Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Time Spent...

The past two weeks I feel like we've been running "mach 2 with our hair on fire". It seems that there's been so much vying for our attention. And its been good things, necessary things and its been... busy! Sometimes there's days when I feel like I should be involved in more things, more service projects, more philanthropic organizations; more time spent volunteering at the kids schools, more time with friends…really, just a lot MORE!  But, while being on a mini vacation (which I'll post pics about tomorrow) when I think back over these past two weeks and consider all that I've done and that I've been apart of, I realize that my plate really is pretty loaded, that I have done a lot and that really, I've just been believing the lie that Satan's been feeding me that, "you should be doing more and you're not doing enough." And then there's the lie that "what you're doing doesn't really matter"…which Satan likes to throw at me so often.

I looked up the definition of "time" and Webster describes it as this: the indefinite continued progress of existence or the plan, schedule, or arrangement of when (something) should happen or be done. We all have an allotment of "time" and I think we all want to know that how we're spending it is in a worthy manor, I know that I sure do.

So, here's a little bit of what's been going on and how time has been spent the past few weeks:

I was home folding laundry during nap time one day when I heard sirens coming up our street. I walked out onto our front porch to see not one but two fire trucks. I grabbed my phone and headed across the street to check on our dear sweet neighbor, Ms. Betty. Thankfully all was fine, it was just a faulty smoke detector, but she was quite shaken up from all the drama. It took about 30 minutes for them to be able to shut off all the alarms going off in her house, but thankfully it was nothing major.
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Time doing the necessary things in life…
There are all kinds of things that fall into this category: normal things that have to be done around the house, Room Rep meetings for my kids classes, emailing parents with info from the Room Rep meetings and then there's the necessary maintenance that comes with owning a home which includes yard work. We had some bushes on the side of the house that had grown completely out of control. They literally were almost reaching the gutters on our two story home…over grown would have been an understatement! So Adam took to chopping and hacking and sawing and pulling branches. It was a BIG job, an all Saturday afternoon kind of job. I wish to goodness that my piles looked more mounded up then they do in this picture because it doesn't even do justice to the way I felt after I pushed and pulled, tugged and piled up all the branches.
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Time spent with the kiddos…
Sometimes it feels like I don't spend a lot of quality time with them but when I looked back through pictures on my phone, it seems like we did this part well this time (which is certainly not always the case). We decided to keep things simple one evening so we just grabbed dinner to go and went out to Maumelle Park to enjoy the last bit of sunshine and getting to watch the boats cruise into the marina. The boys tossed the football around while I pushed the littles in the swings. Everyone had a good time just getting out and enjoying the evening. We also did a little dog sitting for two sweet animal friends, True and Lucy. The kids enjoyed having them stay with us and did great with them.
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We knew we'd be gone from the kids for several days so we decided to have a "Donuts with Dad" on Friday morning. Krispy Kreme is always a big hit for our kiddos. Who can resist those warm, hot off the conveyor belt donuts? Not us!!
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Time spent with friends…
I'm so thankful for the good friends my boys have been blessed with. Thankfully we were able to have three different playdates with friends and they are all such huge answers to my prayers.
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Time spent at the school...
There was much time spent up at the school helping to decorate for the Math and Literacy Carnival (and even now, I'm prepping and planning for the 50th Day of School Sock Hop for next week.) The boys enjoyed eating Chick Fil A and getting their picture with the cow. The highlight of the evening was the bounce houses that were setup in the gym and the Leggos that were in Mr. Spencer's science lab. Getting to do a trial run in their new Halloween costumes was a big plus too!
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Time spent volunteering...
Our church is partnering with an organization called For All Mankind who assemble and deliver "Compassion Kits" to people who need them. They use the kits as a way to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  Their mission is to bring "a caring gift with a compelling message." So our D-Group helped to get the items sorted, folded, stuffed and ready so that the church body can help to accomplish the goal of providing for, stuffing and ultimately delivering, 5,000 boxes for people in need of not only the everyday items but who also have never heard of Jesus before.  The boxes we are packing will be going to men, women and children in India. It really is (and was) a privilege to help with this project. (There's plenty more to be done, so if you're interested please contact Rosie Stephens from Fellowship Bible Church at RStephens@fellowshiponline.com)
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So, there was time spent (an indefinite continued progress of existence) as we spent time celebrating a family members 22nd birthday; time spent with my sweet nephew Theodore; time spent talking with a life long friend on the phone; time spent cooking and then delivering meals; time visiting a precious new baby born to some dear friends of ours. There were meetings and dinners and lots of time and energy was spent. As I've had some time to recuperate and think about how I've been going about life and spending my time, I do feel like I've been doing things worth while, I've been involved, I've been aware of needs and been able to help out as I can.  At times, I've let Satan make me feel like I need to do more, but I'm not going to let Satan get the victory by allowing him to make me feel small, inefficient, unproductive, unimportant and most of all like I've somehow wasted my time by helping a neighbor across the street, by doing mundane house work, by taking time to play with the kids or by cutting out all those bats that hung from the ceiling tiles for the carnival at school. Time is precious and I want to spend it wisely.  I prayed this morning and will continue with this prayer, for God to show me what to do with the limited 24 hours that I have in each day.  I want to please Him and honor Him with my time--with my "plans, schedule, or arrangement of when (something) should happen or be done".   Ephesians 5:15-17 says, "Look carefully then how you walk…making the best use of the time…understand what the will of the Lord is."  And that's what I'm striving for, to know what the will of the Lord is.  I don't always consult Him about my daily coming and going but I'm striving for that and hoping to encounter Him in my time spent.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Weekend In Review

