Shannon Falls, August 2012

Friday, May 30, 2008

Debbie Downer

If you watch Saturday Night Live, you likely know exactly who Debbie Downer is. And that is exactly how I feel this evening. We are on the Coast visiting family and house-hunting, and let me tell you, it's hard! David is at an auction at First Baptist Biloxi; there are all sorts of items donated for this shindig: furniture, cruises, teeth whitening appointments, etc. Good stuff. I was going to go, but after a day of helping dad a bit in the yard (getting pretty dang sweaty) and then looking at homes and talking through this and that, I felt I needed some time alone. My sister and nephew are seeing her mother-in-law in Hurley, and my parents are at a movie night at their church. Big mistake for me to hole myself up. If you know me at all, when I'm idle I think. Too much. Too hard. Too long. Ask my husband. It's obsessive for me. And tonight it's even more so. For those of you who don't know much about the Coast, let me simply say that thanks to a fierocious beast named Katrina, housing and insurance costs have skyrocketed. For example, a house roughly the same size as our apartment in Southaven is nearly double on the Gulf Coast. Then you have to take into account insurance. Let's not even go there! While it is a buyer's market right now, David and I are considering renting for a couple months. We have a variety of personal reasons for that, and we want to make sure teaching is my niche before we make such a huge commitment. It's not so much that we can't afford the rent, but I'm very concerned about a length of time between paychecks. See, in order to be at new teacher orientation and prep for the school year, I need to get down here mid-late July. Okay, well, my next paycheck wouldn't come until the end of August as teachers only get paid once a month. Hmmm. Huge quandry. We're thinking through a few ways to resolve that, but we don't have a clear answer yet. Maybe I'm naive, but part of me just felt that we'd come this weekend and discover a gem of a house tucked away somewhere that God set aside just for us, a home calling our name. Now I'm not saying that couldn't happen, but it hasn't...yet. We've looked at some great houses, but in my finite mind, I just don't deem it feasible to do at this moment (now with insane deposits for everything-housing, cable, power). My parents are helping us immensely, and we might bunk with them for a month or two. But we can rest assured these houses we're looking at now will not be available then. So do we hold out? Keep searching? I don't know. Where will David find work? I know God handed me this job,, there should be no buts! He has a plan. Okay, Jamie, pick your chin up, get out of this funk, and realize you're not doing this alone. These details will all work out. Right? They will. Will they really? (This inner battle is quite normal for me! And boy does it get old fast! But then I wonder, is this all just a lack of faith? That's an entirely different blog, I believe!)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Boys will be boys

Forgive me for posting twice in one day, but I just couldn't resist putting up pictures and telling stories about our two godsons, Devin (left) and Thomas (right). Both of them have the most expressive eyes! Devin is David's sister, Christina's, youngun' and will be 3 in November (so yes, he's also our nephew!). Thomas is related (it's a long and difficult story), and we love him like a nephew! He's 5, just graduated from Head Start, and has an amazingly vivid imagination and wonderful memory! Two weekends ago, David and I were on the Coast and picked up Thomas to take him to see NaNa (David's mom). As we're driving, he suddenly bursts out with, "I hate when my nose is f__ed up." David and I freeze, look at one another, back at Thomas, and ask him to repeat what he had said (seriously, we thought we misunderstood. Boy, did we wish we had!) Thomas says it once again. Then, just as David's about to discipline him (we really do have the freedom to do so), he comes out with, "Well, I just hate when my nose bothers me." So we tell him that's not appropriate to say, then ask where he heard such a thing. His reply? "Nowhere. This stuff just comes to me!" No lie. I would never be able to make this story up. The radar detector on the dash suddenly starts going crazy, Thomas covers his ears, and says, "What's that? It makes my ears hurt!" David's brilliant reply is that it goes off whenever someone says a bad word. Thomas puts his hands in his lap and drops his little head in shame. I felt so badly for him! He perked back up right before we got to NaNa's. After a nice visit of 3 hours or so, we had to get Thomas home. As we're driving yet again, the detector goes off, Thomas whips his head around to look at us, and spits out, "What?! What bad word did I say?!" Out of the mouth of babes! So I do damage control and simply explain that the radar detector tells us whenever a police car is around, etc. I told him David was just pulling his leg, teasing him, and he tells David, "I do NOT want my leg pulled!" It was an entertaining ride home, to say the least!

