Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Of home theatres and the theatre of the heart...

The ladder is out because I've decided to install a Mommy version of a home theatre system. I put speakers up on top of my desk, put the projector in the desk's hutch and will leave my laptop on the desk to play DVDs from. Lauren & I have a date with The Sound of Music when I'm all done. :)

While I'm cleaning & working, I'm listening to a very interesting & helpful session from a homeschooling convention, Meeting With God: A Toolbox Approach by Marcia Sommerville. This is covering how to teach the children to spend a meaningful time with God. Please listen!

Okay- back to work!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

What Can I Give??

The Next Gift!!

This December, there were a lot of family traditions we had to skip. But there was a very special one we kept this morning!

When someone has the privilege of opening a gift, they then get to choose the next one to *give*.

It blesses my Mamma heart to hear the children ask, "Can I give the next gift?!"

9:36. Stockings were pilfered, gifts given, breakfast shared and now a full day available to make memories. Like reading the rest of the Christmas Story from Luke around the fire. Those are the memories that count!! Merry Christmas, friends!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What Can I Give?

A Rice Krispie Pop!

Timothy wanted to make these yummy gifts for his brothers and sisters. It was the perfect thing because he is old enough to stir & melt the marshmallows and butter, mix in the krispies, and have a lot of fun decorating the "pops".

We added popsicle sticks to the rice krispie treats to mix it up a bit. I've seen them dipped in or drizzled with chocolate as well, but the faces he made from dried fruit are so Timbo!!

Whether you're wanting to make a last minute treat or gathering ideas for next year, try this one! Kiddos with allergies can also make this treat- we even have a healthy version that is sugar free & uses brown rice syrup to sweeten & bond. We didn't use that one. ;)

Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What Can I Give?

A Reindeer Ornament!

This simple ornament is special because it records the size of your child's hand- I imagine unpacking this next year and hearing Andrew exclaim, "Wow! I'm big now!"

It's pretty much a no-brainer, so I'll just list the supplies you need & let you go from there.

*Cardboard or Card stock (to trace hand on)
* Brown Pipe Cleaner for antlers
* Red button, pom pom, paint (etc) for nose
* Googly eye, black marker, sequin (etc) for eye
* Single Hole Punch & Ribbon to hang

One craft book suggested covering the whole handprint in felt. Or you could paint your little one's palm and press onto the cardboard. Or leave it plain. Or decorate it. Or cut it out of the tanned skin of a recently-bagged deer. What? You forgot to tan yours? Hmm- look for road kill? No? Okay, maybe we should just stick with paint. ;)

Friday, December 3, 2010


Too Much of a Good Thing?

I love traditions. Cider or Hot Chocolate while decorating the tree, stockings first thing Christmas morning with a fireside breakfast, three gifts each just like Jesus...

This year, I feel like this photo of our Nativity Scene. Like I'm missing something. What?! Most of our shopping is done. School is light, field trips & parties going smoothly, so what gives? I think... I *think* among all my good traditions, I'm missing Jesus. I'm trying one too many traditions. We added one big one (daily) and subtracted our annual Christmas Gingerbread Nativity Unit Study. I thought the gingerbread nativity wasn't worth the hassle... but I'm kind of missing it!

As I meditate on what's going on... I wonder if I got so caught up in "doing the right ones" that I am missing the heart of Christmas? For all the headaches that come with the *stupid* Gingerbread Nativity, it is wonderfully focused on the Christmas story.

So I'm considering starting over. Monday is a new week... what do you think? Shall I go back to my first hate ... er... love? LOL Toss the "New and Improved" Christmas traditions and just stick with the flawed, fun(ny), ones?

I think I'm answering myself as I type. There are soooo many different traditions because each family is unique. And we don't want the ones that are great for other families. We need to do whatever will turn our hearts to Jesus, the Christ. Messiah. Baby. Emmanuel = God with us! Oh, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What Can I Give?

