"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Posts tagged ‘laugh’

My little linguist

I was sitting on the couch with Addison, reviewing her Latin verbs, when we came to the word “porto.” The definition I was looking for was “I carry,” but she had a very different answer.

Her: “I potty.”

Me: “What?!”

Her: (surprised that this wasn’t right) “You know…..like a porto-potty!

And then I found her drinking applesauce from a glass.

Never a dull moment!

Thanks for stopping by.

Wise guys and Sharpies

I had no choice, really.

I learned the hard way that just because I planned meals and then purchased all the ingredients to prepare them, it didn’t necessarily mean those ingredients would still be on hand when it came time to cook.

So really, I had to do it.

I made the black Sharpie a very dear friend of mine. I began writing on the bag of chocolate chips or the can of French-fried onions or whatever I thought might be eaten before I could use it. I would come home from the grocery store and immediately scrawl a big, black, “Recipe: Do not eat!” on each item in question, and it worked! From then on, I could go to the kitchen to cook and actually find the ingredients I needed there, and it was….nice.

That’s when I realized (not for the first time!) that there was a wise guy in the house.

My first clue? I went to the panty and found this:

Alright, people. Go ahead and make fun all you want. But I am not giving up my Sharpie. (I’m just hiding it from YOU.)

Thanks for stopping by!

Faith and Freckles

In our family, we often giggle about the way our 3-year-old daughter’s prayers tend to get all muddled up.

For example, I once said, “Don’t forget to pray for Daddy to be safe on the road. He’s doing a lot of driving today.” Her prayer?

“God, please don’t let Daddy fall out of the car while he’s driving it.”

When I asked her to remember her big brother during the first day of his new job, she prayed,

“Please, God, don’t let anyone steal Chandler while he’s at work.”

We laugh, but in reality some of those little-girl prayers show a whole lot of faith. Like when she prayed,

“Dear God, Thank you for the dog…that we don’t have.”

She often thanks God for funny things, but usually they’re things we actually have. Like fingernails. Or paper. We laughed about the dog…the one we didn’t have, but that she was thankful for anyway. We laughed harder when she started praying for the unknown dog by name.

We laughed, but you know what? Here we are, just a couple of weeks later, introducing to you the newest member of our family.

Meet Freckles, our new Border Collie…

And yes, she actually has freckles, so she fits in perfectly with our family.

Pray in faith, friends!

Thanks for stopping by.

First things first

“Everything’s a trade-off.” I say that all the time—mostly to myself. It helps me get back on track when I begin mentally veering off in the wrong direction…which I guess happens pretty often. For example:

Here’s a scene which makes me want to laugh, and cry.

{My scrapbook school desk in my scrapbook school room}

I laugh because of those scrapbook supplies on the back side of the desk. That’s me pretending like I’m going to be scrapbooking sometime soon. Ha ha ha!  In my mind, I even like to call this my scrapbook desk. But that big binder in the foreground–my lesson plan book–gives away the truth. The times I sit at that desk every day are spent going over our curriculum, planning out lessons, and assigning schoolwork. The scrapbook supplies and tools nearby serve only to make me wonder when I’ll get to use them again.

Although your hobby might be something different, I’m sure you can relate. There’s always something we NEED to do sitting right in front of the thing we WANT to do. That’s just life. But sometimes it’s really tough to accept.

Whenever I make the mistake of flipping through a scrapbook magazine, I start to feel a tiny stab of jealousy. I start wishing I had the time and opportunity to scrapbook whenever I wanted. I start wishing I had my own scrapbook room. I start wondering if I’ll ever be done with all my “obligations” so I can have a little free time to myself. That’s when I quit wanting to laugh, and start wanting to cry.

And that’s when I have to remind myself once again: “Everything’s a trade-off.”

You see, if I had my own scrapbook room, that would just mean that one of my children wasn’t here with us. I certainly don’t want to rush that! If I had the time to sit down and scrapbook whenever I wanted, that would mean that my littlest one was growing up and becoming independent way too fast, and that I didn’t have the privilege of educating all four of my children at home.

