Thursday, May 30, 2013

Crossing The Finish Line

We made it!  Today was the last day of first and fourth grade.  Also, the last day of the fastest school year to-date.  No kidding, this crazy train gets faster each year.  I never knew days, weeks, and months could accumulate so quickly until I had kids.  And just when I think time can't possibly go any faster, it does.   This year, especially, I feel like we were just getting into a good groove, and then it was over.  It must have been all the extra activities we were involved in after school.  Or maybe that they were both gone all day?  Whatever it was, it was good. 

Summer? I need you to put on the breaks.  I can't believe you are here already, and I want to soak up every glorious second you have to offer us.   Also, I can't face the fact that my babies are now second and fifth graders.  Middle school is breathing down our neck with her hot breath.  To say I'm uncomfortable would be an understatement. 

In the meantime, I'm starving for some late nights, later mornings, warm days, dips in the pool, flip-flops, no schedule, short hair,  painted toenails, lots of reading, and tons of family time. 

Summer, we welcome you!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Small Talk

Recently heard in conversations in our home:

As I looked over at The Little Man's place mat, I notice a very large mess.  Especially when you consider the smallness of what was eaten.  Just one cookie.  That was it.  I called The Little Man into the kitchen, jumping on the opportunity to teach neat eating habits and cleaning up after yourself.  As I looked at his face, COVERED in chocolate we discussed:

me: Buddy, can you please take a look at your place mat?
p: Yea.
me: What are you seeing there that you aren't seeing at the other spots around the table?
p: Lots and lots of crumbs.
me: Yea.  I noticed your face is quite the mess as well. 
p:  Mom!  What do you want me to do?  Seriously! I just really enjoy my food, OK?

I love food too, so it was hard for me to continue in this conversation.  I simply told him after he was done "enjoying his food", he needed to remember to clean up.

And I hugged him because we share the common bond of food love.

At the breakfast table:
d: You know we only have a few days left before we are in Orlando at Harry Potter World!
p: I know!  I can't' wait.  Maybe we should watch 1 movie every night before we leave and then we will be all caught up.
d: Don't forget, we need to be reading the books, buddy. 
(Oh how I love that girl!)
p: I know, sister!  I'm already on book 4.  I'm reading the fastest I can, but I don't know if I'll get it all done before we leave.
d: Oh!  You can get it done.  You just have to make a commitment.  What I do is just plan to carve out about 4 hours a day and just commit to read during that time. 
p: You just read the whole time?
d: Yup.  It's the only way to get any amount of large reading done.
p: I don't know if I can read that long.  (Or stay still that long (Oh wait, those are my thoughts))
d: Well, you won't know if you don't try.

And upstairs they went.  Each to their own rooms.  It wasn't for four hours, but I'm not complaining about any amount of time of total peace.  Plus, seeing both of my babies with their noses in Harry Potter books made my heart swell just a little. 

Me.  Talking to myself.  Early in the morning this past Wednesday.  (Oh.  Don't act like you don't talk to yourself!)
me:  Just think.  This is the last lunch you are packing until August.   The VERY LAST ONE. 

That might have been the best conversation all week.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Living On My Hard Drive

Photos that tell the story of our days have been collecting dust on my hard drive.  Most taken with my phone, on a whim, others a bit more planned.  Just a bit.  What's been missed with words, will now be spoken with images.

Suffering through a cold soccer game...I know I've mentioned this once or thirty nine times.

A day of tubing in the mountains with our Aunty and her fiance:

Oh yes I did.  I snagged this pic of the soccer team right behind the professional photographer.  I'm bad like that sometimes.

The Girl did a Revolutionary War re-enactment for a field trip.  She was THRILLED to be an Indian Warrior.  They got the most make-up.  Priorities, people. Priorities.

The kids and I went to see Mary Poppins at the theater downtown when it came.  What a wonderful show and special treat for us!

Someone made it into the Spelling Bee for first grade.  They took the top 15 spellers based off of test scores.  He made it to the third round before forgetting the second "p" in "slipper".  Dang!  Ironically enough, the one word he missed on his written test was "stopped".  He forgot the second "p" in that word as well.  We are proud of our hard-working student no matter how far he made it!

 I chaperoned a field trip to the Nature and Science Museum for The Girl's class.  It was me and these crazies:
 Yup, that's eight kids.  EIGHT.  In a Museum.  Here we are destroying sitting on a mammoth tusk.  The group behind us thought this pose would be a great idea as well.  Apparently, it's not OK with the museum curators.  This shot may or may not be illegal. 

My sweet littles also earned their second stripes in Jiu Jitsu.  They continue to work hard and love it!

Here's The Little Man getting ready to serenade me with the rest of his first grade friends (OK, and their moms too) for Mother's day.  It was a very sweet performance.
That's one blurry pic!

If the museum wasn't enough, I thought, heck, why not chaperone a zoo field trip.  GAH!  At least they were all outside and nothing was breakable.  Plus, it was super fun to hang out with The Little Man for the day.  There also was an unfortunate incident that involved bird poo.  Thankful that his momma was there to calm, clean, and move forward.  

It's been busy and full...and wonderful.  Thankful that this school year is wrapping up.  We are ready for the break.  However, I must say, it feels like I blinked and it was over.  I think this has been the fastest school year yet.  So much to be thankful for!

Saturday, May 18, 2013


As I watched the last soccer game of the season, it dawned on me:  I will most likely sign The Little Man up for fall soccer because (and get this) it would be fun.

I don't know who I've become.

I can't even recognize myself.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Season of Change

As we have been walking a fairly bumpy road in life, not knowing where we are headed or what's in-store, we are starting to see a bend up ahead.  A new direction.  It may still be bumpy, dark, and the view bad, but there's something ahead, for sure.

