Thursday, October 29, 2009

Writer's Workshop from Mama Kats

OK - so Marriage Monday was on hiatus this week as you may have noticed. My 4 yr old was sick all weekend through Tuesday, and then this crazy project that I've been working on for the last couple of months required I work long hours yesterday and today and in fact, I should probably be doing some work right now, because now my youngest is sick and I'm going to have to stay home with her tomorrow - but I really don't feel like it.

I feel like participating in Mama Kat's Writers Workshop -- you should too, it's fun! :)

I chose prompt #3 - "Write a poem to your child as their Halloween character"

Oh Daphne from Scooby Doo

Dooby Dooby Do, Where are you?

Your Orange Hair...the wig you wear...did you just find a clue?

Not so sure about the short dress

You're only 4, I must confess

You will wear's cold at night...and skin you'll show much less

You my dear are much too young

To even remember the Scooby fun

But Daphne you'll be...with joy and glee...and in go-go boots you'll run

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Squeezin it in

So I feel like the last couple of weeks have been a blur - all I've managed to post is my Marriage Mondays and a funny YouTube video. So, what's been up in the life of Crystal you might ask? Well, you might ask, but then again you might not give a crap. hehe :) But I figured I need to unload my brain now, because tomorrow is Marriage Monday and if I wait until after Monday to post this stuff, it will most likely end up being next Sunday night before I know it. Also, one of my kids has diarrhea and the other has had a 103 fever for the past two days, so who knows if/when it's going to hit me and/or the other two children. So, now for my recapitulation that I do the best via....BULLETS! But actually I think I'm going to change it up this week, and do....NUMBERS!

  1. My girls' sports activities are in full swing. SAM's volleyball team won their first game a couple Saturdays ago, and then this Saturday, they lost. But honestly, for SAM never having played volleyball before in her life, I think she is doing really well - she does not get this from me. I was a dancer, who tried volleyball because her best friend was playing, and I sucked.
  2. Monkey's soccer team tied their first game, and I didn't let her play yesterday because of the whole aforementioned fever thing. I'm one of those parents that actually keeps their kids away from other kids if they don't feel well...go figure. During her moments of Advil relief, we did let her play outside in our front yard though. I taught her some "soccer strategy" that I think was actually kinda cool - with kids her age (5 & 6), soccer is just a cluster of little legs all trying to kick the same ball. So, I told her that sometimes, you just have to run toward the goal WITHOUT the ball, look back at your teammates and see if one of them can kick the ball REALLY hard down to you, and then you are already that much closer to the goal, and you most likely won't have the "cluster" around you, and it will be easier to score. We did some scenarios where she and I were both trying to kick the ball, and she saw how we ended up all over the yard instead of anywhere near the goal - but that if I stopped trying to kick the ball, and just ran up toward the goal, then she could kick it hard towards me, and I could score the goal, and vice versa. I think she got it. :)
  3. My projects at work have been extremely crazy, time consuming, stressful and all around yucky. Sometimes I'm not sure if my bosses remember that I'm pushing 7 months preggo here, and that they should be phasing me off of projects instead of making me the lead person on new stuff. I feel like I have a lot of burden on me right now, and I don't see it lightening up until January which is just one month before I am due. I'm kinda stressing about it, can you tell?
  4. My brother-in-law is living with us...again...for the 4th time. What was supposed to be him hanging out with us on a Saturday, ended up with him sleeping on our couch for ummm....9 nights in a row now. My hubby said he told him he had 2 weeks to find a place, which would be next Saturday - but I'm having a very hard time with him here. He's 21, and has no respect for anyone or anything, he manipulates people (mostly his own mother) into giving him money or things, and will not take responsibility for anything. I'm trying very hard to have patience with the kid, but after having already offered our home to him, where he eats our food, uses our electricity/water, etc - all without paying us a single dime - it's wearing on my nerves. The first couple of times, I thought I was really getting through to him by offering him encouraging talks and showing him how he could make it on his own - but it turns out he was just sort of humoring me and all of it went in one ear and out the other. Help!
  5. I miss my mom - she moved last year with my step-dad to a little podunk town in Texas called "Happy" it's about 30 minutes outside of Amarillo. My step-dad is from there, and he has brothers and sisters that all still live in town. It's definitely a lot slower than Phoenix - and I think they really like that. And they also like being able to have so much family around. But dang it, I miss my mommy.
  6. I am getting freakin' HUGE! My belly is seriously gnarly - and my legs are getting fat. And that is usually the ONE place where I don't gain weight - I've always had fairly thin legs - but my thighs are rubbing together, I have cellulite, and my calves are bulking up. I have not been working all...this pregnancy. My last pregnancy, I was taking my hip-hop classes at the gym all the way up until 8 months - and I was working out with a personal trainer. This time I just don't have the motivation - I really just don't. I want to, but yeah, it's not there.
  7. oldest is going to be 12 on Wednesday!! Oh my freakin goodness...TWELVE!!! My baby's last year before the TEENS!! This is seriously freaking me out people. It freaked me out enough that she started junior high this year, but turning 12 seals the deal. She is a texting queen, she paints her nails, wants to wear makeup, shaves her legs, and actually has a really good fashion sense - she always looks cute. I was the one who went WAY overboard during the flourescent color stage of the early 90's - I was not cute. So, this fashion thing she also does not get from me. :)
  8. I am "this" close to going public with my business - I've gotten input from a select few people and I've got my LLC paperwork done and am officially official with that. My website is done, I have business cards, car magnet thingies, and am signed up for my first expo next month. Now, I just need to tell my husband about it, and then I can tell the rest of you! heheehe! ;)
  9. Speaking of my husband - he had his last race of the motocross series he's been participating in since July - and he WON! YAY!! There were 8 races in the series - and he only raced 6 of them. At each race, you receive a certain amount of points for the position you come in - for example, 1st place = 30pts, 2nd place = 27 pts, etc... ANYWHO - this guy who he has been competing against had participated in all of the races held so far, and he was ultimately going to win no matter if my husband came in 1st place this past Saturday or not - because he had accumulated more points from being in more races. I was bummed because my husband had worked so hard, and had been finishing in the top 3 positions during every race...and this other guy was like a consistent 5th, 6th, 7th place finisher. So - don't throw any stones - but I sorta said a little prayer that maybe this guy wouldn't show up to the final race because that is the only way my husband would win the series. I didn't want any harm to befall him or anything, I was just kinda hoping maybe he had a wedding to go to, or a bar mitzvah or something. hehe. So, we get to the race, and my hubby goes down to the line, and I don't see the other guy's bike - and I'm thinking "Really??? Did the guy really not show up??". And my husband took 1st in that heat (they race 2 heats)....and the second heat the guy didn't show up again, and my husband took 1st again! So, because of the points that he will get for taking 1st last night - he'll end up winning the series! I came to find out this morning that the guy DID show up last night - but that him and his buddy had spent the day rebuilding his engine on his dirtbike - and when they tested it, it was running too hot because of some "insert mechanical reason I don't understand here" - so he didn't want to run the risk of completely ruining his bike. Can you believe that???
  10. And now we're at #10, and it's 10pm, and I'm exhausted. You probably are too from having to read all that. :) Remember tomorrow is Marriage Monday, and we're talking Finances (EEEEEEEEKKKKK!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wacky Wednesday

