Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's not titleable.

Last weekend we took the kids on a short get-away to a nearby city, we had big plans about spending a lot of time at the amusement/waterpark. We checked into our hotel with the intention of just dropping off our bags in the room and heading right back out, but the kids were thrilled with the hotel (it's been 8 months since they last stayed in one), and immediately tucked themselves into one of the beds to try it out, then they went in the closet and closed the sliding door taking turns with who was in and who was out, and of course, they jumped on the bed.
When we told them it was time to head out for the amusement park, my 7 year old actually said, "Or we could just stay here and order pizza!"

I love that kids can really be entertained with so little! Our hotel was in downtown and had a rooftop pool. The pool was pretty much the size of a postage stamp, like the size of a puddle compared to the neighborhood pool they usually swim in, but the kids? Were delighted with it and could have swum back and forth (only 4 strokes needed to get across!) all day long!

Can I just stop right here and ask, "What happened to July?"


I have maximized the school supply sales and replenished our supply of glue sticks, tape, and markers. Can you ever have enough of that stuff when you have little ones around? My daughter can use an entire roll of scotch tape in just one craft! It's a gift she has! Too bad there's not actually a market for tape art!


Speaking of not conserving stuff, usually I fall into the conserving camp (cloth napkin-using, repurposing, recycling), but there are a few things in life you just have to use generously.

I found myself recently actually telling one of my kids, "You can use more than one square of toilet paper when you wipe. Really, you need to use more than one square!"

As if that wasn't surreal enough, at some point this week while I was eating lunch with the kids the phrase "Sweet Caroline" came up. (My daughter has a doll she's named Caroline and I think we were talking about the doll.) I said, "You know that's a song." And got blank stares! So, I attempted to sing it. It was an awful rendition and I could only remember a few lines, so I got the computer and brought up YouTube to find the entire song to play for them and before I knew it, there I was subjecting my kids to Neil Diamond! It was scary and deliciously enjoyable all at the same time!


I'm taking an extra day off blogging each week for the next few weeks to have more time to relish the last days of summer with my kiddos and it may continue through the first few weeks of school depending on how busy/stressful that transition back to school is. So, there likely won't be a new post up until Monday night or Tuesday morning. Have a wonderful weekend, and yes, I did make up that word in the title of this post, many apologies to all the English teachers out there!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Watch out, it's getting controversial in here!

Sometimes, okay oftentimes, politics disgusts me.

Thankfully we can focus, instead, on The Word, The Truth:

Leviticus 19:33
When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.

Leviticus 19:34
You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Exodus 23:9
You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 22:21
You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 12:49
There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.

Numbers 15:15
For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you, a statute forever throughout your generations. You and the sojourner shall be alike before the Lord.

Jeremiah 22:3
This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.

Matthew 25:35
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

Malachi 3:5
So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty.

Hebrews 13:2
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Mark 13:10
And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.

Matthew 28:19
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Find more Thankful Thursday and Thursday Thirteen.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Life with Three Kids at an Amusement Park

3 Kids


1 Stroller


1 Drink


togetherness at its finest


maybe it just illustrates that their parents were too cheap to spring for another drink or another stroller to haul the tired children around an amusement park over the weekend!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Texas Sized Hug in Ethiopia!

I'm from Texas and it always cracks me up when I meet someone from afar who's never been here and they just assume they can pop over to any town in our state like it's such a quick trip. But in reality I can leave my home in Texas, drive for 8 hours, and still be in Texas!

But, that's pretty much the way I treated Ethiopia.

We're going to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the capital city of Ethiopia twice some time in the next 8 months (God willing!).

When news first broke that we'd now have to travel twice to complete the adoption of our daughter when Ethiopia used to only require adoptive families to travel once, after the initial disappointment over the added expense and effort, I began to see positives. Like, we'd get to spend more time in our daughter's birth country. And maybe we'd get to see Mathews!

Mathews is a boy we sponsor through Compassion International, financially providing for him to have food, clean water, medical care, education, and teaching about Jesus. We also write to let him know we are thinking about him and praying for him, caring for him from the other side of the world.

He lives in Ethiopia, so I reasoned since we're going twice, each time for a week, surely we can see him while we're there!

But, like Texas, Ethiopia's a big place and we discovered Mathews lived near Awassa, a city pretty far from Addis Ababa, and thinking roads would be bad in Ethiopia we were deflated and thought that meeting Mathews probably couldn't happen. And the idea was moved to the back-burner.

