Thursday, April 30, 2009

...as you walk along the road


I've got words in me right now. I just am not sure how to get them out.

Last night in AWANA (A program for children at church where they learn about God, the Bible and memorize tons of Scripture) I was listening to a student tell me her memory verse.

She started out by having to give an answer to the question: "How does God want me to live my life."

The answer for the question (in this particular section) was:

"Parents are to teach their children by their actions."



So it dawned on me last night.

We parents HAVE got to do it right. I am teaching my boys every time I react to them. If I get frustrated and speak harshly with them. -I've just taught them how to react under stress. If I decide to ignore them and clean the kitchen/get on the computer/pick up toys, I am teaching them that work comes before people.


Wow.


I was reminded last night that there are four little eyes that watch every move that I make. They see me when you don't. They listen to my tone of voice. They are learning every moment.

I pray for my children --that they will be patient and kind and honorable and wise.

Am I modeling this?

Will I lead them astray?

Do my words match my actions? Do my teachings match what they hear me say?

I have a few years to impress everything I know on my children. Then they are gone. Lessons that I haven't taught them will either not be learned or they will have to learn the hard way.

I read through Deuteronomy earlier this year. It surprised me how many times we are told to "teach these things to your children." Check it out. Deut. 6


“These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy,

2 and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the Lord your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life.

3 Listen closely, Israel, and be careful to obey. Then all will go well with you, and you will have many children in the land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.


5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.

6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.

7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.

9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.



I think God is serious.



"You parents!!! Yeah, you. Your job is to teach your children everything there is to know about me," that's what God is saying here.

Why do we often not see this as a primary job? Why do we let Veggie Tales teach our children the Bible? Sunday school? Even AWANA?

Raising my sons to know the Bible is Mike and my job.

I need to show them what that looks like --lived out. I need to tell them why they must learn to obey. I need to explain God's love to them. I need to live like one loved by God.


so much pressure! haha.




But really, it's cool.

God's unending grace is what I'm banking on for this task.

and it is enough


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

not tonight.

I'm not going to blog right now. I'm going to go play my guitar. -That is if I can get it in tune. It's been a while since I played.

We'll see where this goes. I may be back here in 30 minutes.

Monday, April 27, 2009

You'll never believe this


I am so thankful for this deployment.

Didn't think I'd say that did you?

It is usually at this point of the deployment that I start to realize what I have learned or am learning --what God is teaching me this time.

Tonight I was sitting on my porch listening to worship music on my phone. It dawned on me that I don't waste time any more. Ever.
I have a few hours at night that are mine to do with as I please. I have learned how to use them wisely. I rarely have that time set aside for any specific task. I like to keep it "free time" until the last moment when I actually spend it. Time with no purpose usually gets wasted. At least, for me, that is how it has been in the past. But now it's different. Now, my time with no purpose is spent on the first need that I see. examples would be emptying the dishwasher, picking up toys so the vacuum can clean (roomba) writing a letter, reading the Bible, watering plants, sitting on the porch, folding laundry.

Yes, I definitely see "sitting on the porch" as a need that needs to be met at times. -I call it rest. :-)

I have not been able to be disciplined enough in my life to not just plop down on the couch and watch TV till bed time.

I am so much more rested by having needs fulfilled than I ever was by watching tv.

I would not have conquered this without Mike leaving. God is so good to teach us things through hard times. I never learn anything when life is easy. I always learn when life is hard.

When things are hard I seek solutions. I stretch myself to fix things that are under my control -and often I do. I also petition God constantly to fix things that he is able to fix. I ask for wisdom as I see over and over again my shortcomings.

It's great. Every deployment it's like my eyes are opened to new things around me. I consider situations that I hadn't ever thought of, I am aware of issues I didn't know existed, I see new challenges in my sons lives. Every time I see how much much more there is that I don't know.

I'm humbled every time. I'm reminded how little I really do understand. I am thankful that God knows everything! My God just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

I have also decided that I need to start praying daily for patience. I would be honored if you would join me. I find myself just irate and snapping over some little thing --it's about 5:00 in the afternoon usually and little things have been happening all day. I'm pretty impressed with myself that I can make it till 5:00 in the afternoon. That is 10 or so hours worth of little things done by little ones.

But it's not enough. I need at least 14 hours without snapping. Lets all pray toward that end. I need God's grace. Oh I need it. More and more. Every moment I'm awake.

I have always watched my parents give and give and give of themselves. Day after day. All they did was give to their children, their friends and church. Mom have free time? ha. Dad with a hobby besides being Mr. Fix It? I never saw it. Any hobby they had involved us - gardening, swimming, camping. I'm pretty sure their motives were not aimed inwardly.

I've always been asked if I would have as many children as Mom and Dad (8). I always smiled and shook my head, "Probably not. Mom and Dad are amazing. I couldn't do it."

Today I realize that my parents had learned how to give and to give joyfully. Most people never learn these lessons. I'm so thankful that God is teaching me to give of myself completely and to be completely content in it. I can't imagine myself doing this. It must be God.

I'm not there yet. I've got years left to learn this lesson. I've just started the course it's "Introduction to Giving it all" for you college people.

Man, I'm so glad we had this deployment. And I'm glad it got extended. I wouldn't have gotten it in just 2 months.

God is so good.

Monday without the Sunday "hangover"

Sunday. I can't believe it was yesterday.

It was so... c a l m.

I could tell you about the day, but it would be boring, lunch out, naps, visiting friends, night church. All just as smooth as it could be.

