Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hello! And Some Thoughts...

So it's early in the morning, but not the it's-so-early-I-have-loads-of-time kind. More the, I've got five minutes, maybe, before they come searching for me the morning routine starts. At least the oatmeal has a good head start today. Maybe that will buy me another minute or two, ha!

I don't think I have ever had a two-month hiatus from blog writing/posting before. It wasn't really because I had nothing to say (anyone who knows me, even a little bit, is laughing at that thought right now), but more because there were too many things going on. Plus soccer. Always soccer.  =)

I suppose one of the biggest bits of news has been our upcoming move to North Carolina. Or shall I say, had been. Long story, but in the end, we realized we no longer felt called to go. Or called to go there. That part is so hard, the trying to discern God's will for your life, for your family, and thinking you're heading in the right direction until...the roadblocks come. I have a love-hate relationship with roadblocks. On the one hand, are they there to propel you forward and to strengthen your trust because of your fears of the unknown; or are they really there to physically STOP you from going that way, like an act of protection.

Well, I don't know. I wish I did. Like I said, in the end, we didn't move, which has felt like somewhat of a disappointment, but we're trying to make the most of things. Which are fine, they are! mind (and heart) feel, well, stuck. It's hard to move forward in a good way when you're feeling stuck. I don't mean to complain about anything, it's just that I don't want to live my life merely existing, which is what happens when you feel stuck. I want to be fully alive, and present in the moment, to not be afraid to hang onto dreams, and to map out new ones.

I want to have a spirit of thankfulness, of uninhibited gratitude for the blessings I've been given, which I know are far too many to ever count. When my focus rests on thankfulness, everything else falls into place just as it should. Anyone else feeling stuck lately?

Okay, my time is up! I will say a quick prayer for us all Moms in the trenches.  ;)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Snapshots of Our Week

First things first, this project is nearly complete!!!!!!! Can I get a yee-haw, or woo-hoo, or insert other excited-sounding sentiment here!?! This powder room turned out so, so pretty, and we saved on everything from the vanity to the flooring to the mirror, so that makes it feel even nicer! I can't wait to share the AFTER pictures with you. Soon, I promise.  =)

Doesn't everyone have an after-the-first-day-of-school tradition of getting ice cream shakes and heading to the lake? Right, just as I thought. (ps- the heat wave is still here, and we are melting more now than we did all summer kidding!)

Okay, just had to toss this one in. Kills me. Hard at work, which, apparently, is an extremely messy endeavor.  ;)

This was one of our favorite activities this week. Any guesses? And don't let the snorkel throw you, we were heading to a trail by the river afterward.

We were reading about Noah's Ark in one of our new Bible history books and we (I) decided to have these guys measure out the length and width of the ark somewhere. Their materials were: yarn, scissors, tape measure, duct tape and imagination. The length reached our neighbor's house at the end of the street, and the width was over three times the length of our house! I thought it best to leave the 45 foot height out of the project for safety's sake, ha ha.

Enjoying a midday schooling break.

This view made me smile the other night. That rock wall garden in the background has hundreds of hours of blood, sweat and tears invested into it. Totally worth it, right??

And lastly, my baby went and turned into a full-fledged second grader. Mean girl. She is loving her class and her new teacher! Here she is modeling a skirt I made her- I posted more of her outfits on the Rose and Ruffle blog here if you want to take a look.

Tomorrow is my husband's and my 17th anniversary. 17 years! How did we get so old?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Goals, Good Books and Making Plans

I'm like so many others who view September as the month of beginnings, much more so than January. The year has always begun for me as soon as school gets back in session, and it's permanently ingrained in my teacher's mind/heart. So...Happy New Year? =) Every so often I like to record some goals and plans, kind of "write out loud." This is one of those kinds of posts, so either A. sorry! or B. you're welcome! (Because I like to read about other Mama's goals/thoughts, too.)

For a long time I was guilty of reading only homeschool-related things, and without any balance in that area, it began to consume me. That's never a good thing. My poor mind (and planner's heart) needed a break! I forced myself to pick some "non-essential" books off the library shelves, and wouldn't you know, the first several were pretty awful, and then the next few were okay, but still not even worth mentioning. I guess I lost my touch about finding a good book, ha! Then I found these two:

1. My Time in France
It's Julia Child's story of her life with her husband Paul, and their time in Europe, pretty much what the movie based its info on. I loved it! She was quite witty and had such a zest for life, and it was also very much a love story- she and Paul adored one another, and I found it really inspiring for the kind of marriage I want to have. One warning: some people (my mother) were put off by the details - and there are LOTS of details! - about all the food, but I just loved it. Now I want/need to watch the movie again.

2. Trim Healthy Mamas
I have a feeling I'm one of the only women who had not heard of this book until fairly recently, and while some people may not think of it as leisure reading, I have found it really fun to read. It has also been a great source of information about nutrition from a Biblical perspective - I admit that I have never fully explored this topic in the Bible, and it is so interesting! On a recent grocery shopping trip, the clerk (who was a middle-aged man, and whose wife happens to be expecting their fifth child...I chat a lot with people, ha) asked me if I was following the advice from this particular book, based on what had just passed on the conveyor belt. That made me feel pretty good because I haven't actually begun to purchase anything differently from what I always have, just lots of veggies and fruit, lean meats and not so much in terms of breads and pastas.

I'll admit that I have read more than a dozen books about hormones, thyroids and the like in recent months because I'm on a mission to get to the bottom of some of my issues, but that wouldn't count for "fun reading" so... Oh, and I did really like The Hormone Cure by Sara...oops, can't remember, but the book is great!

My biggest goal by far is to get back in the habit of devotions/reading my Bible. I don't know why I go through seasons like this where I simply don't feel like doing it. My guess is that I need better materials, and I haven't made as big an effort in finding them, which of course is just an excuse. I want us to also do more in the name of Christ. We will continue to make brown bag lunches to hand out to the homeless, and I've got some other ideas swirling around that I'd like to plan out and see through, but there are many opportunities to reach out. I want my children to love to help others, and I have to admit that I have had a grumbling spirit recently. If there's something in it for me, great; otherwise, never mind... that has to change!

My second goal is school-related. I want to bring the boys to all of the neat historical sites/places in our area, such as Boston and Lexington, and make plans to visit at least two other farther-away places sometime this fall.

My third goal relates to organization. Any busy Mom needs to be organized, but now that school happens inside my house, I find that I need to step it up. I need everything to go to...a place, someplace, and not the kitchen table! I've had some successes on this mission, but I still have a ways to go to work the kinks out. I think I've also become lazy with things like laundry and my ever-present little piles of stuff, and it kind of wears me down. A cluttered home = a cluttered mind. That won't do. I want to wake up energized and ready for a new day, not sucked back into yesterday because I haven't finished taking care of things that should already be done.

What to do? I'm going to find some new Bible study materials. I wish our church did more studies because I'd love to join up, but they don't seem to (which has been a big, not-so-great surprise since joining). I'm also going to do a little research into some trips and actually put them on the calendar. That's the hardest part for me! What if the weather isn't good, the kids get sick, I get sick? Of course there are also soccer and gymnastics schedules to tackle. But, trips don't happen if they don't get planned, and I need to get better at this. Lastly, I have already added some storage to our main work area - the dining room - and need to find a good system for folders and papers and such.

Of course since I'm dying to put out some fall decor and light up my pumpkin spice candle, we've had temps into the 90s here all week. Maybe that's the perfect pause button moment I need to get things in order and then be perfectly ready for Fall when the cooler weather does come. A good sweat is good for the soul, you know.  =)