Saturday, June 25, 2011

All Settled In

We are finally unpacked and each box has had the life flattened out of it and the contents of all the boxes are systematically spread throughout the house allowing it to look like home. Mia keeps walking around the house and blurting out "well, it looks like our home now, mom!" Unpacked the last two boxes today....Paul's clothes. Paul and I finished the last touches yesterday by hanging the shelves. This is actually the hardest part of making our house look like a 'home'. Hanging shelves is NO FUN! But somehow we managed to get them all hung in reasonable fashion and we are still married after such difficult matters! LOL!!! We have now hung and taken these shelves down 3x in one year. We are becoming pros!

As you can see, Lincoln is feeling very at home! I caught him stirring the spaghetti meat the other day. He said he wanted to help cook. Probably against my better judgement, I allowed him to continue. I kept reminding him about the hot metal and he seemed to do just fine. I love this helpful and inquisitive soul that dances around this home. Just hearing his gleeful sounds at 6:30 each morning makes everything feel okay. I hear Buzz Lightyear crash into Star Wars man and Mac is headed into a bedroom door at 60mph. Then I hear girls screaming "get out!" and the slam of a door following the frantic screams. I'm lying in bed wondering how long Lincoln will continue to torture his sisters over the years to follow. I'm thankful for these sounds today. It's the sound of life, home, and our family. I wasn't planning on getting up this early on Saturday morning but thankful still for the familiar sounds. Love hearing Lincoln shout across the house in his echoing dwarf-like voice "mommy...daddy.......time to get up!" Well, time to go fix breakfast!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Our 1st Ever Family Missions Trip

Well we took the plunge and kept to one of our 2011 family goals.......we took the girls on a missions trip! We felt drawn to Guatemala to help a family, the Radfords, with their ministry in an orphanage. They are missionaries in Panajachel and have been there for about 10 months. An amazing couple that left ATL last year due to an act of obedience. It was our joy to serve with them this past week. We worked on bible stories and crafts with preschoolers. We also had the opportunity to help feed some of the local children at lunch time. We were truly blessed by these moments of tenderness. These children were amazing and beautiful. All smiles, giggles, and chitter chatter in Spanish. I was able to practice my 'spanglish'. I'm awful and I believe Paul enjoys watching me botch up my conversations. I believe I bartered up on a price, instead of down one time. I get 6 and 7 mixed up! The girls are only 6 and 7 and so they tired easily but all in all............great trip. Our hope is that they remember the children and that there are others all over the world that God loves too. We would like our kids to have a world-view and global compassion for others. We are still learning and God is still working in our hearts too as parents. Keep praying for us as we parent. And please keep the Radfords in your prayers. Lee, Angel, Anna Kate, and Parker live in Guatemala and serve each day with willing spirits.

Guatemala 2011

And These Are A Few of My Favorite Things........

Having finally finished Ann VosKamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, I feel like the same person with a different outlook on life. Her thankfulness and gratitude for the simple things in life and for the complexiteis of Grace amaze me! Shouldn't all believers feel this way? Shouldn't I be grateful for small things like giggles and sunshine and most appreciative of challenging ideas like salvation and eternal life? So, she has inspired me to keep a journal of my own 1,000 gifts or blessings that I have acknowledged in my own life. I have also given a journal to each of my girls and they are keeping a list of 1000 gift. Should be interesting to see how their perspecitve changes over the years. My goal is for the girls to keep this journal and complete it in highschool and I will give them the book to read. We shall see...........okay, so here are a few of from my list. Also remember that I just returned from Guatemala! These are gifts of mine and I am thankful for..........

8. seeing a mamma with her baby wrapped tight to her back and a basket full of life on her head- this beauty of motherhood espoused to multitasking is an idea that is not solely owned my Americans but dances across all nations

11. refocusing and realizing that I need to slow down and notice the tiny smiles, flickering wet eyelashes, fading dimples, and snuggles that sneak up on me

16. for seasons in my life.....there are moments that are much too painful for the human soul to last forever

19. giggles of delight and moans of fear from an autistic boy sitting behind me on the plane. I choose to remain in awe of his new wonders and explorations instead of succombing to annoyance. my girls choose to do the same.....

22. for 'one more goodnight hug' from Lincoln knowing that there will be 5 more hugs and 5 more 'one more goodnight kiss' in the next 60 seconds.......

4. finding my kids clothes painted across my wood floor and knowing that this is the result of 'dress-up'. they are not grown up yet!

2. riding with the windows down in the car and the a/c on.....because I can!

39. the ability to receive a judgemental stare from an on-looking parent and in turn reflect a modest smile, knowing that the undeserved grace that I have received allows me to do so

44. the option of turning life's challenges into blessings instead of turning them into seeds of bitterness

48. for honest friends that speak truth which sculpts my heart instead of fearful friends that tickle my ears with complimentary lies

58. an amazing mother-in-law that serves me continuously without expecting anything in return

3. a husband that takes time to 'date' our daughters and plants those small seeds of love and acceptance