Saturday, July 28, 2012

Better Days

Did you know that butterflies usually rest with their wings open, but moths rest with theirs closed?  Or that most grasshoppers have wings?  Have you ever seen a helgramite? Did you know ticks that land on your body usually take up residence where you have hair, or along a hairline?


Well...if you lived here on Moraine, you would learn all of these things, and more.  You see, there are more bugs here than should be anywhere - ever. EVER.  And, if you get really lucky, you could visit on a day after several days of rain.  Then, you wouldn't even have to leave the couch to witness all of God's miraculous multi-legged creatures.  Seriously. There are so many bugs here. It keeps me up at night.

Send help.

D sprayed the circumference of the house today, and explained that the bugs are a result of the recent heavy rains.  The ant's homes have been flooded and now they're looking for a new place to live. Not here, guys. Nope. I did see an immediate improvement in the number of crawlies around the house after he sprayed, so that should help me sleep.

Speaking of sleep, poor little brother has been sleeping like a log all day long.  He took one morning nap, and then a random 3 hour long nap this afternoon.  He woke up and had dinner, drowsily read some books with dada, crawled around, and fell back asleep 2 hours later.  He is in full-blown teething baby mode and it's so sad.  The bottom right tooth has finally broken through and the one directly above it is making it's entrance, too.

He really just wants to sit on someones lap and snuggle all day.  I broke down and gave him something for the discomfort yesterday, and it seemed to help.  Today, all he's done is chew on things and whine.  I pray he finds some comfort and rest soon.  It's hard to watch the happiest babe feel not-so-happy.

D and Big brother have been watching the Olympics all day. It's nice listening to them discuss sports and teams and countries.  I like the gymnastics, but only for a little while before I feel like I need to go lift weights or do cartwheels or something.  The Olympics make me feel lazy.  Especially when I watch them while eating brownies. Tasty, tasty brownies.


We have been busy preparing for Big brother's tenth birthday.  Trying to decide what the perfect gift will be, trying to budget and make sure he knows what a celebration it is to have him in our lives every day.

Money is tricky, always, for us.  While I do feel like D and I are making leaps and bounds when it comes to our finances, it's always a struggle to keep to our plans.  I personally handle the finances for the family, D gets stressed out and worried very easily.  I feel like we're finally in a position to handle money the way we should.

In the Bible, there are so many scriptures about money.  It think it's safe to say that Jesus thought it was pretty important.  I think we were meant to steward our money wisely. In fact, it isn't our money at all.  I believe that God graciously gives us His money to use and live and to bless others.

Even with all this instruction about how to be wise with money, dealing with it still remains the number one problem in marriage and the number one cause for divorce in the U.S. I don't want that to happen to us.

Somewhere along the way, with the help of a consumer-driven culture, we've lost sight of what it means to handle money wisely.  The self-discipline that the Bible talks about so much is difficult to find...Especially in Target.

"For God gave us a spirit, not of fear, but of power 
and love and self-control" - II Timothy 1:7

If we follow our budget, as difficult as it can be, we are intentionally setting forth our goals each week. I sit down and see what we have coming up and how much we can spend, save, and give.  Just this little bit of planning goes a long way in our relationship.  When we fail or make mistakes, it is so much easier to solve these problems when we know we are doing it together and with self-control and love.


So, that's how we get through it. Sometimes we need help, or we have to re-prioritize things, but we get through it, and we learn from it, and we try really hard to go back to the plan.  I think D and I have both learned that you can't serve God and Money. It's nice to be realistic and hopeful together. All of the Dave Ramsey books have helped me keep things organized and simple, too.


We have gone on a few hikes the last few days.  Trying to soak up as much of this beautiful weather as we can.  D has been working very hard cleaning up all of the trees that have fallen after several days of intense storms.  We were without power for one entire day, but we just spent the day at the bookstore and had pizza.  By the time we came home, it was back on.



Tomorrow is Sunday, my favorite.  We don't have any specific plans, except to take a hike.  I feel good about our efforts to keep things simple and positive around here.  It's taking work and sacrifice (some sacrifices that I didn't foresee having to make), but our lives here on Moraine are more peaceful than they've ever been. We have family that genuinely loves and cares for us.  Family that stands behind us, even when we stumble, that speak kindly and sincerely, that know what family means.  We have warm beds and happy children and snuggly cats. Things aren't complicated or dramatic. We are truly blessed.

-S.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Paper Aeroplane


Summer days around Moraine float by like a dream.  This lovely Sunday has been following suit.  I prefer Sundays to any other day of the week.  We spend the morning at church.  Our pastor, Bob, is a 6'7 man.  He stands, just as tall as he is smart, in front of our huge congregation once a week and encourages us, through teaching, to be better.  Not just better Christians, but better people.  Better husbands, wives, mothers, fathers - better communicators, better with money, better with prayer, better with the everyday decisions we normally breeze through.  We leave and head to lunch from church as a family.  We take turns choosing where we will eat.  Big brother almost always chooses Chipotle.  D likes Chili's.  I tend to choose places where we haven't eaten before.  I feel new and encouraged.  I love my family so much on these sunny afternoons, I think I buzz.

dream.

swallowtail.

evening.

