Monday, July 26, 2010

Count it all joy...

Last week was quite a scary week for my family. I'm not going to recount the events in detail just yet because I'm just not ready to. In short, we took two visits to the ER: one for Brooklyn when she had a fever of 104 and the very next night after my parents, Brooklyn and I were all involved in a very scary wreck. It was terrifying and I hope to never have to experience anything like it again. Like most people, I was in my little bubble, going about my life the way I have always been, focusing on our finances and Brooklyn and trying to keep a house clean. You don't wake up and think "Today I'm going to get in a wreck and end up in an ambulance on my way to the emergency room." But that's what happened. One small mistake of another driver, and our world was turned upside down. My mother ended up with a broken wrist and I with a huge bump on my head that has now spread through the right side of my face where my right eye is turning purple and swelling shut. It's not one of my favorite looks, but I'll take it over being pale, with makeup on in a casket. (sorry for that gruesome image!)

In times like these, when you face the realness of how fragile life is and how quickly it can take a turn for the worse, it's so important to have your faith rooted in Jesus Christ. I know that it was only by His love and grace and power that we were spared worse injuries and even death. Look at the pictures and try to tell me that it isn't a miracle from the Lord that we came out as well as we did from this.

This is the side that was hit first that sent us into a spin, into on-coming traffic. Looks pretty harmless, right?  But that tiny little dent in the side of the car caused a chain reaction that led to massive destruction of not only my dad's car but the cars of 2 other people involved in this accident. 

Lately it has felt like Satan is out to attack our family. This is the 4th wreck our family has been in this year. I am the person who has been in all of them. Two in my own car while I was driving, once as a passenger in my brother's car and now this one in my dad's car. Not to mention the hospital visits we have gone through with Brooklyn and financial difficulties. Satan is really trying to shake our faith, but we are not going to let him! I still believe God is working in our family in great ways. I still believe He loves us and that He is our protector and provider. I do not believe that He has abandoned us. He is still in control and Has a wonderful plan for our family. If anything, this is reassurance that we are doing something right or Satan wouldn't be so bent on destroying us and breaking our faith. Our church has seen some major growth lately, Waylon and I have gotten into a good financial place where we have been able to pay of some debt and give more to our church. These are good things that Satan does not want to see going well in our lives and he will do things to try to break our faith and question God. We will persevere and keep our faith in God and continue to worship Him, even when things aren't going peachy in our lives.

This reminds me of a verse I studied a while back:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. - James 1:2-4

Is God testing our faith? Maybe. If we keep our faith though, the Bible says we will learn to be steadfast and this will lead us to being complete and perfect in our relationships with the Lord. This applies to any trial you are facing in your life, not just big ones.

I don't say this to elevate the status of my family and make us seem better than other families. I know there are others doing wonderful works for the Lord and not going through any major trials. God deals differently with all of us. I feel that God may be testing my family to help us with our faith. To make sure that we do not waver from Him, even when things seem like they are never going to be "normal" again. I will admit to asking God why He is letting my family go through so much lately and whining and complaining to Him. But then He reminds me of families who have gone through so much worse and I am humbled once more.

All in all I have to count it all joy because we are alive and well today and it could have been much worse! Remember this verse when you think you are going through a hard time in your life because it can always be worse and according to the Word, it is these trials that lead us to steadfastness and to a point where our faith in God leaves us lacking nothing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A short update! With pictures!

I realize that in my previous post about the Saturday Spanish Sessions, I implied that there should be one last Saturday and then there wasn't. Sorry! I meant to say *next* Saturday, as in, the 17th of July, which now might be pushed back even some more because we are having Brooklyn's 1st birthday party on Sunday.

I also have my last FPU (you can read more about this on my FPU page up top) class on Saturday. We will be receiving diplomas and everything! I'm very excited about it. We also will announce how much debt we've each paid off since starting the class. We haven't been able to pay off as much as we would have liked to since April, BUT, we're about to start kickin' some debt tail!

