Have a dressed up day!

Monday, November 30, 2009

This is El Progresso, Honduras.

This is my daughter, Shelby, born almost eighteen years ago.

In less than two months I will be unclipping a few more wings, untying a few more apron strings, and offering up prayers and bargains as I watch her board a plane - for the first time - without me.

Today I popped a few pills and took her to get her passport.  I stood there and watched her smile one of her biggest smiles ever as she had her photo taken.  A photo that will take her places and allow her to see things that she has only dreamed of.

This place may be only the beginning.  She has plans to change the world.  She intends to see lives changed and souls saved.

I'm not sure what plans I saw for her when I looked into that perfect little face so many years ago.  I can't remember.  But, I can be pretty sure I didn't envision a drive to the passport office.

I didn't really pop pills.  I don't really believe in bargains.  I do believe in prayers.  I do believe in her.  Fly high, Bluebird. 

"Some children were brought to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. The disciples told them not to bother him. But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." And he put his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left."

Matthew 19:13-15

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Weekend in the Wild

When our girls were small we camped every year.  They loved it, I loved it.  Then, as they grew older and softer, more girly and busier, our trips slacked up.

As my bladder began to prematurely age, I didn't argue about the less frequent trips camping. I needed less frequent trips elsewhere, if you get my drift, before I'd push for a camping trip again.  But I did miss them - and not to mention how much Izzy was missing out  and now there is Max -who, according to his bigwig of a daddy - WILL. LOVE. THE. OUT. OF. DOORS.

Chlorine was the answer to my problem.  I'm allergic.  Chlorine is used in mass production to whiten undies, bleach toilet paper, and bleach feminium products.  Chlorine is not removed from purified water - which is what I drank. 

I discovered Seventh Generation's products, all chlorine free, their filter systems and shower filters.  Did you know that if you take a hot shower with steam, you breathe in tremendous amounts of chlorine from the steam?

Changed that part of my life and now I can camp again. 

Last weekend our family had a get-a-way to Tishimingo State Park.  It was lovely.  We were blessed enough to get a cabin and not have to camp.

On our second day we went boulder climbing and repeling. The weather was beautiful and He's Too Good To Me had come home.  I know how the wheels turn in that handsome head of his, and I know he was bouncing around ideas on how to never leave this place.

Daughters Shelby and Izzy are created in his image. Beautiful, brave, strong, daring - I can do it if you can do it kind of gals. Boulder climbing and repeling - that's what they came for.

My head is bouncing around with ideas on why I'm on a swinging bridge -miles, y'all - above water.  A bridge that, I'm guessing, might need a little repair. 

That can't really be duct tape holding that together, right?  He's Too Good To Me assured me it's just a little fraying.  Help me, someone.

Then there is daughter Delia, made more in my image. Beautiful, dreamer, bug-hater, I don't want to do it even if you can - inside kind of gal.

While most everyone was happy boulder climbing she was hanging around with Max and me on lower land.  Why?  Because a helmet would mess up her hair.

Wanting a little moment with honey, her boyfriend up top, she decided to climb.  There is not much else to say but . . .

squeals and "AW!  DEL" ---- camera falls.  The rush of wind as honey Ruben sprinted down, quickly.

That rock fell right onto her hand and foot, scraping them both badly.  I fought every mama urge in me to baby her, stroke her hair, dry her tears, spit and clean the wound.  It begins a smile on my face when I realize I know my daughter so well that I can tell by the look on her face what would be best for her at that moment.  The smile sags to a frown when I see that what I want to do is not what will help at the moment.

Let me tell you, casual concern for my children no one ever gave me a PhD in.  Only life can teach you that one day you might embarrass your children, or worse yet, that they would choose someone else over you.  A battle for several years now has been raging in me to stop the babying and let them be.  yuk, I hate it.  What if they forget how well I comfort and fix while they are playing the growing up game?

We decided to take Delia shopping, to make her feel better, in the town-of-no-stores.

Plan B.

Back to the room for hot chocolate and burgers and chicken and sweet potato fries. In no time she was laughing and playing board games, while not letting up on her baby sister who so wanted to win.

These are my babies.  And all seven of us - remember, honey came - built fires, cuddled, told jokes, teased,  shared one bathroom and one bedroom, and got on each other's nerves, slightly.  And I can't leave out how well Shelby fed us all.

