Friday, 29 January 2010


I have never participated in a blog hop before, but it looks fun, and I'm feeling kinda restless today, so... Welcome to Five Question Friday!

My Little Life

1. Would you ever vacation alone?

2. Do you go the speed limit?

3. Why did you start blogging/following blogs?

4. Where do you shop for yourself?

5. What was the song that you danced your first dance with your spouse to at your wedding...or...what song would you like your first dance to be to?

1. Would you ever vacation alone?
  Sure would.  Maybe not a long one, but having time to myself is a HUGE luxury.  I would love a nice weekend all to myself.  Bring a good book, sit on my hotel balcony (a must!) with a nice cup of coffee.  Sounds blissful!  :)

2. Do you go the speed limit?
Can I plead the 5th on this one?  Really, I try to stay within five miles of the speed limit most of the time.  Since we live so far out, the small-town police are often patrolling, and I would hate to get a ticket.  I DO have a lead-foot, though so cruise control is my friend!

3. Why did you start blogging/following blogs?
Why?  Because I started thinking about Christmas cards and had a panic attack.  Seriously.  Jonathan has a big family, and just the thought about put me over the edge.  Besides, what to do?  Picture cards?  They kinda seem impersonal to me.  I love seeing pictures of everyone's beautiful families, but the postcards? ... That's it.  It's a postcard that says "Merry Christmas from the Martins!"  Totally cute, but not very personal.  Pictures in cards?  A little more personal.  You have to sign them.  I could do that maybe if I got everyone's addresses.  (More hyperventilating.  The addresses?!)  A family news letter?  Now that's personal.  A bit of a note about what we've done throughout the year, and a nice pic of the fam at the bottom.  I could go for that.  Except...  Almost every newsletter I've ever gotten has seemed a bit like whoever was writing it is...  How can I put this?  A sanctimonious donkey.  Or a not-so-nice-word for a donkey, if you get my drift.  "Dick got a promotion this year, and Sally-Sue made honour roll.  Little Billy is at the top of his class at Harvard, and we bought a ridiculously large house even though all of our children are growing up and we will be empty-nesters soon.  We had a fabulous vacation to Europe for a month last summer, and upon our return home, purchased a yacht."  Wow.  Great.  So happy for you.  Maybe a newsletter isn't such a good idea.  Good news seems like tooting your own horn, and bad news is just, well, bad.  So, long answer, but that's why I started a blog.  To keep our families up-to-date with us all year long.  And not to sound like a sanctimonious you-know-what!

4. Where do you shop for yourself?
What us this "shopping for yourself" that you speak of?  Um...  I don't, really.  But, I guess when I do, Target is a favourite.  Or Ross.  Or thrift stores.  I love a good deal.  And recycling.  ;)

5. What was the song that you danced your first dance with your spouse to at your wedding...or...what song would you like your first dance to be to?
Love that song!!!  

That's it, folks!  You can check out other people's 5QF through MckLinky.  Hope this works!  hehe!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, 25 January 2010

On being thankful

Have you ever noticed how easily we slip into griping about little things?  I know I fall guilty to that more than I would care to admit.  Lately, I've been trying to take my annoyances and turning them into things to be thankful for.  It's not always easy.  Last week, a friend came by, and my house was in a sad state of disarray.  With all the rain we had gotten, our dogs tracked in mass quantities of mud.  I was in the midst of washing all the cushions on our sofa, and vacuuming up the mess.  As she came in, I looked around and said "Sorry about the mess.  The dogs tracked in mud and I'm working on cleaning it up.  I'm trying to be thankful that I have a good vacuum cleaner instead of being annoyed by the mess!"  She laughed and nodded knowingly.  You see, there was a time, not so very long ago, that I didn't have a decent vacuum cleaner.  Had I been attempting to clean with our old one, Jonathan probably would have come home to a broken window, a vacuum cleaner on the lawn, and a crying wife.  (I'm just kidding about the window and the vacuum cleaner.  Not so much the crying wife!  lol)

Saturday, we ran out of milk, and had to get some for supper.  I hopped in the truck and ran up the street to Brookshires.  They were out of gallons in the kind we use, and no one in the house will drink their brand, so I took a deep breath, and bought a half gallon.  Jonathan had also asked me to pick up some soda, so I grabbed a 12-pack while there.  As I was walking out to my truck, frustrated that they didn't have what I wanted, and what they did have was over-priced, I had to stop myself.  Not so very long ago, I would have to either go to the truck stop, and pray that they weren't out of milk, or drive into town.  It wouldn't be practical to do all of our grocery shopping at Brookshires, but how convenient to actually have a grocery store here in town!  We've lived in Anna for five-and-a-half years now, and for most of that time, we didn't have that luxury.

