Choring in my PJ’s

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Just FYI, I’m staying in my PJ’s all day. I’m telling myself it’s so I won’t be tempted to leave the house since I have so much to do here. We both know it’s because I’m too lazy to get dressed, but I like my first bit of reasoning better so that’s what I’m going with.

Usually on days like this, where I have so much to do and looming deadlines, I justify a nice morning Diet Coke on the porch time. When I got up at 6:10 this morning it was 85 degrees. Sadly that really did feel cool in the wake of the 106 degree temps we have had all week, but not cool enough to be sitting on the front porch. Instead I took care of my morning chores in my PJ’s (I tell myself the neighbors don’t see me) and came back to bed. The computer is here with me so I’m getting some of my work done. I’ve made my list of things to do and I just wrote blog at the bottom of the list and marked it off, so I feel like stuff is getting done!

I’m working on a study about running from God. (OR the alternate title, Avoiding God, Wandering around with my eyes closed hoping He doesn’t see me) God always kicks my tail before I teach, and I’m finding myself in the middle of this issue getting my tail kicked with the ways that I avoid God, or just flat out run away from Him. Help me? How do you run from God?  

 

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Summer

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 If not blogging when I promise that I will makes me a bad person, then I think I might be in trouble. I had a vision this summer of sitting down and documenting the chickens and the garden at least once a week. Mostly because I was sure there were going to be funny and interesting stories. Sadly there weren’t. The chickens have been fairly uneventful, and after the first deer in the garden and the resulting electrical experiment, the garden has gone quietly. So I have been a complete slacker in the blogging department with the result being that all five of my dedicated readers have missed out on………absolutely nothing.

Here is my little catch up.

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I got the garden in a little late this year since I didn’t want to plant without a fence. So our tomatoes have just started to really produce. We have been anxiously waiting for the first BLT’s and I think tonight is the night! We have had lots of zucchini. (If you want some contact me) and a mess of okra when my sister-in-law and her husband were here last weekend. Sooooo good.

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 I feel like I have so much going on! But there is so much more I want to get done before the summer is over! Like every summer it seems to be slipping away so quickly.

Em and E went to Mobile Alabama on a mission trip and got home a week ago. They have been having trip withdrawal think. It’s hard to get back into the pattern at home when all you want to do is go back to the camaraderie of working with friends. We will get it all back together then they will go to camp 🙂

We have a small getaway with friends planned in August. Not the big camp trip, which everyone is a little sad about. But that will make it sweeter next year when we get to go back.

My classes start the 20th of August. I’m struggling to decide what to do about a job. Count on what might happen with the ideal situation or go with the less ideal for sure? In my innocence I thought things got easier as we got older. Hmmmm.Image

 

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May, Thank Goodness School is OUT!

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Life has been pretty adventurous lately. If you consider doing laundry; hoeing the garden; feeding the chickens; going to a multitude of end of school year events, and making decisions, adventurous. Decision making is always the hard one for me. When my brain is working hard I don’t really have time to do the other stuff. I mean I can DO six things at once, I am a mom after all, multitasking is my middle name, just don’t ask me to do six things and THINK at the same time. So here is a short cover of our last month or so.

A couple of these items are pretty big for us so they will deserve their own post.

• We had a deer incident in the garden, so the electric fence is up. They haven’t been back to visit since, probably since I left them a nice treat of peanut butter on tin foil and attached to the electric fence. Wish we had set up a video camera for that. 

 • Randy is building a gate and arched entry for the garden. It’s fantastic, and built will wood we had around here. No new purchases. By the time we get the whole garden done it will be magazine worthy. I consider this picture a halfway done garden. I have a before picture on a post a couple of months ago.

• Randy and I start Foster Parent classes June 4 as we explore that option and what exactly God has for our family as we reach out to kids in need. I think this is worthy of a whole blog so I will say more about that later!

• I am going back to school. The debate has raged in my head for months (years). I have often said that I’m forty something and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up but I think I’ve finally figured it out. Randy hopes I’ve finally figured it out! It looks like I will be starting with all the other cute co-eds this fall. (Caleb and I can meet for lunch on campus! HA!)

