Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday....I'm in Love

More randoms:

  1. We leave for Disney World tomorrow.  Excited to be there.  Not so excited to take a 10/12ish hour road trip starting at 4am.
  2. But before we head to the happiest place on earth I have a little state test to take this evening.  Boo!!  It must be done(and passed) to practice as a paramedic but I am really dreading it.  A little stressed if you will.  But by 8pm EST it will be all over.
  3. And on the same note.  I got accepted in to the EMS bachelor's program at WCU yesterday.  I am over the moon about this.  I really didn't think I would get in since preference is given to paramedics with experience and at this point I only have experience at a lower level certification.  But the Lord graciously smiled on me and I was accepted.  Now, where are my financial aid forms?
  4. Clayton is head over heels in love with his new Legos that his Tram and Bobba got for him last week while he was on vacation with them.  He and his Daddy have spent every evening this week at the table building fun things.  And making Mom wince every time I see a Lego.  I'm still not ready for the Lego adventure but alas I don't think I have a choice.
  5. I miss my Grandaddy today.  He went to Heaven in December and it sometimes it just strikes me how much I'm natured like him and how loved I was by him.  And today I miss him.  And when I think of Grandaddy, I always think of Johanna and miss her too.  Soon and very soon these things won't matter anymore.
  6. Have ya'll watched Duck Dynasty?  If not, you must.  I just love it.  And I'm not really a TV person.  
OK that's all.  Hopefully I'll report from the DW next week.  Now it's back to cardiology and ambulances.  

Friday, May 11, 2012

Randoms from the iPhone

 Really cool Bama family sticker thingies my SIL gave me.
 Turn-Out gear and boots.  He is ready for tones to go off at any time.
 Date Night!
 Youth snacks for church.  This box makes me way too happy.
 Tats by Uncle Jesse
So, I had worked 24 the day before and Chad had very kindly asked Clayton to pick up all of his toys before bedtime.  Well..........I came home to clean house and sweep the floor.  I felt the broom hit something under the couch(not entirely uncommon because I don't always sweep under the couch...gasp!).  I moved the couch and found 3/4 of Clayton's Lincoln Log collection.  In all of his 4 year old wisdom, he told me they were there so they would "be safe".

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dump it All Out

  1. Studying for my state certification exam may cause me to lose my mind.  All the stuff I've learned but may or may not remember is making me prematurely gray headed.
  2. Clayton is at the beach this week with my parents which means my house is way too quiet.  But it has also stayed pretty clean.  I would rather have messy and loud.
  3. I started a walk/run app this week.  I'm slow and it's hard.  But I would really like to stick with it.  I need to do this.
  4. We have new floor for the entire house.  Hopefully it will get put down eventually.  I'm crossing my fingers that it will go down before Christmas.
  5. There are two full time openings at the EMS agency I work for.  I have applied for both(different shifts).  I hope that I get one of them.  If not, then that's OK too.  A little more practice under a superior wouldn't be a bad thing either.
  6. Lots of ladies banquets this weekend to attend.  I'm excited.
  7. I have applied to Western Carolina University to get my BS in EMS.  Hopefully I will hear if I get in sometime this month.
  8. After looking at 5 and 7, I kinda feel like I'm in a big waiting room.  Odd!
  9. Must study.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Amendment One

If you live anywhere near NC then you probably know that there was this tiny little vote on an amendment yesterday.  It affectionately became called "Amendment One".  This amendment outline marriage as the only legal domestic union that would be recognized by the state of NC.  For months there have been debates and propaganda on both sides of the argument.  And as the weeks led up to the big vote the propaganda became louder and more hate filled on both sides. 

I am very pro-marriage as it exists between one man and one woman at one time(and hopefully for one lifetime).  I voted for the amendment and was very excited that it passed.  I knew from day one how I felt about this amendment and how I would vote for it.  And I am so thankful that I was allowed to participate in the voting process.

Here's the point of my vent today.

The amendment passed.  Roughly 61% of the voters that voted(and if you didn't, shame on you, you have no right to an argument) voted that marriage should be defined as above.  That means around 39% disagreed and strongly felt that same-sex couples and other domestic unions should be recognized by the state as legal.  These statistics mean that more than half of NC voters felt that this amendment should pass.  That my friends is a democracy(such as we have it now).  If we are supposedly governed by the people and their representatives, then the people have NC have spoken their opinion.

