Aug 312009
 

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I’m just stopping by to show off the new sunburn that I’m sporting. Mama says she feels awful about it, but she has to admit that it’s cute.

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And I, for one, love her bunches, despite her parenting lapses.

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While I was sitting in the grass getting toasty, the big kids were running around like crazy people. It was a sight to see.

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In fact, I was so inspired that I scooted all the way across the living room floor last night. It won’t be long before I’m joining them!

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P.S. Did you notice my brand new teeth?! I’m a very big boy now.
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 August 31, 2009  Photo Posts Comments Off
Aug 312009
 

We’ve had quite the bear epidemic this summer in my little mountain village. Rubber bullets have bounced from one end of town to the other as our local law enforcement has tried tirelessly to undo the taming that June tourists successfully instilled in our most celebrated wildlife.

We even have a local t-shirt that reads, “Red River Campers, the bite sized grizzly bear snack.” But they’ll never learn.

And as it turns out, the biggest news rumor circulating around the mill is that a bear was recently shot, with an actual bullet, because a man crawled into his tent wearing the same clothes he had worn to cook bacon, and was appropriately tasted on his rump. Feel free to laugh heartily, because the man suffered little more than a scratch (according to the aforementioned rumor).

Bears, who are in fact quite commonplace, have become such a story this year that a particular bear even made the front cover of our local newspaper. I spotted this picture while at the library with Papa Bear and the cubs kids.

The caption read something like, “Man in a bear suit trying to subdue a hummingbird feeder.” And because I grew up in the city and am still learning to adjust to small town humor…

Ahem.

I hollered at Papa Bear, “That’s not a man in a bear suit!”

To which the librarian sternly replied, “Well, it’s funny because it looks like a man in a bear suit!”

I then took a second look at the paper, laughed heartily, and left (muttering something about how I should be doing PR for bears). And I can joke about things like this because while my readership is now larger than the population of my town, I have very few readers in my town. I know, I seem like a very open person who would gladly share the details of my life with my neighbors and friends of friends. But I’m actually very shy…

Once you get to know me.

Anyway, I was sitting around thinking about bears (because that’s what my Sunday nights have been reduced to), and I thought, “I know something about bears!”

See?






And I’m so glad.

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 August 31, 2009  Photo Posts Comments Off
Aug 302009
 

Last night was grocery night. It was also game night for Papa Bear because our van is in the shop (again), and sweet-sister-in-law offered to drive me to the store (and buy me dinner and pay for pedicures). Because I try to buy in bulk wherever I can, there is always quite a bit to be done when I return from the store.

I split the ten pound bag of chicken into three bags. I split the five pound package of ground beef into six baggies. And I made thirty hamburger patties out of another package of ground beef (and then I wrapped them in wax paper and put them into the freezer).

By the time I lowered my aching head, sore back, and pretty feet into bed, it was the wee small hours of the morning. And Papa Bear’s gamers were dedicated, so he didn’t make it to bed until I did. We held each other close, finding a remarkably comfortable cuddling position that we will probably never be able to repeat (we are both completely inept when it comes to cuddling), and I slowly drifted off to sleep.

Then, just as I was entering a peaceful dream in which something extraordinary would have eventually happened, I was startled by a quite whisper from my warm-bodied husband.

“Let me know when your headache is gone, OK.”

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 August 30, 2009  Marriage, Papa Bear Comments Off
Aug 272009
 

Something I’ve discovered over these last several years is how very childishly I can [potentially] react to what I like to refer to as “life’s little tiffs”. Life’s tiffs are not important, and they do not really qualify as battles; still, they are unpleasant things we must deal with in our day-to-day lives.

Fender Benders

Burned dinners

Interrupting an all-important activity (like writing a blog post) to solve an argument or discipline a child

Even bad hair days

But another thing I’ve learned, and quite unpleasantly I might add, is that when I am going through an actual battle (and only when I am going through it God’s way) I am much more equipped to handle the tiffs.

Case in point:

Last night we decided to go to church. We have been less than faithful attendees, lately, and we have made up our minds to change that. We also decided to go early for the pot luck so that we would have more time to fellowship.

“Can you remember what time the pot luck starts?” I shamefully asked.

“I just know it’s sometime between six and six-thirty,” Papa Bear answered.

“OK, yeah, I think it’s 6:15. That gives me one hour to shower, dress, get the kids changed, nurse the baby, and make a dish. Do you think you could pick out clothes for the kids?”

“There’s nothing I’d love more!”

Oh, I can dream, can’t I?

I took a quick shower during which I actually shaved my legs (and I have no idea why because I already knew I was wearing jeans), and I emerged from the steamy bathroom to find one very hungry babe and four older children who were on their way to dressed.

