#1 Katie turned 1 year old!
#2 After a grueling week of Katie being severly sick over her birthday, the doctor diagnosed her with Kowasacki Disease (you'd think that was a worst moment -which it just about was). But...because it was detected early, she was treated and now free of any danger. (Kowasacki Disease is a disease that attacks that arteries, which if left untreated can be fatal.)
#3 Kyra had her first snowmobile ride, and surprising loved it (she's not usually that adventurous). Maybe this is a sign for things to come!
#4 Together, my hubby and I lost over 20lbs each. It really helps when you try eating healthy together. We were a great team. Although, I hate to add that we also gained over 10lbs each back together too. I guess we are as good of an eating badly team as we are healthy :( The good thing is that we are still down over 10lbs (gotta look at the bright side).
#5 We bought a tube for the boat, and had the opportunity to try out our skills in water sports. Again, Kyra tried her hand at something new, and as long as we didn't punch it, did pretty well. What fun that was. I have a feeling we will be spending more time out on the water next year.
#6 The Hubby went water skiing for the first time, and didn't do too bad either!
#7 We had our 7th anniversary, and went to a wonderful little Italian Restaurant.
#8 Kyra turned 3, and became potty trained in the same week (thank the Lord!!) Now that really is a blessing.
#9 My Hubby turned 30, and to celebrate we went to Traverse City alone without the kiddos! It was a fabulous weekend filled with beautiful scenery, wine touring, and good dining.
#10 My husband unselfishly let me go to Georgia by myself to spend some good quality time with both extended sides of my family. All the while, he shot a 10 point buck the same weekend (one of his largest yet!) It was truly a great weekend and one we'll both probably remember for years to come.
I asked my husband at the end of Christmas Day, if he had fun with his family. He said yes, but that it was all over too fast. I guess, I for one am looking forward to the rest and the slowness of the next few months (despite the cold weather), but I can see where it can be kind of a let down. You spend months of preparation for all these holidays, and then suddenly there are no projects at hand, no planned activities with the family.
I hope everyone takes advantage of these next few quiet months taking up a new hobby, reading a book they've been meaning to read, or start planning family gatherings outside of the holidays. These quiet months are an opportunity for us to catch up on the things we've been neglecting for the past few months, while it was too busy for us to do the "norm." I know none of my thoughts are new thoughts, after all that's why so many people make New Year resolutions (to take advantage of the next few months to do those things). I guess I was just thinking in the quietness of my house, after the flurry of activity, that I should take advantage of those "boring" months to stay in touch with people, play more with my children, organize a few things, read the Bible more, appreciate the stillness. I hope you do too.
Katie on the otherhand was a different story. On Christmas Eve we found out she had Croup and hence slept very little the night before Christmas (as did her parents). However, I was hopeful that she would take a good long nap before the rest of family arrived. That would be a negative. Whatever the reason, she refused to take a nap, and was a sluggish creature the rest of the evening. She just sat listless in her father's lap, while everyone opened their gifts, without the energy to open her own. I felt so bad for her. I just hope she perks up a bit before we celebrate the next family Christmas.
Despite the one sick child, we had a great time with family. There was lots of laughing, eating, and joy spent in one another's company. I hope everyone else enjoyed the holiday and spent time remembering the little baby king who came to save us from our sins. Merry Christmas.
During prayer time:
Kyra: Mom, can I pray?
Kyra: Dear God, thank you for the Lord (something she says every day), thank you for my Grandpa named Grandpa Paul, thank you for Grandpa Wise (same Grandpa), thank you for the Grandpa that lives in Illinois (still same Grandpa), thank you for keep my parents safe and sound (awwww), thank you for my Strawberry Shortcake Birthday cake (wait? wasn't that like 4 months ago?), and thank you for all the trips we get to go to the mall. Give us of our fins (do we have fins?). Amen. (yes, we've sure been having a difficult time keeping a straight face during these sincere prayers lately)
During cookie baking time:
Mom: What is going on? You two need to stop arguing and be nice to each other! Why don't you color while Mom finishes up these cookies! (they proceed to get out the crayons)
Mom: (I peek over) KATIE, don't eat the crayon! (I proceed to give her color wonder markers, thinking at least she won't mark anything or eat the marker....she ate the marker. She actually bit off the end of the marker!)
