Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Already?

Wow! The week has flown by.

The Wee Sprout (13mo's) is sick. He's been running a fever off and on all week and cutting his first two molars.

So, I've been holding him a lot. Which is good,
except for typing. And blogging.

But it's been a good week. D played two great baseball games. I was able to attend the baby shower of a dear friend and encourage another friend in need.

The weekend holds great promise.

God is on His Throne.

Chocolate ice cream is in the freezer.

All is well.

Have a great weekend!

(By the way, did you all check out the Sprout video in the previous post? Is it just me, or is that the cutest baby ever??)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Great Music!

A couple of months ago, Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer posted an announcement that a brand new CD would be given to the first 100 bloggers to respond to Matt Maher's website. He is a new artist and Shannon assured us that his music is wonderful. So, I skeddadled over to the give away page, assuming MANY bloggers would beat me to the punch... but, hooray! I was among the first 100! I gave them my snail mail address and waited and wondered.

Several weeks ago, the CD came in the mail. It's my current favorite music. I really enjoy Matt's voice and his upbeat style. His clever lyrics make me smile and stick in my head, which is a great combination! I even took it to the gym the other day and it's as good for working out as it is for doing housework.

In short, his music makes my family feel like this:

(Note: Super cute Sprout video)
video

And, more importantly, it reminds me that in fact,

HIS GRACE IS ENOUGH

Check it out!


mattmaherbanner

Hey, I just clicked around on his home page, looking for lyrics to copy over here and I noticed that you can listen to the entire album for free through his site! Very cool. I would recommend a particular song, but I like them all so much, I can't pick a favorite.

Enjoy!


Early Reading Skills

The Bambino(3) picking up a classic yellow #2 pencil,
holds it up before me and points carefully
to the tiny black words imprinted on the side.

"N, O, P. That spells Boy Scouts!"

Ah, a prodigy in our midst.
I can tell my work with him will be easy.

[wink]

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kitchen Day

Into the freezer today:
Four lasagnas
Four bags of cooked brown rice
Four pints of cooked black eyed peas
Two quarts of cooked mixed soup beans
Three home made burritos

Into the cupboard:
A double batch of granola

Into the fridge:
2 1/4 cups of whipped, doubled butter
One large slow-cooked roast beef for BBQ beef
One pan of Sleepin' In Omlette, minus the onion rolls

Feels GREAT!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A New Dress

With The Scoutmaster off training Boy Scout leaders this weekend, I was able to let the urgent (laundry, dishes, feeding the children, etc.) fade into the background a little so that I could take time to work on a project with Girlfriend(7.)

She's been asking for some new Spring/Summer dresses, since she has outgrown all of hers from last year AND she's been itching to do some more sewing since I helped her sew her first tote bag a few weeks ago.

In anticipation of the weekend, we made a mad dash trip to Walmart on Thursday. Before we went, I picked out the simplest pattern I could find online and hoped they'd have it at the store. Thankfully, it was right there waiting for us! Girlfriend deliberated for some time over all the fabric choices. In the end, she settled on this amazing green print seersucker. She loves it!

I was so pleasantly surprised to find how competent she is, once again. She is also delightfully teachable. She was patient and hung on my every word of instruction. It was actually really fun to work with her! I can imagine that in a few years we can sew side-by-side and really be a great team.

For me, it's a dream come true.


I'm so grateful that she's so enthusiastic and determined. It would be easy for me to blow right by her in my haste to keep up with life, but she is always there, persistently asking, asking, asking. God made her just right for me!

How about that cute dress!?

She wanted to finish it this morning,
so that she could wear it to a birthday party today.


I'm in love!


Beautiful. Inside and out.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Midnight

"So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something
The prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon
The clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone"

-Steven Curtis Chapman

In my sympathy for the Chapman family, I can't help but give thanks that God gave Steven this insight before "midnight" came for his little Cinderella.

I'm so thankful, too, that we do not grieve without hope.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Commentary on Cuteness

Me: Sometimes I wonder about you, sweet little monkey-boy.

The Bambino(3): Me too, Mom.

Thrilled and Terrified

Yesterday, The Sprout(13 mo's) was playing outside, which is his favorite thing to do in the whole wide world. He loves to romp around in the backyard with the big kids. And he's amazingly resilient. He falls down a lot. And he gets knocked down (accidentally) regularly. But he doesn't care. He just pops right back up and keeps going.

