Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Rainy Day

It's been a lovely kind of day. It has rained NON-stop, and I mean that literally, all day long.

Sometimes it's nice to have a little sniffle so you have an excuse to lay around for a while. Today, I don't have a sniffle, but I do have rain. It's nice to know that today my children are staying clean and I'm not going to be overwhelmed with an extra load of sandy, wet, muddy clothes from them being outside. It's been nice just to spend time indoors as a family.

We spent the morning reading, playing on the computer, playing on the XBox (it's Spring Break, you know), and doing as few chores as possible.

Tim and the baby had a delicious nap this afternoon with the bedroom's outside door open and the window cracked. A breeze blew in and the rain fell. They slept for ages like that.

While they were sleeping, I taught our 7yo daughter how to make "Yarn Babies." Midway, our 9yo son became interested in our project and changed some of the instructions to create "Yarn Ninjas" out of black yarn. Like Pioneer children, our kids were busy for hours creating and playing with their simple yarn dolls. (Tomorrow our son wants me to buy green yarn to create "Yarn Army Guys" complete with a grey-yarn gun).

After I taught the kids how to make the yarn babies, I worked on making homemade pretzels, something I used to specialize in high school but never take the time to do anymore.

We finished the evening with Pizza, Popcorn, and Pretzels (we often eat "P" foods with our pizza, so we can call it a P-p-p-party). Before the baby's bedtime, we watched "The Secret Garden" together - a movie I never tire of seeing.

Thank God for rainy days!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A Perfect Blog Drought

I've been in a blog drought. (Obviously.) For a while there, I had so many posts going through my head that I couldn't get them all down. Sometimes I'd even post with a past date, just to sneak in a few extra thoughts without overwhelming you all in one day.

It's upsetting to me to be in a blog drought. I write to you in my head daily, but lately my head-writing has been in sentence fragments. I cannot post my fragment-thoughts. They are not fit for such a fine blog specimen as this.

Or are they?

One of my chief problems in life is Perfectionism. Maybe everyone has it, in some area of their life or another. Someone I know is getting "twins" in April, as she says, in search of the Perfect Breasts. FlyLady writes often, in her housecleaning emails, about getting away from the idea that you have to have the Perfectly Clean House. We all want our children to behave as Perfect Children would.

I struggle with many areas of Perfectionism, and one of them is Perfect Prose. I want to dazzle you, tickle your heart, itch your emotions. I think and think so hard that nothing comes out. If nothing comes out, what's the purpose of this blog?

I want the purpose of this blog to be that of helping other women feel inspired. That if UnPerfect Me can have this silly but happy life, then you can have a silly, happy life, too. I'd like you to leave here with knowing that God loves you a bundle, that I care about you and pray for you, and that slowing down for baking bread, hugging a child, and raising chickens is well worth the lack of pace.

You can definitely over-think. Even about a blog.

Tonight, I am letting you know that I'm back, and I am commmitted to posting regularly, but not always in Perfect Prose.

Instead, I will look to my Creator, the only truly Perfect one, who is able to take the Unperfect and make it Just Right.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Art

Easter Art
Lori Seaborg 2005

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Heard in Our House - March 24, 2005

"I try to be strong, but sometimes I just can't be strong." ~ our 7yo daughter, after getting teary when she permanently botched her art project at homeschool group time today

"And Daddy, and Popo, Amen!" ~ our just-turned-two daughter, with her hands folded, without prompting. She loves the men in her life!

"I have to give you 5 hugs and 5 kisses every night, and I have to give you 5 'I love yous, too!'" ~ our 5yo boy who, since his January birthday, is still very excited to be 5 whole years old and does everything possible in multiples of five

"Am I bothering you? I think I might be bothering you, and I don't like it when I'm bothering people." ~ 7yo daughter to me while we are gardening this evening

"Oh, no! I like being with you. You're never a bother." ~ me, to 7yo

"No, sometimes I'm a bother."

"Never," I say.

"Sometimes I think I might be. Am I ever a bother?" she asks.

"'re kind of being a bother when you keep asking if you're a bother."

"Yeah, I thought I was bothering you."

