Friday, September 19, 2014

A Blogging Break

Happy Friday, sweet friend! J

It seems that the flood waters have risen here, and I'm struggling to keep my head above water. Showers of blessings, yes, but I'm having to toss extra weight out of the boat to keep it afloat.

Please forgive me for missing Tuesday's post. I have photos for another Twirly Tuesday, but that will have to come another day.

As you know, we are in the final stages (still) of building the house. That beautiful hickory flooring is nearly done, and this weekend we're picking up countertops for the kitchen and bathrooms. Once those are installed, including dropping in sinks, caulking, and hooking up the plumbing, we think we're ready for the final inspection. We're also to the point of selling our current house. We'd love to be able to move by the second Saturday in October, but we're not holding our collective breath.
J We’ve discovered that there is no timetable when you build your own home.

Homeschooling continues on, at least until our final packing and moving time.

I'm attending a writers conference soon, one that was planned and paid for months ago when we thought we would be in the house already. J That takes preparation of my materials, schedule, packing, and sewing a new skirt. I'm making due a lot with what I already have, but a girl's got to have something new for a big event, right? J

The 14yo continues her preparations for the Bible Bee. Planning and reservations need to happen for that event, including perhaps some extra shopping to be able to meet their dress schedule. No complaints here, though! The 14yo needs a khaki skirt anyway and that means more thrift store time.

The 3yo is finally having some success at potty-training. You know how much time that eats up when every thirty minutes of the day the child announces his need to use the facilities.

After nearly five years of widowhood, my mom is getting married mid-October. Rather than simply standing in front of the pastor to say I do and then going out to eat with the family, she wanted all the grandchildren involved. That means assigning roles, figuring out clothes, helping with ordering invitations, rehearsal, etc. There may also be some quickie sewing. Maybe I'll just set up my machine on the moving truck. J

These are all wonderful things going on, but I'm maxed out on what I can handle. I dread taking a blogging break because I so appreciate our friendship here. But I'm going to have to step back from the blog and breathe for a couple of weeks.

My current plan is to be back on Friday, October 3. That's just two weeks. Like I mentioned before, I have some photos for another Twirly Tuesday. And the last time we shopped, the girls and I found an incredible jacket that they bickered over.
J As soon as we find that khaki skirt, there's another Twirly Tuesday. Also, the 14yo has read the Duggar girls' book, Growing Up Duggar, and I want to post her review. Some of you expressed interest in reading about my mom’s wedding. And I’ve been mulling over answers to the question we get a lot when we’re out with our big family…how do you do it? J

Over the next two weeks, whenever you might think of us, could you pray for God's guidance and peace and favor for our family? I would appreciate it.

And how can I pray for you? Please leave a comment, and I'll pray over each of you.

Until next time, please know I appreciate your time spent here!

How can I pray for you?

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Twenty-Two Reasons I Love My Husband

I’ve ditched the Homeschool Mother’s Journal post for today and, in fact, any post related to homeschooling to work on something bigger and better.

I’m sitting at the computer at 12:03 in the morning, writing a completely new post, because the Spirit whispered to me, sweetly and softly. Even though I didn’t want to do it, I knew I needed to.

Today is our wedding anniversary. Twenty-two years ago, I looked into the tear-filled eyes of my love and promised to cherish and love and honor. We didn’t have a big or fancy wedding. We aren’t fancy people.

But we promised. So we have….

Until we had children {lots of them} and we both wanted graduate education {multiple degrees} and then we built a house. Oh, boy.

Correction: We ARE building a house. Still. Building. To be perfectly blunt, it’s not been easy. In these last few months, it’s been downright difficult. Not just the house-building. The maintenance of a marriage.

We know that this, too, shall pass. The relationship will bounce back to its former state of bliss.

But today, I needed the exercise of writing twenty-two reasons I love my husband.

  1. He loves Jesus, and he’s not ashamed of it.
  2. He drives us all to church, sits in the pew with us, drives us home, and then we often talk about what we heard/learned.
  3. He lets me cry on his shoulder.
  4. He works hard to provide so that I can be home with the children.
  5. He loves homeschooling and encourages us all the time.
  6. He teaches/mentors the children any time the opportunity arises…and there are a lot of opportunities, many of his own making. J
  7. He tells me I’m beautiful, when no one else ever had.
  8. He watches Pride & Prejudice with me.
  9. He seeks God’s will for our family.
  10. He likes to go grocery shopping together.
  11. He’s building a house we designed together.
  12. He laughs at my jokes.
  13. He tells pretty good jokes himself.
  14. His knowledge of math and science balance out my knowledge of English and literature.
  15. He likes to travel.
  16. He reads the Bible.
  17. He supports and encourages my writing and pursuit of publication.
  18. He changes diapers.
  19. He tells our daughters they are beautiful.
  20. He plays games with a good attitude.
  21. He understands and accepts my introversion.
  22. He knows how to use a carpet cleaner, and he isn’t afraid it will lessen his masculinity. J

You are my witness.

To continue to have and to continue to hold, from this day forward, until death parts us, I will love, honor, and cherish my husband.

Amen and amen.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Six Reasons I Love My Big Family of Six Children

It never occurred to me, as a child, that big families were unusual.

I grew up listening to my mother’s stories of growing up as the middle of seven children. They were all the best of friends. When Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in 1937, around the time the youngest of the seven was born, the brothers and sisters even took on the names of the seven dwarves as their nicknames. {My mom was Sneezy because of her allergies.} Doesn't that sound fun? But I grew up with only one brother who was quite occupied with his own interests and friends.

When I was about ten years old, I determined that I wanted five or six children. {I don’t know why seven seemed like such an unmanageable amount then. But now? Bring it on, if the Lord wills. J} As the Lord would have it, I married a man who also, as a child, dreamed of having five or six children.

Voila! J

Don’t think that every moment has been heaven-on-earth, though. Heartbreak and fear have accompanied me along the way on occasion, like when I miscarried in between the first and second children and fretted that I may never have another or when the now-8yo fell on a straw and ended up in emergency surgery.

But all-in-all, it’s been even better than I dreamed. Here’s why.

1. There's always someone to talk to. Granted, when the children were small, that was not always the case. There's only so much conversation you can have with a two-year-old, even one who talks non-stop. But they grow up, and then there's as much conversation as you want. J

2. There's always someone to play with. I think I've said before on this blog that I've birthed the family I wanted when I was a child. So I don't just mean that the children always have someone to play with, although that is definitely true. I have someone to play board games or musical chairs or tickle with. I don't want to be a grown-up every second of the day. J

3. The children don't pine to be with friends. When we're on vacation or on a field trip or enjoying a holiday, our children are with their friends. They don't mope for a friend to share it all with.

4. There's always someone learning. Y'all know our love of learning. I cannot count the number of times per day that we're just plain learning. Not always school-type learning, although that definitely happens, but lessons on character and human behavior and the Bible.

5. There’s always someone to hug. For those of us who like physical touch, this is a huge plus.

6. I don't get lonely. As an introvert, I do need quiet time. But I also enjoy being with people that know me well and I know them well and we're comfortable together. Plus, when the quiet time comes, it's soooo sweet! J

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