Sunday, November 27, 2011

Open Your Eyes

Don't ya hate it when there is something right in front of a person's face and they don't even see it.  They're missing out and they don't even seem aware.  They could join the party, relax, relish the moment... but they are too preoccupied with either themselves or some pressing need that really isn't that pressing.

I know we all can fall into these tunnel-vision traps at some point.  But I also think that some of us are better able to snap out of them than others.

So what do you do when someone you care for insists on getting bogged down in the unimportant?  If I point it out, it just angers them.  And in my eyes, they are old enough to know better - so I must admit I have very little hope that they will just "grow out of it." 

On the surface, they seem to have it together.  But there is a huge piece missing.  They are preoccupied with the temporal and have totally lost sight of the eternal.

I believe only the Eternal One can help a cause like this one.  And really, with the way things are set up at this point, His hands are even tied to a degree... free will, ya know.  I know that God can move powerfully and at times and in ways that we can either anticipate or comprehend... but when that vision is soooo focused.... will they ever really step back to see what is missing?

Or is my vision just soooo focused on their focus that I'm missing something as well?

How's that for a rambley, unspecific, cryptic blog post?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another

I was just reading a book to the kids this evening.  It was a collection of quite a few old short stories in which one thing leads to another... like The Little Red Hen, Chicken Little, and a few other more obscure ones that few have ever heard of.  After I finished reading them, I got to thinkin'... my day was a bit like one of those stories today.

We're hosting Thanksgiving again this year.  Our house is a good size for so many folks (15 of us in all this time around) and we have entertainment for so many young kids (Steven's brother's family with their three under the age of three are coming this year).

Well, of course that got me in the mood to clean some stuff out.  Especially with young toddlers on their way - must make sure there aren't any blatant choking hazards lying around.  I started in our newly finished basement.  Filled trash bags worth of stuff out of areas and then got to thinkin.... it sure would be nice to move the computer downstairs, out of our kitchen.

Steven and I worked on that project last night.  Which caused us to clean out all the junk out of the drawers and cabinets within the computer desk... so we could move it.  And that stuff then needed sorted out and most of it needed to find a new home.  And the radio that shared housing within the computer desk needed a new place to sit... which led me to moving some furniture around.

So I found a piece of furniture that could now house the radio and the phone that got evicted from the computer table... and I swept away all the dust bunnies that took up residency and multiplied under those pieces of furniture.  And that led me to wanting to paint the walls of the island counter.  Cuz with the space freed up from where the computer used to be - the terrible, experimental paint job I had done this time LAST YEAR - looked well, terrible and experimental.

So I painted.  Then I noticed a few spots in the floor that needed repaird so I fixed them.

Add a little laundry, feeding of children, dishes and room straightening to that list and you've got yourself a great little story of how one thing leads to another... and all because of Thanksgiving.

And let me tell you, it's a lot more entertaining reading them than it is living them.  I'm ready for bed!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's Been 4 Months...

...since my last confession... oh wait.  I mean blogpost.  I'm still trying to figure out what this creature is for anymore.  (hey, that rhymes)  Facebook has taken "keeping in touch" to a whole new handy level and I have found that I can only be somewhat witty in 200 characters or less (status update heaven!)...

Yet, here sits this blog... I can't seem to bring myself to throw it out completely.  The kids are growing, and are more aware of what I share and say to the general public (even if it is tens of people)... I'm not really a bragging type (I am proud of my kids, but don't like to go on and on about what they can do) and if I turn this into a frustration forum, I believe I would wear out my readership fairly quickly (ha! readership!  ummm, hello... you haven't posted anything for 4 months...)

Isaiah is 10 now.  10.  I just typed two digits in reference to his age.  10.  That's huge.  And a bit scary.

Huston is crazy.  He's a bundle of goofballiness.  (Yes, I'm sure that's a word).  He's 7.

Avery is 6 now.  Seriously?  I don't have but one child under the age of 5 now?  Impossible.

And Lillie is 3.  She still wants me to hold her and snuggle at times - so it's still ok.

There's your update for now.  We are alive.  I'm still a smart alec (or is it aleck?) and I will attempt to string more than one coherrent thought together more often to put a post up on this blog.  But I'm not promising.  My brain is toast most of the time.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

God Can Use Anyone

So needless to say, if you've been following the last few posts on this blog you know we've been experiencing a high-maintenance parenting season.  A lot of uncertainty, a lot of prayer, a lot of frustration and spinning of wheels.  I feel the whole two steps forward, one step back thing is reversed in this situation - it seems we back peddle more than we move ahead.

