Posts Tagged ‘A-to-Z-Challenge’

N is for New

An easy post for me… but an important one.  I love this song… and it is especially appropriate to post it this Easter weekend.

Lyrics:

Come broken and weary
Come battered and bruised
My Jesus makes all things new
All things new

Come lost and abandoned
Come blown by the wind
He’ll bring you back home again
Home again

Rise up, O you sleeper, awake
The light of the dawn is upon you
Rise up, O you sleeper, awake
He makes all things new
All things new

Come burning with shame
Come frozen with guilt
My Jesus, he loves you still
Loves you still

Rise up, O you sleeper, awake
The light of the dawn is upon you
Rise up, O you sleeper, awake
He makes all things new
He makes all things new

The world was good
The world is fallen
The world will be redeemed

So hold on to the promise
The stories are true
That Jesus makes all things new
(The dawn is upon you)

Words by Andrew Peterson

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M is for Menu Planning

I started planning weekly menus just over a year ago, about when I started this blog.  It has been SUCH a good decision for our family.  I have managed to gather together a collection of recipes that we love and a few easy recipes for those tough days.  I rarely spend the afternoons wondering what is for dinner that night.  I save money by stocking up on items that we often use when they are on sale, and we (generally) eat more nutritiously.

You can find menu plans for most of last year on this blog… and menu plans from January on at my other blog — Melody’s Menus.  It hasn’t been updated in the past few weeks either… but it still has some recipes that we love on it.  I’ve been a little burned out on menu planning lately… but I am excited that May 1 marks the opening of the Farmer’s Market here.  I can’t wait for summer produce and meals where supper is just whatever meat we found at a good price and lots of fresh vegetables!  (And I am even happier that I can look back and see what recipes I used last summer and make them again!)

L is for the Little Things… #137-#150

I’ve spent too much time lately getting upset over the little things. I’m dealing with some big decisions and big stressors… but it is the little things piled on top of that that seem to cause my mood to spiral downward.

Here’s a song that speaks to that feeling. I did not like it when it first came out… now I love it! (Plus it is hilarious to hear my 5 year old belting out, “Call me please, ’cause I can’t find my phone!” from the backseat.

Fortunately… I have learned that it is the little things that can pick my mood back up just as quickly. That is one of the reasons I am so glad to have started writing down 1000 Gifts!


This week’s gifts include:

#137 Green after the rain… is it just me, or do the grass and trees look even more brilliantly green after a rainstorm?
#138 Clouds
#139 The tunnel of green on a road near my house… the trees almost completely cover the sky above and it is just gorgeous to drive through. So often I wish I could stop in the middle of the road and take a picture… but since it is on a winding two lane road that is probably not a good idea!
#140 Relaxing at the park for a few minutes ALONE… which went a long way towards disappating the horrible mood I was in at the time.
#141 Watching my little boy’s excitement the night before Easter — he was literally jumping up and down when we set out decorated eggs and a basket in anticipation of the Bunny’s arrival
#142 An unexpected invitation to a friend’s house for an Easter egg hunt… watching Andrew have a blast with some friends and getting some chat time with the adults
#143 Encouragement at a time I was discouraged over a lack of progress
#144 Getting treated to wonderful service by a waitress when we were eating out tonight… she was incredibly sweet (and I have to admit that bad customer service is usually one of those “little things” that really gets to me… and it is all too common here!)
#145 Yummy homemade pretzels
#146 Daisies and roses blooming in my back yard
#147 A floor swept clean
#148 Warm clothes fresh from the dryer
#149 Wireless internet access
#150 Being able to celebrate Easter and a risen Christ!

What little and not so little things are you thankful for this week?

K is for Kneel

Last night my little boy shocked my husband by announcing that Easter was more fun than Christmas.  🙂  (Christmas is a big deal at our house, and we love all of the traditions around it).   When asked why, he listed all of the “fun activities” about Easter.  The last few years we have spent Sunday morning attending a sunrise service near our house and watching that church’s teens put on a short play about Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Andrew loves it (and admittedly doesn’t have much experience with Nativity plays at Christmas).  For him, Easter means jellybeans (and one year an activity that incorporated jelly beans into Lent… which we didn’t do this year), egg hunts on beautiful spring days, and worship.

His comment got me thinking… I didn’t really grow up celebrating the religious aspects of Christmas OR Easter.  I’ve grown to love that side of both of them.  Easter is my favorite as well.  The message of Christmas is hope and God entering the world… and that is amazing.  But the message of Easter is that what began on Christmas has been completed.  Sin has been defeated, creation is being renewed, God’s redeeming work is finished (and yet somehow still working today).  Easter is a time of praise and rejoicing and happiness.

Easter is even more special because it is preceded by days of waiting… by the celebration of Good Friday… by commemorating the silence that was Saturday.  Last night we attended a Good Friday service.  We reflected on what the cross meant.  We reflected on Jesus’ name and his work.  He honored his taking on of sins even yet to come.  We knelt down (admittedly, that was figuratively and not literally) in honor of his sacrifice… and can’t wait to stand up in praise as we celebrate his resurrection on Sunday.

