Monday, February 28, 2011

one thousand {4}

I'm counting my gifts.  I'm finding moments, gifts of grace to be thankful for, each day.  Finding meaning in the mundane.  Finding purpose in the everyday.  Finding Him.  His fingerprints on my day.

I'm linked up here.







baby toes peeking out of too-big jammies




unexpected cloudy morning home my three girls



big girl beds
















stuffed animals piled high



















three curly bedheads

thirty minutes to make steel cut oats on the stove

felt cup cozy under my fingers

strong muscles that carry me on the treadmill

watching the sun rise on the hill in the distance as I run on the treadmill in the garage

tears that flow

legging & comfy shirt days

jammy mornings

cold feet warmed by a husband's toasty legs

rainy days at home

homemade hot chocolate

2 sisters & 1 brother

doing the hard thing, the right thing

getting there, just in time

an untimely accident, which turned out to be the last word

the blue of the sky after days of hard rain

the right husband, the right life

Ann's post today, pretty much encapsulates the last week of my personal life.  I love how you walk through something, and then God gives you the lens through which to view it after.  I'm glad I did the right thing.  Looking through his lens, I know I did what pleased him and more than my personal comfort, more than my human, fleshly emotions, that's what matters.  Obedience feels much better on me then indulging in the flesh.  And God also has a unique way of acknowledging the fleshly emotions, and rewarding us for doing the right thing, with a dose of humor.  I like that about him a lot.

I wish I could provide details and share more, but it's a family thing, and I need to be respectful.  But it's part of my story, and part of who I am, so I share with you these little tidbits.

I am thankful.

The thief on the cross

When someone wrongs us, we long for justice.  For confession, for punishment, for the righting of wrongs.  Just follow an high profile criminal case.  The friends and family of the victim are present each day of the trial.  If they are found guilty, there is a large crowd there for the sentencing, wanting to see justice served.

I think this is part of our human nature.  The Laws given to Moses said "an eye for an eye."   When Jesus came on the scene though, he changed it all.  He said, "vengence is mine."  And he said, you've heard "an eye for an eye, but I tell you to forgive seventy times seven," which basically meant infinity.

When Jesus was crucified on the cross, we read that he was placed between two thieves.  He who was innocent,  he who had done no wrong, between two proven criminals.  A small group huddled near the cross of the Christ, his mother, Mary Magdalene, and John.  Knowing deep in their hearts, that this was the only way.  Yet it didn't seem fair or right.  And they grieved.

I wonder who was there for the crucifixion of the thieves.  These convicted criminals.  I wonder how many were there to see justice served.  People who had been wronged by these men.  People who had lost their belongings, their money.  Their lives may have been deeply affected by the crime. There was no home, pack animal or belongings insurance.

Did they hear the conversation between the thief on the right and the Messiah?  Did they hear the forgiveness, the promise of eternity in paradise?

If they did, how did they feel?  This man who deserved no pardon, being promised eternal life.  This guilty man, finding grace and mercy while on the cross.

In the final moments, this hardened criminal received the ultimate gift of life although he was undeserving.

Aren't we all?

Forgiveness.  Embracing the gift of mercy that God gives those who least deserve it.

Sometimes, it's hard to reconcile the past with today.
It's hard to decide how to feel about the forgiven thief on the cross.

I may not know quite how to reconcile today.

But I do know that the ultimate reconciliation is that which Christ offers.  To me.  To all of us.

We are all the thief on the cross.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

quotable

SETTING
Mama is brushing out Miss Rose's freshly washed hair.

Daddy: Miss Rose, do you know you have beautiful hair?

Miss Rose: yes, I do

Mama: do a lot of people tell you you have beautiful hair?

Miss Rose: No

Mama: well, what makes you think your hair is beautiful?

Miss Rose: Well, I've seen it.

Good to know she is very self-confident!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

to-do

I would love to double the amount of hours in today

There are so many things I want to do.  I need to do.

Here's what's on my mind...

-take kids to Children's Museum

-clean & organize

-do a craft I have materials for, but haven't had time to do

-catch up on reading

-grocery shop for whole foods...I've been eating way too much junk

-thrifting for clothes, household items

-shopping for jeans (if I didn't find some thrifting) I had a pair rip this week :(

-quality time with my family

What's on your to-do list for today?  How much do you think you'll get done?

I predict I'll accomplish 5 of these items.  If I remember, I'll update later on!

