Saturday, October 31, 2009

As Ms. Frizzle says...

"Take chances!"

"Make mistakes!"

"Get messy!"

Pictured above:
Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus series,
Lydie picks out her own clothes and it works,
we decide to take the "secret" tour at the aquarium and get to see the penguins, another aquarium picture,
Toot trying to figure out a game by trial and error,
the trick-or-treat bag that got a hole from the iron,
carved pumpkins,
Toot fixes his hair,
Lydie playing outside in her farmer costume
"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. "
~Mary Jean Iron

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Up-hill battle

Last night I went out to dinner with the ladies from our community group at church. It is so nice to sit and chat comfortably with a group of ladies that are not judgemental or manipulative. I always walk away inspired with a group like this one. Last night I found my inspiration in the dedication these women have to be good stewards of their bodies. It seems I am the only one not exercising on a regular basis. So...this morning I got up and out the door by 5:45. They got me in their gym (that costs only $10/month, I might add) and I gave it a whirl. The thirty minutes of cardio has not given me extra energy yet, but it has forced me to drink the adequate amount of water that I should. (I am squatting down for the picture. I have not been the shortest person in a picture since my 6th grade family portrait. It looks funny. But aren't they cute??)

Every month I do my family inventory. And every month I see progress, God's grace, discipline, etc., in slow but steady movement, except in the area of my health habits. Next month I will be 34, and so I have one year until 35. All of my friends tell me that my metabolism will take a serious nose-dive around that time. My doctor even calls it the "pre-menopausal stage". I would love to be in tip-top shape before then. I know the only way to accomplish such a lofty goal is to get up early and go to bed early. I hate having to do that! But I am not willing to take time away from any other area, as we have found a smooth, steady routine (which requires at least 12 hours each day of my unwavering devotion!). It's so easy to start these routines, but so easy to get off track when illness or "interruptions" come along.

Day by day, I'll see what happens. This is not going to be easy! Prayer, patience, persistance-that's what I need.

Monday, October 26, 2009


~that my son does not need glasses. The doctor's opinion: He doesn't like his math lessons. Therefore, every time we do math, he gets a headache. Interesting!

~that I have a bushel of apples waiting to be eaten and baked!

~that the God provided half a day for us to wander the mountains and enjoy fall in all its splendor!

~that my daughter is finally getting over cold symptoms. We think she has allergies and finally we have found a medication that works!

~that we saw our good friends, after one year of being apart. Things are still the same. Don't you love friends like those?

~And for our single friend whom the kids adore. They call him "Vance", by his last name. He carried around the 3 year olds all night. They just love him. Some lady will surely be lucky!

~that we got to be a part of our church's fall festival. We saw so many guests from our community come and join in the fun. Many prayers were answered!

~Lots of yummy, healthy things to bake on the agenda for the week. How many different things can I make from apples and pumpkins??

~that we got to be at our niece's 4rth birthday party(little sweetie pictured below last Christmas)! Watching my brother raise his kids (and love ours) never gets old. What a precious family he has!

:::And now, we begin the last week of October! I can not believe it!:::

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Making my heart dance

In the car earlier this week:

Lydie: "What do we live for?"

Jaybird: "We live to worship Jesus, Lydie, until He comes back to get us."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall celebration with friends

6 boys, 8 girls. I love the way my kids are learning to play with all ages.
A fun game of eating the donut off the string with no hands. This was an alternative for bobbing apples for the germaphobic mommies! :)

Jaybird and his friend getting their sugar fix

My friend encouraging her daughter to perform a "trick" and get a "treat"

Beautiful Cleopatra

Darling girls

11 yr. old W, 3 yr. old B, and 9 yr. old Jaybird

Lydie gives it her best shot
What a fun party! Thanks, Alicia, for hosting us!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October makes a comeback

"Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it is a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked."
~St. Augustine

I recently wrote an email to my friend voicing my disappointment with October. The first two weeks could be summed up with three themes: sickness, rain, and my husband out of town on business. It was lonely and dismal and everything that October should not be. But the past week or so has been pure lovely. We have been outside, played with cousins and friends, enjoyed the park, made crafts together, and had our usual family routine in the evenings (with Andy). God is so good to allow trials to ebb and flow with easy days. I want to be conformed to His likeness, sanctified, and stretched for His glory. But my flesh can only take so much. And just at the moment when I feel I might be pulled to pieces, He relieves me. But He never leaves me the same as before, praise God. There might be a stretch mark or two left across this stubborn, non-flexible shell- but it's different and lovelier some how. The marks of being His child are often not beauty marks, but bandaged broken places. I am still amazed at the beauty He brings from the ashes.

