Wednesday, January 27, 2010

painting with elmo and felt fun

Yesterday Lauren and I decided to be brave and bust out the paints. We taped newspapers on the floor in the kitchen and made sure she had on painting clothes. I only got out the yellow, blue, and red paints because I figured any more than that would just be too much for both of us to handle! We had fun, but painting is definitely not a daily activity!

Finished product proudly displayed by her kitchen! Today when our parents as teacher lady came over, Lauren walked over and showed it to her. It was really cute!

Today I made this super easy and fast felt board for Lauren. I just purchased a foam poster board and 3/4 yard of white felt. I hot glued the felt onto the poster board, cut out several shapes out of colored felt sheets and viola!

I decided to hang it in the living room at her level. I probably won't keep it out all of the time. I'm trying to think of other things I could rotate out in that area.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

thoughts in my head

Lauren is sick. She seems to be a little better today, but still cranky. I don't want to get sick. I've received every kiss and snotty nose wipe with love and quickly washed my hands and/or face. We stopped giving her her urinary reflux medicine to see if she has outgrown the issue. I hope she has. I hope that isn't why she is sick. It isn't. Urinary infections don't usually include a snotty nose, inability to breathe, and a cough. Just a wayward worry that crossed my mind.

Shawn is cleaning out the chimney. I'm not. I'm sitting on the couch blogging. I should be folding laundry. I will. Later. It's a dreary day and I wish we could have gone to church this morning. I have a ton of my bible study to finish before tomorrow night. I haven't been very diligent or motivated on it this week. I should have been. It seems when I am stressed about something or worried I run away from quiet time with God instead of to it. Something I am working on. I have no strength on my own. Sometimes I think I do. That is what gets me in trouble.

I have to make a trip to Walmart later. Ick and eww. I really hate that place. We don't have much left in our budget for groceries or house items this month so we are trying to use what we have in our pantry and get by with just buying a few things. Staying in budget is a big thing for us this year. I know what will happen if we don't stick to it now. I will get discouraged. Shawn will get frustrated. We might argue. I'd rather just try and not give up. I have this thing about giving up if I think I might fail. Shame on me. I'm working on that.

Lauren is 18 months old. Not possible. She is delightful and challenging. Parenting is harder than I ever thought it would be. It also hurts. My love for her literally makes my chest ache. Normal? I've been reading this book again. In fact, so has Shawn. Now just to apply it.

I am going to download some podcasts from Focus on the Family today. Lauren and I have had the TV on way too much the last couple of weeks. Totally not like me. I am changing things up this week. I really want to start tot school with Lauren but I just haven't been organized enough to begin. I also think my battle with perfectionism may be rearing its ugly head and stopping me from moving forward. Could be. Who knows. Except it probably is.

We almost bought a potty chair for Lauren yesterday. I think she might be ready some days and then other days I think she isn't. I've pretty much decided we'll wait for May to start. I won't be teaching then and it will be more consistent for her. I'm totally freaked out about potty training. I bet my friend, Megan, will get some phone calls for that one.

I have total mixed feelings about my job. On one hand, I totally love working with the students. On the other I am away from Lauren. That is hard. We are usually always together. Two peas in a pod. Best buds. Bert and Ernie. Or whatever. Thankful beyond words for my friend Kelly who watches her when I am gone for a few hours on Tuesdays. I know Lauren is loved. I know she is delighted in. I know she is safe. The best feeling. I haven't been in the schools to observe yet. I wonder if that will be weird. I like my little class. They are eager to learn how to be good teachers. I hope I am leading them the right way. Praying and taking it day by day.

Some people have asked when Shawn and I are having another baby. Who knows. I mean, seriously who knows? I sure don't. Could I be ready? Yeah, if I had to. If I think too much about it I want to chicken out. Newborns are hard. I can't imagine a newborn and a toddler. We are great right now. I love our little family. I'm soaking up sleeping on my tummy and drinking caffeine while I can. Maybe someday soon. Maybe someday later.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

germs, germs, go away

Fever, runny nose, cough

Whiny, needy, cuddly

Our baby is sick.

Monday, January 18, 2010

at the water's edge

Tomorrow is the big day and I've been busy around here this evening trying to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible tomorrow. I'll be taking Lauren over to my friend Kelly's house around 9:30 so I can get to the school early enough to make copies of my syllabus and set up my room. Nothing like cutting it close, right? Anyway, class starts at 11:30 and I am just a bundle of butterflies.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

all i can say is that she gets it from her mama

Here is a little video of my very big girl feeding herself! What? How is that possible? We've been working on this for a while now, but I've just started giving her total control (hard for this clean-freak mama) and I think she is doing quite well! Things to notice:
- See how much ends up on her bib? See how she freaks out about it!
- The darling way she says bye-bye. Melts my heart!
- This mama's I sound like that in real life? It is totally not the way I hear myself, ha!


