Saturday, July 31, 2010

How to Live a Happy Life

This is definitely one of those, "I wish I had said that" posts so you'll find that it has made its way to that page also after being on this "hodge-podge" home page.

We get caught up with life way too much, worry way too much about things that don't matter and don't work enough on the things that really do matter. Maybe sometimes we need to press the reset button and refocus on what's important. I know I surely do.

How to Live a Happy Life

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight, and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.
2. Make most of your friends the cheerful kind. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. An idle mind is the devil's workshop.
4. Enjoy the simple things. That butterfly outside your window on the bush really is a thing of beauty.
5. Laugh often, long, and loud. Laugh so that others will know you by your laugh before they see your face.
6. Tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on.
7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it is family, pets, keepsakes, music,plants,whatever.
8. God only gave you one body. Don't abuse it. Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Go to the mall, the next county, a foreign country, but not to "guilt country." You cannot change one thing by feeling guilty about it.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Letter to the Editor...

I wrote the following letter to the Editor of the Huntsville Times in Huntsville, AL after becoming aware of the new dress code for the county school system. It was posted in the Huntsville Times on July 24, 2010.

School Dress Code

As a parent of four children who have attended school in the Madison County School System for grades K-12, I have observed in shock the way students have been allowed to dress while attending our county school system. Totally inappropriate would be a good way to describe some of the clothing and accessories that have graced the hallways of our schools. Exposed cleavage, sagging pants, body piercings, vulgar and sexually suggestive T-shirts are just a few of the ways that our kids have been allowed to "express themselves".

Everyone does not want to see your cleavage, girls, but when you wear a spaghetti-strap sundress or top so low that your breasts are barely covered, you leave others no choice when they glance your way but to see your cleavage. Everyone doesn't want to see your boxers or briefs, guys, but when you not only sag your pants but sag them so low that you can hardly walk, and at the same time expose your boxers, you leave others no choice but to see them when they glance your way. The same goes for the filthy, suggestive language that can be found on some T-shirts.

Shame on us for teaching our children that how they present themselves to others doesn't matter. It does matter.

Although I am sorry for the added work to enforce it, I am thrilled to see the Madison county School Dress Code for 2010-2011. Thank you, Superintendent Terry Davis, and Madison County Board of Education.

Beverly Smith

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Homemade Cold Chocolate Goodness

A sweet friend of mine, Gena, told me about this recipe the other night.  I have tried it and believe me,  it's a real winner! Just dump the ingredients in a ice cream freezer and plug in or start cranking. I personally like the "plug in" kind.

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

1/2 gallon chocolate milk
1 large container of Cool Whip
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Easy One

Today, our youngest child, Mikayla turned 17. She'll start her final year of high school in about 10 days. Kids come in different shapes, sizes, genders, personalities. If you have more than one child, you quickly realize that children from the same 2 parents can be very different but at the same time, you wonder how that is possible! Regardless, nothing is any more true than that with my four biological kids.

Mikayla has pretty much always been an easy kid for the most part, pretty self-sufficient, one who marches to the beat of her own drum, both figuratively and literally. She's a self-motivator, a non-complainer most of the time, a no-nonsense kid with her dad's dry sense of humor. She came into this world as the smallest, physically of my 4 biological kids but hit the ground running and hasn't slowed down since! At times, I wonder if she keeps us young or is adding to the "making us old" bit.

The neat thing about her as well as my other kids is that I not only love her (I kind of have to do that!) I also like her.

She's my only child to get a penny stuck in her throat when she was 3 years old, have to be taken to the ER by ambulance and into surgery to have it removed! She's my only one to be hospitalized for an intractable migraine last fall. Those 2 events probably added a few years to the "making me old" bit. She's also the only one to threaten to "tell daddy on me" when she wasn't happy with something that I had done when she was about 3 or 4. I told her bigger sister to tell her that that just wasn't how things worked. Even though there have been a few bumps in the road, for the most part, she has been an easy one.

She loves Audrey Hepburn, dinosaur stickers, the old TV show - Boy Meets World and playing the bass drum in her high school marching band. Her greatest love probably is reading. Even though her spare time is little now, if she has any, that's what you will find her doing.

