"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Monday, April 28, 2014

'52' - Week 17

"a portrait of each of my children, once each week, in 2014"
Jaden: He started soccer this weekend and scored four goals right out of the gate. After he scored the first one, he apparently got a good taste in his mouth for it and went on to score three more pretty rapidly, getting aggressive enough to even (accidently) knock another boy over to steal the ball from him on the way to the scoring kick. He's pretty proud of his soccer shoes and looked so incredibly old in his matching soccer shirt, pants, socks, shin guards and cleats. He ended the two hour practice with super flushed cheeks, sweaty hair and the look of a 16-year old. I have a feeling we're in for many fun years of watching him compete in a lot of different things.

Brandon: His latest favorite -- wearing his blanket as a cape. Almost daily, we get a request to tie it like a cape for him. We've had to limit him to keeping it at home (after making the mistake of letting him drag it with him to Jaden's school concert), and it drives me crazy sometimes, but I know it's a passing phase so I'm laughing my way through it right along with him. He is such a goof, and I adore his imagination.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter continued in pictures...

A few more pictures from our holiday weekend... because I just can't pick favorites.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter 2014, Part 2

**Easter Day**

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us."
~Ephesians 3:20

I never could have imagined that we'd kick off the Easter morning church service by watching our worship team sing and dance their hearts out to Pharrell's "Happy" song. I never could have imagined it, but I absolutely loved it. It was powerful in its own way... reinforcing in my mind that we are at a church that values the Bible, the message of Jesus... and making it all relevant in today's world. That it's a happy message, a message of hope, and that worshiping God doesn't have to be boring or stale -- but should be energizing and a reason for celebration. That we should go through life dancing because God Himself loves life and loves to see His children living it.
It was kind of an eye-opening church morning for me. That happens once in a while. When it seems as though the teaching of the week was hand picked for me. To Him who is able to do immeasurably more. And wants to do more. Ed Baker spoke a lot about "immeasurably more." He spoke on believing more. Praying more. Hoping more. He spoke on not just praying daily but praying big prayers. Knowing that yes, sometimes God might say no - giving us a redirection to the desires of our hearts. Yes - we might not always get what we ask for in prayer, but God sure loves to hear from us. And I think about my own children and how fast they are growing and how quickly time is flying, and I picture them at 25 years old. 30 years old. And I think about how much I am going to want to hear from them after they move out and move on with their own lives. How much a phone call from them will mean to me. How much I hope that they will want to talk to me when they are older and wiser and think they don't need me quite so much anymore. And I circle back to God and think about Him and it resonates with me that Pastor Ed is right. God wants to hear from us and delights in hearing from us, and I realize that I need to talk to Him even more than I already do. And I think about the prayers I tend to pray and the things in which I tend to ask for. Small things, really. And I wonder why I sell Him short. The One who created the universe and the stars. The One that gave me my babies and my family. The One that didn't have to make the Earth a beautiful place but did. And I sell Him short by praying small prayers, too worried about sounding greedy if I ask for more or bigger. And I think of my own kids and how if I could, I would give them the world if they asked for it -- or at least a small part of it -- because I love them so much.
Ephesians 3:20 kind of changed my world a little bit this Easter. It took one hour in a service at Orchard Hill church for my faith to grow even bigger and my relationship with Him to feel that much more real to me. And it was a good Easter day to follow.
What I'll remember most...
...the boys waking up bright and early as if it was Christmas morning. Hearing them in the hallway at 6:30am and calling out to them to wait right there so that Cody and I had a chance to get up and see their faces when they ran out to the living room to see what the Easter Bunny had brought for them.

"Mommy! These are what I WANTED!!"

...the weather all day long. I was pretty bummed when we woke up to rain before church, having hoped that we'd have some time for some outdoor family shots before the day got going. And as luck would have it, every time we needed the day to dry up a little, it did. There was a small window before church when the drizzle stopped. And there was a break in the storms and the lightning out at Grandpa Don's and Grandma Alda's farm in Allison when we were ready to hunt for eggs. And in between... the thunder and lightning put on a pretty fun show.

...the farm. The kids had so much fun dying Easter eggs, playing outside after the rain, and watching the lightning over the fields and hills. The women in the kitchen, the men in the living room and really good Easter ham.

...Brandon and the kitty. He just can't get enough of animals. "You're okay, kitty. You're okay. Aww."

...little baby cousin Henry. 10 months old and cute as can be. He was so happy and content the whole time. And he adored Jaden.

...the cousin's Easter egg hunt.

...all the adults gathered on the deck with beverages in hand while watching the kids play together. I'm so glad they have each other to grow up with.

...Grandpa Don pulling his collection of children's bikes out of the garage and each one of them taking a bike ride together up and down the very long gravel driveway. And of course Grandpa Don's golf cart rides.

...evening dinner at my parents. Soup and bread and salad. And the boys spending the entire evening outside playing hide and seek with each other. At one point, Jaden couldn't find Brandon so my dad and I went out to look. After not being able to find him either, I called out to him. "Brandon, come out now or you'll be in trouble!" We heard a tiny voice come from the front yard and eventually found him completely underneath a thick bush. When we lifted up the branches Jaden said to him with a very angry look on his face, "You scared me Brandon!" They love each other.

...family. We're blessed.

...and this. Knowing your children are happy. Hearing their sleepy yawns and seeing their sleeping faces and knowing you just helped them make some memories.
...immeasurably more.