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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hard Working Boys

I know it dangerous getting online 7 minutes before midnight. I've promised myself that I will quickly post this blog, faithfully turn off the computer without so much as checking my email or new facebook page. We'll see.

Hubby went to a motorcycle show and poker run on Friday. He gets back late tonight. Baby Girl spent the past 2 nights at Grandma's. After making bacon and eggs for Little Man and his best friend this morning, I started cleaning house. They joined in and together we cleaned every room top to bottom. They vacuumed, dusted, wiped baseboards, window blinds and window sills. They cleaned the bathroom including toilet, tub, mirror, sink and counter, baseboards, door and scrubbed the tile floor. In the kitchen, they wiped the counter tops and again scrubbed the tile floor. They washed the wood floors throughout the house and cleaned the baseboards down the hallway and in the dining room. They gave the dog a bath and then swept the garage and the front porch.

During my marathon cleanings which lately have been few and far between, I usually get the front of the house good but then run out of steam before getting to my room. Today, they hit my room and oh I can't even begin to say how great a job they did. They vacuumed, wiped the baseboards, dusted the furniture and wiped all my picture frames on the dresser, and cleaned the blinds and window sill. In my closet, they moved all shoes, vacuumed and then wiped the baseboards. My bathroom is heavenly. They cleaned the toilet, jacuzzi tub and the shower, took care of the baseboards, wiped the mirror, and cleaned the counter and sink and then finished up by scrubbing the tile floor.

We went to town to pick up dinner around 9pm. They worked with me all day from 11 until 8:30. Before going home, I stopped by the ATM and pulled out $20.00 for each of them. Little Man is trying to save enough money for an IPOD. His best friend is saving for a new bike. They were ecstatic with the cash but no where near as happy as I was tonight taking a shower in my squeaky clean shower, brushing my teeth in my clean sink, and walking around oohing and ahhing over my beautifully clean house. They probably think I'm crazy (they know I am) but I kept going in their room interrupting their video game to give them hugs and kisses and thank them over and over and over again.

When we moved here 3 years ago, our square footage doubled. Where I could clean the smaller house top to bottom in a day with time left over, I can't here. And like I said, when I do clean, I run out of steam before touching my room and bathroom. I know if I was good, I'd clean a little as I go. Tackle one room per day, not attempt the entire house. The only problem is I've got to be in the mood and that doesn't strike often. Ohhhh, but there's not much better than a clean house and tonight, thanks to two 10 year old boys, my house is immaculate.

Thank you guys :-)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Entirely too Long Blog

It's Working - The lazy days of summer is definitely working for me. I love having no place to go and all day to get there. At the start of the summer, I browsed online trying to find activities (golf, bowling, tennis, art, whatever) for the kids. I looked around the house and saw projects I needed to complete. When met with the challenge of free time, my first instinct is to fill it. But after second thoughts, I've got the rest of the year to be busy, so for now a whole lotta nothing is working out just fine.

Not Working - There's only 4 weeks left until the kids have to go back to school and I return to work. I just realized it this morning, my how time flies.

It's Working - I weighed in this morning at 112, it's definitely working for me. Others have noticed. I'm loving it! Although the other day my son, his best friend and I were swimming when they started talking about weight, muscles (which both want, neither have) and such. His friend said that he thinks he's fat. I told him he wasn't, he's just right. To drive the point home, Little Man said, "Yea, you're NOT fat, this is fat" and pinched my gut. How wrong is that!

Not Working - Bumps on my face, bumps on my chest, it's not working for me. Some days I would call it acne. My face isn't so bad today, but it looks like I have the measles on my chest. I tried cortizone thinking maybe it's been an allergic reaction all summer long, but it didn't help either.

It's Working - Although others may disagree, my summer hairdo whether just been washed or just out of the pool is totally working for me. A little hair gel, twist back into clip and I'm good to go. No hairdryer, no curling iron and no flat iron. My make-up consists of a little concealer around my eyes (nothing will cover the bumps, I don't even try), eyeliner and mascara. I'm even going some without any makeup. Not my best look but I can get out of the shower and be ready in 10 minutes flat.

Not Working - Spending $80.00 and almost 3 hours for a cut and color at one of the cheaper franchised salons. I've decided after years of this, I'm gonna get color in a box from Walmart to cover my gray. Hubby even volunteered to help. I'm not sure of his intentions. Is it the money saved or the gray hair covered, who knows? Who cares! The gray hasn't bother me much but evidently it bothers my son because he keeps bringing it up, "Mom, your gray is really showing!" Last night, my mom said, "What color are you going next" a nice, subtle hint, don't you think.

Working - Hanging out with the kids and family. Sunday, Baby Girl and I played in the pool just the two of us. When we had enough sun, we climbed into my bed, ate Cheetos and watched "Tarzan." A few nights ago, Little Man drove me all around the neighborhood in his RZR (ATV). That night he climbed in bed with me and blogged while I read a book. Yesterday, we all went to the movies and saw "Ice Age." Last night, hubby made dinner and we ate on the patio. Afterwards we all jumped into the pool. The kids went inside just about the time the sun set. Hubby and I stayed outside and watched storm clouds gather. We must have watched for over an hour before the lightening ran us inside. It stormed all night long.

