Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wholly surrendered

... stress of the finances
... pressure of managing my time wisely
... worries of the wifely things I say and do
... weariness from the job
... wonders of the wisdom I administer to my kids

Only in You, King Jesus, am I complete in these things.  How I desire to be wholly surrendered to You in my whole being.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My adventure with my little guy

What beautiful autumn days we are enjoying!  For some odd reason, I picked this time of year to pull every single thing out of my craft/laundry room, paint the room, and organize every single thing before it goes back into the room.  Why now?  This is the busiest time of the year for me with birthdays, Halloween, Drum Day.  Even work is crazier.

Even with all the craziness, I was not about to let a gorgeous autumn day pass me by.  God blessed us with the beauty of His creation for a reason-- for us to get out there and enjoy it!

So Robbie and I get outside and enjoy the sunshine!

As we take off down our little country road...

...we marvel at the stately Oaks... we stop off at the bridge to throw leaves into the water.

Then we head on down the road on our delightful walk.

Swinging on the grapevine is a must on our country road.

Ah yes, Buzz Lightyear and Alien accompanied us on our walk.  Here they are taking a rest as we swing on the grapevines.

It has been three wonderful, blessed years that we have lived on 276th East Avenue.  We adore our little country road so much!

Oh, what treasures await us on our journey down the pathway by the creek.

Robbie with his treasures.  He picked out a leaf for Daddy, Momma, Ryan, Amariah and one for him.  He had some acorns and other goodies but he couldn't carry them all.  Unselfishly, he left them behind so everyone in his family could have a leaf.

Coming from our old house that we lived in for 11 years with NO trees, you can only imagine how much I am loving being surrounded by these massive Oaks!

Ok, ok, ok... enough already.  Have I told you how much I enjoy my Oaks?  =]  As much as I don't want to, it's time to get back to the chore at hand.  I'm thrilled God gave me a day to get outside to enjoy Him and my son.

I am grateful for the beauty of the land that God so graciously allows us to see.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Much joy, much frustration

I really am not one to brag.  I have despised braggarts for as long as I can remember.  Even as I child, I never bragged.  It just didn't seem right.  I felt so smug when I would do it.  That's what I love about my little blog.  It is my 'safe sanctuary' away from the world.  I can cry all I want, laugh all I want, be outraged and irritated all I want, or even brag all I want.  So that is what I am going to do!

I am filled with much joy and pride from Amariah's Parent/Teacher conference.  We've always gotten remarkable reports about her ever since her very first year of school.  She is a bright young lady and I am so very proud of her.  We have never pushed for her to be a straight A student.  She has put that pressure on herself.  Sometimes, she puts too much pressure on herself!  We have always taught her to love God first, her family second and her friends next.  We have embedded in her the importance of an education.  She knows that school is to be more important than sports, friends, and yes... even boyfriends!  All the years of experience with P/T conferences had not prepared me for what I was about to hear from her current 5th grade teacher.  When I walked in, he immediately told me how much he has enjoyed having Amariah in his class.  He said she was doing great, no problems.  Yes, I know.. (I can brag here) I hear that every year.  He told me that I wouldn't believe what he was about to say.  He went on to explain to me about the GATES test that is taken every Spring and Fall.  It is reading, comprehension and vocab.  She received a near perfect score!  She tested at above high school level!!  I was shocked and so was he!  He said he couldn't believe it!  So for the rest of the conference my mind was swirling, trying to comprehend how smart my little girl was and trying to pay attention as well.  It was so hard.  I was basking in the gloating I was hearing about my girl.  He then went on to tell me how she is so smart, but she doesn't brag about it.  I emphasized that I have worked hard on instilling humbleness to my kids.  Still in shock over her test scores, he shocked me even more by illustrating how very much my daughter was like his own wife.  His wife is a doctor, who is very smart, beautiful and has a lovable personality.  He proceeded with his envision of Amariah going very far in life and doing great things because she is smart, pretty, outgoing, and has a wonderful personality.  Okay... Wow... I'm speechless... and so very proud!  I can honestly say I've never had anyone brag on my own child so much. 

Thank you Mr. Dillbeck for such kind words about my girl.  She is special and she knows that because I tell her all the time that she is.  She will tell you that she is special because God made her, God loves her and God will always be with her.  I am proud of how well she is doing by the world's standards, but nothing makes me more proud than her knowing Jesus as her Lord and Savior!


Now about my frustration... Ryan.  Can we go to the opposite end of the spectrum??  What on earth is going on?!  We go from a child with straight A's to a child with one failing grade and four grades that are within points of being failing grades.  What?!

  Extremely heavy sigh here

What have we done wrong?  Where have we failed him?  We are honestly at a loss of what to do with him and for him.  We have struggled with him from all the way down to first grade.. all the way up to the now current 8th grade.  Every single year, every single teacher, every single word the same.  He's immature, he doesn't care, he's too laid back, and believe it or not, he's very smart.  I know this.  I've heard this many times over.  He can do the work, it just seems to get lost somewhere between the desk (or his homework folder) to the teacher.  This is a sampling of his grades:  100, 100, 0, 97, 0, 0, 88, 100, 0, 0, 0.  There is no motivation unless he finds it on his own.  Will we ever survive his school years?  Will we make it through high school?  Will he graduate??  As much as I hate to say it, I find myself pondering these things over and over again.  What can we do?  What can I do?  We've punished, bragged, grounded, bribed, spanked, paid money.  What is left to do?  I'm exhausted.  Have I given up?  Not at this moment.  Truth be told, in the past I have and I told him so.

As frustrated as I get with him, I will never give up on him.  He is still my boy.  My oldest child.  I've been praying for him before he was even born.  I trust God with all my heart.  How else could I ever get through this?  I know there is a lesson somewhere in all this mess.  I'm thankful God is in control of the situation because if He wasn't it would be utter chaos!  As frustrated as I get about Ryan's carefree (or should I say care less) attitude towards school, I am thankful that he too, knows how very special he is.  He knows God made him special, God loves him and God will always be with him.

I'm thankful for Ryan and Amariah (and Robbie, too!).   More so, I'm grateful for my loving God who gives me the strength, peace and wisdom to face each new situation that arises with each child.  I don't even want to think what my life would be like without Him!

Monday, October 12, 2009

What to do?

Robbie wakes up and very slowly makes his way down the hall.  I hear him head downstairs.  I quietly call his name.  He comes to me and crawls up on my lap.  He laughs as I sit and hold him, smothering him with hugs and kisses.  In his sweet little morning voice (which is so very much different from his full awake boisterous voice) he says to me "How'd you get here?".  Kids are so cute when they are trying to get their meaning across and they do their very best.  I told him I was off work today and I get to spend the day with him!  In his sweet and sleepy little voice, he enthusiastically draws out "Alright!".  I smile so big at him, yet I want to cry inside!

I am torn.  I so want to be a true stay-at-home mom.  No more home based businesses to take away precious hours from my kids that I will never get back.  No more part-time work where I have to leave my little guy at home with a Daddy that needs to sleep during the day.  No more having to say "No, I'm sorry, I can't be there because I have to work".  It thrills Amariah SO much when I can be at school to help out.  It's quite humorous actually.  She doesn't want me to be around, yet she wants me there.  I guess that's better than the way some parents get treated by their kids who don't even care if their parents are there or not.

I am not good at making decisions.  World's worst, actually.  Rich and I have had a few spats over that very topic.  What is so wrong with being indecisive??

In the past year or so, I have finally said no to church committees.  My heart's passion is for youth and for women.  While I enjoyed the Student Team and the Women's Activity Team immensely, I knew it was time to leave.  Being a part of the planning, scheduling, implementing, and achieving was a joy for me.  But making all the meetings and being available at all times was not convenient for me. 

I think I am ready.  I think I am about ready.  I'm really not sure.  My very short-term goal is to see about finally quitting work after inventory at the end of January.  If not then, I will quit by summertime.  And if not then, most definitely by the time school starts next year.  I am having a hard time knowing what to do.  I know where my answer lies.  I know the only way I will ever find peace about it is by seeking God through prayer and searching God's Word.  A couple of years ago, I did that very thing.  I spent much time pouring over God's Word and seeking His will for this very subject of my life.  I never received the peace I was looking for.  I knew it wasn't time.  So after Christmas I will start searching again.  To say I have it made is an understatement.  Being with the company for 18 years (along with the hard work I give them), affords me the luxury of an extremely flexible schedule that I know will be impossible to match anywhere else.  When I go, I have to make sure it is the right thing to do.  There will be no going back.

