31 March 2010

easter egg hunt

The kids were pretty excited to have an Easter egg hunt this past Sunday at our SS teacher's house. They have three boys and when we were there a few weeks ago for a "Till-Later" party the boys had a blast... when we got in the car, Wilson said, "Can we come back again?" So, we were happy to tell them about the Easter egg hunt too!

But, the weather couldn't make up its mind - and with the threat of potentially severe weather coming, the egg hunt was canceled. (Which did work out well regarding the MSU game). We went for a walk after lunch... you can see how horrendous the sky looked... or not. It was rather lovely, but overcast for a good part of the day...We decided to do an indoor egg hunt (since we already had our candy-filled eggs on hand, and eager little guys!). We hid half in each of the boys' bedrooms. Walker went first... Wilson was at-the-ready should Walker need assistance...
Next up, the big man...
Walker lost interest in being on stand-by so he began discovering the goodies inside...
Wilson had to call in reinforcements when he had two eggs left to find. I love Walker's face after Wilson finds the last one!
It was fun! We don't usually do an at-home hunt, but we might have to do it again now. They were so adorable to watch!

28 March 2010

DISCIPLINE breeds CONTENTMENT...

Does that even make sense? I don't know. I feel like I could write a few blog posts on this idea. I'll try to keep it brief though. Brad hates posts that use too many words!

So I am reading Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley. (the FlyLady)

And I just finished reading Love & War by John & Stasi Eldridge. (Excellent book, by the way.)

And somehow, God can bring these two seemingly unrelated books together, alongside my Bible study, and teach me about being disciplined.

It started a long time ago... this lesson about discipline and contentment. And I have a feeling its going to go on for quite some time...like until I am in heaven.

Here's the thing that has me thinking... John Eldridge has explained the connection between Satan and our daily lives as agreements. Subtle little allowances in our lives that we have given over to the evil one. Some agreements can be more devastating than others. Some can be harmless for years, and then begin to produce problems later on. (I am sure I can't explain it very well, so you might want to check out Walking with God or Waking the Dead.)

Oftentimes agreements can include the words, "always" or "never."

Here's an example.

Let's say its an average morning and its 2 minutes AFTER we should be in the car... and someone (me) can't find their other shoe.

"Get in the car! We're going to be late! Hurry Up! " I scream to the boys, in a voice that is rather frightening.

And then to myself, I begin to seethe, "Where is my shoe? Where is my dang shoe? Why on earth can NOBODY EVER put anything away right? I am always looking for stuff. I can never find anything in this house. We are always late. I hate this."

All that because I didn't put my shoes in the closet together!

And as the event replays in my mind as I race to get to school on time, I might come up with the conclusion that I will never be good at house-keeping. That I will always be running around screaming in the morning. Its not a good picture.

But here is the thing. Its a lie.

I can have victory in the morning. Its called discipline. It has nothing to do with my parents, or my husband, or my children (or anyone else I would rather blame). It has everything to do with trusting God for victory in the places that I thought I would never win.

God is using a variety of methods to teach me more about living a disciplined life.

And let me tell you, that breeds a great sense of contentment!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; but I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10

some goodies!

the boys were greeted with a happy surprise yesterday! An Easter package from Grandpa & Grandma! they were both pretty pleased with their surprise!
but it can be hard to photograph their excitement at times... check out these expressions! crazy eyes, creepy smiles... =)
no wonder professionals get the big bucks! {don't you love the picture-of-a-picture because I am too lazy to use the scanner?}
thankfully for us, Wilson's school had a $10 fundraiser - you could either get a family picture or a sibling picture for $10. The school gets ALL of the proceeds. What a great fundraiser, huh? Of course, there is a catch -- the photographer took like 43 pictures and about 17 of those were frame-worthy... but I think the cheapest package after the initial $10 was .... get this... $160!!!! Thank goodness Brad & I made a pact beforehand so we could walk away from those other 16 pictures!!

25 March 2010

extreme makeover : garage edition...

