Friday, April 20, 2012

The Last Decade

So I turn 30 next Friday. Oh my goodness, I can't believe I've been alive for three decades. THREE DECADES! Wow. I am not feeling sad about turning 30 but more in awe of the fact that I am at this point in my life. A friend recently told me that being 30 is being young with a good dose of wisdom. I think I like that!
As a way to commemorate this occasion in my life, more so for myself and my own memory than anything else, I would write a record of the things that have been worked in my life in the last 10 years.

A little scripture first!:
"For this reason I kneel before the father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide, and how long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to experience this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen". Ephesians :14-21

Starting in 2002 I...

  • had lived on my on for 2 years and would do so for the next two years
  • Traveled with 11 people who changed my life forever--60 concerts in 60 days
  • Met the man of my dreams, the one created just for me 
  • Sent thousands of e-mails and spent thousands of hours on the phone to the said man
  • Worked reception jobs and swore I would never do it again (and I haven't)
  • Fought with roommates 
  • Walked to buy groceries because I didn't own a car
  • Sang my heart out 
  • Overcame depression 
  • Wrote more papers & read more books than I care to remember 
  • Sang in a group or choir concert every Sunday, sometimes twice in one day
  • Lived with my sister & and brother in law for 3 months too long
  • Got engaged
  • Worked 2 jobs, went to school full time and planned a wedding occurring in another city
  • Loved roommates
  • Got a car so I no longer had to walk to buy groceries
  • Graduated college debt free--Keith, I'll never be able to repay you! 
  • Went on 2 other musical tours
  • Got married 
  • Moved to a whole new city 
  • Got my first "real" job at my first ever real interview and actually applied my degree knowledge
  • Moved into our first 'nice' apartment and no longer fought with roommates--I was in love with my forever roommate! 
  • Got a pay check instead of a report card
  • Learned about homelessness up close and personal
  • Made a commitment to a body of believers 
  • Became an aunt--one of the most thrilling roles of my life! (Olivia)
  • Worked until I cried, and then kept on working 
  • Bought a house
  • Fixed up the fore mentioned house
  • Enjoyed the bliss of a clean-kid-free-house
  • Became an aunt again (Lila) 
  • Got pregnant
  • Kept working until I cried
  • Stopped working
  • Became a mom
Now I have to stop right here...becoming a mom at 25 was my life long dream...had no idea that it would actually happen just at that time. Being a mom is more than I ever though or imagined it could be and is such a gift--a gift of life, a gift of lessons, of challenges, of blessings, of pain and of so many other things that I cannot wait to discover.  OK back to the list
  • Became an aunt again (Corey III) 
  • Became a true friend and received true friends 
  • Participated in a small group that continues to shape mine and Owen's life 
  • Learned how to be a wife and a mommy
  • Helped to start a 'play group' that has turned into a 'life line' in my life! 
  • Became a mom again
  • Survived postpartum depression
  • Became a runner 
  • Learned how to LOVE mothering 
  • Learned how to be a real sister 
  • Lost 3 babies 
  • Learned how to love other women & mothers and point them to Christ 
  • Started co-leading a small group with Owen and another couple--outside of marriage and our kids, our source of greatest joy & blessing! 
  • Became an aunt for the 4th time (Maureen)
  • Became a mom for the third time 
  • Ran my first 1/2 marathon and survived
  • Consider myself a runner now
  • Am back to my "pre baby" weight (plus or minus 3-5 lbs depending on the day) haha
  • Became a landlord
  • Became a "renter" again--this time from our in-laws. 
  • Became an aunt for the 5th time (Callan) 
  • Have found that daily leaning on Christ to do this mom & wife thing is the only way any of this really works! 
These are just the "bullet points", obviously! With each point, there is a whole slew of emotions and an entire story. I have already seen Him "do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine". And I am only 30. I can't wait for the next 30 years--to be "filled up to the measure of all the fullness of God." 
It's been a joy to have shared the last 10 years with those in Azusa and now here in Phoenix. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Chair

 I went over to a girl friend's house one day and saw these three chairs--well not these three chairs. I said how I loved them and she said "You want 'em?". Those hot little babies were in my hands...and then sat un-touched in the basement for the past 5 months. Then Owen and I finally got around to painting them about 2 months ago and FINALLY today I was able to find fabric to recover the seat cushions.
I can't pick which one is my favorite. I think it's the blue--but then I LOVE the trend of yellow & grey--although I think this chair is way too trendy for me. But someone will love it. Yep, they're for sale. If you are interested please contact me!

