8:25pm the kids have been in bed for 25 minutes with strict instructions to be still and go to sleep. no one took a nap today and everyone was on the down hill plunge. i hear laughing and crying. i walk into the room to see julia retreating up the bunk bed ladder, hoping to escape me actually seeing her out of place. katie is sobbing, "julia, got of her bed and was trying to tickle me!"
julia is forcefully taken into our bedroom. when the consequences to her actions are being discussed, she says, "mom, it was my brain that said to me, 'I wonder what it would be like to get out of bed and tickle Katie?' so, it's not my fault, it is totally my brain's fault!"
julia did not get points for creativity. she got a lesson about taking responsibility for her actions, regardless of what other voices are telling her to do, even the voices of her very own brain!!
Thanks to my sister for the title of today's post!
Fatigue, not to be confused with tired. Fatigue is this life-sucking rain cloud that hovers over our lives and leaves us with nothing to give; spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically! Sleeplessness can lead to fatigue. But so can overcommitment, sin, and a lack of good, clear, boundaries. Fatigue is a symptom that our life is out of balance. We like to excuse away fatigue by saying, "I have no choice!" But we DO have a choice. We can try and do it all, but we will not be able to do it all well. This looks VERY different for all of us. Some of us were made with the ability to juggle and juggle well. Others of us get paralyzed by too many "things". I was explaining to someone that I know when things in my life are out of balance when the nucleus of my life begins to become unsettled. That nucleus is my relationship with my God, my relationship with my husband, my relationship with my kids, and my relationship with my family. And if I am in tune with these relationships I will spot the warning signs and dump the "extras" in my life until all is settled. But when I am not in tune, sometimes I have to be kicked on my butt before I wake up and see the damage I have caused. Since about February God has been trying to get my attention. I became VERY ill in February (I don't think God struck me ill, I believe I was susceptible to illness b/c I was living in fatigue), due to fatigue I contracted a dangerous bacterial infection that probably would have killed me 100 years ago. I was on my back for five straight days. 3 hospital visits, 5 life saving antibiotics, and 4 weeks later I was beginning to recover. That was the beginning. Since February, I have been on a journey I never wish to walk through again, but I wouldn't change for anything. It wasn't until about a month ago that I believe I came full circle and realized the bondage I was living in because I was trusting in my oppression (Isaiah 30:12) and not on the rescuing heart of My God (Isaiah 61:1). I had caused A LOT of damage while I walked the path of denial, selfishness, and fatigue. Fatigue eliminates true life. John 10:10 tells us this, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly!"
This last month I feel like I am rediscovering that abundant life, and it is truly a time of celebration in my heart. There is NOTHING more satisfying than the true life that our Savior has to offer. And unfortunately, fatigue can cloud and even destroy what He has for us. I pray that we will all experience the abundant life and avoid ALL the things which hinder it's fullness.
Here is to living,
Literature Plug: Sidetracked In The Wilderness by Michael Wells
ok, so the ONLY valid excuse for getting out of bed at bedtime is, "i need to use the restroom." all other excuses are a swift way to walk the walk to mom and dad's bedroom for, ahem, a reminder.
tonight lucy came out of her room. she didn't even plead that she needed to use the restroom to avoid the less than comfortable walk. however, she did plead that her belly button was broken..... her creativity gained her a pass.
we are hoping that 2010 is not as drama filled as 2009:
here is the 2009 story, written November 1st, 2009:
if yesterday is in any way foreshadowing to a future prom or wedding, i need to start therapy NOW!
