Reformed Grits

Well it was fun while it lasted
April 29, 2007, 8:59 pm
Filed under: Sports

We are home after a long, sunny, exhausting weekend.  This morning we woke after getting a decent night’s sleep, praise be, at 5:(shudder)30.  We showered, dressed, and headed for the breakfast at the hotel (which was a Hampton Inn, by the by.) 

Our first game was at 7:30 and we won!  The boys played great and the other kids (mine, I mean) really enjoyed playing with their friends who have brothers on the team. 

After winning that game, we found out that for our semi-final game we would be playing our club’s gold team.  In U12 soccer, there are tryouts in June and the boys are ranked according to one man’s opinion.  (But I’m not bitter, LOL)  The top 12 go to the "gold" team and the next 12 are on the "blue" team, etc and so forth.  My boy was #13 according to this man.  (But I’m not bitter.)  These two teams practice together for the whole year but play separate games.  They are a merry group of boys and are a whole lotta fun and get very close over the year.  So when they heard they were playing each other in a tournament you can imagine the trash-talk!  Who cared who won the tournament?  They just wanted to win THIS game!  I could go on all day about this but I will spare you… we scored first and held them forever.  Before half-time the other team put a corner kick in the goal and it was tied 1-1 at the half.  Both teams left it all on the field.  They really played their guts out.  And to be honest this was the first time in a couple years I actually saw Jojo smiling while he was playing.  In the end, literally the last 10 seconds of the match, the other team hit in another corner kick and won 2-1.  Bleah.  Did I mention I hate losing?  Well, it was a fun game to watch and it was good to see the boys having fun AND I knew they played THEIR BEST.  🙂

Long story short, we packed up, ate lunch, then came back to watch the championship game.  They lost in PK’s which stank.  I hate PK games.  (That’d be Penalty Kicks for all you non-soccer folk.)

So now we are home and I am exhausted, sunburned, and stinky.  I’m covered up in laundry, Mr. Grits is finishing his 22 page paper for seminary due tomorrow, I have to do school’s bookkeeping reports to email out, and I NEED a shower. 

Oh and to top it all off, I lost my CUTE diaper bag I made for Bee there!  WAH!  My big one with her name monogrammed on it!  AND I think it had Poo’s Webkin in there as well as Sugie’s asthma medicine!  I don’t know where I lost it but I’m callin’ their mall tomorrow since we visited there.

Now, I’m off to have a shower because I wanna be in bed before 9:30 tonight! 

NO BLOGGING from me tomorrow.  I’m commiting to my house.  😀 


We must be winning…
April 28, 2007, 3:32 pm
Filed under: Family, Life, Sports

… because we are having a really good time, despited being sleep-deprived and a little colder than we expected.   We got to Huntsville last night after an uneventful trip and having a very yummy dinner at Big Bob Gibson’s.   The kids were shockingly well-mannered and profusely thanked and ma’amed the waitress to death.  Mr. Grits and I looked at each other wondering who snatched our crochity normal kids, but we weren’t complaining. 

We checked into our hotel, which I won’t disclose at this point since we are still here.  It’s been a comfortable, clean room and I’m fairly pleased.  We have a big bathroom with a huge whirlpool tub (not that I’d put my butt in a public tub, mind you).  My only complaint is that it’s got that normal hotel room humidity which just feels gross.  We began our sleeping adventure with 3 in one bed, and Mr. G and I in the other, Bee in the Pack ‘n Play, and 2 on borrowed children’s airbed.  Thanks, Caroline!  Yes, the Spiderman one DOES have a slow leak.  We didn’t do it, I promise!! 

We went to bed at 9:45 knowing we had to get up early and knowing that we had no idea how long it would take everyone to settle in.  Two hours and 2 crying children, 3 fighting children, and one talkative child later, I was staring at the ceiling after having to nurse Bee again (she has only nursed 1 time a day, in the morning, for a couple weeks now but it was the only way to calm her!)  We heard every movement everyone made and NO one slept more than a few moments at a time.  I remember seeing 4 AM too.  Awful!  I even had to give Bee a wee nurse around that time to settle her… again.  Our alarm went off at 6, and we had to leave the room at 6:45 after feeding and clothing the masses. 

That’s when we got lost.  Huntsville is a complicated place to get around.  We couldn’t do anything!  It was so confusing.  Mr. Grits and I were heated, not with each other, but more like in a state of panic.

"WHERE are we on this map?"

"I don’t know! I don’t see any of these street names!"

"HOW could we get so turned around?  WHERE ARE WE?"

"We are going to be late!"

Panic, panic, panic.

Then, we heard from the back… "Dear Lord, please show us the way.  Help us to find where we need to go and help mom and dad not to be so worried about it. Amen."


Jojo had humbled us in that gentle blow, and I’m sure Providentially, we found our way within moments of his sweet request after having been completely confounded for almost 40 minutes.