Mikayla asked for a Bible for her birthday, an ESV Bible. Being a Christian as a young person in the world that we live in today is no easy thing. The world for the most part has forgotten about their Creator and that has definitely trickled down to the young folks. I'm thrilled that she is not ashamed of who she is, spiritually, but works to let her example speak about the One she serves both at school and at work. I am also thrilled to be her mom.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Homemade Mocha Ice Cream

A friend of our youngest one, Mikayla, is allergic to eggs. Because of that, I was looking for a recipe for homemade ice cream that had no eggs.  Well, I came across a basic one online and tweaked it a bit coming up with this recipe for Mocha Flavored Ice Cream with Chocolate Covered Peanuts and I must say, YUMMMMMM!!!!! It's good. You can use the basic recipe and add the ingredients that you choose to make it your flavor. I just chose to make it a mocha flavor with chocolate covered peanut chunks.  Try it!  It's a winner!

Basic Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

2 cups of whipping cream
4 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla extract

I added 1/3 cup Hills Bros. Instant Cappuccino Mix, Double Mocha flavor plus 1 1/2 cups of chopped chocolate covered peanuts. The easiest way to chop the pnuts is in a food processor.

Pour into ice cream freezer and freeze according to directions.

Add any extras to make the flavor you choose. 

Some Possibilities:

2 cups pureed strawberries
2 cups pureed peaches
2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
1 - 6 count pkg. reg. sized Butterfinger Bars, crushed
1/3 cup Hills Bros. Instant Cappuccino Mix, Double Mocha flavor plus 1 1/2 cups of chopped chocolate covered peanuts
1/2 cup Nestle Quick Chocolate Milk Mix plus 1 1/2 cups finely chopped milk chocolate
and on...and on...and on...the possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Waiting To Go Home

I don't like funerals, never have. I guess I can honestly say that I don't know anyone who does. It's a place where I don't feel comfortable. It's not that I'm afraid of the dead body; it's just that more times than not, I don't know what to say. "I'm sorry" seems so insignificant. But I go anyway like many of you, to let the family know that I love them, that I'm thinking about them, that they're not traveling this road alone.

When one that's so special to you leaves this life, it's a difficult time. It's a journey as a spouse, a parent, a child, a grandchild that carries with it a mixed bag of emotions. It has a sadness that's indescribable, probably a sadness like you've never experienced before. At the same time, there's a gratefulness to the Father of all because there really is comfort in Him for the child of God. As a matter of fact, He is the only real comfort during this time.

The mind's eye can give us a clear picture of what it will be like for those servants of God when they leave this earth. The one who has had such difficulty doing the average, everyday things, the one whose body was sick or diseased, the one whose thoughts were jumbled, will no longer have to struggle with those physical ailments.  All of that will be gone. They will be in a place of peace and comfort for the time being, waiting on the return of their Lord.

When speaking of his wife after her death, one elderly gentleman said that he knew she wouldn't come back to this earth even if she could. The place where she was resting was so much better.

Our daughter that we were privileged to gain when our son married last year lost her grandpa recently. Two of my sweet friends, her mom and her aunt, lost their dad. Her grandma lost her husband. He was a good man, a godly man from what I knew. I felt their sadness, relief and gratefulness all at the same time. Even though the emptiness that was left by his death is prominent now, it will begin to fade with each passing day and will be replaced by good memories and funny stories of the one that they loved so. More importantly, they will now think of their dad, their grandpa and husband in a different light - not one whose body is frail and whose mind is confused but one who is in Abraham's bosom waiting to go home and be with his Lord...just like my mom. A more precious thought doesn't exist.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mom, Did I Ever Tell You About the Time...

Monrovia Middle School
As our kids have gotten older and all but one have left home, a few things have come to light. The things that I'm speaking of would be things that happened during the time they lived at home but were not brought to our attention at the time.