we have been talking for nearly a year now that the kiddos were going to be "wizard of oz".. they suggested it and have been talking it up ever since. julia was going to be dorthy, katie was going to be toto, lucy scarecrow, mark tinman, me the lion and anderson oz. we had no costumes made, but the wheels were turning. monday of this last week katie decided she did not want to be toto but rather a ballerina. and the drama began. i really was ok with her not being toto. julia wanted to stick with dorthy and lucy vocalized for the first time she wanted to be cinderella. ok, ok, ok, we can work with this. we have a cinderella costume in house, a ballerina costume in house, ruby reds in house for dorthy, and mom and dad (clint and val) bought anderson a tux. PERFECT! with a little of this and a little of that, halloween was going to be very low maintenance. since the kids were taken care of mark started brainstorming about our costumes (since we were relieved of the tin man and lion) and he came up with the BEST idea. saturday morning we had a few minor things to put together for the kids and then we were going to work on OUR sweet costumes for the rest of the day. lucy tried on her outfit first... perfect. katie put on her ballerina stuff...perfect.. julia was in the midst of finding the ruby red shoes and the melt down took place....THE RUBY REDS WERE MISSING!! i started digging through the closets and i had this sinking feeling that i threw them in the "megan" bag and they were currently warming the shelf at the Regier house. ok, no ruby reds... we were going to have to take a "quick" trip to target to find some. while we were at target julia found an ariel costume that she preferred, and it was the same price as the shoes... mark and i agreed she could have ariel. while julia was enjoying her costume katie had this realization that her costume was "not enough".. but mark and i thought it was best if katie did not get a "new" costume but rather stick with the costume she had already picked out earlier in the week... katie just sobbed!! mark and i decided that we could "spice" up the ballerina with some kind of "addition" maybe a cat ballerina, maybe princess ballerina. katie, through red eyes, and a choked up throat, said, "a, a, a,... butterfly... ballerina" *sob*!
after returning home for our "quick" outing, we put the kids straight down for a nap. (the melt downs had taken their toll). we had 4 hours to create a butterfly, carve a pumpkin, and make our AMAZINGLY cool costumes.. we could make a butterfly out of pipe cleaners and glitter... no pipe cleaners and no glitter in the house. what we did have was moving boxes, tissue paper, and construction paper. amazingly enough mark created the coolest butterfly wings EVER.. no store bought thing could EVER compare! the only down side was the afternoon was quickly slipping away from us and it became very clear that we only had time for the butterfly wings and pumpkin. OUR costumes would have to go unmade. and really that was ok with us b/c in the end we had the cutest, most beautiful, well rested, Ballerina Butterfly, Ariel, Cinderella, and "Gentle-Man" around.
eD eArL even came along for trick-or-treating and introduced us to his daughter, erlene. isn't she lovely?
enjoy the pics. we really did enjoy our day... ;)
p.s. oh, you want to know our really cool costumes... a pig and a bird...get it? swine flu.... ;0 ;0
I know, i know it's not like they are climbing into a car and driving away at 17 and 15. But this moment, the one above, kind of stung. It stung in this chamber of my heart that I protect very carefully. The chamber is, "i am raising them to let them go!" That day is not today, or tomorrow, but THAT day is assuredly coming. The pitter patter of their feet will someday no longer be heard in the halls of my home. Their giggles and curls will turn into laughs of grown women and the locks of the pursued. And that picture, the one above proves that they are growing. despite my best efforts. And just for moment I fell to pieces.
I can't count the times we have been to D.C., I guess I could if I looked back through my calendar. It's A LOT! But it never gets old. DC lives up to everyone's expectations. You are wrapped in endless history that is so much bigger than 2010. People who live here rarely visit DC. That makes me sad. 60 short miles from street after street of wonderfulness. Katie and I have covered YEARS of history field trips in 18 months. I hope she remembers them. I know we will look back at the oodles of pictures from our trips to DC, and we will sigh a nostalgic sigh. All you King Georgians need to go visit the "city" while it's fall, you are missing out. And everyone else who wants to see DC, come see us!!!!!...... we are proving to be pretty good tour guides!
BEFORE October 21st, 2005, I was pretty sure that I had the whole parenting thing down. Katie was nearly two, I could count on ONE hand the actual battles we had "fought" with her. Katie, slept thru the night at 11 weeks and was more scheduled as a toddler than I was as an adult. She understood and acted upon, "first time obedience" and Mark and I thought we were looking good. I had NEVER lost my patience with Katie, and I had NEVER raised my voice at her. I was well rested. Ready for my picture to be on the "mother of year" poster. I was well adapted to motherhood, and THEN.....
October 21st, 2005. It was 8 am, and I was being admitted to the hospital. I was four centimeters dilated and prepared to labor "naturally" until I reached a 7. At which time I was going to have an epidural and VOILA!, our next baby, whose gender was unknown, would come into the world. He was going to be named Anderson Joshua. I just KNEW it was a boy.
At 10:45 am, I was crying through the contractions and was ready for the epidural. The nurse checked me said I was dilated to a 6 1/2. She went to fetch the doctor. All I kept thinking was relief was minutes away. The doctor came in and I almost kissed her, thinking that the 6 inch needle was on its way into my back.
