Family Fun Day

A family bike ride followed by yard work and washing windows=productive morning this week.

We finished in time to watch the big soccer game…who needs cable when you have a computer =)The day ended withMy birthday present from Brent!  It was AMAZING!!! A great night with a great man!  We got home this morning just in time to start planning Brent’s Father’s Day activities.  Maybe they’ll be some pics up about that soon =)

Day One

Day 1 of Avery learning to do her own laundry. Someone once told me once their kids could see the top of the washer, they were responsible for their own laundry.  I figured that with a stool pushed up to the washer, Avery could see the top =) I knew there was a reason I loved having kids =)

My Spiritual Journey: Balance

John the disciple (as apposed to John the Baptist)  =)

He is characterized as having zeal, ambition, aggressive, and at times behaves in a volatile and brash manner. He was one of the inner three disciples who were closest to Jesus as He lived on earth.

As I read about John this week, the Lord started teaching me far more about the wisdom I need for this stage of life.  See John had a zeal for truth.  This zeal made him a pretty black and white type of guy.  He generally thought in absolutes.  Either you loved God and followed him or you didn’t.  If you loved God, you spoke truth.  If you lied, you didn’t have Christ in you.  Black and white.  This zeal for truth was good, but a little out of balance.  However, after 3 years of walking with Christ, love for others began to balance his zeal for the truth.

In his infancy stage of Christianity, his potential virtues were so out of balance that they became sins.  Most of the disciples, and us, are wired this way.  Our greatest strengths become our weaknesses when taken to an extreme.  John MacArthur states ” But three years with Jesus began to transform a self-centered fanatic into a mature man of balance.  Three years with Jesus moved this Son of Thunder toward becoming an apostle of love…’

The point…yes I have one!

I’ve entered a personally uncharted season of life.   God has called Brent and I to do something that requires me to be a single mom quite a bit, but I’m not sure how to do this yet.  In fact, I’ve wasted a lot of time thinking about how to live this new role I’ve found myself in.  How do you go from single mom back to family back to single mom and back again?  This week as I’ve been studying John and praying through the whole idea of balance, God has really spoken to me about the transition I am attempting to make.

What if life wasn’t broken up into “weeks where Brent is gone” and “weeks where Brent is here“.  What if I didn’t try to live the extreme of trying to plan fun things and be gone and make the time pass while Brent is gone and then go back to strict schedule and family stuff the weeks he’s here?  What if I allowed Christ to keep my life balanced in him regardless of the circumstances around me?

I don’t have any answers yet, but God is teaching me how to rely on Him for the answers instead of picking up the phone and just having my hubby tell me the answers =)  There was a pastor visiting our church who said something to the effect of that Christians need to learn how to live with Christ as the head.  We tend to live like a chicken with its head cut off.  The body running around the yard saying “what do you want me to do, where should I go, what should I do next.”  But the body will just keep jerking in all sorts of directions because there is no head.  If Christ is our head, we just go where the head tells us and do what the head tells us.  Its not hard.  We just need to listen and obey and expect direction.

That image of submitting to the Head has stayed in my mind for the past few months.  Balance definitely comes, like it came to John, as I walk as the body of Christ with Christ as the head instead of always living in one extreme or the next.

Balance…

Goals:

  • Read Same Kind of Different as Me this week. I couldn’t put it down!  Needless to say, the other books I was reading didn’t get much read out of them.  But I finished Same Kind of Different as Me so I’ll pick back up the others this week too. I’m hoping to finish Twelve Ordinary Men this week.
  • So I have one friend who said she would teach me to sew.  I just have to call her and get started…We’ll see if I’m any good =)
  • I will work out this week, I will work out this week, I will work out this week!   For some reason, if I don’t get up early and work out, I’m not getting them in.  When Brent is gone, I can’t leave early to work out because of the kids and then when he’s home, I just want to be home in the morning with him in stead of leaving to work out.  Ahhhhhhh.  But I truly believe God calls us to take care of ourselves and our body so the workouts must be fit back in.  Running twice a week isn’t cutting it =)
  • I’m planning on staying home a lot this week.  My two older kids are currently going stupid and must be whipped back into shape.  That should be a project in and of itself.  So isolation is the answer so that there will be many opportunities for me to lovingly correct and discipline inappropriate behavior =) Its hard to discipline in public =)

