Completely sold out…

In “Christian-ese” there is a term called “sold out”.

It means you are completely totally 100% passionate about Jesus and His teachings. You want to show other people how to find Him. You live, breathe, love Him. You pray and listen to the Holy Spirit about every decision. You’re so filled with God and what His word says, you just know what He would want you to do.
Being a Christian is living a life of continual transformation, a life that demonstrates how you are becoming more and more like Christ with every step, every leap, every choice.
Here’s where I get hung up. I’m really good at knowing what God would have me do with the big things. Like, of course I don’t cheat on my handsome husband or steal from a department store. I don’t even need to be a Christian to know that’s wrong.
It’s the little things. The little every day minutia. It’s when Cadrian is screaming ear-piercing blood curdling screams and kicking and flailing and I’m trying to get him dressed and the girls are supposed to be picking up their room and need to be re-directed at the same time and need their hair combed yet and I’m still in my nightgown and we need to be leaving for church in 10 minutes and I’m working up a sweat and very literally losing my cool. That’s when I need to MOST demonstrate my faith, how Christ-like I am.
In those moments, I more often than not don’t act like I’m completely sold out. I don’t act like I have the Holy Spirit whispering into my soul, infusing me with His peace. In fact, I CAN’T EVEN HEAR HIM OVER THE SCREAMING!
I do know He’s transforming me. I do know the tone in my voice is less sharp than last time, or I handled it more admirably for longer than last time. I do know I can go to Him again and again and He makes those shards of anger and frustration smaller and smaller every time.
Even though I walk out of the house already exhausted, on the verge of tears, wondering what it is I’m teaching my precious family with my attitude because I know I can do it better, I have to try and be pleased knowing that I’m “sold out” and my mind and spirit are continually works in progress.
Slow progress. But progress, nonetheless.
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May-30-2010-053

Contentment

Sometimes I wish I were craftier. And more natural. And more peaceful. And when people read my blog, they would say, “Wow! Can you totally write a book?” Like her.

Sometimes I wish I cooked better. And was funnier. And took better pictures. And when people read my blog, they would say, “Wow! Can you totally write a book?” Like her.

Sometimes I wish I listened to God better. And spent more time in His Word. And was more interesting. And when people read my blog, they would say, “Wow! Can you totally write a book?” Like her.

Sometimes I wish my life were a little different. A little better. A little funnier. A little more tranquil.

And then I remember that God created me just for this life. And how I love this life!

I love the challenges. I love the frustrations. More accurately, I love that God teaches me through the challenges and frustrations.

I love that we’re average. I love that we’re ordinary. More to the point, I love knowing that because He loves us, I live an extraordinary life.

Even when, especially when, it doesn’t feel like it.

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Jun-19-2010-0042

Today in Bullets

*The girls earned “Children’s Day” from their Super Summer Challenge. We went to the Juneteenth Festival/the Healthy Lifestyle Fair/the Farmer’s Market.

*They made friends with a pot bellied pig, this calf, an alpaca and a girl named Haylee.

*I was plumb worn out by the time we got back home.

*And I really don’t need anyone asking me if I’m having twins. Maybe I should get a tee shirt saying as much.

*I have lovely pink streaks so you can see where the SPF 30 was applied and where I missed.

*After quiet time, they played with squirt bottles of water and generally entertained themselves until Kevin gave us all four-wheeler rides.

*Watched some months old home video. Our life is so much sweeter the second time around.

*Spent a little time on our exercise balls.

*Cadrian is healing nicely, and hardly even whines during bandage changes anymore.

*After reading from The Wizard of Oz and The Magician’s Nephew, (Incidentally, what do you think of the name Digory?) popped my sweet girls into bed.

*Ordered the rest of our homeschool materials for this coming year.

*Spoke with my sister who is getting settled in CO.

*Checked into the HSLDA.

*Cut Kevin’s hair.

Yep, that about sums it up.

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Jun-01-2010-038

What a week and a half!

We have been busy–

–squeezing every moment of enjoyment from life–

–emotionally distraught–

–all at the same time–

Last Monday we visited my cousin a few hours away and spent the night with them. Tuesday, after very little sleep and a ridiculously slow start on my part, we went to a wonderful children’s museum.
She had said she’d heard it was fabulous, five stories of fun. It turned out to be three stories high, and after a huge day of fun which completely exhausted me, Aviana, as we were leaving, whined, “I thought it was going to be five stories high, not just three!”

Grrr…Frustrating. Especially because I still had to drive a couple of hours home, and was already at my limit.

Wednesday is an utter blank.

Thursday my mom and dad came over for a visit. I am so thankful they are part of our daily lives.

Friday we visited our friend’s new little girl (what a delight she is!), bought material for curtains for the camper, went home for quiet time, went back to town to go to the park for some hooping fun. We enjoyed being sprayed by the fountain and at the playground.

Saturday we visited a working grist mill. We had planned to go for a nature hike too, but it was pouring down rain the entire time we were there.

Sunday I got one of the curtains made, and it turned out so adorably too!

Sunday evening I was making myself a cup of tea, with my three cherubs right by my side as usual. Cadrian somehow reached up far enough on the counter to grasp the saucer my cup was on and flip the whole thing over onto himself as I was pouring the boiling water into the cup!

