Friday, July 25, 2008

More Swimming

Warning...More shameless bragging is about to proceed.

AIDAN CAN SWIM! I told you last week we had one more week of swim lessons. Yesterday was his last day and after the lessons were finished he was feeling pretty brave and confident. He jumped off the side to me at about 6 feet and then turned and swam to the side. Next we headed to the deep end and he did the same thing. Finally he climbed up on the diving board and jumped! I was in the water just in case, but he really did it all on his own and then he swam all the way to the side. He did this at least five times. I would have to say that is swimming by my standards! I am so proud of my sweet boy. Swimming and going to really are growing up and it is almost more than this mommy can take. I love you more and more everyday! I am so very proud of you Aidan!

Who is this teenager living in my home?

Look at the attitude that came with that sassy little sun dress! I believe I have heard people argue that the way you dress does not change the way you act...I think I would have to beg to differ on that. I mean just look at this girl.

And like always I have to throw in a cute picture (or two) of the baby. I mean who doesn't enjoy pictures of sweet one year old babies!!!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

His Burden is Light

I haven't written much about what the Lord is teaching me lately. I don't really have a reason, I just know that I have to feel inspired to write those things and I haven't felt that. I would have felt like I was forcing words just to say something deep or spiritual, but that is not the way God works in my life. I don't have to force words, He gives me words, He teaches my soul. I am not a very deep thinker by nature and I am not the best at putting words to what God is teaching me. I can tell when I write something that is from Him, because the words just flow easily.

I don't have a clear message to articulate today, but I felt the urge to write so we will see where this goes. I have felt so near to the Lord lately, He is with me. He is speaking and I pray that I can listen, that I can hear and follow where He leads. This thing called spiritual growth, or maturity, or whatever you want to call it is really such a mystery to me. Every time I walk away from a situation in my life and I speak to God seeking to know what that was all about, asking Him to help me see why He ordained that situation I realize that I have been changed. Every time I think to pray when I am feeling frustrated by my kids, I know that I have been changed. Every time I am driving down the street and my thoughts turn to God, I know that He is alive and working.

You see, that is not me. I am not a person who prays throughout the day, I am not a person who seeks to parent in a way that is pleasing to my Lord and points my kids to the Lord. Well, I guess that may be confusing because it is me, but it only by Gods grace. It is not of me! I get so caught up on comparisons sometimes. Not necessarily material comparisons (although I am just as prone to that as the next guy), but spiritual or emotional. I watch other people and think, God why can't I be calm loving and seasoned with grace with my kids? Why did you not make me more like that? Why can't I be more like so and so or like that person over there? Mind you I forget that I am the person I am, I am the mom that I am, because that is who the Lord has made me and not because of who I am by my very nature. When I play the comparison game I am really saying I am not happy with the way I was made, I am not happy with who I am. When I go to the Lord and thank Him for the changes He has made and is continuing to make and I ask Him to further change me in the areas He is convicting me then I can be grateful for what He has done and thankful for the journey He has me on.

I ran into a woman last night and as I ended the conversation with her I found myself thinking about a possible future event, wondering how I would walk through that and doubting my ability to say yes to the Lord if He called me to that. I stayed there for several hours, feeling burdened and weak. Mind you I had just lead a bible study with several girls and as we discussed things that drive us and push us, idols that we worship (things like approval from others and our our appearances), I took them to the verse that says "Come to me those who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28-30). I reminded them that these burdens and pressures we live under are not of the Lord! I told them how special this verse has been to me over the past year and how the Lord has continually brought me back to it. Now, a few hours later, look where I am sitting. I am feeling burdened. I am feeling like I cannot follow the Lord, like I am too weak to take up my cross and walk the path the Lord may be leading me to ( again, notice I said may lead me does involve a direction he is leading but it not a path I am being asked to walk today). I am sitting and feeling discouraged that I can't really do it, I can't really Follow Him in all that entails. I am not capable of being His disciple.

And you know what, I am not. I cannot follow the Lord in my own strength. I can't but I do know that the Lord is and will continue to prepare me for the path He has for me. He has done it in the past and He will do it again. I know that I worship a God who created the heavens and the earth...He is capable of strengthening me and erasing my doubt. And even if He doesn't fully erase my doubt He will strengthen me as I walk through the doubt.

We just watched a movie with a group from church based on the book of John. The thing that stood out to me as I watched was Peter. The Lord told Peter that He would betray Him and He said no Lord, I am willing to die for you. I can relate to that. In a moment of clarity and closeness to the Lord I will lay it all down, I will say Yes Lord, whatever you have for me that is what I desire. I want nothing more than to know you and follow you no matter what that means, but then He asks me to proclaim Him, to put action to that statement and I fail. It may be something as simple as feeling God asking me to say something to someone about who He is or asking me to pray with someone and in that moment, I choose to deny Him and what He asks, and seek comfort out of fear. That is really what Peter did. He denied Him, not once but three times in a row. He chose to let fear reign. How I relate to that. But I found so much comfort in a conversation that the Lord had with Him after he had risen. He asked Peter three times if He loved Him and 3 times Peter said yes. Jesus followed that up by telling him to tend to His flocks. 3 times He asked. 3 times Peter had denied Him. He never condemned Him, but He gave Peter a chance at redemption. What grace, mercy, love, and compassion Jesus showed. Yes, Peter was weak and He failed, but the Lord used that as a chance to strengthen and redeem him. We can see how in the perfect time, Peter was used by the Lord in the remainder of the New Testament. We can see how faithful the Lord is to redeem that which is fallen.

