Thursday, March 31, 2011

In a VAN down by the River.

Thursday Morning Sunrise. It was so peaceful this morning to see the world turn from darkness, to beautiful light. The birds sang while I drank my coffee. Homemade Dried Fruit Scones! I baked these! And I am no baker (well not really, I can make banana bread, cupcakes...premade cookie dough, hehe) and I think they turned out wonderful! If you want the recipe, let me know :) It has been one of my dreams to make scones and I can't believe I did it. (go ahead, insert the word: dork ).
Lasso The Moon Cowboy Painting for Ben.

Ben has talked me into creating a cowboy painting for him. He directed me throughout the process (and bumped into me several times as well). Although it probably can't be seen there is glitter on the moon and stars. I always try to put a touch of glitter (magic) on my paintings if it seems to be appropriate. Lets see, news of the moment: We are on spring break and we have had some wonderful opportunities to visit with friends so it has been some really nice time spent. The beginning of the week started off with the kids screaming at eachother and Ben dropping one of his favorite toys in the toliet (don't ask), but things defintely turned around. Right now I am fighting a possible sore throat and I am praying it does not come to fruitation. So not in the mood. The birdbath that I attemped to fix has broken again, so I think I will say goodbye this time. Biggest news of all: Although it is not pink like Ben wanted, we brought home a new (used) van last night!!!! We said goodbye to my blazer (it was holding on by some string and super glue) and hello to our new ride. We have been talking about getting a van for a year now (like before Olivia came on the scene), so I still can hardly believe that it's true. So far I love love love it and it should make life so much easier on this clan. I am thrilled to the moon (and back!). I have to start planning Isabelle's communion. It will be here before we know it. The kids and I were listening to the radio yesterday, a song comes on and Isabelle asks "Is this the Chicksy Dicks?" (dixie chicks). Recently someone was in the bathroom (at home) so Ben asked if he could go to the bathroom in the garbage can? No, Ben. I should probably get my spring decor out, only problem is most of it can't be out because of Little Miss Grabby Hands. It's supposed to snow again tomorrow, I really hope that it doesnt. Well, for now - I am looking forward to a special & wonderful day. Here comes the sun. I will leave you with a few items listed from my up & running gratitude journal:::: *Baby giggles. * Fresh baked scones. *Life Beautiful Magazine. *Paintbrush touching canvas. *Click Clack of the dryer. *Hazelnut Creamer. *Sunrise w/ bird song. *Unicorn Pillow Pet.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Make A Stand

The beginnings of my next painting. I cannot wait to get started on this one.
The highlight of our day yesterday (Sunday). The baby stands! She stands on her own. She gets up and stands there and claps and it is amazingly wonderful. We all clap with her. She is happy and we are happy and all filled with joy. (please ignore my dirty floor). I am so excited that it is spring break time. I love that we dont have to rush out the door this a.m. I love that I don't have to be a drill sergant and make repeated demands so we are not late or missing things. It's lovely and to top that off, everyone is still sleeping, it's just me and my thoughts and my coffee and it's still dark and I am waiting f or the birds to start chirping and the sun to start rising and I am alone (did I mention?) and I love these quiet moments of peace while the rest of the clan are snuggled in their beds. I spent the majority of yesterday cleaning the kids room. We worked as a team (which of course is less functioning then a single worker in this case, because all that goes in the garbage, gets pulled out of the garbage and there are delays in the execution of tasks as the children decide to try on and test all that they find under their beds). So anyway, all that work yesterday and we are only about half done, but I am proud to say that at least I can walk to their beds at night to tuck them in instead of climbing over mountains of "stuff". Yesterday, I also did about a million (give or take a few) dishes since Noah has been cooking all weekend. Have I ever mentioned how much I can't stand doing the dishes? I stand at the sink and think about all the other things I'd rather be doing. I stand there and whine in my head about all else that I have to be doing. I don't know why, but the dishes no matter how hard I try, will never be my friend. I know I must find the gift in the ritual of doing them. The blessing of being able to do dishes for a family, in a home with warm water and soap and the super food that was upon them, I must think of those things...but as I am on my hundredth piece of the day, I think...plastic or paperplates would be nice. Cereal would work. I explore all the options that would conclude in less dishes. Someday I shall have a dishwasher again, but for now...this is my lot. I wonder when it will warm up. Ben was riding his jeep/truck this weekend and playing on his little radio was a Baptist Preacher. Isabelle all bundled up, rode her new bike with the sparkly streamers blowing in the wind. They long to be outside, I long for them to be outside. I have started reading a book called: One Thousand Gifts. It is about living your life fully in gratitude (see why I am working on accepting the dishes with a smile?). So, I have started my own gratitude journal and I will share some of my entries with you here and there as I go. So, I will end this monday morning greeting with the few that I jotted down yesterday. Maybe you could find some of your own to write down today? It feels so good, to find the gift in the seemingly simple of the everyday. 1. A baby stands on her own. 2. I know the cardinals song although I do not see. 3. Fireplace Reading. 4. A cowboy & Dorothy in shin guards play Go Fish. 5. An overwhelming task, 1/2 done. 6. Comfy pajama pants. 7. A boy napping with sunshine on his face. 8. Peace In The Valley (Elvis). 9. Dinner Guests. 10. The lost, is found.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bull or Bowl?

