Thursday, October 26, 2006

Madelyn's Movie Debut

Here's a fun clip of Madelyn's latest "amazing" abilities...words, funny faces, and more! Just for the record, she can say "Mama."

Fall Field Trip

There's something about visiting a pumpkin patch or apple orchard in the fall. Breathing in the crisp air, smelling the sweetness of apples and straw, hearing the combines and tractors harvesting in the fields. I love it!

Above are some photos from our recent trip to Hainlen's Orchard a couple of weekends ago. We went with the Lambs, who were gracious enough to still call us friends even after we led them on a wild goose chase through Swayzee, Sweetser, and finally back to Swayzee again, looking for the signs that would tell us where to turn. (In our defense, we think the signs have been removed...) Juile's dad saved the day (and our outing) by providing directions that did, indeed, lead us to the desired location. (Thanks, Mr. Gafford!) And once we got there, a good time was had by all!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Full Time Volunteer

When someone asks me what I do now, my first response is that I am a stay-at-home-mom. This makes sense to me since I am not employed outside the home and I am primarily responsible for the care of our two children (while Jim is at work, at least).

My husband Jim, on the other hand, mentioned recently that he does not think this is an accurate answer. He belives that I am a full time volunteer. Not that he would actually say this to anyone expect me, but the idea got me thinking..."How much do I really stay at home?" and "How much of my time is spent volunteering?"

In my true task-oriented, left-brained fashion, I made a list.

My current weekly "outside the home meetings" include the following:

Sunday - attend church and possibly help in our venue "The Blend" if I make it on time and/or can leave Madelyn in the nursery
Monday - Usually an 8AM meeting about CWC Assimilation or Small Groups
Tuesday - MOMS Bible Study at Brookhaven Wesleyan Church (wonderul & I definitely recommend this to any mom "out there")
Wednesday - Teach Good News Club and lead class at ClubSplash
Thursday - MOPS or MOPS Steering Team meeting (3 out of 4 weeks), Ladies Small Group
Friday, Saturday - No regularly scheduled commitments unless you count trying to have a date night or family time

Along with that I have the following leadership committments:
MOPS Steering Team member: Creative Activities Co-coordintor
Member of Assimilation Planning Team at CWC
Member of CAT (Creative Arts Team) at CWC
Member of WMCR (Wesleyan Married Couples Retreat) Planning Team
Treasurer of CEF (Child Evangelism Committee) Committee: although I just resigned from that effective end of 2006 due to our other responsibilities
Director of KFC (Kids For Christ) Camp
Mini-job record keeping for friend's company

Balanced with Jim's schedule:
Work at Admissions
Lead a venue at CWC
Teach an adult Sunday School Class at CWC
Teach a Bible class at Lakeview (two days a week, starting next week)
Serve on Children's Board of Directors at CWC
Member of WMCR (Wesleyan Married Couples Retreat) Planning Team (we count these meetings as a date night!)

Whew! I am tired just reading this. On the other hand, it is also therapeutic; and I have made a few observations about my volunteering tendencies:
  • I should stay away from anything that uses letters as an acronym to represnt itself: CEF, CWC, WMCR, KFC, etc...
  • Deb wrote awhile back about how we all have the same amount of time but may chose to spend it differently. I think we also have the same potential for stress, and different things may or may not "stress out" different people. The jury is still out at this point on whether of not I am "stressed out."
  • While some days it seems like everything is going along calmly, when things do get busy, they seems to get really busy (like overwhelmingly busy); and I haven't yet figured out how to fix that.
  • I love to volunteer. I believe it is because one of my spiritual gifts is helps. (Is that bragging? It's just a factual result of those gifts tests.) Helping people is fulfilling to me, so I tend to find ways to do just that: help teach, help organize, help lead, help paint, help administrate (that's another of my gifts, by the way: administation). When I look at my involvement in this light, it can be an act of worship.
  • On the other hand, I heard on the radio of a book on this topic that I don't want to read because it would probably say that *being* is better than *doing*. It's titled something like Having a Mary Mindset in a Martha World. I probably should get it, but I get tired of Martha always getting a bad rap (and I don't mean Martha Stewart.) I could go on, but this could be another post by itself.

Bottom Line: I am feeling like I need to evaluate what I do and why I do it. I can then reprioritize my time and make sure that I am putting first things first and so on.

Do any of you have suggestions for this process? How do you discern where to invest your time? I mean, let's face it, we could all volunteer our lives away for any number of valuable causes...what are the determining factors in your life?

Disclaimer: To anyone who reads who may be a recipient of my volunteering or helps, please do not read anything into this post. It is mostly a journal-type entry of my thoughts and processing. I am not trying to send any hidden messages or make anyone feel bad or guilty. :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My New Best Friend

No, my new best friend is not a's this amazing website I have been frequenting lately. I have often used Google to find a recipe, but Kraft foods has a site where you can type in the ingredients you have, and it will list a number of recipes that use those ingredients.

Today, for instance, I had an opened can of cherry pie filling that I needed to use, cream cheese and Cool Whip. I typed in the ingredients and "voilla" an assortment of recipes appeared, including "Cherries in the Snow" which is pictured above. I have used this feature for a number of dishes now and have officially labeled it my new best friend. At least until something better comes along...

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Hair" Today, Gone Tomorrow

I know she's only a little over 9 months old, but Madelyn has had a section of hair on top of her head that has been growing since before she was born. It was cute for quite awhile; but once it started hanging down over her eyes, it got a bit annoying. Many friends suggested that I clip it back in one of those cute little barrettes, and I tried. But then she pulled it out...and I couldn't find it...and I started panicking, thinking she had swallowed it (until I found it hiding in a fold of her car seat). So, no more barrettes. The rest of our family had haircuts scheduled for this morning, so we decided to add Maddie to the experience. Goodbye mop on top!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunday Table

In order to completely appreciate this post, one must first see the blog my brother started titled "Thursday Table." It records the meals he and some friends prepare and share each Thursday evening. And these are not your average meals like spaghetti or chicken and rice casserole. These are Martha Stewart-type meals with unusual ingredients and maybe multiple courses.

Anyways, we had friends over for dinner today and I thought it would be interesting to show a contrast. I hate to say it, but something is not quite the same in ours. Maybe it's the Fisher Price table in the corner (instead of the garden setting) or the salad centerpiece (instead of roses). I'm not sure...but regardless, this post is for you, Joel, in anticipation of your future posts and dinners!