Monday, October 8, 2012

dear blog...

dear blog,
 hello ol' friend! it's been long since i've last visited. i didn't mean to leave for such a lengthy period of time. their is just so many venues for me to log our family's going's on.
 like an art journal...

how wonderfully therapeutic!
clearly, i've fallen in love with instagram =) wanna follow? our user name is: peculiarmorris under my name: amy marie. life documented in pictures is ever so much fun!
i've also been doing a TON of around the house projects. some of which i plan to blog about...once they are completed. here is a quick preview...
this is the crib springs from the kids old crib, soon to hold a few black & whites of our family, clipped with ever so tiny clothes pins. thank you pinterest!

these beauties are part of the making of our home school room =) which leads me to the fact that we are in the full swing of both kindergarten and pre. k as well as attending home school co'op. i've tried to take a picture of both mikey and gracie every friday after co'op, but let's face it, some days i just simply forget :( here's the first day...
mikey enjoys co'op a great deal, but it sure makes for a tired boy by noon!

gracie is still warming up to co'op, here she is trying to be excited about her first day. note: she too is completely bushed by noon =)

haven't they grown so much since last i posted?
this past summer my husband and i started running again!
watching him encourage our kids along the path, weather it's the running path or the path God guides them to in life, it's just such a blessing! He really is the man of my dreams and the only man i could ever want to "do life" with!

yes that is a roll of t.p. in the stroller bag - running is a great way to clear out my sinuses & of course i keep it classy with t.p. =D
running just makes us all feel soo good!
 i even started running the couch 2 5K program with a good friend of mine. i cannot say enough good things about that program!
 i. LOVE. it!
 if you've ever wanted to start running, have no previous experience, or just don't know where to start, might i suggest this c 2 k program? basically you start out running at 60 seconds and walking at 90 second intervals. over an eight week period it gently guides you into running a 5k in around 20 minutes.
one cold & windy saturday afternoon i really struggled to run. i just couldn't catch my breath! it was sooo frustrating because had done such a great run just the saturday before. my running partner, molly, was so gracious and walked with me until i caught my breath and off we'd go again. i was so upset with myself! i couldn't understand why in the world i suddenly couldn't all. molly suggested i go see my doctor to be sure i didn't have asthma or walking pneumonia. by the time i saw my doctor every single breath i took was painful :( turns out that i DO have asthma and running in the cold, without using an inhaler, is a great way to give yourself a lung infection.
 now. i. know.
after my infection was over i still had NO energy. i was so looking forward to getting up off my bum and hitting the streets with molly again, but it just seemed like this infection was kicking my bum instead of going away. it no longer hurt to breath but i just wanted to sleep MOST of the day. after a few more frustrating weeks of this we decided their might be another reason for this sudden lack of energy...
yup, that's two positive home pregnancy test =D the reason i have no energy to run & the desire to nap a good 3 hours every afternoon is because my body is busy making another human being! what an honor and a blessing to think that God has chosen us to give life to another person!
...about those crib springs hanging on the living room wall... 
haahhaahh! isn't that just my luck!?!
and so dear blog i haven't forgotten you, i've just gotta pick and choose what i do with my time, and i just simply can't do it all. so while i may be away for lengthy periods of time, it's not that i have forgotten you, just that i may have the sudden urge to paint a new color on the wall, pick some thing up off the side of the road and re'purpose it for our home; or cut, paint, paste, staple or sew an old fashion journal.
 life seems to be moving at an unexpectedly fast pace and i'm trying to sit comfortably in each and every moment, trusting that each and every step of the way has been ordained by a God who Loves and Cares and desires to be part of each and every step. prayerfully with every step, i will remember that even though the feet at the end of my legs are attached to my body, this body is not my own and these feet do surely want to tread where the All Mighty leads.   
all that said dear blog, i will try to remember you more often and stop by for a visit more frequently. especially since i'm entering a time in life where i generally tend to go more inward then out.
i'm sure their will be a lot that i will want to remember about these next few months so i do hope to see you again soon - until then, dear blog, i will be living each moment for Him, in Him.
1 corinthians 6:19-20
you are not your own; you were bought at a price. therefore honor God with you body.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The answers are blowing in the wind!

