II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Family Pic

My father-in-law Duane, who is a great photographer, snapped this pic of us before we left town today. We hadn't showered or really "gotten ready" because we were just driving home...so it's not the best we have ever looked, but I'm glad he took one because I never did get my camera out the whole weekend!

From L-R: Grant, Matt, Me, Brooklyn, Laura (Matt's mom)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Girlie post...

On Thursday, I FINALLY got to get my hair colored! I've been saving up for this appointment since January! It feels sooo good to get back to my blonde, brown and red roots! :o)
When I came home from the salon and sat down at my desk to do some work/bills/budgeting, Kinley found a comfty spot on top of my purse in the office chair beside me and I couldn't resist snapping a pic. She's so much fun! That purse, by the way, is also SO much fun! I get gazillons of comments on it everywhere I go. Mostly compliments...but a few "hmmm...that's a very interesting bag" comments. ha haOn Friday night, I took Brooklyn and 2 of her girlfriends (and their moms who are my friends) and we all went out on a Secret Keeper Girl date. Before we left, T. snapped a couple of pics of me and my girlie.
We started out the evening at Mimi's Cafe for a yummilicious dinner...
and then finished up at the mall (Justice) where they got to try on a complete outfit and take several different "tests" to ensure that they pass all the modesty tests. (no undies showing, no chest showing, not too tight or short, etc.)They were so cute. Each of them picked out outfits that I thought were very representative of their personalities. We had a great night and learned some wonderful, useful lessons about how to dress Godly and modestly as well. YAY for having THREE Secret Keeper Girls in my life! It's such a blessing when your daughter has Godly friends!

On Saturday, the kids and I went and visited some family and got to celebrate my GREAT neice, Kenzi's 1st birthday! She is SUCH a doll! I can't believe this is the only picture I snapped of her during the whole time we were there! She looked SO CUTE with pig-tails at her birthday..but I was so busy doing other stuff, I never even picked up my camera! ugh! This is her getting a bath before her party.

Lesson of the Day...


Sounds so simple but it's something I HAVE GOT to learn to do.
I am way too serious and focused and "scheduled" sometimes. Those are all great traits to have when you need them...but can be a detriment to my personality at times too.
Today is the first day of our Summer Schedule (also first day to babysit Fallon) and I'm already about 2 hours behind "Schedule"!!! AUGH!
By the way...you guys would CRACK UP if you saw my "Schedule". I have my weeks planned out to the MINUTE. Every minute of every day. It takes an entire sheet of paper in 12 pt. font Times New Roman with TWO columns!! HA HA
I've already realized there are tons of things I forgot to put on there too...like the time it takes to go to the bathroom, clean up dog poop from the carpet, make a toaster streudal, answer a phone call, put the clothes in the dryer, get dressed, answer a text message, plunger out a toilet...etc. (yes, those are all from this morning).
Ahhh.....the world isn't going to stop if things don't get done the way I had hoped and planned right?
Sure...my way is the BEST way...but I guess I can live with the "just okay" way occasionally. :o)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lightening the Load...

