Sunday, January 31, 2010

Project 365, Week 5

We had a fun, full week.  Though several forms of sickness went through the house, and we had a mishap with the car, the good far exceeded the bad.  We had lots of family time, though next to nothing for the five of us.  Tax season is well under way, which means any half-hour we get with Shaun throughout the week is considered a bonus.  To add to his fun, there was a heating issue at one of the apartment buildings that had to be dealt with immediately since we've had highs in the 20s the last couple days, so that's where he could be found at 10 PM two nights in a row. 

I thought the timing was odd, but all week I was meditating on God's grace...that's what the sermon was about last weekend and it was just a recurring theme in my week.  I was going to go into it here, but it started to get long, so I think I'll save it for another post.  Anyway, how can you ever have a bad week when your heart just keeps getting filled up with the knowledge of His grace...grace that he takes great pleasure in lavishing on us.  Good stuff.

January 24
Shaun and I went to see The Lost Son.  My sister, niece and nephew were all in it, as well as several friends.  We were wowed!! 

January 25
It was a rainy, windy day.  While our car was sitting in the driveway, two large branches fell.  One smashed the windshield and the other left two decent-sized dents in the hood.  (this picture isn't in our driveway...I actually drove it to Avery's dance class like this) $371 later, the windshield is as good as new.  Still awaiting word on the hood, though since we don't have collision it will for sure cost us.

January 26
Since my brother is away in Iraq, my sister-in-law decided to come out to the east coast to be closer to both sides of her family.  She came with her 3, 2 and almost 1 year old and is staying at my sister Amy's house (yes, that would be the same sister who is assistant director/producer/actress/singer in the show these two weekends).  The 11 month-old is practicing his steps after his bath. 
And the '09 club is together again for the first time since September...what a difference four months makes!
January 27
I met with my boss/brother-in-law for my annual review.  This paper says he is satisfied with my perfomance and I get to keep my job :).  Such a blessing to have work when so many do not.  On top of that, its work that I enjoy and that can be done while I am home with my children.
January 28
Is there a better way to start your day than getting a babbling, smiling infant out of bed? 
January 29
I got to babysit my niece so my sister-in-law could go see the show.  She put the other two down at 6:30 before she left, so we got to have special time with just Katie.  She is precious.
January 30
We all went to see my nephew's hockey game (#11).  He scored just for us. :)
Later, we went to my sister Bethany's house to celebrate the January/February birthday's in the family...all 7 of them (the 7th one was in bed napping)!
Sara is hosting this and every week.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Messy Meals

Am I the only one who has to scrub down the kitchen chairs after every meal?  There seems to be a pattern for one person in particular...I would never name names. (cottage cheese...the girls are wild about it and is the most requested item at the grocery store and at snack time)

Suppose one of you has a servant who comes in from plowing the field or tending the sheep.
Would you take his coat, set the table, and say, 'Sit down and eat'?
Wouldn't you be more likely to say, 'Prepare dinner; change your clothes
and wait table for me until I've finished my coffee; then
go to the kitchen and have your supper'?
Does the servant get special thanks for doing what's expected of him?
It's the same with you. When you've done everything expected of you,
be matter-of-fact and say, 'The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.

Luke 17:7-10

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Beautiful Day

This morning...

Avery: Mom, its going to be a pretty day, right?
Me: Um, well...its going to be rainy and windy all day.
Avery: So that means we're going to see a beautiful rainbow!

Out of the mouth's of babes.  Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, today, may you see the rainbow through the gray clouds and may God's promises speak to your heart even in your pain and difficulties.  Hold tight!  He is faithful.

You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.
Joshua 23:14

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Project 365, Week 4

We had a good week.  The weather has been "mild", which helps the house not be quite so chilly.  We mostly stuck close to home and nursed a sick (miserable, cranky) Amanda. 

There is a bit of a crib theme throughout the week.  Last week many of you commented how the crib photo brought back fond memories or that it was cute.  The crib is a daily hangout around here, so I thought I'd be a little more deliberate about documenting it.

Again, don't be confused by the sweater that you see on Avery.  These pictures were in fact taken on different days.  I'm not complaining.  She is a neat kid who doesn't have b.o. and the laundry is significantly less when she wears the same thing all week.  For now at least, it would seem we are out of the change-my-clothes-a-minimum-of-five-times-a-day stage.

