Saturday, August 31, 2013

insta friday - alone

Since I last wrote you 
the most glorious thing happened.
You see it has been a little dream of mine
to be in my house all alone
over more than a day.
To just be able to dig into
things that need to be organized
and work on those projects that you don't
start because you know you won't have time to finish
because of all the interruptions.
you know well what I'm talking about right.
Well, this dream, it happened.
For the first time in 11 1/2 years!
My husband was able to take my kids away for a long
weekend road trip last weekend.
And this left me 
for four days.
And you know what.
It was kind of weird... at first.
I thought for sure I'd be doing a happy dance.
But the emptiness was kind of eery.
Until I got into a groove
organizing for the school year
prettying up my side of the office,
and painting away on custom orders.
This one, oh how honored I was to work with this family.
Their daughter has spina bifida. 
Her mom contacted me months ago to see if I could
do a print of a girl in a wheelchair.
I pray a lot through these prints
and ask the Lord to lead me to the right
This hillsong song just kept coming to me.
So I gave it to her as an option.
Which inspired her to ask for
lyrics from their daughter's favorite Christian band.
So this is the finished product.
I'm so very excited for them to gift it to her.
It's so awesome to be able to be a part of something
you know will just make someone's day and to know
it was all for God's glory.

Meanwhile, the kids were
having a blast in Arizona, riding around,
rock admiring
and collecting.
Oh and killing wasps.  That's a wasp zapper 
thingy.  Youngest daughter was very upset.
Saying wasps are God's creatures too.
Love her heart.
But still don't like wasps.
Especially these Arizona sized wasps.
On my last morning alone I had definitely
gotten used to the quiet. 
And was soaking every last second up.
And within minutes, that clean, empty room 
turned into this.
So we begin again.
We had one last hurrah for summer
and went to sky high.
They nearly had the place to themselves.
That was pretty cool.
something looks wrong with that picture up there.
And this began....more on all of that soon.
It's a little surreal having all three home this year.
And I haven't quite found my footing yet
with our schedule and how to manage it all.
Can I be quite honest, I've already shut myself
in my room and cried.
Cause this isn't for the faint of heart.
My oldest is actually being so surprisingly good and independent
and going the extra mile.
The girls are sweet and hard workers too.

But having a struggling learner with dyslexia
and working memory problems.
It's just hard. 
Hard for her.
And hard for me.
And we've had some hard days.
So if you think of it, 
keep my sweet middle girl in prayer. 
I'm praying the Lord will break through walls in a big and mighty way.
Oh and endurance for me.
Endurance and good health.
Cause with God's help
I gotta keep this ship running!

Friday, August 23, 2013

is it friday already again?

I know I shouldn't complain.
Fridays are fun days.
But my oh my, the weeks are just speeding by.
School begins for us on Tuesday.

I'm excited. 
And nervous.
And in full planning mode.
Trying to wrap my brain around schedules.

And three.

Three kids at home for school this year.
And how to attend to their needs.
And one on one time.
And how to keep the others occupied
while one or more need that one on one time.
Without losing their attention.
It's enough to send my heart racing a bit.
Cause I have one who if you lose her, you lose her big time.
And the emotions and the reeling back in.  It's tough.
And it triggers anxiety in me.
Which is good for no one.
So I try to keep it to a minimum.

And then I realize that I may not be able to wrap my 
brain around how all of this will work until I'm just in it.
And I find my way as it unfolds.

Because so often we can plan and schedule and map out
and then we realize our plans don't really work.

But my tendency is to map out.
Because my brain needs a map.
I like guidelines.
I'm a rule kind of girl.
Tell me the directions, and I'll see it through.
Every last detail.

And right now, with our new curriculums 
and adding a SIXTH grader.
My brain is feeling a bit like it needs to read the map.

But I've learned I need to be flexible with that map.
Because life happens.
And life very rarely stays the way you imagine.
And that I think has been a very important lesson in my life as a mom.
In learning to let things go, and to go more with the flow.

