Friday, May 28, 2010

Finally checking back in with the Company Girls!

It's been three weeks since I linked up with the Company Girls to say hello and catch up.  I've missed it!  So what follows is a minute-by-minute, detailed account of the last three weeks.

Just kidding.  (although perhaps it might feel like that to you)  :)

It's been the typical end-of-May craziness for our family.  End of school festivities, VBS planning kicking into high gear and the yard screaming for some attention.  Throw in some a few special family days (Aidan's would-be-11th birthday and our 20th anniversary) and you have the perfect recipe for a messy house, and too many fast food meals.  I am excited about the three day weekend in hopes of catching up a bit.  Or at least taking a few deep breaths.

Here's a few highlights of the last few days for those of you still reading.  Bubba had his last day of school on Wednesday--it was a half day with Field Day in the morning and a picnic after school let out.  I volunteered for Field Day and supervised a fun game involving squirting each other with water bottles.  There were several water games, which was great on a warm day.

Bubba running through the sprinklers with a cotton ball between chopsticks in a relay race.

Preparing for boot camp I guess.

Pickle still has a few more days of school (done Wednesday) but had her 8th Grade "Continuation" Celebration last night.  They got dressed up and had a dance following the ceremony.  She had a great time, but she's growing up a bit too fast!

Pickle with Bubba

Pickle with one of her best friends.

We've been helping her pick her high school classes at the Christian School she is headed to in the fall--and the current big decision is between choir and band.  She is a music girl for sure--hard choice.

Hubby's back is still plaguing him, but he went to a new doctor yesterday that seems determined to get to the bottom of the issue and get him functioning again.  We're thankful and trying to be hopeful.

As a family we have been trying to rein in our diet.  We've been trying to eat whole grains, limit sugar and avoid too many processed foods.  It's been going OK, but our repertoire for quick healthy meals is pretty limited at this point.  And this last week I have felt like a major failure when it comes to feeding my family.  I've thrown away meat I defrosted and never cooked, bought numerous fast food meals and have not been grocery shopping in over a week.  Yikes!  Need to get my act together again.

I did buy this:

with hopes of a munchy, somewhat healthy snack.  It's been in my car for a week, and so far has not made us any popcorn!  I am going to try bringing it the house any day now.  And  I am going to try butter spray with some seasoning with hopes of it tasting good.  I'll take any tips from you hot-air popping healthy-types out there.  :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


It's our twentieth anniversary today!  I know, I know, we are too young to be married that long--we get that all the time.  We just married really young...look at us--we were mere babes!

It's been twenty years of 
ups and downs, 
laughter and tears, 
crazy-fun and mundane days, 
learning and leaning, 
hellos and goodbyes, 
mistakes and forgiveness, 
iron sharpening iron, 
hugs and kisses, 
silliness and seriousness, 
God's faithfulness, 
and adventures.

Dave--twenty years ago I couldn't have imagined all we'd share together, or how much I'd love you.  God uses you to shape me, comfort me, and lead me.  I am so thankful that He gave me you as a partner and best friend.  There is no one I'd rather walk this road of life with.

I love you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

it's just a part of their life

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Yesterday would have been Aidan's 11th birthday.  He's gone, but very much a part of our family.  On his birthday each year, we honor him by having a family night.  We visit his grave, and usually go out to dinner.  Sometimes we do something fun--just the four of us.

Sitting at the cemetery yesterday, where one child is buried, I watched the other two.  They bopped around, noting names and dates of the little ones buried in "The Garden of Angels"-- a part of the cemetery set aside for babies.  They paused at their brother's grave, as well as at the newer grave of their cousin Sadie.  They placed rocks--on which they wrote messages--on both graves.

As the sun sank in the sky, we couldn't help but notice Pickle's tall silhouette.  She was so small the first time we came to see her brother's "name".  Much time has passed.  Having a brother in heaven is not odd to these two.  It's just part of their life--their reality.

Bubba asked yesterday morning (on his own initiative) if he could bring some mementos he has of Aidan to school--wanting to introduce his classmates to the big brother he never met.  It is important to him to acknowledge Aidan's life.  I understand his teacher read the entire memorial bookmark to the class--including the lyrics to the song we had printed on the back.  Bubba said she cried a bit as she read.  Bless her for allowing Bubba to share this part of his life with his community at school.

It's just a part of their life--my other two.  A normal, but important, part.  God has woven Aidan's story into theirs.  I think it's beautiful.  I'm unwrapping this gift today with emily at chatting at the sky.

Monday, May 24, 2010


11 years ago today we met our second child, Aidan David.  He only shared life on earth with us for four months, but changed us forever.  Today we remember Aidan and we celebrate his life. Happy Birthday to our sweet boy!

You can read a bit of Aidan's story here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I hate sayin' it...

You know, the B-word.

