Friday, December 10, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

If you'd like to participate or read more, head on over here!

  1. I wish I had the energy that Alif does.  And that I could speed up the weight-loss process.  ;-)
  2. Yesterday I went to WIC, took my car to the shop, went grocery shopping as a whole family - FUN! - and went to the gym.
  3. Today I woke up late after a late night last night, went to the gym, met with our resource teacher and made lunch.  Later we'll go to Target and decorate the Christmas tree, and catch up on our Jesse Tree devotionals.  (Is devotionals a word or should it be devotions?  Hmm.)
  4. Tomorrow i will watch Malachi play soccer and pray for my brother-in-law who is GRADUATING COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!!
  5. Maybe someday I will be an excellent housekeeper.
  6. Someday I will hopefully have tons of grandbabies and sons and daughters in law who love me.
  7. I love God, my awesome husband, my children and family and friends, internet connection, breastfeeding, going to the gym, being creative and laughing.  And food.  ;-) 

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Beach Trip 2010

Once a year my Dad rents a big ol' beach house and we all pile in - my family, my sister's family and my Dad & his wife Georgia.  It is amazingly fun and a wonderful way to bond and create tradition and memories for my kids.  If you're not into complete photographic overload, feel free to step away now.  ;-)
I'd never noticed a playground near the beach, but there it was - such a cute one, too!  We spent an hour or so there and let the kids run off some energy.  (I should have joined them - I came home having regained 5 of the 12 pounds I had lost!  Ooops!)
Love - my - nephew!!  GORGEOUS!
Also love my brother-in-law Jason, who completely took my kids under his wing when Alif was a day late in joining us.  We love you brother!
This may well be on our Christmas card this year, so if you and I are address-buddies - sorry to spoil it.  But how cool is this tree?  We each noticed, one by one, how it has a cross on top.  :*)
See this beautiful beach access?  Well, one morning Malachi and I went on a walk - a fast, fitness-style walk.  We went down and up each and every beach access.  Whew!!  When we were down one of them, I was wishing I had my camera to capture Malachi, so I suggested we pretend to take pictures of each other.  I was taking a darling one of Malachi when he goes, "WATER!  WATER!"  In a couple seconds I was soaked up to my knees.  Oops!  High tide!  LOL
No, it was not warm enough for this - but they were having so much fun!

Caris & Malachi got out pretty deep.  It was so heartwarming to watch because when a wave would come and knock Caris over, Malachi was right there to help her back up.  Sweet brother!!

Canaan tried to boogie board after watching Malachi.  He'd set it up like this, get on and stand there.  Finally he came over and said, "I get on and nothing happens.  It just stays right there." 

There is just no place I am more at peace than at the beach.  Add some music and some yoga, and it's totally over the top! 

Graham worked long and hard to make this huge hole - pool - whatever it is.

For you, Mom.  Mr. Shiny.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Graham's 11!

I think it's a very good idea to take pictures of the Birthday person at EXACTLY the time they were born however many years ago.  Here's what Graham looked like the moment he turned 11 years old this morning at 8:15am.
Ok first of all, how nice am I that I didn't rouse him from a peaceful slumber so I could get his cute face on film?  And second, how weird is he that he sleeps in this mummified state?  Not long after this picture the kitchen aromas woke him up and he joined us for cinnamon rolls, orange juice and the actual breakfast he had requested, bean and cheese omelets.  Alif had to get Malachi off to soccer practice so I wrapped Alif's omelet in a big tortilla and he was so happy about his bean and cheese breakfast burrito.  ;-)

Later we got the house all ready for the big event: The Duct Tape Party.  Graham is totally duct-tape obsessed so this was a dream come true for him.  He has been working for 3 days straight, doing nothing else, making items out of duct tape for all of his friends who would be coming to the party.  He made wallets, bows, one-dimensional balloons for party decorations, a real working checkers board, duct tape flowers.

I, in turn, provided the duct tape. Oh - also green and yellow party supplies (his favorite colors).  And I made him a duct tape cake, which actually made him laugh and laugh.  Dude!  He is not a child who gets outwardly excited.  His laughing and laughing was a BIG DEAL, man!  He L O V E D it.  LOVED.

