Let me just start by saying I LOVE SPRING BREAK!  No pressure, no schedule, not as many activities, it has been fun.  My girls have piano today, and karate hasn’t been cancelled this week, so we have a few things on our to do list, but we’re going at a much slower pace this week.  My two oldest are on a mission trip, and the three littles and I have tried to find some fun things to do this week.

Monday was spent bailing buckets of water out of our basement.  We got some much needed spring rain, and since our major drought last year, every time it rains, water comes in our basement storage room.  We’ve had occasional water downstairs before, but usually only after three consecutive days of rain.  Most things downstairs are stored on chrome racks or in rubbermaid storage totes and safe from damage.   Using the shop vac to suck up water is always exciting because we’re pretty sure the plug ins in the basement aren’t grounded.  This is on the project list, and now that the basement is getting moved to priority status, we’ll get it done sooner. I spent the whole day Monday working downstairs, so I rented a movie and a wii game from redbox and the kids were pretty happy.  Just remembered that I didn’t return it last night, so I’m out another night’s rental.  Oh well, it was still less than the cost of one movie admission, and kept the kids happy while I carried buckets up the stairs and out the door.

Tuesday was great!  The weather cleared up, we didn’t have any water overnight, and the kids and I went to see the Lorax.  We caught a matinee at Tinseltown, and got home by lunch.  That was nice.  Rod took off early from work, and while we were waiting for him to get home, I worked some in the kitchen, and Sophia and I climbed up into the treehouse to play a game of Sorry.  It was rather fun to do, even though I was out of my comfort zone.  Since Luke was born, I have some balance issues (c-section I’m sure), and I don’t really like to go up there.  I did it because it would make a memory with her, and the older my kids get, the more I realize that I must be intentional about doing just that.   When daddy got home, everyone wanted to go to the library, so we spent a little over an hour there and the kids were so happy.  For a big family of readers, the library is about the best place in the world.  My 10yod says her library card is her best possession in the whole world.  Makes a mom happy.

After the library, we went out to dinner.  Gyro’s were the fare, and we enjoyed it very much.  I’ve had two nights off from cooking dinner, and that hour that I would usually spend cooking, has been spent just enjoying my children.  We are planning to hit the special tonight at Chelino’s, so no cooking for me tonight either.  I’m sure by the time tomorrow rolls around, I’ll be ready to cook for my family again, and five pounds heavier!

The Lorax was cute.  I see more than my fair share of kids movies and don’t see that changing anytime soon.  I had another home-school mom mention that it had a tree-hugger mentality, but most kid movies have an agenda these days, and I knew the original story had a save the earth theme in the seventies.  I know most people don’t see environmentalist and Christian as labels that go together, but here’s my thoughts:  If I believe that God created this earth, (and I do), and I believe that the Bible teaches that we should be good stewards of all of God’s gifts, (and I do), why would this be a problem?  For me, it’s a no-brainer.  What I do have an issue with, is the hypocrisy that some environmentalists have – save the whales, but abort babies?   Doesn’t drinking Coke in the first place probably hurt the polar bears more than drinking Coke to save the polar bears?  I’m just thinking that the production of all those chemicals, and the fuel consumed in producing said product and shipping it to thousands of locations across the country, not to mention the production of plastic bottles and styrofoam cups and trash left behind from people who are to busy driving and texting to find a trash can???? Ok, I’ll calm down now.  I loved the Lorax.  The trees were beautiful, the animals were cute, and a movie with Betty White, Ed Helms, Taylor Swift, and Zac Efron? How can you lose?  Plant a seed, It’s an act of worship anyways because it’s  God’s design and brings him glory.



Yesterday was not a good day.  It actually started innocently enough Sunday night when the pot of coffee I made at 8pm and thought was decaf wasn’t.  I didn’t sleep at all Sunday night into Monday.  The time change messes me up enough as it is without the added help of caffeine.  Monday morning I was awake at 6:10 to workout before sending my husband off to work.  Thankful for the ability to workout at home.  Thankful that my husband has a great job and I can stay home.  None of my children wanted to wake up yesterday.  I think it was 9:00am before the last one was out of bed.  This makes me a grumpy mom.  Thankful for a few extra minutes of alone time.  Thankful that I have a house full of children that I see as blessings directly from the heart of God.