But as God most usually does, right when you think you are doing everything wrong and only clouds are overhead, He reaches down and lifts you up in an unexpected way.

Isaiah has been a challenge:  he's getting a kind of pre-pubescent, eye-rolling attitude toward everything I say as well as all the other uncharted waters already mentioned, and all of that combined makes me seriously feel like I am sinking.  Nothing I say seems to sink in; nothing I do seems to help the situation.  I'm at a loss... to a degree.  But through this (as through most any trial) I crave my time in the Word and I cry out for help, a lot.  But recently, I've felt more uncertain than confident.

Then there came Huston.  Huston is a sweet and simple kind of guy.  He is seven and often a follower of whatever the friend or brother wants to do.  He's a laid back bundle of cuddly sweetness and wants to please those he's around (which can be good and bad, but that's another story).  Anyway, he doesn't usually draw.  He will sometimes create a picture when Avery decides to do so, but today he started drawing all his own.  And he very proudly showed up at the chair in which I was working, and presented me with a picture that he thought to make for me... and here is what he drew...

It may be kinda hard to see, but it's multiple pictures of me.  I'm laying down in bed, standing up, sitting at the dinner table and walking on the street (top part)... and in each picture, I have a thought bubble of a cross.  I asked him what this was and he told me that he made this picture because "no matter what you do, you think about God."  Now, not only was that totally sweet of him to say, but his picture blew my mind and I immediately had to read to him Deuteronomy 6:4-7:

"Hear, O Israel:  The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them upon your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

When I read those word to Huston and pointed to each picture he drew as I read that last verse, his eyes became like saucers.  Yep, He ended up blessing both of us this morning through the simple drawing of a cute little seven year old. 

So yeah, I feel like everything is going to be ok - maybe not easy, maybe not simple - but I feel like God took a moment to tell me that I'm on the right track.  And boy did I need that!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When Life Gives Ya Lemons...

What are you supposed to do with them again?  I've seemed to have lost my lemonade recipe, I guess.

Isaiah seems to be getting better at times.  But just today he was invited to a friend's house, a very good friend that he has visited many times before in the "I can't get away from mom fast enough" fashion and he is currently a puddle of anxious tears in his room because he "just can't do it."

Seriously?  You can't go 3 miles away to your good friends house (who loves you and encourages you) and eat ice cream and have a water/nerf gun fight for a few hours and then return home?  This is just wrong.  And today I'm having very little patience in dealing with it.  I'm pretty much at the "just shake the boy by the shoulders and make him snap out of it" stage.

And this event came after a full morning of just trying to get him to see how negative and defeatist he is with every attitude toward work and attempting new things.  Hearing "I can't, I need help, I give up and you won't help me" come from his pouty mouth is all wearing very, very thin.  I totally spent over two hours in what feels like hand to hand combat, finally getting him to see a glimpse of the proper perspective and then the friend's invite becomes known and he quickly melts into a puddle of tears again.  And all I want to do is scream.

How do you make lemonade out of this mess?  I'm trying and I have rather good and well-tested strategies, but I am still failing for now.  And yes, I realize that I'm probably growing within him fruit that will produce later... but I'm just tired of lemons.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Goodbye to GG

but just for awhile.

GG went home on Monday morning.  And when I say home, I mean the true eternal home prepared by Christ himself.  She left us peacefully and she will not be suffering anymore - that darn ol' temporal body just wasn't very nice to her in the end.

We now must go about trying to figure out life without her, and our hope is knowing that there will be one day when that won't be an issue any longer.

But until then we'll be muddling our way through.  Today was the funeral; we laid her to rest, and now I hope to help my oldest boy lay his worries to rest as well.  It will be a process and prayers would be appreciated.  It's a process for all of us.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Need Some Encouragement

Yeah I know.  I promised you another installment of my baseball summer.  But things took a little turn and baseball once again doesn't seem as important anymore.

Lots of personal uncharted parenting waters have been occurring around these parts.  And the title of this blog post could either be read as a question or a statement.  Do you need encouragement?  And yes, as a matter of fact I do.

On the way into work today I listened to two preaching radio shows talking about sitting and listening.  I often ask my kids to sit down and listen, but how often do I do that?  Usually that requires quiet and it feels like I just don't have the luxury of quiet anymore.  Parenthood will do that to ya.  But the overall theme of the messages were to stop talking, sit down before the Lord and just listen.  I needed to hear that.

