Sunday, March 14, 2010

Be Happy

Don't worry... I promise I will not start posting every scrapbook page I do on my blog! But I thought this one, created with the "Life is Good" kit from Treasury of Memories (thanks for the kit, Laura!), was worth commenting on.

The title of this scrapbook page is "Be Happy" but it could have just as easily been labeled "Be Thankful." Because really, that is what this page is about. You wouldn't know it from the pictures, but they were taken at a really rough time in my life.

These pictures were taken in June of 2009, about 2 months after the kids and I moved back to Washington, and just a few weeks before Zack came down and took the kids back to Alaska. I was without a job, struggling with being a full-time SAHM to two children adapting to change, and dealing with the emotional difficulties of the pending divorce between Zack and I. I had very little money, and sometimes very little patience.

But I will tell you what I did have... my family and my faith. I made sure to get away with my kids about once every week or two and go on an 'outing.' For the price of gas we were able to get away from a lot of the stress, from the change, from the uncertainty, and just be US.

This trip to Fort Casey in June was one of those outings. I packed a picnic lunch and the kids and I ate on the beach and flew kites (thanks Neal!). The kids made Father's Day gifts for their Dad with shells and rocks they collected along the waters edge. I played chicken with the waves and enjoyed the peace of God's creation.

It was a few hours in time that I could let go of the worries of if my children were going to be okay being raised by a single mom, if I was going to be able to pay the bills, if I was going to find a job, if the divorce was going to go smoothly, if the kids were going to adjust to life in a new place, and all the other miraid of things. It was a time to just be family and enjoy each other.

I would never wish a divorce on anyone, nor would I wish unemployment. I wouldn't wish any of the ensuing custody and child support drama on anyone. But I will testify to this... God meets us where we are. God shows Himself in the little things. And God uses each and every situation we are in - good or bad - to teach us. Through all the mess and drama and pain, He showed me His amazing LOVE for me. He taught me there is nothing more precious in the world than family. He taught me JOY in the midst of pain. And He taught me that through faith in Him, He will help me to endure.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Life Lessons...

Today, in the period of about 2 hours, I learned 3 valuable lessons.

I rent a house from my auntie and uncle. I love the house, and I love the huge back yard, but...well...its a bit out of control. Today I decided to take advantage of the kids napping and attempt to tackle the yard.

Life Lesson #1 - Ivy is ruthless.
Unfortunately, next to dandelions, that is the plant that is most taking over my back yard. So, over the period of about 2 hours I hacked, pulled, shoveled, and raked my way to a prettier yard...or at least a less-ivy ridden one. That stuff is horrible! I swear it reproduced when I looked away, and for every one, itty-bitty ivy vine, there is a root ball the size of my head (and I have a big head). But, but the end of my 2 hours, this is what it was looking like.

Life Lesson #2 - Ivy makes yard work take forever.
At the end of my 2 hours I was very satisfied with my work... well, until I took a step back and looked at the rest of the yard... oh my, I have my work cut out for me! And that pic is only about half of the yard!

Life Lesson #3 - Never trust that your children are actually napping.
See post below. 'Nuff said. I guess I'll be doing all futre yard work with my children outside too.

Interior Design

Zeal emerged from nap time into the back yard where I was working, the picture of innocence and sweetness. "Me help you with your work, Mommy?" he asked, beaming at me. It wasn't until he reached for the shovel and I noticed that his hands were blue, and his arms were blue, and he had blue smudged on his face, that I realized we were in serious trouble.

I asked him where the marker was that he'd drawn on his hands with, and as he led me back to his room to give it to me, I saw blue out of the corner of my eye. Turning, I beheld this... I sucked in a breath and started counting to 10. Convinced that probably wasn't enough, I counted to 50. Only then was I confident I could ask Zeal what on earth was going through his mind, without my head spinning 'round at the same time.

Zeal calmly explained to me that he was "jus' decorating, Mommy." Duh. Obviously. Apparantly my decor style was far too sparse for him. And believe me, decorate he did. Not only the toilet lid, but also the toilet seat. And the toilet paper. And the door, wall, floor, baseboard heater, faucet, towel, vanity light bulbs, doorknob... Pretty much, you name it, it was blue. As was the wall outside the bathroom, and Zeal's door.

Oh, and did I mention, most of Zeal was also blue? Yups, his arms up to his elbows, his legs up to his knees, and somehow he even managed to color his butt. Yes, his butt.

As Zeal sat in timeout, and I scrubbed the blue off the vanity, I said a little prayer thanking God for washable markers... And as soon as Zeal was out of earshot I giggled a bit at my little interior designer...

Laura's Blonde Moments...

Laura, my bestest of friends, I love you. But you know I couldn't help posting your 'blonde moments' from this weekend, just because they made me giggle so much!

LAURA: "6 weeks times 3 hours?! That's like 24 hours!"
ME: "Um, no, actually that's like 18 hours."
LAURA: "Well, its 24 hours in my world."

LAURA : "Hey, this book is translated from Australian!

LAURA : "Wow! I look so Asian in those pictures!"

And, and oldie but goodie, from our college days...
ME: "Its about 90 miles from here to my house."
LAURA: "Is that with or without traffic?"