About Me

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After being told I would never be able to have children, I am now a stay-at-home Mommy to Maddie who happens to have Down Syndrome. I've been married 16 years to my best friend, having the time of my life. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our little journey through life.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What Are These Books Doing To Me!?

Ah! Books!  
These books keep messing with my awesome life!  
It all started with Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy

Then it was Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

Now, it's 7:An Experiemental Mutiny Against Excess
7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

Before reading Choosing Gratitude, I would have told you I was a grateful person...uh, yaaa....I'm gonna have to back to you on that.  This book explored depths of gratitude I never knew existed.  
And when you find these new discoveries, it changes who you are... 
like I can't hear a worship song anymore without crying my eyes out.
 Geeesh, thanks gratitude!
Good-by composure, it was nice knowing ya... hello blubbering mess.

This  tilled the fertile soil of my soul for Crazy Love.
ay, ay, ay...talk about turning your awesome life upside down.
Seriously, no new bedroom makeover?
Fine. Only because I love you Jesus.  

But that wasn't enough!  
It's like the angels in heaven are conspiring against me and my awesome life.  
"Let's give her this one and she what she does with this," they say as one nudges the other in the side.  
What's worse my sister was in on this one.  
She's the one who told me about the book.  
So enters 7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.  
I put my name on the library's waiting list September 4th.  
I checked it out September 20th.  
I finished it September 23nd.
I would have totally finished on the 20th had my family not required food and such.
It was that good.  

The premise of the book is about cutting back on things for yourself and your junk and making room for Jesus and his kingdom.  
It's about self-denial, which leads to self-awareness.  
It's about caring more for your neighbor than your comforts.  
It's good stuff.
Stuff I hope to implement very soon.  
And now, if you'll excuse me I think I have a memorial service to plan for my former awesome life!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Who Could Resist Painting?!

It's simple and fun.  

This week is Adam and Eve and apples.  
(Although, we are still wrapping up the days of creation from last week.)

Maddie loved yesterday because it involved one of her favorite things ever...painting!

She has always been very sensory-aware; give her a paintbrush and it will go right on her hands.  
She can't NOT put it on her hands, it just feels so good! 

and why should the hands have all of the fun..arms have feelings too!

The great thing is she loves to make messes, but she also loves clean up (yay!! the best of both worlds!)

We made a tree and today we get to add the apples on our tree!  
So much to look forward to : ) 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One Perfect Solution

Don't you love it when you are wondering how you are going to accomplish something and then you stumble upon the perfect solution!!

That's what happened a couple of weeks ago for me.  
I was talking with my sister and asking advice on what activities to do with Maddie, how to structure our days, etc.  
She had some good advice...keep it simple.  30 minutes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday sometime between 2-4pm.  
It was brilliant.  
I have a bad habit of thinking things have to be too complex and they have to include this and that and then I can't do this if I don't also include that, and oh yeah, what about this, wouldn't it be fun if I could also work that in, etc.
So, consequently not much ever gets accomplished because I make projects far bigger than they should be.  
So, I had my structure in place, but what to do?  

And then I found this blog, Motherhood on a Dime
She has already developed curriculum meant for preschoolers for a total time of 30-45 minutes 4 days a week!!
Not only does she include skills like letters, numbers, counting, etc; but she also includes a bible lesson.
Super Perfect.
home preschool curriculum

Oh yeah and it's FREE!!
Super Duper Perfect.

We began week 2 this week.  
Here's the teaching basket of supplies I gathered...

We talked about the creation story and sang the days of creation. 
Every time I try to sing to Maddie, she puts her hand up and says, "no, no, no"
Smart girl, she knows bad singing when she hears it! : )  
So, we watched it on youtube instead.

Then we talked about how God made a beautiful garden.  
And beautiful gardens begin with tiny seeds.  

And then we "planted" our seeds to watch how they sprout...

Then we read Lois Ehlert's Planting a Rainbow.

We also worked on zippers.  Maddie did really well with this one!  Which is great because it's one of the skills on her Individualized Education Plan (IEP) at school.  