“Thanks, Hun!” I said as I rummaged through the kitchen for a quick pot-luck dish.

“Pastor said not to worry about a dish if it was too stressful.”

“Too stressful?!” I balked. “Did you tell him what we’ve been dealing with?”

“No, not yet. He just knows you’re busy.”

“Well, I’m not going to make mooches out of the biggest (in numbers) family at church. I’m sure I can come up with something.”

I [literally] threw together a spinach casserole and then nursed Baby Bear while it broiled and cooled. And after a quick diaper change and one last shoe hunt, we were on our way.

Or, were we?

“I’ll be right there!” I hollered. I sprinted into the bathroom to put on deodorant (either the first or second coat, I can never remember), and then I grabbed the diaper bag and headed down to the van.

“Are you ready?” Papa Bear quizzed.

“Yeeeee…Oh, I forgot the food! I’ll be right back.” I ran up to the kitchen, grabbed the food (which was still very hot), and made my way, gingerly, down the stairs.

I once saved an entire pot of hot apple cider as I fell down a flight of stairs, and I’ve never let myself forget the near tragedy.

Then, in an instant, I turned to close the door and practically threw my spinach casserole all over the front stoop, letting out a loud squeak in the process.

“What happened?” Papa Bear asked as he loaded the last child in the van.

“I dropped my dish, ” I whispered, standing over the mess and fighting back tears. “Oh well,” I tried to laugh. “I hadn’t even tasted it, maybe it would have been awful!”

We took about ten minutes to clean up the mess so that the handy man wouldn’t cut his feet. I held open the bag as Papa Bear scooped heaping piles of spinach and glass.

We were almost done when I heard, “Mama!? Bay Bit peed!”

I walked over to the van and carefully lifted her out. “It’s OK, honey. Let’s go get you changed.”

I know God was with me as I cleaned her and picked out a new outfit. It wasn’t even hard to stay calm, although I was consciously aware that Satan was probably testing my resolve. And believe me, I can be an easy victim of such pop-quizzes.

Babe?!” Papa Bear yelled up from downstairs.

“I’m up here,” I answered. “Bay Bit had a little accident.”

“Oh, well, the van keeps dying on me. Do you think maybe we’re not supposed to go tonight?”

“Hmmm…” I thought; and then I laughed. “I think maybe we are supposed to go.”

So we did.

We all entered the church building with smiles on our faces, and not the fake kind, either. And I think my smile was more of a smirk, resulting from a secret between me and my Savior.

“I can totally pass this!” I laughed to myself my God.

“I never doubted it for a minute.”

I can do all things [teeny-tiny and painfully weighted] through Christ which strengtheneth me.

 August 27, 2009  Christianity, Uncategorized Comments Off
Aug 262009
 

A good friend of mine just called, and while it’s fresh in my mind, I thought I’d share our little conversation.

____________

“Hey, Sarah, are you busy?”

“Ummmmm….”

She laughs.

“Well, you may hear some screaming, but other than that it’s fine.”

“OK, well, I’m just starting to watch a friend’s daughter, and we haven’t talked about money yet. I was just wondering what you charge.”

“I charge what the daycare was charging. They work on a sliding scale and I’ve been honoring their price of such-and-such and hour for Super Swoop and such-and-such an hour for Blondie ,” I said as I bounced Baby Bear on my hip and left the room to escape Lil Prince’s screaming.

“Maaaaaaaammmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!” Lil Prince wailed.

“And do you ever break that down by the hour?” my friend asked.

“Actually, I try not to think about it by the hour cause it’s kinda depressing,” I laughed. Then I looked up through the t.v. room railings and yelled, “Lil Prince, what is it?!”

“Tiny Dancer says I’m a Lil Prince, but I’m not, I’m a lion today,” he whined.

“I know you’re a lion. I told Tiny Dancer not to call you Lil Prince anymore today. I will talk to her again.”

Hysterical laughter comes through the phone.

And I continue, “But you know what? A lion would never care if someone called him a Lil Prince. Lions don’t care about stuff like that! So just give her a good growl and ignore it, OK.”

At this point Baby Bear is beyond upset, so I carry him to his bed.

“I’m sorry, go ahead,” I whispered as I sneaked to my room.

“That’s OK! I was also wondering about potty-training. She’s three years old and she’s not potty-trained.”

Oh, I know I charged my sis-in-law a flat fee to potty-train Super Swoop. And if she doesn’t want you to potty-train her, you might just tack on another dollar or two an hour. But surely she’d rather have her trained so that she can stop buying diapers.”

“Yeah, surely. That sounds good. And how did you potty-train your kids?”

