Thursday, February 25, 2010

Porky Pine

I love hearing Jeffrey learn new words. Sometimes he gets them right. Sometimes he doesn't.

Every Thursday afternoon, I make popcorn the old fashioned way - on the stove in a kettle with oil and kernels. (I'm not a big fan of microwave popcorn.)

Jeffrey got his little purple bowl full of popcorn. He loves to play as he eats, and he always ends up in his own little world living out a different reality. Today as he was eating, he would examine each kernel very carefully before popping it in his mouth.

Earlier in the day, we watched Veggie Tales Jonah... In the beginning of the movie, there is a mama porcupine that shoots quills at Bob the Tomato.

Somehow the word "porcupine" stuck in his mind and he started exclaiming "Porky pine!" every time he tossed a piece of popcorn in his mouth.

I finally caught on. So I tried to correct him.

He'd say, "Porky pine!"

I'd say, "PorcUpine."

J: "Porky pine!"

Me: "PorcUpine."

J: "Pork EE pine!"

Me: "PorcUpine."

J: "Pork YOUR pine!"


Me: "PorcUpine."

J: "No, mommy! Pork YOUR pine!"

I seriously can't handle this much amusement. I can't ever keep a straight face. It's hilarious.

Me: "Jeffrey, it's porcUpine."

J: "Pork YOU pine!"

Me: "Very good!"

Ahhh... it took a while, but we got there. For some reason, I think I like his versions better.

No, mommy! Pork YOUR pine!
I love my little man.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Picklebean

I just love my little man. He's growing so tall. He loves to do things for himself (he always says, "I do it. I do it.") and is exploring everything.

He saw his jeans on the floor yesterday morning and tried his hand at putting them on. So he got them on backwards.


And he's getting really good at his guitar. He's 2 1/2, people. Sometimes it actually sounds like something. He sings. He dances.

I taught him Three Little Birds by Bob Marly. He goes around singing, "So don't worry! 'Bout a thing! Cuz, EV'RY LITTLE THING!!! S'Gonna be all RRRRRIIIIGGGHHTTTT!" It's so cute. He ven sings when he's on the potty. (And, be honest, who doesn't?")

And he's completely infatuated with Neil Diamond. He constantly wants to watch his live concert DVD.

He's definitely a Matkovich.

Watch what God can do

I don't have a clue why I'm awake at 4:00 in the morning, but here I am. Typically this means I have something on my mind (although it's too freakin' early for me to even grasp what that is), so I'll just write and maybe discover something deep and profound. Unlikely.

