Archive | November, 2007

Dumb Blondes or Dumb Men?

19 Nov

Yes, I realize that this is my second blog for the day, but I just couldn’t let this one go.

I just saw a story on FOX news about how men act dumber around blondes. Is that hilarious or what? Now being that I’m a blond twice over (blond throughout childhood, hair darkened in young adulthood—I didn’t like it, so I chose to take matters into my own hands and make myself blonde once again) I found this story interesting of course.

Yes, I know there are all those dumb blonde jokes out there (written by envious brunettes, I’m sure) and that some people see blondes as ditzy or goofy, but I beg to differ. All of us know (and yes, as I said, I am a blond) that hair color has nothing to do with ones intelligence. Ladies, let’s face it, blonde, brunette, redhead, black, hey even if you have purple hair…..men act goofy and silly around pretty women regardless of what color their hair is. That is just men for you. This is not big news. This is just the way it is.

Alright, guys before you get mad because I stated you act goofy around pretty women, just get over it. You know I’m right.

Thanksgiving Or How I Am Blessed

19 Nov

Thanksgiving always seems to sneak up on me…and well, here it is again! This Thursday is the big day. I try to think about all the things I’m thankful for and all the ways I’ve been blessed on a fairly regular basis, but this week I’m especially thinking about it.

There are all the obvious things that I am thankful for… food to eat (never have I gone hungry), a house to live in (never have I had to worry about shelter), clothes to wear (I have a nice warm coat for this cold weather), and good health (yes, I have some health issues, and though they can be a nuisance, they are nothing life threatening).

There are things that I am thankful for that are unique just to me. Things that have personal significance and mean so much, even though on the surface some of these things might seem odd for me to be thankful for.

I’m thankful I was born in the United States…. I’ve always enjoyed freedoms that so many in other lands do not have. I never had to worry about bombings, oppressive regimes, or starvation while growing up. I’ve always been proud of the country I live in and think that even though we might have some problems, we are still, hands down, the best country in the entire world.

I was born into a loving Christian family. I had parents that loved me and made sure I was taught about Jesus. (I’ve always thought my mom is one of the most intelligent women I know….hope some of that has rubbed off on her eldest daughter!) We attended church weekly and I knew that God loved me and Jesus died for me. I’m thankful that in 1979 I made a decision to give my life to the Lord and then to follow in baptism.

I’m thankful for my sister. I don’t tell her enough that I think she is a great sister. Sure she drove me nuts many times as we were growing up. She mercilessly antagonized me until I blew up and threatened her life…..but I also remember playing with her, wanting to share a bedroom with her for a while, and having her hang out with me when I was in college and she was still in high school. She is now a great wife and mommy and I am proud of her. (though even now she likes to challenge me and beat me at games whenever she can!)

I’m thankful that I have relatives that lived close by my entire growing up years so that we could get together on a regular basis for birthday parties, holidays, and just to hang out with each other. My cousins were more like brothers and sisters then cousins. I’m thankful for all my wonderful memories from childhood, memories I look back on with an affection that can never be replaced.

I’m thankful I had the opportunity to attend a small Baptist liberal arts college, 500 miles from home. I learned to live on my own. I made friends. I took on responsibilities. I studied hard. I graduated with a bachelor of science degree.

I’m thankful for my very first job in a small, rural town in the mountains of Tennessee. I was an outsider. (Sort of a modern day “Christy”.) I grew to love my students and they grew to love me. I’m so glad I started my teaching career in that school system. I learned a lot about people. I learned that poor doesn’t mean ignorant, and that community pride is contagious. After that experience, I went on to teach individuals with special needs over the next 15 years and have gained many hilarious, touching, and sad stories to think back on and muse over. I feel like I made a positive difference in the lives of my students and their parents.

I’m thankful that I married when I was 24 to a man that taught me a lot of things about life, and then taught me a lot of things about dying. When he got diagnosed with his terminal heart condition I learned about human nature and emotion and how he dealt with the knowledge of knowing he was dying. Dying can be a difficult, scary and ugly business. (After all, we are all dying it is just that some of us realize this fact and others don’t.) It was a painful lesson in many, many ways. I learned that being widowed was not the end of my life–and God is still good and He continued to bless me even during that most difficult of times.

