July 28, 2009

Movin' On Up

Top o' the midmorning to ya!

So, I have been contemplating this for ages, going back and forth on it-- and I've finally decided for sure. I'm moving my blog. Now, I HATE to do that. It's inconvenient for you, I know. It's so tedious to change bookmarks and links. I'm awful about it myself. If somebody moves their blog, it takes me MONTHS to get myself over to it and reading again. So, I hate doing it to ya. I don't want to lose any of you dear readers. But, it's time. I appreciate the people at terrablogs tremendously, but movable type just doesn't suit me well. I don't "get it", and I don't have time to teach myself what I need to know to "get it". I hate having to chase people down and beg them to help me whenever I have a problem. As you'll notice, somehow my comments have disappeared! I can't fix it, and I can't find anybody to help... so now seems like a good time to go.

I've been backing up my blog at wordpress for a while now, so we'll just scoot on over there and start fresh. Everything is already there, so it's move-in ready. Ha. I don't have the layout all settled yet, and you'll notice some other little quirks I have yet to iron out... but for the most part, it's ready to go.

Please, please, please--- come with me! Don't be my favorite blue sweater that gets lost in the move, huh? I'll even let you ride in the front of the truck with me, just to make sure you get there in one piece.

Here's the address, only a few words different from my original url:

http://thesift.wordpress.com.

See? Not too bad, right? So come on over, and leave a comment to let me know you've made it. :)

I'll be keeping this blog open for a while, to give everybody a chance to get the new link. Thanks, everybody!!

| By WonderGirl | 9:54 AM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2009

Morning Sickness BEGONE!

Officially banned for the rest of this pregnancy: hotdogs.

I'll spare you the details. (You're welcome!)

Fruitful | By WonderGirl | 9:57 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2009

Pamela Camille

No matter where we go in life, no matter how old I am, or how the years begin to accumulate around us, how many birthdays are left to me or to her---she will always be this to me...

"i learned to dance from my mother"

who swung me around to fats domino and aretha franklin and all those greats that i never knew. she was spontaneous and gorgeous and perfect and mine. she pulled me into a place that stands outside the rules - she wasn't a grown up and i wasn't a kid, we were just people for the very first time. the years between us were suspended, as we danced in the living room in the middle of the day beside the vacuum cleaner and the speakers and orange shag carpet. the whole world was right here and for a minute i saw her exactly as she is, how she was, how she'll always be on the inside. she let me in, she let me see, and i never knew why but i didn't ask. as she twirled me around to make me laugh, i loved her as i'd never loved anyone in my whole little life. she was sunshine and motion and i'll never forget it."

I wrote that some years ago, trying to capture the feelings I have for my mom. Through the changing relationship, our ups and downs, our growth, our wisdom and our follies---her place in my heart stays wrapped up in that memory. I think of her, and I think of her dancing- I think of her sharing that vulnerability- that openness- with me. I remember how special that made me feel, to be welcomed in to the person that she is. I'll never forget it. It was the first moment I understood just how generous in spirit my mother really is.

Today, she is fifty. She is beautiful. She is the fresh breeze in her family. She soothes, she rejuvenates, she calms. We shudder to think what we would be without her.

I hope, one day, to be the kind of mother that incites the depths of love and loyalty and admiration that my mother does. She is truly beloved.

Happy Birthday, Mom. Fifty never looked so good.

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| By WonderGirl | 12:06 AM | Comments (4)

July 22, 2009

Every Story Whispers His Name

"I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story, there is a story-teller."
G.K. Chesterton

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I've been meaning to write this post forever, and now Dolly has given me a great reason to do it!! She has linked to an interview with the author of one of my favorite books, and I just have to share it, too.

