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Wienerfest

We didn't make it to church this Sunday. Its a family tradition. The Maine Wienerfest - we landed there accidentally 5 or 6 years ago and fell in love with the hundreds of dachshunds competing. The costume contest has always been our favorite, I mean who can resist a puppy princess - definitely not Avonlea (our six year old daughter).  But this year, the race got my vote, hands down. Those precious doxens racing to the finish line. Their owners, treats in hand, calling out  to their beloved pets, hoping they will run straight to them.  The ginormous grins, giggles and cheering - all brought on by the pups' confusion as to which way to go. No one was looking at the disoriented dogs with even a hint of frustration. Not a single person had a scowl.  Everyone delighted in their efforts. And when one of the adorable runners finally figured out which way to go and ran as fast as his little feet could carry him, we all jumped to our feet and cheered. "Way to go!" "That…
Recent posts

Star Wars, Frozen & Scissors

I make a grunting noise as I toss another lego into "toy jail". I step away and trip over one of the kids light sabers.  Glancing over at the breakfast crumbs (we could seriously feed a family of refugees, not that I struggle with the idea of how much we waste or anything), I feel my eyes well up and think "I could use some of 'the force' about now. Trying to determine if I should pull the kids from their happy game of Zingo or tackle the breakfast fiasco on my own, I decide on the latter. What was my dear friend's quote, I ponder. Oh yeah, "a little and often". She was referring to home maintenance (along with other things). Gently, she was reminding me to stay on top of things rather than let them build into tougher jobs. "This isn't a little and often", I sarcastically mumble "this is 'a lot and always'." Seriously, if I'd simply pray every time I pick something off the floor, I might actually get a gras…

Why you shouldn't give to the poor

The day had just begun and I was barely holding it together. I had a couple of young kids and getting them dressed and out the door did not go smoothly. There were diaper explosions, bad attitudes, spilled drinks and a couple of arguments with my husband. We were both exhausted. The speaker had no idea how tired and discouraged we were. The Lord had given him a heart for the poor and he was passionately pleading with his listeners for help. He was begging us to open our eyes, to reach out, to make a difference. My eyes welled up with tears and I wish I could say it was out of compassion. It wasn't. I had no idea how I was going to make it through lunch let alone reach out to anybody. I wanted to stand up and scream "can somebody help me while you are at it?!" I left feeling like a total and complete failure. A few years later and yet another difficult day I sat holding my squirming toddler and tried to hear as much as I could of a Sunday morning sermon. The pastor w…

I'm just not feeling it

I have noticed something interesting about myself when it comes to opening the doors of our home. I am the first to admit that fifteen minutes before our guests arrived the place was a mess. I was barking orders to my kids, scrubbing our toilet, stuffing things in drawers and searching for underwear (yup, probably dirty) that pop up in the most random places. I don't mind admitting that I don't have it all together, but I have a hard time letting anyone see it. I am the same way when it comes to my emotions. If I'm really struggling I tend to pull away. Just last night I found myself tempted to postpone a scheduled visit with a few close friends because I had no desire to admit to them that I felt like I was coming apart at the seams. Praise God, I dragged myself there and they gently began the process of gluing me back together by simply listening & loving me - despite me. And then there's "grace in the midst". I love passing along thoughts, ideas a…

My daughter's lips

My daughter is beautiful. She lights up our world. I love my boys and thank God for them every single day. But because we have four boys and one princess, her beauty kind of stands out if ya know what I mean. Obviously I am not speaking of a worldly, everything is perfectly arranged and completely flawless kind of beauty, but of an inner sweetness, a precious innocence and a giggle that bubbles over into every part of her being. So when she decided to be a princess for a friends Halloween party I definitely didn't argue. We braided her hair, fastened her crown and zipped up her flowing gown. Then, for the very first time (she is 4) we painted her lips and rosied up her plump (in an adorably pinchable kind of way) cheeks. We looked in the mirror and admired our work. But, something didn't look right. She was holding her lips at a funny angle and talking without shutting them. She was worried. She didn't want her lipstick to come off. For the next hour she had a hard time r…

Our war room

I have never started a blog post without anything in particular on my heart and mind. But, oh how I've missed writing. I've been begging God to give me the time, energy, motivation and inspiration to write again. And, here I am. I have no idea what this post is going to be about. Ok, I think I just lied...well, sort of. As soon as I wrote the words "begging God" something started to stir within my heart. So, I guess I'll start there. Prayer. What an incredible gift that God, the maker of the universe and former of our hearts has given us. And yet I open it so rarely. I recently had the opportunity to watch the movie "The War Room" with a good friend (and in the middle of the day, amazingly enough). I laughed, I cried and I left the theatre feeling totally and completely convicted...in a good way. The kind of conviction that comes with hope, passion and desire (by the way I'm learning that the other kind of conviction, which comes with guilt, shame …

Answers

Note - Though our family has chosen to home school (and the subject comes up in this post), I am in no way suggesting that every one should go that route.  I believe the lessons I've been pondering are applicable to us all.

I recently went to a homeschooling conference for the 7th straight year (yes, I'm the mom who started  going to these before I actually had children) and once again found it incredibly encouraging.  It is interesting to look back over the years and see how my thought processes have changed.  My first couple of years I went because "everybody was doing it", well at least in my social circle.  The speakers were wonderful and even more so the late night giggles with the gals I shared a room with.  After I had my first couple of kids, I started going for different reasons.  I was looking for something.  I was looking for the RIGHT way to homeschool.  I would literally walk around gawking at the sweet natured & polite teenagers and think to myself …