Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways
acknowledge him,and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, November 26, 2010

Time to Clean Up!

When we moved out to our Papalote Homestead in September 2004, it didn't take a genius to realize we had a lot of work ahead of us. The trees were surrounded in over-grown brush and every crevice along the porches were filled with spiders, webs and who knows what else. Much to our dismay, the huge banana spiders did not move out with the previous owners. We started by erradicating the spiders and later moved onto the trees. We knew how bad it had gotten when neighbors stopped to thank us for cleaning up the place.

We have many beautiful trees out here on our ten acres - oaks and mesquites mostly. One tree in particular is our favorite though. The one that grows between the house and the garage. A big, beautiful oak. When it is time to give her a trim , it is a team effort. I would imagine most hubby's just go out and trim the trees, but, my sweet guy and I do this task together. I have to give my "ok" before he will sever the branches from the tree. It's quite funny really, the way we go about it. The first time he trimmed it without me I threw a "fit" over him "scalping" the tree. When in the end, he really did just what the tree needed. Since that day though, he asks for my "help." ;o)

So, that was our day today. Trimming the giant oak. In the process we have some adorable pictures to share.


Beginning with Caleb - absolutely in the mood to pose for mom!


And one of Randy peeking from within the cut down branches.

And here's Johnny working hard.



Who would have thought that a day of tree trimming could turn into somewhat of an emotional one.  You see, there were a couple of HUGE, lower branches.  They were beautiful, but they were no longer a beneficial contributor to the overall well-being of the tree.  They were basically sticking out like sore thumbs and their branches were about to cause damage to the garage roof.  There was quite a bit of haggling over whether or not to finally take the plunge and chop them off because doing so would change the whole composition of the tree.  It would then only have several large branches growing vertically and the one's going out horizontally from the tree would be gone.

Not only was changing the form of the tree a big deal, but we realized that letting go of one of those lower branches meant removing something that was part of Caleb's early years.  For, still hanging from the thickest part of that branch were two pieces of rope.  Two pieces of rope that used to hold his baby swing allowing it to hang free from the tree.  We knew it was best to let go and let our tree be healthier, so the decision was made and down they came. 

You can see the rope if you look closely...


I closed my eyes for a second and what did I see?   My sweet baby boy enjoying his swing..., laughing and pointing at us.  Ah, the sweet memories...

A quick shake of the head and I was back to the present, watching Caleb try to remove the rope from the fallen tree branch.  "Mom, can you help me?"  he asked.  For him it was a new found prize, another treasure to put in the back of his Gator.  Or torture Honey with.  One never knows what a 5 year old will do with a 12 inch piece of rope.  That remains to be seen.  

I'm normally the one behind the scene's, the photographer who is rarely in the pictures.  Today I made it a point to get someone to take my picture. 

This might be one of my favorites since Honey decided to sit with me and she was actually being a good puppy.  Check out the green gloves!  No, they are not gloves meant to warm your hands, they are gardening gloves.  With all the tree branches to be moved I figured I needed something to protect my hands a little.  They go quite well with my Aggie jacket don't you think?   Let's pretend they are marroon and say, "Gig 'Em!" on the sides, okay?



There was a lot of hard work going on today from cutting the branches to hauling them off to the burn pile in the pasture.    But first, here's a cute picture of Honey bounding through all the branches on the ground.  Love the action shot that has her ears flying upwards.  You can even see our old girl in the background, Penny as she comes towards us also.

After moving all the fallen brush together into one spot it formed one humongous pile!  That will surely make an awesome bonfire some day.  But, alas that will have to be another day when the weather is more accommodating.   Windy days and bonfires do not go hand-in-hand. 


So, the tree trimming is done for today.  We have many more than need reshaping.  I'm not entirely certain when we'll get around to those.  I am certain that none of them hold the memory that this one did.  While it was just a tree, it continues to be a special one to us.  I take great comfort in remembering that God created the tree for us and that He knew one day Caleb would ride his swing in that tree, and He knew we'd be faced with the notion of trimming it from time to time.  We are in charge of caring for all that He has given us after all.  But, more importantly, we are to follow Him, be more like Him, and for doing so we will prosper. 

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields it's fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.  Psalm 1:1-3

So, let's follow Him and remember Him in all we do.  Even if it's just when trimming trees.

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Testing, Testing.