Until last week, when I noticed some of the first families to have to make two trips to Ethiopia had gone on their first trip (there was a period of time where families who were well into the process were grandfathered in and only had to do the one trip). So, I clicked over to one family's blog to try to learn more about what that 1st trip (where you testify in court and meet your child but cannot bring them home) looked like. And as I saw things like "free day" in their agenda I dared to hope and pray again that we'd get to see Mathews.

The day after I began the prayer, I was reading this blogger's description of her time in Ethiopia a couple months ago adopting her precious twin boys through the same agency we're using, and lo and behold she wrote about a side trip they did to Awassa from Addis Ababa! It was a 6 hour trip over a good road with amazing sceanery along the way. And I got so excited realizing it was possible to make the trip!

Then 2 days later I was reading this blogger who is doing an internship in Ethiopia for the summer and reading to kids at the Gladney Foster Care Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and she wrote about a trip she took to Awassa!

And just tonight I read about another adoptive family who made the trip from Addis Ababa to Awassa and highly recommended it!

God blows me away with His attention to the details!

Here I am thinking it's not possible to make the trip and in the week after I pray about it, I "happen upon" the stories of 3 different families/people from the United States who made that drive!

Mathews is the same age as my oldest son. He'll turn 8 this fall on my exact birthday. His picture hangs on our refrigerator. And to be able to see him in person? To be able to hug his neck and show him with our presence how much we care? Hand deliver him a backpack of goodies? Well, that would just be awesome!

Now, there are still hurdles to clear before this dream can be reality. Compassion says they need 8 weeks notice before your travel date and we may not have 8 weeks from the time we find out our travel date until we need to travel and our dates can change if there is a glitch in the Ethiopian court system. And there are tons of other details about this travel and adoption where we are already asking God to do huge things.

But, my God is big, really big, and I'm daring to pray!

This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Are you in the wrong blog?

No, no It Feels Like Chaos is still here.

But the pink and brown background?

Is gone!!!

I'm basking in the white space!

Because when my house looks like this:
I need some clean space to gaze upon!

I have been wanting to get rid of the busy background for a while, but like many others, the task was put off.

Until yesterday when there was this roving error message on my blog, something about Photobucket and an image or video being deleted.

And I said, "Internet, I have no idea what you are talking about! What/Who is Photobucket?"

And then the Internet (my very smart friend) came back and told me that the site where I got my lovely brown and pink background that served me well for 18 months, must have deleted or moved an image from their Photobucket account that was associated with my template. And the way to fix it was to get a new template/background.

So during naptime after 5 days of VBS, I was faced with a dilemma, ignore the blog error for a few days and fold the mountain of laundry next to me on the couch or sit right down next to the mountain of laundry and tackle the task of changing my blog design.

Well, you know my choice.

I don't have everything just how I want it yet and may be tweaking more in the coming weeks, but for now,

I'm LOVING the white space!

And I need a 3 day vacation from the computer because all the editing html code has worn me out!

I'll be back next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Hair Incident Revisited

I was just today telling a friend this story and we had a good laugh over it. And although the humor of the event was not lost on me 7 months ago (really it wasn't!), it is way funnier now in retrospect!

Originally published December 15, 2009:

My little 4 year old girl loves crafts. The other morning before preschool she insisted she needed to make some stuff. She got out the construction paper, the tape, and asked me to get the kid scissors. None of this was unusual. Crafting is a daily or twice daily occurrence around here. As I unloaded the dishwasher she brought me various crowns and bracelets she'd made. The rate at which she produces crafts is actually pretty amazing!

Then I took the toddler upstairs to get him dressed. As I headed upstairs I told my daughter to come too so she could get dressed. She said she just needed to finish her craft. I said, "Okay, but just a couple more minutes."

I headed upstairs and a couple minutes later as I was brushing the toddler's teeth, she brings me this:

Since I was in the midst of the toddler teeth-brushing and I'd already looked at and praised more than one craft already that morning, at first I just kinda glanced at it.

Then I did a double-take.

"Is that hair?!!!!"

"Is that your hair taped on top of the little white paper?!!!"

"Did you cut your own hair?!!!"

The answers were yes, yes, and yes.