Monday, March 21, 2005

Our 7yo (who has never been afraid of heights)
Lori Seaborg 2005

Heard in Our House: Clothes

"Mama? Remember when you said that when we give our old clothes away to other people, God gives us more clothes back?" 7yo daughter

"Sure." ~ me

"Well, let's give away some more clothes!" 7yo

My note:
God doesn't always work this way, blessing you with clothes when you've given some away, or blessing you with $10 when you've given $5, but often He does. Maybe all it takes is a little trust, like our 7 year old has.

Just like we love to reward our children for doing the right thing, I'll bet our Heavenly Father loves to reward us for doing good. But only if we don't nag and say, "Gimme, gimme, gimme!" To that, God may respond as I do to my kids, "Gimme gimme never gets."

Now, get your cynical self out there and share something - anything nice - with someone less fortunate than you. Trust God when He says He'll take care of you (see Luke 12:22-31).

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Today, March 20, 2005

...a visit from my "kissin' cousin," Shannon, who is here from Texas with her Elliott - possibly the nicest man in the world, and Courtney, her baby doll

Losing...our boy bunny who looks like Peter Rabbit. He escaped one time too many and this time we weren't here for my hero to catch him.

Catching...our girl bunny who decided to escape, too, yesterday. Good thing she is FAT and SLOW.

Struggling get up at 6:30am for a walk with God in the mornings. Goodness, do I ever struggle there!

Reading...too many blogs. I am addicted, I admit it, but no - I am NOT ready to quit yet.

Writing...nothing but my blogs here

Wishing...I'd write more

Fearing...writing (for publication)! Why fear writing? I don't know, but I do.

Praising...God for providing us with our latest van to replace the wrecked one.

Planting...petunias, Holly ferns, periwinkles, and transplanting St. Augustine grass

Buying...seeds, 50 lbs. of chicken feed, pink child-sized wooden chairs, oat groats, wheat berries, a breadmaker, and a power inverter - all this week!

Thanking...God that I am an American every time I walk into WalMart and see the surplus that our country has

Baby Chicks

Our new baby Chicks
Lori Seaborg 2005

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Book Meme Stick

I received the “Book Meme stick” from Karin Kyland. Here is my reply:

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

I hadn't heard of Fahrenheit 451 until this questionairre. Since my up-on-things dh didn't know it either, I reserve the right to refuse to answer this question. Well, okay, I'll just say that if I could be a book, I'd want to be one cute enough to be judged by its cover.

Have you ever had a crush on a fiction character?

I've fallen in love with every single cowboy that Louis L'Amour dreamed up. Then I found my real life cowboy. Life is sweet.

The last book you bought is?

Roughing It Easy by Dian Thomas, A Unique Ideabook for Camping, Cooking, and Emergency Planning I got it for us to read as a family. I hear we can create a tin can oven and learn how to waterproof our toilet paper. Priceless information, I'm sure.

The last book you read?

Hope Rising by Kim Meeder. I am in awe of what she and her husband have done on a ranch for broken horses and broken-hearted children. It's an inspirational read.

What are you currently reading?

I'm reading the Bible, of course, and for the umpteenth time, I am reading Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow because I needed a few reminders. I'm also reading The King Arthur Flour's Baker's Companion because I read cookbooks like novels...then they sit and sit and sit, waiting for me to use them as they were meant to be used.

Five books I would take to a deserted island:

1. The Bible, one of those with the original text and several translations in it, in leather of course

2. Roughing It Easy, so I'd know how to boil water should a paper cup float ashore

3. A blank journal

4. A blank journal

5. A blank journal (who knows how long I'll be stranded?)

Who are you going to pass this on to?

Whoever reads this and chooses to do the same. If you do this meme, please mention it in the comments.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Heard in Our House

"Hey, Baby." me, to our 9yo boy

"Well, I'm not really a baby, but I guess it's okay if your mom calls you that." 9yo

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Crepe Myrtles Photo

Pruned Crepe Myrtles - See 3/16/05 post, below
Lori Seaborg 2005

Crepe Myrtles

Hurricane Ivan knocked our 20' tall crepe myrtle trees to the ground. Tim decided to prune the trees yesterday so they would stand up straight again, once they get their new leaves and flowers. I decided to be the pruning coach who directs the manual labor.

