Monday, January 28, 2013

A Blessed Monday

It's HARD for me to sit still.  I'm a DOER, a list-maker, and when the list doesn't change from day to day - except to add to it - I feel like a big fat failure.

Partly because there is a lot to do here at the troops.  Just daily "life" things for 10.  School with m 4th grader.  And Little Man.  Running around, making us laugh, making messes with his endless "projects" - like putting water and food coloring in a glass and dipping cotton balls in it to make them pink.  Yikes.

We're a little behind on the daily things after a week of grieving the loss of the Coach's grandma, spending time with family, and a basketball tournament over the weekend.

But today, I woke a little girlie up for school at 6:25 to find her burning with fever.  The other kids got off to school, while my "homeschoolers" slept on so I could get her settled on the couch with Gatorade and Netflix.

Priorities.  Not interruptions.  Putting first things first.  People before projects (not the Little Man kind, but the 6 loads of laundry to fold kind).  Rubbing my little girl's back and smoothing her hair back instead of crossing errands off the list.  After all, the laundry is always there.  Always.

And you know what?  I'm blessed.  Grateful I CAN take the day to care for my little one.  Grateful that I don't have to call in sick to stay home.  Grateful that I have a 17 year old to bring the kids home from school, later.  A mom to listen on the phone.  A friend to call to compare symptoms and treatments.  Cheesy movies to watch. Recliners to rest in.  Soup to heat for lunch and lots of saltine crackers.  Coffee.  More coffee.  Dinner in the crock pot.  Maybe even getting my workout in later when the Coach gets home.   I might even get a shower, at some point.  Ha!  And did I mention that one of Little Man's hermit crabs switched shells overnight?  This is fun stuff!

In the meantime, Little Man is working on something in the kitchen.  I'm concerned.  And since the sick princess is sleeping, I should probably investigate.  Maybe he'll help me make some muffins for the patient.

Happy Monday!

And did I mention how grateful I am that it's NOT the stomach flu?  Thank you, Jesus!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Maybe it's that the troops are growing up SO fast.  So very fast.

Maybe it's that life is going at a break-neck speed.

Maybe it's that the Lord is very near when our hearts our troubled.

Maybe it's just too many episodes of Downton Abbey (Poor Edith left at the altar!).

At any rate, I seem to be overly emotional, lately.

Walking on the treadmill, the other day, I was fast-forwarding through the songs on my i-pod, which at some point, was high-jacked by my oldest son.  There's not much on there that I prefer, but then "Boys of Fall" came on and I stopped fast-forwarding and just listened.

My heart squeezed tightly and I realized that next Fall will be my biggest boy's LAST Fall on the football field.  Followed shortly by finishing his senior year of high school and . . .

You can see where I'm going with this?

It wasn't pretty.

Then Wednesday, sitting in the passport office with Son #3, waiting for the Coach to get there before 4:00 so we could file his application (both parents present, of course) - the Coach didn't make it, but my thoughts did.  Sending out our THIRD across the world the share the gospel.

On his application for the Africa trip, it asked, "Do you play any instruments?" To which he replied (he filled it out by himself, of course), "A little piano."

Now all of the troops and are teasing him, "How little IS the piano that you play?"

My pack of little boys is growing up.  Fast.

Son #3 will be in Jr. High next year.  Yikes. He still wears me out.  Every. Single. Day.  But his smile? Lights up the room.  He is loud and happy and fun.  99.9% of the time.  The rest of the time?  We try to stay out of his way.  He's almost as tall as I am, now.  He'll be 13 in April and off on his first cross-country trip with the Coach and the 6th grade class, soon after that.  (I love this picture - he's in the middle, of course - with a big BRUISE on his forehead.  That's my boy!)


How much have I taught them?  How prepared are they for the "real world"?  How well do they know the Lord's stead-fast love for them?  How much do they understand that I love them unconditionally?  That grades aren't the most important thing, that having money won't make you happy, and that PEOPLE matter most.

I'm not sure.

But there's still time.

A little.

In the end, they are growing up.  They will leave.  Someday the Coach and I will be alone, for the first time.  Well, there were those 11 months before Son #1 joined us.

Some days I confess that I long for those days.  A bit too much.

Other days I want to stop time RIGHT HERE.  And just enjoy this all as much as I possibly can.

Little Man just took advantage of my being distracted on the phone for a few minutes and washed and trimmed brussel sprouts, sprayed a pan and seasoned them for roasting.  He's chomping away on them, now (I helped with the oven.).

I'm in trouble.

And don't get me started on my girls. . .

A couple of good, recent, blogs on boys?  They say it much better than I do.

