Thursday, February 25, 2010

For the child in all of us

I am almost embarassed to blog about this but...Chase and I have been having so much fun with this I had to share. :-)

When my brothers and I were kids we didn't like the store bought car mats because they never had enough houses for all our cars and not enough of the stuff (stores, fire houses, etc) that we wanted. The solution was simple enough. We would draw our own elaborate mats and put them all together and voila! Magic! Well, not quite but you get the point.

A few months ago I drew my first "mat" for Chase and he is hooked. Every time the old one begins to curl up or get destroyed he will eventually come around asking for a new one. While I'm by no means a great artist; I enjoy getting out the markers and trying to come up with some new set up for him to play with. Better still is the hours of imaginative play he gets out of it!

Monday, February 22, 2010


I'm just going to give a peek into my journal today because there's been a lot going on in my head (and heart!) lately.

So, I am sitting in front of my new/used desk. Howard's just used leather conditioner on the top. It feels like new life has been breathed into it and it smells like it too! I've just spent the afternoon cleaning and doing some soul searching while Overcome by David Nevue was playing in the background.

The last few days have been pretty terrible. Not outwardly mind you, but in my outlook, my attitudes, my heart. I'd love to say it might be PMS or some other malady but that would just be me trying to justify my behavior. I've come to realize I can't do that anymore. I've been miserable towards my spouse and there's no excuse for it.

I've been doing a lot of reading about past revivalists and evangelists lately, as well as, of all things, The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers by Amy Hollingsworth (it's worth reading if you ever watched Mr. Rogers Neighborhood by the way). Deep down there's been a discontent in me that I haven't been able to grasp. The books have been inspiring and uplifting and yet I kept walking away feeling like I was missing something I needed to understand in what I was reading.

Well, in the last few days I've been short with Howard even when I didn't mean to be. I've been easily irritated by things (life!) that dared to alter my plans. I've not been kind or loving or compassionate. I even recognized it in myself yesterday and still I couldn't seem to help myself. I'd be thinking that the next time Howard speaks to me I will be careful to speak lovingly. Then, he would enter the room and I would issue out some sentence or two heavily laced with attitude; for no reason!

This morning I had an eye doctors appointment. I got there a little early and decided to sit in the car, with our local Christian radio station playing, and pray for a little while about the state of my heart. Sanctus Real's song "Whatever You're Doing" started playing and it spoke straight to where I was.

I'd felt for quite a while like the Lord was trying to do something in me but I was struggling with this mess of my own making so how was I supposed to address something else wrong with me? Here's an abbreviation of the song (listen to the real thing when you get a chance!)

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something heavenly.

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly

Thank God for the chaos because I finally got it! He's been wanting to change my attitudes and all the chaos I was feeling was to get my attention and turn it towards the problem! He wants to give me so much more than chaos, as the parts of me I don't like anyway, the irritability, the cynycism, etc, create. If I'll let Him do this work of humbling and redirecting (challenging though it is!) I have the promise of a peace better than I know now.

Funny as it seems, in hindsight so much of what I read about "Mr. Rogers" has been churning this all to the surface.

In her biography of him, Amy Collingsworth included a quote by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov "Know this: You should judge every person by his merits. Even someone who seems completely wicked, you must search and find that little speck of good, for in that place, he is not wicked. By this you will raise him up, and help him return to God. And you must also do this for yourself, finding your own good points, one after the other, and raising yourself up. This is how melodies are made, note after note."

And yes, that points to another attitude I need changed. I simply see the annoying or bad things in another quicker than I see something good so I don't bother looking any harder. I think that it then becomes very easy to miss out on blessings the Lord may have in store for me, some easier to see right away than others.

Oh, by the way, I did repent in the parking lot of my eye doctor (who knew it would be holy ground today!). I asked for forgiveness and expressed a willingness to be changed. I know it's not going to be easy and possibly quite painful but maybe like this desk I'm writing on there will be a new "shine" to me and the sweet scent, not of leather, but of the inner beauty He is bringing out in me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What happens at Grandma's...

doesn't always stay at Grandma's...
Howard and I got a much needed afternoon out when my mom recently offered to babysit the kids. We (Howard and I) had a great time but returned to a very nervous grandma. Apparently she and Chase were running around their living room/dining room and Chase tripped and nailed his head on a dining room chair. We have so many close calls with this little guy that we are so grateful he makes it safely through as many as he does. We reassured my mom that we weren't upset and took the kiddos home. The egg is now a nasty green color but at least the swelling has gone down!

On a brighter note, my friend Lauren and I got together for Fastnacht day to make doughnuts. This is the childhood recipe I grew up with. They have mashed potato in them and when done properly taste delicious. The only sad part is that the oil wasn't hot enough when we fried them so they absorbed too much and lost some of their wonderful flavor in the process. It was still a good time. Lauren and I tried filling doughnuts for the first time. The fillings we made were excellent!
(Sorry I can't figure out why this picture keeps uploading sideways!)

We made Boston cremes, peanut butter cream filled, white cream filled, chocolate dipped and glazed flavors.

Friday, February 12, 2010

This boy is smart!

I checked in on Chase the other night after he went to bed. Once he's been tucked in for the night, he often gets up and quietly plays with his cars in the dark or by the light of our hall light. We don't mind as long as Chase is quiet; he is always in his bed by the time he falls asleep. The other night I peeked in and saw this on his floor. He pulled his puzzles out of the box shown in the picture, sorted them by the shape they have on the back and put them all together! He loves challenges like this but Howard and I were amazed. He just turned three and he's breezing through puzzles like this. Way to go buddy!