OK - since I don't have time to actually write a post, I'm going to leave you with this HILARIOUS YouTube video I found over at Not Just 9 to 5. Laughing always makes my day better...Enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Marriage Monday - 10/19/09

"His Work"
(Pages 49-54)

This week's chapter from the Power of a Praying Wife is about our husband and his work. It opens by talking about two different extremes that a man may experience in relation to work/career. One extreme is being very lazy, not wanting to find a job, and letting the wife support the family. The other extreme is a workaholic, someone who only feels validated by the work that they do, and spends much of his time away from his family.

Fortunately for me, I truly believe my husband has a pretty good balance between work and family. But, there have been times when I felt like he could probably take on a job at a larger corporation for more pay, and most likely company-paid benefits. But at what cost? Right now, he is able to pick up the kids in the afternoon because I work 35 miles away, and one of our girls has to be picked up by 5pm. If Aaron's job required him to work long hours every day, he would never be able to pick up the kids and we would have to find different childcare arrangements that offered longer hours, that we may not love as much.

This chapter talks about praying for our husbands to find the proper balance in their work. The author suggests that the same underlying reason may cause certain men to be lazy and certain men to be workaholics - and that reason is...FEAR. The man who appears to be lazy is afraid that he won't find a job that makes him feel successful, so he doesn't even try. The man that is a workaholic is afraid that if he doesn't work so hard, he won't be able to support his family financially or that someone else will be given his position that is willing to put in longer hours. And some men don't really even know what they want to be when they grow they may go from job to job trying to find where they fit.

The one thing I have prayed for prior to reading this chapter is actually for the management of my husband's company - that they would have the wisdom to accept the business that is right for them, and to decline business that would be detrimental to the company. But, I don't think I've actually prayed specifically for my husband in the area of his career because it has always seemed to go pretty well. However, this chapter encourages us to pray for our husbands even when they appear to be in a successful place - and to pray that things continue to go smoothly.

