Monday, March 2, 2015

Who knew life was so much easier with just two kids?

About a month ago, my husband took our 2 boys on a father-son camping trip.  They had a blast and the girls and I had a fun girly weekend at homeI was amazed at how peaceful things were with just the girls, how easy it was, and how clean the house stayed for the 27 hours the boys were away!  And then they came home and the chaos and mess came back.

So, I joked (half seriously) that it's THE BOYS!!  All the chaos and mess that I struggle with every day.  It's all their fault!

Then, this past weekend, my husband took our 2 daughters on a dads and dolls camping trip to the same camp.  They had a fabulous time (check out the pics later of my brave girls on the ZIP LINE!).

BUT, guess what?

The boys and I had the best mother-son time!  We went bowling, ate pizza, slept in a bit on Saturday morning, made biscuits from scratch+eggs+sausage breakfast together, CLEANED up the kitchen together, played an ENTIRE Monopoly game, and then watched a movie.  It was delightful.  And I marveled at how peaceful things were with just the boys, how easy it was, and how clean the house stayed for the 27 hours my husband and the girls were away!  And then they came back and instantly it was mess and chaos.

Later that evening I told my husband how great a time I had with the boys and how I was all wrong that they were the source of all the mess and chaos.  Then I joked to my husband that if it wasn't the girls and it wasn't the boys then maybe it was HIM!  He was the source of the mess and chaos that I exert so much energy to contain in our household every day!

He countered with, "I don't think it's the boys or the girls.  It's HAVING FOUR KIDS!"

Ah yes.  THAT!

Here are pics from their camp adventures.  First the boys, then the girls.  I would be jealous of all the outdoor fun, except that both camping trips they slept in tents with temps in the 30s -- NO THANK YOU!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Daddy Daughter Dance

My husband took our girls to a Daddy Daughter Valentines Dance recently.

The girls were so excited about their dresses that I only heard a few complaints that they were "too scratchy!"

My two daughters have such different personalities, yet they are the best of friends.  They are both beautiful and shine in their own ways.  I can only imagine the great plans God has for them! 

I'll let you guess which girl wanted to dance all night at the party and which was not so into the dancing!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Expiration Date Police

An unanticipated perk of my kids getting older is that I now have expiration date police roaming my house.  I have no idea why it is such an obsession of my oldest two children in particular, but they love to catch expired things around our house and make a big deal about it.

The 11 year old recently discovered that ALL, yes all, the tubes of Neosporin in our household were expired

and by expired I mean 02/2009 kind of expired!

Who knew that stuff expired?

And why exactly did we have so many tubes anyway?

The husband and 2 oldest children were not satisfied until they had ridden their bikes to the Walgreens to secure 2 brand new, unexpired tubes of Neosporin.  Because Heaven-forbid that we'd be without for one more day when we've been using expired Neosporin for the past 6 years!

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Girly Weekend

A few weeks ago, my husband took our boys on a father-son overnight camping trip.  They had tons of fun and while they were away, my daughters and I had some awesome girl time.

First on the agenda was a tea party dinner that we ate on the good china, followed by a girly movie.  There was also some fingernail painting and I taught them how to make pom-poms out of yarn.

After we'd made several, we used some baker's twine threaded through a large needle and sewed right through the center of each pom-pom to make a garland.

The girls were super excited to hang the garland in in their room!

Checkout this website for great pom-pom making instructions.

We had so much fun that the girls were a little sad to see the boys come home!

Monday, February 9, 2015

When I'm Not Here

So, I've been a bit MIA from the blog lately.  Everything is fine, well, actually it's chaos, but that's normal around here.  The reason for the lack of blogging is that my volunteer job as a Child Advocate has been taking up a lot of my time.

On Friday I had to laugh at myself and snap this picture what with two computers set up and my case file spread over the floor (when children are in CPS care for 7 years, the case file tends to get kinda large).  I was typing an email on one computer and referencing a 120 page document on the other computer.  I was fielding phone calls from the CPS caseworker and leaving messages for the children's attorney.  It was a busy, but productive, day!