One weekend, the kids were home for a weekend visit from college life. We were sitting at the dinner table carrying on normal conversations. (Yes, it is possible to have normal conversations with your children at the dinner table. If you're not there yet, hang in there. You'll get there.) One of our kids referred to a time in middle school and said, "Mom, did I ever tell you about the time....". The immediate thought that came to mind was not one of comfort. It was one of "Oh my - not sure I want to hear this!" But, without slowing down to give me a chance to wrap my mind around all of the possibilities, he proceeded. "Mom, did I ever tell you about the time that I got a paddling at school?" Paddling? Did he just say paddling? I'm confident it wasn't paddling. I misunderstood. My ears were not clearly hearing what he was trying to communicate. "What?", I said. He responded, "A paddling - Did I ever tell you about the time that I got a paddling at school?" After picking the lower half of my mouth up off of the floor, I replied, "No, I don't recall your bringing home that little tidbit of information when you were still in school here! A paddling? *****Smith !" With every word, I'm confident that the pitch of my voice got just a little bit higher. It was at this point that a little smile came across this child of mine's face.

The next logical question had to be asked even though it was one that I really didn't want to hear the answer to. "What did you do to get a paddling?"  As far as I knew, none of my kids had ever been paddled at school before.  My kids were far from perfect...FAR FROM PERFECT. They definitely had their share of troubles but they were basically good  kids. I just could not imagine what he had done! What could he have done to earn a paddling! One of the ground rules that we had in our home for our children was that good behavior was expected of them at school. As a matter of fact, they knew that if they got in trouble at school, they would have a another dose of it when they got home. Misbehaving, especially at school, was just not okay.

Back to my question. "What did you do to get a paddling?"  He revealed the cause of the infliction of pain on his backside.  "I laughed." Now, I realize that those two words make up a complete sentence.  It has a subject and a verb. But I knew that there was no way that it was a complete answer.  I KNEW there was more to the story than that. "What?  You laughed?"

It was then that we were given just a little bit more information to fill in the missing pieces to this paddling puzzle.  It seems that this child and a buddy were laughing...a lot and had been doing so in a previous class.  When they arrived at this particular class, the teacher asked them to stop.  Well, the laughing had already reached maximum proportions and was going ahead full steam. There was no stopping it.  That's probably stretching it.  If someone were holding a gun to their heads and said stop laughing or I'll shoot, they probably would have stopped.   I think we've all had those moments when we've started laughing at something and couldn't stop. (It usually happens at the worst time and place like school or church!) 

On with the rest of the story... When the kids didn't stop laughing, they were sent to the Assistant Principal. At most middle and high schools, the Assistant Principal is not the nicest member of the school faculty.  As a matter of fact, he/she is usually the disciplinarian.  He's a "no bones about it" sort of person.  He doesn't smile a lot and most of the kids know that they really do need to steer clear of him if possible.

Upon arriving at the Asst. Principal's office, these two kids were asked why they were there.  They replied to him that they had been laughing.  (Now, you just have to wonder if this man at the time didn't scratch his head just a bit, and think, huh? Laughing? Aren't there just a few more serious infractions that we need to be dealing with than laughing? )  But then I'm sure he probably also thought that it had to be more than just laughing or the teacher wouldn't have sent them down to him in the first place. Time to get down to the nitty gritty. Time for the punishment to be doled out for such an infraction.  "You have a choice, boys.  You can either have after school detention or a paddling."  The decision was an easy one for the Smith kid. He knew that there was no way he would take the after school detention. That would mean he would have to stay after school.  If he had to stay after school, that would mean that mom and dad would find out! Easy decision! No staying after school for him! So, the Smith kid took door #2 - pain infliction to his backside as his prize, I mean punishment on that day. I'm sure it didn't feel good at all. I'm also pretty confident that he probably didn't laugh a whole lot in that teacher's class afterwards either.

Years later, I guess this Smith child thought that it was safe to reveal his well kept secret at the dinner table.   I'm sure he thought that the statute of limitations on double punishment had run out.  Tim and I just kind of shook our heads still in disbelief.  You never just never know.

