Saturday, December 18, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree....

Our tree was up with lights strung.   The decorations weren't up yet.  There just hadn't seemed to be enough time.

We spent time visiting with friends in their homes one weekend.  The first evening I took notice of the tree in the living room.  Decorated to match the room in a crisp apple red.  The gifts under the tree wrapped perfectly to match.  We spent the rest of the evening in their beautifully, newly remodeled basement family room.  In that room sat a tree decorated in blue; the perfect accent color to the brown hues in the rest of the room.  The gifts also wrapped to match the tree they sat under.   They also had a beautifully decorated tree in the master bedroom.

The second evening we spent in the new home of our very good friends.  The previous owners of the home could not take the their Christmas tree with them so our friends were able to purchase it and use.  I think it was like 13 feet high!!!  I really don't know how tall it was but my friend needed a ladder to decorate it!!!  The towering, giant evergreen adorned in red was breathtaking!   

As I lay in bed that night thinking back on the trees we had seen I realized I was having tree envy.  The trees that I had seen over the weekend all could have been in Christmas magazines.  Mine sat in our living room, undecorated, with lights falling off from curious cats.  I knew it would be decorated eventually but my tree would not be fit for a magazine.  

I sighed.  "Everyone has such pretty Christmas trees."

"I think your tree says a lot about who you are."  My Sweetie commented.

I had decided that today was the day that the tree would be decorated.  I carried up the containers that held our decorations from our basement and gently pulled them out one by one holding them for just a second before placing them on the table.  

There were several "Babies First Christmas" ornaments.  Ornaments my mom bought for our boys every year with their names and dates on them.  Ornaments that My Sweeties mom either bought or made our boys every year.  Ornaments that were My Sweeties when he was a child.  Ornaments that we brought home with us from Disney world.  Ornaments with younger, sweet faces of our boys sprinkled with glitter. Ornaments that were made by our boys and given to us as gifts.

It was like opening a box of memories.  Everyone of these ornaments had either been given or made with love.  Everyone of these ornaments had a story behind them.  



At the end of the night, after the precious hands of anxious boys had carefully placed all of those memories on the tree so lovingly...



 I stepped back and took a look.

 It was just as breathtaking as the ones I had seen just a week ago.    It was sitting exactly where I had envisioned it to sit for our first Christmas in our yellow house on the prairie.  It was full of love, full of memories and looked so much more beautiful and more perfect than I had envisioned.

 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Christma Story *cubed*

Here are 3 different videos that I've seen posted on Facebook recently.  All tell the Christmas Story in a different way.   I couldn't decide which one to post so I chose all three.  Enjoy. 

This one made me chuckle a couple of times....



               
What if....Mary and Joesph had a facebook???  I thought this one was pretty powerful. 

           


And THIS is really what it's all about....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reminders from God

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel"  Isaiah 7:14

Immanuel:  God with us.

I was rolling this concept around in my head this evening as I drove through the dark night across the Mississippi bridge on my way home from running errands trying to "get done" with Christmas. 

The hustle and bustle of this busy time of year frustrates me more and more every year.  I'm trying to teach my children the true meaning of Christmas.  I'm trying to create memories that they will cherish when they are older.  I do want to give them that warm and fuzzy happy Christmas morning feeling that every parent wants their child to have.  I want to be a blessing to others so I mail Christmas Cards, bake goodies to give to friends and neighbors, buy gifts for the children on the angel tree.  There are Christmas programs and concerts that the kids are in.  Sometimes I find myself longing for the peace and quiet of January.

Through all of that, I need to keep reminding myself what is really important and that God is with us.  

Maybe I should restate that.

I need to BE reminded of what is important and that God is with me.

Today I was looking out the kitchen window and off in the distance I saw some sort of a hawk or eagle soaring in the air.  As it came closer to my home I could clearly see the majestic bald head of the eagle just before it flew over my house.

Almost instantly Isaiah 40:31 popped into my head.

"But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint"

God is with me in this season of busy and will keep me going.

This evening BuhBuh asked if he could wrap up one of his old toys and put it under the tree for Little Dude.  I really wanted to say no because it is a similar thing that Little Dude is getting on Christmas.  But I couldn't crush his gift-giving heart.  He later told me that Little Dude would really enjoy it much more then him.  He also whispered something in my ear that he'd like to give The Boy.  

