Category: A Day in the Life

Our First Passover

I am going to apologize in advance.  I will probably step on some toes here, and I HATE stepping on toes but I need to be up front and honest about where God has us and how we got to this place.  I am not at all saying that anyone else should follow our path, this is where God has lead us, very clearly and surely.  And truthfully– hrough many tears and ” but LORD I don’t WANT to”s.  Just giving you a heads up.  And may I say that one of the hardest parts of going Messianic (or Hebraic or however you want to call it– we are whole Bible including the Torah– not to be saved–that is only through Messiah who died and rose again but instead to show our love for the God who created the Torah in the first place including obedience to how He wants to be worshiped.  That said there are as many vehement interpretations of Torah and how to obey as there are types of Evangelical Christian and we have spent the last few months wading through all sorts of information and prayerfully separating the chaff from the wheat.  (There is so much more information still to go through but we are taking things one step at a time and applying as God leads not as people tell us we should.  If you are female, you may remember what it was like to be pregnant and then have a new baby and everyone under the sun was giving you advice on how to do everythign and what was healthy and what wasn’t?  Yeah, that is what it feels like.)  As soon as we figure something out God moves us to something else and as Shamus said the other day, it is apparent He wants us to stay on the edge and set apart– and it is like that for everything– our work life, the foods we eat, the way we learn, the way we live, and our life in Christ.

Our first Passover has been an interesting experience.  We are blessed that it falls the same week as the traditional Easter/Resurrection celebration this year as it makes things easier for our family– who all celebrate Easter/Resurrection Day.  We never went in for the bunny (or Santa for that matter) so that simplified things a lot but this year we are not celebrating the Catholic church’s holiday either (and Easter is the Catholic church’s holiday even though other Christian denominations have taken it on.  They are the ones who stopped celebrating Passover switching to Easter and changed the Sabbath day to Sunday and I left the Catholic church when I first married and see no reason to do things their way now.  We figure if we are going to say that the Bible is true then we are going to live by it fully and leave off the traditions of man unless they are something that Jesus specifically did (or that the disciples continued after His death and resurrection).

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of YHWH your God” (Deuteronomy 4:2).

This is the verse that the Lord has placed on my heart and this is what we are sticking to.  The problem is that there is so much out there and as we are only now learning Hebrew slowly  it is hard to be discerning.  So, this is where we come back to tons of prayer and step by step obedience.  As we obey in one thing He reveals another that we need to do.  It is so much like back when we were baby Christians that it  is just plain silly.

One of the things we did was clear out the yeast.  Since we are on the GAPS diet this one wasn’t that hard except for Shamus, or it wasn’t until we started realizing how far the yeast has traveled in our house.  You see before the GAPS diet saltines were a way of life.  They were cheap and easy to get a hold of in a form that no one was allergic to and the kids had a habit of taking them into other rooms.  There were cracker bits in every corner of the entire house and despite a deep cleaning and several sweepings I KNOW we didn’t get all the cracker crumbs.  It was an amazing lesson for all of us.  Every time we thought we found them all we would find more.  It is the same way with sin, as soon as you think you have extricated it you find another area that is even harder to reach and deeper ingrained.

After we spent the day (I had cleaned prior but the girls were very sick all week so we really didn’t get to it till Sunday) scrubbing and cleaning and scrubbing some more I found out that the day we thought Passover started wasn’t the same for everyone.  Some started on one date some another and I panicked thinking I had messed up, again.  Then I found out that we were all right, it was just another of those you say po-tae-to I say po-tau-t0 questions and we just needed to stick with what we started and we were fine.

Choosing the calendar is the next thing on the list.  Prayerfully and carefully choosing which calendar we are going by.  So I am reading up on the calendar and learning about the hows and why’s of the different ones.  Also looking at what others are using (but all of my friends seem to be using different calendars for different reasons.)

We did have parts of a traditional Seder–lamb, matzah (homemade), charoset, wine though we did not follow the traditional Seder prayers etc.  We have not gotten that far and have not felt led in that at this point.  We will see what God does in this area in the future, for now we are content to move as He leads.

