Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Thursday

I am celebrating Thanksgiving Thursday along with Mama Hen! Thinking of things you are thankful for is such great therapy to get out of funks and lows. I read a book a couple years ago, The 4:8 Principle, and this was exactly what it is about! Thinking upon lovely things always makes life better. So, I will list five things that I am thankful for:

1. My best friend over the past 16 years is driving over 9hrs to see us for the weekend! YAY!
2. My great neighbors and friends who are always ready to hang out and have fun
3. A great husband who is trying to follow God's lead
4. Our Freedom given to us by many men and women who protect our country
5. cHoCoLaTe (I know, this is silly but hey, I get so serious sometimes)

"Don't ask them to be men, when they're just little boys."

My 3 year old and I passed a daddy playing with his very young baby the other day. The sweet baby was cooing and laughing at his father who was eagerly entertaining him. My son looked up at me and said what I was thinking, "I wish we had our baby"- the baby that was in my tummy just a little over a month ago. It made my heart ache a little. A little for my loss and also for the beauty of my child's intuition. My kids really did get that I was expecting a wasn't just some abstract was a life that was fully welcome into our family the moment we knew I was pregnant.

"Nurturing" is not a typical trait expected from little boys. But my three sons have hearts the size of their birthplace (Texas)! I love that. It reminds me that I am still in a delicate part of their lives, teaching them lessons and helping nurture their emotions so that they not only grow up to be men of strength and valor, but men of insight into their heart with no stereotypical expectation of what that should look like based on their gender.  Trust me, I am not saying that boys aren't different than girls...if you know me at all, I am totally aware of the differences! But somewhere along the way, little boys were told they couldn't cry, couldn't show emotion, and shouldn't get their feelings hurt too easily. My three sons are very emotional creatures, and we do spend time "toughening" them up when necessary, but I don't want them to think that their feelings are ever in-valid. I don't ever want them to hide a "wounded spirit" (this is a term I recently remembered from Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson), because we have fallen into the lie of "macho-ism" and emotional stunting.
It has been a struggle to keep my perspective on this, especially with my oldest son. I so often hear myself saying, "how old are you?" in a flabbergasted tone when he acts up. He's only SEVEN! What am I thinking? I expect him to be more grown up than he is...but then when he comes to me with grown up questions, I expect him to revert to a naive child! The balance is so fine, but I found a great quote from Kathleen Parker (found in Dobson's book) that will help me keep my perspective:
"...let them [boys] cry if need be, support them when they're down, help them to see options...make reasonable demands, express moral expectations...[and] hug those boys every chance you get. Don't ask them to be men when they're just little boys, but show them how to be real men by demonstrating the thing we as a society seem to have lost: self-control."

Words With A Cherry On Top

Today has been a day of subtle affirmations. It has been a normal summer day for the boys and me- actually quite a full day with a museum visit, picnic lunch with friends, a birthday party, and a baseball game.
As I settle down tonight and reflect, I was blessed today with several positive affirming words from different people in my life. This is so special to me because I have always battled with self-doubt. I realize more and more that I struggle with it when I am in a spiritual low. But the cool thing is that God's hand is quick to lead me out soon after I feel the fall.
Being such a social creature, I was given words from those around me to remind that there is no need to doubt my every move, because, even though I am very fallible, I am also on a path to make a difference for my children, my marriage, my community. And the tiny shoots of growth are hidden within the mess of life, but occasionally they come sprouting through to remind me that growth is indeed at hand.
I am pleased to accept an award, The Cherry On Top Award ( affirming my recent blogging passion). The rules are to thank the person that sent it to me. Thank you Mama Hen!
Now I must write three things I love about myself: (this is SO hard for me!)
I love that I can find the good in most every person I meet, I love that I follow through with my passions to try and make a difference, and I LOVE being a mom of BOYS! I will pass this on to five of my blogging friends who also deserve such a fun award: The Brannon Bunch, We Three Smiths +1, one of my favorite mentors Tanya, Each Day Is A Gift, and What Joey Did Today.
And finally, I need to post a picture I love:
Trying to fill Daddy's shoes from the very start!
I pray that you too, find yourself lifted up by friends and family, and that tomorrow is a blessing beyond measure!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Lakeside Spectacle

Tonight, we went on a family walk at our favorite nearby park. It is so therapeutic to get among nature and leave facebook, emails, dinner dishes, and dirty laundry behind for a bit! I couldn't resist taking pictures, although my husband really wanted me to put the camera down and just walk. But I have started seeing all the perfect little pictures everywhere since I got my new lens. I can't help it!
The walk started out okay, and I was feeling the peace of nature around me...for a minute. But the therapy tonight was not as peaceful as it started out to be!

