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Lessons I Have Learned from Legos

6 Jan

It is a new era in our household-the Lego era.  Charlie got a Batman Lego set for Christmas, and it has probably been his favorite, most played with toy since then.  It has not yet left our living room to make the trip up to Charlie’s room because he plays with it so much.

This is where Charlie now spends a lot of his days!

This is where Charlie now spends a lot of his days!

I spent 3 hours putting that thing together during Maddie’s naptime on Christmas Eve, with Charlie sitting next to me on the floor hanging onto my every move.  It is honestly a memory I will cherish.

What I will not cherish, however, is the fallout from the Legos.  I noticed on the box that the recommended age for this particular set was 7-14.  I had no problem putting it together and it really was quite fun to do-kind of like putting together a puzzle. There were several characters included like Batman, the Joker, and the Riddler, and there were two different vehicles to assemble, and the set itself is really cool.  There are trap doors and ropes that dip people in vats of acid.

But, let me tell you, there is a reason that the recommended age for this particular toy is 7-14.  Charlie loves his Legos and spends a great part of his day playing with the set-and I spend a great part of my day reassembling it. He is constantly tearing it up or knocking part of it off, and he can’t put it back together by himself, so I have to do it.

This has had a couple of negative repercussions…

1.  It has made one of my New Year’s goals (not yelling) very hard to reach, and while I don’t think I have yelled about the Lego set, I have used a not-so-nice tone after assembling Joker’s funhouse for the gazillionth time.

2.  It has made another of my New Year’s goals (saying “yes” more often) harder to reach.  I really, really, really want to say “No, I will not put it back together again.”  I did tell Charlie that if he tore it apart again, he would have to reassemble it himself (That was yesterday-I spent approximately 2 hours on the living room floor reassembling it for him this afternoon, so obviously I didn’t stick to my guns on that one.).

…and also some positive repercussions:

1.  It gives Charlie and I something fun to do together that we both enjoy.  It really is fun to put together, and he loves playing with it so much, which brings joy to both of us.

2.  It caused me to examine my actions and reactions.  I was getting really upset over Charlie destroying the Lego set.  I finally told Jason last night (after Jason accidentally stepped on the funhouse and Charlie got teary because I had told him I wouldn’t put it together again) that I just needed to let go.  It wasn’t a masterpiece that I had invented; I had assembled a set of Legos made for children.  It is a toy that is meant to be played with.

3.  I have realized that one day soon Charlie won’t need me to put together his Legos for him anymore.  One day he will take his Lego box up to his room, dump it out on the floor, and do it himself. That day is coming quickly, guys, and even though I always want him to need me to assemble his Legos for him, he won’t always need that.  I need to cherish these moments and take advantage of them while I can.

4.  It has opened up a whole new world to us!  Legos are awesome, people. Did you know that there is a movie coming out next month?

So event though it has been a little difficult for me and challenged me right away on some of my New Year’s goals, I am so glad Charlie got the Legos for Christmas.  And guess what he picked out today as his prize for being so brave at the doctor this morning?

That’s right….

Already put it together....twice.

Already put it together….twice.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/daily-prompt-new-2/

5 Goals for 2014

1 Jan

Part of my devotion on She Reads Truth last month included coming up with 5 goals for 2014.  Now, I am pretty big on the New Year and fresh starts, and I am honestly pretty good at keeping my New Year’s resolutions.  Two years ago I resolved to read the Bible everyday, and I have done that (except for a day missed here and there), and I have resolved to do things like organize and work out, and I have kept up with those pretty well.

5 goals, though?  I have been thinking about this for about a week now, and had trouble coming up with 5.  That seems like a lot, doesn’t it?

Well, here’s what I finally came up with:

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Some of these may sound a little strange to you, but they make perfect sense to me.  For example, I know most people say “yes” too much and are trying to simplify and say “no,” but I have become really good at saying “no” and probably say it a bit too much.  I would like to change that.

Get up earlier?  Yes.  I will admit, I have become a bit lazy when it comes to getting up in the morning, and it really effects my entire day.

The others are pretty self-explanatory, I think.  I have more I want to add, like get paid for my writing, and be healthier, but I could only choose 5, so…….

