Friday, May 29, 2009

This is the note I sent in Aidan's lunch today. I can't believe that my fist born is graduating from Kindergarten! It is wild! He brought home a "diploma" the other day to certify that he had in fact completed Kindergarten and all I could do was cry. I just can't believe how old and grown up he is. I am so excited about summer, going at a slower pace, and spending lots of time at the pool, but I can't believe how fast this year has gone. I can totally see how you could wake up one day and it all be over. It would be so easy to feel like you missed it. I don't want that to happen. I pray I will be intentional with the time I have with my kids. When they are born 18 years feels like an eternity, but then all of the sudden they are finishing kindergarten and it all happened in a flash.

End of the year is a busy time for parents of school age kids and our lives have been full. Here are some pictures of what we have been up to.

We had a hot dog picnic the other day

Then the kids played a game
that looked like mass chaos to me but was fun for them.
Next we went inside for ice cream sundays (yummy!). I just loved this picture of Aidan's classmate with the whipped cream on her nose.
The kids had dress up day and could dress up like pirates or Hawaii style. Aidan chose a pirate. I talked him into the parrot on his shoulder...I just think it is fun. They have also had favorite shirt day, glasses day, and favorite hats.
I got to be a part of field day which was super fun for everyone!
Look at the intensity on that face while he is jumping hurdles.
And of course they had tug of war. We did boys against
girls! And don't let there cuteness surprise you, they were tough!

Aidan, you have grown and matured this year. You have an eagerness about life that I love to see. You love to learn and I pray you will always have an excitement to learn about the things and people around you. You have a sweet tender heart that the Lord has blessed you with. Give all of it to Him! It is such a joy to be your mom. I am so thankful for you.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Some Changes...

Life is full of change right now. I actually have so much change going on that it is hard to write a simple post and give an update. I haven't been very good about blogging and almost always that means there is a lot going on both in my real life and in my heart. Things that sometimes seem hard to put into words, but I will give it a shot.

The Lord has been very active and pressing on our hearts in many, many ways. One of those things is to get out of debt. It sounds so wise and logical when I say that, but we are not particularly wise and logical people. I hear people talk about the freedom you can experience when you are debt free and as great as that sounds I have to say that the only reason I would ever make this choice is because of the work of the Lord. I love immediate gratification. In the past I have been known to decide I wanted something and be purchasing it soon afterward. I was not opposed to credit cards. I liked the idea of travel and fun and money to be able to do those things and buy the things I wanted. I am still very prone to fall into those habits at times and for my desires to be selfish, but this is something different. I have a desire to get out of debt so that I can more fully and strategically serve my Father. This time it isn't about me. God is leading us on a path to financial freedom all for His glory and I just pray He will give us the strength to be faithful to the path He has laid out before us. The funny thing is that if I had been one of those naturally wise and logical people I might have made better choices in the past and not have needed to get out of debt, at least not as much debt. That however, is not the way the Lord has chosen to act in my life.

So several months ago we decided that we should sell our house and move into one that is cheaper. With the interest rates as low as they are there was a great opportunity to save money on our monthly mortgage. We prayed about this and really felt like that is the direction the Lord was leading. We listed our house and it sold in 3 weeks, which was pretty amazing. We then spent several weeks trying to find a place to live. That proved to be much more difficult and stressful than we anticipated, but we now have a contract on a house and we will move in just a few short weeks.

It has been a journey and we have had our moments of doubt where we questioned the whole process and why we were moving out of our home, into something that needs a lot of work. I have shed tears and been full of doubt. I have needed to cling to His promises and remember that He has gone before us and has picked out the perfect home for our family. That He never doubted if we would have a place to sleep. It has been a trial and it isn't over yet, but He has provided us a home and we are looking forward to turning it into our home. Some things that I am especially excited about are the floor plan and the location. We will literally be 2 minutes away from Trace's office. He will have so much more time with us at home. He will be able to be a part of our morning routine and will have more time at home with all of us in the evenings. I know that will prove to be a great blessing to me and the kids.

I mentioned at the top of the post that we are going through many changes and this is one of the main ones that is on the forefront of our minds, but we have also decided that we are going to home school our children next year. Aidan will be in
1st grade and Rebecca will be doing preschool work at home. The Lord is providing clarity for our family about this decision and is leading us in regards to this decision also. This post has already gotten long enough so I think I will leave a more detailed post about homeschooling for another day, but I will say that the Lord has given me an eagerness and excitement about this decision that I did not have originally. More details to come soon...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Andrew!

Sunday was Mother's Day and I found it very fitting that we would also be celebrating Andrew's 2nd birthday on that day. After all, he is one very important reasons that I am even privileged enough to get to celebrate Mother's Day. Trace gave me some time away on Friday night and all day long on Saturday. It was a wonderful and encouraging time for me (but I will write more about that later) then on Sunday we had my mom, dad, and younger siblings join us for dinner to celebrate both Mother's Day and the very Special Birthday boy. I simply cannot believe Andrew is two. It was a pretty simple gathering with a few presents, cupcakes, and ice cream. Here is Andrew when we sang Happy Birthday to him.

And this is the only picture I got of him smiling. He was much to distracted for pictures.

Andrew, you are such a gift from the Lord. I treasure my time with you. You are a strong personality and you can go from making me laugh and smile, to just about pushing me over the edge . Life with you is never boring and I am getting to learn more about humility with you every day. One of the most consistent prayers that I pray for you is that you would grow into a man of tremendous self control, because (let's face it) it will definitely take the hand of the Lord to accomplish that. I also pray that you are captivated by the heart of God and you follow hard after him. Nothing would delight me more than to see that come true and I trust that the Lord has already began a work in your heart. I love how you look around and try to bow your head when we pray at the dinner table. You are so eager to be a part of everything that happens around you. You love to play with your big brother and sister. You have been learning new words daily. You mimic everything you hear and really think you are contributing to all our conversations. You have grown to love to read books. You run to retrieve a book and eagerly present it to me to read to you. Reading with you is such a fun thing to do. You still love to play cars and now have developed an interest for animals. Your very favorite thing in the world is to play outside. You enjoy getting to "wing" (swing) and you love playing ball of any type. Your baths are one of the highlights of your day and are quite wet for anyone in the room. You love to splash and swim in the water. I can't wait to see what you are like at the pool this summer. It is such a blessing to be your mommy! I love you more than I could ever begin to put into words!