Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Confessing Our Sins

Today I came across and article addressing a subject I have pondered on and off for awhile. It's on the subject of confessing our sins, or more correctly, why Catholics don't go to confession so much any more. I'm not Catholic (or catholic) so have never had the expectation put upon me to confess anything to anybody but God. However, I've often thought about the verses that mention confessing our sins to another person, and wondered why we don't do that, and what we might be missing if we don't.

Accountabilty groups seem to be one way that the Evangelical types manage to confess. Typically a group of guys or girls (doesn't seem to ever be a mixed group) will get together weekly and confess their sins and sometimes hand out consequences to one another. The idea is to have somebody who's not afraid to ask you how you're doing with managing your worst behaviors and tendencies.

I do wonder if, when forced to admit to another human being, our wrongdoings, we might be motivated to do better. Although we may believe that God sees and knows all, it seems that when we confess only to God, it is easy to keep our sins hidden, and to not feel real motivation to change. I wonder if, when forced to vocalize the sins we have committed, we are stripped of our pride and ashamed of our misdeeds, and perhaps we walk more humbly and more carefully.

Just some thoughts....what do you think? Is confession good for the soul? Do you attend any sort of formal confession through your church? Do you have someone that you tell your sins to? Do you feel that by only telling God your sins and asking for forgiveness that it is adequately motivational for you to go forth and sin no more?

Monday, November 21, 2005

What's on the menu?

Tonite, just for kicks, I decided to pull my kid's legs a little bit by telling them that I had been doing a lot of thinking about Thanksgiving, and I decided that we should go with an alternative to turkey. This year, we would get a Tofurkey!

You should have seen their faces as I described all the meatless wonderment that could be ours if only we'd serve Tofurkey on Thursday. It was hilarious.

My 13 year old had a seriously stern look on his face as he said, "What is it with all those wacko vegetarians??"

When gratitude goes too far....

Our church focuses on one virtue each month, and this month the virtue is gratitude. Today I had this little exchange with my 7 year old:

Jake: Hey Mom.

Me: Yeah?

Jake: I know a way I want to show gratitude.

Me: Really? What?

Jake: I'd like to throw a party to thank my mouse for being my pet.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Continuing On As a Kept Woman

Today while shedding a few tears over Pitiful Payday, and wondering how it was all going to turn out with my having to be gone from home for 10-11 hours per day, three times a week, to end up with a hundred bucks when all was said and done, the hubby called to say, "I got a job."

A job. For his days off. Working for a fellow firefighter that has a side business installing insulation.


And he'll make more money than I could have.

And he won't mind coming home tired as long as the one he comes home to isn't.

As I have been thinking throughout the week about getting a job, I have realized how spoiled I have been to get to stay home. While I am feeling sorry for myself because
I wouldn't get to take naps,
my back and feet might hurt from having an upright job all day,
knowing I would have to work harder at home for the little time I'd be here,
and that after all the time and effort it wouldn't amount to very much money........
I realized that for just about every other woman in America, that is the reality of their life, with no end in sight.

While I was at the mall for my interview on Wed. I was approached by some guy selling dead sea salt beauty products, and he was showing me their stuff and asking me those salesperson-y kinds of questions. When he found out that I stay at home with my kids he said the politically correct thing: "Oh! Motherhood! That's the hardest job there is."

and it got me thinking.....

Is it?

On the one hand, yes. The blood, sweat, and tears that go along with wearing your heart outside of your body for the rest of your life is difficult, painful, challenging, and rewarding like nothing else.

But, really, is my day-to-day life very hard? Do I work harder than other people that do not stay home with their kids all day?

No. Way.

I set my own hours (well, the school bus does, too, but...), I decide what the acceptable standards are for everything, I can take naps just about any day that I want to, I can read books, I can blog or talk on the phone to a friend or play games with my kids, I can teach my kids at home if I want to, or I can attend their school functions during the day because I've got the time. I can dress up or dress down, wear makeup or not, eat when I want to, or start up an exercise plan (not that I would!).

