Monday, January 30, 2006

Trying a new schedule today...

I've tried new schedules many, many times--usually with the same results (improved productivity/cleanliness for a couple days, then a return to the status quo), but I'm cautiously optimistic that this time will be different!! It's flexible, includes everything I hope to get done during the day, and works with my natural inclinations (sort of--I do still have to do housework!). My tendency is to put off the stuff I don't want to do until afternoon, and then I do that stuff instead of scrapping. With the new schedule I should have 2 hours to scrap every afternoon and still keep the house in relative order and do school with the kids every day. My house is doing pretty well today, and would actually be doing *really* well if I hadn't found Elijah's floor in need of carpet cleaning this morning.

In other news...

Shiloh finished learning her letter sounds this morning (actually she's known them for a while but I wanted to get all the way through to Z in our letter book), so now we get to start learning to read!! So cool! I'm totally excited about the world that will open up to her once she can read by herself, and about how our schooling will change when she doesn't need me to explain everything to her.

Mariah is 29 mo. old now, and it's about high time I start potty training her. I think the hardest thing for me about parenting is that they change so fast! I finally get used to our life, and then someone's needs change. Esther becomes mobile. Shiloh becomes more capable and therefore needs more responsibilities. Elijah and Mariah getting old enough to be rivals.

It's amazing to think that someday my life won't be about this.

Dan and I have been doing devotions together for the first time since Jan. 2000, when I found out I was pregnant and refused to get out of bed before 7:45am (and I only got up then because I had to leave for work at 8:00!). We're reading Romans together and I'm loving the discussions and prayer time we have--what a great way to start our day! And I think he loves that I'm up early enough to make his lunch! ;)

Ok--the schedule beckons...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The geriatric snowman

No, he doesn't have wrinkles, walk with a cane or have osteoporosis. But he's the oldest snowman I've ever seen (being that in Washington the average life expectancy for a snowman is about 3-5 days tops, and this guy's been around for months).

That's Alaska. Well, that's Fairbanks anyway. It was so different from anything I've ever experienced. People were totally undaunted by the snow/ice (which I know is to be expected, but not something I'm used to). Fairbanks is freezing or subfreezing for 6 months out of the year. My friends have a cooler on their porch that serves as their freezer--more effective than most deep freezers! People in Alaska drive like the roads are bare. The snow sticks to the trees, rather than just sitting on top of them. The buildings are much more spread out than they are here (even in Bonney Lake, where we still have a few stretches of forest on the main highway). A mall consists of 10 stores sandwiched between a Safeway and a Michael's. Crazy.

I had a great time--we stayed inside and scrapbooked for most of the weekend. We were working on my friend's wedding album, and she wanted my "professional opinion". Gotta love that! It was way simpler than anything I've done in a long time, but came together much faster and turned out beautiful. Beautiful pictures and a beautiful story do help a lot.

Now, my goal is to get started on mine, as my wedding was over 6 years ago...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Turning thirty

Yes, I had a birthday. No, I didn't tell anyone, so don't get mad at me! I'm weird about things like that, partly because I feel like I'm asking for attention if I tell people, and partly because it means so much when people who know me remember without being told.

Anyway, happy birthday to me! We celebrated by going to the Melting Pot, which was probably the most amazing food experience of my life. Everything was delicious, and fondue is just fun! Though really, any time I get alone with Dan is wonderful. :)

I'm not freaking out about getting older, but being 30 definitely feels different than being 29. First of all, I'm "in my 30's". I've been in my 20's most of my adult life. I'm not young anymore. And I'm 10 years away from being 40!! On the bright side, many of my "well-seasoned" friends have said that their 30's were the best years of their lives. Still young enough to be active and energetic, but without the constant change of the 20's. I can see that. I'm more mature, more secure, happier, more stable, better off financially than I was 10 years ago--by far. I know what my calling is and I've learned a little bit about how to live it out. And most importantly, I've seen God's faithfulness and am more sure than ever that I am kept by His grace, and that He will be faithful to complete the good work He's started in me. I have a loving, encouraging, supportive husband and a marriage that is constantly growing in understanding and communication, 4 kids that bring me joy and make me laugh every day, wonderful friends and family, a home that I love (and never want to leave), a church filled with great people, some enjoyable ministry opportunities, and a pastor who loves God's Word.