This brings me to my point.  I am an educated person.  I research politicians, amendments, and whatever I may be voting on prior to stepping in the voting booth.  I am allowed as a free citizen of the USA and of NC to vote my opinion and belief on any matter.  Because I am not a felon or illegal citizen this is a right that I an very privileged to keep.  Why then am I now being labeled by some(not all, but some) as a bigot, backward, and unlearned?  Why is my opinion less important than another persons?  Why is my belief system skewed? 

Yes, my belief system is very strongly grounded in my faith, my personal beliefs that have been handed down to me by my parents, and my particular life experiences.  And regardless of what people would say, most everyone develops their beliefs from their parents in one form or another.  Why now is my belief system and the things that I hold very important to me being called in to question?  That is why we as a democratic people were allowed to vote on such an important people.  We vote what we deeply believe in.  We vote for the things that we hold very dear to our hearts.

My point is(rambling though it may be, I worked 24 yesterday don't judge), I and others that believe the way that I do, voted how we believed is best for our families, just as people that voted against the amendment voted how they felt best.  The democratic union spoke yesterday.  As it has previously in 30 other states.  NC was the very last southern state to place such an amendment in to law.  Now that the decision has been made we should not be belittling others on the opposite side of our opinion.  We should not be gloating that our opinion won the majority.  We should be thankful, but we are commanded to be thankful in(not for, in) all things.  Even if the amendment had not passed we should still be thankful for the privilege to vote our beliefs.

Please stop this backlash, name calling, and redundant arguing that will accomplish nothing.  Belittling those that believe differently that you do achieves nothing but hatred.  Is that the point?  I am not closed minded, redneck, ignorant, or "backwood" for voting my opinion.  I am intelligent, imaginative, and thoughtful for getting to the polls.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I'm Still Here!

I promise I still exist.  It's the final push up to graduation and I'm feeling the strain.  I have one of the larger hurdles behind me and two more to go.  Soon though I will be finished.  However, today I think I will just be Mommy.  Something I'm thankful that I will never finish.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Diabetes and Sovereignty

Something of an interesting day today.  As you may or may not know, Chad is a Type 1 Diabetic.  Which basically means lots of finger pricks, an insulin pump(hallelujah), and sometimes interesting low blood sugar levels.  These don't happen a lot but today was our lucky day(or not lucky or whatever).

Today was a work day(ambulance day....yay!!).  Chad rarely works in the county that I work in.  But today he did.  And he was even in my district.  Ambulances do their best not to leave their district so that response times are kept low.  Low response times are a good thing.  That means we get to the emergency/scene as quickly as possible.  Anywho, I get a call close to lunch time from Chad's coworker telling me that Chad just isn't acting right and won't talk to anyone.  That's most definitely a low blood sugar episode for the hubs.  Pretty classic for him anyway.  Fortunately(isn't God amazing) my partner and I were not on a call and Chad was working about 5 minutes away from the base.  We hauled our truck right to him and fixed him right up!

It's not a big deal to me most of the time because I have been doing this for Chad for quite a few years.  He has no control over things like this.  It's just the way it is.  And it's part of my job.  It is almost guaranteed for a county, even one that's small like ours, to get at least one diabetic call every shift.  But today I was reminded of the sovereignty of God. 

I don't really subscribe to the idea of luck.  I believe God has a plan and ordains His plan for our lives.  I believe He has absolutely everything arranged and all things work for His glory.  Today was just another simple reminder for me that God is sovereign.  And I am so thankful that He is.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Life in the Fish Bowl

So.............I never ever never ever link up with anything.  There are lots of reasons but the main one is the lack of time that I seem to always have.  And right now is no exception.  I digress.  When I saw the link up at Kelly's Korner today I knew it was right for me.  She is linking ministry wives today.

To say that I have lived my life in the ministry for Christ is the understatement of the year.  My husband is currently the associate pastor at a Baptist church in the next county over.  My father pastors, my brother pastors, and my father in law pastors.  Clayton doesn't stand a chance.  It's the family business and it's all I have ever really known.  And it's a good thing.

