Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Musings

As we were reading through “Goodnight Moon”, apparently it was a little too long for Thomas. He said, “They could’ve just said, “Goodnight everything”.
Well, that definitely would have made the book shorter.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Saturday

Sleep in til 8:30. (Well, it is Saturday.)

8:35: Make husband’s lunch. Kiss husband goodbye and tell him I am planning to spend the entire day working on a book and finishing the laundry.

8:40: Eat some cereal. Change Bailey’s diaper. Change Travis’s diaper. Nurse Travis while I watch the last 20 minutes of a movie I missed when I fell asleep the night before.

9:05 Change a load of laundry. Remind teenage daughter to be ready by 2 o’clock to leave with friend.

9:15: Attempt to get dressed, but then wonder if I could find some capris since it will be so warm today. While looking for capris, I decide to see exactly what clothes I would be able to fit into since losing the baby weight.

10:45: Finish putting all clothing back into buckets, drawers and hangers after trying everything on, reorganizing it, stopping to change Travis again, nursing Travis, entertaining Travis with an empty water bottle, getting Bailey some juice, and making sure Bailey is not trying to start her own bath in my bathtub.

10:57: Vacuum closet and bedroom floors.

11:05: Check to see if kids have done their chores, get aggravated because kids have not done any chores. Tell the kids they better be doing their chores.

11:30: Tell the kids they are going outside.

12:15: Everyone is dressed, shoes have been found, two children have been told to go back and get on socks, and everyone makes their way outside.

12:20: Everyone is starving. Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to send outside for a “picnic” lunch.

12:25: Nurse Travis and put him down for a nap.

12:45: Come back into the living room to turn on laptop and realize that I need to move some furniture around to make it more efficient.

1:15: Finish moving furniture, wiping down table and chairs, sweeping, wiping down the wall, and mopping the floor. Visit for a few minutes with friend who is picking up teenage daughter.

1:30: Have the following conversation:

Child: “I am hot. Can I come in?”

Me: “No, the air conditioner isn’t on, the windows are open. Stay outside.”

Different child: “I want to come in and play the X Box.”

Me: “You are not turning on the X Box, the Playstation, the Nintento, the DVD player, the VCR or the Flux Capacitor. Now go outside.”

Four Year Old Child: “Well, then, what can we do?”

Me: “It has snowed 137 feet over the last month. It finally has all melted and IT IS 74 DEGREES OUTSIDE TODAY. Go outside and use a little something that we, back in the olden days, liked
to call an “imagination”.

Child: (blank stare)

1:33: Remember to change another load of laundry.

1:37: Come back to the couch and turn on the laptop.

1:41: Realize I need a pencil and paper, so I go to the desk and see that someone has rearranged my paperwork, and put some things on the desk that aren’t where they belong. Organize paperwork, proceed to put away things that were misplaced, and carry an item into the garage. Knock over bucket of cleaners that someone has left in front of the garage door. Rearrange cleaners into appropriate locations.

2:00: Sit back down on the couch and realize I still need the paper and pencil. Retrieve paper
and pencil.

2:15: Wash handful of dirt out of Bailey’s mouth. Change her diaper and lay down with her for her nap.

2:27: Return to laptop.

2:40: Attempt to reattach the legs of a plastic alien being that has been “accidentally”

2:42: Decide alien being should visit the garbage can.

3:25: Get Travis out of his crib and put him on a blanket in the floor with some toys.

3:31: Break up a fight over a magnet. Give up and let some children come inside to play with playdough.

3:41 Remember to change another load of laundry. Wonder who the children are in the front yard who are completely covered in mud from the 137 feet of snow that has melted.

3:45 Bailey wakes up from her nap that she CLEARLY was not ready to wake up from. Get Bailey and Travis a snack.

4:00: Clean up 75% of the snack off of the floor.

4:10: Change Bailey’s diaper and listen to Travis scream bloody murder for not getting to him first.

4:15 Change Travis. Nurse Travis.

4:30 Look at the one paragraph I’ve written so far on the laptop. Put Travis on blanket to play. Listen to 4th request to turn on X Box. Give in and turn on X Box.

5:00 Start dinner because everyone is “so starving”.

5:15-7:00 Finish dinner, feed children, give baths.

7:00-8:20 Sort and fold 7 loads of laundry, get everyone’s shoes, socks, clothes, Bibles ready for church tomorrow.

8:35: Husband arrives home, feed him dinner, talk about the day

8:40 Tell children to start getting ready for bed.

9:53 Children actually go to bed.

