Sunday, February 28, 2010

Coty Cuties Tutorial

I have taken up couponing, which means that I am stocking up on some things around the house - mostly bathroom things like shampoo, razors, toothpaste, things like that. I realized pretty quickly that I'd need to sort out the stuff in my bathroom to organize and make room for it all. I did that today and it looks great and feels so good to have everything I need at my fingertips without sorting through a lot of extra.

In my organizing, I came across two empty Coty loose powder containers. At first I gave them to Caris, which thrilled her, but then as I was sorting out our hair things, I saw what great little storage containers they would make. I asked her if that would be ok and she said sure.

I picked out a couple of pretty papers . . .
Cut them to size . . .
And used Mod Podge and a foam brush to adhere the papers to the Coty containers. I certainly didn't do a perfect job, but they look so sweet in my medicine cabinet! One holds fabric rubber bands and headbands and the other holds clear rubber bands and bobby pins. Nice and neat and cute!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oh Spud, you stud!

Spud? Darling? Art though cozy next to me in our wedding bed?
Darling, you know I am. Let me kiss thy split pea lips.
Oh Spud, I'm so thankful I can always lean on thee!

And I on thee, darling!

(Be so very glad I didn't include all 20+ photos Caris took of the potatoes she decorated for Potato Head Night at Awana! But she and Graham both won prizes for their studly spuds! Graham's was truly amazing dressed as Mister T!)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Picture Time

Sorry to start you off with this scary self-portrait, but do you like my new haircut? It's the shortest I've been in a long while and I'm loving it! I'm really never absolutely happy with my hair but this cut and I are getting along pretty well. We were heading out of town this day and my kids wondered aloud why I was taking so many pictures of myself. Talk about feeling vain!
Little Missy all done up for Valentine's Day, and looking just as cute as she can be!
A couple days later we went ice skating with some homeschooling friends. It was a surprise for the kids and though that caused some angst for Graham, they were all really excited when they saw where we were and what we were doing there. The big boys took off and had a ball ice skating. Caris tried it out a bit and then played in the warm party room, and Canaan didn't like his skates much at all. Ahem - until I realized I'd gotten him a size that was too tight for his feet. Once I went up a size he had great fun running around in them, but didn't skate much.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I have seen the healing hand of God

A couple of weeks ago, my Mom started to have some pain in her leg. We tried not to worry - after all, I myself had a strange ankle injury a few weeks ago that got so bad I went to the ER but it settled down and was nothing more than a sprain, though it induced extreme pain.

An x-ray of my Mom's leg showed no fracture. An ultrasound did not find a blood clot. An MRI, however, produced a result none of us was prepared to face: "spots" in the bone marrow. Out of the orthopedist's office and into the oncologist's office, we heard the news we had all been dreading: there is a 1.5" tumor in the bone marrow, and we must assume it is cancer until proven otherwise. We will do a bone scan to get a better picture of what is going on and then we will discuss whether radiation is a viable option or whether we will need chemotherapy.

A week. We slept on this news for a week. We cried over it for a week, held very still and listened for God's voice for a week, discussed the news with only the most fierce prayer warriors for a week. We wondered. Worried. Trusted. Hope rose and fell, rose and fell. Most of all, we prayed for a week. A long, solid week.

Today came - the day after the bone scan; the day we would learn about our future. I drove alone to meet my Mom, her husband and my sister (who drove from out of town) at the oncologist's office. I scanned the Christian radio stations, looking for music of praise and hope. I found none, but heard God ask me to be heard. So I was. I prayed softly to Him - not a prayer of desperation, no tears, just a prayer asking for peace, for healing, for wisdom, clarity, understanding - for Him. All of Him surrounding us.

We were ushered back to a small room and we waited, chatted, laughed. These are the people in my life I can be genuine with. There's no need to put on a brave face, but our relationship is so strong, so close, that we lift one another up without even trying to.

The doctor peeked in and said he needed to speak with the radiologist. What could this mean? We were on pins and needles! He came back quickly, asked my Mom to describe again where she is feeling such pain. She motioned to her knee and down the side of her shin. He was quiet, looked her right in the eyes, and said, "Susan, the bone scan is completely normal."

