Wednesday, April 27, 2011

{beauty haul}

I know I've been MIA lately.

The schedule has been a tad heavier than I had planned.
I'm thinking Ang needs to take over the bookings again.   

But, for now...I had mentioned this last week....and I LOVE it so much! 
I hope I am never without it. 

Okay, last year after a hormonal upheavel, my face went beserk. 
And, actually is still going beserk, but that's another story.   

Being a little desperate, I tried a very expensive product from Murad.

LOVED it.  But, remember very expensive.  
And, it didn't help with the breakout situation, but made my skin
so crazy-smooth.  I was getting compliments for the first time forever.

Then, I started getting some mini-facials.  Some girls love them. 
 I'm not one of them.   And, honestly the "after-effect" was very similar to 
what I was doing at home.   Skin issue still going on, but, texture and 
smoothness..........great.   But, if I could do it at home?  Why not?


Then, I started my little research and saw rave reviews about this product..... 

I get basically the same results as I do from the expensive stuff. 
And, actually like it much better.

And, the price......I have been using it since about December {although I haven't
of late, so don't look at my skin!}  but, I ended up finding it on Amazon and with the
subscribe and save discount, I get it for around $17 with free shipping.  And, one will last me
about 2 months. Probably less if I would use it like I should though!

Love, love, love it!  Definitely a staple for me!   

{i'm not in ar-KANSAS anymore}


Third scariest moment of my life.

And, that's all I really want to say about it because
that was an event I hope to forget.

Just very thankful to God that everyone was safe, although
 my cardiac health probably lost a few years.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

{shout out}

to working moms. 

And, stay at home moms, because they work oh so hard as well. 

Over the past several weeks, I've been helping out at the law firm a lot.  The project is
beyond stressful, the days are long, I have to juggle school pick-ups and MD appointments
on a pretty much daily basis.  Then, I've been going home to try and catch-up on ordering, editing,
checking/returning emails/phone calls, and in between the rain - completing sessions.

It has taxed me in a huge way.  I feel so guilty.  Although it is temporary and it has refocused
me on being more grateful for my "work at home" job(s)........the end is not clearly in sight as of yet.
I think I'm getting there, just not certain when.  And, to add to a very unbalanced schedule
that is actually becoming a tad {to say the least} overwhelming for me....through in
the rain havoc which is leading to numerous reschedules on an already overbooked calendar and
horrible computer issues over the past week.

Breathe.

Breathe.

and, breathe a little more.

I found this today from LifeWay.

I'm adding it here, so I can search and find it when I put myself in the place again.
I hope hope I don't, but I think I have the natural tendency to do so.

How to Find Balance as a Working Mom

Written by Marie Armenia
This article is courtesy HomeLife magazine.
It’s 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, and Tracy has just received a call at work from her child’s elementary school. Her son is ill and needs to be picked up. Tracy quickly reviews her options:
   
  • Option A: Call her mom. (No, she’s away on vacation.)   
  • Option B: Call her husband. (No, he has an all-day meeting with an important client today.)  
  • Option C: Call her neighbor, a stay-at-home mom, and ask for help. (Sounds good, but her call gets no answer. She must be out running errands.)   
  • Option D: Tell her boss she needs to leave now but will return later this evening to complete her work. (This would most likely be met with hesitation and a deep sigh of discontent. It would also mean missing her daughter’s first solo with the children’s choir at church tonight.)   
After battling tears of frustration, Tracy settles on a modified option D: Leave now, go to church tonight, get up at 4 a.m. tomorrow, and go into the office early to complete today’s work. Sure, she’ll be exhausted, but isn’t she always?

The Struggle To Juggle

Being exhausted is just one part of Tracy’s learning to manage the demands of being a good wife, mom, and employee. And Tracy isn’t alone. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2002 there were 42.7 million working mothers who had children under the age of 18 still living at home.   

Like Tracy, Lisa Baltz, a 45-year-old business analyst, is a working mom. Lisa has the advantage of hindsight since her two daughters are now grown, but she still remembers clearly the challenge of trying to balance her responsibilities at home and work.   

“Sleep deprivation and exhaustion was something I struggled with, in addition to not having any time for myself,” says Baltz.   But looking back, Baltz sees how her working was the best choice for her family, given their circumstances. And she did find many ways to balance family and work successfully. If you’re a mom who works outside the home, you can also learn to successfully balance the mother load.

Making it Work
Plain and simple, moms who successfully balance family and work have one thing in common: They do what it takes to make family their number-one priority when they’re not at work. If you take a closer look, you’ll notice they have several similarities in their approaches.

