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

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.

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Winter Night Daybook 1.18.16

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.

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Have You Had Your Frog Today?

Image+-+<b>Eat</b>+<b>a+frog</b>.jpg
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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.  

BUT

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.  

Here I go.




... your job to <b>eat</b> two <b>frogs</b>, it's best to <b>eat</b> the biggest one first
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2 weeks for the price of one

This week has been such a doozy I actually had to check my calendar to be sure it had really only been one week this week! Literally...I'm serious! Monday was the first day of school and I ended up in the ER with a crazy bad bladder infection. Lots of pain..as in 6 centimeters labor pain. Came home on antibiotics and That night corin woke me up upchucking. It has worked its way through all 8 of us. On top of an especially busy ministry and home duties week. While David preached this morning I was at home watching online and praying he wouldn't have to rush off the platform! Fun times.

In the midst of the mountains of extra sick laundry I tried very hard to be productive. Still have quite a lot of Christmas cheer to put away. But I did get the boys' clothes sorted and decluttered and made some other progress.

I am trying these days to reframe my attitude about the sheer volume of homekeeping tasks.  At this stage in our lives, I cannot always have everything done. By far. It feels defeating and I do quite a lot of agonizing . So Ive been thinking that if my 60-yr-old self could talk to my 38-yr-old self, I would tell me not to waste so much energy worrying over what I cant get done. Celebrate what I do get done. Relish the 5 seconds per decade that I feel caught up. Keep being present with my family. And rest in my priorities.

So im working on it. Thanks, 60-yr-old self, for the powerful perspective reminder. You sure did an awesome job on your kids and your home and your marriage in those crazy years. You rock.

In other news...how awesomely cool is it that I can blog laying flat on my back in bed with the flu? These are the good Ole days.

We only have one bathroom in this big rambling house and it is waaaay downstairs. So during times of illness we keep buckets or bowls handy. Isn't this the cutest one ever? David thinks I'm the weirdest that I just took a picture of my just-in-case bowl.  : )

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December 22 -- that Christmas feeling

( Hey! I DID do one post in 2015...i just never published it! Found it in my drafts. Waddyaknow.)

Today was our first free day after all of the church and school events. We slept in, went to the library, went to the dollar tree, watched a movie together, played a game, then watched the grinch.

The fireplace and candles were lit in the living room..soft Christmas music playing on Fred (our chromecast) and it had that peaceful Christmas  feeling. Finally. I rested on the couch by the fire in my pj's and tried out a new relaxation app.

I purposefully ignored most of the housework. We don't have many days at home this year and I realize that if I'm going to have downtime with the kids I'm going to have to do it on purpose. So I only did the dishes and one load of laundry and let the rest be. It was so worth it.

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MIA Blogger

I absolutely cannot believe it has been 14 months since I have blogged!  I didn't do one post in 2015.

                                         Not one. single. post.

It makes me sad, actually.  Putting words on paper is one of my most basic needs.  It helps me to remember.  To sort.  To find perspective.  To figure out what I think.  To find my voice. To be who I am.

But 2015 kicked me in the booty.  Not gonna lie.  It was tough.

                                     Good, Awesome, Miraculous.   But tough.

I don't need to describe the journey right now, but I suspect bits and pieces will wiggle their way out if I stay true to my need to write this year.


I love January. It feels fresh and cozy and hopeful.  I love the planning and the list making and the goal-renewing.  That's my version of  "new year resolutions."  It's a return to the goals and habits I've been working on for like ever.

So one of my goals in the "Me" category is blogging.  I need it for me.

For very good reasons that I wouldn't change for anything, I have set aside many of the things that I most love.  I have simplified and simplified and simplified until sometimes I feel that what is left of me is....well, not much.  I feel lost in a pile of laundry,  housework and diapers.

But when I write and record and remember, it helps me to stay in touch with me a little more.

So here I am.  Writing it down.

Another thing has happened to me that I'm not sure how to handle.

I have gotten scared.  Something about the way facebook puts everyone's every single move out there for thousands to see....something about the way we respond to one another online.  Makes me feel like it's a mile wide and an inch deep.  I'm scared of others, and maybe more scared of myself.

I believe fully and wholeheartedly in being authentic.  But in the process of trying to balance the oddity of  massive online sharing, I have lost a sense of freedom.

I realize that I miss the early days of blogging.  Before facebook bullied its big self into our lives and took over everything.  Blogging was like re-discovering one another.  We could be real and share and get to know one another.  I sound idealistic, but it really was different.  Do you remember?  Blogs didn't have a flashing ad every 3 lines.  And you had to read on purpose.  You went to a specific blog because it had something to say to you.  It was deeper and more personal.

Now I'm rambling.  And my sick boy needs something for his tummy.  And my bakergirl needs help separating her eggs.

But it's good to be back.

I think I'm glad that everyone is hanging out over at the facebook party.  I almost feel safe here.

Hello again.


...scenes from 2015...


JANUARY 2015 :: Celebrating David's graduation (which actually happened Dec. 2014)

FEBRUARY 2015 :: Hiking the Grand Canyon as a family of 8 (Carson had a smooth ride in utero.) 

APRIL 2015 :: Our annual family Passover meal

Spring 2015 Mantel in the new house

AUGUST 2015  :: Baby Carson's arrival (8.21.15)

OCTOBER 2015 :: First family pics in forever
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