Being a ministry family is amazing and amazingly difficult.  We definitely live our lives differently than "normal" families.  But we are still just normal people that have the same experiences as the families in our churches.  Personally I wouldn't change how we live our lives.  Yes we are busy.  But some of that is by our own design.  And yes we will always be busy.  Dinner is not always(or rarely) at 6pm around the table with all of us there.  But that's the life we have. 

Chad and I joke with each other and say that we have the life we never knew we wanted.  We got married very young.  I was 19 and he was 20.  It's hard to believe that was 10 years ago.  We have an awesome 4 year old red headed little boy, and our daughter Johanna has been waiting for us for 2 1/2 years in Heaven.  She's already where we all not so secretly long to be.  Chad also works a full time job to help support us after I was part of a medical lay off 2 years ago.  I'm currently 7 weeks(not that I'm counting) away from finishing my degree in Emergency Medical Sciences.  I work part time for our county's EMS system.  I love EMS and I'm so excited to be finished.

We love our life and its ridiculously busy schedule.  We love our family even though we don't get to spend near as much time with them as we would like.  We love our God because He first loved us and chose us before the foundation of the world.

Ministry life is an amazing ride that I wouldn't change for anything.

Sorry it's fuzzy.  We were cold and excited to be watching our beloved Crimson Tide.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Being Thankful Instead of Whining

Tonight I am exhausted.  Beyond exhausted.  I have crammed 2 weeks worth of activities and cleaning into 2 days.  And the hubs is sick.  Nora Virus is going around something fierce in Western NC and it has made its way to our house.  It isn't a surprise since I think I've taken about 476 people by ambulance to the hospital for the exact same thing.

Today I really just want to whine and be a really big baby but I'm not going to.  Instead I'm going to make a thankful list.

I'm thankful for(in absolutely no particular order):

  • Salvation
  • Caffeine in the mornings and afternoon and the evening too
  • Grace both common and special
  • A healthy Clayton
  • 8 weeks until graduation
  • Family that loves me in spite of me
  • Planning special things
  • Netflix
  • Pinterest
  • An amazing church family
  • A husband that works really hard so that I can dream big
  • Clean sheets on the bed(where I will very soon be.....YAY!!)
  • Hearing a child sing childish songs in the bathtub
  • New tires
  • Pink scarves
  • Homemade organic and all natural chocolate chip cookies
  • Johanna
  • Clorox and vinegar(one to disinfect the Nora Virus, the other to take away the smell of Clorox)
  • Electricity and Internet
I don't feel like whining any more.  And that is the point.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Valentine's Day

I know this is a week behind but I'm busy.  I spend a lot of time away from home and Clayton and when I am with him I like to be with him.  We actually celebrated our VDay on Thursday instead of Tuesday because I had to work and Chad was at a conference on the day.  And then the 15th was Clayton's birthday and we didn't want to do it that day to take away from the specialness of his BDay.

We kept it pretty low key this year.  Dinner at a local restaurant.  And we took Clayton with us which we wouldn't usually do on a VDay/Date night but like I said I'm not home a lot and I don't like giving up much available time with him.  We let him pick the restaurant with the stipulation that we were NOT going to McDonalds or Chick Fil A.  We went to a local restaurant that overlooks the Catawba River.  He loves to go there and act like he can see all the fish in the water.

After dinner we headed to Walmart(that's real romance) and let Clayton pick out a Dorothy.  Oh you don't know who Dorothy is?  Well, my 4 year old has a very recent and new obsession with Elmo.  At an age when a lot of kids are starting to grow out of Sesame Street, Clayton has just developed an interest in it.  And he LOVES Elmo.  Elmo has a goldfish named Dorothy and now Clayton has a goldfish named Dorothy.  She or he, we aren't lost in the details here people, is absolutely spastic.  That fish is always circling the bowl.  All. The. Time.

I got Chad a new wedding ring because he has a titanium ring that is just really scratched and I thought he needed a new one.  But somebody(Chapel Door I'm talking straight to you) inadvertently told Chad what his present was so I let him have it about a week before we actually celebrated.  But I held his card until the big day.  Wanna see?  Please ignore the junk behind the card.  It's Chad's dresser and well, he keeps it the way he likes much to my chagrin.

Oh yeah, you read that right.  And it's true.  And funny.  We don't do a lot of touchy-feely, lovey-dovey stuff so this is absolutely perfect for us.

