Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
This morning I walked into church for bible study with one child happily skipping next to me while wearing his backpack on the front (whatever works....later in the day he would enter JoAnn Craft and Fabrics with a Bass Pro Trucker hat on his head, plastic binoculars around his neck, and was carrying a lunch box filled with house shoes.) and another child screaming...SCREAMING...in my arms. Yes, we gathered quite the attention as Evelyn screamed "Bye Bye!" at the top of her lungs in protest over Mommy depositing her in class. Fortunately she is child number two and the embarrassment of the whole ordeal was minimal.
After basically tossing E. at her teacher and shouting out a word of "Good Luck" (shouting only to be heard over the screams as I normally do not yell at those caring for my children), I ran to drop Isaac off at his class. Once I was able to negotiate my way into the Fellowship Hall and find my seat in my own class, I was tempted to just put my head down on the table and take a nap. The Separation Anxiety phase children go through is a hard one and seems like my little girl has studied carefully on how to expertly demonstrate such characteristics.
Nap I did not. Rather I heard such an important message today and jumped on the computer to share it with you.
Currently our bible study is tackling how to hear the voice of God using Priscilla Shirer's study (found here)....a difficult concept to say the least. A discussion point came up this morning over not becoming burdened over other's personal convictions, meaning: God doesn't call of us to do the same things. All though we are all made in his Spirit, we are different human beings with different talents and different callings. Women in particular tend to create this very binding box of what they believe they need to be based on examples of others around them/media influences/preconceived notions/ and the illusive Proverbs 31 woman. That box can be very restrictive and frustrating because no one really fits inside. Try as we may to cram ourselves inside, there is always a wayward leg or unmanicured finger sticking out.
The blog world has opened up the lives of others for us all to take a tiny glimpse inside. Sometimes that glimpse is enough to build a box based on what we have read about other woman and their families and desperately try to stuff ourselves inside, wanting to be just a bit more ideal and a bit more perfect. Try as we may, we aren't gonna fit, girls. Proverbs 3:5,6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight."
Great verse, huh? You've likely heard it at countless youth retreats and young adult devotionals in the span of your life and, if like me, have never really gone past the basic happy concept it provides.
Read it again and think about that box I mentioned, the box of being the perfect mom/wife/sister/friend/daughter/ect. Consider that box to be "your own understanding." Scripture is telling us directly here that when we trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him...not just occasionally but always....He will make our paths straight. He will set us free and show us the path He has created specifically for each and every one of us. God is not a god of generics. He does not desire for us to be cookie cutter images of each other. Who cares that Random Mommy Blogger's kids are reciting the Pledge of Allegiance each morning at 7:15am after scrubbing the kitchen floor to a high shine while your kids have barely managed to make it to the couch to catch a few morning cartoons? Press into God and you will understand the path he has for you, the gifts and talents he has bestowed on you, and the areas of life that just might not be your cup of tea (Household notebook, anyone?). Thank goodness God is telling us that there is no box, there is just freedom in a relationship with Him.
Toss that box out with the garbage tonight. Resist the urge to attempt to navigate life on what you think you should be/do/say. Trust God enough to experience the freedom He promises.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
This website also has free downloads available that would be great for any of you creating a household notebook. I have slowly started working on mine (when I am not painting a gigantic rocket cutout in my living room) and plan to get it finished next week. We'll see if that pans out.
Simple Mom has also posted an interview with the author of The Creative Family, a book that is on my "want" list. Check out the interview and then enter to win your very own copy of this intriguing book.
Happy Browsing! (and please note that the discovery of this website is likely going to be the reason why I am late to bible study this morning)
**Special thanks to reader, Pheobe, for telling me about the website. Thanks!!!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Yes, the yellow was intentional. Some days, I just can't help myself.
I just checked the weather forecast for this week. The Weather Channel is predicting the high for tomorrow to be 107. Seriously, did I move to Phoenix and not realize it? 107 is simply ridiculous. My children are going to wonder if they will ever be allowed in the backyard after 8am again. With such high temperatures, the only outdoor activity we are going to be able to participate in would be runs to Sonic for slushes (my new addiction). And by "runs"...I mean loading up in the car and driving there despite the fact that our Sonic is within walking distance of casa de phillips.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I love everything about the months from September through December, from the holidays to the parties to the decorations to the change in season (hopefully they will change here in Texas). The first indication that these lovely four months are approaching is the welcoming in of all merchandise associated with returning back to school.
Despite the 103 degree heat, I have noticed that the Wal-Marts and Targets in my area have already sharpened their pencils and have lovely displays of fresh boxes of crayons, wide assortments of glue, and mountains of character-themed backpacks for each and every child's taste. It is a marvelous sight to behold. I seriously have to restrain myself from loading my cart with such items (Isaac's preschool does not have a required item list...we just send some money and the teacher buys the supplies. Convenient, but not nearly as fun.).
In the true spirit of going back to school and of Fall that is gradually approaching, I have a project that I am beginning. Because casa de phillips is not quite as organized as I would like, I am in the process of creating our own Home Management Binder. The idea of such organization about makes me giddy. This will take several weeks, especially considering I need to be crafting a large red rocket ship right now, but should be a lovely sight to behold (if you love all things associated with organization as much as I do).
