Sunday, May 14, 2017

What Gives You Life

I recently have gotten "back" into blogging.  To be truthful, I tried my hand at "professional blogging" (meaning I tried to make my blog look all fancy and do a bunch of different things, write a certain way, etc but never monetized it), but that was all about 5 years and three kids ago.  However, one exhausted night after everyone in my house had already gone to bed I remembered a far off corner of enjoyment for me that I had laid aside for years.  In fact I was remembering a simpler time of life, especially in my attitude when it came to mothering and trying to think back as to what had such a profound impact.  
Then it hit me, I remembered what a huge impact different blogs had on me as I navigated the uncharted waters of being a stay at home mom  The Lord used different blogs throughout at couple of years to affirm, challenge, and educate me in this vast world of being a SAHM.  My attitude went from one of not wanting to stay at home with my baby to one of seeing what a beautiful gift it was and this was in large part because of the blogs and sermons I sought out.  They really shaped my attitude into a love for being at home and to seeing the importance and holiness it brings. 
Fast forward a few years and a few kids later and here I am sitting down discouraged and I remember a treasure from years past and wonder if it even still exists.  Do stay at home moms blog anymore?  Like they used to? Can I even remember the websites I used to go to for encouragement?  It turns out "yes" was the answer to all those questions, and I am so thankful it has been!  I have been so encouraged by the posts I have read the last couple of weeks and the reminders to find my rest, hope, strength, beauty, and whatever else in Jesus, and how to do that in the middle of this busy season.  
This has also made me reevaluate and be thankful for the ways God has made each person different.  I desperately want to be that person that "gets life" by going to the gym and working out for an hour.  My husband is that person, and while yes I feel better after  do just that, it isn't what I look forward to by any means, and therefore isn't something I do consistently.  And honestly for years this has bothered me.  That I am not a "fit person" by nature, that I don't enjoy something I know I should and is good for me.  No what gives me life is writing and reading.  Those little moments where I am doing the very opposite of moving and staying in shape physically, but when I am sitting down doing exactly what I am doing this very moment.  This is what I look forward to, this is what I enjoy, this reenergizes me to face whatever might be waiting for me as I teach and train my children.  For the longest time I was not ok with this, and it still bothers me, I wish I could do this and work out at the same time.  But today I am choosing to see it as a blessing, as a way God has made me different, and it is all part of His plan and design.  
So I guess my message for today is, don't beat yourself up because of something you wish you were and just aren't.  Instead remember those things that are important to you, that bring you satisfaction and joy and celebrate the fact God has given you an outlet that is uniquely you.  Is it ok to try to better yourself, to do new things, even things that aren't fun? Absolutely, we all should do just that, but some days it is good to sit down and bask in the beauty of being exactly the way God made you. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Just Random Things

So past month has been a little nutso in our home, for starters we sold and bought a house all on the same day, and in that regard it meant we were basically charged with getting two homes ready.  One had to be ready to have the next family living in it, and the other had to be able to be inhabited by our family.  Can I just tell you this is no small feat.  In fact it is awful and hard and I don't want to ever do it again, though I know we will have to at some point, though hopefully no time soon! I have more on this later but only had time to upload a few phone photos for this post so for now it will have to wait. 

After we had been in the house about a week one morning we were surprised to find very warm water coming up from underneath the bathroom.  So we called the home warranty people who sent plumbers out to fix the problem.  They thought they had discovered the solution to the issue when they saw the previous owner had never put a wax ring back on the toilet after he reinstalled it.  So they did so for me and I think were going to be content but Mark made me press them on why the water was warm, like warmer than room temp warm coming out of the bottom of the toilet.  After some time, and turning on all faucets in the house simultaneously they made not only the toilet leak again but also noticed water coming up from underneath the floor in the hallway in between the two bathrooms in the house.  Long story a bit shorter they had to cut the wall and ended up finding a pipe with a huge hole ON THE TOP of it (something both guys and their dad, who has been a plumber 32 years, had never seen before!) that had apparently been there a while judging by all the mold on the bottom half of the wall.  They ended up taking all the sheetrock out and right now that room and hole is covered with plastic.  Did I mentioned it had just gotten done being painted 2 days earlier, because it had.  

Moving on to other things, I have a pregnant picture at some point with all of our kids on this blog and I didn't want sweet Karis to feel left out, so here we are at 19 weeks.

This was what felt like the first legitimate home school day in the new house.  Between moving in and getting everything out of the other house and then having it painted this was honestly the first time were able to see our kitchen table to use it for school work in a couple of weeks.  Right now the playroom is still stacked high with boxes so we are working on school here.  I have to say I don't hate it, I am able to do laundry or be in the kitchen without ever having them out of my sight which is nice for staying on top of work.