So, I'm a kept woman, and a kept woman I shall stay, for at least a few more weeks or months. I will try to work at least a third as hard as I would have while running around the clothing store straightening stuff and serving strangers, and will try to appreciate my down time more. I will get gussied up in what I would have worn to work, and wear makeup and do my hair perfectly, just for my husband who will be the only adult person seeing me most days.

Being a kept woman is a pretty good deal; don't you agree?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Nearly a week with nothing to say.....

What's worse? Coming here day after day with nothing new to read, or coming here day after day with mundane posts of no consequence?

Sorry--I've got nothing interesting, thought-provoking, or interesting to say. I'll bore you instead.

I'm off to find out the results of my 3rd child's learning disabilities testing today.

I am supposed to get a job interview later this week. After the hubby looking and not finding anything to work with his schedule, I am throwing my hat into the working world ring to see if I can bring in some bucks. The job interview is just for a little job at a clothing store that I like. I would enjoy getting out, dressing nicer, and getting a discount on the clothes I already like to buy. So, maybe that will work out. I could get a schedule that would only have me working on the days that my husband is home, so the kids would all be cared for, and I would still have some days at home.

My husband went hunting and brought home 3 deer. Sadly, he forgot that you can't freeze, thaw, and refreeze meat. He put the cut up meat into a freezer, thinking we could thaw it and grind it here at home, and then put it back into the freezer.! I only use the venison if it's ground up, so I guess we will have to shift to plan B, whatever that might be.

My kids are now the proud owners of one mouse and one hamster. It totally grossed me out to buy the mouse, with thoughts of Hanta Virus spinning through my brain, but I made it through, and 12 hours later Squeakers is still doing fine. Lay your money down on how long you think these rodents will last. I will predict 2 weeks for the mouse and a month for the hamster.

Laundry rodeo today includes two peed on beds plus one regular load.


Feather Crowns by Bobbie Ann Mason. This is my next reading group book, so I am trudging through it out of obligation. I'm about half way into it and so far have been thoroughly bored out of my gourd. This is just like all the crap movies I watch til the bitter end, thinking that at some point it surely must get better....but they never do.

Took my 13 year old to a meeting about the People to People Australian trip that he was nominated for.... $6000 needed..... He would have to raise all of it on his own. Anybody know how a 13 year old could raise that much money? It looks like an amazing opportunity.

That's about the size of it. Must move forth and be productive. Too much laziness of late...and obviously laziness does not make me interesting!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Now Taking Your Nominations

(if there are any, that is...)

OK, thanks to Allison over at Geronimo, I am soon going to attempt to set up my very own "Greatest Hits" section of blog posts, for those who come a-visiting here during one of my especially dull streaks. They can be reassured of my occasional brilliance, and hopefully decide to come back around again sometime.

So, now's the time for you all to weigh in with some nominations for best posts I've written. (and if there are no comments soon, and we all hear the crickets chirping in the wilderness of worthless blogging, I am going to be so embarrassed that I will take down this post and cry myself to sleep...)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Greatest Hit--Number One

I meant to repost this little gem on it's one year anniversary, but I missed it, so you get it today instead. I think this is probably my most clever writing inspiration ever. Enjoy!

The Potty News Network.
All Potty, All The Time.

(PNN press) Yesterday war was declared on two unsuspecting terrorists, Izzy Bin Peein and Doodles Bin Poopin. The terrorists had been going about their business unencumbered for 4.5 and 3 years, respectively. Their crime: The Only Two Children in Preschool Still in Diapers. President Mami Bin Changin, learned of their crime and decided to take matters into her own hands. "This means war!" she declared to the crowd that had assembled to hear her speech over the weekend.

Mami Bin Changin took the first strike in the cold brightness of Monday morning, when she told Bin Peein and Bin Poopin that they had to do time on the potty before they would be allowed to go on the bus to school. While they sat she told them of their crime, and let them know that war had been declared and would not end until they changed their messy ways.

Bin Poopin fought back with a double retaliatory strike, soiling two pair of underwear in less than 20 minutes. Bin Peein took the opposite approach by keeping his underwear dry, agreeing to do time on the pot, but saving his soiling for the diaper that he was changed into before preschool.

