The Kids

The Kids

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Booking Blitz

Wow.  So many thoughts this week and no time to write them down.

For those of you who I have not called/texted/facebook messaged/emailed this week about hosting a Thirty-One party (there may be one or two of you out there), our team director issued a challenge this week:  A Booking Blitz.  We had to book as many parties as we could in one week. 

My first thought was, "Seriously?  I already have six parties scheduled in November!  Couldn't those count toward something?"

Then I reminded myself that the contest is all in good fun and what is the worst that can happen?  I book more parties?  Oh darn.

Now, I am usually a casual party booker.  I mention it to my friends and family and give them time to think about it.  This week, however, I may have gone a little overboard.  If someone happened to mention in the past few months that they would like to book a party at some point, I totally called them on it this week.  I spoke with school moms, family members, neighbors, church friends and facebook pals.  My phone has run out of charge before the end of the day multiple times.

After all of this, I have come to two conclusions:

1-doing a booking blitz every now and then is brilliant.  I spent a lot of time doing it, but am done for awhile.  Having parties on the calendar and a somewhat consistent paycheck for the next few months is rewarding.

2-I just got pushed way out of my comfort zone.

I realized that I like to hide behind texts and messages and emails.  They are safe and casual.  When I had to pick up the phone and actually call people, I felt a mix of emotions.  Unease.  Nervousness.  Fear of rejection.  Guilt for bothering people. 

Oh, and annoyed with Noah for consistently screaming and whining every time a person actually answered the phone and wanted to talk with me.

What I found surprising however, was that for every person who said, "no," there was someone else who said, "yes" that I was completely shocked by.  I reconnected with friends that I have not spoken with in awhile simple because I picked up the phone instead of sending an quick email.

Remember life before the internet?  Yeah, me neither. 

Actually, I do recall being at my cousin's house and seeing him send an email on the computer to a friend who lived down the street.  I found it simply amazing that she would be able to read that message the second that it was sent. 

Okay, call me old.  35 does feel pretty ancient sometimes.

As much as I love the safety of my emails and texts, it was rather refreshing to use the actual phone and hear voices.  So, watch out people-you may be getting actual phone calls from me more often.

Just try to ignore the screaming, whining two-year old in the background. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ready For Worship

Our new church had its first official worship with the public yesterday. 

I was so excited to take in every part of it.  I planned on getting there early to help set up for the dinner that would be taking place after worship.  I did not want to miss a thing.

Yeah, so that didn't happen.

First of all, Caleb had one of his random Sunday soccer games.  At least it was at 2:00 and church does not start until 5:30.  But, I also had a random Thirty-One meeting at 3:00, but it was right up the road from the soccer field so again, I figured it would not be a problem.  We did not plan on missing Caleb's soccer game and these meetings are only once every other month.  Considering the last meeting was only an hour, I figured it would all work out fine.

Then I noticed that the meeting was advertised as two hours.  Seriously?

Okay, new plan.  We would drive both cars to soccer, I would go to my meeting, everyone else would come home, Nick would take the dinner that I had already made to the church along with the kids while I met them there, and completely failing at my role as a part of the hospitality team at church.

Everyone piled into the van, I walked around to the driver's side and noticed that the back tire was flat.

Again, seriously?

With no time to spare (hee hee, spare, spare tire?), we threw a carseat into Nick's car, piled in and left our kind neighbor and his air compresser to pump it up while we hurried to soccer.  My very kind mother-in-law took me to my meeting, which I was late for since there was all kinds of traffic of families driving to the pumpkin patch right near the home where the meeting was held.  Nick and his dad checked out the tire and found a nail as the guilty culprit of our demise. 

As I sat in my meeting, learning exciting details of what is to come in the next few months of Thirty-One, I kept getting texts from Nick about the nail in the tire and how he was coming to get me and we would go straight to church.  As I smiled and tried to look like I was paying attention, I secretly texted him directions to where I was and kindly reminded him to bring the dinner.

He finally picked me up a little after 5:00 and we hurried to church, making it there by 5:33.  My favorite line of his was, "I got everyone ready at 4:45 and before I knew it, it was 5:00!  How did that happen?"

Yes, welcome to my world.