Wow, today marks a big step for me. As of today, I am no longer anyone's homeroom mom nor am I a volunteer in our church's children's department. Eeeek!
It's ironic that I can feel FREE and yet like someone just sucked the breath out of me at the same time.
These are both big committments that I've had for about 6 years now. Ever since Brooklyn was 3 and Grant was born, I have been homeroom mom for her (and then his) class AND I've been working in our church's childrens department at LEAST twice, sometimes more, a month. While I've thorougly enjoyed both of these "roles", I realize that over the years, the joy has been being overshadowed by a sense of burden and responsibility. My dear friend Lisa took time out of her life to come have lunch with me recently and even though I didn't realize it that day, her words planted a seed in my heart and took root and she helped me realize that my motivation for doing SO MANY things for SO MANY people wasn't what it used to be. She kept asking me "but WHY are you doing it?" and all I could say was "because I WANT to. I LOVE to help people!" and that is true...and that is WHY I started being homeroom mom and volunteering at church. But since that first day, LOTS of things in my life have changed. I've taken on several other part-time jobs, had a baby (6 yrs ago), etc. and now my reason for STILL doing these things is something more like "because the kids want me to be their homeroom mom" and volunteering at church "because they need the help desperatly." Valid reasons, yes...but worth sacrificing my sanity and peace and joy for? no.
I have so many wonderful friends in my life who have all played an enormous part in helping me come to these realizations (and actually act upon them) so I have to give a big thanks to LISA, RENE, TERESA and even a new friend ROCHELLE who have all spent time just this past week helping me through these "issues" and have offered up prayers, love, wisdom and encouragement as I "lighten my load."
It's interesting that when I was talking to Matt about this, he said "I don't know..it's kinda like you're taking the easy way out." I said "the EASY way??? how can you even THINK that? This is SOOO NOT easy for me"
He said, "well, isn't it easier to not be committed to so many things and not have to be responsible?"
I could see his point. For him, and lots of people, that is "the easy way"....but for many of you (especially the 4 women I just listed) you know that the EASY way for us is to say "yes, yes, yes" to everything. It is the HARD WAY to say "no" as well as to say "I quit"...but it is the right thing to do...for me...right now and hard as it may be, I'm all in.
I've reached the point where I'm not just thinking it and saying it...but actually DOING something to change the chaos in my life. Discipline for the kids is going AMAZING. My stress level is DROPPING. Our enjoyment, happiness and overall peace is INCREASING.
I could go on and on...but the bottom line is: this momma is putting the pieces of my life's puzzle into perspective and proper priority placement! (wooh000--look at that alliteration! :o)
I love you all and I thank you for reading my crazy blog with all my crazy rants and vent sessions as well as the ones about the good times. I can just tell you now...you can look for lots more of the "good times" up ahead! (sprinkled with vents too I'm sure..it is Summer Break! :o)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A bit rattled...

Okay, so today while I was sitting in the chair getting my roots colored, one of my dear friends who is an older, wiser, wonderful Godly woman sent me a message asking me about the privacy settings on my Facebook profile. I told her I didn't know what they were set to..that I hadn't ever messed with them. She said "Go home and check on it".
Fast forward an hour or two later, I see the red light on my Blackberry blinking telling me that I have a new FB message. As I opened it up, I see this FB friend request from a man with a message along with it with nasty language and just plain scary. It really shook me up because I wondered...was it GOD telling her to check in on me and have me change my settings? She even mentioned that it probably wasn't anything to be worried about, but that I do post some personal stuff on there and I might not want it out there for everyone and anyone (including freakazoids) to be able to read. So...I wonder what made her think of that today...at the same time I got that scary request? Dee if you're reading...I'd love to know...
Anyway, so I came home and changed my settings and now it's all set to Friends Only...which is better...but now I'm thinking about my blog. Eeeek! I wonder if I should make it private too? I hate to "lose" any new readers that I might get, but at the same time, the privacy and safety of my family is way more important than new readers, right!?! What do you all think about this? Do you worry about the "wrong guy" ever reading your blog and trying to find you? It really wouldn't be hard at ALL....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The birthday present burden...

Okay, so you all know by now that we are doing the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace thing and while it has YET to bring us any peace...we are sticking with it because going back into debt is NOT an option and I absolutely KNOW that our PEACE is on it's way! There are two "D" words that are NOT to be spoken in my house EVER: Divorce & Debt. Neither are an option.
Anyway, in light of our new budget and very restricted spending I have come to realize what a burden buying everyone I've ever met a birthday present is (financially).
ONLY financially is it a burden. I loooove to shop and I looooove to give people gifts. As a matter of fact, those are probably two of my most favorite things to do..which is probably why this whole subject weighs so heavily on me. I cannot afford to buy all these gifts anymore...or at least right now. So what do I do? At this present moment, my children have 4 birthday party invitations taped to our refrigerator door, all of which I would LOVE to let them go to. Since they don't have neighbor kids to play with, it is a very special treat to get to attend birthday parties of their friends. But...I just cannot afford to purchase 4 birthday gifts for these other children right now. It's nearly impossible to buy a gift for less than $10...so we're talking about at least $40 that I just don't have in my budget.
And...since Grant's birthday was last week I feel like a total hypocrite right now. As a matter of fact, 3 of these kids who we have invitations for were AT Grant's party and brought him VERY nice gifts. (probably more like in the $20 range!!). There is NO WAY ON EARTH that I am sending him to their parties empty-handed OR with some cheap dollar-store toy. But what DO I do? I don't have the time or energy to come up with something creative (such as a home-made gift) and I can't re-gift something we already have because...well...because the only things I have to re-gift were things that he got at his party (that these kids saw). Wow..that is sad and I can't believe I just admitted that. But really, he got a game from one little boy that we already have so I stuck it in the gift-closet to be given to someone else. Is that bad?
So, I'm literally dumb-founded about this. One of these parties is Friday, two are Saturday and one is next week. If any of you have any suggestions, I am ALL ears.

