Whew, what a week!

We were blessed to be able to go to the Boston area to help with a Pastor/Wives Retreat for a few days.  Irvin (aka Papa) came to stay with the kids, and they enjoyed their time with him so much!  I have a feeling that maybe some funny stories will come from their week together.  Irv taught the kids some school, took them out to eat and cooked at home for them, made sure they brushed their teeth and made their beds, took them to all sort of fun places like The Dollar Store, Sonic, Wal-Mart, The Mall, Monkey Joes, etc.  He was only here four days alone with them.  Not sure they missed us for one second of those four days, but they did seem happy to see us when we finally got home Friday night.

Molly turned 7 on Saturday, so Papa took us out to eat to celebrate.  We went to My Clayground and let the kids paint some pottery.  And would you believe we got to meet Matt Redman?!  He is a Christian singer, and I love his music.  He was a really nice guy.

Molly wasn’t near as impressed as I was, but I had her pose for a picture instead of me.  I thought that might be a bit awkward.

This was when they went to Build A Bear with Papa and Uncle Jason and Aunt Merrilee.  Uncle Jason and Aunt Merrilee let them pick out a bear for their birthdays.  Fun!

Love my 7 year old Molly and 5 year old Mack!

We had fun in Boston.  I mostly just like spending time with my husband.  It doesn’t much matter where we are.

Next time I hope to stay an extra day and see the city, take a Duck Boat tour and stop at Mike’s Pastries.

But for now, it’s back to schooling and laundry and cleaning…..still as important as ever, but not always as much fun!


For the Record

Sometimes the day is so productive that you just have to write it down or tell somebody because the likelihood that it’ll happen again anytime soon is slim to none.  So, for the record (and for when my kids wonder if I ever taught them anything in home school), let me just share about our day.

I got up before the kids, which is harder to do post-summer laziness than I realized, and enjoyed time in The Word.  Once they all got up, we ate a quick breakfast and then went for a walk.  They griped almost the whole way, but they made it.  “A bug just bit me!!”  “How much longer?”  “Why does my pinky toe hurt?”  “Will you please put me on your back?”  “Do we have to do school today since we are walking so long?”

We then stopped back in at home for some water and to pick up their tennis rackets and balls.  We walked down to the courts.  “WHAT?!  Why are we walking? Can’t we take the car?”  We can, but we live about 1/8 of a mile from the courts.  Gracious.  I let them know that they should be grateful for legs that work and a body that can move around and for a heart that is beating……and we walked to the courts.  They started our tennis time off with, “But when DADDY was with us he did…..blah, blah, blah….”  I asked them to take a look all around and tell me who is there with them today.  I asked them who was NOT with them today, and we continued on the way I wanted to.  🙂  Oh, the joys.  On the way back I told them to do what I was doing, and then I started doing walking lunges back home.  Mack said, “But Mom! People will think we are crazy.”  I said, “So.”  Ruby said, “Yeah, if they think we are crazy, well…then they are really the ones who are crazy.  Everyone is crazy.”  Good point.

We came home and took showers, got dressed and started with Bible and memory work.  We are working on Psalm 1.  The music CD is helping a ton!  We read a missionary story from MISSIONARY STORIES WITH THE MILLERS.  I really enjoy reading those stories and finding the location of the stories on the world map.  The girls even came up with a little song like a commercial to introduce our MISSIONARY STORIES WITH THE MILLERS time.  It is cute and comes with motions.

Then we moved on to MATH.  We are working on money with the girls—which reminds me that we need to play Money Bingo after rest time!

Mack and I worked on the letter “k” and some sight words.  We read a few books.  He put some numbers in order.  He went to play.

The girls and I did English, reviewing common and proper nouns and practicing when and how to make nouns plural.

Then there was a popsicle break.