The kids got multiple library books out on Passover and are more excited about celebrating this than they ever were about Easter/Resurrection Day.  As they keeping  saying, “It just makes sense, more so than any other holiday we have celebrated.”

Finally, today, after much prayer and watching several videos about the origins of various traditions, namely this and this–the firs tone is there as well but wasn’t nearly as interesting.  I knew most of these things from previous research but God convicted us all after watching these.  This is especially true as we just went through Judges, Chronicles, and Kings and over and over again heard about how despite worshiping God they “did not take down the high places”.  All of us had wondered aloud about this.  Why didn’t they destroy the high places, especially if they weren’t worshiping there.  Yesterday it finally occurred to us.  They were holding onto them because they were family traditions.  They weren’t hurting anything, they were just there, just like the idols that Rachel stole from her father’s house, and all the other idols that at first were just held onto and later became worshiped.  Today, after much prayer and discussion (and extreme conviction) we threw out all the extras– the Christmas decorations and very few Easter decorations.  We kept lights– we plan to use blue and white lights for Hanukkah and have promised the kids a real menorah and dreidel and presents for each of the 8 days– they are thrilled beyond belief and happily went through and removed the Santas, Christmas trees, and other Christmas decorations from the household.  It took a bit of tears on our part, especially mine as my mother adored Christmas and LOVED Santa, but all the more reason to remove them.  My kids never did Santa or the Bunny– we didn’t want to confuse them since Santa is so similar to Jesus, but he crept in and we had plenty of them around.  They seem innocuous but we have seen too many children confused by them (in fact I know a child who thought Santa was God) and we don’t want to add anything to God’s plan for worship.  Just like the yeast it is amazing to see all the places we found the decorations– we searched the house top to bottom and I am sure I still have missed quite a few.  So, as hard as it was, and as much as I know it will cause division, again– I swear everything we do causes division, it is done and we are doing it.  The most amazing thing was once we go past the initial “don’t wanna” it was relieving, even exciting and definitely freeing.  We didn’t give any of it away, we just tossed or burned it as material demanded.  And like I said, it was amazing to see how happy the kids were to do it–I didn’t expect that, I expected a fight or at least a few tears (there were a few but they were more about getting rid of things of my mother’s not about the celebrations or decorations themselves.)

This is not to say that we are telling anyone else to give up these things, it is what God has lead us to do.  As far as family goes, we are not celebrating but plan to get together per usual with family members around these holidays and will do gifts as they are called for (our gifts are always small anyway and the kids have never been used to piles of gifts at Christmas so that is not a problem.)

God is calling us to remove the high places in our lives, and get rid of our ancestors idols and this was an area that we felt led to do so.  No idea what He gives us next but it should be interesting.  We’ll just take things one step at a time–anything more would be too exhausting.  (And in case you are wondering–Shamus is 100% on board with all of this, I am just writing from my own and the kids point of view because he wasn’t actively involved in the great purging.)

The cool thing is that God blessed us amazingly today during our obedience.  After several hours and 5 huge garbage bags full of stuff and even more burning, we got a knock on the door.  It was the mailman bearing the sample of the card game I worked on (you can see it here) AND a box from a friend containing 2 laptops (one a tablet!!! and the other a gaming laptop!), 2 cameras, 2 memory cards, batteries and charger, and a mini tripod!  And then, as we were working some more a neighbor (the one who mows the back half of our property) came over and asked if we wanted the crab apple trees out back cut down and said he would do it!!!  YES!  This is something we have wanted to do  and have just been unable to do due to lack of funds.

So, God blessed us in our obedience to Him.  Some would say, well those things would have happened anyway– whatever.  I haven’t talked to this neighbor in over a year and though I knew the laptops were likely coming they weren’t supposed to come for sometime–I was just expecting the card game to come in the next few days.  And I didn’t know about the other things that came–which are amazing and a replacement for several broken items in the house.