I’m thankful for my son. Due to a medical condition, I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to get pregnant ….but to my great delight after 9 months of a near perfect pregnancy and just 2 days after my 27th birthday I was given one of the best gifts ever. A beautiful, healthy baby boy. I will be thankful to God for the rest of my days, for allowing me the opportunity to be a mommy.

I’m thankful that after 5 years of widowhood God blessed me with another husband. True, we didn’t meet in a conventional way but there is no question in my mind that he is the one that God chose to bring into my life. We are coming up on our 2nd anniversary shortly, and yet it seems like we’ve been married much longer. (is that because we are wiser and more mature this time around, or we just have lost our sanity and don’t know any better? The jury is still out on this one:) I love my husband and am glad that he loves me too!

I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to love and be a motherly influence for all of my husband’s children and family. There is plenty of love to go around…that is the great thing about love–you can’t “out love” someone. The love tank just keeps getting refilled. As much as I am teaching them, they are teaching me too. I’m blessed to have them in my life.

I’m thankful that I was able to resign from my teaching career and become a stay at home mom. I enjoy the new life style of home schooling and am grateful that I live in a country that allows my husband and me to teach our children how we choose.

I am a much blessed and very grateful woman. I challenge you to think of all your blessings. Thank God for all He’s allowed in your life, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Are We The Frog In The Hot Water?

18 Nov

We’ve all heard the story about how if you put a frog in hot water he will jump out of the pot….but if you slowly turn up the heat of the water he won’t know he is being cooked and will contentedly sit in the pot until it’s too late.

A young Christian girl in Colorado was valedictorian of her class last year. She included a few brief sentences about Jesus in her speech and was told because of this infraction she would not be receiving her diploma. (freedom of speech only as long as you don’t talk about your Savior.)

This week I hear on the news that many hotel chains will no longer allow Gideon Bibles in their rooms. (but they are considering adding condoms instead.)

We are told to start saying, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” or to buy the family a Dream tree instead of a Christmas tree.

Some schools in California are allowing students to recite Islamic prayers and to wear traditional Muslim garb to earn extra credit and are calling it “diversity”. At the same time any reference to our founding fathers religion or mention of a Creator in textbooks is seen as archaic or at least not necessary.

The Ten Commandments are having to be removed from a lot of buildings. What will be next? The motto In God We Trust?

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me every week there is something else on the news about how another part of our Judeo-Christian heritage is being taken away from us. In the name of political correctness, diversity, or tolerance we, as Christians are told not to be so “exclusive”.

I just wonder if we will wake up one day and wonder what happened?

Hip Home Schoolin’, But Still Old Fashioned, Mama

17 Nov

I changed the look for my blog page. I thought it looked cool. At least for now. I might change my mind next week. haha!

I’m glad today is Saturday. It is more relaxed. I am introspective about myself enough to know that I have a problem with relaxing. I’m always thinking that I should be doing something. It is true that there is always something that I could do…but I stress myself out because I will never be able to accomplish everything. I need to rest more often. Honestly, sometimes my perspective gets out of whack… and as all of us mamas know, the laundry and dishes will still be there for us later, right?

That aside, last night I started wrapping Christmas gifts. Now, that was actually fun. I enjoyed it. I’ve bought just about all the Christmas gifts already and have most of them wrapped. I find it fun to pick out “just the right thing” for those that I love. I’ve always enjoyed giving gifts. Most years I have “theme” gifts and I try to locate items that go with the theme that I’ve picked out for that person. Okay, so you can think I’m a dork if you want too. I don’t care. (but if I catch you calling me a dork then you go to the bottom of the Christmas list for next year!)

This morning I’m up. I fixed some cinnamon gingerbread coffee for myself, and for hubby who is still asleep! Though, on his behalf I must add that he has been sick for the past two days with a sore throat and a cold. He needs to rest so he will feel better. I’ve been making him tea with honey, having him eat chicken soup, and drink plenty of OJ.

