Monday, October 10, 2011

7-11 Project: Reality vs. Good Intentions

Is it not the truth that we can have the BEST attitude, the BEST intentions, and the greatest expectations for our life, yet REALITY has a way of squashing them all to bits?! This is the story of my week! I have really been motivated this week. I've had plenty of energy and gumption to knock a big chunk out of my To-Dos, but one thing after another has thwarted my initiative. It's been quite an emotional week on the home front. . . .a few blazing hurdles in my path. . .Mr. Grouchy pants has hit an all-time grouchy PEAK. I wasn't aware of the "terrible fours". I figured at this point, things should be somewhat smooth sailing. But we've been really struggling in the disobedience department. Notes sent home from daycare, belligerent behavior, angry attitudes. It's a daily battle not to send him to boarding school. . . .seriously. As well, Little Stinky pants has given up eating. That's right. Food. I'm not sure what the underlying issue is here (as I refuse to acknowledge that it must be my fantastic cooking skills), but he has eaten like a bird for the entire last week. No real meals, he just grazes, so to speak. This may be the onset of an upcoming growth spurt, but it's enough of a problem that I'm almost tempted to call the pediatrician and let her know that I have a two-year-old anorexic on my hands. As if that is not enough stress for my plate, I also have mid-terms today for my biblical counseling class. With all of the chaos consuming my house, I've had minimal time to study. It's a wonderful thing that procrastination (especially when it comes to tests) is nothing new to me, as it seems that is what I will be doing for the next few hours. Cram, cram, cramming the information in and hoping to retain some of it for the long-haul. Hopefully, things will calm down in my little world and I will be able to take the bull by the horns (shameless OU/TX reference, yes!) this week and accomplish twice as much as I set out to do. But in the meantime, here is the skinny on the 7-11 Project progress:

1. Do 11 new activities/crafts with the kiddos.

Pine Cone Birdfeeders. The following are the only supplies needed. It was a fun and quick fall craft idea to do with my oldest, while the other was napping. Just take a walk around the neighborhood to gather the pine cones. The yarn and peanut butter I already had in the cabinets. The birdseed I picked up at the local supermarket.
We sat at the kitchen table and spread everything out. Then we painted the PB all over the pine cones to act as glue for the birdseed. After the PB was smothered on, we poured the birdseed into a small paper plate and rolled the pine cone around in it so that birdseed attached itself all the way around it. Lastly, we attached a piece of yarn to the very top for hanging, and Viola!: a birdfeeder!
We hung ours on the front porch outside our window so that that we would be able to see the birds come feast on it. It was a quick little craft that Grouch and I enjoyed together. It's the little things, you know. :)

2. Memorize 11 new scripture verses from the Bible.

As I am enrolled in biblical counseling class, studying the Bible more has become something not only that I want to do, but also something that gets homework credit! Double-whammy! With mid-terms close at hand, I was able to memorize a few extra verses that I will be needing to know for my test. Proverbs 11:14 says "For lack of guidance, people fall. But in a multitude of counselors, there is safety." I'm finding more and more how my independent, do-it-myself attitude gets me into consistent hard spots. This verse reminded me of the importance of acquiring godly advice from those that are more experienced than me. I plan on doing this more often. Especially in the area of parenthood. I could use all the help I can get lately! They say it takes a village to raise a child. . .I need to meet with the elders of this said village and have a major pow-wow soon!

Another verse that really resonated with me was Zechariah 4:6 that says, "Not by might, nor by power, but by MY Spirit', declares the Lord Almighty." Not only is it very apparent that I need professional help some days, but more specifically, I need God's Spirit to "hold me together", so to speak. I need to learn to acknowledge on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis that there is nothing I can do in my own strength to bring about lasting spiritual and emotional change in my life. No amount of working out, no amount of academic studying, no amount of mustered-up patience will be enough to change my circumstances, struggles, or will. It's only by my reliance in God to work through me, that I can come out on top. It's an ongoing battle of control on my part, but I'm really asking God to deliver me from myself. I am truly my biggest obstacle on the road to success.

3. Do/visit/try 11 new experiences or places.
This last week, I got to get away for an evening and go out on the town with my little brother and his girlfriend. Let me first say that I am more protective of my "bubba", than I am of any other males (aside from my children). I have always felt a need to take care of him and look out for him and protect him from the "mean-ness" of the world. To date, I have never "gone out" with him to a bar, club, etc. to just relax and have a good time. This alone, was a first for me. But even more exciting, was the fact that he took me to experience my very first Blues club. I'm not what I would consider a blues music fan, but I thought I would give it a whirl. I was very pleasantly surprised. The Biting Sow, on the Riverwalk in Oklahoma City is a very chill, friendly, hole-in-the-wall that is perfect for hanging out with friends, shooting a bit of pool, and enjoying some authentic blues music. They have a live band there 7 days a week. It was so nice to meet some new people, really enjoy my brother and my future-sister-in-law (fingers crossed!), and get away from the hub-bub of my home life with crazy toddlers. I won't say that I didn't feel the urge to hug all over my brother and baby him a bit. And it wouldn't have been my nature if I hadn't recollected (with his friends) the time that I beat up the neighborhood bully down the street for not letting my bubba play basketball and making him cry. Overall, it was a good night with lots of laughs. We will definitely be doing it again soon!

Along the lines of new experiences, I can't claim it "accomplished" yet, but I officially registered for my very first 5K yesterday. I will be participating in the City on a Hill Run on November 5th. This has been something that I have always wanted to do. Hopefully I can work up to a marathon someday, but this will be a step (many, actually) in the right direction. Here is the link for info or registration if anyone is interested: I would love to have some friends join me! Can't wait to mark this new experience off the 7-11 List!

There's also one more upcoming new experience to report. It's probably the thing that I am most looking forward to. My amazing cousin, Jaci (check out her awesome blog here: ) introduced me to the NaNoWriMo Novel-Writing Challenge that begins November 1st. This is a month dedicated to motivating aspiring writers to stop just thinking about writing that novel someday, and actually put pen to paper and make it happen. Over the course of the month of November, writers from all over the world will be accepting the challenge of writing 50,000 words or more of an original fiction novel of their own. By gaining momentum and encouragement from other writers, I am ready to try my hand at this! I'm not at all sure what my novel will be about yet. I have been brainstorming many ideas. I am just excited to have a goal and a deadline and something that I can accomplish on my own and have something to show for my efforts in the end. How amazing will I feel if I follow-thru with this challenge and write something publish-worthy?! I'm beyond excited about November! I'm also excited to share with everyone my progress, so stay-tuned! :)

As I said before, it's been a busy, chaotic week and I'm not satisfied with my progress, but I am looking forward to accomplishing twice as much this week, so be prepared for a longer post next Monday! Until then, enjoy this fall weather! We plan on taking advantage of the brisk breeze and chilly, autumn temperatures. In fact, this afternoon I'm off to learn a thing or two about cardboard forts, scraped knees, and the magical healing powers in a pile of backyard dirt. :)

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