God is with me and I can see Him in the heart and actions of my precious 8 year old.

As I hurried into town trying to keep all of the things of my to-do list straight I head the lyrics of a song playing on the radio, 

"Father, let the world just fade away
Let me feel your presence in this place
Lord, I've never been so weary
How I need to know you're near me
Father, let the world just fade away" (He Is by Mark Schultz)

God is with me, calming me and centering me back on what is really important.

On my way home the song that is the inspiration for a sermon that I'm working on came on.

God is with me as I remember this one-more-thing-on-my-plate thing, reminding me that it will be Him speaking through me on that Sunday morning.

And as I crossed the bridge on the last leg of my journey home I saw off in the distance a shooting star.  It took my breath away.  I was amazed.  A bald eagle and a shooting star in one day!!! WOW!

As if on cue, just after the shooting star vanished from sight another song on the radio.

Light light light up the sky
You light up the sky
To show me You are with me
I I I can't deny
No I can't deny that You are right here with me
You've opened my eyes
So I can see You all around me
Light light light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me
That You are with me (Light Up the Sky The Afters)

Apparently today I needed a lot of reminders that God is with me.

But I am so thankful for a God who is ever-present in my life; thankful for a God who loves me so much to keep reminding me until I get it; thankful for a God who is with me even when life is busy and I can't keep anything straight in my head; thankful for the baby who came in the manger to live among us, and die for us and still be with us. 



Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Car Talk

The following car talk is all from one ride, all within a few minutes of each other and all completely random.

BuhBuh:  Who anointed me?

Me:  Um, you mean baptized??

BuhBuh:  YEAH!!!!  Baptized!!!

*******************************************************


Do you recall this recent Car Talk??  Apparently some things have changed. 

BuhBuh:  Yeah, I don't wanna be a cop anymore because all 'dey really do is eat doughnuts.  ***lip smacking sound***


 ********************************************************
Me:  Hey!!  Did you use your giant pencil at school today??

BuhBuh:  Yup! 

Me:  Did anyone laugh??

BuhBuh:  Nope, but they were jealous!!!!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Ready to Learn

 "I'm ready for school,"  BuhBuh announced as he pulled out a larger than life pencil.  

He had gotten it as a Christmas gift from his Grandma and Grandpa.

I was attempting to get some breakfast ideas out of him as he pretended to do "homework" with this enormous pencil.  

"BuhBuh, are you listening,"  I asked.
"I'm doin' my homework," he let me know. 

**sigh**  He's a nut.  It's really hard not to laugh. 

Friday, December 03, 2010

Different

Me:  BuhBuh!  Were you suppose to be dressed up for the field trip to see the play today.

BuhBuh:  Yeah

Me:  Why didn't you tell me?

BuhBuh:  I like to be different!!!  **pause**  Just the way God made me. 

Me:  ***grin***

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lead Me

We had a MOPS speaker talk to us about marriage; one of my top three things to read about or hear a speaker present on being that I am constantly trying to be more of the wife that God had intended me to be to my husband.  I fall short.  Daily.  So when I heard our speaker was presenting on marriage I hunkered down with my pen and paper ready to take notes and be inspired.

She gave us word pictures.  

Mirror/Selfishness:   We often times point out the flaws we see in our husband.  But instead of pointing the mirror at us, we needd to turn that mirror around and look at ourselves and see what it is revealing about us.  She gave us a quote from an author which said, "One of the best wedding gifts God gave you was a full-length mirror called your spouse.  Had there been a card attached it would have said, "here's to helping you discover what you're REALLY like." (Gary and Betsy Ricucci)

Chairs:  What chair would our marriage sit in?  Chair #1 Exciting!  Love is new-hot, passionate, all consuming, giving, thoughtful.  Chari #2 Satissfying, Fullfilling-Love is not so new, but really good.  It's sometimes hot and passionate; it's been tested, good communication, best friends.  Chair #3 Routine-Love has grown stale, mediocre-not much attnetion has been paid to it so it's getting pretty mediocre, mundane.  Chair #4 Dead-Love is pretty dead.  You may still be together, but it's on the rocks as far as real fun, satisfaction, joy, friendship.  You're in the chair that no only you think you're in, but in the one your spouse thinks you're in.  (EEK!)