Here are some of the sites that have been included in my research (don’t agree 100% with all –just some of the stuff I have run across and find interesting.)  There are tons more, these were just the ones I had open this morning while reading and praying over decisions.

Again, this is where we are and where He has led us.  We don’t expect you to do the same, it is just where He has led us.  And just like doing the GAPS diet it is HARD but the goal is not to take the easy way but to go where He leads us.  And it is nothing if not interesting and definitely an adventure. 🙂

Rachel and Piano

Rach trying on hats at Walmart.

Rachel loves playing piano and has always been interested in learning. (We have photos of her at 4 months banging on a keyboard.)

This last year through a total God thing (Essie made friends with a piano teacher’s daughter who also had a son just a little younger than Issac) Rachel started taking lessons. Chris, the piano teacher, charges less than the other teachers in the area and is lovely and laid back– which makes her a perfect match for Rachel. The downside was that due to our current financial position (living on what God provides instead of a regular paycheck) we still couldn’t afford the lessons.

So she had to stop but that hasn’t stopped her from practicing what her teacher had taught her, getting a full size keyboard with pedal (another gift from God) so she can play right and going each Friday to practice on a real piano at my mother-in-law’s church. Plus, occasionally her teacher would ask her to come babysit during lessons and give her a lesson as well.

Rachel laughing while dressed up for Halloween.

Well, this week her teacher asked her to come babysit regularly so she could have regular lessons, offered to pick her up each week, AND someone donated the next level up of books so she can move on to the next set.

Rachel was tickled pink!  God is so amazing!  We are so very blessed.

Our Surprise Anniversary Gift

Yesterday the kids came in the office while Shamus was writing and I was working on a book cover.

“Mom?  Dad?  We have something for you.”

They handed us a huge card with “We love you!” on the front.  Upon opening it we found $8 and note that it was for us to go out to eat to our favorite Chinese restaurant for our anniversary.  (Our anniversary was the 25th and they pretty much ignored it at the time.)  It was especially sweet because they explained that they had only just realized that we hadn’t had the opportunity to go out for our anniversary like we usually do (any and all gifts we received went to pay bills so nothing got turned off).  They had figured out how much we absolutely had to have in order to go out to eat ($8 will pay for one large lunch plus tip at our favorite Chinese restaurant which is plenty for the two of us) and took the money from their savings (they are saving for a decent computer on which to play newer computer games.)

It was the sweetest gift and we are both very proud of them and thankful to God for each of them and their giving hearts.

Our Novica Package

Top: Issac opening the package, the girls wearing "hats" made from the packaging, all the items once opened. Row 2: the packaging inside the boxes, the contents of the mailed package including the beautifully wrapped gift boxes. Bottom: The "Storytime Mice" candle holders with their info card, the cute box decoration, and the "Swimming Turtles" salt and pepper cups with the Bali card below.

Our package from came today.  (See the original story here.) The kids were so excited that they crowded around and tried to hurry me as I attempted to slowly unwrap each package so I could get photos of it all. Finally I let them do the unwrapping, making them stop between each stage so I could get a photo.

First off I want to say that I have been repeatedly amazed at the shipping speed of Novica items. We ordered in the evening on the January 24th and both packages got here on January 31st. So far the shortest time to get here was 3 days, the longest was 8 days.

Both packages came from Bali and were beautifully wrapped. The wrapping and packaging have also been consistent in quality (for that matter so have the items we have ordered). For protection the items are carefully wrapped in many layers of paper (done in such a way that it makes perfect drawing paper for kids later– my kids stashed all the paper and kept the wrapping paper and raffia ribbon for projects.  In fact, they turned a lot of the packaging into crowns and paper masks yesterday.  Even the box it all came in turned into a robot head.)  If you choose to order you can watch for certain items that specifically say free gift wrap– they come automatically wrapped and are stunning. However even those that are not gift wrapped just need a bow to make them perfect for presentation (my only concern is that because there is no label on the outside, if you order more than one item you will probably have to unwrap just to find out which is which).

