Friday, July 11, 2014

I see Jesus in my garden


My husband and father-in-law built me a raised garden bed for Mother's Day this year.  It continues to be one of the best gifts I've ever received.

One of the first plants to grow in our garden was cauliflower.  But it was a difficult plant.  One morning while checking on the garden I noticed holes in one of the cauliflower leaves.  The next day, there were more holes.  I couldn't find the bug.  The next day, I found a cute, fat little caterpillar on one of the leaves.  I picked him off with a spoon and threw him as far as I could.  But there were more.  One day I picked off 7 caterpillars this way.  It seemed to be never ending.  I stayed on it and eventually they were gone, but those caterpillars were good hiders and I had to search in every nook and cranny of those leaves to find even the smallest one to rid the plant of these cute little monsters.  And in the end, we ate the cauliflower and it was good.

Early on, I planted zucchini, yellow squash, and cucumber seeds.  The zucchini and yellow squash took off... they grew and got bigger everyday.  And just when I thought they couldn't get bigger, they did.  The leaves are hanging out of the garden bed as I type.  One day, I noticed a little green bud coming from the ground and I just knew it must be the cucumber plant. But as it grew, I was pretty sure it was a weed instead of a plant.  But I didn't want to pick it just in case it actually was the plant.  It was there for weeks before I opened up a book to find pictures of cucumber plants to realize it was in fact a weed.  But the weird thing was, the weed was pretty.  It was lean and tall and a light green color.  It seemed to add value to my garden even though I knew it didn't.  How crazy is that? After weeks, it was finally pulled.

Since I haven't been gardening long, there are many things I'm learning along the way.  I didn't take into account how big some plants would become.  So I planted 2 tomato plants right next to 2 pepper plants.  The tomato plants grew so big, they towered and blocked the sun to the pepper plants.  The pepper plants ended up dying since they never saw the sun.

Then it hit me one day. I was seeing Jesus all over my garden. His creation can't help but point to Him.  There He was speaking in a still small voice.

Telling me that He is willing to help me rid the bad things of my life that will destroy me.  Telling me He will help me rid each and every bad bug on me and multiple times a day if needed.  Sometimes my leaves have holes in them, but in time they will heal.  

Telling me that some people grow quicker and some grow slower.  And that's ok because everyone works at their own pace with what God has given them.  Some people's journey seems easier and some seem to have to overcome more.  And it's ok that I don't understand why.

Telling me to pull the weeds, even if they are large and seem useful, but He wants to make room for the best things in my life.

Telling me that in the end, it will be worth the hard work.  And the harvest will pay off even when it seems slow-going.

Thank you Jesus for seeking me out in my garden.  Thank you for speaking through your amazing creation.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Happy 10 years Matt!

Happy 10 year anniversary Matt!  Our story is my favorite!

We met our junior year of college.  I had a class with Matt the previous semester, but we didn't really talk.  When spring semester rolled around, I noticed him the minute he walked into class and told him I saved him a seat by me.  It only took 2 weeks of pencil dropping and flirting for him to ask me out.

I remember sitting in the living room of my apartment with my roommates watching a new show called "The Bachelorette" dishing to my roommates about this cute guy that I sat by in one of my classes.  A few minutes later, the phone rang, my roommate answered it and said Matt was on the phone for me.  I thought she was playing a joke and it took me quite a long time to come to the phone.  But I'm glad I did :)

Our first date was Feb 15, 2003... we were engaged 6 months later and married 9 months after that.

Everyday Matt shows me the love of Christ.
Matt is patient and kind to me.  After we had Warrick in 2009, we were both working and constantly exhausted from lack of sleep a new baby brings.  We had a dog named Dexter who we both loved.  But once a baby came into our lives, there seemed to be no time or energy to walk a dog and give him the time he deserved.  I would come home from work and just want to spend time with our little family, but the dog needed walked and was beginning to tear apart the house from boredom.  I started to get upset with Dexter and wanted him gone.  Matt loved Dexter and found a great home for him.  I am forever grateful to be married to a man who loves me selflessly.

Matt is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs.  I was so excited to celebrate Christmas once we had a baby.  I took so many pictures and was excited to share them with our out-of-town family.  I uploaded them that night and something went wrong with my camera and all the pictures were deleted.  I was crushed and really mad.  I threw the camera and it broke even more.  Later I felt like I had ruined our Christmas by acting so immature.  But Matt wasn't mad at me and never brought it up again.

Matt protects me.  At one of my jobs I was having problems with a male co-worker.  I would come home upset and tell Matt how he treated me and the inappropriate things he said to me.   Unknown to me, Matt made an appointment with him and had a very frank talk with him.  I was upset and embarrassed at first, but in the end I was glad that Matt stood up for me and protected me.  

