Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Not Superwoman

After announcing Sunday that #4 was on the way, I had a sweet friend refer to me as Superwoman for running a half pregnant (Thanks, Alison.  You know how to make a girl feel awesome). Unfortunately, I need to make a few things very clear here.  I am nowhere near Superwoman.  Unless Superwoman forgets where she puts her keys, loses a child in a school assembly, and has uber dusty furniture.  If all of those things are true, then YES!  I am Superwoman.

So here's the real truth behind my 13.1 mile race on Sunday.

First off, I haven't been able to run over 4 miles in a month to a month in a half.  My knee has been giving me so much problems at mile 3 that I can only tough it out until mile 4. Then I throw in the towel.  That was a set back.

Couple that with trying to train with the bestie and not being able to keep up a conversation because I was so out of breath.  BAM!  I realize.  Holy Smokes!  I am pregnant!!!  Set back #2.

I'll skip all the details in between so you don't have to sort through all of my junk.  You just need to know that up until Saturday night I wasn't even sure if I was going to run/walk the race.  My mind kept playing ping-pong between yes-no, yes-no, yes-no.  I'm fairly certain Steven and Erica wanted to check me into a psychiatric facility for schizophrenia.  They heard it all.  BUT...

Here's what got me...Could I realistically finish the race safely? 

The answer was easy.  Yes, I could finish the race.  My whiny self just didn't want to finish the race.  I wanted to use the pregnancy and my knee as an excuse because I knew I would not be able to finish the race in 2 hours like I'd planned.  Since 'Like I Planned' wasn't going to happen, I wanted to quit.

How many times do I ask my kids not to quit?  How many times do I say, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."  I needed to prove to myself that circumstances do not define me.  I needed to get over my pride of being a faster runner.  I needed to get over the fact that people would pass me, I wouldn't be passing them.  I needed to get over the fact that I had limitations.

Let me tell you.  I finished that race in 2 hours and 58 minutes and WALKED about 6.5 miles of it.  It was humbling.  I mean I am stuffed full of humble pie.  Like cannot get another bite in.  People were passing me left and right.  I was walking when everyone else was running.  I took 4, FOUR, potty stops during the course.  I learned a lot during that 3 hours, and I want to share some revelations with you...
  • Walking 6.5 miles briskly is really difficult.  The soles of my feet feel like stone bruises, my hip flexors and lower back were on fire, and my butt is out of this world tender!  
  • Running and walking allowed me the opportunity to see way more than if I was running for time.  I got to high five every single kid with their hand out and read every sign. (I need to do a little repenting because I also told every kid their high five was the best)  The high fives and signs were cracking me up.
  • Runner's stink.  I have major pregnancy nose right now.  I can smell anything a mile away.  So for 2 hours and 58 minutes I smelled all sorts of funk.  One lady's sign said "1 and 100 people poop their pants while running".  My nose can attest to that.  I caught whiffs of poop, B.O., mildew, and every ethnic smell in between.  At times I was gagging.  However, those smells did encourage me to keep moving faster.  So for that I am grateful.
  • Watch what you say and how you think of yourself.  About mile 11, a group of girls jogged passed me as I was taking a walk break.  They were jogging at a snail's pace, taking up a large space and bumping people that were walking so they could stay side by side.  As the girl bumps into me she says, "All these walkers are WEARING ME OUT!"  Whew!  I almost let her have it.  I was furious.  First off, did she know that I would SMOKE her in any other race? (Told you I have some pride issues to work on) Did she know that if she ran faster, she wouldn't be near walkers?  Did she know that the lady next to me that was 300+ lbs was dying to just walk out this race?  It reminded me that no matter where you finish in the race, people are doing their best.  Run for you, and encourage people even if they are in your way.  I also learned that I should have punched her in the face, because I am still mad about it.  Pray for me.
  • If you have the urge to pee, just go.  Don't assume there will be another porta potty at the next mile marker.  At mile 9 I sorta needed to pee, but didn't want to stop running.  Instead, I thought I'll walk when I get to mile 10 and go to the bathroom there.  Nope, no mile 10 pee pee stops.  Mile 11 passes.  No bathroom.  I had to go so bad so I thought, "I'll run until I get to the next porta potty."  Uh, HUGE mistake.  Started running and started tinkling in my pants.  Yes, that happened.  Little dribbles.  So awesome.  I walked until mile 12 where I finally found a bathroom.  It was so bad I almost asked the people in Heritage Hills neighborhood if I could use their restroom.  
Through all of the wishy-washy thinking I am so thankful I completed this race.  It took a lot of endurance and mental toughness.  I have not ran by myself in years.  Being out there alone for that long allowed for a lot of thinking and praying.  Just thinking about that race, I get so emotional.  Even with the crappy time, I am the most proud of myself for finishing this race than any other race I have completed before.  This was something special.

