Saturday, June 28, 2008

~ Invisible ~

So much of what we do as women at home everyday goes unnoticed. The constant unending cleanups, the daily character training of our children, the messy spills, the huge task of preparing good, healthy food, and even the self-sacrifice of time to ourselves.

It's easy to start to feel invisible.
I even find myself, at times, giving my husband a thorough rundown of all the things I did that day complete with details. It's like somehow I need him to see, understand, and recognize my daily labor.

We have to realize that as women that are dedicated to fully giving our all to our families, we will be unnoticed at times by them.
However, that does not mean that our labor is in vain, or inferior in any way. The invisibility does not detract from it's value.

May you be as blessed as I was, watching the video below.

(Remember to turn off music in my sidebar)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

~ A Needed Getaway ~

Tradesman and I went away for 4 glorious days together to Niagara Falls. We left all of our children in good hands. It was difficult for both of us to leave them, especially the little one. He is just 2 1/2.
They all had so much fun and we really had nothing to worry about. It's hard for us mothers to justify leaving our kids when we spend every waking moment with them. We feel such a sense of responsibility to be there for them at all times.

Tradesman and I do make it a habit to go away for one romantic long weekend every year. Sometimes a baby comes along because we won't leave them until they are at least 2. That has never affected the great time that we have.
I realized when we were away how very much we need this time together. When you are away just the two of you, you tend to let loose, be a little crazy. There are no real responsibilities, you have no stress. The whole thing is just about fun and connection.

As a woman we are always a little torn at home. We have so many little things that are going on in our heads that giving our husbands 100% of our attention every time he is in our midst is near impossible. Whereas when you are away, just the two of you, it allows you to once again turn into that love-sick teenager and fawn all over that knight of yours. Interestingly enough, that knight seems to be far more "knight like" when it's just the two of you because he is relaxed and feeling a little love-sick as well.

I think the key to a happy, long lasting marriage is determined by a lot of things. However, capturing moments away together out of the daily grind of life is pivotal in keeping romance alive. You have a chance to explore your similar interests together, you laugh more, you play, you make love like the world might end tomorrow.

If you don't already do this, start! Put it in the budget and make it work.
So many marriages start to become dull, the couple find they have nothing to talk about anymore. Everything becomes just about the kids or getting by day to day.
These are the couples that find themselves one day staring into the eyes of a stranger. They no longer know why they are married to this person. Life dishes out so much at us. Just surviving sometimes is the only option. Having someone there who you are truly connected to and you know is on your side will make all the difference.

It's the special memories that you continue to make together through the years that will carry you through during rough waters.
Once a year for the health and vibrancy of your marriage, go away together or have the children watched while you make a special retreat out of your home for just the two of you.

I'm telling you, it's simply wonderful!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

~ Is It Worth It? ~

I was spending an afternoon with another homeschool mom today. She has 4 boys. The plan had been to spend an afternoon outside in their little aboveground pool. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans.

The kids were itching to get together, so we decided to go ahead anyway and we headed over. The mom and I were having a nice cup of coffee and chatting away the afternoon. Suddenly, it dawned on her how quiet the house had been. With my 5 children and her 4 there were a total of 9 kids playing quietly and happily in the house. Games of chess, monopoly, and crafts were being done on this rainy afternoon.

She commented how nice it was to have another family over whose kids were so quiet and relaxed. We discussed how rare it is. Kids that get along well, are quiet, and generally a joy to be around.
Why is that rare? Another mother she knew whose kids are quite a handful asked her how she did what she did. Her response was "intentional, time-intensive parenting."

God said "by the sweat of your brow" men will toil the earth. I can't help but think it is the very same thing for us mommas. This ain't no job for sissys!!
I joke that it's blood, sweat and tears that produce great kids. Not really blood, but you know what I'm saying!

It takes time each day to train, correct, discipline, and encourage these little ones of ours. Doing it only half-way produces kids that reflect that, doing it consistently reaps us rewards.

So is it worth it? You bettcha! Everytime I go out with my kids, everytime I receive a compliment, everytime I sit peacefully for an afternoon with another lady. My kids aren't perfect by any means, but their behavior on the most part, and the joy that they are to us and others reminds me of why I have no choice but to work my tushy off each day being intentional, and doing the time-intensive parenting that it takes!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

~Happy Fathers Day ~

I love celebrating tradesman on Fathers Day. Not just because he is such an incredible dad, but because if there are any days we should be celebrating, it is those that focus on celebrating real accomplishments in life that are worth recognition.

