Sunday, June 30, 2013

What I'm Into: June

On the Nightstand:
Okay, here's the thing. I'm reading more than I have in years. But I still want to be reading (a lot) more. I'm going to write about it more next week, because reading daily was one of my goals last month. Suffice to say, a lot of this post looks a bit like May's post. I still want to share because I have some new thoughts on each book. 

Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions by Brennan Manning 
[The very same day I read these two passages from Reflections for Ragamuffins and No More Perfect Moms. It's sort of timely today because as I was typing this all I could think about was how I should be reading more and the pressure I put on myself because I've always been a reader and I never want to loose that part of me.]

I love the good words in this little book. But moreso I love the good words spoken by women unafraid to be vulnerable. I can hear Christ speaking through them as they love one another with words of truth and encouragement. I maybe cried a little after our group met a few weeks back because of the way this group I prayed for months over has come to fruition. In my biggest and best dreams, I did not imagine a night like what we had that night. 

I'm still needing to finish this one up. I like the ideas a lot, but I just haven't been able to get super into it.

Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur and The Thirteen Apostles by J. Ellsworth Kalas
Confession time. I don't think I'll end up finishing either of these. And I have to be okay with that. I've ALWAYS had a compulsion about finishing books I start, but neither of these really grabbed me and there are SO many things I want to read. I just have to let this go. I'm at a place in my life where I really don't have time to be reading things that I don't love and have a passion for. There is too much stuff begging for my attention. I can't even explain (and I'm not sure why I'm trying to) how big of a a deal this is for me. Like, I'm not saying "I'm not going to worry about these right now". I'm saying "I'm putting these aside indefinitely and if I never finish them that's okay". That is a BIG deal for this girl. 

Which brings me to....

THIS is what I have been spending a great deal of time on. 
I can see how this might look like an excess of library books to some, but I'm in the business of trying to grow people who love words as much as I do. 

I've tried to sort of up the ante on homeschooling this Summer for a variety of reasons and one thing that means (the primary thing that means) is lots and lots of reading. 
[We've been reading "A" books, "B" books, and a few random books. And plowing through our big read-aloud, Hitty.]

On the Shelf:
I'm just leaving all these the same and making a light resolution to start at least one.

1000 Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp
Yes I'm late to this party. I bought it when it came out and other things just kept coming up and really I didn't read near enough until this year and it's still a struggle. I absolutely adore Ann's blog, though, and I really think I'd gain alot from this. 

The God of Intimacy and Action: Reconnecting Ancient Spiritual Practices, Evangelism and Jusitce by Tony Campolo
This is another one that I've been meaning to read forever. I saw Tony speak awhile back and really any time I read something by him I'm moved. The title just intrigues me and I'm excited for it. 

Many Ways to Say I Love You: Wisdom for Parents and Children from Mister Rodgers by Fred Rogers
If this seems dorky and cliche, I'm with you. But what I've read (a few pages) is actually really good. My mom got it and loved it and passed it on and I'm looking forward to it. 

At the Theater (or from the couch):
Nada.  There are a handful of documentaries Peyton wants me to watch/us to watch, so I plan to share those next month. 

On the Small Screen:
Still on a kick with The West Wing

In My Ears:
Y'all. Y'ALL. Peyton's laptop died and I have none of his iTunes library on my computer (it would never fit, the thing is extensive). He has it backed up elsewhere, but we're trying to figure out which option is best (buy a new laptop, buy a new hard drive just for iTunes since we have a desktop and an iPad, something else?). We don't want to be rash consumers. Anyway, this was the first time in almost a year I didn't create a monthly playlist. I can't tell you how disappointed and frustrated and stressed out I was about it at first (Peyton's good-natured joking response when I was about to loose it over the temporary absence of his iTunes library: "You can hashtag that UpperMiddleClassStayAtHomeMomFirstWorldProblems"). One fun thing, though has been enjoying all the old ones from previous months. So I've had a great mix of Tom Petty, Fleet Foxes, Christmas music, The Lumineers, Bruce, Mumford, David Crowder and Better Than Ezra, just to name a few. 
Around the House:
We had our church supper group over this month and since children weren't involved I decided it would be fun to be a little fancy. I used our "intermediate" china for the first time (we've get to use our fine China in the five years we've been married). 

When we got married, my mom helped us set up our living room so that it's a very versatile space. The four leather chairs are usually spread out around the room and the table is folded up behind the couch. When we need to, we just move the chairs, pop the table out, and scoot the couch up a smidge. It's feels like a combination of James Bond and Martha Stewart. So fun to be able to transform a room to serve different purposes.

