Fall 2013-dark leaves

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Quick recap of the last week:

Friday night we took the kids to the Third Degree Glass Factory. They do an open house every 3rd Friday where they do demonstrations and have classes you can take. We watched a man create a glass bowl. Let's see if I can describe it. It has a red layer with white sparkles encased between clear glass. The outer layer has a diamond ridge pattern on it. It took about 45 minutes to make then it has to bake for 3 hours. I want to call and see if it's on display so we can see the finished product. There was also live music in the next room, and Patrick walked right up to the group and strummed his imaginary guitar alongside them. So cute! It was really cool for all of us to see what kind of skill and gifts are required to create--glass and music--well.

Saturday was BEAUTIFUL outside! We decided to go for a walk before lunch, and we brought our neighbor Aaliyah with us. She and Catherine pushed doll strollers, Sarah Frances pushed Lillian, and Patrick rode on his scooter. We were a sight to see! We made it almost a mile to the park and played a good hour before getting home for lunch at 1:30. It just felt so good to be playing outside that we didn't really notice we were hungry. That night B. took all 4 kids out to buy my birthday gift, and I was left home alone for the first time since we moved here. It was glorious!

Sunday was my actual birthday. There were a handful of people--FB friends mostly--who knew it was my bday, so it was a fun morning at church when people would whistle the song as I walked by or come over and give me a hug. :) That night our small group leader made red velvet cupcakes for me and they sang too. I blushed. I don't remember being so surprisingly affirmed on my b'day before. I feel loved. :)

And Brian gave me Keller's Reason For God, Honey For A Child's Heart, and the kids gave me earrings. :) And I got some checks from family so I can maybe get something cute for spring and get coffee out more often when I feel like it. :)

But I'm still catching up from "taking the weekend off". I CLEANED the kitchen this morning (even wiped down the cabinet faces and the seats of the chairs), but I'm SOOOOO far behind in laundry! Maybe this afternoon?

Friday, February 19, 2010


This afternoon I was reading A. A. Milne's poetry to Sarah Frances and Catherine. I was really having a good time, snuggled up on the couch under a blanket reading good lit to them, when Catherine got a hold of my bicep and said, "It's squishy, Mom!"

Well, I got cracked up and completely lost it. It did tickle a little--she was just squeezing a little bit with all 5 fingers--but I was laughing as much because I used to do the same thing to my mom. I distinctly remember sitting in the recliner with her, poking her flabby arm with my finger, watching its tip sink down into her flesh. And laughing. The difference is that she wasn't laughing with me.

I'm glad I can laugh with my kids at my "motherlyness." I'm not saying I don't have a good 10 pounds I could stand to lose (20 if I'm honest), but there is something to be said for looking like a mother. I'm curvy. And apparently squishy. And that also makes me cuddly and love-ly. It's comforting to crawl in my lap and snuggle. Think about it--would you rather sit on an overstuffed chair or a wooden rocker? My body has grown a full-sized baby in it four times, and I don't mind carrying some extra chub that keeps my body kid-friendly.

I'm just glad I can laugh about it.

Maybe tomorrow I'll write about why I should drop that 10 lbs (or 20) to help my body become more husband-friendly.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dance Camp

Have you ever been to or seen a high school cheer or dance camp? Where the leaders and campers alike are all screaming and jumping up and down, doing anything for spirit points. Well, my home this afternoon became Camp. I'll think of a more clever name later, but I started cheering like a maniac at my kids' helpfulness. Lillian picked up a piece of paper, and I woo-hoo'ed to see what the others would do. Sarah Frances took a stack of clothes upstairs to put away, and I cheered for her so hard she got embarrassed. :D Catherine ended up sweeping and mopping the kitchen. Patrick took his clothes upstairs then rushed back to me, asking how else he could help.

I am so thankful God got a hold of my spirit today. And that he (finally) took away my headache--3 days old and untouched by Excedrin or Tylenol. So woo-hoo, God! (not to be irreverant)

Now we're off to that dinner we missed last week for sickness, so I'm not cooking tonight either. Woo-hoo!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Funny thing

Sarah Frances, Catherine and I made granola together this afternoon while the littles were napping. I love teaching them things that I love to do, like cooking. And the granola is really yummy to boot!

