Friday, November 9, 2012

Closer

We've always had such wonderful luck with our vehicles - not needing to share a car in recent memory. You can imagine - with our hectic schedules - how it might get interesting when one car went to the shop (we won't even talk numbers here, difficult numbers) and we were having to share between the 6 schedules we juggle.

 We are so blessed to live in an area where the kids' school is 2 blocks away. We've shared two days this week, but the other 2 days, I've been kinda stuck home. It's made me imagine what life would be like if we always shared a car, something quite a few people I know do. It's been kind of nice to walk the kids to school each morning, at preschool pick-up and in the afternoon (six times!). The weather now is absolutely gorgeous (I'm not sure how much I'd love it in rainy or cold weather!). Before school started I told myself that I would walk them more - then life got in the way and it was so much easier to just hop in the car on my way to wherever it is that we go - mostly. Truth is, when I walk them, I feel more connected. Closer to the warm sunny, wind in November, to the oak trees blowing their fall leaves to the ground. Closer to my kids, encouraging them to pick up bright red leaves and acorns and sticks along the way. Closer to what they did during the day, asking questions all the way home and listening to their hearts. Closer to the teachers, we can stop and talk instead of holding up a carpool lane. Closer to my neighbors who are out walking. Closer to housework because there really isn't much better to do - mostly anyway.

 I'm not much for sitting around, reading, sipping tea and napping and sewing or crafting (um, ya, I can't sew). I like to do. I like to be places. That's probably the greatest challenge I had staying home, when I did. I got so lonely. This mini-lock in has helped me to appreciate the ability that I have to get out when I want to. I'm going to enjoy it - that is - until I pay that obscene amount of money to the mechanic and then life will be back to crazy.  Happy walking!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Then and Now..

Then..
And Now

Then..
And now..
Then..
And Now.
Then..



And now.
Then..
And Now.
Then..
And now.












Wow. Time goes by so quickly.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Jane's Story

One day, Jane was in her home and it was raining. Mom said, "Jane, when is the storm going to stop?" Jane's mom said, "We do not plan when the storm is going to stop." "Look, the storm is over", said Jane. "I am going outside, bye-bye".

Friday, August 31, 2012

Tire Swing

 (unrelated picture of a tree at our favorite park)
 Daddy switched our little wood swing to a tire swing.
 It hangs from a HUGE oak tree in our yard.
 It's fun to hide in.
 This is how we spent the last precious few hours of summer. Wheeeeee!
 This swing goes really high! Scary for a mommy's heart!
Happy school year! We are having a party tonight to celebrate a good first week!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Sweet Husband


My husband is wonderful. He is caring. He is loyal. He is wise. He is smart. He is a man of strong conviction. He is Godly. He is a dedicated teacher. He is gifted with students. He is gifted with his own children. He is gifted with his wife. I am so thankful he had to opportunity to teach in China - but I am SO much more thankful to have him home!! 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Washing the car

 We finally found daddy a car.
 So we worked hard to scrub it (throw towels at it and watch it splat).
 This one (I hear) is really good at detailing. I haven't seen it for myself (too hot today- 106 degrees).
 But I do hear it. Usually from others. If you've seen my car, you know.
 "Hey, I've got a sweet ride, too!"
 This kid loves messy fun. He is so delightful!
We love Daddy!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Plugging away...

 Impromptu Snowcones!
 Foot race with Grandpa
 Swimming with friends
Chatting with Daddy & students

Senior High Camp!

We are dutifully plugging away at our list - a few things have changed or have been put on the back burner. We've found other new things to replace old ones on the list, some we are saving for daddy. But that's okay, we are having fun and keeping very busy! Most nights I collapse into my bed. I thank the Lord for that because I could very easily get lonely at night missing daddy and our late night snacking and tv ritual we've held onto for years. 

My goal this summer, in the words of my sweet hubby, is to
 "chew up bones of life and suck the marrow out" - loose translation. :-)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Distance

When the family is intact, it takes a lot of wheedling for the enemy to tear it apart - assuming the family is deeply rooted in the Lord. However, consider that the family is 8,000 miles apart. What then? When a family is apart, it leaves itself open to attack.

 While on our hopefully-twice-a-day Skype dates, I have learned to talk more intensely with my husband and ask him lots of questions because, while at home, our relationship is really about survival (and decidedly, somewhat superficial, unfortunately). When he isn't here to jump in on loading the dishwasher or changing the baby, I have to dig deeper to find common ground.

 Reluctantly, I brought up how I was handling the house by myself (not wanting to hurt my pride). I told him about how I had been isolated and had been hearing lots of lies in my head about my worth, my relationships, my ability, etcetera. He looked amazed because he told me he had been hearing a whole lot of lies as well. Lies about his ability as a teacher, his inadequacies, his preparedness, lack of communication, etcetera.  He said it was so odd that we both struggled that day (we are on different "days" mind you). His team leaders had spent time at length that day encouraging them that when you are thrown into a weird culture where you cannot communicate and you are alone, the attack is so much louder in your head. It's practically the only 'voice' you hear and understand!

