Sunday, June 23, 2013

It happens

One day.

You wake up and realize it's happened.

It didn't happen all at once.

It certainly took it's time coming.

You've wished for it and waited for it.

You've wondered if it would ever happen at all.

Some days you doubt that it will.

Other days it seemed just out of your reach.

But here we are.

Drumroll please. . .

All of our kids can shower by themselves and come out CLEAN!

After 17.5+ years of bath time and hair washing (ohmyheavens - girls and their hair), towels on the floor and bath toys and tear-free shampoo. . .

I can just SAY THE WORDS.

And in a matter of minutes. . .

We have no more hot water and freshly scrubbed littles.


This is BIG ya'll!

Now, don't get me wrong.

Lots of answered prayers going on here that are way bigger.  But I'm grateful for the small things.

Kids all sleeping in their own beds (can you hear my joy?)!

Everyone can potty alone and wipe themselves and get their own drinks (gasp!).

Everyone can *almost* do their own hair (littlest girlie still needs some help now and then - but honestly?  I have three other girls who can help her!!).

The kids can all clean up, put things away, sweep floors, wipe up bathrooms. . . no more different chore lists for the littles and the bigs.

I rarely even have to start the washer or dryer anymore - thanks to a self-appointed 11 year old "Queen of the Laundry".


I can FEEL my lazy coming on.

Never mind that we also have kids who have traveled the world sharing the gospel, maintain full-time jobs, can serve others with energy and love, can babysit for Date night and Coffee dates, work for their grandparents, and help aunts and uncles on moving day.

And Little Man (who isn't so little anymore?)?  He started "reading" (sounding out simple words), yesterday.  When all of the kids can swim, ride a bike AND read?

I may have survived "Phase One" of this eversoexhausting parenting journey.  Ha!

Happy Sunday.

And may "Phase Two" (sending them out as independent young adults) commence.  In another year or so.  First I get to enjoy THIS!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thankful Thursday

1.  A fabulous FORTIETH birthday, last week.  Thanks to sweet friends and the amazing Coach. . . who organized and gave me a big darling bag full of sweet cards, notes, and gifts.  After a fabulous dinner out with the troops. . .and then the kids gave me a new pair of black fit flops and a new wallet. . .
And yummy red velvet cupcakes. . .

It just kept going!  Ha!

The final and most unbelievable thing of all?  A new laptop.

(contented sigh)

And honestly. . . the gifts weren't the best part about it - I felt so loved and blessed with the amazing people God has brought into my life.  Love them all.

Anyhoo. . .

2.  A great Father's Day with the Coach.  Taking Son #1 and Daughter #2 to the airport - they are spending a couple of weeks at Summit.  Already sounds like they are having a great time!!  Then lunch at home with the Coach, some resting, some suit shopping, Starbucks with the kids, and a visit with his parents.

3.  Gods grace to all of my mother's family as we've grieved the lost of my Uncle. . . and also rejoiced that he has received his ultimate healing. . . and is in the presence of Jesus.

4.  Safe travels for Son #3 who arrives home, tonight, from Africa.  So ready to have him home!!

5.  Beautiful weather.  As in, "not hot yet".

6.  VBS for the littles this week.  Little Man has been too excited to sleep, too tired to wake up, and can't stop talking about it!  Today I told him there was only one more day and he said, "That's really sad."  Ha!

7.  And lots and lots of projects getting done at the troops.  I guess when you are married to a Coach, who rarely has any free time all football season and basketball season, and end of the school year season. . . Summer is the TIME to get it all done.  Love it.

8.  Lots of days with the Coach coming home early (see #7).  Love time with my man!

I'm out of here.  It's Summer!  Time to heat up leftovers, get kids ready for bed, and READ!  Ha!  At least until we go to the airport.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Just. So. Blessed.

My heart is unusually full, tonight. . .

or the girl at Starbucks didn't hear me say, "DEcaf".

Either way, I'm awake.  And since tomorrow will probably be too busy for a post (what day isn't?), I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts while waiting for sleep to arrive.

Tomorrow is my fortieth birthday.  4.  0.

I know, right?

