Saturday, February 26, 2011

she's finally here!

Remember this post about little friends? I'm so happy to share that little Addison is finally home. Read more about her airport homecoming at her momma's blog. Notice that Milla wasted no time at all in getting to know Addison better. She stuck her fingers straight into that sweet girl's mouth. Luckily, Addison didn't seem to mind one bit.

Can't wait to watch this little friendship grow. Welcome home sweet girl, we've been loving you for a long time.

You were made perfectly to be loved - and surely I have loved you, in the idea of you, my whole life long. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So I'm sitting here thinking...

that I am indeed not cut out for this. At least not ALL of this. I'm not sure how to be good at all that I am responsible for. Teach {and mother} a second grader, mother the middles and help at preschool and organize play dates, and mother and care for and nurse and play with and read to and {try to} catch up on motor skills with the littlest.

Seriously. And be the doting wife. And try {and fail} to keep a home clean and make it peaceful. And remember to thaw something for dinner. And cook dinner. And sew all those sweet little things I want to sew. And chase after my First Love the way He desires, deserves. It's hard, people. I feel like I can't be good at one thing for having to do another. Too many hats. I can't be all things to all people, though I sure do like to try.

And I'm so torn about where all of this is heading. Back in October, Jonathan suggested we consider putting the boys in school next year. He says that his job is to see what's good not only for the children, but also for me. {Poor guy... I'm not so easy to deal with. He's got his work cut out for him.} So we started praying and seeking and wondering. And now we are in the process of testing the boys for entrance into a {very} small, Christian school. One led by a lovely woman who once homeschooled some of her ten children. The teacher that Elijah will have next year if he is accepted and if we decide to send him, homeschooled her two daughters in a time and place where doing so was illegal. So they absolutely know where we are coming from.

I'm torn because I thought the call to homeschool was an all-of-the-children, all-of-their-schooling-years kind of calling. And now I'm wondering if it was actually a for a season kind of calling. The thought of giving up the control I have in homeschooling is pretty terrifying to me. But the thought of being able to yes, teach my children all that should be taught at home {values, love for God, faith in Jesus, listening to the Spirit, otherness} but not be solely responsible for their academic training is freeing. I am reminded that we are their first and most important teachers anyway, and realize that putting them in school wouldn't change that. And then the guilt comes in...

The sweet principal {and remember momma to 10!} prayed with me and even cried with me as we spoke. She encouraged me to be very prayerful, which I have been. She told me that she, too, had lost sleep over worrying that the attention given to the school-aged child results in neglecting others. But she said that teaches "otherness." On the other hand, she spoke about the positive aspects of peer pressure and how a teacher that isn't your mother can sometimes pull more, different, and at times better things from a student. The thing she said that keeps coming back to me is this: this is a school that does little advertising. They desire to stay small, and believe God has thwarted their past efforts to do otherwise. They have been praying for God to send families for next year that they can minister to. That need this little school. And I'm wondering if perhaps all of this - the year at the magnet school and the experience we had there, the two years home, our sweet little preschool, certain friendships, and more - has been to get our family to this place. I'm having an Esther's "for such a time as this" kind of moment here.

I'm still torn though. At times it feels like failing. Giving up maybe? Other times it feels liberating, both for me and for the children. It would open up time for me to pursue and study and serve. It would give them certain opportunities that just aren't a part of homeschooling. But then, it would take them away from me. I've even wondered if I'd be sending them away? Then that feels oh-so-selfish, even though I would never view other mommas whose children go to school in that way. Never. Do you see how torn I am? I'm fairly certain the Enemy is planning a field day on this one.

So, I'll continue to pray. It may be taken out of our hands - we have no guarantee of acceptance. But if the decision does end up being ours to make, I'm praying for that peace that only comes from God. That's how we'll know. And, as I'm learning, God changes things up all the time, and if He is leading us to this school now that doesn't mean He won't bring us back home in the future. {Even though I know He knows I like to have things planned out!} He seems to want me to rely on Him. Oh, how I try {and many times fail}...

And because I can't leave you without a few pictures... and to remind myself that although mothering is hard and endless work {homeschooling mom or not, stay at home mom or not}, that my cup overflows.

Monday, February 21, 2011

while you enjoy your oatmeal with peaches...


I might just eat you up.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Milla Jean at 6 months


Recently upon entering a room with this sweet baby on my hip I heard laughter and "that hair!" I forced the naysayer to identify herself and then we laughed together at this child's hair. Let's face it, it's so bad it's cute. Reminds me of televangelist hair. {Although that's never cute.}


In any case, it's nothing a sweet little bow can't handle.



Now, take a moment to enjoy these thighs and feet. I don't care what her hair does, I'm too busy being slain by the cuteness of the juicy rolls, the sweet cheeks, the tiny piggies.


My Lady-Lou,

At six months you are:

{finally} rolling over easily in both directions, although you STILL despise tummy time and get angry with me for forcing it on you and at yourself for accidentally bringing it upon yourself. Don't worry, one day you'll be able to control your own whereabouts like a pro!

You also are sleeping most nights until 5ish, when I feed you and then we snuggle back to sleep for a while. Last night was rough though, as I had to get up and reposition that paci no fewer than 5 times. {Let's no do that every night, thankyouverymuch!}

You have slowed down in your growth a bit, although you are still 70%ile for weight and 80%ile for head circumference. {It's ok baby, more room for that brilliant brain, right? It sure worked for your Poppa. One day I'll tell you all about him.}

You have learned to blow raspberries and find it quite fun. It is pretty cute, but Big Sister fusses at you for spitting. {It's only cause she's too old to get away with it now.}

And my personal favorite newness is that you grab on when we pick you up now, like a big grabby snuggley bug. I love it. So keep it up.