• Caleb survived his first year of college. He is home working at Game Stop and Dillons and taking Calc 2 over the summer.

• Em is now officially a senior in High School (gulp). She took the state test to be a Certified Nursing Assistant last week. Now she is on to college and scholarship applications and college visits (gulp)

• Ethan “graduated” from 8th grade which seems to be a big deal here. He is officially IN High School and getting his drivers permit.

• WE HAVE INTERNET AT HOME! So this entire post was done from the comforts of my own desk 

Chickens and other Craziness

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I am turning into quite the domestic goddess. No, really, stop laughing! I have a clean house (mostly) laundry drying outside on the line, and chickens. Doesn’t that make me a little domestic? I mean come on; I’m even in a couple of carpools. I think that makes me domestic.

The chickens are really uneventful and a little boring. I mean they are cute to watch. We are slightly sadistic and wave our hands under the heat lamp to simulate bird attacks, just to watch them scatter. But I figure its training them to be more aware of their surroundings. They eat and sleep and peck at the bottom of their pen but other than that they are pretty uneventful and anti-climactic.

The excitement they have caused our household is a slightly different story. Heidi, the cat, has expressed some interest in them. Not enough to try to conquer the chicken wire and really take a good look. But once in a while I walk in the kitchen and catch her peeking over the top of the pen and through the chicken wire. She casually saunters away when she sees me. She doesn’t fool me.

The real excitement centers on the chicken house. We originally planned to retro fit a big doghouse we had, that of course the dogs have absolutely no interest in. However once Randy started googling chicken houses, and began the design process that of course was not going to work. I will admit to some “pinning” (if you don’t use pintrest ignore this and whatever you do don’t start. It’s addictive) of interesting looking houses. Randy thinks the ones I like look trashy. I choose to call them quaint, charming and rustic. The ones he likes look nicer than the house we live in. Perhaps I over exaggerate a bit…….. So now our retro fit idea is out the window.

We now have I don’t know how many projects going. We really need to commit to one and finish it. But there always seems to be something that keeps that from happening. Our inside projects for the winter were a pantry re-model and to clean out the basement. We got both started, but then the electric company cut down a slew of trees on a neighbor’s property so both of those projects went on the back burner and Randy borrowed a friend’s log splitter and went wood splitting crazy (We now have more wood than we will use in the next 5 years.) The wood has all been split, but it is in piles all over the back patio because it’s been too wet to haul it all back to the shed. AND the piles Randy and E made before it rained all fell over. Then suddenly winter was over and with it all gorgeous outside I refuse to work in the basement soooo the first weekend of Spring Break we went and got the fence stuff for the garden. We picked up the post hole digger from my brother-in-law’s but it’s been way too wet to try to dig, and………. we can’t get the post hole digger started. Last Saturday it was so pretty out we determined to work outside to finish at least one job, but I got an idea (insert “oh no!!” here) and we ended up tearing down a pointless fence lining one side of the yard and cleaning out from underneath the trees. Good news is we’ve got most of the wood we need for the chicken house. Bad news is I got the worst case of poison ivy I’ve ever had (insert laughter here). So the pantry, the basement, the wood, the garden and the chicken house sit unfinished or un-started.

Please tell me that the same thing happens to you. Lie if you have to.

It’s Spring!

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So today I was messing around outside when I should have been spending time inside cleaning house or doing laundry or something domestic I’m sure. But it is way too pretty to be inside even if the windows are open, so I wandered around the yard taking pictures.

I’m not really sure how all this works on the page, so forgive me if I repeat myself. The pansies survived all on their own this year. A totally UnKansaslike winter was the only reason. I didn’t even water them!

And here is darling Zoe. I’m surprised my sweet little old lady is still with us. She has a hard time getting around these days so I think she won’t be much longer. She still insists on following me around the yard when I’m out there. Even if I move a few feet she gets up and lays down next to me.