These working moms:   

Have accepting and expecting attitudes. They accept their situation and expect God to give them the wisdom and strength to balance it all to His glory. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, they “always [face] tomorrow with a smile” (The Message).   

If you know that your working is the best option for your family, pray daily for God to give you the wisdom to know how to make the most of your time and to make the best decisions possible for your family. And don’t waste your time complaining about how heavy your load is; focus on finding ways to make it work.   

Become the queen of routine. These moms know that kids flourish when they know what to expect and what’s expected of them. There are bedtime routines, morning routines, and weekly routines. And these schedules aren’t just for the kids. When parents follow routines, too, it sets a good example for children and helps to keep life saner for everyone. Again, these working moms take their cue from the woman in Proverbs 31, who “keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive” (The Message).   

Sticking to routines gives your children a sense of security. If you haven’t made routine a priority in your home, try one small routine at a time, and do it without fail for one month. Then continue to add other routines one at a time.   

Say no sometimes. Without apologies, explanations, or guilt, these moms feel free to decline requests that infringe on their family time. They realize saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else, such as a meaningful conversation with their husband, playing a game with their children, or catching up on laundry.   Pray about which activities you should be involved in, and learn to say no to the rest. If you have a hard time saying no to others’ requests, begin by postponing your yes. When asked, say something like, “I’ll give it some thought.” Then think carefully about which activities you should commit to.   

Say yes to offers of help. There aren’t any Superwoman costumes hidden in the back of these ladies’ closets. They’re only human, and they know it.  If someone wants to “fulfill the law of Christ” by helping to carry your burdens (Galatians 6:2), by all means let her. If Grandma offers to help with laundry, take her up on it. If your neighbor offers to baby-sit, say yes. Rather than thinking that needing help is a sign of failure, consider it part of God’s grace to help you through each day.   

Learn to delegate. As part of a family, these women ask other family members to take responsibility for their part. Mary Whelchel, founder of The Christian Working Woman ministry says, “Working mothers make a mistake by not requiring the children to carry their share of the work load.” She suggests displaying a chart somewhere in the house that lists each family member’s responsibilities. “Not to do that,” she says, “is to rob your children of learning to be disciplined and that you have to work for things.”   And remember, your goal should be cooperation, not perfection. As Whelchel says, “A thin coat of dust on the furniture protects the family.”   

Find ways to stay healthy. First, that means getting enough sleep. Losing a full night of sleep for just four nights in a row has been shown to cause physical reactions such as memory loss, diabetes, and hypertension.   If you’re not healthy, you cannot successfully balance your responsibilities to your family and your job. Begin by making sleep a priority, limiting sugar and caffeine at night, and taking time for an occasional bubble bath to keep yourself mentally healthy.   

Create support systems. One group of working moms created an exclusive e-mail encouragement group to voice concerns, find solutions, and keep up with school activities. Some moms plan their weekly grocery shopping together as a fellowship time, and others take their cue from Titus 2:3-4 and enter into mentoring relationships with older women at church.  Whatever you do, create a support system, whether it’s a mentoring relationship or a group of godly women who will support you and challenge you to grow.   
Kiss guilt goodbye. Rather than feeling guilty, successful working moms have a confident assurance they are accomplishing God’s will for their lives. Whelchel gives this advice for identifying guilt: “True guilt comes when you are in disobedience to the Lord. You know specifically what it is. As soon as you obey, the guilt goes away. False guilt is a non-specific feeling of not measuring up, but you’re not sure exactly why.” To defeat false guilt, Whelchel advises getting in the Word and “finding a Scripture verse every day.”   While these tips aren’t guaranteed to make everything in your life go smoothly, they can help you strike a balance so that when you’re home, you’re really home.

Option E
By the way, Tracy’s Wednesday turned out better than she expected. Her husband’s schedule wasn’t as inflexible as she thought, and he was able to get their son from school. Later that evening, as she sat in church listening to her daughter sing, Tracy thanked God for being her Counselor and Guide.   
For that day, she chose to focus on Option E: eternal life. She reminded herself that her “light affliction is producing for [her] an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

Marie Armenia is a freelance writer living in Spring Hill, Tenn.

The above struck my heart in so many ways.   

One of my biggest mistakes is in the sleep deprivation area.  I used to be a "champion" {I use that term very loosely} in that arena, but, it's not quite so easy for me of late.  My body is rebelling in a big way.  I used to almost take pride in the fact I didn't seem to require a lot of sleep, but, that was totally a false illusion.  Maybe I'm learning in my advancing age?  Or just giving up?  