"Maybe," I suggested, "you could just prune them a little ways down and they'll spring back up."

Silent, Tim hacked a branch to about 8' off the ground.

"Well, okay, that's good," I said. "We'll just prune them all to about 8 or 10' and then they'll send out branches from those trunks."

He kept cutting lower.

"But, Tim," I heard a whine in my voice. "If you cut them too low then they'll be bushy and not tree-like. I don't want bushes, I want trees!"

He kept cutting, until all that remained were trunk-sticks, about 3' tall.

Finished with the job, my stubborn-yet-wise husband turned to me and said, "Every time I prune, you say those things, but six months later when the trees are beautiful, you tell me you were glad I did it."

"Every time?" I ask. I really doubt I question his pruning every time.

"Yep." Okay, so maybe I think my coaching is needed every time.

"Well, have you always been right?"

"Always," he says, turning to my Magnolia Tree....

God has been doing some pruning in my life lately - not on the trees, but on me. And I've been doing some coaching.

Today, in I Timothy 6:15, I read "He will bring about at the proper time--He who is the blessed and only Sovereign [that means "Controller"], the King of kings and Lord of lords,"

If God is the Blessed Controller, He probably doesn't need my coaching. Six months later, or maybe a day later or a year later, I will see that through His pruning, my life is more beautiful.

And I will remember that He is always right.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Van, Part II

(Read here for Part I of my van story)

"He works hard to give her all he thinks she wants."

Last night, Tim came back from Ohio with the van that we found on eBay to replace our wrecked one. I cannot believe how loved I am by these two fellows of mine - Tim and God.

As Kenny Rogers sang, we drove around the country block. The kids were beyond loud in the back seats - so excited after spending weeks in our tiny Nissan Sentra.

But my thoughts were on the fitting words of Kenny's song, the three red roses on my lap, and how my little hand fits so well into Tim's great big one.

And you know what?

You who posted or told me that God would give us something even better in return for what had been taken away - you were right. This newer van has all that I loved about the other van, but even more and even better.

When God and Tim get together and spoil this gal of theirs -- oh, boy, am I ever lovin' life then!

"The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." - Job

Sunday, March 13, 2005

"Stuck" at Home ?

"I don't know how you do it," Janie tells me recently, "I couldn't stand to be stuck at home like that."


"Will you be quitting now that John got his promotion?" I ask Deb.
"No, I don't want to be stuck at home all the time," she says.

"STUCK at home"? Few three-word sentence fragments annoy me more than those three words put together.

Why are we who choose to be home perceived as "stuck" at home?

Aren't we the ones who have the most freedom?

We can get up at 10am, wear no makeup all day, watch Oprah and Ellen and every morning soap on t.v., walk around in grubby clothes, ignore the kids and deal with the consequences later, stay up until 2am without concern about an early morning alarm, see how long the baby can go without her diaper leaking, eat ice cream at breakfast, doughnuts at noon, and feed the kids PB&J sandwiches for every meal...

Or, we can choose to see our baby's first walk, change every one of her thousands of diapers so we don't miss out on the fun of that, read and study to wisen up our brains, sell something extra on eBay, practice baking and gardening and knitting and Spanish lessons, take the girls to ballet and the boys to baseball, read a book aloud to the kids after lunch and have a cup of tea at 3pm.

Over the past 9 years, I have been a working-outside-the-home mom, a working-at-home mom, and a stay-at-home mom (unpaid work). Of all of them, it is the stay-at-home mom who gets the greatest disdain from the outside world.

But don't you worry about her.

She owns all of the 1,440 minutes in each of her days. And she can spend each of those minutes as she wills, with no boss, no schedule but her own, and all the freedom every American loves to have.

If she gets a hankering for a bologna sandwich, she can go to the grocery store and get the ingredients. If she wants to see a movie, she can load the kids into the van and take them. She can attend a craft show on Friday afternoon and a Grand Opening pre-sale on Thursday morning.

