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Archive for the ‘Housework’ Category

Life is beautiful! Childhood is a wonder, growing up is awesome, marriage is wonderful, children are an amazing incredible gift!!!! There are seasons, but it seems it just keeps getting better and better!

After a long hard week, this morning I find myself just in awe of God’s faithfulness!!!

Faithfulness, about a kids birthday party! But, in Him everything comes together beautifully 🙂

Faithfulness, in both big and small, from getting fingers unstuck and taking care of my son when he got something stuck in his nose which was actually pretty serious, to providing cotton candy in the exact 3 colors I needed and leading me to the little chocolate teddy cookies at the bulk store when Teddy Grahams had discontinued that flavor, to carrying ME through all the ups and downs this week held for us. Thurs night as I said my bedtime prayers in the kitchen I could see the ants crawling everywhere… and I just thought: we’re about to have a party here, and have someone come look at our house now too and it’s this great disaster- and DH is still at the children’s hospital with my oldest, the guest of honor at this party! – I feel like there was this immense crushing mountain just above me, about to fall on me, falling even, but it can’t crush me because Jesus is holding it up. It’s right there, I can see it, but with Him I am safe…’

And faithfulness to my prayers, as just in the last 2 days, I am actively seeing the beginning fruits of 2 more of my prayers for DH!!!!

This has been a hard week, I don’t even know why, but it has! And still, You are STRONGER!!

(I have a new iPhone now so I have Jesus Calling back!!)

June 7 JC

I am all around you, like a cocoon of Light. My Presence with you is a promise, independent of your awareness of Me. Many things can block this awareness, but the major culprit is worry. My children tend to accept worry as an inescapable fact of life. However, worry is a form of unbelief; it is anathema to Me.

Who is in charge of your life? If it is you, then you have good reason to worry. But if it is I, then worry is both unnecessary and counterproductive. When you start to feel anxious about something, relinquish the situation to Me. Back off a bit, redirecting your focus to Me. I will either take care of the problem Myself or show you how to handle it. In this world you will have problems, but you need not lose sight of Me.

Amen.

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Josh Wilson – Carry Me

I try to catch my breath
It hasn’t happened yet
I’m wide awake in the middle of the night scared to death
So I prayed God, would You make this stop
Father please hold on to me, You’re all I’ve got

Carry me, carry me, carry me now
From my sinking sand to Your solid ground
The only way I’m ever gonna make it out
Is if You carry me, carry me, carry me now
God carry me, carry me, carry me now

Jesus calm my heart
Come near me please
Lord don’t let these worries get the best of me
Oh I believe, that You’re still here with me
Cause You meant what You said when You said You’d never leave

Carry me, carry me, carry me now
From my sinking sand to Your solid ground
The only way I’m ever gonna make it out
Is if You carry me, carry me, carry me now
God carry me, carry me, carry me now

Carry me
God carry me
Carry me
God carry me

I’m at the end of myself
I know I’ve got nothing left
Feels like I’m stuck in the valley of the shadow of death
And I’ve been down here so long
I just can’t find my way out
Oh God I don’t stand a chance
Unless You carry me now
God carry me now

Carry me, carry me, carry me now
From my sinking sand to Your solid ground
The only way I’m ever gonna make it out
Is if You carry me, carry me, carry me now
God carry me, carry me, carry me now

Carry me now
Carry me now
Carry me now
Carry me now

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Jan 18

Decluttering is not ONLY having too much stuff, it is actually a two-fold problem.

Organization Basics
“Simply stated: Having children and being uncluttered are not mutually exclusive endeavors. You can have both. Problems occur when people (of any age) have more stuff than they can store and routines do not exist to take care of the things they own.” (Source: Your Children can have Toys and you Can Have an Uncluttered Home)

I found this helpful because it got right to the heart of the matter and explained clearly that a clutter-free home is possible, even with kids, and also how to achieve it. This article also had some other good suggestions: How to Organize Kids Toys

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Whoops, I’m little late getting up today. Not like I was up late watching Minor Revisions or anything…

Here’s my week of gifts, 7 quick takes = 7 days of the week :).