I love her insight to accepting and expecting attitudes.  My greatest desire:  to be a 100% stay at home mom.  The end.  However, our circumstances do not allow that.  I am extremely blessed to have the ability to work at home on a professional level for the law firm.   And, although at times, I know I have taken that for granted, I am very thankful.   To be honest, that is not the most fulfilling work.  My photography gives me probably much more than I ever give.  And, it's not even really a source of income as my accountant will attest, I'm in the red. :)  But, it's just a very good outlet for me as I don't get the same "emotional" return from the medical records.   And, I do think this is an area as I have tried to  tweak and improve in the past, but it clearly warrants looking at again for a better sense of balance.    I definitely need to focus more here.  Again. 

Routine, I am usually fairly strong here.  But, with me being gone so much lately.  That routine has pretty much flown out the window.   Need to get this back on track in a big way. 

Saying no.  I'm shocking even myself.  And, strangers.  I have learned I can't do it all, even though I try to pretend I can.  Although I may not have any time to squeeze out of my schedule {as in our all day Easter party and Spring Fling} that was something that was very important to my kids - so it was important to me and I tweaked other things.  To be honest, I was stressed the whole time, but I kept going to what she mentioned initially........making the best decision possible, making the most out of it........I had to grab on to it and although I haven't "made up" that lost time, I will.  And, on that same line, I was asked {in front of a room full of moms if I could do something specific and SOMEHOW not only did I decline, I did so in front of the eyeballs of 20+.  It was painfully hard and although I almost retracted, I knew it was the right thing to do.  Because it wasn't about the "gift" I would be giving, but the time that would be involved.  Time away from the priorities that must be tended to now.  

Oh, so hard, the offers of help!!!!  Probably my biggest problem area.  I have BLESSED with friends & family that I can honestly leave my children with and have no worries.  Really, if I die tomorrow, you know who all of you are..........PLEASE stay involved in the lives of my boys.  You have been and are that much of a treasure to this mom's heart.  There have been times that although I cringed, had a sick stomach and wanted to do anything but take you up on your offers.....I don't know what I would have done without your help.  It's not just letting my kids sleep over for the night or driving up to a hospital in the middle of the night to retrieve a child fro me or get a call while you are in the school pick-up line and I am not.........although it takes every part of me to say yes or to make that call....your help to me has been priceless and there really are no words.  And, in that same category....my brother and SIL.   There is no way on earth I could have made it the past several years without them.  Someday.......I may tell him that he has truly been my hero.  But, not yet. :)  And, my SIL - same there.  She would drop anything at any time even though her hands are overly full.   And, when he is here, he is not there.......I don't take that for granted.  The night my dad died when Shawn and I stood in horror in our bathroom in the minutes that followed after we knew he was gone......he looked in that mirror we stood in front of and told me that he would take care of us.......and that he has.  More than he will ever know!!  He was only 13 and had no idea what my future would hold.  He has kept his promise.  The only thing I wish I could change were that 1) I didn't require the help at all or as much as I do and definitely 2) that someday, somehow I can be there for you in a small, small way as you have for me.   Whew!  I'm having a tear flood right now!

Guilt - well, I'm working on that.  

So, this article was huge to me and I want to keep it here so I can return to it.  And, hopefully there are moms out there who are not as off-balanced as I am, but maybe this can help a bit if you are the slightest bit tilted.       

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

{tucking in for the night}

ALOT of activity around here tonight.

My session wanted to wait due to the rain that moved through.  She didn't think
her two year old would be too fond of the mud; or maybe he would? So, we
rescheduled that. 

Yesterday, I tried to make a quick sweep around the yard to mow. It didn't last long
as I got BARB-WIRE wrapped around the blades.  Not a good thing.  A friend here
tonight to work on that.

After a little research, decided to move the chicks to their nice abode. 
They are HAPPY chicks!   They are not sure what to do with all of that
room, so after they checked it out for a bit, they do what they've been
doing for weeks now.........snuggled.  So sweet.  Their sounds are changing and 
when I went back to refill their water, they were all nestled together almost purring. 

Then one, tried to fly out! 

I know I warned myself not to name them.  But, it's hard not to.  The one below with the hair on top all crazy is Phyllis.  She reminds me of someone. ;)



 The black one below is one of my very favorites, a bantam black silkie.  I'm thinking he may be a rooster though?

 They were actually being pretty polite around the water bowl.


 Our one and only Rhode Island Red.




Oh, and we had a little rip sticking going on in the middle of everything. 

Notice the ferns! 

It's always a happy, happy day the day I bring those home every year.



You can see that the coop is a little down hill.  However, the big tractor next to
it gives a better perspective on its size. 


