Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yes, I'm a thief but I mean well

I stole this from my dear friend, Cindy, who received it from her very insightful daughter, Sarah. I've shared and discussed it with my children and have been sowing that seed of thought and practice ever so tightly into my own life.

Agape is not an emotion. It is a stubborn choice to make someone's life better by loving them....Agape is a self-sacrificing, unconditional love. It is a one-way love: a love missile that is aimed at a person in hopes of blessing them and transforming their heart...Actively look for someone who is unlovely, ungrateful or withdrawn and do some act of kindness to them.

Challenging? Yes. Yes. YES!

Necessary? Absolutely.

Expected by our Lord? Without a doubt.

Now, go find somebody to love on and be blessed.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I couldn't help it, had to go back

to Walgreens.

Today we got 24 bottles of shampoo/conditioner/hairspray and four packages of diapers, plus 24 rolls of the good toilet paper. I qualified for another $25 gift card from a transferred prescription and then Jimmy got $10 in register rewards.

Grand total for today:

Before coupons $152.89
Total savings $146.66
Out-of-pocket $6.23
96% savings

And I am so thankful.

In a family with five women...

...this is a GOOD deal. (Oh, and a baby too.)

From Walgreens: six Garnier Fructis shampoo and conditioner, six Garnier Fructis hair spray, one crazy expensive bag of diapers.

Total before coupons: $71.30
Coupon savings: -$66.02
Total paid: $5.28

All the hair products were free, it was the diapers that cost me. Dang diapers.

I've had some questions regarding which coupons I used. The shampoo/conditioner/styling product coupon is actually in the following Sunday papers: 1/4/09, 2/8/09, 3/8/09. Walgreens has the Garnier Fructis regularly $3.99 on sale for $2.99. If you use the $2 off coupon in their Easy Saver Catalog plus the $1 off manufacturers coupon from the paper, you get them free!

The diaper coupon can be found here. Walgreens has the diapers which are regularly $11.99 on sale for $10.00. Use the coupon to make them $5.00; a great diaper bargain.

There are several other deals I couldn't get because the stores are out of the merchandise. I am, however, going back for more diapers as soon as I print more coupons.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

She's home, if only for a week

Sutton flew in last night from Virginia for her Spring Break. She went to church with us this morning, had lunch, played outside with siblings and now she's at work...her first full day at home and she's back at work at Outback.

Whose child is she?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Playdate at the park

My dear friend Shelley and I had the bright idea to take eight of our combined children to a nearby park today. While Shelley and I spent our time counting heads over and over and chasing after toddlers with minds of their own, we did have a wonderful time. Our children played and ate and played and ate and actually ate some more. Yep, we will definitely be co Moms-of-the-Year this year if our kids have any say so.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Walking partners

It used to be that my walks with Peyton in the afternoon were just that: walks. Now that she's reached this precocious age, her time is spent exploring and my time is spent keeping her safe.

It starts out innocently enough.

But soon the panties come out.

Then there are berries she's not supposed to eat but tries to anyway.

And flowers she supposed to blow on but always ends up licking.

Broken water fountains that require close inspection.

Hands up due to bushes that stick soft baby hands.

And neighbor dogs to visit.

What happens when I say "Look at Mommy!"

It's really all so stressful.

Yet, I wouldn't want to "walk" with anyone else.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Faith and fire trucks

Reagan (14), Keaton (11), and I recently began spending time in the wee hours of the morning, before everyone else wakes up, doing some praise and worship and then praying together before we begin our days. We love it; it's quiet and very personal to us. In fact we carry that time with us throughout our days, confident we have armed ourselves solidly against the pitfalls of the world.

This morning Peyton (22mo), Landon (5), and Hayden (7) woke up earlier than usual so we had a few extra participants during our quiet time. I was so impressed with these children. While Peyton did need momma to hold her, Landon and Hayden both bowed quietly and thoughtfully on the floor, along with the girls and I, for the entire worship song we listened to and then held hands as I prayed for them all.

When we were done Hayden said, "Mom, that was so cool! I asked God to show Himself to me while were were listening to that song."

