Monday, March 26, 2012

A war on the homefront

We just returned from vacation and I am sure I will post happy pictures and details of our really wonderful ski trip that turned into a hiking trip when Lake Placid was hit with weather in the upper 70s.  Yes, vacation tell-alls are nice but today I have a bit of venting to do.

It's always hard to return to life after being away; hard to not just pass out on the couch, hard to force yourself to unpack and get back into the routine.  One might think time away lends to extra patience, endurance, grace- NOT SO in the life of Kim Aneed.  Perhaps it's annoyance at being back in the world of "to do"s, perhaps I am just tired, but I was havin' no patience today.  It was a war up in here.

Watching TV yesterday, Marc and I were so excited by our up close look at the brilliant red cardinal outside our living room.  How funny that the cardinal kept flying into our window.  Wait?  Maybe not funny?  We started to wonder if something was wrong with the fella.  I wondered if something was wrong with his wings.  Marc wondered if he was trying to get inside for help.  I dismissed both options when I went out and he flew away.  Then I had to wonder if the poor fella was hungry.  I got out dried raspberries and laid them out near where he'd been flying.  Sure enough he returned, but he didn't touch the berries, he just kept flying at the window.  Silly bird.

This morning, I was even sort of excited to see him still there and I thought the kids would LOVE the up close and personal look at the bright red feathered creature and sure enough they did.  Phin even had me running to the window when he said, "I know what's wrong, mommy, he has eggs on the deck."  I ran to get a look and erupted in laughter at the sight of my silly dry raspberries.  I guess when you are three, it makes sense for a red bird to lay red eggs.

Those were the good 10 am, the stupid cardinal was still repeatedly flying into our window.  My children were OVER the up close and personal view.  Bird poop covers the area of the deck underneath his antics.  Dried raspberries remain untouched.  I started to wonder if he could break the window or would the window eventually break his beak.  Poor bird.  I don't want a stupid bird with a broken beak living on my deck forever- I obviously don't know what to feed the fella.

I looked it up online and discovered, he is "protecting his territory" by attacking his reflection, which he doesn't know is his reflection- to him it is another bird (SEE!  told you he was stupid;).  The website recommended drawing the curtains, which might work if we had any sort of coverings on our windows.  Next, they recommended soaping the window.  I got out in the bitter cold and fully soaped my window- not leaving a crack of reflective glass.  I felt like a humanitarian- no a birditarian.  No longer would this bird be in danger of a damaged beak, I had saved the day.

BUT NO- the little fellow moved onto another window!  NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My children started to get dramatic and were sure he was trying to get in to hurt them.  They are probably afraid of cardinals for life.  I started to get desperate, but who wants to go around soaping their entire home.  Eventually that mess needs to get cleaned up, and it isn't as easy as you'd think.  Without much else by way of resources, I taped up paper towels.  And yes, he left that window alone.  We had peace for about 20 minutes.

But the little terror was not done!  This birds territory must be flippin' gigantic because he moved onto a third window around the corner on the side of the house.  I am seriously annoyed and at this point I give up.  I don't care if he breaks his beak.  I am tempted to buy a BB gun and set him straight.  Constant window pecking is really grating.  Territory was moved today, but it wasn't the birds!  WE ended up moving  to a different part of the house.  The stupid bird is dominating our existence.  He totally won today, but I am sure plotting for tomorrow.  We're going to look like an abandoned building, I am gearing up for paper towelin' windows left and right.  I may even clean up the silly the meantime I am half hopin' a cardinal predator smells them and takes care of my little red problem overnight!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A dinnertime conversation

Ava:  A has a TV in her room!
Marc:  Well, just so you know, you'll never have a TV in your room.  You won't have a computer in your room.  You won't even be able to take a lap top up to your room.
Ava:  What?  Never?  Are you serious?
Phin (piping in in his cheerful raspy voice):  Don't worry Ava.  I'll let you use the computer I'll have in MY room!

(No, he doesn't have one either and never will...but a kid can dream;)

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Weekend Away

Long ago I had planned to go away for a Scrapbook Retreat with my friend Nicole. As the time approached it became apparent that it fell smack dab in the middle of a crazy month.  From mid-Feb to end of March, we have been and will be in craziness.  Craziness that is all good, including two vacations and many service opportunities, but it is crazy busy.  The problem?  I hate crazy.  I don't do well internally when it is crazy.  Crazy schedule can make for a crazy mama.  Looking at the calendar, I felt my stress level rise.  I desperately looked for ways to improve the madness before it hit and rashly decided to cancel my weekend away.  Thankfully, my friend Nicole would have none of it and kindly told me so.

I returned from this weekend away last night.

I had no idea leading up to the weekend if I'd have time to get anything together scrapbooking wise, so I just decided not to stress about it.  God continues to remind me not to worry about tomorrow, so I decided to keep my focus first on Jesus and take things one day at a time.  Instead of the looming pressure of "being fully organized and ready", I decided I'd prepare what I could and otherwise use the time to rest.  I have no idea how, but I was able to go through Chloe's first year and print and organize all of my desired photos.  Still, I knew rest was paramount so I told myself to bring them along but make sure I prioritized time with Jesus over getting stuff done.

