::Outside My Window::
It's a bright, meltingly-hot day.  The kind of day that makes it absolutely necessary to be floating in a crystal-clear pool in one of those floaties with the cupholders, reading a book.  Wait. This is supposed to be about what's outside my window.  Nevermind.


::I am Listening to ::
Beautiful almost-silence as the family reads and sleeps, and the departure of a noisy motorcycle outside

::I am Thankful For::
a friend's heart-strengthening words this afternoon

::I am Pondering ::
My bravery.  Wondering if I'm brave enough to do some of the things on my heart.
Kind fierce brave spirit courage quote saying poem | Quote's i Like ...

:: I am Remembering ::
 The lake at Grandma Parson's house at the end of her street in Overland Park, Kansas.  The memory of this place has made a rut in my brain that I cannot comprehend. And I do not have the energy for the words it would take to do it justice right now.

:: I am looking forward to/Dreaming of ::
 paying this house off as fast as possible

:: Some of what I've been reading::

 Switch On Your Brain - by Dr. Caroline Leaf

No matter how much I study the human brain, I cannot get enough of it.  It is absolutely spectacular.  And the more they learn about the mind and the brain, the more it proves that science is catching up with the Bible.  Awesome stuff, if you like that kind of thing.

::From the Kitchen::
 We've been "tasting the world."  This week, we had Thai and Indian.  I fix something easy and simple that has at least something of a foreign flavor.  We look up the country on the globe (which sits as a centerpiece.)  Then we listen to a bit of the music of that country on my phone and talk a little about the country.  Sometimes children cry because they are scared that the food will be yucky.  When really, it's just flavorful chicken and rice or noodles.  And because they are tired. 

I officially want to go to Thailand. Right here:
Luxotic World: Top 5 Tips For Luxury Travel in Phuket, Thailand

::I am Thinking::
 About how much I love curry.  And how good Deanna's curry is.  And how much I miss eating Indian with her in Ireland.  And how desperately I want to be with her in her new home in Scotland right now.

::I am Creating::
 Window Baskets! For my garage.  So that when I look out my kitchen window and the paint-peeling garage-turned-dog-kennels, I will see flourishing beauty and cascading sweet pea vines.  I finally found a store that carried replacement Coco liners for my window baskets. (Thank you, Menards.)  I have been buying up half price, half dead flowers and hoping for a miracle.  If you know me and my black thumbs you are laughing and shaking your head right now.  But that's okay.  Haters gonna hate. 

:: Towards raising hungry learners::
 Spanish!  My kids are finally consistently doing Rosetta Stone Spanish this summer and it gives me a little happy rush every time I walk past and see them doing their Spanish time. (We just added it to their regular summer chores.)  No habla espanol?  No watcha da screens.

::Towards Rhythm and Beauty::
 I'm struggling in the rhythm department.  Even though we have summer routines and checklists, I don't feel like my groove is as productive and life-changing as I would dream.  I just rolled my eyes at myself. I think I have identified the problem:  too many things at once.  I'm especially proud of myself for identifying that, because I've only struggled with it for like THREE DECADES!  Moving right along.  Blogging is one of the 5 million things I'm trying to work on finding in my rhythm.  Sunday is blogging day.  Whatever.

::To Live the Life ::
I just sighed really big.  I think because *see above*.  I expect too much, then forget that simple is best.  God is doing some deep, deep stuff in me.  He's up to His elbows in my humanity.  I'm at the point I just want to ask Him to get it over with already or let me go to heaven, but then that's not exactly how I should probably say it.  So I'll say this:

"Each time this purging cleanses deeper, I'm not sure that I'll survive
Yet the strength in growing weaker keeps my hungry soul alive."

::I am Hoping and Praying::
 For a camper.  Well.  Mostly hoping.  We've set some aggressive financial goals, and a camper is waaaaay down on the list.  So far down, in fact, that you can't even see it on David's list with a magnifying glass!  So I thought I might just pray that someone would accidentally put one on craigslist for $5.00 and we could buy it real quick. 

