Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #59

I have recently decided I'm too busy not to write - it calms me down and helps me focus.  I think that looking back I'll be frustrated with the big gaps of life that I'm not documenting - and not that anyone besides my family will ever want to look at it, but I like the idea of having some sort of record to look back on when the kids are bigger.

Thankfuls for the week...

1. I am thankful for some awesome conversations with my big kids and getting to think about the deep God things.  I also love that they are old enough that our Bible studies are really a give and take and not just me teaching.  Love them!

Experiencing God....Elmo...Experiencing God

2. I am thankful for some tweaks to the schedule to allow more of the girls to complete the Princess Program.  I'm thankful they were open to the changes!

3. I am thankful for our new pool.  It is about three feet deep and 12 feet wide and will be a BLAST for the girls this summer.  We took them out yesterday but it was a little too chilly and it didn't go super well.  Ah well.

4. I am thankful for my husband getting up with the 7 am...and cleaning up puke twice before I ever got out of bed.  I told him next time to feel free to wake me up. 

5. I am thankful for kids that handle sick surprisingly well.  We hung out and watched movies today.  I got a TON done it seemed like and it was just a calm, slow day.

6. I am thankful for parents that are so awesome about "hey, wanna hang out" "sure, when's good?" texts.  I love spending time with them!

7. I am thankful for two of my little sisters in law coming over to hang out with us the other day!

Abi, Aunt Hannah (2), Grace, Aunt Gabby (4)

8. I am thankful for my husband speaking words of wisdom into my life.  I love conversations with him that build me up.  I appreciate his patience with me and the balance we offer each other.

9. I am thankful for the crazy amount of work I've gotten done this week even though it has been stressful.

10. I am thankful for a renewed awareness of the Lord.  I am kind of (ok, not really) participating in a "Hello Mornings Challenge" where the idea is to get up FOR your kids and family, not WITH your kids and get up a bit earlier to spend time in the Word, exercise and plan.  I am not doing well at this (mainly because I despise mornings and my children are unpredictable) but it HAS made me more aware of my quiet times and my plans.  I like that!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Opportunity

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Opportunity


someone asks a question and the faces of five teen girls intently await my answer.  will they stump me or will they get the answer that they are looking for?  will it matter?  will it, can it, change the course of their life?  will i ever get this opportunity again?

i choose my words carefully because for some reason, these girls have choosen to give my words weight.  there is influence.  there is power.  there is trust.  i can choose to use this moment to slyly make them do what i want.  or i can explain to them the right thing to do but more importantly why.

i get to speak into their lives.  i get to be the person they remember.  i get quoted on facebook and talked about long after this time is over.  not because of me.  because in this opportunity Jesus speaks through me into their lives.  sometimes i get in the way.  sometimes i say the wrong thing or set the wrong example.  but even that is an opportunity.  for me to show humility and them to show grace.

together we live and learn.  savoring and cherishing each opportunity to take a step closer to truth.


Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #58

Fun fact to know and tell: I get migraines.  Not often, usually once every month or two, but when I do they take me out.  Usually I cannot be in any light and can't move (or else bad things happen).  I told Aaron after my migraine on Thursday night that it was second only to being in labor (which at least there are very strong drugs for).  Anyway, enough whining, but that is why I'm late on my thankfuls and my Five Minute Friday :)

1. I am thankful for a random field trip to the Air Force Museum.  Grace loved to see the planes and I was reminded of the sacrifice so many made for our country.  I think I assumed every older man was probably a Vet which may or may not have been accurate.  I have a picture of the museum when I was a kid and I was with my Grandpa.  I hope he is able to go with my kids one day soon.  She may not remember it but I will!

2. I am thankful for my kids having an overnight at my parent's house.  I went on a midnight date with my husband and some of the Attic kids and got to sleep in!

3. I am thankful for my husband taking over and letting me sleep for 12 hours on Thursday night.

4. I am thankful for making heathier choices!

5. I am thankful for a girls night with my mom and cousin!

6. I am thankful for standing Friday night phone dates with one of my best friends who doesn't live near me!

7. I am thankful for knowing the Lord provides!  How that knowledge gets me through sometimes!

8. I am thankful for awesome sales and getting to shop for boy clothes!  (Nope, not an announcement, I just happened to be going to the store and got my friend's "order" before I went!)

