Monday, May 16, 2016

Our Backyard Got Torn Up

Days in the Life...

Monday morning Mom, Aly, and Ava left after breakfast to take Ava to art class and show Aly around our area. They returned early afternoon and loved on Sofia, then Mom and Aly went to explore Justin Boots. Mom had never been there, despite the fact that we have lived here for over 8 years...

Sofia arrived around noon and ended up needing a lot of comfort. She cried real tears while I held her trying to soothe her to sleep for more than half an hour. I felt so bad for her! She did eventually drop off, still whimpering in her sleep, and slept for close to an hour.

Sofia very much enjoyed the attention she got from everyone after her nap and bottle. She was so close to crawling too!

Sweet snuggles!

Sofia left close to 5:00 and I left after that to get coffee with a friend and then journal afterwards. 

Chloe took Christian to Driver's Ed and the others all took Aly to get real Mexican food for dinner. 

Back at home we stayed up late visiting again. 

It was so fun to have Aly with us! She was our little piece of Maui, which made us even more excited to go back later this year. It was lovely to hear Hawaiian names and words; I know at least Dad and I became a little more "homesick."  

Tuesday morning Mom and Ava took Aly to the airport. Then Mom and Ava spent the day together, mainly shopping, I believe. 

I had lunch with another friend and in the evening, worked to prepare the house for engagement group. 

Dad had some huge deadlines he was working on most of the day. Both he and I work much better when we are under pressure. 

Group was good. We didn't have a crazy large gathering, there was plenty of food, and quite the assortment of conversation topics. 

Again, Chloe took Christian to Driver's Ed. 

Wednesday Chloe took Mia and Gabe to gymnastics. Dad continued with his work deadlines. And I was finally able to sit down and study again. 

In the afternoon I ran some errands. 

Chloe took Christian to Driver's Ed in the evening. Mom and Dad had a church leadership meeting. The kids and I stayed home to eat dinner and let the littles watch "Cars 2." 

Thursday morning Christy came to help me put together my senior slideshow. That took all morning, into the early afternoon, but we got it finished and if Christy had not come it would have taken me waaaaaaaaay a bit longer to complete the project. 

Meanwhile, Chloe and Christian finished some of their school and then went to work at Aunt Cendei's until they needed to come get ready to leave for Christian's Driver's Ed class again. 

Aron came over mid-afternoon to spend the evening with us. 

Friday, midmorning, we had a couple of moms and their kids come for a sewing day at our house. The little kids played outside and upstairs, and Ava and her friend worked on sewing a flannel blanket, and the moms enjoyed sewing and visiting and drinking coffee. 

Gabe enjoyed snuggling Audrey. 

Everyone stayed for lunch and into the mid-afternoon and had a lovely time. 

After they left we all scattered to have some rest time. 

Me at work, happily typing your latest blog post. 

Chloe took Christian to Driver's Ed and Mom and Dad went over to the little house to talk about some of the next steps for getting it fixed up more. 

The littles took showers and got stuff ready for bed. Then, dump trucks, excavators, and a backhoe showed up on our driveway. Who's ready for a pool?!!! 

We were all literally jumping up and down screaming. Mom and Dad very much included. 


Here they come!

Watching the backhoe get off the trailer and drive down and up the ditch all the way to our backyard I decided I never want to drive one. Let me tell you, that driver has serious skills and I am just fine to let him do his job. 

Gabe was doing cartwheels across out front yard, he was so excited! 

Once the workers got all their stuff dropped off for the night and left, we watched an episode of "Christy" together. 

Saturday morning I got up at 7:00 (the earliest I got up that week) and made coffee. I settled back in bed to enjoy the quiet, have my Bible time, and journal. I was still a week behind. 

About 9:00 everyone else was up with their faces glued to the windows watching the first scoop be made in our backyard. 

We all laughed, there was more rock in that scoop than dirt and the deeper he went, the more rock came up and the less dirt there was. 

I only screamed once because of how close the backhoe came to our house.