We totally covered the cake plate in black duct tape too.  This was such a fun party!! 

He had a ball opening his gifts and told me later that it was such an awesome party and he got everything he asked for. 
And the only time I even came close to losing it was when I saw him sitting there with a cake in front of him that said "11".  What I wouldn't do to snatch one of those 1s off and have him turning 1 again.  But dang, he's a neat kid.  Happy Birthday, sweet boy!  Mommy loves you!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Dear Graham 2010

11 years ago today I thought I might be in labor, even though it was one week before my due date.  I was - you were my only baby to come early!  You were born 12/4/99, face-up and purple, but healthy as can be.  7 pounds 12 ounces and 21 inches of pure bliss.  You were an easy baby right from the start, son.  You seriously slept pretty much every minute of the day - to the point that I became worried and asked the doctor if it was normal.  He said you'd wake up around two weeks, and you did.
Until this year, I haven't had a terribly difficult time with any of your Birthdays, Graham.  With a brother 20 months ahead of you, I've been prepared each time.  At one I thought I would fall apart, but other than misty eyes, I was really just excited to see you smash your first cake and loved watching you take your first steps - to Papa, for some Cheetos.

All this time I've seen you as my baby.  I know, it's kind of weird since I've had two babies since I had you, but you were my baby for 3.5 years after Malachi, and you just sort of always held that place in my heart.

But now?  At eleven years old?  It's undeniable.  You're growing up.  I long for the days that our days were spent reading books, nursing, cuddling with fuzzy, doing crafts, going to storytime.

But at the same time, precious, my heart leaps to see you grow.  This year has been absolutely incredible.  We found out that you have a special set of skills and personality traits known as Asperger's, and we're all understanding one another so much more now.  You met a counselor and bonded with him from the very first meeting, and several months in to counseling and neurotherapy, I feel like I'm getting my Grammy back.  You talk to us more, you enjoy life more, you're more confident, and you're making friends!
You are brilliant.  You are creative and sensitive and hilarious.  You are generous and giving and your sense of justice is amazing.  I am so proud of you, son.  I love you.  I LOVE you! 

Happy Birthday, Nay-nay.  You're mama's big boy!

Fill in the Blank Friday

  1.  Holiday spirit I'm always a little saddened by the commercialism associated with Christmas.  At the end of the Macy's parade at Thanksgiving, Matt Lauer said, "And now the REAL hero of the season - SANTA CLAUS!"  I couldn't believe my ears, but that's just what Christmas means to a lot of people.  To me and my family, Christmas is primarily a celebration of Jesus' birth - a time to be deeply grateful to a God who loved us so much that He sent his very SON to die for us.  WOW.  
  2. The holidays are incomplete without lights, baking smells, gifts, Christmas music and my family
  3. my favorite things to do around the holidays are listen to Christmas music and make neat memories with and for my children
  4. A holiday tradition my family and i have is decorating the tree together over hot chocolate and Christmas music, reading the story of Jesus' birth many times over, church Christmas musical, watching Christmas specials on TV, and time with family
  5. Holiday music is absolutely awesome - but ONLY after Thanksgiving is over!!
  6. This year, I'll be spending the holidays with family as usual
  7. Holiday wish list camera, workout clothes,  gift cards etc (hey wasn't this a question last week too lol)  Make sure to go see more FITBF entries here!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday - a day late

Remember to go see more Fill in the Blank Friday entries here!
1.   Black Friday is a great day to get amazing deals - we usually either start or finish our shopping on Black Friday!  And by we, I really mean Alif.  God bless him!

2.  Christmas shopping this year will include the usual - gifts for family and a few close friends!

3.  Holiday shopping makes me excited.  But we keep it very simple, so it's not terribly overwhelming.

4.  This year my Christmas list will include  a griddle, which we already ordered online for an awesome price, workout clothes & shoes, gift cards to iTunes, Target and fabric stores, and any fun girly things!

5.  Bargain hunter, or full price shopper?   Bargain for sure, though I have very little patience, so if I really want something and have the money, I'll go ahead and pay full price.

6.  The best and worst things about shopping is the high I get from shopping and getting new stuff.  It's silly but true.