Honestly, this was not so much about me as it was about what Christ has done for me and in me.  I had two very popular scriptures that kept replaying every time self-doubt crept in while I was on that course.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philipians 3:14

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Phillipians 4:13
This is what kept me going.  I have a capable body.  God has blessed me with health.  I thought of all the people who would love to be in my shoes.  I thought of this video and story.  Get ready.  It's a tear jerker.

Just in case the video doesn't automatically show up, you can watch it here.

With that, I need you to know I am no Superwoman.  I have been equipped with strength.  I am the daughter of the Most High God.  I am blessed.  For one moment, I finally decided to put my mind in the same frame as what God says about me and completed what God knew I could do.  Just as this father did for his son, but in a much higher magnitude.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Menu Monday and NEWS!!!!

The menu is getting thrown at you because I want to throw some news up on you.  Not like throw up, but spew...well, not spew, but BLEH....I JUST WANNA TELL YOU!!!  So here's the menu...

Monday-Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa, Brown Rice, and Grilled Veggies
Tuesday-Stir Fry
Wednesday-Spaghetti, The Bread, Roasted Green Beans
Thursday-Coconut Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli
Friday-Crescent Ring Sandwich and Salad
Saturday-Out to Eat
Sunday-Breakfast for Dinner

Okay, are you ready???? 

If you are friends with me on FB, you saw this yesterday...

13.1 down with baby #4 on board.  Newest Torres making a debut November 29th!

So, for all of you wondering, "What the heck???  I thought they were done."  You would be thinking right.  We were done, but now we're not.  There's a story there, but it will have to wait until tomorrow. This girl is exhausted from being up since 4am, waiting out a storm delay for 2 hours, then running/walking 13.1 miles.  Whew!!! It was a long day.  By the way, I have a whole new respect for people who speed walk races.  Holy hip flexors! Another story.  

Enjoy your Monday.  It's worth making great!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Well, Hello There!

Holy buckets!  The stomach bug hit our house with a vengeance.  No bueno for Casa de Torres!  We are all on the mend, but if I never have to hear, see, or smell diarrhea again, I will be one happy lady.

I do have non-digusting news to share with you.  In fact, I have LOTS of it!

Easter weekend was so super special for our family.  First off, our oldest made the decision to be baptized.  This caught me totally off guard, but he was ready.  His heart and mind were in the right place and he made a very grown up decision.  All the thankfulness in the world could not even begin to encapsulate my love for his school and church.  They have partnered with us in every step of this parenting journey.  We are also thankful for the family that came out to support him.  We have a tremendous family as you can see!


My next best news is the Tulsa Homeless Outreach.  It was such a success I don't even have words for it.  A huge shout out to my friends Brandon and Shanna Parker for smoking 150+lbs of meat and beans for this day.  Every person left stuffed and had leftovers.  I could not have asked for anymore on this day.  Full force love shown to people.  Over and over I kept hearing, "What church are you with that so many people would do this?"  The most beautiful part was sharing we all came from different churches and backgrounds, but our common theme was we wanted people to know that we care...Jesus cares...for you.  It was a beautiful, beautiful day.  Stay tuned for another blog post on what we are partnering with Tulsa Homeless Outreach for next month, but for now here are some update photos...

{The Chef}

{The cutie pie dessert servers}

{Most of the food line servers were kids.  The stood for over an hour dishing out deliciousness}

{Even the Easter Bunny came}

This last picture is my most cherished picture ever.  It makes me cry.

Ted came back, and I was able to pass along the shoes I had been waiting to give him.  He was so blown away at the steel toed boots he offered to come to my house and fix anything that needed fixin'.  He shook my hand and hugged me about 5,000 times.  It was the most perfect ending to a beautiful day.  This moment right here was icing on the cake! Hopefully, he comes back next month sporting his new kicks!

