Created to Praise

Just me being me the way He made me

A Piece of Me August 20, 2009

Filed under: Personal Life,Random Stuff — 6kids1me @ 1:02 am

My family had a surprise trip this past weekend. Well, it wasn’t a surprise to everyone else, just me. My daughter, Stefani, goes to school in Texas and it’s about time for her to start, so the trip was to bring her there. I knew it was coming very quickly, I just wasn’t expecting so soon.

Every time she leaves, it’s as though a peice of me goes with her, and I don’t get that piece back until she returns. I suppose every mother feels that way when their children leave home, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. The empty spot she leaves behind can only be filled by her. I can busy myself all I like and think on other things all day long, but that empty spot is still there, painfully obvious.

I look at my life today and wonder what it will be like when all of my children have left home. So much of my day-to-day life is wrapped up in them….meeting their immediate needs, planning for their future needs. It seems everything I do somehow revolves around them.

Oh don’t get me wrong, I still have things that are just for me. I enjoy crafts (though much of what I make is for the kids LOL) and I play games and such (though the kids introduced me to most of them). But everything I do that matters, the cooking, cleaning, gardening, budgeting, etc….it all comes back to meeting their needs the best way I know how.

What happens when they are grown and gone? Do I keep doing the same things I do now with the same passion? Or will the joy in it be completely gone when there is no one left to do it for? Oh I suppose I’ll have plenty of grandchildren and there will always be friends and neighbors who need help with things. But with the house empty, will the strong desire still be there?

I have plenty of years before that happens, of course. But lately it seems that the years are flying past me. Trying to hold on to them is like trying to grab a puff of wind. I can’t hold back time any more than I can hold back the ocean waves. And knowing how quickly time is passing, I’m trying to relish each moment. Though, with the busyness of life, I find that I sometimes have to remind myself to do that.

I suppose these are thoughts every parent has had. Obviously they mostly turn out okay. The seasons of life are changing for me in some ways that I wasn’t prepared for though, and I’m still sorting out in my heart what to do with each new season that comes.

Thankfully, I have a Savior who is ever present, so I’m never alone during these changes. I have a husband who is heads above most men, who I am honored to have as mine. I have children, regardless of age, who still hug me in public and have no idea how much joy that brings to me. I have friends who are precious to me and truly care about my well-being. I have fertile soil in the back yard, good income from my husband’s work, a comfortable home in a safe neighborhood, and every creature comfort one could hope for.

I am truly content with what today brings. I think rather than ponder the emotions of the future, I should simply plan as best I can for the needs of the future and wait until it comes to deal with the emotions. For now, I am satisfied with the joys of today.

 

Allow Me to Respond August 6, 2009

I’ve had enough. You know, I remember being an idealistic young girl, thinking I could help change the world. I remember believing my government was acting on my behalf. And up until just recently, I remember being complacent in my beliefs. Well not anymore. Now I’m angry.

Take a look at this little gem:

And now White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs just said that these are “astroturf” protesters (meaning not a real grassroots movement) and that they’ve been incited, organized and paid by healthcare corporation CEOs. Others in the DNC are saying that the GOP is inciting, organizing and paying the protesters.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!??!?!?!?

Let me be very clear about this. I have no grand delusions that they’re listening, but just in case…..I want to be very clear for Mr. Gibbs, Ms. Pelosi, Ms. Douglass, the DNC and POTUS. Listen closely….I AM ANGRY! Me. Personally. My anger is real and it is justified.

I have never been contacted by any GOP member nor has any healthcare official of any kind ever contacted me….and they certainly haven’t paid me anything. ME, I, PERSONALLY am angry. And I’ve been quiet long enough.

You’re right about one thing though. I have been incited. However, I was not incited by the GOP or healthcare CEOs. No, I have been incited by you. How dare you have the audacity to make the assumption that I am too stupid to think for myself. No, I am incited, but by your actions and your statements. There’s a loooooong list of things that have caused this anger to rise in me, but here’s the short list for your convenience.