These ferns are HUGE!! {southerlands}


And, I finally replaced the dead mums.  I went pink this year. 

{Coop, Day 2}


The carpenter is about finished - a few things to tweak on the nesting boxes that come out of the back of the coop. {so I can just raise the lid and collect the eggs from the outside}  Painting and hardware to be added.  I was soooooooo looking forward to moving them out there this evening, but Scott wants to put linoleum down first to make clean up easier.  

One.More.Day til Moving Day! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

{block me}

I know you are sick of my chicken chronicles. 

But, for the sake of remembering. 

Here is day 1 of the coop project.  

I hate that the picture of course, does not do justice. 

It looks so much different even though it is in it's early stages.

Tomorrow it should have walls, the window, door, stairs, shingles  and the nesting boxes.

Saturday, I paint.

And, it's not crooked. 

I was.

{sigh}

I just peeked out the window again.

I had tears.

There is no doubt if Scott is having a chicken coop
like this built for me.......the man loves me. 

A. LOT.

The chickens.....well, he could care less.

But, he knows it's something the boys and I care about.

So, he cares about it. 

I am pretty much overwhelmed at this point.

And, very, very grateful.


{wow}

I keep peeking out the window.

I'm dying to take a picture, but, I'm afraid it would scare the man away.
He doesn't know me. 

But, the coop is turning out so sweet!

Scott drew it out for him and although I was fine with
plain jane, just secure....he knew I probably wanted a little more.
Well, it is complete {well, not complete yet} with a dormer and
everything.  A different design than Angela's little mansion, but
I am loving it!  And, since you can see it from the house, it
will blend in well.   The 'girls' will be so, so happy
to get out there, they are very cramped. :(  Unfortunately,
he cannot finish it today as his two helpers called in sick.
He plans to be back tomorrow, I hope the weather holds out!!

{beauty find}

This is a quick but fun one.

I am naturally a bare-nails kind of girl.

But, then I see nails everywhere that look so cute and make me curl my fingers 
to hide mine.  I do not have oh so lovely hands.  They need all of the help they
can get.   I wore acrylics for a little over a year recently and totally ruined my nails.
Since that time, I have gone to a salon in an attempt to get them back into shape. 
Initially they would not even "take" an at home polish because they were so
ridged, thin, peeling.......just in very poor shape.  Thankfully, all of the damage has
grown out.  And, even to go in for a polish is around $10 a week or $17 every two
weeks for shellac.  And, add the time/gas of getting there.  I had to come up with Plan B. 

Initially my problem was the fact they would chip within a day.  What was the point?
And, honestly, I have actually come to really like the look of a little polish.  

I had tried everything from OPI, China Glaze, Sally Hansen and everything in between. 
Well, almost everything. I started to explore the world of drugstore nail polishes and 
saw rave after rave of the Essie brand.   They are definitely more pricey that some of typical
ones carried in the grocery store at around $7-8 dollars a bottle.  BUT, let me tell you....I
am loving them!  I am not sure what is with the applicator but it goes on so smooth that
it looks like I've had them manicured.  And, they are lasting so much longer.  Which is
huge.  I cannot paint my nails every day.  And, the colors are so fun!  I must say that
I have only used it with Sally Hansen Mega Shine Topcoat (it dries in 60 sec) - but that
also received rave reviews.   Tip:  make certain the polish is DRY before applying Top Coat.

I didn't and I learned fast! 

Another great thing, apparently short nails are in.  

I can use all the help I can get!

My next post will be something that has been HUGE for me!  I think it will be one of my tried and true favorites I will always have on hand.   Great, great product! 


{posting}

not sure why my last post was spaced like that??

{home sweet home}

I am home today!!! 

And, although I am excited and so happy to be back in my element, en route from the firm after
finishing up my project yesterday, a different attorney called me re: a case I was working on before
the chaos of the last few weeks started.  So, I am here about to start on that as he needs it today.
So, although there are a million other things I would rather and need to be doing.  I'm going to wipe this out and then get on with my list.  This will be quite the week! 

Quick little bits:
*a celebrity was apparently at school yesterday...  
Mr. H - we are thrilled you are in the lives of our boys! 
They think the world of you and talked and talked and talked
about what you taught them yesterday! :)

*the big chicken coop is being started {FINALLY} as I type this.  The chicks
need to move out!  I am quite tired of cleaning their coop.

*after I left the office yesterday, I had about an hour of time to kill because
I didn't want to burn gas to go all the way home only to be able to stay for
about 20 minutes.  So, I swung by and got things for the garden.   I think
I picked up 2 blueberry bushes, 2 pink lemondade raspberry bushes,
2 regular raspberry bushes, a pomegrante bush, dill, some garden flowers to cut, 
and a few cucumber and squash plants to tide E over with as I am growing
most everything else from seed. 

