Saturday, January 29, 2011

immeasurable morning...

it was one of those mornings where nothing seemed out of the ordinary,
until you stop for a moment, take a look at your kids,
and wonder if they literally grew over night...
and wonder where the years have gone...
and if it's possible to freeze time...
where in the midst of a "need to be cleaned" house
and calm chaos all around,
you don't want to squander or miss any of these moments,
and you pray they won't be your last...
for they indeed are immeasurable.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thirsty...

"God thirsts to be thirsted after."
~Augustine

As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after thee!
Tomorrow our women's Bible study starts back up.
We will be studying Beth Moore's "Daniel,"
and I am so excited for what God will reveal to us (to me)
over the next couple of months.
When pursuing after God, there is no room for disappointment,
only blessing.
I cannot wait.
I'm thirsty.


"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness;
for they shall be filled."
~Matthew 5:6

Eager to be filled.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Stretching, sounding and blending...

Brooke sat down at the table yesterday with paper and pencil in hand and began to draw. Before I got a chance to peek, she folded the piece of paper up and stuck it in her pocket. I asked her if I could take a look and found this sweet little illustrated page of animals,
all with "names" she tried to spell on her own...
(double click for larger version)
Words are coming alive in her little world.
Reading, writing, stretching, sounding, and blending her way through
the magical land of kindergarten.
Sweet.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A LOVE Package...

Last night was one of those nights that got the best of me.
Alone with the three kids, I was trying to balance work, fun, and learning through homework, housework, dinner, games, and conversation. As each hour of the evening progressed, and each child became increasingly tired, my patience and energy began to thin.
There is only so much grace and understanding one can give to her tired child who tends to whine, complain and spread his contagious bad attitude and ungrateful heart until it turns the whole house upside down. These are lessons we have been working on for quite some time...choosing joy...choosing a thankful heart...choosing words that are helpful, not hurtful...ones that honor God and honor mommy and daddy. Being content.
Some days it feels like I am getting nowhere and everything I am trying to instill is falling on deaf ears. It can feel exhausting.
And when you mix that with a mommy who has lost her temper and let anger and frustration replace the sheet of patience she was desperately clinging too, you have an uproar.
In addition to this...earlier that afternoon, I came across an old file on my mother and father in-laws PC that contained home videos of our family recorded while living in our old home. Files we had downloaded there before we bought our MAC. I was instantly warmed by seeing "us" just being "us" in our own space. It was nice to see my old furniture and decorations and all the things that I created to make our home feel like a home. We've been with my in-laws for almost 17 months now. I hadn't seen these belongings in quite some time. I missed them. I was strangely filled with feelings of sadness for what once was,
but also excitement for what is to come.
But it wasn't the furniture and "things" that made me yearn and long for our own space again, it was the underlying serenity and tranquility that exuded from our family in these videos (something I haven't felt for a really long time). It was the intangible climate that only our family of 5 can create together in our own space. An energy that can't be replicated or recreated. It was familiar. It was peace to my soul.
It was a colossal exhale.
It was home.
That's what I miss.
So, between that trip down memory lane and an evening that ended on a bad note, I wasn't feeling my best.
I hadn't gotten the mail all day and around 9pm at night, Dennis and Linda came home and brought in the mail...and there on the table sat an unexpected package for me.
I quickly recognized the writing and return address as my Mama Jo's, and opened it with great anticipation.
Inside the package I found a table runner and tea towel in the most charming Valentine's fabric.
Words really can't describe what this meant to me.
It was a taste of the "familiar," a taste of "home," and felt like a big hug from my Mom leapt out of the package at just the precise time on just the right day.
My Mom knows me well, what I like and adore, down to every little detail, such as the vintage fabric and pompom trim that she used to create these pieces.
She is fabulous.
I immediately thanked God for the perfect timing of this delivery. He knows every detail of our hearts desires, and longs to deliver and fulfill.

This was a package of LOVE on many levels...
from mother to daughter and from Father to daughter.
I felt noticed and known. Loved.

And while my heart longs for our own home now...even when that day comes,
there will still be a longing for home.
For heaven is our true home. And with eternity written on our hearts, we will always feel this longing until we finally are home in heaven. Until then, we can relish in the "tastes of heaven" we receive, such as in this LOVE package from my Mom.

