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Monday, September 27, 2010

Throwing fits.

I can throw fits
with the best of them.

You know, clean like a crazy woman, huff and sigh and pout and go inward.
Make a big pot of emotional stew,
sit back and watch it simmer.
(I'm sure you know nothing of what I speak about)!
I care about myself more then my husband.
I want what I want, when I want it.
I don't listen well.
I'm distracted easily,
by life, kids, laundry, stupid stuff.

This isn't about trying to be "real" for this post/my blog....
it's the truth of my life right now.

It's really quite pathetic, but true.
I've been thinking about it lately.
More so since I started praying/meditating on the
prayer I posted last week.

Another prayer was going to be posted today,
but quite frankly,
last weeks prayer is too good to
pass by in 7 short days.

There's more in it for me

and probably for you too if you care to read it.
As my friend Jeane' mentioned it's a good one to PRINT OUT
and hang over the kitchen sink,
(or the place where you spend the most time)!

"One of the greatest
gifts you can give your husband
is your own wholeness."

a beautiful song that encouraged my soul tonight.
(you can mute the music at the bottom of the page).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gazebo Nights

As I mentioned a few days ago we've been entertaining a lot this Summer.

And by a lot I mean three or four times a month! To most, that doesn't sound like much,
but we have so much on our plates right now, so we're hosting dinners on top of *life*
and loving it!!

(enjoying my time ALONE with my man....alone, as in no children).

Our gazebo, from my brothers business has been the perfect place for making memories. My sister gave me some old grapevine she didn't want anymore so I strung that around the inside and added some Christmas lights. The lighting is just right.

So warm and cozy. Thanks Von.
This Summer we were a part of a dinner club of sorts. None of us meant for it to happen, we just got together one or two times and had such a blast that we decided to MAKE it happen once a month. Between all of us there are 18 kids, so it's no easy feat getting sitters & making it happen. We get all dolled up, (something we rarely get to do) and make it a fancy night for all!!
Each of our husbands own their own businesses so it's a refuge for the guys too, to talk/share/vent/encourage/dream. For most of us this is seriously our only social outing for the month, so it is relished, goes late into the night and
much laughter ensues!!!

My cousin Orpha and her husband Dave.
They don't have a blog, (you'll understand why I say this as you continue to read)
but hopefully will someday have a book published
with ALL their outlandish, hysterical, scary, true to life stories!!!!!

I had fun decorating with a vintage theme for this party. My cousin Shar and her husband Ben.
If you're interested, you can follow their journey in life, love,
photography and adopting a little girl from Ethiopia over here at their blog.

My cousin Shawn, (Shar's brother) and his wife Maile.
They moved to Lancaster not too long ago so it's extra special having them near again.
Shawn has a great blog over here. He is in the middle of pursuing a full time writing career and is doing a wonderful job at it!! Maile too has a blog all about cooking fresh, organic, made from scratch food.....on a budget fit for 4 kids and a husband pursuing a full time writing career!!!! :)

they are a RIOT!!! Patrick and MaryJune.
No kidding, she has a blog too!
I seriously JUST realized that so many of us had blogs.....
never thought of it before! Her blog is a beautiful story of her life, her loves, her joys!
MaryJune and I go way back. Her Mom use to babysit me when my Mom would have to clean houses. We have many fun memories together as little girls.

The food is amazing.

We each bring a unique dish and combine them together.

It's cost efficient too.

Normally, (as most of the married with children folks know),
a NICE night out on the town can cost quite a pretty dollar.
Sitter for several hours~$30. Quality dinner for 2 with wine and dessert~$80-$100.
Not saying that all date nights have to look like this....many of the sweetest dates we've had barely cost a thing for food. However, when we actually make the time to have a fancy date night we do like to eat well.
Jake and I were so grateful this Summer for this time together .

Advacodo, feta and coucous salad.
Pears with roasted sugar walnuts and gorgonzola.
Spinach and artichoke dip with crackers.
Baked salmon with zesty marinade.
Steamed basmati rice.
I need to stop now, I'm making myself hungry.

The aftermath of a delicious night.

Summer Nights

This Summer we hosted more parties then any other Summer I can remember.

It was wonderful.

