Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nini Pie

I got the itch to snap a few pictures, today! We're starting to think pink [red & white] around here! I'm pumped to do Valentine's Day cookies, cards and crafts with the girls in the coming weeks!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What's with the name

Building Castles?

You might have wondered.


A while back I read a story about a Castle. This castle involved many men, bricks, mud, tools, equipment and time to build. The people who began work on the castle did not live to see it's completion. When the castle was finished, it was magestic and sturdy! It was carefully crafted and had a solid foundation.

The story was a representation of God's plan, Parenthood, Family and Community!

"A castle, depending upon the status of the man who occupied it, could be variously, a military base, a seat of government, a court and a stronghold for the surrounding region. It could be any or all of the above but it was principally the private residence of its owner, his family and his dependents." -The English Castle by D. Dawson

This name seemed fitting for my family's blog. Ever since I was 5 I dreamed of having a family of my own. And today, I'm reminded that being a wife and mother is one of the most noble jobs in God's eyes. He gives me the strength and wisdom to do my job. To teach and to guide each building block...

I'm currently reading: 'Pinocchio Parenting' by Chuck Borsellino [which was recommended to us by good friends!] In Borsellino's book he says of our unique God-given talents: "I offered God kindling; He made me a castle and gave me the keys." -C.B.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sadie | Student

The other day I walked through the golf course behind our townhome [it was 50 degrees and sunny], I could see mountains ahead [and Sadie's school]. It was 3:08 pm and I was on my way to pick up my Kindergartener. Wow. As I got closer, I stepped around several geese; then raced across the street where the sound of chatting parents and students began to sound like English. My heart was full as I thought how this scene was just how I dreamed it... a bustling community full of friendly faces!

This afternoon, we met with Sadie's Teacher [Mrs. A] to chat about how she's doing. John and I smiled as we heard nothing but good reports. Please pardon me as I spend the next few moments gushing about my first born. ;)

Mrs. A showed us the results from a series of tests recently done with Sadie and her class. As well as shared with us an overview of her day. Sadie scored average and above average on each test! Sadie blushed as she read us her newest reading time book and pointed to each word. In less than three weeks, Sadie has earned 8 'pacers' [good behavior recognition]. One 'pacer' was given to her in gym class! Sadie was 1 of 2 awarded for being 'quick to obey' in the entire gym class!

I was on the phone with a good friend tonight telling her how all the structure from Sadie's day at school has trickled down into our home and brought so much more organization. Sadie is becoming more self aware and more invested in others around her. So great, for so many reasons! We plan to enroll Sadie in soccer and violin lessons this Spring/Summer! Oh, and one more fun fact: Her school includes "One nation under God..." in the pledge of allegience!

I'm doing my best to soak in this sweet season of NEW!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When all else fails...

That your story is not finished yet.

David Crowder | How He Loves

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,

Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking
And Heaven meets earth like an unforseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sadie's first Day of Kindergarten!

Meeting some of her classmates!

A picture with her Teacher, Mrs. A!

I may or may not have been on the verge of balling, here ;)

Proud Dad!

The grand march into the school. Mrs. A is perfect for Sadie :)

Today I kept pondering the saying: "It takes a village...". The school holds families of all belief's and backgrounds. I thought about all the different kinds of children Sadie will meet and grow with. All the new idea's she'll receive. All the people who will inspire her and all the people she will inspire. The staff have always greeted us with smiles and seem to truly love what they do. Sadie told me today that she "loves this new Colorado state, and that she still loves her Minnesota friends, but, God sure brought her some great new Colorado friends, too!"

I feel at home, now.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Twas the night before Kindergarten [in Colorado]

I've written this post in my head a hundred times over. There were days I wondered if this post would ever be written.

John's Colorado Cousins/Aunt and Uncle are so friendly and welcoming! I feel like I've been a part of their lives for years already. Sadie and Lauren now have 8 cousins [ranging in age 13 down to infant] living near them--they play together great! Sadie will attend the same elementary school as 5 of them! The girls have several new 'Aunts and Uncles' to add to their already very loved collection! We also have FRIENDS here, [already]! The kind who swing by with dinner, love watching our girls and having heart-to-heart conversations! Wow.

Bumpa and Grammy, and Yampa and Yamma continue to be talked about daily! Plans for them to come visit are already in the works! GREAT-Grandparents are near and dear as well...!

The past few years, I've loved writing about some of the heart matters God has shown me during some very dark times. I feel like that style of writing was for a season. That season. Our family's schedule has sped up quite a bit [in a good way] and is more structured [so good for me]!

So. We finally made it to Colorado! I could go on and on about the amazing details of how this came to be, and how many great moments have already been lived, but I'd like to save that for when I see YOU in person, next. During the last year I shut down in many ways and clung for dear life to God, family and a few precious friends who listened and really extended a lot of grace toward me as I muddled through some hard trials. I'm eternally grateful to these people.

Now that I'm out of the woods [for now] I can look back, breath deep and really BEGIN to take note of just how much I've learned about myself and people in general. Easy for me to say now, but I feel honored to have experienced so much hardship all at once. Now I judge others less and have a little more understanding about how to listen and comfort others when their whole world [as they knew it] crumbles. And. I'm more humble and aware that I am very imperfect. HOW freeing!

I've learned that Hope is real. And if you go looking for them, God will bring the answers you need in the right time. And. He'll bring you to HIMself...

John and I made the decision [a few weeks back] that some things will never be spoke of again once we crossed over the MN boarder! A new chapter has begun. We're ready to dive in with all we have when it comes to church groups, neighbors, library activities, dinner dates, lunch dates, shopping trips, sight seeing, family gatherings, book clubs, MOPS group, grocery trips, school functions, playdates, yoga class, long walks, new friends, OLD friends... to name a few!

We're ready to be an average american family who enjoys normal things and has time to give back to others.

Tonight I sat on the kitchen floor and labeled Sadie's Kindergarten supplies. Her 'my little pony' backpack was clean and sparkly, her LPS lunch bag was packed and sitting in the fridge and the brand new crayons and pencils smelled great! I soaked in the moment that was stuck somewhere between past and present. A flood of baby and toddler 'Sadie memories' filled my head. I shed some tears and had some regrets BUT mostly excited thoughts. Sadie is ready for what's to come and so am I. And I couldn't help but think this is just step one of many lessons of 'letting go' for this Mama!

Please stay tuned, I plan to post pictures frequently!

Much Love,

Jen [John, Sadie and Lauren]