Brainy Quote

Friday, December 19, 2008

General Holiday Comments

On Gifts:
If you saw my facebook status I mentioned that the Obama Commemorative Plate was a bad idea no matter which side you stand on. And, I stand by that. I mean come on, Why. Answer that for me. No, really, I want an answer.

On Joy:
On the way home today I saw three guys at an apartment complex parking area "Ghostbusting" the leaves as a team with leaf blowers, looked like they were having the time of their lives.

On Giving:
A shout out of Thanks to the annonaymous (sp) donor who slipped some Christmas moolah under my garage door. It is greatly needed for the trip to visit my family. You will be blessed.

On Santa:
Haven't had a sighting this year, generally they are attracted to me like a magnet. Although those of you who met Daves bro, he is pretty close.

On Christmas Decor:
See earlier post. 'nuff said.

On Baking:
Everyone bakes at Christmas. Why? Kroger or Walmart or Sams are so much better. (With the exception of Nelda's strawberry cake.) You get in the car, go buy it, throw flour in your hair and put it on your plate. Done. Baking is over-rated.

On Traditions:
I highly recommend traditions. If you don't have 'em, get 'em going. We put potatoes (not coal) in the stockings to represent your years "badness". You then eat them with the meal, and start the new year potato free. We used to watch "Father Christmas" a british cartoon about what Father Christmas does on the "off months". But it died (darn that VHS tape). I miss it the theme song was the best...look for it, you'll love it.

On Jesus Birth:
How awesome it is to have an entire season and holidays to mark the birth of our Savior. The one person who is God and Man together! I, for one am so grateful God came to be one of us , then to die for us so I can have a meaningful relationship with Him, with out my sin and badness getting in the way.

Have a Merry Christmas! Celebrate Jesus' Birth with Gifts, Joy, Giving, Decor, Baking (if you have to), Traditions and Talk to Jesus himself! He's waiting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ba humbugs and Ho Ho Ho's

We all know that the Christmas season brings out the best and worst in all of us. But until this year I had not carried that over to the best and worst in Christmas Decor. Now in my neighborhood we are known as the poor little Jewish family on the corner - you see for the longest time all we had to offer the 'hood was a Star of David on the side of the house and a menorah in the window.

You see the 'hood used to have a competition for outside Christmas Decorations that either guy on left or guy on right across the street have always won. You could light the entire city of London with the wattage coming out of their yards. Anyway, so I just would say "no".

This year driving from the church (across the street) to the house, on the way home from thanksgiving dinner, what do I see? I see the neighbor on the right, putting up lights...once his were lit that night, the next am, the guy on the left to him was at it. (ps. my house is still the dark one as my Star of David died.) For twelve years I have watched this dance continue, but I have to say this year..the guy on the left has outdone himself.

We have our normal yearly assortment, although guy on the right has branched out to colored lights instead of icicle lights. I was sitting in my bed reading to Heidi and I heard this music. "Great", I think, "we are getting bump music down the stree, again". But it kept on. So I grab my slippers and Heidi and we go out to look, peeking around the garage door (which is stuck again) and we hear "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" blaring down the street. Weird. The next night, the same thing but "Jingle Bells", to make a long week short - I think the guy has hooked up the Christmas radio station to his lights and timer!

Ba Humbug to that! I don't like it, I think it is a bad idea.

Sams dorm has a lighting contest. His dorm "Sullivan" is guys and they all pitched in to buy tons of lights...They call themselves the Sulli Bros and the dorm Sulli. They put the lights up on the roof and it spells SULLI , awesome!

Ho Ho Ho's to the Sulli Bros.

So who do you give Ba Humbugs to and Ho Ho Ho's?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

27 Random Wants

Helloooo readers, these are my random crazy thoughts for today. Most center around why Albania, but some do not....some are altruistic, and alas, some are not....

