Friday, January 28, 2011

In the Middle of a Five Mile Run

In the middle of a five mile run I am a crazy woman and I think crazy thoughts.

I think, "I could run forever because I feel so good."

I think, "Sugar? Who needs it. I'm done with it forever."

Then as I huff and puff at the end of my run, I wonder when it will be done. Will I ever finish? I slug it out. I do finish. (See? I'm not still running but rather writing a blog post).

Soon after I am home, I find that brownie. You know that brownie, full of sugar, that I could take or leave for the rest of my life during my run?!?

Usually those wild ideas happen in the middle of the run but last week they followed me home. As I looked into the bathroom mirror, I thought, "Wow. My waist already looks smaller." (I am only three weeks or so into my new determination to exercise.) Since I had already stopped moving, reality hit much sooner: I may have lost a few pounds but we can't see it yet.

How do such preposterous ponderings gain such credibility in my mind? A myriad of ideas fall into my mind throughout the day -- whether or not I'm running -- but it's those five mile run thoughts that get me convinced. Those are the ones I believe.

Then, it comes as a shock: I am surprised that it's hard to finish the run. (Didn't I just think: I could run forever?). I am tempted so mightily to eat a brownie. (Wait...I thought I gave that up forever?) My stretch jeans fit snugly. (How can this be? I looked smaller!)

It's as if the five mile run almost makes me believe it. Not three or two miles. Not one. Not six or seven. But it is the five mile run thoughts that get the most credit. Is this part of the runner's high? Or some other strange phenomena?

What do you think? Do you have crazy five mile run thoughts? Perhaps somewhere else besides a five mile run?

Have a great weekend!

I'm linking up for some Company Girl Coffee here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A love letter

This date -- January 25th -- holds much meaning for me. It is the day that I received the most beautiful love letter I have ever received.

May I always remember.

What do you have that you always want to remember?

Overflowing with thankfulness,


Colossians 2:6-7

Friday, January 21, 2011

Unexpected change realizes long-awaited dream

Perhaps it began when I first saw The Swiss Family Robinson and the really cool tree house in that movie. Or perhaps it happened the first time I ever climbed the Tree Climbing Tree in the backyard of my childhood home. I don't really know when it began but I have always dreamed of having a tree house.

Even when we moved into this house nine years ago, the mature trees were a selling point. They were strong enough and shaped properly upon which we could build a tree house . We talked about building a tree house a lot. We gave our oldest son the book How to Build Treehouses, Huts & Forts. We wrote Build a Tree House on our To-Do List.

Oh, we didn't write it on the Every Day To-Do List nor the Responsible Human Being List. But rather, we wrote it down on our Fun Projects List. You know the one --the wish list that we never really seem to have time for.

Instead, we get caught up in our every day lives. In some really good things. Like going to baseball games, dance recitals, and birthday parties. We attempt to keep up with meals, laundry, and school. Then there are the things we need to do, such as write the mortgage check, fix the kitchen sink, and occasionally bring a meal to someone who just had a baby.

Yet, time marches on each day, not really mindful of my Wish List. (How dare it?) I have black lines on my to do lists that make me feel productive. Yet I rarely cross off items on my Wish List. I suppose it is because those Everyday and Really Need To Do lists are never fully "done." Their on-going nature makes getting to the Wish List seem impossible and impractical. There is always something else I should be doing.

And then the unexpected happens. Something to slow us down. My husband lost his job. We canceled a vacation. We stayed home to several weeks of No Plans. (I clear the calendar before and after a trip to prepare before and decompress after.)

My husband wrote down Build the Tree House. Bigger this time. We took some of that canceled vacation money and a gift card to Home Depot and began to build.

We set aside some of the items on The I Really Need To Do List. Our hot water heater had broken. On the first trip to the store to buy lumber, my husband and son saw someone else loading a hot water heater onto their truck. They chuckled and said, "That's what we should be doing this weekend." But instead they started to build the long-awaited dream.

It was worth a few extra cold showers to provide stress relief from the job hunt. All four children swung a hammer at some point. The girls would often provide snacks for the workers. Jack watched from his perch up in the tree. I took pictures.

Now, it was a quick sentence -- we canceled vacation. It took time to make the decision. The next time we've planned for all of my husband's family to be together isn't until Christmas 2011. That was more than a year from then. We were disappointed.

But I am thankful for a Built Tree House. It was built because we stayed home. I love how it took a stressful, challenging thing (job loss) to allow us the time to realize the dream of a twelve-year-old boy's mom and dad.

