I hope this is how they remember their childhood; simple, yet so full.
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On Saturday, our kids were super excited to have their grand parents, aunts, uncles and cousins over for a gender reveal party. Pink and blue was worn by all as each person made their guess. Our sweet three did a great job keeping the secret until the big reveal! Rain coming down, lots of excited squeals, and pink flying everywhere!
IT'S A GIRL!!!!
So grateful and blessed for this gift of life growing inside of me. Praising God through it all.
It is hard to believe her elementary years have come to a close. As I look back on these years, I am so grateful for all of the time we have spent together. Four years ago, we decided to homeschool; making the decision to take it a year at a time. I was scared to head out on this new journey alone, but I clearly see that I have never been alone. God has provided every single step of the way.
There are definitely days when I question myself. Days that are challenging and exhausting. Yet, I truly believe that some of the most rewarding things in life take hard work, perseverance, and complete surrender to God.
As parents we all must make choices for our children and no choice will ever be completely perfect. There are things we sacrifice no matter what direction we chose. Each family and each child is so unique. For us, this lifestyle decision has been such a blessing.
There are new adventures ahead as we will have a 6th grader, 3rd grader, and Kindergartner in the Fall. I feel blessed to have these days with our children, watching their hearts as well as their academics grow. We will continue to take one year at time, seeking His plan for us always. Today, I rejoice in another year of schooling together and look forward to the summer months ahead.
At the young age of five, you have a huge passion for painting your nails. I have given you the freedom to explore and learn to do this love of yours. You usually go sit in the grass outside with your polishes and paint your fingers or toes. It is pretty special to watch. I hope I never forget these details of you.
There are so many things in today's culture fighting for our children's attention and time.
Organized activities, music lessons, clubs, sports, and playdates.
Digital devices with endless games, music, and social media.
These things can all be great and utilized in amazing ways, but I think it is so important for children to have time to be free. Time to be bored. To explore. To play. To imagine. To be by themselves.
Some days its easier to say yes to the other stuff, but every time I say "no, go outside and play", I am so grateful.
It was a cloudy warm morning. I saw her through the back door, still in her Frozen night gown; running up and down the yard with sticks and flowers. She was singing and dancing as she played.
I smiled. I know that feeling so well. That feeling of childhood; where you can go as far as your imagination takes you. I watch her like this often, hours spent in our yard; living a world she creates so beautifully.
This is my reminder. Some days they will fight for everything but this solitude of "nothing to do"; yet the feeling of boredom can inspire amazing memories and creativity.
For Christmas our youngest daughter got a butterfly garden and a certificate to get live caterpillars in the mail. You can imagine her excitement when they finally arrived a few weeks ago. For days we watched them and often wondered if they were even alive. Then, all of the sudden, the transformation slowly began to take place. We watched them grow and then we watched as the chrysalides were formed. It was such an amazing sight. We waited patiently until one by one each butterfly emerged. It was truly something beautiful to see this full transformation complete. We were all fascinated; even at 39 years old, I was in awe.
Yesterday, the time came to release our 5 beauties. None of us wanted to let them go, but we knew it was time. They were ready to fly and explore the world around us.
As I thought about this experience, it made me think about my own experience as a mother to our three children. It’s can be so hard to give our children wings to fly. It’s hard to let them go; knowing they will make their own mistakes, and even get hurt. But, when we do, we give them the chance to see the world and its beauty. Likewise, the world gets the chance to see the beauty inside each of them.
We will continue to ask God to help us provide the foundation our children need to grow, but then it is our turn to trust Him and trust them to fly. I believe this is one of the greatest ways we can show them our love.
There’s something emotional for me about seeing these five together in a frame. Family knows us in ways that some never will. My husband has seen me in some of my most ungraceful moments; moments of selfishness, moments of hurt, and moments of fear. My children have seen me in my most impatient hours; tired, worn out, and irritable. And these realities; they go both ways. It's a constant yo yo of love and forgiveness. It’s not from lack of love; but simply humanity filled with our imperfect and selfish ways.
Family can often be the people that we hurt the most; yet, at the same time we love them with the deepest and most crazy love. It’s incredible to know love like this. Pure and unconditional. I believe love and life are both made up of the imperfect. People. Memories. The mistakes and stories waiting to unfold. The struggles and successes merge together to create a life that we will one day look back on.
Many days, I hurt my family and in turn they hurt me. We are all weak and imperfect on our own. But, each new day is adorned in grace and mercy. Each new day, we have the chance to come before God and ask Him to help us be more like Him. Each trial we go through on our own, or as a family, gives us a chance to seek Him. He brings light to the dark. And because of that, I humbly thank Him for this imperfect life and for these imperfect people to love and grow with.
We spend countless hours here; such a peaceful way to end our days.
A week with nothing on our schedule was just what we all needed. It seems like no matter what we do to slow down, the weeks leading into Christmas are always so busy. I have savored the time we have spent at home this past week; just being together.
As we look ahead in 2015, I can't help but look back on the past year. I am so grateful for God's provision. There have been joys and challenges alike, but He is always faithful. He is always here. There is always light to be found in Him.