If our husbands don't have a real clear direction of where they want to go in their career, we can pray for clarity. We can pray for God to show our husbands how to put forth their best effort if they didn't have a good example set for them in their own upbringing. We can pray for opportunities to open up that our husbands would be a good match for, and that their skills would continue to develop so that they can be an asset to whatever company may hire them. If the job that they have is running them down, we can pray for God to give them strength and peace to get through the rough times.

I think maybe we don't realize how effective our prayers can be in this area of our husbands' lives because their career kind of seems to be just that...THEIR career. But because a man often feels like he is defined by the success of his work, or his purpose in life - it can affect many other areas of his life as well, which will ultimately affect the entire family. So let's be sure to include prayers for our husbands' work during our prayer time for him this week.

Next week we'll be talking about the chapter "His Finances" - can't wait to see what Stormie talks about in this chapter, finances can be tough!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Fill Ins!

This is about all I have time for today - I'm going to catch up with a bulleted list sometime next week! :)

1. So are we going to have 100 degree temps again, really????

2. A good life is what's up ahead.

3. I love to take naps with my little girl.

4. I want to be able to be a philanthropist of some sort.

5. I walk a short distance, and I'm out of breath.

6. Having joy and peace is the true elixir of life!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Friday Night Dinner, tomorrow my plans include a volleyball game, a soccer game and then trophy trucks and Sunday, I want to go to church and take a nap!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Marriage Monday - 10/12/09

Wow - I can't believe I haven't posted since last Monday! Yeessh! We had a great weekend, it's finally cool enough here in Phoenix for the kids to play outside, so I think we spent the majority of the weekend in the fresh air. It was great! husband, Aaron, got his very first win in the 450 Beginner class in his Motocross race series! He's been finishing in the top 3 pretty much the whole series, but he finally got to take home the #1 trophy on Saturday night! YAY!

OK - now on to Marriage Monday. This week's chapter is titled "His Wife" (pages 25-47) - yep, ladies, it's talking about us.

The opening paragraph talks about how our prayers can be hindered if they come from a place of bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, etc. And that one of the prayers that we most likely pray the most is "Change him, Lord." - instead of "Change me, Lord." I have to admit, the first time I read this chapter was several months ago, and it was during a time where we had a couple of weeks of what seemed like constant irritation with each other - so I got to this chapter and wanted to stop reading it as soon as I started. It's very hard to hear that we are the ones that have some changing to do when we are so sure it is our spouse that needs the changing. And not to say that they don't - but it doesn't help matters when we are unwilling to soften our hearts, be sensitive to the guiding of the Holy Spirit, and identify those places where we are contributing to the conflict. On page 27, the author says "The most effective tool in transforming him may be your own transformation." Uhh...whoa.

Page 29 introduces the concept of prayer being the ultimate love language, and how praying for another person can soften our hearts towards them because we receive God's spirit of love when we pray for others. I have found this to be true in my prayers for my husband - if I begin my prayers madder than a hornet because I feel like I've been wronged, by the time I finish praying, I feel closer to him and I almost forget what I was mad about in the first place. By confessing my anger to God, rather than blowing up at my husband, things usually always end up resolving themselves in a much nicer manner that doesn't involve arguing and saying the word "Fine" alot. ;) Stormie gives this scripture as a reference - Proverbs 21:19 "Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman." hehe - I think my husband has probably felt like retreating to the wilderness on more than one occasion.

OK - just read page #35, and this line jumped out "There are times when we are just to listen and not offer advice, to support and not offer constructive criticism". Lord help me if I don't have a problem with that - my husband will try and tell me something, and just as I mentioned last week, I have that "be right" attitude problem sometimes - and all the guy really wanted me to do was listen - but I always have to provide feedback, or if he made some minor error in his telling of the story, I have to point it out - MAN that has to be irritating. Here's a scripture I'll be memorizing "Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few." Ecclesiastes 5:2...again with the "whoa" - the Bible has all kinds of wisdom doesn't it?