Last week i had a few extra small friends over to play. The thing with watching my girl friends children is that, well all the kids play sooooo well together, i get MORE time to myself. Isn't that ironic?
So while all the kiddos were splashing about in our puddle pool, i got to sit undisturbed for quite a while reading my bible. Not to worry, i was sitting poolside within an arms reach of all the kids =)
After a nice while, two of the smalls had to take potty breaks. So out of the water with everyone and up to the top of the hill to play. That way i could be sure no one would be tempted back into the water while i was inside for a few minutes.
A quick potty break and back to the fun, when i notice my old, most favorite bible, most of genesis & exodus lose with age, blown apart and throughout three different yards! My stomach in my feet and my heart in my throat - i had no idea which pages to chase after first.
"Children!" I shouted. "My bible! Please help me!" It was all i could think of and of course the wind kept blowing and the kids just stood there, blank faced and starring. "Please! Help me find all the pages!"
"Why is your bible like that?"
"Where should we start?"
"Just get another bible."
All questions and no action. I. am. frantic.
Running - chasing - gulping back tears - grabbing pages - genesis here - exodus there - wait, did Leviticus also blow away?
It wasn't until i started chasing my precious pages around throughout my yard and the neighbors that the children started to help. Reminding them of the mostly invisible boundary lines separating front and back yards, i run for the front as i see the table of contents snagging across the street. Checking to be sure no one was following me, i cross to gather more of genesis from tall meadow grass.
checking books and chapters and verses to see what i have, and what is missing, i hear peter, paul and mary singing in my head ' - the answers, my friend, are blowing in the wind, the answers are blowing in the wind-'
i was reminded of a man (whose name has escaped me) long ago imprisoned for his faith in God, and made to read political propaganda. a lot of time had past for that man and still he clung to God, wondering if he was to rot in prison and be abused for his faith, for the rest of his life. one day he prayed for God to show him if He was real or he would submit to his captors. soon after that prayer the man was cleaning out the latrine and what does he find? pages of the bible, used as toilet paper. the man asks to clean the latrine every day so that he can continue to collect the pages, soiled from the latrine, but precious tokens of love from the God who never left or forsake him. i was reminded of countless men and women who are in countries where the bible is illegal - what would they give to get their hands on just one of these page? i was reminded of a man in India who doesn't even know how to read, let alone even read in english, but has one page of this precious book and kisses it daily.
i hear the little girls voice in my head, "why not just get another bible? i saw two others in your living room," and my heart is shattered? my own selfishness of my need for this bible. would i be willing that these pages might blow to someone who might need them more then i? shattered by all the times i sit and do something other then read my bible - the very answers to all of life's questions, now literally blowing in the wind. how often do i talk about helping others get these very words into their hands and my words fall from my tongue, with hardly any action on my own part.
 all pages brought to me, and children playing at the top of the hill, i sit and start to figuring out what i have and what is still missing. the small girl who asked about "just using another bible" sits next to me.
"you write in your bible?" she asks picking up pages.
i show her my notes in the margins and tell her about the birthday that i received this bible. i tell her how this bible has been with me from the beginning of me walk with the Lord. with me when i lived in my car while traveling. with me while going to school both far away and right here in town. with me countless nights when i fell asleep with it on my chest, some nights sad with grief and some nights happy and full of life, but in all times, it helped me rest in God's pure joy. that yes this bible was very sentimental to me. yes, i loved it more then any other bible i owned.
but yes - she was right. a bible, is a bible.
that really it wasn't the sentimental life experiences i wrote in the margins. or the references on the inside cover that were a quick help in certain times of need, that i should be sad to loose, but that it was The Words of God. any bible, all bibles, should be treasured, but that our relationship with the Lord should be an even greater treasure.
i wondered, do i chase after God the way i chased after His words? do i set aside time to court Him in quiet communion? chase after Him personally?  hmmmm...
she and i sift through genesis, exodus and leviticus finding all the pages. we talk about what a special gift from God i received today in losing my bible, and getting it all back again. if only to remember how important it was to me - to others. that no, my notes in my bible weren't the most important thing, but that the words of the Lord are. while yes, my words in the margins were sort of like a journal of my walk with the Lord. and yes, it is okay to have that and feel attached to this particular bible because of them. we talked about how important the bible was without my notes in the margins. i told her it was a special gift to me to have her help me put God's words back together again and to share my bible with her.
"wasn't it funny that we were chasing genesis?" she asked?
"that we were chasing the answers?" i asked her? we both nod and continue to fill my bible up, with all the pages, in proper order.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Respite Care

