"Be thankful in all things, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thes 5:18

Friday, December 31, 2010

A Home Video Rat Update w/ Emma Being Charming

A Sobering Experience

I don't believe dreams tell the future. I also don't believe the world will end in 2012 because of man's calculations, but I did have something strange happen to me.

About six years ago when we lived at our previous house I had an intense dream. I attested it to the fact that I was reading the "Left Behind" book series at the time. I was at Von's in A-town in the parking lot. I had ran for a few things by myself which I noticed as an oddity since I homeschooled at the time and Caedmon was only one. As I walked to my car the world seemed to pause and all of a sudden I was being propelled up into the sky. Crazy right? I felt the intense resistance of gravity on my whole body. I knew I was being raptured and my thought was worry that I was away from my family. I remember this turning to trust and then thoughts of how each of us in the end is intimately responsible to respond to God before the end. I knew I had. All this happened in less than seconds in my mind. Adrenaline pulsed through me and it was so real. Then, I woke up in my bed next to Rick. I remember being sad it had not really happened! That's how real it was, I was ready and I knew where I was going!
It was a dream that stayed with me ever since. Intense, so real and so attesting to the true identity of my soul, but it never happened again. Until this week.

Just a few nights ago I was dreaming that I was crossing the intersection under the 101 at the Morro Exit. Guess where I was headed? I was walking toward the same Vons! Now, isn't that strange. This time it was more slow motion. As I stepped to put my foot out in the cross walk to cross the main street there, the world around me dimmed like someone turned down the lights. The Cars were frozen and lifeless. The people walking and crossing on the other side of the intersection were dim and frozen with their feet stepped out forward.
There were a few split seconds in this part where honestly, I was not sure what was going on. And then it happened again, my body was being propelled up into the sky. Again, the intense pull against gravity, the adrenaline rush. As I went upward I felt like a child praying before I sleep (the Lord my soul to keep sort of feeling) and I said "Lord, forgive me my sins". Which is interesting to me that my assurance was different this time. I felt I'd grown weary recently, though not changing in faith, I was more aware of how real my undeserving soul was.
I woke up at the same place and was again surprised it was not real.

I knew right away there was significance that I had this dream twice even if it was six years ago. Like I said, I don't really believe much in dreams, but here is the sceptic saying "hmmmm".

Or, I feel like I'm in Bones and I'm Brennan saying "What does it mean?"

Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Matt 24:20

Thursday, December 30, 2010

That Naughty Song Your Singing

This post is not a soap box or really here to say anything....it's just random mental musing. Even I don't have much of a conclusion myself.

Music is a hot topic with me. I love music and Rick and I both are pretty laid back about it unless it's explicitly s*xual. If it makes me uncomfortable, I just use that as a guide. I agree with my kids though, it's a bummer when some of these songs are dirty because their musical quality is fun. I think my most recent frustration was one or two from Ke$ha. A lot of her stuff is dirty muck wrapped in a fun package.
Yet this Christmas I was thinking about the irony of it. So many songs we are comfortable with and use to have some really naughty meanings. See, if one song about s*x is not allowed, then you should feel just as bad singing that oldie about it too! Yet we don't, really, we don't.

The song that got me realizing this was the famous Christmas song "It's Cold Outside". I love that song and love to sing it at Christmas, don't' you! Of course you do. Yet, here are the lyrics:

I really can't stay
(but baby it's cold outside)
I've got to go away
(but baby it's cold outside)
This evening has been
(been hoping that you'd drop in)
So very nice
(i'll hold your hands, they're just like ice)
My mother will start worry
(beautiful whats your hurry)
My father will be pacing the floor
(listen to the fireplace roar)
So really i'd better scurry
(beautiful please don't hurry)
but maybe just a half a drink more
(put some records on while i pour)
the neighbors might faint
(baby it's bad out there)
say what's in this drink
(no cabs to be had out there)
i wish i knew how
(your eyes are like starlight now)
to break this spell
(i'll take your hat, your hair looks swell)
i ought to say "no, no, no sir"
(mind if i move in closer)
at least i'm gonna say that i tried
(what's the sense in hurtin' my pride)
i really can't stay
(oh baby don't hold out)

both:baby it's cold out side

i simply must go
(but baby it's cold outside)
the answer is no
(but baby it's cold outside)
your welcome has been
(how lucky that you dropped in)
so nice and warm
(look out the window at that storm)
my sister will be suspicious
(gosh your lips look delicious)
my brother will be there at the door
(waves upon the tropical shore)
my maiden aunts mind is vicious
(gosh your lips are delicious)
but maybe just a cigarette more
(never such a blizzard before)
i've gotta get home
(but baby you'd freeze out there)
say lend me a coat
(it's up to your knees out there)
you've really been grand
(i thrill when you touch my hand)
but don't you see?
(how can you do this thing to me?)
there's bound to be talk tomorrow
(think of my lifelong sorrow)
at least there will be plenty implied
(if you got pneumonia and died)
i really can't stay
(get over that old out)

It's really a song about a guy who is trying to lure a woman to stay and mess around with him and in order to do that he's encouraging her to drink despite her protest to do the right thing and go home. He's really a selfish creep with one thing on his mind. Yeah, that's what the song is really about. Yet will I be glad to hear it come back on every year and love the scene from "Elf" every time? Yep.
Should I though?
I don't know.