Have you ever seen such a cool bookmark?

(Shake your head "no"!)

Timothy made these last year and I think they're pretty special. They've held up well, so we won't be making them this year... because that would be redundant. Unique, long-lasting, and beautiful. Email me a picture if you make them- I'll post it here for others to see!

:How To:
1) Have fun with watercolors on white paper. Let dry.
2) Cut card stock (any color) into desired bookmark size.
3) Cut the dry watercolor into strips, blocks, hearts, lines, or whatever your Picasso wants!
4) Glue the watercolor shapes onto the card stock.
5) Write a message on the back. Young children can dictate and sign. Don't forget the date!
6) Laminate. I took ours to School Aids and had it laminated for a couple of dollars. You could buy contact paper and do it yourself, but only if you have no school supply store within a hundred miles... it's cheaper & easier & lasts longer if they do it.

Give with a good book, in a Christmas card, or wrap it!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What Can I Give?

A Christmas Star

Okay, this post is TOP SECRET if you are Mema or Granny. Otherwise, read on.

This simple ornament was made with love by Timothy, 5 years old. He did it all by himself. Well, I handled clean-up. I'm a pro at cleaning up. ;)

:How To:
1) Take five (5) popsicle sticks. You can eat the popsicle first (no biting!) or you can just buy a box of sticks. But what fun is that? (Umm, yeah... more sugar this month?! We bought the box of sticks.) Lay said sticks in a star shape. Glue along the way. Timothy took out a glue stick and did all of this without me. If your child is younger, you can hot-glue ahead of time.
2) Paint whatever color their little heart desires.
3) Timbo wanted a super-special ornament, so we "painted" on a glue wash (water glue down a bit and paint on w/a paintbrush) and then he sprinkled colored sprinkle things on the star for extra pizzaz. He's that kind of guy. Andrew would have just broken the ornament apart at this point and used it as a sword.
4) This is apparently the MOST IMPORTANT STEP. I know this because Timothy has *repeatedly* told me we must put the string on!! We still haven't done this but don't worry, he won't let me forget.
5) Write the lucky dawg who is getting this amazing gift's name on the back in permanent marker (we used a silver paint pen) and let the artist sign his name.

Wrap. Give. Smile. Because it was easy, they did it all by themselves, and that makes you a pretty fun mom. Consider this idea my gift to you. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What Can I Give?

You can give a friendly Greeting!

There are many ways to share your life with friends and family far and near. A perinneal favorite (made better when accompanied by food or photos) is the Christmas Card!!

Now, over the years I've observed three camps of Christmas-card-writers. There is the "traditional card signer". Your Aunt Isabel picks out a lovely card in a foil-lined envelope, signs her name (and the chihuahua's, too) and considers her duty fulfilled for another year. Lovely on the wall, these are somewhat lacking in the "personal touch" department.

The second camp would be the "letter writers" camp. Your cousin, who homeschools her twelve children out on their organic farm, writes a brief four-page update of their life over the past year (pausing mid-letter to put the bread in the oven and give her 14 year old a calculus test). It is accompanied by a bookmark hand-embroidered by six-year-old Grace. Lovely. Truly... lovely.

You know the third group- the "family photo" in an envelope. You love seeing the fam but wish there was at least a "Merry Christmas- Love you!" handwritten on there somewhere!

This year, Shutterfly is offering a family photo greeting card- making your Christmas Card duties easier than ever. You pick the photo (or photos) to share and have room inside for a handwritten note. It has the personal feel of a letter but brings none of the guilt to your readers... ;)

I'm trying to decide between the card at the top of the page and a quicker (but still striking) flat stationary card like this.

I've given Shutterfly photo books as gifts in the past and been very pleased with them. And I thought of doing a mug for my coffee-loving Dad. They cover it all! But I'm for sure going to be mailing a sweet photo card because they're offering a great promotion for bloggers to earn free cards!

