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Why StudMuffin is the Hero of my Heart

April 14, 2010

We started homeschooling our kids in February.  This means, there is an awful lot of togetherness going on in this house.  Togetherness that I generally enjoy.  Generally, speaking.  Generally… However, when the togetherness starts to get generally annoying, I need a safe place to send my kids that doesn’t require me to babysit them.  This doesn’t afford me very many options.  But Michelle, “beggars can’t be choosers,” and “the sun will come out tomorrow!”  Yada-yada-yada.  Whatever.  Look.  All I want, is a place to send my kids that doesn’t require me to babysit them. What?  I’m repeating myself?  Huh.

Anyways, the front yard has always been off-limits because we live on a busy, main street, and the nincompoops that “drive” down said street, don’t seem to notice that they are doing so, in a residential area!

*curse*

*curse*

*rant*

*rant*

SO, instead of sending the Munchkins out front to become roadkill, I send them out to the backyard… where they dance off merrily… singing a… happy little ditty… whilst throwing rose petals at my feet.  *Snort*  Not really.  Actually, they gripe, grumble, and stomp– which isn’t as nice as my fantasy sequence, but at least they are whining on their way out of the house.  I’ll take what I can get. BUT.   All of this changed a couple of weeks ago, when StudMuffin purchased and assembled, the mother of all playground sets.  It took him 4 whole days, a lot of sweat, and many hours of hefting a power drill; which made me sweat!  This is the outcome…

Purchased from Sam’s Club, this is how it started out.  There were 3 other boxes FULL of lumber & its subsequent parts.

StudMuffin accomplished all of this on the very first day, with only minimal help from the Munchkins.  I elected to “help,” by documenting the process in its entirety.  Can you say, “Proverbs 31 Woman,” anybody?

This is just one of the many (and I do mean many), pictures I took of StudMuffin with a power tool in his hands.  Something about this man with a power tool in his hands, makes my heart go all fluttery.

This is StudMuffin goofing it up just a bit, because this was about the bajillionty-eth time I had snapped a photo of him, with the aforementioned power tool.

And this is the completed project.  This is the wonder-saving device that gets my kids out of the house without taking my sanity with them.  This is why StudMuffin is the hero of my heart.  How incredibly blessed am I, to be married to such an incredible man???

And this… THIS is why I call him StudMuffin.  *Flutter*  *Flutter*  Sigh…  I love you, StudMuffin.  You SO rock my world!

Until next time…

-M

We are “Those” People

March 6, 2010

Well.  I did it.  I actually, did it.  I made the jump, took the plunge, leaped out in faith!  Yep.  I am now a certified, homeschool mom.  Or maybe just, certifiable… but I digress.  The point is, I’m doing it.  The thing I didn’t think I would ever have the guts to do, because I didn’t want to be categorized as, “one of those people.”   I didn’t want to be bombarded with all of the stereotypical questions, that inevitably come with making the choice to homeschool your kids:  “What about socialization?”  “How do your kids feel about this (as if we would just force this life on them, without making sure they were okay with it, first)?”  And then, there’s always the incredulous, “WHY???”

These questions both intimidate, and baffle me.  I’m never quite sure what to say, when approached by someone who feels that I owe them an explanation on how we have chosen to raise our own kids.  Do they honestly believe that StudMuffin and I entered into this lightly?  That this is just some, spur-of-the-moment whim?  Do I really seem that crazy?  Hellooo?  You’re looking at the quintessential, “obsessive-compulsive-all-of-my-ducks-in-a-row-what-are-my-life-plans-over-the-next-year,” kind of girl.  I plot, I plan, I prepare, I pray.  I don’t just do. Anything.  Drives StudMuffin up the wall, but that is another story, altogether.

