Thursday, December 16, 2010

Write Two Blogs and Call me in the Morning.....

For years there has been stock put into the value of recording your thoughts, although before the technology age it was referred to as "Journal" or "Keeping a Diary", but non the less it was encouraged, and mainly a "girlie" thing. I can remember one Christmas (actually many Christmas's) receiving a diary with a lock and key. Now days though we still have the same concept, it now had a different name of "blogging" , and as a newbie to the Blogging scene I can say the therapeutic qualities that it has are amazing. It is my outlet to share all those things that roll around up in my head that clutter up the space that is needed for something else. So in a sense blogging is a sort of mental garage sale.

In much the same way with material items, we do the same with our thoughts, we are pretty confident we will not need them again, but they're in good shape, and surely someone somewhere could get some use out of them. Good ideas, thought provoking ramblings, funny tidbits, craft ideas, noticed blessings.....the list could go on and on. The therapeutic qualities of going through your "attic" are immense! You can see where you have been, where you thought you were going, where you're really going, how strong you have become. We take the  things that we don't necessarily need to hang onto that are cluttering up our "attic" and we put them on the blog table in our drive way. We hope that someone will find "just what they are looking for" and put it to use. Whatever is leftover we just give to Goodwill, and we're left with a less cluttered "attic" ready to be filled with more stuff.  So if you are suffering from some mental indigestion I say ....Write Two Blogs and Call me in the Morning.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Less "Friendly Pat-Down" More "Strip and Search"~ Adjusting to my PCS

So in light of the recent news regarding TSA and their searching methods I thought this was a fitting summary of how I am adjusting to  this PCS (Permanent Change of Station). 
A friendly pat-down is uncomfortable, awkward, unsettling, but it is over fairly quickly. I mean you may have to put your shoes back on, straighten you clothes, but as a whole it is quick to recover from. We have PCS ed 4 times this far in our Army career, and for the first three they would fall into the "friendly pat-down" category. It was uncomfortable to not know how to get around post, it could be awkward trying to get a handle on the flow of the pick up lane at the kids school, even unsettling having to put on the "new kid in town" T-shirt and meet new people. However it was all over quickly, either because my level of investment was low so it was easy to meet the "new place information" quota, or because the puzzle pieces I came into contact with were precut to fit with me. Whatever the reasons, up to now I have been able to knock the new off pretty quickly.
 This move has been more of a "strip and search". Moving to a new post, new job, new lifestyle this time seems to feel more like my identity has been "striped" away and now I am desperately "searching" for it. Now let me add a disclaimer, as my identity as a mother, wife and Christian I am very secure in these and non of those relationships have faltered. This move however has really been a dozy on MY identity!
  I had never realized how much of your identity is made up of your surroundings. The people you know, the friends you make, the places you go, your church, your bible study groups. I think this has been especially true due to the level of my personal investment.
 I have been teased about being a "shiner", that is someone who needs shined every once in a while, and I AM one,  I do need to be shined every once in a while, but who doesn't want to have the rag of praise rubbed over our (at times)worn and weary spirts? I love to be shined so that the the light reflects brighter off of me! It is hard to be a beacon when your spirt is dull, and the affirmation you get from your peers, the validity that comes with being able to use your gifts for the blessings of others, the knowledge that you have individuals who truly know and love you regardless of your flaws help to make you shine. These are all gifts in themselves, and although you don't need marshmallows in your hot chocolate to make it enjoyable,  they sure do make it a little more delicious!
Now we have been here just a little under 5 months, household goods=check, identity=????  I think the shipment got lost so the search is on.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bargin hunting is for the birds....I am beginning to think

OK so I have decided to take the path of many friends and take a mosey down to the "Bargain Hunter's" subdivision. Where "Coupon Ln" and "Rebate Dr" meet "SwagBuck Ave".  WHOA it is quite the place! The Homeowner Association there is insane!

 I have managed to sit on my computer searching, looking, comparing, all afternoon and I am exhausted. My mind can't move that fast, or comprehend that much information being flung at it at those speeds. Take grocery shopping for example , in the past I have made a list of meals, made the grocery list of the needed supplies and gone to one store (typically the commissary) and bought the stuff on my list and TaaDaa I was done and on to the next task. However now that I have been turned onto the "joys" of saving I think I may be a borderline coupon addict. It isn't the "using" of the coupon that I'm caught on, it is the "hunt" for the coupon. To know there may be a coupon out there in cyberspace that will save me 55 beautiful cents on my canned veggies taunts me. The comparison of all the grocery ads, and the coupon policies of this store and that. Where is it cheaper, what's a better buy. Buy one get one FREE!!!!