And although I'd take my 20 year old body back ANY DAY if someone offered it, I would, in fact, rather be 40.  Sags, aches, and pains in all.

Life is good.

It's not perfect, forheavenssake.  If I've communicated anything on this blog in the last 6 years I would hope it would be THAT.  Not.  Perfect.

But oh so blessed.

Sure I'd love to be thinner, and fitter, and more organized.  I'd love to be more encouraging to my kids and more supportive of my husband.  I'd love to see relationships restored and those I love following hard after God. Most of all. . . I'd love to be the kind of Christ follower that my heart longs to be.

But here's the thing.  I'm thinner than I was a month ago.  We are working on organizing. . but honestly swimming comes first.  It's Summer, after all.  Every day I love my kids more and I enjoy them more.  I adore my husband. A.D.O.R.E. him.  I would take today - 18 something years after becoming his wife - in a second over newlywedness (as blissful as it was).  We finish each other's sentences and read each other's minds and he NEEDS me.  Mostly to find things.  But I'll take it.

There is always ALWAYS hope in Christ for those we love.  No matter the struggle, no matter the bondage.  Christ is the victor, sin is conquered.  I find my HOPE there every day.

And yes, most of all.  Most of all I'm learning that I can only LOVE because He LOVED ME FIRST.  And still.  Not because of anything I've done but because of who HE IS.  I'll never muster up the ability to BE what Christ made me to be.  And today?  I lived more fully in who I already am. . . abiding. . . than I did yesterday.

That's enough.

At 40, I care so much less about what anyone might think of me.  Or the troops.  That was certainly not the case in my 20's.  I am so much more comfortable with who Christ made me to be.  With letting others be who He made them to be, as well.

Every day I have little people who come out with sleepy eyes looking for a hug.  I have big kids who work hard and play hard and make me laugh.  We have a comfortable home that we enjoy and delight in sharing.  God's abundant provision for our every need.  Every day.

And this.

Kids (and their daddy) who love God and love others and care more about making HIM known.

So tomorrow?  I'll miss having my parents and Son #3 here. . . but I'd rather have them in Zimbabwe pouring out God's love on His people.  I've been praying for each of the troops, since birth, that God would give them a heart for missions.  My prayers are being answered.

400 students came to know Christ, today.  And my boy was there to witness the Holy Spirit at work.

When all else fails?  There are the chickens.

(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Happy Early Wednesday morning to you all.

And thank you, Jesus, for "40".

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The most Thankfullest of Thursdays. . .

Short list?
1.  The Coach is home safely from Haiti!

You know. . . that could really be the end of it, for now.  Because HELLO, best news ever!

But I'm sitting here with a full heart for more reasons than that.

I SLEPT last night.  So thankful.  I don't really sleep when the Coach is gone.  I guess that's what happens after 18 1/2 years.  I was so, so tired!

The washer is humming with mission trip laundry load number four - and the last.  I can hear the mower, blower, and trimmer going.  The best part being that my GIRLS are the ones out there doing it!  Well, the Coach is edging, but for lack of big boys around here, the girls have stepped up to help.

Son (#1) is at work - he started his Summer job on Monday.  So proud of him.  He's definitely a "Mr. Steady" like the Coach.  Daughter (#2) is on the way home from lunch with a friend - and is picking up Son (#4) from basketball camp on her way home.  I just took Cowboy cookies out of the oven - her one request when she got home last night.

Son (#3) is on a plane somewhere over the ocean - flying from Washington DC to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  13 1/2 hours.  And yesterday's flight to DC was his very first time on a plane.  Ha! So excited for him.

The house is clean - minus the piles of clean laundry from the trip - and it's a beautiful, cool, NOT stormy day.  The garage door (which broke yesterday morning as we were trying to leave for the airport!) is fixed and the exterminator just left - we have a earwig problem in the bathroom.

See what I mean?

Just so much to be thankful for, today.

I still have a to-do list a mile long and the electricity in the sunroom is still not working and the chickens?  Well.  They are a mess.  Not to mention the HUGE hole still in the backyard which they haven't been able to come fill because of all of the rain.

Let's just say we are no longer in a drought.