Later on Monday Mami Bin Changin began to stockpile weapons:
Potty Posters
Potty Stickers
Potty Prizes
and other Potty Paraphernalia

Mami Bin Changin's Military Advisor Daddi Bin Feddup suggested new underwear, but only if it could be purchased in the color brown. Mami Bin Changin decided against taking this advice and instead purchased fresh Spongebob and Scooby underwear. Her strategy? "I'm going to do all I can to break down the walls of terrorism! If it takes candy or prizes or cartoon undergarments, I'll follow this thing through!"

Attenders of her speech were amazed at the steadfast resolution that Mami Bin Changin displayed. "I've never seen her so determined!" "All those prizes and stickers....Bin Peein and Bin Poopin don't stand a chance." "She's a strong leader. When she puts her mind to something, there's no stopping her. It won't take long for Bin Peein and Bin Poopin to change their ways."

Mami Bin Changin declared that the war would be relentless until won, even if it takes months or years. "It will cost the taxpayers money, time, resources, and energy, but we will press on. The victory that we will win shall ensure peace and prosperity in our society. We cannot back down!"

PNN correspondents will be on the scene 24 hours a day until the conflict is resolved. PNN: The leader in potty news.

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Thursday, November 03, 2005


My husband did a handwriting analysis this morning and his was even more accurate than mine! There is a book called Change Your Handwriting, Change Your Life. I think it is interesting that if we changed something as simple as the way we write, we might be able to alter some of our tendencies....

What tendencies of yours would you change if you could?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Handwriting Analysis

I found out about this online handwriting analysis site, and decided to try it out. Some of the options if offered me did not apply to my handwriting (I love to be an enigma, you know!) therefore I sometimes had to pick the closest, although not totally accurate answer. So I did not expect the results to be extremely accurate. It's not entirely accurate, but a lot of it is true. Here's what my handwriting said about me (my comments in italics):

DM has a healthy imagination and displays a fair amount of trust. She lets new people into her circle of friends. (usually people that originally seem normal, but later turn out to be kooks) She uses her imagination to understand new ideas, things, and people. (true)

DM is sarcastic. This is a defense mechanism designed to protect her ego when she feels hurt. (ouch!) She pokes people harder than she gets poked. These sarcastic remarks can be very funny. They can also be harsh, bitter, and caustic at the same time. ( although I have the *ability* to be sarcastic, I do not normally act on it. my recent run-in with the woman who sent me the nastygram email, and my very kind response would be a good example of how I normally react)

DM is a practical person whose goals are planned, practical, and down to earth. (planned, yes. practical and down to earth...not always! I'm almost always up for a crazy scheme.) This is typical of people with normal healthy self-esteem. (just a minute ago I had such a fragile ego that I was caustically sarcastic!) She needs to visualize the end of a project before she starts. (yes) She finds joy in anticipation and planning. (love it!) Notice that I said she plans everything she is going to do, that doesn't necessarily mean things go as planned. (so true) DM basically feels good about herself. (true, on normal days) She has a positive self-esteem which contributes to her success. She feels she has the ability to achieve anything she sets her mind to. (yes, at my basic self. However, I now tend to see the rest of my life as mainly preventing me from reaching any additional goals I might wish to have) However, she sets her goals using practicality-- not too "out of reach". She has enough self-confidence to leave a bad situation (yes), yet, she will not take great risks, as they relate to her goals. A good esteem is one key to a happy life. Although there is room for improvement in the confidence category, her self-perception is better than average. (interesting. I am not sure that I want to be right about my perception of self lately!)

