It Was a Long January

Can we really be 9 days into February? January was SO long, and now I blink and February is almost 1/3 over!

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(cozy fire in the fireplace)

Just a recap of January- we were sick most of the month. We started with the stomach flu which lasted less than 24 hours- but the weakness and tiredness hung on for days. Right on the heels of that came a virus that apparently was the kind that last 2-3 weeks. I can handle a bit of a cold, but having fever day after day is depressing. We barely had a social life for a month because someone was almost always sick. Today was the first all of us went to church together all year!

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(emily and her elizabeth doll in their matching clothes. i know the doll is blurry, but i love emmy’s smile and little braids!)

In the middle of this, I did get a few things done here at home. I knotted and bound a large blanket and got caught up on scrapbooking- I was almost a year behind- and made 3 dresses for a wedding. I guess it was almost 4 if you count a trial one I got mostly made to try a new pattern. So it’s not like nothing got done- there were a some days I felt fine but I was stuck at home with sick children, so what better time to get caught up on projects?

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Kendall’s brother Ryan was getting married in Georgia on February 1. When we first got sick the beginning of January, I was just glad that we’d for sure be in good health by then, but a few days before it was time to leave, I was losing faith in that. Kierra and I still were miserable with fever, and it didn’t seem to be getting better. One night I asked people on Facebook to pray for us- and many people did. The next afternoon, Kierra woke up from her nap saying she felt good- and she truly acted so much better. It took another day until my fever broke, but just in time, I was feeling good again.

I absolutely believe in the power of prayer, especially intercessory prayer. I think it’s important to have your own private prayer life, and there is power in that, but sometimes it seems that no matter how much you pray about something, nothing changes. But something especially divine can happen when you humble yourself, admit that you can’t do it on your own, and ask others to pray with you.

The instance that makes the biggest impression on me is when I was pregnant with Emily. We had lost Lauren to stillbirth at 37 weeks the year before with no warning, no known reason. Of course, it is natural to be apprehensive with subsequent pregnancies, but for the most part, I was dealing okay with it during the day. Nighttime was another story. Night after night I would have bad dreams about losing my baby in one way or the other. These dreams really upset me, but no matter how much I prayed, the nightmares continued and seriously disturbed my peace of heart, not to mention my sleep.

Finally I told a group of ladies in Sunday school what was going on, and asked them to please pray for me. I never had those nightmares again. Without those to plague me, I was able to have a measure of peace. It wasn’t that I never worried again, but it wasn’t consuming me anymore.

Kendall had a similar experience when he asked some men to pray for him a number of months after Lauren’s death when he was stuck in grief and couldn’t seem to get out of the rut he was in. He feels that was a real turning point in the grief process.

And I truly believe without our friends praying for us the other week, we wouldn’t have been feeling well for the wedding. Skeptics can write my experiences off as coincidence or mind over matter, but the fact is, I am a very cynical person by nature. Faith and trust don’t come easily for me. Sometimes I get to thinking too much and my mind gets in the way. I start questioning God and His goodness and power, but in my heart, I know He is who He says He is. There are so many things that I can’t explain, even to my satisfaction, there is so much about Him I do not know or understand. I still struggle with some things, but I know He is God and that some day we will understand Him and what He has allowed into our lives.

Anyhow, we got to the end of January with much better health than we’d had most of the month, and were able to truly enjoy our time away.

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(the crazy ones i love)

Another notable thing about January was that it was CRAZY cold! Maybe I have been living under a rock, but I never knew that schools cancel for the cold in these parts. You always get some snow days every year, but I never heard of canceling for the cold. Some schools around here apparently had quite a few cancellations for extreme temperatures. I do understand it, though. Sure, it wasn’t any colder than it gets in Minnesota or Montana or Alberta, but we just aren’t used to dressing for this kind of weather, for one. I suppose it’s a little like when Atlanta gets a skiff of snow. They aren’t equipped to deal with snow and we’re just not equipped to deal with this sort of cold. I had a very thick winter coat that I bought a number of years ago and wore once or twice. A thin coat has always sufficed. I got rid of it this summer, and guess what- my thin coat isn’t cutting it!! I have wished for that thick coat more than once this winter- the few times that we’ve been well enough to venture out! I keep hoping the cold spell is almost over so I don’t have to break down and buy a thick coat I probably won’t wear for 10 years!

