Saturday, October 30, 2010

Baring it all

I'm a mess these days.  I'm not sure how this post is going to go, so please just hang on and know that I'm trying to get it out in some proper fashion.  It really goes back to this move.  Jeff is not happy here - nothing that will be life or death if we didn't move, but definitely something that is significant enough to make him seek out other jobs and homes.  In other words, he wants to go.  Sooner rather than later, but is willing to wait until some things are resolved, i.e. employment:)  He's dissatisfied with the income that he makes in law enforcement and wants to do better for our family.  Admirable, I know.  And it would be hugely helpful if he did make more.  Not just to our "now" life, but to our "future" life.  And, I know that he's not the kind of guy who's going to just throw it all to the wind and risk our family's ability to eat and have shelter.  I know that.  Or at least I think I do.  Here's the problem.  I want to support my husband.  I want to be that wife who says "heck yeah, let's up and move and go where ever to do whatever."  Here's my dirty little secret:  I'm not that wife.  I feel depressed about this whole thing.  Not just that I'm not the wife I thought I was, but even more sadly, in a selfish way that my life is not turning out the way I want it to.  I'm happy here, or more than that, this is a "known."  I do not like the unknown.  There are a bazillion variables that play into our moving that it literally makes me sick to my stomach.  I'm weepy and quite frankly not very nice to my husband right now.  And part of me doesn't want to be nice.  Yuck.  I know.  When I pull up the real-estate sites for towns in Colorado part of me thinks ok, that's not too bad.  What a pretty view of the mountains.  What a cute downtown.  Then part of me thinks, how on earth are you going to keep the house "show-ready" while your husband sleeps during the day and you homeschool your kids. And don't forget about those dogs you'll have to load up every time someone wants to see the house.  That is of course if you can get anyone to look at your house, cause we all know the market sucks right now... and on and on.  This back and forth.  All the while my heart is crying out to Jesus to please give me some peace about any of it.  Oh.  I am a mess.  When I share these feelings with my husband he hears "I don't want to go."  To which he replies, "if you really don't want to go, then of course we won't."  But I know.  I know that man.  He will make due.  He will work hard.  But he will wonder, "what if we'd gone?"  And I know I would too.  So here we are.  Friends and family, please pray for me.  That sounds so selfish, but I really need your prayers.  I need a miracle of an intervention right now - a major heart change because this state that I'm in right now is not good.  Thank you in advance for you who will step in this gap for me:)  I love you dearly!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Three and a half years ago I took a picture in the exact same spot.  There were only 4 kiddos then...

 Jack, oh my sweet Jack, why do you look so silly in this picture?????  Precious Emily, only 6, but looks 7!  Case and Will clapping at...themselves?
The awesome swing bridge at Tanyard Creek.  They ran up and down several times - Emily is already on her way back up and Case has just made the turn!

My sweet Will!  He had to really work hard to keep up with everyone.  His little legs were tired out by this point, but not too tired to not run the bridge:)  I will remember this expression for the rest of my life.

This is what happens when I try to take an action shot! Ha!  Hope it doesn't induce motion sickness:)