Chad got me a new ring to wear to work.  I don't really like to wear my full wedding set because the diamonds have a tendency to put holes in the gloves I have on(low bid).  And that is just grody!  Hubs has been listening to my subtle hints(which may or may not have included an email with a link to exactly what I wanted).

I wanted a really low, almost flat band with diamonds. The picture isn't hot but the ring is fantastic.  He really did well.  I can wear this one to work with no worries of cutting through my gloves and getting the grody on my hands.  Yay!!

 We had a great VDay.  It's just one day and it's kind of a lame holiday but ours was really special this year.  We are constantly on the run and barely see each other some weeks so it was nice to take a few moments and remember why we live in the same house with each other.

This is why!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I Will Post.

I have much to update and I promise it is forth coming.  A certain boy turned 4.  We had a family day to find snow and just have some general fun.  We had an amazing Valentine's Day complete with head colds and now laryngitis.  I even have a few pictures, although not as many as I would like to have taken.


60 hours on the ambulance in the last 7 days along with school, church, and snow have made my schedule a little crazy.

Just hold tight.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Being a Mom!

I'm a mom.  I work a public job.  And I like(actually I really love what I do) it.  It works best for our family.  That doesn't make it the best decision for every family but it is the best for ours.  When I got laid-off in 2010 I considered staying home but very quickly realized that it wasn't right for our family.  Right now I work part time while I finish school.  Hopefully, when I'm finished with school I can go full time with the county I work in and their full time schedule is wonderful.  Especially for a mom with little ones.

I read a post recently that expressed what I have wanted to express for a long time but never seem to have the right words.  You can read it here

Whatever our choices as a mother we should support one another as mothers.  And be understanding of the differences and sameness(??).

Happy mothering!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday, I'm In Love

It's Friday!  And if I had a regular Monday through Friday job where I had every weekend off I would be really excited but since I don't and I have to work tonight then Friday is just another day. 

But tomorrow we are having our traditional birthday dinner for Clayton.  My family does this every year for everybody's birthday.  And the one celebrating the birthday gets to pick what they want for dinner on that one day.  Clayton in all of his almost four year old wisdom chose chicken tenders.  He could have the world and chose chicken tenders, something he eats probably at least two days a week already.  Childhood simplicity.

And speaking of almost four year old boys....................I don't have him a birthday present.  Chad and I don't even have an idea for a present.  He has so much and so may people love him.  The only thing that comes to mind is a goldfish named Dorothy(like Elmo's fish).  I believe he needs(that's certainly relative) than a fifty cent goldfish.

Currently the three and nine-tenths child is trying to force feed my gummy words.  Nasty!

But I do love this little man.

Photography iPhone style courtesy of Clayton.  I don't have a clue how he made it red.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Circus(iPhone style)

 So this isn't so much the circus as it is a picture of my dinner from Date Night.  If you live locally to me this place is a must try.  Chad and I love it.  Root & Vine has amazing food and a really inviting atmosphere.  It's a little pricey so we don't get to go much but we really love it for a date night when it's just the two of us.

Now on to the circus.
 Almost all of my NC family(I have a tee tiny family) went circusing this past Saturday.  We had so much fun.  Because Clayton went with his parents, one set of grandparents, one aunt and uncle, and one great-grandmother he really racked up on the goodies.  We prefer the word "blessed" as to spoiled.  Although I'm sure both words apply equally.

 This twisty gem of a toy is courtesy of Great-Grandmother.  Clayton was a fan and it very quickly became a weapon.
 And of course cotton candy.
 And popcorn at the same time.

After the circus we took our circus to Maggiano's.  Do ya'll have one of these near you?  If you don't you should move near one. 

 After we ate lunch, Clayton wanted to play at the mountain, AKA fountain.  When he threw his money in, his wish was "to get all that money out of the mountain".  Brilliant!
And this is how all of us were feeling after our adventure.

It was so worth it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Busy is as Busy Does

Today is my first "real" day off in 10 days.  If I work a night shift and then have the following day off I don't count that.  While I should get off at 8am, it rarely ever happens and by the time I get Clayton it feels like it's already lunch time.  Bubba and I are just chillin' today.  We have a grand plan of cleaning the house and buying groceries.  And then making my husband a real dinner, because let's face it it may be 10 more days before I have another "real" day off.

