Yes, that is what  you should probably call what I am doing right now…because what I have to do, I don’t really want to do.  And besides, it’s been so long since I have posted a drawing I simply could not keep you waiting anymore.

I drew this on Sunday actually, on our way back from my nephew’s 5th birthday party at Jumpin’ Jax in Lansing.  It was fun…the kids loved it.  It’s basically a big building filled with inflatables.  We have one here called Fun 4 All Kids.  We stopped at the Halloween store on the way home to check out costumes.  We bought Savannah’s wig for her Princess Leia costume (that I will probably be making tomorrow night – because she has a party to go to with her friend on Saturday!).  Jasmin was sleeping after missing her nap, so I stayed in the car…and only had my McDonald’s cup to draw on.  This was all I could get done of my drawing in the 15 minutes they were in the store.  It doesn’t look like much, does it.  Anyway…at least I drew SOMETHING.  I was telling Sam the other day how frustrated I am with work.  Not that it’s bad…it’s just difficult and so demanding.  He said I should make it a point to draw every day.  It would be theraputic.  The thing is, he is probably right.  It does relax me, allow me to have a creative outlet…but seriously, I am so tired when I get home, sometimes it’s a challenge just to stay up to pack the lunches, do the laundry and the dishes and if I get time work on plans or checking papers for school (not a difficult task, really…it’s actually fun putting stickers on the kids’ papers and writing little comments on them – it’s just time consuming).  He does have a good point and I am actually considering it…maybe I will make myself a personal goal.  I don’t think I have drawn in my journal since July or August!  And unfortunately I can’t put my McDonald’s cup in my journal either.  OK enough of that, I HAVE to go get the trailer cleaned out.  There was frost on the ground this morning, and we have to get it winterized soon. Sam is taking it over to BJs tomorrow so we can get it taken care of.  Here I go, even though I really don’t want to.

God Sightings…

I have been thinking a lot about my life, lately.  Trying to evaluate exactly why I may be feeling so unhappy with my life lately.  I am easily frustrated, not very positive, everything seems so much of an effort.  I kind of feel isolated from people.  I think this is a general feeling of my life…because that same feeling has been something I have dealt with for years.  Maybe it’s just part of my personality, I don’t know.  I am not really sure what is ok to write about on my blog anymore.  It seems like every post ends up getting edited. (usually suggested by someone I know).  Why am I offending people?  What is wrong with me lately?  These are really self-centered thoughts, I know.  Nobody likes to hear that kind of stuff.  Especially not you, I am sure, who probably reads my blog because I talk about my kids, my job, or maybe because I “am” an artist (sorry about that one – not drawing anymore…a whole other subject, I think).  Anyway, years ago, there was what was called a 30 day adventure…or maybe it was 40 days.  But it was a thing that you found a lot of churches participating in…kind of like the Experiencing God series.  During the first one that we participated in, I remember people talking about God sightings.  The things in your day that you realize God has a hand in.  Well, if you are a Christian, you know God has his hand in everything, but recognizing it proved to be a huge encouragement to me and those I shared it with.  That God sighting thing has kind of stuck around…been called different things, but never left my mind.  I have to say that God is working in me this weekend.  I have been feeling kind of down and discouraged about many things recently, as I stated…and this weekend I feel like God has been really trying to show me that He cares, number one…and also that he is in control of every little situation…if I will let him be.  So, you know…maybe it’s stretching it to call my whole one dollar Color Surge buy a God sighting…but it definitely was exciting and encouraging and maybe that’s what God knew I needed.  Plus, you aren’t going to believe this, but I decided to do one more load of laundry before I went to bed last night and decided I should do a white (bleach) load because I had a lot of dishtowels and dishcloths that needed to get cleaned.  As I was searching through the HUGE laundry pile on the floor to find any more stray socks or dishcloths, I discovered two twenty dollar bills that had fallen between the dehumidifier and the crates that I set my laundry soap on. I was SO excited about that…but then I have to wonder, how did I lose $40 and not realize it?  But I thanked God anyway because I need  to go back and buy that laminating film today and we had some extra money so we could go out to dinner today.  Then we we came home, our neighbor’s dad was mowing my lawn.  You might think that’s weird, but we let Holly use our lawnmower when she needs to.  Only lately, I haven’t been able to get it started.  So he was over helping her with some things around her house and he put in a new spark plug and changed out the gas and got it running.  I have not mowed my grass since we got back in August.  Well actually, I did mow the front once, but the back was probably a good 8 inches tall!  I do have some raking to do, but I told Holly, that was probably one of the biggest things anyone could ever do for me…and it made my day.  I was so thankful that he fixed the lawnmower and then to mow my grass on top of that was a HUGE blessing.  And then there was the sermon today. The scripture was from Haggai…a book, I have to say, I am not real familiar with.  Today I actually took my bible to church.  I haven’t used my Bible for a long time.  At church, I just use the pew bibles and honestly, every bible I have seems like it adds an extra 5 pounds to everything I already carry, with the baby and all the stuff that goes along with that.  So I usually just leave it at home.  I picked my Life Application Bible (given to me by my parents when I was in high school, I think)  Apparently sometime I had listened to a sermon or something about the same scripture that Pastor Mark read and preached on today.  Here are some of the notes I had written in the margins and some of the things that are written as applications for the scripture:

“If God gives you a task, don’t be afraid to get started.  His resources are infinite. God will help you complete it by giving encouragement from others along the way.”

