Monday, December 14, 2009

A Walk with God?

Today I went on a three mile walk. It was a beautiful day and I've been wanting to walk for sometime now. So, I packed the two kids I had in the car (yes, a car ride to walk, that's Michelle style). When we got to the starting point I put them in the stroller and started off. These quieter times in my life tend to be good times of prayer and pondering life in general. Today was no different.

About a mile into the walk we encountered another mom with a stroller. We were able to walk along and talk for a nice little clip. There was nothing unusual about our conversation. After we parted ways I realized something very interesting. Everyone has tons of "names" in their lives. I'm sure you can easily think of 15 people you know and interact with fairly regularly. Well, the three names that she disclosed to me have left a mark on me. It wasn't long before we shared our kids names with each other. Her son in the stroller is named, CHRISTIAN. When I told her my name is Michelle, she gave that surprised look and told me that MICHELLE was her daughter's name. Then she told me her name: PAZ. I translated it right away: PEACE. Lovely name.

So, as I continued on my walk, which happened to have steep hills I pondered those three names: Christian, Michelle, Peace. Some hills were steep on a downward slope, making them easy to accomplish. Others were so steep upwards I didn't think I'd be able to continue (no thanks to the stroller!).

Then I met another lady. She was a mom or grandmom, not sure which. We were going opposite directions, so we only talked for a couple of minutes. She encouraged me strongly to enjoy my children because they grow up fast and then I won't have them any more. I thanked her profusely. It was such a pleasant thing to hear. People normally snicker and say things like, "you sure have your hands full!"

I wasn't expecting God to clearly reveal Himself today, but He did. He promised me peace through difficult and easy times of life. Of course, none of this would be possible without first having received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior. Having entered into the family of God, I can now enjoy the peace of God which passes all understanding.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

before and after...

Where do I begin? That's what I've been asking myself for several years now. I've been so totally overwhelmed with everything all the time and I just never knew where to begin. Ian is 8-months-old now and I still haven't felt like I've bounced back like I have with all the others. I have felt stressed beyond normal and my house has become a disaster. I never liked it and yet I didn't have the energy or the know-how to change it.

A couple of weeks ago I checked out five books from the library on organizing and storage. I figured that I was never really taught how to keep things orderly, so I'm sure I can learn a thing or two from these "experts". I didn't think they would have such a big impact. A lot of the things I read were things I used to do, but have fallen out of the habit of doing. The major thing I learned is to make sure everything has a home and to put everything in their home. I honestly think that half the stuff in my house is homeless! Poor things. :)

Well, I've written up a personal list of over 30 areas I'd like to declutter in my home. I took before and after pictures of the first project, which I refuse to show you. The before pictures are just too cluttered. I forgot to take pictures of projects 2 and 3. But after those three our bedroom is now relaxing! I am already not as stressed as I was a week ago. Enoch was able to tell the difference. He also said he now likes to stay in the bedroom because its so clean. He even gets on my case if something is out of its home!

I've always envied "organized" people and knew that I wanted to be like them. Well, I think my time is coming. I still have many areas to conquer, but I have made a strong start and there's no going back! From my first three "projects" Enoch has said that he's never seen me organize like that before. Sure, I've cleaned up these areas in the past, but this time is different somehow.

Ok, I'll stop jabbering. These pictures are from my fourth decluttering project. This is the top of the piano. Unfortunately this is how most of my house has become. Things piling up like crazy without anywhere to go. You'll notice there is really no empty space.

Here is the after shot.
I finished framing Ian's six month picture, so he could join the others. This wall space was begging to hold them, so I obliged. I cut out a rectangle to scale of the wall and four small ones to scale of the frames. Enoch and I fiddled with them until we came up with this layout. Our wedding picture was on top of a tall desk with some other pictures. They were really too high to notice anyway. My friend passed the candle holder on to me about a year ago. I finally took it out and purchased candles for it. As a finishing touch I added this iron basket of mine. I didn't know what to put in it, so I put the flowers Enoch brought home for me the other day. Does the red look too out of place?

I know many of your houses look like this, but this is a major accomplishment for me. I'm excited to embark on this adventure!

Since we're doing before and after I must include Ian's first haircut. Everyone used to think he looked like a girl, so we had to cut off his curly cues, even though we loved them to pieces. Here he is, unsure of what's going on:
I like his handsome new look, but am still looking forward to some curls coming back:

Friday, October 9, 2009

First day of school...again!

On the day of October 1, Seth started preschool. It was a last minute decision, but we all feel that it was a good one. At home Seth was getting bored and I haven't had much energy to do much with him. Next year he's supposed to start kindergarten and I wanted him to have a head start. So, the new schedule is M-F 9-3. All day, every day. I'll write stories throughout the pictures.

With our new schedule Tabitha is now a "car rider". We drop her off and pick her up with the mini van. No more walking to school for her these days! Every time I drop Seth off at school he pleads with me to let him go in by himself. The way his school is set up, I kind of have to go in with him. I have to disappoint him every day by not letting him be such a big boy!

