Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gretchen


After 2 1/2 years of not having a dog we got a new one yesterday. Eric has been pleased with not having a dog, and I haven't minded it terribly, until the last 8-9 months or so. Ever since Jaylie has been potty trained and talking and behaving like a little girl and not a baby any more, I have been ready to have another dog. Because I have a husband who loves me very much, even if he doesn't love dogs, he said that it was OK to get one a couple of months ago. So, I've been hunting. I decided on a Basset for the temperament and so far, it hasn't been wrong. Gretchen is so laid back. She's barked about 3 times since we've had her and that was at her own reflection in the mirror and at a stuffed horse in Jaylie's room. The kids love her. They are all at good ages to enjoy her without me having to worry too terribly much about someone getting hurt. We got her at the Humane Society and we're estimating she's just a little over 1 year old. She's not done anything at all that is unpleasant or negative. I hope she is a quick learner of the rules in our house. She is quite the lover and snuggler so we really don't think she has been mistreated by people which is great.

Here's a picture of the first time we met.

I have wanted a basset hound since I was about 13 years old. I had a poster in my room of about 8 or9 basset puppies having their ears blown around by a fan that I thought was so cute. We always had dachshunds growing up and that's what Jasper was--he was our first dog (only dog) as a couple. We got him as a puppy after we had been married about a year. When moved here, we found another home for him where he would be paid more attention to. We also didn't have a fence here and with a 6 month old I didn't want to think of taking him out on a leash with Jaylie on my hip all the time. Our house is on a fairly busy corner lot and so just letting him out alone would have been out of the question. We built a fence last March and so now I have that and a 3 year old instead of a baby. We're all set.

Gretchen is fully grown and weighs about 25#. She is pretty skinny and will hopefully be putting on some weight so that I can't see all her ribs. When she walks with her nose to the ground she trips over her ears which I think is adorable. She has massive feet that sit kind of in a V shape when she's sitting down. So far, she is just a joy. I'm sure I'll post more about her as time goes by but for now, the score has been evened out at our house: 3 boys and 3 girls!

Have a great week
D

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's Picking Up

Now that we've been back in school for several weeks now, I can definitely tell that my life is taking on a different shape than it had during the summer. This is all very expected but I am trying my best to keep track of it all so it doesn't spin out of control and leave me frazzled. This is how my weeks look, in case you're interested Also in case you plan on calling at some point, you might have some idea if I'll be available to visit or not.
Mondays: Eric's off, Ike to school at 7:30, I spin at 9:30, pick Isaac up at 2ish...this is a nice down day
Tuesdays: Get Ike to school, take Ethan to school at 8:45, stay for ladies' bible study till 10:30, clean out/inventory hospital house closet til 11:45, pick Ethan up, go home, lunch, nap, pick Ike up
Wednesdays: Ike to school, Eric takes Ethan, tutor another 2nd grader from 8:30-9:00, spin at 9:30, playdate for J at 10:30, lunch, nap get Ike
Thursdays: Ike to school, NOTHING else planned, Ethan stays home
Fridays: Ike to school, Eric takes Ethan, spin at 9:30
I must say that I think I mostly needed to write it all out to see that it will indeed work. I know that I'm not nearly as busy as lots of moms I know. But I know this will be plenty for me. I like keeping one day free of scheduling so that we can relax or run errands or whatever. I also need to send a very public shout out to my WONDERFUL Mother who comes to my house every day (except Mondays) at 2 so that I can pick up Isaac without waking up my little ones. She also keeps Jaylie on Wed. and Fri. while I spin. I wouldn't be able to do these 'me' things as easily without her.

Our small group is doing a study on prayer. This last week was so great to get to visit and find out where everyone is in their prayer life. I'd like to pose the question to all of you reading. Given schedules like mine, and many more who are busier, how do you find the time to pray effectively and regularly? I feel like lots of days, most days, I have a running conversation with the Lord that starts, literally, when I wake up. I visit with Him during the day, in my quiet moments. Generally, shamefully, I don't set aside a certain time to be alone with my Father on a daily basis. Why don't I do that? How do those of you do that out there who keep regular appointments with the Lord? I really would like to know, if you care to share.

