07-22-18 Playground Ninja Warrior

Our hometown got hammered with rain over the past two days. I read somewhere that over a foot of rain fell. Images of flooded roads and downed trees filled my news feed throughout the day.

At our new house we got a break in the rain this afternoon and the kids got to go for a bike ride to the nearby school for some more time on the playground. They were excited that Daddy could join us. They created their own version of American Ninja Warrior, making an obstacle course through the equipment.

Tim, in true Tim form, made the perfect announcer for the event. It’s hard to say which contestant went the fastest. Big E got hung up on the Lillypad Jumps. C breezed up the twisty wall, but it proved too much for Baby E. They all handled the fiery walkway with ease. Big E definitely dominated the bumpy slide at the end. Whew, it was a tough competition!!

07-21-18 Madlibs

Months ago I found an online Madlibs site for children and I introduced the concept to my kids. I had to talk then through many of the blanks because they didn’t know the parts of speech, but after they got the hang of it they loved it.

Out of the blue this evening C asked to do some so I tracked down the site. The first one I did with her was about “Grandparents” and it turned out pretty funny.

It started raining this morning and it hasn’t stopped. Days like today make me want to find a book and curl up in bed. Instead Tim and I ran over to his parents house to pick up his car and the final load of boxes that were waiting there. By the time we drove home we were both drenched!

It is supposed to rain for the next week or so. After all the adventuring we’ve been doing it is going to be difficult to stay put, but I guess I won’t have any excuse to not unpack!

07-20-18 A Whirlwind

I made a whirlwind trip to my in laws house today with my mom and Baby E. I had been wanting to grab the big kids’ bikes and pack up the van with another load. We loaded up quickly, ran a few errands, stopped for ice cream and headed on our way to make it back before rush hour.

The kids took their bikes out this evening and we even headed to the school playground to get a little more exercise.

I ended the evening on the treadmill with four miles in 39:42!

07-18-18 Baby E’s Terrifying Moment…

The other day when we went to one of the local parks we had to walk through a golf course. It was a very long walk along a nice paved pathway. The weather was beautiful, albeit a little warm. My sister and I were walking along with C and Big E in front. Baby E was lagging behind but I was keeping an eye on him. All of a sudden I heard a howl coming from Baby E. It was a terrified scream, but not like he had gotten hurt. I whipped around to see him running full speed towards me, eyes wide open, mouth still screeching. It took me only a second to realize what was happening. There was a jogger coming up behind him and he thought the jogger was chasing him. Poor kid was convinced he was about to get snatched. As he ran into my arms I assured him that he was safe and the man wasn’t about to steal him. When he wasn’t looking, I couldn’t help but laugh. Poor kid!

Speaking of Baby E, he has been furnishing us with endless entertainment. He has become obsessed with the bones of the body and will gladly point out his mandible, his maxilla, nasal bone, frontal bone, and humerus. The other day he hurt himself and came crying to me, “I hurt my frontal bone!!!” That’s the forehead, by the way, and it’s the one he hits the most. That’s the problem with having such a large head!

Today we spent most of the day at the shop. On the way home we stopped at a park a few minutes from our house and the kids played. After we got home and had dinner we took a walk in our neighborhood and ended up at a nearby elementary school where the kids played on the playground as well. The kids are loving all the active time we are having outside, and I really am too!

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07-17-18 The shop and the treadmill…

I know I have mentioned on multiple occasions that my sister and I practically grew up in wood finishing shops. I remember knowing the different types of sandpapers when I was in elementary school. We drew faces on paint stir sticks and used them as dolls. We climbed on the wooden horses built to hold panels. A large dolly was our fort and we defended it with wads of used up masking tape. We created racetracks through the dirt with large shop brooms. We dangled from the metal bars on top of the forklift. We knew not to lean too far into a 55 gallon drum. We modeled the outfits we made out of clean rags. We exercised our imaginations every single day, eking out a child’s playground in a dusty, smelly, loud shop.

My parents still own the large fort dolly. I see it every time I go to the shop and it makes me smile, though it is a beast to move when it is fully loaded!

I left the kids with my mom today, and my sister and I spent the day at the shop. I admit that I am still timid there, fearful that I will make a mistake that will cause someone else time and money to fix. I ask a bazillion questions and beg people to look over my shoulder to make sure I am doing things right. I know with practice I will get the hang of it, it will just take time.

The kids spent their day very productively. When I got home, Big E sat on my lap and read me two books! He has never done that before and I congratulated him on a job well done. C has been reading through some chapter books and Baby E couldn’t wait to show me his worksheets where he drew straight lines. We also went for a walk in our neighborhood and the kids built with their legos.

After I got them to bed, I headed down to the treadmill. I hit my 3.1 miles (5k) this evening, a goal I had set for myself when I started last week. I did it in 32:47. I was so giddy I that I actually did it!! I haven’t been adding any inclines to my run, but by this time next week I hope to be doing that!