What are your 5 goals for 2014?  And “writing 2014 instead of 2013” does not count!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Looking Back on 2013

31 Dec

Can you all believe that 2013 is over?  I can’t say that I am sorry to see it go.  It has not been an easy year, but one thing I have learned is that God works through all of our struggles, so I don’t regret any of it!

I have been looking back through some pictures that I took this year, and thought I would share some of the highlights with you.

This was taken at the beginning of February, right after Maddie's 2nd birthday.  Now I am preparing for her 3rd birthday party, and can't believe how she has grown and changed!  She won't wear the cute onesie outfits that so loved anymore, but her bangs are still in her eyes!

This was taken at the beginning of February, right after Maddie’s 2nd birthday. Now I am preparing for her 3rd birthday party, and can’t believe how she has grown and changed! She won’t wear the cute onesie outfits that I so loved anymore, but her bangs are still in her eyes!

This photo is from March, and these pajamas are now too small for the Chachinator.  His batman costume, however, is not!  He still loves everything Batman, and has added several other costumes to his collection.

This photo is from March, and these pajamas are now too small for the Chachinator. His batman costume, however, is not! He still loves everything Batman, and has added several other costumes to his collection.

We spent a lot of time this spring and summer playing outside.  The kids loved blowing dandelion seeds everywhere, and would run to them anytime they saw one, no matter where we were.

We spent a lot of time this spring and summer playing outside. The kids loved blowing dandelion seeds everywhere, and would run to them anytime they saw one, no matter where we were.

Charlie turned 4 this year!

Charlie turned 4 this year!

We had a big garden this year and loved working out there with the kids.  Charlie and I walked out to the garden spot today and talked about looking forward to our next garden!

We had a big garden this year and loved working out there with the kids. Charlie and I walked out to the garden spot today and talked about looking forward to our next garden!

Charlie and Maddie have gotten along pretty well this year.  I am glad they are so close in age....

Charlie and Maddie have gotten along pretty well this year. I am glad they are so close in age….

...but they certainly have their moments.

…but they certainly have their moments.

Pee Wee is still with us, and after being blind for a few weeks, can see!  We love our Wee Head!

Pee Wee is still with us, and after being blind for a few weeks, can see! We love our Wee Head!

We have gained some new additions to our family this year.  Gaga Kitty, Bat Kitty, and Baby Kitty (who is show as a kitten in this picture) have grown into big, beautiful cats.  They are wonderful mice-catchers and are much-loved additions to our family.

We have gained some new additions to our family this year. Gaga Kitty, Bat Kitty, and Baby Kitty (who is show as a kitten in this picture) have grown into big, beautiful cats. They are wonderful mice-catchers and are much-loved additions to our family.

Charlie feeding Baby Kitty in July.  Baby Kitty is big and fluffy now, and Charlie and Maddie love him so much.

Charlie feeding Baby Kitty in July. Baby Kitty is big and fluffy now, and Charlie and Maddie love him so much.

Charlie and Maddie took swimming lessons this summer and did great!  Charlie is a great swimmer, and Maddie just does what Maddie does!

Charlie and Maddie took swimming lessons this summer and did great! Charlie is a great swimmer…

...while Maddie does what Maddie does!

…while Maddie does what Maddie does!

We were lucky enough to spend a little time at the beach this summer!

We were lucky enough to spend a little time at the beach this summer!

VBS at Bonlee Baptist in August was GREAT!  So much fun.  I am still not recovered, though!

VBS at Bonlee Baptist in August was GREAT! So much fun. I am still not recovered, though!

Emma has continued to grow into a beautiful almost-2 year old.  She is precious and we love her.

Emma has continued to grow into a beautiful almost-2 year old. She is precious and we love her.

We celebrated Jason's 37th birthday at Myrtle Beach.  He is such a wonderful man!

We celebrated Jason’s 37th birthday at Myrtle Beach. He is such a wonderful man!

Charlie entered into a lego airplane contest into September.  He actually asked me TODAY if he won, and I had to tell him no.  I wish I could tell him he wins everything for his whole life, but that wouldn't be good for him, I guess.  :(

Charlie entered into a lego airplane contest into September. He actually asked me TODAY if he won, and I had to tell him no. I wish I could tell him he wins everything for his whole life, but that wouldn’t be good for him, I guess. 😦

We got to hang out a lot with Jill and Addison this year, including a great day dressing up as pirates to get free doughnuts!  It has been a joy to get to know Addison this year and see Jill become a mother!