Fri Dec 7
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Grace on the phone – my best friend giving the gift of faith back to me
My 3 yr old’s determination to have the new bottle of juice – to himself: ‘ it’s heafy, I haf to be vewy cahful’ bawwww

Sat Dec 8
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Big kid tenderly holding daddy’s face nose to nose during the rosary
Nativity figures doing the conga while waiting for baby Jesus
Middle son and a mr potato head mustache, only a week too late
A nativity curtain call at the edge of the table
Big kid underneath the couch cushions while the world goes on around him
Baby’s joy at finding him there
Nativity figures on their look out posts
Twilight blue and the wet glow of headlights in the side mirror
Green and red reflections, on the pavement
A night out
Finally understanding why I have not been very good at shooting pool, and learning how to do better
laughter and Goofing around
2 more games at the end of the night since we had only gotten to play once

Sun Dec 9
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Baby blueberry smiles
2 boys in a chair sharing a book
Sink plug suspended in time
My little penguin reading
Unity of mind — DH and I discovering we were both ready to change up the livingroom

Surprise blessings – that we are actually going to have a fireplace in the next few weeks, a blessing I hoped for someday, but never thought I’d have any time soon
God’s perfect timing, all of this happening just as my brother is moving to a bigger apartment
baby peeking out from his snowsuit, only his eyes visible
Jet trail beams radiating out from a cloud
The sweetest penguin, the silliest monkey and the cutest little turtle
-little stars singing into the mics
Irony on a sock

Family dinner by advent candelight
Going to help my brother move some furniture
Walking into a cozy living room with – an electric fireplace.
The fulfillment of a little personal whim, a loved one’s priceless reaction when he saw the red van instead of our car
DH sitting on the couch watching one of our praise videos on youtube
All 3 kids and I singing bedtime praises to God, arms and voices raised
The littlest one walking all around the room waving his hands and squeaking with delight
My littlest’s clear exclamation of recognition as he reached for the crucifix, ‘thas Jesus!’

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Mon Dec 10
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My big kid hair tousled still trying to sleep in
My oldest content to read for a while today, out of the book of his choosing
Assorted tiny letters spelling out words
A gift from my 3 yr old- a winter rosary decoration for my dishwasher
My oldest in the next room with his big heart, singing through his entire repertoire of songs to help his baby bother go to sleep
Being a pillow for someone you love, even when it’s horribly uncomfortable

Tues Dec 11

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Raindrops twinkling in the sun like stars on the sunroom windows
My oldest fairly competently reading through several pages more of the more more more book.
Walrus baby
Little feet crossing the wood floor
Baby clapping two mismatched car shoes
Little one in peaceful slumber
A surprise extended chat with my mom on the phone
-a beautiful image of Mary, womb round with God
-encouragement in my spiritual walk
-a clean slate
Cloud patches in starry sky

Wed Dec 12
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Morning sun on the wall in the ktichen
Confession and the grace I received last night, since I am too sick to go to mass today
DH staying home to help out
Today feeling crummy I’m thankful for the gift of faith, to provide both purpose and comfort in my suffering
A much needed morning nap
Prayer over the phone – the amazing things God is doing in my best friend’s life through our friendship
Thank you for opportunities to bring healing and wholeness to the lives of my friends
baby sleeping peacefully next to his sleeping brother’s feet

Thurs Dec 13
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-waking up the first morning after being sick when you start to feel better
-my oldest leading rosary with his younger brother on the couch when my throat was too sore to read
-a card to bless others and practice mailing things
-thank you for new resolution and a symbol of that commitment
Real change, the grace to remember to stop and speak respectfully
Baby pointing excitedly at babies on my computer monitor
An entertaining and soul-nourishing reality show
Getting a glimpse into the life of a blogger I’ve been reading since I started being interested in faith
Seeing the complete picture too, complete with scorpions, conversion history, her life today and even a few surprises
Informative and interesting Christmas facts during commercials
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Here are is my usual friday quick take gift list. It’s like a look and find puzzle this week because there’s several big news items hidden in these gifts 🙂