You see, here is a small part of what has been happening lately. (and I say "small" as in, one of many parts, not as in scale)  My grandmother is dying.  This is GG (her self-chosen moniker - short for Great-Grandma)... she's the only grandmother I've really known and the one that has lived here in town with us for almost 8 years - and the past 5-6 of those 8 years she's lived with my parents.  She's watched my kids, taught them to play cards (Skip-Bo people, not Poker :) and all-in-all just has been a consistent part of my kids' lives.  That's such a blessing.  But watching her slip away from us has really taken a toll and I've never had to manage my own grief while also helping my youngins manage theirs.  One of those hard parenting roads you don't think about when you sign up for the job.  She has lots of complicated health issues that is weakening her 82 year old body - but the lung cancer that she's chosen not to treat will take her from us soon.  Hard stuff.

And Isaiah is showing the most wear through all of this.  He's having anxiety attacks.  About pretty much everything.  Sunday school, going to friends houses, church camp, birthday parties.  The stuff he used to look forward to - get excited about - now ties him up in knots and troubles his mind.  A friend of mine said today, "His body just can't stop hurting."  And that pretty much sums it up.  He knows what he's feeling is irrational, but he just can't tell that body of his to knock it off.  He hovers around me, constantly asks for reassurance through tears and apologizes for something he can't seem to control.  And all I can think is, "my poor baby."

Now I labeled this post with the word encouragement.  I should at least offer some, right?  Well, I did get encouraged today by a couple of friends at lunch.  Sometimes encouragement comes from rather surprising sources.  And even after admitting that my parenting attempts at getting my family through this are feeble at best, and that I have no clue what I'm doing, and that I have no straight-forward answers - to hear a couple of folks that I know won't lie to me, a couple of folks that aren't ones to give hollow praise - to have them sit beside me and tell me that I'm doing a good job... well, that meant a lot.

And tonight when Isaiah once again came to me in tears, worrying about something some unidentifiable thing that he knew not what.  We sat down and prayed together and read Scriptures about what the Bible says about anxiety and I told him of our new commitment to pray and read these Scriptures out loud together every night until he knows them and recites them and lives them and breathes them.  To see his countenance change just a little bit and hear him take a deep sigh of relief like he could feel that there will be a time that this won't rule over him any longer... well that was just plain encouraging to both of us.

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  If you do this you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.  His peace will guard your heart and mind as you live in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Year of the Cardinal

I've always loved baseball.  I remember getting baseball cards from the grocery store as a kid and "talking ball" with the guys.  In hindsight, I don't believe I really had that much knowledge under my cap, but I had plenty of guys in the neighborhood, so I pretended.

Later on, when I entered into high school and college years my love for the game increased to the point of obsession.  You know college kids can have a lot of spare time on their hands, and my time was tethered to watching every televised game I could find.  I fell asleep to ESPN's Wednesday night double headers and caught nearly every Braves game on TBS.  I then would take my few extra dollars and spend a few afternoons in Busch stadium cheering for the Cardinals.  I knew every line-up, every stat, every amazing and ridiculous play that occurred each evening in the ballparks.  I was kinda pathetic.

Then I got married... then I started having kids... and baseball slowly kept being squeezed out of my life, because really, who had time to obsess over stats and plays when you barely had enough time to sleep?

This year has been different though.  I always thought if I had boys, they would be just as interested in baseball as I am - and I would enjoy teaching them to talk ball and taking them to beloved Busch Stadium.  But it just didn't really pan out that way.  Until now.

Isaiah is finally convinced that the Cardinals are the team to watch and love.  My father-in-law is a *gasp* Royals fan.  And let me tell you, when getting involved with a significant other 1. you check your compatibility in regards to your faith and worldview and then 2. you check your baseball compatibility.  Cuz otherwise you have quite a battle on your hands, let me tell you.

The past few years have been spent "fighting" for allegiance.  And I possibly have won this current battle anyway and maybe the war - we'll see.  Anyway, Isaiah is interested.  And when Isaiah is interested, the other boys are interested as well.

Also some friends of ours bought up a huge block of Cardinal tickets for this season and had a few games that they couldn't use.  I bought 3 games, 2 tickets per game - and I'm taking each of the boys on a mother-son baseball date.  A dream come true.

