Thursday, June 28, 2012

Precious John

John gave us a bit of a scare this past Monday.  Or rather, a gigantic scare.  We were at the pool, packing up our things and getting ready to leave, when John choked on a chip--of all things.  And I don't mean a little bit of coughing, I mean, unconscious, blue face, Jessica Harman and I screaming at the top of our lungs to get the lifeguards attention.  Seriously, I was out of my mind with fear, and I am guessing I was quite the spectacle--at the moment that Jessica handed an unconscious John to the lifeguards, I fell to my knees on the pool concrete, still screaming help me.  Now that the moment has passed, I look back and laugh, because I wonder if those lifeguards were thinking, "lady, we're trying to help you."  Those lifeguards were on top of it, though, and they saved his life.  I mean, literally, they saved his life.  I will be forever grateful to them.    They did the Heimlich maneuver on him, and, as you might imagine, I have now googled Heimlich maneuver and memorized the steps.  I encourage you to memorize the steps as well, because apparently kids don't only choke on the normal choking hazard type foods.  They also choke on tostito scoops.  

And I am now attempting to not be an overprotective mother, all while being very over protective on the inside.  I am fighting a few irrational fears, and currently John is not allowed to eat chips, which are, ironically, his favorite food in all the world.

Ada is also having a hard time moving past the entire thing, and she is having a harder time reasoning away her fears.  She, like me, has that permanent image of an unconscious John burned in her brain, and night time has been a struggle.  We all prayed and prayed last night, though, and she was able to fall asleep like normal--the previous two nights she had fallen asleep on the love seat, with Scott and me in clear view.  I had been compassionate the first night, a little less so the second night, and last night I was ready to enforce the normal bed time routine, but it turned out to not be a problem--praise the Lord!!!

So, we are, indeed, hugging John a little tighter these days and thanking God for his protection!!!!

And now a few pictures of our oh-so-tacky summer fun.  What can I say, we were desperate to beat the heat but also desperate to be out of the house...

Friday, June 22, 2012

We are up to our eyeballs in homeschool parent practicum and vacation bible school (all in the same week) over here, hence the quiet blog.

For the past three days, we left the house at 7:30/8:00 ish, and we finally crashed back home at 9:00 pm ish.  (John was rescued from VBS by Scott each evening around 6:30, so it was just Ada and me keeping the long hours).

So, during the daylight hours, my head is swimming with things like what is Classical Christian education, exactly? and tell me one more time why Latin starting at age four?  (there is a reason, a very, very good reason, or reasons if you really want to know, for those of you who might be thinking I am a bit crazy when I talk about Ada and Latin).  And I would like to eventually process some of those thoughts on this blog, fleshing out the things that are simply floating around in my brain right now--the truth that this decision to educate my children classically and from a Christian view point is a very intentional decision.  But, I don't have the mental energy at this particular moment.  Give me a Saturday with nothing on my schedule, and I might have time to process just a bit.

We do, luckily, have a low key day today before our final night of VBS.  Ada wishes that VBS was every night of the summer.  I have to say, I don't share her sentiment.  And last night, when she cried and cried and cried in hysterics over the fact that she had no friend to invite to VBS (which is sort of sad, and we agreed that we will start praying that this time next year there will be a little girl that she can invite, but I think the tears were really out of exhaustion), I am convinced that whether she knows it or not, she will be glad that VBS is only a week instead of the entire summer (a fun week for her, for sure, but oh so exhausting!!!!).

So, I am writing this only to post a few random pictures and to say I have some thoughts forming in my head, and I will be processing them on paper (on screen?) soon.

 more failed attempts at a picture with my children

 cold after a long morning at the pool.  Yes that is a capri sun, don't judge...
 John and his dear friend, Kate.  They are at the delightful age where the have no clue that they aren't the same gender; they just know that they like to hang out.  In fact, as I am typing this, John is leaning over my lap saying, "Kate, turtle, Kate, turtle," over and over with much eagerness.
 they are sharing a bag of potato chips.  I know, I am winning healthy parent awards left and right.
 Earlier that morning--sunscreened up and ready to go
 At the park, playing store.  We love this park that is about two minutes from our house.  It's great when all of a sudden we all need to get out of the house.