My two older sons chose to take their bikes and rode ahead of us. At some point, my middle son began his typical whining which turned into a downright meanness towards us completely out of the blue. He has been having these emotional explosions lately, and I don't know if it's lack of sleep (highly doubt that), a growth spurt, or just a typical phase for a five year old. But tonight, it was almost comical. He lagged behind us (my husband took his bike away for his behavior), crying and complaining.
We passed people along the way who were trying to get away from our overly friendly dog and keep from staring at our miserable son at the same time. At one point, my husband made an attempt to distract our distraught son and introduced Mr. Grumpy to a young family sitting on a bench. It worked...for a second. But as we left, my three year old did some weird karate hand motions and made an inhuman sound from the back of his throat towards the already confused people. We were definitely quite a spectacle! I am sure many of the witnesses we passed along the path were parents themselves and probably felt much relief that at least their kids were "normal" compared to our crazy caravan!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Stepping Stones

Cherished Moments Monday is another great inspiration from Mama Hen. This photo is from the front of our Christmas card, the first year we became a family of 5. Back then, my oldest was still the loveable, loyal one, my middle son was still spunky and artsy, and my sweet baby was battling colic! Thank God that changed! :) 
But, I cherish those moments still, even though I was helpless in comforting my newborn. I love the sweet sounds of a sucking babe. I smile remembering my son feeding his teddy bear like "mommy feeds her baby", but quickly hiding it when someone walked in the room. I treasure watching my middle son sleeping soundly after coming home from the hospital with my youngest- he seemed so big just then since there was a newborn around, but he wasn't even two yet. I will always remember my husband saying, "I'll pray extra hard for him" knowing he was no longer the baby but yet he was just a baby still.

 I cherish mothering children still completely wrapped in the arms of innocence, with no worldly influences to spew from their small mouths. I cherish that time when all I had to worry about was what I could eat so that my milk was okay for the newborn, what craft I would have to entertain my two year old AND my 4 1/2 year old. Wow, it wasn't that long ago, but I feel like our worries and struggles have become so much more about molding their hearts and not just about meeting their needs! 

Reflecting on my cherished moments has reminded me that we are indeed on a path of stepping stones, and as we continue, the stride gets a little longer, a little more difficult, maybe it is a little easier to be thrown off balance. But it's the cherished moments that my foundation is built upon, those moments are where the love grew deep, and now we endure these long strides for that most cherished LOVE.

Positively Messy!

One of my new blogging friends, Mama Hen, posts Smile Sunday on her blog every week. I love how positive this is, and so I am going to try and send out the same vibes!

My three year old is ALL boy. So much so, that I sometimes just don't get him. My husband has to remind me to smile and appreciate his "ruggedness" and so in honor of my first attempt at Smile Sunday, I am going to dedicate this to my little boy who, despite the mess I am always having to clean up, always brings a smile to our faces with his messy hands, as well as his feet, belly, cheeks, hair...he's basically a walking finger painting- his favorite medium being MUD!

My Dream Renewed

If you would have asked me what I'd be doing now, 15 years ago, I would have said, "I would be a renowned architect with two kids, a boy and a girl, an awesome husband, and a beautiful custom built home from one of my own designs." I am so glad that I don't regret the part that's not true (the architect, the house), and I am so blessed to know that God had even more in store for me: three sons, and an perfectly awesome husband!

Yesterday, my five year old asked me if you can make a dream come true. I almost said yes, before I realized he was probably talking about the dreams he has at night. The first thing that comes out of his mouth each morning, is a description of his crazy I don't think "yes" would be appropriate!
But I think the best part about dreaming (day, not night) is the fact that we can mold our dreams according to the path our heart and mind has taken, and bring that renewed dream to life in an exciting way.
My dream has evolved to something so much better than fame and fortune. It is one of family and faith. I will admit that there are scratched out floorplans all around our less custom home, and a folder on my computer of dream home elements (like the pic above), but it's not driving me like raising my boys and building my faith. My dream has become so much more than I could have imagined 15 years ago, and the best part is, I won't know what it really looks like until I have lived it out.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nature walk, or shall we say Nature talk!