Yesterday I was looking through Knoxville’s Holiday Events page on the internet. I want to take each of the kids out separately to participate in a Christmas activity. (I like to affectionately call this a “mom date”. I know the kids smirk at that, but secretly they love it when I take them out and each has my undivided attention….and when I am gone one day, they will have some good memories to look back on.) I think I’m taking Kendrick to the lighting of the downtown Christmas tree and carriage rides. I’m taking Breanna on the Victorian house tour (decorated for Christmas). For Bradley I’m thinking maybe ice skating on Market Square. I want to take all the kids to see A Christmas Carol at Clarence Brown Theatre (with our home school group), and I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to go to the Tennessee Theatre (circa the turn of the last century, that recently has been totally renovated and is absolutely gorgeous–it’s like a walk back in time) to see the original black and white version of Miracle on 34th Street. I am very “old fashioned” in so many ways.

Okay, well I better go. Stuff to do, ya know.

P.S. I’m now reading Little Women on my Sony Reader. (the merging of the old and new, huh?)

Help! I’m buried under junk mail.

16 Nov

Yesterday I did some serious throwing out. I had accumulated a ton of mail to “look through later”. You know what I’m saying. I might need to buy a diamond ring, join a new book club, buy a new sweater from L.L Bean, go to the sale at a local store, or get a free sample of panty hose. I mean this is important stuff, right? Well, looking through all of this stuff “later” got put off and next thing I know I’m being buried by a ton of paper. It is amazing how much paper is used to send out junk mail. I’m sure I had half a forest in my mail pile. Okay, so maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but you get the gist. So as I’m wading through all the paper sludge the kids come into my room. “What are you doing?” Throwing stuff out. What stuff? Stuff I don’t need. How do you know you won’t need it? I just know…and if I make a mistake and throw out the coupon for a free ice cream at Brusters then I will just have to live with it. (Oh alright, I have to confess, if I did throw an ice cream coupon out in the trash, I might seriously consider digging it back out. I do have priorities you know!)

After much time and aggravation I finally got through everything. I now have papers I need to file. I’m proud of myself for disposing of A LOT of junk. Hey, I’m not bringing peace to the world, but it is one little thing that I accomplished to make my life more clutter-free and organized.

Sweet Baby

15 Nov

Last night I went over to my friends house. She is a new mommy. She let me hold her son while he slept. Is there anything in the world more peaceful than that? Holding a newborn baby while he sleeps is so relaxing. He made faces while he slept, and made soft baby noises. I looked at his head full of soft hair, his almost transparent eyebrows, his little button nose, and his slim little fingers balled up in fists. How can anyone not know that God exists when they look at a baby? The verse about being known, even as I was knit together in my mothers womb….and the verse about being fearfully and wonderfully made. Babies are amazing.

Colonial Days at Sam Houston School House

14 Nov

Yesterday I took the two younger kids with me on a home school field trip. (Bradley didn’t go as he was not feeling well.) I was worried because it was raining when I woke up….but the rain stopped and off we went! I had never been to this location before and neither had the kids so it was an adventure just finding the place on the back roads of Blount County, Tennessee. What a great day it turned out to be! It was a wonderful turn out with home school mamas and their children, who ranged in age from K-12th grades. It was really neat to see everyone together and having fun. Kendrick and Breanna got to see the original school house that Sam Houston taught at. Very interesting. I told them they shouldn’t complain. Students in the 1800′s got a chalkboard, some slates, and wooden benches. I bet those got uncomfortable as the day wore on for those children. There was a small museum that told all about the life of Sam Houston. (He was the only man to be governor of two states… both Tennessee and Texas. ) The really fun part of the day was the stations that the kids got to participate in. There was candle dipping (they got to keep their candles), corn grinding, butter churning, and sauerkraut making. I was the one that was put in charge of the sauerkraut making. The high schoolers were excellent choppers of the cabbage. Middle schoolers still fine….but the elementary age kids made me very nervous. One of the 7 year old boys said, ” I can do this! Just give me the knife!” I told him, “there will be no chopping off of any fingers at my station. I will HELP YOU.” He was not thrilled, but I was a tad anxious to let him have the knife. It seemed to me that he wanted it a wee bit too much! We salted the cabbage and stored it in mason jars. The kids asked questions about how long it took for it to ferment? We discussed that during this time period preparing meals was a lot of hard work–and there were no such places like Wal-mart or grocery stores per say. One little boy looked at me, ” no Wal-mart?” “Yes, no Wal-mart.” “Wow.”