But before I get to that.  This baseball season has also treated me greatly already due to the kindness of an organization that my hubby volunteers with.  The founder of this organization is himself a great Cardinals fan and let's just say, has some great financial opportunities and personal connections.  And we were blessed greatly one evening a few weeks ago to the night at the ballpark with 4 Cardinal hall of famers... Here are the picks.
Steven and I with Bob Gibson!  (If you're not a Cardinal fan, trust me, he's a biggie)

Me with Lou Brock and his wife Jackie.  (I sat 4 vacant seats away from them while watching the game.  Amazing.)

And here I am with Whitey Herzog.  I grew up watching this guy coach my favorite ball team.  Couldn't believe I got to meet him in person.

The other hall of famer I got to meet was Red Schoendienst.  I didn't get my picture with him, but he did call me "honey" and he signed my record... see...

This my copy of play-by-play highlights of the 1964 World Series Championship (remember, baseball nerd!) and my husband urged me to take this to the game to have it signed.  I was reluctant, because I was also skeptical that I would actually meet this men.  Boy am I glad I listened to his urgings.  Bob Gibson and Lou Brock were both players on the team that year, and Red was one of the managers.  I had them all sign the record and they were very happy to.

Each person that went to the game that night also received an official major league ball signed by all these gentlemen.  So we got 2 of them.  We gave one to my dad and the other will go to my brother.  Don't worry, I got Whitey to sign my score card.

And I can't figure out how to rotate the photo.... I tell ya, get out of blogging for a month or two and you can't figure out how to do anything anymore!

Anyway.  It was an unbelievable evening.  One that I never thought I would ever get to enjoy in a million years.  Totally put the baseball spirit back into me...

But the rest of the Cardinal stories will have to wait.  I've rambled on long enough.  So stay tuned for I will soon upload the pics I took of Avery's mom-son baseball date - his first ballgame.  I love being a mom. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hey There.

I'm still among the living.

I've been in a long season of something.  Can't really identify it and since I don't know what it is, I can't really ramble on about it very well.  So I've been quiet.  I guess a bit more introspective/reflective but not feeling called to share it.

Anyway.  We have made kind of a major decision around here in regards to the schooling saga.  We are sending Isaiah to a University-model school in town that is Christian value based and will only require Isaiah to attend physically 2 days a week.

The more I got into figuring out the problem, the more I knew the solution was to find him a different outlet.  The boy needs independence from me.  We were (are) driving each other nuts to a degree.  He needs independence from his younger siblings.  They both with thrive under a few days of detachment from each other, I believe.  And we needed the accountability without having to be away from home 5 days a week, 8 or so hours a day.  And I think this will meet all of those needs.

It'll be a bit more money than we are used to paying out, but I believe the rewards will outweigh the cost. 

The worries are still there - Is he a strong enough student (as in hard worker)?  Is he too far behind to make the transition go smoothly?  Will the money continue to be there?  Will there be enough kids in his class?  But really, why worry at this point.  What's done is done and what needs to be done will be worked toward.  I'm just excited that this may actually work!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I Feel Better

Didn't really mean to leave that ugly post up for so long.  Kinda got busy this past week... er... month. 

I'm feeling much better and the timing of how Easter followed my lava flow of frustration was very appropriate.  I needed to be reminded that it's not about me, I needed to be reminded of how much grace I've been extended and need to extend to others... and I needed medication.  And I got all of the above.

And don't worry, I know most of you are nodding your head in agreement and saying, "Yes you did."

Now getting back to the lessons learned from this ordeal.  Has anything changed?  No, not much.  Got extremely frustrated at some things during schooling this morning, but whatever, I just backed off.  I currently have one child in front of a movie and another one crying in his bed, but whatever, it's only today.

I am amazed at how much loving-kindness and long-suffering God has for us.  I'm completely at a loss as to what I do with my kids and I only have four.  But I've relearned something... I'm not going to be the one making their choices.  They are going to make mistakes and they're not going to listen to me and they are going to follow themselves... quite often.  And it's their life.  I can only do so much and I will continue to do what I can, but I can't own their mistakes - it's too stressful.

So I'm trying to be indifferent, for lack of a better term.  Watching them mess up and make bad choices still pains me and I will still try to teach them the correct path whenever and wherever I can, but when they mess up I'm going to try to not be so emotional about.  That's why I got the pills (ha! just kidding, people... just kidding.)

Monday, April 18, 2011


Warning:  This is one of those posts that's just gonna let it all hang out.  So, if you can't handle the truth you may want to skip to the next in a long line of  happy-go-lucky blogs.