Well this past weekend held some real highs and real lows:

High: The boys were thrilled to get to go fishing. They always love to get out on the boat.
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Low: Not shortly after they left I discovered the oh so glorious opportunity to clean up Ava Jane's throw up, not once but five different times through the late evening. After the second bath and change of clothes, I decided she could just walk around in her diaper instead of going through tons of clothes. She however wanted to "spruce" up her little get up so she brought her new dress up jewelry, high heels and purse to me to help her put it all on. She was pretty cute click-clacking around in the high heels and diaper!
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High: We'd been planning to go to the pumpkin patch on Saturday morning and since Ava Jane made it all night and through the morning without any more stomach problems we decided to head out to Bo Brook Farms. It was a beautiful fall morning, a perfect day for picking pumpkins!

Low: Before we left, we found a significant leak coming from our kitchen sink so that caused a slight delay in our leaving. Both Adam and I didn't have the best reaction to this discovery. It was one of those situations where you get all the water cleaned up, you try a new hose and still the leak sprayed underneath the sink. This scenario happened about three times before we just set the project aside and left for the pumpkin patch.  We had to actually put a sign on our faucet in order to keep our kids from using it.
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High: Saturday was a spectacularly beautiful fall day spent with my family!
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Peyton is such a great big brother; he loves taking care of Ava Jane.
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They have a big field of beautiful sunflowers that was pretty fascinating to walk through.
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Their farm is beautiful and has lots to do. There's a few farm animals to see, a hay maze, a "pool" of corn kernels and of course, a hay ride. They have a cute store with all kinds of pumpkins and fall decor too.
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I love this man! Even when frustrating things happen (like an unplanned leak in the kitchen) and disagreements occur, I love how humble and forgiving he always is with me. I'm so very thankful that we can work through difficult moments like that morning and still make more fun memories like the ones we made on Saturday.
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How cute are these boys, oh how I love them!  I would say our day at the pumpkin patch was a success!
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Low: On Sunday, Emerson did not take a nap. He finally fell asleep sitting at the table and this is how I found him. Poor little guy, how uncomfortable does that look? Waking him up was a low moment but trying to keep him awake so that he would sleep all night was a real, real LOW!
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So that's how our weekend went down.  Hope you have had a good start to your week.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Few Milestones

As I was looking through my pictures over the last few days I found several fun "milestones" that I thought I'd share:

I've been keeping my sweet nephew, Theodore, for several hours a week.  I needed to run a few errands so I gathered some snack traps and sippy cups and headed out the door.  We went several places and finished up at Target.  Taking three kiddos (ages 3, 2 and 1) went surprisingly well.  I did have a few comments of "wow, you have your hands full", but that's to be expected.  For the most part, they did awesome and we'll venture out and do it again tomorrow (except we'll be at the doctors office for a 2 year check for Ava Jane.)
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And the milestone in this picture is that on the way home, all THREE of them fell asleep. They even made it through the "transfer process" into each of their beds! That's a milestone wouldn't you say?!!
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Having lunch with Daddy at the hospital shouldn't feel like a milestone, but it sort of does.  Because there have been rules about children under 13 not going up on the floors, so we have simply stayed away from meeting him for lunch at work.  But now that they have created a 30 minute time limit for young children to be on the other floors we decided to pay Daddy a visit.  Emerson was excited about his chocolate bread pudding.
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Our next "milestone" is that we now have everyone sitting at the kitchen table.  I finally got Ava Jane a new booster seat, which she LOVES.  She enjoys being a "big" girl and has even started wanting to drink out of an uncovered cup much to my chagrin.   (Sippy cups make it so much less messy, but she is pretty adamant.)  And please don't judge the paper plate usage.  We had been at soccer practice and this Mama was trying to make it easy on herself!
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This next "milestone" is pretty exciting for me!  Ava Jane has been waking up dry at nap time and tee-teed in the potty twice this week.  It will be quite comical to me if she and Emerson potty train in the same year; that'd be just amazing!!  I've always heard that girls are easier, and after the struggle with Emerson, I'm hoping that's the case.

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The next milestone is that I was able to attend Lawson's first kindergarten field trip.  They loved their bus ride.  How cute are these boys?   We got to enjoy a beautiful day for a picnic then watched Go Dog Go, a really cute play for kids that was done at the Arkansas Arts Center. There are lots of fun shows coming up so if you're interested in the Children's Theatre check out this link.
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Lawson was so excited to be out of school, you can't tell it from any of these pictures can you?
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