Yesterday I started working on a sandbox for Riley's birthday...the girl LOVES a sandbox! So, I spent about an hour yesterday breaking up clay and rocks under our deck trying to clear and level a spot for this thing. I think I'm almost finished with that part, but my back is saying, "please don't do that to me, again!" We'll see. This morning I am off to order a birthday cake and buy the wood and some galvanized screws...and I suppose at some point I'll have to get some sand delivered...hmmmm. Well, one thing is sure, I will not be buying it by the bag at Home Depot...it would only cost about 8 times as much. Except, I will have to have it delivered and that probably won't be cheap, either. Just thinking out loud here.

Maybe while I'm outside working anyway, I can finally finish that picnic table I started back in the spring. That's the only thing standing between me and painting my kitchen (per Dave)...something about having unfinished projects?

Anyway, I will post pics of whatever comes to be...

UPDATE: After checking, it's not really 8 times as much. Just twice as much, so we will looking for a truck to borrow to pick it up.


Dirty Carpet Wealth

"Deferred gratification or delayed gratification is the ability to wait in order to obtain something that one wants. This attribute is known by many names, including impulse control, will power, self control and, in economics, "low" time preference. Extensive research has shown that animals don't do this, but instead apply hyperbolic discounting, so this problem is fundamental to human nature.

Conventionally, good impulse control is considered a personality trait. Daniel Goleman has suggested it is an important component of emotional intelligence. People who lack this trait are said to need instant gratification and may suffer from poor impulse control. Psychological research (along the lines of Walter Mischel's famous Marshmallow Experiment) indicates that good impulse control may be important for academic achievement and life success.[1] "

All that to say that impulse control, or delayed gratification, is essential in life, and is a sign of maturity. This is not something that comes naturally to me, at all (not a personality trait of mine). Being a free spirit by nature, it is a daily struggle to put off the things I'd like to have now, in order to achieve the goals we have set as a family. For instance we would like to be totally debt free, so that we will have the freedom to do whatever we like with the extra income. Primarily, we would love to be able to give extravagantly to people in need, to those who are doing ministry, etc. And maybe, just maybe, take some nice family trips now and then...oh, and get that pair of leather chairs I have been asking for for the last few years (aka, items of low time preference to Dave). Luckily, I am married to a man who has extra genes for delayed gratification. So, it matters not if I feel impulsive, because I have built in restraint. I am coming to see that as a positive, but it's hard!

So, for now I take comfort in this fact that I ran across last year (paraphrased): the person who can live with dirty carpet now, is more likely to become wealthy later - because it is an indicator of impulse control. And my carpet is filthy (FYI, not my fault, either...whoever lived here before me messed it up...just sayin)! In the meantime, I should probably forget Pottery Barn exists and turn off HGTV. Not likely, but it's a thought.

Oh, and here's a fun link, speaking of Pottery Barn...check it out...it's a hoot!



Well, I am kind of in the mood to just say what's on my mind today...blame it on hormones if you like. To jump right in I feel the need to say that the word, "doctrine" is NOT a four-letter word. You might say, well, duh, it's got eight letters! And it does, but it is treated like a curse word among a large part of the "modern" christian church. I say modern meaning those who don't want to be associated with "traditional" or high church.

The definition of "doctrine" is:
a principle or body of principles for acceptance or belief, as by political, religious, scienific or philosophic group; dogma (and Lord help you if you use THAT word ;) Something taught, a teaching.

Interestingly, the antonyms I saw listed were: opinion, disbelief, skepticism.

I don't think any of us (Christian believers, that is) would want to think of ourselves as skeptics, or ones following our own opinions. BUT at the same time it is often frowned upon to really study the Bible...what does it say in context, what was the original intent? No, let's just read snippets and make it work however it feels good and right. Not that God can't cause it to come alive that way, but as 2 Timothy says, we need to sudy to show ourselves approved, accurately handling the word of truth. We need to know what it's really saying when it says what it says...know what I'm saying?

