Monday, March 14, 2011

Multitudes on Mondays

I'm probably not alone in saying that this week's world events changed my prayer life and showed me even more the importance of being thankful each and every day.
"Relent, LORD! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all of our days."
Psalm 90:13-14
And the never-ending list continues! :) (sorry this one is long, I skipped a week or two)

104. Celebrating 2 1/2 months of daily (EVERY day) Bible reading
105. Rejoicing in this new habit being built into our children's lives
106. Listening to Bridget reading stories to her puppies
107. Boys racing out of the house, slamming doors in their excitement to get to Spanish class
108. Bridget's smiling face popping up over the side of my bed to ask, "Do you want to snuggle with me?"
109. Sending Morse Code messages back and forth with Henry and Jonah during the school day
110. Early morning fires that chase the chill out of the house
111. Sam arranging a babysitter for a dinner and movie night for just us
112. A cozy soft new purple throw blanket to snuggle up with on the couch
113. Keeping up with library books and having no overdue fines (a miracle!)
114. Seeing a day-old baby goat while taking care of the Miller's animals
115. Finding a pony wandering down the road all by itself
116. Said pony sticking it's nose right in my van window
117. Lunch at Sky Ranch with Sam
118. Driving up on a herd of horses that slipped out of a fence at Sky
119. More daylight each and every the longer days!
120. Dinner with the Sky Ranch OA's at our house and a fun game of Pictionary
121. Pajamas washed with a sticker on the front
122. Celebrating Mary Beth's 70th birthday with a whole weekend of activities dedicated to her
123. Ann Marie back in the neighborhood
124. Ann Marie's surprise gift of a jar of honey and a big bag of incredible apples
125. Jonah's revelation about the name Spaghetti-o's (They're made of spaghetti and they're shaped like o's...I'll bet that is why they call them that!!!)
126. Bridget, unasked but looking to serve, bringing my slippers and silently sliding them onto my feet during quiet time
127. Three joyful kids, dressed in pj's and robes tumbling down the stairs to ask if they could maybe, just maybe watch Toy Story 3.
128. Jonah loaning Bridget his slippers, leaving himself with none-just because she was sad to not have any.
129. Henry's excitement at realizing Blake was home in the middle of the day...gotta love Spring Break!
130. Henry walking around with only one slipper on because he couldn't find the other one
131. Playdate at the park with a new friend and fellow homeschooling mom
131. Another day at the same park with an old friend who knows me well
132. Watching the kids play near the edge of the water and eventually stepping in and getting wet-muddy-filthy-happy.
133. Rescuing Ella's ball from the middle of the lake with a very looooong stick
134. Bridget's sweet bedtime prayers for her friends
135. A random, accidentally dialed phone call that connected me with a friend I haven't talked with in months
136. March Madness!
137. Henry's first soccer practice of the season
138. Sam put up a soccer goal in the fun!
139. Hilarious, belly-laughing moments at the dinner table (Bridget, "He sat on the car! HAHAHA!") that aren't even really funny, but they are moments we will treasure forever.
140. Leaning over to tell Sam, "We should see that movie Bryan mentioned in church today" only to have Beth lean over from the other side a few minutes later to say, "Have you ever seen that movie? I have it if you want to borrow it!"
141. Finding 11 eggs in one nest today, and 2 guinea eggs hiding underneath the boxes
142. Best deal ever, a boxed set of Francine Rivers books (brand new!) for $2 at a garage sale
143. Second best deal ever, a bag full of cute, new socks for Bridget from that same sale for $1
144. Henry's Lego magazine finally arrived!
145. Our first tulip bloomed...and we weren't even sure they would come up this year!

Won't you join me on a journey of thankfulness??? :)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Celebrating Mary Beth's 70th

This year was Mary Beth's 70th birthday, and we appreciate her so very much! Mary Beth has been a blessing to so many, and we all feel so honored to be able to learn from her and share life with her. The family worked together to create a fun-filled birthday weekend to celebrate with her.