*garden progress report:  it is in a high state of neglect.  I am hoping to spend most
of Saturday out there trying to get it back into shape.  My little peas are starting to
climb our fancy cattle panel arch. {I do really like it}  Tomato plants are doing well.  
Strawberry plants are growing back their little leaves quite well.  I think they were
definitely stunted this year and will likely produce next to nothing. :(  And, the berries they produce will never be harvested because E makes his way out there every day to check them {aka eat them off the vine}.  Zinnas are popping up. I need to pick the spinach.  Cabbage is doing well.   E will have a pot full of collard greens in probably less than a week or so. Raised bed is finished for
my herbs.  Mounds are ready for squash.  So much to do, but, we really are enjoying it. 
Being at home to do it would be nice though. :)  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

{while driving mrs. daisy}

I had a thought.

Scary, scary, I know.

But, last weekend when Eric was kind enough to drive Heather and
I to Mt. Nebo - we sat in the backseat and chatted all things girly on
the way.  {He didn't even complain once, which is pretty amazing}.

I informed Heather of my recent undertaking of beauty products. 
I have wasted SO MUCH money on buying something that was
suppose to be a miracle worker, the best ever, wonderfully wonderful, etc
only to end up hating it and throwing that money in the trashcan.

I have a few mid to higher end range products but even buying several 
of the drugstore variety can put a big dent in the wallet; that dent is even
more painful when you absolutely decide you hate the product.

So, what do I do best at work {the law firm that is?}

Research.

So, pretty much every product I needed to buy, I would research
what normal, everyday women would say.

Very interesting. 

And, for the most part, I have been very, very happy with my results.
So, in my conversation with HG, telling her my latest treasure discoveries, I
decided I might try sharing here. 

But, here's the thing.

If it doesn't help anyone out, I really don't need to invest in the time to "put
it out there."  If no one is interested, I will just keep the little finds to myself.

Although I would love to share. :)

So, for this little thing, I will NEED comments - just to let me know
someone, if only ONE, person is out there "listening." This little segment
will definitely not be copied to my blog book for the boys.

They already know how girly their mom is and really aren't that interested.

They just allow me to carry on.


So, without further ado.....here is my first find. It may seem strange at first,
but this $20 purchase, will literally save me a minimum of $425 this year.

That adds up to a huge amount over the years to come.

Mine is a hot pink number because I wanted all male hands in this
household to keep their hands off. 

Here is the story behind the pricey $20 tweezers......

 They are an award-winning tweezer for expert brow shaping.

What it does:Tweezerman Slant Tweezers have been named a 'Best of Beauty' winner for the 8th year in a row. Top eyebrow artists consistently recommend this top-performing brow-shaping tool. Use the point to tweeze smaller hairs and the broader, more slanted side, for general tweezing. What else you need to know:The perfectly aligned, hand-filed Tweezerman tips are slanted to grab every hair, every time with true precision.

Plus, they come with lifetime sharpening.

And, I put them to the test and am totally impressed.

I have TERRIBLE eyebrows that require shaping a minimum of every three weeks;
and that is honestly pushing it.  So, off to the Brow Bar that equates to some
big money.   PLUS, all of the beauty goodies I would end up with before
 I headed out the door.   Although the Brow Bar did a great job, honestly,
these tweezers total rival it. 

I am really puzzled at how they work so well, the precision is unbelievable.  And,
a slight warning:  I started using them like my old tweezers and about yanked
out a huge area of my eyebrow.  I was totally skeptical at first but am
actually a little amazed.  With tweezers.  Sad, I know.

I picked mine up at Ulta but I have no idea where they may be carried.  

Again, if no one is interested in any of these posts {and, I have a TON}....remain silent. ;)

Friday, April 15, 2011

{lots to tell}

but, too tired to. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

{in my rearview mirror}

*i finished a law firm project {FINALLY!}
*i am still "on call" for them, i have a fear my phone will ring tomorrow. 
*and friday.
*i had the house to myself today.  well, molly and i.
*my radio blared.  and, my windows were open.
*took the boys for treats after school:  pizza and braum's ice cream.
*treats for me too. 
*and six new chicks.
*seriously, what is wrong with me??
*but, they are the cutest things ever.  don't even know what they are??
*played in the garden tonight. bliss again. 
*planted more zinnias, bulb onions, pepper plants, a pretty bush of
some-sort {i knew the name, but cannot think of it at the moment}, reworked
some romaine lettuce, planted 26 tomato plants.
*tired.  but, a good tired.
*smiled alot while out there tonight thinking of my grandma and grandpa
{different sides of the family} and how hard they worked and how much
they loved their gardens.  i get it.  :)   

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

{recharged & ready}

I found my garden hat today. 

