"I hold on to You for dear life, and you hold me steady as a post..." Psalm 63

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stripped down and bare...

We've officially begun the stripping down and de-cluttering process.  My mom arrived, bearing "gifts" of garbage bags, sponges, rags and rubber gloves.  I immediately snapped out of my temporary paralysis and got to work.  We filled bags of junk, boxes of the good stuff as the first of many days
of cleaning and sorting began...

The bathroom is completely naked - stripped of all color and waiting for a fresh coat of paint....

The kitchen hutch has been stripped and de-cluttered...china packed away.
and my kitchen counters are more bare naked than they've ever been.  Funny, because according to this picture, they're still a little cluttered.  I guess I have to wean myself slowly!
{mom...you don't understand...I HAD to put the silverware box back on the counter!  I paced across the room twice for a spoon....just NOT going to happen!  I promise you can take something else off tomorrow!}
Thanks to my main man, Mr. Clean, 90% of the scuff marks that made themselves at home on my walls have disappeared.  I'm not sure how he does it or what he hides inside those erasers, but WHATever it is, it's working for me.  Might even save on some paint costs.  I'm pretty sure there is some kind of spell in those magic things, too...something about them makes you WANT to clean.  You can hardly stop yourself from going room to room, daring it to take off another stubborn spot! 
That's IS magic if it makes me WANT to clean.
In answer to some of your questions, we DO have a moving destination.  After some deliberation, it's been decided that we should take over the home that my sister and I grew up in.  It's a little weird and exciting all at the same time.  Lots of work to be done on both this end and that one...but I think when it's all said and done, it will all be a good transition. 

Sort of like coming "HOME" again....even though it hasn't really been home to me for about 22 years!

{“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to” }

John Ed Pearce

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Around here...


and THIS...

can only mean one thing....
It's official.

The thought of all the work is almost paralyzing.  BUT, in the end it is a good thing.  We will weed through the junk that appeared out of nowhere and start anew...decluttered.  {notice how often that word appears in the list above???}

I have about a month to cross everything off that list...
the goal is by May 1st there will be one of THESE in our front yard

and shortly after, one of THESE...

and probably one of THESE....

In order for that to happen we'll be working like crazy around here...
sadly, I might even need to rent one of THESE

I'm just saying....I don't think we're out and out slobs, but when you really get looking at things...

I've just started, but I'm pretty sure that every night for the next few weeks I will look like THIS...

 ...but maybe not in a house frock.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our week in a nutshell...

What happens when you combine
a shoebox,
a couple of bags of coconut marshmallows,
mini white marshmallows,
graham crackers
and alot of blue icing???
...and ALOT of gluesticks????
...and some toilet paper rolls???

....and ALOT of hours????
Around here, we call it a 7th grade Castle project. 
At the middle school, they call it an ant magnet...so about 12 hours after the icing dried, it was graded and promptly eaten by the entire 7th grade class....so as to keep from attracting a colony of ants.
It's not like I had planned to shellac it or store it in the attic...but SHEESH, all those hours of labor, and just like that - it's gone!!!!
In other news, the sun has come out...we've almost forgotten what it looks like.  After months of nasty winter weather, then days and days of rain in a row, the sun was certainly a welcome sight.  You can see the contrast in shoe attire I've changed into throughout the week. 
Also, we had lunch at McDonalds the other day.  Yes, we still do that, even though there are teenagers in the house instead of toddlers.  Long gone are the days of Happy Meals...we're much more sophisticated now, with our Salads and Medium sized meal combos.  Oddly enough, though, my kids never grow out of sneaking the tiny bags of Ronald McDonald cookies {that are probably meant to pacify people with toddlers as they wait in line}....also hard to grow out of are the Ronald tattoos. 
We just stick them in more interesting places....
Delighted as only a 16 year old boy could be over a nipply Ronald. 