I say all of this because I know that it is important to have our hearts prepared for worship.  After an afternoon like that, my mind was completely scattered and not at all ready to truly listen.  You all know what I mean, especially parents.  Even when church is on its normal Sunday morning time slot, there are still so many things on our minds as we hurry the family out the door.

How is it possible to be in a worshipful mood when our last thoughts as we push everyone out the door are, "Did I grab the diaper bag?  Does everyone have their Bibles?  Did my son really brush his teeth?  Is the crockpot turned on?  Kids, stop fighting!  Oops, never took the clothes out of the dryer-hopefully no one will notice that this is wrinkled.  Did I bring all the snacks and lunches and sippy cups?"

Again, seriously?  Does that seem like a worshipful spirit to you?

I am so extremely thankful that God meets us where we are.  That He stoops down to us and our busy minds and reminds us that He is there.  That He is more important than games and meetings and flat tires.  Yet, He is there in the games and meetings and flat tires. 

As I stood there, worshipping with people of so many backgrounds and in different languages, I slowly let the stress of the afternoon melt away as we joined together to sing praises to our Lord.  It was a beautiful thing.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Future

If you faithfully read this blog, you know that I spend many days dreaming of the time when my children will be older and more independent.  Pretty much because I am tired of wiping their behinds (yes, just for Noah at this point, don't worry).

Last night, however, I saw a glimpse of my future and realized that I am perfectly content to be where I am right now.

I had a Thirty-One party at a school mom's house.  She is someone who I do not know well, but Nick has taught her kids as well as all of her guest's kids.  After the initial love fest of my husband and what a wonderful teacher and human being that he is, their conversations flew from one thing to the next.

All of which revolved around their high school/college-aged children.

As they had their wine and I attempted to rein them in to hear my little presentation, I heard of every college that they are visiting with their kids, of every college that the others have already sent their kids to, of every detail of Homecoming and all of its drama, of their opinions on the football and tennis teams and their seasons, and of all of the personal drama that is going on with their children (mostly the ones with daughters, of course). 

I left exhausted.

And not just because the party went until after 10:30 (ahem, past my bedtime by 30 minutes), but because I was tired thinking about my future.

I may be tired of wiping butts, picking up toys, and teaching my kids everything, but I better appreciate it, too.  Before I know it, they will turn into these strange creatures called teenagers and I will be begging for the innocence of their current age.

So as my day begins soon with changing a diaper, making breakfasts, packing lunches and snacks, laying out clothes, dressing one of them, making sure that everyone has their folders and backpacks and perhaps somewhere in there remembering to get myself ready-I will think of my future that is quickly approaching and pause to appreciate where I am right now.

Monday, October 15, 2012


I noticed something the other day.  My life is almost completely void of silence.

Maybe when I am sleeping, it is quiet, but even then I keep the fan running on my face.

Even as I sit here in the early morning while everyone is still asleep, desperate for some quiet time, I can hear things constantly running.  The slight drip of the water running through the filter of the fish tank, the hum of the DVD player (which one of my lovely children must have left on), the furnace kicking on and off, the hum of the fridge, even the far off sound of a siren going down the road.

As I cleaned someone's house yesterday and realized that I had forgotten my Ipod (the horror!), I thought, "Well, at least I will have some time to just think."

Of course, then their smoke alarm started beeping and that plan was suddenly gone.

But, before the obnoxious reminder of needing a new battery broke my peace, it was kind of nice to clean and let my mind wander.  It wandered to the most random of places, but it was freeing.

How often in my day do I just let my mind relax and be quiet?  Not very much.  It is usually goes something like this...

What's on the lunch menu at school today?  Who has gym and needs tennis shoes?  Are their uniforms clean?  Do we need jackets today?  You still have homework to finish, Abby?!  Why won't Caleb get out of bed?  What does Nick have after school today?  Who is picking up the kids?  Did I put snacks in their backpacks?  Why did Noah get naked already?  Crap, I forgot to buy the right cereal that Caleb has been begging for.  Why is my dishwasher smelling funny every morning?  Did I put everything in my "run errands" bag for the morning?  Is Abby ready for her memory verse check?  Who has library books due today?

And that is just from 7:00-8:00 a.m.

Hence why I get up at 5:30 a.m. every day.