Fri Nov 9
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The quiver of a spider on a moving web.
Teaching our first lesson of Seton Pre-K Religion. The kids largely paying attention and even asking questions 🙂
My big son closing his eyes with a smile, thinking of God, as I explain how we can talk to Him
Learning something I didn’t know on p 6 of my kids pre-k religion book!
My big son freely closing his eyes to say his grace at lunch!
His utter fascination with a Christian girl on youtube and her song cover
My kids excited about praise music – ‘It’s all things possible, sweet! Mom, it’s all things possible!‘
baby looking very suave with the top hat
A Family drum session on the bathroom door
Praying with power, even in the car!
Coming home to an old friendly welcome at confession
Starry ceiling over my front door/entrance/porch

Sat Nov 10
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-woah moment, daddy joining us for the rosary on the couch and even joining in the prayer for a moment!
– breathtaking skyscapes
-puddles-filled tire tracks – tire track puddles reflecting in the open sky
-patches of light
-the lines where sun meets shadow
– Date afternoon – a trip for two to the valley and going for a test-drive together.
-sitting in a dealership office with DH, 5 years later and a little wiser
-Providence – DH: ‘Can’t believe we got this deal…(exactly what we wanted and almost too good to be true etc)’ (Hey, not to get to faith-y about it, but I find that when the timing is right, things just have a way of working out. 🙂
-hope at the window
-the clink of my ring when my hand shakes in prayer
-a booth full of educational books at the Christmas craft fair
-a nice evening of shopping with DMIL and the baby
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Sun Nov 11
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Being the blessing – making brunch for my mom
Sharing my favorite movie (based on a favorite childhood story) with my Mom

Mon Nov 12
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The kids and I all going camera crazy together
-Wisdom from Dr Seuss- God speaks to me through a children’s book
-my 4 yr old putting daddy (and his atheism) on the spot by asking him out of the blue if he knows God
-the power of the sun, both of them. (the sun drying my diapers and the Son redeeming and transforming our lives).
-A place for everything (and everything in its place)
-A very productive day bringing order out of chaos
-Treasure in the mismatched sock box: 13 complete pairs!

Tues Nov 13
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-fluffy white clouds behind tree branches
-droplet ring around the base of my coffee cup
-hashing out some more faith discussion with my MIL
-soft sound of soap bubbles
-shimmer of suds popping randomly
-the graces You poured out on me tonight , to put my commitment into action– doing the dishes/kitchen though way past tired and cranky – I couldn’t have made that sacrifice w/o You.

Wed Nov 14

-Thank You that actions speak louder than words. My words lacked grace last night, but by your grace my actions told a different story. The kitchen is clean, usually I would have given up in frustration when DH wouldn’t help and would have left it for morning.
-I get to be with You, and receive You today, it’s a good day 🙂
-baby’s messy wet hair and little trusting eyes looking up at me from his carseat
-a dear priest saying our mass again today
-my oldest showing promise of actually behaving at church even when his brother wasn’t
-tuna wraps
-a nice mellow laid back day at playgroup
-painting a Christmas igloo
-Thank you that I’m not a mail carrier or a garbage man, and I get to be a mom indoors today!
-treasure in a chocolate tin – discovering cherished dolls and their clothes etc that I had thought were lost somewhere
-A treasure tin of craft supplies: 6 colors of glitter, a container of sequins, and googly eyes. My childhood self is very happy 🙂
Order in my cupboard and on my counter, just from a few plastic baskets.
Baby’s tentative little steps all across the room
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Thurs Nov 15
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-My son, easily reading his rhyming card words right off the bat, without even making the words with the letters. And reading correctly, even though the words were harder: gate and skate had the different vowel sound. 🙂
-reward for even the smallest faithfulness: WHAT A DIFFERENCE when I purposefully stop whatever I’m doing for the next task now I’m finally largely on schedule again! The afternoon is going really well!
-Time when I honor my commitment to God. (keep the routine)
-my square cupholder, holding one last chocolate milk carton.
-clean laundry put away in drawers
-a tidy main house
-the feast that awaits
-the gift of sharing my testimony again
-surprise gift of blessed items, the weapon for my goliath
-a long blessed conversation with my co-leader after the study

