This Moment

{this moment} ~ Joining Soulemama in a Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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A little Room Makeover

Toy Room Before Pic

Toy Room Before Pic

I was talking to my mother-in-law this weekend, and feeling slightly baffled by my urges to paint rooms and rearrange furniture. Thinking I never really had the whole “nesting” bug with any of my other pregnancies. But, then it dawned on me today that maybe I did. The symptoms could have been masked by the fact that with all but my first pregnancy I was moving cross country in my second and third trimesters. Each time a whole house to set up! And yes, there was cleaning to do too! What pregnant woman with such urges would not be thrilled?

But, I digress.

So, here I am admitting that I feel a little prickle to pack and clean and paint. And that’s just what I’ve been doing each weekend. From sorting, purging and categorizing totes full of children’s clothes from newborn to size 8. To combing through toys, and the cleaning the loft. There was also the honey-do list I bestowed upon my poor unsuspecting hubby. Good sport that he is, he got it all done. There is also the perpetual urge to sweep floors (though that really just needs to be done a lot around here anyway.)

The climax thus far has been a complete clean out of the toy room –which you should know, I think was our worst mistake ever put into existence.

Again, I digress.

So with a head full  of Pinterest pins and Country Living Magizne images to work from. I began my quest to re-do the toy room.

Only one problem… We don’t have that kind of cash floating around. I cant redo floors or even buy paint right now. We are on a very. tight. budget here! You know the war that perpetuates in the mind; so much to do, and so little money.

But of course this nesting bug would give me no rest, so onward I pressed. What could I do to improve this space? This space which I must keep in mind will hopefully (sooner-than-later) be a little girls bedroom?

After much thought and a few blessings I found myself in our Michigan basement staring at cans remnant paint. Nearly a gallon of primer and two unused gallons of white semi-gloss paint. Yes, that ought to be enough. And it was!

And despite my fear of white walls… in a toy room / future little girl space, this little corner of our home got a little face lift. Ceiling, walls and even the wood floor got a coat of paint.

AND by great blessing from Kyle’s grandma, we covered most of the wood floor with some beautiful berber carpet. So, thank you Grandma Meme, the carpet is just the right touch to warm up this space.

And now….

Like a fresh canvas…

9-22-14 008 (748x1024)Of course this is not where it ends. Something must go on those walls. And I have a few inspired yet thrifty ideas for covering the window. But for now, I am pleased. At least I feel we have taken a step in the right direction.

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Reclaiming the Day

9-4-14 013 (756x1024)Perhaps it has something to do with the weather. Last I recall it wasn’t supposed to be a gloomy rainy day. Or perhaps it has more to do with my own lack of sleep. Or the three sick kids, or maybe even a few minuscule pregnancy hormones run amok.
Or, maybe it has to do with his job stress or our finances. Or the sheer business of the last few weeks. Maybe its the looming business of the weeks ahead?

Most likely it has something to do with all of it.

You know the feeling:

Not one more snotty nose to wipe.

Not one more meal to prepare with complaining voices and bodies wrapped around your legs.

Not one more quarrel to quell.

Not one more thought to invade my already crowded mind.

Not. one. more. thing!

I feel empty. Empty of energy, empty of compassion, empty of patience.

…. and its not even nine o’clock!

And so the morning starts. On the day I gave up drinking coffee…. hmm, maybe…?

So much to do. We’ll just steam roll through it.

I’m in no mood to cuddle, to talk them through the squabbles. I need to get breakfast on the table before all anarchy breaks loose… don’t I?

As we sit around the table, with each begrudgingly accepted and yet custom made meal, I open our devotional book. I glance around the table. None of us (myself leading the pack) are into it. But we soldier on. This is our routine. Its supposed to be beautitful… often it is.

Just not today.

I read, and the words strike my heart like little beads of hail. Reminding, exhorting,  convicting. Isn’t this for the kids?!

Still we push through. My attitude as stormy as the weather outside. And now the kids are picking up on it. The more I push them forward into our day, the more they dig in and refuse to be moved. The more they cling to me the more I push them away.

Our day is going down the tubes fast.  Something has to change. Did I mention I feel empty?

The moment comes and all is quiet… not the good quiet. My thoughtful one has retreated. The other two…. are somewhere…

But, I find him, sullen lying in bed. My heart cannot resist this one. He is far too in tune to his mothers moods and affected to deeply. I have to change this. I cannot let my DRA (Dirty Rotten Attitude) ruin his day too.

We chat, I confess I’m having a hard day too. I tell him I’m sorry. He says he’s sorry for his attitude too. Then I dig deeper.

“You know, sometimes I can’t change my attitude on my own.” I say.

He looks at me surprised. “You can’t?”

“No, I have been trying all morning. I need help. I need God’s help.”

We decide to pray. We both pray and begin to feel that slow pouring of renewal.

Prayer and confession always leads the way to restoration. But, the real secret to reclaiming the day was found in what we did next.

We hugged.

For a long time.

Just sitting there in quiet company.

Letting go of our frustration, letting go of our anger. Remembering we love each other.

Accepting HIS forgiveness.

Realizing we have the gift to start again.

When we looked up. The little ones had found us, and joined in.

And the next secret to recovering out day. We all squished together on the couch and cuddled. We read book after book. We giggled, we relaxed, we restarted our day.

I’m not sharing this because I want brag about a touching moment. Nor am I here to say I have found the secret to saving your morning that may be going a little rougher than you would like.

I’m writing this to remind us all.

The day can be recovered. It can be saved.

The only secret we need know is found in the relationships we carry so close to our hearts.