We'll do this again -differently- with more helmet hair next time, an extra bedroom, and an alarm. 

We'll do this again -not differently- I will be there, with my same memories of little steps from the past, memories of having to hold and help.  The same battle raging inside. 

Next time - this one gets to repel.  Don't you think he's ready? He sure thought so.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


All blogs need a Thanksgiving post, right? 

If I am capable of writing about my child's snot and other unimportant things in my life I should be capable of fluent and inspiring thoughts on blessings.  Right?

Or. So. It. Seems.  An hour had ticked away on the clock this morning while I sat staring at a blank screen, trying to write something worthwhile and interesting. 

My friend, Donna, has been posting for days now about what she is thankful for.  They are fun and thought-provoking to read, and I have enjoyed them very much.  Donna and I think alike, and I echo her sentiments.  After all, I'm going to be her when I grow up.

Other blogs are doing it, too.

Slight blog jealously was nipping at my heels as my screen appeared even blanker than it did moments before. And that's not even possible. But then . . .

A phone call.

My pediatrician's office called. Seems they have gotten in a very limited number of H1N1 vaccines. Because there is not enough to go around, the doctors have complied a list of patients that are top priority. They called to schedule my oldest daughter's appointment for the vaccine. Seems she’s top priority.

This created in me - a new train of thought.

I'll keep it simple and narrow it down to four incredible and undeserved blessings.

May God’s blessings showered upon us all be given back to our fellow man tenfold. May none be forgotten and may we all celebrate with a heart of gratitude.

"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.

Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.

Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name."  1 Chronicles 29:11-13

Happy Thanksgiving to all,

There was no winner for What A Word? Wednesday.  Where were you all - on holiday or something?

Both answers were really close - but no cigar. 

Max says - motorbike helmet.

Y'all come back next Wednesday - 'ya hear?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What the Word? Wednesday 2

Last week we started What the Word? Wednesday in honor of my youngest, Max, and his inability to speak plainly.  His cuteness helps, too.

Here we go again. 

Time to decipher some Maxster language.

Give it your best shot.  Post your guess in comments.  All you out there that have never commented, this is your time to start. 

Contest ends Wednesday at midnight.

I'll hide all comments until Thursday morning. 

First one with correct Maxster lingo, word for word, wins Pioneer Woman's new cookbook. 

Ready.  Set.  Go.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A friend of mine told me that she loves to read my blog.  She says my house seems to always have alot going on.  She says it seems like fun.

Definition of seems - to appear to be.

Need I say more?  But I will.

It is quite active around here, and we do love one another - but . . .

Some days I have to remind myself to not quit.  Some days it's an all-day, never-ending search for the humor.  Some days I never find it. 

Whining, anger, unthankfulness, and complaining demons rear their ugly heads around here.

But letting that get the best of me in life is not an option.  Can I hear an amen?

My life is messy.  I've stepped in poop - not animal.  We've had last chance, cut-off, gonna take your first-born child notices.  Shelby's car has four doors but only two handles, power steering fluid and oil leaks on a regular basis, and I can't keep the goat out of the neighbor's blueberry bushes.  We haven't had a week long family vacation in nine years and my tummy wiggles and my arms flap.
My kids leave the "ma'am" off more times than not. 

And that's the good stuff of the bad stuff.

But a bigger and more important but is that it is just some days.  The rest of the days, they are what they appear to be.

You may catch me writing about the bad stuff now and then, but don't look too hard for it.  The good stuff is more fun, humor has it in spades. 

When you read my blog, don't get the idea that my life is all rosey.  But it is lived through rose-colored glasses.

Glasses made possible by Jesus Christ.  With Him you don't have to look too hard for blessings.  He doesn't hide them under rocks or behind bushes or even in the neighbor's lives. 

But without Him, well, that's not an option either.  Try Jesus, you'll like Him.

Need to learn how to try Jesus?  At one time in our life we all do.  E-mail me here, I'll share my glasses - and my Lord.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

Who killed the dust bunny?  Not me. That's for sure.

As I was stabbing around with my broom in corners today, wondering why someone as glam as I should be sweeping, the hatred for dust bunnies was multipling (ironic, huh?)

They glide around like a third Wright brother in all their glory - teasing and tormenting.  Then they turn the tables and get groodie, sticking to the broom and I have to use my fingers.