We’ve been at this whole homeschooling thing for 4 weeks now, and I won’t say it’s been easy.  Then again, the things in life that are truly worth doing, are seldom easy.  The things in life that are truly worth doing, should stretch you beyond your preconceived boundaries. Take you outside of your comfort zone.  Make you uncomfortable.  I am convinced, that God isn’t satisfied with a dormant life. He delights in watching us, “bloom where we are planted.”  But sometimes… sometimes, He will uproot you, and plant you somewhere else.  And in the process of the uprooting, we are vulnerable, homeless, afraid… The question we need to ask ourselves then, isn’t so much, “Where is He taking me?”  But, “Do I trust the One who is holding me in His hands?”  I’ve decided on the latter.

Until next time…

-M

I Feel Friggin’tastic!

January 27, 2010

I went 5 point-some-odd-miles on the stationary bike today.  The endorphins are dancin’, and I feel friggin’tastic!  And let me tell you.  For someone who struggles with depression on a fairly regular basis, I can’t even begin to tell you what it means to feel friggin’tastic. But, I will try.

A day in the life of Me:

7:00 a.m.–  It’s time to get up, get dressed, & start my day.  Whether or not I do this simple routine, will determine whether or not I have a crappy day.  Crappy day = VERY unfriggin’tastic.

8:00 a.m.–  3 older kids are all in school, I am home with Jude trying to decide what to do with my day.  I am not very organized.  Strike that.  I am NOT organized.  At all.  Period.

9:00 a.m.–  If it is a Tuesday or Thursday, I am contemplating the wonderful prospect of hanging out with my awesome friend, Jill and debating what kind of delightful mischief we will get ourselves into. This makes me happy.  Unless Jude or Eves is sick.  In that case, we can’t play and get into delightful mischief.  In that case, I am sad.  Sad, blows.  Very unfriggin’tastic.

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.–  If it is play day, then Jill and I are getting into all sorts of delightful mischief until it is time for me to start picking up kids.  If it is regular, boring, non-mischief day, then I am dragging myself out the door in my sweats, with my Irish hat, on my head.  This is not to say that I can’t have a great day without Jill.  I can.  And even though Jill is awesome, I also think that accomplishing a goal I have set for myself, is pretty awesome too (this in NO way, detracts from the awesomeness that is, Jill!).  Jill.  Do you think it’s cause we’re awesome?  I think it’s cause we’re awesome!  ;)

3:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.–  This is probably the most hectic time of the day.  All of the kids are home, we are doing homework, studying for tests, having snacks, I’m preparing dinner (if I remembered to take something out of the freezer), getting an hour in at the gym, eating dinner, cleaning up the kitchen, getting kids in the shower, getting kids into bed, singing and praying, and finally, it’s quality time with StudMuffin.

All-in-all, I have a pretty fantastic life.  And I know it.  But the thing about depression is, it robs you of the most basic and essential joys in life.  Like, laughing with your children.  My oldest son once asked me a profound and heartbreaking question.  It went something like this,  “Mom?  How come you never laugh?”  My first reaction was, “Of course I laugh.”  But he only shook his head and said, “No you don’t.”  Do I have to tell you, dear readers, how it broke my heart to hear those words from my beloved child’s mouth?  To know, that in his eyes, I am the mom who never laughs?

Proverbs 17:22 tells us, “A merry heart does good like a medicine; but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”  I know this to be true.  When depression overtakes me, I feel it to the very marrow of my bones. They feel old, and brittle.  I feel old, and brittle.  And here’s the thing.  I don’t want to be old and brittle anymore.  I don’t want my children to grow up with a mother who never laughs.  I want to feel life, coursing through my veins, and laughter bubbling up inside of me.  I want to own that joy.  Not just today.  But everyday.  I want that for my children.  I want that for my husband.  I want that for myself.

And that’s why I kick my butt to the gym everyday.  I am determined to own the joy.  And if for now, joy comes in the form of dancing endorphins brought on by the treadmill, the stationary bike, or the elliptical machine, then that’s what I’m going to do.  Because, I want to laugh with my children.  Because, I think that will be the personification of friggin’tastic!

Until next time,

-M

The Year of Less is… Exhausting!

