Monday, February 4, 2013
So ... I missed last week. OK, the last two weeks. So this is gonna be long. Get comfy!!!
3 gifts per day. Every day for a year. 1,000 Gifts total. SO much to be thankful for. And, thankful to Ann Voskamp for reminding me to BE thankful. SO good!
Here we go...
1.16.13 - 3 Witnessed Blessings
46. In the morning rush, as two girls get ready for school, I finish Sophie's hair and rush Hattie along as I send Soph to make her bed. As I check the beds after doing Hattie's hair, I find Sophie in our room making the bed for me. SO sweet!!!
47. Hattie had birthday parties at school, complete with cupcakes topped by rings (Hattie prefers bracelets). I watch her pull the ring out and give it to Sophie because, "she has curly hair, just like you!" And then she brings another home for me - a pink haired super hero. "It looks like YOU mom!!"
48. He comes home from a long day at work, kisses his family, and lays down on the floor so that his own, as well as other people's kids, can climb all over him.
1.17.13 - A Gift Bringing Laughter, a Prayer, Quiet
49. Friends who know just the right thing to say to bring laughter just when I need it most.
50. Listening to bed time prayers as Sophie prays for the baby in Mindy's belly to get big and strong so "we can be Auntie Hattie and Auntie Sophie". Already so in love with that Peanut!
51. A morning to myself in a still, quiet house ... until I crank up the tunes!
1.18.13 - 3 Gifts From God's Word
52. Strength and Protection - Proverbs 18:10 "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe."
53. He is Big ... and small Zephaniah 3:17 "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
54. Even as I am ... JUST as I am ... Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
1.19.13 - 3 Gifts That Might Never Have Been
55. Two girls whose mothers could have said no - it would have been easier - but they chose life instead. And in that choice made ME a mama.
56. A man who saw more.
57. A life saved from the pit of sin ... a life truly SAVED.
1.20.13 - 3 Gifts Only Seen Close Up *** Funny how this came up as we began to deal with the lice***
58. Thankful that this (lice) did not go further - hubby and I were not infected!
59. We can either cry or laugh ... so thankful for laughter!!!
60. We get through this together - a team!
1.21.13 - A Gift in Sky, Water, Memory
61. Fat daddy snow flakes that make two little girls squeal in delight.
62. Water that cleans ... refreshes ... and, when warmed, soothes muscles tight from bending over and digging through little heads looking for tiny bugs. (shudder)
63. A man whose love and support remind me why I fell in the first place.
1.22.13 - A Gift Wrinkled, Smoothed, Unfolded
64. Lines on his face that weren't there in the beginning - some from tears, worry and stress. But, I pray, more from laughter shared. These lines are in my mirror too. Life, done together. Blessed.
65. Braids unfolded and combed smooth at the end of the day - love these little heads.
66. Freshly cleaned (AGAIN) sheets, spread across the beds to enfold, comfort and warm us all to sleep.
1.23.13 - 3 Gifts Found In Christ
67. A new life - born again. Saved.
68. A new heart - I pray, more like His everyday.
69. A new family ... fRamily - friends who are more like family, family more like friends.
1.24.13 - 3 Things Blue
70. Trusting blue eyes that sparkle when she giggles. Especially when she gets one on one time with mom & dad - like when little sister falls asleep on the couch and she gets bed time stories to herself.
71. A blue (and green) robe - cushy, warm, familiar. Ugly as anything, but a trusted friend.
72. Blue shoes - runners - ready, willing and able to help me start (AGAIN) on the journey toward smaller blue jeans.
1.25.13 - A Grace Borrowed, Found, Inherited
73. A playlist borrowed from a friend, bringing sweet melody into my day as a testament to His faithful love. So True!!
74. A journal found in a long lost box. Prayers scribbled in desperation that now prove His faithfulness as I live in the results of the answers - some not how I would have chosen, but all for my good and ALL answered in the way that I NEEDED.
75. A rich inheritance, founded in love and faith, passed down and shared. So Blessed.
1.26.13 - A Gift Before Dawn, At Noon, After Dark
76. Girls that climb into bed giggling before dawn. A man that leaves me to slumber while he takes them down and makes breakfast.
