Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Is Definitely Here!

It is way too late, and I should be sleeping; but, instead, I'm blogging. I am quite hormonal right now, as in I have to get up a couple of times in the middle of the night and literally dry myself off, my sheets are all wet kind of hormonal-so sleep isn't always that fun lately.  And messed up hormones make for an impatient, moody woman. So, while I reflect on my moodiness with a pounding hormonal headache, I thought I would blog about how summer has definitely arrived at the Nutcase house.

A while back, my best friend came over with her 2 kids. This is nice for numerous reasons, one being that all 5 kids play really well together and entertain one another. This of course, allows Beth and I to talk and work on women's ministry which is what we did on this particular day. The kids have so much fun playing and using their imagination, I don't always notice the "fun" that is being created around the house; not that I would make them stop even if I did. I figure this is partly what summer is about-me at home trying to keep up with the housework while 3 kids follow behind me and mess it back up.

After they left, instead of actually cleaning it up, I decided to take pictures. Besides, I wasn't about to clean up the mess for them. I had enough of my own to clean up. So, in case you are feeling a little overwhelmed with housework, I thought I would share my mess of a house with you to hopefully make you feel better.


So I'm a little behind on the dishes yes? Where am I even going to cook dinner. Good thing I don't like cooking. I think this ended up being a "let's go out to eat" night. Pitiful I know.

Not sure where we will eat dinner, but I have plenty of books on here. Not that it matters, because my kitchen is so messy, I can't even make dinner.  And do you notice the basket of clothes in the background, and the duck tape on the floor? Not sure why that is there.

OK so this room doesn't look much different since this is the playroom. If this is the only room dirty, I consider my house clean. Sometimes, it looks really clean; but only sometimes. Notice the totally lopsided pictures on the wall.

Well, this is the Walnut's and Hazelnut's room. It looks like the toys threw up everywhere. I just shut the door and tried to think happy thoughts.

This is another view of their room.  Again, happy thoughts.

Now, on first glance, this might not look so bad; however, the truth is this stuff had been here for a couple of days.


The kids and I got it cleaned up since these pictures were taken, but we promptly turned around and messed it up again.

Summer is definitely here in the Nutcase house!

If you care to see what the house looks like about once a year, click here and here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Different Than Me


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I saw him when I went out to get the mail. He was leaning against his car, and the hood was popped. He was stranded in front of my neighbors house on a hot Texas day.

I had seen him before. He has been delivering papers on our street since the day we moved in. I even called on him before, because he always drove so fast down our cul-de-sac where kids roam around and ride their bikes. Thanks to God's grace, I was kind in my phone call, and he must have gotten the message; he stopped driving fast after that.

Yes, I had seen him, but I had never spoken, maybe a small wave here or there. To be honest, I always wondered if he was, I don't know, a little strange. He would drive with the windows down and always seemed to be talking to himself out loud. I thought maybe he was singing, but I wouldn't really hear any music coming from the car. Sometimes, I even wondered if he had been drinking. He never scared me though, and I never worried for my kids' safety except for the fast driving.

And yet, I found myself wanting to meet him. What was his name? What was his story? Was he from here, and how long had he been delivering papers?

And this day, as he stood out in the heat, car stranded, I decided to set aside my to-do list and my selfishness (by God's grace again) and ask if he needed help. He had a phone, but no one could come for a while so I offered my jumper cables and van. Of course, I had to make it very clear that I had no idea how to hook them up. Thankfully, he did.

As we stood out there together, both sweating in the sun, I couldn't help but notice our differences; he was much older, probably in his 70's; I'm 36; he was black; I'm white; he was a man; I'm a woman; he knew cars and what he was doing; I had no idea-I just did what he said. 

And yet, as we stood out there together, human-to-human, both created by God, our differences blended together, celebrated in my mind. I wonder what we looked like out there, a young, white woman and an old, black man, laughing and talking as we, or he, tried to get his car started? I bet to some we looked like an odd pair, but I like to think that we didn't look out of place. Two very different people on the outside, enjoying each other's company, and maybe not so different on the inside. 

I think there is a deep beauty in differences. I think it is OK, even great, to notice differences. I think they, our differences, should be celebrated. But to be honest, I don't always do this. Sometimes my patience is short due to differences. But when I take the time to stop and talk to people that, in some ways, are completely different than me, something wonderful happens. It cracks open part of my selfishness and gets me outside of myself. So often, it's in these differences that I am reminded of the love that God has for ALL people. It's in these differences that I catch a glimpse of God. 

