Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Lately I've noticed that I am very "short" with the girls. I have very little patience and just seem to be upset with them a lot (and with Mike too!). As I was considering this, I realized how little I've been taking care of myself lately. I use to go out 3-4 times a month with friends before we moved...in the past 7 months, I've been out with zero friends. Mike and I use to go out before we moved...and since we've moved, we've been out once and that was to do our Christmas shopping. Mike and I had been taking an annual get-a-way...our last get-a-way was August 2007 and we had to come home early from that because Mike's grandpa passed away. The girls and I use to spend lots of time outside during the day and now that I'm working and it's winter, our time outside is limited...and nature replenishes me. And the only time I've had any time to myself was Christmas shopping...hardly relaxing and yet brief periods of solitude is also something that replenishes me.
So this next year I am hoping to begin taking better care of myself, because in doing so I know I will be more a reflection of the mom and wife I want to be...and they'll probably enjoy being around me again too!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Can I also say that for the first time in 7 1/2 years I actually got to be home sick alone. One of the challenging things that I found about being at home with my girls the past several years is that when I was sick, they were still here to take care of. It was so nice to just be sick and rest...all alone!
Monday, December 22, 2008
The thing I love about traveling for the holidays though is that I just leave the world behind...no chores or errands or things I should be doing...I get to just be in the moment when we escape town and head North for a few days...and I love that!
And for some reason my blog is doing weird stuff with the pictures in the post below...not sure what's going on our how to fix it...hopefully you can see them ok!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Since we are planning to travel to Michigan for Christmas, and since we can't fit a stage in the suburban, we decided to give the girls their christmas present today! Didn't Mike do a great job with it? Now can someone please take the freezing rain out of the forecast for Wedensday...it would make traveling much more enjoyable!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
But work has been fun lately...yesterday I got to help make gingerbread cookies most of the day, today is Santa's workshop where they are making lots of crafts...next week they are going to the theatre to see a movie...and there's a pajama day watching Polar Express coming up too. How much fun is that?! :) And I get paid...wow, how lucky is that? :) I love being in Kindergarten! :)
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
All day long Morgan kept saying "I love Thanksgiving Day...it's my favorite." She loved helping make the food and the "fancy" table (she liked the wine glasses), but more than that I think she was trying to say she enjoyed relaxing and just being together as family. Wow!
And then when we went Ice Skating in the afternoon, Sarah just kept giggling and trying to "catch me" on the ice. Both Morgan and Sarah quickly found their "ice skating legs" again and we all had fun flying across the ice!
Thanksgiving is not a time of the year, but an attitude of the heart.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
It also means that life will be a bit busier here at home, as Mike will be working longer hours temporarily. And yet today I paused and was thankful that he has been able to work from home these past few months. What fun it was to have him here this summer when the girls were here and we were moving in and he could spend his lunch helping on projects, and how much I cherished the time that him and I had after the girls went back to school - biking over lunch and have uninterrupted conversations, and then when I started back to work...he's been home to give an extra hand in the morning, to get dinner started, to start a load of laundry during the day, to run to the bank over lunch...all these little things helped so much in my transition back to work. And I have been so thankful for the gift we've had of him working from home these past few months. And yet with that said, I think both Mike and I are glad that we get to settle into our new/old routine of him going to work each day!
Have I mentioned lately that I am so proud of Mike, not just 'cuz of what he does, but because of who he is at his core...strong, dependable, honest, at peace. I'm still in awe that I get to spend my life enjoying his company, loving him, falling into his arms at the end of a long day. My heart is filled with gratitude and more.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
- Morgan asked me if I knew what BSF meant. "No, not really". She informed me it meant "Best Sisters Forever" and she hung the sign on the door (a huge improvement over the Do Not Enter sign she previously had on her door! :))
- Sarah apparently has a Kangaroo in her mouth! She really has a canker (sp?) sore, but she keeps calling it a "kangaroo". It's so darn cute!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Top 10 Predictions No Matter Who Wins the Election
1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.
ISN'T IT GREAT TO KNOW WHO IS STILL IN CONTROL?
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
- Reach for the stars because mom and dad will catch you.
- Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.
- The laughter of a child is the light of the home.
- Together is wonderful place to be.
- Faith makes things possible - not easy.
- Scatter Kindness.
- Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
- Write your worries in the sand, carve your blessings in stone.
- Be yourself - everyone else is taken.
- Enjoy this moment, for this moment is your life.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
My parents are here visiting! It has been great to see them again. They just got here yesterday and will be here for the next week. I am so thankful they take the time to come visit every April and October...it's become a tradition that brings comfort and joy to us! You should have heard how excited the girls were!!