Look for your Olsen family card in the mail this year... and I hope my letter never made you roll your eyes and want to burn it. My goal is to share some laughs and show Christ's sufficiency in every event in our lives! I'm glad I could find a photo card to hopefully accomplish the same purpose. Here's to one more way to say Merry Christmas!

What Can I Give?

I've been asked, "What do your children make for Christmas Presents?" This month, I'll attempt to share. I'm not a crafty person, so please don't stone me for the really simple (or simply ugly) ones!

As today is the first day, I'll post the most time consuming so you have plenty of time. Drum Roll, please! (dum da da dum dum dummmm...)

It's a Reindeer Ornament!!!
* Cut three pieces of seven count plastic canvas about 1 5/8" or 10 holes square.
* Take two squares and slip stitch two sides together.
* Hold the two stitched pieces together and open the unstitched sides. Stitch the third square on one side of the unstitched plastic.
* Continue to corner and down other side, you now have a pyramid effect.
* Now the "reindeer" can be squeezed and the unstitched side will open like a mouth!!
* The one my sunday school teacher gave me as a child had a tag that read, "Squeeze my cheeks and I'll give you a kiss." Or you could put, "Give me a squeeze and I'll give you a kiss." I've opted not to do tags at all. ;)
* Hershey kisses are used for the kiss. Attach a piece of yarn to the back to hang as an ornament.

This is a great "keeper". You can make one for each kiddo. They can make them for grandparents or teachers or friends. Sometimes, I'll move it to a new branch every time I put a new Hershey Kiss in so it's like a treasure hunt in our tree. Have fun with it!

* The photo on this is not one I made, it is from the net. I can't find the link for attribution (it's from last year).

Friday, November 26, 2010

What Can I Give?

It's Christmastime! Moms and Dads are carefully choosing gifts- and at our house, the children are realizing "it is more blessed to give than to receive" as well! But with 6 kiddos, we can't give them enough money to each buy gifts for each other and for grandparents and friends! Simple solution? The crafty Christmas.

Confession: I am not a "crafty" person. (Mostly because I don't deal well with messes.) But this time of year I do strive to overcome my complex and help the children create Christmas gifts!

We have made ornaments from popsicle sticks, a reindeer that holds a hershey kiss (coming tomorrow), doll clothes, bookmarks, potholders, birdhouses... lots of hands-on and inexpensive ways for children to show their care!

The Dollar Store is a great option (we let the children do chores- like folding socks- to earn $ for gifts), but I maintain that gifts from children are more meaningful when they're handmade.

Check back often for lots of Merry Christmas Gift Ideas!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


This pumpkin has quite a story. Chris and I married young and started out with nothing, nada, zilch. Family and a few friends blessed us with what we needed and over the years, the Lord has provided all we needed... abundantly more than that, even!

Mom waved her magic wand to help me decorate with little and over the years that has come along as well... Enter the pumpkin. For a few years now, Mom has bought us a decoration for the house each fall. I love fall and it is so fun to look around at the gems that have been added to our home- what memories each holds!

"The Pumpkin" was one of the first fall decorations I had and I cherished it! Not only is it beautiful, but the sentiment behind it is so close to my heart. I displayed it with pride (mostly the good kind) for all our friends and neighbors to see. Now people would know we don't just decorate for Thanksgiving, we are reminding ourselves of God's goodness!!

Only a few days into ownership, a sweet little Olsen decided to explore the pumpkin... and knocked it over... and busted it into lots of pieces. I was crushed! I cried, I sobbed, I couldn't believe that of everything in the house, they had to break this one special decoration! I finally got something nice and... and... Now how would visitors know we loved the Lord?

WHOA!! Then I heard myself! (God is so patient with me!) He reminded me that my sweet children are *way* more important and precious than this silly (well, gorgeously silly- but silly nonetheless) decoration! Would I crush their spirit over this broken globe? And about the visitors... really, Allie? If I need a pumpkin with "We Give Thanks to God" blazed across the front for people to figure out we live in awe of and in love with God, well, then I'm really not following Him too well, now am I?!

