Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Heart My Netti



I can't even believe I'm about to write about this.

I don't know why, but writing about this gadget is as embarrassing as writing about Summer's Eve or something.

I guess it's sort of the same thing, but just for your nose.

Let me just say again...I can't believe I'm writing about this, or that I just wrote that sentence up there.

But here's the deal...

This gadget has seriously saved my life.

We had only lived here a couple years before something awful happened to my face. It started hurting, pounding, and I was miserable.

This all progressed for some time, and finally I was diagnosed with "chronic sinus infections."

Super.

Every couple of months, I would get horrible headaches, my eyes would hurt, my face bones would hurt and my teeth would hurt. All I wanted to do was sleep and was extremely tempted to drill holes in my eye bones. On top of all that, my breath smelled like something crawled inside my throat and pooed in it.

There's nothing like an infection in your face to make a lady feel stunning.

Two things happened two years ago that changed my face and breath forever.

First, the Amazing Doctor Bacak figured out I did NOT have chronic sinus infections. After studying my chart (I know, go figure! A doctor who ACTUALLY reads your charts!) he decided I had one sinus infection that never went away. He put me on all sorts of souped up drugs, and after about a MONTH I was better.

Second, Matt Graham came to my house and told me about this weird device you use to pour hot water up your nose and make your face feel better when your face is hurting from sinus pressure. This gadget will make you want to rub it and see if a genie comes out. If one did, I would wish that Mr. Genie would explain to me what sinuses are, because I don't understand them.

I love Matt Graham for many reasons, but one of those reasons is we appreciate really gross things and can talk freely with each other about them. He lets me be gross and a girl. Aaron sits and makes fun of us. Matt's also a fun person to sit down with and think of what your three wishes would be if in fact a genie did come out of the pot.

For the past 18 months, I am pleased to announce that I have had ZERO sinus infections. Incredible! I went from having about 6-8 a year for several years to having NONE. When I was sick all the time I LIVED on Allegra D every single day for about four years (and usually on antibiotics too). Now, I may take three Allegra D's a year. Since the netti pot, I'm sickness free AND medication free. Let's all clap.

I use this device every single day.

Every day!

Isn't that nuts?

But I'm telling you, if I didn't, I would be a nasty ball of allergy ick.

So, if your face is hurting a lot, and flies drop dead when they fly past your open mouth, then I think you should try this thing.

You can buy them at any Walgreens. They come with saline solution packets. However, I ran out of those a million years ago, and have used regular old salt since then. It works fine.

I use mine every morning. It's part of my daily hygiene routine. All of you can rest easy knowing that when you meet me, I am freshly showered, and have clean sinuses. When I have a cold, or feel sinus pressure coming on, I use it twice a day until that stuff goes away.

It's really gross, but it feels really good.

You might want to lock the bathroom door when you pour hot water up your nose because these are the things my family has said to me if they wander into the bathroom in the middle of my nettying.

"Mom, are you pouring your snot out?"

"Mom, can I play with that when you're done?"

"Honey, it looks like you are trying to drown yourself."

I'm telling ya...just lock the door.

Monday, September 29, 2008

And the winners are...

Well folks, we have two categories of winners this week for our newest segment on Sit A Spell, "Guess What Ashton is Singing."

Every time I say that, please imagine it in David Letterman's voice and then imagine some music playing. Got it? Are we all on the same imaginary page?

First prize(a)* goes to Grandma who won by cheating. She admitted it, so it's okay in our book.

First prize(b) goes to Becca Hines.

I'm very impressed with all of you!

Thanks for playing along! I hope our bitty boy made your Monday.

Here's the song he was singing his precious little heart out to:



*written in John 17:17 (b) format.

Happy Monday

I'm pleased to announce a new segment on Sit a Spell. Hopefully, while Ashton is in this hilarious stage of his life, we can post these regularly.

What is this new segment I'm so excited to reveal?

It's called....(drum roll)

"Guess What Song Ashton is Singing."

Ashton loves music. He loves to sing. He actually can sing really well when he can hear himself doing so, but one of our favorite things these days is hearing Ashton sings songs while listening to his mp3 player.

Bless his heart.

So...try to guess what song he's singing.

Your answer should contain the song title and the artist.

Your prize...bragging rights. If you guess the song, you're pretty dad-gum amazing, since most of the time, Ashton isn't speaking English....actually, he's not speaking any language.

