About Me

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I like to think of myself as the 'crazy mom of four'. I'm 31 years old and I love my life, my kids, my husband and my God. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Eliot

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's 2am...

...and I can't sleep. The last few nights have been the same. An hour or two struggle, tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep. It's pretty sad that even despite sheer exhaustion I cannot fall asleep. I was so excited too because for the last couple of months, I haven't had as many problems falling asleep. And the same old annoyance is creeping its way back into my life. It's very frustrating.

On a lighter note...I don't believe in coincidences. I know I have shared that before, but it's time to reitertate that. There are no coincidences. Sometimes things happen, and if you are observant enough, if you have learned even just a little, you will realize that it is God's hand at work. I mentioned on Saturday I think it was, maybe Sunday, about wanting to send the kids back to private school. It hasn't been something that has pressed upon me this entire school year. It just suddenly hit me on Saturday. The desire was so overwhelming I was almost in tears over it. Granted, I was mainly in tears all day Saturday, so perhaps the emotion I felt wasn't totally directed here but still...

So, I went to a basketball game at Grace Christian Academy, where the kids used to attend and where my mother-in-law still teaches, and coaches third grade girl's basketball. It was during this game that I told Kris I just really wanted the kids to go back to Grace. Now, mind you, I have never cared one way or the other where they go. Don't get me wrong. I loved having them in KCA, and then Grace. But if they had to go to public school I was ok with that. In the back of my mind, if we had the means to send them to private school, well there is no reason not to. But overall, I was fine with whatever we decided. So it was a bit unusual for me to feel so strongly about this particular issue.

After the basketball game, I took Katherine and Kaleb with me to lunch. While there, we ran into a family that goes to Grace. I had chatted briefly with the parents before. So they invited me to sit at their table with them, while the kids (mine and theirs) sat at their own tables. And they asked me how everything was going and where the kids went to school. And I proceeded to pour my heart out about how I really wanted them to go back to private school, and how we just didn't see a way to do it with four kids. They asked whether or not Cindy got any kind of discount because she is a grandparent. I told them I wasn't sure-I thought she got a small amount of assistance last year but I wasn't sure, as she had been the one paying their tuition. I went on to explain that had she not paid for them to go to Grace last year, we would have put them in public school then.

This is where the 'coincidences' come in. On Sunday Cindy came over to the house and said something about me making a good impression with a board member. I had no clue what she was talking about. And rather than drag this story out even further, I will just say now that the father of this family I had lunch with on Saturday is on the board at Grace. So I sat there, being myself, sharing my heart with these people I barely knew, completely unaware that this man was on the board at Grace! He proceeded on Monday to talk to Cindy about where things stood as far as discounts, things like that. I don't know what (if anything) will happen. But I am not so ignorant that I do not see God's hand at work. If nothing else, it was a reminder to me to look for God in those 'small' things. And it was refreshing to have that reminder! I feel like God is doing more though than just reminding me. So it will be interesting to see how the next year unfolds.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A new day has dawned...

Kris and I joined a church this morning. I am not going to go into all of the hows and whys we have never joined a church in our married life. To me, it's a formality. I know there is more to it than that, but ultimately, it is a formality. However, we felt it was time-there was no reason NOT to, so we did. We've been going to Cross Keys Baptist Church for 4 months now and I had told Kris I was ready when he was. If he ever wants to get involved with teaching, which he does, we have to be members. That was not the driving force in our decision, but it was a factor.

February 4th cannot get here soon enough. I have a doctor's appointment and will hopefully get back on some much needed medication. I really think I am having panic attacks...at work now. I figure it is pretty bad when it's happening at work, which is usually my place of sanity! And that is addition to the usual 'issues' I have. I'm struggling more and more to be around the kids...let alone be alone with them. The thought terrifies me. They're just kids...I know they aren't behaving any differently and that it is me. So it will be good to be back on something to help manage that.

Kris and I want to send the kids back to private school. I don't know how we will do it. We were figuring everything up. It's expensive to send one kid, let alone FOUR! But we'd like to send them back to Grace, as long as Cindy is there. North County Christian School is close by and we need to check into pricing there. But the reality is we need to come up with an additional $800 each month in order to send them anywhere in the fall. My PC business just isn't worth the time and energy to generate that kind of $ while I am working full-time for ICS. I can't do both. Nor do I want to. Kris has the potential to bring in a decent amount of extra money but there is nothing consistent...just some odd jobs here and there. Nothing that we can count on. So, pray-ers out there, please pray that God will provide a way for us to do this.

