Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I love this season!

It can't really be mid-November! Where has the time gone? We have had a wonderful fall thus far. I have enjoyed fall traditions more this year than ever. We have marvelled at God's handiwork in the fall leaves, made batches and batches of pumpkin muffins, and I have fallen for hot teas and a new type of coffee that I don't seem to have a funny reaction to. We have also enjoyed many nights and mornings by the fire already, both inside and outside. We have discovered that we have a wonderful place on our property for night time bonfires. We have even been out with a glass of wine to enjoy by the bonfire after the kids are tucked in. I am going to miss the fall. I can't bring myself to shop for Christmas presents right now. I don't want to miss an afternoon to enjoy these last few days of my favorite season of the year.

Above are my boys waiting patiently for Mommy and #3 to get on our Sunday accessories and get on our way to church. They were so sweet and patient and cute while they were waiting and watching me apply the lipstick and earrings, wrestle the big bow on the baby's head, find her prettiest blanket because the regular cotton one just wouldn't do, etc. I took a picture for posterity. Maybe I will show it to them one day when they are engaged and remind them of the patience that women require. PS...I cut their hair myself! I am learning slowly but surely how to be a good steward of what God has given us, which doesn't come naturally. I saved $25 on their hair and $15 when I cut my man's...I admit I immediately wondered what I could now buy with the $40 I saved, but I dismissed that thought and left it in the bank!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The silver lining

God is really doing a marvelous work in my soul regarding my ministry here at home. I wrote in an earlier blog that I brought the kids home early from our beach trip a few weeks ago. That trip began the humbling lesson that God has been teaching me. In a nutshell, our trip to the beach was a struggle for me. My husband was asked to do a 30 minute lecture per day on creationism. The group he was speaking to was a homeschool co-op called Living Science. The kids were in high school. We went with the expectation of him being able to help with our kids during the day and afternoon, and then spend the evenings with the group. Once we got there he was asked to be with the group the whole day, every day. I was left with my newborn and two boys in a motel room. It was difficult to take the kids to the pool because the baby and I could not get in the water, and the beach was okay but very windy. By Wednesday all of the children had bad colds. So we came home. This trip was a trial for me because the majority of the time I was handling all three children alone in an unfamiliar and not ideal setting and then I traveled 6 1/2 hours home alone, only stopping to breastfeed.

So that was the down side, but isn't it just like God to have a silver lining? The up side was that I got to talk with some of the chaperones on the trip and be very encouraged for our road ahead with homeschooling. I got to see the most emotionally, academically and spiritually mature teenagers I have ever been around, and that was very encouraging! But most importantly, I learned something very important in my marriage. I learned that submitting to my husband is of upmost importance. I drove back home from a "failed trip" so tempted to have an "I-told-you-so" attitude towards my man. After all, who asks their wife to hit the road for 12 days with a newborn? But if I would not have heard God's sweet voice and listened, I would have missed out on so much. Yes the trip was a trial, but it was God's desire for me. My husband was not wrong in requiring me to go. I realized, by God's grace, the He is sufficient for me. I don't have to always be comfortable or organized or have it easy to be in His will. He taught me the strength I have when I look to Him. He allowed me to meet some amazing families and be encouraged enough to commit to homeschooling for the long run. He enabled me to not be mad at my husband for the mess we seemed to be in, but to seek out what God wanted me to learn. All of these lessons are things that I struggle with. I am constantly amazed at how God works in our lives.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My equivalent to Disney World

This week for me is the equivalent to a child's week at Disney World. I am so excited about it. The week began with Sunday when my parents were here and then we hosted our community group from church. I love beginning my week with worship at church and good fellowship with this group. I am learning in a rich way the deep blessing our Father gives us as we live in community with His body of believers. Then yesterday I met my dear friend and her three sweet children at the museum. We enjoyed hours and hours of uninterrupted conversation, a rare treat. Today I got to go to the grocery store alone. I love my kids, but this was again a rare treat. (Which would explain why I came home with delicacies that I usually don't have the time to think about...sun dried tomatoes, white wine, etc.) Tomorrow and Thursday will be low key days at home, which I am thrilled to have. I bought some storage containers and plan to continue my project in the school room of organizing and removing toys that the boys have outgrown. (Let me take this opportunity to make a plug for label makers. If you don't have a labeller, you NEED one. I'll take some pics later of how I use mine...everything from art supplies to toy bins are labelled in my house. :) ) Thursday night I am having a little Bible study with one of my closest friends here. We are reading The Ministry of Motherhood together, a must read for all moms! I have read it at least twice, but I can't wait to hear my friend's fresh perspective. Friday the same friend and another mom and all of our kids are going to have a playdate here at the house. Saturday we are having two of my man's former co workers and their families over to watch a college football game.

Having said all of this I realize we are having four events at our house in one week! I am finally ready to join the land of the living after #3's birth. I am so excited to be at a point where we can open our home to our friends and family again. It is good to feel rested and be able to serve again. I'm sure I'll be blogging on how exhausted I am next week, but for now I am going to enjoy each fun day. I definitely need time alone, time with my kids, time alone with my man, etc. But right now I am just craving time with friends after the first 6 post partum weeks. This truly is like a week at Disney... all I am missing is a Starbuck's and a shopping spree to call it a vacation!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Our little pumpkins

We had a fun Halloween. The boys, Mimi and I went trick-or-treating. There are so many kids here in our new neighborhood. I saw several families with children the same age as ours. I want so much to connect with them, but it is hard to. People are just so busy and kids aren't free to roam the streets. I am sure through prayer God will allow our paths to cross with whom He chooses. Anyway, the boys were so grown up. I can vividly remember a couple of years ago when they were too scared to walk to the doors and speak up. Last night we stood at the road and watched them walk up all of the driveways and sidewalks and say, "Trick or treat!" without any help. They just seemed so big!

I almost forgot to carve jack-o-lanterns this year. The afternoon of Halloween I remembered and we all piled in the van to find the last remaining pumpkins. The perks were that the pumpkins were practically free ($1 each), and they were very ripe which made them soft and easy to carve. The kids drew their own designs on the pumpkins with a marker and their Daddy did the carving. I bought a kids' book at the Christian bookstore about Halloween. It talked mainly about not having a "spirit of fear" when they see pretend ghosts, etc. No impressive theology, but good preparation before trick-0r-treating. The night was so beautiful. The fall trees even looked amazing in the street light and the air was cool and crisp, but not frigid.

The baby stayed home happily with Daddy to hand out candy. She has always been mostly good natured, but since we cut out dairy and began a daily regimen of Zantac she had blossomed. She flirts and smiles now frequently. We are all captivated. She looked at #1 and smiled at him for the first time today. We were at the mall. There was hardly anyone there and the kids were waiting for me in the restroom. All of a sudden I hear #1 squeal and he screams, "Mama, Mama, she smiled at me!" It was the first thing he shared with his Daddy when we got home. My family blesses me so much each day!