1. Why do I love my Mexican kids so much? They are such a hoot!
2. I w
ant to walk the streets of Tirana and see goats.
3. I want to see a man driving a scooter and his wife sidesaddle behind him with a goat in her arms
4. I want to walk to work

5. I wan
t to board an airplane with most of my life sitting in the cargo hull
6. I
want to listen to Shqip
7. I want to be with people who don't care what Angelina and Brad are doing
8. I wan
t to eat a fresh warm plum from the market
9. I
want my mummy
10.I want to teach art to 8
kids not 26 every hour
11. I want to make art
12. I want to live in 2 rooms not 9
13. I want to watch really old european men play games
14. I want to have a really cool European key
15. I want to talk and listen to foreign dogs
16. I want to see my family
17. I want Sam to be happy
18. I want to meet Sadie
19. I want to teach Carsie to draw
20. I want to show Cole the world
21. I want to go to Italy with Julie
22. I want to go to Australia with JJ
23. I want to walk in the rain with no umbrella
. I want a sandwich from Shroder's
25. I want an old car (that works)
26. I want an itouch ipod
27. I want my bills paid off.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


'tis me again, Heidi. Mummy is dooning the dishes so I is here typing wif no thumbs pretty good, eh? We have been giving franks for many things. It is my turn now. I am most frankful for my fwamwy...mummy, boy, daddy(who visited me yesterday, shume)and some of boys friends. Franks also to my best fwend Rudy down da street, he is werery gwate. Also franks for God's word, mummy reads alowd to me in her funny accent or in "cheep" I just wub it! It is good to stop a minute and give franks. Jesus teaches us to do this all the time, not just at Frankxgiving...So my word today is let's be frankful ALL the time.!

Gezuar (sort of like "cheers" to yous fwamwy from oz)

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Framily Thanksgiving

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This was what we did for Thanksgiving, we were Maxwells, like always!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Falenderim / Thanksgiving

I give thanks to God for ....
Family: Sam, My Mummy, Skinners, Smiths, Reasons, Headens, Chisholms, Walkers, C and C, Heidi

Framily: Maxwell, Blakely, Prince, Welch/Green, Wright, Bustrum, Rushing, Baldwin, Page, Cody, Amanda B,Trista and Charlie, Mayfield, Jackson, Frommel, George, Hall, Lynn, Lala, Cotton

Friends: Bennett, Roberts, Smith, Pflasterer, Autry, Donnell, Carol B, Lavelle, Sikes, My Youth, Wendie, ShellyAnn, Scott, Willis, Matt T, Neilsen, McCravy, Rowcliff, Murray,Jeanie, D and D Smith, Fike, Elmer, Holmes, Jackie H, McKelvey, Steven Major, Mauney-Woods, Katharina, Harris, Alicia, Sadki, Olsen-Leckie, Moores, Malones, Jan B, Zandy

Other: Fall days, roof over my head, best doggy in the world (who right now is asleep with me in the bed), the passion for missions my God has given me, the new "family" I have in Albania already, good health, 80's music, a sweet son, a likeable ex-husband, old disco music, fireplaces, Australian beaches, the fact that I was born in that paradise, a job in this ecomomic time, this two-horse town (sometimes), people who believe in me when I don't, my gifts and abilities, my heritage, good books, no cable TV, internet, hearing children giggle, hearing an adult tell a child they are sorry, thanksgiving dinner at school, my lunch bunch of guys.

Well that just about exhausted me. If I forgot you, I am so sorry, I am so thankful for you too. Without you, my life would have been so much harder and not as fun! Happy Thanksgiving.
Te dua (I love you).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fall Foliage, Beards and Nuts.

Heidi was out playing in the leaves this morning and she just bounces around in them, it is very adorable. Every now and then, when ever she is outside, she will look up to check that I am watching. Now whether this is an endearment, " oh, my mummy is watching me, she loves me" or a "dang, she be watching, how can I run away to my freedom when she be watching". Either way today was hilarious, she looks up at me, and two huge massive maple leaves, one orange, one red are hanging from her beard. I would dare anyone to not laugh.

This immediately took me back a couple of years when my sister came to visit me and we went to Fall Creek Falls for a few days (after New York, which is another story). We spent part of one afternoon following a squirrel (there aren't squirrels in Australia) so they tend to fascinate us. This guy was hunting diligently for "where the heck did I hide that one nut!" He would run and dig under the leaves, then sigh (yes we saw him sigh) and run and dig some more, this went on for a while. Finally, he rose up from a digging with the nut in his hands (yes, they have hands, this is part of the fascination) held it above his head like a trophy, and at that moment the clouds parted and sunlight streamed onto him from above, I am sure we heard a "ahhhhh" in four part harmony from the heavens. This is true, ask Julie. But, it occured to me as Heidi looked at me with added color and foliage to her beard, that God has a sense of humor. Nature has humor, as I just noted, and he created it! So as I laugh at a squirrel, Heidi or some cat that lays in the middle of my driveway (not mine by the way), I know God created humor.

