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 ::
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. ~
this picture :: Just found this little cluster of old black and whites in my photo history...kinda makes my heart hurt.
Gift of joy...
Caiden, not too many years ago -
I cannot believe how much he looks like Christian!
OUTSIDE MY WINDOW:
Yellow pools of streetlight, a dusting of snow. A deeply frigid night.
I'M LISTENING TO:
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.)
I AM THANKFUL FOR:
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.
I AM PONDERING:
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.
I AM REMEMBERING:
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.
I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO/DREAMING OF:
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.
FROM THE KITCHEN:
Feeling very tempted to do emeals again. I am finally out of freezer meals. Time to restock.
I AM THINKING:
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.
I AM CREATING:
Updating my desk and office command center wall. Our Walmart is out of normal chalkboard paint. Bummer.
TOWARDS RAISING HUNGRY LEARNERS:
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.
TOWARDS RHYTHM AND BEAUTY:
Flylady's zones are still the best idea ever.
Sometimes it's called procrastination. Or just being busy. Or having priorities straight. There are lots of reasons we have frogs hanging around. We put off the things we dread most. Or the ones that seem the most daunting, or not as urgent, or not as necessary, or things that will be frustrating or require special tools - or whatever.
Anyway...I have a whole list of frogs staring me in the face with their beady eyes. And I've started chewing. Kinda rubbery and bitter, to be honest. But I made a huge dent in one this morning and victory is sweet.
And it really does seem to be true that it is helpful to eat your frog first thing in the morning. I'm a "morning routine" girl, and I know there are certain things that I need to get done every day in order to maintain any semblance of order around here.
These days, my "morning routine" actually takes all morning! Make bed...dress...kids to school...breakfast...dishes....clean kitchen...laundry...feed and change babies...naps and so forth. What (in other stages of life) could be an hour or less morning routine for me is actually, discouragingly, an all-morning thing. So I have adapted my every day routine philosophy. Sometimes, you need to postpone some of the daily stuff to get something done for tomorrow.
In other words, my plate is fairly full with the basic tasks of meal prep, laundry maintenance, daily cleaning, etc. If I'm not careful, I get so busy keeping up with the daily tasks, I never get around to the "future" stuff. Things that help keep the future smoother...like deeper cleaning, sorting and decluttering clothes and toys, keeping clothes sizes updated and culled for 6 kids, planning and working ahead on projects, deadlines and events that are coming up.
So I have worked "future" tasks into my daily schedule, but life has a way of happening. And kids, dishes, laundry, meals and church have a tendency to fill in and overflow the space.
And then I find myself facing about a hundred thank-you notes that are getting embarrassingly late. Or the deadline on troubleshooting that computer problem gets frighteningly close. Or the season threatens to pass without me doing even one of the fun decorating projects I have planned.
So what's a girl to do?
Leave the laundry. Eat the frog.
The laundry will get done. I promise. Everyone will eventually start whining that they don't have any underwear.
But frogs have a tendency to grow into large monsters. Or to hop away forever. Or both!
Some frogs aren't big looming BULLFROG projects. Some are those little pesky tiny green tree frogs - like a daily task that we tend to put off in the mornings that sortof follows us around all day. Feeding the dogs on a muddy day. (I'll clean a hundred toilets and sort all the closets to put off going out there in the mud.) Or maybe exercising. (Everyone knows the hardest step is the one out the door.) Or getting online and facing the budget numbers head on. (It's so much easier to swipe and pray.)
Catch the frog. Pin him down. Hold your nose. Eat the sucker.