Mom: Katie why don't you go find some dolly to play with? (all is quiet for some time, and I am finally able to devote my time to the cookies. I suddenly realize maybe quiet isn't a good thing. I run around to find Katie. Yes, she had found a doll alright, but she was giving it a bath in the toilet-along with the rest of the bathroom. Needless to say, my cookies never did turn out.)
Mom: Do you know how santa gets in the house to deliver the presents?
Kyra: Through the front door?
Mom: But we lock the front door.
Kyra: (wheels are a turnin) Oh, well maybe he comes in through the basement?
Mom: But we lock the basement door.
Kyra: (changing the subject) Does Santa drive a car?
If you want to see more kute kid talk go to http://notbefore7.blogspot.com/2007/12/tiny-talk-tuesday-holiday-edition_17.html
2. Looking at the tree. We only have one tree (at the moment anyway), but I could look at it every night with my cup of hot cocoa (something I only seem to have during this season). I am mezmerized every day with it's beauty.
1. Will I be late for Bible Study again?
2. Why do I always insist on MAKING my own Christmas Cards?
3. How many cookies have I inadvertantly slipped into my mouth?
4. Will they (kids) ever stop whining?
5. When was the last time I blogged?
6. Is Christmas really only 3 weeks away?
7. How many times can I go to the grocery store in one day?
8. Will I ever be organized over the holidays?
9. What does the budget look like today?
10. How did I become so blessed as to have such a wonderful family?
It was a bit of a stressful day today. It amazes me how each year during this season I am shocked at how little time there is left to accomplish everything, vowing of course to start earlier the next year (and of course never doing it). I ask for no sympathy, because being the procrastinator that I am, I bring this on myself. Yet, I can't help but wonder how I could simplify some of these things. Because, although many of the traditions we hold add stress to our lives, they also add joy, and I would hate to give up that joy. And I love to see the newfound joy in my girls eyes as they experience for the first time (or at least remember for the first time)many of these treasured Christmas traditions -putting up a tree, making holiday cookies, making cards, decorating the house, reading the Christmas Story.
most little girls her age are rollplaying with dolls, having tea parties, and dressing up in princess costumes, but.....
you find YOUR daughter in her bedroom with a playknife, sawing her stuffed animal bunny's ear!
Mom: Kyra, what are you doing?
Kyra: I'm cutting up deer meat!
Mom: Oh really, is your bunny the deer?
Mom: Where did you get the deer?
Kyra: From Costco
Mom: (of course)
(she then proceeded to put the stuffed animal on the dinner table for dinner! I guess she's been hanging out with Daddy a little too much)
The house they were married at seemed to be the main point of conversation. It was a gated community with a backyard view of a lake. The house was absolutely gigantic! I think there were 4 fireplaces, 9 bathrooms, pool, walk in wine cellar, and more. It was the biggest house (no mansion) that I have ever been in.
And to boot, the owners of the house had never even met my cousin, but were asked by their pastor if they would open up their home for this wedding. She agreed, met my cousin and her husband, fell in love with them, and the planning began. They were very hospitable people and gave all the glory to God.
It has been awhile since I blogged, but that time has been very blessed. I have a feeling my posts are going to become even more vast with the holidays in full gear. However, I want to write about my trip to Georgia.
As I drove home alone, with nothing but time to reflect on my wonderful weekend full of good conversation with family, I tried to think of one word that would sum up my trip.....belonging.
I have spent a lot of time these past few months thinking of who I am, who God wants me to be, what church do I belong to, where do I fit in my role on this earth? Where do I belong? We all want a sense of belonging. We want a group of friends who love us for who we are (even if we aren't sure who that really is from time to time). We want a sense of community. And in turn, we feel stronger to do the things God calls us to do. We all need to be loved. And that's what I felt this past weekend, loved. I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and my brother. I heard the wonderful things that were happening in their lives, and in return they listened to the happenings of my life. I got to know a few relatives better, because of the time we had. But perhaps the most impact I had, was seeing my Grandparents. They are becoming quite a bit weaker, and it may even be the last time I see them. But I had the opportunity of listening to a joyous snicker from my Grandpa, and see my Grandma gently grasp the hand of her husband. My Grandfather may not have even recognized me, but the way he hugged me with what seemed to be all the strength he had in those frail arms, gave me a sense of belonging. He loved me, he loves his family. And that love has carried down in generations. I do have a sense of belonging. I am loved by my family, and I belong to them. But most of all, I belong to my Heavenly Father, and that is evident through the love that my family shows each other.
