January's Thoughts In Review

Friday, January 31, 2014

 Here's a rundown of my deeper posts from January.  If you haven't read them, give them a gander and feel free to comment.  I love comments!

  • As the sun started to set on 2013, I began to contemplate what I want for 2014.  I'm not a maker of resolutions, because I see reso...

  • When I was a little girl, there was probably no place I loved to be more than home.  I remember feeling safe there and warm.  You know, th...
  • I started off this year spending my quiet time reading from 1 Kings.  I know that's a little odd, because most people start in eithe...

  • We are in the very early stages of potty training at our house.  It's going rather slowly, and I won't rush into the details becau...
  • Weekly Randomosity

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

    • It occurred the other day that the me of sixteen years would be very confused when turning on the radio.  It's rather confusing to listen to Newsboys and Audio Adrenaline and hear a former member of DC Talk on lead vocals for both!
    • Tuesday morning we had a guy come out to repair where the wind ripped some of the siding off of our house.  We had him look at the roof to see if it needed replacing as well.  He could have told us that it did, because it is obvious that it's a slow time for him, but he didn't.  I find that quite admirable.
    • Did you see the 200th episode of How I Met Your Mother yet?  Oh my goodness, I liked the mother beforehand, but now I absolutely love her.  Having followed the show through good times and bad for the past nine years, I can honestly say that this season has been worth the wait, for the most part.  Don't you just love that simple piano music they play in the background during certain "mom" moments?  I will certainly be sad when the show ends in March.  It has been around almost as long as I've been married.
    • Bart wanted to watch parts of the Grammy's, so we DVR'd them.  Neither Ladybug nor I felt great Sunday, so I slept through most of them, and I don't think he was very impressed.  We're getting old, and I think we're fine with that.
    • It's going to snow next week... a lot.  Bart keeps texting me what the models are saying.  It looks like we probably won't be going to the Oklahoma Aquarium again nor to the Tulsa Zoo next week for Ladybug's birthday.  We'll be lucky if we get to have her party next Saturday afternoon.  I can't remember if it's supposed to snow Monday or not, but I'm very thankful it didn't snow the Monday morning after the Super Bowl two years ago.  :)
    • I have an insane bruise on the inside of my right knee.  Ladybug, Dory and I play follow the leader / chase around the couch a lot these days, because what else can we do?  Anyway, Dory sometimes gets excited and nips me a to "get" me.  She never considers "getting" Ladybug, and she's not like viciously biting at all.  However, she got me just right the other night, and it has made bending my knee difficult.
    • Earlier in the month I went into a sort of mourning.  My favorite Mexican restataunt in NWA, Celi's (formerly Oseguera's) closed.  Seriously I was devastated.  Thankfully last week, Bart got a Facebook message from the owner.  They have opened a take-out / catering place on MLK in Fayetteville.  They're calling it Mango's.  They're serving most of the same food as well as a few new things.  Also, since it's not in a restaurant setting, it's much cheaper!  Oh, it's so good!  I could live on their queso blanco and white rice.  Ladybug loves the queso and also cheese quesadillas and rice.  If only they would serve fried ice cream again...
    • I bought Ladybug the Despicable Me movies in a package on iTunes last week.  She liked the first one, and Bart and I watched the parts of the second one several times while worked the Christmas Store at our church last month.  We were in charge of one of the rooms where the kids waited on their parents.  Thankfully most were interested in the movie.  Anyway, she loves the minions, and it's a great distraction on these cold, dreary days.
    • Ladybug and I had lunch with an old, dear friend Monday.  She brought Ladybug two of those BabyLit books, which I LOVE.  One of them was Moby Dick.  Ladybug keeps calling it only by the second half of the title.  I'm sure Miss Amanda will love to know that!
    • I finally got a hair cut!
    • Weekly Music Pick:
      • This week's music pick is Thrive by Casting Crowns, also from the album of the same name that was released this week.  It sounds very Mumford and Sons / Lumineers-y.  Again, it passes the Ladybug dance and sing test.  I'm really enjoying it too.

