Thursday, January 30, 2014

Words Worth Remembering

Me:"Can somebody go close the back door?"
Zeke:"I will!"
Me:"Thanks Zeke."
Zeke:"Call me 'Sir Knight'."


Cai:"You can nibble my cheeks forEVER mom."


Rainy:"and my high of the day was reading my Bible at school..."
Zeke:"What?! You read your Bible at school?"
Zeke:"Your teacher let you do that?"
Rainy:"She didn't really see me. It was during reading time."
Zeke:"What did you read?"
Rainy:"Just the verses we did during family devotions last night"
Zeke:"Aw man, I thought you read something new."
Zeke:" Did you have HIGHlighters?!"
Zeke: gasps in awe and maybe a little jealousy;)


Rainy:"Mom, yesterday my ear was sobbing."
aka: THRObbing


Me:"Zeke, will you pleeeease empty all those books out of your book bag when you get to school.  You have like 20 books in there and some of them are blue dot books and you aren't even on blue anymore."

Zeke:"I think I still have books in there from Kindergarten."

(he's in 1st grade ya'll!)


Zeke:"...and at the birthday party I got Dr. Pepsi!!!"


Cai:"We're gonna eat lunch at Elievan's house?"
Elievan = Eliana and Evan


Alethia:"Look mom, I got boots to match my dress. They are brown and my dress is brown.  Oooh look I match too, 'cause my SKIN is brown!!!"


Cai:"Jude nevers knowed how to pass out gummies, but when he growedsed up like a kid he can."


Cai:"Alethia, lay down so I can put oil on your feet and pray for you."
(we put oil on their feet and pray for them before they go to bed)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

So, I Started A Business...

During the Christmas season I was searching on Pinterest for a fun, cheap, creative gift to give my closest girlfriends and came across this link.

I thought, "This is perfect!"

I thought about each of my friends and the things they had dealt with during their past year and tried to find a word or short phrase that could capture that.  Then I added their name to personalize it even more.

After a little encouragement and motivation to sell them I decided to open up an Etsy shop, called the Colony Shop.  I'm still really new to the whole selling on Etsy thing, but I'm trying to make my shop a little easier to navigate, but for now you can just place your order and write your description on the comment section so I know what you would like on your necklace(s).

I made 13 necklaces in my first week of business!  I absolutely LOVE making these necklaces:)

You can order a necklace for so many different memories and/or occasions!

Life resolutions

"Class of 2014" graduation gifts

"Baseball Mom" with the baseball number on it

Valentines day gifts

I made one for the Shelly Moore Band.

Favorite scripture reference

Half marathon

Mother's necklaces with kids names and birthdays

The chains are approximately 32" long and come in silver bronze.

They are $10 and then $3 for shipping.
If your necklace requires a specific charm (like the baseball or anchor charm) it will be $2 extra.

If you want to place an order, just go to

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Added Attention and Multi Calm ~ vitamins for the ADHD and the anxious

Many of you have asked what vitamins we use for Zeke.

He has ADHD and anxiety and we weren't anywhere near ready to go down the medication route with him yet.

My friend mentioned that she gives her daughter these vitamins and that they really seemed to help her, so I thought they were worth a try.

And boy are they ever!

Every morning Zeke takes these two supplements and I swear we can tell a difference when we've neglected to get them in!

Since we have started these he hasn't had 1 day where his teacher writes home about him being distracted or needing reminders to focus and concentrate.  He is much less dramatic and much more "calm" (if that word even exists in Zeke's dictionary;).  He processes things quicker and with much easier and is can rationalize through a thought much more fluently.

I read the reviews and many spoke very highly about the effects these supplements had on their kids, but there were also just as many reviews about how they couldn't tell a bit of difference.  I believe that if your child's chemical makeup is lacking these essential vitamins then this supplement is going to be exactly what they need.  I'm guessing those other children had some other issues that just need some other intervention, whether it is different vitamins or other medical help.

Anyway, these supplements have MY stamp of approval!