I think I knew this day would come. I've heard enough kids-cutting-their-hair stories that I knew having 3 kids it was inevitable that 1 of them would do it at some point.

Thankfully she didn't cut off much, she has long hair, is probably due for a haircut anyway, and you can't really tell unless you're looking for the spot!

So I ask, am I done?

Or is it like the Chicken Pox where if you have a mild case you could maybe get it again?

Just in case, I did deliver a long lecture filled with all the reasons we only let Ms. Sarah cut our hair with extra emphasis on just how long it takes hair to grow and that if she made it look funny, then it might just have to look that way for a while.

I must say, though, I do appreciate that she's already scrap-booked the event for me!!

Find more Finer Things Friday and Friday Funnies at Homesteader's Heart.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How can there only be 13?!!


That's the number of library books I rounded up to be returned to the library today after naptime after VBS (where 2 other teachers and I may or may not have temporarily lost 2 children),

1 day ahead of the due date, thank you very much!

I even typed the card number into our library's on-line site to confirm that we indeed had 15 books checked out.

All 15 were recorded onto the various summer reading lists for my 3 kids.

Some were recorded twice if both my little kids read/were read the books.

All 15 books were loaded into a tote bag to go to the library along with the 3 summer reading logs.

We got shoes on and 5 minutes later we were in the car.

4 minutes later we arrived at the library.

I unloaded my tote bag onto the library counter so the librarian could check them off the summer reading logs and check them back into the library.

And guess how many books were in my bag?



What happened to the other 2 books?!!

I really could not imagine how they did not make it to the library when I'd so carefully collected, counted, checked, and packed all 15!

My 3 children all denied knowledge of the missing books.

But when we got home there they were, both of them, sitting on the coffee table and upon seeing them my oldest suddenly remembered pulled a couple out of the bag at the last minute to "look at them".


The best laid plans, a seemingly organized process thwarted!

Oh well, I'm thankful the librarian kindly offered to renew the 2 books so I have 2 more weeks to attempt to get them returned before they're late!

And I'm thankful that overall our library experiences have been much better this summer than last, and thankful that the 2 children who wandered away from our line of 23 kids somewhere between the worship center and our classroom were promptly returned to our class. Needless to say the headcount that was done about 6 times today will be done 12 or 14 times tomorrow!!

Find more Thankful Thursday and Thursday Thirteen.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Girls can be Stormtroopers if they want to!

My 7 year old son made this "girl Stormtrooper" (To fill in those of you who may have never been a 7 year old boy or are not a parent of a 7 year old boy, Stormtroopers are from Star Wars) out of the Potato Head.

I commented, "Wow, I've never seen a girl Stormtrooper before!"

He said, "That's because they stay home and cook."

So, apparently the Women's Lib movement has lost about 50 years of ground in our home!

Find more Wordful Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday here, here and here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Finished Product

I think I figured out one of the reasons I love my new hobby of sewing.

A downside of being a homemaker is that often there is no finished product at the end of the day to show for your hard work. The dinner was eaten, the cleaned room messed up again, the children will need to be cared for and trained and fed and read to and loved again the next day.

I know that this job of homemaker and mother is really, really worthwhile and important and I am so grateful to have it, but still there is no finished product to gaze at and feel that sense of accomplishment.

I've talked with several other women who have left the career world to stay home with their kids and the adjustment to a new type of productiveness where you often feel very unproductive is one of the hardest aspects of the transition.

All that was a long way of saying, with sewing there is a finished product!

This weekend I made this skirt for my daughter and it is my favorite creation yet!

She had a skirt in this style as a toddler and I loved it, but have not found another like it to get in a bigger size. So, I made one! And another awesome thing about sewing? You can create things in just the colors you want, so this will match pretty much every shirt in her closet!

Here's how I did it:

1. I used this tutorial that I've used before for the base of the skirt, which was a mint green t-shirt (you can see it as the top layer of the skirt in the top picture).

2. Next I cut 4 inch wide strips from 4 different material for the ruffles (the length was 2 times the length of the bottom of the skirt measuring all the way around).

3. I hemmed one long side of each ruffle, and did an overcast stitch on the other side of the strip to prevent fraying on the top edge of the ruffle.

4. Sewed a basting stitch (long, temporary stitches) just under the overcast stitching and then pulled one of the threads to gather creating the ruffles until the length of the ruffled strip was the same as the width of the skirt.