While looking out the car window:
Kyra: (pointing at several houses, and objects) Mom, I'm disappointed.
Mom: What are you disappointed about?
Kyra: Look, I'm disappointed again! (sounding almost happy about it)
Mom: Kyra, do you know what disappointed means?
Kyra: Yes, and I'm going to do it again...see I'm disappointed!
Mom: Kyra, disappointed means you are said about something, like you are disappointed when someone doesn't share with you.
Kyra: (pauses, as if she is taking it in) MOOOM, no I'm dis a pointin.
(I guess she's just a pointing)
While playing in the basement:
Kyra: I just got off the phone with santa.
Mom: Oh really, what were you talking about?
Kyra: I was telling him I wanted him to send money to daddy for Christmas.
Mom: Why would you ask santa for money?
Kyra: Because daddy never has money.
Mom: Babe, daddy has money. Why would you ask for money?
Kyra: Then why do you and daddy say you don't have enough money when I ask for a polly pocket? If santa gives daddy money, than I can have lots of polly pockets!
(well, she's got me there)
If you'd like to read more, go to Mary's @ http://notbefore7.blogspot.com/2007/11/tiny-talk-tuesday_20.html
Now, I certainly will miss the little urchins, but I think they will really enjoy the one on one time with their daddy. This will be his first time watching them for more than the day, but I have no doubt he will have everything under control (or rather maybe things won't be under control all the time, but they'll have fun!). So for now, I leave with anticipation for the weekend ahead, and I know I will come home looking forward to hearing a bunch of stories from my girls and hubby on their weekend.
We had a wonderful experience. I was invited by one of the people in my bible study, so she of course found me and introduced us to several people, but so many others welcomed us too. It was a very friendly church. But on top of that, the Pastor was amazing! He had such an incredible sermon, that really hit home (and such a great sense of humor too).
The pastor asked how many of us defines our Christian walk as being inadequate? Sad to say, but he said most of the Christians I know would define themselves as insufficient. Either, we have a terrible prayer life, don't read the Bible often enough, or aren't confident enough in our ability to spread the gospel. We need to stop focusing on our deficiencies and focus on God's sufficiency! Afterall, when spreading the gospel, we aren't being put to a test if we fail to bring a person to Christ, it is a GOD thing. He is the one that plants the seed, we are just there to feed it. God picked insufficient people in a sense to do His work. There is no failing for us, (we aren't losers -the pastor said!) we can only feed the fire.
Now this may be an obvious lesson for some, but it was a great reminder to my husband and I. We both felt so rejuvinated by it. We aren't sure if this will be the church for us or not (still a lot of praying to do), but we definitely felt God's spirit there and enjoyed the fellowship.
Right before eating her green beans at dinner time:
Kyra: It is great to be alive!
(yes dear, it is. Are you afraid you won't be after the veggies?)
In the car with daddy:
Kyra: Daddy, that looks like the most giant flashlight I've ever seen!
(yes, that would be a water tower, but good observation)
In Mom's bedroom, while Mom was getting dressed:
Kyra: Mommy are you all pj'd?
Mom: No, Kyra, I'm just getting dressed.
Kyra: Are those your underpants?
Mom: Yes, Kyra.
Kyra: What's that again?
Mom: That would be my br*(wondering how far this conversation is going to go)
Kyra: When I grow up I am going to get some of those for my birthday (while pointing at my b**bs! Yes, I'm sure one day you will get those Kyra, but it probably won't be over night on your bday!)
Around the house:
Kyra: Grandma, let's play a game!
Grandma: What would you like to play?
Kyra: How about tag?
Grandma: How about I go to the bathroom first?
Kyra: GRANDMA, that's not a game!
At the dinner table...
Mom: Kyra, you need to eat dinner quickly because it's almost time to get ready for dance!
Kyra: (looking out the window) But Moomm, I better check on the GUYS and see if they're okay. (Daddy and Grandpa were outside on the bobcat, and lately she feels they can't get their work done without her. I think they'll manage.)
In the car....
Kyra: Mom, they light is green, go go go!
Mom: Kyra, just hold your horses, we have to wait for the cars ahead of us to go.
Kyra: Come on PEOPLE! Move it!
(she seriously sounded like a cab driver, but I'm guessing she's been hanging out in the car with Daddy lately).