After ignoring the boys this morning due to some blogging technical difficulties, I decided it was time for me to step up and redeem myself as an "involved" parent. I discovered this was necessary after my 7 year old decided it would be funny to take my 3 year old's training wheels OFF his bike...yes, the 3 year old CAN ride his bike without them, but chooses not too, so he was very upset.
We loaded up a picnic blanket, went through a drive thru (don't judge me, our groceries were very low until about 30 mins. ago!) and made our short trek to the nearby park for a picnic lunch. After we ate, I equipped them each with a bag, and we went on a nature walk which turned into a very interesting one hour discussion of all sorts of topics which didn't allow me time to relax my brain for sure!
It started out simple and cute when my three year old saw a "basket" in the water near some reeds and was determined that there was a baby in it...Caleb quickly informed him that Moses was in Egypt and that's far away. We had a lot of complaining about the heat and being thirsty, and then the hard questions came up.
Like, "Can a boy be a girl?" and "Where do baby's come from?" and "Why do boys have to respect girls?" and "How do you choose a girlfriend when you are old enough to date?" ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!? They are almost 8, 5 1/2, and 3 1/2!!! (at least the 3 year old really didn't participate in this part of the session).
So, we went on some sort of nature walk, not really what I was expecting! But it really did remind me of how much equipping is expected of me, and I can't drop the ball and push them away too much...they have lots of stuff going through their curious heads, and if I am not open and available to them, who knows where they will go to find the answers. This is from a mom still raising preschoolers- kudos to all the moms and dads out there in the thick of the teen years! I am shaking in my flipflops thinking about what lies ahead!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tomorrow, Tomorrow...

The nights are so short in the summer. By the time the kids are settled in their beds, it's almost ten o'clock and really it's only been dark for about 30 minutes! Can't believe I started blogging at 5:30 this morning, and I'm back at it now. But it's been one of those days where I need to talk...and there really isn't anyone to talk to at this hour, so blogging is it.
The whole thing about being waterproof blew up in my face! I feel waist high in water that I don't know what to do with, and it's making me soggy. I'm just in a funk. And it doesn't have anything to do with the kids, or my friends, or my life. I'm just blah. The only thing I can think is, that I want life to slow down so we can enjoy the moments but there's the tension of the in between moments not living up to the title of "enjoyable moments". Does that make sense?
It's the life of a stay-at-home mom with three young children in the "heat" of summer, trying too hard to keep the house clean, entertain the children, get "me" time, and spend time with the hubs. UGH! Please don't think I am ungrateful, because I really wouldn't have it any other way, it's just my constant battle with monotony gets to me every once in a while. And although I know deep down that I am blessed beyond measure, my fleshy selfishness creeps up and gets me all worked up!
So, tomorrow is a new day, and I hope it starts out like this one, just after dawn. But I pray that it ends on a better note. One of appreciation and contentment, because I sure don't see how there is anywhere to go from here than up! Sweet dreams! Here's to tomorrow!


The thunder is rolling. Just an hour ago the sun was lazily seeping through the clouds. It rises early here in our part of the world. I love waking up to it streaming in around 5:15 am...I know that sounds crazy, but to think I have the opportunity to rise before my children, have quiet time and coffee, and just "be" in my cozy home, is a precious thing for sure! It only depends on my laziness or inability to go to bed before midnight the night before!
The rain's coming down hard now. I just finished up my quiet time amidst the Psalms of Ascent. This is a Beth Moore study that was pivotal in my life a couple years ago. And now, going through it again, I realize how alive and active God's word really is. It's interesting to see what I wrote a couple of years ago, in a different town, with different friends and church, and to realize where I am at now, and how things have changed- sometimes for the better, sometimes not.
The lessons from the study still apply so much to my life now. Dependence on Him in new ways, through new circumstances. How I can love on those around me authentically, knowing that arms are wide open and this place in which I am perfectly placed is according to His plan.
There is one aspect which is ironic though- the first time I took this study, I shed a thick wall between my husband and me- my whole outlook on our life together was hugely changed for the better. And now, I feel a strong spiritual attack on that very thing- our friendship is strained. Just like the rain interrupted the sunny dawn, I am being poured upon in an attempt to extinguish the inevitable growth which comes from being anchored in His Word.
Funny how there is always a brewing storm when your basking in the sunshine. Before, I would shrink back during these sunny sessions, in fear of the storm ahead...I always feared being broken and could only focus on the "breaking" part and not the "building" up part beyond it. But I have a little more foresight now. I am a little braver than before.
And the rain has stopped just now. I can ride it out. I still don't like getting wet, but now I am a bit more waterproof.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

But I'm OLD enough!