I am not a news watcher. Unless you count entertainment news, and I don't. I'd rather have music on in our house during the day than the television so I miss a lot of what is going on in the world. If I were being honest, I would say that part of this is done on purpose. I don't know what to do with bad news. I think having Lauren has made bad news even harder to take. I imagine the pain of mothers and fathers. I see innocent and helpless little children hurting, starving. It's so much.

Today my heart is heavy for Haiti. I am burdened for the tiny children who have lost their parents. I am burdened for parents who have lost their children. I am overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of lives lost and destruction done. It seems that anything I could do would never be enough. I will give my seemingly small and insignificant offering and trust it is in the hands of "him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" (Ephesians 3:20).

I want to leave you with some of the lyrics to a song by Sara Groves. I am sure this was written in reflection over her time and work in Rwanda, but I felt it appropriate here.

Sara Groves: Like a Lake

so much hurt and preservation
like a tendril round my soul
so much painful information
no clear way on how to hold it

when everything in me is tightening
curling in around this ache
I will lay my heart wide open
like the surface of a lake
wide open like a lake

standing at this waters edge
looking in at God's own heart
I've no idea where to begin
to swallow up the way things are

everything in me is drawing in
closing in around this pain
I will lay my heart wide open
like the surface of a lake
wide open like a lake

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


A phone call.
An encouraging word.
Someone to hear my fears.

A quote heard, pondered, and recounted to me.

Time offered selflessly.

An back-up plan offered.

A hug given.

Music given to fill my soul with JOY and worship.

Unconditional love.

A listening ear...

an ear full of tears.

The reminder to have faith.

The perfect Bible verse sent my way.
Belief in me.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

ramblings of a crazy woman

This morning I am fighting fear. Seriously it feels so close and dangerous I feel like I should pick up a weapon. I feel it in the pit of my stomach eating away at me. I know that this is totally a fear I have created through the endless stream of questions going through my mind. Questions I don't have all the answers for.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

bloggin' girl

Just typing away on my blog. Gotta moderate comments and upload some pictures and think of a title for a new post...

Oooops - caught!

Monday, January 11, 2010

good morning

I was walking through Mardel the other day when I happened upon the aisle with all the pretty journals. I don't know how I always end up there but the vibrant colors and crisp, clean pages draw me nearly every time. One particular journal caught my attention. I don't really know how because all I noticed was the spine of it. But, oh my - that spine was beautiful. Can you even imagine my surprise when I pulled it out and the cover said, "She plants seeds of JOY and watches the blessings grow." I'm sorry, what? Seriously? I'm sure you heard me say that 2010 was to be the year of joy for me. The journal find practically put me over the top, people. Obviously I snatched that darling journal up (even though I have one I am currently writing in) and declared it to be my, the year of joy journal.

This morning during my quiet study, I came across this verse in John 10:28 ~
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.

I italicized the ending part of that verse because for some reason this morning that resonated with me. As children of God, we are known by God. How do I know that? He holds us in his hand, people!!! His grip is so firm on us that nothing can separate us from him (Romans 8:38-39). He is not like the mother at the park who watches over her child as he/she plays. Yes, that kind of love is sweet too...knowing that you are always watched over. But, God goes further than that. He picks us up - us who are bruised from life, full of sin, desperate for him - and cradles us in his all-powerful and mighty hand. We are safe in him.

I'm not saying that as a believer in Christ bad things won't happen. Because unfortunately, they do - we live in a sin filled world. I'm just saying that as the world moves around us and as situations and circumstances happen, we do not have to ever feel alone. Amidst the turmoil, we are held. We never, ever have to worry that we might be dropped. It just won't happen.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

just saturday

My house is a disaster. How does that happen? I'm usually pretty good about keeping it clean throughout the week, but when the weekend comes I feel like taking a break. I really don't like having a messy house. It makes me feel all weird and stressed inside. In fact, I really like to clean. Really. I do. I just get a little burnt out is all. Maybe if I turn on some good music and get myself a Coke I would feel better about it.

On a side note, check out who can wear a pony tail!!!

Oh yeah, she hates it - but HOW CUTE IS THAT?!?! I mean seriously, I can't get enough of her!!!

Friday, January 08, 2010


Ummm, so does anybody else have a kid who hits themselves in the head when they are frustrated? I have no idea where Lolo picked this habit up but it is really weird. If she gets mad at Alex or just frustrated in general, she hits herself in the head kind of like the "duh" slap... you know what I am talking about right? Is this normal? Is this strange? Should I be concerned? ***ahhhh, slaps self on head....

Also, around this house I am no longer known as mama. I am now Mama Daddy. Seriously!?!?! I have to be both, Lauren? What a silly little girl!

Is anyone else ready for some warmer temperatures? We are! The park is calling our name!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

am i crazy?

I've been sitting at the kitchen table this evening surrounded by textbooks, and papers, and books on good teaching practices. My sharpies have been madly jotting down all the wayward thoughts, grand ideas, and art doodles my mind has been spinning around.