The first one is Natural Vitality Kids Calm Multi.  I first got it at whole foods, but found it cheaper on Amazon.  It is a liquid that he takes every morning with breakfast.

The second one is Buried Treasure Added Attention.  Again, I got this at Whole foods but have found it cheaper on Amazon.  Zeke could hardly stand this liquid version, so I found chewable "wafers" (they taste like a mix between smarties and sweet tarts!) and he eats 2 of them every morning as well.  They are called Source Naturals Attentive Child.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Command Center ~ mudroom in the kitchen

With a Colony this size there has got to be some semblance of order and routine.

I've created chore charts of various varieties over the years with no long term success.
We've tried brainstorming different ideas to keep a balanced home,
creating unity, self-worth tactics and a team work mentality.

So with a little motivation from Pinterest, random treasures found in my parent's barn
and a supportive husband who always seems to be mandatorily involved for all my many ideas (thanks pookie;)
we came up with a make-shift mudroom/command center

This is my little piece of heaven...

first of all, we needed a little motivation for why we do what we do
Made out of a piece of wood from an old crate I found, written on with a sharpie.
The letters I found HERE to resize, print and tied on with twine (my FAVORITE accent piece EVER).

Then we made a "work for hire" board.

I got the idea HERE.
Made with three cheap IKEA pictures frames already on hand, 
and some chicken wire from my parents barn.  Tied together with twine, of course;)

Instead of giving our kids an allowance, just because,
we decided we wanted to work on instilling the attitude of hard work and how it can pay off.

Josh and I thought of different jobs around the house that always need to be done
but that regularly get pushed aside.
Each job can be selected, completed and then after parent's approval the payment will be given.
They are paid in small coins so we can still instill the money management ideas of tithing, saving and spending.

We have the appropriate money for the jobs in little magnetic jars next to the pantry so it is ready to hand out for a job well done!

I found some old, black shutters in my parents barn.
We cut them in half and are using them for organizational purposes.
Each kid has their own organizer for school papers, party invitations and weekly chore charts

There is also a hook under each shutter for their book bag and coat.

My Menu board helps motivate me to plan out our meals every week.

Found the idea HERE and just covered a push pin board already on hand.

This not only helps lower my meal time anxiety, but helps with grocery shopping.
I also added a "My Little Helper" tag so they know who gets to help me prepare meals that day.
Because we ALL know that meal prep is NO FUN with too many "cooks" in the kitchen.
Plus then there isn't any arguing as to who is going to help mommy with what.
At least ONE DAY there won't be any arguing about who is going to help mommy with what;)

I can also place the recipes for that week on it so they are easily accessible.

So far this system is working GREAT!

The best thing, though...

Total for this project ~ $0

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Words Worth Remembering

Cai and Alethia finishing up with their last task for school

Alethia: "I'M DOOOOOONE!!!"
Cai: "Aleeeeeeethia! It's NOT a winning game!!!"


while Zeke and I were reading a book together one night

Zeke:"...oooh look, I found the samich!"
Me:"Did you just say 'SAMich'?"
Zeke:"Yeah. SA.MICH."
Me:"You know it's SANDwich, right?"
Zeke ~ speachless


Cai and Alethia singing around the house

"San ta clause is com iiiing to town"
Cai:"You know Santa's not really coming Alethia."
Alethia:"Yeah, cause Santa is DEAD!"
Cai:"Yeah, he's not alive anymore. He was and he was a nice guy. Now he's DEAD!"


Zeke:"Hey mom, look! I shoulda worn this shirt for crazy sock day cause it has crazy stripes!"
(typical Zeke logic;)


Cai:"Ok everybody, who wants a grahamcheese samich?!"

Cai:"Mom, can you heat up the graham to make grahamcheese samiches?"


Cai:"Can I have a cheese torsadilla for lunch?"


Cai:"Da-ad! the toilet is overfloating again!"