    Great Things

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

    I started off this year spending my quiet time reading from 1 Kings.  I know that's a little odd, because most people start in either Genesis or Matthew with their reading plans.  I have felt very led to spend more time in the Old Testament this year, and to start in areas I haven't spent nearly as much time reading.  Anyway, I have made it to 2 Kings and recently read the story of Naaman going to Elisha to be healed of leprosy in Chapter 5.

    Basically to paraphrase, the commander of the Syrian army had leprosy, and with his king's permission he went into Israel to seek Elisha and be healed.  Elisha sent a messenger and told him in order to be healed, he had to dip into the the muddy Jordan River seven times.  Apparently Naaman, the commander, liked neither the method Elisha used to speak to him nor the solution he gave.  He thought he was great enough that Elisha should have gone out, spoken to him in person, waved his hands, and healed him.  He especially didn't want to bathe in the Jordan once, much less seven times! I imagine it would be the equivalent of one of us bathing in the Buriganga River (yes, I Googled "dirty rivers"). This was far beneath a man of Naaman's consequence.  Yet his servants pointed out the obvious to him.  "My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?" -  2 Kings 5: 13 NKJV  

    In other words, if Elisha had told him to build great cities, wage war, or burn thousands of sacrifices, Naaman would gladly have done it.  He told him to just bathe in a dirty river seven times.  That's not exactly something you can proclaim at the city gates (or write about in a blog post).  It was something that required this man who was great in the eyes of the world to check his pride at the river bank and do something that could be humiliating.  He did humble himself do it though, and he was healed and proclaimed the greatness of God.

    We all want to do great things.  A small part of each of us wants to be known.  We want to be successful, and a part of us wants for others to envy us or at least admire us just a little.  We are taught that we aren't successful if we don't do extremely huge, popular things that bring truckloads of accolades.  We want to be called by God to write the next bestseller devotional book or design something that will help many people.  We then feel like failures when that doesn't happen in our lives, even if we're doing what God has called us to do.  We let pride cloud our judgement and forget that we are called to be humble.

    As a stay-at-home-mom, it is so very easy to feel like a failure and sometimes want more.  Now especially with a toddler, any given day can be my own Waterloo, and I am not Wellington.  Right now, most days it's a battle royale just to dress Ladybug, because she wants to stay in her pjs.  I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything, especially something great.

    Then I hear her say, "Momma, I love you."  She wraps her arms around me, and gives me sweet, smacky kisses.  I realize that to her I am doing the greatest thing I can do, and I am doing great things.  I'm not successful in a business or worldy sense, but I am raising the most amazing young lady I have ever met.  I know without a doubt God called me to do this.  I may never gain fame or have my name proclaimed as great and awesome.  I may never have hundreds of followers, but I have this little person who watches every breath I take, every move I make, and every step I take.  Seriously, it's like she has taken advice from Sting.  I am doing great things in her, even when I'm reading a book while she sits on her potty chair.  The greatest things we do are often those little, seemingly insignificant ones God calls us to do every day that require humility rather than pride.  None of us is too great to do anything if it is what God has called us to do.  

    Do you ever feel as if what you're doing is insignificant?  Do you ever let pride cloud your judgment?   Have you ever allowed it to prevent you from something your felt led to do?  I know that I do, have, and probably will again, but I'm slowly learning the importance of being humble.

