Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not supermom, just a blessed mom!

How in the world does 20 days go by so fast? That's how long it's been seen my last post. I know, I'm a stranger these days. The difference between blogging with one kid and three, is well....different. My days are busy, my nights are busy, and finding time to get thoughts on keyboard is tricky. On top of that I'm making tu-tu's, scouring for vintage scarves (which sell like hotcakes btw), and keeping my fridge stocked with semi-healthy foods. Motherhood is a lot, right? I love it, it's my life, but it's a lot. If someone had told me 10 years ago that I'd have a hard time finding time to paint my toenails, dye my hair, wash my face, or pluck those hairs (you know what I'm talking about) I would've thought they were nuts. How can someone not find 10 minutes to paint their nails???? Oh sure, it's priorities, I could paint my nails if I REALLY wanted to. But usually a bazillion (yes, bazillion) other things take precedence.

Jacob and I just finished our first year of home schooling. Been there, done that, forgot to buy a t-shirt.....we did it!!! The year went by fast. Sort of crazy fast actually. Some days went by v e r y slow. Home schooling moms, you've all been there. Some days I wanted to crawl in a hole, stand on my roof screaming, or burn my hair off. Maybe all three at once. Some days were heavenly and I felt proud of myself and Jacob for what we were doing. But in the end, we finished every last page of our textbooks, did the written plan we set out to do last September, followed our schedule, and really, truly learned. I feel confident that Jacob learned in 6th grade what a kid should learn in 6th grade. That's an accomplishment for this step mom who is at times still trying to figure out how to mother a 12 year old boy that is only 16 years her junior. The other day Jake said, "hmmm, when I'm 40 you'll only be 56. Creepy." HA! And yes, it is a little creepy, but God knew Jake would be my son and I believe he's made our relationship special. Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm not saying if you had a kid at 16, you are creepy as a mother. It's just the word that Jake and I used to sort of describe the oddity of me being not much older than him. Here's perspective- I'm 10 years older than my sister. That means my sister and son are 6 years a part.

Anywho, now that we're done with school, I can breathe again! I'm trying to get caught up on paperwork and budgeting, making tu tu's, and all the stuff for my mother-in-law. Jake still has a couple weeks of baseball left so we can't totally breathe yet, but we're getting there. He's really enjoying baseball and if I think about it hard enough it makes me cry like a baby. Here this child came to us 4'11, 125lbs, swollen and puffy from soda and junk food, didn't even know who the first president was or why anyone really celebrates Christmas. He'd never carved a pumpkin, played on a sandy beach all day, had a sleepover, or a birthday party with buddies. His life had been lived from the confines of an apartment, video games til 2am every night, sleeping on couches, and moving homes (and schools) 2-3 times a year. He had no idea what a normal life could look like. I can see him glow from the inside when he sees Craig and I hug, or snuggle, or say I love you. To him, mom and dad loving each other is the best kind of security he could ask for. Jacob is thriving and that is all Craig and I ever wanted for him. It's been a little over a year since he got here and he's now 5'3" and 103lbs and growing and eating like a weed. He loves ice cream nearly every night and I'm under strict orders from his awesome Dr to let him have it since he's gonna be tall and he's thin enough. Trust me, this boy isn't on a diet, he's just active and healthy. He now has confidence and that's something you can't put a price tag on. I remember shortly after he got here and I asked why he never smiled showing his teeth. He quietly confided that he wasn't confident about his teeth and wished he could go to the dentist. *Heartbreak*. The second we got him coverage we were headed to the dentist! He has no problem smiling big now.

May 2011, shortly after he got here
May 2012, looks like his handsome daddy

God has done so much in our lives in the past year, it's sort of nuts. We got custody of Jake (an agreement, not legally), moved, home schooled our first year, and just this last week- sold our old house! That is a huge feat. Buyers were having a very hard time getting a loan on it because of the failed septic. Took something like 6 offers and TONS of work from our awesome realtor, Karin Kay. If you think selling your home is impossible, I encourage you to call Karin Kay Properties. Or if it's an easy sale, call her, too. She deserves it after ours! Karin is sharp and on top of things and for this numbers/organized/over achiever brain to say that, really means something.

I'm grateful for all God has brought us through and the ways He's provided that I never would've imagined. I feel at home in our church and blessed to be a part of the music ministry. I'm building friendships that are real and genuine and my children are learning and thriving as well. My husband is stinking awesome and here we are at almost our 7th year...going into our 8th. I think we both feel like in a lot of ways we married up :) Life is certainly not perfect and I'd be lying if I said some days I don't wake up thinking, "oh no, not another day!" But I do believe contentment is the preserver of joy and I want to live in that as best I can.

We are just a few weeks away from summer and I can't wait for sun, my friend's wedding, days at the beach, dinner on the porch, camping as a family, and watching my kids run around the yard soaking wet :)


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Then she growed and growed.....

Eliana (3) just brought me to tears....

