Sunday, April 27, 2008

And In No Particular Order, Part 5


Alright, I saved the, um, the,well, the showstopper for last!

Abigail Evelina

Abigail was created by God to shine in the public eye. Being 5, she doesn't see this yet, but it is soooooooo true. She has a keen fashion sense that only rarely needs fine tuning before I let her out the door. She can sing. Man, can she sing! I think she gets that from me. When I was her age (actually I think I was a bit younger) I was singing solos and duets in our tiny country church. And she can dance. She definitely does not get that from me. She has been able to move her body and not look goofy or suggestive since she was about 2 1/2. Seriously. She took a combined ballet tap class last year, and even though she danced ballet like a 4 year old, she remembered the basic choreography for the show right away. She made some good friends in dance class, too. Next year if they have a class that we can fit into our schedule, she wants to take tap only. Fine with me. I think tap is so cool.

Abigail is almost 6 years old. She is in Kindergarten this year. She has learned to read a little already. I checked her in a book that she has never read before and she was able to sound out the whole thing. She is friends with her teacher's son at school. They are both very precocious and outgoing so I'm sure it is a perfect match as far as friendships go because he won't let her push him around.

Abigail tends to be a lion. You know, lion, otter, golden retriever, beaver. She thinks that we need her permission to live at her house! But, she is a natural born leader. Being a lion I can see good and bad qualities in her. She is a VERY powerful little girl. I hope that as she grows she can channel her natural ability to lead into something positive. I hope that we have the wisdom to shepherd her and not allow her to become a "Mean Girl."

Things I love about Abigail:


  • She is exceedingly beautiful, but she doesn't know it yet.

  • She will be a leader in her life, not a follower. I hope this saves her from much heartache and poor choices.

  • She has no sense of embarrassment when she is performing.

  • She is secure in her place in this world.

video

Somebody help me out here. I turned the video in my photo software and it still published sideways. What's the trick?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hick Humor


Sorry to the city girls who read my blog and don't get this joke.

We think it is rather funny out here in the sticks.

wow

The Tender Place


I haven't been there in a long time. I almost forgot where it was. I found it again. It is the place where my head lets my heart have the Truth and doesn't hog it all to itself.

I didn't really mean for my last post to be a drag or a downer. Just a little peek deeper into me. I really meant what I wrote about the Matthew passage, too. How it moved me to tears.

It started with that post this morning. Later in the evening I went to my last MOPs evening leadership meeting for the year. I had forgotten that it was going to be an evening of prayer. But God didn't. He had been preparing me for it all day.

After our business (don't you love that you can remember to spell that by knowing that it is just busy-ness?) was done our Prayer and Encouragement Coordinator led us in worship. That's as far as she got before God took over.

Worship naturally spilled out into prayer and I could hear so many of the people that I love dealing with the same issues as I have been wrestling with. God directed me back to Matthew 6 and I read it aloud as a prayer. By the end of the passage I could hardly see through my tears and could barely voice the words! It is so wonderful to grasp that my Daddy cherishes his little girl so much. So much that He promises to feed me and clothe me in splendor.

Have you been to the tender place lately? Ask your Daddy to take you there. He will.

Consider The Lillies

Thursday, April 24, 2008

World Food Crisis and Oil Prices

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.