At the Kyra's Dance Class...
(Kyra was in her class while Katie and I were peaking in through the one way window to see her progress. Katie overheard the instructor say March)
Katie: Much! much! much!(as she marched down the hall. It was so cute watching her imitate her bigger sister. Of course she marched her way down to an open classroom and invited herself in. I had to spend the rest of the hour chasing her down the hall just to keep her out of the room with the BIG mirror.)
Yes, I woke up with a migraine (something I've been frequenting as of late), watched my daughter throw half of her breakfast on the floor, quick got everyone dressed and headed out the door to go to a craft sale with a friend (okay, not so quick, but I tried). We then got to the craft sale, where no strollers were allowed. You mean I had to carry this 19 month old and try to get her to not touch all the untouchables!! So, after numerous attempts of telling both of my children to NOT TOUCH ANYTHING, they were both reaching the end of their rope. We then zoomed through the rest of the craft show, as to not miss anything really important, headed to the park, and then went for a late lunch (only to resort in lots of complaining and whining for holding off lunch too long). And of course I was awstrasized by my eldest for not getting the chicken fries, but the chicken nuggets instead. A crucial mistake. Finally, we headed to my friends house for some afternoon playtime, and some much needed rest while they played on their own. All was well, until we had to leave and I found my daughter in wet underpants (yes, she wet her pants), and 20 barrets in her hair (apparently they played dress up). She kicked and screamed all the way to the bathroom where I could have a "chat" with her, because she did not want to change out of her "pretty ballerina costume." Finally, home, I quick fed them a late dinner (7:30), popped them in the tub, and pushed them straight to bed (of course not with out arguing about the lack of a bedtime movie). Ahhh...rest! Oh, I forgot I had to make a cake for tomorrow's dinner at the in-laws. Back on my feet!
So....here is what I am going to do for much needed serenity!
2. Slip into some comfy pjs
3. Snuggle on the couch in a warm blanket (nevermind that it is in the 70's today)
4. Light a candle
5. Get a back/hand massage from my husband
Yesterday I was at the park with a friend, complaining about the condition of my house, the whinyness of my girls, etc. I went home thinking, all I did was COMPLAIN! Which doesn't come of much surprise because it is something I do quite well. But I thought, my poor dear friend has to listen to that every time I visit her (she has to be sick of me!) Complaining is a disease and I have to stop it. Shortly after that revelation I read Renee's blog (sorry Renee, I can't link), and was amazed at how far she's come in life after such hardships. She's been through so much, and she is rejoicing!! I knew I had to take a good look at my life and see what I could count as good. So here it goes....
1. I was raised in a Christian household, with a loving family. My parents both worked hard (opposite shifts) so that one of them was always home with us. They took us to church, helped us with homework, and stayed together through thick and thin. My mother is a great encourager, and often looked at the bright side when I was feeling down. My dad went on many walks with my sister and I, and instilled many deep thoughtful questions that truly made us think. They both have always been there for me.
2. I went to a Christian College where I came into so many great friendships, in which I still keep in contact to this day. Although, I did not end up teaching (what I went to school for), I had such a positive experience and met so many empowering people.
3. I have a loving husband. I have a truly wonderful husband (although I fail to see it all the time), who works hard to support his family (and so I can live my dream and be a stay at home mom and not to mention a pretty nice house). He almost always grants my request when I come to him with a honey do list (and doesn't even complain about it). And he listens to me time and time again (like a broken record) when I come to him with hurt feelings of being insecure, inadequate, fat. He is a loving husband.
4. I have two beautiful, healthy girls. With all the crankiness, crying, disobedience, and crazy behavior, my girls are super. Afterall, everyone who raises children deal with these issues (it just may not feel like it when your in the moment). But, to have 2 girls that say the darndest things, have the cutest expressions, and depend on you and love you hopelessly, what more could you ask for. I could not ask for better children.
5. I have wonderful friends. I may not have a lot of friends, but the friends I do have are so dependable, empathetic, wise, open armed, and good for making me laugh.
6. Finally, I have such a loving Father in Heaven above that is there for me whenever I need Him. He hears my every cry, shares my every pain, rejoices in my every triumph.
Yes, I am truly blessed. And any time I forgot that just refer me back to this entry.
