Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Confession Time

Confession time, I did it.  Again.  I wrecked my husband's pick-up.

And no, it couldn't be his old pick-up, either.  It was his new one.  The one we had for a whole three months.  Three months.  

And the last thing he said to me before I drove off was "Do not wreck my pickup.  Do not."

Here's the worst part: I once backed one of my cars up into a bright yellow air pump at the gas station.  I then backed another of my cars up into my husband's other pickup, in our own driveway.  This is now the third time I have backed one of my vehicles into something.

I officially hate driving now.  I tried to tell Barb Wire Man that I was never driving again, and I meant it.  He forces me to drive myself places now, so I wait until I absolutely HAVE to go.

He just called me to let me know he took his pickup to the body shop to have it looked at, and listed all the things they said would have to be fixed, then added that the bumper was expensive.  Very expensive...thank God for State Farm.

The conclusion we came to was if I do something, I do it right.  I don't half-way do anything, be it a good thing or a bad thing.  If I am going to do something, I go all out.  I make sure I do a bang up job...literally.

I am never driving again.  Never.  At least not my husband's vehicle!

Be blessed today!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Something Priceless

I could probably write a million blog posts on marriage.  I'm so thankful that my parents set an amazing precedence for me, but I've never met anyone who has had as wonderful a relationship as they do.
From Pinterest
They've been married now for 32 years.  According to the world, their marriage should never have lasted!  They barely dated before they got engaged and married, and only 15 short months later, I was born.  But they are in love.  Disgustingly in love.  Always have been!  I've never seen Dad raise his voice at me.  I've never seen Mom contradict Dad's authority in the family.  The doesn't mean it never happened, but I never saw it.  They've had their fair share of hard times, but they both kept smiling, and kept loving each other.  They valued their relationship.  Mom always said they had children young (my parents are both still in their 50's) so they could still be young enough to enjoy each other and have fun together.  But, the key word is valued.  Dad knew that mom was a jewel among pebbles.  Mom knew that Dad was a musician among karaoke singers.  (See what I did there, Mom and Dad!?)

I like to think of it in terms that I am more familiar with, though.  I collect tea pots.  Most of my teapots are antiques, and most are china.  Each teapot comes with a story about how and where I acquired it.  Each one is carefully placed on a shelf, out of the reach of little hands.  Each one gets dusted and cleaned.  Each one is special to me in some way.  But the most special is one I don't have yet.  It belongs to my granny, and I have loved it since I was a child.  It is beautiful - cream with a beautiful light green design around the top.  She's already written my name on it and promised it to me after she is gone, and it will be the most prized teapot in my collection when I have it.  Why?  Many reasons!  It is a gift from someone I love dearly.  It will remind me of her every time I look at it, and how she always thought of me when she looked at it.    It is irreplaceable.  It is beautiful and special.  It is time tested.
From Pinterest
In other words, I will guard that teapot more than I will any other teapot.  I'd rather lose all the other teapots I have in my collection than to lose that one.

My marriage to my husband is like that teapot.  It is a gift - a gift from God.  Every time I look my my husband, I am reminded of how much God loves me.  I'm reminded of how much He thinks of me, that he would put someone as special as Barb Wire Man in my life.  He planned for us to be together!  My marriage to Barb Wire Man is irreplaceable.  Sure, he or I could marry someone else, but there are memories, dreams, goals, and a friendship that would never be the same with anyone else.  What we have is special, and I rather lose friendships with everyone else in the world than to lose the love and friendship of my husband.
From Pinterst
I want to guard my marriage to Barb Wire Man even more than I would that tea pot.  Marriage isn't something to be put up on a shelf, then forgotten.  It also isn't something to be taken off the shelf and passed around haphazardly with everyone we see, to be broken, chipped or dirtied.  It is something to be valued, cherished, and lovingly care for.

My goal is to value every moment of my marriage.  In 15 years, I want my kids to look back and say they were disgusted at how much Mom and Daddy love each other.  I want them to model their marriage after ours.

Be blessed today!

Friday, July 26, 2013


Trust.  It is such a small word, but one of the greatest.

