Archive for January, 2011

Florida 2011

Posted in Travel on January 25th, 2011 and tagged , , , ,

Well, I’ve been back in town from a glorious family vacation to Florida for a few days now, and realistically, I guess I could say that I’m getting back on  track.  But catching up is going so slowly, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and like I’ll never be done.  But you know what?  With 4 small children in the house, I NEVER feel caught up on the to-dos, even when I don’t leave town, so what does it matter if I took a week and a half off?  It was great!  Eventually I’ll get around to posting an in-depth trip diary – these have come in such handy when I go back to find the name of a restaurant we visited or certain info about the trip; it’s fun for reminiscence purposes too.  For now, I will just post a small run-down of the 20-hour drive from Florida to Ohio which illustrates the dramatic temperature decrease we endured between the south and the north.  There will be more to come later, I promise, so please don’t forget about me and my little blog.

Sat Jan 22:
Orlando FL = 58 degrees at noon
GA / FL state line = 48 degrees at 5:20pm
Atlanta GA = 34 degrees at 10:15pm

Sun Jan 23:
Chattanooga, TN = 24 degrees at 12:30am
TN/KY border = 18 degrees at 2:45am
Van Wert/Paulding County borders, nw Ohio = NEGATIVE 8 degrees at 7:45am

BRRRrrrrrr!!!!!

The Dude Is Growing!

Posted in Everyday Life on January 11th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , ,

My son had his 30-month (2½ years for you laypeople) check-up at the doctor today.  All is well, though he wasn’t very cooperative for the student doctor in training when it came to getting his nose and ears checked.  And he had to get a shot, which of course was sad to witness.  Unlike his 3 brave older sisters, he did cry, but he got over it quickly and proudly  showed off his “owie” for the rest of the day.  The little dude weighs 29.2 lbs. and is 2 feet and 10.5 inches tall.

A God Story

Posted in church, Everyday Life on January 10th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , ,

I love coming across God stories.  Real life anecdotes which display the way God works in our lives, God stories can be experienced by Christians and non-Christians alike; it’s just a matter of recognizing them and taking the time to be thankful and appreciate them.

I was at our babysitter’s house last week picking up my kids, and there was a little girl cuddling a dog.  Being  an animal lover, I had to say hello to the cute little furball and find out her name and age.  The little girl’s father said he didn’t know the pup’s age because they had found her, and then he said, “I have to tell you the whole story.”  So he begins his story, not knowing me or that I am a Christian who appreciates God stories.  His story went something like this:

“My wife left me; she left me and the kids and even took our dogs, so these poor kids lost their mother and their dogs.  I kept telling them I would get them a dog, but I had lots of other things to work out too.  So for Halloween, we went to one of those ‘trunk or treat’ things at a church, and there was a little girl walking around inside the church with a puppy in her arms.  I thought, something doesn’t seem  right there – why is this little girl walking around a church with a puppy, so I asked her about the dog.  “We’re not even sure what we’re going to do with  her – we just found her outside.” the little girl told him.  “Well,” I told her, “my kids have been looking for a dog.”  We took home the little puppy, and she was mangy and starving, just skin and bones.  We didn’t estimate her to be more than 10 weeks old at that time, and she has been  a part of the family for the last few months.  She is thriving physically, and she has helped provide some of the healing the kids needed as they spent Christmas without their mom.”

After hearing the story, it was magical to see the little girl cuddle her puppy.  It warmed my heart to see them together, knowing that God brought this little puppy into the lives of a family who needed her – and brought a family into the life of an ailing little puppy who needed them as well.  God works in wonderful ways, and being a witness to it is awesome – you just have to stop and look around; He is always there!

FIVE MORE DAYS!!

Posted in Travel on January 9th, 2011 and tagged , ,

Only FIVE more days until we leave for a family vacation to warm sunny Florida!!  Making this one even better than most are extended family and friends that are able to meet us down there.  The kids (and us!!) could not be more excited!!!

I just have to figure out how to get 6 people and all the stuff that goes along with 2 adults and 4 kids into a mini-van and keep us sane for a  20+ hour car trip and one again on the way back…  Every time we take a big vacation I worry about it, every time it goes better than I could have imagined.  Not going to make that mistake this time; I am just SO appreciative and happy to be going!  Thank you God for blessing my family with such a fun opportunity for some togetherness!!!

Much work ahead of me this week, but the most fun kind of work: preparing-for-a-vacation work!!!

CAN’T WAIT!!!

Sharing My Daily Bread

Posted in church on January 3rd, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve written before about Our Daily Bread –  it’s a little pamphlet of daily devotionals that I find very helpful in remembering to take time to think about God and His many gifts everyday – even when time is short.  Yesterday’s devotional was a good one that I think can help and/or speak to many people.  Enjoy:

Trouble by Dennis J. De Haan

Does it surprise you that trouble is a part of life? Probably not. We all know trouble close-up and personal—bad health, empty bank account, blighted love, grief, loss of job, and the list goes on.

It shouldn’t surprise us, therefore, that God permits the added trials of being ridiculed and hated because we follow Christ (1 Peter 4:12). But trouble, whether it is common to man or unique to Christians, can reveal to us the moral fiber of our soul.

I have never seen a golf course without hazards. They are part of the game. Golfers speak of the courses with the most hazards as the most challenging, and they will travel a long way to test their skill against the most demanding 18 holes.

Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I wouldn’t pass it around. I wouldn’t be doing anyone a favor. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it . . . . Meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and you had better be on speaking terms with it.”