Thank God my instinct was to get his shirt off and get him under the water in the kitchen sink. Acting quickly stopped the burning at the second degree. I’ve heard of children doing the same thing who ended up with third degree burns, long hospital stays, and skin grafts. Thank God it didn’t get in his eyes or on his face. Thank God neither of the girls were burned. It could have been SO much worse. He ended up with a largish burn on his chest and tummy, and several small ones on his arm.

We did a lot of research, a lot of talking, a lot of praying, and within the hour had him sleeping comfortably at his normal bedtime. We opted to treat the wounds with vinegar and aloe. We kept his burns wrapped in a diluted vinegar cloth all through the night, and he only woke up twice, and even slept a bit later than usual.

In the morning, he seemed more uncomfortable so we decided to go to the doctor just to have everything checked out. Let me tell you, there is nothing like having your parenting decisions called into question by a medical professional. Even though the appointment was two days ago, I am still angry about how she treated us. She thought we should have gone to the ER Sunday night.

It should be allowed to have differing opinions. I am the one who has my child’s best interests at heart. I am the one who loves him with every breath of my existence. I am the one who would go to the ends of the earth to protect him and keep him safe. I should be allowed to make the decision I thought was best, even if it isn’t the same choice she would have made. I shouldn’t be made to feel negligent, even while giving good, thorough, loving treatment, just because I don’t have an “MD” after my name.

Monday and Tuesday, I spent the whole day holding my sweet boy, who just rested and slept a lot.

Today, he is completely back to normal; tantruming when I say he’s done at breakfast because he starts flinging oatmeal, chasing his sister around with a spray bottle, chuckling loudly all the while, climbing in and out of his high chair and the swing and the bed, even though he’s got to be scraping the burn on his belly as he does so.

What a joy to hear him laughing once again! Thank God.

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Jun-06-2010-015

Family Hoop


For my dad’s big 60th birthday on Sunday, I made a manly meal of meat and potatoes, and the traditional strawberry rhubarb pie.

Family legend has it that his mom went into labor while picking strawberries and she didn’t go to the hospital until she finished the patch. I’d love to hear that birth story–too bad it’s more than likely lost to the ages.

After dinner we went outside to break out the hoops. (More accurately, the hoop. Kevin needs to make more for all :-))

Leroy (my dad) totally rocked the hoop.

The littles wanted in on the action.

The littlest’s method was to have someone spin the hoop around him. And, alternatively, to put the hoop on the ground, and spin in circles inside of it.

My mom’s skills were admirable.

And then here’s me.

Good times with the Farm Fresh Fam.

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Jun-01-2010-051

Super Summer Challenge

Week 1

If you click on the above picture, you can enlarge it to see what tasks are on the girls’ lists for the summer. We have four categories, with specific objectives within each category. Some are habits I want to instill (such as clearing their dishes without being reminded), some are fun things they want to learn (such as knitting), some are fun things they want to do anyway (like swimming lessons or camping). Some of their tasks are one time only point earners, like Four Day Club (kind of like VBS), while others earn them points every time they do it, like unloading the dishwasher, or playing with their brother.

For more ideas, please order the book. It’s $10 well spent!

We keep track of points by slipping a paperclip into a peanut butter jar my ever loving husband drilled a hole in the top of. They have a weekly goal of 23 points and if they make it, they earn Children’s Day on Saturday.

This first Children’s Day involved making cards for Opa’s birthday, going to the Farmer’s Market, playing at the playground, stopping at the health food store and then going to the airport to meet our friend’s new daughter who just arrived home from Bulgaria!

So really, not much different than a typical day, but shhh… don’t tell them that. It’s such a motivator, in fact, that when Brielle was asked Saturday morning to unload the dishwasher, she replied with, “I already have enough points for Children’s Day, I don’t need to do that.”

Indeed!
Sassy Little Smarty Pants.

We then color the chart, one box for each paper clip in the jar, and then start the week over with an empty jar. Aviana wanted to be sure you know that Brielle really doesn’t have that many points, she just had a little trouble either with the one to one correlation concept, or more likely, stopping coloring.

To quote the Super Summer Challenge website: The Challenge takes a few hours to prepare and gives your family three months of fun, learning and growing. The SSC helps them learn to enjoy being productive, to work toward a goal and reap the reward, to be content at home. It gives them satisfaction, builds self-esteem, helps them be well-rounded, motivates them, forms positive life-long habits, eliminates nagging, and so much more!

I encourage you to give it a try!

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My Latest Obsession

This was the first hooping video I ever saw. It made me cry because it’s so beautiful.

Ok, and THIS–Just amazing.

A good overview of what hooping possibilities are out there. It’s really for everyone. (Although this video is not; probably rated PG-13 and does mention the word S-E-X-Y)

Although I’m pretty sure I’ll NEVER look like any of the above videos, I do plan to have a jolly good time with it.

And so will my kids 🙂

You should get yourself a hoop and give it a go. You might surprise yourself!

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Could you BE more biased?

Kevin came downstairs completely aghast at how an unschooling mom was treated and portrayed by JuJu Chang on Nightline last night. She was the main subject in a news story called Unschooling: No Tests, No Books, No Bedtime. I have to applaud her bravery for being a spokeswoman for this “radical” movement, which by the way, has been around for quite some time.

We are not unschoolers, nor do I agree with Dayna Martin’s philosophies of child rearing, but I am appalled that a professional news person would be so confrontative to someone about how she is raising her children.

And for the record, I was traditional public schooled all the way, at the top of my class, Dean’s List at university, academic honors, ectetera, and I have never even heard of Henry James until I watched this biased piece of impugnment that passes for journalism.

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