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Can you tell I’m enjoying my new video camera =)

(oh, and some of you have said the video keeps jumping when you try to watch it. Try hitting pause until the video has completed buffing and then hit play and the video should play without interruption)

Road Trip

This weekend we took a road trip to Shreveport! We spent Friday and Saturday with some great friends and their kids. They leave the states to go back home in a few weeks, so we wanted to see them before they left.

The weekend was packed with tons of fun and lots of heat!

We played in the yard
climbed treesrelaxedmade homemade ice creamfed the ducksclimbed more treesTook some relaxing breaks in the shade saw real alligators, walked on the boardwalk, grilled, swam, played at a park, shopped, and pretty much just wore ourselves out. All the kids were troopers and had a blast together. Even Justus had a great time on his first road trip. Thanks for letting us come invade your home for the weekend! We love you guys and will be thinking of you as you travel back!

Sisters


He’s a Genius

The last 2 times I’ve gone in to get him up from his nap, he’s flipped onto his back.

I’m still hoping its a fluke. Maybe I laid him down weird?? I’m just praying its only a nap time thing because I’m not all that excited about him flipping in the middle of the night and waking up!

But regardless, 2 months old and flipping from tummy to back. He’s beat his sisters by a long shot =)

(Update: He’s no longer in the genius category…this new trick is officially annoying! The genius category will not be attached to him until he learns to flip back to his tummy from his back. He’s now a pro at flipping to his back and flips himself and wakes himself up early from every nap. The boy is going to have to learn to sleep on his back if he keeps this up!)

My Spiritual Journey

This past week, I started reading the book “Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls” by Gary Thomas. I’m also still reading the book “MASTERY“. Its amazing how the two are lining up to teach me one great concept.

My focus should never be on me or this world.

“If God’s attitude toward me is suffering Love, my attitude toward others will be suffering love.”

I put my kids names where it says “others”. Not that parenting is always suffering, but definitely at times it can be. I always hit this slump after big social outings where there are a lot of people who I would love to hang out and talk to. For example, our church picnic Sunday night. Tons of people, a huge park, free food…it should all equal a great time, right?

And when I look at it in perspective, it does equal a great time, just not the type of “great time” I would choose. See we had to wake Justus to go which meant I pushed the stroller and walked in a circle around the playground equipment to try to get him to stop crying and go back to sleep. Then I got food ready for the girls to eat. Then I shoveled down my own food so I could feed Elliana because she won’t eat when there’s so much going on. I guess I could have let her starve but I knew we would get home late and I didn’t want to have to feed her once we got home. Then I sat at “the edge of the village” so I could nurse Justus. Only to finish nursing in time to clean up the blanket and chairs and head home because it was past everyone’s bedtime. Definitely not the “great time” I envisioned for myself.

Sometimes I just want to play irresponsibly. I want to talk and be able to focus on the conversation without looking in five directions to keep my eyes on all the kids. I want to sign up for a volleyball tournament, run in the field and play soccer, go hit a few balls on the softball field, or even just finish a glass of water, but that is not my reality right now.

Which is why I put my kids names in the “others” category when I think about Christ’s suffering love towards me. Sometimes I get down about the fact that I seem to be on hold. My dreams, my passions, my desires, all seem to be on hold. And there are times, like Sunday night, where I want to take it out on my kids. I want to yell at them when they start to whine that they didn’t get to play long enough or that they didn’t get enough food, or that they need more to drink. I want to yell “have you noticed your mom hasn’t eaten or drank anything since we’ve gotten here? Have you noticed I haven’t gotten to play at all? Have you noticed what I’ve sacrificed to make sure you’ve had a good time?”

But then I take a deep breath and remember what Christ has called us to. He’s called me to become holy like He is holy. Life is a refining fire to draw me into holiness. My aim and focus should be on that and everything else is just icing on the cake. When my focus shifts to put fun and my own personal desires ahead of the desire to be holy, then the dissatisfaction comes into play.