1 - 2 - 3.  Testing.  This is just a test....This is only a test.  I've been admiring the signatures from other bloggers and love how cute some of them are.  So, after 1 1/2 hours of fooling around, this is what I have.  A close up from one of the first blooms on our crape myrtle last year and my name...I guess it's okay for my first time!

Enjoy your Black Friday!  Me?  I chose to stay home and enjoy my family instead!
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blessed Beyond Measure

When I hear the word Thanksgiving, a lot comes to mind for me.   I have many memories from over the years that I treasure deep within my heart.  I love the time spent with family.  And, for many people, myself included, Thanksgiving is also a time for reflection.  Oh, and we cannot forget the food.  Mmmmm, all the wonderful smells, the different textures that cross the tastebuds.  All these things bring a deep sense of pleasure!  

Thanksgiving 2010 was no different, and was filled abundantly with blessings.   Our week started off with a visit to see some of our family in the Valley.  It was a joy to be with them for a few days.  Watching all the little one's play together warmed more than just my heart I'm sure.  Toby - almost 2, Derek - 2, Noah - 4, Caleb - 5, and Emily Ava - 8 months (or so).   How could it not be called a blessing having the opportunity to watch this cute little bunch hang out with each other?   And time with our Nee Nee.  Treasured time.  Caleb LOVES his Nee Nee!!



The time went by way too fast and before we knew it we found ourselves returning home Wednesday night.  We had much to do to prepare as Thanksgiving dinner would be at our own home this year.  I have truly been looking forward to Nov. 25th, 2010.  I've really missed my family.  For various reasons, we've all been running in different directions lately and have not shared a whole lot of quality time with one another.  I wanted this Thanksgiving to be a good one.  I wanted the few hours we would have together to change that.

I came into this day filled with HIGH expectations for a blessed day.  I fully expected to BE blessed.  Going into the day with this perspective was a choice.  One I gladly made.

Was I disappointed?

Not in the least....

The first and foremost blessing?  The majority of my kids were present - Dusty & Morgan, Allie & Aaron, Randy, and of course our always present Caleb Lynn.  Who is missing you ask?  Well, many of you have never met her, but I have a step-daughter, Christy.  She lives in Houston and wasn't able to make her way down here.   I pray she had a good day with her new family up there though.

It's really hard to list the blessings of today in order.  How can one really and truly do that?  A blessing is just that a blessing.  I was blessed today with the dearest husband who dove right into the Thanksgiving meal preparation like a trooper!  He was awesome!  His food was awesome!  I love that he can take the lead and I would not have survived the day without him!!!

The next blessing?  My grandkids, Hudson and Adison, who arrived at Grandma Pam's & Papa Johnny's sporting sweet smiles and all decked out for Thanksgiving!!   When I say decked out, I mean it.  They had the cutest Thanksgiving shirts on and the tips of their toes were covered with stylish boots!  I have to cringe and wrinkle my nose just a little bit here.  Why you ask?  Because one of Adi's sweater boots (forgive this grandma for her fashion faux paus) nearly became a casualty as Honey (you remember our 9 month old lab puppy, Honey, right?), decided to leave her mark on the heel....This Grandma has a little making up to do...if anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Let's see - tons more blessings filled my day.  My brother Rick arrived with his wife and daughter, Steph and Sami.  A sweet little 3 year old girl learning to spread her wings and with the funniest nick name, "Pickle."  I love it - normally such a sour word, but when said in reference to this adorable child, I think of nothing but sweetness! 

The blessings continue...

Mom and dad arrived loaded with sweet potatoes and pie.  Two of my favorites smells of Thanksgiving.  Sweet potatoes and pie....ah, yes....Oh, okay.  I loved the food, but I enjoyed hugging my parents even more. 

We had a couple of extra sweet guests this year.  Not family for me, but church family for my brother.  His Pastor Jim and wife Diane.  Very nice people who have done kind things for me in recent months.  I was trying to bless them by having them here for Thanksgiving rather than sitting home alone and what happens?  They bless me!  With their presence and a small gift!   A hand made ornament for our tree.  Can't wait to hang it!

To continue discussing my blessing would have this post entirely too long and it's already long!  Here's a quick recap:  the arrival of family, hugs, hugs, hugs, prayer, yummy food, sweet dessert, a sneak peak at a wedding dress, snuggling my grand puppy, a few rounds of Bananagrams, listening to the giggles of the little one's....and a delightful visit with my son Dusty and his wife after everyone else left.  Treasured memories.

