Thursday, November 26, 2009

Simply nesting .... nesting simply....

It has felt like chaos around here.
The month of November has flown by.

Yesterday was a day all it's own.

Preschool drop-off
Development appointment #1 - meet and greet new people who are a part of our development team
Development appointment #2 - goes well, but explore plans to integrate a new method of speech therapy
Preschool pick-up (which, I am happy report, I was actually NOT late for!!)
A trip to local grocer (these are always ... interesting!)
Lunch. Settle the feathers for a few minutes.
Baking. Guilt kicks in because I haven't let the girls "help" me bake in a while. So, everyone grabs a chair, scuttles up to the counter and we begin the dump and pour and mix process.
Nap - which was actually, delightfully uninterrupted.
Get moving again, sans caffeine, since any coffee or regular tea past 10 am makes me ill. This is rough :P.
Vacuum. Clean the house. Again.
Get supper ready. Again.
J staying late at work to meet with other kids' parents. This means a looonnnngg day.
Because we all had such successful naps, the girlies are bouncing around until 9:30pm.
I. Get. Tired.

Thankfully, not all days are like this. But in the midst of this chaos there is a growing desire for simplicity. Of speech. Of commitment. Of heart and soul and life. Fueled (of course) by a book I'm reading and rereading (Freedom of Simplicity - Richard Foster - um, fast becoming a favorite author!) and brief (somewhat traumatizing!!!) flashbacks to this time last year - the Great Birthday Party Mayhem :) - and the Trip to the Strip (sounds racy - really it was family time in VEGAS!!).

This year, I've set out Christmas decorations. Lots of lights (because I am highly addicted to colored mini lights!!), a few greeneries, a nativity scene and a few other pretty things.

But I kept it simple. No Better Homes 'N Gardens pressure for me this year :).

Tonight we get to have a family fun night. Pizza party followed by loud christmas tunes, a dance party, some chocolate treats AND the DECORATING of the CHRISTMAS TREE. Fun. But simple.

It is delightfully freeing to carve out the unnecessaries and embrace the simple, lovely, elegant.
A smile. A kind word.
And linger in the moment.

And speaking of moments, the kids are fighting and biting and a sense a monsoon growing from the tub.
Better run!!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Little words every soul needs to hear....


Sweet K climbed up on the stool at the bathroom counter. As she brushed her teeth, I combed her soft sweet hair. I leaned down and whispered in her ear ... "You are beautiful." Her smile lit up the room.

Little M swoops in for a quick snuggle somewhere between playing dolls and puzzles. I squeeze her back, smelling her freshly bathed hair. "You are beautiful."

For now, their definition of beauty is simple, sweet. It is unaffected by the world's warped views, where exterior is the only point of worth. Somehow, they sense, it is inner and outer, character and feature. It is something they feel and it is also in the eye of the beholder.

As they grow older, I hope I can pass along the value of beauty to them. To show them it is different than the world around them screams it should be.

Until then we practice every day...
To me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gratitude - Wanderin' through the Word...

This is a post I've been wanting to do for a long time! Expressing thanksgiving (or at least the beginnings of it!!) for the Scriptures that God has used to breathe life into me since I started taking His Word seriously 12 years ago. This post won't be long enough for allll the verses that have become meaningful to me, but it is a starting point....

Psalm 16: 2, 5-8, 11
2 I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
       apart from you I have no good thing."

5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
       you have made my lot secure.

6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
       surely I have a delightful inheritance.

 7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
       even at night my heart instructs me.

 8 I have set the LORD always before me.
       Because he is at my right hand,
       I will not be shaken.

11 You have made [e] known to me the path of life;
       you will fill me with joy in your presence,
       with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Matthew 11:29-30 (The Message)
Walk with me and work with me—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'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Job 19:25
25 I know that my Redeemer lives,
       and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

Psalm 46:10
10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
       I will be exalted among the nations,
       I will be exalted in the earth."

Ecclesiastes 5:1, 2
Stand in Awe of God
 1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. 2 Do not be quick with your mouth,
       do not be hasty in your heart
       to utter anything before God.
       God is in heaven
       and you are on earth,
       so let your words be few.

Revelation 21:6-7
6He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

Psalm 86:11-13

11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
       and I will walk in your truth;
       give me an undivided heart,
       that I may fear your name.

 12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
       I will glorify your name forever.

 13 For great is your love toward me;
       you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.

Lamentations 3:22-23

22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
       for his compassions never fail.