Every time the Coach is gone for awhile (thank heavens he's home to stay!), I think, "Whew.  We made it."  I knew when Spring arrived that he had three trips coming up and we're blissfully through them all and back to normal.  As normal as it ever IS here at the troops.

They had an amazing trip to THIS place.  Son is on his way to Kadoma, Zimbabwe, with THIS ministry.  And . . .

I can catch my breath.

At least until Son (#1) and Daughter (#2) leave next week for HERE.


Happy Thursday!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tornadoes, Chickens, and Missions. . . OH MY!

I've meant to sit down and catch up here for. . . oh. . . awhile, now.  But then something ELSE will happen and I think, "Well.  There's that."  How do you begin?  How do you explain?  How do you describe?

My last post was right after the Coach made it back from DC.  Now he's off somewhere down in Haiti with Daughter (#2).  School is out (We barely made it.  Barely.).  Summer has begun.

I'm eversoproud of my students.  Since it's my blog and I can say what I want (sort of), I have to mention that all six of them got straight A's/Honor Roll.  They get their brains from their daddy, no doubt.  And my homeschooler?  JUSTSOGRATEFUL!  Ask anyone that's watched her this year.  We've come a long way, Baby.

But between the horrid severe weather - one night missing us by only 2 blocks and another night hitting so many dear friends to the South and just last night having to flee to the farm house and the basement with all of our kids and grandparents and sibling's family. . .

I'm over it.

How do I talk about the crazy that's going on HERE when nearby we have friends who lost EVERYTHING?

How do I say how much I miss my Coach (so much. . . ) when over 30 people have lost their lives in the last two weeks in our city?  And so many family have loved ones who won't be coming home.

How do I tell you how RELIEVED I am that we survived the last few weeks of school (it was a close call)?  Honestly, Jen does it better than I ever could.  I sincerely felt like I'd run a marathon by the time we finished all of the end of the year activities/snacks/cookies/gifts/assemblies/graduations.  Whew.

My kids had 36 different teachers this year.  Bless them.
They deserve SO much more than cookies!

And at some point in the whole thing I threw a big-time I'mnottwobutIcanstillactlikeit FIT.  The Coach had been gone so long and we were all so tired and my leg just kept hurting and I couldn't catch my breath.

But God, in His faithfulness, sees only His righteousness.  And the Coach, with eyes of love, is willing to forgive.  Again.  Even if he is a little too quick to agree with me that I've been a jerk.

I don't know that Summer is less crazy.  It's just a different crazy.  We sleep later (well, except that basketball camp for Daughter #5 was every morning last week).  I have more help around the house, but also more bodies to make messes.  We spend more time at the pool.  More time reading.  Eventually, more time out in the yard (although tornadoes, torrential rains, and hail do not a lovely yard make).  The kids are already turning a lovely shade of brown (in spite of my OCD sunscreen applying tendencies).

OH!  And the kitchen floor is fixed.  As of the last Saturday of the school year.  Because we didn't have anything else going on.

Tonight?  I'm grateful.

For the Psalms.

For library books.

For sweet friends who call to check on us and text when there are tornadoes and come over to laugh with us and make the time go faster.

For my parents - who are gracious, generous, and always willing come over, take us to dinner, let us hang with them, and fill in the gaps when I'm beyond tired.  And they may have attended more end of school year activities than any grandparents in history.  Just sayin'.

For my Coach and Sweet Girl - who are sharing the Love of Christ in Haiti this week.  Miss them.  Proud of them.  Can't wait to have them home.

For my big boys here at home.  Who run errands, and rearrange the garage to get another car in when it's hailing, and take out the trash, and decide to raise chickens (??), and make me feel safer when their daddy is gone.

For my little girls who help clean and fold laundry and do the dishes and still play dolls and watch American Girl movies and laugh.  A lot.

For Little Man, who (the last week of school), lost a tooth, learned to ride his bike without training wheels, and tested for Kindergarten next year. . . then told me, "Wow!  I've had a big week, Mom."

The fact that his monumental "first lost tooth" picture was taken in the car
SHOULD give you an idea what our last few weeks have been like.  Ha!

And for a night without severe weather warnings.  Thank you, Jesus.

My bed is calling.

Happy Saturday!