Reflection.  Yes, that's what Thanksgiving is all about.   Reflecting on the past, reflecting on the present, and even reflecting on the future.  All we have to do is expect the best, expect to be blessed and God will provide!!

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  1 Timothy 6:17

What can I say?  Put your hope in God, expect that He will provide, and He does.

In His Precious and Holy Name,
Pam

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Laundry, Laundry Everywhere....

And not a shirt or sock to spare...


That's my life today. Piles of laundry, washer and dryer running....It makes a pretty nice background noise, don't you think? Rrmmm, rmmmm, swish, swish....BUZZZ!! For me it is also a sense of, lets see, what's the word??? Productivity! Yes, that's it! Productivity! I like that word. It is not usually one used to describe me though...I struggle to be productive. I have to make myself be productive. I have good intentions, I really do, but I lack a certain sense of organizational skills that could lend itself to helping me be PRODUCTIVE!

Okay - who loves laundry? Let's see a raise of hands! Me, me, me! Um, not really....I can't say that I love laundry, but I do love having clean clothes to wear. It's just the time consuming process that it takes to have clean clothes that I'm not sure I'm a big fan of...

Are you out there? Somewhere? The lone ranger who LOVES laundry??? Kudo's to you my sweet friend, if you exist! If you do, I would love to hear from you and maybe you'd be willing to share how you've come to feel that way. I wish I had more of that in me. The "suzie homemaker," "the everything in it's place," sort of person. That's me in my dream world, where I do it right all the time, every day...Ah, yes, I see it now. Clean floors, clean counter tops, clean table, bright and shiny surfaces, the sort that make you smile and sigh to yourself, ah, yes, pure cleanness.

Gotta love the vision. Do you have it, too? Either in your dream world, or maybe you are that person that does manage to accomplish that.

So what has inspired this sharing (if you will) and woe's of laundry...? I had a sweet lady that came by sometimes to help me out. She had a need and I had a need and we were able to help each other. She was only here a few times in the last few months, but she impacted my life in a big way. She would help me get organized, and having her here was like a shot of motivation. Well, my angel, P., had to tell me she couldn't come anymore. For her the reason is a blessing - her husband who has been out of work found a job and they only have one vehicle. Praise God for them as they needed it desperately.

What is the saying? You know the one....Some people are only in your lives for a moment and others for a lifetime...Something like that anyway. Well, P. was only in my life for a moment, but her stories of witnessing and the sharing of her deep love for our Lord were moments I will treasure forever. P. was a wonderful, Christian woman, down on her luck, but she inspired me constantly with her unfailing love and faith in our Lord.

I find it reassuring to know that God does love me. Imperfections and all. Lack of organizational skills and all. God loves ME. And He loves YOU, too!


How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1


As for me, I'm going to miss P....especially when I am mopping my floors.


In His Grace,

Pam

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Are Mommies For Anyway?

MommyMomMotherMomma.  Different variations, but they all mean the same thing. 

"A female parent," and/or "something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care over something else."    (credit from dictionary.com)

Being a mom means, guiding, caring for, disciplining, teaching, leading, (the list goes on)....and later letting go. If you ask ten mothers what motherhood means to them, you will likely get ten different answers.  For me, motherhood means having the opportunity to love another with your entire heart, to devote yourself to them and their well-being.  It means hugs, kisses, snuggles, laughter.  It holds the responsibility to teach the difference between right and wrong.   And in recent years, to show them how to love the Lord, serve others, be mindful and respectful, and, hopefully at the same time, have them see Christ in me, even if just a little bit each day. 

The bible tells us to, train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

Motherhood has been one of the most rewarding responsibilities I've had.  I cannot imagine what I would have done with myself if God had not allowed me to be a mother.  Honesty will force me to say that not every moment of my mothering has been perfect.  My kids could probably vouch for that as well [chuckle {blush}] and I choose to overlook the lapses in judgement I've had over the years.  As I sit here today, I believe I can say that I'm doing the best I can at each crossroad motherhood chooses to present to me. 

We can only pray each day that we've done our best, that we've given positive direction, that it's enough to give them the foundation they need to continue to grow in the Lord as they spread their wings and figure out the plan God has for them, in a life separate from ours.  As a mom we still want to guide and protect, but we have to learn to do it from a distance.

Being a mom is the ultimate.  It offers something new and exciting every day.  Yes, sometimes we will be disheartened, but we have to hold onto our faith and remember that God is in control of each and every situation.