I . . . cannot describe to you what that moment was like. A split second of disbelief, then joy flooding in. Assurances that the bone scan showed absolutely no cancer anywhere, the bloodwork was clear, the tumor marker is in normal range (as in, normal for any person, not just for a cancer patient!). What is causing her pain? A torn meniscus! Oh, there's never been such rejoicing in all the land over a torn meniscus.

Here's the thing that is amazing: our God used this scare. Ohhh did He. I couldn't begin to list everything He taught even ME during this time, much less what He did in the hearts of my Mom, my sister, the people who love us and prayed faithfully for us during this week. I will tell you this, though. I HAVE seen the healing hand of God. I have seen devastation turned to hope. I have trusted Him in the face of crisis, and His Spirit has enabled me to do that. I have felt peace like a river, knowing that whatEVER the outcome of that bone scan, His plan is holy and good and trustworthy. We can put *everything* into His hands and know that we are well cared for.

This week, as my family and I prayed for my Mom, we prayed for complete healing. He chose to give her complete healing - here on Earth. And I am . . . SO thankful.

Mom, I love you. You - are - INCREDIBLE. Megan, Rod, I love you too. You two are pillars of strength and hope and joy and you mean the world to me. Alif and Jason, you are rocks in our lives and we could not do these hard times without you. Love you both so much. Father God, Healer, thank you. Tonight and always, may we rest securely in your arms.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Ever After

Karen Kingsbury. I just can't decide how I feel about her writing. Her stories are sweet. They're clean and Godly and the message is always trustworthy. But oh, they're predictable, and I mean, I could have written them myself, you know? There's just never anything in them that makes me say, "Wow!"

Ever After was the same. It's a nice follow-up to Even Now, the first book in the Lost Love series. I was interested in the characters' lives and I thought the story took a few nice turns. If a book #3 came out I'd read it.

I just can't jump up and down over it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quiet time: who's it for?

(Picture credit Google Images)

I've heard many homeschooling mothers declare that as long as she has children at home, there will be a daily quiet time. I've always thought it to be a good idea, actually.

In 1998 I had my first child. He slept a lot. You know, being a newborn and all. In 1999 I had my second child, and my first was only 20 months, so there was still a lot of sleeping going on. Next child came in 2003 and the first two were 5 and 3.5 and both still napping. By the time child #4 came in 2007, we were well established in a quiet time/nap lifestyle. All of my kids have napped well into age 5 and 6, and my older children have been easy to train in quiet time ways, since it has been a daily habit and also quite a privilege to be allowed to play quietly or read or color instead of sleep.

Enter Canaan. (And if we're being honest, I sighed loudly here.) He *just* turned three. Not even two weeks ago. And he flat-out DOES - NOT - NAP. Period. Not only does he not sleep at naptime, it has been VERY challenging trying to teach him to play quietly for an hour while everyone ELSE is having a quiet time. He sneaks out ("But I *LOVE* my Sissy!"). He sneaks out again. He sneaks out YET again. He plays loudly. He comes downstairs.

He drives me insane. At quiet time.

And in light of the obnoxiously non-quiet behavior of the smallest child, the older children are acting a little less quiet during quiet time as well. Today I had two calls for help with a movie on the laptop, one child yelling for help with an annoying brother, another child coming OUT of his room to ask for supplies for tonight's potato head night at Awana, and yet another child yelling for help, resulting in annoying brother being banished to the downstairs with lots of tears as he went.

NOT relaxing.

Which got me thinking: who is this for?

Off the top of my head, I'd answer honestly that it's for them and for me. The children are rested after quiet time. After a busy, hectic morning, everyone seems ready for some downtime - some alone time. They come out with smiles on their faces, ready to face the afternoon.

But if I'm being really BRUTALLY honest, I think quiet time must be more for me than it is for them. Because if a disturbed quiet time leaves the children happy and Mother decidedly UNhappy, maybe Mother needs to suck it up and find other ways to help the children recharge during the day.

Will be praying and will update when our precious, wise Father answers.