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(snow rollers- Facebook was abuzz about these the other week. we only had a few, but nearby, there were more. some places had larger ones- big snowballs that no person made! http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-snow-rollers-bizzare-winter-storm-20140128,0,238995.story#axzz2ssHc5PSk. sorry about the messy link- i can’t seem to figure out how to do it right, but it’s interesting that it’s rare enough that LA Times has an article on it!)

But… I can’t complain about the cold too much since I got to be inside where it’s warm. After Kendall got some firewood for our woodburner a few weeks ago, I haven’t been cold as long as I stay inside. Also, along with the extreme cold, we’ve had more sunshine than we normally do in the winter. And honestly, that helps my mood- or it does whenever I am not sick! Last year we had rain or snow every day in January, and we rarely saw the sun. So… I guess we can’t have sunshine and warmth in the winter here!

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(one of emily’s favorite things to do is to bring us more coffee. i always hold my breath, but usually she does okay!)

The last day of January found us traveling the many, many hours to warm, sunny Georgia. Well… it wasn’t exactly sunny most of the time, and not as warm as I was hoping, but it was warmER, so that counts! Next time I will tell you a little about the wedding and my impression of Georgia!

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we had a lot of traffic in Atlanta on a Friday afternoon! but hey, at least there was no snow there anymore to cause chaos like earlier in the week!

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i just love city skylines. something about it just speaks to me. they do not call Kendall’s name, though, so we do well to make an occasional venture into a city. like VERY occasional!!

(the pictures are all from Kendall’s phone, hence the quality. my camera took a January break, but it was fun to look back at the pictures on his phone. Even though the quality isn’t the greatest, i look at them and smile because they are so real life!)

How was your January?
Have you experienced the power of people praying for you?

Housecleaning… and Parenting

Three long weeks ago I set out on a quest to clean and organize my home from top to bottom. I literally started at the top- in the upstairs, and worked my way down to the basement, which we finished yesterday.

I cleared my social calendar- well, not literally. It was more like I didn’t pursue anything much social in that time. I was hoping it would take me two weeks. It took three. Granted, other than the basement, I pretty much did it on my own, while being a full time mom, so I guess in all, it was okay that it took three  weeks. Some days I didn’t do much cleaning and some days that’s all I did. Kendall worked a lot of long days and overnights in those weeks, so that meant I couldn’t beg him for a lot of help.

I started in the spare bedroom, cleaning and clearing and organizing and rearranging, trying to make room for the crib/toddler bed that I wanted to move Emily out of. I painted the windowsills and fought the urge to paint the entire room. It needs it, but that would be a big project in itself, and my mission was to get things clean and relatively organized, not to fix things.

Our doorways upstairs are super narrow. At my heaviest, I could hardly get through the doorways. Hahaha. No, that’s not true, they aren’t that small or I wasn’t that large. But they are smaller than average, and I couldn’t move the crib from one room to another without disassembling it.

I was so proud of myself that I was able to figure out what tool I needed to take the crib apart, since it doesn’t have  regular screws. I took it apart, moved it to another room, and started putting it back together. I got the middle piece attached to the end pieces in short order, only to discover that I got it upside down when I went to put the drawers back in. So… I wasn’t as good as I thought I was! (read below:IMPORTANT! THIS SIDE UP! the problem is that when it’s upside down, it doesn’t say “IMPORTANT! THIS SIDE DOWN!)

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Meanwhile, I started painting some things for the girls’ room. Last summer we painted it a light gray, and obviously anything brown just doesn’t look good. Painting some of these things has been on my radar for awhile, but I just never got around to it.