I don't feel like it's Monday without the piercing headache and wrecked house and the "I don't want to get out of bed" feeling.

Weird.

Monday's are usually recuperation days. I don't do much of anything and they are really boring.
We've got plans for this morning, but I can't tell you what they are. They include breaking and entering so for the sake of my freedom... I'll keep it to myself.

I guess that's nothing new. My plans usually include breaking and entering. Ha. No one give this blog address to the APD.

Update on Hannah and Grace. -They didn't get to audition because of the age thing. Grace won't be 21 till June. They called the show and asked them about this problem weeks ago. They were not given any clear answer. Grace made her birth date clear to everyone and turns out they would not let her into the casino where the auditions were held. Bummer. I've heard the Amazing Race will do auditions in Dallas... maybe they can try to get to those. If not, we'll all support them next year if it looks like they will have the opportunity to go.

______________________________________


Below is a comment I made, but now I think it should go here on the original post. To see the context, click on "Comments"


Me:
I read the post again. I think Lawson is right. It looks like I'm saying that every Sunday night I drink and then I am sick all Monday.
What I meant was for the "hangover" comment to be an analogy to the feeling you get the day after a typical Sunday at the Ellis house.
Not that I drink every Sunday. Maybe I should just delete this post...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

happy

I'm happy.

I just want to sit here and smile.

So I am.

The boys are downstairs playing with this awesome new toy I bought them. I'll put a picture on here soon. All you Mom's with kids his age should get one. It's a multi-purpose toy. Right now he's using trains with it.

Lane, my neighbor, is mowing my yard. About an hour ago I was sitting down, holding Ty and looking out the window. "I wish I could get out there and knock down those seed heads." Next thing I know, Lane is mowing it!

Now he's in the back yard -the huge backyard. I am so touched by his kindness. The weather is barely cool and I have lots of windows open. Ahh!

Life is good.

Nothing really amusing or serious to say right now, just wanted to get on and let you all know that there are happy, wonderful times in the crazy life that I live. Sometimes I think I just vent on here --and I do. It's theraputic.

So. Becca's having an awesome day. Noted.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Shots -- U P D A T E

After speaking with the guy from immunizations several times, I got the name of the doctor who is over him.

The doctor and I visited for a little while about the situation (I was very polite). And he thought the best option was for Ty to have blood drawn and tested to see if he was --in fact -- immune to the diseases that he was supposed to have been vaccinated for.

Brilliant.

That's why he's the doc. I am so glad to have a way to figure this one out. Problem is.... what if I'm wrong and the tests say that he hasn't been vaccinated?

Mom, after thinking about this, I don't think it is as much of a pride issue (that I have to be right) as it is a picture of my mental stability.

If I am wrong and have imagined 4 visits to the immunization clinic, what does that say of me?

I think I will lose all confidence in what little mental capability I thought I had.

I will hang my head -not in shame, but in defeat. "I'm an idiot." Where's my sign? Someone give me a sign. Take my children and give them to someone smart -maybe someone who studied physics or math in college. I can't even remember to vaccinate them from LIFE THREATENING DISEASES.

...it will be so bad if I'm wrong.

Nobody ask how this turns out... just in case I'm an idiot. Don't make me live it again.

I guess we will just wait and see.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me about this shot record thing. I am very thankful there is a way to find out the answer without giving Ty all his shots over again. God is good.

PCSing

Good morning!


Guess what happened today?

7:20
AM

(yes I am dressed, thank goodness!)

A car pulls up and stops in front of the house. This happens occasionally when I accidentally leave the dogs out. Neighbors stop and bring them back inside for me. They don't know I am trying to get them killed off. I just politely thank them for "rescuing" the dogs.

When the car stopped this morning, I opened the front door, expecting to let the dogs in. They weren't outside. Now I wasn't sure what to do. I didn't want to go back in because that would look weird, and I already looked weird for going outside as he pulled up. The man approaches us on the porch.

"Is your husband PCSing this afternoon?" he says. (permanent change of station --moving away)

"Not that I know of." I reply.

pause. Both of us are confused.

"He is already gone."

"Where is he gone?"

"He is deployed."

I have already given this 40ish year old stranger dressed in civilian clothes WAY too much information.

"I have it in my records that you are supposed to vacate housing today."

"Hmmm... I hope not. I haven't heard anything like that."

"Your husband didn't tell you that you are PCSing?"

"No. He didn't. (pause) Where are we supposed to be PCSing to?"

"Elsworth."

"That's in south Dakota right?"

"Yes."

"Nope, I haven't heard anything like that. Where are you from?"

"I'm from housing. The orders are on the virtual MPF" --I don't know what virtual MPF means. "It says that Captain Ellis is supposed to leave today. I didn't know which squadron he is in, so I emailed all the commanders. I haven't heard back from anyone so I thought I should come over here."

"Well, he is not a captain yet. Not for a few more weeks. So maybe you've got the wrong guy. You haven't given our house away yet have you?"

"Maybe he promoted and didn't tell you."

"I doubt it." (did he just say that? Are there really moron husbands out there that 'forget' to tell their wives they have been promoted and are moving to the badlands?)



So. This is the life of a military wife. I'm glad my God is stable. That's the only thing I've got that is consistent. It's been fun here in Abilene. I might need some help packing up today. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What I like about you!


Sarah Mathis

I have been planning on featuring Sarah on "What I like about you" for months now. I don't know why, but I just haven't done it yet... until today!