My family reads a lot of books from the library and we have a membership at a library in a nearby town besides our own metropolitan library system.  We had some books due from the out of town library that couldn’t be found.  Spent a good hour turning my daughters’ bedroom upside down looking for three books that seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth.  Searched the car, under beds, under sofas, in my daughter’s sleeping nook, and in my bedroom.  Thankful that my family loves books and loves the library.  Thankful that my home has beds, books, and is full of things that are useful and beautiful, that my daughters room got a needed cleaning.  Thankful for a wonderful library system, and additional borrowing privileges at another library.

After our search turned up nothing, I started making phone calls to our neighborhood library.  Found out that books returned to a metro library that do not belong in their system are sent to the main branch downtown and then mailed to the source library.  After being transferred to several different people, I found the answers I needed.  Yes, the three missing books were downtown waiting to be mailed.  I had a doctor’s appointment after lunch, but decided I would just go downtown and pick up the books to return them on Wednesday.  Thankful for helpful library employees, and for found books.

Fed my children lunch and got ready for my dr’s appointment.  You know the one yearly that most women dread.  I have learned through the years of being pregnant and having babies and nursing babies that women’s bodies are something wonderful and they can do amazing things.  After seeing so many friends and family members experience infertility, I never want to take my “womanly” gifts for granted.  The hospital is just a few minutes away from my house, so I drive over and follow the line of cars into the parking garage.  Finally find a place to park and take the long walk through the concourse to the elevator and my doctor’s office.  Sign in and sit down with a magazine.  The receptionist calls me over and asks who I’m there to see (when I’ve written it on the check in sheet in front of her.)  I tell her and she says “Dr. N—- is on vacation.  Your appointment is re-scheduled for April 9th.  Would you like an appointment card for that?”  I tell her I had a card for the appointment I made a year ago and it didn’t help much.  I was pretty upset that I went through the trouble to get there and if I had missed the appointment, I would have been charged, but they are out  nothing for inconveniencing me.  Grrrrrrr.  Took my new appointment card and went back home.  I’m remembering that I had to reschedule a dentist appointment for my 8yo that I could have kept if I had known my OB appointment wasn’t that day.  Grrrrrrrr.  Thankful for modern medicine, the fact that I didn’t have to pay a babysitter for the appointment, that I am a woman, that fertility is a gift, my van in the parking garage got me there and back, and my appointment is rescheduled. Thankful that I held my tongue and didn’t say anything I would have had to apologize for.

Well, by this time, I’m very very sleepy.  I decide to take a short nap.  Fifteen minutes later, the phone rings and I’m wide awake.  Decide to just go downtown and get the books so I can be back before time for ballet and karate lessons start.  No kids opt to come with me, probably for the best since I’m not in a great mood and I haven’t driven on the new stretch of I-40 downtown yet.  I enjoy some needed alone time and drive on a beautiful stretch of road.  Driving into the heart of downtown, I realize that due to major renovations downtown, my decision to retrieve the books might have been a bad one.  It takes me fifteen minutes to find a parking place and it happens to be five blocks from the library.  I plug the meter and start walking.  It’s 70 degrees and I have on a long sleeved shirt, jeans and clogs.  Not the greatest walking attire for this obstacle course.  I’m walking through gravel and torn up sidewalks, next to earth movers, and over and under construction barriers.  It was like a war zone.  I get to the right place and get the three missing books.  I make it back to the van and get back on the interstate.  Thankful for 70 degree days in March, that the trees were in full bloom and really beautiful, for new interstates and nice roads to drive on, for downtown undergoing a great renovation that will make our city an even better place to live, for being able to find my van again.  Thankful that I had an hour of alone time before the business of lessons and activities.

After the downtown trip, the rest of the day went pretty well, (except my 3yo messed up my computer and fell asleep on my leather couch and peed himself while I was gone).  Looking back, I realize how much this journey of finding joy and being thankful in all things has changed me.  A few years ago, I would have just been in a terrible mood all day, taken it out on anyone in my path, and never noticed anything like budding trees or the sweetness of sweaty baby necks when they wake up from a nap – because I was having a bad day.  Being able to find the joy in all things has made my already rich life even richer.

