Garage Declutter

Oh my word!! What in the world has happened to my garage? How did it become the dumping ground for every bit of odds and ends in the whole house? And how have I possibly let it go this long?

This can NOT really be my garage!

This can NOT really be my garage!

Heh heh. Well, life is busy and full and so is the garage. I can’t believe I am willing to reveal these bit of hoarding horror on the blog. Not sure it’s really hoarding if it’s just our plain messy lives. Lazy, messy lives as we’ve obviously been ignoring the garage since Christmas. Yep, I don’t think any of the Christmas bins were put away, and two of them were opened and still unpacked. Ha.

Today it was warm and sunny and we didn’t have any evening meetings. It was the perfect time to start tackling the garage mess.

All those beloved stuffed animals!

All those beloved stuffed animals!

David and Sarah helped as best they could. David moved boxes and bins. Sarah took one of the extra twin mattresses out of the garage and up into her room. She also stacked wooden boards for me. We all loaded the van up with giveaway things.

But really, there wasn’t very much they could do. It was a Mama Job. And I made great progress. The kids have their annual testing on Monday and Tuesday. I’m selling a table full of curriculum on one of the days, so I hope to clear out more of the garage then.

This one had to be kept.

This one had to be kept.

One of my favorite things about the summer is having time to purge, declutter and organize the house again. Our schedules are looser, our days freer, and the weather perfect for clearing out cabinet, shelves, drawers and closets. Off you go, mess!

Hope this garage gets in shape quickly.

Project 365 – Day 148

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We are savoring every relaxed minute of having Joshua home this week. That doesn’t mean we’re busy and active every minute. On the contrary, we’re almost having a “non-vacation” time. The kids are sleeping in when they can, we’ve had some meals out and some in, we celebrated Daniel,we went to church as a family. It’s not about grand adventures, instead it’s been about living and breathing and just BEING together. It’s been a relaxing, sweet time.

Today the sun returned. Happy Days!! I came home from a walk to find the children (everyone but Daniel who had school) sitting outside. They were perched on lawn chairs and sleeping bags. I grabbed my cook book and sat with them. Joshua may or may not have fallen asleep.

Tim worked from home today, but we were careful not to distract him hardly at all. Joshua and I can’t help it if we have fun things to talk about. Or if Rachel needs to snuggle down for a nap. Or if the sun is heating up the house. Mmmmmmm.

Oldest and youngest boy

Oldest and youngest boys

David mowed the neighbors lawn. Joshua worked on some summer communications he needed to do. Sarah finished one of her school books. I had two long phone calls and managed to sneak in a walk each time.

It was a good, relaxing, peaceful day. The only two sad things are – Joshua is leaving on Friday night, and Daniel has to work so much this week that he’s not with us much. :(

This evening, after everyone had gone off to bed, Daniel said to me, rather wistfully, “I’m sad that Joshua is leaving so soon. I’m going to miss him.”

Me too, me too.

Thank you for spending a week at home, Joshua. And thank you to Tim for flying him home (first class no less – ha).

Project 365 – Day 147

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Blessed Daniel

For the past several years, our church has celebrated graduating seniors with a special dinner and an opportunity for their parents (or in some cases, guardians) to bless them.

Three years ago, Joshua was eligible, but Kathy and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in Turks and Caicos. So we sent an email blessing and one of our friends read it to Joshua. They did a good job reading it (or so I hear) and so it is possible that Joshua felt significantly blessed, but I suspect that the whole experience was diminished somewhat by the fact that we weren’t on hand to actually do it ourselves (sorry, Joshua).

Last year we had the opportunity to give a blessing to Rachel, but at the time we weren’t posting many blog entries, so (as impactful as it might have been at the time) it is almost as if it didn’t happen (sorry, Rachel). As everyone knows, if a tree falls in the forest but the event is not chronicled in our family blog, it didn’t happen (and in fact, there is serious doubt cast on the existence of either the tree or the forest).