Sarah was the first person I met at South Side B.C. She was dropping off Noelle at the nursery the same time I checked Jack in. Mike was still in Little Rock so I was attending by myself. I asked where the adult Sunday school classes were and Sarah offered to take me to the Fellowship Hall where the adults were meeting that day. She introduced me to her friends and invited me to sit with them. She gave me her phone number and told me about a playgroup that she and some other ladies from the church attended.

I called her later that week and she gave me directions to the home where the playgroup was meeting.

Her welcoming heart made me feel very comfortable and at home at South Side.
Another friend of mine told me a similar story about Sarah welcoming her to the church. Seems like this is pretty common for her.

Sarah is someone who will go out of her way to help.

Three weeks ago I called and asked if she would mind watching Ty while I took Jack to the ER. She didn't. She fed him, bathed him and put him to sleep during the 5 hours we were at the hospital.

Two weeks ago Sarah and Chris invited all of us over for Easter dinner.
Last week Jack and Ty spent the night Friday night while I was at church for the girls lock-in.
That's three weekends in a row we have intruded on their time. Here's the best part about it. Chris and Sarah don't make me feel guilty for bothering them so much. Should I? Probably. But I don't. I just feel like they love us.

To me this is huge. I can't even explain what I'm trying to say here. There are very few people who make me feel like this. It's like when you leave your kids at their grandparent's house and you don't feel bad about taking advantage of the free babysitting because the grandparents really want to love on the kids. Know what I mean?
That's how the Mathis's are. They just make you feel like they want to love on you. I hope this makes sense to you.

Sarah is one of my very good friends in Abilene. She is pleasant to be around. She is always actively learning about God's Word. She hosts Bible studies and small groups in her home. Her house is so kid friendly -I LOVE going over there. She cooks well. She sews. I stopped by her house the other day because a button fell off my sweater. I needed purple thread. She gave me some :-)

Sarah's always up for a party. -I like that.

Sarah is patient, and she is so humble. She will downplay all of this stuff I am saying about her here -just watch.

She keeps Chris in line. ha ha. No really. Chris, you are so lucky to have her.

The more I have gotten to know Chris (he is the boys AWANA leader so we do stuff on Wed. night together) the more I see how beautifully they balance and compliment each other.
Sarah pays attention to people. I had a huge Easter party at my house for the neighbor and church preschool kids. There were about 25 kids sitting on the floor of my living room with snacks and juice while I was reading the Easter story. A child spilled their juice in front of me -during the story. Most of the other moms were visiting with each other and didn't notice what had happened. I looked up and scanned the room for someone to go get some paper towels. Sarah was standing near the back and I pointed to the floor and she said, "I got it." I know that is tiny, but it seemed big to me. She was paying attention to the kids, to the situation, to me and was willing to help at any turn.

That's just who she is.

If you live in Abilene and want to know Sarah. Let me know. I'll introduce you -and you will be a better person for knowing her.

Shots

So here it is. I'm finally asking you for something.

I would really appreciate you praying that the base would somehow find Ty's shot records. Long story, but they are not in the computer system -the AF wide system. I don't have any paper copies at home and since there is no record of the shots ever happening, they said we have to get them ALL over again.

I don't want to do that. I'm one of those weird moms that doesn't like getting the immunizations on time because I don't feel comfortable with that in their systems when they are so little. We have slowly gotten all we need and just finished.

Now there is no record of them.

I don't want it done again. It wouldn't be the end of the world, but I don't want to do it.

So if you will, please pray that the records would reappear on the computers.

Thank you.

And while you are at it, pray for my attitude so that I won't bite anyone's head off. I will be taking this up to the top if we don't find those records.

Mike might need a new job before this is over. So again, lets just let God take care of it.

Military brat


He's a military brat.
It's official.
He was born in a military hospital, lived in 4 different homes, his Dad was deployed during his second birthday and will be during his third. He brings me toy cell phones, hair brushes, toothbrushes, and even sippie cups and says, "It's Daddy. Talk to Daddy Mommy." So I take the phone/brush/cup and pretend to talk to Daddy about the boys. I tell Daddy how Jack is sharing with Ty and how he has kept his underware dry for so many days now and how he is growing tall. Then Daddy usually wants to talk to Jack again so I had back the "phone" to him.
At 5:00 every day the National Anthem plays. When we are outside we stand at attention and face the flag. Jack knows to put his hand on his heart and stand still. When we are inside, Jack rushes to the door or the window and pays his respects.

I won't ever really understand what the young children go through when living this type of lifestyle. But I see a lot of it. I carry a lot of it. I explain over and over how much their daddy loves them and how he misses them and that he will come back -but not today. I hear the cries for "DADDY!" when the boys are getting disciplined. I assure them that Daddy would be doing the same thing to them because Daddy loves them and wants them to learn to obey.

I wonder if the kids are lonely? Do they feel the tension that I sometimes feel? Does it spill over onto them? Do they need a break from me as much as I need a break from them sometimes? I don't know. All I know is that God will fill all our needs. And that his grace will get us through anything the military can dish out... including losing Ty's shot records.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Psalm 77

I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.

When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands
and my soul refused to be comforted.

I remembered you, O God, and I groaned;
I mused, and my spirit grew faint.

You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.

I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;

I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart mused and my spirit inquired:

"Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?

Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?

Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?"

Then I thought, "To this I will appeal:
the years of the right hand of the Most High."

I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

I will meditate on all your works
and consider all your mighty deeds.

Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?

You are the God who performs miracles;
you display your power among the peoples.

With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

The waters saw you, O God,
the waters saw you and writhed;
the very depths were convulsed.

