Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A casual conversation

I had a great conversation with a man in the doctors office this morning and I wanted to reflect on it here. (Warning : This could take a while! ) This man has served in the military in Iraq and he is about to serve again. He had been talking with two other women when I walked in. They were talking about how disheartening it was to see a protest like the one last Saturday in Washington DC where Cindy Sheehan and 100,000 others called for an end to the war, NOW!

He said he, and others in his unit, felt like these protests were a stab in the back. He talked about the need for someone to stand up and fight for freedom and what is right. He talked about telling his mother and family not to ever join such a protest even if he lost his life, because he is doing what he believes in and is happy to serve. He said he had heard from those who served with Casey Sheehan that he would have never wanted his Mom to do this.

He said all these polls saying America doesn't back this war sicken him. He also talked about how Americans are spoiled to all the freedoms we enjoy and that we don't realize what a privilege it is to live in this country. He talked about how there are those in this world who feel we have too much freedom and would love the chance to snatch those freedoms away. He talked about how horrible it would be for the US if we just pulled out of Iraq. He said that those who have been there understand how important it is for this war to be won. He said he didn't think the US would ever be able to pull out of Iraq completely ...Unless we want to see the whole region explode and acts of terror on our own soil.

The soldier was calm, well mannered, and very respectful. He wasn't gritting his teeth or pounding his fist. He just seemed resolved to do what needs to be done. I have a world of respect for that man!

The other two ladies and I told him that we think most of America understands that we have to stay the course and stand behind our troops by helping them, not calling for them all to come home now. I told him that I think it is sad that the news focuses so much on the radical groups who give their lives over to protesting. (Really, do these people not have jobs? How can they even afford to sit out in a pasture for 20 -30 days protesting?) We talked about the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of us who don't take polls or take the time to stand out in the streets to show our support of troops and their efforts to win this war, but we are behind them 100% and resolute to see this ugly thing through.

We asked him about his family and and the places he had served. We all said how much we respect military families. We thanked him for serving for us. He grinned and said he thought it was great that three strangers would be so open and caring.. He was saying "Every where I go I meet people like you who build me up. That is why I am willing to fight. That is what makes America great..." Then I was called back to see the doctor. I was sad for our conversation to end. I shook his hand and again said thank you. He said it was his pleasure. I never caught his name.

I have thought about that soldier all day today. I have thought about just how much freedom we enjoy here in the good ole USA. I have thought about the families of these brave men and women that go without and suffer immeasurable pain when separated...And to think I start to feel sorry for myself when Rob works late three nights in a row! I have thought about what that soldier said about having to win a war in Iraq to keep a war off of American soil and ensure freedom. I have thought about the pain of the families who protested last Saturday and the commercials that show grieving Moms and Widows asking President Bush to bring all our sons and daughters home NOW, no matter what the consequence. I have thought about what Jesus would do and what God wants us to do.

I wish there were easy answers. I wish no one had to loose a loved one in a far away land for a cause they don't really understand let alone believe in. It's easy to support a war you don't have to fight. It's easier to be against a war in which you have lost someone you love deeply. It must be hard to go fight for something, even if you believe in it, knowing so many do not understand or appreciate what you are doing for them. We humans are complex animals.

Sometimes it seems like all the options are bad and none of the answers are right. But this I know, our God, who does understand, and who always knows what is best and what is right, is in control. He is in control when nations rise and fall. He is in control when storms rage and when storms wane. I may never understand the heart and mind of our awesome God, but I believe in my heart and mind that he is good and he will save all who come to him. While we are on this planet we must do our best to fight what is evil and show great love and humility to bring honor to his name. We may never solve the worlds problems or know complete peace but we press on. In the end, this world is temporary and fleeting and God is in control.

Well enough reflection... Now back to action. I will fold the towels and clean up the juice spills with a bit more gratitude in my heart today because of the man in the doctors office and the incredible God who loves and directs us all.
I will appreciate the freedom to take my children to church tonight and the option I have not to.
I will tell my kids I love them as I tuck them into their soft safe beds and hug them extra tight thinking of the sons and daughters fighting for us so far away.
I will pray for the man I met today and pray I am the person I need to be tomorrow.
Everyday is a gift.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Love-n-logic VS Spanking

This forward came to me from another stay home Mom friend. What do you think?


Most of America's populace think it
improper to spank children, so I have
tried other methods to control my kids
when they have one of "Those moments."
We recently went to a LOVE AND LOGIC
class where the instructor encouraged
us to give our kids choices and to
come up with creative ways of disicpline.

One alternative I found effective
is for me to just
take the child for a
car ride and talk.
They usually calm down
and stop misbehaving
after our ride together.

I've included a photo below
of one of my sessions with
my son, in case you
would like to use this technique.

Tag - you're it!

