Thursday, September 15, 2011

Time after Time: Taming the Toddler? Part 2

Now, don't think that I do posts like the previous just to toot my own horn...those are things I'll need to reread time after time to remind myself that there are lots of worthwhile things to do here at the Shoe house, most of which do not require cleaning supplies (or do they?) Who am I kidding? Our mess and chaos is caused, in part, by a lovable and very lively toddler. My life should probably consist of following him around with a vacuum or paper towels or something. Anyway...

He's grown a lot since my last Taming the Toddler post. Hopefully this year our Christmas tree will stay FULLY decorated:)

Little man has learned to talk and enjoys chatting and singing and "reading" to us.

He likes to play dress up...

Oh, and don't think for a minute that he's wearing just the blue shirt for super hero costume effect. He often takes his pants off, just because he can.

His big sis helped him with this "outfit".

I don't know that I've ever seen an Amish boy running around in orange athletic shorts:)
And did I mention, sometimes, just for a change he likes to take his shirt off, just because he can.

He enjoys playing games, especially ones that involve dressing up...
This morning he made up a game that he aptly named "Jump On The Momma"!

He likes to "help" get toilet paper for his big brother when trying the potty...

He gets his own snacks...

And PLENTY of them, at that. He has not learned portion control at this point:)

Most of all, he enjoys any dangerous, trouble-causing activity.

No explanation needed.

After creating chaos all day, he needs a little rest...

what a little angel (te he:)

But who couldn't love dimples like this?

We can't imagine life around the Shoe household without him. He certainly keeps it interesting:)

So yes, in the last post, I mentioned some very worthwhile things that we do here at the Shoe household, not to brag, just as a little reassurance to myself...because, well, I think you now understand what I'm dealing with here:)

And let's be brutally honest. Sometimes the house is a mess because of absolute time when, instead of cleaning, I blog about how the house is a mess:)

PS for those of you trying to figure out the Time after Time song reference's a lovely from the 80's

Drumroll, please...Cyndi Lauper

Blessings to you until you return!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Being a HOMEmaker

My letter to the editor would probably go something like this...

"Dear Better Homes and Gardens,
I thoroughly enjoy your magazine. But I have come to grips with the fact that photos of my home and/or garden will never be featured amongst your pages. In my opinion, being a HOMEmaker is so much more than having a spotless and stylishly decorated home and pristine gardens. Quite honestly, we LIVE in our home and spills and messes happen instead of beating myself up over a less than dreamy home and garden...

Today, I'm going to give myself a little grace."

I get caught up in the fact that that I am SO behind on housework...there is ALWAYS something needing cleaned or reorganized. Stress and anxiety mount, that feeling of never being done with my job. Everything I do, gets undone and everything I don't do, piles up. I never have the satisfaction of "completion", because there is no such thing as a house that stays clean or chores that stay done.

I look around, praying that no one just "drops by" because judgement looms, or at least it seems that way in my mind. That the stains on the carpet or the extremely cluttered counters could taint my "image" in someone else's mind. But today, after spending a little time reading God's Word, I am reminded that what others think is not the most important thing. My focus should be elsewhere...

Today, when I look around my house, I'm choosing to see the blessings.

That cobweb in the corner is still there because of the five times I read
No, David to a sleepy toddler at naptime.

The dirty dishes in the sink are a reminder of the times I've spent cutting the littles bologna into the letters of their names at lunchtime.

The splatters of tomato juice that are still on the cupboards from when I canned pizza sauce will remind me of the times I've stopped to do morning devotions before they catch the bus for school.

The collage picture frame (that still needs 3 more photos added) hangs on the wall unfinished because I take the time to do things like researching online how fog is made after Hank and Hope ask questions before leaving to learn at school.

The window smudged with handprints will represent the time we focused our sights on giving to others as we collected items to donate to Kenya.

The weeds in the flower bed represent the times I traced and cut out paper leaves for our November "thankfulness tree".

The load of unfolded laundry sometimes waits because of an unexpected trip to the library.

The crumbs on the floor aren't swept because I grabbed ahold of a teachable moment about contentment when talking about our Compassion sponsor children from Uganda and Tanzania.

Today, I choose to see the beautiful moments that occur in this mess of a home I'm "making". I choose to see the blessings of being a HOMEmaker and mother of five wonderful children. My list of One Thousand Gifts goes on...

#101 Cuddling up under a warm blanket on the couch to watch a movie on a rainy day

#102 The memories that looking at old photos bring back

#103 A sweet treat of a spoonful of cookie dough

#104 a plump little bird hop hop hopping along our back porch rail

#105 chubby little hands scribbling on a white piece of paper

#106 homemade bread--SO good!

#107 Free programs that encourage learning for children

#108 A calm, yet fun, trip to storytime at the public library

#109 A community supporting its public schools

#110 The excitement and promise of a new community pool:)

#111 A stocked pantry

#112 A husband who is willing to eat just about anything without complaining too much

#113 A kind word and sincere thanks from my son

#114 A laundry task completed by a young helper

#115 The feeling of being needed

#116 Caffine on a morning that follows a restless night of being much needed by a sick child

May you choose today to bless despite the mess and remember that HOMEmaking is not just about the place but more about the people.

"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain" -Psalm 127:1

Monday, September 5, 2011

Beans, Beans, Good for the Heart...

Yes, I know, strange transition from my last (heavy) post...but I thought I'd lighten it up a bit, even though I know that childhood rhyme is about baked beans and "tooting". But I couldn't resist:)

Anyway, this was the second round of beans...even larger than the first!

But each time I've had helpers and as my husband likes to say, "Many hands make light work."

We had a short break from beans this weekend. Our focus over this long, holiday weekend was "clearing out the clutter". And I can't help but think how blessed we are to have an OVERABUNDANCE of things, so much so, that we can load up boxes and bags from closets to donate to our local thrift store. Clothes, toys, kitchenware...SO much STUFF! And to think that there are so many with so little. Children waiting for sponsors through Compassion International that don't have the bare necessities. How thankful am I today? Bursting with gratitude...and praying for those in need.

Abundantly blessed, not only with stuff, but with little moments of grace each day...counting to 1000 gifts:

#81 The lovely (and funny) memory of a carmel macchiato mix-up during coffee with two dear friends

#82 A stolen hug in the hallway

#83 Big ol' breakfast on a calm Sunday morning

#84 The comfort and support of a "church family"

#85 The innate love of music with which my children have been blessed

#86 A chorus of young people singing their hearts out for the Lord and leading us in worship

#87 The different ways people are willing to serve at church

#88 My son breathing without distress

#89 Running into a friend and her family while waiting at the pediatrician's office-it made the trip somewhat enjoyable:)

#90 Squeezing in an afternoon nap

#91 Moments that teach me to be more selfless

#92 Moments that teach me to be more selfless (yes, this deserves repeating)

#93 Unexpected pay increases

#94 Seeing joy about sharing exciting news

#95 A found wallet of important IDs

#96 Seeing relief/joy on my husband's face

#97 Dad teaching son how to slide into base out in our front yard-in the mud on a rainy evening when "real" practice was cancelled

#98 The quiet and stillness of 11:28pm

#99 Serving my family in ways they won't ever know

#100 Sweet morning goodbyes before Hope and Hank get on the bus for school

May your eyes be open to see all of God's blessings surrounding you today.
And may you be content to "Live simply so that others may simply live."