What are the lessons learned from this one you ask? The obvious one for kids is this -If your teacher tells you to stop doing something, YOU REALLY DO NEED TO STOP. To this child in particular,  it was a story that you lived to tell but you lived probably because you didn't tell it when it happened. I'm just not sure how your dad and I would have reacted to that one.  Finally, to parents, sometimes ignorance really is bliss and in this case, it definitely was!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Easy, Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Looking for a quick cookie recipe? If you like peanut butter, this one will make the list. It has only 4 ingredients and both comes together and bakes in a very short amount of time. I don't remember where it came from. It's just one of those easy recipes that I've had forever!  I was asked for the recipe after sending it to a young people's study that Mikayla went to. So, Dave and Lisa...this one is for ya'll. Enjoy!

Bev's Peanut Butter Cookies


1 cup sugar
1 cup self rising flour
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg

Mix together well and roll into approx. 24 equally sized balls. (If dough seems to be "crumbly", add 1 teaspoon of water at a time to the dough until it sticks together so the cookie dough can be rolled into balls.)  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten down by making an X on the cookie with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. This recipe easily doubles to make 4 dozen or triples to make 6 dozen.
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Monday, July 12, 2010

They Moved to Guatemala and Left Me here!

BFF's - Mikayla and Emily
Kids are resilient and as a parent, that is much to be thankful for! Our youngest daughter had band practice one afternoon after school when she was in middle school. She had told me about it a couple of weeks earlier in addition to bringing a note home from Mr. Dowdy, the band director reminding the parents. This wasn't typical. They usually practiced only during school hours so I made sure that I wrote it down in my planner to remember. This was in preparation of the middle school's upcoming end of the year concert.
The day of the after school practice had arrived. It was scheduled for 3-4:15. I was sitting at my computer working on some things, kind of like I'm doing now, and at about 3:10, the thought came into my mind that I needed to tell my older daughter to go and pick up the young one at 4:15. Well, that thought stayed in my brain for about 100th of a second. At 4:45 that same thought came back into my brain along with a feeling of panic and from my mouth, the words, "Oh my stars! I left Mikayla at school!"

As quickly as I could, I jumped up and drove to the middle school. The band door was open and there she was, sitting alone, quietly reading a book in the band room. Mr. Dowdy came out of his office and I began to apologize over and over to both him and Mikayla. Even though I felt horrible, he assured me that everything was fine. She had attempted to call several times but had only gotten a busy signal since I had been on the computer the entire time. (Note to readers: That was during the ancient days when we used the phone line to get "on line".) So, after trying numerous times with no luck, she just decided to wait. Mikayla told the band director that we had probably moved to Guatemala and left her here!

I think it's fair to say that the youngest one of our family wasn't scarred for life because of my forgetfulness. As a matter of fact, if I recall correctly, she took that ball, ran with it and used it to her advantage for a while after it happened. Just realize that as a mom you will make mistakes, forget things that you never think you will forget and probably not be nominated for the Mother-of-the-Year Award. That's okay. Hopefully, it will help your kids realize that you aren't quite as perfect as they once thought you were. Most of the time, they will bounce back and love you in spite of your mistakes. I'm living proof.

Love you Mikayla!

P.S. I'm glad I didn't scar you for life.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Help Me! Your Dad is Going to Kill Me!

Help Me! Your Dad is Going to Kill Me!
Bev Smith
July 11, 2010

We used to drive a Toyota Previa van when all of the kids were still home. It was great! It was basically a tank compared to the sleek, car-like vans that are on the market today. It was big. It was reliable and it would take the wear and tear that you need a vehicle to take when you're hauling around a van full of your own kids plus their buddies to ballgames, school, sleepovers, etc.

One afternoon, I had been running errands and was returning home in the van. KT and Mikayla were with me. I had stopped at our mailbox on the side of the road before pulling into the driveway. This was not unusual. It was a semi-regular occurrence. One of the kids would just slide the van door open on the passenger side, check the mailbox, close the van door and I would then continue on into the driveway and garage. On this day, though the "pulling into the garage bit" didn't run quite as smoothly as it normally had.