One other funny Thomas story: the other night David was on the phone with his mom, and she mentioned that Thomas called her the Sunday we left wanting to know when we'd be back. We had promised to come spend more time with him, especially since we'll be moving back to Ocean Springs. Apparently Thomas thought we meant we'd be back within a day or two and he was upset. So my mother-in-law told him we would be back in 2 weeks; Thomas asked how long that was. When he was told 14 days, he said, "Okay, I'm going to go put it on my calendar!" I can pretty much assure you he did exactly that! Oh, my. Boys!

Spider Monkey

I wanted to take a moment to introduce the newest member of our family, Tyrone Prothro Ainsworth. Yes, Tyrone. She a feisty little furball who gets her name from former Alabama wide receiver, Tyrone Prothro. Much of the time we refer to her as Ty, however. Or as my endearing husband likes to call her--Spider Monkey (look at her face!). Ty once fit inside my palm, but she's gotten big and fast quickly! She keeps us on our feet--when she's not attacking them, that is! Her favorite toys are a brown paperbag, toilet paper rolls, and a paper towel roll. (She's easy to entertain.) Last night I found her on top of a mattress standing against our guest room wall. Meowing like crazy, she was scared and couldn't figure out how to get down. Ty also has to be near someone at all times; her favorite place to relax is in our bathroom while I'm getting ready for work. We have had toilet paper casualties thanks to her claws! Enjoy the pictures! (Note that in the last shot, she has a yellow item stuck to her belly--it's a corn pop! I threw one of the floor and faster than she could have eaten it, it disappeared! We found it 5 or 10 minutes later when she was playing on the floor and I caught a flash of yellow!)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Windy Road Ahead

Twists and turns. Loops and detours. Each day is filled with the unexpected; I know this now more than ever. Happiness and heartache. Serenity and anxiety. This life is one of contrasts. One day (or one moment even) you may scale the steepest terrain you've ever encountered and found yourself standing atop a mountain gazing across endless beauty. Before you can think twice, you find yourself in a cavernous valley straining and reaching for the peace and accomplishment you found upon that peak. I love words! I suspect each of you reading this immediately gained a personal mental picture when you imagined standing atop a mountain taking in boundless creation. What crossed your mind? Other peaks yet to be ascended? Rolling green plains with sprigs of colorful flowers winking at you in the breeze? A different view entirely? See what I mean about words?! They just grab you and pull you in. But I digress (and I do this often!).

Creating a blogspot has been on my mind much lately. David and I are about to embark on a new journey. One, to be honest, that I never quite imagined I would be undertaking! I have accepted an 8th grade English position at my former high school on the MS Gulf Coast. Thus, I imagine it is a very good thing I enjoy creating imagery and learning new vocabulary as soon I will be teaching it! Yes, I journal and I sometimes blog on MySpace, but the very idea of creating my own blog has consumed me. Maybe it's because I see this as a fresh start. This concept is quite difficult to explain. David and I have had a wonderful 14 months of marriage, one filled with all those adjectives up above! But I never dreamed that I would be living in north MS, readying to move back to the Gulf Coast, nor preparing to teach! As my college years progressed, I envisioned leading a thriving children's ministry somewhere in the South. But seminary (maybe it was the location) drove me bananas and I have no desire to go back. David and I both are so hungry to know where and what we are to be doing for the Kingdom, yet we have very little patience and desire for the church as we see it. Don't gasp or stop reading at this point; this is exactly why individuals have blogspots--to pour out their ideas, feelings, thoughts, struggles. This "struggle" with the church doesn't mean our hunger for God or His work has lessened; in fact, we feel this is exactly why I'll be teaching this fall and why David also feels called at this time to education. Do you have any idea what doors open when you have your teaching license?! God is drawing us back to the Coast, perhaps and most likely for this very purpose: that we may gain our knowledge and experience in this field so that He can equip us for the next step. I don't want to dwell on the past 3 years and all the good and bad that has come our way since David and I met. I'm looking forward to our future as we navigate the twists and turns, bumps and bruises. We are stepping forward, trusting God to open doors and to provide. Is this easy? No. But it is coming easier for me. We have a great deal to look forward to and I can't wait to see where He takes us!