Friday, February 26, 2010

That went well.....

Project 365...... Let me explain....
My love language is "quality time" - which you have to read the book (Five Love Languages) to really understand what this means. On the surface you'd think I want to be social. No. What really resonates with me is that people with this "love language" feels "the love" when we can revisit fun times. Looking through pictures really takes me back to the moments, the sights, the sounds, smells. I just love "experiencing" things. I don't necessarily need lots of people (in fact, I prefer more intimate settings) I just love "living out loud", if you will.
Back to this Project 365. It did not take me long, into a dreary January, coming off a holiday season, to realize I was taking pictures....just to take pictures. Nothing really exciting going on, heck really nothing going on at all - let alone exciting. Well that can bring a girl down REAL fast. I found myself getting pretty bummed out in my life in general at how "drab" my life was. What in the world was I going to take a picture of, to "capture" my day. It was stressful to me. Thus, I identified this right away and stopped the silly plan. It became all to evident to me how depressing my life was, and did I really want to document this every single day????? Not a good mix. (love language = quality time = recipe for disaster to document ordinary days)
I'm ok with that.
It's February 26, and you know, we've not done much of anything yet. Glad I haven't captured THAT reality I am, however, enjoying others' entries.
However, there is potential in the horizon. Spring break is just a few weeks away and the boys and I will travel once again to AZ to visit my mom, who snowbirds there every winter. There are always fun memories from these weeks. AND, this week I've booked our hotels in Yellowstone for our summer vacation. The rest of the planning can wait awhile, but we do have our hotels booked. THAT is sooooo exciting. See love language note above. I just LOVE the planning. I'm holding back on ordering every book I can on Crazy Horse Monument, Mt. Rushmore Memorial, Yellowstone, Grand much to plan :) So my days turned yellow this week :)
We had a tenant move out without notice early this month. They did NOT leave the home in very good shape, so we've been busy cleaning/painting, and advertising for new renters. God has blessed us with some new renters (and at a higher rental rate). He is always so good to us! ALWAYS!
Skyper is getting more and more social. We think he shed this week. Not sure. He was pretty white one night, and better color in the morning. I guess they ingest (eat) their skin once it is shed - ewwww. He's a cute bugger. Steffen is doing a great job taking care of him. I'm very proud at how responsible he is towards him, and how excited he STILL is if Skyper. Fun. I'm getting more and more emotionally ready to bring in a puppy. Dan says we'll wait till the fall, when the boys are both in school and I can devote concentrated time on training. (odd, I don't remember "training" Samantha - she just did it on her own)
Ryan is doing very well in his pre-school. I feel confident that holding him back was indeed the right choice. I'm, however, so done with all the running back and forth.....but he and I are having some precious times together (not enough, however).
I stand corrected. We DID take a trip in Mid Feb back to Elgin, IL to celebrate Dan's Dad's 89th birthday. Both Steffen and Dan were at the tail end of a nasty virus we had in our home, so it was pretty anticlimactic. I don't think we left the house all weekend. It was good to see dad and the rest of the family. It's a ton of $ for a few days, however. The boys got to go up in the cock pit of our 777, and sit in the pilots seat - very fun.
One of the things I really feel God pressing on my heart for this year is the sense of "turning my heart towards home". Really scaling down outside commitments and concentrate on my primary relationships and ministry - the boys, my husband and my home. Our home is in need of some purging (too much stuff) and organizing. It's hard for me, I so want to jump up to serve elsewhere, and yet I'm reminded time and time again - no - keep close to home. It will be interesting to see how the year progresses. Once Dan is finished with this rental, I'd like for us to do a Bible STudy together, which means getting up at 5:30 am. (eek) Which will mean being in bed before 10pm. I want more lap time with Ryan (reading, talking). As the weather turns nice, time to get the bicycles out again for both boys and I. We've got WAAAAAAAY too much computer time, wii time, and tv time going on in their lives. (all of us)
enough said.
Until next time - live out loud and praise God for His goodness!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

P365 - Day(s) 1, 2, 3

So far so good. Three down and 362 more to go. My intention is to do a page layout per week, but thought I'd at least post my pictures here....just in case it's all I get to.... :)

Jan 01

Jan 01 was a very lazy day for the Phelps'. I did my tradition of putting together a few puzzles. Dan and I didn't get out of our jammies until...... lets just say real late in the afternoon.