Wow. These last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind. We had to just dig right in and get a LOT done to get the house ready for market. We still have a few things to do, but here is a quick rundown of what has been done so far:
  • master closet cleaned out completely, 1/2 of the clothes given to Goodwill (we figured, if it hasn't been worn in 2 years, it's out), another 1/2 of what was left was packed. All that remains on the floor is a shoe rack. Clothes perfectly folded and stacked on the shelves. The hanging clothes all organized by style and color, facing the same way, evening spaced, on matching hangers. The closet looks HUGE. Done.
  • Master bedroom rearranged, most furniture removed - all that's left is the king bed and 1 dresser. Walls painted, windowsill painted, curtains and rod cleaned. Replaced the blackout shade, which had some rips from kitty claws. Personal pictures removed. New linens for the bed - along with a new color scheme. Looks super relaxing, cozy, peaceful and inviting. Just gotta actually make the bed. Done.
  • Picklebean's room: crib torn down and a full bed erected in its place. New linens and color scheme, new drapes. Closet cleaned, all clothes folded and hung perfectly. Most furniture removed (and sold). All that's left is the full size bed and a side table with cute little baskets. There isn't even a hint of "child" in this room (unless you open the closet and see all the mini-clothes hanging). It looks like a super peaceful guest retreat. Done.
  • Office: ALL books packed (and that was a lot). Desk removed. Twin bed set up where desk once stood - fit perfectly between the two bookshelves. A few kids' books and items are strategically placed on the shelves, with new storage baskets. Closet completely cleaned out. All files that were once stored were rummaged through. 1 huge box of shredding, the rest filed neatly away (and the file bins will be taken to mamasan's while the house is getting sold. Don't need to keep all of our personal stuff available to anyone who likes to steal identities.) Walls painted. Blinds scrubbed and wiped clean. Baseboards cleaned and painted. New linens. Done. (Looks GREAT!)
  • Hall: walls touched up, baseboards painted. Armoir completely cleaned out & packed, with a few strategic items placed on open shelves. Done.
  • Laundry closet: New storage bins that organize everything. Just need to wipe the appliances down and we'll be done.
  • Pantry/linen closet: We used this as a pantry... but I think it was meant to be a linen closet. So... everything that was in the pantry has been moved to the kitchen cabinets, all the shelves cleaned, new storage bins for vitamins/drugs, etc., and towels and linens folded perfectly and placed neatly on the shelves. All the little kitchen appliances that we stored there are now packed (breadmaker, wafflemaker, rice cooker, etc...) Looks awesome. Done.
  • Kitchen: repainted, touched up, etc. New curtains & rod (which we actually replaced a couple of months ago... Took down the vertical blinds.) Painted windowsill, new caulking around the window and sliding glass door. New caulking around backsplash. Cabinets cleaned out, most items placed in "to sell" pile, a bunch of stuff packed. Pantry items faced properly, organized and stacked. Cabinet doors wiped clean and polished. Floors scrubbed, steamed and polished. Soon, our "new" faucet will be replaced with another one (cuz this one is faulty). All that's left is a little bit of packing and then a good clean of the counters, oven and fridge, and the baseboards need a good once-over. Done.
  • Dining room: repainted (more neutral color). New drapes. Baseboards and windowsill painted. Credenza packed. Secretary's desk emptied, packed, and a few strategic items placed on shelves. Furniture rearranged. Chandelier cleaned and polished. Dining table and chairs cleaned and polished. New "art" on the wall. Done.
  • Living room: 1/2 of our furniture sold. All personal items removed and packed. TV center packed. Furniture rearranged. Walls retouched. Baseboards and windowsills painted. Entry closet mostly packed. Still have to go through all the coats and just keep a few hanging - the rest will be packed. Games need to be faced. All we have to do is clean the carpets one last time, put all the "kid stuff" in the garage for showings, and done.
What's left? Just a good cleaning of the bathrooms. Once cleaned, I have new shower curtains and towels for staging. We'll recaulk the tubs and backsplashes, retouch the paint and done! Outside, we just need new mulch, and clip back all the perennials (which look terrible this time of year, but luckily will start turning green and growing in the next couple of months), plant seasonal blooms by front door and in window boxes, trim the grass and reseed... I'd like to rent a powerwasher and give the driveway, front walk and back patio a good rinse... maybe the siding, too. Kitchen just needs a good cleaning...

This weekend we're taking all the packed boxes to storage, setting aside the garage sale items, organizing the garage and doing the other projects listed above. The house will be ready to sell!

At this point, I'm completely detached. Once we painted over the airplane in Jeffrey's room and took down all the personal photos, I was over it. Now it's just something to sell. It's no longer my home. It's just a place we're currently living.

Everyone is asking us where we're moving. The short answer is I don't have a freakin' clue. But that's not our concern at the moment. Finding a place to rent is never a problem. And there's no point in looking until the house gets sold. So, once the house is sold, then we'll worry about what's next. An apartment? A small rental house? I don't know.

We also get, "How are you staying so positive? I'd be freaking out right now if I were you!" a lot. We get this a LOT. I don't understand what there is to freak out about. It just is what it is. There isn't a reason to be angry (although there are a couple of things I'm angry about). Anger just builds into resentment and bitterness, and those two emotions have no place in my heart.

Here's the deal. If there is ever an opportunity to show what it means to live in the Kingdom, now is the time. We Christians preach all the time about leaning into God and letting God be our provider and all these fancy things hidden behind all these fancy words. But the truth is that most Christians don't actually live this way. And when the poop hits the fan, they look just like everyone else. We don't want to look like that. We want nothing to do with the way the world does things. We want everything to do with the way Jesus does things. And this is just how Jesus operates. We have the choice to follow Him and trust that where He is leading us is good. Or we have the choice to take matters into our own hands. I don't know about you, but I'd follow Jesus anywhere.

This past year has been really, really tough for a number of reasons, some of which I've covered briefly in past posts. God has really done some work on Scott and I - in different ways, but with very similar results. It was just a year ago when I was sitting at the edge of an exam table waiting for the ultrasound tech to come in and tell me we lost the baby, when God spoke to me. He asked me if I trusted Him, if I was willing to give up EVERYTHING for Him, and if I believed He is who He says He is. My answer was a resounding YES, and in that moment God's presence was so vivid and tangible. My arms just opened to Him, and I loosed my grip around the thing that I wanted so desperately - my little baby. I felt in that moment that I had been given an incredible gift - for a moment. That I shared in a miracle of God's creation.... But He told me, in not so many words that day, that what I have is HIS not mine.