As I've cared for my little boy these last two day days, comforting him as he was getting sick, giving him medicine for his fever, and cuddling him when he just needed his momma, I thank God for this responsibility.  I am sincerely blessed to have it.

She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Proverbs 31:26-27

May I always keep this scripture close at hand and strive to live up to it each day....

God bless,
Pam

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sweet Smiles = Beautiful Blessings

Last Sunday, well, I guess that was actually just yesterday, ha ha...Our church held it's annual Thanksgiving service and luncheon at the Lazy V in Sinton.  Our church building is very small and without kitchen accommodations, so renting the building and facilities at Rob & Bessie Park is always a great solution.  Last year our attendance was 65, and this year we topped that at about 70!

The sermon was a good one, reminding us to have a servants heart.  What better day to hear that message than at a Thanksgiving service.   So many wonderful people to fellowship with, tasty, thanksgiving food, and precious memories.

My favorite memory from the morning?  Caleb being decked out in new duds from head to toe and quite proud of himself to say the least.  No modesty in the room as he asked people to compliment him on his new clothes.  LOL (Well, if am to be honest, the shirt was a hand-me-down from Mrs. H, but it was the first time Caleb had worn it - so definitely new to him.)  

I managed to snap one precious picture of the day before it was over.  So, here is Caleb and his best friend, Ella. 

Today, when showing the picture to Grandma he said, "See Grandma, I look handsome and Ella looks beautiful!"

I quite agree, don't you?


I just love how Ella has her arm wrapped around Caleb's neck.

....New pair of pants $10, new shoes - $12,  a photo with your best friend - priceless!!

Later Gater!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Unexpected Blessings

Did I mean it?  That I wanted to share a little part of my day?  Does it mean REALLY sharing the good, the bad, the funny, the sad?   Or just the humorous parts of life?  Some of you might find today's entry a little, ummm, oh, I don't know, hard to read.  Let me just get to it.  I hope in the end, after the hard to read stuff, you are reminded, as I was today, of the amazing God that LOVES each one of us!

Let's backtrack just a bit to 2006.  As Caleb approached his first birthday, I was so sure that God had placed it on my heart to add to our family; to bring into this world a little brother or sister for Caleb.   What could be finer to grow our family and have one more precious bundle to love?   We expected a lot of things on the journey, but what we did not expect was a journey filled with such heartache.   Was it a learning process?  Definitely!  A process that involved learning to trust God and keeping the faith that HE KNOWS what is best for us!

Here we are, seven miscarriages later...the calendar turns over to January 2010.  I suddenly realize that we are done.  No more.  I can't do it.  I just want to be me, enjoy what is in the here and now.  To love my family to the fullest.  I can do that.  I want to do that.  I want to turn the page of this journey and move on.  I pat myself on the back and remind myself that while it does still hurt, it's all going to be ok.  God's answer is sometimes "no," and I do trust Him to know what's best for our family.

For the most part, I'm good.   God answered my prayer, to either bring the baby or take away the desire.  For me the desire is fading.  Just fleeting moments here and there that remind me that I am a woman and having babies was the one thing I always wanted in life.  And I did have them.  Four of them to be exact.  Four awesome blessings here on earth, that I treasure and thank God for every day.  And nine angels in heaven (yes, two angels before Caleb and seven angels after).  Just knowing that they are all in the arms of Jesus gives me the greatest comfort a mother could ever have. 

But then a day like today comes around.  The sharing of another persons struggle with infertility.  What does that do to me?  This heartfelt sharing of a testimony?  For me, it brings about a surge of feelings and emotions that I thought were long gone.  It is not that the desire to have a baby has suddenly resurfaced.  No, that's not it.  It's just the process of someone sharing their story, showing me that I am not alone.  It's the realization that there are others out there who've been on this path, have had these same feelings and know exactly how I feel.  An affirmation of sorts, that I'm not crazy for feeling what I feel.

So, while we sat in the darkness, music playing -- I cried...tears of understanding, tears for finally letting go of the dream that will never be.  And while I cried, God chose the sweetest way to remind me that He is there and my life is complete.   As I wiped the streaks of tears from my cheeks with the palms of my hands, my sweet Caleb suddenly appeared in front of me, arms outstretched to crawl into my lap.  I pulled him to me and he wrapped his little boy arms around my neck, squeezing ever so tight.  My tears came harder for a few moments, but they were not tears of sadness.  Just tears of acceptance.  Acceptance for a God who is all Knowing, all Powerful, all Faithful, and the great Provider.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.    James 1:17

He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; God sends His love and His faithfulness.  I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples.  For great is Your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.  Psalm 57:3; 9-10

I was reminded, in a bittersweet moment, that my cup runeth over...
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5

What more can be said?  Right now?  Not a single thing.

