Do stuff


We are people who do stuff.  This is what we have been labeled by people who label families. At first I thought it was an odd description, but after a bit I realized it’s true.  We are not good at not doing stuff.  We enjoy doing stuff.  We are, in fact, people who do stuff.

The stuff we do is varied and almost always entertaining.  And, I’m positive our kids are learning from our example that doing stuff is actually a good thing.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to just sit around the house from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed.  My mind cannot even comprehend such a situation.  (Though, I don’t mind a little relaxation…)

The thing is, I really hope our lives are about more than just the doing of stuff. I think our lives should be about the stuff we do. And, I hope that people notice when we do stuff it’s not just to fill the time with random activities. We want to be people who are doing stuff that makes a difference. We want to be people who love other people. We want to be people who care for other people. We want to be family to kids who need families. We want to be mentors to kids who need mentors. Ultimately, we want to show Jesus through the stuff we do. It’s all well & good to be busy people who do lots of stuff, but if we lose sight of our one real job – the command to go and share the gospel – well, our busyness means nothing. If people cannot look at us and notice a difference then we need to examine our busyness & re-evaluate.

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Vacationing


We are leaving for vacation. I’m thrilled. It will be a short trip, but I’ve been longing for a get-away for months.

The thing about vacations is that it takes a lot of effort to get there. There is the getting everything at the office ready so I can leave without clients suffering, the packing of everyone’s bags, the general stress of cars, finances, and so much more.

But, it’s all worth it for just a few short days to spend together. A few hours at the beach, laughter, shell collecting, sand in our clothes, and thousands of small moments that help bind us together are certainly worth the stresses that preceded our departure.

So, I sat folding clothes & packing toothbrushes last night after everyone went to bed. This morning we got up early & had the usual errands to run before we could leave. Everything took just a bit longer than anticipated and so, of course, we left later than planned. But, WE ARE ON OUR WAY! Goodbye for a few days 108 degree weather, laundry, and mopping! Hello, sitting too close in the car, 100,000 bathroom stops, & uninterrupted family time! These are the tried and true experiences that build families! I’m sure we will soon hear the usual conversations of ‘are we there yet?’, ‘he’s touching me’, ‘she won’t stop talking’, and ‘when are we eating!?!’ Don’t be jealous. 😊

Twelve years and counting


Somehow my twins turned 12 today.  It sneaks up on me every time they get a year older.  I feel like the fast forward button is stuck on!

Last night as I worked in the kitchen baking 60 brownies to send to school today (with a few leftover for big brother and dad because they claimed it was ‘torture’ to have to smell them baking without eating any) I was thinking back to the old days when having twins was still fun, but much more difficult.  I’m glad to be in the stage where it’s pretty much just fun (except when it comes to school projects or paying for shoes).  While I sometimes miss the moments spent in the glow of the nightlight staring at my sweet babies while they slept in my arms – I am so thankful for full nights of sleep and no diaper changing.  And, it got me to thinking about the many things I’m thankful for with my twins…

  • Cheerful loud voices on every car ride.
  • Singing all the time for no reason other than they love music
  • Healthy and active
  • They are good friends to the people around them
  • They make wise choices in choosing friends
  • Hard working
  • Thoughtful and caring of each other (most of the time)
  • Hugs
  • Sharing their dreams – even when they are a bit over the moon
  • Intelligent AND have common sense (most of the time)
  • Good at sharing
  • Loyal

Our lives have been so blessed by these two people.  They are worlds apart in so many ways, but when it comes to important things they are both quite similar. While I hate to watch them growing and getting ready to live their own lives at the same time I can’t wait to see what wonderful things they do with their lives.  Being a mom is really amazing…even when I have to bake brownies for two classes.

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My Full Plate


It’s happened.  I’ve finally reached the point where I feel like I can’t fit one more thing in my life.  I wondered if that was possible – if I could get to the point of being completely overwhelmed.  It can.

The strange thing is – I like being crazy busy.  I like feeling like I’m living life to the fullest and helping my family in all that they want to do.  Our lives are pretty scheduled and they are full of fun things we enjoy doing.

But, the past few weeks (or maybe a month?) have been a wild ride.  My sweet Mama went to see Jesus, we had her service and were able to celebrate the amazing person she was and all the lives she touched while she was here, I got promoted at work which has lead to a ton more responsibility and busyness,  helping out my dad and sisters clean out my mom’s things, and we are buying a house and moving.  Yeah, that’s a lot.  That’s all on top of our usual crazy lives filled with school, basketball, choir, field trips, and whatever else we can fit.  It’s just all happened at once.  To a certain degree I’m loving it.  And, I’m trying to soak in all the moments that are coming with it.  But, some days I can’t soak because I’m drowning.

The beginning of this week I started stressing about things that I needed or needed to get rid of before we go to the new house.  A friend suggested I make a list.  I did.  And, it’s amazing how calming that was for me.  Order.  I need some order.

