Saturday, December 24, 2011

i choose peace.

no christmas cards this year.
avoided the frustration of attempting to make my kids all smile happily
at the same time for the camera.
eliminating stress where i can.
choosing to focus on christ.

oh come let us adore him.

no santa this year.
kyle and i told santa we've got it covered and want to focus on jesus' birthday.
multiple times a day, people ask my kids if they are excited about santa.
we kindly reply that we are having a birthday party for jesus instead.
most look confused. that's okay. well, not really.
i'll always remember embry's response to the first question.
a lady asked him what santa was bringing him for christmas
and he proudly said, "santa's not coming to our house because his presents
(my ears heard presence) will be a distraction to us." 
eliminating the competition.

for he alone is worthy.

our gifts are different this year.
i could not do one more year of running around to find things...
just to buy them... just to check them off my list... just because that's what you do.
it completely distracts me from where i want to be. there is so much more to this.
even though others may not get it, it's where we are. where we are supposed to be.

we give you all the glory.
christ the lord.

praying that this will be the most meaningful christmas yet.
that we can take the time from the busyness swirling around us 
and truly adore the gift that has been given to us.

merry christmas!

'tis the season...

for some advent activities!

What a fun December it has been!

  1 - Explore Christmas lights at Rhema.
  2 - Shop for Blackwell family and Broken Arrow Neighbors.
  3 - Christmas parade and Bethlehem Walk.
  4 - Make popsicle snowflakes and watch Frosty the Snowman.
  5 - Ellie's Christmas dance. Family game night and s'mores.
  6 - Shop for OK Foster Wishes.
  7 - Take cookies to Life Church staff.
  8 - Hot cocoa and Christmas books.
  9 - Make cinnamon ornaments.
10 - Christmas Train.
11 - Christmas cookies.
12 - Watch It's a Wonderful Life.
13 - Button wreaths and felt wreaths.
14 - Dinner under the tree.
15 - Date night with Minnie. (which means date night for Kyle & I. :))
16 - Lights with Papaw & Minnie.
17 - Christmas with Nana's family.
18 - Girls go to Nutcracker. Boys go to the movies.
19 - Read J is for Jesus and do a candy cane craft for GG's apartment building.
20 - Family game night and hot cocoa.
21 - Make candy cane popcorn for friends and neighbors.
22 - Deliver popcorn to friends and crafts to GG's apartment building. Watch Home Alone.
23 - Gingerbread nativities. Life Church Christmas service.
24 - Make Christmas presents for Jesus and bake him a birthday cake. Sleep under the tree tonight.
25 - Birthday party for Jesus!

Friday, December 2, 2011

my lunch date

 We had a lunch date today. Her choice... so of course we went to Panera.
I took this picture because it reminded me of one I took about this time last year...
She's such a little lady. She longs for high heels. She keeps busy "coordinating" her outfits. She wants to fix her own hair.
She enjoys mothering her brothers. She gets frustrated with me when I won't let her wear make up.
She's 5! Where does this come from? She's growing up too fast and I don't need her to speed it up any faster!

According to her homework today, I think that her need to mother her brothers has expanded into some wishful thinking.
Maybe she needs a new doll for Christmas. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

time well spent

The time, always the time, I'm an amateur trying to beat time. The six kids rouse. We race. The barn... and hurry. The breakfast... and hurry. The books, the binders... and hurry! In a world addicted to speed, I blur the moments into one unholy smear. I have done it. I do it still. Hands of the clock whip hard. So I push hard and I bark hard and I fall hard and when their wide eyes brim sadness and their chins tremble weak, I am weary and I am the thin clear skin, reflecting their fatigue, about to burst, my eyes glistening their same sheer pain.

The hurry makes us hurt.
I don't really want more time; I just want enough time.
I just want time to do my one life well.
-Ann Voskamp

Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing... Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.
-Mark Buchanan

These are words from a book I am reading right now. Oh, it is speaking to me. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It's just what I need right now as Kyle and I are taking steps to simplify and get to the place where God wants our family to be. Being thankful for what we have today. Right now. Maybe doing things a little different than the next family, maybe doing some things the same. Changing things up according to what is on our hearts.

But what always seems to get in the way no matter how I try to keep things/activities/obligations to a minimum is my unnecessary need to get things done. I'm guilty of flying through moments just to check each one off the list.

I've even found myself rushing through this book so I can move on to the next.

And I feel that I am thankful for this life. Every bit of it.

But am I really? Do I stop and notice the details? The amazing details in each day that show God's love and power? Because they are everywhere. All around me.

So I am making an effort to slow down and really enjoy this book and the poetic words that fill its pages. And while I'm at it, enter into each moment of my day. Rush my kids less. Love my family more. Thank God for the blessings, big and small.

We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.
Psalm 39:6

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

thankful thoughts

For some reason, the last week has been one of those weeks.
One where no one seems to obey and the kids don't particularly like each other. Or so it seems.
Too many spankings for them and too little patience and energy for me.
So thinking about Thanksgiving tomorrow, I've attempted to redirect all day today and focus on thankfulness and see the blessings all around me.
I made sure to take each kiddo aside at some point today and tell them how thankful I was for each one and why.

I threw them in the backyard for a few pics.
I wanted to remember what they looked like today.

I'm thankful to have a husband who wishes he could be around more. I am thankful for the man he is.
I am thankful for our marriage. It only seems to grow stronger.

I'm thankful for a daughter who felt "super duper bad" and on the verge of tears when she accidentally pulled a lizard's tail off.
Such a big heart. Thankful for her loving spirit.

I'm thankful for a son who enjoys reading to his little brother and sister.
Those moments... you can see their love for him. Heart-melting good stuff.

I'm thankful for another son who has the most random thoughts.
"When I was sick, it felt like I had a leaf in my throat.", "I'm so impressed that GG can take her teeth out.", "Ellie, you smell like a hot tub."
Thankful for these little happies throughout each and every day.

I'm thankful for my family's health.
Some days it seems that too much of our money goes to appointments and medicine, but things could be far worse
and I absolutely don't take that for granted. We are healthy and I am thankful.

I'm thankful for the priviledge to stay home.
I can't imagine how I would handle not being here day in and day out to care for my family. Unthinkable.
It's what I was meant to do and I get to do it. So thankful.

I'm thankful for a God who loves me for me.
It's been a year of stretching and learning and growing closer to Him. He has opened up some new doors for us this year.
Doors that should bring about worry and fear. But I feel peace. His peace covering me... and that's all I really need.

Following in last year's footsteps, I asked the fam what they were thankful for this year...


a really great wife (edited for content)
cool kids
still love to operate
great church
a purpose

my whole family
sparkly shoes
my toys
reading books

sun so bright
moon at night
"Are you singing a song?" He said no. :)
Mommy and Daddy
playing wii
going to church
Justin Bieber
Jesus protecting us

my family
a good house
how we are blessed
Embry's breathing treatments so he can feel better
the police
my toys

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

pickin' pumpkins

give a kid a camera...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

a time to dance...

Enjoying a rare dance with a willing brother
makes this amazingly sunny day a bit sunnier.

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