Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This and That: The Fall Edition

You can tell we are gearing up for the Holiday season by the crazy glint in my eye. I put my fall decorations up last week. My big Fall Bucket is still in the living room floor, but it is just keeping company with the box of clothes to take to the kid's resale shop and my cold winter clothes. I need an extra room just organize in! I'm sure some of you can relate. Those of you who don't live in temperate climates can't understand the ritual that those of us who live with the weather changes go through. I'm just afraid by the time I get my act together it will be time to do it all over again.

So as I have stated in previous posts, my laptop is currently out of commission. Actually, it is my laptop cord that is out of commission. It caught fire and is presently at my parent's house waiting in the "Daddy Do This For Me Pile." Unfortunately, my Daddy is doing a little too much right now and my laptop cord is not a priority. So currently I am using The Studly Muffin's desktop. And I recently discovered that it takes my little camera card! Praise Be! So I decided I would share a hodge podge of pictures I downloaded tonight.I meant to take pictures of my Fall Decorating Frenzy, but my camera ran out of battery juice. More on that later.

We started out September by celebrating my Dad's B-Day. Here is the Birthday Boy himself. He was wearing a party hat, but I think he snatched it off when he realized I was snapping pictures. Not that he has much pride.

There is this whole situation from earlier in the summer. And yes. I did some photo magic.

Josiah started swimming lessons in September, too. This was his very first lesson. We are now in his second month and have plans to continue. He's quite excited about swimming. Excuse my picture. I took it from  other side of the pool. I sit over by the swim team. They splash more and I can pretend I am at the beach...plus, the constant spray of water soothes my per-menopasual hot flashes.  True Story.

He can do some wonderful swimming stuff now. His teacher is wonderful. He absolutely adores her. I wonder if she makes house calls?

Later in September my mom, a friend from church (Terri) and I spent a couple of nights in Eureka Springs. It was a beautiful fall weekend. And then there was this.

Yes. You are looking at hundreds of motorcycles. Apparently, 40,000 of them were tooting back and forth across North West Arkansas that particular weekend. Do you realize how hard it is to sleep with 40,000 motorcyclist tooting anywhere? Bless Their Hearts. My left eye will occasionally start to twitch when I hear the roar of a motorcycle now. Bless Their Hearts.

This was the little cabin we stayed in. It is in what is called the "Tree House Village." It was quite nice. It had 2 flat screen TV's and big comfy bed and a whirlpool tub. Unfortunately, it was not sound proof. Have I told you how loud 40,000 motorcycles can be?

This is my Mom (on the right) and Terri (on the left). They are both as cute as they can be. And easy traveling companions. They let me have Chinese food twice in one weekend.  Do you hear that, My Studly Muffin? Other people like Chinese Food, too. Sorry. It's just a conversation Troy and I have everytime we go out to eat. Troy: Where do you want to eat? Me: Sushi or Cashew Chicken. Troy: We eat Chinese all the time. Me: We ate it last month! Troy: Nobody wants to eat Chinese food that often!

I had told you I was going to explain why my camera had run out of battery charge and this is why. My son hijacked my camera.

He orginally wanted to use it to document his wish list for his birthday (at the end of November). So he took this and a number of other pictures for his "wish list." Kind of clever, don't you think? And No. I am not going to pay 53.75 for yet another set of Indiana Jones guys.

At any point in his picture taking adventures, you can always count on a "Nostril Shot."  This is one is from this evening.  There were others.Most of them looked like this.

This nostril shot is actually from several months ago. Goofy Kid. 
Now this is more like it. Not that I don't appreciate pictures of my son with any facial expression. But he sure is pretty. And a little Kooky. But he comes by the Kookyness honestly.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Look at the Birds

I've been working on a top secret project for my Mom. I can't tell you much about it. If I did you would have to move to Antarctica without your laptop or something. No one must know of my secret comings and goings. Actually, it just involves sitting behind the computer. Not much coming or going. Just sitting.

Anyhoo. As part of this top secret project I have had access to some of my Mom's best photos. She is a great photographer. I thought I would share some of these adorable pictures. She took all of these at their farm on Raccoon Road. Just looking at them makes me happy. And I need a little "happy" this week.

