Monday, May 25, 2009

a conversation with Julia

J: Momma, you know what I'm thinking about?

Me: no ... what's on your mind, sweetie?

J: I'm thinking about getting married. I already know who I'm going to marry when I finally get grown up ... it's Jonathan.

Me: Jonathan? Who is Jonathan?

J: He's not in my class ... he's in Ms. Valentine's class, and he is real romantic. He likes me a lot and I like him a lot.

Me: Why do you like him so much?

J: Well, he's cute ... I love his spiky hair and he wears real nice shirts. And ... (she lowers her voice a little) ... he is a tuffler.

Me: What on earth is a tuffler?

J: You don't know what a tuffler is?! A tuffler is a boy who is real tough. If anyone is bad to me, then he tuffles them up and they don't bother me any more.

Me: Oh, yes ... a tuffler. I see. Well, I do hope he isn't hurting people and getting in trouble for fighting at school.

(and yes ... I'm laughing while I'm saying that!)

J: If you don't stop laughing, I am going to call him right this minute and he will come tuffle you, too! (a little pause) OH ... and I forgot on important thing: Jonathan is a superhero. I am the only one who knows about it though because his mother won't let him wear his costume to school. None of the other kids know he has superpowers ... just me.

Me: Well, that's interesting, Julia ... I'm really glad you like Jonathan so much. But right now I think you should just focus on being friends and not think about marrying him, okay.

J: I'm not marrying him tomorrow, Momma! When he asked me, I just told him that I'd marry him after I'm all grown up. But he already gave me a ring, so it is for real.

Me: Where is it? I'd like to see the ring.

J: I lost it. But he told me it was okay and that he was going to get me another one. This time it will be a pink ring because that's my favorite color.

And then she skipped off ...

Oh, my goodness! I just keep laughing everytime I think about it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sweet Words to My Ears

Tonight Joel snuggled up next to me and said, "Momma ... I want to tell you something about you that you may not know. You take God and the Bible more seriously than a lot of other parents."

I asked him if he thought this was good or bad. And Joel said, "I meant that as a compliment. I think it is a good thing."

I don't know that I've ever heard sweeter words.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Tale of David Joe

This morning a traveling Christian comedian walked into our office. It's kind of hard to just walk into my office ... to begin with it is located on the 3rd floor of the courthouse, and secondly there is no working elevator to get you up there. Since there are only 4 people who work on the 3rd floor of the courthouse, no one really ever comes up that way unless they absolutely need to come up there for something. There are days when no one makes the long climb up the stairs at all. The third floor of the courthouse can be a very lonely place to work.

Anyway, this man was just out promoting himself by selling his cd's and trying to drum up a few performances. I guess he thought that the four of us on the third floor might have some influence or something. If we did, do you think we'd be on the third floor?! But since he was from out of town, perhaps he just didn't know ...

He seemed like a nice enough man, in a rather oddball and goofy sort of way. I don't know ... maybe that's the way comedian's are supposed to be. But he was a little on the strange side ... nice, but definitely quirky.

The secretary just had the best conversation with him, though. They must have talked 20 minutes. She found out all about him and was delighted to discover that he was single. Can you see where this is going?

Yes, just before he left, she tried to fix me up on a date with him! I'm not joking ... she said, "Well, now before you go, since you are single and we've got this real nice single lady in our office, let me introduce y'all. Paige, come on out here and meet David Joe!"

I couldn't think of a good excuse not to go out to the main part of the office. She knew I wasn't on the phone and there wasn't any pressing business that I was taking care of ... so I went out to meet David Joe. Of course, as soon as I walked out, the secretary was all giddy as she introduced us. "Paige, this is David Joe ... he's a SINGLE, CHRISTIAN comedian. I thought you might like to meet him, being as you are single and all."

Thankfully, the poor man claimed to have a girlfriend back home in Tuscaloosa, AL. Bless her heart, I'm so glad it is her and not me! And I don't mean that in a mean way ... I'm just not interested in David Joe the traveling Christian comedian, though I wish him well as he travels around sharing God through laughter.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

When Jesus Hauls Us Out

Today is rainy. As we left for church, Joel says, "Momma, I'm wondering about something ... What if it is raining when Jesus hauls us out of here. I'm worried we might get struck by lightening. That wouldn't be good, now would it?"

