Thursday, April 29, 2010

the dozer and disappointments

The wheel is crooked and encrusted with dirt.

The dark spotted plastic won't come clean, even with pressure-washing.

You can't even roll it on the driveway anymore.

David put it out by the road for the garbage truck to cart away or for some fix-it person to pick up.

But then Noah came up to me in tears, almost unable to speak. He just couldn't bear for it to be tossed away.

"Why?" I asked. "The Wheel is about to fall off and you can't even push it straight anymore."

"Because it reminds me of Christian," he cried.

And so it continues to sit on this side of the gate until he is ready to let it go.

I wonder how many years it will take.

Austin and Noah often act like they are okay on the outside. I wish I knew the inner workings of their heart. I wish I could tell when they are having a sad day rather than just a bad day. But when my mommy eyes are blind to their hurts or don't see things in the right light, I am thankful that GOD SEES, GOD KNOWS.

One course of action that is always effective, one things that I DO know to do: PRAY!

I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

God has never failed me, not once! Even when His answers were not what I wished them to be, He has never left me, He has never forsaken me. He is faithful. He is merciful. He is trustworthy.

No matter what trial YOU are facing in your life, God waits for you to call to Him. He does not have us go through things to push us away from Him, but to draw us close to Him.

Sure, you can run. You can run far away for a very long time. But when you finally stop running and see where you are, you will find that your situation has not changed for the better. You heart is still broken and your wounds are still gaping.

I could go through life angry at God for Christian's death. But then what?
I would waste a lifetime in misery and bitterness and still not have Christian.

OR I can choose to keep following God. He knows where this path will lead (while I can barely see the step right in front of me). It doesn't mean that the path will be easy and level, but it does mean that peace can be had, that strength will be given, that joy can be attained! We can fight for it!

There is only One that can heal the broken hearted.

Whether you are struggling with your marriage, life, work (or lack thereof), broken promises, hurtful words, friendships, disappointments, or even bad weather... God is greater than ALL of those things!

Won't you let God steer your course? Won't you let Him heal your heart?

"There is no pit so deep, that He is not deeper still."
-Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place

On the Grill: BBQ Babyback Ribs

This is one of my favorite things to grill all year long. It is almost as easy as cooking in the crockpot... with much tastier results!

BBQ Babyback Ribs

Prep time: <5 minutes
Cook time: 2 hrs plus grilling time

Here's what you will need:

- 1 rack pork babyback ribs (or the more economical 3 pack from Sam's Club)
- Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
- Foil

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.

2. Cut the rack in half and place in a 9x13 pan lined with foil. I know that some people like to season or rub the ribs, but I find that it makes it way too salty. If you use good sauce like Sweet Baby Ray's, no extra spices are necessary.

3. Cover tightly with foil.

4. Bake for 2 hours.

Tick tock.

Play, nap, read, do whatever in the meantime!

5. Remove from oven. I'm sure I should stick some temperature guidelines here so you don't get sick from undercooked meat. But seriously, you know when it is done. The meat will almost fall off the bone when you transfer it to the grill-- so be gentle!

6. Heat grill. I also like to spray the grill with some high heat grilling oil to keep the ribs from sticking.

7. Baste ribs with sauce and place on grill. Remove when the sauce is nice and caramelized. :) I prefer mine a little scorched. YUM!

Don't forget the extra napkins!

To see other grilling recipes or to join in on the fun, visit Robyn at Our Homeschool Home.

Our Homeschool Home

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sweet Shot: housework

I will be the first to admit that this is not technically a Sweet Shot when it comes to photography. The white balance is off and the composition is boring (among other things).

But when it comes to my plain old 35 year old eyes, seeing this kind of progress in only ONE WEEK is VERY SWEET indeed!


Day 1:

Day 4:

Day 6:

Day 7 (today!)-- looks similar to day 6, but there is drywall in that room now! And the covered walkway to the garage is almost finished.

In case the red shorts didn't catch your eye, see where the arrow is pointing? That's my man. He did all the electrical and a/c duct work himself!

The crew agrees that he's not bad for a white guy. :) And I'm sure everyone else would agree that it's not bad for a pilot.

I'm linking up with Darcy for Sweet Shot Tuesday.

Sweet Shot Day

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

construction zone

Last year we extended the back patio and concreted over the oddly placed flowerbeds that were breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

After much waiting and saving of dollars, we are moving forward.

First of all, I am uber excited about getting a new roof.