“I used the…..Cuddle Bug, what is that smell? Did you spray air freshener in here?! Go sit in time out until I get off the phone…. I’m sorry, I used the…”

“Maaaaammmmmmaaaaa, I’m done!!!” Tiny Dancer yelled down from the upstairs bathroom.

“I’m coming!” I yelled back “Sheesh, what was I saying?”

“Did you give rewards when they were dry or just when they went in the potty?” she continued undeterred, completely proving that she is right for the job.

“Just when they went in the potty. And I went straight to underwear. I put a diaper over their underwear when it was nap-time or bedtime so that they…..Tiny Dancer, what is on this floor?”

“It’s water from Bay Bit’s underwear.”

“There is no such thing as water from underwear. That is called pee. Bay Bit, come in here please…..Oh, yuck, are you wearing wet underwear?”

NOPE.”

“Well, let me see…Oh good, you’re dry. But you missed the potty, babe? Come in here and clean up this floor!”

I never would have seen the humor in this five minute segment of my day if my friend weren’t on the other end of the phone, laughing her head off. But, thankfully, she was. “I think I’d better let you go,” she said through tears. “But thanks so much! You’ve been so helpful!”

“You’re very welcome, “I sighed. “Goodbye!”

Goodbye.”

“Seriously, one at a time on that bed or I will not let you up there at all…..And next time I’m on the phone, will you please be quiet! No, Lil Prince, I mean, Mr. Lion, lions do not wear diapers. They most definitely wear underwear…………………………………………..”

And on, and on, and on.

And on.

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 August 26, 2009  Friday Funny, Friends, Mommyhood Comments Off
Aug 262009
 

I think I’ve only done this once before; but tonight, I’m going to resort to a repost. And I’d probably just go without posting, but this particular post says so much of what I am feeling right now.

Papa Bear and I are walking through a trial by fire. Something that doesn’t show any signs of letting up (at least not any time soon). And to tell you the truth, we aren’t praying that it lets up, we are simply praying that God will have His purposed and perfect way.

We feel compelled, even anointed, to share our journey with the world. But we are currently in the process of preparing our hearts, and waiting on the Lord.

And yes, I am sorry for being so vague.

For now, I’ll simply leave you with what I wrote on February twenty-third of this year:

____________

When we walked into church on Sunday morning the band was playing, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.” I’d had a hectic, rushed morning, and my spirit wasn’t right, but God often likes to get me with the first song.

When I rush, Papa Bear and I always have problems. I guess that would make it my fault.

Dang.

Anyway, I was immediately struck by a few things.

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

I began walking with the Lord as a young girl, so I don’t really remember the honeymoon phase. But I have had times of great renewal that are probably similar to what a new Christian experiences. Everyday He is faithful. Everyday Jesus is tender and loving, and He truly is the ultimate groom; but that doesn’t mean there aren’t days when I’m “just not feelin’ it.” Just like my marriage, it’s not always a romance of emotion. It is a romance of commitment.

The Bible compares earthly marriage to the church’s marriage to Christ. I believe part of that comparison is simply the everlasting commitment. I have decided to be Papa Bear’s wife. I have decided to follow Jesus.

No turning back, no turning back.

Tho’ none go with me, I still will follow;
Tho’ none go with me, I still will follow;
Tho’ none go with me, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

This stanza struck me especially hard as I was already reveling in the similarities of marriage and the Christian walk. You may remember that I received Biblical counsel to leave Papa Bear shortly after God had promised me a miraculously redeemed marriage. I chose to believe God, and I feel I was judged harshly for my decision. Sometimes the lonely road feels like the wrong road, but I know now that is not necessarily the case.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

I’ve read a great quote on several of my favorite blogs, but I’m not sure of its actual source. “Marriage is not for our happiness, but for our holiness.” The world will always be about happiness, but as Christians we know that true and lasting joy is found only by embracing the cross.

The rest of worship was powerful; the sermon was fantastic. And I put my hand on Papa Bear’s knee and leaned in close (to him and to Jesus), because that’s what married people should do, even on rushed Sunday mornings.

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 August 26, 2009  Christianity, Marriage Comments Off
Aug 252009
 

I also blog…

Because it forces me to stop and smell the roses (and take pictures of and thoroughly describe them).

Because otherwise, I would remember all of my sorrows are far fewer of my blessings.

Because it gives me a place to admit things like, “I only lock my house when it’s dirty,” and “I have the loudest kids in the world!”

Because I think my life is way cool and totally worth sharing.

And, because if I didn’t write about my Savior, I just might explode.

How about you, why do you blog?

And if you don’t, why the heck don’t ya?

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 August 25, 2009  Blogging & Writing Comments Off
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