Climbing around on the bottom of the slide keeps him busy for an amazing amount of time.

Yesterday, Sunshine(5) was at the top of the slide. As The Sprout was noodling around at the bottom, she invited him to come UP.

He thought that was a great idea! So, he started trying to figure out how to climb up the steep slide. Each step brought him GREAT satisfaction!


Sometimes, there were setbacks.

But he was undaunted.
My very determined little boy kept at this for at least 30 minutes, which is for-ev-er to a toddler.
And he did not give up.


Eventually, he came up with a winning strategy. And, with Sunshine and D(8) both cheering him on from the top, he began to make steady progress.

His sweet little monkey toes gripped the surface and his strong fingers hung on tight and his gaze was fixed steadily upward.

And then... he reached the top!

Oh, the sheer unbridled joy of that moment! He scampered on to the platform with the biggest grin. I'm quite sure he stood two inches taller.

Then his sister sat him down on the slide and he zoomed back down to the bottom.

Without missing a beat, he flipped himself over and headed right back to the top.

This mama's heart is filled with pride and dazzled by his persistence and competence and delighted by his joy.

And just a little afraid to see what he'll discover he can climb next!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Life's been flying by at breakneck speed lately. And I've been feeling like I can't keep up! This weekend was a wonderful break for me. Not that I lay around and did nothing all weekend. On the contrary, I was super productive! It's just that I had time to settle in and do some of the important things, with fewer urgent things hounding me from dawn 'til dusk.

I think that's the challenge for me right now. There is truly so much in my life that is urgent, so many things that I cannot put off until later. So, now that I'm somewhat caught up, I'm trying to focus more on being in the moment, not frittering away my time, using my energy for important things.

Girlfriend took this picture of me with her new camera.

This is where I sit A LOT. From here, I blog, and plan, and check math lessons, and surf, and feed the baby. My desk is centrally located in the dining room, which opens into the kitchen, and right by the front door. The hallway between the bedrooms and the living room and the family room runs right by my left shoulder. Headquarters. It's a great spot!

PS. It's another sunny day here! I am so ready for summer. Thank you, Lord!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lovely Day

The weather here on the Southern Oregon Coast has been fantastic three days in a row!

I had such a busy week.

Today, I had a glorious, quiet day at home!

Not only was I able to focus on getting some long-overdue chores done,
but I had a precious friend over for a visit this evening.

My bathrooms are clean, my kitchen floor is not sticky, the laundry is all done.

We had home made ice cream for dinner, courtesy of my friend!

Everyone is sleeping now.

I'm off to join them!

Ah, peace. What a lovely day!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Checking In

Sorry I've been neglecting the blog.

In case you're wondering if I've fallen off the edge of the earth...

Not so much.

You know how when you're juggling

And one of the balls comes down and knocks you on the head?

Pretty much like that.

I'll be back when my eyes stop crossing and I can make coherent sentences.

Until then...
my heart will go on singing.


Until then, with joy I'll carry on.

Until the day I reach that holy city.

Until the day God calls me home!

Ha! See that! My long term memory is still intact!

Name that hymn.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother/Daughter Tea



This time every year since I was knee-high, and probably even before that, our church has gathered for a Mother/Daughter Tea. I remember going with my mom and her mom and now I take my little girls.

This year, the theme had to do with memories. My sweet Girlfriend(7) was one of three young girls who was asked to share a favorite vacation memory.

She planned and prepared and practiced. She wrote out her memory in her own hand, with no help from me at all. Her joy and enthusiasm were a beautiful thing.

The event went off without a hitch. She was masterful with the microphone. She read her story loudly and clearly.



She is beautiful and I am so proud!


Monday, May 12, 2008

Adventures in Lint

The innocent-looking Sprout(13 mo's)
is becoming quicker,
more nimble,
more curious by the day.


I am becoming older,
slower,
and less keen by the day.


The combination of the two
results in situations like this,
which are bound to arise from time to time.


Observe: the tiny, plastic, toy cell phone is approximately the perfect size to fit in the slot where the lint trap resides in the clothes dryer.

(Keepin' it real alert! Please, disregard the melted crayon clump which will have to be removed with a chisel, now that it has been melted and heat-sealed to the inside of the left corner of the lint trap.)

