Saturday, January 26, 2013


Today was a busy day.  My boys had a full day of fun.  I did it all on my own.  It made me respect single parents even more.  I don't know how you do it.  Dan was out of town at a conference.  We definitely have the team parenting approach down so days alone make me appreciate him so much.  

Jonah woke up around 7:40.  He came in to tell me he was up then I went back to sleep for about 20 or so minutes.  I got up to make coffee and decided to tackle the day.  I wanted to take the boys to the DeLand Dog Parade or to pick strawberries at a local farm.  I decided to do the dog parade since it only happens once per year.  I finally had to wake Micah up a little after 10:00 a.m.  That was a full 16 hours (YES, 16 HOURS!!!) after he went to sleep last night.  I woke him up, dressed him and put him directly in the car.  I had his breakfast in a bag to give to him while we waited on the parade to start.  

We did the parade and enjoyed it.  I could hardly believe how perfect the weather was.  I decided to go ahead and do the strawberry patch too.  Our friends, Craig and Amy Uppercue were next to us at the parade.  The decided to do strawberries with us.  We stopped for lunch at Moe's then headed to the farm.  

We had a great time picking strawberries and doing all the fun things that go along with a farm.  The kids were great.  We got an awesome deal on the strawberries.  It was fun.  I'm glad we did that.  I'm even more glad that Craig, Amy and Hannah went.  It was fun doing that with someone else. 

We got home and immediately put Micah down for a nap even though he was a couple of hours later than normal.  Typically, I would just keep him up and put him to bed early.  But, Dan was coming home tonight and I wanted the boys up to see him.  So, I put him down for a nap with plans to wake him after a couple of hours.  I worked on the house while Jonah played in the back yard.  He played with his Nerf Bow but didn't really have anything to shoot at.  So, I went online and found a target for him.  I printed it out and hung it on the fence.  He had a great time. 

Soon after that, our neighbors got home so Jonah and Jaxon played together in our yard.  They decided to play in Jaxon's yard so I ran in to check on Micah.  He was snoozing but I decided to wake him so he could play outside too.

Our outside playtime turned into a wienie roast and Smores with our neighbors.  The kids were filthy but they had SO MUCH FUN!  This is Micah when I put him in the tub.

That was a combination of strawberries, chocolate, dirt and marshmallows.  Seriously, he was nasty from head to toe.  But, it was worth it to see the fun they had.  I got them bathed and ready for bed so we could all wait for Dan to get home.  They played together in Micah's room while we waited for him.


I watched Dan on the map using an app on my phone and when he turned into our neighborhood, we went outside to wait for him.  They boys (and Max) were so happy to see him that they all got in his car after he barely turned into the driveway.  They drove the last 10 feet of the driveway with him.  

It was a crazy busy and fun day.  I tweeted this a couple of hours ago.

Seriously, I don't do this much fun with my boys sometimes in a whole week or two.  Life just gets in the way.  Today was fun though.  I'm exhausted.  They are exhausted.  Dan is home.  Life is good!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Morning News

Jonah got to be on the morning news at school today.  I'm not sure exactly why but it was something to do with Reading Counts.  His wonderful Assistant Principal sent me a text with the first picture.  Then, his teacher from last year sent me a picture from her room while they watched him on TV.  I was so grateful to both of them for sharing his morning with me.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Puzzles and memories

 Today, Micah and I played with puzzles for quite some time back in his room.  He loved every minute of it.  The last time we did puzzles with him was a train wreck.  It is so fun to watch him discover and master new things.

 But, as we played with those puzzles, I couldn't help but think back to all the times I played with Jonah and these very same puzzles.  It seems like just yesterday that we sat on the floor in Jonah's room and he struggled to fit the correct pieces in their place. 

Time really does move so fast.  The non-stop days and busyness sometime clouds the sweetness that comes with caring for small children.  But, these days are sweet.  I'm trying to soak them up!!

The hard parts of ministry...

