Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Woke up this morning FEELING Monday.

The kids were out of school, yesterday, following our amazing school banquet on Tuesday night. Now the days of the week feel completely OFF. I even started to do some of my "Monday List" things. Odd.

It doesn't help that I had the kids do some of the "Saturday" list, yesterday (since they were all home) and the Coach was home, too. And we did baths last night for the little ones. So that would make today Sunday, except it's not. I may never figure it all out!

The good news is - tomorrow is Friday! Yeah!

For today, though~

1. Healthy kids. Such an unexpected blessing at the troops this time of year!

2. FUN timeline presentation with Daughter #5 on Monday. LOVE having those - and love having them DONE. She's a sweet girl with a wonderful teacher. So blessed.

3. Great school banquet Tuesday night. We are blessed to be a part of the "family" that is our school. Well, and half of them literally ARE our family.

4. New storm door on the new back door, as of today. YEAH! Means I can have a breeze on the two or three perfect days each year and will be so nice for the kids coming in and out without bugs joining them on the way in in the Summer!

5. A freshly cleaned washing machine. The LARGE washer and dryer are wonderful - the scum that the washer grows, not so much. Been awhile since I've tackled that and WOW - it's much cleaner.

6. Son #1's Science Fair project almost done (and next week on my list will be that it IS DONE). (sigh) Not my favorite required part of schooling - but it builds character, right?

7. House is rather clean. Well, maybe not clean. But it's picked up. And vacuumed. And we're going with that, today!

8. Dinner made for tonight. Do you ever cook a big turkey and then make three or four meals out of it? Such a sense of accomplishment.

Just so much to be grateful for! I know you probably read this list and think, "Yeah. Whatever. None of that is a big deal." But it is. We are so blessed and have so much to thank our Heavenly Father for. Even if all you can think of is the gift of another day to learn more about Him.

So Happy Thursday. Or whatever day it is.

Leave me a comment and tell me what you are grateful for today!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I know it's Friday. Well, at least I do now.
Somewhere between morning and afternoon I started thinking it was Thursday. Weird.

I am, however, going to pretend for a minute that it is Thursday and do my thankful list.

1. Date night. Can't remember when our last date night was - it's been awhile. A long while. I'm ready for some time with my Coach.

2. A new back door with a WINDOW in it by my laundry room. Ahhhhh. Light. Yes, I have pictures.

3. Newly adjusted and smoothly running treadmill. So nice.

4. Completing my very first "race" last Saturday. 5 miles. I survived. And enjoyed it. And didn't finish last. Hurray!

5. Presidential Tea with Son #4 successfully impersonating Grover Cleveland. Mustache and all. And yes, I have pictures!

6. Much healthier Son #1 after blood work, x-rays and discovering mysterious pneumonia. Hmmmm. An injection and two z-pacs later, he's much improved!

7. Timeline for Daughter #5 *almost* done. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. It's been SO fun to look at all of those pictures of my sweet babies. (sniff)

8. A visit with one of my former sweet sitters who is in town for the weekend. Miss her so. Happy we can catch up a bit!

Well, I'm sure there is more, but Daughter #6 is waiting for me to play Othello with her. Off I go!

Happy Thursday. I mean Friday. Whatever.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day. . . in real life

Happy Day after Valentine's!

We had a busy weekend.

The Coach apologized for the fact that there just wasn't time for a date night.

Friday was homecoming at school, Saturday we celebrated Daughter #2's THIRTEENTH birthday, after he supervised our crazy household in the morning so that I could walk 9 miles. Sunday there was church, Sunday school, my afternoon Bible study with the sisters-in-law, a sick kid, homework to catch up on and groceries to buy for yet another week of crazy.

You know what I told him?

One day in the year being special does not a good marriage make.

The truth? He makes every day special.

I know he loves me - not just because he tells me so - but because every day he SHOWS me by working hard to provide for us, helping me by fixing and fixing UP things around the house. Helping with dishes and in the kitchen, motivating kids to do their chores. Supervising math homework every night, praying in three different bedrooms at bedtime every night. He studies God's Word to be the best man he can be, the best husband, the best father, the best teacher. He laughs with my kids, plays football in the yard and basketball on the court with them. He gives them good counsel, kind correction. He never (never ever once) complains about a meal, the house, the laundry, my exhaustion. Never. He smiles at me all of the time. He teases the kids and makes them laugh when they get frustrated. He tells me he's grateful for me. For God's provision. For the kids. He talks with me about what is in his heart. What he desires to see God do in our family. He comes home every evening and weekend seeking to be ALL here. He spends every "spare" minute with us, enjoying the kids and loving me so faithfully.