...except I have no "before" pictures, and only one "after" picture.

so I'll fill in some of the blanks with a lovely spring-is-springing picture. I have no idea what kind of plant/tree/shrub this is in our side yard, but the blossoms are so beautiful! you can see the grass isn't greening-up yet; we are hoping it will soon...Buzz Lightyear was happy to bound around the garage while Daddy was working hard... I tried to take another picture {with him actually looking at the camera}, but he flew out of the camera's reach too quickly... he had such a good time playing outside yesterday!
and... drum roll please... is that beautiful or what? Brad spent some time out in our over-stuffed garage with his tools and this is what he came up with! LOVE it! {Yes, I know I have way too much Christmas stuff, I don't really want to part with any of it, either -- but feel free not to give us anymore Christmas decor, thanks!}

He also fired-up the lawn equipment and mowed the weeds in the backyard. We only have to mow the fenced-in part of our yard - and keep our shrubs/plants/what-have-you's alive in our flower beds. The post-housing is responsible for the rest of the yard upkeep. {Or really, just mowing - they won't water or treat for weeds or anything. Oh, and they will do the edging along the sidewalk & our drive which is huge, because we are on a corner (again!) and that is a TON of edging!}

We still have a bit more organizing to do in the garage to make it function well for us. I'm also reading through my FlyLady book and getting tips on having the inside of the house organized better too. I might even write a post about it sometime...

21 March 2010

wild times at the Clements' Compound*

who is that little boy on the four-wheeler???well, its no other than Wilson! Actually, "very-focused-Wilson" At one point (or two) this boy had this thing on two wheels... and my heart was pumping over time!
So, we spent part of our weekend visiting the Clements Crew at their future home-land in Alabama. Curry's parents and sister, Ginny, already have houses on this property. After retirement Curry & Barbie will begin construction on their home. We drove about 2.5 hours to their place and spent a lot of time outdoors. The kids played like crazy, and we had a great time! We were welcomed warmly, given a coveted sleeping-space in the private apartment, and fed very well! Here is a shot down Ginny's driveway toward Curry's parents house.
The boys took approximately 2 seconds to warm-up to Logan and the better part of 5 minutes to reconnect with Jackson & Jordan (Clements' nephew & niece - we all rang in 2009 together). Nana loaded all the kids up and gave them a few wild rides around the property - including "The Rollercoaster" trail.
Here's a shot of Logan driving Walker on another four-wheeler; and Brad and Wilson in the background... just beyond them is a little pond - there's at least one other pond on the property, maybe two...
Part of the purpose of their trip to Alabama (besides seeing their family), is to prepare for their upcoming move. Curry and his dad are starting a business together. There are MANY, MANY things to be done in the process, but one big one was accomplished Saturday. They got this machine fired-up. Brad worked with the guys on Friday, and Saturday morning, he even took a picture of the big success. The business involves recycling oil - if I were to try to explain it in more detail I would probably sound like an idiot. Curry & his friend Mike smile for the camera with the big machine-thing.
I had to get a shot with my girl, Barbie. It was so wonderful to see her. What a blessing she is to me, to our family!
And this picture was taken a few minutes before we had to say good-bye. Have I mentioned that Wilson hates to say good-bye?
We look forward to returning after the big move this summer... perhaps once they are a bit settled. =)

Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. Proverbs 18:24 The Message

*they don't actually call it "The Clements' Compound"

17 March 2010

a bit of artwork...

Walker made this "handi-pillar" (think: caterpillar) at Mother's Morning Out this week. (and came out without a bit of paint on his hands or his clothes!)Here is Wilson's oil pastel... the one that caused the mess. The boy gets into his art. And I'm glad too!
And a little St. Patty's Day cheer for ya...
(no shamrock shakes to be found in Columbus! We made do with alternate flavors.)

something to think about...

My bible study is called "Live Deeply:The Parables of Jesus." It has been so interesting to dig into the context of the parables and the intended meaning as well. This week we are studying the parable of the talents from Matthew 25:14-30. Today I studied the servant that was fearful of losing the master's money so he just hid it instead. And the master was so angry that he called the servant wicked and lazy! This has puzzled me somewhat, and today when I read the closing paragraphs, my eyes were opened and my heart understood...

Spurgeon told this story:


A young woman from a poor family married a wealthy merchant. After their wedding the timid bride pleaded with her husband for money to buy a modest dress. To her great surprise, he flatly refused!


"But why?" she asked.


"All I have is yours. I won't have my wife begging for rags when she could dress like a countess! The money is in the bank. All you need to do is write the checks!"