I'm a grump today.  Major grump.  It started in yesterday and my levels of frustration have become increasingly more obvious and hard to control.  I even called my ob/gyn this afternoon to see if I'm a normal human being.

My first disclaimer is this:  when compared to other things that could be happening in my life right now, my mind knows that I should feel like I've got it made.  I want to put that out there right now before I dive deeper into the pit of despair... said with the hoarse, gravely voice like the guy on The Princess Bride and I want you to know that I totally should be able to clear my voice and sync up my feelings to my knowings and shrug my shoulders to say that things really aren't that bad.  So for everything I am about to say, I just want you to know that, yes, I know things could be worse.  I know that my kids could be sick or dying instead of just frustrating.  I know this stuff... but sometimes we need to admit that while we know this stuff, we might feel differently.

So today,  I've totally lived out the Romans 7 Paul, I do what I hate and I don't do what I want to do.

I had intentions as I sat down to do this post, of writing everything out in detail of how I've yelled, frustrated and exasperated my children today and how they triggered each incident... but I have now decided against doing that.

Instead I just want you to know that even folks with good, descent, blessed lives have issues... me definitely included.  And there are days that come along that make you wonder if you are all alone with the overwhelmed feeling, or if everyone is just as overwhelmed but they aren't admitting it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let's Play a Game...

How 'bout the ol' standby, "What's Wrong with This Picture"

1.  Everyone is still in pajamas...
2.  They are all "wasting time" watching video clips on the computer...
3.  Oh yeah, Isaiah has a big boot on his foot.

Which explains the first two details.  Isaiah tried to be superman last night and tried to leap tall creek banks in a single bound... and found out the hard way that we mortals are prone to accidents.  He's ok.  It's not broken officially, just badly sprained.  Hoping that in a day or so he won't be so wobbly.  But today we'll just take it easy.... I'm tempted to even call off schooling, but am afraid it would totally unravel what we've built up.  Maybe we'll just abbreviate it a bit instead.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Better Strategy, A Better Result

"Day One" down on the 100 day challenge and everything went surprisingly well.

We did 3 hours of school before lunch time.  The little guys did coloring books, drew pictures and played quietly in their rooms.  There were only a few times when I had to shoo them away from the school workers.  Huston and Isaiah were focused and had good attitudes... although I will say that Isaiah kept a clock right by his side so he could keep tabs on when high noon rolled around.

Hoping that this much improved success continues, but I do wonder if I should chalk it up to a honeymoon period.  We'll see. 

Here are some pics to prove that I had them working :)  Creating their own "cave paintings"....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

And the Crown for the Most Crummy Mom to Ever Play the Part of a Homeschool Educator Goes To...

Yeah, it's a long title, but one I totally deserve.

I had Isaiah in tears tonight.  I know, it's not the first time, but I think it was the first time I finally got through that thick noggin of his.

We've been struggling with the whole homeschool thing, and I know a lot of the responsibility - ok, so like all of it - falls on my shoulders.  I always envisioned homeschooling my kids as a "fun" task... in that you would choose what you wanted to study and you were more flexible in how you were gonna study it, etc.  And that is all true.  But my kids don't seem to want to choose to study anything.  And if they are interested, it is only in a small sliver of a whole pie that needs to be ingested somehow.

I waffle a lot.  I go back and forth between thinking that this laid back approach to schooling is a good thing.  That they will learn the important stuff eventually and a window will open when they are interested in learning a particular skill or piece of knowledge.  Then I think that I'm teaching my kids all the wrong kinds of habits and that as they age they will slip further and further behind because they have no work ethic.  Then I swing back the other way and think, "Who determines what the norm is? and why should I be worried about it anyway?"  You know, small issues like that.

I've determined lately though that I'm cultivating all the wrong attitudes and habits in Isaiah for sure.  The only thing that he seems to be learning really well is how to roll his eyes at his mother.  The boy is spoiled and doesn't know how good he's got it.  I'll request that he read or practice math facts or whatever the task may be, and I get a bad attitude or a fight every. single. time.  Then I get mad and yell and threaten and he feels convicted for about 2 seconds and we're right back at the beginning of the same vicious cycle.  And I'm weary.  He's weary.  And our relationship is strained.

