Thursday, December 31, 2009
I started all this to say I really relish reading new years blogs. I love the excitement and anticipation of a new year. I also love the wistful memories of the year past. It is always a bittersweet time, letting go of the old, and bringing in the new. I will try to not let the bitter overcome the sweet. It is a new year, and I know that I have no guarantee in this life other than the saving grace of Jesus. On this I will rest all my hopes and dreams for the new year. Come what may, He will never change.
Happy New Year
Lamentations 3:22-24 (Message Translation)
God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
His merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great Your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
In spite of Christmas being over we made many new memories. I decided to keep things happy and lighthearted so I decided to share a quick rundown of our Christmas events.
We had a traditional Christmas Eve as a family. Traditional in every way except for the blanket of snow sitting outside the window. I was released from work at 11am and enjoyed the afternoon by getting a few last minute gifts and then settling in at my aunt's house for some Christmas treats. Kaylie was completely amazed by the snow. She told me she had prayed for snow. She was so excited to see her prayers answered. We went out for a bit, but that did not last long. I am fairly cynical when it comes to any reports of snow in Texas, and I had not prepared well for a snowstorm. Kaylie is also a true Texan. She loves the look of snow, but about five minutes outside, and she was freezing to death. Micah was excited, but still too young to really understand what the commotion was about.
We had a great dinner at Italianni's followed by my absolute favorite dessert, the tartuffo. I'm not sure if I spelled that correctly. I am fairly certain that if their is a special dessert in heaven this is it. I always share with someone because I am embarrassed to say that I would eat a whole piece, which is not small. I must set some restrictions on myself.
Gift opening was fun. It is more fun to watch your kids. I was still very blessed by the family. My favorite part was really just being together, and feeling the joy and festivity that comes from grateful hearts. The weather was quite bad, but my dad and I still ventured out for the midnight mass. We were 2 of maybe 15 people in attendance. It was actually quite special. The chill of the night was quickly dampened as warm candlelight and joyful voices filled the air. The pastor gave a wonderful homily which was very relevant and gripping. I am not trying to knock the Lutheran chruch, but I have been to many services where the sermon was a bit weak, and the pastor got off on too many rabbit trails. The most surprising event was that the pastor actually came to speak with us afterward. After 10 years of attending this Christmas Eve service, he recognized us. I'm sure they find it quite humorous that we are so faithful to that Christmas Eve service even in inclement weather, but have never set foot in the church any other time of the year. Well no explanation really needed. Whether they know it or not we are of one faith serving the same God. We just happen to attend another church the rest of the year =)
Christmas Day was very special. It has been awhile since we spent the whole day together as a family. I cooked a prime rib with sides, and my mom prepared turkey and desserts. Chris' mom was with us as well as friends who are just as much family. We ate too much, played the wii, watched t.v., talked, laughed, and played games. It was everything Christmas should be. I am so grateful for family and friends. Thank you to Chris, Kaylie, Micah, Mom, Dad, Allyster,Melody,Mom #2, Mark, Trish, and big Micah. You guys made this a Christmas for the history books. I loved every minute.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The time has come once again for all the yearly rituals to culminate into the much anticipated day we call Christmas. I am excited. I am happy because I cannot wait to bless my children and family. They are a blessing to me throughout the year, and there is nothing better than to give. Whether you have tangible or intangible gifts this year, there is something wonderful and sacred about time set apart to reflect on the goodness and love that has kept us together. I believe this is the core of tradition. I do not particularly care if you believe Jesus was born in December or September. It is not a certain day that we celebrate, it is an occurrence that rocked the foundations of the world as we know it. It is a time reminding us year after year that no matter how much darkness or empitness you feel, there is a Light that came to break that darkness and fill the emptiness.
We will celebrate today and tomorrow not for what we are able to give through ourselves, but to be a conduit of the love that was so freely given to us.
Have a very merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
In all seriousness I am so proud of my husband. Not that he has not always been great, but I have seen him grow in love and patience over the years. I have seen his passion for God multiply. He's a great dad and a patient husband. He has a natural gift of intelligence. God has given him favor to end up in places that would not have seemed possible from earthly circumstances. If you have known my husband for any extended period of time you would know he has a great love of comics and superheroes. He has a strong sense of justice and compassion for people. He has many artistic talents, and is all around a wonderfully well rounded person.
The first portion of this post was started prior to Chris' birthday. Unfortunately I am just now able to finish this blog. We had a great time of celebration. We had dinner at home and the best part of the night was a little surprise we cooked up for Chris. Chris has wanted a PS3 ever since they came out. Being the great guy he is he decided it was not a necessity . Instead he wanted to focus on paying off the rest of our debt. I really wanted to do something special for his 30th birthday, but I also did not want to dishonor his wishes. I got him to agree to letting me spend $100 towards his birthday, not necessarily for a gift but just for the day. My wonderful family pitched in the rest and we were able to buy a very niced refurbished PS3. I was amazed out how nice it was, not even a scratch. We weren't even sure if it would come by his birthday. It was supposed to take 5-10 days to ship, and we ordered two days before his birthday. I was shocked when my sister called to tell me it had arrived at her house on his birthday. I know he would have been happy with a note stating it was coming, but it was so much more fun to hand him a box. He had no clue what it was, and was totally shocked to pull a PS3 out. He was so excited just like a kid at Christmas, and in turn we were happy because it is always fun to bless someone.