These posts will reveal two things. One...how funny Ashton is. Two...the kinds of songs Aaron thinks his sons should know. If you're only comfortable with worship leaders who never ever listen to any music other than "Christian" then these posts are not for you. You'll be terribly disappointed in us. I promise our kids love and know songs filled with truth from God's Word, but they also know a lot of other songs too.

Enjoy...and guess away! We'll start with an easy one.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Anson


How do babies turn nine?

Nine!

Oh Anson...if I could, I would jump on time, pin it down and sit on it. You are growing up far too fast.

Nine years ago, we met you...our first born son. Looking back, it's amazing to me that someone so tiny could change me so much. God used your arrival in my life to reveal a million things about myself and a million more about the Lord. I will be forever grateful for the way you have let me love you, watched me fail, seen my selfishness, heard me mess things up, and yet...you forgive me every time and love me deeply. You, more than any of your brothers have had to watch your Daddy and I grow up.  There's always something special about your first born. You were handed you to us, Anson and all of us had to grow up together in so many ways.

Little man, there are so many handsome things about you. I love your smile, your Napoleon Dynamite impersonation and how witty you are.

I'm thankful for you you are - for your brilliant brain, your smart sense of humor.

Nine is hard for your mother, Anson. I just don't want to accept it. I remember when you were two weeks old. Your daddy came into the living room and found me holding you. I was crying. He asked me what was wrong. I said, "Today, he's two weeks old, and then he'll turn two months old, and then two years old and then he's going to be 10 and then 20. I don't want him to grow up and leave." I was a wreck. Your daddy reminded me that yes, those things were true, but he said, "Let's try to remember that today, he's still just two weeks old." I wanted you to stay little forever.

However, as you have grown, I'm thankful for the young man you are becoming, for our long deep talks, for your tender heart, for how you hurt when others are hurting. You are growing up into such a servant. I know I say it almost every day, but really..."What would I do without you?" This home hurts when you're not here, even for short amounts of time. Your love for your family is felt, not just in the things you say, but in the way you serve us, and honor us.

We love you Anson. So much. Grow big, sweet boy...grow in knowledge, grow in strength, in boldness, in love, in truth and grace. As much as it hurts me for you to turn another year older, my heart is also filled with joy thinking of the man, the leader, the husband, the father you will be one day. I feel terribly privileged and humbled to call you my son.

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hudson Learns to Laugh

Hudson graduated from smiling to laughing this week!

Most of the laughter on the video is Hudson...but you can hear Ashton's voice too. We asked Ashton repeatedly to be quiet, but I guess laughter is just too contagious.

Walk Like an Egyptian

We just finished a unit on Egypt and Mesopotamia. This is my second time to teach this unit.

Mummies, pyramids, rivers, crocodiles, the Sphinx, crazy pharaohs, deserts, cuneiform, hieroglyphics and ziggurats.

What boy doesn't love those things?

My boys felt like Indiana Jones.

In case you ever teach on Egypt, here are a couple things we have loved.

Write your name in hieroglyphics

Learn how to make a mummy with this game

We love this book:


There are a whole series of these books. The boys have checked some out from the library, but are slowly saving their money to buy each of them.


This book is kind of gruesome, but my boys were all about this story! I want to find out more about the Arabian Night books. When my guys get upset that I quit reading them a book, it's a winner! That's kind of rare around here.


I bought this book years ago. I highly recommend it for this unit. The book has a bunch of pictures you will need to teach the topics of Egypt, but also comes with a pull-out hieroglyph stencil. The boys used these to write secret messages to each other. What is it about boys that gets their blood pumping when decoding a secret message? They could hardly contain themselves.

Anson read this chapter book during this unit. Scieszka writes a lot of historical fiction. Anson always likes his books.


I saved a huge box when we were moving so the boys could climb inside and paint cave paintings. I turned the lights off in the garage, both the boys climbed in, working together...one holding the flashlight, the other drawing important clues about their lives in 2008.


We also made Hayden into a mummy and buried him with some of his favorite things. Anson decided Hayden could never survive in the afterlife without ketchup, BBQ chips and his mp3 player.



