husband, "How are you today SIR?" (his emphasis not mine!) I was slightly offended. I understand it is a cultural thing, however, there is a part of me that realizes as a woman I would be expected to blend into the standards of their culture if I lived there, and I feel like they should do the same in this culture. Is that a prejudice? I've got a long way to go!
15 September 2007
Last night was a total blast - kids were laughing and running around in the yard, on the trampoline, on the front porch, down the street, in and out of the house, and in every room - just the way I like it! The moms had a great time too getting a chance to visit amid the utter chaos. Having no agenda, most of the kids preferred to just hang out, while a handful opted to watch Night at the Museum. The worst part about the night was that it ended way too soon!
I promised to share the amazing recipe I found - with my adjustments. You can make a triple batch of the dough in a large kitchen mixer. The original of this recipe called for 3 ounces of oil per personal pizza crust - and after trying only half that amount, I just could NOT feed that greasy mess to my family - so I reduced it significantly. You can get a feel for how much you prefer.
1/4 cup non-fat dry milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 pkg dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
4 cups flour
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (for dough)
2 - 3 Tbsp vegetable oil per pan (experiment with this and pour off excess)
2 Tbsp melted butter
Put yeast, sugar, salt, and dry milk in a large bowl. Add water and stir to mix well. Allow to sit for two minutes. Add oil and stir again. Add flour and stir until dough forms and flour is absorbed. Turn out on to a flat surface and knead for about 10 minutes by hand - or 3-5 minutes in a large kitchen mixer with a dough hook. Divide dough into three balls. In three 9" cake pans, put 2 - 3 Tbsp. of oil in each making sure it is spread evenly. Using a rolling pin (I used my hands!), roll out each dough ball to about a 9" circle. Place in cake pans. Brush the outer edge of dough with melted butter. Cover with a plate. Place in warm area and allow to rise for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
(To make pre-baked shells I baked them at about 450 for 7-10 minutes - then they were ready to be topped again and baked for about 10 more minutes.)
1 tsp dry oregano
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp garlic salt
To bake each 9" pizza:
- Preheat oven to 475 F
- Spoon 1/3 cup sauce on dough and spread to within 1" of edge
- Distribute 1 1/2 ounce shredded mozzarella cheese on sauce
- Place toppings of your choice in this order: Pepperoni or ham, vegetables, meats
- Top with 3 oz. mozzarella cheese
- Cook until cheese is bubbling and outer crust is brown
14 September 2007
I just had one of those moments when I realized that although my life isn’t perfect, it’s good. We are making friends – evidenced by the fact that I ran into a friend at the local Walmart and she let me bring her sweet little girl home with me to hang out with Kullen for the afternoon. It was just a piece of “real” – the being somewhere and running into somebody, stopping for a minute in the middle of the hustle bustle of your shopping to talk a minute. In the last year I have been merely the spectator in those kinds of moments that seemed to have been reserved for other people.
Just a little while ago, the kids were playing some sort of game down the 30 foot hallway that spans the length of our house using my broom and a wadded up sheet of paper as a sort of puck/ball. (Somebody tell me how the toy companies survive?) They were playing the “Lilo and Stitch” soundtrack thick with Elvis music and giggling. As I passed, Kullen and I had a tug-of-war with the broom. I wondered how many moms allowed such fun to go on in their homes without interfering. Maybe a lot of them – I just know I wasn’t allowed to play like that as a kid.
I have been baking pizza crusts all day in anticipation of a house full of teenagers for a "make your own pizza" and movie night. The smell of dessert pizza is wafting through the house, but it is not nearly as sweet as the thought of having a house full of friends, not to mention a new litter of kittens. It makes my heart soar.
I cut myself a piece of Kullen’s birthday cake, and went out and sat on the porch swing listening to the music of laughter inside, throwing my legs all the way out and in like I did as a little girl trying to swing my way to the moon. I realized how very happy my life is becoming, in spite of a lot of sadness.
I have 24 personal pan pizza crusts to make today - and thankfully, I found a pizza crust recipe that is really good. It is a Pizza Hut mock pan pizza recipe. I will share it here later when I have a minute to type it up. We are hosting a youth pizza / movie night at our house for the local homeschool group. It ought to be fun!
Yes, Hurricane Humberto did aim straight for our area. There were power outages and flooding all over the area just south of us where Travis works, but we never really even got much rain. It was the most bizarre thing - a hurricane forms one morning over the Gulf of Mexico and makes landfall that night. Very unusual indeed. Fortunately based on the where it developed, it did not have a chance to gain strength. I saw on the news last night where one house with an elderly couple were sleeping had the roof sheared off and the entire house was moved 7 feet off of its slab.
