July 23, 2011

A Week of Firsts

So, we had lots of firsts in our house this week:

-Though we have visited the pool quite a few times this summer, this was actually the first week that the water was warm enough for me to actually go under the water and play in the deep end.  Yeah, I'm a wimp!
-For the first time this week, Sophie tried swimming in the deep end without her life jacket.  Though she did more dog paddling than actual swimming, she still did great and had a blast.
-Also, this week marks the first time that Sophie did the monkey bars at the pool without her life jacket.  She was a pro.  She's far more brave than I was at that age...OK, she's far more brave than I am now!
-This was the first week that Ethan jumped into the pool without holding onto our hands.  He would just stand at the edge and jump out to us.  He loved it!
-During playgroup this week, Ethan jumped off the diving board all by himself for the first time.  I was a little worried because I couldn't touch, so I knew that I couldn't catch him, but he was really good at keeping his mouth closed...and he even got his nose plugged a few times! 
-This week also marks the first time that we were planning for a true family vacation!  Can't wait to go!
-Tomorrow will be the first time since Sophie started attending the congregational worship service with us that Kevin and I will both be leading worship.  Sophie will be sitting with a sweet couple from our small group for the worship portion and then we'll be able to join her for the preaching portion.  I will truly miss getting to have her next to me during worship, but I am also excited for her to be with church family to see them worshipping a little more closely than usual!  God is good and I know that He will use this time to bring His truth to her in some way!

July 21, 2011

1,000 Gifts Week 11...and, of course, some random musings

Well, another week has gone by.  How has this summer gone by so fast?  Wasn't it still winter just yesterday?  And now, here we are, almost in August?!?!?!?!?  I have had a blast this summer with the kids, friends, and family, but it has disappeared way too quickly!  For this week, I'll just post some random thoughts and summer of our many blessings from the last 11 weeks. 

--As my sister and her husband entered the newest phase of their struggle for a child, I was overwhelmed with how amazing our God is!  I mean, there are so many things that scream this, but this week, for me, it was His complete sovereignty over life and the awesome fact that we can have children at all.  All the things that have to work together perfectly and at just the right time to produce a child...I just don't see how anyone cannot declare that He is the sole author and giver of life.  I am amazed!
--I was also overwhelmed this week with my own humanness as, once again, I sat there feeling like the junior high girl left out of the cool table.  Then, I felt even  more frustrated when I had to admit that the reason I was feeling that way was because that is what I chose!  I am the one who continually chooses to not reach out and not make friends and not put forth any effort with the friends I already have.  There is no one to be upset with but myself!
--We will be starting school in just a few weeks!  (Again, how did that come upon us so quickly?!?!?!)  I am nervous and excited all at once.  But, again, as I was thinking of that this week I was burdened for our public school teachers.  What a mission and calling they have!  I am praying that the Lord will just open door after door after door for Godly school teachers across the nation that His name might be declared to thousands of young students desperately in need of the Savior!

Thank You, Lord, for the blessing you lavish upon us, both physically and spiritually.  Open my eyes to see them all, from the smallest, to the biggest.  From the ones that seem tragic to the ones that scream with joy.  Let me be ever mindful of Your presence at all times in every place I go.  You are King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  Hallelujah!

Two beautiful Girls! 

A wonderful small group!

Blessing jars so each of us can count our blessings!

Sweet friends

 Fun times with Friends

Brother and sister having fun together!
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July 15, 2011

1000 Gifts Week 10

-Time with family
-cousins playing
-kid's games
-safe travel
-awe and wonder at God's creation
-a mother I enjoy spending time with
-anticipation of a great vacation
-clean laundry
-God's hand print on "ordinary" things
-watching a teacher passionately describe teaching her students
-God's healing hand
-home made donuts for breakfast
-trusting in God's sovereignty even when it's hard to see
-a husband who is far more patient than I am
-Apples to Apples with parents, sisters, cousins, and aunts
-sleeping in...at least 1 day!
-moonlight swim with Gift Girl
-reminders of the truly important things in life
-shocking reminders of the shortness of life
-great spiritual growth in the midst of trials
-Swiss Cake Rolls
-trampolines
-reminders of the overflowing blessings we've been given--big and small
-a husband willing to serve in Christ's name, even when it means a week with no income for our family
-the peace of trusting in the only One who provides
-healthy children
-children that can scream, throw fits, smile, laugh, and give hugs
-wireless Internet

July 14, 2011

Guess what...that's right...more randomness!

