Monday, February 21, 2011

Top 10 Moments from last week......

#10. David left for Connecticut on Tuesday. Yes, that is one of my favorite moments. HAHA! One less person to cook for and clean up after! We DO miss him while he's gone though! :

#9. Took the kids to see "Gnomeo and Juliet"! Very cute movie....we laughed, we cried, (ok, well I was the only one that cried), we spilled lots of popcorn, we annoyed the people behind us because Kade wouldn't sit in his seat (he likes to dance while watching movies), we snuck our own candy and pop into the theatre (seriously, every penny pinchin Mom knows this is the ONLY way to go) I'm surprised I didn't get frisked, I even thought it was obvious when I walked into the theatre with my very large and neon beach bag. I like variety when I snack. We had a great time and left with a sugar high.....

#8. Kade throwing a tantrum and not wanting to go to school was the "norm" for the week. I think it had something to do with David being gone and throwing us off our "normal routine". So, why would this be a "top 10 moment"??? Getting him to school was a victory for this mom! I call "these" kind of mornings the "book bag em', drag em', stuff em' and leave em' " mornings....... what does this mean? Well, while Kade is throwing his tantrum, I pack his book bag, strap it on his back, drag him out the door (sometimes he hides in his room, so I have to drag him down the stairs first), "stuff" him in the truck, literally...walk him into the school and leave him by his teacher. Ms. Kelli and I have a "special" look we give each other on these kinds of mornings...she gets it- I like her. I say "have a GREAT day!" (with a hint of sarcasm and an exaggerated grin on my face) and she gives me the same look back and says "enjoy your break!" - because she SOOOO knows I will...."THANKS! Send him home in a better mood!" I exclaim as I run out the front door...arms fist pumping in the air...burning rubber out the school parking lot screaming: "THANK YOU JESUS FOR MY BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN AND THANK YOU JESUS FOR SCHOOL DAYS!!"

#7. Picking Kade up from school everyday, no matter how the morning went....he ALWAYS runs to me, arms wide open and hugs me like he loves me more then anything in this world!

#6. School conferences were last week also. Both the kids are doing great! Kindyl is testing way above were she needs to be and we couldn't be more proud of her! Kade is doing great in preschool! He's testing right were he needs to be and is improving tremendously! It's so crazy to see what they knew at the beginning of the year and see them progress throughout the year at each conference. They really do change so much in just a few months. It really is such a blessing to have children and to watch them grow, change and develop their own unique little personality!

#5. Kindyl and Kade got into a little fight one night after school. I wasn't IN the room when it happened, so, I'm not quite sure who is telling me the truth and how it went down. All I know is that Kindyl came running down the stairs into the kitchen screaming "LOOK WHAT KADE DID TO ME!!!" She had a huge scratch down her face. I obviously called Kade down (who wasn't too far behind her mumbling something like.."I didn't do nothin'...she scratched herself...") and had a talk with him. Kindyl went into the bathroom and started examining herself in the mirror, "MOM! I can't go to school tomorrow!!! I look ridiculous!!" That is exactly what she said. I told her she'd be fine and no one would probably notice. That night, David was tucking her in and I was in the laundry room which is right next to her bedroom. I heard her tell David that she was scared to go to school tomorrow because she didn't want the kids to laugh at her face. David told her that lots of kids get hurt and have to come to school with bumps and scratches on their faces. Kindyl paused for a few seconds and said: "your right Dad, my friend Jaden came to school last week and his face was all jacked up and no one made fun of him." I laughed my butt off. "Jacked up?!"  That would be something she learned from her father.

#4. David was gone from Tuesday through Friday night. The kids didn't have school on Friday because of conferences. The kids also were going to stay with Grandma Vicki and Grandpa Bob for the weekend so David and I could have some alone time. So, on Thursday night, the kids and I drove to Lamoni to spend the night with Mom and Bob. It was gorgeous out Thursday! Almost 70 degrees! We got to Mom and Bob's and played outside, grilled hamburgers and enjoyed the weather! We had fun staying at Grandma and Grandpa's, like we always do!

#3. The kids and I drove to Leon on Friday to have lunch with Mom at the hospital. It's always fun to go eat with Grandma! We ate lunch there and then went to a new coffee shop in Leon. Mom had been telling me about this coffee shop for awhile because they sold used books there for really cheap. We let the kids pick out a couple books and I started browsing the selection. I bought 6 books for myself (some I have been wanting to read for awhile now) ALL of them for under $4 EACH!!! I bought Jamie's girlfriend, Sarah...4 new James Patterson books for $4 each! They all look brand new! I was pretty excited about my new purchases and have been reading non stop since Friday!

