Friday, November 28, 2008

The thrill of the hunt...

We are a hunting family. My boys can rarely be seen daylight hours from October thru December. Some of my favorite memories of growing up were made walking through the woods with my grandpa. And I even had my very own deer stand made this year (more in effort to wanting to stay warm and dry than a serious place to hang my glowing orange hat.)

Today was my day. I spent last night preparing for the trip. I woke up long before the crack of dawn this morning. I gathered my gear and slipped stealthly out the door, careful not to wake the sleeping baby and husband.

Did I mention I was BARGAIN hunting? I am a Black Friday FANATIC!!!

Pouring through sales ads is the highlight of my Thanksgiving after-meal afternoon. My cousins and I have a special notebook we have dubbed the "Clipboard of Deals." We carefully find the cheapest prices on what we are looking for and plan our attack according to location and store opening times, taking into consideration availability of items, of course.

I also need to confess that we wake up early and endure the madness mostly for pure entertainment purposes. There is nothing like the scream of the crowd in Walmart at 5 a.m. when the unwrap the guarded pallets of super cheap televisions. Watching a lady cry tears of joy when she finds the last abandoned baby doll laying on some random shelf after she had given up hope is better than seeing the first moon walk. Not to mention the fighting. Surely someone else gets a little amused seeing two grown people play tug-of-war over Tickle Me Elmo.

Mostly the bargains are in vain as we spent too much gas driving to stores we never go to or standing in lines that are hardly worth the saved cash. To those of you who were out there with me...I hope you had as much fun as I did (and I hope you got those $4 jogging suits and $10 nerf guns.) And if you were warm and dry in your bed this cold, rainy morning at 4 a.m., you really had the right idea-but I hope to see you next year!

P.S....Let me know your best bargain of the day...
Mine was the digital camcorder (finally we are moving out of the 1990's) from Walmart. Cute, tiny, and super cool!!! Brad really outdid himself this year on my Christmas gift-and never stepped foot into the store!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

For my (460+) Kids at Christmas

We are so blessed. I mean, really...WOW. I am sitting here tonight tired-maybe exhausted. But I am also excited and hopeful. And I have a stack of red and blue tags that need your prayers...

I am praying tonight for all 460+ kiddos in our county on Angel Tree. I am asking that they experience God as he intends us all to see him-simply and generously. No questions. Pure joy. My hope is that they will receive more than much needed clothing items or toys. They will know unconditional love from a total stranger during this most holy time of year. They will know that someone cares for them, that they want to give them a gift with expectations of nothing in return. That as theyy grow into adults, they will remember that someone loved them so much that they were given an extraordinary gift. Lessons learned will far excede socks and stocking stuffers.

I want to pray for the moms, dads, and grandparents of these precious children. Parenting is the hardest job we will ever take on, and many of them are taking on this roll as they fill many other shoes. I thank God for giving them the grace to reach out for help from others. It is not easy to humble ourselves, but doing so for the benefit of our children is an act of pure selflessness. I pray that they will find ease from their stresses, financially, emotionally, and otherwise, and that they will be afforded the experience of a Christmas miracle with their children. I ask God to protect them, keep them safe, warm, happy, well, and full. I pray that every one of these families is drawn through this experience closer together and to Him. If there is a family that doesn't know the love and mercy of this great Redeemer, then I pray that through the generosity and compassion of others they will seek the greater Source.

I am humbled by the generocity of our community. God has been so good to so many, and I am greatful for the close ties that can be found here in Clark County. People are so good to give, making sacrifices for themselves to heed the call of Christ in service. The joy that shines in their faces as they deliver those packages can only be matched by a child experiencing Christmas in the midst of terrible hardships. Families, churches, organizations, businesses....we are so blessed to be surrounded by people who love the Lord. I pray that God continues to bless those that give. That He protects them, their families, and their works. That the people who are taking care of our Angels continue to trust that thier needs are provided for as well.

As we place these tags on the trees tomorrow night, join me in prayer of thanksgiving for these children, parents, giving families, and volunteers. God is so good to provide. What a blessing to see how He works.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Confessions of a crazy morning.

Mornings with my kids are the hardest part of the day. They grumble when they have to get up (I do, too.) They can NEVER find their shoes (got me there.) They fight over EVERYTHING, even things that I am convinced noone really wants. They do not like what their breakfast choices are, but once they get started you would think that they are having something really fantastic by the way they savor each and every little bite. Someone forgets something every day-usually a backpack after I have just said, "Get your backpack and head to the car." They take an e-x-c-r-u-t-i-a-t-i-n-g-l-y long time to walk the fifty yard from the parking lot into the school building. Then they pretend to wonder why our farewells are tainted with grumbles.

This morning was especially frustrating. They were pushing the right buttons right from the start. Parker discovered that he could control the lighting in the house by flipping light switches with (I'm sorry...) his tongue. He wandered around looking at the ceiling calling, "Shoes, shoes, where are you?" Kaden wouldn't get up until it was time to go, then he whined about going hunting instead of pursuing his education. And both were begging for a cookie for breakfast.

I did what I am always threatening to do....I grabbed Maddie and left.

(Disclaimer-Brad was home this morning. He usually goes to work at 6, but because of some power thingy he didn't go in til 10. I know...too perfect!)

So we girls loaded up in the car and took off. All three guys were standing in the door with lost, desperate faces.

It took about 2.4 seconds for my phone to ring. "You can come back. They are ready now."