So now they're working on their math. We took a good 2 month break from "real" math, i.e. addition and subtraction. They were so burned out, and the workbook we were using was super boring. We skipped to the back to the chapters on measurements, time, and money. In the meantime, I found a more fun, hands-on way to teach them add/subtr. that is making knowing their facts easier too.

Anyway, back to granola. The half-way timer went off, and I went in to stir it and return it to the oven. Maybe it's because the sun is out for the first time in a long, long time, but I noticed for the first time that the afteroon sun is streaming in through the side window onto the stove. It's never done that before. And how sweet of God that I would be there to see the beauty of sunlight in my kitchen today and appreciate it.

So my thoughts went crazy. One direction was to find it ironic that the God who never changes created a world where nothing is ever the same twice. It used to be that the sun came in through these great stained glass windows in the living room. Now it's in the kitchen. Tomorrow the Earth will have tilted a little more, and the sun will come in at even a little bit different angle. And one day it will warm up some and flowers will bloom again. And they will grow a little every day then begin to die a little every day, never the same 2 days in a row. You and I are created different from each other, but we are also different people from day to day. We are physically, emotionally, and spiritually changing daily.

Yet God--who created all these things into being--never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. How foreign to me. I don't know that I can understand what that really looks like, but I'm glad it's true.

So what's the significance in recognizing these things? That God, who never changes, created all things to change. I'm not sure...this is a new thing to know for me. What do you think?

Sunday, February 14, 2010


When you look at sheet music, there are lots of notes. They go up and down the staff, making beautiful music. But that's not all you see. There are also rests mixed in among the notes. Within a rest, there is no tune being played. However, rests are necessary in order to make beautiful music. The piece sounds best with the right rests put in the right places.

It is right to rest at the right time. So why do I get anxious when I don't know what to be stressed about? Like I'm worried because I can't remember what I'm supposed to be worried about. It should not be this way.

Be diligent to rest. Work at resting. It's right to rest at the right time. Rest, Rebecca! Rest!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


It's not uncommon knowledge, although (I hope) it might be a surprise, to know that I get angry sometimes. It's not something I'm content with, and I'm working toward learning more about emotions so that the anger monster doesn't come out in me.

**disclaimer** I have never even read a book on emotions, let alone been taught on the subject. I don't pretend to be able to speak to what anyone else is dealing with. I'm simply sharing my learning process here.

It seems that anger is the easy emotion. At least that's what my counselor said in passing. She's encouraging me to dig deeper and find and deal with other emotions so that they don't boil over in anger. I feel like I could be in a scene of the movie Anger Management. ha.

I've never put a lot of stock in "digging deeper" emotionally. I'm a do-what-you-have-to-do-to-get-it-done kind of girl. There's no room for deep emotions in day-to-day life because they get in the way of getting it all done. Emotions are messy--there're lots of tears and a sloppy runny nose. And then people think (know) something's wrong because my eyes are all red and puffy and I sound like I have a cold. Besides, this is where God has put me this very day for my good and His glory. So rejoice always, right?

But having a heart that is rejoicing does not mean it's not a feeling heart. It seems there are a wealth of unchartered emotions that flow just below the surface of my heart these days. And right now it hurts to feel them. And it's sloppy. And there are no safe moments in my life where I can get sloppy. So I push them down til they boil over into anger.

Now, it's not like I don't cry! I can hardly get through a worship service without tears flowing at the thought of what God has done for me by His grace! And I can cry over someone else's "stuff" pretty easily. But, now, my stuff...not so much.

I think the deal is that I used to think it didn't matter if I admitted I was disappointed or frustrated or fearful or unsure. Because God has me right here for a reason, period. And I'm so cerebral and such a thinker that I could reason my way through my reality, completely bypassing the emotions part of it all. But now NOT dealing with it is getting in the way of getting it all done because I'm not being the kind, patient, loving mother and wife I want to be.

So here we go. Yuck. I don't know where this will take me. And I like a plan, so this makes me really uneasy. We'll see...

ps-I can already tell I have more control over the anger monster this week, just for having dealt with some stuff a little bit. Encouraging...I think this will be worth it in the end.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Breath of Fresh Air

We visited a new church today. And all I can say right now is that it was WONDERFUL. The music was so worshipful, everything about the preaching was fabulous, and the people there were very welcoming and friendly. It was a great Sabbath morning.

