Friday, December 28, 2007

It's Not New Year's Day Yet

It's not New Year's Day Yet, but I am certainly anticipating the New Year. I work at an elementary school and so my vacation time is the same as my children's. I have taken this time off from work to organize. If I could stay away from my computer for a long enough time, I may be able to accomplish my goal.
So far, I've worked on the kitchen and the scrap studio. Although I have made a great deal of progress, we are eight days into my vacation and neither room is complete as of yet. Okay, okay, Christmas was thrown in there, but still, I don't know that I'm making the progress I'd like to make.
The thing is that I spend so much time organizing that the Life that I want in so badly is passing me by. Okay, that's not so depressing as it sounds.....As I clear out clutter and make sure every single thing has a place, I re-purpose it, or I remember what its purpose is. That smoothie maker that has been sitting on my counter for a year is great to have out in the summer, but its just taking up valuable counter space in the winter. I don't remember the last time someone in this house made a, the smoothie maker has moved to a new home, BUT I sort of now have a hankerin' to make a fresh smoothie. As I get my scrap studio put together, I've had to go through boxes of stuff that I forgot I had and now I have bunches of new ideas on how to use it. And I organized everything by color, which works for how I work.
Last night two of my four kiddos were sleeping over at someone else's house. Husband John took the two left over to his mom's house to visit with out of town cousins. I all of a sudden had my house to myself with my music in my room with my pen and my calendar and my lists of things to do. I felt such peace. I took out some boxes of old photos.....I put on some of my favorite Point of Grace music and just went through photos to see which ones I was inspired to take to the 12 hour crop tomorrow. You know when you see a photo that you haven't seen in a very long time and had forgotten about? You know how your stomache just gets all butterfly-ey as you remember and embrace the life that was yours 20 years ago? You know when you see yourself without that huge wrinkle running down the middle of your forhead and think, "Wow, I sure looked good then." That's what I experienced for 2 hours all by myself. What a great retreat!
Here's to hoping that the New Year will bring a new Life Moment each time you need one.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Takin' the Photo

Seeing as this is a new blog, I have no idea where the picture that I just uploaded will end up on my actual blog page, so be sure and look for it because it's meaningful. Part of "Life - I want in" is about finding life all around you - I'm not talkin' about the cheesy "wow, look at that lone leaf still hanging around on that tree" kind of life. I'm talkin' about the kind that you have to actually stop moving around so much to even notice - okay, maybe it's sort of like the lone leaf on the tree.

We are a busy family as so many these days are. I have four children - two of whom are teenagers. I have a husband who is an artist and I have me who is involved in every volunteer opportunity under the sun. We try always to have dinner together, as a family, on Sundays, but even that has become a "hurry up and eat so that you can finish your homework before school tomorrow" kind of family time. Well......when it comes time to take the Photo for the Christmas card each year, something magical happens - and this year was no exception. In years past, I've made my poor children do some goofy things for our annual card - one year we all dressed up as Mary, Joseph, Shepherds, angels and of course baby Jesus. The children were less than thrilled that year and their faces on the card show it. The next year, I raided the choir closet at church and made everyone wear choir robes with big music held out in front of them with their mouths in a big "O" formation. Again, they were thrilled, as you can imagine. Last year, I wrapped huge boxes and cut head holes in the top. I wrapped them all with wrapping paper and ribbon. I made each kid put on a box and stick their head out of the hole where I then placed a huge bow that I think I found at target. John dressed up as Santa and I, of course, was Mrs. Clause. The kids are sort of getting used to my card ideas and so this year, it was less painful for them than in years past. I tried to get the two girls' hair to stick up (like JJ in her webisode announcing the zing boom purchase). I was going for a sort of Cindy Who from Whoville look. Well, their dang hair is so thick and long that we had to put wooden spoons and pencils and all kinds of stuff to keep it in place and it still didn't work out so well. Finally my husband, John, knelt behind the sofa and held the girls' hair up while I tried to take the photo. Needless to say, there was just way too much laughter for me to get a good pic, so I settled for a more normal photo on a non-traditional card. You can see it at Sistv.

I guess what this is all about is that I HAD to take time to take the photo.....the entire family HAD to be there for it.....It turned out to be an awesome, tears-of-joy, laughing kind of memory as one of the children tooted while the photo was being taken and the other three children ran for their lives. Love Life when I'm in it.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Do you ever ask yourself?

Do you ever ask yourself why homeless people don't all move closer to the equator? If I were homeless - and that could certainly happen someday - I would like to think that I would head west or south or both. My 17 year old son, Johnny, is doing a service project tonight. The crazy child and 59 of his peers and classmates are sleeping outside in boxes. Did I mention that it is about 15 degrees outside? They all first made sandwiches to take downtown Chicago and hand out to those who were homeless and living on the street and engage them in conversation about their lives. The idea is to find out what it is like to walk in someone else's moccasins. We - my husband, children and I - live in an unreal world. Our world is filled with warmth, shelter, food, family, friends, education, medical care, cars, tv's, computers, blankets, pillows, hobbies and a myriad of other things that I often take for granted. The average home price in the area in which I live is way up there. We're thinking of selling our house and we're gonna ask 1.5 million dollars for it.
Okay, I digress a bit from my original question to myself. If I were homeless, I'd move to a warmer climate - even if I had to walk there. I'd just keep walking until I got to where it was warm, wouldn't you? What makes the homeless stay in areas that are so dang cold?
I'm proud of Johnny for doing what he's doing. In a million years, I wouldn't venture out in this weather to sleep outside.......... unless I was homeless, I guess, and I had no choice. I guess, in that case, I would venture out into the cold to sleep in a box, but I'd sure try to get wester.