Monday, February 25, 2013

In Moments Like These

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who ever feels like this, right?
Like the world is spinning pretty fast and you can only catch glimpses of stillness...

Each day seems to pass so quickly, yet I'll admit that sometimes I look at the clock and think "only 10 more hours until bedtime...I can do this..."

I heard something on Focus on the Family last week where the speaker encouraged just one better reaction;
instead of deciding that one needs to conquer a habit (say, a bad temper),
commit to having one better reaction to something that normally causes one's temper to flare.
Her point was that conquering a deeply ingrained habit can seem nearly impossible, too great a task to accomplish but that by focusing on just having one better reaction we might take small steps toward improvement.

So, I made it my goal to have one better reaction.  
And, like the speaker said it would on the broadcast, it has led to another better reaction and another.
I tend to get too upset by too many things;  I raise my voice and I am very sarcastic.
I feel I've responded better in several situations lately, though certainly not all.
 It has made for a better end of last week and beginning to this one.

In the midst of a bustling household, I have a VERY hard time just sitting still--even to read a story to my kids.  
I've purposed these last couple weeks to read more stories.  The younger kids are all for that!
Today I decided to sit down with my feet up and take 15 minutes to crochet on a project on which I've been working.  Then the washing machine beeped to let me know the load was finished.
My OCD-self really wanted, nearly needed, to get up and switch out that load.
My seeking-opportunities-for-stillness-self had to speak clearly to OCD-self:  
 "just keep stitching until these 15 minutes are up...the laundry can wait so that you're able to enjoy something relaxing for just seven more minutes." 

I waited until my pre-determined time was up and then went to the laundry room.
It had been a good 15 minutes of refreshment for me.
My legs and feet have been doing so very well this pregnancy;
usually by now I deal with some swelling but not this time!
That said, I do notice if I put in too much non-stop time on my feet so I'm learning to take a few minutes to sit when I need to.
It's in those moments especially that I feel like the picture at the top of this, my rambling post;
the busy-ness and business of a homeschooling, farming household doesn't ever really stop
but I can find stillness if I really seek it out, even if it's just for a few minutes.

Incidentally, I didn't take that picture.  I found it on the camera, presumably taken by Christopher and most likely while I was seeking stillness in another room--or switching a load of laundry.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Seventeen years ago today,
I woke to contractions realizing I would most likely be a mommy before the day drew to a close.
At 6:08 pm we met Nathaniel Robert, all 8 lbs. 8 oz of him.
He had less facial hair then, but my mom (standing outside in the hallway) knew from his deep voiced cry that he was a boy!  He still has a deep voice.

Happy Birthday, Nathaniel!

Monday, February 18, 2013


Taken several days ago when I was 28 weeks.
I'm really curious to see who is growing inside there;
my shape seems so different to both Dennis and me than with the other pregnancies:  I'm much rounder than before, not necessarily bigger, just rounder.
The big reveal is drawing ever nearer and we're oh-so-delighted to be expecting another precious gift.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

She's Got Style

 She's got style, alright.

And so does he.
(My dad is a good sport--he'll do just about anything to make the kids smile!)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Some Days Are Like That

Sometimes I feel like doing this, too.
Thankfully the children (and Dennis) instinctively know that capturing such an image "on film" would not be a wise decision.

Poor LittleBit...some days are like that.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

For My Valentine

I gave Dennis a card and some chocolate.
In the card I included some handmade coupons, one for a back rub and one for a foot rub.
I wrote that they expire once Baby arrives.  I'm quite certain he will "spend" them long before then, but I thought it proactive to clarify.
Another that I made entitles the bearer to
"A night of silence--with no cold shoulder or wondering what you've done wrong."
Meaning: I won't drone on and on about what so-and-so said/did on facebook or what blog I read that validated such-and-such concern.
I'll just sit there and not talk.
I think he'll like that one just as well as the others.

We're such a romantic couple, aren't we?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What We Did The Day of the Big Blizzard

This past Sunday church was cancelled due to a big blizzard.
I love me a big snowstorm so I was looking forward to it!

Since we didn't go to church, the morning felt "off" a bit.
What did we do instead?

Well--we had a delightful tea party.
There was a Ruby-ballerina who did her own hair for our party (it was so  wavy from braids left in overnight) .  And oh, look-- little nutella still left on her face from the breakfast I let them each find for themselves.

Our fancy tea, all spread on the piano bench.
My coffee cup looks surprisingly big next to the tea cups.

Ruby's favorite doll, Laura, was also in attendance, her schnazzy hair styled by the uber-talented Ruby.
(My mom made those clothes--isn't she aMAZing?)

Ivy was happy that morning (not "rumpy" like usual) so we let this picture suffice.
I can't recall why her arms were that way, but whatevs.

 LittleBit was a whole lotta trouble as she kept "stealing" all the dishes

and *GASP*
licking all the plates.
Ruby was horrified at her terrible tea party etiquette.
Elizabeth was oblivious.  
Or perhaps, intentional.

Oh YES!  I nearly forgot--Jessie and Woody!
Ivy's constant companions arrived for the party, too, and squished Ivy's sweet cheeks for a picture.

After the tea party and after a real-live dinner,
Dennis, Linnea and I played Scrabble.
Linnea won.

Then, while I took a real-live--although short--nap,
Linnea made snow candy, just like Ma Ingalls, all her idea and all on her own!
I was impressed.
I wish I'd taken a picture...

I'm such a homebody that I have really missed being snowed in these past snow-less winters.
Now that February is half over and winter is nearing an end, 
I find myself wishing for a few more snow falls!
I think snow falling is such a cozy feeling, and seeing as I rarely have anywhere to go and my husband is nearly always here on the farm (as opposed to trying to make it driving home from work in a storm) and all my children are nearly always under the same roof,
when I see snow forecasted,
I think to myself "BRING IT ON!"

Christopher and Elijah ventured out in the afternoon and had THE BEST time in the snow up to their waists. The recounting of their adventures when they came in after dark was quite something!
Lots of motioning with their hands and arms about how high or how far or how fast, replete with sound effects, rosy cheeks and snapping eyes.
It was good "brother time."

We had chicken wild rice stew for supper, a perfect complement to a pretty good day.
And that's what we did the day of the big blizzard.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


The phone rang.  I could see from the caller ID that it was the optician; I assumed they were calling to tell me Ruby's glasses were fixed and ready to be picked up.
"No, this is Melissa."
"OH!  Hahahaha...of course!" she said.  "I knew you're's just that I was just talking to another gal here in the office about how Ruby has all these brothers and sisters, just like the Duggars!  I guess I had 'Michelle' in my head because of that!" she said, as she laughed her way through her explanation and what else she needed to tell me.

We get compared to the Duggars a lot; I guess 10 kids is just like 20??
I don't mind, though...if I had to get mixed up with anyone, I sure wouldn't mind it being Michelle Duggar.  She is just so sweet.

Because some days?  I feel that a closer misunderstanding would go something like this:
Phone rings.
"Hi...Cruella DeVil?"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Walk Away

Mostly, I tell myself, "Just walk away...close the keyboard and just walk away..."
But sometimes, I'm like this:

And then I get all worked up, which is when I remind myself that next time, I'm going to walk away--just close the keyboard and walk. away.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sometimes, All You Can Do Is Laugh (at Yourself)

The kids were laughing at the way a character looked on a wii game, saying "He runs like a fat guy."
I discouraged this behavior, telling them not to say that kind of thing.
"Why? He looks funny."
I told them, "Because it's bad manners and because I'm a fat lady and that's how I would look."
To which they replied, "Mom--you don't run."

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