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Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Little Help

I had a little help today with the cleaning. I hadn't intended on pulling the kids into my cleaning spree, but the boys offered to help.

Madison was content to hangout on my new laptop.....my birthday gift from Jeff :). She helped Mimi clean her house yesterday, so I cut her some slack. Mimi knows that Madison likes to go over to her house and help out, so she paid her to help with her cleaning yesterday. Madison would do it for nothing, but does love coming home with the extra money.
We got a lot done yesterday, and Madison did end up cleaning her room, bathroom, and closet. As always, I have to remind myself to accept the work that they do without nagging because it wasn't done exactly as I would have it. I think that sometimes I expect too much from them and have to remind myself of how young they are. It is enough that they are willing to help. There is a difference between putting down their efforts and teaching them how things are done. I'm still trying to figure it out!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Nice Visit And A Great Welcome Home

The kids and I spent four nights at Vicki's last week. As always, it was a great visit. We had plans to return on Saturday, but Patrick started running fever, and I really didn't want to travel back with him sick. It is amazing to me how well our families blend when we are together. We just hung out and visited while the kids all played together. If Jeff had been with us, I could have stayed another four nights. However, I was ready to come home to him.
He had to leave to sing the afternoon that we got back, so we didn't really get to spend any time with him until Monday after he got home from work. He took us out to eat, then to play putt putt golf. Afterwards, he took us for ice cream....what a nice welcome home!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Inevitability Of Change And My Decision To Grow In It

I don't know for sure when I became so resistant to change. I love adventure, but also love routines and things familiar. Though I love to learn new things, I tend to fight against those teaching them to me. The more I feel the need to remain in control of my circumstances, the deeper I become rooted in those things that I consider my safety blanket. To remove that safety blanket with a promise for "something better" is like presenting a small child with a new, "better" blankie just because it looks better or is more modern. The child doesn't care about that...neither do I.

When I was a college student, living the dorm life during school semesters and uprooting myself to move "somewhere else" during holidays and summers, I never understood why I would become depressed at the end of every school semester. I blamed it on leaving friends for a period of time or dreading the whole moving process. However, looking back with a broader prospective on things, I now know that I was merely responding to the ever changing circumstances of dorm life. While I loved living on campus..wouldn't have changed it for anything, a part of me subconsciously needed somewhere to dig my heels in and call home for longer than a semester.

I remember when Jeff tried to teach me to play tennis in college. That only lasted for one or two days. I thought I would just get out there and start hitting the ball..had no desire to change my sorry, embarrassing form.....much to Jeff's frustration. Tennis lessons were over!

I fought our first computer purchase..just didn't see the need in buying a new one.

I don't think I fought against going online, but have never appreciated changing providers or having Jeff do anything new to what we have. Thank God he didn't listen to me or we would still be dialing up on our first hand-me-down computer from his Dad.

Almost every year since I started creating slide show videos, Jeff has sought out and purchased the newest programs for me to use.

I fought it.

I have loved every one more than the one before.

I feel that God puts us with mates that encourage those thing in ourselves that we aren't comfortable with alone. I'm glad that Jeff is able to push me into things that I might otherwise fight against. I'm glad he is there to ease me through the transitions when change isn't something we can choose. Change isn't always easy...learning new ways to do old, familiar things can be frustrating....thinking outside the box can leave you looking in and longing for the comfort that can only be offered by crawling back in.

Don't go back.

Get out and stay out.

In the past 15 years, I have slowly learned to put myself out there.....to plunge head first into new situations and new opportunities and use my confidence, real or forced, as a shield against all that I once feared change could evoke.
I have grown because of it.
I will continue to grow.

Change is inevitable.
The benefits of change must be earned.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

How Liberating!

