Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kenzie Madelaine

Well since I had the whole weekend, , a couple weeks back, with Kenzie, due to a daddy/son camping trip, I thought it only fitting that I should write a post about her. I apologize for my long hiatus, I'm not sure I'm good at this blogging thing, or maybe it is more of a time factor :) Anyway here I am and ready to talk about this little girl. She is something else! My mom says that I say that about her more than I have ever said it about the boys. I don't mean it in a bad way (most of the time). She is just a lot of personality rolled up into a little body. This little girl is stubborn, sensitive, happy, dramatic, outspoken, shy, goofy and serious all rolled up in one. And I am telling you I experience every aspect of this little girl everyday, and probably multiple times! She definitely knows what she wants, and will go to nearly any length to make sure her way is the highway, but don't step on her toes or she will cry a river. And don't ask her to do something that isn't in her agenda because she will give you "the look" along with the resounding "NO". Just take a look at this picture. She can even glare at you through her sunglasses! (no she is not picking her nose :o) )

But yet my little girl is so much fun!I know, that as you read this post, some of you are going to be thinking, well she seems to be a lot like you. Yes, in some ways, I may be raising a mini-me, but part of me also thinks that her middle name may have something to do with who she is. Love you Madelaine! For those who don't know, Madelaine was our German exchange daughter 3 years ago. And for those who know her well, I think I have pretty much described Madelaine. What do you think Madelaine? God prepared me for a girl, by bringing Madelaine into my life, it only seemed fitting to name our little girl after her! Or did we set ourselves up for trouble...JUST KIDDING!!! I can't think of a more fitting person for Kenzie to be named after, and I can't wait for Madelaine to meet her. They are going to be the best of sisters!

So in closing let me tell you the fun that Kenzie and I had on our girls weekend. We went for 2 runs, slept in, went shopping (the girl has got the shopping gene...YIPPEE), out for lunch, more shopping (3 hours worth!), snuggled on the coach, acted goofy, and went to church. What more could you ask for? As much as I would like to freeze frame my kids, I am looking forward to watching Kenzie grow up. And I plan on completely nuturing the tough girl attitude :) Boys, watch out, you wont be able to walk all over this girl, see will knock you out!!

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A little of this and a little of that...

Well it has been a while since my last post. So I am debating how to get all the stuff rolling around in my head over the past couple of weeks on here. Do I do it in one post? Does it all tie together? Do I do it in two posts? Decisions,Decisions...

Here we go and lets see where my writing takes me....

First, I think, I want to talk about this little
guy. What a joy he is, so much like his daddy. He even has his Daddy's heart. I just love observing my kids, learning how they are wired, so that I can do all that is humanistically possible to direct and encourage them in their gifts. I had the privilege of observing Kohen this morning, and documenting this experience just makes me smile. He was helping Daddy this morning make breakfast and make me some coffee. He already has a keen understanding that Mom
my functions best when she is loved on with coffee. After he presented me with my coffee and I took my first sip, he asked "Mommy do you like your coffee?" I told him, "Absolutely buddy it is awesome, you did a great job!" And he proceeded to say "Thank you, Mommy!" He is just so polite! But as I watched him, I saw his heart to serve those that he loves. Of course he wants a little affirmation for his effort, but don't we all. And as I mentioned before, Matt is like this as well. He has the gift of quiet service, that is if I let him (read valentine's day post). I'm surrounded by boys who know how to make a woman/mommy feel special. There is not a better feeling!
Now for this boy who is growing up far to fast (pic is from first soccer season '08)! You know, as I have said before, he never ceases to amaze me. We are full swing into soccer season again, which makes Kenton very happy. Basketball taught him many great skills that have transferred over to soccer, but soccer is definitely Kenton's first love. Unfortunately, our first game was a blow out! Kenton played well, but it wasn't enough for the fancy footwork of this team. But Kenton paid attention and realized that he wasn't at the skill level of these players, so instead of being discouraged, he took it upon himself to practice! My 6 year old practiced without being told!!! One of the days, I was out in the garage watching Kenton practice on his footwork, he asked me if we were going to play the "First Team" again. I told him we were. He said, "Mommy they were good, I've got to practice hard because I don't want to them to bet us again!" Ahhh...what a moment, to see my little boy get it! You have to work hard to get better! Am I gloating yet? Now my hope is, that Kenton has watched Matt and I over the years work hard at things we are passionate about, and I would like to say that he has learned it all from us. But I know that Kenton's adopted big brother, Tony, has a lot to do with it as well. Tony has taught Kenton the ins and outs of soccer since Kenton was old enough for a ball between his feet. And Kenton has watched Tony work hard, play hard, and finally get a scholarship to college! Thank you Tony! You would be proud!