He may be a great flooring installer, a responsible provider, and a very handy guy, but the thing I appreciate the most about him is his commitment to his family. We always know where we stand. He takes his responsibility before God very seriously, leading his children in the ways of the Lord and loving them above himself.

Nothing gets me more hot and bothered than that! God wired us women to desire our men to lead our family's, to find it irresistible when they adore the children that we made together.

So today we celebrated this hero of ours and felt grateful and appreciative of him like we do everyday.

(Click on pix to enlarge)
The kids worked on a fun card for him. I stole the idea from a mothers email loop I am a part of.
The kids are spelling out "Happy Dads Day" with their bodies in the pictures. Too funny!

They each wrote something special to him.

They used chocolate bars to spell out words for their sentences. I was surprised by the stuff they came up with.
My tradesman is not a gift guy, but this fun and special card hit the spot. Aren't homemade gifts just the best anyway.
Well, on second thought, I might be a tad bit more shallow than him, 'cause for me, I kinda like it when they spend a little money as well...I'm just sayin'.

Friday, June 13, 2008

~A Fairy Play House ~

As a little girl, I dreamed of a place like this. Somewhere that I could hide away from the chaos of my little life. Somewhere where nobody fought and everybody loved each other. In my little imaginary world I would disappear here. I would do all things girly, and pretend to be a beautiful fairy.

I decided to turn an old shed in our backyard into a pretty little play house for my daughters. They are my little princesses and love to dress up and play pretend.

Here they have their little tea parties with their dolls.

Hiding behind this little curtain makes dress-up fun.

A little mirror ....

Don't you just want to curl up here and take a little afternoon nap? Excuse me while I do...

Monday, June 9, 2008

~ A Sticky Fence ~

My excuse for being away so long is my endless amount of gardening. Our property is so full of eyesores that every spring it feels as if it's futile trying to make a dent in it all.

But alas, we have accomplished a bit. I made a couple of these cute little stick fences last year around a couple of small gardens. They were destroyed over winter so I thought I'd document making them again for you all.
I'm really not into the plastic edging you can find to adorn your gardens. Besides, I'm cheap and don't want to spend any money. This little fence is free, and easy.

Lets make it together shall we....

You need a pile of sticks, long preferably.

Some thicker branches cut into wooden stakes like these.
They are perfect for anchoring the little fence and for well, other more exciting things like slaying vampires.
Although, tradesman was unimpressed with my vampire slayer impression. I guess a pregnant woman lunging at you, hurling a wooden stake at your heart isn't very funny.

Pound your stakes into the ground every few feet or so.

Start to weave your sticks around the stakes.

Trust me, this isn't going to work out perfectly. So if you are a perfectionist, I don't recommend this project or you'll be wanting to poke your eyes out after a few minutes. If you are a spaz like me and have very little patience, you'll be just fine. After a few minutes, you'll get bored enough with the whole thing and just start slapping it together. This really is the best approach, I tell you.

Voila, see I told you it was easy. This really isn't rocket science.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

~Blessed Motherhood ~

"Praying mothers, teaching mothers, faithful mothers---the Church needs you. She needs mothers who will crave children, and love them and bless them to be the warriors of the next generation.

Motherhood! Blessed motherhood! The time has come to once again sing the praises of this calling. Though bloodied by the barbs of feminism, Christian motherhood will not be vanquished.

---by Beall Phillips, Verses of Virtue

Sunday, June 1, 2008

~ A Thank-you and a Prayer ~

For the emails that I received and the comments left here, I am very grateful.
It gave my husband and I much to talk and pray about. Nothing about this feels good, it's not a milestone I am pleased to have reached in my journey as a mother. Give me the birds and the bees to discuss with them any day over this.
But, I do agree with all of you that said it was time to take this plunge and to be honest with my boys about the possibilities.
One thing that really struck me in a comment was that "evil lies". Helping my children understand that in this context will be a way to make this easier for them to accept. A wolf disguised as a lamb really is what this can boil down too.

Maybe it's just my prego hormones, but I'm finding myself holding my kids a little tighter, praying a little harder and relishing each moment.

Probably most of you know that Steven Curtis Chapmans youngest little girl was killed last week by a car in her driveway.
We never know how long we will have our children while we are here on earth. There are no promises. Each day that we have to embrace them, teach them, and enjoy them, is a gift.

Relish in it, grab hold of each moment and hang on tight.
Below I posted a video by Steven Curtis Chapman, it's a song he wrote for his daughter Maria a few months ago. She was just 5 last week when God took her home to be with Him.
Please keep this family in your prayers.
(turn off music in my sidebar)

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