Sunday, October 5, 2014

Girls!!

Wanted to post a few pictures from our quick girls weekend in Des Moines. A little less than 24 hrs of pure fun for the three cousins. So grateful to see the three of them share a friendship that is inclusive of one another at all times. 
We are looking forward to making this an annual tradition!

Contentment

Such a first world problem and yet, an age old problem.
Honestly, if we were in a third world country our mindset would be mostly about survival. I am sure there still is a struggle with jealousy. Yet, some of the most content, joyful and truly happy people though I have met in places that seem so hopeless, empty of the luxuries that you can I experience everyday.
What is the secret?
I share what is on my mind, not because I have it figured out, but simply because I am here. Again.
I say again, because when I was younger I couldn't wait until I could go off to school and have my own adventure. When I was having grand adventures I was envious of those who were getting married and happily settling down. When I was getting married.... well you can fill in the blank. The pull of grand promotions, babies, houses, Pottery Barn furniture. You know what I am saying.
In the first years of our move to Kansas City, I saw the Lord really hammer contentment into my heart and I felt it transform my life. What peace, happiness and true joy I experienced no matter the circumstance. I still walk in that. Every once in awhile, I just have to remind myself of some simple truths. Heb 13:5 "Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have." Rom 12 :15 "Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." Heb 13:15 "Let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God." Notice, it says to offer it through Jesus, not out of our own strength or ability.
So, we are at the stage again where transition is happening for our close circle of friends. Grand adventures, job favor, even their kids are experiencing promotions in life. It is easy to get restless, wonder if we are missing something, maybe even envious of what our 'neighbor' has. Chances are that our life might even cause someone else to wrestle with discontentment. We are so blessed and life is so good. Psalm 119:74 "May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word." May I be continually reminded of where my hope is found.
Then I am reminded that the things in this world, that bring us happiness, is just icing on the cake compared to the joy to be found in Him and in the life to come.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Miracles

My pastor mentioned once, that at any given time we are just finishing walking through a crisis, about to head into one or in the middle of what we see as a trial. I would venture the same is to be said of miracles.
I'm in need of one now. Really, I could use a few.
How often do the bigger needs take our eyes off the small victories?
Just a few weeks ago, we drove to my in-laws in Iowa. Only about a 5 hour trip, but we were bringing the very important Jack Stack ribs and beans for dinner! This was an easy drive, just our youngest with us, we were carefree and fun. We made it just in time and the whole gang was waiting for the food, er I mean, our arrival.
We headed out later that evening with friends, to go look at favorite places around town and hear memories from my husband and his friend of 25+ years. As we pulled back up to the house we noticed that our van, which had sat in the drive way since we arrived earlier that day, had a very flat tire. What a bummer! I wanted to moan over the money & time that was about to be spent, but I found myself saying something that surprised even myself. What a miracle that it happened after we finished our drive, instead of somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
So true. Certainly, I am far from a saint and can easily count it all joy, but I let myself think about my response. In many ways, this could've gone down differently that would have changed the whole scenario. I personally, have experienced a few inconvenient flat tires in my life.
I was truly grateful that the tire went flat when it did.
Learning gratefulness, practicing gratefulness. Eventually, hopefully, experiencing gratefulness in the fullness of how our Lord desires.
Until that time, I choose to meditate on the ones that I have already journeyed through. The reality is, I can't even remember half of all that I've been given and I'm confident that when I get to heaven, many will be revealed that I hadn't noticed here on earth.
I wait. You might be waiting as well, but in the meantime; see and experience the miracles of the everyday.
A very special miracle story & if you haven't read this you must! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

This one

Can't you just hear his motorcycle sounds?

We spent 5 hours, yes, 5 hours at Legoland.

A new favorite. Aren't boys so much fun??

This is one precious moment of him, trying not to smile as they sang 'Happy Birthday'.
So grateful to be the mom to this one. All boy and constantly keeping me on my toes. Full of life and ready to take it on. 
May the Lord always lead and guide him, keeping him safely in His hands.

Quite the week I'd say! Back to school, a 4th birthday celebration, and three blog posts; just to name a few things.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

And so it begins!

Three months ago as the beautiful, lazy summer stretched before me I could not possibly imagine excitement for the next school year. I loved the thought of having my kids 24-7. Molding every thought, answering every question, allowing endless imaginative play, sleeping in. All this in tandem with making frequent trips to the pool in order to survive the steamy temperatures.
Yes, most of that did happen; among many road trips, multiple visitors and probably hundreds of time-outs. Ah, the joys of sibling togetherness and summer indulgence. We did embrace every moment, grew more in love with each other and even managed a nice tan in the process.

Did I say I couldn't have imagined being excited for a new school year? Well, as is meant to be, the last few months have reminded me how grateful I am for our Christian education that we sacrifice for, so we can have the luxury of having another gifted human being enjoy our children a few hours a day, four days a week.
He'll be doing 1 day of preschool, but has already begun speech therapy (he loves both!!) 
A lot of miles will be put on the 14 year old minivan, many projects finished last minute, hundreds of (ok, at least 50) books read, lunches packed, and lost patience as we try to get out the door on time. So much is required in our unique parent partnership school, but it is so worth everything; right at this moment.
1st day of 1st grade. Loving her ensemble!

