Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve thoughts

Another year,come and gone.  For some reason I have this apprehension about 2007.  Not really a fear but a mixture of expectation and longing, a faint knowing that it is going to be a year for the books. 

I was 17 going on 18 when my father was dyeing of lung cancer.  During those months he got back to the Bible so to speak.  Ofcoure I didn't hardly pay attention to him and that stuff then, ramblings of a crazy man facing his death.   But now I look back and wish I could of understood him better and been more engaging in those conversations.  I have no doubt now that when he said he wasn't afraid to die because he knew where he was going, it was because he knew he was going to be with The Lord.

In those passing conversations he would talk about The End Times, The Mark Of The Beast, Revelations, Big Government, and the Return Of The Lord.  I remember when he said the min they start requiring you to take a mark on your right hand and you can't buy and sell with out it, he would be the first one on City Hall's steps Preaching, if he was still around.  I had no idea what he was talking about and wrote him off as having too much pain meds.  But now I know.. I understand.. I see it every day and now others think of me as the nut.. ironic huh.

He knew, he felt it down deep the world was close, very close to seeing it's end, to seeing an awful destruction and that there was going to be a great tribulation coming.. a seven year period.  Looking back now I know where he got that idea, and on some level I agree with that train of thought, but a bit different.  In 1994 he thought the year 2000 would be a start and if not then, then around 2007.  I remember him now saying, keep your eyes open and you will see it coming, start preparing yourself.

Maybe this is why I have a feeling about 2007?  I don't feel the end of the world will come this year but certainly we can see things set in motion for it's start.  Read Matthew 24 &25 and apply it to this time period.. it will blow your sock off.

Dispite all that I am looking forward to this coming year.  Doing more with my house.  Traveling more.  Plan to read the Bible more and draw closer to God.  Do more with my children and my husband.  I am turning 30 this year and that country song "My next 30yrs" keeps playing threw my head.  I want ever more to make this year count. I want to do something worthy and markable with my life.  I want to reach out to others more and love more.

What are your thoughts on this coming year?

I am kinda tripping today.  I remember at the beginning of the week when President Ford and The Godfather Of Soul died, saying to myself.. death comes in 3's.  Who's going to be next???  And now the Butcher Of Baghdad is finally meeting his maker!!  I knew when they were talking about it Friday night that a video or something would surface on the net.  I am not sure if I want to watch it or look for it.  It is enough for me to know he is dead, I don't need to see the execution on TV to believe it.  I think that is one of those slippery slopes and the next thing we know every Friday night we are watching executions on Prime Time... and one of those Christians beheading could be me.. gulp..


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Home For Christmas

Christmas back at home in Wisconsin.. everything it should of been.  Family, Friends, good food, yummy home made cookies, gifts for everyone, too much to cram into a few days that sail by, time spent that will have to tide us over till the next visit.

 I am happy I got to spend time with my Aunt and cousins on my Dad's side. Reminded me of when I was growing up and we would most years go to her house for the Holidays.  I wanted to hold on to that nostalgia and hear the old stories my family would tell and look threw the photo albums seeing pictures of grandmas and grandpas and great aunts and distant cousins that have passed on or live far far away. I don't get to see or talk to that side of the family that often even though we promise each time to change that and call more often or they would come for visits, it never happens. 

 I loved being with my sister and brother too.  Holding my sister in my arms as she sobbed when we first saw each other I stroked her hair and told her yet again to come down and live with us and she yet again shook her head no.  I enjoyed holding my nieces and watching them play with Josh and my kids.  I felt overfilled with love and sorrow that we are not closer and can not get together more often.

It was good to see my Mom and her husband, those silly newlyweds that are so in love it makes you want to giggle with them as they gaze into each others eyes. I am glad to see my mother happy and being taken care right.  They have an amazing new apartment on the 10th floor of a high-rise on the south side with a wonderful view of the lake.  I hope she enjoyed all of us together for once.

 It all went by so fast, not enough time to just relax and get to know each other better.. busy busy with the Holiday hustle and bustle. There was so much more I wanted to do too and never got the chance to do it. I love my family and friends that are up in Wisconsin but I am glad to be back home.  Going back is good, to be reminded where you come from and thankful for where you are now.

