Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Growing into a young lady...

My dearest Chloe, 

You amaze me more and more every day.  Your beauty shines not only on the outside, but even more so from within.  You are compassionate and thoughtful.  You are an incredible big sister, even when you may not feel like it.  It's been exciting and scary (for me) to watch you grow up so much over the past year.  I love you so much, Chloe!  May your passion for reading point you daily to His Word.  May your excitement for living be contagious to those around you, that they too may find eternal life in Jesus.  May your determination and steadfast spirit lead you on an amazing path for Him.  Happy Birthday, Chloe!

Love always,

Monday, May 27, 2013

Summer at the door...

Summer is on our door step.  School books almost complete.  The fever for the pool is high, and little bottoms are having a hard time sitting still.  My sweet girls and I are ready for a break!  This summer will be a little different as it usually is in youth ministry.  Our mission trip to Ecuador, special times with Papa & Nana, Daddy gone to Nashville for a week, a big family vacation in September makes this summer full already. Another school year will be here again before we know it!

As much as I want to laze around every morning and my girls just want to go to the pool every day, I know it will eventually get old and the "b" word (bored) will be heard.  The television could become a frequent babysitter and the summer will be gone.  Last summer I wrote about our summer plans and it turned out to be a great summer.  We didn't accomplish all of our list by any means.  Some of the ideas flopped (crayon melting didn't work for us).  I never found licorice strings to practice our ABC's.  The excuses could go on, but the list isn't what mattered.  What matters is that we had a fun-filled summer, we tried new things, we embraced old summer traditions, and we kept boredom at bay while yet not running around crazy.  

Like a mama bird, I want to provide for my girls another summer they will never forget, that has purpose, yet is full of rest (my greatest desire!).  For me personally, this can't be done spontaneously.  I have to have a plan.  (Notice I'm not saying this is for everyone though.)  Our list framework is based on Remarkable Home's Super Summer Schedule idea (free printable!) I've gleaned from a bunch of brilliantly creative moms through pinterest, blogs, friends, and our old summer favorites that we've enjoyed over the summers.

M- Make Something Mondays

T- Take a Trip Tuesdays

W- Wet & Wild Wednesdays

Th- Thinking Thursday

F- Fresh & Fun Fridays
  • Go fishing with Daddy
  • Camping (backyard or elsewhere?)
  • Outdoor movie night
  • Teddy bear picnic
  • Learn magic tricks & do a magic show
  • Visit friends with chickens (Stephanie?)

Other fun ideas:
  • PJ run to Sonic after bedtime (listen to this great podcast on this)
  • Mani-pedicures at home
  • Summer time pictures of each girl (fun for mommy)
  • Roast marshmallows
  • Visit cousins

I'll go ahead and be real by saying we will not get to accomplish all of these ideas.  The girls may not even want to do some of them, but that's ok because we'll sure have fun trying!

More great ideas from other bloggers:

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Tired Mama Kind of Year....

Seven more days... That's one week.  Well, really one more school week and two days.  Then, we'll officially have a rising fourth grader, first grader, and very busy preschooler in our little home school.  It's been a good year, a long year, and a tired-mama kind of year.  

We have yet to receive Chloe's test results (for school), but I'm slowly learning that we are not homeschooling just for the academics.  Developing a love for learning, a love for each other, and a passion for God are the greatest desires we have for our girls. This is my biggest challenge.  Lesson plans get tedious, the constant questions from three very different minds can cause the gray to appear, but to hear my struggling kindergartener read and say she loves to read makes it worth it all!  

I am tired.  Honestly, I'm ready to wrap up the books and call it a year.  I am ready for a break.  But we have to finish... and finish well!  Our pool is open and the parks are calling to us, but who says we can't take our books to the park or swim after the lessons are completed.  Another school year is almost finished by God's grace!  I do not have the patience of Job (ask my girls) and my momentum wains quickly (ask my husband).  So once again, it is truly and only God's grace and His strength that has gotten us through another year of homeschooling.  

May your week have moments of bare feet and the thrill of throwing rocks in a pond just because you can.  May you choose what you'll regret the least.  May you do less to accomplish more. May you finish well to the end.

Friday, May 10, 2013

To go or not to go...

When addition and subtraction get all mixed up...

When the clothes too small sit in the hallway for a week, collecting dust before finding their way to their labeled bins in the basement...

When the coffee wears off before 10:30 am...

When little miss tutu wants to play 101 questions...

When you face a choice of whether to go or not to go...

Life has a way of flipping upside down, all around, leaving you wondering what's coming next.  I feel as though I'm playing a game of hopscotch, unable to jump on the right numbers, my balance going topsy-turvy.  The past two weeks have been that for me.  Lack of sleep, testing/proctoring, and three nights of ballet/tap left me worn and weary.  Our school year is coming to an end (3 more weeks!!) and how I long to finish well.  

Amid the crazy schedule, I was faced with a big decision for this summer.  To go or not to go... My youth-pastor-husband takes students on mission trips almost every summer.  The last mission trip I went on was five years ago... to Canada... in a van...  I had really felt the Lord leading me to go with him to Ecuador this summer if a spot opened.  Needless to say, that happened.  Within one week, my parents and sister agreed to take care of our precious girls while we are away, my passport was sent off to be renewed, the money was covered for the trip, and I was able to think about going without crying my eyes out.  I am honestly not sure what God has in store for this trip, but I am earnestly praying that it will be amazing.  Not in the sight-seeing or even in what we as a team accomplish, but in what He is going to do!  May lives be changed for eternity!  May my life be changed...

"Good intentions don't lead to a life well-lived; a life well-lived is accomplished when we walk each day in faith, keeping our eyes on Jesus and our hearts inclined to His Word." - Sarah Mae

May your weekend be sweet and full of memories. May you be open to go wherever He leads you whether it's down the street or around the world.

Canada - 2008