I had to giggle when I told him that I imagine God has all of that under control and we have no reason to worry about lightening during the rapture. I just laugh every time I think about his word choice ... Jesus hauling us out of here! I'm picturing being thrown over His shoulder like a sack of potatoes or being dragged by the shirt collar. I don't care how He hauls me out, as long as I'm with my Redeemer for eternity I have no reason to worry. Amen!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Up to my Knees

Joel was talking about which states he wanted to visit. He listed 10 or 12 states and then finally said, "Really I just want to be the first person in my family to visit all of the states." So I asked him if he thought he would eventually reach that goal. He said, "Yes. I think I will, but probably not until we get solar-powered cars."

I thought that was a curious thing to say and so I asked him why he needed a solar-powered car to travel all over the country. Joel gave me this look of shock and said, "Now, Momma! You know that if I don't have a solar-powered car, then I'd have to buy all that gas and I'd end up being up to my knees in debt!"

Goodness ... I'm not sure how I didn't just fall over from laughing right then! But as soon as my son left the room, I just doubled over laughing. Oh, my! Kids say that cutest things ever!

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Future Grandchildren

I only have 3 children ... and they are no where near having children of their own. However, they are already planning to ensure that I end up with 78 grandkids! It is rather shocking to me too, but it seems to be the consensus among them that they should each have 26 kids so that they can name them from A to Z.

Joel wants all boys. Julia wants all girls. Nathan stated that he would have 13 boys and 13 girls because he wanted to be "fair" to his wife. That was awfully nice of him, don't you think?

Tonight's great entertainment was 3 kids laying on the floor writing out a list of names for these future children. I'll share their lists with you:

Joel's Names:
Adam, Barry, Chris, Derek, Eric, Frank, Grange, Henry, Iracus, Joel, Kart, Lopsy, Marvin, Noel, Opman, Pick, Quennel, Rick, Som, Tucker, Uranus, Varcus, Walden, Xaiver, Yiracus, and Zeptar.

Nathan's Names:
Amos, Beatrice, Calista, Daniel, Elexia, Franklin, Gorgan, Harold, Ignatious, Jessica, Kathy, Linus, Malik, Nathan the 2nd, Oliver, Petrinus, Queenie, Rick, Stacie, Todd, Ursula, Victoria, Wayne, Xavier, Yolanda and Zavian.

Julia's Names:
Avie, Bailey, Cinderella, Destiny, Ella (after Ella Enchanted), Fiona, Ginger, Heather, Ivy, Julia, Katie (after my mother), Leah, Mary, Norah, Olivia, Paisley, Queen, Rosie, Sovinna, Tonya, Uvonna, Violet, Wendy, Xerenia, Yolanda and Ziphorenia.

Some of the names make me shudder! All I can say is that Christmases ought to be very interesting.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Kindergarten Dream Come True

Today was a red letter day for Julia ... one to mark down on the calendar and anticipate with great joy. If you guessed that perhaps she got to meet the Disney princesses or the Care Bears or Hello Kitty in person, then you would be wrong. And she wasn't named Hannah Montana's new BFF either. I'm terribly sorry but no one placed a crown on top of her head and named her "Princess of the World for a Lifetime." You'll just have to guess again! Or better yet, I'll go ahead and tell you since I'm sure you'll never believe it either.

This is what Julia told me last night, with her hands clasped tightly together and her eyes bright with excitement:

"Momma ... you'll never believe it but it is true and for real and I am not making it up: Tomorrow is party jumper day at school ... and (small gasp) I am the leader!!!!" (all of which was followed by squeals of excitement and clapping of hands)

I can only imagine how very exciting it must have been for little Miss Julia to lead the entire class of kindergarterners all the way from the classroom to the playground for their end-of-school party jumper recess.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Momma

Today is Mother's Day ... and even though it is nearly over, it wouldn't be complete if I didn't write a little something about my own mother.

I am my mother's firstborn child. She has said so often that I sort of helped her to grow up, because suddenly she had this other little person who needed to be cared for and loved. Well, I don't know about all of that, but I do know that I couldn't imagine a happier childhood. I can't imagine her loving me any more or any better than she has for the past 36 years.