I am not generally a worrier. Neither is my husband. If Sebastian ever expresses a concern about an issue I know it is time to take notice because he worries so little. I try to be on top of my life, but I am usually able to roll with the punches. This week, however, I am beginning to feel a nagging fear creep into the corners of my mind.
I don't know how to be poor. There, I said it. And that is the root of my worry.
We are a part of the housing industry. It's what feeds and clothes our precious children. It pays for swim lessons, dance lessons, Awana fees, Mops registration, and all of those other little things that we have grown accustomed to having in our lives. The creature comforts.
As I'm sure you know- unless you have been living under a rock- the housing industry has taken a HUGE hit this year. We have actually been able to ride the storm out to this point pretty well. We haven't had to change too much in our lives except to focus more on paying off our consumer debt. Lately, though, Sebastian has voiced concern about lining up the next jobs.
We have a client right now who is very fastidious. We have to make sure that everything that we do is up to her standards and done in a timely manner- or lose the client. The standard part has not been a problem because Sebastian has always worked "as unto the Lord." but the timeliness is an issue for me. And it is where I see the worry in his eyes. They ask the question, "What is next?" And it scares me.
We have also been talking about ways to drive less. HA HA! We own a business and have 5 children. But the fuel prices are so out of control. Now add to that the new hysteria of world food shortages, and I begin to panic a little.
We are the parents who have let their children eat "most" of their dinner and then scrape their plates into the garbage. I find myself putting less food on their plates this week and insisting that they eat it all. I fed my baby a piece of peanut butter toast on the way to daycare today. He ate less than half. Normally I would toss that piece of bread into the gravel for the critters to eat. But today I looked at it and set it gently into his car seat and brought it home so I could save it for him for later.
I guess what it boils down to is being a better steward of the resources that God has loaned to us on one hand, and resting in the assurance that my Abba owns the cattle on a thousand hills on the other.
That is my heart for today. I don't usually let you in that deep, but I think we might all be feeling the same way right now.



Matthew 6:25-34
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Doesn't the Lord have a way with us? I memorized the passage from Matthew as a teenager and have clung to it in the tight times of my life. Reading it through just now reminded me of just how much my Abba loves me and has moved me to tears!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All In The Name Of Relating

Loves

Hates






But loves


So played
with

AND WON FOR THE FIRST TIME
IN HER LIFE!

Teenagers... Almost.

Please, all of you out there who have teenagers, tell me what to do with a prepubescent boy on the cusp of becoming a teenager! He refused to eat dinner because it was "gro-oss" and was told that he would eat nothing else tonight. Then he decided to be disrespectful to his dad about the incident and was told that he could not go to the playground at the school next door with the rest of the family after dinner. He came to me crying and being generally nasty- looking to me to agree with him that it was unfair. UUUUUGH!
What do I do with all these boy hormones first of all? The girls I think I will be able to deal with- having gone through girl puberty myself- but the boy? I'm at a loss.
And secondly, how do you curb the disrespect that teenagers think is a rite of puberty?
Please, please, please tell me all is not lost and that he will indeed be human again in the near future!

Welcome Cookie!

Please help me welcome one of my "really in life" friends to Bloggerland. Andreena, Karen, and I are kinda' like the three musketeers and Karen and I just couldn't understand what her hold out was all about. But, finally, she is here with us in the cyber neighborhood to play along! Run over and check her out.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Meme

I'm not sure why I even bothered to go blog surfing tonight. I have a basket of socks and undies to fold- I am a good sock folder. I do that job well. (That was for you, Debbie- and I didn't major in anything but kids when I went to college. I had 3 by the time I finished my AA!) I was also planning on going to bed early and, well, never mind. But the computer always whispers that it wants to be turned on when I walk by. Hmm, well, never mind.
Anyway, I got tagged.
So here are the rules:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your entry.

  1. I chew my fingernails- and my fingers when I am out of nail. Gross and embarrassing. It just lends to the stubby sausage look I already have going on.
  2. I sucked my thumb in public until I was 10, and in private until I was 13. My family swears up and down that I was 18- but truly, I WAS 13!
  3. My favorite shoes are my pink low-top converse. When I was in 5th grade the high top kind were all the rage. Poor me. Anything that had a "label" on it was out of the question because it was too expensive.
  4. I went to MOPs convention in Orlando last year. The problem is that I hate to sleep away from home. Vacation would be great if I could just sleep at home every night and still go to far away places.
  5. My favorite color is red. It makes me happy. I have 2 west walls in my house that are bright red. I'm trying to figure out which west wall to paint red next.
  6. I had 5 fillings done in Romania this year. I went thinking I only had one to do. It turns out that what I thought was a cavity is just a chip on the edge of the filling material, and I had 5 other big cavities. Just one more reason I am done having kids.

Karen, Kris, Meredith, Jesse, you are tagged. Sorry guys I just don't have that many bloggy friends yet. Feel free to tell your friends about my wonderful blog though!