Four Jobs I Have Had:
1. Registration Clerk - Urgent Care
2. Deskie - Calvin College
3. Sub Teacher - various schools
4. Administrative Assistant - Hospice
Four Movies I can Watch Over and Over:
1. Last of the Mohicans
2. Untamed Heart
3. Dying Young
4. Good Will Hunting
Four Shows I Watch on TV:
1. The Office
2. Biggest Loser
4. Law and Order SVU
Four Places that I Have Vacationed:
1. Estes Park, Colorado (just beautiful scenery)
2. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico (honeymoon)
3. Outerbanks (this was a great time to be had in a beach house w/25 relatives!)
4. Along California Coast (from San Fran to San Diego - San Fran being the fav)
Four of My Favorite Dishes:
1. Chicken Lasagna
2. Chicken Chimichanga
3. Brunch Bake w/dad's famous Sour Cream Coffee Cake
4. Eggplant Parmesan (at Olive Garden)
Four Places I'd Rather Be:
1. State of Contentment
2. Closer to my fam
3. Getting a massage/manicure/spa treatment
4. In Bed
Okay, it didn't exactly work out that way. First he found out from someone that we were going away for the weekend, then he saw my attempt to hide the clubs in the car. The only thing he didn't know is where we were going, which after an hour in the car, he pretty much figured out anyway. I was bummed. My whole plan had failed. I moped in the car as I thought of my weeks of planning being botched. But then I realized, the end result would be the same. It wasn't the surprise that he would remember in the long run, but the trip itself.
And boy did we have fun. We went to Traverse City, Michigan to take in a golf course (I have never been, another first for me). But we did so much more than that. We enjoyed the oh, so beautiful colors of the trees. The colors were so vibrant! We went to several wineries along the Leelanau Penisula (and might I suggest that even though the samples are small, probably 15 samples are about 10 too many!). We ate at some wonderful restaurants. And finally, we played golf, which unfortunately I did not do too well at (and I can't blame the alcohol either, because this was the following day). Yes, my hopes of being a first time pro, did not come true. I scored a 96 in a 9 hole game (and of course that isn't including all the times I completely missed the ball!) But we had for some good laughs, and my husband (thankfully patient) had fun too. Yes, we will definitely have to do the getaway more often. Some one on one time with your hubby is definitely priceless.
If you want to read some other cute kid comments click here http://notbefore7.blogspot.com/2007/10/tiny-talk-tuesday_05.html
At the mall play area:
Mom: Go have fun guys! Let me see you go down the slide.
(they race down the slide, then Katie (18 mo) hides behind a tree)
Kyra (3): Where did Katie go?
Mom: She is hiding behind the tree.
Kyra: Phew! Good thing you know where she is. I am trying to keep an eye on her so a stranger won't get her. I would be sad if my sister where gone. We don't want a pirate, or a grumpy to get her.
(Awww...how sweet that she is looking out for her sister. I wouldn't want a pirate to get either of them.)
In the car, on the way home from a park:
Kyra: Mom, is God happy when I say that?
Mom: Say what?
Kyra: What I said?
Mom: (fearing I am not going to get any where on this one in what she said, I moved on) Kyra, God loves
you know matter what you say. He loves you all the time. But he smiles extra big when you obey Mommy and Daddy, share with your sister, or do kind things.
Kyra: (pensive in thought for a minute) I understand God better when I listen to Him.
Daddy: (Wow, what a big thought) Is God talking to you right now?
Kyra: NO, silly Daddy! He's not here right now, He's in the clouds.
(I guess we'll get into the abstract idea that He is all around another day! But what a thinker!)
While playing with a playmate over the weekend:
(as I was busy most of the afternoon fixing dinner for a get together, I had neglected to check on the girls for awhile. Kyra, of course runs out of her room with her pants soaking wet.)
Mom: Oh, Kyra, where did you have your accident?
Kyra: My bed Mom, sorry.
Mom: It's okay, just go to the bathroom and take off your pants. (I then proceed by stripping the bed, thinking to myself what more could happen right before company comes!)
Ellie (almost 3 yr old friend that was staying the weekend): Look! I'm just like Kyra! (her pants of course are also soaking wet. Oh the joy of imitation. Thankfully, we were able to have a good laugh from this!)
Kyra: Can I have one piece of candy?
Mom: Sorry babe, it's bed time and you already had a snack.
Kyra: But I want one.
Kyra: Please, please, please?
Mom: The answer is no, now please don't ask me again!
