Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Mish Mash

{3-P Bike Parade!} 

I think maybe, just maybe we are slowing down a bit. And it is so nice. I feel weights lifting from my shoulders. And at the same time, my head is spinning. (smile)

 {Unbeknownst to me, Sister kindly gave her own helmet to Little Bit.}

Sister has worked so hard, so diligently this year. After arriving in our new local this time last year and being several months behind on schoolwork, we schooled well into the summer. I hated it. It was so hard. I really, really love summer. I really, really love knowing my children have no place to be and we can chill. And I love being able to tackle messy house projects in grunge clothes with no need to change for this or that activity...and I really do NOT like the pressure of being behind - especially on something like my children's education!

Point being...this chick has completed her math, language/grammar, and spelling curriculum. All as of last Thursday. We've spent this week reviewing and plodding along in our other subjects. 

The Engineer and I placed a big book order last weekend...curriculum for all three peeps. Can I tell you how stinkin' good it feels to be ahead of schedule this year??? With baby due at the end of August, I want to get a good six weeks under our belts before then. We're planning to take a week or two off after all three wrap up this school year in May and then we will be back at it. In the summer. Yuck. BUT - we are ahead this time. And that makes a tremendous difference!

Sister woke me in the middle of the night a few weeks ago to tell me she had this dream that she was throwing up...and then felt this force in her throat...and then woke and had to rinse out her mouth. "But don't worry Mama. I didn't throw up." I reached out my hand to rub her arm...and felt cold wet chunks. We tiptoed up to her room and turned on the light. She assured me, motioning to her bed, (which was TOTALLY unmade because I'd tackled a MEGA washing session that day -stripping every bed down to the mattress...we'd lacked one more dry mattress pad and logically, I opted to leave it off Sister's bed - since she's the oldest). I pulled the lone quilt back...and there it was. 

A big ol' pile of vomit. 

I cringed. And headed for the cleaning supplies. I walked back in and began trying to tackle the mess...and then I started dry heaving. And couldn't stop. I had to wake The Engineer. I thought perhaps together we could get it all clean...only as soon as I stepped back into that room and the odor hit me, back to the heaves. He sent me to bed. I left him with orders to run the soiled linens on hot.

The next morning I ran them again - just to be sure. As I began moving the washing machine contents to the dryer, I pulled out Sister's beautiful, custom made bedskirt - I had no idea it had needed washing. I mean - it's the kind of bed skirt you spot clean...suffice it to say, now it's kind of like wearing pants that are too short. In a bad way.

I cried. And then acknowledged that it is just a thing. And I don't have enough fabric for a third bed skirt...and since, Lord willing, we will be putting a third little girl in that room...I've just saved myself the trouble of making a second bed skirt...since the first is now too short. Sigh...houses...stuff...

So The Engineer and I have been sketching and dreaming up ideas for the girls' room. Bunk beds? We'd need two sets?! I really want to go with three twins...and perhaps eventually tuck a few trundles below...for friends and cousins and the like. My initial layout plan would mean we'd have eight inches between each bed. Maybe that's not such a great idea. 

Little Man sleeps in the bed his daddy slept in...which is the bed his daddy slept in. Grandfather to son to grandson. It's a twin. And there is only one. Between baby and adoption, we hope to put another little boy in that room. The bed matches the dresser - one was made to go with the other, I just don't recall which was made for which. And so, I asked The Engineer to build a second, identical bed. This bed is beautiful - there is nothing run of the mill about it. The Engineer informs me he needs two new tools and thinks he can do it. I know he can.  I'll let ya know when that starts coming along!

So anyway, beds and room configurations have been crowding my thoughts. I still have to finish up a few things in the kitchen...namely paint and hardware. We have family coming in May - that should motivate! 

I ate lunch recently with a sweet, new friend. I asked how long she'd been married and she told me, 
"seven years." 