What humorous God stories do you have...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

crying cookies

Heidi came in from outside and recieved her treat. She loves that part of going outside. In fact, all I have to do when she runs away is stand outside and scream "treat", "wanna treat?" and here she comes 90 miles an hour doing the "super doggy " flying thing. Anyway so I give her the treat and off she goes to eat it on my white duvet. I go to the kitchen, after a minute or two I hear crying, like oh "poor puppy in trouble" or "I am trapped in my crate" crying. It was pitiful, so I run in and Heidi is crying to her cookie..."Oh cookie you are soooo beautiful, I want you so bad, that I cannot eat you because I am so inamorded!" or something, who knows. So, I asked, "um, Hoot, why are you crying to your cookie?" I recieved no answer just a look of longing at the cookie?!? so I said, "hello cookie?" nothing, I did note that it was a little wet. Tears or drool, I am not sure. Anyway, I told Heidi, "mam you need to eat the cookie or hide it, one. You cannot just cry at the cookie it is unnatural". She picked it up and ate it. S T R A N G E. And you think I am crazy...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fall/Vjeshtë and Jewelry

Walked outside today to wonderful crisp Fall air. And suddenly (it is always suddenly) my trees are changing colors. See...
I am so lucky to have such a beautiful yard with so many trees, we had 26 once, I need to count again, we have lost some in various storms. Heidi spend most of midday out side in the sun, she likes to "frolic" and "gambal" in the leaves...too cute.

Why is it that Fall air smells different...any scientifci minds need to let me know...

Sold some jewelry at the fall fest last night. Not enough, but some. Here are some pictures of stuff, you want it, let me know...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hewwo, I is back or chkimmi in cheep

Hewwo, I, Heidi is back.
Mummy is tired, long day with funny smelling short people. She say, "Hootie, hit the internet chile' and tell everyone what is doing" So Ibees typin wif out thumbs..pretty good eh? We eat, we sleep, we work, we speek cheep. K, mummy speek cheep. Heidi listens. I is a good girl, ask anyone (but Trista, she no like me or catz)...(shh, I don like her shume either) ooo I said cheep - shume bees much....oooo I is happy, see my tail. Iz can learn. I is best puppy in world says mummy, she smilin at Heidi right now.
I have a word....Mummy says the blog beez for "a word" so mine is God loves you! yep, he love Heidi too, don chu forgit it.
Tanks for the comments last time I had a word. I pree-she-ate-it. (that was a big word).
Mummy says God's word for today is 2 Chronicles 20:6 ( love to have the words of God read to me, theys go like this...)
2Chronicles 20:6
"O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you."
Mummy said we need to remember to pray for Mr. Obama now that he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, or sumtink like that.
K, bye I wanna go to bed now.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thoughts just picked out of the Random Box

As I wait for honey chicken to finish cooking...mmm smells really good, i thought I would jot down some thoughts. I have felt a little defeated as of late. I REALLY want to go to Albania but things are moving so slow. Why is God's timing never our timing. I get that it is ISN"T out timing, but why is it NEVER our timing. I need a house to sell (so does JJ) and it is really holding me back in sooooo many ways. Not only Albania, but each month I go a little more in debt. Not good in my book. I will pause here because you know I am not a negative nelly to say that Heidi is the cutest and smartest puppy in the world.
Ok, back to thoughts. My house smells really bad, well until I masked it with Honey Chicken. I hope that works. the two candles burning aren't. I need to clean bathrooms, pull down wall paper, paint, fold and put away my clean clothes (hey they are washed!) and find a part time job. Target called and said they had something, then I got a letter saying they didn't. Huh? They were so desperate, what did they need people to work overnight? So I asked for Wed night off..big deal.
Ok, back to thoughts. Alley is really old (cat) will she ever go on. I'll be sad, but she is old and I do want to go to Albania. So we are back at the beginning. My Ship (or cheep as Heidi says it) is going ok. My new language book is confusing, but I listen to the tape to get my pronuciation right. I think at best I will understand but not speak it. My tongue does not curve right to pronounce the "r" in Albanian. And according to our speech teacher, she cannot see how I am even making the American ones work. Think I'll give up and just speak Aussie. That would cause a stir.
Ok, back to thoughts. Why does vista have so many glitches, it is getting to where I cannot function for more than about 30 minutes and I have to shut 'er down! augh.
Ok, let me know your thoughts.....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Portokalli - Got Oranges?

