Friday, April 29, 2011

Moving Thoughts #7

#7 Tears:
Today we loaded up boxes and all our furniture into a large horse trailer. We were planning on doing it tomorrow after graduation, but a bunch of guys were available this afternoon - so we packed. As we started to move furniture - the snow started to fall... it is still falling. We are suppose to get a foot and I think we are about there. Our house is bare except for those annoying odds and ends floating around, but I think I was able to corral most of it into the guest room.

Tonight as I was tucking Ethan into bed he started to cry... big crocodile tears. "Momma, I don't want to move! I don't want to leave our house." It broke my heart and made me tear up! Telling him things are going to be okay... seems hollow - fake. I told him - things are going to be hard, but we will get through it. I told him, "It okay cuz we will always be friends, right?" He replied, "I sure hope so!"

Tomorrow we pack the rest up... and on Sunday we say goodbye. My poor kiddos are sicker than sick - with horrible coughs and high fevers. I know we will get through this... yes, through the tears... I can see an end/beginning in sight! I pray that I am turning the last page on the loneliest chapter of my life... at least I sure hope... and I am begging God for community and fellowship in our next chapter!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Moving Thoughts #6

#6: Definitions....

exhaustion |igˈzôs ch ən|noun1 a state of extreme physical or mental fatigue
Yesterday morning 6 students came over and they washed walls, bathrooms, and windows... saving me hours of time and energy. They even helped out with little jobs like folding laundry, getting stains out of the carpet and ironing curtains. We all worked hard. After they left... I hit a wall... I hit it hard! I had a dinner to cook for 20 people, a house to get semi clean so that 20 people could eat the meal in my house... Only one of my girls showed up to help (THANK YOU, JORDAN!)... and so I mustered up anything I had left to cook - all while having a sick little girl on my hands. Eden has been running a fever for 3 days now and has needed a lot of attention. (This morning my little guy was running a fever as well.) Eden was up a lot last night crying, coughing, and burning hot... and then at midnight the alarm went off... the alarm clock - I guess Eden thought it was important to mess around with our alarm clock... one day that will be funny... today is not the day. This morning - I am all water works. I think it is mainly from the exhaustion. I told Micah I am praying for moral support...
somewhere - somehow - I need some support.

confusion |kənˈfyoō zh ən| nounlack of understanding; uncertainty
I would love to say that the road out of the canyon is crystal clear, but it is not. Trying to figure out the details have been amazingly confusing. There are so many variables, twists and turns that I am throughly confused and slightly dizzy. We can move on this (said) date, but if we do there is this, this, this, this, this and this to consider. If we move on this (said) date then there is this, this, this, and this to consider.... on and on and on. There are situations here that are out of this world confusing - and should probably be addressed and dealt with but considering the above definition... mustering up the mental capacity is just not happening at this time. I am praying to be able to get away for awhile - so that I can have an outside perspective and deal with things more objectively.
trauma |ˈtroumə; ˈtrô-|noun ( pl. -mas or -mata |-mətə|) a deeply distressing or disturbing experience

Considering some of the past events in our life (ie brain surgery and a major move in one months time) this is on the lower scale of trauma, but never-the-less... we are in trauma. Uprooting life is never easy or pretty... may be necessary, AND guaranteed to be messy. We are even dealing with variables like - it is suppose to rain for the next three days... COME'ON! The dear roads up the canyon turn into a wild amusement ride... without those nice, safe little iron tracks of course... that will be delightful with large trailers full of stuff... I am wondering if I should just have a large bonfire and save ourselves some energy????
vent 1 |vent|verb [ trans. ]1 give free expression to (a strong emotion)
Okay... now that I have freely expressed my emotions... I can get back to reality and back to my boxes. The kids are sleeping and I purposefully and wisely used 15 minutes to process my reality... so that I can hang onto reality... please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. The reality is that most of us could probably post the above paragraphs... life is like that. We will get through... and rejoice when we are on the other side...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Rich Last

Monday afternoon - was my last Bible study get-to-gether. I made iced peppermint mocha drinks and a rich chocolate pound cake (with more calories per slice than should be legal!!). It was one of those moments that I realized - here is a definite last. All year long I have been thinking this way - because even the first day the students arrived we had been praying and wondering if God was going to move us. I am ready to go...

