He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9



Daybook - August 31

::Outside My Window::

Early golden sunlight.  There was an amazing faded-rose-colored full morning moon over the cornfield just before the slanted gold light struck the corn.

::I am Listening to::

::I am Thankful For::
 A Christian school and godly teachers who help my kids love school.  We are very, very blessed.

::I am Wondering::
 What it must feel like to be a Christian parent with grown adult children who act very foolishly and display no respect for God or biblical wisdom or even common sense.  It's almost unbearable to imagine the grief of watching your grown children choose to turn their back on God's wisdom.  Talk about desperate prayer.  How those parents must groan in prayer every day....

:: Some of what I've been reading::
 Not reading much.  Some about politics.  And a little from the other 2 books I have going.  I just haven't made myself get to bed early enough to read lately.

::From the Kitchen::
Absolutely nothing to report. Nothing, I tell ya.  Pretty sure we've been eating, but not sure what.

::I am Thinking::
 That I really need some extra sleep.  I have had some nights of very frustrating insomnia and it has caught up with me.  I finally got wise and started taking my "herbal sleep."  My sleep has been so much better, but the damage was already done and I am in a bonafide sleep deficit.  My brain is mushy and my head heavy today.  The gentle crooning of this Nat King Cole music that my itunes just scrolled to probably isn't helping to boost the energy level, either.

::I am Creating::
Weekly parent handouts to send home with my students.  I think I maybe got the idea from one of my Kindermusik training instructors.  Some of my subjects:

1   Welcome letter - communication
2   Method Books and wobbly-tower learning
3   How to make practice a habit
          Is amount of time or consistency more important?
         Practicing with your child
         What about prizes?  Is that bribing?
7      Quality of instrument (piano & violin)
     Momentum…how fast?  How well?
     How do I know if my kid is progressing normally?
1      How do I know if I should let my kid quit?
        Should we double study?
1     Performance pain & agony
      Holidays & summers…to practice or not to practice?

:: Towards raising hungry learners::
 Feeling motivated to get back to a read-aloud time with my kids.  Not sure if my motivation has yet reached the level of action.  But it is coming along.  And soon, I believe, action shall follow. : ) Now that all the kids are sleeping in the same room I am considering having our read-aloud after all the nightly routine, after they've been tucked in and are squelching their giggles and wiggles.  They would be a captive audience, and I think it would calm them. We'll see.  It's an idea.

I am listening to:   Nurturing Competent Commuicators. from the Institute for Excellence in Writing.  (You have to quickly create a username in order to listen.)  Interesting comments about the free audio download session here

::Towards Rhythm and Beauty::
 About rhythm:   I just love lists.  And oh, how I need them!  The more I have to do, the more my brain jumbles.  Even the act of writing out the day helps to put my brain in order and give me the next thing.  I have a weekly/daily checklst-schedule (which I adore) that even includes the little things like doing girls' hair, putting Corin down for nap, etc...those things that don't seem to count but add up to a lot of time in a mommy's day.  I am not using that right now, because I am not in normal maintenance mode with all these projects going on.  So I've been just writing out the tasks of the day, assigning (hopefully) reasonable times to them, and starting down the list.  And I highlight things as I move through the list.  I am also faithful to add extra things to the list as I do them just so I can highlight them!  It helps with the what-on-earth-did-I-accomplish-today phenomenon.

On the beauty front: I am trying to be patient. Organization projects are trumping beauty right now. But I have pulled out my Autumn decoration tubs and am reminding myself that after I finish some of these projects I get to decorate, set up our harvest tree and enjoy the fruits of my labor!

::To Live the Life :: 
 David and I have recently been reminded again not to be unwise about sharing our opinions.  Just because we believe something strongly doesn't mean it's just the thing for everyone else.  And even if it is, there is a time and a place and a way to share.  We have also been pondering how to teach that to our kids....We want them to have strong convictions and be the ones influencing, but not in an obnoxious way.

::I am Hoping and Praying::
 For excellent spouses for our kids.  I pray often for the parents who are raising my future sons and daughters.  (Maybe it's you!?)   I pray for godly wisdom, and that they will shape those kids into the people our kids will need as life partners.  I also pray that if any of my future sons-and-daughters-in-law are not from solid biblical-teaching homes.  Or even from terrible homes with difficult circumstances that they are enduring right now...that God will work His unspeakable grace in their lives to make them strong and compassionate ministers and partners for my kids.

