Tag Archives: God

Planting with the Crazy Peoples

1 Mar

Am I the only one who is  SO ready for spring?  I decided today to do a little early planting with Charlie and Maddie and enjoy checking out the fruits of our labor for the remainder of this dreary winter.

All we did was take a glass container (I bought this one at Pottery Barn years ago and use it year-round for different decorations), fill it with glass beads, stick some calla lily bulbs down into the beads, and add a little water.  This would be really cute in mason jars or any type of glass vase or pitcher.

Charlie was being silly for the camera so I had to include some pics of his hilarious self.

Eating cookies and playing with the beads a bit

Eating cookies and playing with the beads a bit

Charlie was cracking me up

Charlie was cracking me up

Adding the beads

Adding the beads

A few more...

A few more…

This is what it looks like after the bulbs and some water were added.  It isn't too pretty now, but when they begin growing they will be gorgeous!  I hope they're ready in time for Easter...

This is what it looks like after the bulbs and some water were added. It isn’t too pretty now, but when they begin growing they will be gorgeous! I hope they’re ready in time for Easter…

This was really fun to do with the kids and I know they’ll be so excited when the flowers start growing.  We’re definitely going to have to talk about planting seeds in people by talking about Jesus (Matt 28:19) and also how seeds grow into big, beautiful things (Matt 13: 30-32).  Springtime is such a wonderful opportunity to teach about God’s love for us and how his love is expressed in nature.

I’ll post some pics of our flowers when they bloom!

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for V-Day!

13 Feb

Good afternoon, everyone!  I hope everyone is having a great day in spite of this nasty weather we are having.  I am having a wonderful day because I have just discovered that there is a Dunkin Donuts in Siler City!  YES.  You heard me correctly.  They make them there every morning at the Hess gas station, and it is so wonderful.  When you walk in the gas station, it is warm and light and clean and full of the wonderful smell of fresh dough and sugar and coffee.  I was a little upset at first that I am just now finding out about this.  I mean, why has no one told me?  Anyway, it is now my mission to let everyone know that there is a Dunkin Donuts in Siler City and you can go there and get some of the best, freshest doughnuts that you will ever have in your life.  I bought a dozen of the Valentine’s doughnuts, but just know that I will be going back for some of the doughnut holes and giant muffins that I saw.  And to everyone who did not tell me about this: you should be ashamed of yourself. Thank goodness that Mama had surgery, because one of her friends brought her some doughnuts and informed me of Dunkin Donuts’ presence in our itty-bitty town!

Pink Hearts filled with Boston Creme-we had these for dessert after lunch

Pink Hearts filled with Boston Creme-we had these for dessert after lunch

Chocolate filled with brownie-for later

Chocolate filled with brownie-for later

After we got home from our doughnut run, the Charlie and I finished up our Valentines for storytime tomorrow.  I found this excellent site through Pinterest where you can print out Valentines cards that have a great Bible verse on them.  Isn’t God’s love the greatest love of all?  What a great opportunity to share his love with our friends!  Here’s the site:

rachelwojo.com/goodies/

We just printed out the cards she offers, cut them out and glued them on some scrapbook paper, signed Charlie and Maddie’s names on the back, and tied them onto little bags of Sweethearts.  It turned out so cute and we hardly spend any money.

cute little bags of Sweethearts

cute little bags of Sweethearts

Gluing the cards

Gluing the cards

They turned out really cute

They turned out really cute

We also made some cards for Jason.  The kids did some painting.  I tried to get their handprints on the cards, but they just ended up as  abstract art!

DSC_0068

DSC_0065

Have a great Valentine’s Day, everyone!

The Oxymoron Known as February

10 Feb

When I was teaching (seems like forever ago now, even though it was only 4 years ago) I remember that February, while the shortest month of the year, always felt like the longest.  It was cold and dreary, there were no vacations or breaks in sight, and it just seemed to drag on forever.  I always dreaded February 1st and knew that once I had made it through the month it would be a downhill slide from there.  I am pretty sure that most of my teacher friends, as well as the students, felt the same way!