Each family had brought food for lunch and we had a HUGE Thanksgiving meal. All I can say is Yum! We even got to use the butter we had made for our rolls.

Kendrick participated in some of the colonial style dances that a lady at the museum showed the middle and high schoolers how to do, and both Breanna and Kendrick played Capture the Flag, after lunch, down in the old schoolhouse yard.

As we were packing up for the day, around 3 o’clock, it started to pour. I was thankful that we had such a good day and the Lord held off on the rain for us until just the right time:)

House Hunting

12 Nov

House hunting….er…um…..it is interesting. As most of you know Scott and I took the kids with us to Ohio this past weekend (well actually Thursday-Sunday) to look at the central Ohio area and to begin “getting our feet wet” in the whole house hunting venture. Anyone who has ever bought a house knows that it is both exciting and a pain in the neck at the same time. I thought for today’s blog that I would share some of the more interesting parts of our house hunting adventure.

On Thursday afternoon we met with the head/owner of a fairly large real estate group. He was a very nice older gentleman. He personally drove us around to several houses in the Springfield area. Scott had asked him how we ended up with the privilege of having the boss take a personal interest in us, instead of handing us over to one of his many employees? He said that I had emailed him personally (which I did from his website) and that he was intrigued by my email address. (He proceeded to tell us about the Gibson girls of the turn of the last century–which I already knew, but found it interesting that HE knew about them….turns out he is somewhat of a history buff.) So anyway, that got him interested and then once he met us he took a personal interest in our family. During our drives around the Ohio countryside, he would have us stop and tell us some history about the area. (the cedar bogs, the price of farmland during the Great Depression, the limestone basin that is situated under Clark County etc.etc.) We really liked him and think he will be the one that will find us our house. The first two houses he took us too were farmhouses. Fairly normal…but a little small. I have found out that farmhouses at the turn of last century had small rooms and even smaller closets, if any at all. (I guess women didn’t have 10,000 outfits and 50,000 pairs of shoes back then.) The area around Springfield is beautiful. So, after seeing these houses we headed north toward Urbana, Ohio, in Champaign County. Another beautiful area…but the house we went to was another story. Now, the realtor had never personally shown this house before, so he had no idea…. Picture this: A dark brown house situated down a gravel driveway in the deep woods. On the way in was a dilapidated log cabin, and an old fishing boat. I didn’t think this boded well for us–it didn’t present well to say the least. Turns out that this house was originally built by the owner many years ago. He had since passed away and his wife was elderly and moved into town. She wanted to sell the house……. This advertised as a 4 BR, 3 full bath house. The living room was beautiful with a lodge feel to it, soaring ceilings, a fireplace and a new kitchen nook area. Okay, that was the good stuff, from there it was all downhill. The funniest part was that this man had made bathrooms in the eaves of the house. Now this is no lie…I opened the miniature door and peeked in. ( I felt like Alice in Wonderland) He had crammed in a miniature sized tub, a little sink and toilet up under the eaves. Unless you stand 3 and a half feet tall you couldn’t fit in there. You’d have to take a shower on your knees, and then hunch over the sink to wash your hands….don’t even get me started on the toilet area. Now, I stand at just under 5’7″,to sit on that toilet I would have had to do some sort of funky yoga move and wrap my knees up over the sink. I don’t know about you but I don’t think this would be conducive to good bathroom time. After looking at the munchkin bathrooms I ventured into the connector that ran from the house to the garage. It reminded me of a treehouse. I knew it wasn’t good when I took a misstep and my foot almost went through some rotting floor boards. Scary. Long drop down from the skywalk. I thought it might be traumatic for the family if they saw my body splatted on the driveway below. Okay, I’m ready to get out of here!