Chris took all those many pieces and lovingly repaired my crushed pumpkin. The Lord took all the pieces of my stony, sinful heart and renewed a right spirit in me.

Thanksliving... this month is reminding me to live a life of thanks to Abba God(loving & patient Daddy who also corrects me for my bad attitude) . With the help of a glued-together pumpkin.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I am thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling. Today we finalized our Thanksgiving Menu and will start baking! The children and I will learn new cookie recipes together... I'm willing to bet theirs will turn out better than mine!! I'm such an imprecise baker.

We're also going to create some games to play on Thanksgiving and read the history of the holiday. I think Timothy may be able to read a book this year! What a wonderful first. Another first... This is the first year in a decade we have not made our Thankful Family Tree. But I'm hopeful we can keep the focus right in spite of this sad sad oversight.

A brighter first- Clara's first tooth popped through today!! At only four months, she is the youngest Olsen to get her first tooth. :P Happy Thanksgiving...

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I am thankful for this man.

Fun, thoughtful, hard-working, responsible, generous, creative, pleasant, patient, flexible- what's not to love?!

Twelve sweet years. He is the most patient man I know, as evidenced by 12 years of marriage to me!!

When I read of Christ's love for the church and marriage being a reflection of that- I know exactly what Jesus meant because I see it in the way Chris lays down his life for his family. And I can only hope Christ's work will be reflected in me as clearly as I see it in my hubby's life.

Thanksliving. I want to live a life of thanks.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I am thankful for friends.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!" -Ecclesiastes 2:9 & 10

We went to a Corn Maize last week and got totally lost. (I still have no idea how we were supposed to follow that little map!) If we each looked at our maps and our questionairres, we would have ended up at two dozen different points- all lost! We stuck together. Followed one map and made it out.

I'm grateful for an abundance of God-fearing friends right now. When we are each looking to the Word of God for direction, we can help one another when one starts to stumble. My accountability gals, best bud from years ago, homeschool co-op Mammas, friends from church & some just plopped in my life by the Lord...

Buddies. Partners. Come-along-side-and-encourage-ers. I am thankful for friends.

p.s. This months' title is swiped from a friend's blog, "Thanksliving * Gratitude as an Act of Worship! (Thanks!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I am thankful for family.

Dad was moved from Shands to a rehab facility today. Nothing like seeing life hanging in the balance to remind me how precious it is!! Dad's recovery is going much quicker than expected and our family is thanking our gracious Lord, Creator and Healer, for working in Dad's body. Jesus has sustained Mom as she cares for Dad, given doctors wisdom and given Dad favor in getting in hospitals & rehab facilities that usually take days or more to open up a bed. We have a lot to be thankful for!

Because of Dad's condition, instead of going to Tallahassee for our annual ginormous family gathering (which totally rocks!) we'll be keeping it simple with Granny, Pops, and Auntie, Uncle T & Landon. This is the first thanksgiving Krissy & I will be doing the cooking and our family will gather around the table and pray and share. I'll miss the big family- but I'm looking forward to the intimacy of immediate family. I hope I can express to each what I'm most thankful for in my smiles, actions, and a yummy homecooked meal as well as with my words. Today, this month, and all the time- I'm thankful for family.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Must Listen Message for Mammas!

Last night, I listened to an encouraging message for mammas of small children, The Lord is In Your Boat. Take 30 minutes to be encouraged by Carolyn Mahaney as she shares Truth for us from Luke 8. Then post what particular part was helpful!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Love like Crazy

Diane, my MIL, said this song should be our theme song. :) It's such a sweet one, enjoy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A (not so) Quiet Morning at Home

It sure would be nice if the kiddos were snuggly like this picture right now! We're home on a Sunday morning (weird!). Georgia Anne had a runny nose off and on the last few days, so we decided I should stay home from church with her *just in case*. She's fine. Ask me how I know?!