Due to needing to support a friend in an emergency, I was unable to pack Thursday evening, as planned and rushed to pull my things together Friday morning.  I drove down to Madison a good 4 hours ahead of my meeting time with Nicole.  I sat in Panera with my favorite soup and spent time reading, journaling, and praying.  It was such a wonderful time of refreshing.  I met up with Nicole and shortly into our ride from Madison, I started to wonder where I put my nicely organized photos.  Try as I might, I could not recall putting them into my car.  I called home and sure enough, my nicely organized and labeled photos were still sitting on the table.  What a kink in the plans to get a bit of scrapbooking done!  I had loads of supplies, but no pictures;)

As frustrating or hilarious as this could have been, I knew that it was a God thing.  I don't claim my forgetfulness is always God's plan- certainly, it is more often evidence of my failure, but on Friday I knew he was using my forgetfulness to give me rest.  Try as I might, I know it probably would have been difficult to spend unhindered time with Jesus when a LARGE stack of photos was staring at me.  The stack is honestly a bit overwhelming.  I never would have finished it, but it's presence would have been a constant reminder of "to do"s.  I needed to get away from that.  I felt like the Lover of my soul stole me away!

I did get a couple layouts done, minus pictures, but mostly, I rested.  I chatted.  I went on a trail ride.  I read.  I slept and best of all I spent more time with Jesus.

On Saturday, I went for a walk and sat along side the creek on a big rock.  I read some scripture, mostly meditating on Isaiah 6:1-8.  I cannot imagine how amazing it was for Isaiah to get a vision of GOD on his throne.  I couldn't escape from noticing when he saw who God was, he said, "woe is me, for I am UNDONE."  The word UNDONE bothers me.  Why?  Because I am a control freak in many ways,  I hate to be undone, and yet that is what Isaiah claimed in God's presence.  I sat there and asked God to show me more of his glory and I confessed I fear being "undone".  I listed to worship music and in God of Wonders I was looking at the beautiful blue sky as I heard the words, "the heavens are your tabernacle", I felt small.  I felt sooo small;  I got an inkling of just how big God is.  I looked up at the sky and in thinking "tabernacle" started to imagine that the rolling hills before me were the folds of the train of his robe that Isiah says FILLED the temple of praise.  There were rolling hills as far as I could see.  Imagine a robe being so HUGE, and yet I knew the earth must be so small compared to heaven.  His robe is actually SO MUCH bigger than that.  I am so small on earth and God is big beyond comprehension.  I will never see the fullness of God's glory here on earth, but I did feel like God allowed me to understand how small I am in comparison to His glory.

I sat in the beauty of his creation and I sang songs to my Creator, my Savior, my King.  I looked and saw small patches of brilliant green grass along side the creek, the only green grass to be seen, as the fields are still brown from winter and I knew if I want to be vibrant even in the wintery seasons of life, I need to stay right next to my Savior, drinking deeply from his living water.

I sat and reflected on our busyness.  I expected God to chastise me.  After all, I had been looking at our schedule and chastising myself.  "How could I let us get this busy when I said were were going to be purposeful about keeping life in control?"  God didn't chastise me.  Instead, he opened my eyes to the fact that I can't always control life.  I can't.  I can't control when friends or myself have crisis or pain.  I can't control when people have needs.  The vacations were GIFTS and time with good friends.  It just all happened to fall in a short period of time for reasons beyond our control.  As I reflected, I knew everything behind us these past "crazy" weeks had been a success, but not because of anything I'd done. God's strength IS perfect. He DOES provide for our needs- physical, emotional, and spiritual.  I stand in awe once again that the God of the UNIVERSE,( THE UNIVERSE, PEOPLE!) cares so deeply about each one of us!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dr. Suess Silly Supper

It's Dr. Suess' birthday.  The very fact demands today be a silly supper day.  There are SOOO many ideas out there for this, so don't be surprised if I do a Dr. Suess birthday partyfor Chloe this summer, as well.

When a mama can have loads of fun, 
why, oh why, would she stop at just one?

note- there are a few extra children in the photos;)  We are watching our friend's kiddos this weekend.

 The kidos colored Dr. Suess placemats

I am sure you are shocked to learn we ate Green Eggs and Ham;)  The apple and cheese stick are the Truffalo Trees from The Lorax
 Blue Jello, with red candy fish "swimming" in it (Red Fish, Blue Fish)

 We read books Dr. Suess books throughout dinner...

 This is our godson, Jet, I was concerned he'd think the meal was babyish, but he had a good time with it and asked if he could read one of the books .  He chose to do our "pre-dessert" selection, Oh the Things You Can Think.
Dessert- "Schlopp with a Cherry on Top"....we had a sundae bar with three choices of ice cream and more toppings than anyone would care to read.  Phin is the only child that used all the toppings and surprisingly he ate it.  Apparently, blueberry syrup, hotfudge, and caramel blend well together...:P

We watched Horton Hears a Who after dinner (I planned on Hop on Popcorn during the show- but tummies were full, who knew they would actually eat green eggs...I was sure they'd be half horrified, but they loved them;)

This will be an annual thing, I think.  The kids loved it;)

Too precious not to share

Ava is our artist.  She is always creating things.  At first it was just coloring pictures, but soon we had sculptures coming out of our eyeballs.  Recently, she has starting crafting things out of cardboard.  Our recycling doesn't stay put for long, she scavenges for "supplies" and creates castles with drawbriges and moats or boats or planes.

This morning I got up and she was in the kitchen making something out of a La Croix box.  I asked her what she was making today.  She answered in the sweetest nonchalant fashion, "Oh, I am just making the orphanage that our baby lives in."

She can explain it all... the little yellow peices of paper in side open up- they are sleeping bags;)  There is a garden on the roof, with a tent for shade cuz it's very hot there;)....and my VERY VERY favorite thing? 

It has all our names in a heart (Phin's name is underneath the tent), with an extra big purple heart because we don't know his name yet;)  and then it says, "i love you"...

PRECIOUS! Yet, I also wonder how she'll process the 2-3 year wait?  I didn't plan on her knowing yet, but she is an eavesdropper and heard our conversations;)