We made clay tablets out of mud. Basically we just put mud on cookie sheets, let it bake in the sun until kind of firm, then wrote a message in cuneiform using toothpicks. Fun AND messy. The best part was banging the hardened mud out of the pans. I think they liked that noisy, messy step more than the actual project. You should have seen the back porch. You should also know that leaving toothpicks in the hands of little boys when they are unsupervised is just asking for trouble. This school day ended with me saying, in a very perturbed tone of voice, "Give me them. All of them! Why would you think it was okay to stab your brother?" Ah...boys.

I've been asked, several times..."Do you teach your kids about animal worship, polytheism and Greek mythology?"

Yes.

We do.

I want them to know about all of these things. Teaching them about these hard topics that are contrary to our beliefs as Christians is important to us as parents. However, these units are also amazing times of teaching them the differences between what the Egyptians believed, and what we believe. We try not to leave things out of our history...because it's OUR history! In every piece of our past, we can clearly see that our problems as humans have remained the same. Everything scripture predicts about us, is so true apart from the knowledge of God.

So, common questions I asked the kids during this unit are:

Why do you think civilizations had a natural desire for laws and rules? (the Bible tells us why)

Do you believe that the pharaohs were part god? What does the Bible say about this?

What are the differences between what the Egyptians believed happened to people after they died, and what we, as believers know from scripture?

Of course, that's just our personal conviction on how to teach our kids. We would never be so arrogant as to think everyone should teach the same way.

Fun movies to watch are The Prince of Egypt and once the kids are older, we'll do the actual Indiana Jones movies. Right now that would freak them out...even the ones with appropriate ratings.

We reviewed deserts while we studied Egypt.




The Houston Museum has a pretty big exhibit on Egypt if you need a field trip.

And of course, no Hendrick education would be complete without music history.



If you've taught over Egypt, or have other ideas for books to read, hands on projects, or fun videos and movies, tell us!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Space Cadets

We just finished a space unit.

When I get time, I want to post some fun things we have done for different units we cover for school. For those of you who are already homeschooling, or know you will be, hopefully these posts will help. If you already homeschool, or are a teacher in public/private school, I would LOVE your favorite ideas for these units and favorite books you read to your students.

My kids all learn very differently. Hayden's ONLY method of learning is hands-on. So, I'm always on the look out for ways to teach him where he can be active, touching, painting, tapping, singing, etc.

He made a constellation book. We used glitter and sequins to make the constellations. We glued them onto black construction paper and used white crayon to draw the pictures between the stars. This was perfect for Hayden. Until Hayden touches what he's learning...it just doesn't stick in his brain.

Learning the planets...

I bought this book a couple years ago from Barnes and Noble...



I took the planet stickers and made magnets out of them for the kids to use to learn to put the planets in order. These stay on the refrigerator, and the kids line them up, several times a day while we're learning about the planets. Don't forget the asteroid belt. You can just stick some small rocks on a magnetic strip.

We've all heard the sentence, "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas." Well...Aaron made up a new sentence to help the boys learn the planets...

"My Very Evil Mother Jack Slaps Ugly Naked People."

I know...

But they love it.

This book is another favorite. I bought it. The boys can sit in the dark and see the planets, stars, etc. They love this.


One of our favorite, short fiction books is:

It makes me laugh out loud when I read it.

Anson (third grade) read this chapter book during our space unit:


Hayden (first grade) read the Commander Toad books to me. He loved Commander Toad in Space and Commander Toad and the Space Pirates.

When we do unit studies at our house, I try to totally immerse my kids in the topic during the unit. Most of you know we use the Core Knowledge Curriculum, but in addition to that, I love for there to be other things all day long that we use to learn about space.

Which means...tons of books from the library about the subject, movies we rent from Blockbuster online...some documentaries...some just plain fun.

Muppets in Space and Star Wars are great to watch during this unit.


We even went and saw Fly me to the Moon...the 3-D movie out in theaters right now. It was PERFECT! The movie was all about the first mission to the moon. We had already learned about Neil Armstrong, the Appollo 11 Mission, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, the space race between Russia and America...and this movie put in pictures everything they already knew. It was great.

We add space words as bonus words to our spelling lists.

Aaron taught the kids, God of Wonders during Family Worship. It has words in it like universe...galaxy...so great!

We went to Uncle Jason and Aunt Lynsey's house to see stars while we were learning about constellations.















The kids LOVED looking through the telescope.

Today, we went to the George Bush Library's new space exhibit.




I also use Magic School Bus like nobody's business.