Next, observe me, Obliviouswoman, removing the lint trap from the clothes dryer to clean it, prior to loading the dryer with wet laundry.


Here, we see in his natural habitat, one adorable toddler, appearing innocent and content.


Here, we see said toddler looking smug and amused with himself.



This, is the tool which is able to retrieve a tiny, plastic, toy cell phone from a very narrow lint trap opening.

(The crevice tool on the vacuum cleaner is not long enough, in case you were wondering.)



Ta-da!


I tell you, that boy is quick as a wink!

Good think he's so cute.

And sweet.

And happy.

And cuddly.

And smart.

And patient.

And hilarious.

And... he keeps my problem-solving skills sharp, which is an awesome bonus!

Perhaps I should stick to loading the dryer when he's doing this:


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Presents!

Hooray!


I got a package in the mail today from a dear friend.

Tami and I have been friends since Junior High.


That's 25 years! Wow!


Thank you, Tami, for the special package.


I needed a little pick-me-up today and this is such a treat!

I technically won these treasures in a contest on her blog, which hearkened back to our college days, when we used to call in and win prizes on the local, Christian radio station.

It's appropriate that the gifts are both knitting related, too, since Tami is the one who taught me to knit, way back when we were just kids, knitting tacky sweaters with cheap acrylic.


(Now, we knit tasteful items with cheap cotton and wool.)

It's been so much fun to have a peek into her life and to share some of mine as we cross paths in Bloggityville.


Go pay her a visit on Winter Creek!

Friday, May 9, 2008

It's Baseball Season!

Take me out in my PARKA.


Take me out in the WIND.

(This picture cracks me up. The Second Baseman looks to me like he's praying.)
Bring me a blanket and stocking cap.


I need one that has built-in ear flaps.

Oh it's freeze, freeze, freeze for the Pirates.


If it's too cold we'll go home.


'Cause it's cold, windy, miserable
at the old ball game!

Actually, we had a great time at the baseball game last night.
D played very, very well. He even caught an infield fly, which is very unusual for his league. His whole team played really well. There were lots of hits and some good fielding. It was really fun to watch!

It was, however, COLD. The wind was blowing right off the bay and it was about 45 degrees. We all huddled together for warmth and laughed about "The Boys of Summer." Apparently, the first game, which we missed, was called on account of frozen players. My sweet friend told me that the boys were positively blue when the coaches decided they'd had enough.

Makes me feel better about missing the first game of the season.

The team had a super time. They chant for each other from the bench and congratulate each other with abandon when a good play is made. It's a thing of beauty.

The preschool herd had a nice grassy area to play in there, too. I think they had as much fun as the ball players. I ended up with a lovely bouquet tucked into the velcro of my coat sleeve.




All in all, it was a perfect Spring evening on the Southern Oregon Coast.

Bring on global warming!

Self Aware

From The Indignant Bambino(3):

"Mom, D(8) didn't act like Jesus!
He's acting like ME!"

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hello!

We had a great time in Eugene!

Now, I'm in the midst of

Operation Restore Order.

Chaos abounds.

Grace Abounds!

Back later!

Monday, May 5, 2008

GSP

Oh, look!

A Gratuitous Sprout Photo to distract you from the pitiful rambling below!

Look! Stunning blue eyes!

Now, move along, nothing to see here...

Monday

Ah, it is so very, very Monday.

The Scoutmaster came home last night!

Hooray!

We had a great evening.

Did you know that the card game Skipbo can be played with SEVEN players??

I am in awe of the fact that we have seven people in our family who are now capable of playing simple card games. Wow! We had such fun.

The Sprout is still feeling puny. He wavers between seeming completely fine and being a total basket case.

As for me, I have that five-nights-of-inadequate-sleep feeling.

I'm having a hard time focusing on anything and just can't seem to get the day going, afterall, it's only 12:50!

There are so many things swirling around in my addled brain that I think I'd better make a list...

D picks up his new baseball uniform today!

We need to buy The Sprout a new car seat and to promote Girlfriend, Sunshine, and The Bambino up the car seat ladder.

Where is that white sweater of Sunshine's? The one she should wear with her sleeveless Sunday dress.

If The Scoutmaster takes me shopping tomorrow, what Spring/Summer clothes should I buy?

Boy Scout Meeting tonight!

