March 24, 2010

i am.

My friend dani has opened my mind to my latest quest...
while the professor was camping, and my little girls were sleeping, and i was mopping, dani expounded.
she speaks in sentances.
i speak in paragraphs.
so, i did most of the actual talking, but her ideas have changed me.

we talked about Christ... He often refers to himself as I AM.
dani suggested that of any that have ever walked the Earth, Christ was most perfectly HIMSELF.
He fulfilled HIS mission on Earth perfectly.
Sometimes, in our quest for "perfection" we try to become like someone else... but what is perfect on someone else may not be perfect on us.
Instead dani has ignited in me a quest to know who I AM and to be that person completely.

I Am good.
I Am fun.
I Am kind and thoughtful and loving and a good mother and a good friend and someone good to talk to.
I have everything within me to be what God wants me to be.
And, I CAN do everything that is expedient for me to do each day.

dani told me something she learned from her mom.
when she gets flustered (perhaps right before she is speaking to a large group) she puts her hand on her chest and breathes, feeling herself, finding herself and reminding herself that she can and she will and she is...
(again, the length of that sentence proves it is my interpretation of what she was meaning... she's concise and wise, I AM not concise.)
i've borrowed this deep breathe reminder many times during my days when i feel overwhelmed and i LOVE it.

i love how this calm assurance keeps me from worry and panic and other unproductive responses to stress...

the truth is, I can do great things.  I can calm a fussy baby, I can clean a messy home, I can coax an attitude from a child, I can soothe and teach and change perspectives.  I can cook dinner in 5 minutes.  I can find a sippy cup or a lost shoe... and, I don't need to be in a hurry.  If I can't do something, that's ok too.

There are many things I Am not.
Gratefully, I married a man who is VERY good at the things I am not so good at.
and he is not so good at things i AM good at.
Together, We ARE so much better than we are apart.

Here's a quote that dani heard and passed on to me.

Better than YESTERDAY, 
not as good as TOMORROW.

love it.
but, it's not that i'm just better today than yesterday, it's that I AM more ME.
i am loving trying to learn who I AM.
who my husband is...
who my children are...
who you are?

today, i AM better than yesterday...  and, i'm so excited for tomorrow.
my new quest-- get to know me a little better.
(thanks dani!)
post edit--
my newest nephew passed-on this past weekend.
we are heading to idaho to celebrate with family.
(if you want to read about him you can here)
see you later!!!!!!!!!

March 21, 2010

new heights.

the professor and the boys went on a two-night camping trip with the boyscouts.
i was a bit nervous for them... they were by far the youngest there... and, there was a BIG hike.
the BIGGEST mountain in Texas.
yes.  they DO have mountains in Texas...
Mount Guadeloupe.
9000 ft high!!

i love camp-outs.
i love boy scouts.
i love that my boys have a dad that is an eagle scout.
i love that he takes them camping.
i love that he is so proud that his tent was staked so well it didn't blow over.
i love texas scenery... so different from my virginia roots.
i love that my boys are tuff.  they did it.  9 miles (4.5 up-hill, 4.5 down-hill).
i love that the professor DIED... even though he's been a diligent exerciser... it's always good to be reminded of our age.  :)
i love that they got caught in a 60 mile per hour wind storm (i try to tell west texan's that in the rest of the world, wind mph's are NOT part of the weather report... i'm not sure that they believe me.)
i love that they woke up to SNOW.
builds memories.
and, builds good, strong boys.

[here at home we had a rockin' st. patty's day party- a day late, and watched Shirley Temple's Little Princess, while wearing green wigs.  come to find out, green hair is a VERY important part of a st. patty's day party...  that builds sweet, sensitive, tap-dancing girls- who will someday hike guadeloupe peak. :)]

March 18, 2010

out to dinner.

sometimes, i love the pictures even when i'm not loving the moment.
sometimes, i love the real life more than the picture.
i definitely love the pictures more when they really show the moment.

tonight, we went to Applebee's.
because, jakob picked going out to dinner as his one fun thing during spring break.
i picked Wednesday night, kids eat for $1 on Wednesday.
(up to 4 kids per paying adult- see, we can have 2 more kids and be fine!) 
that includes FREE REFILLS on drinks.
and trust me, my kids definitely drink their dollar's worth.

here's our pre-dinner smiles.
when i look over these pictures i notice how happy my kids seem.
they are lively, happy kids.
i also notice their messy hair and mismatched outfits...
but, i remind myself that i worked HARD to let go of my perfect children ideals.
allowing them to dress themselves is something i worked hard to be ok with.
so, that makes me smile.
and, the fact that leah is wearing lily's size 18 month shirt, is just a sign that i have a sweet husband who helps, but doesn't care about the details.
and, isn't lily getting so big?
and, my boys... they really are growing up.
(i think jakob wears that shirt every day.)
they're about to leave elementary school and they almost LOOK LIKE middle school kids (almost).
and drew is SO FUNNY when you tell him to smile.  (what a sweet brother he is.)
those pictures really capture my life and happy, not perfect moments.

