Friday, July 31, 2009

Tawk amungst y'selves: Shower vs. bath

Which do you prefer and why?? Do tell!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Me time

I met up with my parents today to trade them my kids for a van.  Ok, so it’s not a complete and permanent trade on the kids side, but the girls are staying with them for the weekend.  The van is mine to keep! Yay!  More on that soon.

So I’m going to be barreling forward with getting this house organized, getting myself organized a little, and just enjoying some quiet time, and hopefully time to do some writing. 

For those of  you who are used to immediate responses to emails and such, make a note that tomorrow you’ll need to call me if you want something right away.  I’m OFF the computer tomorrow, at least during the day.  I will probably be on tomorrow evening.  If you don’t have my phone number but want it, send me an email tonight.  Otherwise, you might need to wait a few hours for a reply.  I know…shock!!!

My goals are these… 
~~To get boxes that are yet to be unpacked since we moved in August of last year dealt with, be it unpacking or just tossing.
~~To organize my little office corner in the basement. I can’t stand having horrible…well, just NO filing system at present.  This is a big project…very big.
~~To organize and store the toys in the girls’ rooms and in the living room so that only some of them are out and we can rotate them occasionally.  There’s just too many options. Braska gets them all out and then ignores most of them.  A few is all that’s necessary. 
~~To CLEAN the kitchen and bathroom.  Not just straighten.  Floor to ceiling.
~~To make a couple useful/fun items for the girls’ rooms that I’ve been meaning to work on.
~~To catch up on updates on the girls for the blogs and my own use in the future.  And to do some picture posting that I’ve been horrible neglecting.
~~To organize the garage better, possibly add a cabinet or something to hold things that don’t need to be in the kitchen. (There’s no room for a junk drawer or closet for utility items.)
~~To rearrange the kitchen cabinets more efficiently and store things I don’t use often in the basement storage area.

And on the intangible side… I want to spend some quality quiet time, several times, in just being still.  Knowing. Remembering.

Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I am God.

I need to be still and know…
…that He is in control. Always.
…that He loves me.  All of me. As I am right now. No matter what. (By the way, that goes for YOU too! Yep, I mean you.)
…that He LONGS to hear from me. All the time.
…that He will always provide what I need.
…that He works everything out for my best. Even when I can’t see how that’s possible.  He will never let me down.

Think I can get it all done??

In the meantime, let me share one more thing.  My friend Jessie had a post today that I really appreciated.  It was honest and… well, I don’t know why it struck me as it did, but I suppose I often think I’m drowning in an inch of water that everyone else seems to not even notice.  So thanks, Jessie.  Thanks for being real. 

Here was my comment: It's good to know you're not perfect... seriously, though, it is nice sometimes to know that others struggle with getting the regular things of life too. Maybe NO ONE does it the way I seem to think MOST do it... maybe we're all just barely staying afloat. Maybe THAT'S the norm, we just are afraid to all admit it. Hmmmmm...

Monday, July 27, 2009

This is getting off on the right foot

I saw this on Renee's blog and it's now been flooding everywhere. But since I know some of you don't keep up with such current issues, (yeah, you know who you are...tee hee) I thought I'd put a link here.

A very wise person close to me said this about it..."I'm pretty sure that is what God really intends when people get married."

So get ready for the party of 11/11/11, for the few of you who know what that day will bring... it's gonna be something to see!!

Totally worth a watch, or two... click here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

New way to get blog posts

I'm aware that the readers of our blogs are not all on the same level of geekhood or tech ability, so we've got something new to share to make keeping up with our blogs simple.I talk about Google Reader alot. It keeps me from having to check blogs when there haven't been any posts. I receive notification of new posts on blogs I choose to watch. I like it, I use it, and I don't quite know why everyone doesn't. But for those of you who don't have alot of blogs to watch or just choose not to go the Reader route, there's a new option for you on our family blogs (mine, Kinlee's, and Braska's).