I'm telling you. . . it doesn't take a "special" Valentine's Day date to love a man like that.

We'll get our date night here before too long.

In the meantime I'll just keep enjoying LIFE with my Coach.

And the fact that my heart still beats faster when he walks in the door.

It's all good.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Just. . . not. . . getting. . . it . . . all. . .done.

Do you ever read a verse in the Bible and feel like you're reading it for the very first time? Even if you've memorized it and read it many times, before? This happens to me a lot these days. I'm pretty sure it's because my memory is going (something to do with those nine pregnancies, you think?).

One of my favorite "habits" - I have a few good ones and many bad - is reading my Bible before I go to sleep. A few nights ago I came across this familiar passage:

Galatians 6:9
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.

And this one:
II Thes. 3:13
But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

I don't know about you, but I'm weary. In well doing. Seriously.

Do you feel like you clean the kitchen 100 times a day? Fold clothes and fold clothes and fold clothes and put away clothes and put away clothes. . . ?
Cook healthy nutritious meals over and over, again (and yet they keep getting hungry!)?
Bathe kids over and over? Lotion over and over? Cut nails, clean ears, comb tangled hair?
Put in pony tails, wash faces, apply band-aids and/or ice all day long?
Not to mention the never-ending grocery list, to do list, school project list?
Then there are the attitudes that need corrected. . . the discipline that needs to be applied over and over. . . the reminders. . . the teaching, training. . . over and over and over, again?


This verse reminded me that what I do IS "well doing". Caring for the family God has blessed me with is all good. It's my job, my calling, and truthfully? It's all I WANT to do. Most of the time.

So this week, when I only had time to vacuum and the dust is piling up. . .
I only had time to have the kids wipe bathroom counters and clean mirrors and the tub still needs a scrubbing. . .
I only had time to sweep the floors and they seriously need a good mopping. . .
I washed and folded clothes, but they aren't put away, yet. . .
I fixed "fast" meals because I have been short on time. . .
I've let kids go to school with hair sticking up. . . nails that need cleaned. . .and no shorts under their skirts (please don't tell).
I got the meal planning and grocery shopping done then realized I hadn't included items for school parties and a soon coming birthday. . .
(Wow. It's amazing how much better I feel confessing all of this. HA!)

Instead of feeling like a failure because I don't have it all together or get it all done or do it all perfectly. . .

I'm going to persevere. I'm going to remember that this is "well doing" this mommy job of caring for the troops.

I'm going to purpose to not grow weary. I know I'll still be tired. Always am. But I'm going to purpose to not lose heart (that's the real kind of weariness) and keep on keeping on.

Because. . .after all. . . I'm not trying to grow a perfect house, perfect meals or perfect organization in this life. . .

I'm trying to grow kids who love God and love others.

"for in due season we shall reap if we faint not."

May the Lord strengthen your faint heart today and give you His strength to keep on doing well.

Think I'm going to go tackle the dust! Or maybe just let Daughter #7 practice her letters in it. Hmmm. . . .

Happy Thursday!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday

In no particular order:

1. Healthy kids. Son #1 had the stomach virus at the beginning of last week - and so far everyone else is OK! That's a miracle, Folks! The colds that we all had seem to be coming to an end, as well.

2. Last two basketball games, tonight. Can't believe it's already over! We've enjoyed watching Son #1 and Daughter #2 play this year. But it makes for some crazy (and long) days! Will be glad to have one less thing going on.

3. Five days at home with the kids. Loved it. The snow is melting away, but we made some fun memories. I think it wore me out, though! I'm so tired!

4. Week #6 of 1/2 marathon training. This week it's been a struggle. But I'm still grateful for the goal and the strength to get it done - and a treadmill that works!

5. Good friends. If you have a friend or two that you can share your heart with - you should be thankful, too!

6. A Husband who loves me. Even when I'm tired, overwhelmed, cranky. . . etc.

7. Dinner at Pops with my parents on Monday. We had so much fun! The kids drank pop from bottles, ate hamburgers and hot dogs - with milkshakes for dessert! What a treat.

8. The basics - a warm house (when it's cloudy and COLD outside), clean laundry (that WILL get folded and put away at some point today), good food to eat (and Wal-mart one mile away, if we need anything), a dependable van to drive (even if it's FILTHY from the melting snow), and the possibility of a nap this afternoon (if I work really hard until then).

Blessings on your Thursday!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Are you getting the message?