Me: "Wow, Hayden! Did you see Him?"

Hayden: "No, He told me to wait."

Me: "That's okay, because He will reveal Himself to you at the right time."

Hayden (confident): "Oh, I'm not worried; I know He will."

Landon (after listening carefully to brother's comments): "Mom, I asked God for something too!"

Me: "You did? What?"

Landon (proudly): "I asked for a fire truck for Christmas."

Hayden (scolding): "God can't buy people fire trucks, Landon!"

Landon: "Oh, yes He can, Hayden! He can do ANYTHING!"

What a wonderful reminder to those of us who are old and jaded. God CAN do anything. He can do anything in our lives as long as we remember to remove the parameters we've placed on His power and allow Him to astound us. Where has our child-like faith gone? Where is our confidence that while He may not reveal Himself to us now, He will show Himself in His time?

And while a fire truck might not be on your Christmas list, you have wants and needs only He can provide. What are your fire truck desires? Stay close to Him and listen to His voice; the Holy Spirit speaks to you. And just like a child on Christmas morning, standing amazed at the gifts he's received, we will all be in awe of the love our Father has for us.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I hate 6th grade

I know. Hate is a strong word and I caution my children from ever using it. Yet by using it now I hope to adequately describe my intense dislike of this horrid grade in a young girl's life. This is my third time through 6th grade with a daughter and it's just as horrific this time as it was the first.

You're awkward and unpopular. People, especially other girls, are terribly mean. All that new information your parents don't really want you knowing yet bombards you in the halls. And there's that colorful language you've never even heard before but discover it is wildly inappropriate when you try to use it at home and get in tons of trouble with your shocked and dismayed mother. The snotty attitudes you see other kids easily display at school don't go over well at your home. You stay grounded for much of the year. AND add to that the fact that you never even went to 5th grade and your last school was a tiny private school with a handful of students in your 4th grade class; now there are hundreds in your grade.

There are about three months of 6th grade left. Keaton and Mom are hoping they make it.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Moments I live for

I've been blessed with six beautiful children and over these many years of parenting I have made the promise to take certain small moments, the quiet times between myself and my children, and burn them into my memory. I have many examples of mommy/child times etched into my brain that I hope to carry forever. Rarely, though, are those precious encounters documented.

Keaton (11) was the official photographer at Reagan's birthday lunch on Sunday. She snapped these pictures as I had one of those special, never-to-be-repeated, make-a-mama-cry moments with little Peyton.

These are the times that make my heart swell, and quicken, and ache.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Bachelor: You're kidding, right?

I watch very little TV at night; usually I catch The Biggest Loser and that's about it. But because I watched Deanna get dumped several seasons ago by Brad (the Texas guy) and then watched Deanna, in turn, dump Jason (the single dad), I've kept up, very briefly, with Jason's quest for love this season on The Bachelor.

And tonight I got the opportunity to watch the finale and O...M...G. My little guilty pleasure threw me yet another curve ball.

Who'd a thunk it?!

College isn't all bad

I got an email this morning:

Message sent - 3/2/2009

Hello Radford University students, this is the Radford University Police Department.

As you know, the first major snowstorm of the season is upon us. Please be advised that the college will be closed today, March 2, 2009, due to last night’s heavy snowfall.

Currently, all major routes leading to the campus are impassable. Snowplows are currently working to clear the roads and expect to complete their work by late this evening.

We plan to reopen the campus tomorrow, March 3, 2009, with resumption of our normal schedule of classes.

A few minutes later Sutton sent me these pictures of her and her friends apparently devastated by not being able to attend classes today.

I hope they start feeling better soon.

14 and fabulous

Yesterday was Reagan's 14th birthday. In many ways I'm still in shock at how fast it's going. She keeps reminding me that in one year she'll get her driving permit. I keep reminding her that in one year she's eligible to get her permit...big difference.

She went from one activity to another yesterday and we barely saw her. Keaton did snap a few pics of the birthday girl when Diney and Big Daddy took us all to The Cheesecake Factory. Oh, was it good.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl. You are an absolute joy to parent and I love you so very much.