Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Two years?

It's hard to believe it's been two years since I've posted on my blog.  It was such a big part of my days several years back, but life has gotten busy and this has surely fallen by the wayside.  As the girls grow it's hard to remember or make time even for writing.

Lilla is 8 and in the 4th grade now.  She blows me away with her memorization and interest in so many things.  Lately she has taken a real interest in history.  I think that started with the American girl books but today she was asking all about how world war 1 started.  She has been begging for a violin for years now so she will finally get her wish at Christmas this year.  It will be interesting to see how she does with that.  She is also about to be in a play at church, she's blowing through Scripture memorization at Awana and she's involved with American Heritage girls, a Christian girls scouting program.  She is on the move.

Anna is also changing and forming into a totally new person all the time.  She will be 6 next week.  She is so clever and funny.  She is in kindergarten this year and is really enjoying putting letters together and understanding all the sounds that they make.  It's so fun to see her reacting when she really starts to understand and get new information she learns in her school.  She is still much more shy than Lilla ever was, but she's even more strong willed than Lilla.  It's so funny because Lilla looks like me but Anna is more like me in personality.  She sings beautifully and I really think has a musical ability, so that will be interesting to see develop as the years go on.  She has amazed me this year with her ability to memorize as well.  She had all the books of the Bible down within 2 real weeks of beginning.

This year we took a trip out west and got to see Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, the Badlands, the Grand Tetons and the Rockies.  It was absolutely beautiful, and, much colder than we had anticipated in late August/early September.  It was neat though to see all those things that we had always seen pictures of, to really have a better understanding of them.  We would love to return to Yellowstone someday as we couldn't get enough of it and all the wonderful nature programs there.

Well, enough of an update for now, it's late and a good sleep is calling...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

An American Christmas

As most of you know, we are homeschoolers, but once a week we do attend a homeschool co-op where over 100 kids come together for all different types of classes.  I teach photography and the kids get to do things like gym and art that I wouldn't be able to do at home.

There are times that some teachers aren't able to make it so I may fill in for them in other classes as well.  For a few weeks I filled in for Lilla's geography teacher so I got to see Lilla's classroom and how things went for her.

I noticed right away that Lilla was alone.  She sat on the other side of the table at lunch than the other girls, she sat alone at a table in class, she walked to the classes alone...everything.  As a parent, this just hurt my heart.  Lilla is really friendly and outgoing so I couldn't imagine why this would be.  To be honest, I'm still not sure, but something I did notice is that it didn't seem to bother Lilla at all.  She just went on about her day and looked forward to the time that she got to see her best friend in bible quiz at the end of the day.  It's a very small class full of girls that all surround around one other girl that kind of runs the room and Lilla is the only one who doesn't do that.  It's very interesting to me to watch.

Anyway, at lunch one day the girls all started talking about "things" they had gotten for birthdays and Christmas' as it had just been one girls birthday.  They got sparkly hats and clothes, toys and diary's...and inevitably, the topic moved to American girl dolls.  They all began to discuss how many they had.  This girl had one, this girl had three...it went around the table and Lilla said, "I have two!"  My heart sank again because she doesn't have two American girl dolls, she has two dolls from Target that are similiar in size and type.  My husband and I just can't justify $120 on a doll that they carry around, get dirty, clothes get torn up...  With such a tight budget we just can't.  So, after school that day I explained to Lilla about the difference in dolls.  I hadn't told her to that point as I didn't even know she'd ever even heard of American girl dolls.  She's usually oblivious to anything name brand.

After that I started thinking maybe we could just do that, and only that, for Christmas.  So, I asked her if she'd want that.  She thought, in her Lilla way for a long time, and then came back to me and said, "No mom, I don't think that would be the wise choice.  That's a lot of money for a doll."  Again, tears from me as I just can't help but love a child that would say something like that.  Later on that week I was relaying the story of how lovely Lilla was about the doll and my mom, who is sympathetic to being left out, began to have her heart set on getting one for her.  So she did.  And this was Christmas...
Don't miss the size of Lilla's eyes in this picture.
Hugging the box!  Oh, you should have heard the hoops and hollers!  She was totally surprised and it was THE single best reaction ever for a gift.
Isn't she lovely?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

No matter what

Last night as we sat around the dinner table we began discussing what my husband would teach at Awana tonight.  He was tossing around a couple of ideas but had nothing concrete yet.  Lilla was listening in so I asked her what she thought Daddy should teach.  Here is a little window to the conversation:

Me:  Lilla, what do you think Daddy should teach on?

