Saturday, June 19, 2010

Let the projects begin

If you read my blog at all regularly, you'll remember that we have a couple of projects that we are planning to tackle this spring and summer. There is always a list of "To Do's" floating around this household. And with a house built in 1938, who would be surprised. We love our home, though freakingly high maintenance it may be.

My husband continues to amaze me as he spurs me to work hard at everything I do by being the greatest example of it himself. He works 2 jobs. One, 50+ hours a week and the other anywhere from 1-2 hours per month to, when in season, 20 hours a week! He leads worship at our wonderful home church, Calvary Chapel, patiently fathers 5 feisty kids, and he has, as I write this, left his Saturday project in our attic part way done and is over gladly helping out a neighbor friend of ours with some projects around HIS house. I love that about my Man! He is rarely, rarely selfish, in our marriage, in parenting, with his time or in any relationship or situation for that matter. Now, I'm not saying he is a saint, or that he is the hardest worker there ever was or ever has been. Although, I do believe he works as hard as he personally can in most areas of his life. I'm just so thankful. Beyond what words or actions could ever convey, for my dear life partner. For the loving father and gentle husband that he is. Despite his lack of spare time, he's a keeper of a friend, people!!

Yes, I mentioned working on our front porch area. Yes, I mentioned new windows and painting of our entire house. No, those haven't been done as of yet and no, I did not mention insulating and finishing our attic. But alas! That is what we are attempting at the moment and it is coming along beautifully!
We are planning to use it as a guest room/playroom and I am beyond elated at the prospect of having this extra room!! We can definitely us the space and even with our current store room being finished into a livable room, we will still have ample storage on the sides with readily available access doors. We will be set. For storage, company and toys.

My husband's dad came on over to help get the insulation blower going(I don't think he knew what he was in for {smile}) and ended up staying more than 3 hours helping him feed insulation into the machine, carry heavy material up our steepish attic stairs (LOVE their charming cape cod character) and was happy to do so. So thankful for that Father and Son team.

As you can see my oldest daughter absolutely loves to pitch in and help whenever she can! She loves her daddy and enjoys spending any kind of time with him.

Here you can see the hose going up into the attic, blowing loads and loads of natural fibers up into our musty, dank attic. I am so excited about the immediate feelable results! Re-insulating the attic has greatly improved the overall coolness of our home for this spring and summer heat. I can feel the difference already. I'm stoked!

Really, I mean how does this guy do it!? Like I said, on top of everything else, he is finding time and let's not forget energy, to put into fixing up our home. He does it for me, and for our kids. This Man is such a blessing to us.

And I can't imagine life without him!! "I love you my Main Man and I am so proud of how you father our children. You inspire me, and it is my pleasure to walk beside you on this journey of life as you look to the Lord to guide our ways. In your arms is where I always want to stay."

Ahem, on second thought, I may have to decide that on a case by case basis. Ahem.
Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

Today has been a very good day. It's beautiful outside. 70 degrees. Sunny. I'm so thankful. Visited with a friend. Pushed kids on the swings. Made lunch for my husband. Now relaxing on the couch, blogging, when I probably should head downstairs to fold blessed laundry.

FYI, I cannot follow directions. I seriously lack the ability to only go halfway, hold back or have any kind of moderation. I throw caution to the wind---particularly in physical activities... Sometimes that is a good thing, but many times, it is unfortunately my downfall. We all have them-downfalls-though from one to the next, supremely different they may be.

I am training for a 10k along with dear fellow mommy friend, Jenn. Today I was supposed to run 2 miles. "Easy" they said on their online easy 10k program. Well, it ended up being, of course, a 2.2 mile run, as fast as I could, as relatively reserved as I could (only to keep from collapsing), and ending in complete exhaustion. Once I recovered nicely, I was pleasantly surprised to find I had run it at a split time of 7 minutes and 49 seconds a mile and Jenn put in one of her best times yet as well!
I am always pushing to better my time, distance and overall performance. Pushing yourself farther than before, further than you're used to, sometimes even against ALL of the odds, sure isn't easy-but it sure does pay off with a dose of satisfaction in succeeding along with, in my case this morning, a runner's high.

Perseverance to the point of exhaustion, reaching for achieving the impossible. Continuing on continuing on-even when it feels beyond your capability-even if it seems to be leading you straight to your grave if you should continue to continue, is HARD. Impossible in most cases, because you would have to deny yourself, your own physical needs and in essence sentence yourself to death... Okay, okay, so most of us haven't even had to push ourselves a fraction of that far. In fact a lot of us lack any kind of authentic motivation or perseverance at all because we've never had solely the option of being forced out of our comfort zone. I think of a
flower seed. Sown in the deserted crack of a highway. Limited to fragile life in the place where it has fallen. With engrained zeal, it pushes through the rocks, wind, scorching heat and traffic to grow into a beautiful bloom. Against all odds.

I think of Jesus. Our God became man. Succumbed to a lowly needy human. Against all fleshly odds, lived His life perfectly in the will of His Father, fulfilled prophecy, was burdened with all of my sin and shame and went to Hell and back to save mankind and become the Savior we sinners all personally need. Impossible? Seemingly so, and at the time, overwhelming as His body was pushed further than it could go. But nonetheless, He was victorious. God always is.