I'm tapping my finger against the keyboard looking for the right way to put my words, how to frame my thoughts about my trip, biting my lip... I could give the rosy lovey, koombia version that Norma Rockwell would of painted or I could give the truth that would not be so sensitive to others, and makes me look like a judgmental bitch.  Certainly there is a happy medium seeing how this is my journal to get my thoughts and feelings out?

While my family and friends and me have all grown to some degree or another, going back it felt the same, like they have not changed one bit.. but I have. Felt familiar, that I belonged but it was just not the right place for me anymore. Being back home, well is being back in my past, my roots, and looking at SOME of them I shutter and am thankful I am not where they are at.. prisons of their own making, sad but using what ever to cover the pain and the anger. 

When I go home I am always happy and filled with joy to see them but that soon turns to sadness when I see the conditions of their lives. I felt guilty some how for being so blessed while they are so far off from living a life of joy and peace. Any time I began to talk about my life and it's goodness it felt like bragging.. so I didn't.  I tried to be chatty and talk about the good things in their life but misery loves company and all some of them could do was complain and shoot down the positives.  

And I don't want to be judmental.. not at all. but for the Grace of God I would be just as some of them are.  A junkie or alcoholic, a dirty slob, angry, sad all the time, cant hold down a job, cursing the world and taking no restorability for my life..just getting out of jail or heading there, that could of been me.  Some of them I wish I could just shake and tell them how much I love them and to look to the Lord, he will help you turn it around but of course a prophet has no honor in his home town and those words would fall on deaf ears.  So all I can do is pray for them, love on them, accept them and not put them down. 

 It reminds me of a time growing up.. my family was often the butt of jokes with some friends and while I felt it was ok for ME to joke about my family and talk about them.. I got to the point after hearing the cut downs about my family, anger grew in me and I lashed out at supposed friends.  Who were they to say anything, everyone has something to be ashamed of and what is the point of pointing fingers and laughing at others to make yourself feel better and that has stuck with me.  It does sting to see the contrast in my family from a young age to others, and to feel looked down upon.  I don't ever want my children or my nieces or cousins to feel that.  That one side of the family is better than the other or that there is such things as black sheep. 

Visiting my old friends from high school was also surreal.. the whole gang was there.  The five of us all gathered together in one place, with our children playing and running around the house.  It made me feel old actually.  Time goes by so fast, one min. I am hanging out with my friends just tuning 18 and able to buy my first pack of cigarettes legally and the next thing I know I have been married 10yrs buying my own house and am almost 30yrs.  Life is a vapor!

Sometimes I wish I could live closer so I could be more involved in these lives, but I have a sense even if I lived next door we would all still be miles apart.  So the excitement and wonder of visiting home at Christmas time has passed. I long to go back again but it is time to settle back here and put memories and feelings back on the shelf  and entered into my prayer book.

Friday, December 22, 2006

For those who can't watch the video. Merry Christmas!

The Gift of Love
(Author Unknown)

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.

Christmas Video Card.. From our house to yours, The Gift Of Love

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Here comes grey hair #2

Ever wish you could rewind and start the day over... sheesh and its not even noon yet.

Right now I am so upset with my oldest daughter Annie who is going on 10yrs.  I am flabbergasted by what she choose to do today but relieved that she is safe.. praise God for that!  She got up after Josh left for work but before everyone else this morning and decided today she would ride her bike to school. Josh leaves for work at quarter to 5 and we normaly don't get up and going for school till 6:30 or 7:00.  She said she LEFT the house at 6.

 You know back in the day that would not be such a big deal.. kids used to ride bikes to school all the time.. I did for a time in Elementary school.. but now it is not allowed.. put aside the fact that we live too far for her to ride a bike.. miles and miles.. but the weather today is very cold and rainy.. also she left while it was still DARK.  She could of been hit by a car or kidnapped or got lost!!!  It was very dangerous what she did and the more I think about what could of happen the crazier I get but more thankful that God kept her safe and protected.  She was picked up by the Sheriff and taken the rest of the way to school.. soaking wet.  She made it all the way into town, more than half way there!  If you only KNEW just how far that really is you would be shocked too.

Last week she had come up with this idea that she could ride her bike to school.  They had sent home a school survey for statistical  info about how children get to school.  She saw that bike rider was a choice on there and said she wanted to start riding her bike to school.  Then and there I told her absolutely not.. we live too far for that and the roads are too busy and school does not allow it. Her brother piped in that it would take you all day to get to school on your bike because it is so far.

