Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Yo. It's Where We Is.

It's a lot of pictures. We've had the busiest of seasons, including a wonderful trip to the gulf! We (that would be me and the children - The Engineer had to work) put over 1,000 miles on the car. We spent time with cousins and got to stop in on the great-grands!

The Engineer's cousin and I have become sweet friends over the years. We find ourselves in the same season of life, mothering little ones the same ages, homeschooling, etc. There's great encouragement in spending time with someone else who is doing life. Right where you are.

It thrilled my heart to be back at "the beach!" It's been a few years for us and I'm not sure when we'll make it again. I'd forgotten how simply gorgeous the water and sand are. It's a magical place.

The children had a wonderful, wonderful time.

There were bumps and bruises and tears - lots of tears. And even more smiles and laughter.

We all missed having the daddies around!

Two mamas plus five children and no daddies makes for a few moments of near insanity! {smile!}

We put the two youngest to bed and began reading The Hobbit to the older three. Oh my. They are hooked. The Engineer has taken on reading the remainder aloud to our children. We've found the most wonderful system! We tuck the children into bed and leave their bedroom doors open. We camp out in the hall and read aloud. It's splendid! Amazing! They are snug and settled and everyone has pottied and had a sip of water, etc. Many nights the younger two are "read to sleep." I love that.

And while we read at the beach, the children illustrated what they heard. We have some amazing artists. Look out illustrators!

Little Bit has an uncanny ability to hear my eye lids open. {wink, wink} We snuck out onto the balcony many a morning and had our "caw-pee and Bible Tuhdy."

And we colored. A lot. And it was quiet. And it was special...just me and the Little Bit.

Cousin and I stayed up late the first night. We cut ourselves off at 10 after that...since we had no reinforcements in the morning.

We beached it for a week. Monday-Saturday. We left Saturday morning at 7:30. You should be impressed. And my crew rolled in Saturday night at 9:30. It was a long drive. And so worth it.

PS Dear manager of Wendy's, thank you for the barking puppy dog you gave Little Bit after I accidentally slammed her head into the railing. You saved the day. Truly.

Sister doubled up on school work and schooled on a few Saturdays so she wouldn't have a full load each day. That was a nice respite.

We took Sunday following our return as a true day of rest. Like, we got home from church and put on pajamas and napped and barely moved until the next morning. The Engineer served us all, especially me. It was wonderful. I am so thankful for a day of rest and a sweet husband willing to serve his family.

And then we hit the ground running. I had the opportunity to hear Anne Graham Lotz speak live! Which was simply thrilling. She shared a bit about her own struggle with infertility and then a miscarriage and how that was like nails through her flesh, cutting off her own desires...and what it meant to sacrifice those desires at the foot of the cross...to say that Jesus is truly enough.

And then she shared about her struggle with her young daughter who needed her 24/7. You know, that constant demand for time?! She related an all too familiar experience of trying to drink a cup of coffee and read the paper only to be interrupted again and again. She said everything in her wanted to scream, "Don't you see what I'm trying to do!?" Instead, she knelt on her kitchen floor and gave her time to the Lord. She said she told him she knew that He knew what she needed and that He was Lord over her time. She said it was a small thing, but it made a huge impact. I am trying to do the same. To remember my time is not my own. It's hard.

I'm thinking perhaps I should write "GO FOR THE ETERNAL" on every surface in my home. Because I so often don't. I need that reminder!

This morning I was feeling humbled. Before we moved, I was a lot more okay with letting my kids wear what they wanted to wear. I can't begin to count the number of times we showed up on Wednesday night at church in dress up clothes or two different shoes. All those people were my friends and I was okay with my kids being kids. And now, here we are, still pretty new. And so when Little Bit insists on wearing a denim sleeveless dress and neon pink, yellow, blue, and green striped socks with cream scuffed up mary janes, and a multi colored striped bow, and a pink sweater, well, it's humbling. I cringe just a little. (Ok, a lot.)

And then as I was bending over her, buttoning her sweater, I saw those little feet in those awful striped socks and scuffed up shoes, and they were between my big mama feet. And I paused at the sweetness of it. I made a memory. And suddenly, it was okay that she was going to school in a totally tacky get-up. She's my baby and she's creative and she was proud of that outfit. Oh death to self. It's so painful!

It was so dark in the room that afternoon at the beach. She was napping. It was the only day she couldn't fight it anymore. She was exhausted. Such sweetness.

Sister got to be the mystery reader in Little Bit's class today. Such fun! She was nervous and read super fast. Still, she was precious and did a fantastic job and has been invited back! Some of the children hugged her afterwards. Our timing was awesome - we stayed for the "jungle animal song." As one child bent over to make his elephant trunk, his shirt crept up his back and I realized something looked strange. At first I thought he had a very odd birthmark or a very, very large mole. Then I realized what it was. Little Dude had had an accident. I was so immature. I started laughing and almost didn't regain my composure. Teacher and assistant tended to little dude while Sister and I lead the class in a song we didn't know. Kudos to all you pre-school teachers. Between dealing with life issues and snapping your fingers and be-bopping in front of a bunch of kiddos to animal jungle songs, y'all are awesome!

