February 28, 2010

Monday Musings

I spent a much needed, much anticipated, weekend with no kids and no husband. It was just me and my very dear friend, Elizabeth, and it was wonderful! I definitely think we need to make this a regular thing. The best part of my weekend, besides the obvious enjoyment of being in the company of my friend, was sleep. Oh, blessed, wonderful sleep, how I love thee! I can't remember the last time I was able to sleep in a room, by myself, knowing that nothing short of a fire would wake me in the middle of the night or make me get out of bed before I was ready in the morning. That is a luxury I had long forgotten about but now remember how incredible it is!

Oh, how I wish I could pack for an entire weekend in such a small bag. How nice to be nine.


Today I am starting up Jenna's new math curriculum (Singapore is what I went with) and we are also going to be doing some seed starters today in egg cartons as well as our usual Bible time and read-aloud from Little House in the Big Woods. I think I'm going to do some fun St. Patrick's Day craft today too.

Jenna is wearing her mask that she created in Girl Scouts and a fan that she made at home... and a cover up over her mouth made from a scrap of t-shirt that we have been using as a blindfold.

I'm so ready for this snow to be gone! Every year that I have lived here (this is year 8) I completely forget how long winter drags on and start to expect that I will wake up one morning in February and find the snow melted and green starting to sprout up out of the ground and from the trees. Reality begins to sink in by the time the 1st of March rolls around and I look out my window and see 12 foot snow banks sitting in my front yard and across the street and then reality starts to bite when May springs forth with not a bud of a leaf on any tree that I can find.

Friday was time to fold all the laundry I had washed throughout the week. Note: It has not yet been put away.

The winter being so long makes schooling difficult for me because I want to get my kids outside and explore and lay blankets out for reading on the lawn or picnics at the park. I want to be able to stretch and run and play in the fresh air... the kids too, of course. I can't wait to take Alex to the park this summer! He is such an active little boy and I know the park will just thrill him to pieces!

This is our kitchen floor on a good day. Alex only pulled out the pans and vinegar today. Usually the entire pantry ends up on the floor several times during the day.

I still need to write about our trip to Minneapolis. I have so many photos it seems a little overwhelming! I'd better do it before I start forgetting the little details that I want to always keep. That happens too quickly.

It has been two full months of my Project 365 and I am actually still doing really well! I have missed a few days, but not many. I just fill in the days that I miss with photos from the same general time period. My book is keeping me motivated. I am loving watching it all come together and everytime I open it up to add more photos I get excited and see how truly cherished it will be. So fun :)

Marah is my little kitchen helper. She loves to cook with me. On this day we made Jam Muffins.

I will make my goal for tomorrow to write about our little vacation. It may take a few days to get it all down. Maybe I can do a blog for each day of our trip. That might feel a little less overwhelming!

Make each day count!

February 25, 2010

Love

LOVE

The way this sweet boy can be wild and crazy and curious and explorative one minute


and warm, cuddly, snuggly, needy, and quiet the next.


But always darling, heart-melting, enchanting, fascinating, beautiful, precious.

No matter what.

Love this boy.

Make each day count.

February 22, 2010

Not surprised at all


Please note: In an effort to make this blog less boring I'm going to be interspersing the text with random photos from the last few days that have nothing to do with what I'm writing about but just need to be shared :)

After a long battle against the mess in the dining room yesterday which was then followed by getting a lot of stuff prepped and scheduled for school I was ready to start the week off right and get the kids back on track with school. So I wasn't surprised at all, really, when my Monday started off unexpectedly with a sick little boy who wouldn't go back to sleep after waking up at 6 am. So I dragged myself, quite unwillingly, out of bed to tend to the crab monster and tried to squeeze in my Bible study and reading time before it was time to wake up the girls at 8:00.

Eric threw out his back last week so I told him he should lay on the floor instead of sit on the couch. After about 15 minutes of this he told me he didn't think it was the best idea.

When I went to wake up the girls Marah non-chalantly tells me that she feels something in her bed. So I tell her to see what it is and that is when she lifts the covers to reveal a HUGE wet spot on the mattress. My middle child has never wet the bed more than a tiny spot in her underwear so I was shocked... but not surprised that this happened today. Another kink in my schedule. You must know how it is when you think you've got all your ducks in a row and then things start going wrong. Please tell me you understand!

