Wednesday, March 31, 2010


The kids and I went to Branson to visit my mom for Spring Break. A little paint, a couple drapes, a tiny bit of knee surgery, lots of D!sney Channel, some yarn and 5 needles, TONS of great food, a rolly-grassy-hilly backyard and good, good times!

While I was gone, Philip demolished our master bathroom. I returned home to find my room in complete and overwhelming dishevelment. To be fair, he did more than just gut the bathroom. He also took great strides to improve it and renew its functionality. But he's a sort of "clean it all up when we're done" worker-guy...and we ain't done.

He has installed the new tub & shower unit with fixtures.
The sink & counter guys came yesterday.
He has installed a [totally cool] pocket door.
He has installed a new vent and lights.
Sheetrock, mud & tape have all been checked off the list.

Now I must paint.
But first, I must organize & plan.
But before that, I must empty and purge....and I mean BEYOND tossing my cookies due to sheer anxiety.

So... I just showed up, and already, I'm a week or two behind.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.

While he works a little each evening to finalize the trim, lay a few tiles, and replace the electrical outlets, I'm sorting through a ridiculous amount of "toiletries" that I found under my cabinet.

*Several tubes of lipstick that I shall NEVER use.
(You know, after a year or two, you can actually begin to smell the whale blubber they use to make that stuff. Gross.)

*A plethora of pharmaceutical paraphernalia with questionable purposes and expired dates.

*Five band-aids. 421 band-aid wrappers.
(Do my kids not see that I have a trash can in my bathroom????)

*Some disposable razors that NEED to be disposed.

*And cleaning supplies. Do we NEED 3 half-empty spray bottles of Windex?? Or the mystery toilet wand that doesn't fit our scrubber pads? What's the story on that? And is there a rule against using the last 2 paper towels on a roll? We're saving those 4 skinny rolls for what?

I need another garbage bag.

Meanwhile, here's what I'm thinking for colors...

Walls: Blue Bell Homemade vanilla ice cream (almost vanilla pudding, but not quite)
Cabinets: Dark Chocolate brown.
Trim: Dreamy White like Cool Whip
Towels: Caramel
Soap Dispenser & perhaps some art might be the Cherry on top:)

Can you see it? or should I say, taste it?
I feel like my mind's eye & my sweet tooth are collaborating.

Thank You, God, for Philip. Thank You for this home and the resources to take care of it for You. Help me see my immediate surroundings "in the light of eternity". Calm me. Inspire me. Strengthen me. Bless me. (You already have:)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Household Remedies

There were a few children in my home today who struggled to keep their words sweet and their tone soothing. I could tolerate it no longer.

A couple squirts of lemon juice right across her tongue.
A couple squirts across his tongue.
With just a hint of playful correction, I explained, "Boys & Girls: This is NOT how we want our words to feel to other people...Do you like being sour?? Darlings, your words need to be sweet."

Involuntary puckers, resolute promises, and they were back to the sandwiches at hand.

A few moments later: more of the same "nyeh-nyah!"

A couple MORE [longer, messier] squirts of [good, healthy, not-gonna-hurt'em] lemon juice. MORE puckers, MORE promises, and one more shot at a friendly luncheon.

Not even 10 seconds later: one child hurtled a stinging insult across the table.

No more Mrs. Nice-Lemon.

The guilty party received one very seedy jalapeno slice under his tongue...while the oven timer was set for 60 seconds.

(An innocent -but intrusively nosy- member of the gallery received a seedless slice under her tongue for wanting so very badly to be involved.)

After spewing the pepper into the trash, the defendant began to plead, "Momma- Mm mouth is really on fire! I'm sorry for what I said...I need yogurt! I will be kind with my words...Any dairy product will do - or a spoon of Peanut Butter, Mom, PLEASE! My health book says dairy products and peanut butter soothe hotness...I'm sorry! My words will be like Peanut Butter!!!!"

We put away the lunch mess including the lemon juice, jalapenos, AND peanut butter. Thankfully, sweet & soothing words blessed our home for the rest of the far as I was able to hear:)

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24

Friday Flashback Fotos

'Tis the Season...

Landen Paul (8 years old) in 2004.

That same year, Philip coached Luke (6) on the Twins.
Ardyn (3) & Ash (18 months) cheered.

THEN...half a decade later...
in 2009, Mari Alice caught the sports photojournalism bug.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Wednesday, March 10, 2010...

Outside my window...the swampy marsh we call Southfield.

I am remembering...the many times I drove the kids out here to get one more look at the vacant house with the "for sale" sign in the yard. I would drive really slow and pray, pray, pray. "Dear God, if You want us to live here, please work it out." I would say to the kids, "That's such a lovely home...we should buy it." To this day, many times when I pull out of our drive way and head down the street, I thank the Lord for our home and say to the kids, "That's such a lovely home...we should buy it." Then we all just giggle.