We got to hang out a lot with Jill and Addison this year, including a great day dressing up as pirates to get free doughnuts! It has been a joy to get to know Addison this year and see Jill become a mother!

The kids and I traveled to Mt. Airy quite a bit this year to visit with our family there.  This pic is from the Doby reunion in October.  Charlie and Maddie love their cousins in Mt. Airy and even have a new cousin-Samuel!

The kids and I traveled to Mt. Airy quite a bit this year to visit with our family there. This pic is from the Doby reunion in October. Charlie and Maddie love their cousins in Mt. Airy and even have a new cousin-Samuel!

Jason has been doing a LOT of hunting this fall.  This pic was taken by his deer cam. Hahahahaha!

Jason has been doing a LOT of hunting this fall. This pic was taken by his deer cam. Hahahahaha!

We had a great time at the state fair in October.  Charlie and Maddie are getting to the perfect ages to do lots of fun stuff!

We had a great time at the state fair in October. Charlie and Maddie are getting to the perfect ages to do lots of fun stuff!

Batman and a princess for Halloween.  One of the highlights of our Halloween this year was Trunk-or-treat at our church when about 150 people from our community showed up to join us!  WOW! It has been so great to see God working this year.

Batman and a princess for Halloween. One of the highlights of our Halloween this year was Trunk-or-treat at our church when about 150 people from our community showed up to join us! WOW! It has been so great to see God working this year.

Charlie, Maddie, and Noah riding on an elephant at the Shriner's circus in November!

Charlie, Maddie, and Noah riding on an elephant at the Shriner’s circus in November!

We wrapped up the year with a great Christmas!  This is at the Doby Christmas Tree Farm, where we get our tree every year.

We wrapped up the year with a great Christmas! This is at the Doby Christmas Tree Farm, where we get our tree every year.

This has been quite a year, full of ups and downs.  My nephew Sam has spent the year fighting cancer, and is starting out 2014 a hero.  We lost my grandma the day after Christmas, but I am finding great comfort when I imagine her in Heaven and all of the wonderful things she must be doing.  A lot has happened this year.

I have hope for the coming year.  God is with me and everything will be used for His good!  I have a wonderful husband, healthy children, and a close, supportive, loving family.  I have great friends and a close group of praying women who support me.  

Here is a wonderful prayer that I found here.  (Author not known)  I pray it for all of you.

A Prayer for the New Year

What shall I ask for the coming year
What shall my watchword be
What should thou do for me, dear Lord
What can I do for thee?

Lord, I would ask for a holy year
Spent in thy perfect will
Help me to walk in thy very steps
Help me to please thee still.

Lord, I would ask for a trustful year
Give me thy faith divine
Taking my full inheritance
Making thy fulness mine!

Lord, I would ask for a year of love
O let me love thee best
Give me the love that faileth not
Beneath the hardest test.

Lord, I would ask for a year of prayer
Teach me to walk with thee
Breathe in my heart the Spirit’s prayer
Pray thou thy prayer in me!

Lord, I would ask for the dying world
Stretch forth thy mighty hand
Thy truth proclaim, thy power display
This year in every land.

Lord, I would ask for a year of joy
Thy peace, thy joy divine
Springing undimmed through all the days
Be thy days of shade or shine.

Lord, I ask for a year of hope
Looking for thee to come
And hastening on that year of years
That brings us home to you.

The Proverbs 31 Woman

26 Dec

After a year of sickness and the past 2 months spent in the hospital, my grandma went to be with the Lord this morning.  She waited until 1:00 am the day after Christmas to go to Heaven, her last selfless act.  I am sure she waited so she would not disturb anyone’s Christmas plans.

The past couple of months while Grandma has been in the hospital and I have been anticipating this moment, I have been reflecting on her life and the lives that have been impacted by her.  In her 88 years on earth, Grandma was a shining example of what I consider to be a Christian woman.  She loved Jesus and that was evident in her everyday actions and words.

I love reading about the Proverbs 31 woman in the Bible.  I study that chapter in the Bible and try to live my life like her, and I have to keep in mind that the woman described in Proverbs 31 spent her entire life doing everything that is told in that chapter.  She couldn’t have been all of those things at once, and neither can I or any other woman, but I hope that by the end of my life I will have at least gotten close!