I think she did it to spite me and her brother.  I had sent her and her sister to bed early last night for eating candy with out permission and maybe that is when she told her sisters she was going to do it. I can just imagin her train of thought, "Oh I'll show them!" This morning Lilly and Sophia were not at all surprised and seemed to know for a fact that is what she had done. I asked if she told them to keep it a secret but they said NO.. just didn't think to tell me about it I guess!

If she could of afforded to miss another day of schoolI would of took Annie home with me after I dropped off her sisters.  I had to bring up dry clothes for her and pick up her bike and talk with the principal. 

I don't know what I am going to do with this girl!!! Doesn't she not realize kids get taken away from their parents for stunts like this.. that this makes me look like a hack of a parent??  My kids are almost always in my sight and I have had a hard time of what Josh calls cutting the apron strings.. they are for the most part good kids and listen and are obedient but how can I start to trust them in this big bad world if they are doing stuff like this?? 

It would be too mean to take away Christmas from her but she needs to understand the gravity of what she did.  For sure the wheels of the bike are getting taken off until God knows when.  The bikes have been put away in the garage since the end of summer and I am surprised there was even air in her tiers.  I can only imagine what Josh is going to say and do when he gets home.. probably blame me, as if I don't feel guilty enough.  Do I need to get alarms on the doors and windows?!!!! Sheeesssh!

I wish the world was different and we lived back in the days where life was easier and more innocent and not such dangers existed for my children.  It would be nice if kids could ride their bikes to school (good exercise and cheaper on the gas) but that is not the way our lives are sturctered anymore.  Now adays you can't just let them go off to play in the neighborhood or walk to a park care free.  You can't even leave them alone in your own yard with out a watchful eye.  Sometimes they don't understand this and get frustrated and I understand that but that is just the way it is.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

This may be where my first grey hair starts to grow

Thought for Today

"Learn to say no; it will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin." - Charles H. Spurgeon

I need to mark another milestone in our family life... *deep heavy sigh*  We kinda had "THE TALK" aka " The Birds & The Bees Talk" with our 12yrd son.  I feel gross just typing about it... but it is done.   Zane missed that part of 5th grade last year because he was on a trip with his dad to Vegas.. lol that sounds funny but it was an innocent trip to visit Josh's mom.  Anyway.. so the boy was in the dark about the biological details of just how a baby is conceived.

It wasn't planned..we were having a casual night watching t.v. in the living room.. the little ones had already gone to bed and Annie was in the dining room finishing her homework.  The subject came up because we were talking about a trailer for a movie called Children Of Men.  Zane had brought it up.. he had seen the trailer when he went to see a movie with one of his friends and he was explaining the premises of what the movie was about.  I giggled at him and out of the blue asked " do you even know how babies are conceived??"  He looked at me and flat out said no.  I looked at Josh and Josh looked at me as we were both trying to think of a non graphic way of explaining it to him.. but really there is no way to do it with out the specifics.  I encouraged Josh to tell him.. I was to tounge tied.  Josh started to tell him where sperm comes from and how women have eggs.. and how eggs and sperm come together.. how sex feels really good, God created it for husbands and wives to enjoy together, I couldn't take it.. I had to put my fingers in my ear and sing "nannnananananana" *sigh*  I am too young to be having to explain or listen to an explanation of this to my baby boy.  But I got over it.. because sadly.. he is not my baby boy anymore.. he is entering pueberty and NEEDS to know this information. All the signs are there. I have tried to ignore the morning wood and hope that Josh would pull him aside and tell him how to um.. um.. well get rid of it or hide it.. or at least tell him not walk around the house in small shorts when he has it.  And the zits are starting to crop up.. I think he has sensitive skin and with or family history of bad acne he needsto start taking care of his skin from the get go.

So we tried to in a mature and informative way and injecting our values,  tell him that as long as he keeps his penis away from virginas there will be no babies. 

Josh went into greater detail and I am not inclined to relive those moments but I have got to say that it was a whole hell of alot more information then I got from my own mother who said "when you are ready we will get you on the pill"

I am sure we will revisit the subject with him again and as long as it is in small dosessI think I can get threw it.  Ohh funn.. the teen years have  officially started!!