I know this is such a short overview to an awesome weekend.  But like I said, I cannot even begin to express what Easter Weekend was like for our family.  I only hope that you can catch a glimpse from the pics.  I would also like to invite you to come experience this in person.  There are so many people who just need someone to listen to them.  You can be that person!

Now, this is totally unrelated, but you are going to want to come back next week.  I have a HUGE announcement to make that will have you face down on the ground.  You may even stay there for a couple of days in a surprised coma.  You know me, I love to surprise you!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

TBT: A Mom's Take on Clubbing

UPDATE:  For the longest time I thought TBT meant Truth Be Told.  I have far surpassed the coolness factor of knowing what ultra hip acronyms are to little whipper snappers, but thankfully they pass grace on me.  TBT really stands for Throwback Thursday.  Which 'technically' isn't an acronym, but I can let some things slide.  Sooooo, in honor of TBT, I have an old blog post circa 2011 for you.  It does contain a lot of 'truth be tolds'  too.

In high school and college I loved to go dancing.  So. Much. Fun.  Nothing has really changed about loving to dance, except my jiggly tummy, cottage cheese thighs, and two kids.  I may love to dance, but I sure don't fit the club scene any longer (I never really did).  However, against our better judgement, my family (Steven, Rene, Lindsay, and I) decided to forgo snow tubing and hit the Power & Light District of Kansas City. 

Since we N.E.V.E.R go out like this I had to improvise my wardrobe.  Really improvise.  Earlier that day I had purchased a $6 shirt on sale at The Gap.  I bought it to layer it with a tank and my black leggings.  However, I didn't have my black tank there, BUT I did have my black pajama tank.  Problem solved!  Add it with my skinny jeans and I was good to go.  I'll even show you a pic of my $6 shirt over my pj shirt.  Before we left Lindsay and I had to practice our going-out faces...

{See that thin little black line? Yep, pj tank!}

To tell my story of our short lived night, I think I'll give it to you in characters/setting/event format. 

Tatted Up Doorman
Drunk College Girl #1
Drunk College Girl #2
Big Sista
Girl KU Fan #1
Girl KU Fan #2
Girl KU Fan #3

Scene 1:
Entry to Tengo 9:30pm

Lindsay:  Excuse me, Tatted Up Doorman?  My husband left his ID at home, but his identical twin brother is here with his ID.  Will he be able to get in?

Tatted Up Doorman: What the @#$&%$?  You guys are some big ^**$%$%  @#%#%#!!!  Come on in and I got the cover charge for all of you.

End Scene

Lesson Learned: Being a twin can save you $20!  Good times.  Best part.  The twenty somethings in their barely there mini skirts had to pay to get in.  Hee hee.  I really think it was my pj tank that got him.

Scene 2:
Inside Tengo 9:35pm

(As soon as we get into Tengo, Lindsay and I are approached by two young college girls.  They were there for the Big 12 Championship basketball games.  They were cute as could be, but as cute as they were they were also very inebriated.)

Drunk College Girl #1: (continuing her fun dance moves)Hey!  What college are you guys from?

(Lindsay and I look around to see who she's talking to.  When we realize she's still looking at us, Lindsay somehow finds words outside of our astonishment.)

Lindsay: Oh.  We don't go to college.  We're moms.

Drunk College Girl #1:  (still dancing)OMG!  Drunk College Girl #2, can you believe these fine things are moms?  OMG!!!  You guys are hot.

(Lindsay and I nervously laugh.  I mean, what are you supposed to say to that???)

Me: Wow.  Thanks.

Lindsay: Yeah, thanks.  You are really sweet.

(Drunk College Girl #1 and #2 stubble away to enjoy the latest Lady Gaga song.  Lindsay and I laugh at the thought that they were drunk enough to mistake us for college girls.)

End Scene

Lesson Learned: We would fit in just fine at this club because pretty much everyone there was drunk. They wouldn't notice the moms and dads doing their 90's dance moves in the corner.  More good times.

Scene 3:
On the Dance Floor 10:00pm

(The four of us are dancing.  Well, sort of.  Rene is kind of bobbing his head, a little unsure of his rusty dance moves.  He didn't practice in the hotel room like Lindsay and I.  Fatal mistake.)

Big Sista: (turns to Steven) Didn't I see you here last week?