Kyra: Can I have two?
I started to think later on that the demolition of these barns was kind of like cutting out the sins in our lives. We share a juicy detail about someone's life, eat a dessert that we know we shouldn't have, or say an innocent seeming lie to cover our tracks....SIN. We know it's ugly like the barns, but no one see's them right? Perhaps they are hidden from the naked eye, and no one really finds out about the sins we commit, but we know they are there. We try and tell ourselves, it was just something small, what difference will it make? However, God does know the difference. He wants us to knock down the barn, and have a clean slate. It isn't an easy task to break the habit of gluteny, gossip, or whatever the problem may be, but we need to continually try and become more like Christ and ask for forgiveness. How fortunate we are that we have a Savior that forgives so readily. And unlike the weeks it will take to knock down these barns, we merely need one prayer to ask for forgiveness and our "barn/sin" will be knocked down in one stroke.
I realized that one of the reasons I have been down this past year is because my relationship with God suffers. I was rarely praying, never read the Bible, and almost always focused on something else while half listening to the sermon at church. One of my biggest fears is that my children will grow up with as many insecurities as I have, and not lean on God when they go through their deepest valleys. And how can I raise my kids to know their Savior if I lack a good relationship myself? I know in order to have a healthy life for myself I need to be grounded in the Bible. So I added one more thing to my to do list, and that was to join a women's Bible Study.
It has been years since I have been in an actual bible study that focused on a book of the Bible rather than a book focused on how to become a better wife, mother, or steward of the earth (not that there's anything wrong with those, I just needed to come back to the book that actually has all the answers to all of those questions). The group I joined is studying the book of John. And although the first meeting was a little intimidating (not knowing anyone, and already having thoughts of - well this person is so much better versed in the Bible, or I just won't belong here because I am not wearing the same type of clothing). I just can't let Satan win with the doubts he throws my way. I know God will win in bringing me closer to Him and hopefully maybe some of these women too.
John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
Here's a look at our kids:
While at the grocery store:
Me: (I was waiting momentarily, quietly for a women to finish picking out her cereal before squeezing past her in an isle that was too tight to pass)
Kyra: SCUSE us lady, we need to get through!!
(yes, those manners are working well)
While in the car:
Kyra: Mom, can I look at this book?
Me: Sure Babe. (of course I really wasn't paying attention to what she was looking at until, I peered out the rearview mirror and found her with an atlas)
Kyra: I found Michigan!
Me: That's great babe. (Of course I figured she was pointing to Maine, Indiana, or Hawaii).
Kyra: I found Grand Rabbits!
Me: (of course I couldn't see what she was pointing too, while I was driving, but the Grand Rabbits made me laugh)
PS: after I got out of the car, to my surprise she had found Michigan and was pointing directly
to Grand Rapids! Wow, I never even told her about Grand Rapids, her daddy must be
working with her. What a memory!
While at lunch:
Me: Katie, eat your lunch. You've hardly eaten anything! Just take a bite of your sandwich.
Katie: NO! (as she launches her pb&j into my face)
Me: (I had to try so hard not to laugh. For some reason jelly dripping down my face at that moment was
very humorous. Perhaps dealing with this strong willed child is setting me off the deep end)
Of course he did say that if I ever wanted to try again...all I had to do was sit on the fender while mowing the steep edge and that if it did get stuck again all I had to do was pull the hydrolic thing a magig and my problems would be solved. (riight, I think I'll just let him handle it).
Anyway, today was my time to get something done, so I planned out what I was going to do with my time before 9am this morning. And seeing as how cleaning my house wasn't much of interest (even though it probably could have used it), I decided to mow the lawn. Now, normally this is my husband's job, but he has been so busy lately I decided I would surprise him to help him out!
Needless to say, it didn't go very well. I have mowed the lawn, oh...probably 4 times in my lifetime (pathetic, I know, but true). I knew in the past how to start the rider mower, but it's been awhile. Anywho, I couldn't get it started. I decided to let the surprise go and call my husband to see how to start it. He explained how I couldn't start it with the mower deck on (duh), and that I needed to fill the tank, and blow up the rear tire with the air compressor since it periodically goes flat. Whew! This was turning out to be more of a project then I intended. Nevertheless, I got it started and was on my way. Typically it takes 3 hours (for my husband) to mow the lawn, since we have a rather large yard, so I knew I wouldn't get it done in my now being only 1 1/2 hours left, but I thought better some than none. I was having fun, getting the hang of the bouncy mower while balancing my coffee, when the hardest part of the lawn approached. We have a fairly steep decline by our driveway, but my husband always seems to manage it, so I attempted a try. Yeah, that was a bad decision. The wheels started spinning, and I began to feel the mower tip to the right. The thought of rolling over down a hill on a lawnmower was a tidbit scary, so I quickly shut off the ignition and got off. I tried pushing the mower down the hill while in neutral, but that didn't work. Needless to say, that mower wasn't going anywhere and I was stuck.