Everyone, have a super week. I'll post more later.
Blessings
D

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Leaving Church

At some point I run out of things to say about myself. I know, I know, we all thought this day would come much further on down the line. I'm a little surprised myself! But at least today, I have no news, no new pictures, nothing at all earth shattering or press-stopping to share. Your next question may be,"Then what am I reading this for?" It's a good question. I'm asking myself one like it,"Why am I blogging if I have nothing to blog about?" The answer is,"Because it's been a while!"


So I'll tell you about the book I've just finished. I just finished reading Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor. It is one of the required texts for one of Eric's classes at Lipscomb. It had flowers on it so I picked it up and read it. She is a beautiful writer. She has a great style and does NOT used short, choppy sentences, which I hate. (It is a book of non-fiction which I tolerate from time to time, but mostly I enjoy works (good works, that is) of fiction. I live a very 'real' real life after all, why would I want to spend my precious free time reading about other real life things...I prefer the escape of novels)

Anyway, Barbara Brown Taylor describes her longing to be set apart for God and that leads to her ordination as a priest in the Episcopal church. But after a long time of parish ministry she discovers that being set apart in such a visible way to serve others, keeps her from sharing the human experiences of those she proposes to serve. She winds up leaving church (not THE Church, she just starts teaching at a college instead of preaching (and doing everything else) at church) and finds that she still is able to serve God amongst the people, as one of them, instead of standing in for Him as His spokeswoman. In it she describes how her leaving church precipitates a real struggle in her faith as she finds out what truths are true and what truths have been passed down as a means of self-preservation of the church. She frequently references Matthew 16:25 that says:
"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it."
Her point is that our walk is all about losing our life over and over so we can find it over and over. It can be dangerous when we get to a point of saying,"Now I have found my life. It is good, I'm all set." Losing your life implies a surrender that is so hard. But it is all bound up in the trust we should have in a God that is good. In the knowledge of knowing He will catch us when we surrender, when we fall, and set us back up with a life that is richer and fuller. Only to ask us to surrender that after a time, so He can show us more. Do we trust that much? Do I?

I recommend the book for those who are in a searching place in their lives. On the surface it may have the effect of coming off as advocating a 'non-institutional' church kind of slant. I don't think that is her intention at all. Her whole point is that church ought to be a starting point for folks to learn how to encounter human beings by being human, and to come to share what God is doing in the world with other human beings. It isn't supposed to be a place where people come to leave their humanity aside for a while and leave unchanged, at least not in her opinion.

I'll see if anyone feels like mulling this over and commenting about it. I will also get my camera out so I have a, perhaps, more light and easy post next time.

Have a terrific Wednesday!
D

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A few pictures

My kids arrived at around 4:15 and the little ones were wiped out. Even though they got home in plenty of time for a regular bedtime and everything, I am still going to keep the boys home from school tomorrow to let them catch up on everything routine-wise. The pictures will show you what a wonderful time that was had by all:

This is on the ferry ride to the island



I think they must have been looking into the sun

They went to Schlitterbahn Galveston and mother insisted that the little ones rest in the shade after lunch. Ethan actually did go to sleep.

This is Isaac prowling around with his face mask on. He's always busy when he's near the water
And this is a video of something that never happened while we were at Gulf Shores in July. Jaylie was too afraid of the waves there. It was much choppier than this and I'm glad she got over that fear for the Galveston trip.

video

So that's that. Stacycation for us is over, vacation for them is over now it's back to life as usual. Do y'all remember that song from 1989 ( I know it was that year because it came out the summer we moved to NE from ND) by Soul II Soul? That's my theme song for the weekend. (Yep...that's the kind of music I listened to in middle school...I know it's not pretty, but I was 13)

Have a great weekend
D

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ahead of the Storm

So yes, Eric and I have had a wonderful staycation. He's treated me like a princess! It's gone a little something like this:
Number of movies seen: 5 (2 at the theater, 3 netflix)
Number of days slept until after 10am: 2
Number of days woken up before 7am: 0
Number of restaurants eaten at: 7
Number of times the dishwasher has run: 1
All in all this week has been priceless. Thank you so much mom and dad!