I've been promoting this book to my inner circle for a while now, so you may have heard me mention it once or twice. It's called The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. It's by far, the best retelling of the Bible presented for children that I've ever read. And believe me, I've got stacks and stacks of toddler Bibles, Girl Bibles, etc. This one is incredible. Each story is linked by the central theme of Jesus! Every old testament story points towards the coming of Christ, and how since the Garden of Eden, we have needed Him- needed a Hero, a Liberator. Every story in the New Testament shows how Jesus fulfilled those needs, how He rescued us. The continuity of the Bible becomes so clear, so obvious-- it's ALL about Him!! The language is beautiful, enchanting-- and so theologically sound that it gives me chills. I am in LOVE with this book for my children. I am honestly, filled with joy when I read these stories aloud to them. For them, and for me.

(To clarify, though-- this is not a Bible translation. It's not all inclusive, obviously-- it's written for children. It is not verse by verse, so it will not replace your family Bible, or scripture reading with your children. It's just a retelling, a weaving of stories together-- it would be supplemental to your children's Biblical instruction, not a replacement. Just had to include that explanation, lest you think I'm advising you throw out all your others!)

So, anyway! Is this post a glowing review, or what? I'm telling you, it's unlike anything I've ever read before. Whether you've got children or not, this book will open your eyes, and move you. I'm just sorry it's taken me so long to share it with you-- but better late than never!

And you might not even have to buy it for yourself if you're lucky!! If you'll click on the link to the interview, the author is doing a giveaway. She's presenting a copy of the new deluxe edition coming out soon to four lucky commenters! You could be one! Just leave a comment, and she'll contact you if you win. Thanks, Dolly, for passing this link along. You're the best!

However you lay your hands on a copy, you gotta get one. After one or two stories, you'll be as hooked as the rest of us!! :) Here's a little taste, just to get you thinking. This exerpt is introducing The Story:

"Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn't do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn't mainly about you and what you should be doing. It's about God and what he has done.

Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you'll soon find out) most people in the Bible aren't heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.

No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne- everything- to rescue the one he loves. It's the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!

You see, the best thing about this Story is- it's true.

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle- the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture."

And this is no ordinary baby. This is the Child upon whom everything would depend. This is the Child who would one day-- but wait. Our Story starts where all good stories start. Right at the very beginning...

Amazing. And that's just the introduction.

Link Dump , Quotacious , Spiritual Places | By WonderGirl | 12:50 PM | Comments (4)

July 21, 2009

Singing in the Rain

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Rain again, second day in a row. A whole afternoon of it, delicious wet plops, more even than the dry, baked earth can soak up. There is plenty, a veritable feast of water, leaving big clear puddles in the yard. An oasis in the desert, and life answers the call. The grass is standing eagerly, a happy chorus of frogs chirp outside my window, birds and squirrels come out of their hiding places, our pet rabbit races around the yard, kicking up his heels... Rain, sweet rain! The sigh of relief is nearly audible, as thirsty plants, and parched animals, and desperate farmers, and dusty children, all lift their faces as the rain comes.

Something settles down in me. Something is right again, that was wrong. Some primitive need to know the rain is there, though we live a life of pipes and wells and water towers. Fill us up, lavishly fall in giant plops upon our head, baptize away the heat of the summer-- for there is no pool or tub or faucet that can rival God's own rain. It is tinged with the taste of Heaven.

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My So Called Writing , Picture This , The Daily | By WonderGirl | 9:52 PM | Comments (3)

July 20, 2009

Little Dusty Around Here

Holy moly, it's been forever since I blogged! I've been neck-deep in summer activities, and just haven't had the time or energy to write. Summer is always light-blogging for me, what with all the comings and goings we do. It's been great so far-- the kids have had lots of fun activities, and we've done some good visiting with family and friends. It's hard to believe we're halfway through July already!

I am feeling much better these days, still have some lingering morning sickness, but it's manageable. Baby is growing just fine! I have a little bump that still constantly surprises me. I don't think it'll be real to me until this baby is actually HERE! We have a date for the gender ultrasound, Aug. 3. I'm really excited to know what this little one is! We don't usually find out, but this time, we need to know. If it's a girl, I have some physical preparation to do. I have NOTHING for a girl anymore. If it's a boy, then I have a bit of mental preparation ahead! Four boys! Oye vey! I'll be happy either way, but I'll be honest, I'd love to have a girl. I like the symmetry of girl, boy, boy, boy, girl. Nice and tidy. (Does this make me OCD?)