Here he was ripping out our garden. 

Gone in less than 3 minutes. 

It's all rock!

It rained throughout the night and it did not take long for both of the dump trucks to get stuck in our front yard, even the empty one! The backhoe had to go push them out. I then decided I don't need to drive a dump truck either. 


We are built on a solid foundation. Literally. 

After several hours the yard dried up enough 
that the dump trucks were able to drive around. 

They ended up dumping the dirt rocks down the back of our hill. 
Then the backhoe went down there to spread it out.

Finished hole after just 6 hours of work.

In the process of digging, they hit our sprinkler system, but I guess that wasn't a big deal. 

At one point I was watching the guy in the backhoe from my window upstairs and I realized he was talking on the phone and using his elbow to swing the arm around! I'm telling you, he really knows what he is doing. 

Pretty much the whole day was spent watching the work outside. I continued journaling some while I watched and Mom and a few of the others worked in the bonus room for a bit. 

I left for church with Christian at 3:00 to be there for graduation pictures. Then played piano some and sang some during the prayer and worship time before the church service. Christian has continued playing guitar and also tried some drums. 

The others arrived in time for the service and we all enjoyed visiting with people afterwards. 

Sunday morning Mom and Dad went out for brunch and we fended for ourselves whenever we were hungry. The littles played and the rest of us relaxed in our rooms. 

In the evening Gramma, Grandpa, and the puppies came for dinner and to visit. We had our brunch meal since we'd not made it earlier in the day. 

After they left we got ready for bed and watched an episode of "Christy." 

The Herd: Quoted 

"Wow!" -Me as Gabe does a handstand and then falls into a bridge. 
"What? It's just so amazing to see your little brother growing up?" -Gabe 
"...yup!" -Me 
"I was born to be a gymnast!" -Gabe 

"Use my stuff without asking? Uh no. That ain't gonna work, girl." -Gabe with sass. 

"Don't make me for breakfast! I'm tough, you wouldn't like me." -Mia 

"Fatigue has hit and willingly I shall fall." -Me 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Rabid Deer and Girdles

Days in the Life...

Monday morning I got to begin my week with Kate and Sofia. Kate arrived asking for "Fia" and Sofia arrived a bit later, still asleep. I fed Kate and let Sofia sleep in her seat as long as possible. I actually got to eat (all) my breakfast while she slept and Kate played.

They both decided they didn't need morning naps.

Mom and Ava went to Ava's art class, Dad and Christian went to a meeting for Dad, and Chloe did school. Meanwhile, pretty much all morning, Gabe, Mia, and Kate danced in the living room and played blocks while I watched them, drank coffee, and snuggled Sofia. It was lovely.

Gabe was so sweet with the babies. 

After 11:00 I fed everyone and got Kate and Sofia down for naps. I sort of forgot about feeding myself, though... 

I got to have my quiet time while they slept and got a few other things done. Not eating.

They both woke up about 2:00 and were ready to eat and then play more.

After Sofia left, everyone, even Mom, danced with Kate. She left a little early so I got to exercise, and take a shower, and stuff. 

Mom and Dad took Christian to his first Driver's Ed class in the evening and went on a date while he was there. 

The rest of us ate dinner and watched "Little Big Shot." 

I also wrote another piano song. I've decided I just really have no idea how to compose "light, happy sounding" music. Everything that comes out of me musically is sad and/or contemplative. 

Tuesday morning Sofia came at 7:30 and did not want to take a very good morning nap. She was fussy and just wanted to be held. 

She did take a short morning nap, or maybe Ava took her for a while...either way, I had a little time to drink coffee and have my Bible time. 

Of course, right before she needed a bottle at noon, she fell asleep. 

I woke her up to eat and then was able to get her down for a solid afternoon nap. During that time I sat down to blog and since then y'all have not had another post to read. *Covers face and bites lip* 

I exercised right before she woke up and fed her before she left. 

