Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Nine Year Old


I read a blog post floating around Facebook awhile back called something like "A Letter to my Son at Half Time".  The premise of the post was that nine is the age where it is half over. This parenting gig, the years of your influence, time under your roof. And the mom in the post wrote a moving letter that I honestly couldn't read after the first paragraph. I don't really even know what she said. HALF OVER PEOPLE.

I panic a little bit. But then as I am trying not to cry and cling obsessively to my boys and never let them grow up I remember I moved in with my parents for two years of grad school after college and I still call them right after Adam with news of any kind of importance. You know like Noah having his first headache or Miller reading all his sight words or a sale at the grocery store. The big stuff. And truth be told if I could climb up in their bed right now and snuggle in between them, I would. So deep breaths. IT WILL BE OKAY.

But this is a hard birthday. And so will each one after it. Because it is true,  Noah is getting older and growing bigger and smarter and taller and wiser. And our time is growing ever more important and precious.  He asks BIG questions. And he formulates big ideas about who he is and who God is and who people are around him. He makes actual letter grades in school now and he dreams about his future. And I can't remember the last time he needed to hold my hand.

Three memories from this year that sum up my precious nine year old...

One is his baptism this fall. I walked him upstairs to the room where he was meeting his Children's Minister and I was so nervous for him, He doesn't swim. He is literally terrified of going under water. But he simply turned to me and said "Bye Mom!".  Basically assuring me I've got this. And he only showed his commitment to his choice and not his fear. I wish I could obey like that.

Two was a parent teacher conference with his third grade teacher. After showing me all of his amazing test scores all that confirmed to me he is way smarter than his momma, she simply said "He is kind to everyone." And that is the biggest blessing and compliment and thing I am most proud of. We ask a lot of him at home in our neighborhood and really we don't give him enough grace when it comes to making relationships with our neighborhood kids. To hear that kindness is easily and readily associated with Noah in relation to ALL of  his classmates... well I was humbled. I hope people can say the same of me.

Three was a simple jump at a birthday party. Noah has always been a bit timid. He will hang back, hesitate from trying something until he is sure he can or could master it. But a few months back at a ninja warrior obstacle course themed birthday party he jumped off a five foot platform into a pit of foam squares. Didn't hesitate a second. I had tears in my eyes. I want him to be brave. Life is hard and he will need to be brave. And perhaps my worry and/or coddling has held him back from some adventures. I am so glad he is growing into some courage.

So here is to you my Noah Boy on your ninth birthday...

I love you so much. I love your quirks and your humor and your little scar by your mouth. I love the way you fall asleep reading and scheming and the stores/museums you make in your closet. I love the brown spot in your blue eyes. I love the way your excitement spills over into your flapping hands. I love the one million questions you ask. I love your faith in Jesus. I love that math is your favorite. I love the way you are growing in strength and in bravery. I love that you are kind. I love that deep down you want your little brother to share your room. I love your creative mind. I love that the whole world is yours for the taking. That you could pick anything to be or do and find success. I simply love you. All of you. For always. No matter what.


Dear Father, 
Thank you Lord for the gift and the responsibility of being Noah's parent. Thank you for the special spirit you gave him. Help Adam and I to be the light along the path you have set him on. Lord we are so imperfect and we make many mistakes. Help us not to be a hindrance to him and his love for you. I pray protection over him and for daily help to better understand him and love him in the way he needs to be loved in order to understand better your love for us all. Amen. 








Monday, June 20, 2016

The Things I Don't Want to Forget From the Spring

Or a massive photo dump from the past few months :)
                                   My Baby Love, Jeremiah turned one! Precious little thing!
                                  Love these sweet pictures of my baby sister and her boys.
                                                           Cake is good. Real good.


                                    Celebrating their current youngest, Baby Girl coming this fall :)
                                                                Love him the most.
 We celebrated Easter in the Brown House Community with the Easter Thing. It was a little drizzly but the Red House porch provided a shelter for a yummy meal and fellowship.


 We missed our normal after Easter Service pictures on the Quad. So this is literally the only Easter picture I have with my kids.


The day before we had family over for an Easter Meal and Egg Hunt. I always love this tradition!
                                                                         Two little ones.
 Pretty Lillie! 
 Papa is a good sport. 