{How do you know, Allie?}

Well, she has been running around the house all morning- she and Andrew are building forts and conquering ottomans and playing together. Andrew has been quite disappointed that he didn't get to go to church but is playing well with sister. Well, he just ran over her toe with an ottoman, but he's playing well other than that. :) It was an accident and she's fake crying- he's hugging her & apologizing and now tickling her saying, "that's a fake cry! Fake crying girl!" Those two crack me up.

Anyways, I'm using my time (between putting up hair, getting drinks, changing diapers, etc etc) to listen to a great sermon on reaching out. Check August 8 & 15. I heard Part 2 last Sunday at Mom & Dad's church- it was challenging & encouraging! And even though I'm only getting Part 1 in fits & spurts b/c I'm being interrupted a LOT, it's good.

Actually, I think I'll stop listening & play and then come back. :) I hope you're enjoying your Sunday and that the Lord is growing you through time in His Word!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Why I love Florida...

Or, more appropriately, "Why I love my family..."

Run for their Lives

Why Support Run For Their Lives? from Mauricio Belgrano on Vimeo.

If you are a runner, or a walker, or just like to hear about opportunities to make a difference in people's lives... watch this trailer on an upcoming race! See you there!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Party Shots

Last night was our "Welcome Clara" party! Georgia Anne enjoyed all 3 of her servings of the Eggplant Parmesan dinner Kim brought over. :) It was so very delish!! What a great way to start the party!

Timbo & Lauren made posters to welcome their baby sister. We measured all the kiddos on the growth chart- it was fun to see how much (or little!) each of them had grown over the past year and a bit.

Then- the PENGUIN RACE! What a BLAST! The winner (Timbo) was showered with party popper confetti and we all retired to the kitchen for some "CLARA" brownies Lauren made. What a fun evening & some great memories.

Monday, July 19, 2010

From Generation to Generation...

Clara is two weeks old today. We'll have our "Welcome Clara Allison" party tonight... we've had fun doing that with each of the kiddos. We'll record the children's height on their growth chart, play some games (the Penguin Race is a staple), eat a sweet treat and dote on the new baby. I love making family memories!

Speaking of memories... this picture is of Clara's first Sunday heading to church. I dressed her in an outfit I wore when I was a baby!! I'm *so* not a packrat, so it's impressive that I not only still have it (thanks, Mom!) but that I remembered to put it on her while if fits!

I'm more concerned with passing on our godly heritage than passing on cute clothes- and we try to accomplish that in many ways. Some fun (welcoming babies with a family party!) and some more challenging (consisitently doing family devotions).

What special memories do you have & what do you strive to pass on to your own children? How?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sweet Baby Girl!

Check out her fuzzy little noggin! :)

Clara is sleeping well and very awake when she's awake. I'll post some pictures of her with Lauren soon. Chris says Lauren has logged more Clara time than he has! One thing is certain- the kiddos all *love* their new little sister!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Homeschool Encouragement

I'm missing the HERI homeschool convention! I am always recharged when I go, but Clara was too young to head out there this year.

Chris had a great "plan b"- listen to workshops online! I found some great ones from the Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC) convention... all the audio from 2006-2009! I have already listened to 4, with many more marked for future encouragement, inspiration, and teaching. CHEC it out! (haha- pun intended!)

Also, I found this entry to Raising Olives' blog doing a review on Sonlight- the curriculum we use. We've used it for 2 years and are very happy with it. Here is a link to the review and an entry for a $50 gift card toward a Sonlight purchase!

Oh! And one more link- These messages from Mark Hamby of Lamplighter Publishing are challenging. I clicked on Vol 1 and then 1. Strong Willed Parent and highly recommend that workshop!

Happy Homeschooling!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Gran!