7.  Online shopper or in-person shopper? Both.  I like the ease of shopping online, and the excitement associated with waiting for The Truck to arrive, but I get annoyed with the limited options online - I like to just scan around the store and get the big picture and not feel like I'm missing out on something just because I didn't click the right category.  

Friday, November 26, 2010

I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart!

I was stressed out yesterday.  I was hosting Thanksgiving, and I had a cold, and on top of that, I'd been out of town for the previous 4 days.  I didn't really feel up to all the preparations - the cleaning, the cooking, the decorating.  But most of all, I didn't feel capable.  My Mom, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law - all of the women who would be coming to my house, they all know how to put on a serious shindig.  They all have lots of decorations, lots of style and boy do they know how to make a party special!  I felt seriously inadequate.

God kept whispering to me, though, that I needed to be content with what I do have and that a warm welcome means more to my guests than gorgeous decor does.
The kids enjoyed their meal . . .
. . . and so did the adults!  Look at my Mom smiling, at my mother-in-law enjoying herself!  My Mom brought that leaf garland and my mother-in-law loaned me the white tablecloth.
Alif & Graham set up a really cute candle display inside the fireplace, and it made things so cozy.  We adults sat around the table and played Phase 10, ate pie (and more pie), laughed loudly and finally, after we sent our guests into the chilly night . . .
. . . we rested.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

My friend Raquel has been doing these and it looks like fun, so here goes!  Go see more here.

  1. My Thanksgiving plans this year will include our annual beach trip with my Dad & sister (and the whole family), then it's our year to be with Alif's family on Thanksgiving Day so we'll see what we end up doing on that day.
  2. My favorite Thanksgiving was any Thanksgiving spent with my maternal grandparents at their home at the beach.  The memories I have from those holidays are priceless!
  3. My signature thanksgiving dish is the deep-pit turkey that Alif actually makes.  ;-)  
  4. My favorite Thanksgiving food is the entire plate.  Any one Thanksgiving dish isn't the same without buddies to back it up.  Turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green beans . . . 
  5. Thanksgiving free association turkey, indians and pilgrims, thankful heart, family
  6. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, because we get all the family time, good food and talk talk talking, without the gifts
  7. I am thankful for my Mom still here with us and healthy, my awesome husband and children, a very close extended family, my gym membership - many others, but most of all the love and compassion of my sweet Lord.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


If you blog, you've probably read lots of times about how important it is to evaluate why you're blogging, and let your answers dictate your blogging style and content.

I haven't really done that.  It's funny when I think about it, how eclectic my entire life is.  If I take a personality test, the results are usually some strangely clashing answer that indicates that I might be an unstable person.  Trying to settle on a decorating style for my home is equally frustrating.  Oooh, that French Country home is so lovely!  Oh man, that funky modern one is awesome too!  But wait, I love that "traditional with a twist" house! 

Anyway, I've never really wrapped my mind about why I want to blog.  Do I want to just preserve memories and have fun doing it?  Do I hope to supplement my husband's income?  I cringe at taking personality tests these days.  The hope is gone that one will really peg me.  My home goes basically undecorated because I can't even decide on colors, much less an actual style.  And yeah, clearly my blog is suffering too.

But guess what?  I have actually come to a conclusion in this matter!  Are you ready?

I really just want to write. 

Ta-daaa!  That's my answer.  I love to write.  I started keeping a diary when I was a little girl and have kept one going ever since.  Like I told my kids today, I was most prolific during junior high and high school, but sometimes still I just need to process, and I'm a visual learner, so seeing my thoughts in print is highly satisfying.

So.  I'm sorry you can't ever know what to expect when you come here . . . but then again, maybe that's part of my charm.  Ha!  :-)

Monday, November 01, 2010

Exciting Afternoon

The kids and I left the house at 4:40 - stopped for gas and then out to pick Alif up from dropping off his truck at the auto repair shop.  On the way there I took my eyes off the road for a few seconds, looking in the mirror, and when I looked up I was FEET from a big blue car.  I slammed on my brakes and stopped in time.  Ugh! 