January 23, 2010

Who knew?  You would think that simplifying your life once and for all, would be simple.  You would think that the very word simplify, means enjoying an ease of life you had not previously enjoyed.  You would think that.  But you would be wrong.  Oh, how you would be wrong.

It took me 3 whole hours to clean out my boys’ room, on Tuesday.  To say that I could have employed a bulldozer for this task, would NOT be an exaggeration.  4 tall kitchen bags + 4 plastic grocery bags, FULL of junk.  And I really mean, junk!  At one point, I found a plastic cup and a gunk encrusted fork buried beneath a pile of God knows what, that ultimately led to my discovery of an untapped resource to my gag reflex.

BUT.  I persevered.  And the result was a bedroom they didn’t recognize when they got home from school. “Mom!  What happened to our room?!”  Oh.  I know what happened, dear readers. Mom, happened.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Until next time,

-M

The Year of Less

January 20, 2010

I have decided that 2010 is going to be my year.  The year of Less.  The year of:  Less Stress.  Less Anger.  Less Sadness.  Less “What if’s and If only’s.”  Less Drama.  And dare I say it?  Less Clutter. This is the year I am finally going to stop talking about it, and start doing it.

But the thing about clutter is, it comes in so many shapes and sizes.  There is emotional clutter.  And believe me, I’ve got a lot of junk knocking around inside my head that so does NOT need to be there. There is physical clutter.  Mine happens to come in the form of about 45 extra (highly unnecessary), pounds. There is even spiritual clutter.  The kind that keeps you from growing in your faith; leaving you feeling stagnant and full of doubts.

Then there is real life clutter.  The kind that grows unheeded for years and years, until one day you open up a closet or cupboard, and all its contents come toppling out, and onto your head.  The kind that makes you embarrassed to have people over to your home, for fear of what they might find shoved in a corner or underneath a bed.  I am SO tired of living like that.  Tired of being bogged down by all of the drama flitting around in my head.  Tired of being self-conscious and “weighed down” by the extra pounds on my frame.  Tired of giving only part of myself to the Savior who gave up His very life for mine.  Tired of being a miserly hostess who makes excuses as to why we never have anyone over for fellowship.  Tired of being tired!

So.  This is it.  This is the year.  The Year of, “Less About Me and More About Him.”  The Year of Less.  I think it’s going to be fabulous.

Until next time,

-M

Peace… Be Still

January 14, 2010

Have you ever been in the midst of a family crisis that is so big, so utterly HUGE, it paralyzes you? StudMuffin and I find ourselves in a place such as this.  It is scary.  It is overwhelming.  But somehow, in the midst of it all, we have peace.  The peace that surpasses all understanding.  Amazing how that works. But then, we serve a pretty amazing God!

Until next time,

-M

Petty Grievances

December 13, 2009

I’m sorry to do this to you, but I am about to air one of my petty grievances and get it off my chest.  Are you ready for it?  Okay.  Here goes… Christians who rag on Christian music, really get my goat!  There.  I said it.  All of the, “they’re just ripping off this band or this singer,” or “they’re  so unoriginal,” and “Christian radio stations just play the top 20 on an endless loop.”  Seriously?  What a bunch of whiners!  First of all, everybody rips off everybody else, even in secular music.  Think Vanilla Ice’s, “Ice Ice Baby,” and Queen’s, “Under Pressure.”  Secondly, nothing has been original since God created, well…   EVERYTHING!  When you look at it that way, we’re all just a bunch of second-rate hacks.  Does that sound too harsh?  I told you it gets my goat!  I mean, how can anyone rag on music that is all about glorifying God and edifying the body of Christ?  Seriously.  What’s up with that?  And finally, have you ever listened to a popular radio station that doesn’t play the top 20 on an endless loop?  It’s kind of how they roll.

Maybe this laundry list of grievances is just a cop out; an excuse to assuage the conviction that, guarding one’s mind doesn’t presuppose anything with a funky beat and catchy lyrics.  I’m not saying that’s the case.  I’m just sayin’……  maybe.

Until next time,

-M