Because the garage was such a short distance from the mailbox, Katie decided not to close the van door but just to leave it in the open position while I pulled into the garage. It was pushed completely back and latched into place. Not a big deal...normally...but this day must have not been one of those normal, average, run of the mill days at the Smith house. (Come to think of it, not many of our days were normal, average, run of the mill!)

As I pulled into the garage, the sliding door on the passenger side protruded just a bit farther than what I was accustomed to. I had pulled into that garage many, many times over the previous 10 or so years. I knew how to pull into the garage! I guess I had not pulled into the garage with the van door open before but that wasn't a big deal or so I thought. This time as I pulled into the garage, the van door caught on the corner of the garage door frame and as I continued to pull forward, the van door continued to slide toward the back of the van until it literally came sliding off of the van! Yes, that van door slid right off of the van and fell into the bushes beside the garage!  When I realized what had happened, I hopped out of the van, stood there looking at that van door on the ground just saying to myself over and over, "I cannot believe this. I cannot believe this! I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS!!!!!"

I frantically ran inside for help! Nathan, our oldest son and I both went back outside and headed straight toward the van door which was at that point laying on top of my flowers and bushes smashing them to smithereens! I began to try to think of possibilities. How are we going to get that door back on the van???!!! There was a van door on the ground, a tank van door on the ground, my tank van door on the ground! Nate was around 16 at this time and it could probably have been said that my oldest son and I had differing opinions on the matter. He was trying to convince me that it was just not gonna happen.  We were not going to be able to reattach that sliding van door - no how! I, on the other hand, was diligently trying to convince him that not only could we get the door reattached; we had to get it reattached or his dad, otherwise known as my sweet husband, WOULD KILL ME!

So, we went to work, together, picking up that zillion pound piece of metal off of the ground and moving it over to where the van was located in the garage. Picture in your mind a 42 year old woman and a 16 year old teen trying to do body work on a car and having absolutely no idea what we were doing.  That would have described us to a T! Why hadn't I encouraged Nathan to take that auto mechanics class at school????

We worked for some time trying to get the van door back on the track that it was designed to be on but after no glimmer of hope, my optimistic outlook began to fade. How on earth am I going to explain this to Tim?

Fast forward to 5:30 p.m. My sweet husband arrived home at his normal time and contrary to what some of you may be thinking, he didn't freak out. He, being the patient, loving person that he is did not have a cow. (Me? I had had enough cows for both of us!) He just went out into the garage and began trying to get the van door back on the van. After working on it for a while with no luck, Tim called a good friend of ours, Steve Cook, to see if he could come over and help. Steve, Marqueta and their kids lived just a few streets over from us and Steve was very much our "go-to" guy for a lot of stuff. Steve could do just about anything. Steve, graciously, agreed to come over and help. When he arrived and looked at the van door, he noticed that a piece of metal, a hinge, had been bent so he and Tim were trying to bend it back to its proper position with a hammer. They were hitting that hinge on the van door hard as it lay on the ground in my front yard.

I went out into the yard where Tim and Steve were so I could check on their progress. Steve, much to my disappointment said that he just didn't think they were going to be able to get the hinge bent back. Oh no! Steve said that the metal that the hinge was made from was so hard they they were having no luck bending it back into position.

What?  It won't bend?  You've got to be kidding me! That cannot be! So, thinking that I didn't have a thing in the world to lose, I asked Steve for the hammer! I started banging on that hinge with that hammer as hard as I could. I probably looked like a wild woman in my front yard slinging that hammer but that was the farthest thing from my mind.  I just knew that I didn't want to have the added expense of taking the van to an auto body shop. We just didn't need that! So, I banged and banged some more and that hinge began to bend. As a matter of fact, it bent  just enough so that Tim and Steve were able to slide the van door back on the track of the van.

