Friday, March 25, 2011

All Things Old

As I celebrate my birthday today, I can't help but notice all things that point to how old I am.

1) For the record, I don't really ever feel old when I have a birthday.  Sure there are the "milestone" birthdays, but I always have viewed them as "Rights of Passage" type birthdays.  Now when my kids have birthdays, well, that is a whole other story.  Those birthdays make me feel old in a "I can't believe I am old enough to have an eight year old" or "My youngest child is already five!" sort of way.  But my own birthdays? no.  They don't really make me feel old.

Until this year.

I always thought that people who complained about their birthdays, tried to avoid their special day, or told everyone they were "Turning 21 again" were saying those things because they ARE old.  Now, I am that person.  In this past week, I have completely forgotten that I was having a birthday,  I have been tempted to "lie" about my age in the spirit of "I'm turning 29 again",  and have been trying to avoid doing anything special  in hope that the whole day would just disappear.

The surprise birthday party The Hubs threw for me totally threw a wrench in that last statement.

But it was totally sweet, completely unexpected, and so very happy.

So, I totally forgave him on the spot.

2) For my birthday dinner, all I can hope for, and am totally anticipating, is an all you can eat buffet.

My love for Sweet Tomatoes is still very strong, and as I age I imagine that it will only grow stronger.

3) I hurt my hip running.  Did I slip? Did I trip? Did I forget to stretch?  No.  I was on a treadmill and simply hurt my hip just because I was running.  So basically, at this point in the game of life, by body parts are just wearing out on me.


4) Even if I could run without hip pain, I can't.  Earlier in the week, I had to have more moles removed from my tummy.  Remember my skin cancer last summer?  Yea,  it's surprising that someone as YOUNG as me would have skin cancer, right?  Or maybe, I'm not all that young?  Thankfully, they were only "A-typical", but the doctor said she wasn't comfortable leaving them alone, especially with my "history".

Great word. 

All I could think of was that I was old enough to have a "history".

5) While there were many other things that helped me to feel really old this week, I am going to end with this one.  It ties back to number one.   The Little Man has reached a milestone.  One that I don't think I can wrap my heart around right now.

He has a loose tooth.

I know. I know.  Not the end of the world.  BUT! This is my YOUNGEST CHILD.  He is now going to be losing his teeth.  Do you all remember the torment I went through when The Girl started losing her teeth?  Oh, the horror.  Now, it's my baby's turn. 

He'll never look the same again.

Oh, and he learned how to tie his shoe this week.  So, basically, he's moving away to college.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Should Have Expected This

It's Spring Break around these parts.  The cool thing is, it actually feels like Spring around these parts. 

Completely unexpected.

Last week was Day Light Savings. 


We spent all week DRAGGING our sleepy bodies out of bed each morning, and walked around all day like tired, grouchy zombies.

It was so fun.

I could hardly wait to catch up on sleep this week, and then get back to finishing up the rest of the school year strong.

Guess who is now waking up bright and early and oh! so! chipper! ?

I'll give you a clue: They are under the age of 10.

I should have expected this.

Friday, March 18, 2011

He Will Not Share His Glory with Another

This month has been challenging to find the memory verses that I think will perfectly fit where I am.  Both verses this month took me a while to find.  Alas, only a few days late, I have come up with what I want my heart to rest in for the remainder of March.

"I am doing this so all that see this miracle will understand what it means-that it is the Lord who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it." -Isaiah 41:20 NLT

To be truthful, I actually wanted to memorize verses 17-20 in Isaiah 41, but I thought that could be a bit aggressive for my tired brain.  As I studied this section of Isaiah a few weeks ago, these verses stood out to me like God was speaking them Himself right to me.

" 17 The poor and needy search for water,
   but there is none;
   their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the LORD will answer them;
   I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
   and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
   and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
   the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
   the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
   may consider and understand,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
   that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
-Isaiah 41:17-20 NIV

To say that 2011 has been a year where our family has been parched is an understatement.  At times I have felt like we are living in the driest of deserts.  So to come upon this promise in Isaiah where God promises His chosen  and dearly loved people of Israel, people He has allowed to be in captivity, that he will once again make "rivers flow on barren heights and springs within the valleys" and then continues to tell of the lush vegetation-vegetation that has no business being the desert-that will be found there.  Well, I can't help but feel loved, looked after, cared for, and seen.

Yes, God allows times in the desert. Times of hardship, times of struggle, times of suffering.  They aren't fun, but they are necessary.  These are times in which we are refined.  As much as I like to think that I practice what I preach, and that my heart truly believes what my head knows, well, that would be a lie.  And like any good parent, any loving parent, God cannot stand to watch me wallow around in my own mess for too long.   While our time in the desert has not been fun, I feel as though it has been fruitful.  While the way things used to be seemed to be much easier or seemed good, they were not the best.  God wants our best.

So, while I (our family) may be in the desert, this promise tells me "But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them."  Once again we will see rivers, springs, and lush vegetation in this desert.  And why?  Why would God do all of this?  The key is in verse 20 (my memory verse) "so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it." or in the NLT "I am doing this so all that see this miracle will understand what it means-that it is the Lord who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it."  

It's for His glory.