77. I assume he is asleep somewhere after his early morning, instead I find him in a comfy chair, in a quiet corner, deep in the Word.
78. Snuggled up on the couch watching a Hallmark movie with a man who tolerates my girliness.
1.27.13 - 3 Gifts In The Kitchen
79. Quiet giggles shared with my girlies at the kitchen table while he takes HIS turn to sleep in before church.
80. Yummy smells as he bakes lemon bars. And then, when he knows I won't be able to partake, he surprises me with gluten free lemon substitutes!
81. In pajamas, around the dinner table, as we eat breakfast ... again. My favorite!
1.28.13 - 3 Graces Found In Friends
82. The ones holding me accountable to be in the Word.
83. The ones will always be good for a prayer on the other end of the line.
84. The one who comes home at the end of the day. My best friend.
1.29.13 - A Song Heard, A Soft Word, Light Seen
85. Listening to VBS songs while the girls play - thankful for these songs that show them who HE is.
86. A soft, mumbled I love you whispered as he tucks her in, then giggles as he plays an old familiar game. Then as he leaves that room, a "good night daddy!" from the other room. Followed by more giggles from HER.
87. Flashes of light seen from under her door as she, way too late at night, plays with her spy kit flashlight late into the night. And giggles hidden behind moans as I take it away and hide it in a drawer.
1.30.13 - 3 Old Things Seen Knew
88. A wall of faces whose stories become new when I tell them to their great ... great-great ... great-great-great (and so on) grandchildren and namesakes.
89. An old piano being played by fresh, new, baby hands.
90. An antique jar being filled with papers bearing new blessings - more each day.
1.31.13 - A Gift On Paper, In Person, In A Picture
91. A paper napkin, tucked into a pocket, because it bears a love note from her mama that was sent with her lunch to school.
92. Watching little Emma light up every time Sophie passes by.
93. Hattie's self portrait - with one pink braid trailing down.
2.1.13 - 3 Gifts Red
94. Red & White striped tootsie roll pops, left over from Christmas. My own secret treasure.
95. Red cheeks on a girl bounding off the school bus and skipping with joy to the baby who waits for her at the front door.
96. A girl in red pajamas, snuggled up to her big sister who reads her a bedtime story.
2.2.13 - 3 Gifts Found In Writing
97. A love note from him found tucked into a journal.
98. HIS love note - my Bible - treasured, worn, filled with notes, cards, insights & memories.
99. A book read aloud to me by my bright, funny, lovely girl as she learns to read.
2.3.13 - 3 Gifts Found In Writing
100. THESE gifts - blessed in writing them down.
101. Leaving prayer requests at church, knowing they will be bathed in prayer and lifted to the Throne.
102. Scratching the word "PAID" across a bill. So thankful for His provision.
So ... what are YOU thankful for?
Friday, January 25, 2013
Still doing the daily vacuuming (have no idea what I'm talking about? Long version, see the last post. Short version, LICE! Yeah ... yuck ... but the house is clean!), daily hair checks, daily sheet changes (y'all! my reserve sheets are ugly. just sayin. may need to resolve that. feel bad for my girls), and daily bleaching of hair paraphernalia. My hands are RAW, my washer and dryer are threatening a boycott and my husband wishes I would just make dinner already instead of just CLEANING the kitchen, but my house is clean! YAY! (kinda)
I also want to thank everyone SO much for your input (and SWEET words) on my housework schedule dilemma I did come up with a plan and have been following it for a week now. And, while this can, by no means, be considered a normal week, so far so good. I think it's doable!!!
Yesterday was my swing day - the day when I pick a room for deep cleaning - so I hit the guestroom/office, where stacks upon stacks of
Now, here is my new (old) goal. The first couple weeks of the new year I was really gettin into my groove as far as workouts. Even my man was in on it!!! (somebody give me a quick AMEN on that one!) We were getting up at 5 and heading to the basement together for a work out. One of us would hit the treadmill while the other did strength or some other work out. It was like a daily early morning date ... that no one dressed up for and was not really all that romantic, but ya gotta take it when you can get it, ya know?!