Anne Voskamp
Jen Hatmaker

Happy Thursday!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Things that make you go, "Hmmmm. . . "

Just so many things swirling around in my head.  I haven't known where to start, lately.  So maybe I've skipped the blogging not wanting to get weighed down in my overwhelmed mind.

My favorite verse lately?

Psalm 61:2.

In the meantime, I started back on a clean eating/workout regimen last week.  Feels so good to be back on track.  Ahhhhh.

One of my stops along the way was to buy protein powder for my post-workout smoothies.

When I got home and took it out of the bag, I found this free sample:

As if the guy working at GNC couldn't tell by looking at me how hysterically funny this is.  Me, with two kids tagging along, driving a 12 passenger van and looking (in my black Nike pants) like I've given birth to at least a few babies.  Or more.

I've left it on my desk all week just to make me smile.  You should have heard my boys when they caught a glimpse.  "Is this YOURS, Mom?"  and I said, "Oh.  Yeah.  Just trying to maximize my workouts."

Love making them laugh.

We were discussing, the other night, that I didn't go to college.  It intrigues my kids. . . maybe because they aren't home-schooled, like I was, or maybe because the Coach is not only an educator, but determined that the kids WILL get their degrees.  Son (#4) said, "So you skipped college and went straight to your PhD?  In AWESOME!"

Love him.

And if my 12 year old son thinks I'm awesome, who needs "Ripped Freak"?

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Stuck somewhere between joy and pain. . .

I can't say I was sad to see 2012 go.  As Son (#3) and I like to say, "It's not my favorite".

Some wonderful memories.  Fun times with the troops.  Watched them grow up a lot, for sure (My boys are SO much taller, too.).

But some really hard things.

How do we grieve the hard things and smile at the blessings?

All at once?

I'm not sure.

My mother reminded me of I Peter 4 during our morning walk/jog in the freezing temps this morning (Can you say frost on the inside of my Buff?  Ugh.).

"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."

Fiery trials (not some strange thing!).

Joy (of the exceeding variety!).


I don't get it.

This year will likely bring more "fiery trials".  I'm not foolish enough to think it won't.  But blessings will likely come, too.  I intend to count them.  Even when the trials seem to drown me. . . I'm going to keep counting my blessings.  Finding the joy.

I'm grateful to look back and see that the Lord has healed my girl (Daughter #6) and given us the grace we've needed for homeschool.  And sleep.  He's given us back our sleep!  Can I get an AMEN?

I'm grateful that the Coach has been coaching basketball.  And is loving it.  And that Daughter (#2) is loving it, too.

I'm grateful for a football season that ended with my son being healthy and whole.  Times two!  Sons, that is.

I'm grateful for our school. . . that the construction is moving along (inside and out, planned and unplanned, too!) and things might sort of return to normal before too long.

I'm grateful for the Lord's gracious financial provision for our troops.  So grateful.

I'm grateful for sweet friends for my troops (and that they love hanging out at our house!).  And for my BFF's, too.  I've needed them so desperately this year.

I'm grateful for precious memories with both of our sets of parents.  Africa with my parents for the oldest two.  Colorado with my parents in the Summer.  Branson with both sets of grands at Christmastime.

I'm grateful for precious times with the Coach last Summer.  Chicago - what a fun trip!  Branson - so relaxing.

I'm grateful for the many date nights we've enjoyed, home projects finished - a new driveway!! - painting - furniture replacements (We seem to wear things out.  Go figure.).  And lots of lots of laughing.

I'm grateful for healthy kids.  SO very grateful for healthy kids.

And in 2013?

I'm looking forward to some things, for sure:

Making the Daily Audio Bible a regular part of my mornings.

Finishing up a Spring of homeschool and sending ALL EIGHT of the troops to school in the Fall.  Won't that be amazing?  "Lord willin' and the creek don't rise", as they say.

Turning 40.  Yikes.  And a beach trip with the girls to celebrate!  Yay!

Hopefully running another 1/2 marathon in the Spring.  Not the full marathon I'd been hoping for. . . but this Fall wasn't quite what I had planned.  I have some work to do in that department.

Sending my big kids off to share the gospel, again, next Summer.  A dream come true each and every time.

I'm even contemplating a return to Weight Watchers.  If I can find the time.

And hopefully getting in more blogging now and then.  I miss it.

One thing I know for sure?  God is still on His throne.  And He still loves me.

It's enough.

Happy 2013, to all of you, Dear Ones!
May the Lord be more real to you in the coming year.
May you KNOW His love in a deeper way.
And may He grant you the grace to love those around you, as He loves them.

From my troops to yours. . .