In the margin, you'll see a box that has "Enter your email address" in it. This allows you to receive blog posts in your email so that you don't have to keep coming to check the blog when it's not being updated every day...something I still aim to return to soon. Just enter your email in there and that's it. When there's a new post, it will come to your inbox and you can read it there. To make a comment, there will be a link to bring you to the blog itself.

Nifty, huh? We aim to please.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wheels of Justice

For those of you interested in the criminal, yet ridiculous story of the theft of last week, M has put up a few posts with details on his blog. It's a pretty bizarre series of events, for sure.

A kind of weird, but neat thing has come out of it. It's related to the Baby Signing Time DVD (checked out from the library) that was stolen and not recovered. More coming soon on that...

Monday, July 13, 2009

One small step toward motherhood

I'm sitting here at the public library. My girls are next to me in the stroller. We've spent time reading in the big chair in the preschool section. Braska had a ball with the space to crawl in and the play table with the beads on the metal spirals (Don't know what that is called.) She showed off her fine motor skills in ways I didn't know she could. We've picked up a few Baby Signing Time videos from the kids DVD section. (She's addicted, Braska is.) Now we sit at the little cafe-looking area for wi-fi-ers, and we're waiting for M to call to say he's done with the council meeting he has to work a couple times a month. Then we'll go pick him up and head home.

This is big. You might not think so, but it is.

So many of you are great mothers. You take your kids on trips and experiences. You go to cultural places and lots of play venues. I generally prefer to stay home these days.

I'm a mom. Moms can be found everywhere. It doesn't take much to be a mom. But going to the library, spending time reading and letting the toddler roam around. Enjoying the semi-quiet. Mothers do this. Good moms, you might call them. Their kids grow up to say, "My mother was great when we were young." That's in contrast to "My mom was always late and scattered." I've never considered myself able to wear the "mother" label other than in fact only, medically, that is. But I have enjoyed watching Braska love this place. I've liked seeing the two of them light up at all the stuff to see. We need to get out of the house more, and this might just be our free ticket.

I know, I might be nuts. But it feels like a peek at real family life. Outside the house. And there's not a TV on or a dog barking incessantly.

Here's to working toward motherhood! Ciao!

Meet Lily

Doing some random searching tonight I came across a link to Braska's blog from Lily's blog, where I found this video.  

Lily,  you're a doll... and such an encouragement to me today!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

DSA of Central Texas

They've done a pretty great video... worth a watch. There's something different about it from others that might be similar...something I can't put my finger on, but I like it.

Down Syndrome in the 21st Century from oppforce on Vimeo.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Story: Provision. Again.

I've been dragging my feet through these adjustments and (sometimes) trials these last several months, but that should never take away from the provision of God that we've seen on our behalf again and again.  I don't think I am clear enough about how obvious his hand is evident in our lives from day to day.  That's one of those things I'd like to unload more in writing when I have more time to focus.

I've been wanting to write about the last couple weeks, specifically a few little things.  I keep thinking I need to make time, but it hasn't happened. But between yesterday and today, I am amazed yet again at how well we're taken care of daily.  And I think it's time I give testimony to the surprising little ways our life's puzzle pieces have fallen into place lately. (Even though the picture that's taking shape is not one I would have picked for myself if I had been in charge of such things.  More on that later.)

If you're in a hurry...there's a bulleted summary below.  For those of you who like the details, here you go.

About 3 weeks ago, after number crunching, it became clear that we needed to decrease our outflow very quickly if we were going to truly live within our means, which we feel is a high priority.  We decided we had to sell at least one of our cars to be out from under the payments, realizing selling both would be ideal.  We haven't been a one-car family for several years, and it wasn't appealing to us, but we felt it was what had to be done. The plan was that if we could sell both of them, we'd get something cheap just to get us around while we made arrangements in our budget to be sure everything was covered that was needed.  We decided to list both cars, see what went first, and then go from there. 

