Every Day Life – Spring Pictures

 So, you can tell it’s been busy here since I go into blogging hibernation.  🙂  Honestly, after Luke 14 is over, I end up in this overwhelmed funk and it takes my brain a few weeks to recover and feel like I have anything creative to give.  This year was better than before, except that I committed to teach at a Disability Ministry Conference a month later.  I know a month is a long time in between, but add a few things out of my control in there and it’s just been crazy for too long!  So anyway, here are two posts with some pictures of this spring.
 My boy turned 9!!  It’s so hard to believe.  Some days he just still seems like he still needs so much direction, and then on other days I send him to ride his bike or walk the dog around the block alone and he seems so big! 

He is teaching me so much… about myself, about my relationship with the Lord, about life.  He is so much like I was as a kid, like I am now.  He helps me understand myself, really.  But that helps me understand him too.  For that I’m thankful!


My parents came down for Luke 14 and Jacob’s birthday.  I am trying really hard to take pictures of every day things so I don’t find out I’ve missed my chance.  I don’t have enough pictures of my kids with their grandparents.
 
Mattie and our neighbor getting a few quiet minutes without the older boys in the mix.
Mattie moving her stumps (home of several imaginary friends) to a safer place in the yard) with Daddy’s help.  (I could watch my man work on big boy toys all day long!) 
These precious feet I struggle to keep clean in the warmer months.  My barefoot girl who loves to wear dresses and dig for worms…
Enjoying a good read like Mommy… 
 Chatting on her phone like Mommy…
 
Dancing… totally not like Mommy! 

life with Pepper and random pictures – third try!

If it doesn’t work this time you guys are just going to have to imagine what these photos look like.  I don’t know if this is a Picasa problem, a Firefox problem, a Blogger problem or a virus or malware problem.  Argh!

 
Bath time!  I had no idea the excitement that would ensue following a bath.  The kids were hysterical!

 
Mattie loves Pepper. Pepper tolerates Mattie.  But Pepper can’t ever complain that she doesn’t get enough attention.
Jacob loves Pepper.  I think Pepper almost loves Jacob.  😉

 
Mattie and her wares.

She had $30 of her own money to spend from her birthday.  We went to a consignment shop and she got all of this plus 2 more things that were in the laundry basket b/c they were on her body within minutes of being home!  She picked it all out herself, and I only vetoed when it was a modesty or fitting issue.  She was a very happy camper.  It was delight in the true sense of the word.  🙂 
I get a kick out of all of her skirts.  I’d be happy if I never had to wear a skirt again in my life, and have pretty much felt that way for all 34 years of my existence, I believe.  Mattie prefers a skirt or dress every day.
 
I’m so thankful for “climbing trees!”  My kids (and the neighbors) spend hours each week climbing this tree.


 
I think it’s just hot when you have this much hair!  Why she chooses the hot bricks instead of the cool grass is beyond me. 

 If it’s hot out, what better to do than play in the dog’s water?  What else would it be there for, you know?

 
And can someone tell me when a fifteen year old moved in to my house? 
Mattie LOVES to pick out her own outfits.  Some are really cute… some are horrendous! But all of them are totally Mattie.

Just in case… and an imaginary friend story

Just in case anyone wonders if I’ve given up on reading, I haven’t.  In fact, I’m almost done!  We’re down to the last two weeks, and it’s still on my list as one of my favorite things I’ve ever done.  I haven’t had time to blog about the last few weeks, though I really want to.  I’ve been sick, Mattie was sick, then we were out of town loving on a beautiful new niece and visiting my growing up family (which I can never get enough of, I must say), and I’m in the throes of Luke 14 planning for this year’s event which is April 8 & 9.  Not to mention I’m still reading about an hour each day!  Reading comes before blogging about reading.  🙂

I do want to share what the Lord is doing as I read though, so you’ll just have to wait.  I will say this: He is stirring and shaking up a lot of things I’ve thought I understood!  There is a lot I think I took a lot at face value as I was taught by others, but He’s stirring my spirit to get down into the nitty gritty on my own.  Good, good things, but things that aren’t as easy to believe as I think we’d like them to be.  It’s also been neat to jump in to the New Testament and watch the prophecy fulfillment unfold so close after reading all of the prophecies.  Honestly, I don’t think I ever really paid them much attention in the past when I’ve read them.