Respite care: (according to wikipedia) is the provision of short-term, temporary relief.
    do you have a retreat? do you have a need for a retreat? i know i sure do. in our house, when the tough gets going, i go to the bathroom - haahaah! not what your thinking! it's the only place i can go to for a solid 5 minutes of peace, quick prayer and a regrouping. (sometimes not a solid 5 minutes, but just enough time lol!) 
    a few weeks ago the kids and i decided to try our hand at creating an "out door room" with some random stuff that has been cluttering up our garage. all this stemmed from trying our hands at making a tee pee. looooong story, but the tee pee didn't ever come to be.
here is the before picture:
here are some after pictures with our sweet gracie gal given 'er a test drive =) :

this little respite site gets shade from early morning until about 1:30 p.m. in which case i'm inside cleaning up from the first half of the day and getting ready for the second half to begin. in other words, nap time. around 2:45 the shade moves back over from another tree and it's stays shady until night fall - or should i say, the next afternoon =) 
here's the great view:

and when my eyes start to focus inward and refreshment is in need:
i get a good clear view of the Son in which my eyes should not tarry from:

it's a wonderful spot to start my day, coffee in hand, bible on, yes - pop eye the sailor man sheets from my childhood. 'cuz aren't we supposed to have a childlike faith? haahhaah! i know - i know, but hey, i thought it was a cute reminder =)
but seriously? this is a spot i can easily watch the kids play, while i rest shortly, feel the breeze - a sweet gift from the Lord, and take a moment to just in the moment - God's moments.
it's a great spot for the kids to have morning and afternoon prayer and devotions - because we all need to be refreshed.
it's a great spot to have coffee with my husband when he gets home from work.
it's a great spot to sit and roast marsh mellows in the evening with friends, and a great place to gaze at God's stars. here's what our respite care site looks like at night with lanterns lit:
 see the moon above?
luke 5:16 but Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. 
thanks for taking a moment to pop in and visit us. might you consider creating for yourself your very own respite care? do you have a place to retreat? please feel free to share it here.
may you Know Love 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mothering is hard work!

<p>Okay, so mothering is some serious, hard work. Really, it's my dream job, but honestly, i thought it would be a breeze. I know, very nieave of me!
It takes diligence, perseverance, patience, consistence, self control; all of which, sadly, i lack. and that steadfast deep desire for our children to do & have & be better then us - not necessarily a good thing all the time - in fact, in can produce, in me personally, a hyper critical monster. I'm just being super honest here - after all, this a confessional blog and i might as well admit - or confess: it's simply not a cake walk or even a joy every single day.
I fail more times then i'd like to admit. More times then i thought was humanly possible, but then again, i'm learning that i am merely human. We all are. And praise God our children are so quick to forgive a humbled parent. To sit and pray with a momma when she ask, so that their may just be, two or more.
So all this to say, that while i struggle with my own weaknesses and failures, i know that God is Bigger then all of them. That He is healer, Comforter and Rebuilder. That when i am weak, it's then that i can be The Strongest. as long as i run to Him and not remain in myself, sitting in my weakness and sulking.
I have a ton a "blog catching up" that i'd like to do but here is where it may get tricky, my itty bitty baby netbook died! RIP good friend! So here is my first post using an app from my phone - i hope it works!! I wish i could see a good preview of this prior to actually posting it but i'm not sure that i'll be able to. And so goes the practice of patience and perseverance and submitting myself to whatever the Lord has in mind for me. Be it with a netbook or without, with a hot water heater or without, with a car that starts easy every time or without - yes! All in one week - during staycation! Lol!! We are praising God though, but seriously? Only after several days of horrible gripping.
May you be resting in the hands of Almighty God today, no matter what your walking through. You are Loved!
2 corinthians 11:9-10 but He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore i will boast all the more gladly about my weakesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake, i delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when i am weak, then i am strong.