The next day, before we'd even put out the info for the cars, my mom called to tell me they had found a new-to-them minivan that was just what they wanted and she asked if we might buy their old van for a ridiculously low price.  I'm talking less than 10% of the Kelley Blue Book value.  Wow. I said that was a deal we couldn't pass up and miraculously timed.  I've been wanting a minivan for the space and ease of in-and-out for the kids in carseats and such, so this was a great opportunity.

We only posted the info about the cars in one place.  M's old employer in C-U has an inter-office intranet with classifieds on it, and our very super marvelous friend and M's former boss, Jessi, offered to post the info and field inquiries on that first level.  I sent her the info, and I admit I didn't think much would come of it. 

The first day I think I had 2 people contact me for more info, one wanting to see it after some email discussion.  We live 3 hours from there now, so we talked about how we'd get together, making plans for the following weekend.  That was a Friday, if I remember right, and we (my sister Rachel and I) spent all day Saturday detailing the cars and making them ready for showing.  I sent the new pics to Jessi on Monday and got another inquiry that day from a very excited young lady.  All the interest was on my car, the Altima, but this girl was just plain excited about the car.  She asked questions, saw all the pics, sent the info to her husband in Afghanistan. Tuesday afternoon she said she had a green light from him, and we arranged for her to meet us half way to drive the car on Wednesday afternoon and decide for sure.  She drove it, loved it, and bought it right then.  I hated to let go of that car, but it was the right thing to do.

My parents were out of town, with the old van, for a two-week trip.  So we knew we wouldn't be getting the van right away, and that was ok.  Then we get the call that the van has been in an accident (minor, everyone is safe)so it will be about 3 weeks til we can have use of it.  

At this same time, I'm in email discussion with someone from M's former employer again about the Mazda.  She was quite serious and wanted to arrange a time to see it, very soon.  Suddenly we don't have access to the van AND we may sell the last car we have.  Calls were made, possible scenarios were organized.  My parents have other vehicles available so we'll have something to drive if we need it.

The interested party for the Mazda decides not to move on it just now, and we're ok with that due to the circumstances.  Perfect timing, since we needed the car. 

Then yesterday, the Mazda is vandalized and things are stolen.  Thankfully, there were witness who took great notice of the perpetrator and the vehicle he was in.  Not even two hours later the culprit is caught, the items are found. 

Now to fix the window on the car.  It can't be done that day, the forecast calls for rain, and I have appointments that must be kept.  Wait! A call to Julie confirms that her van is not going to be used for the weekend, and she says she'll bring it over in a bit.  The Mazda is swept out thoroughly and parked in the garage to wait for a new window.

M gets a tip from another county department for a guy who can get us a new window.  M calls him, and he sets an appointment for 24 hours later.  He'll come to the house and put in a new one, and the price is right!  He came this morning, he replaced the window quickly, and as he was leaving, he asked if we liked the car. He said he could be interested, when I told him we liked it but were selling it. 

This is when I laughed and shook my head...  wouldn't it be so crazy cool if the whole vandalizing and theft was only the means with which to cross paths with the intended buyer of the vehicle?!?  You can't hardly make this stuff up! (And maybe it was also to catch a guy who has obviously been down this thieving road before.)

The bottom line is this...for every thing that has come up and made me drop into a chair and sigh, something else has come to light soon after to let me know we're going to be ok.  As the sighs continue, the provisions do as well.

Life is not easy.  Things don't always resolve so quickly. But I'm thankful that for now, in this season, God is choosing to remind us often that he's got our backs.  He's in control.  He may not always remove the problem, but he'll always provide an answer when it's needed.  It might not be the one I would prefer, but it is ALWAYS the best one, even if I am unable to see it until much later.