Kris and I were going to go on a cruise this summer for our 10-year anniversary. We can get a great deal and keep the cost down, but it looks like we were too confident that we would get an income tax return. I know I said last year we were going to owe a ton of $ and we ended up getting a return, but it was because I had a social security # entered in wrong. This year...Kris made more than we thought from his contracting stuff...and where I thought I wasn't going to have to claim my PC income because it was so low, it ended up being $1500. I had about $800 in additional incentives and products I had earned. So...while we can handle having to pay a couple hundred dollars this year...we won't have the money to do anything 'big' for our 10-year anniversary. In addition, I don't really want to deal with all that is involved in getting passports and all the prep work that would be involved in a cruise. So we are going to try to save as much as we can and drive to Colorado.

My 30th birthday is fast approaching. Does anyone else have to make their own birthday cake? I don't HAVE to of course...but it seems wrong not to have a birthday cake on your birthday. So if I can find the recipe (or get it from my sister or mom) I am going to make myself a Coconut Pound Cake. YUM!

And here is the abrupt ending to this blog.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Random thoughts

I have started Weight Watchers again-for real this time. I know I said that the last time but I have a lot more accountability and I kinda feel like there are people watching me and supporting me and I really want to lose the weight. I'm tired of feeling the way I do, and looking the way that I do. I'm thankful that I have a husband who swears up and down he loves me just as I am, but I don't love me like this. That's another issue entirely! Which brings me to something I've been avoiding but finally decided today I should do. There is a Bible study starting at church next week. It's called "Do You Think I'm Beautiful." Boy do my beauty issues run deep! I'm actually pretty much deadset against the study because I don't want to face those demons...but Kris thinks I should do it-and I know that I should-so I quit fighting and signed up for it tonight.

I still love Wii Fit. I haven't done it as much as when I first got it, but have started it up again to go along with Weight Watchers. I'm exhausted tonight but still need to get up and do it for today. I haven't committed to doing it everyday-but have promised myself I would do it at least 3 times each week.

I still hate Charter-that hatred was revitalized tonight when they changed our bill from $34.99 to $59.99. Unacceptable!

Sprint, on the other hand, while I do not LIKE them may be moving off of my hate list. The last couple of run ins we have had with them have actually been pleasant and things have been resolved satisfactorily. So...that one is still up in the air, but I am contemplating downgrading them to just 'annoyed by'.

A company that has great customer service is Audible.com. Yes, Kris and I might be geeks, but we are 'hip' geeks. We don't have as much time to read as we would like and we both have long commutes to and from work so we listen to books. Through Audible we can download a book (for a monthly fee of course) and then put them on our phones and listen to them while we drive. I recently finished The Song of Albion Trilogy by Stephen Lawhead and loved it. I can't decide between Pillars of the Earth and Inkheart for my next selection. Anyway...that's beside the point...I am mentioning Audible.com because we recently had an experience with them that could have sent them straight to my hate list, but they have exceptional customer service and resolved my issue quickly and painlessly.

Update on the Bishops-for the most part we are all doing well. We've had some sickness here and there but overall we can't complain. Livvy's asthma has remained under control-she seems to do better in the winter, which is pretty common. Kris, the kids and I go to church on Wednesday nights now. The kids go to RA's, GA's and Mission Friends and Kris and I go to a prayer-type service. We are up to 8 children now-Abbey and Kaleb each bring a friend and Katherine has two friends that I take with us. It's stressful for me sometimes with that many but we drive separately (I take the older three girls-I got the better end of the deal but have the smaller vehicle!) so it's not bad. Kris just turned 30 and I will be 30 in just a couple of weeks. Kris and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage in June and Kris is hoping to take me on a cruise. I'm pretty excited about that!

I have a confession.

While you wait in eager anticipation for the secret I am about to reveal, let me preface this by saying that I LOVE music. It used to be that I liked mostly anything except heavy metal and country. In the last two years however, I have given in to country and enjoy it quite a bit. I still hate heavy metal. But typically if it has a good sound and the words are good, I'm easy to please! Perhaps it's one of the only areas I am easy to please!

I can't get enough of 3 or 4 part harmony! I LOVE hearing the voices blend and the beautiful sound it creates. I miss singing. Not that I don't sing at church or anything. But I miss singing in a group of people and singing alto. At church I love when this one lady helps lead because you can really hear her belting out that harmony and it makes it easy to join in singing harmony, even if it's a song I didn't know the harmony to before! That's not my big secret though.

