Monday, March 26, 2007

Keeping me Sane

Lovely things keeping me sane in the process of moving...
1. PRAYER... Lots of it!
2. SPRING... 2 times we have moved in the winter, I much prefer this. I have windows open and sun and warm and things sprouting (although I am quite sad to leave my gardens... good thing the house we are buying is only 6 blocks from where we currently live and I will be able to come back and split some of my plants).
3. Supportive friends and family. Thank you all for your help and hugs and encouragement.
4. As usual, my funny children. I paused in packing to look out the window and see this...

I am not sure what the arm floaties are protecting them from, but at least they are safe and brought a smile to this mom's face. :)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Busy, busy, busy

We are officially buying the house. We will close on it on Friday the 30th, so needless to say, not a lot of posting because there has been a lot of painting and packing and moving related stuff going on. It is stress, but good stress and I am so excited about this house. I will post photos and full details after we are all moved in. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Entomologist/Safari Leader/Paleontologist/Artist

Emma Painting

Abi Painting

For almost 2 years now, Emma (age five and three quarters) has said that she wants to be an Entomologist when she grows up. At first I think she was just enjoying saying a large word (she has always liked big words), but then she enjoyed the reaction she got from adults when she would say Entomologist. Her new thing has been that she wants to be an Entomologist/Safari Leader and she says the slash, which is too funny. Last week she added another slash and says she wants to be an Entomologist/Safari Leader/Paleontologist and now today we added /Artist. This will be further known as E/SL/P/A. The "slashes" are very important. Of course little sister wants to be the same thing. It is much colder outside today than it was earlier this week, but they needed some fresh air, so I sent them outside. They dug out the easel and wanted to paint because "if we are going to be a E/SL/P/A then we need lots of practice." They are pictured above painting such creations as meteors hitting the dinosaurs. So cute and so creative.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Many Blessings...

We have an accepted offer on a new to us house (it is actually 100 years old and full of character and hard wood floors). My range of emotions about this is all over, but mostly I am excited. The way this has all come about is nothing short of amazing and just shows how God can work. I needed that reminder. I think we all do sometimes. We have the home inspection scheduled for Friday and will hopefully close on the 30th. When all is set in stone, I will post photos and the detailed story of how all this came about. I only saw the for sale sign 3 weeks ago, and here we are! Crazy, but a good crazy.

Other blessings:
*Springy weather!
*Super supportive and encouraging family and friends. Love you all!
*Decluttering in preparation to move.
*Far away friends coming to town on Friday (Lisa and Kira).
*My funny children- they are so precocious and cute and when I relax and enjoy them, they are the best thing ever! The other day the girls were playing outside and they came in all upset because they had been looking for the dead bird that was in the yard last summer and couldn't find it. So I very lovingly explained to them that daddy had buried the bird in the compost pile and that it would decompose and help our garden. Abi started sobbing and said "that makes me so sad. I was planning on starting a dead bird body collection." (She is 4!!! PRECOCIOUS) I explained to her that that would be a pretty stinky collection but to no avail. She climbed in my bed and declared she was never coming out again. I turned on Bob the Builder for her and all was well again. And the grown ups around her have enjoyed laughing at the story greatly. They are so great.

Friday, March 9, 2007


This week in home school land, we are talking about Dr. Suess and reading lots and lots of Suess books as last Friday was his birthday and I like to be all themey like that. Today we read Yertle the Turtle. If you are not in the know, this is a story about a turtle king named Yertle, who gets a little big for his turtle britches and decides he would like to see more of the world than his little stone throne allows. So he orders is turtle subjects to stack themselves and he climbs on top of the stack to enjoy the view. This is all well and good until a little turtle on the bottom named Mack decides to complain. This gets him nowhere so he BURPS (I kid you not, that is what the book says, and I cannot tell you how happy Emma was to read that word) and the whole stack tumbles. Yertle lands in the mud and Mack gets to be king and "all the turtles are free as all creatures should be." We enjoyed the book together and then made our own stackable turtles out of paper plates and construction paper heads and feet all stapled together cute like. Pure joy working on them together and taking turns with each little job. My favorite part of the whole process was when the girls decided that all the turtles needed names. These include such creative beauties as Wee-Woo (not to be confused with Woo-Wee), Universal, American, Swirls and Stripes and Zig-Zag. But my all time favorites have to be Darth Vader, C3PO, and R2D2 because as Emma says "ya gotta have a little Star Wars in there." True indeed.

