Wednesday, July 28, 2010


It's been a while since I've had the time to write here; last week we enjoyed a fun family 'staycation'. We were busy almost every day going and doing fun things and visiting new places--from a water park to a nearby Amish community. We ate too much fast food and candy, stayed up late watching movies and eating popcorn, and spent lots of time together as a family.

Things may continue to be a bit quiet around here as there are some changes ahead. We have decided to sell our house and downsize a bit. It's a very exciting time, but also uncertain for the kids, most of whom can't remember any house but this one. We've talked about it at length with them, and tried to focus on the fact that wherever we all are together, that's home. We also promised the kids a dog if we move, to help soften the blow. :)

On the home school front, we're going a different direction this fall. We'll be joining a Classical Conversations community this September instead of the traditional co-op that we've been a part of for years. Although we'll miss seeing the families we've gotten to know and love, we think that this is the right decision. CC is so much more than a 'co-op', and I can't wait to dive in with the kids and learn as we get involved. I am so excited about this new direction, and think it is going to be so good for the kids, as well as be a great fit for me as the Mom/teacher!

So, if you think of us, please pray! We so hope that our house will sell quickly. Honestly, I am not looking forward to trying to keep the house together at all times and be ready to swoop seven children out the door with little notice! I know it's all 'part of it', though, and it will be another opportunity for the Lord to develop patience and flexibility in me! :) Also, pray that the kids will adjust well to all of the upcoming changes.

It means so much to me to have friends reading here and sharing your thoughts and comments, as well as lifting us up in prayer! Thank you!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Do You Yard Sale?

Years ago, my friend Ann from Lawrence introduced me to the joys of yard-saling. (It's not a word, I know!) I have been hooked ever since. No, really. I have a problem. My kids laugh at me as I turn into a neighborhood, relentlessly following signs, even though I have about 75 cents left. Just. One. More. Hey, 75 cents can buy a lot at a garage sale!

Today, Sam and I had some time to run around, and I found some great stuff (I think!).

  • Four like-new cute purses for $2 each. I plan on giving a couple to Mom.
  • A pair of rubber boots for Annes for 50 cents.
  • An oblong tin-tile planter for 50 cents.
  • The basket of hydrangeas for 50 cents. I plan on pulling out the dusty flowers and using the basket for the girls' crocheting stuff, 'cause I like the shape of it.
  • A Tommy Hilfiger shirt for Kevin for $1.
  • Some other clothes/books/odds and ends for a quarter to fifty cents.
  • My very favorite find: the kitschy old paint-by-numbers boat picture for the boys' room, which has a travel/sailing theme. This was my most expensive purchase today, at $4.

Here are my top rules for yard-saling:

1. Stop at every one you have time for. Even if, from the street, it looks like a bunch of junk, you should check it out anyway. You never know what little treasure is hiding in there. Case in point: The sale where I found the purses was almost entirely tools. There was one big box, though, of those great purses. The man even gave me a bit of a deal off the marked prices....his wife wasn't around. Hope I didn't cause any marital discord. :)

2. Don't be afraid to ask for a lower price. Almost every time I ask, I get a "sure"!

3. Don't give up! For every sale where I find something good, there are probably 3-4 that I don't.

I have found that giving the kids 50 cents or a dollar each to spend helps them understand the value of money. They have found some amazing toys at garage sales, and it really makes them think before they plunk down $14.99 for something similar at Wal-Mart. Also, I have recently encouraged them to get rid of something at home if they find something to buy. This helps to keep us from drowning in stuff. It also makes them really weigh if they like their goodie that much.

Happy yard-saling!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Parenting Scribbles

I saw this quote this morning on Raising Olives, and thought it was worth copying here. I love this beautiful analogy!

"We are always challenged as parents. We are humbled. Even on our best days, we come up short. My two-year-old offers me her little drawing of scribbles. “Wook, Daddy, wook!” she says. My reaction s not to throw it back at her in a rage saying, “What is this? Just a bunch of scribbles on a piece of paper? Take it away!” No. I take her up in my arms and say, “Thank you sweetheart! You drew this for me?” I post it over my desk. She gave me a little piece of her heart. She wanted to please me with the drawing, and she is pleased when she sees that I am pleased.

Similarly, when we parents, as the adopted children of our heavenly Father, present our parenting work to God as scribbles on a piece of paper, we must believe that He will accept it and that His grace will cover us. We must believe that when God posts our grubby, blotchy artwork, He really can turn it into something great. It is only then that we realize what we really mean when we cry out to our children, “My son, give me your heart.” ~ Kevin Swanson “Upgrade

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Picture Post

We have been 'back to school' for almost two weeks now, and I keep thinking that we will start having days when we're actually home for most of the day, but it just isn't happening! Running errands, doctor appointments, grocery store, on and on...I keep having to remind myself that our lives are full, and this is a good thing for my children. They are learning and living life and playing in the sun and reading and interacting with others. I know our days will settle down as we creep closer to fall. I do think this summer has been our busiest ever. And I'm not a person who thrives on busy-ness. I like calm. I like to be home and have a handle on things...anyway...

Wanna see some pictures?

Sure you do. :)

Our friends Barry and Imogene took us on a tour of Ft. Leavenworth, where Barry teaches at the War College. What a gorgeous day, and what a pretty military post! I wasn't expecting all the trees and hills and picturesque views. Barry and Imogene always bless us with their love for our family and servant's attitude. Plus, having nine people over for dinner doesn't scare them. :)

I kinda wish she would never get a tooth in there...Love that smile.

This is the last horse-drawn ambulance used by the army. The museum has some really interesting stuff.

Crochet-o-rama with cousins and Aunt DJ!

Nana with all her grandkids

Science City at Union Station--my kids love this place. And look! Grown-ups do, too!

I sincerely hope the kids had fun at the children's farmstead this day. 'Cause, to be honest, it was highly stressful for me. Just keepin' it real.

The girls had fun making pillowcases for the Ronald McDonald House.

Swimming lessons!

Blessings to you all!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Half a Year Already?

Slow down, my sweet baby. It's going too fast....

Good thing you can't see the rest of my school room...what a mess! :)

It's the Dad Life

Dad Life from Church on the Move on Vimeo.

Disclaimer: this *is* my life, but I do NOT tuck my shirt in my bathing suit...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

New Documentary

I know I'm on a bit of a video kick lately, but I wanted to share this trailer for a new documentary that will be released this fall (I believe). It's about the Parental Rights Amendment movement and why it's needed. Can't wait to check it out! Go here for more information.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Pixar Movies Are the Best

Even though going to the movies with lots of kids costs a small fortune, we always plan on catching the newest Pixar offering. Loved Toy Story 3! I think it's one of my very favorites. Take your kleenex, though... :)

Monday, July 05, 2010

More on Working Women

I ran across this video today and really liked what Douglas Wilson had to say. I think I like how he said it even more than how John Piper said it....

Ask Doug: Women working outside the home from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

I feel like I should add a disclaimer here: although Douglas Wilson has many good things to say with which we agree, he is also a part of the 'Federal Vision' movement, which we don't agree with or endorse.

Sola scriptura

Sola fide

Sola gratia

Solus Christus

Soli Deo gloria!