Thursday, January 19, 2017

Disappointment

How do you deal with disappointment?
When you're six, crying is usually tolerated. Last weekend we got another round of snow, lots of it; so much that everything was canceled.
We had family from out of state arrive on Friday night. We were looking forward to basketball games and swim meets, sharing our lives with our visitors.
Then cancellations started trickling in. And all of our plans were wiped out. Little K had been so excited to have her very first basketball game and to have her cousins there to watch. When you've been dragged to numerous games and meets for older siblings, having someone special there to come to your game .... Well it's enough to send a 6 year old into a near frenzy. Alas, it was not to be.
So we readjusted, relaxed and spent plenty of time inside playing while the snow blew outside.
This last weekend we had a number of plans too. Our lives are busy, so nearly every day has plenty in it. But once again, disappointment visited our house. The fevers hit our youngest two minions. Once again, no basketball game, no church, no friends over to play (thankfully no cousins here either to get the sickness!)
But then on Wednesday, the skies parted. Well, the sunshine came out at least. The rain fell and melted all the snow. I was able to go for a run - the first time in 2 weeks. It felt wonderful. So even though there was disappointment, eventually there was joy.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Snow


The first snow day of the season was back in December and there was much rejoicing in our household and up and down the neighborhood. Kids bundled up and went outside to play for hours. Cold fingers and empty tummies drove them back inside, and then after a quick lunch and warm-up they were back out there. We parents snapped a bazillion photos of the kids in their snowsuits flying down the hill in their cute winterized outfits, on sleds, throwing snowballs, eating (clean) snow. We relished the peaceful quiet that snow brings - slowing down our days, with no where to go, and no hurry-up, we relaxed and enjoyed the day.
And then the second snow storm hit a few weeks later. My kids played outside for about an hour. No one wanted to go for a walk with me in the snow. Thankfully my visiting sister-in-law was up for it. She's from snow country - Wyoming/Colorado -  so snow wasn't any reason to stay stuck inside. Our days came to a standstill however; meets and games were cancelled. This time we didn't relish the slow-down of our days. We wanted to go places and take our visiting family to places, and we couldn't. We did enjoy the time spent visiting with family, and the no-need-to-get-up-early days. And yes, the snow was as beautiful as the first snow. But after the initial awe, I was ready for it to be gone, and for life to get back to 'normal'. How fickle we humans can be.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Preparing for Another Year

The Mr. came across our daughter, the One who Swims, laying on the kitchen counter. When asked what she was doing, she answered, "Instagram."
When it was mentioned that the couch would be more comfortable, her reply: "It's too far to walk."
Yup, a whole 15 steps away.
Swim practices have been hard on her this Christmas break.

She has been swimming daily-doubles with her teammates; along with a signed 'contract' to not eat junk food during the season, her swimming has really improved.
We're thinking we might approach the Boy's basketball coach and suggest daily doubles, and no-junk-food contracts for those teams also.

Basketball season is in full swing for high school now. (Our 8th grader finished up in October.) He has scored and gotten rebounds when he is in the game, so that has been fun to watch, although his playing time at this point isn't quite what it used to be. Every season is a growing season, a learning season. No one is ever too old to learn something.

Speaking of which, I look back on the 6 years our Boy has been at away-school, I don't think I am the same person I was when I sent my firstborn off to school at age 12. I've changed from an insecure, awkward homeschool mom to just an awkward, but-trying, mom. Sometimes it feels like we grew up a little along with our kids as they navigate the world.

As we begin a new year, the tradition of resolutions is on my mind. But I'm making some goals for this year. A few are similar to ones I made in January of 2016;
2016 - 1. Read through the Bible (didn't make it)
2017 - 1. Read through the Bible in a year - doing this with my husband and a number of other church friends.

2016 - 2. Run a 5k with each of my family members (we all ran the Thanksgiving 5K together)
2017 - 2. Run regularly - training to do a 5K, and a Half sometime this year

2016 - 3. Acknowledge family members birthdays (oops. Facebook only.)
2017 - 3. Visit my in-laws regularly (monthly??)

2016 - 4. Pray for my husband every morning
2017 - 4. Pray for my husband and each child every day

2016 - 5. Blog at least once a week.
2017 - 5. Blog.

