I Actually Do Need a Tribe

This is the lovely Amy and Tegann. They were our friends in California, we were beyond excited to visit with them recently!

Right when you move is always at the exact moment that you’ve finally made close friends. In California, we were lucky enough to have a whole group of them.

A Good Tribe Makes Life Happier

My California neighborhood crew

It took a year, though. That first year I knew very few other people. It’s hard when you’re new!

I saw an article headline written by a mom with no tribe. I didn’t read it, so I’m not sure how she felt about that, but I am always happier when I DO have a tribe of friends.

No, actually, I’d go so far as to say I NEED a tribe of friends. It brings me happiness and encouragement. People need people. We do. Yes, I spend almost all of my time with my family, but we aren’t meant to be isolated families of people. I always carve out time to go hang with other ladies too.

When I’m hanging out with a group of gals, I laugh so hard my sides split. And I am known for my loud cackle.

Alan’s mom and her sisters hold us all in awe. Three sisters. It’s like the ultimate tribe. They text, they call, they travel together, and they support and tease each other through life.

Just today, I was at my friend Brooke’s house, thinking how much more I smile when I’m visiting with her or any of my friends or my mom, just a friend who accepts you for who you are.

It takes me over a year to develop a tribe of friends with each place, and I don’t have one here yet. My friend Brooke and I were just talking today about how lonely that is.

I need to get pro-active about that and put together a supper club…any takers??

A Good Tribe Makes Life Happier

My friend Amy, from my Virginia tribe (how I miss them!), came and visited us in California.

 

If I hadn’t missed so many MOPS meetings, I would be calling that my tribe already. I love MOPS and the ladies there, but sometimes I don’t make it because of JD or because I have work to do.

At this stage of life, we don’t have ‘time’ to pour into friendships

and that’s why we have to be extra understanding and forgiving of our friends. Everybody’s busy.

However, I think the mommy years are years when we need friends just as much as ever. I would say more than ever, but I actually can’t think of a single stage of life when we don’t desperately need a support group.

Some people find that group at church or at the playground. I seem to usually find them in my neighborhood, thought that isn’t the case here.

I’ve been blessed to belong to several AMAZING tribes of friends over the years. I just had a different group for each place that I lived. Eventually, I will have one here too. These things take time.

A year from now, I won’t be tribe-less anymore. By then, I’ll just be heart-broken to leave. How do I know? Well, I always have before, so I can be optimistic, and I’m hoping for the best and trying to remember to be friendly and speak to people. Ha! It’s hard for an introvert sometimes, but we need people too.

 

What about you? Do you have a group of pals that make you laugh ’til you cry? It’s not a tribe unless it’s both fun and supportive.

 

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Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel’s Recipe Printable

Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel’s Recipe Printable
Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel's Recipe Printable

I love watching my boys play ball.

Having my kids home all day cracks me up. I mean literally, by 5:30, when my husband gets home, I’m a little cracked in the head.

But I love it. I do.

What do you do on the lazy days of Spring break? Well, for any parent who decides to stay home with the kiddos during their week off of school, these are definitely not lazy days. Duh, right?

But it’s still fun. I cooked 3 meals yesterday. Do you think anyone will notice if I only “cook” 2 today?

Daniel helped me make last night’s dinner. He even helped come up with a recipe.

“Mom, can we have a bowl of carrots for dinner?”

“Um, well…”

“And bwocowi! Bwocowi and carwats for supper. Nothing else.”

“Um, well…we do need to have some kind of meat. Chicken, maybe?”

“No. How about if you put the meat in with the bwocowi and the carwots, all in 1 big bowl?”

“Hmmm. Yes, that sounds good. How about this sausage?”

“Yes! Yes.”

Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel’s Recipe Printable

helping me bake his cake….Actually, at this point he was lickin’ the bowl.

So Daniel and I made a delicious dinner that, believe it or not, was heartily consumed by all SIX residents of the House of Tiny Men.  Here’s the recipe. Alan made me write it down.

So I typed it out for you to print for yourself.

Just click on the link below to download and print the recipe.

Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel’s Recipe Printable

Daniel’s Sort of Gazpacho

Okay, it may not be that pretty, but I promise it was yummy. Even my picky eaters did eat it, believe it or not.

——————————–

 

Daniel tries to hang out with the neighborhood boys, who are all 2 to 3 years older than he is. They are Caleb’s age, and as far as they are concerned, Daniel is just Caleb’s little brother. Daniel has been persona non grata to them.

