New for Thursday

In the spirit of Thanksgiving I have decided to begin a "Thankful Thursday" on my blog. Why, you ask? OK, maybe all 2 of you are not asking why, but I am going to tell you anyway. Because I want to be thankful. I want to speak my gratitude out loud. Not only do I want to but we should. We are told in Philippians to go to our Father in heaven with "prayer and thanksgiving". And I don't know about you but I certainly have an abundance to be thankful for. So, be ready because tomorrow is Thankful Thursday!

Planting

The finished product!

Dad and Thing 2 breaking the ground


Grandpa and Thing 4 building a "damn" to help the water flow




Moving the trees into location




On Sunday afternoon Jared, the Things and I headed out to Fairview for family time. Delaney had received two trees, Amur Maples, from Arbor day at school last year and they have been living in pots at Ron and Jeanine's house. With all the rain we have had recently the ground had been primed for planting those trees. So with every one's help we planted. Well the Things planted and I watched.
I watched as they were taught how to dig a hole, how to decide how big the hole needs to be, how to plant a tree. They were taught by their Dad, their Mema and Grandpa Ron. And I watched. I took pictures. Took pictures of the struggle to break the ground, to clear the dirt of the rocks, and to lift the heavy tree into the hole. Then I watched as the hole was filled and the soil placed just so the water would fill the tree and provide for it. Just so the run off from the yard would not bypass our trees. I watched everything just so. And then when the task was completed I watched as Thing 2 looked at her trees with a sense of accomplishment.
And I watched.


Some of my Favorite Photographs





Thing 1 Helping Thing 4



Thing 3's Braid


Neighborhood Buddies

Thursday

Thursday, not Wednesday but not yet Friday. Almost the weekend but not quite. Stuck in between? No, just here, on Thursday morning.

Here, typing away, watching the world go by. I see trees, birds, cars and kids, all on their way somewhere. No paycheck to cash yet, no weekend plans set.

Thursday, not Wednesday but not yet Friday.

Laundry piled high, toilets to scrub, dogs to walk, the mom van to clean, soccer practices to prepare for, trash to be taken out, presentations to pray for at school, tests to be taken.

Thursday, not Wednesday but not yet Friday.

Phone calls to make, dentist appointments to schedule, weekend game schedule to coordinate, retreat to pay for.

Thursday, not Wednesday but not yet Friday.

Crippled

I have always been afraid of forgetting. Forgetting memories, people, places, those sweet words from the mouths of babes in their early days, forgetting dates that are important. Just forgetting. What happens to those memories? Where do they go?



I want to remember. Everything. The smells, the scenery, the life changing moments, the times where God's hand is all over my life and the lives of those around me. I want those specials saved deep in the banks of my mind. Saved there for me to recall and replay when I need to be reminded.



This idea of forgetting and remembering causes me pause. It leads me down paths that I don't want to walk. Because then I remember all those that I don't care to relive. Those times where I haven't walked the straight and narrow. The times I've been in the pit. While I can't simply forget those seasons I can choose to let go, turn my back on the past and walk in victory. Oh yes, so much easier said than done. There is grieving and heartache and so much hurt, but there is also a Redeemer.



This Savior who forgives, who calls us in closer and wants to go beyond us. The God that is bigger than the past, yet He knows all about it. There is no hiding. And while I may be crippled by this fear I choose to lay it at the foot of the cross and trade my ashes for a crown.



I'm wondering do you have a sack of ashes? Wouldn't that sack look better as a crown upon your head? A crown declaring the glory and mighty saving power of our Redeemer?

Three Cheers for Gillian!


Last week at the Pride Time assembly at Poplar Grove, the Things' school our Gillian won an award. The award was presented to her for displaying the character trait for the month, RESPECT. That's right, I know you are hearing the song now, and yes we did sing it to her! Here is a picture of her with her best buddy, Kendall, whom also won the award in her class.

So proud!

Celebration!







In light of Delaney's birthday the celebrations were in full force around here. Thursday, her actual birthday, we were able to just hang out as a family, the 6 of us. All soccer practices were cancelled and the rain was pouring down. We ate pizza, had homemade chocolate cake and watched a movie, all snuggly and together. Last night, Friday, we had our family dinner with Delaney's menu; orange chicken, edamame, brown rice and mandarin oranges. In lieu of birthday cake we made a coffee ice cream pie. Yummy! Of course pictures are included of the birthday girl blowing out her candles and opening presents. After our delish dessert we played Family Trivia Pursuit, with teams, one grown up and one child together. Oh what a night!

Birthday Girl

















Delaney Lucille was born to us on this morning, eleven years ago. A fairly easy pregnancy in which I craved oranges and salads, walked the zoo regularly with big sis Makenzie, or Ninny as she was referred to later, and endured the hot, no air conditioning summer in Tucson. It was a time of change for our family, one child to two, a college graduation and an encounter with cancer. All the while a miracle growing and stirring inside. I longed for her, could hardly wait to meet her and then when we did to say it was overwhelming would be immensely understated.
She is a gift. Not the cutesy, pink ribbon kind of a gift. No, something much more than that. A created, designed, child of God gift. Intelligent, rebellious, loving, empathetic, analytical, logical, whimsical, daring, fearless, confident, brave, nurturing, needing hugs kind of gift. It has been an honor to be your Mama and watch you grow these eleven years.
Today we sound the trumpets and celebrate another year lived. We look with hope and wanderlust to the future. I am anticipating with wonder what God has planned for this season of your life my Laney Lu. I love you.

