Monday, April 14, 2014

And this...

(Following my devotional yesterday...
I love how God does this.)

You rock, mamas! Busy, still, old, young, at peace, or feeling frazzled.  You are amazing.

Be thankful for quiet days...

I hear my friends talk, and even joke, about how many times their vehicle leaves the garage in a day.   I just don't get that.  There are more days than not that our van doesn't even pull out of this driveway once.  I hear of all the extra curricular stuff, church activities, on and on, and the lies start to creep in.  Are we doing enough?  Are my kids being socialized?  Will they be on the only ones who don't know how to behave on a team?  Will they not know as much as children who have been in preschool for years?

I know in my heart of hearts that what we are doing (not a whole lot) is what God has called us to do. I know, and the fact is, that when our kids are older in only a few short years, our van will be taking many trips to and fro.  When they are all in junior high, then high school, then college, we will be on the go, go, go.

So for now, we have made the choice to sit tight.  We have made the choice to eat our meals together. We have made the choice to host ball games in our yard with bunches of friends.  We have made the choice to keep them home for now.  I don't consider what I do homeschooling; I am mothering.  This is just what we do.  It is not right.  It is not wrong.  It's just us.

It's as if the Lord knew I needed a word.  I feel our life is very "ho hum" some days.  Sometimes it feels lonely, or I feel we aren't involved enough.  I know we will be, soon.  But for today? It's just "routines" that speak volumes in spiritual realms.  Thank you for the affirmation, Lord.

This is what He gave me yesterday.  He speaks directly to His children.  He did to me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ruby [10 months]

Time is flying by, and Ruby girl is now 10 months.  
We might be biased, but isn't she the 
cutest little thing you've ever seen?!

Ruby has been the easiest, happiest little girl!  She is getting more curious by the day, and shakes her head "no" as she takes the picture frames off the shelf.  They aren't as clueless as we think they are!

She crawls as fast as lightning, walks along the couch, does sign language, and is standing up without any support.  Slloooowww down, dear one.  While it seems to be going too quickly, each new thing she does is so exciting, and there are lots of little ones who celebrate and clap for her.  Then, she claps too, pretty proud of herself.

If it is one thing Ruby does not lack, it is attention.  And love.  And lots of love and attention.  Oy, is someone always swooning over her.  Her big brother and sisters definitely adore her.  Makes me a proud mama.

Pretty soon we will be celebrating the big ONE.  Party on!

Monday, April 7, 2014

This Weekend.

This weekend was good.  Really good.  It was just what I needed before we kick off busy season.

Friday night the John fellas came over.  What a joy they are!

I think they could pass as twins!

They raise the activity level around here.  We love it!

The Dean Machine.  Mr. Personality Plus!
Asher slumber partied that night, while Noah and Canaan slept at Papa and Nana's.  But Saturday morning, Noah was back for some work!  Charlie absolute adores Noah, and they had a wonderful morning together.

We spent the afternoon working around the place.  We picked up sticks, I made breakfast sandwiches for Dallas for the week, went on a run, mozied around with their outside toys, and just chilled out.  The weather was beautiful and it was so nice to have nothing on the agenda.

These are the breakfast sandwiches.  I bake the egg in these Pyrex glass dishes.  They make the perfect circle!
First: spray the dish.  Crack one egg, scramble it up a bit, add some salt and pepper, and bake at 350.
I buy these breakfast canadian bacon, maple flavor.  Next, cut the cheese to fit, and assemble the sandwich.
I wrap them in foil and put them in the freezer.  They are perfect for Dallas, as he just microwaves it for a minute or so.  It's better than the processed ones, cheaper, convenient, filling, and yummy (for him!).

I had to take a photo of this.  Maleah is wearing her bike helmet.  You just never know.

Seriously precious.
That night, the girls and I cleaned up and went to the symphony.  Our violin teacher, Cara, plays and got us a couple tickets.  It was lovely!  And long.  But mostly lovely.  The girls did so well for the entire two hours.  It was late and they were tired, but very much enjoyed it.  I asked them what they thought and Layla responded with, "Long," while Maleah said, "It was really good, but would be even better if it was in the morning."  :)

Sunday we went to church, which was great, as always.  I love being filled up with life giving truth.  It is always the boost I need into a new week.

We had small group in the afternoon.  Oh, small group.  Whatever would we do without them?  Our small group has been together for a really.long.time.  Our roots are really deep, and we have incredible relationships with one another.  We have all gone through seasons of really needing our small group, and it's been a joy to walk through those hard seasons together.  We keep each other accountable (right now focusing on our marriages), are brutally honest and speak truth in our safe place, laugh together, study together, and always lift each other up.  We are all busy and aren't able to meet as often as we used to.  But, we all make it a priority, and it is always so very worth it.  We aren't all the exact same, but having community with like-minded people who truly love the Lord is life giving.