When I finally let the kids unwrap the packages completely (before the exploded) the items themselves were stunning. The Storytime Mice are absolutely adorable, heavy and well made. The color is so much deeper and truer than you can see from photos (which is to be expected with dark metal). They are simply wonderful. I probably should buy some candles to put in them but for now they look lovely on the mantelpiece without. Unlike most candlesticks these are well weighted at the bottom so I wouldn’t worry about the kids messing with them and knocking them over. Every time I see them they make me smile. 🙂

The Swimming Turtles are just precious. The color is more green than in the photo (which was fine and we actually prefer the green to the brown but might be a problem if you wanted them to match something). The texture is amazing– everyone keeps coming in the kitchen and picking them up to hold them. The kids literally coo over them, they really are that sweet. I got them because the little tea cups we use to hold our supplements in the morning are all beginning to break but I haven’t been able to bring myself to use these yet though knowing they aren’t particularly expensive to replace is a comfort. Ideally, if we ever have the money to spare I would probably want to order 2 more sets and use those for our daily supplements. In fact I just checked the artist’s work and he has so many different little cups with lids that I think I would have a hard time choosing and I am now a big fan of this gentleman’s work which you can see here.

God has blessed us so much through and I am so grateful to see this company with good connections (they are associated with National Geographic) encouraging artisans around the world to create and sell their items.

And because sent us the gift certificate to buy these items I want to again share some for the links they requested that I share with you:

fair trade corporate gifts: These really are lovely and I love that they are fair trade and would make lovely gifts for anyone.
green gifts: I am not big on the use of “green” but I do love that they are environmentally savvy because God does want us to be wise and take care of the home He has given us.
unique gifts: Absolutely unique. I have found so many things here that would make great gifts for the hardest people in my family to buy for.
microfinance: LOVE this link. I so want to be able to donate to help other artisans around the world do what they love.

A Few Cents

We are literally having a miracle of one sort or another a day and are totally living on faith so I figure I should keep sharing and giving God glory for what He is doing, even in the small things.  I know it helps for me to remember how faithful He is being as we go the route He has obviously planned for us (every time we try to do things differently it all falls through so we are being very careful to stay in His will–and right now that seems to mean Shamus writing and me painting and doing some web design work with a little extra work on the side) and hopefully it will encourage others who have found themselves in tight situations.  Yesterday’s awesomeness kind of trumped a smaller but just as meaningful little miracle the day before that I had intended to share.

On Wednesday Rachel had planned a daddy date that fell through due to Shamus’ migraine.  She had wanted him to take her to JC Penney’s to use the gift card she had gotten for her birthday.  Needless to say she was very disappointed when he couldn’t take her.  I offered to take her instead since I had library books to return and a Michael s gift card to use.  After stopping at the library where she ran into a friend she hadn’t seen in a while we went to JC Penney’s.  At first she was not too enthusiastic, but we quickly found several things she loved (including the ninja shirt she was wearing in the pictures yesterday).  We then headed to Michael’s where what I wanted was seriously on sale.  I didn’t need the whole gift card and Rach found a sketch pad she had really wanted on sale and asked me to use the rest of my gift card to get it.  It worked out so that I was only over by  26 cents which was perfect since I only had  about $1 in change on me.  As we left I realized that I had a shirt Rachel had gotten for Christmas in my bag that needed to be returned to Walmart.  I had lost the receipt so we weren’t sure how it would work out but thought it worth a go.  Rach decided that since I had gotten her the sketch pad she would give me the equivalent from what she got back on the shirt so we could pick up some eggs.

We returned the shirt and wandered around the store as Rach looked for things she might be interested in buying.  After picking several different things then putting them down we finally found a scarf she liked enough to buy and headed over to get the eggs.  It was there in the dairy aisle that Rach spotted the organic pancake batter spray bottle she and her siblings loved and always begged me for (which I nearly always refuse being that it is $4.15 for 13 pancakes!!!)  She decided to spend her $4 of Christmas money from the shirt on that (partly because it is her favorite but also because her siblings adore it and always spend their Christmas money on each other and on her so she wanted to do something special for them) and gave me the other $1 (plus the $2 for the eggs) to get something else to fill in the gaps in our pantry.