To be fair, it is a little cozy (there were actually six chairs that night), but it worked and I was more pleased with the result than I had anticipated. Entertaining makes me sweat a little bit, because I'm not all together a natural at it and our house is kind of small-ish, but I enjoyed it a lot this time. 

In the Kitchen:
Summer Salad Challenge is still going on and this one turned out fabulously. We actually ended up taking it over to a friend's house to share a meal after they moved.
It's a Mexican salad with chicken. Lettuce, chicken, corn, beans, cheese, tomatoes, and avocado. I made it in layers like a dip for the first time and that turned out to be fun. We brought salsa and sour cream to add and I heated up some refried beans and Mexican rice. Easy, easy and yummy, yummy! 

In My Closet:
I always love nautical stuff and I think, at this point, about half my Summer wardrobe is either polka dots, stripes or nautical themed. The cotton one of my favorite causal dresses I've had for ages and then I just bought the anchor dress (Target!) for church and other semi-dressy stuff. 

Also, I busted out my romper. Cannot get any more comfy than this thing unless it's gym shorts (which I spend a lot of time in these days). 

In Their Closets:
Annie's little teal romper is one of my favorites (of course she prefers dresses). 

Y'all. I took a sewing class and made Graves this bubble. It's getting harder and harder to find cute, sweet boy stuff, so it was necessary :)

And I can't get enough of these sweet babies in their Sunday outfits:

In My Mailbox:
I ordered several things for next Summer from Zulily. It's been awhile since I've ordered from there, but the prices were SO good and it was such cute stuff, I couldn't pass it up!

In My Cart:
I bought a few rompers from Target (and this super on sale swim suit) for next Summer for Annie since I loved the teal one this year and I'm pretty certain she'll be done with bubbles at five :) I also got a couple of things for myself (yes, more polkas!)

On My Heart:
I've loved the pace of this Summer and I've been thinking a lot about how thankful I am for it. I know things will pick up big time in a few months with the move getting closer and I feel like this easy slow season has been such a blessing. 

In My Prayers:
- Two of my dearest friends are both experiencing seasons exactly the opposite from what I described- I know that they know they are right smack in the middle of God's will, but transitions are rarely super easy. Carrie is selling her house while in the middle of the adoption process and Ash just brought home and newborn and now had to have unexpected surgery. I think about them both. 
- I'm praying for several other friends who either feel "behind' in the story of life or left out among friends or just plain lonely. Those are such hard places to be. 
- I'm praying for clarity as we start to make (financial, location, ect.) decisions about next year in NYC. 

On the Calendar: 
July doesn't seem terribly busy yet. I think August and the months following will be, so I'm going to continue to try to really immerse myself in the present and relax. 

I'm linking up with Leigh, of course. I'd LOVE it if you'd join me!

What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh

Friday, June 28, 2013

Reasoning and Redirection (and a few other things)

I've written  couple of posts about sweet Bud lately and I thought it was high time I write one about Annie and what we're going through with her behavior wise. We've been talking a bit about different ways of parenting in my moms group on Wednesday night and it got me thinking about Annie and the place she is at right now. I've said a few times lately that while Graves can be wild and busy and active, she's more of my daily challenge. I think it's because I (obviously) expect more from her and also because she is just so much like me- sensitive and stubborn. Those s's are a hard two. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to share a little about what I'm doing (or trying to do) with her):

1. Reasoning
While new battles arise daily, one thing I'm so thankful for is that Annie is finally at the stage where reasoning works (most of the time). In most cases, if we can get her to calm down enough to talk about whatever is upsetting her, we can work through it together.

For example, I had said something at mom's group about how I think it's important to know a child's personality and not discipline one way across the board. With Ann Peyton if she is crying (which looks a lot like a "fit") I usually don't just send her off to deal with it. We do have a "calm down chair" and sometimes it comes to that, but there are few times (and there are times when it's just her being difficult and I know she can control) when we punish her for getting upset like that. I fully understand that every child is different and for some just ignoring it and moving on with the day nonchalantly is a great mechanism for success. For Annie, I think it's a mechanism for disaster. She just does better when someone sits and helps her process through something. Oh, how I can relate.