Friday, February 25, 2011

some words

Here's some words, to match the photos here, telling you what's been going on around here.

It's just everyday life, but everyday has so much in it!

Lily is flexing her personality more and more these days.  She loves trying to copy her sisters and also pestering them a bit.  They do their fair share of provoking her too.

Bean surprised me with a Lisa Leonard necklace on Valentine's Day.  We hadn't really talked about exchanging gifts, and we're trying to be really good about our budget, but Bean always blows the budget on me.  I'm blessed!!  The crazy thing is that for a year or maybe more, whenever I enter giveaways for LL designs, I always note the Heartstrings necklace as my favorite.  Bean didn't know that.  He spent 30 minutes deciding which necklace to order, and that's what he chose.  How well does he know me??

Around the necklace is our wedding date, and each girls' name.  I've worn it a lot already.  Gracie thinks its neat that her name is on it and always asks which one is her name.  Both the little girls love handling the necklace when it's on me.  Something that makes it even more special to me.  And perfect that its sturdy and I don't have worry about it breaking.  I'm a happy camper with two Lisa Leonard necklaces in my possession now.  And I predict someday, there will be more.  Cause I just love so many of them!

Miss Rose started softball.  She's so cute in her uniform!  She has an awesome coach who has done tons of little things to make it extra fun for the girls.  Last year she played Little League, with boys and girls--so this is something new to be playing with all girls.  We roasted during her first game...and then last week her game was rained out and it looks like this week will be the same.  Booo!!!

Lily was sick, again, over the weekend.  4 days of fever and awful diapers.  I was concerned her double ear infections flared up again--she was actually complaining about her ear--so I spent 3 hours in urgent care late one night, to find out her ears were fine.  Maybe she had a headache.  Anyhow, she's better now and eating again.

Gracie got a robe from her cousin.  Which she loves wearing!  She wears it to bed a lot of nights.  So cute.  And sometimes she wears it when we take Ella to school.  And sometimes she's grumpy because she doesn't want to leave the house.  I don't blame her.

I dyed my hair.  Not permanent, but it will last a while.  A dark brown/red/auburn color.  It's something different and I like it!

It's taking me a while to get through the last part of this book.  It's not something to be read lightly.  I love absorbing it.  Digesting it.  Something that's hard to do when you're super tired.  I'm still working on my list, although writing them down has been slow going.  It's still having a tremendous impact on my life.

Bean and I are taking part in a marriage discipleship group meeting four times this year.  Our first meeting was last week and it was a wonderful experience.  It's different from anything we've done before--and not something we'd normally participate it--but we are so glad we decided to do it.  I have a few things I hope to share soon from it.

That's some very random things from our neck of the woods!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I miss this space.
Life goes at a crazy pace.
Here is a snapshot from my phone
Of life's fast race







































- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 17, 2011

shining optional

This is too good not to share right away before I forget!

Gracie is typically an early riser, sometimes before we even go in to wake Miss Rose for school.  She wakes up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, arms full of her friends, ready for breakfast.  She usually won't eat much at dinner, making her ravenous in the morning.

This morning however, she slept in a bit.  I went in five minutes before we needed to leave to take Miss Rose to school.  Gracie was just sitting up and looking through the twenty friends on her bed for the specific few that she wanted.


Here is just a small sampling of friends she sleeps with.

Gracie was not happy she couldn't eat breakfast before we left, even though I had milk ready to take in the car.  She was not happy that I wouldn't carry her to the car (I was already carrying Lily, who had just woken up as well, and was wearing feetie jammies).

I was able to snap this picture before I put her in the car.  I couldn't help it.


She recently got this warm robe as a hand me down from her cousin, and she wears it to bed most nights.  We threw on some too-big High School Musical slippers so she could walk to the car.
The bed head?  Well, that's every morning around these parts.  On all four female heads that reside in our house.  We are a family of curly-heads and the only way Bean isn't one is because he shaves his head!

She had to rise.  

But she sure wasn't going to shine.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I need you more

These lyrics and the heart of this worship have been ministering to me this week.  It's been one of those weeks.  Nothing major, just little things that pile up and overwhelm this mama.  But thankfully I have my Jesus, who loves me so much and only wants the best for me.  When I doubt anything in life, I have to go back to that.  Jesus loves me.