God bless,
Pam

Thursday, November 11, 2010

All in a Days Work

What a blessing for the Parker's today to have Johnny home for a banker's holiday - Veteran's Day.  What a priviledge it is to start this entry with a note of appreciation to my dad, my brother and all the other veteran's out there who have served this amazing country!  We appreciate you all!

We started our day with a quick breakfast and then school was in session.  This was the first time Johnny was able to sit in and see what Caleb and I do every day.  It was an "okay" school day.  We worked some more on sounding out words.  Some days that's fun, other times, not so much.  Today was a not so much day.  I remind myself he is five.  It will come and it doesn't have to happen all in one day!

We wrapped up our school'n for the day at which time Caleb began his non-stop begging to go play a round of golf.  How can one resist such sweet brown eyes begging to play dad's favorite sport?  ;o)  We can't.  So, off we went and I was graciously told, "mom, you can come along if you want." 

Caleb played so well.  You will have to excuse my lack of knowing the appropriate golf lingo, but his best hit was a 60 yard drive off of the tee, followed by multiple drives (when your a little guy like Caleb, it takes a few drives to get the ball to the green) ranging from 55-65 yards each.   What a joy it was to watch him make one good shot after another.   I haven't gone with the guys the last couple of times they've played, so it was pretty neat to see today, just how much he's learned about golf ettiquette and such.  He's on the right track for sure.

A bit of time to rest and then we were off once again.  Randy and his theater arts department put on another play this evening.   This one was called Radium Girls.  Quite the drama  inspired by a true story from 1926, "Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire."

Can I say I was ever so proud of Randy?  I can?   Good!  I am SO stink'n proud of him.  He had three rolls in this performance and played his parts wonderfully.  Out of all the actors and actresses on stage, I have to say Randy had one of the best voices and it projected awesomely. 

Did I mention I'm proud?  Oh, yes, I did.  Sorry...Here's a picture of Randy in costume!



Lastly, I feel compelled to mention that God was amazingly good to me today.  With a bit of, well, let's say, drama from a person in my family I haven't seen much of the last few years, I was feeling rather glum and struggling to work through the situation.  God jumped right in and said, wait, did I not tell you I would be here for you?  Reading today's "Journey" was a swift reminder that He is here, each and every day for us.  We just have to look for Him.  The scripture most affecting me today?

I am about to do something new; even now it is coming.  Do you not see it?  Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.  Isaiah 43:19

(Taken from my Journey) - When we face those disappointments that life brings and leaves us feeling empty-handed, broken, and alone - we have to remember to give God our disappointments.  Pour out your heart to Him and ask Him to direct you to new places, new dreams, and new opportunites.  He WILL do something new and amazing!

Unsuspectingly, I went to my Journey today to find the EXACT thing I needed.  EXACT!  God is amazing.  If I had ignored the call to quiet time today I would have missed this opportunity to be blessed by Him and receive the affirmation that He is there for me in the good times and the bad.

This proud mom is tired.  (Yawn...)


God bless and good night,
Pam

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Aha, Maybe We are Getting it After All!

It is a parents perrogative to chuckle about the incidentals in the life of their little one's, right?  We can find humor is so many things we encounter, leading to wonderful memories.  We must be careful though, to not embarrass our said little one's with our laughter. 

This morning Johnny and I were getting ready for the day and laughing once again about our home school lesson from a few days ago.  "nnn," "uuu," "ttt."   "ACORN!"   It still tickles us, well, me anyway, days later as we recall the story.

I walk out of the bathroom to see Caleb laying in bed, wide awake.  I think, hmmm, how long has he been awake?   He says, "mom, come here."  I walk over, lean down to look at him.  He says, "nnn," "uuu," "ttt."   "Nut."

Ah, yes.  Long enough, that's how long he's been awake.  I did my best to make light of the situation and express how proud I was that he knew how to sound out and spell nut.

Note to self...

"Self?"
"Yes?"
"In the future, watch what you say and when.  Okay?"
"Okay.  Sounds like a plan."

The bible tells us to do the same...

He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity."  Proverbs 21:23

A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.  Proverbs 17:27


God's blessings until next time!

"MMooommm, Come Here!"