We wandered around the grocery section for a while, picking up and putting down, trying to decide the best way to use that $1.  At this point I know I had some change in my purse but hadn’t bothered to count it exactly (but as you know I had 70 cents.)  After realizing that nearly all the fresh produce in our price range had mold or was past its best we headed to the canned goods to get Shamus some of his beloved green beans.  I got 2 cans and a can of tuna (figuring that I might have enough change for all three if I searched hard enough and could always put one back if I didn’t.)

I was attempting to figure out how much exactly we needed as we approached the register so Rach could run and put something back and we wouldn’t inconvenience the cashier.  As we got in line (and I was still figuring) a cashier came over from another lane to say she was open so so much for that.  I realized just as we got there that we were over by a quarter, and after much searching I realized I didn’t have it and would have to put back a can of green beans.  (Now this is just a matter of cents and if you are not in a place where cents matter then it is not a big deal but in this case it was and a can of green beans would be a big help and make Shamus very happy.)  So, I was a bit disappointed and let the cashier know before hand that I would probably have to take off a can when we were done.  However, as she checked each item out the can of pancake batter came up  cheaper and when it was all said and done I still had a nickel left.

Like I said, it probably doesn’t seem like a big deal but these are the moments tend to amaze me most since it reminds me how much God cares about the details.  Sure it is only a few cents but He cared enough about those few cents and provided.  He cares about those small things.  He cares that my husband can focus because he can grab some green beans or tuna when he is hungry and I haven’t had a chance to make a meal.  He cares that my kids love that pancake batter and  that Rachel was trying to do something nice for her siblings.  He cares about our wants as much as about our needs and wants to give us good gifts, even if it is just some eggs and a couple cans.  He cares about Rachel’s love of all things ninja, that she needed long sleeved shirts and a scarf with cloves attached (which is adorable and keeps her from forgetting gloves).  He cares that we have what we need to be free to create.  He cares that we have our daily bread whether it is food, clothes, or whatever we need to be the best people we can be.

And yesterday Rachel came to me and said, “I am glad we are poor.”   When I asked why she explained that we are so much more appreciative of things both big and small when we have little and that when we had the ability to just get what we needed and buy small treats that we didn’t appreciate them nearly as much.  That alone is the perfect reminder that God is at work, that He would open the eyes of my 13 year old to this truth, a truth that often grown ups don’t see.

I think she is right, though I would really like to be able to pay our bills on time.  I know what it is like not to get paid for work done and really want to make things right but even there God is working and will do as He has planned.

The Surprise Revealed

On Rachel’s birthday I got an email from a friend who said that they had sent money to my paypal account as a special birthday present for Rachel, being that 13 is such a special birthday. I thought, “Oh, how nice, she will have enough to finish saving for a replacement screen for her Eee PC.” Then I looked in my paypal account and realized that no, she now had enough to buy both the full size midi keyboard she wanted (the “big” thing she was saving for) and the foot pedal for the midi keyboard. After thanking our friends profusely, Shamus and I decided to surprise Rachel by ordering the keyboard instead of giving her the money.

As you can see, it was the right thing to do. The keyboard came this morning (which is funny itself because the pedal shipped first and isn’t here yet, and the keyboard itself shipped yesterday. She is in seventh heaven, even though we could only afford a full size that has to be plugged into a computer with the proper program running (full size keyboards with built in speakers and software are EXPENSIVE.) After we got everything working on a spare computer we moved it to the kitchen where her 66 key keyboard was. Now we have a full size midi keyboard plus computer in the kitchen and all three kids are thrilled (especially Rachel, who spent much of the day practicing.)  So thank you again to Jethro and Roberta– you made for a very happy girl!

Rachel sees the box. She knew a surprise was coming for her birthday but not what or when.
Rachel finds out what is inside the box.

