Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sleepover - Sister Style

If you wonder what a sleepover looks like in my house. . .look no further!

Never mind that they already share a room.

Never mind that they spend most minutes of every day together.

They shriek with joy when Mommy says they can have a sleepover! Blankets come out, pillows come down from beds, they read stories together and giggle into the evening.

I always wished I had a sister. It is a great joy and privelege to watch my four girls form their own precious relationships. May they always wish for Sister Sleepovers!

How I Spent my Summer Vacation

Let's face it, you've been wondering, haven't you?

"Why hasn't she blogged?"

Yah, right. I have no delusions of grandeur that my blogging is followed by more than a few friends, but a girl can dream, can't she? Ha!

At any rate, back to my post. THIS is how I've spent the waning days of summer vacation! Yup. Making a last-ditch effort at getting our house sold, updating our two upstairs bathrooms. New flooring, new paint, and here we are!

The first bathroom picture is a "before" of our hall bath. Note the U-G-L-Y "You ain't got no alibi" nasty brown flooring. The vanity with the yellow counter. I had tried to "cutify it" with blue sponged-on paint, but, well, it still had a long way to go.

So here we are! Better, eh?

This all started with the $99 vanity on clearance at Home Depot - cabinet, sink, and faucet - what a deal! Too bad when we ripped out the old vanity, there was NO DRYWALL behind it.

***This is where I insert a big, huge shout-out to one of the most amazing friends we have - Andrew Y. In the midst of their own insanity, he spent FIVE days at our house - ripping out vanities, replacing drywall, replacing toilets, nailing in moulding - if you have never witnessed sacrificial, Christian love in action, you should have been at my house during this whole process. Thank you for being the hands of Christ, Andrew! (Oh, and you're right - the magic of caulk worked!)

Once Andrew replaced the drywall, it was my turn to paint, and lay the flooring. My dad recommended the self-stick vinyl tiles - wow, were they fun to work with! (After I got the floor leveled, that is.)

The best part was finding the right shower curtain. Old Time Pottery is just way too fun for words. The shower curtain and rug were from there, and the window curtain was from my Windsor, CT kitchen - hung with shower curtain hooks! Even Emily, my discriminating decorator, declared it to be acceptable. I love it - with the smaller vanity, it seems larger - and I'm even pleased with my departure from the "floral" theme of my life.

Next post - the dreaded Master Bathroom! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Midnight Musings

(ok, so I've been a little out-of-pocket this week! it's been a doozy. . . .)

Happiness is. . . . . . . .

rolling the last coat of paint on the wall just as the very. last. drop. is used up.

time alone to think and pray. Even if it is late at night. And I'm covered in latex paint.

my dear friend's hubby coming to our rescue, joyfully so, in the midst of their own struggles.

Yurii being back in music after a long, long absence.

Kathryn running the show today, while Mom was beyond preoccupied with remodeling.

The prospect of lunch at Panera bread tomorrow.

Nathaniel's excitement over his very first Boy Scout meeting.

and last but not least. . . . . . .


(well, mostly. Except for a little caulk and trim. But I'm tired! Pictures tomorrow. . . . )

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

for tonight

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive faill
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls

yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's
he makes me tread on my high places.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Dad Like Mine

What was my dad doing 40 years ago today?

(no, he was not sailing a boat, nor coiling a rope. I just like this picture of him.)

He was holding me in front of the television. All 3 weeks old, I was. Why? So I could say I had seen this. . . . . .

Because you know, he's that kind of guy.

I love you, Dad!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday's Sentiments

Now, if you enjoy God as your portion, if your soul can say with the Church in Lamentations 3:24, "The Lord is my portion, saith my soul,", why should you not be satisfied and contented like God?

God is contented, He is in eternal contentment in Himself; now if you have that God as your portion, why should you not be contented with Him alone? Since God is contented with Himself alone, if you have Him, you may be contented with Him alone. . . .

. . . . . and it may be, that is the reason why your outward comforts are taken from you, that God may be all in all to you.
~ The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, Jeremiah Burroughs

Friday, July 17, 2009

Recipe for Summer

First, take two sisters. . . . .

Add one very excited puppy. . . . . .
A little water action. . . . . .
Shake and combine for 30 minutes.
(or until Mom has had enough!)

And voila! Summer Happiness!
Because really. What is more the epitome of summer than swimsuits, a slip-n-slide, ice pops, and a romp in your own front yard?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Praying for Yurii

Praying for my husband today - lots of big decisions to make in the next few days.

And rejoicing that God has given me a man of such integrity and honor, who seeks His will in all things. I am beyond blessed.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Reasons I'm Glad I'm Married - Episode #634

Sing with me, everyone!

There's a frog in my ter-lit
Dear Yurii, Dear Yurii
There's a frog in my ter-lit
Dear Yurii,

Not for the faint of heart. . . I lifted the lid last night, and lo and behold THIS was there!

So glad Yurii was a) home and b) awake.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Things I Love

Why I love Desiring God Ministries -

Yurii & I are reading, "When I Don't Desire God" together for the next number of weeks.