Tonight as I was putting Ethan to bed - he asked me why we had to leave - I told him that if we could have all the things in the world, but if that is not where God wants us - then we couldn't stay. I told him that God has a grand adventure ahead of us... and we get to experience it one day at a time. Personally, I have learned that I can have a beautiful yard, a wonderful home, but without community and fellowship... it is empty and lonely. I have experienced tastes of community each year with my Bible study girls... and also the sadness of saying goodbye to those who have become so dear... (and then starting over again each fall). Micah and I were talking about the "good" things we are taking from our time here - and that is it... the memories, the relationships, the community we had with each class we lived with. What a gift! Yesterday, it was sad to look around the circle of young women and truly know I will miss each one, but I am ready... ready to go.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Moving Thoughts #5

#5: Tired but happy...
This morning... we are all tired. We had a long day yesterday. Micah and I loaded a big load for him to haul to storage, then we took the kids down to the river to throw rocks and enjoy the beautiful day God gave us yesterday! It was lovely... as we were sitting down to dinner we got a call from the students... on their way home from Moab. I guess Little Caesar is closed on Easter... who would've known? Ha! I got up from my meal and headed down to the campus kitchen to start making pizzas. I made 18 batches of dough (8 large pans of pizza and 2 pans of bread sticks)... it looked a lot like last year. And finally around 11:30 fell into bed... I was exhausted, but my mind was awake, so it took a looong time to fall asleep. During the night I packed the house 4 times... only to wake up and find it was a dream!
This morning I am intentionally clearing rooms, walls... taking down all the curtains and washing them... There is enough work to stay busy. The weather is beautiful and so the kids are busy outside... and I need to go - there is much to do!
Happy Monday!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

This is kinda embarrassing, but it really tells the nature of my mind lately... we were in the grocery store on Friday - the weather was horrible. I was talking with the cashier and she mentioned that she hoped the bad weather wouldn't ruin peoples' holiday weekend. I remember thinking in my head, "Since when did Earth day become a holiday weekend....?" Only as I was on my way out the store did it occur to me that she was talking about Easter!!!
Somewhere in my head I did remember it was Easter... I saved these cute outfits (that my Mom sent) for the kids' Easter outfits!!! They looked cute this morning!
And before I went to bed last night - I threw together some cinnamon rolls...
Micah even came up with a theological (cute) analogy of how when the stone was rolled away and Jesus was RISEN when he was talking with Ethan this morning at breakfast...
it made me smile!!
And for Church... we had fun playing in the nursery... what a great day to remember that Jesus is alive... and because of this we celebrate!!! Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Moving Thoughts #4

#4: The Rambling Process...
(Micah and Ethan hanging out together)
It is good to have Micah back with us... the kids are loving it and I am loving it. We have been talking through our options, time-line plan, and the logistics of moving until Micah mentioned that he is either going to throw up or have his brain explode... sure understand that feeling!
(A cute little girl eating her banana)
Life is unpredictable - especially during a major life-change! My oldest brothers' family is beyond sick - with their littlest one in the hospital (has been for over a week)... Their trauma helps me keep perspective. My parents were planning on coming out this week to help with the move... in light of this - they probably won't be able to. I am glad they can help out my brother, but reality set in for me last night - this means we won't have help.
(Hop on Pop!)
I've been "putting my hope" on their help and presence during this time - God seems to have other plans. So today I kicked packing into hyper-speed. We are loading up a trailer full for Micah to take down this upcoming week. I get overwhelmed packing up rooms, sorting through stuff... and wondering why we have so much stuff!!! We are moving from a 4 bedroom house - to a small, very small 2 room apartment.... hum! As I pack it is getting easier and easier to prioritize and get rid of things we really don't need! It is quite freeing actually!
(Ethan running away from me... it was almost a great blackmailing picture for the future... he is wearing Eden's pants on his head and flowered shorts)
I feel like this plan is becoming more of a reality. I am still working through my feelings and thoughts - probably will be for awhile, but I guess the idea is finally becoming a reality... hard to believe we move in a week.
(Notice how I cleverly cropped out the clutter and chaos all around the bed!!!)
After talking about being overwhelmed by stuff... I probably shouldn't share this, but I am! I found this cute quilt on clearance at Shopko and think it a perfect blanket for this summer and season of change... isn't it happy? Make me smile just looking at it! We'll get through this... one box at a time...

(ps... if anyone is interested in coming for a visit next week to help out... I WOULD LOVE IT!!! We do need help...)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dadda's HOME!

