Friday, March 23, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Boxes and Books

About a week ago, we spent a fun afternoon with friends. Big Sam shows little Sam his lizard.

I can't believe that real, official spring has arrived! I kept waiting for winter to come, which never seemed to happen, and now, here we are: trees blooming and grass greening and mild rains watering everything. I love it!

Our move has been pushed back a week from this Saturday to next. I'm ready...I think! I can say confidently that I am ready to banish the sight of brown boxes and tape from my sight, but between here and there, there's much work to be done. I'm not stressing about it though. We have lots of able little bodies around here and about a week and a half yet to get it all together. We've decided that even though we are moving to another rental house, we are going to adopt a 'settled' mindset, and really unpack all those boxed in storage, and live like we're staying for a while. The kids are so excited about seeing all their books and toys and dress-up clothes that have been in storage for over a year. I'm excited about getting all my serving and cookware out. And who knows? We may actually be there for more than a year. We'll just have to see how it all works out...

I have to tell you about a couple of books I've read recently/am reading now. The first is by Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, and it was a quick, light, funny read. She tells the story of how she met and married her husband and all the changes that happened in her life. Not too deep, not any big life lessons here, but I recommend this book because of what I took away from it: it made me think about Kevin and I and our dating days and what life was like in the beginning. Sans kids. It made me remember and appreciate why I fell in love with him, and it made me want to give him a big smooch. Plus, it made me laugh out loud a few times. So, get a copy and curl up; it's a fun break from 'heavy' books.

The next book is so wonderful, and I am gleaning so much encouragement from it! I'm not quite finished with it because a) I'm taking my time and trying to soak it all in, and b) I only read it when I'm not too tired and can really focus on what I'm reading. So, you understand why it's taking a while, right? :) I do feel as though I'm coming out of the fog of the first weeks of life with a newborn, but still, Elijah only sleeps for four to five hours at a time at night...sometimes less. Anyway, back to the book.

I keep reading things I want to share here because they are so true and profound. And let me just say that I know your time is precious. I rarely read long blog posts for that reason. But this is good stuff, and I think you'll find it worth your attention and contemplation.

...I'll tell you about a problem I had responding in godliness when Phil, my husband, came home early from work and interrupted my writing. I'll admit that I was irritated that I had to stop doing what I was intent on. I didn't yell at him or throw my laptop across the room, but I'm sure he knew that I was unhappy that he had interrupted my train of thought. My problem with Phil's early arrival was, at its core, a problem of unbelief. It was a faith problem, because at that moment I simply refused to believe that God loved me and that he was lovingly ruling over my life. I doubted that being interrupted was a good he had planned. I failed to believe that he is kind, wise, and powerful. My primary sin was that I failed to believe that God is good and that his plans for my life are good, too.

In addition, in my unbelief I was taking pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thess. 2:12). I cherished the thought of living life without God interrupting me or messing about in my affairs. I know that none of us would just come right out and shout, "Stop meddling!" at the Lord, but we frequently say it to those God has placed in our path. "I wish you'd just stay out of my way. I have to get this done!"

In taking such pleasure in unrighteousness, I prove myself not only unbelieving but also an idolater. It's not that trying to get my work done is sinful in itself. No, I believe that God has called me to accomplish this task. It becomes sinful when thoughts of an uninterrupted, self-determined day captivate my soul, when accomplishing my goals means more to me than grateful obedience. My plan has become my god; I am an idolater. I worship my idea of a successful day, my right to decree how its every moment will go.
-Because He Loves Me, pp 128-129, emphasis mine
Wow. Are you saying 'ouch' like I did? Especially that part about allowing thoughts of a self-determined to 'captivate my soul'. I read that and thought immediately about a picture I saw in a magazine the other day. It was a stunning photograph of a woman and her husband sitting together in their rustic gazebo (which he built) in the middle of a scenic wood. The woman had a beautiful shawl over her shoulders and a glass of wine in her hand. She looked so...rested! I don't particularly like wine, and I don't forsee Kevin building us a gazebo, but something about that picture made me discontent. Perhaps I'd changed one too many poopy diapers and had to mediate one too many arguments that day, but I wanted to be that woman in the magazine! For a few minutes I wanted to trade what God has given me for something else. I briefly made an idol of that 'other life'. What a needed reminder to rest in the goodness of God as He brings 'interruptions' and works the circumstances of our lives for our ultimate good (Rom. 8:28).

Ah, there's so much more good stuff in this book. Thanks again, Lora, for putting a copy in my hands. Hope you all have a blessed day, and I hope you all meditate on the truth above with me: God is good, and his plans for my life are good, too.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Free Coding Class Online

Lily leads the kids as they practice their timeline

Annes hangs out in her shanty while the kids recite

Have you guys heard of Codecademy? I'm going to get Noah started on this today; I love free, and I think this is a very valuable skill. As a matter of fact, learning this skill roughly twenty years ago is what got my very smart and computer-savvy husband on his career track. Nowadays he doesn't do much coding for his 9-5 job, but does have a small side web-development business. Plus, over the years he's been able to help lots of people with websites, and donate his skills to bless churches with updated sites.

I am so glad that I can rearrange Noah's workload (perhaps give Mavis Beacon a rest for a while?) so he can focus on what he (and I) want him to. Yes, my house is a wreck, laundry beckons, and I am still wearing spit-up stained pajamas. Despite those things and the sometimes chaotic-feel to our days, I love being here with my kids, learning with them and directing their learning every day. Three cheers for homeschooling!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Gratuitous Pictures of my Children

Sam was throwing an after-nap fit, and I think I made him madder by taking lots of pictures of it.

If there were a cartoon bubble above Noah's head, it would say, "Mom, please take him so I can continue looking at my Lego magazine."

Joe shows me his new McDonald's toy. A kind friend came and took my middle five kids to a local bounce-house to play, and then to eat at Mickey-D's for lunch. I packed and hung out with Keely, and it was productive and fun. What a huge treat! Thanks, Mary Lou!

Eli is six weeks and two days here. Time is flying by!

Joe loves to look at this cute anniversary card Kevin's Aunt sent us. We celebrated 16 years last Friday. I'm one blessed girl!

This is one way to make him smile...

Mobbing someone can be motivated by love, apparently...

I don't have much time to blog as we're getting ready for our move in about two weeks. Things are plugging along and we're trying to keep school rolling as much as possible. I am looking forward to being settled, and to some less windy and grey weather. I hope to spend much more time with my camera and kids outside when it warms up a bit. Have a great Thursday!