Friday, November 20, 2009

Memories and Moving on. . .

You've heard the saying, "The one thing in life you can be sure of is change."
It's true, you know.
Things are always changing here at the troops - and I'm sure at your house, too.

I'm getting better at change.

I LIKE security. Things staying the same IS security to me. But it's not reality. For the first 13 years of our marriage, babies were our huge factor of change. And while the babies were still coming, we started the kids in school, which meant EVERY year brought a lot of change for them and for me.

Four years ago we moved to this house. It's a great house. But it's brought a lot of change, as well, as all houses will. Our joke is, "What next?" with this house. I've accepted that it will always be something and we'll deal with it as it comes. Such a great house for us.

Kids are always changing. Good heavens! Always changing. We move through so many phases at the troops that it seems like every week is a new experience. Who is having trouble sleeping in their own bed THIS week? Who has decided that they are queen/king THIS week? And on it goes. . .

The Coach's job changes a lot, too. August (when it's still Summer) he starts football. Then games. Then (sometimes) playoffs. Once football is over it's MUCH quieter until after Christmas. Then he starts workouts after school. Then after school gets out in May he starts his Summer job at school with early morning workouts for the athletes. See what I mean? Never a dull moment!

Today we have a BIG change happening here at the troops. The Coach's car.

I love his car. What fun memories we have. Little weekend trips together. Date nights without the kids. I always take it on the weekends to run to the grocery store or do errands with a kid or two. SO much smaller than our big green van (which I am so very grateful for!). And just a couple of weeks ago, a visit with my friend S to visit Crazy Daisy and her new baby girl!

God has always taken care of us. And this time we have a chance to get a much newer car with lots fewer miles that has the same number of seats, but in a much more practical arrangement with more space in general. Isn't God good?

In the meantime. Here's saying good-bye.

Here's our crew at 7:00 this morning on their way to school in the Coach's car for the last time. (sniff)
I was holding Little Man while I took the picture. He wasn't awake enough to participate.
(and it's "Bedlam" day at school, hence all of the t-shirts)

Seeing this picture makes me wonder how they all FIT (not Daughter #7 - she stays with me, of course). Ha!

The "old" car was miraculously provided by our Heavenly Father. And the new one was, as well. Every good gift is from above. We know that.

So things continue to change. Sometimes day to day. . . sometimes month to month. But they WILL change. Sometimes I'm glad for the change. Sometimes I'm sad. But ALWAYS, I know that true security lies not in my circumstances or my stuff, but in the Lord.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." Heb. 13:8

He will NEVER change. That's something you can count on.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Well. . . it's Thursday. Whew. Busy week.

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Eph 5:20

1. The dirty laundry. . . because it means there are children and a Coach to wear clothes and go to work and school and basketball and play outside.

2. Dishes to wash. . . because it means we have plenty of food to eat and healthy, hungry kids who eat it. Lots and lots of food and kids. :-)

3. A messy house . . . because it's full of children and laughter and noise.

4. Bathrooms to clean . . . hooray for indoor plumbing!

5. Bills to pay. . . what a blessing to have electricity and running water. A gas fireplace, extra freezer and fridge in the garage. . . washer and dryer, telephone and computer with DSL. Oh. And lights. And heat.

6. Homework and projects to do . . . thank you, Lord, for our wonderful school. So grateful that the children are being taught God's Word and Christ-like character by teachers who love them and love the Lord. So blessed.

7. Gray hair. . . ugh. This one is hard! But I'm hoping all of the gray hair means I'm growing and learning and becoming more of what I should be as a wife, mother, daughter and friend. Sure am grateful for that box of hair color, though!

8. A Little Man that has to be force-fed every meal. . . because it means he's healthy, whole, well and in spite of his "issues" with eating, he CAN eat. Praise the Lord.

9. The extra 25 pounds I'm carrying around right now. No, not Little Man - he doesn't weigh that much! If I had the time to work out every single day and go back to Weight Watchers - I could certainly lose the weight. But the lack of time is because I am amazingly blessed with wonderful people that keep me insanely busy. It won't be forever.

10. Tight budgets. Because almost every week we see God move in incredible ways to provide abundantly for our family. If we could do that on our own, we'd miss the chance to praise Him for His goodness.

So today. . . thank God for the "hard" things in your life. Some of you are dealing with REALLY hard things. His grace is sufficient. Give Him thanks in all things. I promise you'll be blessed.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trying to Give Up

Been thinking, lately, about how often I "fight" the moment.

Am I the only one?

Desperately wanting some quiet and being frustrated with the chaos.

Longing for a clean house, which often means a grouchy over-busy momma.

Wishing for everyone to be well when I'm tired of nursing the sickies.

Wanting bedtime, my Coach home, the weekend to come sooner . . .

Looking forward to things can become an idol to me, if I'm not careful.

I think it's normal to look forward to the "next thing". I do. I look forward to not buying diapers, anymore.

The Coach told me the other day he's ready to be a "sippy cup free" house. Whatever. (Can you tell I have no hope of getting there?)