His car never did start so I invited him in until his ride could come and get him. He said, "no thanks." I offered to take him somewhere since it would be a while before anyone could get to him. He graciously said, "no thanks," again. He was just content with waiting next to his car, and he had "plenty of water," he said.

He taught me something that day. He wasn't in a rush, and he wasn't worried at all that his car wouldn't start, or at least he didn't show it. It was just another part of his day. And he reminded me that differences should be celebrated. If this wasn't true, God would have made us all the same.

I'm so glad that I listened to God that day and set aside my to-do list. I ended up accomplishing so much more out on that street that day.

By the way-his name is Don, and I now consider him a new friend.


So what about you? Do you like meeting different people? Do you think it's OK to notice differences among each other?


Friday, June 24, 2011

Five Minute Friday

So, the Gypsy Mama has this link-up on Fridays called Five-Minute Friday. I was reminded of it today when I was reading some blogs. This is how she describes it on her blog:

Want to take five minutes with me and see which ones bubble to the surface?
Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not. Here’s how we do it.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing or tweaking.

I have always wanted to try it, because I enjoy reading what people write from their train of thought without worrying about editing and such; but, I haven't tried it, because of fear. But then today I'm feeling brave, or maybe just stupid, so I thought I would try it.

My thoughts on "wonder":

Start

I saw the link-up today, and I thought about trying it.
I even saw the topic-"wonder", and the funny was is that I began to, well, wonder.
I wondered why I had never tried it before, but I instantly knew the answer-fear.
Fear of failure, fear of sounding silly or stupid, fear of being laughed at in the blog world.
But then I realized that this fear wasn't real. It wasn't something that I should give in to. Because really, what if I failed? What if I sounded silly or stupid? What if someone laughed?
Would that really be that bad? Would that define me as a person? Wouldn't not trying be worse than trying at all?
And what if it wasn't so bad after all? If I never tried, I would never know.
And so I wondered about trying. I wondered so much I found myself sitting down to write.
And I realized that it was so much like life. Afraid to try new things; for the fear of failure, of looking silly or being laughed at is a very real feeling.

Stop


Well, there are my random thoughts on "wonder". I didn't really quite finish what was in my head; the timer beeped sooner than I thought. I thought about not posting it, but then I decided that I didn't want to give into the fear of failure-so post it I shall-even though I want to hit delete or secretly edit it to pieces.

P.S. OK so this whole not editing thing is really hard, because I just now realized that I completely left out a word. So, I thought I would make a game out of it-can you guess which word I left out of my 5 minute Friday? 











Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Vacation-Day 2

Well, I'm sure you are sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to hear what I learned on day 2 of my vacation, because I learned or was reminded of some really great things while in San Antonio. Debbie, this is for you. And if anyone is reading this, but has not been to Debbie's blog, you really need to stop by and read it. She will make you smile, think, and laugh out loud. If you are having a down day, just read one of her posts (it doesn't matter which one-just pick any of them), and you will be smiling at the end.

So now, what you all have been waiting for:

What I learned or remembered on day 2 of my vacation!


That I am a total creature of habit.
I wanted to eat lunch at Chili's just because that's what I always do when I go to San Antonio. Plus, they have really great chocolate shakes. Well, when we got there, it stunk really bad. The Other Nut could even smell it so I knew it was bad. I have a really sensitive nose so once I smell a bad smell, it takes a while to leave my nose. It sets up shop in there.

So off we went to find another place to eat. I, being the creature of habit I am, wanted to go back to another old faithful. But, no! The Other Nut made me branch out and try this little deli on the corner next to our hotel. And let me tell you-it was a bad idea all around. They didn't even serve fountain drink Diet Coke which immediately made them drop another notch in my book. We won't be going back next time. I'm sticking with the old faithfuls.

I am addicted to Diet Coke.
I know I mentioned this in day 1, but it is worth mentioning again considering the Walgreen's was closed so we walked another block just to find another store that was open that served fountain drinks. I might need to attend Diet Coke's Anonymous.