i had the professor take another picture of us inside the resturaunt.
honestly, this was my day.
finished a book.
did laundry.
fixed lunch.
put the little girls down for naps.
planned to take the kids skating while the professor stayed here with the napping little girls, but anna fell and really hurt her face.  i got scared to take her skating.
so, we went with some friends from church and some neighbors to the $2 movie.
i took 6 kids with me to see Princess and the Frog and the boys went to see The Spy Next Door.  Only, it wasn't playing (the internet was wrong), so they saw Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Then i drove 9 kids home and got ready to go out to dinner.
i was tired.
and, sick of kids.
leah is loud.
and funny.
at the resturaunt she stood up and pointed to the old people next to us...
"See MOM!! Two grandpas, just like SANTA!"
hushed and sitting near me.
"Mom, remember we saw that guy before."  (Pointing to my dark skinned waiter.)
"There are two of them, THEY MATCH!.... See mom, they both have BLACK on their skin!!"
she wanted "HONEY" or ketchup for her fries and lily wanted every drink that wasn't her milk.
She would drink it and then try to get the ice cubes out with her hand.
Since she's not a big talker, she yells when she wants something.  It's not a long tantrum, just a quick, "HEY!!"

my goal is to blend in.
having 6 kids makes this a bit more difficult.

having lily makes it near impossible.
so, by the end of the dinner, i was covering her hand with my mouth whispering for her to say please.
she will say please, but only after she screams.
she screamed for some ice in the middle of our picture moment.
i was VERY done with 6 kids at a resturaunt.
and, i expected the pictures to show a CRANKY momma.
see for yourself.
i may have just been posing for the pictures, but i honestly think i've learned a skill...
just keep smiling!!

if you are a mother, no matter what is going on around you, if you can keep smiling you look like you have it together.
i remember one young mom coming up to me at an institute class in Michigan.  she said, "i only have two kids and i'm going CRAZY.  then i look at you and you have four young kids and you ALWAYS have a smile on your face.  How do you do it?"
i still laugh at that sweet mom...
that's the trick.
paste that smile on there and endure.
i'd say 10 seconds after the last picture was snapped, we were out the door.  we waited in the car (little girls in carseats, country music on the radio) while the professor paid the bill.
we pulled into our driveway and i promised a surprise to the first 3 kids with teeth brushed AND flossed, pjs on and lights out.  it was a race.
the little girls were bedded (leah only came out of bed twice)
now, my home is silent.
my husband is reading in bed nearby.
i'm almost done with this blog, then time for my jammies, teeth AND floss, quiet reading,
and a big REAL smile.
i made it through this day.
i enjoyed some moments and endured some moments.
and, i kept SMILING.
today, that is good enough for me.


i love this freckley, blue-eyed, no-teeth smilin' kid.
love him.


warning- watch out for window sills. 
they hurt.

March 17, 2010

no giraffes.

on leah's special day we headed to the pet store.
actually, we went to TWO pet stores.
they LOVE us at the pet store.
leah was so excited she talked for DAYS about all the animals we would hold.  she was SURE that we would NOT hold giraffes because they are scary.  (who's afraid of a giraffe?)

at the mall we held puppies and swam with the fish
and at our favorite WALTER'S WORLD OF PETS, we held baby bunnies, got attacked by dogs (no not really), and saw snakes, possums, and other animals heading to zoos...
i love the dialog
"this bunny is just like scampers."
"scampers died."
"he was hard like a rock"
"yeah, i miss scampers."
"and snow, snow was so cute."
"we don't know where snow is."
"she's probably dead too."
"yeah, she probably got eaten or something."
"mom, please can we buy another bunny?"

no trip to Walter's would be complete without special pastry treats.
this time, we choose the mouth watering, charming in it's own way, Donut Depot.
dogs and donuts.
what a divine day.
see... i'm still smiling!


my granny afghan is going much faster than i anticipated.
i LOVE it.
this time of my life is planting not harvesting...
creating these colorful rounds helps to create harmony and balance in my life.
children- not done yet.  laundry- not done yet.  granny squares- 34 done and counting!!

rollin' with kob.

yes, i was scared to name jakob, jakob, because i didn't want people to call him "kob".
no one ever has.
it turns out jakob is a very safe- unteasing- boy name.
the only person who calls jakob, jake, is me.  funny huh?!
i love this kid.

what's better than a top-bunk fort, a netflix on demand movie (Labrynth) and homemade rolls?
this is one reason why we're LOVIN' spring break.
ps.  the rolls had little crunchy specks. 
Kob explained that he used the measuring  cup from the rice to scoop out the flour so some raw rice got mixed into the dough (AND my flour container). 
i think the crunch added to the charm.
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