1. Czars. Yes, I know that other administrations have had czars. But this administration is taking it to the extreme. These czars recieve their funding from the American people, but report directly to the President. They are given the authority and power to circumvent the House and Senate to accomplish their own personal goals. ENOUGH WITH THE CZARS! I want them out….ALLLLLL OF THEM! There should be NO government office that does not answer to the people. Period.

2. Homeland Security now the United States Police Force. WHAT?!?!?!??! Have you people even read the Constitution?!

3. Healthcare. I agree that the system is not perfect. I DO NOT agree that the government should have the authority to step in and take over. When you say that the public option is only an option, that’s an outright lie. According to what I’ve read in the bill (which by the way you should read, it’s quite interesting), I would be allowed to keep my doctor and my insurance as long as I manage to keep my job. The day I lose my job, I will be REQUIRED to take the public option and will NOT be allowed to switch back to a private option upon new employment. That’s just ONE EXAMPLE of the lies about public healthcare that are being salivated out of the mouths in Washington. But I said I would make this a “short” list.

4. READ THE BILLS!!!!!!!!! Tell me Congressmen & Congresswomen & Senators….just who do you think you are? No, really, I want to know. Just who do you think you are? Do you think that you’re so powerful that you can do whatever you like in Washington? Do you really think we won’t take notice? DO NOT PASS ANOTHER BILL WITHOUT READING IT…..ALLLLLLL OF IT!!!! If you have to hire an attorney to understand what you’ve read, then hire them! We have entrusted you with a sacred duty. You are to represent us. I cannot stand on the floor of the House or Senate and cast my vote. I am entrusting you to do that for me. Let me make this perfectly clear….the very next bill you pass without reading will be the end of your political career. The people are watching and we WILL evict you from office if you EVER do that again.

5. ACORN. Investigate. It’s that simple. No really, it is that simple. Stop pouring money into them until you have thoroughly investigated them. I don’t want another dime of my tax dollars fed to them until I know EXACTLY what they’re up to. Period.

6. Cap and Trade. If you pass this, you’re out. According to POTUS “Under my system of cap and trade, utility rates will necessarily skyrocket.” I’m sorry, but all my money is going to be tied up paying for all your other new spending bills you’ve passed. I won’t be able to afford a higher utility bill. I’m already struggling to pay the one of I’ve got. Not only that, but cap and trade wouldn’t even put a dent in the global warming problem (assuming there even IS a global warming problem). So I’ll repeat, pass this and you’re out.

7. SLOW DOWN!!!! You are overwhelming the system and we can’t keep up with all the attacks on the Constitution because they’re coming from every direction. Yes, I know that your whole point of overwhelming the system is to keep us from keeping up. However, what you may not have realized is that we’re onto you. We’ve caught on. We know what you’re doing and we WILL make it stop. You would be wise to stop now before the people force that change on you.

Now the DNC and Press Secretary Gibbs made a mistake when they said that these are organized protests at the town hall meetings. Sadly they are not organized. They are just concerned people speaking out. However, if this keeps up, I think that will soon change. The people are angry and it won’t be long before they do start to organize. Washington, you need to get your act together before that happens. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourselves out of work along with about 14% of the rest of the country.

And to my friends here at home, I know this is not what you’re accustomed to seeing here on my blog. But darn it, I’ve had enough. I’ve never been a fighter, but it’s to the point now where we have to stand up and do something. Look where complacency has gotten us. I have six kids and a lot of bills but you know what? I’m willing to take what few dimes I have and use them to put overpriced gas in my vehicle and head to Washington, insisting that I be heard if that’s what it takes. It is time.

 

Frugal? What’s That? May 27, 2009

Filed under: creativity,frugal,Personal Life,Random Stuff — 6kids1me @ 11:38 pm
Tags: ,

Ooohhh! You mean CHEAP?! Yah that would be me. Or at least I thought it meant me. Then I started looking for frugal tips online. As it turns out, I’m the most wasteful person in America. Okay, that may be a bit extreme. But obviously, I’m not nearly so frugal as I thought I was.