To summarize:
~Oh no...we have to sell our car(s).
~Yay! We can buy Mom and Dad's van for cheap!
~Oh no...we have a buyer for the Mazda but no access to the van yet.
~Oh no...the van gets in an accident and must be repaired before we can get it.  It will be 3 weeks.
~Yay! (kind of) The buyer is on hold for a bit. We can drive the Mazda for now.
~Oh no...the Mazda get's vandalized and broken into. Things are taken.
~Yay! Someone saw the thief and reported it immediately.
~Yay! The guy is caught and the stuff is retrieved!
~Oh no...the window is broken and we've got no back-up car.  And it's going to cost money to fix it that we don't have.
~Yay! Julie doesn't need her van for the weekend so we can use it.
~Yay! The glass guy can come out the next day to the house to fix the window and he gave us a great deal!
~Yay! The glass guy is actually interested in buying the Mazda.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Seriously...come on!

We have one car. Everyone knows that by now. We're adjusting pretty well, for the most part. This morning, M took it instead of us taking him to work because he needed to work off-site at another county location.

He called about an hour ago.

Ready for it?

Someone threw a brick through the passenger side front window and took our GPS and DVD player.

Seriously. I just sit here and shake my head. I keep saying, "We're going to figure it out," every time some new bizarre thing pops up with us. But I'd like a break from the figuring if it's ok.

ETA: Someone in the county building saw the action, called the cops with the description of the guy and the car he was in. They caught him. They got the electronics back. That's good, especially since the DVD had a Baby Signing Time from the library in it. It's now in evidence. Wow...I just had a real reason to say something of mine was "in evidence." Weird. Now to figure out how to take care of the window.

My super wonderful friend Julie has graciously offered to make her van available for us since they're not needing it this weekend. Once again, we'll figure it out. We'll get through. In the meantime, I just have to laugh or I'll cry, for sure.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What lit up my day

I got a visit from this totally huggable, perfectly joyful, amazingly flexible beauty, along with her hot mama and super cool grandmas.

There are lots more pics... I could have cuddled on this little one for at least a few more hours, no doubt. You should all be very jealous! Thanks for stopping, LC, Courtney, and company!!! We'll see you again soon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Update light

If you're a Reader reader, there are new background layouts here, at Kinlee's, and at Braska's, so if you're into those things, check 'em out.

We're here and smiling. Overall we've had a couple good weeks, even though there's been alot of potentially frustrating news and happenings going on during that time. I've surprised myself at how many things have come up and how little they've stressed me. That's nice to notice. The girls are little jewels, for the most part, and we're adjusting to living with one car fairly smoothly.

I've got so many great pics and videos and funny stories and ponderings and random goofy observations that I'd love to share, but I haven't yet found the time. I did find a new spot that may be my new retreat-for-a-couple-hours-to-write spot if I find a chance. We'll see...

Once again, thanks to all of you who have been checking in. Hopefully I'll get to be more consistent very soon!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

God Bless Our Land

I'm very thankful for the privilege of living in the USA. I thank God for our country and our freedoms every single night when I have bedtime prayers with Braska. I also ask that He give wisdom to our leaders, local and national, to make right decisions for our nation. May we be true to the design of our country's founders as we move forward.

Thank you, Lord, for this land of ours. Humble us where we need to be humbled, and give us the courage to always do what is right and best. Amen.

Friday, July 3, 2009

National Insomnia Nights

I love holidays. I like Independence Day. I like grilling parties. I like fireworks. I like to watch them in big displays. I don't even mind a few in the driveway or something. But I'm finding that there is a fuddy-duddy side to me, also known as "mother of 2 small girls who need their sleep." Unfortunately for me, we live in an unincorporated sliver of the county, between two proper suburbs, and the rules here (not that they are abided by) allow for fireworks to be set off until 11pm for 3 nights in a row. Very uncool. Especially because we live in a subdivision with over 600 houses in it, very close together, and apparently at least 500 of them are big fans of late-night fireworks.

It doesn't help that 2 blocks away there is a monstrous fireworks tent selling boatloads of the stuff. Anyone got ideas on where we can go for the next two nights where there might be more sleep available??

Edited to add: It's 12:30am. We've had quiet for about 10 minutes. Thankfully, the girls are asleep. Now it's my turn. Good night, and Happy Birthday America!