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Woah, Friday Already?!?! Guess we’ll have to settle for the quick version again 😉 I’ve got more things I want to write about, I’m thinking there will be some sort of bigger post coming in the future, covering many of the things I haven’t been able to lately…

Fri Nov 2
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the stillness
the soft sound of gentle rain falling all around
the sound of a rake pulling leaves
baking unconventional cookies 🙂
flour galaxies
perfect swirl slices
a tray full of sweet
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Sat Nov 3
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My children’s genuine awe and wonder at the cookies I made
Cleaning the house with praise music blasting the speakers
Having my house cleaner than it’s been in months!
A friend helping me clean and prep for the party
Seeing my vision for the theme come to be a reality on my table
The house crawling with 5 babies!!! / 5 babies in my living room 🙂
A pom pom caterpillar
Gifts we will actually use: several books and a puzzle that will all be GREAT for schooltime!
2 lighting matching lightning mcqueen hooides; the only clothes my kids have actually been excited to open!
My perfect little caterpillar and his cake

Love – my best friend not only bought me a whole bunch of bulbs to make my yard pretty for spring, but she planted them all for me too 🙂
After hosting a kids birthday party, still having my house cleaner than it’s been in months!
Praying POWERFULLY
An interruption to my prayertime; an opportunity to strengthen my will to show grace and love instead of frustration – and so stay in union with You
Deep joy at the realization that tomorrow is Sunday, Your day, and I get to receive You!
Crawling on the floor with the baby to the sound of his giggles

Kool aid kisses
My true love’s arms
The Deepest well of joy
Love – going deeper – my love today went deeper, for ALL my family, for each of my children and also for my husband, thanks and joy is waking me up to their unique beauty as God made them etc, and I’m falling deeper in love with all of them.

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Sun Nov 4
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A Morning game of peek a boo
A beautiful blessed baptism
Sleeping children young and old in arms in the line for communion
The littlest child of 6, purposefully kneeling just like daddy
Community – the more people you know in church, the less you are able to talk to anyone! – still more of a blessing than a burden

heavy clouds glowing light from behind
a tiny blue peephole of blue through the clouds
a row of perfect white bushes like cauliflower heads
a row of trees and orange leaves against teal blue siding

a well trodden path
plants, all yellow
green fans
gardens in fall
a sea of red and white leaves
perfect red berries like Christmas light baubles
a quilt of leaves, every color
an old vine grown into a twisted half-heart hoop
a new perspective of the cross – Jesus literally laying down his life as a bridge for us

a cozy concrete garden porch with a big star
an outdoor gathering of people united
baby bundled in a hoodie, fuzzy hat and blanket
a parking meter turned flag pole and how it entertained my kids for ages
a friendly game of keep away
my children laughing and playing with others, oblivious to any differences
kids running circles around a mechanizied wheel chair –laughter and fun for all involved
a leaf hooked in the fence
scattered leaf drifts and bare patches
yellow leaves scattered on faded teal blue wood steps
mossy green telephone pole
dents and notches all over
a yellow house and a yellow tree
patterns and lines on the street
hyacinth globes overhead

strings of headlights on the highway
lights at twilight overlooking our town
the porch light
the view as I walk in the door – sponges baby pulled out of he cupboard and hubby making dinner in the kitchen
confiscated toys reflected in a pan of cooking oil
sweet potato pancakes

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Mon Nov 5
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Your grace – that you found me and saved me from that raging river of sin and darkness
This headache, you chose to give it to me, a gift for my salvation – purification now, an earthly purgatory.

Tues Nov 6
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Warmth of sun on a chilly morning
Surprise hugs from my 3 yr old
Successful first instalment of the kids ‘writing’ book – my oldest drew the line through the maze with ease and was really interested in working in it.
Baby cruising along the floor pushing 1 dinky car in each hand
Challenging myself doing a jewelry photo shoot for a friend and neighbour

Wed Nov 7
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Frost everywhere
A Paintbrush all frost white on the railing
Friendly honk and wave with our friends at the bus stop
2 ft of perfection – the cutest little girl, right up to the tip of her hair clip pony tail
a dinosaur block tower
Leaf surprise in my camera case
French toast and strawberries
Making play doh breakfast with my boys
Paying homage to our delicious lunch with the play-doh