I must get pulled away from the computer approx. 100 times while trying to write a post, so I wonder why I try when the little people are about, but I am not a I try. Already, a baby crawls away, I need to chase her. One child can't get a door open, another child forgets to close another. That other child asks what's for dinner. The one child can't find his baseball glove and I need to search. I check out the window to make sure they are not out in the street or have found themselves in times of trouble or have chased a white rabbit down a deep hole. I hear yelling but I ignore it. And so on... So what I was going to post about I don't know if I will any longer post about as my mind frame has quickly and certainly changed. I was going to speak on the peace of the moment and the being here now...but actually I don't want to be here now...and in fact there is not peace in this moment. none. As I chase the baby once again, and the door slams and the dog barks and there is dog hair on my favorite pajama pants because I sat on the couch instead of the leather chair. I notice a peanutbutter and jelly crust left on the window sill. nice. Today I read something that said: Like a Bull in a China Shop. My whole life I had thought it was Bowl in a China Shop. All this time I have been walking around like a fool with the wrong word in my head. It makes sense now. The baby is now crying because I trapped her in the saucer so I could sit for a few, but she is unhappy and letting me know it. It smells like chicken and onions coming from the kitchen where the husband is whipping up the evening meal. Who would have thought my biggest challenge of the day would be continually fighting with the children about how they are required to wear coats and not shorts in this 30 degree weather. Please don't slam the door again, I just yell. The boy asks why there are extra buttons on the inside of his shirt. I answer, I don't know, even though..I know. The girl asked me what a T-ball is and I ignore her cuz im typing, but the boy provides the answer. All this chaos in a matter of moments. All this chaos are my moments. I must find the gift in them. I know there are many gifts within them. There must be. I'm sure of it. I just need to think about it a bit. Yes, I will think about it after I get the peanutbutter out of the lad's ear.