The sanding part wasn’t too bad, but then I had to prime them and paint them. There were SO many corners! And I began to realize that I put it off for a year for a reason! I had to do 2-3 coats of paint AFTER the primer, so in the week that I worked on that (while I wasn’t cleaning) I didn’t think I had very much fun.

Here are before and afters of the things I painted.

The little toy box isn’t going into the girls’ room after all, at least not now.

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My Grandpa Eberly needed things to do in his old age,  (he died a few years ago) so he made a box out of scraps and gave this one to me. I just wasn’t sure what to do with it, but Kierra loved it. She wanted it to be painted pink, but I couldn’t find the can of pink, so I painted it white instead. She keeps her “treasures” in there!

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I hang the girl’s extra blankets on this rack.

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I bought this cradle at my Grandma Miller’s auction. I remember playing with it as a child. I really like it, but it needed a little help. This thing was THE hardest thing to paint. Oh my. I want to make some pink bedding for it. My girls are girly girls and really love pink a lot!

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Kendall’s mom gave this to Kierra for Christmas, along with figurines to put in it. I just couldn’t hang it on a gray wall. Actually, it’s still not hanging on the wall- Emily’s sleeping on a crib mattress right now and whenever we get her headboard painted and another twin bed in the room, we will be able to figure out where it should be hung.100_7932  100_7957

It took me almost a week to get the upstairs done, and a little over a week until I finished painting entirely. I only got two rooms cleaned the second week, although the living room did take awhile. I guess it IS the largest room in the house and it’s not an empty room, by any means. There’s a large bookcase and a sewing machine cabinet that’s full of things to be organized (why IS it so fun for kids to rummage through drawers and make a mess of them?!) and a chest of drawers full of fabric… all those things take time to clean and organize.

As I was cleaning, I was contemplating painting the hallway downstairs. It has a dark ceiling, dark knotty-pine walls, and a dark floor. It just struck me a few weeks ago when I walked in from the garage how VERY, VERY gloomy the entrance to our abode is, and how much painting it a light color would make it seem so much more welcoming and less like the entrance to a dungeon. It’s bothered me for a long time, but it bothers me even more now… but in the end, the desire to be done cleaning sooner won out, and we decided to postpone painting- but it’s definitely a project for this winter when there’s not so much going on and Kendall can help me.

One thing we did not postpone any longer was resurfacing our bathtub downstairs. It’s an old porcelain tub that the finish wore off long ago. We don’t have the best water most of the time, so the tub just never looked inviting. There have been times that I have literally scrubbed it for a couple of hours with all the best tub cleaning products out there, and I couldn’t get it to look much better. The picture here was after I scrubbed it for a good 45 minutes. It’s actually really embarrassing to look at this picture, but I promise, it is not dirty! I had checked into doing something about it earlier, and from what I determined, it was a project that would cost $300-500. I suggested getting a new tub, but Kendall said that the tub was built in and getting a new tub would end up being a big project. Recently when I researched our options again, I found this stuff  and we ended up getting it. For under $50 and afternoon of Kendall’s time, our tub looks 1000% better. Of course, we have yet to see how it holds up, but so far, it’s great and turned out better than we expected.

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This past Thursday, I finished cleaning the main floor, ending in the kitchen, my least favorite room. Kendall had been planning to work on Saturday, so I figured I was pretty much on my own with the basement. We do not have a finished basement, and it’s old and a little on the creepy side. It’s definitely home to lots of spiders, which is an annoyance to me, but the fear of encountering mice is what creeps me out a little. I actually go down to the basement regularly since my washer and dryer and freezer and can shelves are down there. It’s been awhile since we cleaned the basement, and it was never quite as clean as I wanted it to be. I just never got around to doing a really good job of it, and this fall I was determined to do a good job.