I really don't like these catch all posts - but really none of these things in and of itself make much to post about. Besides I was trying to dump it all out of my head so I can get on with my busy day! Hope you're having a great Friday!
13 September 2007
Tomorrow is another busy day. Dare I say, I hope it won't be as eventful as this one!
There are lots of things I could have never anticipated about having a son. He sees me through a lens that nobody else does - and tells me I'm beautiful all the time. He has the most compassionate heart. He loves to help, like a little gentleman running ahead and almost knocking you down to hold the door for you. It makes up for the other things he has done such as:
- getting a mini-gobstopper stuck in his ear when we were making gingerbread houses, or getting his head stuck in a lego container in the church nursery and screaming so loud we could hear him upstairs
- pulling the fire alarm at the local college while one of his sisters was taking piano lessons while I was preoccupied with helping the other sister who was learning to read - and yes, the entire fire-rescue team in the county showed up!
- almost setting the couch on fire when he was four years old by striking matches he found while hiding down in the corner of the cushions
- calling 911 from the ice skating rink when he was 5, and got a major lecture from a female police officer
- swinging around a sharp knife he wasn't supposed to have one afternoon that flew out of his hand and sliced his sisters arm open requiring a trip to the ER and stitches (he felt so bad he waited on her hand and foot for days!)
Happy Birthday son. I love you until the day after forever! Now please don't break your neck on those Heelys we got you for your birthday!
12 September 2007
Can I be a little controversial? I know how tragic the loss was on September 11th, 2001. It was a terrible day that none of us will soon forget - of unbelievable proportions. I know we should continue with reverence and love to remember those that are lost. For those who had loved ones that lost their lives on that day, how could they ever forget? What I wonder at is the tributes that seem to be turning into an annual funeral, and how healthy it is for people to have this event as an emotional axis for their lives. Instead of a memorial, it has become a yearly mass scab removal. I wonder how healing will ever take place for these families that make the pilgrimage to Ground Zero every year.
I have never had a loss quite as shocking as the loss of loved ones at the hands of terrorists. I am not sure if there is maybe a piece that I am missing experientially to be able to fully identify with what these who have been left behind need - perhaps an annual opportunity to gather together with others who experienced the same loss and grieve together is a very important part of that healing. I lost my grandparents 16 years ago when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter - both very suddenly and 3 days apart. I miss them. Sometimes it makes me cry and sometimes I want to talk about them and remember their lives, but I know that it would finish me off if we had to relive their funeral every year on the anniversary of their deaths. In my heart I memorialize them. They live on in me and I will never forget, but in order to continue to live, my life could not be engulfed by their deaths.
I am concerned that these families will get stuck where evil touched their lives, and that the lives of those who were lost that day will pale in comparison to how they died.
11 September 2007
If you have a really good pizza dough recipe - I'd love it if you'd share. I've tried one that came in a bread cookbook, but it is too bread-y and not yeasty enough for pizza. This recipe was from my old bread machine - but it got kind of tough when baked. I used to be able to make beautifully soft pizza dough in the bread machine - but with this homongo mixer it has been a challenge. And if you have any recipes that are especially 10 year old boy friendly that'd be an added bonus! (The boy will be TEN in two days! How much growing up is a mama's heart supposed to handle?)
Kendra brought her punk-haired friend Michael, wearing a t-shirt that said "Disturbed" and jeans with holes throughout. There were a couple of boys who I know are raised in very conservative, pentecostal homes who treated him just like he was one of the guys - and that was so cool.
There was another girl that came in wearing tight black biking shorts and a tank top. I noticed only because she stood out in the flurry of long skirts and uncut hair. Although quite tall, she was one of the last ones left when they did the limbo.
At some point in the evening, a lady who had coordinated the homeschool skate walked over and introduced herself to us. She said she was glad we had come, and then commented that they noticed a few "visitors" were inappropriately dressed, and that they would have to figure out something to do about that. WHAT does she think they are going to do about what other people wear? I have been furiously angry since I got home last night over this - and a line from a song on the new Casting Crowns CD keeps running through my head "God's gotta change her heart before he changes her shirt." To paint the picture in words, the young woman didn't have any of her body exposed - she was just wearing form fitting athletic clothing for skating. I passed her as we walked out and stopped to look her in the eye and congratulate her for her longstanding in the limbo game, and she was beautiful. Maybe she just doesn't know it yet. Maybe she doesn't realize that she is priceless in the sight of a Father who loved her and cares about her and has immeasurable value - that the appearance of her body doesn't even play into.
I am sick to death of this brand of Country Club Christianity. People like that need to get an island.
