Friday, April 20, 2012


Life is filled with changes. I don't handle the big ones well. I remember my last piano lesson. It was sad. I cried when I left. I loved my teacher so much and had spent 30 minutes with her virtually every week for several years. It was hard.

I remember going to college. I was only an hour from home, but I was homesick for days and days... I contemplated going home in the middle of the night on that first night.

I remember moving to Michigan, 13 hours from home. It was SO hard.

But the Lord helped through every stage of my life. Every time I've had to transition, He has been there. It's not easy, for we are human and that's our nature.

It's time to transition again.

I remember all four of my grandparents. I'm so glad I got to know them all pretty well! But the one I have always been closest to is my precious Granny Heidel. I remember going to her house after school... as far back as I can remember. We would always go to that brown metal cabinet and get Cheez Whiz and Ritz crackers. She loved to feed us. I remember her red Jello popsicles. Pure yum! I remember how she would always sit at her quilt frames and quilt. She was always quilting. Always! I remember how she always loved Pawpaw, and how she stood by him and was so, so sweet. I remember her always telling me what a special little girl I was. She told me what a precious little man I married and how pretty my boys were.

Life is all changing. That stage of Granny's life is complete. She has Alzheimer's. She's had it for a little while, but has gotten worse lately. Also her balance is bad and she got to where she was falling... a lot. That's not safe. So, she is now in the nursing home. On a good day, she is fine being there. She says they are good to her. But she doesn't understand why she is there. She sometimes thinks she's in a house. Sometimes she thinks she has done something bad to someone and is there because she is in trouble. She still knows us.

I saw her in the nursing home for the first time this week since we are states away. It was so sad. She cried as she hugged me. Throughout the visit, she repeated a couple stories. Mom explained to her again that she is not there because she hurt someone. I cried when I left. It is so sad! She has been such a precious woman all her life and it's hard to see her suffer.

I know God is with her. She will be fine. God will help us all through this transition.

 A reunion is coming in a beautiful City, where she'll remember. :)

Sermon in the Sink

As I was washing dishes... again... I thought of how often I wash dishes. Not a day goes by that dishes don't need to be washed. Now, days go by when I don't wash them, but I could wash at least 1 dish every day! Most days, it's a couple sink loads!

They are dirty. The forks, the spoons, the plates and bowls. They get used. They serve and hold. If they are not washed, they can't be used again...ewww...

You know, I got to thinking with my hands in those suds. We are like dishes. We are used daily for different tasks for our Master. We hold and serve. We have many jobs. But if we are not clean, we cannot be used effectively. I mean, you could eat with a dirty fork, but it wouldn't be sanitary (umm... YUCK!). Can I serve the Lord if I am dirty? Not effectively. I would leave a bad taste in someone's mouth!

How thankful I am that my Master puts me in that sudsy bath and gets rid of all my impurities. He gets rid of the crusted-on meals, the chocolate milk, and everything that is keeping me from being clean, and being used. It's usually not comfortable getting in that hot water, but it's necessary.

Next time God is "washing me," (without complaining, I might add) may I remember the sermon He taught me at the sink!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pre-Easter Pictures

I love them with bed heads! I love them with snot! I love them with dirt and grass stains! I love them with jam all over their mouths! I love them with holes in their clothes!
And I love them all dressed up!

Eva, 8 Months

"Oh, my little Eva! How fast you're growing! How beautiful you are!"

At 8 Months:

  • She wants her mommy! And she says, "Ma ma ma ma" a LOT. Oh, happy sigh. She loves me!
  • Earlier in the month, she was getting on her knees and sitting down again. Now, just yesterday she crawled. She is so cute. I almost wanted to cry because she is just growing so fast!
  • She loves her brothers. But she is starting to fuss at them when they annoy her. Both of them want to hug on her, grab her, kiss her. Sometimes they make her fall if she is on her knees or trying to stand up. She'll scream at them if they bother her! (it's cute!...for a little while longer)
  • She loves music. Sometimes if there is singing, she sings too. Loudly. :)
  • She gives big smiles to people... if I am holding her.
  • She gives big smiles to the camera! We have a ton of smiley pictures. She may be vain.
  • She is putting away the food. She hadn't gained much weight at her last checkup (less than a pound), so he wanted her to have more calories. We hit the puree pretty hard and now she eats about 3 containers of baby food a day. I can tell she's getting fatter. :)
  • She has started pulling off her head bands! I am sad.

Our girl is growing up. The longest pregnancy ever is still so fresh on my mind, her newborn days seem so recent. I cannot believe that she will turn 1 in just a few short months. :) I am so thankful for my little girl.

De-Clutter, Please!

I love my house! I mean, I LOVE it! It is so cute and meets our needs perfectly. I love the hardwood floors. I love the layout. I love my black and white bathroom. I love that we fixed it up ourselves... and it's ours.

One thing our cute little house does not have is great storage. There are a few closets, but they need work. Our bedroom closets only have one rod, and it's not even at a great height. I need closet systems, and new doors. However, we make the best of it and try to cut the clutter.

In the kitchen I have a few pieces to use for storage, a buffet, and a small 12- or 14-inch cabinet. I love these pieces and we've had them since we got married. But they get cluttered! This Spring, I've been trying to de-clutter a small area at a time so I tackled my buffet earlier this week.


Seriously cluttered. Jelly beans from last Easter, cereal boxes with about 1 inch of cereal left, empty oatmeal cans (I guess I was thinking crafts?) Ahh! I finally got to it, and threw away about a trash bag of stuff! Whoa.


Ahh.... peace and harmony, and a useful space, and food that is not expired... and a baby foot. :) I feel better.

Now, I need to do under my bathroom sink! (And our closets, and under our dressers, and... nevermind!)