Ta dah! Instant pdf download - man, I just LOVE that!

Doing a happy dance for the glory of God . . .

Sunday's Sentiments

(in which I post random thoughts from my weekly reading)

"VIII. The eighth thing in contentment is, Submitting and taking pleasure in God's disposal.

That is to say, the soul that has learned this lesson of contentment looks up to God in all things. He does not look down at the instruments and means, so as to say that such a man did it, that it was the unreasonableness of such and such instruments, and similar barbarous usage by such and such; but he looks up to God. A contented heart looks to God's disposal, and submits to God's disposal, that is, he sees the wisdom of God in everything. In his submission he sees his sovereignty, but what makes him take pleasure is God's wisdom. The Lord knows how to order things better than I. The Lord sees further than I do; I only see things at present but the Lord sees a great while from now.

And how do I know but that had it not been for this affliction, I should have been undone.

I know that the love of God may as well stand with an afflicted condition as with a prosperous condition. There are reasonings of this kind in a contented spirit, submitting to the disposal of God."

~Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

Thoughts as I seek true Contentment this day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Waning Days of Vacation

It's been a good trip - really - the only thing that would make it better is another three days.

Spent the morning at the beach - check out the amazing sand sculpture the girls made! Kathryn got the idea from Family Fun - they've already planned to make a seahorse on our return trip in August.

I enjoyed a few minutes of peace just sitting on the beach chair, all 5 kids old enough to be (more or less) on their own, and relished the time reflecting on the joys of a family who enjoys working together, playing together, and just being on vacation together. As Kathryn gets older and older, and her life and all of our lives get more complicated, I'm often tempted to wax nostalgic and wonder how many more of these vacations we'll have together. Live in the moment, Heather, live in the moment.

After about 27 false starts, Amy FINALLY decided to get brave and swim like a little fish! I think she doesn't have the memories of swimming in our pool back in Connecticut, so she's definitely a little more water-shy than all the others. With a lot of coaching, and encouragement from Daddy, she finally splashed around a bit. She still won't go in the lake on her own - she just sits atop the raft - but perhaps that will change when we come back in August.

So now, we're headed back. The kids have had "make your own trail mix" to pack for tomorrow, we're watching Night at the Museum, and later we'll make sandwiches for the road. Tomorrow we'll go and visit Grandma Dorothy for about an hour, and then continue on our trek south. Yurii and I are, frankly, struggling with the reality to which we are returning. But as he prayed so eloquently the other night at dinner. . . . .

Lord, let us walk by faith.

But now, we enjoy these last few hours of vacation.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Mystery Getaway

He's been plotting and scheming - and I was none the wiser.

A week ago, he'd given me a card, announcing a mystery trip once we were here in Indiana - no kids, (no puppy!), two days together.

We drove up Hwy 31, and I had no clue. Whatsoever. Which is not a mean feat, for this reforming control-freak wife.

As we drove farther north, we passed a sign for an Amish farm. When I mentioned I'd always wanted to visit one, I was met with stony silence. Once we turned on Hwy 6, and I exclaimed, "Hey, this is where that farm is! Can we stop by on our way to - well, wherever we're going?" He couldn't keep silent any more.

SO - this is what Yurii had planned . . . . . . . . .

First stop - Amish Acres in Nappanee, Indiana. While not an actual working farm (much to Yurii's dismay!), it was an accurately preserved Old Order Amish farm from the early 1900s. We learned Amish history, enjoyed an amazing Thresher's dinner in the barn, and got to see the musical "Plain and Fancy" in the round barn.

And the best part about the evening? We ended up sitting behind 6 Amish women, who laughed uproariously at lines that the rest of the audience found only moderately amusing.

Day Two: Masterworks Music Festival in Winona Lake, Indiana

Yurii & I had read about the Masterworks Festival - the summer festival for the Christian Performing Artists' Fellowship - in World Magazine many, many years ago. Not too surprisingly, it piqued our interest and we vowed to visit someday. Although we came in the middle of the week, and were only able to see an orchestra rehearsal, it was inspiring nonetheless. Providentially, we were even able to meet and speak with Patrick Kavanaugh, the founder and director.

As an added bonus, we were able to visit the Billy Sunday museum. Ever heard of him? Billy Sunday was a famous baseball-player-turned-evangelist who lived and preached in the earliest twentieth century, mainly supporting the prohibitionist movement. Most sobering fact of the day- although Sunday is estimated to have preached to one hundred million people, his three sons were noted alcoholics and womanizers. What profits a man to gain the whole world and lose his sons? (ok, translation mine)

We came away rested, refreshed, encouraged, and inspired.

And I felt dearly loved and appreciated.

What more could a girl want for her birthaversary present?

I love you, honey. Thanks for 18 never-dull years - may the Lord allow us many, many more to serve together for His glory.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Joining Blogdom at Last...

Nothing profound. Nothing earth-shattering. Nothing even worth linking to.

I am at last joining the world of bloggers! More to come - for now I'm just playing with a few things, but enjoy this picture!

And if you can't find any joy in that picture - well, then, you just need a good dose of Joy in your Journey!