Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving is more than giving thanks... may we also reflect how the blessings that we have affect us internally.

I am surrounded constantly with things that I am thankful for ~ humbly I admit I don't always show my appreciation as I should... thus....

Bryson ~ Thank you for those 'eat your face up' kisses you so eagerly is a lesson in gentleness.

Andrew ~ Thank you for your imagination... it is a lesson in creativity.

Katie ~ Thank you for your curious spirit to learn... it is a lesson on patience.

TJ ~ Thank you for your insightful conversations... it is a lesson in communication.

Nick ~ Thank you for your calm strength ... it is a lesson of mercy.

Joe ~ Thank you for letting me matter in your life... it is a lesson in compassion.

Fred ~ Thank you for all you do to serve our family; the work, the play, the patience displayed... it is a lesson of gratitude and integrity.

To my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ ~ whom died so that I may truly live ~ the ultimate lesson in love... THANK YOU!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A change of plans ??

Ever experienced things not going as planned? Ah, yes, well, that would be my past week end. Original goal? To escape, to rest, to absorb peace and quiet, to nap, to read a book even, to sleep ...ultimately, to have a "day off". Now, even this thought really is humorous as I knew full well this original plan included Baby Bryson coming with me. but hey, I just took it in stride and figured it was a great time for a mommy/baby bonding time without all the hub bub of daily life.
My reality week end? Fred having to work both Sat & Sun; Nick was off to a friends' for his own break, and me? Too late to cancel my reservation, off we went to my upgraded kingsized bed w/ a fireplace hotel stay...yep, me, TJ, Katie, Andrew, & Bryson. New plan? to survive! ;^D
Clearly with no expectations now, I humbly embrace my little blessings and go for the ride...
a 2 hour drive. The first hour? one emergency "pee pee" stop, a Burger King pit stop, and a nurse the baby (again) stop. Second hour? baby nods off, Andrew drifts asleep, and Katie is peacefully enjoying music. TJ and I enjoy scenery (a dark version by now), and discuss survival and navigational skills as we search for this remote place I once called my "escape".
The excitement of arrival stirs everyone, they all tag with me for check in, the lady at the front desk graciously gives me the eyebrow raise of counting my little tykes as I proudly claim that not ALL my children were with me! We get our room number, park, and now are faced with the journey of carrying luggage... TJ with his backpack and a large box with a top that will not stay closed, thus not being able to see where he is going; me w/ Bryson in his infant carseat, a overstuffed diaper bag, and 3 sleeping bags (did I mention Bryson weighs 20 lbs w/o the carseat?), Katie with her back pack and a pillow, and Andrew with his bubbling energy! Ah yes, to walk through the main lobby, past the gift shop, through the entertainment (pianist and flute player), up the elevator, down two hallways to our final where we stare at each other? Who's going to open the door?
All things drop with exhaustion, and in we enter our glorious room of relaxation! Giddiness (sp?) infects us all, as Katie searches the closet, TJ checks out the TV, Andrew test the durability of the bed (much like Tigger would), and I announce the need to search for Gideon... Gideon? yep, had all of 'em searching around, not quite sure what they were seeking out, lol, 5 minutes later they embrace the hotel Bible.
Next on our agenda? to explore our new environment of the the hotel, enjoying the sites of what we passed previously, but with a different approach, lol. Instead of being overloaded, now we were "searching for monsters" as this was the only way to get Andrew to whisper and tip toe versus the first method of bouncing off the walls (literally).
The rest of the night went amazingly well... a movie night really. We went to the local market for snacks, then watched a few movies. Proudly, we only had one complaint for the night, as the sleepy, angry gentleman below us called around 10 pm. Crime in progress? Andrew's knees hitting the floor while playing peek-a-boo with Bryson...not bad I thought. Again, the children drifted off one by one, TJ and I were last, somewhere between 1 or 2 a.m.
I awoke at 5:30 ish, turned on the fireplace, texted Fred a "good morning", and this...this is where/when I found my quiet peaceful time... grateful for the cherub faces surrounding me, reflecting on the things I need to be more appreciative for. All the while seeking the Lord's comfort for my worn out, exhausted, overlooked self. Humbly, I was reminded that it is not in my job description to have a "day off"...I will have plenty of those to someday enjoy in eternity...for now? to love, to guide, to nurture, to teach, to serve, to appreciate, to honor, to respect my life and the loved ones I am blessed with!! and with that, I took an hour nap before my little crew awoke.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