H is for Homeschooling

If you had asked me 5 years ago if I would ever contemplate home schooling my kids, I would say it had never crossed my mind.  At the time, being able to stay at home at least part time was a wish I thought was likely to never come true… but even if it did, I assumed kindergarten would mean heading to the public schools wherever we were (which wasn’t planned as where we still are!)   Three years ago, I lost the job that I thought was necessary to our family income .  Somehow (and I’m really not sure how!) we’ve made life work since then with some part-time, sporadic work for me.  It comes with sacrifices… like having a car that hasn’t worked for too many months now… but we haven’t wanted for necessities.  Somewhere along the way, I realized how grateful I am that I’ve been the one around to catch all of the adorable-isms that have characterized the preschool years.  They make the times of feeling isolated (because I will apparently never be like the other SAHMs) or overwhelmed worth it all.

The other thing that I thought I would never say is that I am grateful that my son had the chance to be in an in-home daycare for a few years, with kids ranging in age from infants to 5 (though I still don’t think those babies got the best care — at that facility, not all daycares — and I am so glad he was 1 before he had to go there!) I love that he had the chance to be around other kids and older kids to get some introduction to sharing, playing together, letters and numbers.  Looking back, I prefer that to the typical kids of the same age preschool set-up.  When he was finally home full-time at age 3 1/2, preschool or even a PDO was not an option.  We started doing “life school” at home… nothing formal at ALL, but just showing that all of life is learning — pointing out letters on the highway, reading tons of books, getting toys that were fun but also allowed for creativity.  And I started to realize how much I love watching him learn and don’t want to see him lose the love he has for learning.

Add that to some doubts about our neighborhood school, some doubts about public school in general, and having a child who is very asynchronous in development so far — past the end of the year kindergarten curriculum in some areas, right on target in others, and probably behind on some gross motor skills — and that leads to being fairly sure we will be homeschooling in the fall… though I will admit that decision is changing frequently right now.  I guess I should say we will be officially homeschooling… because I have come to realize that I’ve been doing it all along without labeling it as such.  I’m sure in the fall we will get more formal about it, but for now he loves to “play school” on the days we do more formal learning and learns just as much on the days we play or visit the zoo or something similar.  The huge task at hand right now is finding some groups to get support and friends from, and trying to have faith that it will all work out somehow.

This morning we had fun testing out an online program I’m thinking about for reading/phonics, playing go fish with sight words and counting/graphing with jelly beans! 🙂  Taking a break for lunchtime… then headed to the store to pick up a few groceries and the library to pick up some books on hold.  I’m thinking about making pretzels this afternoon but it depends on whether we’ll have time for the dough to rise and bake before we have to head out to pick up my husband from work.  And *that* depends on the weather… because I’m fairly sure we’ll end up at the park unless it decides to rain this afternoon.  I love having the flexibility to plan schedules around *my* priorities…

G is for Gifts and Gratitude

I’ve spent a few months now following and sporadically blogging about the gifts in my life.  I’ve spent the last few weeks spending stolen moments of time reading the book that records the thoughts that inspired the blog that inspires my own list.  I’ve spent more time living than reflecting on life (which for me is not always a good thing)… but have loved the book so far and look forward to reading more of it.

Continuing the gratitude list for this week…

#126  All of you A-Z bloggers who visit and comment on my blog even though I took way too long of a break!

#127 Having family in town last week

#128 Backyard games played with my 5 year old and my 3 year old niece last week.  He needs more playmates!

#129 The new HUGE playground we visited last week.  It was amazing!

#130 Having a blast at an Easter egg hunt…

#130 And getting back into our warm car after realizing that we did not dress so well for the unseasonably cold weather that day.

#131 Getting a letter from the child we sponsor for Compassion International (which we are not the greatest at writing letters back to… that is a huge goal of mine!) with a beautiful picture inside that she drew!

#132 Preschool artwork from my little guy too (which I’ll put up on this post soon… it would take another few hours to publish if I had to figure it out now!)

#133 Spending the entire day Sunday at church or at church activities… and slowly going from not wanting to be there at all (tough day for no reason) to being glad to be around positive people to help pull me out of a funk.

#134 Glee (okay, I feel guilty even posting this one!  I have gone from watching random snippets of the show and complaining about the immorality in the show — really, deciding you aren’t ready to have sex in high school makes you “repressed and frigid”? — to watching Season 1 on Netflix, deciding it still may not be appropriate but it is cute plus it has music!, and looking forward to catching up on the Season 2 episodes I’ve missed.  It still isn’t a show that I think is the best influence… but I am trying to live in the world and not totally separate from it and am fairly sure that if I had a teen we’d be watching and discussing the show.  Maybe I’m being completely naive there though… )

#135 Coloring.  My son doesn’t really like coloring (apparently that is typical for boys?) but I LOVE it and always try to get him to.   It doesn’t work.  But my 3 year old niece loves to color so I got to color with her over the past week. 🙂

F is for Family

… otherwise known as “the reason Melody hasn’t blogged for almost a week.”  We spent most of the past week visiting with family from out of town.  I loved getting to see my little boy play with his cousin who he doesn’t get to see anywhere near as often as he’d like, catching up with family face-to-face (which is somehow different from over e-mail or phone) and basically taking a week off from normal life.  I am glad for life to be somewhat back to normal too.  🙂  Now to catch up on the A to Z challenge!