Monday, April 30

Races.Big Nasty.Cake and Healing

 Here are seven things that we have been up to lately since I am so behind on blogging. I have about 5 posts that I am working on so this will have to do until I find some time to sit and edit what I have going on... ENJOY!!

1) Phillips sister Jessica came to town for a local Mission Project that their Ethiopia Mission Team did 2 Saturdays ago. She came in Friday and spent the weekend with us and returned home Monday. It was really great having her here. I wish we were closer. Love you Jess!
Emme and I waiting at the Airport for Jessica! I knew God was telling me to get a Starbucks before heading out there. 3 kids waiting for a delayed flight will cause a momma to lock herself in the janitors closet for 5 mins while she flails and screams before returning to her children all calm and collected. Unless however... You have your Starbucks. :)

2) The saturday of the Mission Project I got to run a 1k with my kids. It was fun. Just 2/3 of a mile. half way through Emme stomped her little feet on the pavement and clenched her fists while telling me in a really sweet but very bossy voice "It hurts Mommy. I hurt!" So I ran with her on my back the rest of the way. She immediately felt heavier then 30 pounds. I also got to watch one of my dear friend (#121) run her 1st 5k with our friend Veronica, who was also running her 1st 5k (#193). I was so proud and really impressed. I cried! HA! And sweet little "J" (#27) who is 10 ran his 1st 5k in like 24 minutes! He did awesome!!
3) After the races I dropped everyone off at the local Mission Project except for Emme and headed to a Birthday party for sweet little Preslee Jill. After the party Emme and I headed back over to the local Mission Project to lend a hand. The team was working with Buckner Homes which houses single moms and their children while they are going to school. It essentially helps them get back on their feet after being in abusive or horrible situations. It was an honor to serve these women and serve alongside this awesome team! I am so excited about their upcoming trip to Ethiopia. One of the jobs the team had was to fix and clean up one of the apartments on site. A mother with her 3 children had lived there but packed up and left one day. Leaving the apartment a WRECK. Phillip said there was so much Cock Roach poop on the counter that he at first thought it was coffee grounds that had been spilt. There was also a Sick Nasty bath tub that needed to be cleaned. I didn't see it first hand but I heard enough about it to give me nightmares. Apparently there was busted old eggs in the tub, food, hair and other mysterious slime. Everyone was painting and I didn't have a job when I got there so I decided to tackle the Big Sick Nasty. It was the single most disgusting thing I have ever cleaned. And Yes! I wore gloves!! 
4) On Sunday we took Jessica to church with us then hung out with my family at my moms house for awhile. We laughed as my dad and brother-in-law tried to figure out how to fix this big broken umbrella. And continued to laugh as Jill (my sister) picked it up and said "Aint nobody gonna rain on my parade now!" It was perfect, priceless and so fitting for the conversation we were in. I am thankful for the spirit my sister has. She can easily turn a serious moment into a moment of laughter. Then we found this little critter on the patio. I hadn't seen one since I was a kid. 
5) The rest of the week we just played and swam all day. I fed my kids the most ooey gooey chocolate cake for breakfast on Wednesday, and on Thursday realized that all of my time at the pool and left me with this nauseating load of laundry. I looked at it, piled another load on top to die with the rest of the clothes. Grabbed my pool bag and walked out the door. It was just one of those weeks. (I didn't quickly regret that decision later)
6) I got a sweet surprise from a friend after a really frustrating day. She had dropped it off at my front door early that day but I never saw it. I always go in around back. She texted me that evening and told me to check my door. It was so thoughtful and so kind. I admit my Love Languae is gifts. :) We had an on going joke that night about next time she brings me a gift she will Duct Tape it to the garage door in multicolored Duct Tape so I won't miss it! 
Incase you can't tell what that is, it is a plastic wine glass with a straw and lid. HA!!
7) I went to Girls Night Out last night at my church and left a new woman. I have felt so tired lately. not physically but spiritually. I have felt so dull, dried out, and restless. Since bringing Emme home I have experienced a spiritual battle that I wasn't ready for and my soul has been to weary to fight it. Kayla (our amazing pastors wife) spoke on Titus 2. And to go along with the teaching She had tables set up and table leader (who were elders wives or older women leaders in our church) sitting at each table. You were given a colored arm band when you came in to service and that color would determine where you sat that night. The idea behind the colored wrist bands was to separate friends and to get everyone to meet new women. It was the first time that I felt alone in the same room as my friends. A couple of my friends were paired together but I was alone. God knew I needed this. I need to be stretched or I get comfortable and I don't grow. I sat down at my table and immediately it felt right. I knew God had ordained that group! These women...Bless their hearts... I was a snotting, sobbing train wreck at that table. Everything discussed has been whats bugging me lately. Things like Submission to my husband which I FAIL at DAILY and parenting your children. It all just hit home and I let it all out. It was so healing for me and freeing to be able to talk about it with people who were so emotionally connected to all the things I was feeling. I am so thankful for my church and for the hearts of our leaders. And for Kayla to step out and talk about such a touchy subject. Your obedience was definitely blessed!! 

