Friday, July 30, 2010
"I am going to miss 1 of 8 so much. So much! She is like my sister....I mean, she is my sister, but she's also like my sister, too!"
I need some kind of compass to try to find my way around 6 of 8's reasoning...
Thursday, July 29, 2010
But I just have had a hard time keeping 8 of 8 closely shorn.
He has curls.
Curls, I tell ya.
What is it that makes cutting curls?
But, last week, I went for it...
But I do think, either way, he sure looks like his daddy.
Which is a very, very good thing...
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
And then there are the ideas that 1 of 8 and Da Boy had.
So while I was loving the above photo of their shoes, they wanted to take Action/Ninja/Jumping shots...
Like this one...
And this was 1 of 8's self portrait...
So I'm okay with taking these kind of shots for them...
...as long as they let me get a few like this...
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Brittney Lee, come on up! You are the winner of the iDerma Giveaway! Thanks again to all my worthy participants. And Miss Britt, be sure and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the info on claiming your prize!
So that was the Winner part of the title.
And the above picture is the Winsome part of the title.
I wish I had a worthy segue here.
But I don't.
I'm just a little hooked on alliteration.
And pictures of my kids.
Hence the title.
Hence the post.
Monday, July 26, 2010
2 of 8 is continuing her big dancing adventure in the big city. And she's continuing to take pictures of her surroundings. I'm loving the architecture shots and her fascination with the colorful doors on some of the brownstones. And there is also a continuing theme of bikes.
But most of all, I love the pictures of her at the laundry mat, at the grocery, just the things of daily life where she is soaking up the views of the folks who make the Big Apple home. The touristy, razzle-dazzle stuff is all great, but it's the social anthropology of a place that holds the most fascination for me.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
My computer, I mean.
Over the past couple of weeks, when I would turn it on, it would seem to take a while to run through its cycles, screens and waiting icons whirring endlessly.
But eventually it would flash to life. I kept thinking I needed to defrag the hard drive, move some files that were eating up memory, do a quick security scan.
You know, some day. When I had a little more time.
By Friday morning, all I could coax out of my laptop was a blank screen.
Particularly with all kinds of photography and writing hidden within the silicon chips.
Friday turned into a long day.
I frantically got the computer opened into safe mode and began copying and moving files as quickly as possible. I tried 'system restore' multiple times. I searched online on 3 of 8's computer for fixes and magic buttons to try.
All to no avail.
From what I could tell, a little pesky, fractured update had rendered my powerful machine into a cyber mess.
One little corrupted file.
Clogging the whole system.
And it got me to thinking, as I sat for many a long hour, monitoring file transfers.
It got me to contemplating my inner life.
Where are the areas that sneaky little fragmented bits of sin are sneaking into my own life?
For many of us, major system viruses on our computer aren't too much of a threat. We download security systems, avoid risky sites or downloads and frequent safe browsers.
And we assume those measures keep our operating systems pure.
But all it takes to hamper the whole system is a strategically placed, small corrupted file. And a dual core processor can be brought to its knees and find all the information stored there in danger of being compromised.
And so it is with our hearts.
Just a little collection of little sins, lurking along the edges of what can look like a successful life.
I attended a powerful ministry retreat yesterday and heard a fantastic teaching on the importance of the inner life and outer ministry. The importance of our inner lives being held to a high standard if we are in public ministry. The importance of our private walk with God being a mirror of the outer walk we exhibit. And given my recent computer issues, I found the timing quite apropos.
It is so easy to ignore or excuse those little things that don't seem so awful in the big scheme of things. Those little habits or temper flairs or blue jokes or what have you that don't make up the bulk of your daily life. They're just little blips, barely a dot on the moral screen.
But could those drops of demerit, those seemingly inconsequential errs be a possible pollutant to the desired purity of our hearts? Could they be the white noise in the background of our souls, dampening the clear voice of the Father?
I'm mopping up my hard drive, repairing fractured programs, searching for secret software schisms.
And while I'm at it, as I wait on programs to download and scanners to scan, I'm going to spend a little time doing the same in the RAM of my heart.
Looking for a little lurking leaven.
