Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Late Easter Pictures

I never uploaded my Easter pictures and I thought that grandparents would enjoy seeing them. Here are just a few pictures I took. I love how Becca is looking at Andrew in this one.

The Boys

And them with there baskets (I tried to do small simple things this year and each of them got a pair of summer shoes in there baskets, just trying to be practical).

We had a great Easter and have had a busy few weeks. I really will try to post again really soon, maybe even this afternoon (but don't hold your breath, I have been really bad about that).

I wanted to add a cute little story about Becca. Andrew has had bad allergies lately so I was giving him a dose of Benadryl last night to help him sleep and Becca asked for some medicine. I told her she couldn't have any because she isn't having any allergies. To which she protested...I never get to have allergies, I want allergies! The things they say.

It made me laugh.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Rebecca

We celebrated my sweet Rebecca's birthday a few weeks back on Easter weekend. It is so hard for me to believe that she is 4 already! Seriously, where does the time go? She is so smart and such a joy to spend my days with. She has the most contagious laugh and she giggles all the time. I have called her the little mommy because she tries very hard to boss the boys around and she has taken that name on for herself with pride.

Since her birthday fell right after Easter we decided to do an Easter themed party. It was fun to plan and I think the kids had a good time. Here are some pictures from the day.

We made bunny masks.

These are Dough Ornaments that I made for the kids to paint. They got the small ones and we put them on ribbon to make necklaces.

These are what mine looked like after I painted a couple as an example.

These are some of the artists.

Another table painting.

And the last table.

We did bunny hop races. Here is the first group.

And the younger group.

I ordered these online and the kids got to color there own bag.

Here was the egg on the the spoon relay. Andrew really thinks he is going to be a part of the relay, he is back there waiting in line.

Finally we had a scavenger hunt that lead the kids to the front yard for the traditional Easter egg hunt.

They all gathered in the front yard before taking off in all different directions to claim their eggs.

The hunt is on.

Even Andrew found some eggs.

Here are my bunny and flower cupcakes.

Singing to the birthday girl.

And a final game of duck, duck goose to finish off the party.

After the party ended we got to open some presents with family inside. She was a little excited about this.

Rebecca had a great time. Thanks for helping us celebrate her! Rebecca, you are a gift from the Father and I am so thankful to get the privilege of being your mommy! I love you very much my big 4 year old!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Sweet Lesson on the Father's Love

This morning on the way to take sweet Aidan to school, I had a sudden and unexpected encounter with a 16-year-old boy. He was on his way to school, the roads were slick, and he slid right into the back of me when I was stopped at a light. The damage to the mommy mobile isn't all that bad. The kids were understandably frightened but not injured. We got out and this kind, polite boy asked if everyone was OK. He was obviously upset, but he handled himself very well. We called the police and then He decided he needed to call his dad. His dad drove over and was visibly frustrated. You could hear it in his voice as he reprimanded his son. He wasn't necessarily inappropriate and I wouldn't have expected a father to behave any differently. It wasn't long before we were on our way. The father and the son both apologized and I left.

I was on my way home and I was reflecting on that teenage boy. I remembered making HUGE mistakes and having to make the dreaded phone call to my own father. I remember having to listen to him as he told me that I just needed to think, to use my head, slow down and stop making careless mistakes. Sometimes these conversations were based in love and sometimes it was just too frustrating for my dad to be able to remain calm. I was thinking about how that feels, to know you messed up, to know there will be consequences, to feel little bitty, and at the same time to have to listen to someone explain to you what you did wrong. With every word spoken you shrink further into self doubt and inability.

The next thing that occurred to me was the reaction of my Heavenly Father when I come to Him after making a mistake or choosing to act in sin. He never feels the need to Lord our sins over us. He let's us come, repent, and soak in His grace. He is so good, He is a merciful and compassionate God who beckons us to come and sit at His feet and take our fill of His love, His unconditional, limitless love. I am so thankful for the love of the Father! I am thankful for the way He speaks to me in the midst of my daily life and whispers His sweet truths to me.

When we come and repent we aren't promised that we will never suffer the consequences of our behavior (that would not be just) but we are guaranteed that we will find love, forgiveness, and acceptance in the midst of our sin filled existence. The next thing that occurred to me is how powerful it would have been in my own life after one of those "huge mistakes" if my father would have come to me and not said a word, but wrapped me in his loving embrace, knowing what I did was wrong, careless, and even stupid. What if he never felt the need to even tell me that, but yet he loved me through it. What if that father today had loved his son through it, never even speaking a critical word. What a powerful reflection of the Father he could have been.

I have found myself pondering my parenting today. I think there is a time and a place for me to correct, train, and teach my kids, but sometimes the most effective thing I can do is wrap them in my loving embrace and love them through it. That doesn't mean that we protect them from the consequences of the behavior, but sometimes we already know the mistakes we made...all we need is to know that we are loved in spite of those mistakes. Ephesians 4:29 is a verse that I have been praying and meditating on lately. It has application to EVERY single area of my life, but I have been specifically praying to see that verse become true in my home. I so desire our home to be place that encourages my family, that builds them up and gives them a safe place to fall when they do fall. The lesson that the Father had for me today directly relates to building a home environment that allows my husband, our children, and our family as a whole to not only survive but to blossom. I pray that in His strength I will be able to reflect the love of the Father more clearly in my own parenting.