It seems to me that some people would rather focus on feeling good, taking scripture like a prescription to feel better, but that stops way short. I don't think He wants to cleanse us just so we can feel better, but so we/He can fulfill His purposes. God is loving, and He IS love. He is also a God who pours out wrath upon sin, and yes sin-ners as well. He has lots of attributes, but the picture is incomplete without looking at the whole of scripture. God didn't have a personality overhaul in that couple of blank pages between the Old and New Testaments. He has always been loving and He has always been a righteous judge. The God Who was, is the God Who is and Who will be. We, as people, just seem to want to camp on one side or the other. That was kind of off-point, I suppose. That's a topic all it's own.

I just don't like those who study their Bibles (in this case, me ;) being looked down upon. And that's all I have to say about that...


Locked Out

After my last post I decided I better write this one down as well, after all, this blog is mostly for me...me and my 1 follower ;) ...but mostly me. Last week we had the soap on the toothbrush incident, but a couple of weeks prior to that Riley pulled another trick.

It was about 10 a.m. and I had just put Christopher down for a nap and Corban had been put in time out in his crib. I walked outside to water the plants on the front porch. As you other mommies know, we are rarely without an audience, for even the most mundane activity. So within moments Caeley was on the porch watching me water. I thought to myself, now the radar is going to go off and Riley is going to want to come out, which might be okay if it wasn't 95 degrees with 95% humidity this time of year. Sure enough she came to the door, moved the blinds and said she wanted to come out. Caeley grabbed the doorknob and said she could not come out, and Riley promptly locked the door. I looked at her and said firmly, "Riley, unlock the door!" She looked up at me, turned and ran away. We knocked. We knocked some more. We knocked and yelled. Nothing.

I did have my cell phone so I decided to call and talk to her through the answering machine. "Riley,this is Mommy. Caeley and I can't get in the house because the door is locked and we don't have a key. I need yu to come and unlock the door." Nothing. Again, "Riley, this is Mommy. I need you to unlock the door and if you do not unlock it I will have to spank your hiney when I get back inside." Sill nothing. Once more, "Riley, this is Mommy. If you come to the door right now, I will not spank your hiney. But IF YOU DO NOT COME HERE RIGHT NOW YOU ARE GOING TO GET A SPANKING." No response.

Well, now I am somewhere between anger and thinking this is very amusing. Thankfully, Dave was working in Auburn for THE FIRST TIME EVER. I made a call to a friend...couldn't get in touch with her. So I decided to walk a couple of houses down to another friend's house. She was not home, but her husband was (who I really don't know at all). He asked what was going on and I told him. He reached in his pocket and handed me the keys to his brand new, ginormous Suburban and said "take it." I took it nervously, because I really had no choice.

I left Caeley sitting on the front porch, hauled it to Walmart and power walked to the pharmacy to get Dave's key. I was cracking up when I told him...it really was a ridiculous situation...and thank God that Corban and Christopher weren't on he loose. I dropped the Suburban off and as I was crossing the yard to get home, I saw Riley finally open the door...the little turkey! I asked what she was doing and she said "coloring with markers." On my rug in the living room...which is off limits. "Why did you lock the door?" "I needed a snack." "Didn't you hear us knocking?" "No...I didn't hear anything." Later she asked "when you were stuck outside, how were you talking to me?" Aha! She did hear me! Permission to discipline granted.

That child is something else. I don't know what to expect from one day to the next, but there will never be a dull moment.


Paybacks are...well, you know

I had to write this down, lest I ever forget...not that I could! Tonight Caeley, Corban and I were all in my bedroom. It was bedtime and Riley was brushing her teeth in her bathroom while Corban was finishing off the last of his juice, before having his teeth brushed. I walked into my bathrom for a minute when suddenly I heard Corban whining. Now, that's not all that unusual, but I heard Riley's voice so I went to check out the situation. Often when Riley is around and Corban is crying, she has done something to hurt, aggravate or otherwise instigate some kind of trouble and frustration with him. When I walked into the room he was laying on the floor crying and saying, "yucky...yucky!" I picked him up and asked what was wrong, and Caeley said, "Riley put soap on Corban's toothbrush." "What? Are you sure?" So I licked it myself and sure enough..."yucky!"