How odd that we both felt led to this whole scenario of a teaching trip and felt peace about it - despite how crazy it sounded. It must be growing us in a way we aren't completely aware of yet. Keep us in your thoughts.



Friday, July 6, 2012

Happiness is...


...a bowl of fresh figs. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Changes, Preparations, Plans

 A few weeks ago, my husband was offered to go to a foreign country to teach for a few weeks. It was a paid trip (minus the passport and travel insurance) and it would have been an excellent opportunity for him. So, a whole whirlwind of travel plans and paperwork, and a whole HEAP of CRAZY stress later, they had cancelled a teacher in the program (2 weeks from the date he is supposed to be in the other country, mind you). So, they asked if he could switch to another, more sensitive country for longer, with probably less contact with us, that he'd have to pay some extra money for (money we don't have). Of course, we had no idea that it was going to cost more (visa, more expensive travel insurance, etcetera) but we had already invested countless hours in the process of gathering documents and whatnot and he's always dreamed of teaching overseas. So he decided to go for it.

 Enter his wife. The one with four kids and a hefty job. And the one who wanted a vacation. The wife who is really selfish and wants to not single parent for 4 weeks. It's been hard to go through the process of preparing. I've really had to think about day to day tactics of parenting 4 and what kind of scenarios I will find myself in. I've recently discovered my job will be taking on some extra responsibilities. Most (read: all) of my peers, small group friends and family friends are gone for the summer, and I might get very lonely.


Things I need a little more trust in:
* finances. We're struggling with the extra weight of the trip, not to mention trying to figure out paying for a high school (yeah, HIGH SCHOOL) this coming year
* things to keep me and the kids occupied without going stir crazy
* for my husband's safety and well-being. Rumor has it he complains about food. ;-) I don't think it will be appealing where he is headed. 
* Worry about him getting sick or injured.
* my safety here
* all of the 'man things' that need doing around here. What if the toilet overflows, the car has a flat, the lawn has an issue, broken garage door.. I'm scared just thinking about it.
* for the extra weight of my job
stress
* missing two kids' birthdays (big milestone years!)
* missing him!

Things I am thankful for


* such a cool opportunity opening up for him to do what he loves
* for a grandma who can at least keep the older kids a little while 
* for my dance class each week - I might be able to go kid-free!
* for the ability to hire teenage sitters at work so I don't have to occupy children while typing
* for coupons to my favorite thrift store (hello, air conditioning) - that might be my only grown up time
* for my mom offering to stay on the weekends possibly
* for church
Overall, I think it will be a neat opportunity for him. I'm just praying all the details work. It's been a whirlwind! Keep us in your thoughts!

Monday, June 18, 2012

You know you're a Texan when...

Happy Monday, y'all!

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Summer List!

My friend was pinning all of these summer list ideas. It looked like so much fun. I mean, how often do we set out on summer, just to look back halfway through and realize we've done nothing? I do it every year. And, with my kids going off to school this fall and it being my husband's first summer as a teacher, this idea got me really stoked! Except, said husband will be out of the country for a vast majority of summer... Oh, well. We can knock out some of the easier things on the list without him. He'll have to jump back in and enjoy the more elaborate ideas with me. :-)

So without further ado, here is my summer list!
And here are a few fun pics to keep you entertained:
 Playing monster with daddy!
 Adventure camp! Don't let the weird smirk fool you - she had a BLAST!
 "AHHHHH!"
This baby is super fun (don't mind the baby food face). Have a great week!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fire Hamburgers

When asked what he would like mommy to cook for his 4th birthday, 
here are some of his choices he likes her to make:

meatballs
leftover Sonic
ham and chicken sandwiches (I've never made that)
raw beef


I'm probably going to cook something over fire. :-) He likes fire.
"Fire Hamburgers"

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Twinkies!

Cute.

Amanda Grace

I received this doll that was made to look like me when I was in my late teens. It was super fun to have, but I was obviously out of the doll make-believe stage at that time in my life. I've hung onto it for all these years because it is special to me. Unfortunately, she had a mishap involving two puppies and a couple of plastic doll limbs. Now that my daughter is turning 7, she's expressed a lot of interest in American Girl dolls and also has shown her ability to care for one (that's no small accomplishment!). I wanted to give her a new one made just for her, but it is expensive! So, I decided to give her mine! We brainstormed ideas about how to repair her. "Maybe if we put long satin gloves and buy her tall socks and boots?". I found the Doll Hospital online out of curiosity. So, we shoved her (lovingly) into a box and sent her to the UPS store. The UPS guy freaked out because he saw what was inside - due to my misplacement of our packing tape. I wonder if they take pictures of weird stuff people mail and laugh when we walk out? Hmm.
 Before we sent her off, we named her "Amanda Grace" - she never had a name before!
 Her skin was cleaned, hair brushed, and adorned with a new gown, 
hospital bracelet and socks and a ribbon in her hair.
 And new limbs! No more see-through feet and hands!
 She has a certificate of health. But she needs bed-rest and healthy food for one week.
 We had a tea party in her honor.
 Daddy played along. Only because it was our lunch and he was hungry.
 Our tea was iced for the kids.
Welcome home Amanda Grace!