Stone Sunday Chronicles

Today was a spectacular day full of rest, family, and friends.  I had originally planned to be at an educational conference this weekend with the hopes of finishing the weekend with friends in Frisco.  Ah, but we’ve had one financial excitement after another, so no conference this year nor weekend away.  But I had scheduled a substitute for our pre-k class at church today, so this is how things unfolded in our family on our day of rest.

Since our coffee maker broke, the rule is, whoever wakes up first on Saturday goes to get the coffee…and since we couldn’t get coffee at church today, husband was the coffee man.  After breakfast, he took our youngest and went to finish a paint job he’s working on.  Youngest said he had a fabulous time, and for a while was entertained by a vice by crushing things, as well as two jumping spiders.  By the way, today was no electronics day for either boy.  We’ve been on a break for a week, so they’ve had more free time for screen….and I think they’re fried.  Not the screens, but the boys!

So, no screen time amounted to this LOVELY vision of our oldest on the couch, relaxing and READING.  Oh, I can’t tell you how I adore such scenes.  This is my boy who has been busy from the words “in my womb”….always  on the go.  He played some ball.  Then read some more.  Visited some neighbors.  Read some more.

I piddled.  Now, the dictionary’s definition of piddle is this:  to spend time in a wasteful, trifling, or ineffective way.,  However, I don’t agree with that definition.  Piddling can be productive…and pleasurable.  So that’s what I did.  Nothing hard, but relaxing piddling.   Part of my piddling including drawing with my new coloring pencils our oldest gave me for Mother’s Day.  I also did some repotting of plants.  I made another bird feeder out of an empty vinegar jug.  Love watching my birds at the feeder.

The mid afternoon sent us flying down the road to exchange boys.  Youngest and I headed off to the dance recital of a dear friend -we’ve been friends (and her mom and I) have been friends since they were babes.  We had a lovely time watching such beauty and art in the dancers, their costumes and music.  So all of the dance routines include girls…until….the next to the last; and here come 4 cute boys doing a Hip-Hop routine.  So that was indeed, my dear boys favorite!  And he’s considering dance lessons….hmmmm.  I love exposing to him to the art of dance with such beauty and grace, as well as the different styles of dance and music.  He’s wanting to hear more of the Phantom of the Opera music since that was one of the tunes included.

Our evening landed us at home, with Dad and Bub at the deer lease doing some clean up work.  All were joyfully delighted with my offering for dinner of beans and rice….I have a great bean recipe I’ve been making for many years now and it’s a hit.

So, I’m off to read.  My soul has been at rest today and it has worshiped quietly and joyfully amoung few.

God’s best to you and yours,

Stacy

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The Stone Sunday Chronicles

Today seems like the best day ever to TRY to begin my weekly Stone Sunday Chronicle where I’ll share a bit of our worship experience.  Why is today the best day ever?  Because HE IS RISEN!  Celebrating this Truth for me and my family brings me great joy.

By God’s grace, we woke up  late but made it to church early enough to get some coffee!  So today, we find ourselves in worship all together, including my youngest who is 9, as on other Sunday’s he is in his classroom.  So while I’m taking notes on my phone app provided, he’s taking his own…my heart exploded with joy as I unfolded his church bulletin I was about to toss in the trash to find the following:

So, I’m thinking he gets it.  That Christ passionately pursues him with a never-ending, never-forsaking love.  To love the heart of Christ is to recognize His heart for you.  My Momma-heart rejoices and turns to pray that my dear one will daily recognize the Truth of God’s love for Him that sent His Son Jesus to the cross to bear the weight of our sins – so that we could be with Him forever.  And that God IS with him NOW, by the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in his 9 year old heart – a seal of promise that my boy belongs to God.

Well, this one also offered up a hilarious moment that I hoped did not turn into a meltdown, as Pastor ask for those wanting to accept Jesus to raise their hand, to which he did.  Why?  Because he wanted to do it – again (he’s already accepted Christ several years ago), so that….he could get the new bible they were offering to new believers (this child needs a new bible…).  So I joyfully promised him a new bible forthcoming.