 Lillie enjoyed flying on the tie swing. 
                                           We loved our bunny ears Jenn brought us.
                                     We always love a good visit with Nana and Puddin!


                                                                     

The Memories on Memorial Day

Over Memorial Day Weekend we went to Grannyland with my parents and my aunt and uncle. My Dad and Uncle Harold took the boys on their first fishing trip.
 I have so many memories of fishing these lakes with my dad, grandfather, uncles and cousins. I was so excited to see Noah and Miller make memories of their own and of course document every fish.

I think they enjoyed it as much as I did!
 The looks of joy on their faces will etched in mind for a long time. How precious?
Papa and Uncle Harold certainly are super patient!


 Both boys caught three fish each. A great first outing. 

 Eventually I put my camera away and headed shopping with Aunt Joyce and Mimi. I love that the "boys" got to spend time together. Three generations of men I love so very much. I am so thankful for each of them and the way God knit them together!
Until next time Clay County Public Lake.....

The Lost Job

Do you ever let your mind wonder and ask yourself, "What is the worst that could happen?"

For me one of those answers was being told that I had to leave my job at University Place. My three years in my happy place included fulfilling work, amazing co workers, being able to creatively solve problems, going to work with my kids, development of friendships, endless smiles and hugs from precious little ones. I simply couldn't imagine ever not being a part of my new family.

 Until the morning I was told I no longer met the qualifications for the position. In the span of five minutes I felt everything come crashing down around me. Although I was reassured that this had nothing to my job performance and everything to do with changes at the state department level it felt like I had failed in some terrible way. I wish I could tell you I handled the moment with grace, but alas more like ugly crying in front of our Director of Human Resources, principal, and Director of Elementary Ed. A terrible day followed as I asked God some ugly questions. And as usual He answered with loving patience.

Here is the answer He gave me through others and to my hurting heart....

He was not surprised by this. He has a plan. I am on to my next mission.

How do you argue with that?

As the school year came to a close, my next steps became clearer. I look forward to the new adventure and challenges that come with the start of the new school year in August. Not to say I'm not still a little sad. It was a wonderful three years during which I got to walk my babies into their classrooms, attend every little event, eat lunch with them anytime I wanted. That was a gift. One I will always treasure. I made some amazing life long friends that are irreplaceable.

Over the past month I have asked God to show me advantages in this new plan. And He has showed me things I have missed about having my own classroom, working with teenagers, and certain things about my home life and stress levels that will be better. And so I close the door on these happy three years and look forward to the next chapter.



Monday, April 11, 2016

The Potluck Mondays

On Monday nights my neighbors gather together for potluck. Potluck is many things. 
Yummy. Nurturing. Heart warming. Filling.

It is loud and happy and it has taken my least favorite day and turned it into the best day.

 We share leftovers or cook new things or run by the convenience store on the corner for fried chicken. 

The kids play and run around and the adults share conversation and play games. 

It is simple and wonderful. 

There is just something about gathering together over the table or counter if it is crowded and sharing a meal. Sharing life together. Community lived out. 

I love the memories these simple normal meals create for the boys and their buddies and the bond it between us all. 

I encourage you to invite your neighbor's over and share a meal. You won't regret it!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Tire Swing

I have been absent from the blog for a bit. I can't really explain why. Life is not any more or any less busy than before. The best I can say is this... we changed our story line with our move. I never want to boast or dishonor or belittle or overblow or toot my own horn or ignore what we do here in our little Green House. So in my attempt to do that I didn't say anything. These are new waters and I will figure out how best to write about them.

The tire swing ....
Can you have a complete childhood without a tire swing?
Do you remember swinging? The feeling of freedom when your feet leave the ground? The air in your hair? A tire swing ramps up the danger and excitement.
We spent some sweet time on the tire swing in the yard with friends. As I spent time pushing the kids on the tire swing, I couldn't help but think about joy and faith. The pure delight on Miller's face as he flew back and forth made me think how Jesus delights in us and how much God enjoys us.



His love brings us freedom, like flying through the air with the wind blowing in your hair and feet far from the ground. We just have to trust in his strength, the rope we hold on to.