Monday, February 25, 2013

Sometimes You Know the Storm is Coming

Last Saturday, we heard that church would be cancelled Sunday due to a winter blizzard that was expected to bring 6-12 inches of snow with high winds.  So, although it was still sunny and warm that day, I headed out for any groceries we may need if we were to be home a while. And we all thought ahead to the next day.  A 5-way baby shower would be postponed, so no wrapping gifts just yet.  Joey's friend's baptism up in Denver may have to wait. Sam's friend Ethan would not be coming over.  We would do church at home.  Danny could skype his debate coach. What would we like to read, as we snuggled inside?
after the storm

We knew the storm was coming. We didn't know how bad it would be, but we prepared just in case.  And since it didn't come unexpectedly, it really wasn't that bad.

Sometimes there are storms in our own lives that we know are coming.  We may not know how big they'll be, or what damage they'll do, if any, but we can at least prepare ourselves in prayer and wisdom.  

And yet sometimes, the storms of life swoop down and knock us on our feet. They leave us in a humbled state, wondering 'why?'.
Sometimes the damage is minimal, and we learn from it and walk on a little smarter.  Sometimes it takes months, or years, to recover.  

No matter what kind of storm comes my way, I seem to feel the need to get back to normal as soon as possible.  I think that's pretty normal.  I find myself thinking, 'when things settle down, (fill in the blank)'.  What if things don't settle down for a long time? What if they transition into new storms with new challenges?  What if life as I know it never comes back to this place?  Will I have the strength to endure, the wisdom to trust, the patience to wait.  

So many times I ask our Good Lord to give me strength, or to let my children be people of character or give my husband wisdom.  I am thinking we'll wake up next day and be filled with all these goodies from God.  But what happens instead?  We wake up to a storm, or a challenge at the least.  And we fuss and fret and try to get to anywhere but in this situation. I don't want to hear these winds blow, or be surrounded by dark clouds, not knowing when the storm will stop and I can go on with life. My mind gets too full and I try to make sense of it all.  And just when it seems it has gotten too hard to endure, my Sweet Lord comforts me with His words.

Isaiah 40:31But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him,    and he will make your paths straight.

Psalm 46:10: Be still and know that I am God.

I am learning to be still.  To look at Him, not the wind and the waves.  To see that He is in the storms of our lives, He may have even brought them to us, and He will calm them.  To anticipate His Fatherly comforts and wisdom and kindness.  And to anticipate what work He is doing in us as we learn to trust through the things that come our way.
And how's that for a little light thinking tonight?

Psalm 107:29:  He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Winter Sowing

I have a friend, Trish, who is a native Californian but lives in Colorado now.  She is an avid gardener but has had to re-think her methods with Colorado's very short growing season. We usually don't plant until mid-May and could possibly get another frost early to mid-September.
Last month, Trish had some of the ladies from church over and she taught us about something called Winter Sowing.  If you want to check it out, click on
And be careful when you tell your kids 'today we are doing winter sowing' because they will most assuredly hear 'winter sewing' and head excitedly to the fabric bins.
Anyhow, the idea is that if you plant inside ahead of time, then you not only have pots all around your home, but the plants can get too spoiled being in a warm house.  Out here, we have a fairly harsh climate, so transplanting these can lead to failure.  What you want is a mini greenhouse, but outside, so the seeds and plants can get stronger while still being protected. So what Trish showed us was this:

 We filled each of about 24 styrofoam cups 2/3 full of soil, then lightly watered it.

Then we poked some seeds just a little into the soil.

We labeled each cup with the type of seeds and the owner's name(very important for later, because I'll have no idea what everyone planted three months from now)

Ellie just wanted carrots.  Lots and lots of carrots. Children with a one-track mind really make things so much easier.

Then all the cups went into one of these under-the-bed storage boxes.  We put the lid on, and then drilled some holes in the top.
The box will go outside in our backyard, and wait until May, when we will pop each cup of little plants out (hopefully!) and plant them into our garden space.  
We'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We're Finally Done With Asia!!!

Okay, last July I posted about starting back to our school schedule early because the last year had been slow, and I wanted to get a jump on things.
So we did.  And we started our world geography study, going through Antarctica and Oceania first.  Wow, it felt good to get moving!  
Then we hit Asia.  And we stayed in Asia. It seems like we were in Asia for EVER. Asia is HUGE. 
Yes, I suppose Christmas break and a week or two of the flu didn't help either, but still.
However, today I am happy to announce, the Sargents are moving on to Europe.  And we celebrated after a long morning of review.  Just to make sure all that time in Asia wasn't wasted, you know.

Emma, Hannah, and Thomas were very surprised when I pulled out these goodies.
Fun drinks with this marble thing in the neck of the bottle, panda cookies, and some kind of fruit things made in Japan.

 He wastes no time enjoying it.

 This picture of my girls really shows how they've grown, I think.

