Saturday, January 19, 2013

Weekly Wrap-Up: Coming out of the Funk

Well, we started back to school again, which should mean you'll be seeing more regular posts from me. . . at least in the weekly wrap-up department!  I'm still not really over my Christmas "funk" so I've had a super hard time wanting to write, but rest assured, I'm sure God is stirring up something in there that will eventually overflow onto my empty page.  That's usually how it works.... I get in a funk (bad attitude and all) He teaches, disciplines, I change and overflow with what He has taught.  It's such a painful process, but I usually like myself better on the other side of it.  I'm kind of sitting back letting Him take the lead and waiting.

As for school, this has been a fabulous week!  As much as I stomped my feet and pitched a fit about going back, (my bad attitude has pervaded every part of life! lol) I'm glad we're back at it.  It has been quite the adjustment though.  Baby T has cried every day this week!!!  She rarely cries.  In fact, we went for a bike ride and on the way home, she cried the entire way, "Momma, I can not take any more!"  Now, one might expect this from a 5 year old who just rode a bike over a mile, but Baby T takes 2 hours of gymnastics twice a week and just the conditioning part is something I could not withstand!!! Yesterday she took a short nap and woke up crying!  I kept her home from the gym.  She must be growing or something...even though she's in the 95th percentile for her height!  Poor Baby T!

Bean Boy has had an amazing week as well.  His work load has been lighter as I'm still waiting for some things to roll in, but he's had some major accomplishments.  I promised him a new game on the Nook if he could simply put his school books away daily instead of leaving them all over the house... I'm sure by the time I post this, he'll have a new game.  He hasn't slept well this week, but has a determination, like I've never seen in him before, to get his school work done.  I wish he'd apply that to chores as well, but I'm not a choosy beggar!  We're making progress.  He's done a great job in school, keeping up with all his work, staying on task, and making good grades with fewer careless errors than usual! Yiiiiipppeeeee!!! You guys remind me to read this the next time I'm complaining!

Little Bit has had a good week.  We've backed her up in reading and started at the beginning of Hooked on Phonics.  I keep trying new things for her, knowing for quite certain that she is dyslexic...even though we've not officially tested.  She doesn't like to be challenged in anything she does, so backing up to easier reading has been good for her.  She has not complained once this week about reading, and yesterday, we ended our reading session while laughing!  I was so happy with that!!!  We'll keep plugging along at her pace (hopefully I'll remember that "her pace" part!).

As for me, I've had a couple of projects.  I got a new sewing machine that we are all in love with! ;) I made several aprons, and am hoping to start selling some of the sets soon.  I even checked at one of our consignment shops, and they are willing to talk about keeping 1-2 on hand to sell for me!  Exciting!!! VERY NERVOUS about that though.  SO, I've got to sit down and figure out how much to charge and all of that, make the hats, and oven mitts too.  I even made an apron for Baby T's doll, at her request, and it turned out so cute!  I also, finally, finally finished my chore chart!!!  I think I started this at the beginning of the school year!  Geesh!  It took long enough.  I think it looks so pretty, and it is right outside of the school room, so I don't forget to keep up with it there. I love it....
I used the same bulletin board I was using for our last chore chart and kept the heading. Wood glue and double sided duct tape were used to keep each clipboard on.  Each kiddo has a board of personal things (their animals and clothing) and then there are the weekly and 2x/week and the $$$ board...since we don't pay an allowance for chores, I have a list of things they can do to earn money.

Funny that this board is the least used, but has the most on it! 

Now mom and baby match!  She has asked for a hat for the baby... I'm not so sure I'll ever get there.

Be forewarned... while I am going to get back into a regular twice a week posting, next week may be an exception.  I will work four nights in a row starting Friday, and then will be going on an anniversary vacation with my husband next Friday!  Wooohoooo! Thank you to my MIL who is helping make it possible once again!  Don't know what I'd do without you! Have a great weekend! Linking up with

Monday, January 7, 2013's all over!

I was so excited about the Christmas season this year!  I had so many hopes, plans, and thoughts of special things to do with the kids and hubby. . . most of it never happened.  Actually, it was highly unusual for me to get that excited.  Perhaps my mom is rubbing off on me.  She gets her Hallmark countdown ornament out in October. . . Anyway. . . I was really hoping to spend the season purposefully focusing on others, and helping the kids to do that as well.  The first week of December started out strong.  We did pretty good. But after that. . . sigh. . . not so much.

I had read this amazing blog post about how this sweet lady was sick of focusing on that mischievous little Elf on the Shelf (which I had  never heard of till this year!).  She wanted to place her focus on others too, so she started a plan she called "Light 'Em Up".  I was instantly hooked and began talking with the kids to plan our own "Light 'Em Up" season.  Please go to her blog and check it out here. . . I think that is the original post I read.  It was just what I wanted. Something, anything to take the focus off of "me", what "I want", what am "I getting".  And by "I", I meant the little ones. . . little did I know that I needed to get away from the "me" thinking too!