Yesterday I was overwhelmed. The thought of catching up from snow days, projects that are due (for me!), a house that needs some serious work, endless cooking and cleaning, bills to figure out, phone calls to make, three (yes, I've lost my mind!) Bible studies that need to be worked on, and somehow getting in a 4 mile walk when the treadmill isn't working and it's icy outside.

I'm learning that when I start getting that "drowning" feeling, I need to start looking for the small blessings around me. They are His messages of love! I even ask Him. "Show me Your love."

I don't think that anything happens without a reason. I trust the Lord to either resolve a situation, or give me the grace to glorify Him in it. Sometimes, He chooses to resolve it!

And you know what? I got the message!

First of all, the Coach and Daughter #2 left for the high school basketball games before dinner. I was already so tired and not really wanting to do dinner and bedtime without help! But you know what? We invited Grandmother and Granddad to come eat - which they did. And the most wonderful thing of all? Son #1 kept things on track - helped with the little ones - and my other big boys helped clean up - everyone did their jobs - it was a good evening!

Secondly, we had looked for Son #4's school library book for TWO days. While Grandmother was here, she offered to help (I had already spent a LOT of time looking!) and found it behind his bedroom door! Odd place for a book to be, but one place we HAD NOT looked! Yeah! I had prayed with Son #4, telling him that the Lord knew where that book was, even if we didn't. Sometimes He helps us find things, sometimes He gives us the grace to go on without finding them - and this time? A found book.

Then, right before the Coach left, the fitness equipment place called about fixing our treadmill. It's been hard enough to get my miles in WITH a treadmill right here. But about three weeks ago it quit working! I've been going (as often as I could) to my parents to walk. Well, while talking to the guy at the fitness place, the Coach got it to work, again! After the girls were in bed, I walked my four miles with SUCH JOY!

Before I got on the treadmill, I came in to get my I-pod. Couldn't find it. I knew I had SEEN it in the last day or two, but I hadn't USED it since our treadmill went out. Several weeks. Looked and looked (feeling frustrated at this point because I'd spend so much of my day LOOKING for things!) and it just wasn't there! Finally, Son #1 brought his in and offered it for my walk. So I used his. Then when the Coach got home, later, and sat down to work on the computer, he found mine under the keyboard! Under the keyboard? Weird. But there it was!

Do you see what I mean? I know none of these things are a big deal. I know circumstances aren't where we find our joy! There are still lots of things to face for today. Things sometimes turn out to be horribly difficult, instead of resolved. But if you start to notice the little blessings in your day, you will have a different perspective. Not that things all turn out perfectly - but that in the small things, you can find the blessing there. You can see His hand - caring for you. Showing you that He loves you.

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Eph 3:17-19

That is precious to me! Oh that I would comprehend the breath, length, depth and height of the love of Christ!

He loves you - are you getting the message?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Back to school

It's quiet here, this morning. Too quiet.

I miss my troops. All of them.

Never mind that the FIVE days having them home (three snow days and the weekend) were busy, crazy and LOUD.
We had fun.

I cooked constantly. Those kids can EAT!
Bread and cinnamon rolls.
Chicken noodle soup.
Spice muffins.
Chocolate chip cookies.
More cinnamon rolls.
A ham.
Baked Potatoes.
And countless eggs, sandwiches, fruit smoothies and bowls of oatmeal.


Not the mention the laundry.
Good heavens.

For some reason, the fact that they weren't in school caused the laundry to explode. Which makes no sense at all considering the fact that they wore their pajamas the majority of the time.

Out into the snow. . . back in the house. . . out in the snow. . . back in the house.

It was a full time job to feed them and keep up with the laundry.

And the dishes that never ended. . .

But we had a great time. We watched the entire first season of Columbo. We watched "Faith Like Potatoes" and some movie about love that I can't remember the name of. We watched "Song of the South" and countless "Dirty Jobs" episodes on Netflix.

And three of the nights? A big "Snow Day Slumber Party" in the Living Room.

On Friday morning, when we woke up to a blanket of white - Little Man exclaimed, "It's Trismas!" How sweet is that?
I cleaned a bathroom or two and washed some of the sheets - but mostly, we just relaxed. We drank hot chocolate and Chai tea and popped lots of popcorn.

There's still LOTS of snow, outside. I'm only hoping I can get our big van out to pick up the kids this afternoon. Once I get out of the neighborhood I'll be OK. But watching the Coach help 5 or 6 cars that got stuck on our street, yesterday, doesn't give me a lot of confidence.

But for now? Quiet. Only two kids. Less laundry. Less food. Less of everything.

I'm missing those snow days, already.