I look forward to having everyone old enough that I'm not regularly wakened in the night.

Most every night.

But if I'm not careful, I end up living for the NEXT thing instead of living the here and now.

For me, there is a need for submission. A need for my heart to give up MY will for the moment and relax into God's plan for me for today.

To quit fighting it and start working IN it - His will - to accomplish what He has given me to do.

It may not be what I would chose. I may rather have more quiet, more time, more clean, less mess, less food, less illness.

But I'm learning that when I relax into it (submit), stop trying to change it - accept it as God's perfect will for me TODAY- the fighting stops, the grace is sufficient and it's not so bad after all.

I think I've done a lot of fighting, in my life. A lot of trying to get my own way or make things happen as I think they should. Maybe I'm just too tired, anymore. But maybe. . . .just maybe. . . I'm learning to trust my Creator who gave me life, salvation, His Holy Spirit AND the circumstances I'm faced with today.

God is the blessed controller of all things.

And I'm glad.

John 5:30 "I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sometimes I forget. . .

I feel like crying, tonight.
Not just because it was a chaotic evening. Thursdays always are. Spelling words and memory verses to review. Reading to finish up and papers to sign. And tonight? Two kids who have a lot of homework from missing a week of school, each.

The Coach was gone, too. Lucky guy.

Then at the spur of the moment, my two eldest were invited to go to Branson with grand parents and cousins for the weekend. Tomorrow. So much fun for them! But there was packing and thinking through things to do.

Now I'm short a baby sitter for tomorrow night.

But none of that is really what got to me. Well, it GOT to me, but something else did, too.

You see? Son #4 has been home from school for over a week. Running a fever every day (until yesterday). I asked for some work to be sent home, knowing he's missed a lot. But with 5 seasons of the A Team to watch, he hadn't had much time to work on it. (ha!)

And tonight? I think it hit him that if he makes it back to school, tomorrow, Lord willing. . . he's going to be taking unfinished work with him. To face more unfinished work at school.

He lost it, bless his heart. He's a booger of a kid. Seriously. ALL boy! But he works HARD. And smiles constantly. And wears me out. But that's neither here nor there. The kid was overwhelmed.

I don't blame him. I can relate.

Right as I was about to start singing, "Lord have mercy on me" at the top of my lungs. . . with Little Man getting out of bed over and over and trying to help Daughter #6 with homework she should have done YESTERDAY (when the weather was SO nice) and Son #3 being the goofball King and Daughter #2 reminding me she was out of shampoo and . . .you get the idea.

The phone rang.

I completely missed that it was answered and given to Son #4. But I noticed him hang it up, so I asked him, "Hey Bud - who was that?"

"Mrs. . . (his teacher)."

"Really? What's up?"

A grin began to spread over his darling little face. "She didn't want me to get stressed out about the homework."


So you see? Sometimes I forget that the sovereign God KNOWS what is going on in our very loud, very chaotic and very dramatic household.

I can't see it. . . but He's there. . .prompting a sweet, loving, Godly teacher to call a frustrated little boy. He calmed right down. Finished most of it up and crawled into bed.

I know it's not a "big" thing. There was plenty of other drama going on. But I paused long enough to remember that I am loved. Son #4 is loved. By a Heavenly Father who knows all things.

And by a teacher who is sensitive to the Holy Spirit in obeying His promptings to DO something.

I'm humbled by that.

Because sometimes when the Holy Spirit prompts me, I'm not listening. Or I don't stop what I'm doing and DO it. Even a little something. Those little somethings mean a lot.

Everyone is finally settled down and asleep. Son #1 and Daughter #2 are packed. The Coach is home. The grocery run is done and all put away. The dishwasher and laundry are humming. The homework is as finished as it's going to get and tucked away in all of the backpacks for tomorrow. The lunch bags are out and ready to go. The clothes for morning are lying on the ends of beds.

And me? I'm just so grateful for the reminder that Jesus loves me.

Thankful Thursday

Yesterday my kids came home from school singing the "Gratefulness Song" from school (Character First!). It's something about "When we all see, what we should see, all we would see, is the good we know that others do for us and show them all our gratefulness!"

Now I have it stuck in my head. But you know. . . it's true.

What are you "seeing" today? What you SHOULD see? What I see here:

1. Laundry getting caught up. For today.

2. Bathrooms wiped up. Not scrubbed, but clean enough.

3. Son #4 still home from school, but I think we are ALMOST there. Made it all day, yesterday, without fever, then started running one again, last night. Bummer.

4. A freshly dusted bedroom. The Coach thought he was in the wrong room last night! We could have been leaving each other notes on the dresser. In the dust. But it's clean, now!

5. Finishing up my z-pac today. I'm finally feeling better.

6. That the Son who has been sick the longest, is also the best sick kid ever. In the history of the world. Seriously. Not one complaint or request. This kids is TOUGH. A little bit of cabin fever going on, but he's doing great.

