Life ’round Here

Beautiful, bright and shiny,
that sunshine I see.
The warm air, or what we call warm,
feels marvelous.
Has Spring come to stay?
I sure hope this sunshine burns up some germs
we have floating around here.

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The other day Kennedy and Dakota were on the floor playing
and she started with a coughing spasm.
He backed up a bit and said,
“PLEASE! Get her out of my space!”

That’s how we all feel about these illnesses.

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D was to the Dr yesterday so I hope we’re all on the mend.

~~~

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When the Mother tries to do a bit of cleaning
they all swoop in and make a house out of everything.
Why yes, I flip my chairs over every week.
You mean you don’t? :P
ha. please don’t stop in unannounced.

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When you leave for 20 minutes and come home
and find the need to google,
“How do you get dry erase marker off carpet”
Maybe this is why I needed to flip over furniture.

~~~

Madison is on a baking spree.
She comes home from school and says,
“I am going to bake and bake and bake today!”
I say “Fine!”

Most of the things have something to do with chocolate.
I think she’s getting her chocolate fix now
because her Mother rarely bakes anything chocolate.

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{Her Chocolate Crinkle cookies}

Last night she made a Texas Sheet cake.
All went well and after supper she made the frosting.
She called me over and said,
“This stuff is so runny it probably won’t even stay on the cake!”
Sure enough, it was fairly dripping off the spoon.
I asked a whole lot of questions,
yes, everything was in,
yes, she followed the recipe,
yes, she did everything right
(given that there were no directions beside the ingredients.)
Finally she started reading the recipe,
listing all the amounts she had put in.
Butter =  3 and 1/2 STICKS
Her Mother yelled, “WHAAAAAT?”
She shrugged, “But that’s what the recipe says!”

Now this Mother had made that recipe lots of times
and she knew good and well it had always turned out before
and she had NEVER used that much butter in the frosting.
She whipped that card out of the daughter’s hand
and prepared to read it correctly.
Lo and behold, sure enough it said,
1 and 3/4 c butter.

I groaned.
In all the times I made the recipe,
I never noticed that little c that I had mistakenly written down.
I always knew it meant 1 1/2 sticks.
Well, score 1 for her, she was obviously following directions.

On to the next problem.
We were almost out of powered sugar
and we had already borrowed all of the neighbor’s cocoa powder,
so we weren’t gonna go asking again.
I dumped half the soupy frosting in a bowl
and added the rest of the powered sugar to the other half
and all was well!
They ate up the cake with lots of frosting.

~~~~

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When you take them to Home Depot and you think
pushing one of those huge dumb carts will help entertain.
Wrong.

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He loves to play Memory and will play with anyone that is willing.
She is willing because she is always the winner,
showing no mercy at any point in the game!
I guess he is a glutton for punishment
because he’ll always play another game with her.

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Those lazy Sat mornings when they all watch You Tube videos
and laugh and laugh and laugh.
Those are good times to watch.

~~~

On my last post about comparing,
I was also thinking about the flip side.
Do I degrade people in comparison to myself?
Do I judge them?
Do I think less of them than myself?
Sadly, sometimes, yes.
Why?

This quote by C.S. Lewis says a lot:

“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man… It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.”

Comparison

I look around.
I see her smile, abilities, qualities, her beauty.

I look at myself, I see flaws.
There are just so. many. things wrong with me.

I compare me. And her.

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I feel like I am just the smallest shell in the sea,
the most worthless, who would care about me?
There are so many holes in my heart.
The gritty sand that is rough and painful squeezes in
and makes the holes even bigger.

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She smiles, talks, laughs, loves people.
I am quiet, hurting, closed up tight.
Everyone loves her, they look right past me.

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I see my cracked pieces, rough edges,
my inabilities, my faults, oh how many there are.

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I line myself up, side by side with her.
She is white, clean, seemingly perfect.
I am small, dirty, and ugly.
My heart has spots no one knows about,
but I don’t notice any on her.

Comparison has stolen my joy.
I have become green with jealousy.
It’s consuming me, breaking off one piece of heart at a time.
I am miserable, I can’t even enjoy life.

If I would look closer,
there are things about her I didn’t even see.
She has some tiny pieces lodged in a spot.
Her edges are not completely round.
They were jagged at one time,
but are now smooth by the water of God’s love.
There is some discoloring, so at one time
she may have been just as green as I am.
But now, by allowing God to transform her,
she has been made beautiful.
Her imperfections are still there, she still has flaws,
but I didn’t even notice because I
have been consumed with comparing
her goodness to my inabilities.