Cai:"Oooohh, it's swooshy outside"
translation: "Brrr, it's windy outside"


Cai:"Aw man, I wish vidisible people were real..."
vidisible = invisible 


Cai: "No mom, it's not a taco, it's a Tor-Sa-Di-Lla."

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Birthday Wishes

Yesterday was my birthday.

I know I'm supposed to say I'm 27 and pretend like I'm not actually getting older.
But I AM getting older. And, at least for now, it doesn't phase me.

I'm an unashamed 35 now!

I had the most simple, sweetest birthday ever.
My kids gifted me (and re-gifted to me) all day.
I received a mountain stack of pictures and cards, pencils and markers, some used tape, a necklace from the dress-up bin and my favorite, a sheet with 3 1/2 Cars stickers on it:)

Josh made me a crumb cake so we could celebrate with the kids.
It even had a plastic car from the toy bin cake topper.

Anyway, you can't do a birthday cake without candles.
And you can't have candles without blowing them out.
And you can't blow them out without making a wish.

I don't care how old you are, if you have a birthday treat, with a candle on top, you KNOW you still make a birthday wish too...right?!

But this year, all I could utter in my head was a quick "wish" to be the woman He wants me to be this year.  I even ended it with an "in your name I pray, amen" by pure coincidence.

My gift from Josh.
The significance runs deep so it was the PERFECT gift!
Then, we had our belated Staff Christmas party that night.  It was the perfect end to a fabulous day.

I got a Julie Schuler Key Lime Pie made just for me!

And on top was...another candle, and another room full of people waiting for me to blow it out.

Wishes weren't even appropriate as I stood among a room of some of my favorite people in the world.
The staff we serve with love us.
They are family.
They care about OUR family.
We are on mission together.
No strings attached.
No pressure to be someone we aren't.
And that is a dream come true.

My life is far from perfect, and I certainly have my share of days where I'd either wish for a "restart" or even to forget about altogether, but I am so thankful for where God has me.

This season.
This husband.
This Colony.
This church.
The friends I am surrounded with (even if they aren't physically close).

I'm in my dream and it's my life.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Eye Candy With A Purpose

Like I posted earlier with our bathroom, we are embracing this place we call home.

Don't get me wrong, we LOVE our home!
But just like anything, there are some things we'd love to change.
Financially speaking, though, we just don't have what it takes to make it a dream home, but we do have OTHER resources!

Like spray paint (from anywhere between $1-$3) and the creativity to rearrange spaces in the home to bring a fresh new look and more practicality to our surroundings. The kid's art stencils and acrylic paint. Old pieces of wood found here and there.  Other old odds and ends found around my parent's barn, our shed out back and abandoned lots.  I also have Pinterest;)

The above mentioned things bring warm fuzzies to my heart.  I'm telling you, it doesn't take much:)

Our laundry room is housed in our kitchen.  There is no divider between the two rooms but we have made it work for 4 years.

I'm AWFUL at before/after pictures, but this gives you an idea of what we had going on...hence the reason why I felt the need for a change...

I told you, terrible at photos!

But you can see the dryer.  It was literally SMOOSHED between this ledge, which housed the trashcan, and the washing machine.  Then there was that door, that didn't even close because the dryer was in the way.  It looked terrible and the kids NEVER actually made all their food scraps into the trash can, hence the little rug "catch" the little mishaps, ha!

This also meant that we had nasty ketchup or peanut butter always dripping down the side of the dryer or sticky hands on the washing machine that would inevitably get on clean clothes.

I'm not resentful at all.

So, one day I had had enough!

I got the crowbar, much to Josh's dismay, as he has grounded me from such tools because of similar "had enough days" which resulted in this beauty...

Yeah, that used to be a built-in desk that was falling a part:\
But that's a project for another day...

moving on...

I ripped out that ledge. Every last nasty, crusty-food inch of it.

Took the door off.

Scooted the dryer over.

Then I went shopping.
In my own home of course, to see what I could rearrange to make my laundry area more practical.