Yes, lately I’ve been trying to figure out how to carve out some “me” time on a more regular basis. Mainly, I’m wanting to scrapbook. But what am I willing to trade?

Should I use the early-morning time when the kids are still asleep? Nope. My Bible study and prayer time is way too important. I can’t afford to give that up for anything else. Where else can I fit it in during the day? Pretty much…..nowhere. There’s school, and laundry, and cooking and cleaning and playing and errands, and a little one who skips naps as often as she takes them. And at night? Well…I’d like to list off some very noble-sounding activities for you, but most of you would see right through that and know that the truth is, by that point I’m just too tired!

So you don’t need to argue here that moms need time to themselves. I know that’s the case. But if we get too focused on what we think we’re missing out on/what we don’t have, we start to lose sight of what we do have.

We have lots of laundry because we have families who live with us and are active, and because we have plenty of clothes to wear. We have dirty dishes to do because we always have enough to eat, and school to plan and teach because our children are smart little sponges with whom we have the opportunity to share new things every day. We have responsibilities because we are needed, and that’s not a bad thing!

Sometimes we let the things and people we care most about begin to feel like burdens. Remember how much you wanted that house? (Think about that while you’re cleaning!) Remember how desperately you wanted those babies? (They are not burdens! They’re blessings!)

So today I’m going to thank God for all He’s entrusted me with, and I’m going to try to do what I need to do with a smile. Not just a smile on my face, but one that’s genuine and comes from the inside, because I know my work is important. And maybe one day soon, I’ll scrapbook. (If not, I know my supplies will still be there when I finally get around to it.)

What are you sacrificing to keep first things first?

Is it worth it? Why?

I hope you are able to smile about your priorities today. I hope you remember why you’ve made the choices you’ve made, and that those reasons motivate you to keep going. And even if you feel like you want to cry, I hope you can laugh instead.

Thanks for stopping by!

Looking back, counting, and smiling

Sometime in March I started toying with the idea of starting a blog. I didn’t know if I could do it. I didn’t know if anyone would read it. I decided to go for it anyway.

Several entries ago I received a congratulatory message from WordPress informing me that I’d just published my 100th post. That message, along with the close of another year, has had me looking back over 2011 and the things I’ve shared with you here.

Of course there were some big, exciting events during the past year, like our son’s baptism and the celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary. But most of what I’ve posted here has been about the little things.

Sometimes it’s just been a picture I wanted to share with you, or something funny one of the kids said.

Sometimes I invited you to share an experience with our family.

Some of the posts were short and sweet; other times they were emotional and serious.

Often they have simply been lessons I’ve learned from my children that have encouraged me to be a better Christian or to just enjoy life more.

Sometimes something made me laugh, and I just wanted to share it with you.

Other times I shared something I was struggling with, and was encouraged by your kind responses.

I think by far, though, the majority of my blog posts are reminders to myself….Things I want to remember or think more about, and I have invited you to ponder these reminders with me. I hope they’ve encouraged you…and made you think…and helped you grow.

Oldest son pointed at this and said, "Hey, Mom, look! It's the facts of life!"

I hope you’ve been able to find something here that made you smile. And as you look back over the past year, I hope you find much to smile about in your own stash of memories.

My final request for the year is that you join me in following the advice of Johnson Oatman, Jr.:

Count your many blessings,
Name them one by one
And it will surprise you
What the Lord has done.

Thanks for stopping by!

What I learned at the blank-blank-blank

OK, I know that title is just a little weird. But, I don’t want to tell you where I spent last weekend just yet. I will say that it’s one of my favorite events of the year. I’ll tell you I went with my husband–just my husband, no kids! (Thanks, Mom!)–and that we were able to spend time with old friends while there.

I’ll even tell you what you’d have seen if you’d been there: A sea of strollers, gaggles of well-behaved children, lots of nursing mothers, and more books than you’ll ever see outside a public library. Have you guessed it yet?

Don’t stop reading! (Please?)