Happy birthday my love! May God take you even deeper in the coming years!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I have another blessing to add to the every growing list. This is for healthy kids. Monday we had check-ups for both Micah and Kaylie. The experience was less than perfect. A long wait beforehand combined with Micah's newly acquired fear of strangers, and a meltdown from both childern after a round of immunizations made the visit mentally tiring. The great news is I have two healthy and thriving kids. Even with Kaylie's recent bouts with asthma, our doctor was quite pleased that neither Kaylie or Micah have needed immediate medical attention recently. I know we are not immune, but with fears of swine flu and all sorts of sickness God has kept us. For this I am grateful.
We undertook another great feat at the beginning of this week. We decided it was time to wean Micah from his pacifier. I know this is a controversial issue with many parents. It was hard for me because Kaylie naturally stopped using a pacifier after her first birthday. On the other hand Micah has clung to his and is ever so reluctant to give it up. We have also been guilty of using this as a crutch. If he was crying or whining persistently it was a natural inclination to pop a pacifier in his mouth. I noticed he did not attempt to talk as much. Any babble that he did do was always with the pacifier in his mouth. I am pleased to say today will be the fourth day Micah has been without his pacifier. We made it through a fairly traumatic doctor's visit and a couple of really fussy nights, but we did it! I know we are probably not completely out of this woods yet, but I know we did the right thing. He is already starting to try and talk more. He had a nice conversation with Chris last night. Of course we are not really sure what it was about, but he was really into it!
I pray that today would be the best Wednesday ever and that you would be acutely aware of God's great love in your life. May you experience all of the peace, joy, and fulness that He has in store for you!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
No, no it couldn't be that. I believe the drugs may be more plausible.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
God's goodness has been waiting at the corner of every bend. What a gentle shepherd He is leading and guiding. I just cannot shake this gratefulness, and I do not want to!
Thanksgiving was quite traditional. We cooked a lot and did a lot of dishes. Kaylie delighted in the childhood pleasure of watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. I remember watching that and wondering why it always seemed to be just us kids enjoying it. Of course now I am the one in the kitchen feverishly making preparations. I finally understand mom. I did take some moments to watch though. It's just not Thanksgiving without a parade. It was fun, but I was wiped out by the end of night. Our plans to go to Half Price books for their 7am black Friday deals were canceled almost immediately when my alarm went off at 6am. Instead we enjoyed a leisurely morning, and ventured out a bit later to do some shopping. I am proud to say I have finished shopping for Kaylie and Micah.
When I was younger my dad took us to the Fort Worth Parade of Lights the day after Thanksgiving. We have always talked about going again, but it was either too cold or someone was sick. With the decent weather we decided to give it a try again. Let's just say things have changed in the last 15 years. Gone are the days of a leisurely small town parade. No the size of the crowd was monsterous. By sheer luck we ended up with a front row seat on the road. Then began the hour long wait for the parade to start. Kaylie really enjoyed it. Micah got squirmy. It's definitely not the Macy's parade. I would say the Neiman Marcus parade might even be better. It was an experience, one that we will definitely not be repeating in the future. This might not have been the case if we had not experienced the parking garage of doom. When we tried to leave we were stuck on the top row of the parking garage with a gridlock of cars trying to get out. We sat in the same place right beside our parking spot for about 30 minutes. We had not eaten dinner and were seriously getting tired. We decided we would rather be out and about instead of stuck in a car. Dad suggested we just get out and go eat. This seemed like a great idea until we realized all the restaurants had a wait of over 1 1/2 hours. At this point there was nothing to do but laugh. We ended up going to a Qdoba which tasted so good after everything that had happened. It will always be a night to remember.
If you are still with me thanks for reading all the updates. I hope that you to will find your heart overflowing with gratefulness throughout this holiday and beyond.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday we came home from church to find the dog had chewed up part of the door frame in the laundry room trying to open the gate and get out. He was already in there because he had been in the trash that morning and I feared whatever he had eaten may be coming out one end or the other. Luckily that did not happen, but the door frame was frustrating enough.
It was in that moment I decided to channel the frustration into productivity. Kaylie and I set off for Home Depot, or Lowe's as Kaylie likes to call it. Dad I think you have ruined her with Lowe's.
Anyway it was actually Home Depot. I bought some wood putty and the necessary tools to repair the door frame as best I could. I also decided to get some more paint brushes to finally paint Kaylie's room. I figured we had the paint for over a year, maybe it was time. The only project I did not get to start was touch up paint for the original paint in the house. Why is it so hard to match white? I mean I brought home 15 different color swatches for white and none were an exact match. I suppose this just mean I will have to actually repaint. What a pain!
Kaylie and I painted an accent wall in her room. It was a lovely shade of pink almost like cotton candy. Kaylie is a complete girly girl. She was so excited and happy. She kept dancing around and telling me thank you. It was the perfect match for her princess room. Her room is now painted, cleaned, and organized so that her little brother can't do too much damage if the door is left open. It was a tiring project, and at first I wasn't sure I would want to do it again. When the paint was dry and we took the tape off and it actually turned out really well. Maybe I could squeeze time in for another wall sometime.