I really need to get my thyroid levels checked again.
Right now, my hair is falling out maybe faster than it is growing in. I'm surprised I'm not looking a bit thin on top. The bathroom and bedding at the hotel was all white. It is beautiful, but not if you are a dark brunette with long hair that is falling out at a rapid pace. Dark brunette hair against a backdrop of white shows up quite easy. Everywhere I looked there was my hair. I could have swept it up and made a wig out of it.

It is really hot and dry in Texas right now.
Saturday got up to 106 degrees, and I was sweatin' with the oldies. I could feel the sweat dripping down my back at all times. When we would get back to the room, I would peel most of my clothes off and lie down just to dry off. Maybe that was too much TMI, but it is just the truth. It was hot!

Long, flowy skirts are my new best friend.
I bought and wore one on Saturday, and I loved it! They are actually pretty cool which was a plus considering it felt like we were in a desert. They kind of create this draft so you feel like you are wearing your own little air conditioner. Not to mention that they elongate my short legs, cover up my varicose veins, hide my not so toned, white legs, and I didn't have to shave. What's not to love? I think I will be buying some more. The only thing I'm bummed about is I wish I would have bought one earlier. 

In some ways, we really aren't all that different.
The Other Nut and I met 2 homeless men Saturday night-Johnny and Edward. I realized as we were talking to them that in some ways our lives are so different; and yet, in some ways, our lives are alike. They were hungry without a place to lay their head, they hadn't seen their families in a while, and their struggles were harder than mine to work through everyday just to survive.  But we all have a story to tell, we all are just trying to find our way in this world as we deal with hurts and disappointments, we all want to be heard, and sometimes we don't realize that what we are looking for and what we need are two different things. They loved sharing their stories with us, just having a conversation about life and what they were thinking. We spent about 30 minutes with them, and I really enjoyed just learning a little bit about them. On the way home from San Antonio, I told the Other Nut that I wish we had done more.

I really love the Other Nut and so enjoy being with him.
I know I mentioned this one on day 1 as well, but I figured it was more than worth mentioning again. You see, it was the Other Nut that wanted to go back and talk with Johnny and Edward. I have a very special husband, and I am so thankful for him.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Afraid To Ask

Google image
As we drove down I-10 towards San Antonio, we did what we always do on road trips; we talked. This is the main reason I love road trips. The Other Nut and I have had some great conversations in the car. If I had a penny for every time we have missed a turn due to our talking, I would be rich.

This time, as we drove down I-10, it wasn't any different. As we were talking though, I realized that I had a question I wanted to ask him, THE question; the question that I ask sometimes, but only when I get up enough nerve and brace myself for the answer.

I realized the question had been floating around in the back of my mind lately. He had been working on some things that required him to use the computer, sometimes late at night. A few nights in a row, I had fallen asleep from my exhaustion with him still on the computer working on bills and such.

And in the back of my mind, worry grew. It brought back memories from the deep hurt of pornography; nights where he would spend on the computer while I slept on the couch, oblivious to the deep pit around me.

Our computer has a great filtering/accountability program on it now, but even the thought of temptation scares me. Sitting at the computer, a situation similar; would it trigger something and draw him in?

That's the thing with pornography. It can draw you in before you fully realize it, and certain things can trigger the temptation, things that might even seem insignificant.

And so the question lingered in my mind-"Are you doing OK?"

But I was afraid to ask, unsure of what the answer might be. It's not that the Other Nut has done anything lately to make me think the answer would  be bad. It's just that I think I will always hold my breath a little when I ask that question. Part of me wants to be prepared for the blow.

To be honest though, I never got the question out. I fumbled around enough that the Other Nut knew what I wanted to ask. And so he asked for me.

"Am I doing OK? Yes, sweetheart, I am. I'm doing fine." His words were tender, but I didn't want to look at him so I looked straight ahead. Would his eyes tell me anything different? I was afraid to look.

But he wanted me to, because he wanted me to know that his heart matched his words.

"Yes, sweetheart. I'm doing fine. It's OK."  And a slip of the hand to hold mine happened with a gentle squeeze of reassurance.

So much is spoken on a road trip.





 

Vacation-Day 1



Hotel Valencia (p.s. This isn't a picture I took. Mine aren't even close)
  Well, we enjoyed our time in San Antonio. I was completely lazy very relaxed during this vacation. And I would upload pictures, but I figured pictures of me sleeping until noon, playing cards, and eating would be really boring to see. Plus, every time we left our wonderful room to go eat on the River Walk, we forgot to take the camera. I did take pictures of the room that I might upload later if they turn out OK. I'm not a photographer by any stretch of the imagination, and I forgot to take the pictures BEFORE we put our stuff all over the place so I'm not sure how well they will turn out.