Anyway, one of my good friends from the group and I had our combined four children eating lunch at Chic Fil A and she asked me more about how that looked practically and how I reasoned through things with AP. Well, right at that moment Annie started getting really upset about the fact that I had gotten her lemonade instead of juice like her other friends. Obviously, what I wanted to say was "Have you lost your mind? Lemonade is much better than apple juice. I was doing you a favor. Giving you a treat. Let's get your act together and enjoy the freakin' lemonade". But, I know what works (and also that saying those things would be mean and immature). So...I put her in my lap (I still try to do this whenever I can) and I started speaking really softly to her. I explained first that we were there to celebrate one of her little friend's birthdays because I think it's important that she have a perspective outside herself and when I can point out in a very kind gentle way that "it's not all about you" I try to do so. The next thing I did was that I explained that we were going to eat lunch and play and then go home because Graves needed a nap. If she spent all her time crying it would slow us down and she wouldn't have a chance to play on the play equipment. We don't go to CFA that often, so that's a big deal to her. I knew it was a gamble, because sometimes she still doesn't have the self control to pull it together, but she did great and we were able to move on and enjoy playing. I'd say this sort of thing works about ninety percent of the time with her now.

At this point, reasoning and logical consequences work maybe ten percent of the time with Graves. It's a process, right? ;)

2. Redirection

One thing that I'm sure will decrease with age (it already has some) is that Annie is often able to be redirected. This is probably my main strategy with Graves and one I still use frequently with her. There are many instances where it doesn't, or wouldn't, work like the example I gave above. She was just too far gone for me to distract her with something else. But a lot of times, if I can see that she's about to get worked up over something, I'll just find something positive to do or discuss, something I know will make her happy. For example, she still isn't really ever happy about getting her hair washed in the tub. On one level, I think it really scares her to get water in her eyes (she's happy to put her head under, but she has to be in control...again how I can relate). So a lot of times, I see she's about to tune up and cray and I say "hey, why don't you tell me a princess story?" and it's done before she even notices. The other day she was refusing to eat some BBQ chicken which she loves. I told her that she had to eat it and I wasn't giving her anything else. Well, she got upset and started fussing. I started talking to her about chicken and physically feeding her the chicken on a fork and she ate it all...again without even realizing it. NOW, I wouldn't do dinner that way every night. But she was having a rough night and it worked better than having an argument or sending her to bed hungry. She got to listen to a fun story about chickens and get some food that I know she enjoys in her belly. That's kind of the way she likes to be stubborn now- she'll refuse something I *know* she likes just to exert her independence. Which I know is totally normal, but whew....

3. Choosing battles

This is a hard one for me because, as I said, I like to be in control. And as the mom, I feel like I should be in control. But she's getting to the age where she should be in control with some things. I try very, very hard to let her dress herself most days (which if we're home usually means a costume of some sort) and so when we go somewhere important she's pretty compliant about wearing what I choose.

That same day at CFA she wanted to sit under the table. I realize most people would not let their four year old sit on the floor of a restaurant. And honestly, were it not a fast food place, I'd probably insist on a little more decorum. But I made myself look at the situation and ask myself why it would bother me. Ultimately, I decided a) people might stare (and judge) and b) it was disgusting. I quickly assuaged my own worry about the latter- I'm pretty confident they mop the floors more than they clean the play place- but the former was harder. I get that we live in a society that follows certain rules of behavior and I'm not going to let Annie do things that would be incredibly distracting to other patrons (like be very loud or something) but this seemed minimal. I thought about my own mom who epitomizes Southern etiquette and how she let me wear jeans to church when I was in junior high and everyone else was wearing nice dresses or how she let me wear make-up pretty early because "it washes off". I know people questioned her, even to her face, about those decisions. But (when it was safe and reasonable) my autonomy trumped her desire for her family to "look right". And that will be with me forever. I wear dresses to church now and I don't wear as bright of lipstick as I did when I was ten, but I'll never forget her letting me have those things when I wanted them. And sitting on the floor at a chicken eatery seemed not very different.

4. Preparing for Situations/Conveying Expectations

This is really helpful for Annie. She is so much more successful in situations we prepare her for. For example, if we were going to a restaurant and I brought her and Graves sippy cups to avoid ordering four drinks, it helps to let her watch me fix it and explain that we're not going to be buying a drink because I know that will bother her. Or, we've tried to limit the kids milk (they drink a TON) and Peyton explained to Annie right when she woke up how much she could have for the rest of the day. This goes along with reasoning, obviously, because he also explained why (i.e. it makes her feel "full" and she doesn't eat as much healthy food, we try to buy them the best milk at the grocery store and it's expensive and Papa would have to work more if they drank too much, ect.). Or on days when I want her to wear a certain outfit (usually shorts to the park instead of a dress) it helps if I tell her that morning so she can be prepared. Obviously, I'm not a mind reader and I can't spend my day trying to predict what will upset her, but I know my child and I know this is one small way I can help her feel more in control of a situation. I know for me, this is huge. Like, I don't mind so much if Peyton is working extra or has a meeting if I know a few days before, but when he tells me at eleven o'clock the night before, it's rough.