So we finally made it to the game and we won (yeah!) and then for our second game we won again!  (Double yeah!) Tomorrow we play early in the morning again and then a semi-final game at 10:30.  If we win both of those, we will be here for a championship game later that day!  (Because you can never play too much soccer in one day!)

Here’s some pics Dscn0064 from today.  Another great thing, praise be, but we were supposed to have rain and storms all day but we have had sunshine and pleasant temps (the wind is a tad cold.)  Dscn0063  Now we have the rest of the day off and so I hope we will have more good news tomorrow!   

My apologies… (sorta)
April 27, 2007, 10:34 am
Filed under: Life

Ok, so I totally missed Limerick Thursday.  Obviously no one missed it, but then I don’t do it for you… I do it for me.  😛

We are going out of town today for Jojo’s soccer tournament.  (I REALLY hope that hotel doesn’t ask how many people will be staying in our one room.  If so, Mr. Grits and a couple kids may be sleeping in the car!)  It has been really, really crazy around our house the last week, er, month, er since January.  I’m looking forward to having my kids home and getting our lives some shalom, ya know what I mean?  I don’t think I have ever left my house messy before, but I honestly could put up those messy house pictures from a few weeks ago and it’d just look the same with a fine fuzzy growing layer over it all. 

Y’all please pray for our family as we travel today, for safety, for some good family time, and for heaven’s sake PRAY WE WIN

Discipline Verses
April 25, 2007, 3:29 pm
Filed under: Faith

Since I’m having to use them lately a LOT, I thought I’d share a couple verses that I like to use with my kids.  Frankly, I’m doing this so that you will share yours with ME too! 

If I have a kid with an "angry face" when I discipline them, I tend to go to Genesis 4:6,7 which says:

"Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry?  And why has your countenance fallen?  If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up;  and if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door: and its desire is for you, but you must master it.’"

I think those speak a bold warning for what bitterness will do.  Cain had just killed his brother.  How many times do WE do wrong and then get angry?  What’s that about?  Like we can get mad at the world be WE are the ones who screwed up, when in fact we must "master it."

For fighting, James 4:1

"What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you?  Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?"

This tells us that fighting comes from selfishness.  We fight because we want our own way.  The solution to this is in Luke 22:36 (or many other verses for that matter.)

"… let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant…"

Another good one for a child who likes to fight back is Proverbs 20:3:

"Keeping away from strife is an honor for a mon, but any fool will quarrel."

(Proverbs is absolutely FUUULLL of these verses!)

Do you have a kid who rejoices when their sibling gets busted?  Why not Proverbs 17:7:

"He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished."

What about a sneaky or deceptive child?

Mark 4:22 "For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that is should come to light."

Daniel 2:22 etc, various, "It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness… " and 28 "… There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries…"

I would love you to leave your great discipline verses in comments, please!  Heaven knows we need them at the Grits house!!!!!!!!!!!  If only I were better at "smearing them" all over my kids’ hearts! 

Interview with a… blogger…
April 23, 2007, 10:15 pm
Filed under: Life

Ok, so I did the interview thing I saw on Daddy’s Girl and here are the questions she emailed me:

1. What is the best part about being a mom and why?
The best part about being a mom is the connection it gives me with Mr. Grits.  He is the absolute love of my life and I’m not sure we have ever been closer than the times not only that we found out we were expecting but the seasons after the birth of our children.  Our relationship and love has deepened with each child (now you know why we have so many!) and it has been extremely satisfying and fulfilling. 
2.  What do you say to people who ask you how you handle having so many kids?
Well, it depends on what part they are referring to.  Just "getting by," I’d say it’s easier with a little one at this point because you have SO much help from the older kids!  I have so many hands!  A lot of times I will tell folks I’m just barely hanging on and getting by by the skin of my teeth.  Then I will tell them to come visit this blog so they can see how my house looks.  I tell them that if they think I have it together then they are mistaken.  But it’s also a great opportunity to talk about God’s grace in our everyday lives and His blessings as we walk this way!   
3.  Besides Jesus and family, what is your biggest passion?
I reserve the right to change my mind, but off the top of my head (and this will sound ironic, I know) I would say the disappearing art of HOMEmaking.  Dedication to the home arts, such as cooking, baking, canning, sewing, simple decorating, gardening, organization, etc.  I am not good at all these things but I LOVE the idea of them.  I tell people I am all about the HOME.   Not the house; the HOME.   
4.  Any regrets in life?
Giving any piece of my heart away to anyone besides my sweet husband. 
5.  You write about Scotland in your blog.  What is the connection you feel with that country (or its people) and why?
That is a very complex and loaded question!  I can’t explain it, to be honest.  It’s a drawing (as in being drawn; not as in drawing a picture.)  Maybe a touch of romanticism or sentamentality if I were honest.  I was drawn to go there in 05.  Since then, a seed has sprouted in my heart and I’m not sure how it was planted, watered, or has grown. 
Ok, now that I’m typing some thoughts have come along.  First of all, I will say that as an adult, learning of the reformed faith (hence, the name of my blog) has had a profound influence on my life.  My faith has been given flesh; systematic theology makes a whole lotta sense to me, especially from the perspective of a person who knows that God is not a God of chaos, but a God of order.  To me, confessions of faith, catechisms, systematics, regulative principles, etc. are what God intended for His church.  Emotions are unreliable; God-given, but unreliable.  All these things, our belief system, etc., written out in a logical, and, again, systematic approach speaks to me.  You have your catechism with a natural question (Who made you?) and it’s answered for you (God.) with a Scriptural proof.  It speaks to our family life; it accounts for our children; it brings peace from God’s word in a way that I never have had.  My faith is NOT in the PCA or the Presbyterian church.  It’s not in Calvin and it’s not in the Westminister Confession.  These things have come along side the Holy Spirit to teach me and help me to grow in a way that I hadn’t known before.  That said, many of these things came together in Presbyterianism, whose birthplace is Scotland.  Yet, Scotland today is so far from their true, reformed faith.  The state of much of the church in Scotland is sad!  Not all churches but many do not have evangelical pastors in their pulpits.  In the area we are going, before the current pastor there had not been an evangelical pastor in, I believe I was told 60 years.  When you live in a certain area, or parish, you are basically "assigned" a Church of Scotland church and they have to marry and bury you.  You may even go to church there.  You may even become a "member."  But you don’t have to believe in Jesus Christ for your salvation.  You don’t have to believe the Bible to be God’s Word.  You don’t really have to believe anything.  So what is that?  That’s not CHRIST’s church. 
And so, in a nutshell, because Scotland has given me so much… flesh to my faith; order to my beliefs; a systematic faith, etc., I am drawn, in a sense, to "feed" and serve them in gratitude.  Not only to a country who has lost it’s spiritual bearings, but because Jesus died for them and they need to know!  There is hope!  There is a future!  They don’t have to live in slavery to sin and depression and hopelessness.  Christ came to bring good news to the afflicted; set the captives free; to bind up the broken-hearted;  and to free prisoners.  He’s done it for me; I’m certainly due to share that news with others. 
Sorry you asked??  Now please, send your donations to…
(Just kidding.)   

NOW…If you want to be interviewed by me, (and I encourage perfect strangers to take me up on this; it will be fun) leave me a comment saying “Interview Me”. I will respond by asking you five questions of my choice. You will update your blog with the answers to my questions. You will include these rules, and offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. (You can still do the interview part even if you don’t have a blog!)

It’s only fun if you WIN
April 23, 2007, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Life

In many ways, I am VERY different from other women.  I remember when Jojo was 4 and playing soccer for the first time.   It was YMCA ball and our team was full of my friends’ children (all first-borns, I think) and we mamas took those games seriously.   By the end of that first season, however, many had put their video recorders away and mostly chatted during the games, but not me!  I was in "don’t talk to me" mode and would get irritated if no one else knew the score. 

"But we don’t keep score!"

Um, ‘scuse me, but then WHY DO YOU PLAY?

I am of that weird breed that says it’s ok to want to win.  It’s good to keep score.  I have never once come down on one of my kids if they have lost a game.  NEVER.   After the game, you will never hear me hashing it out with them about how they screwed up and how they could do better.  It won’t happen.  But I want my kids to know how GOOD it feels to win.  Never once has Jojo won a game where he didn’t play his best.  But he’s lost lots of games where he didn’t.  And trust me, folks, it’s just not fun to lose.  Whoever said, "It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you played the game" was probably a loser.  Simply put, it stinks to lose. 

That said, I want my kids to know it’s ok to lose if you do your best, but if you don’t do your best you are a loser.  Ok, that sounds harsh and I wouldn’t say it in those terms but isn’t that what we want to teach them?  "Loser" is really just our modern day term for "fool."  If you see someone who is a sluggard, disrespectful of authority, rebellious, and anti-social people say, "What a loser!" right?

  Anyhow, all that to say this weekend Jojo had a tournament locally and they won 3 games but lost the last one… the one that counted…the championship.  But I can honestly say they did AWESOME and they did their best and we were all VERY proud of them!  But it did put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day because (say it with me) it stinks to lose!!!!!! 

No hate mail please!!!!!!

Sins of the father
April 22, 2007, 10:18 am
Filed under: Cute kids stuff

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Grits,

Today ‘Pooh’ said a ‘bathroom word’ several times to the other boys when we had some free time in class.  Due to his other problems this week he didn’t get treasure box. 

At 12:00 when we were returning from recess, I heard ‘Pooh’ yelling, ‘Disney World… Farting World.’  Sorry to be so blatant, but you need to know what he said.  I am going to start taking his recess (10 minutes at a time) on Monday when he willfully disobeys.

Please initial and return this Monday. 

Mrs. Teacher"

Well, I suppose what you do expect from a boy who is the son of a man who wrote 4-letter words on the school building and landscape in permanent marker when he was in kindergarten?  I told Mr. Grits HE had to deal with this one.

I’d never keep a straight face.