Here's what's new in our world:

  • Clayton has a new obsession with Sesame Street.  He has never ever been interested in it.  But at almost 4 he is officially obsessed.  Since we're being lazy today, he's already on episode #2.
  • We are going to the circus on Saturday.  The real circus.  Ringling Brothers will have their hands full when the Carr/Carswell clan intrude on their circusy activities.
  • I have a clinical tomorrow and Clayton is going to get to spend part of the day and all night with my Grandmother.  He is very excited and has been talking about this for weeks.  It's very sweet.  He always asks to stay "much longer" when we're visiting.
  • I have fallen in love with my crock-pot.  I have always used it pretty regularly but since I now work 12 hour(at the shortest) days I like to have dinner ready to go when I get home.  And this helps us to eat more "real food" and less processed or take-out stuff(that is probably rotting our insides).
  • I only have 11 class days until graduation.  They are spread out over 11 weeks and I have a lot of clinical left to do.  But, it seems shorter saying 11 days.
  • Clayton is at the size where he's teetering between toddler sizes and the bigger boy sizes.  I usually end up getting his clothes in the bigger boy sizes now.  Belk was having an amazing sale last week and he got his first pair of big boy PJs.  The kind that don't come with a matching shirt like really big boys wear.  He thinks he's pretty hot stuff in jammies like his Dad.
That's about it for us right now.  The grocery store beckons me.  And my dirty floors too.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Santorum and How We're Connected

Disclaimer:  This is not a political post.  I have my personal views but will not air them here.  
At least not right now.
I'll confess I don't really have the time right now to follow the political scene like I would like.  I do make an effort to place my vote based on education and intelligent decision.  Yesterday at family lunch my Dad asked me if I had heard about Rick Santorum's daughter.  I told him that I knew she was sick, that he had went home to be with her, and that I didn't really know why this was important to me as my homemade macaroni and cheese was getting cold.  He proceeded to correct me as usual.  Mr. Santorum's daughter has full Trisomy 18.  Just like our daughter Johanna.

I did some online searching and found some really interesting articles and Youtube videos related to his daughter Bella.  She is an amazing child who has already overcome many obstacles that she has had to face.  

Rick Santorum and his wife(who is Bella's primary caregiver) chose life in a time when fewer families choose life.  I don't know if he will win election or even the primaries.  But I do know that his little girl brought Trisomy 18 in to the national spotlight this weekend.  Of course there were many negative comments and remarks across the webiverse directed towards him and his family because he took time off to be with his very sick child.  Uhm.....isn't that why we are parents?  But that's another rant for another day.

So that's how I'm "six degrees of Kevin Bacon" connected to Rick Santorum.  I wouldn't even attempt to speculate how his presidential campaign will proceed.  But I did like his Facebook page.  And I sent his campaign staff an email thanking him for making family and children important in an era and a society that doesn't anymore.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


So I just want to get this off of my chest and then hopefully I will feel better.  I lost my job(that I actually liked a lot and was decently good at) right at two years ago.  I have been fortunate enough to get to back to school with very little money out of my pocket because of grants and scholarships.  I currently have a 3.8.  I have worked very hard and missed out on a lot of sleep to get that GPA.  I recently applied to finish my BS in EMS to an online program at a school about two hours away.  That program has a few classes that I can get locally.  I had the time in my schedule to get one of these classes out of the way so I decided to go for it.  It isn't an easy class and I didn't expect it to be.  I completed every preliminary assignment appropriately and on time.  And somehow I still got dropped from the class.  So I email the instructor inquiring as to why I was dropped.  And I receive a very terse response basically stating that I had not completed what I was supposed to but that I would graciously be given another opportunity because I have good grades.  I completed everything again and hopefully that will make the instructor happy and I will be allowed back in to the class.

My rant is this.  I find getting an education to be very difficult.  Not the actual class work but all of the red tape.  It is very expensive.  It is very time consuming jumping through all the hoops that have to be jumped through.  And right now I'm just a little irritated.  I know my rant won't change anything but I feel the need to vent.  Every day we tell Clayton that he can do anything he wants to do.  And Chad and I stress the importance of an education to him.  We did not listen to our parents and both of us have had to go back to college after we got married and it is a lot more difficult than doing it while you are younger with less responsibilities.  With that being said we have both succeeded.  No it isn't easy but we have still done it.

Why in the world does it have to be so difficult?  I guess if it were easy everybody would be doing it.