#2. While at my parents, I had to run to the store to pick up some "woman" supplies. I had my sack in the truck and Kade heard me looking in the bag. "Mom, what's in your bag? Anything for me?" he asked. "No, Kade, it's just stuff for Mommy." Kade: "But Moooooom...what is the stuff??" Me: "Nothing Kade, just medicine for me" Kade: "but Moooooooom, can I see??? What's in the box???" Me: "Fine, see Kade (me flashing my box of tampax) nothing for you, just stuff for Mom." Kade relentless now: "MOM!!! Let me see those!!! Do your buttsticks have boxtops that I can take to school!?"  (If you are a parent of a school kid, you may know what he's talking about. Kindyl and Kade's classes collect boxtops off packaged food to earn money for their school.) And no, they do NOT put boxtops on buttstick boxes, in case you were wondering.

#1. Picking David up from the airport would have to be one of my top moments from the week! It's always nice to have him back home! The kids were missing him and didn't get to see him till Sunday when Mom and Bob brought them back. David and I had a great kid free weekend! We went out for dinner by ourselves Friday and Saturday night. Saturday afternoon we went out to lunch with an amazing couple from our church. Both nights we were in bed by 9 pm watching tv and enjoying the peace and quiet! Sunday, we went to church and while I taught confirmation class, David came home and waited for the kids. Jamie and Sarah came up and we all went out for dinner to celebrate Jamie's birthday. We had a great weekend! Stay tuned for next weeks "Top 10 Moments!" Have a great week everyone!! XOXO

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The void] It's that place in our lives where what we've been hanging onto . . . clinging to for dear life . . . is stripped away. It's that place in us where we let go of what we know, what we think we know, and what we want and surrender to the unknown. It is the place of saying and meaning, 'I don't know.' It means standing there with our hands empty for a while, sometimes watching everything we wanted disappear; our self image, our definition of who we thought we should be, the clones we've created of ourselves, the people we thought we had to have, the things we thought were so important to collect and surround ourselves with, the job we were certain was ours, the place we thought we'd live in all our lives. . . Surrender control to the supreme wisdom and authority of God and to the Divine in your soul. Step into the void with courage. Learn to say, I don't know. That's not blind faith. It's pure faith that will allow God and your spirit to lead you wherever your soul wants and needs to go.
Melody Beattie, "Finding Your Way Home"

I found this quote the other day and was blown away. Do you ever read something and think to yourself, "Wow! I really needed to hear that!" !? Blind faith, is pure faith. How awesome is that!? This last year, I have had a "crash course" in this lesson! God has forced me and David to surrender a lot- material things, people we clung to, the need to feel in control and the desire to not live for ourselves but for a much higher purpose.

It hasn't been easy. I've cried a lot this year as God peeled back the layers in my life. For the first part, I fought back. You know, like an unruly teenager...."this is MY life, I'll do what I want, you don't know what's best for me" Well, I also learned something else. Praying for God's will in your life is quite daring if your not really willing to follow his lead. So, don't be like me....don't pray for God's will and then yell at him when he starts letting your idea of  "life" go down the drain. Whoops! Lesson learned. Kinda like a wise woman told me one time..."never pray for patience, God will give you trials to teach you patience".
So, if you REALLY want God's will. Be prepared. Really evaluate yourself and your present life. Are you really ready to give it all up to live the life you were designed to live?? For years, I "thought" I was happy, I "thought" we were on the "right track". I "thought" that if we kept going in the same direction we had been that we would have "it all". You know, "it all" being the stuff that doesn't really matter in the end anyhow! All the "stuff" we had, is all the "stuff" I have stacked in totes right now to give to charity!
 A couple weeks ago, a good friend of mine that I met at our church came over. She recently had weight loss surgery and lost about 80 lbs. She's a single mom of twin boys (age 6). She has taught me so much this past year about giving even when it hurts. One time we were short money for the month and we were talking on the phone. At the end of the conversation she said, "I'm going to the store, I have some extra money, what do you need? I will get it for you?" I laughed and said; "Pam! You can't afford to do that right now yourself! If you do, you'll be short by the end of the month!" She replied, "Well, I'm fine right now and I have extra. I'm not worried about the end of the month because God will take care of me. But, right now, you need my help and God wants me to help you first". I was speechless and humbled. She went to the store that afternoon and brought well over $100 worth of groceries to our house later that day. She wanted nothing in return. She hugged me as she walked out the door and said "you have been Jesus' hands for me when I needed it the most, I'm honored to return the favor" .....So, this past week...I dug out several totes of clothes I've "saved" for myself. You know..the clothes labeled "I MAY WEAR THESE ONE DAY, BETTER HOLD ON TO THEM"...I called her over and let her go through all of them and didn't even go through them first myself, I let her have first pick. She went crazy! Trying on clothes and smiling from head to toe! It was awesome watching her do this, It felt so good to give these clothes to her that weren't doing anything for me other than collecting dust.....Could I have used them? Sure...maybe some day...but Pam needed them desperately right now and I had it to give.
She even took a bunch of David's old stuff to some friends of hers that she has been ministering too at a local homeless shelter. It feel good knowing that David's stuff was going to clothe men who had nothing and would be so grateful for it.
Getting rid of this stuff was such an eye opening experience. It was so energizing! Ever since then, I have collected over 4 totes of stuff....all waiting to be donated to charity. I'm still on a role and have much more to "rid" our lives of. It's hard to dance through life with "things" weighing you down! That is what I think of as I clean out each room.....will "this" weigh me down while I dance??? Do I really "need" this?? Is God telling me that someone could use this more than me?? It's funny how many of these "things" I used to LOVE a year ago and really believed I couldn't live without them. Now, they are nothing but weights on my dancing shoulders. Ready to be tossed off and left behind so I can keep cha-cha ing my way through this life, dragging others out on the dance floor (you know who you are..the ones who like to sit on the sidelines and pray that  no one notices you aren't dancing!)..grabbing their hands and helping them boogey down with the man himself-Jesus...the giver of life, the ONLY one who knows are purpose and where we are headed..the ONLY one who knows what we need and asks us to trust him...and really, the ONLY "thing" we need to live life to the fullest!!!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Valentine's Day party is TODAY!? Crap! I'll be right back!