Unfortunately, I just came down with my 1st cold...I wonder how often I'll get sick now that I'm working in the school!?!
The girls got back their school pictures...how disappointing it is that the pictures fail to capture the joy of their smiles, the fun of their laughter, and their giggles that fill their our hearts!
This week has also brought great sadness, as Morgan's teacher, who was due in March with her 1st child, just lost her baby this past week. It's still hard to understand tragedy in this life. It still makes my heart ache and spills out into tears.
Lastly, on a lighter note, I still love Jill Savage's blog. She's running a "marriage wild side" contest this month and I think it's been fun and funny to read the stories! Check them out if you get a chance: http://www.jillsavage.org/2008/10/living-on-wild-sideoctober-contest.html
Saturday, October 11, 2008
VICTORY!! Today we had a garage sale and tonight we actually pulled BOTH of our vehicles AND our boat into our garage! :) That is a great feeling! :)
Thursday, October 9, 2008
And oh yah, we got $4.68 for our 1st 36 lbs of hulled walnuts and last night we got $15.08 for the next 116 lbs. We should have one more trip, by the looks of what still needs to fall off the tree. They girls are spending their money at Sarah's school book fair tonight.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Fall has arrived here in the Ozarks! Today we are going to pick up a bunch more walnuts in our yard (our neighborhood use to be a walnut farm...just imagine how many walnuts are falling right now!) and then go and sell them...the girls have high hopes of making money...we'll be lucky if we even get $2 for them! Oh well, it's been a fun thing to do in the evenings this past week. After that we are heading to downtown Republic to Pumpkin Daze, which is the biggest event our town hosts each year.
Oh yah, I love the fresh, crisp air this time of year brings...I find myself breathing deeply when I walk out the door...it's a great feeling!
Friday, September 19, 2008
I keep telling myself...life will just keep getting better. The sweet moments will just keep coming. Even though everything has been changing, and it's made me very sad at times, I continue forward with hope. I really do look forward to discovering the next chapter of my life here on Earth. But today, I just keep asking myself, "Does life really get better than.... cuddling for an extra hour in the morning because, hey, why not?, sitting at the park with your best friends watching your kids play, having tea parties at a table and chair much too small for me, taking naps in the afternoon, reading story after story in our fort made from blankets, and taking the dollies for walks in the park?" Because right now at this moment, sometimes it's hard to imagine life being better than that. I am so thankful to Mike, to God, that I've had these precious years with my girls. I wouldn't trade them for anything! They went by much too quickly, but I'm thankful I did my best to treasure the times when I could!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
When I heard the Principal tell me the story today of how this position opened up for me... I couldn't help but know it was an answer to my prayers... a perfect job created for me. I've been hired to be a Title I Reading Assistant working with 27 different kindergartners in 4 different classrooms, helping them "catch-up" with the other kiddos. How wonderful that I get to be in investing in young lives...and then even how more wonderful that I get to be here with my own kids, enjoying their lives, when they are at home. Their school hours are my hours. It's perfect. I begin on Monday. I could have started tomorrow, but I needed a few days to finish up a few things!
So why do I find myself in tears now? I think this is the final step in ending this season of my life and a huge step into the new season that has begun for us. I think in a way I'm just grieving the final end of that season and I know soon I'll be celebrating this new season, but first I need a few more tears. I did the same thing when we signed the papers for our new home...left there crying, grieving the final end of our time in Jeff City. And now, two months later, I am enjoying our beautiful new home in this wonderful community of Republic.
Oh yeah, one more thing, last night the girls built a fort and had a "club" which they asked me to be a part of...we had to tell secrets/dreams, share a scary story (about wolves, witches and poison), and then do "homework". It was cute...and fun to be curled up under the pool table laughing with the girls! :) Yes, life is good.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Who am I? That the Lord of all the earth,
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt.
Who am I? That the bright and morning star
Would choose to light the way,
For my ever wondering heart.
Not because of who I am, But because of what you've done.
Not because of what I've done, But because of who you are.
Chorus: I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord you catch me when I'm falling,
And you told me who I am.
I am yours. I am yours.
Who am I? That the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again
Who am I? That the voice that calm the sea,
Would call out through the rain,
And calm the storm in me.
Not because of who I am, But because what of you've done.
Not because of what I've done, But because of who you are.
Chorus:I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow.
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord you catch me when I'm falling,
And you told me who I am.
I am yours.