I also wanted to post some cute pictures I've taken recently from our new iMac that we got dirt cheap from my brother. Enjoy!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Coming on a Saturday near you: Stephanita's Saturday Spanish Sessions

Are casa and mexican food names the only words you know in Spanish? Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to communicate with someone in Spanish but you didn't know the right words? Ever traveled to a Spanish-speaking country but couldn't ask where the bathroom was? Have you ever wanted to whisper something sexy to your husband in another language? Would you like your kids to grow up knowing some basics about Spanish to help them when they take it at school?

If you said yes to any of those questions, fear no more! Starting this Saturday, I will be posting short Spanish lessons to help you, my wonderful, fabulous readers, learn some important, fun, hip and sexy things to say in Spanish. I'll pick a theme and I'll focus on that for a month or so until I feel that you have gotten the basics. I'll cover things like household items, greetings and farewells, street slang, animals, adjectives and even whole phrases. I will do this via video clips or audio clips, depending on the subject matter. I may post funny songs to help you learn a specific verb or phrase. Whatever it is, I want it to be fun for you guys. If there is something specific you would like to learn about, please let me know! I'll try to make a video session on it. My sessions will be short, 2-3 minutes tops. I don't want to bore you or make it too long with too much information but I want it to have enough so that you actually learn what I'm teaching.

If you have kids, I'll be doing some segments on phrases and words you can teach your kids. I'll also cover some learning methods that can be used across the board for most languages (in case your kids are taking French or German).

I'm very excited about getting this going and you can thank my sister, Melissa, for helping me come up with this idea! She's a blogging expert!

While were on the subject of Spanish sessions, you may have noticed that the title of my blog has changed, but my URL has not. I'm in the process of changing my blog name to "Mamacita Stephanita: Livin' la vida Gringa". I haven't decided my exact method for this yet so I'm leaving my blog under the Perryman Ponderings URL for now. When I do change it, I will give plenty of notice and do my best to streamline the change so that you don't have to do a lot to continue following me. I'll keep you all posted on this as it comes along. My brother, Bryan, is a graphic designer and is learning how to create layouts for Blogger (currently he only works with Wordpress blogs) and will be creating a nice design for me. I will probably wait till the design is made before I switch the name of my blog and then have one big transition. I'm very excited about that change as well and I feel that the name fits me more. What do you think? I'd love your input on this as well!

Hasta Sabado! (That means, until Saturday!)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Look at those bottom teeth of hers.
And that adorable smile.


                                             I could just eat her up!
So serious!
 Getting a little greedy there aren't we??

Blue eyes.

                                                                 These cheeks just kill me!

Ok, ok...I realize it was supposed to be WORDLESS. But I couldn't help it!!! I can't just post pictures of my cutie and NOT say something! ♥

Monday, July 5, 2010

Top Ten Things I HAVEN'T Gotten done this summer!

Top Ten {Tuesday}

I'm joining in the Top Ten Tuesday fun over at Oh Amanda's blog. I had many plans for this summer. I was going to do SO much and get all sorts of things taken care of! I was revved up and ready to go!

Then life happened. Waylon got a new job working extremely long hours, 6 days a week. I underestimated how challenging a newly walking almost-one-year-old is. I forgot how hot and muggy summers in Texas are and how much they DE-motivate me from doing anything. I forgot how incredibly messy my husband and I can be. are the top ten things I THOUGHT I was going to do this summer, but haven't...yet...

1. De-clutter my house. I had huge plans to start the week after we got out of school to get rid of tons and tons of "stuff" in my house. We have a bunch of it and we don't use most of it! I'm sick of all this "stuff" that takes up space and clutters my house and collects dust! I haven't gotten rid of hardly anything, at least not enough to really see a difference. This frustrates me. I have full intentions of still getting this done though! I'm not raising my white flag just yet!

2. Work out. I was going to get up every morning and take a walk with my daughter before it got hot. That hasn't happened ONCE! I figured that since she wakes me up early every morning that I would just get up, put her in her stroller and head on out and take a 20-30 minute walk every morning to get back into the exercise routine. Nope, hasn't happened. Most mornings I just lie in bed after she wakes and let her crawl trample all over me. She seems content with that and I get a few more minutes of sleep. She's even slept till after 9am a few times and that makes it REALLY hard to get out of bed and take a walk because by then, it's already up to 90 degrees outside!

