29 April 2013


Right now, I am paying attention.  Noticing that out my window is a darkening sky, with just enough light and color to make the tree branches into black lace laid over the blue and purple behind.  There has been a lot of beautiful light lately.

There is a lot of ugliness around for me to pay attention to.  Of course, there are the evil and devastating things on the news.  "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars..." it says in Matthew.  And for me, even more than the mean and sad things in the headlines, I see the ugliness cozying right up next to me.  Sometimes literally ugly sights- like the nasty dishes flaunting their reign of terror in my kitchen.  And the toys that end up as randomly placed in the corners of our house as possible.  And the dirty floors, dusty shelves, spreading laundry, and grungy bathroom that make me feel like I can't like my own home.  And that is just the visible- the sounds of conflict and feelings of frustrated loneliness can be uglier.

But the end of that verse in Matthew.  The entire verse reads, "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come." One way that I see to it that I am not so alarmed is turning my attention a few degrees to the side and seeing the beauty.  Like in Philippians when it says to think about the things that are lovely and worthy of praise.  So sitting on top of the laundry pile is the pretty dress I got for my girl at a garage sale this week. The dishes bear the remains of the yummy new recipe that I tried out.  You get the drift.  I get cynical sometimes about praising about the little things- yada yada, yeah, my mess is really wonderful.  But after a day of bickering and cranky children, my oldest grabs the hand of his little sister to help her as she crosses the street to our house. I saw it, and it was like sunshine in my heart.  I was, for once, paying attention. It was beautiful.

28 April 2013


How did I miss the fact that cute cowgirl boots were the missing piece to Little Girl's wardrobe?  Now everything she wears makes her look like some cuter, rounder Taylor Swift.

So I tried the "get everything ready the night before" trick to make Sunday morning go more smoothly. How did that not work?!  It was zany how awful things were, how each carefully laid plan fell apart.  Why?  I'll give you a clue: "I can't wear this- it's UNCONSTIBLE!!!" In the end, leggings saved the day.  Both on the front end, when they got the outfit to pass inspection on both our parts, and on the back end, when she leaked into her underwear trying to manage in the bathroom at church, and we had to stash said underwear in Daddy's office.  Yay for the leggings that covered up business so we could stay for the fundraiser burrito breakfast!

How do I get my camera to focus in the right spot?  I'm enjoying taking many pictures again, but still struggling for consistency.

One of the big mysteries of my chosen profession is, how is it that I can be exhausted at the end of the day, feel like I did many household chores, and still the house is an embarrassing pit of dishes, laundry, toys, and random junk? Hmmm, must get more organized and methodical in getting the other members of the household to do a few light but meaningful chores at the end of the day.

Tonight Craig and the kids played the funniest and most random game.  The kids hid in the porta-potty across the street, while Craig threw t-balls at it.  When a ball would whack the door, they would scream with laughter.  They did this over and over and over... When it was time to go back home, and they were crossing the street, G turned and grabbed his sister's hand and walked her safely across, on his own.  He can be so sweet.  And when he helped in the nursery with this morning (because his Sunday School was off for the week) he was mostly helpful, although so wild and energetic that it took me some firm and slightly awkward redirecting to make all the adults in the room feel more comfortable.

The last day or two, I have really been in love with my kids.  Like, stare at pictures of them and feel very bittersweet and sentimental.  We really do have so much fun, and the times I get overwhelmed are usually due to my own agendas and schedule.  I. am. learning.  How about that? Thank you Lord for the blog-processing reminder.

PS- C loves pizza, but not bananas.  As in, won't eat them whole, cut, or smashed.  Or in a box or with a fox.  Or in the rain or on a train.
Go figure!
I will look at these squirrels but not eat bananas.

21 April 2013

random thoughts. my favorite.

Just had a garage sale yesterday, and I am remembering again that it is far easier to spend money than to make it.  I am exhausted.  And just when the last customer saunters away and you feel like you can't move one more muscle, you see the depressing reality of how much STUFF is left to pack up, take to the thrift store, take to consign, and take (shudder) back to the basement.  The kids had a blast, though.  The garage sale was a collaboration between our family and two others who are the salt of the earth, and my kids love their kids.  For them it was a giant play date of the highest order- very loosely supervised and culminating in pepperoni pizza.

I'm contemplating instituting a new rule: no yelling on Sundays.  Four of the five members of our family needed that rule today.  And to help that happen, I want to set out clothes for church the night before.  And possible bribe people.  Because it takes me too long to shake off the yucky before I can worship God and have my heart ready for learning, when we've all been nasty and impatient.  And that's what our morning was like today- me muttering a quick prayer over my children as we walked into the front doors of church, that we would forget and forgive and be ready to really worship.  How cliche that lost shoes and whiny attitudes make us run late and ruin our morning.  But it's true: our sin is not original.  At least, not in the creative sense of the word. So next week, I will be intentional and prepared.  Early to bed! Clothes negotiated and at the ready!  Attitudes adjusted! I'll keep you posted, if you remind me not to be cynical of the odds of success.

Okay, to the more random: Crosby is napping in his crib, and starting the night in his crib.  Beautiful.  Cleaned the kitchen in peace, with both hands free, tonight.

Got the kids to pitch in with sorting Mount Laundry today.  We made a molehill out of a mountain.  But... more loads are coming and I am not sure we can keep up for any length of time.

Bought new flip flops.  Totally what I wanted, brand new with tags on, from a local posting on facebook "for sale" site.  At a fraction of full price.  Booyah!  Told you it was easy to spend money! And fun.

Talked to G about how he treats little sister.  It had been a bad day in sibling land.  Told him to think about how the world says the older, stronger, and bigger get to act.  Told him how Jesus acted to those who were weaker, younger, smaller.  Said he could choose which way to copy: Jesus, or the world.  Five minutes later when they brought library books to the couch for read aloud time he piped up that I could read little sister's book first; he could wait.  My heart swelled.  Now, one gracious act will not heal all the wounding from the demeaning, demanding behavior from the idolized big brother.  But it's not his job to heal all that- she will need Jesus to do that.  Because that's something that drives us to the cross, right?  How the messed up world- even our messed up families- fail us.  Hurt us.  And out of this sibling relationship G will be driven to Jesus, too.  Because he will need forgiveness for the ways he's hurt her.  Thank God that the people he puts us with are like big neon arrows pointing to Jesus. Praying that my kids will recognize those arrows early.

Went to the park with all four kids this evening.  Even used the iphone to "embrace the camera,"  using my new crush, instagram.  Now if only more of my friends would use it...

Okay, gotta go.  G is having one of his night terrors again, and we are combatting it by letting him fall back to sleep watching "Storm Chasers" on the couch with Craig.  Lovely. Well, at least tomorrow isn't Sunday... ;)
Rejecting a little love from the sis on his first birthday.