Thanksgiving is now just two days away. We are hosting dinner this year. I'm actually excited to cook. We always like to cook a lot even if we are going somehwere so this actually makes it easier. It will be a relaxing, intimate family dinner which will be nice. Of course football will be somwhere in the mix. I will probably take that time to do dishes. I hope each one of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy the many blessings that we have even in these times of economic turmoil. We really do have so much to be joyful about!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Time really is a funny thing to be stuck in. We move along this line building and learning from our small past experiences, which really pale in comparison to the whole span of time, and projecting our lives upon goals we have set in the future. There are moments that I long to see our lives as God sees them from an eternal perspective. Of course at this point I could probably not handle or even comprehend everything I would see.
As I was thinking about all this I realized that his now been a whole year since Micah had his first surgery. It's hard to believe he was only 3 months old then. My mom was also out of commission after surgery around the same time. Things seemed so crazy then , but here we are one year later and life has gone on. Things have settled down, and issues that once seemed overwhelming just don't seem as big. It's been a good year. Nothing has been perfect, but we have been taken care of. I have a family I love deeply, a home, a job, good health, what else could anyone ask for?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
I went shopping for groceries and was proud when my bill totaled $50. On a quest to save money I decided to buy a generic box of oatmeal which would last for the week. It is definitely cheaper than bagels or cereal, and it has enough healthy attributes without making me feel hungry well before lunch. At about 8 o'clock I headed to the breakroom to get my oatmeal started. I hate cooking hot cereals like this in the microwave, but I'm pretty sure a hot plate would be frowned upon so my options are slim. The oatmeal bubbled up and then settled into something that resembled mud pots from Yellowstone. The first few bites weren't bad, but it never fails that I will be interrupted and soon my oatmeal was a cold mushy mess. I ate it quickly trying not to think about the texture or temperature.
Here's the real deal. Oatmeal reminds me I am on a budget. As soon as I make a concerted effort to be frugal, I immedietely feel deprived. I know the is simply a spoiled Western mindset that I must overcome. It is much akin to going on a diet and suddenly the McDonald's sign looks shinier and more lovely than ever before.
No matter what I must purge this sense of entitlement and eat my oatmeal like a good girl. No goal worth attaining is ever an easy road, right?
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Friday night Chris took me out for dinner to celebrate our anniversary. We had a great time talking, laughing, and just enjoying one another's company. After dinner we went to a little independent coffee shop in North Richland Hills called Roots. I really like the set up of this shop. The staff could be a bit friendlier, but I am an extra picky Starbucks veteran. The store featured a live musician. I believed her name was Kiera. She was actually awesome. It is not often you get a coffee shop musician who plays their own music, and if they do the content and quality is usually iffy. Just being in a coffee shop makes me miss the old days of making coffee. My desire to own my own ship only increases. If anyone would like to invest in an experienced barista with business and management experience give me a shout.
Now back to the date, sorry for the rabbit trail. We spent the rest of the evening walking around a park just talking about our lives and the future. It was the best date. He even took me to Einstein's for breakfast Saturday morning before picking up the kids. It was a low key anniversary, but one of the best.
The rest of the weekend was a blur. The kids went out to a fall festival and received more candy than I think should be allowed. We attended the end of the missions conference at Shady Grove where my heart was once again broken for the nations.
My heart just might be beating away from here, but that is a story for another blog at another time.
I'm back at work now trying to adjust once again. I found out our four day weeks are being canceled due to downsizing in the office. It is a little disappointing, but what can you do? I miss my kids and husband. I miss being home together or out doing something, but bills must be paid.
Big holidays are just around the corner so it may be awhile before I am really back in the swing of things.
It's a little weird for me to even believe it has been seven years already. I don't feel that old. Of course I was only eighteen at the time. I could share a million things about marriage and life. The most important thing I can think of besides loving God more than you love your spouse is this. When you love, love fiercely. Work on your marriage as if your life depended on it. There is pain and joy in love. To love is to sacrifice, but what joy there is on the other side. This cannot be reached by living in a neutral status with your partner. There are moments in my marriage when I know Chris and I became so frustrated we were ready to throw the towel in, but what stood was the fierce love and loyalty, a willingness to push through because a life together was better than a life apart.
It has been an adventurous seven years and we are just getting started. I love you Chris. You are my great earthly love.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
It wasn't a long trip, but it was just right for our family with two small children. We did a lot in just a few days. Kaylie would actually tell me she was ready to go to bed which almost never happens. The trip was not without it's challenges, but I'm already starting to forget those as memories of all the fun times begin to cement in.
I will update more later with pictures. We have a few days to recuperate before heading back to the rat race. Chris and I will be celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary Sunday. Along with that and Halloween on Saturday we still have a lot of fun to pack in before it's over.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I was so touched by her revelation, and a scripture from Ecclesiastes came to mind. It is a chapter many are familiar with. In fact a very popular song has come from it. It is the chapter that speaks of a time and season for all things. What stuck out to me was a verse that says God has placed eternity in the heart of man. Yes in the middle of this grand passage about times and seasons, all things which are so familiar to us on this earth, we are removed from this linear line of time. It is quite the realization that the concept of eternity is deep inside each one of us, whether you think you believe in God or not. It was this tiny seed that was planted in Kaylie's heart that opened her spiritual eyes.
