Saturday, January 30, 2010

simply superb

Saturday.

snapshot style.








Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

perception


Before I was a Mother.

I spent much of my early childhood mothering dolls, and playing house. As a young adult, I read many parenting books and I worked with children. Actually, I have been around children most of my life. My Mom did in-home-daycare. I baby-sat often. Into my early twenties I was a Nanny, I worked at a daycare, and a Pre-Kindergarden. Then! My husband and I got pregnant! I was thrilled as I anticipated the fact that I was fully prepared with the best tools to be a great mother.

My child would never whine excessively, throw fits, or yell. I would always know how to discipline like a pro with my acquired skills. This is really what I thought as I walked the halls [with my large pregnant belly in tow] at the preschool where I worked. I was 23, and BOY, did God have a wake-up call coming for me!

I'm so glad He did.

With each new season God has for me, I've learned that God reveals new area's I need to grow in. I found that the beauty of parenthood is really the sharpening of self. Myself. [Of course, not that we ever reach perfection in ourselves or our children.]

In the pre-school classroom: I spent 8 hours, 5 days per week sowing into precious children's lives. I disciplined with skills I had been taught from teachers more experienced than myself. I was able to devote 100% of my attention to those precious little faces. At the end of the day I put my papers in the drawer, sprayed the tables, stacked chairs, turned off the light and locked the door. Done.

Then I got into my car, and went on with my personal life.

It's not this cut and dry anymore. I must tend to personal matters and often 'round-the-clock care for both our girls. God turned up the intensity. And it's beautiful! Really. At times, intensely difficult, but often simultaneously intensely beautiful and rich. Prayer has become like air, a matter of life and death. A necessity.

I have been humbled time and time, again. I now know that love covers a multitude of my wrongs. I've learned to be transparent, validate my daughter's questioning and respectfully ask for my daughters forgiveness when I wrong her.

I learn as I go. I strive every day to be consistent. I do put to good use many great discipline techniques. But, for the most part, I find my confidence in knowing that I won't reach perfection. Rather, God will be the Great in me.

God has sharpened me more than I was a year ago. I find rest in knowing that ultimately My girls belong to Him. And what an honor that He trusts me to raise them.

My blogging friend wrote this great post: http://mommymonkeyblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/you-go-mama.html

"Intense love does not measure, it just gives."
~ Mother Teresa

Monday, January 25, 2010

not me, monday!



The other day while cleaning out the car I most certainly did NOT allow my sweet 1-year-old to cry in the back door way. And, I did NOT wave to her with a big smile on my face hoping to calm her as I passed by the back of the car. I would never ignore my attention-craving toddler. Nope, NOT me.

As I was picking up the living room earlier, I did NOT sweep crumbs right on to the floor, and I especially did NOT kick them under the couch, I would never!

Before guests arrived a few nights ago, I did NOT fill an empty suitcase with unfolded clean clothes and toss it in the spare bedroom. Who would do this? NOT me.

I certainly did NOT bribe my spirited 4-Year-old with a sucker to calm her as I clipped her toes nails. I have full control of my child's behavior at all times. So, I would never resort to bribery, NOT me!

I always give my children healthy meals containing every food group, so, I did NOT give my girls cheese, trail mix and [just] bread for lunch yesterday. NOT I!

These jeans I have on today. It would NOT be my fourth time wearing them. My frequent same-pair-of-jeans wearing would have nothing to do with the large pile of unfolded clean laundry downstairs. Of course, NOT!

Happy Monday Everyone!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

sister love



stream of consciousness

I adopted this concept from MckMama at: mycharmingkids.net. The idea is. That you write exactly what you think. Unedited. Without proper grammar. Or punctuation. So here goes.

I have had a nice low-key weekend with my three favorite people. It's been much needed. It was a busy week. My husband is graciously cooking us his second meal. YUM. The house smells amazing. My husband is amazing. He's studying in the bedroom. And I'm trying to be patient with the girls at the end of the day. I'm a bit bored. So are they. I played 'house' on the floor with the girls. I tried hard to stay enthusiastic. I think I did. I did laundry. Three loads so far. They will most likely never make it to the dressers and closets. Because they get worn first.

I'm thinking of a sweet couple tonight. Actually two couples. Who had to say goodbye to their first babies. Way too soon. So wrong. So. Sad. I pray for them as my heart gets stirred and words come to my mind. I feel so honored to reach out to others and offer some comfort as a result of the pain I have felt in the past. God is so cool like that.

We are blessed. We are. To have our health. And. Two little girls who get into everything. Someday I'll miss the messes. And long for the constant chatter and drama. I want to be present. God, please help me to soak in the treasures that surround me today.

I made it a point to be at eye level with my girls today. A lot. The wonder on their face captivates me. The way their lashes curl and the sparkle reflects from their eyes is so intricate. The way their hair sways [as they play] and presents various hues of the same color is evidence of a majestic Creator. I enjoy having a front row seat in their lives.