If you know me well, you know that I L.O.V.E being a Pastor's wife.  You know that I "get" what my husband does therefore it makes it easy to support him.  You might also know that love my role.  (Well, except on Sunday morning because let's be honest, getting two kids dressed and out the door ON TIME without Dan at home is next to exhausting!)  But, in the overall grand scheme of life, I truly love ours.

I follow several PW (pastor's wives) on Twitter and blogs.  Some love their life.  Some hate it.  I've worked with PW who fall along those same lines.  There are some who relish their role and some who despise it.  I've been to conferences and webinars about life in ministry.  I've listened to podcasts on the the topic.  I read blogs about it and I am members of Facebook groups for Pastor's Wives.  The feelings are always varying.  But, I truly do love doing ministry right beside Dan.

But, the past few weeks have brought up several issues that remind me of the things I don't love about ministry.  These things don't make me dislike my role as a PW but just solidifies the difficulty.  All jobs have their hard times and hard days, I know that.  But, this is my life and my blog so I'm the only one who gets to complain.  Ha!

  • Moving away from people you love- We have had friends in from our last church this week and it has made us ache for the relationships we left behind.  No matter how much you love where you are, you always carry a piece of your former church with you.  Those relationships can never be replaced.  
  • Pleasing different generations- I had a conversation with someone earlier this week who expressed a frustration that our church doesn't do enough to reach young families.  She feels that our church is focused only on pleasing our senior adults.  Then, today, a senior adult told us that our church does nothing for their age group all the while catering to the younger generation.
  • Preferences- It is impossible to please everyone.  There have been weeks where Dan was told his preaching lacked depth and passion.  That same week, he received 10-15 emails saying that particular sermon was the most passionate, spiritual and deep message they have ever heard.  We see it with music also.  Facebook will be on fire after a service with people saying it was the most powerful worship service they have ever been part of and then Dan gets emails or bulletin tear-offs saying the music that day was awful.
  • Meetings- This is probably different for Dan than it is me because he actually gets to say what he thinks and feels but I feel terribly hemmed in at meetings when I'm there as the PW.  I feel like my opinion reflects on Dan and that I offend someone there because I think differently than them, then it is harmful to the unity of our church.  So, at many meetings, I feel my frustrations rise when all I want to do is just speak up!
  • Caring being confused with condemnation- I've been in church my whole life.  I was taught at an early age to be friendly and welcoming.  I had a female youth minister when I was in High School.  She taught me the value of loving people, welcoming them and missing them when they weren't there.  So, I'm very aware when people are missing from their regular spot.  I notice when people aren't in Sunday School.  But, I feel like my concern for the absence seems more like condemnation for them missing when I contact them.  I don't think they consider me to be very sincere but more judgmental about them missing church.  When, actually, it is a true concern I have about them and not their missing a service or event.   

.... To Be Continued

Monday, January 21, 2013

Christmas, 2012

The benefit to posting about Christmas three weeks past the day is seeing posts from everyone else.  I noticed that Santa used the exact same stationery at most every house he visited.  I guess he really did send a link to Pinterest.  ;-)  But, for some strange reason, he typed his note to our kids rather than writing it like the other houses we have seen.  It appears Santa became very long winded when he arrived to our house.  Which, is so odd, because no one else in this house is long winded.  Ahem...

We told Jonah over and over to yell for us when he woke up on Christmas Morning rather than coming to get us.  He has to walk past the living room to get to our room and we wanted to see his face when he saw everything.  We turned a monitor on in there and heard him yell "mommy, daddy, mommy, daddy...I'M AWAKE!!"  I grabbed my camera and we headed in there.  I snapped a quick picture of him and off we went to get Micah. 
Jonah used the potty and brushed his teeth before we went into Micah's room.  As you can see, he was very excited.  But, not excited enough to keep his eyes open for a picture. 

I turned the video on and we walked into Micah's room.  It was so sweet.  Jonah said "Merry Christmas, Micah" as we both approached the bed.   Then we saw it.  VOMIT...every where.  Ugh!  His matching pajamas were covered.  His sleepy toys were covered.  His sheets were covered.  It was GROSS.  (You can thank me for not showing you the video!!)  So, we grabbed him and went straight to the tub. 

