About Me

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I have been a stay at home mom since Oct 31st 2006. My children started school in 2008, so I decided it was time for me to go back, too. I have been a full time student for over two years now, and it seems like I am learning about more than just my schoolwork.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A hard Holiday

This December has been a time of loss. Two wonderful people who were part of my church went home to God. More wonderful community members suffered tragic and untimely deaths. All in the few weeks before Christmas. Losing someone at anytime during the year is hard, but Christmas is a time for family, celebration, love, and wonder; not a time to mourn.

I am blessed to have my children. At times when I am missing my Mom, when I don't feel like being in the Christmas spirit, I make myself go through the motions, for the little ones. It is very hard to sing carols, make cookies and decorate a tree without smiling at some point. For their sake (and as it turns out, mine) I play the music, bake the goodies, and unearth the decorations. Usually this gets me out of my funk and helps me remember the good times Mom and I had doing all of the things I now do with my kids.

Seeing the families struggle this month has brought many emotions to the surface. Emotions that I was doing a very good job of hiding. At the celebrations of life, I once again wondered how all these people could go on with life. Talking, sharing stories, laughing. Someone died! Someones heart stopped. Isn't the rest of the world supposed to stop too? How is it that I am still moving forward?

Again, I am blessed to have my children. It would have been very easy for me to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and cry my life away. But that is not what Mom wanted for me. That is not what I want for my children. That is not what anyone wants for their loved ones after they're gone. So, we get up, get dressed, eat something, and live our lives, a little emptier, a little dimmer, but we live.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Thanks to Him, we know our missing loved ones are living again. While we are stuck down here, hopefully gathering more recruits for that Heavenly army, the ones who have been drafted are up there getting ready. So while I can be sad for myself, I cannot be sad for the ones who have gone before me. And I will move on. I will get up, get dressed, and get moving. Along the way, my world will brighten and become fuller.

The memory of my loss will never fade, but neither will my memories of the happy times. I will pass on all I can to future generations. Stories of the love, the compassion, the faith, and the experiences I had with those I love that they do not know. That is why I am still here. That is why I am still moving forward.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In Constant Prayer

I got my new book from booksneeze.com on Christmas Eve. Needless to say, it has taken me a while to read this one. But it was worth it.

In Constant Prayer is a look at the daily offices, or the practice of praying at set times during the day. Robert Benson's style of writing is refreshing and down to earth. His humor, while self-depreciating, is enough to make anyone laugh. His openness and honesty opens the reader to a unique perspective of prayer.

Along with a history of the Christian daily prayer, he offers a very convincing argument about the need for us 'modern' day Christians to carry on the traditions of our forefathers. Benson saves the best for last, throwing a bomb into the last chapter that makes the reader take a second glance, at the book, at themselves, and at the prayers.

At the back of the book are a few great resources. Benson gives us an example of a morning prayer, as well as a list of additional books and other readings that the audience may be interested in. The study guide included makes the book that much more personal, allowing the reader to gain insight into their own personal prayer life. Finally, a glossary offers assistance for some of the harder words that the audience may need help with.

Overall, I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars, lol. I will definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to expand their prayer life.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A New Semester

Registered for classes the other day. I may have overdone it. Fourteen credits this year. Photography--again, Math--again, English--again, and a couple of AIS classes--again. The new thing this year is my internship.

We have a couple of friends who have put their entire life savings on the line and opened a pet food/feed/hay store here in the White Mountains. With one employee, things are stressful and hectic to say the least. With my internship, I will be able to help them get caught up in the office, keep things organized, and just lend a helping hand when I can. This is a win-win for us--free labor for them, and school credits for me.