I told Caleb he was going to have to tell them we can’t play if they can’t include Daniel.

Yesterday I sent them out to play, and I asked Caleb later how it went.

“Oh, I told ’em, ‘If you guys can’t accept the little guy, I’m going to turn you into rotten flesh.”

!!!!!??????

“Ew, Caleb! What does that even mean???”

“It’s from Minecraft.”

“What did they say?”

Caleb made a face that looked sort of like this          8 /

Nothing more was said. So no one said anything unwelcoming to Daniel. Raising boys is apparently not for the easily offended or overly refined….

__________________________

Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel's Recipe Printable

The leprechaun came to John David’s class. I asked him who the leprechaun was. He said, “Jesus!” I couldn’t help it. I busted out laughing before I tried to explain Jesus isn’t the leprechaun.

It’s been a fun week so far. Lots of driveway basketball, Lego Star Wars video games, and popcorn eating has taken place.

Caleb’s genius plan for spring break was announced on Day 1:

“Let’s make a rest schedule for this week.”

I laughed, but he appears to be sticking to it.

Spring Break Part II: Funny Stuff They Said with Daniel's Recipe Printable

JD loves playing with the magnet letters he got from my friend Amy. Also, JD loves pajamas. He changes back into his pjs the moment he re-enters the house. Sometimes, when I’m going somewhere in the afternoon, I don’t even have time to change him for the 3rd time that day and he picks up his big bros in his pjs.

People probably think I never dress him. hehehe

Hope y’all had a great week too!

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Military Spouse of the Year Nomination

Me and Chanda

I have this friend who is always thinking of how she can help other people. You might know her as my neighbor who was always bringing us cake or veggies from her garden, when we lived in California. We love her. I mean, who wouldn’t? She is clearly awesome.

Chanda, Laura, Jill, Amy, and I supported each other through the grad school years. Such a fun crew!!

You see that fun group of gals in the above photo?? Well, Chanda nominated every single one of us for Military Spouse of the Year. Because Chanda is da bomb. Next year is Chanda’s year, and I bet she’ll actually win.

Of the four of us, only two of us accepted our nomination, from what I can find. That was Jill and me.

Here’s the funny thing about Military Spouse of the Year. Whoever wins deserves it. There’s not a military spouse in the world who doesn’t. We are all fighting so many of the same battles.

We have all sacrificed years of our lives. We have all watched our children sacrifice time with their mom or dad. We know what it is to deeply miss someone and to live in fear of that visit from the military personnel to tell you your hubby won’t be coming home. We have whole years of our lives documented in letters to and from war.

2nd Iraq Deployment. A 15 month assignment

 

And I bet most of us know the basics of how to fix a toilet, mow the grass (except for me really on that grass part…), and coordinate a cross-country move.

It’s a nitty-gritty job, so I feel funny asking ANY of my fellow military wives to vote for me. They are all doing the same things I’m doing.

Sure, I’ve been involved and given back by supporting fellow military families, but so have all military wives that I know. We all do that. We do it in our own unique way using our own talents, but not one of us is an island.

Anyway. I say all that to tell you that yes, I am nominated, I’m the only one from our particular base that is nominated.

Voting is over now, but thank you to all who voted!

As always, thank you for your support. Voting ends Feb. 9th. Everyone in America gets one vote.

Moving Day, the Surprise Party, and the Power of Good Neighbors

Surprise Welcome Home Party at Kristy’s house. There were 23 neighbors in attendance.

On Friday night, I snuck into my home town. My parents were expecting me at 8:45pm, but truthfully I arrived at 7:30 or so, but I didn’t want them to know that. They were still staying at the rental house, but I did not go straight to the rental house. I went by my childhood friend, Kristy’s, house. We were on a mission, you see.

I grew up playing with Kristy and the other neighborhood kids. Kristy’s grandparents lived next door to us, and she spent a lot of time over there. As kids, we climbed trees, rode bikes, swung, swam in her granny’s pool, and played a good deal of make-believe and front yard baseball.

Then six or seven years ago, grown-up Kristy bought the house across the street from my parents! Pretty cool, huh? That tiny street is full of people who have been living there for most of my life.

They’ve been watching the destruction and re-building of my parents’ house up close and personal. They dealt with the smells, oh, you don’t want to know about the smells, the rubble looters on the day of the bulldozer, the construction crews, and the watching and waiting. They never complained.