You know, it's all about sun protection.

And, let me tell you...........this hat has a very nice brim. 


but, an even nicer bow. 

After I attempted Pioneer Woman's biscuits with two key ingredients MIA - we
shoveled our supper down and headed outside.   The boys played, I planted & watered and poor Scott got the hay twine cut off of the tiller.   I took a break from this desk
and am simply planning on a very long night.  My coffee will be brewing very soon.
But, it was soooooooooo nice to be back out there.  My first evening since well before my surgery. The neglect was very evident.  But, I'm hoping to get it back up to speed very fast.     

But, I did get the strawberries conquered, covered in straw and recovered in netting. 
 I.LOST.A LOT.   {sniff, sniff}
I planted my green beans over my cute little fence-arch.  I hope it turns out the way
I have it envisioned.  We shall see?  I planted my flat of snapdragons.  So pretty!  A few marigolds.    Tomorrow I may try and sneak my peppers in at some point during the day before I head to the office.   And, I have a ton of tomatoes to plant.  Then from seed within the next week I'm hoping to get the rest of my peas, squash and cucumbers along with more zinnias and marigolds.   Have I told you lately that I am way past ready for summer. 

I kept thinking tonight of the only thing I'm really afraid we will miss so much......baseball.   But, when I get tired of working in the garden, I'm thinking we will just head up the hill for some.... slushies. :)   

Here is a peak of the girls.  Well, with probably 3 little roosters in there somewhere I'm afraid. Since my last update, we lost three when I was working in the office last week.  Scott is officially refusing chicken duty from this point on.  And, of course, two were the latest ones I FINALLY found in Poteau.  So, I'm down to two of those.  My chicken seeking days are over.  There is too much of an age difference {a mere three weeks} now...incorporating into the flock is a bit risky now.  We have ended up with 24.  I think?  They move so fast I can barely count them. 

The boys are calling them teenagers now.  It's amazing how fast they change.


Still cute though.   The coop building project has never really gotten off the ground.
And, with the chicks now getting off the ground to the point I am afraid they are going to fly up and over, they need a home.   But, Scott has had a super-rough time as of late.  So, we have a man who will now be building my little chicken coop.

Why do my little innocent projects turn into something MUCH bigger pretty much 99.8% of the time??  These chickens will need to lay golden eggs by the time all of this is said and done. 



{sitting on my hands}

and locking myself indoors.

Today is really the first day I have felt back to normal. 

For the next 4 days, I am basically "on call" for our firm.  I have
to be ready to basically jump in the car and go when the phone rings. 

I had to pick up some plants as my brother is coming down to take 
care of a list for me this afternoon.  As I dropped them off at the garden,
I decided I no longer hated it.  {the deer gave me deep wounds}

And, hopefully after I complete today's work schedule, a meeting at school, and 
MUST have taxes ready to drop off by tomorrow......I'm hoping I can 
have a few minutes before dark to dig in the dirt.  

I had to buy several new plants to replace the landscaping fiasco in the
front of our house.  {HG & MW witnessed that mess} And, 2 old-fashioned Lilac
bushes, 2 Wisteria's, a flat of snapdragons for garden, some stinky marigold's
for the garden,  and three blackberry bushes.  

I hope to at least work on the strawberries and plant my peas tonight.  But,
that is very wishful thinking as I sit here with my must-do-to-do list screaming at me.

     

Monday, April 4, 2011

{kingdom oriented}

Love this post from Sally Clarkson .


Love it, love her heart.

{miss molly}

Evan is loving on Molly on the couch in front of me.  

Minutes ago, I heard this.......

"Oh, I love you Molly girl. I'm
going to miss you so much when
I go to college."

Immediately.......

"Mommy, will Molly be "a-l-i-v-e" when I go
to college? 

Me:  Evan I hope so, but, I have
know way to know that. We will just take
really good care of her until then."

Evan:  "Well, is she eating her grains like she should?"

Evan:  "You know dog food, dog food, dog food and a treat?"

If only it were that simple. :)

{new-old books}

LOVE



My only purchases from our Spring Break travels other than a few t-shirts/hats. 

{musical beds, anyone?}

Scott went to bed first.   Evan apparently slid in next to him.

I continued to work on taxes.  Bleh! Nothing like last minute.

Scott got up and came to the couch at some point, Noah had slid in
next to Evan in our room

In order to avoid any incidental hits to my tender tummy, I opted for Evan's bed.