We picked Alif up and were heading to take Malachi to his soccer practice.  We stopped at a stoplight.  The light turned green and I waited a couple seconds, started to go, looked both ways and saw a gray car blatantly running the red light - I mean, this was 3-4 seconds after it had turned red for her.  I slammed the brakes (AGAIN) but the car to my right did not.  The gray car slammed into the other car, taking off the whole bumper (which flew like 25 feet), then she kept right on going down the sidewalk, taking down a speed limit sign and coming to a stop on the sidewalk about 40 feet down.  Thank God no one was walking there.  Both people were fine, but gosh, what a mess.  We pulled into a parking lot so we could go give them our number.  The kids and I sat in the car while Alif walked over, and within a minute or two there was a fire truck, ambulance and 3 police cars.  It took a while but Alif gave our numbers to the police officer and both drivers.

While we waited, there was a AAA van a few parking spots down changing a lady's battery.  Alif got back in the car, I turned the ignition, and - yyyeah.  Dead battery.  We looked at each other and started cracking up, as did the AAA driver and the lady whose battery was dead.  Darn if that AAA driver didn't come on down and give us a jump!  LOL!  Talk about nice!! 

From there we dropped Malachi off at practice, 30 minutes late, went over to an auto parts store to get a battery - of course I couldn't turn the car off at all, and as time ticked by it was 6:25 and I could not wait one more minute to go get Malachi so I had to leave Alif there and go get Malachi.  I didn't have my cell phone so I sent Graham and Caris in to tell him I was leaving.  Picked up Malachi, went back to get Alif, stopped for McDonald's, and FINALLY got home at like 7:20.  Canaan had been in his seat SOLID for almost 3 hours and hadn't complained once - oh man I was proud of him!

SO ridiculous.  What an evening!!  It totally made my night though when I put the kids to bed, went for my computer and there was a sticky note from Malachi that said, "Thank you for making today a fun day and thank you for helping me with my schoolwork.  Oh yea, Good night!"  :*)

Friday, October 01, 2010

A Typical Day

I was inspired by a couple of friends to write up what our typical day looks like.  I'll give the same disclaimer everyone else does, though: rarely does a day actually look just like this.  It's just the general plan.

7:00 We're mostly up.  This varies widely.  Usually Caris is the first one up, but that varies, too.  When we wake up we pretty much serve ourselves breakfast.  Dad watches the news or kids watch a cartoon.  Mom rolls around in the bed wishing there were a few more quiet moments.  Kids join Mom in the bed and we tickle arms, talk about the day or what we dreamed about.

8:00 By now we're pretty much all awake and ready to begin our day.  Sometimes Malachi is still in bed, and I happily leave him there until he's ready to get up.  I shower, throw in a load of laundry and have the kids do their morning chores.  I eat breakfast and check my e-mail/message board/facebook.

9:00 This is our official goal-time for starting school.  We do an opening time and then off we go!  AWANA first, then whatever each child's schedule is.  I sit at the table or on the couch helping as needed.  I'm needed almost constantly.

10:00 Time for a break!  The idea is for us to all get outside for half an hour.  I usually don't go.  I need a Mom to make me go.

10:30-12 More schoolwork

12:00 Time for lunch and then playing, reading, whatever until quiet time

1-3 QUIET TIME!  YAAAAAAAAAAY!  Everyone but Malachi has quiet time in their rooms.  Malachi reads, plays his video games, whatever is quiet and doesn't require me to have a conversation with him.  I know, I am mean.  I play online, clean, do my Bible study etc.

3:00  The Afternoon Blur begins.  It's a total mishmash from here on out.  There are afternoon chores that take us about an hour, usually at 4:00.  There's play, schoolwork to finish up, dinner to start, laundry laundry and more laundry, Mom's cleaning time etc.

6:00 Wouldn't it be great if this was dinnertime?  In my mind, it's dinnertime at 6.  In reality, we're usually in the car at this point on our way to soccer, AWANA or some other destination.  If we're home, this is when I would like for us to eat.

8:30  BEDTIME for everyone under age 12!  Of course, half the time we're actually eating dinner or we're still at church or soccer or wherever, but if we're home, babies are in bed at 8:30.  Bedtime routine goes: bath (not every day), story (not every day), praying, kisses, hugs and I love yous. 