And scrubbing it down.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
It was great to be able to e-interview Jen about her new book and delve a bit deeper into her wisdom and insight. I was particularly interested in how Jen sees her role as a serving mom and on her thoughts when it comes to the spiritual walk of older kids:
--about seeing your role as a mother/servant--in that concept, how do you instill in your kiddos that you are modeling servanthood and not just 'being' the servant who picks up, cleans up, deals with everyone's stuff? It seems a challenge for moms to serve without becoming servile, if you will...
What do you have to saw to moms who are not seeing spiritual fruit in their late-teens/early adult children? Since I'm mothering a passel of kids ages 19 years to 3 years old, some of my friends with older kids are struggling as their older kids are not presently walking with the Lord. What words of encouragement do you have for them when evidence of fruit is missing?
As you know, we have the strongest spiritual voice to our kids when they are under 14. (About 85% of all Christians become a believer before that age.) After that, it's much harder to affect their trajectory. This, of course, is why discipling our kids while they are young and preteen is so crucial. However, the teenage years are also the years kids are trying to decide if their parents faith is also theirs. We should expect some push back, some skepticism, even some spiritual disappointment during that phase. That is not necessarily indicative of how they will enter young adulthood.
So our best bet is to consistently model a transformed life to our teenagers - not just church attendance and tithing. I mean living a transformed Christian life in front of them that includes sacrifice, justice, mission...the things that inspire the young generation. Most church youth groups (and parents) expect to see wonderful fruit in their kids lives, but all they've ever inspired them with are putt-putt outings and youth pizza parties. It isn't enough. Teens need something monstrous, something larger than themselves, something grand and exciting to believe it, or they'll leave. They can get putt-putt and pizza parties anywhere. Parents need to live a fearless, adventurous spiritual life in front of their children. The gospel is inspiring and marvelous; it is enough. Live on mission with your kids and leave the work of the Holy Spirit up to him. At that point, you've done everything you were asked to do as a mom.
Jen, many, many thanks for your transparency, humor and heart. Best wishes on the new book! And fearless Octamom Readers, be sure and pick up Jen's latest tome, Out of the Spin Cycle, for a spiritual boost in the mothering glute!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
What do you say about two people who have been best buddies/nerds together for many a year?
And then discover that they might have the eensy-teensiest little crush on each other?
That isn't so eensy anymore?
Da Boy came to visit this past week. As I looked through the lens of my beloved Canon at these two beloved faces, it made me a bit misty.
So shots like that one keep me from getting too mushy.
I'm thinking a big ol' crush on your best friend is a pretty spectacular thing...
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
2 of 8. On pointe. In Central Park. In New York City.
She's at the Big Dance Studio.
She's taking in the sights, making new dance friends, dancing her feet into blisters and callouses and sore muscles.
She's already blown through a couple of pair of pointe shoes.
I'm so glad she's had the presence of mind to have her buddies take pictures of her in these settings.
My parents packed me off to Europe when I was seventeen, newly graduated from high school.
When I arrived home, after many weeks across the Atlantic, my parents couldn't wait to see my pictures.
But 99.9% of the pictures I took did not involve images of myself. So they were essentially poor quality, post-card-esque scenery shots.
I don't know if I could actually prove that I have ever been to Europe, based on the photographic evidence.
But 2 of 8 has decided to break that pattern and hand off a camera to a friend.
Smart girl, that one.
I'm not exactly sure how she gets her feet to bend that way. Maybe it was those cheap flip flops I made her wear when she was a toddler.
Maybe a little too good.
And to let them fly.
Fly, Baby Girl, fly.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Because I knew we'd be partying like Christmas today.
iDerma is a leading skin care company and the winner of this giveaway will receive the product of their choice.
I'm not just trying to help expand your mind. I'm trying to help you look good while you do it.
As an avid outdoor girl living in an avid outdoor, sun-drenched city, what I'm putting on my skin has become more and more important to me. My years of literally living on the beach when we were on the island and now my present all-things-outdoors locale, in addition to my, a-hem, maturing skin keep me checking out all the latest skinformation (sorry...just couldn't help myself...).
So I'm thrilled to host this giveaway for such a premiere company. I myself am checking out the TNS Night Eye Repair (do you know what raising eight kids and not sleeping for several years can do to a girl's under eye area?)