So I'm pretty sure this doesn't tie in at all, but I'm going to continue to write. If you have read my post about Lent you will know that I am working through the book of John. I've been here before, but it never ceases to amaze me how much I can continue to learn from a book I have read time and time again. Along with just reading and studying for myself, I am listening to a podcast of sermons that my pastor, Pete Briscoe, did back in 2006, on the book of John. I want to share one thing that has really impacted my thinking lately, and it comes from chapter two, when Jesus turns the water to wine. I think most of you know the story. But I want to draw your attention to what Mary told the servants (vs 5), "Do whatever he tells you." Wow, what a timely piece of advice that I never clued into before. "Do whatever he tells you," and then what happens? You will be in shock and awe of what HE does through you! Just as the servants were when they obeyed. But think about it. They had to of thought Jesus was looney to ask them to fill barrels full of water and then present it to the "banquest master" as wine! But they did it! I can only imagine their anxiety as they gave the Master the glass. They had to think they were going to be in deep trouble. But much to their surprise they really did present the "best tasting wine"! God wants to turn our water into wine! He wants to take our dull selves and makes us into sheer bliss (can you tell I like wine?). "Do whatever he tells you." I'm all in!

So lets see how creative I am. Can I tie this randomness together? Pete has talked about parenting recently, and about what we dream for our kids. My dream is that my kids get "Do whatever he tell you." That they have a sold out relationship with Jesus! That Kohen will go on and serve openly to all he comes in contact with, because that is what Jesus would do. And that Kenton would work hard to be the best he can be at what God calls him to do, because that is what God asks for: all and the best of us. I love my family. I love what I learn through them! And sometime here soon, Kenzie will get a post all to herself, because those who know her, will testify, she is going to "teach me something!".

So how did I do?

Until Next Time...

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Season of Lent

The Season of Lent started two days ago on Wed. Feb. 16th. Growing up, I had heard about Lent, but knew it primarily as a season Catholics observed. And it was left at that. I didn't know why, and because I was a Protestant, more specifically Baptist, I didn't bother to ask questions either. Unfortunately, it wasn't until 3 years ago, that I was educated about Lent and challenged to observe it. I learned that this Season really has substaintial meaning, and that TRUE Lent crosses all denominatial lines. You can learn more about the history of Lent here, but to quote Wikipedia, "the purpose of Lent is a preparation of the believer", more specifically, for Easter.

So what do I believe Lent looks like? I believe that it was designed to draw believes into a closer relationship with our Heavenly Father, with the climax being a rememberance of Jesus' scarifice. That wooing can look differently for different people, but I do believe it may be deeper than just giving up Chocolate for 40 days. I guess it just depends on how addicted to Chocolate you are :)

3 years ago, I committed myself to spend time in the Word and Journaling my prayers everyday. That was a very rich time that brought clarity and deepened my relationship with my Father. It also brought about "habit". Now I wish I could say that I have continued for 3 years, but the fact of the matter is: that was a season and it was a continual activity until I had 3 kids under the age of 5 in my house and there no longer was a substantial quiet stretch of time in my house. But I will say that I learned the value of Journaling, for me personally, and I have clung to it in times when I needed clarity. Fast forward to now. As I have mentioned in other posts, I am learning how to be quiet again, and my Father is drawing me back into His Living Room to sit and His feet. So, for Lent this year I am going to re-read and study the book of John in preparation for Easter, and I am also going to journal more reguarly. I can't wait to see what God does though this time and how this year's Holy Holiday (Easter) impacts me differntly than in years past. I give all of you who read this permission to ask me how this time is going and what I am learning. Just be prepared (hopefully) to get an earful :)

Now do I think everyone should observe Lent? Not necessarily. Do I think all observances of Lent should look like mine? Not at all. Prayfully consider where God is wooing you. What does He want from you over the next 40+ days? I do challenge you to be open to the Spirit and see how this Easter Season is different from all the rest!

