Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Fun

Ok, Call me old-fashioned, but I still like to make our valentine day cards for school. In the past, we've made caterpillars with pencils, butterflies with smarties, and just plain ole' heart ones too. This year, we made 'lotto tickets'. The kids had lots of fun scratching off their ticket to reveal messages like "U R a-lotto fun!"; "U R a winner!"; "Friends like you are worth more than a million dollars!". To make them you mix 2T Metallic Acrylic paint and 1T dish soap. Spread on contact paper (with foam brush), let dry and repeat 2 more times. Then cut out your shape and place it over the message on the lotto ticket! Fun!
As for their valentine boxes this year, we made 'purses'. We used cereal boxes and decoupaged hearts all over them (1 part Elmer's white glue, 1 part water). I was the official 'heart-cutter-outer' and the girls were the official 'get-our-hands covered in glue' gals. We attached ribbon to the top and viola...valentine purses to collect valentine's in!
You can't see Morgan's shirt, but it says "I love my BFF". When I asked her who her Best Friend Forever is, she said "Sarah!". :) I also like how it looks like Daisy is trying to read Sarah's shirt in this picture! :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Birthday Ponderings

So every year on my birthday, I ask myself a question like this, "If this was my very last birthday, am I pleased with the life I've lived?" I know this sounds a bit morbid, but it makes me stop and consider my priorities. Reminds me of the good stuff of life. I learned early in my adult life that life isn't something to take for granted. We are never promised a tomorrow. Oh I plan to live a long, full life, to see my kids fall in love, to kiss my grandbabies, to look in Mike's eyes when we are 'old and gray'. But living in a broken world means I'm not promised that. So, if my life were to be over now, has it been 'enough'? Full enough, rich enough, meaningful enough. Here are some of my thoughts, as I've pondered this question today.

Well, I continue to amazed and overwhelmed by the God of Universe, the God of my soul. I continue to seek Him who is both profound and beautiful and am being changed by the simplicity and truth of grace. I have this amazing marriage and while it's easy to be in love with Mike, I'm also proud that we've taken steps to keep our marriage strong and we take time for each other. (Things like pausing in our life to getaway together and finding hobbies to do together...our latest endeavor is training to run a 5k.)

I've given life to two beautiful girls and have no regrets about pausing my career to stay at home with them while they are young and rearranging my life now so that I can spend as much time as possible with them. Yes, I have dreams and careers I'd like to pursue and if I'm blessed to see my 48th birthday, I will still have 20 years before 'retirement' where I can pursue those dreams, after my kids are grown. My biggest fear in dying is that my girls will forget how much I love them. I don't want them to ever not know my love. Oh, I'm still learning how to live in this parenting gap...this gap between the parent I thought I'd be and the reality of what parenting really is. (I think I might have to write more about that someday.)

I take time for extended family...we visit as often as we can, I email, remember special occasions, I call. We have moved several times and I have been blessed with amazing friendships all along life's journey. I feel I do my best to let people know they are special to me... to tell them, write them... to cherish them and let them know they have touched my life. Today I've thought of a few relationships that aren't as 'whole' as I'd like them to be and that makes me sad. I need to consider what steps I need to take to restore those relationships to the life-giving relationships they are meant to be.

No matter what stage of life I've been in, I've found opportunities to give to others. Currently, I am volunteering as a card writer for Parents of Murdered children; as a Girl Scout leader for Sarah's troop; and as a Room mom for Morgan's class. I feel life at a very deep level. I am often moved to tears by the depth of life. If I have any regrets, it's that I'm so serious, such a planner, such a 'rule follower'. Sometimes I wish I could 'throw caution to the wind', I could 'go with the flow' more, I could just 'let go'. But, all in all, I have to say that on this birthday, my life is fuller than I ever dreamed possible when I was a kid and I'm thankful for all 36 years of it!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Quiet Morning Thoughts

The girls and Mike are attending "Pancakes with Pop" this morning at their school. I love that Mike enjoys doing stuff like this with the girls! He is such a great dad! He makes the moment fun and the girls always enjoy their time spent with him. This makes my heart smile too.

So I am enjoying some quiet time. Been listening to my ipod, reading my bible, finishing my bible study, searching for unimportant stuff on the computer, and now writing. I love to write. I wish I had more time to write. Sometimes I think I was born to write. I could easily write every day. In school, I loved essay questions. I enjoy writing thank you notes. I enjoy journaling. and I love blogging.

Well, the garage door just opened, looks like they are home. Time for laughter and chatter to fill this house.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

This Week's Mommy Moments

This week there are just so many 'moments' I want to remember. I'm afraid I'm already forgetting some of them. So before any more slip from my mind, I'm writing these down.
  • As I am waiting in the pick up line at school, I get tears in my eyes. I don't want these years to end. I could wait in a school pick up line forever, if it means I get to enjoy these years with my girls forever.
  • Sarah and I volunteered at Convoy of Hope. We packaged powered milk to send to the earthquake victims in Haiti. I want to remember her giggles, her powdered milk handprints on the boxes we packed, 'cuz she was 'sending her handprint to Haiti!'. I want the words she spoke at the end of the night "it was awesome!" to always be audible in my brain.
  • I want to remember the sparkle in Morgan's eyes as she shows Sarah and me the packages she wrapped so beautifully for our upcoming birthdays. And I want to remember the fun she is having keeping the secret of her presents from us.
  • I want to remember the warmth of their bodies next to mine as we snuggle on the couch to read books. I don't want to forget being impressed with how well they are reading. Sarah is reading these words that I don't even think she should be able to yet and I'm noticing that Morgan is reading now with more fluency, her reading is 'smoothing out' and sounding more grown-up.
Yes, these are the moments I'll remember all my life. These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive. These are the moments that I'm glad I am a mom.