So tonight I sat him down.  I told him that life is full of choices and we not only make those choices with our words but we make them with our actions too.  So starting tomorrow we are going to schedule our school day (I know, I know... no, we've never had a schedule - the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?)... anyway, we're going to schedule our school day to be from 9am until noon.  If work does not get accomplished or if objectives/deadlines are not met by noon then the school day will spill over into the afternoon or fun things will at least be taken away until school is caught up.  But here is the kicker of the plan. We will do all of this 100 times.  If within that "100 days of school" I still get the bad attitude, the whining, the refusals... well, then he is choosing to pursue another schooling route.  Cuz I can't take it anymore.  We even signed a contract.  And he went nuts.

This is as much a challenge for me as it is for him.  I need to put my actions where my words are and I need to become more motivated and structured and organized myself, if I'm going to help him to be a successful student.  I realize that - I need to see if I can meet that goal or I feel I am doing him more of a disservice as his teacher than I am helping him. 

The next few months are going to be quite interesting for sure.  I've thrown the choice in his lap, but it's just as much a test for me as it is for him... maybe more so.  I'm kinda scared of what the outcome might be - either way. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ready to Dig Deeper?

My kids have been mesmerized by the tv lately... and sometimes that's not a bad thing.  Let me explain.

In the past, most spiritual education involved parents opening up a Bible storybook and reading the many, many different awe-inspiring, child-friendly accounts to their kids.  They are popular with the young ones, but this system can also cause a couple of different problems:  First, the little ones will tuck the stories into their minds the same as any other bedtime story, not realizing the Bible stories are a cohesive message of how God has a plan in rescuing His people.  (Quick sidenote: As you read the many fun stories of God's power and provision to your young ones always, always tell them that this story is true, it really happened - this will help them start to see the Bible in it's proper perspective.)  Secondly, many times it's difficult to help the kids progress past the storybook level of learning the Scriptures... the story of Jonah always ends with him preaching in Ninevah... the Israelites obediently followed Moses across the dry land of the Red Sea and live happily ever after... and once Jesus ascends back into heaven the whole Bible is pretty much over.  That's what most storybook Bibles would have you believe anyway.  There are few resources available to aid parents in moving their kids on to the next level spiritually.

Admittedly, the Bible is full of very abstract concepts - things that little guys just won't grasp - so there is definitely a time and place for such basic Bible story teachings.  But as your little guy grows bigger, are you having trouble figuring out where you should even start in teaching your child about what the Bible is for and what it's message is all about?

Now to the point of worthy tv viewing... Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales, has moved on to something I would deem as one of his more nobler pursuits.  He has launched a new kids' series that can be described as the Muppet Show meets Biblical Studies 101 - a strange combination?  Maybe.  But my kids love it and they are learning a lot.

The show/dvds are entitled What's in the Bible? with Buck Denver... but you can preview many of the songs, sketches, bits, and pieces at  The dvds will take the kids through the Bible step by step - starting by answering the questions of where the Bible came from, who wrote it, and why it's important... and then walks them through each of the books, giving a synopsis of each of the books in a fun, creative, entertaining, and informative style while still pulling the kids back to give them the overall perspective of how each book fits into the big picture of God's plan of redemption.  Parents, you will learn things too!  (The shows even have a segment called Tricky Bits that will tackle the really hard questions the Bible presents...)

What's in the Bible, Vol. 1-4 are available for purchase, and Vol. 5 comes out in May... but you can view many parts of it for free at so go check it out.  They hold Lillie's attention pretty well, Avery is grasping basic concepts from them, and Huston and Isaiah are being educated as to why this book we read is so very important.  This is not a paid endorsement, this is an excited mom wanting to let others know of a great educational tool.

I'll leave you with a clip of one of their many silly songs... my kids laugh and learn all in one.  Priceless.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Progression of Lillie

What a difference three years makes, eh?  These were all taken on her actual birthday (March 19th).  She had a great time celebrating this year - the first year she knew what was going on really.  The presents, people singing to her, everyone telling her happy birthday.  She ate. it. up.  I think if it were up to her, everyday would be a Lillie day :)  Anyway, I won't bore you with all the details - it was a pretty quiet, yet fun day.  And heck, we're still celebrating.

Friday, March 18, 2011

This is Not my Baby Girl

Yes, yes, she will always be my "baby" - but tomorrow this little widgit turns 3...

She was playing with stickers when I snapped this photo - and she was decorating herself - cuz who needs paper.

I thought the sticker she chose was rather appropriate...

We all think she's pretty wonderful (of course we should).

And she's also pretty goofy...

So anyway, tomorrow is her birthday - she will be "free" - and is insulted when I call her my baby (most times...)

