Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mid summer update

Camp Enosh went well - we are exhausted, but so thankful for the time we had with the campers. We had lots of kids come that we had never met before! Praise the Lord for that!

The boys hung in there and were great helpers. There weren't many injuries, so we had lots of time to play outside and trek around the beautiful campground.

Nate and Ruth are back in town, staying with us for a few days. They fly home to Alaska on Saturday. It has been so wonderful to see them this summer.

So for now, we're busy relaxing by the pool, playing ball in the backyard, playing Wii (thanks, Joe and Jessie!)....oh, and napping. Currently everyone in the house (adults included) is napping, except for me.

It's been a rough summer, eh? :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Trust issues

Tomorrow morning Camp Enosh begins, so we're gearing up for that. It's a week long day camp with a gospel emphasis for 8 - 12 year olds; we rented a nearby campground that is going to be WONDERFUL, I think. I will be the camp nurse, and the boys will be my *helpers.* We'll see how that goes...Ethan wanted to get stickers and suckers to give to our patients. He is taking it very seriously. Makes me laugh.

During our MOPS steering meeting this weekend, we spent some time meditating on Scriptures with the word "trust" in them. I was struck by these verses in Micah 7:

verse 5, "Do not trust in a friend, do not put your trust in a companion..."

and verse 7, "Therefore, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me."

In our little journey through raising preschool boys we are already facing so many decisions about how to train them, what to allow in their lives, what to talk to them about. I thought these early years would be easier, but they are not. They are important years, foundational years. Most of the time I just soak up the sweet moments, but there are times when I allow the enormity of the task of raising them to take over my mind...and I feel like I'm sinking under the weight of it all. How can we ever know how to make all the right decisions for these 2???? And what if we totally screw them up??????

You know, I'm so thankful that we don't have to make all the right decisions. We don't even have to put our confidence in other parents who seem to have it all together. Our trust can be in the Lord Himself, who loves our children more than we do, as one of my MOPS mentor moms reminded us on Saturday. That really resonated with me. He loves them more than I do! He will be faithful to answer us and show us how to raise our children, what decisions to make. And beyond that, He is taking up where we leave off, because He longs to know them personally and to be their God. He is trustworthy, and I can trust Him.

That's why I loved these verses from Micah, a reminder to look to the LORD and not so much to those around me. He will give wisdom in His time. That was such an encouragement to me this weekend.

I'm tired from all the traveling, playing catch up around the house, steering committee meetings for MOPS, and late night Wii/13's parties with friends (why did we stay up that late???), so I am headed to bed. Camp starts bright and early!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Photo shoot with the boys

Dad took these shots of the boys, and we are both editing them tonight so I can take home some prints. These are my versions.

You would never guess just by looking that two of these kiddos were extremely uncooperative! We were lucky to get the smiles that we did!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Glad they're asleep

What a day! I have to say, I am so thankful that it is over. My boys kept me busy today, that's for sure. They are catching on that mom is tired, and they are using it against me! I think they are in dire need of some daddy time. :)

That's all I am going to say about that...or I might break down in tears. Dave, we miss you! And we're coming home soon!

Ruth's birthday was today - happy birthday, sister! She didn't have the easiest day ever either - thankfully we all made it through. One day at a time, right?

Mom made a yummy birthday dinner and dessert, and we caught up with our friend from college, Autumn. It was nice to just sit and talk without the clamor of children wanting attention. Do I sound a little burned out? :)

Tomorrow is a new day!

Just as an aside, one of the things I have been working on with my boys is getting them to look me in the eyes when I'm instructing them about something. They will do anything they can to look away (it is almost comical!) as if they don't have to obey until they make eye contact with me. It just struck me how often I do this with my Heavenly Father. Just like my mischievous little boys, I jerk my head around, looking everywhere BUT His eyes. I know in my head that it would be easier to look and learn from Him, but I still resist, even when I sense He is actively trying to speak to me. Is the Lord as frustrated with me as I am feeling about my little ones tonight? In spite of that, He continues to work with me. Lord, teach me what it means to be patient and merciful...