Jan 02

As much as I hate this part, all the Christmas decorations came down, re-sorted, organized, and put away for another 11 months, it's nice to get the house back in order. By this point I am so sick of the color red! But, we did manage a few great deals on some NEW ornaments at Dillard's - can't beat 75% off! It felt good to get OUT OF THE HOUSE and enjoyed a nice dinner at Olive Garden. Thanks to our investment broker!

Jan 03

Skyper. Our newest member of the family. Steffen got him for his 8th birthday, December 19. We've been very patient in letting him get acclimated to his new digs, and today we let him climb up on Steffen's hand to get used to him a bit more. We're anxious to have him play with us. As much as Leopard Geckos' actually play. He is a cutie, shhhhh, don't tell anyone I said that.

Our life in 2010.
One of our pastors preached today a bit on New Years Resolutions (kind of, sort of) and I must admit, by the show of hands, very few people make resolutions each year. I find that odd. But I guess I talked about that last year this time of year.
Sure, I "resolve" to lose that extra weight that has crept up on me, I'd also like to be more diligent in my personal prayer life....yada yada yada. I'm not talking about those kinds of resolutions. More like what Pastor Bryan was talking about today. What do I want changed in my life in the coming year? First and foremost, when contemplating my resolutions, I do spend lots of time talking to God about it first. What does HE want to work in my life in the coming year. That's pretty darned vulnerable.
For me, this past fall a few circumstances came our way that made it obvious what I think the Lord is up to in my life in the coming year. We're bringing Ryan back "home" from kindergarten, to "start again" next fall. All the process that made that decision come about was a bit "inconvenient" to me and my plans. But, as with many times my experience with our Lord, He gently reassures me that my timing is seldom His timing, and His timing always has something GREAT on the other side if I just trust Him with it. So, we put Kindergarten off for another 9 months and that's OK. However, that DOES mean a few tweaks to my schedule and understanding that my baby boy needs his momma just a little longer. And THAT my friend is what my Mission Field is, and may I never lost sight of that. Even when I need a little nudge now and again.
So, my "word" or "motto" for 2010, is "My Mission Field". Being a significant role model, nurturer, instructor for my children just a little bit longer.... and we're all good.
"My Mission Field" will be, by the way, the title I put on my P365 book at the end of the year, as it seems that is what the Lord has for my year, so may I look back on these days and be able to hear "well done my faithful servant".

2009. How'd we do with that year??? I'll save it for another post.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Project 365

Not so much a "resolution" per se, but a little priority adjustment with my creative time. I'd like to get back into scrapbooking, less stamping (perhaps some of both). I just think my scrapbooking blesses my family so much more, and after all one only has so much extra free time. I'm thinking I'd like to take on the challenge of a "project 365". Seems quite easy, and I'm sure when the year is over huge satisfaction accomplished. Here is a link to what a project 365 is. I'd love to have some friends join me - sort of cheering each other on.
Check it out here

Be sure to leave me a note where you'll post your completed weeks so I can give you much kudos.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Proverbs 31 website

Today's devotional post is a very good one. (Wednesday, July 8) Go read it. Life challenging. (link at right)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why is it.....

Does this only happen in my house???? Seriously. To keep up with the laundry, I try to do one load a day, usually this helps me maintain this chore. Those who know me well, know that laundry is one chore I rather enjoy. Not sure why, but it just is - I typically do not have piles and piles, and seldom do I ever have unfolded laundry in baskets. Now, it may sit in the dryer a day (or two if I've totally spaced that load) but I've concluded that laundry must not be such a burden to me, since I seem to keep on top of it. I digress. My amazement is I live in a house of 4 people, and granted two of those people are under the age of 8, and ONE of THOSE people is a "messy by nature" type - so Ryan can go through several sets of clothes in a day. Especially in the summer. I also recognize that while the small boys (not the big one) is still sleeping in pullups (shhhh, family secret here) I put them in new jammies each night. When I fold my "load a day" (or two) I'm continually amazed at the size of the four piles. Seriously, my pile will have just a few items in it. Do I not wear clothes every day? Are my "colors" dispersed enough that not all my clothes are "dark" or not all my undies are "white" ??? Why is my pile always so tiny? If only I could do my OWN laundry, I could probably stretch it to once a week. I try to train up my hubby to wear his jeans more than once, as well as Steffen if they've not been playing outside. Steffen wears a uniform for goodness sake - his laundry should be very minimal. PLUS their clothes are still kid sized - why are their piles just HUGE??? Mine minimal? It continues to baffle me, and it's these profound things I often think about. How about your house. Do you wonder about this? Where does the mommy clothes go? Why is our pile so small? Carry on with your day......