This is what happens when the kids are being super cute and I tell Marah to be still.

So I stripped the bed and washed the sheets and now I'm wondering what to do about the mattress. I've never used any type of mattress pad on her bed before but I guess I need to start. Is the mattress ruined? Do I need to buy a new one? Or can it be saved? Anyone out there know?

Much better :)

Of course she needed a bath at this point so this set us back even more in our daily timeline. Oh well, as I said to a friend today- that's the benefit of homeschooling. We can make a schedule but we can also adjust and be flexible in it and everything will be okay. If it means we end school time a little later in the day that's okay. And so that's what we did.

I dare you not to laugh at Marah's latest antics!


Days like today just suck the energy out of me. At supper time I tried to make spaghetti. I was feeling super tired and not at all like cooking so I figured spaghetti would be a safe and easy thing to make... until I realized we had no spaghetti sauce. I've never made my own, but the noodles were already cooking and the hamburger was browned so I threw in some crushed tomatoes and started seasoning it to death. Literally. Yes, I killed the sauce. It was terrible! I'm a pretty good cook and I can season things pretty well but I think I was just too tired to think about what I was doing and I over salted and over did pretty much every thing in there. What a waste. Nobody ate it. I felt like my mom saying "If you don't eat it I won't be offended." LOL we heard that many times growing up ;) Eric ended up having cereal while Marah ate her noodles plain as usual and Jenna and I added some Panda Express Mandarin sauce to our noodles and they were just fine.

Jenna tries to cross her eyes too!


Now all the dishes are sitting in the sink, not even rinsed, just full of food. I'm so ready to call it a day. I really hope tomorrow turns out better. At least my list got done and the kids learned something and we did our chores together and spent time reading the Bible and worshiping the Lord together. I enjoyed my time with my kids and that is what matters in the end. I just hope they will remember the fun and happy moments with me more than the moments where I lost my temper or needed to lay down for an hour or two.

Well, it's cute of Marah, anyway!


Of course, now Marah is whining to me (at nearly 6 pm) that she wants to do more school. I guess she just wants school all day long. She wants to do more science. I understand that. I can't wait til I get our science curriculum in the mail. Sometimes I feel so lost in this teaching thing. I really am a very creative person! I took classes for this! So why do I always feel lost when it comes time to sit down and plan out a curriculum?

Alex is finally starting to get the hang of using a utensil to eat with. Apparently I only needed to let him sit at the table with us.

Okay, enough about all of this. I'm ready to start a fresh day. I'm going to go play Monopoly Jr. and have a drama night with the kids then it's time for bed prep and a sermon before I go to sleep!

Make each day count!

February 20, 2010

Do You Observe Lent?

Today I have been browsing the web, looking at homeschooling blogs, trying to figure out what direction to take our school and hoping to find some semblance of schedule, sanity, and follow-through. Anyway, I stumbled upon this post just now that I wanted to share.

I have thought about observing Lent for the last few years but have never followed through with it because I figured it pretty much had to be about giving up some kind of food indulgence and I wasn't wanting to deal with that (kinda pathetic, I know). Anyway, this year I took the advice of a pastor and really prayed about what I should give up in order to draw nearer to God and felt compelled to give up my daily (ahem... hourly) dose of Facebook. So that is my sacrifice for this time of Lent. I'm hoping that the following daily emails will be a part of my intended time with Jesus. So if you feel inclined, sign up. It's free :)

Stop. Take a deep breath. Reflect…it’s Lent.

Since the earliest days of the church, Christians have prepared for Easter by observing Lent. Lent is much more than a time to give up unhealthy foods or bad habits; it’s an opportunity to unplug from our regular patterns,look truthfully at ourselves, and approach God with repentance and gratitude.

This year, we invite you to take the time to deepen your understanding of God’s love by reflecting on Dr. Larry Crabb’s new book, 66 Love Letters: A Conversation with God that Invites You into His Story.

