Sunday, February 20, 2011


Why is it so hard to be joyful in the midst of something? ...sickness, home repairs, bad weather, misbehaving children, family troubles - the list could go on and on.

We've been in the midst of home remodeling. For. Two. Months. I thought it was going to take 2 weeks. Boy, was I mistaken! Of course the end result hinges on a list of things that have to be accomplished first. So we have to keep plugging away.

The goal was to add one more bedroom into our home. The toy room was converted into the needed bedroom. Of course it wasn't the easiest of projects. It only had 2 full walls and one 1/2 wall. Hubby had to build new walls, a closet, do the electrical wiring and drywall. Then we had to prime and paint, stain the trim and doors, hang the doors and trim, etc. It finally was completed at the end of January. Bubby loves it! It's a much better use of space.
I, however, had a very hard time keeping my joy during this. My house was totally out of order! Things were everywhere.

The next step was to convert Bubby's old room into a room for the Bug. I figured a couple of gallons of paint and Viola!, room finished. Boy was I wrong! (Seems to be a pattern here). The Husband decided that we needed to scrape off the old paint, sand the walls, re-texture, then prime and paint. It's been rather stressful to say the least. Tonight the Bug is spending her first night in her new room. It's the first time in her life that she hasn't shared a room. The room is beautiful and well worth the work.
But again, I didn't always have the greatest attitude during the process. More of a "stay-out-of-my-way-and-let-me-get-this-darn-project-finished" attitude. You know, after it is done, then we can enjoy each other. No, I didn't let them in on the process. No, she didn't get to help paint her room (even though I told her she probably could). Nope, none of it. I'm ashamed of myself.

Of course there is still much to be done. Now we have to turn the Bug and Leeny's old room into Leeny and the Baby's new room. Then painting the hallway and the front room. Cleaning, sorting, painting. Again. I am dreading it. Was dreading it. I had an attitude adjustment tonight.

What else would I be doing with my time if not this home project? Reading? Maybe. Baking? Probably. Computer? Board games? Phone? Possibly. No matter what it was, I would be joyful. Why? Because it's all about me. And what is that teaching my children? That I can only be happy and joyful when I'm doing something I "like"? My joy shouldn't be conditional.

If my kids mimic me, is this a behavior I want to see in them? Unloading the dishwasher and being miserable? Feeding animals, working in the garden, putting away laundry all with a bad attitudes? These are all things that need done. I wouldn't tolerate that kind of attitudes from my kids. Why am I acting like that about painting and organizing MY house. We should work at all things as though working unto the Lord and not men. That goes for mom too.

So right now, I have a dresser sitting next to my refrigerator. A dresser! The toys? When we tore up the toy room, all the toys had to be moved - the bookshelves, the puzzles, the Little People, a ride-on zebra, all. those. babydolls. and their furniture. They have been in one of my family rooms and the shelves have been lining my hallway. Less than optimal for sure. But you know what? They'll get moved to rightful places when the little girls' room is complete.

I have a lot of painting to do. A LOT! I have a lot of things not in rightful places. A LOT! I'm not getting to spend as much time as I would like to spend doing things I like to do.
But I will be enjoying myself. I will be enjoying my kids in the midst of the chaos (like the impromptu piano concert Bubby gave or cuddle-time with the girls). The house will get finished. And we will not look back someday and say "Wow! That was a horrible time in our family's life." I don't want those kind of memories.


Friday, February 18, 2011

For Today....

Outside my window...the sun is starting its descent in the west. Long shadows are stretching across the yard. A few chickens are still scratching around the yard while some are seeking out their favorite roosts. (The big pine tree is much preferred over the chicken coop).

I am thinking...about homeschooling freedoms in Illinois and how it could so easily change.

I am thankful for...antibiotics. Although I wish they would work faster. This is the worst case of strep throat I have ever had!

From the learning rooms...a good full week's worth of schooling is complete despite losing a day to mom being down. And next weeks plans are squared away. We also had an awesome "hands on" learning opportunity on Tuesday. We spent the biggest part of our day at the state capitol where a hearing was taking place on registering homeschooled students. What a marvelous way for the kids to see government in action and an important lesson was learned in how we can protect our freedoms.

From the kitchen...nothing. My sweet momma is bringing chicken and noodles over to us. I just don't have the energy to cook. This strep throat is amazing in how it can affect the whole body!

I am wearing...t-shirt and blue lounge pants.

I am creating...the Bug's bedroom. It's almost done, finally! The colors are bold and bright just like my girl. I love it. But more importantly, she loves it. We just need to clean the floor, put some shelving in the closet and move her in.

I am going...try to muster up the energy to put the final coat of Caribbean blue on the Bug's wall tonight. The Husband already finished the Lime Green. I also plan to finish some laundry. It has gotten out of control this week.

