Thursday, May 27, 2010

End of Year CRAZINESS!

My head is STILL spinning!!! The last two weeks of school have been fast, furious and FUN! We have gone on FOUR field trips, we have had a talent show, an end of the year musical and a family BBQ. All of this sandwiched between the usual two to three baseball games per week and Luke's first ever research project (complete with power point presentation). WOW... after typing this all out, I'm not sure how I've done it without the aid of a lot of caffeine ( I have recently gotten back on the wagon).

This has been our first experience with "end of the year craziness". Since our schooling started, our end of the year here at home has been pretty low key. I have to say though... all of this action has been fun and it has taken be back a little. I remember doing all of this stuff when I was a youngster. The boys even asked me to get them some plain white t-shirts and a sharpie pen for t-shirt signing on the last day of school. Remember that?? Gosh.... like it was yesterday!

Summer has pretty much officially started. We're still waiting for the official summer weather ( I actually had a fire going in my wood stove two of the days this week.... SO not normal for us), but I keep telling myself that this IS summer in the good ol' Northwest! Just last summer, we visited the Northwest and I kept pining for it. I kept telling J how much I missed it, and I would LOVE to go back. Well, if you live where I live, I guess you can blame me for all of this crummy weather! God has successfully reminded me that I COULD NOT deal with this kind of weather EVER again!! So... I get it. Can we please move on now???

I am so looking forward to spending the summer days with my boys. We'll be picking berries soon, going to the pool, heading to the river, hanging out with each other and friends. I'll have lots to share... pictures included.

Monday, May 10, 2010

On Being "Mom"...

Yesterday was Mother's Day. It was a beautiful day... in spite of the ugly clouds and rain. All four of my boys got up and made me breakfast (waffles with homemade chocolate whipped cream) and coffee. Oh, and my furry boy actually WOKE me up to say "Happy Mother's Day" with the sound of his bark. :0)

We had a slow, lazy morning. I received the sweetest cards and ceramic plates that they had decorated. I got lots of hugs, kisses and snuggles on the couch. Mmmmm... my favorite. Luke played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on his guitar and successfully made his Mama cry. Then, we talked about what we would do for the day. The boys had planned on taking their mom for a hike, but the dark clouds pretty much changed that plan. Instead, they took me to Borders and set me free to browse. They know that's one of my soft spots. I don't normally fall to buying funny "coffee table" books. However, I found THE FUNNIEST book EVER that had me laughing so hard that my stomach muscles were hurting right there in the middle of the book store! So, I bought it. We will have plenty of conversation over THAT book now positioned carefully on my coffee table. We had a late lunch and bought some gorgeous strawberries at a stand by the road and came home. A perfect day with my boys...

Mother's Day is my favorite. It has been my favorite holiday since May of 1998 (my first Mother's Day as a mommy). It's not necessarily because I get to live like a princess for a day (although, that IS so fun). It is because I get to celebrate being a mom. That's something I never take for granted. I remember being in high school about to graduate. My friends were all talking about what they were going to do with their lives. Some were going off to four year colleges, some were going to trade schools. A lot of them knew EXACTLY what they wanted to be. Some would be teachers, some would be doctors, one friend even aspired to be an opera singer. I went to a nearby junior college to further my education, but the one thing I wanted to "be" was a mommy.

I've written here before about my becoming a mommy. It proved to be a lot harder than what I ever thought it would be. It probably would have been easier for me to get a doctorate degree in something! It definitely had it's share of heartache too. BUT.... God made me a mommy. He fulfilled the desires of my heart. I get to celebrate being a mom EVERYDAY!

Now my oldest is almost thirteen. My youngest will be nine at the end of summer. I am entering another phase of mothering. It is all new, yet I still love it the same. I miss the days of strolling to the park with the boys piled into the Radio Flyer. I love the days of watching them play ball. I miss the days of preparing homemade baby foods in my kitchen. I love the days of having them cook with me. I miss the nights of rocking them while singing to them before bed time. I love the nights of listening to them lullaby ME with their sweet heart felt prayers said before the lights go out.

Even though they're growing and they need me less, being their mom is still what I want to "be". Being their mom is different now than what it used to be, and I know it will continue to change, but it's God's calling on my life. I couldn't be happier about that. Being a mom brings such joy and satisfaction. Oh, and I have to add... being the mom of boys brings a TON of laughter!

God made me a mom, and I love to celebrate that! I like to tell the boys that I wish everyday was Mother's Day, but truly... for me... it already is.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Weeds... or Pansies?

Spring is finally here! Everything is beautiful and green.... the trees, the shrubs, the flowers popping their little heads from the earth... it all looks so new.

It is new.

It remembers not the hot, dry days of last summer. The fires that lit up the hill sides during the driest months isn't something that is taken into consideration when sprouting the beauty from within. This kind of beauty shows up every spring... regardless of the past.

Makes me a little envious of a simple plant. Sounds weird, huh? Let me try to explain what's on my mind...

As people, we aren't so good at forgetting the past and exuding beauty regardless of our mood or circumstances. We withhold the best part of us when we just plain ol' feel like it! We let the ugliest part of us prevail over our days more often than we should. We allow the weed inside of us to grow instead of gracing the world with the lovely blossom of Jesus' love.

It's easy to let this happen, isn't it? Life is busy. There's homework to be completed, laundry to be done, dinner to be made, activities to get to. There are job deadlines, grumpy people to have to work with, financial worries and stresses that just seem to never go away! However... isn't that what defines life? We, on the other hand, can choose how we define ourselves.

Will we be the weed of ugliness... or the flower of Christ's beauty?

Two things caused me to ponder these thoughts this week. The first was something very visual. We were at the nursery (as in horticulture) the other day purchasing our plants for our garden. As we were exiting, I looked down and saw the prettiest little pansies growing out of a crack in the pavement. There was no soil that I could see, and I'm not sure how the roots could be healthy at all, but obviously, they were. Talk about thriving in impossible circumstances???

Secondly, my boys have been praying all week for a friend of theirs who had surgery on his legs this week. This boy has never been able to walk un-assisted and he's never had the joy of running. The surgery is supposed to correct his legs almost completely, but not without a lot of pain (initially) and extreme amounts of physical therapy. As Luke was praying the other day, he said something that made the tears just flow from my eyes. He spoke of this boy's character and how he is virtually NEVER without a smile on his face! He has always been able to see the boys around him run and do all the things that he would LOVE to do himself, but we have NOT ONCE heard him complain. This boy is like that patch of pansies growing in the concrete. He knows of Jesus' love for him and he is confident in his purpose. Because of this... his beauty prevails through the smile on his face and the laughter in his voice.

I want to be the pansies growing out of miserable circumstances (not that my circumstances are necessarily always miserable). I want to have the kind of character that even a 12 year old boy stops to consider and admire.

I want to be new... Just as Christ's love is new every morning.