Tuesday, January 24, 2012

When Life Hands You Lemons, You Make Lemonade

This past weekend was one of the rare weekends that Luke had off of work.
His schedule has honestly been really difficult to deal with the last 3 years and I am excited to announce that he got accepted for a new position at work!!
No raise is included but I don't care. He will be home every other weekend and almost every evening!!! That is better than any raise after the schedule of these past 3 years.

Just attending church together again as a family is HUGE!!!
We can plan Family Nights and Date Nights again! Those have been really hard to plan when he's not home in the evening or on weekends.
We can know what is happening in our lives more than a week in advance and maybe I won't have to take trips by myself with all the kids nearly as often.
The perks are endless!!

This past Sunday, we were all geared up to pick up Precious Jewel from Grandmama's and head to church when a wrench was thrown into the plans.
The brand-new-tire that we'd just bought to replace the slashed tire that had thrown our day awry the day before, caused a few more problems. Two of the bolts sheered off when Luke was changing it and we were left stranded in the driveway. That has never happened before.

We were both frustrated. It's rare he gets to come with the kids and I to church. We both have felt disconnected. He--because he never gets to go. I--because I'm always with the kids and little kids in church are a handful to say the least.

But, but God also knew we needed a day to JUST BE. A day to be together as a family and that's what he GAVE us in the broken tire.

While Luke and I were totally frustrated, the boys in their child-faith saw this as an opportunity to take a hike together.
So we did, and the time spent enjoying, soaking in, climbing over, around, under and through His Creation was priceless.
He even provided a semi-nice day in the middle of January when it should have been freezing cold.
So off we went.
Luke. 3 Boys. 3 Dogs, and 2 Cats (Precious Jewel happily stayed stuck at Grandmama's).

Following a well-worn deer path
The cats silently stalking us

Every time we are down here, I think of the book "Girl of the Limberlost" or "Freckles."
It's Beautiful. Peaceful. Magic. Color is intense in the woods.
The dogs were in "hike heaven."
This is Junkyard...that cute little puppy from the fall. He's gotten huge.
He looks a little upset but really was just curious as to why I was shoving a camera in his face. I took his picture right before he slapped his big wet tongue all over my camera lens.

Right now she's about the size of the labs even though she's a couple months younger.
She already can almost look Nater Mater in the eyes and will soon tower over him.
All the dogs LOVED the water; splashing through it like it was 100 degrees in the summer.
It was funny how the cats climbed down the ravine and all the way to the water. We spent 2 hours exploring the bottom examining animal scat, plants, bushes, and animal dens. I'd never seen them so excited over poop before. : ) But fresh deer poop is pretty exciting to little adventurers.
So next time life gives us lemons, we'll take them and make some memories.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Day of Firsts!

We'll start with the best last. Good Lookin' lost his first tooth!!
He's been asking for months now when it would be his turn to loose a tooth.
Today, he noticed it was slightly wiggly. Aaaaaalllllllll day long he worked and wiggled and snaggled with his tongue to get that tooth out.
And at dinner tonight, he started crying. Sobbing really because the thing started bleeding in his chicken and rice.
I have a fairly strong stomach mind you, but the sight of that nasty little tooth bleeding in his food and him sobbing nearly made me hurl in my plate.
He refused to go to bed until that thing was out and I knew from previous children that it was a hopeless cause to make him go to bed until it happened.
Out came the toothbrush. and after just 2 minutes of brushing, it popped out onto the floor and we all did the "Happy Shriek and Cheer the Tooth Dance."

It's been a Big Day because he and Naters also started back to Pre-K today.

Good Lookin' went last year and blossomed. Nater Mater was old enough this year and fully potty trained, so we signed him up too! There are several sibling groups this year which is a lot of fun.
They had their backpacks on before breakfast with their letter of the day item tucked safely inside.
They were both so cute. Timmy was the big brother so proud to show his little brother around. Nater Mater was excited to finally get to "go to pwe-skool wif Timmy."Both boys remembered the Bean Table from last year and I thought Good Lookin' was going to dive head-first into the pile of beans.