5. Tone

This is one that has taken a lot of practice, too. My friend, Carrie, whose mothering I respect so deeply told me once that she tries to speak to her children in the same kind tone of voice at all times, even and especially, when she is disciplining them. I was at a loss and thought rashly (and I think I even said) "That CANNOT work. Name *one* family with consistently well-behaved children who do that." I went home and thought on it and the answer came to me myself: the Duggars! Sweet Michelle is definitely not letting herself be a doormat, but from what I've seen she uses a consistently kind, happy voice.

Now, in case you were wondering, this goes a step above not yelling. I was already trying to do that. This means you don't even have a "stern" tone. Because theoretically, my kids should obey me without me having to use a stern tone. They should obey because they know the consequences of not obeying and ultimately I hope they will obey out of a desire for their own holiness and a conviction that Peyton and I have their best interests at heart. There are still times when I do change my voice (like with Graves in a parking lot because y'all...scary times call for stern momma voices and I just can't risk his little life for this cause). But in general, I've tried to adopt this approach and it's been HUGE.

It's done more for me, I think, than for them. I just feel myself loosing control much less easily and we don't get in this spiral where there's this extreme tension and negative energy. Situations get diffused so much more easily *and* I'm treating them more in the way I'd want to be treated myself.

6. Recognizing that My Words Have Meaning

I say this all the time, but I don't always live by it. Sometimes I feel like I just repeat the same thing over and over "Share. You need to share. Please share that with your brother.". One of my favorite things I've ever heard my above mentioned friend Carrie say to one of her children was "I want you to try to think of others before yourself". I had never articulated it that way. I had never explained why it was important to share. I was simply barking orders. Similarly, my friend Morgan mentioned that she tries to use Biblical language in directing her children (e.g. "obey", "honor", ect). I thought that was such a good point and one that I had never considered.

I think that's all for now and it was really much more than I initially planned on writing. Some of this is basic Love and Logic stuff, some of it came via discussions with Peyton and just observing Annie's little temperament, some of it came to me by the way of beautiful friendships and bits of it are tips I picked up at the adoption conference I went to back in March.

I hope this post didn't come off at snooty and know-it-all. As usual, I wrote it largely for myself. But I also know I love reading other people's thoughts and opinions on things like this, so maybe it will be the source of a bit of dialogue.

Five Minute Friday: In Between

{He didn't put a single blueberry in his cup and at one point he was pulling them of the bush with his teeth.}

Graves climbed out of his crib this afternoon. I had really hoped we'd make it to October when I was planning to get his big boy bed on a trip that put is within a one hour radius of an Ikea. And maybe we still will. I hope so. I hope so partly because I'm not sure what we'll do otherwise. But I hope so mainly because want to keep him in his baby bed a bit longer. I'm just not ready.

 He's lost all but one of his favorite pacis and I'm all but sure I'll be purchasing some Nuks at Target in the next couple of weeks. We're holding onto those for a bit, too.

It's just almost all the baby things are gone and when he decided without any prompting, save the encouragement of his sister, to be done with diapers, it really clicked that there's less baby and more little boy these days. He decided to start using the potty and start really talking probably within a week (he was, from what I understand, a decidedly early pottier and a decidedly late talker). That week grew him up so fast.

So I'm savoring it every time I change his crib sheets, every time I hoist him over the railing, and every time I pop that paci in his little bird mouth before I tuck him in. 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven...
- a time to babble and a time to say words like "garbage truck"
- a time to wear diapers and a time to use the frog potty
- a time to put away pacis and a time to pop them in sweet two year old bird mouths 
- a time to insist on washing blueberries and a time to enjoy them in nature
- a time to remove the boundaries of slated walls and let him enjoy a big boy boy bed
- a time to exchange Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle Duck for coordinating brother-sister alphabet quilts
- a time to wipe away tears and a time to let them fall 

I know from that sweet sister girl, one day we'll wake up and and he won't be in between a baby and a little boy. He'll just be a little boy. I know I'll love Little Boy Graves just as much as I loved Baby Graves. But right now, wild and rowdy and unpredictable and silly as he is, I love In Between Graves. 

Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Weekly Smorgasbord

I skipped last week, so it's a pretty hefty list. Just click around and see what resonates!