P.S. When he woke me up crying in the middle of the night because his nose was all stuffy he stopped crying long enough to ask me if I saw his puzzles and gave me the biggest, proudest grin possible before dissolving into tears again. I gave him a big grin back and assured him that his daddy and I were very proud of him. :-)

P.P.S. I tried the color career guide again today and it is working again, if you tried to use it before. Below are my results. I'd be curious if you take the test what you get and if you think it is correct. My answers are spot on!

I'm a Creator first, keywords being: Nonconforming, impulsive, expressive, romantic, intuitive, sensitive and emotional...

and I'm an Organizer second, keywords, being: self-control, practical, self-contained, orderly, systematic, precise and accurate. (It's all me, totally!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010


There are just too many pictures to upload separately so you'll have to browse through the collage below. We're having too much fun with all this white stuff! We got about 22" they're saying, at times 2" an hour. In some of the pictures you can see Howard made one pass with the snowblower and by the second pass the ground was starting to cover again! I took Chase on his saucer for a ride around the development this morning. Half a mile on snow covered roads was beautiful!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A little something fun

This is just a fun doo-dad I found online. There's been recent hoopla about it because it accurately classifies CEO types. It pegged me to a tee in respect to my likes and leanings. Since it's snowing like crazy around here thought there might be others of you who want a little something fun to do inside...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Merry (belated) Christmas to Me

My Christmas present from Howard this past year was a writing desk. We were desperately in need of a place to store our papers and pens and everything else that drives my cleanliness OCD into overdrive. I hinted and out right asked for a desk but everything we had looked and liked in the past was way over our budget. Howard bought me a desk from Walmart knowing it wasn't really what I wanted so that I would have something to open on Christmas. Well, it wasn't what either on of us really wanted so we took it back and started scouring all the websites we could find. My sweet honey started going to auctions hunting for a treasure. I resorted to trolling Craigslist every day for a great deal. Finally, a few weeks ago I came upon this beauty and told him I'd found one I wanted to go look at. I think it was pretty much love at first sight. It has a leather top and lots of roomy drawers for storage. I've sat in front of it already and felt my creative juices beginning to salivate. I keep a journal and I can't wait to sit down as the mood strikes me and jot down my thoughts. It will be pure bliss seeing as how I used to sit on the floor against our bedrail with my journal on my knees (not easy to write that way!). I think it was worth the extended wait. Now we just have to find a matching chair... :-)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A few more snow pics

Somehow I forgot a few photos yesterday...

Chase LOVED the snow plow. He would stop whatever he was doing to watch and wave at them. He would get a wave back and an occasional honk which he thought was great!
The start of our tiny luge track...

...rounding the banking at the bottom. He had a lot of fun with this and so did I!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Birthday and a Snowstorm

So, I turned 28 on Thursday. Yikes! I had all these expectations and we had plans and it all pretty much fell through. (Isn't that life!)

Birthdays were always such a big deal in my family and as I get older I realize it's just not as exciting all the time like it used to be.

By the time my birthday dawned I had been up for the third night in a row with one of the kids, Howard worked the night before my birthday and Chase is sick, so we pretty much all felt wrung out by the time my birthday rolled around. I received really thoughtful gifts from my hubby and kids and then we pretty much spent a low-key day together since no one felt energized to do anything.

The plan had been to go to Red Lobster for dinner but we got to the restaurant only to find that there was a long wait. Our munchkins are great diners but even they can't handle a long wait and then sit patiently at a table for an hour so we had to scrap our plans and head home to re-heated leftovers. Needless to say, my attitude became very poor. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself by the time we sat down to dinner. We started to pray and as I was thanking the Lord for the food and our family it just hit me that I had no excuse for my attitude! My husband tried to make the day as special as he could, all things considered, but sometimes things just happen beyond our control. It's how we react to the changes that defines who we are. At least I'm responding but I still have a lot of work to do on my response time!

Isn't Alexa's face so funny here! I don't have a clue what she was looking at or thinking!

Below is a collage of the first big snow we've received this year. Chase and I made a luge for his saucer, plugged the holes on his play set and created a pretty snug/warm little fort and Chase got out the sand toys for a time. Ever since I was little it pretty much always snows on or around my birthday so I was pretty excited to see the white stuff. My childhood is full of sledding memories and snow forts, snowball fights, etc. I love getting out in it and playing with my Chaser-man.

Monday, February 1, 2010

About a Girl

I never wanted a girl. I can hear you all gasping at that but it's true. Maybe in some corner of my heart I would have admitted that there might be a teensy part of me wondering what it would be like. I would also have said that I'd rather have boys...until she came. Taking her daring first steps, crying dramatically when she falls and needing lots of reassurance to try, try again.
I've watched her big brother learn gentleness around a princess and how contagious joy can be...

I've learned how different two children can be and yet how intensely you can love both of them...

I've learned that I love dressing her in cute little outfits and finding the most adorable shoes for her to wear. That I can't stop kissing her cute little face when she's all dolled up or any other time...

I've watched her daddy become a pushover much like I was when her brother was born. I've found that daddy's of little girls are more tender with them than you ever thought possible...

And I will never forget the moment the doctors said it was a girl and I cried because something within me I didn't even know about was relieved. Or the moment I held her for the first time and she was so tiny and perfect and beautiful and feminine and mine. I never thought I wanted one but I don't know what I would have done without her. She is dainty and sensitive and full of joy but more than anything... she is my daughter...and I love her.