Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

I have these awesome books, I read and clip articles, I watch every documentary about the human perspectives of war that I can find. I have mad respect for our soldiers. I commend and admire those who have the courage to stand in the face of danger, willing to do whatever is necessary to protect others and carry out their duty. My heart sinks when I read about the ambushes, the car bombs, the soldiers who are wounded or killed doing what their conscious has dictated that they do, for the good of others.

I have a deep faith in the "rightness" of our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. I believe that these ideals are worth fighting for in every arena. I believe that they are a well rounded and socially responsible grouping of standards that benefit, not just our country, but through our government and military activity, other peoples as well. While it is ridiculous to believe any people can adhere to ALL of these without fault, I believe that they are worth understanding and aspiring to as an individual, are worth teaching as absolute values to my children, are valuable as guidelines for developing a community and are right for running a government.

Because I believe this, I believe in our Military's responsibility to step in where oppression and tyranny exist and fight on behalf of the abused and exploited. Sometimes this fight consists of those things my conscience agrees with; bringing aid to the hurt and hungry, setting free innocents and rebuilding what has been destroyed by the ravages of war. Sometimes though, they must do what my conscience shutters to think of, what brings tears to my eyes; They must attack, they must wound, they must kill. The emotional stresses of war are beyond my comprehension. Mt heart and prayers go out to those who must participate in the horrors of war in order to contribute to the betterment of the societies they are trying to bring peace to. It's a hard road to hoe.

I think that, in general, most of us just don't even come close to grasping the intensity of emotional turmoil, the depth of human brokenness that accompanies our soldiers every day as they walk war torn streets and are impacted by the consequences of "doing what is right". It does not matter if you or I believe that the current war or any other war is "right". It does not matter if we agree or disagree with our governments choices and maneuvers when it comes to our military. What matters is that we choose not to forget that there are human beings, men and women, Mothers and Fathers, sisters, brothers, co-workers, friends, childhood sweethearts out there doing what we cannot or will not do.

Have we forgotten that they are doing it because they believe that everyone should be free as we here in America are free? Because they believe that everyone should have the right to disagree with their government without fear of being beaten or imprisoned, having their children murdered before their eyes or their wives and sisters kidnapped and violated. So many of us are willing to say that what happens in a country under tyranny is wrong. Most of us are pretty vehement in stating our opinion about how "someone" should do something. Why then do we pull the rug out from under those who stand up for what they believe in and say, "I will go. I will be someone."?

Today is a day that we, as a people bound together by those very ideals that send our children, our brothers and sisters, our parents and friends to other countries to do the work of freedom, remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for those ideals. We have set aside this one day a year to honor the dead, to bless their families with compassion and thankfulness, to remember that what we have here in America has cost the lives of countless young men and women. From our very beginnings as a country until today there are human beings that have fought and died to secure and preserve what we all believe is our due as human beings; personal freedom.

I am grateful for my freedom. I am honored to teach my children about our soldiers sacrifices. I am blessed to thank every man or woman in uniform I see for their willingness, their conviction. Today is a different day than all the others on our calendars. Today is a day to look into the past, to remember the atrocities of evil that lead to war and to be grateful for all of the "someones" who were willing to go in our place and to die for our ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Thank you to my friends and family members who have joined willing, fought bravely and served faithful. And to those who have lost family and friends to this and other war efforts...Thank you for the days of grief, for the years of loss, for the tears you shed on the same altar of war where you lost your loved ones. Thank you for your living sacrifice.

Happy Monday everyone.

Happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Big Daddy and me

I think I have mentioned a time or two that our anniversary is coming up. Thursday, May 25th, Big Daddy and I will have been together for 24 years. 24!!! I cannot really comprehend being with someone that long. When other people talk about being married that long I always thing, "Wow, you guys must both be pretty awesome people to be able to live with each other and still like each other after all that time!" and yet, here I am, more in love with the man I married than I was the day I met him and acted like a total dork trying to get his attention.