My three year old is often saying, "When I was eight, I (fill in the blank)." The older boys and I chuckle. Age is SUCH a big deal in the eyes of children. My seven year old is obsessed with how old he is, and thinks that he is old enough for things my husband and I just don't think he needs right now (like a cell phone! What?? there is absolutely no reason for a seven year old to have one!) Trying to use the age card, my husband tells him, " I didn't get one until I was 20." That doesn't help.
Many of our battles around here, are trying to keep Caleb in the brief realm of childhood, and not letting him grow up faster than he should. The most disheartening thing is that he pushes and pushes and wants so badly to be older than he is. I know it's a normal desire, just like not wanting to get older when you hit the big 3-0. But if only he wasn't so much like his mama and he could just be content!
You wouldn't believe that this same child was scared to death to turn five. Every day for the entire year before, he would say, "I don't want to be five," and ever since he realized it wasn't so bad to have a birthday, he's been bull-dozing towards the next age as fast as he can. He's already anxious to be allowed to stay home alone, walk around the neighborhood by himself, and learn to drive Daddy's riding lawnmower!
I will constantly remind him for this last month of his seventh chapter, what an awesome seven year old he is- how blessed he is to only have to worry about legos, popsicles, and which friend to invite over. He is so insightful when it comes to our devotional times together, and I will remind him he is exactly who God wants him to be, at the perfect time when God wants him to be seven. All I can do is tell him these things. I can't change his desire or lessen his complaining, really. I just hope to look back on his childhood and reflect on the happy moments and not all these times of discontentment.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Who doesn't want love?"

Lately I have been hearing people equate Christianity with HATE. As I have said before, my heart aches knowing how completely opposite this is to what Christ intended. Today in church, I heard a man say, "who doesn't want love?" when he was talking about true Christians loving on him, a non-believer, at the time. Our pastor pointed us to a verse (below) which I so want to share with all those who want love (everybody), and to correct the opinions of those who think we are HATERS.
We, as Christians, don't love to gain something in return, we love because God loves** That's It** We are called to love all and show Christ's love. It's hard to understand when the world's standards are "what's in it for me?" In this verse, Paul tells the Corinthians he has shown love to them, with nothing in return, his heart is wide open.

2 Corinthians 6:11-13
11We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

To Snuggle Wuggle

I just realized that I didn't have my coffee today. So, I write this, sipping on a hot cup o' joe and watching the clouds taunt us with breaks of sunshine before the thunderstorm hits. My boys ran inside and said, "We can't play outside, there's a tornado warning. Look at the clouds." I promptly armed them each with a popsicle, pushed them through the back door and said, "You are staying outside until it gets rainy." And no, there are no tornado warnings- a rumor among the neighborhood kids.
The day started with a snuggle wuggle. The picture demonstrates a snuggle wuggle from last summer. That is what we call our cuddling when the boys just want to be loved. With the first downpour today, the two younger boys snuggle wuggled with me while we watched one of my faves, Finding Nemo.
It was weird to watch it with my oldest missing...he had his first official sleepover at a friend's house. This movie was one we watched every day one Christmas break when he was 15 months old and all three of us were battling the flu. The movie is something special because it reminds me of my baby, my sick baby who needed extra loving care- alot of snuggle wuggling. At least I had two of my best snuggle wugglers with me as we watched!

The Rain's Good for Somethin'

As the sun was shining yesterday, and I spent some quiet time on the patio before the kids woke up, I marveled at my garden from a distance. The past week or so, I have complained about the rain. Well, I will give it a little credit for pushing my garden along!
Here's a picture of the garden when we planted it in April:
And, it grew leaps and bounds, mainly these past couple of "wet" weeks:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Mama's Perspective Behind the Bench