In reference to DM's (faltering) mental abilities, she has a very investigating and creating mind. (ah...yes! I am brilliant!) She investigates projects rapidly because she is curious about many things. (nodding) She gets involved in many projects that seem good at the beginning, but she soon must slow down and look at all the angles. (hahahahahahahaahahaha....*painfully* true, my friends! PAINFULLY true...) She probably gets too many things going at once. (ya think????? everyone who reads this and knows me is convinced of this test's accuracy now) When DM slows down, then she becomes more creative than before. Since it takes time to be creative, she must slow down to do it. (this is interesting and I am going to try it out, because I would like to be more creative) She then decides what projects she has time to finish. Thus she finishes at a slower pace than when she started the project. (oh yeah....slow is the only way) She has the best of two kinds of minds. (awesome!) One is the quick investigating mind. The other is the creative mind. Her mind thinks quick and rapidly in the investigative mode. She can learn quicker, investigate more, and think faster. (not to be uppity, but I think this is probably very true) DM can then switch into her low gear. When she is in the slower mode, she can be creative, remember longer and stack facts in a logical manner. She is more logical this way and can climb mental mountains with a much better grip.

DM is secretive. She has secrets which she does not wish to share with others. She intentionally conceals things about herself. She has a private side that she intends to keep that way, especially concerning certain events in her past. (Well, I can't tell you if this is true or not....because it's a secret!)

DM uses judgment to make decisions. She is ruled by her head, not her heart. (Well, I've got a lot of heart too, but I try not to let it get me to make dumb choices.) She is a cool, collected person who is usually unexpressive emotionally. (I don't think this is true at all. I am very expressive.) Some may see her as unemotional. She does have emotions but has no need to express them. She is withdrawn into herself and enjoys being alone. (I was originally very extroverted. Now that I have a large family, I find that although I still enjoy being around people, I also enjoy quiet time to be alone. I think I am sometimes withdrawn into myself mainly because I don't feel like I could or would want to adequately express what's going on with me to someone else.) The circumstances when DM does express emotions include: extreme anger, extreme passion, and tremendous stress. If someone gets her mad enough to tell her off, she will not be sorry about it later. (that is true. I have never yet regretted what I have said to anyone that I have ever "told off")

She puts a mark in her mind when someone angers her. She keeps track of these marks and when she hits that last mark she will let them know they have gone too far. (Well, I do this now as a new thing, only because I have discovered that if you face someone's bad behavior head-on, they don't often have the guts to keep doing it. I used to always try to be nice, but then I found that rude people continued to be rude. Why stop if I'll still be nice and pretend like you're not acting like a jerk?)

She is ruled somewhat by self-interest. (not) All her conclusions are made without outside emotional influence. (not at all true. I probably worry far more than I should about outside emotional issues) She is very level-headed and will remain calm in an emergency situation. (I'm great in emergencies) In a situation where other people might get hysterical, she has poise. DM will work more efficiently if given space and time to be alone. (if only that were possible! I've settled for being under-efficient for 13 years--why stop now?) She would rather not be surrounded by people constantly. (so she had 6 kids!)

In a relationship, she will show her love by the things she does rather than by the things she says. Saying "I love you" is not a needed routine because she feels her mate should already know. (shoulder shrug...I don't know that I agree with this.) The only exception to this is if she has logically concluded that it is best for her mate to hear her express her love verbally. (verbally isn't the main way my husband is hoping I express my love!) DM is not subject to emotional appeals. (yes I am) If someone is selling a product to her, they will need to present only the facts. They should present them from a standpoint of her sound judgment. She will not be taken in by an emotional story about someone else. She will meet emergencies without getting hysterical and she will always ask "Is this best for me?" (just ask Sooz--I'm always getting stuck on giving sacrificially even when I KNOW that it is not best for me)

People that write their letters in an average height and average size are moderate in their ability to interact socially. According to the data input, DM doesn't write too large or too small, indicating a balanced ability to be social and interact with others. (snort! At least there's *something* balanced about me!)

MeMe Du Jour

I know, I know...a lot of these stink. But, sometimes a girl's gotta have a meme or two up her sleeve in order to keep something fresh at the top of the blog!!!