 
I hope you are enjoying Spring as much as I am! Life is calm and crazy all at the same time. Emma is swimming on the MHS team and Ethan is running track so afternoons are lots of running kids everywhere. Mornings are usually slower and relaxing. I’ve been working at the Beach Art Museum on campus. I LOVE every bit of it. Makes me remember why I went into Art in the first place.

 

NINE Towels. Really?

Sorry, that was unintentionally a long break from blogging.Crazy how life gets in the way sometimes and days slip quietly (or loudlydepending on your circumstances) by. And just FYI one of these wonderful men inmy life is the 14 year old I mention later. Just sayin.

I’ve been very introspective lately. As some of you know, Iquit selling Real Estate. Totally long and involved story that if you arereally interested in you can email me, or better yet call! Right now I amtrusting God to do what He knows is best in my life. For the most part beinghome is good. I am looking for a job, but one that fits my families scheduleand needs.

So in my introspection I have decided to participate in Lentthis year. This is not something I have ever done before.  To be honest I only noticed it because I’dhear about Fat Tuesday and see my Catholic friends walking around with ashes ontheir foreheads. This year though God pointed it out early, and nudged metowards giving something up to remind me of Christ’s sacrifice. The nail in thecoffin so to speak was when a friend emailed me on Monday and mentioned for thefirst time she was feeling the nudge to participate too. 

I know the goal isn’t to give up something that EQUALS thesacrifice of Christ that just isn’t humanly possible. I have fasted before so Iknow I could give up something sothat when I wanted that thing I could reflect on Jesus sacrifice. But my heartwas drawn to finding something that was more about my relationship with Jesus. So I gave up daytime TV. Now don’t go jumpingto conclusions about what my daytime TV habits were. I’m terrified of what youare thinking so notice I’m scrambling to make sure you understand. I tend toturn the TV on in the morning after I have made lunches for everyone. The buscomes at 6:50 am and it passes the house to turn around at the end of the roadand come back to pick the kids up. When I sit to watch for the bus, I turn themorning news on, and mostly it stays on after that if I am home. Good MorningAmerica, Food Network, HGTV, etc. I like to have the noise on and periodicallyI will hear or see something interesting and sit to watch for a while. Therehave been days since I quit going to an office that I get sucked into whateverhappens to be on and I tune back into my day only after a half an hour or morehas slipped by.

Every so often I have to sit my kids down and reestablishrules and boundaries that have slipped around the house. I did this Sundaynight after having found NINE towelsin a certain 14 year olds room that didn’t make it down to the laundry roomlike they were supposed to. NINE!! Seriously……………………I feel like that is what God is doing for me. He is reestablishing thoseboundaries for our relationship that I have let slide. So I have committed tokeep the TV off during the day. Instead of being unintentionally sucked intothe world, I want to be sucked into His word while time slips by. The result ofthe silence so far seems to emphasize the fact that I was unintentionallydrowning God out.

10 Things I Hope for my Teenage Daughter

With Em’s birthday right around the corner, and given the fact that every year I think “she’s HOW old?” I am doing my first 10 on Tuesday ever, just for her.

1.      I hope she doesn’t let other people define her


2.      I hope she is brave


3.      I hope she isn’t afraid to lead by a compassionate example


4.      I hope she remembers not to let being prettyrule her life


5.      I hope she never feels the need to impress a guy


6.      I hope she remembers she is never alone, evenwhen she feels like she is


7.      I hope she dreams big


8.      I hope she learns from her mistakes


9.      I hope she trusts God enough to step out infaith when he asks her to


10.  I hope she loves the life God gives her.


11.  (I hope she doesn’t think I’m stupid forever)

Like a darned 80’s sitcom

So Randy and I try to have a date night every Wednesdayevening. Please don’t take this as super organization, or as how really good atfocusing on our marriage we are, it started as a matter of necessity and wejust fell into the habit.