I get set in my ways, and stubborn at times.  I think I won't ever do something, or how could I possibly not do that?  Then, something happens.  A change of heart.  And a change of direction.  Recently, we (The Hubs and I) have been both experiencing some heart changes.  Things that seemed impossible, are suddenly showing themselves to be not so far out of reach.  Other stuff, stuff that we never would want to happen, doesn't sound like such a bad idea after all.  It's confusing.  It's weird.  It's exciting.

Since the changes that are happening are so far out of the norm for us, and we are both on the same page with one another (hello! how often does that happen?), we are feeling excited that it is God who is actively changing our hearts and desires, and putting His plans in motion.  The plans He has had since the beginning of time.

My comfort zone is being encroached upon, and in this discomfort, I doubt.  "Is that really, You I'm hearing?"  "Why do I all of a sudden feel so desperate for this?"  "Is this my desire or Yours?"

It's so tempting for me to respond, "Lord, whatever your will is, I'll do it.  I just need a big flashing billboard to lead the way.  Without it, I don't know where to go, and in fear, I might just stand still."

Unfortunately, faith doesn't work that way.  Faith moves without knowing the direction.  Faith goes not because of a big billboard, but because He asks you to go.  Faith doesn't know the end before it begins.  And, as He would have it, this year I'm working out my faith muscles.

There's no big announcement in this entry, just sharing that "times, they are a changin'!"  Not sure where this road is going, but there is a bend.  Or a fork.  I don't know which.  Here are two songs that are so encouraging to me right now:

Sidewalk Prophets, Help Me Find It:

I don’t know where to go from here
It all used to seem so clear
I’m finding I can’t do this on my own

I don’t know where to go from here
As long as I know that You are near
I’m done fighting
I’m finally letting go

I will trust in You
You’ve never failed before
I will trust in You

If there’s a road I should walk
Help me find it
If I need to be still
Give me peace for the moment
Whatever Your will
Whatever Your will
Can you help me find it
Can you help me find it

I’m giving You fear and You give faith
I giving you doubt
You give me grace
For every step I’ve never been alone

Even when it hurts, You’ll have Your way
Even in the valley I will say
With every breath
You’ve never let me go

I will wait for You
You’ve never failed before
I will wait for You


I lift my empty hands (come fill me up again)
Have Your way my King (I give my all to You)
I lift my eyes again (Was blind but now I see)
‘Cause You are all I need


The other one is Jason Gray, Nothing is Wasted:

The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope's a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It's from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what's lost will be found again

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

From the ruins
From the ashes
Beauty will rise
From the wreckage
From the darkness
Glory will shine
Glory will shine

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

From the ruins
From the ashes
Beauty will rise
From the wreckage
From the darkness
Glory will shine
Glory will shine  

These two songs encourage me that He will lead me where He wants, and never leave me alone.  That I can trust Him, wait on Him, and move with Him.  That I don't need to fear that a move I make might be wrong, because with Him, nothing is wasted.  I don't have to fret that my past might keep me from something my future may hold for me, because He uses everything for my good.  That what we are going through right now, and for the last two years, is preparing and equipping us for His plan.  His good and perfect plan.   

As we round the bend, or choose a new direction, I will continue to cling to Him and His promises.  I will pray that I will not give into the temptation of fear, but instead trust, and walk in faith.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

When the Cat is Away...

In the past two plus years, we have tried all sorts of things to restore The Hubs' health back to what it was.  Unfortunately, we have not found the magic pill, routine, or ingredient.  The truth is, The Hubs, while not in imminent danger like in 2011, still battles each day with the lingering effects of illness, the large amounts of medication, and all the side effects that come with each pill he takes.

Recently, we started looking into holistic medicine.  While I know this makes some people roll their eyes, it's what we have left.  Part of this new adventure has been a very large change to The Hubs' diet.  The thought is that he could have some food allergies or intolerances that are exuberating his symptoms.  By eliminating these foods, we could possibly eliminate (or lower) some of his medications, thus reducing the side effects to the medications as well as symptoms.  By doing an extensive food panel, the new doctors were able to find that his body had adverse reactions to 29 different foods.  Of course, these 29 foods were some of his most favorite foods.  Foods he was eating everyday.  Things like gluten, coffee, chocolate, peanuts, and almonds.   Then there was this weird one.  The highest reaction came from yeast.  The doctor recommended that we eliminate as many of the foods on his list as we could, paying special attention to gluten, yeast, and sugar.   So, for the last ten or so weeks, The Hubs has been gluten free, yeast free, and sugar free. 

I'm so proud of him.  This diet is serious business.  Yeast is in EVERYTHING.  As a family, we have been following the diet with him in the evenings.  All sharing in a yeast free, gluten free, and sugar free dinner.  It's bland.  It's boring.  It's plain hard.  The Hubs has been faithful to this diet, not cheating, ever.  And there has been some changes in his symptoms.  Not the symptoms we were hoping for, but changes none-the-less. 

Meanwhile, the kids and I have not been as "on-board" as we could've been.  There have been trips (without The Hubs) to frozen yogurt, secret stashes of cookies, and those times when he goes out of town.

Often, work will call him out of town to meet with clients.  It's those days, while we miss him and want him home, we find a silver lining in his absence.  It's called pizza, cupcakes, paninis (with real ciabatta bread), and brownies.

The trick is having no evidence of it when he comes back.  Not that we are trying to sneak it behind his back.  No, he is pretty well aware of what is going on.  It's just we don't need to flaunt it in his face. 

Today, while it snows (on May 1st!!), we will find comfort in The Hubs' absence in some homemade pizza and chocolate chip zucchini muffins.   We've got 48 hours, 14 cupcakes, two pizzas, and three people. 

Game on.