Saturday, May 30, 2009

love this girl.

took this shot at the barn a couple of weeks ago.
loved it.
she was listening very intently to someone talking.
very calm.
but truly thrilled to be where she was.
but reeling with excitement from just being on a horse.
bright blue eyes.
bangs curling up.
rip in the jeans.
one leg tucked. the other untucked.
that's my girl.
i love you lauren.

have a blessed sunday.

Friday, May 29, 2009

more funning than cleaning.

had every intention of keeping up the momentum with spring cleaning.
it didn't happen this week.
i think all i did was the bathrooms.
to me that was enough.
resolved to tackle as much as a i can when i can.
not going to stress.
the big deal guys asked us to think of 3 rules for the summer for our family.
3 rules that everyone knows.
can remember.
and will understand.
our number 1 rule is
no stress/anxiety [which is why i am not stressing about cleaning].
i forget the other 2 [but again i am not stressing].
this is why i have children.
i know
and share that rule with me at the appropriate time.

we had more fun than clean this week.
tuesday we had a friend over from megan's sports class at the Y.
lots of giggling. and jumping. and tree housing.
wednesday we went strawberry picking with our friends from choir
[hi kim, martine, and alexa!].
we had so much fun despite the "stinky" mud on our shoes.
thursday night is our "family night".
it used to be called "family fun night", but then there was all this pressure on jeff and i
to make it "fun"
we changed it to "family night"
it's actually really fun. weird.
last night for our family night we made dinner together. we made this. and this.
and we made those "acceptable" strawberries into this.
i was so thankful that God showed up because there was oil, hot pans, sticky messes, flour, lots of dirty dishes and it could have been an absoulte chaotic disaster.
but like i said God showed up and it was awesome.
everybody had their part.
very fun.
we ate well.
and i was thrilled to know that i can actually make jam.

happy friday.
happy weekend.

Friday, May 22, 2009

the joyful home schooler.

this is the title of the book that i am reading right now.
it goes really good with a cup of coffee [or tea].
been praying for God to teach me joy that is not fleeting.
i want my children to know joy.
joy that does not fade with the ebb and flow of life.
a poem in chapter four made jeff and i pause. and even read it again.

I was regretting the past
And fearing the future.....
Suddenly, my Lord was speaking:

"My name is 'I am.'" He paused.
I waited. He continued.

When you live in the past, with its mistakes
and regrets, it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not 'I was.'

When you live in the future, with fears, it is hard,
I am not there.
My name is not 'I will be.'

When you live in this moment, it is not hard.
I am here.
My name is 'I AM.'"

Anonymous [from the Joyful Home Schooler by Mary Hood]

joy is found in the moments where He is.
i pray for you to have a wonderful weekend
being in the moment
with Him.

happy weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

day 4. kitchen part 1. and school room conclusion.

finished the school room this morning.
i'm one of those people that gets ideas from magazines. i see a good idea and then rip it out and put it in a binder with visions of being able to complete these ideas someday. megan and i were sitting there as i was literally taking everything out and throwing it in the recycling. she said to me, "mama when are you going to get to do that stuff?" i said, "someday", to which she replied, "you mean when we move out?". we laughed so hard. good stuff. she finally gets it.

here's some of the "stuff".
and around the corner more "stuff".
hey didn't i just clean this room the other day?
the kitchen part 1 was decluttering and cleaning and only bringing back in what you love and what you need. jeff walked in at the end of the day and didn't quite know where to put anything.
loved the shininess of my kitchen for that one minute. i have to laugh. i have to cook. and i am prepared for it to not remain this way. but i do love it!
able to finish in a timely manner and head to our local goodwill for a nice donation [1 bin and 2 big bags]. then to the homeschool room to sell some of my homeschool stuff [2 bins worth]. felt really good let go. i mean let God.

tomorrow kitchen part 2. digging inside of all those nicely manicured spaces.

happy thursday.

day 3. and 1/2.

okay. the school room just about wiped me out for the rest of this spring cleaning thing. i forgot for a short period of time the fact that i'm running a school, an art studio, and a book store. i started around 9:30. lauren helped me clear out the whole room. as i was taking things out i kept thinking, "this is going to take a while" [no kidding]. lauren was such a trooper, she lifted and carried things, stacked them up. such a helper. all the while megan's making snacks, and lunch, and doing dishes [all of this without being asked]. i told her i really could cry [if i had the energy] with all the help i was getting. thank goodness jack just likes to be in the mix and do whatever.