I'm stabbing and stabbing, lamenting loudly, "What did I ever do to you?"  A contradiction, I know.  But it doesn't matter - 'cause they won't "die for Pete's sake."  Who is Pete, anyway?

You can't drown 'em - they get really nasty then - snarling teeth, spitting furballs, growing.

You can't kill 'em, I've proved that, and you can't eat 'em.  So . . .

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

From this moment on I will gently remove the ones in plain sight while cooing, "Heeeeere Bunny, here Bunny," and I'll give the hidden ones their privacy to pro-create.

Mind you, this is all for the sake of my sanity - don't judge me lest you be judged.

What did they ever do to me, anyway? A little embarrassment here and there, a little coughing, sneezing, hacking.  A little trouble breathing.  I can live with that.

So, if 'ya come a Sunday visitin', be sure to wear a hat.  The little devils babies - sanity, sanity - like the merry-go-round that hangs from my ceiling and it's getting a little crowded up there. They might sacrifice one another now and then.  Don't fret, though, 'cause they can't die.

Clean the ceiling fan?  Heavens, no.  It's not in plain sight.  Just don't look up.

Chris from the Stewart Six speaks Maxster.  To infinity and beyond.  It probably didn't hurt that he is his uncle and an overgrown boy.

Y'all come back next week for What a Word? Wednesday.  'Ya hear?


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Welcome to What the Word? Wednesday

Max is cute.  Those of you that know him - don't you think so?  All prejudice aside.

In honor of his cuteness combined with his inability to speak plainly, I will now be dedicating Wednesdays to the Maxster.

Sorry Daddy, but his favorite color is purple - and he's totally comfortable in his masculinity.  See.

OK, we'll work on this.

Notice both potty apparatus' - neither do the trick. 

Welcome to What the Word? Wednesday.

Take a guess at what he is saying and post it in a comment.  (Anyone can comment - just hit Anonymous if you don't have an account.)

I'll hide all comments until the end of the day - because cheating is, well, wrong. 

The first right answer wins something, don't know what yet, blog budget is low - but something.

Here we go. Take the plunge. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Love Letter

Today is He's Too Good To Me's birthday. 

Forty-two and Fine. 

When my life is through,
And the angels ask me to recall
The thrill of them all.
Then I shall tell them I remember you.

I remember when I was little and played house with my sister, Janice. We had imaginary husbands who were strong and handsome. Husbands who took care of us. Husbands who fought Indians or slew dragons or brought us food during famines. They loved us above all else. We only knew that's the way it should be, so that's the way it was in our play.

I grew up, searched for that, and found it. 

I remember the day I met you.  I remember the time of day, the weather, how you looked when you ran up those stairs three at a time, your laugh and your eyes.

I remember the first phone call, the first date, the first kiss, your smile when I walked down the aisle towards you.

I remember your face each time I told you I was pregnant.  I remember how I didn't even have to tell you with Max, how the words wouldn't come, and how you knew anyway.  How you held me when I cried - assuring me I wasn't too old and this would be a blessing.

I can still see your love with each child you held.

Your patience all those days in the hospital at the end of my pregnancy with Isabela.  Your comfort to me in the midst of the uncertainity with Max's development.  Your wisdom with EBC, when I was falling apart.

The strength you give me, when you are fighting fear yourself, to know our girl is sick and no one can fix it.

I remember all of it, the good times and the bad - and I know God's way of getting me to this place in my life is the blessing of you.  His blessing of happiness to me has been the joy of being your wife.

I thank you for the wee hours in the morning of January 11 and a forgiveness you gave me I did not deserve.

I thank you for your courage in your personal battles. For coming out the victor on the other side and showing me what a hero is.  Nothing has ever or will ever in my life mean more to me than that.

I love you.  Those words don't seem to bear enough weight for what I feel.  But you know.

Now honey, I continue to speak the truth when I say -

I would thank you to pick up your clothes and rinse out the sink when you shave.

I love you, I'm a neurotic basketcase without you, don't die first, and Happy Birthday.

holy experience

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pillow Talk

A Converstation with He's Too Good To Me this morning. 

I'm in red - you'll see why - and he's in brown.

It went like this -

Have you seen Shelby's new blazer?

No, I don't guess I have.

