Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm sorry

I am sorry I am not blogging right now.  It's just that I really, really don't have time.  Most people could fill a page with mumbo-jumbo in 30 seconds and be done with it, but I agonize over my posts, and usually regret it if I throw a bunch of words on the screen and hit "publish post". 

So I'll be back, probably after this weekend.  When you are praying this week, pray for our little church plant.  We will man a booth at Spring Fling in downtown Spartanburg, and really pray for some good contacts and visits to our Bible Study to come out of that.  We will be handing out balloons, freeze pops, and cookies (not all at the same time), and just trying to get the word out about our new church in a friendly way.  Justin is stocking the booth with some good resources about general life questions and a bunch of Bibles.  Pray that we figure out all the logistics of getting our stuff to the festival and that we get some foot traffic.

Thanks!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Where I was Friday

Well, it depends on when you are asking about on Friday, because I was a lot of places.  Justin and I had been kicking around the idea of taking the kids to Auburn's Spring Football game (also known as A-Day), and this is the first year we could actually pull it off without too much trauma.  For those of you who don't know us well, we Kendricks like to wait to the bitter end to make major decisions.  And even when the decision is made, we go back to it and mull it over and quite possibly change our minds a few times.  It adds an element of excitement and uncertainty to an already stressful situation, and who wouldn't want that? 

So around 10 am on Friday, we decided we would go.  Actually I called Will at school and let him make the final call, because this was a trip for his birthday (which is this Thursday and I do not have any presents or a party planned, but that's another story).  He would have to miss a baseball game if we went, so we wanted to make sure he was ok with that.  Because if we had gone through all of the trouble and expense of planning this little surprise venture and then he was upset because he had to miss a ball game, I may have jumped from the van onto the interstate in my undone state, and we wanted to avoid such an occurrence. 

Not only did we have to pack, I also had to submit all of the orders for the church's booth at Spring Fling, which would have been pretty time consuming on its own.  Then we had to find someone to watch the dog and take care of our car pool commitments at school.  We ended up leaving around 2ish, which put is in Hotlanta right around 5:30 p.m.  Not a time of day you would want to travel through the ATL, but there was no way around it (believe us, we've tried to find one).  We sat at Spaghetti Junction, fielded questions from the back seat about how long it would take us and if we would ever eat supper, and focused on the prize.

We rolled in to the Opelika Super 8 around 7:30, and I took a Clorox wipe to every hard surface I could find in our room.  We got back in the van and took a scenic tour of Opelika and Auburn trying to decide where to eat.  (You know how we like decisions.)  We settled on Guthrie's, but had a bad feeling when the parking lot was almost desolate compared to every other eating establishment which had been packed out.  Guthrie's is a chicken finger and fry place with a sauce like Zaxby's.  We used to say Zaxby's could never compare to Guthrie's, but I now officially rescind that statement.   We ate, went back to the hotel, the children showered and then dropped their towels on the floor!!  No touching the floor!  They do not know rule #1 of suspect hotel rooms.  I asked the front desk for more towels. 

Saturday we got up bright and early, ate breakfast at McDonalds (that'll put a spring in your step!), bought a shirt for Emma and hats for the boys to get autographed, and made our way to the practice field.  After some debate over where to park (I held my tongue eventually), we went to the practice field and the boys were in hog heaven.  The official Auburn Football Team's practice fields!  And we were running around on them!  Probably we could have packed up and headed home after that because Auburn nirvana had been reached, but wait, there's more!  After walking around campus and touring the new basketball arena, we went to the Spring game.  We sweltered and yelled for our team - what do you yell when you are playing yourself?  I had never pondered this possibility.  Then, joy of joys! we went down on the field - the real field at Jordan-Hare Stadium, mind you - and waited for autographs.  Jack quickly lost interest; people were pushing to get to the players, and it is a little claustrophobic when you're eye-level with grown-up bellies the whole time.  So after getting a couple guys to sign his hat, we left the hat with Justin, Emma and Will and Jack ran for the end zone.  He would stand on one foot with a pretend ball on his hand and I would have to decide if he was in bounds or not when he caught the pass.  Then we would replay it and look at it again.  Then he would run down the whole field, dodging "defenders" (other folks trying to get autographs), while I tried not to lose sight of him.  Of course I lost sight, but eventually I just stayed around the 50 yard line and he would run past me every few minutes.  It doesn't get much better than that for a 7 year old football fanatic. 

Awesome day - so thankful for good weather and the opportunity to go.  We got back home around 10:45 p.m. Saturday night; Justin questioned at one point whether Josh Bynes' signature (our biggest score from the autograph session) was worth getting home so late, but of course it was. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to Not Make a Fool of Yourself at Your Kid's Sporting Events

Well, you'd think from the title, I was about to impart some maternal wisdom from my many years of trudging to the football field/baseball field/gym, but the fact of the matter is, how the heck would I know?  Before every game I breathe a little prayer, "Lord, please help me not to embarrass myself/my kids/the coaches/my husband."