3. Read my Bible everyday. This one I've done the best on of all. I have put in much more effort into this than anything else, but I'm still not reading it everyday. I've come up with a method/plan that I think I will like a lot and that will motivate me to do it everyday. One of my problems with reading my Bible and having my quiet time has been that I didn't have a plan laid out as to how I was going to do it. That leaves me all in a dither. I would read a passage and then didn't know whether to read more or meditate on what I read or write what I learned from it. I have very limited time and I need to use it the best I can! I would spend more time trying to decide what to do then actually DOING it. So I took some tips from a wonderful website I've discovered (Scripture Dig) and I'm on my way to a better quiet time. (BTW, I will be doing a post all about the information I've gleaned from this website soon!)

4. Done more activities with Brooklyn. Due to all my mommy guilt from working and not being able to stay home with Brooklyn, I planned on using the summer to take her all sorts of fun places and do a variety of activities with her. I have not been able to do that. In my own defense, I just recently (as in last week) had my van finally fixed so that I could use it on a daily basis. Until then, I had to either use my husband's car for the few hours in the morning that he's home before heading off to work, OR have my parents come over and get me, OR drive my van that had no A/C and that I had to jump start each time I needed to use it! Talk about frustration! That's enough to keep anyone indoors all day. Well, the van is fixed so I have my freedom back. What I'm encountering now is laziness on my part and the fact that it's a lot of work taking Brooklyn out to do anything. But I have been able to do more and tomorrow I plan on taking her to the aquatic center in Hurst.

5. Record songs for Brooklyn. You may read this and think it's weird. Let me explain. For a while now, I've been wanting to use the nifty Garage Band application on my MacBook to record me singing some songs for Brooklyn for her bedtime. They would just be simple recordings of me singing and playing the guitar to some kid songs and some worship songs and hymns. I haven't yet done that either. Part of it is because it kills my fingers to play guitar now since I haven't played in years and my fingertips don't have their callouses anymore. This is something I DO still want to do this summer.

6. Spend more "quality time" with my husband. No, "quality" isn't code for "intimate". I mean quality as in, time interacting and doing things that bring us closer together, NOT just watching TV.  This has taken a back seat as his new job takes a lot of his time and we need him to keep this job and be successful at it. So I'm biding my time and taking the little snippets of time I can from him until the time comes when things aren't so hectic and we are able to have a date night each week or every other week. It's been hard though. I miss having him around. Sniff...

7. Meal plan. I really wanted to get into the habit of meal planning for each week. I thought it would be super easy to do during the summer when I'm not working and I have a bunch of extra time. Psh! I'm so bad at managing my time now! Having no structure to my days has created a scheduling nightmare! This is something I will have to put a lot of effort into and be very purposeful about. Grr...

8. Gardening. I had BIG plans to start my own straw bale garden. I got the nifty idea on MckMomma's blog and I did a lot of online research about it. I even went and bought a bale of straw and cleaned out the garden bed in front of my porch. I put a lot of work into it. Well, the straw bale is still sitting out there. It's been watered a ton but has yet to have anything growing on it. Mainly because I haven't planted anything in it yet! I'm so frustrated about this because I really thought this would be a nice therapeutic hobby for me. But alas, there is not time for the garden.

9. Developing a weekly house cleaning schedule. I'm such a spaz when it comes to cleaning my house. The only rooms that consistently get cleaned are the kitchen, living room and my bedroom. Everything else gets put off over and over again since it's not in plain sight if someone were to come over. I wanted to develop a weekly house cleaning schedule so that every room got at least straightened up every week. I'm still working on this. Meanwhile, the same three rooms have all been cleaned multiple times this summer but I HAVE gotten to some others (my bathroom, Brook's room, the kitchen table).

10. Successfully sleep train Brooklyn. Our plan was to already have her happily sleeping in her crib all night, every night by two weeks ago. I'm embarrassed to admit that she still doesn't go down without me either rocking her or patting her on her back and that she wakes up in the middle of the night and I bring her to my bed to sleep off the rest of the night. I know, consistency is the key. Yet, I continue to NOT be consistent with her. It breaks my heart to hear her desperate cries when I leave her in there to cry it out but I'm starting to realize that unless I do that consistently EVERY NIGHT, she is never going to settle in to a routine. I'm going to have to teach her some tough love. Tough for her, tougher for me.

