Hello!

I got the chance to run on an unseasonably warm January day yesterday (it’s freezing today, by the way), and remembered that back in the heat of summer, I took Adam’s iPhone on my run and snapped pictures along the way.  Here’s an ode to my favorite six mile route in Kansas City:

So much has gone on since I last wrote.  Holidays were celebrated. Families were seen and loved. Crises came and went. We had a 10th anniversary. Children grew and were snuggled. A dog was lost and found. We felt joy and peace and rejection and hurt and much, much more. Walks were taken. Blank skies stared at in wonder. Hopes sparked. Life was lived.

I’m working at filling the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run. I’m admittedly pretty horrible at it. But there is hope in this heart for abundant living in simplicity, a fresh loaf of bread on the counter, and quilt squares waiting to be cut. Happy New Year!

Edit: I have no idea how to change it so it soesn’t look like Adam wrote my posts. Maybe someday I’ll figure that out.  :)

The Last Time…

I was holding our almost 5 year old Sunday during worship, singing while he wrapped his legs around me like the little monkey he sometimes is, this time with his head on my shoulders, still, probably tired from a busy weekend, and the thought hit me: Sometime soon, I’ll hold him like this and it will be the last time I ever pick him up. Someday, though it was so hard to believe when he was a frail little thing, he’ll be bigger than ME.

That day seemed too far from the horizon of reality for me to believe it then, but now it’s in the distance. I can see it. And it makes me scared, excited, sad and ecstatic all at the same time. As a mother, we spend our lives working ourselves out of a job. The ultimate goal is the independence of our kids, right? We want them to leave us knowing what it takes to be a productive and caring member of society… but as it happens, well, it hits me. They leave.

I know, my kids are little still, but I see God’s grace in giving me a glimpse of this NOW, so I can work to be more present; to see what they need to know and figure out ways to teach it to them. Going from the baby stage to the school age stage of parenting has been a transition for me; but it’s shown me that it’s okay to let go. It’s actually enhanced the relationship I have with my children. It has new nuances, new corners to explore, and I’m enjoying it. I just don’t want to take it for granted. I took a LOT of the baby stage for granted.

I want to notice every time I pick my kids up, every game we play, every nuance of childhood, and soak it all in.

Confession and a Tip…

Confession:

I love making sandwiches and/or nachos with pepperjack cheese, just because it means my kids won’t pester me for bites of it. I also SOMETIMES order cheesecake with cherries on top, just because I know my husband won’t touch it. I’m like that.

Tip:

If anyone HAPPENS to be like me and have a plethora of silly/crazy/zany/whatever bands around your house, my friend Amy came up with a brilliant idea to use them to mark whose drinking glass (or mason jar, in my house) is whose. I love it:

I’m rocking a pink electric guitar today.

Happy Friday!

A picture, a picture…

So this post promises to have photos (but poor ones, because my camera is still not fixed)!

A peek at our week:

We’ve been using this book as a sort of character study each week, so I’m making verse posters with the trait (Listening) and the verse (Proverbs 4:1) on them to hang in our dining room. I hung these all over my room when I lived in the dorm in college. I was a nerd.

Also, meet Lucius:

He’s a giant leopard moth caterpillar Adam found in the yard yesterday who’s been happily munching dandelion leaves in our butterfly garden. I may have to put him in the fridge to get him to go ahead and form a his cocoon. Don’t worry, I read about it on the internet, it’s totally doable.

We get a sweet new baby to watch starting next week, which I am excited about! (And maybe a little nervous? This mom’s “baby” is almost five, so I feel a little rusty.)

School is underway and I’m evaluating what’s working and what isn’t for us. My friend is doing this (see paragraph 5) with her boys, and I think it’s an idea we’ll be stealing. The character studies we’re doing are short and my kids seem to like them, so we’ll keep doing them, but by doing them alone, I feel like it’s more of a works-based/be-good-or-else message. I like the message that GOD is faithful, so we can have courage/hope/patience/joy/peace so many things! I’m excited to incorporate it into our day.

Epiphany of the week…

Blogs with no pictures are boring.

I don’t have a smartphone and my camera has been broken for some time.

Therefore, it is pretty tough to get pictures on this blog, and the pictures I can get are taken with photobooth on my laptop (not great quality).

Therefore, this blog is boring. (I’ll blame it on the lack of photos, not me, right?!?! Right?)

Epiphany: I should really get a camera that works. There’s so much I’d love to show people if I could. Or, I should borrow my husband’s iPhone and take pictures with it.

Goals…

It’s the end of the summer, and I’m amazed at how quickly time passes the more I age. We’re enjoying a break from some insane heat waves, looking to “start school” around here in the next week or so, and getting ready to plant some vegetables for the fall.  I’m beginning to get that end of summer craving for structure and order, and this season is manifesting in a growing realization that we’ve got too much stuff, too much noise and just plain too much in general. I’ve had several talks with the kids lately about how when you spend all your time maintaining your things, they own you instead of it being the other way around. We’ve purged and will continue to do so, in an effort to slow life a bit, soak up the amazing people God has placed around us, and unplug a bit to hear Him easier. I’ve read recently about people taking breaks from media, purging their things, or going without for a set amount of time. I’m talking more about some lasting changes that leave us open to opportunity in our community and world to be present and live purposefully. I’m not sure what this will mean practically, but I know that God is at work in me, He has taught me much in these past few years, and I look forward to what He’ll bring to light in this last bit of summer…

Steam-rolling along…

It’s HOT. Not as hot as some places, but hot enough. Hot enough to make training for the half-marathon I signed up for feel impossible. Hot enough to cut t-ball games short. Hot enough to keep us inside most days. I’m hoping to remedy that a bit.

We’re going through this book, and enjoying it. I’m working on making it more effective.

At Midtown Community Church, we’re back in the Parish Center! And things are looking good. We’re hosting a great parenting class beginning in August, and I’m so excited.

We’re gearing up for a new “school” year. Just figuring out what needs to be adjusted, what new skills we want to master, and how we’d like to spend our time.

So far we’ve done much on our summer list, but still have some fun activities planned. Library puppet shows, Kaleidoscope, Crown Center and Science City are all front and center for the end of July and August.

Sounds weird, but I’m already looking to December, because every year I want to make nice Jesse tree ornaments and I never have time, so I’m getting those in the works soon!

Once I find a camera somewhere in this house with batteries, I’ll post a picture of the awesome reading nook Adam built the kids on the stairs… they are loving it, and I love having another dedicated reading space to send them when they’ve all been around each other too much and need a break.

Here’s to ending summer well!