What Did You Do Yesterday?


Me? I did one of my favorite brat-faced neice's hair for her prom.

I only have 6 favorite brat-faced neices.
I got a phone call right after she walked out the door.
My friend asked, "Well, did she look pretty?"

Of course she did. She would look pretty in a paper bag!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Global Warming?



Um, Yeah. Explain that whole global warming thing to me again. Did you check out the date stamp on these pictures?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Not Posting Today!

My friend, Karen, was concerned because I already had 16 posts this month. Well, I decided to be nice and not post today just so she could catch up. She's trying really hard, too. See what a nice friend I am?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tornado Alley

Do you ever feel like life is swirling around you and all you can do is to grab something and hang on? I do. Especially at this time of year. It seems that before things can wind down they have to ramp up. Take MOPs, for instance. We only have 3 weeks left, but in order to finish the year we have an auction to set up for and put on this week. After that there is a brunch. For the brunch I need to find gifts for my Special Tuesday committee. After the brunch there is a brunch for all of the childcare workers. The next week is the week we clean the church. All good stuff, but a lot of it.
Or, maybe school. We have field days coming up, end of the year assemblies, plans to make for next year....
Or, How about AWANA? Books to finish and boxes to make into cars for drive-in movie night.
Taxes to file, business taxes to file and pay, houses that really don't clean themselves- no matter what any book tells you, yards to mow, gardens to weed, edges to edge...blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
So, my question is, HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU PEOPLE MANAGE TO HOLD IT ALL TOGETHER? What's the secret? How do you intentionally slow the world?
Oh, and please take a minute to pray for my sister, Trish, who has decided to get off her merry-go-round altogether.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Break, Day 7

Today, Jesse and Sebastian went skiing for the last time of the season.
The littler kids and I went to church and then out to lunch at our local Mexican restaurant, where kids eat for 99 cents on Sundays. I think we'll just kick back today, finish the laundry, and get ready for tomorrow.
Sigh, I guess Spring Break is over.
Actually, I must confess that I was dreading this week. It's not so much that I don't like having everyone home as it is that things tend to fall apart when we have a break in routine. The first week of summer is always super hard for us, too. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that with a plan in place things went smoothly.
Well, back to routine tomorrow. That's good because I have a lot of things to do that I brushed aside so I could play with my kiddos.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spring Break, Day 6

Today I had an appointment with my accountant. I know, there's nothing like the last minute filer for you. Actually, I am the client that always has everything together at the end of January- but that trip to Romania really threw me for a loop. I spent about 20 days trying to catch back up with my life, and I am still tucking in loose ends.
Then it was off to the drive in Movies.
We like to make the drive out to Oak Harbor to watch the Drive in Movies. We always go to the Blue Fox Drive In. Tonight's features are Nim's Island and 27 Dresses. We get in for $13 because the kids under 11 are free- Oh yeah, that's ALL of them!
Oak Harbor is a Navy town so the drive in plays the National Anthem every night and when it is done you honk and flash your lights- for a long time.
We only stayed for the first feature tonight because it starts at 8:30 pm (actually, 9:00 by the time you get through all the previews and adds for the concession stand- and our kids won't go to sleep for the second feature- bummer. With the hour drive to get back home, we pulled into the driveway at 12:00am. The kids even remembered to bring their pillows and blankies for the ride home.
Nim's Island was cute- all the kids liked it. I liked Jodie Foster's character way better than the Nim role. Jodie Foster was TOTALLY neurotic. There were some really funny parts with her character.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring Break, Day 5

Today no one had to do any slaving away except me. I had to pay my household bills and enter all that stuff that I did at The Children's Museum into Quick Books.
We met Grandma and then we went to the Woodland Park Zoo. Grandma brought our cousins Olivia and Baby Darius. By the time we got to the zoo we had to feed the wild animals- not the ones in the cages. After lunch we had about 3 hours to see the zoo. I never feel like I have enough time since I only go once or twice a year, but 3 hours is about all the littler ones can manage.
I let the kids ride the carousel for the first time. It really wasn't worth the $2/head, but since I only laid out $10 for the entire day, I figured it was OK.
My mom and I got together with my sisters last May and went to the zoo. For the cost of getting all of us into the zoo on that one day, my mom and I bought a membership. It paid for itself on the first trip. Also, because the zoo is still operating on winter hours, the parking was free. It was a perfect day at the zoo.