End rant!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Random Brain Dump

  • It is super rainy and just plain nasty in western NC.  While this is fantastic for the water table and eventual summer drought that will follow, it is very bad for my pants legs.  I do NOT like wet pants legs.  And seeing as how I am only 5 feet tall(literally) my pants have always dragged the ground.  So I compromised with the weather today and wore a skirt and boots.
  • I have a love/hate relationship with cooking.  I always feel like I should be cooking regularly to be a good wife and mother.  But I just don't like doing it.  And on days when I'm on the ambulance for 12-24(or anywhere in between) hours I really don't feel like thinking up something to cook when I get home.  So I decided last week to dust off the crock pot, plan meals for each day, and get them in Crocky before I left for work or whatever else I had that day.  And it worked.  We had dinner every night and I felt accomplished.  I dream big folks.
  • I'm slowly but surely weaning myself off of my Dt. Mtn. Dew habit.  I couldn't stop cold turkey because I drank a very large amount every day.  I am incredibly picky about what I drink so I knew my step down drug would have to be planned out appropriately.  I think I need a 12 step caffeine program.  It's pretty bad.  But with the aid of Crystal Light Tea(with caffeine....Hallelujah!) I am stepping down.  In a few weeks I can fully rely on tea(the regular kind) and water.  And speaking of tea, I need something to sweeten it with.  I don't really like traditional southern sweet tea because it's too sweet and I don't want to use a lot of Splenda.  Is there a more natural alternative that is going to taste like the tea I love without using something that is super processed?
  • Clayton decided this week that he wants to be a pandamagnet(paramedic) when he grows up.  Swoon!
  • We are going to the circus next weekend and I can't wait.  All the Carrs(including my Grandmother) will invade Ringling Brothers.  And I'm sure we'll fit right in with the circus people.
  • My floors need a serious sweep and mop but I have no motivation.  And there are about 400 other things I would rather do.
  • There are only 13 class days left until graduation.  I am stoked about this!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

My amazingly hilarious and brilliant(it's true he's way more awesome than I am) is the author of the blog The Chapel Door.  He writes about a varied topics but most notably he writes about theology and the "tipping of sacred cows".  Sometimes said cows need their figurative(if not literal) tipping.

A few days back he wrote a post(that you can read here) about the emasculating of men our society and how that has negatively effected the church.  Basically it's a no holds barred look at the way we(men and women alike) view men and the way men act themselves.  Now I have no idea what it is like to be a man in our culture(nor would I want to).  But I do have a husband and a son.  And I work in a field that is very recently finding itself open to women so there are a lot of men around me regularly.  And I have noticed that chivalry and manners are traits that are very swiftly being swept aside.  Why I don't know but it breaks my heart for my son.

Before I ever got pregnant with Clayton we were praying for a child and specifically a son.  For the very simple reason that our world is in such short supply of "men".  Now I know that statistically men make up roughly half of the world's population.   Our culture is short on men that willingly and unashamedly stand up for their family.  Men that are not afraid of hard work.  Men that also aren't afraid or too dignified to help their wives with the housework or give the children a bath.  Men that take their families to church on the Lord's day and lead their families in private worship.  The reason we prayed so specifically for a son was to have the opportunity to raise a Godly man.  I know that anything that Clayton(and any futures) becomes is a direct result of God's sovereign hand and His perfect design.  But God chooses the foolishness of parenting to make babies in to adults.  Chad and I regularly say that we aren't raising a boy, we are raising a man.  It is our belief, hope, and prayer that God uses the things that we are attempting to teach Clayton to show a future generation the love of Christ. 

When we prayed for Clayton we didn't pray that God would call him to be a preacher so he could carry on the "family business".  We prayed that God would give a son because the church needs Godly men and it needs them now.  Chad and I believe that the father that brings his family to church on Sundays and teaches them how to worship and shows them how to love Him is just as important to the church as the pastor, if not more so.

In a world where feminism reigns(and there were some changes towards women that needed to be changed) and where women are supposed to be equal to men it makes me wonder if our men are getting the raw deal?  When we decide that women are equal(or better depending on the conversation) to men does that make them less than God has planned for them to be?  And for the record I believe that men and women are independently special and shouldn't be compared for equality.