The clouds poured down water,
the skies resounded with thunder;
your arrows flashed back and forth.

Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,
your lightning lit up the world;
the earth trembled and quaked.

Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen.

You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Free time


I never know what to do with myself after 8:00.
Usually the kids are in bed. I'm physically tired and don't have anything to do but hang out in the bedroom or here at the computer. I'll sit and read my Bible for a while, then just fall asleep I guess. I can't even remember what I usually do. Seems like it is nothing noteworthy. I rarely turn on the TV. When I do, I turn it back off because nothing interests me.

It's sort of a lame way to spend your "free time." Maybe I need some new hobbies. I just can't think of anything that sounds fun. I know exactly what I would do if I lived on 50 acres. I'd sit on the porch -probably in the swing, and drink something cool (or hot, depending on the weather) while looking off toward the horizon. -Yep. I just want to sit and stare. If I had 50 acres and a friend, I'd have my friend sit there too. We'd talk as things came up. The birds would be singing. The wind softly blowing. There would be cows too. But they'd be far enough away so that we wouldn't smell them. Flowers in whiskey barrels, wind chimes with a really deep tone.

And I'd sit.

Till it got dark.

Then I'd come inside and go to bed.
Hannah and Grace made the Greenville paper!

Check it out here:

http://www.heraldbanner.com/features/local_story_109013049.html

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sundaze

I need to start another blog and Title it:

SUNDAYS

I could quit writing on this one and just a have a weekly entry. It would probably be more entertaining than all the weekday stuff.

Here it is: my entry for SUNDAY, April 19, 2009


I suspect Ty has another ear infection. Last night he had a little fever and he's been messing with his ears a little more than usual. I give him Tylenol and he perks up before bed. I really don't think it is anything contagious. This morning, same thing. I give him his bottle (first thing he asks for every morning) and then take his temperature.

It is just below the legal limit. Sweet. Now we can go to church. Jack is up also. He woke up grumpy. (smile) Must be a Sunday.

Just a little history for you: Friday night was the AWANA girls lock-in at church. I'm in charge of the AWANA girls. With that comes the lock-in duty. The boys stayed at the Mathis' home overnight. Thanks Chris and Sarah!

Saturday, another friend of ours watched the boys while I went out to lunch with his wife. The boys napped at their home. We get home late afternoon on Saturday.

So basically my point is that the kids are tired and have not been at home much and haven't gotten the necessary spankings that keep 'em sweet.

I'm also sort of wondering if Jack is ok physically or if his behavior problems are just his sweet little sin nature mixed with Dad being gone. I'll spare you the details, but I'm going to get him checked out to see if he has a bladder infection.

I feel like I'm walking on thin ice today as far as getting nursery care. I don't want to be called out of church to come get sick kids. I give both boys some Tylenol and Ty gets a little Ibprophen too. We dress and head to church. I considered going to a different Sunday school class this morning (so they wouldn't be able to find me) just in case one of them started acting sick.

Instead I told Ty's teacher that I thought it was an ear infection and to keep it on the DL. She's cool. She did.

Made it through Sunday school. I'm half way there. I'm Sitting in the worship service. On the wall in the front left side of the sanctuary is a little LED sign. Each family is assigned a number that will be flashed on the sign to summon you to the nursery if needed.

I feel like I'm playing backward bingo.

No 16! Come on! No 16!

The preaching begins. Looks like I'm sitting pretty.

Then.

The red lights flash on.

Since I'm an IDIOT and a tad bit ADD I look over to the sign. Dumb move. If you don't see it, who says you have to go? Besides, people don't have everyone's number memorized, I could just sit there happy and oblivious and no one would know it was me they needed.

But I looked.

Now I'm morally obligated to go get my sick kid.

I pick up my purse, my Bible, and my keys and leave -in the middle of the sermon. Someone tell Tim it wasn't him, he was doing great. It was Jack...

A nursery worker met me outside the sanctuary. The conversation went something like this:

"We are having a little trouble with him today."

"Him, which one?"

"Jack. He is hitting and pushing the other kids and stealing their toys. We have tried to put him in time out but he won't let us and just screams and kicks. We've tried several things but he just won't calm down."

"Ok...."

"And then a little boy came up to us with a scratch on his face and said that Jack did it. We didn't see Jack scratch him, so we don't know for sure. Jack didn't say one way or the other if he scratched the boy. But the scratch wasn't there earlier...."

"Ok."

I think this was my first report (besides MDO) where Jack was the bad kid and a nursery worker had to come deliver the news to me. I didn't know what kind of expression to have on my face when I hear this news. I wanted to look concerned, but didn't want to frown in case she thought I was angry at her. I didn't want to role my eyes because that seemed like a reaction one would give if they just couldn't control their child. I thought jokes would be out of line.

I just looked her in the eye and nodded as she gave me the news.

When I went to his class to get him, he just started crying. It wasn't a "scared" sort of cry, more like when a kid just can't be good because they are so tired.

I took him into my arms and we went to another room. I just sat there and hugged him for a minute or two. Then we discussed business. After I'd said what I needed to, Jack went back to apologize to his friend and his teachers and we left.

It was 11:30 anyway. I got Ty and we went home for naps.

Since then, I am starting to doubt any kind of bladder issue at all and think he just needed some discipline. Ty, definately will be going to get his ears check in the morning.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Jack, what do you want to be when you grow up?



"Jack, what do you want to be when you grow up? Do you want to fly an airplane or drive a firetruck, or build houses?"