Click to play Zoo, April
Make a slideshow - it's easy!

For Your Viewing Pleasure


Now it's almost like you were there!

Spring Break, Day 4

So, yesterday was a little bit of a downer. We spent the afternoon slaving away in the yard. We filled the back of our great big 1977 Ford, the one I call The Beast, with all sorts of broken toys and other yard junk. I actually got rid of our porch swing and our fire pit. Yucky. I tried to mow the lawn, but a whole tank of gas and an hour later I had only made 3 swipes around the yard. It is a big yard, but that was ridiculous.
At 6:30 we went to the gym to go swimming. I don't know what I was thinking. I should have gotten there at 5:45! Our pool has a capacity of 15 people. My girlfriend had just showed up with her kids and some friends- which meant that 14 people would have to get out of the pool before we could get in. I didn't really see that happening.
Oh, poor broken hearts!
What we ended up doing was staying up all night watching Alvin and The Chipmunks and The Waterhorse. I guess it was all in the name of family time. Still, it wasn't swimming....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring Break, Day 3

After the kids picked up the junk in the main living areas, they headed up to the Family room. If you remember, in an earlier post I did mention I had trouble spots. Well , this is the major one! The kids play and watch movies up there and the only time I ever venture up there is late in the evening, once in a while, to watch a movie. And then I'm too tired to clean it or to make them clean it.
It really didn't take that long to clean the family room. About 30 minutes.
At 1:30 we headed for Red Robin, Yum, to eat lunch. The kids all had a free kid's meal coupon from my dad's chiropractic office, so we ate for the cost of my meal.
When we were done eating lunch we went to Chuck E Cheese. For those of you east of the Mississippi, I think it's called Showbiz Pizza. It's kinda like the whole Best Foods/Hellman's thing. My mom had given us 40 tokens that she had for some reason, and we used some super coupons. We got 200 tokens for $25. The meant for the whole day I spent just $5 on each kid! Our friends Karen and kids came down and played too. By the time we got to Chuck E Cheese they were out of school for the day. We had a great time playing!

Mom, can I have another penny?

Libby was pretty good at this one- she made it in the cup a couple of times and got "this close" to getting a jackpot.

Abby liked the virtual jump rope. Of course she likes the real jump rope, too.

I'm not sure what Caleb's favorite game was. I managed to get a picture of him holding still here.

I never got a shot of Jesse because he was off hanging out with his friend Allyson.

Cute Boy.

One of our favorite breakfasts around here is cereal with yogurt in it instead of milk. That's what Jonah wanted for breakfast today. He chose his cereal and while I was pouring it he went to get his yogurt. I glanced over just in time to see his hand hovering between the two flavors in the front, bouncing back and forth a little, while he studied the pictures trying to decide which one looked better. Cute boy.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Spring Break, Day 2

First thing today (technically yesterday), I helped the kids clean their rooms and they helped me clean mine. With 3 boys in one room and 2 girls in the other they tend to get pretty funky between cleanings. Actually, I call what we did today "tossing" the rooms. I don't know where that comes from, but it involves changing all the bedding, cleaning out drawers, crawling under beds, reaching deep into closets, and, of course, tossing A LOT of stuff.

Then we went to the Children's Museum. I had actually wanted to do this yesterday, but silly me, we got all the way there just to find it closed. I KNEW that. So we went today.
While I did this:

Payed my business bills


My kids did this:
Played Store




Drove The Semi




Played In The Sand Box




Fished In The River




Directed Movies




Loaded And Operated The Crane




And Played Dress-up


Actually it was at this point that another mother commented
how nice it was to see older kids like my son who weren't
too cool to play.She said he was being a very nice boy
and was impressed with the way he played with his sister.
Yeah, he has his moments.
On our way out we paused for a picture on the semi which
actually sticks out of the store front window.