 23 They are new every morning;
       great is your faithfulness.

Psalm 27: 13-14

13 I am still confident of this:
       I will see the goodness of the LORD
       in the land of the living.

 14 Wait for the LORD;
       be strong and take heart
       and wait for the LORD.

What words have brought you life?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A moment worth the wait!!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of NESCAFE. All opinions are 100% mine.

I am a coffee-a-holic.
My drug of choice :).

However, when I'm pregnant, but some strange force of hormonal nature, I rarely crave that cup of joe. It's weird. I do ... enjoy ... a cup or so in the morning, just to get things started off right ... but it lacks lustre!! But once that baby is out, and I mean almost instantaneously, a cup of steaming coffee is a great reward (not that a beautiful little baby isn't a reward :P....).

So, come the end of May, I suspect my caffeine intake will skyrocket once again (not only will I actually crave coffee :) - but scrambled nights and 3 kids will require it!!!).

Even so.... when I see machines like this, my mouth waters. Imagine, all that coffee yummy-ness with the touch of a button!!

And guess WHAT!! It's WINNABLE!! Visit NESCAFE Dolce Gusto machine for your chance to win a super duper gift like this :).

Complete with a trendy design and all the bells and whistles, you can create instant, yummy coffee-esque beverages tailored to your preference of frothiness, creaminess, heat, and coffee strength. High quality coffee beans are used to brew hot AND cold treats, including an option for HOT CHOCOLATE! Ahhhh.

I am envisioning that perfect quiet moment that settles over the house once all babes are tucked in bed. Brew a favorite treat or try something new :), and head out onto the deck for a moment all to one's self (in my vision there is also no such thing as mosquitos!!!).

Doesn't that sound grand!?

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

A few little rants...

This has been building all week.

Why is it that.....
a) when your "poor sleeper" actually sleeps through the night, the "good sleeper" more than makes up for the nocturnal activity!?!?! I swear, these kids are in kahoots to keep me sleep-deprived and feeling crazy!

b) that the most favorite "play spots" are also the most germ infested - ie. the dirty dishwasher, the washroom, the sink drain. Yuck. YUCK. Y.U.C.K. I can't tell you how many times I say "Get OUTTA the dishwasher"!! TO kids AND dog!!

c) that your best hair days happen when you're at home, with kids, with no plans of dollin' up and headin' out ANYWHERE.

I feel Alanis Morissette's Ironic coming on!!

Okay. My rant is done.
I feel so much better.
Still sleepy, but better. :)
Happy weekend everyone!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Leah vs. The Spider....

My day started off with a hunt.
Not an easter egg hunt. Those cadbury eggs are yummy!
Not a bargain hunt. Lookin' at the calendar, it'll be a while before I am out on my own again :).

It started off with a

And I am NOT a fan of spiders.

This tale of woe (and eventual victory!!) starts off in the bedroom. I went to make the bed. (I have an issue about my bed being made that is really quite nuts, but, I MUST make my bed, even before I leave my house, because if I come home and the bed is NOT MADE, my world completely falls apart!!! This is not a universal quirk, because my kitchen counter can look like a disaster, and I'm really okay! I will even make my bed, if for some uncanny reason it has not yet been done, just BEFORE BED so I can climb into a made bed. It's very weird.) I moved my fluffy pillows off the floor and there. On the baseboard. Was a spider.

Not a daddy long legger.
Not a puffy little eight-legged friend.
This was one mean, lean lookin' arachnid.

Thinking I had time to grab a shoe, I tossed my pillows on the bed.
When I looked down, it. was. GONE!!!
The place where I SLEEP!! MY SANCTUARY! What if it crawled up onto my head while I was dreaming! They say the average person eats 8 spiders in their lifetime. What if this was one of mine!?!? I didn't have my glasses, so everything looked kinda fuzzy. Then I saw motion.

Not only was it ugly, it was a speedy little bugger too.

And it went under the bed.

Sigh. I would never sleep again.

I grabbed the broom, cleared out the one and only thing under my bed, grabbed my specs and started to HUNT. To my credit, there is only a little bit of dust under the bed. Nothing else. But I could NOT locate the spider.

Seeing that I needed to have the girls and myself out the door in just over an hour, I had little time to spare.  I left the broom handy just in case I discovered my little stealthy rival.

As I was drying my hair, Little M lets out a squeal! Apparently, she had just seen a bug with three legs. (THREE? EIGHT? Who's counting, right :P?) And it had skittered into THEIR ROOM! The chase was back on, with me lifting things off the floor, and her hawk-eyes that never miss A THING looking for our bug.

