Sunday, September 23, 2012

Little Things in the Last Few Days...

 Friends came over to play... it was wild and fun!
 We got some more sand for our sandbox... wonderful!
 About a dozen new sunflowers bloomed... beautiful!
 Been doing lots of fall cleaning... feels good!
 Bethany showed up with a surprise!
 It is a tornado maker... Ethan thinks it is awesome!
I'm pretty sure his direct quote was, "This is FREAKING AWESOME!"
Love this pic of Ethan and Bethany... we love her!

It's been a great few days... busy, full, but wonderfully fall!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy Spots...

I love beautiful things... and there are a lot of beautiful things in this world.
 Flowers are probably my favorite thing!  This summer the kids and I put in a little flower bed right by their sandbox (click here to remember)! I let them pick out and plant the seeds.  The flowers are in full bloom... and beautiful!
 Every single time I'm in the back yard and see their flowers, I smile.  It is a happy spot!
I'm so glad we planted them!
I think (subconsciously) they love them too!
On another note... our garden is producing like crazy.... here is a carrot Ethan picked this morning... 
he ate the whole thing!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Leaving MWSB...

We spent last week in the mountains.  As I sit down to write about our week, I realize how careful I have to be with what I say... the feelings I share.  The place we visited is dear and revered by most all who have spent a year or two in its beautiful, peaceful canyon.  But to me it symbolized some of the most painful years of my life - I experienced pain that was so deep it has changed me forever and in many ways I'm still healing from the wounds.  Life in the canyon didn't turn out how I dreamed or what I wanted, but it was for a reason... and a season.
 Driving through the golden fields, down the dusty road brought us into the Rocky Mountains... a truly beautiful place. A place where my kiddos were born, where they took their first steps, and said their first words.  Being within the canyon walls reminded me of the laughter, the "good" times we had and the memories we shared.  I tend to be a "the glass is half empty and going to tip over and spill any minute"... type of person.  If something is hard or difficult... I chalk the whole experience as being horrible, terrible, and not good at all. Our whole MWSB experience wasn't terrible, horrible or not good at all... and so it was nice to be reminded of the good.
 While Micah taught Church History we spent our mornings playing in the Dearborn river.  We built dams, collected leaves, chased bugs... threw 100s of rocks... and got very wet... every day!  I brought a blanket, a cup of coffee, and read a book when I wasn't playing with the kiddos.  I haven't read a book in years... and the book I read was amazing.  It was one I started awhile back and bawled through the first chapters... it is called "When the Heart Waits" by Sue Monk Kidd - and it is about finding spiritual direction through crisis by asking life's sacred questions... (basically what do you do when GOD and life isn't what you expected).  Such a timely read, as I was processing through my thoughts about the past 7 years.  MWSB wrecked me and I'm learning that that is not necessarily a bad thing. All my life I've been a "good" girl.  I figured that if I did things "right" -- life would work, people would like me, God would bless me. My world fell apart in the mountains.  Life wasn't working, people didn't like me, and I felt like God had abandoned me.  When everything fell a part and we had to leave... Nothing made sense any more - especially what I believed about God. 
  
I've spent the last year picking up and sorting through the pieces...
I still am...
 The kiddos soaked up all our "nature" time.  We caught over 20 different types of bugs and pinned them onto an empty box... it was fascinating studying the bugs, making observations about their bodies... We collected hundreds of different types of leaves and pressed them in between the pages of the magazines we brought - we will bring them out later this fall.  We found a huge green caterpillar and made him a home. We were hoping he would made a cocoon and then hatch into a beautiful butterfly... but as Micah discovered on the internet (last night)... it is just a moth - that eats nightshade plants and buries into the ground and lays eggs that way...  Oh well.... we found a snake and the kids begged to take him home, but I said, "NO WAY!"
 Most afternoons we took hikes up into the mountains.  We visited one of our favorite places, Cataract Falls... Ethan LOVES waterfalls and this one is a tall one!  We got a lot of time with "Daddy"... which was a treat and totally made our week feel like a real vacation!
 The trip was good.  