Lilla:  Noah.

Me:  Noah?  Well, Noah is a good story but what is the lesson in Noah?  (I'm thinking she's going to say something about rainbows or God's faithfulness at this point.)

Lilla:  No matter what happens you should always listen to God.  Even if your friends make fun of you, you should still do what he says.

Me:  We really should.

Lilla:  Yes, because you know, everyone was probably laughing that he's building this boat but he kept right on building it.  We should do that too, just keep doing what he says.


Michael and I just stared at her for a second, trying to take in what she just said.

Oh, and Michael has a lesson plan.




Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pondering

As I peruse facebook, so often I see posts from mom's and dad's about how their child won the jump roping the world competition or spelled the longest word in the dictionary with no repeated letters (Uncopyrightable) or how their 1 year old has gone #2, 2 1/2 times that day.  (TMI people, TMI!!)

As a parent, I know what it is like to be proud of your child.  You want to be proud of them and you want the world to also see the awesomeness that exudes from their very pores.  Don't we all as parents?

Well, today, something happened that made me a different kind of proud.  I went in to drop Lilla off at VBS tonight.  This was her third night to a church we've not visited before.  I had searched for this particular VBS and that's how she wound up there as it was the closet to our house.  Anyway, her leader stopped me for a little bit of small talk and then was talking about Lilla had taken part in the discussions and referred to her going to this VBS before.  I told her she had not, she said, well, I know she's not been to this church before but she has been to this VBS.  I again told her she had not.  This conversation went on for about a minute before she understood Lilla had in fact not been to this VBS.  

The lady then kind of stared at me kind of dumbfoundedly.  She then said, "She knows all the answers and is telling us the stories."  I kind of laughed and said, "She really likes Bible stories."  She then told me how this was not normal how well she really knew the stories, she just couldn't believe she'd never been to this VBS before and how Lilla kept them on their toes.

My heart swelled with joy because I really want her to know and love the Bible.  I want her to have an understanding and theology that only bring her closer to her creator.  I'm not saying this to get a "good job Amy", I'm actually saying it to say, this is what is important.  Sports and academics and all the other stuff has it's place, but oh, for our children to have their hearts and minds set on God...well, there is just nothing else like that in the world.  

Luke 2:19  But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thank you God

Lately I have been feeling, and if I'm honest, acting, very negatively.  It seems everything that comes out of my mouth is negative, I'm harsh with my family, I'm easily irritated with friends, I'm annoyed with the too slow cashier at Wal-Mart, I'm bothered by the sun shining too bright in my eyes, I'm enraged by the driver next to me that is tailing somebody far too close.  The list can go on and on.  I'm just negative.  And frankly, I haven't liked me lately.

I don't think many have liked me lately.  And the worst part is I notice it passing down to my children.  I notice when I am negative they start to be negative too.  Particularly Lilla.  And it makes me sad.  I want my girls to experience the freedom and joy that comes from a life of no negativity.

So I've been evaluating why.  Why am I so irritated with my husband's innocent comment about dinner, why do I get angry when I see the crayons spilled all over the living room floor, why do I roll my eyes when I see certain phone numbers on my caller ID, why am I annoyed that everyone has the same struggles on a different day, why does it seem I'm the only one struggling with what I am and everyone else seems to have it easier?  Negativity.

It has creeped in and stole so much joy.   So much joy.  I'm not able to laugh with my children wholeheartedly, I'm not able to enjoy the sun filled days like I should, I'm not able to hear God's whispers, I'm not able to show grace and mercy.  Joy stolen.

So how do I get the joy back?  Gratefulness.  Thankfulness.  Appreciation.  I believe when I am focusing on all of the crappy stuff of the world it makes it pretty difficult to focus on all the precious, lovely, many blessings God has given.

Romans 8:5-8

The Message (MSG)
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored.

So last night, as I sat pushing my little one on the swing I decided to just start thanking God.  Thank you God for a beautiful night, thank you for the green grass, thank you God for the birds chirping a lovely song...and what I noticed was Anna repeating all those things after me.  Just yelling out into the air, THANK YOU GOD.   She didn't care who could hear her, she just said it with her whole heart.  My thankfulness and gratefulness passed down to Anna.  Thank you God.


Nehemiah 8:10, "The joy of the Lord is your strength."















Psalm 23:5, "My cup overflows."

Sunday, May 13, 2012

blessed

My girls and I on Mother's Day, 2011.  I am a blessed woman.

Proverbs 31:28, "Her children arise and call her blessed."