normally, seeing all this chaos in my home [pictures later today], i would be an absolute mess, but i really did enjoy it for the first half of the day. by about jack's "quiet time" i was wishing that i was 3 again for some "quiet time" of my own. i could have gone to bed at 2:00 no problem. but the boxes and baskets, and papers, and stuff were calling my name. back at it.

had planned on making taco soup for dinner. nope. leftovers.

just typing this i realize how much God has changed me. not so uptight. not so in need of perfection. trying to enjoy the process a little more. after all "the process" is 95%. i mean i'm not going to get to enjoy some perfectly manicured school room for very long. i live in it. my children live in it. life happens in that room and so i better just enjoy the cleaning time and then make a mental note of what it looks like.

finished up what i could at about 9:00pm last night. a far cry from what i experienced in the living room on day 2. 12 hours. in this whole thing i have really enjoyed looking at stuff from a completely different perspective. realizing how attached you can become to things of this world. if i didn't need it or love was gone. felt good.

i'm so thankful for all of you that are commenting on my progress. it makes me giggle and smile. i love all of you very much and i feel you out there praying for me. i am praying for all of you.

today is the kitchen. i am laughing as i type this. the kitchen? are you serious? i will attempt. with no expectations.

happy thursday!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

day 2. living room.

i look at these pictures and it looks like i did nothing more than pick up a few books. let me assure you that is not the case. i filled 2 buckets with donate/sell. i started around 9. the girls helped me clear everything but wall hangings and furniture out of the room. then i asked the kids to scoot so i could go crazy with the dusting, wiping, cleaning. i'm really happy with the way it turned out. finished up just in time for lunch and the rest of my day.
keeping only things that i need or love is very hard. especially when you have to consider whether your children need or love them as well. i don't especially need a plastic basketball hoop in my living room right in front of the window, but jack sure does [thank you gamma for that gift]. i went through all of his toys in the treasure chest. i went through all of his books in the other treasure chest. i was able to get rid of so many well used, baby type books and had enough room for all of his library books.
the computer hutch needed a little help. i basically tossed and organized that area.

all in all i really enjoy doing this. megan is my biggest fan. she loved checking on the progress and seeing how it was going. jack and lauren were just happy to get back in to make a train track on jack's train table [on the other side of the couch].

tomorrow the school room. oh boy.

happy tuesday.

spring cleaning day one.

we did good.
day one was a quick run around the house and tidy up.
put trash where it belongs.
recycle stuff.
basically clear things away.
took about 45 min.
deep cleaning begins today with living room.

happy tuesday.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

here's the deal. but not the big deal.

"it's not this deal, that deal, some deal, or any deal. it's the BIG DEAL."

we are so blessed to attend a church with a wonderful children's ministry. michael and andrew from the big deal [along with many others] work very hard all week to bring God's word to our children in a language they can understand, through character and virtues. they do a magnificent job. we were so incredibly honored to be a part of their blog this past week. they were so impressed with our bench they wanted to share. very thankful for them every week.

jj is also from the big deal. hi jj. we absolutely loved having her visit with us and sit on our bench and chat about her life, our life, life. it was great! jack really took a liking to her, and was such the gentleman, every time he wanted her attention he would say, "excuse me," and that night at family prayer his prayer was, "thank you for jj." yes, Lord, thank you for jj. we look forward to hanging out again soon.

yesterday karen had the kids for the day. what a blessing for jeff and i to have the day completely to ourselves [karen, if we didn't already say it. thank you. thank you. thank you]. we started with a service project with jeff's life group. we laced, organized, and packed shoes for samaritan's feet. so great to get the opportunity to help that charity. if you are interested in reading more go here. we stopped at firehouse subs for lunch [found out kids eat free on wed. after 4pm and all day sunday]. off to ikea. enough said. fun. fun. fun. and then we met our 2 becoming 1 class for bowling at strike city. very cool place. almost too cool for me but really fun. i bowled a 71. for any non-bowlers out there...that's really pretty bad. jeff won the first game and just barely squeaked by with a 141. and then we ate dinner next door at wing cafe. it was so great to see all of them and just laugh and talk about kids, and jobs, and exercise routines, and recipes. a good day. so good for us to have that time. and so great to come home to clean. happy. ready for bed. babies. thanks again grandma.

this week and next my plan is

does anyone know how difficult it will be for me to only do one room at a time? Shannon? this will be hard. i am all or nothing. all in or all out. black or white. no gray. that's me. sort of. that's the old me. i am working on those lenses [see my last post] and going to try something new. spring cleaning one room at a time. a real deep cleaning. anyone else interested go here.

there are so many reasons why doing one room at a time will be good for me if i can get the hang of it.