You got oranges? Is your life bearing fruit?What do people say about you and what your life looks like? Both Christian and Non, are watching us. How do we handle conflict? Do we really put others ahead of ourselves, have you died to yourself?
Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Take a minute and take a short measure of your day, were you loving, did you have joy, did you feel peace or promote peace, were you kind, good and faithful, were you gentle with someone, did you control your needs and wants for yourself? AH, the last one is the hardest, self-control.

2 Peter 1 implores that self-control is needed for spiritual growth. Proverbs speaks volumes about how a controlled tongue shows your self-control. Luke says we are to use selflessness with our money, Mark talks about denying selfish urges. Revelation mentions how it keeps us from being sensitive to weaker brothers.
I believe selfishness is cured by service. Philippians 2 talks about service in this respect. I also believe fruit is seen thru service. So here is my question. How are you serving God's people? How are you serving the seekers in this world?

If you are not serving in your church in some capacity, sorry, you are not bearing fruit. You have no oranges. Sorry, no oranges. Face up, fess up. Read Philippians 2.

OK, now that I have offended everyone I know, and you think this is about you in particular, it isn't about you - This was just on my mind....

Camp Out Memories

1. Nigel constructing a sail, then joyously sailing around the island!

2. Emilie "swimming" the raft across the lake.

3. Tiffs busted lip causing her to talk ghetto for real.

4. Olivia yelling "Help, Help"...because her arms were tired of paddling!

5. Tyson waiting until he was right between JohnDavid and Em to shake off the lake water.

6. Burnt foil with air and ashes inside (potatoes).

7. Nigel, Charlie, Jamie and Beau "forging" iron in the fire.

8. Sweet times singing "I am in need" with those that I love!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Six things one must take to "The Hall"

1. Wits. One must have their "wits about them". There are two halls and all the doors look alike. 2. Patience. As you enter the room take a deep breath cos you will either be jumped (for hugs) or screamed at (for attention). 3. Baby Wipes. A must as these people cannot follow simple directions and get stuff everywhere. 4. A good book. To escape at lunchtime and pretend you are not there. 5. Tennis shoes. To run from the principal who wants a favor. 6. Chocolate...enough said.
Question: What do you have to have to survive work?

Friday, October 10, 2008

I no speek cheep but I sit pretty

I is Heidi, mummy bees very busy these days writing essays for damissionaryzorgs. She getz us quite confused. Be she a premillenialist? Be she a having a theology of church? I dunno, we just goez and praises God for all hedoos for us two. He doos so much. I got two cookies today, Mommy got to see Boy. She beez smilin. We lubs him muchly. My english improves, but now we speakin cheep or something al'banian. Mummy says I not go to 'bania cos I not speek cheep. mmm sumtin to think about.

that all for now. mummy back on line soon.
Heidi yuli-gi Headen

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Random opinions wanted:

1. What is your view of missionary kid education? Should they go to "foreign" school in the country of their work and learn the language and jump in, be homeschooled, or attend a missionary kid school with other missionary kids.?

2. What makes me think I am up for a cross-cultural experience? Who do I think I am?

3. What makes my experience as a "cross-culture" kid so different than my two sisters ? (to answer this, you would have to have read the Poisonwood Bible or know all three of us) I never really it here or there.

4. What will I do without Heidi? She cannot speak Shqip.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bathing the Cat, in love.

