Crazy day of getting ready…

We’re leaving for Kansas this evening. Wheee!

Tons to do, and I’m running out of hours. But we’re headed home for a long weekend, and we shall see lots of friends and precious ones. Woot!

Amy’s story of the homebirth she went to last Friday night had this wonderful quote in it. I’ve really got to read that book!

Here is a little mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worth all it will cost, since it is abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, to her most tender cares, to her life-long prayers! Oh how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!

~ Elizabeth Prentiss’ Stepping Heavenward

Everyday Things…

Jules over at Everyday Mommy has started a new weekly feature to help us remember all the Everyday Things we have for which to be thankful. Yay!

I’ll be more newly creative next time, but what came to mind right away this morning is the following piece that my dear friend Stacy and I wrote together when we were at Emmaus Bible College together years ago (like… 12 years! ack!). We actually mailed this out to a bunch of our friends. They must’ve thought we were nuts, but I still love it. 🙂

Simple Minds Think Alike
I like the smell of mowed grass and to play in the leaves. I like to color, and the sun shining on my face. I like it when the clouds make a movie. I like to giggle, get into snowball fights, and play in the dirt. I like walking barefoot. I like melted ice cream dripping out of the bottom of the cone. I like bonfires, drawing hearts, and fresh flowers. I like the smell of the rain coming, and I like picking mulberries. I like the smell of the sun on a hot summer day. I like camping out under the stars, and hiking. I like crawling into fresh warm clothes right out of the dryer. I like to be silly, and I like the mountains. I like peaches, and Amish Mormon boys named Mick.
I like to wake up to white outside, and to crash when I’m skiing. I like it when turn signals are in sync. I like ugly cars and sunsets on red mesas. I like to have fun, and I like it when God winks at me with the stars. I like to make snow angels and to play in the rain. I like moms and dads. I like phone calls, and singing, especially with friends. I like baking chocolate chip cookies. I like the sound of crickets, and sifting out on the fire escapes at night. I like strawberry rhubarb pie. I like watching clouds move across a full moon, and the color of the sky right before a storm. I like hugs. And kisses. I like babies and sunflowers and pictures of memories, and pillows. I like red sand, and candlelight. I like puppies, and building sand castles. I like to swing. I like rays of sun through a cloudy sky, and long walks. I like praying with friends. I like the sound of wind, and hugs from God. I like warm blankets, thunder and lightning, and leaves in the fall. I like dreams with happy endings, and Hat Monopoly. I like watching wheat fields dance. I like jeans and T-shirts, hearing people talk to themselves, and waterfalls. I like it when the sky looks like an ocean, and when clouds look like mountains. I like seat wars, iced coffee, and the Fourth of July. I like to sprawl. I like trees, and the smell of familiar places. I like irises, jungle gyms, and lemonade. I like to skate. I like backrubs, plaid, and twisting my hair. I like to read, and I like big bows. I like Pachebel’s Canon in D. I like road trips and teddy bears. I like Kansas, Arizona, and Colorado. I like forest green and navy blue. I like weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. I like Christmas, hats, the Hokey-pokey, and homemade bread. I like hard work and sweat. And I like to give gifts. I like to swim on hot days. I like to be serenaded. I like snakes. Little ones. And big ones. I like to be loved. I like putt-putt, blowing bubbles, and food at the fair. I like to help out. I like to hum. And whistle. I like Scripture songs and the clang of the camp bell. I like to watch married couples. I like cross-stitching, skiing in powder, and fog. I like quilts, and being with good friends. I like playing cards and ice cream headaches. I like pigs, chocolate, Christmas lights, and braids. I like clear nights, old couches, and talking with friends until early morning. I like playing in streams. I like the “Great cookie Caper” and Capture-the-Flag. I like to bark and snort. I like letters, warm fuzzies, and singing at the dinner table. I like to play hockey and soccer. I like ponytails, eating snow, and herbs (yes, even herbs!). I like rolling down sand dunes. And fresh air. I like to enjoy the simple things in life.

~By Stacy and Laurel, 1994

Life in a shoe: the methods and madness of one mother of 8: Grocery shopping with a handful of Littles

This is my first time to hit the “Blog This!” button. This is a super piece about shopping with the kiddos.