1. What is your occupation? Wife, mom, (very) small business owner

2. What color is your underwear right now? blue

3. What are you listening to right now? the white noise of a fan

4. What was the last thing you ate? my breakfast smoothie (made of juice, bananas, frozen blueberries, and frozen strawberries. put in blender and whiz til smooth. I have this every morning)

5. Do you wish on stars? nope

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? barn red

7. How is the weather right now? foggy and cool

8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? my son who called about getting a ride home from a friend's house

9. How old are you today? 34 years, 6.5 months

10. Favorite drink? water

11. Favorite sport to watch? none

12. Have you ever dyed your hair? I used henna on it once, and am nearing the point of taking the plunge and coloring it soon.....

13. Do you wear contacts or glasses? yes!

14. Pets? none, thankfully

15. Favorite month? April (my bday, 2 of my kids bdays, my mom's bday, and spring!)

16. Favorite food? depends on my mood

17. What was the last movie you watched? Well, I've discovered the TV show Lost, season one on DVD. Does that count? (I love this show!)

18. Favorite Day of Year? not sure

19. What do you do to vent anger? well, if I'm angry about something I can share, I blog or call my mom or sister or Sooz. If it's about something I can't talk about, I mutter about it to myself as I go about my daily routine. (I know I should say I pray about it, which I do, but not as much as the other options.)

20. What was your favorite toy as a child? My brother would tell you it was a deck of cards, because I basically sat in my room playing solitaire (before computers) from 7th grade til I left home. It's an exaggeration, but not by far. Before 7th grade, I loved my tape recorder. I would blast my Evie tapes and sing along, even using the microphone attachment and serenading the entire neighborhood. ("Broken up people with broken up lives/broken up homes, broken husbands and wives/all the world around us is falling apart/broken up people with broken up hearts...") Those poor people were probably very happy when we moved away....

21. Fall or Spring? Both. Fall wins by a bit because it's not as rainy. And it has pumpkins!

22. Hugs or kisses? depends on who it's coming from

23. Cherry or Blueberry? blueberry. unless it's artificial flavors, in which case I say neither!

24. Living arrangements? 20+ year old house with enough space for our family, and am awesome back yard with a hill that is just right for Big Wheel races, and fruit trees and grape vines.

25. When was the last time you cried? Monday

26. What is on the floor of your closet? a basket of shoes, boxes of papers waiting to be filed (that's scheduled for the 12th of Never...), a basket of keepsake items that I don't have any better place to put them, and a bunch of other junk. (Flylady would not be pleased)

27. Who is the friend you have had the longest? well, my mom! Sibs next. other than family, I guess I would have to say Marla and Brenda. I met them both when I was in 5th grade. We went to the same school, Marla went to college with me and we were roomies, and they were both in my wedding. Miss 'em both too. (Thanks a lot! Now I'm gonna feel sad again!)

28. What did you do last night? Watched 2 episodes of Lost on DVD.

29. Favorite smell? food scents like apples and cinnamon

30. What or who inspires you? People who live authentically

31. What are you afraid of? Being a crappy mother; running out of steam before my work is done

32. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? None. I'm scared of beef. (mad cow)

33. Favorite car? I love my Burb!

34. Favorite dog breed? any that I don't have to deal with

35. Number of keys on your key ring? only 3--I hate having a big, jangly bunch of keys like a jailer or something

36. How many states have you lived in? two--New York and Kentucky

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Better Day

I had a better day today. The first item on the agenda was my eye appointment, where I learned that my eye sight isn't changed enough to be causing my headaches (guess I can now switch to blaming it on stress or hormones....or both! Yeah, that'll work...), but I also got contacts!

Back in the days BC (Before Children) I only wore glasses for driving and watching movies. Once I had my first child, my eyesight got worse, and I started having to wear glasses all the time. I had contacts as a teen, and tried them at least once during The Baby Years, but it's said that pregnancy can make wearing contacts uncomfortable, and so I guess maybe that's why I decided not to stick with it.

Well, nowadays I'm working my way toward looking better, and decided the glasses have to go. I was able to pop the contacts in without a bit of trouble, and am doing fine.

It was so weird, driving around afterwards, getting a glipse of myself in the mirror. I haven't hardly seen my face sans glasses for 13 years! Obviously I took them off at night and such, but I haven't been able to go out without glasses at all. It's like rediscovering my face all over again.