Now if the Tooth Fairy can just remember to complete your happy day. ; S

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

21 Questions to Ask Your Kids

21 questions to ask your kids
Living Creatively posted this on her blog yesterday. So Much Fun!
Copy this note, ask your kid the questions and
write them down exactly how they respond.
What do they really think?
For reference my kids are:
N (3-yrs. 4 mo. old)
T (5 1/2-years old)
B (7 1/2-years old)
A (9-years, only girl)
The kids had to help Naters. He totally didn't get this whole question thing.
1. What is something Mommy always says to you?
N "Pull up your pants"
T "Give me Kisses."
B "I love you."
A "I love you."
2. What makes Mommy happy?
N "sad"
T "Giving you a kiss"
B "Time by yourself."
A "Giving you a hug and kiss."
3. What makes Mommy sad?
N "your sad"
T "When Grandma Gumm died."
B "When somebody dies"
A "When we disobey you."
4. How does Mommy make you laugh?
N "cheese!"
T "Tickling me!"
B "When you are trying not to laugh and that makes me laugh. Usually when someone is naughty."
A "Tickling me!'" (hmmmm...theme here)
5. What was Mommy like as a child?
N "happy/ you sad"
T "I didn't know you as a child! How would I know?"
B "You were funny and liked to tell jokes."
A "You liked Rainbow Bright and Barbies!"
6. How old is Mommy?
N "I like jumping"
T "20" (That's as high as he can count).
B "39"
A "34" (she knows)
7. How tall is Mommy?
N "you sad" (I think we broke the record player here.)
T "9 inches! That's pretty big? Why don't you ever measure yourself?"
B "5 ft 4 in" (not bad)
A "5 ft. 9 in" (She's close. I'm almost 5ft. 8in.)
8. What is Mommy's favorite thing to do?
N (he gave me a hug)
T "Play with me! Spend time with us kids!"
B "Play with us!"
A "Hang out with your girlfriends or daddy."
9. What does Mommy do when you're not around?
N (When I asked, he stood on his head)
T "Laundry" (oh joy)
B "Laundry" (oh this is a re-occurring theme!)
A "Babysit little kids." (Always)
10. If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
N "pretty toe nails"
T "Because you are pretty!" (good answer kid)
B "You could become President."
A "A good artist."
11. What is Mommy really good at?
N "ahhhh help me!" (said as he is falling off the couch)
T "Laundry?" (ugh) "Oh and you're really good at sharing."
B "Art, drawing"
A "holding your temper." Laundry, chores." (sigh)
12. What is Mommy not very good at?
N "being daddy"
T "You are just good at everything; except keeping up with laundry."
B "Building houses." (random)
A "You can't keep up with laundry." (geeze! I wonder why!)
13. What does Mommy do for her job?
N "give kisses"
T "Babysit"
B "Babysit"
A "Babysit" (I've done that since Ben was 11 mo. old and she was 2).
14. What is Mommy's favorite food?
N "Cake"
T "Cereal?" (that's his)
B "Rice and Beans" (see previous posts, but he's totally wrong. ; 0)
A "cheesecake!" (right on!)
15. What makes you proud of Mommy?
N "kisses"
T "You let me give you kisses."
B "You take care of us."
A "You are good at art."
16. If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
N "Mama Bear" (from the Bearenstein Bears)
T "Webkinz!"
B "Minnie Mouse!"
A "Molly The American Girl Doll. You looked like her and you lived back then." (right on the first, but not THAT old! She was a WWII doll!)
17. What do you and Mommy do together?
N "Jump"
T "Go outside and play tag together."
B "Cuddle Nights"
A "Scrapbook" (girl after my own heart)
18. How are you and Mommy the same?
N "Bang"
T "We're not!" (He wouldn't give me anything)
B "We both like to cuddle"
A "We both like to scrapbook."
19. How are you and mommy different?
N (He stands on his head)
T "We look different."
B "I'm a boy. You're a girl."
A "You have brown hair. I have blond hair."
20. How do you know Mommy loves you?
N (Tries to jump over me)
T "You give me kisses!"
B "You say you love me!"
A "Hug me and cuddle and talk with me"
21. Where is Mommy's favorite place to go?
N "the Bathtub"
T "On a date with daddy"
B "Chinese Restaurant" (Ummm...we haven't been there in a year. I think HE likes it there.)
A "On a date with daddy doing something special."
The next interview with be their news and ideas... I want to keep doing this
every year. :D
If you do it, please let me know!

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year's Resolutions a week or so late

I was looking back at my New Year's Resolutions last year.
God has done so much in my heart this past year. I'm calling it the Year of Restoration.
Several relationships that I thought had failed or were a cause of intense heart agony have been put on the path of restoration.
Honesty, Forgiveness, Grace and Prayer have been my mainstay these past 12 months.
Many many many tears and questions and soul searching have been poured out on the altar.
Much of my own heart ugliness that is hard to admit and my way of relating has needed an over-haul.
When I made my resolution to just be in the Word every day, I got way more than I bargained for.
I didn't 100% succeed in my determination to read my Bible every day, but I did succeed in opening even more; uncovering even more of a heart that is desperately in need of God at the helm, and handing things over to Him. And, I didn't quit reading altogether if I'd missed reading a day or two.
I know I have a lot of room for growth. A HUGE amount really, but that is good. Life would be boring if we didn't have something to learn from?
This Year for my Resolutions, I've joined Ann Voskamp's challenge of Daily counting the Gifts that God puts in our lives. "In EVERYTHING give Thanks."
I'm still not sure what EVERYTHING means. I still have heart-ache from some of those relationships. Tears still fall. Questions still remain.
My marriage still needs a lot of work (I need a lot of work).
I haven't quite figured out How to be thankful in the midst of another recent huge loss in the family that has left me questioning His methods and plans and even goodness. But I do know this, HE IS GOOD.
He is the Master Planner as our Mom's in Touch Prayer Group emphasized this morning.
He has the perfect program and method worked out before-hand. I don't need to argue or fight Him on what I don't understand.
Jer. 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans for a Hope and a future."
My job this Year:
To Count the Blessings no matter how small.
Will you join me?