9. I am thankful for sunshine and playtime.

10. I am thankful for frozen yogurt popsicles.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Potty Training and Other Messy Things

Do you think it is a sign that my kid isn't ready to potty train when she tells me the potty makes her "so sad, so so sad!"  I think she's a little dramatic but she does NOT want to go on the potty.  I did get her to sit on it for about 15 minutes with a popsicle...which was really just frozen yogurt (it's yummy).  Ah well, one of these days...maybe...

Frozen Yogurt Pops on the Swing Set!
That is her AUNT Hannah by the way, my little sister in law.
They are six weeks apart.
 In other news I recently painted a sign for our thrift store.  The square part on the bottom can be taken off so a new sign can be slipped on for different sales. :)

Yea!  I was excited!

Saturday a friend's daughter came over to play in the morning.  Yesterday my little sister in law came over.  This morning my friend brought her daughter back over (and stayed to babysit so I could get some work done!).  It has been fun having people in my house.  I also had two girls randomly come by the other day for a little while.  I like the openness of it and I wish I was more flexible with my time to "allow" for that sort of thing.  Although, there are people that call and say "hey what are you doing?" and what they generally mean is "hey, I'm home and I'm coming over" and I'm always ok with that!
My kids being strange.
My days seem crazy lately.  (My guess is that will go away if I were to either quit my job or all my kids were old.  Since neither is happening soon maybe I need to adjust "crazy" to normal and "really really crazy" to "crazy"...things to think about).  I feel like we have had a lot going on but nothing going on - if that makes sense.  Appointments, deadlines, meetings...they fill the days.  I have been really trying to focus though on joy through it all especially with my kids and trying to enjoy each moment.  Abi is full of laughter and Grace is too smart for her own good :) I adore them.

This is all the free stuff I got last week.  This week I also got hair color, more hot dogs, shampoo, cool whip, and ridiculous deals on a LOT more stuff.  (I spent $47 at Meijer and saved $58 I believe it was...spent $10 at Target and saved $10...spent $11 at Kroger and saved somewhere around $14 I believe.  I've been working on that post but have not gotten around to finishing it.)

Alright, that was enough randomness.  NOW I'm going to go tackle the 30 emails that are mocking me.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Perspective

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Perspective


some days life just seems hard.  my two year old does not seem to understand why biting her sister is bad and makes mommy unhappy.  my baby doesn't understand why she cant be let down to explore with the big kids.  i get frustrated coralling, correcting and constantly (hows that for alliteration) having to repeat myself.

sometimes i think if my kid had the words she would just say - mommy, im trying to figure this out.  i know some things are bad and some things are ok.  i just dont always know when or why.  im learning.  and while we're talking, i dont understand why it matters if i go play by myself outside.  i dont understand why you think you need to watch me - after all im just going to the backyard.

i wish she understood how hard it is to not know how to explain things to her in a way that makes sense.  what does safe even mean?  i am so glad though that she doesnt have to have my perspective and that she gets to maintain her youthful enthusiasm for life.

my kids are so sweet.  my rested eyes and heart see that.  i know that when they are bigger i will want to call do overs on some of these moments but at the end of the day i hope i spend twice as much time or more tickling and loving and hugging and encouraging as i do correcting.  that is what shell remember and she will just happened to have learned something along the way.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #57

My little girl is sleeping in her sandals.  I think she wants to be ready to go tomorrow!

1. I am thankful for our new swing set!

2. I am thankful for parents who live nearby, gift us with swing sets and spend their evening helping us put it together.

3. I am thankful for a husband who loves to cook and makes dinner for my family (in advance of course so he can also help put together the swing set).

4. I am thankful for my "crazy daisy's" and my relaxing Mother's Day.

5. I am thankful for evenings outside in the pool...

6. ...and eating ice cream.

7. I am thankful for park play dates, pool play dates, and living room get togethers...mainly because I like hanging out with adults sometimes too :)

8. I am thankful for teaching moments.

9. I am thankful that when asked if God talks to me I can confidently say yes.

10. I am thankful for moments of peace in the midst of it all!

Best Grace Chat This Week:
Me - I love you Grace.
Grace - I love you mommy.
Me - Thanks!
Grace - My daddy loves you too.  (long pause)  My daddy's lucky.