10:00 Save the one paragraph and turn off the laptop, go to bed and wait for Travis to wake up to nurse.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Busy, Busy Weekend Part 2 (Late) and New Busy Weekend

Well, my Busy Part 2 never auto posted like I planned, so I've posted and added an update, since this weekend was busy as well.

We went back to church on last Sunday evening because the youth group planned out the entire service. They had singing, skits, and talk show interviews.

Here is Tyler taking up the offering. He's in the red sweatshirt.

Here's Brittany singing. She's in the black shirt on the left. For some reason I couldn't get a clear picture of the girls.

Here's Tyler singing with the boys. They look very enthusiastic, don't they?

Brittany was also in a skit, but I didn't get a picture. I was too busy watching it. She did a great job. It was about how sin will get you "stuck" to it, and how Jesus is the way to get "unstuck." Good stuff.

Two of the youth boys did a skit about what pickup line Adam would've used on Eve. Oh my word, was it hilarious. I don't think I'd laughed that hard in, well, at least a day or two.

Now, last night, we had a Valentine's dinner ate our church. We had the newlywed game, dinner, skits, and now I've seen everything. The pastor dressed up, and performed, as Elvis.

We all had a great time. I didn't get any pictures because I was watching everything from the tv in the nursury with the three youngest kids.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Busy, Busy Weekend Part 1

Did I mention busy?

Saturday was Thomas's 4th birthday, but we celebrated on Friday afternoon since David works all day on Saturdays. We did our favorite Pin the Tail on the donkey, hot potato, and a scavenger hunt for clues to the presents. He had fun.

Saturday we did some sleepover kid swaps with the cousins. My sister in law's four kids are affectionately refered to as "the cousins" and vice versa with our kids. Auntie Cassandra took Bailey for the night and I think she got the short end of the stick. That girl was up til past midnight screaming her head off. Poor, poor Auntie. Bailey, I don't think you're going to get invited back. Ha!

Sunday was an exciting day. Two of our kids got baptized!! They wanted to get baptized for three reasons.

1. To show they have given their lives to Jesus Christ, their Lord and Savior.

2. To show obedience to God's command to believe and be baptized.

3. To demonstrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as they are lowered into the water and raised up.

Here are Tiimothy and Bethany. We are so proud of them.

David's uncle Jess came up from Muskogee to see the baptism. Afterwards we went to Braum's for lunch with the cousins. They all had fun.

Including Travis who got to eat his first french fry.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wildlife in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is home to a vast array of wildlife. Some different than we've seen back in South Carolina.

Some we've seen so far are on various occasions are........

bald eagle,

bobcat, and


I even managed to capture a few rare specimens on film.

Wilflife, indeed.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Travis Clarke

This is Travis Clarke. Also, affectionately known as Trav, Travey and Pumpkin Bun. This is what Travis looks like 25 percent of the time.

This is what Travis looks like 75 percent of the time.

oh, but we love him............

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Musings from Oklahoma: Bug Edition

Overheard as 3 year old Thomas is trying to kill a bug……..

“Die, you bug!”

“Take that, you bug!”

(Crash, bang, bash, crash….)

“Mom, that bug wouldn’t let me kill it.”

Five year old Tristan gives us an entymology lesson.

“Oh, that wasn’t a wasp. It was actually a yellow black jacket.”

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tulsa Winter aka Will we ever be able to leave our house again?

Ah. They warned us.

But we didn't believe them.

Now we do.

My goodness, I have never seen so much snow in my life.

These are pictures from the five inches of snow from two weeks ago.

This is from the 14 inches we received last Tuesday.

I didn't get any pictures from the extra three inches two days after that.
And there is expected to be another 6-10 inches tomorrow.
David went to mail our rent check on Friday since the postman wasn't coming and he got stuck three times.
Well, I don't know if I can wait til spring. Did that groundhog see his shadow or not?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Whataburger! Whatanexperience!

We finally made it to Whataburger! for lunch. It was definitely an experience I would like to repeat. I love me a good burger and fries. I had heard of this place before and knew it was kind of an icon. I’m not sure how the name came to be. Perhaps a more Colonel Sanders minded person, shocked at the idea of a restaurant with beef, exclaimed, “What? A burger?”. Or perhaps, a beef connoisseur , amazed at the mound of pickle, onion, lettuce, and ketchup on a perfectly seasoned patty exclaimed, “What a burger!”. Whatever the origin, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

My Whataburger, whatafries and whatasprite.