I hope I don't get kicked out of the Project this week....I have an overload of pictures and though none were spectacular, it was hard to leave them out!  I'll try to do better next week.  Who knew one could take so many pictures doing nothing.  :)  I threw in a couple extra pictures of Aiden because the boy is getting bigger by the day!

January 17
Family day.  We went out to breakfast and then the evening was spent playing games.  Its so fun now that the girls are getting a little older and its actually enjoyable to play an organized game with them.  This is a "game" using nouns, verbs, etc to put sentences together.

January 18
I untied the dog so he could eat and walk around and in less than 20 minutes he'd run away.  So, I packed the kids in the car and drove around the block several times.  Avery spotted him in someone's fenced-in yard.  He'd been there 10 minutes tops, and the woman had already fed him.  Who does that??  I wanted to remove his collar with his ID and leave him there but instead I loaded his 90 lb muddy self into the back of the car and brought him home.  Dumb dog.

The girls were thrilled for the adventure.

January 19
I took this picture right before bed 'cause I didn't think I'd taken one for the day....

...but then I found this one that was taken first thing in the morning...obviously.

January 20
Amanda woke up quite sick, so I broke my tv-viewing-limit rule and let them watch a movie.  See how excited Aiden is about Barbie Rapunzel?

...but then I felt better about their brain cells (or lack thereof) when I found them like this.

January 21
Possibly inspried by Rupunzel, Avery finally allowed me the honor of braiding her hair, "off to the side".  Ironically, her sister with much shorted hair asks for a braid everyday, while Avery says no, no, no.  When she saw this picture, she was thrilled and declared she wanted a braid EVERY day.  Oy vey!

January 22
We've hired a "mother's helper" to come to the house several hours a week to entertain the kids so I can be assured some quiet for work while Shaun is in the thick of tax season.  I try to save all my phone calls for this time because its not the most professional thing to be talking with a customer while a baby is crying in the background.  Cherie is won.der.ful.  Since she is homeschooled, her schedule is flexible.  She comes ready with a new, fun activity or book for the girls and the girls look forward to their time with her.  She takes her job very seriously and has been a blessing.

After naps, we prepared to go for a walk but then I got a work email that had to be dealt with right away.  By the time that was resolved, there was not enough daylight for our thee-mile loop, so we settled for around the block with the girls pushing their strollers instead of riding in one. 

Avery donned a necklace, got the babies buckled in with a neatly folded blanket and packed her backpack.

January 23
My project for the day.  The last decade's pictures are (somewhat) organized.  I all but stopped getting prints made in 2008.  It shouldn't have made the top 40 on my priority list, but I got it in my head and now its done.

You can see lots of other Projects at Sara's blog.

Friday, January 22, 2010


More than two weeks ago, I sat Aiden down and gave him "the talk".  I told him I loved him very much, that I am beyond blessed to be his momma.  I told him its a privelege to be the one who can meet his needs and its been wonderful to come get him in the middle of the night and snuggle with him while he nurses. was time for him to move on to the next phase of his life and start sleeping through the night.

I fed him and held him until he was sleeping, then I laid him down.

Twice through the night he woke up and twice Shaun went in and whispered to him and rubbed his back until he was asleep again.  The next night he woke up once (at 5:30) and Shaun did the same thing.  Every night after that he's been sleeping through the night.  He goes down about 9 or 9:30 and gets up some time after 7:30.  Its been kinda nice to get some straight sleep, though if I'm honest I'd have to say I miss that time with him.

The only problem is now I cannot justify not getting up at 5:30 to start my day.  I let it slide when I was pregnant and when I was getting up once or twice during the night, but my alarm is once again going off early.  For me, getting up before the sun assures me some alone time.  This is when I workout and have my time with God.  I've found that I need that time...I'm just not a nice person in my own strength.  Everyday, I ask Him for less of ME and much more of HIM.  Its just ugly the other way around.