We love you, Baby Lady... let's see what happens next. Oh, and even if our wonderful pediatrician says you're behind on motor skills, and says perhaps I'm subconsciously keeping you a baby, I don't care. A few extra snuggles before the crawling away stage never hurt anyone, right? {But be warned: more forced tummy time is coming your way. Doctor's orders!}

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

eleanor is 4!

My little ella boo turned four on February 2nd. We {joyfully!} celebrated this event for a solid week. Take a peek at some of the fun we had:


Ella's BFF, Lily, traded with Elijah {who was at her brother's sleep-over!} and she had dinner and a sleep-over at our house the Friday before Ella's big day. Where was Miles? Well, his buddy Sawyer's brother was also at Lily's brother's sleepover {you with me still?}, so Sawyer and Miles had their own little shindig at his place. So, it was an all girl {and one daddy!} soiree at Red Robin. Yum is right. More yum followed at home as we enjoyed a hello kitty cookie cake. {Sadly, I enjoyed most of it myself.} Yes, I admit it. It was divine.



Ella's actual birthday fell on a Wednesday, so we started bright and early before preschool with birthday pumpkin muffins and presents. I wish I knew what was running through her mind in this picture. Worry over the responsibilities of being four? Wondering if she was about to receive the lalaloopsie doll she's asked for {and subsequently didn't care much for}? In words that I've heard {all too} often from her lately I guess I'll chalk it up to, "You don't know!" and just enjoy the cuteness.


The following Saturday, my mom, my sister-in-law, Christine {affectionately known as Aunt Weezy!}, and I took her to a nearby tea room. She was so excited, but very quiet when we were first there. The room was full of ladies oohing and aahing over a little one's first tea room visit, so that made her a little uneasy at first. She livened up once they started clearing out.


Our hostess was very sweet to bake Ella extra cheese tea pots {cheese strawish cookies shaped like tea pots} and stick a candle in a brownie for us to sing to her {again!}. I think this was the fourth round of Happy Birthday To You for the week. Nope, fifth counting sweet Emma Dean and Miss Allison's version by phone. {We sure missed that girl for the sleepover! Colorado is a long way away.}


{I need to insert here that I so wanted to snag this adorable apron off her and run. I didn't. But I really liked it.}

Phew! Writing this post has made me weary. All the celebration was fun, but I might have sighed a {tiny} breath of relief when it was all over.

To my sweet Ella,

I'm so grateful to God for the gift of you. Thank you for gracing my life with your love, your beauty, your laughter, and {even} your spunk. I'm afraid you get that last part honestly, although I won't say who from. {wink wink.} I'm so blessed to call you mine {even though you are truly His}. I'll love you forever and ever, bunches and bunches!



PS Read post below if you haven't already done me a favor! Thanks.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

will you do me a favor?

I write this blog mainly for my own purposes of remembering and catharsis. I love how writing is so healing for me, and many times I just have to get things out of me by typing them here. I do love sharing all of these things with whoever out there is reading, and so I'd love to know who you are.

I have added a little follower gadget over on the sidebar. Look over there. Go on, look! If you come by here regularly, will you click on follower? I'd just really love to know who actually reads what I write. Just out of curiosity. And, hey, maybe it's just the three that are signed up already. If so, that is fine. Either way, I'll keep on sharing my thoughts and memories. I'd just enjoy knowing who I'm sharing them with!

Thanks, and hopefully soon I'll get caught up on here. Ella's birthday, my newest memory verse... it's all swimming in my head. When I can catch more time I'll be back!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I remember

A friend of mine just gave her sweet dad back to God, just like I had to do almost five years ago. And my heart hurts for her. I know too well the sadness and exhaustion. The relief of handing your ailing dad over to a healing God, for the ultimate healing of Home - no more tears, no more sickness. Yet I also know the shock, even though I was praying for God to take dad, to heal him, when He did I was almost like wait! Where did he go? Why did you do that, God?

For some reason I remember thinking but he didn't take his shoes! For reasons I can't explain, his empty shoes bothered me. Most of them he hadn't worn in months. But the empty shoes broke my heart. Perhaps because behind him he left shoes too big to fill. Impossible to fill.

I remember the fresh, raw hurt of mourning the just lost. It's so hard. It's like suffocating. It surprised me every time I woke up for a while. Eyes open. I'm ok. It's ok. Oh, wait...

I remember becoming a half-orphan, for that's how I felt. Like a good bit of my spine was taken away. So much of my support. A grown woman still needs her dad, even if she doesn't fully know it. It left me reeling. But there was Good to come of that...

for it was the loss of my dad that heightened the search for my Father. And though there is still ebb and flow in that relationship {remember? I'm prone to wander}, I've come to such a different understanding of my Father because of the absence of my dad. I can now see that all along the way my dad felt about me, thought of me, loved me - well, that's how God feels, thinks, loves. But even more. So much more.

See, my dad loved me big. He pushed me hard. He expected much. But no matter what, he was my biggest fan. He was for me. And I now know the same of God. He is for me.

That's a pretty good knowing out of a really painful hurt. Good always comes, but you have to force your eyes to see it sometimes.

So I'm praying for my friend, her family. For God's unexplainable peace. For the days, months, years ahead. That they will know and see and feel the good. That they will embrace the hurt as well, because in it they remember and continue loving their precious dad and husband. That they will know in the depths of themselves that One Day, He will make everything right.

As Sara Groves writes "Face to face, how can it be?" I can't wait for That Day.