Scott remained on couch.  zzzzzzzzz-ing away.

Both boys in our bed.

Storm hit, Evan finds me in his bed and joins me.

At some point Scott makes his way back to our room with Noah.

Alarm goes off.

And.I.Wonder.Why.I.Am Tired?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

{best investment ever}

I'm not sure if it would as beneficial to moms of girls, but, the best advice I could ever give for a new mom of boys.....invest in a load of sand and/or a dirt pile.  The boys have spent hours, and hours, and hours in this sand heap.  I guarantee you that they have spent much more time in the midst of this sand than they have on their swing set.   And, yes, it is pretty much an eye sore.  But, I've come to the terms with the fact  that I'll  never have a Better Homes & Garden lawn, so I'm good with it.  

The picture below was when Evan discovered a tiny, tiny spider he was going to have
to evict from his little barn.





 I would love to know all of the conversations that have occurred here.

And, below, the garden plot with new soil added to be worked in.  Bittersweet for me. 
I just need to embrace the starting from scratch {AGAIN} concept.  This time with 
better knowledge about veggie predators. 


And, I couldn't resist.  They truly kick them off wherever. 

 .
{smile}

{a glimpse into April}

I am hitting the ground running this week.  Or, month actually.

1 unexpected vet visit {to be scheduled tomorrow}
15 MD/dental visits.  I kid you not.
4 Bible studies other than Wednesday nights.
4 haircuts.
1 wedding.  {this one is not work though, so looking forward to it}
7 child/family sessions.
2 bridals.
1 NWA engagement.
1 local engagement.
Teaching 4H workshop.
SF meeting.
Working in office x ?? days.

The MD/dental visits KILL me.  And, that's with us all relatively well.

{HG - TV Design}

It's not every day my friends are in 'my neck of the woods'. 

Well, Friday, HG just happened to be 'in the neighborhood' with cake in hand. 

And, I put her to work on a table that has sat behind a couch in my living room that
has given me fits.  I have never been able to get it right.  It took her mere minutes.
And, I had to substitute some of her design elements with other things as I have
blank spaces in all of the places we stole this stuff from around my house. 

Funny how that works?

But, I love it and thanks so much.

ps. pics do not do it justice, I didn't feel like changing the lense or opening the
blinds for natural lighting.  But, it gives a peek. :)

Thanks so much!




I just wish I had a  before.  

{late on arrival}

am i the only one who did not know about these little spheres of goodness?

{back to a fresh perspective}

A couple posts ago I had mentioned a fresh perspective:  bitter or better.

Well, I really want to get back to that as I have been trying to carry it with me daily.  Last week was turned utterly upside down for me.   As in, I literally felt like I was hanging from the ceiling fan by my toenails!  Throw in getting ready for a surgery that I really didn't want to have,  Scott having a really, really rough time with migraines and not being able to provide much help at all, working in the office the 3 days prior to my surgery date on a huge, headache-producing project with just the regular daily agenda.  It was a tad stressful.  And, stress, I've learned can either make or break me.  By nature, I think I tend to do fairly well with stress and sometimes I think it squeezes the best out of me..........other times it squeezes the plain and simple YUCK out of me and spews over.  And, trust me, it can be ugly. 

Well, on Tuesday morning it was not only nipping at my heels but taking painful chunks out of them.   I think on Tuesday, I slept in to the late hour of 4 am.  There were things I had to accomplish before I started my day at the office.   And, just to provide a little window into my days of late........we just finished the Proverbs 31 study during our Wednesday night services.  It was wonderful and I think I mentioned here before that I had gone out on my own and studied different resources on the topic other than my study guide and Bible.   One thing struck me and I have been able to carry it with me almost daily..... the fact that at a point in our life {typically middle-age} we begin responding to the circumstances, chaos, problems, just life in general in either a 'bitter or better way'.   We either age with a bitter attitude or a sweet one.  And, honestly, in looking at those around me, I have no doubt that theory is correct.  So, in saying all of that, when I feel the stress rising and that I'm about to become ugly......I try to pull from that and put it into practice immediately.  Sometimes it works, sometimes I still need to work on it.  

 Now, back to Tuesday morning.  I had gone to bed very late, up early, trying to get necessary things wrapped up, kids prepared for the day, lunches packed, {I did actually get my quiet time in}, laundry, pick up the house, etc.  I was doing well until I found a pile of shoes, SEVEN pair to be exact, by the garage door.  I could feel my busy, but content attitude simmering.   As I piled my arms full, I began stewing.  Thankfully they were all asleep.   But, why, why, why could they not carry their shoes to their rooms?  And, this encompassed all three of my guys.   Suddenly, I became a martyr in my own mind.  Feeling sorry for myself with so much to do, a horribly crazy-busy week........total martyrdom. Lovely.   I could have stewed until they got up and started their days off REALLY well.  NOT.    

