Sunday, March 30, 2008

On a roll

Unrelated but cute: This is Isobel wearing Everett's Spider Man outfit.

I have been wanting to decluttering and organizing my trouble spots lately. My trouble spots are our most common spots (laundry,recycling, kitchen counters, and school stuff). Somehow, since Friday, I have been able to square things up . . . literally. All needed and wanted items are in boxes and drawers and anything that I usually keep tripping over or have not used is in other boxes to Goodwill or the garbage. I even tackled Everett's room so that things are easier for HIM to put away! As a bonus, miracle really, I was able to batch cook this months meals. I am blogging this because I may never get a chance again to be this far ahead. I guess you will all be able to hold me to it too as you visit. As you know, as you clean a mess you make a mess. So we played our chore game (Evie and I do this in preparation for Ian coming home. This time Ian got to "play"). On little slips of paper we write down all the things that need to be done. The fun part is adding in the silly ones (kiss your moma, quack like a duck, act like a chicken, ect). All the slips are in a bowl and you must do what you draw without complaining! Ian had to slither like a snake and Everett peacefully sorted and folded all the laundry (second miracle?). My house is mostly clean, I know what we will be eating, and I am ready for the week . . . so far.

I will add pictures soon

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Calm Spirit

Where have I been? Enjoying a calm spirit! A week ago, my mom came up for a surprise visit. I say surprise because for a retired lady she sure is busy. I guess being the mom of 7 never ends. Anyway, she came up and took the kids and I to the Lynden Craft Show. I felt like a kid getting out of school for the day. Only shopping and coffee. No laundry, dishes, fights (amen), and such. A total treat! Wait it gets better. Then I was able to go to a women's retreat for the weekend (more about Above Rubies later). Once again, no laundry, dishes, fighting, all my meals were made for me, lots of coffee anytime, and God's word and will poured out on me !!!! It was great. Then in a couple of more days it was time to see my mom again! How cool.

We have been studying rocks in preparation for Easter (Jesus is our Rock of Salvation, the stone that was rolled away). We collected rocks and made our own.

Then we went on the Seattle Underground Tour with my parents

Here is an old bank vault that my treasures were interested in. And of course, Isobel can find a bathtub anywhere even underground!

Ok, who is shocked? It is me and my parents it was bound to happen.
We finished our day with dinner and a hot tub. It was great. Thanks moma and papa.
Next came Easter. Amen! Amen! Amen! We did the Resurection cookies, but there are no pictures because I was realy trying to focus on Everett and story. One more dinner I did not have to cook and here we are. I am back to the laundry, dishes, meals, and such. But with such joy and a calm spirit, it seems just as nice as the previous week. Thank you Lord for my family and home and the privleged position to care for it for your glory.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Field Trip to City Works

We took a behind the scenes field trip through the Parks and Rec. We were able to see where and how they make all the city's signs, a bucket truck, a police car, an ambulance, and a fire truck. Such boyville! Lights, tools, lifts! It was like being on a live Lego or play mobile set.
Mothers Note: Just glad this is a picture of him in an ambulance and not the police car.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lesson Learned

We started our own seeds!
Step 1. Fill with dirt. (Notice no manure or pitch forks!)

Step 2. Sow seeds

Step 3. Water (Notice no water hose!)

Step 4. Pray (the whole way through)

Just in case you were wondering, the watermelon is doing well

After Dinner Hours

So you have seen the wrestling that takes place after dinner but before bed. It is a time that is really up for grabs. Very few plans and so almost anything goes. But I was not expecting this. Everett bought a kite with his allowance ($2 @ goodwill). Unfortunately, we did not have kite string on hand or a handle. Enter male creativity! (If there was ever a need for more evidence that God made men and women different, it would have to be how we approach a problem and what is a good solution.) So the boys (yes boys at this point, not one man and one boy) go and get Everett's batman fishing pole and proceed to fly a kite from it. Ingenious really. Great laughs and new perspective gained!
Cute and Smart. My kind of man!

Poop Soup & Kids With Pitch Forks

How are you still reading this?

What a scary title yet you want to know more? Ok . . .

Back out at the Food Bank Garden, we were given charge to mix potting soil. It's dirt, manure, fertilizer. It's not rocket science, but add water and two water bugs and you get "poop soup". In my children's defense, they were told to fill up the wheelbarrow with water, so thats what they did.
Ok, now mix it all up.
After many buckets of dirt and manure to make it workable, it was ready for the seeding trays. Go Bel! Everett is up next. He makes four rows for his seeds and sows them.