I think it's because we weren't in the middle of a newborn phase as we have been the past several years: March 07 Luke was born. April 09 Paisley was born. Two Summers spent in sleepless nights and glazed over days! It's nice to be use to this new normal and we're enjoying it immensely. If you're in the newborn phase, don't worry, you will sleep again and you will have people over to your home again, (if that's something you enjoy doing)!! One of my favorite things
is to entertain people here at our home.
Have I introduced you to Sadie yet?
She was so good to me this Summer.

Keeping drinks on ice &
carrying my goodies home from market

Some days I would just stare at her out my kitchen window as she leaned against the gazebo
and long to ride her down the road, "fly the coop" so to speak.... but alas, I had 3 children here at home so I just rode her around the yard. I looked pathetic I know, but I didn't care!

Dinner with the Stolzfus Crew under the walnut trees.

Hummer by firelight.
I've always loved entertaining....ever since I was about 5 years old.

Seriously, I use to play for hours on end having people to my fabulous"play houses." Under the pine trees on Zook Road I would serve my friends mud, meadow tea and marigold pies. I still get sent back in time when I smell fresh meadow tea leaves and marigolds.
My Mom was so gracious, (or ignorant to the fact) that I had 1/2 the kitchen out there with me.....her measuring cups & spoons, real dishes and utensils and cups, pots and pans, the telephone and even the living room couch one time, (I still don't know how the heck I got that thing out there)!! *someone from my past please comment and tell me your remember this??*

And some of my friends that I served when I was 5,
I served again this Summer in the shade of our gazebo.
Oh Happy heart.
Friends are the sweetness of my life.

One this particular Summer's Eve Jake's brother and his wife and some of their friends were visiting from Canada. We don't get to see Sam and Cheryl very often so our time together is short, but very sweet. Jake and his brother Sam are about as opposite as you get and it's a BLAST being together, they bring out the best in each other. Just look at them! Isn't it hilarious?? I love it!
Reuben, Sam, Jake
Proud Mama with her 4 children,
Reuben, Sam, Nancy, Jake.

Sam is such a fun guy, he's not afraid to be completely himself and he loves to surprise everyone! One night he and Cheryl and his friends showed up to a party in complete Amish gear....
horse and buggy and all.
We laughed and laughed.

Only Sam.

We miss you all already!!!!

Their friends look so authentic, don't you think??

We approached their buggy on the way to this party and I said,
"honey, look at that couple, if we were Amish that's the colors we would wear,
bright orange!

Then as we passed them, I said, "WAIT....THAT WAS SAM & CHERYL!!!!"
It was awesome!!

"Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light..."

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Update on Paisley Girl *warning~she looks awful*

As I previously wrote about,
our sweet Baby fell down the steps last Sunday.
Here's how she's looking 9 days out!!
Bless her little heart.
She's football ready!!!!

"One, two,
Buckle my shoe;
Three, four,
Knock at the door;
Five, six,
Pick up sticks;
Seven, eight,
Lay them straight:
Nine, ten,
A big fat hen."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Praying for my husband.

I don't pray for my husband.

I can't remember the last time I prayed for him.....
I mean REALLY prayed.

Besides the general, "please keep him safe today, give him all the strength and wisdom he needs" breath prayers that are quickly sighed to the heavens each morning between feeding the children their breakfasts and making coffee.

I'm convicted and ashamed to say it, but it's the truth and

I want to change it,

starting now.

If you're married I'd love for you to join me! I'm going to be posting a prayer for the week for the next little while. {And you know what, even if you're NOT married you can still pray these prayers for that man *somewhere out there* that you may one day call "husband."}

There are so many *things* I like to accomplish each day, most feel non-eternal. This is something I look forward to doing. Even if it means I take one sentence a day and meditate on it.....on my husbands behalf.


Take my selfishness, impatience, and irritability and turn them into kindness, long-suffering and the willingness to bear all things . take my old emotional habits, mindsets, automatic reactions, rude assumptions, and self-protective stance, and make me patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled.

Only YOU can transform me.

Show me where there is sin in my heart, especially with regard to my husband.

Enable us to communicate well...make me my husband's helpmate, companion, champion, friend and support. Help me to create a peaceful, restful, safe place for him to come home to. Teach me how to take care of myself and stay attractive to him.

Grow me into a creative and confident woman who is rich in mind, soul and spirit. Make me the kind of woman he can be proud to say is his wife.

I release my husband from the burden of fulfilling me in areas where I should be looking to You. I leave any changing that needs to be done in Your hands, fully accpeting that neither of us is perfect and never will be.