Without trust, a marriage is nothing.

This may be one of the hardest posts for me to write, because I know I'll be admitting to something that I've never wanted to!

I've mentioned in previous posts that I had been married before I married Barb Wire Man.  I married young...I was 18 and he was a Marine.  I was crazy in love with the boy at the time.  I hadn't ever lived on my own.  I grew up around incredibly Godly parents, and their Godly friends.  I only knew one person who had ever been divorced, and all my friends were wonderful, trustworthy people.  The truth was, I lived an incredibly sheltered life.  I'd never been betrayed or seriously emotionally hurt by anyone, because everyone I knew was raised that it was not okay to do that to a person!  I truly believed that everyone lived life like that!

To make a very long story short, I married very young, at 18, to a Marine whom I was madly in love with at the time.  He had plans of going to seminary one he was out of the military.  About 10 months after we were married, I found out I was pregnant with out first child.  I also found out he had been having an ongoing affair with an woman he worked with, and it was not his first affair.

I was shocked.  I was hurt.  I was ashamed.  I was embarrassed.  I was, furious.  I was devastated.  I was forever changed.

It was at that moment I chose  to trust no one.  There is, after all, only one man a girl can trust, and that is her daddy!  (Well, in my case 3, daddy, pa, and pawpaw!)

Then, I met my husband, Barb Wire Man.  Aside from the three aforementioned men, I've never met a man more honest.  Because he always shot straight with me, I tried to make sure I was a trusting, un-jealous wife.  When he went out with the boys, I shoved any un-trusting feelings down so deep, even I didn't realize I felt them.  For 9 years, it worked great!  Now, the trust I have in my husband was not ruined, far from it, but it did take a little jolt.

There are two things, though that I noticed about myself recently.

First, I realized that while at one time I trusted no one, I was beginning to trust people again.  Not just saying that I trusted people, but actually trusted them.  And I also realized that I really do not want to trust people.  I hate that I feel that way!  After 30 years of being on this planet, I've learned to not trust people, and those who I do are met with a very guarded, cautious trust.

Secondly, I realized I am a very, very jealous person.  I really don't like that, either.  I've always tried to shove any form of jealousy down very deep, because I never wanted to be a jealous person,  Jealous women annoy me!  But I was forced to admit that when it comes to a few things, like my husband, I am very jealous!

For our marriage to be healthy, I have to learn to work past these things.  So far, the only thing I can do is pray about it!  I don't want to be a guarded person, and I do not want to be a jealous person.  Do you struggle with trust issues?

Be blessed today!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Taking Each Other for Granted

We take just about everything for granted these days.  We don't think twice about flipping on a switch and having lights until the power goes out.  We get in our car, turn it on and drive off without thinking about it, until the car won't start.  We load the dishwasher and hit start, never even thinking about the convenience.

When two people are first married, they notice all the little things the other does for them.  The longer a couple is married, the less those little things are noticed.  Before I go much further, I do want to say this isn't a matter of the other needing things from the other.  Barb Wire Man and I neither on need each other.  He has and is perfectly able to take care of himself in every way.  I do not need Barb Wire Man - I have, and can take care of myself in every way.  But, I suppose this is a little rant.

I'm talking about the little things we do each day to make the other feel special, or to help make their life a little easier.

I work each day.  Yes, I stay at home to work, but I do work.  During the school year, I babysit.  Contrary to what some believe, I do not sit on the couch while they watch TV.  I hardly sit down throughout the day!  We play, and sing all day.  I change diapers constantly (literally about 18 a day!), cook breakfast and lunch for them, make them snacks, and even help potty train.  Essentially, I am their mommy from 7:30 in the morning until 5:00 or later in the evening.  And I love it!  Financially, I could take care of myself and my kids, and I intend to keep it that way.  On top of my job, I still have everyday household chores.  Barb Wire Man is old fashioned in the sense that he believes it is the woman's job to care for the home, and he got lucky enough to marry a woman who believes the same!  I do all the laundry.  I do all the cooking.  I do all the cleaning.  I go to the grocery store alone.  I wash his favorite coffee cup every day, and if I don't for some reason, he'd rather skip coffee than wash it himself!  I make sure he has plenty of snacks in his semi.  I do all the banking and bill paying.  I take the trash out when he..."forgets".  I take care of the garden.  I rub his back.  I bathe and take care of the kids.  I do these things because I feel like it is my job, but also because I know Barb Wire Man is tired.