I went down to the basement on Friday to start, and I was just overwhelmed. There was a lot of junk thrown down there to be dealt with later from other times and places, and this was later. A lot of the things were not mine, so I couldn’t say for sure what to save and what to pitch, so I was glad that Kendall was home early on Friday and didn’t work Saturday. We both worked really hard Friday afternoon and most of the day yesterday, but I think we can safely say that it was never as clean and organized as it is now. It’s not as clean as the rest of the house, because the windows are OLD and the walls are rough and the ceiling is exposed ancient log beam s and there are pipes and wires that go here and there, but I am happy. We were both exhausted by the time we got done, but we got it done!

I don’t mind cleaning most of the time (except in the kitchen- I don’t like that much for some reason) and organizing things makes me really happy. But 3 weeks of it did get to be almost too much. I let certain things go too long. Somehow I need to find a way to stay on top of things a little better! It’s hard to be a good wife and a good mom AND keep the house decently clean and orderly. Unfortunately, as I get older, I am getting more OCD about things. I used to be more comfortable with messes than I am now. As a mom of little kids and hopefully maybe more someday, I should be becoming more relaxed about dirt and chaos!

So now all I really want to do is take a day this week to go over the entire house again. Some of the things aren’t so clean and organized anymore. For some reason, when you have kids, things don’t stay perfectly clean and organized. But it shouldn’t be hard, and it should take one day instead of three weeks. And then I need to spend a day outside weeding the landscape beds and strawberries and getting them ready for winter. And then… the pressure should be off, and I hope to relax, knowing that there aren’t a hundred things I should be doing.

It’s high time, too. My girls need me to spend a little more time with them. I am afraid they have heard “I’m busy” too many times in the past couple months. Going into fall and winter, my goal is to spend more time with them, being proactive in their lives. We have been working on a different discipline approach with Emily that seems to be helping, but I need more free time to implement it a better and I need to find more ways to keep her constructively busy, instead of the destructively busy she gets when I am not supervising.

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And Kierra– she’s about 50 days into first grade, and quickly tells anyone that will listen that she doesn’t like school, and it’s going “not well.” It’s not that she’s not learning… she struggles a little with subtraction, but usually does get the right answer. She’s not reading as fluently as I’d hoped, but she is starting to enjoy it (enjoying it is key, I think), and is trying to read any signs or titles or words that she sees, so I think she’ll be fluent before we know it. She does the Abeka DVD/online program, and it takes longer than kindergarten did, and the teacher doesn’t keep her interest very well. That’s mostly what she complains about- how long it takes- but technically, we are supposed to average about 5 hours a day anyhow, so if I totally took over the teaching, which is what she wants, I am not sure how we’d get enough hours in.

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I do want to spend more time with her, doing flashcards to help with math facts, having her read more, doing more fun, educational projects. She’s stuck with school for the next 10 years, at the least, so I want her to be able to enjoy it. I do think she would love being IN school instead of homeschooling, but for this year, at least, we’ll stick with school at home, and I do want her to enjoy it instead of complaining about it everyday. I would be welcome to suggestions on how to inspire her enthusiasm!

So yes, in the coming months, I want to work extra hard on things with Kierra and Emily, getting them to a better place emotionally. I want to do a little better with sticking to my diet (although I am happy that I’ve gotten as far as I have!) and exercise faithfully instead of such a hit and miss thing like’s it’s been lately (mostly miss). I want to get caught up with scrapbooking and I am looking forward to spending time at the sewing machine making some clothes and blankets and other projects.

An orderly, disciplined life with lots of God’s presence and grace and enjoyment in the small things… that’s what we are striving for!

Birthday Fun

It was after midnight until I finally made my way upstairs. I looked at the alarm clock, and it showed 12:03. It took me back 6 years exactly to one of the happiest moments of my life- when I held Kierra for the very first time.

I quietly went over to her bedroom. She always wants whichever parent didn’t take her to bed to come in and check on her before we go to bed. It always melts my heart to see the girls sound asleep. They look so innocent and sweet, and all the craziness they subjected me to during the day is forgiven and forgotten in that moment, if it wasn’t already.

