Friday, February 28, 2014

Date Night

Here's my Friday situation.

I have a serious case of the I don't want to's.

Here is what I want to do that I don't want to do.

What I want to do is spruce up the house and make it all warm and cozy like, just like the picture above.  Get things in order, feather dusted, vacuumed, and smelling fresh.


Because the boys got the invite to Poppy and Nanny-cita's house for the evening.  After today, I will have four more days of being pregnant, thus wrapping up my ten year tour of expanding and deflating.

The last time we attempted a date we ended up at a local pizza joint, drove through Starbucks on the way home, and ended up sitting on the couch doing a whole lot of nothing.  It was very exciting.  Yawn.  (this is probably obvious, but I have turned out to be very boring company lately).

I've got a tentative plan brewing in my mind about how to be a fun person to be around tonight.  First, I am going to wear real clothes and jewelry.  I have a firm resolve that I will not, under any circumstance, allow myself to shop from his side of the closet tonight.  I've already got my hair and make-up done so we are half way there.  I'm thinking after we drop the boys off we can do nothing less than a Mexican fiesta.

You see where I'm going with this?  Steak fajitas, guacamole, pico, chili con queso, imaginary margarita...are you with me?

So the other phase of the date night would include coming home to a tidy house, clean pair of sheets and pj's, vacuum lines in the carpet, orange vanilla Trapp candle, fireplace, and my new book and or a magazine.

Date night could very well turn into Sonic and the couch but I am hopeful that I can press on toward the goal.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

God Spoke An Audible Word To Me

Yesterday morning I got the neatest unexpected gift.

God spoke an audible word to me through my five year old.

Before I tell you what he said, I've got to back up and give you the background.

At some point last year I began thinking about the happy, joyful side of God's heart.  It is not part of His character that I think on often and yet I know it is part of who He is.

The moment I found out we were having another child, I had one simple request.  It wasn't for specifics on looks or health.  It wasn't for any type of perfection.  It was simply that this child would reflect the joy and laughter of the Father.  So for months I've prayed this over our daughter, that her life would reflect the joy and laughter of her Creator.

Yesterday morning I was laying in bed praying before I got up.  As I was praying, I was once again praying for our daughter's life to reflect the joy and laughter of God's heart.  It was as I was praying that the most unusual, amazing thing happened.

My five year old silently crawled up into the bed with me.  He is not a snuggler with me.  Now, him with his Daddy is another story.  That boy will snuggle his Daddy all day long, but he is not typically affectionate with me, so the sheer fact that he was quietly snuggling me was precious.

As we laid in the quiet, I kept praying silently and was enjoying being cheek to baby soft cheek with my littlest fella.  It was in the quiet that my child uttered one word. 


"What did you just say?" I asked.


"Did you just say Laughter?"

"Yes.  What does that mean Mama?"

"Well, laughter is when your heart is filled with joy and you laugh.  It is a happy thing."

That was it.  That was the end of the short conversation.  I had been laying in the quiet of the morning praying about joy and laughter and God sent my five year old son to crawl in bed and speak the word laughter into the quiet morning.  He didn't even know what the word he uttered meant.

Sometimes the way God speaks so personally to us blows me away.  He knows I've been anxious about having a daughter.  He knows that for a decade I have raised boys and that is where my comfort zone lies.  All these months He has heard my request over this new life and yesterday morning He decided to surprise me and speak the word out loud into the quiet.

"As faith continues to speak, God continues to give."

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

"Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

"Have we come to the point where we have met God in His everlasting NOW?"

"True faith relies on God and believes before seeing."

"Faith that believes it will see"

"We will laugh at seemingly impossible situations while we watch with delight to see how God is going to open a path through our Red Sea."

Hebrews 11:1
Mark 11:24
Streams In The Desert, February 17th

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Late Nights and Good Memories

My little crew have all come down with colds. May I just say that having "the common cold" leaves you feeling like death? It seems like a simple enough plague to come down with.  No prescription required and people don't run from you when they hear you've got one.  Well, I think it is sheer torture.  I have officially decided that I absolutely hate the way I feel when I have a cold.  It is a terrible feeling to not be able to breathe through my nose.

As disgusting as I think nose spray is, I had finally had it and broke down and got something to help me breathe.  The boys won't have anything to do with it, but it has helped me a lot.  There is a 3 day limit before you become an addict, so I only have one more night of enjoying the benefits of being able to breathe via this remedy.  We've been making the most of it.  I've come up with a little concoction that helps us feel better.

  • hot shower to breathe in the steam
  • Vapor Rub on neck and chest when you get out
  • nasal spray (gross, I know)
  • Sudaphed to help with congestion
  • Tylenol
  • good Kleenex with lotion
  • lots of ice water
  • sleep as much as you can
  • sleep with a humidifier (we are using the Vapo Steam and it fills the air and makes you feel so much better both while you sleep and when you wake up)
  • lots of extra snuggles  (we made the kids a pallet on our bedroom floor and we are all camping out in our room at night, sharing the humidifier)
Between staying up late watching the Olympics and camping out together in our room, we've been making some good memories.  I am reading the boys Amy Carmichael while we're all piled in our little campout room at night.  There is nothing like going on a journey together as a family to take a peek into the life of a faith filled person.