Thursday, July 15. Happy Birthday to my Mommy! We celebrated while she was here helping with Clara- Chris put candles in a burnt bagel in her honor (she has the reputation for burning bread...).

Happy Birthday, Mom! Thanks for your stories, being quick to laugh, and your example of loving selflessly. I love you!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Clara is asleep on my chest. Every part of her little 9 day old person is relaxed as she rests in completely contented sleep. Her 5 brothers and sisters talk, play, call, laugh, kiss her, and even cry all around us... and yet Clara's blissful breathing remains unchanged.

I find myself constantly doing, constantly striving. I bustle around the house picking up, washing, coaching the children. I say "coaching" instead of "teaching" because often I'm more concerned with the performance of my "team" than with their hearts. Well, that's what my actions show, anyways.

Oh, for the childlike trust, rest, contentment that my little ones show! Lord, help me to learn from them and not to "coach" their hearts out of trusting and resting. You carry me, strengthen me, and help me. (Isaiah 41:10) You gently lead me as I parent! (Isaiah 40:11) Help me to rest in you. Teach me to "be still and know [you are] God." -Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Clara Slideshow for GeGe!

You asked for more pictures of little Clara- here are a few! I will try to put more up soon to hold you over 'til you meet her! Come visit soon!

Georgia Anne Welcomes Clara Allison!!

She's here! Clara Allison was born July 5 and is already a wonderful part of our family!! All her brothers and sisters love to hold her, kiss her, help burp her, and just snuggle beside her!

Clara was born at 8:33 Monday morning and weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces. She was only 20.5 inches long! Such a little peanut!
Both Clara and Mommy are doing well and, after a week of Granny caring for us, I think I'm ready to get back to work. Our church family & friends are bringing meals this week to help me transition back to normal. :)

We're thanking Abba, our wonderful Heavenly Father, for such a smooth labor and recovery and precious little gift!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 3rd of July!

Our neighborhood's annual "4th of July Parade" was today- and it was a BLAST! Daddy O even got in on the action by pulling the float with Mr Jamey. (They're really strong! haha)

Afterwards, we had pizza in the front of the neighborhood and then the firetruck opened the hoses on the kids! What a fun way to cool off!!

Happy 3rd (and 4th!) of July!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Every Florida Boy Needs to know...

how to fish (first importance) and how to surf!!

Today was Ben AND Chris' first day surfing!! Mr. Holger was an excellent teacher & the Lord provided gentle waves for a great first time.

All the guys surfed from 7:30 'til 10 ish and then grabbed a surfer's breakfast at a nearby beach spot. Mr. Holger said Ben is a natural- and Chris said they've created a monster. Hehe Papa can't wait to come up and help "learn him good". :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Day Off

Wow. I haven't laid around and read books all morning... ever. Well, not since my life as Mamma to many, anyways. But after a week and a half of swim lessons (during which regular activities failed to realize we were busy and continued as usual) I decided to take the day off!

Okay, I never would have- but my sweet hubby is teaching me how to slow down. So I'm looking at a cleaning kit on the floor of my bathroom, toys on the floor in the family room, and 4 pineapple & 4 pints of strawberries that need to be chopped before tonight's wedding shower... but I am not stressed. I am not stressed. (That bore repeating!)

Instead, I'm listening to Jeff Purswell's escatalogical message on the End Times while tidying my room (okay, I can't take the day COMPLETELY off!) and weeding through piles of books so my room can be a haven when baby comes- not a pigpen!

This post is to remind me that life goes on- slowing down is a good thing.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A few more pictures...

For my non-facebooking friends, here are some more pictures from our Apple Pie Celebration!!

National Apple Pie Day!!

Today is National Apple Pie Day. It has also been an absolutely crazy morning. SO I've decided to ditch the schedule and bake apple pies & study this tasty subject!!

When life hands you lemons- use them to keep the apples from turning brown! The only question that remains is... with or without ice cream?!?!?

I'll (try to) post pictures later. Happy A.P.Day!!