Clarissa tagged me, so here it is.
7 answers to 7 questions

7 things I plan to do before I die:
See my children baptized.
Spoil my grandchildren.
Return to Nairobi, Kenya.
Travel to Alaska, Hawaii, Paris, Switzerland, China,and Brazil.
Take yearly vacations with my husband.
Volunteer somewhere on a weekly basis.
Meet George W Bush.

7 things I can do:
Plan a party.
Spot a bargain.
Install a ceiling fan.
Plant a garden.

Talk to absolute strangers about almost anything.
Scrapbook. or design invitations and cool stuff on the computer.

7 things I cannot do:
Keep on a set schedule for more than a week.
Listen to talk radio.
Finish the laundry.
Stay mad at my husband for more than two days...I have tried!
Think of seven things I can not do because I know I can do most anything I put my mind to doing...Its just putting my mind to doing it that gives me fits.
( OK as DJG reminded me.. I can not SPELL!!!)

7 things that attract me to people: (in general ~Rob knows why I love him!:)
Signs of Faith in hard times.
A great laugh which is heard often.
A can-do attitude.
Not taking one's self too seriously.
Compassion .
A non-judgmental nature.

7 Celebrity Crushes:
Peter Reckle~ Bo on DOOL
George Clooney
Ben Aflec (only in Pearl Harbor)
Greg the yellow Wiggle
OK add this to my list of things I can not do...
I don't have celebrity crushes really!

7 things I say the most:
Oh my!
Is there a nicer way to say that?
Right now!
Good job!
I understand. (Learned this at a PTA parenting seminar...There is a story behind it that I'll share later)

7 bloggers I am tagging: (but don't feel you have to do this!!!:)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Blame it on George!

Pavlovs dog learned to drool at the sound of a bell. Tiny infants automatically turn towards the sound of their mother's voice. When faced with a tragedy or problem, no matter how big or small many on/in the media automatically blame George Bush. It is ridiculous. It is ignorant. It is a harmful, hurtful, and very dangerous trend for our society take on the roll of victims and blamers, yet that is what appears to be happening when I see the news. It is to the point I can't stand TV anymore.

But I guess in some ways people are right to blame George Bush, especially for what has happened here in Texas.... After all he was our Governor for six years before we lost him to Washington. It may be that his leadership in Texas back when he was Governor helped the state accomplish the biggest evacuation the US has ever seen in the face of Rita this week. Were there problems? Yes. Was it a bit chaotic? YES! But by the time the storm hit last night somehow those 100 mile traffic jams were gone. Somehow the evacuees from Katrina that our state has been caring for 3.5 weeks now were moved out of harms way. Somehow the nursing homes were evacuated and the hospitals had emergency generators that were not, and had never been, in flood likely basements! Our people in distress were rescued. We were out of harms way. AND THE STORM WEAKENED AND TURNED! I guess that is all Bush's fault too? The man does pray quite a bit after all!

Maybe Bush is responsible for laying a foundation for excellent communication between the Governor and local leaders, despite their political affiliations. Maybe Bush should share in the blame for Texas being able to harbor and care for hundreds if not thousands of Katrina evacuees in such a short time.

When Katrina struck our neighbors to the east, Texas took out pre-existing emergency plans and put them into action. When Governor Perry (who was Bush's Lt. Governer in the last term)needed help, he asked for it. This weeek our state government was ready. Our local governments were ready. The people of Texas were responsible and did not wait or expect the government to take care of them. That is the kind of leadership and citizenship our former Governor and current President inspired. I would have to agree that what has happened in Texas over the last few weeks is partly George Bush's fault, and we are so proud of him!

So let the rest of the world blame Bush for global warming, rolling blackouts in California, terrorist attacks, gas prices, interest rates, deficits, consumer spending, credit card debt, acts of nature, and oh, let's not forget incompetent Governors and mayors not being able to do their job when a crisis comes. I for one am proud of our President for taking a deaf ear to his critics and doing what he feels and knows to be right despite approval ratings and popularity polls. If other leaders in this country would do the same, America would be a better, stronger, more secure place. If that were to happen, I am almost 100 percent certain that Bush's detractors would never say "America is great! Let's blame it on Bush!"

So go ahead blame Bush! He can take it. In two more years he will retire to Texas and then there will be someone else to blame. Who in their right mind would ever want to be President? Then again I guess the next President can just blame it all on George Bush!

I feel better having that out. Sorry to rant. Sorry to be so political, but I just can't help myself! Let's just blame it on George Bush!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


This picture should auto matically update with the storms progress.
I talked to some friends from Houston who are busy packing and trying to secure their houses so they can get out of the area before the storm hits. How stressful to try to put your family and your most valued possessions in a car and drive away not knowing when or what you will come back to! Hoping some of them end up here with us to ride the storm out. Glad to know they are willing and able to leave because they know protecting their family is the most important thing.

