Sunday, March 28, 2010

Recharged Batteries

This week I learned a valuable lesson. When your battery is dead on your camera and you can't find your charger, you can't take any pictures. It is vitally important to recharge the battery in order to use the camera!!!

The same is true in my life. When I go and go and go, eventually my physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual batteries run down. When that happens I am unproductive, cranky and really not much fun to be around.

This morning I slept until 9:30 am. For those of you who know me...that is VERY unusual. Usually I am up early in the morning without using an alarm clock. I briefly thought about rushing around and getting me and the boys ready for church (they were still asleep too). Then, I mentally looked at my calendar for the next two weeks and realized that I have something to do EVERY SINGLE day.

So, I chose to stay home.....with a twinge of guilt that I'm still trying to chase away. Noah and I snuggled in our favorite chair (We do this every morning, but it is often rushed). Today we lingered and enjoyed our time. Now, the boys are upstairs playing together quietly.

Today is a day for me to Be still and know He is plug my battery into The Power Source.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Here in Smithville we are always looking for ways to save money and earn money. Recently I've come across a great way to save money by doing something I am already doing!!

Every day I check my facebook page, my email account and login into my kids online school. Many times I do that multiple times. And, I search for recipes and other information on the internet. Lately I've been dreamily looking at beach houses.

Turns out there is a search engine that will pay you digital dollars for using their search engine. You are awarded digital dollars on a random basis. These digital dollars can be redeemed for a variety of items.

I've been using this search engine about three weeks and have already earned enough for 3 - $5 amazon gift cards. That's $15 for doing what I already do. If you use your computer regularly, you may want try this out.

Click on the link below and sign up today to start earning your digital dollars called swagbucks.

No, you won't be able to quit your day job, but every little bit of savings helps!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

365 project

I haven't forgotten about my 365 project....I'm just having a difficult time locating the battery charger for my camera. It is first on my list of things to do today!!

The sad thing is that we did Park School today. It would have been so lovely to capture on camera the beautiful images I saw today. It is a simply stunning spring day (extra points for for Hannah or Clara...if you can tell me what is in this sentence!!).

One of my favorite images was Noah across the field from me, sitting on a bench, journaling and drawing a picture. He didn't realize how close his bench was to the railroad tracks. Once the train came barreling down the tracks, he JUMPED up and ran full force away from that loud noise. Then, he stopped and turned to look at the train and ran to me. I convinced him that he could get close to the train...after all it was on a track!! He and Elijah ran full force toward that train. Watching them watching that train up close was pretty priceless.

The other was Clara sitting on towel under a canopy of trees basking in the glory of a beautiful day. When we left the house and she realized we were WALKING to the park..she had a few grumpy comments to share. It's amazing how being outside for a few hours turned that frown upside down.

No, we don't do school outside every day. But, I'm wondering why not. We picked up quite a few interesting things that we are going to research. For the rest of the year science class will DEFINITELY take place outside.

Hopefully I can find my battery charger and I will download my pics!!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Rest Continued

It seems the older I get the busier I get. The funny thing is that when I was younger I really did think I was busy. I remember being a newlywed and feeling overwhelmed with work and life. I remember being a brand new mom and thinking that there was no way I was going to be able to shower on a daily basis. Then I remember having my second child and thinking...I'll never sleep again. Quite frankly I don't even remember having our third child. I do vaguely remember a round of chicken pox hitting the other children about the time he was two weeks old. The fourth baby came along and I knew that he was probably my last so I held him tightly as the chaos spun all around me.

I guess the point is that no matter what season we are in life, we can feel busy and overwhelmed. Recently I attended a conference and went to a break out session about juggling family, work and ministry. At this season in my life I do have way more balls to juggle than I have ever had before and to be honest I drop those balls all the time. My family can attest to that. My friends can attest to that. Sometimes that leaves me with this nagging sense of guilt. I suppose that comes from being a people-pleaser.

Well the speaker of the break out session gave me a new perspective that I have been chewing on and working out in my mind. She said she used to think about juggling and balancing everything. But, she now thinks of life in terms of rhythm. Intense activity all of the time will wear you out. It is important to find times during your day and your week to slow down. And even unplug...turn off the music, turn off the noise and sit in silence.

Jesus is the Rhythm in my life. I need to be with Jesus. I need to be more concerned with pleasing Jesus than pleasing people. I have Matthew 11:28-30 memorized in NIV. But here it is in the message...let it breathe some fresh spring air into your life today.