After worship, our oldest and husband and I then serve in our preschool ministry.  I love seeing these kids each Sunday.  All of the 4 year olds were together as we waited to go see our special guest, an Illusionist that would present the gospel.  Each Sunday, seeds of Truth are being planted in the hearts of these children.  Our family considers it a privilege to be a part of something bigger than ourselves – seed planters that others will come along and water, and God will grow in His time.

Our afternoon was spent with both sides of our family as we celebrated Easter with a burger cookout.  My man is the king of the pit.  We were blessed with great time together.  Our oldest wanted to lead in our prayer of blessing.  Past the food, he was looking forward to some basketball court time with his dad and uncles.  I was delighted to visit with one of my SIL, my Mom, and a friend that stopped by.

May you and yours be blessed,

Stacy

 

 

 

Day 1 – Photo of the Day

F is for Friends

So, I purchased a new toy this week – a Canon Rebel Ti2.  Thrilled.  My small goal is a photo a day (I took 95 today) and to work my way through the alphabet…in no particular order, obviously.  But I thought this photo was the best.  They’ve been friends for several years now.  When B’s dad purchased the land across from our home, our boys would rush over any time Mr. I came to work on the land, and to add icing to the cake?  He had children close to our boys age.  Their land makes kickball and night tag great fun.  B came to the park with us today for fishing.

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God in Me!

So this is how it went down.  Boys were up at 6:30 this morning (I’d been awake since 4:30; made them stay in there room until 7am and I’d had my coffee.  This morning was BSF (Bible Study Fellowship), which is usually on Wednesday, but holiday week pushed it up a day.  These are generally easy mornings for us as the boys LOVE going to BSF as well as I.  They are tired when we depart from BSF, we pick up lunch, come home and they have to finish cleaning their room and doing their kitchen chore.   They generally eat and play outside while I veg inside for a bit before it’s time to come in.  Rest time is a MUST on BSF days.  At present, school is not a priority on this day, unless we squeeze some in after rest time. 

SO, it’s rest time in our house.  I can tell I’ve got some tired boys on my hands.  I’m tired but I’m not melting yet, although ready for MY nap!  Oldest starts getting grumpy and mouthy while we’re trying to put his bed back together (linen washing day) and by the time he’s snuggled under the covers he’s said “I’m tired of you” and something else I can’t remember…..but hurtful and unnecessary, nonetheless. 

I’ve been meditating on the Love Chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 – back to the basics is what I like to call it.  I’ve been reading it each morning and usually stick around “Love is patient.  Love is kind.  It is not easily angered. ”  Today I added on “Love is not self-seeking.”  So, basically, love is self-less.  Anyhow.  I continue to thank God for His Spirit in ME that I can be patient, kind and not easily angered – and thank you for the opportunties you (God) continue to present that allow HE and I to walk that out – mainly in my home! 

So today, as my ears heard these unkind words from my child, instead of being “easily angered” as I had been in the past, and could have responded differently (’cause I’m human and sensed those things rising and about to bubble forth), I walked away and recalled God’s word that I’d been meditating on – walked back in his room and gently touched him, told him I loved him and to have a good rest with a smile, and asked if I could give him a hug, which he declined…until youngest wanted a hug – and then he was ready for one 🙂 

As I came into the kitchen, I realized I’d just experienced God’s transforming grace in ME.  And rejoiced.  And wrote it down in my journal, thanking Him for His goodness to make me into His instrument of love to my children.  It wasn’t difficult.  It was HIM.  And my boy experienced HIM.  And for that, I exhault HIM and bless HIS Name.