So there you have it! My Top Ten Things I Haven't gotten done this summer. It's frustrating, it sucks, but I know that these are all things I CAN get done, even if I just go at them one at a time. So I will press on in the quest to get these things done!

Countdown to the party

It's officially two weeks from tomorrow (Sunday) that we will be celebrating Brooklyn's first birthday. I seriously can't believe she is going to be a year old. That seems impossible! My little girl has experienced her first year of life and I remember her birth like it was yesterday. Wow.

I went to Party City for the first time today to look at decorations. My cousin's wife, Heather, is making Brooklyn's cake and it's a really cute pink and purple cake with balloons on it and a big cupcake (fake one as a decoration) that says First Birthday on it. I was originally going to do the pool party luau theme but we decided that having the party at our house was just going to be too overwhelming. First of all, I would have to do some big time cleaning and that's just not happening these days! I've had my mom watch Brooklyn for me a couple of days last week so that I could get some things done that were desperately needing to get done! So now we are going to have her party at the church instead. It is bigger, there is a play area for the kids, lots of chairs and plenty of tables and room for people. We are also going to have it on a Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday. With Waylon's new work schedule, it's just easier.

Now I need to go buy her a birthday outfit and her birthday gifts. I have no idea what I'm going to get her yet but I did go to Toys R' Us and made a wish list for her. I hope that doesn't come across as being tacky. I just know that sometimes it's hard to buy for little kids because you don't know what they have or don't have and what the parents want for the kid. Having a list will give them ideas on the types of things they can buy. I also included a wide price range so that money isn't an issue. Of course, bringing a gift is NOT a requirement for coming to the party and I hope people will come even if they can't afford a gift.

I just sit and think about the fact that my daughter is turning one already and it just stuns me. I canNOT believe she is already a year old and that I'm planning her birthday party! It's scary and sad. I have shed many a tear over this lately which totally sounds lame and cheesy, but I can't help it! Waylon and I have been discussing when we want to have our next one. I think we will be trying for #2 pretty soon here. I don't even know if it will be as easy for me to get pregnant this time around so I don't want to wait too long. I also want my kids to be pretty close in age. I'll definitely keep everyone updated if I do find out that I'm pregnant in the next few months.


My summer is going by very quickly. I'm already past the first month of summer break and only have 6 weeks left till I have to go back to work! Yuck! I look forward to summer break for so long and then it flies by! I have to admit though that my summer hasn't been quite how I imagined it would be. I know I've already said it, but being home all day with Brooklyn isn't easy at all! It's not as restful as I thought it would be. lol. I know all the other SAHMs are probably laughing at me and my OSC (one small child) but when you've never done it, it's a challenge! The fact that she is full-fledged walking now makes it even more challenging. We have recently bought an extra-long baby gate to put up between the kitchen and living room but I have yet to actually install it. Right now I have three kitchen chairs spread across that opening which is a pain in the rear. I feel like I'm constantly saying "No!" to her constantly because she is always getting into stuff she isn't supposed to. I think she's starting to think that's her name. lol

I've also not been able to get into working out like I had planned. By the time I get her down for a nap and I CAN work out, I'm exhausted and feel like I should clean something in the house. Meanwhile, I feel flabbier and flabbier everyday and avoid mirrors like the plague. I've got to start doing something about this. Either start eating healthier and count calories or start exercising. Something's got to give!

One thing I HAVE been working hard at is reading my Bible and having my quiet time daily. I haven't done it every single day, but I'm working at it and I at least spend some time, most days. I've also come up with a plan, which helps. I've been reading a blog called Scripture Dig that has really given me some great insight and ideas for how to have quiet time. I love that blog! I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to have a quiet time or even if you already do, they give great tips for studying your Bible.

I think I will do a separate post about the Inductive Study Method Waylon and I are going to be using to study our Bibles. It's very cool and interesting and I think it's going to revolutionize how we study the Bible.

I also realize I need to post some pictures on here. They have been sparse and I realize that. I'm just feeling lazy when it comes to uploading them to my computer and then editing them and putting them on my blog. Anything that requires more than 5 minutes to do has to be planned and fit into my schedule or it won't happen!

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend!