Sunday, July 22, 2007

Toddler Tidbits Continued

We were playing at the play place at the mall last week, and Emma made friends with a little African American girl. All of a sudden Emma started stroking the girl's arm and saying, Your skin is so beautiful. I just love your color! She then looked at me and asked why she didn't have a pretty color.
I believe this is the first time Emma has ever noticed a difference in people's skin colors before and she thought it was beautiful and amazing!

Emma went on to tell the little girl that she used to have brothers (at the children's home) who had beautiful skin, too (they were Navajo). She said, Little girl, you are just so beautiful, and my boys were beautiful, too. I just love it when all of the colors are happy. Amen, Emma, Amen. Isn't all of life beautiful through the eyes of a child?

Summer Fun

Above are some fun pictures of the girls that were taken this summer. They are getting so very BIG! Our summer has been splendid. The weather in the Burg has been awesome lately, and we have been spending as much time outside as possible! We are making memories in and all around our little farm house. We have filled our days with summer festivals, trips to the library, King's Island, walks to the park, the hamburger cart, and the downtown ice cream trolley, and have enjoyed swimming in our blow up pool. Emma has been in gymnastics and we are also part of a play group that meets once a week. Another bit of summer news is that Boss has been working like crazy (80 hours a week), but he has a very promising job interview on Thursday, for a job that pays more money with fewer hours. We are so thankful that God keeps opening windows of opportunity for advancement for Boss and our family. I don't know anyone who works harder than my sweet husband, while continuing to do his best and keep a positive attitude. Go, baby, go! You will do great in your interview! Next weekend is my 25th birthday and we will celebrate by eating at the Cheesecake Factory, going to see a chick flick, and sleeping in! Needless to say, we are soaking up the summer fun in our little house in the Burg! Happy summer to you, friends!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Reflections of my Heart

I have not shared on the pages here about the children's home where our family worked for a year and half, and I believe the reason was because I needed time to reflect on our time there. By the end of our service there, we were so frustrated and tired, and I believe we began to see things in a very negative light. However, now that we are looking back on those days, as with most things in life, I can see many good and wonderful things about our time in Albuquerque. For one thing, God blessed us with amazing friends as fellow houseparents, and I was never lonely living there for a single moment! And while we did not connect with every child who walked through our front door, we did develop some relationships that I am very proud of and thankful for. I loved the sense of purpose that each day at the children's home brought. I never once felt like my life was lacking during our days there. And spending every day together as a family was the icing on the cake. So, while I know it was time for our family to move on, I simply wish I had cherished our days there a bit more.

Our life here is very different. When we left the children's home we wanted to dive back into the world, and literally, into the world we dove. It has felt like keeping up with the Jone's since day one. I feel like my focus is off, my days are meaningless, and to be quite honest, sometimes I struggle with wanting money and materialistic things so badly that I can taste it. Another thing I have struggled with since moving is being a mama, something I have always longed to be. Because I don't just want to be a good mama, I want to be a great mama. And most days I feel like I am failing. I find myself longing for a nap and some alone time and more money, instead of focusing on my children as my treasures in this life.

I am well aware of all of my blessings. I KNOW God is good ALL of the time. I simply hate that I get sucked into the world so easily. I hate that I wallow in self pity, and think of not getting an afternoon nap as suffering, when in reality, I know nothing of suffering. And I praise God for that.

Tonight, a family whose blog I follow, lost their two year old daughter to leukemia. My heart breaking. I have no words. This family tried for five long years to conceive a child, and their daughter was an answer to prayer. And now, only two short years later, she is gone. As a Christian, I find peace knowing that their sweet girl is in Heaven. I find peace in knowing she will never face the trials of this world. But as a mama, my heart breaks for a woman whose shoes I tremble at the thought of ever walking in. And here I am, complaining about my old house, Boss' job, not having enough money, and the fact that my children are constantly interrupting the plans I have made for each day, when in another state, one mama's hands are now empty. She no longer has a child to interrupt her at all, and I know she would gladly exchange her alone time for having her Livi back in an instant. I may be weary, but tonight my hands are full with two beautiful girls, while hers are empty. This breaks my heart, but I have been convicted.

My focus must shift away from the things of this world and back to my God. It must. I need to praise him for the things I do have, instead of whining about the things that I want. I need to regain my focus of serving others, as I had at the children's home, and quit thinking only of my sinful self. After all, the three most important people God has given me to serve on this earth, live right here under my roof. This life is short, and it is definitely too short to waste. Please join me in praying this week for a renewed focus. Also, please join with me as I pray for James and Emily Haughery as they face life without their beautiful and courageous Livi. Thank God for all you have, and give those you love an extra kiss tonight.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

A Circus Party

It's a Circus Party,
It will be so much fun.
Emma's turning three,
and Kate's turning one.

There will be food, games
and lots of cake, too...
To celebrate this birthday,
we NEED you!

Those were the words I penned for the invitations to the girl's birthday party. We made them ourselves, and they turned out so cute! We had the party yesterday and it was a success! We chose a JoJo's Circus theme, so we had a circus tent, streamers, balloons, a pin the nose on the clown game, a clown bean bag toss, and the signature pinata. Grammy made Kate a JoJo cake and Emma a Goliath the Lion cake. The party was very precious and special. Kate especially loved shoving cake into her cute chubby cheeks, and my Emma looked so beautiful, as she waited for us to blow out her candle. She looked so grown up that it brought tears to this mama's eyes. I want to close my eyes and remember this day for years to come. The days move slowly, but the years are gone before we know it. Savor each one.