That was a great start to my mother's day.  Silly girl :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Identity

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Identity


awhile ago my four year old sis in law came to spend a week with us.  i think that was the first time i heard someone refer to me as "grace's mommy".  usually my kids get their identity from me, but it was nice to get my identity from them.

identity should be a natural result of the things we love.

grace's mommy.
abi's mommy.
bible study leader.
Christ follower.

identity is the hats i wear.  but it is also the way i relate to people. identity is hard.  sometimes it is easy to lose.  sometimes we don't recognize when it changes.  i was thinking that although my name will never change who i am might...but thats not even true because my name did change.  and with it, my identity. hmmmmmm.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #56

Wet, rainy and cold - but she still wanted to be outside.

1. I am thankful for my kids giggling themselves to sleep.

2. I am thankful for late night chats by the fire pit.

3. I am thankful for date nights, free babysitting, and driving a 2012 Mercedes on our dates :)

4. I am thankful for Grace imitating my terrible singing.

5. I am thankful for the random "I love you mom"s that make the rest of the day seem better.

6. I am thankful for some amazing women I have in my life.  I don't think I could do this mom thing without them.

7. I am thankful for play dates!  And a friend who is willing to pack up her five kids (including month old twins) so we can spend some time together.

8. I am thankful for summer and outdoor play and the swing set that is ordered!

9. I am thankful for the reminders to slow down.

10. I am thankful for my grandparents.  How cool it is to learn from them.

I feel like this week I have been crazy busy, rather stressed and somewhat emotional (does that sound like PMS to anyone else?!?  Hmmmm).  I think though that instead of living in that state I need to embrace that this is what life is now.  Life right now is cheerios all over my floor, bottles that need washed, toys everywhere and laundry that constantly needs to be rotated.  But at the end of the day, WHO CARES?  It's a beautiful thing to be the one that is needed to fix a boo-boo.  Or to be the only one that can comfort a baby and make her stop crying.  Or the one who gets to be called mom.  I love it.  My heart needs what I can learn from them.

Favorite Quotes of the Week (from Grace)

G - Mom? You tired?
Me - Yeah, baby, I'm tired.  We've played hard today!
G - You go upstairs to bed and take nap.

Me - Grace, I think I've lost my marbles.
G - Marbles?  You lost marbles?  I find them!  MARBLES, where you?

Me - Gracie Bug, what's that baby's name? (her doll)
G - I don't know!
Me - Well, what names do you like?
G - Hmmmm, GRACIE!

G - Mommy is best friend. Abi is best friend.  Stephanie is best friend. Josh is best friend.
 (the later at the park Josh came over and told us he gave goldfish crackers to his best friend, Grace)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sometimes Slower is Better

It is 11:26pm and my copy machine is running, my printer is printing and my brain is begging to be turned off.  It's been a long day.  My kids didn't sleep well last night, didn't nap well today and well, the saying should go when kiddos ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. 

I have a job that requires my time and attention.  I love this job and would like to keep it :)  BUT sometimes, sometimes getting it all done requires me to walk away from my computer/phone/copy machine and give that two year old the attention she so desperately wants from me.  That HAS to be ok.  I guard my moments pretty fiercely.  I'm not a huge fan of interruptions or the idea of missing nap times (read: work time for mom).  BUT I was reminded today while I enjoyed the sunshine at the park with a dear friend who I desperately needed to catch up with - sometimes that loose hold creates the environment for it all to come together rather than me trying to force a square peg in a round hole ALL.DAY.LONG.

At the end of the day.  Holding my baby and kissing boo-boos is so fleeting and so temporary that I know down the road I will regret not holding on tighter to those moments.  My kid knows she is loved, but I want to have the peace at the end of the day that although I may have failed in my quest for perfect parenting, I know that I showed love to my little girls.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Just my life...

2 year old + mascara = great photo opp

I feel like I haven't given any general life updates recently.  OK, lets be honest, I haven't really posted much recently.  Not for lack of trying - I write tons of blog posts in my head - I just never seem to have time to put them on "paper".  Ah well, tis the season of life I'm in I suppose!