We both came back refreshed and ready to see the kids and animals. And I came back with some gained knowledge. Here are some things I learned or was reminded of while on day 1 of my vacation:

I love lazy vacations.
I slept until noon, didn't eat until around 2 p.m., laid around some more, watched the Food Network, played cards with the Other Nut, ate some more, and slept some more. Basically, kind of like a waste of flesh, and I loved every minute of it!

I love Hotel Valencia.
It is beautiful, quiet, clean, and has wonderful customer service-and all for a great price. And our room had it's own hallway so we felt like we were in an apartment. If you go there, ask for room 824-it's wonderful.

I'm getting older-not old, just older.
Because our timing was off due to above mentioned laziness, we ate dinner really late which put us walking on the River Walk late at night. I found myself wanting the quiet safety of my hotel room instead of the loud, half-naked party crowd that was around us. The few clubs that are on the River Walk are quite loud with their music.

I'm ready for Jesus to come back.
See reason under "I'm getting older".

I am so thankful that I can get my medicine so easily.
I forgot my synthroid back home, but a short walk to a pharmacy and one phone call later, I was walking out with my medicine.

I am completely addicted to Diet Coke.
Seriously. It's bad. If you checked my blood, you would probably find Diet Coke running through it. (I know-not good.) But it isn't just any Diet Coke-it's the fountain kind. The Other Nut says I'm a Diet Coke snob. We would walk to the local Walgreen's and get my fix. Oh sweet bliss!

I can't stand cooking, but I love watching other people cook on TV.
We don't have TV at home so I don't watch the Food Network, but I did this past weekend. It's great, but it makes me hungry. My favorite was Drive-ins, Diners, and Dives and Chopped. Well, now I'm hungry again just thinking about these shows. 

I love the Other Nut, and he is my best friend. 
I just love being with him. He is just great to talk to-and smooch! What else do I need? Well, other than Diet Coke and Jesus?

I am really competitive.
You might ask how I was reminded of this, being that I was a complete waste of flesh this past weekend. Well, because we played cards-Canasta to be exact. And I got smoked every time. I didn't like that. I quit.

My new flip flops hurt my feet.
I bought new flip flops and tried to stay cheap. They were $5, and my feet hurt the first night. The next morning, I walked out with a $3 pair of flip flops along with my medicine (and Diet Coke) from the local Walgreen's. I haven't given up on them just yet though. I'm trying to break them in if you can even break in flip flops. I feel like they deserve a chance. 

I told you I gained a great amount of knowledge while on vacation. Check back later to see what I learned on day 2 of my vacation. I'm a walking book of knowledge now.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Absent

So, I've been a little absent from the blog world lately. I'm sure some of you have lost precious sleep over this (insert sarcasm), but I just haven't been in the blogging mood I guess.

My best friend and I are teaching a teacher training course that takes up many hours of my brain power. We are teaching from the Gospel of John so I have had my nose in the book of John and many other study books. When I do have time to blog, I don't have any energy to really think very clearly.

Throw in summer with 3 kids that are ready to have fun, and that leaves for not much bloggy time. And, the Other Nut and I have had more than the average date nights which has been so wonderful.

Right now, we are actually in San Antonio staying at the beautiful Hotel Valencia on the River Walk. The kids are with their grandparents so we are just enjoying our time together. Hopefully time will allow me to blog about our time here and post pictures. But considering my lack of posting lately, I wouldn't hold your breath. I still haven't even posted about May 15th. Maybe I will do that before May 15th of next year.

And I have a lot of catching up to do on my reading and commenting on the wonderful blogs I read. I am quite far behind.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hiccups

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He was working so hard on it. The cutting and the shaping. Thankfully, he was outside; for the mess it made was quite large. To be honest, I had no idea what he was attempting to make. I was just glad he was being creative and using his imagination. And finally, his masterpiece was complete. He held it up, proudly showing me his piece of art on which he worked so hard. And then he said it, something quite profound that made me think:

"My art teacher says to 'turn your hiccups into a work of art'."

