Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summer Fun

As the summer started to fly past us, I realized I hadn't done much of anything that felt like "summer" with the boys. Everything was moving way too fast and I couldn't keep up.

We don't have a membership to a pool like we used to, so it's a little hard to make myself find something equally as fun. Last week I saw an advertisement for a summer fun card in our area. For $20 a person it will get you into 3 different area pools/water parks. I ordered each of us one immediately and I declared Fridays Family Fun Days!

Dan had the next 3 Fridays off, so we decided to pack them with tons of fun! Yesterday we headed an hour north to a small town to visit their pool. We've been once when Tristin was 2, so this was a new experience for them and they loved it. We stayed for 4 hours. Like a mini vacation :)

You'll have to excuse some of the pictures, the sun was so bright I couldn't tell on my screen what they looked like haha!


The water was very cold so these two were easing into it.


Exploring the pirate ship.


They spent a lot of time sliding down the slides and playing volleyball.


Taking a break.





After we got home, we headed out for a night at the drive in movie theater. We watched Turbo and Despicable Me 2. I fell asleep but the boys stayed up until 1 AM! Oh my.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bits of Summer In Our Home

We honestly have not done much to our house at all. It's just not a priority at the moment. I have a few plans in mind but who knows when I'll get to them. :)

We finished this cabinet a few months ago and I just got around to decorating the top. I just used a mix match of frames and pictures I had on hand.


Summer fresh flowers. I love this bright and cheery area.


And a pop of color to brighten up the kitchen by Katie Daisy.



And then my lovely view from my back porch. I just adore the raspberry color of our neighbor's house and their flag swayin' in the wind :)


I hope summertime is treating you all well!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Every Day Life

We have had the busiest summer. I think every single day had somewhere to be in June. If you know me you know I don't love being busy all the time. I find you can't make time for what's most important when you are going 100 miles an hour. This month, thankfully, is a bit slower. Although this week is still quite full, it's full of important things like celebrating the life of a wonderful man and hugging his sweet family...our family. And then a date night with my husband. It's been a long time and I just can't wait to see him. Then on Friday I have a family day planned. In fact I have one planned for the next 3  Fridays in a row. I found a card for $20 each we can get into 3 area water parks/pools. We've never been to any of them and the boys have no clue. I can't wait to surprise them!

For Father's Day the boys picked a one on one date each with dad. This one picked ice cream and the zoo. They loved having dad all to themselves. I love this picture because it shows the stick collecting phase this boy is in!


We finished soccer! this was Brighton's first year. He did a great job and had a really cute little team.


We spend many mornings and evening out here on the porch. It's one of my favorite spots!


Sometimes he just needs a few minutes to himself. I find it so nice that he's taking the time to regroup when he needs it. I remember at his age walking alone in the dark around my block just talking to God. I loved it.


One night we decided it was time for a good ol' shrimp boil! No reason at all, just because it's summertime.


After the shrimp our neighbors asked if we wanted to join them at the splash pad for a bit. So we did.


It's been unusually chilly for July in Texas so I think they spent more time on the playground than in the water that evening, but still so much fun.

This week is in the 70's and rainy. That's my kind of weather!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer of the Birds

Sometimes I have a hard time with nature study. We don't live in a place with just a whole lot going on, but just like the old saying goes, if you "stop and smell the roses" you will find some interesting things.

God really does have a lot going on no matter where you're at.

One morning I went out to water my hanging fern and a little finch flew out and right over my head. So I gently lowered the plant down and sure enough, inside were the four sweetest little eggs. I called for the boys to come see, and from then on we watched that nest like a hawk. :)


At first we thought this was a sparrow, but after seeing the beautiful daddy with red markings drop by we researched and found that this was a House Finch couple.

I never got a picture of him, but he really was beautiful.


A week or so after the discovery we peeked in and there they were!


We thought there was only three. A few more days went by before we finally noticed the forth little one was in there.


We loved watching the fledglings as they were developing their wings...and fuzzy heads.


And just like that, they were ready to go.


Our boys have learned so much about birds this year. They are loving every bit of it, and so am I! We picked up Thornton Burgess' Bird Book and can't wait to read it!

Linking with Nature Study Mondays!

Show and Share Saturday

Discover & Explore Weekly Themed Linky

Monday, July 8, 2013

Loving Our Children

We go back and forth with the things we need to work on. We go from bad attitudes, talking back, and complaining to helpful, obedient, and patient. And I'm not just talking about the children. :)

We called the boys to do bible study one evening. They "paused" their playing as they quietly grumbled to the table. Honestly? It broke my heart. What are we even doing all of this for? They don't want to be here right now. They are full of their own selfish desires. I can assure you though it's not just them.

