Sunday, April 19, 2009

I'm pulling out the red pen

So I think it's time to check in for a little accountability. Remember when I posted my New Year's Determinations? Well, I'm three months into the new year and my hope is that there has been some change. Let's see...
  • Run at least 2 half marathons this year. I wrote this goal before I had to take 8 weeks off from running because of my uncooperative knee. And because I live in the desert, race season ends early here. So, realistically I've had to adjust my goals to 1 half marathon in November and a fun mud race in October. The important thing here is that I am running again, with minimal knee pain! Whoooo-hooo. Bottom line I'm giving myself a A+ in my efforts so far!
  • Learn something new. Two words: Yoga, Baby!! I have been faithfully going, twice a week, for the past couple of months and LOVE IT! A+ in my efforts so far!
  • Have monthly "dates" with each member of my family. This one has been hard because Joseph's schedule has been so awful. I have been able to do a good job with a couple of members and then no-so-good with others, namely the twinkies. C+ in my efforts so far.
  • Invest in my quiet time. There has been a lot of growth in this area. There just needs to be more consistency! B+ in my efforts so far.
  • Memorize scripture! Three words: MUST...GET...MOVING!! I have done a very poor job with this one. FAILURE in my efforts so far. F+
  • Find an accountability partner. Oh, yeah, baby! I am so excited about this one. God once again proves faithful! This has been life changing and I plan to blog about it soon. A+ and check plus!

And there you have it! Thanks for holding me accountable (even if you don't know you are) and for walking this journey of change with me.

BTW - how are you doing with your resolutions?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter EGGstravaganza!

We had our second annual Easter Egg dinner/hunt at our house this year. I love the holidays, love having people over and love having parties! Love it! Here are some pictures of our great day and our great friends!!

The sisters having a grea time playing with their friends.
Heidi and her foster daughter Lillianna. She's also pregnant! Whew!
Last year the dads hid the eggs while the moms kept the kids busy. This year the moms hid the eggs while the dads played with the kids. It was fun and I think we did a great job!
My gal pals Jess (above) and R-to-the-becca (below).

The kids all waiting to be let out for the HUNT!

Jackpot!! Caleb found the eggs I hid for him!
This place was baby central! Those babies are so sweet, but I was so glad that none of them were mine!
Speaking of sweet babes, Little Miss Tessa was hiding a few eggs of her own. Do you see them?
Sisters! Kellie now has caught my bug - she is getting the feel of how fun it is to dress your girls alike!
Lily Kate, once again, eating her candy and not really hunting.
Sisters will you please stand together and smile for 1 easter picture?! Please? Nope.
Daddy look at my egg! Can you see it?

It was a fun day!! He is risen!!

Easter Egg hunt at church

There were some baby chicks and baby bunnies for the kids to pet/hold. Caleb, my animal lover, was so excited and it was hard to get him away from his new little friend!
Luke and his very best buddy, Luke, were side by side on the easter egg hunt.
Ella and her loot

Lily and her loot. She was much more interested in opening the few eggs she had and eating the candy than doing any hunt.
The best buddies! These two really are amazing together. They stick together like glue, never fight and can play together for hours - just the two of them. Luke's best friend is moving to Korea this summer and it's going to be hard on all of us!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

This one is for you mom...

(I have tons of pictures from our Easter celebrations that I will post later!)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Unfortunately this is what happens when you smuggle paraphernalia into your crib...

...your hairbrush gets stuck in your hair, wakes you up from nap and leaves you in a very sad state for the rest of naptime! Lesson learned...right Ella?

We have another blogger in the family

So, I log on to blogger to post an entry and I see that there has been activity on Caleb's blog. Apparently he has things to say. And apparently we need to revisit the 'I must have permission to use the computer' rule!!

BTW - it's 2:52am. How painful do you think tomorrow is going to be for me?!?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Only water refreshes

One of my favorite times of the day happens at 8:20 in the morning and is the time we are all in the car taking Caleb to school. (Lets make it clear that the time leading up to that is crazy busy. Getting all 4 kids dressed, fed and in the car by 8:10, exhausts me!) The boys are in the back chatting and laughing and the girls are in front of them babbling happily and eating dry cereal. It's such a sweet time - having all 4 of my babies with me.

When we arrive to school and are waiting in the drop off lane, I love hearing Caleb point out all his friends and Lukie is always so interested in hearing about them. As Caleb gets out of the car, I tell him I love him and say something about being a "light". "Go be a light in a dark world" or "Shine bright for Jesus" or something like that. Then the sisters and Luke all start yelling goodbye. Every morning. Same routine.

A couple of weeks ago, after dropping Caleb off and doing our normal morning routine, we were on our way home when Luke says, "Why do you tell Caleb to be a light?" I explain what it means to be a light and how God calls all of us to be lights. He was quiet for a moment and then said, "Why don't you tell me that when you take me to school?" Adorable child. I reminded him that when I drop him off at school he bolts out of the van to be with his friends and that he doesn't even hear me yelling, "I love you!" He replied, "Well, I want you to tell me to be a light." No problem, sweet boy. Nothing would bring me more joy!

Now, here is where I interject to tell you that I have really been having a hard time as a mom lately. Joseph has been gone a lot. Last month he was out of town and the couple months before that his hours have been terrible. This month is more of the same. He doesn't get to spend much time with the kids and he hates it, I hate and the kids really hate it. So, most of the stuff around here falls on my shoulders. It's really hard and I don't always do well. At all.