Gabe and Ava teamed up to play soccer against me and Mia in the afternoon. Very quickly, Ava and Gabe scored two goals and it wasn't until Christian joined my team for the last 10 minutes that my team got anywhere. I think Gabe and Ava are probably both better soccer players than I am. *Smile* 

Gabe hurt his ankle during the game so Mia and Ava nursed him the rest of the evening. (He really was fine, but they enjoyed taking care of him.) 

I made dinner and Mom and Dad spent the evening walking around in our backyard with the pool contractor who will begin work at our house very soon! 

Dad has been dreaming of putting a pool in ever since we built our house over 8 years ago. We had a pool at the house I was born in, so Chloe, Christian, and I all learned to swim at a very young age. The rest of our homes have not had a pool. We are all very excited! 

Chloe took Christian to Driver's Ed and everyone ate dinner whenever they were ready. It was a mostly quiet night.

Wednesday morning I got up to make baked oatmeal for breakfast before Sofia arrived. She was happy and went down for a three hour nap not too terribly long after getting here. That was wonderful

Dad had a meeting in the morning and I believe Mom took Gabe and Mia to their gymnastics class. 

Sofia was up for an hour and Ava enjoyed playing with her. Then she went down for another nap and slept for two and a half hours! 

Pretty much the whole 5 hours Sofia slept that day, I worked on catching up my journal. I think I got to where I was only two days behind. 

Sofia woke up about 2:30 and left at 4:00. After she left I got ready as fast as I could, and threw muffins in the oven, and then flew out the door with Chloe and Christian. We dropped Christian off for Driver's Ed and then meet Aron at the Ultimate Frisbee field to watch his games that night. I think that was the first college sporting event I ever attended. 

Thursday morning Sofia was back! She did not sleep much that day, but the kids helped with her and we all still got stuff done. 

She did fall asleep in my arms again, though, once.

Mom left before noon to go pick up our Maui friend, Aly, at the airport so that the two of them could attend the Homeschool Book Fair that weekend. 

Chloe and I left at 2:30 to go to the Speech and Debate end of the year celebration. We ate a potluck picnic outside, saw a slideshow from the year, prayed over each of the graduating seniors, and did a bunch of thank-yous, and heard announcements. 

When we got home Dad and the littles were out having taken Christian to Diver's Ed. Chloe and I both got ready for bed, got second-dinner, and watched some "Willis Clan." 

About 9:00 I went downstairs because I was hungry again. I was wondering why in the world I was hungry already, since I'd just eaten less than two hours before, when I saw this: 

Apparently I never actually ate the food I made for myself before sitting down to watch the show. I honestly thought I had eaten it.  

Friday was my last day to watch Sofia. Her mommy is going to get to stay home with her from now on, so any other times I get to watch her will be for random babysitting. Kate also came and it was a fun day. 

It was actually very similar to Monday. They both declared (non-verbally) that morning naps are overrated. However, I was able to convince them that afternoon naps are not. 

So the morning was spent in the living room with music and blocks, and contained lots of laughter, and adorableness, and coffee (for me, no coffee for anyone else). 

Kate has started saying my name as best she can. Whenever I left the room she called "Weeya? Weeya? Weeya?" Also, if I was holding Sofia, she also wanted to be held. 

She let me braid her hair while she ate.

I love them!! 

When they both finally went down in the afternoon I was able to shower, and get dressed, and get dinner in the crockpot, etc. They both slept over two hours! 


Sofia left at 3:00 and Kate asked for blocks and music again. 

Aron came over around 5:00. The kids watched "Voyage of the Dawn Treader," Dad worked, Chloe took Christian to Driver's Ed, and Aron and I went through all my pictures to pull out the ones I wanted to put in my senior slideshow. I thought it would take less than two hours to go through hundreds of pictures. It took way longer. 

Saturday everyone slept in a little (until 8:00 ish) and then got up to eat and head over to work at the little house for the morning. I stayed behind to clean around the house and get some of my stuff caught up on. 

