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Quick Takes

1. I’m sort of reevaluating the routine because what I have hasn’t been happening lately and some things still don’t have a proper designated time. A friend commented on my post from last week, how as mothers we always have to reinvent our routines, and I think this is so true. Something can work for a while, but it never lasts! I was hoping to try out some new things this week, but it really hasn’t happened since this week has been full of other things instead. We did try to go out for a proper walk yesterday and had a nice time by the lake with books AND snacks, but we never made it to the playground because my oldest took off when I said we would be going, and I still had to pack up our things and help with a potty break.

In particular I haven’t been planning my meals even the day of, leading to lots of last minute stress and compromises. I think if I can make myself plan more, I will be able to stick to it better, thereby getting back on top of both meals and hopefully dishes as well. If only I could remember to plan and read the routine every morning, and also to say a quick prayer before bed! This has gotten derailed due to watching a show most night with DH before bed, but this is a good thing overall, so I guess it is what it is, I’ll just have to thank God by being content and express it with words in the mornings. Putting in a walk in the morning frees up the half hour I used to take for exercise… so perhaps 8am is going to be my planning time now. But then that delays food for both kids and me so I may still have to move it back. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have free time in the schedule… Also, my oldest has been sleeping in again and it’s cooler in morning which leads me to use some of that time on computer (mine freezes up when it gets too warm inside).

Also, I had a realization on the weekend: that I actually rather enjoy cleaning; it’s the tidying up that’s involved before you can clean that’s the problem. That is what I find so overwhelming and difficult to do, I’m just bad at it. My brain is cluttered so my spaces are too, and then when I try and create order by putting things in their places, well, a lot of things just don’t have a place and trying to find one is stressful, so they usually just get put, somewhere. Pretty soon my counters and dressers and desks and shelves are full of things that don’t belong. Since clutter bugs DH and since he seems to at least have the potential to be a bit more organized than me, I’ve asked him to try to chip in in that area, and in return I would try to keep things a little cleaner- and put things in their places when they have them.

2. However, having prayed the revised prayers for my husband a few more times, I have since committed them to memory and can pray them whenever it is convenient to squeeze it in: driving in the car, washing up dishes, even walking through the supermarket. This means I have gotten back to praying them more often again, and this is a good thing.

-I’m beginning to see a future where my husband knows God. It is still really hard to picture, but I’m starting to really believe in it. In my soul, I feel it coming. I’m beginning to believe that this really is possible, as I understand more about how God and man were made for each other. I felt I could never picture my husband kneeling before Almighty God, but now I can see him as a child of God, and I am coming to understand that he, like every one else on this earth, is just looking for love. In this light, I can actually see the potential for God to fit into his life.

And I feel God calling me to believe. ‘Believe that this future is possible,’ after all, it’s God we’re talking about! ‘Believe in a future where your husband shares your faith.’ A future where Faith would be strong, real, living in the world out of a place of united faith, instead of in a divided home. In God I am filled with Wild hope.

3. Faith Notes
Expanding on the insights from two weekends ago: All is grace. Even the pain and suffering, the bad stuff. Suffering, can taste sweet: it can be the genesis of new life. It always carries that potential! Every pain and frustration and disappointment is an opportunity to die a little inside (to self) and grow a little in (the) spirit.

Using the time we have: How to Live Your Best Life
The importance of Relationships: “Do my daily decisions support my belief that relationship is the essence of reality? Or do I merely pay lip service to relationship — while the use of my hours clearly reveals true priorities?” http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/06/how-to-live-your-best-life-3/ Ouch…. Most days my intentoinal priorities involve the computer (mostly typing and blogging) and SOMETIMES to get some housework done. Of course the relationships themselves are far more important than the pictures or words that represent them! I really REALLY need to work on this area! God, help!

-I need this: -10 things to do before you click online- The instructions are to print out and tape to the side of every screen. I especically like the staring out the door and the timer. In addition, there are a few more I’d like to add:
+ read a book to a child
+ speak words of encouragement/appreciation into someone’s life

This is my finished product. Now just to print it out, and actually follow the advice!