Love Bank:  We can't be writing checks on an account where no deposits are being made.  Eventually the bank will be dry.
Leftovers:  Our spouses often get the leftovers of our life when everything else is taken care of.  While children and our jobs/volunteer work may take a lot of time, our spouses need to be our top priority after Jesus.  Our spouses deserve our best, not our leftovers.

I didn't leave MOPS that Tuesday with the same warm and fuzzy, refreshed and filled up feeling I usually have. I left feeling very convicted. Which is good because I KNOW I needed it!  

So I went on my way with my day with this feeling of conviction in my heart and I was ready to be the wife God intended me to be for my husband. 

Unfortunately Satan was ready to pounce. 

And around 5 o'clock Satan struck and arrived as an unwanted dinner guest.  
I was frustrated with My Sweetie and grouchy with the kids and my mind was whirling with all kinds of not so nice things and my heart was hurting.

Then those word pictures stared to flash in my mind;chairs, love bank, leftovers!  

Ok God, yeah,I get it but, but, but what about me?  What happens when I feel like I'm getting the leftovers????

Another word picture flashed....selfishness and mirror!  

Ugh!  

I was feeling defeated and hopeless and I just wanted to go to bed and start again the next day. 

Then God reminded me of a song,one I thought my husband "just needed to hear".

So I pulled it up and listened. As I listened God convicted me again and that mirror I had been pointing towards my husband was now pointing at me; I was the one who needed to listen all along.


So I wanted to share with all of you....maybe its another God thing, maybe one of you need it too. There is a lyric which refers to "my wife" but if YOU are the wife, you can easily change it to "my husband" and it still applies.  

The end of the song is my favorite, its a prayer; one that I repeated over and over that evening in my kitchen.  It's a call out to God that we can't be the wives and mothers, husbands and fathers that God has created us and called us to be without HIM leading us. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Doors

We walked through the doors of that little blue house on Walnut Street in May of 1997.  I was 20, My Sweetie was 22.  He had just graduated from college, we had been married for just under a year and we had a 6 month old baby boy.  

I remember walking in those doors and feeling like I was finally able to breath for the first time in about a year.   It had been a whirlwind.  

 Just a year prior I was finishing up my sophomore year at college and planning a wedding.  We had gotten married in June; I had moved from my parents’ home into a small home of My Sweetie’s parents just after we were married which we lived in for about 2 months.  We then moved about an hour away to college where My Sweetie finished his senior year and worked.  Every weekend we packed up and came home to be with family so I could work.  In November we had a baby.  I had gotten a job back home so I moved in with my parents about 6 weeks before My Sweeties graduation going back to our apartment on my days off.  My Sweetie finished college in May and then we packed up and moved again into the little blue house on Walnut Street when he graduated.     

As we walked through the door I instantly felt at ease; I finally felt like I could start to get settled into our life.  Even though we would share the space with his family for a few more months until their house was finished being built, it didn’t matter because I knew I was home.  

Just inside the doors of that little blue house a lot of growing took place over those 13 ½ years; much like a baby growing in a mother’s womb; warm and safe, growing until it was time to leave the safety and warmth of the only thing that baby knew into something else warm and safe-a mother’s arms.  

Our maturity and wisdom grew;  our marriage grew into something more beautiful than any young, scared, 19 year old bride could have ever dreamt; our family grew to 3 boys; our boys grew more quickly than anyone ever told me they would; our faith grew into something I never could have even wrapped my mind around all those year ago.  

Then at just the right time we walked out of the doors of the safety and warmth of the only house our children had known, the house where we had spent most of our marriage, the house that had been cozy and comfortable (literally and financially) through the doors of another house that was warm and safe; The yellow house on the prairie. 

On a beautiful Friday afternoon in October our family pulled into the drive way of this yellow house on the prairie.  I unloaded the kids, their exciting squeals as I set them free made me smile.  I filled my arms with the first things to be carried into our new home and began to walk into the garage (Grin!!). 
   