Abi stacking turtles.

Emma stacking turtles.

Our stack of 20 turtles. After this great accomplishment, we yelled "burp" and knocked them down, laughed a lot, and then did it all again. Such fun.

Our little family of turtles. I want to show a close up of each, but you will have to settle for the group.

This cute little guy is named Darth Vader. :)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Spring fever

My husband surprised me with these yesterday. They are from Daffodil Days. Pretty flowers and a good cause and a little breath of spring.

Why lovely things?

The past 2 years have been extremely testing and hard and yet a time of amazing growth in my life. In August of 2005 I had an ectopic pregnancy which had to be surgically removed. I knew I was pregnant and we had been trying for over a year and a half. It was devastating to say the least. The worst part of it was that I felt like I was not allowed to grieve. I felt that because I had not really "known" the child, I couldn't grieve for it. There were so many people (friends included) who had recently had much worse miscarriages (if there is such a thing), so mine was not worth grieving. We already had 2 wonderful children, so I felt I needed to just focus on them. Needless to say this wasn't a very healthy state of mind. I carried on this way until about October when the pressure that I put on myself to be "perfect" finally crushed me. Our Pastor's wife is a licensed counselor and a dear friend and I finally went to her and we talked for several hours and I drained most of a box of kleenex. I was the start of a great deal of healing on many levels and in many areas. We continued to try to get pregnant as the desire for more children was still very present. With only 1 functioning tube, our chances seemed less, but "with God all things are possible," or so I told myself constantly. A year ago this month, I woke up one Saturday morning thinking I was have an appendicitis and went to the ER. I kind of knew before we even got there that it wasn't an appendicitis, and the doctor quickly confirmed that with a pregnancy test. Another ectopic, in the other tube. In my doctor's words, "the baby making factory is closed." As soon as I was awake and in my room after surgery, my first thoughts were: at least I never have to take another negative pregnancy test and I never have to try nursing again only to fail miserably. I also knew right away that at least part of the reason for this was that we were meant to adopt. It took me at least 6 months this time to grieve. I really let myself feel everything and it wasn't pretty, but much healthier than the first time around. Fast forward to January 2007 when I had a total hysteroctomy. I still had a lot of pain from the scar tissue from my 2 surgeries and other problems related to the female parts, so after much thought and prayer, I had the surgery. I am almost fully recovered physically. To add to an already trying time in our lives, we found out that we will no longer be working with the high school youth group in our church. We have helped with the teens for the last 6 years and have been in charge for the last 3. It was getting very stressful and we were having a difficult time keeping/getting reliable helpers who felt the same passion for teenagers that we do. We had talked to our Pastor and the Elder board about it several times and had decided to take a 2 month hiatus in January and February so I could have surgery and we could research international adoption and just to breath and try to figure some things out in life. Well, long story short, the board decided it would be best for this to be the time to transition to a different leader for the group and that we would no longer be working with the youth group. It was handled very well, after some initial miscommunications and shock, but it has been very hard and a grieving process not that much different from losing a child (that might sound drastic, but it is true). We recenty sat down with our Pastor and his wife, and they brought up the idea that our church needs a young couples' ministry and would we like to lead it? So, another new thing to ponder and pray about. In the midst of all of this, we have been trying to focus on international adoption: figuring out which country (currently between Haiti and South Korea) and which agency and finances, etc. Then 2 weeks ago, I was out for a walk and saw a for sale by owner sign on a house that I have always loved. I stopped long enough to look at the pamphlet hoping it would be way out of our price range and I wouldn't have to even think about it, but it wasn't. So now we are thinking about buying this house (it is my dream house, so much character and absolutely beautiful and much more space than we currently have) on top of everything else. It just feels like we are entering a new chapter of our life in so many ways and that is so scary and yet a good thing. I said all of that to answer the question of why lovely things? Because if I don't find the good in every day and the reasons to celebrate, I just might lose it. And there is so much that is good and beautiful and lovely and all those things. Philippians 4:8 has long been the verse I have clung to for sanity and it just seems like the right thing to blog about. So this is (hopefully) the only post you will find with anything remotely negative in it. I want this blog to be the place that I focus on the lovely and not the inevitable ugly things in life. My Pastor often says "you are what you think, and what you think you are" and he is right. This is my place to think about the lovely and maybe in doing so, I will become more lovely. I know I will feel more lovely at the very least. Welcome to my blog.