Now I read this next part a couple nights ago, starting at page 37 - and I found myself rising up on the inside with an argument - because it starts to talk about our "role". And I am totally not June Cleaver - but I kept reading, and I'm going to have to let God help me to let some of this stuff sink in. Very first sentence of this section says "I don't care how liberated you are, when you are married there will always be two areas that will ultimately be your responsibility: home and children." Say what??!! Yeah, that's what I said too. OK, hang in there. We know that God's order is that the man is the head of the household - but what many people misinterpret is that somehow that puts the woman in a lesser position. Not so - we are the heart of the family, this is a position of great power - because you know that saying "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy?" - that's so true - our demeanor and the way we run our household, sets the tone for the WHOLE house. As much as I may not like to admit it - I know that I personally feel a lot better when the house is in order (not necessarily perfect, but tidy), when I'm showered, dressed in something that makes me look good and I have my hair and makeup done. you think this is internal hard-wiring? Because I know my husband feels good when his household chores are done as well. We are equal in the fact that we have become one flesh when we got married - but, just as everything else in the world has an order - gulp, I can't believe I'm going to say this - looks like God has an order for men and women and what our roles and responsibilities are in the household. OK - phew - next section please!!

Pages 39-41 talk about letting go of expectations - this is another area where I am guilty. Do you know sometimes my husband would say to me "I just don't feel like I can do anything right for ya" - OUCH! Can you imagine what it feels like to hear something like that? Especially when you don't think you're doing it on purpose? But seriously - I would ask him to do something - and he would do it in HIS way, which was obviously not MY way - and I would get SO frustrated. But you know what? The task got done. And I started to let go of expectations that he would do things the way I wanted him to do them - that might mean I would have to leave the house so that I wouldn't sit there and scrutinize (hehe) but I would no longer criticize and butt in when I didn't think things were going the way they should go. And...we can't change our husbands and their personalities anyway! It just sets us up to be more frustrated the harder we try to make them conform to our expectations! We fell in love with them for a reason - and guess what happens sometimes? Sometimes those things we fell in love with become the things that bug us the most! I loved the fact that my husband was a "man's man" - he knew how to fix stuff, and he was strong, and he loves the outdoors - and I would find myself saying to him in frustration "Gosh - you're such a DUDE!" Ummm...yeah...he is...that's kinda why you loved him because he wasn't a big wussy-pants. :)

I'm going to end with the paraphrasing that Stormie gives of Proverbs 31: 10-31 - she says to remember this model when we are praying for ourselves:

"She takes care of her home and runs it well. She knows how to buy and sell and make wise investments. She keeps herself healthy and strong and dresses attractively. She works diligently and has skills which are marketable. She is giving and conscientiously prepares for the future. She contributes to her husband's good reputation. She is strong, solid, honorable, and not afraid of growing older. She speaks wisely and kindly. She doesn't sit around doing nothing, but carefully watches what goes on in her home. Her children and her husband praise her. She doesn't rely on charm and beauty but knows that the fear of the Lord is what is most attractive. She supports her husband and still has a fruitful life of her own which speaks loudly for itself."

Now that sounds like the kind of woman I want to be (and she doesn't sound like June Cleaver)!!

See you next week when we talk about "His Work"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Marriage Monday - 10/05/09

OK - I have 22 minutes for this post to qualify as a Monday Post.

A couple months back, I came across a blog called The Great Adventure, via a comment that a fellow blogger left on one of my posts. The gal over at the Great Adventure, Katy Lin, was doing a 31-day series of praying for her husband and encouraging others to do so as well. I was late coming into it, so I didn't do it (I'm kind of a person who likes to start at the beginning). But I saw that her next series was going to be on the book "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian. I was SO excited, because I wanted to read that book too.

I had been feeling prompted to track my own journey to a better marriage on my blog, and to call it 'Marriage Monday'. But, life got in the way - and I thought I had missed the boat, because I was pretty sure by October, Katy Lin was well into her PPW series (and you now know how I feel about starting things at the beginning...hehe). But guess what? I went back to her blog today, and found that she had been busy working on a ministry with her hubby, and she restarted the series over...TODAY. OK, so now I have no excuses...and this is my first Marriage Monday post.

Not really sure what the structure of my posts is going to be - I figure I'm going to go chapter by chapter, as Katy Lin is suggesting and then see what sticks out to me.

Chapter 1 - The Power (pp 13-23)

OK - wow, first page, page 13 - and this sentence hit home "It's (this book) is a gentle tool of restoration appropriated through the prayers of a wife who longs to do right more than be right, and to give life more than get even." -- I am definitely a "be right" and "get even" kind of gal - I know that many of our arguments could have been avoided if I would have been a "do right" and "give life" kind of gal instead.

This chapter also tells us that it's very likely that our husbands aren't going to pray for us in the same way that we pray for them, or even at all. This is where this thing goes against our nature of "What have you done for me lately?" (thank you Ms. Jackson - sorry, couldn't help myself). We truly have to pretty much die to that way of thinking, in order for our prayers to be effective. And I've already come across days where the last thing on my mind was praying for my husband to have a great day, and for blessings to come his way. In fact, I was thinking more like, I hope he has a really crappy day and that a bird poops on his shoulder, then maybe he'll realize what a butt he was being to me today. But that type of thinking is not what is going to make my marriage better.