So my planning nature is planning, but with the caveat that
all those plans have wavy margins and wiggle room.
Cause with three young-ish wigglers, a dog, a trio of chickens,
doorbells, spills, hunger, fights, tears, make ups, you know, life. 
With interruptions galore we need lots of wiggle room 
so that my well laid plans can be a guide, but a guide
with breathing room.  

And space to play, so that prayerfully we have margins in our schedule
to keep that peaceful pace I so desperately want to hold onto this year.

So ... here is a little bit of my insta friday update.
I didn't do much posting this week I've realized.  But it's ok.
Life has been busy getting organized!

And making things pretty.
I think I mentioned a bit ago that I am loving
the vintage sellers on instagram.
I came in at the very end of this insta sale.
And these were the last vintage postcards being sold.
I initially thought that I'd put a couple in my daughter's
room.  But that girl with the bird in the bonnet.
She just felt too right in this little spot on my side of the office.
 I can get completely side tracked in organizing with making things pretty.
And you know what, I'm ok with that.  Because having little bits of inspiration
fuel my creativity and help me be more productive.  Yea, I may be justifying a bit.
But it's true, don't you think?
Soon I'll share our curriculum choices for this year.
Things have evolved and changed a bit even from where
I thought we were heading.
But that's ok.
It's all part of that unpredictable life thing.

Here's one thing I'm super excited about for my son.
A study for just him and I and to do together.
I know without a shadow of a doubt that 
at the end of this, it'll be powerful and he'll have
learned a lot.  And that is what he is hungry for.

He loves studying the bible and sometimes
gets so frustrated when things are dumbed down for kids.
So that is part of why I chose this.
I know it won't be dumbed down at all and it'll
equip him with solid backing for when he is challenged.
And if I have one goal for him out of homeschooling.
Well, I have two.
One is to regain his love of learning.
The second is to channel his already attorney/lobbyist 
strengths into being a warrior for Christ.
There are things about his personality that can be exhausting
as a mom.
But I've always said I know God has made him
this way for a purpose.
And it's my job to stand strong,
and to channel his strengths and determination
in positive directions.
Oh that and I also always pray
Lord help me train him well for his wife.
Let me help him see the hows and whys women
need what they need and why they work the way they work.
Because we are confusing creatures I know.
But being understanding and compassionate to all of that.
It's important.
But I digress.
Let's get back to insta friday!

My sister lives in New York.
And we see her now only a couple of times a year.
She came out for a visit with her son, husband, and his brother and sister.
My parents came up and we made a trip to the Getty
for their family concert and a picnic.
It was a beautiful day.
And my kids LOVE playing with their cousin.
Little discoveries around my house... a baby
hawk making lots of noise.
And a mama swooping around
quite a bit.
Commotion in the kitchen led me to 
find her where she very much knew
she shouldn't be.
Look at her trying not avoid eye contact.
And this guy has begun physical therapy for his 
wrist.  From the break and the sprain that
they thought could have been a fracture or
a torn ligament (praise God it wasn't) he's
just a bit weak.  So he has to strengthen it
before he gets the green light to play sports.
Which I know is killing him.
But should be motivation to
do the work!

Meanwhile she's trying to show me
how strong her hand is.  
Putting your face into it,
that seems to help.

Happy Friday everyone!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, August 16, 2013

insta friday

Since I left you last week..
We enjoyed the beach with my sweet friend 
and her gang.
It was a later in the day kind of trip.
While most were leaving,
we were just arriving
for a picnic dinner and plenty of play.
I couldn't think of any place I'd rather be.
We took a trip to the Getty
as the sun was setting.
I loved this exhibit.
And coming out to the beautiful crescent moon.
I start every Monday with a very early morning
work out.
This week many schools began and so
the LA traffic has increased dramatically.
Sitting at the light I was thinking about
two mottos I want to hold onto right now.