The Lord Jesus Christ "has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3). We are "joint heirs" to His wealth. This does not excuse a lazy, inactive Christian lifestyle. Because Jesus placed the endowment for spiritual victory in our spiritual bank account, we have the responsibility (and privilege) to appropriate these resources by cashing in on our inheritance through faith and obedience. If we're so rich in Christ, why do we act like we are spiritual paupers?

The lazy servant distorted the truth and lost financial profit. He claimed to do nothing because he was afraid. But if that were truly the case, shouldn't he have been all the more diligent to make his work pleasing to the master? Unfortunately, we see this in the body of Christ. We make excuses for our laziness. Rather than doing the least we can, we choose to do nothing at all. The lord described the servant as lazy and wicked - let's not be accused of the same.




Isn't that challenging? And encouraging? And thought-provoking? Loving this study!

16 March 2010

dirty Wilson...




...just look at that boy's pants! Something tells me he had fun exploring his creative side in art today with oil pastels...

13 March 2010

the good, the rad, and the silly...

{totally copied this idea from Lindsay and Marvin... and then tweaked it to make it work for our pictures}
the good - we were out exploring post today and Brad drove us out (like 40 minutes away) to the drop zone, and wouldn't you know we got to see a bunch of soldiers jump out of an airplane! awesome! it was chilly today, so I shot this picture right out of the van's windshield....the rad - I went to the Benning Women's Conference this wednesday, and this was my haul (except for the first grade reading book in the far right corner). The FlyLady was the main speaker, and I went to three workshops 1) Fun with beads, 2) Growing & Using Herbs and 3) Hiking & Backpacking. We all got a copy of the book Sink Reflections too. I haven't started reading it, but I am looking forward to it... (free childcare for Walker, and he got a goodie of his own; that rolled up fleece blanket on the front corner, with a little backpack too!) I had a great time, and it was fun to meet women I might've never crossed paths with otherwise.
{bonus - sunshine day picture... we had a beautiful spring week! including thunderstorms!}
the silly - who knows what inspired this... gotta love the creativity in the backyard!

09 March 2010

off the beaten path - sort of -

so, as you know we ventured up to Atlanta this weekend (aka Hotlanta to some). We went to REI and then planned to head to Pine Mountain. We don't know much about Atlanta yet - except that its really big - so we didn't really want to do any exploring without planning it out. We needed lunch but wanted to stick with something simple... Wilson wanted Wendy's.

So we hopped on the highway and headed south, keeping an eye out for a Wendy's. We got off instead when Brad spotted a sign that said "Chick-Fil-A: Dwarf House". Hmmm. Sounds interesting. After deciding we may have made a wrong turn because this was THE LONGEST .09 MILES EVER, we persevered another little tenth of a mile and ended up here...That's right. The Dwarf House Chick-Fil-A . The place where it all started. I know you northerners don't know a lot about Chick-Fil-A, they not only have yummy food, but they are super-family-friendly. They have a pretty incredible business story too. And they are closed Sundays. Because they want their employees to have Sundays off. Even the Dwarf House here, which is open 24 hours, is closed on Sundays...
Oh, and just for you Sandy... we had to leave the windows cracked because we had Big Girl with us, and a dumb bird pooped right on the open window and into the van. (yep, that's right, a picture of bird poop right here on our blog).
P.S. this joint is nearly on the runway of the Atlanta airport, we had a good view of planes coming and going. it was a fun surprise on our little venture north. (except for the bird poop on my door.)

08 March 2010

you just never know...

Here are some park pictures from last Friday... Walker loves the slide...

I think Muskoka likes that she can keep an eye on us at this park, but I also think she wishes she could just come over with us. She watches out the window the whole time...Wilson spinning with his friend, T. She is in his class and lives a few doors up the street... they play together quite frequently...
Wilson showing off his latest conquest on the playground...
So, back to T, Wilson's friend. He got invited to her birthday party which was yesterday. I made her a little fabric-covered journal... {click here for a tutorial... pretty easy but I totally measured wrong and had to make some modifications...}
...and like any mother to boys, I called a mother of a girl to see what to give her. Barbie emailed me the link to this bag. Seriously. Pretty easy to make, and so adorable. I want to make myself one in a more-age-appropriate fabric.
Did I mention the party was a Twlight:New Moon theme? So, Brad and I weren't exactly sure what to expect at this little first-graders party. Obviously, we've not read or watched anything to do with Twilight... not really our thing, you know?