I leaned over and kissed her lightly on the cheek, saying almost inaudibly “Happy Birthday, sweetheart.” I couldn’t let her hear me, because I certainly didn’t need her to know her birthday was officially begun. She had been almost too excited to fall asleep as it was! She stirred and mumbled, “I can’t wait until my birthday,” then fell right back to sleep.

I went to bed reliving this hour of the day six years ago. It was truly a magical thing after a long, hard labor to meet this little person, to find out she was a girl, to have her stop crying as soon as she was placed into my arms, to see her look into my eyes like she KNEW I was her mama and this was where she wanted to be. I fell hopelessly in love in that moment.

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She was the first one up on her birthday, too excited to sleep any longer. We just had a quiet party at home, with the 4 of us.

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After I set up the table the day before, I blocked off the doorways so that Emily (especially) wouldn’t mess everything up and ruin the cake.

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And hey, they thought it was FUN to bust through it the next day! 🙂

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The happy, happy birthday girl!

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Sheer delight as we sang to her! (she lost her 4th tooth a couple days before)

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The little sister likes getting in on it all, too!

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Kierra thought the best gift of all was the cheap dollar store tiara and wand sets that I got for her and Emily. Of course, being cheap, the wands have both broken, which caused some drama and tears! Yes well, I am pretty sure they were not made to wave around while you are jumping on the trampoline, Princess!100_7761

I love my big little girl who has shown me so much about loving life and living fully. I am a slow learner, but it has done me such good to see life through her perspective.

This morning when she came downstairs, I asked her how my 6-year-old was. She got a big grin on her face, made her happy noise, and ran to give me a big hug. She had forgotten for a moment that she was 6, and it was pure joy to remember.

But she’s looking forward to her 7th birthday already. Oh help!

Her best friend moved away a month ago. That is and was really hard for her. She misses Rachel like crazy. They talk on the phone and Skype some, but that often makes her miss her friend more. (I understand- I miss their family so much too!) I knew that they wouldn’t be here to help celebrate Kierra’s birthday, so we had an early birthday party before Rachel left. I took the two girls and Emily mini-golfing, bowling, and to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. They had a lot of fun. Except Kierra didn’t win in bowling (both games were SO close!) and that upset her a little. We have to work on being a gracious loser, I think. I have no idea where that struggle comes from. (cough! cough!) They say my dad really didn’t like to lose games either, so apparently it’s a family trait! Fortunately, it is something that one can learn, losing graciously. I have come a long way from my childhood days!!

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The girls cheated SO much in mini golf- we didn’t keep score, so it was okay. Emily, especially, was all over the place, but she felt so important!

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Both big girls wanted superman ice cream after mini golf. I think it’s almost the most disgusting thing in the world, but hey! Whatever!

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They are the craziest!!

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Best Friends Forever!

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Unbridled ecstasy when she got a strike or a spare (can’t remember which)100_7627

Apparently she likes purple skirts on birthday days! I didn’t even think about it until I posted both days together. Most days she picks out her own clothes. On her actual birthday, she came over to our bedroom bright and early already dressed for the day. She really doesn’t think you can do life in pajamas!

Monday in Pictures

The weather is almost perfect today- except when the clouds are covering the sun. My idea of paradise on earth would be temperatures in the 70’s all year round. There’s no need to point out the flaws in that scenario or how much I would miss the seasons or anything like that. Let me have my dream of perfection to hold to! 

It’s Monday.  I used to do my laundry on Tuesdays (and one other day of the week), but lately I have been doing it some Mondays. Today is laundry day.  Kierra has school today. I always have a plenty of things to pick up around the house on Mondays. It seems we take Sunday as a day of rest and a license to not pick up after ourselves. Oh, who am I kidding?  I am the one that picks up after myself and pretty much everyone else around here. And since we usually go flying out the door without a lot of time to spare on Sunday mornings, we leave a tornado of clothes and towels on the floor and unmade beds and toothpaste on the counter in our wake.  In the afternoon, if we are home, everyone else usually takes a nap. I usually don’t, but why would I pick up things when everyone else is sleeping? That’s my quiet time! And it’s actually fairly rare that we are home all afternoon and evening, so that adds to the lack of time to keep up with everything and everybody.  I actually don’t mind too much- it’s kind of fun to get everything put back in its place on a Monday morning.

