Thursday, August 27, 2009

"The Students"

My husband works at North Greenville University as a campus minister. We live very close to the campus. Jody LOVES his job. I love it too! My kids are so funny always talking about "the students". They wonder if "the students" have parents or why "the students" have to go to school and stop playing with them.

Its great. Its so good for my kids. They are learning social skills. They have all these big brothers and sisters who love to hear their jokes, get them some icecream in the dining hall, or play sidewalk chalk in our driveway. The see how our home is open to friends.

A new batch of students have come in. The kids and I haven't met too many of them yet, but we sure are glad to have the returning ones back! We LOVE when they stop by on their way to and from campus. We LOVE to have extra dinner guests. I love the qualified babysitters. I love how when we go to the dining hall I have all these extra hands.

The students do so much for us. I hope my kids grow into young people like many of them.

Hospitality is an ongoing life lesson, I think. When we lived in Uganda, I was thrust into this role I wasn't prepared for. Its so easy to just say, I'm tired or we need family time. Both of those are often true, don't get me wrong, but if that is my excuse everytime, I'm being selfish! I've learned that always being ready to make some coffee and sit on the couch is not only what a student might need, but it ministers to my soul too! The dining hall is a great treat for my little family to go to, I don't have to cook or clean, but the students enjoy a home cooked meal, eaten with a family as a treat too.

And I love to cook. I love to bake and not feel guilty about our family eating the whole cake. So I bake when Jody's leadership group comes over every week.

I doubt anyone who stops by my house would say that I have such a clean house. Or that they love the way I decorate. Or that they want 4 kids close together like I have. But I do hope they can say we set an example of sharing willingly what we have. I hope they return the favor someday to friends who stop by their homes and need to talk or have a meal. Besides, its really fun!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Socks in the Toilet

If you were a six year old, how would you explain this to your mother??

Monday, August 10, 2009

You know you are a Mother of little ones if....

~When you sit down at the end of the day, you decide that the best part was you dentist appointment.

~You decide that if you learn to drink your drinks unsweetened (coffee, tea...) your kids most likely won't ask you for a sip.

~"Adult Movies" mean ones you watch without could still be a Disney movie, it just means its Mommy and Daddy's pick!

~You hear yourself saying the same things all day..."Oh, that's great" or "Yes, yes, whatever you want" or "uh-huh"...and you realized you have NO IDEA what the previous statement or question was!

~Being in the bathroom alone is a real treat.

~You hate Candyland. But sidewalk chalk is kind of fun.

~You wouldn't trade any of it!!! Plus you have clean teeth! LOL...I went to the dentist today.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shopping Options

I'm not a big shopper. I really just don't like it. {Gasp!} I have so many memories of shopping with my mom, sitting under the circular clothes racks and praying I would hear her say, "Lets go, girls!" BUT I have learned some valuable lessons from my mom.

  • Go straight to the back of the store, that's where the deals are.
  • Wait for the BIG sales. You'll see in the paper something like 40% off clearance before 10am
  • Go early, get a lot, go home and sort, go back and return.
  • Shop out of season and save it for next year. This requires a lot of thinking about what size your kids will be or what size you hope to be yourself...but its so worth it!
Now, my mom does NOT like online shopping (in general). But I think, if done right, its amazing! Today I went to The Children's Place and got TONS of stuff for next summer. They are having their "monster sale". Plus I found a coupon code (it was: FA79) and got an additional 15% off. Shipping was only $5. I also didn't pay more than $7 for a single item.

I went to a huge local consignment sale today with my friend. I saw a bunch of gals from church there also. It was the last day and most stuff was 1/2 off. Now, I know that there was a huge, amazing collection at the beginning of the sale. I had an opportunity to go early as a guest of a consignor (Thanks Megan!) and I probably should have gone then. I didn't find anything to speak of really today. There was still a LOT of stuff, but you had to dig around and I'm just not good at that. I know consignments work well for a lot of people. You can make money and find good stuff. Maybe I need to give it better try next time.

If online shopping continues to work for me, though, I may stick with it. For $5 extra, I can shop without children, without using any gas and without ever stepping into a mall, parking my car or standing in line. Hmmmmmmm. All food for thought.

What's your system?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Not Naming Names

I've been in a certain situation now several times recently and there are these 2 women who are just RUDE. I've tried conversing with them, asking questions, kind of butting into their conversation...they basically ignore me.

Now I'm not saying they should be friends with me because I'm trying, but I don't get it. I don't understand why they are being so anti-social.

I can think of another specific time when this happened to me. It was when we first moved to Bismarck...but out of that I met one of my BEST FRIENDS ever (Stacy). Let me clarify, Stacy wasn't being rude, a couple of other's were and Stacy and I started talking to eachother.

I've been thinking about this. The last thing I ever want to be is classified as rude. Or for others to think they are unimportant to me. Or what they have to say, I don't care about. Jody has taught me a lot in this area. He can find something to talk about with barriers. He could make friends with a tree.

Jesus was an amazing example in this area as well. He hung out with sinners, prostitutes, and children! In a time and culture where men did not associate with women, Jesus did. When children were regarded as annoyances, Jesus said, "Let them come" AND he touched them as he blessed them!

I have a lot to learn in this area, I know. I get busy. I get consumed with myself and my kids. I am selfish!

Anyway...this is just something fresh on my mind.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Man

Today was Jody's 32nd birthday. I make the ugliest cakes...I know. I have NOTHING on Stacy! She makes beautiful cakes! (Happy belated birthday btw....) I did use a golf club tin and we used a good bit of icing. The kids loved it. They also loved making decorations and pictures for Daddy! And home-made vanilla icecream was soooooooooooo yummy! Acutally, one of the first memories I have of Jody, after meeting him in 1996 was making him a birthday cake. (My mom reminds me of that too, since she never got her good 9x13 pan back! I am SO SORRY mom, I'd be mad about that if it were mine, now)

I've made lots of cakes for Jody in lots of locations. I'm SO thankful he was born 32 years ago.

Jody is a man of God. He is consistent in his walk with God and his life in general. He's funny when people are around and when its just us. He RARELY gets angry or even annoyed. He's unbeleivable patient and kind. Really, he is the example of ICorinthians 13 kind of love. I NEVER doubt his love for me or our kids...or people anywhere. Life with Jody Ben is fun and easy.

Happy Birthday Jody!! I love you!

(I think I'm going to plan a party in one of the upcoming birthdays for Jody...I'll let you all know so it can be BIG)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Clean House

Have you ever seen the cable show Clean House? My sister Joy introduced it to me one time. Its CRAZY!! This team of people ambush this family who is living in utter disarray and by the end of an hour, the house is organized and madeover.

I have watched that show and think, Oh Lord, please save me from ever being THAT BAD! I know I have pack-rat tendencies. TENDENCIES...I said. I am at least admitting that, but its not out of control.


My mom and her first cousin, Trudy do NOT have these tendencies. They offered to come to my house and help me get organized and do a "deep clean". All in all, it was great. Trudy loves blinds and did a marvelous job cleaning them! (I must admit, I have never thoroughly cleaned these blinds). My mom is so good and clearing a flat surface. (I am only good and making piles on a flat surface.) We rearranged the family room, scoured the kitchen floor, vacuumed every corner and baseboard, and threw away a good bit of trash....

I am SO happy with the result. I have several projects to work on, but it feels so nice!