    Weekly Randomosity

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

    • What started out as a Doc McStuffins birthday part for Ladybug is evolving into a Doc McStuffins/ Valentine's Day birthday party.  Honestly, her birthday will always probably include Valentine's favors and such because they're so close to each other.  However, Ladybug is in love with Doc McStuffins, hearts, and monkeys presently.  So, it's partly her choice.
    • Speaking of Ladybug, I'm fairly certain we have entered into the "Terrible Twos."  Her favorite words are "No!" and "Nope!"  I am not amused.  She has been sent to her room a few times, and is learning tantrums aren't going to fly in this house... slowly.
    • I did not watch the Golden Globes.  I don't anticipate watching the Grammys or the The Oscars unless Bart wishes to do so.  I'm just not that interested in celebrities.  I certainly don't want my daughter to grow up thinking that these people are actually intelligent or good role models.
    • I got my passport in the mail today.  That only took two weeks!  Who needs to pay the extra $60 for expedited service? 
    • My poor Lucy-girl tore a toenail today playing and has a sore foot.  She won't let me look at it much.  I hate when any of my girls hurt.
    • The wind has been crazy lately.  Saturday it pulled part of the siding off of our house.  I'm kind of over winter in a big way.  

    • We skipped out on Sunday School this week and took L to our first Razorback Women's Basketball game of the season this past week.  We were a little worried she wouldn't like them anymore.  WRONG!  She loves them, loves calling the hogs, and loves the band.  She has been playing basketball upstairs in her room since then.  Her daddy and granddaddy are hoping our tall girl with really play some day.
    • I seriously can't hear the phrase, "We're half way there," without wanting to finish with "Living on a prayer!"  Bon Jovi has ruined me for polite society.

    • Weekly Music Pick
    Here's the part where I'm going to try something new and give a weekly music pick.  This week I'm going to share with you a favorite that Ladybug and I sing together.  It is Steven Curtis Chapman's "The Glorious Unfolding" on the album of the same name.  We actually love the entire album, and it was the first real concert that we ever took L to.  The second leg of the tour is starting up, and he'll be in Texarkana on Valentine's Day and Tulsa soon.  We actually considered going to the Tulsa concert.  Seriously, this is a concert I would recommend anyone to go to.


    Monday, January 20, 2014

    When I was a little girl, there was probably no place I loved to be more than home.  I remember feeling safe there and warm.  You know, that kind of warmth that's like a blanket that wraps around you on a cold day.  It was an older home with a porch that wrapped around two sides.  I loved that porch and spent many hours playing on it.  It didn't matter that it had only one bathroom, and that everyone's preferred route was through my bedroom rather than my older sister's.  It didn't matter that the central air went out at some point, and we used a huge window unit.  It was where my bed was, where my Cabbage Patch Kids and other toys were, and where I could just be me (for the most part).  It was where I was the most comfortable, most confidant, and had the least concerns.  It was paradise to me.  No other place could be as comfortable, as safe, or as perfect for me.  That security of home lasted until I was ten, and my Dad passed away.

    Since then I have felt home-ish at times, but that security and warmth I knew my first ten years is lost.  That home I loved so dearly and felt so warm and secure in quickly became a cold, empty shell where I no longer felt very safe at all.  Though I have had many perfectly wonderful homes, that original perfect home for me is no more and will never be again here.  I love my home we have now, and I feel as safe and warm as any adult who knows the harshness of this world can be.  I can decorate it to my heart's content.  I can rearrange the furniture and even buy new furniture, but I will never completely reclaim that initial  absolute comfort and contentment.

    That is how life is supposed to be though.  There is only one home for me, and it's not on this earth.  The home I had those first innocent years of my life was my earthly archetype of Heaven for me.  If that home filled with flawed parents and children was a paradise that I still dream of to this day, how much more awesomely wonderful will Heaven be?  To be in God's presence.  To never know pain or suffering again.  To be warmer and freer of troubles than I was even as a little child?  It's beyond my imagination!  I love and am thankful for the home I have now, but Heaven is the home I long for.  It is the only permanent home that neither wind nor rain, illness nor death can take away.

    Today I have a little girl who loves home.  Every time she asks to go home when we've been away, and she proclaims uninhibited joy just at being home, I think on the home I knew when I was her age, and the home I shall go to some day.  I am thankful and pleased that this is her safe place.  This house, the home that Bart and I have created, this is where she feels completely safe, completely comfortable, and completely provided for.  It is her stability.  We have thankfully been able to give her a stable, safe, warm home where all of her needs are met.  That is our job.  I believe that is one of the most important jobs of every parent.  Every child should know the unequivocal joy, comfort, and stability of home.  How are we to convey to our children the wonders of Heaven if we do not give them the closest example on earth?  Just a thought on a Monday.  What are your thoughts?