Everyday Miracles

I used to have a website named that where I would post all the little miracles (if you can call God things little) and it is funny because lately that is mostly what I am posting here. Because that is where we are and what God is doing.

This morning is the perfect example. Per usual I got up before the family. When I was preparing my oatmeal I looked around the kitchen and realized the shelves were really bare. I had realized this yesterday and pushed it to the back of my mind because it always leads to panic. I like to keep a well stocked pantry and have been stocking up, knowing we would be entering hard times. I keep telling myself we have plenty–which we do. Lots of noodles, a freezer full of meat, veggies in the deep freeze, and lots of teas on the shelf plus some bulk ingredients in the stairwell overflow including coconut milk, dried coconut, and peanut butter from the Van Slykes. However, we are out of raw milk and eggs and fresh veggies which means the fridge is nearly empty. The kitchen pantry is looking just as bare– all the nuts are gone, as is all the tuna and canned green beans (Shamus’ favorite). We only have 4 cans of that wonderful blessing of coconut milk left and I have to remember to go ahead and use it since God provided it for this time and not for a later time. So, I cleaned up the shelves a bit while my oatmeal cooked, forced myself to recognize the shelf above the stove full of jars of chai seeds, noodles, dried beans, and oatmeal and all the other foods that are hidden away (the stuff in the overflow, the deep freeze (including lots of flour) and prepared chickpeas–which reminds me, today I should make hummus.

I took my time eating and praying, spending time in God’s word (He has me in Isaiah) while I ate my oatmeal and drank my tea. I was lamenting that I have all this wonderful dried coconut and no ingredients make anything with it (other than to eat it straight or with a peanut butter spoon, which will happen anyway) and how quickly we have gone through all the coconut milk.

Then I moved all the food from the overflow pantry to the shelves where we keep foods for immediate consumption. I do better when I can see what we have and see we have plenty. Later I plan to make up some foods so that there are prepared foods for the family to eat (I am thinking some crackers and tortillas on which to eat the hummus and peanut butter would be good and alleviate some of the complaining that I heard yesterday.) Now the kitchen feels fuller and I can see that we have plenty. I know some people like all their stuff hidden away but I like mine where I can see it–because then I can remember that we have it and know exactly where it is. I am definitely an out of sight out of mind sort of person. 🙂

coconutAnd on to the everyday miracle. I was still trying to figure out what God wanted me to do with all this dried coconut since He obviously provided it. I figured maybe if I put in a search for tahini and coconut I would come up with something. Then I sat down at my computer, opened Facebook and Mandy was talking about the expense of coconut milk yogurt. I decided to check to see if there was a recipe out there–which I was sure there was. I was not thinking of my dried coconut at this point, just looking for a recipe for myself–figuring that would be a good use of one of the cans of coconut as well as for her since homemade is so much cheaper than bought. It was at that point that I found this recipe for coconut milk yogurt which linked to this recipe for making coconut milk from dried shredded coconut! And I was amazed again by what God had done because, in case you didn’t remember, I mentioned that we were out of raw milk. It was the perfect weather to go get it yesterday but I didn’t and couldn’t because we didn’t have the money for the drive or for the milk when I got there. I was so disappointed because I was sure God would provide it somehow. So here is the coconut He provided through the Van Slykes coming to the rescue again. I am really overwhelmed with His provision and how He manages to do it differently every time. What an amazing God.

While I was writing this the UPS guy brought another package from the Van Slykes– The First Hebrew Primer Third Edition, which is pretty cool and not only should help me with a potential art project I am working on but should make things interesting around here. 🙂

Now I am off to make coconut milk and hummus and put some dough to soak for tortillas and crackers then I will check out this book.

Randomly random post title here

Almsot 9

And now he is 9.  He has had an awesome birthday, except that in his excitement he woke 4 hrs earlier than usual and thus is a major crank today.  Otherwise he has had a great birthday, actually getting presents that were exactly what he wanted, and was saving for.  Which is nice.