Another side note: Wouldn't it be nice if parties could just be about having fun and we could stop this whole gift-giving/goodie-bag phenomenon? I mean...sure...getting presents is FUN and we all love to have new things...but really...I do NOT have any more room for any more STUFF in this house anyway. But, I know it would just CRUSH my kids if I told them that their friends weren't allowed to bring them gifts.
Furthermore...what is the deal with goodie bags these days? When planning for Grant's party last week I felt a lot of pressure to have awesome goodie bags filled with all sorts of toys, bubbles, candy, etc. Luckily, I had found some movie-theatre boxes of gummies for a quarter a piece and some bubbles on clearance...so that is what I put in the bags...but I have gone so far as to spend $30 JUST on goodie bags before...and it wasn't anything super fancy. Does that seem a little excessive to anyone else besides me?

One time we were invited to a party for a little girl and her parents wrote on the invitation that everyone could bring a small dog toy or bag of treats in lieu of a gift and then they would donate it all to an animal shelter after the party. That sounded awesome to me until I got there and saw the little girl and her disappointment in not getting any gifts. I think she was turning 6 and as we all walked in with our rawhide bones and squeaky toys it was almost as if her eyebrows lifted and then dropped when she saw what was in our hands. I had a good feeling that the no-gift thing had NOT been her idea. I understand that her parents may have taught her a great lesson in the value of giving...but still, I'm a momma and I couldn't help but want to grab her up and run to the store and buy HER a present!

Oh well...anyway...if you have any thoughts on this....please share!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lotsa New Stuff...

Hey there! Just wanted to let you know that I did a mega-post this morning! I know it's sort of a lot...but I had the time and needed to get it all on here while I could. I didn't even post on here about this...but the kids and I ran a race on Saturday morning and I put all the pics up about it on my P90X Blog so feel free to go hop over there and see those and read about that. I think I did 3 or 4 new posts this morning, so be sure to scroll down to see them all!
Love you guys! Have a great Monday! I can't believe it is the LAST Monday of the school year!

Grant turns SIX!

He'll always be my baby! As much as I hate to see him getting older, I am excited to see him growing up and learning so much. He is a silly little monkey that I love with every ounce of my being. Here are some pics of his party that was SUPPOSED to be at the park...but since we had about 7 days straight of rain, we ended up switching it to our house last minute (2 hours before the party!)Here we are singing Happy Birthday. I found those cute baseball candles at Hobby Lobby along with lots of cute baseball party stuff!

Opening gifts with his friends...
Getting a scooter from mom and dad.
The PINATA!! Everyone's favorite part, of course! :o)

Brooklyn is Student of the Month

Brooklyn received a wonderful honor of being Student of the Month at her school for May. Out of about 120 kids, only 18 get this opportunity, so it is a blessing to be chosen. We were very proud of her, as this is not only based on grades (which she has straight-A's I might add!!!) but also based on attitude and behavior. Even though she can be a bit sassy at home sometimes, all of her teachers and school administrators remind me every time I go in what a blessing she is to have around. She truly cares about others and tries to help out whenever she can, especially with kids who have special needs. On Thursday, May 13, we were invited to a special luncheon at Mazzio's where she received a free lunch and they also did a little ceremony to present her with her framed certificate. They read aloud a questionnaire that she had filled out about her interests and such. It was very cute to hear what she had put on all of the questions, but the last one was "Who is your Hero?" and she wrote "Jesus Christ and the Bible." Ahhh....here come those happy tears! We're doing something right!

My pretty girl with her HANDSOME daddy! I'm so glad he was able to take off that day and be a part of this! I know it meant a lot to her to have him there and I'm pretty sure it was a memorable moment for him as well...to see his little girl being honored in such a way. I forget sometimes that I get to see this kind of stuff all the time because I can be at the school for everything but he rarely gets to be there. I'm so grateful to him for allowing me to stay at home with these precious kiddos!