 :: In the Garden::
 My mama made some beautiful for me.  She has green thumbs.  Lots of them.  And I love it every time I see it.  

 ::Around the House::
 Karissa has been painting for me for her summer job.  Paint is amazing.  

 ::One of My Favorite Things::
 Iced mocha.  Not deep and eternal, but true.

::The Kids::
 They're the best thing about me, no doubt about it. God is teaching me how to get out of the way and let them be who He made them.  And to stay in the way in the right ways.  But mostly, to stay out of the way.  It's a weird thing I never anticipated in motherhood.

:: The Man of the House ::
 He is reading.  Shocker.  He is preparing for a big strategic planning meeting tomorrow with the Ministerial Association of our town, of which he is the president (that's not his title, but I can't remember what it is.)

::A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week::
Another deep breath.  Prepare for women's meetings in Alabama.  Pack for Alabama camp and  Band Camp (back-to-back-and-overlapping). Sell and get rid of the last litter of puppies.  Etc., etc. etc. and please bring me coffee.

:: Love this Quote! ::

:: A Picture from our world::
Okay. So I am, at the moment, TOTALLY FREAKED OUT because I cannot view the thumbnails for any of the thousands of pictures on my computer.  I recently had some bad viruses and my computer spent some time in the PC hospital.  So I hope whatever is wrong isn't permanent.  Or I will cry.  And wail.  And bash my head.  

So....I randomly clicked on a random picture (which I could not view) and this is what came up.  I kinda like it.  It's Christian eating an apple (as usual) while the kids did crafts on the front porch this summer. 

This week in pictures!

Daybook :: 2.2.16

i am listening to ;: the quiet of both littles napping.  and this.

i am thankful for :: my calendar.  it keeps me together.

i am pondering ::  another extended family member from my mother's family died suddenly and tragically this week.  That makes about 14 unnatural deaths in that side of the family alone within about the span of my lifetime.  It unsettles me. Why do some families only know the grief of grandparents who die after long, full lives.  And other families know tragedy after tragedy after tragedy.  I may never understand.

i am remembering :: that I used to *think* I was busy when we moved here - I had 3 kids, ages 0, 1 and 3 and David was gone much of the time to Chicago.  If I only knew....

i am looking forward to/dreaming of  ::  a big, deep, fluffy snow!! and snow days.  and snow men.  and sledding.  and forts.  I'm mad at that stupid groundhog and I'm just sure he's wrong.

i am reading :: The House That Cleans Itself.  I hate the title.  It sounds like a fairy tale.  Really, it's not.  It's a book with some incredible insights about setting up a house to fit a family.  This is my 2nd time reading it - reading the revised version this time.

i am cooking ::  Just worked on my February menu plan.  Trying to eat out of the freezer and cabinets this month.  Then I plan to begin emeals again.

i am thinking ::  that this day has been productive so far, but not in the way I expected.

i am creating ::  an amazing command wall for my desk hallway.  I found a major element it needed yesterday.  will start putting it all together soon!

i am hoping and praying :: about some staffing positions we need to fill at the school.  So thankful that God knows the right decision...

outside my window ::  not too long ago, it was a big hailstorm!  loud and long.  marble sized.

towards rhythm and beauty ::  i spent some time updating my calendar and organizing my brain today.  I love my organizing times.  They make me feel ready.

to live the life ::  i have had to apologize to the kids a couple of times lately.  I am aware that the older they get, the more delicate our interaction becomes.  It requires a grownup to raise kids.  : )

in the garden :: front yard is cleaned out and good to go for the rest of winter.  The backyard needs some tidying.  I discovered that branches cut from our evergreen trees in the back will stay very nicely if poked down in to winter pots of dirt!

around the house ::  slowly catching up from the new baby fog, Christmas chaos and sickness slump. Feeling on top of things again.

of  my favorite things :: my new sonos speakers.  I knew in my heart they would make our home more homey. I was right.