When is the last time that you took a trip with your family and DIDN'T TAKE A CAMERA?!? I can now say that I DID. I have to admit that it was an accident, but one that I was actually glad happened. It was great to just enjoy the weekend without worrying about when to take pictures....what pictures to take. I challenge anyone who is "picture crazy", as I am, to take a trip without the camera!!
Jeff, the kids, and I went out of town for the weekend for my birthday and Father's Day. Also, we needed to get away from "life" again. We left on Friday and came back today, Sunday. On Saturday, we went to a new waterpark....well, new to us since we'd never been there.Since we were there on a weekend, we had to put up with the crowds, but it was still a great place. It was just nice to enjoy the day without being rushed for time...nothing to worry about but ourselves and which slide to go on next.
None of us were ready to get up and head back home today. We're ready for our big vacation so we can stay gone for a week! We're not planning on going until September, but might have to plan something before then!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I Fixed It!

I've had many people tell me that they are not able to leave comments on my Blog. I finally thought to check my settings and found that I had it set to only receive comments from those registered with Blogspot. I'm not sure why I had it set to that, but I have changed it to accept anyone.
Thanks to those who let me know!

I'm Not Like Them....Really!!!

Remember going to the aunt's house and being put through the torture of walking the entire yard while listening to a narrative on every plant.....where it came from....when it blooms, etc? Yeah....me too. I swore then that I would not only never do that to anyone, but that I would not even show an interest in my yard.
Never say never. Not only did I develop an interest in the condition of my yard, but I'm going to post pictures of what I accomplished in it yesterday! I told myself that I was only going to work for a little while, but ended up spending over 8 hours working on my flower beds. They aren't extravagant, but I never was one for extravagance. However, never say never....they may be fit for Better Homes and Gardens next year :).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Baseball Camp

Carter is going to baseball camp at our local college this week. It's so HOT out there, but he loves it. He was up, dressed, and ready to go this morning at 7:00. He just can't seem to get enough of it!!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

My Heart Feels Lighter

Just as I knew they would, the situations that were weighing me down have worked themselves out. This doesn't mean that everything turned out the way that I would have liked for them to, but that God worked them out the way that He wanted and everyone has made peace with it.

Patrick learned that there are times when people, even your friends, do not act the way they should or the way you have always expected them to. Even more, he learned that he should never burn bridges, especially with good friends and family. He learned how to forgive and to admit his own mistakes in a situation. He learned to see the big picture.

Carter learned that doing your very best does not always mean that you will be acknowledged for it. People do not always choose to do the right thing, even adults. He learned that sometimes in life we work hard for things that just don't happen.....that the real reward comes from enjoying what we do and knowing that we were good at it, or more importantly, that we did it to our best ability.

I learned that I can help my children more by focusing, not on fixing the situations, but tending to their hearts and their needs. I opened the door for communication and made myself available. I listened for things that I could do to help and sometimes just listened. I'm so proud of Patrick and Carter for how they handled their situations. I have to say that both of them demonstrated more maturity than I, myself, sometimes do. They both learned a little more about handling life situations, and I learned a lot more about shepherding them.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

THIS makes me happy!

I love having a houseful...or a pool full....of kids over. We're having VBS this week, which usually means lots of kids over to play afterwards. We ended up with 8 in the pool before the day was over......how fun :)!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Friday, June 01, 2007

The Heart

It is no small wonder to me that the heart is said to hold all of our love and deep feelings.
I know it's true because right now mine feels heavy, as if I have to work to hold it up.
If I take too deep a breath, try to forget about what is weighing it down, it will fall...it will break.
Every beat it takes screams that which has burdened it, reminding me, reminding me, reminding me.
It is not breaking for the body from which it dwells, but for those who have come from it. When my children hurt, I feel it as if I were walking in their shoes. I feel it more because the hurt is mixed with anger towards that which causes them pain and sadness at not being able to save them from it.
My heart tries to pour everything out of itself and onto them to erase their pain, but all it does is cover the bitterness up for that moment. Underneath, their pain is still real. Inside my heart becomes a little heavier.
I cannot always change the situations that my children face. I know that in working through them they can become stronger, but only if I lead them in a way that invites love and forgiveness into their hearts, while driving out the anger and hurt that fill it up so quickly. For me to help them do this, I have to first do it myself. Whatever fills my heart, will spill over into the hearts of my children.
My mind knows what I need to do.
My mind knows that everything will work out...that the situations are not that huge.
My heart only knows how to feel...and for right now, as long as my children are hurting, it will remain heavy....it will hold all of the emotions that my mind cannot bear...that's all it knows.