Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Good Idea I Just Found

So I don't have this problem of girls trying on and spreading out clothes, but I've heard of a lot of moms who battle this. This is a good idea even if you don't. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Some Good Ideas--I Must Be Nesting

I love it when a good idea comes together. And works.

I don't seem to have many that really do what I envision, but a few seem to work out. Here are a few that I will share, and then you share yours with me.

1. So we don't really keep toys in the living room any more, but a few always seem to find their way out there anyway. So now I've put baskets in the living room for each of my kids on the bookshelf where they're out of the way. When I find a toy, or piece of a toy set, I put it in the owner's basket. Then once a week they take the baskets to their room and deposit the pieces to the appropriate places (in theory).

2. I like my kids to be independent but they were always bugging me to get them a cup for a drink! I don't really want them climbing on the counter--too much independence! So I have instituted the perpetual water cup. It has a lid and can be taken from room to room and refilled in the bathroom at will. I do have to pop Ashton's lid off, but she can get it back on by herself.

3. I have started using all those blanket and comforter bags that I have saved and never used for clothing storage! I can fit an entire season of Ashton's clothes in a normal size comforter bag and the smaller blanket bags are great for shoes. I write the size, season, and gender on the back of a Post-it and stick it to the inside of the bag so it stays on, but is easily changed as needed. Sure beats buying all those big bins every time I need to store more hand-me-downs!

4. More Trashcans! I don't know why I have been storing trashcans of various sizes in my garage, but I just got smart enough to bring them in and place them around the house! Best new places: Corner of the living room, where Ryan looks at the mail sometimes, and inside the front door, under the bench where we keep bags, jackets, items to go, etc. Both places can get junked up pretty quick so I hope this helps. (Also under the bench: a box for shoes and a basket for hats extra bags, etc.)

So I guess these are mostly about having small kids around, but please share all your ideas.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Few Zoo Pics

So I've been inspired by two other blogs to post these photos of a day at the zoo for us. Thank you Jess for taking the pictures--I don't take my camera to the zoo. One more thing to carry and more pictures to feel guilty about not scrapbooking.
Here is Ashton navigating out visit. I think she was just tired and wanted to sit. It was her first full day of walking at the zoo. Consequently, it was my first day of carrying a heavy backpack! Olivia and Jonah inspired this post with their same picture. Navigation must be the hot new thing in childhood.
Here is Reed being encouraged by Lesley to feed the giraffe. That long curly tongue really freaked him out!
And here I am early that morning before my Coke! Ha ha! Funny Jess!

What fun! Our zoo is not FREE like you all in St. Louis, but it is cost effective and great cheap entertainment, once you've bought the family pass with guest and split it between two families! cool!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Poured Out

I know it's been a while since I've posted. Sorry, a lot going on. I've had this on my mind for a while and hopefully I've sharpened my thoughts rather than lost them. (For the record, I have no brain to speak of right now!)

I have felt lately as though I am spent. I know physically I am so falling apart in this pregnancy. I am definitely dragging there. But even beyond that, I have been spent in many areas of my life.

It made me contemplate that cheesy but true preacher illustration about the sponge that must be squeezed out or it will get moldy, or the one about the potter's cup that he fills up to pour out on other creations he is shaping on the potter's wheel. That clicked with me: I have been completely poured out.

But it's not as though I have been doing things in a formally organized ministry. I've just been poured out in everyday life: poured out to my friends, poured out in my family, poured out in potty training (almost literally--I can not tell you how many pans of soaking underwear I have poured out into the laundry).

So this leads me to the drink offering. I have never really understood it and it's place in the sacrifice process. I mean the meat that is offered makes sense because it is used to feed the priests. But the drink offering is simply poured out. Doesn't this seem like a waste?

Yes. I feel a lot of times like what I'm doing is a waste. I mean how many more buckets of underwear water will I pour out before I see results? What good am I when I have no clear answers to offer to those asking? Will I ever be able to say things just once and see immediate action? Will the things I spend hours on each day always be undone within minutes?

At least I know that even in the "waste" there is an offering.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I, Who Am Not a Cryer...(Thoughts on Brett Favre)

I, who am not a cryer, have cried a lot over this Brett Favre situation.

To many (or maybe all) of you this may seem silly. Here is a man who has played football all of his life, who made a decision to retire and then changed his mind.

And really I have wondered why it is such a big deal to me. Is it because as long as I have been a Green Bay Packer fan, there has been a Brett Favre leading the team? Probably at least in part. Is it because I am loyal to a fault? Definitely. Is it because it will damage my fantasy line-up? Probably not.

I think the main reason this has become so personal for me is because it is reminiscent of what my Dad went through, when he was forced to retire earlier than he wanted.

I didn't realize how much this bothered me until I have had to watch Brett go through it in the media.

I have always known that I am deeply moved by stories of a spouse lost in death. Both my parents lost their spouses before they met and had me. But even though that is not a part of my personal family history, it is. I know those people had a part in making my parents who they are today. I have always felt a deep connection to this part of their story.

One story that has always made me cry is when my dad, a few weeks(? months?) after his wife had passed away, went out and laid on her grave and cried. And any story or movie that reminds me of that brings out the tears. When I watched Return to Me, I sobbed through most of the movie.

Now, having seen the treatment of Brett Farve from a team to which he has been so loyal, I have seen that connection to my dad's story again. I have been angry and cried again. My dad was loyal to a company all his working life and when it was sold to out-of-town owners, he was encouraged to move to retirement. I knew at the time (a ninth grader) that this was hurtful, but seeing it happen (through Farve's story) again as an adult, I am more hurt by it personally.

I don't know why people don't honor loyalty. When someone has given all of themselves to a team, or organization, or company, or church, why can they not be given the dignity of making their own choices? Who is it that places themselves above that person to get ahead? I believe those people should be honored EVEN TO THE SLIGHT DETRIMENT of the group.

I am disappointed in the Green Bay Packers. I know there are just a few who are responsible for the management of the organization, and they have lost my trust. I think they have hurt themselves by trying to get ahead. It will take some time and some better choices for me to support these people, and to a point, the team, again.

On the other hand, I commend Brett for his loyalty, even to the end, upholding the dignity of the team and fans of Green Bay. I hope he will make the Jets proud.

Nothing New to Cover the Sun

Looking for curtains for Ashton's room. I am so disappointed. Same ol', same ol'.