 :: In the Yard/Garden::
 Nothing I really want to talk about.  I need to winterize the pool and pack it away.  ick.  I've kept thinking I would keep it up for this last month of heat (yesterday was a scorcher!) 

I'm anxious to get some mums growing around here and fill the window boxes with autumn bounty.  First things first.  (see next item...)

 ::Around the House::
 Baby clothes abound!  I pulled out the "General Newborn" and "Baby Boy" tubs from storage.  I am up to my eyeballs in boy clothes - sizes preemie through age 7!   I have been sorting and culling and downsizing and labeling and fitting it all together like a puzzle.  When we moved here our family split the closed-in front porch into two sections.  One is a tiny bedroom, the other is a tiny front entry.  So....I'm (bravely, I think)  fitting the toys and clothes and belongings of 3 boys into a bathroom-sized room.

I have a bassinet in pieces on the floor, waiting for me to finish putting it together again after over 3 years!  And burpers and bibs and feeding supplies and the other many little things about baby-keeping. 
I'm at that stage in the "progress mess", as my friend Liz calls it,  that I want to just throw it all out the front door and let my boys just outgrow their clothes then run naked the rest of their lives.  But I am pressing on....knowing that I don't want to be doing this in October, November, or December (all busy months) before baby Christian arrives.  So I am reminding myself how thrilled I will soon be that the preemie/newborn clothes are all washed and sorted into their bins when the next few months arrive with all of their travels and activities and holidays.

And there is something so exciting about holding up a baby-doll sized outfit and realizing that soon his little teensy behind will be in those clothes!!  We're a silly bunch when it comes to babies - crooning together over preemie clothes. (The babies around here start out very teensy.)  We are NOT feeling patient about getting our hands on this baby.

(Corin as a newborn in Daddy's hands)

 ::One of My Favorite Things::

 CRAIGSLIST.....(and strollers)!! I have been listing & selling - downsizing our world in a pretty big way.  It's such a thrill to actually get money out of the stuff we are done with.  I was so happy to walk back inside last night with $75 or a stroller that I paid $80 for years ago.  It was a really, really awesome stroller....but we've streamlined our stroller situation.  (I love strollers like some ladies love purses....variety, color, functionality.  I'd probably keep 3 or 4 strollers if I could. Um.  Actually I did.  But not anymore.  I digress.)  I've sold the boys' toddler firetruck bed (in addition to the girls' bed), some bikes, all of my scrapbooking supplies in my super-cool scrapbooking tote... and other things.  I'm on a craigslist roll!  I have two people coming today for more purchases. 

::The Kids::

 Kayla:  I'm enjoying her sense of humor so much.  She gets adult humor and sarcasm and laughs at my jokes.  I just love that.

Karissa: A boy likes her at school.  It is a new experience for her. I have long suspected that she would be the boy-crazy one.  We have talked about boys and things, and she knows that he will move on to another girl soon and she just needs to be a nice friend and go about her day - but without being rude. She actually got a bit of a sick stomach from worrying what she should do if he actually gives her the expensive gift he promised her for Christmas.  (I assured her his attention would move elsewhere by then and if not, told her what she can do.)   I hope she continues to keep her head about her.  Oh, how I dread the day she likes one back....

Caiden:  Continues to talk people's heads off.  

Corin: Is dealing better with the kids leaving every morning than I expected. There have been times in the past when he has really cried as everyone leaves him.  But we are doing some things together and he has adapted very well to being home alone with mommy all day.  This semester I have about 10-hour lesson teaching days on Thursdays and Corin is with me most of that time.  I was a bit nervous about keeping him occupied all that time while I concentrate on my students, but he did very well.  I was relieved.  


::A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week::

Looking forward to making lots of downsizing/organizing progress today and tomorrow, having my father-in-law and brother-in-law here for Sunday dinner, then our annual Labor Day church picnic on Monday.  It is a sacred thing, this picnic.  It would take something very drastic to get my husband to miss it.  Very, very fun.  Volleyball playing, Trampoline jumping, Horseback riding, Music playing, Cornhole throwing, and lots of great food!
Horseback riding a few years ago - Labor Day church picnic at the Wilhelm Farm.