Anyway.

Besides that, not much else is on my mind these days. Looking ahead to the Fall, and schooling, and trying not to freak out about it. I told myself all last year that this coming year would be easier, because Chipmunk would be a year older, blah, blah, blah. Well, as we are counting down the days, I'm seeing that NOSIREE, this is not going to be easier. Chipmunk is one boisterous little dude. It's going to be hard to get anything done with his energy and noise level. I'm just now realizing the PROBLEM, and have not begun yet to think of a SOLUTION. I'm going to have to consult some other moms who have homeschooled large families. I know I can do this, I know it's possible, I just haven't figured out the how of it yet. It's not the teaching that scares me, it's the logistics of it all that get to me.

But, I'm trying not to let it overwhelm me. I'll get it sorted out, I suppose. One always does.

So, that's been it for me lately. I know it's fantastically boring-- which is why I haven't blogged about it. I'm just doing my thing, chugging along. I don't have much to contribute to the world at large, because my own little world requires quite a bit of me at the moment. When I'm pregnant, I just can't write. It's weird. It's like all the extra in me is being poured into this lil sprout. So, if you hear from me, it'll probably be sporadic, maybe a little blase, but, it is what it is, right? Seasons in life.

Okay, 'nuff for now. There's some chocolate in the freezer calling my name. Have a great week everybody!

Babylicious , Teaching at the Table , The Daily | By WonderGirl | 11:16 AM | Comments (3)

July 9, 2009

Out and About

Hello from Summertime, USA! Once we all recovered from sicknesses, we went on with our plans for visiting. The weekend was spent in Monroe for the 4th- a fish fry, swimming, and sparklers. Then, Vicksburg, to see my new neice, eat lots of homegrown tomatos, and hang out with my folks. Tomorrow, we're in the final phase of our Get Around, with a quick trip to Mize, MS to visit my grandparents. We'll be back Sunday, in time for Girl Scout camp Monday, and VBS for the boys.

Whew!!!

Even though it sounds a little scattered, it's actually been fairly relaxing-- just visiting and taking it easy. It's good to see family! I'll admit, it will be nice to sleep in my own bed again though, when the time comes.

Nothing more to report- just wanted to pop in and say I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Just soaking in some summertime! Hope you are all as well!

Kith and Kin , The Daily | By WonderGirl | 10:50 PM | Comments (2)

July 1, 2009

Tonight's Menu: Chicken Soup, Jell-O.

Aw, bummer. Czarina has strep throat, and the Duke has an ear infection, the poor dears. Unfortunately, we've exposed at least two families to the strep throat, so I had to call and 'fess up. Boy, that is not fun. Because as much as the mom tells you, oh, don't worry, it's not your fault, these things happen... you know somewhere in the back of their mind, you're on the bad list. :( Or, at least, they "owe" you, and it's probably coming back in the form of a stomach virus or something later in the year. Nah, it's not that bad. I'll just feel pretty rotten if any of their kids gets sick because of us, you can't help it.

The Duke had to give blood today, because the doctor was concerned that his ear infection might not be caused by the normal bacteria. I'm not going to be alarmed by that, but it does seem strange to me. They'll call me with the test results, and hopefully, whatever it is will respond well to treatment. The actual blood giving-- well, let's just say we were ALL crying in the room. Czarina because she was feeling bad and had a fever of 103 at that point, the Duke was screaming and fighting the evil needle, I'm crying holding him down, and Chipmunk was crying because everyone else was. HeroBoy was the only one with nary a tear in his eye, happily munching down on a sucker while we were all in hysterics.

It weren't pretty. Nope.