Are you tired? Worn Out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me. And you will recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me--work with me and watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you will learn to live freely and lightly. Matt 11:28-30 from the Message

Sunday, March 07, 2010


The past three weeks I have been struggling with a nagging hasn't been bad enough to slow me down. I've gone out of town twice. I've continued to work. I've continued to teach the kids. (I have not continued to clean my is a WRECK). Finally this past Friday my body finally said, "YOU ARE GOING TO STOP". The past two days I've pretty much been in bed, resting. My body needed rest.

Spiritually, it is often the same. Jesus invites us to come to Him and He will give us rest. Spiritual rest that our souls need. Instead we keep trucking, going along with business and usual, getting sicker and sicker spiritually. Why on earth do we do this to ourselves?


It's Saturday night...Clara's friend Miya is over for a visit. I'm not feeling well so I head off to bed leaving David in charge. The girls decided to make cookies. Evidently they also decided to have a flour fight as well. Would they have had said flour fight if I was awake? Probably not.

But, the truth is that I am very happy that the girls had fun. I'm happy that even though they made a mess, they cleaned it up. I'm happy they made a memory. I'm even happy that my husband was so enjoying his movie that he was completely unaware of the chaos all around him.

Middle schoolers--you just gotta love them!!!


Elijah love going to do his school.


Hannah in her happy place. She is going to miss the luxury of doing school at home. She is going to miss her comfy chair. She is going to miss her laptop. She is going to miss sleeping late. She is going to miss occasionally wearing her pajamas. But, the truth is I'm going to miss her far more!!!


Meet my new best friend and companion over the last three weeks!!!


Elijah showing off his karate, he is not taking Karate or soccer or basketball or baseball...he is just going to live vicariously through the rest of the kids. That's the price of being the 4th child. I will say his Karate moves look pretty good though!!


Noah started Karate this week.
He is so excited about taking Karate.


I love this girl!!!


These are some amazing women who give of the time, talents and energy to love on and minister to middle and high school girls. We attended a conference together in Nashville.

This is a shot of one of my favorite buildings in Nashville...we call it the Batman building. I went to Nashville for a conference with a few women.


Again didn't take a picture this day...this shot was taken by the Clara and I just liked it!!

I took three pictures this week. The other two are close-ups of Hannah's face. I will refrain from posting them because I value my relationship with my daughter. Here is a shot from our Wii School Olympics ski jump. All of us took six jumps and then we added the totals together to see who won. And the winners are....

Mom - Gold Medal (829)
Hannah - Silver Medal (696)
Clara - Bronze (637)
Noah (624)
Elijah (86)


It amazes me that a tiny screen can captivate these boy's attention for so long!! Noah LOVES his DSi and so does his brother.


This is another day when I did not take a picture, so I pulled a favorite shot from the past. I love this picture because of the dark clouds that contrast to the sun shining brightly and the blue sky. This is how life is...sometimes things are dark, but the Son is on the brink of shining His light into our lives.


Emily was the youngest friend at the lake. She is so adorable and was wonderful the whol weekend. Unfortunately, I was sick and would not let myself hold her. It did make me a little sad to not be able to hold her!!


While at the lake I was able to slip away for some time to sit and soak in the sun underneath a canopy of majestic trees. Being outside in nature appreciating God's creation refreshes my soul. During our weekend my friends and I took a quiz and discussed the ways we connect with God. It was taken from this book by Gary Thomas, which I highly recommend. Here's quiz if you want to take it for yourself. Although, I highly recommend you read the book for better understanding.


Sunset at Lake Pickwick. One of my Friday Friends invited our little group to her parent's cabin at the lake for the weekend. It was quite a treat. We really did have a lovely time. When this picture was taken I did not know that one of our friends will be moving to Ohio. The sun is setting on her time with us, but I am happy for her that she will be closer to family. It makes the time we all spent together that much sweeter!!!


At school the kids made put whipping cream in a jar and shake forms into butter.


Hannah...looking quite smartacle (that's her word) in the nerdy lab glasses for science!!


So, I committed to do this 365 project and I'm really trying, but some days (like this day, it was a school day and I didn't take a picture). This picture was taken by one of my lovely children. It does a good job representing Tuesdays for us...Elijah loves taking a Capri Sun in his lunch, but he usually takes water.


The boys love working on Math together. We typically use whatever we have laying around the house for manipulatives. It was fun this morning for Noah to see for himself why 2x7=14


Elijah loves to climb up into Hannah's lap in the mornings. I wish I could have captured what he was telling her!!!


As I journal my life in pictures this year, it seems fitting to take a picture of my favorite cleaner. Mr. Clean and I spend alot of time together


These are my Friday Friends!! Well they are not just my friends on Fridays, but we meet on Fridays. We spend time talking life and God and whatever is on our minds. These ladies are very dear to me. (One of our friends isn't here, but I'll try to post a picture of her at another time).


Sweet girl with her seriously stuck-up cat.