Thursday, September 28, 2006
140 Years is a LONG Time
This past weekend was the First United Methodist Church of Grapevine's 140th Year Celebration. The staff and some guests dressed up in 1866 attire and we had horse drawn carriages and a pot luck lunch. There was one service instead of the normal three, in which 1,200 people attended. Grapevine Mayor, William D. Tate spoke as did several prominent church and community members. It was a great day and much history was learned by many. Being the pastor's assistant it was a very busy day for me with a very busy month leading up to such an event. It was wonderful to have my family there to share in the event. Here are some great pictures I want to share...
Katy was beautiful & very helpful in greeting & welcoming!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Sisters are a funny thing...
There is very little "in-between" with sisters. My sister and I are ten years apart and did not grow up very close. So I never *really* experienced the "sister-thing". If you are reading this you know I have four girls. They experience the "sister-thing" every minute of every day. We are blessed with a wonderful house, but sometimes the quarters can get a little close with six people under one roof. Especially five being women (bless my poor-husband's heart). I consistantly ask the good Lord to give me more patience as my girls are ALWAYS argueing about something. If I ask for something to get put away or picked up off the floor, the answer is always "It isn't mine, it's HERS", "I didn't so it", "It's not my fault", "I did it last time", etc. It's exhausting really.
But something strange happened within the past few days. The two closest in age, Sydney (11) and MacKenzie (9) started getting along. Yes, it was surprising to me, too. I wasn't alarmed at first, I knew it wouldn't last long. But now it's going on DAY THREE. This morning when there was no fighting, I really started to worry. Mornings aren't usually (shall I say - never) our best time together. I had thought last month as they started school, maybe this would happen since they are going to different schools this year - Sydney started middle school, MacKenzie is still in Elementary and Katy is in High School. Yes, it makes for a interesting car-pool morning. But for over a month of school, the argueing and bickkering was still very much happening. However, for the past few days they have been *playing* together. Playing school, jumping on the trampoline, playing with friends, reading together, playing school -- all TOGETHER. Taking up for each other when one gets in trouble.
It makes for those "parent moments" when you realize how wonderful it is for them to have siblings. You know? I often think about children that are "only children". They get all the attention from BOTH parents all of the time. I do have to admit sometimes I am stretched to my limit trying to share time between my girls. Especially when Bob is working too many hours or when one (or all) of them only need MOM.
But, these moments of mom-hood I wouldn't trade for the world. Some how, some way, God finds a way to stretch me and I hope none of them ever feel neglected or left out. The sharing and even the fighting will help them grow into wonderful women one day. Yes, there is a reason God gave me all girls and at THIS particular moment, I am loving it.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Can you Believe it's Been FIVE Years??
You know what I'm talking about without me even saying "it".
I read the newspapers over the weekend and reflected on where I was and how I found out. I remember vividly calling my husband at work on my cell phone after dropping MacKenzie off at day care. I remember driving all the way to work listening to the radio in disbelief as everyone was trying to find out what the heck was happening. I remember walking into my office and everyone gathering around the TV in total silence - not knowing what to think, say or do. Calling a friend and us wondering together if we should go pick our children up from school. Going home that night, hugging my children and my husband tighter than the night before. Tucking the kids in bed tightly and watching CNN with Bob in more silence. Going to church, holding hands with people around me as we sung patriotic songs and crying together with my family.
All this morning the radio has played 9/11 songs - those written about 9/11 as well as The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, Amazing Grace. I am very emotional today. I hold a giant place in my heart for those effected by this tragedy. Sydney said this morning that two of her good friends would not have moved here if not for 9/11. In some way it effects all of us.
I have more Faith, I am more patriotic, I am less quick to anger than before 9/11 five years ago. I give more attention to the news, to our military, to those fighting for our right to freedom. I talk to my children about our freedom and those that have died for it. The song Alan Jackson sings, Where were you? says so much. One of the lines is of course Faith, Hope and Love are some good things He gave us, But the greatest is Love.