(pause)

"I want to drive a car."

"What kind of car do you want to drive?"

(quick answer)

"My car."

"What color of car do you want to have?"

(thinking...)

"Blue. A blue DC."

"Do you mean an SUV?"

"An SUV"

"What do you want to be like when you grow up?"

"I want to be like Daddy."

"Do you want to be a man who loves and obeys God and loves his family?"

"Yes."

"Good. Then you will be like your daddy."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today I just want to be selfish.



There will not be anything amusing on Becca's blog tonight. I am too tired from the day. My "day off" is usually the hardest one of the week.

Last night, God suggested that I go help a family I hardly know, clean their base house (they are about to move out of state). I suggested that God find someone else.

He asked me when I woke up this morning if I planned to go help. I told him "I don't want to talk about it."

On the way to MDO he brought it up again. I asked him if I was His only follower in Abilene with a pair of hands. I was hoping he would get the hint with my sarcasm.

He persisted.

I got home, put my bike in the van, drove the bike up to the Auto Hobby Shop, left the keys with the mechanic so he could change my oil, then I rode my bike back home.

God reminded me again of His plans for my day.

"Are we still having this argument?!?!?" I ask.

Yes. We were.

"FINE!" I gave up.

Then I told him that he had better bless me for this....

I change clothes into stained, holey work clothes then get back on my bike (I have no transportation) and ride 4 blocks over to their house.

They weren't home.

"For real God? You make me come over here and they aren't even home?" I rolled my eyes at Almighty God.

I called them. They were just waking up after a long long night of working at the house. She was going to talk to her husband to see when they would be back to the house. Since all the furniture was out of the house they were staying in TLF (temporary living facility) on the base.

I drive -I mean pedal - home.

I decide I should take my shower now since I probably won't have time after we are done cleaning and before I have to go pick up the van and go to lunch with my mentor.

I shower, half-way through my shampoo the phone rings. I answer it. They will be over at the house in 15 minutes.

Ok. Whatever. I'll be there.

I redress, put on my helmet. It is a law on the base that you must wear a helmet while riding a bike. As lame as it is, I guess it's a good thing. I have already fallen off my bike once while living here.

I board the bike and head back over (did I mention it was 4 blocks) to go clean the house.

I SCRUBBED for an hour and a half before I had to leave.

I have 25 minutes now to get to my lunch date. I felt like I was on mission impossible. "Your mission Becca Ellis, if you chose to accept it..."

Oh, I forgot to mention the rain.

Yep. It's raining now.

Back home in the rain, run upstairs -yes, literally RUN, change clothes, wash the comet off my arms and hands, fix the hair, head back down the stairs, jump into the Aston Martin -wait that's James Bond.... I meant to say, "Jump into my friend's Astro Van."

She dropped me off at the auto shop and I was on my way.

I got there at 12:30 on the nose.

Perfect.

Now I just need to walk in calmly as to give the appearance that all I've done today is sit on the couch and wait for lunch time.

Phahhha! Not in this life!

This wasn't even all my day. Just one 3 hour period. I'll save the rest of the drama for another day.

I'm too tired.






Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The House Story



Monday, Amanda W. reminded me that I hadn’t posted the “How the House Sold” story on my blog. I had told her (weeks ago) it was a great story and that she could read it on my blog…. So here it is.
-BTW this is the Reader's Digest version. Much shorter than it could be. Along the way there were many small, yet monumental confirmations from God that we were supposed to move.

In Sept. of 2006 –when we found out we were going to be stationed at Dyess, we put our name on the waiting list for base housing. 10 months later, when we arrived in Abilene, there was still no telling when the houses on base would be finished and we could get a house. I had sworn off apartment living 2 homes ago, so that wasn’t the plan. We found a house very close to base and bought it.

We had lived there for 13 months when Mike and I started re-exploring the idea of living on base. We started praying about the idea, Mike deployed, we put the house on the market. The same day we put the house on the market we were notified that our name had come up and it was our turn for a house.

The plan had been to see if we could sell the house before accepting another house. We only needed one. So now –hardcore praying. We were completely content living in our purchased home so it was sort of odd that we were prompted to explore the option of living on base.

After praying and feeling a peace about moving onto the base –we accepted the house on Dyess.

We moved a month later. Actually, my Sunday school class moved us. Thanks guys!
(Mike’s still deployed).

The house is empty.

7 months it was empty.

We had a contract on the house that fell through due to some fun little agricultural termites.

Month after month we paid out mortgage. I wasn’t worried. I felt like we had been obedient to God and that he would bless us as a result of that. He provided for us financially every month. Slowly our savings were being drained, but we were still doing ok.

January came.

We got our tax papers in, including a record of our contributions to our church. We looked at his salary. We looked at what we had paid and it turned out that we were behind by about 30%. –We hadn’t intended to get behind on our tithing, we just hadn’t paid enough attention to it.

We wrote a check the next Sunday and put it in the offering box.

Tuesday we got an offer on our house.

Just a guess, but I think God was saying something to us like:
“Now that you have given me what is mine, I’m going to move this house off of you.”

Wonder what would have happened if we had been faithful all of the previous year to not get behind on our tithing?

The inspection turned out great this time and we agreed on a price for the house. Every counter offer we made was done after much prayer and pleading to God for wisdom. Each offer we made was bolder than I would have been. –We got more for the house than we would have had we not been seeking God.

After all the numbers were crunched it turned out that we would need to take a HUGE check to the closing. This was due to the enormous closing costs, realtor fees and other misc. expenses.