We're anxiously waiting for Alex to return home from Israel on Sunday. I'm pretty sure he'll want to sleep for days...which is really nothing new. He's spent the last few days in Galilee, Mt Masada, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, and at the Temple Mount. Tomorrow they tour the Western Wall and the Judean Wilderness...

On the animal front:
One bird died.  He sure seemed healthy last week when they were mating every hour.
The cat found out how to sneak outside through the basement window.
She now knows that beyond our walls are BOY CATS.
And she hates us...and so do the BOYS.
As I type, there are BOYS outside crying for her to come out and play.
Spare me.

Seriously...that is our week in a nutshell - you can't make this stuff up!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Something's in the air...

...and it brought germs in with it.  Nick was on the couch all day....I counted, 12 hrs...
not even sure he got up to pee! 

{And if you read here often, you know that means THIS came out}

Thankfully, it did not include the nasty vomiting-thing...mostly just the“sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever" kind of germs.  The kind that only the Dayquil/Nyquil combo relieves every 4 hrs.
 He's a different kid when he's sick.

He's still
and gentle...

He doesn't even ATTEMPT to comment on his sister's every move
doesn't try to hug her because he knows she thinks she's too cool to hug back
doesn't bug her
doesn't tell her everything she does wrong
doesn't even care what she's doing....

and SHE actually ASKED him if he needed a snack or more ice in his water...
actually LET him kiss her on the cheek before bed w/out whining
Do you see my dilemma?
{Don't tell him, but I might have accidently switched the Nyquil with colored, flavored sugar water}

Besides the fact that I hate to see my kids sick, they are secretly some of  my favorite days...
we all just get along so nicely! You might even use the word "sweet" to describe our behavior. 
Is it too much to ask for a few more sick days before the season blows over???

OK...I am not TRULY hoping for my child to awake in the morning in the same state he did today...I'd much rather he be healthy AND sweet....I'm just saying, sometimes it doesn't happen that way!
Every once in a while a mildly sick day just seems to be a good thing.  What 16 year old kid doesn't love to sit on the couch, nap, watch movies and be waited on by his mom and 13 year old sister...it just feels good!  So, it's actually been a good day, flu-bug and all. 

“Blessed is the servant who loves his brother as much when he is sick and useless as when he is well and can be of service to him. And blessed is he who loves his brother as well when he is afar off as when he is by his side, and who would say nothing behind his back he might not, in love, say before his face.”

St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

He's leaving on a jet plane....

he's officially left US soil...next stop Tel Aviv.  With a mixed heart of joy and anticipation I hugged Alex goodbye this morning as he headed back to school to pack up and meet up with his class before departure time.  Besides being totally jealous that he gets to tour the ancient land of Israel for the next two weeks, I am even more excited that he has the privilege of having the opportunity to go.  Even though he's been off to school for months, I was still surprised to tear up as I followed him down the Pike this morning when he turned one way...towards the other side of the world...and I turned another.  And then, maybe I felt it again a little bit this evening when he texted from the airport saying they were about to board the jet plane.  Big as he is...in my mind's eye he still occasionally reverts back to that little boy with the blond bowl cut and I have to force myself not to follow behind him at a safe distance - dodging evergreen ground cover so he can't see me.  He's a big boy...but once a mom, always a mom.  What a great journey!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I hope this post wrecks you for life....

This is an unbelievable video.  It will take you about 20 minutes to watch both parts, but I PROMISE you will be blown away and NOT disappointed that you've watched it!!!  We played this last night in youth group and an entire room of middle schoolers and high schoolers sat riveted to their seats in amazement.  Grab your coffee, sit back, and stand in awe of the wonder of our Creator. {You'll want to pause the song playing in the background first...scroll down till you see it on the bottom left side of the screen}

Refill the coffee and enjoy the rest!!!

"He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together..."
Colossians 1:17

It took me a moment to collect myself after watching this....All I could say was woah....  WHOA!
May this little tiny picture of how vast and powerful our Maker is wreck you completely.  May you never again question the significance of your existence.

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