Now to rest before I start cooking for the game. All our "company" has had to back out for the night, so it's a nice and unexpected surprise to have another family-only evening.

And, just because I grew up in Louisiana,

Who Dat!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Life Lessons

Do you ever wonder what God is trying to teach you? Yes, in the moment, but right now I'm talking more about recurring themes in your life. Like, what would I say are my life's lessons? What areas in my life are in greatest need of sanctification, as seen by the particular areas where I struggle most?

I don't have the answers for this right now, but it occurred to me this morning that He is definitely trying to teach me something important because I am really struggling. Yesterday anger reared its ugly head, followed quickly by anxiety and then shame at being so weak. Today has been increasingly better, and I know it's because of the prayers of those precious friends who know to and how to pray. But now that He's got my attention, I don't want to miss the point.

Confess, repent, rejoice. (sin) Confess, repent, rejoice. (sin, again) Confess, repent, rejoice.

OK, I've got that down, but I'm so sick of falling into the same sin patterns over and over. And this is where I need to spend some time in self-evaluation. What matters so much to me that it would take my eyes off Jesus? What rocks my world so hard that I would be so harsh to those I love the most? And how can I make changes in my life to help foster a home that is peaceful and kind?

Anyway...just thinking "out loud." Thank God there's a good point to all this, and we're not just "coping" through life. Praise God...I am becoming more like Jesus! I am, if only because He promises I am, whether I see it or not.


Patrick's hearing test went well. It's within normal ranges, even though he had a lot of congestion and his tympanogram was a little flat. Thank you, Lord. Now we turn it in to our eval woman and see where we go next.

Our meeting with Jon Roberts was eye-opening. There is now a waiting list for the first time at Covenant Christian School. As siblings, the girls will be at the top, but he said he'd give us a 50/50 shot at getting in. Then we'd have to work out the numbers and funding for the school in general from outside sources isn't what it used to be. I admit I'm a little depressed at this news. It's good to know this up front though so I can gear up to homeschool again next fall.

Today I put on my comfy jeans with a hole in the knee and a Tshirt with Brian's plain navy sweatshirt on top. Comforting.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Childless Weekend

Oh. My. Goodness. What a fun weekend we had. What a weekend of gifts. My precious friend, Sarah Carter--wait, that's Sarah Cruze now--got married Saturday in Huntsville. She's my old coffee-time friend. We've been meeting before work for 3 1/2 years now. It started out every other week, but once she started dating Matthew I couldn't wait that long for an update. She gave us some unused Southwest tickets for us to be able to get down to Alabama for the wedding.

So Jim and Lilla drove up Thursday and stayed with the kids. We flew in to B'ham Friday at noon, Heather (B's sil) picked us up, took us to lunch then Jim and Lilla's to get her (Lilla's) car, offered me some great dresses to wear for the wedding events, and we were off to Huntsville. My new St. Louis coffee-time friend, Mary Martha Abernathy, is from Huntsville, and her parents graciously invited us to stay with them once they heard we'd be in town that Friday night, although they'd be in Auburn.

The rehearsal dinner was great--very intimate and sweet. They both come from great families, and it was a priviledge to spend time with them. The wedding was at 11am--my first morning wedding (loved it!)--and there was a brunch reception at the Botanical Garden with the jazz band from the Open Door in Mountain Brook. They catered too. So yummy and so fun! Sarah was beautiful! Did I mention that only one sibling of the Carter's and Cruze's 7 siblings is under 6', and that's with only 2 brothers in the mix.

After the wedding we got to visit with Susan and Eric Zellner. B and E have known each other since College Park their freshman year at Auburn. We've all been members at Faith since our single days, then the Zellners moved to St. Louis for his MDiv at Covenant and are now 3 years out and working in Huntsville. They also have 4 kids, girl-girl-boy-girl, whose ages are all within months of ours. It's such a gift that they know us, know where we've come from, and know all about where we are now location and family wise. They are so encouraging and empathetic! There aren't many people who have lives so similar to ours.