Sign up for this free service and you will receive, by email, a short reading for reflection every day during Lent’s forty days. *

*Haven’t observed Lent before? It is the forty-day period before Easter (not including Sundays) beginning on Ash Wednesday. This year Ash Wednesday is February 17 and Easter Sunday is April 4. The earliest Christians, during the apostolic era, understood Lent as an opportunity to refocus their lives, withdraw from usual practices, and draw closer to Christ.

We invite you to deepen your understanding of the joy of Easter by observing a prayerful and reflective Lent. Click the link below to receive daily emails during Lent containing passages from Dr. Crabb’s new book to help you focus your thoughts and begin your own conversations with God. Emails will begin on February 17. (We value your privacy as much as ours and will not sell or share your contact information–ever.)

66 Love Letters

February 9, 2010

Slow and Steady

As I mentioned in my last post, I am making a concerted effort to spend less time on my selfish desires and more time on my God-given desires. I'm taking it slow and keeping it steady. I don't want to go into freak out mode and get overwhelmed and burned out so that I give up. I am letting myself be led by the Spirit and by my family. It's only day two of this endeavor and I am seeing so much that I have not wanted to see in myself. The laziness, the little amount of time that I actually invest in my family (yes, it's true, no matter what my pictures might convey), the contentment with less than what I should be doing. I need to pursue my passions with passion! I no longer want to live my life content with mediocrity.

Today I had lunch with my friend, Anna, whom I haven't spent any quality time with in months. It was so great to see her and just talk. I miss talking to her. She was my walking buddy and we used to talk pretty much every day for an hour or more! Plus, we had a delicious lunch and awesome dessert so... it doesn't get much better than that. Forgot to get a picture which is really too bad because she looked so lovely today. I didn't, but I blame that on being tired and winter making my hair a crazy, fly-away mess.

After Jenna's speech therapy I took the girls to the mall so that Jenna could get her hair cut. Her hair has been all one length for so long and it was getting stringy and just boring. I wanted her to have a style and so I had the stylist cut layers throughout her hair and chop off the dry ends. She was so proud of her hair cut. Now if I could just get the nerve to have mine cut. I have a little bit of a phobia of hair stylists.

We grabbed a pretzel afterward and sat to talk for a bit. Then we had to hurry home because Eric had to get to work. We spent the evening cutting Valentines and hearts and baking cookies and dancing and playing. I have just finished folding too much laundry and now I am exhausted.

Making Valentines for her Brownie troop.

Creating Valentines to send to our little friends in Thief River Falls.

I heart green!

Tenderhearted Girl.

She has my heart.
I've found the best way to keep the boy out of our way is to throw some food on his tray and let him have at it!

So... I started this post before Valentines Day (clearly) and here it is the 20th of February and I'm just getting around to finding the time to finish up! Now I have a whole new batch of photos to post from our trip to Minneapolis so I'll plan to work on that Monday. For now I'll just say good-bye and have a lovely weekend!

Make each day count!

February 8, 2010

Inspired

Can I just say how happy I am to have the internet and be virtually surrounded by so many inspiring women who share their lives with all of us every day. I was recently inspired by Amanda Blake Soule and her Winter Manifesto post which reminded me of the importance of getting out into the air, even if it is cold and even if I do hate it (which I do), with our children every day. Couple that with a sermon by Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA that pressed upon me the importance of pursuing the desires of your heart and listening to the desires that God places on a "new" heart rather than the desires of our sinful hearts, and oh... I was just so full of joy and anticipation for the day this morning!

So today I did my very best to really enjoy my children and enjoy serving my family and for the most part I did. I knew that getting us all out into the snow and wind (we were at the end of a snowstorm this morning) was going to be a real effort for me so I just kept reminding myself, as I was getting everyone (including myself) bundled up, that I was in no rush, we had no appointment, no time restraints, so don't stress over it! I didn't enjoy the process of getting ready but, once we were outside and walking in the fresh snow, I loved watching my children play and laugh and I enjoyed the fresh air, despite the cold.


It's not easy to give up your selfish desires. I would be very happy sitting around all day or sleeping most of the day or blog hopping and eating all day long. I'm prone to laziness. BUT, when you choose to put your selfishness aside to pursue God's purpose for your life, you will end the day filled with so much more joy and fullness and satisfaction. That is God's promise! I'm working on it and hoping to get better every day.

Make each day count!

February 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Papa!