 There are specific roles that women and men can fill better than the other one and should be allowed to fill that role.  A parenting example, Chad is a much better disciplinarian than I am.  I can and do discipline my child but it seems to come so much more naturally to Chad.  But I am much more nurturing than Chad is.  And that is by God's perfect design.  If we were both the same Clayton would either be raised in boot camp or in lala land.

So here's my point(or maybe even my soapbox), let's let our men be men the way God designed them to be.  And stop trying to make them in to a softer weaker version of themselves.  Let's let our men lead our homes.  Let's let our men protect our families in a world that is out to destroy the family.  I wouldn't want to be a man in today's society.  Ladies I think we have it so much easier for so many reasons.

Here's to men and boys that will be men very soon.  Thank you!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book List

I'm a reader.  I much prefer reading to watching television.  I do watch television occasionally but I could lose myself in a book 90% of the time.  I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas from Husband Clause and that has just fueled my love even more.  Unfortunately right now I think most of my reading is done through a text book(which is kinda boring).  However, I do still try to find time to read real books.  Here's my list for the last year or so(it is by no means a complete list, it's just some that really stand out):

  • "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett
    • Loved it.  Read it in about 3 days over Christmas break.  I haven't seen the movie because of lack of time.  But the book is definitely worth a read.
  • "The Blind Side:  Evolution of a Game" by Michael Lewis
    • I love football and I love reading.  Of course the marriage of these two would be close to perfection and they most definitely were.
  • "Through My Eyes" by Tim Tebow
    • I know there are a lot of late comer Tebow fans and that's great.  He is using his notoriety quite well to proclaim that Christ is Lord.  With that being said we have followed Tebow since his UF days.  The book is good.  It's an easy read that anybody over the age of 12 could easily read through in a few days.  And the book does exactly what Tebow always does.......proclaim Christ as Lord.
  • "Choosing to See" by Mary Beth Chapman
    • So I went through a phase where I only read what I call "baby death blogs/books".  Please understand what I'm trying to say.  These blogs(and for a while I was the author of such a blog) are wonderful outlets for a grieving and hurting heart.  They are wonderful snippets of life and I still follow some of them.  As my heart is being mended by Him, I have somewhat moved away from that line of reading.  I read this book during the darker days of early grief when I needed to know that what I was feeling was completely normal.  I mean that we made a conscious choice not to be completely bogged down or consumed with grief.  Chad and I made active choices to honor Johanna and the Lord by using her life as a platform to proclaim God.  And that is exactly what the Chapmans have done with their daughter's life and death.
  • "I Will Carry You" by Angie Smith
    • This was another book I read during the early days after Johanna's death.  I could ditto everything I put in the last bullet about this book.  Want to know how to praise God in the difficulties?  It's easy.  Just do it.  
  • "Rekindling the Romance" by Dennis and Barbara Rainey
    • I believe that Chad and I have no "real" marriage problems but we are still very much human living in a very busy life.  It's so easy to get sidetracked about the real reason why we got married.  And no it's not because we "love" each other despite what we all think when we say "I Do".  This book is a great reminder that "love" is always the under current of marriage but not always what moves the boat along(really lame analogy but it's the best I got).
  • "Feminine Appeal:  Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother" by Carolyn Mahaney
    • Oy, I should read this about once a week and then immediately start reading it again.  I need to be reminded that often.
  • "My Dog Skip" by Willie Morris
    • One of us reads to Clayton every(almost) night at bedtime.  We are hoping to start a love of reading(and in my humble opinion a love of learning) in his heart and mind too.  this is the first chapter book that we have read to him.  I was a little unsure how he would do with it since there are no pictures but he loved it.  He wanted to know every night was Skip was going to do.  Precious memories with my favorite red head.
That is just a really short list of the books I've read in the last year.  There's a lot of fiction thrown in there too for "mindless" reading.  I will honestly read just about anything.  I try to read new books that are all the rage and I try to read the classics too.  I read fiction and non-fiction alike and both in equal amounts.  We read every night to Clayton.  It's just important to read.  It does the mind good.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

To Real Food or Not?

I'm sure most of ya'll have seen or heard about eating "real foods".  Well, at first I thought this was a lot of nonsense and was kind of like the Atkins/Sough Beach craze.  And as it turns out, it is exactly like that.  But I'm not convinced that it's crazy anymore.

