Sunday, January 30, 2011

On a Roll

Years ago, I recall my parents calling my sisters and I in for a family meeting. While I am sure there were other items on the agenda that day, I remember only one. Toilet Paper. Yes, you read that right.

You see, like many other families...our budget was tight. Money needed to be saved and one way was through toilet paper. If you have many girls around, you know that where there are girls...toilet paper can be used in abundance. My parents had noticed that we were, apparently, "rolling" through toilet paper at alarming speeds. At the time, I'm sure it was a very serious topic, but I cannot help but laugh as I remember my mom explaining that they had figured out that...for most jobs, 5 squares was sufficient. I'm not sure where that number came from. I chuckle as I imagine the research involved (no, I am not going there). However they came to that decision, we were told to try to keep our TP usage to 5 squares a shot. They must have really ingrained it within me because, to this day I still remember sitting on the throne and counting squares.

I now live in a house with mostly boys. Dancer and I are the only regular "wipers". Somehow, we still manage to go through a 12 pack of double rolls with alarming "regularity" (sorry, I just couldn't help it). However, last weekend, we had a house full of girls. Dancer had an overnight party with four of her closest friends. Only 3 of them spent the night. About 10:30 or 11:00 p.m., one of the precious ladies informed me that we were out of paper in the downstairs bathroom. That bathroom is just a half bath and we tend to use the supplies slowly. I headed up to the closet to get a roll and a spare. (Someday, I hope that the males in the house will learn that the spare is there for the purpose of replacing the empty tube in the event they are the one who empties as not to leave the women folk stranded on the throne, but I digress). was 11:00 p.m. The girls went straight to bed after one last potty break and slept soundly until about 7:30 the next morning. We left the house about 9:00 a.m. for basketball games, and spent the rest of the day away from home with parties, birthday shopping, etc. Sunday, we went to church and lunch and spent the day napping and playing with the birthday girl.

Monday morning, I got up and did my morning routine (Bible and breakfast, exercise, etc.), got up the kids and began school. My morning routine involves drinking 2 1/2-3 cups of water, so by about 8:30...nature is calling. I went into the downstairs bath...and found myself trapped. Nothing on the roll. No spare. Really? I thought there was a spare. And then, it came to me. Three extra girls...all using one bathroom. We had managed to burn through two doubled sized rolls in a matter of hours, people. I am sure, through the years, we will find many other areas where we save money because the bulk of our family is male, however none may ever be quite as well illustrated as the truth of the tissue.

Rest assured, next time we have a girl's sleepover...they could very well be met with a sign on the bathroom door:

For most jobs: 5 squares is sufficient!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Coffee Talk 1.28.11

Good Morning, Ladies!

Hope everyone finds themselves well this morning! I just finished doing "The Shred" so I am all warmed up and ready to go. I have had to resort to indoor exercising of late because Tigercub has decided to begin waking up with the sun. By the time it is light enough for me to run...I hear the pitter patter of little feet that are ready for their momma. Hopefully, as spring approaches, some of our cloudiness will go away and it will begin getting light earlier. I have a feeling I am gonna have to start back with square one on the running, UGH!

We have had a pretty good week around here. MORE snow on Tuesday night which meant all the schools were cancelled again. They were expecting several inches, we might have got one. I opted out of taking a snow day and made my kids do school. That did not go over well. They knew all their friends were out and they wanted to be, too. They didn't even want to go out and play in the snow...just wanted to skip school. I tried, for a short time to reason with them about how we would have to tack the day on to the end of the year, blah, blah, blah...they did not want to hear it. So, in the end, I was the bad guy...but we got school done! Someday they will thank me...or will go to therapy...or both.

We also celebrated Tigerfan's birthday yesterday. However, I discovered that I certainly need improvement. I BOUGHT a birthday card for him...I just forgot to write in it. I figure I have until this weekend when we take him and probably his momma out to eat for a group celebration (her birthday is the 30th).

