Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Think

I think my husband...


...thinks he is a squirrel.


Very cool, huh?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Preparation

Several years ago, while in college I was walking down the street with a friend of mine catching up after our Easter break. This friend was Jewish, but had spent Easter with his girlfriend and attended church with her and her family for Easter services. He described looking around at all the people and thinking, "Wow, this should be the most important day of the year for them. Do they get that? Do they get how important it really is?" I remember answering back something in agreement with him, but in my own heart thinking, "Do I think get that? Is Easter really all that important to me?"

At the time, Easter was not important to me. I had not begun my walk of faith yet and Easter for me growing up was a day for presents, pretty dresses and chocolate. Although Easter has a significantly different meaning to me now, I still can't help to wonder if I truly understand the incredible importance of this holiday. If my level of preparation to celebrate Easter is any measure of this understanding, I am failing miserably.

Unlike Christmas, for which I spend a good couple of months preparing, Easter this year has really sneaked up on me. To help the boys get ready for Christmas, we do crafts, read books and play with the nativity set. So far, I have read a couple of books with the boys and we went to an Easter egg hunt, but I know there is more that I would like to do to help them understand why this holiday is important.

I can't help but smile and think of the disciples when I talk about being surprised about Easter coming and needing to prepare for it. Jesus tried to prepare them for three years and they still did not get it! I guess I am not in that bad of a company then in my need to understand the vital importance of Easter. I can only hope that I am a little quicker on the draw, but we shouldn't get our hopes up!

Even more than preparing and teaching the boys, I would like to make sure my own heart is prepared to celebrate the Risen Savior this Easter. This week, as my heart turns toward the Cross and the Empty Tomb, I hope to take the time to rest in its shadow and its glory, learning more about the one who sacrificed it all.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

For Many

Praying for many today...
...and needed this reminder.


Friday, March 19, 2010

King of the Mulch

Two big Cedar trees shredded

Makes one very large mulch pile
And one very happy (sap covered) little boy.

A king of the castle (or mulch pile at least)

And both my little rascals.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Basketball Memories

March...the time for flowers, spring showers and college basketball!

To be honest, I am not as much a fan of college basketball as I am college football, but there will always be a sweet spot in my heart for a little ACC basketball. Even on off {cough like this one cough} years, March madness brings a smile to my face. College basketball is special to me because it is closely tied to memories of my Maw-Maw.

I can remember coming home from elementary school and cozying up with her as she watched whatever team happened to be playing in the tournament that day. She would cheer and boo at the small television, assured that the players and refs could hear her vocal opinions and of course her call was always the right call.

I can remember being comforted by her after being the only kid in my class to wear Duke colors on team day in the sixth grade. (My grandmother was a big Duke fan.) "Everyone wore Tarheel colors!" I wailed. "Everyone?" she asked. "Well, not everyone. My teacher wore her Kansas shirt." "Well, at least we know your teacher is smarter than those other kids," she replied with a gleam in her eye. I think Kansas beat Duke in the NCAA tournament that year, but my memory might serve me wrong there.

I can remember being asked my favorite sport during freshman orientation at college and answering, "ACC Basketball." This might not have been such a big deal if I was not attending one of the perennial powerhouses of the Big East. After much discussion and debate, my friend and I agreed to disagree on the merits of ACC vs. Big East basketball. Now as a grad of that school, I have my ACC fave and Big East fave. My Maw-Maw would be proud.

As I curled up with Caleb and Nathan to watch the end of the Virginia Tech-Miami game late Friday afternoon, many of these warm thoughts and emotions came flowing back. While my Maw-maw deeply impacted my life in so many different ways, her love of college basketball is one I will always treasure and hope to maybe even pass on to my little men.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quiet

It has been quiet around here lately. Not so much in the traditional sense of quiet-- the boys are as loud as ever. I swear Caleb talks more than anyone I know or ever met. He follows me around carrying on an endless conversation most days. Nathan is not much of a talker yet, but definitely can use sound to let you know what he wants or more importantly what he does not want.

So, in the traditional sense of quiet, it is still quite loud.

Still it has been quiet around here lately in the sense of a deep soul type of quiet. God seems quiet to me lately. No big epiphanies, no faith changing moments... Just quiet. While there have been times in my life that God seems so loud that I cannot ignore Him, this is definitely not one of those times.

There is a part of me that is really enjoying this quiet of the soul and then there is a part of me that is completely unnerved by it. (It is kind of like when the kids are playing and all of a sudden they are being quiet as church mice. You just know something is going down). Am I missing something? Is God's quietness just me not listening well enough? It is funny, because my questions are seemingly answered with even more quiet.

Please, do not misunderstand me. I do not feel as if God has abandoned me or is no longer present in my life. That is not the case at all. For in this quiet, there is a certain sense of peace and presence that I cannot deny. God is here and real and continues to passionately pursue a relationship with me, just quietly at this time.