Matt is definitely my better half.  He is the best father I could have imagined for our kids.  And though money is tight, he sees the value in me staying at home with our kids.  Matt takes care of our family and makes a rule not to be gone more than 2 evenings during the week so that we can eat dinner together and be together in the evenings.  Matt puts God first in our marriage.  And that is the key to a great marriage.

Thank you Matt for putting up with my high-strung personality and loving me more everyday.  I love you!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Confessions of a Crappy Mom...

Today I was a really crappy parent.  Today was breakfast with mom's at preschool.  The kids prepare in advance for their mom's to come eat breakfast with them at school... they make a book that they write about their mom, they make a present, and even a cute place-mat for her to put her breakfast on.  

Today, I dropped Warrick off at preschool like I do everyday.  And then I drove away.  Completely forgetting about our breakfast date, which I had received numerous letters home about in the mail, a sweet invitation that Warrick made in school, it was on the May school newsletter, we got emails about it...  I RSVPed, I even had it written on the calendar.  How in the world did I forget?!?  

Warrick was the only one in his class that didn't have his mom at the breakfast.  But don't worry, it's gets even better... they called the principal in to be his "pseudo" mom. 

I didn't even realize I had missed it until Matt picked Warrick up from school.  I was devastated.      

These are the days when the enemy likes to visit and tell me that I'm an inadequate mom.  He reminds me of all the other times that I've screwed up and disappointed my son.  And I actually listened to him and believed him for a while.  

But then I'm reminded by my Heavenly Father that He hand-picked me to be Warrick's mom and that He doesn't make mistakes.  He reminds me that He is the perfect parent and He is continuing to shape me and mold me, and humble me to be more like Him every day, which in turn leads me to be a better parent.  

I apologized to Warrick and had an ugly cry.  And Warrick replied, "It's ok mom, I was line leader today at school!"  

So today, I want to remind all you other parent who think you completely blew it... maybe you did.  I did.  But tomorrow is a new day.  Ask for forgiveness, grieve your mistake, forgive yourself, and move on.  

Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Myrtle Beach

This has been a loooooong winter.  Can I get an amen?  Before winter began, Matt and I talked about Philippians 2:14 (Do everything without complaining or arguing).  We challenged each other to take this verse to heart, since every year we complain about the winter weather.  And we were doing really well... but then February came and the snow just never stopped.  Surely God meant to say "Do everything without complaining, unless your winter is longer than you think it should be."  

Matt and I had been feeling "blah" for a few weeks and had been praying about what to do about it.  A few days later, Matt was talking to a close friend about how he was feeling and our friend told us to go to South Carolina and that he would pay for the entire trip.  We felt like God had answered our prayer.  So we planned our getaway in two days.  

I wanted to document our trip so that I would remember, so I could show the kids, and for my family and some friends who were interested in knowing what we did.  We left Tuesday and came back late on Sunday evening.   

Left our house at 8:30am.  We ate breakfast in our sweet rental van and watched a movie.  I got the kids several small toys and wrapped them so they could open them every 2 hours.  This was a great idea in my head, but as we were driving I realized it wasn't such a great idea.  Instead of hearing "Are we there yet?" 5000 times, it was "Can we open another present?" every 15 minutes!  Now I know better for next time  ;)   

I checked out movies for the kids and magazines and books for myself at the library. 

Warrick read his Lego magazine, we watched movies, ate snacks, and played games.  The kids did so amazing for such a long time in the car!     

After a 14 hour day, we arrived in Myrtle Beach around 10pm.  Matt drove the entire way until the last hour when he wasn't feeling well... we aren't used to so many curvy roads!!!  

Here's a picture of our condo.  

The kids woke up and were excited to not be in the car anymore!  They were excited to jump on the beds and watch cable TV... it doesn't take much to make us happy :)  

Checking out the view from the balcony.  "That's a weird looking tree, mom."  "It's a palm tree."  
We've been living in the cold weather tooooooooo long.  (p.s. there is a heavy-duty screen so the kids couldn't fall out).  

It was cold and rainy so we tried to stay indoors... we drove by a Bass Pro Shop and Matt said the van made him pull into the parking lot.  So we stopped in.  The kids really enjoyed it... they loved the big fish tank, all the mounted animal heads on the walls, and Warrick even found a Duck Dynasty video game and enjoyed shooting ducks.  

Then we went to the beach... it was still really cold, but it had stopped raining.  And we were eager to see the beach.  


Thursday:  Another cold and rainy day... boo!!!  We tried to do several things, but nothing seemed to be in our favor... Alligator Adventure was closed due to cold weather, the indoor pool at the condo didn't work out, and the Children's Museum was closing soon.  I had to quote Philippians 2:14 a few times!  But we ended up renting a redbox and had a day in the condo... and it turned out to be very fun and relaxing!

Went to Alligator Adventure.  Warrick loved this place!!!  We got to pet a turtle, a snake, and an alligator.  

Went back to Alligator Adventure in the morning, ate lunch, then headed to the beach... it was finally warm!!!  