As for the weekend, just the same ole thing. Basketball tonight and all morning tomorrow and birthday celebrations tomorrow night. As someone who loves things to stay the same, I should love that...but I am craving something different. Isn't that just like us! My sisters are going through some BIG changes right now, and perhaps that is where my longing comes from. I wish so much that I could be there with and for them. I long to bring them a meal, or watch their kids, or just commiserate with them when necessary. But I am 2,000 miles away, so I watch from a distance...and that is hard. I definitely need to learn a lesson in contentment...because while I sit in Tennessee and whine about the snow, I yearn for Idaho...which will have snow and cold long after we have pulled out the short sleeves. I guess it is not so much the place as a yearning for family, but the outcome is the same. A little twinge of discontent despite the fact that I live in constant blessing. God has SO much work to do on me!

Anyway, I look forward to visiting this weekend, it will probably have to tide me over for a couple of weeks, because next week, we are scheduled for a long overdue trip to Louisiana. I am so ready to do some visiting and am HOPING to even catch a little bit of time with CiCi! Fingers crossed.

For now, I will leave you with my Siesta Scripture Memory verse for the second part of this month. It is a little longer than recommended but a really essential verse to know. I am going to attempt to type it from memory. I have realized, these couple of weeks how my memory is failing me as I get older...there was a time that I could have just read this through a couple of times and had it...especially because it was already familiar to me...but I have struggled to keep the wording just right. Anyway, here goes:

"For it is by grace you have been saved through faith--and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:8-10

Okay, I did pretty good, had to fix a couple of words, but maybe in the 3 days I have left, I can get them. The important thing is really the message. And may I just encourage you...that if, by any chance there is one reading this that does not know that saving grace of our loving God, to please seek Him out. He longs for you to come to Him. He longs for you to know the peace that only He can bring. This world will always bring trouble and stress and sadness and frustration. But our Creator, God, longs for you to have more. He loved everyone of you enough to send His son to die for your sins. His desire is that no one should perish...but you MUST believe! Please take some time this weekend to seek Him out, ask questions, read His Word, the Bible or even contact one of the many ladies in this community that would love to share what a difference He has made for them.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend, be sure to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk. By the way, I have a hard hitting blog post in me about toilet paper...if I can find time this week, I am totally posting it...and you DO NOT want to miss it! :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snow!!! More Snow!

Good morning ladies! We are welcoming you, once again, from a land of snow and ice...normal for many of you but very unusual for us to experience more that once a year. Our house looks a little like this right now (although this was actually the last snow...finally got the pics to work)!

Last time we played a little and schooled a little. This time...I am wavering. Last time all the schools were out, we schooled. On Monday, all the schools were out and we schooled. Today, I am considering a free day...mostly because I want one and have a TON to do! We will see.

One of my big jobs is to decide whether or not to have a party tonight. You see, 8 years ago on January 22, a pregnant me was talking to a friend on Wednesday night. We were discussing the fact that I was 5 weeks away from my due date and laughing because we had not assembled the baby bed, we had no baby book and the stroller we had purchased wouldn't fit in the back of our vehicle. I said that I guessed we had better get things done that weekend. We had weather much like this and the big excitement of the evening was to predict whether or not we would have school the next day. I got up the next morning, about 4 a.m. to, well to take care of business, so to speak, and my water broke. Stunned, I said something like, "Oh my word!" My husband, thinking I had run into the I frequently did, asked what was wrong and was equally shocked when I told him. We jumped up and started getting ready to go to the hospital, calling our folks, packing a bag, etc. The weather had, indeed gotten bad during the night and we drove to the hospital in the snow and ice (by the way...schools WERE cancelled that day). I didn't really realize the gravity of the situation until they did an ultrasound and predicted the baby to be about 4 pounds. I suddenly realized just how early this baby was coming. On January 23, 2003 at around 10:00 in the morning, our little princess was born. She weighed in at a whopping 5 pounds 9 ounces. She was healthy as a little horse, even if she was little! We got to take her home in only 48 hours and, other than a bout with jaundice and a bili-bed, we never had a single problem. I was so excited to have a little girl after two boys. And she has been an absolute joy. My sweet little princess who loves fashion and baby dolls and crafts but can take any boy who tries to annoy her!