She has been given the freedom to choose how to fill up her days.

If having that kind of freedom is being "stuck," then I am so glad I'm one of those poor souls who are "stuck at home."


I saw a young mother
With eyes full of laughter
And two little shadows
Came following after.

Wherever she moved,
They were always right there
Holding onto her skirts,
Hanging onto her chair.
Before her, behind her-
An adhesive pair.

"Don't you ever get weary
As, day after day,
Your two little tagalongs
Get in your way?

She smiled as she shook
Her pretty young head,
And I'll always remember
The words that she said

"It's good to have shadows
That run when you run,
That laugh when you're happy
And hum when you hum -
For you only have shadows
When your life's filled with sun."

~Author Unknown

Friday, March 11, 2005


This is a photo of our baby chick hatching. Look closely and you'll see his beak. I had written "Baby" on the eggs that were under the mama hen so they wouldn't get mixed up with the others. So nice of this little fella to peck the egg right where I wrote "Baby"! He is now a black-and-white-striped teenager with a cluck that sounds like a duck.
Lori Seaborg 2005

Thursday, March 10, 2005

This Gal's Been Around!

Bold is for the states I've been to, Underline is for the states I've lived in and Italicize is for the state I'm in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida/ Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

...and Guam, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, Papua New Guinea, and Australia

Thanks to my missionary parents for all the great journeys and wonderful memories!

(Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Heard in Our House Today

"I don't know why, but new socks always feel better." ~ Tim, dh
"So buy a new pair for each day. I don't mind not cleaning socks!" ~ me

"Sometimes I just want someone to take care of me." ~ exhausted me

"Gross, Stone!" ~ me
"Well, at least it was a GOOD burp!" ~ Stone, 5yo

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Today, March 8, 2005

Ordering...50 baby chickens from McMurray Hatchery (up 25 from my idea last week -- still don't tell Tim!)

Screaming...inwardly at the computer because I can't figure out how to put a photo next to my profile on this blog Alyssa Belle make her sweet baby noises while playing in the room next to the one I'm in.

...another 12 days or so to see if our bunnies really did "breed like rabbits"

Hoping...(all of us except Tim) that we have baby bunnies for Easter to go along with our 50 chicks

...Tim a lot better now that I am writing about all the animals he is being so patient to let me have the Dead Sea Scrolls in Mobile, Alabama yesterday afternoon. WOW! Israel has never let them out of their country before and we are so honored.

Breathing...or not. A minute ago, I tried to see if I would really pass out if I didn't have a mouth and had to use my congested nose to breathe. Experiment failed, but just barely.

Sorting...through piles of children's clothes to store or give away. I cannot keep up with it!

Writing...a newsletter for my Yahoo group, aka Keeping the Home

...something that takes no imagination for dinner. I do NOT feel well! What's on TV tonight?

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Luke 4: When Satan Tempts

Luke 4 is the chapter where Satan tempts Jesus. Jesus had just come from the Jordan full of the Holy Spirit. In other words, He came back from a trip with his heart right with God (as it always was with Jesus).

He then went into the wilderness and was tempted for 40 days by the devil. That's an astonishingly long time to be alone in the wilderness with anyone, but especially the devil. Jesus, of course, handled this time of temptation very well.

Here are a few of my thoughts about Luke 4:

1. Jesus entered the temptation being "filled with the Holy Spirit" (verse 1).

Be ready for Satan's attacks by keeping your relationship with God strong. How? Simply read the Bible and pray. Hang onto your "God Time" each day. Keep it scheduled and be punctual, just as you would if you were meeting with the Most Important Person Imaginable.

2. Satan attacks our weakest points (vs. 1-4).

Jesus had just gone 40 days without food. Satan knew what Jesus needed and craved most. So he suggests that Jesus turn a rock into bread. Of course Jesus could have done it! Instead, Jesus says, "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God." Be aware of your weak areas. Satan knows what they are.

3. Jesus responded to Satan's temptations with Scripture (vs. 4, 8, 12).

Quoting Scipture is the best way to thwart Satan because he can't argue with God's word. Memorize Scriptures in the areas where you are weak so you will be ready the next time Satan strikes.