In Max Lucado's "Come Thirsty" book he writes,
“We have the Holy Spirit…as a foretaste of future glory” (Romans 8: 23). Samplings from heaven’s kitchen do likewise. There are moments, perhaps far too few, when time evaporates and joy modulates and heaven hands you an hors d’oeuvre. Rather than dismiss or disregard such moments as good luck, relish them. They can attune you to heaven. So can tough ones. Blessings and burdens. Both can alarm-clock us out of slumber. Gifts stir homeward longings. So do struggles. Every homeless day carries us closer to the day our Father will come.
So, I look at this package from my Mom as one of heaven's hors d' oeuvres. Attuning my heart to Valentine's Day, to love, and to the greatest message of true love we have ever received: Jesus Christ.
He came to save.
And as this towel above depicts,
He dared.
He wanted my heart.
He wanted yours.
He pursues daily.
And that is a LOVE package we can all receive.

Monday, January 17, 2011

When all else fails...

Sundays are our family days...they are Darcy's only day off, so we try to guard this time together. We have Home Group every other Sunday night, which leaves us with 2 Sundays a month to spend the day together as a family with no agenda.
This past Sunday we went out to lunch with friends after church, which resulted in an extra late nap for Berlyn. Shortly after 5pm we had to wake her up because the kids (and Darc and I) were itching to get out of the house...However, what to do?
At 5:30pm on a Sunday evening, we were running out of options.
The gym pool was closing. The childcare center at gym was closing. The REC pool had closed. The malls were closing. We contemplated taking the kids to see Narnia, but after pricing out tickets (without popcorn) it came to $47.00! So, when all else failed...
we took our 5 year old's advice and headed out to Chuck E. Cheese's.
Definitely not our top choice of entertainment...
but when you are with the ones you love, even a life-sized mouse, a zoo-filled room of noise, germs, and overstimulation can seem tolerable and admittingly enjoyable.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

anticipation...

every day the same routine...
anticipation builds as the afternoon drags along;
where are brother and sister?
and then the shiny yellow bus pulls up
with answered dreams and painted smiles...
and life is good again.
couldn't ask for more.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Grandma time and everything in between!

This past Friday my Mama Jo came into town to visit.
She stayed the night with us,
filling our world with a little more color, comfort and love.
Berlyn was exceptionally affectionate with her.
(even now as I write this post, she must climb onto my lap every time she sees a photo of Grammy Jo on the computer screen.)
Let the good times ROLL!
Grandma Jo brought a new game for us to play called "Forget It!"
Brayden especially enjoyed this game. We capped off Friday night and began Saturday morning taking risks and rolling the dice away.
The girls had a sleepover in the basement...
(Brookie especially enjoyed this...and they were the last ones to rise in the morning!)
While still in pj's we colored this big cardboard cottage
(a gift for Brookie from the Ayotte's)
Before my mom came out,
Brooke had come up with several "projects" they could do together.
(this was one of them)


(Painting their nails together was another)
We also enjoyed a little shopping at The Spoiled Girl and Hobby Lobby,
delicious homemade enchiladas (recipe from Kelly), football games,
and about 24 hours of quality downtime in between.

Moving onto Grandma #2
Sunday was Grandma Schrieber's birthday.
Although she was sick with a cold,
we still celebrated with a home-cooked meal and birthday cake and song.
Happy Birthday Grandma!
We love you and hope you feel better soon.
In addition to all of our Grandma time, we managed to squeeze in a date night (or adult night) having dinner with friends and watching Brian Regan perform at The Fillmore.
It was a night of "Small Plates" and BIG laughs!
We also squeezed in a wonderful church service, Sunday naps, Home Group, and Farkle.
It was a busy weekend indeed;
but filled with many of my favorite things...
and shared with the people who mean the most to me in this world.
I'm loving 2011 already.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

From my Mama Mama...

My Mama Mama made this book for Berlyn
and gave it to her for Christmas this year.
She found and used photos from my blog and surprised us with this little treasure.
It is too darling not to share and immediately won our affections.
Berlyn loves to look at the pictures and we read it together
at least once (or twice) daily.
Enjoy!







And then you flip the book for round two:
Papa Papa!







The End...
(unless you are Berlyn and say, "guh, guh!"
that means, "again, again!")
Mama, Mama,
creative soul,
gifts like this
we treasure so!
Thank you Grandma Jo!