Steven:  No, I've never been here before in my life.

Big Sista:  I could have sworn I saw your fine self here last week.  What's your name?

Steven:  Well, you didn't, and I'm here with my wife.

End Scene

Lesson Learned:  Steven is still a chic magnet.  However, he has lost his swagger in conversation.  He pretty much shut down Big Sista.  I think he knew he wouldn't be able to handle all she had going on, so he stuck with his little white wife.

Scene 4:
Still on the Dance Floor 10:30pm

Drunk College Girl #1:  (to Lindsay and I)  AHHHHHH!  It's the moms!  Oh my gosh.  You had babies. I love you guys.

Drunk College Girl #2:  (gives Lindsay and I a hug) Uh-huh.

End Scene

Lesson Learned:  Being a mom is cool.  Being drunk makes you look stupid.

Scene 5:
Exiting Tengo 11:00pm

(Upon realizing the amount of hands reaching out for my ghetto booty, we decide to leave.  Bad decison to wear the skinny jeans.  We are all filing out of the jam packed club.  Steven and Rene are walking behind us to fend off the men.)

Amanda:  Where'd Steven go?

Lindsay and Rene:  I don't know.

(Meanwhile, Steven got caught by a group of Girl KU Fans.  He recalls the event as such...)

Girl KU Fan #1:  Hey!  Do you want to play a game with us?

Steven:  No.

Girl KU Fan #2:  Ohhhhh, you're making us sad. (Insert pouty face)

Steven:  Sorry, I'm leaving...with my wife.

Girl KU Fan #3:  Please stay.  We're gonna cry.  Whaaaaaa!

Steven:  Sorry.  Bye
End Scene

Lesson Learned:  Steven is no longer allowed out of my sight.  Ever.  He's just too darn sexy.  Even for a daddy of 2.

The rest of the night is spent outside the main hub of the Power & Light District.  After spending a good 30 minutes laughing at the people young and old making fools of themselves we decide to call it a night at 11:30.  We were tired.  It was Daylight Savings and we needed our sleep so we could wake up and return home to our babies.

Lesson Learned From the Entire Night: We are very thankful for our non-eventful life.  I cannot imagine doing that every Friday and Saturday night.  It was fun to spend an evening with R & L and my darn sexy husband, but I think we got our 10 year fix.  I wonder how we'll look in our ripe old age of 40 hitting the clubs?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mullet Symbolism


I had a date with my husband last night.  In our kitchen.  He booked the appointment.  Only it wasn't a fun date.  It was a 'Pretend to Interview Me' date. 

He is beginning the interview process to fill the his old position at work.  Going through his list of questions, I realized I am SOOOO the best candidate...even though I don't have a Safety degree...or a Communication degree, but gosh darn it!  I nailed that interview.  Just sayin'.  Plus, I know he has a crush on me. 

I kid.  I mean, I am the best candidate.

I was actually really proud of my husband being all professional.  He devised some really thought provoking questions.  Good stuff.  Really good stuff.   I have no doubt he will hire the best candidate.

So there I was standing in my kitchen looking over his face, being all proud and he looks up from his questions and says, "This now concludes our interview.  Arm Games is on and I don't want to miss it."

Uh, what???

I feel like a mullet just reared it's ugly head.  All business in the front, but when the situation turned I realized there was a big 'ol party in the back. 

So now I'm in my bedroom typing out our series of events thinking, "Who did I marry?  Mr. Business or Mr. Party?"

Come to think of it, I think I like both.  Hey!  I like mullets.  I do! I do!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Not a Teacher Anymore

I have a really bad habit.  Actually, if I were still teaching it would be a really good habit. However,  I am so far removed from my teaching career that people who know me now have no idea I ever taught.  This is where good teaching habits go bad. 

I am almost ashamed to admit it, but I figure I share all my issues.  I share issues like I'm sitting on a nice fluffy couch paying someone to listen to my issues.  But, since I don't want to pay anyone to listen to my junk I just make you read about it.  Except, you come here by choice so maybe I should be concerned for you.

Yeah, that's it.  I'm concerned for you. 

And me.

Do you see what I'm doing here?  I'm stalling.  Stalling so I don't have to tell you my bad habit. 

But, I will.  Here it goes.

I frequently correct other kids in public.

Aye, aye, aye...I said it!