Until Next Time...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

At least we have Pictures...

This boy has such amazing perspective for a 6 year old. He teaches me so much! As we watched the snow disappear, I asked him if he was sad that it was all gone, he said, "Yes, but at least we have pictures to remember it!" WOW! For those of you who don't know, we had record snow fall last week, measuring 12 inches in 24 hours! Here are some pictures for us to remember the Texas Snow!

Kohen admiring the white stuff falling from the sky!

Kenzie thinking it is great fun!

We built Snowmen....

and Igloos...

and had Snowball fights; The wind up...

and the THROW!!!

As I think about Kenton's comment, I've come to the conclusion that my 6 year old accepts change better than I do. Sad but true! But change is inevitable, and how it impacts your life depends on your attitude. God provides change in our lives to mold us, shape, us and grow us. The question is do you have snap shots (actual pics or mental pics) to provide memory of where you have been/where you have grown, so that, where you are going seems like an exciting adventure?

"At least we have pictures!" Insight from a six year old!

Until next time...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

This year, Matt and I stepped away from our 5 year tradition of hosting a Valentine's dinner at our home, and took half the day for just us! We needed it, and we had fun, and I can't wait until we can do it again. We went shopping. I helped Matt liven up his closet and he approved items I had been eyeing :) I love being married to a man who likes to shop! In the evening we went to dinner and following we went to an after dinner cocktails and dance party that some friends were hosting in their banquet hall.
While all of that was fun, Valentine's Day took on a slightly different meaning for me this year. For the last several weeks Matt and I have been having conversations about our marriage, making sure we are on the same page, where do we need work, and what are our dreams and desires. Now I must say much of these conversations were prompted by our pastor Pete Briscoe, through his mini-series on marriage. Here is the link for you to take a closer look. So how really was this Valentine's Day different from the rest? It was all in my choice of thinking and attitude. I chose to be grateful. Grateful for my marriage and grateful for the man God put in my life. Not that I am not often grateful of these two things, but it was where I put my focus on this day.
Now I am happy to say that Pete's messages did not revolutionize our marriage. Yes I did say I am happy about that. Here is why: The topics Pete spoke on, have been values we have held in our marriage from the beginning. But it was great to be affirmed in our thinking and to be reminded that marriage is constant work and surrender.

Ephesians 5: 18-33 is where we have been for the last 4 weeks.
1. True love and oneness can only be obtained if you are fully surrendered and filled with the Holy Spirit.
2. #1 leads to submission to each other. We put each other first out of respect for each other and out of Love for Christ who brought us together.
3. Paul talks directly to Men and then to Women in what this submission is suppose to look like. A Husband is suppose to lift his wife up and Christ lifts up the church and a woman is suppose to allow her husband to do so. My part has been a learning process over the years. Let me preface, Matt is not my boss, nor does he rule over me, and his decision is not the final say. We discuss and communicate with one another and we don't make decisions unless we are both on the same page about the topic. It is equal participation. What Paul did say, is that I am suppose to allow Matt to be my cheering section and my support. Pete's analogy was that of a male cheerleader hoisting up a female cheerleader above his head and holding her with one hand. This is vivid imagery for me. Matt is my cheering section. He supports anything I want to do. He encourages me to go beyond my expectations, and he desires to be my help and support in all areas of my life. I, on the other hand, like to be stubborn and independent, and I know over the years I have resisted Matt's support, especially when it comes to help. I'm learning and growing in this area, and I'm thankful that my husband hasn't given up on me :)
4. Great Sex! Yes Pete did a whole sermon on sex. And I agree wholeheartedly with the Great part and I wont indulge you any further :)

Two tips coming from Pete and us: Be willing to be Spirit filled and Talk! (and talk some more!)

