Sunday, February 28, 2010


Take a good look. This smile is about to change.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Filed Under Grace- Documenting Answered Prayer


I'll make a list of God's gracious dealings, 
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God…
— Compassion lavished, love extravagant…

Isaiah 63:7-8
The Message

Let's begin, shall we? In case you missed it, I introduced this new carnival yesterday.

For this first post, I owe you an update on John, my brother-in-law. I introduced him here and updated here. Goodness, that was 5 months ago! The reason why I haven't posted any new information is because there has been nothing to report! In this case, no news is good news. Thank you, Lord!  John has been working, and there have been no new health issues to report. His roommate had pneumonia this winter, and that was a big concern, but John has not been ill. We were also concerned he would contract H1N1, but he's avoided that as well. We are thankful.

Do you have a praise? An answered prayer? Share them here, but please read the rules first. Thanks!
Blessings to you!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Filed Under Grace- Documenting Answered Prayer

Do you pray? When God answers, do you pay attention, take note? Do you keep track of His care, write it down for yourself and for your children?

I want to remember, to keep an account of His grace and mercy in my need. He is here, with me, answering before I ask. I want to remember. The grace is His gift, to me, to you. The Glory is His. He has done these things, and He deserves the credit.

So let us gather together and bring praise to the One whose love is extravagant, whose compassion is never failing. Whether it be a prayer answered, or a desire He knew and answered before you could even ask, would you share it here and encourage the community?

I ask no great commitment. Once a month, on the last weekend of the month, bring your accounts of His answers here.We will start Saturday and the linkup will be available for one week.

They need not be great big answers to prayer, though those are indeed for His glory! He sees and cares for the sparrows, and he cares about our daily struggles as much as the agonizing ones. Bring them all here and let us tell what God has done for us. Spread the word, please?

Like any carnival, I will have a MckLinky for you to link your post. Please link to your Filed Under Grace post, not your home page. Link back here on your post so your readers can find more stories of God's grace. Thank you.

I'll make a list of God's gracious dealings, 
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God…
— Compassion lavished, love extravagant…

Isaiah 63:7-8
The Message

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shaping up my Day

I’m always looking for new ways and systems to make our home school days run smoother. We tend to lose momentum, the kids and I are easily distracted and school drags on all day. One of the great things about doing school at home is, most days, at least in elementary school years, it is possible to be done by noon. But only if everyone works hard and stays on task. And if mom doesn’t get distracted by blogging. Ahem.
Yesterday I made a new check list. The previous list was too detailed, had a small font, and I think was overwhelming to little eyes. We quit using it months ago. Since that list bit the dust, I’ve foolishly expected my children to remember the work they needed to accomplish each day, and then ended up barking at them until it was. So I made a new list. Simple. A little thing.

Today began with new lists posted. And so far, my day is shaping up nicely.


 This post has been shared at I Should be Folding Laundry for You Capture. Today's focus is on shapes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Beyond Nearsightedness

We fill our days, leaving fingerprints and smudges. It's messy.

But His light shines on our mess, and warms our hearts. 
His Spirit, our Holy Counselor,
reminds us of all things good and right and pure.
The Son never fails, though we may.


And if we look to Him, 
past our fingerprints and mess, 
we will see His wondrous plan,
beyond our nearsightedness.

Thanks, Lord, for the view!

This post has been shared at Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Best Birthday Party Ever

On Wednesday I was panicked. I had agreed to throw my daughter a birthday party, but had NO IDEA what I was going to do to make it special. I had three days to come up with something. So I did what we all do now.

I Googled it.

And once again, Google came through for me. I found recipes and ideas for a spa party. One box of Epson salt and sea salt, a borrowed chocolate fountain, some fruit, a chapstick making kit, a pound cake straight from my breadmaker, a cake my mom made and graciously offered me, some bottles of fingernail polish, a few Mary Kay mirrors,  and one Papa Murphy's pizza later, I had a success of a party. Just look and see for yourself.

The girls made bath salts, lip balm, and a cucumber-parsley-yogurt face mask.

Izzy: "Well, that was an interesting experience."

And of course, they did each others hair. And mine. (No pictures of that!)
Megan declared it, "The best birthday party ever." Thank you, Google!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gimme a Break

On Valentine's Day we went home. To my parents' home. Megan had a birthday to celebrate, as well as my aunt and brother-in-law. And of course, we shared valentine treats along with the cake. It was nice.

 My sister was there with her 6 week old Victoria. Can you say cute?

But you know what's almost cuter than a cute baby? A man holding and burping a cute baby.

My man happens to be more of a baby hog than me. At church, he'll turn around to our friends sitting behind us, and offer to hold their baby. He cuddles and coos. So I couldn't wait to see him with Victoria. Nevermind that we had words for each other on the way to my parents. I still conjured up fond feelings for my baby doting husband. :)

My dad and his three granddaughters. They're cute too.

When we were done with the cake, 

  and I'd found the right ratio of coffee and creamer and sugar,

  We sat down by the fire and chatted.

It's nice to go home. I relax. My husband calls it reverting. Maybe he's right. Maybe I revert to being 17. I let my mom take care of me and my kids. But it's nice.

Sara admitted something to me recently. Now that she's a mom, she understands why I come to mom and dad's and revert; why all those years I would come and lie on the couch and do nothing. I was tired, and now she's tired and comes to take a break too. And it's nice. Nice to take a break. And nice to be understood.