Nasty old roof:

New 3 tab, more visually appealing roof:

Being this excited about a ROOF makes me laugh. When I was little, I would watch The Price Is Right with my siblings. Whenever someone would win carpeting or bedroom furniture, I would be so sad for them. What's the fun in that?! Give me Plinko or a trip or a brand new car!

And now I am that person. The one who is excited over flooring, a new roof, and boy does this house need new shutters! But I would never kiss Bob Barker or Drew Carey to get it. Blech.

On top of replacing the cheapest, ugliest roof I have ever seen, this is being built...

Can you see how BIG the windows are going to be?!

You can tell a little better in this picture. Imagine that the bottom half is drywall.

Eeeeeeeeee! I can't wait! This room is going to be a NO-TV room with bookshelves up to the ceiling along one wall, a ginormous walk-in closet (for all my crafty, sewing, and school things), and windows that look out onto the backyard (hopefully a cleaned up backyard!).

There is lots of hammering and constructing going on around here. The thuds on the roof are so loud, I anticipate someone crashing through the ceiling at any moment.

And in the middle of all of this, we are attempting to get a little school done... just the basics of math, spelling and language arts. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to tackle the undone science experiments that are hanging over my head.

Anyone have suggestions on shutters for the front of the house or ideas for window coverings (shades?) for the back windows?

Did you watch The Price Is Right when you were a kid? What was your favorite dream prize?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Heart Faces: Collage

my family is not normal.

normal is boring.

my family is not boring.

Don't you like how I keep up the facade that *I* am the only normal one? *snort*

Although Austin looks kinda normal here.

Poor David looks neglected... Did you even notice that he is (sorta) in the picture? Someone has to be the camera holder!

And Noah? Noah's sinuses are clear.

You can see a gazillion more collages over at i heart faces.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sweet Shot: birthday boy

My friend's sweet boy was born on my birthday last year.

As he celebrates his first birthday in a couple of weeks, I will be celebrating my 35th!

Growing up, I shared a birthdate with this guy Ray from church. When I turned 13, he turned 27. I remembering looking at him and thinking "WOW, THAT IS REALLY OLD."

(Boy, did I have some feeling old issues when I turned 27!)

I wonder if know Baby C will think the same thing of me some day. And that's okay.

The thing about shared birthdays is that you have this super special bond that means you'll get a birthday present (on time!) every year, even if you speak your mind.

Unless your name is Marsha and the co-birthday-er is named Ray. Then you get zilch. Bummer. I was always jealous that my sister Bobo got $5 from her co-birthday-buddy. I learned early on that life is not fair.

Do you share a birthdate with anyone? What do/did you think about the whole thing? Is there a magical "I am an old person" age in your mind?

I'm linking up with Darcy@my3boybarians. We would love for you to join us for Sweet Shot Tuesday!

Sweet Shot Day

Friday, April 9, 2010

Loving it from ribs to roses

A few things I am loving right now.

1. Ribs and Bread & Butter Pickles

I never thought I would see the day where the mere thought of bread & butter pickles would make my mouth water. When I was a kid, I always craved the kosher dills-- the more garlic-y (garlicky?) and spicy the better! I remember making the ugly face when I would accidentally eat a sweet gherkin by mistake.

And now I have bread & butter pickles. YUM. But why do they call them that anyway? They taste nothing like bread and nothing like butter.

I'm just sayin'...

2. Scrabble on Facebook. Even if Bethany (almost) always beats me.

3. M&Ms. I bought a giant bag after Easter. I have to admit that I am slightly bothered by all the pinks, blues and minty greens. When I was little, my favorite ones were the green ones. I despised the brown ones. And it took a while to get used to the blue ones. Why mess with the classic colors by adding more? It's like all the extra marshmallow shapes in Lucky Charms! I guess I have a hard time with change.

4. Yellow Roses. This bush is ZERO maintenance and blooms almost all year long. It's a blessing to have fresh roses on my windowsill every day.

5. Orange Roses. Okay, these are more like coral and yellow. The colors put me in awe of God's creativity and attention to detail. If these look like this here, then just imagine how amazing they will look in Heaven!

But what the yellow lacks in uniqueness when it's planted next to the orange roses, it makes up for in volume.

I'm linking up over at TidyMom's today.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dictionary Debate

When I first heard about Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary, I thought I just had to have it. Since the reasonings were quite sound, I plunked down a good chunk of change to buy it and have it shipped to my house. (This is one heavy dictionary!)