If you share such a love of going back to school and getting your house in order, I have provided a few links below on how to create a Home Management Binder. Perhaps we can all share in a few weeks (and flippantly disregard how dorky this may appear to be).
Great introduction on how to make a Home Management Binder...and why you would want to in the first place.
Here is a blogger (who I don't know) with a great tour of her binder
Here is a great example with lots of detail
Go here for a variety of examples of Home Management Binders
Real Simple has some great FREE printable forms for every possible need you might have and some you likely did not realize you needed (Pocket guide to healthy seafood eating, anyone?)
Happy projecting! I will post about my completed Home Management Binder in a few weeks. Now I am off to investigate as to why my child is yelling angrily at Blue's Clues...likely due to his very short nap today and generally unpleasant attitude about life at the moment.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I likely rolled my eyes as this lady attempted to defend her choice to dish out $2,000 in an attempt to create a winter wonderland in their California backyard.
Isaac's third birthday is in less than two weeks and I am in full party planning mode. Despite my hostility to the lady on Oprah for having such expensive parties, I find myself having to keep my own desires/wishes/crazy ideas in check when planning our kids' parties.
When Isaac turned one, we had a safari themed affair (Read about it here and here). We went so far as to contemplate creating a large display where party go-ers could stick their head through a hole in order to have their picture taken in a safari-esque jungle. That never happened, but I did go a bit crazy on turning our entire house into Party Zone Central, staying up all hours of the night crafting odds and ends so that Isaac could ring in that first full year of life in style. I needed about a three day nap when the whole thing was over.
I learned my lesson with that party and now attempt to curb my creative desires and keep things reasonable. Rather than inviting the entire preschool class and an odd assortment of our adult friends, we are sticking with family and a small amount of Isaac's buddies. There will be no bounce house or sledding hill. We might actually kick it old-school and play a game of musical chairs. After much thinking and pouring over a variety of party supply magazines, Isaac decided upon a Little Einsteins theme. He is terribly excited and is counting down the days until party time (which can be quite perplexing since he sometimes considers the morning and afternoon two separate days since they are divided by naptime...we are working on that).
Now, if you will excuse me I am off to Google "How to Make a Life-Size Rocket".
I did say I was keeping it semi-reasonable, didn't I?
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Early this morning, Tobe and I were woken up by a little voice telling us that "Tiger had no shoes because his feet were too big like yours Mommy". Nice way to wake up, being confronted about the ol size 9's. Seems that Isaac was concerned about dressing all his stuffed animals, but had been unable to find any shoes that fit Tiger's feet. Fortunately, Daddy's tennis shoes worked.
Ike the dog apparently got the royal treatment, because he was given four shoes. He remained like this all day. Later in the afternoon, I noticed that someone had placed the book about Ike under his nose. I thought Tobe had done it to be funny. However, it appears that Isaac was the one who laid out Ike the dog's reading material. That boy is too funny sometimes.
Here is a video of Miss Evelyn AKA Esther Williams. The child is a little fish and amazes us with her ability to navigate the pool with little assistance. Please excuse the narrator's voice. Seriously, I don't know why I even talk in public at all.
Friday, July 18, 2008
One challenge that I faced when first becoming a mother was figuring out how to get myself and another human being...that was completely helpless...out of the door on time. The first week of Isaac's life I swore to my mother that I was never leaving the house with him alone, certain that I just simply could not manage myself and a baby in public. Restlessness set in and soon I was venturing out into the world, baby in tow.
Twenty-one months later, Evelyn came along and again I decided I would have to live a life confined inside the walls of casa de phillips. Certainly I would never figure out how to get two little ones, plus myself, out the door. Once again my restlessness overtook my fears and I eventually figured out how to get the three of us out into public before 5pm.
These days I am again facing a battle...how to get two active children out the door with everyone dressed and without losing my sanity.
Let me provide an example:
Tuesday mornings we have bible study at 9am. Since the kids get up at 7am (and me before that), this provides a solid two hours to get everyone dressed, fed, and out the door. Logically, it seems that getting to bible study on time and in a peaceful manner is a feasible task for any mother.
However, in that two hours on Tuesday I experienced the following: the changing of two dirty diapers, breakfast where at least one bowl of yogurt landed upside down on our kitchen floor, the washing out of someone's hair because they decided to wear their toast as a hat, breaking up a sibling spat, dressing each child...both of who protest (Isaac because he wants to do it himself and Evelyn because she fusses EVERY TIME she is changed or dressed. Every time.), putting shoes on each child, drying my hair which causes Evelyn to cry loud wails and say "No No" repeatedly, putting shoes back on Evelyn because she took them off, packing two separate bags for their respective classes at bible study, locating the sippy cups to put back into previously packed bags after Isaac removed them for him and his sister, apply make-up, instruct children to put Tupperware back into the cabinet from which they pulled it all out and left it, get myself dressed, water backyard, clean up kitchen from breakfast, break up sibling spat, instruct Isaac to use the bathroom before leaving, put an end to Isaac's ten minute hand-washing routine, dry Isaac's shirt with the hair dryer due to his ten-minute hand washing ordeal (thus causing Evelyn to cry again), fix Evelyn's hair with a bow, grab bags and bible study materials, move everyone out to garage, inform Isaac that he cannot take sidewalk chalk to bible class, load everyone into car seats, drive to bible study, pull into parking lot to discover that Evelyn has removed both shoes and her bow in the 45 seconds it took to get to the church.