A suggestion in this chapter that I think is valuable as well is to find one or two other women you trust, that you can get together with, either in person or on the phone, on a weekly basis to pray and encourage each other. We don't need to go into all the details about what a jerk our husband has been that week, but rather according to PPW "the purpose is to ask God to make your heart right, show you how to be a good wife, share the burdens of your soul, and seek God's blessing on your husband."

I truly believe that any woman, at any stage in her marriage, even if it's going great right now - would benefit from praying for her husband on a regular basis, daily if possible. I know I'm going to try my hardest to do it every day.

If you want to join along in Marriage Mondays, I would love for you to join me and share your journey if you'd like! In fact, I'm going to try my first MckLinky list. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday Survey

A big thanks to my Mommy for emailing me a survey thingie to do today, so that I wouldn't have to come up with my own post topic. BUT, I do want to say a couple of things:

#1 - Don't buy a container of mixed fruit from the convenience store. The fruit is yucky...even if you bought it before the 'sell by' date. It has somewhat of a wine flavor, and that can't be good.

#2 - My 19 month old had me crackin' up last night on our way home from our mid-week church thing. She was singing her ABC's, and at the very end, she decided to do a hodge-podge of ABC's and Twinkle ended like the "Now Ah know mah A, B, Sheee's, Nest Time Wonduh Whatchoo Ah" ha!

OK...on to the survey thingie - feel free to fill it out and post it too!

Where is your cell phone? On my desk

Your significant other? Where is he? Or what's his name? My mom put her hubby's name, so, mine is Aaron. hehe :)

Your hair? Blonde-ish

Your mother? Lisa - she lives in Texas, this bothers me. I miss her.

Your father? Allan - lives in California - talked to him yesterday, he was stressed and busy.

Your favorite thing? The ocean

Your dream last night? Hmmm...I know I remembered right when I woke up, but darned if I can remember it now.

Your favorite drink? When I'm allowed to drink alcohol, it's a margarita on the rocks with salt. Non-alcoholic is probably iced tea, or water.

Your dream/goal? Stay home with my kiddos more, run a successful business, and then end hunger and child abuse.

What room are you in? My office.

Your hobby? Hmmm...I don't really have a 'real' one - but the activity I'm finding I spend the most money on currently is organizing my house - so I guess my hobby is technically 'organizing stuff'. Kinda boring huh?

Your fear? Argh...I hate talking about this one, because it makes me feel sick to my stomach - but honestly, my biggest fear is one of my children passing before me.

Where do you want to be in 6 years? HeHe...this was kinda funny to me, because on most interviews it's 5 or 10 years, but this one is 6. Hmmm...6 years, I will be almost 36 - I will be preparing to send my first child off to college - and all the rest of my kiddos will be in school as well - maybe I'll be able to find an actual hobby by then. :) But on the serious side...I'm hoping my business will be doing extremely well, that we'll finally own a house, that we'll be able to take 2-week vacations, that we'll be able to contribute significantly to our community's needs, and uh...that I'll have the body of a supermodel (had to throw one superficial thing in there!)

Where were you last night? Home, then AWANA, then home again

Something that you aren't? A quick thinker on my feet - I always think of the best things to say about a day or so later

Muffins? Blueberry please

Wish List Item? A craft room - you know, for all the hobbies I do.

Last thing you did? Put a piece of a King Size Hershey's Cookies n Creme bar in my mouth

What are you wearing? A maternity shirt, some jeans, and flip flops

TV? Ummm...what about it? I watch it - my new show is 'Medium' now that its on Lifetime every night. I think I've just about watched every re-run of 'NCIS' that they've shown, so I'm over that show for now.

Your pets? 2 inside cats, and 6 outside cats

Friends? A few really good ones, and a handful more of friendships I'm developing into good ones, hopefully :)

Your life? Is busy, but it's awesome

Your mood? Happy

Missing someone? Yep -my momma, my BFF (but she's coming back in a few months), my daddy

Drinking? Water

Smoking? Nope

Your Car? 2004 Ford Expedition

Something you're not wearing? Socks

Your favorite store? Target

Your favorite color? Blue

When is the last time you cried? Yesterday, when I read Mama Mary's post

Where do you go to over and over? Work, home and Target

Favorite place to eat? Ajo Al's, Kona Grill, Pei Wei

Place I'd Like to be right now? The ocean

Okay - your turn!