Now that I am a stay-at-home mom, my feelings about the month of February have not changed too much.  We do have Maddie’s birthday to celebrate at the beginning of the month, but it is otherwise an uneventful, winter month.  This year we have been blessed with gorgeous weather so at least we have been able to get outside some, but the shortness of the days is just a little bit depressing.

This February is living up to February’s of the past so far.  Mama had her hip replacement surgery, so my days (and some nights) have been filled with taking care of her.  This in itself is not a bad task-the kids love being at her house and I have enjoyed spending time with her.  (I think by the time it’s over I can maybe talk her into being a stay-at-home Gaga!) But a few days ago, everyone in our family got sick.  I mean everyone.  Chris, Randy and Bethony and their boys, Kitten, then me, Charlie, and Maddie.  I think Casey got it, too.  The only person who hasn’t been sick is Mama, I think because of the tremendous amount of antibiotics they pumped into her at the hospital.  This has made everything a bit difficult.

Anyway, I decided to cheer myself up the other morning while one of Mama’s friends was at her house with her.  I checked out my favorite blogs and saw that everyone is suffering from the February blues, and this knowledge in itself made me feel a little better!  Misery loves company, after all!  I decided to steal some of their ideas and add in a few of my own to make my day a little better.

First, I got the kids set up.  I built a fort in the living room and put out Play-Dough and Moon Dough in the kitchen and they were good to go with minimal intervention on my part.  I put on my favorite Pandora station: Casting Crown Radio.  Nothing like praising God really loudly to cheer me up:

Casting Crowns Radio on Pandora

Casting Crowns Radio on Pandora

Then, I made myself some good water.  This sounds crazy, but drinking lots of water is important to me.  It helps my skin and just makes me feel better.  I got the brilliant reminder on one of my favorite blogs to add some lemon to just help it out a bit: http://spoiled-fresh.com/2013/02/07/how-to-get-yourself-to-drink-more-water-fancify-it/.  There are some other great water recipes on this post, also.

Water with fresh Florida lemons!

Water with fresh Florida lemons!

So once I had some good music going and something to drink, I decided to make some sugar scrub.  I found this idea on my very favorite blog, le zoe musings.  This is a really great, calming, inspiring blog.  She takes great pictures and has really good, easy ideas.  On today’s blog, she had instructions on how to make a Coconut Tea Rose Sugar Scrub.  Here is the link to it: http://lezoemusings.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/diy-coconut-tea-rose-sugar-scrub/.  I, of course, didn’t have all of those ingredients so I had to improvise a bit.  I found a lavender baby oil gel that someone had given me when Charlie was born and I hadn’t used, so I decided to use it as my base.  I had 1/2 cup of it, added 1 cup of sugar, then opened up a packet of green tea, mixed it all together, and viola: lavender green tea sugar scrub!  I was really proud of myself and I so enjoyed using it in my shower that morning. Everyone can be expecting to be getting some sort of homemade sugar scrub from me as a gift this year!

green tea and lavender baby oil gel

green tea and lavender baby oil gel

mixing the ingredients

mixing the ingredients

lavender green tea sugar scrub

lavender green tea sugar scrub-ready to give to mama

 

Another thing that I did recently (and am still enjoying today) to add a little cheer to my day was to buy myself some flowers.  This was honestly an impulse buy that I have ended up enjoying.  These lilies are some of my favorite flowers.  They smell wonderful and last forever, and I added a few sprigs of rosemary from my rosemary plant and it is just gorgeous.  It cheers me up a bit every time I walk in the door and see them!

lilies with rosemary sprigs

lilies with rosemary sprigs

What do you do to make it through this LONG winter month?

 

 

Sweet Devilish Charlie

22 Feb

Charlie, who has always been a little late with everything (he didn’t start walking until he was 18 months old), has decided to come into his terrible-two’s now.  As I type this blog entry, he is throwing balls out of his ball pit at his sister.  I feel like I have to constantly stay on top of him.  So far, I have found that taking away the play-doh and Legos are most effective, along with telling him that he can’t watch Caillou or Bob the Builder (Thank goodness he no longer likes The Wiggles-how annoying is that show?).  He also really hates being in time out, so I just have to mention it and he straightens up.  Of course, there is the occasional spanking.  I have decided not to overuse that form of punishment and save it for the most dire crimes that could result in death or injury.  Several mothers and gandmothers  told me that if I can just hang in there until he turns 4  he will be okay, and I am hanging onto that hope with every shred of my being!

