Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mission: Motherhood

I am a list maker. At the beginning of every day I check my to do list for the house and feel so satisfied at the end of the day when it's done. I love to tell Tom what I dusted, swept, taught, etc for the day. He's probably so tired of hearing these details but I like to have someone give me a pat on the back for completing my list. When I was working we had weekly meetings to talk about what we were working on and I LOVED them. A captive audience just to hear what I'd checked off my list???!?!?! That's a dream :)

So the past few months I've been looking and praying for a place to serve. Tom and I had planned on a mission trip and the wheels fell off in every way. It just wasn't going to happen. I tried an inner city mission that several friends run. The bulk of my time there was spent making sure Walker didn't damage something or hurt himself.  Nothing was seeming to be a good fit. When I went on the retreat a few weeks ago, I came back feeling that I wasn't supposed to serve in an organized ministry. That my place to serve was right in front of me. With my family and the people that the Lord places in my life. My pride has an issue with this because it would make me feel better if I could put in a certain amount of time each week and be satisfied. But our God is not a check-off-the box God. He's a relational God and wants my sacrifice, which means serving on His terms instead of my own. So I came across this article today and it spoke to where I am right now.

Here's an excerpt:
Christians often feel like the right thing to do is to be ashamed about what we have. We hear that quote of Jim Elliot’s (“He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.") and think that we ought to sell our homes and move to some place where they need the gospel.

But I’d like to challenge you to look at it differently. Giving up what you cannot keep does not mean giving up your home, or your job so you can go serve somewhere else. It is giving up yourself. Lay yourself down. Sacrifice yourself here, now. Cheerfully wipe the nose for the fiftieth time today. Make dinner again for the people who don’t like the green beans. Laugh when your plans are thwarted by a vomiting child. Lay yourself down for the people here with you, the people who annoy you, the people who get in your way, the people who take up so much of your time that you can’t read anymore. Rejoice in them. Sacrifice for them. Gain that which you cannot lose in them.

Isn't that a different view? I loved it and wanted to share. The whole thing is good and worth the read. And because I do not want to be misinterpreted, I'm in no way saying spending time serving in a different capacity is wrong. It's not. It's beautiful. But this gave me some freedom to see more value in my days. I have desires to do other things. And they're God-given desires, but this is my place for now. What a blessed place.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day Weekend

Our weekend was good but I can't say we did anything over the top for Father's Day. Tom and I so rarely get to go do things on our own that we usually both go off by ourselves for awhile on these types of days. So Tom saw a movie and got to browse a bookstore ALL ALONE. He was a happy camper. Here was his Father's Day card from his people.

I'm probably the last person to know about this, but TinyPrints does personalized cards for everything. I thought you had to order them in bulk, like Christmas cards, but you don't. There was even a code for .99/card, so much cheaper than what you could buy at the store and much much cuter. Love this and I'll be doing it again.
Saturday we went to a birthday party at Kiddie Park. It was a neat little place. Harris liked it....lots of little kid rides with no lines, so he could just hop right on. He likes instant gratification (who doesn't, really), so that was perfect.

This was Walker, pretty much the entire time.
He's completely fearless and loves action, so I would have thought this would have been right up his alley. Not so much. But the place was really cute and even on a Saturday, it wasn't too packed. Most of it was shaded, so it was bearable in the heat. We'll be going back, maybe in a few months when Walker is able to be a little more independent.

Harris is done with swim lessons. Finally.
While the class was a little underwhelming, he does seem more comfortable in the water. He fell in the pool yesterday and was completely submerged and came up laughing. I still can't decide if my expectations were too high or what. Regardless, it's done. We have YET to take Walker to the pool this summer. We took him last year but he wasn't walking well, so he was still manageable. I feel like we should bite the bullet and take him at some point but it just doesn't sound appealing in any way.

Anyway, Walker and I are getting some quality time together while Harris is at camp this week. It's Harris' first time to go to anything like this. He loves it. There were zero tears the first day. Really, he just walked in the room and hollered a half hearted bye over his shoulder. I was standing by his room to pick him up when his class came walking down the hall. He looked at me, barely made eye contact, then just kept walking into his classroom and started playing. Clearly, he hadn't been pining away for me.
Here he is the first day. Please notice the watch. It was the best dollar I've spent so far. He treats that like it's a precious Rolex and is constantly fussing with where it should be on his arm, showing it to everyone we see. He really wanted to get Tom a watch for Father's Day. Hahaha. He would have expected Tom to wear his Mickey Mouse Dollar Tree watch everywhere. Tom got an awesome Father's Day gift but it will get it's own post later.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. Philipians 4:5

Friday, June 17, 2011

Harris' New Room

It's by no means a masterpiece, but my Sista (who did TONS for his nursery) and some of my friends in Oklahoma wanted to see it, so here it is. And there's a reason there is not a shot of the room in its entirety. I had to keep moving the clutter out of the way to take the next picture, so taking a picture of the whole thing wasn't going to happen. And the boys' bedrooms are both on the smaller side, anyway.

 Notice the CUTE bookshelves my dad made from guttering. Love them. I also saw someone do spice racks for bookshelves and that looked good too.

The math nerd in me had to get some numbers in there somewhere. The dresser is directly across from his bed.

The pics on the side of the closet door came from a calendar my sister gave me when he was a baby. It's vintage Sooner football programs. BOOMER! And I don't know why this picture is blurry. I took about 5 and they were all blurry so I just called it good enough. And I've also been debating painting the panels (insets?) on his closet doors red, the same color that's below the chair rail. Too much? Thoughts?

This is my favorite part. How cute is this?? And incidentally, I had to stick all those letters/trucks on my hand. It's just as well they weren't supposed to be straight across.