Seriously, how do Jon and Kate plus 8 ever manage to leave the house?
How do those of you with more than two kids ever leave the house before noon on any given day? Tips? Techniques? Sanity saving guidelines?
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Okay, 6:30am is a slight exaggeration for humor's sake...however we were there bright and early. And it was already hot.
The children's new favorite thing is to hold hands in the backseat of our car. This usually starts off sweet and innocent...until someone pulls a bit too hard on the other person's hand or a finger is yanked in an unfortunate direction. While at the park this morning we decided to feed the large amount of Koi they have (with the fish food fellow sucker Moms buy for 25 cents from the local vending machine). Isaac really gets into this...as do the fish. They jump and bite at each other as if they were not fed the same food a mere 7.3 seconds earlier from the other kids visiting the park. We tossed fish pellet after fish pellet at the aggressive fish as Evelyn giggled along in her stroller. Eventually she wanted a piece of the action and was given her own food to toss to the fish, after several stern warnings not to actually eat the pellet. She was excitedly tossing her food into the water when she finally ran out of food.
In a moment of what she likely deemed sheer genuis, she tossed her sippy cup into the fish pond.
The sippy cups used at casa de phillips are cheap and easily replaceable. Normally I would have let the yellow cup stay with the fifty Koi that had eagerly surrounded it. However, our cups also have bumpy name labels on them, which are neither cheap nor easy to come by.
Deciding that I had to retrieve the tossed cup, I gathered my courage and laid down on my stomach to stick my hand and most of my arm into the water. I managed to retrieve the cup but am still working on erasing the memory of all those fish nibbling at my fingers.
This little girl now has a black eye. The poor thing accidentally crawled up onto an open, empty plastic container. This caused it to swing up and whack her in the eye (same effect as someone stepping on the end of a rake). She is going to look a little rough this week until the purple and blue heals.
Finally, here is the family Saturday night when we celebrated Tobe's birthday. We are still left wondering if we will ever be able to capture a decent picture of the four of us.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Anyway, I am now on Facebook. Perhaps tomorrow I will learn how to text.
Although I do have a profile established on Facebook, with a cute picture of me and the husband, I did somehow manage to make my middle name my first name. Seems that ol Facebook attempts to keep a quality image for themselves and will not let me just go in and fix my mistake. Instead, they review my request to change my name and then determine if said request is worthy of being met. Sigh. Only I could mess up my first name, the name I have gone by for 30 odd years now.
Now that I have joined (although technically under a false name) it seems like the strategy is to gain friends. Alison has like 5 thousand, which puts my measly 4 to shame (although they are a stellar group of people). This whole "making friends on Facebook" is slightly similar to entering into the school cafeteria all over again, searching for a friendly face amongst the sea of lunch trays. At least my hair looks a bit better than in my school cafeteria days and my jeans are not tightrolled nor my Eastland Loafers fastened with knots.
Off to make friends...
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
As seen below, the bags also serve as a way to entertain the children. Works for Me!
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Monday, July 07, 2008
*The not-so-fun game of "Throw the box of crackers back and forth to each other" was invented. The throwing occurred between Isaac and Evelyn and I chose to pretend it was not happening to buy a few minutes of peaceful shopping. The game came to a sudden halt when E.'s throw shot the box out of the cart and managed to hit a man on the leg. He laughed tensely as he handed the cracker box back to us, clearly not amused.
Getting all of his ice cream out of the bowl
Tobe's Granny and E.Two children who like to torment their parents by never looking at the camera at the same time
Tobe and Isaac preparing to shoot off fireworks at Tobe's Grandparents farm
Isaac running as fast as his little legs can carry him AWAY from the fireworks. This was hysterical. I have a video of his reaction to some fireworks, which is priceless. He wasn't a big fan of the noise.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
"Mommy, I just wear my toes and go outside to help you." (Meaning, he will just go barefoot rather than take the time and effort to put on shoes. He failed to mention that he would also constantly complain about the concrete hurting his feet and repeatedly ask to be carried.)
As our family of four drove to the pool this afternoon to find some relief from the heat, Isaac kept adamantly telling us his friends were going to be there. I told him to not get his hopes up over a specific friend being there, but the pool is always a great place to meet new friends. He continued to say, "My friends are going to be at the pool" and went so far as to say, "My friends aren't here quite yet" when we pulled into the parking lot. Tobe and I just ignored the constant chatter about friends and the pool, hoping Isaac would not be disappointed with the children actually present that day.
About five minutes after being at the pool, we actually did run into one of Isaac's little friends from preschool, causing Isaac to proudly proclaim, "My friends are at the pool today."
I don't even know why we continue to doubt the boy anymore.
Although the maid never showed up, the bookcase was put back into working order. I know you were all concerned.