Off we go

Monday, April 14, 2014


The boys are out of school this week, so we will be off having fun. See you back here next week, after the best part of Christ's story - Easter Sunday. He lives! 

Meanwhile, I hope you have time to get out there this week and enjoy God's beautiful gift of our world!



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Friday Benediction: Flat Tire Grace

Friday, April 11, 2014


Each one should use whatever gifts he has to serve others,
faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10

After that kid left my son in tears because he snatched his glove during practice and ran. 

After I confronted him and he stuck to me like glue.

After a day of miscommunications, cancellations, and rush. 

After I'd prepared for company, and they are coming in 45 minutes and I'm across town and still haven't showered . . . 

A flat.

And a kind dad.

And that kid. Refusing, lying, clinging, eager and confounding. God's grace in it's various forms, indeed.

Keep your eye out for grace. And, Happy Weekend, Friends.

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday



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Kids in the car - bingo!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

(Everyone needs a model with dirty hands.)
My husband picked these up at a local toy store a few months ago. You can find them here

Just in time for a Spring Break road trip, no? The boys love them, and so do all our carpool friends. We are the old-school vehicle. No DVD players, only dirty carpet and Traffic Safety Bingo. I've been shocked at how popular this is with all the kids.


"I see a stop sign!" 

"A train!!"

"A cow!"

"Wait. A cow? You don't see a cow. We are on the way to school . . . "

A great way to work on honesty, too. Bonus: they are looking out the window and not at a screen. Enjoy!



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Making the Most of Your Screen Time

Monday, April 7, 2014


I struggle with this. 

On Saturday morning the boys were watching cartoons and Jim was at the farm. We'd already raked four bags of leaves, I'd gone for a jog and done the dishes. Perfect time to sit down and write, right? I could get ahead on posts, or jot some ideas down. Except I felt zero creativity. 

Instead of forcing the issue, I opened my computer and decided to embrace the Saturday-morning-get-'er-done mood I was in. Perfect time to delete a bunch of emails, create folders for those ones that were still sitting in my In Box and answer the ones that need to be answered. It took a lot of self-discipline NOT to do some online shopping, scroll through Facebook or peruse Pinterest. I'm not always so diligent.

We all know that screen time can be a giant black hole. You turn it on with the most noble of intentions - I'm going to look up that recipe! or I'm going to check my bank balance! or I'm finally going to respond to Aunt Sally's email! Thirty minutes later, you look up, astonished at the time, and wonder - Wait. What did I sit down to do? 

I have found that paying attention to my mood helps me avoid the black hole. Sometime I want to zone out and waste time. When I'm in that brain-dead space, it's not the time to try and balance our checking account. It IS the time to endlessly scroll. Peruse, away. When I'm feeling creative, I shouldn't open ANY social media. That's the time to go straight to a blank page and write. When I'm feeling sharp and focused, that's when I should tackle the heady jobs - only opening the tabs related to the tasks at hand.

Notice I said, should. This is something I'm working on. Simply being honest about my mood, paying attention to the time of day, when I'm likely to be "sharp" and when I'm not, has helped me tremendously. 
::
Do moods effect your online productivity? How do you make the most of your screen time?



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Friday Benediction: Boundless

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sometimes I come home and find my coffee cup in the microwave. Those last few sips cold, nuked and forgotten, sorely missed around two o'clock.

The leaves cover the walk that I just swept and yellow pollen dust clings to everything. 

Dinner is not anything fancy. But I entertain with instructions on how to make guacamole. Our first grader holds an imaginary television camera and feeds me lines. Our preschooler provides the laugh track. Our cooking show is a success. 

I can then think about God's greatest commandments, to love Him and each other. Simple as that. 

And this makes sense:


Happy Weekend, Friends.



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Good Enough

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I think of myself as a purger, but the piles of preschool artwork in both my sons' closets indicates otherwise. 
You wouldn't believe how much I've actually thrown away. Well, you probably would. I'm sure you find the same papers and precious projects crammed into the bottom of book bags every Friday. I'm envious of those teachers, and how they manage to get the crafts completed and out of their classrooms so quickly. "Ball's in your court now, Mom!" 

I've seen the Pintrest projects but I'm not motivated or in the right mood yet to tackle the sorting necessary to whittle these piles down to manageable size. I've just been cramming more in to each boy's box . . . until they could hold no more. 
Paper bag of crafts, anyone?
One of the blessings of our new house is storage space. There is a partial attic in our FROG that is mostly empty - so far. My oldest son discovered a light switch in there a few weeks ago, and that's been a revelation. I cleaned it out, and as I stared at the problematic school work boxes a light bulb went off in my head:

Move the stuff into larger boxes and shove it into this usable space! 

It's not "correct" or pretty, but it is good enough. And sometimes, that (and bigger boxes) is just what you need.
::
Do you ever rest in the "good enough" system of organization?



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Weekend's Work: Yard, House, Heart

Monday, March 31, 2014


Then Sunday morning.

A few years ago, when I was teaching 2-3 year old Sunday School, a little boy bit me. He was the worst. He ran down the hall if the door was ajar. He did not share, he hit the other children, he cried and raged. He became the one I would dread. Oh please, Lord, let him miss this Sunday.

He was always there. I put him in time out, I re-explained the rules, and I kept him close by. Often, I held him for the entire hour. If he was going to hit or kick or bite someone, it would be me. He became my side project, and he exhausted me.

I taught a different age the next year. Classes switched around and I didn’t see him much. Then one day, he was back in my class. I exclaimed in the overly-joyous way I do when I get nervous and I’m not quite sure what to say, “Hellooo!”

He looked up at me shyly and smiled, “Hi, Miss Courtney.” He gave me a hug. I stood there astonished. He smiled, he played nicely, he followed instructions, and he eyed me like a sweet puppy. He was a different child.

Or maybe the same one as before. Just . . . revealed. Layers shed. There for me to see.

He is my little buddy now, and he seems to find my everywhere. He looks for me when we “pass the peace,” always with that sweet little smile. It’s so adorable I can hardly stand it. And I can hardly believe he is the same child I used to dread.

I know that he was so young before. But there is something about this boy – I can’t just write it off as part of childhood. I feel like he is a little message to me from God that I shouldn’t judge too quickly. That being patient and kind matters. That people need a chance, and I simply don’t know what lies beneath. 

I'm realizing that maybe he was always my little buddy. He's been causing me to send up prayers for years now, and these days he is the one reminding me how to behave. 

So. Yard work, house work, and heart work. What was your weekend's work?



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