We made & ate 7 individual apple pies WITH ice cream! Delish & what a fun day of school! :)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tile Time!

Yay for handy and willing hubbies!! Chris started tiling our foyer & dining room this weekend. Eventually, we'll tile the whole foyer, dining room & kitchen.

Marianne, our tile consultant/sales gal/friend steered us toward porcelain for it's durability- and I'm already grateful! Andrew was "helping" this morning & hammered the just-installed tile... and it didn't even chip!

Andrew seems determined to help Daddy grow in grace during this project. Yesterday, he ran straight onto the wet tile (bad, bad, bad!). Chris just picked him up and brought him to me, told Andrew not to walk on the freshly laid tile, and went to work fixing the now crooked tile. Now, if *that* isn't the Lord helping Daddy O to be patient, self-controlled and loving, I don't know what is!

So I'm thankful for the provision of tile, for Chris laying it & for patience with the project & my patience with all the M*E*S*S! It's going to be so much easier to keep clean than carpet under the dining room table!!! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Straight Paths

A few late night thoughts and a picture of our beautiful (2nd youngest) child. Proof that God can use all things (even sleeplessness) for my good!!

How can we teach our children to walk the "straight path" when we feel like we are running in circles ourselves?

Proverbs 3:5-6 Offers a few tips:
1Trust in the Lord with all your heart
2Don't depend on your own understanding
3In all your ways acknowledge him
4He will make your path straight!

Am I spending time in the Word and with my Creator? Am I praying, petitioning even, and thanking God then walking in His peace like Phil 4:6-7 says?

Am I depending on my own understanding? Making my lists & filling my days without direction from Him? (ouch- this is painful!)

Lord, I'm grateful for Your timing, Your faithfulness, Your care. Thank you for showing me TRUTH and for straightening my path. Please help me to love You & Your Word so much that I'll make You a priority no matter how busy life seems. Teach me to meditate on your Word and enjoy your presence... Amen!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Proof I love my children...

I LOVE all things food. I love to cook, to grocery shop at gourmet stores and gaze at the delicious offerings, and most of all I love to eat!

That is why it is particularly difficult for me to have a pantry that looks like THIS!

It's been like this since Christmas. I had it all neat before Christmas but it's been steadily declining since then. >sigh< I almost organized it today but realized I should really fold the laundry and clear it from the couch instead of creating another mess all over the breakfast table. :)

I desire my children to know how to cook, clean behind themselves- in other words, contribute to family life. And that's why my pantry looks like a tornado hit! It's more important to allow them to contribute than for everything to be perfect. And it's more important to snuggle as they wake up from naps than for me to be organizing the pantry.

So welcome to the chaotic side of GraceFull Mom! That basket will contain the tupperware it's intended to... and others will neatly corral napkins once again. I'll be able to step into my walk-in pantry as will my quite capable kitchen helpers who will then be able to reach the shelves to return things where they belong. :) Until then, I *try* to remind myself- this season of preparation is about the hearts of my littles, not the state of my beloved pantry.

p.s. I went to take a picture of my mess and found Ben cleaning out my pantry for me! Talk about providential timing! :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thoughts on Motherhood

I find myself so caught up in living out motherhood most days that I don't really think of the motives for what I do. I thank the Lord that He has ingrained in me core values to pass on to the kiddos!

So what exactly is mothering? Is it keeping laundry clean and faces washed and tummies full of nutritios food? Yes, of course... but it is so much more.

I'm thinking of writing my next article on mothering. It's an art that's largely lost in our fast-paced society. Or at least, it's changing it's face and not all for the better.

Do you have thoughts on mothering? I'd love your input as I develop my article. Be forewarned... If you comment, I may quote you. ;)

p.s. The photo is Mom holding Georgia Anne, so it's technically "Grandmothering" but seeing as how that's an extension of Mothering, and I learned Mothering from my Mom, I found it quite appropriate.