We sat behind the bench of his first ever baseball game. I watched my oldest son as if their was a massive expanse between us. He was meticulous. He made sure his stuff (hat, waterbottle, batting gloves) always stayed together on the bench. He counted the players sitting on either side of him to make sure he was in the right place for batting order. And eventually, he decided to look like a pro, and tuck his batting gloves in his back pocket, hanging out a bit. I saw a little man sitting there. His teen years flashed before me, and I thought about how he would be perfect as an Aggie Cadet...everything had it's place, and he sat attentively in his. Suddenly, a gush of sentimentalism rushed over me, and I felt a strongly taut apron string thinning between us.
When the coach came and told him he needed to gear up to catch, he quickly grabbed the pads and struggled with strapping them on. I so wanted to jump up and walk the couple of feet around the bench to help him. But I resisted. I knew he wouldn't want me there, he's already become self-conscience when I am around his peers. And I knew that he needed to have the experience to learn from, without Mommy coddling him. His coach ended up helping. It's going to be harder than I thought to watch my baby grow up, my instinct to mother my first born is so strong.
I was glad to see him look for us when we moved spots to get better shots of his turn to bat (since he's a leftie batter). He still wanted us there, just at a distance. At the game's conclusion, I was so proud of his effort, and look forward to seeing him grow this baseball season...just not too much! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wanna Smile?

I made myself sit down tonight and watch one of the best chick flicks of all time, 13 Going on 30! If you haven't seen it, and you remember the 80's at all, you must watch it! It is surprisingly insightful, and SO MUCH FUN!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Simplicity- A Visit to the Amish

My mother-in-law came into town this weekend, and I knew if there was one thing I wanted to show her, it would be the Amish communities around here. She loves reading fiction novels based in that culture, and she had already researched some communities near our town since there isn't any in Texas (that we know of!).

She, her sister-in-law, and I left the house this morning, venturing down the highway in the rain. We were determined to shop the country stores and eat the baked goods, so getting wet was not a concern!
We turned on a road amid the green rolling hills, and baby green fields of corn and wheat. It was called, "Amish Blvd". And then we began driving by their homes, barns, and fields. It was so interesting. I really wish I took pictures, but with the rain and the clouds, I figured there wouldn't be much to shoot...I was wrong...I should always leave a camera in the car! I found these pictures on the web, from the same area.

My favorite thing to see was their beautifully kept gardens. They were so big, and I am sure sustained an entire family, extended members and all. There wasn't a weed to be seen, and they had colorful mounds of flowers here and there. My MIL said that their houses are very simple on the inside, so the women decorate with the natural beauty of flowers outdoors.

Imagine having no distractions like t.v., telephones, wii, computers and working with your hands all day? Imagine how many of the weeds you could pick, the flowers you could plant, the bread you could bake, without feeling the anxiety of having other things to do, see, or drive too?

I thought about my boys, and how easy it would be- if they had not been introduced to technology a few years ago- and how full their childhood would still be if we lived that simple way. I saw the small Amish boys, with their straw hats, climbing ladders, riding in buggies with their sisters and daddy, and running to the barn doors. We passed their one room school houses, and watched their sisters diligently help in the non-electric kitchen of a bakery. Their lives were full indeed.

Granted, I enjoy my freedoms of not feeling confined to the way I choose to dress, the way I choose to worship, the type of work I'm required to do, but I love the simplicity of the Amish. There has always been something inside me- to live that way. Maybe that's why Henry David Thoreau always sparked my interest. I saw the reality of living amid nature, cultivating it gently and fending for my family and myself! I know nothing of their religion, so I am only basing this from an outsider's perspective. But it really was a wonderful experience, and we brought home yummy baked items too- the one picture I did take!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Rainy Reminders

I learn a lot from my children. Today, I took the dog on a walk at 5:30am instead of swimming. I just didn't feel like getting in my suit and driving. I spent the time in prayer and reflection. A lot of hashing out was also done between me and Him, as I have been in a funk lately.

Many of you know, from Facebook mostly, that I am miserable when it's miserable outside. Never have I felt this way until these past two years. I think it has something to do with three energetic boys needing the great outdoors desperately. When we are cooped up inside for too long, the natives DO get restless, then mama gets frustrated and when I start out the day like that, it's hard to shake.

Yesterday, the rain came down, and the boys were wild, but suddenly they stopped, and stood at the glass door talking to their visiting friends about the "bubbles" the rain was making on the patio. Granted, the conversation only lasted a couple of minutes, but during my walk today, I thought about how they didn't bicker about not playing outside (at that moment anyway!) they just admired the natural beauty that was overcoming their largest playscape.
Oh how I pray that I always find the beauty in my situation, and that praises always remain on my lips no matter the circumstance. For the Maker of Heaven and Earth is All Good, in All He does.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Who Do We Think We Are?

