I love this family.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Their favorite breakfast was served on the last full day of school:
Unbelievable display of God's beauty and power!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I finally got rid of the grass, mulched, planted flowers, and rearranged some things yesterday. I hung flower boxes under the windows. I moved some of the patio chairs to the front "porch" (really walk way) and got a new door mat. Then I painted the rail on the porch black.
~new black shutters
~new red door
Today is the last day of school for the boys! SUMMER BREAK STARTS TOMORROW!!
Friday, May 20, 2011
The baker's rack serves as the kids' dumping station. Still dreaming of changing the carport into a sunroom/mudroom. Some day...
This bench and the coat closet are on the wall to the left of the front door. The hall way to the bedrooms are just to the right of the bench.
Love the yellow on the pillows, but hate the fabric. Maybe I'll recover them this summer. Maybe not!
This room is one of my favorites in the house! I sit in the corner of the sectional when I have a quiet time, the perfect place for morning sun and coffee. And I snuggle there in the evenings after the kids are in bed for a whole 3 minutes with Andy before we are both sound asleep! :)
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
On Friday the children had Spanish day at school. Each grade had to bring in a different type of Spanish art project. Joshua won first place for the maraca section, which he was so excited about. There's something really fun about boys and blue ribbons. We had pizza for dinner and movie night with our sweet little neighbor who lives at our house these days. (I am pretty sure she was here until bed time every night this week. What a privilege for us.) Saturday I went on a women's conference with the ladies at church. We heard a powerful message and I enjoyed the time away with new friends. I think this was my first time to get away without the children since we moved here. Sunday we enjoyed a stimulating lesson on church history in Sunday school and a beautiful worship service. The sermon was very encouraging for me, what a gifted pastor we have! Then on Sunday afternoon Lydie and I went to a baby shower and Olympic/Banana Split night at church. The boys took the afternoon to go fishing on the lake. It was all good fun.
Something significant changed for me this weekend. My heart has just not been completely in this place. It has been hard for me to enjoy anything without missing something that we left behind. But by God's grace, I have been able to let go. I do not mean let go of friendships. I plan to take those to eternity. I just mean let go of what we had and truly embrace what is now. I looked at Andy on the way home from church and said, "Okay. I'm ALL in." He knew exactly what I meant. Not just with our church, but with everything. For the first time, I am going to let go of what could have been and allow myself to dream about what could be here in our new home and community (without feeling overwhelmed with heart ache). And maybe tomorrow I will be back to square one. Maybe letting go has to be done dozens of times. But I know God is at work in my heart and it's exciting.
Regarding being "all in", we have decided to take the same attitude with our school. We were on the fence as to whether or not to leave and homeschool or stay. While the school is wonderful in so many ways, it is different in so many ways from the education I had chosen when I homeschooled. But God has opened one exciting door for me to be involved (teaching art), along with several other significant possibilities. And I strongly feel like we need to be deeply entrenched in this community of people. So we are committing to another year. Lydie will be going to school next year, too. I can see where God might use me, and I pray for His grace to shine the light of Jesus to those around us and bring Him glory. My new friend Laura Beth had a huge impact on this decision. When I called her with concerns she invited the kids over for Popsicles and Wii and sat on her porch swing and patiently listened to me. What God used from our conversation was her observation that quite often with churches people don't like something and so they leave to form a new church. The common result in small towns like the one we live in is dozens of lukewarm churches instead of a handful of strong churches. And God used those words to convict me to stay and share my ideas, time, gifts, and see what God does.
This weekend has been a good one. Accepting God's will for me, even when it has been against what I desired, has been a huge challenge. I have felt a combination of anger, remorse, regret, sorrow, sadness, and defeat. As I am beginning to have a change of heart, I am feeling many new and amazing feelings. For example, the joy of blind obedience, the fulfillment of recognizing idols and casting them away, the deep longing that is fulfilled when I serve others and put their needs ahead of my own. And I need to remember that I can not choose Christ and love others for a single moment without taking refuge in Him alone. That's my prayer today for our family- that we will not just talk about our Savior, but that we would know Him more through His Word and prayer and that He would then use us as instruments of His grace. No matter what we desire, that He would use us for His good purposes!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
So I said a quick prayer and dug in. This moment is what all those nights of prayer are for, after all, right? I looked at Josh and smile and touched his sweet little tense shoulders. "Well, Joshua. Here's what I think. You have no idea what s-e-x even is. But I will tell you it has nothing to do with girlfriends. It has to do with husbands and wives and something an 8 year old boy should have no conversations or concerns about. Are you okay with waiting a few years before I tell you more about sex?" He nods. "Okay, so here's the plan. Those three boys seem to get in trouble a lot. Maybe you should help them when you can, play chase with them, etc. The Bible says that we are all sinful. You and I have the same sinful heart that they do, we're all in need of a Savior. So to honor God and keep from sinning, just flee evil. When they talk or act in a way that is not pleasing to God, just get away from them and find another friend." He nods and hugs me and apologizes for "all the trouble" (cause he's a sweetheart). We pray and I watch him walk into school with a stomach ache. I sit there stunned. Sex...second grade...Christian school? But why I am I stunned, really?
I go inside and find the teacher and let her know what happened. She says she is heart-broken and apologizes profusely. She says, "I know you didn't bring these sweet boys here in order for them to hear stuff like this." I think she might cry. She agrees to pray and handle it. I trust her.
On the way home I decide maybe this was all good. It was good to see the boys' passion for doing the right thing. It is good to be reminded to pray for their protection, as well as the other children's. It is good to remember the depravity of the human heart and how utterly dependent we are on the love of Jesus to transform us. And it was good to be in a situation where the boys and I were on a team together, with a plan. I needed a wake-up call.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Pictured above: Lydie girl saying, "Here Mommy! A gift for you!
Monday, May 09, 2011
We took NO pictures yesterday (broken camera lense). But I did take some time to really reflect on my mother relationship with each child, where we are and what I can see coming in the near future. I love having no toddlers/no teenagers right now. Those stages are wonderful, but this rare time is probably the most simple I will have until my children are all grown. The children still all play together, giggle, etc. And no one needs a nap or diaper change. So uncomplicated!
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Other fun activities: Jack and several of the girls in his class Hansel and GretelThe Princess and the Pea bed Maypole danceKnights Princesses