Post note: I was thinking about this in the shower this morning, and remembered something I was telling my kids last night. There are some kids they have met who behave as if they are "better than" Christians, judging others for listening to certain music or reading certain books or seeing certain movies - and they have had a hard time with it. We talked about the danger of having a bias against someone who has a bias against you being equally wrong. My rant was put in check remembering what I told them - which doesn't change that the issue is wrong, but helps me keep my attitude in check. Maybe I'll send a care package to the island.
09 September 2007
I have also seen parents whose desire was to turn their children's hearts to celibacy and purity- and instead gave their children an aversion to the opposite sex, eventually giving in to a preference for their own gender.
The enemy is watching us. If he can't use our shortcomings as individuals to contaminate our children, he will attempt to use what we intend for good and pervert it. I have not reached the end of my parenting years, and don't claim to know everything, but on the most basic level, I trust that the God who brought my heart out of a very dysfunctional childhood, to having a heart that seeks Him and strives to please Him in all that I do to lead my children as well. I don't have to make a "rule" about every little thing. I can show love and grace just as the Father has shown me.
08 September 2007
Last night, the girls were invited to a surprise birthday party that took place at this really hip little eatery called Jason's Deli. I tried to talk them out of it, but there was no way. They had a great time, and I sat with my friend Melody and had adult conversation, and ate something called a Muffelatta which has ham, hard salami, provolone and some sort of an olive dressing, on grilled bread. Yummy. After the party the kids went bowling until late-thirty. When we were about to leave, the birthday girl's mom thanked us for coming and when we thanked her for inviting us, she said in the sweetest southern accent, "Well, you MADE the party." Imagine that! Somebody likes us. Wonders never cease. I am going to stop telling myself it's just because they don't know us yet. We are a bit of an acquired taste.
05 September 2007
I also got an email from a friend telling me that she missed me and would do anything just to spend a day together again. I feel the same, but the feeling didn't make me sad, I just let myself feel it and it was okay.
I was telling a new friend who is also struggling with being new in this area that it seems that there were huge waves of grief not long ago that would come up to your neck and knock you over. Those same waves are now only waist high, and sometimes only lap at my ankles.
I had a 45 minute drive by myself to the Mom's Meeting at our new co-op, with my new Casting Crowns CD. The ladies at the co-op meeting prayed together over some pretty serious needs, but have a genuine respect and love for one another that is palpable in the room. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I realized how much I want to be friends with some of them. It is a place I thought my heart would never go again. On the way home, I felt so healed of so much, and worshipped there in my mini-van like I haven't in a while.
04 September 2007
What does a "real" life look like? Somehow our society has come to think of it as 12 years of compulsory education, perhaps 4 years of college, and then a 9 to 5 job until you retire or die. We believe with all of our hearts that there is more to life than that, and have set out with our children to help them follow the path that the Lord has set before them, and the bend that He created in them. I know a bunch of people whose children go to school every day that are still doing this well, but I am talking about the masses. It is so frustrating to be outside of what is considered normal. I find that after all these years, these comments and situations do not make me feel inferior as they used to, but frustrated nonetheless that I will live one day as an elderly person in a society whose majority still thinks that real life is being a part of a system, or that a real life, like populous' favorite processed food comes in a box, eaten on trays in front of the mind-numbing boob tube, and that one size fits all. Yuck.
No thanks. We'll take what's behind door #2.
03 September 2007
Kendra traveled with her Memaw and me. She slept half the car trip and seems lost since we got here. It took a couple of hours for me to figure out that she was really out of sorts without her sister. They have gotten so close over the past few years. Later this afternoon Kaitlyn called and said she missed Kendra and me. I told her I was sorry that we didn't bring her, to which she said, "Then who would be here for Kullen?"
There are lots of reasons to homeschool your kids. Growing up and being close to your siblings is definitely a big reason, but it is never THE reason you homeschool, but more like a fringe benefit. As a mom my heart swells to know how much despite the occasional friction that comes with living in close proximity with other sinners, they truly love each other, are invested in one another, and prefer their siblings as chosen companions. To me that really is what it's all about - family first.
01 September 2007
The thing about road trips in Texas is that they are soooo-ooo-oooo boringly long. If you look at the map of Texas - we are about an hour from the Arkansas border, and we are heading out toward the Austin area. It is a four hour trip, and all along the way is a whole lot of nuthin'!
Last time we were there, we did have some excitement on our trip home. A crop dusting airplane had to dip below the power lines at the side of the road and almost flew into the front end of my van. Picture the wheels on the bottom of one of those babies appearing in the dead center of your windshield, and lifting up at the last minute. (If you don't believe me, read Kendra's post about it.) That kind of excitement I could do without.
A baby is always worth it. I love the way they smell, and the sweet little sounds they make. I do not want another one - but I love getting to breathe in that fresh smell of new life, and when that smell turns to a stink, to hand them back to their mommies and daddies!