Saturday, August 30, 2008

Book club-

For something entirely different, let's have an informal book club. I say what I'm reading, and you can join me, or comment if you already read them. Anybody?
OK- well, maybe I'll just report for myself. This summer I read Hamlet (still not as earth shattering as I think it should be, what am I missing?) and Screwtape Letters (which was earth shattering- I love C.S. Lewis!). I'm also going through two opposing books to contrast and discuss with a friend: Amusing Ourselves to Death and Everything Bad is Good For You. So far, I'm almost done with the former and I'm thoroughly convinced. We will see if the latter changes my mind. Today I've gotten a recommendation from a good friend to read Austen's Persuasions. I would really like to discover the magic of Jane Austen for myself and I'm really excited to get into this one.

Promoting Baby Slings and Wraps-

I don't want to get overly political here, but I have never been able to relationally connect to a politician like this before. These pictures are just so cool. The more I learn about her, the more I like her. Do some research for yourself- there is some great commentary Doug Wilson's blog here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I cheated-

I took all of our laundry and got a roll of quarters and went to a Laundry-mat! It's all gone in one fell swoop, and it feels good. Mt. Washmore has been leveled. And we are blessing others with our excess- the extra clothes Kent and I have acquired, and the clothes too little for the kiddos. That feels good too. Woo-hoo!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back on the Flylady Bandwagon-

Another public declaration of determination and purpose on my part. My dear cousin Jill and I are going to hold one another accountable to our Flylady routines and missions for the third time in about three years. This is one of the things that I love about Flylady- you fall off of the bandwagon for a few days (or months), but when you get back on there is the Flylady encouraging me at the end of every email saying- "You are not behind. Jump in where you are." Ah. I need to hear that often. It combats my all-or-nothing mentality that I cannot possibly get my house where it needs to be, so why bother.
Flylady is not for everyone- those of you who are born organized (BOs Flylady calls them- Cassie, Mackenzie, Gabe, Jacqueline, you know who you are) do not need this kind of a system to keep up your house. But those of us sidetracked home executives (SHEs) who are constantly living in a state of can't-have-anybody-over-syndrome (CHAOS), can really benefit from the Flylady system of routines, reminders and missions. Even if you don't want to get the 20-30 emails per day (I set up a separate folder for my Flylady emails), you can still figure out the system to use for yourself. Ask me about it if you have questions. And, feel free to ask me how it's going when you talk to me, I need that kind of accountability. You can check out Flylady here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Silverwood Photos-

We love going to Silverwood. And it's so great that Jill, Christa, my mom and I all have season passes. Today we took old-timey Western photos of all the great-grandkids of Delbert and Eunice (minus Annika in California). Here's a few pics of the girls, in particular. Corbin's too busy going on serious roller coasters and other daredevil rides to get any good pictures of him. At least that's my excuse for now when I noticed all the pics are of Lindy. :)

Art on the Green

This is our second year to go to Art on the Green in Coeur d'Alene. This is fun for both kidsos and mamas. Jill and I went with our four little people. Corbin made an owl sculpture and Lindy painted. . . something. Actually, Lindy loves to paint and we just discovered this. When we stayed with our dear friends in Colorado, Lindy spent hours at the easel painting. Who knew? I'm gonna have to get over my mess phobia to encourage this one. We will see.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Reasons Why We Needed a Puppy-