Reading through Proverbs 31 this afternoon, I realized that Grandma has done it!  She has been the Proverbs 31 woman.

Proverbs 31 (NLT)
10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
Anyone who thinks of my grandma thinks of my papa.  She loved him with all of her heart, showing him graciousness, forgiveness, love, kindness, understanding and support for their entire life together.  Her love for Papa exemplified what a true servant’s heart should be.  They are in Heaven together right this minute, and I know she isn’t looking back.
13 She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
Grandma was a hard-working woman.  She worked her entire life doing different things for her family, and she didn’t whine or complain about it.  In fact, her only complaint was when she could no longer work!
Grandma loved cooking for the family, and a lot of my childhood and adulthood memories center around eating at Grandma’s.  She always had something to eat, even if it was peanut butter crackers!  She made the best sweet tea in the world, and it will never be replicated.
Grandma loved canning beets, pickles, green beans, vegetable and tomato soup, tomatoes, and tons of other things.  Her basement is full of canned goods as we speak, and she always made sure to send me home with some canned foods (But watch out if you didn’t return her cans!).
Grandma always had a clean house.  That was important to her, and she worked hard at it.
Grandma worked hard for her family and for other people, never thinking of herself or her comfort.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.
Grandma and Papa were certainly both well-known for their many precious qualities.  They were leaders in their family, which is most important in this life.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
Strong and dignified are the perfect words to describe my grandma.  She possessed those 2 qualities that a lot of women today lack, and she instilled them in her children and grandchildren.  
Grandma laughed without fear of the future until the very end, because she knew that her future would be in Heaven.  I know that is what she wants for every one of us here mourning her now.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.

 Grandma was so wise.  She knew so much, but most importantly she knew about a woman’s instinct and its importance.  She was always willing to share her knowledge and advice, but not unless it was asked for, and always with love and kindness.  I could call her up to find out about a recipe or for advice about the kids, and she would always stop whatever she was doing to talk to me.

27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
There are so many wonderful things I could say about Grandma, but what stands out the most as I look back on my time with her on this earth is that she showed us a glimpse of God’s love for us.  God worked through Grandma for her entire life, and that is all any of us can endeavor for.
Well done, my good and faithful servant...

Well done, my good and faithful servant…

Monday Praises-God Keeps His Promises

2 Dec

I will admit, this Monday got away from me!  It’s hard sending Jason off to work after a little vacation, and Maddie is sick, and I get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I even think about Christmas play practice last night, and my grandma isn’t doing very well, and, well…blah. I could give a long list of complaints about today.

I have been sitting here looking through YouTube, hoping for some inspiration for this post, and I happened upon this:

Isn’t it wonderful?  Whitney Houston was so talented, and I have always loved this version of Do You Hear What I Hear. I have been listening to it over and over.  Jason is trying to watch a football game and he probably thinks I’m crazy, but i just love it.

I want to praise God now for always keeping His promises, but most importantly His promise for a Savior…a way out.  I have some petty little problems, but God is bigger and Jesus is bigger than any Monday.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:9-14

Monday Praises-Buzz Lightyear’s Take on Thanksgiving

25 Nov

Do you ever have so much to say that you can’t say it?  I am feeling that way this morning.  I have so many things to praise God for that I can’t get my thoughts together to put them into words.  I have been in a state of thanksgiving this month, and now here we are with Thanksgiving just a few days away.

Charlie and Maddie are definitely tired of hearing about Thanksgiving and all that we have to praise God for.  I told them this morning at breakfast that this was Thanksgiving week and we would be spending extra time thanking God for all he had blessed us with.  I told Charlie to try to think of some things he wanted to thank God for.  He was dressed up as Buzz Lightyear at the time, and he told me, “I can’t do that.  I am Buzz and all he does is fight aliens.”

I thank God this week for sending his son, Jesus, to die on the cross for me.  I thank Him for allowing me to be born in a country that allows me the freedom to worship Him.  I thank Him for blessing me and my family with food, shelter, and everything we need and also what we want.

I am also thankful that Buzz is around to keep the house free of aliens!

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Monday Praises-God’s Provision

18 Nov

Isn’t it easy to rely on ourselves and forget who is really in control?  I spend a lot of time worrying about things that I have no business worrying about, and in fact I am sinning against God because I am putting my trust in myself or another person instead of putting my trust in the Lord.