4. Satan eventually gives up for the time being (vs. 13).

Satan finally quit trying to tempt Jesus and left. Hang in there and stick close to God. Don't give in to the sin. Quote Scriptures in your head and out loud. Satan will leave.

5. Satan will try again. (vs. 13)

"[Satan] departed from [Jesus] until an opportune time." Satan will not give up permanently. He will wait until you are weak again. Be aware of that.

May you be successful in your Satan-dodging today!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Pads of Paper

One of the things I like best about our children's ages (9, 7, 5, 2) is that they are so easy to please at this stage.

Their Uncle Stephen is moving to Chile next week, and will travel light, so he's been dropping off odds and ends at our house. We've found a home for a chair, a guitar, a drum, and other useful and useless things.

The other day, Stephen and I were going through his latest donations. He held up a dozen used legal pads, with only the unused paper remaining on them.

"Can't use these, can you?" he asked, with a face that said 'probably not' before I had a chance.

"Oh! The kids would love them!"

He looked surprised. "Really?"

"Watch this," I said, "You're about to see an overreaction to paper." I called in the kids.

Stephen held up the paper to them. "Want this?" he asked, with another I-doubt-it look.

The kids swarmed him with greed, jumping up and down, shouting over the paper and how many they each got to have.

With that, they all raced to their rooms and drew pictures for a long while (Uncle Stephen could only say, "Wow. That was intense.")

Oh, that adults were so easily pleased.

I bet God wishes we were.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

"I am Poor and Needy"

I love this verse of David's:

"But I am poor and needy;
Yet the Lord thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God." (Psalm 40:17, NKJV)

I love it that David was poor and needy, as I have been in my life. I love it that God thinks about me no matter where I am in life.

Take comfort that the Lord "thinks upon you." He thinks about you, even little ol' you who might otherwise feel insignificant or needy.

Maybe you feel that you are no one of consequence, poor, homely (I doubt it!), and that you got the short end of the stick when it came to brains.

Still, the God of all the Universe is thinking about you. That's something!

David says, "Do not delay" to God. Sometimes God seems snail-slow when it comes to dishing out the blessings.

If that's the case for you, ask God to hurry it up a bit. He just might agree, or - watch out for this - He might change your perspective. Maybe you are not as poor or needy (or as homely!) as you thought you were.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

My Ex-Van

God gives and God takes away. I know that.

Still, it hurt today when He allowed my van to be taken from me. The insurance guy called and said it was totalled in an accident last week. I learned that "totalled" doesn't always mean it's a horrible accident. This accident was just a little one, nobody else was involved, nobody was hurt...except for my lovely little van.

I felt silly crying over a hunk of metal, leather, and plastic. I had to run away from Tim so he wouldn't see how disappointed I was.

He'd been the one who had the accident. He felt terrible that he had been driving my vehicle and not his own. I didn't want to burden him with more guilt.

When he caught up with me and held me in his arms, I was embarrassed to hear myself sob. Tim said, "We'll get another one. It's going to work out."

I nodded my head against his chest. "I know that," I said, "Give me just 10 minutes to be sad."

"Okay, but only 10," he said with a smile.

It's just that I'm going to miss it.

It was what I prayed to have for years.

Before we had the van, for over a year and a half we owned only one vehicle - a Nissan Sentra. Let me tell you, it is possible to get a family of six into a tiny little Sentra, but it is not safe to do so. There are only 5 seatbelts! I stayed home with the children any time Tim had the car. Since he commuted an hour each way to work, I stayed home a lot. Staying home was not always convenient, but it helped us save up money for our future van.

The kids (ages 6, 4, 2 and baby) would pray with me every night: "Jesus, Please give us a van and please give us a home in the country." Then we would thank Him for all that He had already given us: our one little car and our little house in town.

One day, Tim, a motorcycle-and-truck kind of guy, decided we had enough money saved and agreed that we could start looking for a van. Right away, we found just the right one at a great price.

God had taken His sweet time in answering my prayers then, but He did answer them!

I know He'll do so again.