So, I guess my thoughts of being helpful to my husband were not so helpful. Now, he has to get the mower unstuck and mow the rest of the lawn! I've gotten stuck on the driveway in the snow before, but never in the summer time! Oh well, hopefully he sees it's the thought that counts. Love you honey!
For now, here are some of the things my kids said:
While reading an animal book:
Mom: Kyra, what is this animal? (it was a chinchilla)
Kyra: Well, that is a tricky one
Mom: I'll give you a clue, it starts with a ch sound
Kyra: Oh! A chinrabbit!
While reading an alphabet princess book:
Mom: What letter is this?
Kyra: An S
Mom: What is this a picture of that starts with the letter S?
Kyra: (pausing) Ahh, Sleeping Booty!
(I had to try not to laugh when she said that one)
At Logan's Restaurant in the bathroom:
Kyra: This potty has a black seat. I love going potty on this black toilet.
Mom: (half answering back, since it's been a few minutes) That's great Kyra, but try hurrying up, we have to get back to the table. (then I make the mistake of looking over her shoulder to see if she's actually done anything)
Kyra: Mooom, I went poops. You can't touch my poops, you can only look. It's got germs on it, so don't touch, but you can look at it if you want.
(of course that was said really loudly with several in the bathroom. They always pick the best timing)
While walking down the sidewalk, with several small bugs behind her:
Kyra: Come on fellas!
After running into the car during a steady rain:
Kyra: Mom, I want the rain to go away.
Mom: I know sweety, so do I but there isn't much we can do about it.
Kyra: I can get rid of it.
Mom: Oh really, what can you do?
Kyra: I can fly up to the clouds, and tell them to stop making the rain.
(now how did she get so smart)
Kyra: Mom, DO NOT say a word.
Mom: How come?
Kyra: Just don't say a word.
Mom: (pauses, with silent laughter at the dramatics of this little girl)
Kyra: We have to be quiet for the chrysalis.
Mom (whoa, amazed she learned such a big word, wondered where she learned it, and does she
even know what it means?) Kyra, what is a chrysalis?
Kyra: It's the part when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly!
Mom: (well, apparently PBS is teaching her something)
So maybe I never became a white swan, but there is hope for one of my daughters right? Duhn, duhn, duhn. Maybe I can live vicariously through Kyra! Could she be the next dancing prodigy? Okay, well maybe not. But crazy as it is, at 3 years old I spontaneously decided to put her in dance lessons. I teeter tottered over putting her in and all, thinking maybe she is too young to be spending what I consider a substantial amount of money, but what if....? What if she loves it, and does well? Is that too foolish? Anyway, despite my wishy washy feelings, I decided to go for it. And the look on her face after she got her first pair of ballet slippers tonight was priceless. I peeked in on her during class, and she was having a blast (which was good, because half of the kids were crying). I guess if anything, she will learn some balance, discipline, and fun. Recitals here we come!
We are headed for the Petosky area of Michigan, which we've visited many a time this part of the year, but never with children. The lakes, bike trails, cutsy shops, clean air, vineyards, and of course ice cream shops are plentiful and inviting. I am looking forward to going there with my family and enjoying the change of scenery, mostly because this will be our only trip this summer spent alone with just our little family. Hopefully, it will be a great bonding time and refresher before we switch to the next season (that is of course provided that there aren't too many breakdowns and Katie doesn't scream in the car the whole trip, which she frequently does).
So here's to what I mark as a vacation to end one season and start fresh with a new. I look forward to the fall and have many new goals to begin next week. For now, I will enjoy my Mackinaw Fudge ice cream!
She had a great time with the cousins, loved her presents, and her cake (thank goodness, because it took me just about 6 hours to make it). When I asked her what her favorite part of her birthday was, she said playing with her cousins. Ahww. We all had a great time. Now if we can only distract her long enough before her next birthday (which she is already planning!)
