Sunday, June 29, 2008

Don't Iron Naked

Yes, today's deep philosophical lesson comes from Kaylie. And it is this - keep your shirt on when ironing. It is a painful lesson she has learned and I would show you photos if I could do so without exposing her.

This morning Kaylie chose a dress for church that needed ironing and I while I set up the iron, she went ahead and stripped - apparently she does not know I am not a fast iron-er. She was asking how you iron (seeing as I generally do not have time to iron and thus avoid it, she rarely has seen me engage in this activity) and I thought - hey, she's going into 2nd grade, she likes to learn big girl stuff, I will show her how. So, Kaylie is ironing along and goes to move the iron and burns herself on the stomach. Oi vey. Will someone please dust off my Worst Mom of the Year trophy? I am going to need it. Says Jim: "That'll leave a mark." Tell me about it.

I was trying to reassure her and told her that my mom was burned by an iron when she was a little girl too. Kaylie asked where and I started to explain, "you know that spot on her arm where the skin is crinkly.." "YOU MEAN MY SKIN IS GOING TO GET ALL CRINKLY??!!!" Did I already say oi vey?

Finally we got calmed down and bandaged up. It is not a bad or a big burn, but was still pretty upsetting in the moment. Hence the new family rule - which at least made Kaylie smile through the tears. And then, interestingly, my Bible reading today was in Proverbs on wisdom. Nothing about ironing, but I still know I have a long way to go in so many ways.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Learning from Kid Drama

So I have been working on this drama/storyteller piece for a preschool event at church. I think it is great how God is showing me things while I work on stories I have known since I was in preschool, too. Especially since we are focusing on a theme of Jesus helping us through the storms in our lives and one of the legacies I want to leave my kids is for them to always trust God to take care of them in any situation.

One of the stories is Jesus calming the storm and there is so much to treasure in this story. We should study it more as adults. First - did you ever think about how big this storm is and the fact that Jesus was sleeping through it? Of course the fact that He was asleep has always been integral to the story, but asleep, on a boat, in a storm, with people who would not be there if they had not followed Jesus into the boat and onto the sea. Me, I would be too worried being Tricia-Your-Cruise-Director trying to make sure everyone else was okay - let alone the other factors against the whole sleep thing. It is hard enough to sleep through a storm on dry ground, (If you don't get thunderstorms and/or you don't have kids, you might not get it, but trust me, it is hard. Even if it does not scare you, the noise makes it physically impossible to sleep), but I think He models such trust and security when He is sleeping in this storm. Not just with what He isn't doing, but because He is resting in God. Maybe I am reading too much into it, but it is such a great image, please don't burst my bubble. I guess it is the "turtle" in me that would rather hide away in God during the storm than charge into it.

Another application from this story - even when it seems like God is sleeping - He is there. He is in control (no matter how the situation appears). He knows what is going on in our lives. He cares. We may think He is not "doing something". He may not be doing what we want or expect, but it does not mean He doesn't care or does not hear our cry for help. And in His time, He will arise and open our eyes to the calm He saw all along.

God wants us to trust Him, to rest in Him, to be secure in our knowledge that He cares for us, that He is alive, that we should not fear. He hears our cries, He cares for us.

I see so much here that I start babbling and repeating myself. Please pray it comes out coherent for the 200 preschoolers and parents we will be sharing with on Saturday and that God speaks this message to them through us.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Back home again...

Woo hoo!! The girls are home. The Fortin family is back intact. It is great having the girls back home. I forget how fun they are. God has blessed them both with great personalities and senses of humor. It is definitely noisier and messier, but it is all good.

We had a great weekend up in Michigan retrieving them. My job on Saturday was to keep the girls out of the way so Mom, Ron and Jim could get some work done. yee hah! The girls and I ran an errand for Mom and then went shopping and sight seeing up in Mackinaw City (about 20 or 30 minutes from Mom's). We had gorgeous weather and a great time! We even went to the beach (3 lakes in 1 day!). Great day - except the migraine. Blah. Would be really nice if those would stop.