Well... you know the rest of that story. God let me keep my baby - my darling Eden Noelle. But every day since I rededicate her to God. I'm serving God by raising her and loving her, but she doesn't belong to me. She belongs to Jesus.

And so it is with this house, our finances, our jobs, our retirement accounts... all the things that give us some semblance of comfort and security. But I'm always reminded of a few verses in the Holy Scriptures. Matthew 6:21, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:25-27, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" - I love this one: Matthew 6:30, "If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"

O you of little faith.... ouch.

My faith has grown exponentially over this past year. I don't know what God is doing or is about to do, but I do know a little something about His character. I know that He provides because besides the fact that He tells us He will, from our past experience He has shown us time and time again that He will. This is no different.

We are not worried. We are not anxious. We are not angry.

We believe with all that we are that God knows what He is doing, that He is guiding our every step, and that He is preparing something truly wonderful for us. This is an opportunity to grow our testimony. As a wife, this is an opportunity for me to just adore my husband and support the decisions he feels God is leading him to make for our family. This is an opportunity to minister to others - either going through a similar experience, or to just show what it means to live in the Kingdom, in the presence of a Holy God! This is an opportunity to show Jesus just how much we love Him, and that we're willing to give up everything to follow Him.

Just look what God can do.

Just LOOK what GOD can do!

I could list blessing after blessing, and all the ways that God has provided and continues to provide. Every day something new. Every day, Scott and I look at one another and just laugh because of all the ways that God is moving. We knew months ago that God was on the move. We felt it. And over the course of this last year, that feeling has grown stronger by the day. We have an inkling of what is about to happen, but we're just taking it day by day and allowing Him all the room He needs to accomplish His work.

So, when asked how we're doing, our answer is always, "GREAT!" We're doing great. We're just giddy with excitement.

Scott is an incredible, godly man. I have never known someone to be so in love with Jesus as my husband. He doesn't just preach it. He lives it, which is far more than most men I know. God has given him some amazing gifts; gifts that were never appreciated or utilized by our church. We know that God has called Scott to this work. So, if not here, then somewhere else. God's plans will not be thwarted.

Some day I'll talk more explicitly about all of this, but for now it's too early. I still have to maintain some sense of neutrality. There is much I want to say, but now is not the time, and here is the not the venue (for the moment).

I am so excited about the future. I love totally relying on God and just watching the way He orchestrates everything - all the details that are so overwhelming to me. If He can create life out of breath, and He can feed thousands from just a few fish and loaves, this is nothing to him. Ain't nothin' but a thang! THIS is the God we serve.

It just makes me fall on my face in worship. Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty!

Friends, just watch what God can do. Watch. And be blessed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bird potty

There is a massive bird poop on our sliding glass door.

Jeffrey pointed at it and asked, "What is dat?"

I said, "That's a bird poop."

He said, "Bird sat on the potty?"

Well... yes... in a manner of speaking. It's funny to think about it that way. Windows are essentially bird potties. Awe. Some.

4 months

Exactly 4 months ago, on October 11, 2009 at 1:48 am, my baby girl took her first breath.

My little girl turned 4 months today. FOUR. Where did the time go?

Just look at this little one!
She's so chubby and happy!

She makes the funniest faces. She's so expressive - facially and verbally. This girl has some lungs on her, let me tell ya! She's totally attached to me. If I'm in the room and she can either see or hear me, she will start fussing up a storm. She just always wants to be with me. I should count my blessings, though, because I know in about 12 1/2 years, she's going to want nothing to do with me, unless I take her shopping for clothes and shoes.

What a little blessing this one is to our family. Jeffrey is absolutely in love with her. He constantly wants to cuddle with her, hold her, kiss and hug her. He wants to share his toys and his food with her. (I caught him just as he was shoving a walnut in her mouth a couple weeks back.) When she cries, he runs to her, rubs her tummy and says, "Don't cry, little baby. It's ok, little baby." He gives her a binky and covers her with a blanket... He does all he can to make her comfortable and happy.

The other day, they napped together. How cute is this?

I love my little family. I love that my kids adore each other.