I will try to recap the weekend celebrations - but wanted to throw this up here before I forgot to.

Happy Birthday dear Lillie Frances - your whole family is quite smitten with you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Have No Words...

so I'll make some up.

Yes, yes.  I've neglected you, but I'm sure after the first 3 times you checked back in to see if anything new was ever going to materialize, you simply gave up and moved on with your lives.  And I'm proud of you for that.

I have sensed for quite some time that I am shifting seasons within my life.  I've alluded to "the shift" a few times before (yeah, in some of those posts that were written like a million years ago... and in at least one of those posts, I kinda got in trouble for it...) but I see that this newly budding season has arrived.  And I'm not completely talking about spring.

Peoples, I'm getting older.  Now I'm not saying that I'm old.  Cuz, I'm not.  And I don't particularly care for younger people going around saying that they are old, especially when about 66.8 % of the population is older than them.  But in just a few months I will have three elementary aged children and my "baby" is soon to be 3 years old - not really a baby anymore.  She talks, she walks, she uses the potty (when she has time for it) - she's practically growed. (yes, I homeschool).

So, evidence #1 of new season - my kids are growing older.

Follow the dominoes with me - my kids are growing older, therefore I have more "free time" - what's that?  That's the time that you are not spending making decisions for all of your children, wiping their noses and bottoms, getting them bathed and dressed and feeding them (oh yeah, I still feed my children.)  But the rest of that stuff - so many of them, if not all of them, can pretty much do on their own with some success.  This allows me to focus on other things.

Evidence #2 of new season - I have a new focus.

My job has slowly become not so fuzzy anymore.  Lots of opportunities presenting themselves before me - lots of them rather exciting, but still - I'm not completely sure of where things are heading.  I'm becoming more of a resource for young families - looked to as the one that's been there, done that.  (see? getting older)  I like the change, simply because it shows that I'm not completely living the preschool life anymore - it's kinda nice.

And finally evidence #3 - I have no idea what I'm doing.

The new season of parenting has me guessing more than knowing - and that's the nature of the beast.  That's a season that I anticipate that I will never grow out of...which makes me that much more dependent upon God and studying His Word, which makes me that much more interested in teaching others what I find out, which makes me that much more curious as to where this new season of life will lead.  What did I tell ya.  Dominoes.

So I guess I did have words - and here I thought I couldn't produce a blog entry anymore.  This rambling stuff may continue after all.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Quote to Chew On...

"There can be no reproach to pain unless we assume human dignity; there is no reason for restraints on pleasure unless we assume human worth; there is legitimacy to monotony unless we assume greater purpose to life; there is no purpose to life unless we assume design; death has no significance unless we seek what is everlasting.  This is true across the board in human experience – across cultures, languages, and backgrounds.  This is what Christianity teaches."
                                                                                                                          - Ravi Zacharias

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Still Not in the Routine

I don't know what's gotten into me these past few days... I'm sooo tired!  And that's after being homebound for a good part of a week! 

Today I got up, puttered around the house, moved some stuff around to make it look like I accomplished something, I asked the kids to clean their rooms (which they sort of did successfully), asked the kids to do a few school lessons, took a nap (which means that my kids undid every bit of cleaning they had done earlier), and allowed my children to veg in front of the tv while I vegged on the couch.

I keep telling myself the next few days will get better - I'm hoping that I'm right.

In the mean time, can I tell ya that I'm really tired of being cold - I think my body is rebelling... all it wants to do is wrap up in a warm blanket and sleep.  Maybe I need a soda...

Friday, February 4, 2011

What the Snow Does to Us

They say a picture is worth a thousand words... well this one totally tattles on me.

Do you notice it?  Maybe it's not so very glaring, but this is what the picture shouts out to me...  this snow bound week has brought about some bad habits:

  1. Notice the chocolate face... brownies eaten before 8:00am... she might, or might not have had breakfast first...
  2. Still in pajamas... which will more than likely be worn all day (although I will report that we dressed the girl today, improvements people, baby steps.)
  3. The holding of a movie... watch movies immediately and often throughout the day.
These are not habits that I'm particularly proud of.  I'm sure other mom blogs will herald how they have taken the extra time with their children to read more books, cook healthy dinners together, do fun school activities that exercise the mind.  No, not us.  We've spiraled down into unhealthy eating, mindless entertainment, and bad habits.  Yay me!

Really though - I might become motivated to do better here within the next day or so.  Again, 3 out of my 4 children are currently dressed!  We must celebrate the small victories...