Our relationship hasn't been perfect. Far from it. We have struggled through homelessness, infidelity, anger issues, sickness, the loss and death of loved ones, betrayal...PLUS the pressures of having 6 children, and learning to accept and even love the differences between us as we grow from teenage sweethearts into mature adults.

( your ears please)

When Big Daddy and I heard this song we both knew it was about us. not that Eminem had talked to either of us and written a song about the insanity that was our relationship, but that it described us, perfectly. We have a passion for each other that borders on obsessive. We both have explosive tempers, huge amounts of baggage and personal demons that we brought into our relationship. Whether or not we belong together has never been the question. Can we be sane apart...we both know the answer to that. Even after we came to the Lord, even after we were in ministry, even with all that God did in our lives to free us of our pasts and the pain there it was still like this, just like this.

A few years ago it all came to a head and I told him it was time for a divorce. We had done everything we could, but we weren't good for each other and that wasn't good for the kids. I was angry with God for not saving my marriage. Big daddy was angry with me for going back on my promise never to leave him. The kids suffered allot during that time. I got a job so that I could support us after he left. He totally went off the deep end acting like the biggest jerk ever. We live in a suburban community. Everyone knows every one's business. The kids had to deal with the rumors about us splitting up, the whispers about his behavior with other women, the pain of seeing their only stability begin to crumble around them.

I lost hope. I lost my mind. I ran to someone else who promised to treat me like a real man should. Fortunately he lived in Arizona at the time so I couldn't do anything incredibly stupid like sleep with him but that didn't stop me from using his sweet talk as an escape from all of the pain of losing Big Daddy. I was so deeply hurt I couldn't breathe when I thought about it; Big daddy didn't even fight. He didn't even try to keep us together. He didn't think he was worth my love and I didn't think I was worth his effort but I couldn't stay away. I told him that he was my dragon; my greatest obsession and my greatest pain. It was a mess.

Our oldest daughter suffered the most. She felt responsible to protect the other kids from our insanity. She tried to be there for me and support me, but I was such a mess and I was going in the wrong direction. Her support just made the guilt worse. I blocked her out, it broke her heart. She lost control and spiraled down a path that led her to run away. I don't blame her, I can't. She is a beautiful and fiercely loyal young woman who would do anything for her family, but her family was falling apart. Who she was didn't make sense anymore. She was lost, we had taken away the beacons in her life that held her safe and left her in the dark. She was only 16.

Big Daddy and I got back together about 6 months after we separated. It took another 2 years to begin to repair the damage. There were trust issues, bad habits, personal baggage that still had to be overcome. So many days we didn't think it was going to work but we love each other so much. There's so much passion and commitment to each other between us...we just couldn't let go.

God began to reveal the roots of the problems. he began to show us how to break free individually so that we could come together and be free as the One we were intended to be. I have no doubt that Big Daddy is my soul mate. The problem was that each of us carried burdens and mistrust, pain and fear deep in our souls. God had to clear it all out. He taught us to forgive ourselves, each other and those who had hurt us in our pasts. He did a mighty work in our lives. He overcame all that we had set between us and gave us back to each other as we were meant to be, whole, pure, in love. It really was a miracle. Our miracle.

Now, when I think of all that we have been through and where we are headed, I'm dumbstruck with awe. I'm so grateful to God for what He has done and is still doing. That is first and foremost. I am also grateful to Big daddy. He had to choose to be a better man. He had to choose to allow God to reach inside him and reveal any ugliness that he had been trying to hide and "deal with" on his own. He had to admit his defeat in order to gain the victory, and he did. That is no easy thing for a man to do. They need to feel strong and invincible. They need to be able to believe that they are good for us. It's their place, their hard wiring. Provider, protector and priest, that is who a man is called to be. When God held up that proverbial mirror in front of Big Daddy and showed him who he had become, that he wasn't who he was supposed to be but instead had become what he hated; angry, hurtful, inconsiderate, unfaithful, selfish, chauvinistic and even cruel...he could have denied it. He could have turned away and chosen to continue trying to "better" himself without any "interference" from God. But he chose a different path.