I read this verse this week and don't recall ever having read it before. It's beautiful.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
   and he delivers them. Psalm 34:7

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Living on Toddler Time

     One of the things I hated about working was having to get up and rush through the morning routine to get it all done before I had to leave. I think kids have their entire lives to rush in the mornings and at this age there's just no reason that they can't take their time. One thing I decided when I quit working was that I wouldn't consistently do things that make us rush around in the morning. However, this is getting out of hand. Harris just likes to take his time, in general. Eating breakfast can easily take him an hour. I don't know how to get him to eat faster without standing over him like a drill sargent. He's not necessarily doing something specific that he shouldn't be, he's just not in a hurry. He'll talk to Walker or want to sing a song, look around aimlessly, just generally not eat. Suggestions? Really the only alternative is to strap him in his car seat and give him a breakfast bar (or barn, as he calls it). That way he has till we get where we're going to eat it, but I'd rather not do that. I wanted to be somewhere by 9, but they slept till 8. There's no way Harris could have gone to the bathroom, changed clothes, and eaten by 8:40. He can drag each of those activities out to 4 times as long as they should take. And I don't want to wake him up earlier because he (like his mom) is grumpy when sleepy.  But some mornings it would be nice to get out of the house a little more quickly.
     Anyway, Walker had his first popsicle yesterday. He couldn't quite figure out what to do with it at first but he got the hang of it pretty quickly. And it didn't taste as good as it looks, by the way.

His shirt is currently soaking in half a bottle of Spray and Wash. 

And we got out our very classy backyard pool. It may look a little ridiculous but it's about 100 times easier than taking this show on the road to the neighborhood pool and it's too hot to do anything else outside, so this is what we've got.

Another thing about this picture....I've given up the fight against guns in our house. The boys have the right to bear arms. Bring on the water guns! I guess those aren't technically guns but it's the closest thing they've had to a gun. They loved it. Harris and his friend put out "fires" on those windows for hours. Walker went inside and was looking out the windows at them and kept getting so tickled when they would aim at his face.  I can't believe how long they were entertained by the simplest thing. 

Another thing they were excited about. Tom had cracked the garage door open and they kept trying to lift it up. Harris would count to 3 and they would lift with all their might. I wish I had a video of those 3 little boys trying so hard to raise that door. I should have pushed the opener as they were lifting. I didn't think of that until now.  Maybe next time.

Swimming lessons are getting a little better. They quit using the kickboard and jumped off the side of the pool today. That's progress. If nothing else I think it might have gotten Harris a little more comfortable with the water. He also stopped telling me before every class that he's not putting his head under. His hair actually got wet today.  

Don't forget to tell me if you have suggestions to get Harris moving a little faster!!

Look to the LORD and his strength;
   seek his face always.
1 Chronicles 16:11

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's Been Awhile

I've been a MIA blogger the past couple of weeks, for no particular reason. Harris has been doing swim lessons this week and it seems to be taking our entire day to do this 30 minute class. It's a chore to get him in his bathing suit, then Walker doesn't want to go to childcare (which in his defense I don't really blame him), then by the time Harris gets changed and we're out the door it's almost 11. While Harris enjoys his lesson I'm not convinced they're all that effective. He's putting his face in the water and splashing around a little bit but not much more than that. The main selling point for doing them at the Y as opposed to the place everyone raves about is the childcare for Walker. The thought of chasing him around and keeping him out of the pool for 30 minutes wears me out. He loves water and is so curious. Anyway, so we've been doing that.
We went to Boerne last weekend for the first time. Cute! Seeing all these small towns with fun main streets makes me want to move. But Tom pointed out we live in Helotes, which has its own fun main street that we've never visited. Maybe we'll do that this weekend instead of putting our house on the market. We also went to a park in Boerne and it's just as well we won't be moving there. There was a kid playing there (with long hair and pink tennis shoes) and a super chatty grandfather. I said something to him about his granddaughter and he told me that was actually his grandSON. Oh. Party foul. That has to happen pretty regularly though.

We also picked up the souvenir below while in Boerne. Harris thinks he is a big deal with this. Poor little Walker is distraught that he can't ride it. I feel so bad for him. He's content to just sit on it but he can barely even do that. One day it will be his turn and for now, Harris LOVES this thing.

We went to a birthday party with a bounce house that Walker was all about. Look at this cute boy.
I'm pretty sure the bounce house experience aged me. Walker was in the middle of the action and all the other kids were bigger. He kept falling down while the big kids bounced around him. He must have been divinely protected because no one fell down on him. I was watching, ready to jump in and take him out of there, but it was fine.

And I just discovered something that probably everyone else knows about. Sunshine deals for your kindle???!?!? There are tons of books for .99-2.99, and they're good books. Not just what you'd find on the clearance table someplace. I guess they change every few weeks. I read quickly so spending $10 on something I'm going to fly through in a couple of days just isn't appealing to me. Plus, I've tried books I wouldn't have ordinarly gotten and really liked them. Plan B is great!! I have highlighted all over the place in this. It's rooted in scripture but also very readable and easy to apply. I also bought Choosing to See because I've heard it's good. I'm a little reluctant to start something so heavy though. If you don't know this family's story, it deals with the death of their daughter. June Bug would be a good beach read for the summer. It's an easy read and a good story. Not that I will be lounging by any beaches this summer. If we go to the coast it will involve several large bags of gear, lots of sunscreen application, constant wiping away of sand, and changing swim diapers/visiting porta-potties. Sounds like so much fun. It makes this pool look much more appealing.
That's all they need....right? They've ALMOST got enough room to each stretch their legs out.

  Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
2 Corinthians 7:1