April 15, 2015

Soccer Season

Jacob joined the soccer team at school again this year - his 3rd year on the team. Soccer practice started in February, the team played their first game in March. With 2-3 practices a week + 2-3 games a week - soccer season is well underway!

We're doing a lot of this:

Sometimes we're doing homework or watching movies in the car. Sometimes I'm chasing Connor around on the soccer field or cleaning mud off our shoes. Sometimes there's a couple little people using the little potty in the van. Sometimes I have a van-full of tween boys driving to the away games. Sometimes I feel like my van is actually a snack truck. Sometimes we "make-do" after school and just hang out at home. (One game got cancelled two days in a row this week from rain, so I served enough cookies, chicken nuggets and lemonade for an army. Really.)

One thing I know: Soccer season is crazy and busy. Full of last-minute changes in weather and scheduling. And a lot of running around. But, this kid loves it. Seeing his big smile and his determined spirit come to life on the field - it's worth all the time in the world. He's having a blast...muddy knees and all!

April 14, 2015

Two-Kid Baths

There are some nights here and there when we're tired and rushed - or, the little kids request it - and we put Brooklyn and Connor in the tub together. A two-kid bath.

Brooklyn is small at 7 and Connor is 3, so it still works for now. But, I know times are changing - one little boy is getting more and more curious about body parts (or lack thereof...ahem), so those special moments with my littles in the tub won't last long. But, they've sure enjoyed some fun times together. Some fun times I'll always remember...and I'm sure they will too.

April 8, 2015

Brooklyn's Presidential Publishing Party

I forgot to blog about this, but the morning before we left for our weekend getaway at Opryland - Brooklyn and her class had their Presidential Publishing Party. They all chose one US president, printed pictures and gathered lots of research about their president at home. They put everything together and made their first report - and presented everything to the parents and class.

Brooklyn chose John Quincy Adams for her report + presentation. She was so nervous, but she did much better than I would have done at that age. I was impressed!

Her presentation:

This was Brooklyn's and the other students' first presentation ever. I love how she points her finger at the poster with the look of "Uh, I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing here..." So cute.

John Quincy Adams was so fun to study and do a report on! The president's stories and fun facts on Brooklyn's poster were quite humorous:

He owned a pet alligator which he kept in the East Room of the White House.
He installed the first billiards table in the White House.
He was the first president to have his photograph taken.
He was known for his fruit trees and orchards.
He took early morning swims NAKED every day in the Potomac River. (One journalist lady tried to interview him and, after being declined several times, she stole his clothes when he was swimming naked and refused to return them until she was given an interview.)

At the end of her presentation, Mrs. R asks, "So, he went skinny-dipping every morning?" and Brooklyn says, "I don't know." Love it! She had no clue what skinny-dipping really meant, but we all thought it was funny, regardless. :)

Love this sweet girl and all the hard work she did for this project!

And those sweet friends of hers too. They all did a great job!

My all-time favorite comment of the day - one girl said WWII was World War Eleven. I just couldn't stop smiling...

Little kids are the best.

April 7, 2015

This Easter Season

The biggest word I feel like God has placed on my heart lately is the word wait.

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27: 13-14
This is the ultimate anthem for our family. This Easter. And however long God chooses to let this season of waiting last.
I've done a lousy job of being patient and content - giving God the space to work through the circumstances and challenges in my life in His timing, not mine. I haven't been gracious. I haven't been kind in my heart. I've lost focus. I've lost hope.
I realize my circumstances may never change. Within the last three years, we've listed and sold our house in 12 hours. Found a bigger home that we loved, only to be told we had major foundation damage in our current home and couldn't move after all. Spent $11,000 on foundation repairs in one year. Spent $20,000 on more foundation repairs last year. Currently racking up more money on repairs and home improvements this year...on top of normal life with one income + three kids (one of whom travels out-of-state every month) + paying off debt + cracks that never seem to go away, and some days - it feels like we're drowning.
All the while, I keep hoping. I keep praying that our miracle home is going to come, whatever that may be. And then I read this yesterday:
"BUT GOD. Ever so gently He reminded me that I can't always see the big picture. He has a plan that is better than ours. He must have a better house for us. But you know what, we aren't promised that. He may not have a better house for us. We may have walked through this season for another reason. We don't know. But, He knows and His plans are always right and good. So yes, I will be disappointed if we don't move (soon or not at all), but I trust Him and on Him do I wait...not on the perfect house, not on my circumstances to change, but I will wait on Him. He will answer in His time and in His way."
Thank you to my new sweet mentor friend Candace Crabtree for her kind words that spoke to my heart at just the right time.
We are in a long season of waiting. Waiting with hands lifted high in the air, hearts surrendered to Him. Waiting for Him to move mountains right where we are - whatever that may entail. Waiting and hoping in Him, knowing He will answer whenever He sees fit. And, whatever it is, it's the absolute best...for us!

Thank you, Jesus. Waiting patiently here for you...

April 6, 2015

Easter // 2015

Our Easter festivities started on Saturday with a big egg hunt for the kids at a local church in our area. The egg hunt started at 10:30 - with age groups all on different fields, inflatables, free food and the best part - pictures with Anna, Elsa and Olaf from Frozen. This was Connor's first real egg hunt where he really understood what was going on. With over 15,000 eggs to hunt, these kids were stoked!

(Frozen pics still to come...)

We woke up bright and early Sunday morning to open Easter baskets and get ready for the early service at church. The kids had been wanting a Ty bunny + lamb for awhile, so they were excited to see one in their basket - along with some candy!

My cuties before church:


We came home and ate lunch, while reading our favorite Peek-a-Bible story book The Easter Story and watching Jesus: He Lived Among Us. The kids helped make birds nests with chow mein noodles + marshmallows.

We colored eggs.

We made resurrection rolls...with chocolate.

In the meantime, Scot left to meet up with his friend Todd for an hour who was visiting out of town and to pick up Jake from the airport that night.

In the middle of all that, Scot hid eggs for the kids and we had our own egg hunt in the backyard - the kids' favorite. :)

Brooklyn even found the golden egg - in the mailbox!

Their loot:

Jake came home and immediately opened his Easter basket of goodies.

Scot and Brooklyn hid eggs earlier for Jake's own indoor egg hunt. (Silver egg included.)

And then we had a late meal of chicken + dumplings in the crockpot for dinner. It was a quick and busy night, not exactly how I had planned. But, as we were tucking the kids into bed, Jake and Brooklyn both thanked Jesus for dying on the cross for them and rising to heaven where they can spend eternity with Him...and I couldn't have been more proud, blessed and grateful.

They get it. They're living it. They have eternal hope. And I pray they always share that hope and joy with everyone around them.
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