Family Fun Day

At 9am, Brent and I looked at each other, said “IKEA?” and within 20 minutes we were in the car and on our way.   Did you hear that spontaneous decision followed by quick action?  Man, life gets easier the older they get =)Brent needed something for work, so while he measured and found what he needed, the kids and I discovered the really important part of the store… the toys.   The toys were only put aside when the word “lunch” was spoken.   Cheap food eaten in front of cartoons…IKEA speaks my kids’ language. I did make an impulse buy.  Pretty sure I’ve never made it through IKEA without making at least one impulse buy!  The middle child loves trains so much that when I saw this train set for $10, I convinced myself to buy it.  I didn’t tell the kids though.  They walked out after nap, saw it, and were ecstatic.  $10 well spent =)We weren’t even out of the parking lot before the little guy crashed!We got home later than anticipated so nap time was pretty much a disaster.  No naps and a busy morning equals REALLY cranky children (and a cranky mommy if I’m honest!)  When they are all cranky, keeping them home is miserable.  We’re still working on being kind and sharing even when we’re grouchy =) Its been a looong week, and the thought of disciplining children all afternoon was enough to make me cry.   So instead of staying home, enjoying the new train set, and getting a couple projects finished, we went to the waterpark.  Its hard to be cranky and mean at a waterpark.Now all the kids are sound asleep in bed and Brent is off building  a desk with a friend.  After this busy day, I think I may turn on the World cup and be lazy on the couch.  The perfect end to a great family day.

What’s a Little Heat

It was only 103 outside, so what did we do?  Went to the zoo of course!  Grandma and Grandpa were here; we had to take advantage and do all sorts of fun things!They opened the zoo up early for members so we took advantage and got there early.  The good thing about early was that all the animals  just woke up so they were active!Another good thing about early is that they take certain animals out of the cage so the kids can pet them and ask questions about them. Looks fake, right? Its not =)As usual, the sandbox was the favored attraction for the kids.  Justus is into throwing sand right now.  He just threw some before this picture was snapped.  See the excitement on his face =)I liked the penguins…mainly because it was cold in there and sooooo hot outside.
I think the black bear was my dad’s favorite.  He practiced his bear calls and got the bear to jump up into that log.  The only thing between us and the bear was a metal grate.  Kinda freaky and kinda fun all at the same time.This was just the beginning of all the fun we had while Grandma and Grandpa were here.  In fact, we had so much fun, I didn’t take another picture for the rest of the week!  They left Wednesday and the little man woke up from his nap, looked at me and said “Grandpa” and then signed please.  When I said, “Grandpa went bye bye”.  Justus replied, “Grandma?”   His words exemplify all of our feelings.  We loved having you here Mom and Dad!  Thanks for coming and for staying so long!

My Spiritual Journey

Its 10:20pm on a Tuesday night and I’m just now sitting down to write this. The week is already busy, and it just started! I think if I’m not careful, the summer will be over before I’ve slowed down enough to enjoy it.

Luckily, Brent currently has the only working car with an air conditioner at meetings out of town and won’t return until late tomorrow so tomorrow the kids and I will be forced to stay home and just be. I’m looking forward to just playing with them. And catching up on cleaning and laundry of course =)

As for what God and I have been discussing this week…I’ve been meditating on Mark 11 and the passage about the fig tree. Jesus cursed the fig tree because it was not producing fruit and then as he was explaining to the disciples about the fig tree he states,

  • Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received  it, and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

So two things have been consuming my thoughts this week.

  1. Producing spiritual fruit must directly relate to your faith.  If I truly have faith, I could move mountains and therefore fruit would be produced in my life.
  2. If I want to produce fruit and move mountains, I must be willing to continually forgive those around me.  Completely forgive not just partially forgive with lots of excuses about why I’m right and they really don’t truly understand what they did wrong type forgiveness.

Because forgiveness seems directly related to the amount of fruit God is able to produce in my life, I have spent a lot of time with Jesus talking through things that I have thought that I had forgiven but had not truly forgiven.  Complete forgiveness seems to be the theme this week.  Good stuff!