She was running after her dad and tripped down the stairs giving herself a nice little rug burn. Craig had Evie (1) in his arms so I snuggled Eliana. To calm her down I started telling a story she loves to hear,  how mommy and daddy met and got married. Her other favorite story is about us getting pregnant with her and her birth. I tell her the story often. She wanted to tell the story this time and it went like this," mommy and daddy cried and cried and prayed and prayed (hands folded in prayer at that part) and they really wanted baby Eliana so much. Then God said, I will give you baby Eliana and I will put her in mommy's tummy. Mommy and daddy said YAY (she cheers here)!!!!! Then little baby Eliana was in mommy's tummy and she growed and growed til she was a bigger girl." Then I took over for the rest of the story...."when Elly was almost done growing in mommy's tummy, mommy pushed ARRRRGGGG and POP! Out flew Eliana (Eliana laughs at this part)! Mommy hugged her and kissed her and nursed her and everyone was SO happy."

I love that Eliana knows that from the moment we found out we were pregnant with her she has been wanted, loved, and cherished.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Long Skirts and Head Coverings?

It's after midnight and my brain (and typing fingers) aren't sleepy yet. Had a Venti Frap earlier, thanks to Starbucks happy hour :) Which means I might not sleep tonight. I'm SO sensitive to caffeine.

I've been pondering what to blog as we're just so busy lately, we live at the ball field most nights, and I'm trying to process a lot. Last weekend we went to a homeschooling conference. We had the baby toddler with us and the other two were with my parents. The conference was like visiting another culture. I had never in my life seen so many 12 passenger vans, long skirts, and hair coverings. There were 3,000 people in attendance (wowza, right?). I tried hard not to judge them as I didn't want them judging me in my jean-wearing sinfulness (hehe). Having only 3 kids we were for sure among the smallest of the families there. 6, 8, 10, 12+ were more common for number of kids. Most families had their children with them. I mean, think of finding childcare for 12 kids....kind of tough.
Just a tiny glimpse of a football field sized parking lot full of vans :)

I've been wanting to blog about the conference, but yet also wanted to be careful that I don't attack or demean the parts of the conference I disagree with. During the conference I had to work hard to filter everything and ask God if things lined up with scripture and if it was what He wanted for my family. I don't want to live in a world of all black and white and what boils down to just being legalism. I want right living and truth, but also the freedom and flexibility that I believe God allows us as we pursue Him and seek to hear His voice and convictions. I don't personally feel called to wear skirts every day. I'm not anti-skirt, but I also don't believe that by wearing pants I am less feminine or dishonoring the Lord or my husband. I DO believe that modesty should make a comeback. Cleavage, short skirts, etc just look inappropriate on someone carrying a kid and talking about the Lord. Just maybe it's hard for people to hear our message when they're looking at our boobs :) Save the overt sexy for the bedroom. *stepping off soapbox*

I don't totally understand the head coverings, and aside from selling them for fashion (which I do a lot of in my Etsy shop), I don't see the need to wear a head covering with the purpose of hiding my hair. However, since I don't understand it and haven't taken the time to learn about it, I can't say much. I will say I find it slightly ironic that hair is covered for modesty, but the head coverings actually draw more attention to the woman (in my opinion).

I feel like over the course of the weekend we ended up with 3 big take aways.

1). How Big God Is. We watched a presentation by 4th Day Alliance about creation astronomy. It was mind boggling. Amazing and so well done. I have thought often about the presentation over the last week and how much it increased my knowledge, appreciation, and awe of who my Savior is. And how BIG He is but yet He made us and loves us. Incredible.
2). Stop watching the page numbers so closely. I'm an overachiever. I put it on myself and I put it on other people. Some times it's a character strength, sometimes it's a flaw. I push too hard sometimes while schooling Jake. I don't always allow enough flexibility for bad days and just taking the time to appreciate the ride and notice what we're learning that can't always be measured by pages and tests. I'm encouraged to lighten up a little bit, and work to enjoy the ride, not just survive it. The keynote speaker, Voddie Baucham, talked on the first day about this. He said we push hard to get good test scores, so we can get college acceptance, so we can get good jobs and good pay.......but are we discipling children with passion for Jesus and with real knowledge of the Bible and scriptural truths? Stop worrying so much about the test scores and disciple your children.
3). Make God central in your home. This is something we want and at times feel like we're doing really good at. Other times I feel like we're hamsters running on the wheel and we seriously suck at making God central in our family. We talk about God daily, in all areas of our lives. We pray, we read the Bible with our children, we listen to worship music, we go to church.....but are we just doing the motions? I want my children to go to God first in all areas of their lives. To have passion to pursue Him. I want children that have strength to walk away from temptations and to find their security and meaning in their Savior. Not in boyfriends/girlfriends, drugs, money, or anything else. God is our only constant, truly!

I'm not sure if we'll go to the conference next year. We'll see what happens between now and then. Perhaps child free if we go again! Although, it was very special to have two whole days with just Evie. She was so fun. We took her to dinner and then swimming in the hotel pool. She got a years worth of kisses and hugs in those two days :)

I feel God moving in our home and stirring us to serve Him better and allow room in our lives for Him to move and direct us. Sometimes it takes seeing things we don't want in our home to realize what we do want.