Tadaa!
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– Tuesday was a rough day, I spent it constantly being tired and fighting my will to do noting and be cranky. Driving in to Courageous Catholic and still feeling disgruntled, I decided to try to apply the ‘All is grace’ mentality, and wondered why I had forgotten about it until now. I realized that I had been trying to live it that day, but only in order to accept it, not to actually thank God for it! ( I also forgot about the whole confidence in God part; I distrusted my own feelings enough to try to fight them but I had no sense of hope.) So, moved to live Eucharisteo even though I didn’t feel like it, I just started to pray, ‘Thank you for the blessing of tiredness…’ and the spirit just kept giving me words! ‘to help me to better understand how ineffective/useless/ I am when I rely on my own strength and how much I need You to help me, even just to be patient and to do what needs to be done.’ I was blown away by just how powerful the desire to live gratefully could be! Also, later I came to the realization that some days are just like that. I felt like a bit of a failure that day. It was a day of constant struggle, with little peace. I would try over and over to rise above the feelings and I just couldn’t. But I realized THAT is not failure. I think, you haven’t failed, unless you stop fighting. On these days, even if you are losing, you just have to keep fighting. On these days, that is victory.

-John 3:16 – perspective. Understanding my kids. ‘I’m here for their story, I’m here for their wounds… to show them what Love sees, when love looks at them.’

-Some encouraging pro-life news regarding Letters for Life and Motion 312: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/while-prime-minister-pressures-mps-a-teens-campaign-puts-pressure-back-on-h 🙂

4. This week we took a trip to a local farm museum located in the middle of town. It was rather strange to see main roads and gas stations behind rolling hills and wood fences but it was also rather neat. The farm was small, but they had chickens, ducks, cows and pigs, as well as quaint old buildings, some old fashioned toys and games, and a darling little tea room restaurant. We were there for a Meetup, but it’s simple enough to get there it would be a great place to take the kids for the day when I just need to get out of the house, especially if I had one other person to go with.

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Seeing the animals
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We brought food for a picnic lunch Photobucket

and after that we played with some of the games.
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A number of the mothers ordered food from the restaurant and it looked really good, but we had brought our food so I chose not to spend the money. However, I ended up taking each of my big kids in for a potty break, and inside it smelled amazing. It wads filled with the farm fresh smell of warm bread, yum! What a lovely place to go for afternoon tea!

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Since we had just had the house sprayed for ants and all the furniture was pulled out I stayed long after other people had left, so as to get home only shortly before DH. We talked with one other mom who had arrived late, and then I took the big boys inside for an afternoon snack. I skipped the china tea cups and bought them cookies and milk instead. I had gingerbread with lemon sauce and a fresh glass of lemonade. I’ve tried to make lemonade in the past and have never gotten the lemon-water ratio right, so when a place has good fresh lemonade, I always want to buy some. I decided to ask if she could tell me the correct proportions for a good glass of lemonade, (my $2 one was delicious) and she said they use 1 cup of bottled lemon juice with one cup of sugar, plus both the juice and zest from 1 lemon and 5 cups of water. I need to buy me some lemons, there is nothing like a fresh sweet glass of lemonade on a hot summer day!

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Lastly we popped into the old farm house and took a quick peek around.
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5. I am quite sure I mentioned that the baby is crawling, and I will even add, standing up on things as well. What I didn’t mention is that he still doesn’t really sit up, which means his balance is not really adequate for his mobility skills. In other words, while standing, and even sometimes in the crawl position, he will still topple over and get upset. Bump, waahh! Most children standing up and attempting to walk will fall into a sitting position, bump, cushioned by their diaper. He will clean over backwards, as he doesn’t have the sitting position as a middle ground. For this reason, I continually put him down in a sitting position so he can learn, but he gets mad and moves to crawl pretty quickly. Sigh… this is a very real reason why children shouldn’t crawl this young.
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6. While visiting with the neighbors they mentioned their older daughter is playing soccer this year, so I suggested that maybe we could come to the games too. I want to know my neighbours, I think it’s good for families to grow together, and not only do we get to cheer on a family friend, but we also get to spend guaranteed time each week with them, since this is one place they will always be with predictability 🙂 We went this week for the first time and had a nice visit outside while the kids and DH ran around in the open field. A perfect way to spend an evening and hopefully to tire the kids out so they sleep in!
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7. My mom told me about this post on the 5 best toys of all time and I thought I’d share because they are also cheap and easy to come by: http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/01/the-5-best-toys-of-all-time/5/