This week at school, Isabelle was part of the research fair. Her class did: The Life Cycle of Frogs. (I wonder if that was choosen since their class theme is: FROG (fully rely on God). When Isabelle found out that she would have to make a visual display, right away she had something in mind and asked if I could get some clay. Well, when the day came to create her project, she took the assignment on with a passion. she was so excited to make her FROG world. I was prepared to help her but, I really didn't need to. She had a vision and she knew what she was doing, it was awesome. Also, Ben wanted to make his own Frog diaroma, as you can see in the picture, he did a SUPER job as well! The kids are offically on Spring Break (and so am I). Honestly, I think I needed a break from the school routine more than they did. It's freezing outside these days, so I really hope it warms up! This week I turned 36. WOW. I seriously cannot believe that is my age, but I suppose the grey hairs on my head would help prove the theory. Once again this year, I was reminded how much that I am loved through so many amazing people in my life via calls, cards, gifts, visits, etc. Olivia has been eating everything under the sun these days. Her sleeping habits are still about the same. She is into everything possible. The outlet plugs have saved me much stress. Ben has been dressing as a cowboy every single day lately. Yesterday, I was preparing dinner, watching the kids playing out the window with the neighbor kids and all of a sudden Ben walks on the scene: as Batman. (totally unexpected since I have been used to his "cowboy suit" lately. Not only was Batman out and about, but he was wearing a big pair of mustard yellow goulashs (to boot, literally). He is such my joy. That little boy plants an unexpected smile on my face so often. I think Isabelle has forgotten that she NEEDS glasses, becauase they have been folded on the window sil for 3 days now. I guess her blindness has gone away. How fortunate for her to suddenly be able to see. hehe. Today is a SoCcEr day. Besides that, I have cleaning / decluttering / organzing on my horizon. I swear, I seriously cannot keep up with these people at all these days. They undo what I do before it is done. Cute little monsters that destroy my existance. Loud and messy constantly moving beings that unravel my plans. Yet, I keep them. Something tells me I have to. Last night Ben helped me make homemade applesauce. Then I made potatoe pancakes for dinner. They turned out awesome I must say. The Robins are bobbin and the sun is starting to shine...maybe there is more promise to this day then I first suspected. Good day to YOU!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Some new paintings...

A good reminder!
For a nursery, play or child's room.

I found the inspiration for this last painting while looking online. It struck me immediately, because this verse is key in the bible study that I am taking part in right now.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Almost Spring

This is a project that Ben brought home from school. It displays the story from the bible in which Jesus feeds a crowd via a small boy who brought 5 rolls and 2 fish. Well, I noticed that Ben's picture only had 4 rolls and I asked him where the 5th roll was and he proudly told me that he ate it.
Yesterday afternoon was beautiful, so we decided to spend some time on the back deck to get some fresh air. I love this pic of Ben & Livy.

I tried to take a pic of the 3 kids together, but it didn't work out so well. This was probably the best of several attempts so I considered myself: defeated.

Isabelle is learning about states in school right now. She just did a report/poster on Texas. Isabelle and Ben just love playing with and learning from a great magnetic map and a giant puzzle of the states that they received for birthday gifts last year (thanks Sarah P.!)

and finally we come to this pic of the moment. Can we spell: t r o u b l e ? cuz this kid has it written all over her agenda. Not only is she a major climber (I can't even keep her in her play gate/gym anymore unless super supervised cuz she can get to the very top), but she also got into my birdfeeder...deciding it would be best to spread the seed amongst the deck instead of keeping it in the feeder (actually a treasured bird bath that was broken that I hot glued, duct taped and painted to keep it functioning for now). At least she didn't try to eat the bird seed. Today I am making a baked potato for lunch. Today I bought myself some nice flip flops since I have no summer foot gear to speak of. Today if I get a good amount of cleaning and organzing done, I may paint a little in the afternoon. My corned beef and cabbage turned out o.k. yesterday. I do love the irish soda bread though. I made a new recipe this week that I most likely would not make again cuz it was kind of yuk. well not yuk but just below average: chicken enchildas from the campbells soup can. I let Ben bring a Tent to his show and tell today since it was the letter "T". I am a glutten for punishment, I suppose. Got it there, just hope I can manage to get it home. Yesterday, I told Ben to go put his dish at the sink and he didn't want to so he came over and hugged me and asked me: Whose my sweetheart?? ((where does he get this from?)). Although he was adorable , I did not fall for his shinnangigans (sorry if spelled wrong). Yesterday he also asked me what the stinky smell was when he came in the house. I answered: dinner (I agree, it did smell). Why do I always feel required to make banana bread when I have ripen bananas? I have to get back to the gym. I made a bowl out of magazines. Isabelle told me that they did special prayers at school for Japan because they had a Salami. - K, off to work I go.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

It's not easy being Green.

