Friday, March 31, 2006

LBY Week #1: Distractions

I know I am supposed to have a table with links to everyone participating in the study, but I am so not good at this type stuff. I did try, but I can't seem to type with the table on there. Hopefully I will be able to work on this over the next 9 weeks! However, the links to fellow LBY bloggers should be to the left of my blog labeled "LBY Bloggers"--naturally.

After one week of study I can tell you one thing for sure. Satan does not want me (or anyone else I'm sure) to begin, continue or complete this study. I got a late start due to some computer issues which my husband wasn't able to help me with until Monday night. So my first day of homework was Tuesday. Every day since then has been total chaos and I haven't been able to carve a niche of time where someone or something wasn't interrupting or distracting me. I was doing the homework and really trying to listen to the Holy Spirit, but Satan is good at what he does--bring disorder and confusion.

Ladies, I tell you know he will not keep me from my appointed hour with God! It's amazing how the Holy Spirit can get through to you even when you're not sure you're really even paying attention. I just wanted to comment on what I really felt convicted by this week-- how powerful our sphere of influence as women is. And more importantly, how large it is. Beyond our spouse, kids and other family is every person we come into contact with on a daily basis.

I love God so much and it pains my heart to realize how often I have been a negative influence in someone's life. Not directing them towards God or not even caring to direct them at all. Joy and truth should imminate from my very being. I know God is putting me on the path towards that trough this study.

Sorry, this is a short post. I'm not much of a "bloveler" (a person who writes blovels, which are novel length entries just in case I lost anyone with my jargon!) God is usually pretty suscinct with me. "Robin, please, if you will just work on this for now..." I may need to do this study five times before I get all I need to out of it.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Blank Space?

Ok, I need to know how many of you see a huge blank space when you first open my blog? I know Holly does and Theresa has mentioned it before, but when I open it on a new screen it looks totally fine.

If you do see it, do you know how to fix it?

Happy Birthday Blog

Today is the one year anniversary of the day I started my blog. So, Happy Birthday to my blog! What I enjoy most about this experience is the other mommies I have "met" throught this process. You guys inspire me, connect with me and just plain make me giggle. Thanks a bunch!

Time Change

Well, the time change happens this weekend. We all get to spring forward and lose and hour of sleep. If you actually get any then that is a bummer. For me, it's one less hour I have to be irritated that everyone else is asleep but me.

The only thing I really don't like about the time change is that now I am two hours ahead of Theresa in Phoenix and not one. I hate having to wait until 10 am to call her so I am not waking her up. (Yeah, I know you're laughing Theresa since your kids get up at like 4am or something.) It's really just an issue of politeness.

Yep, that's it. The only thing I don't like about the spring time change.

Dye Job

There are a few things that I just don't attempt to do myself. Coloring my hair is one of them. Everytime I have tried it in the past, I mess it up. Mainly by missing major chunks of my hair because I can't see and can barely reach the back of my head after all. There is also the fact that I have 700 pounds of hair. Yes, I am exaggerating a little, but not much.

The last time I got a hair cut I went for something totally different. Lots of layers and flat-ironing when I want, but still looks ok wavy/curly which is the natural texture of my hair. It's been 8 weeks and I am in severe need of a color, but my cut is growing out so cute, I decided not to have it done. Plus, my hairdresser is about an hour from my house. (Don't ask; and yes, she is THAT good.) So, in the effort to save time and a lot of money, I thought I would give it a shot, again.

After the girls went to bed last night, I started. Was diligent and wrapped a towel around my shoulders and pinned it so as not to get my t-shirt that I liked so much stained. You may be thinking, "Why didn't you just put on a different shirt?" And you would be so much smarter than I am. I haven't done this in a while and should have really thought it through more. Anyway, I am happy to report that it went very well. Having less hair helped so much. Although, even with mid-length hair, I recommend two packs of color.

I felt very well covered with color and had waited the time allotted, and was just about to get into the shower and rinse it off when...you got it. I realized I had to take my t-shirt off. Poot! Sadly, I really anguished over an alternative. There wasn't one, so I did the best I could taking it off over my head. And then threw it in the trash.

