Thursday, September 23, 2010

Little Miss Muffet

Little Miss Muffet
sat on her tuffet
Eating her curds and whey
When along came a spider
who sat down beside her
and frightened Miss Muffet away

Now, I am no Miss Muffet. Spiders don't bug me (pun intended). I do not appreciate them being on me or near me but I don't mind them hanging around once in awhile (pun intended again). Last night I was watching the news. The weather man was showing a gorgeous shot of the Harvest moon with Jupiter shining brightly below it in the sky. I decided to step outside because it was a quiet moment in the house (and I had to let out the cute little doggies we are sitting). I stepped out there and - much to my chagrin - the shaggy pecan trees that tower over our house were blocking the view. I walked out further and caught a glimpse of the moon behind billowy white clouds. The air was cool and crisp. I was headed back inside because I could hear the children uprising. I started toward the door when something out of the ordinary out of the corner of my eye. The flood light illuminated a large spider web with a big gray spider perched upon it. She sat there waiting patiently for her dinner to be provided. Her web is nothing new to me. I have seen it a few times before. She sways in the moonlight until she disappears with the morning sun. I take the dogs out and I never walk through her web. My children are able to walk past it and not get tangled and caught during the day. This little spider painstakingly builds her home - her livelihood - each and every night. She works with agile movements that she has done many times before. She is beautiful. She is skilled and built her web more beautifully tonight than she did last night. I enjoy having her around. She provides me a source of comfort. I know that she waits on the Lord to provide for her just like I do. She waits hours upon hours each night for her portion. Those hours are counted the same for me. I have the same amount of seconds in a night that she does...

Matthew 6:24-34
25"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. 34"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.

It is easy to worry. I worry about our future. I worry about our plans. I worry about our marriage, children, house, cars, clothing, appliances, health, futures, furniture, money, jobs, and yes, even what food we will have on the table. Sometimes - it might be best to go outside, breathe the crisp air, refuel and thank the Lord.

This blog post may or may not have been inspired by a book I am currently reading called "Refuel" by Doug Fields
and a certain little gray friend.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Aldi challenge

Welcome to a place where quality reigns and low prices rule.
A place with no sales to sleuth. No coupons to clip. No discounts to debate.

Welcome to a place where select brand products exceed the quality of big name brands.
But cost up to 50% less.

Welcome to a place where streamlined operations all but eliminate competition.
A place where there is always a surprise in store.

Welcome to a community of smarter shoppers whose expectations for high quality
are matched only by their refusal to pay more for it.

Welcome to honest to goodness savings. Welcome to ALDI.

That's what they advertise. I have shopped there. Much to my chagrin, I did not check the website to see how to shop there before I went. Now if you've never been, it is a store that carries most every day groceries you might need (with the exception of some specific specialty items - like, I wonder if they carry soy sauce or cream or tarter?). They keep costs low by carrying no name brands. You have to insert a quarter into the shopping cart to get it and you have to put it in it's rightful place when you are finished to get your quarter back. You need to take your own grocery bags unless you want to buy theirs for 10 cents or so (or you could buy their reuse-able ones for more). I learned that one the hard way. You will have to let me tell you the story about the toddler, no cart, no bags, 2 prickly pineapples and a watermelon some time.

Here are some reasons why I don't believe this store is an option for my family:

1. That store only carries off-brands. I would like to say that I am not picky. Don't get me wrong, I do NOT feel the need to buy name brands. I do however, know how the Great Value au gratin potatoes taste and know I like them. I am afraid to cook up a box of never-before-heard-of brand au gratin potatoes and have to throw them out. This is the number one reason why I am hesitant to take the Aldi one week challenge.

2. I know I won't shop there on a regular basis. I have a very hard time getting out that way. It is probably about 15 minutes from my house in a direction that I do not go often. I live 4 minutes from Walmart. I live like, half a mile from Tom Thumb (however it has to be really bad to run there for something - "Would you like me to pay you with a limb from my body? It would be cheaper than your strawberries.")

3. I am a creature of habit. This is the woman who does not like to shop at a different Walmart because she doesn't know where the Shake & Bake is in a different location. I like knowing which cashiers will argue with me and nitpick about the advertisements that I price-match. I like my favorite cashier Margaret. Her mom, who is in her 70's is having some very difficult health problems. I like seeing her and asking how I can pray for her. My car almost is on auto-pilot here. I can drive to Walmart and shop my usual routine starting in the dairy and end with the produce. I like doing the same thing each Monday.

