Category Archives: Musings

It’s Moving Day

The movers arrive in a few hours and most everything is packed.

You know that flood of emotions that overtakes you when you are embarking on a new journey?  When all of your senses are stimulated, your adrenaline hits a level that almost exceeds what your body can handle, your questions are all unanswered?  Have you ever been there?  I relish those times, revel in them.  I want to swim in a sea of endless emotions– crazy huh?  It’s when my soul does it’s most searching and my mind does it’s most racing.  The challenge sits before me and I dont have any idea how to get it done, but I know that it will happen somehow.  Do you push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try something new?  Do you go after the things that challenge you?  Do you risk it all for something you feel led to do?  I want to, but find myself trying to play it safe a lot of the time… it’s more comfortable there.

There’s a quote I heard once that always comes back to me at times like this.  Beth Moore said it.  “God usually has you in one of three stages:  about to go into the fire, coming out of the fire, or smack dab in the middle of the fire.”  Always refining, always changing, always molding you.

We leave our house tonight to stay with my parents for one night.  Tomorrow we will be up early and head out.  Two days of driving, watching movies, eating out of ice chests and gas stations, somehow with two cats in tow.  Thursday we move into our rental house.  Friday is open house at the kids’ school, Monday they start school and it’s Big A’s first day of work.

See, like I said, most everything is packed…..

4 out of 10 loads of laundry.

Uh huh, this room is nearly done.

Big A calls this his “bike shop”.  Bike Shop post to follow….



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I Love Moving

After all, it is all in your perspective right?  Isn’t everything?  (Figured out last night, we have moved, 6 times in 13 years.)   I just keep repeating the above phrase in my head over and over again, like the Little Engine That Could, I love move-ing, I love move-ing, I love move-ing, and slowly but surely I get there.  Not every part mind you.  But the following is a brief list of things I love about moving:

-you have to be totally creative in the last few days with what you eat, what you can live with/without, and how you pack things.

-as discussed in an earlier post, it helps you get rid of things you don’t need or use.

-it’s a fresh start in every way.

-new people to meet, new home to decorate, new plants to grow.

Speaking of perspective, people have been asking how the kids feel about our move, if they are excited, etc. and it got me thinking (dangerous I know).  Kids are such a product of what we say and how we feel.  That seems like an overwhelming responsibility sometimes, but the things you say to kids/within earshot of kids really are important–your words matter.  Are you positive or negative, encouraging or critical, happy or sad, energetic or lazy, relaxed or uptight, focused on others or yourself, complimentary or insulting, compassionate or unaware?  Whatever your answers are to these questions, your kids are picking up on it like little sponges.  Don’t let that scare or intimidate you–use it– find time every day to be positive, encouraging, happy, energetic, relaxed, complimentary, compassionate, others-focused.

This move is the perfect example–first of all, the kids are totally pumped.  We’ve never once given them any reason to be anything but… it’s all in the presentation baby.  It is true, that at the beginning of child rearing I hoped or should I say, had my mind set, that our kids would have this highly consistent upbringing.  One school, one house, one church– where they could take root and really feel secure.  Clearly, life has taken a different turn and we are just trying to embrace it.  Because of our moves, I hope the kids have learned to be flexible, adaptable, new friend makin, road trippers who have also visited so many cool places, seen things they might not have seen, and been exposed to some different cultures. And now we are moving on to be an orange tree growin, beach lovin, east coast travelin, all the while God servin family.  Life is good.  Embrace all of it’s goodness.  God’s goodness.

Yesterday I asked my kids what they think I talk to them most about each day or what I am always trying to teach them– I told them their answer could exclude things about God since I already knew they would think I’d string em up by their toenails if they didn’t say that. They said “being creative”.  Ok “making healthy choices”, but then being creative.   Oooo — I just get that all over giddy/jittery feeling when I say the word.  Creativity is important and  sometimes really hard to foster in kids with all the bells and whistles out there for them.  But it is worth your time and effort.  Creativity is a whole other subject we must save for another post….

But with move day quickly approaching, most of our belongings are tucked into boxes just waiting to be unwrapped and used again.  So, the kids have been forced to find other ways to entertain themselves and be creative.  It has been incredibly entertaining for me to capture some of their ideas on camera.  Check these out:

This is an animal shelter (created on empty bookshelves) with a nice selection of dogs for sale.  These dogs are well taken care of and loved by the staff.

In the next room we have even more dogs available for adoption.

Including a “newborn nursery”.

There are also hamsters or possibly mice if you prefer.

Hermit crab– who gets a cage of water with grass all to himself.

A liter of pugs maybe– I’m told they refuse to be seperated.

Who wouldn’t want to take this little cutie home?

In case you couldn’t tell that’s on the female side of things.  In the male corner we have this– there isn’t enough video feed in the world to record the amount of hours of basketball they’ve been playing in the loft so I got shots of other things that are mixed in from time to time:

A classic, jumping on the trampoline with the hose.

Pop beads — which always turns into a game of toss.

