Monday, 30 July 2012

This Last we do look forward to

Growing up, going to school there were two days most look forward to. The first day of school...and the last. Ok, so there were some in between, but we are talking about MOST looked forward to. It isn't a whole lot different with home schooling, but I must admit now I get that feeling that you teachers must feel at the end of the year...sweet relief...and it sure feels great!

This year the kids helped me put together some games for an end of year par-tay. But first we decided an end of year photo is a must. Here is to our future veterinarian and firefighter...Lord willing...

Koen, of course, was upset (just a little) that he did not have a sign. I love you Koen boy.

There was a lot of chalk smashing and drawing and that helped Koen feel better.

Balloon throwing.

More Balloon throwing.

Balloon Races

Pizza Making

Some finger paint. Found this idea at this sweet blog.

And why not just chalk paint while we're at it??!! Also found at Our Family for His Glory

There are very few "lasts" that we look forward to. Especially being a military family, but this last day of school was bright, fun, and filled with friends and water balloons...what could be better? God's goodness, even in the small, is just so wonderfully overwhelming!

604. sunshine and little drops of rain
605. cleaning through the grime of the front porch and the not so little hands that helped
606. pulling weeds, oh how I loath this...maybe because of the reminder of those weeds in my life that need to be pulled
607. spider plants and the sweet friend who gave them to us
608. watching grace be poured out upon a friend and her not seeing me notice: learning so much
609. swimming pools, wet swim suits, hamburgers and broccoli salad
610. Shawn: you, my dear are a blessing teaching me about what's true in life
611. bearing up under the hurt and pain another is feeling...thanks for trusting and sharing, friend
612. still so excited about what God is teaching me in Philippians
613. this Love of mine, who is growing and changing...sometimes painfully and still thankful most of the time :)
614. all that we have learned this year about Who Jesus is: the light, bread of life, our rock, true water, the Way, Immanuel...God with us, the vine, the head of the body (the church), the lamb, king of Kings and lord of Lords, the Son of Man, the good shepherd, the resurrection and the life, the Word, and the Alpha and Omega
615. the country that I live in, though not perfect or getting perfect, but still thankful for our many freedoms

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Gettin' our Craft on

I have decided that if I'm actually going to pin something to Pintrest that I am going to attempt to make it or use it for inspiration...that it will be used as a tool and not as another distraction. This may be wishful thinking on my part...a high and lofty goal, but in the weeks since opening an account I have:

~ Bought from Goodwill for $7.00 (yes, I KNOW $7.00) a rather unattractive dresser piece, painted it barn red and replaced the knobs with new ones from Menard's. Did you know (I did not!!)  that people that bring in their paint that was not mixed to their liking is sold on the back shelves and it is a whole lot cheaper to buy? I got 2 gallons of paint for 10.00. My primer was more than that!!

~Painted this rather dull looking island (another Goodwill purchase) this weird blue color (another returned paint color) that I love. The bummer is that is isn't the Ol' Man's favorite, but he said as long as I don't paint the table this color, it's ok. Which I would have. Painted the entire kitchen table this color,  I mean. So I'm glad he said something. :) Yes, I have another stool...but it's no where to be found. No, I don't know have a family of 6 looses an actual if you find it, please let me know.

~Spray painted this ugly cork board to post up scripture memory verses, people/places we're praying for, and appointments etc. to remember. It's right above my sink which is perfect because I tend to spend a lot of time in front of it! Thanks Mom for this one (she's better than Pinterest).

~Found a super cute, SUPER easy idea from Less-Than_Perfect-Life of Bliss. Using an old head band, some ribbon, and extra strips of fabric you can make these wrapped flower headbands. Click here for a simple tutorial for the flower making.

Happy Crafting from all 6 of us Popes!

PS I promise I will get better at taking before pictures fo a more dramatic effect :)

Monday, 23 July 2012

This Girl

This thing we call mothering, it has been hard as of late. This bending low. I've shared that I don't want to do it sometimes. That sometimes, I want to rise up and do things my own way because that bending low, it hurts and it doesn't look pretty.

 This girl. She's growing. The girl who grew inside me when I was just a girl. She is becoming her own. I see it. I see Christ richly dwelling inside her. I see the battle. I see the heartache. I see the triumph....though they have seemed to be few and far between as of late. She loves deeply. She feels deeply. She wounds deeply. And I'm almost sorry to say that she is more like me then I would ever want to admit. She is fiery and passionate. She takes things personally, and overanalyses. She has a hard time loving those close to her sometimes, yet loves and sacrifices and cares. This girl: She. Is. Lovely. She is full of beauty. And I do forget to tell her this often. This girl, I can't imagine my life with out her.

I am ever so thankful for this sweet girl. It was this gift of her that God used to point me to the greatest Gift of all....