So, I was doing well and watching what I was eating and everything was groovy ... til I hurt my back. I ran a couple miles that morning. Then I did a Jillian
Anyhoo, I hurt myself sorting socks and it all went to heck. I'm feeling MUCH better and am probably ready to run again, but I'm kinda skeered to try. Just gotta get back up on that horse ... gonna do it today! Yep. I am! (now I have to, cause I just told you I would ... please stalk me til I do!!) I have not gained any weight back - YAY - but it's been a stretch. I had to remove all jewelry and my glasses to make the cut this week.
This would probably be easier if I didn't have celebratory cookies after each successful weigh in!
Yeah ... I should work on that.
So ... that's what's up with me. Now it's your turn ...
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
This is SOOOOOOO one of those posts that needs pictures to show how truly epic it was.
But, honestly, if I HAD pictures ... well, I just don't think I would do that to y'all.
And then again, who had time to pick up a camera?
Hattie has dry skin, that gets even drier in the winter months. SO fun ... not. As the weather turns cold, she starts itching. That is just the way it is, so I never think much of it. But this winter, she has been scratching her head. THAT concerns me, so I have been going through her hair on a regular basis. I never found anything, so I thought all was well.
Now Sophie, on the other hand ... her skin is dry, but not NEARLY as dry as Hattie's. But I started noticing some flakes in her hair and just figured it was a weird winter for scalp dryness.
Yeah ... I know ... I am a little slow.
Then it happened ... oh. my. word. did it ever happen.
(pause while I shudder in remembrance)
On Sunday we were getting ready for church. Hubby had left early, so it was just us girls. And, of COURSE, we were running late!! (see the last post on my lack of organization ... go on, go read it. It will come in handy in a bit for more reasons than one ... ) So, I got us all through showers and was getting ready to do the girls' hair. Hattie first - spray on the conditioner, comb it out, give it the daily check to make sure I haven't missed anything ... nothin. And then I start on Sophie's hair.
(this is where the ominous music starts to play)
I spray it down with conditioner and grab the first section to pick through ... oh so many curls, must do tiny sections at a time. It is especially gnarly today, so it takes a bit longer. I pull my hand back to clean all the hair off (ALWAYS a handfull of hair with her) and look down to see it.
Y'all ... my hand was full of more than just hair.
Lice. Lots and lots and LOTS of lice.
I do all that I can to not have a FULL ON PANIC ATTACK in front of the child who is deadly afraid of bugs, so as not to clue her in on the fact that there is a flippin colony takin up residence on her noggin!!! I finish picking through her hair, wash a few (hundred) more bugs down the drain and RUN to my laptop to google the buggers to make sure that is what we have.
Yep. That is what we have.
Text hubby that we have a problem. Google natural remedies. Google all the store bought stuff and rashes, skin conditions and messes they cause. Panic again, cause did I MENTION the dry skin? YIKES. Take a deep breath and call the pediatrician.
Here is the thing I love very most about our pediatrician's office - when you call after hours, you get to talk to one of the pediatricians. They have a cell phone that they take turns carrying and one of them - NOT AN ANSWERING SERVICE - answers the phone.
Doc B. says mayo. Slather everyone's head in mayo. Not miracle whip and not fat free. MAYO. And slather it good. Then wrap the craniums in plastic wrap and wait ... for eight hours. Hopefully they will be dead when you are done.
So we did - after getting hubby to run for more mayo (and a lice comb picker thingy). While we were marination and smelling like a picnic, Hubbs and I started on the house. (did you go read the other post when I told you to? Do it now if you didn't ... seriously!) Ya KNOW how I hate housework, but it had to be done. SO we stripped every bed, emptied all of Sophie's drawers, pulled the covers off the couch, vacuumed everything that would stand still, bleached everything that we could, set the washing machine to "sterilize" and cleaned the house top to bottom. Anything that could not be washed that way was bagged up and sent to the garage to chill out (literally) for a couple weeks.
