Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We watched the parade and attempted to teach the boys how to play checkers.

We went to the park and challenged each other to feats of strength.

We ate a lunch consisting if salad, hot dogs, quinoa, leftover chili, and yogurt because of course I had not been to the grocery store.

The boys took naps. Kris worked on his sermon for Sunday. I watched the new Will Ferrell movie.

We got ready and went to Grammy's house in Friendswood. Jude ate nothing. Asher ate a little real food and a generous serving of pie. Simeon almost everything set before him. And pie.

On our way home, we gave the Hispanic Fran Drescher and her fraternal twin sister a ride to her in laws house after stopping to see if they needed help with their flat tire. She was on the phone the whole way and informed everyone she was in her way to her ( insert FCC-banned slur for black people here)'s house. I am thankful we could help them and also that we will be able to say to each other, "remember the thanksgiving that we have the Hispanic Fran Drescher and her fraternal twin sister a ride...?"

We watched the end of The Game and then about 10 more minutes of a movie we started at the beginning of the week. We keep falling asleep.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Grace Upon Grace

Yes, the blog as I knew it has been tweaked slightly, but I feel WYPW is a staple that should not be kicked to the curb along with my old header. And blog name. And dignity.

So, even though nobody reads my blog anyway, I will continue this tradition. Because I'm SO big on those.

Which, incidentally, leads me to my point, believe it or not. Didn't leave that question dangling out there for long, now did I?

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. President Washington held the first "official" one during his first year in office. A "Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer" he called it, no less. It was a tradition celebrated by most colonies already but this was a first as a nation. And then President Lincoln made it an official holiday to be celebrated the fourth Thursday in November. And then President Roosevelt moved it to the third Thursday. Because that would extend the holiday shopping season. Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer indeed. His best to the Pilgrims, no doubt.

Of course John Piper, on Facebook, has to throw down the gauntlet with this reminder of the very words of Jesus,

"Whenever you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers, or your relatives or your rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and it be a repayment for you. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For it will be repaid to you in the resurrection of the just." (Luke 14:12–14)

Jesus really said those words. Why have I never put that in the context of our Thanksgiving meal before?

So if it's not a day of public thanksgiving and prayer (I've never publicly done either on this day) and it's not a feast to which I invite those that could never repay, what is it? My holiday angst. I don't get like this around Halloween. It's all so straightforward (unless you consider the slave labor chocolate issue.) But I struggle (no, not "struggle." That implies much more passion than is really involved.) I brood the issue (over pumpkin pie of course) from now until Easter.

I think I'm thankful. I say "thank you" a lot. Does that count? In prayers. In conversations. I try to express gratitude because I really do see that what I get to partake in are undeserved, yea, ill-deserved, blessings that I absolutely would be lost without. And I know God is the Giver. And I happen to really like a large portion of what he has given and the things I happen not to be so fond of really pale in comparison so thankfulness, while labored at times, is pretty easy to produce. Of course, I've never set sail for a foreign land, watched most of my co-Pilgrims die, struggle through brutal winters, and then come through it all with food and shelter and faith so it's hard to say, really.

We've been teaching the boys "For the Beauty of the Earth" and "We Gather Together." Because they are terribly Thanksgivingy hymns and it just seems appropriate. I really like them both but the words of "We Gather Together" are particularly encouraging.

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be;
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's Good For the Soul

That's what they say anyway. Ooohh...confessions as the first post under my new banner. This might just get interesting. (Probably not.)

I spend way too much time thinking about what I'm going to wear. I'm a 32 year old mom of 3 that drives a minivan for the love of God. But I do. And I'll tell you why. I felt out of place and out of style for a lot of my life. And now, I know what I like and I know what I don't and I lost a lot of baby weight. So getting dressed is kind of fun. But I wish I cared less. It can't be the best use of time. Or brain space. Or soul space. Damn that Ann Taylor and her loft.

I take lame self-portraits. I do. There I said it. I try to get that "I just happen to have this picture of just me where I look AMAZING that someone took without my knowledge and then emailed it to me" look. Then I crop and filter the heck out of it and it still doesn't look how I wish it did.

I hate most pictures of me. But I do love my new necklace. That thing is pure awesome.

I have sewn very few things in the sewing room that I just had to have. A shark costume, (Shark with cute ballerina Meadow)

a pair of pajama pants (ok, I didn't really sew those. I took them in because they were XL ones that I bought from Goodwill and I needed a better fit. See above.) I altered a dress that I've had in my closet for years but hardly ever wore because it hit my legs to low. In a flash of what can only be described as epiphinic, I hemmed it. Problem solved. We went through a lot to make this room possible. We have all of our children crammed into one room so that I can craft and Kris can record. Seems like I should have more to justify overhauling our whole lives. Alas.

It took me 3 months to finish Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Everyone told me it was the one that would seal the deal for me as a HP fan and there would be no looking back. Well. Let me tell you. It did drag on so. Because I have this thing in my head that compels me to have a different experience than the one I am expected to have--even when I would be perfectly fine having the expected experience. (It's not you, Laura, it's me. Assuming you are reading this. Probably not. No one does.) It's so irritating being me. I get on my own nerves most of the time. What are we talking about? Yes, Harry. I did finish and am planning on borrowing Book 5 from Cheryl when I see her tomorrow. I'm in this far so I might as well.

Tonight as we were finishing dinner, I told Jude that he must eat all his hamburger patty. Not because I am worried about his iron level or growth but because I buy our meat from a co-op and it's expensive. Jude told me, "I did eat it." "No," said I, "there is still meat on your plate." He picked the small uneaten piece up and held it in his fist. "No there isn't, " he said smugly. Jude comes up with these little retorts often which prompts Kris to cast his raised-eyebrow glance toward me and make some veiled accusation about exactly where this propensity Jude has for sass may or may not come from. It was funny. I try really hard (most of the time) to let their need for discipline take precedence over my desire to just laugh off the wrong, but occasionally humorous, behavior. Except this time I didn't. We'll hit that "no back talk" thing hard tomorrow.

Normally, I would be worried about being perceived as a vain, lazy, pitiful excuse for a parent after a post like this. But I'm not now. Nobody reads my blog anyway.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I'm a firm believer in stopping what you are doing immediately if you find that it is not working. In 2006, I opened up blogger at my computer at school when I probably should have been teaching students and decided to start a blog entitled "Grace Upon Grace." (In my defense, it was the week before school let out. My grades were turned in. I guess maybe some teachers cared enough to use every moment for instruction. I did not. To say the least.)

Here I have recorded our lives (more or less.) But I've struggled more and more to write consistently. I think because I felt like this blog had to be this or that type of blog. And I had to write about this. And I couldn't write about that.

But no more! Because nobody reads this blog anyway! I'm writing for myself. I like to write, yet I've neglected this outlet because of self-imposed restrictions. So with the exception of a few good friends and my mother (whom I mean no disrespect to, of course,) I am moving forward under the assumption that nobody reads this blog anyway. Goodbye stat counter and map. So long trying to make my mark on the blogosphere or trying to be a faithful family journaler. I'll still post about the kids and try to mention things that 80 year old Jamie will enjoy reading when 53 year old Asher, 52 year old Jude, and 51 year old Simeon never call or write. Hopefully 85 year old Kris will be next to me reminding me not to be too hard on them, because that's what he does. And I'll rant and observe and editorialize I'm sure. Who knows! It's just me, a computer, and my words now. I will write whatever I want.

Because nobody reads my blog anyway.

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