591. this girl who I know like no other
592. long, wonderful, hard talks
593. remembering that comparisons only end in discontentment
594. a minty green island
595. mercy: to be given to all not just those who deserve it
596. a lovely visit with Justin's mom
597. hiking Sugar Loaf Mountain and sharing that with Barb
598. handing them, all 4 of them, over...again
599. giving chickens in Honor of my mother: what a funny, wonderful gift (my mom and the chickens)
600. praying for dear friends
601. that wonderful thing in the kitchen called a crock pot
602. coffee in the early mornings
603. Joy: studying Philippians

Saturday, 21 July 2012


This is what I see when I look up from my computer. This is what I look at daily as we walk this wondering wisp of a life together. I am reminded with every glance. Because in this crazy thing that we call family life it's the feelings that get in the way. And those feelings they can get big and crazy too. Because as much as I would like to say that I always feel like my children are a blessing, there are these times when I don't.

This I know in my head, my heart even: my children are a blessing.

 But oh, how my feelings can betray that knowledge....

 Can't I just have the floor (any floor) clean for an hour? Half an hour? Ok, 5 minutes?

Will you pullleaassee, child, nap longer than 30 min. so that I can get the island painted that minty green color I'm excited about?

Why are you arguing...again...and again...oh, and again? Who cares what seat you sit in? I'll never in a million years understand that! Do children in Africa argue about where to sit? I do wonder this.

Why are you yelling...I just so happen to be sitting right across the table from you!

Maybe if I close my eyes those dishes will just disappear....and those dirty socks sitting on the table will too....the table! I'm certain we've talked, a lot, about where dirty socks go. The table was not an option!

There, then...and again I see it as I sit to type...

                                         A blessing, my children are a blessing.

I confess...again. I am a forgetter. So easily I forget. So easily my feelings take over. So easily I trust in myself and my own sufficiency, instead of His. This life is not about me. This life is not lifting myself up, of getting what I want all the time. It is about bending low. All of this training. This teaching. This is a reminder too. It's like these 4 joys were given to me because I am so forgetful. God, is teaching. He is training me in this marathon that I wish would be a sprint because I'm better at those and those sprints are over quite a bit faster.

Parenting is no different, God is just perfectly better at being long suffering with me. While I am wishing away difficulties (that really aren't). He continues to be patient and kind. While I wish for a tidy home. He shows me the way in his Word, and messes are apart of it and cleaning them up together is just another reminder. While I'm sick and tired of the same old fights. He says to push on, to not look back because Heaven is waiting and to not grow weary of doing good. While I wish for perfection. He already sent his Son to be that perfection for me....what a priceless gift.

So I'll trust and continue to pray and find peace there in Him, in Jesus....even amidst the mess.

                                                               And this is one of those things that is easier said than done....

Thank you Lord for these 4. And thank you also, for the mess. Oh, how I do need you...always!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


Just a few gentile reminders for your summer adventures.... (click the pix for a larger version)

These four have a way of reminding me of what is truly important, to laugh at myself often, how often I fall short, to see the wonder in the small and that life isn't about getting, rather it is about bending low in giving.

This is why I need Jesus above all, I need Him....

Friday, 6 July 2012

For the Love of Books

This boy of mine he never stops moving, even when he is still. He is seven and loves to run crazy wild and free, parachute off our couches, wrestle ‘til someone is physically hurt, climb the tallest tree, venture into the unknown (AKA the woods by our house), tease everyone he loves especially his big sister. He especially loves to figure out just how a thing works…even if it breaks the thing. Run into the house with something wiggly, squirming, and usually with an ick factor of about 11. He then loves to put them in jars and watch them. This boy of mine also loves to read. Yes, read. He loves to have his adventures in books.

Funny, I never thought he would love them. Those things that can open a person up wide and help them find an adventure, a life even they never thought they would take or have.

Never. Not once. Did I think he would LOVE them….

The library. He loves going there too.

As the biggest Love in my life and I chatted about this surprising development we realized that some unconscious choices have lead to this.

You see, this boy who is all boy as they say. Would also love to sit and play video or computer games all day. If we let him, he would sit and have the adventure come to him via the Internet or TV.

I say unconscious choices because we didn’t really set out not to have cable or any kind of TV (unless you count the Apple TV). Cable was free for Service Members in Germany, but that German townhouse just didn’t provide enough room for hosting small group once in awhile and that 42ish in. television. So there it went, that big ol' TV into the closet for awhile.

It was then we realized that, “Yes, we can live with out it!” It was a surprise to say the least. Instead of watching T.V. we read.
           A lot.

This made it an easy decision for us when we moved back to the states.
                       No cable.

We continue to read and I think that this has much to do with his love of reading. And for this simple thing: for the love of books, I am most and ever so thankful. I pray it continues to grow.

I pray as he carries his Beginners Bible to bed every night that even those simple words would reach to the depths of his soul and save him: that the Word would dwell in him richly.

For this I am thankful.

No, TV is not evil. We enjoy our fair share.  And really I would love me some HGTV and the Food Network. Yes, I would love that. In fact at this very moment all the 4 kids and the biggest kid of all are all watching Holes together and loving every minute of it...

…but we did read the book first.

581. little boys
582. little boys reading under the island
583. little boys in overalls
584. little boys running wild from firecrackers lit by the biggest boy
585. that bright, funny not so little girl: always making me laugh
586. finishing a good book with them all
587. that biggest Love taking a nap with the littest Love on the couch
588. a funny story about pride and a good reminder that it goes before the fall
589. 3 more weeks of school. yay!
590. rain, rain, please don't go away