I'm really trying to encourage her to dress herself too. 
She still needs some help with pants but she manages her shirts all by herself.
She somehow gets them turned inside out and backwards, but hey...it's on!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Perfect Timing

After the morning I had yesterday, I was ready for some play time with Maddie in the afternoon.  
At preschool they are learning about the letter B and talking about bears all week.  
So I stopped by the library and picked up the book Blueberries for Sal, one of my favorite children's books!

Blueberries for Sal

We read it and then set out with our pail to see if we could find berries in the back yard.  
And when you have a pail and a sandbox, you can't pass up the opportunity to fill it.
So first we filled the pail with sand...
and then set out on our adventure!

We searched...
 and searched...
and searched.

Maddie navigated the terrain very well!

 When there were no berries to be found, we resorted to filling the pail with other great treasures.

like leaves...
and sticks, and rocks.  

We talked about what kind of sound each of them would make in the pail.  
"Would it go "kurplunk" like the berries?"

I thought we would have a lot of contrast with the leaves and the sticks, but you might be surprised  how loud a crinkly leaf can be!!

There was lot of time for running and playing and being silly too!

And at bedtime, it only took 10 minutes for her to crash into a deep sleep!

So, my morning wasn't perfect.
But the time spent with Maddie was!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Yin Yang of Work Life Balance

If this blog were a real person, it would have totally unfriended me by now.  
 I ignore its requests to hang out, and it's been a long time since I've returned its calls.  

I haven't been very loyal to it lately.  

But there's a reason!  

I refuse to use the excuse that my life is "crazy busy."
It's kind of a pet peeve of mine.  We're all busy.  
I will say instead that as more and more things are added to our calendar, there's a lot of work that needs to be done with time management and balancing it all.  

I used to love to be busy.  BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!!!  I felt alive and important.  
I loved the challenge of keeping all of the plates spinning. 

Not anymore.  

I hate busy.  

But sometimes life gives us busy and I'm navigating the rocky waters to try to make it work.

Here's a glimpse in my crazy mismanaged life.  
On one side of my master bath you see a newly re-organized linen closet
Ah!  Feels good.

But a quick glance to the right and you'll see the laundry I've neglected all week

Here's a view of my recent check outs at the library
Ah!  Feels good to constantly be working on photography skills.  

I set a goal last year to read through the Bible.  A look into my bookmark and you'll see that I'm still in Exodus!!  Got a long way to go...
Although I will point out that I have been reading some other books of the Bible...not very good at sticking with plans!! 

And to top it all off, as I was typing this blog post a hear a knock at the door.  
Who could that be?  

Oh, it's just a client showing up for a photo shoot!!  

Yep...totally forgot.  

Luckily, Melinda was patient with me and waited while I set the backdrop up and she graciously overlooked the clutter! (Thanks girl, you're awesome like that!)

But the morning gets even better.  
As I head off to pick up Maddie from preschool I hear stuff rolling around in the back.  
What could that be?

Oh, it's just the groceries (including milk) I bought two hours ago after dropping Maddie off.  

Yep...totally forgot. 

So, there may be a few things I'm doing well but balancing it all...no way.  
Not. even. close.

It's definitely a work in progress and I'll close with saying that I have not worn make-up in two days because I have inconveniently temporarily misplaced my make-up bag!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A VERY Close Call

Last night my Dad was on his way to work when he was hit by a drunk driver.  He miraculously has no broken bones and sustained no major injuries aside from a concussion. 

Psalm 139:5 says, "You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head."
Psalm 34: 19-20 "The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.  For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken!"

We are incredibly thankful and praise God for his protection. 
Dad never drives this truck to work. 
He probably would not have fared as well in the Camrey he usually drives. 

I'm personally reminded of the frailty of life. 
This is the second close call for Dad in the last year. 
Almost a year ago, he broke his leg when a tractor slipped out of gear and ran over him. 

There's got to be a joke in there somewhere...part cat with nine lives? 

(We tend to use humor to deal with things in my family.) 

But in all seriousness, I don't want to imagine life without Dad. 
I still consider him larger than life, there's nothing he can't do, hero to me kind of Dad. 

I love you, Dad!
Get well soon and make the most of your two second chances. : )   
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