A friend encouraged me today with this verse,

Psalm 103:5, "Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle."

That's so good, isn't it?!! I need renewal tonight, the strength to face tomorrow. All it takes is a little reflection on the goodness of the Lord in my life. And He has been so good to me. I don't nearly deserve it. These sweet, sleepy heads just a few feet away from me are a testament to His generosity; there may be tough days, but there are so, so many good days, satisifying days. I am so thankful to the Lord for loaning them to us.

One of these little loaners just snuck into my bed, so I've got some cuddling to do! This is the only good thing about not being with daddy this week - room for kids in bed! :)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Afternoon fun

We're water-logged here in Oklahoma!

Friday, July 04, 2008

The 4th of July, 2008

After a pancake breakfast, we hurried to the parade. The boys had a blast, even though it was amazingly long (and hot).

Here we all are (minus the dads who are standing in the street for the photo op!).

Brothers, dreamin' big.

Tonight we enjoyed fireworks and fellowship at the Schiete's.

Ethan wouldn't even go near the sparklers. He preferred to be inside and "safe."

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I Can't Wait

The boys and I have been down at my parents' house since Monday, and Ruth and Austin are here too. Mrs. Tero, one of their neighbors, has a pool in her backyard, and we've been over there pretty much every day - it's been so great for my boys. After the first few days, Ethan is finally swimming short distances without help! He is so proud of himself, and I have to admit, it does something to my heart to see my oldest show his age. He is growing up, and I alternate between emotions about it. Mostly I am just so proud of him.

Dad and I went to a Sara Groves concert last night. I realized afterwards how much I have missed music. There is just something about well written lyrics and just the right melody that can move my spirit in a way that words alone can't do.

It's not that I don't listen to music anymore - I do. In fact, I have music playing most of the time at home and in the car too. But there just isn't the time for much reflection on the words right now - life is just a little too busy with making PB&J's and wiping sticky hands! :)

During the concert, Sara sang several songs all in a row that she had written to her children. She apologized and said she knew that we (the audience) obviously weren't all in the same stage in life, but that's where she is and where her heart is...and so she had to sing them. I could really relate to that. When you're a mom, sometimes it feels like you have no other interests. Your little family is your whole world, and so many of your prayers and desires are for them...for your children and for the kind of people they will grow up to be.

It seems like motherhood becomes this platform where the Lord reveals Himself. As a parent you try so hard to train your children in the way they should go, but before you know it, the Lord uses them to mold you too. It seems unlikely, since being a mom of little ones usually means less time in the Word, a brain that has seemingly gone to mush (from lack of sleep!), and an endless string of cheerios to pick up off the floor (which keeps your focus on the here and now). When is the Lord supposed to teach you something anyway???? Or maybe that's just me. :)

But it's been true in my life, that's for sure. In these last 4 years, as I've been raising little ones, the Lord has been raising me too. I loved this song by Sara.

I Can't Wait
by Sara Groves

When you reach the proper age
I will teach you to read and you can turn the pages
How to dress and tie your shoes
Your one plus ones, and your two times two's
And you'll teach me
Of hearts and dreams
And all the most important things
And all that i have lost along the way
And I can't wait

As you grow, I'll show you things
How to ride your bike and kick your legs out on the swings
To fold your hands and bow your head
How to say your prayers before you go to bed
And you'll teach me
Of hearts and dreams
And all the most important things
And all that I have lost along the way
And I can't wait

How do you sleep so peacefully?
How do you trust unflinchingly?
How do you love so faithfully?
How do you dance so joyfully?
Oh you'll teach me
Of hearts and dreams
And all the most important (essential) things
And all that i have lost along the way
And I can't
No I can't
Come teach me
Of love and dreams
And all the most essential things
And all that I have lost along the way
Cause I can't wait