Sweet Jonah just waited patiently to go see all of his Christmas goodies.  When the time finally came, I ran ahead of them so I could see their faces when they rounded the corner.  Those are some sweet, sweet memories I have from the past few years. 

Micah went straight to his little kitchen.  I always wanted one for Jonah but Dan wasn't a big fan of a kitchen for his little boy.  Then, we watched him play with kitchens at the houses of friends over the years and regretted never getting one for him.  So, that was our number one idea for Micah's Christmas.  And, the great thing is that Jonah plays with it too. 
Jonah's keyboard may not be the most "fun" gift but it is super practical now that he takes piano lessons.  I hope piano is one of those things he falls in love with and sticks with over the years. 

Another big gift of Micah's is his indoor trampoline.  Here we are almost a month later and Micah rarely touches it.  Jonah, now that is a whole other story.  The kid jumps all the time.  He jumps when he watches TV.  He jumps when he gets up every morning.  He jumps before bed.  He jumps and jumps and jumps.  Sorry, Micah but your brother certainly thanks you!

After the boys saw some of their gifts, we sat down to read the Christmas Story and to pray together.  Even Max sat and listened with us. 

We prayed together and thanked God for sending Jesus.  Jonah prayed such a sweet prayer.  I wish I had recorded it.  And, while we are on the subject of sweet, check out Micah's arm and hand on Jonah's knee while he prayed. 
After praying together, we opened stockings.  It was very easy to buy for Jonah's stocking this year.  He is at the age where he has so many interests.  Micah was a little more difficult.  It is hard to find small things for his age. 

We were most excited about a joint gift we got the boys.  They both really like Imaginext toys.  They both really like Toy Story.  So, after I found a few Imaginext items on Craigslist for VERY cheap, we bought a few accessories to go along with them and then put them in a big box for them to open together. 

While the boys were playing with their toys, Louise stopped by to see what they got for Christmas.  And, she brought Dan a big container full of his favorite fruit cut up. 

We finally stopped to have breakfast casserole.  That is a family tradition of Dan's that neither of my boys have warmed up to.  They wouldn't touch it...again!

The boys opened more gifts and just played their little hearts out. 

As the boys were playing,we spotted a rolled up note in the garland on the mantle.  I handed it to Jonah.  He opened it and read it to discover a scavenger hunt waiting for him. 

A couple of weeks before Christmas, we found a Little Tikes Bounce House on a local swap and sell site.  It retails for over $300 but they were selling it for $100.  We couldn't pass it up.  We knew they boys would love it.  We knew their friends would love it.  We knew it would come in handy at birthday parties.  So, the scavenger hunt led them to the back porch where it was blown up and waiting for them.  This is Jonah's face when he saw it. 

After playing with it under the back porch, we moved it to the back yard.  It was well over 80 degrees that day so it was perfect. 

Around 5 that night, we went to the local food kitchen to deliver gifts and serve meals to the homeless of our community.  Our church does this on regular occasions and it just so happened this was our scheduled night. 

Jonah took our gifts in and took them right to the tree.  He was excited to give gifts to the children.  We also had to find a job he could do at hte kitchen.  We paired him with Moriah and they gave out dessert to people as they ate their Christmas Dinner.  He was very intent on helping.  I was proud to watch him. 

As great as this was for Jonah, it was equally awful for Micah!  I couldn't really put him down.  He couldn't go free.  We had to keep him very close to us.  He. Was. Miserable.

Dan and I swapped off holding Micah until Dan noticed a lady crying.  He went over to talk to her and ended up spending the rest of the night there. 

He was able to spend time with them, pray with them and encourage them.  It was really good for Jonah to see "daddy help people!"  As we were ready to leave, I stood and watched Jonah play with the Nativity.  It had been a long day.  We were exhausted.  But, those few moments reminded me of the importance of that day.  It wasn't about gifts, eating, playing or being together.  It was about Jesus being born as a baby and entering this awful world to ultimately give his life on a cruel cross for ME!  Christmas 2012 is full of wonderful memories.  I'm grateful for those memories.  But, mostly, I'm grateful for Jesus!


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