Busy.  That's what I am, that's what my husband is, that's what my kids are.  I hate saying that because I think we totally overuse that word. But honestly, sometimes it fits and life feels full right now.  It's not that I don't have ANY time to blog, just no leftover energy to put thoughts together.

So, I'm popping in to say hello and that I'm not, you know, dead or anything.  Just the dreaded B-word.

I'll leave you with a picture or two from Bubba's Wax Museum at school.  He was Billy Sunday of all people.  He froze in his pose until someone pressed his "start" button, then told a bit about Billy's life and allowed visitors to guess who he was.  Hubby and I had a great time pressing buttons and "meeting" all sorts of famous historic people!

Happy Crazy-May everyone!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

choosing to celebrate laundry?

Celebrate laundry?  Really?  Have I completely lost it? (don't answer that.)

As I look at my day ahead, it is full.  Lots to do at work, meeting a friend, rush home to cook dinner, help Pickle get caught up on homework..and then I saw it.  Mt. Washmore.  I mentioned it yesterday.  Never was home long enough to make a dent in it yesterday.  I hate when I let it pile up.  Ugh.  And now, when will I get to it today?  I can get my normal load in, but not sure I can do more than that.  That overwhelmed feeling starts to set in...cause the laundry is staring at me, telling me that it represents all the things I am behind in.  I think it's mocking me.

And then I realize I have a choice.  Not whether I do the laundry or not (darn).  I have a choice in the way I think about it.  I can choose to get down on myself for letting it pile up.  I can get frustrated that I don't manage my time well enough to keep up with my housework all the time.


I can choose to be thankful for the laundry.  Or at least be thankful people who have dirtied that pile of stink.  I could have hardly any laundry if I didn't have a family.  Each sock, each t-shirt, belongs to someone I love and get to care for.  I can be thankful that my getting-old-too-fast body is physically able to bend and carry and fold.  I can even be thankful for the full life I lead that keeps me from staying on top of it sometimes.

The alternatives to not having piles of laundry--I don't want to think about them.

I'm choosing to be thankful today for my laundry. And my family.  And my health.

...and my washing machine!

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Monday, May 10, 2010

10 things I'm diving into right now...

Thought I'd join Meredith at Life at 7000 Feet and her fun 10 on the 10th blog party.  Today I'm listing 10 things I'm "diving into" right now.

1.  Depression Free Naturally by Joan Matthews-Larson.  This book was recommended to me by a friend, as hubby and I try to figure out how to handle our emotional health better than we are.  It came in the mail on Saturday!  I think some big changes are on the horizon...

2.  Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  I've been wanting this for a long time...and got it for Mother's Day!  Sarah has taken time to listen to God and write down what He was saying to her.  She compiled some of her writings into this devotional book.  I already love it.

3.  The Floating Finale Leader Guide for our summer High Seas VBX.  Besides being the VBX director, I handle the closing each day (love being with all the kiddos!!) and it's time to delve in!

4.  Healthy Eating blogs like Super Healthy Kids (a new find!).  As part of our desire/conviction that we need to eat better around here...I am looking for resources of how to feed my family good food as easily as possible. Got any suggestions???  Help a mama out!

5.  Church Music by David Crowder band.  Another Mother's Day present--excited to get to know more of Dave's music.  I already love a few of the songs and have great memories from seeing him and his crazy hair in concert a few months ago.

6.  Kari Jobe's CD.  Another Mom's Day gift!  I listened to this while I got ready this morning and think it's going to be very meaningful to me.  Kari has an incredible voice.  I am going to pretend I can sing like her as I sing along.  (for the sake of my family, I'll try to keep that to when I'm alone!!)

7.  Yoga.  Not getting all eastern-religion-like, but am doing Yoga for Back Pain (easy download!) with hubby most nights...and it's making me want to dig out some of my older yoga DVDs.  It's good exercise and I can do it before bed, cause it relaxes me.  I feel very out of shape.  blech.

8.  Summer plans!  Other than VBX and a conference Pickle is going too--we've got nothing nailed down.  Hoping for some swim lessons for Bubba and maybe a little getaway or two.  Better get on with the planning soon!!

9.  Laundry.  How mundane, but really bloggies, there's a big Mt. Washmore over here.  I've let it pile up I'm afraid and I need to dive in.  Yesterday.

10.  Thoughts on Sabbath.  Taught the kids yesterday at church and missed my pastor's sermon that's got everyone thinking and talking.  You can listen to it here.  I'm going to. Then I'll continue the conversation with hubby about how we obey that command in our lives.

That's enough for this week, huh?  With the exception of laundry, I'm excited about it all!  Just need an extra few hours each day to do the diving in!

What are you diving into these days??

Friday, May 7, 2010

the million little things of motherhood

"There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one." Jill Churchill

I love this picture of Bubba and I getting ready for my sister's wedding in 2004.  It captures one of the million little things of being a mom...that we don't usually have pictures of...