    In spite of all the wonderful new found "Joys" I can't help but think that if the time that I would have spent just making my list and going to the Commissary could possibly be converted into coupons, rebates, and SwagBucks, would it equal out?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The 1st Annual Post Thanksgiving Esterline 500

So we started a new tradition this year The Post Thanksgiving Esterline 500. The Kids and Curtis race against each other on the Playstation with a racing game. They draw names to see who they are racing against and then they race 3 races and the winners race against each other in the final race.
The winner of the 1st Annual Post Thanksgiving Esterline 500 was........

Now I am not a big fan of video games, and my family isn't truly. We had to knock the dust off of it to take on this endeavor, but it was such a wonderful time for our family.  As I sat on the couch reading while coordinating the "event" , I took a moment to notice how content I was, and not just me but how content our family was to just spend time together in the same room. Everyone was waiting their turn, and cheering on each other. Sometimes something so simple can be such a treasure.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Always Enough

Have you ever had "zero miles to empty" on the meter and still manage to get to the gas station? Or been able to find just enough change for the parking meter, when you're already late for an appointment? Or have just enough food to serve the guests that you didn't plan on? There always seems to be enough to meet our needs, maybe not our desires by always our needs. There is a bible story in 1Kings 17:7-15 I remember being told when I was a child about a widow who was running low on oil and flour and God sent Elijah to her. When Elijah asked for some bread the woman told him of how she didn't have the means to make bread, and Elijah instructed her to go and make bread for him, and that she would have enough flour and oil to feed her and her son until the Lord sent rain. She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah. (1Kings 17:15-16)

When I think back on this story I can't help and see the correlation with my personal life, for many times we have been in situations where I wasn't sure how our needs would be met. When reflecting on this story there are two things that stick out to me.

1.Providing the flour and oil was meeting her need
2. She was continent and obedient.

Now she could have been a little put out that there wasn't a Lamb, or goat in the deal. I mean who wouldn't want something to slap between two pieces of bread when you're hungry. However she was content to have her needs met. In 1Tim 6:8 it says But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. She was also obedient, Elijah instructed her to bring him bread then make bread for her and her son. She didn't grumble or sneak a bite, even though she was hungry as well, she was obedient in spite of her circumstances, and in turn was rewarded with endless oil and flour to feed them all.

There have been time in our life that our financial situation has been like a dress that fits perfectly, however one donut and were busting out at the seams. God has always managed to provide for us, and I am thankful that he allowed us to learn from each of those situations. We have learned to give to Him first, for without him we are nothing. We have also learned to be content with having out needs met, even if a big fat Goat sandwich would taste divine, we are content and thankful for our bread! There is always enough because HE is ALWAYS enough!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Enjoying my season

The leaves on the trees are "finally" begining to change colors and drop here in South Carolina. Having come from Kansas where fall makes a much early arrival, the tardiness of autum has made me a bit anxious for it which made me reflect on the times I tend to await the next "season" and fail to thourghly enjoy the one in which I am in.
God has blessed me with four wonderful children. My oldest is 10 and my youngest is 3, with a 6 and 8 year old in the middle. This is my season, being the mother of four wonderful children who are at the most delicious age. This is the time where they all think I am still cool, they still think that their siblings make great playmates, they of their own free will create family celebrations with "Thanksgiving Family Story time". I know that this season will pass, more quickly that I would every imagine to the next season of my life and theirs. I think that the key isn't to dwell on what is coming but to be thankful and appreciate what you have whatever the circumstances.
During all three deployments my husband was gone on, I kept working for the end. That was my focus, get to the finish line, make it through the year, but as I look back on that time in my life I see how much of that season I missed. The colors changed without me noticing their vibrant hues, and the leaves got crumbled before I could pick out the biggest one. My children grew without me really absorbing them.
I will be more observant to the season that I am in. I will Love that I have a chubby belly, and little money, and tons of laundry. I will be gracious for every single craft project that comes home, and will take time away from vacuuming to watch movies with my kids on my bed even though it is made. I will  live in this season completly so as to fill my memory book full, so that when I am in my winter season I have lots to keep me warm.

I took a picture in Eureka Springs, AR in November of 2009 and it hangs in my living room. I like the colors and the composition of the tiles. It wasn't until later that I noticed the panel that shows a woman throughout her seasons.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Story of the Little Red Chest

In 1970 when my parents got married my grandparents gave them a little red chest as a wedding gift.  Thoughout my childhood it was used to hold odds and ends. Somethings that were useful, somethings that were not, a treasure or two.  Now it belongs to me, and without any instructions has become what it always was. A place to store somethings that are useful, somethings that aren't, and it holds some treasures as well. This blog will hopefully become my own "Little Red Chest" where I will put some of my useful thougths, some that aren't, and maybe even a few treasures.