Sunday morning I still had the migraine, so we just loaded up in the car and headed straight home instead of going to church - Jim set me up with a sleeping area in the back and I rested most the way home. How cool is he?!! I highly recommend it as a way to make the time pass on a 7-8 hour car trip!

So this week we try to settle back to the Fortin version of normal and work on getting some things done around the house. Happy Summer everyone!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Two more days!!

I have been kid-free for almost two weeks and it has been nice and it has been LONG. But on Friday, we finally drive up to Michigan and free my girls from the grandparents (or vice versa). I am very excited to see them, but NOT looking forward to the drive. It is already a rather (ok EXTREMELY) long drive and the anticipation of getting to see my girls after missing them for 2 weeks is going to make it take that much longer. Blah.

I will miss having plenty of room on the couch and not having to go into the bedroom to watch non-kid TV (read: not Fairly Odd Parents). I will also miss getting to eat what we want for dinner with no objections and not having to worry about how late I stay at work.

But no worries, they go back again in July! :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

One word only!

Stolen from Camy's Loft - which she took from A Writer's Notebook

ONE WORD ONLY!Not as easy as you might think. Now copy, forward, or post this and change the answers to yours and pass it on. It’s really hard to only use one word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone? table
2. Your significant other? couch
3. Your hair? blah
4. Your mother? Michigan
5. Your father? golf
6. Your favorite thing? Jim
7. Your dream last night? forgot
8. Your favorite drink? coffee
9. Your dream/goal? sing
10. The room you’re in? family
11. Your ex? dunno
12. Your fear? bugs
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? home
14. Where were you last night? home
15. What you’re not? brave
16. Muffins? yummy
17. One of your wish list items? jeep
18. Where you grew up? Indiana
19. The last thing you did? work
20. What are you wearing? tshirt
21. Your TV? on
22. Your pets? outside
23. Your computer? big
24. Your life? groovy
25. Your mood? hmmm...
26. Missing someone? girls
27. Your car? breaking
28. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
29. Favorite store? book
30. Your summer? toasty
31. Like(love) someone? Jim!
32. Your favorite color? green
33. Last time you laughed? today
34. Last time you cried? Saturday
35. Who will re-post this? dunno

Saturday, June 14, 2008


God is so good. Not just in the He loves us and takes care of us way, but in the super-secret agent, knows our every move way. Get this... (sorry, but it is kind of long)

Last weekend, Jim and I were at the store looking at luggage. Now, we don't travel a lot, and we already have luggage: multiple suitcases, duffle bags, even a garment bag. But at least one of the suitcases is the old school hard sided avacado-green kind that I think originally was my great-grandmother's. NONE of the suitcases are the cool ones it seems everyone else has now with the handles and the wheels and all the gadgets. At a conference I traveled to last fall, I felt like the only one with pre-historic luggage. So here we were, lured by a plethora of 50% off signs, looking at luggage we did not need, probably could not afford, definitely did not have room for in our home, but wanted. While we were eyeing (oh yeah, and purchasing) a lovely, spruce green American Tourister 5 piece set, with wheels, expanding sides, telescoping handles, all the works, we discussed sound that Jim was running the next day at church. "What's the theme this week?", I asked. "I can't remember," says Jim.

Next stop, Sam's Club. Tricia wants a new phone. Plain and simple. I was tired of my plain Jane cell phone and I wanted bells and whistles. I had always said in the past I wanted cheap, I did not need a phone that would bake a souffle, I just needed to make calls. But now I wanted fun. (Are you catching all the "I"s and "want"s?) So we get a cell phone. Which again we did not need and was probably going to end up costing us more that the small fee we paid to switch now that I can do so much cool stuff on it. (I will say, in my defense, I did not get the phone I really wanted (Blackberry Pearl), because then we would definitely have ended up spending more money in the end). Oh, and while we were there, I bought 2 books. One of which I already had at home from the library and had not read yet. But I wanted a copy of my own. Again at Sam's the subject of the next morning's message came up. Again, neither of us could recall what the sermon was to be centered on.