 In the evening, we went putt-putting.  



On Sunday, we checked out of our condo at 7am and headed to Elevation Church in Charlotte NC.  We really enjoyed our time there, the people were so friendly, and Holly spoke... it doesn't get better than that.  But we missed Second Chance Church!!!

1pm on the road... the kids crashed quickly!   

This was my view for the majority of the ride.  I read a lot, played with Warrick, and talked to Tynnley and Paisley.  Matt listened to 2 audio books and a few basketball game.  

11:30pm Finally home!!!  Matt was amazing... he drove the entire trip except for 1 hour, which was about 30ish hours to and from South Carolina.  He was in the zone.  

That's our vacation in a nutshell.  Thanks to our awesome church family that didn't miss a beat while we are gone.  You guys are awesome and we are blessed to be on this journey with you all!!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Day In The Life

Before we had children, I didn't understand what a stay-at-home mom did all day long. I assumed it had something to do with sitting around in pj's, watching Oprah, and eating bon-bon's.  Boy was I wrong!    

A few bloggers that I follow post "day in the life" blogs that I always find fun and interesting to read.  They blog about what they do in a given day.  I always enjoy reading them and so I have been doing a few a year myself.  I have many out of town relatives that enjoy them and it also serves as a journal to look back on later.  

So here was my day yesterday:     

5:55am Paisley woke up and I nursed her.  I attempted to get her to go back to sleep, but she wasn't having it.  
6:25am Paisley sat on my lap while I read the Bible on  We read Acts 1 and Proverbs 25

6:45am Warrick woke up and I turned on PBS for him so I could clean the kitchen and start breakfast
I always regret it when I don't load the dishwasher the night before.  
kitchen before... 

kitchen after...

7:15 Tynnley woke up and I began making breakfast... eggs in a basket.  One of my favorites :)  Tynnley and I ate this with fruit and Warrick just wanted toast, fruit, and a blueberry muffin.

8am threw a load of sheets in the washer and got my workout clothes on
8:15am Tynnley had an existential crisis while on the potty.  She sat here for 10 minutes going on and on and ON and ON saying "why is it called a blueberry muffin when it's purple?"  Finally, I just had to agree that it was a purple muffin instead.  

8:30am Paisley had fallen asleep in the highchair... woke her up, nursed her, dressed Tynnley, and got the kids loaded into the car for the YMCA.  Ran back in the house because I forgot to put the chicken in the crockpot.

9:15am  TurboKick at the YMCA with Tamera, Loran, and Katie
10:15am quick shower
10:30am picked the kids up from childwatch and headed over to preschool open gym.  Nursed Paisley.  This picture is the kids favorite thing to do... lay on a scooter while holding the hula hoop while I swing them around the gym.  I am recently learning the importance of helping Warrick get his energy out instead of expecting a 5 year old boy to sit around calmly at home.  So this open gym is amazing... the kids can literally run wild and bounce off walls for an hour.   

12pm Arrive home and make lunch.  After lunch I pondered how the sink got so full again so fast.  But there wasn't much time for pondering, so I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher.

12:30pm Reading time.  Right now we are reading Little House in the Big Woods.  Warrick wanted to read in his room while camping out.  A string of Christmas lights were the stars in the sky and the kids grabbed their pillows and blankets.   

1pm  Naptime... did you hear the chorus of angels singing?  I did ;)
1:15pm Nursed Paisley while I log onto facebook, check my email and write part of this blog.  Put the sheets in the dryer, folded some laundry and talked to a friend.
3-3:30pm Power nap
Is there anything more precious than a sleeping baby?  I don't think so.

3:30pm Warrick woke up and we did his homework for preschool tomorrow.

3:45pm Tynnley woke up and we did some painting projects.

4:15pm Played junior monopoly or as Warrick calls it "Juniorly Monopular"  

4:45pm dry erase cards 

5pm fed Paisley 2 oz of pumpkin puree... she can't decide if she likes it or not.  

5:15pm Nursed Paisley and set the timer for 15 minutes for the kids to clean up the living room and put their toys and shoes where they belonged.
5:30pm Warrick set the table while I cooked carrots and corn and got half of the chicken out of the crockpot

5:45pm Matt got home and we ate... notice Tynnley the carrot bandit?   

6:30pm  cleaned a fun diaper, soaked a onesie, and then went to Culvers to get ice cream with the kids

7:30pm loaded the dishwasher so I wouldn't have to do it in the morning.  Put Tynnley to bed while Matt put Warrick to bed.  
8pm Put clean sheets on our bed and took sleeping Paisley out of her carseat and put her to bed.
8:30pm Thought about doing some cleaning, but instead logged on facebook, checked my email.
9:15pm bed!  

So that is what a stay-at-home mom does all day long.  Well, that's what I did yesterday... today will be completely different.  How do you spend your days?  Hope you enjoyed reading!