My husband had whatasourexpression so I didn’t take his picture. It was similar to this one. Love you honey!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Courtney's Tulsa Top Ten

10. The people are very, very friendly.

9. The people don’t know how to drive.

8. There is always road construction.

7. There are lots of oil derricks.

6. The city of Tulsa is laid out on an almost perfect grid.

5. Most street names are numbers or names of other places in the USA

4. Oklahoma is rich in Native American history and it is politically correct to say “Indian”.

3. Mardel is my new favorite store.

2. Braum’s has some gooood ice cream. From what I’ve been told, that is.

1. I live within an hour and a half from the Duggars, The Pioneer Woman and the real town of Wakita from the movie Twister. I honestly don’t know what to do with myself.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Some Common Terns Heard in Oklahoma

“Deal” as in “What’s that switch for? Oh, it’s a little deal that turns the light on and off.”

“Toll Road” as in “You throw money in this little bucket and we let you drive on our road.”

“Casino” as in a little thing called ‘gambling’.

“Quick Trip” as in “If you don’t stop for gas here, you can take a Quick Trip to the next corner where there is always another one.”

“Sooner” as in “The sooner the Sooner football season starts the better.”

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A New Start Part 4

September 2010

We moved in the house on September 17th, a Friday, which was a week after we signed the lease. When I picked up the keys from her that morning she said, “We’ve bug bombed five times, but we can’t seem to get them all. We called an exterminator to come in on Tuesday, but in the mean time, if you see one just spray it.” And handed me some Raid.

Um, pardon me?

The house was crawling with bugs. The five oldest kids and I came prepared to clean after we picked up the keys. But, mostly I just stood and looked around with despair. If I see ‘a’ bug? How about hundreds. David was working the two jobs by this point, 7-4 at the full time job and 8-midnight at the second, with ten hours on Saturdays as well. I was sitting in the living room alone at midnight in the only chair we had brought and I was having a major emotional breakdown. I was waiting to call David, because I knew his shift was about to end. I told him I thought I had made a terrible decision about this house. Did he know all the bugs that were here? What were we going to do? I can’t even begin to describe how upset I was. But, David always knows what to say. He told me that everything would be okay, and that I did a great job finding us a house. We would just take it one step at a time. I don’t know what I would do without him.

We made it through that weekend, and on Monday they had the new furnace installed. It was still about 95 degrees out and we had the air conditioner off all day, so they could install it. That afternoon around five, they let us know that they couldn’t seem to get the air conditioner back on, and they would have to come back tomorrow.

Um, pardon me? Again.

We now had no air conditioning in 95 degree weather in a house crawling with bugs. Lord, would this ever end?

But, wait. Oh, yes. There’s more.

They couldn’t get the air fixed on Tuesday either. They didn’t get the air on until Friday- a week in 95 degree heat. And bugs.

But wait. Oh, yes. There’s still more.

Tuesday night, the toilets started backing up into the bathtubs. The lovely folks who rented the place before us were obviously wonderful tenants. Not only did they leave us all their bugs, but they left roots in the sewer pipes as well. Apparently you’re supposed to flush rock salt down toilets for two weeks in October to keep roots from growing into the sewer line, and they did not. I have never heard of such a thing in my life, but you better believe from now on, I will be a salt flushing fool.

And then there were the mice. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Now it is four months later, January 2011. With a fresh coat of paint, and the bugs dwindled waaaay down, and the mice gone we are definitely making the house work. We even have a school room-very exciting. I’m no longer on the verge of an emotional breakdown every minute. My default is set to happy.

I share all of this because I went down a long, hard road and made it to the light at the end. I know there are many who are in circumstances far, far more difficult than I can imagine. There were so many times that I knew all the answers, everything that Christians say in tough times. “God is good.” “God still loves you.” “God is still there and he cares.” But, honestly, I didn’t want to hear any of it. I couldn’t understand why God would bless us with so many children, yet not gives us the means to take care of them. I felt like God let me down. And I couldn’t seem to get over that.

I’m being honest here.

God spoke to me recently and said, “Courtney, I am good, I do still love you, I am still there and I do care. That’s why I gave you all these children. I promised you I would when you trusted me. But, because of this fallen, sinful world I can’t promise you it will always be comfortable.”

I still don’t know why we needed to go through all we did. I may never know until I can ask Him in person. I do know that He has blessed us. He was blessing us all the time with gifts and encouragement from friends and sometimes even total strangers. Even though conditions weren’t my idea of perfect, He did provide us with all that we needed. I also know that even as much as I love my children and want to provide for them, He loves them more. And, most importantly, he has promised us eternal life if we trust him. He always keeps his promises.

Life for us still isn’t perfect, but in this world, it will never be. David is still working a lot of hours for a little money. We don’t have the means to purchase a house and land like we wanted. And sometimes, it seems like it’s one little thing after another. But, we are happy. We are enjoying our children, enjoying each other and starting over.
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