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I have lost my perspective.
Things seem so much better in her life,
but obviously at some point in time
she fought battles of her own.
The scars are there, but her life shows she fought and won.
I have forgotten that I can too, with Jesus.

I’ve forgotten about Gratitude.
How much about my life is there to be thankful for?
So many good things!
Things I don’t even notice anymore
because I am consumed with comparison.
I need to take the focus off my hurts, myself,
count ways God has blessed me
and find my joy again.

I can’t compare my weakness with her strength.
Each of us are created unique.
God made me, He sees me, He loves me,
just the way I am, for who I am,
right here, right now.
Sure, He wants to work on me,
to smooth my edges,
but He loves the me of right now.

A rose can never be a sunflower and a sunflower can never be a rose.
All flowers are beautiful in their own way and that’s like women too.

If I take my eyes off myself,
focus on Jesus and His love,
my perspective changes
and I soon find myself
wanting to become more like Him
instead of someone else.

March – 365

March already?
Yes, I am aware that it is nearly over.

3-1
3-1 Soft pretzels

3-2
3-2 My Haitian bowl with fruit

3-3
3-3 The feverish child sleeps

3-4
3-4 The librarian is in.

3-5
3-5 There are actually days you can tell they love each other.

3-6
3-6 Their favorite spot in Pinecraft FL

3-7
3-7 Vacation is the life… for kids.
(but any good mom knows they were up and running in 2.5 sec)

3-8
3-8 Quick Care Sunday Morning.

3-9
3-9 Beach days are quite a lot more fun for the kids then parents.

3-10
3-10 Waving in the wind

3-11
3-11 Sea Shell hunting with their dad.
(You should have seen her throw it when it stuck a sticky leg out the side)

3-12
3-12 Little Georgie is feeling better if she wants my coffee again.

3-13
3-13 One last swim

3-14
3-14 Homeward bound

3-15
3-15 Are we there yet?

3-16
3-16 God paints the sky

3-18
3-18 Time spent with old friends are the best.

3-19
3-20 Reagan makes the best of the mud

3-20
3-21 A good lunch after grocery shopping

Take the Time

The desire to post is there,
but the words are not.
Some weeks leave you wordless
and last week was one of them.

We were in FL for Spring Break
and drove home Sat (the 14th) during the night.
Tue morning we left for IN for Alliyia’s funeral.
We finally landed back at home on Thursday
with almost no food in the house with which to cook.
Fri the airport (aka: house) needed to be cleaned,
groceries needed to be gotten,
and Mt. Laundry was looming over my head,
but it all seemed trivial after the week we experienced.

Walk

One way this hit home with me was
my time, or lack of it, with my own children.
Why do we do that?
Shouldn’t they be most important?
Why do we rush past them,
always onto the next thing,
dragging them along behind?
We’re in such a hurry to get the next thing done,
clean the next room,
make the next meal,
get to the next event on time,
and our kids run along after us,
getting our leftovers.
Why are they not my priority?

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I am trying to make a point of listening to them,
hearing their heart and appreciating them.
Saying “Yes” a little more often,
reading 1 more book,
playing one more game,
listening to 1 more tale from school.

It’s sad that it takes an event like this to shake me up,
but it did. I hope I won’t soon forget it.

Sit down and hold your children, listen to them.
The rest of the world will wait,
work has never run away yet.
Love them today.

~~~~

While we were in Indiana we saw friends and family
we hadn’t seen in a long while.
We celebrated little lives,
new birthdays and enjoyed each other.

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Mr Grant turned 1.
He’s all boy and we were hoping
he would just dig into this cake
with his all boy vengeance,
but he declined.
His Mama has taught him well
and he was nice and polite while he ate.

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Grandpa helped him eat a bite.

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The kids fished and fought, quite loudly.

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And enjoyed an airplane ride or 2 before they went home.

It was good to spend an evening with family.

~~~

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Before you see another sunset,
make a point to take time and enjoy the people in your life.
You won’t regret it.

I just heard little voices in the next room.
One said to the other,
“I like you. Do you like me?”

Little Lia

A phone call comes that you never want to answer.
Words spoken that squeeze the heart.
Pain that one never wants to imagine.
A little tiny life snatched away so quickly,
whisked into the arms of Jesus in a mere moment.
Tears fall like rain.
A precious little child taken from the ones who loved her.

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She was an adorable little girl, loved by 2 families.
Her birth family and her foster family,
who were loving her while her Mom was in prison.
She slipped away from a watchful eye and was struck by a car.
So tiny, so fragile, so sweet, and Jesus called.

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At Christmas time my cousin Glenda had asked if I would come over
and take some photos of her and Alliyia doing their normal things together.
It was so much fun and now I look through them and the tears slip down,
remembering this sweet little one and knowing the pain they feel.

