Wednesday, August 29, 2012

That One thing

I have been leaving to pick my kids up from school a little early so I can get in a little walk before they are finished for the day.
It's been a good thing. The weather has been so fabulous and I know with my weird schedule right now that I am desperately trying to find some sort of normal. My body is the first to tell me that. My sleep patterns, eating, running, all of it are just really sporatic and frankly messed up.

When I find my groove I feel it everywhere. My thoughts, and emotions balance out along with feeling better physically.
Well, today as I was returning to my car I realized that although I had spent the time enjoying the beauty of the day my mind was distracted and I had forgotten to spend time talking to Jesus which is what I like to do when I am alone. It's a great time to lift my kids and the cares of my heart to the one who cares more than anyone else.
And I had forgotten to even tell him I loved him.
Well I quickly in the last 45 seconds tried to squeeze a couple of sentences out.
Stellar I know.
But if you read my blog you know my best material comes from real life.

Preoccupation with the here and now. Worrying about what I cannot change, instead of spending time with the one who changes things.
And then sometimes, like the other night I was walking under the moon light and stars and I had spent much of my entire walk lifting up requests for my kids to many  of my friends who are hurting or need healing. As I spotted the lights of home I realized I hadn't been still long enough to hear from him. But as I quieted my heart and listened I heard this... " Look how big I am Rosy."
 I melted.
All the cares I had just spoken to him of went away as I realized how Large and IN CHARGE my Father is.

It's a relief to know that Jesus had friends like me that he rubbed elbows with when he walked on earth.
Remember his friend Martha?
The one who was so busy making dinner she forgot to stop and enjoy his company?
Yeah, I'm like her.
I like to think that Martha didn't always spend her time organizing the world. I believe that she had moments where she worshiped at the feet of Jesus. But this day she forgot.
Just like me.
And not only did she forget it kind of made her mad that her sister was being a slacker!
Oh my!
How often have I complained to him about being the only worker. The only one who cares about picking up things around the house. The only one who... The only one...
Just like Martha.

When she went to Jesus with the concern of her sister Mary's lack of participation in her party events... Jesus said, "YOU are worried and upset about many things, BUT only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her". Luke 10:38-42

And I am reminded too as I hear him say, not in a condemning, "You fail" but "I have a better way". Sit at my feet and stop letting your busy mind run wild with all you have to do. Because in the end he knows  what I really need to make it through this life.

Time at his feet.
It's the one thing I cannot push aside.
Mary chose the better thing and so must I.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What happens in the car wash...

It's been a good week.
But some of it has been hard.
Not like life and death stuff.

Just growing pains.

I'm not telling you anything new because if you've lived, you've felt them too.

Well, God prompted me to start praying and fasting for some relationships.

And then he showed up in an odd place.

Wouldn't you know? He spoke to me in the car wash when this song came on the radio.
It was exactly what I needed when I needed it.
And just like the water washing over my car his Spirit washed over my soul.

I'm sharing it with you because I think maybe he wants to wash this powerful song over some of your weary hearts tonight.

Sometimes we start praying for one thing, and God shows us something  completely opposite.

 I have a great hope
I believe.
I know without a shadow of a doubt...that one day...

One sweet day, there will be restoration.
I have this hope.
With Grace and Mercy as the Measuring stick of what I strive for.
I live with hope.

If you want to listen to this song by 10th avenue, click on the link above.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Brown Baggin' It

With school starting so does the necessity of lunch packing.
I sometimes just get into these loooong non creative modes. In fact I usually end up sending a check and letting them buy.
This year it's different because lunch cannot be bought for 2 of my kiddos.
So I want to  get on top of these lunch box blues while it's still new.

Now, Starting the year is always much more fun to pack then lets say February.
But the really nice thing is that the non buyers do have microwave access. So that makes life a little easier.

Today I got to take a long walk with my friend Heather. I'd post pictures of my blisters to prove how long it was... And to warn you against wearing ill fitting shoes on said walks but it was gross so I'll just show you pretty pictures of food instead.
Now where was I? O yes, Heather...
She is inspiring in all things domestic. Especially my organization dreams.
She gave me a little tip that she did and I hopped right on that idea.
Frozen fruit cups.
Take one quart frozen peaches and 1 quart frozen strawberries. Add one can of Sprite or Sierra Mist or whatever lemon lime soda you want...  freeze this in small cups. I added other fruit. Like banana's or grapes.    Easy Easy.