So thats been the cray whirlwind of our life lately. We've been scattered all over the place. This week I am in full baby shower mode for a very special friend! We are finally getting to celebrate sweet Camp Elder. I cannot wait!!

Tuesday, April 17

Life in iPhone Pics

Finally days of swimming are upon us!!
A fun visit from cousins. 
Emme adores babies. 
Who doesn't love FroYo?!
Swimming obviously requires eating fishy themed foods! Right?!
MY favorite family portrait done by Parker himself! 
Our new Backyard art space! I love it way more then the kids do! HA!
The end of 40days of Water has arrived!!!!!!! 
Lunch dates with these 2 bring me so much joy. I love these goofballs! 

More on my 40days later.......... 

Wednesday, April 11

Easter Weekend

We had so much fun this Easter with the kids. It was FULL of Easter celebrations. Our first was a fantastic Egg Hunt for Parker's class and the other kindergarten class at his school, it was held at one of the Country Club here in our city. It was fancy, sweet and just so much fun. Emme and Beckham sure enjoyed themselves too. They had face painting, and Easter Bunny, cookie decorating, yummy food, cupcakes and so much more.

On Saturday Daddy went shooting with family and I stayed home with my mom and dyed eggs with the littles. It was a lot of fun. None of my kids have ever dyed eggs before. I have always been to nervous. The mess intimidates me. 
Later on Saturday we went to High Sky Children Ranch. Highsky is a shelter basically for children who are stuck or caught up in the foster care system in our area. It is full, crowded and heavy. I immediately fell in love with a little guy who is probably 3 or 4. He is beautiful, rowdy, kind and full of life. I only know a bit of his story and it is heart breaking. While looking into his eyes while listening to his stories all I could see was my son Beckham who is just around his age. I don't know why things happen to these precious littles but they do. Our world is broken, hurting and struggling. Children like him are tangible proof that the world needs Jesus. They need hope. There were several moments with this little guy that God had to literally intervene or else I would loose and kidnap him and bring him home. He asked me to come back to his cabin to pray with him about his nightmares. He suffers from extreme nightmares. He told me in one of them there is a big man who is trying to get him and he hides under a dining table and screams for help. He is 3 or 4. This is not ok. This little guy needs prayer warriors to intervene. He needs a mommy to tuck him in and a daddy to shepherd his heart. He needs Jesus. So I crouched down and I prayed with him. I begged Jesus to take away these nightmares and to bring him peace and to bring him hope. It was tough leaving him. I cry and think about him daily. If only I had one more room. I would bring him home. I was really proud of my life group for setting up this evening with these kids. We fed them pizza, and homemade cupcakes. We hid eggs and watched them run to find them. Things like this is how we should celebrate Jesus. Being his hands and feet. Serving the least, the forgotten, the ones he loves, his people. 
My sweet Easter Chickens at my moms after church. 
They were all so proud of their eggs. 
They were worn out after their egg hunt out at my moms. After 2 services at church, a big ole meal, lots of running and egg hunting I would have fallen asleep in my basket too! HA!
Easter was great. One of the best yet. As my family grows to understand what Easter is all about I find more joy and reasons to celebrate with them. I didn't do any of the things I posted in the last post. I am a failure I know. Life got busy and I just forgot. I am so unintentional. Next year I will do better. We didn't put a whole lot of emphasis on Eggs, Bunnies, and candy though. I know it looks like it in the pics. But really we didn't. It was kind of like an add on to the holiday. Something fun to do. Memories being made. 

After Phillip and I talked about Easter and what it means to us he brought up a good point...

Millions of people in America get together to celebrate Easter. Whether it be the Easter Bunny Easter or the Jesus Easter. Everyone celebrates it in one way or another and more people attend church on Easter then any other Sunday (other then Christmas Eve) of the year. At some point during all the Easter hoopla Christ is acknowledged and his sacrifice is made know. A seed is presented and ultimately planted. He asked me what my deal with Easter really was. Is it that Easter has been made up of all these other things and we have lost our focus or is it really the Jesus isn't recognized enough and isn't talked about enough? It is clearly the ladder of the 2. What harm does the Easter Bunny really do? It is our job to be the light in the dark world. To be a light during the Easter celebrations. It is our job to make Christ known. And sometimes and Easter bunny and Easter eggs can be a great tool. Just food for thought. We will see what happens next year with Easter. Right now. I will teach my kids about Jesus and teach them to be a light no matter the situation or circumstance. 
I hope your Easter was amazing and filled with lots of memories just like ours was.