It's hard to believe that it was already three years ago to the day that you entered into this world. I remember planning out when the perfect time would be to have our first child. Of course our plans don't always match the plans of our Heavenly Father, but a short while later you were conceived. The best part was, I found out we were having our child on my birthday!! What a wonderful birthday present, to find out that we were finally going to begin building our family in just a several months.
Finally, the day arrived. The doctor announced I had a girl! I was quite groggy, but felt a deep joy on the inside. And you looked perfect. Your chubby little cheeks and perfect little toes and fingers were all mine to care for. What a wonderful gift God had granted for us to watch over. Even your father, who was quite nervous in becoming a Dad, was quite smittin with you. I watched with a sense of new found love, as I watched him hold you and caress each small toe, finger, ear, and brow. It only took him two days with you and he wanted four more just like you.
Now you are three! And we are in love you more than the day you arrived. You are such a blessing to watch. You are thoughtful (praying for each and every member in your family). You are loving (whispering everyday in my ear - "I love you very much mommy"). You are imaginative (sneaking a peak at you when you are supposed to be taking a nap, but setting up tea party's for all your animals instead). You are kind (giving hugs to your sister after she has bumped her head). You are loved.
We love you so much Kyra. You are permanently engraved in our hearts. And we can't wait to share in all your newfound experiences and accomplishments in the years to come. Happy Birthday.
Love, Mom and Dad
I too, struggle with finding contentment in everything in life (sometimes in even things that may seem enjoyable). Whether it is a rut that I am currently visiting in my life, or the fact that I sometimes refuse to open my eyes and see just what a wonderful life God has laid in front of me, the truth is, finding contentment in every situation is often a struggle.
When I think to find the core reason as to why it is hard to find contentment in my own life, I realize that my continual defeat in comparison is one of the main reasons I struggle to find contentment. I know comparison is wrong and has so many ill effects on ones life, and yet my mind continually wanders in that direction. I go to a party to have a good time, and wonder why I couldn't be as good a hostess in my own parties. I see another mom at the park show her little one all the different colors and shapes in her surroundings, and wonder why I don't take the time to teach my youngest more of the wonders of the world (thinking maybe she might suddenly say more words if I took more effort). I see a woman at church juggle 4 children, choir directing, teaching, and be a team leader in a softball team, and wonder why I can't even make dinner without the help of my husband to distract the kids. The list goes on.
And the truth is, if I didn't compare all the time, I would find joy in the person God created me to be, thus finding contentment! Bingo, sounds so simple. It sounds so easy, but really it takes lots of prayer, friends, encouragement, and practice to break a habit like comparison. God created me in His image, and if I only look to Him I will find contentment. Thus, I will continue to try and break the curse of comparison. After all the person I truly want to be is the one God created (unique and different in my own way).
Anyway, the other day we had dinner at my brother in-law's house, when we noticed something. The entire meal we were eating was either caught or home grown! Nothing came from the store (with the exception of butter and rolls). And it was one of the most delicious meals I have had in a long time. We had steamed brocolli and beans, potatoes (which once you've had from the garden, you'll never like a store bought one again), corn, a red pepper relish (to put on the potato), cooked red cabbage (which I never liked until I had this), and grilled salmon (caught from Lake Michigan). Mmmm, I love the taste of summer.
Kyra (2 yr): (running into the room with much excitement) Mommy, mommy I just got Katie to say TOES!
Mommy: That's wonderful!
Kyra: Yeah, but she won't say Doodlebops (baby steps, Kyra, baby steps)
Kyra: (entering the room with a memory game) Mommy can we play this game? I heard it was very interesting!
Kyra: Daddy, guess what we saw today?
Daddy: What's that?
Kyra: A springmattress.
Daddy: (looking in my direction with an odd look) You saw what?
Kyra: A sperringmattress (practically spelling it out to him, like duh!)
Mommy: A praying mantis.
(Kyra runs to me with books in hand, as I am currently checking books out)
Kyra: Mommy, can we check this book out too?
Mommy: (I glance through it quick) Kyra, I'm afraid this book is too old for you.
Kyra: I need to have it Mom. I really, really need it.
Mommy: Alright. (I give in with a sigh, as I check out the book she had to have -The History of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur! That will be a great bedtime story)