This actually happened a while ago, but I was thinking about it and don't think I actually blogged about it. So if it sounds familiar...pass me on. Late in the summer I was suffering in a terrible way with my asthma. Couldn't breath, just wanted to lay know. I was so frustrated I tore up the living room vacuumed, sprayed, vaccuumed, pulled apart furniture, everything. Then one day, sitting in a living room pronounced "clean", I spied Seamus (shaymus) the "fat cat". He is really hairy and I had threatened Sam that one day he would come home and Seamus would be shaved! As I looked at him and he at me, my breathing became labored, its all his fault I reasoned...So I snagged him. Sam was all "what is going on", "I'm bathing the cat!" He laughed! I ran with Shay to the bathroom threw him in the shower and turned it on, ready to bath him as I do Heidi. Once I got the water on he was in such a daze that he just stood there. I thought, mmmm can't really get to him here I'd better get in the shower too. (NOTE: here is my mistake...) So I strip off my clothes and jump in. Meanwhile Sam has told Cody that I am "bathing the cat" so they creep into my room to listen to the maylay. I grabbed the removable shower head, like I do for Heidi and hosed the sucker down, afterall he is a fat cat what is he gonna do---roll over (Those who know Seamus, know he is lazy and would as soon you step on him than have to wake up and move). So I proceed to hose him down and of course his hair slicks back...I expect to see a fat cat or maybe a skinny one if he is indeed all hair. What stood before me was a sleek, black PANTHER! I yelped, the boys are laughing, I am yelling at them that a panther is in the shower with me, he is all muscle and I am scared. I corner him (tubs really don't have corners, have you noticed?) and throw some cat shampoo on him. No, not gonna (is literally what he said) he looks up at the glass door, crouches that panther like body and leaps, ladies and gentlemen for the TOP OF THE DOORS (about 5 feet), misses and slides down the glass, catching is front paws on the doors handle and is swingling literally 3 feet from the ground (my waist) by his claws screaming. At this point I hear roaring from the bedroom ( I think Cody and Sam are on the ground rolling by now). Of course their perspective would probably more entertaining because I don't know what I said. So I pull him off (claws out) hold him to me and hose him down. Then I pronouced him "clean enough". Grabbed the towel and bundled him up then threw him out. The boys were howling as he flew out the door. I stayed and had a nice warm relaxing shower, picking of wet cat hair from my stomach.
It makes me think of how badly God wants to bathe us in his love, but we run screaming. It might hurt, I might have to learn something, but what if it messes up my hair. We think we are a stealthy black panther who can run from God or jump higher than where God can reach. But no, he is the author and creator and he just wants to love us. I have to say, since I have given everything (almost literally, and literally soon) to God and let him love me in it. I don't care if my hair is messed up. I don't care if you want my sofa, come get it. I don't care if it hurts a little because God loves me and letting him love me is teaching me, molding me and making me a better, "cleaner" cat.
1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

Monday, September 22, 2008

"The week did not improve with progress." Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix

Well, the house is still for sale! You wanna buy it? And bills pile up in anticipation of said sale. My heart left, with friends who are returning to Albania to their work, while I am here working for the man to pay off those bills so I can go. It is a long way off. And patience is to be learned, I guess. So, as one of my preschoolers said the other day with sheer amazment, " I have hair!". I say "God will provide". So pray that with me...
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Psalm 37:4 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.
Psalm 37:7 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you your hearts desire.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Albanian Artist

Albanian Mosaic artist Saimir Strati, makes the most unique mosaics...

He used toothpicks for his horse mosaic, industrial nails for the portrait of Leonardo da Vinci, and lately corks for a guitar player. They are huge, and have won him awards in the guiness book of records. The coolest thing is the picture of Leonardo da Vinci hangs in the Tirane Culture Center, which once was the communitst party headquarters, exactly where a larger-than-life sculpture of the late Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha used to stand. Free thinking and imagination win out over oppression! Hooray!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Youth attentions spans and needed prayer!

I just finished talking to teenagers about choosing praise and joy rather than the rantings of the mind. Not sure if I got thru. But, any-who, I have made a few observations this week:

1. High-schoolers are a lot like 2nd graders; their attention span is about 3 minutes.
2. Ex-husbands can be nice, sometimes.
3. Dogs love burnt hamburgers.
4. Flat coke is NOT better than no coke at all.
5. I would sell my pinky for some chocolate right now.
6. I love and miss my family.

Those of you who know me please pray - My desire to return to Albania could be closer than I could have ever thought. Alot has happened in the last few days, but so much has to happen, pray specifically for my house to sell, and debts to pay. For sons to let me know how they really feel, and ex husbands to understand a "calling".