I love it when I get up in the morning and actually have a productive day planned. Every time I think I "got it together", someone has to throw a wrench in my plans. Today it went a little something like this:
6 A.M. Alarm goes off. Make my coffee, turn on the news, enjoy my quiet time before I wake up the family. I decided not to shower today, because I was going to work out after I dropped the kids off at school.
7 A.M. wake up husband and kids. Get David out the door and start to get the kids ready.
7:30 A.M. why kids eat breakfast I make my list of "things to do" after I drop them off. I can vacuum, clean the bathrooms, mop the floor, brush the dog, work out, fold some laundry and I'll have this all done before I pick up Kade! YES! Today is a good day because I got it together and I'm going to get a lot accomplished! 8 A.M. get the winter gear on, packed the school bags and we're off!
8:20 am. Drop Kindyl off in her kindergarten room and walk Kade down to the gym to meet his preschool class. I walk in and entire class is dressed in red. His teacher is holding  presents wrapped in heart paper. " I missing something here?" I think to myself. So, I say: "Ms. Kelli, are they having a Valentine party for preschool?" Ms. Kelli: "Yeah, today at 10!" (Me, eyes wide open) "OH CRAP! How did I miss that!?" As Ms. Kelli tries to convince me it'll be ok if Kade doesn't have any valentines to hand out...I look at my sweet little Kade's face and think- "Yeah right!! I'm not going to be the horrible mother of the year who doesn't bring valentines for her son to hand out!"  I kissed Kade on the cheek, held his face in my hands, smiled and said in my best calm voice..."Mommy will be right back with your 'Sponge Bob' valentines for all your friends...." "Ok, Mom! You'll stay for the party too, right?!" ...."Of course! See you soon!"
So, I did what any Mom would do and cancelled all my plans for my "productive morning" and jetted off to walgreens! Crossed my fingers that this would be my ONLY stop for Sponge Bob valentines and ran in.
Found the valentines, picked up some Fun Dips for the class. Picked up a few other things I needed and ran home. Filled out all 19 valentines, counted out 19 fun dips...jumped in the shower and ran out the door at 9:45 to get to the school for the party.
After the party, we headed home...the house is trashed, nothing has been done.....yet. Today hasn't been a "productive" day so far....but,  watching Kade hand out his valentines with a huge grin painted across his face, made my day priceless! (Dressing Kade in a "red" shirt was just pure luck!)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed" ~Proverbs 11:25