Lord, may you and you alone receive the glory for the work you are doing in our lives.  May people see and know that it was You who has done all these things, and know that you are a God who loves, who rescues, who saves.  May we be small so you will be large. -Amen.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We're Taking the Elevator From Now On

This conversation today reminded me of the old saying "You can't walk and chew gum at the same time".

p: I wish we had wooden stairs
me: Really? Wooden stairs can be pretty dangerous.  They are kind of slippery.
p: Slippery?  How?
me: Well, if you walk on them with socks on you can slip and fall.  That's why they usually put a runner on the stairs.
p: That's why you should hold onto the railing.  Then you won't fall.
me: I've fallen holding onto the railing before, but I didn't fall as far as I could have, that's for sure.
p: Yea, one time I fell down the stairs when I was holding onto the railing.
me: You did?
p: Yea, but that's because I was talking to myself.  That should be a rule for the stairs.  "Hold onto the railing, and no talking to yourself."  That would make the stairs a lot more safe.
me: You fell because you were talking to yourself?
p: Yea, it just takes all of your concentration.

Imagine the disaster had there been gum involved.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Little Behind Schedule

I realized the day that I was supposed to blog about my scripture memory verse was the day that I posted all those pictures.  Well, I am weird and didn't want them to share a post.  Kind of like making sure none of your food touches on your plate.  Except for meatloaf, potatoes, and broccoli.  Because the three of those together? pure Heaven, I tell you.

Anyway, I was trying to make my post about scripture memory be only about scripture memory.  Sticking with the whole, "Scripture Meeting Me Right Where My Life Is" theme, I am going with one of the scriptures that I heavily considered two weeks ago, and my mind has been meditating on ever since.

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." 1Peter 5:10 ESV

I cannot get over the fact that it will be God Himself that will "restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish" me.  It also reminds me of the truth that God is in control of our situation.  Yes, there is suffering.  He sees that.  He knows full well the extent to which we are suffering.  He not only sees and knows, but He is also concerned.  And after "a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore" me/our situation/our family.  He who knows, sees, and is concerned about our suffering will be the one who also restores me/us/our family, and it will be under His control, His timing, His sovereignty, and His supremacy.  And why?  Because we have been called to "his eternal glory in Christ".

Sometimes we are allowed to suffer in order to bring glory to God.  In His restoration, healing, and strengthening of our family, it is my prayer that all of this will bring much glory to God.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Just a Few Pictures....

So since it is March, I thought I would catch up on sharing some pictures from since, I don't know, the BEGINNING OF THE YEAR.

Good grief!

The sad thing is, I really haven't taken too many pictures this year, unless someone has paid me to.  So the pictures I do have were taken because it was something I thought was important and worthy of sharing.   Pictures of The Girl's birthday party and activities that have sucked away all of our time kept us busy this winter.  You know.  Just small stuff.

Just living life has been a bit consuming as of late.  So that's my excuse.

Anyway, here are a handful of images to wrap up most of Winter 2011:

The Girl's cheer party.  She had a blast, the girls were all cute, the party was super easy to throw, and fun was had by all.  And I mean that.  Really.  I wish I could throw parties like that one every year.

Some tumbling:

The Girl in her borrowed cheer outfit (Thank goodness she had on a swim suit underneath.  Modesty anyone? Geesh!):

More tumbling:

The Girl always loves to help The Little Man out:

All the girls learned a cheer, which they performed for all the parents when they came to pick them up.  Here they are cheering their hearts out:

A little candle action.  Try to ignore the fact that the cake was already cut before we sung "Happy Birthday".  I got a little excited about cake cutting and almost forgot to actually have everyone sing the song.  I rock, what can I say.

The Girl's two most favorite friends in the whole wide world.

Cute, huh?

OK.  Now onto winter activities.  The kids both participated in Upward this year.  Love that program.  The Little Man worked on becoming King of the Court while he polished up his basketball skilz.

Seriously, while kids might show an aptitude towards a sport at a young age, that does not mean that they will actually understand the "game" aspect at a young age.  The Little man can dribble and shoot hoop like no one's business, but his understanding of offense, defense, and the game of basketball in general was a bit lacking.

Along with all the other five year olds on his team.

I don't know why this was a surprise to me, but it was.  I just assumed that they would know how to play.  Let's just say that this led to some VERY long games.  They did improve by leaps and bounds, though, by the end of the season.

Here's The Little Man:

Planning his next move:

 Learning some last minute strategy before the big game:

Getting his number called, and running in from the sidelines:

Trash talkin'

Making himself "open" for the pass:

Taking the ball down the court: (If it looks like he's walking, it's because he totally is.  I'm telling you the games were L-O-N-G.)

Going for the shot:

All in all, The Little Man really liked basketball.  Even though it was a rough start, I could totally see us doing this again next year.

The Girl participated in Upward as well.  Instead of Basketball, she chose....cheer leading!  I was pleased with her choice.  The Girl is too much of a "lover" to participate in competitive team sports.  We found that out the hard way last year.

She does love cheering though!  Nothing wrong with helping people feel like they are loved and encouraging them to do a good job.  It really was the perfect fit for The Girl.

Looking super cute:

Reminding those guys what they should be doing "TAKE IT TO THE BASKET!"

 And while you're there: "RAISE THAT SCORE!"

The half-time dance: (Oh, I waited all season for this!  It!)

She really loved cheering.  No competition, encouraging people, and making friends.  That's what my girl likes to do.  Although, today she did ask, "Now that cheering is over, are we going to do something fun like Science Camp or maybe a Bug Camp?"

That's my girl.