I am thankful for...all of my choir kids being healthy for the musical. 30 out of 30 were able to sing in the program Sunday night despite an onslaught of viruses in our town. Wow! Thank You, Jesus!

I am creating...more "to do" lists than "done did" lists. Yikes.

I am Elizabeth's 9 month check up tomorrow. Then the chiropractor, then Bible Study. Big, fun day!

I am the kids-- The Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit. And to myself-- Southern Living and Good Housekeeping. Anyone want them when I'm finished?

I am hoping...Philip is safe as he works in this electrical storm.

On my mind...How badly I want to be more like Jesus...and how terribly long it seems to be taking.

From the learning more lessons and we're done! Can you believe it? We'll take a Spring Break, then a Baseball Break, and start back when the afternoons head toward 90 degrees.

Noticing that...I haven't posted a daybook in a full month. weird.

Pondering these words..."I desire that there be as many different persons in the world as possible; I would have each on be careful to find out and preserve his own way." - Henry David Thoreau

From the kitchen...tidy cabinets, clean dishes, nasty floor. shucks.

Around the house...all is still and calm. Dusty, but quiet.

One of my favorite things...Philip's leg muscles. SORRY, I'm just sayin!! It's the first thing that came to my mind.

From my picture journal...
Mari Berry & Lizzard Bug --oh, that's just awful...a boy thought of that!

A cough...
...then a kiss.

To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Profile Pic

MOPS moms: the book mentioned today is "Discover Your Child's Learning Style" by Mariaemma Willis & Victoria Kindle Hodson.

More info:
I've read several books on learning styles over the years. And as the task of educating my children has expanded to include additional learners, I am further intrigued by each child's divine uniqueness. There seems to be more to it than simply pegging them "auditory" or "visual" or "tactile" learners.

This book introduces a "Learning Style Profile". An individualized portrait that gives insight into the most effective means to receive information, and highlights areas for challenge & growth by layering several different aspects of personality.

The book provides profile assessment questions for each student to answer. There is even a modified assessment for you to complete for your preschooler.

The five aspects of Learning Style offered by the authors are...

DISPOSITION (The way your child meets the world)

Performs - Moves
Produces - Organizes
Invents - Discovers
Relates/Inspires - Interacts
Thinks/Creates - Creates

Math-Logic Reasoning
Mechanical Reasoning
Word-Language Reasoning
Body Coordination
Life Enhancement

(The child gives his top 10 interests and lists 5 activities he enjoys)


Auditory - Hear/Talk
Visual - See/Read
Tactile/Kinesthetic - Touch/Do


Body Position

You can imagine how combining all this information gives you a broader, and yet more detailed view of how your child learns. With this insight, you can provide opportunities to enjoy learning while offering strategies and setting goals.

Each of my older kids completed the profile. They had a ball. I think they enjoyed the one-on-one time and that the subject matter was all about them. Many of their responses perfectly aligned with my presuppositions, while others were delightfully surprising.

More later....

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Young Musicians

This morning Mari Alice sang "I am a Promise"
with her pals in Wee3.

Tonight was MP3's musical presentation of
"GPS: God's Plan of Salvation"

Where Ashli sang her first solo in church.
Made me cry.

In between all that, there were egg casseroles delivered to the youth class, "sin-sticker tag" in the 2nd grade class, stage & set polishing, a nasty lunch of leftovers, a brief but powerful nap time, baseball practice, pond fishing, playing with friends, and an even nastier snack of leftovers before we left for the church house this evening. Fortunately, Philip took us all out for a celebratory mexican meal after the musical. (The kids celebrated their job well done. I celebrated the idea that my Sunday evenings just opened WIDE up!)

Thank You, God, for such a great day! You are so faithful to never leave us and always love us unconditionally. Thank You for Jesus - the Way, the Truth, the Life! Thank You for the kids in MP3. They are Your treasures, and I've been blessed to worship You with them each week. Lead us today!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Friday Fave

This has been such a full, fun week. Final preparations for the musical...or as the kids and I joke: 'the Spring MusiCAAAAL'...have taken up much of my down time. Yesterday all the kids enjoyed a pre-musical hair cut. (Thank you Mrs. Jennifer!) Since hers would take the longest, Ardyn had the last appointment. The rest of us scooted down the road to the public library.

Landen got online while the other three played games on the computers in the children's section. I sat in the padded chair over in a corner and nursed Elizabeth. As I soaked in the peace and quiet, I thought, "THIS is one of my favorite things...the Library."

The subtle shuffle of pages turning. The collective whispers of questions and answers. A delicate balance of diligence and delight. High, straight shelves store and display all manner of ideas - from intriguing to repulsive, ingenious to ridiculous, and everywhere in between. How vast is the opportunity to be literally surrounded by thoughts, truth, fiction, and fun!

Thank You God, for quiet, useful spaces. Will there be library's in Heaven? Oh, I hope so! You are the Author and Finisher and You existed forever in "the beginning" which doesn't strike me as a chaotic, noisy place. So perhaps. It's fun to wonder...