Monday, May 7, 2012

buggin' out!

good morning! the last two weeks my family has been graciously sharing a horrible stomach bug - YUCK!! it started with poor mikey, first shared with gracie then our small friend lauren and then an even smaller friend adena! YIKES!!
it's sooo hard to keep up with normal every day laundry and sheets while trying to also figure out how to clean barf up out of the sofa. i've tried woolite carpet, rug & upholstery cleaner - smelled nice but left a weird white residue on the sofa. i tried a bucket of super hot dawn dish washing liquid and a scrubber, that took off the white residue left by the woolite, but the sofa feels really crunchy now and still smells very yucky - boo!
my brother gave me a great tip that i haven't tried yet. he used to lay carpet and seriously swears by a product called capture found at home depot. i'm really hoping to find it at lowes though 'cuz their my favorite. it's my last resort ...for real. does anyone have any tips of their own they'd like to pass my way? we're all feeling better but the smell of the sofa is making us wonder if we might not have been tossing our cookies out of sickness, or just being so sick of smelling the sickness - if ya know what i mean?
i did spy a rad antique bed, perfect in every way, that i thought may look really neat up against the wall and made to look like a day bed in the living room. replace that stinky old couch pa-lease! even better, if i could talk the hubs into cutting the feet off of it and hang it from the ceiling, we'd have the perfect most beautiful swing in our living room! i've been dreaming about having a swing inside the house since i was a small girl. do any of you have a neat-o sofa that you'd like to share? a funny story about how your got your sofa? or cleaned up/spruced up an old one? i'd love anything here - seriously - i'm grabbin'!!
in other news - during all this crazy time we've been spending in the bathroom lately, i thought, "what better time then now to be super consistent with gracie's potty training?" we were already practically living in the bathroom as it was. so for 2-3 days gracie walked around in her "Jesus garb" (read that post here) and didn't really get dressed until after dinner - a full day of practicing "pee-pee on the potty" then we went out, usually just to the grocery store for more toilet paper haahhaah! she did soooo well soooo fast and even pooped on the potty last night! hooray!! pray that i'm consistent and don't let her fall back into old habbits. while i was sick these past few days, she ended up back in diapers! aaaaaaahhhhhhh! i can't really blame her daddy for not wanting to participate in this training but i must say, he did a really good job of taking care of us while i was taking my turn with the shared stomach bug =)
hope you are all well in your neck of the woods! thanks for spending time in ours =)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

gracie's perspective

so the other night we were getting ready for a dinner of spaghetti and red sauce. in order to keep the red sauce from staining gracie's clothes, i grabbed one of my husband's many white t shirts and smocked it over her whole entire body. i started setting the table and overheard her excitement and joy spilling out in laughter and ...  what. was. that?   ...... is she taking the name of my Lord and Saviour in vain? ...... no way! where did she hear that?   ..................   certainly not in this house!
"something-something Jesus! something-something Jesus!" she was proclaiming over and over again while running around the kitchen and dinning room with the biggest smile on her face.
finally i got her attention and after several attempts of asking her "what? - what are you saying?" she slowed down long enough for the whole family to hear her joy filled proclamation, "i'm Jesus! i'm Jesus!" at first i was completely confused. looking from her, to my husband, and back at her again, i finally noticed her perspective on her new outfit. bursting into laughter i ran for my camera, take a look =D

can ya blame her? in just about every illistrated picture of Jesus that she has ever seen, He is wearing a long white tunic type outfit. we got a big kick out of this one.

