Wednesday, February 23, 2011

 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: 
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:7 (King James Version)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"It's his birthday and he'll eat if he wants to"

Today we drove down to Hanford to celebrate the birth of a great guy, our buddy Nathan Shugert. He is Jeff's partner in crime. Well...I mean, is irritation a crime? A sport? A talent? An Art? Whatever it is they are beyond proficient. They are hilariously lame. They tease each other relentlessly, they rough house, they boisterously convince everyone else they should be in a mental institute...or have large doses of something...not sure what. Hmm...It's all in good brotherly bliss, but most of it I just don't get. I do admit it is fun to watch the proverbial twinkling of their eyes when they act out some goofball scene. I will also say that they are on the true playing field of Christian brotherhood. They hold each other up in prayer, and hold each other accountable. They are always ready to lend an ear or a hand No. Matter. What. I appreciate this man in my man's life, even the retardation.

We left basically straight after church to arrive on time. The almost hour long drive gave me reason to pause. I am glad we had today. What glorious weather, it makes me feel alive! Crisp clean air, blue skies... rare commodities around these parts! As I sat in the car I just let my eyes meander. I was lost in the green, like I had no cares in the world. At a frozen pace, I was lost in my own bliss. When we arrived I was ready for a nap.

Malibu & Lincoln (who calls himself Baby Zeus) were at the party. These two are Jenny & Nathan's little niece and nephew. We hadn't seen them in over a year...when you're talkin' 'bout babies that's a long time! They are incredibly cute. Oh and their new puppy Jasmine, she's ridiculously cute as well.  I think the only thing that won my heart more was the deep blue sparkling eyes of Trisitea as she sat on my lap looking up at me. Okay so maybe she didn't exactly sit. Okay fine! She draped her long legs and arms over my short little body. I love my cuddle time with all my little peoples. I am so glad she hasn't decided she's too old to snuggle. BUT. Her warm self melting into to me made me want to take a nap.

As I sat and talked with Bob, Debbie & Jenny (Jeff & Nathan were yakin' it up in the kitchen) I discovered we all needed naps.


We sang the birthday song as obnoxiously off key as possible. Watched him open his gifts. We ate a yummy meal. Megaliz the mixing Yoda (Elizabeth) made a cake from scratch. It was not to be missed. We had a plate made for eating later at home. (**And girl Auntie did eat it at home. YUM!! My birthday is June 9th, I'm just sayin' is all**) Then we high tailed it back to Fresno for Ricky's 4:00 choir practice. Yeah...

PS Ricky, who shares an interest in boyscout with Nathan, had spent the weekend making a special gift for him. Ricky was out in the garage with his wood burning kit and on the back patio with his whittling kit creating the master piece every chance he got. Unfortunately in the rush to get to the party we forgot to bring that & the gift Billy bought for Nathan to share with his family. I love my kid's generosity and kindness. I love that they have a man aside from Dad in their lives that they feel is worthy of being honored. I suppose, after all, that's why he's Uncle Nathan to them.

Facebook: pushed into it kicking and sreaming... in the end I LOVE IT!!

I understand all the concerns in regards to the break down of society that so many are murmuring about here lately.

I get it, really I do.

However, Facebook has been fabulous for me. Well almost. Okay so I have one slight problem. I LOVE IT. Not the gismos and games. No, that's child's play. I love the people. I love them so much I can't wait to "talk"  each day. The updated photos are just wonderful. The problem is maintaining Facebook can be a bit time consuming. This is why I took a three month hiatus a few months back. At first I really didn't think I would return to Facebook. However a few things changed my mind.

#1Sharing the music videos throughout the month of December had been so precious to me the year before last. I really wanted to upload a daily video once again. So I did.  It sOoOo blessed me that since then I have been fairly consistent in getting a video or two up once a week. I love encouraging others. I love sharing talented christian artists in a non threatening way.

#2 Facebook had become the information station for me. It was like using the yellow pages. Whether setting a status to ask a question, or "searching" I found the inquiry was likely to be discovered at location. I liked being a part of a community of people who could give me advice on a local dentist or restaurant and vice-versa. Very convenient. I wanted that resource back.

#3 Facebook was the new way to deal with events. Invitations, thank yous, class assignments for my children etc.. Much information trickles through.Unfortunately when I backed away for three months we missed several bits of information. Oops. I really needed to get back in the "calendar" loop.

#4 I know it's silly, but when I'd log onto Facebook and a flower or hug or what ever was sitting there waiting to greet me I'd smile from my toes to the top of my head. It was sweet. Yes I could live without it, but you know...

#5 Some really awesome people from my past have found me via facebook. I just loved that. I missed re-learning about them.

#6 1st a history lesson: I refused to even look at Myspace. I reluctantly started using my email account (maybe 5 years ago). Sometime last school year I was bullied into joining Facebook. When I submitted to that, a new band of people started hard core on the "let's get Charity to text...or even use her cell phone" campaign. They won. It's only been since like June though. I can clearly hear Jenny yelling at me early last summer,  "You mean to tell me Jeff bought you this really nice phone and you refuse to use it!" To me Facebook, email and text are the same animal. In the sense that you are visiting via electronics vs face to face. When I submitted to one it was easy to follow suit with the others.When I was off  Facebook I began receiving texts like crazy!!  I guess there was/is no escaping at this point. But. That's okay. I'd rather master myself then get rid of it/them.