I got to thinking. It doesn't matter how much of God's word we read to them,  how much I quote, or how much we memorize. We could do all this and God could still say, "I never knew you."  We could read the Word until we are blue in the face, but that won't make them love God. It certainly never made me love God. Not until one understands God's love does he then truly love and know God. It's at that time when you want to open His word and get to know Him even more.

This humbling thought came across me. There is not one thing I can do to make sure my children love God, except them seeing God's love toward them in me. Even that's not me, it's all Him.

“Any obedience that isn’t motivated by his great love is nothing more than penance.” Elyse Fitzpatrick, Because He Loves Me

I've poured over countless books and even scripture trying to figure out how to correct and train our boys.  I I soon realized that if I love them through the eyes of God, only then will their hearts turn to Him.

 I read a post by Ann about Katie that captivated me. Talking about this 24 year old mother of 13 girls she said, "You mother as well as you know your Father. I look at Katie and all I can think: She mothers like she’s memorized the face of her Father. It is a holy witnessing."

Their is no secret to raising children who love the Lord. They see Him and feel Him through us. I don't want to move in any way with these boys unless it has the face of God all over it.

"Jesus did not save us so that we could do motherhood on our own, apart from him; he saved us so that we would be forever connected to him, forever dependent on him– on the sustenance that flows through the cord of his unending love. Jesus was cut off from the Father that we might not be cut off from him." Ruth from Gracelaced

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A New Direction

For the past few months until about 3 weeks ago, I was in such a dry spell spiritually. I decided on a whim to join Good Morning Girls Bible study and book club reading the book Anything by Jennie Allen. I have been listening to the book on audible while I take notes and then do the bible study that goes along with it, and let me just tell you, God is speaking to me. He's moving me and making me realize things I guess I was too prideful to even recognize.

It started with the realization that so many (me) say that we would do anything for God. But, when anything is truly broken down into everything, I realized that I indeed was a liar.

Do we even know what we're saying when we say we'd do anything? Jesus did anything.
How grateful I am that he did because I can't or is it...won't?

Then it came. What God wanted me to hear:

"Everything is keeping you from anything"

Here I've been sitting for months making plans and goals. Lose weight, and here's how I'm going to do it.
Keep the house clean, and here's the schedule. Home school, and here's the curriculum. All these are the everything keeping me from anything.  I remember earnestly wondering how people do this. How do they have a healthy balance? How can I balance God and all this other stuff like everyone else seems to? But the truth is, these goals were my gods. There is no balance.

 *Mathew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."

*2 Kings 17:41 Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.

*James 4:4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

Have we come to a place where,  "God's gifts become gods themselves?"

 We've become accustomed to thinking that if we love Jesus then we (rightfully) will be blessed by Him and our lives will become simple and easy. And isn't that what we all want? If we have a problem we lay on our faces crying out to God. We are keenly aware that He is the only source that could relieve us and comfort us. But, we pray for Him to take away our burdens, and without even realizing, we are praying to be at a place in life that we don't even recognize our need for Him. 

I remember a few years ago when I was homeschooling Jaiden while he was having severe meltdowns lasting 6+ hours. I just knew God had lead me to home school him and couldn't believe it was taking such a toll. I would sit in prayer and tears those 6+ hours every day. A friend stopped by one day and as I was crying, she said to me, "I think that if this is God's will you would feel peace and it would be going smoothly." When she said that I felt such relief both physically and in the fact that most everyone thought I was crazy for having him home. Soon after, we enrolled Jaiden in a private special needs school and though I got physical relief the hours he was at school,  I quit praying and needing God those 6+ hours a day.

 You read in the Bible all the stories of people who loved God. Truly love God, and well their lives were never easy or simple, and yet, those are the ones God said had hearts after Him.

Proverbs 21:1

The king's heart is in the hands of the LORD, like the rivers of the water He turns it wherever He wishes.

Have you ever read the book of Job? :) Job suffered most because he feared God the most.

What about Paul? During the hardships of captivity, he says in Philippians 4

11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.12I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.

Every person that loves God wrestles. It's okay to wrestle. After all, we don't know what is truly good or bad. Only God really knows. And I trust Him.

The other day I sat down to write in my journal. I usually write goals for the month, but this time I asked God. What are the things you'd like to help me with this month? Turns out they had nothing to do with saving or making money, decorating, home school curriculum,  losing weight, or cleaning house. He wants me to spend time getting to know Him and hear what he has to say, and to train our boys the way they should go.  Two plans for me, though not simple, but most important.


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