I can teach my face off, but that Ms. Frizzle...no one can compete with how well this show can take words and turn them into pictures. Praise God for Magic School Bus!

Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Space:



One year, I let all the Magic School Bus episodes record on our DVR for school. They are so handy!

For some reason, my husband (known for having a brain FILLED with the weirdest information) has this song memorized...so he found it for the kids. They of course loved it too...just like their dad.



Other fun field trips...

The Space Center in Houston. This place is AMAZING.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science has a space exhibit (and it's right next to the zoo.)

The Houston Planetarium has tons of stuff about space.

If you have other fun space ideas, field trips, or space books your kids have liked, will you share them?

Now, it's onto Egypt.

There will be lots of "Walk Like an Egyptian" by the Bangles playing at this house over the next two weeks.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Commit Me

Know what I just did?

Quietly - in my mind - without thinking first - I prayed for a fictional character.

"God help Claire."

Who is Claire?


A girl off Lost.

LOST IS MAKING ME LOSE MY MIND!

Last night I had to go to bed not knowing what has happened to Claire.

Why did that man take her?

Is she okay?

Will she have her baby without Jack?

What is she going to do without diapers...and orajel...and a pack n play?

Poor Chaw-lie.

His neck looks awful.

I wanted him and Claire to love each other.

I tossed and turned all night in the bed.

Claire!

Where is Claire?

And the baby...

The baby!

This is getting ridiculous.

It's one thing to go to bed too late...lose sleep...because you're watching TV.

It's a whole other thing to not be able to sleep once you do go to bed because you are worried about a fake person on the show.

It's an entirely different thing all together if you find yourself praying for a fictional character.

Do I need counseling?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Egg Salad...It's not just for grannies anymore

Don't forget...cool concert tomorrow night!
Make plans to come!


It's not new news that I, Heather Hendrick am disgustingly in love with cream cheese*.

I love it.

Adore it.

If today were my birthday, I'd ask Aaron if I could lock myself in my room and watch Lost all day while licking cream cheese.

SO...

Even though egg salad makes me think of some old lady holding a sandwich with her liver spotted hands...chewing the mushy substance with no teeth...when I heard that Jenn's egg salad had cream cheese in it...I'm sorry...but I was like....

"Move over granny**...give me some of dat sandwich."

It was DIVINE!


Jenn's egg salad recipe is so good it will make you want to slap your granny...or any granny really.

8 boiled eggs
1 block of cream cheese
1/4 onion
1 tablespoon and then 1 teaspoon spicy mustard
salt and pepper to taste
paprika

While your eggs are boiling, put cream cheese in a bowl to soften. Do you know if you boil eggs with salt in the water, they are WAY easier to peel? They are! I learned that trick when I waitressed at a restaurant in the Garden District. I won't say the name of the restaurant, because it will make my husband say something obscene...sorry honey...not today.

Peel eggs. Add them to the bowl.

Chop onion super tiny (I use my handy-dandy kitchen aid hand chopper). Add onions to the bowl.

Smash the cream cheese, the eggs and the onion together (I use a potato masher).

Add mustard, salt, pepper to taste. I add a lot, because I like salt and pepper and thus, taste. Then add paprika. I would say add paprika to taste, but I'm sorry...I'm convinced paprika is a placebo ingredient. So, add paprika for visual stimulation. Even though I can't taste it, I still add it...because it makes me feel fancy...and it makes me feel like a wise old granny.

Stir

Then, put it in the refrigerator for a couple hours. Honestly...I never make it in time to leave it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before lunch. So, on the first day, I eat a luke-warm egg salad sandwich. It's good...but the next day...oh egg sac...this stuff has turned into a huge bowl of egg cheesecake like material that is even MORE to die for than the day before.

With my sandwich, I LOVE to eat Texas Brand Jalepeno chips and cherry tomatoes.

Yum!

This stuff smells like butt...but it's SO GOOD.

I've also just eaten two other cream cheese yummy foods recently. I'm going to beg Kari and Kirby to send me the recipes.

*Two of my other cream cheese favs:

ITALIAN CASSEROLE

This is from Ashley Garratt. It's so yum.