Barb Wire Man goes to work everyday, and sometimes, has some pretty funky hours.  In fact, today, he left our house at 1:30 in the morning.  When he gets home from work, Barb Wire Man's "duties" include taking out the trash (if I haven't already), mowing the lawn (once a week at most), and......and......and....yeah, I have nothing else to add.

I do not mind doing all the things I do around the house.  I know my husband is tired after a long day at work, but sometimes, he fails to realize that I am tired from work, too.  He sometimes fails to see that we both have jobs, but that on top of my job, I have work!  Occasionally, it would be nice to hear a thank you from Barb Wire Man.  It would be nice to hear "Let me help you with supper tonight!"  Or even "I know you've been working all day, too, let me help you fold the laundry."

He takes for granted all the little things I do for him, like, washing that stupid coffee cup for him.  I do it to be nice to him.  To do a "little something" to make his day better.

We have to remember to never take the little things for granted.

Tell your spouse thank you for all the little things they do to make your life easier.

Better yet, help your spouse with those things.  We are supposed to be a team, right?!

Be blessed today!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Marriage: Attacked By Busy-ness

I always complain that "life" gets in the way of, well, living.  I mean it rather tongue in cheek, though.  None of us can avoid things like work, caring for the children, laundry, cooking, etc.  We have to do those things in order to survive, pay our bills, and be decent members of society.  We can, however, allow those things to take over our lives.

Barb Wire Man and I have definitely allowed that to happen recently.  I am incredibly blessed that I am able to work at home, but that certainly doesn't mean I don't work hard.  I am able to stay at home with my two precious children, like I feel God has called me to do, but I also care for other's children.  I've always taken that incredibly seriously.  Essentially, I am filling in for their mommy.  I truly act as though they are my children when they are with me.  If my job is to teach my own child about his numbers, letters, manners, and God, then it is also my duty to teach the other children.  I still have to change diapers (literally, about 18 a day!), fix breakfast and lunch for 5-8 kids, get them all down for nap, plan activities, and play.  On top of this, I still have my household duties.  I cook all our meals; breakfast, lunch and supper.  I have mountains of laundry that I have to wash and hang out to dry, then fold.  I have toilets to scrub, floors to vacuum and mop, and I try to make sure my house is spotless before Barb Wire Man gets home from work.  By 5:00 in the evening, the last thing in the world I want to do is, well, anything basically.  I certainly don't try to make sure I look pretty for him, because I'm around kids all day.  I darn sure don't feel sexy by the end of the day!  He understands this, but I know he would love to come home to a wife who at least looks like she took a shower.

Barb Wire Man drives a semi truck, so his hours are hardly 8-5.  Some days, he is out the door by 4:30 in the morning, while other days, he doesn't leave til 7:00.  Some days he is home by 5:00, but often it is 7:00 or later.  Sometimes, he doesn't get to come home at all, and "gets" to sleep in a little bed in the back of his truck.  His job duties include far more than just sitting and driving a truck.  I ride with him every chance I get, and I know that his job duties are physically taxing on him.  Once he gets home, there are always things I need for him to do.  I know how tired he is, so I try to do everything at home by myself (which makes me even more tired!), but there are some things I cannot physically do.  When you are short, sometimes, you just need a tall man to help! He trudges through, and does the things I need help with.  Because the kids haven't seen him all day, all they want to do is play.  I'm pretty sure he uses up the last few ounces of energy he has on our children.  I've asked him many times how he has the energy to play with those two the way he does.  Once the kids are in bed, all he wants to do is sit on the couch, watch TV and get on his computer.   I don't blame him for this at all ,but he knows that I'd give anything for conversation, a little attention, and to simply be acknowledged.