The Woelke's came to town for a a quick visit over Emily's fall break.  We had a blast, even though there was a bit of sickness that took over the two elder Woelkes, and the kids got along great!  We didn't do hardly a thing - just let the kids play and we just visited.  Karen and I did manage to steal away with Ryan for a bit of shopping (I still have an Old Navy gift card burning a hole in my pocket thanks to my inlaws!)  It was so much fun to just hang out. 
On a different note, I was in major PMS mode while they were here.  Let me tell you, I never have experienced it in this way before.  Well, that is after Ryan was born things changed.  TMI perhaps, but I'm telling you, I can TELL when it's a comin'!  So can my dear husband:(  I had to apologize to him, my sister,  and my brother-in-law!  UGH!  All of those yuck feelings about moving etc. just came out, and not in a constructive, mature way.  Snippy, ugly, short, sarcastic - you name it, I was not nice.  It is really weird for me to hear these things coming out of my mouth, feeling rather out-of-bodyish, and hearing these words disembodied from me.  I swear it's not a cop out - I know that I do have the ability to control this, but it is such a challenge.  Next month, I think I am going to have to pray a ton more for self-control and for the Holy Spirit to work in my to just keep my mouth SHUT!!!!   Seriously.  Maybe I'll take a vow of silence for those couple of days?  Cause the way it's been going is not productive, nor is it kind, or pretty, or encouraging, get the picture. 
Ok, so moving on.  Things I need to remember:
When I was outside with the kids Sunday afternoon, Will, Ella-Kathryn, and Ryan were swinging, having a great time and that's when I noticed.  My dear daughter is getting so big!  I know, I am a master observer right?  Seriously.   When did her legs get so long?  I remember when she learned how to swing on her own - on that very swing.  She was so excited to pump her legs and make the swing go without help from us.  Now, she can kick the leaves of the tree in front of the swingset.  She swings so high, she makes the whole frame rock.  She chatters non stop about anything and everything.  She is my only daughter and I cannot hold on to her hard enough!  I pray that she will continue to be an encourager, helper, and that she'll hold on to her easy going attitude.  Even when she's having a "moment" she is quick to snap out of it and move on.  Much more like her daddy, she is even-keeled and has always been our best sleeper!  She is a great eater too:)  She loves her girlfriends and told me today that she wants to try public school again after we move (we'll see about that one.)  She still loves to snuggle and loves to take on the role of teacher for her younger brothers.  She's smart as a whip and excels academically.  Most importantly, she loves Jesus and wants to be baptized.  There are pages more that I could write about her, but I need to get back to teaching!  I thank God that He saw fit to bless me with one sweet girl among the 4 crazy boys!  Love you EK!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Getting there

At his 12 month checkup we told our Dr. that this little man was not really talking, crawling, walking, standing, pulling up, just scooting on his bottom while holding his right foot.  Fast forward a few days after that appt. and he was babbling up a storm, being intentional in his signs and words, and continued scooting like a crazy little speedster.  Then a few weeks after that he started crawling.  Then a few weeks after that he started pulling up.  Now he's pushing chairs and "walking" with them and is "cruising."  While I still have some concerns about the balance (he's got none and cannot stand alone yet) I am thrilled to see him meet all of those other milestones - and here's the thing.  It was on his time table, and my dear husband was never worried!  That man:)  Thank goodness the good Lord saw fit to put us together, cause I know I do enough fretting and fussing for the both of us.  So, Ryan will have his 15 month checkup here in a few weeks - yes I did say 15 months!!!!!- and according to Jeff he will be a walking fool by then.  I'm not so sure about that, given his complete lack of balance still, but of course you would expect me to say that, wouldn't you?

On a completely different and yet somehow mildly related note (that being that I own all of the crazy in this house) I also told my dear husband that I feel confident that I will never be the victim of a serial killer.  Hang on, there's a valid point here.  As posted many times before, I love to read, and I am a huge fan of crime fiction.  Agatha Christie to Karin Slaughter (yes that's her real name,) if it's got a good plot and great writing, I'm in.  Ok, so even if the writings not fantastic I'll probably still read it.  Anyway, Jeff prefers ghosts and hauntings (don't get me started on the whole Christian perspective on this, I'm still wading through this topic) and I happily go along with watching Ghost Adventures or some other such show with him, cause I'm telling you, ghosts are not the things that really scare me.  Full disclosure - I do believe in Satan and demons, and that does scare the tar out of me.  Ok, so here's the thing - what I've learned from my exhaustive reading on the subject of abject depravity in human beings, evil-minded folk, and the law is that those who follow a predictable routine are more in danger than those who don't.  Ha!  I've got those suckas beat!  My children do not allow for such foolishness as routine!  Some mornings I'm up at 5, others it's 6:15, some it's 7:45.  Nightly dog walks may take place at 8, 9, or perhaps 11:13!  Take that serial killers of Bella Vista - you'll never catch me.  
I know.  Even I feel sorry for my husband. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