We were created to live forever in relationship with a living God. Our humanity gives great creedence to reason and knowledge of the human mind. Unfortunately this has flawed our hopes of true wisdom. How can a finite mind process an infinite God? There is not reason for this, and to try and find salvation in our own abilities is foolish. For those who are jaded and unconvinced, for those who live for today as if tomorrow will never come, look in the depths of who you are and you will find that the seed of eternity is there.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Now I am the one lamenting the condition of my carpets. It does not help that our small townhome has carpet throughout the living and dining rooms. This is a recipe for disaster as my son loves to throw all unwanted scraps of food to the ground. He also loves to carry a sippy cup around, but he is ever so quick to toss it down whenever something else peaks his interest. Combine this with normal wear and tear and a dog who has tracked his fair share of messes around and you should start to see my dilemma. It seems futile to replace carpet while my children are in their prime mess making years.
I have decided that we need either wood or laminate flooring. I have further narrowed the selection to laminate after reviewing the budget. Chris and I have decided we will install it ourselves to save some cash. The only problem is home improvement projects tend to terrify me. I would much rather pay someone and walk away, and when I return be thrilled and surprised by my transformed home. Unfortunately I'll have to buck up and get over my fears. Any encouragement from my dear readers would be much appreciated.
The sad part is none of this can take place until early next year, and with a Thanksgiving dinner to host, what's a girl to do? Maybe ripping out those carpets wouldn't be so bad. Concrete can have a nice cozy home feeling to, right?
and eating this
I cannot wait. I am beyond thrilled. It has been almost two years since our last trip which is way too long in my opinion. I'm just praying it all goes smoothly with a four year old and a very adventurous little 14 month old who doesn't like to sit still for long. The plane ride should be an adventure in itself.
I will take lots of pictures and hopefully they will be decent enough to post. If I am lucky maybe we will find some nice person to take pictures of our family as a whole.
Time to get back to reality. I just needed a little pick me up.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
"Take it easy," I tell myself, "you've had two children and work a full time job, don't be too hard on yourself." Finally relief as I can slip into the secluded confines of the dressing room where me and all my insecurities can be alone. I try on the jeans. Not too bad. Always a few area I wouldn't mind seeing smaller, but I can live with these. Then came the first top. I knew as I began to slip my head through that this was just not going to work. Not wanting to be forced into a purchase simply because I tore the material trying to squeeze into it would do nothing to boost this self esteem slump.
I know I still have a good 25 pounds I could lose, but seriously when did medium become extra small? I have several stores I frequent that medium is perfect. I haven't seen a large top since I was several months removed from my last pregnancy. Maybe it is all just a ploy to keep a more seasoned demographic out of the store. Maybe they have the correct medium and I have been politely fooled by all of the other stores so that my ego is not too bruised.
Now my choices are to drown my sorrows in a rush of salt and sugar, or let the anger force me to kick this body into shape.
....Oh well maybe I'll try this again tomorrow.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I would like to take a pause and classify that I will refer to men or man for humanity as a whole throughout the rest of this blog. I apologize if you are prone to political correctness, but I have found it easier this way.
Many of our endeavors are targeted at pleasing or impressing those around us. Even the most pious of Christians can often fall prey to this. If your circle is comprised primarily of like minded people it has the ability to become somewhat of a competition for whatever that circle holds valuable. In a more secular context it is measured in large and small ways. We all seek the approval of lenders and the almighty credit score. I am not advocating not paying bills, this is purely not Biblical, but what is the motivation behind paying bills? Is it to please others so you can score a bigger loan to accumalate more stuff? Perhaps it is to prove you are in the upper echelons of society with such an immaculate score? We all seek the approval of friends and family. Some would try to diminish this, but I find the louder one argues the deeper the root is in the heart.
I see this manifested daily in a world that has given everyone to broadcast themselves 24/7. Look no farther that facebook or twitter to find people vying for prominence and approval. It is not even alway others that we seek this confirmation from. We are constantly searching our own soul trying to please ourselves, and find the ever elusive state of happiness.
I write this more as a confession than a prosecution of humanity. I believe we are all guilty, but what does that matter. It is a matter of the individual heart. I am guilty. More often I hope to prove to others that I have something. I worry about my appearance. I have often anaylized what to write as a staus on my facebook to ensure that it only presents myself in the best light. I want people to like me maybe even envy my life. What irony when I allow my spirit to be in an aganozing battle with my human tendencies.
It is an embarrassing but awful truth. I have come to the realization that the only freedom to be found is in the truth. I am nothing apart from the saving grace of Christ. He is all that matters. If I have anything it is a blessing from Him.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Well I just sent my daughter off to the great State Fair of Texas. We decided not to go as a family this year due to the sheer cost of parking, admission, and food. I'm sure we could have made it work, but it was decided that with a vacation just three weeks away saving a little wouldn't hurt. Kaylie got lucky with a free ticket from McDonalds and grandparents willing to tote her along.