I smiled and told her our seventh year of marriage was the hardest year of marriage yet. In terms of just marriage. It wasn't any one big even that happened. It was years. And "this is it" realities setting in. Early on, when things aren't all you dreamed they'd be, it was okay, you reasoned, because one day, one day...when this or that happened, you'd be there. But seven years hits and you realize he isn't changing and he realizes you aren't changing. I remember sitting on our back patio eating dinner outside with The Engineer. We'd hit the seven year mark and he was bubbling off statistics about couples who make it past year seven of marriage being more likely to make it long term, etc. I don't know why that's so ingrained in my memory.

I don't have anything enlightening to share...I just remember that being a hard year, but a good year. A year we came face to face with our own sin (as in, for maybe the first time ever in our marriage I turned my finger around and pointed it at myself - and he did the same!). As I recounted the conversation to The Engineer, he nodded his head in agreement. 

I've been re-arranging the house again. I moved my desk up to Little Man's room and in cleaning out the drawers, discovered three with each child's name...the contents? Cash they'd been saving that we'd long ago forgotten about. I added that to their growing savings and my girls were ready to go shopping. Little Man, on the other hand, is still saving! 

So I took the girls to Target. We were there almost two hours. The first five minutes were hilarious. Little Bit declared herself to be "rich!" and grabbed what felt like one of everything from the dollar section and put it in the buggy, each time shouting, "I'm gonna buy dis! I'm gonna buy dis!" Cracked me up. She'd made her choices in about eight minutes. The rest of that near two hours was spent with Sister. Looking at everything. In the end...she bought a pack of gum. 

This morning Little Bit said, "I love you more than beef jerky!" and then hugged me tight

Soccer season has been in progress for a while now. The boys lost their first game last night, but Little Man played the best he's played yet. We were so proud!!!

His school teacher sent home a list of skills each child is to have "mastered" by the end of the year. Little Man is almost there! I know he'll have them all in time. Again...we are so proud. 

Part of The Engineer's job is going through "License Class." He's been in class since shortly after our move. The final on the first section of class is this Friday. I cannot wait to have that behind him! 

He goes into weird funks when he has something so pressing, weighing so heavily on his shoulders. He typically takes on a HUGE project and shortly before his actual test, will keep all sorts of late hours tackling said project, only to emerge for necessities. And then he takes the test...and has always done well (he had to go through a different License Class at his old job...start to finish was roughly two years). For this testing period, he's building a work bench. And it's beautiful. And very custom. He's put a lot of thought into it...made several to scale drawings...impressive. A few past "test projects" include installing a new stereo in my car (though the old one seemed perfectly fine to me), running wire for and installing a street lamp - okay, those are the only two specific ones I can recall. I just remember it was LATE at night and he was still outside going...funny how we all handle stress differently.

Our oldest began a book series...three days ago. Neither The Engineer nor I have read this particular series. She is on the third book. I am scrambling to keep up. And I think, wishing I'd read it first altogether. Because at this point, I wouldn't have ever given the green light to check it out at the library. There is lots to talk about...lots of theological issues...lots of going to scripture and asking what God's word says. 

Post final, The Engineer is going to catch up and we are going to decide what to do. We've been emailing back and forth about it and his most recent email was very thought provoking...

Our kids are confronted everyday with faulty morality, theology, logic, worldview, etc. I think that some of those Tinkerbell and Barbie movies wrap some bad ideas in sweet packages. 

I remember reading stuff with worldviews that were way off, but was highly entertaining and thought provoking at the same time. For example science fiction by Isaac Asimov is fascinating to me, but he was a full bore atheist and evolutionist. Star Wars is great, but is grounded in an eastern-good-balances-bad worldview. Almost every single science fiction story is rooted in the ideas of evolutionary biology.

All that to say, as imperfect as my parents are, one thing they did well was this: Although they allowed me to read those books, they did their best to live according to scripture. Although at times my head was filled with those "cool" ideas, I always knew they were "cool" ideas in make-believe stories because the reality of scripture and the gospel touched my life in multiple ways every day. 