To me, Big daddy stood up to all of the shame and guilt he had heaped upon himself and rather than deflecting or denying it, he said "You're worth me taking responsibility for this, no matter how much it hurts. You're worth overcoming this, no matter how embarrassing it is. You're worth it to me and I'm going to prove it.". Nothing could have blessed me more.

Big Daddy used to tell me all the time "Tell me you love me." as if I didn't say it enough or he needed reassurance. Now, he asks me "Am I good for you?' He doesn't want to know just that he does things that make me happy. he wants to know that he has become the man in my life who is strong when I'm weak, who encourages me to be who I am, who ushers me into the presence of God when I'm hurting. He wants to know if he has become that man in my life who is my everything because he has earned the right to be so. After all this time, after so many years of explosions, pain, guilt and fear, amazingly, miraculously my answer is always "Yes."

Thank You God for the new life You gave to our marriage. Thank You Big daddy for not giving up. Thank you for being who you were meant to be in my life and the lives of our children. You are so good for me Big Daddy. I love you.

Until forever comes My Love.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why I'm such a flake

O.K. the real answer to that question is many faceted and would take the rest of my life for me to actually put into words...this post, therefore, is just about the

It's been busy as always. I thought it was going to be slow and relaxing, but then there was the extra 5 yr old, and the wasn't all that relaxing after all. It was however peace-filled and I will take that over uneventful any day! :)

Lets see...Did I mention that I went on the Zoo field trip with Zabo last Monday? That was the start of my week. I drank 4 large coffees before 2pm...then I went to work!

No I did not eat all of this could you even think that!
 I shared...everything except my coffee...this is number 3 and I think it was 11am.
I bought nachos for the kids too :)

 But it was awesome. The kids I was with were fabulous (aren't all 1st graders fabulous? It's those 2nd graders you have to watch out for! ;) and I got to hook up with one of the moms I know already from last year so the trip was more divide and conquer than it was watch and pull my hair out! A nice change :)
<---her (Kayla)               me--->

THEM :) 

Us :-D

Of course, it wouldn't be a field trip to Lincoln Park Zoo if it didn't rain, but this face....well, it made a day at the zoo with 1st graders in the rain AND the bumpy bus ride BOTH WAYS soooooo very worth it!!

That has NOTHING to do with the weekend (In my best Rosanne Rosannadanna voice) "Nevermind"

Moving on!

Friday was the day I had Moose's best friend Isaiah over. He's a great kid. His parents aren't too shabby either.
(Actually we really like them...but don't tell them that...we'd like to keep up our image as "The weird family" keeps away the normal people...for the most part anyway...and who likes normal people...they're BORING..pshhh)

But first, we had to take my Bear to the vet. Ug! It sucks SO bad to have a pet that you adore beyond reason (he might as well be related) who is in pain. He got fixed Tuesday and just couldn't stop licking. We never imagined HE would be the "problem child", he's MY Bear...he's like the Mary Poppins of dogs. But by Friday he had nearly opened his stitches and they were infected. So we all went back to the vet (Mars cried the whole time we were gone...poor guy) and Bear came home with HUGE antibiotic pills and the cone of shame :-(

Then we had pizza.

OK...there was a little in between the cone of shame and the pizza, but I have blocked most of it out because it was just too painful...sniff..sniff.......

and funny

So this neat little 5 yr old came over and hung out with us overnight. He, Zabo and Moose played...and played...and played...THEN we had pizza! Veggie pizza if you can believe it. I put onions, red peppers and fresh sweet corn into that sauce, hid it under the cheese (and mushrooms for Moose and Zabo) and voila! Kids EATING veggie pizza :-)

Without even one single complaint! I win! Nah nah nah na nah nah! Just sayin'. (Did I mention that Boyo made the crust SOLO whilst I napped! AND it was good! His first time too...I'm so proud :)

They went to bed around 9:30 (I only threatened a little...I swear :-)
And in the morning they played...and played...and played....until it was lunch time.
(they got their own breakfast...oh how I love cereal!)

 Then they watched a movie and Isaiah went home

We all worked VERY hard to clean the house and I even made time to do the girls nails (and mine) before it was time to get dinner together.