“WAIT! WAIT! WAIT!!”  My Sweetie exclaimed, “Put your coffee down.  Put your stuff down.”  He said as he practically took it all out of my hands and put it down on the ground.  

My handsome groom led me to the front of the house, scooped me up into his arms and carried me over the threshold of the door to yellow house on the prairie.

“Welcome home,” he said and he bent down to kiss me.  

Home indeed is where we were and it felt good!!! 

Although that little blue house on Walnut Street was the place we called home for so many years and the place where all of our babies took their first steps and celebrated their first birthdays it’s really only a house.  All of those memories belong to me and my family, not the house.

The house is not what makes a home a home.  A home is created in the living, loving, growing and creating of memories by the family that lives just through the door of a house. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy 14th

Dear (sweet, God-Loving, smart,) Boy of mine,

Happy 14th Birthday.  


We were driving and discussing how you don't have a cell phone a few weeks back and I said, "I will consider allowing you to have a cell phone next year when you turn 15."  

I stopped. 

I gasped.  

I couldn't believe that i had said those words!!!  

"Next year when you turn 15!!!??"  

You were only 13, but only weeks away from a birthday.  

Wow.  

This fall you entered another school season of being the "big man on campus"  LITERALLY!!!  Not only are you a top dog 8th grader at school, but BOY oh BOY you have GROWN.  Last year at your birthday you were about caught up to your ole' mom in height.  This year there is no need to squint.  You have surpassed me in height.  Even when I'm in heels you are taller than me.  I know, I know, one of these days I will find myself looking up at your brothers too, but let me get use to looking up to you first, ok?  :)  

Not only have you grown physically this past year, you have really matured from a kid into a teenager.  You continue to make me proud in all that you do.  You chose to spend your spring break volunteering for a lunch program for kids who may not otherwise receive lunch on days when they aren't in school.  You ran the powerpoint for VBS at our church and run it every Sunday for service.  You chose to spend most of your summer growing in your faith by attending a leadership camp, going to Green Pastures for a Martial Arts camp focused on Defending your Faith and serving in St. Paul, MN on a mission trip.  We actually had conversations about you wanting to be away for another week of camp this summer but I selfishly wanted you home instead and wanted you to have some down time.  You are truly your happiest when you are in those settings among other peers who are strong in their faith and Loving the Lord.  I have been blessed to be with you a few times, watching from the back, seeing the different person you are there compared to the person who deals with the world within his school walls.  It's hard to be a teenager trying to fit in.  You are choosing to store up your treasures in heaven, not here.  You will look different to your peers who have made and will continue to make different choices.  I will continue to pray for you so that you can find the perfect balance between continuing to glorify God in your choices and feeling like you fit in among your peers.  God has great plans for you, I just know it.  I'm excited to to watch and be your support and encourager.   


You gave football a try again this year.  

You remained in one piece!!  You played hard and really began to understand the game.  Last year when I'd pick you up from practice you were beat.  This year when I'd pick you up from practice you were pumped up!!!  I had the best time watching and cheering for you from the sidelines.  This was the first time a fall sport ended that I was a little sad to see it end.  I had so much fun watching you play football and I thank God you didn't get hurt.  It's rough out there!  

Even though you are a cool teenager now, I did enjoy seeing you "play" this summer while we were on vacation.  You and your brother just loved digging in the sand along Lake Michigan.  Don't forget to be a kid.  I often tell you to "Just enjoy where you are now at the age you are now" because I don't want you to miss out on the blessings of today.   Life is short and you will be grown up before you know it and needing to make adult decisions.  So keep on digging.    


By the time I sit down to write you next birthday letter you will be in high school.  It seems like I was just freighting over you beginning middle school.  SEE!  Life does go fast.   

You aren't a big fan of mom's hugs anymore.  I thought that maybe I should just stop if you didn't like them and figure out a different way to let you know I love you.   But God placed in my life the wisdom of another mom who had raised boys as well.  She saw me hugging Little Dude as he ran into preschool one morning and she told me, "Don't ever stop hugging your boys.  I had boys and even if they don't like it, keep hugging them because one day they may want you to hug them again and if you have stopped hugging them you'll never know."  

So curl up in the fetal position all you want, I will never stop hugging you.  I don't care how tall you get, I don't care how old you get, I will never stop hugging you.  