I found this beauty in a different area of the house, re-housed its contents and spray-painted the drawers yellow, which don't look their exact color in these pics, but oh well.  It now contains all my candles and holders, dish towels, laundry extras and cleaning rags.

I then continued to shop around the house for some things to soften it up a bit.

Here is what it looks like now:

You like my new/old trash can?!
I get little tinglies all over my body just looking at it.

A container with Jude's special detergent.
flowers always add a little smile to a room.
A basket for all of my pocket treasures. 

My friend, Heidi, gave me the wash board to remember our Uganda laundry days.
The bag on the wall contains my coupons and was made by a friend as well!

Eventually I'd love to get a rug to go under the washer and dryer and paint the wall behind.
Little steps ya'll, little steps.

It is much more welcoming to walk into, since this is one of the first things people see when they walk in our home.

This project cost a total of $7.
$6 for spray paint.
$1 for the wall sticker on the door (Dollar Tree)

My whole kitchen is full of warm fuzies that I will be posting later, so come on back soon!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Put Your Own Mask On First

I used to have a hard time on airplanes as I would listen to the flight attendants go through the in-flight rules before take-off.  Let me rephrase that.  There was really only ONE rule that would catch me off guard every time.

It's the one where they talk about the oxygen mask that gets released from above if there is an emergency.  The flight attendant is always quick to share a quick warning and word of advice for the adult to put their oxygen mask on first...and THEN their child's mask.

I used to think, "well how selfish is that?!".

But after thinking about this some more (I'm a quick reactor to a fault sometimes.  Hey, I'm working on it ok;) I realized just how important this little piece of advice is.

In fact, I'd venture to say that it can carry on into normal day life as well.

What if I try to put the "physical mask" on my kids first, making sure that they are involved in every seasonal sport.  Meanwhile I am slowly getting more and more out of shape because I lack the discipline to be physically active myself.

What if I try to put the "relational mask" on my kids first, making sure they make it to every social event, birthday party and play date they are invited to.  Meanwhile I am drowning in loneliness and lack of community and accountability.

What if I am so worried about getting in every food group at every meal, while avoiding all the chemicals, additives, dyes and whatever else, yet skipping my own meals throughout the day.

What if I am so focused on my kids "character mask" that I am more worried about how my kids are acting and neglecting to realize that they are just mimicking my own reactions to life.

What if I try to put the "spiritual mask" on my kids first (dropping them off at church, praying with them before bed, sending them to a Christian school), desperate for them to get some "spirituality" in their lives.  Meanwhile I am slowly suffocating from lack of fresh oxygen which comes from my own personal relationship with Christ, a community to surround and support me, and the growing fruit of the Spirit that overflows from this kind of "oxygen" that would naturally surround my kids and fill them with life-giving oxygen as well.

Women, we have to take care of ourselves first!

Now I know, there is a balance.

I'm not saying that you need to cancel your kids soccer practice in order to spend a day at the spa(okay, maybe that wouldn't be too bad would it?), but what if we made it a point to stay physically active ourselves!  Our bodies would thank us for it (well, maybe not at first, ha!) and our kids would grow up seeing the importance of taking care of the bodies that God gave us.

What if we slowed down a little and had actual conversations with human beings, outside of the computer or phone screen.  That's how it used to be!  Isn't relationship what we were created for?

What if we made sure we ate our own three meals a day.  I've found that if I get all 3 meals in, I am a MUCH happier mama, and patience abounds (most of the time;)!

What if we realized that the way we talk to our kids and treat our kids is actually how our kids are learning to talk and treat their siblings and peers...and us.  We can yell and scream at them all day about the way they are acting, but if we don't show them self-control in this area, it's going to be an uphill battle I'm afraid.

Most importantly, if we are not taking the time to grow in our relationship with Christ we aren't going to value our body as "not our own" to help us respect it and take care of it, we are going to struggle in relationships because of selfishness, greed and laziness, and we most certainly are not going to have the overflow for our family that comes from this relationship.

