Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coolest Mom Award

Each year at the Wednesday before Halloween, our church hosts a Fall Fest in the gym.  A room full of candy, games, candy, inflatables, candy, lots of costumes, etc.  This year Jake wanted to be a punk rocker.  He wanted his hair in a mohawk, spray painted red then black on the sides.  As I was spraying his hair, I had an epiphany.  A thought that wins me this award.  I asked Jake if he wanted a real mohawk.  You know, where I buzz the sides.  Jake usually has a buzz cut, but he has wanted it long lately, so it would be perfect.  Of course, he totally went for it and I started buzzing away.  He loved it!!  And I think this makes me one cool mom!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Why's

Why did my Tuesday, Bible Study day, go so well? 
    Because I know you have been praying.  Thank you!

Why do my kids think it is fun to use motions and no words to try to communicate with me?
    Don't they know my brain is addled enough already

Why do I always seem to want what I don't have?
    Oh, the seeds of discontentment that need to be weeded out

Why are 6yr old girls doing a fashion show so darn cute?
    Even cuter when one of them is the child of one of my high school classmates

Why won't the weather make up its mind?
     I am tired of having two sets of clothes to dig through.

Why do I not sit and drink coffee all day long like I really want to?
     Sleep is difficult enough as it is.

Why do I need to re-do my re-caulking job in our shower?
     Umm, maybe the fact we finally got rain and the humidity made it separate?  Uggghhh.

Why do I keep thinking that school lets out at 3 today, when it lets out at 2 and always has?
     It's because of my addled brain.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Back in August, I had decided to not do a Bible Study on Tuesdays.  It would be me and Katie time while the two big kids were at their classes.  Sitting in an all-women's event at church one Sunday morning, not long after this decision, I heard what our women's Bible Study was going to be all about.  It looked great, but mentally I thought, no, it will just be a me and Katie day.  Well, the Holy Spirit kept tugging (you know the one I am talking about) and before the hour was up I knew that this is what I needed to do.  If I had known what my Tuesdays would look like once I started Bible Study, I might have thought twice about it. (Just kidding, really.  I knew this is where I was supposed to be)  Let's discuss my Tuesdays, shall we?

First week - I went in with my lesson "How to Disciple Others" completed!!  I left wondering what I was going to do with Katie the rest of the weeks while I was in Bible Study.  There had been some miscommunication regarding childcare for homeschool kids and there weren't really enough to do much with.  Totally took my thoughts for the rest of the day and made me frustrated.  I knew the Lord wanted me there, and I knew He would figure it out, but it bugged me like a nasty wound all day.  I had a difficult time turning it over to the Lord.  Maybe I was extra hormonal or something.  Either way, I finally got over it.  And my sweet mom felt like she needed to be the one to keep Katie (instead of her tagging along with me each week to sit and do school work, while I did Bible Study).  So more often than not, the two of them have a sweet time together. 
If I hadn't been there that first day I would have missed this: The definition of a disciple - A committed, lifelong learner, and follower of Jesus Christ.

Second week- This week my Tuesday wasn't as bad as my Wednesday.  Which the afternoon and evening were spent with me in the ER with what was now a thryoid related heart thing.  All is fine, but that certainly took my mind off of what I was learning and kept jumping back to that.  How quickly our mind goes from one thing to another.
If I hadn't been there that week I wouldn't have memorized this scripture: John 5:24- Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears My Word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgement, but has passed out of death into life.

Third week - Remember that mind thing - how quickly our mind can get taken over my something else?  Just as Bible Study was ending on this Tuesday,  I received a phone call that so suddenly seized my thoughts and emotions I was useless for the rest of the day.  Not only was my mind wandering from my Christ, but my life and tasks ahead. 
This is what I forgot for the rest of that day- Galatians 5:15-17 - Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  So then, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Fourth week- Gratefully, another Tuesday that was spared.  But the Monday and Wednesday certainly made up for it.  David had been out of town, I was exhausted, the kids were rotten, then I started feeling bad on Wednesday.  Uggh.  Two very, very long days. 
What I learned at Bible Study that I practiced the rest of the week - Spiritual Breathing - Exhaling our sins and confessing them, but the Inhaling, breathing in the Holy Spirit to let Him take control again.  Did my life those days look like the life of a Spirit-filled Christian?