One of the best parts of moving is that I get to clean out the whole house and not have guilt about throwing things away.  I’ve cleaned out so much paperwork, old books, and clothing.  Sure, there’s tons more, but I’m loving all that I’ve already done.

shelf

And, I’ve been able to have a few wonderful things of my mom’s.  She had a collection of plates with the love chapter on them.  She bought them because one reminded her of me when I was little and my sisters let me have the set.

plate

So, my daily objective is to make progress without stressing over things I can’t control.  I can’t start painting or moving until we can actually move in.  I can’t know what exactly I need until I move in.  I can only pack so many things in a night while keeping up the rest of my life.  No one is judging me, but myself.  I wonder why I expect so much of me?  In the spirit of giving myself some grace – here’s my verse for this season of my life:

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work

 

 

Keeper


My parents have a large house (as one would expect with so many children). And, when they built it my mom designed in ‘pony walls’. These are basically saddle bags for the house. Long storage ‘tunnels’ line the upstairs. And, they are full.

My mother was always organized and clean. So, the pony walls are filled with nice storage boxes and they are I n a very specific order. She remembered exactly where each treasure was stored. And, she had lots of treasures. I assume that because she also grew up in a large family she understood that holding onto & passing things down was easier & cheaper than buying new for each child. There have been many times I’ve said something like ‘The kids have Colonial day tomorrow. What should they wear?’ And, Mom would head up to the pony walls & pull out his & hers colonial outfits. Every grandchild has used the same Johnny Jump Up, walker, and bouncy seat. Even when I was a kid trying to pick a costume for a Halloween party she would say, ‘Let’s pull out the box’ and then several costume boxes would come out filled with things she’d made or purchased.

When I was in jr. high school (7th grade, I think) we took trips to Washington DC, Boston & New York. We went on amazing historical & educational tours, and walked through museums filled with lots of information about our nation’s history. Three things stick out in my memory about that trip.

3. We went to Williamsburg Virginia and visited William & Mary college. It was beautiful. We had our photos taken sitting on a brick wall there.

2. We visited the Statue of Liberty & the woman in the booth was insistent that I looked at least 13 so my father would have to pay the general admission & not the youth fee.

1. The clearest memory was my mother agreeing to take us to the Espirit Outlet & on our way there finding a Benetton store to run in.

In the Benetton store I picked out the softest pink sweatshirt with the name Benetton scrolled in large letters across the front. I wore that sweatshirt until it literally fell apart. I adored it.

The Espirit Outlet was in an industrial looking building. It seemed so adventurous to a girl from the small town of Redding, and I remember being thrilled to wander the building looking & touching everything. I purchased a few things, but the two things I remember very specifically are a blue sleeveless dress that had a collar & buttoned down the front AND a sweater with thick blue stripes as well as a red stripe, yellow stripe & green stripe. It was the coolest dressy outfit I owned. And, I wore it the day we went to the Statue of Liberty.

Yesterday, my sisters and I were sorting through some of Mom’s things & stored away was my Espirit sweater. It was in the same pile as a few baby clothes she’d saved of kids. She knew I loved it and I really can’t believe she kept it all this time.

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Vote – Go America!


Tomorrow is Election day.  We get to vote!  What a great nation we live in.  I am so excited to go tomorrow.

Be involved.  I don’t really care which party you are aligned with (though, I prefer those that agree with me outnumber the ones who don’t, but that’s just my selfishness).  There are many men and women who have fought for you to have the right to vote.  Use it.

I remember the first time I went to vote.  My dad went with me.  It was a family thing.  And, it was exciting.  My dad has always pressed us with the responsibility to use our right to vote.  So, it was really cool to finally get to be involved in the process.

I hope you make it to the polls tomorrow or have at least mailed in your ballots.  If you’re still unsure who to vote for – check this site out: http://www.isidewith.com/presidential-election-quiz   It’s pretty cool.  You can expand the options by selecting “add more options” and get down to what you really truly believe.

Go America!

I mean it


November is considered the month to give thanks.  I like to pretend it’s thanks that I was born in November, but as we all know, it’s more about being thankful for our blessings.  Recently I’ve been noticing a trend at our house.  We say things we don’t mean and it makes us sound like we are not thankful.  We have decided to start working on it.

Here is a list of the first three phrases I know we say at our house and I’m so thankful we don’t mean:

  1. When we say ‘there’s nothing to eat’ at my house – it generally means ‘there is nothing that sounds good or that doesn’t take a lot of effort for me to make’.  We have never been close to starving no matter how low our cabinet stock has been.
  2. When we say ‘I’m freezing’ we really mean ‘My bed was so cozy and warm.  I’d rather be there than getting up to get dressed.’ We do not have to wear coats in our house and we have blankets on our beds.
  3. When we say ‘I don’t have anything to wear’ we mean ‘I wish I’d washed my favorite things to wear today’ or ‘I would rather have something different to wear’.  We all have things to put on our bodies, and we even have people who are willing to give us their perfectly good things so we don’t have to always purchase something new.