The girls are great.  Grace is going through a somewhat emotional phase and EVERYTHING is a big deal.  I suppose this is what the teen years will look like too so I might as well get some practice in.  Abi thinks everything is funny except for when Grace sits on her (which happens more than you would think) or when her attempts to escape are thwarted.  She is still just army crawling but man, that girl can move fast!

Hubs is fantastic. He has been working hard on some stuff around our house which of course motivates me to clean and organize as well.  It is always nice to see noticeable results of a day's work.  We have gotten some lights fixed, fence up, toilet repaired (I did that one, aren't I handy?), sink pipes cleaned out, fire pit started, plants in the "garden" and lots more.  I am extremely pleased with all of this. 

I am doing well.  I feel like my days go so quickly and so slowly all at the same time.  I am in a bit of a funk with feeling the need to "entertain" my kids and probably need to focus more on providing activities (coloring, toys, play dough) that Grace can do on her own with me nearby rather than feeling the need to do a song and dance every time she gets "bored". 

Work is going well - band booking seems to have slowed down which is typical for this time of year but doesn't make for a comfortable month.  I have been encouraged by the number of girls sticking with the Princess Program - we usually start out with over 10 girls and end up with 6 or so, which is just fine.  I think right now we have nine that are going strong!  My older three girls are doing well with the Experiencing God Bible study.  Can I just say, leading all of these really magnifies the areas in my life that need work.  It is impossible to lead without growing and that is a challenge and delights me all at the same

Overall, life is good.  Busy, stressful at times, but good.  I feel like just when one stage starts to get worked out things change again - but I suppose that is how we grow!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Real

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
Five Minute Friday: REAL


real scares me.  real is all the things i am when i'm not pretending.  real is who i am when i'm all alone.  real is who i am when i let my insecurities and weaknesses hang out.  i don't always like the real me. 

sometimes i think it is hard to be completely real with other people. i don't want to be weak.  i don't want to complain about people in my life.  i don't want to taint others views of what is going on around me.  at the same time, i don't want to hide behind a life that i am portraying - that is exhausting.

life is hard work.  relationships are hard work. even the good things are hard work and have rough times.  i guess being real is being ok with sharing those times - even when it isn't pretty.

i love that i have friends that are completely transparent with me.  when they share their struggles it makes me feel like i am not alone.  i wonder if i could inspire others if i would just be real? i also wonder where the line is between ok to share and completely private - i don't know.  maybe in another 27 years i'll figure it out. 

real life is made to be shared.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #55 guess how many posts I have either actually drafted or written completely in my head but not on my computer.  Yeah, at least five.

Thankful this week for...

1. The reminder that God is ALWAYS there.  I love finding old journals and being inspired to write again.  Fun fact to know and tell, I used to write ALL THE TIME.

2. My amazing hard working husband who has rebuilt our fence!  The girls may be getting a swing set from my parents for their birthdays so we are getting the back yard ready!

3. I don't know if I wrote about her yet, but my new adopted big kid!  She is official, we voted her in then initiated her with a Gilmore Girls night.  Love her honest and refreshing opinions.  I am now up to 2 babies and 3 big kids (17-22 years old)

4. I am thankful for a new recipe for shepherds pie (thanks to Rachel Ray who I generally don't like...because her 30 minute meals usually take me at least an hour...but this one said 40 minutes and I thought that was refreshingly honest :)

5. Some changes coming up in our children's program at church!  I'm pretty pumped about some things coming up (and hoping that I'll get the toddlers to teach in my rotation!)

6. I'm thankful for my kiddo's sweet personality and while she has her moments she generally responds to correction well.  I'm also thankful that she is teaching me patience and that to get a point across it really does work to lower my voice instead of raise it (thanks Michelle Duggar!)

7. I am thankful that m&ms and pennies are like GOLD to my kiddo.  She gets to ride the horse at Meijer if she can hold her penny the whole time we're in the store (which means she needs to be calm) and if she uses the potty (which she hasn't yet) she gets a penny which she is SUPER excited about.

8. I am thankful for a playdate with Miss Christine and her two boys this week!  I LOVE adult conversation.

9. I am thankful for an awesome painting that one of my big kids gifted me.  This young lady is TALENTED!

10. Time outs.  For me.

Best quote of the week.

From my hubs, when he came home and I was still in my office working:
"You're always laughing.  Its probably something inappropriate."

...nope, just tired. :)