So sad  I didn’t get an action photo, but the components are here.  See the bench in the picture, how the arm is curved?  Well, it supposedly makes an excellent race track.  They have sent every form of car down “the track” no less than 200 times.  Then they started to try and make it into the colander each time.  I really dug the sounds of this game all day…. I love moving.

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Have you ever…

made a timeline of God’s faithfulness in your life?   On paper.  Can you account for the ways he has come through for you over the years?  He always does.  He says He will. It’s a promise.

Have you ever stepped out in faith and watched God perform a miracle in your life?  He is doing it in mine and I can’t keep quiet about it.

We got an offer on our house!  Had you been a fly on the wall in our home the last couple of months you would know what a testament to God’s faithfulness this is.  With the market the way it is, the size/price of our home, and our timeline, the odds seemed against it.  But not with the Creator of the universe on our side.  Truly, and Big A will confirm this, I said it would go down this way the whole time–the final hours– keepin ya right on the edge of your seat just watchin.   I love that.  The challenge of patience and timing and waiting.  Of course, we had to be prepared for the challenges and lessons that could come if the house didn’t sell…. but not this time.

This time I guess what we were suppose to learn, is that he wants us to break even in the whole deal.  Like a reset button.  Nothing over and nothing under.  Just a wash.  Fine by me.  Big A, that’s another story.  But supposedly I “live in La-La Land when it comes to finances” so we must just deal with things differently.  Basically, we are going to take a big ol’ hit on the house….

Most of you know Big A and I have made the decision to move our family back to Florida.  I haven’t talked about it much because there are so many conflicting opinions swirling out there.  While this decision seemed crazy to most, it seemed perfectly reasonable to us.  I didn’t say financially savvy, clear cut and obvious, or supported by the masses, just reasonable.  It was by far the most difficult decision we have ever had to make (which is probably saying we haven’t been faced with much).  And yet, the reasons to go far out weighed reasons to stay.  I could type for days about all of our thoughts, discussions, reasons, ideas, philosophies and everything else that went into it, but the bottom line is this: we wanted to do what is best for our family.  You can’t put a price on it.  Not a prestigious job, a good or bad housing market, the hassle of moving cross country, the amount of pride you must swallow, fear, disappointment from others,  nothing can stop it.  Doing what is best for our marriage, kids, and family unit trumps it all.   There have been times in the past when I have asked what God wants me to do in this situation or that one. It was about two years ago He blew me away with this:  God is not waiting for us to make a good or bad decision with our lives.  He isn’t saying you chose the wrong thing or the right thing to do.  Where you choose to live and be cannot be right or wrong; a sin or not.  He simply wants you to serve Him with your life every day every way and wherever you are doing that (which can be anywhere) it can’t be wrong.   I needed this revelation from Him.  It has changed the way I make decisions completely.

Also, I have heard many things over the years, about how to make a decision, that have been helpful.  Taken individually each method could be selfish or misunderstood.  Added together and used in combination these suggestions have been helpful:  No decision you make is that final or that big.  You can always change if you need to.  If your decision did not effect anyone else, no one else cared, no one would be mad or hurt what would you decide then?  How will you feel in 5, 10, 20 years?  Ooooo those are all good right?  Just little thought provoking questions….

More tangible reasons to move:

God opened a door in Florida — twice.  We listened the 2nd time. Revelation 3:8 says: “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

Big A works too much and commutes too far.  Anywhere we live in town would present a similar situation.  His work became all-consuming of his time and thoughts.  No time for anything else during the week– except sleep.  We hope our decision sends a primary message to our kids, that they are more important to us than a job or money or inconvenience– however simple that may sound– the older girls get that.

We want to live in a smaller and slower-paced town where activities, friends, and  life are easier to get to.

Spending time with our kids is really important right now, and living there will give us more opportunity to do so.

Nothing can replace the time we have had to spend with friends and family here.  We have been able to reconnect with, visit, and host friends and family.  We have learned so much about ourselves and had lots of wonderful experiences that have made us who we are.  We wouldn’t change one thing.  This is how it all had to be.  I am grateful for all of it.

God opened a door for us. And since we’ve decided to go through it, yes scared and uncertain, He has “slicked the streets”.  Each phone call, each set of paper work, each hoop to be jumped through, He has had a hand in.  This is not to say that if we face an obstacle the opportunity is not of God.  I am just testifying to what he has done so far…. and I pray that He keeps us ever-challenged, never complacent and open to his plan, however uncomfortable it may be– it’s always exciting.  Big A has already said not to even look at him or talk to him about moving for 15 years.  I guess my dream of being medical missionaries in Africa is going to have to wait a little longer.  I’m patient– NOT.


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Have you ever heard of Biotin?  It is an amazing little vitamin (in the vitamin B category) that I started taking a couple of years ago– it promotes the growth of hair and nails.  I’ve got a seriously weak hair and nail gene so this was a huge discovery.  The fact that I was born with thin hair coupled with the fact that after each baby I was practically bald six months after delivery due to hair loss, makes this a miracle pill in my book.