I really thought I wouldn't miss it too much. The fair is a bit of a racket. Pay $15 to have hundreds of people try to hawk there stuff to you, and the privilege of signing up for free trips, cars, and money. Of course those freebie sign ups come at the cost of junk mail solicitation for the rest of your life, but hey it's a small price right? I just gave a lot of great reasons to not miss the fair, and yet I feel a twinge of sadness at missing this yearly fried fest. I actually have a lot of great memories from the fair. Chris and I went just a couple months after we started dating. We took a lot of silly pictures, ate a lot, and just had fun like kids. I don't know why, but that is a memory that always brings a well of nostalgia when I think of the fair. I also took Kaylie to the fair with my parents when she was barely a month old. I was home on maternity leave, which gets lonely for a new mom. My parents were nice enough to get me out of the house. Kaylie wasn't aware of much, but once again it was just one of those times that sticks with you. I still remember running all over the fair trying to find warm water to make a bottle. Then there was last year. I was working part time after having Micah. Chris took the day off and we all went to the fair. Micah was just a little older than Kaylie had been. It was just a lovely day with family. Kaylie even participated in her first backyard circus.
I suppose now I am just wanting to relive the memories and make more. The comforting thing to know is that Big Tex will always be there next year, along with free vacations, corn dogs, and knives so sharp you can cut steel.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I cannot begin to tell you the things I will be able to get done with one extra day. The true reward is extra time with my kids. I will now be able to do some of those fun mom things like going to story time, an afternoon at the park, or just spending time doing this they like to do. It will only be for three months until we hit our busy season, but I will take whatever time I can get. I also hope to take advantage of this time to start with Kaylie on some preschool homeschooling materials. This really is an answer to prayer. I just wanted to share the good news.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The more I think about it I believe a good portion of my mood can be attributed to a pile of laundry that has rotated between my bed and the laundry basket since the weekend. I spent time cleaning other parts of the house this weekend. I gave myself a pass to delay laundry folding until a later date as a reward for all the other hard work. Ever since I have loathed the laid back Crystal of the weekend. Why oh why weekend Crystal, did you leave me with such a mess when you know good and well I am completely worthless during the work week?
I am still waiting for a reply.
I am also still trying to convince Kaylie that it is possible to keep her room clean during the week, not just on the weekends. This only means that I must make the time to supervise her cleaning efforts because every sane parent knows you cannot leave a four year old alone to clean their room. I suppose this is better than the alternative which includes me tripping over barbies and blocks when tucking the kids in or getting them up.
I believe we've come to the conclusion of this whole sulky bit. Weekend Crystal if you're reading, I'll be waiting for your apology.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I have seen my writing through peaks and valleys. I know it's not fabulous or anything, but it's just me and I can't apologize for that. I would say my only disappointment as I arrive soon at my one year with blogspot is the lack of comment or conversation. I myself am guilty of ghost reading blogs as well, so I should be preaching at myself. I know I have readers, at least that's what google analytics tells me. Hey I'm not picky, but if you have an opinion about something I write please feel free to share. In this big cyber world it can be nice to know a little more about the people out there.
I am ready to go home and see my kid's smiling faces, and then the deluge of requests will begin.
"Mommy, can I have a drink?"
"Mommy, can I have a snack?"
"Mommy, can I ride my bike outside?"
"Mommy, can you make Micah stop bothering me."
Oh how I love it though.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Speaking of swine flu I've learned that this is the perfect excuse for any and all circumastances in the world today.
Late for work....
school closed due to swine flu and you had to find alternate childcare.
Have an accident....
you were busy sneezing into the crook of you arm just to be on the safe side and rear ended another vehicle.
Need an excuse for the family as to why you have not gone grocery shopping ...
even with sanitizer wipes those shopping cart handles are a hotbed for germs.
Need to get out of a dinner party...
crowds in a confined space, need I say more?
Well my eight minutes are up. I hope you all learned something important.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Why must little babies be subjected to the consequences of poor choices made by parents?
Why are some so quick to take advanatage and then bite the hand that feeds?
Why are we as humans so easily caught up in ruts that can become like bed sores that eat us from within?
In truth I know the answer. It is because we live in a fallen world that desperately needs a Saviour. Still it is hard for me to understand.
Only God sees and knows.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Yesterday I was laying in bed trying to take a nap. Drifting in and out of conciousness a random thought popped into my mind. It was of a television show I remember watching on Saturday mornings as a kid called Circle Square. It was a Canadian show that mixed puppets and kids. It was a little creepy to be honest. I went back today to watch some old clips on Youtube and wondered what the appeal was asa child. It was not my favorite it just happened to come on between some of my other favorites like Davey and Goliath,Gospel Bill, and Joy Junction on TBN. I know I am already hearing the groans. As I look back it brings to mind my upbringing. I cannot even begin to count the number of Sunday school lessons, sermons, and vacation Bible schools I sat through. Let me hear it for flannel baords!
In my current mindset living in a polished society it is easy to look back at these crude, humble beginnings with disdain. Were a lot of these things cheesy and simplistic? Absolutely, and yet I still draw on many of these basics for my own value system today. Like it or not they are my roots. I look back at church growing up. It could be rigid and planned. Today my choice would not necessarily be to return to that style, but I can't help but look back in some appreciation for the foundation that was laid in my life. I may not agree with the how or the style or even some interpretaions of the Word, but it was basic essentials that were instilled in my lie from a young age. Most young adults get fiery in their pasion for change. I can attest to this, but without the foundation imparted to me I would never have had the maturity needed to grow and expand in different areas on my life.
