Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dear Tom,

I remember when we first met.  Me, so full of expectation; you, so full of promise.  I was in a place in my life when you seemed like just my type--natural, trustworthy, safe.  And you talked such a good game.  I knew that our relationship would go one of two ways:  either it would be all I ever hoped for, or it would stink.

Well, you let me down, Tom.  I was embarrassed and hurt, and I felt as if I had been duped. 

But, when we ran into each other again a few days ago, my weakness for your promises came flooding back.  I thought, "Maybe this time will be different.  Maybe things have changed."  I was so optimistic, so full of hope, so eager for our return to each other. 

And you, Tom, you failed me again.  Big time.  But, I won't waste my time being ashamed...I will tell the world how you lie, how you never live up to your squeaky-clean image, how you disappoint so completely.

Truth:  It is not long lasting, smells only slightly bearable, and you spend 24 hours protected from contact with other human beings, due to your smelly self.  Courtesy of Tom.

Tom, you burn me once, shame on you.
Your burn me twice, shame on me!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dad's Retirement--Round 1

Over this summer, a magical, long-anticipated event happened in our family:
My Dad retired.

Now, this has been particularly anticipated in the last couple of years, since Dad had to go all the way to Canada to finish out his time with his employer when they moved out of our area.  If you haven't read about the adventures of my family while the parents were away, read any of my posts filed under "brother" or "homecomings," and you will be up to date.

So--retirement.  We had a surprise party for Dad.  The surprise was that we were able to keep straight faces while lying through our teeth for weeks in order to get the party together.  And the bonus was that, for once in our lives, Mom told us to lie to Dad.  Fun.

The cake.

Memorabilia from his working years.

My personal favorite:  his lunch box. 
My dad took this small cooler to work every day for many years.  The contents would vary, except for two things:  Tums and ibuprofen.  Tough job.

Shop talk.

 Women folk.  Oh, if you could listen to this particular group of ladies. 
They are too funny.

Brother--remembered his side kick, forgot his shoes.
Priorities, people.

The guest of honor, best father in the world, hardest working man I know.

So, in his retirement, Dad has done the following, so far:

~ Got a dog and developed the most severe case of puppy-love I have ever witnessed.
~ Torn down a shed and built a new one out of the scraps.  Isn't that how we all do it?
~ Repaired vehicles for everyone in a fifteen mile radius.
~ Planted a massive garden, including a crazy amount of corn and pumpkins, which he sees as a perfect background to take more photos of his dog. 
~ Went back to work.  Seriously. 

So, Dad is now semi-retired, semi-OK with that, and completely enamored with his dog, Bruiser. 
But that love is for another post :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Where I am in the Word

I must admit that I have been struggling to get back on track with spending time in the Bible daily, until just recently.  There was a time when it was automatic for me to start the day with a cup of coffee and an hour in God's word, soaking up the strength to go on with the day.  I got out of the routine, and, as with all good habits, it has been difficult to get back in.  But, I am making progress. 

For the past week, I have been reading the book of Hebrews.  I usually read two chapters a morning, right after waking up, and write my thoughts on the reading in a notebook.  It has been wonderful, so focusing.  I found these wise words:

" more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away."  Hebrews 2:1

We have to pay attention, or we risk drifting away.  When I stopped getting up early, spending time in my Bible, and praying before I began the day, I wasn't paying attention.  And I drifted.  But, there is hope for me:

"He rewards those who earnestly seek him."
Hebrews 11:6

I need only to seek Him again, and He will be there, ready to reward my efforts.  He has never stopped speaking, I only stopped listening.  It feels wonderful, peaceful to be seeking, paying attention, and drifting back to the Father. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Let's not... the thing where I tell you why I haven't been blogging.  Hi, there!

So, here is my life in a picture:

Core D--We started our school year the first of August.  This year we decided to go with Sonlight curriculum again, after taking two years off from using it.  I am so glad we revisited the idea!  Sonlight is so complete, totally planned out, and structured.  I love those aspects, but sometimes I let the "box check-er" in me get all freaked out about deviating from the schedule. 

Magazines--I am still serving on the city council.  It has been challenging, rewarding, and humbling.  I have so much to learn, so much growing to do.  I am grateful for the opportunity, so I am trying to make the best of the situation, make the best decisions I can, and never forget who I serve.

The English Novel--My fall college course has started!  I am doing a directed study on the novel.  I think it will be very interesting, and I am grateful to be studying under one of my favorite professors.  He is intelligent, thoughtful, and has always believed in me.  Let's hope I don't disappoint him this semester ;)

I hope to be back to a more regular schedule of blogging!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers and Friends

If you tell me everything that is wrong with the world,
I will feel small and wonder why I should try.

But, if you show me how I can do anything if I work hard, I will do it with all my heart.

If you berate me for my failures and flaws, I will berate myself for them too.

But, if you encourage me to try again, I will, and I will like myself for it.

If you tell me all the reasons I "can't," I will believe you.

But, if you tell me the reasons why I can, I will believe in myself.

We all need a cheerleader, a person who believes in us, hopes for us, holds us up, and hears us out. 
I need that person.
And I got two.

Mom, thanks for knowing that if you just remind me of where I come from, I will remember where I am going.  Thanks for seeing the good in me when I made you look really hard.  Thanks for encouraging me when I discouraged you.  Thanks for being my friend.

Mother-in-law, thanks for loving me like I am yours.  Thanks for always being there to help, always reminding me that hard work is hard-won worth.  Thanks for being my friend.

Thank you both for teaching me how to mother by mothering me.
And thanks for still mothering this 32 year old woman who sometimes still feels small, scared, and unsure of herself.
I love you with all that I am.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Little Ladies?

"A lady wears appropriate makeup, enhancing her features without making it appear too obvious."

If it is possible to enhance the sight of missing teeth, I think they are on target.

"A lady chooses the proper attire for the occasion."

The occasion was trotting across the road to check out the neighbor's tractors. 

I think we've taught them well, don't you? 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Simple Face Lift

I wish. 

However, the blog did get a simple face lift because:
  1. I have too many books in my house, and my blog sidebar was reminding me of that each time I logged in.  So, instead of decluttering my home, I decluttered my blog.  Totally logical.
  2. I haven't touched my blog in a month, so I felt like I needed to reclaim it.  Who knows what it has been doing while I was away.
Things have been crazy around here.  I was recently elected to public office in my city, which is very interesting and educational.  It also comes with the occupational hazard of neck/ear pain from holding the phone with my shoulder while I do laundry.  Such is the life.

I also decided that it was the right time to finish the four classes I need to get my bachelor's degree.  I know, the timing seems a little illogical, but I have decided that I work best under greater least that is what I keep repeating to myself when I go to sleep at night.  I figure it will be true soon. 

So, how are the ladies feeling about all this excitement?

Tiny Love is skeptical.

Curlyjo is too busy with more pressing matters to form an opinion.

So, some things are still the same around here :)