Friday, June 5, 2009


We survived May. It was a little iffy there for awhile, but yes indeed Monday, June 1 arrived with great celebration in my heart.
As you may have already guessed, I'm a analyzer. After coming off a month like that, I do sit back and try to analyze what I can do to be sure THAT doesn't happen again. When life gets that crazy, I no longer enjoy the journey, I'm in pure survival mode and who wants to live like that??? However, there was precious little I could do differently, unless I had the knowledge I have now, this side of things.
To recap:
End of year stuff went well. Hindsight, the field trip to the Science Museum was not what I had envisioned in my mind. And my mind was foolish on this. To go on the bus, does mean I will be asked to HELP - it's not just a free little trip for me to enjoy the day with my son. As far as my son, it's a day to spend with his friends, not a neat little excursion out with momma. So, my bad. I didn't think that one through. I was much too busy that day to really help with a class field trip. I WASN'T too busy to spend the day enjoying a museum with my son, that is why I went. Anyway, it was still fun. The museum was fascinating, I can't wait to return and make it a family adventure - not a 1st grader field trip. One of my gripes of the day. We arrived and we all scattered, except for the kids we were assigned. So, while I understand the logic, it wasn't THAT much fun for Steffen to only occasionally see his friends here and there. Of course the boy that was assigned to me, was not one of Steffen's closer friends so you get the idea. When we all met for lunch, they were all together, and it was hard to get them rallied to go back into the museum since they just wanted to continue to play with their friends. They are 7 - very understandable. NOTE TO SELF - if the field trip falls at the END OF THE YEAR, do not feel you need to volunteer unless your schedule is indeed clear. It WON'T be the "bonding time" alone with your kiddo you envision. and that's ok.
I had volunteered to coordinate/organize all the pictures throughout the year that Steffen's teacher mainly took and put them on a DVD, and make copies for all the parents. Since fun stuff was happening all the way till the end of the year, and I wanted to include pictures of all the fun stuff, guess what, the DVD's did not get DONE before school got out, I am still trying to get those mailed out to parents. Sigh. It wouldn't have been a stressor, however I think my computer is dying, and it's getting cranky with all the DVD burning I'm doing - so the process has been very hit or miss. I don't even want to think about the reality IF MY COMPUTER DIES - noooooooo, not now. How about the end of the summer.... I can't think about a new computer right now.
Ryan's end of school, well, I had to miss his last day. It was Steffen's field trip day. FORTUNATELY, I've got a fabulous friend that I love like a sister, whom I trust my children with as I would family. She took Ryan to school AND picked him up his last day of school. It was one of those hard decisions I made, choosing to go on Steffen's field trip with him. (see above, in hind site, I wish I hadn't done that - but Steffen appreciated it, so it was worth that.) Ryan's class was such an unusually close class. I really enjoyed getting to know the mom's of some of his closer friends. They will all (most, anyhow) go to a different school as Ryan next year, so we will have to be very intentional about keeping in touch. They are so young, and Ryan will, no doubt make more fabulous friends. But really, I enjoyed the families/mom's so much, I want to make that happen. They are good folk, worth the effort. The play dates for the summer have begun, so I look forward to seeing everyone again. Of course, Ryan's BD party helped, many close friends came and they had a blast together again.
Adam and Lindsay had a wonderful time during the AFA graduation. Adam will be a senior next year, so this was when they got their rings, and a huge formal "ring dance". I'm not military, so I am pretty green at what it all means, but the ring dance is a big deal and they seemed to have a very good time. I was glad to see them get out and enjoy Colorado a bit - whitewater rafting and a hike here in town. With the AFA graduation, it brought up thoughts of next year and Adam's graduation. (See, next May will NOT be any less chaotic, probably even more chaos with him graduating and family in town etc) The thought of him graduating, and "moving on" just breaks my heart. I cannot even imagine if it were my own kiddo. If he were "mine", I'd know he'd be back. As it is, the US government will have him for at least 10 more years and who knows where he'll lay his head? So no, it's unlikely he'll be back to Colorado any time soon. We'll have to chase him around wherever he goes. :D
Tanner has moved in. He seems to have immersed himself into our family life well. I don't know. It's been so crazy over here, I hope we haven't scared him off. There are 20 (??) interns at Compassion International this summer, and they seem to be getting together often, so that is good. The boys, of course, love to have another big brother to wrestle with etc.