I have a tendency to go a bit overboard.  I credit that ability to the addictive personality that I got from my father.  As a child, I collected records/music, books, and pigs.  We always had a menagerie of animals, and I was very fond of my collection of childhood dishes at a very young age.  Things haven’t changed.  I still love music, books, and I have been collecting Pyrex for a few years now.  I have a strong weakness for vintage linens, and now I’m adding to the dish collection with Fiesta Ware.  It is not vintage, purchased new a couple of weeks ago, using money I got as a Christmas gift.  It makes me very happy to walk into my kitchen and see all the colors.  I purchased scarlet, tangerine, sunflower, lemongrass, shamrock, aqua, peacock, and cobalt.  I’m still planning to purchase the plum color, and possibly find a vintage pink set because I’m heavy on the blue/green end of things.  There’s something very nice about seeing it on the table, in the sink, and even in the dishwasher.  I figure if seeing a sink full of dishes can still make you smile, it must be good stuff.  The best part:  it goes with everything.  Looks great mixed up on the table, goes with my Pyrex serving pieces, and matches any color tablecloth I decide to use.

So, now I have more dishes than I need.  I’ve been trying to scale down, with seven of us here, we have more stuff than we need.  I’m still keeping a set of my white dishes so we can mix things up and have extra dishes for when company comes.  The extras will be packed away for my kids to use if they need when they move out.  I have several bags of things I’m planning to donate to charity, and will be adding to that in the days to come.  Fiesta isn’t something I find while thrifting (at least not very often), but I still plan to look for it!

I would love to do 40 Bags in 40 Days, but if I get off track, I get discouraged.  I think it’s a good thing to have a plan, but life has a way of taking over. I will just keep plodding through, and make slow progress, but it will be good to be able to see it.

Gifts list 3/6/12:  warm muffins from the oven; Luke’s curls; Sophia waking up early this morning and helping in the kitchen; friends coming next weekend; spring is around the corner; getting to see my mom last week; kids making memories with grandma.

Wow, the internet might just blow up.

I just wanted to take a minute and remember my dad on what would have been his 68th birthday.  I miss birthday phone calls, hearing your laugh, having cookouts, help with wiring projects ;), sitting on the front porch together, and sharing my kids stories with you.  I know he’s cancer free and in heaven with his Savior and I will see him again someday.  I like to think that he knows he has another grandson and that he gets a kick out of him.  I see my dad in Luke quite often. They are both the  fifth born in their family.

Thanks Dad for being the greatest example of contentment.  To live in the same house and work the same job happily for 40 years is an accomplishment.  Thanks for teaching me to enjoy the simple things in life.  Music, spending time together, a meal shared with friends, a rousing game of pitch, frisbee, enjoying being outdoors, a good western, and thanks for being such a great example of serving others.  I know I get my work ethic, my gift of service, and my love of vintage signs and rusty junk from you.

Gifts list 2/7/12:  the gift of my fathers salvation; Heaven is real; death does not win; anticipation of a heavenly reuinion; God works ALL things for good.


My Dad - Presley

I’m in a funk.

This usually happens to me after Christmas, before the days warm up, and I should know it’s coming.  Funny how it always seems to be upon me before I’ve even had a chance to realize it’s happening.  I think most of life works that way.  We get so caught up in our day to day that we don’t notice much of anything, good or bad. I know the things that I should be doing:  regular workouts, eating good clean food, spending time in the Word, giving more of myself to my family, focusing on what I have instead of what I don’t.  My Bible reading plan is so far behind I don’t know how to get back on track, I’m finding it extremely tedious.   My workouts are staying pretty consistent because I’m watching Netflix while I workout on the treadmill so it feels more like an indulgence.  I’m not always making the greatest choices food wise, but I’m getting better.  I’m trying to plan a garden and some house projects for when the weather gets warmer, and hoping to get my kids more involved in the process of house projects.  I sometimes think they would be content to sit and watch television all day if I let them.  I just don’t understand watching someone else live their life when you could be living your own.  My gifts list is languishing while I wish things were different.  Not good.

I’ve been living without a goal.  Letting life pass by and not noticing.  Not counting gifts.  Not creating.  So, with that in mind, I will be more intentional.  I will set goals for workouts, water consumption, plan meals, work on creative endeavors, plan date nights with my husband.  I will count or photograph at least five gifts every day.  I will be in the Word more, and in prayer more.  I will Facebook less, Pin less, and fast from electronic media one day per week.  I will invite someone for tea.  I will bake with my children.  I will give homemade bread away.  I will journal more.  Create more.  Love more.