So, as much it makes me cringe to say it, I would have to agree with the flight attendant...

"Adults, put your own mask on first".

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Words Worth Remembering

Cai:"Mom, I'm gonna save your seat for you so that everybody can't not get in it."


Cai:"I asked Wainy if she wanted cheese on her burger and she said she 'no'.  So don't put cheese on her burger."

Me:"So just a plain burger, right? No cheese?"

Cai:"Yeah.  And the brown stuff. Don't forget the brown stuff."

Me:"The brown stuff?"

Cai: pointing to the meat "Yeah, she wants that brown stuff on her burger too."

So she wants the burger on the burger. Got it.


Josh:"Alright, I'm making donuts! How many does everybody want?"

Cai:"I want thwee, thwee, thwee! ... Can after I have thwee can I have some mo?"


Me:"Cai what would you like on your beef taco?"
Cai:"Uhhhh, cheese...and the brown stuff. I want some of that brown stuff too!"

So you want beef in your beef taco. Got it.


Cai:"Hey Wainy, you wanna go have some alone time with me?  I'll give you one of my animow stikoes."


Zeke:"Sometimes when Cai cries I feel sad like I need to cry too."

(he's so stinkin' sensitive)


Cai:"When I gwowed up to be 6 I'm gonna wipe my OWN bootie!"


Noah:"What is that?"
Zeke:"Just my vitamins."
Noah:"What's it for?"
Zeke:"Well, sometimes I freak out..."


Cai (shyly talking about Ms. Beverly): "She always cawls me angel:)"


while playing with Alethia, Cai and Jude
Zeke:"EVERYBODY STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING!!!!  I just wanted to tell you Cai, I'm sorry I talked to you like that."

Every once in a while I think our parenting has actually sunken in;)

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Subscribe and Save" - grocery sanity for the Colony mom

Last summer my sister-in-law shared this program with me from Amazon that I had never heard of before, and I figured it was worth sharing.

It's Amazon's "subscribe and save".

It is basically like grocery shopping on-line, but the items get shipped directly to your front doorstep and the shipping is FREE.  In some cases the items are a bit more expensive, so it just takes a little time to figure out what items are worth getting through this particular program.

There are no hidden fees
No sign-up fees
No cancellation fees
No extra trips to the grocery store where you go in "for just a couple of things" but come out with a grocery cart full of unexpected items.
Did I mention that it is a FREE program and FREE shipping!
You can get between 5% to 15% discount on items from the already discounted subscribe and save price. (the more items you get, the more you save)
You have a monthly shipping date so its easy to ration out the food for each week in the month, knowing exactly when your next shipment will be coming.
Every month you get a bunch of boxes for all your kids creative needs!  It's a win-win:)

Here's what you do.

Go to  Search for whatever items you are looking for and you will see all of the different options for that particular item.

For example: we drink a lot of Coconut water, so I did a search for it and this is what came up.  Look at all your options, look for the particular items flagged as "subscribe and save" items and then compare the brands and prices.  Then click on that item's "subscribe and save", which will take you to a page like this.

This page is where you choose whether you want this just one time or subscribe for automatic deliveries.  Once you choose one-time delivery or how often you want it delivered, which can be changed at any time, you click on the "subscribe now" button which will then take you to a page like this where you will then see your savings to confirm "subscription" and click "subscribe now".

That's it.  It will sit in your "Subscribe and Save" account until your designated shipment date.  You have up until a couple days before it is delivered to change any of your settings or even cancel delivery with no hidden fees!

Click on the arrow that says "your account" and go down to "subscribe and save" to check on your statuses at any time.  From time-to-time items will be "currently unavailable".  That just means that it will not charge your card because that shipment will not be going out.  I check my items every couple of weeks to see which ones I need to replace with a different brand or size to make sure I get what I'm expecting to get.

Over the months I've been able to narrow down the exact items we use on a regular basis and how often we go through them.

"What kinds of things does your family get?"