I need You more
More than yesterday
I need You Lord
More than words can say
I need You more
Than ever before
I need You Lord
I need You Lord

More than the air I breathe
More than the song I sing
More than the next heartbeat
More than anything
And Lord as time goes by
I'll be by Your side
Cause I never want to go back
To my old life

We give you the highest praise
We give you the highest praise
(repeat)

Friday, February 11, 2011

link love

Just about every night before I go to sleep I read blogs in Google Reader on my phone.  My whole life I've struggled to fall asleep easily.  When I get in bed and my body stops, my mind has a hard time stopping.  I've read before bed almost my whole life because it takes my mind off of life and into a different world, allowing it to relax and fall asleep more easily.  

I wish I was the kind who fell asleep at the drop of a hat (like Bean is).  But I never have been.  I would like to thank Apple for the iPhone which makes dealing with this quirk a lot easier.  I just wish I had an iPhone when I was nursing babies during the night.

Anyhow, for funnsies, here are some of my favorite posts I read this week.  I'll spare you my reasonings, just go check them out for yourself.

Shake The Dust  Watch the video.  

Just call me Deb We all have these days, for every reason and no good reason at all.

You're A Friend Who Would Help Me Move a Dead Body  I hope you have friends like this!  I know I have a few.  Actually quite a few.  I'm not sure what that says about the friends I have.

Well, it's official.  We're WEIRD. This is so inspiring to me.  I want to be weird like this.  We're working towards it.  Slowly.  Hopefully a little more quickly this year than last.

This, The Perfectly Ordinary  Yup, this is pretty ordinary around these parts too.

Happy reading this weekend!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

{almost} wordless wednesday

Miss Rose had her jogathon last week.  
It was kind of chilly and windy, but she rocked it! 
19 laps.



Lily put in about 3 laps herself.  She loved it.
She'd take off on her own, telling me she as going to find her sister.
Several yards away, she'd look back and tell me to "c'mere"
So off we'd go, again
She's not going as fast as it appears here.  It was windy! 



Gracie wasn't as into it, but in this photo she was into running towards me!
At the very end she decided she wanted to do a lap and we jogged almost the whole thing.
I was wearing flats.  Silly Mama.


Next year, I'm wearing my full-on running gear, and am going for it! 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

one thousand (3)

I'm on a journey to embrace each day, to find joy in the mundane, to live as if this is the day the Lord has made, even when the day doesn't hold what I'd like it to.   This book continues to change my way of thinking and my approach to each day.  Already I am finding small things to be thankful for.  I hope it keeps changing me.  I want it to change me.

Interested in hearing a bit more?  Check out this trailer.





18. celebrating the 7th & 2nd birthdays of my oldest and youngest

19. timely encouragement from friends

20. daily bread

21. a rock higher than I

22. my treadmill

23. sick baby on my day off

24. health insurance & antibiotics

25. a single blooming rose

26. chocolate

27. spice tea

28. sunshine

29. the word of God

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fit Friday: some good reads

I blogged over at Mama Needs To Run tonight, and I'm going to call that my Fit Friday post.  Go on over and find out what's been inspiring me lately.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

mama needs to run

So I finally gave in to myself and decided to start a running blog.  It's very simple and basic.  Just a place I can write more about running, because I like it.  I'm sure I'll add a bit to it when I get the chance, but for now--it's just my writing.

Somtimes I talk in the third person, because it's a little entertaining.  And I've been know to tell Bean, on more than one occasion, "Mama needs to run."  Because I am a mother-runner.  Running makes me a better me, a better mom and I just need to go.

Because I love running, I love reading running blogs, especially running mom blogs.  So maybe there are others out there who will enjoy reading my ramblings on running.

I'm sure I'll still mention running here, and I'll probably continue my Fit Friday posts.  But, for those of you who don't aren't into running (yes, I'm talking about YOU) I won't bog down this blog.

So, go check it out.  I've already posted a few times.  And if you like reading about running, follow me over there!!  Happy running and reading.

this is how we celebrate

As promised, photos of our 4,520 birthday celebrations.  Or maybe it was just 5. I don't even think I have photos of all of them.

But here are our oldest and youngest, turning 7 and 2.

Lily, telling you that she's "2"


Crazy kiddos!  (our buddy Bear is in a tux, because he was going to a fancy party after ours)


Favorite activity lately: Plasma Cars.  

This one isn't ours, but I actually bought each girl one for her birthday this year and they will arrive this year.  Gracie will be getting an early birthday present.  The kids fight over these and they go up to 200lbs, so they'll last a long time.



HAPPY TO YOU! 