Goals:

  • Still reading the same books.  The disciples are fascinating!  So is their background and the various personalities that Jesus put together and how he used them.  Also started reading The Green Letters: Principles of Spiritual Growth by Miles J. Stanford.   My neighbor gave it to me and it seems to be a great read.  I think I’ll learn tons from it.  My kind of reading =)
  • Ran this morning and plan on running outside again on Thursday.  With Brent traveling so much lately, my workouts have really suffered.  I’m going to go back to good old workouts on video at the house this week to try to up the number of workouts I’m getting in a week.
  • Think I’m going to have to cut back on the TV time again.  Its crazy how slowly it creeps back into taking up so much time.  I’m back into just turning it on after the kids are in bed at night instead of intentionally picking 1 thing to watch and using the rest of my time to do productive or relaxing things.
  • And this one is more of a long term thing but I want to learn to sew.  Any good teachers out there =)  My aunt taught me a while ago, but I can’t remember anything.  I hand stitched a little diaper carrier thing this week and decided that I wanted to teach myself how to really sew.  I need to learn a new skill =)  We’ll see how it goes!

Recital Videos

The videos are from dress rehearsal…no filming during the actual performance =(

A little tap and then ballet performance from Avery. She looks confused during ballet mainly because the girls were standing on the wrong dot and my little rule follower couldn’t dance because she kept looking at the girls who weren’t following the rules =)

We had a talk that night and decided that for the actual recital, even if the other girls didn’t stand on the right dot, Avery should just dance anyway. Luckily she took my advice on Saturday! The first thing she said when she came off stage on Saturday was, “did you see me just keep dancing even though everyone was on the wrong dot?” You gotta love a little rule follower =)
Followed by a little ballet performance by Els. If you wonder why all the girls keep pushing their tutus out of the way and looking at the floor, they each had a colored dot they were supposed to stand on. The tutus were too big for them to see the dot! Makes the performance that much cuter =)

Sorry about the shaky video! I was trying to take pictures while videoing =)
The actual recital was so fun. The girls did great on that huge stage all by themselves. Neither one of them really got nervous but just enjoyed themselves and the whole experience.
Because the girls were in 2 different recitals, we ended up being at the auditorium from 12:30pm-5:30pm which is a loooong time to keep a 14 month old quiet!
After the recitals were over and we had taken as many pictures as we could, we ended the evening with a little dinner at Cheddars
Followed by the girls’ favorite dessert.
It was a great weekend of dance. I’m so proud of you girls for all your hard work and for finishing what you started!! You did an incredible job!

Family Fun Day

I won’t bore you with the details of our boring morning this week.  But I will leave you with a sneak peak of what we spent our afternoon and evening doing!It is dance recital season!  Dress rehearsal was Friday.  The girls are in 2 different recitals and I ended up being the room mom for both of them.  Avery’s dress rehearsal was first.  She did fabulous =)Then the next few hours were spent with Els at her rehearsal.  Exhausting is the only adjective to describe keeping track of six 2-3 year olds!And Grandma and Grandpa arrived on Friday as well.  YEAH!!!!!!

And look what Brent surprised me with a the end of the evening.A little b-day cake with my parents.  My birthday week just keeps on getting better!

Check back later for a little video of the girls dancing on stage.  It will melt your heart =)

Summer is just Fun

Happy Birthday to Me

My birthday happened to fall on the day that Brent pulls a 14 hour work day, so we’re pretending my birthday is tomorrow.   The girls decided that I needed a cake today though since it was my actual birthday.  I think they thought they were going to make it themselves  because when I started to get everything ready to make the cake, I was bombarded with two little girls who were beside themselves about the fact that I was going to make my own birthday cake.

They kept saying “you can’t make your own cake.  It must be a surprise.” Followed by “the cake has to be made after you’re in bed and you don’t get to see it until your party!” They definitely have the  birthday cake ritual down. 

They finally were convinced that if they were to get cake tonight, I was going to have to help make it, and we settled on making a butterfly cake.   Well, actually I made it while they played in frosting and said things like “I’m just about to do the crumb coat” and “I need a better offset spatula”. I think they’ve been watching cooking videos a little too much.

The cake turned out a little messy which is a good representation of the whole day.  A little messy, but perfect all at the same time.