On the second day of school when I picked him up, I was trying to converse with one of his girl classmates (there are only 7 students total). The teacher told me that Seth tried to kiss her that day. I told her he must think she's beautiful! On the way home I asked Seth about it. He said he wants to marry her, but he can't. I asked why not. His response: "I asked her if she wants to marry me, but she said, 'NO!' "

Next Tuesday Seth has a field trip to a pumpkin patch. I've been talking to the teacher and due to Tabitha's school schedule that day all three of the other kids and I get to tag along! Wouldn't you know it, I had to "break the news" to Seth. He was upset, he wants to go with his friends by himself and not have us there. I've been realizing more and more how much he wants to not communicate. I think it's a boy thing, I don't know!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

birthday boy

He's not a full year yet, but he's halfway there! (Don't worry, I don't do half year birthday parties, we were celebrating another person's birthday above.)

Ian has been such a joy to have in our family. He has a hearty laugh that usually only comes out while rough housing. That must be a fourth child thing. :)

Ian is our slowest teether and our biggest gainer. Tabitha and Seth got their first teeth and 3 1/2 months, while Patricia was around 5 months. Ian still hasn't popped his first tooth! What's he waiting for?? Being toothless has not prevented him from eating, though. I don't remember any of the others being too interested in food until about 8 months or so. Ian was ready and waiting at 4 months. At 6 months I am amazed at the amount of food he can get into his little belly. He has three full meals of solids a day. At his check up he weighed 18 pounds 7 ounces. That's around how much his siblings weighed at one year. I guess he's showing his individuality!

He is quite good at sitting. Of course he still falls backwards at times, but for the most part he's pretty steady. He grabs at everything and anything that is within reach. I don't like watching him shove papers in his mouth, but it happens quite a bit. We went out to eat at a restaurant the other night and he chewed all the placemats around him. Right now his reach is pretty well contained, but he's been trying hard to crawl. He pushes himself backwards at times. I don't think it'll be long before he starts moving forward.

Can you believe six months has passed already?!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Soap making lessons

The other day Seth came to the dinner table ecstatic. He was going on and on about how to make soap. After a few minutes we all listened carefully to what he had to tell us. It took a couple of questions and rolling things over in my mind before I figured everything out.

Here's what he told us: when the soap is empty, you fill it up with water, then you press on it a few times, you wait a little while and when you come back, it makes soap!

He was CONVINCED he had a scientific breakthrough. I tried convincing him that the "little while" when he was waiting, happened to be when he was out back playing. I came into the bathroom and refilled the soap. He would have no part with my explanations. No, no, you fill it with water, squirt it a few times and then wait a little, that's the real way!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Date Night

My mom is in town, so Enoch and I asked her if she could watch the kids for us while we slipped out to have a cup of coffee. Enoch and I have been talking about going on a date for months and we finally got the opportunity. We ran over to Barnes and Noble to enjoy a cup of Starbucks. We chatted leisurely, mostly about the kids, of course! Then we strolled the store until they practically kicked us out. There was the 15 minute store closing warning and then the "The store is closed" announcement. It still took us another couple of minutes to get to the door where the worker was holding the door open for us.

We didn't buy any books, but we came across some interesting finds:

*There's a series of books I may check out of the library for Tabitha. The Judy Moody series is meant for ages 6-8 or 9.

*I searched for the "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" for Seth, but they didn't have it in stock. I'm probably going to order it on-line someday very soon!

*I saw the cutest game for Patricia: The Ladybug Game. I may get it for her birthday.

*Enoch was looking at Sci-fi/fantasy books. I don't even understand how someone can enjoy those! As for myself, I was eyeing the Shakespeare section. They had a good chunk of his works in an easy to read format. The old English is side by side with modern English. Maybe one day I'll get to those. I'm currently reading "Emma" by Jane Austen. I may read other of her works before I move on.

Two funnies I came across in the store:
*In the middle of the U.S. you can find: "Ingles en 100 Dias/English in 100 Days".

*Puzzles for Dummies. They have 1000 piece puzzles with numbers on the back so you know where to put them! What's the fun in that?!

When we came home from our outing the kids were all sleeping on our couches. They didn't want to go upstairs without us. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Are you secure?

Yesterday I had to call my bank to order a new debit card. I had lost mine.

I was pretty impressed with the security measures they have to make sure you are who you say you are. They first asked for my driver's license number. I didn't even know they had that information! He assured me that it was right in front of him. I ran to get my purse and I gave all the numbers in the correct order! Next up was my home address and d.o.b. Easy enough. Social security number. I've had it memorized for years. The state and city the account was opened in. Hmmm, Enoch opened the account well before we even knew each other. I got the state right on the first try. I had to give him a couple city names before he gave me the go ahead. Lastly he asked how many checking and savings accounts I had. I had to take another guess (pathetic, I know!).

Finally, I was verified! I was glad I passed my own test. I wonder how an imposter would do. He told me the last time the card was used and he immediately canceled the card so no one could use it if they got their hands on it. I didn't tell him that I'm pretty sure my card is just stuck in a pair of pants some where and I just haven't run across it yet. I use all my time for other things, like taking care of kids and trying to keep up with blogs, don't you know. I can't spend it searching high and low for a simple card!