Teach me how to pray for my husband.

Show me what unconditional love really is and how to communicate it in a way he can clearly perceive.

Make us a team.

I pray that our commitment to You and to one another will grow stronger and more passionate every day. Help me to understand his dreams and see things from his perspective. Reveal to me what he wants and needs and show me potential problems before they arise.

BREATHE YOUR LIFE into this marriage.

Make me a new person, Lord. Give me a fresh perspective, a positive outlook, and a renewed relationship with the man You've given me. Help me see him with new eyes, new appreciation, new love, new compassion and new acceptance. Give my husband a new wife and let it be me."

"through wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established."
Proverbs 24:3

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Doors and Windows

(the front)
(the back)
Slowly, but surely the carriage house renovations are coming together. The doors and windows are in! The past 2 weeks we've had SOME AMAZING HELPERS, come our way and we couldn't be more GRATEFUL!!!! (especially Jake)!!!! It seems to me that the *closer* we get to the finished product, the *more* that needs to be done. I think it's because now the details are upclose and personal, whereas before it was just ONE BIG it feels like 7,329 projects!!!
Bless my husbands heart. He works like crazy all week long and then again all day Saturdays. He's taking a lovely, long Sunday nap right now. I couldn't be happier for him!! I love when he sleeps!!!! However, I've had to go to the attitude chiropractor for more then one adjustment along this journey. I miss my husband. I miss *lazy* Saturdays together. Not that we really have them around here though, my. husband. loves. to. work. He is practically an Amish man, (he was Amish until he was 16). I don't know what drives him; the vision, the goal, the sense of great accomplishment. There's something *greater* behind this project,
a home, a haven, a place of refuge for his Mom.
And Winter is coming. I feel like some prairie woman when I say that....but we think about it alot. Especially since the nights are starting to get cooler and the leaves are starting to change. There's no turning back now....she's on her way!!!
(Annie's living room~so many windows and such beautiful light.
And radiant floor heat, her feet will never be cold again when she's in this house)!!

"Goals are dreams with deadlines."
~Diana Scharf Hunt~

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Paisleys Fall

On Sunday Paisley fell down the steps at my parents house.....the whole way down and landed face first on the tile floor at the bottom. It was very scary. I heard her falling and ran to the steps and saw her crash to the floor. She cried and cried, (a good sign she hadn't been knocked unconscious). I took her out to the kitchen to check her out, I held her out in front of me and only saw a small scratch on her nose and chin. I held her close, she was so scared and in pain. Several seconds later I decided to lay her down to really look over her and make sure all was well. That's when I saw her head:
A HUGE hardball size lump had grown out of her head, within one minute!! I cried out for my sister and she came into the kitchen. I was crying at this time because I was so scared at what I saw. It wasn't there literally 10 seconds ago. My family gathered around and we called our Dr. He of course was so calm and reassuring. He said he just had this happen last week to another patient of his. He said to check her for the next 24 hours to see any abnormal signs: vomiting, not being able to walk, not being able to sleep or falling asleep all the time, lack of appetite. The resiliency of children is amazing. It was a little scary at first because she looked like she wanted to fall asleep in Jake's we kept her up for 2 hours. During this time she was her jolly self; playing, laughing, eating, "talking", walking.....normal, except for her hideous looking head. We put her to bed at her normal bedtime. Needless to say that was a restless night for me. Every sound or movement had me over to her cribside. I gave her medicine through the night so she wouldn't feel any pain or have a headache.
With each day the bump has gone down significantly, it's very small right now, but just LOOK at her DEAR LITTLE FACE!!!! So much bruising! It's getting blacker and bluer by the day......even by the hour it seems!!!!!
She just looks miserable.....but of course is totally herself in personality and actions.
Our Dr. is not concerned and said it will look far worse throughout the healing process.
I should say.
I hope this heals quickly 'cause this little girl has her first gig as a flower girl in my brothers wedding on October 9th!!!! I'm thankful we have a few weeks for the healing to take place!
Oh, dear baby girl!!!!!!
Has this ever happened to you or someone you know?
Please set my heart at ease and say yes!!!

"If you haven't time to respond to a tug at your pants leg,
your schedule is too crowded."
~Robert Brault~

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A is for Apple with a worm in it!!

Well, so far, so good.