You need to look at it and tell me what it reminds you of.

Silence.  Dead silence.  Playing dead.

Think blazer.

You had on a blazer the day we met.

Cha-ching.  That's my boy. 

You remember what I had on the day we met? 

Here I am leading the witness.  I already know the answer. We've been married twenty years, and I interrogate on a regular basis. 

I remember your legs.  You had red on.

What else? 

I remember your legs, you had red heels on.

Anything else?

Give me a minute and let me picture you walking down those stairs.

Down the stairs or up the ramp?

Let me set the stage.  I was a designer and he was a carpenter.

If I were a carpenter
and you were a lady,
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?

If I worked my hands in wood,
Would you still love me?
Answer me babe, "Yes I would,
I'll put you above me."
-words and music Tim Hardin

The house we were both working on was new construction.  There were ramps to enter.  When I began walking up to the house he gallantly ran outside, extended his hand to me, and asked if he could help me - being mud puddles all around the ramp. That's when he had me - hook, line, and sinker.

Let me be honest, he was quite handsome and taking his hand was an attractive option, but instead -

I put my pert little nose in the air and -

No, I'm fine, thank you.

That's when I had him - hook, line, and sinker. 

Back to the conversation.

Down the stairs.

Were you looking up my skirt?

No, I was looking at your legs.

End of conversation.  Sorta.

Following that I had a conversation with myself -

Get on treadmill.

 Why?  self asks back.

Because He's Too Good To You is still handsome and your legs aren't what they used to be.

Oh, right.


Friday, November 13, 2009

It's been busy around here the last couple of days and I haven't had much time to prepare a post.  So . . . I'm going to repeat one that seemed to be a favorite.   Is this illegal? Will I get blog fined or blog probation? Will they throw the blog at me?  

Today it was difficult to pull myself out of bed. I kept thinking about what was waiting for me on the other side of our bedroom door (actually, on this side also).
A messy, dirty house.

Messy is one thing - we run through, sometimes singing the "clean-up, clean-up" song, and can take care of it pretty quickly.

Dirty, on the other hand, is, well - hard work.

And it's Monday.

 I've always thought, deep in my warped way of thinking, that Monday was the second day of rest God created.

I have a few ladies coming over tomorrow night. Now, these ladies are friends. I know they could come into my home and find it dirty and not judge me; but my psyche tells me I must clean.

There are two reasons I CLEAN my house. One, because company is coming over. It's an excellent motivation to my lazy self to get mop and bucket out.

The second reason is a trip. I can't leave on a trip unless my house is clean.
"What if? What if? What if?"

What if someone gets sick on the trip and we need something from home? What if someone has to come into my home to get that something for me or take care of something? What if this happens and my house is dirty or messy?

Or what if we die? What if I'm lying on the side of the road with twisted metal all around and my last thought is, "Mama, my house is dirty."

What will people think? Or worse, what will Mama think?

We don't go on trips often and with everyone's busy lives company is somewhat rare. So I have discovered as age creeps up on me that lately there is a new "What if?" worming its way into my already muddled brain.

I go to bed at night and this new "What if?" begins to sing its song. What if someone breaks in and murders us all in our sleep? What if the police come into my home and in their report they write something like this -

"Hard to tell if victims' home was ramshackled or not, messiness could be due to laziness. Hard to tell."

What if we all die in a fire and the fireman's report reads something like this -

"Hard to determine cause of fire. Home was obviously dirty. Hard to tell."

Don't laugh ladies. I have per conversation proof that many of you have these same thoughts. I have been in a pact with friends before that if a certain one died while under the knife that we left would rush to her home and clean it before the hearse had the house in sight.

As you can tell my brain is tired, warped, and muddled. Funny, just like my home. Gotta go, mop and bucket await. And,

"What if?"

Thanks, Mama.

Proverbs 31

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You Can't Believe Everything You Read

There are two words Max can read.

          They are eat candy. 

   They are spelled Tootsie.

Love that boy. 

What a blessing at - well, over 40.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ain't No Mountain High Enough - 'Cept Laundry

My laundry is as high as a mountain. 

In honor of that, here are a few of my favorite songs with the word mountain in the title.

If you can make it to the end there's a laundry detergent recipe from my friend Donna over at http://tikitravelers.blogspot.com/2009/02/laundry-detergent.html.  We've been using it for months with great results, only about 2 cents per load.