And there it was. Freaky lookin' critter. Cowering by Sweet K's crib. In a moment of bravery, I took off my slipper, gave it a good whack whack WHACK! It put up a valiant effort, but I was bigger.

The look of adoration in Little M's eyes was totally worth it.

A feeling of victory coursed through my veins as we did the "We Killed The Spider" dance.
It was a good way to start the day :).

In the spirit of classic rock.... Weeee are the champions..... WEEEE are the champions.  NO time for loooosers .... cause we are the chammppions! Of the world!! (fun song, terrible unitard!!!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gratitude - Celebrate Good Times, C'Mon!!

Hey. I've mentioned Kool And The Gang before :).
It's one funky little tune that always comes to mind when there's a lot of fun activity going on.

Disclaimer :): Just because it's been a couple of weeks since I've posted a "Gratitudes" certainly doesn't mean I'm not thankful!! These are grace-filled days. There is much to celebrate. I just always take the time to note it down :).

These past few weeks have been filled with fun. [Uh - mostly. Some days have been pretty ultra crappy too!!!]

Ten highlights for the Gratitude List are ....... in no particular order  ..... except maybe the way the jumped at me from the calendar :) ......

1. Spending time with my sister-in-laws at the local Olive Garden!! It's the first time we've ever ever ever done this (and I've been in the family for 11 years!!). And it was a lot of fun. Great pasta, good laughs and a different perspective on life. What a great way to spend a Friday night!!

2. Care group. We belong to a church family. And within that family, we have discovered and developed a fabulous care group. One night we got together as couples - sans children!! - and had a blast! It was so good to laugh and talk and connect over great food (if you see a theme running through my entries, it will likely revolve around food :P) and continue exploring and appreciating this gift of friends.

3. Wednesday night prayer meetings. Once a month, a group of us get together to pray for things that are "beyond our four walls." Issues that God is stirring in our hearts. Prayer for a broken world, prayer to be broken for the world, prayer to make a difference in a world that is lost and hurting. Sometimes we pray for the practical things and sometimes we pray beyond that, but through it, God is teaching me what it means to come together with other passionate people to seek and serve Him. Truly amazing.

4. I had the coolest opportunity one day. A really great guy made me lunch!! Okay. That sounds a little odd :). My brother, the youngest of our 4-kid crew, had me and my girlies over for lunch one day. We had to go check out his new apartment (the girls were mightily impressed by the larger-than-life tv :). Ah to be young again!!). He made us soup and sandwiches for lunch. In Little M's words "Uncle Mark makes really good sandwiches Mommy!!" Yes. Yes he does. They're definitely not as "toasted" as mine usually are!!! And we had a fabulous visit. I am blessed with great siblings. I was almost 8 when he was born, and I remember it as clear as a bell. He is funny funny FUNNY. And makes great grilled cheese sandwiches. The BEST part, though, was when he asked if I wanted TEA after lunch :). Of course :)! Who could resist!!!

5. As a kid, I loved trick-or-treating. My mom got right into the whole costume thing, and flipping through old photo albums, you'll always see us dressed up as something fun. These year we decided to dress up the girls and take them girls to a few homes (carefully screened, so that I knew nothing scary would freak them out!!). We had a blast! Okay, getting in and out of the van 5 times in an hour was tedious, but Little M caught onto "trick-or-treat" pretty quick! Sweet K was just happy to be holding a pail. Little M was a butterfly bug and Sweet K cuddly care bear. Squeezable!

6. Some of the biggest highlights happen over the phone, actually. Throughout my week I've had an amazing opportunity to connect with a few gals I love LOVE to spend time with, but life and distance makes that almost impossible!! Sometimes it's a day or two, or even a month or two, and those precious conversations just flow on. I cherish those times of connection that happen even while I'm at home, doing the mundane things of at-home-ness (folding laundry, another round in the kitchen...). With the laughter and story-swapping comes clarity, direction, appreciation, love. I'm far beyond my teen years, but I still enjoy the phone :P.

7. Snuggling in with the family. Whether it's playtime after the dishes are done (and that "interesting" stretch of time before bed in which I am totally exhausted and they are just winnnnnding up!), lingering at the table or a movie at the girls are tucked away, I enjoy times together. Just doing normal "family stuff." No pressures. No agenda. Just being. It is good.