Gary Thomas says, “Most of us are inherently selfish when it comes to raising children. We’re hoping for some benefit to come our way, and when we wake up to the truth that children can be embarrassing as well as exemplary, we become resentful and bitter, and a foul spiritual climate can soon take over the home…When we realize that having children isn’t about us but is rather about God, then the trials and sacrifices of parenting are more easily borne. We see the purpose behind the difficulty, and we remind ourselves, “this isn’t about me; it’s about him.’ The ultimate issue is no longer how proud my children make me, but how faithful I’ve been to discharge the duties God has given me. “(Sacred Parenting)

I started reading “Sacred Parenting” expecting to find some great tools to instill godliness in my kids. I’ve quickly realized that God is using this book, as well as “Mastery” to instill godliness in myself. I guess He figures that is the quickest way to instill godliness in my kids as well =)

First Dance Recital

Avery’s first dance recital was tonight. I think she had a lot of fun. I have to admit, I was a little teary eyed through most of it. She suddenly went from my little Avery that I needed to watch over and take care of to this big girl who was able to go onto that big stage all by herself and do what she needed to do.
For some reason, as I was editing and combining the video, the order of the clips got switched. I’m too lazy to redo it, so if you’re interested in watching, you’ll watch her tap routine followed by the finale and then her ballet routine. The video was shot last night during dress rehearsal as well so it wasn’t today’s performance, but close enough =)

Here is a picture of us after the recital.
Elliana and Justus were rockstars through the whole recital. Justus just nursed and slept and Elliana was mesmerized by the dancers. I’ve never seen the girl sit so still for so long! She loved it so much it makes me want to sign her up for dance lessons tomorrow =)
Nana, Pappa, Great Grandma, and Aunt Deanna came down for the weekend, so after the recital we all went back home and grilled and then Avery got her special desert for working so hard on her routine.As I put Avery in her bed tonight, she sat up and said “mommy, what are we going to do on Mondays now?” I answered, “I’m not sure because dance is all over now.” She replied, “but do you think maybe dance is still going and I could go to dance school again sometime?” I’m pretty sure that means she had a good time.

Family Fun Day

The zoo? The mini train? Bike rides? Playing at a park? All thoughts I had as I was planning family fun day. That is until Brent pulled in the driveway with this on top of the car last night!
Yes, one neighbors trash is another neighbors treasure.

This happened last night so today has consisted of playing outside, interrupted by a trip to the gym and the grocery store, followed by playing outside, interrupted by helping me bake some brownies, followed by playing outside, interrupted by naps and a trip to Half Price Books to pick up our free books, followed by playing outside. I think the girls like the new play structure their daddy found for them!

And I just had to include a picture of Justus to show what he was up to most of the day =)
After dinner, Brent took Avery to her dress rehearsal for her dance recital. Check back tomorrow night for some video of her first recital =) Usually when people watch her dance, she looks to the floor, stone faced, and does the whole routine in less than a minute. We’ll see what happens tomorrow!

Silly Faces

Because sometimes you’re desperate to find something to do indoors

Poop

Yup, that’s a picture of poop. This is what happens when you give my 2 year old juice. She gets diarrhea.
To her credit, she was desperately trying to get out of bed, get her pull up off, and get to the bathroom in order to poop. I guess that’s why the poop ended up all over the sheets, pillows, and walls.

Being a mom is so fun sometimes.

Free Books at Half Price Books

Read with your kids 15 minutes a day for a week and earn a $3 gift card from Half Price Books. You can do this every week for the entire summer!

Read more about the program here

Print out a reading log here

The girls and I did this together last summer, and we had a blast going into the store every Friday for them to pick out a new book. There are many books in the store that are $3 or less so they will earn a free book a week each week of the summer.

There is no age minimum for this program. As long as either they are reading or you are reading to them for 15 min. a day, you qualify.

Thought I would pass on the great deal. Hope you enjoy!