5. Pinned each layer of ruffle to the t-shirt skirt base and sewed them on using just a basic stitch right on top of the basting stitch.

And then it was done!

The elastic waist combined with soft t-shirt under-layer make this super comfortable which is of high importance to my little girl and I love the way it looks on her!

And that skirt?

Unlike the cooking, cleaning, laundry, child rearing, errand running, etc. is a finished product!

This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge.
works for me wednesday at we are that family

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Virtual Vacation

No, I'm not here:

Picture a room with 25 four and five year olds. Yeah, that's where I am!

Not as relaxing, but tons of fun!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A real 3-ring circus, as opposed to the one that goes on in our house every day.

It's Friday, so you know more than likely I'm going to be random!

It's also mid-summer, and I'm so enjoying time with my kids and a less structured schedule, but it hits me every summer about this time. This panic, that I'm so far behind -- the freezer meals are used up, the stockpiled shopping is running out, the in-box is overflowing, the baseboards are filthy, I have 100 calls to make for my Child Advocates volunteer work and no quiet to make them in. And yes, I have been known to talk on the phone in my closet just to escape the noise of my children, only they always find me.

And all that will be accomplished next week is VBS at our church; I'll be teaching and the children attending, but that is good and we are very excited. The baseboards can wait!

The inside of my washing machine looks like this:
And there are rust spots inside the drum, too.
We've ignored the problem for a while now. It hasn't gone away. I put forth a valiant effort lately to immediately move the clothes into the dryer when the washer stops to avoid rust stains on the clothes, but sadly even so I've seen some rust spots. So, after 9 years together, it's time to say goodbye.

What happened to the days of washers lasting 20 years?!!!

We've begun the search for a replacement. Thankfully a front-loader is too deep to fit in the small laundry room space we have, so our choices are limited to top-loaders, but still, oh at the amount of internet research! High-efficiency or not, steam dryer, built-in water heater, agitator or no agitator, and did you know they even have end of cycle signals now that sound like music?

Just give me a buzzer and a machine that won't have to be repaired in 3 years, thank you very much!


We took the kids to the circus for the 1st time recently. My 7 year old agreed, it was the greatest show on earth!

My husband is still laughing at my reaction to the cotton candy salesman when he told me the
one bag of cotton candy would be $12.00!!!! It did come with a magic hat,
but still was the biggest mark-up I've seen on a product in a long time! Next time I'll just pack my kids their own Ziploc baggie of sugar from home!!!

But it was all worth it to hear my toddler's reaction when 2 people got shot out of a cannon. We'd warned the kids before-hand about some of the more extreme parts we anticipated in the show so they wouldn't be scared, so we had told them somebody might be shot out of a cannon and it looks scary, but nobody will get hurt. But, I don't think my 3 year old believed it would really happen because when it did he yelled real amazed and excited, "THEY WERE RIGHT! THOSE PEOPLE JUST SHOT OUT OF A CANNON!"


There have been a lot of circus re-enactments around here this week and it is great fun! Thankfully none of the re-enactments have involved real flaming rings or sawing people in two!


Because of the washing machine search, I used the "live chat" feature of The Internet for the 1st time today. I've always been afraid of it before. You know when you're on a site and that weird invisible person pops up on your screen to ask, "May I help you?"

So today I actually allowed it/he/she/them to help me and I have to say it was a positive experience. Whoever was at the other end of The Internet was actually able to answer my question! And I didn't have to hang out on the phone on hold forever or try to talk to someone with my kids screaming in the background!


And now, please go watch this YouTube video called "How was Ethiopia?".
It is 4 minutes well spent!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

So Many Crafts, So Little Time!

I am absolutely amazed at all the wonderful, creative craft ideas that can be found out there on The Internet and being an uncrafty person myself (a person who by nature is not crafty, meaning it doesn't come easily, but I'm trying to learn), I'm so very thankful for the step-by-step directions many people have been so gracious to share!

My computer "Ideas" bookmark folder has become completely stuffed with things I've come across that are so cute with clear instructions for creating them and seem attemptable, perhaps, even for me! Who knows if/when I'll find the time to try all of these, but I thought I'd share 13 of them with you and spread the crafty joy!