Nini is playing in the dog dish as I type this. Oh well. I lost my temper a few too many times today. My husband and children need so much support right now. Something. Every. Two. Minutes. But, I remember it's an Honor. It's the breaking down of me. Less of me. More of Him. Is the result. *sigh* Thank you, God for my current ordinary life. Filled with extraordinary moments. Each day is such a gift.

Nini met a new friend tonight:


Cleaning her face with a wet wipe.


Carefully wiping her nose.


A Kiss!


Smiling at her new friend.


Dip, Baby. Dip!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

legacy

"He said to me I was a tree in a story about a forest, and that it was arrogant of me to believe any differently. And he told me the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree."

~Donald Miller
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years


I recently spent a morning visiting with my amazing grandparents. My sweet Mom and I packed up the girls and made the 90 mi. trip to wonderful Watkins, MN.

Sadie and Lauren did their usual horsing around. You know, Lauren performed her cute "tricks" and Sadie lifted her shirt while bouncing on the couch, telling stories about her new puppy and her boyfriend, Drew. I so adore watching the glimmer in my Grandpa and Grandma's eyes as they watch their great-Granddaughters toddle around their neat, and tidy home.

Just after lunch [my Mom brought an amazing picnic style lunch!! THANK YOU, Mom!], my Mom and I sat down next to my Grandparents as my Grandpa opened up a very large photo album titled "Our life".

And the book really was that, their life in picture form!

I have seen some of these pictures in the past... but this particular morning, I got to really SEE them, and hear the stories behind them. Fascinating.

In 1951, my grandparents met at a 'farm animal feed supply' store in town. My grandma was the beautiful young secretary, my grandpa was the handsome young farmer who walked in to pick up his order. My Grandpa's words, "I went in to get chick feed, and I found my Chick!"



Next came 1952, my Grandpa was drafted over to Korea for the war. There he was a Medic for two years. He told several stories of the friends he made, the horror he was a part of, his duties and the culture in Korea. I could have sat and listened for days.

Then, 1954 brought my Grandparents wedding! The stories continued to flow as we went from page to page. Pictures of their home filled with friends, hired help on their farm, family and cousins having a pig roast and playing on giant hay piles. My Mom and her siblings doing chores and playing with farm animals.

I got teary eyed a few times as I took in the beauty of their life. I realized, we are all a miracle. How we came to be, How our parents happened to meet, how our grandparents survived wars and how their ancestors survived fatal diseases. Wow, it just hit me!

God is always at work behind the scenes in our lives.

As we neared the end of the book, Sadie took interest and I treasured every moment as she listened to her Great grandparents tell her stories about her Grammy and mommy when they were little. So beautiful.

My Grandparents never sought out college, or pursuing a prestigious title. They worked hard and they invested themselves in the people around them. Their life was and is blessed; filled to the brim, then overflowing, and filled up over and over again.

One of my favorite stories was about a boy who came to work on their farm for the summer. He was known to be a bit wild and he was getting bad grades in school. His father was an alcoholic.

As this boy was taking a break one day, my dear Grandma took him aside and told him: "You are smart! You do great work for us! You need to get better grades in school!" And, as the story goes. This boy got all A's next quarter. (I like to think that my Grandma was the first adult who really believed in him & challenged him!) Imagine the way his new outlook bettered the people around him.

Awesome.

My new mindset & goal: to have a book full of pictures that will inspire my Grandchildren in the same way.

Friday, January 8, 2010

mother teresa

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;

forgive them anyway.


If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;

be kind anyway.


If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies;

succeed anyway.


If you are honest people may cheat you;

be honest anyway.


What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;

build anyway.


If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;

be happy anyway.


The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;

do good anyway.


Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;

Give the world the best you've got anyway.


You see, in the end, it is between you and God;

it was never between you and them anyway.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

treasures


Sadie adding the final touches to her cupcake...!


TAH-dah!!! [Our masterpiece's!]


HUGS for Daisy!!! *gasp*


[cheeeeeeese!] I made this 'lil scarf from Sadie's Blanket scraps!


Sadie the Artist!! (This is 'Austin' from Backyardigans!)


Sadie, Grammy and Lauren! [My mom and I cut and tied together the lovely Backyardigans blanket Sadie is wearing!]


An at-home science experiment! [mixing colors!]


word worksheets!


building words!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010

My family and I just got back from a relaxing weekend at my Grandparents cabin. I was pondering about the
'newness' of the new year and the 'freshness' of a fresh start! Oh! I'm excited!

Here is my most recent food for thought:

(1.) homeschooling.

(2.) being present.

(3.) nurturing deep friendships.

(4.) believing the best.

(5.) Consistency.

As I near my 30's, I am clinging more to the small things. Less comparing. More embracing. Less title seeking. More unseen giving. And praying and hoping that my days are spent doing what I'm made to do.

Happy New Year, Everyone!


John and I ATV riding during our October trip to Colorado.


Prayers for Stellan