Thursday, September 4, 2008

... and he's outta here

Well boy has left. We said good by in Sullivan 84A ( I think) I even got a hug, then he was off next door to play xbox. Sigh. I don't think Kindergarten was half as sad as this. In Kindergarten he got to come home and tell me all about it. Now I will only be privvy to his laundry which I make him do himself anyway(note to all mothers of boys, at age 12 they CAN and SHOULD do their own laundry).
Now I shall talk in code, the one whose name shall not be spoken but our family has sworn of all males of this name, has broken off with the lady friend can I hear a whoop 'cos my 5 year incrament theory holds still true!!!
So now I am home looking at Heidi, She looks at me, I again at her. Is this my life? I can't wait to get back to school tomorrow, woops did I say that?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Scratchy throats delighting in the Lord learn Shqip

Not feeling my funny self right now.
Here I sit, weezing and coughing with a scratchy throat. Already I don't want to go to school tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, i love art, I like teaching, but i need a change. Seasons change, babies change, you get change and people change. I just want part of that.
Those who know my Albania wish already know it, I guess. But I am learning to "delight" in the Lord. My verse right now is Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you your hearts desire." You see I know He already has a plan for how, when and where but I just want Him to let me in on it!. The next verse I found was Psalm 37:7 "Be still in the presence of the Lord and patiently wait for Him to act."

Ok, patience. I am trying to learn to be patient and delight.... ...... I'll let you know how that turns out.

So I decided to look up passages about how to delight in the Lord, then how the Lord delights in us. The gist is when I
delight in the Lord I am rejoicing in my salvation, finding joy in praising Him, obey his word/commands. The Lords delight in me is most when I delight in my salvation, obey his commands! How odd that is it so symmetrical! Almost like the word of God is planned, or perhaps that God knows what he is doing! duh

So we are back to
being patient and delighting in Him.... I said, I'll let you know how that turns out.
Pray for me. That I can be
patient and delight I so do want the desires of my heart, and I believe these desires to be from God as they pertian to being where God wants me to be - Albania or somewhere for more than a summer. Specifically I need my house, freezer and ring to sell. Once those three things happen, I can mover forward towards my hearts desire.

For those interested in my study of Shqip, (Albanian)
Psalm 37:4 is
Gjej kënaqësinë tënde në Zotin dhe ai do të plotësojë dëshirat e zemrës sate.
Psalm 37:7 is Rri në heshtje para Zotit dhe prite atë; mos u hidhëro për atë që i shkojnë mbarë punët e veta, për njeriun që ndjek planet e këqija të tij.

Yeah! So pray that!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Kindergarten, School Supplies and Rules

School started Monday, Kids arrive Wednesday. I am not ready. I need more naps. I never got that summer job. I am in debt. I have the blues. So on the way home today I bought an orange creme slush from Sonic. mmmm. That helped. I have 3 requests: my house, its a good deal, 2. buy my freezer, its is a great deal, and 3. teach Kindergarten for me this year. If I could have those three things taken care of in my life, life would be perfect. But we don't live in Walgreens "a perfect world" (If you aren't from the south you might not know that commercial) we do however, live here in America...sigh.
I spent the weekend at home and my neice JJ was so excited that she got to buy real school supplies for Cole - he is in 4 year old preschool - so big. She got the list bought everything on it and even labelled her "weekly reader" envelope and field trip envelope. The teacher said she is going to lobve having JJ as a parent in her room. you see we Skinner-Smiths are "rule followers" we want people to be happy with us and our performance. It is a dominant gene in our family. Although I will say, out of all of us, I am most likely to lose the list or forget the supplies at home.
Cole and Carson are learning new rules now they have had birthdays and are 3 and 4. Don't write on the wall. Don't put stickers on the hardwood floor. If you eat a lot of sugar you throw up. Life is tough around Wayside Road these days. And so I am back to Kindergarten. These first few months are so tough. Don't touch people. Don't write on your desk. Don't pick up the woodchips on the playground (that one is for Jason). All this, then this crazy woman who is a cross between your grandma and your 15 year old sister says your mom taught you to glue the wrong way, or your name is not spelled correctly, or promises you that your name is not precious or sweetpea. So, I have some rules of my own for those of you preparing your little ones for those first days at Kindergarten.
1. Teach them their name, ie: Xavier Clarke Hammersmith, not booboo.
2. Tell them they can go to the potty alone, you (mommy) doesn't have to be there for a successful launch.
3. Contrary to what your older cousin says, glue is not a food group. (Neither are boogers.)
4. You can say "I need to use the potty/restroom/bathroom", but do not say "I need to use it", I might hand you the paintbrush in my hand.
5. You WILL get to go home at the end of the day.
6. The bus always comes.
But seriously, what ever happened to parents teaching their child how to write their name, tie their shoes, use scissors, learn the alphabet, count 1-10...these are fundamental parenting skills one MUST teach their child - or you are not parenting! Enough High horse...
I must go now and come up with my 3-5 simple rules for my classroom (of course most of you know this is an oxymoron because I have no classroom). So, ok, the rules for my cart. As Cole says, "Rules keep us safe". Carson just says, "Rules make you stop".