So, this weekend (weather permitting) we will have a few of her closest friends spending the night and celebrating eight years with the sweetest girl in my life!
In other news, I have decided to try to get my family eating healthier. I have been eating vegetarian (mostly) for almost a year and have seen a lot of benefits. I didn't really want to force that on everyone else...but I am starting to really crave an overall healthier lifestyle. I just don't want my kids eating all that food that is killing us as a nation...fat and sugar and chemicals, blah! SO this week, I decided to try out a couple of vegetarian meals on the whole family. Experiment one was Quinoa stuffed bell peppers. I thought they were great. Tigerfan ate his. Everyone else whined and told me they were disgusting! My next experiment was Taco Soup...I held out on telling them it was vegetarian. They did eat...but they were not astounded. I am not giving up. Next week, I have a chili recipe that looks promising...anyone else have some good vegetarian (or better vegan) meals that your family actually appreciates?

Well, I would love to chat forever, but there is breakfast and snow that needs attending to. Hope everyone has a great weekend. Be sure to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't Fall Out of your Chair...but I am Posting on a Monday

It is amazing that I am coming out of my typical routine and posting on a day other than Friday! For the two readers (I am being optimistic) that I have left on days other than Fridays, I appreciate you hanging with me. There are two BIG reasons for this post:

1. I am participating in the Siesta Scripture Memory Team and it is time for my second verse. I LOVED my first verse and actually feel a little sad that it is time to move on...however, what a blessing to know that those beautiful words are forever a part of my heart! This time, I chose to memorize some verses on the recommendation of my Bible Study facilitator. They are verses I have always been familiar with but never memorized and put into my heart. She talked about the importance of KNOWING these verses for the purpose of evangelism and so, my new verses for the second half of January are:

Ephesians 2:8-10 "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith--and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

2. The second reason for this post is to tell you about an AWESOME giveaway. Now, I really hope that, if you are a homeschooler, you totally choose to ignore this entirely...however, if you know me well, you will pay close attention because the fact that I am entering this contest boosts your chances tremendously because I DO NOT WIN. I just keep entering hoping that at some point, I can become lucky enough to win something I actually want rather than, oh, I don't know...a dog I did not sign up for nor did I want that I later have to go out and hunt down a home for because no one else will take care of it...but I digress. So, here it is...if you click here, it will take you to a blog where you can win a family pass to one of four homeschool conventions that are coming to an area near you. I don't know about yours, but I know the one close to us, in Memphis is going to be amazing...even with Tim Hawkins as the entertainment. I SO would like to, hop over there and read all about it...and then choose to sign up and if you can donate the tickets to me! :) Great idea, right! Hurry, the contest ends on the 23rd!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Coffee Talk 1.14.11

Curses! Sorry...I have been fighting my computer FOREVER this morning to put pictures on here. I am finally throwing in the towel. Even my IT man (aka my 13 year old) cannot figure it out. The pictures show up in the picture file but won't show up on here...erg! It is now 8:00 and I have got to start school so this is going to be a pictureless post.

Very frustrating because we have had SNOW this week. Now, I know lots of people have had snow this week, but here in the south, it is a bit of a novelty. We usually get maybe one snowstorm and it is usually just a small covering on the ground. This year, we got at least 2 or three inches so that is exciting for us. Monday, we did a partial school day and partial snow day. All the local schools were out for snow and my kids knew it. Gone are the days when I can just sneak in days without them knowing they are the only kids doing school...I'm gonna have to change my methods. Anyway, they had a BALL playing. Even Tigercub who did not enjoy his first few encounters with the white stuff. We had snow sculptures, snowball fights and ate some delicious snow cream. We did NOT, however get to partake in our usual tradition of redneck sledding...hooking the aluminum boat up to the four wheeler and riding around the yard, because the owner of the boat came back and claimed it a couple of months ago. Because the temps have stayed so cold, we still have a little covering here and there but, frankly, the fun has worn off and I am ready for some spring weather...that's how it is here. We like our one snow and then that is enough!