For the past couple of weeks I have felt like a failure at this calling I take more seriously than anything else - being a mama. I often feel like I am in a fire and instead of being refined, I am melting. I'm not the mom I want to be, I don't get the breaks I need to be the mom I want to be and we are in a very hard season in life. I feel empty, I feel dry, I feel overwhelmed and I feel like a failure.

And then I cry out to Jesus. Why is that always my last resort? And thank you Jesus that you don't get angry that I make you my last resort, but you wait patiently for my cry. And you pour ice cold water down this tired, parched mama's throat.

When Luke got off the school bus yesterday I was waiting for him on the porch. I asked him how his day was and he said good. Then he said, "I got a light."

I said, "Where did you get a light from?" He said, "No, I got a light."

"I heard, but what kind of light did you get?" I said.

He looks at me and says, "No, I got a light like you tell Caleb." Cold water starts pouring. "Oh," I said. "You were a light?"

"Yeah, I was a light today!"

Oh, sweet Jesus, thank you for those moments. Those are cold water, moments of grace that push this weary mama through. They remind me not to wait so long to call on you and they remind me that your grace is sufficient and you will fill in the gaps. The gaps left by my failures, Daddy's absence and lifes injustices. Your grace is more than sufficient for those gaps.

O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
~Psalm 63:1

Sunday, April 05, 2009

To procreate or to not procreate, has been the question

All my friends here are having babies these days. Seriously, in my little group there are 10 of us. And of the 10, SIX (count them SIX) have had a baby since the beginning of the year. People, that was only 4 months ago!!

Yeah, when we get together we need a parking spot for all the carriers. Anyway I thought that seeing all these new babies would make me crave one of my own.

And guess what?


They are very cute and all, but all I think when I see them is, "Man, I'm so glad that we are past all that!" Little diapers, spit up, nursing, middle of the night feedings, baby wearing, yellow poop, burping...NO THANK YOU. Oh, mercy, I am so not there. Thank you, Jesus. Really. Thank you.

With that said, I'm also not ready for Big Joe to get the Big "V". That seems soooo final. I am glad, though, that I am (I say "I" only because big JKM has been at this point for quite some time) finally moving in a direction of feeling that our little family is complete.

2 boys (close in age), 2 girls (twins). Hmmm. Why mess with perfection?

Hehe, then Caleb comes up to me today and informs me that he thinks we should adopt a baby. He hasn't made up his mind on boy or girl, but definitely thinks it would be "cool" to adopt another baby.

I don't think the "cool" factor will be weighing in very heavily on our decision.

Mad Craziness

Has it really been a week since I last visited you, my little 'ole blog? What can I say? I'm not sorry. I've been too busy living life to write much about it.

Joseph is home and he didn't arrive a moment too soon. We missed him ridiculously. Ridiculously. But my poor man hasn't had much time with us since being back in town. In all honesty, we haven't seen much more of him now than we did when he was out of town. He's on a bad rotation and it is hard on all of us. Really hard.

Okay, enough of that.

The kids and I did pretty well while he was gone. I have a new mantra that I have adopted during my man's absence - "Jesus take the wheel" - and I use it often. Very often. Usually during the moments where I feel like I'm about to lose my mind. And though we did pretty well, there were definitely Jesus take the wheel moments! The kids haven't asked, but I am sure that they are wondering what wheel mama wants Jesus to take.

Keeping busy isn't a problem around here and while Love was gone we were busier than ever. Bible studies, the gym, school field trips, playdates, socials, parties... Yep, we have been busy.

Here is a hodge podge of the Mad life:

Soccer started back up and while soccer is a pain for me, I'm more than willing to sacrifice because the boys love it so much. Caleb has a new team and a friend from school is on his team. He wants to work on 'not being afraid of the ball hitting him in the face' this season. I think that's a fabulous goal! Luke is on the same team as he was last fall and scored a goal at his first game last Saturday. That child is quite the little athlete, but I love that he doesn't take it too serious and really is having fun out there.

Caleb really stepped up to the plate while Joseph was gone and was my little helper. That kid is growing up too fast for me. It's nice to have some help and with Joseph being gone a lot of the time, Caleb's help is such a blessing. We were at the store by ourselves the other day and he says to me, "You sure do have your hands full!" I busted out laughing and said, "What made you say that?" He smiled and said, "You just have lots of kids and people tell you that all the time." Sweet boy. I told him that God gave me the perfect number of kids and that I would be so lost if any one of them were away from me. And boy, isn't that the truth!

Luke, who is usually the easiest child, has been the most difficult lately. He is sooo cute and adorable and charming, but also daydreams, has a hard time with follow through and is very absent-minded. I'm trying to figure out the best way to parent a child who has the best of intentions and (more often than not) responds to my requests with excitement and a smile, but never seems to make it to the task that I have asked him to do. I can't tell you how many times we have arrived at our destination, only to realize that Luke forgot to put his shoes on!! Jesus take the wheel!

The sisters are talking so much and getting so big! They grab attention everywhere we go and are so adorable! But, they are also at that hard, independent, "mine!", "NO!" and easily frustrated age. They are so physically exhausting for me, but man am I smitten with them! Even though they do make me chase them down to change their diaper, wipe their face, buckle them in the car, get them dressed, and the list goes on! Jesus take the wheel!

I lost a couple of pounds, learned quite a bit about myself and God, and started running again while my man was gone. It was a hard month, but God is so gracious. And so are my husband and kids. I'm thankful that they overlook my faults and love me even when I am being SO unlovable! Jesus take the wheel!

FYI - In case you don't know...Jesus Take the Wheel is a Carrie Underwood song and I love in the chorus it says, "Jesus take the wheel, take it from my hands, 'cause I can't do this on my own.." I so connect with those words!