Let’s not think it strange when trouble comes, for God is using it to test the stamina of our souls. The best way to handle trouble is to commit our “souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (v.19).

The troubles that we face each day
Reveal how much we need the Lord;
They test our faith and strength of will
And help us then to trust God’s Word. —D. De Haan

Great triumphs are born out of great troubles.

Crazy Cat Lady = Me?

Posted in Everyday Life, food on January 3rd, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Seems like it’s been a long time since my last griping-about-Walmart blog post.  Either I’m getting used to their secretive price-gauging ways, or I’m too busy in my personal life to spend as much time feeling wronged by the corporate giant.  Maybe it’s a little of both.  But a few weeks ago, a couple of Walmart employees made themselves worth mentioning on my blog for their roles in turning a normally hectic pre-Christmas nighttime shopping trip with 4 little kids into quite an irritating adventure.

After wandering past empty shelf upon empty shelf and compromising my shopping list due to all of the out-of-stock items there were (and I’m talking everyday items, nothing gourmet nor exotic), my frustrations were growing.  But finally I was finished in the grocery section, so I split off from my family and headed for the garden center.  It might seem like a strange time of year to get those cement garden-border-blocks, but they are just over $1 at Walmart, so I use them as a cost effective way to keep my puppy from digging holes under our fence.  He digs a hole, I stick in a Walmart cement brick and solve the problem for under $1.50 – done.  It won’t be long until I have a pretty little brick fence bordering my chain link fence.  Except that my puppy dug a hole the other day, and just because it was December in Ohio (never mind the thunderstorms and rain we’ve been having), Walmart decided that they are going to lock up their cement bricks in the outdoor garden section and not let customers back there to get them.  I get back there and find the door to the outside blocked with a bench (so THAT’S where they’re putting the benches they removed from the entire store.  Why Walmart decided to make seating scarce in their store is beyond me.  Don’t shoppers stay longer and spend more money if there is a place to rest their feet?  Don’t they want to come back to a store that lets them rest while their shopping companion goes at it?  But that’s a whole ‘nother post, I guess, even if I entertained the tangent).  So anyway, I hunt down  an employee and ask her about the cement bricks, and she tells me that the garden center is closed for the night and to come back another day.  And this is AFTER I’ve already spent almost 2 hours in the store, wandering amongst empty shelves that it seems they don’t know how to stock.  It was difficult to explain to her that I had come there that night with all my kids and that this would not be happening again any time soon.  Take a bunch of kids into a store that sells toys that time of year if you want to know how draining it can be – go on, I dare you to borrow some kids and do it next year.  But the bottom line is, Ms. Walmart employee was not nice when she told me to come back another time, and she didn’t offer to go back there or have someone else get me a brick or two or anything.  She acted like we were both just stuck there in Walmart, and if she could deal with it, so could I.  But guess what?  She is GETTING paid to be there, while I have to PAY to be there – see the difference?  She did not.

So what’s with the Walmart policy of selling an item but not letting customers buy it?  Are they hoarding cement bricks to build a top-secret Walmart price-gouging planning party fortress or something?  Well, I was crabby that night, but I was not going to cause a scene; I don’t like to be the scene-causing type.  I had some good advice from a fellow tangenteer floating around in my head, “Walmart employees are people too”, so I got over it and moved on.  But by the time the second Walmart employee wronged me that night, I was really mad…  The woman at the check-out did not want to take our coupon, even though it was clearly for the item we purchased.  Not even worth writing about now; I might as well move on to the incident that inspired the title of this post – thought I would throw an amusing Walmart story into my grab bag of gripes…

I had to run to Walmart on New Year’s Eve.  Yes, New Year’s Eve, the day when even our normally not-so-full rural Walmart is filled to the brim with people who can’t wait to get where they’re going to stuff themselves, get drunk or do both at the same time.  The mood in Walmart was festive, but I couldn’t find a parking spot.  I opted for one a mile away, especially because the weather decided it wanted to be more like May than December; it was in the 50s.  I’m picking up some last minute New Year’s goodies, and I notice that the mixed shelled nuts are on sale for only $1 /pound.  Cracking fresh nuts is one of my favorite ways to  snack – hold comments on this please, this isn’t Facebook, it’s a mostly family-friendly blog 🙂  – nuts are nutritious, one of the natural foods I believe the human body is meant to consume, plus I have a monster parrot that loves them.  So I called Hubby, and he told me to buy 30 pounds.  By the time I got done putting 30 pounds of nuts into sacks (still holding on the comments), my little boy had bitten through an orange I was going to buy (I put it back instead –  haha, just kidding, I had to buy the dehydrated orange at the end of the trip), and I had fielded the same exact question from at least two different people: “What are you going to do with all those nuts?”  I had some conversations about my parrot and my 4 kids, and then I had had enough and wanted out.  Here’s the funny part.

We returned to our friendly local Walmart on January 2, and my husband runs in and finds the same nuts for now only a quarter a pound!!  I’m not going to think about how much money I could have saved, not going to do that; it’s not the funny part.  At a quarter a pound, they were out of the nuts, so my husband asked an employee if they had any more (wait, the 30 pounds I bought weren’t enough?) to which he replied, “No, some lady came in here on New Year’s Eve and bought most of them for all of her cats.”  My husband thinks that somehow my stories of us having a nut-eating pet parrot turned into Crazy Cat Lady Buys Nuts among our local Walmart employees, and that’s ok with me – I could be crazy cat lady.  If only I weren’t allergic to cats…

Happy holidays from me and Walmart!