I leave with this two images. One of the unity candle that you probably lit when you got married, or will light when you do get married. It represents the oneness of marriage. But it is so easy in life, especially during the valleys, to live together, yet apart. As if one or both of the candles on either side of the unity candle has been re-lit. I am committed to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit so that I can love my husband fully and to talk (I really don't have a problem in this area :) ), in hopes that Satan does not get a foothold here. Second, last night at the dance there was an older couple in their late 70s or maybe even early 80s who didn't care if they liked the music or not they were going to DANCE! They were adorable! They obviously had learned how to love each other well. As soon as I saw them, I told Matt that is going to be us someday, and I am committed to see to it that that happens :) Even if it means we have to take dance lessons...(hee hee)

Until next time...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Expect the Unexpected

I am going to apologize up front that I may write in circles on this post. But maybe while I get some of my thoughts I might have some revelations, or you might have a revelation that you can share with me :) Oh goodness you are going to get a glimpse into how I think, please don't get to scared!

I ran across this quote while I was reading a book (Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World) a couple of days ago. "Sometime, the best way to reclaim someone who is on the wrong path is to treat him not with suspicion but with trust; not as if we expected the worse, but as if we expected the best" - William Barclay

Now I don't have anyone in mind while I am talking about this quote, but I will say that I have been struggling a lot with expectation. What is an okay expectation, but what is not an okay expectation? I find that when I am in expectation mode I am trying to fill an empty spot in my life with imperfect people. No one can read my mind, nor is there one person who can live up to my expectations! The only way to fill that emptiness is being in a full and complete relationship with my Heavenly Father, hence the rejuvenation that I spoke briefly on in my last post.

So obviously some or a certain kind of expectation is okay/needed. Is it all based on our attitude or response? The example that was given in conjunction with the above quote was how Jesus treated Judas even when he knew Judas' heart and intention. Jesus still treated Judas with love and respect and continued to give him responsibility as he remained in community with the disciples. As I continue to read this quote though, just like in Jesus' case, one could bear much heartache. A lot of times your expectations, if you expect only the best, are going to be shattered. Yet I keep going back and thinking if this is what Jesus did, then only through Him can I truly bear the heartache. And isn't this a true picture of love? Even though Jesus knew what Judas was going to do to him, he still continued to love him. HEARTACHE!!! I'm not one that likes to bear burden or heartache, is there really anyone who like that? But I do know that Jesus' burden is light, so maybe it does all come down to our attitude, hence our reaction to disappointment would be different.

What are the expectations we should have? What does Jesus expect from us? Hmmm...have I confused you enough yet? Any revelations to share with me? Alright I think that my brain is starting to spin again, so I'm going to stop before this truly becomes senseless :). Maybe I will write more on this later.

Until next time....

Friday, February 5, 2010

100th Day

Yesterday was Kenton 100th day of school. I can't we have lived over 100 days into this new phase of life already! According to Kenton is was the best day of Kindergarten. For me it was a day to reminisce over what we have learned and how we have changed. Here is what I came up with:

- I don't cry or feel like crying as often when I take Kenton to school :)
- Kenton has developed in his independence and leadership. Mrs. Miller has even put Kenton in charge of the classroom, as the class "problem solver".
- Kenton has developed in his social skills, making new and dear friends
-While he is still not exceptionally thrilled with school, Kenton has chosen to find things to look forward to and to have a good attitude. What a relief for Mommy!
- I have been intrigued to watch Kohen step into a first born big brother role while Kenton is at school.
- Kohen and Kenzie are becoming best friends
-Kohen has soared in his communication skills, confidence, and has discovered a love for learning,as I now have the ability to spend more precious one on one time with him.
-I have learned how to communicate with a 2 year old again!
-Kenzie has developed into a little girl who knows what she wants and is determined to communicate it to you no matter what it takes.
- I have learned how to really have quiet in my life again. I have nearly 2 hours to myself everyday during nap time! This has probably been my biggest adjustment. I honestly didn't really know what to do with myself, but my Heavenly Father has used that time to draw me into a closer relationship with Him. And now my strength is being renewed as I rest at the feet of Jesus.

I'm sure we have changed in more ways than just these, and as soon as I become completely comfortable there will be more change. Although I would rather have Kenton at home, these 100+ days have been good for all those involved. And I look forward to the adventures that lie ahead!

Until Next Time...