Then Science.  And let me tell you, I am loving our new Science book.  It is put out by Answers in Genesis, OUR WEATHER AND WATER.  Love it.  Over our two weeks and two days in school, we have learned about three major events that affect our weather today: Creation, Corruption (sin) and Catastrophe (flood).  We learned about atmosphere the other day, and I really enjoyed that!  Today we discussed air and if it weighs anything and how air pressure affects weather, etc.  There are little experiments that are very simple, but perfect for proving the point.  We even read in Job about how God spoke of the weight of air even in the Bible….Job 28:24 “For He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heavens, to establish a weight for the wind, and apportion the waters by measure….”  Very cool.  I also learned that “the air presses on our bodies with about 14.7 pounds of pressure per square inch when we are at sea level.”  Yet another reason that fighting against aging and wrinkles is vain.  There is air pressure like that pushing on our face and other parts of the body….things are gonna sag over time.  Sobering, but true.

Alrighty, where was I?  Oh, yes.  Next we had lunch.

And now each one of the boogers are in their room for our rest time.  They don’t have to sleep, but they must stay in their room quietly.  It is so nice.  After this rest I may be up for reading aloud from CHARLOTTE’S WEB.  They really enjoy that story.  We’re having sausage and eggs and pancakes for dinner tonight.  Wonder if I should bring up that we are eating Wilbur?  Maybe not.

So, for the record, I count this as an extremely productive day.  Even laundry has been done!  If you aren’t impressed, please keep that to yourself.  🙂

And also, for the record, I wanted to share a little something that happened the other morning.  This weekend I was telling Josh about how sometimes I feel TRAPPED.  I know God has me home with my kids, and I really in truly don’t want to be anywhere else.  The heavy feelings can sometimes be oppressing.  I have been praying that God would really set me free from the heaviness and give me joy in my calling here at home.  I also told Josh that he may not understand this, but “I walk the same steps day after day.”  I said those words exactly and was referring to how I get up, walk downstairs, fix breakfast, walk around cleaning up from breakfast, then walk around my bed to make it up, then walk into each of their rooms to help them with beds, straightening, etc, then I walk to the school room, and on and on…you get the point. It relates to the trapped feelings.  I know I am not trapped, and I realize I am blessed beyond belief to be here with the kids and teach and train them.  I get that in my head, but sometimes the feelings don’t match.  I feel overwhelmed.  Or frustrated.  Or bored.  Or trapped.  I have asked God to help me see my calling the way He sees it and to walk in joy and freedom, no matter what feelings try to chase me down and trap me.

Enter Psalm 142. I “randomly” picked this Psalm to meditate on and to try and memorize about eight days ago.  I’ve read it each morning several times.  I was focused mostly on verse one and trying to call out TO GOD for help instead of complaining to others or calling out to Josh to help in ways he isn’t able to.  But then, the morning after I had shared some of my thoughts and feelings with Josh, I read Psalm 142 with new eyes and felt like the Holy Spirit was showing me more in these verses than I had seen, making me realize God knew I needed to meditate on these verses for many reasons!

Psalm 142

1 I cry aloud with my voice to the LORD ; I make supplication with my voice to the LORD. 2 I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. 3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. 4 Look to the right and see ; For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; No one cares for my soul. 5 I cried out to You, O LORD ; I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. 6 Give heed to my cry, For I am brought very low ; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are too strong for me. 7 Bring my soul out of prison, So that I may give thanks to Your name ; The righteous will surround me, For You will deal bountifully with me.”

Good stuff.  For the record, I love it when God chooses to be blatantly personal and very much in my business.  

Fun Sunday…for some.

Sweet little Ruby was sick with strep on Sunday, so she and I did not get to go to church.  I was so disappointed!!  However, we enjoyed our time together….she slept most of the time….or threw up.  Other than that, we had some quality time in between laundry and straightening.  Mondays are usually horribly full of chores, but today has been quite pleasant because of the things I got done yesterday.  I don’t want to make a habit of working on Sunday, but I am just looking at the bright side of having to miss promotion Sunday/welcome back Pastor/new worship leader day!

The other three members of the family went to church.  Mack got to go to his KINDERGARTEN class, and he was excited.  He said he had fun, but he did miss the indoor playground.  He said they got “Cracker Jams” for a snack.  Funny.  He also said the service was fun because of the music, but that he was kind of bored.  He’ll have to get used to it though.