As I am challenged physically when I run, as I live daily life, as I walk through uncertain, tiring times, I think on these things. I ponder at how weak I really am in and of myself. But at the same time, I am spurred on as I gaze around at God's beautiful creation, listen to music of praise and am encouraged by uplifting words and comfort from others and a mighty invigorating chill washes over me as I realize it's not about what I can do. I meditate and remember that what I am pushing through at this moment, is only but a shadow to the horror many others have had to endure. And I am strengthened as I thank my Lord, the One who has already conquered all, that I am able because He is by my side making ALL things possible for me.

Persevere. Love always. Never give up. These things will shine, like a candle lit in the darkest of nights. Stick out like a vibrant flower blooming in the midst of rubble. And maybe, spur someone else to keep on, keeping on, for His glory, as we run, with perseverance, the race of life marked out for each of us personally. In the end of all life's keeping ons' we will rest victoriously in and gaze with awe on what, through Christ, we have overcome and conquered.

How marvelously and beautifully

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pickles & Seashells

An abundance of sea shells from our beloved coast.

My kids innovative idea.
I let them run with it.
After $12 made at Memaw's yard sale,
they set up shop on the corner of our front yard.
Pickles fuel the fun.

These kids are awesome!


It's so hard to believe that a little more than a year ago I had my sweet 5th blessing in the womb. This year has flown by!
My husband and I thought we we're done having babies. 4 was enough. BUT God had other plans. Better plans. He surprised us with a 5th tiny blessing. In the beginning, I was hesitant to be excited. My mindset had to be changed and my heart opened to the idea of having my 5th c-section!
God knew what He was doing, and it didn't take long for me to wholeheartedly embrace my new pregnancy as my husband had from the beginning.
It was a romantic season and a time of growth. A beautiful beginning to my blog in fact! The unknown inspired the writer/archive keeper, photographer in me and my wings soared in the strong winds of change as I was pushed to "get real".
With my little girl, I am continually laughing inwardly at how much she reminds me of, well ME! In the wake of strong personality similarities, I can only smile and thank the Lord for the surprise blessing of a miniature me and ALL of the learning that takes place therein. {grin}

A year ago, 5 months/28 weeks pregnant.

7 months/31 weeks pregnant, my "baby" boy by my side.

"She was born to suck." Heehee (no pun intended) She literally came out with her finger in her mouth and to this day, still sucks her pointer finger to sleep. It's adorable!

While at the coast, we celebrated her 1st birthday! She was excited. Super excited. She's never seen so much sugar as she did this day. Oh my, my, my what have we started... I think she had her first sugar high that afternoon. But more about that later...

My fifth blessing was surrounded by her adoring family as we enjoyed celebrating who she is and the blessing her life brings as she completes our family.
Happy birthday! We love you baby girl.

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Mhmhmhm, sandy."


We left May 30th to embark on a quickly put together vacation! Two weeks before we left on this road trip I would have known nothing about it. I knew we were going to plan some kind of getaway as a family in June, but had no idea how long it would be or where we would go. My Main Man planned the whole thing and surprised us with the when and the where.

We couldn't have been more excited to hear the plans!

Our kids love the beach. What kids wouldn't love the beach, really? A huge sandbox. Water as far as the eye can see... need I say more? A paradise for both the young and the "old".
Our trip began with a few little jaunts to visit our extended family. We stopped in Sunday night to visit with my Main Man's grandparents first{mother's side}and spent our first night with them. With their huge backyard, tire swing and dear Uncle Matt, it was a special time, full of fun memories. Our family slept in the 5th wheel which our children loved (a couple cousins and my Main Man's aunt was there visiting as well! So beds in the house were scarce), and my Main Man and I took refreshing runs early Monday morning in the cool wet mountain air. After lunch and meeting up with my parents (who were surprisingly passing through on their way home from visiting the coast themselves) we packed ourselves tightly in to our car and headed on out to our next destination: my aunt and uncles farm.

A hummingbird perched on a tree branch!

My little man can not walk past a puddle, pond, lake or any size body of water for that matter without touching, splashing or throwing a rock into it. It's impossible. It's delightful.

Hydrangeas (?) grow wild near the coast. Beautiful moss covered trees that canopy over the deserted highway, surrounded by hydrangeas(?) in full bloom as far as the eye can see... absolutely delightful.

Mommy's ready, thoroughly willing and able helpers are still just little ones themselves. Born 12 months apart and the oldest of 5, they have been pushed to grow up quickly, expected to excel, asked to assist in embracing and upholding their younger siblings, yet seeking for wisdom as their growing bodies, minds and hearts find their place in Him.
"Lord give them clarity of mind and soul to understand Your Words and take them completely to heart so that in turn, You transform their life as they walk in Your ways."

It's stunning how different the plant life can be just a couple of hundred miles away from home. What may be considered a pesky weed in our territory, may well be a cherished and crowned part of a gardener's flowerbed in another part of the country. It's beautiful to see the contrast and the diverse shapes and colors of even weeds! Plants are amazing. As is their Maker! They collectively serve a purpose... nothing is worthless.

Delightful little Angel with whispy eyes and a head full of curls.

I am so glad to be mommy to these special little people.

A Hops farm may seem to be an unusual place to find serenity & beauty but it sure created an enjoyable environment perfect for our family walk. Many bugs, sticks, ropes and even an orchard fell within our path.

Potty break!! (heehee) We we're in the country. It's what you do out there.

A strange black and yellow bug snuggly calling this little plant home.

This girl's smile melts madness clear away and chases hastiness to it's destruction.

These two light up my every day and spur me to uprightness. God knew what He was doing when he gave me these two. They are true blessings! My heart is overwhelmingly thankful. Delight washes over me as moments are spent with these two precious men.

Delight in just being together.