1. TaDa Creations - Ruffle Peasent Dress

2. Crazy Domestic - Popsicle Brownies

3. Sugarplum Creations - Mini Boden look-alike t-shirt

4. Tatertots and Jello - Super Easy & Cute T-Shirt Refashion

5. Family Fun - Crystal Caterpillar Kid Craft

6. Jump up and down - Ruffle Pants

7. Toad's Treasures - Another Mini Boden knock-off shirt

8. Made - The Market Skirt

9. Noodlehead - Gathered Clutch Tutorial

10. Poppy Chic Designs - Shabby Chic Ruffle Necklace

11. Fly Away Home - DIY Vintage Chalkboard Frames

12. Tea Rose Home - Fabric Covered Bead Bracelet

13. New Nostalgia - Homemade Scratch N Sniff Paint

Do you have any great craft tutorials to share?

Find more Thankful Thursday and Thursday Thirteen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Entertainment

Looking for some easy, cheap summer entertainment for your kids?

Mine could entertain themselves all day with an outdoor table sprayed periodically with shaving cream and dotted with food coloring, a kiddie pool to rinse and play in, and some plastic army guys & boats thrown in for extra adventures!

The big boat was sinking and the guys were escaping in the lifeboats!

And we've even been known to bring the shampoo outside and consider it the day's bath -- makes for a quicker and easier bedtime routine!

So what if there are bits of grass floating in the water, we just think of it as organic body wash!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday, Wordful Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday here, here and here.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Numbering my day

3 errands attempted and achieved with my 3 kids this morning.

3 errands in a row with my children is my absolute maximum.

10 people ahead of us in line at the post office.

2 times I said, "Because it's a post office not a playground!"

4 or more thoughts of leaving without mailing the package

6 = number of sewing projects I currently have in process

2 homemade pizzas created for dinner with

2 small helpers

1 set of frazzled nerves reluctantly agreed to let them help

3 year old says, "Making pizza is my favorite part of the day!"

1 Mama's heart melted

7 year old began the day like this. . .

7 year old ended the day like this. . .

$20 = amount of money Cameron from my son's class at school got for his last tooth

$1 = amount of money my son got for the last tooth he lost (a bottom tooth)!

"10 times a day!" I told my son. "Cameron must have brushed his teeth 10 times a day for the tooth fairy to think it was worth that much money!" I told my son.

2 times - In all fairness, we only manage to get ours brushed 2 times each day!

This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A dress and 15 boxes of cereal!

It's time for Not Me! Monday (a blog carnival created by MckMama; you can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have NOT been doing - but really have!).

Around here: (Hint: If you get confused, just remove the words in my post that are in all caps and you'll know the truth!):

I did NOT sew my 1st dress over the weekend!
I'm NOT so excited that it is going to a little girl in Africa through Kristin at We are THAT Family's Do It For Others project!

I did NOT love every minute of making it and a hundred times imagine the face of a sweet little girl in Africa when she sees her new dress!

I'm NOT having just a bit of trouble typing this due to a band-aid on the end of one of my fingers!

I did NOT go to the grocery store one day last week with my 3 kids and buy 15 boxes of cereal! The checker, sacker, and assist. manager who was helping sack did NOT make just a little bit of fun of me! The checker did NOT laugh and say, "Yeah, when we were growing up that's all my mom fed us -- cereal!"

Rather than carefully explaining my methodology of stock-pile shopping where when I buy a non-perishable item we need I go ahead and buy a ton of it so I can skip that aisle of the grocery for the next several shopping trips and not have the item just showing right back up on my grocery list, I did NOT just nod and laugh along with them as if that is really all I feed my kids!

My toddler was NOT sitting in the back part of the grocery cart and totally buried in cereal boxes! When he popped out of the cereal box fort/avalanche, cereal boxes did NOT go flying!

mmm button

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Life on a Friday

I made it!!! A sweet ruffle skirt for my daughter. Last weekend, I used this tutorial, one of my old pink t-shirts, and some nylon chiffon left over from this project. I love how it turned out and have so many other sewing projects I want to tackle -- if I can just find the time!


Wanna know what's really hard to sew?

Sleeves for a doll dress!

Don't ask me how I know.


My house is definitely suffering from the new sewing addiction! My fridge needs to be cleaned out in the worst way. A child that will remain nameless spilled a cup of milk in the refrigerator a few days ago. We wiped up the obvious spill, but I'm still ignoring the fact that it seeped under the shelf edge in a few spots.