And today after a near panic (in my head) about how certain monetary needs would be met in the future, we received an extra last check from my husband’s old company, which is nice and which will fill the final gap in the cost of the half of a steer we were saving for.  This will save a great deal of money in the future, unless our deep freeze dies– every time I walk into the store that I have to go to to buy the hormone/antibiotic free beef that is the only sort we can eat I walk out having spent at least $50, only a portion of which was on the beef.  The half a steer is also MUCH cheaper for the meat itself, which is also good.  The fact that we don’t eat pork, are allergic to poultry (anaphylaxis to the cheapest meat is just lovely, thank you), and I am sad to say several of my children have inherited my complete hatred of most fish means that grass fed, organic beef is about our only meat source.  Sigh.   Good thing we all like beef.

Also in the household news, lessons have been learned about triggers of outbursts and depression for certain children, which led to lessons in redemption and forgiveness, and in doing ones homework (for for outside lessons) so one does not feel stressed and then depressed because one has not done ones homework.  (This is a lesson that unschooled children do not learn as quickly as public schooled ones–though I have known many such children who never did learn said lesson.)

Also, earlier this week I punctured my ear drum, again.  Long story short: used course see salt  and too much of it in my neti pot, which led to huge pieces of salt up my nose, which led to burning, which led to sudden and extreme nose blowing (STOP the BURNING), which led to right ear drum popping and a whole day lying down on a hot pack.  Anyway, so now I am going around with a silicone ear plug to block the ear so it doesn’t hurt so much and answering way too many questions about the neon orange thing in my ear.  So, that has been fun.

I’m that Mom

Joining in on an awesome, impromptu blog carnival over here.

(I am deliberately not reading everyone else’s until I have finished writing mine, except for the 2 I saw that made me realize that this is a cool thing that I actually want to join in on because I suspect a lot of us overlap and I want to share who I am without worrying about that it may be a “YEAH, ME TOO.”)

I am that mom who, when the kids ask if we can please go visit our friends 5 hours away tomorrow, says yes, starts packing, and goes.
Rachel and Kayla

I am that mom who upon finding out the the oldest’s best friend (who lives 2 days away) might be able to come stay for a week says YES.

I am that mom who on 4th of July goes fireworks chasing with the kids, driving all over tarnation looking at everyone’s awesome displays,  instead of taking them to sit in a huge crowd and watching one display.


I am that mom who would rather take the kids to the pond to swim or sit and watch hours upon hours of anime, Dr. Who, favorite movies, or As Time Goes By with the crazy, wonderful kids than worry about what the neighbors think of her children’s nearly dead flower/veggie garden and too tall grass.
I am that mom who when the kids decide to build a tent/tree house/whatever in the back yard says nothing or helps them find the needed materials, knowing that again the neighbors will wonder about the people next door ruining the view from their perfect yards.

I am that mom who runs outside with the kids in the pouring rain to look for rainbows.

I am that mom who, when the kids find their long lost roller blades and ask if they can go somewhere to roller blade, suggests they roller blade in the house on our fake hard wood floors and allow them to continue to wear them for everything for the next week.

I am that mom who lets her kids turn her entire kitchen into a restaurant for days at a time and play with their food.
Larry the Cucumber

I am that mom who, when her son asks to take all the blankets from all over the house and use them to jump on, says yes.

I am that mom who takes a camera wherever her kids go and takes pictures of all the awesome things they do.

Super straw

I am that mom who, when her kids want to mow the grass says yes and then says nothing about the stripes of extra tall grass left behind and the odd, rather like a maze, style of cutting grass her oldest prefers.

I am that mom who, when a kid says “come see this cool thing” stops what she is doing to go see (and it always IS really cool!)


I am that mom who realizes that her middle child loves the stage and when she asks signs her up and takes her to a performing arts camp the very next week.