Never forget how special you are to me...YOU made me a mom and I LOVE being a mom;  I LOVE being YOUR mom.  I love our good conversations, I love shopping with you, I love watching you play football, I love watching you play nicely with your brothers, I love watching you grow in your faith, I love your humor.  I will never stop cheering for you.  


Lots of Love and Happy Birthday!!!
Mom




Monday, October 25, 2010

Even There...

"Even there your hand will lead me" 
Psalm 139:10

 I was heading home from my first MOPS meeting of the year.  This verse was rolling around in my head.  It was our theme verse for the year.  (Isn't it a GOOD one!!!)

It was a beautiful September Tuesday afternoon.  I kept peeking over my shoulder to see if Little Dude had fallen asleep yet.  It wasn't until we reached our little town that sits along the banks of the Mississippi river that his eyes began to get droopy.  I decided to drive around just a bit longer to make sure he was good and asleep before going home and carrying him in the house.  

As I was driving I had this nudging to "drive by the house" 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

Not my house.  But a house that My Sweetie and I had looked at back in April. 

We had looked at the house several times, taken our parents through and then just dropped the subject. 

We didn't need to move.  But for the past 3 year have been causally looking on and off at houses. 

While visiting with his barber (ehem, who just so happens to also be a realtor!  Small town livin' IS the best!), My Sweetie learned that seller was to desperate to sell.  We knew that they had re-listed the house with a new real estate agency (the same agency that the barber/realtor guy works for, of course.) and had significantly dropped the price since we had looked at it last.  We had driven out to the house Sunday after Church and our interest in this home was perking up a bit.  

"Even there your hand will lead me"

As I turned onto the long, narrow country road that leads to the housing addition that the house was in, I giggled thinking how funny it would be if My Sweetie just happened to have driven out there also.  Perhaps THAT'S why I had such a strong nudging to drive out to the house. 

As I approached the neighborhood I could see the back of the house.  I gasped just a moment and in my head said, "That is MY house!"

"Even there your hand will lead me"

I turned into the neighborhood and then my heart stopped. 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

The sign was GONE! 

The Realtor lock box was GONE!!!! 

My stomach sank and I was ANGRY!!! 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

I attempted to call My Sweetie but only got his voice mail so left a cheery, "HEY!!  How's it going." message. 

Two year ago there were two houses that we were interested in.  We were ready to put an offer in on one and someone else did it before we did and we didn't do anything about it.  We put an offer on a second home and shortly after 2 more people put an offer in our the same home.  Our offer was countered but we chose to keep our offer on the table as it was. 


"Even there your hand will lead me"

So you can imagine how frustrated I was to see a third house that we were interested in to no longer have a sign in front.  A THIRD closed door????  UGH!!! 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

When I got home My Sweetie was on the phone.  Which would explain why I had gotten his voice mail.  After he was off the phone I told him he needed to call the Realtor and see what was going on!!!! 

Apparently the seller had decided to unlist it briefly to refinance the home since the rates were so low and since no one had been interested.  He was preparing to use it as a rental when his contract expired with the real estate agency. 

My Sweetie just so happened to live next door to the guy who lived next door to the house that was for sale and called him.   

 "Even there your hand will lead me"

 He was able to get the sellers personal phone number.  They talked for quite awhile, My Sweetie told him he was interested in the house, and would like to work with him privately. The next day the seller called My Sweetie saying he was going to re-list the house and if we'd like to work with him privately he'd be willing to do so once his contract expired in November. 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

This sounded like a GREAT plan to us!  We had time to prep our current home and could really look hard and close at our finances and be prepared!!!! 

The weight had been lifted. 

I was free to plan BuhBuh's birthday and get back to enjoying life. 

Less than 48 hours after the perfect plan was in place the phone rang. 

It was the seller. 

He had received an offer. 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

OF COURSE he received an offer, because WEEEEE WERE INTERESTED!!!!!  ****sigh**** 

 "Even there your hand will lead me"

He told us if we were interested that he would wait for us to make an offer but we had to do it quickly.  Otherwise he was going to accept the offer that had been made.

"Even there your hand will lead me"

So here we were feeling rushed, overwhelmed and unprepared to make such a huge decision in just a few short hours. 