She smiled and said, "Sara, the baby is ready, we don't have time for an epidural, it's time to push!!"
"What the (*&^% ?????"
"Oh, no I am at a 6 1/2, and I am at the perfect stage for the epidural."
The doctor said, "no!" The face I wanted to kiss 30 seconds ago, now I wanted to spit at!" (P.S. I loved, loved, loved, my OBGYN, but labor makes you think and do crazy things!!)
Then, at 11:21am, the most pain I have EVER felt in my whole life consumed my body, noises from the pit of hell emerged from my mouth, and while my eyes were rolling into the back of my head, I pushed out a baby. ( Believe it or not after all that, I did choose to give birth naturally again, that's another post for another day.) They could have told me she was a monkey. I didn't care. I had NO emotional response to them saying, "GIRL!!!" All I knew is that the pain was over. This is why we found out the gender with Lucy and Anderson. I wanted to have an emotional response, not just a physical response when the gender was announced.
That was the beginning of Julia Waitz Littlejohn, writing HER own story, in her OWN way, and marching to the beat of her OWN drum.
Going from one to two was the hardest adjustment for me. I struggled with depression, and being totally paralyzed by the tasks that were thrown at me day after day after day. A two year old and a new born have a way of leaving you with nothing to show except dark circles and a broken spirit. Just as I was getting my feet on the ground, a now nearly four year old katie, a 2 1/2 year old Julia and a 1 year old Lucy, things changed again. Julia changed again. We were living in King George, VA for 10 short weeks. It ended up being the longest 10 weeks of my life. Julia was strong willed. Julia was 2. The two characteristics collided into each other, and some type of combustion took place in our household.
Julia fought us about EVERYTHING. There was not ONE request I could make that she didn't buck her head, and her strong will against. She did the exact opposite of what I asked her to do. And she NEVER obeyed the first time. There are not enough fingers and toes in this world to count the battles that we have had with Julia. But we had a battle plan!! First, the prayers of her grandparents, her aunts and uncles, and our dear friends sustained Mark and me, and protected Julia from Mark and me. ;) Second, Mark and I had to continually have "come to Jesus meetings", begging, pleading, crying, that the Lord in His sweet favor would show us how to mold Julia's spirit without breaking her. And for a short season that meant that Julia had to learn that we as her parents were going to win EVERY battle. She was two, and she was longing for boundaries and somebody to show her who was boss. She wanted to know if we were serious. And if we were going to be serious EVERY time.
I thought I was emotionally and physically drained before we entered that season of intentional discipline and heart ache with Julia. I was clueless. Ask my mom, my mother-in-law, my sister, this was the BIGGEST battle that Mark and I had to conquer for the well being of one of our children. We weren't fighting against Julia, we were storming the gates of hell on her behalf. We knew that if her spirit was not molded, that her heart would be the devil's playground. My sister's words were finally the turning point for me when she said, "Sara, God made Julia strong willed, you have to get out of the way and LET GOD get to Julia!" That didn't mean that we stopped disciplining. It just gave me a big picture kind of mentality. It just reminded me that God was and is going to use her strong will for His glory.
That very difficult battle began to dwindle about six months later when she turned 3, it clicked. The constant butting of heads began to be less and less. While her spirit was being molded, MY spirit was being molded too. We still have drop, down, drag-outs with her, but it's so very different.
God has great things in store for my determined, passionate, little girl. He knitted her together in my belly with His very finger tips. He knew what He was doing when He gave her to Mark and I. And He has equipped us in EVERY WAY to guide her. I get so overcome with emotion when I think about who she is today. She is brave, confident, creative, sensitive, and so very strong willed (you can see it in her eyes in the picture above. The way she is biting her lip... WATCH OUT!).
Today, Julia turns five.
Julia, you have made your daddy and I EARN our parent badges with blood, sweat, and tears. But not for ONE SINGLE SECOND would we have it any other way. I am so glad you were a girl, I am so glad you were my Julia, and I am so glad that I am your Mama.
Happy birthday to the fiercest, most fiery, most fabulous five year old I know!!
this morning julia and lucy just sat on the toilet and watched me get ready for the day. i pulled out the moisturizer and julia said, "what is that?"
i said, "it's special lotion for my face."