battle of the sexes? not

Living with a houseful of gentlemen, I am in constant reminder that 'boys will be boys' and guys are just that...guys. Practical, factual, and easily humored by bodily noises ;^D
Then, to the mix is added our princess; smart and practical, all the while glazed with expectations and emotions...and to my awe, not afraid to express them.
Myself? compassionate and caring, yet raised to conceal inner thoughts and feelings.
Thus our home is not full of much foo foo or fluff. As a stay-at-home mom of many, with many tasks at hand, along with a few off kilter weeks (root canals, colds, demanding work schedules, ending soccer season, teething, potty training, family van in shop for 5 weeks, financial setbacks, and an overlooked anniversary) I am at a realization of how much my feminimity is overlooked. Frumpy housewife/stressed mom is not my idea of defining who I am, nor the legacy of remembrance I want to leave behind!
So...just as I have embraced raising boys to be strong, fun loving, competitive beings with integrity filled leadership qualities, to walk the walk as much as talking the talk of our Christian values, with a stressed point of defining who they are in Christ Jesus...I am in the need of a quiet moment with God to reflect upon who I am, what God expects from me, and a renewed spirit of service to my family, our community, and most importantly to my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, whom I owe my blessed life to.
All that, lol, to say I am taking a overnite retreat with my God this week-end, so keep me in your prayers when you may have a chance. Love ya all!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jesus, a Guidance Counselor

My Savior, my mentor, one whom loves me unconditionally...always! Carried me through the trials of childhood, simply waited for me as a teen, guided me out of poor choices as a young adult, whispers to me now...always the same clear messages ~be still; trust in me; Go and love, as I have loved you (love your neighbor)~
As we head into the bermuda triangle (Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years) yet once again, I sit calmly, reflecting on what these things really mean. I have been very guilty in the past of getting caught up in the whirlwind of 'stuff'...the hype, the glitz, the frantic attempt to find the 'right' gift, flawless homemade cards, picture perfect family portraits, glorious outside lights, the evenly adorned Christmas tree *blush* (yes, I have "rearranged" my dear children's attempts at decorating our lovely tree), the wanting to bless everyone/anyone that walks into our path ... I have also been where the uglies sneak out; overspending, worrying, over doing/under sleeping, and the pure meltdown of falling behind on simple chores of daily life...
Our family motto for this school year is TIME, TALENT, & TREASURES, and as fall set in, I was determined we would enjoy this season. While the commercialism of Christmas is pounding on the door, and regardless of my personality flaws, my family does know the real reason for the season... this year will be different, simple, thoughtful, and most importantly, thankful! It is said that 'slow-n-steady' wins the race which is definitely the process when it comes to the shaping of hearts and sculpting of character, in myself, and our children... yep, there is that *whisper* again... go, and love...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Day in the Life of...

soon I will share my thoughts and practicalities on why we homeschool, but for today, I am sharing a simple moment in time...

Today is no school for our public school friends, which does not always mean we have it 'off'. As I see it, life's journey itself seems to always have a lesson on hand.

Our plans for today:
9:00 a.m. Friends & Family Craft time~ I have tons of huge pinecones that need some attention, so we will be making turkeys and bird feeders with them, along with probably a story and simple puppets for my younger ones.
10:00 Ladies Prayer~ a time to regroup and refocus my thoughts to the Lord.
12:00 Lunch w/ my Angie & our kids.
1:ish "Get 'er dun" time~ Christmas cards are on the agenda today...I do not feel very creative today, so we will see how this goes, lol.
4:00 Our 'power hour' cleaning in which the kids will help tidy the house before Daddy gets home so he can just relax. (aka...the mice have been at play all day while the cat was away, now he will also get to play.)
Evening Hour: dinner together, sharing our day, and I have a feeling that "Blind man's Search" (hide-n-go seek in the dark) may be on the agenda tonight...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Katie-girl is 7!

Katie had a lovely time for her birthday this year. A few of her favorite people came: Nana & Grandpa; her BFF *M* w/ little sister A.J.; Big brother Joe & Miss Sara. We enjoyed cake and presents with her. It was a short, yet charming visit.

And after the guests left?? Her brothers, (Andrew 3, T.J. 11, Nick 15, along with friend Corbin 15), provided more entertainment. Katie was able to model the dresses Nana had given her. Then those boys humbly played 'pin the tiara on the princess' with a great attitude! She is blessed to have such wonderful Knights in her life! No pictures to share with that, but the memories of kindness is priceless... thanks guys!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Friends

I am using Fridays as a time to think fondly of friends in our lives....

First on stage...MY ANGIE
Much like a rose... strong, durable, lasting, yet beautiful, soft, inspiring.
She is my mentor, my sounding board, my encourager, my saving grace to sanity...never judges, but gently guides; always graceful in difficult situations; a rock to righteous things; witty and humorous when she so chooses;

We blended lives almost 5 yrs ago as neighbors, our young daughters connected wonderfully, and we shared our pregnancy news with one our "babies" are turning 4! (My Andrew and her A.J. will be a fun profile at another time).

We've giggled, we've cried,
we've rolled our eyes;
softly whispered, spoken up,
followed thru to see what's up;
a gentle smile, a soft grin,
a look that makes me search within;
fun outings, simple days,
true friendship is always displayed.

Thank you Angie~ I am blessed to call you friend!