I only taught for seven years.  I've been out of teaching for 5 years.  Yet, I still find myself correcting kids whether I know them or not.  I am THAT annoying person.

I promise I don't think I am a super parent.  My kids can act like a bunch of hooligans, and Chubby Cheekers keeps me on my toes daily.  If I ever thought I was a good parent, Chubby Cheekers was put on this Earth to challenge that thought. The problem is if I see one kid doing something that hurts or invades another kid's personal space, I cannot keep my mouth shut.  I physically start twitching just watching it. 

Tell me I'm not alone here.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Okay, so I'm alone.  I'm seeking help.  I can completely understand if you want your children to run and hide from me.  It could be the only way to intervene.  Maybe I just need to realize I am not a teacher anymore.  I don't need to operate under the 'It Takes a Village To Raise a Child' motto.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Menu Monday

It happened.  THE tooth came out.


After thrashing, screaming, and covering her mouth her Daddy finally convinced her to let him have three tries.  The third time worked and that thang didn't even realize it came out.  Daddy's are so great.  If it were up to me, it would still be hanging there.  Hanging there like an old New Kids on the Block song.  You know?  Hanging Tough.  

Sorry.  I had to.  

I also have a menu for you today.  Nothing goes better with a bloody hole in the mouth than a menu for the week, riiiight????

Monday-Greek Tacos and Roasted Green Beans
Tuesday- Whole Roasted Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, and Salad
Wednesday-Chicken Salad Sandwiches and Salad
Thursday-Beef Tater Bake and Asparagus
Friday-Grilled Chicken, Peppers, and Honey Butter Crescents
Saturday-Club Sandwiches and Chips
Sunday-Easter Dinner

Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

It's Just Hanging There

You see this smile?

Yes.  That smile with little baby teeth.  It's about to change.  Little Miss already has her first loose tooth.  It's really just hanging there waiting for that one bit of resistance to nudge it out.  I'm not ready for it.  My little girl is losing the little and moving towards the big.  It all starts with the teeth.  Am I right?  Whaaaaaaaaaa!

A few weeks ago she and her Daddy were talking about ways to get it out.  She is so anxious for the Tooth Fairy to visit her room.  I'm not sure what she's imagining, but I know it has a bit to do with a fairy party and glitter and Pixie Dust all coming together in one location in the middle of the night in her bedroom.  She may not sleep.  I may have to get over my disdain for glitter and make something special happen.  Depends on how generous I'm feeling because I totally dislike glitter.

The funny part about the whole 'How Do We Get That Tooth Out' conversation was Little Man's suggestion.  We didn't think he was paying attention.  I mean that boy was Z-O-N-E-D in to the DS, but low and behold he pipes in...

I think we should tie a string to her tooth and I'll tie the other end on my football.  Then, I'll just throw the football as hard as I can.  That will be awesome and your tooth will for sure come out.  I'm reallllly strong.

Well, alright there buddy.  Not lacking any confidence are we?

As for Little Miss, she wasn't digging it.  If you can picture a 17 year old girl while I repeat what she said, you'll get a better picture. 

Uhhhh, Little Man, we are NOT going to do THAT!

So, the tooth remains.  It's just hanging there.  Not sure how we'll convince her to get it out, but I can assure you it won't be with a football and a string.

Now this next picture has nothing to do with a tooth other than I found it in a group of pictures and it is my all time favorite...

I mean, that beef cake on the right and that little thang on the left???  Melt. My. Heart.  Little Miss has such a great daddy.  A heart for God and a heart for her.  What's even better is she has a great uncle too...that just happens to look just like Daddy...that just happens to spoil her rotten...and just happens to carry a gun everywhere...and has the potential to arrest people.  Yes, she will be well protected come dating years!  We like that kind of protection.

Oh, you'd like to take our daughter out?  Go ahead and fill out this background check, finger prints here please, and a police car will escort you to each location.  Meanwhile her brothers and cousins will accompany you inside each venue.  Understood?  You have approximately 2 hours.

This will work out so well! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I AM That Crazy Lady

Mornings are a bit of a mad dash.  All 5 of us need to be in the cars backing out at 7:30am.  I guess I could help out in this regard if I woke up earlier on non-workout days, but if you tell Steven that I will HURT you.  Like really hurt you.  Like track you down and pull each finger nail out one by one.  I say that in the most loving way possible.