"oh, it's because you are getting so old, right?"
"um, yeah. thanks, jules!"
the only way to be in the bathroom alone is to double lock myself in the bathroom. i lock my bedroom door, then i lock the bathroom door, and AH.... sweet silence!
i have had many conversations with you guys while locked in the bathroom.
i have cried many tears locked in the bathroom (sometimes motherhood is TOTALLY overwhelming)!
i wanted to lock myself in the bathroom this past week out of shear embarrassment.
we host bible study at our home once a week. all 13 of the kids play outside and in the basement. while we were in the middle of discussing our book, "Prodigal God" Lucy burst in the back door and announced loudly, "it is too long for us to be out here." i jumped out of my seat and picked her up, while i was carrying her outside she continued, " and it's too freakin' scary out here!" i almost fell over... ;) ;)
i am grateful that our home group laughed.
" freakin' " is not mine or mark's filler word. we say, "oh, my stars!" and, "seriously?" and "what the crap?" i will not reveal whom in our life uses this filler ;)
Guilt tickling, fear binding, Pharisaical spewing, church signs that only reveal the heart of those whom are guided by guilt, fear, and religiously based motivation. NOT based on the overflow of their deep passion and LOVE for their Savior. Most church signs make me want to chunk tomatoes all over them in embarrassment. No wonder people are adamantly opposed and scarred by the church.
My least favorite signs.
There are NO excuses for these people. I am ashamed of these signs. They do not represent the God of the Bible. Nor do they represent the sweet, sweet, message of the gospel.
"If you love your family and God, come to church"
I am really glad that my love for my family nor my love for God is weighed in my attendance to church. My love for both my family, and my God is a gift that has been given to me regardless of the gold stars that your church is handing out. Sunday mornings are THE hardest mornings in our house. The devil himself sends devil-inklings, to stir up chaos, mischief, apathy, sadness, and tension. Most Sunday's you can find me crying in the car on the way to church. Not because I don't want to go to church ( we love you Grace) , but because I really feel like a spiritual battle is being waged in the hearts of people, and the church is missing her mission. Maybe because they are too busy picking out really clever, guilt, fear, and hell quotes to put on their sign.
"If you don't pray, He won't hear you!"
Again, so grateful that MY God is so particularly aware of my every move, breath, sigh, song, sadness, and praise that I don't need elegant jabberwocky to impress or move Him to hear me.
The list of church signs that make me quiver is ENDLESS.
I am NOT against church signs. my dad has had a church sign for years. and his is THE BEST. he is funny, witty, GRACIOUS, and hello....... LOVING! Not using scare tactics to get people in the building.
The church has lost her way. She has forgotten her first love. She has forgotten the fragrance that she is to be revealing.
i've been writing too much, and not putting up enough pics of the kids. i will lose my most faithful fans if i don't post up the real gold in this world ;)
anderson got his first "big boy" boo-boo. every time i turn around i am hearing another tale of a little boy splitting his head open. rarely, is it a little girl. today, anderson spilt his head open. when he walked into the kitchen i couldn't see his nose or mouth b/c blood was pouring down EVERY WHERE. thankfully, no stitches, just a band-aid and extra TLC. he is feeling fine.
if i had one picture, ONE picture to describe lucy this would be it:
Our sweet friends, Lindsey and Jason, welcomed their baby girl, Adelaide Elizabeth, into the world on Tuesday. I do have pictures, but I want them to get home, get settled, and introduce their little one to world via cyberspace. It's a parents right of passage ;)
I had not held a new born since Anderson was born nearly 19 months ago. Typically, when our youngest is about 19 months I am about ready to give birth to the next. Not the case this time. And actually it is a sweet, sweet relief. I have LOVED the baby years, but I am going to LOVE the big years just as much.
As I was recounting my visit to Mark, I was telling him how beautiful the little lady was, how Lindsey had the Mama glow, and how Jason was one of the proudest new dad's I had ever seen. We went on to reminisce our newborn days. We smiled the smile of, "been there, done that!", kissed each other and out of my mouth came, "now we can lay down and go to sleep for 8 uninterrupted hours, poor Jason and Lindsey they'll be up all night!"
The anti-sleep gods heard me.
I fell asleep at 11:30.