He held up his giraffe, now with the "hiccup" ever before my eyes; one of it's legs was noticeably shorter.



"I accidentally made one leg too short so I just decided to pretend that it was walking."

And now, before my eyes, no longer did a flawed, broken giraffe stand. Instead, I saw it exactly as he had described it-it was simply walking. I could no longer see anything else, but a walking giraffe.

Turn your hiccups into a work of art.

A marriage damaged and broken by pornography, restored and renewed; for He makes all things new.

Panic attacks gripping my soul, followed by anti-anxiety/anti-depression medicine and then a story told, a heart stirred, a secret revealed, and help received; for a lady realized that she wasn't alone.

Anorexia grabbing hold, destroying body and mind, carrying the pain and voices around for many years. But even in the destruction, it didn't win; for a calling was realized-"yes Lord, I will tell of Your story, how You saved me from the pit."

Voices raised. Words cut deep. I can see it in their eyes. "When will I get it right? Will I ever learn?" This particular flaw stares me in the face, but slowly the reflection begins to change; for forgiveness, given and received, is experienced and grace becomes more deeply understood.

So often my hiccups are so apparent. They are held up for all to see, but Jesus does what only He can do; for He truly is the Artist. He takes the hiccups of my life, and He turns them into a work of art that reveal His glory.

So thankful for Jesus who turns the hiccups of my life into a work of art like only He can.






So what about you? What hiccups has Jesus turned into a work of art? 









Much Ado About Nothing

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Well, I've been a little quiet in blogland lately. There is much to do around here. This weekend, my friend and I taught a teacher training course at our church so I have been busy with that. And like this blogger, I think I have a little writer's blah too. I don't want to think too much.
Not to mention the stressful, tiring week I had with the little nuts. I am happy to announce though that things are better-no mean letters to the babysitters from the Walnut lately. And this momma hasn't slapped anyone's eyeballs out of their head which I'm pretty sure wouldn't be a very nice thing to do. So I guess you can say that we're making it over here at the Nutcase house.
And considering that my recent posts have pretty much been killjoys, I thought a mindless, random post was in order. So get ready to be enthralled by mindless blabbing.

We started swim lessons today. All 3 nuts know how to swim-I just put them to help improve their strokes and strength of swimming. Oh, who I am kidding? I really just put them in to give them something to do over the summer so they don't always bug me about "what are we doing today." Plus, I get to sit with my BFF and talk for 2 1/2 hours. It is a total win/win situation. Maybe I'll even get slightly bronzed instead of my usual lily white self. Of course, that would mean that I would need to sit in the sun, and I'm so not a sun goddess. I gave that up when I got some sense in me.

The Other Nut and I just made reservations at our favorite hotel in San Antonio. We get to go WITHOUT THE LITTLE NUTS! This is absolutely my favorite vacation to go on. We stay on the River Walk, sleep late, watch cooking shows together (we don't have TV at home), stroll along the River Walk, and eat at some of our favorite restaurants. I probably come home 3 pounds heavier, but oh well. It is really a relaxing time for us when we do this. I have actually done this 2 times by myself, and I love that too. I could go here every year and never tire of it.

And I get to go get some new clothes! Well, not totally new-I try to do a lot of shopping at resale shops-but new to me. I'm a little fluffier than I used to be so my clothes are a little tighter. And if I'm going to San Antonio to gain 3 more pounds, I'm gonna need some wiggle room!

I'm starting school in September! I'm really excited to be starting this. I am going to be taking Bible Study Methods. My passion is teaching/speaking to women so this is something I have been wanting to do for a while to improve my teaching. I will probably blog more about this sometime in the near future. I'm a little nervous, because it's been 12 years since I've been in school. When I got my nursing degree, I said I would never go back to school and look what I'm doing. I should have never said that!

I still need to blog about May 15th of this year, and how God makes all things new. I would do it now, but that would require too much thinking. So I won't. I'll do it later, but I better do it soon, because it is now June.

Well, I guess I've blabbed long enough about nothing. You see, there is a smell in my house, and I can't figure out from where it comes. Has that ever happened to you? The smell that you can't find? So, yeah, I guess I better stop blogging and start cleaning so I can find the source of the smell. I can't stand stinky smells-I have a really good sniffer.

p.s. I just heard thunder. I so hope it rains, because here we are in a drought. I sure hope it isn't teasing us like it did yesterday.

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