Anyway this was just a thought passing through mind that I decided to share. Happy Friday to all!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
5-6 Open up before God, keep nothing back;
he'll do whatever needs to be done:
He'll validate your life in the clear light of day
and stamp you with approval at high noon.
This has been one of the verses of my life, but I had never quite read it like this until recently.
What an incredible reminder not only myself, but in reality to every reader of this blog.
Every person on this planet has searched at one time or another for meaning or significance.
The key: Open up before God. Of course He knows it all, but there is a sacredness that is achieved in relationship when we willingly open ourselves and choose to reveal all.
It is a rainy Thursday here in Texas. The mind would chooses to allow the dreariness to settle into the soul, but wherever you are let today be the day. Open yourself before God. Let your spirit be awakened by His passion for you. There is hope. He alone can be the validation of our lives.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Today our poor Mazda was hit for the third time while in our ownership. We were hit from the side by a driver making a sharp turn in the lane next to us. Of course we were on our way to a birthday party and it was raining so all of those factors made an always unpleasant experience even more frustrating. We were able to make it home, but the alignment is completely out of whack, and we can't go far without creeping along at slow pace. Right turns are extremely difficult and finding a route with strictly left turns is quite complicated. Since this all happened on a Saturday our insurance company has informed us we cannot get a rental till Monday morning. We contemplated getting our own rental from the airport for a day, but that just seemed like a silly extra expense considering we really have no obligations. We have resigned ourselves to the house for the rest of the weekend barring any emergencies.
I suppose it is just knowing that I can't go anywhere that gets me so stir crazy. I should probably treasure the time to just relax at home and do things around the house. Right now I just feel a bit sulky. Accidents are no fun no matter whose fault it is. All I can pray for is a quick resolution from their insurance company, and that enterprise will not stick me with another PT Cruiser!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
No matter how hardened you are it is hard to not let a small gesuture of kindess seep into the heart and brighten your day.
It also made me think about how often I am on the giving end of these small acts. I am ashamed it is far too few. Too often I am to preoccupied with my own problems and life, or I think that any small act would not truly matter to the recipient.
I believe the point is not really how big or how small the act or even if it is genuinly appreciated by the recipient. Rather it is taking a moment to stop and think outside of our box.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
This past week was one of those revelations of sort. I pride myself in having a pretty low maintenace lifestyle, but it also becomes pretty easy to hide my controlling tendencies behind that outward facade. I have probably blogged along these lines before, but sometimes the journey has a few similar pit stops when we don't learn our lesson the first time. I have goals and ideas for where I would like to see myself, my children, our family, and I can agonize over the smallest details trying to plan our way there. Of course I get overwhelmed, frustrated, and sad because after all I am only human. When I finally broke down to my most fragile state I see how in all this planning I can so easily miss all the small pleasures, and all the good God has placed along the way to help cheer me to the finish line. Instead I rely on my own knowledge and strength to get me there. This is so typical of our species which is perhaps why our world is running at such a maddening pace.
In my nature I cannot easily accept simply answers. In order to achieve stability I rationalize there must be some long sequence or equation to get me to that place, but I realized this was all completely in vain. Through many tears and a strugglle of the will I have come to the understanding that sometimes we must hit reset, and simply just tell God we will finally let go.
Friday, September 4, 2009
I cannot adequately express what a gift my children are. Today one of those blessings turns four years old. As I write this I realize at this time four years ago Kaylie was about a hour old. I was still recovering from a flood of emotions that overtakes the feeble human mind at the birth of one's first child. I look back on that first year of her life with such fondness. There were some tough moments learning and struggling as all parents do, but through those moments we created a special bond.
Today I have a loud and boisterous little girl. She likes to be called a princess,loves girly things, is opinionated, and talks non-stop at a really high volume. I love everything about her. She usually stops me in the middle of conversations by saying she needs to tell me something. Almost 90% of the time it is to say that she loves me very much. I would say when I am with her she tells me that at least twice an hour. She loves to cuddle and be close. She can be a bit demanding, but she knowS when she has been wrong and will not hesitate to apologize. She loves family more than any child I have ever known. Her favorite thing is for everyone to have dinner together. She loves to pray and sing. Her love of learning is a gift I hope she never loses.
It has been a wonderful four years. I look forward to years I have left raising her, and the many many more she will have as an adult following God's journey for her life.
I love you princess, happy birthday!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
In between all the birthday madness I paused to think that in seven days I will celebrate the eight year anniversary of the day that my life was irrevocably changed. It can never compare to the day I fully committed my life to Christ, but in all honesty I was three years old and I cannot remember the actual date so clearly. Never the less this day set my life on the path to the deepest human covenant I will ever know on this earth. On August 31, 2001 Christopher Michael Medrano came crashing into my life. I say crashing only because I was a mess at the time, and my life felt like a whirlwind. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that I crashed into him.