By the way, do you take vitamins?  I didn’t use to but now I do and here is what I’ve narrowed it down to for me.  (surely there will be additions as the years go on) Do tell what you take and why?

1 women’s multi

2 fiber

1 biotin

2 calcium

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Blogging everyday is like a full time job…

and I ain’t gettin paid.

So, I didn’t realize that doing a post every day was going to be an absolute whip.  Took a wee little break (sorry  more like two weeks).  Probably not going to post every day like I originally thought, but I am going to get to it as often as I can.  Leaving today to find a house for us to rent in FL, so hopefully I’ll get back to it on Monday.  Stay tuned…..

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This World Is Not My Home

Do y’all know this Hymm?  It was one of my all-time childhood favorites and for some reason it came back into my head just the other day.  Now I’m singing it all the time.  I’m writing about it today because I cannot stop thinking about it.

James 4:14 says, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

It’s true.  This world is not our home.  We are just passing through.  And our time is so short.   What are we doing with our time?

Last night Big A and I were enjoying some quiet after the boys went to sleep.  This is how our conversation went:

Me:  I wanna be something.

Big A:  You are something

Me:  I wanna be more.

Big A: Did you know someday you will be all you were made to be?  You will be exactly what God made you to be.

Me: Ok smarty pants. (not really, i just added this part so you could hear what was in my head at the time)

Without analyzing my weirdness too much, let’s just skip ahead to what Big A said.  First, I pray my daughters meet and marry a man that says that to them someday.  And second, isnt that so amazing to think about.  Someday, after Jesus comes back, we will be restored to our original selves.  To what we would have been without sin.  Astounding.  Perfect.

I found the lyrics to the song and I am pasting them below:

This World Is Not My Home

Verse 1:
This world is not my home, I’m just a passing thru,
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

O Lord, you know I have no friend like you,
If Heaven’s not my home, then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Verse 2:
They’re all expecting me, and that’s one thing I know.
My Savior pardoned me and now I onward go;
I know He’ll take me thru tho I am weak and poor,
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

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The Line Between Love and Hate

It is so so fine.  Sometimes so fine I can’t even see it.  Never was this more clear to me than when Big A tried to tell me how to breastfeed.  This won’t come as a surprise to many of you but he was convinced the “football hold” was the way to go.  (Please — if you don’t know what the football hold is with regards to breastfeeding you must educate yourself because you might find it to be as hilarious a name as I did.)  I politely (probably not the way he remembers it) asked him to leave the hospital room while I sweated it out by myself – uncoached.  (Breastfeeding is a whole other topic that I probably can’t go into much more here.  Just suffice it to say that in my head I have a created a group entitled BA.  That’s Breastfeeders Anonymous.  At each meeting you have to say out loud:  “I tried it.  Didn’t like it.  Baby cried all the time.  I quit.  And I have guilt.”  Then everyone in your support group says back to you in unison, “It’s ok.  So did we.  Our kids are all alive and healthy and actually doing well in school.  I wasn’t breastfed and I’m a fully functioning adult.  It’s the longevity of nutrition that counts. You would have had a wet nurse.”)

Back to the topic at hand:  the line also becomes blurred when we argue over the air conditioning in the car.  And when deciding where to eat dinner, where to go on a date when the clock is ticking, when he accidentally drops his arm on me in the middle of the night and gives me a black eye, hmmmmmm anything else? Oh yes, when we are traveling together and he wants to chillax and I’m ready to explore.  That just about covers it.

The flip side is we agree on almost everything: music, politics, God, parenting, travel, movies.

Do you want to know what I really call Big A on occasion?  Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde.  To me it is the perfect illustration, the man is like two people in one body.   Let me give you some hard evidence.  His favorite thing to do is play sports/fish and yet he loves musicals.  He is completely masculine and yet can decorate an easter egg better than any woman I’ve ever known.  He finished medical school yet loves to do nothing more than anything.  He’s the brains behind this operation (or so I tell him) but I know more about pediatrics than he does.  He is a doctor but doesn’t believe in anything healthy– that makes for fun conversation.  It is amazingly difficult to figure him out.

But I will say this.  We were made for each other.  God has always known it would be him and me.  I feel blessed to have met him at a young age.  Our story is a long and predictable one of meeting young and becoming best friends.  Boy loves girl, girl rejects boy, girl realizes she loves boy, boy says forget you, girl begs for boy, boy finally gives in.  With lots of drama mixed in.  That’s just the shortened version.  Then began the toughing it out long distance at different schools, getting married after what seemed like eternity, working odd jobs to make ends meet when we first got married, I began begging for kids, got my way and now there’s lots.

Big A says if I died he could never marry again because there’s no way he could pull the wool over another girl’s eyes.  Now that’s funny.  Of course I could never marry again, because I don’t think there is a man alive who could put up with my bi-polar mood swings.  Whatever Michele Duggar has or doesn’t have running through her veins that keeps her that calm, patient, sweet, and mild mannered of a mom/wife well I’ve either got 10 x’s what she has or I’m missing it all together.

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