You can't be comfortable and courageous.  
So here's to 
And as all of the hustle and bustle picks up,
don't get caught up in the race. 
Keep the pace of peace.

Remember my getaway alone?
My pace of peace.

I don't want to lose it as the
school year starts and the schedules fill in.
In fact, I'm really trying to look at how
to simplify our routine.
And cut out where we can.
Especially being on the road.

This week has been filled 
with playdates, and sleepovers,
and swimming.
And really super creepy discoveries.
Which led to a call to an exterminator.
Who'll use natural oils.
But will help me get rid of these buggers.
That are literally giving me the creepy crawlies.
And I've been educated on all kinds of things.
Like that is a brown widow.  
I've been finding and killing these eggs since the spring.
The discovery of this one when a friend went
to put on our goggles.  ACK.
They had been hanging on the pool fence 
for only a few days.
That's how fast this happened.

Ok.  Moving on.

Cause I'm gonna start itching if 
I talk more about this.
We've been running errands.
Gearing up for the school year.
I'm not gonna lie.
Sometimes it's hard seeing pictures of the kids
my older daughter started kindergarten with
as they begin third grade.
I loved that school.
And I had no idea at the time that we'd
be saying goodbye to it.
No idea that two years later I'd be homeschooling.
And even though I know we're where we're supposed to be.
Sometimes my heart aches for the fact
that things are so tough for her.
And that it all didn't turn out in the traditional way.
But then her younger sister will bust out
with the most profound statements.  
And my heart melts a little.
Here's what I posted with this instagram pic.
This sweet girl is always sharing her thoughts.
This morning her take on homeschooling.
Of course she doesn't know any different.
But I love her take on it.

"I love homeschooling because you're
learning the same things,
but in a more easy kid way.
Like you learn in little steps
instead of big steps that are too much.
But then all those little steps make big steps
til it's one humongous step 
and you know a lot."

I've never relayed anything like this to her before.
I think it's her interpretation of what her sister
experienced in school vs. homeschool.

Each Monday this summer her sister has had an appointment with
her old ed therapist.   Her office is half way to the beach
so we've made it our routine to head there afterwards.
It's a routine I'll be sad to see go.
I finally got my printer back from the shop.
And was able to get my orders off in the mail.
It's always such a good feeling getting caught up.
Although I'm never really fully caught up.
I discovered this cracked egg ... 
which made me look up.
Didn't even realize there was a nest there.
Just hoping that baby cracked out himself  
and didn't die?
My youngest wanted me to find a couple
of old pictures for a locket of hers.
Scrolling through iphoto.
Coming across these pictures and more, 
it just made me ache.
How has the time gone so fast already?
Oh I just want to squeeze her.
And this.
My son has been through many phases.
This was the cut paper, use wrapping ribbon,
tape and scissors and create.
And you know what. 
He was mighty creative.

Seeing this reminded me
that he has always been 100% into
whatever he is into.
Hoping to channel that into school this year.

Have I told you all that he's
joining us in our homeschool adventure this year???
I dont' think I have.

The decision has been made for quite some time.
But I think I haven't had the energy to really journal about it here.
So I'll be doing first grade, second grade and sixth grade with them.
Eventually I'll fill you all in on curriculum choices etc.
I'm excited, and scared.
But God will equip.
I know that.
It will be an adventure for sure.
School starts August 26th for us.
The countdown is on.

But before I leave you today.
I must share this show our girls presented for us.
We were given tickets,
were given our opening greeting
which included the rules of picture taking.

"Two during the show and three during the finale."

And then the rose fairy and snow fairy
serenaded us with God songs and interpretive dance.
Do you remember putting on shows for your parents?
I do.
It was fabulous.
And this was her stance when telling her dad,
"Yes he could take a work call,
but he must hurry up and come back
for the finale."
Here's to a happy Friday and weekend!