A special delivery

 Clara has been in love with the "green blanket" since she was about 6 months. I have many pictures of her snuggling up to this sweet little knitted blanket from my Aunt Vickie. After 4 years of daily love, this blanket is more like a rope now than a sweet snuggly "green blanket". My dad was here for a visit recently and he saw the old blanket...and requested that a new one be made by his sister. Above is Clara receiving the package in the mail.
 The first look.
The first snuggle. She easily handed over the old blanket (which I put away for safe keeping) and has been enjoying it ever since. Thank you Aunt Vickie. A special gift and something that we will treasure forever!

Easter Pictures

 2012 Family Easter Picture
 Noni with the grand kids
 Easter Egg Hunt with all the cousins.
 The pretty girls!
 Noni with her spread of grand children. This is one blessed lady to have 8 grand kids all under 6 years of age!
The whole fam

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Easter Sneak Peak

For our family Easter is significant. We believe, the most significant moment in history is celebrated on this day...Jesus Christ rose from the dead conquering sin! We love celebrating at church and reminding our children (and us) of His deep love for us. 

That does not stop us however from having fun too. These little goodies were from Grandma and Grandpa. Each picture of the kids in their bunny mask is such a reflection of their personalities. More to come! 

Home School

Although I believe I've mentioned on this blog that we are home schooling the kiddos at this point, I don't believe I've ever posted about what that looks like for us. And to keep it real, I'll show an activity that didn't go quite as planned. But before that, here's the background. I started in October, I have a very basic preschool curriculum for Clara and then on top of that I've added a "Letter of the Week", a perpetual calendar and writing practice. Clara's doing fantastic! She actually read her first three words last week which was such a thrilling moment for me. She has a ways to go before she is "reading" but she's taking steps in the right direction. We have a devotional time before school each morning with Clara and Judah. Wesley still takes a morning nap so he's usually sawing logs while we're doing that--but eventually he'll join us! Then after the devotional we do our calendar and lesson time. Judah will either sit "quietly" with us or he'll play in the play room. 
Don't get me wrong, Clara has had her moments of fighting me on the school thing, shouting that she doesn't want to answer me, refusing to do any of the activity sheet, or flat out choosing to do something wrong even when she knows the right answer, I have not lost heart. Right now things are going great although I've learned already in home schooling, just when I think we're on the right path and I say something about it, the next week is very challenging--I am shocked at how her mind absorbs information, small facts, concepts. I am filled with joy that her heart is becoming softened to the gospel and I am so satisfied that I am her teacher. Our goal this year was to establish a learning routine, establish right relationships and a deep love for learning. I feel we're reaching those goals on most days. I can't wait until next year when we start a more in depth curriculum. I'll keep you posted on what we choose. 

Now on to that not so ideal home school enrichment activity! About every 5 weeks or so I do an activity with all three kids to help reinforce letter concepts & sounds. I had seen may a home schooling mama's do the shaving cream activity where kids get to "write" letters in the shaving cream. The tactile activity helps them better visualize and remember sounds & shapes. Maybe my kids were just too young for this one. Wesley as you can see was doing nothing but eating the shaving cream. Despite my best efforts, I could not keep it from going his mouth! You'd think the taste would deter him, but nope, he really liked it. 
 I think we got to the letter "D" in the alphabet before I had to call it a free for all. Although Clara was engaging the activity, I couldn't give her the prompting she needed to keep going because I was too busy with Wesley eating it...and Judah--he was so upset his hands & clothes were dirty.
So although my kiddos did not learn more about the alphabet that day, I learned something--shaving cream activities are not my thing. 

 Another benefit I am finding with home schooling is that I am with my kids--although at times it can be draining and I often need a little break (ummm hello NAP time!) there is nothing better than to share every moment with Clara, Judah and Wesley. We are planning our own adventures, setting our own schedules and learning to love each other along the way.
Although I don't think I'll be a "lifer" as the home schooling world calls it, I would not change a thing right now.

A Wedding

 We recently had the privilege of attending cousin Jamie's wedding. Although Wesley wasn't part of the bridal party, he had no problem giving smiles and hello's whenever a camera was in his face!
 Clara was a fairy girl along with two others sweetie pies. Her dress was fantastic and she also sported fairy wings  an ivy head piece.
 Judah was part of "The Circle of the Rings"--ha ha. The cape was ridiculously cute.

Clara and Olivia were obviously thrilled to spend some time together! 

This wedding was pretty special, because just a few years ago Jamie was going through a very difficult time in her life. A time that seemed to have no end, but God knew there would be an end and used those difficult moments to prepare her to start a future! God is merciful to no end, and faithful even when we think the cause is lost. Congratulations Jamie and Sam!