Monday, April 30, 2012

baking with my boy

my son and i used to bake every monday. small tiny boy on the kitchen chair, at the kitchen counter, cracking eggs over open bowls, perfecting billy's vanilla, vanilla cupcakes. it's been awhile since those tiny hands and big blue eyes, full of wonder, baked with mine.
today is monday, and today we baked.
we made strawberry scones.
he barely needed any help.
some mixture's still fascinated him.
watching him mix still fascinated me.
we've never baked scones together before.
we weren't sure if this is how they were supposed to look.
perhaps whole wheat flour was not the best idea?
drizzled strawberry juice and milk, sprinkled with sugar, doesn't look so bad.
impromptu visit to the backyard strawberry patch.
imagining all the strawberries!
the scones did not end up tasting so great.
we didn't care.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


   so for the past couple of weeks my girlfriends and i have been planning a "kim-napping." with wonderful orchestration from the Lord, we executed it just perfectly this past saturday.
   okay, let me back up. my friend kim has twice, told me about this thing where you coordinate a day (with the husbands of your friends and child care as needed) and then barge in on them and "kid nap" them for the day. once they, or in this case she, has spruced up a bit ( 'cuz you really don't know what you'll barge in on =D) take them to do all or any of their favorite things.
   our friend kim's birthday had slipped past without us batting an eye. in fact, her family kind of forgot it too! if i may just say, it was a birthday numbered with a frown upon her face. yikes! so four of us started planning her "kim-napping' and this is a pictorial of her special day, starting with our sneak up on her =) i hope you enjoy!


                                                                     high tea here

                                                                   beautiful kim

                                                                 lovely co-horts!

                                               just a funny "oh-no-she-di'nt" look

                                                                   dainty foods!
   this fun high tea was topped off with an evening of thrifting - one of kimmy's favorite things =D
   kim is a dear, sweet, seasoned with loving wisdom sister in Christ. you can check out her lovely blog here:  . allow me to ask you to be patient with her blog updating as her home school year is quickly coming to an end, and she is quite busy closing it up.
   have you ever friend-napped anyone for the day? i highly recommend you do =D thanks for reading and spending your time in our neck of the woods =D

Monday, April 23, 2012

thrift store decor

 i love thrift store finds! my local salvation army is my all time favorite spot to go thrifting. i don't look for the normal stuff. wait...what is normal stuff? my plain of attack at the local sal-val is as follows:
 1.) sheets
 yes sheets! i know what your probably thinking, "eeeeew, gross!" oh contra ire my friends. these are not for the bed. if you think about the yardage per price - it's the most cost effective way to buy fabric to make...well, whatever you want. i like to look for older sheets, usually flower prints. big flower print from 1950-1970's to small ones from earlier, or whatever shrikes my fancy :)  i have a few skirts for me and matching dressing for my gal, planned out for the small vintage sheet collection that i'm growing.
 2.) furniture
 i'd really like to learn how to reupholster, in fact, i  have a big reupholstering project planned for this summer. so i keep this in mind when spying out furniture finds. i like to look for old sewing machines and sewing machine desk/tables, and again, whatever strikes my fancy.
 3.) house wears
 i love pyrex!!  not exclusively though, i also very much enjoy fire king. often i find pyrex mixing bowls at my local sal-val. the hunt for interesting tea cups and saucers, white bubble glass and glass flower vases goes down big time in this section. i almost always find something.
 4.) toys
 my kids love whenever i come home from a day of thrifting. often they end up with more scores then i do! this time around i found a barely used candy land bored game, a dora the explorer dominoes set, a really neat alphabet train puzzle and a strawberry short cake goes to ballet class book!
 5.) scarves, handbags and shoes
 this time i scored a pair of roller skates!!! i have been wanting a pair of roller skates for... at least the last 5 years. i'm pretty sure i've been roller skating since i could walk but i have been missing it for many years now. i have no idea what happened to my old skates and new ones are just never in the budget. not when their is so many other other fun things to buy new for the kiddos. the skates i scored yesterday were only $4.99!!! too bad it's been raining ever since - i can't wait to get my roll on!!
 from their on i hit the racks and racks of clothes if, and that's a big if,  i'm not totally done with the heat in my local sal-val. i don't know why, maybe it's all the excitement i get from all the fun finds, but literally? the store makes me sweat! that and i have two consignment shops that i go to first when i'm on the hunt for clothes.
 so i wanted to share with you three finds that i'm excited to spruce up and hang on the wall. and let me tell you, i have "hang on the wall anxiety." i don't know why? we have our own home. i could put holes in all the walls and hang nothing at all if i wanted. i was always very conscience about not putting holes in the walls wherever i rented and now that i can do it, i just simply can't!
 so check out my "hang on the wall" finds!