The Grocery Shopping Daze

In a daze.  That’s what I am when grocery shopping with my two, cute, sweet, adorable, BOYS.  The youngest is too big to ride in the buggy, that is, except that big ‘0 car buggy at Kroger that takes every bit of my leg power to push!  My youngest (3) is really not the challenge, but my dear 6 year old.  Grocery shopping with my Sammy has been challenging since he learned he could get out of the two-seater Walmart cart.  I remember one time I even had Daddy have a talk with him about cooperating with Momma, staying in the cart, blah, blah, blah.  And here we are, 4 years later, and I hate grocery shopping days.  And especially on this day, my mind drifts to the thought that I’d have an easier go at this if I stuck him in school and didn’t homeschool….on these days, the yellow bus looks appealing. 

I’ve tried everything to embrace shopping day.  Organized.  Unorganized.  Have them help me.  Have them hold the cart.  Allow them to run up and down the isle.  Don’t allow them to do previous mentioned.  Reward.  Punishment.  Smile genuinely.  Fake smile.  Grab arm and whisper in their ear.  Speak loudly so that an isle over can hear me.  Have breakfast at Chick-fil-a and shop early.  Have lunch at Chick-fil-a and shop late.  Leave them at home with Dad and shop at night.  Leave them with my Mom and hurry-shop during the day. 

So we shopped at Albertson’s today to spend $20 (I spent $40…that tells me something about Albertsons and why I don’t shop there) so I could get a Jennie-O Turkey CHEAP.  Then we went to Krogers for big shopping and my effort was to have the boys take turn being my helpers and they would get paid.  Somewhere in that they both ended up pushing the cart, which was really nice and helpful.  But the end of the trip was a kicker….with my buggy LOADED, I asked Sammy to help pull from the front – and this lead to a scrape on his boots which I still don’t know if he actually got hurt, but the blood-curdling scream that came several seconds later…was because??  Which annoyed me…..then I try to manuever my buggy (LOADED) past this white car….and get stuck on their side mirror…which actually moves back in place, but then a 2 gallon water falls off from underneath while I’m trying to make sure my out-of-control-loaded-buggy does NOT scrape with white car….Sawyer says “Mom, the water!”  I’m yelling “Really!  Do I get to have any more frustrations today?????”  and yell at Sawyer to just leave the water!  But he picks it up and lugs it to the car…sweet boy.  As oldest finally pulls it together (’cause I’m not thinking he was hurt) and then runs his mouth when I try to tell him I didn’t intend to hurt him or his boots…I’m realizing I’m melting and should not have turned down the LARGE Hershey’s Chocolate bar Sammy offered me at checkout! 

I’m at a loss here.  Unless I just simply decide, it is what it is and it won’t always be this way.  At this point, the yellow school bus is not an option! LOL!  And I’m grateful it’s not, as we have some marvelous times.  But the next time it’s grocery shopping day and Sammy offers me some chocolate, I’ll say “Thank you for reminding me I need chocolate!”  And pick up a Sonic diet vanilla coke on the way home!    Alas, my pantry and fridge are full with two turkeys in the freezer.  We’ve all had a nap and supper tonight is an Easty chicken Tortilla Soup.  For this, and God’s grace that we are now smiling again, I am thankful!

Parenting Books I just might read

I’ve been reading since….and I think I get a little cranky when I stop taking time to read. It’s been more challenging since I’ve had 2 kids, but I want them to see MOM reading and enjoying it! Sunday afternoon after playing a bit of baseball and kickball with the kids, I gave Sammy time to ride his bike along our side street while I sat out and watched; Saw does his own thing but his “leash” is shorter. So I took a book with me (fiction) I wanted to read…..and in maybe 20 minutes, read 2 pages. Twice. Sigh.

Some time ago I tossed all the parenting books aside. But yesterday I ordered a book I KNEW I needed since a lot of her information is on her website. From something I encountered recently I was faced with the question of what my parenting philosophy is. Hmmm. So after a not-so-fun-parenting incident on Monday evening, I went back to Raising Godly Tomatoes. I’d been recommended this site by a friend some time last year and I remember in July settling on it – and it worked. And then, I guess, somewhere along the days that ran into weeks, I stopped using the methods. Actually, what happened was, I gave my eldest a longer “leash” than he had earned. But, this works for us. So I’m anxiously awaiting my book (but have already gleaned enough from her website to put into action the methods we need to survive/thrive until then). And as I’ve said to my husband before “It would be great if you and i could at least be in the SAME BOOK, even if not on the SAME PAGE!” LOL! And after 48 hours of re-implementing this approach/method/philosophy, we’ve had us some great two days!