So, what is a couple to do?  We could eliminate our jobs and daily chores from our lives.  Then, we'd be homeless, hungry, and most likely childless!  Of course we can't do that.  People make time for the things that are important to them.  Outside of work, we do have an abundance of free time.  I don't know about you and your spouse, but Barb Wire Man and I could make time for each other.  We have chosen not to do so.  I have always poured my efforts into caring for my children first.  Keeping my house in what I deem "perfect" condition was second.  Those two things alone consumed me.  I had no energy left to be sexy for him.  Barb Wire Man's spare energy went to the our kids, sitting at the computer, and watching TV.  Noticing me was last on his list.

To put it bluntly, we acknowledged each other when we had to.  We have wonderful, amazing conversations during the day on the phone.  He sits in a truck, and has time to talk!  But at night, we are alone while sitting on the couch together.  After the kids are in bed, I busy myself with cleaning the house...even if it is already clean.  I sit on the couch with my computer in my lap.  Barb Wire Man sits on the couch watching his TV programs and is on his computer at the same time.  We know what all our  friends are doing, what their kids are doing, and even what their grandkids are doing, and we know what they are all thinking thanks to things like Facebook and Twitter!  But we don't know what each other is thinking.  We don't know what the other is feeling.  Basically, we know more about people we are merely acquainted with than we know about the person we claim to love the most.  And we have allowed ourselves to become okay with that fact that the most we say to each other is "Are you ready for bed?".

We both know this is something that must change.  We must stop busying ourselves.   We don't have to leave our house once a week to go on a date, though that would  be awesome!  We don't even have to swear off TV and Facebook.  But we do have to set aside time every night to really talk with each other.

We don't need to talk about the kids.  We don't need to talk about how our days went.  We don't need to talk about what we are going to have for supper the next day.  We do need to get to know each other better and continually.  "Where do you see our family heading in the next five years?"  "Am I meeting your needs?"

I know surely we aren't the only ones who go through this type of thing in our marriage.  Hopefully sharing part of our story will help you, as well as keep us accountable.  What type of questions do you and your spouse ask each other?

Yicarechech Adonai L'Olam Ve'ed
(May God bless you and keep you)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Have a Perfect Marriage?

I'm really making an attempt to write on a regular basis here!  Hey, an "a" for effort, right?  Kids, work, and life seem to always get in the way of doing the things I like to do for fun.  (Yes, knitting has been taking a backseat, too!)

So, I briefly mentioned the other day that Barb Wire Man and I will celebrate our 10 year anniversary in two years, and that we are planning a vow renewal ceremony to mark the occasion.

Recently, he and I have noticed that we absolutely must take time to focus on each other, and our marriage. Our marriage, like anyone else's, is not picture perfect.  We have our ups and downs, just like anyone else, but recently, it seems like we have had more downs than ups.

Don't get me wrong...we love each other incredibly, and are truly the other's best friend.  We love passionately, and we fight passionately.  We live in a world that makes marriage hard.  I think in some ways, it is harder to keep a marriage whole now than it ever has been...there are more outside attacks we have to shield our marriage from.

In the next few posts, I'm going to write a little about the things I think attack our marriages.   I'm in no way a counselor, but, personal experience is something of which I have an abundance.  God has really laid a few things on my heart lately, so I'm praying that in writing these coming posts, I will be able to help someone else who may be struggling with some of the same things I have.  At the same time, I think it will help me sort through some of my own thoughts and feelings.

Be blessed today!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I am so excited today!

My sweet little girl, Flower, is almost home!!

Barb Wire Man, Little Man and I drove her down to Dallas the first part of June to fly out to South Carolina with her step-mom to visit her Dad.  While we were there, we were able to visit with Barb Wire Man's brother and his family!  I finally got to hold my adorable new nephew!

Anyhow, today, my mom and I are driving back down to Dallas to pick her up from the airport!  I'm beyond excited to get to put my arms around my baby again!  I'm also looking forward to the trip down there.  My mom and I are very close, and I could talk with her for hours.  We will be spending 6 hours in the car together, so we will have ample opportunity to chat.  It doesn't matter how old I am, how "ok" my life is, or how hard and tough I act, I still need my Mama.