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I am thinking a towel shower would be a good idea for tenth anniversaries. Most of our towels are falling apart. The ends have mostly came off, leaving them way too short. They work, but they aren’t ideal and a lot of them won’t last a whole lot longer. We’ve been married 9 years, hence my idea that a towel shower would be nice next year. LOL!

Today  is also the day that I needed to go out to the garden to pick whatever produce is ready. There wasn’t that much, so it’s not overwhelming, but it should give us a good meal this evening.  It’s so wet this year that it’s impossible to till the garden at all, and the weeds grow like crazy.I guess I could pull every weed in our large garden by hand, but that would be an enormous amount of work. Keeping the rows free of weeds is hard enough, let alone pulling them all between the rows. And even then, the ground is often so muddy I have to be careful where I walk. Let’s just say that there is no way I could win a neat, weed-free garden award this year!! 

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A not-so-pretty cabbage that I think can be salvaged for Kai Si Ming from the Trim Healthy Mama book. It’s hamburger and cabbage cooked with spices and while it’s not pretty, it’s always better than it looks and better than I remembered. I am not a huge fan of cabbage, if you can’t tell.

So I think we’ll have Kai Si Ming with fresh broccoli and green beans this evening.

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I am not getting a lot of beans this year. I only canned once, and since then, I’ve gotten just barely enough for a meal twice a week. My beans were damaged by late frost, and apparently never fully recovered. I should have replanted, I suppose. We actually eat green beans fairly frequently. The girls don’t profess to love them, but they eat them fairly readily.

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I am collecting cucumbers to make Claussen pickles. Last year I canned pickles and had THESE in the refrigerator. We went though quite a few quarts of these in a really short time. The only thing I didn’t like was that in my pickling spice, there were some whole cloves, and I didn’t care for that flavor. Other than that, they were divine. We ate them like candy for snacks!! I want to do as many this year as I think my refrigerator can hold while leaving room for other things. If I had a spare refrigerator, I would fill half of it with these Claussen knockoff pickles! The other pickles that I canned have hardly been touched. 

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I have a number of plants LOADED with these garden salsa peppers and no idea how to use many of them. I will use a few in canning, but I don’t know what else to do with them. My jalapeno peppers frosted in a late frost, and I could find any more at the greenhouse so I chose these. Then one plant of jalapenos survived so those will get priority.

And then since we have pictures of imperfect produce that hasn’t been cleaned yet, I give you pictures of some girls who seem just about perfect to me- you know, when they aren’t making me pull my hair out!

 

 

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Emily loves her cats and sneaks them inside whenever she can.

 

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Kierra was complaining about school this morning and how her fingers hurt too much to write, blah blah blah. Someone had a big day yesterday and didn’t have enough rest. I am proud of her though. We got home at 5 something yesterday afternoon, having been gone all day, and then she and I went on a bike ride. I don’t know the exact mileage, but it had to be at least 7 miles total. She was sure she was going to die when we were about a mile from home. But when we got home, she was so happy with her accomplishment that she forgot how hard it was. She just learned to ride this spring, and we hadn’t done much riding most of the summer because of the heat, so I think she’s doing great! It’s fun to have someone to be active with, too!

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This morning I had Emily put uncooked macaroni in a mini cupcake pan. It actually kept her happy for awhile, but after a certain point, it became something to haul all over the house, so I will have to sweep it up when she’s not around. 

Emily is a busy little girl challenges me only a million times a day, more or less. But she is so loving and affectionate. She gives hugs and kisses freely. She learned the song “Baby Mine” recently and wants me to sing it to her, and then gets all lovey and cuddly. 100_7568b      

And outside, there are flowers. I don’t plant a lot, but I am glad for the ones we do have. Actually, my girls picked these out, otherwise we might not have any! 