I found a great sale on grapes so I washed them and had the little one help me pull them apart and bag them in baggies. Then we threw them in the freezer for little pops of frozen delight.
How about some meat and cheese kabob's?  Please don't judge me for the bologna. I rarely get it. But my kids and Jason do like that "meat" a lot. :0
The exceptionally cool thing is... You can put your kabob's in a container with a lid on the fruit and then one over the meat and cheese. The frozen fruit serves as an ice pack!

More fruit. My kids just want to eat it. "Mom can I have more fruit slush"? Has been an ongoing question this evening. "Nope  Eat the  Kiwi", I keep saying.  I do have concerns about these boxes even making it to the morning for lunches.
I also have lots of granola bars and bags of pretzels for them to grab for an easy pack.

Of course if all else fails we can revert to PB and J. Or Wraps.

What are your brown baggin' favorites?

 I would love to hear them!

Monday, August 20, 2012

3rd grade date

Well I went for a third-ish grade date for my final time.
In the past years we have taken our kids on a special date in the third grade to give them some facts...uh hum. You know about growing up and boys and girls and yeah well you know.

So when my little one got to third grade she started anticipating this little special trip to wherever she chose(within reason). She did think New York City or Ethiopia would both be great ideas but Chicago is just a lot closer so we went there.

To the American Girl store just like big sis chose.
I woke early on Saturday Morning... With a bit of nervousness. Not because I don't like to talk with them about sensitive matters. But its just always sad for me to fill these little innocent minds with stuff that I'm not sure they are ready for... and frankly I had put this off because I wasn't sure she was ready. She's my baby. And it felt early. But I knew that she had expectations of this day together and I wanted to make it special for her.
So I woke her up saying... "Today's the day.. You and I get to go on our third grade date". She was very excited.

We arrived in Chicago just in time for an early lunch. In the AG tea room. It is an overpriced meal that made me almost run out the back door. But I told her she was special and we were going to splurge today. So we ate on china plates with mediocre food. However the presentation was beautiful.

There were veggies and appetizers first. They had little cards on the table to help start conversation. One question was... Who is the funniest person you know? Her answer? Micah! Me: What about dad? He's funny! She: No he's just mostly embarrassing!
Just like these pricey plates I tried to weave into this day messages about her saving herself for one man one day when she gets married. China is delicate and we are careful with it. Girls are like china. We are not paper plates.. easily discarded. We must believe that about ourselves. We are precious to our maker and we need to treat our bodies in special ways. Not easily discarded but carefully keeping ourselves from being trashed.
She will have many questions along the way.
She asked a couple but quickly wanted to change the subject.
It was awkward. Which is the common denominator with all of her siblings on these dates.
But our intention has been to be the first ones who open this subject up with them. We want to be the ones that answer the questions they have on these matters. And it has been rewarding as the older ones seem to be open to asking us questions on this topic.

She chose a salad instead of a side of mac n cheese. That's my girl!
We also talked of modesty and how it is important how we present ourselves to others. Trying to be careful to be ladies who care for ourselves and for those around us by our dress.

I love her little spunk. I see myself in her almost every day. I was able to talk with her about graciousness and how we need to watch how we speak to others. I too, follow two boys in the birth order. We are both last born's. I chatted with her of her inner thoughts on that. And prayed with her asking God to help us both to  be gracious in all our relationships. Forgiving and being a friend even when our friends may not be kind. Trying to bring others in who look lonely or new. And learning how to keep our tongues in check when we want to control or speak in ways that aren't honoring to others or God. 
It was a great day together. 
I must admit Chicago would not be somewhere I want to raise my chicks. It was frustrating for me to navigate through all of the traffic.

 I was VERY happy to bring my 4th grader back to her country home. 

School Time

Well it's back to school time.
I for the first time in many years was actually excited to get on a schedule. I do have a new freshmen on my hands. But these two are headed off to a new school experience and I have to say my fears are not as great thinking of them in little classes in a private school. It feels "safe". And although I know we are never safe it does feel like some of their negative  influences will be minimized.

 The little one is going into 4th grade. Our first born son is a Freshmen! Here they are on their first day.

 And here is the 7th grade football player. He is loving football this fall. I think he's as tall as his big brother.

My Firstborn daughter. She is now a Jr. She is on Student counsel and on Starlights Show Choir.

After I had everyone where they needed to be My sister in law had invited us over for a beautiful breakfast. She always makes time at her house feel special.