This morning, it has started early.  The girls are just not at their best so far today.  They've already gotten themselves grounded for the afternoon.  BUT... how hard have we worked for me to be able to stay home with them?  How often do I read news articles about what is happening in public schools around here, and thank God that my girls are homeschooled?  How many times (even on days like today) am I reminded that I have awesome kids?  I do, really.  Sure, they argue, but I'm told this is normal.  (A complete lack of sibling rivalry on my part as a child did NOT prepare me for this love-hate relationship.)  We get to study in our jammies, if we want.  If cabin fever sets in, it's off to the aquarium for the day.  I have the unique opportunity to teach my children every day.  Not just in the afternoon.  Not just on the weekends.  Every. single. day.  How amazing of a blessing is that?

It's time for me to step away from the keyboard, now.  The dogs have tracked in more mud, and the laundry beckons.  This day will bring plenty of opportunity for me to exercise this attitude of gratitude.  I'm off to go enjoy my new singing washer and dryer a little bit!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Disaster relif in Haiti

If you've read a paper, turned on the news, or listened to the radio since Tuesday, you've heard it.  Haiti has been absolutely devistated by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake.  The death toll is estimated by the prime minister to be 100,000.  Let me say that again one hundred thousand.  Approximately three million people have been affected by this tragedy.  If you're watching this in horror as I have been, you may be wondering what you could possibly do.  Compassion International is an incredible organisation to donate through.  More than 80% of funds go towards missions, with very little being spent in administrative expenses.  All funds donated for disaster relief are used to provide for families and childrenaffected by the crisis.  Compassion has moved quickly setting up a fund for Haiti where all donations will be used immediately for disaster relief there.  Just $35.00 can provide food and water for one family for an entire week.  I would urge you to consider donating to the relief effort there.  Sacrifice your Starbucks for a week, take your lunch to work, skip going to the movies, do something.  Thirty-five bucks isn't that much.  I would be willing to bet that we could all get a little creative with our budgets and find that much to make a big difference for a family suffering.  If not, there is no minium amount to donate.  Send $5.00 if that's all you've got, but please, do something.  If you haven't already donated to the relief effort somehow, here is the link again just to make it easy!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

This man

The year was 2000.  We survived the apocalypse of the Y2K bug, and I had one New Year's Resolution.  No serious relationships.  On January twelfth, I had my first date with this man.
Ten years later, he still makes my heart pitter-pat like a giddy teenager, in love for the first time.

Sunday, 10 January 2010


Alternately titled : Holy cow, how did this get to be such a long, introspective post?!

I attended a private Christian school for elementary and junior high.  These were not particularly pleasant years for me.  I suppose there were good times, but looking back, I never quite felt like I fit in.  I was awkward, nerdy and not particularly fashionable.  Uniforms were not required at the school I attended, and the unfashionable aspect really bit me in the butt.  As if being awkward and nerdy weren't bad enough.  All this laid the groundwork for some unruly years in high school.

Upon entering public school, I thought that I could leave my past behind me.  No one had any idea that I was a nerd, and I had mostly outgrown my awkward stage.  I was still somewhat lacking in the fashion department, but then again, there were so many more fashion genres in public school, that I didn't stand out quite so much.  I discovered that boys found me attractive.  That had never happened in private school.  There, I had been the girl that boys asked out as a joke.  To make a fool of me.  Though I was able to "reinvent" myself at a new school, I was not able to leave the feelings of a nerdy, awkward girl behind.

It didn't occur to me until years later, that I had left private school to attend a public, inner-city school district, but that's exactly what I did.  The problems we faced there were very adult kinds of problems.  Drugs?  Check.  Gangs?  Check.  Teenage pregnancy?  Check.  We had it all.  The metal detectors that we had to go through every morning were a joke.  No one was available to man them after the first period bell rang, and if you were going to bring a weapon to school, you probably didn't really care all that much if you were missing a class or two.  By the time we had graduated, I had friends that were parents and married.  I had friends that had lost their lives to car wrecks, suicide, and drive-by shootings.  What I didn't realise at the time, was that not all public schools were like that.  It was during those rough high school years that I developed some incredibly deep friendships.  We went through a lot together, during a time when you're ever trying to break away from your parents and become an autonomous individual.  You instead lean on friends, and begin to define yourself through those friendships.