I've been thinking about this post for a while, (and, yes, this is me trying to reassure myself and get over my own feelings of insecurity about owning a dog), and please know that I am not stating, by any means, that all you readers of this blog must get a puppy. However, I would like to state, in a somewhat formal way, why it is good for the Young family, in this time and place in our lives, to have a puppy. Here are the reasons:
For Lindy- so that she can get over her crazy fear of dogs, and she can have someone to boss around. ;-)
For Corbin- so that he has a good buddy to play with, someone who greets him exuberantly when he comes home, and most importantly, so that he learns an extraordinary amount of responsibility. He has been extremely diligent and cheerful in his duties thus far (2 weeks) of watching the puppy while inside, cleaning up puppy-accidents, taking him outside often, feeding and filling water bowls, comforting the puppy while in his kennel at night in Corbin's room, and picking up the poopies.
For Kent- to take on walks. This dog is a part of the "Get Kent in Shape" mission. Along with the glycemic index diet he is on now, walking the dog daily will be great for Kent. Plus, he LOVES dogs. He brought home from Colorado two guns he used to shoot with his dad and we got Niko the night we got home. I said, "Now you have guns and a dog, you feel like a man, don't you-" He just grinned.
For me- My two biggest problems in life: a lack of structure and discipline, and my tendency to withhold affection, can be helped with a puppy. I must be home (particularly when the boys go back to school in September) to train the dog properly. Also, he's be waking up like clockwork at 6am- this is good for me. And, I gotta admit, after 30 years of being a avid cat-person, I'm learning to love on an adorable puppy. He really likes me, it's weird. So, I pet, rub and scratch him. He's SO cute when he curls up to nap. Not wanting a dog for so many years was actually just massive selfishness on my part- not wanting to add to my responsibilities. But, it's really great to see the lessons this is teaching our family, but particularly the joy that Niko brings to our household.
He's a lot like a human baby, or toddler, actually. At my parents lake house the other day he was in 7th heaven hanging out on the beach and hiking with the boys. However, our little travel kennel was too small for him, so when we stayed the night we put him in the crib. And, he slept better than he does at home! (OK, probably because there were no cats to taunt him.) It was so cute to see him dozing in a white-painted baby crib.
And I think it really symbolizes a family settling down. Ya know- dog, white picket fence, mini van, swing set. Well, we have a fenced yard, currently don't have a mini van (but I'd love to again!), and no swing set in the yard. But, after living in 7 different places in 7 years, we certainly feel settled at this point. We've been here for over two years now and we aren't going anywhere anytime soon. So, bring on the dog, the dance classes for Lindy, and hopefully another mini van. We are ready to fully embrace the settled-down boring family image. And it's not nearly as boring as we would have thought.
Anyone have any advice for stinky dog smell? It's not his breath, it's his body. And we've been bathing him every few days. The other thing is- any wisdom about cats and dogs? I don't think we can really force that. Hopefully our little family will begin to fold together nicely, including all of our pets. It's a little bit chaotic now, but not too bad. And well worth it.

Update on "A Lack of Focus"-

I want to thank those of you who responded to my post on this and give an update. Thank you to Anna, Kelly, Gabe, Jenny, Christa and others who gave me comforting words of camaraderie and wisdom. My very wise husband also reminded me that all of those things on my list are priorities. None of them can be neglected or else than they do become a glaring obstacle to the other things in life. So, basically, it comes down to routines and maintenance. A little here, a little there. Just being faithful everyday to all of my duties. And isn't that just how God made the world? Repetition, patterns, cycles, slow and steady progress, the sun faithfully rising everyday in the east. I love to be a spontaneous, romantic, fun and impulsive (ok, and honestly, flat-out LAZY) person. But, I need to be a good steward of the blessings I have been given (husband, kids, house, food, etc.). And, I need to be faithful, patient, and persevering.
The Lord has shown Kent and I that so many of our issues stem from a lack of trust. Examples: I must sleep in because I'm so tired: not trusting that God will give me the energy I need to sustain me through the day. Or, I must go to this or that social event, even though my toddler is out-of-control and laundry and dishes are taking over the house: not trusting that God will bless me when I am faithful to serve my family and I need to stay home. Or even, I'm going to pig out on this delicious food in front of me: not trusting that God will give me my daily bread, literally. We are seeing that this trust issue pervades all the corners of our lives. What an insightful husband I have!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Commercial, Shameless Plug-

This year, (our family always thinks in school years), we will be focusing on my birth stuff, so that Kent does not need to give voice lessons on week nights. Therefore, for the first time since we've moved here to Spokane, I need to advertise my businesses. So, here they are:
I am a trained birth doula. I provide physical, emotional and informational support to women and their families in labor. I have been attending births as a doula for 7 years now. Phone consultations and initial interviews are offered at no charge. See DONA for more info on what a doula is.
I also can provide postpartum doula care. A postpartum doula supports the new family in the first few weeks after a birth and is usually hired on an hourly basis. Various contracts may be arranged, as needs can vary greatly during this time.
Also, Margaret and I are in the final planning stages of our Midwives' Assistant Training we will be offering this fall. I trained to be a Midwives' Assistant 3 years ago in Colorado and am very excited to pass on these skills to other birth junkies like myself. Please let me know if you are interested in this class to acquire a skill set of your own.
So, please spread the word about my services to local women and families. Thanks!
Phone- (208)964-5268

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Lack of Focus-

So often, it seems that I spend hours and days trying to get my brain prioritized correctly. What should I focus on: enjoying my kids, loving my husband, getting finances and bills organized, getting groceries and menus organized, planning outside-of -my-home commitments like church activities or parties, cleaning my house, reading quality books, serving my extended family and friends, blogging, bible study, researching and reading about birth stuff, advertising for more doula clients...? The list seems endless, and what seems priority one night, seems back burner the next day. Kent and I have been talking about the power of focus and have seen this bring us more sanity and accomplishment in our lives together. I believe that I need to pick two priorities and then hyper-focus on those things for a few weeks, at least. Then, I will actually have success in an area, hopefully, rather than running around like a chicken with my head cut off not feeling like I'm doing well at all in any area.
Anyone else have this problem?
Flylady does help me quite a bit with the house stuff.
Caffiene is also a solution, I believe.