1 pound of beef-cooked (I season with salt, pepper, onion salt and garlic powder)
2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 and 1/2 block of cream cheese
1 big jar spaghetti sauce
1 pkg. large shell noodles or penne noodles cooked

Mix cooked noodles and cream cheese together while noodles are hot. Place in greased 9x13 baking dish. Cook beef, mix in sauce. Por mixture on top of noodle cream cheese mixture. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

HOPE GROUP DESSERT

2 cans crescent rolls
2 - 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

Spread one of the cans of rolls in bottom of ungreased 9X13 dish - pressing seams together. Then mix both pkgs. of cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla well and spread over the rolls. Next, spread the other can of rolls over cream cheese mix pressing seams together. Pour melted butter over rolls. Sprinkle remaining sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Also good with apple, blueberry or strawberry pie filling added on top of the cream cheese mixture, before using the top layer of crescent rolls. If you use apples, slice them thin before using.


**No grannies that I know of were hurt during the writing of this post.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ashton wakes up from a nap and says...

"Mom, when I was sleeping, I broke my neck ankle."

I don't know what that means, but it sounds serious.

Oh no!

One hour...

And we're full-blown addicts.

What do we do?

After just one episode, I couldn't believe this show.

I always knew it was about some people on an island.

I knew they were lost.

I knew the main character looks like Charlie (he does!).

But no one told me about the big jungle monster.

And the polar bears

And the giant boars

And the convict

And the Japanese Man

We watched all four episodes we rented last night.

I stayed up until 1 a.m...I never do that! I'm a late night wimp.

Aaron didn't come to bed until 2:30*.

This morning, I asked him...with deep suspicion in my voice...

"What were you doing up so late? Huh?"

He started floundering around with his words...and then he caved...

"I only watched half of the next episode. I was trying to see if we could watch them on my laptop. I was just testing everything out."

A Ha! I knew it! I let him know that if he cheats on me, he's dead meat. DEAD MEAT.

So what is that huge thing in the jungle?

Aaron says, "It's got to be some huge monster...it's just got to be."

I say when this is all over, we're going to find out it's the Iron Giant.

We have loved having relationships with all of you...and having a job...but all that might be over because of our new obsession with Lost.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Howjuh Hunker?


What is it about imminent doom that makes me so excited, feel so cozy, and in love with my family and friends?

We in College Station seem to be doing pretty well. Nothing but a bunch of tree limbs and leaves to be found in our yard.

We still have power.

Lots of Houston and none of Galveston has power.

We live about 90 miles from Houston...which means we're about 3 hours from Galveston.

It looks so weird outside, but we're doing well.

The trampoline is still where it belongs.

Good thing...it SO does not match my living room furniture.

We spent the evening with sweet friends, eating good food, watching Geraldo be a drama queen on Fox News.

We loved the "Certain Death" picture that flashed on the screen any time the news mentioned the Galveston residents who stayed on the island during the storm.

Certain Death

Who stays in a place with a flashing "Certain Death" picture hovering over their home?

Can you imagine the search and rescue?

When someone gets picked up by a helicopter, what do the people in the helicopter say?

I'm sure the people who stayed on the island get into the helicopter and start making excuses for why they thought it was a good idea to stay somewhere that the police were telling people to write their social security numbers on their arms with a Sharpie so their bodies can be easily identified.

Surely the coast guards cut the goobers off and just say..."You need to stop talking. You're an idiot. What part of certain death did you not understand?"

For us...here, a safe distance from the storm...

For some reason, our hunkerin' involved going out into the front yard at around 10 p.m. and watching each other do gymnastics.

You read that right.

The GROWN UPS took turns doing cartwheels, hand stands, back bends, front hand springs and walk overs.

Why?

We don't know.

I still can't remember how that started.

And no...our hunkering did not involve alcohol of any sort.

What I do know is...

I'm hurting and sore.

I haven't done a cartwheel since I was in school...I'm sure of it.

Once our kids turned into sleep deprived lunatics, we went home.

Aaron and I watched Baby Mama.

Oh funny day.

What did you do?

How did you hunker?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Yikes for Ike


So...I guess there is a hurricane coming to College Station.

I found out yesterday at the swimming pool.

I know...hush it up...I should watch the news...or just listen when out in public...that would be super.

I read about the hurricane on Lynsey's blog...and yet, still thought..."Man, that's bad...I hope they are going to be ok...I'm glad there isn't a hurricane here."

Then later, I realized that Lynsey only lives thirty minutes from me...and hurricanes are fat, so if it comes and sits on Brenham, it will also be sitting on me.

After I found out about the hurricane, I asked Aaron some very important questions...