I have had the privilege of being a mom for 14 + years.  Each stage has held it's joys and challenges. Each has kept me on my knees humbly dependent on God's help, and in deep gratitude for the gifts of my children and the role I get to play in their lives.

When I think of motherhood though, I mostly think of the day-to-day, million little things it means at each stage. 

At first it's all about wonder, diapers, spit up, large bags full of essentials in order to go anywhere, and an overwhelming love not thought possible before.

Then it's about ABCs, snuggles, bedtime stories and prayers, coloring, tying shoes, buttoning clothes, wiping tears and potty training (almost the death of this mama!!).

Then it's about homework, packing lunches, the joy of seeing personalities and gifts develop, soccer games and dance buns, and encouragement when the disappointments come.

Right now I'm in the stage of growing independence, important conversations, performances, hanging out together, and driving, driving and driving!!

I know I'll never be the perfect mama--but there are a million little ways I get to be a good one. 

Company Girl Coffee 5.7

Well, it's definitely May.  The schedule is full and I am starting to mark days by what event we put behind us... As of today we have Pickle's choir concert behind us, and Bubba has gone off to school as a Bible character for Bible Character Day today.

Here he is:

Can you guess who he is???

Look closely...

You are right!  It's Jonah (after being spit up on the beach!).  That's supposed to be seaweed and sea creatures all over him.  We decided against being wet, or any barf smell.  I am guessing his teacher would thank us on both accounts. :)

AND, I think I've located an outfit for him to wear next week for his wax museum--he has chosen to be Billy Sunday.  Wish he picked some cowboy or something easier...

By the end of the weekend, we will also have small group, Pickle's piano recital, Youth Group Rummage Sale (Pickle's working at 6 am tomorrow and I have gotta get my stuff together and dropped off tonight!), another soccer game, VBS promo kick-off, and Mother's Day behind us.  God willing.  :)

I am definitely starting to feel the need for school to be over (my kids have been feeling it for a while).  I want there to be less "stuff" in all manner of directions needing all sorts of outfits, and prep.

Are the rest of you company girls in the same crazy boat as me??  (better this boat than the one Jonah was in I guess...)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

may I be excused?

Help!  I think I've used up all of the extra thought-space in my brain!  You know, the extra-space reserved for seasons like this...and I think mine is gone!  Yikes!   Anyone know how I feel?  Anyone?

It's that time of ending, yard work and flower planting calling (so far, the call has not been answered, by the way), VBS approaching a bit too quickly.  It's always busy.  Teacher appreciation,  end-of-the-year festivities, final schoolwork to push through, summer plans to figure out and solidify.  I run through my days hoping not to forget anything!

On top of all the normal May-things, I am also trying to research naturalistic answers to depression and back pain.  We are trying to make small changes in our diet, and anticipating bigger ones to come.  We are trying to investigate practioners who might help us.  It seems I am thinking twice about everything we normally eat and do.   Hubby and I are trying to remember to fit in a nightly yoga-for-back-pain session.

And, amazingly, God is finding a way to speak to me in the midst of it all...about things that warrant their own posts one day.  Layers of myself He wants peeled off so I can be more like His Son.  More to think about...

The result of all this...I can't seem to put two coherent thoughts together for more than a half a second. (hence this rambling post--sorry!)  I am always thinking of at least four topics simultaneously. (which doesn't work, in case you were thinking of trying it...)  And there is no auto-pilot.  It seems everything is being re-thought or needing creativity and my thought-space is all used up.  And there's lots I still want to know and figure out and decide on...

What's a girl to do??

Breathe.   Trust.     Pray.    Do the next thing.     Let go.    Give thanks.  Pray.    Trust.    Breathe.

So, while my posts might be a tad sporadic in coming days, and you might wonder what I'm up to...know that I'm praying, and concentrating on breathing, and being held together by the God who is surprised by none of this.

And maybe wandering aimlessly around the neighborhood with some vbs decorations hanging around my shoulders, and a piano recital program in my hand...if you see me, point me home, kay?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the gift of perspective

In just a few moments, I am headed to a funeral.  For a man that lived a few houses over, who not long ago was riding his bike around the neighborhood as was his practice.  He was a librarian, a husband and a father.  And he was killed in a car accident. In one terrible moment, he was gone.  His teenaged daughter was at the pre-prom dinner with her friends when her mom came to get her.  To tell her that their lives had been ripped apart.

I whine.  I get tired.  I get frustrated.  No answer yet for hubby's back pain.  Pickle missing too much school due to headaches.  I am weary of my heart hurting for them.

But they are here.  Here for me to care for.  To hug and pray for and bring medicine too.

Perspective. It's a gift.  I'm unwrapping it today with Emily at Tuesdays unwrapped.

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