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

old ladies+lake+sunburn=dirty dishes OR how to sell your house without the empty next blues

Picture this: 8 women on a pontoon boat that is weaving across the lake. As it approaches, you make out 7 older woman, one younger and all of them talking at once. They pull up to a "beach" and pile out throwing all manner of floaties onto the water. The talk ranges from where are you going to go potty and counting to 50 really slowly then singing Happy Birthday, onto boobies and tatoos. You'd leave your fishing hole too! (poor old man) We are sure he was thinking we were a bunch of old drunk ladies. Oh, yeah, and we talked about skinny dippin' too. Of course Marsha was first to point out only two of us there could really skinny dip, the rest of us would have to chunky dunk. Insert uproarus laughter here.
Anyway about 6 hours later we took our sunburned selves back into dock and convinced the nice man there to carry our c
ooler back to the car. We are charming that way, a gaggle of old ladies.
All this to say, I come home tired sunb
urned and a permanent smile on my face and what do you think I saw when I came home? A cooked dinner? Hey, lets go out to eat, I'll pay mom! No, As I put my bag in the kitchen I noticed dirty dishes, there and in the living room. So what did I do, I washed them....However, I want you to know that I would not have if we weren't showing our house to the photographer tonight. Usually every night I wash dishes and clean the kitchen so the morning is new and clean. Generally I get up every day and find dirty dishes in the kitchen. Are you seeing a pattern? In fact, last night I typed out a list for both my boys on what needed to be done to their rooms and the bathroom to be photo ready today. Last check, all is done but one bed and beard hairs in one can only keep praying. The only light at the end of this tunnel, especially with the housing market the way it to empty this nest. Sadly to say one leaves next week for Seminary and one for college next month. Heidi and I have discussed this more than once and we feel the reprecussions will be as follows:
1. we are stuck with those cats
2. we eat when we want to

3. we don't eat when we don't want to
4. less dishes to do
5. no one to wake you up at 3 am and say "I love you mom"
6. no one to a
rgue with or ask deep questions to
7. we are stuck with those cats
8. if we buy icecream, it is ours
9. if we he
ar a noise at 3 am, panic cos it ain't a boy
10. we are stuck with those cats.

Did I mention I'd like them to take the cats.
Anyway, the next old lady trip will be one with floating and some action...say the float the buffalo. We're aiming for a small amount of action as relaxation is our major purpose.
PS would you like a cat?

Monday, July 21, 2008

God's Grin

Watching Sister Act, a good old movie and they are singing "Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above" (Good Catholics know this song). I love that song anyway, but the way they they do it is awesome... "Salve, salve, salve Regina!" Much fun. Having been a member of Northbrook Church for over 12 years, I cannot even imagine returning to "Ye old Southern Baptist Way". Now that is good for some. But not me. I like to sit in the sound booth and rock on.
Worship, we were created for it. God delights in our worship. He delights in us. I like that word - delight. Its like he grins when he sees us 'cos he loves us so. When I worship he grins. It delights him when we use our talents too. So, when I draw, he delights, because he made me with that ability. If you are a runner, he delights when you when you run. And, I like to think when Heidi is "gamboling" and rolling in the long grass, God delights. She is fulfilling her purpose in creation, to give him delight. All the more when we direct these acts toward him intentionally. When I draw with God or His word in mind, that is true worship. I don't know if Heidi thinks of God when she rolls in the grass. But I do know that God delights in me when I fulfill my purpose - to glorify and worship him.
Here's another twist. I read in a book that we are always "looking forward" to Eternal Life. But Eternal Life began when we were saved. I'm in it NOW. What does His Word say, what will we be doing in eternity? -praising God. That starts now. I don't think we praise God enough, now. So I encourage you to praise God, now!
King David, when God told him he would not be building the temple (his son Solomon would), he still praised. He even employed groups of people to sing praises to the Lord 24/7 in the tabernacle! Question: What would happen in our city if the church employed people to sing praises 24/7?! So lets start now! Not just "in every circumstance", but ALL THE TIME!
"In all your ways aknowledge Him and He will direct your path." Proverbs 3:6

