Sunday, August 29, 2010

Our Days are Numbered

The title to this post could sound sort of deep.

Maybe prophetic

or have some sort of theological twang to it.....

....depending on your given state of mind at the moment, I suppose.

But to me...right sounds like a bunch of math.

I was inspired by a friend and fellow blogger, Jody, about the importance of each and every day we have with our kids.

And not to let any of them just slip away.

I'm a visual-type.

So this little mathy-crafty thing is a helpful reminder to me that the days that I have with my kids are numbered.

In each vase, there are beads that total the number of days from TODAY until each of the kids' 18th birthday.

At the end of each day, I will take one out of each vase.

Here's the breakdown.

Nathan: 1589

Marisa: 2130

Claire: 2960

Danielle: 3559

(not sure if you can tell from the pic, but i had to start using smaller beads in the younger 2 so i could fit them all in)


I used a calculator and calendars and counted out beads for this.


I'm not a math person or a craft person.

But I'm totally in love with these kids and I don't want to waste even a single bead.

That ends this special deep-prophetic-theological-math-craft-story......

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I need to make sure I have it.

The short version:

'Cause there are so many things that I do that are important for me to be doing...
....So many IMPORTANT things that I need to be doing...
....and I just started a new job....which is important.

The long version:

I've been writing more. And publishing. And getting paid to write. All good things.
But not quite my "Bread and Butter".....maybe just the "butter." But if I want it to be more...I have to keep working at this.

I WON a scholarship for a writing class that is all about developing your specialty and launching a platform. This. Is. Good. Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention has been the topic that has chosen me.....I just haven't had a clear idea on how to express this. I think this class will help.

And on that very topic of DV.....there are definite ministry opportunities in the works.....
....or more acurately, in the works of being in the works. (did i say that right?) This is important. I'm not doing enough here. I want to do more.

I started a new job Hill of Beans. It is local. This will take up about 4 to 5 hours a day....but today it happened to take up about 6. The job is important. I need the job. I need to be around people. I just have to make sure it does not wear me too thin....

And then there are the basics....which, in my opinion, are the most important.
It's called loving God and loving those he has given to me.
Sometimes the "basics" get saved for last. I gotta make sure that this ALWAYS stays first.

Monday, August 23, 2010


It is pretty sad that I have to copy my attorney from 3 years ago on to my email corespondence with my ex-husband.

News flash: I am not your wife. We have "shared" custody. Take responsibility for your share and stop trying to take control over mine.


If you aren't too fussy about humidity and how your clothes tend to stick because of the humidity....then it was a GREAT weekend for a Parade and Talent Show!

Here's a few snapshots from the weekend.

And take a look at the 2 pics of the lady on the tractor. In the first pic, she is asking Sharon (brian's mom) "Is that her?" She was pointing to me.

And the next pic she is smiling.

which means, I think she approves.

I didn't get hardly any pics of Brady's band...cuz the lighting was terrible for my failing camera battery.

Also missed the pics of Nathan playing in the basketball tourny. Rest assured, he had fun and that was his hi-lite of the weekend.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Stringers....Freelancers.....sort of the same thing in newspaper lingo.

I USED to freelance for the Advocate News. The Wilton/Durant Advocate News. One of which is my home town.

And I was so proud to do that.

But I had to take some time off from doing that to take care of personal matters at home.
As in,....personal
at home.

Sort of a down side of being rural is that everybody and every body thinks that they know your personal and
at-home stuff....

....even if they don't.

And throw in any element of being known, let's just write for the newspaper....
...well, then....that must quadriple whatever anything that anyone must absolutely know about your at-home, personal life stuff.

you know.

So let me just backtrack here a teensy bit.

I used to freelance.
I am ready to do it again.
Talked to the editor (the new editor since the last time I wrote for them) several times in the last couple of years about my interest in freelancing again.

Even tried to pitch how I would be good for his paper...."let me write for you....people will come to me with their stories....they used to....they will again...." plead, beg, me.

To which I hear: "Robin, we are well aware of your writing capabilities. Should we ever need someone to fill one of our staff positions....or be in need of freelance writers, we will most certainly keep you in mind."


They have asked me for info and photos.
I have provided both.
With no cutline/byline or credit whatsoever.

And today.


I was at the parade in Durant.

Some guy took my picture.
A stranger.
I didn't know him.

He asked me for my name. And proper spelling.
Becuase he was taking photos for the Wilton/Durant Advocate News.

New guy.
That's how he presented himself.

Maybe I'm wrong.


That was supposed to be my job.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Day of School

The excitement can be seen more clearly in some faces than others.
But they all assure me that, yes.....they are ready for school to start.
Nathan is more can start.
Mom has mixed feelings on the start of a new school year.
This year we have, 2 junior highers, a 4th grader and 3rd grader.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"so whatcha doin?"

I heard that question 3 or 4 times today.

2 of those times were followed up with requests to help with a favor.

and both times I had to say no because I was just too darn busy.

It doesn't seem like doin stuff here and there and making the world in this house happen is a big deal.

So when someone says...."whatcha doin?"
.....and I say "not much"'s my own fault when all of that "not much" doesn't get done because I said it was "not much."