This blog is not important, educational, or even interesting to some - but it gave me something to do other than laundry.

I will apologize to no one.  I love John Denver and cried the day he died.   

I want to go where I don't have to change my socks - unless I want to.  I would love to go where I can sleep all day - if I want to.  Paddle around in a lake of stew?  Not sure about that.  But the fascination with Big Rock Candy Mountain is simple - only things there are what you want there.  Be you a hobo or a king, it wouldn't be a bad vacation spot.

'Nuf said.

'Nuf said again.

For my Daddy.  He never met Hank Williams, but they were still best friends.

Wait for it, wait for it . . .  The best for last.

I'm slapping myself to the back side o' no where with this one.  Wow and Wow again.

You know how with faith you can tell a mountain to move from here to there?  Wish it worked with laundry.  I'd send mine to Timbuktu or the Artic blue - or at least Detroit.

I'm shouting Hallelujah like the angels 'cause it ain't this -

Washing Clothes

Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water. Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert. Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin' water.
Sort things, make 3 piles

1 pile white
1 pile colored
1 pile work britches and rags

To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.
Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don't boil just wrench and starch.

Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.
Hang old rags on fence.
Spread tea towels on grass.
Pore wrench water in flower bed. Scrub porch with hot soapy water. Turn tubs upside down.

Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs. Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

Happy sorting, spraying, loading, washing, unloading, loading again, drying, unloading, ironing (ok, maybe not), and hanging (ok, maybe not). 

Now the recipe, as promised - thanks, Donna.

Here is our recipe...

1 bar Ivory soap
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing soda
1/2 cup Borax

Grate soap and put in saucepan. Add 6 cups water and heat till the soap melts. Add the washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into a 3-4 gallon bucket. Add soap mixture and stir. Then add 2 additional gallons of water and stir. Let the soap sit for 24 hours to gel. You use 1/4 cup per load.

"Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."  Psalms 51:7

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Miss you, Pa

This is for my sweet sisters.  Needs no explanation.

I never knew it was real.

 Miss you, Pa.

Monday, November 9, 2009

No Shots Allowed

Bad things -

Fuzzy slippers.  Bad hair day.  Holes in favorite sweats.  Olives.  Toothache.  Backache.  Headache.  Any ache.  Long check-out lines.  Dirty cartoons.  Dusty furniture.  Lost glasses.  Diet Coke.  Blown lightbulbs.    Postage rates.  Fat-free milk.  Shaving.  Moldy bread.  Stepping in gum.  PMS.  Pre-PMS.  Pre-Pre-PMS.  Gas prices.  Lost remote.  Livercheese.  Expired tags.  Daylight Savings Time ending.  Colored jeans.  Cough syrup.

Really bad things -

Rats and Type 1 Diabetes - not in that order.

In May of 2000 our oldest baby girl, Delia, was diagnosed with Type 1 (Juvenille) Diabetes.  She was ten years old. 

At that time, American Girl Amelia books, by Marissa Moss, were her favorite fluff books.  Non-educational fun reading.   

These books are full of Amelia's thoughts and doodlings.

In the hospital, while trying to cheer Delia up, we doodled a little of our own.  She tried to write and draw but her hand was sore from the iv - so I, who felt as helpless and scared as a trap trapped in a trap,  wrote and drew while she directed.

Scientific explanation.

We drew her doctor.  A fine man who grew horns and fangs that day.

Tales of woe about shot needles.

We put a sign on her door, No Shots Allowed.  Didn't work.

She did a lot of crying.  We did a lot of praying.

And now, this article in yesterday's Sunday paper.

Good things -

A "promising" approach that will, if it works, eventually only require annual booster shots to manage this type of Diabetes. In my research on this I found many different opinions, from human trials starting as early as next year to several years in the future.  There's always "promising" news.  And we believe, one day, an answer will be found.  As always, He's Too Good To Me and I will pin some of our hopes on this news, place some of our eggs in this basket.   Good thing all of our hopes are on something greater.

Really good things -

Smart people who devote their lives to finding cures for really bad things. Quality people in a fallen world. People who don't know my child, but love her anyway.

Delia, with Izzy, 2 weeks before diagnosis.

Delia, with her best friend, R., practicing checking blood sugars.