I was reminded of this last night when I was at my church packing shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse.  This was our second night of packing, and we had restocked with plenty of soap and washcloths and toothbrushes and toothpaste, but it looked like we were running out of little toys to put in the boxes.  I looked at the mounds of hygiene items we had remaining, and the stacks of empty boxes behind me, and I started to panic. What are we going to do? I thought.  I immediately started to form a plan in my head.  One of use can go to the Dollar Store and buy a bunch of toys.  We can just stay late to get it done.  

As I was just about to voice my concerns and my solution to my church family (love them, by the way) in walked another woman from our church and her daughter with huge bags of socks, toys, etc.  I immediately saw what God had done.  Wow, that was humbling.  There I was, spending my energy trying to solve a problem, and God already had it solved.  He was at work the entire time (through someone else, might I add-another humbling thought).

We ended up with over 100 boxes!

I want to thank God today for always providing what we need, especially when we are doing His work.  He knows what I need, when I need it.  He is so awesome.
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Be sure to check out Walk Humbly With God for more Monday Praises!

30 Days

12 Nov

A big thanks to my mom, Charlotte Holt, for writing today’s post on thankfulness!

 

Every year several of my friends take the month of November to post things they are thankful for. This was going to be my first year to try it.

I made lists of things I am thankful for. I kept notes on my cell phone (one of the things I’m thankful for), notes on paper, random words that I would write on my checkbook so I wouldn’t forget when I wrote my posts.

It’s easy to think of things I’m thankful for. I struggled with putting it in a post on Facebook. If I put one thing ahead of the other thing, did that mean it was more important to me? I knew it wasn’t, but would the rest of my Facebook world? Did it matter?

This month I have found myself in a state of gratitude. I will be thinking of things I am thankful for and suddenly I am praying, thanking God for my blessings, asking Him to bless others. I have also found that when I am in a state of gratitude, I am happier. It follows me throughout the day.

I realize this is the way God wants us to be. It brings peace to my life.

Colossians 3:15 (NAS) And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

My intention for this writing was to list the things I am thankful for. I think, though, I will keep these things between me and God. But I want you to know, if you are reading this, I probably have or probably will thank God for you sometime during this 30 days of November.

 

Busy-ness and Rest

11 Nov

I was talking to Casey on the phone today about how this week really snuck up on me.  We had a pretty lazy week last week, and I will be honest-I took a lot of naps! It was great, but a little boring, especially now that the time has changed and the days are so short.

Casey and I were supposed to get together one night this week for dinner, but it just isn’t happening.  I realized yesterday that we are having people over several days this week.  Not that I don’t love having friends over, but I may have over-scheduled us this week!  Add in Bible Study on Tuesday, a meeting at church on Wednesday, Story Time on Thursday, 2 wreath orders, a last-minute magazine article assignment, and the novel I am trying to write for NaNoWriMo, and I am a busy person.

So busy that I forgot until just a few minutes ago that I haven’t yet written my Monday Praises blog post.  Whaaaattttt? It is my favorite post to write all week!  How could I forget?

I had to think, What can I praise God for tonight? The answer popped right into my head: REST.

I am so thankful that I have plenty to do, and that I feel like doing it.  I am so thankful for good friends for me and my children and for a nice place for them to come to and for food to feed them.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,”  Colossians 3:23

I am also thankful that I can get into a nice warm bed at night and sit here with my laptop to type this up.  Even God rested, after all.

Genesis 2: 2-3 “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”

And I am thankful for not only physical rest, but for rest for my soul and heart and mind.  God has given me such peace in my life, even in the midst of the turmoil that is life.

Psalm 62:1-2 “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

 

 

Monday Praises-God’s Creativity

4 Nov

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1

In my Sunday School class yesterday we were talking about suffering on Earth, and how even creation is suffering and groaning and struggling.  Creation was cursed when man was, so can you imagine what it will be like when it is no longer restrained and can really show itself in all its glory?  It is going to be AMAZING!

I love nature.  I praise God for his creativity and his vision and his workmanship, and I cannot even imagine how wonderful it will be to see His creations when they are not being restrained by the sins of man.

A beautiful tree in our front yard.

A beautiful tree in our front yard.

 

Make sure you check out Walk Humbly With God for some more reasons to praise God today!