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Snuggles with Nana and baby.

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She loved to read books.

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Bedtime was so much fun.

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Sweet, squishy little hugs that you will never ever forget.

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Snack time standing on her favorite spot in the kitchen.

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Glenda kept pictures of Alliyia’s Mom around the house.

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She loved to touch, kiss, and talk to them.

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Singing her favorite song, “Building up the Temple.”

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Peek around the chair was a favorite game.

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Look at her little toe, sticking up in the air.

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Peek-a-boo sweet little one,
if only for one more time.

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Let’s read just one more book.

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…and blow just a few more sweet kisses good-bye!

Jesus, hold her close.
She is so very missed down here.

Squeeze your children one more time today!
Love them.

And please, breathe a prayer for these families!

Project 365 – Feb

2-17
2-17 The kids went out to play after dark one night when Eric was gone.

2-18-22-18 My Little One

2-19
2-19 Lunch alone.

2-20
2-20 Our fireman who keeps us safe.
2-21
2-21 Their Dad came home to give them rides since their Mom wouldn’t go out in the snow.

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2-22 Sunday Night Popcorn

2-23

2-23 Fresh Bread

2-24

2-24 Someone had a birthday!

2-25

2-25 A bit of redecoration and best of all the kids stand and read the map.

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2-26 Helped with a Colonial Lunch at school

2-27

2-27 Miss Libby

2-28

2-28 A sister lunch

Sisters

There are these people called sisters.
You are fortunate if you have one,
and I am one of those.

We were born 11 years apart, my sister and I,
2 brothers in between us.
I thought I would never have a sister
until I found Mom’s pink birth announcements
before Sarita was born.
When they called and told me I had a sister,
I just smiled, because I already knew.

For a long time that’s all we were, just sisters.
I would introduce her as my little sister.
She would wiggle shyly and not say anything.
I combed her hair, dressed her up,
drug her around taking pictures of her.
She followed me around when my friends came over.
She was just the little sister.

Life kept moving along.
She grew up and got married (while I cried),
she had children and suddenly,
we were more then sisters,
we were best friends.
We were fighting the same battles,
figuring out life together,
calling and talking almost every day.

We are so much the same, yet so very different.
I talk too much. She doesn’t have much to say.
She is quiet and shy, I am generally not.
We think the same. We laugh the same.
We both inherited that dreadful
crying streak from Mom.
We are family. We are friends.
We are sisters.

This past weekend she came to visit,
her little family in tow, and what a fun weekend it was.
I was so glad they were coming on Thursday so the
weekend would be a little longer.
And then Sunday, thank you Jesus,
it snowed them in and they stayed an extra day.

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Sarita and our little girls.

I laughed more this weekend than I have in a long time.
Most of it was over the dumbest little things,
but there is no one who understands those little
things like a sister.

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Grandma sent a few more gifts for Kennedy.
The piggy bank was a winner.
Put 10 coins in, open the bottom,
dump them out and put them in again.

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We tried to take a few pictures of Libby.
Tried is the key word there.
She dearly loves her Mommy and would either
crawl toward her, or cry because she wasn’t there.

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Our little boys were just itching for cupcakes
with blue frosting. Everything must be blue.
So we obliged and figured if the frosting is blue,
it will keep the Moms from eating any.

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It’s almost frightening sometimes how much some of our kids act alike.
Bryce and Kennedy share a lot of traits.
One of which is eating all the frosting off the top of the cup cake.

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Meal time was just circus city!
When there are more kids then adults, it gets wild.
All the littles needed something Now! and the babies cried.
It was a fun circus.

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Our babies are all tag babies.
They will find the tag or the silkie edge to play with on their blankets.

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The men and kids went out to play in the snow on Sunday.
We were happy to stay inside and watch
And breathe deeply of the wonderful quietness.

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Later we made soft pretzels.
We were just about tired of cooking and cleaning up the next mess till the weekend was over. Why do these people want meals all the time?
If it were up to us, we would just continually snack and never need a big meal.

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Madison and Kennedy are 10 years apart.
I told Madison many many moons ago,
that was Sarita and I sitting there.
She had no idea that we were that far apart in age.
I also told her that one day Kennedy could be her best friend,
it doesn’t matter how much younger she is.

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We ended the weekend with a little Curious George
and a few more tear rolling laughs!

I know my sister well enough to know she is laughing
but wiping tears while she reads this.
That’s ok, because I am too.

For there is no friend like a sister in calm or stormy weather; To cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, to strengthen whilst one stands. -christina rossetti