Between 11:30-5:30, Anderson woke me up 3 times, Lucy woke me up twice, and Julia woke me up twice. That is seven times in 6 hours.... averaging out at being awakened every 48 minutes (this is VERY abnormal for us, I am hard core about the amount of sleep my kids get). My newborn babies gave me much more sleep than that.
So now that it's pouring down rain, and the bed is calling my name I think I'll go lay down, oh wait someone is crying!!
a classic game that every child should have the privilege of playing.
when i was sick as a dog and prego with jules, katie and i played H.A.G.S. like this..... i layed on the couch with a trash can by my head... she would go hide while i counted, and when i said, "ready or not......" she would pop out from whatever hiding spot she had found and come get me. it worked out perfectly.
the game has evolved very nicely. now we actually all hide while someone comes and finds us. when ever the seeker has felt they she/he has given it a valiant effort at looking with no success, she/he will say, "somebody make a noise!" in other words, " i am getting impatient, somebody give me a hint." if the hiders take longer than, oh 3 seconds, the seeker, than irritated, calls out, "if you don't make a noise this minute, i give up, i quit!!" and so is the cycle of H.A.G.S. in the Littlejohn house.
i am pretty sure this is how we sometimes respond amidst trials, hardship, pain, grief, weighty decisions, and life in general.
"God, this part of my life is REALLY painful, where are you? Do you hear the breaking hearts on this earth? Do you see the sobbing humans as we fumble and try to make sense of the cards we have been dealt. We are tired of looking and not finding. We are getting impatient, frustrated, and overwhelmed. We need a hint. We need a clue. Could you make some noise, God?"
And then if God doesn't send a rainbow, or doesn't speak to us audibly, or doesn't drastically change our circumstances over night with a miraculous healing, or a blank check, a baby, a job, a house, a clear arrow pointing in the direction we are suppose to go. We waver, plead, and threaten, "God, if you don't make a noise this minute, I give up, I quit!!"
I am so convicted by my own children's words.
The beauty of it is that HE IS MAKING NOISE. everyday, and in every corner of this world. His unfailing, non-compromising, unshakable, unmistakable, solid, unwavering, passionate, intimate, dedicated, overwhelming, LOVE FOR US, is there... calling out for you and for me! It is in the perfected axial tilt of the earth, in a newborn baby (welcome sweet adelaide!!), in a sunset, in a dinner table with food, in a bank account with just enough, in a daughter's dance, in a mother's voice, in a changing season, in the ebb and flow of the ocean, and in the power of the storm. And most wonderfully, it is penned in a love letter, we call the Bible, that He gave to us that we might HEAR HIM, KNOW HIM, and end our journey of hide-and-go-seek.
Ephesians 1:17 (New International Version)
17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.
sunday comics brought to you by the littlejohn children.
me to lucy: "lucy, i need to cut your finger nails, please come here."
lucy climbs up into my lap, and in the softest voice she whispers under her breath:
"oh, Lawrd have mercy, i hope she doesn't hurt me!!"
katie asked me recently, "mom, if the house was burning down, and i had a choice to save my siblings or save my Bible what do you think God would want me to do?"
i laughed (mother of the year, i know). katie, if it was me, i would let the bible burn to smithereens and rescue your siblings as fast as possible. she was appalled, "mom, i thought the bible was suppose to be the most important thing in our life!" i laughed (again), "the bible is NOT suppose to be the most important thing in our life. our love relationship with our God, who wrote and breathed the words of the Bible, is suppose to be the most important thing in our life. Bibles can be replaced. Your relationship with Jesus continues even if the Bible burns, but your siblings can not be replaced on this earth!!" She understood.
there are creatures that await me in the deep, dark, tunnels of my bed. 3 girls equals LOADS of baby dolls and accessories. if i had to list toys in importance, DOLLS would be #1 for girls.
at the end of the day sleep beckons me. i fall into bed and beg for an unconscious stupor to consume me. sometimes, as i am drifting off to the blessed promised land, i feel a cold, stiff, something poke my foot. or i roll over and am stopped by a bulge in the sheets. i smile. it's either a baby doll or a bouncy ball that small hands have tucked in the bed. i know that someday i will miss this. when small baby shoes transform into bigger sizes with more life ground into the sole, it makes hold on to these moments with all i have!
