Friday, December 25, 2009

Why I Like Twilight

I may intentionally or unintentionally give something away,
so you've been forewarned.

My mom doesn't understand my obsession with Twilight.
I don't know if this can be explained.

1.  The movie is shorter than the book.  The novel is so much better, but really, I can't finish it enjoyably in an hour and a half.

2.  I appreciate the lack of swearing.  The violence is not so over the top it becomes distasteful.

3.  I enjoy the drama and tension.  The wanting but denying.

4.  Probably the zing for me is Bella and her father.  We all love Bella and Edward, and Jacob is fine, but the father/daughter chemistry grabs at my heart and I so want their relationship to prosper.

5.  Irony.  Edward escorts Bella to prom, and after a life-threatening situation, hospitalization, and a walking cast, says, "You are so trying to kill me!"  What's not to like about that? 

6.  Choosing to live.  Bella says dying is easy but life is hard.  Edward says he will not end her life for her.

7.  Dr. Cullen.  Vampires or not, they have a strong sense of family, protecting each other and their secret.

This is the movie I choose to keep me company while the kids are gone.  DVD permanently resides in the DVD player when they are away.  I just finished it before posting this, and will watch it again.

So here you go Mom, I hope this helps.
p.s.  It might have helped had you actually finished the movie.


Okay, so for this day I have cried, called my special friends who told me it's okay, washed dishes, bathed, delivered gifts to a nearby family.  And now it's in the hour of five o'clock and I'm lonely.  New Moon plays at the Family Cinema, but I really don't want to go alone.  So, here's to me 'n Jesus chowing down on curly fries, watching Twilight.

We did awaken to a white Christmas, but the joy was lost on me;  I was worried about my offspring.  What if their dad tries to travel with them and the roads are bad?  What if I didn't pack them well enough and they get cold?  My friends helped me.  "The kids are warm and fine.  You can be sure they're not worried about you!"  And somehow that put it in perspective for me.  Yes, they are fine.  And no, they are not worried about me.  They are having Christmas with their dad, enjoying waking to snow, and not thinking of me at all.  I can go on with my day.

This is my fourth Christmas as a single mom, the kids spend this day with their dad because that's just the way it works for us.  I mean we do Christmas all month, he can have a day, right?  But I cry so hard I hurt.  An inside-out pain that is more than me missing people I love.  It's destressing from all the other days in the month that I carry all the responsibility of a home and three kids, which is multiplied with the joy and burden of homeschooling.  Not to mention a certain three-year-old who has been testing the boundaries, and an earache for two weeks plus.

A friend shared this with me:  We try to be perfect, but we can't.  We can never achieve 100%.  But we can do 80%.  Some people look at the 20% they don't have and throw away the 80% they did have, then end up with nothing.  So if this blog expresses the 20% that's not perfect, I'll still keep the 80% that is!

Thank you, Father, for keeping it all in perspective! 

Merry Christmas from this  snow-covered Ozark Hilltop!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Life Shared

My grandparents on my father's side is my favorite story, and where most of my favorite stories have their origins, since so much of my time was spent there.  And as my last post was mostly pictures of my grandpa, I thought maybe this time I should elaborate.

You see, 2006 was quite a year for us.  Grandma passed away in March, my third baby was born shortly after that, summer turning into fall my marriage ended.  And in the healing process, I got to know my Grandpa again.

My grandparents married in 1947, and had Grandma stuck around a few more months, would have been wed 59 years.  They introduced eight children into the Ozarks, two girls, two boys, two more girls, and two more boys.  No twins, and I think somewhere between the first three Grandma may have miscarried.  I only heard her tell this story once, and never heard it from anyone else.

I am the first-born daughter of their first-born son, eighth of sixteen grandchildren produced by those eight Ozarks originals and their spouses.

My youngest child was just over two when I started going to the singings with Grandpa last summer (2008).  There was once when I didn't get in until 11, which was late for me with three kids in tow!  I told my dad his dad kept me out too late!

Another time someone had been "encouraging" me that I "needed me a rich feller."  Grandpa surprised me by adding, "Yep, with one foot in the grave."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Very Special Man

As the holiday is upon us
and the countdown is now in the single digits,
 I am mindful of one who is not here.

This is my Grandpa.

March 2007
Had he continued with us, my parents this week would be purchasing
 the traditional container of Folgers Classic Roast for his Christmas.
 And he would have celebrated his 85th birthday.
This is our first Christmas without him.

Above, helping his oldest son, my dad, cut slabs for a
family in need of fire wood. 
Winter 2009.

Sitting in the sun with Sissy in her
favorite place, his lap.
Spring 2009.

So much that I could say, but words fail me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Reflective Wednesday

We have been doing two days of school in one, so we can have Friday off.  Yep, I'm determined to have that three-day weekend.  Build myself up for whatever the holiday week may bring. 

Can you believe in the midst of all this cold, I'm thinking about laundry?