Kristy said, “I’m telling you, they could’ve built it faster.”

Mrs. Sara (Kristy’s granny) lamented, “Well, the only problem is they built it closer to the road than it used to be, and the way it’s shaped I can’t see Terry on his front porch, and I can’t see Terry on his back porch. How am I supposed to know he’s okay???? How am I supposed to know it if he falls?”

She’s right, that’s a problem when you have good neighbors. Kirsty reassured her it’d be okay because she can still see him from her front porch.

Neighbors that look out for each other. Such a beautiful thing!

A month or so ago, Kristy hatched a plan for a surprise party. We had no idea what day they’d finally move in, so she planned it for December 10th, and lo and behold, what day do you think they finally moved in? Well, December 10th, of course, so it was pretty easy to get my parents over to the right place at the right time.

Chris, Kristy, and me

We decided the best story to tell to make sure my parents were at the new house unloading at party time was to say that pizza was arriving at the new house at 11am. This was pretty easy. I just used Alan’s obsession with pizza coupons as my cover story.

“You know how Alan is about his pizza coupons. Well, he’s already got the pizza scheduled to be delivered at 11am tomorrow at the new house. It’s a little early, but he wanted to make sure he had plenty of food, and that way when my brother gets off of work, they will be able to get straight to work with the heavy moving then.”

No one doubted that story for a second.

By 11am, every one of us was in place at my parents’ new house, but there was one part I hadn’t thought through. Now how do I get them over to Kristy’s house? Everyone was focused on the mission of moving… Hmmmm

“Hey, um, y’all, I talked to Kristy out in the yard, and she said when Dad gets here to have y’all stop by her house real quick. I think she has a Christmas gift for ya.”

And to my surprise, it was that simple!

They just said, “Oh. Okay,” and started off across the street.

“I think I’ll come too,” I said, motioning the boys to come on. John David was of course shoeless. Alan got his little shoes on JD as quickly as possible, and we all six followed Mom and Dad across the street.

Mom said she did think it was weird that we were ALL coming.

Kirsty opened the doors and motioned for us to all come in. I’m not sure how long it took Mom and Dad to figure out this was their surprise party or that we weren’t actually having pizza. Pretty funny! This was so fun to be a part of.

We all ate together. Mr. Byrd, a neighbor I remember as the one who would buy whatever I was selling from my school fund-raiser every year, said a beautiful blessing before the meal.

We laughed over the surprise, and caught up with everybody.

Then we walked everyone over and gave them a tour of the new house, for those who hadn’t seen inside of it yet.

I know. I know you’re dying to get a peek inside too, and I would show it to you, but Mom’s not as big on posting the minute details of her life on the internet as I am, so I’m going to literally just show you one peek. I’m going to give you Kristy’s porch view of the new place:

Mr. Byrd, Dad, and Chris and Kristy’s porch view of the new house.

It’s not a re-built house. It’s a completely new house. The old one had to be bulldozed and carried away, down to the last scrap of concrete. Nothing could be left. What wasn’t burned was all damaged by smoke, water, and asbestos.

Everything is gone. The trampoline burned too. When they were clearing the house away, there was a huge storm that came through, and lightning stuck the last of the tall pine trees that still stood from my childhood. And as they took away the dumpster last week, they killed the mailbox too.

It was as though God decided that he couldn’t just partially fix it. It had to be completely made new.

We may not understand the ways of God, but his ways are best, and I know that this house is going to be a great blessing to my parents.

Isn’t it funny how God even arranged it for Alan and me to move back down here for two years, so that we were here for all of this? I got to see construction of the new house in all of its phases. I got to pore over paint and tile samples with Mom on my coffee table.

And I got to be there for move-in day, even when we didn’t know until 3 days prior that it would be moving day!

God moves in mysterious ways.

I wish you could see what all Kristy has done with her house too! She bought it after the housing market crashed, and completely re-modeled the place, knocking down walls, moving the kitchen, painting, and putting in new floors. It’s inspirational to look at what she’s accomplished without even hiring a builder, a little at a time!

It makes me smile to see Alan getting to talk to these sweet neighbors, these pillars from my childhood. When I see Mrs. Sara I always smile and think of how she used to call out to us from her front door, “Y’all play purdy now!!” Maybe I should start calling that out my door to the boys and their friends.