Molly and Mack were off playing together Sunday evening and staying away from Ruby.  Josh often finds them playing “house” or some other thing that Molly has come up with.  He usually intervenes and suggests that they go outside and play or pull out the trucks or maybe go throw a ball together.  So, I thought it was quite funny that when they came down the other night Molly said, “We were playing wedding” (quick pause) “with the cars.”  She went on to tell us how they were using a big rig’s tractor as the aisle and they’d “walk”  the cars down the aisle to get married.  Gracious.  That girl gets her way somehow or another.


Memory Lane

Just recently I changed the settings on my computer to have all of our pictures scrolling on the desktop.  I also recently moved the computer into the desk in our kitchen so that I could see exactly what the kids were doing on the computer.  Well, we find ourselves watching the pictures often and laughing about different stories behind the pictures.

Like this one:

Molly and Ruby were re-enacting the Christmas Story.  Molly was Mary.  Ruby was a shepherd at this point….Mack was not really participating as a certain role.  He was, however, making a mess of their production.  I remember how he was sitting on the animals and running in and out of their performance.  Obviously, Ruby was mad at him.  And also, quite as obvious, Mack was having fun being a pest.

Then there is this sweet picture that I remember like yesterday:

It was one of those days when pajamas were the attire for the whole day.  Mack was about 9 months, Molly was 2 years old, Ruby was 3 years old.  These were preciously maddening days.  🙂  I’m sure you can imagine what I mean by that.  I am so glad that I was here with them day in and day out and have lived to tell about it.

Oh dear, how I remember this picture!!

This was one of those moments when I started realizing just how much trouble I was in with Molly-Moo.  She is definitely a persistent and thorough little girl who does not get overlooked.  Whew.  What a mess she can make.

And what a sweet little face this is.  That boy was always so squishable.  Even today I see him like this picture in a lot of ways.  He continues to be the victim of many squishes and squeezes.  I always loved when that fair-skinned baby fat was clean and in a diaper and a onsie.  Delicious.

This one cracks me up because there were YEARS that IF Ruby had any clothes on, they were dress-up clothes.  She always preferred nakedness or make believe over real clothes.

There are so many more pictures that are attached to my heart with sweet memories.  I sure am grateful to continue on in life as these little kiddos’ mom.  They are fun to get to know.  They have been used by God in so many ways to point out my need for more of Him.  My mom always said she enjoyed each season that we went through, and I can see what she means.  I love looking at those sweet baby pictures, but I don’t long for those days to be these days!  I enjoy the independence each of them have learned.  I am finding joy in their distinct personalities, and I am still reminded daily of my need for more of Jesus in me if I am going to thrive in this motherhood gig!  It is not for the faint of heart.  What I have found to be the most helpful to me is SAYING I am sorry and ASKING them for their forgiveness.  The pressure to get it all perfect is no where around here….I’m far too realistic to think that I will even come close to perfection in anything, much less raising these kids.  Good grief.  BUT, I do want them to know that their mama knows when she blows it.  And I’m sorry for it.  And I want their forgiveness, to be back in right relationship with them.  It’s such a good thing.  I hope that they will have wonderful memories of growing up in this house and with all of us being together.  I hope the kids take walks down Memory Lane  and find there were plenty of stops at Forgiveness.

**This post MIGHT have been inspired by a doctor’s visit for Ruby today when I MIGHT have lost my cool with her while she was supposed to be giving a urine sample.  I MIGHT have been ticked to the max that she would not pee on command.  There MIGHT have been tears all around…Ruby, Molly, Mack and me.  It was ugly.  Or rather, I was ugly.  We all cried, they all forgave me…… I mean, they would have IF that really happened.**






A couple of pics

Josh wanted to take the kids to White Water this summer.  I did not.  So he and his dad and brother went to White Water with the kids.  Here are a couple of pictures before they left….they made the faces that they would be making on the slides.