Fall 2013-dark leaves

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"My Style"

So I was looking through Pinterest and admiring--more than admiring, actually pinning--some outfits I liked.  Guess what?  They all look the same.  See?  So I'm considering simplifying my wardrobe, especially now that I'll have to get dressed for work three days a week this school year. 

I have the jeans.  I have neutral shoes/sandals/boots.  It seems I need some fresh white tops and some colorful accessories and I'm set. 

Where to shop?  Target...Francesca's...make some of my own...reclaim some I've given to SFB...thrift stores...Steinmart...

I'm ready to look cute again, but not "I'm trying to be in my 20's" cute.  Cute, mom-of-four-wait-you-have-four!?, cute.

And since I'm pretty out of this game, any suggestions (or corrections if you see me out in something just wrong) are always appreciated!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ah-ha Moments and Mind Shifts

Last night at my book study we ended up talking a lot about parenting.  Here's what I wrote in the margin of the book we were supposed to be discussing, a book that's not directly about parenting. Most of these thoughts have a bigger back-story to them, so ask if they don't make sense to you.  It's good for me to have to remember.  There are also scriptures we brought up to back up these ideas, but I didn't write them down.  Seriously, Kelly Kennison should write a book so we'd have it all together.

If we live in the time after the cross, why do we put our kids through an Age of the Law?
Why are we so bent on "I will not make you happy.  I will make you good"? 
Let them be how old they are.
Instead of nipping it (the sin behavior), join her in the struggle of it.  Die to self (my agenda, control issues, need for self-fulfillment in the moment), come alongside her, and struggle with her, acknowledging with her the my heart has the same struggles.
Shift from "No, don't _____" to "Let's ______."  Role play a better way to say it.
Loving them as an overflow of the heart often looks like offering up to them play time vs. them having to extract it from me, just like their loving me as an overflow of the heart looks like joyful obedience vs. my having to extract it from them.
Do-overs are a grace-based tool to offer a willful child.  Back up the boundary a little though.  Do it with her, as in literally walk her through it.
It is sometimes worth it to tolerate a sin for a while to maintain relationship with the child.  I can't come alongside her if we're not in right relationship.  I'm cheering her on to obedience.  Making her happy is not giving in to her.  It changes me too, because it's all about heart issues, which don't vary that much anyway.

Grace-based parenting is HARD; a list of rules and lots of spankings would be much easier.  It's also the philosophy of the school where I'll be working next year.  I'm so thankful to have had last night to listen and glean and pick the brain of wise women who have done this well (and not so well) and are professionals at this (literally).  And that I'll have a year or two to practice it with other kids and watch others practice it with my kids at school.  I'll link the current Pelican Post where our headmaster, John Roberts, fleshes out how grace plays out in an elementary school as soon as I see it up on the website.  It came in my snail mailbox yesterday.  I need to chew on it some more.

I'm also thankful God is bigger than any messes I can make (of myself or my kids).  Praise Him for his perfect faithfulness and goodness!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Alabama Vacay at the Lake

Cruisin' on the Super Screamer--Sarah Frances, Catherine, Patrick and Madeline
Lillian and her bestest bud Andrew.

Sparklers are SO fun!

Cousins and friends all came for Sunday, July 3 to help the Browns celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Lake.

Madeline, Catherine, Corinne, and Sarah Frances had so much fun that day!

So did everyone else (this might be 25% of the people there)...

Granda, Grandpa, Lillian, Uncle Mike, Mamaw, and Gamma

 My parents with the kids and Peanut Butter (the dog)

 Daddy and his biggest girl.
One evening we made sheep out of Milano cookies, mini marshmallows, and white chocolate.

Turned out pretty cute!

The last full day, Lillian decided she wanted to try the Screamer too.

They were all pretty brave by the end of the ride.

Sarah Frances (and Catherine) did a great job knee boarding!

And Brian had a helper driving most of the time.

I just love this picture of her.  Love.