While he has his bad moments, Charlie also has so many good, sweet moments.  A couple of weeks ago he wouldn’t share a toy with a friend who was visiting our house.  I told him that he needed to be nice and share his toys, that God wants us to be nice and kind to people.  He said, through his tears, “God is wrong.” I had trouble keeping a straight face as I told him that God is never wrong.

The day before yesterday he asked me where Heaven is.  I explained to him that Heaven is in the sky, so far away that we can’t see it, but that even though God is far away he still sees and hears everything that we say and do.  At the time we were sitting at the kitchen table and I had the laundry room door open, so the washer and dryer were loud.  Charlie said “God can’t hear us because of the dryer.”  The boy cracks me up. 

One thing I have discovered about children:  They can bring you to your highest of highs and your lowest of lows.

Here’s a picture of Charlie and Maddie on Maddie’s first birthday.  The question is this: Is he hugging her, or strangling her?

If This Were Notebook Paper, You Would See Teardrops

21 May

Two years ago today, I was sitting in a hospital room at UNC-Chapel Hill and Charlie , all 4 lbs. 5 oz. of him, was laying in the NICU downstairs from me.  How the past two years have flown by, and now we are staring down the terrible two’s. 

To an adult, two years isn’t very long.  We don’t physically change too much and we don’t really take any huge intellectual leaps, but to a child two years is a very long time!  Charlie has gained over 20 pounds and almost 20 inches and has learned hundreds of words.  He is figuring out that he has emotions and that there are rules in the the world.  He is making friends and only today gained the courage to go up the ladder on the swingset and go down the slide alone.

I am so excited for him and what he has accomplished in the past two years, but I am also sad that he is growing up so quickly and that I am not going to be able to shelter him from the meanness of the world for too much longer.  Someone in storytime would not share his truck with him yesterday, and there was nothing I could do about it.  My heart just breaks when I picture him on his knees  staring at that truck.  If he only knew how many “trucks” there would be in his life.

Oh, I just love him so much that words cannot be written to describe the feeling.  I really look forward to the next year and what it will bring, and I hope that I can be the mommy that he deserves to have.  I pray that Jesus will be on his shoulder at all times guiding him down the right path, and that Charlie will listen as He whispers in his ear.

Whatever Happened to Cake and Chips?

18 May

I cannot believe it, but Sunday afternoon we celebrated Charlie’s 2nd birthday.  After Charlie’s 1st birthday party, a stressful event for Jason and me in which we fed hotdogs and hamburgers to 50-some people in our garage since it rained, we vowed that for Charlie’s next birthday party we would be ordering pizza.  We didn’t time it right and Charlie couldn’t take a nap, and it was just plain exhausting. This year, I really wanted to have a nice party that I could also enjoy!  When the time came around to begin planning his party, however, I found myself veering in the direction of another stressful event.

The guest list ballooned to over 70 people as I tried to include all of our humongous, blended families, as well as Charlie’s new friends from storytime.  We decided that instead of pizza, we would use some of the hundreds of hotdogs in our freezer that were left over from a recent fundraiser.  And, my choice of a bubble theme proved to be difficult to shop for.

This could have been bad, very bad, but thanks to the help of my family, and to God, it turned out very well!  My mom gave me a clean house for Mother’s Day, so I didn’t have to worry about cleaning all week.  I spent Saturday cooking baked beans, cupcakes, and chili, and we borrowed tables and chairs from our church instead of renting them like we did last year.  The next day, all we had to do was put tablecloths on the tables, heat up the beans, and cook the hotdogs.  It really fell together nicely. 

I did start to have a nervous breakdown a couple of hours before everyone arrived, and decided that only God could help me at that point.  He kindly reminded me that this day was to celebrate the best thing to ever happen to me-Charlie.  I kept that in mind the rest of the day, and it was wonderful.  We had a great time, the rain held off until that night, and everyone who loves my son most was there to celebrate with him. 

With that being said…next time, we’re ordering pizza for sure!

Ready or Not, Here we Come!