My 'BIG' secret is that...are you ready...I LOVE Southern Gospel. I LOVE The Imperials, and Gold City and The Gaither Vocal Band, among others! I'm not ashamed to admit it! And I love the old hymns, which churches just don't sing enough of these days-though I suppose it depends on the church. With my new phone, I downloaded the Pandora application and it's great because I can type in my favorite artist and it will design a station based on that artist. So I have a few different stations now, including but not limited to, Johnny Cash, Nickelback, Switchfoot, Kenny Chesney and of course The Gaither Vocal Band. Make fun of me if you will...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Busy as usual

The last week has been filled with a whirlwind of activity. Sick kids, snow days, Kris' birthday party. Then the usual day job, and coming home at night too exhausted to do anything after the kids have gone to bed. There needs to be two of me...one to keep up with the house and one to go to work. Remember that movie Multiplicity?
We had a good amount of people at the house on Sunday for Kris' 30th birthday party. Yesterday on Kris' actual birthday his dad was here helping us get some things fixed up on the house. We have water pressure in our bathroom sink again, the drain in the shower is fixed as well as the leaky shower head. The closests in our bedroom are just about ready to become real closets with racks to hang our clothes and everything! :-) No more cramming all of our clothes into the small hall closet. What else...lots of electrical issues have been resolved. And Kris bought me a dishwasher yesterday that will be delivered in the morning. I'm finally going to be able to put my dishes in the dishwasher, turn it on and then later, open it up and find that my dishes are actually clean! I am not sure how I will cope with that. I'm so used to my dishes feeling grimy!
Kris decided it was time to upgrade his cell phone last Thursday. He went from the Treo 700w (which we both had) to the Treo 800w. He is quite pleased with it. He was sure to share with me all the cool features, like the built in GPS and threaded text messaging (I was jealous about this one!). Overall the phone is just really sophisticated. He can watch TV and listen to music on it. It's a pretty impressive phone. It was an impressive phone when I first heard it was coming out, researched it and told him all about it. I told him I wanted that phone. He shot me down of course. Something about not having enough money to upgrade our phones (note-OUR phones, not just MINE). He went on to explain to me that I couldn't have a better phone than him-he'd be jealous. So realizing that I didn't really NEED a new phone, I relented and life resumed. And then they started playing commericals for the Samsung Instinct. It looked like a pretty cool phone. A few months ago I told Kris that if I upgraded my phone, rather than getting a newer Treo I might like that phone. After all, it is cheaper than the Treo 800w.
Now I have shared all of that because when Kris came home last week with his new Treoo 800w and was flaunting it in my face...well, I became quite envious. How could he dare get the same phone that I told him about? How could he upgrade his phone...while I still had a lesser phone? So for 2 days I whined and complained...it wasn't fair. And I made sure he knew I felt that way!! I mean he kept making calls on his phone. He answered calls on his phone. He sent text messages. He synched his phone. He looked for games and apps for his phone. FLAUNTING!! Granted these are all things that he did with his other phone...but it sure did appear that there was more of it going on than normal-as if he was trying to say-"Look I got that phone YOU wanted, that YOU told me about, and YOU don't have one." I mean really...it was not nice!
So he told me that I could get a new phone for my birthday. And my birthday is a LONG LONG time away. 3 weeks almost...like I said...a LONG time! ;-) I did a ton of research for two days finally deciding that when I did trade my phone in it would be for the Samsung Instinct. And in the meantime, Kris continued to 'play' with his new toy right in my face. So finally, on Saturday, I wore him down. In a desperate attempt to shut me up, he called his mom and asked her to watch the kids. Of course, I then felt horribly guilty (nothing new there!) and told him to stop and that I would wait until my birthday. He refused to budge. He had made up his mind and was going to buy me a new phone whether I liked it or not. So off we went to drop the kids at his mom's house. And then, using his high tech GPS navigation in his new phone, we found the nearest Sprint store. Sadly though, the one we first went to did not have any Instincts in stock. At this point I again told Kris I would just wait...but the choice was made.
Finding the next nearest Sprint store on his phone, we finally arrived at our destination. We walked in and the friendly people at this particular store were more than eager to help us. They asked what we wanted-we told them a phone. They asked if we knew which one-barely containing my excitement I said "The Instinct". And then...they asked a question. It was the highlight of my day. That one question took a GREAT birthday present to an AWESOME birthday present. The two sales girls at the door said "Do you want the pink one?" At first I thought it was some sort of joke. Pink? What was she talking about? In all my research, I found nothing about a PINK phone. So thinking that she was just saying that because I had a pink hat on I replied "Are you serious?" SHE WAS SERIOUS!! Apparently on Friday they released the pink Instinct. I was giddy! I am not exaggerating at all.
If you knew me growing up...I HATED pink. Detested it. Even swore (before I had kids) that I would NEVER put my girls in pink! What a horrid color. And then, when I was pregnant, something happened. I began to soften to pink. I didn't wear it! No way...I wouldn't stoop that low...but my girls were GIRLS for crying out loud. It would be unhuman not to dress them in pink. And then I started my PC business and there was pink everywhere. And well, I somehow lost my resolve against hating the color pink. It overpowered me, and I caved in. All that to explain that I was really excited that they had this phone in pink. And then they showed me the phone. And then...the guy at the counter took it out of the box and placed it into my hands. It was wonderful! :-)
So anyway...my long dramatic story is coming to an end. I'll finish up with a few pictures I took of the phone. I had to take the pictures myself because I can't find any pictures online anywhere of this pink Instinct. Hey maybe mine will be the first ever! Either that or I am just really bad at 'googling'. This is what I THOUGHT my phone was going to look like (by the way mine has GPS too and a ton of other fun stuff!):

THIS is what my phone actually looks like!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to reality...