"How will we see if the lights go out?"

He says we have some flashlights.

"How do you flush your potties if there isn't any water?"

He said, "You don't."

"What if someone has to poo? Then what do you do? Leave it in the potty?"

He said he's going to fill our bathtubs up with water and then use that water to flush our toilet.

Weird.

But I'm glad.

Then he tied our trampoline, that he is now calling "a sail" to the swing set in the back yard.

Apparently he's worried those things might fly through the fence, or even more exciting...fly into the dining room.

Kroger had cops guarding the doors.

People were fighting over water.

There was only one loaf of bread left...and it was sourdough...from the bakery.

Grown ups had baskets filled with water and pop tarts and batteries.

College students had baskets filled with beer.

We're not very prepared over here...I mean, besides keeping the swingset out of the living room, we really aren't all that ready for a major catastrophe to happen.

Yesterday was my grocery shopping day, and I didn't go...because it was nuts, and I'm unaccustomed to shopping in a place that needs police supervision.

We have less food in our house today than any other day of the week.

But I figure...

It's okay not to be ultra prepared, because right now, I could probably name about 10 people I know that will be SUPER, MEGA prepared...and we're just going to go to their house.

My favorite part of all this is saying the word, "hunkering."

We're "hunkering" down over here getting ready for the hurricane.

Now, that's just fun to say.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hayden says, "Mom...does the word 'chubby' mean kind of poofy?"

"Yes, it does," I said.

"Then Hudson's diaper is chubby. I think he needs a new one."

funny

Loving Diversity


Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Aaron recently taught this verse to our kids.

I have heard it many times before...but the other night...it just hit me.

Without excuse.

When we look at creation, we have no excuse for not understanding important things about the Lord.

Aaron and I are reading a book right now called, Crazy Love by Frances Chan.

In the very first chapter, the author talks about how diverse God is...how if we look at creation we see the creativity and genius of God.

He didn't just create a tree.

He made lots of trees.

And many kinds of trees.

Everything about creation screams diversity.

Which means, if I'm looking to creation to explain God's power and personality to me...I'm learning daily new things about the Lord.

Why did you make so many kinds of plants?

So many kinds of birds?

So many kinds of skin colors?

Why have you gone to such great lengths to display diversity through creation?

Why so much complexity...

And yet...patterns.

I know it's for His glory, because scripture says all of creation exists for God's glory...but scripture also says all those different trees, grass, temperatures, leaves, elevations, landscapes and soils are supposed to tell me a story of the power and nature of God.

He must like diversity.

Oh He makes blanket statements when He needs to ...

Like when He says there is NO OTHER WAY to get to the Father besides through Jesus.

He's "my way or the highway" when it comes to being THE WAY we get to heaven...

But if nature is testifying to His power and His character, then I think I've ignored the diverse nature of our God.

I think I've said, "There's only one way to raise kids."

"There's only one right way to educate them."

"There's only one right way to spend your time."

"We're the only ones who are doing church right."

Insane.

Complete insanity.

And so far from what I see on display through creation.

Yes, there are absolutes.

We know that from scripture, and we see it in creation.

There are some things that can be counted on...the length of time it takes our moon to revolve around our planet, the length of time it takes for Earth to revolve around the sun...the amount of time it takes for the moon to cycle through its phases...

absolute

has always been, will always be

But I think I live my entire life looking for THE way to do everything in my life, leaving no room for diversity, which means, if you are doing it differently, I'm right and you are wrong.

I spend my time looking at the way others are doing things and when I fall short, I think I'm second rate.

I've ignored that YES there are some things about God's nature that are "one way, my way or the highway" but there are also ways to live out this Christian life in a way that honors God, but may look very differently from how you are doing it.

Diversity

Freedom

Freedom to obey the Lord, and still look different from you.

Freedom for you to live in obedience to Him, without looking exactly like me.

Freedom to be different, and yet still be the same.

Allowing you to be an elm, and me to be a crepe myrtle...and yet remembering that we're still all lovely...His divine craftmanship...masterpieces, created to bring Him glory.

I'm asking God to reveal His power and His nature to me more and more through creation.

I want to be without excuse.

No more excuses for mentally condemning other churches for doing things differently than the way we do it.

No more excuses for mentally condemning other women for not being all I think they need to be.

No more excuses for mentally condemning myself for not being like her...or that lady...or that girl over there with the organized purse.