Next comes the label.
On to the next one . . . .

Monday, March 10, 2008

I am changed, and I am going!

God's timing and plan are perfect. You've heard it, you agree with it, but when you are right in the middle of it, you are speechless. So in my world there are women who I feel are like seniors in high school while I am just an awkward freshman (otherwise known as mentors but it took me a while to connect that). I can see them only from a distance and long to get to know them. The theme He continues to place in front of me is an Christian, alpha female. In February, our homeschooling and God's plan, landed me smack in the middle of two! One of them handed me a few "Above Rubies" magazines and an invitation to join her at their upcoming retreat. As I read them, my prayer of something more tangible to strengthen my marriage and family life was answered and laterally in my hands like a rope pulling me to safety. I could not put them down and found support and encouragement and ideas as my calling to be a Christian wife and mother! WOW. I so wanted to go to the retreat, but time away from home is a tough thing to make happen. An entire weekend would be a miracle. But Jesus is into stuff like that. He has provided a husband with an agreeable heart (well the actual "yes" to the retreat sounded more like "whatever it takes to make you happy, even if I have to suffer"), registration fees and placement, play dates for the kids while I am gone (and so Ian is rested and ready to return to work on Monday) and other details that will let me completely soak in all that He has for me. I am so excited I can barely contain it. Since I received and read those magazines everything about me has changed. My heart, my step, my thinking, my purpose for doing my wife and mother things. Yes, I loved my husband, but there is a passion for him and with him that is overflowing. Yes, my children are important to me, but there is a new intention for our time and interaction. There has been such a change in me that Ian asked me (TWICE) if I was pregnant. Nope. Then what was I up to. Nothing I said so I told him about the magazines and read him part of one. I chose a small article about honoring you husband. "That is what I am talking about" he exclaimed. I tried to explain my heart and such to him and he asked "Is there was going to be a ransom note demanding money or I get my old wife back". (No, but good idea). So back to my "senior" thing. These are the answers to prayer I asked for long ago. Two friends have been watching and hearing all that has been happening, and I revealed to them that they too use to be a "seniors" to me. "Use to be?" they asked. Yeah, not anymore because they are accessible. We have a relationship!! Maybe it is the 5 phone calls a day we can count on having together, or that she is an emergency contact on any information sheet for my family, or that often you will see our daughter in either of their arms blending into their family. Amen to all the above!! Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cool School

Before my camera battery died, I was able to capture the view from our garden school room:
Here is the only other shot: Everett was pushing the wheelbarrow to the row of broccoli we were to harvest. Maybe it was a good thing I was unable to take pictures so my hands and attention were focused on Evie . . . since he had a sharp knife. Yes a knife. Boy am I glad we have been working on those knife skills at home. He did great once he knew what he was to do. Altogether we were able to scavenge an extra flat of broccoli that was delivered to the food bank that night. On our way out there, Everett saw someone standing on the side of the road with a sign. As I passed him, Evie told me that we should have stopped (often we will hand out cereal bars). As we were gathering the garden food, I explained that this is another way for him to help someone who is hungry. Volunteers we work with now know we are at school when we are at the garden. They smile and happily say "I wish I could have gone to a school like that". Some add "I would have learned more!"

Here are some other pictures from school:and

one more:

What else to do at the end of the day but wrestle with dad!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Happy to be like my Moma

My moma waited with me. She would stand there waiting with us for the city bus on our way to school. My moma who worked more hours than I realized, cooked, washed, and balanced our everyday spent precious time with us waiting for a bus. In the cold. In the rain. And on days I'm sure she was planning more that could be done in one little 24 hour period. She waited! She chose me!! Evie asks me to cuddle with him at bedtime. Oh! So close to the finish line. I just want to be done for the day. A little me time. Hubby time. Some time to straighten the living room so I can see it clean and pretty in the morning (it helps, ok). But I choose him! I was thinking about this time that matters to him and what my moma did for me. I am tempted to do so much but I think about his heart and memory of me, and so I think of my moma. She never ran out on me. In her bathrobe and umbrella, busy day ahead, she stayed with me. So I stay with him. Thanks mom