Should I place an order with the Avon lady for the first time ever? The prices in the catalog she left on my door seem so LOW...

I need to post about the new CD I got.

...

....

.....

The Ducklings are quacking for lunch. I'd better get on that before there is a mutiny attempt!

~ Happy Monday ~

Sunday, May 4, 2008

24 Hour Parenting

8:10 pm Good Friends leave after a nice hour of visiting

8:15 pm Ducklings are making themselves ready for bed

8:25 pm Girlfriend(7) remembers to feed her new fish

8:30 pm There is weeping and gnashing of teeth, as it is discovered that Pumpkin, the fish, is dead

(By now, we are 30 minutes past our expiration date)

8:35 pm GF and I are in the front yard laying Pumpkin to rest

8:55 pm The Ducklings are all finally settled down and in bed. I dare to breathe a sigh of relief and to sit down to unwind

9:00 pm Sunshine(5) comes out to inform me that she has wet the bed. Ack! I nearly loose it.

9:15 pm Everyone is finally settled down again.

9:30 pm D(8) Comes out to kiss me goodnight for the 4th time.

10:00 pm The Boy Scout(11) has a "gut reaction" to the pizza he ate earlier at the end-of-track party.

10:15 pm The Scout is still suffering, still asking me to fix it. I can't.

11:00 pm I'm off to bed. Everyone is quiet. I crawl in between the sleeping Sprout(13 mo's) and the grieving Girlfriend.

11:15 pm The Sprout awakens. He is fussy. He's had a cold for a couple of weeks. He resettles and we go back to sleep.

11:30 pm The Sprout stirs again. This time, I can feel that his skin is hot and hear his fast breathing. Fever. Ibuprophen. Snuggling.

12:00 pm Back in bed. Back to sleep.

12:15 pm The Bambino(3) attempts to climb into the bed. He is cold because he chose to sleep without jammies. I return him to his bed and get him another blanket.

12:30 pm Back to sleep.

Sometime in the night the Bambino crawls back in. I can no longer resist. He slips in between Girlfriend and me.

1:00 am I'm awake, listening to the baby breathe fast, petting his buttery, hot skin. Giving thanks for my children and all that is so good in my life.

6:45 am The Sprout stirs and I roll over to snuggle him. He's laying in a puddle. I'm laying in a puddle. Time to get up. The Girlfriend hears us and rises, too. Now Sunshine is up and we begin our day.

It's been a full night, which followed a full day.

This morning, we will stay home from church and eat French Toast and tidy up in anticipation of The Scoutmaster's return.

The sun is shining.

Yesterday, I cleaned out my storage room and the Ducklings and I reclaimed the Family Room.

All is right with the world. God is gracious to provide enough grace to meet the need.

Today promises to be beautiful.


(This is a picture Girlfriend (7) took of her new fish, with the new camera she got for her birthday.)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Keepin' It Real House Tour - Fresh Paint in the Girls' Room

Whenever The Scoutmaster is gone for a day or two, I like to seize the opportunity to do the kind of project which requires allowing the house to sink into more-complete-than-usual chaos.

I LOVE to paint. Three times, we've bought houses and painted the entire inside with a fresh coat of white paint. This always makes me very happy because it covers everything with a fresh, clean, bright coat.

However, I am finally becoming sick of white paint. I never though this day would come. It is driving me crazy.

So, a few weeks ago when I had a few minutes of "spare" time, I ran into Fred Meyer and picked up some paint for the girls' room. I decided to go with four different bright colors, so that none of them would be too overwhelming. The colors are a bit crazy, but I think I really like it. And I'm sure it will look better with a few embellishments of some kind.

Yesterday, I started painting. Today, I finished! (In between, I had unexpected guests who got a very "keepin' it real" view of my home. But that's another story!)

For your amusement, and with no prior tidying up or cleaning, I give you

The girls' room:

Before
After


Before


After


Before


After



Before


After




Before


After



Before


After



Now I am going to go and fall down.
And soak my forearms in hot water.
And sleep for a week.
And rest my strained muscles from moving furniture.

Oh, wait, actually,
I'm going to go sort ten loads of laundry,
and change some wet sheets,
and put on regular (non-painty) clothes
and makeup,
and finish up a project,
and run to the post office,
and make dinner,
and play with the Ducklings,
and put away the paint supplies.

And THEN I'll fall down!