On Faith:
Posted: 21 Jun 2013 01:15 PM PDT
"When David and I discussed all of those pros and cons, we were struck by something: all of our reasons for moving had to do with people and relationships and things with eternal significance. Our reasons for staying had more to do with convenience and not wanting to cause ourselves a huge headache. Of course, there was also the fact that we were emotionally attached to our house. That made me think of a conversation we had in my ladies Bible Study a while back. We were talking about whether we're "pilgrims" or "settlers." Our natural inclination is to want to be settlers. We want to be as settled and as comfortable as possible in this life. But we're really called to be pilgrims. After all, this world is not our home. We're just passing through." 

Well, this was timely. It's really neat when God speaks to your heart through the words on a screen. It's neater still when they're the words of one of your closest friends.

Posted: 23 Jun 2013 09:45 PM PDT
"Something, somewhere, someday is going to break her heart into a million pieces. In that moment, whether it's our next car conversation or 20 years from now, I hope she doesn't reach for euphemisms and colloquialisms to explain all the things she doesn't understand. I just hope she remembers that while it hurts, it won't kill her. Someone already died under that pain so that she didn't have to stick a bandaid on it and try to press on. The burden of despair was fully carried so that when she faces the things that make her question, despair, doubt and wonder the most, she is not alone under the weight of it all. She can let all the pieces fall and let the Gospel of grace and mercy handle the rest."

Posted: 23 Jun 2013 08:54 PM PDT
"while i'm a firm believer in inter-faith dialogue, i think a far-overlooked topic is how hard intra-faith dialogue really is–especially the tricky conversations between those of a more liberal-progressive persuasion and those more firmly committed to conservative-evangelical roots."

Good, good stuff.

On Marriage:
Posted: 21 Jun 2013 01:13 PM PDT
"We collapse on the bed, and it isn't the sinking-sighing collapse after a great day or a long weekend. It's the collapsing of hearts and minds, and the fact that we fail to really see one another. After seventeen years and two energetic daughters, we really don't see one another...We open our hearts up to forgiving the other, even if they don't explicitly ask for it. We open our hearts up to heal, because we decide to let grace into the conversation. And we do this because we've decided to be partners for life."
Posted: 18 Jun 2013 12:09 PM PDT
"Stop trying to fix things. What I really need is for you to just listen."

On Mothering:
Posted: 17 Jun 2013 08:51 PM PDT
"Sending the cards, loaning the good boots, complimenting the jeans. Sharing the best books, driving the car pool, ignoring the squabbling kids, making time for the catching up. Coming when she calls when her man's out of town. Showing up with the Starbucks and sticky buns. Telling her, she can. Especially on the days when she's still wearing her pajamas. Telling her to be kind to herself, and that comfy clothes are always the right choice. Not comparing...Crying alongside. Holding on. Hoping. Passing the tissues. Buying the chocolate. Holding the hands. Opening arms to the grief. Patiently walking the valleys, flash light packed, stop watch left at home. Believing the best, giving the benefit of the doubt, calling. Complimenting...Crying alongside. Holding on. Hoping. Passing the tissues. Buying the chocolate. Holding the hands. Opening arms to the grief. Patiently walking the valleys, flash light packed, stop watch left at home. Believing the best, giving the benefit of the doubt..."
Posted: 18 Jun 2013 09:54 PM PDT
"Bond with your daughter on a new, deeper level by writing letters back and forth. Not only does it keep her inspired to practice her writing over the summer, but it also brings the two of you closer."

What great ideas!

On Adoption:
Posted: 23 Jun 2013 10:33 PM PDT
"Some people maintain that any cultural loss is unimportant compared to what children gain through adoption. But in both mainstream media and personal conversations about adoption, cultural and racial identity need not be pitted against a child's right to love, safety, and security. This unfortunate "either-or" framing of the issue finds frequent expression in discussions of transracial adoption. "

On Serving Others in Unique and Inspiring Ways:
Posted: 23 Jun 2013 09:41 PM PDT
"During the recent Spring Picnic at St. James' Episcopal Church in Jackson, Mississippi, parishioners created a unique labyrinth out of canned goods to benefit Stewpot's Food Pantry. Parishioners donated more than 1,700 cans of food and then used them to create a seven-circuit labyrinth. Cans of beans, mandarin oranges, carrots, tuna, peanut butter and tomatoes lined the one path to the center of the labyrinth and out again."

On Dealing with People:
Posted: 17 Jun 2013 08:44 PM PDT
Good stuff.
Posted: 17 Jun 2013 08:13 PM PDT
"Mostly, for me, though, it's less about managing my social calendar and more about managing my rest time. In my mind, if not on an actual physical calendar, I make sure I get plenty of alone time each week."

