August 08, 2015

what's the best way to paint the inside of a box?


Hop in, of course!

Oh, these two...

They have been spending a lot of time hopping in and out of the blow-up pool on the back deck, playing make-believe...

...and also enjoying a few lazy mornings in PJs, playing Legos...

We were camping most of last week, hopefully I will post about that soon, as well as some whole30 recipes I have been promising.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

July 25, 2015

lately: friends, food, five and water loss

It has been an unintentionally busy couple weeks for us.

James turned five last Wednesday and we had his birthday party at my dad's community pool last Saturday (as in, a week from today). Naturally, I brought my camera to the party and, naturally, I forgot the battery at home (good thing I had it charging all morning!).

Here is the birthday boy eating his strawberry birthday muffin on the morning of his actual birthday:
 (Sorry, that was a lot of "birthday" for one sentence.)

...and here he is playing chess, one of his birthday gifts from Lane:

This guy has been eating up a storm now that he has eight teeth and his poor little gums are not in excruciating pain. He loves scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, and all fruit:

The following pictures are solely for the purpose of documentation. You see, the beautiful reservoir behind our house has sprung a leak, and it is in a sad, low state. It is also stinky if you get too close on a hot day.

I took these pictures a couple weeks ago, and it is even lower now than it was then. According to our neighbors, this has happened before and it sort of corrected itself. We hope it will do that again since our house value is leaking right out with the water. 

Look at all that sad, sad dry ground. That should all be covered with water.

The Multnomah county fish and wildlife people have come and taken out a bunch of fish to relocate elsewhere.

I don't see that as a good sign.

Anyway, the "unintentional" part of our busy-ness came this week when we decided, extremely last minute, to have James participate in VBS at our church.

Our church goes all out with VBS. It reminds me of Young Life camp the way every square inch of the church is decorated, there is always fun music and people in costumes and general craziness. The church seems to be transformed into a different world for the week, and the kids love it. James had so much fun, and I am so glad we decided to have him attend.

One day after VBS, my friend dropped her three boys off at my house for a couple of hours so she could go to a dentist appointment. So there were six children. Age five and under. And me.
They spent the time hopping in and out of our blow-up pool, dressing up and having sword fights, and playing legos. I found myself running up and down stairs, picking up lots of wet things off the floor, and talking very fast.

But I love that kind of thing.
Here is her youngest with Elle... in a box, of course:

I told myself next week will be our chill week.

I'll let you know how that goes.

July 10, 2015

lately: water play, road trips, photo loss, and teeth gain

 Ah! So many things to catch up on! In no particular order (although I will fake it by attempting to put it into a neat outline), here is what has been happening lately:

1. The kids and I went to Corvallis for a couple days while Lane went backpacking with a group (large group, there were like eight of them) of guys from our church. Then we came home for forty eight hours and we all left for Bend for five days. Then we came home for forty eight hours and left for north-of-Seattle-area to accompany Lane on a business trip and visit some family and friends in the area. We arrived home yesterday evening and I am going NO WHERE in the car today, not even for groceries which we desperately need, especially because Lane and I are doing the whole 30 (ugh, more on that later).
(and when I say we are going no where, I really only mean until tomorrow, when we all have to get in the car to go to a birthday party. I'm just a little dramatic sometimes.)

 a. Corvallis was good, as usual.. stayed with Lane's parents, ran through the sprinklers, ate popsicles, visited family, had a play date with friends at "diggy park". Standard Corvallis trip.

  b. Bend was great as well- visited breweries (Lane and I even escaped by ourselves one evening and went to Crux Fermentation Project. deliciousness.), biked, and stayed at a beautiful and ridiculously nice home on the golf course that is owned by my mom and step-dad's friends. It was SO nice and such a blessing to stay there for free, but it will never happen again because I was sure my sweet children would completely destroy it. We also visited friends who own a fro-yo shop (convenient) and went to a lake to swim and paddle board with them. Also took the kids out to Mirror Pond (the body of water, not brewery) to kayak and play in the water. 
They all really love the water, even Judah who kicks his feet hard and laughs and plays in it.
All the adventuring in Bend was good, but overall, it was just really nice to spend time with my mom and step-dad.