 The kids loved it and are begging to go back...
 I was thankful that I had the courage to "go back"... to be in the place that I never wanted to go back to... ever!  This week I was able to think clearly, process... to heal and ultimately find closure.
As we packed up the car and headed out of the canyon... I realized -- I'm leaving.  After a year of turmoil, more tears than I thought were possible... I left MWSB.  I have closure.  The chapter is closed, I'm not hanging on to what "could" have been or what "could" BE.  That door is closed.  God used that place to change us -- it wasn't in the way we imagined or dreamed, but it was a part of His plan.  It is His ministry and thankfully He doesn't need us to do His work. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ethan's 5th Birthday...

Five seems like a big birthday to me... 

Ethan is 5! 
It is hard to believe!
 The theme of this birthday was ROCKETS!  
Today was a BLAST!
Reading a birthday card from Nana!
 Ethan was EXCITED all day long... he could barely wait for his birthday party!
 I was really pleased with how the cake turned out...
 Ethan thought is was great... he even called me the "cake boss"!  
 This is the first year he got to choose who he wanted to have at his birthday!  
He really wanted his buddies there... and of course Bethany!
 We had the party at the Dinosaur park... and even though it looked like it was going to rain... it didn't...
 We launched off "rockets".... Diet Coke + Mentos = excitement!
 Blew out candles...
 Ate cake! (I think Ethan looks so big in this picture!)
 Opened presents!
 I don't think I've ever seen a child open presents quite like this... he seriously looked like a tornado... tearing through the packages!
 Love this picture! These are his best friends!
 And we ended the night with a pinata!
I was thankful it held up through the rounds of children!
Ethan Cade, I'm so thankful for you!  You fill our days with endless chatter -- you have an insatiable desire to understand the world around you... I hope you never lose your sense of wonder or desire to figure things out.  I pray you continue to grow in wisdom and understand of your Creator -- I pray you will continue to be kind and compassionate to those around you... I'm so thankful for the 5 years I've had with you... you stretch and challenge me every single day!

Happy Birthday, big 5 year old!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Party Prep...

 The air around our house has been thick with anticipation -- that and emotion!  Ethan has been off the charts excited!  He gets all worked up about what he wants for his birthday and wondering if his friends will come to his party...  It makes me smile.  We worked on birthday prep all day today... it is kinda a tradition to make the big day extra special. I wonder at times if it is worth all the stress, but to see his excitement -- I think it is worth it.
 Yesterday we started working on our pinata... This is a first for us!    
 I'm excited to see if it will work! 
 Paper Mache is fun... my first experience with paper mache was when I made a 6 foot wave of "water" for a summer camp... it was AWESOME... after that I was hooked because I realized I could make just about anything!  Unfortunately, this time around the kids didn't share my enthusiasm.  Ethan kept complaining about getting dirty -- I kept looking at him -- and asking, "WHO ARE YOU????!!!" Maybe this fall we can do a few more projects and break him in a bit more!
This afternoon was dedicated to the cake... lots of baking, cooking, and planning..... Still lots to do -- but for now... I'm off to sleep!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Sick Week...

 Last week began well... I spent Monday tackling my to-do list.  I got the laundry done, the house cleaned, and lots of yard work finished!
 Tuesday morning, I woke up at 1:30 am sicker than sick...  My husband was so worried about me -- he took me to the ER. I spent the rest of the week in bed... sicker than sick.  When you are a stay at home mom... there is no sick leave.... you don't get a break to rest -- or time to just be by yourself.  My kids literally ruled the house (or should I say TERRORIZED the house... I really had no idea how much I did in a day... until I couldn't do anything... I'm still picking up messes!) 
By the weekend I was feeling better, but still exhausted and weak! 
 I was grateful Micah was home and could help out with the kids.  When things are mixed up, especially at our house, the kiddos get all out of whack... We spent the whole weekend trying to get back on track... 
We started the weekend with a little Home Depot action...
 We just love starting the month out with a project!
 This month they made football goal posts...
 Next month they are making a fire truck... and we already have the calendar marked!
 We had a hard time being patient this weekend... it is challenging parenting when you are healthy and strong... even harder when you are exhausted, tired, and just don't feel good!
Bath time finger paint...
 Trying to wear them out, is a chore... trying to keep them busy... is impossible!
 By Sunday night we needed a break... 
I put them in the tub with finger paint and was grateful for the diversion! 
Micah only worked a 1/2 day on Monday and so that helped us catch up ... 
-- just a wee bit -- 
now we are fully engaged in the new week... 

It is birthday party central around our house.... I've been telling Ethan he's "becoming a handful" this week... aka -- 5 years old... hard to believe!