So many thoughts went through my mind all at once. What an awful thing to do! That's pretty sadistic. Where did she get that idea from? She's only 4 (almost). It is a little bit funny in a way. If this had happened outside my own family I would have laughed. This is going to be funny...later. Don't laugh right now...don't smile...look away, you're smiling.

So finally I said to Riley, "that was not nice and it was NOT funny." She said, "yes it was...he he he!" I told her to stay put and I went to take care of Corban. When we got to the bathroom, he was mad at the soap dispenser so he knocked it on the floor and said "No!" I brushed his teeth with real toothpaste and gave him some water.

He was all better so I went to talk to Dave about disciplining Riley. My initial thought was that she needed a spanking...and he agreed and was horrified that she would do such a thing. I have been asking God to give me wisdom with this whole discipline thing, because honestly the kids have been wearing me out lately. Right at this very moment He came through with a genius idea...we should put soap on Riley's toothbrush! Riley would not get a spanking after all, but rather she would get a taste of her own medicine. Dave went and loaded her toothbrush with just enough hand soap while I went and got her. We just told her it was time to get her teeth brushed and that even though she had already brushed them, an adult needed to finish it. We told Caeley to get the camera (now we were being a little sadistic). He calmly sat Riley in his lap and said, "that was pretty funny, what you did to Corban, huh?" She smiled and laughed. The brushing began, she was still smiling...then suddenly it hit her...the expression on her face changed and she started foaming and spitting...and whining and crying, just like Corban, only much louder...it was awesome! Dave could not keep from laughing and neither could Caeley and I. He brushed a little bit more, then he let her spit and rinse it all out. Don't worry she was fine and recovered quickly. "Isn't it funny Riley?" No answer, just a poked out lip.

Don't think we are sick people, but sometimes one for one "retribution" works...and speaks louder than a little pop on the behind. This was priceless and we'll be watching the video to this for years to come.


too much is never enough...until it becomes too much

For most of my life I would have been what you might have called a slob...I prefer to say I was a "Messie" (as coined by Sandra Felton, who also has a website called Messies Anonymous - I find that humorous). Anyway, I was very messy, cluttered, disorganized, scattered - all of the above. BUT in the last few years I have come to hate clutter with a passion and am constantly engaged in battle with it. So far it keeps winning, primarily because I keep having babies and, well, stuff happens when that happens. Now that we have added the caboose to our little family, I feel that I can finally conquer this monster.

It's one thing to learn to part with unneccesary items, or paper (my nemesis), or trash...but it's another thing altogether to get rid of things that "I might need one day!" Or things of monetary value that I could sell and funnel the money into something else that we (I) really want or need. Currently my issue is with a table and chair set. It's really a wonderful table...it's a nice round, brown wicker pedestal table, with matching chairs that really are comfortable...it has a casual beachy kind of feel to it, while still maintaining sort of a clean line look, and I LOVE it. However, my family went and outgrew it, so currently the table is taking up much-needed space in the corner of the garage, while we are still using the chairs in the kitchen.

The other day I pulled into the garage and saw it and thought, we really need to get rid of that - cringe...Dave would probably LOVE it if I agreed to get rid of it - cringe, again. Then, I got an email which laid out a perfect opportunity to GIVE IT AWAY FOR NO MONEY...just give it away. Immediately I knew it was the thing to do, and even now I know that it is, but my stomach is still in a knot. Oh, and did I mention that the table was free to me? I didn't pay a dime for it, except to recover the cushions after my kids destroyed them. Isn't it pathetic how stuff can have a hold on us? I have been praying that God would make me a servant...would teach me to love people...and what better way than to give? The fact that it's so difficult for me to part with the table and chairs lets me know that I really need to get rid of it. No thing should have that kind of power over my well-being...for heaven's sake two-thirds of the world lives in utter poverty and I am whining about a table and chairs...when I still have two more in the house. Good gracious, Lord help me!