We had to pay –out of pocket a huge amount of money, thousands of dollars.

Lots of money to us. Selling the house was a little depressing and anticlimactic. It didn’t seem exciting or a relief like it should have. Oh well. Whatever.

Two days later I do our taxes. Since Mike was in a combat zone for several months (tax free income) and since Ty was born (more tax breaks) and since we didn’t know the correct amount to be withheld, know what happened?

We found out we were slated to receive a refund check that was almost EXACTLY what we expected to pay in the closing costs –to the tens of dollars.

Pretty much God

It was so amazing watching him guide us through this process. He didn’t leave us when we were not faithful to give the church their share. He waited. He provided. He encouraged.

When we were obedient, He was full of mercy and gave us back all that we were going to lose in the closing costs.

He didn’t even have to do that. What a God! He could have let us pay that huge chunk as a way of saying, “This is what happens when you aren’t intentional in your obedience.”

Just shows me again how:

“All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
for those who keep the demands of his covenant.”


“O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.”


(Ps. 25:11 and 84:12)

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Amazing Race


Hannah, my sister, called me today asking that I advertise for her on my blog. She is hoping all five of my readers will support her quest to get on THE AMAZING RACE tv show!

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the hit CBS reality show that records contestants racing around the globe. To find out more about the show click HERE.

Hannah and Grace (my cousin) are driving up to Chicago in two weeks to attend open auditions. Grace has some family up there so her dad agreed to take them up to the auditions and visit relatives.

Here is why you should go check out Hannah and Grace's web page:

  • They need to drum up support by way of comments on their blog and by joining their facebook group, click HERE
  • Hannah is a servant, always taking pictures of my children. She spent last weekend with me and helped me the whole 3 days she was here. She is always doing things for other people, so I want to support her here.

  • Grace -equally as cool as Hannah. Every time I am in Austin she comes to see me and usually babysits my boys so I can go do stuff with Emily (another sis).

  • If Hannah and Grace win, Hannah has agreed to come be my nanny on another family vacations -for free! She went on our family vacation last year and had a child in her arms for almost every waking minute. Except when she was taking spectacular pictures of us on our trip.

  • Why not? If you have time to waste on my blog then you have time to check out Hannah and Grace's webpage.
Everyone with a facebook account, please go join their group! Thanks!!!

HERE IS THERE WEBSITE:

http://hannahandgracefortherace.wordpress.com/

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The time is upon us

Jack.

Today I realized that my toddler is now a young boy.


I guess I'm ok with it.



No more sweet little baby pictures from him. Peek-a-boo doesn't get him to smile any more. "Say Cheese" doesn't work.



I tried, "Jack, smile and look at the camera so I can take your picture," and this is what I got.











Where did he learn this? I didn't teach him how to be silly and get attention for himself -and I'm sure I never modeled it ;-)



Really?


Is he this old already?


Pretty soon he is going to laugh at bodily functions. He's going to learn how to make his arm pit make lovely noises. He's going to bring in toads and snakes. What am I going to do with a boy? Seems like every stage is new and different. I don't ever feel like I'm prepared before they get into the next stage.


Here Jack is supposed to be posing with a little friend. Check out the look on his face.
It's like he's in the "Girls have cooties" stage.
Soon it will happen.
Today he gave his friend Benjamin a man hug. It was cute.



Ty in his Easter outfit.


Here is the best Easter picture we could get. Not too bad. Nobody make fun of Jack's shoes. I know they don't match, but didn't see a need to go buy him expensive shoes just for one outfit. (Jack's feet are wide so we have a hard time finding cheap shoes.)

Enjoy!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Guess what's missing -part II

I'm having toddlers over tomorrow.

This means that I deep clean items that I wouldn't normally scower if any of you come over. (Any of you meaning people who can read.)

Today while the boys were at MDO I took out the "pee catching bowl" from Jack's toilet and washed it in the dishwasher.




Then the boys came home....

You already know the rest of the story don't you?

Yep.

Me: "Jack, I want you to go potty so we can keep your underwear dry."

I unfasten Jack's pants.

Jack disappears into the bathroom.

Jack: "Oh no! (moments of silence) Mommy! My pants got wet."


I then realized what had happened.

I'll bet you can put the rest together, Jack came out with the back of his jeans soaked.

I got the poor kid new clothes.



If you are a mother of toddlers who is coming over tomorrow. Don't worry. The potty bowl is clean and hasn't even been used today.


Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My bedroom

My Bedroom has been featured in Hannah's blog!!

Go check it out.

Hannah is my talented younger sister who has an eye for decorating as well as many other artistic things.

She came to my house after this move and helped me decorate.

Click HERE to see my room on her blog.

Giving


It is almost (but not) for sure that Mike will not be coming home. There doesn’t seem much way for the swap to be made but the leadership still hasn’t given them a “yes” or “no”.

It amazes me how much there is to know, about life I mean. It truly is my heart’s longing to live an exceptional God-led life. I believe God when he says: if you follow my commands IT WILL GO WELL WITH YOU.

I believe him.

Sometimes I just don’t understand his commands. An example is the whole topic of giving. Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all that he had and to follow after Him. The poor woman who gave a little amount of money, but all she had was commended. The New Testament church was told “give to everyone as there is a need.”

What does that mean for Mike and me?

I don’t know.

Mike and I talked about this for a long time on the phone the other day. We are both of the mindset that we want to give and we want to be obedient to God, but I don’t feel like we ever decided how we need to live out those Scriptures.