Now, all I have left to do is get my books, all $300 worth. At least I don't need a textbook for an internship.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Then Sings My Soul

I love music. Everything from jazz to country to hip hop. But what I listen to most is my Christian music. My cell phone is also a MP3 player, and it is full of Point of Grace, Caedmon's Call, Third Day, Tenth Avenue North, and many other wonderful contemporary Christian singers. It is also full of my favorite hymns, because even though I love the contemporary singers, these songs have been around for hundreds of years--there is a reason for that. They're very good. How Great Thou Art was my Mother's favorite hymn, and it is also one of mine. Be Not Afraid is a song I sing to the kids when they're having trouble falling asleep. There are many songs that are such wonderful, spirit filled songs, that the younger crowd forgets in favor of the more modern music.

This book, "Then Sings My Soul: Special Edition" breathes new life into the old favorites. With the song lyrics and notes on one page (I wish I could read music) and a brief history on the other, this book brings to life the authors of the lyrics, the composers of the tune, and the message behind the song. This book is an easy read, as each hymn has it's own little story to tell. Read about your favorite songs, learn about some 'new' ones, and find out about some of the most famous lyricist you've never heard of. Knowledge of the hymns will vary depending on your religion, and the region in which you live, but there are many songs that are known to all, such as the Star Spangled Banner, Amazing Grace, and Away in a Manger.

The only thing that gave me pause was a hymn written in 2005. Why is this song in here, among the other songs from the seventeen and eighteen hundreds? The history behind it is vague, instead of the story behind the song, the author gives the reader an anecdote and a mini-sermon, if you will. Closer inspection reveals the song to be written by the author himself, based on an earlier hymn written by a celebrated songwriter. While being the author of a book gives you special liberties, such as sneaking your own song into 150 (149) of the most loved and widely sung hymns, I don't think this was the book to do it in.

Other than that little hiccup, this book is wonderfully written and organized, the cover art is inspiring, and I will definitely recommend this book to all my music loving friends.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pillow Wars

I have a pillow. My Mom bought it for me when I was pregnant with my daughter. It's a body pillow. And it's 9 years old. Over the course of my married life, I have cuddled more with this bag o' fluff more than my husband (may have something to do with the period where he worked for the mine and was gone 4 days at a time.) It's lost its color, it's fluffiness, and it's pillowcase. But, after all these years, I have molded it to my body. It's perfect for me. I don't have to sit down and pound on it to get it just the way I want it, it already is. At night this faded blue, patched at least ten times, flattened out bed accessory becomes an extension of me.

For a while there, Mike would fight me for it. After the kids were in bed, it would be a race between the two of us to get to the bed first. As we'd race to the finish line, I would dive and cover my precious pillow. Imagine two toddlers fighting over a favorite toy. There would almost definitely be hair pulling and biting. Some nights he would win, and I would have to wait until he had drifted off into a deep sleep before I could steal it back. Other nights I would get to keep my beloved pillow, then I would wake up in the middle of the night to see him holding it tight, a small smile on his face. Sometimes the winner would be generous and share a part of it. I kept telling him to get his own, but he's just stubborn.

Finally, one day he found one. A nice big, fluffy, colorful, brand new pillow. Wait, why do I like this faded, flattened one?? A new battle ensued. But now he was the one telling me to get my own. More specifically, reminding me that I have my own. I shouldn't need his. Or should I? Then one night it got cold. My faded flannel pillow stays warm underneath the covers. His brand new cotton pillow case does not.

Ok, I don't need his after all. I have mine. But now he wants me to have his! I don't think so. So far, a sort of truce has stopped all the pillow fighting.

Now, instead of fighting each other for them, we have to fight the kids and the dogs for our favorite pillows. The dogs seem to have the same desire for body pillows as we do. Lay out all the pillows on our bed, and inevitably Marley or Darla picks the biggest ones to lay on (Maverick can't get up on the bed, and Daisy just doesn't care where she sits). And while the kids have FINALLY outgrown the sneak-into-mom-and-dads-bed-in-the-middle-of-the-night phase, there are a few instances where they wake up before we do and want to snuggle. Usually I get woken up when my pillow has been replaced by a little girl.