 c. North-of-Seattle-area was the insane trip for so many reasons: I drove up by myself  (in traffic, of course) with the kids, and we were go-go-going the whole time we were there.
It was the first time the kids have ever stayed in a hotel, and they thought it was the best thing (although they didn't understand why they had to keep quiet and not bounce off the walls).
We swam in the pool each day, went out to eat, and hiked the trails near the hotel.
The first full day we were there, the kids and i met up with my friend Katie (remember her? she used to blog here?) at a beach in Edmonds to meet her new baby and play in the water and sand and collect three hundred shells that are now scattered all over our car in little pieces.
The next day (being yesterday, also the day we drove home), we met up with my cousin (who is getting married in October and i get to be in her wedding!!!) at a beach in Kirkland where we pretty much did the same things, although thankfully no more shells.
Then a co-worker of Lane's dropped him off- along with his rolly suitcase- at the beach and he was able to drive home with us, which was great.
We arrived home yesterday evening and the kids were all so pooped that they are still asleep right now, at 9:25 am, which is why I am able to frantically type all this.


(Kid awake. Will continue later...)


2. As soon as we arrived home from Bend, Lane and James went to buy some little fireworks (it happened to be the fourth) and Eleanor got a hold of my camera and promptly deleted ALL the pictures. From, like, the last three months. Which reminded me how important this little blog is. (Also important: regularly downloading photos onto the computer.)

3. Among the chaos which has been our lives for the last couple weeks, Judah has cut six (yes, six) more teeth. Whereby quadrupling his amount of teeth. (is that right? he had two, now eight... Math is not my strong suit.) He has had a slight fever the last couple days, and has been a bit more needy than normal, but overall is still a happy little guy.

 4. Lane and I decided to start the Whole 30 last Sunday. I will do a full post, hopefully tomorrow, on how it is going so far. It isn't terrible, but I feel like my brain needs bread and my taste buds need chocolate.

5. We have a lot to accomplish this weekend, but I am going to try to be at home as much as possible this next week. If you'll excuse me, I have to go start another load of laundry, eat a handful of almonds, and nurse my poor little teether...

Happy Friday, friends!

June 13, 2015

a time for application

Back when I first became a believer, I had a devotional time (reading the Word and writing in my prayer journal) every single morning. I loved beginning my day this way, and I really congratulated myself on making the sacrifice of waking up early to do it. At least, I thought it was sacrifice then. So naive.

Now that I have three little ones and have been in a state of sleep deprivation for about the last five years, morning devotional times don't always happen. Nor do afternoon devotional times. Nor evening. In fact, sometimes a week will go by while my Bible and journal sit on the ottoman in the living room and collect dust.

And I am okay with that. This season of having little kids does not always allow for a scheduled devotional time. But there are certain times when a little encouragement from the Word is all I want.

For example, let's just say (hypothetically speaking, of course) that it is just before nap time. An incident has occurred in which child #1 hit child #2, and child #2 reacted in a very poor way. Child #1 has been asked to go to their room, and so they are upset, and in need of discipline. I am trying to calm down child #2 who is crying over being hit (but also just needs to go down for a nap), and I also need to have a little talk with child #2 about how we react when others hurt us. Meanwhile, child #3 is getting a little fussy because they are in bad need of a diaper change and would like to be nursed. Add onto this scenario that I probably haven't had my lunch yet. The microwave won't stop beeping because my coffee from that morning that I was heating up has been ready for the past ten minutes. Also, the dog is whining at the back door, and I just need to pee.

(All hypothetical, of course.)

It is at these moments when I just want to hit a "pause" button and go sit on the couch, with a (preferably fresh) coffee in hand, and read my Bible. In these moments I tend to think to myself "If only I could just have a little inspiration from the Word, or just a minute by myself to pray, then I could really handle this situation with joy and patience."

Lately, however, the Lord has impressed something on my heart, and it is this:

this is the time for application.

I have read the Word daily for years, done the Bible studies, sat and meditated in prayer. Now it is time to apply what I have learned. Now it is time to pour out instead of just soak in. Now it is time to faithfully put into practice all that the Lord has taught me.

I have the knowledge. Now I need to apply it.

If you are in my boat- busy with little ones and unable to be fed through sitting and reading the Word every day- I hope this is both an encouragement and a bit of a challenge.

Be encouraged that He will never give you more than you can handle. He has prepared you for what you are doing right now, and for what this day holds, even if you feel totally blindsided by the difficulties that may come.
"...God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear." 1 Corinthians 10:13

Also, I challenge you to take what you know, to use that grace you have been given, and to pour out to your little ones in those challenging circumstances. Pour on them the love, forgiveness, patience, and kindness that has been given to you.

"Freely you have received, freely give." -Jesus (Matthew 10:8)

Thanks for reading!

one year ago: a raspberry latte recipe... haven't made this again, but I remember it was good!