The incident got me thinking about security. My finances are secured in information. As long as no one knows my info, no one can steal my accounts. Oddly enough, the man on the other end of the line has access to all of my information. Why should I trust him? I think I would be very worried if my life was caught up in my money, because it's really not that secure.

My heart is set on heaven and my eternal security. The Bible is clear on the way to heaven. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Acts 16:31

"For God so loved the world that He gave us only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

"God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8

Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" John 14:6

There are many, many other verses that make the way clear (leave a comment if you'd like more). Salvation is simple. I know I am going to heaven, because I have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and repented (or turned away from) my sins. When I stand before God, I have full assurance that I will "pass the test", not because of what I have done, but because of what the Lord Jesus has already done. I am so glad that its easier to get into heaven than it is to verify my finances.

If you do not have the peace of God, please consider reading the book of John in the Bible and asking God for understanding.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Little house" fun

Today we went to West Virginia. Our neighbors/friends invited us out to their "little house", their home away from home. We had loads of fun doing... nothing much. That's why they like their second house so much.

Ian was trying on grandmom's sunglasses:

I tried awfully hard to make a face with Enoch's inspiration and help. It's a little fuzzy, but I think you get the gist. Haley served us coffee made with his new eSpresso machine. My guess is that those cups hold about 32 oz. They were HUGE!

The kids enjoyed hot chocolate. This is Lily:

And this is Joel: (they're twins)
Carol and two of mine playing a game:

Tabitha and Seth running into the house:


Seth, cutting himself on barbed wire:

Joel gives everyone rides on the Kubota. He is a great driver! You should see him reverse:
Enoch and Haley on four wheelers. Enoch was not comfortable on that thing. I also gave it a whirl. I could drive it, but I did not feel safe. I concluded that it was not my cup of tea.

Grandmom and Ian:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ian pics

My mom thought this one was Patricia, but no, it's just Ian with his long hair. I'm waiting until he gets his 6 month picture before I cut it off.

I couldn't pick between the next two. I love his smile in both. His upper cheeks are so extra smiley.

These next two were taken by my sister-in-law at Tabitha's birthday party. Two cute expressions if I do say so myself. :)

He's five and a half months old now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

New year, new leaf? Maybe

I know it's been a while since I've posted. Maybe I can get into some sort of habit now. We'll see.

Anyway, today, August 24th, is Tabitha's first day of 1st grade. Can you believe they started that early this year? Here is last year's post.

Isn't she just too cool?

Her new backpack:

Patricia kept insisting that she, also, was going to school. I asked if Seth was going to go. She said no, because he doesn't have a backpack. Notice she has hers.

All four kiddos. Yes, Ian is getting big. He's already 5 months old. Strangers think he's a girl because of his long locks and eyelashes. I'm waiting until his 6 month pic before I cut his gorgeous hair.

Her teacher is in the background. Tabitha is putting her things into her desk.

Yes, her school has lockers for all grades.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Monumental Event

This monumental moment happend to take place two months ago, but I think it's still worth blogging about. Ian Joseph joined our family on March 11, 2009. He weighed in at 7 lbs 10 oz.

Sleeping like a baby.

I still have fun with the others, too!

Tabitha, big sister, little mom.

The parents!

(Hanneke, I finally got it done!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Monumental Event

It's a little hard to tell, considering Tabitha's front gap is just about as big, but TABITHA LOST HER FIRST TOOTH!
She didn't even need the dentist's help ;). She noticed it was loose Tuesday night right before bed. And then in the morning it was suddenly in her hand. She said there was no pain and there wasn't even really any blood.
I enjoy telling my kids the truth about things. Immediately Tabitha started talking about the tooth fairy. When Seth asked if the tooth fairy lives in the stars I replied, "Well, since he's fake, he can live where ever you want him to live." Tabitha pouted and said that he isn't fake and I was hurting people's feelings by saying that. Later Enoch told me that I should just let her be a kid.

I did put a dollar under her pillow (is that the going rate?), and I will "allow" her to believe, but I can't bring myself to say he's real.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Do NOT try this at home...

Many of you are aware of the "100th day of school". It's the latest thing to celebrate. Usually children bring in a project of some sort. Maybe 100 pennies glued into the shape of the number 100, or 100 pieces of candy. Well, for Tabitha I came up with this brilliant idea (I'm being sarcastic here!) to take photos of her trying on 100 different outfits. When I started I didn't realize how time consuming of a project this would be. Today was the day. Here she is holding her complete album. She told me she didn't have to smile for this picture, because the album did it for her.
The following are a few of my favorites. Oddly enough I don't think they're my favs because of the clothes, but because of Tabitha's personality which shines through! Enjoy. :)

If you do dare to try this at home, I must ask: What are you doing with 100 outfits at home?? Maybe you should consider downsizing. :) We did most of these photos in store changing rooms.