Our wills, our determination can be very beneficial to us. We can determine in our minds to do something and our will in that matter can be so strong  that we will allow nothing to stop us from doing that!  When we lived in Denver, my pediatrician once told me that our will, our mind, our determination  can cause us to do things that we ordinarily wouldn't physically be able to do, like lift something very heavy off of a child who is in danger. Our will, our determination, our mind can at times, overcome insurmountable odds! Mine has not always done that but I surely am grateful that it did this time.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sometimes Watching Is the Hardest Part

I was on my deck early one morning, around 7 a.m. when I saw 3 adult robins and a baby robin in the very back of my back yard. The baby robin was hopping along in the grass and two of the adult robins were "escorting" him.  The third robin was standing about a third of the way up my back yard, looking around as if he were watching for any potential danger to the little one.

I realized after just a few seconds that this baby was being taught "how to leave the nest" by the adults. He could not yet fly. He could only hop. After some researching, I understood what was going on. You see, when baby robins first leave the nest, they hop to begin with for several days in order to become stronger so they will eventually  have enough strength to fly. This process can take several days. Makes sense I guess. I'm sure those little guys can't go straight from sitting in a nest to flying.

This, as you can imagine, is a very dangerous time for baby birds. It's during this time that they are so vulnerable to a number of different predators including my 2 cats, Bubba and Hershey. When I saw the young one hopping around in the back yard, I actually brought my cats inside for a while until I felt that the baby was hidden well enough that it wouldn't be easily noticed by my cats.

I watched this little bird off and on for the entire day. I could hear his little chirp and would see him hop under the row of huge Leland Cypress that we have across our back yard, otherwise known as the Smith Bird Condos. They're tall and wide and a terrific home for a lot of birds.

After being under the huge trees for just a bit, he would then hop out and chirp loudly for long periods of time as if to say, "Here I am! Can't you see me? Come feed me! NOW!" He did not appear to be a  happy little fellow to say the least.

At times, I would see one or two adult robins with him, but for the majority of the time, especially as the day continued on, he would be alone in the big back yard by himself.  I was afraid for him. I worried that "something" might try to harm him and that his parents wouldn't be able to get to him quickly enough. During the course of the day, I saw one of the adults fly over and land right behind him, hop over him, then sort of flutter a little distance away from him. The adult robin then turned back, looked at the little one and chirped as if to say, "That's how you do it. Now it's your turn." But the little bird would just sit, and chirp, then hop some more.  It was hard to watch. I knew this step in the growth process was necessary for him to get to the next stage but it was still difficult to watch.  Maybe it was just the "mother thing" in me.  I wanted so badly to go out there and help that baby bird.  But, the only thing I could do was to make sure my cats stayed away. That was it.

As the evening drew closer, the baby bird began to gain some courage.  He would hop out a little bit farther from underneath the Leyland Cypress.  I saw him resting about 1/4 of the way up my back yard as the sun faded. The adult robins who were watching from a distance were not comfortable with his being so far from safety. When he would step outside of his safety zone, two or three of them would come flying in to coax him back to where they knew he needed to be to stay safe.  They would land beside him, the two of them, and escort him again back to safe territory.  It was really one of the neatest things to watch.   He was being taught what he needed to do by those who knew how to care for him best. The one thing they could not do for  him was fly. That was something he had to do on his very own.

I'm sure you know where I'm going with this. Some of my dear friends will have children "leaving the nest", going off to college or moving out of the house, for the first time in the next few weeks.  From one who has experienced it a few times, I can say that watching them leave the nest can be a very difficult thing to watch. Your role of being an active, engaged parent in the daily life of this child that you love so much will change. Don't misunderstand me. There will still be opportunities to parent but they will, more often than not, be from a distance. They will be from the standpoint of giving advice, not specifically telling them what to do. After 18 or 19 years of this child being taught, it is now his time to take what he has learned and apply it. Now is his time to fly.

But just as that young bird struggled when he was learning to fly, most all kids leaving the nest will probably struggle too. Growth and maturity doesn't happen overnight.  It takes time. When your role as a parent has been filled the way God intended, you can have confidence in the fact that you've taught them what they need to successfully, over time, step outside of your safety net and fly.  Yes, watching at this stage of parenting is probably the hardest phase of parenting that you'll experience, but when that child finally takes flight and soars, the joy that comes with it is immense.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Tupperware Drawer

The Tupperware Drawer
Bev Smith
July 2, 2010

We have a storage cabinet in our kitchen that is the size of 2 regular-sized cabinet doors. It houses a large drawer instead of shelves. It's known in our house as the Tupperware drawer.  It has held just about every piece of Tupperware that has ever been created.  As a matter of fact, when we built and moved into our house 19 years ago, I told Tim to not ever let me buy another piece of Tupperware. You know moving puts into perspective just how much stuff you really have!