     “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”
     - John 14:1-4 ESV

    Weekly Randomosity

    Friday, January 17, 2014

    • Bart has been out of town since Sunday, working in Oklahoma City.  It has been one looong week.  Ladybug has done pretty well this time around, because she has been able to FaceTime with him almost every night.  This morning it was a little more difficult.  We had a few meltdowns.  Thankfully we met her BFF  and her mom at Little Giggles and spent some time just having fun.  We're all ready for our guy to get home, including him!
    • I tried to start watching "Call the Midwife" on Netflix the other day, but something was messed up, and you couldn't hear the audio.  I may try again tomorrow.
    • I am currently watching a Greer Garson movie.  I have a special love of Greer Garson movies like Random Harvest and of course Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
    • I don't believe there is anything as creepy as watching Dory's eyes (which she never fully closes in her sleep anyway) when she hits REM sleep.
    • Tonight I finally figured out something to do with those glow sticks I bought Ladybug but didn't use Halloween.  We had added glow sticks to tonight's dance party, and it was a hit!  I wish I could remember what I did with the necklaces!

    • A guy I used to work with at the TV station won the Grammy Gig of a Lifetime this week. 
    • I know I mention it just about every time Bart is out of town, but it is just awesome that we can FaceTime with Bart when he is working out of town.  It makes it much better for Ladybug.  You can tell she starts to look forward to this every night.
    • I am very thankful that I am getting caught up on housework again, or as much as I ever can having two dogs and a very active toddler.
    • It is amazing the joy that can come to a little girl with a new tutu.

    • Ladybug spends a great deal of time playing tug of war with the dogs.  She loves for them to drag her across the floor. 

    Things To Do While Waiting On Your Toddler To Potty

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    We are in the very early stages of potty training at our house.  It's going rather slowly, and I won't rush into the details because I don't want to give Ladybug ammunition to hate me later in life.  Needless to say, I've been spending a great deal of time just hanging out with her while she sits on a potty-chair, awaiting the (hopefully) inevitable.  I'm quickly learning that it can be a huge time-suck, but I'm always looking for things that I can do while hanging out with her since I can't really let her completely out of my sight.

    • Things to do on the iPad or Macbook
    • Read a book on iBooks
    • Catch up on Bloglovin
    • Shop iTunes
    • Blog
    • Catch up on Facebook or Twitter
    • Get Lost on Pinterest  
    • Shop online
    • Watch an episode of Downton Abbey
    • Read an actual book
    • Read a magazine
    • Read the Bible
    • Sing songs
    • Practice counting and saying the alphabet
    What have you done to pass time while waiting on a little person to potty?