I do think it turned out just as well as a professional. I have been watching someone color my hair for years now. And now that quite a bit of my hair is grey, I will continue having it done. But, unless I need something fancy like high-lights or low- lights or green and purple streaks, I think I can handle it on my own. Next time, I'll be wearing a shirt that is already on it's way out though!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Favorites

http://pezmama.blogspot.com/2006/03/for-all-you-women-out-there-living.html

This is one of the most touching posts I have ever read. We all struggle. Stay at home moms, working moms, moms that do half and half--but I can assure you, whatever you go through, Jesus will give you support in the most unlikely places. Enjoy!

Why Children 2

I thought I would follow up the previous post with another good reason for babies/toddlers/children. This reason is on the opposite side of God teaching us how "childish" we are sometimes. He also wants us to know sometimes it's better to be like a child.

Take my sweet Reese. (She teaches me lessons on the other side of the fence as well, don't worry that I singled Reia out previously!) While at church one day she was climbing the stairs at the high school where we hold services. I walked up to get her and she stood up. As I reached out my hands she just started walking like she was on flat ground. Of course I caught her before she took what would have been a very painful tumble. A woman standing next to me commented, "Wouldn't it just be lovely if we were always like that with God. She had no doubt that you were going to catch her. She trusted you so much that she didn't even think about what wasn't under her feet."

Well said!

Why Children

I have decided that the reason God made it so we could give birth to small babies and have them become small children (other than giving birth to the larger version would surely kill us) is the following:

He wants us to know what we are truly like as adults. He wants us to go, "Oh, I do this to you, Lord, don't I?"

Take for example my sweet Reia. She rarely naps. When she does it means she'll be up until midnight or so. So, unless I think she really needs one, I don't make her. Today was one of those days. Cranky, crying for NO reason, screaming at me that she WAS NOT tired and not going to take a nap--as I am looking at her and thinking to myself, "But darling, I know you. I know you so much better than you know yourself. And you are at the limit right now. You need rest." After a disciplinary action, she laid in bed for "room time". Five minutes later she was fast asleep.

So, I came downstairs and said, "Lord, I do that to you, don't I?"

**On a side note. I can't tell you how happy I am that the yard guy came to mow today right under the girls' windows. (Dripping with sarcasm.)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday Feast

I got this from Carol. If you have somehow missed her blog, I highly recommend it!

Appetizer

How would you describe your personal comfort zone?
In a room full of my favorite people that I know pretty well. I am a bit of a social butterfly, but only when it comes to the familiar. Stick me a room full of people I don't know and I become a total wallflower!


Soup
What is your favorite tree?
Magnolia. It's beautiful and southern!

Salad
List 3 foods you'd like to include in your dinner plans for tonight.
Macaroni and Cheese (which we did have); sweet iced tea; and a funnel cake for dessert--summer is sooooo close!

Main Course
What is the best advice you've ever been given, but didn't heed?
To appreciate my grandmother more. When they are gone, you wished you had listened and learned a little more.

Dessert
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest), how much attention do you feel comfortable receiving from others?
About 5 when it comes to adults and 8 when it comes to kids. That's the teacher in me!


Thursday, March 23, 2006

When Did I Start Growing up?

Some days I just don't know what God is up to. Ok, let's make that most days. I was standing in the shower really pouring my heart out to Him this morning. For a brief moment I felt like running. One of those, "Forget it. I'm just going to do this my way. At least then I'll know where I'm headed." It felt a bit like a mid-mid life crisis.

And then it hit me. Literally the fear of God.

I realized I was so utterly mortified to be out of His will. No matter what is going on, my way will stink from this point forward; His way will be perfect peace in the middle of chaos--and I will know the difference in a split second.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

New Family Schedule

I have been very convicted over the past several months about not only the amount of tv the girls and I watch every day, but how my day is so unorganized. I am constantly findng myself cleaning and not making a stopping point to play with the girls, and planning activities for us to do together. So here is the schedule I have come up with to try. I would love to know if anyone else adheres to a schedule and if so, what kind. This is only for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Wednesday is reserved for play dates and "field trips" while Friday is Terry's only day off and we will have family day.