On a totally less spiritual note, something exciting is happening here on Friday!  I promise I’ll post about it when it happens.  🙂

And Mattie’s most recent imaginary friend story:  I heard her repeatedly telling her “friend,” Kara, “No, Kara!  That’s rude.  You must stop that!” But her bedroom door was closed, so I wasn’t quite sure what Kara was so insistent on doing.  Come to find out when I snuck up there, Kara had a terrible case of gas (helped by the beloved whoopie cushion Jacob bought Mattie for her birthday) and insisted on flatulating at the table.  Apparently, Kara thought it was quite funny!  Can you tell what happens at dinner around here?

Off to read… I’m the book of Mark behind, so I have to catch up tonight!

Coming Home

I was gone for the weekend on a (fantastic!) women’s retreat, and this sweet picture is what I saw at the bottom of the driveway when I drove in.  🙂  She was so excited to share about her weekend with Daddy and Grandmama, she was jumping up and down.  It brought me joy to drive in and be greeted – in the rain – by my sweet girl’s smiling face!  And the Lord gave me a small glimpse of the joy He feels when He sees me.

God spoke to Mattie

When I pray with my kids at night, I always ask that they would learn to hear God’s voice and learn to obey it.  A few days ago…

Mattie, running into the kitchen: Mommy! Mommy! I just heard God’s voice! I heard Him talk to me!
Me: Oh really, what did He say?
Mattie: Well, I was supposed to be brushing my teeth but instead I was playing around and I heard Him say, “Brush your teeth! Focus. Do what you’re supposed to be doing!” So I was like [rolling eyes], “Okay, okay, okay already! I’ll do it!” so I brushed my teeth and now I’m done. I did what you told me to!


Happy Birthday, Mattie!

My little girl turned FIVE yesterday!  I just can’t believe it.  In some ways she is still so little… She still loves to snuggle, she still requires so much involvement in so many ways, she still wants to be carried around for Pete’s sake!  She is still very attached to her mama – no bonding issues there!  But then she seems so big at other times… she wants to do as much by herself as possible (or more).  She wants to do everything Jacob does.  She wants to do everything everyone does, for that matter.  And there is more opinion, sass, and drama in her thirty-eight pounds and forty-two inches than I would have thought humanly possible.  For real.  I have often said about her that “I have to wake up ready to face her” every day, and that about sums it up.  I have hope that there will be a time where there are fewer battles.  (If there won’t be, don’t tell me anytime soon.)  I also know that the spunk and stubbornness will glorify God one day… He has given her the strength to move mountains when the whole world is against her!
As challenging as Mattie is, she is also full of life.  She makes us laugh more than all the rest of us put together.  She is spunky, resilient, thoughtful, complimentary, forgiving, daring and helpful.  She does want to do the right thing, even though it often eludes her initially!  She is very creative and seems to have dancing in her bones.  Dancing truly seems to be her heartbeat.
She is also all about sparkles and glitter… the sparkly-er the better, as far as she’s concerned.  Here she is opening a pair of silver glitter shoes I got for her in a moment of insanity.  I got them because I know that she‘d love them.  I, however, think they are incredibly tacky!  But I’m fairly certain I’m going to see a lot of tacky in the days ahead, so I might as well get used to it.  It’s a battle I’m (often) willing to skip.
I fear we’ll see them every day.  (And I did not make her pose like that.  She still loves to dance!)  She is also very excited of late about all of the new hairstyles available now that her hair is longer.  (And now that I think about it, is complaining less about it not being blonde and straight.) 
She received her long awaited pillow-pet. The gift that has brought the most laughter thus far, though, is the whoopie cushion Jacob bought with his own money.  🙂  He bought her that and some bubble bath, because he knows she keeps using up all of our shampoo in the tub when she’s not supposed to.
She wanted chocolate cake with pink icing.  We made the buttercream icing pink by cooking down raspberries and using the liquid to replace the milk in the recipe.  She was very pleased with it!  And I was excited to have a cake for her that she could eat until her heart’s content (because it was totally safe).