1. i have children at home all day. they need some love and attention [not to mention meals] and it would be very "unmommy" of me to avoid them in order to clean all day.
2. i will really be able to do a good job. ya know, do my best for the 30-60 minutes or so.
3. i won't be completely drained. wiped. booshed. or beat. at the end of the day [who am i kidding?]
4. it will allow for us to do other things besides clean all day.
5. i actually plan on rousing the troops [children] and getting them to help in some of the tasks. they have their own daily chores, but this will be a good way for them to see how working together towards "the goal" will go faster, and mommy will be a lot happier because she is getting some help.

good stuff.

i'll let you know how it goes.

have a blessed sunday.


Monday, May 11, 2009

humbled on mother's day.

i had a humbling experience yesterday. no details. just know that it happened. it is a hard thing to be humbled in front of the ones you love most and on mother's day no less. but it is my perfect story of restoration and how God's love is amazing and it is right there ready for me (you) all the time. learning that because of my past (no details...we all have a past) i have "lenses" that make me see things a certain way, when in fact they may not be the certain way, but just how i may perceive them (am i making sense?). i prayed yesterday that God would restore my day and forgive me for seeing things "my way" and not "his way". well as you will see below He did just that. i serve a God that is amazing. and i feel so blessed to know that.
a little frame of my life right now: beautiful flowers from jeff, my bamboo plant (the only plant i can make live in my house), my backyard that i love, jack, lauren and macs observing, seed pots the kids planted on the hot tub, a hot tub (yes, it is on my back patio, love it, but we will be moving it very soon, right honey?), top left of the window sill a birthday gift from jack (his handprint), lysine on the bottom sill for lauren's cold sores, you can barely see it back there but we had an area at the back yard graded so we could have a flat area to run, and the icing on this...all the spots on my window, a reflection on how often i clean those things (if i go a little deeper i could say these are my dirty foggy "lenses" and until i say i'm going to take the step to clean them off they will remain dirty and foggy).
so jeff asked, "what would you like to do today?" we had just been to church and the guys in the big deal made a bench in less than 20 minutes. amazing! i told jeff, "i want that bench. i want us all to work together as a family and build a bench." here it is. and he even put a back on it so i could recline in comfort. i tell you this man knows his way around the power tools. thank you so much baby. i love it.
finishing touches.
jack and lauren observing a spider wrap up his catch.
setting up for a family shot you need a model. megan was very happy to help out.
here comes daddy.
and lauren.
and grandma.
don't forget macs.
and me.
now, here's what happens when you hand the remote to a 3 year old.
and this.
and more of this.
he can't seem to stop.
stop. no way.
these photos brought to you by jack.

i woke up this morning thinking about that bench. i will forever look at that bench as a reminder of what God can do for me anytime, anywhere, at any point. in a way he is sitting on that bench, waiting for me (anyone). waiting for us to talk with him. visit with him. follow him. i love this bench. it will be a gathering place for my family. such a gift (and i love that the leader of this honey...made it with his own two hands.)

have a blessed week!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

florida fun.

the pictures really do speak for themselves.
we had so much fun with our family and friends (we missed you johnsens).
megan and elli two peas in a pod. loving the ocean.
lauren and riley doing their "thing". really so cute to watch them play together.
jack and charli char talking to each other and smiling. "praise the lord, charli".
shannon and i reflecting on stuff and encouraging each other in our walk with the Lord and with our families.
jeff and phil. riding the surf. laughing a lot. and nursing their ailments (boogie board bruises and back pain).
so proud of my mom out in the water. she really boogie boarded and did great.
elli and riley did great in the "esther" play.
saw shannon's family. so great to see everybody.
saw carla. so good to see her. hi carla. missed seeing emily and jacob. hi guys.
lots of pizza for dinner.
lots of sand.
lots of pictures.
not enough sunscreen.
church at calvary.
good times.

happy thursday!