We drove back to Bham late in the afternoon, ate at Cantina, stopped by Jimmy and Heather's to visit a minute, and went on to Kelly and Brad Adair's. Brad had called Andrew Butler to come over, so Kelly and I headed over to hang out with Amy. It got late fast. Boy, I miss my Bham people!

This weekend was the Outreach Conference at Faith Pres. We wore jeans just to shake things up a bit. Our excuse was that we were traveling, and we did get a few comments. Funny thing is that I forgot until someone said something to me. Anyway, some old RUF people had planned to eat lunch together at Milo's, so we tagged along. We got to hang out with a handful of our old youth kids (GKG, Craig, Jeffrey, Anna Kate) and the new youth kids we've never "had" but whom we've loved since they were babies (Davis and Bailey Adair, Maggie Benner). Talk about missing people! I am SO EXCITED though that Lana Benner and Lauren Shaw are going to start teaching the Sr. High girls' Sunday School! Way to go, mamas! THANK YOU for serving these girls in this way!! Lisbeth and Ben Chapman, Sara Ellen and Matt Albritton, Dan Gurley, Pamela and Scotty Stanford, Lana and John Benner, Kelly and Brad Adair, and families, and Richard Vise were all there. We took up half of Milo's.

It was only my second time to have Milo's food, by the way. Much better than I remembered it being. I did order a burger w/o onions though. For the sake of the other people on the plane that afternoon. :)

Jimmy and Connor took us back to the airport Sun. afternoon. Connor is in 8th grade. I feel like we've got a good thing going, him and me; that he'll answer my probing questions and tell me stuff. I might be considered a cool Aunt? But he jumped back in the car before I could get a hug. I think he saw me coming for one, but maybe he didn't know I wanted a quick squeeze before we left. :)

Oh, and in the meantime, back here in St. Louis, Marne had her baby! I knew she'd do that! I texted her to keep her legs crossed till we could get back, but to no avial. We did leave the kids(again) Sun. night--was that just last night?--so we could get in a visit at the hospital. Slade Douglas Wood is his name. Or maybe Douglas Slade Wood? They were still undecided as of last night.

I'm so glad she has a baby. I can now scratch my baby itch. Truth is, now that I think about it, I was much more itchy even 2 days ago than I am now after holding Slade for 30 min. It's a little nuts to think about us having another baby--we've nipped the issue anyway, so to speak, and I can hardly keep my head above water with all I have going on now. Maybe that's why I haven't ached for a baby since I held one last night. I haven't had time to.

The kids did great while we were gone. I think MaMaw and Granda are pretty wiped out. They said it was non-stop the whole time and definitely a 2 person job. But it sounded like they cooperated well. The kids, I mean. They went to the Magic House one day and a movie another. Then church on Sunday where the people at Covenant were very welcoming to them. They met a man with 26 grandchildren. Lilla couldn't get that out of her head and talked about it all evening, lol.

So today B. really started classes. The semester officially started last Thurs, but he missed Friday. He's taking 2 fewer hours this sem and working only Mon. nights and Saturdays. And it's not our first 4 months here; the load he's carrying should be lighter this time around. And I had a breakthrough in counseling today--looks like I'm such a thinker that I repress my feelings and that's keeping me from being honest about my reality here and dealing with it well. Hmmmmm...we'll see where that goes.

Lillian and Patrick are going to the Log Cabin Monday mornings this semester (that's free childcare for 2 1/2 hours), so they started that today. The girls and I did school in Rivendell, the sem's community center. It was a fun change of scenery.

Tomorrow morning we have an appt. with Jon Roberts, the headmaster at Covenant Christian School, where Patrick is 2 mornings a week, to talk about getting the girls in 1st and 2nd grades next year. That is if they can afford to take us for what we can afford to pay. We should know more tomorrow.

Wednesday morning we have an audiology appt. for Patrick to make sure that what we think might be a language processing issue is not a hearing problem. I will say that we've been praying specifically that God will open his eyes to see all the beautiful colors He's created and sharpen his mind to be able to communicate well, and we've seen a good bit of improvement in the last month. Again, I hope that if he's delayed it's not by too much but enough that he'd get services if he really needs them.

So it's a big week. More later. This is certainly enough for tonight.