This was also a fun read on the surprising uses for some broken toys: http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/12/4-best-broken-toys-of-all-time/

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Huzzah! Quick Takes up on time!

-1- Ooph, what a week! had a cold for last 6 days, the kids seem unusually difficult and whiny, my patience with them is so gone, I’ve been super tired every day, the house has been a disaster and of course we have a have a birthday party here on the weekend! It’s no wonder I feel I’m not getting enough sleep when the baby goes back to sleep for a few hours after I get up, every single morning. Even he’s not getting enough sleep in the night.

I’ve been trying and fighting my hardest to still do work, to respond with love instead of yelling, and to remember that this too shall pass, but it’s been wearing me so thin. Along with the post about discipline and being less tired, I also made a speical youtube praise playlist, that is only uplifting songs, because. I. NEEDED. it.

Actually, half way through the day on Wednesday things started turning around, I felt a little better, I suddenly had energy and I was even feeling cheerful! I had been working hard to change my attitude, but I still don’t know if it was really me, or if once I was finally willing to change God stepped in. Either way, the party and even the house are in good shape for being ready this weekend 🙂

-2- Here’s part of the problem; I stopped resting!!! I quickly put a time of rest away from the pc in my routine right after lunch – and then never did it! I’ve had a rough week and today is no different on the resting thing, I’m going to try to make this a priority on the routine next week. Or just to make the routine a priority next week…

-3- While I was desperate and searching for uplifting praise music, I stumbled on this amazing awesome christian music cd: It’s a musical journey through the bible from the point of view of different characters like Adam and Eve, Moses, Joshua, Daniel, David.,Mary, the disciples, Paul… http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/lyrics/new/track.asp?track_id=15447

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“Nichole Nordeman is my favorite lyricist of all time and having watched Bernie Herms’ amazing talents develop over the years, I knew he was the perfect writing partner for Nichole. I was thrilled when they both accepted my invitation to write THE STORY. We then put together a list of artists we wanted to sing on the project and were thrilled when they agreed to be part of THE STORY.”

Lyrically, Nordeman wrote the songs from a first-person perspective using timeless biblical stories providing a completely new context into how God’s story of love and redemption intersects with our story of brokenness and failures resulting in a new story of hope and rescue. “I think for me one of the goals was to be able to listen to these songs and feel more connected to these people that walked before us and learned lessons that we’re still learning,” explains Nordeman. “There’s such a tendency to turn them into superheroes and have these big, takeaway, moral-of-the-story moments. For me it was all about the humanity. These were broken people who were desperate and needed God. They were just like us. I really believe that, and I think sometimes forget.”

Just check out some of the Lyrics

Good- (Adam and Eve)
Can You hear us cry?
Wishing we could turn back time
To feel Your breath when branches move
Take one more sunset walk with You
Must each tomorrow hold
Such brokenness untold?
Can’t imagine how You could
See all of me and say it’s good

Broken Praise (Job)
But who am I
To make demands
Of the God of Abraham?
And who are You that You would choose
To answer me with mercy new
How many more will wander past
To find me sitting in this ash
Will you hold me? Will you stay?
So I can raise this broken praise to You
But You were the One who filled my cup
And You were the One who let it spill
So blessed be your Holy name if you never fill it up again
If this is where my story ends, just give me one more breathe to say
Hallelujah