last night was a monumental night in the LJ house. we dressed our only son in his first spider man outfit. mark and i laughed and laughed. this morning while he was eating his oatmeal in his spider man outfit he kept saying, "cheese, cheese," which doesn't mean he wants to eat cheese it means he wants me to take a picture of him. i happily grabbed the camera! the result: sheer cuteness.
ok, so either you laughed out loud because you TOTALLY agree with the title, or you said unkind things about me in your head. whatever the response, i encourage you to read on.
the ONLY reason i can SO boldly make a statement like that which is found in the title of this post, (and not be eaten up by A Beka or Bob Jones) is because i was home schooled (well for like 1 year, but my siblings were home schooled until junior high. i came along and my mom couldn't find a school for me fast enough!) AND... i am currently homeschooling. why we home school is a WHOLE other post in itself. but i can assure you has very little to do with peer pressure, guilt, fear, and hell.
back to the topic.... we started attending home school PE at the YMCA b/c i thought it would be a good outlet for Katie and Julia.... AND selfishly, it meant i got to work out... ALONE! :) i was SO highly amused at watching the home school families come and go, giggled at many of them, and squirmed at the interactions i saw. there is a reason home school stereotypes exist.... they can be found at our YMCA between 1-2 pm on any monday or thursday. ;)
1. home school people have a lot of kids.
2. home school people wear out-of-fashion hand me downs.
3. home school people are awkward.
4. home school people drive 15 passenger vans.
5. home school people have a hard time "fitting in" in society.
6. home school people don't raise their hand to talk.
7. they are radical "Jesus people" that shove their opinions and convictions on others.
these are just a few of the stereotypes that are out there. yes, many people fall victim to the stereotypes. HOWEVER, many of them do not. 90 percent of the kids in our church are home schooled. that's a HIGH percentage. it has given us the opportunity to see a plethora (that's a home school word) of home school kids interact in MANY different settings.
not everyone that home schools has a large family. 3 or 4 kids. not 7-10 kids. eliminating stereotype #1
they are ALL very fashionable. i am the least fashionable, and i went to the big, bad, traditional SCHOOL (that's a joke... laugh...)
eliminating stereotype #2
NON of them are awkward, and are MORE social then any group of kids i've ever meet. they look me in eye when they speak to me, the initiate conversation, they are honestly interested in my answer, AND they call me Mrs. Littlejohn (that's a little weird, i prefer Sara).
only ONE family drives a 15 passenger van, but that's because they have to have room for all of their beach and ski gear. not because they have 14 kids :)
i have seen these kids at the beach, at the store, at restaurants, bowling alleys, retreats, church, dance studios, ball fields, etc. the ONLY reason they stand out from the crowd is because they follow the rules, they don't swear or say unkind things, they encourage others, they are good sports, they say, "thank-you", they include everyone, they are helpful and not hurtful! i could go on and on (eliminating number 5). i don't think these kids possess these characteristics b/c they are home schooled. i think they possess these characteristics b/c they have parents who are teaching them to live not for themselves, but for the glorification of their God. those things can be taught regardless of where they Lord leads you to place your children in the educational realm.
as for #7. i have talked to oodles and oodles ( a public school word) of moms dads about home schooling. i have concluded for most of them (there are always those that tip the scales) that they home school b/c they want a different (notice i didn't say higher) standard of education for their kids. they have seen what their options are and have chosen to home school. all of the people that i mimic my homeschooling after, that i respect, and that I LOVE; would NEVER question my intent or my heart if i decided to put my kids in BBPS (big, bad, public, school :) because it's about SO MUCH more than home school, public school, private school, Christian school.
i am proud to home school. i LOVE to home school. BUT it's NOT for everyone. we have been given the freedom to make decisions that our best for our family, and best for our individual kids. no one has the right to place their convictions ABOUT THIS TOPIC on you. i have cried, struggled, wrestled, pleaded, with the Lord about our decision to home school. it was not an easy decision, and it might not be for forever. but for this season in our life, it has brought SUCH joy, peace, and moments that i KNOW i will treasure forever. so, for that reason i am grateful for what homeschooling has to offer. i don't think you are weird if you home school... i ALSO don't think you are weird if you DON'T home school!
Determined to wake up each day and fight for the heart beat of our marriage. It doesn't just happen. It takes purposeful, deep, selfless, heart wrenching determination.