She absolutely reveled in her birthday song and I was really surprised that she blew out the candles on her own!


Miss Rose's cupcakes 

(I'm also happy to say, I'm getting closer and closer to replicating my favorite icing from a local bakery.  It's one of my most important life goals.  Once I perfect it, I'll share the recipe.)  Notice the creative carrying boxes--a team effort by Bean & I.  A postal shipping box and toy box with the tops cut off.  Pretty good when you don't want to spend the $$ for a cupcake carrier!


Birthday girl hiding behind her cupcakes at school.


Fro Yo on her birthday night!  

We have a fun yogurt shop down the hill from us that has a huge screen playing kids movies.



The highlight of her birthday gifts...Paper Jamz. 


 I must say, I am pretty impressed with this toy.  All the girls love playing with it.  I'm pretty sure this photo was taken prior to 7am the morning after her birthday.


Sweet Lily Cate's birthday cookie!


Me and my last baby. *tear*



Miss Rose & besties


notice the cousins, in their matching purple skinny jeans :)


The golfing gang



Is that enough pictures for you?  Notice, I didn't even take any of the family celebration we had for Miss Rose.  Or maybe I took one and I just haven't downloaded it yet.

Can you tell why I was tired??

Miss Rose and Lily loved it all and felt special and that's what really matters!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

best laid plans

I made a small mistake, with the best of intentions.

Instead of 2 birthdays in one week, I ended up celebrating 5 times in one week.

What was I thinking???  Bean and I were supposed to be out of town this past Saturday, so we celebrated Lily's birthday with a handful of people a week early.  Even though it was a small celebration, I still wanted it to be special for her.  She has enough cousins to constitute a decent-sized birthday party, so of course we needed snacks and decorations.  (turned out we weren't out of town, so we could have streamlined more, but the change in plans came too late)

Miss Rose's actual birthday was Wednesday.  She wanted it to be a special day, but she really had no idea what she wanted.  It was a school day, a work day for me and a 12-hour workday for Bean.  Which didn't leave us with a lot of options.  I made cupcakes the night before and we brought them to school that morning.  She chose to have pizza and frozen yogurt that night--it was just me and the little girls and there is a story of how the night was almost a disaster, but I'll save that for another time.  You may need to remind me though, if you are curious.

Then, Lily's actual birthday was Friday.  It was a pretty basic day.  Sometimes on the weekends, when Bean and my brother-in-law are working, my sister-in-law and I get together for dinner.  We spend much of the evening breaking up arguments, telling kids to share, feeding picky kids and cleaning up their messes--we have 7 between us.  But at least we get to have snippets of adult conversation in the middle of the chaos, which is a nice break from being alone in the chaos.

I picked up a cookie cake from the grocery store (if you have Albertson's, they make really good cookie-cakes--large pizza sized cookies that are soft and delicious).  We ate pizza (I know, we are eating a lot of that lately) and sang before we ate the cookie.

Then, on Saturday I took Miss Rose, her cousin and best-neighbor-friend and Gracie to Boomer's--a local place with miniature golf, go-karts, bumper boats and an arcade.  She'd never been before and that's what she wanted for her "party."  It was fun, but exhausting too.  Gracie was moody and spent more time running around the golf course.  Miss Rose got hit in the head with a golf club at one point.  The girls had a great time, although true to form Miss Rose found a few reasons to melt down at the end.

Oh wait, we're not done yet!  Saturday night we had family over for Miss Rose's birthday.  As if the rest of it wasn't enough.  Some of our family was sick, so it was my parents and bro & sis-in-law and their 4 kids.  It was just what Miss Rose needed though, to complete her birthday fun.

It was overload though, of the best intentions.

This celebrating two birthdays that come in two days, is quite a challenge.  I want to make their birthdays  special and unique.  I don't want them to feel like their birthday was lost in the mix.  Oh, and this year it was real fun to help Gracie understand why it wasn't her birthday too.

Maybe I over-did it just a bit.  This is only my second year balancing these two birthdays.  So I learned what not to do.  Last year, Lily didn't understand birthdays yet, so it was a bit easier.

I'm already thinking about what to do next year.  We may just do a huge double birthday at the park.  We'll go Gosselin style and sing twice, once to each girl to make it special.  That way family only has to come to one event and I'm done in one shot.

And have I mentioned that Bean's birthday is in two weeks?  And Valentine's Day.

We don't do things the easy way around here.

Stay tuned later for a photo post of all the fun!