6:30-7:15 Mommy Time (run and QT)
7:15-7:35 Girls Up and Breakfast
7:35-8:00 Get Dressed and Reia’s Chores
8:00-9:00 Walking with Girls weather permitting
9:00-9:30 T.V. rest time for girls-----Mommy’s Chore Time
9:30-10:30 Outside Time/Free Play Time-----Mommy’s Chore Time
10:30-11:30 Scheduled Play; Learning Activities; Book Reading Time
11:30-12:00 lunch
12:00-2:00 Nap/Room/Mommy’s Personal Time
2:00-2:45 Snack and TV Wake up Time
2:45-5:00 Errands, Play, Whatever!
5:00-7:30 Dinner Prep, Dinner, Baths, Clean up Rooms
7:30 Reese’s Bed Time
8:00 Reia’s Bed Time


**This doesn't space out like I typed it. Have no idea why!

Kitchen Talk Tag

I was tagged by Theresa, and here goes!

1. How many meals does most of your family eat at home each week? How many are in your family?

We eat about 6 out of seven. There are 4 of us; I would say Reese doesn't count but she eats as much as Reia now!

2. How many cookbooks do you own?

I got rid of so many when we moved, but I still have about 50-60. Yes, I am a recipe addict.

3. How often do you refer to a cookbook each week?

Probably 5 out of 6 times for actual meals, but I am looking through them every day for one reason or another.

4. Do you collect recipes from other sources? If so, what are some of your favorite sources (relaties, friends, magazines, advertisements, packages, the internet, etc)

I usually collect them from the Internet ( www.allrecipes.com) or Food Network. I love to get them from magazines too. (esp. Southern Living)

5. How do you store those recipes?

They are printed or torn out of magazines and then stuffed into by ever widening binder. No trim and folding here!

6. When you cook, do you follow the recipe pretty closely, or do you use recipes primarily to give you ideas?

99% of the time I do it exactly unless I'm in a pinch and forgot to pick up an ingedient. I'll call several sources to see if I can do without it and then add more cheese. Everything is better with more cheese or butter! If it's a really impt ingedient, then I make something else.

7. Is there a particular ethnic style or flavor that predominates in your cooking? If so, what is it?

I make a mixture of American, Italian and Mexican. Never two styles in a row and I try not to make the same meat two nights in row either. I am so not anal, but when it comes to meal planning and making the bed--I like things a certain way.

8. What’s your favorite kitchen task related to meal planning and preparation? (eating the finished product does not count)

Meal Planning of course! I plan two weeks at a time and do one major grocery trip at first and then realize I have forgotten at least one thing from every meal and have to make a quick trip every other day or so.

9. What’s your least favorite part?

Clean Up! I have to ditto Theresa on this one.

10. Do you plan menus before you shop?

Again, I plan two weeks at a time. Along with the previous mentioned guidelines, we don't have anything twice within a month except Pizza (Sat nights) or talapia (the only fish I'll eat) and both of those are once a week. I try to make at least one meal a week that we eat on for two nights (lasagna) and at least one very easy meal (tacos). When the maid comes, we have takeout because I don't like to mess up my newly, deeply cleaned kitchen. Whew! Got all that?

11. What are your three favorite kitchen tools or appliances?

1) my chef's knife 2) Pampered Chef Stoneware Bar Pan (I'd be lost without it.) 3) my recipe books

12. If you could buy one new thing for your kitchen, money was no object, and space not an issue, what would you most like to have?

A larger dishwasher. I am very fortunate that the previous owners of this home went all out when remodeling the kitchen. It came with a pot filler and a 190 degree automatic water source! The dishwasher is the only thing that is not as good as my last one, but only in the way of size. Or, the live in chef would be nice!