7. My sewing machine. Zig-zagging around some bath mats this morning and thinking about what a blessing that machine has been for the last 19 years. How much mending it has helped with, how many curtains, bedding, crafts and countless projects. So grateful.

8. Beautiful weather. Seriously. It's been amazing. The kids have built an entire hobo village in the woods that they have spent every daylight moment after school playing in. The Coach is tearing up our deck (which is in need of repairs) after school each day. It's sunny, cool, lovely. Little Man is all about jumping on the trampoline, digging in the dirt, playing in the ashes in the fire pit (yeah. THAT is fun to clean up) and running around after all of the big kids. Good times.

Blessings on each of you this Thursday morning! May the Lord fill you with knowledge of His power and wisdom. My you find new strength to trust Him and allow Him to guide your steps.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tea, Muffins and Thoughts

Happy Tuesday morning!

As I'm sitting here eating a chocolate chip pumpkin muffin and drinking Chai tea, I thought it might be a good time to check in.
Not that I am opposed to just eating my muffin and drinking my tea, but I'm all about multi-tasking.
And did I mention that Daughter #7 and Little Man are at BSF with Grandmother?

Which would make it REALLY quiet here, except that Son #4 is home sick (which is also why I'm not at BSF with my kids) and is watching his, oh, about 236th episode of "A Team" on Netflix online. Fortunately, I am quite entertained by the A Team. Not that I sit and watch it with him, but I do get a chuckle or two from Murdock as I'm washing the dishes. And I almost have the intro memorized. Which I'm sure will come in handy at some point in life. I know for SURE the education on 80's culture will be invaluable to my son.


Reading through some old posts last night, I was struck by something obvious.

We are sick a lot.

Did I say a lot? I mean A LOT.

Or maybe it's just my perspective after being sick, myself, for over a week and caring for four sick kids, as well.

In the meantime, you won't believe it, but the Coach has finished up his 2009 football season. Even after 15 football seasons with him, knowing it will end soon enough, I'm relieved when it actually DOES end. So nice to have him around, again.

It's such a blessing being married to a man who is fortunate enough to have a job that he loves. It is a busy Fall at our house. But as the kids get older, it's getting easier. And starting next year, we will have a son of our own on that highschool team (ugh - where does the time go?) and how awesome is that to have your dad as your coach?


Praying that all of you are staying healthy and enjoying this beautiful FALL weather that we are having here in our neck of the woods. It's almost time for Family Pictures, Thanksgiving and finishing up my Christmas shopping (which would mean that I have to START, I suppose).

I probably should have skipped the muffin this morning since my current size is about to be documented for posterity. But I'm pretty sure it wasn't this morning's muffin that caused the problem to begin with. So why quit, now? There will be plenty of time for dieting when I'm not recovering from a flu-induced sinus infection and all of my kids are well and back in school.


Well, the laundry and dishes are calling. Son #4 is about finished up with his third episode this morning. I don't know that watching the A Team on Netflix for 6 days straight has helped out with his private Christian school principle approach education, but it probably hasn't hurt it, either. I hope.

There will plenty of time for homework (and dieting) another day, right?

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What a week.

Daughter (#6) finally made it back to school, yesterday. The hives only lasted a few days, but a fever followed. She missed a whole week!

But before she went back to school she gave the virus to her sister, Daughter (#7). Who, in turn, gave it to me.

Yee haw.

I "only" ran a fever for three days. Nice. She's still running a fever, Little Man started on Tuesday and Son #4, this morning.

On the very day of our wonderful school's Fall Festival! I'm so sad for him.

But enough of that! It's Thursday!!

1. A wonderful family reunion with my dad's cousins on Saturday. What sweet memories! The kids had fun on the farm - riding horses (thanks, Cousin Glen!) playing with the puppies, swinging, climbing in the tree house. What an amazing Godly heritage we've been given. (Praying, too, that none of us were contagious while we were there! We got sick the very next day.)

2. All of my mother's wonderful help while I was sick. Dinner one day, lunch the next, picking up the kids THREE days for me. Taking Daughter (#2) to her hair cut. What a blessing!

3. Beautiful weather! How amazing to be able to open all of the windows and let the fresh air and sunshine in. Ahhhhh.

4. Daughter (#2) and Son's (#3) help making 12 dozen chocolate chip cookies, yesterday, for the Fall Festival Bake Sale. Go buy some! :-)

5. The last week of football. It's all over tomorrow night - hopefully on a good note. But over, none-the-less. Can't believe I survived my 15th football season with the Coach. Some years I haven't been so sure we would make it!

6. Life lessons. The self-sacrificing, thinking of others, pitching in to help without being asked kind. I would never chose to be sick, but I appreciate the opportunity that my kids have had to help out. Hard for me, hard for them, but good for all of us.

7. Two full nights of sleep. Sure does help. Even if it only happens when we bribe, I mean REWARD, our little girls for staying in THEIR room all night!

8. No school tomorrow. We need the extra time to recover from this week!

That's all of the energy I have for today. Still lots of cleaning and caring and "come sit with me mom" to be done here, today, with sick little ones.

Happy Thursday!