{Thanking with Succulents}

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday was our last day of our homeschool co-op for the spring semester! That seems early, but I was ready. The stuff needed to teach two classes and send three kiddos to classes for 6 hours, is overwhelming. I start packing Sunday afternoon and don't stop until we're on the road with my two travel mugs of coffee in the cup holders Monday morning.

Okay, enough whining. Every other mom who is a part of our co-op works just as hard at making the experience as enjoyable and beneficial to each child. So, on this last day, I brought little mugs of thanks for the moms who teach my kids and the moms who assisted my classes. (stay tuned for pics of how we wrapped up the Little House class)

Mugs were from the Dollar Tree, where I am pretty certain every homeschool mom frequents on a regular basis. Succulents and ferns were from Lowes. Each gift was under $5.

And, I had to give myself some love....

For more succulent inspiration check out the Nesters post where she used old milk glass containers she'd collected over the years.

{A Mother's Bouquet}

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The last time when you ran to me
Still small enough to hold
The last time that you said you'd marry
me when you grew old
Precious simple moments and
bright flashes from your past--
Would I have held on longer
if I'd have known they were your last?
-from Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kinsgbury

Belle is five and still brings me flowers every time we step outside. And every bouquet is sweet and appreciated. I'm not sure when she will get too busy to bring them to me or when it will no longer occur to her to pick something for me. So for now, I treasure each and every little handful.

Thanks, Emily, for starting Tuesdays UnWrapped at Chatting at the Sky to remind us to celebrate the small things!

{A Toile Playroom Organizer}

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm a day late for the Toile Party at the Pretty Organized Palace, but since I have a Pretty Toile Organizer for our playroom, I had to share.

These are actually two stackable bins from Target that I just stuck side by side and added a toile cushion for a window seat. Nothing permanent, but it works for the space now!

{The Waiting Game: Baby Bjorn Cover}

Monday, March 23, 2009

"Bonding and attachment in adoption are the most fundamental issues in a successful adoption. Adopted infants, no matter what age when adopted, have experienced great stresses - separation, isolation, new environment, new sounds, grief, loneliness and fear and require extra attachment promoting care.

Babywearing not only helps meet the infants need for security and reassurance it will also greatly enhance the bonding process." instinctiveparenting.com

So this weekend I dug out my Baby Bjorn and slip covered it-super easy and used less than a half a yard of fabric total! Might just have to make another...

For those of you who have used wraps, slings, bjorns and maitais, what kind of carrier do you recommend for a one-year old?

{Kindergarten Spring Break}

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Break didn't change much around here...our coop didn't meet, but we still did our schoolwork each morning. And the weather was amazingly perfect. So today we kidnapped Daddy for lunch at a park close to work.

Later, we picked dandelions to use for painting pretty pictures...it seemed like a spring break thing to do...

{Spring is Close!}

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Remember these White Verbena pictures I shared last fall in a note-to-self-post? Spring is days away! (Happy Birthday, Mom!) So I'm getting my pots ready...

This is how it's done:

pictures: A Soft Place to Land

{The Writing on the Wall}

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Two weeks ago I posted about the two ways in which we maintain and build our relationship with God: spending time in His Word and in Prayer. This is how we maintain and build any relationship- taking the time to listen and talk.

Psalm 1:2 even goes further and admonishes us to meditate on His Word day and night.

And this is not only for God's glory but also, provisionally, for our benefit. When His Word is always on our mind, we have peace the instant a situation arises. When His Word is always on our mind, temptation does not have as strong a lure. When His Word is always on our mind, we can find the fun in play-doh, again...okay, so I'm speaking from current experience.

So, lately, I have been looking for ways to take in small but powerful sips of God's promises throughout my day. CD's of sermons in the car, christian books tucked into my purse/diaper bag for a spare moment, and posted verses and quotes around my house.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (New Living Translation)

4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.[a] 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

How do you keep His Word always on your mind? I'd love to hear!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Since I get asked almost daily (well every day I make it out further than the mailbox, that is) what the latest is with our adoption, I thought all sixteen of you who read PajamaMama would like another Adoption Update post. Am I right? 'Course, I'm right...so here goes...

Well, we’re still waiting for our referral.

(Again, Referral= moment in which your adoption agency calls and says, “Are you ready to meet your child?” and you continue to hold your breath for the rest of the day as you wait for the email containing pictures, histories and medical reports on your real live boy or girl). After that wait, you... wait some more. This time for a court date when a judge determines this child is in fact yours. Then, another antsy wait while you get everything ready for a trip of a lifetime and another member of the family.

We've been on the official waiting families list for 3 months now, which means that we should be half way to The Phone Call. (For some free-time-filler, search for 'adoption referral phone calls' on youtube...and I dare you not to cry)

And, you are now up to date. We are about half way to the half way mark. Pretty exciting, I know. Maybe next week I'll fill you in on what I've been doing while waiting....maybe.

{The Main Thing}

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weary by Edward Radford, 1887

"The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." -Stephen Covey

I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, among other things. And in each role, the main thing is the same. My relationship with my God. I cannot be the wife God designed me to be, or the mother God desires me to be or any other position I attempt to fill without keeping God at my center.

I have been listening to an audio series by Sono Harris on Biblical priorities as a homeschooling mom from the recommendation of the SAH Missionary (although really, I think everything Sono has said in the three messages pertain to every Christ-follower). According to Sono the two ways to maintain our relationship with God are studying His Word, the Bible, and spending time in prayer. Without these practices our hearts will become stale, cold and jaded. Our joy will be a memory we can vaguely recall. And more overtly, our sacrificial work in whatever role to which we are called, will be pure drudgery.

Last week, that was the state of my heart, my joy, my work. Drudgery.

And I was tired, even with seemingly enough sleep for an infant.

I love my kids, my husband, my home. I really do. But I found myself getting frustrated at having to do simple tasks for my kids. And where was the joy in getting on the floor with them or reading their current favorite book? Things weren't bad, just lackluster.

But I had forgotten what the main thing was. Or maybe I had too many things vying for the main thing. A clean house, well-behaved children, a strict budget, a small waistline, maybe even more comments per posts (gasp!) Just gettin' real here, people!

Well, I didn't let Sono's message go unheard. I was desperate and found hope in her words. And the words in an email from my cousin who encouraged me to get away for even a few hours. So, I treated myself to lunch at Wendy's with my Bible and my notepad, to jot down every new or refreshed understanding. And I actually talked to God about the state of my heart, confessing that I had let go of the main thing.
And let me tell you, please, that I was given joy, energy and perspective. I can sing that He gives beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, peace for despair.

I now know too, that only God can refresh a weary mom.

***UPDATE: I must give a big Shout-Out "THANK YOU!" to my awesome in-laws for treating my kids to their favorite lunch, pizza, fries and ice cream, while I was getting my priorities straight at Wendy's! Thanks, Giddo & Tata!)