I hear this a lot throughout the day....never knowing what to expect.  Most days is just simple request.  "I'm thirsty," or "Can I have a snack," or maybe it's to view the very interesting spider that has developed an intricate web outside our front door.  Today though was different. 

"Mom, come here," says Caleb peaking in through the front door.
"Ok, just a minute," says mom as she finishes her task and dries her hands on a towel.
"Mom, come here and see the snake!" says Caleb peaking his head through the door again.
"WHAT!  A snake!  Why didn't you say so the first time?"
"I don't know.  It's just a little one.  And it's gone now," replies Caleb.

On we go to investigate outside and try our best to lay eyes on the slithering creature once again.  "What color was it I ask?"  "Bright," he says.  "Yellow, or green."  Hmmm, maybe he's not really sure, I think, sounding a bit confused myself.  Maybe it was just a lizard I tell myself. 

Our outside search was futile so in the house and to the computer we went.  Google was our dear friend as we searched for snakes in Texas and found a few pictures.  Of course, none of them were the snake HE saw this morning.   Not the right color, they were all too big.  I tried to explain that I didn't need him to tell me the size, just the color of it.

Alas....a mom then worries every time she opens the door.  Will another snake find it's way into our house.  It's been a year now since the last time and I promise, Johnny, I will move if one takes up residence inside our home yet again.

The little-snake-that-we-never-found remains unidentified and hopefully never to be seen again.

Sigh....a day in the life of a country mom.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Golf, Soccer, AND Baseball!

Caleb loves them all and some days doesn't get enough.  It's a good thing Johnny is a sports guy or we'd be in trouble!   Here's a video of Caleb "pitching" to dad.  I wish my video techniques were a bit better.  Maybe once I learn to tweak them on the software I have they will be better.  But for now, overlook the wobblies and enjoy!  Oh, and do your best to ignore the noises from the dogs wrestling around my feet.  Sigh...


video
Here we wanted to show mom just how HIGH we could throw the ball....But a dratted grass burr got stuck to our shirt and sorta ruined the moment!  Hee hee!


video
Some more of "pitching" and catching.  Of course, you can't overlook his attempt at proper technique....watch that rear leg come up in the air....LOVE IT!
 
video

So, this was our evening last night, that is until it got dark.  A little bit of exercise is always good.  My main duty - shagging balls!   LOL

Til later,
Pam

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hot Chocolate Anyone??

To say my concession stand experience was interesting would be putting it mildly.  I think that those who have worked the concession before have a hidden agenda for the newbies that come into their domain.  Let's initiate them with gusto! 

My first assignment last night was to roll sausage and fajita meat into tortillas and wrap with foil.  That task was uneventful and flowed quite well, if I do say so myself.  I then said, "Pam", (that's what I call myself when I'm having one of those conversations in my head), "you can do this.  This is NOT so bad after all!" 

My second task was to mix hot chocolate.  Once again, how bad can that be?  Well, when it was all said and done, let's just say it was pretty bad.  I had a 6th grader as my partner (cute kid and an awesome worker named Dustin!) and together we were to measure out hot cocoa mix into white styrofoam cups, add the appropriate amount of water, and stir.  Doesn't sound like too hard a task does it?   It becomes hard when you have the other workers standing at their concession windows (4 or 5 of them), shouting out requests for "2 hot chocolates," "I need 4 hot chocolates," etc.  My job was to make them and deliver them to the window making the request. 

If you've ever made hot chocolate at home in your own kitchen, you might remember that it takes a little bit of time to adequately stir the powder into the hot water.  A little bit more time than we had between requests!  I literally stood at the counter and stirred cup after cup of hot chocolate for 2 1/2 hours.  No break....I was even wearing it as one of the dear concession workers decided the back of my shirt and pants would look snazzy with about a 1/2 cup of hot cocoa poured down the back.  Luckily with my layered attire for the evening I didn't get burned. 

Finally, the other workers realized that it was taking too much time for Pam (and her assistants) to deliver hot cocoa to their windows and they started to come get them.  Honestly, did they want me to keep stiring or waste time walking back and forth?  It was the craziest experience I've ever had.  I still do not understand why we didn't mix a LARGE container of hot cocoa all at once and just fill cups, but unless you are running the show (or want to run the show next year), you keep your mouth shut and do what they tell ya!  LOL 

I will say, when the last ounce of hot chocolate powder was poured into the last white styroam cup I shouted with joy, "Thank you, Jesus!  Praise God!"  And with only a few stares in my direction at my-out-of-place outburst, the rest of the folks in the room cheered for me, and for the 3 others who eventually had to step in and stir along side me when my 6th grade helper decided that working a window was more to his liking.   After a ten minute break and some serious stretching to try to work out the pain and kinks in my back - at 9:18 I moved onto Frito Pies, Hotdogs, and Nacho's.  A much easier task and more to MY liking.