For Aunt Paula




Greetings.
After a filled to the brim weekend I thought it time for an update and ode to my Aunt Paula. So I won't really be sharing a poem or written ode, but the family did participate in the Walk For Lupus this past Saturday in honor of our Aunt Paula. In lieu of an ode, I will give you pictures.

Jared's store also participated in the walk and helped raise $1000 to be donated to the Foundation. Go Team Best Buy!

Of course there was more to this weekend than the walk but I want to share a little about my Aunt Paula.

( She tried to teach me to drive a stick shift one time, but that's a story for another post)

She is strong. She is a fighter. She is a daughter of the King and an heir to His Kingdom. She is a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a friend. She is beautiful, from the inside out. She hurts, alot. She is in pain everyday. She perseveres. There is no cure for her. She takes medicine. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't. She likes to laugh. She loves the beach. She loves my Uncle and my Godson.

I love you Aunt Paula!

Prayer

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.


Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.


Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

[Sir Francis Drake]

This poem was posted on another blog I read regularly and it spoke to my heart this morning. I read it and tears welled, and my swollen pride was deflated. As it should be says the Lord.

Thought I would share with you all these words. I pray they may speak to your heart today.

Today


Today I have a heart bursting with praise. I want to stand up, throw my hands in the air and jump all around. Why you ask? I can't put my finger on it. Something in the morning darkness, waking children for a FCA meeting, making coffee, waking husband with kisses on the forehead, packing lunches for my Things, little boy good morning snuggles, Thing 3's long, silky pony tail. I just don't know. There is an air about me that wants to praise today. I know nothing remarkable happened. Or did it?


I believe so. I believe that everyday there is opportunity, a gift tucked away waiting to be unearthed. A gift placed by the Father. The Father who desires my praise, who zealously seeks me out. Who, when my hands are stretched up towards Him, reaches down to grace mine. That is remarkable.

Mead Cup, Ohio







On her way to score a goal!



The Team - '97 Athena
Makenzie played in her first 11v.11 tournament Labor Day weekend, with her new team. And we, Mama and Thing 1 hit the road Friday afternoon with another Mama and her daughter for some quality road trip time, just the girls. The weekend was chalk full of memorable moments from Hawaiian Punch, Jimmy Buffet... We had a total of 3 games, 2 losses and 1 win. Not the best showing. I have a feeling there will be plenty more games.

Men in the Kitchen
















Yesterday on Labor Day the men of the house labored, and of all places they labored in the kitchen. What a sweet sight. There was an abundance of harvest from Grammy and Pappo's garden that needed to be used up. Green beans, watermelon, jalapenos, tomatoes, bell peppers and not to mention the chilies and jalapenos from Natalie's garden. What a season for vegetables, especially home grown produce. It really does taste better.

So, to begin with, Jeff and Natalie canned their tomato sauce and green beans. Then Jeff and Jared went to task on the jalapenos. Spicy carrots and jalapenos were pickled and homemade jalapeno jelly was made. The smells in the kitchen were oh so good.

Earlier in the season there were baskets of cucumbers. Baskets may even be an understatement. They were everywhere. In their honor we decided to try our hand at making pickles. Kids and adults alike. Even the neighbor kids helped. So fun and so yummy. Better than any store bought pickle I've ever tasted.
Here are some pictures of our kitchen adventures. Enjoy!

Friends

Do you have friends? I do. I will count them as blessings everyday. I have friends that cry, that laugh, that yell and even dance. I have friends that bring you Starbucks, or pay for your lunch because you shared. I have friends that call and email and text and pray. Friends that pray. Is there a greater blessing? Friends that get on their knees before our Lord and pray. Friends that intercede on my behalf, on my children's behalf, for strangers, for the cause, or simply because they are asked. I have friends. Thank you friends, thank you B.S.B.s, I love you!

Painted Face




This girl has eyes that see deep into your soul.
This girl will be 11 soon.
This girl makes my heart swell with Mama love.
This girl welcomes the world in with that smile. This girl is Delaney Lucille!

Everyday Marvels

This morning the sun has not yet risen. My husband is en route to work and I am working here. I was preparing for my quiet time this morning and was drawn to words written not by the Maker, yet so apparently inspired by Him. Words from an author, a Mama a Believer. Her writing style is beautiful, the words seem to dance on the page, or screen in this case, and are so thought provoking. She shared stories on how to digest the Word, how our bodies need Living Water, on creating a faith habit and how God's grace is immeasurable.

My mind floated to thoughts of my children.

I marvel at our Maker's design when I see those faces staring at mine. I am enthralled by their beauty, their purity, their innocence. There is an ache in my heart when they struggle, a weight pressed down upon my insides when I think I have failed them, not lead them and not been the best Mama I could be.

So I cling to the Water, the Word. I run desperately to ensure that my faith habit is true and growing. That is cultivation. When my children see those fruits they will desire the same. I stumble and there are countless times I am crawling to the well, tears running down and no words to share. I am learning that is life. I want desperately to live the faith habit, to be light and to be the best me that I can be, but only through Him.