I started a new Bible Study this week on Romans. I have actually done part 1 of this study several years ago, but I think I need it again. I LOVE my Wednesday night Bible Study group and would probably do just about any study just to stay in it but I think it is going to be really good. I have also joined up with Beth Moore's Siesta Scripture Memory Team. I am hoping to memorize...I mean REALLY memorize and put into my heart, two verses a month for this year. My first verse is Psalm 94:19. It was given to me recently by a precious friend who knew that I have just been struggling a lot with holding things together. I love, love, love it and am so grateful that it has become so much a part of me that when I start to come unglued, it is usually the first place my mind goes. The NIV translation says, "In the multitude of my thoughts within me, Your comfort delights my soul." One translation uses the word anxieties instead of thoughts. Isn't that BEAUTIFUL! Ladies, His comfort can delight your soul. When you feel tired and overwhelmed, worn down, at your wits end...HIS comfort delights your soul. Oh, I just get so excited each time I say that! Anyway, yesterday I downloaded a new app on my phone. It is the Siesta Scripture App and it allows you to write in the memory verse you are working on and save it on your phone, kind of like the notes app. Now I have my verses with me ALL THE TIME. Tomorrow is the day I need to choose a new verse. I am struggling to decide what verse to do because I really want it to be relevant to where I am right now. It has to be a verse I have never memorized before but this first one has been so amazing...I want more of that. Any ideas?

In other news, I colored my hair last Saturday for the first time ever! The grey had just taken over so I bit the bullet and spent some time with a box of Nice 'N Easy. I tried to stay close to my natural color and just cover the grey but even then, I am having trouble getting used to it. I guess I had more grey than I realized and it really darkened up. Of course, this is just all in my one else has even noticed! I am also getting a desperately needed hair cut today, YAY.

Okay...I could stay and chat forever with you ladies...I have so much I would love to talk about... but school and chores and haircuts and guitar lessons are awaiting. Can't wait to visit with y'all this weekend, hope you all have a blessed one! And be sure to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Coffee Talk 1.7.11

Happy New Year! I still cannot believe we are already in 2011, time goes so fast when you start getting old!

I seems like forever since I have been on here and I have missed getting news on my Company Girl friends!

I'm sure you all can relate when I say the holidays were crazy! I really had big ideas of a very serene, calm time...but that didn't happen. It was a great time, however. We had a great Christmas weekend that I would totally show you, except Tigerfan hasn't put the pictures on the computer yet and I haven't a clue how to do it! Tigerfan's sister came Christmas evening and so we got to spend several days with her and her family. My nephew spent most of the time at our house with the boys and Dancer spent most of the time at Nana's with my niece. She LOVED some much desired girl time! We also had our newly "adopted oldest son" visiting. He is actually my SIL's nephew and went to DisneyWorld with us a few weeks ago. He is a 22 year old college student and, you can imagine, my boys LOVED him. Since he was on our meal cards, etc. we told him we were adopting him which totally works out for us since he will graduate from college in a year and the majority of financial responsibility and raising has been done! :) Really, he is a great guy and a great example for our boys and we love having him around!

My SIL and her family left Wednesday morning...and my brother and his family came Wednesday afternoon. They stayed until Saturday afternoon and we had a blast with them. They have two boys (10 and 7) who are rambunctious, crazy, and totally adorable. We mostly just stayed around the house while they visited because the weather was AWFUL! But the visit was fun. We got to celebrate Tigercub's third birthday. Wow, three years old, the time has gone so fast! I would love to show you pictures...they are on the camera (sigh!). Between Christmas and birthday...we now have pretty much every Toy Story item known to man! Including, but not limited to, the cutest pair of light up cowboy boots complete with Andy's name carved into the bottom!

Anyway, between Christmas, birthdays, new years, family visits, and starting back to school there just hasn't been a lot of blogging time...maybe soon. I have done great, so far, on my small things and hope to keep that up. I have also spent an embarrassing amount of time playing with one of Dancer's Christmas presents. Yes, this is confession time. She got a DS game called Style Savvy. I don't care much about most video games, but on this one, you open a boutique, choose clothes for your customers, buy new inventory, etc. She gets bored on it after about 5 minutes...but I love it. How pathetic is that? Every time I have 5 minutes of down time...I offer to "run" her boutique for her...and people, I am good! Really good! I think it is my way of releasing my inner fashionista!

Anyway, I look forward to this week's visit! For now...I have a troop of hungry children awaiting breakfast so I must rush off! Have a blessed weekend and be sure to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.