The kids were so excited when Dadda came home this morning! He spent the past week in Bozeman, training for his new jobs and looking for a place for us to live. We have missed him. He brought home some surprises for the kids... they were thrilled to see him and his surprises!
I was too!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Growing Up...

There are certain moments through out the week when I stop and realize how big my kids are getting...
...It may be when I lift them up... and think WOW they seem really heavy right now!
It may be while listening to word exchanges and being amazed at my littlest ones' growing vocab...
...or it could be how (out of the corner of my eye) I catch my oldest in one of his wild tricks... I guess it could just be me... but I think these kiddos are growing up!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Parenting Under Pressure

The last few weeks, as boxes have began to pile up and things are put away - I have noticed the crazy behavior of my children escalating! They do the weirdest things - that typically they don't do.... like emptying the salt and pepper shakers into the candle on the table - or throwing their food at each other and/or freaking out about the weirdest things (like bath time or bedtime) etc, etc, etc. I find it difficult to parent under pressure.
It has been bothering me... A LOT! I want them to trust that we will take care of them - even though their known world is going to disappear soon! I have had to keep a close check on my emotions... if I cry - they act out even more. If I am upset... they get into trouble. I have been uptight - worrying about our future! I know they are responding to me... to all the stress and emotions... so today I tried to just play with them... to read to them... to tickle and chase them... to let things roll...
It was a much better day!
Recently I've been reading about the Israelites and how they divided up the promise land... the Levites were not given any land - God was their inheritance. Somehow whenever I read this - I think - Wow, they didn't get anything... I guess this hits me because sometimes I wish I had some sort of "earthly" inheritance. Equity, an actual paycheck that truly represents our education and training, a place to live, etc. Then I am hit with guilt... I want an earthly inheritance more than I want God - Himself! These next months are going to be hard - figuring out how to make ends meet will be miraculous, but do I trust God - like I want my kids to trust me? I will do whatever I can to provide for them - and I am human... how much more is God going to take care of us? We have been trying to find housing - a few people have asked about our income and then laughed when they heard what we will be making... it has been discouraging. Tonight as we talked about it we felt convicted. We have been offered a place to stay in the dorms for free... for the summer. It wouldn't be our first choice... so we have been looking further. Micah said it is strange how we have asked God to provide - He has, but it isn't what we think... so we continue to look. That is convicting... at this point we are leaning towards the dorms... and then praying God will show us the next step...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Eggs

Bright colors...
Eager participants...
Patient waiting...
Dying eggs...
Intense concentration...
More patient waiting...
Colored fingers...
Beautiful brightness!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Upside Down... May Be Right Side Up

Yesterday, Micah and I took two HUGE loads of stuff to town to sell and drop off at the thrift store. We have been able to sell a bunch of things on Craig's list and so that has been a blessing! Through this packing process we have talked a lot about STUFF. The idolatrous connection we have to material/non eternal things. Something inside of us wants to protect, guard and keep STUFF... like it matters. It doesn't. Letting go is a freeing process. I had boxes and boxes of baby stuff - things I was saving for another baby or for the adopted child we were hoping to bring home. Reality - we can't store them right now. Going through the box of Ethan's baby clothes was tearful. I looked at each one - remembering times we had in each outfits - how little he was - how much I learned through those times. We have been so blessed with rich memories.... I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. I was able to let go and pass along those clothes to other families who will be able to make (hopefully) similar memories.
("Momma... life is upside down right now... Take a picture of me! I am funny!")
This move is reminding of us of what matters... what we believe. After my freaking out moment - Micah and I again had another talk of why we are doing what we are doing! (He is soooo patient with me - I am very blessed.) We talk with the students about living a life of faith. Believing that God will provide for us if we just follow Him. He is leading us on this crazy journey - and I want to just trust... to stop worrying, stop trying to figure out the details... and just go forward believing that what God promises - He will bring about.
(Choosing joy... childlike joy and trust)
I dug out an old sermon series we went through right before moving here. It was a study of Philippians entitled "Whistling in the Dark" (by Matt Heard - Woodmen Valley Chapel - Colorado Springs) The first time we listened to it - we were unsure of our future (hum!) and my dad was battling Cancer. It was a reminder to have JOY in the midst of hard times. My life definitely feels upside down right now - but I desperately want to choose JOY. It is humbling to be where I am at - to be so "out of control" - to allow my un-done-ness to be seen. I would much rather smile, hide my fears and pretend that everything is peachy, BUT I am not like that. I want to be real - to wrestle together - to deal with the sin and unbelief in my life, then be able to rejoice when we make it to the other side. I have no doubts that God will bring me to the other side - the process is just... that... a process! I am truly thankful for what God is teaching me through this journey... it is hard, but I know it will be worth it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Moving Thoughts #3