I am that mom who still loses her cool, who still gets frustrated when the kids have totally trashed the place (not a problem) and then don’t clean it up (a problem), who has bad days and does not cope so well when the kids are fighting, again.
Issac room

I am that mom who still has a long way to go but loves where her kids are exactly where they are regardless of the stage they are in, loves being with them, and thinks they are totally awesome and fun.
Alameda Park 2010
Yes, this is an extended version, I got started and kept going (which anyone who knows me in person knows this is VERY typical.)

Rhythm to our days

Our family does not live by a schedule in any way shape or form.  None of us like them– our whole family gets horribly stressed with a schedule.  I know there are people out there who NEED a list or schedule, who thrive if they know what is going to happen today, tomorrow, next week. We are not those people. Knowing I have to do something at a specific time next week stresses me out for the whole time preceding that activity and I find it impossible to focus on the other things I need to get done in that time.

However, we do seek patterns, rhythms that help us discern what comes next depending on the season we are in.  The times change as does the order but there is a general idea in everyone’s head as to what is likely to happen on any given day.

A lot of our rhythm focuses on my husband and where he is in his odd 26 hour day wake/sleep cycle.  When he is sleeping from 4am to 12pm our rhythm as a family is different than when he is sleeping from 4pm to 12am.  It also focuses on how many hours he is working.  When he is working 40 hr weeks (almost never) our family rhythm is different than when he is working 60 or 80 hr weeks (as he has been for the last 12 months.)
There are also certain elements that are always included in our family rhythm while others are seasonal.  Always included of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack.  Always included is a daily reading of the Bible as a family.  Those are givens though sometimes breakfast is the big meal while in other seasons snack is and in some seasons we read just 1 chapter of the Bible quickly with little discussion and others we read many and discuss every few seconds of reading.  Of course one other given is sleep.  We all need a lot of sleep (with the RA I need about 10 hrs) so sleep is always a given.  On a weekly basis our rhythm nearly always includes a trip to the library, a trip to my grandmother’s (1/2 hr drive away and takes most of the afternoon evening), a trip to the thrift shop (or three), an hour of everyone cleaning up the house so that we can all move without stumbling on things left behind, and a trip to the grocery store.

Right now we are in a season and look to be shifting to a new one because of changes in weather and hubby’s sleep and changes in which days he has “off” (from his programming job so he can work on his writing which is his other job–he only takes 1 day off completely a week– Saturday which he jealously guards).  It is also changing because I am working about 20+ hours a week on various projects.
For the past week our rhythm has included me making all meals (because of re-instituting the Candida diet), driving to the pond to swim twice a day (because the afternoons are way too hot and one hour swimming in the morning and one in the evening have been working well for the kids), a quiet time in the afternoon so I can work and run errands because the kids are worn out after all that swimming, and  an evening reading of the Bible before we head back to the pond.

Right now we are in a state of flux.  Hubby’s sleep has shifted again, I have work to get done, the weather has cooled a bit so that an afternoon swim is probably the best choice, we would like to fit a trip to one of the Pittsburgh museums in on a weekly or at least biweekly basis, Rachel is going to be working on piano with a friends daughter, and Essie wants to go to a performing arts camp next week (I am praying they have an opening–have to call today and find out), and the kids are settling into the Candida diet and getting comfortable so I don’t have to fix their every meal.  It will be interesting to find the next pattern, to see the next rhythm.
Already the kids are staying up later and sleeping in longer so they have more time with Daddy while he is awake but I happen to know there is a game on his computer that ONLY works on his computer that we are all aching to play and that some of the time he is asleep is going to be spent playing it.  Already they are asking less to go to the pond for a swim and instead are spending lots and lots of time drawing or playing with Legos (Issac is trying to design a robot that utilizes water in its design– inspired by Falling Waters and a water works plant that has a huge built in waterfall on the side on the way to the Science Center.)  The girls are spending a lot of time playing with friends on Build-a-bear and Skype and reading.

And so we will see where it leads and what God has planned for us next.  Regardless, it won’t be boring which is great because I hate too much repetition and adore change and the good Lord knew that when He gave me this wonderful, ever changing family.