Well, we get most of our canned goods; green beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, pizza sauce, olives, etc.  We also get pancake mix, oatmeal and some cereals.  We get almonds and pistachios, Annie's mac-n-cheese and snack bars, Josh's protein powder, coconut water, Zeke's Attention vitamins, essential oils, toilet paper and cleaners, flax seed and pasta noodles, just to name a few.

I finally feel like I am getting a handle on our grocery budget and this program has played a huge part in that.

Let me know if you have other questions about this program or about how our family does groceries.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"Are They Coming Back?" ~ the forever fear of my forever child


It's always raining on this day.
The day we remember when Alethia got to come HOME!

The question I get most often now about our adoption is, "How has the transition gone?"

We are two years in and I am still not quite sure how to answer that question.

Alethia transitioned into this family with ease.
At least with as much ease as a child can have after being abandoned as an infant, then being placed with a family and told to trust them, then being left behind, not knowing if this "family" would ever come back for her, to being flown across the ocean to an unfamiliar country to start a new life.

Our family transitioned into her addition with ease.
At least with as much ease as a family can have after being told that there would all of a sudden be another little 3-year-old in the family that would share life (and mommy and daddy) with them, to live in an unfamiliar country for 3 months only to have to leave, without their new sister and then be reunited again, and then less than 4 weeks later adding another itty bitty life to the chaos.

If I am honest, though, I'd have to say it's been quite a journey on my own heart.
I mean, how does a mama love differently, yet love the same.
Discipline differently, yet discipline in fairness.
Treat the adopted child with sensitivity because of her background, yet try to make them feel like they are no different, in order to feel part of the family unit.

I remember talking with Josh one night, confessing just how hard it had been.  We both agreed that it would just take time.

Two years in and I can truly say that it is more normal than not now.

I don't pour cups of juice in the morning, making sure I'm not shafting Alethia causing her to feel singled out for accidentally having less in her cup. (I'm sure you are probably wondering what in the world I am talking about, but I'm telling you EVERY morning, I used to stress over portion sizes...)
I don't get any more frustrated at her outbursts of disobedience than I do with the rest of the Colony.
I don't see her hoarding all her things, refusing to share with everyone saying "but it's MIIIIIIIINEEE".  She is learning to hold onto her things much more loosely.

I can honestly say that on a day-to-day basis, I actually forget that I have this beautiful African princess as my own, and just see her AS MY OWN.  Then I go out in public and I am made VERY aware of just how unique our family makeup really is:-) 

Time is what has grown our love and our trust.
Prayer has given me a heart to love her like the other kids I fought to bring into this world.

There is one thing, though.
One question she always asks...

"Is __________ coming back?"

In fact, just today Rainy left with a friend to go to a gymnastics meet and Alethia quietly held onto my leg as Rainy drove away.  Later I overheard her asking her daddy, "Is Rainy coming back, though?".  I really don't think she believes Areyna has left her, but more like her needing reassurance that we are in this for good with her.

It breaks my heart every time she asks it.

She asks the same about Josh when he goes to work, and when I go to the store, or a sibling has a special event.  She needs that verbal cue that everything is going to be okay.

Goodbye's are terribly hard on her, especially when leaving grandparents.

But maybe time will cure this fear as well.
Maybe we just have to prove over and over to her that she is part of us now.
Now and always.


I know your are fearful of goodbyes.  I pray that God will eventually give you a peace and perspective of these "see you laters" and have confidence in this family God has placed you in.

We're not going ANYWHERE, and neither are you!

Happy 2 years in forever, baby girl!

All my heart,

Friday, January 10, 2014

My Inner Creativity Has Been Unleashed!

We've been slowly chipping away at things around the house as we turn this once rented space into our family's home.

I've been thinking about some ideas for our bathroom.

When we first moved in, it had an 80's floral wallpaper on it...awesome.
It is also adorned with "lovely" green tile throughout, and its TINY size really limits any creativity and storage options.