That is her principal there in the blue with yellow tie...reading her information sheet to the whole group of parents and kids.
Lastly, here is a silly picture of Grant. When I stopped at the school to take that pic of Brooklyn next to the sign, this is where I found him when I turned around to walk back to the van. That boy is part monkey I tell ya!

New Kid Update

Hey Guys!
If you read my post last Monday about my "quest to have new kids in 14 days" then you'll wanna read this one too...because IT'S WORKING!!
Yes! Finally something I do around here actually has the effect and result that I wanted! My kids have spend a CONSIDERABLE amount of time with their noses in the corner this week but it has been the perfect "solve-all" disciplinary measure. Neither of them likes it, it's forcing them to be UN-entertained for a period of time and no one is screaming or getting whacked with a paddle. We've had to do a little tweaking here and there...such as implement NO talking during "time out" and if they do say a single word, another minute gets tacked onto their time. Also, we add a minute to their time if they turn around and start watching TV or interacting with their sibling. I've also begun talking to them afterwards--kind of quizzing them on what they did wrong that got them in "time out" and how they could have handled the situation differently. I feel like I need to not only tell them "don't do this" but also show them "this is how it should be done".
By holding them accountable for their words and actions, it's helped me see just how often they really are disrespectful and rude. They've both gotten into the bad habit of muttering disrespectful comments under their breath as they leave from getting reprimanded. But not anymore...these days that lands them right back in time out REGARDLESS of what they said. If they have something to say, they need to speak it out clearly...if they are muttering under their breath after getting in trouble, we all know they're not saying "boy I sure do love my mom so much". I knew Brooklyn did this but I didn't realize Grant does it to. I'm glad to be putting a stop to it now!
Another curve ball was how we were going to handle this when we were out of the house and couldn't do the normal time out. So yesterday on the way home from church when Brooklyn did two things that deserved a time-out, I opted for a different form of discipline, and I just have to believe it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me because I had never even thought about this until it just popped into my head yesterday. I grabbed a line sheet of notebook paper and wrote in perfect cursive across the top, "I will be respectful and obedient." Then I handed her the pencil, put her in a secluded spot and told her to write that on every line of the paper. I also expected her handwriting to be exactly correct and her spelling and that if I found any errors, she would have to correct them. (I know it sounds tough, but she has the capability of doing it perfectly, but if she gets in a hurry, it will be un-readable.) By giving her those specific instructions, it forced her to slow down, think about what she was writing and it was more of a punishment than if she had just scribbled it across the page. Afterwards, I quizzed her on the spelling of the words "respectful" and "obedient" and made sure she understood their meaning. I also had her give me 4 examples...one of her being DISrespectful and then how she could be respectful and the same with obedient. I think it worked beautifully. Now I can hold her accountable because now I KNOW she knows what they mean and what I expect from her.
I haven't gotten the paddle out this entire week and it's been one of the calmest, most agreeable weeks we've ever had. Being armed with a plan is priceless!
One thing I've noticed that we have a real issue with around here is boredom. It's quite ironic seeing as how we have everything that a child could want. I mean...seriously...it's almost embarassing but I can't think of a single toy, game, movie, etc. that we don't have that they want. Yet, if I'm not entertaining them, taking them somewhere or doing something with them, they're bored. I tell them "go ride your go-kart or play air hockey or play the wii or your DS or barbies or paint, etc." and they don't want to do any of it. I know they would trade it ALL for a friend to play with...but sorry, I can't buy one of those and the hard-truth is that we live in the country and don't have neighbors with children. Also, I can't spend 24/7 playing with them. While being a mom is my main job, I do actually have 3 other jobs that I do that I actually make a paycheck from and those things need my attention too..as do the house, laundry, bills, etc. And really, what kind of disappointment am I setting them up for in the future if I entertain them night and day? That certainly isn't how the real world works.

About their jobs and them not getting paid if they don't do it...that has gotten better too. Not perfect, I've still had to remind them several times...but at least now they jump up and get busy doing it instead of arguing with me. I made it very clear that if I have to argue with them or tell them twice, that they lose their "allowance" for that week. So far, so good!

Last night I took Brooklyn on one of our SKG mother/daughter dates and the scripture we focused on was this: Philippians 2:14-15
"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe."