I want to not only be okay with diversity, but learn to appreciate it...stand in awe of it...just like I appreciate the blue jay and the hummingbird flying around outside my window right now.

I've always thought the cure for a critical heart was to focus on our similarities.

Maybe trying to find where we're the same, and ignoring our differences isn't the remedy.

Maybe being in awe of how diverse God has created us is.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Will I Ever Get my Groove Back?


Want to know what happens when you go from running three miles, three times a week to running...well....not at all for almost three months...and THEN...you decide to start running again?

You almost die.

That's right.

Ya almost die.

I was literally picking the house on each street that would be best to die in front of...best for pictures that is.

Aint gonna lie.

It's all about the pictures to me.

Creative Memories ruined me that way.

Houses got extra points on my death scale if they had American flags and nice landscaping.

I decided I would like to die in front of a house with Caladiams.*

Months ago, I lived for the days when Lance Armstrong would come on my running deal and say something like...

"This is Lance Armstrong...way to go...that was your longest run yet. Keep up the good work."

I would get all shy and bashful and junk.

When I got finished today, I looked down at my awful time and was surprised Lance didn't come on and say...

"What did ya expect fatty?"

That's when I would have said...

"I have a newborn ya jerk...and, Cheryl Crow is on my ipod...na, na, na, na boo boo, stick your head in sweaty bicycle shorts."

That was the end of my imaginary argument with Lance Armstrong.

Our tense, made up exchange came to an abrupt halt when I saw a sprinkler going.

Did I mention it was hot when I was running...like lava hot.

I ran through a stranger's sprinkler as this thought ran through my head...

"I hope this isn't one of those sprinklers that shoot out doo-doo.**"

That's when I decided it wouldn't matter what house I died in front of if I died with a stranger's doo-doo on me. Caladiams would not improve that picture.

It was a brutal run.

Instead of feeling invigorated right now, like I normally do thirty minutes after a run, I feel like I have the flu.

My face is still red.

Ridiculous.

*One time, I was landscaping the front yard and asked Aaron to pick me up some Chlamydia from Lowes. He said you don't get Chlamydia from Lowes.

**This is not going to be a blog all about homeschooling, or all about doo-doo. It just seems like it lately. Sorry.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ah...freedom


Jenn's post about homeschooling has inspired me to write my own.

We too started school this week, and yet...

As you may have noticed, nothing was on this blog about school in the Hendrick house.

Nothing is hardly ever on this blog about homeschooling.

Why?

Because I'm a chicken.

Like Jenn mentioned, I constantly feel like I have to apologize for homeschooling, avoid the topic, or at least not talk about it much.

That's silly.

I'm not about to turn this into a homeschooling blog...because...homeschooling is a PART of our life. It is not our life. You can all breathe easy. I'm not going crazy right before your very eyes.

Another thing we aren't ever going to do is say that homeschooling is the only way Christians can educate their kids without making God upset.

Are you kidding?

This is me talking.

I shy away from ANYTHING that even sounds a little like there's only one way to do negotiable things in scripture, or frankly, things not clearly spelled out or even mentioned at all. We serve a big, creative God. There is so much freedom in Christ. I'm way too out of the box to put something as huge as education in the box, especially since there is no 1st Book of Education in the Bible.

I hate fighting about things like breastfeeding/bottle feeding, eating organic/eating boxed macaroni and cheese, birth control/no birth control.

I hate it.

But, because of my fear of man and my nature to want to please, I've also done a horrible thing that God has been convicting me GREATLY about lately...

I have kept "off limits" this one area of our lives.

I have kept quiet the fact that homeschooling is a daily part of what we do and what we believe is right FOR OUR KIDS and the way we feel God has asked us to do ministry.

I started this blog to keep a journal of the lives in this home. I also wanted my family to reap the firstfruits of the gifts God has given me. So, that meant, I wanted to write about them, to capture their moments in little black letters.

This blog has become much more than that, which was COMPLETELY unexpected.

But, my main purpose remains...

I want to faithfully document all the things that God has done in our lives so we can be faithful to thank Him and remind our kids of the great things God has done. We want our kids to know that everything in life is a process. We want them to see how God has taught, grown and changed their parents over the years. We have done that in many ways on this blog.

And yet....

This blog has been eerily quiet about what happens during school time.

So, as of today, I want to be different.

I want to please God and my husband more than I want to please you or other people in our life.