#3: The back yard!
I am having a panic attack... WHAT ARE WE DOING!!!!??!?!? Are we totally and completely making a mistake.. by moving??? I have spent the last two days on the internet looking for places for us to live (especially since our phone is out.... AGAIN!). Most that I can find are so expensive, don't have a yard, are by busy streets, etc... etc... etc. Micah and I felt like we had found the perfect job when we moved here. We had always dreamed of living in the mountains and raising kids in this environment... so WHY are we moving to the city!!!!?!?! (Seriously if I have one more person tell me congrats on your move... or what an exciting adventure you have ahead of you... I will cry!!!!)
(This is Ethan and Eden's slack line... seriously that is what they call it! Can you tell they live with college students?)
The weather is gorgeous this afternoon and it feels good to just be outside and soak in our surroundings... I am so thankful for the bulbs that are poking their heads out of the soil, the sandbox that my Dad put in for the kids, the promise of beauty come this summer, and the quiet that surrounds us. I truly have been spoiled for the last 7 years. I just love this yard...

While we were playing Ethan told me that we have a beautiful house. He said, "Momma, we can just dig it up, put it on a house truck, and move it to Bozeman." Oh how I wish... I wish my heart could be as quiet as the trees that surround our little home... I wish that I would not fear the unknown - I wish I could believe that God will provide and take us to the perfect place for our family... the fears linger - what ifs' haunt me - Are we making a big mistake?

Fly Fetcher

(Yes, there is truly a fly between those little pinched fingers)
Eden has a new OBSESSION! She can spot a fly from across the room and she runs screaming, "Fly, fly, fly, fly!!!" And believe it or not she usually catches them. I remember Ethan had a similar obsession around this age. I am trying to remind myself that this is good for developing small motor skills! Right?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Precious Pretend Play

Last time we were in Bozeman, we went over to dinner at Micah's new Boss's house. His daughter-in-law was there... (she was a former student of ours) and she took the kids in to see some Hermit Crabs. Since that time I have rolled the kids up in blankets (shells) and sprayed them with pretend water bottles or feed them cut up bananas until they poke their heads and claws out! Ethan asks to be call Hermie... and it is hilarious to see him try to walk in his "shell".
Their little laughs and smiles - kill me. Sometimes rolling them up in a blanket 100 times in an hour gets repetitive, but it makes them squeal in delight... so it is worth it!
I just love, love, love precious pretend play... it is priceless!

Moving Thoughts #2

#2: Kid's Rooms
My life as a parent began here. I have spent evenings rocking and singing to them in colicy moments, seen them take their first steps, heard their first words, and held them while they were sick... here in this place. The other day I was starting to pack away their rooms... and I stopped and grabbed my camera. I probably have 100's of pictures in each of their rooms, but I wanted to have images of the rooms I will miss... The walls that witnessed my sloppy, insecure first steps of parenting.
Ethan's room...
As you can tell I took these pictures last fall.. Eden and Ethan have grown quite a bit since then!
Eden's room...
The next place we live - these two kiddos will share a bedroom... already the thoughts are flying of how to decorate... new curtains to sew... quilts to make... a new place to make home.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Moving Thoughts #1

As I have been packing up our house and processing this life change... there are things I want to remember... be thankful for... grieve over leaving.
I thought I would blog these thoughts over the next couple weeks...
#1: Our Yard!
When we moved into our place... there wasn't any yard. Just piles of rocks, branches and weeds! I found this picture as I was sorting through disks of pictures. This is a picture of our first spring at the house. I can tell this because the garage was the first addition to this house (the far left side of the pic).
This was last fall... after a new deck, fence, and landscaping! I think the hardest part of leaving this place (hands down) is leaving my yard... my flowers... my garden! This year the raspberry and strawberry patches are going to be amazing... *sigh* I am thankful for the time I had to work on this place, to feel the dirt between my fingers and to marvel at the beauty that sprung alive each spring and summer! I think it is back to container gardening this summer....