9:00 BEDTIME for Malachi. 

And then it's Mom and Dad time.  We watch TV, talk about our day and what's coming up, talk and talk and talk some more, and then when we're absolutely exhausted we finally go to bed.  Usually I go first because I require a lot more sleep than he does.

Aren't we thrilling??

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Still Waiting

God promises us in His Word that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  He also says that no father who loves his son neglects disciplining his child, and that likewise, He disciplines us.


I think I have never felt His discipline as acutely as I am right now.  It came out of nowhere, and it just keeps - on - coming.

It's becoming comical, almost.  Simply because there is no explanation other than knowing that my Father who loves me is weeding right now.  My flowerbed of a life has lots of weeds, and He's a-pluckin'.

I never knew it could hurt so much.  Owwwwwwwwwwwwwww . . .

But oh, so faithful is He.  So true is His love for me.  So good are His plans for me.

So I'll keep on waiting!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


 But let all who take refuge in You be glad,
         Let them ever sing for joy;
         And may You shelter them,
         That those who love Your name may exult in You. 
Psalm 5:11
Have you ever battled your flesh during a hard circumstance?  On the one hand, you feel sad and discouraged, but you know the truth, that in Christ there is joy in ALL circumstances.  

How about this: have you ever thanked God for a trial that you're facing - while you're facing it?  I think most of us can look back at trials and see how God worked in our lives and be grateful for the work He did in us, even if the trial itself was miserable, but thanking him right in the midst of it . . . that's not easy, friends.

I know.  He's teaching me right this very minute!  I don't like being in the middle of a yucky circumstance.  I don't like feeling hurt.  But I'll tell you what, feeling Him intensely - needing Him intensely - is pretty powerful.  Seeing him change parts of me that need to be changed is exciting.

It's funny though how we ask God to change things for weeks, months, years - and then when He does, it's not at all like we envisioned.  I prayed for the first 10 years of my marriage that God would make me a better homemaker, because my husband needs a neat and orderly home, and it just wasn't that important to me.  I'm not sure exactly how I thought he would change that in me, but it sure isn't happening like I thought it would!  Guess what He did?  He changed my heart, and now when the house starts to get a little hairy, I start to feel a little harried.  Yeah, you guessed it - he actually gave me a desire for a neat and orderly home!  Who knew He'd do that??

He does this in so many arenas of our lives.  We ask, He answers.  Not always the way we think He will, and it sure isn't always pleasant, but His desire for our lives isn't that everything always feels just fantastic.  His desire for our lives is that we are conforming to His will more every day.  That we're buddying up to Him more every day.  That we are more like Him every day.

So friends, when I tell you that you can trust your heart in His capable hands, it's true.  I can't promise it will feel good when He chips off those rough edges, but I can certainly promise that His glory will shine through.  

And that feels amazing.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

When Deja Vu Falls Apart

Do you experience deja vu?

I do, and it's unnerving.  It's not often - maybe a few times a year.  But when it happens, it's right on the dot - I just stand there in sort of a daze, watching a scene unfold and knowing precisely what is going to come next.  I know what each person will say, what sounds I'll hear, how I'll respond.  It's bizarre.

But every time, there's that moment that it all starts to fall apart.  When I don't know what's coming, or when what I think is coming isn't what happens at all, and nothing feels as familiar as it did a few seconds before.

Then I am both disappointed and relieved.

I am so thankful that I'm not the One who knows all things.  Can you imagine?  EVERY moment is deja vu for God.  He knows exactly what we will say next.  He sees every triumph and rejoices with us as it happens, and he anticipates every sadness and weeps with us then, too.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you 
and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, September 10, 2010

Being ok with being this and not that

A long time ago - years - I was really into scrapbooking.  I was pretty good at it, too.  As I got better I began to seek out like-minded hobbyists and found a message board with lots of talented scrapbookers.  They were SO talented, in fact, that many of them were and are the ladies behind the gorgeous, creative layouts you see in the scrapbooking magazines.