Sundays are ours. They belong to each of us differently, but we all love them.  This particular day, we rented movies and picked up sushi.  We laid in bed and ate and watched movies.  We went for a little walk.  We took turns with little brother.  We laughed a lot.  The day floated by.  Evening will close in on us soon.  Another week will begin and then another.  Soon it will be fall.  I'm already seeing small signs of change around here and I'm not ready for it.


Wednesday was my birthday.  Getting older is not getting any easier.  I feel smarter this year than I did last year.  I feel little aches that I never felt before, too.  My ankles pop when I wake up in the morning.  That's new. I can see lines developing around my eyes when I smile.  D swears I don't have any, but I do. I can see them when I look really closely. I have quite a bit of grey hair now, mostly down the center of my part.  D swears I don't, but I do.  I can only assume these things will only continue as I age.  I had better prepare. I hope D lies to me about this one thing for the rest of our lives. It sure helps me cope.

This was one of the best birthdays I can remember ever.  I can't say anything tremendous happened, I just felt hugely, beautifully loved.  I got wonderful, thoughtful, and useful gifts from people who know me well - and love me how I am.  I felt accepted and celebrated and so - warmly - blessed.  My day was quiet and my heart was full of gratitude. gratitude. gratitude. It was a peaceful day. 


D's parents watched both boys and he and I went to dinner. ALONE . TOGETHER.  We shared bites of seafood and drank cold water in frosty glasses.  We roamed around a few stores that I missed from before we moved.  I bought a dish and some perfumed lotion.  We went back to his parent's house because I missed the kids.  We had cake (it was pink and fluffy and creamydelicious).  Everyone sang to me and I felt happy in every cell. 


The night before my birthday, Big brother and I went out to eat, just he and I.  He was a perfect gentleman.  He paid for our dinner with the money he's been saving since right after Christmas and told me "get what you want, mom. It's your day."  I know. He's wonderful.


He is also turning ten in August.  I'm trying hard to wrap my head around that.  He's got such a good heart and an explorer's spirit.  He learns something in every encounter.  It's remarkable what he recites.  Most of the time I end up asking "Where did you learn that!?"  Everywhere.  He learns things everywhere.

DLT
Was I that observant when I was almost ten?  I can't remember.  I was around a lot of kids during that time, but I don't remember caring about any of them.  He cares deeply for little brother.  He notices signs that little brother might be hungry or tired or mad.  He tells me 'I think he's getting bored'.  Sometimes he'll pick him up and sit and talk to him. It's a beautiful thing.  I can't remember thinking anything about any of the babies that were in the house when I was ten except that they were annoying.

treasures.

I told him about when he was 5 or 6 and we'd ride in the car.  He asked me what the turn signal was for one day and I explained it to him.  For the next several months, he would remind me to use my "turn sniggle". It was like driving around with a tiny police officer, just waiting for me to forget my 'turn sniggle'....Geez.... Now he's ten. And so totally cool.


hiking.

Around home, the bathroom and laundry room remodel are completed.  D and I found a mirror we liked for the bathroom.  There is a new, fully functioning hot water heater, so we can finally take bubble baths.  The laundry room cabinets were sanded and painted Navajo White.  Before, they were a dark, dark brown.  The walls were wallpapered a multi-colored daisy pattern.  Now they're painted green. It's bright and clean and laundry still stinks  doing laundry is a little more pleasant. We found cute hardware for the cabinets at Pier One, too.


little brother is active, busy, and exhausting.  He's really moving around.  He can stand for short periods of time now, and will wave to you with a bit of encouragement. He is drooling and chewing, but still no teeth.  He says 'ball' now. It's more 'bah!'  But that's what he's saying.  Yep. He said ball before he said mama.  So. there's that.

teeth!

The garden is producing a lot of zucchini's.  It fills me with pride to see all the beans and veggies. I am curious how this happened, and if it's normal, though:

freak zucchini.
Do we pick it? Is it edible? How does that happen? Weird.

I've been chasing a bunny out of the garden pretty much every night now.  D thinks it's hilarious. I get really mad. Sometimes he looks at us looking at him, and continues to munch.  That's usually when I run after him like a crazy lady in a bath towel hard-working gardener who cares about her abnormally large, round zucchinis.

terrorist.
That's a normal Sunday around here.  I'm sure tomorrow will bring something new, and if it doesn't, I think that's ok.  Things could be just like this every day and I'd never complain.  Remind me to read this again in the depths of winter, snowed-in here at Moraine with two boys, so I can remember it all becomes beautiful again.



-S.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sweet Tooth

I've had a couple of days off this week and I was able to spend some time with the boys and to celebrate Sweetheart's birthday.  We also hiked around the property for the past few days  Big brother has been on three hikes in two days.  He is becoming more familiar with Moraine and he can remember landmarks such as the "landslide" and "the tree with bark that makes great shields".  Tonight we saw two different species of salamander and numerous spider webs in the woods.  The water in the ponds are low but Big Brother was able to find some really neat rocks in the dry creek bed.  He is always searching for the next geode.

Little Brother is now eight months and we think he is getting his first tooth.  He is also starting to sleep more during the night.  On Wednesday night we had a large storm come through the area with high winds, heavy rains and lots of lighting.  It kept me up all night but Little Brother slept right on through until 4:30 am.  It was probably one of his best nights.

Crickets are signing at night, cicadas are signing during the evening, and cicada killers are circling during the day.















D.

Monday, July 16, 2012

July

swingin.


squash.

trail.

ginko tree.



moving.

teething.





growing.

redeemed.