I left for church at noon to attend a worship and prayer workshop and then play piano for the hour before service. Dad and the kids cleaned up after working at the house, had some rest time, went to Costco, and then joined me at church. Mom and Aly finished attending the Homeschool Book Fair and met us at church in time for the service as well. 

After church everyone went home in shifts since we had three cars there. 

At home Aly got the tour of our house and we ate if we were still hungry and then enjoyed staying up late to visit. Aly was still on Maui time so she was wide awake and we were excited to get to spend time with her. We loved telling her all about the bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, armadillos, snakes, and rabid deer. (The rabid deer was just a joke, though, we don't have those.) 

Sunday morning we celebrated Mother's Day with cards and a few little gifts. We were having so much fun with Aly that we didn't have "brunch" until 1:00. 

There was a storm that morning and a lightning bolt hit the ground in our pasture. Aly and the kids ran out to see if they could find the scorch mark, but all they came back with was the smell of smoke and wildflowers. 

After brunch everyone except me and Christian went for a walk in the woods down the hill. I did not go because I knew they were going to see snakes. Sure enough, an hour later they returned having seen three snakes. 

They also brought back a dried butterfly to study under the microscope.

Aunt Cendei and Aron joined us for the evening. We had a roast for dinner and watched "Mom's Night Out." It was a very fun day. 

I've been pondering...

"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." 

~Isaiah 40:31 

Waiting is hard. 
Waiting for the next step. Waiting for direction. Waiting for confirmation. Waiting for the right time.
Waiting can be draining. 
But so often in our lives we will once again be called to wait. 
Rest. Stay. Abide. Anticipate. Watch. 
"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength..." 
A server waits on tables. They serve. 
We wait on the Lord. We serve. 
As we serve Him, worship Him, wait on Him, He renews our strength so that we might continue walking as He directs.

The Herd: Quoted 

"You are going to be a hair-doer when you grow up, you can work in a saloon! I mean a salon." -Gabe to Sofia

"I caught that bouquet at Bethany's wedding." -Me
"Yeah, and I have caught lots of girdles at weddings." -Christian
"Um, no. A girdle is like a corset." -Me
"Then what is it?" -Christian
"A garter." -Me
"Oh. Same difference!" -Christian
"No! There is a huge difference between a girdle and a garter!" -Me

"Call it a bucket! Call it a cookie cutter! Don't call it mold!" -Gabe as we try to explain to him what a "mold," whose purpose is to shape things, is. He was not understanding us.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I May Have Chopped My Hair Off and Grace Outside the Formula

Here are a few other tournament photos that didn't make it into the other post.

Student area during lunch.

We look so grown up! 

Days in the Life...

Monday morning Aunt Cendei brought us Chick-fil-a and Starbucks for breakfast! No children under the age of 13 had coffee. 

Most everyone had a normal start to the week. (Aside from the breakfast treat!) 

That afternoon I ran errands and then babysat for the small group that night. Normally I have another babysitter there who helps, but she was sick, so I had all 8 kids by myself. It actually went very smoothly. Whew! *Wipes brow* 

Meanwhile, Aunt Cendei came to vacuum mow our pastures and then joined the others for dinner. 

Tuesday Sofia arrived good and early. 

She had an A+ day, super happy, two very long, good naps, good bottles, it was wonderful! 

She can also do Advanced Happy Baby.

Chloe worked a good part of the afternoon. 

We were planning to have our engagement group that night, but there was a possibility of very bad weather (hail, high winds, tornadoes) so we moved it to Wednesday night. Aron still came to eat dinner and watch "The Count of Monte Cristo" with all of us. 

We ended up just having wind, rain, thunder, and lightning. Some of the children were VERY mildly concerned, though, hence the reason we all stayed up until 10:30 watching a movie which some of them had never seen before. It worked. *wink* 

Wednesday I got a text right as I was waking up that Calvin was sick again, so I rolled over and slept a little more. Mom cared for Sofia all day and I got to take a College Composition practice test (I didn't do too badly!) and then had a much needed massage in the afternoon. It was painful, but did help some. 

