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Monday, July 30, 2012

Moody Monday - This is It!

It's our last week of summer vacation before school begins one week from today.  I am in deep mourning over the coming of early mornings.  Ugh!  I was reading in my journal from this time last year and we had a rough transition into second grade and kindergarten.  I hope this year happens more smoothly.  I pray that it does!  The one benefit will be that the children will all go in different directions throughout the day which usually results in less bickering and more fun play time when we gather back together. 

That means this week I'll be loading up on school supplies.  Our list doesn't look to bad, but the checking account does.  Mmmm.  I would so much rather buy something cute that twenty-bazillion glue sticks and spiral notebooks in the proper color.  Have the notebooks always needed to be colored properly?  I don't remember this and shirk and the new development.

We went on a little trip this weekend and my parents returned with us.  Yes, we're enjoying all the family fun ... for the most part.  In between, we've been soaking up the Olympics.  For me, the summer Olympics will forever conjure up memories with my sister as we crossed the country with my grandparents.  We watched those ladies gymnastics with adoration and genuinely believed that with enough practice we could win the gold!  Neither of us has taken a gymnastics class in our entire lives.  Nevertheless, we cartwheeled and tumbled our way though hotels and family friends homes all the while driving our Papa crazy (I'm sure!).  I still get excited whenever they interview Bela Karoli.  I can't understand much of what he says, and he scares me a little - but I like it!  I think he could get my abs looking a little less like a throw pillow and for that he is my wannabe hero.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sweet & Strong

Sweet tea is the standard drink for hot summer days, and this has been a hot summer.  I've made more than a few pitchers and the children have all developed a new appreciation for the refreshing beverage.  BUT, what I've really been thinking about is how I want to be a bit like my tea - both sweet and strong. 

Sweetness is readily accepted and rewarded.  That makes it fairly easy for this recovering-people-pleaser to practice.  I find joy in serving others, meeting needs and even in being the go-to girl at work.  I like being described as sweet.

I haven't always identified myself as strong.  In fact, there are times I feel so weak and ineffective that it's all I can do to put one foot in front of the other.  That's okay.  Yet as I've grown and learned, struggled and succeeded in some areas, I'm more confident that I am strong.  Being strong doesn't mean an end to things that are painful or hard, but it does mean knowing I will survive them and there is life beyond any current trial. 

I feel strong when I take care of myself emotionally, physically and spiritually.  I feel strong when I make smart choices or let go of things that hold me back.  I feel especially strong when I invite others into the journey with me.  What makes you feel strong?  How do you build strength?  Do you think it's alright to feel weak?

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's All in the Bag!

Savvy moms know there are lots of tricks to help get out the door and on the way to the next fun adventure.  Having a bag ready at all times makes our excursions much simpler and Mommy with one less thing to do as we hustle out the door.

I keep a bag packed and ready to grab.

The bag hangs right on our way out to the garage where we can load up in the van.
Notice that the children all have bags they can bring along, too.
The only thing to add are water bottles.

Inside we keep snacks, sunscreen, a few toys, wet wipes and such.  Often we don't even carry the bag into our destination, but knowing it is on hand is great in case we get into a situation where it's needed.

What is one thing you do to make life easier?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Smiley Days

I'm in a happy place right now, but I realize that just like the tough times - this feeling will probably pass at some point.  One of the truths that I learned during some very dark days is that "I won't always feel the way I do today."  That helps me make it though the rough times and reminds me to cherish these happy days.  I have lots of reasons to smile.

Yes, Mr. Wonderful is one of them.  I've enjoyed extra attention and time with him lately.  He is someone I admire so very much.

Summer has been unexepectedly delightful with a much relaxed schedule and fewer demands.  I've loved the carefree pace and enjoy the effortless fun in my children.

I'm thankful for the peace and joy and time to treasure good things.  But change is on the horizon.  School begins in two weeks.  We will have a new childcare routine and change always takes some adjustment time. 

Do you take time to enjoy when things are going well? Sometimes I pre-stress about upcoming events which I don't need to take on yet.  Let's remember the good!  Can you name something that makes you smile today?

My children are camping with their Dad, so I'm enjoying a clean house that stays clean for a few days!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

All Beauty is God's Beauty

Do you know that feeling of intense wonder when there is a sunset so beautiful that it takes your breath away?  Have you caught that look of pure unguarded joy in other's eyes?  Has artwork or poetry ever moved you to tears?  Can music transport you to a place in your past or lift your spirits from mood of gloom?   I do believe God inspires that kind of beauty.  In the same way I believe all truth comes from God (science, philosophy, etc.), I believe all beauty is from the ultimate Imagineer.

Dayspring has given me this fun reminder which I have placed by my front door. I love the truth of the words and the reminder. Wherever you find beauty - in the eyes of your love or the scenes of nature - remember it is beautiful because of God.
To order your own reminder, visit Dayspring - everything is 25% off right now!

Note: I was provided with the product by Dayspring, but the opinions are all my own.   

Monday, July 9, 2012

Moody Monday - Delight!

This Monday is starting with a full agenda.  Our school year starts four weeks from today, so I'm reviewing our summer bucket list and making plans for lots of fun.  Yesterday is when I was actually feeling rather glum and moody.  But after church and lunch at home, we headed out for afternoon fun.  The children were so relaxed and carefree!  I just loved watching them enjoy their time in the pool and on an old fashioned playground.  Isn't it interesting how the heat wave doesn't seem to phase them a bit?  The boys had such flushed and pink cheeks and my daughter had to be fished out of the pool. 

Seeing their pure enjoyment gave me so much pleasure.  It helped to straighten my perspective to see that they are keeping their carefree spirit and can enjoy each other so much.  I love them so dearly.  We finished the day with cheeseburgers and milkshakes at home.  It was just plain fun all around. 

The weather will be slightly cooler this week and so I plan to spend some time at the parks and on bikes.  I still haven't found one for me, but that is something I would like to do.  I'm checking Craigslist often.  Where do you find good second-hand deals?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Moody Monday - General Updates

We escaped up to the mountains again this weekend and spent some time at a family campground swimming and exploring the playground which was from a different era. We finished the evening with ice cream cones by the river, watching the people in their tubes float lazily along.

My house is no longer "on the market" because the contract expired with my realtor.  I know that I need to get this issue resolved, but I'm unmotivated.  I think I'll stick a For Sale By Owner sign in the yard and call it good -

Accepting that we'll probably be here for a while, I need to continue to make the space work for us and so there has been some rearranging done at our Little House.  I've purged a few things we no longer use and I'm in desperate need of letting more go.  I plan to paint my bedroom and really deep clean some areas.  My father helped fix my garbage disposal while in town and that means for the moment, all elements of my kitchen are fully funtioning for the first time in years!

The year is half over, and we only have about a month left of summer.  July is a time when the children spend extra time with their daddy and that leaves me feeling a bit disconnected.  So, I want to make the best of our time together.  They are at such fun ages and it's much easier to go out and about than in previous seasons.  I need to finalize plans for fall childcare and activities.  Time is just a-ticking-away!

What's new in your world?