I'm planning to write a whole post about some of this stuff. But, just read. Really good.

On Reaching Out and Building Up:
Posted: 16 Jun 2013 10:16 PM PDT
"I am deeply thankful for my country and, especially as an introvert, I cherish the privacy it affords.  Never before, though, did I consider that the ramifications of my right to privacy could reap isolation for others.  Who in my possible sphere of influence am I overlooking in my zealous avoidance of social awkwardness? We land and I wish my new friend good luck as he sprints to make his connection.  In the airport, in a moment of spiritual clarity, I look up and am startled to realize I am surrounded by the embodiment of thousands of divergent stories milling around me.  I feel overwhelmed, insignificant, powerless to engage the silent status quo, and a deep yearning to speak hope and love to the lonely. With emotion too deep to entirely express, or process, I send up my prayer in an exasperated sigh. And I am reminded, "Ask one person one question.""
Posted: 17 Jun 2013 01:31 PM PDT
"Words have energy. If you were to refer to a child as 'satan' his entire life, how do you think he'd turn out? So I'm trying something new. Whenever I see someone, I refer to them as 'mister' or 'missus.' I'm trying to put that energy onto people.""

On Writing:
Posted: 23 Jun 2013 09:09 PM PDT
"There's a great deal of misery to be survived in order to keep a growing beauty alive. It's a daily fight, to keep it from being crushed, not by evil, but by something much worse, which is the ordinary: the slightly chaotic: the pervasive creeping meaninglessness: the sands of the day-to-day. So we do this, all the time: we just quit. The vision comes, and we just let it go away, or make it go away, because we know that building it one stone at a time actually will totally suck, like getting our eyebrows tweezed for a whole year nonstop, and we'd rather avoid the suffering...Be a vessel. That's what you are, anyway. The truth wants in, to you, through you. The cost is temporary loss of self. (And that's the prize, too, you know.) The cost is to be the servant, in a world where everything tells us it's cool to be the boss. "

On Sex and Sexuality:
Posted: 24 Jun 2013 12:27 PM PDT
This may be TMI for some of y'all, but I thought reading the different perspectives was really interesting.
Posted: 13 Jun 2013 09:26 PM PDT
"The fact is, boy scouts are already forbidden from engaging in sexual activity—heterosexual or homosexual—and so the change in policy simply addresses sexual orientation. In other words, being attracted to the same sex does not automatically disqualify a boy from becoming a scout.  Is this really a move to condemn? Would a Southern Baptist Church forbid a child from attending Sunday School based solely on his or her sexual orientation? Even among those who count homosexual behavior as a sin, there is usually at least some room in the fellowship for people attracted to the same sex. So why hold the Boy Scouts to more legalistic standards than many SBC churches? This resolution goes beyond the typical condemnation by the SBC of homosexual behavior to condemn homosexual orientation."

Posted: 23 Jun 2013 10:20 PM PDT
This makes me SUPER nervous, but at the same time it's kind of neat.

On Abortion:
Posted: 17 Jun 2013 09:40 PM PDT
What? NO. You're doing this wrong.

On Things of Great Hilarity:
Posted: 16 Jun 2013 10:36 PM PDT
So hilarious (but really kinda crude, watch out, guys).

On Things that Are Amazing:
Posted: 16 Jun 2013 09:59 PM PDT
So cool!

On My Heart and Mind (in Other Spaces):
Posted: 18 Jun 2013 09:45 PM PDT
"I'm telling myself all this, mostly. And I know I'll probably look back on this post a lot over the next couple of years to remind myself that it's okay. It's okay to write scared. It's okay to write nervous. It's okay to write sad. But it's also okay to write happy. It's okay to write dreaming. It's okay to write optimistic. And when I do, it doesn't take away my right to write scared, nervous and sad."
Posted: 18 Jun 2013 09:46 PM PDT
"Each week (I try to do it on Monday) I look at what the activity is and collect supplies and do any prep work and then I pick times I know the kids will be well rested and we'll have enough time to enjoy the activities and plan to do it then. Right now that's how homeschooling looks in general. It's a very organic thing and very relaxed."


Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekly Happenings Post #221 (June 17-23)-- The Return of a Papa

[AP was in some crazy dress up outfit from Minnie, I look rough with the slicked back pony, and Graves insisted on HOLDING THE CAT.]