Delia, with R's dad.  Fine family, excellent friends.

Really, really good thing -


Friday, November 6, 2009

Ohhhh Boy

It is a good thing we homeschoolers make our children wear chastity belts and live at home until age 30.

Or do we marry them off at age 13?

I only have one thing to say about this picture taken at the Cotton Gin.  Oh boy.

Ohhhhhh,  BOY.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Carry her, Father

There is something about the power that comes from the feeling of being able to pick your children up and hold them in your arms.  The WonderWoman complex that comes with rocking them and making everything better.  Carrying them always made it better, for both of us.

There is a misery that comes with the helpless feeling of knowing your child is hurting, feeling lost, lonesome, and a little scared.  The day you know there is no more picking them up, snuggling them as you kiss bobos or tend wounded hearts.  When they are too old - but not old enough. 

There is a grief that comes with knowing, as Mama and Daddy, that you are not WonderWoman and Superman. That your child now knows this. You no longer can fake answers, no longer can just say, "It will all work out." Things are not so easily fixed, tears are not so easily dried, and pain is not so easily wiped away.

There is a pain in the gut that comes with watching their faces as reality hits them that life is hard.  That life is unfair.  That life is an unending struggle between good and bad, right and wrong.  That patience no longer involves just the simple count-down to Christmas, but now involves the wait for wisdom and the search for knowledge.

From the time we knew a little one was growing in my womb we prayed for them.  We gave them to our Lord.  We prayed for the wisdom to know what to tell them to do.  We taught them of Jesus' love - immeasurable and unending.  We taught them to have faith, to trust in the Lord's timing and wisdom.  We tried to demonstrate that faith.

We have never been good enough.  We have never been powerful enough or smart enough or strong enough.  We have always known this and now our child knows this.  Mama and Daddy have no magic wand. 

But - there is a joy that comes in knowing that our Lord has never and will never fail to be more than sufficient.  There is a relief that comes from knowing we have done our best to teach our children this.  An even greater relief in knowing that they have recieved it - and the greatest relief is knowing He loves them more than we do.

Why, then, is it so indescribable hard to still my beating heart, calm my churning stomach, and soothe my pounding head when my child is hurting?  Why do my arms physically ache to pick her up and take it all away?   Why does it feel so new and raw, even when I've been through it before?  Remind me, Father, once again, why I can't be the one to fix it.

Carry her, Father.   

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And the Cotton Boll Says, "Yes Sir"

This is a cotton boll.  It grows in a cotton field.  It is not to be confused with a paw-paw.

This is a pawpaw. It grows in a pawpaw patch.  It is not to be confused with a cotton boll.

Now, that is settled, so let's move on.

Yesterday our homeschooling group took a little trip to a Cotton Gin in Yazoo City.

The weather was beautiful and it was the perfect day for an outing.

It never fails to amaze me how my Father God can use simple, everyday activities to teach me.  He is The Man.  He rules this universe, including the cotton boll.  So, if He tells the cotton boll to step up and teach, it stands at attention, salutes, and steps up and teaches.

Before Eli Whitney's invention of the Cotton Gin in 1793 it took a man an entire day to pick seeds and trash out of only one pound of cotton.  Today the modern gin can clean thousands of pounds a day.  We watched metal teeth and brushes run through freshly picked cotton and only the valuable fibers would pass through.

Good thing cotton doesn't have feelings - but I do.  When my Father God does a little "ginning" on me and my attitude, it is painful.  Just like those fuzzy little seeds cling to the cotton, my sins cling to me.  They stubbornly refuse to let go - envy, unforgiveness, jealousy, gossip, addictions, anger - and only through God's process of seperating everything that is unclean in my life and forcing what is good and acceptable to the surface can I rid myself of them.   In doing this, He creates in me a new person.

Just like those hard-working men turn the machines on each and every day, each day God begins this process in me anew.  He never gives up on me.  He is so much love.

"Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth."  Hebrews 12:6

If I allow God, He will eliminate the worthless things that trash my life.  1500 pounds of cotton produces only 500 pounds of clean cotton fibers.  God judged Israel for their sins, they were scattered and lost.  But there remained a remnant - and it was worth far more than what was lost.

I said it was a beautiful day, perfect for an outing.  It was, and the wind was blowing soft fibers all around us.  I got a little sunburn on my face and a little whisper in my ear.  You are worth far more than your sins.