Flower is so much like my mom and I.  She is incredibly close to my mom.  Flower and I also have a deep relationship.   The three of us know that when we can't talk to anyone else, we can go to each other.  The drive home is going to be full of some interesting conversation, I expect!

Back to Flower.  I know that when she is with her Dad and his family, she has a great time.  I know that she is cared for just as wonderfully as she would be at home.  Flower is blessed with a step-mom who truly loves her.  I'm very thankful that I can rest knowing that her step-mom loves and cares for her just as she does for her own daughters, and, really, considers Flower as her own.

That doesn't make me miss her any less, though!  I never feel quite right when all members of my family aren't home!  If Barb Wire Man has to spend the night in his semi, I lay awake and worry about him.  When Flower is gone, I worry about her.  I cannot wait to wrap my arms around her and get her home!

And I cannot wait to see the look on her face when she sees her newly redecorated bedroom!!  She is going to be so excited!

Having a split family like this is hard, in so many ways, on both the parents and the kids.  But, like always, we all do the best we can.  Do you send your kids to visit family for the summer?

Be blessed today!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bananas, Bananas Everywhere!

By now, you know I am a cheapskate.  I really dislike spending money, even on things we need!  So the other day I ran to the store and found bananas on sale for super cheap (30 cents per pound!), so I bought about 7 pounds.  I really should have gotten more -I don't know why I didn't! I knew there was no way my family would eat that many bananas before they went bad, but I bought them with the intention of dehydrating them.

Flower loves banana chips.  I have to make her stop eating them, but, at least they are healthy!  Little Man likes them occasionally.  Barb Wire Man doesn't love them, but I still like to keep them around.  When I make him trail mix to take in the semi, I can toss a few in there.  I can at least try to get him to eat healthy!

Early Saturday morning, Little Man and I started getting them ready.  He really doesn't care for fresh bananas as a snack, he just loves to peel them, so that was his job.  Who would have thought that giving a little boy 7 pounds of bananas to peel would keep him entertain for an hour?!  I sliced them up and put them on the dehydrator racks, sprinkled them with cinnamon, then turned on the machine.

I figured they would be finished by bedtime.

Here is is, nearly 9:00 in the morning on Sunday, and they are still not finished.  Good grief...what's the deal with these bananas!?  I still have 4 pounds of apples to turn into apple chips!

At least the house smells delicious!  What is your favorite thing to do make with bananas?

 Be blessed today

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Just Another Day in Summer

I haven't written in forever, because I typically steer clear of political posts.  But, I also generally write about the things I see and hear going on around me.  As a result, I have just kept my mouth shut lately!  That's quite a feat for me, indeed.

Flower has spent most of the summer at her dad's house out in South Carolina, but thankfully she will be home in less than a week!  I know she is having fun, but, I prefer having all my little chicks in my coop.  It has given me the opportunity to completely redo her room the way she has been begging for it to be done.  Hot pink, black, white, and music.  Barb Wire Man isn't too keen on the hot pink, but such is the life when you have a 10 year old daughter!

I've been putting a ton of energy into my garden this year, too.  If you've read much of this blog, you know that I'm cheap.  I'm cheap, and I like to make sure I have lots of food in my home all the time.  And it looks like I may be canning a ton of food soon.  This year, I have squash (which is putting out faster than a rabbit), jalapenos, radishes, carrots, beets, okra, cherry tomatoes, large tomatoes, onions, strawberries, green beans, rhubarb, and okra.  Closer to the end of summer I will also put some lettuce in.  Hopefully I'm going to be able to make lots of spaghetti sauce, salsa, some pickles, and some strawberry jam!

I know it is still a ways off, but Barb Wire Man and I are also planning our 10th anniversary!  We have about 2 years, but are planning a vow renewal ceremony.  I'm sure I will write a post on it later, but the long and short of it is, we came to the conclusion that we must spend more time focusing on us.  

That's it for today.  I'm sitting outside in 100 degree weather, watching Little Man play in the kiddie pool, and Barb Wire Man will be home soon.  I'm keeping cool with a delicious beer.  Maybe several delicious beers, but that is beside the point!

Be blessed today!