3. Since money and space probably are objects, what are you most likely to buy next?

I really want the new George Forman grill with the interchangeable, removeable, dishwashable plates. Panini's, quesadillas, waffles, grilled chicken and veggies...way yum-o!

14. Do you have a separate freezer for storage?

Yes. Let's all take a moment in a prayer of thanks for it.

15. Grocery shop alone or with others?

Alone. And I'll go at midnight to do it if that's what it takes. I love my little Reese, but she's a major whip at the store right now. Later I'll go alone just so I don't have to listen to, "Mom, can I have..."

16. How many meatless main dish meals do you fix in a week?

Once a week. My meatless meals aren't my favorite, but I'm still looking!

17. If you have a decorating theme in your kitchen, what is it? Favorite kitchen colors?

No theme. Just warm traditional colors. Our kitchen is in an older home where we don't have all the fancy plant shelves to decorate on.

18. What’s the first thing you ever learned to cook, and how old were you?

Macaroni and Cheese--from a box. Does that count? I was probably 7, but I still love it.

19. How did you learn to cook?

My mom is a fabulous cook, but really I learned because Terry got sick of baked chicken, rice and a veggie every night after we were married. Thank goodness for food network and a patient husband!

20. Tag two other people to play.

Holly and Richelle, because if they don't post again soon, I'm going to have to remove them from my bloglines!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Fun at the Zoo



The greatest thing about the Abilene Zoo is the giraffe area. You can walk over the area via a bridge and feed the giraffes crakers! Reia and Reese loved it. We couldn't get Reese back into the stroller after that and she walked the rest of the day.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Another Reason R Loves T

Terry is always trying to get me to use the latest and greatest when it comes to my computer and/or its programs. Most of the time, I just like to use what I use and be done with it. But every now and again, he helps me update the blog and I get to look like those of you who know what you're are doing. So, I just wanted to thank him for adding the Flickr pics on the side of my page. I even know how to upload to Flickr now. So, Thanks baby! You're the best!

**I think the pics on there now are from our trip to the Abilene Zoo.

rlovest


rlovest
Originally uploaded by robinstorch.
The girls and I left on Monday for our annual spring break prilgrimage to Sweetwater, Texas to spend some quality time with Terry's mom. I love to visit a little shop in Roscoe, a neighboring town, called "Vickie's Gifts". This year I bought this little leather bracelet. I thought it was pretty cute!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Pure Joy

There are few things that give me greater joy than what is happening in my family room right now. The girls are playing hide and seek in the curtains. Nevermind they could pull them off the rod because every time Reese "finds" Reia she looks truly surprised and the burst out in a fit of laughter. I can't help but thank God for those two little beams of sunshine in my life! I would go tape it, but as sure as the sky is blue as soon as I got the camera out--they would just stop for no apparent reason. Go figure.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Kool Kid Kart

Today when the housecleaning crew (Shelley so nicely calls them "the ladies") showed up, the girls and I went to Super Wal-mart to get out of their hair. I haven't been to a Super W since we moved in December. They are too far away now for me to just "run up to" anymore. So, we all hopped in the van and drove the 14.2 miles to the one in Plano. When we saw the sign over the horizon, Reia screamed "Look, mom, Super Wal-mart!" and the mother ship beckoned me home.

Anyway, Reese hates to be cooped up in a shopping cart; so when we went into the front doors and I saw that they had one of those carts that looks like a racing car, I thought, "Wal-mart justs gets better for me everytime." That's when it started.

I found out pretty quickly that you had to rent the cart for $1. Ok, I'll bite. After feeding the machine we took off. It was pretty cool. It had music inside and all kinds of buttons for the kids to push and play with. Unfortunately, with Reese that amusement only lasted about 10 min before she was trying to crawl out of the open front window. Crying ensues, suckers come out of the purse and I am shopping again with quiet kids. (Never underestimate the power of a dum-dum.)