Thurs Nov 8
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A new friend in a lady at church – I really value her friendship.
God having equipped me to support her in leading this study, because really, we both need each other.
Wet pavement reflecting colored lights at night
The grace of going to the market first thing and not last – it was closed by the time I drove by on the way home.
The stars, crystal clear in the night sky

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Aaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s felt like one of those crazy weeks so this so my quick takes this week is going to be pretty short, and probably not that sweet. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

1. It seems that the routine isn’t working anymore – again. I really thought I had something that was at least mostly going to last. I find myself wondering how on earth the Mom who wrote A other’s Rule of Life could have a schedule that was virtually unchanged for a YEAR and still have it fit all their lives. I am still working (or looking) to implement parts of mine and already some of the old things are no longer a good fit! Agh!

Here’s a few of the reasons why it’s not been working this week:

1 reason is that the dishwasher has to get run and emptied before bed, and not left full for morning! The other big thing that has been tripping me up has been my morning prayer time. Lately it has started to feel more life-sapping than life-giving, and that is a problem. I’ve been feeling really tired and finding it difficult to focus. As a result, I’ve found that I either go through the prayers blindly without feeling it – or I feel very close to God but I end up staying out there for 30 minutes or more, to the detriment of the rest of my morning routine.

Furthermore, I have a habit of praying outside on the deck because I have always felt closest to God in nature but now the mornings are also getting pretty chilly and after about 5 minutes I start to shiver and then I start to lose whatever early-morning focus I had. It’s feeling like I need to start making a winter plan for morning prayer, but I don’t know how much alone time I will get shutting myself in another room away from the kids. I am trying out some modifications today to see if things can flow a bit more smoothly but it’s driving me crazy that I can never settle on one consistent plan.

2. And of course, when things stop working well I feel I need to figure it out NOW and usually end up wasting so much time trying to figure out a new schedule that I get way off the one I have :S Yes I’m probably trying to reinvent the wheel. No, the irony is not lost on me.

3. Yes, the house has been cleaner….

4. But, angst!!! I guess it’s just not where I want it yet and I need to be patient with myself as I continue to learn. But then, even when things are going well I still find myself preoccupied by so many things that aren’t working or aren’t getting done and still need to be taken care of!!!

5. Then finally, when I stepped back from it all and stopped trying to fix everything RIGHT NOW, God spoke some sense into me: ‘Stop trying to do this without Me. ’ Duh!! The good changes I have been making and the routine I have built; it all came from Him. He is the one that challenged me to make some changes and He is the one who has helped get my life to where it is today. Why on earth did I try to figure it out without Him?!?!?! He knows me better than I know myself and He know EXACTLY what will work perfectly for me!

When things aren’t working for us, we can trust Him to work it out.

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Sometimes it’s good to know that God is in control, and that we don’t have to be.

6. Here are some good things that happened this week:

I did get the new sticker decals ordered for the 50s kitchen, so I will soon be able to finish that up and move it out of my kitchen and into the kids’ room.

I also finally got the pre-K homeschooling books and such I’d been wanting ordered. I think it was something with DH’s opinion and the fact that it invoked a little bit of money that caused me to keep putting it off. I think I was maybe hoping that I would magically decide I didn’t need them so as to keep him happier by not spending the money but I was getting frustrated trying to plan out lessons especially when it comes to the faith component.
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And lastly, I finally got the chance to put up my fall decorations. Usually I’m all about the new season and setting the tone in my home with seasonal accent, but this time I think because I felt decorating had to involve the added task of organizing all my decorations and then finding a permanently place for them in the cupboards that I put it off. One night this week the perfect circumstances finally coincided and I had the time, energy and lack of interruptions that I needed – all at the same time.
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7. And one more good thing, it really looks like we’ve finally found a group of kids that we can see regularly, consistently, DAILY. There is a lady who we actually know from wednesday playgroup who watches several kids in her home each day and loves to have company like I do. Her door is always open; there’s lots of kids, lots of food, lots of craft projects, 4 adorable kittens and plenty of love.

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