My momma is creative. I remember so many 4-H or school projects that she helped to make spectacular because of her wonderfully creative ideas. My mother is artistic ... she paints the neatest little watercolor pictures. She isn't crafty in that she doesn't spend a great deal of time making all sorts of crafty creations, but yet every Christmas she makes 2 or 3 or 4 new stockings for our family ... and each one is as unique as the person to whom it belongs. I've never known my mother to really follow recipes (or directions for that matter!), but her food is always so yummy. My brother always says that if you like what Momma cooks tonight, enjoy it because you'll never get it again! My mother is smart and intelligent. She's so well read and is always talking about the latest thing that she has learned or read. Her love for learning and reading have inspired me all of my life.

My mother is not a follower, though she isn't loud about doing things her own way. In fact, my mother is a quiet kind of person. If you don't watch her and pay attention, you might just miss all the wonderful things she is doing so quietly in the background. She is never in the limelight. She'll never be one to toot her own horn or even lead the group. But my mother is always working to make life more pleasant for the rest of us. My mother is full of wisdom. She may not say much, but when she talks it is worth taking note of what she says. My mother is kind and full of compassion and just about everything that I'd like to cultivate in my own life.

So, Momma ... I remember all that you did for me. I remember how every year we would spend a day baking Christmas cookies, and then we took them to people around town. I remember how you were there for every one of those livestock shows (freezing in the stands), and all the basketball games when I just sat on the bench and the dance recitals when you spent an hour or more getting me dressed for my brief 2 minutes on the stage. I remember that Mondays were always spaghetti nights (cause we kids loved it and Daddy didn't and he ate at Rotary on Monday nights). I recall how your berry cobblers tasted amazing on a cold Sunday afternoon in the winter, and how during that big ice storm you made BLT's ... everytime it gets really cold I still think about the wonderful smell and taste of those sandwiches. I remember how you let us sleep in your bed when we were sick and had to stay home from school. I remember how you read to us every night ... and even when I was in college you would still sometimes read my English selections to me. I always liked the way the sound of your voice made me feel.

I could go on and on ... all the little things that you did for me that made my childhood so perfect. I love you ... and I'm so glad that you are my mother. I can't imagine how I could have been any more blessed!

This is a photo of me with my mother on my very first Easter Sunday.

Nathan's Wish

Nathan's wish for me this mother's day is that he could give me a stretch limo with a chauffeur. Inside would be a flat screen TV and a hot tub. Nate says I could travel everywhere, even to work and back, in style!

The very idea of Nate's wish makes me giggle from the absurdity of it. Currently, I drive about 1/4 of a mile (round trip!) to work .... hardly enough time to make good use of the flat screen TV, much less that hot tub! I suppose that it could be yet another reason I am glad I'm moving, as my daily commute will increase by about 30 miles each way. It really is too bad that this is just wishful dreaming!

It makes me grin from ear to ear to think that my son would dream up such a lavish way to bless me! Quite frankly, I'm just glad my son knows how to dream big! I don't know that I ever really knew how to dream wild and big dreams. For some reason, I never felt like big dreams were meant for me ... or perhaps I just never had the courage to dream big because I was so scared of failure. At any rate, my prayer for all 3 of my babies is that the Lord will fill their hearts with big and lavish dreams for their lives ... and that He would bless them the courage to chase those dreams as they seek His will in their lives!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Blue Bandit Mom and other Mother's Day Stories

My three wonderful children came home from school today with Mother's Day gifts for me. It's precious ... sweet gifts of childhood. There is absolutely nothing like receiving a gift that come straight from the heart, especially the heart of a child.

Joel gave me a very prettily colored card with a gift certificate for a trip to Sonic. The catch is that I have to pay for it as he is totally broke! I guess next week I'll cash in my "gift certificate" and we'll go get us some ice cream after supper.

Julia handed me a colored picture along with a questionaire that she answered for her teacher. Here are some of her sweet answers to the questions:

1. How old is your mother? 18

2. What does your mother look like? Blonde hair and very tall

3. What does your mother spend most of her time doing? Well, she cleans A LOT.

4. What is your mother's favorite food? Pickles

5. What is your mother's favorite color? Purple

6. If you could tell your mother one thing, what would it be? You are the best mom in the whole world!

Now, how's that last one for melting a mom's heart?! Of course, her answer to the question about my age made me feel pretty good, too!