Not Working - The constant whining, griping, complaining and fighting. The kids are either the best of friends or the worst of enemies, no in between. Little Man aggravates and annoys his sister. Baby Girl whines, whines and whines. It crawls all over me, can't we all just get along? The other day, they started it up first thing. Hubby warned them if they didn't stop, they would get the worst spanking of their life. As you can guess, they didn't stop so hubby grabbed the paddle. Yep, it sounded like the worst spanking ever. Baby Girl came out of the room screaming. Little Man held it together somewhat because his friend was over. I must say, they were 100 times better for the rest of that day.

Working - I've got an inversion chair, think that's what it's called. You strap your feet in and hang upside down. I do it at least twice a day. It's uncomfortable at first but after everything stretches out, it's great. The instruction book says there's all sorts of health benefits from relieving back pain to increasing brain activity. Basically, more oxygen to the brain makes you smarter, Lord knows, I can use all the help I can get in that area.

Not Working - Over the past couple of years, I've had to travel for work. Sitting in the car for long periods of time is a pain in the butt, literally. I've been to the doctor who said it's my sciatic nerve. It feels like something is digging in at the top of my right butt cheek. It sometimes bothers me from my leg clear to my foot. The doctor prescribes steroids and muscle relaxers which usually works. Anyway, almost 4 weeks ago I went with a friend to Memphis for a quick 2 day trip. It started hurting then. Less than a week later, we had to go to Colorado, a 12 hour road trip, it hurt worse. It's weird, it doesn't hurt from over-exertion, just sitting. Tired of waiting it out, I called the doctor when we made it back into town. He called in the steroids and muscle relaxers. I thought it was helping at first but now with 1 pill left, it's still there. It's not an excruciating pain just a constant dull one. If I could just relax that muscle, it would be okay. Anyway, I have an appointment this afternoon.

Working - Hubby and I had 3 date nights last week. It wasn't planned, it just ended up that way. The first night we met another couple at the movies and saw "Public Enemies." It was really good for an action, shoot 'em up movie. I love Johnny Depp, he just gets better and better. The second date night, we went to the casino and saw the Motown group, the Four Tops. You know the song, "Sugar Pie, Honey bunch. You know that I love you. I can't help myself, I love you and Nobody Else." The concert was fun and free, can't beat that. Some of hubby's motorcycle friends met us there. One guy I'd met before was telling hubby about his new motorcycle. Hubby rides a Jackpot Victory Motorcycle. It looks like a chopper, all looks but zero comfort. Anyway, this guy just bought a Victory Vision which is like a GoldWing. He was talking about how great the ride was and that we should try it out. The seat is huge, it's like sitting in a lazyboy. The guy put Sirrius Satellite Radio on it. But what caught my attention, he said that he put a new accessory on the passenger's seat, a vibrator. Obviously, I thought he was joking, weird joke. He gave hubby the keys and said to take it for a spin. I jumped on back as he was giving hubby last minute instructions. The seat is huge and sits like a Lazyboy recliner. I was immediately sold but then he started it up and OMG!!! The seat vibrates! The more acceleration, the more it vibrates. Hubby's birthday is next week, guess what present I'm getting him :-) Our last date night, we went for double scoop ice cream cones, Mmmm.

Not Working - The more date nights you have, the more you want.

Working - Time to read. I've read some really good ones. I told you about "The Secret Life of Bees." It was great! One I picked up at the library is "What I Know Now" by Ellyn Spragins. The author has famous, successful women write a letter to their younger self. The author takes 1 to 2 pages to introduce the famous person and the time in their life the letter is meant for. Her introductions are okay, but most of the letters are priceless. Some are actors, singers, politicians, CEO's, writers, artists, Olympic medalists and more. A few of the women are Madelynn Albright, Nora Roberts, Trisha Yearwood, and Maya Angelo. She wrote another which I didn't think was as good called "If I'd Known Then." It's women in their 20's and 30's writing mostly to their teenage younger self. I've started reading Barbara Walters book "Audition." Her life is amazing, what a woman! Right now, I'm reading another one I found at the library, "Angry Conversations with God" by Susan E. Isaacs. I haven't decided yet if I'm sold or not. While some pages drag, it's got enough good moments to keep me reading. She writes the book as her "spiritual memoir." I can so relate to some of her experiences. It starts out with her life in the crapper. Her boyfriend breaks up with her, all her friends are getting married, her career takes a nose dive, which leaves her pissed off and depressed. A church friend calls to witness and bring her out of her funk. The friend recommends books to help; "Conversations with God" and "The Sacred Romance." Her response to the first is "Who on earth has conversations with God like that?" She says her conversations with God would be angry and go more like:

Susan: What the ______________, God? Are you trying to kill me?
God: Shut the ___________ up or I will!