Red-eyed Baby is glad we're moving on, too!

Visiting Mrs. Jones

When I was growing up in Oregon, our Nazarene church was next door to a nursing home.  We used to walk over at different times of the year and sing for the residents and visit with them.  I remember it being a little emotional, as the place was kind of dark and smelled funny, and the elderly people didn't always smile much.  I always felt sad going in, and nervous of what I might feel as I looked at the sick, lonely faces.  But I always left with happiness because we had brightened up their day just a bit.

My friend Kathy has a mother who lives in a nursing home here not too far from our home. I try to get in to see her every so often, and she is always so glad to visit.
I love to bring a little one or two with me.  Or three or four, depending on the day.  Some of the residents will crane their necks to catch a peek at a young face and body. (Not mine, my children's!) And they reach out, with a sweet, faraway look in their eyes.  Maybe they are thinking of their own children or grandchildren, or remembering their childhood. 

Although I still get that nervous feeling of 'what if I cry when I look at some of the people here?', I love going.  These people have whole lives of stories of all kinds of lessons learned.  They have family and friends, many of them.  They have wisdom and pain and strength and they are way beyond caring what others think of them.  
Kathy's mother is Miss Joan.  My little ones call her Mrs. Jones, because they heard wrong. We've corrected them, but they still say it that way. It's cute. 
Joan has a thick New Jersey accent, and a lot of spunk.  She loves hugs and her weekly day out to WalMart!
Here are Sarah, Emma, and our friend Lizzie with 'Mrs. Jones'.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Day in the Life of Me

Many times I've been shopping with children in tow, and somebody will stop and ask about our crew.  Today, it was just me and a few groceries-very inconspicuous.  But still...
Before I went to pick up Hannah from her writing class, I ran into Safeway to grab some milk they had on sale.  I only needed 3 gallons.  As I stood in line with the milk on the conveyor belt, a woman behind me laughed and said, 'Who's gonna drink all that milk?!' I smiled, and before I could answer she said that I must have teenaged boys.  I said that was right, and she asked how many I had.  Let me just interject here-sometimes I reveal our whole family, and sometimes I don't.  Today I decided to meet in the middle.  'We have 6 boys', I told her. Her mouth dropped open, and she said, 'What did you say? SIX boys? And you birthed all of them?' I told her that was correct.  She stared at me and said to herself, 'Six boys, and no girls.'  Then her head popped up again and she asked me, 'No girls?'.  'No, we have girls too.  Four of them'. 
I'm used to people giving me a double-take when they hear about our family size.  And really, most people love the idea of many children.  This woman today was no different, but just-um-very forward.
Once she got the number in her head, she yelled out, 'Well are you Mormon?'.  I laughed and said no, that we are Christian and that these children are a blessing.  She stood there a minute and looked me over.  Then she yelled, 'Well why aren't you FAT?'. Um, how do you answer that when you're not exactly skinny? I think she was quite surprised to see a mother of many still able to get herself out of bed and go to the grocery store! And I could see out of the corner of my eye that the checker was now chuckling as he scanned my groceries. As I was paying, she continued on. About Hollywood stars and how all they think about is themselves and their images and money and all.  And then she leaned forward and whispered loudly, 'Good for you!'.  I think that may have been a compliment.  I started heading out, and she yelled after me, 'Oh hey.  I hope I didn't offend you with what I said!'  I reassured her that she didn't and I smiled and told her to have a good evening.  The checker was still laughing when I left.  


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sometimes When You Are Homeschooled...

You get to listen to your 15 year-old brother read a children's book to you, even though you're all too old for it. And then you get to laugh really hard together and go make some popcorn.
You can spend all afternoon messing around with cabbage juice.
You can have a tea party with your friend most any time of day.
You read your science lesson on the kitchen table. And you dangle your legs and look out the window, too. At least until Mom finds you and tells you that you know better than to sit on a table. Ahem...

Grilled PB&J!

Years ago, I met a woman named Annette.  She lived with her family in Colorado, and became someone I really enjoyed spending time with.  I used to laugh until it hurt with her. 
We each had young children at the time, and we'd get together here and there for lunch and a play date for the kids.  One day she introduced me to the most wonderful adult-type-kids-meal.  Grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Oh boy.

We made them for lunch today.  I am trying to shed a few pounds (*sigh*), so after my spinach salad I only had a nibble. Or two. I think. 
But my children were happy.  And I got to remember my friend and pray for her and her family, now many states away.

Why I Love Bein' a Mom

I get to just sit on the stairs and marvel at this chubby little guy.
I get to watch some really great puppet shows while I clean the kitchen.

I get to watch my children grow in the Lord's truth.  And I get to watch my hubby teach it to them.
I get to have lots of other really great kids in my life (and their parents!).
I don't have to do my Leslie Sansone exercise videos alone!

Thursday, February 7, 2013