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8

It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed,
because His [tender] compassions fail not.They are new every morning; great
and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Birthday Blessings

On January 15 I celebrated 35 years of life.  I used to take birthdays very seriously and spend the time around the day doing deep self-reflection about where I was and where I wanted to be.  Now that time is stretched over the entire year.  Several years ago I read a card that said Birthdays...Can't live without them.  To hear it put so simply like that really changed my outlook on them.  I'm not as young as I once was, but it just means that I've been a witness and benefactor to that much more of God's grace, love and faithfulness. 

Every year I keep waiting to open my eyes on the morning of my birthday and feel "grown-up".  Nope...still didn't happen this year, so I'll keep pretending that I am a sophisticated adult and not a sixteen year old kid who still wants her mother to call and make appointments for her.

Throughout the day I got emails, facebook messages, texts, phone calls and beautiful cards from dear family and friends, one that look me awhile to gain my composure from.  A highlight was certainly a surprise webcam call from my brother Tim, who was recently deployed to Iraq.  Because it was so early here, we had 45 minutes of quiet conversation.  It was SO good to see his face and hear his voice.  [sidenote: if your church or children's school sends letters and packages to the military overseas and you'd like Tim's address, I'll get it to you...mostly, please pray].

Kiki called early in the week asking to take the kids off my hands for my birthday. I never have to think about my answer to that offer! I took the kids and all their stuff out to their house. We were treated to a nice breakfast. While I was there, I discovered a few of the "traditions" they have while I'm not around. Amanda went and got her tea set and my dad filled it up with coffee, as in caffeine. I remember taking sips of my dad's coffee when I was very young. And Aiden...well, he gets held whenever he wants.

I left there to meet my mom for lunch.  We had a nice time and later I got to wondering when the last time it was that we sat down to a quiet, uninterrupted conversation...its been a while and it was a treat.  She reminded me of the small miracles it took for me to be in existence and alive today.

I went home and worked through my to-do list.  Ah, the quiet!  When Shaun got home he changed quick and we went to his basketball game.  I had the luxury of taking pictures, since I was not holding and corralling children.  After, we went out and enjoyed a relaxed dinner together and since the kids were gone overnight the next morning was quiet, too.

It was a special day and I felt loved by so many. A facebook comment summed it up well: Happy Birthday Lisa! By the look of your photos, all your wishes have come true. I am thankful, content and just have to say that God is good, all the time.  Mmm...fresh fruit in January...delivered to my doorstep.  And the flowers were "just for me", not Amanda leftovers. :)

Not to us, O LORD, not to us

but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
Psalm 115:1

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Project 365, Week 3

This was a great week.  Though the earthquake in Haiti is so devastating and saddening, it is a very real reminder of how blessed we really are and puts all of life in perspective in a hurry!

I was treated like royalty on my birthday, again reminding me of God's goodness.  Some of these pictures were a little confusing to me because Avery wore the same sweater all but one day.  I finally was able to confiscate it for the laundry.  A warm-up in the weather was a treat towards the end of the week.

January 10
I was taking pictures for the cast in a play at church.  The girls were helping me get the lighting adjusted.  Though willing and cooperative, they were too short.  :)

My sister Amy is the Assistant Director for the play.  Its a role that fits her personality perfectly.  She is a woman who knows how to get things done...she's very inspiring.  The play is happening over the next two weekends.  If you are in the area, go see it!  Amy, C4 and Madison are all in it and have worked very hard.  Its not your typical church play (don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about).  Go here to see the trailer and to get tickets.

January 11
Girls just wanna have fun!

January 12
Its so funny to hear Amanda talk baby talk to Aiden, since her words still sound "little".

January 13
A special delivery, adding much excitement to our day.  Amanda is wild about the butterscotch candies.

We do lots of hanging out in the kitchen where the woodstove is.

January 14
The girls love to play in Aiden's crib, with or without him. 

We went out to dinner as a family to one of my favorite restaurants, celebrating my birthday.

January 15
My birthday!  I'm 35, because of course you were wondering.

January 16
My niece Madison was involved in a dance competition.  She did well in all three of her numbers (she's the one in the air), but this dance scored the highest.

Went over to a friends house for a ladies game night.  It'd been a while since I'd seen them and it was SO good to spend time together...they all love the Lord and know how to have a good time.  This moment that the camera came out was the only serious one of the night.  We laughed and laughed playing Apples to Apples.

Thanks to Sara for hosting!