No matter who crashed into who it was a fated journey that has taken us from the tops of mountains to the lows of dark, uncharted valleys. There is something about Chris that is a rare find in any guy. The moment I saw him I would like to say that I felt I was sure and ready that this was it. Unfortunately I was jaded and scared, but the one thing I will forever remember is his face the moment we met. He was completely accepting of me, his smile and eyes welcomed me in with the assurance that says no matter what I will always love you. This was so familiar in a comforting way, because is this not truly the heart of our Father God? Through our years together Chris has continued in this manner. I know I’m difficult and I can be frustrating. There are times when I start in on a rant and I can just hear myself saying in the back of my head,”
I know eight years is not long in the spectrum of life, but as I look around and see so many casualties in the journey of true relationships, I cannot help but feel tremendous blessing. We’ve made it this far and still love each other. I am happy when he comes home from work. I look forward to our times together on the weekend. He’s my lover and my best friend. Of course our relationship has grown and changed as we go through many of life’s milestone. We definitely cannot be as spontaneous as we were before children, but these are but seasons and that time will come again. For now I relish raising children alongside him, stealing a quick date, talking, laughing, and even sometimes arguing. Of course Chris you know it is never me who starts those pesky arguments. =)
So here’s to the love of my life. Thank you for your love and your patience. Above all thanks for your commitment to the covenant you made, and for realizing it is not always about the day to day feelings or whims. You have given me joy unimaginable and a very happy heart!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
There is nothing quite like a new pair of shoes. This is especially true for a first pair of shoes. Micah has really taken off with walking. I suppose technically he had a couple pairs of soft baby shoes as a newborn. My children have never liked hats or shoes as infants so we never really purchased much. We decided this weekend it was time for Micah's first real walking shoes. He's still a little clumsy in them, and it will take some getting used to. He was quite the site toddling in an awkward but adorable stroll around Payless. He was grinning with pride from ear to ear. While witnessing this I am reminded that there is no turning back. He is growing every day. While his first pair of shoes will probably not fit long they symbolize to me all the places he will go. It is as if the whole world is opening up, and he will just walk right into it. Oh how I love my baby.
On another sentimental note, one year ago today Micah was due. He obviously did not agree with our prediction because I was still huge and sweltering in the summer heat.
As you can see I was trying to put on a happy face.
It is funny how in those moments time stands still. I really felt like he would never some out. Here I am a year later still scratching my head wondering where the time went. I apologize for these sappy, nostalgic posts. If you are a parent you should understand completely. If you are not, stick with me, you will probably understand one day.
So that is life for now. Children growing, buying new shoes, having birthdays. I am sure in about a week there will be some Christmas merchandise at Wal-Mart.
To conclude with the photo journey of life here are a few for the road.
Baby girl is getting so big. We have been asked repeatedly by retail clerks, acquaintances, and strangers if she is starting school this year. Nope she's just a tall and mature little girl. I wouldn't have her any other way!
I love this one of Micah. Look closely and you can see his first two teeth. He knows he can flash that smile and get just about anything he wants.
A short clip of some of Micah's first steps
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I don’t remember my feelings regarding school in my younger years. As all children do I turned five and in the compliance of state education laws I entered kindergarten. These were not terrible years; I have several fond memories of wonderful teachers who had a passion for education. As I neared junior high I began to feel a great Dissatisfaction with school in general. It was not that I struggled. I generally excelled in academics. I simply failed to ever fit into the ideal model that our society deems acceptable for education. I briefly left the private school I attended most of my life and entered into the public school system in hope of finding that my frustrations were simply from the small, sheltered environment I had experienced. Once again my hopes were dashed when I found a system focused more on standardized testing and pat methods of education while masquerading as a place of diversity. I returned to private school still frustrated with my overall learning experience. I desired the freedom to learn from experience. I longed to be out in the world learning and applying that knowledge. In my mind life was not a classroom so how could we truly learn to function from within one?
Enter my own children many years down the road. Somewhere between holding that sweet bundle of joy in the delivery room to the moment you hear them make their first attempt singing the ABC’s you realize that their future education decisions are solely in your hands. It is very sobering and a bit daunting. Based on my own educational experiences I knew I could not simply take the traditional path. At this point I realized home schooling was to be our option. I will not say it does not frighten me in the least, but I embrace the challenge and honor to take a more hands on responsibility in my children’s education.
I know many people who frown upon home schooling as a sheltered environment with little socialization or formal education. I beg to differ on this. After much research there are so many options available to home schooled children. There are study groups, discussion groups, not to mention general extracurricular activities my kids will have more time to participate in when they are not busy rushing here or there on a busy 9-5 schedule. I long to see my children love learning instead stressing about exams, grades, and homework. I believe there is some validity to bench marks created in the traditional school system, but how many of our children become burned out and lose that spark they had in their eyes the first day of kindergarten. I greatly value a good curriculum, but I guess you could say I desire a hybrid form of education where children can be involved in self directed learning within the parameters of a nurturing environment.
One of the greatest benefits I am excited about is the ability to get out and do something. In a large class it can be difficult to get out much. The logistics of a field trip with an elementary school class can get crazy. I want to travel and actually see the history of this great state. I want to do more than read about science. I want my kids to experiment. Why just read the classics and take a quiz when you can watch a play or participate in a group discussion from a diverse age group? There is just too much to experience in this life, and a one size fits all education model just won’t cut it in my opinion.