I have had a love/hate relationship with this drawer for almost 20 years now. The drawer is a source of great delight at times and a total aggravation at other times.  The fact that it can be a source of delight is due to its ability to hold a lot of Tupperware.  There is a nice little partition running the both the height and depth of the drawer. That allows me to store lids on one side and bowls on the other. But remember, I said it can also be a source of aggravation.  Those times come when it gets so full that items get knocked behind the drawer. When that happens, the drawer won't close. In that event, it usually takes two people who know what they're doing to unlatch the locks that hold the drawer in place, remove the drawer from the cabinet, get the piece of plastic that is lodged at the back of the cabinet and return the drawer, locking it in place. If the bowl isn't retrieved the cabinet doors have to stay wide open and the drawer pulled out until the object can be retrieved. Now if the cabinet were in an inconspicuous area, that would not be such a big deal to me, but it's right in our walking path from the kitchen to the garage and if the cabinet doors remain wide open for any length of time, they wind up getting knocked and legs wind up getting scratched and bruised.

While getting a bowl out of the Tupperware drawer several years ago, another bowl was accidentally knocked behind the drawer. Ordinarily, that would not have even been an issue but this particular time, it was.  Now, takes 2 people to unlatch this giant-sized drawer and remove it and my helper, my sweetie, Tim, was on travel in Houston.  So, my next two helpers, Nathan and Aaron talked to their Dad on the phone and attempted to remove the drawer from the cabinet with Tim giving them instructions over the phone. Nate would have been 14 and Aaron would have been 12 at the time.

My kitchen was a sight! There was Tupperware strewn all over the floor and Nate and Aaron were both kneeling down in front of the large, pulled-out drawer trying to figure out how to get it unlatched and removed.  Mikayla, who was 5, was standing over them with a snake-light flashlight trying to "shed some light" on the matter.

After no luck with their Dad talking them through it, I was given the phone and chatted with Tim for a while.  This had been our first chance on this particular day to talk, if I'm remembering correctly. We usually caught up on the day's events during our evening phone calls when he was on travel. The next thing I heard was Nathan saying to Aaron, "If you touch me, I'm going to slug you sooooo hard!" Apparently, Nathan had decided to try to reach back behind the drawer and get the bowl. When he did, his arm became wedged between the top of the cabinet frame and the top of the cabinet drawer. Aaron's remedy to the problem was to grab hold of Nate (along with his arm) and pull.  Now, 1... 2... 3...pull!   I looked around and my first thoughts were, Oh my goodness!!!!!  What on earth? Then my thoughts immediately changed to - Tim's not here! I am going to have to call 911!  I cannot believe this! Nate was sitting there looking pretty helpless and in just a little bit of pain with his arm stuck and dangling from the elbow down behind that ginormous drawer with a younger brother just waiting for the go-ahead to pull and a younger sister continuing to hold the snake light overhead.  Oh if I had only known about America's Funniest Home Videos at the time!

It took a little while, but after some gentle pulling and pushing and repositioning of Nate's arm, he was finally able to pull it out from behind the drawer. He said that he had gotten it stuck because his forearm was so big. He had just previously started doing some weightlifting.  I laughed. He was 14.

After Nate got his arm loose, I decided to try a little something myself to remedy the matter.  I jerked and jerked and jerked on that drawer! I guess I was trying to jerk it out of the cabinet. Nathan said I was crazy. He probably was right. I was fighting with a drawer. That day, I let that drawer get the best of me and my patience.

Sometimes, when we get to the end of the day, we pray that God will give us another one to do better with 'cause we surely didn't use the one that He had given us very well.  That was one of those days.