8. HAIR CUTS! I could go for a haircut every. single. week. They are sooooo relaxing :). Even with the girls along. This time, Little M got a trim,  and Sweet K's hair got a little "help." It was her first "official" haircut. Long bangs are adorable, but slightly impractical in our home, for some reason. Maybe some day. I got tired of looking for all the little clips (and secretly freaking out that Sweet K had stuck it in her mouth, which has actually happened a couple of times!) and her hair is ALWAYS a conversation piece! Soooo, she did splendid for her first time in the "hair chair" :) - and suddenly she looks --- older. Waaa!

9. My mom came to visit. I love my mom's visits! We sit and drink coffee (well, not too much coffee for me these days, because it just doesn't sit well) and talk about all the same stuff we've ever talked about, only it's still fun :). Something new always emerges at some point :P. The kids LOVE grandma's visits. And for the occassion I whipped up fresh buns AND fresh banana muffins to go with home made chicken noodle soup. What a fabulous way to spend the day!

10. Back to care group one more time. Us 6 gals went out for supper ALONE! What a BLAST! Wow. First, conversations without kids are always deeper, better. And conversations without kids AND husbands --- I'm still laughing. And shaking my head. And marveling at this fun batch of girls :). I will never tell some of the secrets I've learned - pinkie swear :P - but I can say this. Girl nights are a lot of fun :)!!!

In amongst all this good ness :) I really DID get some work done :). I cooked and cleaned (and cooked and cleaned!!), "trained children" (aka. we're working on sharing. I tell you, this is hard work!!), met with development therapists and tried to work on their recommendations, boiled stinky diapers so that they are lovely, fresh and squeaky clean :P, scrubbed bathrooms, vacuumed, and tended to a dog that had too close a shave with the clipper. We practiced abc's some music lessons and lots of rhyming :). Sweet K is learning new sign language, which has been fun.

Okay. Sing out loud with me now.... Celebrate good times, C'Mon!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Locks & Keys...

I love learning.
I'm not always quick at it, but I love it. :)
I love finding out things about myself (even the tough stuff), about the world around me, definitely about the people in my world, my God - oh the joy of discovery.

But it can be sooooo frustrating, too. One of the biggest struggles I've experienced with Sweet K is the inner pull to focus on the pressure to learn, to teach, to achieve milestones, to obsess about the differences between normal and not. It's a tough balance - and a fine line - between guiding/facilitating and forcing.

In the past few weeks, though, she's been going through her own little learning explosion! So have I, in many ways.  I have discovered what I call little "keys" - insights into her learning patterns that unlock a pocket of discovery. And it's such a delight! Whether it's a gentle, guiding hand that helps her concentrate, firm insistence encouraging her to carry through tasks I know she can do, or using the many varied opportunities throughout the day to teach new little communications (she's starting to catch on to signing, and not just with me, but with others too, which is really a surprise!!) -- the process can be long and arduous, but it's worth it!

And really, it's not so different than my own journey. I can think of many people who've been woven forever into my life - some for a moment, others for the long haul (their patience humbles and astounds me :P) - who've provided the "keys" for my own personal discovery. Some lessons were a complete surprise, other dreams were locked away so tightly I (almost) forgot they existed. Each time a little corner is unlocked, I discover joy, healing, faith, peace, friendship, Love.

Is searching for the "keys" frustrating :)!? YES!! Sometimes, almost unbearably so!!! But the perseverance is worth it. Who knows what discoveries await tomorrow!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009


I've come to the conclusion that very little makes me crankier than the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Sometimes it's the big things. Like the things I'd change about myself if I had a magical wand. Or the things I'd change in the world if I had a magical wand. Or the things I'd fix for those I love.


And sometimes it's the little things. Like trying to get out the door on time (which never happens!!) without blowing a gasket. Or it's been a week since I vacuumed and there's enough hair on the floor to weave a small rug (I thought short hair wasn't supposed to do that!!!). Or you can't even blink without being interrupted!! Or the toys are everywhere, my thoughts are everywhere and it's hard to know where to begin, end and focus!!!

I wish I had an instant solution for this feeling of being overwhelmed.
Because I do not like it at all. 
I've been spinning my wheels all week.
Next week will be slower, I say to myself.
Next week I will pace myself better, I promise.
Sometimes I follow through, other times I don't.

Today was all about making a house a home.
Gentle(r) words :P, tidied corners, slowing down a little.
Accepting that there are some things you can change --- and others that you can't.
I'm starting to breathe easier again.


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