So what will I do with the quiet? I will exult in it. I will allow it to wrap around me like a thick quilt, comforting the depths of my heart. I will continue to pray to hear God clearly, but I will not fight the silence. I will not question the silence, but will enjoy it for its fullness and peace. I will try to be faithful and to continue living my life loving God and loving others.

In this quiet of the soul, I might even try to be a little more quiet myself.

Monday, March 8, 2010

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Out of Hibernation

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Spring, here we come!

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Little Engineer

Too short to see outside? No problem.


My little engineer.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

You Are What You Read * Updated*

Spitting up partially chewed food to eat it again.

Howling instead of talking.

Trying to lick your little brother clean in the bathtub.

Growling and fighting with the dog over food dropped on the floor.


Any guesses as to what book or what type book we might be reading this week?

ETA: Bailey was almost right! We have been reading Julie of the Wolves this week (abridged by a mommy who has learned to read the book first.)

Great book, but it sure has brought out the animal side in Caleb!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Uncle Sam Came Calling

Uncle Sam came calling yesterday.

I hid.

Now, to be fair, I have a general policy against answering the door to strangers while I am home alone. And to be honest, I was not that happy when the doorbell rang during nap time. (The doorbell is one of Sky's arch enemies and the chime is greeted with a round of barking that is sure to wake up any sleeping child, including my own sweet toddler.)

So when the doorbell rang, I dove off the couch, quieted Sky and hunkered down, trying not to be seen by the stranger in my yard. My curiosity getting the best of me, I crawled with stealth-like grace from window to window, trying to get a peek at just who was calling at this hour of the day. (Well, maybe not so stealth-like or graceful as I am pretty sure the caller saw me peeking at her from the living room window as she drove off. Doh.)

Seeing it was only one woman, I knew it was not my friendly neighborhood Jehovah's Witnesses. They are generally much older than this visitor appeared, travel in pairs and know (like most good Southern visitors) to come to the side door. It was only in inspecting the door after the caller left that I realized that it was Uncle Sam calling and that his calling card was the census form left behind.

Being the upright, rule follower that I am, I immediately opened the census form and began to fill it out. Honestly, I was a little let down and disappointed by Uncle Sam (not the first or last time this will happen, I know.) Still, I think I expected a little more. After hearing the census would cost around $14 Billion, I just assumed there would be a little more to it than filling in names and birth dates- like maybe a free pizza for the first 1,000,000 forms received back or a tax credit for mailing it in a timely fashion. Nope, not so much.

(On another note, I wanted to reassure those of you with larger than average families, the census has taken you into account and has room for up to 12 people on the form. More than that in your family and I guess you are just out of luck.)

I completed my civic duty and mailed the form back today. I can rest comfortably now knowing that my family and I will be fully counted in the 2010 census. Having accomplished this act of patriotism, I feel a little better about hiding from Uncle Sam yesterday...just a little though.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oddity of it All

Last week, was simply an odd week. Things seemed out of whack all over the place.

I had dental work on Monday...
Nothing major, just a small cavity filled, but I got really light headed and woozy at lunch afterward. For a moment, I was unsure whether I was going to throw up or pass out or both. Luckily neither of those happened, but it did throw me off for the rest of the day.

Got really sick on Tuesday...
I work up Tuesday morning feeling like I had been run over by a train. I spent most of the morning lying on the floor, watching Caleb and Nathan play around me. Fun, right? After a 2 1/2 hour long nap that afternoon, I felt less trainwreckish, but am still dealing with a nasty cough.

Ran errands late Wednesday afternoon...This might not seem to odd for you, but for me, running errands in the late afternoon is a VERY rare occasion. Usually this time is reserved for fixing dinner. Instead, I picked up some fast food at a place that was one of my favorites in high school, but I haven't eaten at in a long time. A big stomach ache later, I remember WHY it has been so long and WHY it is no longer a favorite.

Had CBS canceled on Thursday due to the snowstorm that was not and did not have power for most of the morning... I was looking forward to being back at CBS after missing Tuesday because we were sick, but that was not to happen. The threat of black ice was just too much. On top of that, our power went out around 7:30 am and did not come back on till noon. Can we say chilly?

Cooked dinner on Friday...Friday night in our house is pizza night. It was pizza night in David's family growing up and we carry on that condition strong. Well, after eating out three times earlier in the week, there was no pizza night Friday, which was just weird!

When I sat down to think over all the oddity of last week, the thing that hit me the most was just how thankful I am that it was an ODD week. For in the oddity of the week, I learned to appreciate the mundane aspects of life that I far too often overlook. I am thankful...

I have the means to see a dentist when my tooth hurts.

Sick days are rare in our home.

I get to cook dinner most nights (hard to believe I am saying that, but it is true).

For the electricity which powers our heater to keep us toasty warm.

For the great tradition of pizza night and spending time as a family.

I am REALLY thankful that last week is over and that this week has been less ODD...at least so far!
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