My friend remarked how she realized that she often spends more time in regret over the past, and fear of the future, rather than living in the hope of the present. She was convicted about how that choice has affected her relationships, specifically with her family. The "present" might not be easy or ideal, but we who know the Lord have great hope in these moments! We are given the beautiful promise that he is "working all things out for good for those whom He loves". I wonder if I live as if I believe this truth? I know that I sometimes do not. But I can also recall times when I have chosen to walk in obedience in this area, by God's grace. What a humongous faith-builder it is on the other side of a trial to have "set my gaze directly forward, not looking to the right or to the left". And how humbling it is to see how weak and easily discouraged I sometimes become.

Praying with thankfulness for a beautiful, enjoyable season. Also praying that God would not leave me like I am, but continue to stretch me and leave the marks that testify that He is always at work in my life- for His glory!"It doesn't matter, really, how great the pressure is; it only matters where the pressure lies. See that it never comes between you and the Lord - then, the greater the pressure, the more it presses you to Himself." ~Hudson Taylor

A few beautiful moments pictured above: the view of one of the farm pastures, a great night with family, me behind the wheel of the "hunting truck" on the farm along with orange neon hunting toboggan, a fun art project, Lydie loving the cooler weather in her new little coat

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekend treasures

We came home from a weekend at the farm with many gifts, most of which are unseen. It's amazing what time, family, beauty, and fresh air can heal. I am treasuring tonight the great blessing of being loved and treasured, and the opportunity to give those things back in return.

Psalm 9:10

"And those who know your name put their trust in you. For you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall tickles our senses

Rich textures,

Beautiful colors,

Welcome doors,

Art projects (Found here ,

Giggles and laughs together,

Soft, fall blankets for cool nights,

Music outside while kids run in circles and dance,

Little boy's imagination awakened (this is his haunted house),

Baking our favorites together
Now, if we could just get rid of these coughs and runny noses! Because being at home is great and all, but we need some time with friends! How sad is it that I took pictures of the beauty of our fall and they are almost all indoors! Rain and sickness go away!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Body image of a different sort

For whatever reason, Lydie has always referred to her girly part as her "body". We are such blubbering idiots, we could never come up with a good nickname. And the real name just seemed way out of her league. We obviously have the maturity in this particular area of a 6th grade boy. Any way, she calls it "her body" and that's been just fine with us.
Well the other morning, I was reviewing our catechism questions. She kept wanting to know if God is a boy or a girl. I kept repeating the answer, "God is a spirit and has no body as we do." And then she would say, "So, boy or girl?" Finally she looked down at her little undies and said as she pointed, "I know God has no BODY! Boy or girl?" Oh. I guess letting her use that word for that part may cause some theological confusion. Silly Lydie and her words!
Moral of the story: Be mature enough to just go ahead and use the icky, anatomically correct words from day one. Creepy, but helpful in the long run.
Pictured: Lydie playing outside. Girlfriend is like a magnet to dirt and water, just like her big brothers!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The infamous trap door

"Some parents say that it's toy guns that make boys warlike. But give a boy a rubber duck and he will seize its neck like the butt of a pistol and shout "Bang!" ." ~George F. Will

A couple of weeks ago our Mimi came to visit. The boys slept on the pull out sofa and gave her their room. (Her guest room flooded in the big storm.) Unbeknownst to me, the boys had created a trap door in their room. (This is what we get for reading The Dangerous Book for Boys to them and encouraging them to "be inventive".) They removed the plywood from under their window seat pillow. When Mimi went to climb across the window seat to close the blinds, she fell in. Not just a foot, she actually fell in up to her waist and was really trapped! Apparently she yelled for us, but no one heard her. So for 5 or so minutes she was stuck. When she got out, she called us all up there and explained what happened. I think she was really perplexed and baffled. Immediately the boys started high fiving and jumping up and down screaming, "Woo hoo! It worked, it worked! Our trap door worked! And then...Oh, sorry Mimi."
Thankfully Mimi is a really good sport and later we all had a good laugh. Oh, what two best-friend, wanna-be Indiana Jones/spies, adventure-loving brothers are capable of when sharing a room together!