Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ten Years

I let my mind wander to this moment ten years ago, and I find myself preparing for the biggest day of my life--my wedding!  The day when my dreams came true, and I had my own little Cinderella moment--dressed in the dress I had always dreamed of, walking down the aisle toward my Prince Charming.  Never does a girl feel more beautiful, more special, than on her wedding day.

Then the buzz of the dryer from yet another load of icky laundry brings me back to the reality of THIS day.  While it may be my tenth anniversary of being married to my best friend and love of my life, the reality that I find myself in this day is far from "happily ever after."  I may feel like Cinderella today, but it's the Cinderella BEFORE the ball. 

Today, I'm cleaning up after two kids with the stomach bug.  It is a unique, special time, but only because never in our years of parenting have we ever had them BOTH throwing up at the same time.  I'm operating on very little sleep that took place on the floor of Benjamin's room, I'm still in my pajamas even though it's almost lunch time, and a toothbrush has not found its way to my mouth yet today.  Not exactly attractive or "tenth-anniversary worthy."

As I lay in the floor last night trying to find a bit of sleep, the thought crossed my mind that this is the epitome of what marriage is really all about.  Every day is not magical; in fact, some days are just down right nasty and dirty.  Everything doesn't always go as planned (i.e., the babysitter for our anniversary date was cancelled hours ago), and there are times you wonder when the "for better" times will ever show themselves again.

But when you are married to the one God chose especially for you, and when you allow God to be the director of your fairy tale, it's all worth it.  You enjoy the "in health" moments more as a result of the "in sickness" times, and the "for better" highs more than make up for the "for worse" lows.

So on this day, I'm simply seeking survival, knowing Mark loves me bad breath, crazy hair, and all.  The kids are already showing signs of improvement, and soon this will just be a blur in our memories.

(And it doesn't hurt knowing that come June 2nd, we'll be running off to New York City for our REAL anniversary celebration!!  I can't wait!!)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day--Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

In an effort to halt even more procrastination (see previous post!), I used today being Earth Day as my motivation to get our RECYCLING started.  I've wanted to get us going on recycling since we moved here (ten months ago), but was not sure what facilities our small town had.  So after reading about what Earth Day is all about and talking about different things we could do to take better care of the Earth, the kids and I hopped in the car, drove to the recycling drop-off location, and wrote down all the different things we could start recycling.  Then we came home, scrounged around in the garage for some containers we were no longer using that could be REUSED as our recycling tubs.  Here's what we came up with:

**a cardboard box for newspapers
**a plastic tub that previously stored Christmas decorations, but had gotten cracked in the bottom and would no longer keep them dust-free...Ta Da!  Works perfectly to gather cardboard, magazines, and milk jugs
**a rolling cart that was only gathering dust for white paper

See all the boxes and tubs behind the kids?  That will soon be REDUCED and turned into a garage sale!

My next project:  a compost pile!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Good Enough

So, as a recovering perfectionist, I can often procrastinate simply because I don't have time to do it--whatever "IT" may be at the moment--perfectly.  For some time now, I've wanted to blog about our caterpillar/butterfly experience; Easter; life after the death of my father-in-law; what's going on with homeschool; etc.; etc.; etc.  But obviously, I have not.

There has to come a point in time when you aim for "good enough."  Sometimes I'm good at this lesson; other times, not so much.  Guess I've been stuck in one of those "not so much" times.

So here goes.  This post may be random at best, but it's a conglomeration of our life these past few weeks.  And it's just going to have to be "good enough."

I ordered caterpillars from Earth's Birthday Project for us to watch go through their metamorphosis process into butterflies.  Little did I know that God was going to step in and make the timing perfect.  They became butterflies in the days leading up to Easter, and we got to release them on Easter.  How cool is that??!! 

This was the caterpillars in their cocoons as we were moving them into their "house" where they would be when they emerged as butterflies.

Ta Da!!  Caterpillars/butterflies are now very high on my list of "God's Amazing Creations."  Reason #467 why I love homeschooling my kids:  I learn as much as they do!!  I had no idea that caterpillars are fully equipped with everything they need internally to make a cocoon and then transform into a butterfly!  So cool!

Letting the butterflies go free!  Yes, if you observe the background, we are on the 50-yard line of the high school football stadium.  I had nothing to do with the location in which we freed the butterflies.  It was all Mark's and Benjamin's doings!  Memorable, to say the least!

Moving on to Easter...

Just painting with lots of concentration--not licking the egg!

I thought their eggs came out beautifully!  I loved them!

Easter, what a blessed wife and mommy I am!

So sweet...not always, but most of the time...

Now for some randomness...
(This picture is supposed to be rotated, but I'm going for "good enough" right now!)
This plate of beautiful cookies was brought to us a couple of weeks following the death of Mark's dad.  I was almost in tears when the sweet lady brought them to us.  They were decorated just so beautifully and obviously took a lot of time and attention.  She didn't just throw something together and bring it over.  The fact that she wanted to spend that kind of time on my family to let us know she and her family were thinking of us and praying for us in our time of loss just touched my heart immensely.  And, if you can look closely at the cute platter the cookies are on, you'll see pastel-colored jelly beans.  She told me she wanted me to keep the platter since she knew I would be making cookies for my little ones for years to come.  Every time I see that platter and use it, I will thank God for sending His hands and feet to our doorstep to love on us during a time of need.  It will also serve as a reminder of how important it is for me to not ignore, but rather follow through on those nudgings I get when I know someone is in need and I know I can do something to help them.

From tears to belly laughs...

I cannot look at this picture without laughing!  After some lengthy time jumping on the trampoline, this is what Hannah's hair looked like!  It reminds me of those electricity balls that you put your hands on at the science museum and watch the electricity travel to the places where your hands are resting!

So that, in a nutshell and several pictures, is what we've been up to!  The kids and I have been playing "catch up" with school after getting behind during the time before and after my father-in-law's death.  It has made me so grateful for the flexibility of homeschool that allowed us to drop it and focus on what was truly important at the time, and then pick it back up when things settled back down.  I am preparing to order curriculum for next year, which is always exciting!  We are aiming to finish this year by the end of May, if not sooner, then take a break until mid-July, when I plan to start our new year of school.  I am working on a new schedule for next year that will allow us to do school for five weeks, and then take one week off.  If we start during mid-July, we can still finish by the end of May with that schedule.  I'm excited to give it a try because I think having the week off every five weeks will be nice.  Plus, taking three months off for summer is just too much un-scheduled, non-routine time for all of us!!  We'll see how it works!

Coming up, we have some trips that we are having fun planning and looking forward to!  In May, we are taking a few days to run away to Dallas to watch the Texas Rangers in a couple of baseball games.  We hope to also tour the "new" Cowboys Stadium while there and hopefully meet up with some friends as well.  Then in June, Mark and I are taking a trip to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary to New York City!  Our anniversary falls at the end of this month, but our trip will have to wait until June.  I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about this trip to NYC!!  Our airline tickets are booked and our hotel reservations are made.  Now we just need to decide on which show (or shows) we want to see and what all we want to see while there so we can go ahead and get tickets purchased.  (I'm open to any suggestions any of you may have, so feel free to leave comments!!)

In all its randomness and good enough-ness, you are now pretty well caught up on life here!