So I have much reason to believe the upcoming decade will be a blessed one.

Of course, that's if I survive my upcoming trip to Fairbanks, AK! It's -25 this week (that's Farenheit, btw)! I have to admit, I'm a little nervous about it. The idea of going someplace 70 degrees colder than it is here is unfathomable. Not to mention they only get an hour or two of daylight this time of year--and that's a relative term. Anyway, I'll be sure to post pictures next week, if my camera can handle sub-freezing temperatures!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Tag--I'm it!

My asterisk buddy Sara tagged me (probably as a ploy to get me to update my blog!) Ok...

Four jobs you have had in your life
1. Admissions office caller (calling prospective students)
2. Delivery driver for Godfather's Pizza
3. Preschool teacher
4. and now, Stay-at-home-mom, with the recent addition of "homeschooling" to that title

4 Movies You Could Watch Over and Over
1. LOTR trilogy (yes, I'm a geek)
2. Napoleon Dynamite (see above)
3. I'm kind of a once-is-enough person when it comes to most movies
4. Yeah.

4 Places You Have Lived
1. Everett, WA
2. Olympia, WA
3. Port Angeles, WA
4. Bonney Lake, WA

4 TV Shows You Love To Watch
2. 24
4. but I don't have cable so don't talk to me about Lost or 24--we watch them a year later on DVD

4 Places You Have Been On Vacation
1. the Oregon Coast
2. Victoria, BC
3. does camping count???
4. uhhh....

4 Websites You Visit Daily
1. Two Peas
2. Pink Martini designs
3. my friends' blogs
4. does my e-mail inbox count?

4 Of Your Favorite Foods
1. coffee
2. diet coke
3. pizza
4. ice cream

4 Places You Would Rather Be Right Now
1. Scrapping at my dining table
2. Taking a nap in my bed
3. Taking a bubble bath (but not in my bathtub, it's too shallow) (but not in someone else's either, that would be weird)
4. Shopping, but only if someone gave me money--much easier to spend other people's money!

4 Bloggers You Are Tagging
1. Tia
2. Mimi
3. Keisha
4. Dan


Thursday, January 05, 2006

A fresh start my favorite part of New Year's! That last week of the year, after all the Christmas stuff is done, lends itself so well to reflection, looking backward and looking forward. Dan is off work and we usually take a small trip (the last two years it's been to the Oregon Coast). I love it. Without the distractions of home, I'm able to get a quiet hour to think through what I want my next year to look like, what I've accomplished by God's grace over the past year, the events of the past year and how they've changed me, etc. Then Jan. 1st hits and I get to put it all into action.

So far this year...
  1. I'm committed to following God more closely, personally and as a wife and mom. It's been hard to make my time with Him and in His Word a priority as my life has become so full, but I need to. My relationship with God the most important part of my life, and it effects how I raise the kids...I have this great book that puts their behavior and attitudes in Biblical terms and shows what Scripture says about how to encourage/correct them.
  2. I'm committed to losing my extra weight. Part of me wants to make it my goal to lose it all this year, but the goal I set was 35 lbs. I think this is reasonable, and of course if I'm able to do it quickly I can keep going! I restarted the South Beach Diet (well, a modified version of it!) on Monday, and so far, so good!
  3. I'm committed to taking care of myself. We have dental insurance for me now, and I'm getting my teeth taken care of. 1 more root canal, and at least 3-4 crowns. It's really hard for me to spend our family's money on my teeth, which is an issue I'm working through as well--that my needs are as important as everyone else's. I'm committed to exercise as well, though that's been off to a rocky start! :P
  4. I'm committed to homeschooling. We've eliminated our morning movie time, and I'm making sure we do school at least 3x/wk. That gives me a day for errands and chores if I need it.
  5. I'm committed to growing as a scrapbook designer. I have some great opportunities as a teacher and Design Team member, and I believe my work is getting consistently better.
  6. I'm committed to new dish towels, lighting candles, using the good plates, lip gloss and date nights--those little indulgences that are so necessary for the enjoyment of life!
May your 2006 be full of God's grace as you seek to grow in character and accomplishments!