May God bless all the residents of the coast as they ready to get out of the storms path! I hope this hurricane season is a freak incident that will not be repeated! Dear Lord, please muffle this growing storm and rescue those who cry out to you!

Friday, September 16, 2005

PAWS for the moment...

I hope I am not breaking any copy right laws by plagiarizing the title of a section from my high school newspaper that ran back in 1986, '87 and '88. I was a San Angelo Central Bobcat back in the day. Our newspaper, The Campus Corral, ran a section where the editors ( I was the ad editor) gave "paws up /down" to different school events/happening. For example:

Paws Up To >>>
The Lady Bobcats for making regionals
The Drama department for wining state
The cheerleaders for blah blah
Paws Down To>>>
Drinking and Driving
Smoking in the boys room
Tutorials during lunch

You get the idea. My friend (Hi Anita) and I made fun of this section to the point we incorporated "Paws up" or "Paws down" into our vocabulary. Almost 20 years later, I still bust out with a "Paws up/down" comment from time to time. With it raining outside, the thermometer barely hitting 80, high school football and Mexican food on the agenda for tonight, no errands to run , and no places I have to be today... I just have to say PAWS UP TO FRIDAYS!

Here are a few more in no particular order if you care to paws with me....

Paws down to...
Ads in comments on blogger.
People who drive too fast down our street.
The PETA guy in front of the Baylor Bear Habitat. (Lady & Joy love their new million dollar home, thank you!)
The cost of dental work.
E-mail forwards.
Tummy aches
Protestors in Crawford.
Car bombs

Paws up to....
The thousands of volunteers working to rebuild the lives of the evacuees from New Orleans!
The state of Texas for stepping up to the plate!
President Bush for stopping the buck!
Churches going outside themselves to help people who need it!
Waco getting a
Rosa's Tortilla Factory soon!
Kolby acing four spelling test in a row!
MK and family for being featured in the
Wacoan ...AGAIN! :)
Sari making it safely to South Carolina for her BMW training...she is going to be an auto show rep. like me!
Circle of Friends weekend at Gymboree! Click here for printable coupon
The incredible chocolate Birthday cake from SAMs for Nana that we didn't have to make!
Baby Kelton!
The good people of Mississippi who got hit harder but gripe and blame a lot less!
The dollar spot at Target!
Football season!
Sweater weather (hoping)!
People who leave comments on my blog !
Rhett being melt-down free for almost eight hours now!
Old friends who make my day when they e-mail/call me!

Feel free to add your own PAWS here. Have a great weekend blog world!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Grandparents Week

It's grandparent week at Kolby's school. Yesterday my Dad got to go brave the cafeteria along with throngs of other 2nd grade grandparents and special seniors. It is so fun to see the faces of the kids when they see their grandparent there waiting for them...Of course I always feel so sorry for those who don't have a special visitor on such days, but such is life.

This year on PTA we have two grandmothers as Room Moms. They are the primary Moms for their little ones. They bring a different perspective to the table to be sure! But both are so young and loving and seem to be having a grand time with it all.

I only knew three of my grandparents and all three had a huge impact on my life. I am so glad my kids have all four grand parents and some great uncles and aunts to boot! We are blessed by that generational love and wisdom.

Today my last living grandparent turns 94. We're having a little party at "the home" for her. She doesn't know much these days but she knows when something is for her and she loves to see all the little kids, even though I'm not sure she realizes that they are her great grandchildren. Kolby and Rhett only know Nana as the little confused lady in the wheelchair who lives in "an apartment." I hope someday when it is easier to remember, I will be able to tell them of my spunky Nana who could play the piano, cook the best desserts, and play a mean game of bridge.

Grandparents Day was last weekend I think. Somehow I always forget that day! But for me and Nana, today will be Grandparents Day. Happy Birthday Nana!

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Today ended our week long celebration of Rhett's fourth birthday. It's been fun! Rob was off last Monday and this Friday. We have eaten out many times. We had a family party with my parents and sister, another with Rob's mom , sister and nephew, and today we had the real party. A week of partying can take it's toll on a 4 year old! This is my little sleeping Jedi tonight at 7:30PM.
We are all happy and exhausted! Happy Birthday Rhett! Here are some glimpses of our week! Going to bed early to get a good start on next week!

The first cake on the real birthdayRhett's costume and light saber were a birthday present.Celebrating again with silly string and cousin Drake. A few hurried group shots from today's party! We had lots of fun!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hope in the Bittersweet

For days I have wanted to post something but in the face of all that is going on in the world right now, but just can't find the right words. I feel like most of world I know is either living in collective denial or collective gloom. I really don't want to be part of either of those.