This guy looks a bit put out. Almost like "Okay, Lady. Enough with the picture taking."

And all the St. Louis Cardinal's fans said, "Hey." I think they won tonight. At least that is what my friends on Facebook are saying. And while they are a motley crew, they do know baseball.  Did you know that the Cardinal is not the state bird of Missouri? That would be the Blue Bird.

This, my friends, is a Morning Dove. And because I did not do my homework on identifying male/female Morning Doves, I will call this one a girl. 'Cause I feel like it. And I will name her Ethel. 'Cause I feel like it.
I love the little bit of fuzz or whatever on her beak.

 I think this is my fav. Now I can tell you that this is a lady Cardinal. God didn't make girl Cardinals (or some other birds) as bright and colorful as boys. But she's still pretty. I love the bit of snow that is on her beak. Makes me want to hand her a mug of hot chocolate and a snuggie.

When things are just a bit overwhelming or seem to be going wrong, it's good to put things in perspective.  I love what the Bible says in Matthew 6:26.

If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

This is from The Message version of the Bible...which I think really lays it out there...and is what I need to hear right now!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Random Thoughts: The 20th Anniversary Edition

So I've resigned myself to the fact that I might not ever see my laptop again. If you recall (and if you don't that's okay too...I'm easy like that) my laptop cord caught on fire several weeks ago. Because we are poor and things like laptop cords don't grow on trees my Dad said he would fix it for me. I was hopeful for about a minute. After all, he is kind of a genius (literally), but he isn't really known for his speedy fix-it problems. After all, this is like "year 4" of their farmhouse renovation project and they still really don't have a kitchen. Or floors.

But, I've picked on my poor Dad quite enough. The Studly Muffin has been gracious enough to share his desktop computer with me and other than the obvious inconvenience and the fact that I have 100's of things I need on my laptop...it's all good.

So. You've might have guessed that The Studly Muffin and I celebrated 20 years together this week. We really haven't celebrated anything yet. I had the stomach bug and Troy had to work on our actual anniversary. He wrote me a sweet note (made me cry) and we exchanged "wow...has it been 20 years" pleasantries, but we plan on doing some real partying today. Lunch at Fridays and a family swim at the YMCA pool. We have always been the daring couple to watch. In honor of our 20 years I am going to hit you fast with 20 random thoughts. Some of which include my own relationship advice. Such as it is.

1. You can't be married for 20 years and not develop some pretty groovy insight. My advice to young couples. IT'S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT YOU! Sometimes it's just about keeping your mouth shut and being a supportive spouse. You don't have to tell all you know.

2. Sometimes the best thing that you can do for your marriage is having hobbies and interests all your own. One person is never going to meet all of your needs. Only God can accomplish that. It is unfair and unrealistic  to ask your spouse to be all things to you. And it puts quite a bit of pressure on the relationship.

3. That being said, be sure to make time to spend time together. Even if you have to schedule the time. And it's not always going to be dinner out. Or weekends away. I think we've fallen for these commercialized images of what "Romance" should look like. Be creative. Some of my favorite times have been just microwave popcorn and a movie at home.

4. I am a pretty private person. I realize that's hard to believe. After all, I have a public blog. But when I am stressed or overwhelmed I tend to withdraw into myself. Some days, If you knew half of what I really thought you would be the first to recommend me for commitment to the nearest facility (as to what facility...take your pick...I'm still waiting for the day when someone commits me to the nearest spa). It is important for me to have an outlet to express myself other than taking it out on my family. I have had experiences that no one else can really understand...a lot of us have. However, it's not healthy to wrap ourselves up self-pity and assume that because of that no one really cares. In fact, it can be deadly to all of your relationships.

5. So. Shew! Now that I've completed my obligatory "I've Been Married Now For 20 Years...Listen To Me" spew, we can move on to some of the lighter stuff.

6. My apartment. Have I whined lately about it? I always need to begin a self-pitying tirade by pointing out that I am extremely grateful for the roof over my head and a safe place to stay.

7. But now that I've done so let me tell you a little something. I want a house! With a yard for my active boy to play in. And a laundry room all my own so I can spring my washer and dryer out of storage. I want to paint a wall red!. And I need a bigger kitchen. I break something everytime I turn around. Sigh.