Do you remember the fiasco of the first birthday party Wilson went to in Oklahoma? Remember how it was the first non-family-birthday-thing and Brad and I didn't really know if we were supposed to stay or go? And we decided to leave him for awhile and then come back earlier than the end time to see how things were going? And a kid took a huge bite out of Wilson's cheek? Horrible. And we felt guilty for a long time...

However, we've all recovered from that incident, although some of the anxiety resurfaced at this invite...
do I leave?
do I stay?
do I call ahead and say "he CANNOT watch that movie"? (even though we don't even know anything about it?)
do we just not let him go?


You can figure that we DID let him go, because if he didn't I could've skipped out on making a gift. Brad had to work overnight, so he stayed home to nap with Walker after church. Wilson and I walked down to the party. I was certain God would give me wisdom. T's mom asked if I was dropping off or staying, so I stayed (which worked out well). They turned the movie on in the living room and the older kids were watching it, (she has 4 older siblings) and the younger kids ran around and played. T opened her presents, then we had cake. The younger kids continued to play. And RUN. RUN around a lot. RUN around the big-circle-hallway... at one point from different directions. SUPER FAST. Into one another. CRASH!
and someone got a black eye. (It looks worse in real life, especially to this momma.) And we came home and had the medic look at it, and put some ice on it. And administered some tylenol. (This picture is from this morning.) You just never know what's going to happen at a kid's party.

07 March 2010

on becoming happy campers...

we knew when tax season came around this year that we would buy some camping gear. last year, some of our tax return $ was spent on our trip to Disney... and it was a great trip. A wonderful exclamation point for our family reunion. but, we don't really want to do those kind of vacations all the time. we want to camp. we trust the money we spent this year, will continue to be useful for years to come... we were all excited to unload our BIG box of gear (oh, by the way, Brad and I got a tent for Christmas - that was our 'gift' to each other).Walker proudly displaying his food cup. He will hopefully come off the trail saying "food is fuel."
She's not really a happy camper yet... quite displeased with the idea of carrying her own food and water. (Although Brad looks sympathetic toward Muskoka's plight in this picture, I think he was actually determining whether or not she needed a smaller pack... we are on the same page, the dog carries her own crap. perhaps literally, but let's hope not.)
And tell me this kid doesn't make an adorable trail guide?? Seriously! He had no idea that he was getting a backpack in that box. He was pretty surprised and thrilled!
We decided we would try out the Pine Mountain Trail on Saturday (by way of REI in Atlanta to return the girls' packs... Koka needed a smaller one and I needed to exchange mine too). But Friday night we had an impromptu fire in the backyard... nothing can get you more excited about hitting the trail then the smell of fire... right? The guys scavenged some wood from our favorite walking route and filled the wagon with it...
The free stuff burned SO much better than the bundle I bought from Winn-Dixie the last time.
And here we are on the trail Saturday...
We ended up here... not exactly where we thought we would be, according to the map, but it was a lovely end to our little trek.
"The earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers." Psalm 24:1-2
We are hoping to get accustomed to our packs around here and add a little weight in them each week to get us in shape for some happy-camping in the near future.

The boys can hardly wait, and have been asking often when we are "going camping." We are all looking forward to it...

03 March 2010

(k)not again...

Wilson working on his weekly book report... His book gets sent home Tuesday with the book report worksheet and is due back on Thursday. It has been a big chunk of work each week...and this week... his book is 63 pages long!!!! I know, right? He didn't seem to mind, and actually summarizing a longer story might be a tad bit easier...
Why is Walker so thrilled to be playing with his remote control dump truck and his binoculars at the same time???
Well, that would be because they are tied together in a knot. EVERYTHING is more fun when it is tied together... (I am pretty sure this might be the boys' motto right now; last week my flexible measuring tape was tied to a basket handle)

P.S.

we went to Red Robin, then PetCo, then LifeWay on our date night. And yes, it was fun!

P.P.S.

just to clarify - our church hires workers for all of the regularly scheduled childcare times (services, parent's night out, mother's morning out) from a local childcare company. the parents fill-in as volunteers during weekend services... its definitely a BIG church perk.