She also decided she wanted to decorate the cake herself!  Many of you know I am a woman who will never, ever fight someone over a job that involves anything in the kitchen (especially one as stressful as a birthday cake) so I was more than happy to pass this on to her!  No pressure for me and incredible pleasure for her!  She chose the toy set (we don’t buy cake toppers anymore, just small toy sets), frosted the cake and sprinkled it exactly how she wanted it.  She has also played hours with Rapunzel et al since she licked the icing off their feet.  🙂

Happy FIFTH Birthday, Mattison Joy!!  I can’t imagine life without you in it, my girl who loves to wear princess dresses and dig for worms.  I’m so thankful God gave you to us!

Such a Perfect Representation

Mattie had the neighbor boy over the other day and they both love doing art projects, so I pulled one out for their snowy playdate.  These are all incomplete for various reasons, but I couldn’t resist showing you what happened.

I made this example as I was giving them some general directions:

Here is MacGregor’s painting:
Here is Mattie’s painting:

This is just a perfect example of life with Mattie.
She does not do anything as suggested.
As long as she thinks it’s pretty, it makes no difference what anyone else thinks.
And she is very much like a walking tornado, much like her snowman.

I’m just sayin’.

******
If you’d like to complete this craft, you just paint the snowmen using marshmallows and the snowflakes using q-tips.  Then, the step I don’t have in the pictures because MacGregor took his home still wet and Mattie (no surprise) didn’t want to do it, you “dress” your snowman using markers or paints.

Kid Funnies (and a not so Funny)

We’ll go for the not so funny first:
Mattie gave us a good opportunity to be thankful for God’s protection on Wednesday.  I heard a big pop, buzz, and a breaker trip while we were heading out the door to go to piano lessons.  Went up to see what had happened and saw two of her “play” (but very real) house keys in the electrical outlet by her bed.  When she saw me she was quiet, but quickly fell apart with big tears wailing, “I’m so sorry, Mommy!!  I’m so sorry!”


The more I looked I noticed she actually melted 1/4″ off one of the keys! There was black all over her hand and the keys and rings had burn spots on them in 4 or 5 places… not to mention the black all over the outlet and the wall surrounding it.  The praise??  She actually (for once!) had shoes with rubber soles on that kept her safe.  I’m not much of a worrier, but it’s not fun to think about how badly she could have been hurt.  The keys had rings on them, so they touched each other forming a complete circuit. 


I actually wasn’t convinced enough that she would remember it. (Mattie is my repeat offender child for sure!) But when she saw the two feet of sparks when Robert tried to turn the breaker back on, I think that sealed the deal for her.  I sure hope it did anyway!

*****

Now for the funnies:
Robert gave Jacob a kiss one night while tucking him in.  Jacob said, “Quit, Dad!  Stop acting gay.”

The next night ~ 
Jacob:  Now don’t you start acting gay again…. Dad, what is gay anyway?
Robert:  Well you know.  You said it.
Jacob:  I know, but I just can’t understand it.  
Robert:  I know.  Some people think it’s okay.  They don’t think it’s sin or that God doesn’t want us to act that way.
Jacob:  Don’t they know that it will never work?
Robert (nervously):  What do you mean?
Jacob:  Well, if two men get married, there’s not going to be anyone there to do the housework, like cooking and cleaning.  That’ll never work.  Don’t they get that?  Now if two women got married, it would be okay because they know how to do that stuff.

Clearly it’s time for Robert to start doing some cooking and cleaning around here!!!

*****

The kids were going round and round with tongue twisters for several days at breakfast and lunch time.  One day, after many (very) unsuccessful attempts at Peter Piper picking a peck of pickled peppers… I heard Mattie say, “Here.  Let’s do this one!  If Peter Piper picked a tomato…”