Why is it called The Birds and The Bees??? I was trying to think of how to apply those analogies to the conversations.. birds have eggs? bees pollinate flowers??  Those are two separate species... shhhhhheeshhh.. that would be fun to fumble out and probably very confusing to the poor kid getting the speech.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Silent No More on Bill O'Reilly

Recently I discovered that the group Silent No More has an offical MySpace page.  I am apart of the local chapter so I am excited to see them getting more on the web. 

Threw a brief e-mail exchange with the lady who runs Silent No More's page I found out that a member of Silent No More was going to be on The Bill O'Reilly Show last night.  I got the e-mail a little late and missed the first showing but was able to catch the replay.  Bill has been running investigative stories about the Kansas abortionist Tiller, who specializes in partial-birth abortions and his gross neglect and atrocities.  Kelly came on the show and shared her abortion experance with Tiller.  I think she did an AWESOME Job!! She was very articulated, calm, informative and got her message across.  I am so proud of her and her bravery!  It is not easy to talk about such a hard thing to a small group much less millions on national t.v. but she made it look seamless.  I am also grateful to Bill O'Reilly for having her on and giving the audience a chance to see the other side of abortion.. how it hurts women, not helps them.  I shot him a e-mail with my pithy comments and thank yous.

Here is a link to the clip with Kelly on the show

If you watch it and have a comment on it, e-mail Bill.. let's flood him with them and encourage him to have more segments like this!!   And who knows.. he may just read it on air.  I'm Mary H. from Missouri

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Cost Of Freedom.... Always Remember. My very first Youtube Video

Be sure to click on "link to this entry" so that the video won't over lap with the journal song.

This includes video taken at Arlington National Cemetery shot at The Tomb Of The Unknown and pictures the war memorials on the Mall in D.C. 


Thursday, December 7, 2006

Our Walking Tour of Washington D.C.

We went into D.C. the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The weather was just perfect, 60, sunny and clear.  Ofcourse this meant there would be a ton of other tourists too. First we stopped at Arlington and then headed across the river. We looked for a parking spot for over an hour and almost ran out of gas but finally found a spot almost right in front of the Smithsonian Welcome Center.  Good thing Josh can parell park.

We knew we would not get to see everything there was to see but we tried to get in all the major sites and walked about as quickly as possible while still enjoying and taking in the wonder and history.  It was a bit frustration for Josh, me stopping every two steps to take a picture and falling behind him and the kids, but these pictures were worth his "hurry ups" and " come ons".  I hope the next time we go I will have a better camera, and that Next Time.. will not be too long away. 

It was very important to Josh that we go to Arlington and see The Tomb Of The Unknown.  I am so glad that we did.  I was very moved and emotional.  I didn't realize I would be that way but I choked back tears most of the visit.  Rows and rows of graves and headstones of real people who died in service to our country.  I don't consider myself a real history buff or big fan of patriotic themes but when we got to Kennedy's grave and the flame.. I let the tears flow. It is such a solom place and you can feel a presence there that I can't fully explain. Also at The Tomb Of The Unknown.. I got chills and goose bumps watching the guard stand watch.. pacing back and forth and presenting his firearm in exact pristine movements and reading the words "Unknown But To God" etched in stone. I have the changing of the guard recorded and may edit it so I can share it here later. Arlington National Cemetery is important, inspirational, sadness mixed with pride, something you just have to experience for yourself.  I came away with a deeper apprehension for our soldiers and veterans and the cost of freedom.  As my son took it all in I could see the desire to join one of the armed services being cemented in him and all I could think..and pray.. maybe selfishly.. please don't become another one of these headstones.

We got to see all the spots on "The Mall".. Washington, Lincoln, WWII, Vietnam Memorial. and then ventured to the front of The White House.  Seeing all these famous monuments was surreal.  Just as you see it in pictures but different.. to be there and be in the presents of them.. sometimes they seemed so big, to go along with the big people and events  they stood for and invoke remembrance and sometimes it was unimpressive.. that they should be even bigger then they are.. a big build up leading to a reality check let down.  Maybe if we didn't have to rush threw it and could of properly meditated on what we were seeing it would of been different.  Don't get me wrong... I am so glad and blessed that we got to be there and see it all and it will leave an impact on me and I hope my children for the rest of our lives.

