Monday, September 16, 2013

So I can remember...

Leland, 6 years old

Started 1st grade at a new school and loves it.
Still in love with anything sports related. 
School has us really learning to read and do math. It hasn't come easy to him, but he doesn't give up. He even asks to do extra problems or read one more book. I wish I could multiply Scott and I so we could read or work problems with him for hours!
He is getting ready for a baby brother and got new bunk beds to share with him. 
Lately, he wants to play bingo with his sister, work on a world map game he has and play with the yoyo he won at school.
He is so very social, telling me about all the kids at school and asking if several can come to our house.
He holds my hand during big church, helps me carry stuff all the time and does the funniest dances.
Oh, how I love him.

Evy, 4 years old

Started preschool several weeks ago and can't get enough of it.
She is constantly wanting to swing outside or play puzzles inside.
Just recently she came home reciting a days of the week song and the Pledge of Allegiance. She is so proud of herself and we are too!  We still mix up the colors red and yellow all the time, but she loves to learn.
Lately, she is has been teaching her little sister how to take care of the babies and is always wanting to put the music on so they can dance.  Her favorite is Lion King songs!
She likes to sit in my lap anytime we are sitting near each other, is constantly asking if she can help me with daily tasks and is always making me smile by her goofy faces.
I'm amazed by how much joy she brings me.

Livingston, 18 months

Since everyone has started off to school in the past month or so, it's just us two.
I'm trying to relish this as it is a fleeting season because little brother will be here soon.
She is very into books and makes us read them to her over and over. 
So our few hours alone are spent doing that, watching Elmo (her biggest NEW LOVE) and running errands. 
We can't get over how much she has grown in the last several months and how independent she has gotten. 
She goes off by herself sometimes just to feed or rock her babies.  
We've also noticed how fierce she is...daring to go through the BIG play sets and climb just about everything. 
She's been learning different animals, saying family members names and likes to point out where her ears, nose at etc. are.
My favorite thing is to look back at her driving and she gives me this scrunching nose grin.
She thinks it's funny to tell me she is Daddy's baby,  gives me big kisses all day long and loves for me to sing her songs. 
She still gives me butterflies. 

My children drive me crazy and there are certainly days that I want nothing more than to run off to Hawaii.  But when I stop for a moment to think of all the good and joy they bring me, I always find myself shocked that I've been given such amazing gifts. 

Now I think I'll go squeeze their cheeks! : )

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Keep on Trying

The last few days have been full and tiring.  My girls have been sick with allergies and cranky as all get out.  I'm also having congestion issues so I cannot breath and therefore cannot get a good nights sleep.  Because I've had so much going on this week, I have not been able to nap while they nap.  When we got home from picking Evy up from preschool yesterday...they were eating lunch and watching a little show.  I went into the boys room and sat down in the rocking arm chair.  It was quiet and dark in there.  I remember just breathing and feeling some release of all that had felt infringing on me.  I was looking at the baby's bed and thinking of all I need to do before he gets here.  Oh my.  

I have been dealing with lots of parenting issues lately and honestly have been a little discouraged.  I feel like I just do not have the energy or emotional strength to constantly be fighting these battles.  And these aren't even HUGE or life-altering problems...I can't imagine how discouraged I'd feel if it was something like that.  These are enough to leave me tired and disheartened.  

As I sit rocking quietly by myself pondering all my children and their needs, I thought back to a moment in college.  It was my freshmen year, I was struggling.  Dealing with loneliness, overwhelming tasks and a lot of my own sin.  I was definitely at a breaking point of ordering a large pizza and locking myself in my dorm room for a month.  But my sweet sister sent me a little package to encourage me.  One of the items was a cassette tape (gasp...what even is that antique item) with a song from one of my fav movies from the time...Hope Floats. The song is Smile and it's lyrics are below.   

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it's breaking
Though there are clouds in the sky, you get by
If you smile through your fears and sorrows
Smile and maybe tomorrow, you'll see the sun come shining through
If you just light up your face with gladness, hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever, ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find life is worthwhile
If you'll just smile, come on and smile, if you just smile

Read more: Lyle Lovett - Smile (from Hope Floats) Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I don't think life is as easy as this song, though.  Sometimes, smiling our way through problems...especially ones as tender to our hearts as those with our children isn't that easy. We need something bigger, more steady to hang onto.  Faking it until we make it, just doesn't always work.  Thankfully, we don't parent alone in this world...even if you are a single mom.  We have a God that is very real and cares very deeply for even the smallest battles we face daily.  That is why we can't leave our relationships with God to just Sunday mornings or those few miraculous moments where we find some free time to dive into His Word.  We have to be connecting with Him daily...however that needs to look for you.  Keeping His Word near us on post it notes or making time to visit the Bible app while the kiddos are playing at your feet. We can pray often and I find the car rides to/from errands a great time to get in sync with the Lord. 

The point is...we can't do this parenting thing alone.  We also can't quit.  I think my favorite line from that song is "That's the time you must keep on trying".  I can remember feeling that surge of determination and hope as I listened to that line all those years ago.  Crying alone in my dorm, knowing tomorrow was going to be different because I wasn't going to give up.  I was going to keep trying.  So lately, I just keep telling aren't failing as long as you aren't giving up.   

and how could I give up on these cute little faces?

So fear not friends and don't let the struggles of this life get you down. 
Remember, God is a parent too and think of how our struggles hurt his heart. 
He does not give up on us and He has overcome the world. 
We have hope!

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Blessed Inheritance

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children,
but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous. Proverbs 13:22, ESV

I cannot imagine our lives without our parents and grandparents.  They give us support, help and joy!  Our kids are forever blessed by the love that is lavished on them by all their grandparents. It is true what Proverbs says...that "a good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children".   I'm so grateful for the many good things our children are inheriting from our parents and Scott's grandparents.  

Happy Grandparent's Day to
Papa & Key, Grandaddy Herman & Granny, Papaw & Nana, and Grandaddy Jeff!

We love you!
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