I feel like I have tons to say and nothing at all to say, all at the same time!  I guess I'll just dive right in!!!

--I have finished the basic outline for the first semester of school for all of our subjects.  I feel so overwhelmed, nervous, excited, and crazy all at the same time!!!!  I still will need to take the time to make my more detailed list of what I need and exactly what will happen with each subject's lesson each day.  At this point, I am thinking I will do that one week at a time.  I am just so overwhelmed right now, I can't imagine doing all of that intricate work right now!  In fact, I had a moment yesterday where I just wanted to throw my hands up and enroll her in public school.  But, then God gently reminded me He was asking us to do this, He would supply all we needed, and that rarely the things He asks us to do seem easy to us...they require us to do things we could never do on our own.  This definitely qualifies as something I cannot do on my own.  Already this venture has increased my prayer life...and I am sure that will continue!  (And a big thanks to my mom and dad who spent pretty much all day yesterday watching the kiddos so I could finish up all that work!)

--As I have been working on the lesson plans, God has really laid Christian public school teachers on my heart.  I feel so blessed to know so many who pour their hearts and lives out for the souls and minds of children in communities all over the country.  Thank you for working so tirelessly, despite the restrictions that have been placed on you.  Please, keep doing all God has called you to do.  He can change the world through your influence!!!  I will be spending this school year praying that God will lead and guide you, as well as give you Divine boldness to share Him at every opportunity!

--We went out three times to jump on mom's trampoline today.  Though I am pretty sure I will be regretting that decision tomorrow, it sure was fun!  The girl's loved it!  They jumped and jumped and laughed and laughed!  It made me feel like a kid again. I need that every now and then!  Tomorrow, we'll have to stay in and play games because I am pretty sure I won't even be able to drag myself out of bed.  Perhaps we should get a trampoline so I can get exercise and we can get PE credits?!?!?!?

--I am watching House Hunters International and I am now sure of two things.  1) I really, really, really, really want to go to Italy (honey, we'll be celebrating our 10 year anniversary in 2013--nudge, nudge, wink, wink), and 2) I am so blessed to live in the US where the houses actually have space!  Those homes and apartments are so tiny!  Seriously, in every room you can stand in the middle and reach a wall with each hand.  (But the gelato sure looks good!)

--Why is it that when I am on "vacation" and actually have more time on my hands, I somehow find even less time for God and the Word than I do normally?  I hate that.  Why can't I be as dedicated and consistent when I am not in my own house?  Argh....being a human really stinks sometimes.  Lord, help me to be deliberate and consistent in my time in Your Word and prayer.  Remind me of my need for You in every area of my life, at all times, no matter where I am.  Lord, guide and direct!

July 09, 2011

1,000 Gifts Week 9

744) Time spent with family
752) helping hands
755) Patriotic music
758) relaxing pool day
759) productive meetings
801) long naps
803) learning something new on the blog (notice, I now have a page of my fave links!)
806) watching kids put money in the blessing jars and hearing what they were thankful for (and they BOTH came up with those things on their own! Ethan's were admittedly a little funny...but his first blessing: God! Love him!)
808) lesson plans done for week 1 of school
810) God showing His faithfulness in friend's lives
812) creativity
813) hubby willing to take a week off and serve others
815) Dominos Pizza
817) warm showers melting away a headache
820) good travel moments for friends
821) excitement for a trip to moms

July 03, 2011

1,000 Gifts Week 8

Wow!  Has it really been 2 months since I started keeping track of all these amazing gifts God has given me?!?!?!  Time has really flown by!  Anyway, here are some of the many gifts of the last weeks, in both word and picture!

--family that lives close by
--sweet children with sweet smiles
--a mother overflowing with love
--a father who serves faithfully
--sisters who love my family as much as theirs
--aunts who are loving, creative, craftsy, and willing to love on their extended family
--fishing
--Bible study with amazing church family
--days that start with sunshine
--relaxing days at the pool
--unsolicited hugs and kisses from my Gift Girl and Blessing Boy
--a little piece of family history in a tiny little bird house
--praying with family for family
--exercise with sweet family members
--amazing women who plan fun playgroups
--great times at playgroup
--encouragement from friends and family
--loving and understanding husband