I ended up taking the wallpaper down and painting it shortly after we moved in, but I still wasn't completely satisfied...until this morning.

I got the brilliant idea to go out into the shed and find a piece of wood to prop up on the tile for an instant shelf.  It's things like this that make my heart warm and my eyes happy.

We have come to embrace the age of this house and the little things that make it outdated unique, while freshening it up on a very small budget.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Inappropriate Panic

As a child who struggles with anxiety, Zeke has inherited my "gift" of abundant tears.  Any number of things can bring on the waterworks on any given day, no matter how hard we try to hold them in.

I am getting better at controlling my emotions in my old age, but Zeke is still learning.

When he begins falling a part over little things like Cai looking at him the wrong way, or a missing shoe, or the Lego car that fell resulting in a missing missile, we calmly tell him, "Zeke, those are inappropriate tears".

We're trying to teach him to logically think through the real reason for the hysteria and talk himself off the ledge with reason and perspective.

But did you know that a lot of us live in this realm, and most of us don't even know it!

Sure, you may not cry over every little thing, but you hit the panic button on life, causing you, and everyone around you, to dive into scurry mode.

I'm reading a book called "The Time of Your Life" by Susie Davis.  It is an excellent read! (I got it for $.01 on Amazon BTW).

The chapter I read today was titled, "the trap of inappropriate panic".  Boy did it hit the mark on women of this generation.

We tend to hit the panic button from everything to straightening up the house for a guest to trying to get out of town for a "fun" family vacation.

Not only are we creating an unpeaceful environment for those around us, but we are "training up a child in the way he should go" and that way is completely inappropriate!    For example, if my kids see a stressed out mom all the time, where every little thing is cause for scurry and panic, they will think that it's normal to act that way and most likely fall into those same unhealthy patterns as an adult.

Susie asks us the question, "Do you leave your hurrying and scurrying for real emergencies or do you live in the hysterics of a tornado lifestyle, driven on by a skewed perspective."

If we live life in panic mode, and then wonder why we are stressed out all the time, we could probably use a hefty dose of perspective...and maybe we could ask someone to remind us that "that is inappropriate panic" to help talk us off the ledge:-)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Oh, It Wasn't A 1-hour Delay Today?

All of a sudden there was a Jude in my bed, excitedly pounding on my face saying, "mommy, nose, mommy, nose..."

I rolled over thinking how wonderful of a Saturday morning it was. I must have slept in somehow and it must have been much-needed because I didn't even feel an ounce of guilt for not getting up early to have some time in the quiet before the kids woke up.

Then I remembered that it wasn't Saturday, but Friday.  Only the second day back in school for the kids, so a SCHOOL Friday.

I fished my phone (aka alarm) out from under my pillow, uncertain of how in the world it got there instead of on its charger across the room, which is intentionally placed across the room so I'll get my butt out of bed and turn it off in the mornings.


And then I thought to myself, "that was sweet of Josh to let me sleep and get the kids off to school".

Then I heard Rainy...

What in the world was going on?!

I climbed out of bed, confused and not thinking clearly AT ALL!

All the kids were slowly getting out of bed.
Nobody was dressed yet.
No tears by any of them, just leisurely getting ready for the day.

We had just had the most bizarre night!

A late-night rehearsal at Journey resulted in the kids getting to bed well past 10:30.
The packed dishwasher forgot to run itself.
The lunches didn't pack themselves either (one day I'll figure out how to get them to do that, and then I'll be a millionaire and have enough money to let my kids buy a lunch everyday, and never use my own invention).
I remember coughing all.night.long last night.
I remember Josh getting up and bringing me medicine that he demanded asked me to take.
I remember finally falling asleep shortly after.

And then 9:18 happened.

I felt like the Zombie Apocalypse had just occurred.

To top it all off it was cold as &*$% outside and all our outside toys and furniture were blown all over the yard and knocked over AND the coffee was still not making itself.

Somehow both of our alarms had gone off, or NOT gone off, without our knowing it (I guess we'll never know what happened) and the day was just going to fall into place the way days fall into place everyday.