Anyway, getting out the door...it's an Olympic decathlon in which I am nowhere near the front, but once we're in the car I try to make the best use of our time before the kids are off at school.  We sing and joke and practice for tests and some days just chat. 

Yesterday, we were singing and the song Do Something by Matthew West was on.  Insert the crazy lady crying in her car.  The basis of this song is how angry we get when we see or hear of injustices and then we shake our fists at God asking why He doesn't do something about it.

Except He did. 

He made me and you.

We are the 'Do Somethings'.

The great part of us being the 'Do Somethings' is we aren't all the same doers.  We think and do differently, and I have the most perfect example of doing the do differently.

 My friend has the most beautiful heart.  She asked if she and her kids could join us in serving with the Tulsa Homeless Outreach last March.  I was thrilled.  She asked what to bring and I suggested drinks.  She loaded up her coolers with over 100 pops.  She filled a need of thirst and spoiled the homeless with something other than water. 

Don't get me wrong, water is GREAT!  We take water every month, but something new is always nice.  That pop was wiped out in about 5 minutes, and the men and women who were receiving smiled ear to ear.  I loved seeing their faces.  I loved that Sarah, my friend, said yes to serving that day. 

But, that's not what I wanted to share.  She brought what I suggested and something else. Something I would have never thought of.  Something so precious it still gets me a little weepy and emotional.  She brought 100 long stem roses for her boys to give to the women there.


Is that not the most thoughtful, sweet, precious thing you ever heard of???  In NO way would I have ever thought of that.  What was even more beautiful was it wasn't just the women looking for flowers, the men loved them as well.  Just like James and his newest puppy Little Man (I found that completely hilarious since our oldest in Little Man too).

 (If someone could shed a little light on what the heck MY kid is doing, it would be greatly appreciated.   I think he's trying to shoot a basket, but WHY is beyond me....)

The point to all of this is you can do something.  Maybe money and resources is what you are lacking.  Give time.  Maybe time is what you are lacking.  Give money and resources.  However, I've noticed in our lives giving what we have the least of is exactly what we needed to give in the first place.  Being apart of the Tulsa Homeless Outreach has enriched our lives in indescribable ways.  Our family loves meeting new people, listening to their needs and fulfilling those needs.  It is our greatest love language.

So here I am today challenging to Do Something and I'm going to list a few ways to get involved.  Sometimes it's lack of knowledge that keeps us from getting our hands and feet moving.  Here are a few ways to make a difference...
  • Volunteer to spend time with children at hospitals whose family members cannot be with them during the week.  My sweet friend, Lisa, noticed one day how many young children were all alone at the hospital because parents HAD to work to pay the bills.  She is now doing something about that.
  • Volunteer to form relationships with the elderly at nursing homes.  My mom is so wonderful about this.  She takes such great care of my grandma in Springfield, MO.  She's there a couple of times a month.  What I love about her is she doesn't just meet my grandma's needs, she offers her services to the other ladies and gentlemen at the retirement center.  When she is home, she helps care for a woman in a local nursing home.  She called the director and asked who had relatives living out of state.  She wanted help relieve the stress off those caregivers while forming a relationship with a new person.
  • Have a Beautification Day.  Pick up the trash at a local park.  Plant some flowers for a neighbor.  Mow someone's yard.  Buy some landscaping for an organization who is struggling.
  • Find out what needs local food banks have and start collecting.  
  • Adopt children through programs like Compassion International or Mission of Hope.  We sponsor Luis and Lesly.  Luis is Little Man's age, both born on November 6th, and Lesly is Little Miss's age, both born on October 15th.  In a year or so, Chubby Cheekers will get to form a special relationship with a child that was born on February 16th just like him.  This has been such a blessing to our family.  The kids have someone specific to pray for and love on despite having never met them.  We have dreams of going to Luis' home village in Peru and Lesly's hometown in Mexico and physically hugging their necks.  I can't even contain the emotions just thinking about it.  
These are just a few ways out of MILLIONS for you to get involved.  I can only promise you one thing.  You will turn into that crazy lady who is driving her kids to school bawling over a song about doing something.  Yeah, I said it.  I'm crazy.  Like you didn't know...