I got good feedback from those amazing ladies, and started to think that I could be one of them.  I submitted a few layouts and didn't get published, and that was just fine.  But the thing that started to happen is that every time I thought of scrapbooking, I couldn't get motivated.  It became less about the delightful records I had been keeping for myself and my family and more about the talent side of it - is THIS a layout that could be published?   Is this too boring?  Is it creative enough? 

Pushing myself to be among the top scrapbookers robbed me of the joy I had previously found just in the act of scrapbooking itself.

The same thing has happened to me with blogging, and I've only begun to recognize it.

As you well know, there is a WORLD of talented bloggers.  Some are witty, some are funny, some are Bible scholars and gifted teachers, some are decorating or hair or makeup gurus who know all of the best ways to do those things.  Most are talented photographers, and their posts are graced with magazine-quality photos.

That's a GOOD thing!

But man, trying to come up with a witty, poignant, interesting, scholarly post with amazing photographs to accompany it?  Is not the reason I blog.  When I reminded myself of that, the weight of the world was taken from my bloggy shoulders.  I want to write good posts.  I want to take beautiful photographs.  I want you all to enjoy reading my blog. 

But more than that?  I want to look back at this and have memories that I will cherish always.  The silly, cute, smart, amazing, horrible and awful things my kids do may not be the stuff of the Top 100 Blogs of All Time, but they're top in my heart, and I intend to blog much more often simply to keep them there.

Here's to less pressure!

Sunday, August 01, 2010


Poor Caris.  She has allergy problems, and I'm not sure we even understand the extent of them.  She has eczema that is completely miserable for her, and I am starting to wonder if dairy is causing it - or at least making it worse.  On top of that, she complains about tummy aches regularly.  For the last few nights it's been so bad she's been in tears.

I gave her a scale, 1-3, to try to explain how much it's hurting: 1 means it hurts a little bit but not enough to complain about it.  2 means it's bothering her and 3 means it hurts so much she comes to tell me about it.  Only once today she's said it's a zero - I've asked her 3 or 4 other times and she's said 1 or 2.  :-(

I told her yesterday that when I go to the grocery store this week, we're going to go dairy-free for her for a couple weeks and see if that helps.  It's going to be a pain, but at least it'll give us some answers.  I hope.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where have you been all my life?

I love makeup.  Seriously, the other day Caris told me I should buy one makeup per day because it makes me so happy.  If I could I sure would!!

I also love learning about makeup.  I watch youtube videos about it, read magazine articles, whatever.  In my makeup meanderings, I kept coming across cream blush.  I always ignored anything to do with any sort of cream makeup, because I cannot STAND the feeling of something sticky or slimy on my face.  I just kept imagining cream blush feeling like a thick lotion on my skin, and the thought - gross!

But.  Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush (no, I am NOT being paid to say this ROFL) kept coming up so many times.  And the final straw was a video that showed a girl putting on her cream blush with a regular makeup brush.  Seriously?  I don't have to put it on with my fingers?  I always thought cream blush definitely had to be applied with fingers.

So I caved.  And I went straight home, reapplied my powder, and brushed on my new cream blush. 

:::beautiful harmonious Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh::::::::::

I love it!!  It does NOT feel thick or greasy or anything like that.  In fact, it feels just like powder once it's on.  And it blends so pretty and natural and looks so dewy and fresh, even on my 35-year-old skin, and I looove you cream blush!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bible in 90 Days

Just my weekly check-in: I'm all up to date on my reading!  Praise be to God! 

And I'm sooooo happy to have moved from Leviticus and Numbers into Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel - ohhh the stories are so rich!  Our God is so compassionate and awesome and wow - the Word is just so alive!

 Join in!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bible in 90 Days

You're Invited!

Who: Anyone!  Whether you've read through the Bible many times before or have never opened one in your life.

What:  Read through the Bible, word by word, in its entirety, in 90 days.

When:  I thought it would be a challenge to fit in the reading, but I have found ways to work it in to my day.  Some days I read right when I wake up, especially if I'm awake before the rest of my clan.  Right now I read during my kids' swim lessons, and despite the interruptions I do get quite a bit read during that time.  I read during my kids' quiet time, here and there during the afternoon, and if I haven't finished before bedtime I'll read in bed.

