Category Archives: Parenthood

Life on Sundays

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Do you have a day of the week that stresses you out more than most? It can fluctuate, since most of our schedules do that these days. For a while now that has been Sundays for me. Stephen leaves before the girls and I, and for a huge chunk of our lives we only had 1 car, so me getting there was always changing and adding car-time. That lead to less getting-ready time and with 2 toddlers and a closet that morphs my clothes to fit weird only on Sunday mornings, it was far from my ideal start to a day. Thankfully I’ve found the 2 pair of pants that consistently semi-fit and just slowly swap out shirts. Can’t help but be thankful for a church full of people that enjoy wearing jeans as much as I do ;)

Moving closer to the church last Spring definitely helped with saving us time, as well as getting a 2nd vehicle back when Stephen worked with Bayer. He used to be the associate pastor and youth leader, then that changed and Stephen became the worship leader. He leads us in praise on some Wednesdays, and then both services on Sunday.

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He has been asking me to help with music on Sunday evenings for a few months. Months upon months, really. The girls usually go to bed at 7pm, so going to the 6pm service seemed like far more work than my brain could handle, especially since Sunday mornings are a bit nutty around our house. Well, I finally caved and started helping him a few months ago, and, surprisingly, I really like it. It isn’t consistent, but it’s been a really special time to me. Getting to practice and worship our Savior together, it’s such an amazing and new way to love our God together. And thankfully, after a few trials, we have figured out a little bit of a groove.

 

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I love singing with Stephen. For the past 8 or 9 years it’s always been behind closed doors, in a vehicle, or me harmonizing softly while he plays a guitar. Into a microphone was 100% away from my comfort zone. I decided I’d try it out one Sunday evening (most because attendance is much lower) and quickly discovered that worshiping with him in front of our church family, a lot of very dear friends and fellow believers, wasn’t as uncomfortable as I thought it’d be. Still not my scene, per say, but it’s worth the mild discomfort if it means getting to praise the Lord along side him.

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The girls had to adjust also. Sarah sits or stands in the pew pretty easy, either with a friend or by herself. Elanor took a few weeks to get used to it. The first 2 times she came on the stage and sat in my lap, which I loved. It probably didn’t help that she took a 5:30pm nap just before church, and woke up in a pew instead of her car seat where she fell asleep. Now she sits with Sarah and waits for me to join them after we’re done. It’s usually just a 4 song set, so it doesn’t take long.

 

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I have a few photos that sweet friends from church snapped and sent to me. I’m so thankful for our church family. The Lord knew over 5 years ago that I would sit on a stage and sing with my husband with our little girl in my lap, and I couldn’t imagine a better life.

Psalm 147 -

Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre!
He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.
Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!

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Office work got a little side tracked when Sarah asked for Stephen to help her with some letters. She loves doing ‘school work’. We printed off some worksheets and she loved having him watch and help her.

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Another version of yesterdays photo. I wanted to share it because I love how you can see how close Sarah is cuddling up to Stephen. When we sit or lay together after the girls are in bed I do the same thing, I lay my legs across the top of his from the side like that. I claim it’s because he steals all the ottoman, but apparently it’s just in my blood ;)

Also – that is one HAPPY Elanor after getting a good nap on her dad. That smile and the PB sandwich are just perfect!

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I can’t tell you how much it fills my heart when I see the girls getting cuddles with dad. Elanor took a late afternoon nap and Sarah joined in on the snuggling and played an iPad game with him. I love these three so much.

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Good morning kisses.

Pancake Mix

I was sitting at my desk yesterday helping my sis with some photos when something unexpected happened.

I looked over at the kitchen because I heard a banging noise. I didn’t see anyone but my eyes looked down and I saw some white powder and random crackers from underneath the pantry door. Time slowed. My eyes grew 5x larger and I slowly walked towards the pantry door. I opened it and saw the horror inside. I called Stephen over to the area and Sarah ran over with him. We opened the door to a site that was funny to Stephen, HILARIOUS to Sarah and sigh-inducing to myself.
   
        

She was so proud. Of course it also happened about 20 minutes before we needed to leave for churh, so in the tub for a quick bath and we were good to go. 

After a lot of sweeping, wiping and moping my pantry is now the cleanest it’s ever been. So in that respect, thank you Elanor?!?

Couch-olene

Jumping is such an easily fun activity. Well, maybe not super easy the older we get, but definitely fun!

One morning the girls and I were playing and they started off by crawling around on the couch. Crawling turned into rolling off onto pillows which somehow turned into jumping into stacks of blankets.

We may have all been breaking a dad-rule. No jumping off/on the couch. They broke it by jumping, I broke it by allowing them to jump AND laughing while capturing photographic evidence. I apologized for my lack of parental control and responsibility. I think he forgave me ;)

 


  

Acorn PSA

Bugs.
Overall I really like bugs. The girls are fascinated by them and they provide a lot of fun and interesting toddler discussions.
We love the outdoors. We spend most our days in the fresh air. It encourages so much curiosity and imagination. Watching the girls experiment, explore and create is motivating as a parent.

The other day Sarah and I went outside to collect some sticks. We were going to do some Christmas projects, and I love to use natural (and free!) elements.

After we made a few ornaments Sarah was still wanting to make more things. We ventured back outside and collected a bucket of acorns.
We have a yard full of oak trees, so the acorns are overflowing.

We gathered all our goods and went inside where Sarah made rows and streets glueing acorns on paper.