Now that my boys are finishing up the 3rd and 5th grade, we have had more opportunity to use the Dictionary than ever before.

But there was a problem.

When we'd go to look up a word, IT WASN'T ALWAYS THERE.

While many words are there along with great example sentences and definitions, new vocabulary just isn't included. It's not Noah's Webster's fault that they didn't have modems or morse code back in the day.

This led me to buy the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary the other day.

What I like about it:

  • -affordable
  • -the lighter weight makes it more appealing for kids to pick up and open
  • -pronunciation guide to each word (which the 1828 does not have)

1828 Dictionary

Both are good dictionaries.

But for kid-friendliness and usefulness in home studies, I would recommend Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.

If you can afford and have shelf space for both, the 1828 would be valuable from a historical aspect and for its incorporation of the Bible in its definitions. With its example sentences, it would be excellent for use in Bible or character studies.

The MW Collegiate does not give any example sentences with its definitions, which can be a positive or a negative depending on how you look at it. But its straightforwardness and scope lends itself for use in a homeschool (or any) setting.

Anyhow, that's my 2 cents on Dictionaries.

Do you have either of these dictionaries? Do you just use What are your thoughts?

(See? We DO homeschool! Or do you at least think we do yet?)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sweet Shot: backyard birdie

Sweet Shot Day

I stepped out my back door a few minutes ago to see this little guy.

6Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?

7But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

You can see more Sweet Shots at My 3 Boybarians.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Home Sweet Home

It was a beautiful, sunshine filled day at the park last week. The boys and I enjoyed ourselves swinging, sliding and riding scooters through the trails.

All of a sudden, I heard someone shouting...

"Christian! Chriiiiiiistian! It's time to go!!! Hurry up! Let's go, Christian!"

It made my heart skip a beat.

When my Christian first went missing, I ran all around our yard yelling his name. At first, I ran with hope... I just knew he was around here somewhere.

As the seconds ticked on, I ran through the entire house begging for him to come out and please don't be hiding from mommy.

As the minutes passed by, I ran across the street and down the street frantically calling his name.

Chriiiiiiistian! Chriiiiiistian! Where are you?!

He never answered me.

While *I* did not know where he was at that very moment, GOD KNEW. Christian was already gone. He had already passed from this short life into his new life... to his new home, his forever home.

I am happy for Christian. Truly I am. But for myself? *sigh*

I wish that I was that woman at the park telling Christian to hurry up. I wish that I could see him running towards me. I wish that I could be the one telling Christian it is time to go home.

But HOME is different now. Not just our home-- one that is a little too quiet and a little too clean (well, some days anyway)... but his home is different too-- better, perfect, amazing, full!

Each passing day brings me further away from Christian and his contagious laugh, his excitement, his soft blonde hair and twinkly blue eyes.

Each passing day brings me closer to the day that I will see Christian again-- to hug him, kiss him, tickle him, and hold his sweet big boy hand in mine. ALL BECAUSE OF JESUS.

Christian has a change of address and one day, God will call ME to my new home. Christian will be waiting. Oh how I can't wait for that day!!!


We don't know when we'll be called home. We must always be ready. Are you ready? Do you know where your final home will be? Have you accepted the gift of our risen Savior?

Friday, April 2, 2010

I am loving these books for boys.

In the world of Captain Underpants and Wimpy Kids, I am loving that my boys are loving these other books too!

Max Elliot Anderson - I am sad that my boys think the Hardy Boys books are b-b-b-boring. However, they are enjoying and DEVOURING the thrilling mysteries and adventures by Max Elliot Anderson. Maybe this will make them give the Hardy Boys another chance?

Stories from History - 11 Graphic Novels; this set was only $16.95-- interesting and affordable! They have read each of these several times just because they liked it. I like that random historical tidbits will pop into their heads during our lessons or that they will be sitting there just thinking about something that happened to Anne Frank, Leonardo da Vinci or Khufu.

Robot Wars - We heart Sci Fi.

God's World News Magazine - These magazines make for very good breakfast reading. :) My boys like the pictures, puzzles and topics. I like that it is has a Christian world view and is a great springboard for discussing current events. (I saw this mag on your blog first, Ruthanne! Thanks!)

Do y'all have any book suggestions that I can add to our reading basket? We're almost done with the whole thing! Need. more. books. pronto.

Head on over to Cheryl's at Tidymom to see more I'm Lovin' It entries.