What am I doing?

I made breakfast for 5 kids. toasted english muffins. Not hard at all. Except I can toast ONE muffin at a time and dress it with either: butter and jelly, PB and jelly, just PB, or just jelly.....(just pick one kid....and move on already)

I cleaned up from breakfast. And decided that since my feet are sticking to the floor from breakfast, I will just clean the floor while I am at it. Better for me to do it than to let the ants come and take care of it. Trust me....I weighed this as an option. I would've voted for ants to clean it up just so I wouldnt' have to do it....except bunches of insects swarming one area is the kind of image that gives me bad dreams. I cleaned the floor.

And I vacuumed the rest of the floor while I was at it. Only because I am either: A)Obsessive/compulsive....or B)just smart to do it all at one me time tomorrow, maybe?

Laundry. Washed it and hung it out. 3 loads. Hanging laundry out is more work for me; however, my dryer doesn't dry a whole load in one it takes me longer to dry a load in the dryer than it does to hang it out on the line. whatever.

Took nathan and a friend to golf course. Which I promised I would do after he mowed the lawn. Which he somehow accomplished in what he said was like an hour and a half or 2 hours tops. I believe him. It looks great. But where did that hour-and-a-half to 2 hours go for me? Oh my. I just reread the above and I figured it out.

Brian called and asked me if I could run an errand and then watch some concrete dry. As in the concrete dry. He is pouring at the park today and he wanted to make sure that kids didn't run through it before it dried. I had to tell him I would call him after I.....

.....made lunch and took Claire's friend home. Claire had a friend spend the night and she lives in another town and I promised she would be home after lunch.

and I cleaned up after lunch. Because I hate ants.

So I took friend home and called Brian. I guess he no longer needed me to watch the concrete dry. Does it really take me that long to do stuff?

Girls ask if they can swim. So i say....okay....but I can only drop them off because I HAVE to go home and write something that somebody will buy and we can pay our bills. So they get ready. I take them. There is no lifegaurd on duty today. They can swim but only with an adult present.

So....I get to be that adult. For a couple of hours. (maybe a little less than that)

Then I take girls home. And go back to golf course to pick up boys. Drop one friend off at home.

Pull some laundry off the line.

Start making supper.

Still left to do:

Softball tryouts
Clean up from eating....(it's an ant thing that I hate....not so much that I am too particular about cleaning.....maybe)
Write something that someone will BUY!
Help the tired kids ready for bed....snuggle, read, the good stuff

and while I am at it....I should probably just tack on:
Change the world
Lose 10 pounds
Make a million dollars

See.....I'm not really doing that much. At least it doesn't seem like it....
....till it doesn't get done!

And the ants come marching in!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I heard from a well-respected, older gentleman, that the way to a man's heart was through sloppy joes.
Apparently you have to have just the right recipe.

....thanks for the tip vernie

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bacon Grease and other randomness

This post is just going to have to be some bullet points because my brain is full of totally unrelated randomness this morning.

  • I just made a BLT. Every time (every time) I make this sandwhich my brain insists that I have to put it in the order of it's name: bacon, lettuce THEN tomato. But I don't like it that way. I like bacon, tomato, THEN lettuce. So I make it that way......but the fact that I argue with myself within the parameters of my mind over this EVERY TIME I make a BLT sort of makes me think that I might be sort of in the certifiable type of crazy. Or have some special kind of OCD. and maybe this should be documented somewhere. Or maybe I should just hide it. Because this is my (ahem) normal.
  • I'm thinking about a friend of mine's kid. Who works in ministry. And I have never met. Why do things like this pop in my head? And could it have anything to do with the first bullet point?
  • Speaking of bacon....God used frying bacon in it's own grease today to remind me of a spiritual truth.

It's been a good morning.

But I ask you...should I be worried?


Let me just start by saying I love who this girl is. And who she is becoming.

She has spent every day of her life-(and by "every day of her life" I mean that to include in utero as well)-challenging me, testing me, showing me that I must be a failure of a mother and at the same time forcing me to be a better mother.

With some of my children, if I ignore certain unbecoming bahaviors, it will cease.
Not with claire.

With Claire, if I ignore those unbecoming behaviours, it is interpreted as permission to continue.

She's a tough girl.
Likes to wrestle with her brother.
Likes to threaten with her bully voice and fists.

She's a smart girl.
Knows how to twist a situation to make it look like the other person is at fault.

She's a sweet girl.
She has her moments, anyway!

She is not limiting her options in life in the least.
I was informed last week that she's not sure she wants to go to college because she's not really sure she wants to have a real job.

She doesn't think she wants to get married.
She will either live with me.....or in an RV in my driveway with her two adopted children....both named "becky."

.....or she will live in a kentucky, perhaps.

....but she doesn't want to commit to either idea at this time as she says she has a good 20 or so years to decide.

She's so funny.
And fun-loving.
I love this girl.
Humor is one of her gifts.

So glad God gave this girl to me!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Faith makes things possible.....not easy."

Summer Fun


I just love this quote!