But, then I had literally had a flash.  I have no doubt it was divine intervention sparing my little family to what could have been.  A not so nice awakening.  

I have a friend {TH, sorry to drag you into this without a warning} that has a front door that makes me smile every time I walk up to it.   Rarely do I walk up to he door that there are not at least 6 little shoes placed right at the entrance.  Placed is not the right adjective, more like kicked off and scattered together.   I always smile.  So, so sweet.  Evidence that 6 little feet had an afternoon of play and kicked them off before they called it a day.  I have gotten to the point I actually look for them as I walk up their sidewalk.  And, they are typically there.  As they were on Wednesday.  If her collection causes me to smile, why did mine cause me to scour?  Why did the same scene look so ugly on my side of the pasture, or door, for that matter?  Attitude adjustment in progress as I carried the shoes to where they belonged and thankfully my perspective changed.  I like to think that my gratitude for my family is carried with me always.  But, if I am honest with myself and you.......it doesn't take much to forget that blessing.  I hate that!  Why do I allow such little things to rob me {and them} of that joy?

Particularly, when you are in the throes of feeling sorry for yourself  {aka ME} I could have carried right along with my bad attitude and ruined their day as they climbed out of bed with......"how many times do I have to tell you to put your shoes away?"  And, although there is an act of obedience that probably needs to be dealt with it wasn't an issue that should have started their day off in a bad way.  It was a bitter pill to swallow, because if I had focused in on their lack of appreciation, respect, gratitude etc.......how was my own attitude of the same being reflected to them......and to HIM?   Because the grass can  always look greener, TH's entrance with kicked-off shoes reflected an afternoon of play, bike riding, running, scuffs from adventures, etc.   Mine:  initally was the exact opposite. 

Ouch.

 It goes back to bitter or better.  I could have continued to stew or I could have sought the beauty in it.  Unknown to them, I chose the later.   I am sure I will continue to pick up hundreds upon hundreds of pairs of shoes.  But, I have a feeling that each time I do I may not have the same response as I did Tuesday morning.  How could I forget the years and years of concern that I may never have little shoes to pick up?  or, after the accident, am thankful for big shoes to put back into place?   

These shoes carry lots of moments with them along with the scuffs, loose soles and tears.  There will be a day when I won't have shoes scattered by the door and frankly throughout the house..........so, I think I'll choose to see the smile in it as long as I can.   

{getting up to speed}

slowly. 

Well, I'm actually doing very well, but may have overdone it a tad on Friday because I felt so much better than I thought I would.  Then, I woke up on Saturday.  
 
So, I am pacing myself now ;) and doing very well.  

Had to take lil' E into Dr. W's yesterday due to the poison ivy...he got absolutely
miserable on Friday night and it started spreading again. So, he is on oral steriods.  Nice.
Kindergarten testing begins Tuesday.  I am not certain if he is bouncing off the walls
because of the meds or simply bouncing off the walls.  A tad concerned there. 

We FINALLY got an update on Scott's last kidney test.  Despite them losing a big test, repeating it, us calling for results over & over, etc.......Saturday morning {of course, MD office is closed} we received a letter instructing us to call the office and set up an appointment to discuss the abnormalities and then a list was given of the abnormalities......all foreign to me.   So, although I'm trying not to be overly concerned, it's definitely a bit disconcerting when it has to do with a vital organ(s).  And, once again I'm in the place of "really?"  Kidney stones led to 'acute renal failure' for us.   So, I'm not certain where this will lead us, but am definitely asking for prayers!  Lots of them would be nice. :)

On a much lighter note, I've had red velvet cake for breakfast the last two days thanks to a sweet friend.  Not that I needed to eat that for breakfast or at all for that matter, but, it has been YUMMY!  And, thanks to another friend, I haven't had to cook or even think about it at all.

My garden.  May it RIP.  Not really, but, I have not been able to get out there and Scott has had a horribly rough week {two actually}.  I'm keeping things "going" by at least providing water.  But, I'm thinking it will be a "do over" once I'm back up and at it 100%.   I'm still so mad at the deer I can't even stand it.  I did go out yesterday and evaluated the massive loss of plants I really had.  I was hoping more would have survived.  It just makes me sick.  But, the netting is working.  And, I've received some advice from a Master Gardener, but the info is on my phone but I'll share that on here too!  

And, surprise, surprise, I can't find my phone.