Saturday, November 29, 2008


Our Thanksgiving was great. I cooked and after I got over some initial anxiety, all was well! My grandma came up and helped with some of the prep and also made her signature cornbread. We had our 5, my grandma and my dad - that was all. But it was good. The kids love their grandpa so much and my grandma is really concerned about missing the kids after we move to Phoenix. It was good for her to be a part of our day and also of the decorating we did on Friday. My only regret was that I gave a stupid prayer. I wish I would've been more thoughtful about the things I'm really thankful for, and not so concerned with people liking what I had cooked... So, to make up for that, I'm going to share what I'm thankful for here. Nathan - he just wants to be good. Yesterday we were frustrated with the kids not listening as well as they should and so we were talking about going back to taking away toys when they don't listen. Because Nathan hadn't been listening, he went, on his own, into his room and started bagging up his toys. It was so sad and so sweet... I cried. So we went in and talked to him about how his heart is what we're concerned about - we want him to have a heart that will follow our instructions but obviously his heart wants to do the right thing and we're so proud of him. Such a sweet boy. Chloe - she is so smart. Lowell and I were playing a trivia game yesterday and the kids joined in. Granted, I'm sure most of her answers were guesses, but some of them, she legitimately knew! She got a ton of questions right! Her teacher marvels at her reading ability and her ease at working with any of the kids in her class. She often gets paired with some of the more difficult kids because of her ability to be consistently helpful. Also, yesterday we went through the kids' toys, paring down to get ready for Christmas and also trying to reinforce the lesson of sharing. Nathan was really struggling with parting with his toys but Chloe jumped right on board. She kept giving and giving and did a really good job chosing toys that other children could enjoy. I was really proud of her. Her generosity also rubbed off onto Jillian who really doesn't care about possessions. She caught the giving spirit and they both created a huge pile of things to take to the shelter. Jillian is a joy and always keeps us on our toes. She has such an attitude and is completely passionate about how she feels. She isn't just happy or just upset - she's all the way, 100% thrilled, or 100% ticked! She is not very willing to try new things and has perfected the temper tantrum. And yet, there are times when she will come up, totally unexpectedly and say the sweetest thing or snuggle up and love on me. And her voice is irresistible! She is just the sweetest thing! She's adorable and precious!
And then there's my husband... I am so spoiled. My husband loves me. He loves me when I'm cranky and when I'm lazy. And he loves me even though I'm hugely overweight. And he is still being vocal about it. He still writes me love notes and still tells me that he thinks I'm pretty and that he thinks I'm pretty special. (See, I've got him pretty well fooled! :)) And he makes an effort to do things that he knows I like... He supports me in the things I enjoy and he keeps me focused on reality. He keeps me from being overwhelmingly selfish and he reminds me that the world doesn't revolve around me. :) He appreciates the work I do with the kids and reassures me that he could never do the job that I do. I'm so blessed. We don't have a lot of money. We don't have a beautiful house. I don't have the perfect job or perfect friends of even perfect children or a perfect husband but I am so blessed and so thankful for the people who God has brought into my life. So many blessings! :) Thank you, friend, for being one of them!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Giving Thanks...

I first began this post with the thought of sharing the little details of our lives lately... I've come down with another cold; Jillian stuck a floride tablet up her nose at preschool; Chloe's best friend spent the day with us yesterday and the kids were witnessing to her; Nathan made pilgrims and indians in class, as well as clay molds of his hands; Lowell needs prayer for the coming winter months of long, cold days and the burnout that inevitably follows... And then I found this website and I was distracted... Wow... I have been struggling daily with anger and sadness... First I'm angry at how my days are so filled with need. The needs of others - all around me I hear, "I'm hungry", "I need help", "Where's my...", "What's for dinner?", "Did you...", "Can you...", "Go get...", ... The demands and requests are seemingly neverending... And I feel empty. I don't feel like I have anything left to give. And I'm selfish - I don't want to give anymore! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE! And then I'm heartbroken when I'm alone in the car, after dropping them off at school... remembering how curt I was. How I didn't take time to kneel down and wrap them in my arms and tell them how much I love them... How I didn't whisper a prayer for them to get them through the day at school... How I wasn't a very good example of Christian love... How I could've done better. And then I get depressed. I'm already sad and overwhelmed and then the shame compounds it. It feels like a never ending cycle. But maybe this website offers a reminder... and a solution. My focus shouldn't be on my strength or my ability to give - it should be on who He is and living with His power. My eyes shouldn't be on my performance as a mother but my goal should be to turn their eyes to Christ by having mine there as well. I'll never be a good enough mother on my own. This job is so precious and so important to me... I'll never do it well enough on my own. But through Christ, I can have strength and patience. I can love with His love and not with my own feeble version of love. When I try to admit to others that I'm just tired. I'm just tired of being a mom and just tired of giving, I often hear "Don't you love your kids?". The guilt the comes from that comment.... Anyway, of course I love my kids. It is because of how much I love them that I've pushed myself this far... It is because of how hard I try to be everything for them and to do everything with them and to give them every opportunity that I've become so exhausted. I haven't taken the time to keep myself fed. I was blessed by our vacation to Phoenix. Our marriage was definitely refreshed. But my own soul is still withering. I haven't fed my soul in... a long time. It's been quite awhile since I was in my Bible and not sitting in a pew at the same time. So, I'm going to find a few minutes to set aside for my Lord... And I'm asking for prayer for discipline. And for joy... for a refilling of my tank so that I can start giving again with a joyful heart... I am praying for gratitude and joy when it seems that there is little to be thankful for... Strangely enough, if I would only take the time to look, there are soooo many things to be grateful for. Lord, open my eyes to the beauty, the gifts, the miracles that You place in my life every day. I pray that my first thought in the morning will be one of gratitude and one that acknowledges You as the giver of life, of strength, of love and of joy. I am so thankful for my family. You've given me a husband who is amazing... He truly is my hero. I've been so blessed with a man who I can rely on, trust completely and who I can be myself with... Who knows me inside and out and loves me anyway... One who knows the importance of telling me that he loves me, and one who does the little things that show me his devotion... I'm so spoiled - even if I can't get a dozen roses a week anymore. :) ( ) I've got a trio of kids who are so smart, so healthy, and honestly so good... And who love you as only children can. You've blessed me, Lord. Remind me of that... Show me beauty, don't let me take my life for granted, Lord. Today and every day, I am so blessed, even in the times when life seems hard... You never leave, Lord and that is the greatest gift ever - the gift of Yourself. Thank you for Your love, Lord and help me to show it to my family and to others who You bring into our lives. Thank Your for continuing to love me even though I'm such a slow learner. :) You are amazing, Lord. Abba. Father. Daddy. Alpha and Omega... Yahweh. Elohim. Adonai. Jehovah. El Shaddai... I think I'll be re-reading Tozer's The Knowledge of the Holy.... Until next time, I'll be praying that you know our Heavenly Father too, and that His joy will enter your life and bless you.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yeah! Music!