In the summer, I have them memorize scriptures...and this will DEFINITELY be the first one on the list. It's one thing when momma says "quit arguing and complaining" but it's a whole nother thing when GOD says it!!

I am really REALLY excited about these changes in our home. For the first time (maybe ever but certainly in a long time) I feel like I am the boss of this house and that I am teaching and training them up adequately. I am showing them real LOVE by doing this. Lazy love is what I was doing before..the kind that said "I don't really care about you enough to teach you the right way." But NO MORE...from now on it's real hard-core LOVE (in the verb form)! :o)

If you feel like you've lost control in your home, I STRONGLY encourage you to try out some of these techniques with your kids and see how it works for you! Be sure to give encouragement and gratitude when it's due. Not praise...we praise God not our kids. (-Kevin Lehman)
Rather than say "You are so wonderful, you are so great, you are the best" how about saying "you did a great job out there and I can tell you are getting better and better. Keep up the good work!"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

No More Miley...

For us, in this house, we have had to say goodbye to Miley Cyrus. After receiving a disappointing e-mail about it and watching THIS VIDEO yesterday (just me and Matt), it is clear that she has crossed THE line. Or in the words of Dannah Gresh (Secret Keeper Girl) "she has just figuratively run across an eight-lane highway".
Ahhh....so, so, so SAD. Click HERE to read the lyrics.

If you have a young girl who is a fan, here is a blog post I think you should read. It will help you know what to say to her as you explain "we're saying goodbye to Miley now, honey."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Me a writer? nahhhh...

I bet not one of you knows this about me...but way back when I was in high school (we're fixing to have our 15 year reunion!!) during my junior and senior years, I was the assistant editor of our school newspaper, which was a pretty big honor. We did a whole publication weekly that actually came out in our town's regular newspaper! I absolutely LOVED it and my mom still has all my articles in her attic! (speaking of, I should pull those out sometime and look through them! what fun that would be!!)
Anyway, it's always been a dream of mine to write a book. Probably a Christian romance novel since that's what I've always enjoyed reading...or maybe a children's book. I absolutely LOVE the books by Max Lucado for kids. Such rich, meaningful and fun stories! ("You are Special" is my favorite!)
Anyway, when my friend Amy mentioned that Cheerios was doing a contest for unpublished authors, I immediately switched over to a blank Word document and before I even had time to think, my fingers spewed this little poem out. It's not anything I would publish or even send in...but after I was finished and I went back and read it, I realized I had just literally poured my HEART out without even really realizing it. I wept reading this back to myself and this morning when I tried to read it to Brooklyn, I couldn't even choke the words out through the lump in my throat and tears threatening to pour down my face. I'm not sure what I'll ever do with it, but I thought I'd at least put it on here for you all to read and see if you relate to it any. It's not grammatically perfect and some of the endings don't even really rhyme correctly, but it still says exactly what I feel. It's almost as if my heart had a direct link to my fingers and completely bypassed my brain. hmmm..... Anyway, here ya go. I titled it:


Someday when you’re a mommy, you’ll understand why,

When I hold you snugly in my arms,

I’m happy, but I yet I cry.

Looking down at you, as you dance around and play

Reminds me that I should do more of that

Instead of always rushing through my day.

You ask me, “Mommy, why are we in such a hurry?”

And I realize that your childhood

is passing by like a momentary snowflake flurry.

I see you stoop to study a bright red ladybug

And watch the joy light up your eyes

When I stop to give you a hug.

Nothing makes you more excited than to have my undivided attention

So why do I keep myself going

in a hundred different directions?

Oh precious child, how I miss the days when you were so innocent and small

And I could hold you and help you

and make sure you didn’t fall.

Now you’re growing up and you need me less and less

And while I’m proud of your accomplishments,

it sometimes turns me into a blubbering tearful mess!

What can I do to remind myself how precious this time with you is?

When we’re fussing and we’re fighting and wishing the day would end,

I want to stop and think of how someday…I’m gonna miss this.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Here we go...