I find it interesting that we draw lines in some places that we don't in others when it comes to propriety, proper or un, good or bad. We really all just define our own. Oldies like "Wake Up Little Suzie" or "My Baby Does the Hanky Panky" are innocent traditionally but we tap our mental little "no-no" finger at Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, or Madonna. No one really cringes anymore when they hear Ricky Nelson sing about all his relationships with women all over the world in "Travilin' Man" or criticize the fact that he's a player! Do I love that song too? Yep.
So, you can see why I can't seem to find a really good reason to be legalistically strict about some modern stuff my kids like. Yes, I do have lines but they are drawn more by individual conviction than black and white across the board reason. For, if I draw that line and teach them that, I'll honestly have to take "It's Cold Outside" off my allowed list!

All this really started when Emma really started liking Katy Perry's song "TGIF". At first I was against it but as I thought about it I decided it was better to talk to them about the song (which actually has more danger in it's reference to teenage drinking than s*x) rather than shun it. Would I actually want my kids to "dance on table tops and take too many shots"? No. I also would not want them doing the Hanky Panky in their car, playing women all over the world, or trying to get someone drunk to sleep with them, all of which are covered in socially acceptable songs.

So, what is it? Does music somehow give us the licence, rather like fiction or pretend play, to connect with things we would never say or do? When I say pretend play I mean pointing a play gun at our buddy when playing cowboys and Indians exclaiming "bam, your dead!". Of course in reality I'd never want him to really act that out.

I don't know. For now, I trust my gut where the lines are, but it's really just an interesting thing to think about.
The only thing I DO KNOW:
I want to think it through and make sure the lines I draw with my kids make sense and are not just legalistically founded.

In the mean time, here's just a fun look at innocent Ricky. Just his "Leave it to Beaver" look makes you feel your more conservative for enjoying his music! Nope......he's a PLAYYYYAAA!!! :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year Dreams

I love calling them that. I love dreaming of what may be in the new year. Last year I did this and the Lord had huge medical trial for me by Feb that included surgery and a long recovery. So, I didn't get to dive into my dreams right away or in the manner I wanted. I thought often of the verse about making our plans but God directing our steps.
The thing I love about New Year Dreams is that they are goals, hopes and desires I have but they are secondary to whatever God has for me this year. He may have easier times, challenges, breakdowns, times of want or plenty, life or death. In hope of Him I can keep my joy of anticipation high because as His child, what He has is better for me than anything I can come up with.
But what are my dreams?
  • Return to Inductive Study- I enjoyed reading through the bible with the Bible in A Year Blog but I'm anxious to get back into the in depth book study. I really have missed the Who, What, When, Where and How of these. I'll be starting the year with Psalms. The reason I chose this is because frankly, I want to remember the passion of my love for God again. I've been very emotionally numb the last few months. I think sometimes trials can have that effect even though you've grown, you do also grow weary sometimes. I think the Psalms may be a balm to my soul to start out the year and remember my hearts intimate connection to the Creator.

  • Continue the Weight Journey- I lost over 20lbs last year! Yeah. I have 20 to go. More than that, I'm loving the exercise and change of lifestyle. Last year I said I wanted us to be more active as a family. We had a few outings and then I went down for a while. I want to continue that with more hikes, trips to local trails, biking and so on. My own personal goals are to go to the gym three to four days depending on gas funds and exercise here on the days I'm just home.

  • Coupons- The great coupon bash I did when I started out kept us stocked on many fun things we are still using up. I really look forward to getting back on that wagon and saving a lot in our budget in the new year. My coupon blog "What's The Deal" will start piping again the first week of Jan!

  • Gratitude- God is really pushing me to discover true thanks and how it can change everything about me. I've been challenged by the theme verse of this blog to truly test it out. Can I give thanks in ALL things? What is the result if I do? For example, on Christmas Rick accidentally gave a gift to the kids to open that was mine. Now, he and I don't get many gifts (that's okay with us) so I was very hurt he was not sensitive enough to read who's it was first. I went to sulk in the kitchen. The Lord asked me how I can give thanks in this? I was not sure for a moment how I could. Then it came to mind. I can be thankful that my child had some more joy in opening it for me. I could be thankful that my husband was receiving a growing experience in being more careful and sensitive. It was not easy to submit to this conviction but I did. I look forward to doing it more. I think it is the precursor to joy.