I am fairly certain that my appliances - washer, dryer, vacuum, etc... - we wondering what house they were in. They probably felt like going on strike after all of that. And it was only just beginning.
Finally at about 9pm we got to wash the junk off and then the real fun began!! We started on Sophie's hair. I picked very small sections at a time. Y'all, I literally had to clean that stinkin comb thing out with every pass, there were so many bugs in her hair. It took forever!!!!!! And that was just the bugs, which were all dead - thank the Sweet Lord in Heaven!!!! Then we did Hattie's hair (found 2 or 3 in her hair!!) and then hubbs did mine. I ended up just shearing his SUPER short. He and I were both clean.
By 11:30 we were all in freshly cleaned sheets.
And Monday we started again. More laundry. More vacuuming. More bleaching. And more picking. I had to get all the nits (eggs) out. Hattie went first - she was clean. I found one nit and got it out of there. Then it was Sophie's turn.
Four hours later, when I was only half way done, I called hubbs crying and begged him to go to a shop that we had been told about - Rapunzel's Lice Boutique (REALLY?!?!) - and get what all my friends who have dealt with this, had told me to get. Yes it's pricey, yes, I know but DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (pretty please)
And it was MAGIC!
The stuff they gave him to spray on to loosen everything up and their special little comb ... well, y'all, it was so worth it. SOOOOOOOOOO. WORTH. IT.
We got them both sprayed down and did both heads again. Hattie's was easy. Sophie's was ... well, it was easier than it had been before.
We changed the sheets again, vacuumed the whole house again, bleached everything down again, sterilized back packs and jackets and sent to sparkling clean heads to bed.
By Tuesday afternoon I could finally see the laundry room floor, all little heads in Sophie's class had been checked and things were back to normal. Except for the fact that we are still vacuuming, bleaching, cleaning and sterilizing everything in sight, changing sheets and checking heads any chance we get. And on Saturday, we get to re-mayo our heads and have all the fun again!
But, ya know, at least the house is clean!!!!!
Friday, January 18, 2013
Ok, normally I am a fan of the comments. I like em. They make me feel loved. But today ... today I am just flat out, shamelessly BEGGING for comments!
Cause, today ... today I need help!
I am just gonna come on out and confess y'all here and now.
Organization? It is sooooooooooo not my thang.
Oh, and really, neither is (please don't hate me) housework.
Yep. That's right. I am a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) and I am not a good housekeeper.
(I am so ashamed)
However, I am trying to get better. I really am. I read something recently that has spurred me on to want to improve even more. She said something like "my husband feels loved when he comes home to a clean house" ... well, I want MY husband to feel loved too!!!!!
Now, realistically, I understand that my house is not gonna look like a magazine spread in this season of life. I have young children and I babysit even younger children, so the house is pretty much a very large toy box right now. But, I KNOW there is something I can do to make the whole thing easier.
Then I discovered Home Sanctuary and her Small Things game. And I was hooked. It was totally EASY!
Until this week.
(kidding ... kinda)
This week we have been looking at, tweaking and perfecting our housework schedules. (I did mention that I don't the organization thing, right?) But, I am determined and so I forged on. I did come up with a plan of action that seems do-able, but I am looking for input. (HERE IS WHERE YOUR COMMENTS (please, for the love of all things great and wonderful, please comment) COME IN!!!) And, so I ask you....
How do YOU break up your chores? Do you divide by room - Kitchen on Mon., Bedrooms on Tues. ...? Or by task - Dusting on Mon., Vacuuming on Tues. ...? An all out clean it top to bottom on Saturday? Or do you wait til someone is coming over and stuff everything in a closet
Right now I have it divided by one room and one load of laundry per day, but that means the vacuum is out every day, along with whatever else is needed for that room... Is that the most efficient way? Is there a BETTER way? What am I missing? Help me out y'all.
OK ... lemme see your comments ... GO!
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Counting gifts ... graces ... mercies ... wow.
Who knew how it could change a person's focus? Set the heart to right again? Soothe a hurting soul?