 And puppet show...the wood chips are the puppets...

John no longer sticks to the "baby" side of this playground.  He wants to do whatever Ada is doing.  Though he would say Uggle.  This morning when I called her Ada, he corrected me, "not Ada, mommy, Uggle," as he pronounced Ada plain as day.  Looks like that little nick name is sticking around.

And now I must go, as John's dirty diaper is demanding immediate attention...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cleaning Update

I know that these cleaning posts are really for my own records, but the fact is, I do want them recorded in this online journal of mine.  For so long the house cleaning issue has weighed on me, and I am thankful to finally feel some freedom from it.

It has been one of my big prayer things over the past six months, and as silly as it may sound, it is something that I have trusted God with--something that I wanted him to work out in me, and He is faithful, isn't he?

I am continuing in my daily "tasks," beds made, kitchen cleaned (which is an over and over thing throughout the day), and laundry rotated.  I am sticking with my plan to keep folded clothes on Ada's bed throughout the day, and at the end of the day we all put them away.  The bigger weekly tasks are also getting done, though I have found that having a set day for each task doesn't really work for me, so I just sort have in my mind those things that need to get done each week--bathroom (having only one to clean makes this an easy job!!), sheets changed, kitchen and laundry mopped, floors vacuumed, etc. etc.  The dusting is the thing that I hardly ever get to unless "company" is coming--just being honest.  It rarely gets done until it is so bad that I can't stand it, and I just jump up and start dusting all of a sudden.  The part that continues to overwhelm me is the clutter.

The bad thing about a small house is it gets cluttered so quickly, and the good thing is that it really doesn't take long to declutter if I can just make myself do it.  I finally, finally listened to what everyone has said, and I have started setting the timer for 15 minutes, and then Ada and I "race the clock," to see how much we can get done.  It's amazing.  Usually in about 5 minutes most things are put away, and I can use that extra 10 minutes to focus in on a certain spot--the dining room table (which is also a  gathering spot for everything that doesn't really have a spot), the top of my dresser, etc. etc.  The problem is that during that 15 minutes I begin to see bigger projects that need to be done--toys organized and weeded out, the bookshelf organized, the hall closet organized--organization is an issue for me--and I start to get overwhelmed.  So, I am forcing myself to focus only on the task at hand--decluttering.

With each new habit that I start, I make myself stay there for several weeks before I add anything, so that the task becomes automatic, and I think that is what has worked for me.  It has been slow going, but there is a huge improvement in how I run our household.  And I can tell the hugest difference when someone is coming over, and I need to do a whole house clean--it's so much easier and so much less stressful.  I also have in the back of my mind that a year from now we will be moving again--Lord willing that he provides another rental home that works for our family and has a bit more space--and that the more organized I am now, the easier it will be then.  I want to keep that in mind throughout this next year as I begin to tackle the bigger projects of getting rid of toys, organizing closets, etc, that the more I can weed out, the less there is to move.  I want to move in the direction of less stuff=a more organized, peaceful home.

Bottom line, in this project of figuring out a way to keep my house in decent shape, I have been reminded that God is faithful.  He sees me and sees the things that are weighing me down, and He has helped with this. He is personal and He is real and He is merciful and good.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Loving our minivan!!

 the space, oh the space!!!  We are loving it, to say the least.  In fact, when people began to give me advice about what van to get, and so many people said that they loved their van, I thought, "how can you love a car?  any car?"  But, I do, oh I do.  And I especially never thought I would love a van.  I thought that I would drive one eventually, but it would be with an attitude of this is what is practical, this is what is best, as I looked longingly over at the SUV's across the lot.  But no, I am 100% on board with this.  I love it.  As does Ada, who can't decide if she wants to sit in the "way back" or in the second row.  John doesn't have a choice.  But he loves that he can easily get in and out on his own, which goes along with his, "I do it," stage quite well.
 We ended up with an '07 Kia Sedona, which is what we were thinking we would end up with.  I know that everyone suggested an Odyssey, but just trust me when I say it wasn't in our budget ;)  Unless we wanted way over 100,000 miles, and we just didn't.  We are thrilled with our sedona, and we are overwhelmed because it is such a gift.  We needed a new, reliable vehicle so badly, but it seemed so out of the realm of possibility right now that we didn't even pray for that, but God has provided anyway.  We are so, so, so thankful!!!!!
 In other news, I think Ada and John are as thrilled about their .99 bubbles as we are about the van.  I am not kidding.  They love those things.  Ada will announce, "It's bubble time, John," and he takes off running toward the front porch, saying, "yay, bubbles!!!"
God continues to overwhelm us with his goodness!!  Which of course would still be true, van or not ;)

