Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Catch-up

Happy Friday everyone! Excitement is in the air at our house this morning. We are heading to Springfield this afternoon to spend some time with our dear Jenkins family! Our whole family is always so excited when we get to spend time with them. They are such a blessing to us.

Speaking of blessings... The past few weeks I had been feeling a bit overwhelmed. Sam has just been difficult... well... most of his life ;) If he is awake he tends to be on the cranky side. So, now that he is napping less and is awake more... and then add in the fact that he is now all over the place and into everything I had just been feeling overwhelmed. Then last week, out of nowhere (to me), a sweet young lady from our small group said she would love to start coming over one or two mornings to help out in any way, just to serve our family. Wow! I felt like God was saying, "I hear you, I see you, and I am not going to leave you alone." She came over twice this week and it blessed me so much. I had the chance to actually clean my master bathroom... like CLEAN it! I got so much done! And my kids LOVE Miss Alli... Jack calls her his "girl".

And here are a few cute kiddo photos from last weekend...

 Someone asked me recently if I liked having 4 kids... (like I would say "nah, I am actually looking to get rid of a couple..." But, all joking aside... I don't know if it has anything to do with 4 but I love having MY kids. And one of my favorite things is just getting to know them as little people and forming friendships with them and also watching them form friendships with each other.

And for no other reason than cuteness... baby pirate!

Monday, February 24, 2014

A {foxy} birthday party

On Saturday we celebrated our sweet Sam turning 1 with our  family. My sister and brother-in-law even came into town for the big event. I had kind of a fox theme for the party and I think things turned out pretty cute.

Sam had a great party and loved all of the attention from his favorite people! We had a low-key party with Papa Murphy's pizzas and then this delicious cake and ice-cream for dessert. A perfect way to celebrate our precious boy turning 1. We are so thankful to God for blessing us with such a wonderful little boy!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

On Boys and Sports

We have been watching a lot of Olympics in our house lately. It is so neat to watch these incredible athletes, representing our country, doing what they have trained their whole lives for. My mind often goes to their childhoods. I imagine their parents pouring so much time, energy, and love into these children now turned heroes. I imagine the sacrifice it took for the entire families to get these people where they are today.

And I can't help but think about how all across our country parents are pouring their energy, and time, and money into training their children athletically. Whether it is skiing or figure skating or basketball or soccer... Often entire weekends are spent, families travel, church and family time are all put on hold in order for this young child to play their sport. It is almost so expected in our society. Especially if you have a boy... what sports are they in?

I don't know what the exact statistics are... I could make some up for you. But, we all know the truth. The chance of our children becoming professional athletes or Olympians is slim to none. Probably less than 1%. And yet, we spend, we push, we sacrifice- time, money, family... Because sports are important apparently. But, we have to know deep down that our children are not future Olympians and professional athletes.

What if instead we looked at what our sons will most likely become? I think chances are highest that our sons will become members of local churches, husbands, fathers, and employees (please, Lord!). Again, I don't know the statistics... but most people marry and have children. Probably more than 90% at some point in their life.

Instead of spending our days and weekend having family life revolve around our 7 year old and and his touch football schedule we invited our sons into our family life. We include them in the housework and the yard work. We encourage them to help their younger siblings build with blocks and have them help bake cookies for the neighbor. They sit and hand Dad tools as he fixes the car and helps him find the right page in his Bible at church. We teach them that they are a part of something big and important but not the center of it.

Do we have to banish sports? I don't think so. But, I think they aren't for everyone. They don't need to be the childhood standard. They aren't that important. And while there is a chance your son will be in the NFL it is so much more likely that he will be a dad to a wild two year old little boy someday... And I would rather have him trained and ready for the future that is likely and eternally significant.

I know that we rationalize hectic sports schedules with excuses like exercise and sportsmanship and teaching our children to be team players and have a strong work ethic. But, I firmly believe that all of those skills can be taught just as well, if not better, from within our own homes and families... the teams God himself gave us.