But, I'm glad it's all done. We had such a bad night with the two kids, with no improvements today, so I knew not to ignore it. I'm waiting now on both of their antibiotics to be ready, so we'll start those this afternoon. And HOPEFULLY, everyone will be well in time for at least a little bit of 4th of July celebrating. We'll see. Gotta roll with the punches, ya know?

Good news though-- I actually feel good today. Thank goodness!! I don't think I could have handled all this otherwise. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of the bad days.

Well, I'm off to check everybody, and dispense popsicles. (Doctor's orders) Happy Wednesday!

Child of Mine , The Sick Ward | By WonderGirl | 3:43 PM | Comments (5)

June 30, 2009

Being Green

but not in the good way.

I haven't written much lately, I know. I've just been feeling rather blah. This Friday, I'll be 14 weeks pregnant, and I'm really hoping that I'm going to start feeling more normal. Right now, I just have a very weak stomach. I can't eat much, or find the right things, or something. I don't know, it's not so much the nausea (although that does sneak up on me quite viciously at times), but it's more like you feel after you've gotten over a stomach virus. Sort of hungry, but you know nothing is going to settle right. Nothing really sounds good or tastes good. If I do manage to get something down, I almost immediately have heartburn.

So sad.

No, I'm not having a pity party, just reporting on my absence lately. A lot of the days, I'm just trying to make it through, and the other days, I'm too busy catching up! So, not much for blogging lately.

We've got plans to go out of town for July 4th-- but, the kids are all coming down with a fever virus. They feel pretty rotten, but no other symptoms, except the Duke complained that his tummy hurt. So, we definitely can't do anything until that's all cleared up. I can't bring any of them around the older folks in our family, or new baby Hazel! I'm hoping in a day or two we'll all be fit for company, and we can resume plans. Saturday, we're supposed to have a fish fry in Monroe, and I think I might cry if that falls through. But I cry about everything these days. I cried at Horton Hears a Who just today, when they stuffed poor Horton in the cage at the end. I couldn't stop myself! I cry, and then have to laugh at myself while I'm doing it.

I'm such a mess. This pregnancy has got me good. I don't know if it's because I'm 33, but I suspect that might have something to do with it. It's just not as easy on your body as you get older. You'd think, having done this a few times before would make it a breeze the FIFTH time around. But, I'm hanging on by a thread many a day. This is not me complaining!! Honestly, I'm just saying. It's all in perspective, I know it's temporary, it's worth it, all that. I wouldn't change it for anything. I'll just be glad to feel normal- to enjoy eating again.

Well, I'm out for the night. I've got to make rounds, check foreheads, kiss warm cheeks.

Goodnight, all. Hope you have a great week!

Fruitful , The Daily | By WonderGirl | 10:09 PM | Comments (7)

June 22, 2009

Wee Hours Wee One

A lot can change while the world is asleep! I woke up to the wonderful news that my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl this morning. Hazel Lydia was 8 lbs. and 6 oz., about 18 inches long, and gorgeous! I can't wait to meet her, can't wait to hug my sister. Thank you, God, for the safe delivery of this little child. He is so gracious to us!

Kith and Kin | By WonderGirl | 10:03 AM | Comments (2)

June 21, 2009

Summer Saturdays

When we lived in Birmingham, we hiked a lot. It was our family past time, and we loved it! It was a great way to "commune with nature." Here in Louisiana, though... well, you don't hike voluntarily. It's hot, humid, the undergrowth is FULL of briars and snakes, and not to mention the mosquitos, which are often mistaken for BIRDS around here. You don't traipse around the Louisiana wilds unless Yankee troops are on your tail. Then, you 'git.

Sorry-- past life or something there.

Anyway, so, we've been missing our nature walks. However, we're recently discovered a new family activity, fishing! It's not as cardio-vascular as hiking, but you probably sweat off a pound or two in an afternoon. (A few more Saturdays, and I'll be back in my skinny jeans, pregnant or not!!) The kids are having a ball, and seem to have a lot of luck in the little pond near our house. King Pen has been busy baiting hooks and untangling lines for several Saturdays in a row now, and I do think he's a fishing convert as well.