The reason I didn’t want to tell you up front that we were at the home school convention is that this post–like much of the convention itself–isn’t about home schooling, and I don’t want you to quit here just because you might not be a home schooler.

You see, one of the most interesting aspects of this conference to me was that, while it was INCREDIBLY helpful and fun, it had less to do with home schooling than with family. Even the title of the conference would indicate that, as seen here on my program cover:

It was all about family.

About marriage.

About parenting.

About relationships with others, and relationship with God.

If you’d been there, you could have attended workshops on how to be a better, more supportive wife, how to get your children to do chores, how mothers can make their homes places of spiritual influence, and how fathers can better encourage their wives. You could have received instruction on how to prepare your children for real life, how to organize your home, and how to teach your kids the Bible. You could have been advised on how to teach children to follow instructions, how to keep them motivated, how to help them love reading…..even how to help them choose a spouse!  You might have attended classes for dads who want to read aloud to their children, or for moms who want to provide better nutrition for their families. You’d have been able to hear why we should read fairy tales to our little ones, how to nurture competent communicators,  how to parent in an internet age, and how to fan the dreams of the people we love.

Yes, of course, there were also classes on how to better teach math, and language arts, and P.E., and Latin, and art, and a variety of other subjects…and yes, they were helpful. But what I came away with was a strong desire to be a more supportive and encouraging wife, and a more fun, nurturing mother.

I was reminded that relationships are more important than academics, and that the Bible is the most important curriculum we own. I was reminded that my children’s souls are more important than their brains, their IQ’s, their grades, and their test scores. (And I’d venture to say that all of us, regardless of our educational choices, need to be reminded of those things sometimes!)

I am thankful for all those reminders. I am thankful that, even though I already had bought all my curriculum materials for the coming school year, I went ahead and browsed the vendor booths, because I found what I hope to be several great parenting books, along with this little gem, whose title caught my eye and wouldn’t let me walk past:

How to be a Great WIFE…even though you homeschool!

Even this book–or at least what I’ve read so far–is less about home schooling and more about making your husband’s needs a priority. So far, I’d recommend it for ANY wife who wants to improve! Troy got a couple of great “dad books,” too, so we’ve got a nice little stack of motivation on our bedside tables now.

I’m also thankful that the conference coordinators had the foresight to realize that, after all the mind stretching and soul searching we’d be doing, we’d need some comic relief thrown in. So, they scheduled two performances of Tim Hawkins, our all-time favorite comedian, so that we could laugh ’til we cried before heading back to the real world.

(Learn more about Tim Hawkins here, or look him up on YouTube.  He’s clean, and he’s stinkin’ hilarious!)

Thanks for stopping by!

Gotta love this day

I love Mother’s Day! And it’s not just because I woke up to all these, although they did make me laugh out loud…

And it isn’t just that when I moved the giant cards, I found these beauties…

and these, too….

4 kids=4packages of white chocolate=I am in big trouble

It’s not even because of all the sweet drawings and messages inside those cards, although they do melt my heart each time I read them…

It’s not the hugs and words of encouragement received after church, or the e-mail messages and facebook posts from friends and family around the world, although they do make my day happier and brighter.

No, there are two other BIG reasons I love this day.

One is that I am reminded to let my own amazing mom know how much I love and value her. She is my role model…still. My favorite thing about her is that she never has anything negative to say about anyone. Ever. She always finds something good in others….something to compliment…something to love. She amazes me. I want to be like her, because she is so much like Christ.

I think of her every time I read Titus 1:15. “To the pure, all things are pure…” I think that because she is so GOOD, she automatically sees good in other people. As for me? Well, I’m still working on that, but I’m sure thankful for my sweet mentor.

The other reason I love this day? It reminds me to be really, really thankful for these people:

I’m always aware that motherhood is a privilege, but it’s nice to have a special day to focus on the ones who made me a mom in the first place. (I’d say God, my husband, and my kiddos all made contributions there!)

Thanks to all of you who taught me lessons in motherhood. Thanks to all of you who honor your own moms, who make sacrifices to be great parents, and who are godly role models for our children. You are greatly appreciated!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tag Cloud