Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sticker Shock and Other Things

Renovating. I've mentioned our basement renovation which is actually going quite well. All walls are in place and we're making our way towards soon pouring self-leveling concrete to even out the floor. My designer backed out but I think I have a replacement that will likely work out better in the long run. I'm excited about that.

I've spent the last week or so getting estimates on some major outside work: siding, windows, eaves, redesign. This is where the sticker shock comes in. The construction market here is hot and you really have to book well in advance of when you want the work done. I'm looking at scheduling this for the spring and need to make a decision in the next few days, if not today. I'm waiting for a contractor who is 25 minutes late for our appointment. Not a good sign. My first choice at this point is pricey but highly recommended. Seems like such a grown up thing to do.

Football season has come to an end for this household. I think this photo will give you an indication of just how well things went:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'd post but...

I'm too busy with our new little dude, Caspian Beary.

This little cockapoo comes from the home of some dear friends. Their daughter is the same age as my daughter and they are tight. Like, one Sunday morning they were explaining to me that they are twins. I digress. Little Miss G was pretty sad for her friend, knowing that our puppy was leaving a bit of a hole in her friend's heart. She cried off and on for a couple of hours after they left.

She managed to hold it together well enough to snuggle up with her happy siblings for this shot:

We're using our timer to make sure everyone gets a proper turn to cuddle:

This girl rarely smiles. She must be very happy indeed!

He is so cute he almost doesn't look real. But he smells like a dog. Good thing he has this face to see him through:

I'll return once a bit more of the novelty wears off. Or he sleeps through the night. Whichever comes first.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Confessions of an Un-Morning Person

I'm going to come clean. I like my bed. A lot. We have a good mattress, a wonderful down duvet, and a peaceful bedroom. We frequently have a late-night visitor climbing in between us in our warm cozy bed, but it's a pretty nice place to be. Another confession. I tend to stay up way too late. I used to think I didn't require a lot of sleep but I'm rethinking that one. The post-bedtime hours in our home are quiet and enticing. I seem to start projects late in the evening and get caught up in creating or laundering or reading or anything else that is more enjoyable in quiet or that I've put off doing in the day. Years of getting up in the night with a baby or two and grabbing every bit of sleep until the first child awoke in the morning conditioned me to get up only when I absolutely had to. I used to think I was rather enterprising, still finding time for hobbies even with little ones around. Now my littles are, well, not-so-little and sleep is a bit more predictable around here. Now it's simply a matter of personal discipline.

It's no secret here that I love the Word of God. Day after day and year after year I grow only by exposing myself to God's Truth and my relationship continues to grow. I've made time for this at different times of the day, out of necessity, and that quiet time has come in the late morning, afternoon, or late at night. I've been convicted lately of my need to seek God in the morning before my day starts.

You see the challenge. If I'm not up before my children, I'm not going to have time for reading and prayer in a quiet room. After eleven years of motherhood I sleep through the alarm clock without hearing it. How am I going to consistently find that morning time if something doesn't change?

After six weeks, I can tell you that I have consistently had a good half-hour in the mornings to spend with the Lord. No, I'm not waking up to an alarm. No, my husband isn't waking me up. No, I don't make my children sit quietly in their rooms until it's time for the noise of the day to begin. It's been a very simple solution, quite honestly.

I started praying six weeks ago that God would wake me in the morning so that I could have that time with Him before the children get up. And you know what? He's been totally faithful to do so. It hasn't been the exact same time every morning but within a twenty minute window. I wake up and anticipate that time. Heading for the sofa in our south-east facing living room, I grab a warm throw and settle in with my Bible and journal. I shouldn't be surprised that God would wake me consistently but it is just so obviously not something I am doing on my own that it excites me. These times are fulfilling and quenching and intimate as I seek Him.

Maybe I'm becoming a morning person after all.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Night Musings

Returned home a short while ago from our annual church picnic (rescheduled to today after the initial June date was rained out). Neat to catch up with a few people and enjoy a wonderful afternoon/early evening outside. Fall is settling in, with a crispness in the air and the changing palette of the leaves. I love this time of year but am often disappointed by how short this season is here. I wonder if there are "season chasers" similar to "storm chasers"? If there are, I would love to spend a year chasing autumn around the globe, crunching in leaves for days on end, and enjoying the mastery of God's paintbrush dotting the trees with the wonderful colours of fall. Perhaps I wasn't made for the Canadian prairies after all?

Last week was tough. After months of a more leisurely schedule, returning to a full week of activities, lessons, teaching seemed a bit of a blow. I am struggling with impatience within and am repentant for the ways this has spilled over in my dealings with my family. I have the same 24 hours to do my work as everybody else and I find that I get overwhelmed, let it pile up, and feel sorry for myself. Not a good cycle, huh?

Still plodding through my valley, working through some old hurts, and trying to get real life done well on a day-to-day basis. As you can tell from the previous paragraph, I'm failing sometimes. Miserably. And yet I know the One who is faithful to heal and restore and bless and I continue to chase after him.

Forget chasing seasons. I'm chasing after eternity.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Special Meeting

We had a real thrill Friday afternoon traveling out to my friend's country home to meet the new puppies. Now, a bit of sadness has fallen over this sweet tale as the puppies' mama died when these little ones were just 1.5 weeks old. I have to say that this sweet family is loving all over these little pups and just taking tremendous care of them. Enough chat, you have to see:

We've named him Caspian and are looking forward to integrating him into our home in just a week and a half.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


It's a new month and that means a new Scraptivity! kit. Here is one of the layouts I submitted for the Design Team reveal:

Journaling reads:
Homemaker - Homebody - Homeschooler - Stay-at-HOME mom. Not exactly the life I imagined. I thought I'd be a lawyer, marry late, and have 1 or 2 children. Make a real difference, you know? And now I'm pouring my life into what goes on between these 4 walls. Wife - Mother - Homemaker...making a real DIFFERENCE.

Isn't it amazing how you think you've got it all planned out? I've always admired women who are so settled in their path. I thought I was one. I'm really thankful that God planned differently for me.

Carrying on with Week 2 of our homeschooling year. I received two huge boxes of a curriculum order I placed last week. So many great titles to grace our bookshelves. Even my son's interest was piqued by a couple of the new books we unpacked. Reading Marguerite Henry's Justin Morgan Had a Horse
to my oldest two and we're all enjoying a good read. My 7-year-old is quite pleased with herself as she works through her Phonics book, thrilled with words like "skunk" and "plum". My youngest shows diligence and enthusiasm, for which I am thankful.

My eldest daughter is struggling right now with an infection on her leg as a result of a wipeout on her bike, an ingrown toenail, and a possible throat infection (we're awaiting the lab results). She's this stoic child who rarely reacts strongly to anything and is obviously dealing with a fair bit of discomfort and sadness as all parts of her body seem sore. I'm not always the best mom in these situations as I struggle not knowing what to do, how to fix things, and how much coddling/rebuke they need. I am hopeful that she feels at least a bit better in the morning.

There you have some randomness from me. It's just that kind of day.