Friday, March 2, 2012

New Car Fever

It's been two years.  Two years without a car payment in sight.  I remember the elation we felt as we put in that final payment after six years of paying for the minivan we bought while on vacation in Alabama.. (Don't ask, we were idiots.)

When we bought the minivan, we had a 3 year old and a newborn.  We had no idea what 3 children could do to a car.  Stickers, pens, food, melted crayons, etc.  are just part of the program when you have as many kids as we do.

I don't know.  Maybe it's the fact that every surface of the interior of our car is covered by some sort of ancient spill.  Like a history of our family painted into the fabric of our seats. 

Maybe it's the fact that my drivers side window doesn't roll down.  At all. The motor burned out over a year and a half ago and it's expensive.   Try pulling up to a drive through and having to open your door to pay or get the food.  It's so fun.  Pulling forward so that the door opens enough to reach out and grab it, and backing it up when you pull too far forward and you are straining to reach the cashiers outstretched arms and bewildered face.  It's not embarrassing at all.

About 6 months ago, Kayleigh broke the handle off of the rear sliding door on the outside.  Once again, pretty expensive to fix and there are other things we should spend our money on I guess (we are actually just very lazy, but it sounds better to make it sound like we can't afford it).  Now, when I pull up to car pool lane every.single. morning. the teacher who tries to open the back door to let the girls out  reaches to open the door and then immediately looks mystified at the door.  Then, after Taylor opens the door, (heaven forbid it's hard to open that morning for her) watching the adult try to shut our non automatic sliding door from the inside makes me shrink down in my seat.  Taylor compensates for us by shooing away the adult, sighing and saying "I got it" and slamming the door by grabbing the window (as long as it hasn't locked into position, then I have to reach back across the car and grab the handle to shut it).  I would roll down my window and talk to them... but you know how that goes...

I've had a few.. let's call them "incidents" in this car.  Someone backed into the side of my car in a parking lot, I hit a small tree leaving a youth retreat, and a mailbox jumped out of nowhere as I was parking on an occaision.  Body work is for losers.  

I want a new car.  A car that doesn't smell like french fries, crayons, and hopelessness when I open the door.  I don't care about having a car payment, or being in debt again.  My heart wants this.  My head is screaming at me that this car can go for probably at LEAST another 70,000 miles without us even needing to THINK about replacing it.(darn you Mazda for making such reliable cars).  I'm sick of it.

I want a car that I can drive around just for the fun of it.  I don't care if it doesn't have third row seating and the girls all have to sit together.  Let them bicker.  I will just roll down my window and drown out their little arguments with the breeze...

I want a new car, this car.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A teenager stuck in a woman's body.

That's me.  (Yes, Virginia, two posts in one week!).

Aside from the fact that I was a band geek/ 90's hair kind of girl in high school, I really enjoyed being a teenager.  I mean, sure I had to deal with mean girls (but in a hillbilly high school, really they just fought over the one guy with all his teeth- or insert other redneck joke about everyone dating their cousin I guess..., but I digress) but overall my high school years are a blur.

I'm a responsible grown up now, with a mortgage, and three kids.  Somehow though, that hasn't really affected my personality.  I believe God not only called Baxter into youth ministry, but also me.  I had no idea just how well I would fit in with teenagers until we actually started volunteering to hang out with them.  How do I know that I'm really basically still a teenager? Here are some ways you can tell.

* I use pseudo words like "totes" (or totally for you old people out there), and "Fasho"(for sure, or fer shurre, dude for you guys stuck in the 90s).  I hang out with teens so often that these words have slipped in to my everyday vocabulary.

* I can probably quote every line from Napoleon Dynamite or Nacho Libre ("Get that corn outta my face!!!").  Maybe that one comes from just watching those movies too many times, but I quote them with the teens, so I'm counting it.

* I actually count down to teen camp every year.  We use that time as our vacation, people.  We spend 5 days out in the wilderness of Oklahoma with our teens. There are no little drinks with umbrellas, no sandy beaches, just us, the teens and God (and some mosquitos).  Besides being home or anywhere with my girls, it's the best time of the whole year.

* I have to stop myself from fist bumping adults that I have just met. 

* You probably won't ever see me wear anything from Liz Claiborne or Banana Republic.  I wear hoodies, t-shirts, jeans, etc. On second thought,  maybe that just makes me sloppy?  I get dressed up once a year when I force all the teen girls to wear dresses on Easter.

* I get more excited about games and pranks than most adults would admit.  My husband has to turn on every light when he goes into a room in our house for fear that a crazed lunatic (me) will jump out and scare him.  Seriously.  I hide behind doors, couches, in the shower, one time, I even tried to get under the sink.  It's a good time. You guys should try it.  Nothing spices up a marriage more than a near heart attack.

Honestly, I'm not sure if any of those things really makes me a teenager.  I do know, that if I couldn't serve in youth ministry, I don't know where I would fit in or serve.  Most of the time, I feel like I can relate better to a struggling teenager than another adult. Thank God for youth ministry.

Yes, this is me circa 1997.  Drum major.  :)
Me with my teen girls two years ago. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I have thought about blogging so much, but then when I get a spare moment to do so, I can't think of anything significant to write. 

Life is so good.  It's crazy, hectic, our schedules are so full but we are so blessed.  My kids are healthy, my husband is wonderful (though he spends a lot of time at work), and business is taking off like I never imagined it would.  Our family lives by the motto: Prepare for rain.  We have lived in constant hope since Baxter made the decision to go into youth ministry that he would be able to do it full time. Almost 5 years into ministry, that has not been what God has wanted for us.  We have been so blessed by God's choice to allow us to be where we are, at a church that we love, with teens that we really connect with.  We have learned to see through our own frustrations and look at the big picture (and it only took us 4 years or so!).  We are focusing on preparing for whatever God might have in store for us by staying close to Him, and keeping Him the center of our family.

We are slowly but surely making some changes in our home.  I now have a studio space and an office.  We have painted a few of the rooms, and things are actually coming together!  After about three years, our house feels like a home.

It's been a while, so I will leave you with some observations, that hopefully will inspire at least a chuckle or two.

*My husband and I are becoming like my parents.  We have been married so long, that we can communicate with a series of grunts instead of verbally.  That's how you know you have "made it".

* Kayleigh has now reached the age where I can no longer help her with some of  her math homework.  Thank you, right brain and rural public school for getting me to a 5th grade math level.  Heaven help us if something happens to my husband.

* Taylor will be turning 8 years old next month.  The theme for her birthday party?  Rock Star.  I'm totally going to be dressing up too and singing karaoke 80's hair band hits with them. You don't think it will embarrass her, do you? No way.  I'm the cool mom.

*  I'm planning our summer vacation right now.  With the way our schedules are looking, we will probably be vacationing at my parents house down the street (if I can get my Dad to cook for me all week, it might actually be pretty fantastic), or going on an exotic safari to Petsmart...

I will end with a collage of photos (if you are my facebook friend, you can still enjoy them, even if you have seen them before) from this winter. 

I hope to be back soon, but you know how it goes.  Until next time, Prepare for Rain, ya'll!

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