Fifth week - Ha, gotta love this one.  Because I had been recaulking our shower, I had to take mine in the hall bath, later in the morning so not to wake others up.  A little before 7, I knew Katie was up, so I quietly told her I was hopping in the shower.  Just as I was getting in, she started to come in.  As quietly as I could over the noise of the shower so not to wake up Jake, I told her not to come in but to go to my bathroom.  Repeat.  I hop in and had only washed my face when Katie says loudly she had a nosebleed.  Of course I holler at her to come in.  I look and she is covered, I mean covered, with blood.  Apparantly she sneezed and her nose exploded.  For the next little bit, I wrestle my towel, trying to get her nose to stop bleeding, trying to keep her from looking in the mirror so she will quit screaming, wondering how much blood is from here to my bathroom.  All before 7 am.  Then it hits me.  Oh, yeah, it's Tuesday.  My mom had a minute so between the two of us, the carpet, clothes, towels, tile got clean.  I got my second shower.  A lunch was fixed (the one day I had to help).  It took both of us to have it all done by 8:30. 
If I hadn't been at Bible Study - I wouldn't have had the sweet fellowship of my group as we ate lunch together and heard great teaching on growing in Christ, and how fellowship is a part of that.  "The physical presence of other Christians is a source of incomparable joy and strength to the believer"- Bonhoffer.

This week- This week my mom was unable to keep Katie due to a previous commitment.  I decided she and I need some girlie time.  I didn't go to Bible Study, but took some much needed time finishing some quick schoolwork, then watching a movie with popcorn and having cookies with icing before we ate our lunch.  Then she proceeded to beat me twice in Sequence.  Yes, I missed some great teaching, but I got fed in another way.  By the way, the day went smoothingly well.  No issues, no catastrophies, no health issues.  That doesn't surprise me in the slightest.
But, because of Bible Study (I did do my lesson!), I had some great days learning about different ways to have a quiet time.  Some sweet times with the Lord.

Thankfully, in a selfish kinda way, there are only a few weeks left of this semester of Bible Study.  He is teaching me so much, and He is certainly putting me through some drills to make sure I get it down.

Only 5 more days until I get to do it again.  :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh. My. Word.

"Oh, My Word" is the only way I can describe how our life has changed this year. 

I don't know if I have mentioned this in any of my previous posts, so forgive me if I am being redundant.  But, last year for school (and for most days of all of our homeschooling history), we spent most of our days at home.  We would school in the mornings until lunch.  Eat lunch together, sometimes me reading aloud to the kids.  After lunch we would all take a reading break.  The afternoon was spent catching up on any "homework", running errands, spending a bit doing a few household chores. 

This year, each day, but Friday, we are out and about.  Multiple times.  Each day.  Monday, back and forth with two ballet lessons.  At different times.  Tues, classes and Bible Study.  Wed, classes.  Thur, art and class for Katie.  Being out and about more often, of course brings more "quick" trips to various places.  You know what I mean, "Oh, I need "such and such".  While I am right here, why don't I run in 'real quick".  I have done okay on sticking to what I need, and mostly the real quick part.  It is the quantity part that is killing me. 

Anyway, all of this has thrown me for a loop.  I realize that we are entering a new stage of life.  And I don't like it.  I want my old days back.  They were pleasant, not chaotic.  The house was fairly clean, not a pit.  The van got better gas mileage, now I idle.  Sigh.  I miss it.  I feel like a part of me has died.  I know.  That sounds silly.  But it is a giving up of what once was, knowing that I probably won't get it back.  Kids get older.  Sigh. (I am certainly being unusually sentimental.  I am tired.)

I can't say that it is all bad, what we are doing.  The kids needed something different this year.  So it is in their best interest.  It is hard for me to remember the boredom that they experienced.  Not too terribly hard to remember the power struggles that came with me teaching them, and all of us frustrated and in tears. The times I struggled to make sure I was teaching them enough, but realizing I was stinking at what I was teaching them.  We needed a change this year, but change can also be uncomfortable.  It makes us grow in ways we wish we didn't have to.