I am soo excited! I've been trying to a while now to get music here on my blog! And today, I was finally successful!!! You can find them at the bottom of this page! Most of the songs that I've chosen have stories that go along with them... Others are just ones that I love. The one by Kenny Chesney is a song that Lowell and I have shared... I don't know how I've saved him, but I guarantee that Lowell has saved my life - saved my sanity on more than one occassion! :) And I am so dependent on his love. I adore him. The song by Dan Seals is the one that Lowell dedicated to me. It is so very him... :) And I love the message of it. There is one song, however, that I haven't been able to find in order to put it on my list... I'll update you if I can figure it out! :) Until then, enjoy! And any suggestions for more music, let me know!


It seems to have been forever since I blogged! :) We have been so busy! This past weekend however, we were amazingly, wonderfully, blessedly busy! We went on a road trip. Just Lowell and I. This is the first time that Lowell and I have gotten away since we had kids. Yep, that's right - it's been 6 years since we had a weekend to ourselves! I can't even begin to describe how wonderful it was! I was also amazed at how much work goes into getting three kids packed and lined up with babysitters and food, clothes, jackets and homework; getting them on and off the bus, and leaving a note for my 85 year old great grandma to tell her how to use the stove and microwave, what to fix for meals, bedtimes, etc.... And then there was the issue of getting a fire started in our wood stove! :) Friday morning at 6:30am we left the kids off with our friend Shara who got Nathan and Chloe on the bus for school. Jillie stayed with her for the day. Then Katie met Shara at school and took all three of the kids to her house in Sonora. (Important note- Both Katie and Shara each have three kids of their own) Katie kept them Friday and Saturday and brought them to church on Sunday. Then she gave them to my great grandma, at our house, on Sunday afternoon. There were so many logistics! :) But it was sooooooooooooooo worth it! And I greatly appreciate the people who made our get-a-way possible!
We rented a car and drove to Palm Springs on Friday. Then we got up (at 3 am) and drove on in to Phoenix. We shopped and drove around and just had such a good time... Then Saturday night, we went to Abby's wedding. She was a beautiful bride and looked sooo happy! Sunday morning we had breakfast with some friends and then toured the neighborhoods where we are looking to move. We narrowed down our search and made connections with a realtor. So now we're better prepared to find a house and jobs. We're so excited to move!!!! Hopefully February... But we'll see... Then Sunday night we drove - well, Lowell drove, almost all night. We had a leisurely breakfast and took our time coming home... It was soooo wonderful! I have to say I'm a little sorry to be back to reality!
On the drive down, Lowell kept saying how much he missed the kids. On the way back, he kept saying that we need to do this more often! :) I agree with both!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Independence Day

My kids are growing up. Last week, Nathan rode the bus for the first time. I was so sad... He was thrilled, of course, but for some reason, I felt very sad about his new-found independence. It was one of those moments when you know something, but then in an instant you really know it. When Chloe and I went to Subway today she kind of shocked me. She knew exactly what she wanted to order and what she did and didn't want on her sandwich. I realized that they are definitely developing different personalities... Nathan doesn't like mustard, loves ham sandwiches and PowerRangers and wants to be just like his daddy. Chloe loves veggies and anything considered healthy, she hates being dirty and doesn't like to do manual labor. Jillian still believes that the two main food groups are peanut butter and cheese although she has branched out into pancakes, eggs and some rice; she is so smart and adores school but especially loves the social connections she has made there. When Nathan grows up he wants to be either a fireman, policeman or an "Army". Oh, and he wants to be in the Olympics. A gymnast. (That kind of bothers Lowell... :)) Chloe wants to be a doctor. Jillian wants to be Sleeping Beauty. :)
This morning we had our weekly DJ session. Daddy was on YouTube playing music and the kids were dancing all around the house. While I was videotaping it, I was struck by how different the kids are in their body language, their talents and their opinions. I've known since they were born that the three of them are very different, but seeing them develop personalities and preferences is both exhilarating and somewhat sad too. At least I know that I'm doing my job, right? They're growing up, and they're growing up into very thoughtful, intelligent, loving little people. What more could a mom ask for?
"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings." - Hodding Carter