In other news, my parents are driving away from the coast of TX as I write this (it's about 10:15) Wed. night. The resort people notified them of mandatory evacuations and they would have to be out by 7am. Since there is a ferry ride involved and EVERYONE on the island will be using it before 7, they thought it best to get a move on and go to Pawpaw's house about 3 hours north of Galveston. They'll stay the night there and then head home tomorrow. Yes, this puts a rather abrupt end to their vacation, but you know, that is just the way it goes sometimes. Besides, we can't have them being blown away in a hurricane or anything.

Also, my grandfather's nursing home is being evacuated (they live in Beeville, about an hour north of Corpus) and this has my grandmother on edge. She will be going on the bus with some other residents but my grandad will be transported in isolation because he hasn't had a clear swab following MRSA that he caught while in the hospital. Please remember them in your prayers.

I'll post pictures of the kids at the beach in a few days. My parents were great to send them all week long. They all had such a wonderful time.

Have a safe and happy weekend. Talk more later.
D

Friday, September 5, 2008

Staycation

My parents drove away with my children about 30 minutes ago. They are taking the kids to Galveston for 1 whole week! Eric and I are going to hang out here hopefully eating out every night and seeing late movies and catching a glimpse back on what our lives were like lo, these many years ago. We are looking forward to this week. I will admit, however, that I will be missing my kids in a couple of days. This is going to be the longest they have been away from me ever. I don't know that they'll miss ME at all, what with all the spoiling which is the norm for my parents, but I will be so happy to have them home next Friday.

In other news, Eric is starting back to school again this semester. For those of you who may not know, he's getting his Masters in Theology at Lipscomb in Nashville. This semester he's taking 9 hours which we're a little wary of since that's a full graduate load and he's got lots of non-school related responsibilities as well. But the timing was right for them and he though he'd be able to keep up on everything and knock out a big chunk of hours all at once. Here's hoping it goes smoothly.

In other, other news...I had a very long conversation on the phone yesterday with a sweet friend I have that I met in GA. She was a brand new Christian when we met at Steven's Creek and we hit it off with her and her hubby. Now, several years later, she is such a testimony to God's never-ending love and His unfailing promises. Sometimes (to my everlasting shame) as an 'old Christian' the newness and miraculous saving power of the gospel is lost to me. I am so thankful to God that he provided my friend to me at the right time to remind me how He is never done working; that He is never satisfied to leave us where we are; that He has good plans for us and will bring them into fruition, we just have to hang in there.

Y'all have a great weekend. I have a date with my boyfriend tonight!


PS: I just did the spell check and it said,"No misspellings found." This is a first for me!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Time Flies

Jaylie opened her presents today, Sept. 1. She isn't officially 3 until tomorrow at 12:45 or so but since Eric and my Dad were off work and Isaac was out of school we decided to open gifts today instead of making her wait until after supper tomorrow night. She got quite a bit of playtime this way.

So now she is 3. A baby no longer. And we have achieved an important milestone in the Livingston house: there are no 2 year olds living here anymore! Ethan turned 2 in May of 2006 and since about 4-3 months prior to that time (he started early), we've had someone in the midst of 2-ness. Those of you who have folks who are 2 know what I am talking about. I do enjoy my children, no matter what phase they are in, but the 2's aren't my favorite. I do think I'm getting better at enjoying the 2s but I am happy to be ushering in a new phase of life.
It always surprises me how quickly time flies. We have been in MS now for 2 1/2 years; Jaylie was 6 months when we got here--still nursing and napping, barely sitting up, bald. Now, she's still napping...and that's where the sameness ends. She's not only not bald, she has masses of curls. She's the least picky eater of the 3. She's funny and sweet and observant and smart and just plain wonderful.

I think every gift she opened today was either pink or somehow princess related or dress-up related. She is very pleased with her haul! I had to go re-arrange some things in her room to get it all in there!
Here's some pictures to catch you up. Happy Birthday Darlin.


Here she is telling us she's 3 years old
Here she is overlooking her bounty

Here's her cake that I made, nothing fancy, but she wanted princesses.

This is Jaylie on her birthday last year. ( I love this picture!)
This is Jayie (and me) on her 1 year old birthday
Here she is when she was brand new...I'm a little choked up now