Today, I read some really disturbing attacks on my "religion" based on the stupid decisions of a private school in Florida. It sickened me that the public ungrace shown by the administrators of the school brought forth full attack on the entire Christian realm. And really, if I were a non-Christian, I am sure I would have been right there with them. Not that hate is appropriate at anytime, but knowing that the world so often shows the disturbing minds who call themselves "Christians" and this may be the only "type" non-Christians see, I can see their reason to reject it.
My heart aches when I see how much abuse the Lord's name takes, by non-Christians AND Christians alike. There are so many who use their man-made "religion" to set unreal standards and biased opinions, instead of knowing that God is not in a box, not a religion, but the Almighty Lover of their SOULS!
MY God is one of GRACE, TRUTH, and LOVE...not only sometimes, not only when we are good and obedient, He is ALL those things, at ALL times. It is not His believers or those who claim to believe, who define Him. If we embrace who He really is, then it is He who defines us. That's it. Not any tradition, building, man-made law or doctrine. IT IS ONLY HIM.
Today I realized that His wrath must be so complex. There are those who provoke it by staring down their noses, stealing away God's position as "Judge", declaring their ways the only ways, and throwing out those who fall short by justifying it through manipulating God's Word.
But then, seeing the hatred this sparked showed me the ignorance of others, who condemn all Christians for these mentioned pious ones, denying and desecrating the name of God because of mere man. This is just as terrible as equating all muslims to the twisted terrorists who attacked our nation. IT'S WRONG.

Proof Is In the Sand!

Thought I'd share pictures of my anticipated day from the previous post! We had a wonderful morning and are about to walk the dog then head to the pool!
Cool sand beneath my feet!
The boys wanted to soak up the vitamins!
Cool Chris protecting his baby blues
Refreshing Lemon-Lime slushies!

Quenched already??

Okay, so it's not gonna be the ocean, but today I woke up at 5:30 to the sun shining and not a cloud in the sky! Maybe the chlorinated water during my laps cleared my brain, or the freezing chill of first jumping in the pool invigorated me.
 I, obvious from my last post, went to bed kinda down last night. But after these past couple of hours this morning, I see hope in a good day! :)
On my way home from swimming, I began planning our backyard beach party around our 4x4 sandbox. Sounds pathetic, but hey we'll take what we can get! I am going to make yummy lemon-lime slushies, picnic lunch, and put the Beach Boys on!
We finally got our dog the right harness, so we will also catch some rays on a walk around the neighborhood pond.
And then at 3, it's off to our AWESOME pool, with water slides, a lazy river and all sorts of fun for the boys while mommy works on a tan.
So, I probably seem bipolar to some of you, but it's a great thing to gain perspective in less than 8 hrs time!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Salt Water Thirst

I am restless. We have never began a summer without a beach vacation in the near future. My husband's job is at it's peak, meaning he is getting to see a lot of his work come to fruition. So, commitment to luxury vacationing is not in the cards. I looked at the map today, and felt the states closing in on me, we are LAND! No fun! But I guess an oil filled gulf wouldn't be fun either!
The boys have been out of school for a week and a half but the public schools don't get out until the end of this week. It's been so quiet in our neighborhood, and the boys are getting as restless as me. I know next week will be a lot more entertaining with the 20 some kids running all over the backyards, but that doesn't calm my desire to get out of town and see the ocean meet the sand!
Tomorrow, I will wake up bright and early (5:30) and swim laps in an indoor pool. This will by no means satisfy my thirst for salt water, but it will give me a little boost of energy to enjoy the summer we do have. Maybe the boys and I will have a beach party in the sandbox? Imagination must be to par here at the homestead!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Flowers For You

I'm just going to write because I cannot help it.
Charlotte Bronte

One of my favorite authors of all time felt the same way I do about writing. I just can't help it! I love to get my thoughts out in black and white and get a glimpse at the path I am on, or the path I need to change!
Anyway, because I really have nothing much to say right now, I wanted to post some pictures of a few of my favorite things: flowers! My son renewed this love I have when he told me how much he loved them this Spring. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Jealousy Provoked.