So, we printed out our Light 'Em Up planner, and made a plan.  My biggest excitement would be writing on the driveways of our friends!  I thought, how cool to let them know how loved they are, and remind them to think on Jesus this season. . . we didn't get to ONE! We did focus on Hubby the first week.  It was kind of a funny disaster!  He finished up his masters degree that first week of December (wooooohoooooo), so the kids and I thought we'd show him how proud we were of him.  We planned to surprise him by writing on his car and sticking a ton of balloons in it. . . But, when we went to his celebratory lunch (with people from his internship) his car was no where to be found!  We drove around the parking lot (with a bazillion other crazy drivers) for-EVER!!!  I finally relented and texted him, saying, we're in the area can we stop by and meet your friends (he had wanted us to anyway, I think). We took the balloons in to him and thoroughly embarrassed him. :) The look on his surprised face was priceless (even though I had worked the night before, and only had about 2 hours sleep, I still remember it- a Christmas miracle).  (BTW- he had ridden there with someone else, which is why we couldn't find his car!)

So, we still had the issue of the car writing that the kids were not going to let go. On the final day of his internship we drove over to the hospital he was at and looked for his car.  You're not going to believe this. . . I couldn't find it!!!  Again, relenting, I texted him saying we were in the neighborhood wanting to go out to lunch when you get done, want to park by your car, where is it?  It was in the employee garage!!!  Can you believe it?  So, we left and went out to lunch.  When we were done eating, I made him stay in the restaurant while we went outside to decorate his car!  I never even took pictures, because I was so frustrated.  We wrote things like, love you, Dad the grad, etc.  It was fun after the frustration died down.  I think he liked it. . .

After that, we went camping.  Then, when we came back, I worked that crazy, crazy schedule (2 on, 1 off, 1 on, 1 off, 1 on). . . I call those the zombie days and nothing got done.  Then, the next week, I worked 4 in a row.  It was just an unusually weird month as far as my work schedule went.  I was exhausted, never knew if I was coming or going, and sad. . . I really wanted to really focus on Jesus, on others, and on showing my kids the wonderful ways they can serve and be little lights.  But, it was all I could do to stay awake and keep up with our regular duties.  To say the least, I was disappointed, frustrated, and highly resentful of the fact that I had to work.  Ugh...that's not quite the attitude I was going for this season!

Then Christmas came.  As it has been many times before, it was quite a disappointment.  Without incriminating anyone, let's just say that things are getting better, and that my broken heart is in the healing stage.  Hopefully, this will be the last Christmas spent in tears.  (Many of my childhood Christmases were spent this way- at a certain grandmother's house.)   Then, as if it wasn't bad enough, I had to work Christmas night and the night after. . . So, I've spent the last several weeks trying desperately to adjust my attitude.  I've been reminded of how thankful I am for grace.  While I don't believe my outward behavior was terrible, my heart attitude has been one of selfishness. . . the very thing I started out to set right!  While the season and my hopes were let down, I am infinitely grateful for my sweet Jesus who humbled Himself enough to become a baby, then a man, die on a cross, and love me in spite of my selfishness/self-centeredness.  I am mindful of grace that covers resentment and selfishness, and so ever grateful for it.  I am grateful for the gift of a job that I now really enjoy, a husband who loves me (also in spite of me) and and amazing family to share special moments with...even the moments chasing down Hubby's car!

I think we will try again, all year long, to be lights to the world.  Sometimes I'm going to fail.  Sometimes, though, God just might decide to shine through me!

Do all things without grumbling or questioning that you may become blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life. . . 
Philippians 2:14-16a

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Catching Up

Well, I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas.  I have not been posting much, as December had an exceptionally difficult work schedule, and I've found Christmas a bit much to take in this year.  It has been a hard season.  I do not have a weekly-update prepared, but am hoping to start back with that next week.  However, I have prepared a cute, short, little story of my morning!

If You Give a Mom a "To Do List" by Kristy Mikell. . . If you give a mom a to do list, she'll probably get started right away. She'll ask the kids to help her put the laundry away. There's no room in my drawers the first kid will say. So, the mom will help her chose which clothes should stay, go away, and be saved for the next one in line. The mom will then ask the next one to help sort the mess. Cute as can be, she'll roll her eyes and say why me? Newer clothes are fun, but you don't have room for even one. So, the mom will go through with child number two to decide which ones to toss, consign, keep. The to child number three, the mom will say, "Let's take a peek." This child is the most difficult of all, being as for most of his clothes he is too tall. The bags are packed, labeled and ready to ship out. Back to the chore list, let's knock this out. Well, the mom still can't vacuum, number two on the list, because the filters are still covered with a wet mist- despite having them in front of the fan! So, the mom will try again for number three on the list. Complete the project of chore list that was started months ago...but where did the chore tags go? Mom will wonder through the house, promising candy to the first one to find the prize. While looking for the prize, mom's eyes gaze over the mess. Number four on the list, get the trash off the floor, while dad paints the cabinet doors. The laundry must be moved from washer to dryer, and then started again, but now she sees the mess on the floor again. Then the call from work cuts her time in half, cause now she has to squeeze in a nap. Next she'll try to find something for lunch. To the freezer she flies, only to find it has died! Now the mom will quick bake the pizzas, toquitos, and try to save the shrimp before it goes. After having a day like this, where only one thing on the list gets done, it's nice to know I can have some fun! Writing this quick story may be the only thing that gets done. . . until I'm interrupted again!