And then there is this little georgia peach right here who acts like she is literally dying if I make her stay in my eye sight during Reid's teeball games.  I swear this little Miss Independent is gonna make her mama go mad before she's 10.  However if we can make it through these little formative years I know she will change the world and I pray it is great and mighty things for God's kingdom.  Until then if anyone wanted to come and be the designated Halle Kate watcher so I could actually see Reid make a play that would be great.  

I know this is not great blogging, heck it isn't even good blogging, but it IS still getting on here and doing it.  For me right now that is what it is going to take until I figure out a new system of uploading pictures quickly.  And you know what, that is ok.  So what if nothing really goes together in a post, so what if I have random pictures that are out of order from what has actually been happening, so what?  This is our life and it is such a good one, so if it is documented, then I call it a success.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dusting Off the Ol' Blog

It has been quite a long time since I last posted.  In fact it has been quite a long time since I even attempted to open my blog and do a single thing with it.  I actually do not know what spurned me on to the rabbit trail that led here tonight, but alas here I am.

So much has happened since my last update. . . Too much to even begin to put in to words or sentences or paragraphs.  One thing I can say is God has been steadily at work from then until now, something I am forever grateful for.  I cannot possibly begin to recap what all has happened in the last two years so I will attempt to hit the high points.

  • Our kids are older now
    • I know that is a little obvious but it doesn't make it any less true.   Reid is now 6(and a half he would say), Owen is 4, and Halle Kate is 2.  Some of the biggest changes in our daily routine is that Reid is now school age! I really am still having a hard time understanding the fact I have kindergartener who is almost done with kindergarten.  To me that is just a little crazy.  He started a program at a local Christian School called the Collaborative Education Program where he attends school Tuesday through Thursday and then he is homeschooled on Mondays and Fridays.  We have LOVED this method, and while there has been a learning curve as to how to schedule/handle school plus everything else in our lives, it has been totally worth it.  Owen and Halle Kate currently attend Mother's Day Out 2 times a week, and LOVE their teachers and classmates so much.  Owen has the biggest crush on "Miss Jennifer" and HK adores her "my Kristen" as she calls her.  I have many Halle Kate stories from MDO that I need to record lest I forget them.  
    • Each kid is coming into their own personality more and more.  Reid with his more serious/literal side that STILL loves anything to do with a ball or any sport.  He also has found a love for creating books, mostly about animals, which is fun to watch him explore.  Owen is still our lovie, caring kiddo, but his year 4 has been quite a doozy of dealing with new attitudes that are surfacing.  He is a "worker man" and loves to build, make, create, and imagine with toys.  He loves to help his daddy or me and is the only kid we have that will play alone. Halle Kate is well, Halle Kate, there really are no other words.  I have never met a kid quite like her.  She is SPUNKY to say the least, with energy that rivals Reid's.  She has been fluently speaking in full sentences since about 18 months, knows what she wants and can tell (demand) it from you with all the right words.  She is always talking, always busy, sneaky, always in trouble, pulls down all the things, and yet loves to sing and give sugars, play with her babies, and do all things girly.  I love her to death, she has broken every mold I had in my head of what having a baby girl would be and I am thankful to her for that. 
  • We are currently expecting kid #4
    • Yes you read that right, Clifton baby number 4 is on the way.  And before anyone need silently wonder to themselves "was this a surprise?" you can rest assured that we were not surprised, but this baby was prayed over and for for months before we attempted getting pregnant.  The further along we go in this parenting journey of having a raising littles we know there is no guarantee that we can get pregnant or that we will stay pregnant.  We feel so blessed by this sweet gift and are so thankful to God that He saw fit to grace us with this sweet baby. 
    • We also know what we are having! Another little. . .  GIRL! There are no words to describe how excited I am by this.  I adore my two boys' precious brother relationship and after having always wanted a sister I was thrilled Halle Kate would be able to have a same gender of sibling as well.  This is the tail end of our "having kids" years so I am cherishing every last bit of this pregnancy.  I say that now at 19 weeks as I can sit her comfortably with my laptop able to be on my lap.  Give me about 12 more weeks and I will probably be singing a different tune.  
    • We also have her first name picked out which makes me excited.  We chose Karis because it means "grace" in greek.  Mark actually wanted to name her Grace, but I wanted something that started with a K, so Karis was a perfect fit.  I am totally in love with the name and with her and I cannot wait to meet her.   
All in all our family is doing well.  We are busy with Reid beginning schoola nd sports, but we are enjoying this new season we are in.  Mark and I are also doing well too.  God has bestowed so much grace and love and peace on us, especially in these last two years and we don't take that for granted for a second. This is a far cry from an indepth update, but I am HOPING, really really hoping I can actually keep this thing up again.  I forget how much I enjoy coming back and reading what we were doing at different stages in life, and I don't want to forget or miss it for a second more.