8. Okay. Self-pitying tirade is over.

9. My son. He is the gift that never stops giving. We moved a cedar chest into the living room the other day to act as a coffee table. He's sitting staring at it yesterday. "Mom. Why do we need a coffee table. You and Dad don't even drink coffee." Oh the wisdom of the young.

10. Our big fall activity has been swim lessons. This has been quite the deal. He is having a ball.

11. When he first started he had a list of things that concerned him. What if he got water in his ears?  Would they ask him to go swim in the "deep?" What if the Y pool suddenly became invested with sharks? It's not like he had never been swimming at the Y pool. He goes at least once a week. And we have never seen a shark. At least not the kind that swim in the ocean.

12. I am always amazed though about how many leave their brains at home before venturing out in public.

13. On the nicely printed pool schedule at the Y there are clearly marked times the public is invited to swim. It is called "Open Swim." And then it gives the times when lessons or classes are being held. Undoubtedly, there is always a handful of people who saunter in around lesson time expecting to swim. And then have the nerve to be a bit huffy when they find out they can't swim at that particular time. Our aquatics director had to kick at least 8 people out of the pool last week. You would have thought she had asked them to give up their first born.

14. I keep a copy of the pool schedule in my purse. 'Cause that's the way I roll.

15. Speaking of rolling. Josiah has been learning to play Frisbee at one of his PE classes. Which is not really rolling, but more like gliding. But because I claim to know nothing about sports I will call it what I want.

16. I admitted this on Facebook, so I guess I will  just go ahead and continue my walk of shame. Yesterday I decided to dust the furniture in the living room. Which, frankly, hadn't seen a dust free day in quite a while. While I dusted away frantically with my can of pledge and dust rag, both of my boys commented on the unusual stench in the living room. You can imagine how I felt when I realized later in the day that I had been dusting with bug spray. What's next? Washing my windows with hair spray? It could happen on my watch.

17. We have plans today. Plans that don't include dusting. It's always a good day when I can spend it with my boys. Josiah and I spend all sorts of time together. We are homeschoolers. But, it's always nice to add The Studly Muffin into the mix.

18. I would be remiss if I didn't ramble on a little bit about him. Not only is he a pretty great husband, but he and Josiah go twice a week to the Y to work out and shoot some hoops. Now that's a pretty great dad.

19. The first year we were married we were so poor we celebrated our anniversary at my Mom's dining room table. She fixed us a gourmet meal, set up a fancy table and served us. We've had more anniversaries celebrated at a fancy restaurant. And a few that we celebrated while I was in the hospital.

20. Despite the location or circumstances, I can depend on Troy to be faithful, sincere and committed to me. He put the full-time ministry on hold for me after my last heart failure episode so I could heal. He's taken on an occupation that neither fulfills him or truly takes advantage of all his gifts and talents just so I could have some stability. He's passionate about his family and his God. Plus, He floats my boat. What more could a girl ask for?

Now I need to get that man out of bed! We've got places to go!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

20 Years

I realize it's been ages since I've posted. My laptop cord caught on fire and so The Studly Muffin and I have been sharing his desktop. Which isn't as handy...I've also been pretty busy. Between homeschool and swim lessons and watching an endless marathon of Ugly Betty on Netflix, I've barely time enough to do much of anything. I should stop before this gets into the neighborhood of "my dog ate my homework" kind of excuses.

Anyhoo. About today. The Studly Muffin and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. It's really hard to wrap my mind around that. I still feel like I'm 20. Well. Kind of. My body feels like it's 62. But that is  topic for another day. I just feel like that same girl who traipsed down the aisle on her daddy's arm. Still filled with hopes for the future and just a big anxious about what might come. The picture I posted was the only one I could find on Troy's desktop of the both of us. It really doesn't speak "Holy Matrimony."

Last year (on Anniversary #19) I posted this.
We don't have any big plans. We are too poor. Plus, it's Wednesday and there is still work, swim lessons, PE, church...stuff. But still. It's nice to know that at least something we've done has worked out. :<) I am blessed.
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