So we ate and shared out on her deck. What a beautiful way to start the school year.

Even China and tea cups on  an antique table cloth that was my grandmas's. 

And then I got to meet this lovely friend for lunch. I used a picture her husband took of us on July 4th. I love being with her. She brings joy to my bones

. I really don't wear floppy hats around town. Although if it were a practice my community did I would be the first to join. :) If I lived down south I wouldn't have to do my hair. I'd just always wear hats!

I Am anticipating a fresh new beginning in this new year. This year our last day before school  we went out for breakfast... the kids and I did... and then we came home and watched old home movies. It was so heart warming to see those little guys and how cute they were....but part of me is really grateful they are a little more independent.
I know my kids are growing up.... but it's okay. They are supposed to. And I think they are fun to be around. So it's good. They are my earthly prize. I am blessed.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Framing of the dwelling

Some of you have been asking for pictures of our project.
It has been going on for 3 months now. And that means we are about half way through.
I hope.
It has been coming along.
We had some help through the truss hanging process, which was nice.
As building goes sometimes you like what you see transferred from the paper to reality and sometimes you don't. We have remodeled the laundry/mudroom already. Which is good to do now and not in a year.
One of the nice surprises has been the bonus room. It is larger than I anticipated.
This room below is one of the nice surprises.
It is right at the top of stairs and it ended up being a cathedral ceiling with some cute potential. I see a window seat with a computer area for the kids.
My far reaching dream is for this upstairs to one day be a bed and breakfast.

This is the stage we are in. Sheeting on the roof with all side walls framed in. 

This is from the front door looking out back. We love the back view most. Trees and deer.

This is the house from the road.

I am eager to start entertaining and serving people from this dwelling. I am anticipating many of you will come be our guest.
That part makes me motivated to hurry up and finish.
Next comes the electrical and plumbing.
I bought some light fixtures at Pottery Barn Factory outlet while we were in PA.

For a fraction of the retail price.
I was very pleased.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Family Reunion 2012

This weekend we traveled 10 hours one way to be with Jason's family.
It was a beautiful ride and the arrival was even prettier.
We passed barns and fields, cities and bridges. Whenever we travel I always wonder "what are the people like who live here?" "Where do they work?" And in some areas I wonder... "Now why are we afraid of getting overpopulated?" There seems to be plenty of space right here in this field. :)

We travel not just because we wanted to take a break from building. We traveled to see Jason's family in Pennsylvania for our annual family reunion.
This was the new sweet baby boy at the event. 
Justus Ramos.

Every sibling was able to be there.
It is always interesting to see where people are at.
Grandpa will be 80 in a couple of weeks. That's a long time to live. And he has seen alot. He will tell you about it if he gets a chance.
Gater and quadwheelers were constantly roaring around the acreage.

On Saturday there were lots of messy games planned. Water fights. Kickball on a big slippery piece of plastic. And at the end the kids made some human sundaes. WOW! Good sport uncles let the kids put all kinds of sticky gooey topping on their head.

Some good clean fun :)
That looks like a plan hatching right there.
For some reason Jason seemed to be involved in a lot of one on one ultra-cations.

Sophie found her little friend and cousin Jada. She was with her most of the weekend.

This is Jada and her grandma... My sister in law Deb.
What a sweetie. And she's at such a fun stage.

Games of every sort were played throughout the weekend.

 Then we took some photos around Jason's sisters house where the whole tribe spent the weekend.

Jon and Zonya hosted us along with their amazing family. Those girls of theirs served us the entire weekend. Making sure we all had plenty of food and cleaned up after us.
 Here we are with our bunch.

I got a couple of other shots of individual families.
This is Jason's 2 oldest brothers and their families. 

On Sunday evening Jason and I got to run over to a friends house who lived in the area. These are friends that go waaaay back. Tonya was my camp friend. After camp we went to college together for one year. She invited some mutual friends that went to the same school. It was so much fun. We laughed as we caught up and remembered what we were like oh so many years ago...
Sophie also got to catch up with Tonya's daughter Tia. They met a number of years ago. They hit it off once again.

On Monday after a breakfast buffet we loaded back up for our trip home. One of ours was already passed out in the back seat.
And this was the expression on our Pennsylvania family faces as we prepared to drive away. 

I'm not sure why they look so happy. It's hurtful. But I'll get over it :)
It is always good to go.
But I gotta say...
There's just no place like coming home.

Today we unpack and tomorrow we go back to school.