And if you are curious about the song I referenced, here ya' go...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Splinter In My Foot: A Lesson In Removing the Unneccesary

About a month ago I was walking across the wood floor with my socks on and got a splinter in my foot.  I guess that tells you we have been slacking on polishing the floors, huh?  That's not the point though.  I mean, we have slacked, but that stinkin' splinter taught me a huge lesson.

Right after it happened I grabbed my tweezers and pulled it out.  At least I thought I pulled it out.  The next few days I realized there had to still be a splinter in my foot because anytime I put pressure on my foot it was uncomfortable.

But, guess what?  I got busy and never did anything about it.  It was uncomfortable, but life could still go on.  Babies needed booties wiped.  Kids needed to be fed.  Duty called, and not for a splinter.

A few more days went by and I realized I was walking on the side of my foot to avoid putting pressure on it.  That little splinter had become more and more painful with each step.  Since I was having to alter the way I walked, I took the time to try and deal with that inconvenient little splinter.  Problem was, new skin had already grown over it.  It was going to take some work and time.

I tried almost every Pinterest how to on getting out a splinter.  I think some of the remedies helped, but really it was probably the large sterilized needle I had to use to break the skin.  Yeah, doctoring myself.  Not something I suggest unless getting yourself to the doctor takes an act of Congress for you to be able to go.

I digress.

Once the skin soften and I picked away at the new skin...and pinched...and poked....and dug...and pushed, I was able to grab the tip of the miniscule splinter and pull it out.  That thing was the size of tick's leg.  Seriously, how could something so little cause me to alter the way I walk for days on end?

If I had just dealt with it right from the git go, then I could have avoided all that pain. Instead, I took what I thought was going to be the easier route.  Just act like it wasn't there and it would stop hurting.  Brilliant idea, Amanda.

This only happened once to my foot, but guess what?  This happens often in my regular life.  How many times have I walked differently because I refused to remove the unnecessary elements in my life?  How many times did I think, "It doesn't hurt that bad.  I can deal with this.  It will go away."

Only it doesn't.  Not only does it not go away, but it gets bigger and hairier and nastier.  Then, I have to deal with the issue when it is bigger, hairier, and nastier.  It takes more work to fix than if I just took care of it from the beginning.  

It so reminds me of our spirited Chubby Cheekers.  Man, he is a passionate kid.  He loves, but he also has a very clear picture of how things should go.  Most of the time it is in the opposite direction of where Steven and I think he should go.  Being that I birthed that little boy, he gets to submit to me.  And, given that Steven is the man of the house, Chubby Cheekers gets to submit to him too.   It's a wonderful time.  So wonderful that sometimes, I think it would be easier to give into his little desires and tantrums and fits.  Seems like a good idea until those tantrums and fits get bigger and hairier and nastier.  Then I think, "This would have been SO much easier if I would have taken care of it when it was small and seemingly insignificant."

Am I the only one going through this here?  Maybe it's not your spirited child, but I can replay countless scenarios in my life where nippin' it in the bud would have been the path of least resistance.  Removing the unnecessary keeps me from pain. It keeps me in line with where God is taking me.  I know I shouldn't fight it, but gosh darn it, I sometimes do. 

Even though the splinter in my foot wasn't pleasant, it sure brought about a lot of revelations to my life.  I hope it helps you too.  At the very least, if you get a splinter you should definitely take care of it pronto!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Menu Monday

I don't want to sound like an overachiever or anything, but here I am with a menu.  Heeeeey!  I need a sign...


This is so true.  Earlier on Sunday afternoon while getting a pedicure, I decided to write out my menu.  I believed I could, and lookie where that landed me.  So if you see me today, it's okay to give me a 'Well Done Good and Faithful Servant' pat on the back.  

As I bask in the light of my overachieving spirit of doing what I used to always do...and then I started slacking...I leave you with our weekly menu.

Monday-Turkey Chili and Salad
Tuesday-Italian Turkey Sausage Spaghetti, Roasted Green Beans, Toasted Udi's Bread
Wednesday-Grilled Chicken, Veggies and Brown Rice
Thursday-Out to dinner...BASEBALL!
Friday-BBQ Chicken, Trees and Raisins, Sweet Potatoes
Saturday-Sandwiches and Fresh Fruit and Veggies
Sunday-Dinner at Mom's

And I don't want to excite you or anything, but I have another blog post in the works this week about a splinter in my foot.  This is riveting news her folks!