 "Even there your hand will lead me"

The realtor put together paper work for us and we met him at the house that evening.  We went over the paperwork carefully, asked questions and decided to walk through the house one more time.  Then came the time to sign the offer.   My Sweetie froze.   He was thinking and re-thinking and maybe even over-thinking a wee bit but I was not going to sign or tell him to sign a thing.  He needed to be the one to sign first and to take this first step.  He is and probably always will be the main provider for our family.  The financial burden rests solely on him.  I wanted the house.  Yes.  But I wanted a happy husband more.  I don't want him to feel like he's working to make a house payment.  That is not what he wants and it's not what I want for him or our family.   

He decided that he needed some more time; that he would sign it sometime the next day if the window was still open.  I assured him that it was OK.  

 "Even there your hand will lead me"
 
The realtor turned off the lights to the house, we walked outside and My Sweetie sat down on the front porch with the boys.  The realtor walked out, locked up the door and stood there for a moment.  He said good bye and started to leave.

Before he could leave, My Sweetie stopped him saying he'd sign the papers.  Back into the house we went, flipped on the lights and signed the papers.  

 "Even there your hand will lead me"

**deep breath**

When we were done My Sweetie asked if we could have some time and lock up when we left.  After the realtor left we went and sat in front of the fireplace (SQUEAL!!!) as a family and My Sweetie just took a deep breath and told the boys that this wasn't something that happened everyday and it was something he wanted them to remember.  We walked through the house one more time before driving away.

 "Even there your hand will lead me"

By 9 a.m. the next morning we had a verbal acceptance from the seller.  Then Monday morning the offer was officially signed. 

"Even there your hand will lead me"

We have been frantically packing, repairing, cleaning, getting appraised and getting finances in order.

  Today we officially closed a new house and this weekend we will move our children from the only home they have ever known into a new home.  


And despite the crazy that has taken over our house in addition to the normal crazy of the fall season I know that.....

"Even there your hand will lead me"

I know that people buy houses all the time.  I know that new home dreams are fulfilled for both people who have a relationship with Jesus and those who don't.  I know that new home dreams are crushed for both people who have a relationship with Jesus and those who don't.  Things either go your way or they don't.  

But I also know that often times people only cry out to God in their time of deep need and forget to give thanks for the blessings that God's hand has lead them too as well.  Believe me, I too have been guilty of this.

I know, with all my heart, that the only way things have turned out the way they have for our family has been by His hand leading us all along; leading us through the dozens of houses we've looked at, leading us though the heartbreak of house offers that didn't work out, leading us through blueprints possibilities for the house we are in now that didn't work out, leading us in ways that we may not have recognized, all so we could be right here with this blessing in our life.  

So I'm recognizing His hand and thanking Him for this blessing.  As we move forward with this move and with trying to sell our current home, I will trust that.

"Even there your hand will lead me"

My challenge to you...Look for the places in your life that God's hand has been leading YOU.  They may be big.  They may be small.  They may seem insignificant.  They may be in the middle of a valley.  His hand has been guiding you all along to this point, can you look back on something and see it now?  We can't appreciate all that God does for us, all the ways that His hand leads us if we don't look. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Car Talk

Little Dude:  OOOHHH NOOOO!!!!!  LOOK!!!  LOOK!!!!  LOOK at 'dat tire!!!  It fell off!!!!!

**he said as we drove behind a jeep with the spare tire attached to the outside of the jeep***


A little further down the road....

Little Dude:  There's the tractor store!

Me:  Yep!  You're right!

Little Dude:  Daddy's been 'dere before.

Me:  He has?

Little Dude:  I been 'dere before too.

Me:  You have???

Little Dude:  Not BuhBuh, Not you.  Just us.

One of those days....

Morning snuggles and giggles with BuhBuh and Little Dude. 

My Sweetie making breakfast.  

Enough time before the bus to read two stories from our Children's Bible (which means more snuggling).  

Little Dude entertaining himself nicely so the Mommy could be productive.  

Pumpkin Farm visit.  

Bunnies. 


Goats.  


Chickens.  Cows.  Horses.  

Hay Bale Maze.  

 Apple Orchard.  Treats. Llamas, donkeys, more goats, more chickens, more cows.