And speaking of messes, my 7 year old and I have been having some quality control issues. As in, he is supposed to do a chore like wiping off the table, he comes to tell me its done, but I go in later and only about 1/16th of the table appears to have been wiped and the rest still has crumbs and sticky stuff. And the rag and spray? Left on the floor next to the table!

I've decided he's way too old to allow this behavior to slide, work ethic and doing a job right are very important life lessons, and that summer is a perfect time to tackle this little issue. So, I've been doing the extra steps of inspecting his work, calling him back over and pointing out the problems he needs to fix. The other day this entailed me inspecting the room he supposedly cleaned and when I lifted the bedskirt I discovered about 40 small toys, mostly action figures. "What's all this?" I ask. He says, "Mom, that's where they go!"

Praise God for the label-maker labels! I was able to hold up an action figure guy and say, "No Baby, what is this?" Him: "A guy" Me (pointing to the drawer labeled "Guys"): "And what does this say?" Him: "Guys" Me: "So then where should it go?"

I know, you're so glad you're not my kid!


My 3 year old has a recurring complaint about life. I hear at least 50 times each day, "It's taking a long time! Why it taking a long time?!!!!" I hear this when it is 8AM and the Children's Museum does not open until 10AM. I hear this when it takes any longer than .5 seconds to get him a cup of milk.

Those are the annoying parts, but the funny parts:

He's working on floating on his back in swim lessons and the other day he was doing great, his teacher had dropped him in the water feet first, he came up on his back and was floating towards the side like he's supposed to, but it takes a couple minutes to make it to the side, so there he was doing a perfect back float but hollering, "It takes a long time! Why it take a long time!" Have mercy on his poor swim teacher!

And when I was tucking him in bed a couple nights ago, he crawled in, put his head on the pillow for about 20 seconds, and began fussing, "It takes a long time! Why it take a long time?!!!!" I asked, "What takes a long time?" because I really couldn't imagine what he was so frustratedly waiting on. "To fall asleep!" he tells me!


Have you ever been talking to a friend on your land-line phone but at the same time herding your children in the car -- shoes on everyone, grab the purse, water for the thirsty child, keys, send one back in to go potty, get everyone strapped in -- and begin reversing down your driveway before you realize you are talking on your home phone and not your cell phone?!!

Yeah, me either!!!

And for added grins, anybody remember when cell phones were that big? Or actually bigger. My dad had one the size of a carry-on bag!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

An Enlarged Heart

Ann from Holy Experience wrote this amazing piece where she speaks about her heart hurting.

I can relate.

The past few years as God has led the hearts of my husband and me to the orphans, the poor, and the hurting in the world, it has been a difficult journey, but through it we feel closer to God.

I feel like He's allowed us to stand in the cleft of the rock and catch just a glimpse of the back side of His heart. And I know that is all we could bear to see.

I relate to the Grinch at the end of the movie whose heart has grown three sizes because as I've discovered with fresh eyes the plight of "the least" in this world and God's great love for them and desire that His people care for them, I now care for and love hurting people on a much larger scale than before.

But, with that larger heart not only comes a greater capacity to love but also

a greater capacity to hurt for them,

a drive to want to help them,

feelings of helplessness when it is hard to figure out how,

and frustration living in a culture where most seem to spend their energy and resources creating their own comfort.

It is easier not to care.

But now that I do, what do I do?

Ann mentions the Bible verse Proverbs 31:8-9, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, 
for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; 
defend the rights of the poor and needy." And she asks, "Is this what true women do? Work so that many make it Home?"

I love the way she put that!

And it gives new definition to my career as Home-maker. Working so that many make it Home, not just creating a home here on earth for myself, my husband, and my children.

It has been a struggle for me to figure out what I am to do, and I believe God doesn't want me to stop asking the question, but He does not want the question to keep me from the

The practical, daily life steps of that doing is going to look different nearly every day.

On a particular Thursday last week it involved me getting babysitting for my own 3 kids, dealing with parking downtown, interacting with difficult lawyers, so I could spend the morning in court advocating for 2 children in CPS custody, a job I am not paid for. I went to court to present my observations and recommendations to the judge about the children, and I did, but on that day, probably the biggest difference I was able to make was to wrap an arm around their mother as she broke down in tears on the way out of the courtroom and tell her that as long as she was doing everything that was asked of her to get her kids back that I was going to help her. Help her, a young mother who grew up without a mother herself, put her life back together, create a healthy environment to raise her two precious children.

