Kids Everywhere

I don’t know where they come from, presumably minivans, but we have lots of extra children around here these days. Yesterday there was the warrior women invasion, today we have a slew of campers and dueling homeschoolers coming through the yard.

setting up a tent

Joshua and his crew of hearty outdoorsmen set up the tent for Sarah and Elise. Elise and two of her siblings are staying with us for a few days while their mama goes off and sips coffee while eating bon bons (she wishes).

inside the tent

“Sarah, dahhling, aren’t these accomodations just purrrrfect!”

In addition to Elise and her posse, we somehow picked up this gun toting six year old. No doubt his mama was also off enjoying chocolate and hot coffee.

give this boy a gun

Look at the dastardly criminals who are threatening our local lawman. “This town ain’t big enough for the four of us.”

silly boys

There’s only one thing to do, and that’s get rid of the competition, finish them off, take ‘em down.

daniel's down

two more to go

david's out

And to think I was just feeling a bit nostalgic for days when we had a constant stream of kids in and out of the house. Gotta watch those moments (mists of time and all that) or else you end up with a big ole dose of reality.

Joshua was obviously having one of those reflective moments and the rest of the boys decided a dog pile was in order. If you look closely, you can see we lost our visiting six year old but gained a neighbor child.

dog pile!!

The children come and they go but someone must wash the dishes. That’s my new pithy saying for the week. Hey, with a rotating crew of 9 children, that’s about as pithy as you’re gonna get.

dishwasher girl

rachel's doing the dishes

Project 365 – Day 151

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Wet Warrior Women

It’s been unseasonably hot here this week. Gloriously so. Ah, bring the sunshine on, I always say. I’m trying not to get too attached to the sun, this being Washington and all, but it’s awfully nice.

Today we had some warrior women visit. Wet ones at that. You never can tell who will drop by.

wet girls

Instead of hauling out a sprinkler (those things are heavy, whew made of plastic and what not) and attaching a hose (this is just plain hard work, the hose might be all the way in the front yard!) the kids have figured out they can get Tim to turn on the sprinkler system and use that for built in, moveable sprinkler fun.

getting wet

How lovely. The grass gets watered and the children have fun. And no one has to find the sprinkler and worry about that messy hose.

Look at the grace and poise in L.’s stance. She has obviously been training, no sprinkler will get the best of her!

who gave that girl a sword?

Now to find those girls some towels!
Project 365 – Day 150

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Sand Art

On Tuesday, Rachel decided it was time for some arts and crafts. Poor Rachel, she has a decidedly uncrafty mother. Thankfully she has very skilled grandparents with whom she can learn painting, sewing and gardening. From me she learns the joy of blogging and e-mailing. Hey, her typing is improving every day.

sand art in progress

Gathering the tools – cups, sand, food coloring, glass jar and a good spoon.

Rachel has realized that sometimes you just have to go out and find a craft ready to happen. Waiting for me to work some hands on art magic usually just leaves you….waiting. Rachel has decided to bypass me altogether (“no offense, Mom.”) She pulls out all the arts and crafts books from the shelves, digs through the art desk drawers and then sets off to CREATE. See, she’s also learning to be an independent learner with lots of initiative. I’m just teaching all the time.

rachel's funnel

An artist at work.

This being summer and all (well, almost) Rachel chose sand as her art medium. She siphoned off some sand from the bags of play sand in the garage.

“I covered the holes back up with paper after I got enough sand out of the bags, Mom.”

Um, good. Way to show some initiative.

Next she put some sand in four different cups, added food coloring, and began to create sand art. She found two glass bottles in the garage (ah, the garage, the source of all sorts of treasures) that would properly show off her creations.

We were all amazed at how beautiful they turned out.

rachel's piece of art

Rachel, I’m proud of your determination and hard work. You aren’t discouraged by the obstacles keeping from your art (a distracted mother, sweet but pesky siblings, lack of proper supplies, and so on). I love to see what you create. You have an eye for beauty and an imaginative knack for art. Thanks for sharing your creations with us.

Rachel's sand art

Project 365 – Day 149

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Traveling Jungle Gym

Sometimes you don’t have time to rent or borrow a truck. You can’t be bothered with a little thing like transportation details. In that situation, the best thing to do is gather a crew of locals and haul the goods by hand. I came home from the Y this morning to find a team on the lawn, mobilized and ready to go.

Okay guys, we need to get this to baby Chandler. Let’s line up and grab a side.

jungle climber

David and Sarah, I don’t want you slacking on the job. Everybody works in this family, now lift!!

lifting up

Mom, you coming? You’re getting left behind. Surely you can keep up with us, can’t you? That camera isn’t too heavy, is it?

walk away

Many hands make a light load. Good job, guys!

lifting together

Joshua leads the way while David carries his side with one finger. What a team!


And here he is, waiting patiently for the kids to get his new toy put into place. Enjoy the Jungle Climber, Chandler!

chandler's fans

Project 365 – Day 148

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2 Corinthians 3 – The letter of my heart

You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)

We studied this passage in Sunday School this morning at church. I love the word pictures Paul uses in 2 Corinthians – the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ, treasures in jars of clay, our heavenly home, and, in this chapter, the Holy Spirit writing on our hearts.

I was challenged to think about my “readers.” Who is closest to me and reading the book that is my life? I immediately thought of the kids. Do my children see the Holy Spirit working in my life? What kind of book am I reading to them through the words and attitudes of my heart? Do they see only legalistic, tablets of stone or a heart changed daily by God?

Tim and I spent a good portion of Saturday fighting. Maybe it just felt like most of the day. I don’t think the conflict actually started until dinner time. Of course, with a bunch of night owls like us, that still leaves most of the day.

jumble of toys

Sometimes the mess in our house threatens to overwhelm me, drowning me in toys and books and clothes and other “things” that need to be sorted and organized and put away.

I know in my head that it is good and healthy for children to see their parents work through and resolve conflict but it still feels shameful and wrong. My emotions and actions (or reactions) spread so quickly through the entire family. I was grumpy and angry (at myself mostly) yesterday and I fussed at one of the children, only to immediately hear them fuss at their siblings. Ouch. My tone, my mood was so contagious that, by the end of the day, Tim had thoroughly caught the grumpiness bug.

This is not the kind of ‘fragrance’ I want wafting about me, spreading throughout my home.

This is not the letter that I want the children reading about my life and what the word God is doing in me.


Playmobil and more Playmobil

I was a bit surprised at how quickly a coolness and distant feeling crept into my relationship with Tim just over the course of a few hours. I take for granted the relaxed, sweet marriage that we share. We talk, laugh, play, and parent together with such ease most of the time, I forget that there needs to be constant work done on my part in strengthening our marriage.

Respect, accept, love, honor, affirm. Weighty words that require diligence. They are not just feelings – they are choices. I choose to respect my husband, to accept who he is, to love him as God created him, today, to honor and affirm him.

stripping wallpaper

In order to strip away the old patterns, you have to cut through the tough exterior, soften the front, wait a bit as the solvent works, and then slowly peel away the junk that needs to go. How true in my life.

Christ has written a letter on my heart. His letter is full of grace and salvation. He chose me. He saves me. He pulls me out of my sin. He gives me the power to turn away from my flesh. My sinful nature that wants to be grumpy and selfish and discontented (and then turn and lash out at everyone around me). He even has a sense of humor and placed this verse in our Proverb reading today.

A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day;
restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. (Proverbs 27:15-16)

The living God has written on my heart. I want to live in such a way that those around me can read this letter and be pointed to Him.

Project 365 – Days 146 & 147

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