Moments in the Dark of the Night

She cries again. I am so tired. I let her cry. She still cries, so I pick her up, I sit on my bed and I cradle her in my arms. I rock her and I talk to her softly. She settles down and lets me comfort her. I feel the weight of her tiny body in my arms and I know that all too soon she will grow and I won't be able to do this again. I am tired, she is tired, but we are both up when we should be sleeping. Enveloped in the darkness, I can still make out the features of her beautiful face. I enhale her sweet smell. Tiny hand wrapped around my finger. I listen to our breathing, it's all I can hear. In this moment, I am mother to this precious little being and I know nothing more. In this moment the love I feel for her consumes all else. My thoughts are flooded with my blessings. I am enchanted. My baby falls alseep, but I hold her for a bit while longer anyway.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hearts at Home

Retreat: Reflect: Refresh: Refine: - Those are some of the goals when attending a Hearts at Home Conference. It has taken a few years, but I have finally made it back to Hearts. Thanks to planned funds & wonderful family to help with the kids and on the homefront, I was able to leave everything behind for a few days and infuse my heart & spirit with special time with amazing friends, inspirational speakers, endless information, etc. I encourage any mother/homemaker who has the opportunity to attend this event, to make your best efforts because the benefits are beyond wonderful.
This was a cute book that I read recently in regards to motherhood. Makes you laugh at yourself and your situations. Right next to the book is a very special cross bookmark that Ben had made for me.
Here's Lancelot relaxing on the back deck on an almost spring day.

The Painter.
Here's my little Ben making a painting. He is quite serious while creating.

Fresh Strawberries. Noah brought home a crate for us. Yum!

My day has ran away. In just a few minutes I have to start getting ready to pick up the children from school. My intentions of housecleaning were accomplished at a bare minimum as I wandered through my day without intention to complete my goals, but more focused on anxious feelings and endless thoughts. Feeling a little bit overwhelmed by so much to do, I know I need to get organized. I need to get a clear head so I can function. I need to snap out of this mode, whatever it is. I must create peace and make a plan. Spring is upon us, what an amazing season to celebrate. It's hard for me to believe that this spring, Isabelle will be making her First Holy Communion and Olivia will be turning one. I can't believe how fast this year has gone by. Ben has seemed to grow up so fast lately and I ask him to slow down but he tells me that he can't, that he is supposed to grow up...and he's right, so I allow it. I am enjoying the sun shine that peeks through the windows (although dirty windows..but I intend to clean them soon). I am excited about the paintings that I have been able to do and wish that I could find time to do more. I also know that this season in my life must be focused on taking care of my family and home and that all else will come in time. I am soooooo tired at the moment, I just want to nap. Olivia was up constantly last night. I pray for answers and change. I do all that I know in my heart to do for her, but sometimes it is not enough. Besides her sleep issues, my baby girl is a very healthy and happy little wonderment. I am wearing an Elvis shirt today. It's been a long time since I have whipped one of these out of the dark corners of the closet. Yesterday Ben asked me if Soliders and Cowboys helped Superheros get the bad guys? I answered: Yes and then he turned around and told Isabelle: Let's play Barbies! and they ran outside together. I have been making a spicy beef stir fry for a few years now, only to learn recently that Noah doens't really like it. I wish he would have told me years ago. I feel like a fool dishing out something that was possibly dreaded instead of desired. Does he really like my tator-tot casserole? Do I? Should I tell Ben that Olivia played with Woody while he was at school? Better not...some things are better left unsaid. :)

All Aboard!

12x12 stretched canvas - acrylic
This painting was created for my friend's son, so she could give it to him as a birthday gift. Matthew was turning 4 and absoutley in love with trains. When I began this painting, I found it a little challenging...not sure exactly how I wanted to go about it, I prayed for the vision and skill to move forward. With each brush stroke, it formed and came to life before my eyes. I enjoyed the "track" this project took and when I reached the final destination, I was so happy with the end result. In fact, I think this has become one of my favorite paintings and I have learned a little more about trains along the way! What next???...I have a few things lined up...