After the eye exam I went on to buy some clothes. I was down to the following pants in my wardrobe:

1 pair perfectly fine black pants
1 pair jeans that look ok but I can barely breathe in
1 pair jeans that I love but have 2 non-trendy holes in the butt
1 pair fat butt pants that are only worthy of being worn to bed or around the house if I am ill

(translation: only one pair of suitable pants to wear in public)

And I had approximately 2 shirts decent to wear for fall/winter.

Time to go shopping!

We had some "extra" money come in, so I struck while the iron was hot and all that good stuff.

I didn't end up finding as many items as I hoped to, but what I got I do like. A new pair of jeans (no holes, and I can breathe AND sit comfortably!), a sweater that made my husband say RAWR (as I knew he would), a couple of those half-way sweater thingies called shrugs, and camis to go underneath, and another outfit with one of those see-throughish shirts and a cami underneath. The shirts are kind of a departure for me, but I'm going to trust that a leap into being fashionable won't hurt me very much. I always struggle with what kind of tops to get. It seems like for the past few years all I can see in tops fashion are shirts that are either the gaudiest durn shirt specimens seen since the 70s passed by, ones with arms that make me feel like a bat, empire waists that make me look pregnant (and I've already been-there-done-that enough for now, you know), or boring business-y button up shirts. Or plain old tshirts of course. I've found that a print works nicely for me, since with 6 kids I seem to inevitably get slimed with snot or peanut butter or whatever. Those prints can camouflage what a plain tshirt cannot. So, I didn't really want any plain Ts.

The shrugs and camis didn't make me look fat or like a bat, didn't feel to warm, and seemed reasonably flattering. So, I took the big leap and got two. I'm reforming my boring, fashion-free ways of the past, and doing pretty well with it. Last Christmas my sister was shocked to see me in boot cut jeans. She gawked at me and said, "Woa! Those jeans are actually in style" or something to that extent. Sis, you would be proud if you could see what I brought home today. And, I even know that I need some different shoes to wear with some of it! I looked, but didn't find the right thing at the right price yet. Will keep at it, though.

I would also like to report that I was upset yesterday because a woman in a group I am in went nutso about something she didn't understand that I did. She sent me a huffy email making some thinly veiled accusations, and so I had the pleasure of taking time from my already overwhelming day to construct a very kind, carefully-worded response, in which I was totally calm, rational, ignored her baiting comments, and hoped that it might help diffuse her upset. Later that day I found out that she had been calling many group members to complain about this problem and say rude things about me. All without contacting me in the first place. I was so aggravated because it was a very petty and irrational thing to begin with. I was seriously considering just not being in the group any more. But you know what? She sent me an apology last night, saying that she realized she had been wrong, had jumped to conclusions, and so forth. I wrote her back another nice note, and she responded again that she appreciated my graciousness and felt bad about her actions.

It was something of a relief to have her apology. I can only hope (and not hold my breath) that she might take the time to go back to all the people she blabbed to, to let them know she realizes she was wrong. I was very glad that I had not allowed my emotions to dictate what I wrote in my emails to her. By taking the high road, it allowed her to have to wallow in her bad behavior all by herself. It reminded me of the verse about a gentle answer turning away wrath. Sure seemed to work well.

I'm still considering leaving the group, though. It was one more example of unimportant things ending up taking too much time and energy out of my life. Some days I feel like I just can't take on anything extra. Other days I feel like I can do it all, plus more! I'm going to give it awhile, and also see at the next meeting how it seems the leadership of the group is going to function, and if it seems hopeful that the group isn't going to turn into a cat fight every other day (like it already has in the month that the group has existed!!).

Tomorrow is book group. We will be discussing MY FAVORITE: (say it with me now) OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon. I have actually been reading it through for the second time so as to be prepared to lead the discussion. Honestly, I just can't quit loving these books! Gabaldon is an amazing story teller.

Well, time to whip them all soundly and put them to bed! (Ok, chill. I'm not really going to whip anybody.)

Happy trails to you!