Because as much as I love adoption, children should be with their biological parents if they can provide a safe, loving home where the kids needs will be met.

And as I left the juvenile court house and walked the 8 blocks back to my car in the rain, I was thankful for the opportunity to bring a bit of Jesus to the dark parts of this world, the best therapy for an enlarged heart!

Find more Thankful Thursday here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

She may not bring home the bacon but she does bring hot dog buns!

Last night I was trying to let the dog in from the backyard, but I couldn't find her. I closed the door and turned to walk away, then she came running up on the patio, my husband saw her through the window and cried out, "What does she have?!!!"

Um, those would be hot dog buns!

Only we haven't eaten hot dog buns lately.

We accidentally left the gate opened and somehow somewhere (although the next day wasn't even trash day so our neighbors didn't have bags at the curb) she found her prize.

I don't know what was funnier, seeing her proudly trotting around with those buns in her mouth or watching my husband try to catch her so he could take off the wrapper!

"I'm going to let you eat them, just let me take off the wrapper. I'm trying to help you." He kept saying, but she didn't believe a word of it! We finally cornered her, unwrapped them, and let the little thief eat her treasure!

Find more Wordful Wednesday and Wordless Wednesday here, here and here.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Somebody's Got to Feed These People!

So, have you ever had one of those phases where you don't feel like making dinner?

The very idea of even planning it, much less shopping for groceries, or preparing the meal is just the last thing you want to be doing.

Yeah, well, I'm there.

Maybe it's that summer's here and it is about a billion degrees outside, so food that is not fruit just doesn't sound very appetizing to me.

Or maybe it's that the kids are out of school and I rather just hang out with them, or the fact that they're out of school has thrown my meal planning, grocery shopping, meal prep. routine completely out the window.

Or maybe it's because I have a new love for sewing and would rather be creating adorable things for my daughter to wear like this precious skirt than cooking.

Probably all of the above.

But still, I look at the other 4 members of my family and think, "Man, it's time to feed you people again!"

And I still have the goal of eating out a maximum of once a week (which includes take-out and lunch counts). We eat healthier when we eat at home and we waste less money.

So what to do when you just don't feel like cooking? Here's what I've come up with:

* Find some new recipes

Fixing something new just might get you excited about the process again. I love as a recipe source. All the recipes are rated, so you know if something has been rated highly by 300 people, it's got to be good! There are also tons of blogs with great recipes.

*Tap into your freezer meals

I do a lot of "cooking once eating twice", meaning I double recipes so I have a meal my family can eat right away and one to freeze for another day when I'm too busy or too lazy to cook! Also, I buy chicken breasts in bulk at Sam's but before I freeze them I put some marinade in the freezer bag with them, then I can just pop them right into the crock pot set on low in the morning and dinner's magically ready by evening!

* Don't cook dinner

Mix things up by serving breakfast for dinner. Eggs, whole-wheat pancakes, bacon and fruit can count as a pretty healthy meal even if served as dinner. My kids love this concept, so I do it often!

* Make it a family activity

Bring the kids into the kitchen to help! My 7 and 4 year olds are great at snapping beans and measuring ingredients and my 3 year old? Well, he's good at tasting things and spilling half a bottle of vanilla ensuring a good smelling kitchen for days!

* New perspective

A friend of mine got a terrible stomach virus and was in bed for over a week, she couldn't cook or do any chores around her house and she said when she was finally able to get out of bed she was so glad to be able to cook and clean again, even though before the sickness they were things she dreaded! So, I'm not wishing a confined-to-bed-sickness on anyone, but maybe we could borrow the perspective of being thankful for the ability to cook for our families without suffering the illness?

What about you? Ever get in a cooking slump? How do you handle it?

This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Birthday America!

Happy 4th of July!

May your holiday weekend be filled with

opportunities to put your kids in a cage,

dressing like an American flag,

watermelon eating,

and maybe even a duck to pet.

Because really, is there anything more patriotic than that?!!!

Happy Birthday America!

How blessed we are to live here! I heard the quote recently that those of us in the U.S. have "won the world's lottery". And it's true, the freedom and the daily abundance we enjoy are huge and should not be taken for granted!