Relationship with God, with each other. Yes, the day can be reclaimed when we remember the relationships.

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On this First Day of School

9-2-14 001 (768x1024)Today marks (at least for our little part of the country) the first day most kids head back to school. It is usually an exciting day with lots of pictures of kids who grew too much over the summer, new outfits, book bags and binders popping up all day along my Face Book feed. And of course there is the ever emotion filled post from a mom who is both relieved to have lived through the summer, excited for the next chapter in her families life and yet is heart broken that she and her brood will be separated again for hours upon hours each day.

If the truth be told this day is also a bit bitter sweet for me. We home school and while we certainly have a “first day” of the school year, I seem to let it pass with far less pageantry than I see others do. In fact we have actually been cracking open the books for nearly a month already. Easing into the year with as much gentleness and grace as possible.
And yet, despite my failing at the social media worthy first day picture, I wouldn’t trade this life for the world.

I am glad that on the morning of this “first day” my kids are still all in their p.j.’s allowed to greet the day as the sun rises and the mists lift. We will slowly get around and do our chores and begin our school day. And though some would argue that I am not preparing them for life properly. I figure at this stage in the game that preparation (as in getting up at the crack of dawn and hurried to get ready) will have its chance, why rush now? Why rush when we don’t need to? Time may be the only gift we have today, so I will choose to embrace it.

I get a lot of questions about what our home school day entails. I never really quite know how to answer these questions, because every day can look a bit different. Yes, we do have subjects that we try to cover each day, and yes we have kind of routine. Though as each year passes I see our home school style ever changing and shifting to meet the needs of my children’s learning style and the further incorporation of other little minds and hands.  This too is a gift.

There is one thing that I think other parents and I do have in common on this “First day.” It is that feeling that today above all days we are reminded that we are required to let go a little more. Sure my kids are still very young, and I’m not even close to saying a final goodbye to diapers and sippy-cups. But, the fact remains that each year that passes means I am one year closer to letting go.  And therefore I must embrace the days and throw myself fully into the preparation of these precious souls for the life they are meant to lead.

Therefore on this day of first for many, I wish you blessing, and unhurried enjoyment. Learning is precious however you approach it. For the mothers (and fathers) letting go is harder each year, I get that. I hope you all enjoy your day as well. Get that cup of coffee or other reward of choice for making it through another summer. Remember to breath. No doubt we will face many new challenges this school year, and be offered less time to go slow and relish the days. I pray that you will gain strength  and joy at looking at the blank page this school year has to offer.  With all the hopes and ideals you dream of. I know we all are aware they won’t last. But, for this moment we are at a begining. Fresh and new.

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Happy Birthday Miss Addie

Adelina 0128-17-13 0358-17-14 009 (689x1024)The day has arrived. Miss Adelina had turned two!
What a busy couple of years it has been. We are so thankful for this little life. We love the person she is becoming. Passionate, loving, assertive and ever busy, may be the best words to describe her.
We like birthday celebrations to lean towards the simple and quiet side, and this year was no exception. We went to church this morning, followed by lunch lunch at home.  A little brownie and ice cream treat. I’d like to note that Addie is not that into cake, but she loves her ice cream.
We also enjoyed visiting with Papa and Manna and Grandma G. And of course she is reveling in her gifts.

And now we melt in sugar, present and attention overload. Looking with gratitude to all the joy the day has brought and thankful that a birthday does only come to one, but once a year. What a wonderful and full day.

Happy birthday little girl, may you be blessed with many more. :)


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In the Garden (a post in humility)

8-7-14 008 (1024x555) 8-7-14 010 (762x1024) 8-7-14 012 (1024x734) 8-7-14 013 (762x1024) 8-7-14 014 (768x1024) 8-7-14 015 (765x1024)This may be the most humbling post I have ever shared.

Many know that I love my gardens. I love the planting and the watering and even the weeding (though I admit I have never been as diligent about it as I could be – there are little ones to chase and all.) And of course I love the harvest.

…But something happened this year. I’m not proud of it. But none-the-less it still happened.

Somewhere along the way I got discouraged.

It may have started with the soil problems. We have a lot of clay around here and thus some very alkaline soil. So, with my first planting nothing grew. We did fertilize and had slightly better results with our second planting… for a few minutes anyway.

But, then the rabbits and deer found the garden and promptly ate every seedling and sprout!

After that there was the morning sickness that wouldn’t abate. Thus the weeding and tending pretty much halted.

And now, here I am admitting defeat. This years garden is a total flop.

I think we’ll get a few tomato’s, I’ve harvested two zucchini, and one broccoli floret.

Its sad, and I know there is a lesson in there somewhere. Something about perseverance I’m sure. Perhaps even a little something about pride.

Yes, this year has been full of bumps and disappointments when it comes to the garden. But, then I remember, there is (Lord willing) always next year.

That thing about grace, and about looking forward and learning from your mistakes. Yes, this years garden may not have an abundant harvest. But, I will try again next year. I will be greatful for the fruits I have and will harvest this year. Thankful still that God has blessed us with this little piece of earth.


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Learning the Ropes

7-19-14 042 (1024x764) 7-19-14 050 (1024x768) 7-19-14 054 (753x1024) 7-19-14 059 (753x1024) 7-19-14 063 (1024x766)We have a new addition at our little house. This is Belle — or “Bella” (as Addie calls her.) She is a 5 year old P.O.A. (Pony of America) mare.
Sweet Belle is a gift and and answer to some little children’s prayers. Though we cannot say she is quite ready to be turned loose with the kiddo’s, this little girl is already learning the ropes of what her job at our house will be. We hope she loves it. One thing is certain they already love her. <3


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