And that last afternoon, the Browns came and picked up the kids so Brian and I could enjoy a date-night at the lake.  It was the end of a perfect vacation!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We're Good

...by the way.  I know I've not updated the blog in a while.  I've been driving to swim practice 30min. one way and going to swim meets and unpacking and cleaning and straightening and swimming for fun and finding our new library and playing with neighborhood kids, etc.

But I met with MMA, our house-mate/room-mate/boarder/dear friend/newest-family-member, for coffee this morning and acknowledged how much "better" I am now than I've been in a long time.  Priorities are shifting and settling back down.  I'm as busy as ever but more able to enjoy the days.  I'm more out of control of my people and my circumstances, but more at peace with that.  Maybe that's it--I'm more at peace with my life than I have been for a while, also acknowledging that I didn't know I was so discontent to begin with. 

God is teaching me to be honest with myself about the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I'm learning a deeper humility and finding a deeper comfort and contentment in my circumstances and a greater freedom to be me.  The me He created me to be (this is the good!) in the places where I will most glorify Him.

Sorry so heady.  All this to say...I'm good.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Flying and Decorating

I've signed up for Flylady again.  It's been YEARS since I followed her, and honestly I can't remember why I stopped.  She's all about decluttering and deep cleaning (eventually).  But her mantra is Baby Steps!  And if you follow her instructions, in a few months the house is spit-spot.  Really.  All the emails (probably why I quit) can be overwhelming, but I've signed up this time for one big email a day.

Also, my friend Michelle came over this morning to help me unpack in an organized way.  Now that I've emptied and stored more boxes and hung some things on the walls that belong to us, this place is starting to look more like home.  I would actually like to spend time in the living room now, despite the burgundy red border that exactly matches the couch that won't fit through the basement door and which coordinates with the wallpaper in the dining room.  Lori will be here tomorrow.  I hope we can tackle the office.  Pics to come.  (I mean it.)  This affirmation-needy attempting-decorator is so grateful for their help!

Silent Words

Still no voice.  Going on day 5.  I thought I was getting better (eye and throat not as bad), but now it looks like I have an ulcer on my tonsil.  Painful!

My thoughts now are what the Lord is able to teach me in my required silence.  "Quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger" keeps coming to mind.  Also to "be still and know that I am God," since I can't pick up the phone and call whomever comes to mind.  To PRAY for them vs. talk with them.  To examine the words I'd like to say (too often critical and angry) and be thankful at least the hearer is spared.

It's also a new lesson that controlling the tongue = controlling your mind, that words are in my head even if they don't come out of my mouth.  And gratitude that words of praise are still heard by my Father.  Like I said, we've been talking more lately since I can't talk to anyone else...

But I start a new camp in about an hour.  I need my voice!  I need sleep too--maybe another 30, if I'm lucky!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Coffee Shakes

So it may not be the smartest thing to keep pouring iced coffees throughout the morning.  I'm so jittery that my hands won't stop shaking when I hold them out in front of me! 

Still Around

We were at the lake last Fri-this Thurs, w/o any internet and sketchy cell service to boot.  We saw almost all our AL family, good friends, and worshipped at FPC on Sunday.  And I took lots of pics, although I haven't downloaded them yet.  It was a wonderful get-away!

There are many stories to tell and thoughts to share.  Life is not allowing me to get to them though--you know, vacay plus that whole relocating thing.  And I have had a terrible sore throat, congested sinuses, and seriously gunky eye that started Tuesday.  And my voice is completely gone, a fact I forgot about when I ran  by Sonic yesterday on the way home from getting a(nother) "last" load from the Arlington house, lol.  Anyway, I'm considering going to the Walgreens clinic today.

All that to say, I have too many thoughts bouncing around in my head, a broken escape valve, and no opportunity to organize them right now anyway.  Like my friend Regan says, I feel like I haven't used all my words!

Here's a nugget for you--I've been reading How People Change by Timothy Somebody and Paul Tripp.  Soooooooo good.  It will (hopefully) make my top 5 influential books.