I am thankful for blessings in disguise. How about you?

I am linking up with Rachel Anne's Company Girl Coffee today. Click here to participate.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Erase the Inward Groan or Enjoy Reading to your Preschoolers

Welcome to anyone who has come to visit from Jamie's Avant Garde Parent blog. I'm glad you're here.

I love to read to my children. Reading aloud is an important and a large component of our homeschooling days. Today I have written a guest post about the key element of loving to read to our children with no inward groan at Avant Garde Parenting. Check it out here.

If you went and read that post, you will appreciate that I read Big Red Barn last night to all four of the children. Usually daddy gets the evening read aloud slot, but he was on a deadline to finish a project. So I had that privilege. My oldest said, "I remember when you read that book all the time. And you could say it by memory. " And then the best part was that he said, "I love that book."

I replied, "Me, too."

So we read Big Red Barn, which they helped me quote when I paused. Then we read Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman. (Another book we read a lot in the days after clearing off the book shelf.) Then we dove into the big chapter book that needs discussion for the older three to understand it all.

With the way all of the children looked at the pictures and enjoyed the books, it shows that one is never too old for good quality children's literature.

And thank you my friend Kristi for nominating me as Parent of the Week and thank you Jamie for inviting me to your blog.

p.s. For those that visit the guest post, the wise tip came from Carole Joy Seid the first time I went to one of her seminars.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Friend in Need

I haven't met Joanne Heim in person but I have been reading her blog The Simple Wife for a couple of years. She suffered a stroke several days ago -- January 11 to be exact. She hasn't regained consciousness, yet. She is 38 years old, has a husband and two daughters. If you would like to join the band of prayer warriors on her behalf, please pray. If you would like more information, click on the praying for joanne link below or click on the link to her blog, The Simple Wife, which is on my sidebar of recommended blogs.

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Year In Review: Jaeger Style Part II

Christmas morning in our backyard. We live in the city but I'm thankful for our large backyard and this view that looks like the country.

We finally lit our Advent Wreath on Christmas Eve this year.
Last year we did it throughout all four weeks of Advent and became a favorite Christmas memory for me. (Read about that HERE.)

Assistant Mom with the assist in the kitchen (actually helping the husband since he is the main cook in the morning hours. No surprise there for those that know me/us.)

Kip & I with his folks.
I like that we took this picture. We don't have very many of the four of us. Probably because there is almost always more than four of us together when we're together.
We enjoy having family nearby; it's what has kept us in Middle Tennessee for so long.

The three of them sure enjoy one another. I'm proud of how they work it out being a threesome. (That is hard for us females to do!)

Sophia's birthday falls right after Thanksgiving. It requires advanced planning to make sure that a birthday party happens. I wasn't on my game this year -- advanced planning has been difficult. It took a couple of weeks to orchestrate all of us getting together and it meant a lot to the birthday girl to have us all celebrate her day (for which she waits all fall -- after all three of the other children have their birthdays.) She wanted a picture of all of us together who were at her family birthday party.

The kids wrote, costumed, staged, and lighted their own play over Thanksgiving week. These are the female actresses in the play.

"Argggh. We are the pirates."
The boys in the play.
There is a video that exists of the play. So someday, if you're family that wasn't there, we'll probably subject you to watch it (whew! it's nice not to be family sometimes?!).


One of Jack's favorite people in the whole world, his older cousin by a year.

My beloved Kip.

Our local Target & OfficeMax parking lot the day after the flood.

Cute, cute, cute. I love this sister shot.
I need to collect and do a collage of pictures of these two that we have taken through the years ever since they were babies.

Some of our dearest friends singing a song at Levi's baptism.

Kindred spirits.
They don't see each other often but they sure love each other.
They are 12 days apart in age and have known each other all of their lives.

Our little fishy.
At camp this summer, the older three went as campers. I went as an assistant cook. (I loved being at camp again.) Someone watched Jack while I was working but every afternoon we had a little time together. We always spent at the pool. Jack loved it. He splashed, dived, and swam. I was surprised how much he improved in a week's time.

This is one of my favorite photos of the year.
Wow, what handsome boys I have.
This is the day at camp we were waiting for the thunder to go away so that we could get into the pool.

A moment of getting along for the two of them.

Kip giving the best man toast at one of his best friend's wedding. He was surprised and honored to be chosen as best man. This was a wedding of rejoicing -- two content single people living and enjoying life when they met the right person to compliment their lives.

Most thankful for the six of us. It was been a wonderful year together.

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