On Friday we looked at 6 houses. Most of them were nice houses, but small once again. I enjoyed looking at the barns too. I’m into the history of the homes and the barns have a lot of history too. Some of the barns were in better condition then others. It has always made me sad when I’m driving through the country and I see an old dilapidated barn…..I don’t know why….I guess it just makes me think of the passing of time and how so many of those barns are unused now, leftovers from a past era. I hate to see them gone so that some developer can buy up the land and slap up a subdivision of McMansions and make lots of money. There was one house that the Dayton realtor (different from our Springfield realtor) took us to in Germantown. (a section of Montgomery County) This house was normal looking enough. Another older farmhouse. As we are looking around Scott and I notice a huge metal hook hanging from the ceiling in the large master bedroom. Now, if you are anything like us you are thinking to yourself, “What in the world??”. I’m silently praying that some serial killer has not lived in this house and hung the bodies from the ceiling on a big hook. I’m having flashbacks from watching “A Haunting” on the Discovery Channel about houses that have gone “bad”. You can imagine my relief when the realtor informs us that the man is into exercising and the hook was to hang his punching bag on. Thank the good Lord, he wasn’t a satanic serial killer. The barn at this house gave me bad vibes. It was scary. I didn’t like it at all. Now, I’m no barn aficionado but, I know creepy when I see it. No thank you on this house either. The kids have made me promise that I will do a background check on any house we decide to buy. They don’t want any old house that someone has died in, or some awful thing had occurred there, no ghosts or turn of last century spirits roaming around. They don’t want to be on the next episode of “A Haunting”. I told them we’d check it out!

All in all it was an enjoyable weekend. Scott and I learned a lot about the area, what we are actually looking for in a house and property, and what we would like in a community and church. We also met some very nice people along the way. Continue to pray for us as we search for where God would have us live. We realize that this is a journey. At this point we are not sure where we will be, or even how we are going to work out all the details, but we know we need to go where the Lord would lead us. It is not always easy trusting Him…especially, when faced with moving to a new area. It is both scary and exciting all at the same time. I know from personal experience that God has always been faithful and He will be again. I believe that as a family we will look back on this experience one day and realize that God’s plan is always perfect and it was always just our job to follow Him.

OHIO BOUND!

7 Nov

Well, we are leaving for Ohio tonight. Five and a half hours from here. This is our family adventure. We are checking out the central Ohio area to see if this is where we want to live. Tomorrow and Friday we will be spending a good part of the day looking at houses that I have lined up with a couple of different realtors. This should all be pretty interesting to say the least. Say a prayer for us…..that we have a safe journey and that mom (yes, that’s me) doesn’t lose her cool, or have a break with reality somewhere along the way. I want this to be a productive trip…I want to learn something about Ohio while we are there. I don’t want to have to be forced to pitch any of our children out of the van door—while we are driving. (If I’m honest, that thought HAS briefly crossed my mind on previous trips.) On that note, I’ve got some packing to do.

No, I’m not a slacker!

5 Nov

I am not a slacker. Yes, it’s 12:30 in the afternoon. Yes, I still have on the same clothes that I slept in. Oh, okay they happen to be slouchy sweat pants and a tee shirt. Yes, my hair looks like a bunch of hyperactive birds tried to make a nest in it….Give me a break! I’ll have you know that I did brush my teeth and wash my face this morning. So there. I am not a lazy slacker! The REASON that I look like a scary character from Dawn of the Dead (get it? my name is Dawn I look like a zombie….Okay, already, I’ll quit with the movie references) ANYWAY, the reason I look like this is because I’ve been busy. Yes, I said, busy! I have been frantically working on our trip to Ohio. Scott and I decided the other day that we should take a trip to Ohio to “look around”. We would like to talk (in person) to the real estate agent that I’ve been emailing. We’d like to see what the area looks like, how close an ice rink, soccer, or horse clubs would be. We need to know the proximity of Wal-marts, Home Depots, Bookstores, and of course Coffee shops. (Hey, I don’t know that I’d turn down a nice house because it wasn’t close enough to coffee…..but I’d be tempted!!!) We also want to look at churches and hopefully attend a service. I’d like to talk with someone about home schooling laws in Ohio. Overall, we want to get the “feeling” for the place. So, I’ve been plotting our course on the Google maps (those are sooo cool!), talking to the real estate agent, and investigating places of interest while we are there. It is a lot of work—and I’m also still working with the kids on their school work! So as you can plainly see, in my defense, I am not a slacker. I instead am just a harried, hurried, and hectic mom and wife. It’s almost 1 o’clock. Back to work.

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