Dan's job continues to go well. His 90 days is up the end of June. We're hoping for a raise??? We are thankful for the good job. They seem to be very happy with him. With the addition of Dan and a new secretary, the "bosses" are thrilled at how they are getting organized etc. We'll see how "thrilled" at the end of the month - tee hee. They've been very accommodating to us for some long weekend plans we have planned for the summer. One, being next weekend, Dan flys home to be with his family to celebrate his oldest sister's birthday. Do I dare say the age????? Let's just say it's a milestone and she's 12 years older than Dan. Amazing. I'm sad I can't make this trip, but our "new" budget cannot afford us living like the Rockefeller's (not that it ever could, but we were more accommodating on family oriented trips). I've got a few fun things planned with the boys and I while daddy is away.
THE PARTY of all parties. Dan's dreamed of having a large party in our backyard for one of the boys for years. I've put him off until this year. We rented a jump house and invited all of Ryan's friends. Ryan has a lot of friends! Check out our picassa website (link to the right) for pictures. (NOTE: Ryan's biological family came - mom, brother, aunt - there's a cute picture of them all together) A few of the older boys found a few snakes in our back lot (where they belong) and they were a big hit. Even the little girls were enthralled. They are harmless, I know, but the closer they get to the house, the more creeped out I get. I LOVE that our yard is a place for the boys to explore and do things that boys should be doing - but keep it away from the house. sigh.
Being the practical gal that I am, I figured why waste the 6 hour rental on the jump house??? We invited our entire Sunday School class, and their families back at 4pm for a family BBQ. Of course, being the end of the school year, everyone was ready for a nice family get together. My house was packed. The rain held off, but the temperatures dropped, so it got a bit chilly for the little kids - my house was packed. I wouldn't have minded, but the snakes came out again. AND more kids got involved in finding them. I think three or maybe four families went home that night with pet snakes. We make Steffen release them at night. We just feel that is the right thing to do, plus momma WILL NOT ALLOW the snakes in the house WHATSOEVER. Dogs are pets, not snakes. Obviously, not all parents feel like I do, so it became an expensive BBQ for some - since they had to go out and buy aquariums or whatever those things need to live in. We have Steffen convinced that they need to return to their rocks, to their own families and sleep with their mommy and daddys. He can recatch them tomorrow. ewwwwwwww. Overall, this side of things, it was a very full, but fun day.
JUNE has arrived. It's been cold and rainy this week. So no pool action yet.
That's it for family life, I think.
The boys have started their T-Ball/Baseball schedules. I was pleased to see that the season ends early/mid July. I'm glad that the boys games are on different nights, however, that will make our June nights very busy M-Th. Sigh. I'll keep you posted.
We said our goodbyes to one family already. My heart still aches. Kristi will, I believe, be a friend I will travel to go see, and they love to ski, so I think chances are pretty good that we haven't said our final goodbye. They are military as well, so we'll see where they land. They are both from the San Antonio area, which is near where my sister and her husband retired to, so that's a plus as well. Still, I will miss her deeply. I prayed for so long for a friendship like ours, and God gave me her for just a blink of an eye. Good Folk.
I started to read "the Shack". Interestingly creative. I look forward to finishing it and pondering the creative ways it was written. By no means do I, nor do I feel one should, find it answering deep theological questions, but creative literature is still fun to ponder now and again. Maybe another post I'll discuss further interesting points. I'm still reading my other two good reads, and still have thoughts I want to post on those as well. I just needed to get through May.... and I have. - amen

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Baby is 5

Today is Ryan's 5th birthday! It also happens to be the day he "graduated" from Pre-Kindergarten. I asked the other mom's/friends if today was a sad day for them, and they said no. (Mom's who their 5YO is their youngest) and the general consensus was we are ready for our little ones to move out of pre-school era. I am a little more tender thinking my baby turned 5 today. It just seems like such a big boy age.
LOTS going on right now, so not time to blog, but I wanted to celebrate my son's birthday with y'all.
(PS that is one of his Pre-K teachers, not me - I didn't become gorgeous overnight :D)
Be sure to check into our picassa site for more photos. Enjoy.
Happy Birthday my baby!!!