Then today something happened.
The acorns sat in a bucket last night, awaiting the next project. Elanor found it and dumped it into a Christmas bag she found. Then back into the bucket (she loves dumping and filling things). At one point I heard her drop all the bucket contents on the floor so I ventured into the kitchen where I began singing our “clean up song”. While I was picking up the acorns I saw something yellow’ish. I stopped, looked again and saw several small off-color things. They were larva. Somewhere between 5-10 little tiny crawly larva. 1 was moving and then the rest slowly started “waking up” and moving. I immediately stopped Elanor from helping clean up and went to grab my dust pan. Actually that’s not true, I grabbed my camera and THEN the dust pan. Sarah and Elanor both wanted to see the crawly subjects, which I made them stand a good distance away for.

I took a few pictures after cleaning up all the acorns and sticks, trying to figure out what the things were.
I swept them up and threw them away and then Stephen notified me he found another pile of deserted acorns with tiny things laying around.
I have since swept and vacuumed several times.
I keep getting that gross itchy scratchy feeling on my skin.

So consider this a friendly Public Service Announcement, from my home to yours – don’t trust the acorns.
And if you really want some, for crafts, decorating or what not, save yourself the time (and want-to-puke-in-mouth feeling) and buy a bag from a friendly acorn-safe craft store.

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Our original craft area setup. Pre-larva invasion.

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The Simple

The past few months have been kinda weird. Weird and hard. And possibly a tad tiring.

Today Sarah came and excitedly told me she and daddy had a surprise for me. She told me to come see right away. I took a moment to finish up the cups I was washing in the sink before I followed her back to my bedroom. A few minutes later I walked back and she was beaming while standing at the foot of my now-made bed.

Acts of service is my biggest love language. Stephen knows that and today I witnessed him teaching our children that method of loving me.  Seeing her face, so pleased and proud with her work, was a beautiful moment.
While we stood there I pulled up the comforter to fix the bunched up blanket underneath that she probably couldn’t reach and told her how special she made me feel. I asked for some crazy big hugs and she happily complied.

Just a little while later I went back in our room for something. When I got in there I stopped. I just stood there and starred at my bed. My brain escaped from me, reflecting on that moment. I re-bunched the covers and undid my bed “fixing”.
There’s something amazingly beautiful about seeing my children love. Learning love. SHOWING me love in a new way.

It’s a far cry from what you see in a magazine or store front, and in this moment I couldn’t be more proud.
This is the most beautifully made bed in the world, and it’s in our home.

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Risen Indeed

Two days ago it happened. The cross was carried and Jesus took the weight of this earth and all it’s sinful nature and died for us. He was carried to the tomb and buried. People mourned, while some celebrated. That much hasn’t changed in this world. Except that between those 3 days of loss, emptiness, confusion and wavering faith, God’s plan was still in action. The stone was rolled away and Jesus was no longer lying there. He rose. Praise God and sing out unto His name because His word was, is, and will always remain truth. His followers gazed upon His warm face. They feasted and celebrated because their faith was alive before them. Oh to have seen that sight. A vision that all believers will get to be in the presence of. To hear His voice, words of a melody I can’t even begin to imagine. Thank God if you have the honor of knowing Him today. To have the peace of His salvation. There is no greater gift.

Our day was able to be filled with that reminder. It began early as Stephen went to the church for a sunrise service. The girls and I followed soon after and got to spend time with friends. Hearing daddy practice the Sunday music set. Keeping the girls entertained while they patiently awaited the church-grounds egg hunt. They had a blast, of course. Picking up eggs and showing them off. Placing them in our plastic grocery bag because this mom didn’t think about bringing a basket. Opening each egg was like a new present. Erasers, candy, pencil sharpeners, Sarah showed me all of it. Elanor opened a pack of fruit snacks and that was all she cared about. I love her minimal spirit. Content with something small. I’m highlighting this time in my mind because you can’t know how they will be in 6 weeks or next year. Sarah was the first born, and she is quite aware. It’s not a bad thing, not even slightly. I just have to keep her in check at times. To be appreciative for the everyday things and anything beyond that is a gift to be extra thankful for. She has a tender heart and is so compassionate. She hurts when you hurt. She wants to fix you so that we can be joyful together. To laugh and tickle and play without ceasing.

The Lord gave us these children and I pray they come to know Him early on. That they understand His mercy and love for them.

After church we went and had lunch with my family. The kids played and our fellowship was relaxing. A good quiet pace for after a busy morning. We later went to the Ringl house to visit and have dinner together. The kids were excited and played their sugar filled hearts out. We couldn’t have been in a better spot for their sugar rush to take place. Cousins, a swing set, sandbox and slide. The weather was cool so they didn’t get overheated, which made it easy to help mom in the kitchen without any munchkins all around our feet. The food was just as good as lunch, and afterwards the kids played during a movie and we all sat watching.

All these children were not even a forethought in our minds when I met Stephen and his family. I never could have guessed that I would one day be sitting in this home watching my children laugh and play. Growing up is full of such wonderful surprises.

It was a good day. The kids got a lot of great family time and we are able to celebrate the fact that we have eternal hope. Our lives do not end here when we leave our bodies behind. His glory is real and redemption is free. Lord, give us the courage and boldness to share Your truth. Let the truth of this day never be overshadowed in the busyness of all our lives.

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:16-20

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We hope you had a wonderful Easter

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