4. I have a family of five. My parents would shop at Sam's Club for our family of five growing up. We had to have so much food that they built another pantry. Now, since they were on a teacher pay schedule, they only shopped that way once-a-month so it is not quite the same. I do buy a lot of food though. My husband has expensive (and abundant) snacking tendencies. Apparently, he was not allowed to snack much at all growing up. He is making up for it by eating snacks every single night after the kids go to bed. It's a terrible habit but who am I to tell him not to eat? He is a tall-skinny guy. Honestly, I get tired of hearing about how it looks like he doesn't eat. Don't tell me how he doesn't eat! I see him try to clean out every snack food each night after he eats a big dinner! ... wow. Okay, that was a rant. Sorry about that. Moving on.

So, those are my reservations. Do you think I should do it?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

slight musings

*That One said (while dropping off her older sister at church) "We are going to see my peeps."

*When Mommy is sick, it takes 4 times as long to reconcile the destruction than it would take to clean up regular, every day destruction.

*You know you have a superb babysitter when she suggests you have more children.

*I miss having a dog. Sometimes.

*Its funny how, at certain points in your life everyone you know simultaneously blows you off. It makes you qustion who your friends are... or even if you had any - even your acquaintances. Sad, really. It makes you very much depend on the Lord.

*I hate flies with every fiber of my being.

* I miss being a kid. I want to magically transform myself back to the 80's sometimes.

*I have fallen in love with Clinique. Yikes.

* We are having a yard sale it it was my husband's idea. The world came to a screeching halt.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

interesting view

At a fancy McDonalds having a Coke and fries.

So, I figured out how to follow my stats on my blog today. Here are some countries that I have views from:

United States- 800something

Now, I am a realist. I know that the majority of these folks stumbled upon my blog via the option "go to next blog" or by Google search. However, if you are reading this whether in Texas or in Alaska or Latvia - I'd love to hear a shout out! I get lonely.

P.S. As promised, I am working up plans for a Christmas card game this year! Be excited, be very excited!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Moratorium: the results edition

It has been one month since I took a moratorium. I have found out who my true friends are. I have been lonely. I have had a blast. I have enjoyed my children more than any other time in my life (or theirs). I have faithfully schooled the children every day Monday through Friday for 2 weeks. I am very proud of myself. I have taken school so much more seriously than last year.
  • 'This One' is learning all about the Pacific Islands. The Mister is teaching her pre-algebra and she is reading several history books. She is taking a creative writing class, a science class (complete with dissection happening next semester!) and a class called "dancing through time" where she will learn dances of different era's through history. Soon, she will start up her sewing class as well (she is really very talented). Our home school co-op is hosting an entrepreneurial fair in November in which I hope she will sell some of her homemade puppets/creations to her peers!
  • 'That One' is learning how to read 3 letter words, working on letter sounds and learning her addition facts (flashcards, yay!). Today we learned about fishermen. We "fished" in the bathtub like real fisherman (the youngest got in on some of that action!).
  • 'The Other One' really, really loves Play-Do. He used up all of what we had, so The Mister made him some at home - it is blue, 'The Other One's favorite color. It could keep him entertained for hours! When he is unable to do what 'That One' is doing in school, he asks for the Play-Do and it makes everyone happy!
I have to admit that these last few weeks have probably been some of the loneliest in my life.
  1. I don't quite fit into the preschool set anymore and I am not quite ready for the grade school crowd either or the middle school one yet, for that matter. I am learning, adjusting and finding a new balance at home.
  2. I don't feel stressed about getting my household duties done in time to make a play date.
  3. I don't come home from a play date to find that I feel terrible about coming home to a disaster. I don't feel bad about leaving the mess alone to focus on school instead. I don't have a clean house since I have more time (it might even possibly be messier).
  4. I don't have anyone to lean on at this point really except the Mister who finds it hard to understand the SAHM dilemma of social interaction - but that's okay.
  5. I don't have a great structure (like, we don't get up because we have to be somewhere. We get up at our own pace and do school in our pajamas most the time (but somehow we always get school done even though we aren't stuck to a regimented schedule)
I have learned more about my abilities in the last few weeks than I ever knew about myself.
  1. I feel capable of helping my kids learn for the first time in my life and I am learning with them.
  2. I enjoy their company.
  3. I have enjoyed my time away from them more than ever when I have gotten it because I look forward to seeing them again.
  4. I have loved seeing them grow over the last few weeks.
  5. I really like what I do now.

Those are just a few of my humble musings this week. :-) Have a great holiday weekend y'all!