Back in the spring of last year I watched Food Inc. mainly because I'm a super nerd that actually likes documentaries.  I found it very interesting but I didn't really understand a lot of what I was watching.  So I watched it again with my more agriculturally minded(country boy and amazing) husband.  He was very helpful in teaching me more about what I was watching.  With that being said I began to research more in depth the foods that we have been eating.  I'm not going to start a campaign or try to convince anyone that this is right for them because basically it's a personal decision.

I slowly began to change how we were eating and began paying much closer attention to the foods that we eat the most.  The main reason I became obsessed interested had to do with Chad's diabetes.  Chad is a Type 1(what used to be called Juvenile diabetes) diabetic.  He has had an insulin pump for almost four years that has been an absolute life changer for him and us.  I did not know until I began to learn more about commercial food processing that we as Americans eat such large amounts of corn and other varying not great for us grains.  Corn is a carbohydrate(which in and of themselves aren't bad for us and are absolutely moderation).  Carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels requiring more insulin to be secreted by the pancreas or by the pump whichever.  And again that isn't a bad thing because that is how God designed the body to work.  But if there are hidden grains in things like the proteins that we eat it so much harder to control ones blood sugar.

Very slowly we have started changing some of the things that we eat.  And in the sake of honesty we completely fell of the wagon last year and are having to retrain ourselves.  It's a never ending process with us Carswells.  And there are things that I am not yet ready to give up.  Mainly Dt. Mtn Dew.  I'm addicted.  And I'm OK with it.  For now.  It's a day at a time and one step at a time and one better decision at a time.

For now, I do my very best to buy whole grain foods that have ingredients that I can actually pronounce and that I know where or how they originated.  I do everything I can to buy meats that are hormone/steroid free and that are grass fed.  And if I can find local meat I am a happy girl.  We don't live near(like 100 miles away from) an Earth Fare or any other type of whole foods store.  We are fortunate to have some great grocery stores in our area that do have a very broad selection of whole foods.  Mom and I also discovered the beauty that is the Farmer's Market during the spring and summer of last year and I can't wait until they open back up and we can get all that fantastic fresh produce again.  A garden may be on the horizon for this year but I'm not completely convinced that I can accomplish this task.  I could kill a Chia pet in one day flat. 

I have learned to make some things that I would have never even tried before.  I make all of the chocolate syrup for Clayton's milk.  I make my own creamed corn and it is so much better than canned.  I make my own spaghetti sauce.  I make my own granola bars.  The list could go on and on.

The main reason for our change is to attempt to see a decrease in Chad's blood sugar levels.  And when we were very serious about the way we were eating we did.  And once we were less serious and fell off the wagon we saw those numbers increase.  I think that's enough of a reason for us to pick ourselves back up and try again.  One day at a time.  Our goal for the year is to continue to eliminate processed foods from our diets, to continue to learn more about the meats and produce we're eating, and to buy local as much as possible(tastier food and an economy booster....score!).  We can do this.  It's a process and we are learning.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Catching Up

So, you're probably wanting an update of sorts.  Here goes:

  1. Still love football.  Roll Tide!  In fact I surprised Chad with tickets to a Bama game for our 10th anniversary back in October.
  2. I graduate with an AAS in EMS(and any other letters you want to add) in May.  I am way beyond excited to be finished with this stage of gaining an education.  However, I have already applied to an online program to get my BS in EMS(hopeful to be a WCU Catamount in August).  Can we say glutton for punishment?  Yes!
  3. Clayton is almost 4.  How did that happen?  When did that happen?  I'm not sure but I absolutely love it.  He is an amazing little boy that just lights up the world around him.
  4. We're still at Calvary Baptist in Lenoir, NC.  Our church is absolutely amazing.  We love worshiping there and are so fortunate to serve.
So much has happened in my 18 month sabbatical that I don't know where to start to catch up on it all.  I guess I could just add a picture of Clayton for pure awesomeness.

(This boy is a train loving cowboy through and through)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bringin' it Back!

It's been a while but I think it's time.

Our life is as busy as it always has been, if not more so.  I'm not really sure which direction the blog will go now but I'm excited to bring it back.  I don't know how often the posts will come but I believe that ya'll will find our lives to be as humorous as always.  I fell out of an ambulance at work last week.  Who does that?!?!  Moving on.

It's great to be back!  See ya soon.