So…not only has God equipped us with what we need to accomplish the task (in this case, rebuilding the temple) with his help (dependence on Him) but he helps us get through it and see it to completion by giving encouragement from others (the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah)…maybe encouragement, not directly related to the task – which could just be life right now – God showing up in my everyday life…like finding a great deal, someone serving me by mowing my lawn, somehow…supernaturally I imagine…making me forget that I had lost forty dollars so that I could be surprised when I found it.

“Be strong, and work.  For I am with you.  Do not fear.”  Haggai 2:4,5

So, tonight…facing another week of hard work, my outlook is a little different…I am encouraged at how God is showing up…even when I am not searching for Him.  That he has placed me here in these situations at this particular time in my life…and his purpose is bigger than I know, so I need to lean on him, and He has promised to give me the resources & encouragement I need to get through it all.  That is what I have learned this weekend.  Maybe it can be an encouragement to you too!

What a deal!!!

Today was a huge work day for us.  Sam went with his sisters up to Topinabee today to lay to rest Penny’s ashes in Mullet Lake.  Kind of a depressing occasion…but I hope they enjoyed themselves, being together and sharing memories of mom and stuff.  While he was gone, me and the kids worked our butts off.  We did a lot of work around the house…but mainly worked in the trailer…packing it up and cleaning it out so we can put it away for the winter.  It was a lot of work, and I still have to bring in more stuff and vacuum the trailer out.  The kids worked toward earning prizes.  I made up a chart of boxes they could color in for each job they did.  When they got six jobs done they earned a prize (sam had bought fruit stripe gum and candy bracelets for incentives) and then I made up a chart of prizes (up to six) that included the candy along with a craft and a trip to the park and a dollar.  Savannah made it to a dollar, but Karson and Max only made it to the candy.  It’s really hard to get Karson to do chores.  He just doesn’t care about the prizes like the other two.  He did do several jobs without complaining today, and I appreciated that.  So I took the kids to dinner for a reward for helping out today.  They wanted to go to Burger King and get the idog kids meals.  I gave in.  They really like them.  I think they are kind of stupid, though, because they don’t even play a tune.  At least they could have had part of a song on each one.  All they do is light up.  But they really like them, so I guess whatever makes them happy.  Anyway, after that we ran over to Office Depot (Jackson) to pick up some report covers.  I wanted them to cut up and use in pocket charts to highlight our sight words in our stories and stuff at school…but they don’t make the colored report covers like they used to when I was a kid, apparently.  They are all clear.  I did find some colored transparent plastic pockets (like the kind you can put in a binder) and I think they will work for what I need. I know you can buy these from educational resources, but I wanted them now and I thought it might be a good alternative.  Anyway, I also walked to the back of the store to check out the price of the laminating film (my friend at school has a laminator and I use it a lot, so it’s my turn to get the film) and as I suspected after an expensive meal at Burger King (I can’t believer Burger King charges 3.79 for their kid’s meals…and if you want to make a healthy choice and have apples instead of fries, it’s an extra .49 cents!) I didn’t have quite enough money to buy that, so I’ll have to go by tomorrow.  And as we were heading to the checkout, I noticed that there was a display on the end cap of an aisle of Color Surge paper/markers by Crayola.  I love this Crayola product.  It’s perhaps my favorite product ever!  The markers color super bright on the special double sided color paper.  I love that the paper is thick like cardstock, and I just love how fun it is.  The bad thing about this product is it tends to fade, just like the color wonder stuff does…only maybe not quite as bad.  It doesn’t do well in high humidity and water or any liquid will ruin it.  It does laminate well though, and as far as I can tell, it doesn’t fade if it’s laminated.  I won’t say anything else about, but that if you like to doodle and you like new pens, markers, stuff like that…and even if you are over 40 years old…it’s really fun to play with and I would highly recommend going out and buying some to play around with.  You can always use the excuse it’s for my grandkids/neice/nephew.  🙂  So onto why I called this post “What a deal!”  I noticed as we were on our way out that the Color Surge products were on sale.  for 3.99.  That is a great deal because they are usually between 6.99 and 7.99.  At Office Depot the original price was 7.99.  So we decided to get two because that would pretty much use up the money that I had.  Then I get up there to pay, and he says it’s seven dollars and something.  I say “how much?” and I lean over to look at the cash register…and those Color Surges only scanned for 1.00 a piece!  So I sent Savannah back to get them all.  I didn’t end up getting all of them. I got 10.  Which if you add it up, is a savings of around 70.00!  I am always reading these blogs of my friends, Angie and Sara and they are always writing about the sweet deals they get with rebates, coupons and sales at stores.  I’d love to get into that…but I so don’t have the time for it.  So this kind of surprise is SO great.  And my kids in art class are totally going to love using Color Surge for their projects!  They don’t get to use fun products like that very often, because usually they are so expensive…and my budget for art supplies is SO tiny!  Anyway, I am very excited about my great deal.  I did leave a few of them in the display, so if you want Color Surge for 1.00, you might be able to get them if they are still there. Good luck and have fun!

Savannah drew this picture with Color Surge.