And here I thought that this year would be a great year to begin blogging.  I used to have time.  I now have more crumbs under my table, horrible gas mileage, a to-do list that only gets longer each day, and children, of whom two, this year, are learning more than I am able to teach them and one that I am getting extra time with that I didn't have last year.

And for that it is all okay.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

How Ironic....

If you read my last post on my tightwadness frugality, you will find this post very ironic and somewhat amusing. 

First, my disclaimer - By this post I am in no way trying to brag or boast about myself.  You will see why I need to say this as you read.  Now, here we go-

As we approach this fall season (for which the Pritchards are jumping for joy!), it is time to dig out the fall clothes.  It is time to don the jeans (yes!), long sleeve shirts and sweaters.  When I put up my clothes last year, I knew that some updating of my wardrobe was going to be necessary.  Mostly tops and some casual church clothes.  I had plenty of jeans, because Old Navy had there's for $15 one time and so I stocked up in that area.  But, I knew I would need to add some things.

But as I began this process of pulling thabout a week or two ago, I noticed a trend.  Definitely a good one, I think.  This summer, in a very short amount of time and in a very not fun way, I lost quite a bit of weight.  Remember this post - Proceed With Caution?   So this is where my disclaimer kicks in.  I wouldn't wish my experience on anyone.  Ever.  But, it came with some perks.  I think I deserve that for what I went through.

I digress.

Oh, the clothes.  So I pull out my jeans to wear to Bible Study.  Instead of looking hip and cool, I look like a bag lady in clown pants.  I keep pulling stuff out and same story on everything.  Too big.  Tis true, a nice problem to have, but a most inconvenient one.  I am having to start over.  On my wardrobe.  And I don't mean a few things here and there.  Alot of things here and there.  Most everything here and there.

Unfortunately, for everyone else their opinion of my problem is "yippee!".  The lady at Stein Mart asked me if I was looking for anything in particular.  I said no, I am having to start over.  She responded with such enthusiasm, "Oh, What Fun!".  Sara Beth is so excited that I will look modern now.  (sigh)  David is so thrilled to have my pre-baby weight (I almost said pre-baby body or shape, but alas, no, that will never happen), he is willing to buy me anything. 

But, alas, this isn't fun for me.  You see becuase I am a tightwad frugal and add to that my fashion illiteracy simplicity, this ends up being a chore.  And also, like I have time do any of this.  I truly am trying to have the right attitude.  This is supposed to be fun, right?  When I ran back to Stein Mart Saturday to take advantage of their sale (that started the day after I bought some stuff.  Uggh, my frugalness made me go back.  I saved some $$ too!)), I was trying to make sure I had looked at everything, and started getting dizzy.  Overwhelmed.  It was all too much.  I got in line and was able to gather myself together before I lost it in front of the cashier, "Why can't we just all have uniforms!! Oh, the choices!"

So, this is my quest.  Starting my wardrobe over.  I cleaned it all out today, and tried it on.  I wanted to just know what I had.  Here is the what I am starting from that fits for fall- Bottoms: 1 pair of black travel pants, 1 pair of rust/brown travel pants, 1 brown skirt (more fall not winter).  Tops: a couple of sweaters, maybe 3, some long sleeve casual shirts (4 or 5), and some that are good in between season (2).  Yep, that's it.  Ain't much.  Oh, just remembered, I have a two vests that I can wear with the casual shirts.  I have some capris (one size too big) that I can wear for a bit with long sleeves.  My Old Navy jeans are in a pile waiting to be shrunk.

How ironic that I just posted on my frugal-ness, and now I am having to go spend money on clothes.  When truthfully, I would rather not.  Sigh.  I am sure you will continue to hear updates on this saga, and when I feel like dealing with technology I will get my kiddos to take some pictures and show you my new look.  Oooh, you know what that made me think of?  Those cheesy make-over shows.  Do you think I would qualify?  Naaah, probably not.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Frugal to a Fault

Hello. My name is Stacey.  I am a tightwad frugal woman.  And I need help.  Here is my story.