And did I mention the items I bought at Target before all this?

So Sunday comes, we get to church (early, early as Jim is on sound), I grab a bulletin and on the cover I see that the sermon is on...More. As in the character assassin of More. As in More dragging you down and messing up your priorities and your spiritual walk. As in More clouding your judgement and your thinking and you buy books and cell phones and then arrive at church the next day and remember you still haven't bought your peanut butter for the drive you were supposed to be organizing. As in More causing you to have who knows how many suitcases and whatever elses "just in case" when you know very well you will never use that many, someone else needs it more, and if you do need one you don't have God will provide it. After all, isn't that what you preach to your kids all the time? See, didn't I tell you God is good!! It blows me away that He knows on that day I am going to need to hear that message - one that has been on the calendar for months.

This is a long post and as such probably breaks a lot of blogging rules, but this is probably one of the assassins with which I struggle the most. Because we don't tend to have a lot of money and I am a pack rat, it is more on the saving up things side, than the spending side; but if we had not made some of the spending mistakes we did, we would have more flexibility in our budget.

I am so bad at saving things "in case" I might need it. I tell myself it is being frugal and wise, as it would cost money to buy a new whatever. But I wonder if it pokes holes in one of the most important lessons I want to teach my girls, and that is to trust that God will always, always take care of them no matter what. Not to be afraid, not to fear, but to have faith and know that whatever the situation looks like to us, God is in control and we must trust Him. It hit me Sunday that perhaps I am not so much practicing what I preach when I hoard so many things. I am thinking storing up treasures on earth can be different for each of us - one man's trash is another man's treasure. We say we are a "pack rat" because it doesn't sound as bad, but I think looking at why we are hanging on to things will help define what we truly are. God looks at the heart and He, of course, is the one who counts.

I don't think saving is bad in and of itself - but if it is keeping us from being able to give or from being able to fully trust God, then we need to make some changes. I know I do.
Pray on.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Economic Stimulus

Well, we have done our part to stimulate the economy. Our lovely economic stimulus check has bit the dust. Such big plans we had for it, too. The plans did not include car repair, but life often does not turn out as we have planned, eh? Yes, we just spent over $1400 on repairs to keep me on the road as a Mini-van Momma (NOT a soccer mom!). The rest is set aside with the hope that it will be able to stay safely there until we travel to sunny Baltimore in July to see Jim's beloved niece Kim get married. And then maybe we will be able to pay for gas. (At this rate, perhaps not much else!)

May you have better luck with yours. While I am disappointed we were not able to do what we wanted with the money, I am so pleased God has provided for us to be able to pay for the car repair via this unexpected monetary influx. Yeah, God!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


It has come to my attention (unavoidable given the very irritating rash I have on my foot and arms) that I am allergic to Amoxicillin. I find it very surprising that I have made it this far in life without having discovered this before. One would think I would have taken said antibiotic prior to now, but I guess not. Who knew? Nice little piece of info to find out, though, given Jim's deathly allergic-ness to Penicillin. Me thinks I will keep the girls away from all the "-cillins" of the worlds. Could be a wise move, perhaps.

And that's all I have to say about that. For now...

Sunday, June 1, 2008


When and how did I get to be such a homebody? I am going to be one of those old ladies who is afraid to go outside when I get old and never leaves my house. I will be "the old lady who lives on the corner who hasn't been outside since 2013" - and I won't even care that people exaggerate.

My inertia-ness is stronger as I get older, I guess. Once I am home and comfy, I have no desire to leave. We took the girls to a Fever game last night and I was dreading the thought of getting ready and going out - I just wanted to stay home and curl up and finish my book. But the actual act of going to the game and walking around downtown and showing the girls around was fun and I was disappointed it was so late and we had to go home.

I have really let friendships lag because of allowing this stoginess to take over. That and never knowing when I will have a migraine, so I am fearful of planning ahead.

So, dear friends, much love from the crazy lady on the corner and, just think, you can say you knew me when.