Our neighbors didn’t just feed us and visit with us, even though that would have been more than enough. They also SHOWERED my parents with gifts, AGAIN. I say again because they’d already helped after the fire, but they just kept on giving!

opening gifts

Kristy, our lovely coordinator and hostess

They were given a big, beautiful set of Rachel Ray cookware, which I could tell Mom was excited about, as well as all sorts of other useful blessings!

Mom and I have always admired what Kristy can do with her vinyl cricket (cricuit?) machine!

The most emotional gift was this large framed floorboard from the original house, which Kristy wrote their name and anniversary date on. I cried when I saw it, even though I knew she was planning it. Mom cried. I don’t know if Dad cried.

The day of the bulldozing, Kristy had looked for some wood from the house, but there was none available that wasn’t too damaged, so she found a whole plank from the Pergo floors. This made it even more special because Mom and Dad had put those floors down themselves around 10 years ago, and we’d all just loved those floors.

Kirsty laughed about almost getting caught salvaging that board from the rubble. She said she left the kids with Gail and ran over to dig around for something she could save for Mom and Dad. She had just discovered a good board, and all of a sudden there was my dad! He was there to try to save some china, and she quickly dropped the board off to the side, and said, “Oh, here, let me help you with that!” She said she felt like she was almost busted. So funny, because Dad would have had no idea what she was doing anyway.

 

 

We laughed, we ate, we cried, and then we hugged people and got back to work!

This was such a blessing, what the neighbors did for my parents, and I just wanted to share it, the fact that things like this still happen. There are people who are still kind, giving, unselfish, who want to help other people, and we make each others’ lives better in the process.

Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into this, Kristy, and to all the neighbors for blessing us in such a big way. We are so thankful! Our cup runneth over.

 

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”  –Hebrews 13:16

May we all strive to be this kind of neighbor. Merry Christmas, y’all!

 


 

I am a sucker for a rescue.

Daniel 3:29

Daniel 3:29

Do you love a good rescue story? Man, I am a sucker for a rescue.

Lately, I’ve been feeling down. I’ve been letting circumstances get to me. I’m still pouting over losing my people in this move. I still have my family, my most important people. But I lost my support groups. I lost my friends. Friends are a tricky thing to replace. The thing is you can’t replace them because no two people are the same. It’s not possible. So you have to keep your old friends, but you have to find new friends too. I’ve met some ladies I like here, and I’ve already leaned on a few of them. We’re getting there. It’s promising. These things just take time.

Alan was gone for a great part of November for work, and it was a hard month. It was getting to me big time.

But this morning these verses in Daniel spoke to me. 

“No other god can save in this way.”  –Daniel 3:29

And those lines were spoken by the King of Babylon, who had just erected a giant gold statue of himself and proclaimed that everyone must worship it or burn.

But he saw the results. He couldn’t deny them. He SAW Jesus rescue those three Jews out of that fire when they refused to worship his ridiculous gold statue.

And that’s when he stood amazed, and he proclaimed a decree that no one was to say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, “because no other god can save in this way.”

I’ve seen the results too. I might not have been there all those years ago for the fiery furnace rescue, but I have seen one rescue after another in my own time, and it lights a FIRE in my soul, let me tell you.

The Bible is not just any other book, y’all. And God is not just any statue. He’s not a statue at all. Why would you worship something so small you could DIY????

This year my parents had their own fire. In case you missed that, I talked about that here. It was a burn-it-to-the-ground kind of house fire. This thing was so impactful. I would never wish it on anyone.

But God’s raising up something beautiful from those ashes. He’s staging another rescue. My parents will move into their new house, probably next month, just in time for Christmas.

He’s making everything new and everything beautiful, and he’s blessing my parents with a new home. It smells like new paint, it is handicap accessible, and it has the prettiest master bathroom shower I have ever seen. I am so excited for them. And you know what I said at the beginning about the hardship of finding new friends? They won’t even have to worry about that because he’s building it right where their old house stood, on the same plot of land I grew up on.

They will still have their neighbors and their church family right down the street.

Don’t you love a rescue like that?

And I want to say a special thank you to the members of Victory Baptist Church and to their neighbors on their street. They blessed them in ways that I, far away in California, did not. They were there for my family when I wasn’t really. You have no idea how much that means to me. Thank you!!!

Remember the kind of God we serve. Amen. Amen. Amen.

 

 

 

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