Yes, I am weak, but Christ is strong in my weakness. Yes, I may fail, Yes I may fall, but the Lord is faithful and He is Good. He will redeem! I don't have to trust in my own strength. I can trust in the Lord and I can know that as I wait on His perfect timing He will strengthen me and prepare me. He will never give up on me...For His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Recent Craftiness

I recently found myself on the scrap booking isle at Hobby Lobby and considering that I don't scrapbook I began racking my brain with what I could do with all the fun papers that they make. That is when I remembered that I have had a wooden letter R at home that I bought before Rebecca even turned one (mind you she is THREE now). I decided that I should cover the R with this cute paper. All I did was cut the paper to fit, glue it down with modge podge, and then cover the paper with another coat of modge podge. See how cute it turned out.

The next thing I had to do was figure out where to hang it. I had painted the shape of a headboard on Becca's wall over a year ago and I never finished it because I wasn't fully pleased with the way it looked so I finished up the detail work and hung that cute pink R right there.

I had found so many cute scrap booking papers that I knew I would be doing more to add some fun colors into her room. I ran across a picture of a bed with stars hanging above it and this idea was created. These are literally made out of cardboard boxes I had laying around the house and they are modge podged just like the letter above. I love these stars above her bed because they remind of how Becca used to always look up at the sky when it was night and with total awe she would say look mommy, God made me more stars!
Now I just need some cute throw pillows made of fabric that will tie everything together.
I also made Becca a bow holder to hang in her room. I had bought a block of wood that (just like her letter) I intended to paint over a year ago and make a bow holder. Well, that never happened but I did recently complete the project. And yes, you guessed it, I used more paper and modge podge.

And finally, I modge podged this H and have it on our fire place. It is actually my favorite thing I did. I just love that paper.

Well, that pretty much explains what has kept me busy (other than the 3 kids who live in my house and call me mommy) for the past week or two. I have many more projects that I want to finish in the next several weeks including painting Becca's bookshelf that has never been painted, painting her hand me down dresser, and then the living room and the hall. I tend to operate like this...I will do nothing for quite a while and then I get inspired and I get way to busy for a bit. I have sure enjoyed these little projects and the opportunity to get a little creative.


I have to brag for a minute. My little Aidan can swim. He isn't swimming all over the pool with no help at all but he has fully mastered the ability to swim to me...a good ten feet from the steps. This is huge for Aidan. He has always been a little fearful and just did not believe that he could do it, but this week he started swimming lessons and by day three he was swimming to his teacher on his own. I literally had tears in my eyes as I watched him. I was so proud of him and how brave he was. I loved watching the excitement as he ran to me to make sure I saw. Oh ya, I saw and I am just as proud as you are little man! We have one more week of lessons and I am eager to see how it goes. The kids are thoroughly enjoying it and I am so impressed with the teachers they have had this time.

Rebecca is in Aidan's class also and she is so funny to watch. When they are about to try a new thing she jumps up and makes sure the teacher knows she wants to go first. When she waits in line to jump off the side she keeps her hand on the back of the person in front of her and she ever so subtly gives a little push when they jump and she hurries back to the end of the line, usually beating the person that was in front of her. It has been so much fun to watch them at their lessons this year.

See Rebecca's hand on this poor girls back

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Sense Crying Over Spilled Milk

I tried to tell him, but he just wouldn't listen...

It probably didn't help that I was laughing and grabbing the camera rather than consoling him, but it was just too cute.
And just in case even one of you is impressed for even a second that I was laughing at this, I must confess that the day before spilled grape juice just about brought me to tears. It all depends on the day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

4th of July Celebration

We spent the 4th of July weekend in the big city of Clovis, NM visiting family and just hanging out. We had a great time with Trace's family (his brother and sister were both able to make it in town also) and enjoyed a laid back 4th of July. Here are some pictures...

The kids made festive shirts for them to wear

Went to the park for fun, food, and fireworks

Had ice cream and snow cones

We even introduced Andrew to Popsicles

The kids enjoyed playing with Aunt Suzan

Grampa Bob and Gran

Andrew's favorite toy of the night...his friend the June Bug (don't worry - no bugs were harmed in the taking of this picture)

Played some soccer Hugged
and watched the bright lights
Hung out with Daddy
attempted to fly a kite (very unsuccessfully)

Spent time together as a family

Played lots of games

and got spoiled by Gran.

All in all it was a good trip!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Andrew had two major milestones yesterday morning. First he walked across the room and fell into my arms laughing. He has taken up to 4 steps but never walked across the room. Here is a picture of another attempt.

Second, he mastered the art of photography. Check out his skills. Pretty impressive don't you think?

I just had to share. Have a great day!

Works for me - Easy Shredded Chicken Meat

I don't normally participate in fact this is the first time. Who knows maybe it will be a new thing for me, or maybe just this once. However, I was so excited about getting a bunch of simple, fast recipes that I decided I should share one as well and let all of you know where you can get a whole slew of other easy recipes.

Cooking is great fun in theory, but at my house it usually involves things like a one year old pulling up at my feet (or just crying at my feet) while my other kids decide this would be a perfect time to play chase through the already cozy kitchen we have. If things happen to be calm then I can almost guarantee that someone will desperately need that game up on the top shelf that hasn't been played with in a year, or will have a sudden unquenchable thirst, or some other gigantic emergency. I have come to rely on fast easy meals or my family just isn't going to get a meal for dinner. With that being said this is one of my favorites because it is yummy, versatile, and easy.

Here it is:
Shredded Chicken
4-6 chk breasts
1 can chk broth
1 package of taco seasoning
Mix all together in the crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours on low. At end of the day shred the chicken with forks. You can use this to make chicken tacos, nachos, put on a salad, or make quesadillas.
This is also one of my favorites to deliver as a meal for family and friends. I just add the stuffings and tortillas and it is ready to eat.

If you want more easy (5 ingredient or less) meals head on over to Rocks in My Dryer and snoop around this edition of Works for Me Wednesday.