  • Simplicity/Organization- I love a simple life and I want to collect less and less unimportant stuff. What we do have I want to steward well and finish organizing. One thing I've learned is that it's easier to organize with less than with more! It also leads to a freedom for generosity.

  • The Floor- We ripped up the dinning room carpet months ago and it looks like through some gifts we have the money to do most of the new floor! I start more carpet ripping when the kids return to school. We are putting down a textured vinyl tile. Here is a pic of it. It will go through the living area, dinning and kitchen which are all attached anyway. I realize it's a little unconventional to put this in a living room but with the yellow wall we want a Tuscan country look and this will work. I'm hunt later for a brown sectional on Craigslist to complete the Tuscan design and give us more seating. I am really looking forward to the carpet GONE in the living areas and hopefully soon we can start laminate wood in the kids rooms.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Pics

These are my favorites from Christmas this year. They are in reverse order since I forgot that blogger loads this way. Please scroll down and come back up:)
My favorite of all the Pics. Smiles and sweet rodents. Happy kids, frugal Christmas, happy mom and dad.
Victoria and Oreo. Oreo is the more active Guinea Pig and she loves to eat veggies constantly!
Emma snuggling with Smores.
Caedmon excited to get miners Lego's from Grandma and Grandpa!
So sweet!
Coal and Emma.
Smores big cute eyes staring out of her piggaloo in the cage.

Emma's rat Coal. She took a while to get use to us but she is so sweet and loves to ride on Emma's shoulder.
Awe, so cute and so friendly!

Victoria with her pet rat Spazy.

LOVED that I captured Emma's expression when she opened Grandma and Grandpa O's present for her. A set of hardback Diary of A Wimpy Kid books! Emma is a big fan. We got her two shirts with him on them too.
A lovely pink owl coin bank from Pier One!
Emma's present to Victoria in a Victoria's Secret bag to which she and I added the word "present" so it was Victoria's Secret Present! The CD case from the thrift store was indeed the perfect hay feeder. They are using that litter pan really well too! That makes me so happy!

He was so excited! We still have a ramp to add up to the loft.

I built a C&C Guinea Pig cage for very cheap for Caedmon. I learned all about them from youtube video's. It was a cool experience and I had fun with it too! The cages can be embellished later on.

The girls were SOOOO surprised! They both wanted a baby rat but mommy was not keen on them. She warmed up and now she loves them as much as they do. They don't know how lucky they are their mommy is very open-minded:)

And, our first picture won't turn right side up no matter what I seem to do! This was Caedmon's first and biggest gift, two girl guinea pigs. I was so excited we got them free on Craigslist! He named them Oreo and Smores. Does he have food issues? LOL! They are fabulous girlies! He loves them so much and says every day that he cannot believe he got what he really wanted.

For more actual footage of Christmas and events before, feel free to visit our Youtube channel linked in the right side bar of this blog.

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Dragon Scales

We recently watched "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of The Dawn Treader" and although I loved it, it for sure did not stick to the book. Rick was reading a great deal of it last night to Caed and he was commenting on how "hey, that's not what happened in the movie!". Well kido, sorry to burst your bubble but this is how that whole thing goes. Rick was reading to him the whole grueling process Eustace goes through to return to a human. How he is unable to do it himself so Aslan has to do it for him and it hurts badly.

It begs the question "what is your scaly issue lately?" LOL!

Mine has been perspective and attitude. I've really been struggling with a stagnate emotional response to God the past few months. Nothing in my core faith has changed but I've felt drained from some intense trials over the last five years and just plain numb I think. When I'm not numb I'm overwhelmed with how to respond to tiny trials every day.

I'll skip through a lot of this to the point.

God has convicted me this week that He wants me to really understand his will of thanks for me. "In all things" is not a "if you can" or "try your bestest" statement. It's a command and of course, like Eustace, I cannot obey it. Christ has to lend his aid and it's painful, but I'm looking forward to some scales falling off.

It's so cliche to say "be thankful!" Yet, this command really means so much more! It means when my tween (for 24 more hours anyway! Yikes!) is ranting away at me I need to respond with thanks for God challenging me to cling to Him, respond in Him, fail and learn through Him, and be sanctified by Him.

When my house depresses me and I wish it looked more like Mrs. Soinso's does, I need to respond in thanks at what he has blessed me with and demonstrate that by taking decent care of all I have as well as stewarding it well.

When my van starts to act like it's going to die again (this literally happened to me last night in a very busy intersection, in Christmas traffic with a child, my friend, and two guinea pigs in with me) I want to learn to truly be thankful that (1) He is going to care for me and provide my need, and (2) He is giving me a trial that will perfect my faith.

These things I know, but I don't work at them like an exercise. Many spiritual exercises I run from because they are based in legalism which is of man. This however, is point blank scripture. I'm thankful God brought this verse to mind for me a week ago.

I think it will be my heart burden in the coming year.

My Girls

Waiting at Emma's Christmas program for things to start.