Today is my last day home. I spent the morning cleaning and rearranging, finishing up the kids' rooms. Abbey and Katherine are now together in the bigger bedroom and Kaleb is now where Abbey was. All the new Christmas toys are organized and put away and the old toys are bagged up ready to give away. It feels good to have all that done, but there is still so much I need to do today that probably won't get done. I need to wash a few dishes but don't really want to make my fingers numb washing with freezing cold water. I can't really run the dishwasher without the hot water. I can do laundry in cold water...but who wants to go downstairs to a torn apart basement? I didn't like going down there when it was nice and carpeted...

I need to get the Christmas tree down today and the living room back in order. I need to vacuum but vacuum cleaners worldwide are about to go on my HATE list with Charter, Sprint and Amtrak. I can't begin to tell you how many vacuum cleaners Kris and I have gone through in the last 10 years. We just bought a new one about 3-4 months ago. I can't get the stupid thing to work. Kris changed the belt for me and it still isn't really picking much up. So I tried to get my screwdriver out and take the bottom piece off so that I can try to unclog it. I hope it is just clogged-but anyway-I couldn't get to the screws. It was making me seriously angry. So the vacuuming will have to wait until Kris gets home, which in essence will make me feel like the house isn't really all the way clean. I wanted to just be done. I need to go to the grocery store today too, but don't know if I will do that with the kids or wait until Kris gets home. I managed to yell at Kaleb and send him running out of the room in tears. As much as I understand and appreciate technology, I hate computers. And I was frustrated with the dumb kids' computer and so I yelled at him because he wasn't listening...I have since apologized and he is better now.

I am not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. Well...I suppose I KIND OF am. I am looking forward to getting my calendar caught up, as I know it is behind because I didn't have a chance to log in and work while we were in Indiana. Beyond that, I am not looking forward to driving to Fenton again, or dressing up, or doing the actual work. I'm sure I'll get back in the swing of things quickly...I'll have to so that I can keep up with everything. It sure has been nice though not working. Makes me wish there was a way to be a stay-at-home mom again. Livvy could stay home with me and we could keep up with the house. It's too bad I make more than just the money needed to keep Livvy in preschool!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Home Sweet Home...or close to it!

After 10 wonderful days at my parents' house in Indiana, we are home. The kids are all settled in bed and Kris and I are winding down before going to bed ourselves. We had a good drive back-it was extremely foggy most of the way but it was a fairly uneventful drive.

After we unpacked the U-haul we rented to get all the kids' Christmas presents home (just kidding)...we have a living room that is begging to be cleaned. There are piles of unopened art items Katherine got and toys that the others received. We will have a lot to unpack but tomorrow we are switching the bedrooms around so it didn't make sense to move everything into the bedrooms. Plus...we will be going through the current toys/art stuff and weeding out what we no longer need tomorrow to make room for the new 'treasures'. Hopefully we will get the Christmas tree down tomorrow too but I'm more interested in getting some groceries and getting all the bedrooms together.

While we were gone our basement managed to flood and we lost all the carpet down there. Katherine's room WAS down there but we are moving her upstairs now and putting her and Abbey together. It's just as well with the flooding forcing her upstairs because she didn't really like sleeping down there anyway. I can't blame her. I didn't even like to go down there, even when there was nice new carpet down there. We are still up in the air as far as the insurance coverage goes. MSD came out and cleaned out the sewer line so we are assuming it was THEIR problem that led to flooding...but we don't really know for sure what all will be covered.

I don't go back to work until Tuesday but I just know that the next two days will go by much quicker than I would like! Oh well...it's been really nice to have some time off and not worry about work. I am going to relish the next couple of days I have before I have to get back to reality.

Kris and I are determined to get back to doing Wii Fit on a daily basis. I did it once while I was in Indiana, on New Year's Eve. My back and arms STILL hurt! But Kris is doing it now and has informed me that I HAVE to do it tonight too. So when he finishes I will do it. Both of us want to lose some weight so we were discussing on the drive home how we can accomplish that. It's going to be hard...but I have lost a LOT of weight before and I know that I can do it again...We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A new video

So I don't think I have ever put a video on here and I am not sure if I will be able to make it work without having to resize or anything like that but I am going to try. Remember my blog about Livvy singing her Twinkle Twinkle Traffic Light song and the Wheels on the Bus? I finally got it on video and thought I would share it. If it doesn't work here, you can find it on my Facebook page.