Well, last week was fun. Peyton was still at his convention the first half of the week. [Sidenote: Guess who's married to the MPhA 2013 Distinguished Young Pharmacist of Year? THIS GIRL. So proud of my hard working husband.] Anyway, we made it and it was so nice when he got back home. I was telling that to Mrs. Barbara at the CPC this morning and she said "I bet! He's such an involved dad. That would be an understatement! Anyway, enough gushing about precious Peyton. It was also a good productive week. I finished my closet changeover (probably faster than I ever have) and cleaned the house really well since we had a little (casual) dinner party here on Saturday. This was also the first week for our new senior pastor and new associate pastor at our church. I think it's going to be a great fit!

Whew! The kids were so good to me on Monday. Graves woke up at eight but stayed in bed almost an hour. We got a slow start and then I got my bath by ten. I renewed library books online, checked my email, and did a few other things and then Annie and I did her memory work and calendar time. We ran to Target to make a return and to the grocery store for a few things. The kids ate lunch and I put Graves down and read our book for the week, A Pair of Red Clogs.
[She learned a bit about Japanese culture.]

I got on Twitter and wrote a post and then worked on my closet change-over (I did all my shoes and bathing suits). The kids got up and we headed to my parents'. They got home from Nashville that afternoon and were sweet enough to have us over for tuna croquettes. I bathed the kids over there and put them to bed when we got home. I worked on my closet a little more (I put up my scarves and hats and leggings in boxes and hung up my shorts) and got on the computer and read blogs and then went to bed.

Tuesday was a fun day. It was good to keep busy so I didn't miss Peyton too much. We got up and hustled a bit- I got my bath and picked up a few piles and then Elizabeth and her two kids came over. We had a great visit and they stayed through lunch. They helped clean up and the kids and I finished. AP and I read and did her calendar and memory work and then I got her settled. I got on the computer for a bit and then worked on my closet (I hung up Summer skirts and church dresses and boxed Winter church dresses). My friend Catherine also dropped by to return some baby stuff she had borrowed. We all got ready and met Carrie and her kids at CFA since David had a meeting that night.
This guy is a MESS. [Yes, I took this in the bathroom. Yes, he brought the cookie in the bathroom. You win some, you loose some.]

We had a great time and stayed for a good while. We got home and I changed Graves's sheets did quick bedtimes and then I boxed my casual Winter dresses, long sleee solid t-shirts and Winter socks and got on the computer. I wrote a post and got on Twitter and then went to bed.
Our NYC friends!!! (Look, we have several mutual friends, have had a couple if Facebook interactions, and have talked on the phone exactly once. But I'm pretty liberal with my platonic relationship descriptors. Especially in situations where I'm terrified.)

We all got up late on Wednesday and that was nice. I got a bath and started laundry and then did Annie's memory work with her. I dropped them off at my mom's so I could go get the supplies for my sewing class. When I got back, we had a snack and came home.
He looks SO big to me!

I put Graves down and read with Annie and then I got on the computer after I started cooking some chicken. When the chicken finished I made a poppyseed chicken casserole and uploaded pictures to Flikr. The kids got up and we all got ready and left early for church so we could deliver the casserole to our new pastor (our Sunday School class was providing dinner for his family that night). I caught the tail end of a VBS meeting and then went to our mom's group. Whew! We got home and I helped AP pick up her room and then I got the kids down. I got on the computer until Peyton got home. We visited (it was SO nice to see him!) and I worked on changing over the stuff in my dresser (shorts and pajamas mostly) and then we went to bed after I cut out a pattern for my sewing class the next day.

I got up and got ready for my class on Thursday. I had a fun time at it and the bubble I made ended up turning out great. I was SO proud of myself- this skill does not come easy for me, but I really want to learn. Honestly, especially since it was Peyton's first day back, I really didn't want to go. But I'm so glad I did! Anyway, he met me there with the kids after it was over so he could get to work. We ran by home to get shoes (they didn't have any on) and then made a quick Target run to get a storage box. When we got home, I started laundry and dishes and as I was doing that Graves made a huge mess in the fireplace. UGH.
Did I mention he's a bit of a mess? 