self-actualization vs. Christ realization

As I caught up with a blog written by a friend from school long ago, I felt puzzled, perplexed, then just plain dumb.  She wrote about Maslow's hierarchy of needs (from the 40's and newly revamped, as she noted had been written about in the Sunday NY Times.)  I vaguely remembered this from Psych 101, but had to click on the link she'd provided to familiarize myself with the idea.  Basically, there is a hierarchy of needs starting with the basics, food and shelter etc., and ending with the self-actualization level during which we realize our creative and intellectual potential.  Problematically then, those who are hungry or without home, cannot function at their highest level of creativity nor intelligence.  Anyway, the revamped version puts mate acquisition,mate retention, parenting on the top.  Again, problematic, because for those who choose to remain unwed or childless would by definition not be achieving their fullest potential.  Now, I've not read through the whole revised version, so if there are points here that are incorrect, by all means let me know.  What I did read and my friends post stemming from her reading that article was what caused me to feel sort of, well, stupid.  She posited that for her self-actualization and parenting were separate, even disparate states of being.  One could not fully be "mother" and "self."  To which I found myself saying to the computer screen, "so what?"  Perhaps because I view my being "mother" through the lens of my relationship with Christ, there is no true feeling of loss for "self."  Yes, sometimes I feel tired and frustrated and need a time-out, a coffee with a friend, or just a few hours to be alone.  But, at the end of the day, this dying to self is inherent in loving Christ and desiring to be more like Him, so my being "mother" is just another avenue by which I can travel that road of sanctification.  For my single or childless friends I suppose this road would be named something else - perhaps just that the wait for a mate, or child or the knowledge that neither will be in their future.  Moreover, I'm not convinced that one necessarily negates the other.  Yes there may be limits on both, there are only so many hours in any one's day, but I know many wonderful artists/authors/musicians who are at the same time wonderful parents!  Isn't it inherent in becoming a parent the knowledge that you will have to share your time with another human being?  Just a thought...
On a completely different note - here are some pics of our camping adventure from last week which may or may not have included the following:
1 child screaming in the middle of the night to the point that said child had to be driven around for 30 minutes so that he would go back to sleep
2 dogs that barked.  at everything.
1 raccoon who saw our trash as the gold mine of partially eaten steak and dropped-on-the-ground marshmallows that it was
1 other kid who also woke up in the middle of the night and "couldn't go back to sleep because his tummy hurt and had to pee"
1 other kid who woke up in the middle of the night because his earplug fell out and he absolutely could not go back to sleep without it
1 dog who scratched ALL night long
1 baby who peed through his pjs and onto mommy's sleeping bag, up by her head because he had completely turned himself around in his sleep
2 very tired parents who in the middle of the night swore that they would never go camping again, but one of those parents had  much better outlook in the morning after those 3 precious hours of sleep:)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Corn Maze

We hit the Razorback Corn Maze last night and had a blast.  First up was the cow train, which mommy had to ride as well, since it's pretty bumpy and the man in charge was concerned about Will bouncing right out!  It was hysterical - me squeezing into the kid-sized "cow" car.  My knees and lower back are sore this morning from the constant bumps.  But, seeing little Will's smiling face and hearing him say, "this is fun mom!"  made it well worth it.  Jack and Ella-Kathryn got the 2 front seats, the bumpiest, and it was a hoot watching them rock back and forth like bobble heads along the trail.
Next was the corn cannon - jack and ek did this with some help from dad.  Not worth the couple of bucks, in my humble opinion.
Then on to the maze.  The kids headed off with their flashlights and I was in charge of the map. Big mistake.  I am the navigator who has to turn the map to which ever direction we're headed:)  I am famous for giving directions based on trees and pretty bushes in front of "that amazingly restored 50's bungalow with the gorgeous crepe myrtle!"  Not helpful when the only shrubbery around is corn!  Can you see me in the army - "um, I think we need to go 4, no maybe 5 clicker-ma-bobbers in thataway direction?"  Needless to say, we got a tad bit turned around:)  Thank goodness for Jeff.  We were sorted out in no time and celebrated our success with a romp on the hay bales.  We can now check this off our fun fall list.  Tomorrow is building of the scarecrow and hopefully I can hold off on buying the pumpkins for another week. I hate when we get them too early and then they rot.
On a more serious note, I had to, amid tears, confess a sin issue to my husband.  Gulp. Confession to another person is not my strong suit.  To God, no problem.  But the face to face always gives me a pit in my stomach.  It had to be done.  As we talk about the future, a possible move, job changes etc.  I fall prey to my greatest weakness: lack of trust.  This is less often a lack of trusting God, and more often a lack of trusting my husband.  More significantly, it's about not feeling that sense of control that I think I have!  I feel better after confessing, but know that the road ahead is filled with prayer and some time in His word, fending off this area of weakness and quite frankly the most intense area of attack from satan.  Whew, ok so what a way to start the day!  Really it is though, as I know that I am given a clean slate to begin again and I know that I can be changed thanks to Him!