Sunday, March 30, 2014

Project 365, Week 13

March 23
While my dad was away, my brother preached in his pulpit.  He's a chaplain in the National Guard, an incredible father (to almost five littles), husband, brother, son...I'm so proud of him!
March 24
These guys played UNO while Shaun was home for a late lunch.
 March 25
Big decision trying to find a book report book.  This girl has been blowing through multiple books a week.  No idea where she gets it from.  :)
 March 26
Beautiful.  Such a dynamic person behind those eyes.
 Shaun and Aiden have been busy.

 March 27
It was kind of, sort of warm-ish so we went down to the river.  Happy place for dogs and kids.

March 28
Jet pack boy.
March 29
This is a very, very good sign!

Monday, March 24, 2014

I Won The Lottery!

"Congratulations.  The MCM Lottery has been conducted and you have reason to celebrate as one of the officially registered participants in the 39th Marine Corps Marathon."

I read this email out loud to the kids when I received it last week.  Avery said, Wait!  You won the lottery?!?

Well yes, if you consider paying a $114.12 entrance fee for the privilege of doing a grueling six-days-a-week-before-the-sun-is-up training schedule for four months so you can be prepared for a punishing, stretching-you-to-your-max 26.2 mile race, then yes, I won the lottery.

My first marathon is still fresh in my mind from Mother's Day last year and I think its a little like child-birth.  With your first baby, you hear from others how hard and painful labor is, but with your second baby you know first hand how difficult it is.

Is it better to not know or to be prepared?  I think the first baby is easiest, when you don't really know what to expect.  I'll have to report back about the second marathon.  :)

I'll be in Washington DC this October, along with my sister-in-law Sarah, giving it my best!


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Project 365, Week 12

Happy Sunday!  I'm feeling the hope of Spring, despite the fact we're going to dip into the 30's for highs much of this week.

We had such a fun week just being.  There really is so much to be thankful for!

March 16
No picture, though Shaun and the kids began rehearsals for Passion of the King (photo from last year).  Plan on coming to one of the five performances!

March 17
In his book, The 5 Love Languages of Children, Gary Chapman does not include CANDY as one of the five, which is weird because all four of my kids have that as the primary way love is spoken to them, despite the fact I am morally against it.  So, I sneak it in when can (sort of) justify it.  :)
 Not even a little bit Irish, even though we have a "Shaun" and "Avery" but why not do the little things that help make life fun and special?

Plus, we live in a college town, so St. Patrick's Day is right up there with Christmas around here.  :)
 March 18
Shaun came home for lunch and Aiden grabbed him at the door, begging him to put a lego set together.
 Naptime stories.  I'm not a fan of violence, but there's a lot of good life lessons mixed in with the super hero stuff and my little four year-old guy is convinced he's one.
 Finally....the snow is gone enough to play at the park attached to the library.  Baby steps to spring!
 March 19
Frozen was released the day before and Shaun bought it online and had it set up for us, but we didn't go into the TV room to notice so this day, after homework and showers, the girls watched it with Shaun while the boys and I went to church.

They were SO excited!!
March 20
HAPPY SPRING!!  The girls had a half day, so we went to support our local DQ.
 Later, we got a call about taking a sibling group of three, ages 9, 7, 3 who, if they could get the proper waivers, would need to be placed that night.

Shaun happened to be home for a lunch break, so I ran it by him.  His response after a pause and a deep breath....I can't imagine saying yes and I can't imagine saying no.  Yeah, let's do it.  And I fell madly in love with him all over again.  He has a large, beautiful heart.

So while we waited for the official word, I went into Operation Prepare The House, washing sheets and praying.  The foster care world is unique...out of the blue you can get a call to take on three children for the next several years, possibly forever and you have exactly three minutes to make that life-altering decision.

In the end, another home was found for them, but now I carry the burden of their situation in my heart.  Three more nameless statistics to pray for, now just more specifically.

There is such freedom in making God the Lord of your life, in putting your trust in him for every situation.  He has our best in mind and will order our steps.  When our life is yielded to Him, nothing happens without His say-so.  Such comfort in knowing I don't have to be the one running the show!
 March 21
This "vintage" blender (a wedding gift) holds a smoothie, containing coconut milk, spinach, a banana and berries.  I convinced Aiden to try it and after some initial doubts, he liked it.

I feel both triumphant and guilty....its the closest I've ever come to lying to my kids.

 March  22
A cousin sleepover.  "Frozen" after breakfast and then we got out and enjoyed the day!

 They sang Frozen songs and did movie dialogue over and over.
 Cooler dudes there never were.  :)
Let's make it a great week!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Welcome, Spring

Yesterday the calendar turned to Spring...did you notice?  I welcome it every year, but after the particularly cold and snowy winter we've had, it is an especially happy occasion!

The girls had a half day so I picked them up, let them change their clothes and we were off to DQ and the nearby park.

The weather man promised a 55 degree day with sun, instead what we got was a 45 degree day with NO sun....big difference.  But we pressed on, our spirits could not be dampened!

 Pouting because he's been promised a punishment when we get home.
 Happy listening to their giggles and glee.
 After homework, they dug out the sidewalk chalk and made a track, then held races.

 By the time I got out, they all had Indian war paint on their faces.  Dunno....maybe the "Custer's Last Stand" book we just read??

Three cheers for Spring.  Welcome, welcome!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Crown You With Grace

Recently I found this photo that I didn't realize was being taken.  Its of Avery and I walking hand in hand on the route from the hotel to the conference center in Bellaria, Italy.  We walked that stretch several times a day lined with quaint shops, restaurants and apartments.

She's such fun company and I look forward to the day when she's older and we can be friends.  I love my girl, as Avery would say if she was posting this to my Instagram.

I don't take it lightly, this being a mother to young (but growing!) girls.  I distinctly felt the weight of it when we found out Amanda was a girl.  Two girls looking to me!

But I quickly committed them to God.  They are from Him, they belong to Him and He loves them far more than my human heart ever could.

While I try to do my best, I often wonder what impact my influence will have.  I'm sure like every generation before they will take all their my mother always did this' and my mother never did thats and make their own unique style.

On Monday morning, I woke the girls up wearing a leprechaun hat and singing one of my morning songs.  Eventually they pulled out of their dreamland and smiled at me before pulling the covers over their heads.

I am a morning person.  To me, its the most exciting time of day.  The day is fresh and filled with promise and because I am usually up a couple hours before the rest of my family, I am ready and anxious to see them after the long night.

As I was headed downstairs to make Shaun's breakfast, I wondered what my kids will think of mornings when they are grown.  Will they embrace them as I do or will they forever be scarred by my over-exuberance?

I don't get it right everyday, but I sure do love being a mom.

Mommy, I want to be just like you when I grow up.  Amanda 1st grade.

My child, listen when your father corrects you.
    Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.

What you learn from them will crown you with grace
    and be a chain of honor around your neck.
Proverbs 1:8,9

 Let it be so, Lord Jesus.