Saturday, December 31, 2011

a crooked smile

His delight, enthusiasm....

perseverance...determination... it's all so wonderful to watch.

I see so much more than just a sweet little 1st grader on a pogo stick.
I love these kids so much.

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's all about focus

And, just like that {{*snap*}} I discovered what was wrong.

"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you." -Maori

I had the wrong focus. There were "the issues," the family changes and challenges. I was unsettled...and I focused on that, unwittingly turning away from the things I NEEDED to focus on.

Why was I drained and "unproductive," and generally feeling a down-ness under the surface of joy? Because I stopped taking the steps, that usually come so naturally, towards that joy. I stopped reading the Word regularly, as things started crowding in my mind. I stopped "doing art," and rather focused on the vast amount of laundry that had built up while I was washer-less. (I should've taken smaller steps towards catch-up, and also continued some projects. It's about balance, when will I learn this??)

I wasn't taking joy in the little things. Must get back to it.

Take every thought captive to obey Christ.

I was worrying and, really, no good ever comes from worrying.

Tomorrow, on Christmas Eve, I am going to celebrate. I will celebrate my King's birth, the gift He has given me, and the blessings in my life. I will build forts, and eat yummies, and read His Word. I will do art. And I will laugh. Because God is good, all the time. And He knows my shortcomings better than anyone, and loves me still. He knows the burdens on my heart, and they burden His heart as well. He knows it all, and that is enough.

For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord! And this will be a sign for you : you will find a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Then suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased." Luke 2:11-14

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Have you ever met someone so REAL, that you just wished you could let loose and be like that? To totally step out into the light and still be embraced? To say, "yeah, sometimes I'm supermom...and sometimes I am totally NOT."

That's what I'm feeling. And I'm wondering how many other women feel the same way?

Do you go through spurts making crafts and doing fun projects with your kids 24/7....and then several weeks where you can't muster a single puppet from a paper bag? I do.

One of my best friends (my sister) pointed out the other day that I tend to get snappy when I'm emotionally bothered by something else. **Ding, ding** Well, of course. That makes sense. Even when I'm not thinking about "the issues," it's a battle under the surface. (It's great to have someone who will call me out on it when I'm acting like a jerk.)

I wish sometimes that I could be "real enough" to share things that bother me, without fearing what others will think. I just want to blurt things out sometimes. And still get a hug later.

I'm well aware that I'm being irritatingly vague. Sorry.

Life is good. My camera (yeah, the freakin' awesome one) recently broke, which brought me to tears a few times. We'll get it fixed. We will. Fred said so.

I am so very grateful for my children. My home. The warmth and food. The health. I'm so thankful. Fred has a job now, and I am so thankful for all these things. Our lives hold so much joy.

The issues we're dealing with are big, emotional burdens....a lot of "what-if"s, but it will not steal our joy.

I guess, in my tired rambly state, I'm really just trying to say that I don't know how to reconcile the "supermom" with the "loser mom," which is how I feel when I get snappy and tired, unproductive, or just kinda "down" about things. I don't want to only post the fun stuff. I also want to post the real issues. Maybe I need tougher skin. I'd like to talk to someone else who has a slow learner child, someone who can reassure me that he'll be okay. That he'll catch up someday and, even if he doesn't, that it'll be alright. I'd like to talk about my parents' pending divorce and my thoughts about it. But I can't do that. I'd like to seek advice about my 4-year old who calls his brothers "losers" when he gets mad, and says "I hate you," and how that makes me feel like a terrible mother. Even though I know I'm not. And I know he's a wonderful child, usually very sweet and loving. But I've never had one do this before and I just don't know what to say/do to handle it. Usually I simply say, "well, it's fine if you're feeling that way, but I always love you," and then we try to take deep breaths. But still the words haven't lost their appeal to him and my methods don't seem to be working.

Sooo. I think my plan/early New Year's Resolution is to step out a little. Do the one thing every day that scares me, like Eleanor Roosevelt suggested. If God's going to wash the "yuck" away, then I can't keep burying it. Right? Right. Sharing some things is okay. Hiding behind projects all the time is not so okay. At least not for me.

To end on a good note, Fred is off work for the next 10 days! I'm looking forward to plenty of family games, yummy food, Christmas celebrations (even if it will be different this year,) and excuses to dress up. I do love dress-up!! ;) It pains me to think of going through holidays without my camera, but it's certainly doable! I want to get rid of these extra emotional burdens and just focus my energy on the four little people that I've been blessed with.

May you and yours have an amazing Christmas, truly celebrating the Reason for the Season!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pinterest Party

I know. I totally went MIA for nearly a month, and that is NOT like me. Life was a bit of a whirlwind, changes going on, new stages, endings to some chapters. I started to feel kinda down, what with the gray skies and all. Then two things happened: the sun came back out (literally and metaphorically,) and I started doing art again. Seriously, art is better than therapy for the busy/overworked/emotionally draining times.

Tonight I went to a super fun Pinterest party. We had to bring some kind of craft inspired by Pinterest, for the Dirty Santa game, a food item from Pinterest, and our favorite quote from the site.

For my craft I brought this:

It's done on a large canvas board...maybe 11x 14?
First we peeled crayons. lots and lots and lots of crayons. The kids helped a lot with this!

Next, I traced a worship figure onto packaging tape and stuck him on the canvas board.

See that glue gun? I ran the peeled crayons through the glue gun, and all down the canvas board. When it was all dry, I used a toothpick to "cut" around my figure (so the wax wouldn't break off into strips) and then peeled my tape figure off the canvas board. That was all! Fun and pretty easy! My own little sister stole it from someone in the Dirty Santa game, and ended up bringing it home. :)

For my food item, I brought these:
Goat cheese pops rolled in herbs, pecans & bacon. I repeat: ROLLED. IN. BACON.

And this here was my quote:

Such a fun party theme! Thank you, Debbie!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Crayon Keeper from Altoid Tin

Yeah, I went from posting nearly every day to barely keeping my head above water. Our family had a crisis. We are safe, healthy. My kids are all fine. But my extended family (parents, sisters) have had a major family upheaval. It's been a strain, to say the least. So, if you would, I'd appreciate prayers for healing. I know, I know-- vague posts are no fun. But I'm not at liberty to discuss right now, and my energy is going into resuming life with my Man and kids.

In spite of the trauma of late, we've been keeping busy with crafts and holiday decorating, family activities, and Christmas parties. Yesterday was the big homeschool Christmas party-- so much fun! And today we'll be going to the new Crystal Bridges Art Museum. I'm excited, y'all!!

I've also been working on small little stocking stuffer things for the kids. This is simply an empty Altoids tin, with scrapbooking and stickers attached to the front. I cut small squares of paper to fit inside with the crayons. So easy, and I know the kids will all love to have one. (I have lots of mints in my purse and camera bag now, too!!- lucky me!)