The other parenting book I’ve poked my nose into recently is Tim Kimmel’s “Legacy of Love.” One of the kids actually took this book off the shelf one day and laid it on top of my stack by my chair. When I ran out of the house for a little diet vanilla coke down at the local Sonic after a particulary challenging day, I went to grab my bible and anything else that might jump out at me…and Legacy of Love did. And it was helpful and Father nailed for me why I was so troubled that day by my eldest’s behavior. It was an issue of character. And when I got home, Tony and I talked with him and we were able to settle it with God’s Word. Amazing.

I’ve picked up another book recently at a fabulous used book store in a nearby town. I could just stroll in that store for hours just reading the titles of books! It’s like a big ole’ hug from the books when you walk in. Love it. There I found a book “Whole Child/Whole Parent” by Berends. No doubt, it challenges my reading level – LOL! But it’s got some gems in it and after reading a bit out of it, I had new eyes for my boys. Inquisitive. Accepting. Understanding. Listening.

Certainly on my list: Wild at Heart, Bringing up Boys, The Strongwilled Child (this should have come out with Sammy when he was born!), The Birth Order Book, Shepherding a Child’s Heart. All these in no particular order.

Well, so many books. So little time. Not to mention all the wonderful blog info that’s out there! I hope to later share about the stack of fiction books that’s crossing my threshold.

Surviving “no naps”

It was 8:41 pm when I walked out of the boys room – both asleep. Last night it was 8:32 pm. When they do nap (like on a Sunday) they don’t go to sleep until 10:30pm and that makes for a l.o.n.g. day. I can’t remember what happened on Monday night, but I had them up around 7am and they were getting cranky at Noon, at which point I fed them, read to them and we snuggled down in my bed for an hour and half nap!

I’ve been toying with “no naps” even before the holidays. It’s SO easy to go back to napping! Sometimes I don’t sleep well and I need a nap! My youngest (3 in three weeks!) could probably still use a nap, but he doesn’t want to miss anything! One thing I did try was having oldest rest on his bed with a book while I put youngest down for a nap (who likes for me to “lay down me” for him to go to sleep). This worked sometimes and Sammy and I would go do some school work and then take 30 minutes to rest (which Sammy usually fell asleep). And sometimes (when I wanted it to and even when I didn’t), Sammy would fall asleep reading his book! And Monday, I tried waking up Sammy after an hour nap – he woke up, changed positions, and went back to sleep for another 30 minutes!

So these past few days have been fairly easy to work through our afternoon “lull.” Tuesday we had organic produce co-op pick-up at 2:30, and errand, and then I took us to the park for park and bike riding time. Today we had to run a lunch into town for Dad. We’d made ourselves a picnic for the park but it was SO COLD (due to wind and no sun) that I couldn’t finish my lunch! The kids had already ran off without finishing their lunch, knowing their time was short! We’ll return on a day that the sun is out. So we picked up some Wendy’s chili on the way home, ate, I did some clothes folding while the kids played, and then I joined in for some block playing. We snuggled in a big chair for 30 minutes of Sense and Sensibility, then it was time for me to do some kitchen work. And surprisingly, the meltdowns we had encountered previously trying no naps haven’t popped up. I was on the verge of one today, but reigned myself in! LOL!

So here we are. Trying. Highly grateful for more peaceful bedtimes (for they have not always been this way even BEFORE trying no naps). To continue to survive, I hope to plan a walk to see our neighborhood horse we feed carrots to, do some art (I’m still working up the courage to do finger paints…), go see relatives, read, read, read our library books, play a game.

I think we’re going to make it.