Whom shall I fear?Whom shall I fear?'
Cuz I am yours. I am yours.
Monday, September 1, 2008
And then our neighbors had a BBQ today and what an enjoyable afternoon we had just relaxing in their backyard, developing new friendships. Yes, simple wonderful moments is what this weekend was filled with.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Our big Kindergartner! Sarah did not want us to take her to school on her 1st day, she wanted to ride the bus with her sister.
I think Morgan would have gladly let us take her on this first day at a new school, but she was brave and eager to help her little sister on the bus. Yes, she really is in 2nd grade already!
The girls are in different school buildings and will be until High School, as there are only 2 grades per building, but they do ride the same bus to school.
Aren't they so cute giggling? It's what I needed to hear this morning!
We had a rainy first day and unseasonably cold weather, I think it will stay in the 70s today...which for August in Missouri, is cold! But aren't they cute walking to the bus stop with their umbrellas?
p.s. Yes, I did cry after the bus pulled away!
Monday, August 18, 2008
After 7 years of being home with my girls every day, that's all about to change this Wednesday. It's kinda surreal...a season of my life is really coming to an end and yet I know another new season is beginning. How can both girls really be in school full time already? How did this day arrive so quickly? I am so thankful I've had these 7 years with them. So thankful I was able to be at home during this time. My role as a mom is constantly changing, each season no less important than the previous, and yet each season I know ultimately brings me to the point where I work myself out of a job...to a time when I get to see them become beautiful adults with full lives and then I get to share a friendship with them.
Yes, being a mom lets me live life deeply, and so even though I find myself tearful this week, I am thankful that those tears mean I get to love so fully!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
We've always taken time for the 2 of us on our anniversary, but this year we decided to celebrate our day with the girls by going to Celebration City in Branson. This is the first time the girls have been to a real amusement park, so we are all looking forward to the day. And next week after the girls start school, we're going to take a day for just the 2 of us! :)
Saturday, August 2, 2008
By the way, Sarah also let go of the wall the same night and decided she was ready to try swimming without anyone hanging onto her. She's doing awesome! Also, notice Morgan's missing tooth! :) Here was our parting shot from another beautiful day spent at Stockton Lake today.
Friday, August 1, 2008
After 7 weeks of me thinking, "Surely, Morgan's tooth will fall out today"...it finally fell out last night! Seriously, this tooth hung lower than all her others and last week had turned grey! So glad to see it gone! :) She has a cute grin now. The tooth fairy brought her a $1.
Today I had a job interview. If I could write the prefect job description, this would be it. It was at a Child Advocacy Center and I would have LOVED this position. The interview went well, but the only problem is that it is full time...8-5 and some overtime. I had to step back an evalute, what is important to me in this phase of my life...is it important for me to pursue my career full time, or is it more important for me to still be here when the girls get home from school...to help them process their days, to enjoy their company, to spend the hours I can with them while they are still here to spend time with. How do I want to spend my life? When Sarah graduates HS, I will be 47...that still gives me a good 20+ years to have a career! This is the only chance I have to be a mom. I know a lot of great moms who work full time, but for me today the decision was easy, I cannot work full time and miss out on these years, I'd have too many regrets. So now the job search continues for something part-time. But can I brag...out of 137 applicants, they did choose me to be interviewed! That in itself was an honor! :)
Yesterday the girls and I baked and cooked in the kitchen for several hours. It was so much fun. I love that we now have "bar area" where they can sit on one side and I can be on the other...it's nice that I have my space to work and they have their space to work. They had so much fun, they want to do it again today, so I'm off to bake a Chocolate Zucchini Cake...it's become one of our summertime favorites! :) If you want to stop over, I'll share a piece with you! :)
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Here are some pictures I've been taking since we moved in. We've been busy painting! Here's pics of their secret hiding spot under the stairs, as well as their new rooms...Sarah's is Green and Pink Flower Garden room and Morgan's is the Turquoise & Dark Pink Hawaiian room.
We're also doing the summer reading program at the local library, which is a bug theme, so for lunch one day, they made bug snacks...caterpillars on logs (grapes on celery) and ants in your pants (bread, pb, raisins). I was hoping I could trick them into eating the celery, but they didn't fall for it! Oh well. Lastly, Mike has been working from home and attending several construction meetings. Here's a view from the new lab he'll be working at.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
Some unexpected surprises this week...
- we have front row seats to a weekly rock concert, as a local band practices in their garage behind our house frequently. Mike says they are pretty good. Don't ask me, I can barely keep a beat clapping!