The weather was gorgeous and the kids played outside most every chance they got. I sat outside some too and got a sunburn tan. It started as a burn but didn't take long to be a tan. 

About 24 people were able to make it to group. It was very encouraging and lasted until 10:00. There may or may not have been 2 different kinds of brownies, 4 different kinds of truffles, and 12 different organic bars of chocolate present that night... 

Thursday Sofia arrived closer to 8:30 and decided that she didn't need a nap at all and that the only way she would be happy was if she was being held. So most of my morning was spent holding her. 

Once Ava finished school she held her while I got ready to go. 

We loaded up Sofia, and Mom and the littles and I all went to Bubble Land. Mom had a sore shoulder so she had me drive our truck coming and going.

Everyone had a great time playing with their friends and the ladies enjoyed visiting and encouraging one another. Sofia never went to sleep until the last 5 minutes before her mom came to pick her up...  

Ava left with friends from there to attend a sewing class in the evening. 

At home everyone else had some alone time. 

Mom and Dad went to pick up Ava while the rest of us ate leftovers for dinner and tidied the house. Then Christian, Gabe, and Mia played ERS. 

Friday I had Sofia again and she again decided she didn't want to sleep. Who wants to miss out on the party at our house, right? 

So I just held her while cleaning and working on whatever else I could do with one hand. Ava was helpful with her as well. 

When you were supposed to buy four of the same can...

I got dinner in the crockpot after lunch and I think Sofia finally fell asleep for a good nap. 

After she left I was able to exercise, shower, and work on catching up my journal. I was behind all week. Like, a week behind. Not good. 

The sun finally came out! 

We had a low-key evening, people ate dinner whenever they were ready, Mom and the littles played a game, and eventually most everyone watched "Wreck-it Ralph." 

Saturday morning Mom and I went to Seven Mile Cafe for breakfast. 

The best latte this side of the Pacific. 
(The very best one is in Maui.) 

After a lovely time visiting over breakfast and coffee we went to an outdoor farmer's market type thing. It was pretty small so it didn't take too long to walk through. 

At home Dad was working and the others were doing their own thing. I think everyone else had slept in quite a bit and were still kind of in the process of getting food and such. 

I left for church before the others to play piano during the prayer and worship hour and everyone else met me there. 

Church was a beautiful time of worship and encouragement on many levels. We were praying each other out the door at 9:00. 

Sunday we got up to make brunch together as always. Mia chopped up the vegetables for us for the first time! 

Currently our favorite station on Pandora is the Bethel one. We had it on all day and the windows were open. Spring is beautiful. 

Dad took some on a walk after cleanup and then everyone rested in the afternoon. 

Chloe rode horses late afternoon. 

I was still working on catching up my journal, but the week ended with me still about a week behind. 

I've been Pondering...

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 
As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love." 

~John 15:7-9 

Abide in Christ. 

Allow Him to transform your heart and mind (Romans 12:2, Philippians 4:6-7) so that the desires of your heart may be in alignment with His plans for you. 

He loves to give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:3-6). Trust Him with those desires. 

Submit your ways to Him so that your life might be a beautiful testimony to His faithfulness and love. 

In this we glorify the Father. 

Abide in His love.

That moment when...

The baby wakes up just as you sit down with your coffee.

You take a bite of soup and burn your entire mouth.

Someone calls out that they like your hair, you thank them, then turn to see it was a teenage boy.

The Herd: Quoted

"The other night I dreamed that I had cut off my hair, then in my dream I realized I was only dreaming. When I woke up I really didn't know if I still had long hair or not. I was very relieved when I took out my bun and saw it was still long." -Me to Chloe

"No formula can contain the grace and mercy of God." -Chloe

"Lydia, you should be a famous singer." -Mia
"Why?" -Lydia
"Because you are really pretty and a good singer." -Mia
"Well Thank you, but I don't think that would work." -Me

"I pretty muchly already have six-packs from working out and before you know it I will have eight-packs!" -Mia

"I'm not addicted to coffee, I just really, really like it!" -Me