Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Our summer days feel like a monkey bar piece of playground equipment.  One of those hang on by your hands, cross from rung to rung, hoping that you don't fall off when you're in the middle  jungle gyms. 

One of the "rungs" that we just crossed over was Vacation Bible School. Also known as VBS, this child-pleasing, scripture learning week of fun is always a highlight for my kids.  This year was a different year because I had 2 littles attending VBS, and 2 bigger-littles SERVING in VBS.  I also was wrangled volunteered to help , so all 5 of us were at church together every morning. 

Our church does a really amazing job of organizing and entertaining and teaching peeps from all over our city, ages 4-10.  I was happy to be a part of our turquoise wearing VBS team, but what was more thrilling was running into my kiddos all around the church and yard, knowing that God was working in all of our hearts each day. 

I was a part of the recreation team, so I got to see every grade, as well as the teachers and volunteers.  Getting hugs from my own kids throughout the mornign kept me encouraged and knowing that they were learning and were happy and helping made me such a joy-filled mama!!  Hearing my kids quote scripture, talk about Jesus and sing praises to our Creator was the absolute best part of our week. I am so grateful for VBS.

This weekend we are crossing the "camping at Hermit Park" rung on our summer jungle gym.  The tent-filled-bins have come down from the garage storage, the menu has been planned and we are making plans for what to fill our mountain days with.  Colorado has been under the attack of many, many fires and so we won't be allowed to have a campfire, but we will make due.  We are going camping with friends of ours, and it is going to be oh, so fun!!! Hermit Park is a favorite place from my childhood and taking my family there is always something worderful. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Twice, over the last month, I have spent time with extended members of my husband's family.  Last night, his Uncle and Aunt from Maryland were at our house for a visit.  We enjoyed dinner together, chicken and vegetable kabobs, good wine, and a delicious salad bar made up mostly from veggies pulled out of our garden.

 As I listened to stories told, I tried to catch details about my mother-in-law and her brother's childhood and past experiences together.  I wanted to hear snippets about a heritage I know little about, but affects who my husband and kiddies are.  These are people who share my younger children's genes.

 I searched for similarities in my kids and their relatives.  Eye color?  Mannerisms?  It fascinates me how traits are handed down through generations.  How my Meredith has the same eyes as her great Uncle.  I love reading books that span many generations, connecting families over time with laces of family secrets, stories and life experiences.  We are all apart of each other's history. Tied together through time and years.

Our evening was relaxing and lovely.  I am grateful to have been with these relatives. Family means so much to me. 

 At one point in the evening, funny Meredith asked her great Uncle Robert, who is a bird lover, if he had seen the movie "Rio". She explained that he would like it because its about birds!!  This made Patrick and I chuckle with delight today when she told us what she asked him.  Such a sweetie, relating something in Uncle Robi's world to her own. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

We have just finished week 2 of our summer break.  So far, the days have stretched long into the nights.  The theme of "just 5 more minutes" plays non-stop no matter what we are doing.  5 more minutes at the pool; 5 more minutes at the park; 5 more minutes with my friends.  Oh, it is sweet, summer.  There just aren't as many responsibilities, not as many worries. 

Even though the laundry is still filling the hampers and the tummys still need meals prepared, the air of the house is more relaxed.  My garden is blooming and the popsicles are filling the freezer.  Sure signs that we are in the fullw sweeg of summer.  Next week, we are all etiher attending or serving in Vacation Bible School.  It will be a busy week, a full week, a week of blessings. 

Today I bought a couple of new "school" shirts and some socks for my boy and a couple of fall shoes for Meredith.  The plan is to keep them in the bag and bury it underneath the pool towels so we can continue to smother ourselves with summer.

It feels SO good!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I am a sentimental girl.  No question, I have nostalgic blood running through my veins.  So, it is no surprise that I have thoughts of that nature running through my mind at this time.  Yesterday was my 40th birthday.  I am now a 40 year old woman.

That doesn't scare me or surprise me,  but I AM inspired by the number.  It seems as if I an now a TRUE grownup.  Like perhaps I can stop waiting for the REAL mom to show up, the REAL wife to step in, the REAL actress to start playing the roles I play, while this understudy part that I've been playing comes to an end.  I am 40 years old now.