Nope. Didn't do it. They love that they get to school way early and get to walk in with Mom and all that jazz. This was my perfectly presented opportunity to prove my point..."GET READY WE GOTTA GO!" I just knew this would fix them. They would see the light, understand my frustration, and come to my terms.

I felt like a super parent all day long. I was confident that the next time I said it was time, they would grab their stuff and load up. My delusions lasted until 3:30 when I was ready to leave school and my little precious guys were too busy playing to hear my declaration.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


So I have an ever-expanding list of things that need to get done. It is one of those overwhelming, too many things, shut down entirely lists that won't go away.

I know that none of these tasks are too big that I can't accomplish each and every one of them. I know that they have to be done, and be done before this week is over. I know that I could have accomplished a number if not all of them if I hadn't done to the Wheel of Fortune casting yesterday. I know these things, but am doing little about them. Yikes.

So here is my that can't be hidden in the bottom of my purse or used as a coloring page. And if admitting you have a problem is the first step, then...

"Hello. My name is Amy. I need to get these things done:"

*Write the conclusion to my research paper due LAST Monday.

*Enter the 165 applications I have so far for Angel Tree into the spreadsheet. There will be more tomorrow.

*Lesson plans....find teepee.....paper bag vests and pilgrim hats....corn art....

*Finalize reflections on lesson I presented 2 weeks ago. Wish I could remember what I had for breakfast!

*Call back the approximately 2 dozen messages on my voicemail about Angel Tree from last Thursday and Friday.

*Reading reflection ch. 7--should be first and fastest.

*Laundry. More accurately-put away 27 loads that are crowding my bedroom floor from washing here and there all last week between deer camp and school.

*Unpack camper. HMMM...wonder what marshmallows would look like if I put this one off until next October when we will use camper again.

*Walmart. Camping and living out of an ice chest for 10 days has somehow emptied our house of everything.

*T graph plot my research results. Wish I knew what that means.

*Gather items for JA meeting tomorrow night so we can write out tags for 400+ children. There will be more tomorrow.

*Family time? Homework? Koalaty reading slips? Bedtime stories?

*Start media contact to raise support and awareness for Angel Tree.

I didn't number any tasks because they are all equally daunting and important right now. If anyone has a magic wand to wave and get everything done, I will be forever greatful. If not, then I will be super enthused about prayer and support.

Now that I have aired my dirty laundry (literally) I can't hide from it any longer. Off I go!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chain forwards on my day "off"

Parker is sick today with the yuckiest stomach bug. So after washing everything in my house AND shampooing all of my carpets, I finally got around to checking my email. Had this fun forward (thanks, Christy,) and decided to post for all to see...

Welcome to the 2008 edition of getting to know your friends. 'press FORWARD' then change all the answers so they apply to you, and then send this to your friends including the person who sent it to you.The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends that you might not have known!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 2 am. see note on puke
2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? so embarrassing...Saw 5.
4. What is your favorite TV show? Gray's Anatomy, O'Reilly Factor
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? half of Maddie's Poptart
6. What is your middle name? Lynn
7. What food do you dislike? onions and cabbage
8. What is your favorite CD at moment? Rascal Flatts Greatest Hits
9. What kind of car do you drive? Chrysler Town and country-Shout out to all you Mini-Van Moms!
10. Favorite sandwich? grilled cheese
11.What characteristic do you despise? dishonesty
12. Favorite item of clothing? monkey pajamas
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Rome
14. Favorite brand of clothing? So many choices....
15. Where would you retire? all over...I want to travel
16.What was your most recent memorable birthday ? 21...Parker was born, graduated college...big year
17. Favorite sport to watch? football
18. Furthest place you are sending this? cyberworld
19. Person you expect to send it back first?IDK
20. When is your birthday? April 17
21. Are you a morning person or a night person? Morning and night. It's the middle part that gets me.
22. What is your shoe size? 9
23. Pets? Cocoa and Reeces...two great cats.
24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? Kaden got a deer! (with a little help from dad)
25. What did you want to be when you were little? lawyer
26. How are you today? tired.
27. What is your favorite candy? Hershey's Kisses and red blowpops
28. What is your favorite flower? yellow rose
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? Dec. 4th-will be done with research!
30. What is your favorite pastime? reading and traveling
31. What are you listening to right now? The View. Love that Elizabeth!
32. What was the last thing you ate? Honey Nut Cheerios
33. Do you wish on stars? Nope, but thank God for them.
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? grey
35. How is the weather right now? beautiful
36. The first person you spoke to on the phone today? Ms. O'Quinn
37. Favorite soft drink? Diet Coke with Cherry from Sonic
38. Favorite restaurant? Olive Garden
39. Real hair color? mousey brown and grey. hence, the highlights!
40. What was your favorite toy as a child? books
41. Summer or winter? winter
42. Hugs or kisses? yes, please
43. Chocolate or Vanilla? chocolate
44. Coffee or tea? water with lemon
45. Do you want your friends to email you back? exactalutely (kadenism)
46. When was the last time you cried? I don't know...probably due for a good one.
47. What is under your bed? winter sweaters
48. What did you do last night? online chat and test (research again. ugh)
49. What are you afraid of? wasting time, not getting all of the important things done
50. Salty or sweet? salty
51. How many keys on your key ring? 7
52. How many years at your current job? 2
53. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
54. How many towns have you lived in? 7
55. Do you make friends easily? yes
56. How many people will you send this to? bloggers everywhere
57. How many will respond? can't wait to see...