So, my math skills did not come into play on this night in the concession stand.  Whew!  Not sure I could have handled THAT stress along with all the stiring...

God bless one and all,
Pam

Friday, November 5, 2010

TGIF and all that Jazz!


It's finally Friday, but before we sing our "yeah is Friday" song, we have to get through the day.  First we'll get in some Kindergarden.  Yesterday's session was pretty intense with learning how to sound out words and beginner reading worksheets.  I can only hope that today is a little less on the intense side.  To say who was more proud of our accomplishments yesterday, me or Caleb, would be a hard one to call.  We were both grinning from ear to ear!  Sun, nut, Ann, Sam, have become our next best friends!!!

I can only chuckle at Caleb's imagination.  One of our new words we are learning is "nut".  We sound it out... "nnnn," "uuuu," "tttt," then put it together and say, "Acorn!!"  Well, at least according to Caleb that's what we say.  He's having a little trouble understanding the sounding out method....he can sound out quite a few words, but doesn't quite understand the putting the sounds together part.  So for now, I try not to gigle every time we say, "nnnn," "uuuu," "tttt," and he shouts, with great enthusiasm, "ACORN!"

An hour long appointment at a nutritionist awaits us later today. My healthy living changes began again back in Jun/July.  To that point I'd kept off 19 of the lbs I'd lost.  I have a system and while it's not always foolproof, I'm making slow progress.   My weight loss to date is now 35 lbs down.   In enters John with his desire to lose about 10 lbs and get healthier in order to feel better.  Kudo's to John for making the decision.  It's hard to get to that point.  Lord, I know.  His method and my current method aren't exactly in sync.  I count calories and exercise.  He's read up on it and has learned that low carb can be more ideal for the body.  Switching gears in mid-stream is not an easy thing for me.  But, because he wants to do this for us, I'm willing to try.  So, our trip to the nutritionist begins our journey in learning how to do this in the best way.  I already cry myself to sleep over the loss of rice, potatoe's, pasta, bread, sigh.....We can do this.  Well, I know John can - as he's been doing it.  I'm sensing it's going to be a LITTLE harder for ME!  Ha ha!

This mom gets to work the concession stand at the football game tonight.  With the weather as cool as it's been, I'm not really looking forward to it.  It is the last game of the season and I figured I needed to serve one of these events at least.  Randy's band receives $ from the concession stand to help the band.   I should do my part, right?  To guess whether it will be cold in there, or warm, I have no idea.  Let's just hope my math skills come back quickly and my brain loses the hazy fog that it tends to move around in on a daily basis!!

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place.  And He was praying there.  Mark 1:35  

If only we could all remember to do this every day...Reading today's devotional in my "Journey" was like a shake to my world.  How can my day go any better than if I were to start it by spending time with my Lord...?  I don't think it can.

In His Name,
Pam

Papalote's Wildlife!!

Barking dogs are often an indicator that something is going on around the house.  Some days it's nothing, or at least nothing that I can see with my own eyes.  Other times it's a sick racoon, a rattle snake in the middle of the yard, or a couple of wild turkeys romping through the back yard.  We've had an entire LARGE herd of cattle trapse past down the street and a couple of times our neighbors miniature ponies have come for a visit.   We can't forget the blue indigo snakes that randomly come to visit.   My most favorite animal to see in Papalote??    A teenage kangaroo.  Yes, KANGAROO!!    Deer, cattle, racoons, snakes, etc are all pretty common... But a kangaroo, not so much.  We later learned that the poor thing had gotten away from a nearby ranch.  When I saw it, it looked scared to death. I didn't think fast enough to get a decent picture, but my neighbor was with me so I have a witness! I wish Caleb had been big enough to understand what was there - he would have loved it!

Today we had a coyote.  Yes, in broad daylight.  He was out in the back pasture and not the least bit afraid of us.  I did my best to yell and try to scare him off, but he just decided to move a few more steps IN my direction.  Needless to say I scurried back to my porch and the safety of my back door if needed.  LOL   After a few minutes he was gone, disappearing into the brush.   