My Son, the Engineer

Sometimes the boys play so creatively. Yesterday was one of those days. Jackson was playing in the yard and started using some old pipes and guttering that was laying around. (We bought a fixer-upper... and we always are!) He connected it and put bowls or buckets between each piece. It was so cute! So... I let him turn on the water hose for a couple minutes to try it out. Once, he had a pipe going up the ladder on the slide so it could go down the slide and catch another pipe at the bottom. I love it! It never worked like he thought, but it made it almost to the last pipe by the end of the day. He was so excited when it went into the bowl before that last pipe! My son... a genuis 4-year-old! :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Good Enough

This post is especially for my mom/wife friends. Those of us who stay at home have an endless job.

I have a gazillion jobs! I am a cook. It is my responsibility to daily feed my family 3 or more times. I defer to chicken nuggets way too many times!

I am a housekeeper. This one gets my goat! I have OCD and need to see a therapist probably, but I can't stand the clutter! It drives me bananas! A few weeks ago, I was bragging all over facebook about how clean my house was, and it was! It was beautiful for a couple weeks, but when you have children, it's not long before the perfection all comes crashing down. I wasn't bragging like I had it all together. I was bragging that it was clean "right now." I knew it wouldn't last long and it made me happy while it was clean. :)

I am a laundry woman. We won't even go there.

I am a mommy. I need to spend positive time with my kids. Not only do I clean, dress, feed and tuck them in. I kiss boo-boos and open drinks that are too tight, and reach toys that are too high on the shelf. I read to, and explain. Times three.

I am an organizer. Of every member of my family. I find missing, or lazily mislaid objects. I remind. I coordinate our Easter and Christmas outfits. I decide it's time for another family picture. I write "light bulbs" on the shopping list.

I am a wife. I am my husband's greatest encourager and his best friend. It takes my energy to be what he needs me to be.

Then, there are my non-home responsibilities. I have 9 piano students now and I am loving it. But it takes time. Some weeks, it takes preparation. I teach Sunday School. I try to plan my lesson early in the week. I try to make it fun for my kids. I work at it. But sometimes it's Saturday night...

I am the church pianist. That takes time. It is a job I love. But I don't have the time I would really love to put into it.

Sometimes I just want to scream, for I cannot fit all my duties neatly onto a piece of paper. My days don't start at 8:00 and have designated time slots for every job. I don't get a lunch break. I don't have employees under me (although I would take some if anybody wants to volunteer!). Don't get me wrong, I LOVE ALL my jobs! But every woman has a few moments every day when she just needs... a Dr. Pepper!

And guess what? Some days I don't accomplish one thing... and I feel useless. Useless to my husband, my kids, my church, even my God. Some days the children don't get one green vegetable. Some days, my sheets need to be changed. Some days my children are still in their pajamas at supper, I am too, for that matter. Some Sundays, I don't have a fresh new offertory to play. Some weeks go by, and we don't have a family day. And yes, some days go by and I don't read my Bible. I constantly feel "not good enough" in all my jobs.

Some days I want to give up. (Not permanently, just a chocolate break will do!)

It is in those desperate days I am reminded that I cannot do it in my own strength. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I really can't be a good Mom without God. I cannot find time to practice the piano without God. I cannot plan a healthy menu without God's leading. I need Him. He can make me "good enough." For when I live in His strength and do my best, I am "good enough."

And that's good enough for me!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Perfect Porch Mornings

We just got our porch cleaned up. It was piled for winter and has been in need of paint since we moved in almost two years ago. So, we finally got to it this beautiful week in March. The results make me happy!
The porch before, grey, peeling paint...
The swing Jamin built me last year. He did a great job, with no pattern or plan. We used it all last year, but it needed sprucing up! :)
After! Ta-da, as Timothy loves to say! :) It looks SO pretty, and I used saved up piano lesson money to buy these cushions last night. I love the finished product!
So, this morning, a few essentials to my perfect porch morning. A Bible and a KindleFire:
Fresh-from-the-oven Apple Cinnamon Muffins
A cute boy in monkey pajamas and mud boots:
And an adorable boy with sleepy eyes and a spider hat
The simple pleasures of life really are the best. We all voted to have perfect porch mornings more often! :)

The Big Event

We're all smiles today! It's been a whole season since the kick-off of the last big event!

The ramps are in place, the gas cans are filled.
The blades have been sharpened, and bolted back on!
We'll miss Daddy! We have to kiss him because he'll be gone... two hours!
It's time, it's time! It's mowing season!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Lady I Call "Mom!"

My mother...
What can be said about such a constant in my life? Someone I always counted on to be there. Someone I wanted to follow and grow up to be like. How can I begin to count all the ways she has encouraged me and uplifted me? What can be said of all the times I have laughed at her, and all the times she laughed at me? All the times I'm sure I embarrassed her as a toddler, and she embarrassed me as a sensitive teenager? :)
As time marches on, and youth is no longer as much on my side as before, I see more wisdom in my mother. She has such strength! Of all the things I admire about my mother, I think the biggest thing that stands out to me is what a godly wife she is! She has made a life of making her man happy and she has done a tremendous job at it! I have never heard my parents fight in my life. Never! There are so many things she modeled as a sweet, caring wife for my entire life. I learned so much from her.
Thank you, Mom for encouraging me. You never fail to give me a kind word about my daily struggles. You let me know that it's okay to feel overwhelmed with my little ones and my messy house. You tell me that I can do it and it will get better. You tell me to rest when I need to, and sew when I want to... within reason! ;) When something exciting happens, you are the first person I want to call. When I want to do some serious shopping, you are the one I want to go with. You are my best woman friend on this earth! I love you! :)
Happy Birthday, Mom!