Saturday, September 27, 2008


It's a gray day, and there is much to be done. House is nearly back together after our flooring installation last weekend, but a few things still need to be moved back to their proper place. I'm looking around the house and it seems every corner needs attention - scrubbing, paint, decluttering - something!

My heart feels heavy - burdened for friends who are struggling, frustration with myself and my many shortcomings, full of questions and concerns about the future... Wishing I could DO more, KNOW more. But the fact remains that I am a fallen human, limited here on earth. Thankful that I can call upon My Creator, rest in the knowledge that He will take care of it all. Still, my heart is heavy.

Time for a little reminder:

Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice! Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon]. Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
Philippians 4:4-8 (Amplified)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Off to the museum!

Would you and a friend like to visit a local museum for FREE on Saturday?!
Check out all the details here - search by state, then download your admission card.

Monday, September 22, 2008

So what did YOU do this weekend?

floor 1 floor 2 floor 3 floor 4

At around 9 AM Saturday morning, we decided we were going to go ahead and do the living room floor. It made for a long, dirty, crazy day, but it was definitely worth it. Will have "end" pictures to share soon...

New problem - our grubby walls (with cheapo flat paint) coordinated much better with the old brown carpet. Now if we could just agree on a paint color :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Finally Friday

Sorry, no funny business today! It's been a long week - I caught a cold, which left me feeling pretty lousy. I provided meals, but I can't say it was my best work - and as for other stuff, I've been minimally maintaining :) I did manage a grocery run yesterday to replenish the fridge, and I'm definitely feeling better this morning so need to do damage control around here.

D is wrapping up his third week of school today, and things continue to be bumpy. I really wish it were a half day program for his sake; he's having a hard time remembering all the rules, and is getting frustrated with stuff and not responding appropriately (i.e. shoving other kids when they bump into him). I know we're not exactly talking juvenile delinquent stuff here, but I know he can do better and we're still trying to figure out how to best handle it all. Oh, and he also came home with a rather interesting library book so I ended up having a chat with the librarian over that one. Oh, the joys.

We have a number of things happening this weekend. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice and cool, so I think we're going to spend some time in the yard pruning the jungle; I also think we'll be setting the fire pit up (since the pool is down) so we'll probably end up roasing marshmallows. We were also planning to pull up the carpet in the living room and start laying the new flooring, but not sure if that will happen since I'm so behind from this week. Guess we'll just wait and see...
Oh, and the picture? Well, those are the "fuzzy flowers" that A picked as we walked home. A nice little reminder that much of life depends on your perspective!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Loving Your Neighbor

We have an interesting neighborhood - no major issues, but we all have our own little quirks. Mrs. L lives on one side: she is 84 years old, and moved to the neighborhood when her children were teens. We occasionally chat over the fence, but honestly don't interact all that often. She's extremely hard of hearing, and even with her hearing aids she only seems to catch about half of what I say (meanwhile, I'm practically shouting). To make things even more interesting, she frankly is not a happy person and her language is rather salty.

I stopped to say hello this morning after taking D to school. Mrs. L told me that she'd just finished watching mass, which she does each morning at 9. I get a disapproving scowl from her when she asks if we're Catholic, and I reply no, that we attend another church (which we've talked about in the past). I start to say more, but she doesn't notice I'm speaking and moves on to the topic of my hair. She asks if it's naturally curly, and somehow that leads to the &*!@ price of perms these days. She asks if our boy likes school, and she tells me how her oldest son used to come home for lunch when he was in 1st grade, then cry when she made him go back to school in the afternoon. We talk about the weather, and she complains that the rain has made her grass grow and her %!?* grandson needs to come over and mow. She comments that hubby's car is gone, so he must be at work, which is a good thing since the $+#% bills keep coming, and our electric bill must be especially high since we run our air conditioner so much (huh?!?). By this time, A has grown restless and really wants to go home, so she begins pulling on my arm a bit. Mrs. L notices, and essentially dismisses me, but not before encouraging us to stop by more often.

So how do I respond to all this? How can I love my neighbor? I know she's lonely and want to reach out, but to be perfectly honest I don't want the kids hearing her language. I've taken her baked goods a couple times, and while she's not been rude, she didn't really seem to want them, either. How would Jesus handle a nearly deaf, crotchety person?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Autumn is coming!

These are just a few of the leaves that A and I picked up this morning after dropping D off at school. I love this season of transition, when the nights are refreshingly cool (and hot coffee tastes oh so good in the morning!) yet the afternoons are still delightfully warm. It won't be long before I pull out cuddly sweaters and cook up steaming pots of soup.