Well ... I guess Ann Voskamp knew. And so, she dares us to discover it too.
THREE gifts a day. Every day. One year. And you will have yourself 1,000.
(Seriously ... she even gives you a list - a kind of Blessing scavenger hunt, if you will - to go by. SO easy!)
(no ... really ... do it. i dare ya)
1.8.13 - Dusky Light, Surprising Reflection, Lovely Shadow
#22 Hubby, bracing himself for the cold to come, zips up a jacket and heads out at dusk to put some meat on the grill for his people. LOVE that man!
#23 Jocelyn, clearly hungry, crawls to her high chair and waits (helping herself to a few cheerios that the broom missed). So, when I put her in the chair and step away to get her some food, I am surprised that she fusses unhappily. Until I put some goodies on her tray, making her smile. A few minutes later, in the bathroom, I look up to discover WHY she was upset. Seems she left a cheerio on my shoulder ... guess she was saving it for later!
#24 Watching two girls as they run for the bus, early morning shadows stretching out before them - one with bouncing curls, one with long flowing locks, holding hands. LOVE!
1.9.13 - A Gift Held, Passed By, Sat With
#25 A warm, comforting heating pad held on sore muscles (a back gone out) ... comfort.
#26 Passing by 3 clean bedrooms - THREE!!!!! - on the way down the hall. A representation of the family working together to make things pretty!
#27 Sat in early morning silence and soft light with my coffee and my Bible. Coffee ... yum. And my Bible - SO thankful for His Word. It truly is life to me!
1.10.13 - A Gift Sour, Sweet, Just Right
#28 The sour taste at the end of a cherry lime-aid. Not my favorite taste, but it does mean I've been to Sonic. And on a family date night, no less, YES!
#29 Sneaking into my personal stash of tootsie roll pops when no one is home but me. Grape. SWEET!!!
#30 My man, who massages my aching back in just the right spot at the end of a weary day. Oh. He melts me.
1.11.13 - Three Yellow Gifts of Fresh Mercy
#31 A BEAUTIFUL friend (in her yellow chair) that we still have with us. Two years ago this day we almost lost her, but God let her stay ... she is TRULY a gift to all!!!
#32 The yellow sun that FINALLY graced us with it's presence on this dreary day. He does shine through!
#33 Golden rings exchanged by a sweet couple in a charmingly beautiful ceremony. Blessed to be there. Love ... such a gift!
1.12.13 - Something Above, Below, Beside
#34 The roof above our heads ... in a house we can FINALLY call our own.
#35 The non-icy ground beneath my feet ... even if I STILL can't run on it, it's nice to know it's still there!!
#36 Friends that stand beside me (even when it means bringing up the "tender" subjects that must be faced) and talking me through.
1.13.13 - 3 Things About Yourself You're Grateful For (HELLO!!! HARD!!!)
#37 Loyalty - a true friend and an honest wife.
#38 Caring - if YOUR heart is breaking, so is mine.
#39 SAVED - Only by the Grace of God!!!
1.14.13 - 3 Startling Graces of God
#40 He saw fit to give me children - THESE children! May parenting always startle me - so I am forced to keep my focus on HIM!!!
#41 He gave me this man - OH, this man! My love for him still takes my breath away at times. So thankful for his faithfulness, even though he now clearly understands how truly messed up I really am!
#42 His Son - sent to die for me. OH, the Grace. I do not deserve it. Love so fierce, it cannot be fathomed.
1.15.13 - A Gift Worn, Given Away, Shared
#43 A ring on my 2nd right toe. Once worn by my sweet Paula, it now reminds me every day to be more like her. The word "FAITH" etched across it's worn surface, a definition of who she was. Even to the end. Oh, how I look forward to Heaven where I will see her again.
#44 The gift of prayers offered up - given, if you will - by my precious 5 year old prayer warrior. Such a sweet soul she is for Him. Lord, make me worthy to mother these gifts.
#45 Shared stories and laughter across the miles in a phone conversation with an aunt I miss dearly. THIS gift needs to happen more often.
So, tell me, what are YOUR gifts?!?!