Friday, June 8, 2012


blackberry and strawberry picking

here we have Target's version of the American Girl doll.  The reason that Ada has this doll is because I plain bribed her to get her hair cut.  Just flat out bribed her.  Ever since the tribute caught on fire, a lot of old fears have risen to the surface, including the old hair cut fear.  After many days of convincing, and of promising that she could pick out a toy at Target, and of drawing pictures of what her hair would look like after the cut (not that different, we promised her), and after losing every ounce of compassion that I possessed--she got the hair cut.  I was feeling a bit desperate because her hair was so long and so tangled!!!  Anyway, the stars aligned for her, because this doll was on sale, marked down less than the other junk that she kept picking up.  (fyi, the target doll costs much much much less than an American Girl doll) I really was so glad to add this to the house over the other toys because this doll has been played with non-stop since she came home.

 So, meet Clementine's new friend, Amanda.
 and the shorter hair.  I know that it doesn't look that different, but I am so relieved to have it done!!!  It was driving me crazy.

Here is John sitting way too close to the television, and wearing his floaties just in case, you know, the water in the living room got too deep...
 Here, I had once again bribed my child (all star parenting) by saying that he could wait a few more minutes to take a nap if he would eat some strawberries.  It worked, though, because he loved them and ate about four bowls full.  And that is wow, wow, wubzy on television, by the way.  Tonight, John announced that he was "Wow, wow," and then that all of us in the family were also, "Wow, wow."  "mommy, Wow, wow, too," said John with a big grin on his face.
 speaking of John, since I have talked and talked about his moodiness on this blog, I need to say that he has been so happy lately.  He really has.  He's been so much fun.  Part of the happiness is these two kittens that are hanging out at our house.  John is absolutely giddy over those things.  Giddy.  He goes crazy every single time he walks outside, and the poor kittens seem to put up with it fairly well.

 The face below is an accurate picture of how John feels about the kittens.  His life has been really exciting lately because of them.

 And, today because the kittens needed a break from my eager children, I brought out the water hose. 

I am crossing my fingers that tomorrow night I will be posting about our new van...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Five Minute Friday: See

I have decided to join in with five minute Friday over at Gypsy Mama.  Click on the button to get in on the action.

And here goes,


I keep thinking that my "vision" is getting better.  That through the pruning of life, you know, the sanctification process, that I will begin to automatically see the good thing that God is doing in the midst of the bad.  And yet, I keep proving that I am not there yet.

When our car was on fire, on fire!!!, I began to list all of the bad things this meant.  In my mind, and some out loud.  I would have to cancel the beach trip, which I was dreaming of in a big way, and I would have to cancel my gym membership because there would be no way to get there.  And I had just said that the gym membership was such an answer to prayer.  I wanted to stomp my feet in anger and frustration. Maybe just throw myself on the ground and kick and scream the way John is prone to do when he hears the words nap time.

And now, a little over a week later, it looks like we don't have to cancel the beach trip (we can't believe it!!) and soon we will own a mini van.  A much needed new vehicle, that we thought we needed to wait to get.  And we are using a borrowed car in the mean time, so we are frequenting the gym as much as ever.

The point is, my vision is so flawed.  God has shown me his goodness over and over again, but in the midst of a crazy life situation, I often choose to see his sovereignty and not his goodness.  I choose to see all the hard things that have happened and not the ways that God has provided beyond what we even knew we needed.  He's at it again.  I agree that he is behind it all, but I forget that every single thing that touches me is done out of love and kindness and mercy and grace.  I want to see that first, and rest in that in the midst of the crazy.