:: Love this Quote! ::

 Leadership cannot really be taught. It can only be learned. ~ Harold S. Geneen

:: A Picture from our world::

(First day of school August 2012 * Kayla, 5th grade * Karissa, 3rd grade * Caiden, 1st grade)


Happy Birthday, Mom

Mom,  I can't tell you how many times throughout my days I realize how blessed I am to have been raised by such an amazing woman.

  I hear your voice of wisdom as I do laundry (and don't get it out and hung while it's still warm), work on finances, spank bottoms, wash dishes, over-steam veggies, kill flowers, shop without coupons. Pretty sure I'll never understand quite how you did it all.

Thanks for teaching me that:

the "D" word is not an option,

prayer is powerful....(how many times have we stopped right where we are and prayed or gathered in the living room when we hear of a crisis or called each other on 3 speakerphones so we could join in prayer...and oh, the answers!!) 

heat kills vitamins,

heat releases stains (and sets them), 

don't be fake, be real.  Fakeness is yucky.

saving baggies is a good idea because…

the value of a nickel adds up faster than you can imagine,

compound interest is miraculous,

the happiest of homes have a little stash of chocolate somewhere.  (Some things are caught, not taught.  It's a Parsons thing.)

God isn't good because He always heals everyone and works bad things out the way we want them.  He is just good.  No matter what.  That is our foundation.

pay off the card every month or cut it up,

I'm the best mom for my kids,

if all else fails - read the instructions of the Maker, 

Sitting around the table for family meals is priceless.  Absolutely priceless.

you've got to win with the kids before they're three,

"submit" your ideas and your brains to your husband,

 unforgiveness eats up your bones,

the most important part of raising kids is taking care of your marriage,

nutrition is pretty simple: eat it how God made it,

kids will live up to what you expect them to be,
making lifetime family memories is more important than buying fancy new stuff,

people are more important than windows (now I realize...you had US wash your windows! at least the ones that showed),

how to entertain comfortably with popcorn and iced tea or silver and crystal,

when ministry finances are tough - there is always phone book delivery (God often provides through WORK!),

don't buy a new car off the lot (wouldn't even if I could afford it), 

the best home education is to always be teaching (don't think I'll ever forget you teaching us about the rotation of the earth and gravity - spinning that plastic pail of water over your head!),

formula for when you're exhausted and depressed::   sleep, nutrition, water, repeat (just like Elijah),

the coating off pans gets into your guts (saw it for myself!),

family needs to be together,

it's not about money - it's about changing lives,

don't "over parent",

let them play outside and get dirty and ruin clothes,

celebrate life (can't forget dancing in a circle in the 3rd floor bedroom after you finished your master's degree),

teach kids how to work,

serving God just makes sense,

 and so much more... I knew if I got started it would be long. : )

I remember you talking about wanting too hook a hose up to Grandpa Parson's head and somehow be able to get all of the wisdom and knowledge he had gained over his years of living. And I understand that more and more as I get older. But actually, I am amazed at how you have been able to live a life that has consistently taught us and shown us so that we can enjoy the benefits of your learning as you're living it. Your wisdom touches every part of my days.

Thanks for choosing ministry, for choosing Dad (and making each other stay put), for giving me a God who makes sense (and is bigger than the fishbowl), for the happiest childhood and convictions that are practical, for a love for beauty, for expecting me to turn out good and spanking me when I didn't. 

I'm 35, have 5 kids, and I still have a lot to live up to. Always will.

But in spite of all you've taught me - I'm sorry to say, your 3-year-old grandson just pood his pants again while I was writing. : ) Haven't I heard you say so many times, "you win some, you lose some?" I need to send him to your house for a week so you can work your magic.

Love you, Mom. Happy Birthday.

Pictures in this post are of  Mom and Dad's beautiful house, gardens and yard.  It's the kind of place that makes you want to stay awhile.  Classy & elegant, but comfortable, just like my mom.  Very "Sheila".  My brother Garen says her yard is like a park. He's right. 

And this?  Oh...this is just the price I paid for writing this post and not checking on Corin enough.  Guess he paid me back for not doing preschool and reading him his stories yet.   Didn't have time to get a clear shot before he moved.  I think he was trying to protect his behind.  Believe it or not, there's still a little toilet paper left on the roll.  It stretched clear into the living room.   I'll probably have to delete this picture when David sees it because Corin isn't dressed.  I'm hoping the tp covering will count. (picture of unclothed little boy covered in toilet paper has been censored : )


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