I feel ready for this week.  We start speech for Charlie this morning (he doesn't want to go...great), his hearing test this week, my teaching job is winding down to the Spring program, and later this week I am taking off with my sister and mom for Lincoln to help Erica be completely ready for that little babe.  There's a lot to look forward to.  Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Muffins with Mom

Yesterday morning was Muffins with Mom.  While I have to wake up Maleah every morning for school at the very last second, yesterday morning was a different story.  She sprung into our bedroom at 7 a.m. sharp declaring it was the day I go to school with her!  Special days are so worth it.  They don't have to be out of this world, but making the ordinary a bit extraordinary is a treasure.

The moms and/or grandmas attended chapel with their school kiddo, then sat at tables with a cute little flower centerpiece and enjoyed homemade muffins together.  It was short and sweet, and an absolutely splendid morning with my little lady.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Charlie and the Red Pepper.

A lot of people say as they see us (all the kids) in the store or around, "Wow, looks like you have a fun supper table!"  Sometimes they mean it sarcastic, and sometimes I think they are serious.  In my mind I think to myself; you have no idea how much fun it is!  And really, it is.  Supper time is right up there with my favorite time of the day.  We talk about the best and worst part of our day, read our Jesus Calling children's Bible, and enjoy a nice meal together around the same table.  Every night.

Wednesday night, however, our supper table got real fun!

Charlie had a heaping pile of red peppers, as usual.  We are just chatting away and he starts to cough and spatter a bit.  His eyes get real watery and red, and I immediately ask what's wrong.  While Charlie has no answer, Dallas is quick to inform me that he is just coughing.  Okay.

About 30 seconds later, he is crying, crying, crying.  Not out loud, but his eyes are just streaming tears down his face.  He is whimpering a bit, and gets the look over his face.  Dallas says, "He is going to throw up.  Get him away from this table!"

I gently lay in on our window seat and carry on.  Next, he starts sneezing, and sneezing, and sneezing, and sneezing.  After many sneezes, a red pepper shoots out his nose!  With tears still rolling down, his cry becomes a hysterical belly laugh.  We are all laughing.
Dallas says, "What was that?"
I answered, "A red pepper!"
Charlie interjects, "Me put it up my nose."
Oh, the giggles that ensued our kitchen.  We were all just rolling in laughter!

Charlie reminded us that Layla did that (with a bead), Daddy did it when he was a little boy, and now "Me did it too."  He pushed that red pepper up his nose, things went downhill for his experiment, and he wouldn't tell us what happened in fear of being in trouble.  Sometimes they just have to try things, you know it?  Curiosity got the best of him.  I'm so thankful it wasn't worse than it was.  Can you imagine how a pepper would sting?

All this was followed by a bloody nose, but he was able to sit back in his chair, where he continued on with too much bbq sauce.  Now, his mouth was on fire.  His oldest, too responsible for her own good, sister said, "Charlie learned two lessons tonight."   Yes, Maleah.

While this was hilarious, what was not hilarious was the incredibly painful earache that happened shortly thereafter.  I thought his ear drum had to of been rupturing, but after hours of holding a warm washcloth on it and listening to his screams, he fell asleep and woke up perfectly fine the next morning.  We think maybe the pressure from the entire scenario caused this?

I love how we were all able to laugh.  It's not everyday a red pepper comes shooting across the supper table, out of your nose.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Here's the deal: I'm signed up for a sprint triathalon.  I have more moments of wondering why in the world I did such a thing, but then I remember I've birthed four babies.  I can do it, right?!

I did a sprint tri with my dad, as a team, a couple years ago.  It was seriously so fun!  This summer, it's all on my own (in the good company of Jacinda).  And heck, if I'm spending the time getting into shape, I might just go for two races.

Dallas so nicely informed me that if I'm tired when running, I can walk or even stop.  When biking, I can slow those wheels as putzy as I need.  But swimming?  Yeah, I got to get out to the middle of a deep, dark, dirty lake swarmed with hundreds of people, and back.  So, a swimming I shall go.

Every Tuesday night, my friend Stacy and I go grocery shopping and swim laps.  (I'm already in town for teaching.  Perfecto!). It's more fun with someone, breaks are for chatting, and most importantly there's accountability.  Swimming is hard, but I'm already feeling the benefit.  The fact that it's at 9:00 at night is harder.  That's this old lady's bedtime.

I'm actually looking forward to working towards my goal.  It's a commitment and it's tough.  But those are the things that are usually worth it.