First 100% on 2nd grade spelling test.  

Play outside.  

Leaves.  


Photo Ops.  



The Boy going to fall Dance and last home football game. 

Little Dude falling asleep early.  

Watching a movie with BuhBuh and My Sweetie (more snuggling).  

Bedtime conversation. 

BuhBuh: "This was a GREAT day!!!" 

Me:  "Why is that?" 

BuhBuh:  "Because I got an A on my spelling, you picked me up from the bus stop and I got to watch a movie all by myself with you and daddy." 

I'd have to agree.  
 
 It was a GREAT day!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Faith of a Child

I lead the children's sermon in church on Sunday.  We talked about prayer.  When, where, how.  Basic stuff. 

I wanted the kids to have a fun way to practice praying at home; different then the way they might pray during dinner or at bedtime. 

I put together little bags of skittles with a card color coded with different ways they can pray for each colored skittle.  I told them that before they could eat a skittle they had to match it to the prayer, pray and THEN eat it. 

As we sat in the pews for the rest of the service I glanced over at BuhBuh.  He was kneeling on the ground, picking up skittles, reading the card, praying and then eating the skittles.  

I couldn't help but smile a proud mama smile.  

It was adorable.

The kids have been enjoying having all of the leftover skittles at home this week.  They have continued to make sure to match the color of the skittle up to the prayer and pray before eating them.

Little Dude asked for a skittle the other day.  

He chose yellow...his favorite color.  

I told him that he needed to pray and tell God he loved him.

He folded his little hands and said, "Dear God, I wuv you sooooo much.  Amen."  

It was precious.  It was sweet.

He threw his hands in the air and proudly declared,  "IIIIII DID IT ALL BY MYSELF!!!!" 

Then we high fived.  

I love teaching kids, especially my kids about God and Jesus and how loved they are by them.  I love to watch their eyes light up.  I love to see their faith in action.  I love that they get it, sometimes even better than I do.  There is something about the innocence of a child that helps them to see better than we adults do the love God has for us.  Sometimes I think they just might grasp the concept better than we do.  

What is it that happens as we get older??  

Why do we loose that child-like faith??  

Why does it get harder and harder to understand and get our heads around God's Grace and love for us.  

My eyes have seen the ugliness; my ears have heard the harsh words; my heart has been broken. 

There is so much sadness, so much tragedy and at times so little hope.  

Satan's work is easy when we allow the way of the world consume us. 

We allow Satan to harden our hearts.

No wonder it's hard to understand.

But then I hear The Boy recite word for word 1 Samuel 3:10 "Speak, for your servant is listening."as I am reading that story to BuhBuh in a different room and I get it.

I see BuhBuh show God's love to neighbors through a simple act and I get it.

I watch Little Dude lead dinner time prayers every night and I get it.

Then I read The Word.

"For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me."  
Matthew 18:2-5 (The Message) 

And I get it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Make it Count

I live about 15-20 minutes away from a full grocery store.  So when I "go into town" to get groceries I really try to make my trips count!  

The other day I was short some ingredients needed for a potluck dish.  

Usually I would send My Sweetie a list and have him do it, but I really didn't have anything else going on and it was a beautiful day.  So, into the car we jumped and into town we drove.  

Little Dude found a cart "just his size" and it was THE BEST shopping trip ever!!! 


He was so adorable and good.  He pushed that cart around like a pro, making sure not to crash and following directions perfectly!  

Usually I push the big mommy sized cart and he helps by putting the groceries in the cart.  

But this day was different.  

He pushed and I put the groceries in the cart and he said, "You be my helper."  

**giggle**  

When we were all finished with our list he unloaded the entire cart so we could check out. 

I asked him if he would pay and he seemed confused, so I told him not to worry about it this time.

I was given the total.  

I opened my wallet.  

**GASP!!!**  

My one and only card that I use wasn't there!!!!!  

EEK!  

I had no cash.  

I had no check.  

I was embarrassed!  

UGH!  

I guess I wasn't going to be paying afterall. 

Little Dude was very confused as to WHY we weren't getting the groceries that had just shopped for.  

Poor Kid.  

