Wednesday, April 29, 2009

wordless wednesday

Our last music class for the season:


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

many thanks

Thanks so much to all my sweet friends and family who have called, emailed, or commented to the posts below about my struggles as a mom. I have had several good days, taking things in stride and seeking my strength from the Lord. I'm doing better. I am so thankful for my community!

Here are a few random shots:

Playing with our friend, Josie this morning--all hugs and smiles. The girls played PERFECTLY together!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

wordless wednesday

First swim of the season

Thursday, April 16, 2009

one of "those" days

I just need to get some thoughts down on paper, so to speak, and just be honest that it has been one of those days, really one of those weeks. Parenting my toddler has been challenging, she's fought me on several naps this week, only to end up a total crab apple by 5pm. Both my kiddos are fighting either allergies, a bronchial infection (Curren), constant runny noses, etc. Dear God. A lack of sleep is rearing it's ugly head once again and honestly, I have *no idea* why I think I can nap when both kids nap because the last 3 weeks have seen one or both of them waking up JUST as I'm falling asleep. I'm trying to see the joy in this, but can't really. Yesterday, I drove to IKEA, only to learn, after being assured that the product was in stock, that it wasn't. Off to Target to buy a what I needed, only to loose one of Maggie's shoes in the store (my favorite ones). Sigh. I bought myself a mocha frappucino. I prayed and asked God for patience and a nearness of His presence. But, really, the frap made me feel better. I'm ashamed to admit it. I often make a fresh pot of coffee in the afternoon to make me feel better. How often do a turn to the tangible to bring me some sense of comfort, peace, or fulfillment? When everything else is falling apart around me, I try to make myself feel better through other means, rather than seeking first His face and heart for me in these trying times. As I type this, my husband is at class, my son is screaming from his room (he's beyond over-tired), my house completely blew up on me, my daughter is crying on and off, and I'm tempted to bury my frustration in a bag of M&Ms. And yet I know I need to read the Word. I hope the latter wins out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

happy easter!

Showing off her "arabesque" interpretation

Saturday, April 11, 2009

easter egg hunt

We enjoyed an Easter egg hunt today on campus; granted, it started exactly on time, so when we arrived, 3 minutes later, most of the eggs were gone. Really, who starts on time these days?! :)

a struggling mom

Over marriage, motherhood has been, and is, the most refining thing in my life. Lately, I've been wrestling with how challenging life is as a mom, how "my" time has become so limited and how too often, I choose to clean up my kitchen or do a quick email rather than really engage with my kids. Don't get me wrong, they aren't neglected. But, it's pretty fair to say that I consistently feel that constant nagging question of "how should I *best* use the time right now?" and I give in to doing something that probably could have waited. Perhaps its the whole "tyranny of the urgent" that plagues me. If you aren't familiar with this short essay it basically says that too many "urgent" things vie for our attention on a daily basis and we give too much weight to those things, when really, there are only a few necessary things we should be doing (or striving to do) over and above that which seems oh-so-urgent. Really, the "urgent" things often can wait, if we are honest with ourselves. I don't know. I'm sad to say there are numerous times I choose something for me over interacting with my kids. I know I'm not alone in this; I've had several conversations recently with good friends. I'm struggling to find the balance between "it's-OK-to-do-some-of-my-daily-tasks-now" and "put-it-all-down-for-the-sake-of-the-kids." Undoubtedly, because my job as a homemaker has many facets besides one-on-one time with them, it's easy to get caught up in being 'tasky' because there is much that needs to happen on a daily basis. But, I often find it difficult to put aside a chore for the sake of one-on-one time with them. Yet, they are my legacy, they are wht matter most. Where is the balance? It seems I'm constantly weighing my options and it gets really old: Should I clean the kitchen now while Maggie is finishing breakfast? Or should I just sit with her for a few more minutes? Should I read a book while they are napping? Or should I take a nap? Or should I do some dinner prep? Should I make a phone call? Or should I run my 2 errands after naptime? ARGH! It gets exhausting and I often feel like a failure for not doing everything I had hoped to accomplish in a given day. Really, no one is putting these expectations on me, except myself, but still.

I'm just struggling to find a happy medium, where I can regularly be content with my unfinished and ongoing to-do list and my time to just play and be with my children.

Easter traditions

It's Easter weekend! I always loved this time growing up, with Oklahoma spring in full bloom. Every year we took a family photo in our new Easter dresses in front of our house near the gorgeous tulips my dad was so proud of. My mom made us Easter baskets every year, even until we got out of high school (how great is that?!). After church services on Sunday, we usually ate a homemade meal with my grandparents and aunt and uncle and later, enjoyed numerous egg hunts (the latter of which carried on until way beyond our childhood days). We of course colored eggs and I especially loved the cling-on sleeves you could put around them. I love traditions!

But, most importantly this weekend focuses on the hope for which live--Christ died and through His shed blood, paid the price for our sin, thus bridging the gap to eternity with Him. I have talked some with Maggie about the importance of this time, though not sure how much she has retained. Our pastor was good to remind us last weekend, "How many days a year do we celebrate Easter?" to which, the correct Sunday-school answer is "365." Several years ago, our church in California set up a "Stations of the Cross" that was quite moving. In vivid detail, utilizing all the senses, we took our time and moved around the room, feeling a crown of thorns, watching Jesus get beaten, tasting vinegar, feeling the rough cross, listening to the crowds jeer and taunt Him, etc. This was a powerful experience, one I haven't forgotten. I look forward to taking my kids to such a venue in the future and incorporating the truths of Easter more fully.

What do you do to teach your children about Easter?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Let it be known...

....that my 11-week old baby SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT last night--8 hours!!!

Let's just say, I feel like a new woman...and I hope this continues!