I actually got to do my nails twice in the past week...I have NO idea how I managed it...but it happened and I'm happy about

Still reveling in my culinary victory from the night before I got adventurous. I decided, rather off the cuff, to make risotto for the first time. I have watched many cooking shows on risotto and I know the technique behind it (Thanks in no small part to Anne Burrell) so I told Bubba to run Moose a bath, because I knew it was kind of labor intensive, and I got it going.

It was FABULOUS. I don't have a picture...IDK could be because I forgot about that whole bath for Moose thing while I was swooning over my curried vegetable risotto until about an hour AFTER we had dinner...when Tabby had to go to the bathroom and got stopped by the sopping wet carpet!

 These areas of my home USED to be carpeted...that is until the flood decided to travel to brave new the girls room, the hallway and the multi-purpose room...the one with the toys and formerly clean laundry pushed into it's only not soaking wet corner.

Thank GOD for my amazing kids! The Adams Family Emergency Response Team leapt into action. Tabby read to the small ones and prayed for them so that they were out of the way while the boys and I did mop up duty. When the small ones were tucked in Tabby helped get up the leftovers we found under the carpets we had to pull up (I am truly amazed by what gets under carpet...who would know what tiny treasures we walk on all day long?) The boys helped get the laundry going, clean up from dinner and we even got the house back into such an order that by the time Big Daddy got home from work he didn't even know anything had happened...except for the missing carpets of course...but that could be explained any number of ways with me for a wife ;-)

When all was said and done the older kids were very proud of themselves, I was very proud of them and we all went out for a moment to see if we could catch sight of the "supermoon"

This picture is absolutely fabulous on my

This morning proved to be interesting. I had to have the fans on high all night in both of the bedrooms that got wet to try and dry out what we could (walls, and the girls and my carpets) so Zabo woke up with a horrible cough. We didn't think she was in the "draft" area...but it happens and she was miserable. Sad cheerleaders are a very sorry sight!

So she, I and Moose all stayed home from church. No point in sending Moose when the Sunday School teacher isn't (me) isn't going to be there.

It worked out for everyone. The worship and message were right on time for all of my guys and as for the small ones and me...well...

about 2 doughnuts after the others left for church Zabo was feeling MUCH go figure.

So we planted

It's a starter garden (I still have plans for that Pallet Garden Elle just looks SO COOL!)
Tomato's, cukes, watermelon, basil, sunflowers and vintage peppers...most of the containers are recycled..which makes me happy AND I found this cool idea for recycled watering cans

It's awesome. And it's great for the kids. I can mix up 2 gallons of plant food and they get to be Happy Hippie kids whenever they want :-)

Let's see...then what happened..Oh yeah, grocery shopping and lunch.

Sunday Dinner is always important. It's not formal at our house, but it's really the ONLY meal we get to sit down together with Big daddy for AND it's our "Sabbath Day" so it has to be something special. Today was BBQ short ribs, baked potato, garlic bread and salad! Fabulous!

There was some wrestling after true Adams Family fashion;

Me ~ Daddy, Boyo is messing with me!
Big Daddy ~ Boy, do you want me to hurt you?
Boyo~ Well, now that you mention it *pokes me*
*Big daddy goes after Boyo's hands, Boyo blocks and goes after Big Daddy's hands, Mars thinks it playtime and goes after both their hands, Moose comes up from behind and hits Big Daddy because somehow the whole wrestling match has ensued OVER in, my physical body is between Boyo and Big Daddy, Zabo tackles Moose for hitting Big Daddy and Tabby takes pictures...*

They weren't very good...too much movement....but there's a video :-)

Well, that about wraps it up. Tabby and I watched a new T.V. show on Hulu after the guys went to go see the Avengers and the small ones went to bed. It had a VERY child inappropriate scene in it..and it was episode one...we won't be watching that again. Back to Gilmore Girls it s :0

I hope you all had a wonderful and peace-filled weekend regardless of how busy or not busy you may have been.

Be well my friends.

God, I love Sundays :-D