Perhaps Nathan's gift was the most interesting ... He made me breakfast in bed in a bag. He decorated his lunch sack with a picture of me sleeping. Here's a scanned image of it:

Note the blue sleep mask that I'm wearing, along with the beautiful pink bow on top of my head. I look like The Blue Bandit or something! I don't know where he gets the impression that I sleep with a sleep mask or a bow in my hair, but he has certainly made me look very lovely in my bed.

On the back of the bag was a poem that read:
Since it is your day,
I have something to say:
Don't lift your head.
Have breakfast in bed!
Just take a look ...
You don't have to cook!
I don't like to brag
But here is breakfast in a bag!
Happy Mother's Day 2009

Inside the bag was a granola bar and a juice box, and another card. This card was created by Nathan just for me. In his extra-nice handwriting, he had written "I'm multiplying my love for you, Momma!" And then he written out a whole bunch of multiplication facts underneath. Very cute!

So as I was driving Mr. Nate to art class, he said, "Mom, I'm really thirsty and hungry." I told him that I didn't have any snacks. He said, "Well, you could share your breakfast with me." So I gave him the granola bar and juice box. Now isn't that just a like a man!

Such sweet gifts from my sweeties! I've been made to feel loved already and my special day hasn't even arrived. I know I have one gift coming on Sunday ... I bought a bible cover and gave it to my mother to have the kids give to me. I'll be surprised on Sunday, though. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

God's Magnificent Provisions

I am amazed ...

God's blessing me in a mighty way. I can't even describe the depth of love I am feeling from my loving Heavenly Father. He is pouring out His lavish love upon and I'm overwhelmed! Here are a few of the things going on that are nothing but gifts straight from the hand of God:

1. I found out that Julia's dance teacher gives dance lessons in our new town, so next fall she can continue dance without having to switch teachers.

2. Nathan's art teacher also gives art lessons in the new town, so he is set to continue art with his same teacher as well.

3. The man who does my yard work also does yard work in the new town. That means that I can continue to get great yard care at a wonderful price!

4. I have a new friend in my new town ... Kim. She was introduced to me at random several weeks ago. She has a son with Asperger's (like Joel) and knows who to talk to at the school board office and which teachers to request, etc. She also has been through a similar divorce situation, and so she relates so very much to being a single mother with a special needs child. And, she cuts hair, so I already know who I can go to for hair cuts! YAY!

Every day I'm finding more and more confirmation that is indeed God's plan for my life, and He is being so merciful to me as I begin this new season in my life. I'm anxiously awaiting all that God has for me and the kids in our new home!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My new home

Here's the link to my new home! It's the 3rd house down, a white house with lots of windows. If you scroll down, you can also see pictures of the kitchen and dining room.

I fell in love with this house just from the picture, but when I saw it in person it really felt like I had come home. It's an older home, with lots of charming qualities. I am praying that the kids and I will be very happy here. This next season may be a long one of just the kids and me in this new town/new house. It could be a short one. Who knows what God has in store for us?! And yet, I'm confident of this one thing .... this is exactly what God would have me to do at this time in my life.

By the way, there is an open invitation for all of our loved ones (both near and far) to come visit us in our new home! We can't wait to show you how the Lord has blessed us!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Achievement Day

Today was 4-H Achievement Day in my parish. I have spent the last month or more planning for this HUGE event. Every year we have about 300 or more students show up for the big day. We have relay races, a fashion revue, a talent competition, individual and team testing on a variety of topics (like plant/insect identification, pet care, horses, camping), and exhibition contests in woodworking, art, photography and cooking/candy baking.

Perhaps, though, my very favorite part of the day is the song competition. Each of the 7 clubs comes up with their own song based on the theme and 4-H. Every year, I'm amazed the creativity of the songs. This year we had a Western theme, so most of the clubs had a Western sounding 4-H song to share with us. My very favorite was performed by a 4th/5th grade club. They sang a song to the tune of "Home, Home On the Range." They sang 3 verses about all the fun things we have done in 4-H and all the wonderful things they had learned. But I loved the chorus the best of all ... read the words to see why:

So now we are here on the stage
Because 4-H is the rage
We'll do our best
On each of our tests
So we can please Ms. Paige!

Now how cute it that?!

Anyway, we had a great day together ... celebrating another year of 4-H. It's a lot of work to get ready for it, but such a fun day that I can't wait to do it again next year. Tonight, however, I am breathing a HUGE sigh of relief because I've got 11 more months before I have to think about Achievement Day again!