So, despite my EXTREME frustration (at myself because I had left my card in the back pocket of a pair of pants) to make our trip into town count we stopped off at the park to play on our way home. 


Then sent The Daddy a text with the list so he could pick up the things we needed.  

Each day is such a gift from God.  Sometimes they don't go the way we had planed.  But when we don't make each moment count by making the best of the situation we are in, then we might just miss out on something precious that God had planned for us all along. 

If you were a detective....

....and you ran out of chalk on a crime scene WHAT WOULD YOU do????

Here's an idea.....

look around and create an outline with whatever you see laying around.  

Might I suggest blocks and trains???  

 When I walked into my living room and saw this I just started laughing!!!  

I'm not sure what made me laugh more.  
 The fact that Little Dude laid there allowing BuhBuh to do this.  

Or the fact that BuhBuh thought to do this.  

Silly boys!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Good Neighbor

Huffing and puffing up our hill on our way home from the homecoming parade, BuhBuh said, "Mom, we haven't taken anything over to the new neighbors house yet."

He was right.  In the craziness that consumes our lives we forgotten to properly welcome our new neighbor to the neighborhood.

"You know mom, we could take them one of the pumpkin pies you made today," he said.

I had two fresh made pies sitting on our kitchen counter.  We really didn't need two of them, I suppose.

"I could tell them, sorry this was late, and hand them the pie," he said.   

"And don't forget to welcome them to the neighborhood,"  I added.

After we conquered our hill my mind switched gears to the next thing; packing everyone up and heading to the schools to pick up The Boy who had just marched in the parade.

"Mom.  Should we wrap the pie up in foil?"  he asked as I guzzled down a gallon of water.

"Uh, SURE!!"  I had already forgotten about the talk of giving one of our pies to the new neighbor. 

We wrapped up the pie, practiced a couple of times what he would say and I sent him down the street.  

It wasn't long before he came skipping back clearly proud of the good deed he had done.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Homecoming

Last week was homecoming week for our school.  It's a fun week at all 3 schools.  Each school celebrates with Spirit Week with a different theme to each day.  BuhBuh participated.  (No pictures)  The Boy did not.  Kids look forward to the early dismissal from school on Friday so that everyone can head downtown for the parade.


It isn't quite as spectacular as I remember the homecoming parades from when I was younger were.  But it isn't lacking in spirit or in candy!
Since The Boy is in 8th Grade this year he got to march with the high school for band.  I could hear the sound of the drum several blocks away which is always so exciting to hear at a parade; it's when the excitement and anticipation kicks in.  It was even more exciting knowing that The Boy was one helping to set the beat of the parade.  In my excitement, I missed the photo opportunity.....this was the best that I could do.  He's on the far right.



As an 8th grader, The Boy also got to play with the high school during the pre-game out on the field.  They lined up motorcycles, the band and then the cheerleaders for the football players to run through at the opening of the game.  He said that was pretty cool to be a part of but got kind of tired of hitting his drum for the entire team.  HA!!!  Then just before the game the gave us a nice firework show.  
 


As I sat in the football stadium watching the group of high schoolers cheer from the stands (lookin all 80's)  on their team, the football players making touchdowns and the cheerleaders cheering, I realized that my senior homecoming was 16 years ago!!!  And then I realized that in a year it will be my son's first high school homecoming.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Apple Orchard

I was away for a weekend in September.  Which just so happened to be the last weekend for picking apples.  So my family did what any apple pickin' lovin' family would do.  They went.  But at least My Sweetie made sure to capture the moments that I missed!!!


Friday, October 08, 2010

Car Talk

BuhBuh: Hey Mom! Will you make my bed? If you doooooo....I'll make dinnnnnerrrr.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.2

Monday, October 04, 2010

8 is GREAT!!!

 Here are some pictures from BuhBuh's birthday a few weeks ago!!!!  I can't believe he's 8.  

Birthday morning.  He woke me up around 5 wondering if it was time to open gifts.

Such a happy birthday boy

Our traditional Birthday morning breakfast.

He got to go on a field trip at school on his birthday!!!  HOW COOL!!!  AND I got to spend the entire day with him.  Bonus!
Sharing his Birthday treat at School

We celebrated again with grandmas, grandpas, aunties and cousins with a dinner that weekend.