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. ~Stanley Horowitz

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More General Craziness

Our week is marching on. I managed to catch some sort of stomach bug, so yesterday wasn't particularly pleasant. I did make it to the PTO meeting - the first of the year, and I must admit I was surprised at the paltry turnout. There are tons of parents milling around outside, picking their kids up, but evidently they don't want to stick around for half an hour? It's a great opportunity to stay on top of school happenings, not to mention getting to know the teachers and principal. Anyway, I digress. I stayed home last night, though, so missed the women's meeting at church. Thankfully I'm feeling better today, just tired out.

And we'll now pause for a moment to rant about the people's lack of manners. I had posted 5 items on freecyle Monday afternoon, and all had been spoken for within an hour. Out of the 5 people, only *1* came to p/u the item as promised. What's up with that?!? What really got my blood boiling, though, was an incident this morning. After sending 2 additional emails to one of the no-shows, I left her a message this morning saying that I had contacted the next respondent to arrange for pick-up. Brief but civil note. Well, around lunchtime I went out to bring the trash cans back up to the house and noticed that the item was gone (the person was going to pick it up later this afternoon, but I'd left it out just so I wouldn't forget). Came in, checked email to find this message (as a reply to my message saying I was giving it to the next person): just got your message today on tues i coming to get it now be there in about 10 min i hope that is ok thank u so much. Uh, no, that wasn't OK! Whatever happened to common courtesy?!? If you say you're going to do something, then *do* it, or take the initiative to contact the person to let them know if there's a problem. Grrr.

OK, I feel slightly better now that that's off my chest. Off to make a couple pans of enchiladas - one for dinner tonight, and one to freeze for later.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Where is it all supposed to fit?

It was definitely an interesting weekend. I think last week took its toll on all of us - we were just tired out. Had two extra kids on Friday evening, so ours were excited and tired (not a combination I'd recommend). We survived, though, and decided that we really needed to get our son moved into his own room. Things aren't going to slow down anytime soon, so we just needed to bite the bullet and get it done. So out came everything in the guest room - and out, and out, and out... Wow, we had a lot of stuff in there! This style of house has very little storage, so we have to get creative and cram stuff where we can. Anyway, I now have a number of offerings on freecycle, plus a giant pile waiting for Purple Heart (p/u next Monday!)... but there's still more left over, and I need to figure out what to do with it all. Maybe I'll find some inspiration in a can of Diet Coke :) I had another little boy over here this morning, so I took a couple hours off to sit outside and just soak up the gorgeous weather, but now I have to tackle the piles (including the heap of dishes I ignored yesterday).

So what else is happening this week? Quite a lot actually! Hubby and I have date night this evening (I think it's going to be dinner and a trip to Home Depot - gotta keep the romance alive! :), tomorrow is a library program, first PTA meeting, and women's ministry gathering. Then I have an eye check-up, dental visit (I finally will have the final crown and be able to chew on the right side of my mouth again). Deadline for some design work is looming (not that I'm complaining about having to stamp). Oh, and we're planning to rip up the carpet in our living room this coming weekend so we can finally install the wood flooring. Perhaps that plan would work better if I didn't have junk scattered all over the living room!

OK, enough chatter and time to get productive ~

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Funny

Just a little silliness, courtesy of the kiddos. They really like the show Word Girl and A in particular likes to do the Captain Huggy Face dance (although her brother was more into it this time around, simply because he knew I was filming)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hanging In There

Well, the boy has been dropped off for his third day of school, and it seems we're all settling in. He's liking it so far, and has proudly reported that he's following all the rules. This week is kind of evaluation time and just establishing routine, but homework starts next week! On a side note, this school thing is having one side effect I did not anticipate: laundry! No, not our son's - mine. I can usually get two days out of my pants, but walking him back and forth to school makes me a sweaty mess. Yuck.

Little sister is doing better as well. On Tuesday, we ran errands. She needed the next size in socks and underwear, and I'd specifically postponed purchasing them. Nothing cheers up a 3 YO like Strawberry Shortcake undies :) A few tears yesterday after we dropped him off, but much better than Tuesday. And today? Well, she knows we're going to visit one of her friends (who is 27 days younger), so she practically ran home. Ah, the resiliency of youth...

And finally, I'm pleased to report that this banana bread recipe also works well for muffins. I used whole wheat flour, added an additional egg, and just a tad more applesause. Oh, and chocolate chips! She's obviously enjoying it, and D has one in his lunch.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of School

First day of school walking
classroom upset little sister
Can't believe my little boy is at Kindergarten right now! His teacher seems very good, and he's super excited, so what am I worried about? His little sister, though, is having a hard time of it. The pic above was taken as we were walking home - and she's pretty much been sniffling non-stop. Yeah, it's hard being without your buddy! We're off to run a couple errands now, though, so hopefully that will get her back on the right track.
(BTW, you can click on any of the pics for a larger view)

Monday, September 1, 2008

American Kid

Since "Labor Day" is definitely an American thing, I thought I'd share this...