I really just want to load up my van with survival gear, trash bags, and lots of anti-bacterial cleaner and head for New Orleans and start cleaning... But I have this life here with kids, a husband, a house, a mortage, bills and several responsibilities...Though some of those responsibilities seem more like a pleasure to enjoy in the face of what is happening to so many. So no, I guess I can't abandon my family and go crusade to clean New Orleans. That makes me feel guilty. Anyone else feeling this way?

Monday was Rhett's birthday. As it was Labor Day, Rob was off and Kolby was home. We had a fun day of going where Rhett wanted, seeing a movie, and even though his birthday party isn't until next Sunday, we had my little family over for hamburgers, cake and presents. Star Wars rules the house this week. We are having so much fun and Rhett loves his presents ...But I keep feeling like we should be somewhere else helping someone. Where? I am not sure. Who? I do not know. I've felt like this around Rhett's birthday before.

Rhett was six days old the morning I sat on our couch nursing him and praising God for our first normal morning home. Then I watched the second airplane hit the second tower of the world trade center live on Good Morning America. It was September 11, 2001. The whole week before our family had been so worried about Rhett because he was in the special care nursery and gave us a real scare or two. My whole pregnancy had been a bit scary as I had several miscarriages in between Rhett and Kolby. I was never more tired or grateful when we finally got to bring Rhett home on September 10th. I thought the bad part was over...and for us personally, in most ways it was. I was so happy that Rhett was home and OK and still so sad and scared for our country and all who suffered in the 9-11 attacks. It was bittersweet.

My mom says the older she gets the more bittersweet her life becomes... Sweet as she watches her children grow and have children and bitter as she has watched her father die and her mother whittle away to a somewhat familiar stranger who lives in an alziemers unit down the road. With the events of 9-11, and now this current crisis in New Orleans, I think I understand what Mom means. Life is a combination of bitter and sweet and it is impossible at times to feel one and not remember the other.

When will life just be sweet again? When will there just be joy, pure joy without the familiar tug of sorrow for all the pain of this world? I ask these questions not knowing the answer... But here is what I hope. I hope that in an all-loving, omnipotent God I can find joy in the midst of sorrow. I hope that when the tunnel is long and the light at the end seems too dim to guide me, HE will be the light shining in me that will direct my steps. My hope comes from believing that as big as the disaster is, my God is bigger and in him all things are possible.

While life is bittersweet, hope is the shining light at the end of the tunnel fueled by faith and secured by love. At times like this, I THANK YOU Lord for giving us hope. There is a song from my youth that keeps coming to the surface this week . I find myself humming it when I am not thinking about it. It comforts me. Maybe it will comfort some of you out there in blog land too!

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

My prayer continues to be that I will be a blessing to someone who needs me today, as I have been so blessed in my life. Lord open my eyes to what I can do and give me the strength and courage to do it!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina Junkie

I can't stop watching the coverage. I can't stop wondering how these people must feel. I can't stop hoping that this is all a bad dream. I can't help wondering why everyone is trying to blame someone.

Over and over I hear "How can this happen in America, the richest nation in the world??? That strikes me as odd that some think America is immune to disaster, chaos and human suffering. I guess we would like to think that. Denial is a strong and dangerous thing. Horrible things happen even in a nation that is a "superpower". SUPERPOWER...I think that Katrina deserves that title more than we do.

Did we honestly think that all our technology, infastructure and expertise could match a natural disaster of Biblical proportions? News flash...Americans are fragile, frail, faulted human being who hurt and cry and bleed. I love this country, don't get me wrong...but things happen here just as they happen all over the world. We are no better than any other nation in the only eyes that count...God's eyes. We play God sometimes but things like this remind us that only God is God. Our government is not all powerful. Bad things,really bad things, happen to us.

I think this hurricane is the biggest challenge to our nation since the world wars. It is not going to be easy to recover. We will all feel the affects of this horrible storm. No one is going to be exempt. And the people who lost everything...God please heal their hearts and give them courage and strength to start over! Give us unselfish compassionate hearts to help do what ever we all can to help.

My heart hurts for so many of the refugees of this storm! On the other hand, I am a little ticked at a few of them.... Shooting at EMT's trying to evacuate hospitals...Stealing TV's and jewelry when you could be helping rescue people from their flooding houses.. Lord help these people know you and know your grace and discipline.

America is one of he most complex cultures in the world. What did we think would happen if in less than a week a city of several hundred thousand had to be evacuated..When NOTHING is working and hundreds if not thousands are stranded in flooding?
My mom said tonight that she feels guilty for enjoying her good life while so many are suffering. I wonder if we shouldn't feel more guilty for not truly enjoying and appreciating our lives when we see true suffering in the lives of so many.

Just some Katrina ramblings. No words seem big enough or deep enough to capture this tragic event, but thankfully we have a God who is!

Thursday, September 01, 2005


So exciting! And per request, here are some back to school pictures


Rhett's birthday is Monday...can you guess what type party he is going to have?