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Balls and Paint

I finished a painting for a very special little girl who just turned 5 (her mom is going to give it to her for a birthday gift). She loves to dance and green is her favorite color. This project was so fun to plan & create. :)
12x12 stretched canvas - acrylic & glitter paints

Bowling. As a family we went bowling yesterday. It was fun. I am no bowler. I just don't have the skill or interest...but still: to knock a few pins down, always sends a certain burst of thrill through you...and to watch the kids get so excited , high fives and hugs all around. Noah won. Olivia spectated. The ball I choose had the name: Peggy written on it. You know this might sound a bit weird, but I kind of liked those bowling shoes. They were oddly comfortable. After bowling, we went out to dinner (mexican). The kids ordered nachos and orange juice. I ordered: tacos. noah ordered : chicken. Olivia ate crackers and corn. Then we came home and watched: City Slickers on our mini dvd player. Super Saturday....but I have yet to mention how the day began: The kids first day of : INDOOR SOCCER!!!!!!!!!!!!! Besides being told we had to be there an hour earlier then we really had to be there and besides Olivia wanting to escape and cause trouble 98% of the seriously was such a blast and so fun. Isabelle and Ben absoutley LOveD it. They can't wait for their next game. They both really got into learning and playing. It was great to watch them. I can't believe that I am offically (even though I don't have a mini van, I am still saying I am offical) a soccer mom. Who would have known? Now if only I could get Olivia to cooperate so I could focus and enjoy more while there.

The kids loved their coaches! The coaches really made it fun, got them excited to play and made them feel special . This is something that I am very thankful for. The above pic is Ben's team warming up / drills. Ben is the short one right in the middle with the longest shirt almost touching his knees. His team was so cute (running the wrong way, hands on the ball, frozen stances, walking off the court to chat with their moms, etc). Below is Isabelle in action during her game. She was so proud of herself and getting involved. Especially since her level was mostly boys. I love that Isabelle asked me if they would be in the newspaper. (she felt like a big deal). Both kids loved the cheers and took many sideline breaks for water (good sign). Best part? They each got a ball to take home. Free balls, seriousy what beats that? (and let me assure you soccer practice continued on the homefront for much of the remainder of the day).
So here we are. Sunday Morning. I can't even explain how wonderful the sun was shining when I awoke this morning. It's like that spring/summer sun that lights up the world. I don't know if I mentioned this but earlier in the week, I saw several Robins bobbin on the ground and that is always my sign of hope that Spring will arrive soon. (we won't mention the snow that took place afterward though). Some of our rooms are kind of packed up and bare for some painting we have going on this week). I hope to get the house back in order by the end of the week. That is my goal. We made a decision to make some room switching around (bedroom that is) for something that we think makes more sense and function for us and the kids. We will start preparing for that next week. The most exciting outcome for this I believe is that Isabelle will be getting her own room. This week I bought some new cleaning supplies. It's the litte joys. An upolstry brush that is supposed to help get the dog hair off the couches. (I say keep the dog off the couches to keep the dog hair off, but what do I know?). I also bought a Swifter so I can clean the floor more easily/quicker, etc. Olivia is still not sleeping well. I keep praying she will start to sleep better cuz I think it's taking it's toll on me. She's happy though and that's the most important thing. She really enjoys so much and to see her smile and hear her giggle....oh what a joy. Darn squirrels keep eating my birdfood. I still have not seen Gnomeo and Juliet. I really want the book: A Thousand Gifts. I am looking forward to a very special trip coming up at the end of this week. I am not looking forward to spending my entire Sunday today: Cleaning. (can't even walk in the kids room). Maybe I will get to the fridge (theres stuff growing in the bottom) and my car (you could live for days off of the food and misc. items piled up in there). Wishful thinking I tackle these goals....but a girl can dream. I have rambled. Goodbye.

A daily glimpse.

Theres no place like Gnome
Misc. Scrap pages that I am trying to catch up on. (sorry pic would not rotate).

Isabelle's homework.
An evening meal: Chili (probably the last batch because of seasons change, see you in the fall you great delectable.)
Pea Happy! Olivia is trying more and more foods every day.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

How to be a CoWbOy.

"I am gonna be a Cowboy when I grow up. Cowboys arrange cows. Cowboys shoot cows so we can have steak. Cowboys wear wranglers. Cowboys can't ride cows. They build a fire and eat marshmellows on a stick...and steak." - Ben