    As much as I would never wish to have a crew with colds, I will say that we've been having some sweet family time because of it.  There are many things I love about the homeschooling lifestyle and staying up late sharing life as a family is at the top of the list.  We are treasuring these last days before our little baby comes.  I can't sleep a wink at night and it's cool.  I'm so excited about what is around the corner I can't stand it!
    Yesterday we graduated from the high risk doctor.  We don't have any guarantees that our little one will be perfectly healthy, but I have so much peace that she has been formed just as she should.  She weighs 6 pounds and has hair!  This makes me so excited!

    I am having to stay off my feet due to high blood pressure.  It's not bad at all.  We've been doing school from the couch and my bed and my hubby has been all hands on deck. 

    The only other thing I wanted to talk to you about was my favorite costumes and skaters.  I love Gracie Gold and Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

    I adored this performance so much.  She is gorgeous and the song selection from My Fair Lady was perfect.

    When I make my Olympic Ice Skating debut, my dress will be elegant like Meryl's.  Flowy, graceful, sequined, and in an ice blue color since I think that looks best against the backdrop of white ice.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Reset Button

This morning I started out with good intentions.

When I woke up, I pulled the covers up and snuggled into the warm sheets for a few minutes longer.  We've been staying up late watching the Olympics and four of us have come down with little colds, so laying in bed felt really good this morning.  As I laid there in the first moments of the day, I prayed that God would help us order our day in a way that would honor Him.

When I got up things started unraveling pretty quickly.  I'll spare you the details, but the day was not getting off to a good start.

I've learned that I can't give out what I don't have.  With that in mind, I made some breakfast and went into my room to read and pray for a little while.  As I was sitting there with my box of Kleenex feeling so crummy, I was mentally going through my list of things that typically help me get back on track.

For my Bible reading I am in Jeremiah, but today I was more in a Psalms mood so I opened up and started reading.  I was so surprised and so blessed by one verse.  This one verse was so encouraging to me and it completely re-routed my focus.

"For I will not trust in my bow, nor will my sword save me."  Ps. 44:6

Those words helped me hit the reset button.  While it is true that there are certain things I can do to intentionally, proactively fill my cup, my real trust and strength do not come from my efforts.  They come from looking to Him for my strength.  It is very easy for me to trust in "my bow and my sword,"  those things I know energize and refresh me.

Today I won't get it all checked off the list.  I can't.  Hitting my reset button helped me remember that God is in control of it all today.  I don't have to trust in my own efforts.  They won't save me.

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, His song will be with me.  To God, my exceeding joy, the God of my strength, His grace is poured out upon us.

Monday, February 10, 2014

How I do Flylady

Years ago when I started the Flylady cleaning system, I dove right in.  You can read the Getting Started article and it will set you heading in the right direction.  Just a warning-if you sign up for the email group you'll get a lot of emails!  I liked that in the early days because they kept me motivated.

I've noticed over the years that I use her system in different ways depending on the season of life we are in.  There have been times when I religiously decluttered 15 minutes a day and spent an hour each week "Blessing My House"...aka cleaning it.

This is not that season.  I have always had to modify the system when we were in busier times.  Today I wanted to share with you what I'm doing now.  So, I guess it was about three weeks ago when I got super overwhelmed with how dirty my house felt.  These last 8 months I haven't had the energy to keep my house like I would like to.  You don't understand, for me, dirt on a baseboard drives me crazy!  It has been very, very hard for me to let it go.  My home is my sanctuary.  I am here twenty four seven and I function best when it is in order and sparkling.

Right now I basically have two choices.  Do nothing at all because I can't do it perfectly, or make a game plan and do what I can.  Three weeks ago I decided to go with option what I can.  I went to Flylady's website and checked out her "Zones" for the month.  It is her way of dividing up your home and each week gets a different cleaning focus.

On Living Room week, I spent about 15-20 minutes in that room (and I only worked in that room one day!).  The only things I did that day were: feather dust the blinds, raised them and Windexed the window, Pledged the furniture, Windexed the glass and vacuumed the area.  It was a quick clean in only one area.  Girl.  The entire room smelled so fresh when I finished.  There was still an entire house that needed attention, but just the knowledge that that one room had been tended to made me feel so good.

When I finished, I sat down in my tidy living room and ate some chips and dip and enjoyed!

Last week I was in the kitchen.  I only worked in my kitchen one day last week-for maybe 30 minutes.  I dusted the blinds, Windexed the window, and quickly wiped down the cabinet doors.  That is it.  There was more that could've been done but that was all I had in me last week.  Guess what?  My kitchen has felt so much better this week!

This week is the bathroom and one extra room.  I chose the boys room for my one extra room.  All I have done in their room this week is sort through their clothing drawers to make sure everything is in the appropriate place.  I cleaned out about 5 pairs of too small pj's.  And guess what?  I feel so great about some organized drawers in one room!