Ever since I can remember, I have hated spending money.  Truly.  I hate it.  As a child, I was racked with guilt over purchase of new clothes, esp if they didn't come from the sale rack.   As a child once I purchased an item, it received great care.  And little use.  If I used it, then I wouldn't have it later.  Then I would have to buy it again (spend money).  As I grew older, I would love to say that things changed.  But alas no.  (My parents might disagree with that last statement, esp in college, but they would admit that I hate spending money).

When David and I married, I kept costs to a bare minimum.  As newlyweds, as a sweet gesture, he gave me some cash, equal to the amount of money he had spent on hunting that year.  I kept it for at least a year before I started spending it and I believe it took me almost two years to go through it.  The amount- $400.
To this day, he still brings that up when I start balking about spending money.

When shopping, I always go to the sale rack.  I hardly ever pay full price for anything.  Wise, you might say.  But, then when I do decide on an item, I hem, I haw, I stew.  About 80% of the time it goes back on the rack (or I will take it back to the store).  I can talk myself out of buying just about anything.

My 'come-to-Jesus' moment about this issue (and how I had taken it too far) came one day while fixing three hungry children their lunch.  I had specially parceled out chicken nuggets for each child, along with a fruit or veggie, etc.  Plenty of food.  They asked for more chicken nuggets.  My inner self (and somewhat my outer self) went "Why, of course not.  If you eat more then I will have to get more.  Therefore spending more money."   At this point, I realized that this was ridiculous.  Now, understand I am against just giving my children whatever, whenever they want.  But, I realized I was hoarding rationing their food for my silly issue with spending money.  I realized that I had done the same thing with other foods.  It was there, but if they had eaten it, I would have had to buy more.  (yes, poor rationale, because then I would have to throw it out because it would have gone bad).  See, this is real issue, people!

That is what makes my post about retail therapy so unusual for me.  I spent money.  Without a set purpose (okay, some of it was for a good purpose).  And I enjoyed it.  And I am restraining myself from taking it back. (yes, really)

So, what changes have I made to overcome this issue?  And by overcome, I don't mean a blank check to spend however I want.  I mean, what do I need to do to become a good steward of God's blessings, without making it another sin issue by worrying and fretting over it?

First, God blessed me with a Godly husband who has done a great job of helping me think through how much time and energy I used trying to save a buck.  In times, when I know it is prudent to do such-and-such, I think, if Davd were here, what would he tell me?  I try to catch myself and turn my thoughts around when they become filled with thoughts of guilt.  I tell myself because I pinched here on this, it is okay to spend on that.  Making choices.  Ugggh. Which I hate.  But I try and turn it over to the One who gave it to me.

In our house it has become an area of laughter, though.  It is pretty funny when you think about it.  As I look back on things I have done without-some justifiable, some not so much.   Take for example the spatula mentioned in retail therapy.  I could so certainly have justified getting all these little toothpicks, and other cleaning supplies and started scrubbing away at my old moldy spatula.  That is my natural bent.  But out of love for my family, I sacrificed my desire and bought a new one.  Sigh.  I still have buyers remorse over my new spatula.  Should I have bought the cheaper set (you know the two piece kind that would have gotten all moldy again)?  Of course, they were out of those at Target.  So all I was left with was the $5 one.  One piece.  Purple (oh, so cute).  Heavy enough to whip some backsides into shape too.  (hee, hee, I have had fun threatening my offspring with this one!) 

But the ultimate question....Could I have gotten it cheaper at Walmart?   Oh, the pressure.

Friday, October 1, 2010

An Ode To Jake

We celebrate our only son,  but think to ourselves what have we done?
The noises, the dirt,
the many stains upon your shirt.

The eating of bugs, and digging of holes,
The clutching of our very souls.

Spiderman, Batman, Jack Sparrow, too.
Nothing was too cool for you.

We've felt your legos between our toes,
and smelled smells that burned our nose.

You've driven a tractor, killed a deer,
Jumped from heights with no fear.

You've now grown cooler, and cooler still,
You can quote Tim Hawkins out of will.

Never ending with tales and jokes
Always wanting to entertain the folks.

You are loud, yes that is true,
But we'll forgive you, a Bulldog through and through.

So much to think about, that we want to say,
But most of all Happy Happy Birthday!!