Thank you Betsy and Ira, http://handwovendreams.blogspot.com/.  Thank you, all my friends, for an enjoyable day.  Thank you, Izzy and Max, for keeping me young.  Thank you, cotton boll, for obeying.  Thank you, Father, once again. 

By the way, my Daddy has some tall tales, I'll tell you those tales one day.  One of them is him picking cotton till his fingers bled.  That one, after yesterday, I now believe. You know I like the music, so here's a band with a gift. Alabama sings High Cotton.

holy experience

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm Sure You Don't Want to Know, but . . .

Twenty things about me I'm sure you really don't want to know.  My brain on blog appears to have taken a day off - or, after this, you may say a wrong turn.  But, this is what you get, in no particular order.  I apologize in advance.

1.   When I was ten I bought a pair of cobalt blue parachute fabric pants with rainbow striped suspenders from the Ten Cents store.  My Ma laughed at me and I never wore them.  Thank you, Ma, you may have saved my life.

2.   I still don't know who my first kiss was from.  I think it was C. in fifth grade, but he could have just bumped me with a sweaty nose - I'm just not sure.

3.   I drink too many fountain cokes.

4.   I am allergic to chlorine.
5.   I watch too much TV, Criminal Minds is my favorite show.  Next to He's Too Good To Me, special agent Derek Morgan is the sexiest man alive.
6.   I cannot swim.  I cannot float.  I can sink.

7.   One thing I always wanted and never got - a pink Barbie Dream House.

8.   I gave birth to Delia without any drugs.  Not on purpose.

9.   I form opinions quickly about people and am usually too harsh.

10. I love the color red and any variation of it, I hate the color yellow.

11. Stand back - I love Barry Manilow songs.

12. My cell phone ring for He's Too Good To Me is Hooked on a Feeling.  If he had not called twenty-one years ago, I would have found a reason to go back to that house.

13. I cannot potty train Max.

14. I got sea-sick watching The Perfect Storm and threw up.

15. I lose my glasses ten dozen times a day - everyday.

16. I do not understand decimals.

17. My dear friend, D.  http://mississippimamaof7.blogspot.com/2009/11/chocolate.html, told me recently chocolate is a vegetable.  Therefore, I shall live to a ripe 'ole age.

18. I am afraid of rats more than water.  Refer back to #6.

19. I weighed 100 lbs. when I got married.  I weigh more now than I did when I gave birth to Max . . .

20. and finally, I'm going on a diet - tomorrow - again.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Now, On To Thanksgiving - My, How Time Flies

Halloween has always been a weird time around here.  Sometimes we do it, sometimes we don't.  I have concluded in all of my deliberations, judging, and jurying (that is - discussions with He's Too Good To Me) that I am not very convicted about not letting my children wear a friendly costume and collect a little bit of candy from friends.

There, I said it. 

Ghosts of Halloweens past.

Delia at 18 months with Pa-paw.  Poor baby, she was dressed up so much she would have worn anything.  I should serve time for that one.

Delia at 2 1/2.  Believe it or not, she actually won a costume contest with this one.

Shelby as Baby Bop.  Not a good costume for potty training, that I remember well.

Izzy was 6 months old and is in the same costume Delia wore her first Halloween.  Her face was so stained with the red it took at least a week to wear off.  The next year I tried to get her to wear the Hershey Kiss costume but she wouldn't stop crying.  Yes, I still have it.  I was young and impulsive.   My excuse now?  I don't have one.

Instead, she wore this. 

One of my favorites, but I can't take credit.  Shelby came up with this one on her own.

One of the few years Gregg and I dressed up.  It's obvious why it was one of the few years.

Super Max.

Izzy, 2007.

Delia and her fella, Ruben.

Bonnie and Clyde.

Max and Izzy last year.  Max did not need a costume, according to his shirt his "sister scares him enough."  Izzy's socks blinked, her shirt was corny - she was beautiful.

A little dress-up and a good walk to a dozen or so friend's homes.  No ghosts or goblins or witches.

Check out Izzy's bag.  She has high expectations.

Here Max practices what to say, with a little prompting from his sisters. 

Happy fall, y'all.

Drawing of me losing my cool courtesy of budding artist, Izzy.

Have a dressed up day!

. . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12