Do you remember wash day?  We all spent so much time at Grandma & Grandpa's, and they had a wash-house with an old wringer washer, wash tubs, and a bathtub.  We'd sit on the edge of the bathtub and watch Grandma hold the clothes just right as she fed them thru the wringer.  I'd wonder if it hurt when her fingers would get in the way of the rollers.  And wondered if I could have a turn to feed the laundry through.  She'd always have to adjust it whenever it was time to run the boys' jeans or Grandpa's overalls through.  And she'd talk to us, tell us stories as we sat and watched.  Then it would be off across the yard to the clothesline, where she had a cart that someone had made to hold her basket while she hung the wash.  We would play on the swingset where she could keep an eye on us, then, when she was done, we'd go in the house til it was time to check the next load.

Thank you, Grandma, for making us a part of your life. 

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Real Get-Away

So, now for  my real get-a-way.  It requires careful attention to detail, no last minute packing for this most sacred undertaking.  The cup-of-comfort must be freshly brewed, the novel most interesting, the phone fully charged, the snack so sweet.  Then, with supplies in hand, treading stealthily, I pass through the enemy-surrounded Lego stronghold, tiptoe past the herd of wild horses, avoid waking sleeping natives, to arrive unscathed at my desired destination.  Still wary to avoid detection, I slip in unnoticed, quietly yet quickly slide the door closed and slip the lock in place.  Setting down my provisions, I relax somewhat.  I've made it this far.  Now, fitting the plug in place, I adjust the liquid flow to the hottest setting I can handle, place everything just so, undress, and sink into forgetfulness.  For a while....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

To Dream

So I've just left my second home, where we become a family of 11.  My three are now in bed, jeep is unloaded, and my house is quiet.  What is this strange lack of noise that fills my home?  All that remains is the hum of computer tower and ringing in my ears.  But silence?  It's deafening.  The course of my thoughts, as I now have no one else to listen to but me:

I love my home, and my home away from home.  I love my life.  I love God.  I love my kids.  I am so immeasureably blessed.

So I began plotting my dream vacation slash alternate life.  What if I could get away, go anywhere?  What is my dream destination?  I've always been infatuated with the mountains, have never really envisioned myself on a beach or by the ocean.  (Read Mom to the Little Lord's and Ladies blog to discover a water person I am not!)  So anyway, back to what I dream:  Mountains, hikes, evergreen forests, a well-heated home on a foundation, someone to share it with.

But the bossy, critical side of me sees the flaws:  Snow, lots and lots of snow.  Steep winding roads that drop to nothing on one side.  Critters that live in the forests.  The someone you share it with.

But I still dream.  I believe dreams keep us going when we need hope, something to look forward to.  When our innermost self cries out, "This can't be all there is!"

God said he would never leave me nor forsake me, and when my father and mother forsake me, He shall take me up (adopt me as his own)  He knows the thoughts he thinks toward us, not of evil but of peace, to give us a hope and a future.  His mercies are new every morning. 

So if y'all are not too busy on the beach beside the ocean, there's room on my mountain for you.  Come by anytime. 

Healthy, happy and well on this Ozark Hilltop

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Wednesday

Hooray It's Hump Day!  We've made it to the half-way point of our week!  Now we can breath a sigh of relief and begin to relax.  After a night of no sleep because of noisy wind and a kid who was scared, I awoke to a dog going nuts and no one could turn her out but me! lol  Yep, it's got the signs of a GREAT DAY!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Memorable Christmas

Once upon a time,
on a hill in the Ozarks,
all was covered in snow.   

The roads were impassable,
no need for a rig. 
But Christmas was upon us,
and the gifts were not here. 

So parents, grandparents, uncles and cousins,
contrived to help Santa that year. 
A sled, piled high, was attached to the tractor,
and away Uncle Randy, to bring Christmas cheer.

Through the fields and up the hills,
gifts were delivered to the very front door. 
"But wait, there's more." 
And back down the hills, again through the fields,
to fetch Grandma and Grandpa,
to share Christmas this year.

The blankets were tucked
around Grandma with care,
"Hang on real tight, Ma. 
He'll soon have us there!"

"Don't worry 'bout me,
I don't mind it at all!"
So the sleigh and the "deer"
To the front door arrived,
her smile aglow, all warm from inside.

Mom had the day off, and dinner prepared,
We ate and we laughed, unwrapped and said thanks.
Christmas that year was a joyful time,
And Yes My Dear One,
Santa drives a John Deere!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Life Observed

I've been thinking of this entry for a week, and the opportunity and the flow have just not been there.  So I've condensed three into one, just to air out my thoughts.

Who knew that my greatest burden and greatest blessing would go hand in hand?  As I raise these kids all by myself, and the times I get so frustrated and so upset that I wish a million things, and then they'll go to bed or become peaceful, and I calm down, I am reminded how good life is.  God has been good to us.  He daily loadeth us with benefits.

This week the children spent some time with their dad.  It wasn't a lot of time, but enough for me to go for a hair cut, walk three laps at the walking park, do some shoe shopping, and spend some time with friends. Sometimes the simple things mean so much. 

In 2006 I became divorced, and have since been solo with three children, now age 11, 9, and 3 years.  I love my kids, but this is the hardest thing I have ever done.  I've learned a lot from this journey, though.  I have found silence to be healing (be still and know God), and aloneness to be a source of great strength (when I am weak He is Strong; His Strength is made Perfect in my weakness).  And Father brings to us what we need when we need it (maybe not when we think we need it) but He provides, nonetheless.

And that is another piece of life from this Ozark hilltop