I suppose there is no way to stop the noise, but perhaps I could make the most of the time when I do get a glimpse of the quiet.  Perhaps not always have the radio on in the car, not turn the television on during nap time, not feel the need to check my email and facebook first thing in the morning...

In any retreat or conference that I have attended in the past, one of my favorite moments always tends to be when we are instructed to go out on our own and be quiet.  To just sit there and pray and listen to God.  Listen to Him?  Not just fill the time with me telling Him stuff? 

Interesting how I always felt refreshed after those moments.

If Jesus could take time out of his busy schedule of saving the world to step away and be alone with His father (which He did A LOT), then what the heck is my problem?  Are all of the things that I am doing with my time really so important that I never have time for being quiet?

My DVR of television shows and my many apps on my phone suggest otherwise.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Abby And Her Injury

I kept meaning to write about this when it happened two weeks ago, but life has been a little, shall we say, hectic? 

Again, what were we thinking having all three kids born the same week of October?

So, Abby was complaining about her ankle hurting her a few weeks ago.  Because she mentioned it while we were hiking on my birthday and that resulted in her getting a piggy back ride from her daddy, we figured she was just milking it.  Once she kept complaining, however, we then figured it was a sprain.  After all, she had a sprain on her other ankle during spring soccer so it could happen again.

I took her to the doctor, thinking that the x-rays would confirm my diagnosis, that they would wrap her ankle and she could continue on with soccer.

Well, the x-rays proved me wrong and instead showed a small crack on her ankle, near her growth plate.  Oh, so that is why she kept complaining.  Hmm.

For the last two weeks, she has had to wear a boot and use crutches.  When the doctor first mentioned the crutches, her eyes lit up.  After all, every child at school that uses crutches gets ALL of the attention so it was finally HER turn.

Then she used the crutches for a few minutes and quickly got over her excitement.

She got tired of not being able to run ahead, of the feeling of the crutches in her arms, of the fact that everyone had to do everything for her and of course, of sitting on the sidelines of her soccer games and not being able to play.

The poor girl is completely restless.

Tomorrow, we go back to find out if it is healed.  I really, really, really, really hope that it is because this girl is ready to run.

The silver lining is that for her next book report, she is supposed to dress up like the character.  She is choosing the latest American Girl Doll who gets injured and has to use crutches.  It just happens to be the doll that she received for her birthday.

I love that my daughter sees the good in something not so good.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Look Who is 862!

I believe I am sitting down for the first time in a few days thanks to these crazy kids and their birthdays.  Whose idea was it to have them all born during the same week of the month? 

Oh wait, I suppose Nick and I had something to do with that.

Anyway, the annual birthday bash was a success.  God answered my prayers (truly, on my knees all week, begging for sunny skies) and blessed the day with sun and warmer than expected weather.  It was a perfect fall day, the kids ran around and had fun, and my children celebrated another year.

As they sat in line for their cake, one party guest innocently asked, "Who is 862?"  Oh sweetie, that would be Abby turning 8, Caleb turning 6 and Noah turning 2. 

All of which are ages that are shocking to me.

Abby is eight years old?  Really?  And since when did Caleb get so tall and become six?  And Noah will be two this week?  Are you kidding me?

I miss my babies.

I saw a friend with her baby during the party and heard the sweet coos coming from her mouth.  It made me yearn for the baby phase again.

Then, a few minutes later, the parents were frustrated because the park did not have warm water for the bottle and the baby was screaming and one of them had to leave to find hot water and...

...I was good with my eight, six and two year olds.

I am enjoying the ages that they are at so much right now.  All of the things that Abby and Caleb are learning at school, the friendships that they are building, their sense of humor, watching them play sports-it is all a blessing.  And Noah-that little character is reaching the age where he just cracks us all up.  Every day brings a new surprise of what one of these kids will do or say.

Happy Birthday to my kids!  I love you so much!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thanks For Plants

Abby wrote the following essay about plants...

Dear God,

Thank you for plants.  Plants give us food and mom couldn't make her delicious cookies.  Her cookies are the best!  Plants also give us paper and if it isn't for paper, no books!  That would be awful!  Plants also give air to breathe.  I bet plants are thankful too, for us!  They also give us beuty.  Flowers are the most beutiful thing in the world.  God, thank you for giving us plants.


Enjoy your day of appreciating plants!