27 February 2009

Eden String Quartet

Morgan and I love to watch documentaries, especially those that are Christian related. Lately, we have been going through a string of movies on Netflix and I wanted to mention one that we watched last night called, "The Eden String Quartet." It's a story of a family that lives on a farm that home school their children and raise them up in the Lord. This story focuses on their four older daughters who are wonderfully talented musicians (they play hymns and classical). Their parents explain their lifestyle and how they persevered and were faithful in raising their children. Their dad said that early on, they made a commitment that their family would always be together growing up. The joy, love and respect that this family had for one another and the Lord left us tear-eyed and enthusiastic for what life can be for our family. Although we don't plan to live on a farm any day soon, most of you know that we do plan to home school our children. More on that in a future post! Homeschooling can sometimes seem like a daunting task that lies ahead but families like this give us the motivation to know that anything is possible with the Lord.

Our girls love our friday family movie nights and this will definitely be one that we share when they grow older.

26 February 2009

All thumbs

Both Faith and Grace are thumb suckers. They suck their thumbs to comfort themselves when they get tired, bored or sometimes hungry. More than a year ago,
I bought this stuff from the drugstore in hopes that maybe it would stop the habit.
I tried it once and it didn't seem to do anything back then. They continued on their merry way. Just last week, I saw it in the medicine cabinet and decided to try it again. I painted their thumbs right before they went to bed and told them that big girls don't suck their thumbs anymore. They agreed and went to bed.

When they woke up in the morning, I asked Faith if she had sucked her thumb and she replied by saying, "No, it was spicy so I sucked my pinkie." Then she proceeded to show me how! Turns out the main ingredient in this stuff is cayenne pepper.

Grace happens to like spicy food so it didn't bother her one bit. In conclusion- this stuff doesn't work! Oh well, there are worse things in the world than two sets of braces, right?

25 February 2009

Invisible Mother

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30, please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude- but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England.
Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this." It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To My Dear Friend, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read- no, devour the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

1. No one can say who built the great cathedrals. We have no record of their names.
2. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
3. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
4. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.



A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it." And the workman replied, "Because God
sees." I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on,
no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It
is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong,
stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come
home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there." As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

*This was sent to me by a friend and I thought it was a beautiful depiction of our calling as mothers.




20 February 2009

Dentist

Trying out the dentist's chair.

Grace goes first.

Faith's turn to get her teeth polished.

Grace holds daddy's hand.

Leaving with sparkly teeth and prizes galore.

This morning, the girls had their very first visit to the dentist. Yesterday, we talked with them about what to expect and Grace replied by saying, "I won't be scared." Morgan was able to come with us this morning so he held their hand as I snapped a few pictures. Both Grace and Faith each have 20 teeth and thankfully, no cavities! They did beautifully while getting their teeth polished. Afterwards, they got to pick several prizes from the dentist's goodie box.
We couldn't have asked for a better first visit. Great job, girls!

13 February 2009

My Valentine

Last night, Morgan and I went out for a much needed date night and an early Valentine's Day celebration. We figured out that we haven't been on a date night since our anniversary back in October of last year! Wow, that's much too long ago. Although we really wanted to go out for sushi again, we tried to pick a place that was romantic and new to us. Our criteria was good food, good lighting, a quiet atmosphere and comfy, romantic booths. Can you tell we craved some alone time? We decided on the Cork Tree Inn and it did not disappoint. Our meal was fantastic! More than that though, it was a special time for us to get reconnected and enjoy a quiet and leisurely conversation. We shared what God was doing in each of our lives and we talked about our kids, our marriage, our hopes and our dreams. I have always appreciated my husband but lately, I have been even more aware of how perfect he is for me and how God has blessed me beyond measure with this man. One of the things that I thanked him for was the fact that every moment he spends with the girls, he makes into a fun learning experience for them. Whether he's fixing something that's broken, taping up a drawing to the wall or taking out the trash, he does so while gently nourishing their desire to learn by explaining each step of the way and letting them try things for themselves. He has an incredible amount of patience and makes even the mundane tasks fun. It's no wonder why daddy is so loved. Besides being a great dad and provider for our family, he is also my biggest supporter and fan. What more could a girl ask for? Thank you for a sweet night, babe. I am so blessed to be your wife. You are one in a million and you are all mine.

"My beloved is mine and I am his..."
~Song of Solomon 2:16

08 February 2009

Museum & Movie

Little artists.

Grace loves to paint.

Faith is having fun.

Grocery shopping.

Faith makes a pizza.

Grace sprinkles some parmesan on her pizza.

A pizza party.

Faith finds the big bubble wands.

Dad shows them how it works.

Grace makes a huge bubble with daddy's help.

Morgan is having too much fun.

Grace's turn.

Faith jumps rope.

Grace the Indian and Cowgirl.

Family movie night.

Since it rained most of Saturday, we took the kids to the Children's Discovery Museum in the morning. It was neat to see them gravitate towards things that interest them individually. For example, Faith always enjoys building and stacking things while Grace likes anything that gets her hands messy. The museum also inspired us to incorporate some fun and creative ideas at home. It was a great time for the kids and lots of fun for the whole family! On the way home, we stopped by Grandma and Grandpa's house for a short visit and lunch. Aren't grandparents wonderful?

In the evening, we had our first ever family movie night. After dinner and a bath, everyone got in their comfy clothes and staked out their spot on the couch. We popped some popcorn and watched "Where's God When You're Scared," a Veggie Tales movie. The movie is only about 30 minutes long, which is perfect for this age. Afterwards, we discussed why we don't have to be scared and how God is always watching over us and protecting us. It was a sweet time of fellowship with our kids. Family movie night might just become a new weekly thing!

06 February 2009

TGIF!

A Friday funny for you!

03 February 2009

3 is not a crowd...

All aboard the party train!

The girls like to tackle each other.

Teagan gets pulled from both ends.

A snack break.

Yesterday, I had the joy of watching Teagan all day while Shannon went to work. This is the first time that I've babysat for an entire day and I have to say that I'm a little spoiled now. Teagan is such a sweet and mild mannered little boy. In fact, my girls were way more rambunctious than he was. He came with us to swim class in the morning and waited patiently while watching us swim. Thanks Hailey and Viv for staying and watching him while we swam. To my delight, all 3 kids took a 2.5 hour nap in the afternoon and I was amazed that my house was completely quiet for that long with 3 toddlers! About half way through the day, Teagan must have wanted some male bonding because everytime Morgan came out of his office, he would say that he was going to see Mr. Morgan. Yup, Mr. Morgan is always a big hit in our house. :)

Teagan's little brother, Trey is still in Vietnam but as soon as his visa gets approved, Shannon and Josh will be traveling to bring him home. We are hoping for travel news in just a couple of weeks. Thanks for a fun day, Teag! The girls had a blast!


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