    Weekly Randomosity

    Friday, January 10, 2014

    • It has been extremely difficult getting into a blogging routine once again after Christmas.  As always when I hit a bump like this, I have wondered if it wouldn't be best if I just stopped blogging.  Sometimes I think so, but then I realize that even if no one reads my blog, it is very therapeutic to just write when I need to write.
    • The cold, dry weather gave me like a five-day-long migraine.  Try being productive at anything with that going on.  Thankfully it has gotten better in the past couple of days.  
    • I need a haircut in the worst way imaginable.  I don't see it happening for another week or so, unfortunately.
    • Applying for a passport the first time is a major pain in the rear end!  Thankfully I finally got it accomplished after trying for about two weeks to get it done!
    • We're slowly trying to get serious about potty-training here.  I'm not going to blog about the details, because I don't want L to hate me in the future, but it is something going on here.
    • In other Ladybug news, I have the sinking suspicion that she's starting to cut her two-year-molars.  PRAY that it doesn't take long for her to get them.  The older she gets, the worse the teething seems to be.
    • Monday night during the BCS National Championship Game, it came to our attention that our dishwasher that isn't even a year old wasn't draining water. I called Sears to schedule a warranty repair.  They were going to come out this coming Tuesday some time between 8 and 5.  Thankfully it appears a pipe just from the dishwasher had frozen and it is now working properly.  I hate waiting on repair men.  I hate washing dishes by hand more!
    • I had been thinking about throwing Ladybug an "A League Of Their Own" party for her second birthday, since she has a costume.  However, she has lately become a HUGE fan of Doc McStuffins, and I think that she would prefer a Doc party.  BTW, it's going to just be a small thing that I'm going to throw together over the next month.  
    • I just realized that today is Friday and not Thursday.  Seriously.  This week has just been off.
    • On a final note, wasn't the Sugar Bowl last week just the best game of football you've seen played in recent history?  It made me quite the happy girl.
    • I am currently listening to Ladybug on the baby monitor.  She just woke from her nap.  She's saying, "Baby k!"  She's saying this because Bart made a comment when getting the Cabbage Patch Doll my mom got her for Christmas out of the box.  The doll, Ellie (I think), had zip ties around all her appendages, including her neck.  Bart mentioned that she was probably choking. Since then Ladybug has been very worried and obsessed that her baby is choking, and constantly reassures herself that she is ok.  Somewhere along the line, I think the baby is now known as Baby Kaye.
    • I hope you and yours are doing well and having a happy and blessed new year so far.  So what do you think, A League of Their Own or Doc McStuffins birthday party?

    One Word: Listen

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    As the sun started to set on 2013, I began to contemplate what I want for 2014.  I'm not a maker of resolutions, because I see resolutions as things people frivolously say with no real intention of keeping them.  That said, I am not oblivious to the significance of a new year, fresh starts, and clean slates.  Last year I saw several blog posts where people picked one word that summed up what they wanted for the year, and what they wanted to work on.  This intrigued me, because one thing to focus and work on rather than an entire list seems infinitely more doable.  The only problem was that I couldn't think of a word.

    Then last Sunday we were sitting in church, listening to the last sermon of 2013, and the scripture spoke to me.
    "Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lordbut the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but theLord was not in the earthquake;  and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice."
     - 1 Kings 19:11-12 NKJV
    Then another verse came to mind.
    Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 
    - Psalm 46:10 NKJV
    Then I realized that the one thing I most need to work on this year, the one thing I need to pray about most and focus on was to listen.  Everyone has something to say, and it seems that we all are saying it on blogs and social media if not actually in person.  I know that often say a great deal.  Does what I say have any real meaning?  Yes, no, possibly.  I've been learning more and more when to say or post something and when not to.  Sometimes I err and say something I either shouldn't or should have worded differently.  How many times would I not have erred if I had just stopped, been still, and listened?

    Probably the biggest thing that causes fights between Bart and me is when we don't listen to each other. We're busy doing this or that, only half listen to each other, then misunderstand something, causing friction.  Had we just listened to each other, then there would never have been any confusion.

    Ladybug has become very, very vocal.  She often speaks in a very quiet voice though, and it is difficult to understand her.  She gets so very frustrated with us when we don't understand her.  She especially shows her displeasure when we're too busy to pay attention to what she is trying to tell us.  I understand that frustration.  I grew up with a mother who was too busy thinking and doing what she wanted that she never actually listened to me.  She would garner just enough information to get things horribly wrong.  I eventually stopped talking to her.  Our conversations now center on the weather and other trivial things and have for years.

    Like Ladybug, God doesn't speak in earthquakes, great winds, or fires.  He speaks to us in a still, small voice.  If I am too busy and distracted with just everything, how can I listen for Him?  How can I hear Him?  How frustrated He must get with me when I don't pay attention to Him!  I need to say less and listen more.  I pray that I do it, because even though it is important that I be heard, it is more important that I hear those whom I love.

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