The second book sparked her interest and thus writing her own book. If her relationship with God is like a marriage, then they need couples counseling because they aren't getting along. She finds a therapist for her and God whom she describes as being "a short guy in his late fifties with gray hair, buckteeth, and a Hawaiian shirt. . . He looked like Jimmy Buffett imitating a chipmunk." One funny line in the book she describes her christian walk as having been there, done that; I did it all. I've been washed in the blood, slain in the Spirit, I walked through the Bible, I've been baptized - twice. I've done outward cleansing and inner healing. I even went through a therapy program for ex-gays, and I was never gay. Through that insanity, even if pastors hurt me or friends let me down or entire denominations went Shiite on my ass, I still believed God was good - I just needed to find out where God went. Maybe it was a corner of a cathedral or monastery in the desert or a bench on the beach." Her book is an account of her life and the "counseling sessions" between her and God with whom she loves, can't escape and is highly pissed off at.

On a side note, isn't is funny how quick we are to get on our high horse, at least I am. Last week with family, the conversation turned to Michael Jackson. My son sarcastically brings up how much his death has been on TV. First off, besides seeing it on TV at the pizza place, he would have no idea what plays on TV. Since we don't have cable or satellite, we only watch TV when playing a movie on DVD. The family have seriously joked about how ill informed both hubby and I are because we don't watch the news or read the paper.

When my son opened the Michael Jackson door, another chimed in that he didn't get how dramatic they all had to be at the funeral with their big hats and glasses. That was it, my blood was boiling. I broke in with eyes blazing dealing first with my son. "Michael Jackson is one of the biggest stars that has ever been so if his memorial lasts all day and they talk about him for weeks, they should!" My son smarted back, "It's not like he's Elvis or something!" I snapped back, "Elvis died early, his career was cut short. Michael started when he was about your age and lasted over 30 years, you do the math."

Then to finish with the one that really got me going, I said "The big hat and glasses are a culture thing." As my pastor used to joke, when we had a little money, we'd wear it. When we had a little more, we'd drive it and so forth. To hit a little closer home I said, "Some might think you dramatic, with your big truck, big tires and 6ft lift." And with that, the conversation ended as I dismounted my high horse.

Thinking to myself, "how racists can you get? Thank God, I'm here to set them straight." But then something made me think about a friend whom I'm quick to judge. I quickly discounted that as comparing apples to oranges, not the same thing. 1 person is not an entire race, therefore I'm not racist. Then I thought about a friend of a friend who is Asian. I love the one but don't always get the other. I see her differences not as cultural but just plain weird. How about them apples!

As if this blog isn't long enough, here's more food for thought. While hanging out with a friend by the pool, she talked about her church. She says it's a great one and invited me to come try it out. Later the conversation turned to July 4th festivities. She says that her and her husband like to drink. She doesn't invite church people to their 4th of July bash. In fact, she doesn't really hang out with the people at her church for fear of being judged. Isn't that crazy! Shouldn't church be the last place you'd be judged?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Jesus loves me, this I know

Baby Girl told me that she was going to try real hard to be good so she can get to heaven. She wants to go there with Great Paw Paw, who is close to flying away, and the rest of us when it's our turn to make the trip up yonder. Until a few weeks ago, my reply would have been something like “That’s right, if you’re really good, you will go to heaven too.” After all, the road to heaven is narrow and less traveled while the other way is wide with bumper to bumper traffic.

But instead, my answer was "Like Daddy and I, Jesus loves you, no matter what!" Stealing lines from a video recently emailed to me, I said, "Jesus won’t love you more if you’re real good and won’t love you less if you’re real bad. He loves you no matter what and so do I."

I hope I can live up to that promise.

Before her, I was scared that I couldn’t equally love 2 children. I still don’t know how that will all work out. Obviously, you have your personality and they will have their own. Our likes and dislikes, interests, values and opinions, form who we are. We choose our friends by the things we share in common? The more you have in common, the closer the friend. Actions are a deal breaker though. Loves a two way street, if you don’t make me “feel good", all bets are off at least for a while.

Oh, but family’s a different story, or is it? You can’t choose your family, you’re stuck with what you get. However, you can spend more time, give more help and in the end offer more love to some more than others. These precious few that you find you have more “in common” with will become your favorite aunts, uncles, grandmothers, granddads and cousins. So, how will it be any different with how you love and treat your children?

At church, I learned His love, grace, blessings, and salvation are not based on works, well that and John 3:16. I remember making fun of the Jehovah Witnesses because they'd work so hard for what they can't buy. We use to sing songs, “You can’t get to heaven in roller skates, you’ll roll right by those pearly gates.”

Nope, I know His love is not based on works. But Jesus loves me this I know. . . He will bless you 7 fold, if you tithe and give generous offerings. He’ll give you a ticket to heaven, if you’re baptized in Jesus name among other things. He’ll move mountains if you just have faith. So, on the flip side, if you don’t give He won’t bless, if you’re not dunked, He’ll turn away and if you’re found with doubt, He won’t lift a finger? That kinda sounds like work, a lot of work.

Please God, teach me love my children as (I'm beginning to think and hope) You love me, no matter what.