So today is Day 1 on my 14 day quest to "having new kids." If you haven't read the book by Kevin Lehman called "How to Have a New Kid in 5 Days" yet, then you might not know what I'm talking about. I haven't read it either, but my Sunday School class just did a 5 week study on it and now that it's over, I'm realizing more now than ever that we have GOT to get control of our house again. "This is a home, not a hotel."
What I realized when we started this little series is that it seemed overwhelming and that there were toooo many areas that we needed to work on, so we just turned our heads the other way and kept on doing what we've been doing. However, yesterdays lesson was on self-esteem and it was very crystal clear to me what poooor self-esteem our kids are developing.
So, in light of that, we have decided that we canNOT turn our heads any longer. We have to start and it must begin NOW. As with any big change, taking baby steps is the way to begin.
For me to actually implement something, I need to have it decided on, written down and posted everywhere.
So today's plan of action is this:
1. One time. I'm only going to give instructions once. If "x,y and z" don't get done after they've been told one time to do it, then there will be immediate consequence. For us, at our house, that means they will stand with their nose in the corner of the dining room for 1 minute per year of age. It's humiliating and seems a bit degrading (esp. for a 9 year old) but it causes them to be quiet and reflect on what just happened). In the past we just sent them to their rooms, but that is more like a reward than a punishment because all their toys are in there. The other option is a spanking but I think that needs to start being reserved for more serious offenses (and thereby will make a bigger impression when it's used). This "time-out" procedure will also be implemented as SOON as I sense an attitude too. From this day on, there will be respect in this house...from everyone...for everyone.
2. Jobs/pay. For the past several months we have given our kids little jobs that they are responsible for around our house. They each have 5 and on Friday, they each receive $5 for their work. ($1 of which goes into savings and $1 goes into giving=$3 to spend) This was working out WONDERFULLY for a while and everyone was happy. I was getting lots of help around the house, and the kids were finally getting an "allowance" so they could buy the new toys, books, etc. that they wanted. However, as our schedule has gotten busier (softball/baseball, school activities) the jobs have either been being completely forgotten or I have to hound the kids constantly to do them. Basically, I'm shelling out money to them every Friday for no reason and the whole thing has just become a headache. So beginning today, they will have the opportunity to do the work (without being told) and earn the money...but if I have to tell them to do it (or it doesn't get done) there will be no "payday" on Friday anymore.

So that's it for now. Those are my goals. I honestly think that if I can get that first one set in place and do it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. then a whoooole lot of our discipline issues will be solved.

Meanwhile I am determined to KEEP MY COOL. Nothing good comes from me screaming and flailing around like a crazy woman (beating recliners) and such. All that does is freak the kids out and makes me look like an out-of-control idiot. (which I'm not entirely...haha)

I'll let ya know how it goes...
(btw: "14 days quest" because in exactly 2 weeks from today we will begin Summer Break and I will be watching another child in my house full time. We need to have this "figured out" before that.)

Friday, May 07, 2010

It's a sad day when you realize that you really don't like yourself.

What's worse is when you list out all the things that you are, stand for and spend time doing..and ...they all look good...but when you add them together, they equal a bad you. It doesn't make sense. I guess too much of a good thing isn't a good thing...!?!

One side of my head says "YOU'RE LOSING YOUR MIND" and the other side of my head says "YOU HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST"...and they're both right.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Vent: You don't have to read...

I'm going to vent here right now. I seriously feel like I need to get this all off my chest and to be honest, there is no one in my life (husband, mom, friends) who have time to actually listen to me ramble on and on about stupid stuff like this...so it's going on the blog. Whether or not anyone reads it...I don't know...but at least I can get it out.