I am reading...Mr. Revere and I per Bubby's recommendation. It's a cute little book. I'm also reading over some pressure canning recipes and gardening catalogues. Spring fever has set in and I can't wait to get outside and get my hands in the dirt.

I am hoping...that we are done being sick around here. I've had enough. I can't even tell you how many toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste I have thrown away this winter.

I am hearing...the radio very softly and am wondering at the lack of noise. Not that my house is usually loud because it is not. We are very quiet during the day, surprisingly so for 4 kids. But I'm wondering if the 3 older have ventured outside? They have been out in all their spare time enjoying this "spring tease" weather we've been having. The Baby is playing with toys right here beside me.

Around the house...just the normal. The house looks lived in. Comfortable messy for the most part. A few areas that are past needing some attention, like the kitchen counter. Why oh why does that long counter become a catch all? A few loads of laundry needs folded and put away. Bubby in his excitement to take off on the dirt bike, left some schoolbooks on the table. The Baby leaves a trail everywhere she goes. And I'm reminded again how much I longed for that little one, extra work and all.

One of my favorite things...knowing that spring is around the corner. The days are lasting a little longer, the weather is not so cold, birds are singing. And there are no bugs. Yet

A few plans for the weekend... working on getting well, finishing up the Bug's room, introducing my kiddos to Punkie Brewster (thanks to Netflix) and church - pretty much just spending time together with no real pressing things to do.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

One of my gardens last spring. Can't wait for this year. Spring fever? Oh yes!

Have a great weekend.
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Friday, February 4, 2011


The "storm of all storms" didn't happen, at least around here. It wasn't the "Snowmagedon" that the media hyped it to be. Chicago got hit hard. Some areas around us saw up to 15" of snow. We only got about 4 inches plus about 1/2 inch of ice. It was a nuisance, yes. Especially for those who had to work out in it - road crews, lineman, ambulance, etc. For the most part though, it was just an average Illinois snow.

I'm thankful that I don't have to work outside. That being said, I love winter. Call me weird, but I love Illinois weather. All seasons. There is beauty in it all.

Take the ice. Yes, it's hard to get around in. Yes, it's dangerous. But it is gorgeous!

One of the blue spruce trees in the backyard.

Cattle panels. I never thought I would think of them as pretty. But I do now.

Look how long some of those icicles are. Amazing!

The way the sun sparkled off these - WOW! It was breathtaking.

Look at that detail. Our God is super creative!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wisconsin Dells, Part 4

The Baby gets her own post.
She was soooo much fun this year.
Last year, she sat in her stroller. This year we chased her with the stroller.

She loves balls. Just like her big sister, Leeny. I thought she was going to crawl up in this machine to get one. About that time, some father and son gave her their ball. I guess they felt sorry for her. What did she do? Stick it back in the machine. She wanted to get it her herself. Oh boy! Can't wait for the 2's.

The Baby thought she was the welcoming committee for the baby pool. She would toddle, fall under the water, get back up and greet everybody that entered the pool. "Hi." Then she would talk jibberish like she was telling them the rules or how the slides were or something. She was very animated. It was hilarious!

She is, for sure, one of ours. Not that we ever doubted. But her love of the water slides just confirmed it. She loved it! And didn't even mind going under water. Good. Four out of four love the waterpark.

The Baby also practiced her driving skills. She wasn't all that impressed that this didn't go. She added her own motor noises, but quickly tired of it. I think she likes the real deal at home.

Every once and a while, she'd come and snuggle for a bit. Especially if you had something yummy to eat. I think she was stealing daddy's snack.
The Baby was very busy but exceptionally fun to take on vacation. Everything was new and wonderful to her. I can't wait to see what next year brings.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Dells, Part 3

Bubby drove a tractor in a parade, by himself, at the age of 3. He's been driving vehicles by himself since he was 5. He started driving a stick-shift at age 7. I would venture to say he can probaly drive better than many 16 year olds and some adults. You can probably imagine his frustration at being told that he wasn't tall enough to drive a go-cart alone. He's been driving those at home, alone, for years along with 4-wheelers and dirt bikes.

This year, he was tall enough. Finally! He was very excited. This might have been his favorite part of the trip. The indoor go-carts are very fun!

Leeny and the Husband getting ready for a race. First you have to listen to all the safety directions.

I even raced this year. Don't you just love my car? It was a fast one. I started in 5th and came in 1st. I'm not usually competitive, but in go-carts I am. I did get in trouble for spinning some guy around on the track. He should have picked one lane. He was a track hog and kept slowing down on the curves. I didn't slow down and well, we had to stop and wait for someone to turn his car around.

Here is Bubby, ready to race. Again!