He is jealous for me. The song I have posted to the right, just keeps playing in my head over and over and over. And I know I have written about it several times. But I can't help it. It dances with my Spirit in such a way that I am completely overwhelmed.
The other day, I was running things over and over again in my mind, thinking about all the terrible scenarios that could potentially happen because I screwed up. And all of them had to do with what people thought of me. Thank God for Christian music radio...a song came on (can't remember it now) but it shook me out of my pity party and made me realize an important truth,
"What people say or think of me, does not make me a worse person. My value is in Christ alone, and wow, I am treasured!"
All my life I have worried about the impressions I make on people, and I allowed my assumptions define who I am, what I am worth. I turned my back on the freedom that comes with being a daughter of God.
He is jealous FOR me! He wants me, all of me. His jealousy is righteous in the realms of heavenly love. I so often turn my attentions to the ways of this world, no wonder the Spirit inside of me finds turmoil. It's His awesome jealousy, asking me to return to Him, and be His alone.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I want a pot belly...oh weight, it's there!

"I want a pot."
I wish I were friends with the cute little french girl on Pulp Fiction. I would gladly give her my pot belly. Actually, I wouldn't mind it so much if this culture wasn't so OBSESSED with weight! Yeah, there are some major obesity issues out there, but it stinks that it trickles down into child-bearing aged women who aren't overweight but aren't Jennifer Aniston skinny either. I sat at the dr's office today and flipped through magazines geared towards women. SO SICK OF SEEING how to LOSE WEIGHT! Almost every article in the Health magazine was about that. And then, I decided to grab a Newsweek instead, and one of the big articles was about obesity. GEEZ!
Honestly, I would be A-okay with turning back time to the days when a spare tire was voluptuous, none of the fashion back then would show it anyway...but I guess I like electricity and running strike that one...maybe we could adopt that mindset though? Wouldn't it be great if the fashionistas would create clothes that didn't push up all the fat but had waistbands that weren't so friggin' unforgiving? I can't wear sweat pants all the time, especially in this heat! Thank God for tankinis and baggy shirts! Do I hear an amen?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sweet Memory, Everlasting Hope

(please go to my blog and click on the play button to hear the song below)
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

Yesterday, I received a sweet note from my best friend, as well as a card to help me remember the little one I lost a couple weeks ago. Funny how the emotions flood forward by such a simple gesture. But I couldn't resist the tears. The card she sent had the tree of life on front, and she suggested it would remind me of the beautiful surroundings where we first mourned our loss. I have posted about that weekend, Creation Therapy, May. She is so thoughtful and the card has more meaning to me then I would have expected.
I snapped these pictures on our recent camping trip, and feel like they could easily represent a renewal of my heart, a healing in a way. The sun will always come after the rain, and I have hope in that more than ever before.

Sweet Thoughts Before I Sleep

I pray that my children will somehow remember these precious moments of Daddy's care to teach them life's simplicity in fishing among God's creation. I pray that no matter what junks up their memories, they will always have the longing to go to the water and seek God's beauty and fellowship with their earthly father. And I hope that they will also remember the times they spent with their grandparents in these settings, or on the ranch, or at the fair. That they will be comforted with childhood memories of being well-loved and experiencing life to the full.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Our Summer Plan, Stan

So, I have a whole summer ahead of me, without a vacation planned or date nights made...I feel like I am setting myself up for pent up, wild child disaster! With that as motivation, the boys and I made up a "craft" list of things we would like to make this summer. I am also going to try and instill "quiet time", "school time (uh, we'll see how that goes...homeschooling is not my thing), "chore time", "pool time" (this will be a major tool to get the other things done! :) ) and of course, as always, "family time". Maybe among all this "time" I will get some "me" time too! :)
Here's a list of all our summer crafts if you need some ideas. I am hoping to have this once a well as fun random stuff since we have other craft supplies too:
Kicking off The Summer: Ships Ahoy!
Treasure chests
Treasure maps
Ocean wall in basement (2 days worth)
The Ship Mates:
Growth Chart
personalized t shirts
self portraits
The Cabins and the Creatures: (okay these are really just misc. the boys wanted to add them to the list)
glow in the dark ceiling decor
clay pets
cardboard pet houses
Here's the schedule so far: (the time we will do this schedule is in the afternoon when things slow down a bit and we all get restless...)
Mon- practice math, numbers
Tues- do one of our fun crafts above
Weds- Cleaning day--the boys are in charge of their bathroom
Thurs- Bible verse, story, lesson
Friday- Abc's, phonics, handwriting....

The fun names help me and the kids to remember what's coming and know exactly what's in store!