So thanks, mom. For letting us come and  rest, for offering us coffee or tea, or fruit shakes or pancakes or leftovers. Thanks for picking up legos and dress-ups and crumbs. For changing diapers on your daughters' daughters.

Now that my kids are older, there are more arms to go around. More hands to change diapers or pick up toys. More help to give Sara a break. And that's nice for Mom. Maybe she'll get a break now, too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Victorian Valentine Adornments... and then some

Supplies laid around the house, begged to be made of use...
Antique postcards that have been hiding away for 20 years inspire a window treatment.



    you can just ignore that really long red string....scissors, coming right up


Love, Light.

And this is how we know what love is: 
Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  
And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
1 John 3:16


Lest you think our home is a quaint quiet atmosphere of children happily sketching and joyfully helping me in my decorative endeavors, let me tell you how it went when I tried to make this day special.

I prepared pink heart shaped pancakes, called the children down to breakfast, and eagerly awaited their excited exclamations of joyous delight in the Valentine breakfast.

 Instead, I heard cautious and suspicious voices ask:

"What makes them  pink?"
"Did you add flavoring?"
"Do they taste the same as usual?"
"Are you sure you didn't add something?"
"Did you say fruit coloring?"

Now, really, am I that awful a mom that my children think I would ruin a holiday breakfast? Give me some credit kids!

In their defense, when I explained I had only added food coloring, they happily stuffed their mouths. And suggested that on St. Patrick's day we have green four-leaf clover pancakes....

And then they proceeded to fight over the last three of MY specially-delivered chocolate covered strawberries.

Hmmph. Laying down my life. One strawberry at a time.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

All in My Line of Work

Look around my house, and there’s plenty of work to be done. I’ve heard some assume that since I am a stay-at-home-mom and we home-school, there should be no problem keeping an orderly home. I have all day, after all, right?


I mean, yes, I have all day between everything else that needs to be done, but my kids never leave, so neither does their mess-making ability. Have you ever noticed, friends whose kids attend school, your house is messier during Christmas vacation when your kids are home from school? Yep. My life. It only makes sense that if you all eat at home for every meal, there will be more dishes.

Dishes aside, here's my job of first priority...

Schoolbooks and pencils, both colored and unleaded, and papers and scissors and glue sticks and notebooks have taken hostage my lovely craigslist dining room table. All that stuff represents work. Not just naming a place for it all to belong, but teaching and tutoring and nagging and urging.

I am my kids’ educator and that responsibility often overwhelms me! I love the stage we are entering though. They love to listen to me read out loud. We begin each day with a Bible story, then American history, and often, accounts of great Christian heroes.

During this reading time, my children like to snuggle and occasionally enjoy making forts out of our living room furniture, which means blankets and sleeping bags draped over everything. Fun is always followed by work. Have you noticed? Piles of blankets and cushions heavier than they can carry must be hauled up the stairs. And folded. This is my job. For now.


We are working on the chores thing. Child slave labor is a beautiful thing. :)
And then, of course, there’s more folding after the use of these.

I have to say though, I love my stacked Maytags on the same level as the bedrooms. No hauling laundry up or down stairs. What a treat after living for seven years where the washer was in my dark yucky basement and I carried everything up one flight of stairs, squeezing the basket through the overstocked pantry, and then up another flight. Try doing that pregnant. And my husband wonders why I never did laundry!

Anyway, here’s my final job. OK, not really. Just my final picture.

You like my double monitor? My husband has the best technology castoffs! And they are indispensable for my line of work.

I’ve been working for Carrie for a bit now designing blog books. So. Fun. I especially enjoy our weekly meetings at the local coffee shop!

Really, I think every mom needs a hobby or a job where every so often she has the satisfaction of a finished product. Something about which she can say, THIS IS DONE.

Because every mom knows that the work of  mothering is never done.

Now, off to do those dishes!

Thanks for the You capture challenges, Beth, at I Should be Folding Laundry.  I never would have taken a picture of my dirty dishes if it weren't for you!


Grandma's Books

Going to Grandma's always means books and reading. This is the home that had a TV only for watching the Olympics or world events or Christian videos. Reading and crafts filled the hours here.


And, oh, the books! After 17 years of homeschooling, Mom and Dad have quite the library, so it was no surprise yesterday when Mom pulled out a story relevant to the coming holiday. Check it out here.

No, I am not being paid for sharing this. I am doing it out of the goodness of my own heart. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Recipe for a Great Vacation

First, sleep in and sit around visiting with friends in your condo, drinking your husband's awesome coffee made with an industrial sized Bunn (that he brought from home)  while most of your kids traipse off to enjoy the waterpark with their friends.

Lolligag your way to the hot tub and marinate there for a while.

After your daughter disappears from the hot tub, search high and low even though you know you'll find her in the lazy river. And she swims like a fish, so she's fine.

Change venues and sit some more in the wave pool water dome. Stare at your toes and wish you'd painted your nails.  

Then immediately forget about them because you are enjoying your friends. And they really don't care about your toes.

Gather some giggly girls and head down the Woolly Mammoth. Thank God you went on vacation in the middle of the week so there are no lines, but still only go down twice because your thighs are killing you from running up so many flights of stairs.

Repeat above indefinitely until you get hungry.

Hurry down long corridors back to your condo...

for a meal of husband's taco chili or a night at a rustic restaurant.

Put kids to bed at a reasonable hour and then play cards with your friends and their teenagers.

Stay up way past your middle-aged bedtime, but sleep well in the king sized bed where you do not have to fight over covers or space or pillows.

Repeat. Liberally. But at least once a year.