Gifts List 2/6/12:  the gift of seeing my father on video with Grant at four months old; praises sung and strummed by my 10 year old; my first girls heart for service at home and away; the job that provides a home for my family; the health of my children; bookcases full of treasures; blog friends that encourage me to be a better wife and mother; the gift of creativity that abounds within the walls of my home; winter days ahead with hot chocolate and books; habits broken and replaced with better ones; being a new creation; hope.

Well, I had a feeling I needed to go to the thrift store yesterday.  This is nothing new.  Most weeks, I visit at least one thrift store – sometimes in search of something, sometimes for therapy.  Yesterday I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to go.  I dropped Sophia off at dance, then headed over to check out my neighborhood Goodwill.  This is a great time of year to thrift because so many others are following through on resolutions to de-clutter.  I had a good feeling about going.  Besides, it was my first outing ALONE since Saturday, and I was needing some ME time.

My sweet 10 year old daughter LOVES Star Wars.  This girl has already declared that she wants a Star Wars kitchen someday.  As her mother, I’m hopefully raising her to enjoy being in the kitchen, and have an appreciation for cooking, meal planning, etc.  If she wants a SW kitchen, a SW kitchen, she should have.  I found a set of seven SW character mugs on the shelf.  They are really neat, and I scored major mom points for getting them for her.  We are washing them, wrapping them in bubble wrap, and boxing them up for her future kitchen someday.  We’re calling it her “Obi-Wan You’re My Only Hope” Chest.  I’m planning to embroider some Star Wars tea towels and hopefully as the years go by, I can add to her collection of kitchen goods.

Well, I found a little goodie for me as well.  I have a tight countertop.  It is long, but narrow.  With four cell phones, an e-reader, chargers and the like, my “drop zone” is quite cluttered.  Enter, a goodie from Oprah’s Favorite Things.  My new favorite thing:  The Jonathan Adler desk dock organizer:

My new favorite thing

Well, this little baby was brand new still in the packaging!  Marked $2.99!  SCORE!!!!  I was thrilled that it was a cute color and something very functional for my kitchen.  As you can see, it holds a few pens and some note paper for taking phone messages.  My charger cord is sticking out under the flap, and it holds two devices with a small drawer underneath for headphones, additional accessories.  I found this on the internet in several places, and the cheapest I found it was $20.  What a find.  Cute and functional.

Gifts list 1/5/12:  new phone holder, God providing “wants” in such creative ways!;   the hope of a future for my children; visits with family; helpful obedience from children; studying Gods creation and our wonderful respiratory system with my daughters; Luke’s paintings today; the gifts don’t stop; community in unlikely places; never being truly alone!; grapes in the fridge.



Well, 2012 came in like the wind.  I stayed very busy during the holidays and didn’t get to post any of the Christmas goodies I made.  I got a new toy right before Christmas and I’m hoping it helps me keep up photos on my blog a little better.  I got an Iphone. 4s. with Siri.  My husband hates it.  My teenagers finally got phones for Christmas.  I phones. 4’s, no Siri for them.  They love them, their dad hates them – the phones, not the kids!  He doesn’t like change so much.  I think if it were up to him, we would all be sending smoke signals or something.  I love change and am enjoying the technology.  I’m learning what the Iphone can do, and so far I’m very happy with it.  I think it will be like having another brain.  She (Siri) keeps my shopping lists handy, reminds me of appointments, helps me get directions and phone numbers, and my favorite part – she says things like:  I am only here to serve you.  Never “Whydo I have to do that?”  She never talks back, or has a bad attitude.  I like her… a lot.  If she could cook and drive, I would love her.

I am always excited for the new year.  I love new beginnings.  Do-overs.  Fresh pages.  A new calendar.   New possibilities.  I am a resolution kind of girl, but not in the yearly sense.  In the daily sense, and sometimes hourly!   I make resolutions all the time.  To have a little help with those resolutions in the form of technology, is great for someone like me.  My new apps are going to help me capture memories, keep track of my “gifts”,  keep appointments, read my Bible daily, track workouts and calorie counts, and stay in better touch with my family.  For me, it’s a huge help.  I am planning to keep my “phone time” in check.  I have already noticed that my husband gets a little jealous if I’m doing something on my phone when we’re together… I do predict that by the end of 2012, he will fully appreciate the technology as much as I already do.  He did joke over the Christmas break that he was going to go back to buckskins and thought he would buy a horse to ride to work every day.    If you see a man on horseback, downtown, wearing buckskins or sending a smoke signal, that’s my husband.  Dragging him into the 21st century, kicking and screaming.