#1: So today, in the middle of doing a MILLION things and being beyond busy, I run into town to pick up a last minute gift that we need to mail TODAY. I only have like 15 minutes to spare so I just run into our town's little drug store where they have pretty cute stuff. However...what I apparently failed to notice when I've browsed while waiting for prescriptions before is that their prices are RIDICULOUS! I'm talking about $30 for a picture frame, $45 for a pair of flip flops, $20 for a candle, $35 for a necklace. So I run across the street to a flower/gift shop. I'd never been in there before but they have NOTHING but flowers and candles so that's a no-go. I run to Atwoods thinking maybe I can find something-anything girlie there---nope. I stop at about 3 other stores and still leave with nothing. It's not that I can't find anything...it's that shopping on a "dave ramsey" budget is friggin' impossible!!! (I'm already back to using the credit card until the paycheck gets here because that is the only way we can LIVE.) But that isn't even my main gripe on this #1. It's this: I go into this one little gift shop and right off the bat I see all kinds of eye-candy. I'm like "oohhhh yay! maybe I will actually find something!" But 1 minute after I begin looking the lady working at the store comes over and starts TALKING MY EAR OFF. And for at least 30 minutes she BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH talked to me!!! I never did get to shop! By the time I'd been standing there (still in the entrance of the store) for 20 or so minutes, I was just sure there was smoke coming from my nostrils and ears. I was as mad at her for "wasting" my time as I was mad at myself for always being in such a DANG hurry that I can't even take 30 minutes of my day to talk to some nice old lady. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?????? It was like a battle in my head because one minute I said to myself "For goodness sake Jennifer, just take a second and talk to her. She's 70 years old and probably needs someone to listen to her jibber-jabber about mowing and her kids and her sore back, etc." and then 2 seconds later I would think "OH MY GOSH I am frickin' an HOUR BEHIND schedule and I can't even shop in this stupid store because this lady won't SHUT UP and let me look!!" AUGH!!!!!!!!!
In the end, I spent TWO HOURS looking for this gift that didn't exist. I wanted something cute and unique and FREE! Ha! I ended up getting something that was about a 2 on the cuteness scale and cost $5.99. What a waste of my afternoon.

#2: So, now here I am, trying to make up lost time this afternoon. I 'm having company for dinner, Grant has a baseball game tonight, I'm supposed to bring a dessert to the school tomorrow for Teacher Appreciation, my house is a mess, I haven't done my work for the doctors office yet and so I'm SCRAMBLING around like a total NUT screaming at the kids and racing through the house and all of a sudden I hear "DING DONG DING DONG DING DONG" at my front door. The kids immediately get excited...and I immediately get frustrated. I don't give a RIP who it is...they are INFRINGING ON MY TIME! So I answer the door and this lady is standing there and she says, "Hello, may I speak to your mother" to me. UH HELLO LADY BUT I AM NOT AN IDIOT---whatever you are selling, you can just take it back to your car because I am not buying anything these days and I FOR SURE am not buying something from someone who thinks they can "butter me up" by telling me I look like the "teenager of the house." Give me a buh-reak! So she wants to come in and clean my carpet. I politely as I can, tell her that NO I am not interested...and pretty much tell her everything that I just told you guys in the first sentence of this paragraph. To which she says "Oh...well, if you're having company this is perfect because now your carpet will be clean and your house will smell nice." I irritatedly tell her that I have about 3 hours worth of work to get done and I only have 1 hour to do it in and that THIS IS NOT A GOOD TIME!!!! (which I've said now at least 10 times!) THANK HEAVENS my mom happened to pull up at about that time and she started talking to her instead so I shut my door and went back in.
What part of "NO TRESPASSING" do people not understand. We didn't put that sign on our front gate for nothing!!!
Argh! And FURTHERMORE...now my kids want to know why I am mad and why I didn't let that lady come in and clean because she "was so nice to you mommy. She told you how pretty and young you are and wanted to come and clean for you and you weren't very nice back to her."
OHHH!!! MYYY!!! GOSHHH!! I just want to scream!!! Now I'm defending myself to my kids about why that lady was really just trying to say nice things (even if they weren't true) just so I would buy something from her. Oh whatever.

To prove to you how NUTSO I have actually gone, I got out the paddle to spank Brooklyn for locking me out of her room and then when she finally opened it she screamed " WHAT DO YOU WANT??"at me...but then when I told her I was going to spank her she started bawling and ran to her room and got a Mother's Day Card she had been making me. Okay so now I'm confused and frustrated and don't know whether to spank her or hug her so I grab up the paddle and start WHACKING THE FIRE out of the leather recliner. Yes...folks. This is me. I have LOST IT. If that recliner had been alive, I'd have surely killed that thing dead.

And now here I am...running more and more out of time and yet I'm blogging. I don't have time to even be THINKING about blogging but I had to do it because quite honestly, I feel like I am LOSING MY MIND.
This is not me. This is not who I am. I don't like it and I don't want any part of it. So why do I feel like I'm being swallowed up by it?

The budget/money thing feels like a thousand pounds on my shoulders. If I could just get rid of that one concern...I think things would be a lot easier to deal with.

Okay...well, if you read all that, God bless you. Anyone who has any advice is always welcome to give it! I appreciate input but I understand if you don't leave any either. Sometimes I just don't think there is any answer....