  okay so let's be real, the pictures inside the frames will have to go. i know someone took some time cross stitching the one that says "cape may 1859". yes, i do actually wonder who it was that stitched it and what in the world happened at the cape in 1859 that so inspired this stitching? but it's gotta go. i'm not even  a big fan of the beach (i hear you all gasping in unison - it's true though) i'm thinking that a fresh can of spray paint and sweet pictures of my babes ( maybe just their silhouettes?) would be the most perfect way to fill these.
 here's my other find:

i'm not sure what it is about this lady that i love, but i love her! my girl friend kim says that she promotes solitude and reading...i suppose. their is something about her though ... i cannot put my finger it -  i love her!! i can't wait to find a frame for this lady and layer her into the decor of our house, some day - haah! not sure if she'll end up on the wall or propped up on a table.
 how about you? do you like to go thrifting? would you hang this lady on your wall? what is it about her that i love so much? do you know anything about her?
 thanks so much for reading and spending your time in our neck of the woods =)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

orgainzing & teaching it to little ones

 i've been trying to figure out how to organize the arts and crafts room. quite honestly, i really wasn't sure where to start! my area is pretty organized, unless i'm in the middle of a project. if that is the case, and currently it is, then it looks like all the stuff from inside my desk and from on the shelves has been burped up and spewed joyously all over my desk...and floor for that matter.
 my daughter's desk is up against mine for two reasons 1.) because she needs to be monitored at all times while in that room & 2. for a lack of space. i'm really eager to set up her space because it feels as though her mess is mine, and sometimes, that's just not the case...sometimes.
 while at target today i was checking out the dollar section at the entrance (my favorite section after paper and office supplies). they had tons of great organizational tools! boxes, totes, small creates, wire cubes, cubes with dividers, cubes with lids ... it was an organizers paradise at unbeatable prices! unless you're still not sure what you are organizing yet - uuuugh! so off we went to the office supply section.
 then it hit me, my son has a hard time simply getting comfortable at his desk because he has stacks of papers - i mean art work and his area really should take president. here was my original way to organize his art work:

uuuuuuuuuum - yes, it does bug me, big time!  i'm pretty sure it bugs him too, so organize it - we did. here was the plan: each kiddo got his and her own one inch, three ringed binder. unfortunately the .99 cent ones were all gone. the neat thing is, that the ones we did buy, had clear pockets in the front, spine and back for decorating! who wants to organize unless it's gonna be fun? certainly not my son! these were not the cheapest or the second cheapest but we got them for $3.97 each. 
once home, we made three piles 1. throw away 2. keep 3. give/make. not too hard for a five year old to understand, but he did need help. the idea here is that the art he'd really like to keep gets hole punched and put away in the binder. this makes it easy for him to look at it, show it to others, and keep it tidy. the art that he enjoyed but didn't necessarily want to keep for himself was put into a scrap box. this isn't redundant but a good place for him to pull from while making cards, gifts or mixed media art. the throw away pile is the art that he didn't feel like he needed to keep at all.

                           just look at that look of pride after a lot of whole punching and decorating!
 originally i said that when this note book was full we would throw everything in it away and start over all again. it sounds easy but after sorting threw all his art work, i'm just not so sure? i don't really wanna have a bazillion one inch binders by the time he's 18 though, so i think it's the best solution. i did find two pictures that i personally wanted to keep forever and ever:
one titled "Jesus cross" and the other "Jesus rising from the grave." these will be proudly be framed and displayed on the wall - somewhere. although i have yet to hang anything on our walls. for now i'm very pleased with how his area of the craft room is turning out. baby steps, and maybe just one every day, but one day that room will  be a work of art, in this organizer's eyes :)
do you have any special tips on keeping, throwing away, or show casing your children's art? i'd love to hear your ideas! thanks for stopping by and hanging out in our neck of the woods :)
here are some after pix of mikey's arts & crafts area in the room. with the simply task from above, his area has become neat and tidy! i wish i had taken before photos of his desk! now to be consistent with him in keeping it this way - wish me luck!