Where:  I think taking my Bible with me and reading it when I'm out and about could be a great springboard for discussion.  Plus, it makes me conscious of how I am carrying myself.  Am I smiling at people?  Talking gently to my children?  Being polite to others?  Good things to be thinking about always but with a Bible in my hand, I feel extra compelled to be a loving person.

How:  Start here.  This site has great information, support and encouragement (not to mention personal mentors!).

This is the first time I'm posting a check-in post.  I started four days late and I have to tell you, catching up was a bear.  I really wanted to be at the same place as the others on the blog I posted above, so I did want to catch up.  Now that I'm caught up, the daily reading is really manageable.  I certainly have to be intentional about it, but I don't feel overwhelmed by it.

So far the biggest theme for me has been that we serve a mighty and powerful God.  A lot of what I'm reading right now - Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy - is repetitive, full of customs and laws and numbers and well, to be honest it's just plain hard to read some of it.  I have been keeping two things in mind as I read through this part of the Bible.  First, that I think it will be so cool when I am in Heaven and I can actually talk to the people I've been reading about.  Some names are only mentioned a few times, but I bet bet BET their stories are SO compelling!  Like what about the 5 sisters asking for land so their father's name didn't die out?  Can't wait to talk to THEM!  There's just only so much in the Bible about each person, each family, and it will be awesome to see it all fleshed out and know the full story.  Second, I was thinking about my kids' sports.  If I listened to someone tell the story of a game, it would be mostly boring with some exciting highlights.  But would I rather they just say, "We won 5 to 4."  Heck no, I want to know every detail!  It might take a while to hear it all, and I might get bored or aggravated during some parts of the story, but at the end of the day I'd rather know the details than just the bottom line.  It's kind of like that in these parts of the Bible.  I NEED to know the names, the genealogies, the numbers, the laws.  It all paints a picture of who God is, who we are as His people, and the path we traveled to meet our Savior.  It might be tedious to get through, but I want to know it anyway.

See you next Monday, Bible in 90 Days friends!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

VBS 2010

VBS is intense.  I always help in the music room, so there are months of preparation, which really boil down to mad cramming the night before from Sunday through Thursday nights.  Each day we teach the kids 1-3 new songs and each song has motions, so it's just a lot to learn.  And a lot to DO all week.  It's very taxing physically.

But oh, friends.  There is no bigger blessing.  The music is all designed to cement God's Word in little hearts, to reinforce the lessons they are learning in story time, memory verse, all the various stations they rotate through during the morning.  And there is just nothing sweeter than children's voices singing God's Word, proclaiming their love for Him.  I am not even kidding when I say that I tear up every single day of VBS.  Sometimes many times during the day.  I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to minister to our little ones, but even more thankful for the way they minister to ME.  It's a spiritual refilling every time.

It was Canaan's 1st year being in a real, full-blown group that cycled full-time through all the stations.  He did great and loved every bit of it!  Graham's going into 5th grade, so he only has one more year as a VBS student after this year.  Caris is smack-dab in the middle of things as a 2nd grader.  And Malachi, my awesome 7th-grader, was a small group leader for the first time.  He said, "they are really fun.  And really tiring."  Indeed, he napped several days that week.  Those leaders work hard!

On Friday evening we have a program so the kids' families can all come and watch them sing their songs, say their verses, recap the stories they learned - it's such a sweet thing!
My camera has a crazy psycho flash so Canaan looks horrified, but he LOVED his leaders Grace and Christian.
This is not Graham being bored.  It's Graham being uncomfortable.  But even still, he sang and did the motions, when is a HUGE leap from just a couple years ago!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Daddy's Special Touch

When I put omelets on the menu for our Sunday morning breakfast, I feel a little guilty.  Because you know what actually happens? 

1) I make ugly omelets that fall apart and just don't look right at all
2) I give up on omelets and just make an egg scramble
or, most commonly,
3) Alif takes over for me

He has a cute, funny, OCD way of doing things:
 But his omelets are delicious.  And gorgeous.
When I make the omelets, or the I-gave-up-egg-scrambles, we all eat them and enjoy them and it's fine.  But a beautiful omelet no one can resist.
So it had to be documented, even if Alif thinks I'm a little goofy for doing so.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tooth Trauma

Saturday night was girls' night at Lynette's, and I looked forward to it all week.  I packed up my crafts and started to get ready to go.  The kids asked if they could walk across the street (to my in-laws', where Daddy was waiting for them to come eat dinner) and I said that they sure could.  