Thursday, February 3, 2011


A friend of mine posted this on facebook, and I had to share it... we were at day 3, but luckily broke out before the comatose state. (click on the picture to make it bigger)

Well, We Got It

We survived the blizzard of 2011... and apart from sore muscles from shoveling and some cabin fever, we came through unscathed.  The 12-18 inches turned into 20, officially.  We never got the thundersnow they predicted, but we did get the white out conditions.  This is stuff we're not quite used to here in central MO.  There are winters that we get good amounts of snow, but over 10 inches is rare and a blizzard is pretty much unheard of.  So as a result, the whole town pretty much closed shop.  The bank my hubby works at even closed for one of those days.  The universities canceled classes, the malls and shopping areas closed, and even I-70 closed from St. Louis to Kansas City.  Epic stuff.

Here are a few pics I took around our house...

This is our driveway into the garage... now you know why we have sore muscles.  (Notice the edge of the planter box on the left)

This is the pond... yeah, I don't see it either

Dug out to the chicken house...

There is a 3-tiered planter under this snow... the first tier is hip high on me...
Thankfully a very nice neighbor came with his tractor and blade and bladed our drive to the road.  So we now have freedom to travel!  Yay!  We're breaking out of his joint today.

Monday, January 31, 2011

We're In for It

Snow storm #259 is heading this way.  "They" say it will dump freezing rain and ice and then 12-18 inches of snow on top of that.  *sigh*

I'm dreaming of a warm summer.  Lounging by the pool, not having to worry about bundling yourself and your children up for the sake of their life, just to go to the store.  I find falling snow very exciting, but I find old snow that just lays around and covers up the ground for weeks on end not so fun.

And given that our last snow of 10 inches or so has been around for over a week, I predict that this latest wave should be melted off by June.

It' 47 days until spring.

I do hope to get out in this snow with my kids and make snow angels and build snow forts until nobody can feel their toes and hands anymore (which will probably last for all of 20 minutes.)  While we're out there though, I will take some pictures to document it for the season that we will look back on this fondly.... maybe when I'm a grandma???

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I've Kinda Forgotten

I've forgotten many things concerning this blog.  I've forgotten how to write in coherent thought processes...  I've forgotten how to type without making tons of errors it seems... and I no longer have any topic that I am dying to discuss or monologue about.  My life seems rather hum-drum, so-so, and altogether ordinary. 

I didn't start this to build a readership.  I started this to document my kiddos - the quirky things they say, the fun stuff they do, the infuriating habits they form - you know stuff like that.  But now I feel rather guilty going on and on about them... especially the older ones; they are more aware of what is said about them.

So, that's basically why I haven't posted for quite some time.  It's because I no longer have a real goal or purpose... but I may change that soon.  We'll see.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Really Am Trustworthy

So yeah, it's been a couple of weeks now since I've posted, and that after a promise of more to come.  Not nice.  But I don't think my readership is large enough for this to be a huge issue.

Here's where I am with the read through the Bible thing... I'm still doing it, but I'm behind schedule.  Now I could offer you lots of excuses, but here's the main issue.  I need something deeper this time.

I read through the Bible a year ago and I had sooooo many questions while I was reading... but I brushed them aside and kept on keeping on because I had that deadline to meet.  Well, this time around?  I read through the Bible and all these questions come right back and this time they nag at me a little more and it's harder for me to just brush right past them in order to stay on a timeline.  So instead I've been digging a bit more.  And the stuff is a little too... uhh... I don't know the word... maybe a combination of personal, boring, time-consuming to just sit down and type, type, type out all the stuff that I'm finding out.

I haven't been too motivated to come on here and update because it seems that I'm the only one on this little quest right now and so I'd rather just take my time with it.  But I'm still reading, honest.

I'm also trying to figure out a good method/program/process to get some Bible study into my kids' day-to-day lives.  I'm researching different subjects, ideas, strategies... and trying to figure out what will fit us best.

I need to start personalizing a few things for my family a bit more - and become more strong-willed when it comes to teaching them.  I've compromised a bit too much here recently and it's time to shift the focus before we run into an iceberg or something catastrophic like that.

So always know that I'm here and I'm still plugging along and I hope you are too.  I still am unsure of what the purpose of this blog is - if anything I guess its the place that I come a ramble out the thoughts that are in my head... and for that I am truly sorry.

So keep digging and keep reading and I hope to as well!