So I’ve figured out how to give my kids a stellar home education for nearly free by using Ambleside Online as a major resource. I’ve reduced my electric bill in a big way by unplugging things (toaster, cell phone charger, microwave, etc) when they aren’t in use. I even map out and do all my errands at once to save on gas. We have no debt and even paid cash for our newest vehicle. Our only expenses are day to day living expenses. Gee, I thought that was great.

Well I got to looking at our budget and something’s gotta give. In the past year, our cost of living has increased a full 12% while Rodney’s pay only increased 1%. What’s a family of 8 to do? Well, we’re going to delve deeper into the frugal world, that’s what. For instance….reduce the amount of food we buy. According to the USDA the cost of food to feed an average family of 4 is $600 per month. My family is twice the size of an average family. So in that respect, I guess $800 a month ain’t bad but we still need to reduce it.

So to start, we’ve planted a garden. Not a huge garden by any means….but a nice little plot with 12 varieties of veggies planted in it. So far, it looks like only three things are growing. Gotta work on those gardening skills. Our next goal is to expand our garden and have more variety (and reduce our dependance on the grocery store). We have also started a compost heap. We’ll see how that goes.

My bestest girlfriend in the whole wide world gave me a Sams Club membership. Yay! I had a membership years ago when I only had one kid. It wasn’t worth it for me then. Boy is it worth it now! Just by using Sams and buying in super mondo bulk, we’ve reduced our grocery bill by about $200. Woot! It has also reduced the number of trips I make to the store for little things like toilet paper….thus reducing my gasoline bill. Double Woot!

Have I mentioned before that I’m a complete dork? Did you know I’ve been buying big containers of juice for my kids? Why oh why did it not occur to me to buy fronze concentrated juice? Or why have I been using regular milk to cook with when powdered milk is soooo much cheaper?! The list goes on and on.

Okay so we’ve reduced the electric bill and the food bill a good bit. But there have to be other things we can do. Below is my list of what I think would help and what I plan to do over time. PLEASE feel free to chime in and let me know what’s worked for you and what didn’t. Seriously, I want this information!

*buying compact tubular light bulbs (you know the ones I mean)
*hanging a clothes line in the back yard (I wash approx. 4 loads a day)
*clipping coupons (man, I hate doing that)
*menu planning (been doing it…sorta…but not really)
*making my own bread (gotta find the bread machine)
*expanding the garden (anybody got a tiller we can borrow?)
*getting large canisters and buying flour, sugar, etc in bulk (anybody got canisters they wanna give away?)
*learning to can veggies (this one scares me)
*learning to sew to repurpose old things (this one scares me too…I am not a good sewer)

Okay so that’s the list. Any other suggestions? Anything on there that you’ve tried with success or failure? Please please let me know. This is gonna be an ongoing process, I’m sure. So any tips are most welcome!

 

It’s Home to Me May 20, 2008

Filed under: keeping it real,Personal Life,Random Stuff,Uncategorized — 6kids1me @ 12:23 am

Los posted something this afternoon on his blog that reminded me of why I love my home.

I live in Louisiana. Big deal, right? Well, yeah, to me it is a big deal.

I grew up here in CenLa (Central Louisiana) and spent years dreaming of how much better my life would be if I could just get out of here. And then I moved…first moved to Texas and then Oklahoma. I was gone for more years than I care to remember. Both places were ok, but they weren’t home. I always felt like I didn’t belong, like I just didn’t fit there. Not that I didn’t “fit in.” I just didn’t fit.

I said if I ever got back home, I was going to nail my feet to the ground.

So now I’m back home, have been for a few years, and it still feels good. I’m back in my element, among my people, where I belong. But for your amusement, here are ten things I noticed while I was gone:

1. Moss doesn’t grow on trees everywhere else. Seriously. I never knew that.
2. “Fixing to” means nothing elsewhere. Here it means “getting ready to.” Duh.
3. “Coke” is not a generic term for all soft drinks. Yeah, that one surprised me. Here’s how the conversation goes: ME: You wanna coke? THEM: Sure. ME: What kind? THEM: *blank stare* ME: What kind of coke do you want? I have Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke, Sprite, etc. THEM: But you asked if I wanted a Coke. ….. you get the idea.
4. People think we have to sweep the gators off our front porch before we can jump in our air boat to go to work. You think I’m kidding? Sadly, I’m not.
5. “Oil” is pronounced with more than one syllable everywhere except Louisiana, apparently.
6. People constantly ask you to talk. Here’s how that one goes: THEM: Say something. ME: Huh? THEM: Just say something. ME: What do you want me to say? THEM: Anything. I just want to hear you talk. ….. huh?
7. People don’t want you to tell where you’re from….they want to guess. My favorite guesses were Australia and Jamaica.
8. My hair isn’t naturally frizzy. As it turns out, it’s just really humid here. 🙂
9. It’s easier to breathe in the summertime when you’re above sea level. That was one of my favorite things about OKC.
10. People don’t look you in the eye. In fact, it seems like they’ll do almost anything to avoid looking you in the eye. Here, you’re mamma would slap the fool out of you if you didn’t acknowlege someone passing you on the street…whether you knew them or not.

Poor Rodney went into complete culture shock when we first moved here. He was amazed that the pine trees were so big you couldn’t wrap your arms around them. He said he’d never seen them so tall either. He’d never heard an authentic Cajun accent before. He’d never been to Mardi Gras. He’d never seen an alligator outside of a zoo and he’d certainly never seen them so big. And he’d never seen so many people be so nice all the time.

That’s one thing about the deep South, people sure can be respectful. I remember having to politely ask people in other states not to tell my children “Don’t call me ma’am.” It’s just good manners for them to do that. Even as little babies, we’re taught to say “ma’am and sir.” And gentility (is that even a word?) counts for a lot down here. I was often asked, when we lived away, how I got my children to be so polite. The answer was simple….I expected it of them. And there really was no avoiding it since every kid in the South is expected to behave that way. It’s easy to be polite when everybody else is too.

I know I’m rambling. Actually, I could go on all day about this subject. But I should probably stop. Thanks for listening to my random thoughts.

 

Worst Album Cover Ever May 15, 2008

Filed under: creativity,keeping it real,Random Stuff — 6kids1me @ 11:15 pm

Found this at Steve Carter’s site.

Worst Album Cover Ever

There are no words.

 

Not So Quiet Time May 9, 2008

Filed under: ministry,Personal Life,Random Stuff,worship,Worship Leader — 6kids1me @ 12:41 am

I’m a believer in quiet time.  That’s what I call my time each day alone with the Lord.  It’s my dedicated time to read the Word, pray and listen.  Yeah, listen.

That’s the part I seem to need work on.  I’m often so busy talking that I don’t take enough time to listen.  He wants to talk to me, but I won’t shut up long enough for Him to.

So this week, I’ve been quiet.  I’ve been listening.  I haven’t spent a lot of time updating the blog here, and I’m sorry for those who check in every day.  But I’ve been busy listening.  There’s been a lot said and it’s taking some time to absorb it all. 

I will come back and share some of my heart soon.  But if you’re looking for something good to read in the meantime, try this…..

 

Potty Mouth May 7, 2008

Filed under: keeping it real,Personal Life,Random Stuff — 6kids1me @ 12:12 am

We all have bad habits, right?  Or am I the only one?  Here’s a little more of the “authentic me.”

One habit that I struggled very hard to overcome was my language.  I cussed like a sailor.  What’s worse, I did it in front of my kids.  Finally, I became ashamed of my mouth and decided to clean it up.

So I thought I’d quit cold turkey.  I just wouldn’t use that language anymore.  Yeah right.  Well that didn’t work.  I found that the only way I could stop was to replace the words with something else.  So that’s what I did.

Rather than use #($& or *(&#, I started using words like gosh, golly and gee.  Now nobody makes ugly faces when I’m speaking.  They can’t….they’re laughing too hard.  My friends pick on me and tell me that I sound like an episode of Leave it to Beaver.  I say that’s better than the alternative.

But tonight I realized that I sound nothing like the Beave.  I actually sound more like Gomer Pyle….

  Gaaaawwwwlllleeeeeeee.

It must be the Southern accent.