I survived the first 2 weeks of homeschooling......

and guess what,

GASP......i still don't have a curriculum!!


Here I am again having to swallow all the words I use to say about:

1.) "those Mom's that homeschool."

2.) "those Mom's that homeschool WITHOUT curriculum!!"

I'm don't think I'm an "unschooler", (at least that's not my intention) because I am actually still searching around for a curriculum that matches us, (suggestions taken in the comment section if you'd like)!! And I think I'd like one because as one friend pointed out, coming up with your own stuff week after week can be mentally exhausting, (so far it hasn't been, but we're only one the 3rd letter of the alphabet)!! Also, I don't want to *miss* anything that Tyler *should* be learning at this time.
BUT, (hold on for the ride)
what if I don't. What if I just keep doing what I'm doing and go all the way to the letter Z and then start something else?!?!??! What will you think of me and WHY DO I CARE?? Will he end up dumb because I didn't use a curriculum? What if he doesn't learn to read until he's in 1st grade? How's he going to "turn out?" How ridiculous are these questions? This journey has been soooo good for me!! Just showing me again how I'd like to think I do things for ME, for US and not for OTHERS! And yet how are my decisions TRULY MADE? Are they based off of what OTHER MAYS SAY behind my back and THINK OF ME and our family?
We've all sort of melted into a rhythm that's working nicely for us right now,
three mornings a week at our school table. Sometimes Luke joins us, sometimes it's just Tyler and I. We started something pretty neat each week. Tyler picks someone he knows that has a name which begins with our weekly letter and we make/send that person a card. He does all the writing and I tell him how to spell the words. He puts the stamp on and writes the address, puts it in the mailbox and lifts the flag.

A is for Aiden.

B is for Bennett.

Today we had reading hour with our homeschool co-op. About 25-30 children. It was great and they all did so well. I was pleasantly surprised with how "uneventful" it was. They listened attentively to a classic reading of "Beauty and the Beast." (which coincidentally goes nicely as we are at the end of "letter B" week.) Next Tuesday we'll finish the final chapter and then on Friday we're going to see "Beauty and the Beast" at the Fulton Opera House. So excited for that. The last time we went Tyler and I had a wonderful time together.

On the way home we stopped at the Strasburg Railroad because Thomas is in town.
We ate lunch, got a Thomas tattoo and looked at all the toys I'll never buy them!!

Yesterday we ate lunch along a farmers lane that runs beside the railroad.
Thomas came by and "peeped" at them and the boys raced him, running along the dirt lane......

Tomorrow we're going on our first field trip with our homeschool group.
There's about 40 of us. We're going to Highland Orchards to pick apples, go on a hayride, build a scarecrow and get diarrhea from drinking too much apple cider!!!

Do you know how excited I am to start letter "C" week??

Because, you see, one of my favorite things starts with that great letter???

Why CHOCOLATE of course!!!! And it just so happens that there is a place not too far from here where they make TONS OF CHOCOLATE EACH DAY!! Hershey Chocolate World is on the list! Oh JOY!!!!!!
In other news, my Mom is awesome!
I came home today to my house spotlessly cleaned, my laundry done and jars of fresh grape jelly sitting on my counter top!! I could hardly believe my eyes! There was a note on the table, "a little fairy was here, sorry I missed you!" I want to be a Mom like that someday.
Told Tyler the other day, "ever since you were a baby I would look in your eyes and think of the ocean!" nice little pause. "Your eyes look like the inside of my nose Mom!" Mother stares blankly at her child, blinking several times and shakes head side to side and then bursts into laughter!!
For those of you that have children in school or around your kitchen table, I hope you are each coming to "terms" with the decisions you've made for your children for 2010.
I have an idea~~let's do something together this year:
Sounds good to me.......
I had this quote on my fridge for about 5 years...I should have never taken it down:
“I don’t know the key to success,
but the key to failure
is trying to please everybody.”
~ Bill Cosby~

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our 8th Anniversary is Today!

"There's another kind of love,

one that gives you the courage to be better then you are,

not less then you are.

One that makes you feel that anything is possible.

I want you to know that you can have that,

I want you to hold out for it,
I want you to know that you deserve it."
~Nights in Rodanthe~

Two-thousand, nine-hundred and twenty days and nights together, (give or take a few)....

WE'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN, how wonderful!!!!!!!!!!

(For more about our wedding you can see this previous post if you so desire.)