Regardless of what direction we go with this particular series, I believe the key is to live in front of our kids in submission to scripture and to do it openly and transparently. 

I tend to throw the baby out with the bath water on some issues...eek. This parenting thing! It's hard! And this is just the tip of the iceberg, or so I'm told. 

Happy Wednesday, y'all!


  1. Rarely do I ever click out of "reader" and comment....on anyone's blog. But I'm still keeping up with you and have teared up on more than one occasion following you through the move and loss of life and learning of new life and all is amazing and such a testament of God's unfailing provision for every detail of our lives. The reason I chose to comment on this post was because I just wanted to say thank you for your little "7 years" comment about marriage. John and I are right in the middle of our 7th year. It will be 8 in October. And I was nodding my head the whole time as I read. This truly has been our hardest year. I am so glad someone else has the guts to say it. Nothing earth shattering has happened this has just been our hardest. I think you are so right. You look around and think that things aren't quite how you envisioned them to be....and how having just 2 kids is exhausting and sometimes exhausting for your marriage. And I constantly have to remind myself to examine myself a little closer, instead of John, when I am frustrated. Anyways, your words were such encouragement tonight!! Thank you :)

  2. Miss you sweet friend! Glad you are doing well!

  3. So good to see you blogging. I too, am anxious for Friday to come and be DONE. This season has been oh so rough on our family, our marriage, etc, etc ;)

    For beds, we are considering, for our older, loft beds. Not high up enough to reach their low ceiling, but enough room underneath to create their own personal play spaces in our house of chaos ;)

    I laughed when I saw my oldest daughter's room after you left the day of the party. There I was assuring you that yes, I had at least ONE child who kept her room tidy and it wasn't tidy at all! But, she had a friend over and they just threw all their stuff in there after waking up, so I promise she really does keep it nice and neat!

    Thinking of you and I am so happy to hear you are feeling better! In light of eternity, what's a few months of sickness right?? Except when those few months feel like an eternity themselves! :)

  4. two blogs in less than a month?! I'm THRILLED! So glad everything is going so well- we will be there soon!

  5. Hang in there sweet friend. Yes, parenting is hard...but SO rewarding! And...when you are in the trenches it can seem fruitless...and then...the fruit! Your Engineer is a wise man...what a blessing to you all! Isn't God just SO good to us?? My two favourite parenting books are ~ "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp, and a book by his brother, Paul David Tripp, called "When You Rise Up". SO good! I know you would be blessed to add them both to your book collection if you don't already own them.

    As for marriage ~ it's not for the faint of heart precious it is to know that the LORD is in it with us!! HE is most certainly the Tie that binds...and HE continually gives grace and strength, guidance and direction, and love! SO wonderful!

    All the photos in this post are sweet as can be. I had to chuckle at the different spending styles of your girls...too cute. :)

    Love you!
    Camille XO

  6. You are blessed with a wise and wonderful husband! Long ago when our littles were "littler"-they are now 20 (and married!), 17, 15, and 13, we determined not to shelter them from the world but to teach them to live IN the world in light of God's Word. Of course, there are necessarily things we shelter them from but one day, they are going to be thrust out into that big, bad world. I don't want them to be frightened and running home! I want them be bold and courageous, standing on what they KNOW to be TRUE.

    Your sweet family will do the same, I'm sure, as God leads you to direct them to HIM! Oh--and mom relaxing a bit probably wouldn't hurt either! :-) I speak from experience, trust me! :-)

  7. Jenn,

    I was thinking about the bedskirt thing. I actually had a tip published in a quilt magazine that might help? I don't know but I thought I'd toss it out there. I wanted a bed skirt to match a quilt I made, but that amount of fabric was going to be too much money, so I came up with the idea of adding a coordinating trim piece to a ready made bed skirt, so it would all tie in together. Could you add fabric to the shrunken once so it wasn't too short anymore?? Just a thought :)