#7 Facebook had been a wonderful tool to see a little glimpse into the lives of all my people. To me it has been a relationship enhancer...not a stunt in relational growth.

Let me give you an example. Monica, my best friend from like 4th grade through high school found me via Facebook...last summer. After the total pick-myself-off-the-floor shock of it all we had some wonderful "talks". After catching up on life over the last 10 years or so we made plans for her to come visit my house. She was just as lovely as ever. She walked in with yellow flowers, my favorite color. We talked more, and more and more. We then decided to meet for dinner with her two sisters and her mother. It was a magical night. At a later date she and I met alone for dinner. Since then we have shared in at least 4 of her family gatherings. She has scooped me up and placed me right back into her family as if no time had passed at all. We have plans in the works for more fun times to be shared. I am so grateful that she found me. I have missed her so, so very much. I have enjoyed our long talks on the phone and in person. However as two busy momma's facebook gives us the ability to grab a moment to reconnect no matter the time of day. Can I just say that is big!

Of course Monica finding me and all that jazz is just an example. I have tons of great stories brought to me via Facebook. I just need to make sure I don't log on too, too much. I'm a work in progress, what can I say.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In which I say thank you...or bust!

I have had a rough few months, proceeded by a rough life. So what? Who hasn't? It's really a matter of half full or half empty. The choice is, of course,  left in my hands. And. I admit, I don't always make the wise choice.
Remember that one about when it rains it pours? Well that's where I reside. I'm sure that's where you all reside as well. I don't know that "it" ever isn't that way. Meaning I don't believe life is ever easy. I think sometimes our spirits are able to handle "it". Sometimes not so much. It's when I'm overwhelmed that I tend to feel like no one cares, or  understands.  Interestingly enough as I have been going through this where's-my-bonkie funk people have been praying for me.
How do I know?
Because they have told me so. Over and over again.
Now I am not the girl who bellows to all who will hear when I am down. No. I am the girl who hides under the rock. Yet some how God placed the desire to not only pray...but tell me they were doing so, in the hearts of  many, many people around me; strangers, casual acquaintances and those I am close to. He was is there all along, if only I were to stop spinning long enough to look. Really. I know. Sometimes stating the obvious is what is needed.
All the trauma/drama/chaos that was is bothering me is not the point. I am aware. It's high time I act like it. So many wonderful things have happened over the last few months. Some of which you would have read about through my boys blog. However they had to give that proved to be "just one more thing". At any rate...onto the good, good stuff.

~ In the recent Court of Honor Ricky was given badges and has moved up in rank. Boyscouts in general has been a wonderful thing for him. He has met some really neat guys and loves all of the "man" stuff involved. Today he went on a snow day trip. The weekend before last he went to a party one of the boys was having. He has been a busy guy making gifts for so many people. He loves life and he loves people. He is our joy.

~Billy had to prove himself in semester #1 at Fresno City College. It is now semester #2 and he received every part he tried out for in the Latin/Jazz band. Through his first job he has paid for a full week African drumming camp to be held this summer. He is moving right along with his goals. He has reconnected with a long-time-ago friend. Attending her party was a highlight. He has also made a new friend, attending that party was great as well.

~My older brother, Eric has added three new additions to our family. Crystal, his fiancee, Nathan her son, and Zoey their little girl. Zoey?...she is adorable...need I say more? We were so happy to be able to give Nathan a birthday gift. We hope he feels he is our nephew. He is such a character! We enjoy him.

~I had a lengthy loving conversation with my sis-in-law Angela. I hold it close to my heart.

~Parties are great and we have had a few this month here at home, just us four. Chinese New Years found us eating take out from our favorite local spot. While we ate we watched Gladys Aylward's story on Netflix. Next came Valentines morning complete with chocolates and a new movie. We also had a lunch of heart shaped raviolis in an amazing sauce. Let us not forget our 100th day of School Shindig...which was also all about food. However this time we played games. These were easy breezy days. Very roll with the punches. I have to say it touches a tender spot deep in my mommy-heart that my teenage sons REALLY want a 100th day of school party. Somehow everything else from elementary school is for babies. Yet. This. Is. Sacred.

~Jeff was diagnosed with Vertigo. Yet even though he missed a week of work and went Dr hopping we/he did not suffer too badly. We are truly thankful.

~It looks as though our previous landlords are going to make right on their poor choices. So that is a happy ending to a retarded story.

~The IRS was lame, as they very often are, I guess it was our turn to be bit by the unconstitutional nastiness of it all. And yet we survived. We were so blessed. We paid all our bills before their inappropriateness took place. We experienced  much less drama than could easily have taken place. We are really grateful.

~I was able to help a good friend with a huge organizational project...and be an encouragement. I just love that!

~I have been approached by a few people over the last few months who have expressed their gratitude for what they see in my life...and in turn have brought to their lives. Wow. Just wow.

~So many wonderful people have resurfaced in my life. It is just unbelievable. I. Heart. All of you!!

~I have learned to say no. I have drawn healthy lines in the sand. Yet I have also opened my heart to a whole new level of understanding and acceptance. God is good!

Two main points have been relearned over the last few months.

#1 God is in charge. He knows what is best. He loves me enough to tell me no when that is what I need to hear. He loves me enough to comfort me through my tantrums. He comforts my aching heart. He knows.

#2 I have been given so, so much. I need to look at what I have, not what I don't have. I need to show gratitude. I need to say thank you...or bust!