When I became a parent myself, I was able to keep some of those friendships for a time.  But then it happened...  They went to college.  I did not.  While most of my friends moved away and went to lots of parties, I went to work and took care of my kids.  And you know what?  I don't really feel like I missed much.  Sure, I would like to get a degree one day, but I can't say that I'm particularly sorry to have missed out on wild parties and boozing it up.  And to be honest, I see an awful lot of my peers that got degrees and really aren't using them.  You know what I do miss, though?  I miss those friends.  I miss having someone close that I can call on a moment's notice and say "Hey, I need to get away.  Want to go out and do something?"  Because let's be honest, just because I'm married to my best friend and I love my kids doesn't mean that I don't need to get away from them occasionally.  I realise, of course, that with a family, people need more than a moment's notice, but it seems like even planned get-togethers fall through.  And I haven't been out with one of my friends from high school in ten years.  Ten years.

I have cultivated new friendships since my old friends left me, but very few, and I seem to have a difficult time.  It seems, sometimes, like everyone has their own circle of friends that they've always had, and I'm the new girl, who never quite fits in.  Still nerdy.  Still Awkward.  Still completely unfashionable.  Sometimes, I miss having such a large circle of friends.  This particular introspection was brought on by the loss of a high school friend on facebook, and the change in status of another from married to single.  I didn't even know she was having problems, and wonder if she felt like I did when I was going through my divorce.  I wonder if she felt like she would never be lovable again and like she had completely failed at life.  And I didn't even know until she had changed her status on facebook.

I suppose this is just a part of being an adult.  Everyone sort of does their own thing, and lives their own lives.  When my phone rings, I can pretty safely assume that it's for one of my tweener daughters and not me.  I am now defined by my family.  Jonathan's wife.  Celestia's and Tatiana's mom.  Those are good things to be.  Sometimes, though, I would like to find that girl that had so many friends.  I would like the phone to be for me.  I have always believed that people had an infinite capacity to love, but the older we get, the smaller our circle seems to become.  Men and women can no longer be just friends, because it's somehow socially unacceptable.  Funny, I'm certain I had plenty of male friends when I was younger that I never once dated.  Women can't seem to get away from the kids to have a night out on their own.  Occasionally, you find the rare couple that you can hang out with as a couple.  That seems to be the best solution.  Everyone's kids entertain each other, while the adults get together for a while.  If you're lucky, the children all come out unscathed.

For the most part, I am starting this process over yet again...  Meet new people.  Maybe you click, maybe you don't.  Deep down, I still feel a bit like that awkward little girl.  I haven't had a new wardrobe in ages, and the return of 80's fashion doesn't make me want to run out and buy one.  The biggest difference is that I can now happily admit that I am a nerd, and laugh about it.  Take it, or leave it, my friends.  Perhaps there is my answer.  I've stopped trying to be something that I'm not.  The most ironic part in all of this is that I'm pretty sure that I am a much nicer person than I was back then.  But I could be wrong.  It certainly wouldn't be the first time.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll step down off my soapbox.  I've taken up enough of your time.  (If anyone is actually still with me, here.)  Maybe I'll brew a pot of coffee and invite someone over for a chat.

Friday, 1 January 2010


It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

2009 brought many changes to our family.  As I  predicted last year, it was indeed, a good year.  Some of the changes did not, at first, seem like good ones.  Almost no one really wants to be laid off, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  I thought I would stay home, and then found out some important things about myself...  I have no business trying to run my own business, and I really need a job outside my home, even if it's just a part time one.  I went back to work and that, too has been a blessing for our family.

This was Jonathan's second full year traveling, and we have settled into a routine that works without anyone else locking herself out of the house.  He's still enjoying his job, and it looks like some interesting things could be happening there this year.  We'll be waiting to see!

Both of our girls are now in double digit ages, and Celestia passed me up quite some time ago.  We will continue to homeschool, as we LOVE it, and I am so blessed to be able to have such a direct impact on these beautiful girls' education!

This year, our New Year's Eve was spent playing our latest game from Santa - Ticket to Ride.  We enjoyed staying up late, having snacks, and sparkling pear juice.  At midnight, we toasted the new year with sparkling grape juice, and all kissed each other.  Jonathan may or may not have gotten an extra kiss or two from me!  ;)  I am looking forward to the new year, and all the changes it will bring to our family.  I think there are going to be some good ones!  Bring it on, Twenty-Ten!