12 Jun

The past couple of weeks have been an emotional rollercoaster for me.  Jason’s business has been very blessed, and he has won an Alaskan cruise.  It is July 20-30, so we only have about 6 weeks to prepare.  That’s totally doable.  We already have our passports and the Frommer’s arrived in the mail two days ago. 

What is the problem, you ask?  Charlie!  He will be 14 months old on the day we leave on the trip, and I have had SUCH a hard time deciding whether to take him or not.  A 14 month old on a cruise?  The long airplane ride? His naps and bedtime schedule?  We decided to leave him with his grandparents.  Luckily, Jason and I both have divorced parents (that seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it) so we have 4 sets of grandparents to use for childcare. 

Then, the guilt set in.  My heart was hurting.  My mother, the guilt machine, didn’t help matters any.  I chose to make matters even worse by Googling and finding all of these studies about anxiety and depression in infants and toddlers who are away from their mothers for more than a couple of days.  I almost told Jason to just take his brother on the trip.

I really had to pray about this one, and God is a really good God.  I put it all in His hands and felt total peace with the fact that whatever He decided would be best for me and for Charlie (and Jason-sometimes I forget about the poor guy).  I researched and found that the cruiseline we are using, Royal Carribean, is one of the top family-friendly cruiselines.  They have a partnership with Fisher-Price and Crayola, for goodness sakes!  We don’t have to have a plane ticket for Charlie since he is not yet 2.  There are onboard babysitters, cribs, and tons of children’s programs.  I feel like God is telling me something here, people!

Jason called the travel crew in charge of the trip to see if it is too late to bring Charlie, and it looks like it is not.  They are going to double check and call us back next week, but they told Jason to go ahead and get a passport for Charlie.  This just happened today, and I at first felt anxious about taking him.  How will we do this?

Then I remembered that God made this decision and I don’t need to worry about it.  Putting problems in God’s hands is one of the best parts of believing in Him.  He is just so willling to take all of our worries away, and is so much more capable of dealing with them than we are.

Now I am so excited about going to Alaska.  Sure, the trip will be a little (okay, a  lot) different than if Charlie were not going with us, but being good parents is more important than taking a vacation without Charlie, at least at this time.  I’ll let you know after the trip if this was a good idea or not!

Naptime

28 May

It is almost 2 o’clock and Charlie has been napping since 11.  That is almost THREE HOURS!  I can see him on the TV screen, stretching and yawning, so I know that the remainder of my “free time” is limited. 

Naps like this are hard to come by, so I have packed everything I can into it.  I did my Bible study and prayed (Proverbs 31 woman was a great help to her husband, so I am praying extra hard for Jason and that I can be a helper for him), weeded the cucumbers and squash in our garden, exported pictures and video off of our cameras and sent some links to Jason, mopped the living room and kitchen, and took a shower.  Only other mothers will understand how “taking a shower” can actually be something you mark off your to-do list!

Don’t think me an overachiever.  I use Charlie’s afternoon naptime for my nap.  Normally I don’t get so much done during his morning nap.  Yesterday, for instance, when he began waking up I had not yet taken a shower, the house was a mess, and I was mad at Jason for stressing me out before he finally left for work!  I was not even halfway through my walk, and honestly had to take some deep breaths before I opened the door to Charlie’s nursery! Some days I have it together, and some days I don’t.  God helped me realize that the purpose of the bad days is to make the good days that  much better. 

Naptime is precious, and not everyone realizes it.  I have one friend who has two children in elementary school and a niece and nephew (15 month-old twins) who she keeps during the day.  Now, she realizes the importance of naptime!  When she calls, the first thing she says is, “Is Charlie taking a nap?” If the answer is yes, she promptly says, “I’ll let you go enjoy naptime!”  I love her. 

Some people, however, think that naptime is a good time for you to talk.  Maybe for some mothers this is true, but not this one!  I can talk and chase Charlie around the house, but I can’t talk and vacuum or work in the garden, and I especially can’t talk and take a shower!

Remember this the next time you call or visit a stay-at-home mom: Naptime is our time off.  We don’t get nights or weekends off, we get short snippets of time during the day.  Respect our naptime. And if we smell bad, it’s because someone didn’t!