An additional reason I’m thankful for compliments on my Blessings’ behavior is because it often gives me a needed attitude/perspective adjustment. Of course, I also like it when folks say, “Are ALLLL those kids yours????” because gives me an instant attitude fix as I beam thankfully and with joyful enthusiasm respond, “They sure are!!” Like Kim says in her article, I don’t want to be the poster family for birth control. Quite the opposite – I want our family to be an advertisement for God and the blessings He sends our way.

It used to bother me so much when people would ask “Are all those yours????” with such rudeness and obvious amazement at my lack of sanity. Well, I’m not claiming to be all that sane in general, but I can tell you one thing I’m totally sane about, and that’s welcoming the children God sends us! The question doesn’t bother me anymore. In fact, I welcome it. Because I’m sure to have my attitude adjusted (God has a way of sending these people to me when I’m ready to pull my hair out because my children are, alas, not yet perfect – surely they get that from someone besides me!), and because the Lord will hopefully be able to use us in folks’ lives to cause them to reconsider some things. Anyhoo….

Life in a shoe: the methods and madness of one mother of 8: Grocery shopping with a handful of Littles

Thoughts from the deck

The guys had to leave super early this morning, so I’ve been up since before 6.00 – wow. Decided it would be better for me to stay up than to go back to bed. It’s now time to make breakfast for the Blessings, but first…

While I was enjoying some quiet time on the deck, listening to the birds and such and watching Polly stalk Beren, I was reading from the first chapter of Luke. Mary’s response to the angel’s pronouncement is terrific:

And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me
according to your word.” Luke 1.38

She’s just been told her world is going to turn upsidedown. Yes, I know, I’ve read that every Jewish girl dreamed of being the chosen one, but when you get down to brass tacks, there’s a lot of unpleasant reality that Mary has in front of her. The amazing blessing of carrying the Messiah, of being entrusted with raising the Son of God, yes. But also the months and years of “what will/do people think/say?” Those thoughts had to come into her mind, don’t you think? And yet she says to the angel, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”

How often I balk at the the process that must precede the things the Lord has called me to do. And yet, Mary’s response is the proper one. May my heart and my will also say, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”

Jonathan and Dad Smith did some great cabinet work yesterday and today.
Here’s the start…

Cabinets up, no crown molding…

And the difference crown molding makes – wow!

They also made friends with this cute baby squirrel, who was crawling around in the saw…

Trying new things

I’m wanting to try the image placement here, so …
Here’s a neat picture that J took earlier this month. We had some stuff on the burnpile, and the late afternoon sun was coming through the trees making wonderful sunbursts with the smoke.

What I do on a day when I’m too tired to do school…

I’ve been up later than usual the last three nights (which is saying something for a woman who finds herself grateful when she gets to bed before 12.30 am), and I didn’t pull myself out of bed until almost 10. The fact that the guys didn’t have much to do on the cabinet job they were finishing up this morning affected my mental ability to choose to sleep in – I generally don’t consider that an option unless I’m horribly sick.

Anyhoo… once I dragged my body out of bed, showered, and got Jonathan off to work, I still didn’t think I was going to manage to accomplish anything today. So I made homemade donuts. Does that have any element of sense in it? I didn’t think so. But they were yummy and the Blessings loved them.

I was still feeling realistic enough to know that school was not going to happen today, it being noon and me still not feeling up to the challenges that would likely come with trying to do school with children who were up past midnight last night.

Sooo… what do you do when you’re exhausted, your children are tired, and school is just not going to happen? … Clean the house! I realize that this is not particularly sense-making, but it works for us. So, while the girls were out at Grandma’s working on their Bible stuff, I got the boys started – Barak in the living room, Davey in the attic (boys’ room), and Josiah in the dining room. And I started in on the mountain of dishes that somehow piled up over the weekend. When the girls came in, they started on their room, which will be finished after nap. But the boys finished their assigned rooms and the dishes are drying. Go team!!

We have leftovers from last night’s dinner in the fridge awaiting suppertime, the house is fairly tidy, and we should be in a much better place for getting school done tomorrow. Praise the Lord!