Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Eleven is the answer to the question. Can you guess what the question is? Is it:

A. How many spankings did you give Ethan today for touching the Christmas tree?

B. How many loads of laundry did you wash, fold and put away?

C. How many Hershey’s kisses did you eat while no one was looking?


D. How many times did you have to tell the kids, “Don’t lick your fingers while we decorate Christmas cookies!”

All of the above scenarios DID occur in my day, but if you guessed B, you are correct!

Bless ya!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday morning blues...

As a pastor's wife, I spend Sunday mornings alone. Well, not alone exactly..alone with my 4 children (Michael is usually at the church by 6am). I get them breakfast, get them all dressed in their finest for church, and get them there pretty close to on time. But sometimes the condition of my heart once that all happens is, well...let's just say it's less than worshipful.

It's Sunday. It's the only opportunity I get to corporately worship with my church body - who are very dear. I look forward to it, and miss it so badly when one of the kids is sick. So why, on a day when everyone is healthy and all will be in attendance, do I struggle so much with my attitude?

Maybe it's because of all the rushing around I do on this particular day. On school days I only need to grab uniforms out of the closet, and Ethan and I take the big kids to school in our jammies. Just this past Sunday morning I was in the shower when Caroline knocked on the door.

"Mom!" she said.

"Yes!" I replied.

"I need you to fix my hair!"

"I will!"


"When I get out of the shower, Caroline!"

"Do these socks look ok with what I'm wearing?"

"Well, I can't see you...again, I'm in the shower!"

(let me interject here and explain that I make it a rule to ALWAYS lock the bathroom door when I'm in there. Now, you may say "What if one of your children needs you?", or "We teach our children that we don't lock doors in our house!". To you I say congratulations...and get your own blog. You name the day and I will bring my sweet children to your house so you can take a shower (or do anything ELSE in the bathroom for that matter!!) with 4 others in the room with you. They open the curtain, they flush the toilet, they want to play with my make up (only the girls), they...ummm..."critique" me. Good times.)

This past Tuesday at our morning "circle" meeting, a questions was posed: How do you prepare yourself for worship?

My quick-wit answer was "get the kids dressed Saturday night". It got a bit of a laugh, but it wasn't really funny. There's nothing funny about showing up to worship in the same frame of mind as having just left Wal-mart on a Saturday (every time, I tell you...every time. And I hope that statement is in some way picturesque).

Michael prepares for Sunday all week. Now, he is a pastor, so that much can be assumed. But what I mean is that he prepares himself for worship. He takes pains to go to bed early, get up early, keep his mind uncluttered and not too busy on Saturday evenings. Not that he is immune from the distractions that inevitably come up, but he is purposeful about preparation.

What if I did that? What if I got up earlier, leaving plenty of time for the girls to have a couple costume changes, plenty of time for a decent breakfast, plenty of time to find them (girls) tights that fit, plenty of time to break up an argument over who gets to choose the bible story video next, plenty of time to..I don't know...maybe pray? I do have an enemy, and he wants me to have crummy Sunday mornings each and every week. He wants me to be distracted, discouraged and disgusted by the time I get to Sunday School. It's a battle! And you know what? I'll bet you have faced it, too.

Tomorrow is Sunday. I'm going to ask the Father to change me.

Bless ya!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Fond Affection

When I was in college I met this great gal named Julie. We had mutual friends who introduced us (Sandy and Sonya) and realized quickly that we both had the same silly sense of humor. We were really dumb acting in college. I remember several times we went to the mall and walked around speaking in our best Boston accents. We went to Chicago together with our friends Becky and Terry (Becky is my knoll-rolling friend. She's one of a kind), went went to Gatlinburg many times; Amelia Island; Panama City; Jackson, Mississippi to do a "Disciple Now" (and see Bryan Duncan in, Julie, that dates us!!); Atlanta; New Orleans (she and Terry took me there before I got married). After I became I Christian, I literally looked up and there she was - the first one to take an interest in my spiritual growth (she discipled me for 2 years). We were roommates in and after college. The time I cried the hardest in my life - she was there. When I had my babies - she was one of the first ones to hold them. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding. We have some pretty good disagreements, too, but we always have worked it out (if you don't have disgreements with your friends from time to time, I would question if you're really friends!). Every time I go to Birmingham she makes time for me over chips, salsa and margaritas at Pablo's. She always listens to my junk. And I always have so much fun with her...even if it's just walking around Target (actually, since Target is just so knee-slapping fun, I'm sure THAT'S not hard for you to believe!). I may go months without speaking to her (though, whenever I hear a good song on the radio, I always call her voice mail and let her hear it, too), but when we do finally talk, it's just like we talked yesterday. I love her so much!

Julie is SO special to me. Her blog, A Fond Affection, is excellent...and what a great name! I wish I had thought of it for my blog. Please visit her.

Bless ya!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Help! I'm Addicted!

