Sunday, February 28, 2010

February highlights from school time

Gershwin inspired us to dance, sing, and draw.

The Valentine's party gave us extra baking time together.

We enjoyed some simple Valentine themed art, just for fun.

Our history book carried us further into the Middle Ages...

Charles Martel & the "army of ice"
Flying carpets, Arabian Nights, history of Islam
Sherlock and Watson take their history test, detective-stlye
February has been a great month. We are ready for March!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Her poignant request

When I tucked the kids in bed last night, Lydie said,

"Mommy? Promise you will never go to work?"
I have never "been to work" since becoming a mom. I guess she was asking me to not go where Daddy goes every day. I am so thankful for the financial freedom to do as I desire, and stay home with my children. Some days I think, "This is it. This is the last day I can do this!" The amount of needs and constant tasks overwhelm me. But in that moment by her bed, I knew all of the mundane, exhausting, difficult moments are all worth it. This is where God has called me for this season in my life. Being where He individually calls is the best place to be-wherever that may be.

Praying for a heart and ear that listens for His voice (which sometimes is spoken through the heart of a three year old).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My sweetie

My adorable middle son has always captivated a very soft, mushy part of my heart. He is a boy of few words, but oh does he communicate with hugs and kisses. He loves to run fast and play hard, but he also appreciates beauty. He tells me frequently, "Your dress looks nice, Mommy." or "I like your hair that way." He will bless some pretty, sweet girl with the gift of encouraging words some day. It was either him or his brother, I can't remember which, that told me the other day, "If you were one of Snow White's dwarfs, you would be called Pretty Dwarf." Made my day.

The house is quiet today because he is feeling a little sick and sleepy. When one of the kids is not feeling well, it is good to recognize just how much his personality adds to the dynamic of our family life. I have laughed less, been less energetic, and felt less appreciated due to the decrease in his affection. During times like this I can't help but be sad a little that one day he will grow up and have another home. But for today, I will put that cold fact out of my mind and enjoy kissing his little forehead and telling him how sorry I am that he is feeling badly. I will tuck in his covers and make a run to McDonalds for him. And I will pray a little more than usual for him. I am so privileged to share my days with such a vivacious, easy-going soul!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Retreat with friends about friendship

Our church had our winter women's retreat in the mountains this past weekend. It was relaxed and light-hearted. I even managed to forget from time to time that this would probably be the last time I would be on a retreat with my friends from this church. I guess because of that very reason, I took very little pictures of friends. Maybe I thought it would seem too final. But I did get a few pictures of our beautiful scenery.

I was asked to share about mentoring on Sunday at our worship service. Although I only had a couple of days to pull the message together, I enjoyed the time with the Lord preparing and he equipped me with the words to say. I am not letting myself wonder how it might have been "better" with more time. :) God is good to give us those occasions when He calls us to be His instruments of grace and share experiences or passions. This weekend was the highlight of my month.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Her confused compassion

Lydie has really been impacted by our effort to pray and support the victims in Haiti. We have made only a tiny contribution, but she loves being in the middle of it. The only thing is, she seems to be a bit confused. Last week she prayed frequently, "Please give Haiti a bed and a new Mommy. Where is she going to sleep all alone?" And then Andy told me that this weekend she prayed, "God, I love Haiti. She's so sweet. Please help my friend." My darling girl. I hope she always loves to pray and help.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Daily News

A few typical moments from our life...

Now that Lydie is not in preschool, she is always, always with the boys. She is either doting on them, trying to keep up, or causing trouble.
In fact, last night in the car Jaybird said, "Lydie, when you are a teenager you are going to be a nightmare, I tell ya. I'll be an adult by then and raising a couple a kids, I guess. So I won't have to put up with you. We need to work on some stuff, girl! When Toot reminded J that he would be only 19 when Lydie turns 13 and becomes a teenager, this was J's reply: "I know. I don't want to be married then. But I'll have already adopted a couple of orphans."
Here she is describing with her hands how much she loves the cat at this particular moment. She added, "That's NOT much."

We can be found doing too much art and some times not enough math. It's a personal weakness I am working on. We just got through the first half of our math lessons this week. Oh well, looks like we will be crunching numbers in June. At least that will be less time over the summer break for them to forget what they have learned!

Lydie is writing most of her letters now. She wrote her name on a piece of paper for my friend last night and had me ask if she would put it on her refrigerator. She has no trouble believing that her stuff is special and convincing others to believe it, too. Here is some of her alphabet right now:

We read a lot...
which inspired Lydie to come to my computer (in her pink leotard, of course) and "write a letter to the offer (author)". She said it was all good stuff and to "keep up the good work!" She's mastered the mouse/computer and knows how to press print (unfortunately). She types many a memo these days.

And, we've enjoyed the beautiful snow lately. I hope we get more this winter. Speaking of the cold, off to make some hot chocolate!

Many thanks

We owe an enormous amount of gratitude to so many of our friends and family. During some rough times with our extended family, God has once again provided gifts that declare his faithfulness and compassion for us. Some are tangible, but mostly I am referring to the amazing love and support we feel.
Thank you, thoughtful Mimi and Papa, for taking the children from Friday morning until Monday. I can not express how much the rest meant to us. I actually sat for 5 hours straight with coffee and a book in front of the fire. We talked and laughed and napped all weekend.

Thank you, precious friend, for the gifts you and your amazing husband gave to us on Friday. You are two of the most generous people I know. I can not wait to see how God continues to bless you for your kindness. I am praying for that for you! Ruth Chris Steakhouse and the Ballet? Really? We are lavishly loved.

Thank you to all who have been praying for us. We did not have to be part of an intervention, per say. But, counselling is under way. I really feel like healing is coming for my hurting family member and those around her. Praise God!

One more thing, who in the world paid for me to go on the Women's Retreat? Whoever did it has insisted on anonymity. If you read my blog, I will be praying for you faithfully. You have overwhelmed me with your love, and the love of my heavenly Father.

I wish there was more to say. I am deeply grateful and eager to pay it forward!
"Oh Lord that lends me my life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!"
~William Shakespeare

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Love-ly party

We celebrated Valentines today with friends here at the house. We enjoyed cupcakes, play time, exchanging Valentines, and praying for/making cards for the children in Haiti. These sweet little ones gave $40 from their little piggy banks, along with other items. We had about 10 minutes of prayer together for the victims of the earthquakes. I began, and the children prayed as they wanted. Oh, their prayers melted my heart. Sweet, heart-felt, compassionate. Such enormous, simple faith.

A group shot, minus just one family.

The sugar high begins...

Here they are all over the house making their cards together.

Every time I look at this little guy I think, "Couldn't I have just one more little boy, Lord?"

One of the older girls wrote inside her card: "Hi, I'm Olivia. Do you know about God? He is your Savior. And if you believe in Him He will save you from sin."

The boy:girl ratio today was 5:15. Deep down, I don't think the boys cared, though.

This is Lydie's best friend. They are both vivacious, charming, and cute! This was a really good day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Fine Arts"

Our morning school classes were as follows:
:::Baking 101:::

:::Hairstyling 101:::

:::Holiday Decorating/Party Planning 101:::

:::Art with Hearts 101:::

This afternoon we will have to really hit the books! (But right now, I am enjoying our morning.) Can't wait to host our friends tomorrow for our Valentine party/mercy project. We're ready!