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Garden Exorcism

I pronounce the garden "Clean"! We have taken out an overloaded wheelbarrow of tubers! If you want one, call me!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reflections on the Iris

Once upon a time I planted 9 Iris' in the front yard, along with 4 tiger lilies. A great thought, huh? Ah no, not if you don't know what your are doing. Now 7 years later I have a jungle of Iris', tiger lilies and weeds that look like tiger lilies, various kinds of kudzu and some kind of tree sapling? So the other day, I got energetic (VERY unusual for me) and thought "I'll dig it up, and start over!" This was encouraged by friends and wise counsel. So out I go with shovel in hand...An hour later I have 1/2 a Tiger lily and and about 4 halves of Irises. Those suckers are stubborn. I attacked the ones on the edges, Mark said they were the .You see from my 9 Iris' babies grew and with Iris' this means their bulbs grow. Needless to say, they are all joined all 30,000 of them. Ok not 30,000 but it might as well be.
That is how the Church is to be. We are the church- assuming you know that- and we are to be joined to one another like those stubborn Iris'. That way when Satan comes to get someone on the fringe, we won't give 'em up! their root is joined to ours and all joined to Christ. Cool eh? So hang on to those you love in Christ, don't let them slip away.
So I gave up and "round-up"ed the whole lot. Now I don't know what to do. I guess I'll pay someone to get 'em out!

Beyond 6th Grade

For those of you keeping up, I am not moving to Georgia at THIS time. As my sister said, there is always next year. 6th grade, Title 1 and NCLB make teaching a chore and I like my job teaching art and didn't see trading it for stress. Although, my own room and kids is appealing. So now we move on. The new need: Sell the house and downsize both physically and monetarily as Sam goes to college and Cody to seminary. It will be me and Heidi taking on the world alone, two gals in the city! OK well it is Three Way, TN. So sadness ensues, ( was looking forward to being with JJ and kids almost all the time), but gladness (on the part of Ann and others) replaces it for now.
Pray the house sells in record time, I need the financial break badly.
But I am learning that God already knows all that and he will act...Psalm 37:7 " Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act." According to Psalm 37 all I have to do is Trust, continue doing good, delight in the Lord, Commit all to the Lord, Be still and wait patiently. Then He will act. He already knows what is needed, and he already knows he will do it. So sit back Carol! Less worry, more delight. The more we praise, the less it all matters. Psalm 34:1 " I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." Praise exchanges negative for positive, it is a front line attack on problems (and Satan flees too, a bonus!).Walking in joy and praise brings us peace. All problems are not solved, but God's word says we can prosper in our problems. Philippians 4:8,9 "Fix your hearts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure an lovely and admirable. Think about things a that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and saw me doing, and the God of PEACE will be with you." To praise is to fulfill our purpose in creation - we are to be the glory of God.
So, here I sit praising God or at least trying to replace the praise for worry. It seems to be working!~ dahhhh And looking beyond 6th grade to a new year with lots of changes. But I am not worrying!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What did you do this summer?

If asked in the fall what I did this summer, I confess, I would have to say, I napped. That is all I did!
Cole got a hair cut. He likes a new lid every now and then. At bath time he was VERY upset that he had to get it wet, he told his mom that it was going to be ruined! Tears and screaming continued. Finally he went to bed, when he got up from his nap, he ran to his mom and exclaimed, "The nap fixed my hair cut!"
So, I decied to write about naps and their healing qualities.

A Nap is the cure-
If you're tired
If you're cranky

If you have over thought

If you have a bad hair day
If you need to think
If you need solitude

If you just need
If everyone is bugging you

If no one is listening

If you feel put upon

If you miss someone

If you're mad at someone
If your head aches
If your body hurts
If you are too - anything

If your dog ran away
If your child is cranky
If your mom is cranky
If your clothes don't fit right
If you have nothing to wear

If there is no chocolate in the house
If they keep crying

If you keep crying

If you can't cry anymore

If you have no where to go

If a nap can fix a hair cut-there is no telling what else it could cure- think about it...What is wrong with your life? Will a nap hurt it? No. Never. And I guarentee you will feel better, regardless If you are 2 or 50 years old. Jesus related. He retreated to pray, think, regroup, pull it together. Retreating causes you to "lay back", lay low, retire, and that is good. It was true when you were 3. It is true now.