We homeschool.

We are a homeschooling family.

We love homeschooling.

It's hard sometimes and has its challenges, but we love it.

We truly believe it's what God wants for OUR KIDS right now.

Can we pop fire works today?

Maybe you read this post and thought, "Why is she making such a big deal about this? I don't give a fying fishstick how they educate their kids."

Thank you...but this was probably more about me and my issues than anyone else's.

For me, this was a big day, and this is a big post.

I want to sing the National Anthem.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Pure Magic

All those sleepless nights

the bags under my eyes

the emails I've written that make no sense

the times I've jumped out of bed to make sure he hadn't died in his

All the work it has taken to nurse this child

All the times he has peed on me

spit up on me

pooed on me

All the times I've thought...

Am I too old for this?

Will I ever sleep?

Will I ever not feel so overwhelmed and outnumbered?

All those things seem like so much

so much time

so much work

so much energy

And then they smile at you for the first time...




And in that moment you think...

I don't care if I ever sleep again.

Monday, September 01, 2008

When Open Concept Goes Bad


Seeing how we've never lived in a house built later than 1950, we have never had an open concept kitchen.

I have decided that open concept kitchens are "da bomb."

If the open concept kitchen was a female Olympic volleyball player, I'd slap the open concept kitchen on the rear and say, "Good job. You rock."

I love open concept kitchens because I can see the dining room, the kitchen and the living room at the same time. In this house we're renting, I can even see the back yard. Not only is this GREAT for entertaining, I'm also thrilled to say that my mom super power (omnivision) has increased in this house.

There is no getting away with anything here.

I love it.

The boys are walking around stunned.

No more confusing dialogs trying to figure out who the culprit was...who first stole the toy...who first raised their voice...who first initiated the battle.

I can be in the kitchen, they can be in the back yard and I immediately know who did it because - I saw them do it.

I love open concept kitchens for all those reasons so far.

I don't like the open concept kitchen for this reason...

I'm not sure if you know this or not, but Aaron and I have had to come to grips with the fact that we are raising Theodore the chipmunk.

That's Ashton's nick name in our house...

Theodore

This child LOVES food.

Loves it.

He loves it in a borderline, unhealthy way.

Food is his love language.

If you want to see a child scream with delight...and I'm not exaggerating, just say this to him...

"Ashton...I made you a cake."

Or doughnuts...

The kid will squeal and jump up and down, then say...

"Where is it? Can I see it? Can I have it now?"

Try it. It's fun.

Ashton's love of food gets him in trouble a lot.

If he isn't fed as soon as he thinks he should be...melt down.

He asks just about every hour on the hour for a snack.

If one of us is in the kitchen, he thinks we are there to feed him. When he finds out we have other reasons for being in the kitchen...there might be a melt down.

When he's bored...he asks if he can have a snack.

And what happens most is...

He annoys me when I'm cooking dinner.

As soon as the dinner process starts, he comes into the kitchen and asks for a detailed description of what we're eating for dinner.

I comply. That's fine.

Then, he says...

"Are you almost done mom? Now? Now? Are you almost done? Now? How bout now? How many minutes will it be? After you stir that, are you done?"

"You have to stop that," I say.

So then he says....

"My belly really hurts mom...it really hurts..."

At this point, I have always said....

"You need to go out of the kitchen and stay out of here until I get dinner made. You are not going to pester me the entire time I'm making dinner."

He always leaves the kitchen...problem solved.

Until we moved here.

The first night I made dinner, the usual events transpired.

I finally said...

"You need to leave the kitchen right now."

He did.

It was nice and quiet in my space.

And then I heard his small voice...not far from me say...

"But my belly is really, really hurting mom..."

I looked over the counter, and there he was...in the dining room...which, thanks to the open concept is still WAY too close to me.

I said....

"You have to leave the dining room too."

He walked out slowly...head down.

Ah....

peace in the kitchen

And then, I saw a little head pop up from behind the couch...

"But mom...I just want to know how long it will be..."

Blast this open concept.

I interrupted my punkin and said...

"I'm sorry...but you're going to have to go play in your room until supper is ready."

I wouldn't even let him play outside.

I knew I would look up to find his face smashed, all pouty like up against the kitchen/dining room/living room window, or worse...find him looking into the window, eyes locked on mine, feeding himself dirt so I would feel sorry for him.

Ah...open concept.