The great-grandparents made a trip to see us. They say it'll probably be their last. It's just too far. Bummer. We had a lot of fun. Their impending visit cranked my rear in gear on finishing our bedroom. After all, we'd taken down our curtains and it had been a few weeks. We need curtains and they certainly would, too. (We wanted them to have our room, since it's on the main floor.)

And so it was...I put the last coat on the ceiling at about 11pm the night before they arrived. The Engineer hung the drapes around midnight. I ran around the house fluffing and rearranging like a mad woman, cleaning, too. I finally cleaned our bathroom floor - like, scrubbed it on my hands and knees. I hired Sister to tackle the upstairs cleaning. As the greats pulled into the driveway and the children ran out the front door to welcome them, I ran to my closet to throw on a little perfume and some decent clothes. We were pushing it. Seriously. Reality is, either I'm going to look good or the house will look good. Rarely both.

Their visit was wonderful. I love having company! We dined alfresco on the last night, our table lit only by the glow of the lights on that lovely tree on the patio. It was so much fun. The children went exploring in the dark yard with a flashlight while the adults talked. I hope I always remember the way the light flickered off faces...the smiles and laughter. It was one of those magical evenings.

Super early the next morning The Engineer and I made about four trips down the road to set up as part of a seven family yard sale. It was planned long before we knew the greats were coming. By Saturday afternoon I was spent. Like, make no sense, am being a jerk to everyone and don't even know how to stop kind of spent.

And here we are. I'm trying to live in the moment - as in, looking and seeing and enjoying. These days are flying by.

And the bedroom - I will show you the bedroom once I finish the doors and window mullions. Last night The Engineer rolled over and said, "It's so much more peaceful in here since you painted. I like it."

Sigh...I like it, too.

We are close to wrapping up soccer season. We have yet to win a game. I'm okay with that. I don't want my kids to be fine with losing all the time, but learning to lose with a good attitude, that's one life lesson I'll gladly take!

The Engineer is going through "class" again. Work is intense, and exciting.

October makes nine months since we lost our little one. The Lord is gracious. He is good. My heart still aches and longs for our baby and I still get teary when I think about him or her, but He is making it bearable in a very sweet and precious way. I'm praying He will use our pain and the lessons He taught us to minister to other women and families. I've wondered if my heart will ever stop aching...but I know He's using that loss to shape us and I am thankful. And if the ache continues, I am okay with that. It makes me turn to Jesus.

The task before us is great. Lives, placed in our boundaries, in our homes, flesh of our flesh, for shaping to His glory.

It is an awesome responsibility. The older I get, the older they get, the more I realize how incapable I am.

And the more thankful I am that He is sovereign. That He restores the years the locusts eat. That we are His workmanship. That He completes that which He begins.

I love these babies. They drive me crazy. They show me my sin...and I sin A LOT. They are precious. I love them dearly and am so thankful to God for the gift they are.

Happy Wednesday, y'all!


  1. Beautiful post, beautiful images...and most importantly beautiful truths. Always enjoy, thanks for sharing.

  2. You write about your real life experiences so beautifully! Many, if not most of us, can certainly relate. Have you considered compiling them into a book?

  3. What a beautiful joyful blog! My heart ached when I read about the loss of your precious angel earlier this year and I said many a prayer for you and your sweet family. Reading this post made me smile a lot. I wish you a lovely fall and I look forward to seeing that lovely old house of yours transform.
    God bless you and your beautiful family!
    PS. Your youngest daughter has the most beautiful striking blue eyes! Having dull old brown eyes I always longed for blue eyes so I always admire them in others.

  4. Thank you. It's quiet and my heart is indeed heavy...you remind me there is only One who can either lift a burden, or strengthen my heart..

  5. LOVED it ALL! Love you! Thank you for sharing your heart and your life...the LORD is Glorified. HE is Everything! Truly.

    With Love,

  6. Beautiful! Love the "caw-pee" and Bible 'Tudy.

    And my boys loved TLOTR trilogy, too. Now, only girl in the house, I 'get' to enjoy the movies with them. LOL.

    Precious times.

    Rhonda Schrock

  7. The last picture - beautiful! Classic. Frame it.

  8. LOVE this! Love. ALL. of. this!!! And, the beach photos are spectacular.

    You point me to Jesus, my friend.

  9. Love the picture of you and Little Bit...such a tender moment.

    We do storytime the same way, with the boys totally tucked in for the night. I love it. Takes so much of the angst out of bedtime.

  10. What a beautiful joyful blog! My heart ached when I read about the loss of your precious angel earlier this year and I said many a prayer for you and your sweet family. Reading this post made me smile a lot. I wish you a lovely fall and I look forward to seeing that lovely old house of yours transform. God bless you and your beautiful family! xxxxx PS. Your youngest daughter has the most beautiful striking blue eyes! Having dull old brown eyes I always longed for blue eyes so I always admire them in others.

  11. Beautiful images-what type of camera do you have?

  12. Beautiful images-what type of camera do you have?