Looking for a good way to waste time?

Check this out...Escape Games 24 - Room Escape Games, Point and Click Games, Puzzle Games, Adventure Games, Casual Games, Walkthroughs and Free Games Download

If you've never done an escape the room game, you are in for a treat. Basically, you are locked in a room and you have to pick up clues to figure out how to escape.

Good times.

This is one of my favorites...

Bless ya!

Taking the yearly Christmas picture is always something I face with mixed feelings. First of all, when I look at those babies from behind the camera lens, I am remembering that another year has passed. Another 365 days closer to them leaving for college. Have I made the year count? On the other hand, I'm also thinking, "why won't Molly look at the camera?", "Is that a kool-aid mustache on Mason's face?", "Ethan, put your hands down!", and "Caroline, try and do something about the kool-aid mustache on Mason's face."

So, this year while at the beach over Thanksgiving, I decided that instead of being all general-like about the picture taking process, I was just going to be breezy. You know, get the picture or not - I'm good. We headed to the beach and began snapping. Being breezy was a smart move. I noticed that my mood (and subsequent actions) really do have a tremendous influence on my family. And I'm not saying I was "putting on" on just trying to act phlegmatic or anything...I just really wanted it to be easy for everyone and asked God to help me be an agent to make that happen. God said yes, and I learned something.

By all accounts, I am a "glass is half empty" kind of girl. (A side note...Michael is a "glass is half full" kind of guy. In fact, he's probably more along the lines of "look at that beautiful glass! And look at all that stuff in it! That has to be one of the BEST glasses ever made!! Life is so much more AWESOME just knowing glasses like this exist!!!" Am I clear? Part of my "melancholy-ness" is how God made me, and part of it just needs redemption. I really want God to change me and make me more like my sweet husband...more like Jesus. Looking only at the negative things in life take people's (and MY!!) focus off Jesus who gives me all things from His hand and intends them for my good.

Need some evidence? Just check out this sweet shot I got...

Bless ya! And Merry Christmas!!

Baby "Think it Over"

I'd like to introduce you to my brother, Christopher.

If you don't know him, you're missing out, really. This is an e-mail he wrote about his daughter, Taylor. I think you'll enjoy it...

"This weekend we had a new edition at the Carden house. "Baby Think It Over" is a life-like full sized infant doll that 8th grade students are assigned to take home over a weekend. Now, remember this is not a toy ( this is a life-sized infant simulator. It cries when it needs attention and the student has a key locked on his or her wrist. The key is inserted in the infants back and held in position for random intervals. It may take 2 minutes to calm the baby or it may take hours, it's completely random. The students are required to keep a log of how the baby's fits affect them, their personal time, and people around them.

Taylor spent the night with a friend last night, so I didn't have my new grandbaby here at the house. I went to pick them up this afternoon and the vision of my thirteen year old daughter walking towards the car with an infant car seat hit me hard. It was like, where did the time go? I was interested in this experiment but, wanted to try and remain professional and limit my questions. I was real excited when Tay finally asked me if I wanted to hear it cry. I said "yes" so she held it upside down until it cried then she flipped it back over. You have to hold this robot correctly or it will be reported during the "download" in school on Monday. I could tell Tay was excited, and I enjoyed seeing her enthusiasm, but I think what actually happened is something that was completly unintended..."PawPaw think it over".

We were in Walgreens and this little gigabyte started to cry. Now Taylor was quick to deploy the key to calm the little guy and seemed unaffected. I however began to scan the isles to see who was watching, listening. I almost began to panic...will it stop before anyone notices??? With the skill of a computer tech/Mother, Tay quickly silenced the stepford baby and order was restored. I was so relieved...we had avoided being starred at. Once at the register I saw an elderly woman watching, trying to figure out what was going on. Tay noticed her to and seemed almost embarrased.

I was very proud of my little girl, she done good. Truth be told, I learned a lesson during that "Pawpaw think it over" senerio.

How nice would it be if we all had key slots in our backs. If your husband started acting ugly, if your wife started giving you down the road, you could just put the key in the slot and instantly calm the situation. There would only be the beginning of fights in marriages, no endings. You could also use them on your little kids while in the grocery line, or in the resturaunt. One key fits all, you could use them on other peoples kids too. Whenever some parent started that "One, Two..." you could put your key in them!

Well Pawpaw think it over has been a good experience. I don't want to grow up; I don't want to grow old. My hair is already turning grey, and I am transforming into a dangerous mixture of Butch and Hubert (Dad & Papa). I am tired of being old before my time, staying ill all the time, and taking everything to seriously. I want to have grandchildren, but more importantly, I want them to want to come see me!!! I want to watch Taylor and Elizabeth grow up and have babies, lots of babies! I'm just in no hurry for that day to come. So I say thank you 8th grade! You have taught me alot...and you have slowed me down.

Chris M. Carden"