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.
– John Andrew Holmes Jr.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Theology based on a 3rd and 4th Grader

Oh....the super-spiritual conversations to be had at our house. It's fun when it is more than mom getting into all this talk about Jesus.

We are all (mom included) running still on a church camp high. Everyone's on fire to talk about the bible, wonder "what Jesus would do," and actually think out loud about how Jesus would act and what he would say if he were here today..... in our car
.....or involved in (fill-in-the-blank) arguement with (fill-in-the-blank)friend/sibling/parent
.....or at football camp
.....or watching oprah

The questions and conversations about Jesus and heaven seem to be permeating our days.

And really, why should it be any different?

It is just a little odd.....
....not "odd" in the way that the rest of the world doesn't normally do/say/question/talk this way.....(we are used to that sort of odd in general!)

But odd in the way that an 8 and 10 year-old think.

I mean, I KNOW that some things are not so important that they should be EXPLICITLY spelled out in the bible.

Some things are clearly up for interpretation.....right?

Perhaps I should just give you an example of exactly HOW talking about God seems to infiltrate our day....(again, not complaining....)

8 and 10 year-old are in the bathroom doing one of those oily-salt-scrub-things that softens your hands and feet.

8 year-old is showing 10-year-old how it's done 'cause she's seen mamma do this before.
8-year-old explains that this will make your hands feel "smooth as a baby's butt."

To which 10-year-old says, "yuck,"
then mom has to explain what the phrase "smooth as a baby's butt" means.

Which, OBVIOUSLY, leads us into a SUPER SPIRITUAL conversation about GOD....
....and BUTTS.


10-year-old: So do you think God has a butt?
8-year-old: Yeah, he totally does 'cause we are supposed to be like him
10-year-old: So....where does he "go"
8-year-old: The bathroom. The toilet is made of gold. That's in the bible. Well maybe not his toilet, but his streets in the bible are gold so his toilet must be."
10-year-old: oh.

And they continue to wash and scrub and make their hands "smooth as a baby's butt."

And I watch
And I listen

And I wonder God loves the faith and hearts that can only come from children.

"And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3

Friday, August 6, 2010

i'm voting "top of my game" today

'Cause I SOLD another article to a magazine in Texas.


And I wrote and submitted a short article elsewhere.

AND I got a check in the mail that PROVES that I REALLY can do this freelance thing.

Good day today.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I've given myself a couple of days to be upset.

And now I'm done.

I think......

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bottom of the Barrel or Top of My Game??

Ya....where to start....

About a week or so ago, I turned down a job that I knew I would love, but the timing seemed off. Hours of the job and my schedule with the kids....All hours were when I had the kids. So it didn't make sense, at this point in ages and stages, to have free time when I don't have them and be away when I did.


...I got a call for an interview at the school. just the time when I was debating whether or not I should turn down any job, even if it didn't fit with schedules....

....but a job at the school....or rather THREE openings at the school, while didn't exactly fit the bill for what I would LOVE....did EXACTLY fit the bill for the timing, scheduling, and LO and BEHOLD....there was a PRESCHOOL position open!

....ya'all know i was meant for preschool, right?

All the short stories and poetry and what-nots-that-are-fun are all about preschool!!!

Plus I have socks and matching earings that only a preschool teacher can get away with wearing....

...without being committed.

So I graciously turned the other position down thinking that THIS.....THIS must be a GOD thing. God saying, "Robin, yes. You are good at photography. But, this is for you. For now."

Wow. Thanks, God.

But apparently God wasn't saying that at all.

How could I have been so wrong?



Will I look back on all of this and see how GOD is so right, in spite of me thinking I had Him all figured out?


Hoping so, anyway.

At the very minute that I received the call....from the new High School Principal who is in charge of making these calls....

....the call that said...."we interviewed 5 people for 3 positions...and aren't one of those people....

...I got an email from a dear friend who I wish-oh-how-i-wish we lived closer because I'm sure she would cry with me and then kick me in the pants and say....

[[[Wish we were closer so I could cry with you. I totally understand the disappointment, especially when it seems like such a God-thing.
Guess, He's got something, how cool is that :)

"HOPE dances in the puddle til the sun comes out again!"

For some reason I can see you singing in the rain :) Love ya lots!!
remember, you rec'd the promising pen award, could this be a blogpost??

the above happens to be an exact quote.



i remember that.

cuz it's true, it happened.

At this year's Quad Cities Christian Writers' Conference I DID just so HAPPEN to recieve the PROMISING PEN AWARD....

which means....what?

i have a promising pen?

that i can write???

So now here i am.....feeling like the bottom of the barrell, in a matter of speaking....

....when maybe


God might be saying....

"this is your chance to be at the top of your game....

use the gifts.

the ones that I gave"

and maybe someday I will see how what I thought was God's timing, will actually look like God's timing....
....and not some huge failure on my part....


Bottom of the Barrell?
Top of My Game??

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Church Camp....Round 2

The 2 littles are on their way to camp today.

Only they just don't look so little anymore.

The true little did come out to give me ONE LAST hug.....after the "last" last hug.....and it was the kind of hug that you jump-up-into-mama's-arms-and-wrap-your-whole-self-around-her-type of hug....

gosh i will never forget that hug!