Because, I'm a yeller, let me tell you.  Just the other night I was watching Emma's softball game and I yelled at one of her teammates to take a base because Ball 4 had just bounced across home plate.  She kinda looked up and then the ump held his fingers up to indicate that was ball 3, not 4.  Whoops!  Don't listen to the crazy woman in the stands, sweetie!  So she stood in there and struck out, probably too rattled to pay proper attention. 

I don't know how to not make noise...I'm scared to have a conversation with a stranger, but I sure enough will yell at that same stranger's child, given the necessary motivation.   
Look alive out there, girls!  
Call the ball!  
Throw it!  Throw it!  Throw the dadgum ball!
We live in South Spartanburg County, don't you know, where dadgum is a completely appropriate descriptive word.
And when they're batting...
Wait for yours, honey!  
Way to get a piece of it!
Now you're ready!
RUUUUUUN! Run hard!  Run, run, run, run, RUN!


I have words of advice for my kids after every game, as if I had played the sport and excelled at it in my own youth.  I've tried to put a lid on that, though, after I made Emma cry because I didn't think she was aggressive enough stealing home.  Come to think of it, I made my own sister cry when we were teenagers and she was trying out for cheerleading.  I can't remember what she got wrong, but I was pretty emphatic about it being wrong, I know that.  I think I could safely take coaching off of my giftedness list.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Things I think I'm too busy for

Here are some things I think I'm too busy for:
  1. Stopping to get gas.
  2. Using the bathroom.
  3. Showers.
  4. Drying my hair.
  5. Hugging my husband when he gets home from work.
  6. Sometimes brushing my teeth. 
  7. Sending the shower curtain liner through the wash.
Here are the results of me thinking I'm too busy for these things:
  1. I've never run out, but I've certainly put myself in stressful situations.  One time (maybe more than once) I was by myself in the van and the gas light came on and I paid zero attention to it.  I like to think of the Odyssey as a "drama minivan."  Always wanting attention, that one.  Anyway, after a while I noticed the indicator dipping below the E - like, below the little mark that says, "you're about to suck air through your fuel line," so I called my mechanically-inclined husband.    "When the fuel light is on, how mach gas do you have left in the van?"  He said probably about four or five gallons, why?  And I replied ever so nonchalantly, "Oh, no reason.  What do you think is our estimated miles per gallon on the highway in the minivan?" while I tried to remember what number the odometer was on when the light came on.  And he says, "Next gas station...stop at it."  And hangs up.  And then calls back in a bit to see if I was stranded on I-26 because I was trying to teach the Honda a lesson about theatrics.
  2. You don't really need or want to know, but any woman who has given birth to multiple children feels my pain here. 
  3. I try not to stand too close to people.  And I wear a lot of deodorant.  
  4. I perpetually look like Ms. Frizzle in the Magic School Bus books.  Sometimes I don't even brush it to try to achieve that "tousled locks" look.  Well, I achieve a look sure enough, but all it says is, "I should brush my hair.  Or wear a hat." 
  5. I miss out!  Thankfully, he'll stop me in whatever I am doing and make me hug him.  Atleast someone has his priorities straight here.
  6. Again with the personal hygiene! So sad for me.  And everyone within a 3-foot radius.  Trident and Certs.
  7. Using your fingernail, you could write your name in the soapscum/mildew combo going on at the foot of the curtain.  Disgusting.  One time my mother-in-law brought new shower curtain liners with her when she came to visit (I'm not kidding).  Next time she'll need to bring new grout.
Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

sometimes i wish i was obsessive-compulsive

Not in an actually crippling way, like washing my hands hundreds of times a day until they were cracked or bleeding or having to walk an even number of steps everywhere and if I ended on an odd number having to do it all over again or driving around a parking lot until I could find a parking place to the right because the left was where all the crazies parked...not like that, just one of those folks who couldn't stand to see dirt on the floor, or unnecessary paper on the kitchen table, or an unmade bed (actually that's not OCD, that's called being neat.  I get those confused sometimes).  Unfortunately, I seem to have a high tolerance for disorganization.  Right now I am typing with my arms resting on books and papers on the desk, and everywhere on the floor around me are brochures, books, shoes and one sleeping dog.

But actually I hate it being so messy...that's what so confusing to me; if it bothers me so much, why can't I do anything about it?  I clean up and clean up and it never sticks.  Dirt sticks, clutter sticks.  Clean vanishes like early morning fog around our house. 

I think I will stop blogging and see what mess can be vanquished in the 25 minutes before I have to fix supper.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

satisfied

Psalm 16:1-3, 5-6, 11

1 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

John Calvin says in his commentary Heart Aflame: Daily Readings from Calvin on the Psalms  on verse eleven of Psalm sixteen,
When God is reconciled to us, we have all things which are necessary to perfect happiness.  True and solid joy in which the minds of men may rest will never be found anywhere else but in God; and therefore, none but the faithful, who are contented with his grace alone, can be truly and perfectly happy.

God is good.  Rest in Him, for there is no other rest to be found.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

resources for prayer online

I found this site today Matthew Henry's Method for Prayer.  You can actually read the whole book online or just browse the short forms of prayer.  Sometimes when we pray extemporaneously (making it up as we go), our prayers become mostly about us and we forget to whom our prayers are addressed.  Consulting a book like A Method for Prayer or another favorite The Valley of Vision: a collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions can be really helpful in lifting our eyes up to our Maker, instead of focusing solely on ourselves. 