The three oldest kids pile up in his old red Ford truck for the one minute drive to the pond, windows down, poles in the back. I follow with Chipmunk in the van so we can leave early if need be-- and here is what we do:

HeroBoy, waits patiently for his cork to bob:

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Czarina with a tiny brim and a big smile:

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The Duke and Chipmunk watch for turtles, or tadpoles, and amazingly, do not fall in (this time):

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King Pen puts on another worm:

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Chipmunk can't figure out why the fish aren't biting-- he IS wearing his fishing hat, after all:

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And HeroBoy, still waits, loving every minute of it:

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And me... well, I take the pictures. Although, I know what to do with a worm if King Pen's not around. I did grow up in the South, after all. But MY dad's truck was green.

Child of Mine , Picture This , The Daily | By WonderGirl | 8:47 PM | Comments (6)

June 19, 2009

One Down, Two More to Go

Milestone day for me today. I am 12 weeks pregnant, and finished with my first trimester. Thank heavens!!

I'll be honest, it's been rough. I didn't really get morning sickness until about 7 or 8 weeks, and it was mostly in the evenings. Aside from nausea, I have had a really weak stomach. I can't eat much of anything. Nothing sounds good, nothing sits well-- eating has been a total chore. But, oh happy 12th week, it's starting to taper off a bit now! Instead of all bad days, I'm starting to have good ones sprinkled in there. A few foods are starting to taste better, sound good. I don't have as much queasiness in the evenings-- though it still hits me pretty hard occasionally. (Last night was the worst so far-- but the night before that I was fine! How weird.) Anyway, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so that is encouraging. And as inconvenient and unpleasant as those things are, they are signs of a healthy pregnancy, so I won't complain! I am so glad I made it through those "iffy" weeks. Chances of miscarriage drop dramatically after the 12th week, and I can stop holding my breath now.

I AM feeling the baby move, very early on with this one. It's like a little tickle-- almost like someone giving butterfly kisses against your skin. It's very sweet. Believe it or not, I've been feeling it for a few weeks now- which seems impossible. But I think it's just the way my body carries a pregnancy, that makes it easier for me to detect it. Anyway, it's a really nice sensation. It feels like a little whispered "hello".

We've decided to find out what gender this baby is, in about a month and a half. We usually don't do that, but at this stage in the game, we need to know. I had gotten rid of all our baby stuff, except a few toys (and the crib, fortunately), so we're starting from scratch! I need to know so I can prepare, physically. And mentally, too. If I am going to be a mother of FOUR boys, I'll be thrilled, but I need to get ready. I need to start working out or something- some sort of training regimen! Ha. And if it's a girl, I definitely need to switch gears mentally, because I'm totally used to boys at this point. So, either way, we're finding out. Which will be fun. I'm thinking of getting the ultrasound technician to just write it down and put it in an envelope, then letting the kids read it to us later. Especially if they can't be in the room with us.

Well, I'm rambling, I know. I've just had pregnancy on the brain lately, and wanted to jot some of it down! I'll wrap it up for now, but I can't promise it won't come up again! Ha!

Hope you all have a great weekend, and a happy Father's day. Catch ya later!

Fruitful | By WonderGirl | 9:26 AM | Comments (4)

June 17, 2009

Oh Thank Goodness

The AC is repaired!! The guy made it by after hours, which I was sooooo grateful for. Honestly, I almost cried, I was so happy! Ah, hormones.

The Daily | By WonderGirl | 9:54 PM | Comments (1)

Whining

Oh.
my.
stars.

It's so hot. Our AC has fritzed out, on possibly the hottest day of the summer so far. I can't think!! I can't move! I can't lift my pinky finger to do a single thing that needs doing.


The Daily | By WonderGirl | 2:45 PM | Comments (0)