Josh walked around the house singing silly songs as he gently moved our kids toward getting out the door to school. (hopefully Zeke could get in a lesson or two before they ate lunch, ha!)

It may not have been a planned 1-hour delay by Wake County, but it was a God-ordained interruption in my neatly planned, got-it-all-together kind of days I so desperately try to facilitate.

As I watched Josh calmly go with the flow I was reminded of just how little control I have on the direction life takes me sometimes, but the thing that I do have control over is my reaction.

After I made those lunches, started the dishwasher and got my first cup of coffee in my hands I decided I just needed to go with it too.  And so here I am, jammies still on, the house a disaster, the clean laundry still piled on the floor, listening to a little Bon Iver and typing away on an un-urgent blog post while Alethia and Cai play sweetly together with a conglomeration of Barbies, cars and Superheroes, because really, would worrying and scurrying around really accomplish anything at all?

"Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
Matthew 6:27

Happy Saturday Friday ya'll!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Colony's Rockin' New Years Eve 2013

Another New Year's Eve gone by, making way for a brand new year to come rushing in.

Josh and I had a fun day of family activities planned (1), seeing as this is the most anticipated day of the entire year for our family (2)!

We spent the day baking together, playing outside, telling stories and acting out our favorite stories from the Bible (3).  I actually think that the excitement of the day brought out the best in my children.  It was so nice to see them playing so sweetly together.  The arguing was minimal (4), and the little tiffs that I did overhear were worked out on their own, with words of love (5).

A dinner of champions was made.  We made sure we covered all of the food group bases to ensure proper nutrition was consumed, because we are just those kind of parents (6).

After dinner we gathered around the fireplace and took turns roasting marshmallows for smore's (7) and played a friendly game of "Trouble" (8).

And since the Colony had such great attitudes all day we decided to let them stay up with us because we couldn't imagine them missing this unforgettable moment (9).

We spent the rest of the night quietly reflecting on the past year's events and prayed through the New Year together as a family (10), which was quite appropriate, seeing as our family is a constant source of calm, quiet and order (11).

So, from our family to yours, Happy New Year!

1) Actually, we'd been out of town off and on for the past week so Josh needed to go into the office.

2) I'm pretty sure we have never done the same thing twice on New Year's Eve.  No family traditions have been made on this momentous day yet, ha!

3) I was sick and feeling like crap...yes, AGAIN.  It was all I could do to get lunch on the table for the kids by 2pm.

4) The kids were pushing each other's buttons all day!  Their consequences included folding laundry, picking up sticks outside for the fire, loading and unloading the dishwasher, cleaning bathrooms and changing the Guinea Pig bedding, so it actually worked out pretty well for me:-)

5) Alright, maybe this one was a stretch.  Somehow Alethia's teeth "accidentally" bit Areyna's hand and Cai's body mysteriously tackled Jude, who happened to be holding his brand new Captain America pen, into the banister.

6) There was dairy and grain in the mac-n-cheese, meat in the hotdogs, and vegetables in the oil.  We actually did have fruit, go us!

7) Only if "taking turns" means fighting over graham cracker squares, crying over who gets to sit closest to the fire and keeping close tabs on the number of chocolate pieces each person gets so everything is even and fair...sigh...

8) I may have told Zeke that if he kept moving everybody's players around for no reason I wasn't going to play with him anymore.  And we learned just how competitive Areyna is (IE-she doesn't like to lose)

9) Bed time couldn't come quick enough last night!  I actually did have the thought to keep the older ones up to watch the ball drop...but then reality hit and I came back to my senses.

10) Josh cooked us up a dinner for two on a contraption that would be perfect for a single person with a pea-sized stomach, ha!  It took forever to make enough for just the two of us, but man was it good!  It's not like we had much else to do with the kids in bed and a TV that picks up 0 channels to watch the NYC festivities:)

11) Life may not be quiet or orderly and most definitely not calm, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!