For those of you who don't the end of summer last year, I was asked to help with our church youth group ministry. Youth group at our church consists of junior high and senior high. At first a friend of ours (Dan) who facilitated the small group David and I were in, was taking over the youth ministry for a few months while our youth pastor and his wife took a small break. I volunteered to help him for the few months that he did it. At first I was was very apprehensive...not knowing exactly where this would lead, I wavered in my decision to commit. The first night, we had our youth leaders meeting, I came eager to hear what was in store for the next few months. At this meeting, all my nervous feelings sky rocketed! Hearing what we would be doing, all the commitments that were involved, the responsibility, the endless hours spent being with a bunch of kids I didn't know was a little scary to say the least! I pretty much decided at the meeting that I was "out of my league" and had apparently walked into a world that I did not belong in.
At the end of the meeting we stopped to pray. Instantly, Dan and the other leaders from the church looked at my face and started laughing. Apparently I had the "deer in headlights" look going on. They all asked what I was thinking and I began to basically tell everyone in the room that I wasn't equipped to "minister" to anyone, especially a bunch of other peoples' kids!! Are you kidding?! I could hardly understand my own mood swings yet a bunch of teenagers!  Talk about selling yourself out! I tried..but in their eyes, I was completely selling myself short. They saw the "me" that I couldn't see...yet....
That night turned out to be one of the most eye-opening nights of my life. Here I was, in a room with 4 adults I had only known briefly for about a year. They all began to tell me how wrong I was. They began to build me up by pointing out all the qualities I had to offer. They encouraged me in saying that God uses anyone willing to be used...not just those that appear qualified. They all felt that, if I was being led to this ministry that I had better jump on board 100%, as I would be better off obeying God then turning my back on him when he was calling me.
So, I left that night shaken to the core. How could I be so dumb I thought?! Did I really think that God, the creator of all the universe, made me wrong!? He didn't "EQUIP" me right!??! Whoops! That night, I went home and decided that instead of turning my back and running away...I was going to dive right in and trust God that he knew what he was doing.
So, here I am...7 months later. Still working with the youth every Wednesday night from 6:00-9:00. Teaching confirmation class every Sunday from 2:00-4:00 and loving every minute with these kids that I thought were going to ruin my life! JD (the youth pastor) and his wife, Amy...had returned from their break back in October. They asked me to stay and I agreed. In the meantime, we've become great friends.
I love going to church and seeing "my kids" every week. We sit together every Sunday and they laugh at all my stupid jokes ;)
I remember when I started this adventure a lady from my church told me...."Sometimes, God asks us to do things that put us out of our comfort zone. He does this so that we are forced to lean on him and this builds a stronger bond with God. The best thing about trusting God is that in doing so, we are blessed more then we could every imagine."
As I sat at JD and Amy's house this morning, sipping on mind wandered. I thought about them and all the great friendships I've made by taking that "leap of faith"! By stepping out of my "comfort zone", I've gained so much more! Next time God ask me to do something, I won't hesitate. It's not worth it. Every Wednesday night and every Sunday afternoon when I walk into our youth room and get bombarded by a bunch of obnoxious teenagers, I thank God for putting me where he knew I needed to be all along....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Is this depression?? No, it's just winter in Iowa....

So, I've made my first post and it's mainly about Kindyl.. So, thought I'd add a few of our favorite pictures from this year so far. If I get around to it, I'll work on our favorite memories from 2010! Wouldn't that be spectacular!? Well, don't get too excited.....So, my first pictures are from our first snow day of the year! Last week, we were "snowed in" for 2 days. The kids did a fine job of trashing the house and keeping me busy! Kindyl lost a tooth to kick start our day, followed by games, painting and sledding. Baking was on the agenda, but never happened because our oven blew up. Literally, it hasn't worked since. Here are a few pics from our snow day (s)!

Kindyl's First Date!

I know, 6 years old is kinda early for a "first date"! Kids start dating much earlier now a days! was Kindyl's first dance at school, the "Father/Daughter Dance" was this past Saturday at her school. She was so excited! First thing Saturday morning we woke up and made a "girls only trip" to Target to pick out her outfit for the big day. I was a nice mommy and let her pick out her very own outfit-trust me, I was biting my tonuge the whole time. ;) She picked out her own dress (black w/ neon hearts) her own tights (bright blue), her shoes (hot pink w/ a big flowered rhinestone on the top) and her hair bow (a white headband w/ a big white bow on the top). It was pretty wild! The outfit actually looked very cute on. She is very bold w/ her style and that's ok! It's just hard to get used too, considering I'm not! Anyhow, while we were out shopping, David and Kade were out doing "man things". David called and he was at Flowerama, picking out a corsage for Kindyl. (How cute!) It was a very pretty hot pink rose w/ a black, sparkly wrist band.
I sat and curled Kindyl's hair into little ringlets and we put her outfit on...she was all ready to go! We came downstairs and David put her corsage on...we took lots of pictures and they were off to the dance! They had a great time...David said he was only "cool" the first 5 minutes, then he was "benched" so Kindyl could dance with her friends ;) They did get the final dance together. All either of them could remember was that it was a slow song....they don't remember which one. They got their pictures taken and I can't wait to see them! Here are some of the ones I got before they left~ (oh, and David was so great, he sent me a few pics while they were at the dance...which was fun! Gotta love technology these days!)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Over 60 gallons of water was saved today by doing this blog instead of laundry.

This is my first blog. I don't really know why I started doing this...kinda like, I don't know why I married David, I don't know why I had kids and I don't know why I got a facebook account. For some reason, all of the above turned out to be the things that I can't imagine my life without..the good and the bad. Ok, maybe facebook shouldn't be put in the same category as my husband and kids..but, let's face it. Facebook is important. Especially when your idea of "spending time with friends" involves logging on to a computer

Well, I'm hoping to update this regularly. We'll see how it goes!