Although I don't like it very much, I am grateful for the choices I do have for there are so many people out there begging for work.  In the end, it all comes back to this:  Can anything compete against my little guy being ecstatic about getting to spend the day with me??

Friday, October 9, 2009

A fun-filled weekend of friends

I had a most enjoyable weekend spent with many friends.  How can I ever think I am not blessed?  Friday/night and Saturday were spent with my friends that share the same love of watching our children cheerlead and play football.  There is so much joy in watching their little faces light up with such awe-inspiring school spirit.  When Amariah does that "herkie" just right, I can't help but smile and feel proud inside because I can tell by her beaming smile, that she too is proud.  What a blessing to see so many parents take time off from their mostly over-loaded schedules to come out and partake of their child's day.

Saturday evening and Sunday were spent with special friends, both old and new.  I really can't remember the last time I had such an enjoyable night surrounded by so many great friends!  (Except for the nights that the girls get away with no men or kids... but that doesn't happen often enough!).  It is so nice to be able to be serious one minute, laugh your head off the next minute.  It is especially nice when you can poke fun of each other and everyone still has a great time without being offended.  What a gorgeous night God blessed us with!  I enjoyed walking to each other's homes in the beautiful, serene night air.  I could have stayed by the fire all night long.  I almost did... I almost fell asleep in my chair.  I so love the outdoors!  Sunday was a great day to be serving God, our community and each other.  The weather was wonderful, the people were cheerful, and the mood was gratifying!  There really is nothing more satisfying than when a group can come together in unity and serve.  I adore our church family!

I am so very grateful for all the wonderful friends, sisters and brothers that God has placed in my life, at this very season in my life!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Routine, Organization, Efficiency

It's so nice to be back!  I love routine and organization. I love efficiency in every form of the word!  As mundane as it can be, I feel like I'm not getting anything accomplished if there is not some sense of order around me.  I'm not a control freak at all.  I don't have to be in control of my day or any tidbit of my day, BUT I just can't seem to focus if I'm unorganized or inefficient.  To have Ryan back in school and Rich back to work; I feel, is a huge accomplishment!

  Ah, how I've missed our family devotion time.  It felt so good to get it going again.  I hate to say it, but it went bye-bye for awhile with the onslaught of school starting and hospital ordeals.  I so wish I wouldn't let life get in the way of our family devotions.  What are my kids learning from that?  That when life gets busy or hectic, take a break from God's word?!  That's when we need to be in it as a family every single day!  I so want my kids to be grounded in His word.  I want them to seek it and not friends when they are having a bad day.

It was so nice to have Rich home every single night for those 5 weeks.  After we put the kids to bed, we would sit on the couch together and watch the diy network... every single night until midnight or later.  It was relaxing.  We would dream about our house and our yard.  I will hold out for those flagstone pavers on top of all the concrete in our back yard.  Yes,  I know they are expensive, but I love the old-time feel and look of them.  We discussed projects we wanted to tackle and list their importance.  We would go to bed at the same time.  I would lay there beside him and think about how much I cherish that time with him and how much I loved just having him there beside me even though he was snoring.  It's been a long nine months that he has been on midnights.  Only nine months??  Are you kidding me??  It seems more like nine years!  I'm glad he gets to see the kids after school and spend the whole evening with them.  He gets to be at all the games and even gets to coach now-- since he can make the practices.  But oh, how I miss having him home at bedtime!  I have found myself in a routine that I'm not too fond of!  I seem to stay awake as long as possible every night that he is working so I will just go to bed and crash.  I have such a hard time falling asleep without him beside me.  I tried putting Robbie in bed with me at night, but it's just not the same.  I need my husband beside me, where he should be.  Speaking of... why am I still awake at 12:45 AM when I need to wake up at 6:30 AM?  I am grateful for a husband that I enjoy being with.