Our kids go to youth on Wednesday evenings and since we liveoutside of town and have to drive in to drop them off and pick them up. We juststay and usually share a burrito at Chipotle for dinner. Last night we switchedit up a bit and went to a pizza place downtown. Yes, I live in a small townnow, and yes the picture above is of the downtown area for all my readers whoare not K-State savvyJ.It is very picturesque with the limestone city hall, churches, libraries,shops, theaters and restaurants, even a cool art gallery and high class tattooparlor (yes I have been inside, no I didn’t leave with anything though the ideaintrigues me….) The only thing missing are antique stores. I totally don’t getthat, but whatever.

ANYWAY! Last night as Randy and I ate at this great pizza placeI watched across the street at a locally owned yarn and knitting shop. Thelights were on and women were arriving instead of leaving. Not much is busydowntown Manhattan on a cold Wednesday night, so I know it was an event of somekind, maybe a knitting circle or a class. Can you picture it? Cold night, womenscurrying to the front door bundled in coats and gloves, carrying knittingbags.  Opening the door and visiblyrelaxing in the warm shop; hugging friends, settling around the table in thefront chatting the whole time. It just looked warm and cozy, totally small townand heartwarming. And there I was on the outside watching this fellowship ofwomen, mingling, interacting, and feeling a little left out. Do NOTmisunderstand me. My family would look at me as if I had grown another head ifI said I wanted to learn to knit. That is the furthest thing from enjoymentthis impatient, clumsy fingered woman could ever picture. But a part of meyearned a little bit just to be included in something that warm, a part of aplace. I’m not sure that even makes sense to some people. I don’t honestly knowif it would have made sense to me a few years ago. I had a place where I hadgrown up, made friends, made connections. I knew a lot of people betweenchurch, school, family and community.  Ihad roots with people. Then we picked up and moved here to Manhattan and Ifound myself alone.

I liked it at first, just putting myself into my husband andkids, making home and not missing crazy schedules. Then it got a little lonely.Not lonely as in alone, I have agreat husband and wonderful kids, but lonely as in I missed the fact that Icouldn’t pick up the phone and meet a friend for lunch or a soda. Or lonely inthe sense that no one knew me, and I had to tell the same story every time Imet someone new. From KC, Randy took a job here, kids in school, blah, blah,blah. Sad story I know! Now you’re thinking “What a whiner!!” And I reallydon’t mean it that way.  I know there arepeople who start over all the time, moving ton’s more than me and people whoare much more alone than me.  I just had an idealized picture of what movingto a small town would be like. Friendly, lots of new Facebook friends,opportunities to know more people, and God really used it to teach me a lesson.Like a darned 80’s sitcom, my life is a lesson, who knew?!

I would meet women and think here is a person I could befriends with! We are so much alike!Only to stand on the outside getting the very clear message that “I have enoughfriends thank you very much, and I really don’t have the time or desire toinvest in someone new.”  OUCH!I think maybe…..perhaps…..possibly…….okay I knowI have said those words in my head when meeting someone new in the past. Ithink I might have even said them out loud to a good friend.  And there it is. I am totally confronted withwho I am. Who I have been and it has come back to bite me firmly in thebackside.

I know women need relationships with other women. It’s theway God made us. So when we have babies and sick kids and boy troubles andquestions about faith and scripture and how to be whatever it is we arestriving to be, we have someone with whom to share our burdens.   I knowthat, but it is still so easy for us to be so wrapped up in our own stuff thatwe miss people God puts in front of us to grow us. I’m not comparing myself orsituation to people who are truly outcast or on the fringe. This was just Godgiving me a nudge to actually see the women around me who might need a friendor someone to just listen. I don’t think God wastes any moment of our life. Itis too fast and fleeting to let whining about what is momentary distract usfrom what we are supposed to be doing.

Another life lesson learned. Honestly I always thoughgetting older would mean I knew more. What it really means is that the older Iget, the more I realize how little I know, and how big my God is.
         “Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul”
                                                                                                              Proverbs 27:9 The Message

Give Away!

I have an additional copy of the book “7” an experimental mutiny against excess, which I would love to give away. If you would like to enter to win, add a comment here or under the book review post with your name and email address. We will pick a winner at random January 10th!