We go to court again this week and then I'm hoping things slow down a bit.  But honestly, the two children I'm fighting for are worth every minute of time, even when it feels like I don't have any more of it to give.  Working to get these two kids out of foster care and into a loving home is a great privilege and I'm humbled that God has allowed me a part.

P.S.  By the way, that loving home we're so close to for these kids?  Is not my home.  Just so nobody gets any crazy ideas! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

It's February 3rd, How Are Your New Year's Resolutions Going?

Making New Years resolutions seems rather cliche' and I've certainly heard the statistics about how just 8% of people actually achieve their New Year's goals.

But, still, I typically can't resist.  I mean it is a clean slate, a new year, a world of possibilities!  And per my personality, I usually bite off more than I can easily chew.  And what is the harm anyway?  Failure may mean I still accomplished more than if I'd never had the goal to begin with.

Last year I set the goal to workout for at least 30 minutes at least 3 times per week.  Overall I achieved that.  Not every week was perfect, but there were even some weeks where I hit 4 times a week, so on average, I'm calling it a win.

And the best part is that the regular, consistent workouts are now a part of my routine, versus previous years when I might work-out every day for 30 days and then not at all for weeks.

On the heals of my 2014 success, I do believe overconfidence in my ability to implement change took over.  For 2015 I actually made TWO resolutions!  

And that's in addition to maintaining last year's exercise goal and, you know, raising 4 humans, caring for a crazy, furry, four-legged creature, working magic to feed everyone 3 meals a day, and various volunteer jobs!

This may not last until March which is why I'd like to go on the record now saying, surprisingly, I'm actually ON TRACK with these 2 goals!

So what are they?

#1 I've undertaken the goal to read through the Bible in a year.

I'm doing an ESV chronological version.  I've never read through the Bible in a year before.  I'm in an in-depth Bible study where we read books of the Bible in entirety, looking at each verse, so I've always thought I didn't have time for more Bible reading.  But, I liked the idea of covering the whole book, of knowing that I know the whole thing cover to cover or at least have lain eyes on it at least once in my life!  Then I heard that it would just take 15 minutes each day to achieve the goal of reading through the Bible in a year.  And I thought, "Anyone can make time for 15 minutes!  Right?"  Well, it's not easy, but I am only a day behind and for me that is a HUGE win!

#2  I've challenged myself to read more books this year, not just the Bible.  24 Books, to be exact. 

I used to love reading and then I became a mom and just took less and less time for it and then when I'd read something besides the Bible it was usually a parenting or adoption-related book.  While those books are great, they are usually not high on the enjoyment scale.  Then I read a novel in just a few days during our summer vacation and I loved it and determined to try to make more time for leisure reading.  So, I've finished 2 books but I have to confess they are books I started before the new year.  But, still, I'm totally couting them!  And, I have no shortage of books to read as I've totally overindulged and bought myself tons of books that I really want to read!

After I'd made the goal to read through the Bible in a year, I was going through built-up mail and realized we had gotten a 2015 calendar from Samaritan's Purse and it had it's own version of a Bible reading plan for each day of the calendar.  I gave the calendar to my 9 year old daughter because she wanted a 2015 calendar for her room.  But, the coolest part is that she is following that reading plan and attempting to read through the Bible in a year, too!!  AND she totally holds me accountable asking me, "How many days behind are you?" or "I'm caught up, are you caught up, Mom?!"

How are you doing on your resolutions?  Did you make any?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

8 Minutes Well Spent

I like to listen to Bible teaching while I exercise. Often this is Matt Chandler or Francis Chan

Then last week I suddenly had the desire to hear a little Beth Moore. About 4 years ago I did a Beth Moore study live with some Bible study friends and hearing her speak in person was all kinds of awesome. I've also been in groups before who watched her videos, but not in a few years. So, just out of the blue I began to crave hearing Beth Moore. Strange, right? Well, I searched for a Beth Moore video on the internet and friends, I found a gem! 

Really, this made my whole day! And then a couple days later I sat my husband and kids down and had them watch it, too, and we all laughed! 

 This is so funny and delightful, trust me, watch it! Do it!