It's been such a short time since I quit teaching and yet in the field of education, such a long time to be away. Things move lightning fast and being gone for two years can leave a person feeling completely lost at their re-entry. Maybe it is just that I really haven't had to use my brain in the lesson planning/teaching whole group capacity for a while now and it will just take a little time. Surely it is normal to feel a little overwhelmed? Surely.

In a little less than two weeks I will be standing in front of a group of college freshmen. College freshmen with big dreams of becoming teachers. Me. Oh my. I can't dwell on that too long. I can scarcely believe I just typed those words.

I am excited. I am nervous. I question myself and my abilities. I feel unworthy and way too blessed to have been given this opportunity. I am thankful and in awe of how God can work.

I have so much work to do and my brain feels like mush. I keep plugging away hoping that things will fall neatly into place and get done. And they will, cause they'll have to.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2010: the year of JOY

Be joyful always
1 Thessalonians 5:16

I've spent a great deal of time over the past few days thinking about the passing of 2009 and the dawning of 2010. I love the changing of years. It's the newness that gets me. The chance to start again. To stop and think about what worked and what needs changing. It's a chance for reflection and remembrance and I love it.

One of the things I've thought about often these past few days is how much my baby girl has grown. How is this possible?

January '09

January '10

Last year I was inspired by this post on my friend Tara's blog. I made the commitment that 2009 would be the year of creativity for me. I loved looking for inspiration throughout the year that got my creativity going and it felt good to make things with my own hands. I believe that in 2009, God reminded me to create and acknowledge beauty in my home and in the things around me.

This year I have decided will be the year of JOY for me. I have to admit that I was very hesitant when I felt God putting this on my heart. I mean, the verse says, "Be joyful always." Always, people. What if this is a year for illness, suffering, pain, etc. Can I be joyful always? I don't know. Honestly, I don't. But, I know that is what God is calling me to strive for. And so, this year as I go through my day to day, my minute by minute, it is my commitment to choose joy.

Be joyful always
1 Thessalonians 5:16

Friday, January 01, 2010

new posts

I've been a posting fool today. I didn't have the chance to do any blogging while in CO so I am trying to get caught up.

Christmas morning....because I am a little behind

Colorado, baby

i think the girl had fun

give me a pair of skis, some poles, and warm gear and i am there, baby

give me a pair of skis, some poles, and warm gear and i am there, baby

I was really worried that I was going to forget everything I had learned about skiing the last time I got to go (in '07) and make a total fool of myself on the mountain this year. Thank the Lord it came back to me and I spared my family the embarrassment of having to apologize to the other skiers on the mountain for my slow and dangerous trek down. I was still slow this year, just not so dangerous. Alright, that's not entirely true. The non-english speaking boy I took out (he totally cut in front of me) would have probably said that I was dangerous. That is after he stopped bawling uncontrollably. Luckily, he was fine and that was my only tragedy.

We had beautiful weather but I guess Colorado hasn't seen much snow (at least the part we were in) and so they were having to make snow on the mountain. That was crazy to see! While there wasn't a lot of fresh, new snow there were plenty of people. I would have preferred to have the whole mountain to myself (see above paragraph) but I did alright meandering through the throngs.

I saw this hat in the gift shop and totally thought it was me. Shawn, on the other hand did not. In fact, he took this picture just so he could laugh at me more. What a sweetie. I think he might have even called me a Smurf.

Just a pretty view of the mountain. And some snow-boarders' backsides.

Top of the mountain getting ready to ski to the bottom. The view was amazing and humbling.

Riding the ski lift. See - not much snow behind me.

This was the last day of skiing and the only day it was really cold.

Okay, this is me skiing in my mom's coat. We shared a lift ticket because we took turns watching Lolo and so I just wore her coat one day. It may look like I am going slow, I probably was.

2009, you were a great year for skiing.

i think the girl had fun

and so did we.

colorado, baby

Because of this:

we ended up in a hotel room playing Monopoly Deal and waiting for I-70 to re-open.

After a couple of hours the wind finally died down a little and we hit the road again. The mountains in the distance were beautiful but up close they were breathtaking. It reminded me of the John Mayer song, 3x5...imagine that, right?
"And its strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky are next to mountains anyway..."

A few pics of the house:

Obviously this was our room as you can see the baby doll resting peacefully on the bed.

The house was big and beautiful. It had 4 levels and Lauren enjoyed climbing the stairs and then sliding down on her belly. She also loved all the attention of her cousins!

Christmas morning...because I am a little behind

This year we spent Christmas morning at our house. When Lauren woke up, Shawn and I both rushed in to get her. We were way more excited than she was!

We let her open her stocking and we read the Nativity story from the neat storybook Bible her Uncle Scott got her for Christmas before heading off to make breakfast.

We made pancakes instead of a birthday cake for Jesus' birthday. Lauren loved blowing out the candles after we sang the Happy Birthday song.

This year Lauren was way more into opening her presents. She loved ripping the paper off but she did it in very small pieces and then handed them to me. I am not sure any paper ever really hit the floor. What a little clean freak I have! ;)

She loved the chair and we had a wonderful morning just hanging out as a family before we headed for Colorado.