I’m a very black and white person (I think I’ve mentioned that before). Tell me what to do!!! Don’t give me extreme examples if I’m not supposed to follow them. I am so confused. It seems like we are REALLY supposed to give all we have, but then, is that right? No one does that. Are we all living a less than obedient life?

I don’t want to obey half way. I want to follow. I want to do it completely. I want “it to go well with me.” We own two cars, two computers, furniture, I get the dog groomed, I eat out, I hire babysitters I live a very comfortable life… does this need to end so that we can give it all?

If we are to give as there is a need, then we should probably not have anything left because there is always a need somewhere in the world.

Also, what is an acceptable way to give? If someone needs a car, should we spend little money and give a sorry car or should we give lots of money and get a nice car? If we do get the nice car, is that being a good steward of our money?

Do you see all the questions I have? I beg of you to give me insight if you have any.

I want to follow.

Know what irritates me?

It’s when nobody will help me.

When I ask questions and no one answers.

When I seek out the wise and they don’t share their wisdom.

I feel like I have to beg for advice sometimes. Why don’t people give it out more?

I was so thankful one day when Jack was throwing a fit (at a ladies house who I hardly knew) and she gave me her favorite book on training children.

At first I thought it was really funny that she so plainly saw how much help I needed… but then I got to thinking… How wonderful was that? A woman who had four well-mannered children (all older than mine) wanted to share with me something that had been helpful to her.

What a blessing.

She risked me being offended. –I wasn’t
She risked rejection.
She gave me something that cost her money.

She did this because she didn’t want me and my children to go through unnecessary hard times.

Is that Christ’s love or what?

I want to be like her.

I welcome advice.
I feel like I shouldn’t have to even ask for it. I think you should just give it to me. Just make sure it’s Biblical, then I’m all ears.

People at church come up to me now and say things like: “I read your blog.” I say things back to them like: “Oh dear.” They usually say they think I’m much funnier online than in person… maybe it’s true.

Apparently everyone Carolyn R. knows has been emailed the link.

Just so everyone knows (since I’m trying to be very honest on here) I’m feeling a lot of pressure to write funny stuff and it’s hard to be funny with good kids. The boys have been being much better lately. Don’t worry I’m SURE that won’t last.

Stay tuned.

Even with all the pressure of being funny and the fact that I am VERY transparent on here (there are some things the deacons just don’t need to know) I am excited that there are even more Christ-followers that will read what I am struggling with and will hopefully find me and help guide me through whatever issue it is that comes up.

I am hopeful.

If you know me very well, then you know I need help.

All you RBC folks that I grew up around can to confirm this.

Carolyn Scott, Linda Moore, Sandra, you need to keep your mouth’s shut. I don’t want to be that transparent.

I am going to list some areas that I am interested in knowing more about, so if you are an expert or an example of someone who has goofed up in these areas, then you are a perfect candidate to help me.

Raising Christ following children
Marriage
Serving
Racquetball
Giving
Time management
Prayer
Contentment
Military Wife Stuff
Rest
Love (Biblical love, not the mushy stuff)

That should be enough to get ya’ll started. I think I’m going to carry around a notepad and a pen for a while. I'll bet ya'll have got some good stuff.

Monday, April 6, 2009

yellow and green

Mike,

I've got more pictures coming! This is your only sample I'm going to give you. The rest will be on the iron (C-130 that is coming out to Kuwait from Dyess). You will see that Jack is still fitting into his yellow crocs from last year and still loving his yellow hat. Ty now has green crocs and a hat to match.

And they can't even say that "their mama dressed them alike" they aren't matching, they are coordinating.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

April Fools

My voice is slowly improving. I still sound scratchy and a little horse. Thanks for all of you who have asked about it.

So April fools.... I hated to make the entire day a loss. I actually had some plans that needed to be carried out, regardless of my voice.

I thought I would share the only major prank I pulled this year. –which would not have been possible without the help of many, many people.


Mike and I belong to a young married couples Sunday school class at our church. The teachers, Jackson and Becky, are wonderful, fun, interesting, kind, loving people. Becky is especially outgoing and very much an extrovert. My computer had “live wire” as a synonym to extrovert, so I’m thinking that is, in fact, the right word to use to describe her. Well, I’ve kind of gotten to know her better over the last year, and I really like her. I’d like to think we are friends. Her birthday happens to be on…

April 1st

It explains a lot. Sort of like you might expect my birthday to be on April 1st…
After finding out her birthday was coming up, I told Becky, “We need to throw you a party!!!” She told me she was going to be out of the state and wouldn’t be here. I was really wanting a party so I just said that we’d throw her one regardless, even if she couldn’t make it. It’s the thought that counts anyway right?

The next week and one day before her birthday were spend harassing her.

I tell her we are going to have the party at her house.
I ask for a house key. She refuses.
I keep asking for her daughter’s phone number so I can get a house key from her.
I tell her how much fun we are going to have at the party and ask if she is sure she can’t make it.
I go through her purse looking for her cell phone to find her daughter’s phone number… I get caught… Kelsey and Kerry are not good lookout people.
I try to get the alarm code for the security system.
I send out an email to our whole Sunday school class inviting them to Becky’s party at her house.
I then send out an email to everyone but Jackson and Becky telling them that it is a joke and not to show up for the party. –Several replied to Jackson telling him they were coming. (they were getting in on the joke)

My plan now was to convince Becky that we actually had her birthday party at her home while she was away – on Wednesday night.

I still need Sarah’s (Becky’s daughter) number.