This year it was Daniel’s turn. He will soon be finishing his Low Voltage Electrician and Fire Safety Systems course at Clover Park Technical College, and so we are declaring him a high school graduate (with a little extra on the side). It was very fun for me (and hopefully not too painful for Daniel) to publicly reflect on some of his strengths and to ask God for His blessing in a few areas. My nephew Timothy and his wife and son, and my parents were also able to attend, which made it a bit more solemn (while at the same time, more festive).

This time we were all able to rally around Daniel and honor him.

This time we were all able to rally around Daniel and honor him.

As I wrote his blessing, one thing really stood out to me — Daniel is an Evangelist. He really cares about the people that God puts in his path — and he doesn’t make the (often unconscious) mistake of judging people’s worthiness. When I look at a lost person, I often look at them in a human, strategic way, determining whether they are ‘likely’ to accept the gospel or not. If I think that they can’t understand the gospel, or are hardened against it, or have some other moral handicap that will probably quench the gospel’s effectiveness, I am very unlikely to care about them or to tell them about Jesus. This is clearly not reflective of God’s heart, but I tend to think that way.

But not Daniel. His first ‘solo’ attempt at street evangelism paired him with a young man who didn’t speak more than a few words of English. Last Fall, Daniel spent several hours befriending a homeless man so he could give him a Bible. He is routinely embroiled in the strangest arguments about spiritual matters with the most unlikely young men in his class at Clover Park. Daniel is not ‘strategic’ but simply obeys the leading of the Spirit and lives out the gospel to a lost world.

I’m very proud of Daniel. I blessed him tonight in several areas with confidence and hope — knowing that Daniel loves God deeply and knowing God’s expressed plan from Philippians 1:6:

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Congratulations, Daniel!

Project 365, Day 146

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A Cousin, Once Removed

We spent the Memorial Day holiday with my nephew and his bride, and their new baby, my Grand Nephew. We ate delicious burgers, played games, went for a walk, scrounged a casual dinner and watched the beginning of the third Hobbit movie.

A 'quick' game of Robo Rally with my niece and nephew.

A ‘quick’ game of Robo Rally with my niece and nephew.

It was a delightful day, much enjoyed. I managed to win all three of the games, although not without a certain amount of mercy when I forgot to take my entire turn (or took an obviously-foolish action). We played Robo Rally, Star Realms and the DC Comics Deck Building game — an excellent way to spend a day off.

John spent some quality time with Rachel, who sprained her ankle yesterday.

John spent some quality time with Rachel, who sprained her ankle yesterday.

I needed to talk a walk before supper to earn some extra calories (and to make sure I don’t have to pay Daniel a forfeit for missing out on our exercise challenge). We did two laps around a nearby lake, and managed to put John to sleep (in spite of my wild driving). It has been a long time since I drove one of those stroller things.

A mostly-staged photo for the blog.

A mostly-staged photo for the blog.

During the walk, there was much discussion about whether little John Mark was a second cousin or a cousin once-removed to my children. Fortunately, the interweb helped us understand that my kids (Joshua, for example) are cousins once-removed from Little John (as Joshua calls him). I removed Joshua into the underbrush to underscore the point.

We are so thankful to have Tim and Sunny and little John with us here in Washington!

Project 365, Day 145

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All My Ducks in a Row

My babies are all home!!! I know, I know, three of them are actually adults and VERY far from being babies. Still, you know how mothers are.

Church together!!

Church together!!

And going to church is probably the sweetest job and blessing of all!

What a wonderful full day together.

Sunday school – Tim teaching
Lunch – big pot of vegetable soup
Card game – Rachel, Sarah, David
DC Comics board game – Tim, Daniel, Joshua
Ultimate Frisbee – Joshua, Rachel, Daniel, David
Movie at home – Sarah (then Rachel when she hurt her ankle)
Dinner – salad and bread w/some Pancho girls
Reading – everyone
Avengers – everyone plus James and Jenny

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!! (Hopefully no more injuries)

Poor Rachel - twisted her ankle during frisbee!

Poor Rachel – twisted her ankle during frisbee!

Project 365 – Day 144

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The musings and ravings of a bloggart family