I think my biggest let down was in front of The White House. It was so crowded by other people hoping to get a good picture.  I had to almost push our way threw to get the children close to that ugly big black fence and squeeze them all together.  The picture didn't turn out as well as I hoped. I wanted all of them together in the T-Shirts I had gotten them when we visited the Truman Presidential Museum, with a clear shot of The White House in the background.  It's still a good picture and I will prob have it printed and framed but not as dramatic as I envisioned. Standing at the gate looking past the long lawn and wondering what it looks like inside I asked Zane "when you get invited to The White House (and he will.. for some reason I just know it deep down) will you bring your mom with you?  You know what the snot said???!!  "Won't you be dead by then or really really old??" LMBO!

With all the great sites behind us we started our aching feet back to the van parked so so far away.  When we passed threw the Smithsonian gardens in the Welcome Center and saw at the Freer Gallery there was an exhibit on The Bible, we just HAD to see if we could get in before it closed.  Ohhh I wish I could of taken pictures in there!! (a nice Christmas or Birthday gift would be the book on the exhibit.. you can purchase it at the online gift shop..hint hint) It was sooooooo AWESOME and I will have to say that it was one of the highlights of our trip.. the best for last!  The exhibit was called "In The Beginning, Bibles before the year 1000".  It was fragments of the ancient text discovered and put on display showing the progression and forms the Bible took on threw early history.  I got to stand in front and see a piece of a Dead Sea Scroll!!!  For me it was just awing.. it was one of my favorite and treasured verses .. Isaiah 61.  An unexpected surprise.  I wish we could of taken all our time there but we had to rush threw before close.. we were the last group allowed in.  It was just .. oh how to put it.. I don't know.. confirming and reassuring.. that the same scriptures in my Bible.. the same words..God's Word.. is unchanging.. just as He is.. The same yesterday.. today and forever and to show my children that.. sealing it in them too that they can trust in The Bible and what it says.  I know some may not agree with that or take away something else from that exibit but that is what was impressed upon me the most.  If you are in the area anytime soon.. go and see it!! It is open till Jan 17th.

Next time we go to D.C. I want to see the Suprem Court and the Capitol Building.  We just couldn't get to them this time. We also hope to arrange a tour in the White House.  Josh said he read somewhere that you can set it up with your Senator ahead of time if you contact them. I had hoped to go to DC in January for The March Of Life this year but with the shape of things I don't think that will happen.  But we have a standing invitation with Josh's Aunts now... they just loved the kids and were so happy to see us, I know we will be back eventually. 

Enjoy my pictures and here are some websites about the things we saw.  Alot of information to take in and too much for me to retell here.. so check them out and educate your self lol. Freer Gallery of Art and Arther M. Slacker Gallery- Smithsonia Washington D.C. till Jan 17
  Arlington National Cemetery

Monday, December 4, 2006

So much for that idea.. short update

I was going to update with pictures from our Thanksgiving trip to DC... but.. seems AOL is updating it's You'v Got Pictures webpage and service so... so much for that.  That also explains why you can't see the pics in my previous entries right now.. boo.. hiss.. LOL.

I know, I have been incredibly lazy with my blogging and blog reading and my e-mail and whole online life for that matter.  I could justify it with an excuse about having this fabulously busy life.. haha.. half true.. busy at times but half the fab.  There are no excuses for me anymore.. so I'll stop offering them up.  K?

I wanted to save my retelling of our travels over thanksgiving for when I could include the pictures.. its always better with pictures.  But I will say this.. we had a wonderful family trip and I am grateful that we were able to take a day to visit the Capital or has the locals refer to it, The District.  I was awed and inspired and put in my place I guess you could say.  We saw so much, that is why I want to save the retelling with my pictures.. and it really sucks that I can't because that was my whole purpose for getting online (besides deleting the 1000 e-mails I had)

Hard to believe it is December already! This year is flying by, my life is flying by!  Remember when we were little children and it seemed to take an eternity to get to Christmas?  Now I am an old folgie and it comes and goes way too fast.  I have all of two gifts bought and had my head bit off for buying even that. My budget is non right now.. so not sure when I will be able to get the rest done.  Traditionaly we would use Josh's end of the year vacation money on Christmas but this year the responsible thing to do with it is to pay the taxes on the house .  But the outside Christmas Lights are up and going and we have some inside decorations adorning the living room.  This year I am not going all out on the house since we will be out of town this year and no one is coming over.  I'm not sure we need a tree lol even a fake one.

Since I am so behind.. drop me a comment and let me know how you have been doing.. how was your Thanksgiving and how is your Holiday plans shaping up???