A few minutes later Alif knocked at the bathroom door and said, "Your son smashed his mouth.  Can you come help him?"  I rolled my eyes and said, "I'm in the bathroom, Alif.  Can you help him?"  I gathered a wet washcloth and headed out to the dining room to see what was going on, expecting to see a bunch of blood trailing from a busted lip.  I'm very experienced in busted lips.  They hardly even faze me.

But there was no blood.  There was Malachi, sitting calmly in a dining room chair with his hand covering his mouth.  Alif was sitting in another chair, facing Malachi directly.  He said, "Show your Mom your mouth."  Oh dear, please not his teeth.  Please not his . . . oh.  Oh no.

Ohhhh NO.  Thankfully, I kept myself calm.  I asked if it hurt and he said it hurt a little bit.  I told him I'd put a call in to the dentist and then give him some medicine.  I reached the dentist's office's answering service, gave them our information, and they said a dentist would be calling me shortly.  I gave Malachi some Motrin and suggested he put on a movie to keep his mind off things while we waited for the dentist to call back.  I texted Lynette to tell her what was going on, and marveled that Malachi wasn't crying.  Meanwhile, Alif gathered the tooth fragments and put them in milk.

In the next hour and a half, there was a lot of telephone and Facebook drama, but it basically boiled down to:
~my own dentist was completely unwilling to do anything except send us to the ER and/or call in a prescription.  Fury ensued.
~friends recommended a local pediatric dentist
~talked to said dentist.  Personally.  Immediately, the first time I called.
~told the dentist what had happened to the tooth, and also that Malachi was scheduled to leave for camp the next morning.
~Mr. Wonderful agreed to meet us at his office in 20 minutes

Dr. S was absolutely amazing.  He knew exactly how to relate to Malachi.  He understood the importance of a 7th grader's church camp experience and how sucky-suckfest it would be to go to camp with a tooth broken half off.  He *fixed the tooth*.  Because the root was showing, he had to do a pulpotomy, and because Daddy was a genius, he was able to use part of Malachi's tooth fragments to fix the tooth. 
It doesn't look perfect, but look!  He has both front teeth!  He wasn't in pain at all on Sunday morning and was so happy to be able to go to camp withOUT a broken front tooth.  Of course there were explicit instructions to not bite into anything hard, which I basically translated as just don't bite into anything.  I told him to cut things up and eat them that way rather than risk something happening to that tooth while he's at camp.

So.  Broken teeth are a huge bummer, awesome dentists are a huge blessing, and I am one thankful Mommy - that it wasn't worse than it was and that in the end he received some really great care.  By the way, Dr. S's office called first thing to check on Malachi.  My own dentist's office?  Not so much. 

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Fear of Not Finishing

I've always been a great starter.  If you need an idea, a kick-start, I'm your gal. 

I've *never* been a good finisher.  I gogogogogo and then STOP HARD.

You can only imagine the bunches of arenas this causes problems in . . .
my weight
my homemaking

I am seriously gung-ho when it comes to all of these things.  I have tables, lists, books, websites, notes, any manner of preparation and planning down  100%.  I am really good at follow-through for a length of time.  An hour, a day, a month - but eventually, I peter out.

What is the remedy?  Seeking my all-knowing God and asking Him to guide my steps?  Settling for less than my best and doing things just ok?  Giving up altogether and living a mediocre life?  Hmm.  Thoughts welcome, especially from you Finishers!

Friday, June 25, 2010

4th of July flags

It was my mother-in-law's Birthday yesterday, and I was lucky enough to have heard her hint at something she would like for her Birthday gift!  She liked the buntings I made for Caris' party and commented about how cute they would be for the 4th of July.  Oooh - good idea!  I sewed a couple up for her Birthday and then today I made one for myself.  I love how it looks hanging over my mantle!