I bathed him and then fed the kids lunch. I took out the recycling and trash, picked up toys, and vacuumed their room. After I got him down, I vacuumed in the den and cleaned up the mess and then vacuumed the bottom bookshelf and inside the little baskets that are in it. I usually try to do one "extra" thing like that when I vacuum and boy, they need it! After that, I straightened a few more piles and finished putting the snaps and buttons on Graves's bubble. I got on the computer and got on Twitter and then the kids got up. I found cat poop in the dryer (washed and dried), so I put my clean clothes in the dryer and re-washed the dried ones. My friend Amanda came by to drop something off for church and we visited a little while the kids played. When she left I vacuumed and mopped in the kitchen, sunroom and laundry room. I folded laundry and played with the kids and then we picked up toys and they had supper. I put Graves to bed and gave Annie a bath. While she was in the tub, I did my last box for my closet changeover (pajamas) and folded some laundry. I got them to bed and then I cooked myself some pasta and boiled some eggs.
Annie wanted a princess book, so of course as I'm leaving the room after getting her one I hear "pri-es ook". I told him he couldn't have any of AP's in his bed because he might tear them up. Sweet problem-solver in the twin bed says "He could have a rubber book". It's not rubber, but it's a pretty sturdy (and also relatively unimportant) bath book. Those two....

I got on the computer put pictures on Facebook and Flikr until Peyton got home and then we visited and I peeled the eggs. I wrote a blog post and went to bed.

Peyton worked in McComb on Friday and AP joined me in bed at 9:00 and we all really got up at 9:30. We snuggled and I texted with Ellis and then I had my bath.
Night owls ain't morning people. Glad he got the memo.

Starting the day with still sleepy babes in my lap and sappy best friend texts-- Summer doesn't get better than this, as far as I'm concerned. Being loved by these people is everything.

They watch their morning 'toons very differently ;)

We all ate breakfast and I started dishes and laundry. Annie did her memory work (we actually just did it while she played and she did well) and then I folded more laundry and fixed the kids lunch.
The scenario: Annie is "momma", Graves is "Papa", Graves is holding "Annie", and Annie is holding "Graves". They're on a plane going to New York (see the ticket). I asked Annie what they were going to do there. She said "stay for five weeks". Sounds perfect, yeah? Kidding. Kinda. 

AP and I read and I got her settled. I ate my lunch and got on the computer. I took a short nap and Peyton got home and we all cleaned up and got ready to go to Mickey and Minnie's. We had a good time but got home SO late. My mom had gotten out a tea set for Annie and Graves nearly broke it a hundred times and my dad had mentioned something to Peyton that bothered me and I was just a little frazzled. We got home and started marinating a brisket for dinner the next night and I took a ton of stuff to the attic and organized it. I got on the computer for just a bit and then went to bed.

We got up a little after eight on Saturday and chatted while the kids played. Peyton helped me get the big boxes to the attic and then he started the brisket and ran to the grocery store and I organized some stuff in the study and the kids ate breakfast. We were having our Suppers of Eight group to our house that night and I wanted to get a lot done. Some of it was stuff (like the study) that they wouldn't even notice, but it seemed like a good day to knock it all out. I organized some books in the closet and worked through several piles. Peyton got home and I unloaded groceries, unloaded and loaded dishes and cleaned out the fridge while he worked in the yard. I talked to my mom on the phone and went through piles all around the house. It was about noon at that point.

I fixed the kids lunch and started cleaning bathrooms. I put Graves down after bathing him and sent AP outside with Peyton and finished the bathrooms and picked up toys. I cleaned up the lunch dishes and started the dishwasher and then ate my lunch. I made a strawberry dessert and then vacuumed the study and our room. I dusted in the den and polished the wood floors and put up stuff in the kids' room and then FINALLY took my bath. Peyton got ready and took the kids to his parents' house and I did one last sweep of the house, got dressed and got out the dishes and napkins. I started cooking some broccoli and Peyton got home and right after our guests arrived. We had such a nice time and it was a great evening of fellowship. It was also fun to be kid-free and to use a few "fancy" things.

We went together to get the kids and visited with Peyton's parents for awhile. When we got home, we put Bud right to bed and Peyton bathed AP and I cleaned up the kitchen.
We used our "intermediate" china for the first time (in five years we still haven't used our fine china). SO much fun!

I got on the computer for a bit and then went to sleep.

Peyton was planning on getting up early to go to Men's Club on Sunday, but not only did we miss that, we were going to be super late for Sunday school. We decided to just go to the late service, which worked out well because the kids were really tired. It was an AWESOME first service with our two new pastors, Mitchell and Owen, and I could tell the transition was going to be a good thing. We came home and ate leftover brisket and put Graves down. I got on the computer for a bit and AP ended up watching a movie with Peyton and then we both took naps. When the kids got up we all headed over to my parents' to give my dad his (late) Father's Day present. We ended up staying and eating spaghetti. We put the kids to bed when we got home and I uploaded pictures and talked to Peyton about the week and then went to bed.

I think this week is going to be pretty low key. I have some goals, but nothing huge. And Graves and I are both getting (desperately needed) haircuts.