Friday evening, we (all of her adult children and spouses that live nearby) got babysitters for our kids and took Mary Beth out to Red Lobster. It was an evening of much laughter!

That night we gave her a big gift...her surprise Saturday with the girls. I had arranged for her to babysit for my kids all day Saturday (to insure that she wouldn't make other plans!), but I was really planning a fun girls day out.

We started the morning with a breakfast of cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit, and coffee at my house. From there we met up with Kelly and Beth and headed to the nail salon for a manicure and pedicure. It was a treat and Mary Beth thoroughly enjoyed her first ever manicure.From there we headed into Dallas, where we met up with Amy and enjoyed a lovely tea-type lunch at a girly restaurant called The Chocolate Angel. The food was very good but the service was TERRIBLE. I had found the place online, but will not go there or recommend it to anyone because of the very poor and extremely slow customer service. We really did have a good time's hard not to have fun with a group of girls like this!
After lunch we headed up to Frisco for a little shopping. We stopped at two of Mary Beth's favorites: Ikea and Sam Moon

By the time we were done shopping we were all pretty worn out! We still had a drive ahead of us, so we turned toward home. On the way home we stopped for a quick meal at Wendy's/Chick-fil-A.

On Sunday, we all went to our own churches and then headed out to Mary Beth's house, bringing a lunch feast of home-cooked Mexican food with us. We spent the rest of the day hanging out with her and listening to her words of wisdom gathered over the last 70 years of life.

We love you, Mary Beth! Hope your birthday weekend spectacular was wonderful! :)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Sweet Brothers

One day this week, Henry found himself in trouble for a minor little issue. I sent him to his room to think about what happened, and he was to come back out when he was ready to talk about it and had a better attitude.Jonah was greatly distressed at having Henry stuck in his room. For this very social child, there could be no worse punishment. (Of course he doesn't realize that Henry actually appreciates time alone now and again!) Less than ten minutes after Henry was sent away, Jonah came to me to plead Henry's case. His brilliant idea to 'free' Henry from the miserable punishment that I had bestowed on him was this: "I'll go up to Henry's room and take his place, so that he can come out and play!"

What a sacrifice! I didn't take him up on it, but I was so touched by his generous and selfless offer. Jonah is blessed with such a compassionate heart! :)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Mrs. Lee's Daffodil Garden

It's springtime in East Texas! Which means the daffodils are blooming at one of our favorite places...the daffodil fields. About 45 minutes from where we live, this place is a treasure that the kids and I look forward to enjoying every year. Once again, it didn't disappoint. The bright, beautiful blossoms positively glow when the sun shines on them...and they go on and on for acres. Such beauty!

Every year I've been there I've been able to snap a picture of me and the kids, and it's become a tradition. We try to take it in about the same spot every year, but this year there was a guard nearby warning everyone away from the flowers ("They won't grow back this year if they're trampled, ya know.") so we had to take it quickly and get out of there. ;)
My friend Beth was able to join us for a relaxing afternoon picnic. It was lovely, even though it was a little bit breezy and on the cooler side of comfortable.
Lest you think the daffodil garden is all about flowers, let me set you straight. There is also a lake with a path going around (and over) it. The kids enjoyed fishing some kind of greenish, mucky substance out of the water and bringing it to us. For one horrifying, brief moment I thought Bridget might actually eat it after we said it looked like Jell-o. I think hope she was only teasing us.
There is also a replica of a pioneer cabin on the property. It's set up inside with a kitchen area, tools and beds and is very interesting to walk through and inspect. The kids have enjoyed this part even more since reading the Little House books! It's so fun to see history come alive for them.
Beth encouraged me to have my picture taken among the daffodils with Bridget. I initially resisted, but finally relented...and it became my favorite picture of the day! Here's me and my girl, exploring the hills of flowers. :)
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! I love the transition from winter to springtime, beginning with subtle little signs and quickly progressing to amazing shows of glory like the daffodil fields.