Thursday, May 28, 2009

Observations From Wal-Mart

Today, I did something I usually don't do: I took five kids with me for a major grocery shopping trip to Wal-Mart. They did well overall, but I was loosing steam fast toward the end, feeling queasy and tired. Here are a few observations from our outing today.
  • Bathing suits for six-year-olds are far from modest, at least at this store. Of about 20, we had two to choose from.
  • Telling your three-year-old son not to throw the cantaloupe on the floor because it would splatter everywhere may not be the best incentive to obey. He didn't throw it down, but as soon as the words were out of my mouth, I could see the wheels turning. Note to self: Next time, use a different approach.
  • Older kids are great gophers for the one item you missed way back on aisle 3. And they actually think these little assignments are fun!
  • This is the best $3 purchase I've made in a long time.

  • To a nine-year-old boy, clothes shopping is actually close to torture. At least there are the clothing racks to play in.
  • Going to Wal-Mart with children can be a sanctifying experience. :)

Unanswered Prayer

I'm sitting here finishing my hot Miracle-Whip and cheddar cheese sandwich (hey--it's no weirder than pickles and ice cream!) and I came across this amazing quote from C.J. Mahaney. If any of you regularly look at, you may have already seen it, but I thought it was well worth re-posting here.

"I want to celebrate unanswered prayer. I want to ... thank God for all the prayers I have prayed sinfully motivated, that the Saviour hasn't answered. I want to thank God that he is sovereign, not sentimental. I want to thank God for all the times when ... I have approached the Saviour demanding that he do for me whatever I ask, ... that the Saviour's response was not simply, “You don't know what you are asking”, but that he withheld an answer to that prayer. I am grateful to God for unanswered prayers.

Here's a question, though: how do you respond to unanswered prayer? I believe how we respond to unanswered prayer normally reveals our motive and ultimately reveals the purpose of our prayers. If I encounter someone who is bitterly declaring, “I have prayed ... and the Lord hasn't provided”, that is usually the voice of someone who wants to use God ... rather than serve him for his glory. I find unanswered prayer purifies my motive, and often alters the very content of my prayer as well."

This quote comes from the sermon found here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Totally Awesome

Last Friday, we went to our friend Doug's 40th birthday party, and since his wife, Beth, is the Master Party Planner, of course it was a theme party!

It was a bit of a challenge finding something in our closets that would pass as '80's' garb, but we did the best we could with what we had. Funny; I never thought I would wish I had something neon hanging in my closet again. And, really, I had to rely on Kevin to give me pointers about 80's style, because early 90's was really my time...

'Cause he's so much older than me. Hee Hee.

We had a great time seeing our friends and their families and meeting some new people.

Thanks, Greg and Janis, for sitting for us! The kids had a fun time with you!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Candice and Kevin Plus Seven

Our neighborhood garage sale is serious business. We actually took Thursday off of school so we could scour our area for bargains. The kids and I had a great time looking and scoring great deals and getting fresh air and exercise. I found tons of baby clothes.

Not for Annesley.

For our new baby. Yes, that's right! God has blessed us with another little one to debut in January!

I've been praying for some time that if God wanted us to have another child, that He would either give Kevin excitement about the idea, or just 'make it happen.' (Isn't it funny how we give God multiple choices sometimes in our prayers...Like He has to choose one?) In His gracious and wonderful way, He's done both.

Last month, Kevin came to me and said that he really would like to have another baby, but that he'd like to wait til next year. I was excited to hear that, of course, and it made perfect sense to wait since we're planning a trip to Thailand in December (Kevin, Keely, and I). It was a bit shocking to find out two weeks ago that God had also opted to grant choice 'b', too! And though the timing is a bit of a surprise, we are thrilled and humbled that we'll be entrusted with another little 'arrow' to train up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Pray for us, will you? For safety for this little one, and for physical strength for Kevin and me. We find ourselves tired quite often, and we want to be good stewards of these children in the face of limitations on our physical and emotional energy. I have to admit that I've struggled with fear a little since we found out about this baby.