Then, the evening brought about two crazed deer.  We were heading home after dark (after soccer practice), in separate vehicles when I realized Johnny's vehicle was moving rather slow.  The reason?  Two deer were scampering along size Johnny's truck, on the road.  As he slowed down, they went ahead of him desperately trying to get through the ditch and over the fence to find their way into hiding.  They couldn't do it.  The eventually turned around and went past my vehicle.  I prayed that they could make their way back over the fence and we wouldn't see them dead on the road the next day. 

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.   Genesis 1:24-25

God created it all for us!  And to be an observer of His wonderful creations every day is a blessing!!
 
Love and hugs,
Pam

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Small Accomplishments Can Create Such Big Smiles

This morning Caleb decided to dress himself right away when getting up.  Nothing sweeter than a cheaky grin when one can now "almost" button their britches on their own.  I wish I could say he went on to accomplish the task, but, the smile he gave me when he realized he had the button 1/2 way through, well, just too sweet a moment to pass up.  He might as well have gotten it all the way through for the feeling of accomplishment he had and the look of joy on his face!  Of course, the first thing he said was, "I gotta show Dad this!"

Then I realized why we were getting dressed.  We wanted to drive the Gator and "mow" for dad.   The poor Gator sat idle for a long while as it needed a new battery.  Trying to decide if he was still small enough for it we procrastinated in buying one.  A couple weeks ago Johnny picked one up and once again it is Caleb's new best friend.  He "mows" every day for dad and yesterday even put my mail in the mail box for me, and brought me the mail later in the day. 







To hear him laugh and giggle as he rides through the yard with Honey chasing him - priceless!   They go in a circle, around the garage, over the driveway, around the house.  With the windows open on a cool day like today I can especially hear the giggl'n.   Puts a smile on my face every time.










We can't forget our old girl, Penny, who has much patience for Caleb, but zero tolerance for Honey.  She takes her job very seriously in ruling the roost around here!  No one better step out of line or else!

Signing off!
Pam  

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Moment at School

So, today Caleb and I are reviewing the bible concepts we've learned since school started.
1) Jesus is the Light of the world.
2) I am the light of the world.
3) I will live and grow in Jesus.
4) If I stay in Jesus I will have much fruit.
5) God takes good care of me.
6) I don't quit; I persevere.

And today:

7) God made us wonderful!

I was so proud. When I said "I don't quit; I," Caleb cut me off and said, "Persevere!" The biggest and hardest word in that whole bunch and he remembered it!

Yeah Caleb!

To Trick or Treat, or Not??

As a little girl I grew up celebrating Halloween. I remember the funny times my brother and I had as we went out together in our costume of the year. I remember getting older and taking my brother, then just staying home to hand out candy. Then, as a mom, I couldn't wait to help my kids pick out their costumes, or sometimes I even made them myself. It was a time that our family generally looked forward to. As my older kiddo's grew up though and the years progressed, Halloween seemed to become more of a chore to participate in. My Johnny doesn't care for it much, but gracefully allowed me to do whatever I wanted to do each year.

I've learned that finding the Lord does interesting things to one's perspective. At the moment, it has affected my perspective on Halloween. Last year our pastor made it quite clear that he disapproved of Halloween and as Christians we were all to feel the same way. He had all the documentation to support his opinion. No costumes whatsoever. That was just lending itself by showing support toward the day that defines evil.

I myself have struggled with this. I don't love and support the devil. Quite the opposite. I am a Christian and love the Lord with all my might. My kids usually had the innocent costumes - flowers, buzz light year, clowns, etc. But, to suddenly flip that switch to not supporting the "Holiday" isn't easy for me. So, I will work on this or should I say God will be working on me in this way...

Yesterday was Halloween and when Randy went to go trick or treat with friends, Caleb said multiple times, "what about me?" My heart was tugging and pulling. What does a mom do when she's torn?

Well, when it was all said and done...Caleb didn't want to put on his costume and go out and trick or treat. He said, "Let's just go home." I'm not sure if it was because we weren't with any of his friends, or that Randy went with his friends, or if it was because he was too embarrassed to put on the costume {which thankfully only cost $14.99}.

So, while I was struggling with him feeling left out or feeling like he was missing out on something, God completely took care of the situation for me. He took the desire to trick or treat completely out of my son's heart which then removed the tugging that was taking place in mine. So, see? God is awesome and amazing in the big AND the little things!!

Blessings,
Pam