My birthday, the actual day, was such a day of celebration.  I had the privilege of sharing my celebration with a group of close friends and of course, my family.  It was a glorious morning of laughing and enjoying each other.  I have the best friends in the entire world.  They are sweet, fun, helpful, beautiful, inspiring, and altogether lovely.

My friends are the foundation of my world.  They are who make my world solid, fun, and worth it.  I felt so blessed that they would come to share in the joy of my turning 40.  Along side my girlfriends were my daughters and my mom, as well as my hubby, son, and dad.  These individuals help  complete the picture of my life.  I am not an island.  I absolutely cannot take credit for any day being my very own.  Other than the Lord, the people that He has provided for me help make my days fun, creative, challenging, full of love and work and enjoyment. The fruit of HIS love, is my very own love.  

Over the past decade the thing that I have learned the most about is love.  Love can save you.  Love can encourage you.  Love makes you happy and can also leave you disappointed .  Love puts a spark in your heart, causes you to sacrifice time, sleep and money.  Love rescues you from sadness, and pushes you straight into the arms of the One who is the only one who epitomizes TRUE love.

People, human kind, cannot fulfill all that Love is supposed to be.  I am learning that I cannot hope too much in the human sort of love, but I can always throw myself onto the love of the Father.  This is what I have learned and pursued over the last decade.  Love.

And as I continue to grow, I have complete Faith that God will continue to grow me into the true woman of love He has planned for me.  I will be the Mom that He has designed me to be, with love.  I will reflect His plan as the wife that He wants me to be.  As a sister, a daughter, a disciple, a friend... with the Lord living inside of me, I will learn more and more, and live more and more like the person that I have been created to be.

Being 40 excites me.  I anticipate growth and humility and peace as the next decade reveals its days to me.    

Monday, June 4, 2012

Today is Meredith's 8th birthday. Few things are more fun as a family than celebrating one of our own. Such has been the case this weekend. Meredith has celebrated for a few days, some with just us, and some with friends. My Meredith is a precious, unique, and special little girl. Every day, she amazes me with her intelligence, her style, her maturity. She has the greatest sense of humor and she is such a ham!! Her personality has so much flair and she comes up with the greatest stories and phrases. I can usually (almost always!) count on Meredith to be easy.  Most days, she just goes with the flow. As her name suggests, she is full of grace. Honestly, she just couldn't be better named. She IS grace, and it was God's grace that Meredith was given to me. I am blessed abundantly to have given birth to Meredith 8 years ago. She is our gift of grace, and today we celebrate her. Happy Birthday, my sweet girl. My life became a better life when you came into it. I love you with my whole heart, dearest Meredith.   I am so blessed to be your mama.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My Dear Maddie - Every once in a while, a cluster of events comes along that gives one of my kiddos a chance to shine. That is what the last couple of weeks have been for you.  The light in your eyes has lit up my own eyes.  You have made every opportunity that you have been given beautiful and I am so proud to be your mom. 

I have delighted to watch you work hard on your wax museum project.  There was never a better Queen Elizabeth I, except for perhaps the original.

My heart just about burst with love at your 5th grade graduation.  You were so beautiful and confident as you walked across the stage.  I truly wanted to stand up and shout, "That's my Maddie-girl!!" The awards that I would have given to you weren't a part of the ones called out from the platform, but they are the ones that are even more important. 

If I had been given the chance, I would have awarded you for your kindness.  You show such kindness to your friends, your family, your teachers.  I also would have given you a blue ribbon for your laughter!!!  You make everyone laugh around you; your laughter is so contagious that other people just can't help themselves being happy when you are around.  If I could have, I would have shouted from the rooftop that you are growing in responsibility, that you love Jesus, that you are patient and forgiving, and that you always have a positive attitude.  You inspire others around you to see the good in life.  As you make this transition into middle school, I am so excited for all that is in front of you.  One of the biggest blessings in my life is to get to hold your hand and hug your heart every step of the way.  I love you so much, my sweet girl.  You truly light up my life.