Fast forward to the end of the trip. I didn't bother to read all of the writing on the inside of the cart and the man at the door who originally helped me- because I clearly didn't know what I was doing- didn't bother to tell me what the important writing was. As I get to the car, I realize the wheels are starting to lock up on me a little. That's ok, the car is right here and the area you return your baskets to in the parking lot is right beside my car. So I get the kids in the van, turn it on so they can watch the video, and unload the race car cart of my groceries.

Hum, now it won't move AT ALL! I can't even get it to the cart return area. So, I start looking and READING.
"Please transfer your groceries and belongings to a traditional cart before you travel to the parking area and return the cart to it's original area. Thank you."

And, there it sat in the middle of the parking lot as I drove away. I thought to myself, what goober came up with that? As if I, the average mom with 2-3 children, want to haul myself through the store, pay, get all of the groceries from the cashier to the race car cart just to have to move my 2-3 children and all of the groceries AGAIN to another cart.

Of course I will still go to Wal-mart; I just won't get any more fancy carts!

**In my defense of not reading all of the material, the carts similar to this at Tom Thumb, Lowes and Albertson's require no money and I can leave them right next to my car if need be.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Rocky

Sometimes as a mom you just need a break. I started writing a post on frustrating and chaotic the past week has been for me and the girls, but then I read Leslie's post about blessings (she attributed it to Lori's blog) and God brought a woman to my mind I haven't thought of in years. Her name was Rocky.

The thing about Rocky is that when I was 10 she was probably 23. I'm sure she seemed ancient to me at the time, but looking at it now, she was very young to have a husband and 3 children. The oldest was 5 and the youngest was about 18 months. She and her husband Robert were friends of my parents and lived a very modest lifestyle in Benton, Ark. Shortly after we moved to Texas she found out she had cancer and subsequently passed away leaving a husband and three very little boys without a mom.

I know I am blessed. Frankly, most of us are beyond what we deserve. That is the grace and mercy of God. I was suddenly glad that even though the girls had been sick, we had insurance and could take them to see a doctor. The medicine we needed was available and not a fortune. I was glad we have a comfortable home and comfortable beds for them to rest in.

I'm usually pretty quick to count my blessings, especially those on the grander scale; but, I often forget to thank God for the little things.

So, thank you God for each day I wake up next to my sweet husband, those little faces clamoring to get me up and make some chocolate milk and fruit loops, and that I get to stay home and watch them grow up each and every day. It is a blessing even when I'm having a calgon moment--which happened precisely 32 times last week. =)

Blog Hopping

So today I was going from blog to blog through links on other people's blogs--blog hopping. I am not so naive as to think that every blogging mom thinks or behaves like I do. We're not all Christians and even if you are, your walk and convictions may be different than mine. However, for the life of me, I cannot understand how some of these "mommies" post such fowl language in their blogs.

I was reading one called Motherhood Uncensored, which I can't link to because I'm not sure what the URL was and probably wouldn't anyway, and thought I would really enjoy her blog if it weren't interspersed with a multitude of explicatives. Truly, what type of image are you trying to build using the words "f 'n " or "S***head'?

I feel like my mom when she would talk about smoking. "Do you think it will make you look cool?" Really, it just makes me wonder who your English teachers were that you don't have a broader vocabulary than that. (Previous comment is not an attack on English teachers, btw.)

Again, I know people talk like this all the time. I've had a few choice words out of my mouth a time or two (maybe more than that in high school), but don't you try to stop saying some things at least when you have kids so they don't start repeating it? Just food for thought. If I have offended anyone, you can just do what I did on these particular blogs--move on.

**On a side note, my spell checker isn't working so sorry if I am way off base in the spelling department!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

No, Really, I mean it...

I just spent the past hour catching up on the plethora of blogs that I read. I would link love you now, but everyone I read, reads everyone I read. Does that even come close to making sense? Anyway, here's what I think. (I'm so glad you asked.) We should all take a blogging mommas cruise. Just a weekend so our fabulous working mommies can make it.

Any takers? I bet we could talk Holy Mama! into a keynote speech.