1st day of 2nd grade! She's already in love with her teacher. Tired smile from no sleep because she got too excited.
And so it begins! I know I will forget to cross all the 't's' and dot all the 'i's', but I will fall more in love with my children, enjoy 3 hours of kid-freeness (is that a word?) a week and once again build up anticipation for our next summer together.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Time

Family picture by Heather

You may of noticed my two year absence, but most likely it is limited to an audience of about 5 or less. That's ok. Who knew the blog fad would last this long and be such a central piece of many of our lives. Ha! Obviously, I am a slow learner.
Regardless of the millions of blogs out there, I decided I should keep this piece of web real estate and do something with it. What exactly; I am not sure. Waiting is sometimes sitting and resting, but there are often lots that we should/can do as we wait. Hmmm, I think I wrote a post on that subject before.
Much has happened in two years, most that could be summed up in pictures and a few words. If you have young children you've heard many times; 'The days are long, but the years are short' and oh. my. that is true. These last two years have been very different though, as the kids have grown into such a fun and more 'manageable' stage. For the first few years, it was all about surviving, but the last two years we've finally begun to thrive. Part of that was learning to be more intentional and realizing I needed to because the time was precious. So, as I've been learning how to do this, some of what I enjoyed went on the back burner, but now it is time.
Many prayers, questions, books, loads of laundry and thousands of meals later I come back to this. A little place that may never amount to anything, but might bring me some joy. A time to write outside my personal journal; to someone, even if it is just one.
I'm fairly certain, it won't be everyday, but I hope once a week. I might talk about some of those stellar books I've read or maybe just share about the birthday celebration we've had. Who knows, I might delve into the deeper issues of the day, but mostly it will be as I 'feel' led. Feelings aren't truth, but sometimes they can steer us in the right direction.
On that note, I will leave you with this. Our pastor's wife spoke for our quarterly 'Girls Night' and shared a fantastic word on "Faith or Feelings?". The link will take you to a list of podcasts that can be opened in iTunes for easy listening. (it's free!)
Love all who took the time to read this!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Birthday!


Well, I really did plan to do this the day of his birthday, but Photobucket and I don't always get along. It seems they probably made things new and improved, but I can't figure the dang thing out. Anyone have an opinion about Flickr?
Beside my technological ineptness, Myles' birthday was perfect! Truly such a special, special day.  The girls both have school on Monday's and we had some plumbing issues at home which needed Spencer's attention; i.e. backed up sewage in the basement. Gross! I digress. We dropped the girls off, which allowed Spencer to get to see their classrooms and meet the teachers. Since he leaves at 6:15 every morning he misses all the school getting ready, drop off fun. Oh, and let me tell you it is fun. ha!
We decided we needed to start the day off right with coffee (for us) and a donut for Myles. He got to pick it out himself and enjoyed every bite. He was such hoot to watch eat that thing, icing and sprinkles first. After that we headed to the zoo to get a few animals in before we had to meet the plumber back home. It was so great to just have one kid!!! Don't get me wrong, but it was almost like a date with just one child to take around. We basically did all the "rides" through the zoo and savored the ideal weather. Since Myles still doesn't talk, we mostly had  uninterrupted conversation. He fell asleep on the way back; which was totally unlike him, we picked up Haydee and then got back in time for the plumber. Yeah! No more poop in our basement.
After swim lessons and dinner Myles got to rip into some of his gifts. It was so sweet how he oohed and aah-ed over every gift and wanted to take time to play with each one. He truly got so much joy over every item wrapped for him. I loved it!
We topped the evening off with some DQ ice cream and some Facetime with Gram and Papau while he opened the toys they sent.
Myles is so much fun and I still am praising the Lord for giving me a boy. Such a unique adventure after muddling through trying to get two girls through their toddler years. He loves to wrestle, hit things, throw things, and yet he is my tenderhearted cuddle-bug; if he sits still long enough. Having learned a few things with the first two I also enjoy being a parent to him even more. Some of the mystery is figured out, I suppose. Or maybe, I have just learned to relax a bit more and treasure the simple moments. Which is probably why even though his vocabulary is fairly limited I am not stressing about it too much. He cracks everybody up with his caveman grunts and clever ways of communicating without words. I mean the kid has got it figured out; I think he just enjoys not having to make the effort of forming words and yet gets everything he wants. Males. I know what you are thinking, and yes, I have spent over 20 minutes trying to get him to say something he wants before I give it to him, but this guy is as stubborn as his sisters,combined. He loves animals now, plastic, stuffed and real. Cars, trains, and planes. Old-school Fisher Price people and playing outside. If everything could be outside, he would be in heaven.
Enjoy the pictures, you'll have to click the link and it will open in another window.
Happy Birthday sweet boy!!!!
http://s1088.photobucket.com/albums/i332/spenceramywicks/Myles%202nd%20birthday/?albumview=slideshow