Monday, April 29, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Richland Hills

In April 2007, we moved in to our new house. 

Six years later, April 2013, we moved out of that home. 

In those six years, that house saw the faithfulness of God over and over and over again.  

Through night terrors and potty training.  Through grad school, through job changes, through many a playdate.  

Through pregnancy and untaken naps and the birth of a miracle, Kate Elizabeth.  Through sicknesses and fears and exhaustion and a deeper need of patience.  

Through play-doh floors, markered walls.  Through brownies baked and sugar cookies iced.  Through dancing and dress up and about 50 different “favorite shows”.  

Through a surprise baby blessing and through some unbelievable heartbreaks of friends.  Through sisters sleeping in the same twin bed and clinging to each other in love.  Through a baby girl who arrived chubby, funny, and joyful.  

Through make believe and a new puppy and a new-to-us kitty.  Through sending a baby off to Kindergarten to picking up an independent first grader from school.  

Through a flood.  Through working from home and playing with neighbors in the front yard for hours on end.  Through our first goodbye to a pet.  

Through heart to heart conversations with precious friends and family around the dinner table and on the couches. 

And finally, God’s faithfulness was apparent through the timing of outgrowing a house, putting it on the market, and saying goodbye.

The house is just another house.  But the years we spent there were precious.  Priceless.  God carried us through a lot of growing.  And He blessed us richly in that home. 

Goodbye, Richland Hills.  You've been good to us!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Broken Arm, By Avery

(Typed by Mom since the cast makes it hard to type)

I fell off of a bike trailer and broke my arm.  It felt like it was bleeding inside.  I can describe it because I feel it right now.

I went to the hospital.  And I got a Popsicle   Then on Monday I got a cast.  And on Tuesday I went to the field trip and when we got back, everybody signed my cast, even my teacher.

Some things I can't do are slide, run, jump, climb, write, get toothpaste on my toothbrush, and that's it.

In four weeks I get to get it off.

It's not so bad.

Click here for pictures

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

12 on the 12s

I love photo-a-day challenges, except that consistency is not my strong suit.  So instead, I did a photo-an-hour challenge.  I took 12 pictures on each hour at the twelves on the 12th of the month.  Whatever was right in front of me when the timer on my phone went off was the subject of my photo.

I am blessed.  I know I'm blessed, but when I look at a snapshot from the twelve main hours from my day, it becomes all the more apparent.

8:12 am
Avery's off to school and these girls watch "Foof Foof" (Blues Clues) while I finish getting myself ready for the day.

9:12 am
Playtime.  Beauty Spa is always the game of choice.  Someone to play with my hair?  Yes, please!

10:12 am
On the road.  Reese has figured out how to pick on her sisters in the car so the big girls like to ride in the very back.  Kate also loves to control her own heat and A/C.  Usually, she has the heat going full blast.  Even when it is competing with the air from the front seat.

11:12 am
Oasis Mom's Group.  One of my favorite places of the week.  The girls get to hang with friends in child care and I get to connect with other mamas about surviving, thriving, and God's incredible blessings.

12:12 pm
Time to pick up the kiddos.  Sweet love from Reese and Kate on the cam.

1:12 pm
Sorting pictures from my Dad's party and prepping the blog for the week.  Lots of days late but it's up.

2:12 pm
Resty time with Oscar and Kate.  She reads or plays on my iPhone and sometimes (today) I sneak a little shut eye.

3:12 pm
Laundry.  It has to get done, right?

4:12 pm
Avery's out of school.  Friday and good weather, so we biked to get her and went to the local lake to spend a little time together.

5:12 pm
Sprinkler time.  It wasn't actually warm enough but this girl doesn't care.  But there was one stipulation: the sprinkler on the driveway so the grass wouldn't get on her.

6:12 pm
Post-dinner Popsicle in the fort.

7:12 pm
Bedtime routine.  Day is done!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dear Ol' Dad

My dad had a milestone birthday this week, and to celebrate and honor him, his family threw him a surprise party (which was an incredible success, thanks to so many who gifted my dad by their presence).

As a part of the festivities, we collected memories and filled 60 envelopes with memories to honor his 60 years.  I'm excited to say that the envelopes were filled before his own kids had a chance to write special memories.  I imagine that's what happens when you've lived a full, thoughtful life.

Since we certainly have memories of our own of such an extraordinary man, I am going to catalog mine here.

When I think back and try to pinpoint memories of my dad, the first thing that comes to mind is a general awareness rather than a specific memory.  My dad was always serving in some capacity.  And what stood out to me, even as a young child, is that his service was willing.  He would never complain and would always willingly see a need and step in to fill it.  When I began to get old enough to want things in my own life, one of the first things I decided I wanted was a willing servant's heart, just like my dad's.  Jesus tells us that the last shall be first, and I see the fruits of that in my dad, who is an amazing servant and yet such a respected and capable leader in so many aspects of his life.

When I would have trouble sleeping at night, sometimes my dad would come in.  He would sit beside me on the bed, and in a calming tone, he would speak to me in a way that allowed my young soul to relax.  Inevitably, by the time my d
ad left my bedside a few moments later, I would be ready to sleep.  I use his same tone and words on my children now, knowing how much they stilled my spirit when I was young.

Once in college, I used an eye cream that made my eyes puff up horribly right before my first day of classes. I called home, crying about how horrible I would look when I was making first impressions.  My dad, as always, knew exactly what to tell me.  "Just think of what those people will think when they meet you a second time.  They'll think, 'Wow, that girl was cute, but I didn't notice just how beautiful she really is until just now!'"  He always knows how to speak to my worries and concerns in a way that removes the fear, and regardless of how silly the fear may be, he always gives such respect to the need for reassurance.

A father shapes so much of a little girl's world.  From her view on relationships to her self-confidence to her understanding of a loving and holy God, fathers hold such a weighty responsibility when raising a little girl.  I have thousands of memories with my dad: some funny, many tender, some firm, some tearful.  But all of my memories of my father point to one thing: he has loved his wife and children well and has deliberately and successfully held the weight of his God-given responsibility.  He is a man who loves well, and we are blessed.

Click here for pictures of the week.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Easter Conversations

Amelia and Kate were sharing their renditions of the Easter story, which each girl had learned in school.

Kate: "When Jesus was dead, his friends put him in a big rock.  And when He came back, all that was left in the rock were his clothes."

Amelia: "Yeah, but you know what, Kate?  Jesus was just doing a joke on his friends.  He wasn't really dead!  So on Easter, he said, 'I'm joking you!  I'm really alive!'"

So, as we worshiped the true Risen Christ, we also appreciated the under-dressed, jokester Jesus that is just beginning to make sense in the minds of some precious pre-schoolers.

Click here for pictures of the week