the kids ::
Kayla is absolutely ecstatic about some of the book series she's been reading.  She is doing a great job at her new job in our dog business.  It has taken a huge amount of daily pressure off of me so that I can focus my energies elsewhere.
Karissa has done some really cool DIY projects.  My favorite of her recent projects is what she did to one of the old broken school chairs.  She took it apart, painted it silver/chalkboard, and recovered the upholstry with black and white polka dot cloth.  It's adorable.  (and yes...my daughter does duck-lip selfies.  I pick my battles...)
Caiden is in a reprieve from OCD episodes. I'm so thankful.  He is just starting his basketball season and is totally pumped.
Corin seems to be needing more sleep, in general.  He is getting to play a little with Caiden's team.  Here is a message he wrote on our kitchen chalkboard.  *love*  (God loves you.  you are in his image.  You are spesel to God.)
Christian has discovered big-boy legos.  I love to watch him build things.  He is also doing well with potty training.  He frequently sings to himself while he is playing - everything from hymns to contemporary worship to Christmas songs.
Carson is rolling over, has 2 teeth, and is absolutely delightful.  He's an easy baby and how thankful I am.

Annie is our new Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  She is about 10 weeks old now.  (I'm losing track of time).  We love her to pieces.  She got stepped on and has a broken leg with a cast.  It's pretty pathetic looking, but she manages very well.

the man ::
He is enjoying teaching a GBS online class. He was re-elected as pastor here on Sunday.  I love watching him respond in quick obedience as God chips away and grows him.

this week :: every day is full.  my to-do list is overflowing.  life is good.

this quote ::

Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.                      ~ James Allen

this picture ::  Just found this little cluster of old black and whites in my photo history...kinda makes my heart hurt.

Gift of joy...

Pure Rose...

These sisters.....

Caiden,  not too many years ago - 
I cannot believe how much he looks like Christian!
the grandpa wolf look

The days are long, but the years are short....

Well-dressed pillows

Karissa and I have been experimenting with covering pillows with old winter sweaters. The tan one was no-sew and karissa sewed the red one.

Winter Night Daybook 1.18.16

Yellow pools of streetlight, a dusting of snow.  A deeply frigid night.


The sound of a car passing outside my window
The fan in the next room
A silent. sleeping house (it's late)
David talking on the phone, getting out of bed, dressing in his suit to head to the Emergency Room to see someone from church.  (Can I just say here that people who say Pastors don't have "real jobs"  simply do. not. get. it.)

God's current, up-to-date, painful digging in my life.  These words from one of my favorite songs come instantly to mind:

"Each time His purging cleanses deeper
I'm not sure that I'll survive
Yet the strength in growing weaker
Keeps my hungry soul alive."
~ The Refiner's Fire, by Steve Green

I couldn't say it better.


The balance between rest and work, doing and being -  in reference to our relationship with Christ.  We rest in Him.  We accept that we have nothing, are nothing, do NOTHING of value apart from Him.  And yet - He asks us to do.  I admit that I am working on a deeper move towards being, rather than doing.  And so when He asks me to "do" - I have to be very purposeful about framing it through absolute value found in "being".   I am not there yet.

Tonight, I spent some time thanking Abba for such a wonderful, happy, warm childhood.  I don't take it for granted. I cherish the memories.

Spring break away and alone with my husband and kids.  David and I have always gotten just as much good out of looking forward to and remembering a trip as we have on the trip itself.  It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Feeling very tempted to do emeals again.  I am finally out of freezer meals.  Time to restock.

That my feet are absolutely freezing.  I need to:
1.  Buy more socks.  Fuzzy, thick ones.
2.  Winter-wrap these old windows.  The whole house.  All 25-30 of them. It's a job I don't relish.

Updating my desk and office command center wall.  Our Walmart is out of normal chalkboard paint.  Bummer.

You know audiobooks are at the top of our list of favorite things for growing beautiful minds.  But speaking of favorite things, the kids get stuck in a rut listening to their favorites over and over.  So I am moving towards making a day (probably Sundays) when they have to listen to something new.

Flylady's zones are still the best idea ever.

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