So let's get on to the rules, shall we?
~The winner of the contest will receive one (1) free product of their choice from the iDerma products contained in the widget.
~The winner will be chosen by me, based on the quality and helpfulness of the comments that participants contribute about widget products.
In order to qualify to win:
~~~~~You must comment on at least 5 products in the widget~
~~~~~You must make all comments in the widget itself--not at the bottom of the post~
~~~~~Be sure and leave your name contact info in comments 'name' field so that I can contact you. If I don't have your name, I can't 'name' the winner!
~~~~~Comments can be up to 500 characters (the widget will not accept more than this)
So, get ready to take a looksie and comment. This giveaway is valued at over a hundred smackeroos and is open to U.S. residents only. The contest ends Sunday, July 25th at midnight, CST and I'll be announcing the lucky winner the next day. So take a perusal, leave some inspiring words and get ready to win!
Monday, July 19, 2010
Suzie Girl, shoot me an email at email@example.com and I'll get you in touch with the nice folks at CSN to claim your prize!
And for the rest of you, never fear. There's another giveaway launching tomorrow that will be AWESOME! Yes, I used all caps and the word 'awesome'. It's like 21st century computer tech etiquette meeting 80's catch phrases. That's just how I roll.
So get a hot cup of coffee tomorrow morning, click on that computer and tune back in here for another fun giveaway!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
It's an opportunity we get, practically every day.
In traffic, in the store, in the neighborhood, in the classroom.
It's an opportunity that opens up our inheritance in the Lord, a chance to validate our calling card into the heavenlies.
But this opportunity doesn't come wrapped in a beautiful spiritual package, tied off with a bow of angelic sparkle.
This opportunity arrives in the form of evil and insult.
So it can be a little hard to recognize.
The hostile driver in traffic cuts us off and gestures to us in an inappropriate way. The co-worker snaps at us, hurling deprecating remarks. The gossip talks, the grumpy harangues, the boss badgers.
It's opportunity knocking.
We have a choice to make in such situations.
We can hurl a bigger and better insult at that driver, that gossip, that boss.
Or we can cash in on the opportunity.
The opportunity to return that evil, that insult with a blessing.
Peter tells us that we should repay evil and insult with a blessing. The Greek word for this type of blessing is 'eulogeo' and it means to speak well of, to speak best wishes over that person.
Not easy to do, in the face of insult.
But an opportunity.
Because Peter goes on to tell us that when we exercise 'eulogeo', we inherit 'eulogia'.
It's one of those passages where English fails us a bit in that English interprets 'eulogeo' and 'eulogia' both as 'blessing'. But in the Greek, there is a subtle but important distinction.
When we give a blessing, 'eulogeo', in return for an insult, we inherit the blessing, 'eulogia', which is defined as the indwelling of God, an indwelling that in definition should bring full spiritual satisfaction. We inherit consecration from the Lord when we bless those who castigate us. By simply speaking words of kindness and best wishes, we receive spiritual satiation and ordination.
To experience contempt.
To return with 'eulogeo', blessing.
And to then receive 'eulogia', the smile of God on our lives.
Seems a small investment to make for an amazing return.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
The home office.
We have a huge desk that we share. He sits on one side, I sit on the other.
It used to be a door.
And now it's our desk.
We are nothing if not recyclers.
I don't believe it...'recyclers' did not trigger spellcheck. Although 'spellcheck' does.
Our office furnishings are cobbled together from odds and ends of other houses and other uses. I'd like to come up with a more cohesive look.
But I'm designing a work space for two very different people. Mike would be totally happy with a card table and some cardboard boxes to 'file' into.
And I'd like for it to look exactly like Centsational Girl's home office.
Although it's hard to imagine anything white in my house lasting for very long.
I was invited to peruse Overstock.com's selection of office items and I quickly found some things that I've been crushing on ever since.
Check out this Office Furniture...
And then there's this lamp from home lighting...
Because he might not even notice.
But in case he did, I also found this lamp in the collection that had a cool Asian look to it.
this desk, again from the office furniture collection.
shoes. Think about much of anything...and my mind drifts back to shoes.
Which is why Mike and I are still sharing a door/desk.
But I'm wearing some great shoes.