Don't be afraid to glance at her system to get a framework to work in, and then modify it if you have to.  Jotting the focus down on my calendar helps me remember where to spend extra time that week.  Even if I only work on the area one day, it still makes a difference.  It adds up.

And try not to be too hard on yourself if you can't get it all done.  For me right now, I'm just in a slower season for awhile.  It truly has been the grace of God that has allowed me to stop and enjoy and be content with the little bit that I am doing.  He is the only one who brings peace within our borders.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Game Plan

The Mr. went on a discipleship retreat with the menfolk from church this weekend.  Between me and you, I was torn about him going.  Sure, I was all smiles and encouraging him to go if it would be life-giving for him, but on the inside I was bummed!  It was all selfishness on my part.  I hate staying by myself, I'm a big ol' baby.  When he said he wanted to go, I was all, GREAT!  But on the inside I was like, "Well Shoot!"  I decided I needed to get a little game plan in order so we'd have some things to look forward to over the weekend.  As things usually do, we veered from the plan a lot, but I've learned (or am learning) to roll with the punches.

The plan for Saturday was to get out on the town.  I didn't know what we were going to do, and I didn't care, we were just going to get dressed and go.  What I didn't plan on was waking up Saturday feeling tired and icky.  We stayed in most of the day.  I did manage to drag us to a rummage sale for a few minutes looking exactly like this...

This would be a good point for me to interject my sincerest apologies for all of you who have to see me in this same sweatshirt for the next month.  I am aware that a small hole is developing on the lower front.  If you're OK with it, so am I.  I do wash it every other day{ish}.

We did go pick up Mamaw and headed to Dairy Queen for lunch to take advantage of the $5 lunch deal.  OK, this is a really great deal.  For $5 you get a combo meal (cheeseburger, chili dog or chicken strips) and a sundae.  For $1 more you can upgrade to a small Blizzard.  AND...if you are full after your meal like we were, they'll give you a Blizzard coupon to come back another time for your ice cream.  It's like two outings in one.  Cha-Ching.

Saturday was so rainy and icky, we went home and stayed under blankets watching movies all afternoon.  The boys went back to play video games and I feel asleep on the couch for a good hour.  Accidentally falling asleep on the couch is the best nap you'll ever get.  It's the kind that leaves you needing a snack of Fritos and a Coke when you wake up just so you can come back to earth.
So, around 5pm our plans changed again.  The Mr. called and said we might have winter weather coming our way.  Dad gum it.  That meant we needed to run to the store, in the rain, to stock up, because Big Mama will not be caught in snow without good vittles.  We threw clothes back on {naturally we were already in pj's}.  We are flying through Kroger and a sweet worker stops us. 
"How cute, your little boy has his pants on inside out AND backwards."
And so it was.

We made it home, all wet and cold, ate pizza, and I threw the dudes in a bath.  They had a great surprise when they got out, Dad was home!
(the bottom pic is blurry, they are never still enough for the camera!)

That's pretty much our weekend in review.  Last night we had a great time "watching" the game with friends from church.  We had some seriously good food.  Buffalo wings, buffalo dip, quesadillas, veggie tray, cheese dip and salsa, 7 layer dip, potato soup, taco soup, cookies, drinks...for a minute I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.  The heartburn that kept me up all night reminded me that no.  No, I was still here.

We have had a slow start to our Monday morning.  I'm heading off to fix lunches and give lessons.  And maybe eat another Tums.  Or two.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A few food related things

As you know this is a big food week.  You know, with the Super Bowl and everything.  I was prepared for tomorrow.  Chili with all the fixin's for lunch, naps, and game time.  I'm making Buffalo Ranch Dip with Frito Scoops and quesadillas for our potluck heavy appetizer party.  What I wasn't ready for, however, was the wintry mix on the radar.

I take snow/ice very seriously when it comes to food.  I'm the girl you make fun of and I'm at peace with it.  It's just that you can't be snowed in without some seriously good food to eat.  This is how I keep my figure as you probably already figured out.

I take snow days so seriously that I'd be willing to dawn the drizzling rain on a Saturday night with all my boys with me while wearing not a stitch of make-up and showing all kinds of evidence of spending a lazy Saturday at home.  This would not be a big deal except for the fact that everyone in my town was also at Kroger.

It mattered not.  The fridge had to be stocked with the good stuff.  Here is a short line up of the weeks food offerings.  French dip sandwiches, chicken soft tacos, beef stew, and taco soup.  We also have the fixin's for Rice Krispy Treats and Hershey's Championship Chocolate Chip Bars.

We made a marathon trip through the store, scoring a week's worth of groceries in under 30 minutes AND I didn't run into anybody!  We picked up Pizza Hut on the way home and are ready for the weather.  Bring it!

My teacher friends hate me for wishing it, but I'd be so happy if we got snowed in at least one day.  Last year we totally got the shaft on snow days and this year we have only had one measly ice day.  Psh.  I need real snow! Is that too much to ask?

What are your favorite snow day foods?