Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My 5 Favorite Apps

Don't look for tech posts from me too often (I leave that to the hubby) but I did want to share a few of my favorite apps. I don't get new ones frequently but I have some that I love! So here they are in no particular order. 

1. Pandora. I've had some serious Pandora love for years and it hasn't dwindled. Mostly because I have some great classical stations "trained."  Of course I'm too cheap to pay for the premium service so I have occasional commercials. And that's ok. Micah really likes the Kroger ones. 

2. PBS Kids. Because we can watch Curious George before bedtime. 

3. Seven. It's my new favorite workout app. A friend of mine uses it and we can send our workouts to each other. They are only seven minutes long but you can repeat them to make it longer. Of course you can pay for more options, but who does that? 

4. Spotify. While I've observed that the free service works totally different on computers, iPads, and iPhones, I love the iPad version. You can make playlists and, unlike Pandora, it will only play the songs you pick. You can find virtually anything. 

5. Watch Food Network. I see you over there watching Pioneer Woman while you cook lunch and your children play on the back porch.

What are your favorite apps? 

(and you can google all the pics, ok?)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Worth the Work

This weekend I spent a few hours with a friend from church and a couple of preteen girls that ride our bus. It was a very enlightening experience.  

photo courtesy of vitasamb2001/freedigitalphotos.net

While we were out one of the girls causally commented that she didn't want to have kids because they seemed like a lot of work. I think that's a very common attitude now. But I had a simple answer. Anything that's worth doing is a lot of work. Anybody doing anything is working hard. The other girl said that she didn't like work. And being the encouraging person I am I told her that life was work and they should learn to like it; they'd enjoy life more. 

One thing I will be forever grateful for is that my parents taught me to work. We worked when we were growing up. And I'm not scared of hard work now. But I've discovered that most people expect life to hand them what they want on a silver platter (free iPhone, anyone?)

Whatever happened to working hard? Work is applauded in the Bible. Just read through Proverbs and discover what God says about work. We can get up early, stay up late, work when we'd rather sit, knuckle under the load, persevere through the difficulties. That's how you get the job done. That dream you have? That's how you'll accomplish that. Work. Not luck. Not someone discovering you. Work. 

Making a home is work. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands: all work. And even more than that is tending the hearts that are growing there. You have to discipline for wrong behavior, train in the good behavior, teach, and care, and nurture every day. You have to put aside yourself for what's best for those others. 

Working at church is work. Cleaning, practicing the music, cooking, working with kids, working with adults, running the sound, playing an instrument, working in the nursery, teaching Junior Church, riding the bus. All work. 

Sometimes I hear people whine about how nobody has it harder than mothers. Yes, being a mother is a lot of work. That's because it's something worth doing. But my husband works just as hard as I do. He works a lot of hours at his job to provide for us. He comes home and works in the yard, works at church, plays with our boys, does more stuff for work. He doesn't get a lot of time to plop on the couch and do nothing. 

I have friends that work jobs. They work hard. They work hours at their jobs and go home and take care of their homes and their marriages. They work at church. They work when they help others. 

Let's talk about doctors. All of the doctors that I (or my children) have work hard. Long hours, disagreeable people, problems they can't fix. And that's just on their jobs. They have families and other responsibilities as well. The list goes on and on: pastors, single moms, teachers, farmers, you get the idea. 

So can we just agree that we're all working hard? And that, thankfully, it's because we have work worth doing? Let's stop the pity party. Instead of whining that nobody has it as bad as you, because, well really? You honestly believe that? Nobody else does either.  Stop comparing your life to someone else's; find your work and do it well today. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Just Do It

"I did not choose this. I was led into it by God. I'm not really more interested in children than I am in other people. But God gave me to understand that this is what He wanted me to do-- so I did it." Gladys Aylward

Now the first part doesn't really apply to me. But that last sentence? What powerful motivation. "But God gave me to understand that this is what He wanted me to do- so I did it."

photo courtesy of coward_lion/freedigitalphotos.net

That's what I want to be able to say at the end of my life: that I did what God wanted me to do. So how do I get there? Today I do what God wants me to do. And then tomorrow I do it again.  Because let's face it. The problem isn't usually that I don't know what God wants me to do; it's that I don't do it. 

Are you where God wants you to be? At home, at work, with your kids, husband, coworkers. Probably you are. I doubt people that are actively trying to not serve God are reading my blog. Unless they are making fun of it in which case- have fun.

So if you are where God wants you to be... do what He wants you to do. Just get in there with those willing hands (Pro. 31:13) and do it.

Don't wait to feel like it. Don't wait until it's exciting. Don't wait until somebody recognizes your work.

Just do it. (Sorry Nike.)

Wash the dishes. Change the diapers. Practice the music.

Do the homework. Go to class.

Fold the laundry. Cook dinner. Read the books.

File the papers. Attend the meetings. Serve the customers.

When you know what God wants you to do stop making excuses. Get in there and do it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Every Time Except For When I Don't

I'm a big fan of making the beds. As in, I make the bed every single day. 

At least every single day except for the rare occasions when I don't on purpose. 

Because sometimes on the weekends, we all pile in the bed when the boys get up and pretend to sleep, read books, play games, and occasionally watch Mickey on the iPad. 

And then sometimes we take cars up there in the afternoon and get in the "tent." Micah is obsessed with tents. 

And that's more important than how pretty a made bed is some days. 

Homes are for living in, not for showing off. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Life in the Spring

We've been busy enjoying spring! Hello, sunshine! 

And when I say busy, I mean busy playing outside. 

Do you realize how much better children play during piano practice after they've played outside for an hour? 

I had no idea. It is amazing. 

Love the row of irises by the shed

This boy is getting way too big way too fast! And yes, he poses like this for the camera.

Micah would swing all day if he could! 

This earned Kevin a "Wait on Mama!" 

Micah got a chair for his birthday. Both of the boys love it! 

He clapped enthusiastically after his birthday song! 

He actually ate his cake this year! He loved it! 

And we used this picture to announce our pregnancy on Facebook. I'm 12 weeks now! (And it got a way more of a reaction than any facebook post I've ever made. People just love babies!)

We've revamped our preschool schedule for the summer. It includes Circle Time, daily reading, and outdoor play. And hopefully one more focused activity a week, maybe on a rainy afternoon or something. 

Another lady and I started a children's singing group (ensemble? choir?). We practice Wednesday nights before church and they are going to sing one morning a month during Sunday School. They've been doing well so far and are singing their first song on the 18th. 

And I finished a project yesterday for the wall in the boys' room once we unbunk the beds. Kevin will be joining Micah in his room in the late summer. I'm already itching to rearrange the furniture in the nursery. And yes, I'll show you the project later. 

So that's life at the moment. I have deeper thoughts (I know you are waiting with anticipation) but they'll wait for later.

 Go play outside!