Can I really handle this?
Can I homeschool them all?

Are you sure you want to give us another one, Lord?

I hear God answer me through His Word:

My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.

I can't handle this on my own, nor will I do it all perfectly. I know God will give me grace for each day, and that is more than enough.

Psalm 127:3

Oh, and one more thing: You girls whom I was chatting with at co-op a couple of weeks ago, in the nursery? About how effective natural family planning is?

Forget what I said. :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Photo Blog

Present time!

Die, weeds! Die!

Modeling my $7.00 garage sale find

Action shot of Lil

"I adore toys for ages three and up!"

Noah just loves grammar. Ahem.

My girlie-girl Rowan

Joseph wields his marshmallow-shooter.

"We made $1.75!!!"

Daily reading time

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Marriage is the Stem

Back in April, when Kevin and I went to the homeschool conference, we had the pleasure of hearing Todd Wilson speak again. By far, my favorite session was called "How to Be a Great Wife Even Though You Homeschool." And it really wasn't about homeschooling at all.

Todd began by telling us that years ago, he was a landscape designer, and, of course, among many other things, he thought he knew how to plant flowers. Grab a flower by the stem, wiggle it out of its plastic pot, plant it. He said he was surprised to hear one of his favorite t.v. gardeners say one day not to grab a flower by the stem, wiggle it out of the plastic pot, and plant it. He suggested grabbing a flower by the leaves instead. Why the leaves? If you break off a leaf or two, the plant will recover and grow new leaves. However, if you crush the stem, the plant always dies.

State history, piano lessons, sports, science, handwriting, (fill in your own blank here)....these are 'leaves'. All these things that hold our attention and push our husbands into 'second place' because of our busyness are leaves that can be broken off of our lives and yet not really harm anyone.

Your marriage is the stem. It is what is most important in your family! If the other things are done well, but the 'stem' of your marriage is crushed, everything else dies.

I really love this analogy and have thought of it often. So often we (I) think of blessing our husbands as an afterthought because we're so busy with all the little leaves in our lives. It's easy to do, and easy to feel justified about doing, because lots of things 'need' to be done! But we have to remember that those leaves won't last long if the whole plant is dying.

If you ever get the chance to hear Todd Wilson speak, go! He's so funny and real about his own family's challenges and struggles, while encouraging all parents who are 'in the trenches'.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Noah's Nine

Happy Birthday, Sweet Boy!  

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Such a Busy Week!

I'll bet that May is a busy time for everyone. Will we make it through in one piece? I think so. I just have to remember not to wish away this busy season, but try to enjoy it and at the same time look forward to June: our month off from school!

Piano recital---'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' never sounded so sweet!

The girls' Bible Study on Saturday--learning how to french braid

Throwing a fit over being offered carrots for lunch really takes it out of you.

Friday, May 01, 2009

All Things Working Together

Tonight we were on our way to have dinner with friends, and the drive over was really lovely. It's been really rainy here lately, but this afternoon was bright and blue. You know how the afternoon sunlight just looks prettier after a rain?

We were enjoying a new
CD I picked up yesterday (from the Seeds worship collection, that we love and highly recommend for kids. I don't have much stomach for most kids' music that's out there, but this is something the kids and parents can really enjoy and benefit from...I digress...) One of the songs that's on this album is Romans 8:28 , one of my very favorite verses. I was moved listening to the familiar words. God is working in all do me good. I think this is one of those verses that is easy to become too familiar with; it's easy to gloss over and not really appreciate the magnitude and power it speaks of. I can really barely grasp it:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Isn't that just mind-blowing? The loss of a job, the difficult marriage, the financial struggles, the broken relationships...God is working among and through them all to do us good, if we are His children. To conform us to the image of Christ. What a beautiful, wondrous promise to cling to when life is hard! What a precious reminder to submit to whatever is hard in my life, in your life, and turn our faces to Christ, asking Him to have His way.

Lord, help me to trust you more.