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07-16-18 Cousins

I don’t think I can express how happy I am that Tim’s sister and family moved so close to our new house. One of the things that I knew we would be sacrificing by making our move was that our kids would not be as close to their cousins as they had been. The fact that they still have cousins a short drive away makes all the difference! Today we headed to their town to check out a huge park near their house. It had a swimming pool, walking trails, bmx biking area, sports fields, an amphitheater, and a playground. We even found a small stream nearby that we will be wading in the next time we go there!

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07-15-18 He who is mighty

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I sat on the front porch this afternoon as a warm breeze floated across the yard and played with strands of my hair. Baby E was pacing the sidewalk with a long piece of grass in his hand when we heard the first rumble of thunder. The forecast had promised the rain would hold off until evening, but with each passing moment the rumbling got louder. The wind picked up and large, heavy drops began to dot the ground around Baby E’s feet. The storm was near. I looked at the map and it looked impressive, the radar populated with greens, yellows, and deep reds.

It rained for a few minutes, but then it stopped. When I checked again, the storm had skirted just south of us by only a mile or so. This time we had been spared.

Life can be like an abrupt summer storm. One moment the sun is shining, the birds are dancing across wind currents, and a hummingbird flits past in a blurry streak of color. But then the sky turns dark. The winds pick up. The rain drips and then drenches. The lightning blinds and the thunder shakes. If we are lucky, we only get caught on the outskirts, but it is only a matter of time before the deluge falls upon us. The storm can come in many ways- the loss of a job, infertility, the death of a loved one, a medical condition, the decline of a marriage, the waywardness of children, and so on and so on. And if it isn’t currently happening to us, it is happening to someone we know.

I have often wondered how people face life without Christ. To me it seems too heavy a burden. I’ve been a Christian since I was 5. I don’t remember a time when Christ wasn’t a part of my life. There have been moments I have kept Him at arms length, moments I didn’t trust him with the most vulnerable parts of me, moments I screamed my frustrations and disappointments to the sky. But His patience has outlived my fear, my anxiety, my endless questions, my continual wrestling. Through it all, the only constant has been Him. He saved me, a sinner, by pure grace- for by my own merit I always fall short.

I’m not sure what you are going through tonight. I don’t know if you are in the middle of a storm, if one just missed you, or if there is one on the horizon, but know this… you don’t have to navigate it alone. God put on flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. He set aside His glory for a crown of thorns and a blood soaked cross, not because you were good or worthy, but because He is.

“He who is mighty has done a great thing. Taken on flesh, conquered death’s sting.”

He Who Is Mighty

Songwriter(s): Kate DeGraide, Rebecca Elliott

Lyrics:

VERSE 1
Oh, the mercy our God has shown
To those who sit in death’s shadow
The sun on high pierced the night
Born was the Cornerstone

PRE-CHORUS
Unto us a Son is given, unto us a Child is born

CHORUS
He Who is mighty has done a great thing
Taken on flesh, conquered death’s sting
Shattered the darkness and lifted our shame
Holy is His name

VERSE 2
Oh, the freedom our Savior won
The yoke of sin has been broken
Once a slave, now by grace
No more condemnation

BRIDGE
Now my soul magnifies the Lord
I rejoice in the God Who saves
I will trust His unfailing love
I will sing His praises all my days

07-14-18 Two Weeks…

Today marks two weeks since our move. We still don’t have most of our stuff at the new house, but I feel like we are settling in very well. It’s been two full weeks of being with my family. To put it into perspective, the longest I have been with my kids was the twelve weeks after I had Baby E and during that time I was recovering from a c-section and we were moving into the townhouse. This is nothing like that. There is no schedule. I get to the end of each day completely, physically exhausted, but not stressed. Each day brings more joy and wonder as I get the chance to watch my kids, to be there, to experience them day in and day out. I thought this transition would be harder than it has been. I thought I would miss my old home more. I thought I would regret leaving my job. I thought I would have to adjust, but it all feels so completely natural that there is no doubt this is where we should be.

During the two weeks we have been here, we have gone on 9 ‘adventures’ (things that include parks, trails, and splash pads.) We’ve had at least 4 cousin visits, 1 play date, several days working at the shop, and I’ve taken up running on a treadmill. We have definitely been filling up our time.

This morning we decided to cross another park off of our list. For this particular park, we had to follow a paved trail through a working golf course all the way to the river’s edge. The sun was hot today, and the long walk across the golf course wore us out, but we were pleasantly surprised when we got to our destination. We were on the bank of a large river. There were rocks to climb on, animal tracks to examine, birds to watch, and frogs to look for. This was one of the more breathtaking parks we have been to, and while it wore us out, we vowed to return on a beautiful cloudy day!

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07-13-18 One of those days…

Today was one of those days I am happy to be putting behind me. From the moment I woke up this morning, nothing seemed to fall into place and I am grateful that I will be crawling into bed momentarily. It’s days like today that I struggle for control and I have to remind myself that God is sovereign. He is sovereign over the things I can manage, and he is sovereign over the things that are too big to carry. He answers my fears with comfort, my tears with peace, and my shortcomings with grace.

sovereign