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We pruned our grapevines down to almost nothing this year. They weren’t bearing  fruit to speak of anymore, so we had nothing to lose, even though we don’t know much about growing fruit. For the longest time, everything looked dead, but now there is the most prolific growth. There aren’t any grapes though. Maybe next year. I am sure I could find several spiritual lessons to draw from that, but I will spare you!

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Rain, Rain, Go Away!

It’s kind of annoying to discover that the sunlight you thought you woke up to wasn’t sunlight at all- it was a light left on outside your bedroom door. Instead of sunlight, you discover it is actually a very rainy day. When you look at the forecast and it is threatening to make it rain every day for over a week, you know you have to do something to combat that gloom!

I just do better with sunshine. I hardly ever love rainy days, except when we are truly dry and need the rain. Even then I prefer if it gets busy and rains and then the sun comes out again. Even if I plan to work inside all day, I like sunshine to make me happy and motivate me. But I don’t get to choose the weather, so I have to make do the best I can!

Today’s method of coping looks something like this:

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Listening to an instrumental romance CD from back when we were dating. Happy memories!

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Lighting candles always makes me just a little happier, and my girls love it, too. They are such girls!

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Finishing the last 2 chapters in the 3rd Boxcar Children book I am reading to Kierra. I’d read to Emily if she’d let me, but she doesn’t listen for more than 5 words, even in books with pictures. My goal is to read the first 19 Boxcar books to Kierra, but it’s taking awhile. Maybe she’ll be able to read them soon herself! I loved these books when I was young. Reading them as an adult, they seem a little lame to me sometimes, but when you are Kierra’s age, you don’t really know or care

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Enjoying the company of my oldest gap-toothed daughter. She lost her first one last fall, but I still find it hard to believe she is old enough for that! She wants so badly to be older, “like 12,” as she says. We are going to start her in 1st grade next Monday. We have the books and she desperately needs something to do to keep her busy and motivated. I noticed a huge improvement in her attitude and personality last fall when she started kindergarten, and I have noticed lately that with a less structured summer, she’s not as happy as she was. She is super excited about starting school again, and this way we can take off on the days we need to and still get through the year in plenty of time.

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One more rainy day project today is cutting out at least 2 of these 4 pieces of fabric for dresses for a friend’s daughter. I told her to tell her daughter to sketch how she wanted the dresses made. She loved the idea and had the sketches made in no time, and the bonus is that I know how she wants them done!

Last evening I got out my sewing machine for the first time this month and did a few altering/mending projects. I forgot how much fun it is to sew when I am not under any pressure.  Knocking out several little sewing projects makes me feel so accomplished!

What do YOU do on a rainy day?

A day in June

I had a horrible dream last night that I cut off my baby’s curls. Emily is 2 1/2, and hardly has enough hair to make little pigtails, and I would have to be totally insane to cut those couple inches of curls that took so long to grow. I mean, some of my nieces and nephews did or would have had this much hair before their first birthdays! I was so relieved to wake up and realize that I had not, in fact, chopped her hair off at her hairline!

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The girls are being uncommonly well behaved right at this moment, sitting and listening to Bible stories. I have the My Bible Friends books and CDs. My brothers and sisters all loved them when we were children, and I got them for my girls. They haven’t listened to the stories for a long time, but they got the books out last evening and are now totally engrossed in looking at the pictures and listening to the stories.

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I designated June as the month I would finally devote to getting my spring cleaning done. I have only done one room so far. I am not sure how far I’ll get this week. I doubt I will get much done today since I will be gone half the day and doing laundry the rest of the time. I didn’t get any of it done yesterday. I would’ve had some time to tackle a few closets or something, but it was a stereo-typical Monday, and I had zero motivation. Next week Kierra has swimming lessons and the next is VBS. So I’ll have to stay focused and stop making excuses if I want to get something done! I am planning to purge while cleaning, too. When you live in a small house, there is not room for a lot of things you seldom or never use or that you don’t even like that much.  I can be both a tosser and a saver. Those warring sides of my personality make it hard to maintain a happy balance!