What Love Sees (Jesus)
Tell me your story
Show me your wounds
And I’ll show you what Love sees
When Love looks at you
Hand me the pieces
Broken and bruised
And I’ll show you what Love sees
When Love sees you

This is How Love Wins (Thief)
Only one of us deserves this cross
A suffering that should belong to me
Deep within this man I hang beside
Is the place where shame and grace collide
And it’s beautiful agony
That He believes it’s not too late for me
This is how Love wins, every single time
Climbing high upon a tree where someone else should die
This is how Love heals, the deepest part of you
Letting Himself bleed into the middle of your wounds
This is what Love says, standing at the door
You don’t have to be who you’ve been before
Silenced by His voice, death can’t speak again
This is how Love wins

I found all the songs on you tube, but I would happily buy the cd, or the accompanying dvd with video footage. Can’t wait to listen through it next Easter!

-4- It’s official, the baby crawls as of last Friday. He’s still about a week shy of 6 months! It’s a little crazy on one hand, but on the other hand this tiny littler person exploring about the room is just so darn cute! – months and sits up, not quite 6 months. And now 5 days later he also sits up. I already said he’d crawl before he could sit up – and that he would be crawling at the birthday party!
Lookout, next comes walking, and I except that will be rather early too. I’ve already seen him leaning up on small soft objects and even kneeling… He also enjoys being put in a stand up position and while he can’t grab the couch etc to hold himself up yet, he doesn’t need THAT much support either.

On the big kid front, I’ve been having a problem with them trying to wander from our yard lately, especially since we opened up the deck with the new back steps. We don’t have a formal gate on it yet, so they are no longer fully contained. It’s not that I don’t check on them often, but they don’t stay put like they used to and by the time I register the definite quiet they are down to the very edge of the driveway if not a couple houses away! However, I think I’ve figured out a trick to make them hang around – the promise of a treat they want. The backyard is where they get most of their treats because it keeps them happy there longer (as I enjoy a little quiet) and also because it’s less messy. I observed this phenomenon yesterday when they were happy to go outside to get a popsicle. Sure enough, although they could easily have run away they hung around – right on the deck by the door in anticipation, and I had about an hour of quiet (with interruptions) to tidy up the house a bit more and open up some CARS toys that came in the mail in preparation for the party.

-5- Mummy LOLs
http://catholicexchange.com/exercises-for-pregnant-people/

Announcment: Toddler Conference!
http://honesttoddler.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/press-release/

-6- In surfing or googling something, I stumbled on this great site full of phtography aarticles, including a wealth of hard earned experience: The photography tips that 96 photographers wish they wouldve learned sooner. This article is full of good tips: how to use flash effectively, exposure compensation, what to look for in a tripod, when you need to buy new gear, and probably my pesonal favorite: A $25 reflector will do more to improve your photography than a $2000 portrait lens.

Other helpful articles:

21 things you can do today to change your photography forever
What you didn’t know about depth of field
Canon vs Nikon

-7- DH has the day off today so I can go out and run some errands. I want to stop in at the church with a form to up our monthly donation. We ended up at a different church one Sunday where that was the topic and it really spoke to me. The speaker challenged us to increase out gift by just 1% of our (which is about 300%) for the next year, and said if God did not give us more peace, more joy etc that she would personally refund the difference, lol. I’ve been wishing that WE as in our household could give a bit more, but I was sad to see that I/we were giving LESS than even 1%. So I talked about it with DH and he agreed we could do the increase by 1%. Considering he’s not religious, I’m pleased as punch that he said yes 🙂

I’m also going to get the last of my party supplies and we can have the house decently clean – without being swamped Sat morning. Last year I found I was still finishing tidying the last room when my guests started arriving, and I missed out on spending some time with them as a result. Not this year! I’ve also asked a good friend to bring her camera and take pictures for me, so I can be more present to my guests. I’m sure I will take some pictures too, but I’m hoping this will help me to focus less on the pictures and more on the people and being in the moment.

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I love the perspective in this video. 🙂

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