I hope you will reflect today and say a prayer for all of us.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Remodeling is NOT a family-affair
Don't misunderstand, I love my husband. But remodeling is not something we can do together. We have proven this to ourselves again this weekend. I have known this for years, but somehow I had forgotten as we have stayed away from the "r" word for quiet some time. After being married for fourteen years we have tried our hand at many remodeling items. To our defense there are many things "wrong" with our house. Many times the remodeling sna-fus have not been totally our fault. So we don't actually "agree" to jump right into a remodeling event - instead we jump in without really discussing it- wrong choice #1. First of all, I wanted to repaint the kitchen cabinets. I'm just really bored with the color and we need a change. Men don't really understand "need a change". I think their definition of "need a change" would be: the baby's diaper. We did discuss the idea of painting the kitchen cabinets and he quickly worked to talk me out of it. He is normally right about these types of things, but since I "needed a change" I quickly worked for another solution. How about taking down the wallpaper and re-texturing the walls? We had talked about this several times prior. Didn't sound too difficult and at-the-time I thought since my neighbor had done the same thing recently I would have a how-to person right next door. That in itself became a major conflict. It's great to have someone to give direction, but when this person is your next door neighbor and Mr.ToolTime himself not-to-mention your husband's fulltime partner-in-crime -- it can become a problem.
Anyway, back to the subject, I stripped the wallpaper on Friday and that was fairly easy so I was excited to get started. Then fear set-in. My husband says I'm the perfectionist of the family, but in truth it's him. He cannot complete dinner much-less a home improvement project without totally ripping it apart and telling me EVERYTHING that is wrong with it. When he makes gravy at Thanksgiving - and oh my gosh it's the best gravy EVER - he spends literally hours making it perfect. So all of a sudden I thought, there is no way whatever I do is going to be good enough.
So Saturday, I did nothing. Totally wasted the day. Actually, Katy got her "need a change" bug at the same time and decided she and her best friend, Nikki, were going to remodel the hall bathroom. Nikki painted a wonderful piece of art for Katy's birthday and Katy decided to theme the bathroom around it.
I was fine with it - the bathroom needed a change as well and more than that - teenage girls need home improvement projects just like mom does :) This already was too much for Dad to handle. I read somewhere that men are afraid of color. This is totally true for my husband. This was true before he only wore brown and drove a brown truck for the past 18 years, but it's even more so now. So needless to say, he wasn't thrilled with the gold and bright blue the girls picked out for the bathroom. It came out beautifully. Some touch ups need to be done, but I think it's great.
Even the little sisters like it - they say it's a big girl's bathroom now. If I thought we had problems with long baths before (Katy - not me), I definitely will now. Anyway, that whole event was going on in between the texturing event in the kitchen which happened late Sunday and all of Monday. At some point I guess Bob decided this was all my project, so he offered a lot of advice :) but no help. And then Monday night he told me he didn't like it at all, which REALLY hurt my feelings, but oh well. What was I going to do at that point? I couldn't stop, I couldn't take the texture off the walls. We were 3/4 finished so we just kept on. Sydney & MacKenzie helped somewhat and I think that aggravated him even more. He cannot stand "messy" home improvement projects. Children painting is not his idea of "fun".
So now it's done, not painted, but the texture is on. The fun painting part will come next weekend.
My new family motto : Families that can make it through home improvement projects will only be stronger.
I remember now why there are years in between these events.
On a better note, a even better weekend project was that Bob got some flagstone rock and made an awesome sidewalk and patio in our backyard. It is going to be beautiful! I am really excited about that and I'm looking forward to spending some qt in the backyard.
Eleanor Roosevelt said: People grow through experience if they meet it honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.
We built some character this weekend!
As long as I don't paint the kitchen bright blue - I'll let you know how the painting goes next week :)