I love watching the Olympics and think that there are some wonderful professional athletes. But, I can only wonder what kind of generation of men we could raise up if we raised them up to be Godly husbands and fathers instead of athletes. What would our communities look like if servant leadership was more prized than a soccer trophy?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sam P. turns 1!

Somebody really cute turned 1 year old today. I am too distressed to talk about it so I will just leave you with cute pictures of the birthday boy!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


I am about a month and a half into my New Years resolutions. Some are coming along better than others. But, two of them are going really well. And I realized that those two have one common thread... accountability. For both of those resolutions I have an accountability partner.

One of my goals was to read through the Bible in a year using a reading plan. My dear friend Crystal (who is soon abandoning me moving for a job opportunity for her husband) decided to do the same thing this year. So, we have chosen to text each other daily after we finish our readings.

One of my other goals was to stick with menu planning. My dear friend Christina had a similar goal. So, we also have chosen to hold each other accountable in this area through texting. Almost daily one of us will send a text out asking, "what's for dinner?".

Accountability is such a neat thing. I know Crystal isn't going to give me a hard time if I get behind on my readings... and I know Christina isn't going to give me a long lecture if I ditched making lasagna and drove though Wendy's... But, knowing that these girls are probably going to ask really helps me to stay focus and makes me really think twice before getting derailed.

I hadn't really heard of "accountability partners" or anything like that before becoming a Christian. And honestly, up until recently, it was more of a buzz word than anything to me. But, now, I am finding that there is so much value in it. Walking along someone, encouraging each other, is such a neat way to work towards your goals and stay on track!

Crystal and Christina, thank you for being awesome accountability partners. Let's keep up the good work!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Facebook, other social media, and privacy...

A neighbor of mine posted today that all of the pictures of her kids from her Facebook were taken and being used in a fake Facebook profile, despite her strict privacy settings. And guess what... Facebook is refusing to delete the page.

I had one of my own pictures taken off of Instagram and put in a popular online article without anyone asking me. They did agree to take it down, but I never would have known if a friend hadn't shared the article and asked, "aren't these your kids?"

I know that by choosing to post pictures on Instagram, Facebook, and this blog I open myself up to these things and lose privacy. In the past it has always seemed worth the "risk". I love sharing our everyday life with our family and friends. I love seeing pictures and getting glimpse into other's days. But, I also know that real life relationships are suffering because I don't need to talk to people, we just check their Facebook!

So, I am reevaluating my social media use. I love this blog. I love sharing my heart and documenting my family. I love looking back on Facebook and remembering different moments in the past. I don't scrapbook so this online world kind of serves as my memory keeper. But, it is a very public one. 

So, how do you handle your online privacy? Do you feel like it is worth the risk to just share everything? Do you avoid posting pictures of your kids on Facebook? Do you have a private blog to just share with friends and family? I would love to know how other people make it work and balance sharing and privacy!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Let's let each other be sad sometimes...

When my son told me that he was disappointed that his friend is moving away, I told him not to be sad, that we would still get to see his buddy all the time.

When a friend told me she felt like she was a bad wife because she hadn't been spending one on one time with her husband, I immediately told her that she was a good wife and to just give herself some grace.

When my husband tells me he is stressed about work, I immediately tell him that everything will be fine and go on and explain why he should feel happy about his job.

Did I say something terrible in those interactions? No. I was trying to encourage! Point out the positives! Be loving! And that is a good thing. But do you see what else I did? I ended the conversation. And unintentionally I told them that they were wrong.

I want my friends and family to come to me and share when they are sad or hurt. I don't want to brush off their feelings. I want to be someone who listens and sympathizes, but doesn't correct their feelings. If God has put something in their life or is convicting them of something I want to come along side and minister to them, not just try to be someone who makes them feel good no matter what.

It is not my job to fix everyone, but to love them.

*These thoughts came from reading Chapter 8 of Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford. Which I highly recommend!