I realize the choice to home school is very personal, and it is not for everyone. I know there are many bright young minds brought up in our current education system. I do not choose this path because I am afraid of the world or want to hide my kids from outside influence. My desires are quite the contrary. How can our children learn to think for themselves when they are force fed test taking skills so a school can get some good marks on their TAKS test? What real life skills can be learned when we segregate children into age groups and do not allow them to associate across a more diverse cross section of students? I do not mean this blog to knock teachers in general. There are some amazing teachers who do the best with the limited materials they are given. I only recognize that education has become a very bureaucratic system that does not give many teachers the resources or support they need to be as effective.
If there is anything I desire of other parents it is not necessarily that they home school. Rather I wish that as parents we would take a greater interest in our child’s education. It is not simply a babysitter or a requirement to adhere to the state’s compulsory education requirements. If we do not pay attention to not only what our children are learning, but the methods used to teach, we will find a generation of great test takers who lack true knowledge or experience.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Time for me to be catching another darn cold. Seriously, it is getting to the point where if I even hear that someone's brother's best friend's grandmother has a cold I can be sure I will be getting one in a week or two. Of course it had to come on as my joy and anticipation was growing for the weekend. For now I am going to try and not get too down. I will relegate myself to bed in a few minutes. I usually don't go the zinc route, but I am going to this time around. If it can shorten my cold by even a day I will be a happy girl. Anyone else out there have any sure fire cold remedies? I'd love to hear about them. I've never been one to be a conspiracy theorist, but I really start to wonder if finding a cure for the common cold will ever happen because they make so much money off all symptom relieving medications. I'll be the first to admit when I have a soar throat, runny nose, and stuffy head I will gladly fill a basket with decongestants,nasal spray, tissues,and nyquil no matter what the cost. Now that is what I call taking advantage of people while they are down.
Oh well enough whining. I really need to let these bleary eyes get some shut eye. Maybe i won't be too much of a bear in the morning!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Have you ever had one of those moments when you are stopped dead in your tracks by an intervention from the God of the universe? Well I had one such moment today. I have been in constant self inflicted agony over our home situation.
I’ll start from the beginning. This month our refinance fell through. It was partly our decision as we were not willing to shell out more money to apply with Bank of America to consider subordinating our second loan to a new loan. We realized that with no guarantee of approval we would be out more money that this was worth. Even if it was approved, we would save approximately $150 a month while adding an additional $10,000 to what we currently owe. There was always the option of going directly through Bank of America, but that would consist of more fees and that is money that could be going directly towards debt. This brought us back to the selling option. We realize home sales are down, but we have come to the conclusion we would rather break even and start fresh. This has brought a whole new list or worries for an anxious person like me. I spoke with a potential realtor yesterday and suddenly the panic set in. Suddenly I wonder if I can keep the house immaculate enough for showings. I fret over whether or not we will make enough to break even. I worry about finding a new place to live. What if the kids can’t handle the move? What if I can’t handle the move? Should we get an apartment or a house? The idea of strangers probing every nook and cranny of my home makes a bit uneasy. So here I am worrying about everything under the sun, and there is not even a “for sale” sign in the yard yet.
As I was pondering all of these thoughts once again for probably the millionth time I hear a soft yet unmistakably familiar voice. “Do you trust me?” Of course God of course I trust you. What kind of question is that…ok ok maybe I do have some trust issues. It is in that quiet moment when the work world is buzzing around me that I take a deep breath. It is so much easier to fall back into the ever present, unwavering arms of God. I often wonder why I carry such burdens when there is a porch swing out back with a loving heavenly Father waiting to reason with me and let me know that in the end He is in charge and it will be ok.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
All of this nostalgia over upcoming birthdays has me looking at some photos of how the kids have changed. Having Micah has made me remember some of the little things I forgot Kaylie did when she was going through these same stages. There are many similarities in how children develop, but I love how they each do it with their own flair. Here are some pictures of my kids through the years as they have moved, humored, frustrated, and delighted me.
I wanted to post some newborn pictures of Kaylie, but I realized they were not stored on this computer. That will have to be for another time. This picture was taken on vacation when Kaylie was about four months old. She surprised us that night by breaking into uncontrollable laughter. Every parent remembers when their child laughs a real genuine laugh for the first time. It is wonderful.
Here she is at about seven month. Her uncle had just come home from France, and they spent the afternoon goofing around.
This was Kaylie's first birthday. It was a Dora party of course! Chris stayed up late the night before decorating, and she was so thrilled when she woke up the next morning and came downstairs.
On to her second party. which ended up being Dora as well. Dora was like a family member for a few years. There is still nothing comparable to those piercing blue eyes.
Kaylie at her third birthday party. We finally broke the streak and had a princess party at Chuck E. Cheese. She enjoyed it so much and I got a pass on cleaning since I just had Micah two weeks prior. Micah on his first day. He was so sweet and cuddly. I'll never forget the nurse laying him on my chest right after delivery. Those chocolate brown eyes would melt any heart.
I think this was a couple weeks after his birth. He was still getting used to the flashing cameras.
Micah's first trip to the fair. As you can see he wasn't totally impressed. I'm sure that will change this year.
I believe this was taken around Christmas time. Still working on the camera poses.
Micah on his first vacation.
Seven months old and working the camera with a smile.
And here is my boy today, already taking the first steps to full on walking.
Wow they grow up fast, but it's such a fun ride!