My dad always encourages couples he marries, to not just "stick it out" in marriage but "stick together" in marriage. There is a HUGE difference. I am so blessed to have a husband, lover, best friend, beloved, whom desires to be together!
Here are the vows we spoke with our mouths, and have sworn to fulfill with our actions. Not of our own strength and goodness, but with the never-ending, always accessible, flooding of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
"I enter into this covenant of marriage with you. I promise to love you, and to completely give myself and all that I have to you. I pledge to care for you in sickness or in health. I will honor and cherish you all the days of my life, whether our life circumstances are better or worse, our days sweet or sour, and whether we have plenty or are in want. I will purpose to live before you a life of faith and trust in Jesus Christ. If anything but death separates me from you, may the Lord deal with me ever so severely."
Here are my must reads on the topic of marriage:
For Men Only by Shaunti Feldhahn, Jeff Feldhahn
For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn
Love and Respect by Dr Emerson Eggerichs
Every Man's Battle by Stephen Arterburn
Every Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge
Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
fruit flies have invaded my kitchen. *ugh*. so i googled (a noun that became a verb) "how to naturally kill fruit flies?" answer... cider vinegar and dish detergent. i placed it in a bowl two hours ago and i have already killed hundreds. not the boston massacre, but the fruit fly massacre. thank you google.
my mom would routinely get lost down in the basement doing laundry. now i know why. the whooshing of the machine and tumbling of the dryer mutes ALL other noises. say if a small child is calling your name, you have a good 5 minutes before they look every where else and then come upon you. or maybe the phone rings, and oops you don't even feel inclined to see who it is b/c you didn't hear it. the laundry doesn't whine. it doesn't talk back. and it's quick and easy to see the results. you see a blemish and with some good ole elbow grease and oxy-clean, sha-bang.... it's gone. now that is satisfaction.
it also really does take a whole day to do a weeks worth of laundry for six people. it's easier for me to have a laundry day b/c i get on a roll. i am anticipating the beep of the dryer and have the next load ready to go. i am determined to fold and organize while i'm in the mood. if i miss the moment the clothes stack up on our papasan chair until next week.
thanks mom, for doing the laundry. the never ending chore, even if it's twaddle.
random word of the day: twaddle (thanks stephanie g.)
p.s. check back tomorrow for our NINE YEAR anniversary post!! ;)
We had a garden this year. Rather, we had 2 tomato plants. BUT it was our first baby step towards one day having an enormous garden. With our two plants we harvested over SEVENTY.... that's 7 - 0 tomatoes (yes, we counted ;)). it might not seem like a lot BUT it averaged us about 6 a week for 12 weeks. it wasn't overflowing, so i didn't can or stew them, but it was enough to have them fresh all summer long. DELISH!!! We had to pull all the tomatoes off this week b/c it's going to be so cold. So, it's our last tomato harvest. Excited for the next time we can garden.
Julia painted this beautiful sea shell for me. I love her creative side that doesn't have to be told how to imagine! Thanks Jules for my sea shell!!
Happy Monday (night),
Katie enjoyed learning the tallying system by constantly calculating for us! Math 101 in the Littlejohn House :)
For my 29th birthday and our 9 year anniversary, Mark and I flew away to Boston, MA. My brother Andrew, and my sister-in-law, Liisa live in Beverly MA, just outside of the city.
We left Thursday evening. Confident that our children would receive the best care from our, Lindsey Q.
We ate, we drank, we played, we walked, we talked, we laughed, we were quiet, we were loud, we were still, we were in love, we stayed up late, we slept in late, and we were CHILDLESS! It was the perfect gift to renew the body, mind, and soul.
Enjoy the pics! (all of them will be posted on FB, these are just some of my favs) click on pics to enlarge.
October is a super busy month for us!
October 1st- Dad's bday
Ocotber 2nd- Twin's Bday
October 3rd- My bday
October 5th- BFF's bday
October 6th- Anniversary
October 7th- Other BFF's BDAY
October 21st- Julia's BDAY, Bro-in-law, Matt's BDAY!
And I know I've left others out. But seriously, it's BUSY!
So, to kick off October I am sending out love to the best dad EVER! With each passing day I appreciate who he is, what he does, and what he has done for me!
And to Jonathan and Joanna. For fulfilling the big brother/big sister role ever so perfectly. For 29 years I have celebrated and shared the birthday season with these four, and it never gets old!