Another online help for prayer is Scotty Smith's blog Heavenward, simply his prayers for each day.  I like how he turns Scripture into personal prayer, something I try to incorporate into my own prayer life.

Here's a great post about why calling prayer time a quiet time should be a misnomer.  Even our physical stance can affect our prayers.  We often sit as we pray, but what about kneeling?  Or lifting up hands (I Timothy 2:8)?  A bodily expression of humility and praise can often bring about the spiritual attitude we need in prayer.

Just some ideas.  Happy praying!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I never thought Monday would be my regrouping day

I hated to drop the kids off at school today.  Booo, school!  Spring Break should be much longer.  I am about to go all Charlotte Mason and bring the kids home to spend hours outside studying local fauna and sketching in our nature journals.  Hooray for warm sunny days!

Surely you are anxious to know what books I ended up reading during Spring Break.  I am surprised my inbox wasn't filled with frantic queries.  Well, I will end the suspense - I skimmed the book about frenzied families - it felt too much like extra guilt to read it.  The Beekeeper's Apprentice was just up my alley; thank you, Cathy Keller!  And Justin read the Life of Pi but didn't like it; too weird.  He just started the Charles Martin book and seems to like it better already.

Thursday we came home and Justin's Mom and Dad were sitting in the driveway.  Yippee! We tried to make it to the Maundy Thursday service at church but couldn't get supper done in time.  I had decided on the way home to grill hamburgers b/c it seemed quick and easy.  We stopped at an exit about an hour from Spartanburg to buy the meat, buns, and other stuff, and when we got to the house I immediately started fixing.  We didn't have enough lighter fluid, however, so the charcoal took a while to get hot enough to cook on.  So while everyone is pulling into the church parking lot next to our house to go to the service, it looks like we are skipping church and flaunting it by having a cook out!  There are times when I would like to live somewhere other than the manse.

Anyway, Friday we spent at Walmart with every other ham-buying person in west Spartanburg, Friday afternoon I don't remember what we did...funny how quickly I forget, oh wait, we went to the feed and seed b/c Justin decided to plant a garden after all.  One of the kids said, "Why are we all going to the garden store?"  And I said, "You are a Kendrick.  It's what we do."  If they had been with the Bryants, we would have watched NASCAR, played golf, or visited a War between the States battlefield.  That's what we do.

Saturday the church had Easter-related activies for the kids.  I'm assuming bowling is Easter-related.  Justin's mom and I went to Sam's Club because there was a tiny spot in the refrigerator that did not have any food in it, and that would never do.  Just kidding, I had to get some medicine. And chips.  And blueberries.  You know how it is with that place.

Saturday afternoon the garden was planted, I was stressed and overwhelmed with all of the stuff I had to do (see my post from that day), and then we went to play putt-putt and eat at The Flounder.  Big day!  We came home, I made a congealed salad and decided to abandon everything else and went to bed after stuffing the Easter baskets with goodies.

Sunday morning I went to the Sunrise service conveniently located in our backyard with wet hair and no makeup.  Came back in, ate breakfast that I had started cooking and Justin's mom finished for me (sweet lady!), put on appropriate clothing and went to the 8:30 service.  Came back, asked Justin's mom to start the mac and cheese and corn pudding for me (sweet lady!), and went back to Sunday school.  Came back, finished the rest of Easter lunch prep, ate Easter lunch, had Easter egg hunt (you can each find 47 eggs, kids!), had a restful 90 minutes of reading, came back in and fixed refreshments for church plant Bible Study, went to church plant Bible Study, came back, got out leftovers for supper, fixed plates, ate, put up supper, played wiffleball with the family, got kids started on showers, watched amazing race (yea for the cowboys!), and went to bed.

So you can see how Monday is now so restful.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter - Not What It's Supposed to Be

So...what steps can I make to find a little more time for Jesus during Easter weekend?  I spent Maunday Thursday in the interstate coming back from Georgetown, Good Friday in Walmart and the feed and seed store, this Saturday has been taken up with the Church Easter Egg Hunt, running to Sam's Club for stuff I didn't pick up at Walmart, and now I have slunk off for a quick blog when I should be hard boiling eggs and making a congealed salad for tomorrow.  Emma is mad because she didn't get to go see How to Train a Dragon with her friend Sam and Jack wants to go putt-putting.  Where is the death and resurrection of my Lord and Savior in all this?  Hiding in between the jelly beans and peanut butter eggs, I guess.

I could get up early...the 5 am time of Bible Study I was enjoying a little while ago has been replaced by rolling out of bed because the kids are too loud in the living room around 7:30.  It's hard for me to be disciplined when we don't have school.  Well, it's hard for me to be disciplined when we have school, so this is even worse.  I am feeling depleted.   Help!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

photo session

Took pictures of Sam and Trevor's kids for a little amateur photo shoot.  They turned out pretty well!  We are headed back to Spartanburg today and back to our normal routine.  Not quite ready to jump back into it.