- Mike got his promotion this week!
- We've had a date night every night this week!!! We went to church this past Sunday and they were having Vacation Bible School every evening this week and the girls wanted to go. They've had a lot of fun...and we've enjoyed running errands and furniture shopping with just the 2 of us!
- we put our moving boxes on craigslist.com and they were picked up in 1.5 hours! Well at least the ones we got unpacked so far!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I received an email from a family who are missionaries in Ecuador (I met them when they were foster parents when I was a caseworker in Columbia). Debbie was reflecting on the transitions happening in their lives with both their ministry and their own kids growing up. I was moved to tears by what she wrote, because I felt the truth of it, and wanted to share it. She wrote:
Yes, life is full of transition. Yet I pray that you and I remember and respond to this - No matter where we are today, whether it is in a place of great joy or overwhelming pain, God knows where we are. His hand is there to guide, His strength to sustain, His presence inescapable.Isn't it great how God uses others to encourage us? It was what I needed to hear this morning.
I am planning to mail out our new contact info to everyone soon. We just got our internet hooked back up today. Today I am thankful for the morning walk I had with Morgan, that Sarah wants to have cuddle time with me every day, for fuzzy socks from my mom, for crushed ice, for Mike's smile, and of course for a place to call home once again!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
During our trip to Michigan I had the opportunity to connect with a few people I haven't seen in awhile. While our time together was short, I was reminded of what made each one of them special to me over the years. The core of who they are shown thru and made me appreciate once again the depth they have added to my life over the years. I have been blessed with some beautiful relationships during this journey called life!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I think the movers are coming Monday. We placed an offer on a house and hope to hear back tomorrow. Life is crazy, chaotic and I'm exhausted. But I continue to be thankful that I have Mike and the girls to share this journey with!
Saturday, June 7, 2008
"In Dance there are no mistakes, only unexpected solos."
Alright, before we head to Springfield for the next 3 days to find our new home, here's a couple videos of their dance recital last night. For some reason our camera kept stopping at 1 minute...so it's just 1 minute of each of them. Sarah is the 3rd from the left. She's the cowgirl dancing to Happy Trails.
Friday, June 6, 2008
I also must say how much I appreciate my husband. He is so calm and steady and reassuring. He said all the right things yesterday. I couldn't imagine anyone more wonderful than him to share life with and for that alone I feel so blessed!
The girls dance recital is tonight. That should be a fun diversion from all this chaos!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
First, in my quiet time this week, I once again came across this prayer, which I love:
"Lord, Speak in my words today, think in my thoughts and work in my deeds. And seeing that it is your gracious will to make use of even such weak human instruments in the fulfillment of your mighty purpose for the world, let my life today be the channel thru which some little portion of your divine love and pity may reach the lives that are nearest my own." - John BailliePeople are often asking me about the move, if I'm excited about it. It's been a difficult question to answer. On the one hand, I truly believe that this is the right thing for our family. In the big picture, things will work themselves out, we will move on, we will live a great life. And this is a great opportunity for Mike and he's very excited about it. In some ways, I even feel like Esther in the bible who is being called "for such a time as this". And yet in the short-term immediate future, I am having trouble trusting. Almost every morning I wake up and pray "Lord, you know I want to trust you, but Lord you also know my doubts. As I come honestly before you, please help me find a way to trust you in the hear and now with our house selling and buying." And if I'm really honest, the reason I'm having trouble trusting was because 10 years ago I prayed for Justice at a trial...something to me that seemed like an obvious, easy request for God to grant. And yet at the trial, justice was not granted. My prayers were not answered. I have worked thru so many issues with the trial...grief, anger, grace, forgiveness,...and yet this issue of trust still lingers 10 years later! And while I believe one day I will ultimately understand and I can trust Him for long-term, as "His ways are not my ways, His thoughts are not my thoughts" and yet his heart for me is love, yet it still makes trusting for short-term things hard. Our house might not sell this summer. I might have to grieve that things are all neat and tidy and Sarah's Kindergarten year begins with uncertainty. And yet I know we'll get thru it, I know life will be great, one day we might even laugh about this time (although I find it doubtful at the moment). All I know to do right now is be honest before God and to fill my head with His truth. Here are some verses I'm leaning on.
"Cast all your cares on him 'cause he cares for you." 1 Pet 5:7
"So do not worry, saying "what shall we eat?" or "what shall we drink?" or "when will our house sell?". Your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Matt 6:31-2
"Trust in the Lord... lean not on your own understanding... acknowledge him... he will make your paths straight." Prov 3:5-6