Turns out, all you have to do is call the church to get any phone number you want. They gave me Sarah’s number.

I contact her and arrange to get the key.

I wanted to make it look VERY convincing. For that to work I needed the most important party leftover…

TRASH.

I needed plates, cups, napkins and plastic ware that appeared used.

A friend and I bought a cake, streamers, a banner, all the above mentioned stuff, balloons and gift wrap.

We decorated the cake –complete with a birthday message for Becky.
I arranged for a party at AWANA (Wed. night church) for my grade school girls to each most of the cake, dirty the plates and pack them up for me to deliver.

Thursday morning –the day Becky and Jackson were slated to get back I packed up my car full of fellow pranksters and paraphernalia and headed out to the country.

Here is what we did at the house:
-Taped up streamers
-Blew up balloons
-Popped a few
-Put 3 huge empty wine bottles (that a friend got from her mother-in-laws) on the kitchen counter
-Set out half-empty two-liters, opened bags of chips
-Lots of cups with their friend’s names written on them
-Hung up a banner
-Put the cake in the fridge
-Filled up the trash can full of our party trash
-Strategically left a man’s coat on the barstool
-Toilet papered her fichus tree with streamers
-Admired the humming birds outside the kitchen window
-Wadded up wrapping paper and stuck it around
-Taped a half-sheet of poster board to a tree by the road. The sign read: BECKY’s PARTY ---->

Then we left.

I called a guy in our class and asked him if he’d call Jackson and tell him that he left his coat at the house ON WEDNESDAY night at the party and would Jackson mind bringing it to church on Sunday.

He did. Ended up having to leave a message. Perfect.

Nothing left to do but wait.

So we waited.

And waited.

Anyone who has every pulled a prank knows that the best part is finding out the reaction.

The best way to retaliate over a prank is to not respond. To act like it never happened. That will drive the prankster CRAZY!!!

About 9:00 that night we got a response. Jackson emailed the whole Sunday school class. His email read:

Well....I obviously should be checking my email more often. Becky and Ijust got back from Chicago and it looks like you guys had the partywithout us. I hope there were plenty of designated drivers! Oh, by the way, we saw the wrapping paper but couldn't find the gifts? Ihope one of them is a carpet shampooer. We certainly need it now. Hope everyone had fun!

That’s all he said. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking. If he was actually upset about it all.

Finally the next day Becky called asking where her presents were. I kept playing along and told her that someone might have carried it off… that a couple of people (I used names) had a bit too much to drink and we had to take Chris's keys away. She just laughed.

Still couldn’t tell if she was hiding something.

After it all came out, they weren’t mad. We fooled them for a little while, but they figured it out before very long. I think they thought it was funny and weren’t too concerned about the whole “breaking and entering” thing in fact...

they still haven’t even asked for their house key back.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bath time

Bear with me, I've got some Jack funnies. These are for the grandparents and the daddy.
Jack was talking randomly on the way home from MDO and said:
"My Daddy flys C-130s in Kuwait. He opens the door and says, 'Hello Kuwait!' "
Then he says:
Tee-tee comes before pee-pee.
Poo-poo comes before...
Mud.
And no, I dont have any idea what he was talking about. Must have been tied into the lesson he learned today at MDO... it's at a Methodist church...
We played with Play-doh this afternoon. We don't do this too often because my boys eat it. Every time. Sure enough, I look up and Jack is putting some blue play-doh in his mouth. I say: "Jack, we don't eat play-doh just like we don't eat dirt or crayons or rocks. Jack, what are some other things we don't eat?"
Jack:
"Mud! ... Airplanes... B-1 and C-130s."
At supper I prayed and Jack repeated:
Dear Jesus
(Dear Jesus)
Thank you for our good day
(Tank you for our good day)
Thank you for Jack, Ty, Mommy and Daddy
(Tank you for Ty, Jack, Daddy & Mommy)
Thank you for helping me keep my pants dry all day
(tank you help keep my pants dry)
Thank you for our good food.
(tank you for our good food)
Amen.

Wait. Wait!
You not say Amen. We say more “tank yous

Ok, Jack. You say some more “thank yous.”

(short pause)

Dear Jesus.
Tank you for Emma and Wyatt.(Emma is Jack’s girlfriend and Wyatt is his best friend.)

Tank you for Jordan and Kaiden.(two more female friends)

Tank you for Uncle Lawson.

In Jesus Name,
Amen.


This is just some good 'ole bathtub footage. You know, moms get bored sitting there for 30 minutes while the kids play. I mean. It's not even comfortable. No lounge chair. Just a hard toilet. Next house we live in is going to have a recliner/toilet in the bathroom.

video

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April first

I can't believe it.

Today. April Fools day. My Favorite holiday (tied with the 4th of July).

And I have no voice.

Seriously.

Yesterday I was a little raspy.

Today I can only whisper.

Really..... today of all days.... the day I live for....

I had big plans for today, now what?

Someone needs to call Grandpa and tell him that I haven't forgotten the date. Tell him that I'd call to visit but he wouldn't be able to hear me. (Grandpa and I have a 2 decade long history of April Fools day interactions.) Someone break the news to him. I don't think he'll believe you, but it's true.

And it's lame.

You'd better believe I'm sitting here with a mug of hot tea. I'm about to go gargle some saltwater, eat a raw garlic and drink some apple cider vinegar. Any other "fix-alls" that I'm missing? Mom? Aunt Nancy?

I'll keep you posted on my status.

Seriously though, someone call Grandpa.