I had intended to use our family pass to get into the children's museum today,
but as it turns out it was Community Free Day today, so even though
it was free either way, we came away with our family pass
to use a different time. Total Cost for the Children's museum: $0.


After the museum we went and played a game of mini golf.




The course is in a storefront in the outlet mall.
Nothing spectacular, but it was fun none the less.
A little friendly competition is good now and then.


They played. I kept score.

A friend told me that Tuesdays were only $2 per game.
Actually JoJo was only $1, so that brought our golf total to $9.


Thanks Mom!


*** Caleb wants you to know that he won the mini golf tournament***

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring Break, Day 1

I decided to take a cue from my sister, Trish, and do a Spring Break Adventure every day of the week. Each adventure being free or cheap. And only after the kiddos finish a project around the house.

Yesterday it was to clean out, vacuum, and wash the car. Admittedly, we drove through the carwash- but the weather was way too crummy to stand outside and get wet! Besides, the car wash is a treat in it's own right. we pulled out of the carwash and Jonah hollered from the back seat, "Let's do that again!"

Then we went and had pizza, buy one, get one free. After pizza we bought all the stuff to make ice cream sundaes and took the jaunt to my friend Karen's to play in their hot tub and eat way too much sugar. We also got some hair maintenance done- since we were there and all....



Head on over to The Family Tree and read the poem that Jesse wrote. For not being a writer, it's pretty darn good. He wants to submit it for publication somewhere.

And In No Particular Order, Part 4


Some one once told me that 5 is the number of grace. I believe that. Since God thought I needed 5 kids, I'm glad He was graceful enough to make that 5th one Jonah. Jonah Sebastian. He's all hugs and hisses, squealing laughter and mischief. From the start he has been so easy for everyone in the family to love. In fact, the kids often argue about who's turn it is to play with, bathe, sleep with, feed, hold, sit by, take to Sunday school, pick up from daycare, or otherwise mother/father Jonah. I'm OK with that.

Jonah is 3 years old, but frankly he thinks he's either 5 or 7 (Like his sisters). This year I have one day of the week that only Jonah is home. That is the day I run all over town because he is just so stinkin' good most of the time!

Since JoJo is my baby he tends to get away with too much stuff- all with a twinkle in his eye, or a hug for me, or a warm snuggle. He is the only child that even thinks to sit on the counters. Since he was about 9 months old I have been setting him beside me on the kitchen counter, never concerned that he would wiggle his little self off. Now at 3, he parks himself on the counter just to watch and be near me. He is the only child that has been allowed to sleep in my bed. He just snuggles right in and goes to sleep. With all the children we were hyper vigilant about always putting them to bed awake and in their own bed. When Jonah moved out of the crib he found his way into my bed every night- and there he stayed. He usually starts in his own bed- and ends in mine. Sometimes I don't remember him coming in!

Jonah loves to play in mud puddles, and somehow I don't mind too much! He loves to go to Sunday school. I love that! He likes to go to daycare- it makes him feel big to go to "school" 1 1/2 days a week. He loves everyone of us with a heart so big that I don't understand how it could fit in that tiny body!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

This Does A Mom's Heart Good!


Special Tuesday, Part 1

This is my most recent Special Tuesday. We had a spring tea with a spring clean theme. This is the one that we did the closet redo at, as well.

On Special Tuesday it is my job to:
Arrange the decor

And the food

And the entertainment/ guest speaker.

It is a HUGE job. Luckily for me I have a great committee. We did 4 Special Tuesdays this year. The first was a harvest party at the beginning of October. On Veteran's Day in November we did "The Bite of MOPs" with the theme being the 50 states. Each small group picked a state to represent and then prepared food and decorations to go with it. In December we had our Christmas Brunch (Not my job) and our Christmas break. In February we had a "Death By Chocolate" day all planned out and then the power went out! If there is no power, there is no MOPs. Well, we just had to eat all the yummy food and go home. Then we had the last one on April 1st. This one. In May we will have our Spring Brunch (Again, not my job.) and then break for the summer.

Enjoy the pictures of Special Tuesday.


Hope you had fun!