2017 - More and more, when faced with opportunities, I am asking myself - Am I living abundantly? Am I Living, or Existing? Am I taking the easy way out?  Am I embracing the life God has blessed me with? So I am going to continue on with that as part of my decision-making process, trying to live this life abundantly.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Cross country

We only have 1 meet left in the season! I can't believe it has gone by so fast. The kids started running in August, just come-if-you-can practices, and ice-cream runs. And now as their times are inching down, as their muscles are stronger and their strides are faster. .. it will be coming to an end.
The Boy's senior season has been good. No injuries, a little sickness, but nothing bad; he is running well, and taking off time at each meet. I know it isn't his favorite sport. It's more of a stay-in-shape kind of sport. But that's ok. It is a lifetime sport, so we're good with that.
The Girl Who Swims, is also quite a runner. She continues to amaze us, just as her brother did as he grew through high school. Her times continue to shrink; her placing in races continues to get better. And she is good. I try not to get my hopes up, but a part of me wants her to make it to the state meet this year. If not, that's ok too, she's only a sophomore, she likes running, so I know we'll have 2 more years to obtain that goal.
At least we have basketball next season - woot woot!

Of Books and things

Going to the library is a big deal in our house. The kids beg me to take them more often than whenever the books are due. So last weekend I took the older girls so they could have some fun reading material outside of schoolwork. Which meant I also got to spend almost an hour looking at books.
I'm on a cookbook fixation this month. (Swim season is rapidly approaching and rumor has it that my swimmer girl isn't supposed to eat sweets or sugars during the season. It's going to be a challenge to feed this girl. She loves her cookies and ice cream. So do I!) So I am looking at various cookbooks to get some new ideas. Hmm, this sounds a lot like a post I wrote a couple of months ago ... needing new dinner ideas. Anyway, there is a cookbook for just about anything! I came across the Polish cookbooks, and being half Polish, decided to look into them. Just to be fair to my husband's side, I did glance at the Irish ones... but didn't find much in the one I looked at. Head cheese, liver, and various other dishes that I am sure my stomach and my children, wouldn't handle too well.
So the Polish cookbook I brought home also has history and traditions interwoven in the recipes. And some of those recipes look goooood. I am hoping to attempt pierogi. My grandma made it - I have heard; I didn't get to taste hers. I did get to taste her doughnuts however. Oh my, those and her cinnamon rolls. I haven't had either as good as hers since she made them. I think it's about time I try to make them though, or else convince my mom to make them for her grandchildren and carry on that tradition!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Looking back

Sometimes it's good to look back on things and see how far we have come. 
A year ago today I had a gut-wrenching day. 
Gut-wrenching in the literal term. I had no idea if I would be a widow by morning or not. Oh, I had hope. And I had prayer, fervent prayer that it would be "not" for the answer. 
Never have I prayed so hard, or felt so connected to God. 
I had no way to help, except though prayer. 
I had no one to turn to who could actually comfort me, except God.
Oh, I had friends and family praying and surrounding me with love. But none of them could say 100% that he would come home. Only going to God would give me hope. 

For years I have struggled with prayer. I didn't believe that God would actually listen to me. I hoped He would; I hoped Jesus would want to intercede for me. But I think deep down I doubted my petty prayers would be heard among the masses God must hear daily.
But on 9/25 last year, I had no doubt. I knew He heard me. I knew in my inmost heart that He was with me. I held on to my Bible and read and reread Psalm 121:
I lift my eyes up to the hills, 
where does my help come from? 
My help comes from the Lord, 
the maker of heaven and earth. 
He will not let your foot slip - 
He who watches over you will not slumber; 
indeed He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 
The Lord is your shade at your right hand; 
the sun will not harm you by day, 
nor the moon by night.
 He will watch over your life; 
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. 
The Lord watches over you, 
the Lord will keep you from all harm—I am thankful now a year later, that the answer and the outcome was the one I wanted. It isn't always so with prayer. God isn't a Santa Claus granting our every wish or desire. 

I have come at prayer differently these days. I know God loves me and wants to hear from me, and wants to bless me; and yet also wants to help me grow, which often means difficult things may come my way. I'm okay with that. I know He will be with me no matter what. I knew last year that He would be with me if the outcome would have been different. I knew I would give Him glory no matter what. 
Sometimes it's good to look back and see what has changed and where we've been.
Sometimes it's better to look ahead and hope for what is yet to come.

Birthday girl

Once upon a time we had three children. And then number four arrived, on September 21 of 2005. Our third girl baby. Her oldest sibling, our only boy, shed a few tears when he heard the news. He has since gotten over that.
We celebrated this girl's birthday in a strange succession of events this week. On her birthday we had a cross country meet to go to, and then rushed off to church for Awana. So we weren't going to be able to have our family celebration until the late evening. However, plans had to change when we got home and discovered our dog had escaped again. With thunder and lightning overhead our dog got scared and ran. So we spent a lot of time tracking her down -- the Internet was a wonderful tool that night, connecting us with a mutual friend of the family who found our dog. By the time we were settled back at the house we only had time for presents. So we had cake and ice cream the following night.

And then yesterday she got to have a birthday party with friends. This isn't a yearly occurrence for our kids. With five of them, if we had parties every year for each of them, well ... I might be a little crazier than I am now.
She wanted a Hawaiian theme party. So we got out the decor, made up some games, and bought some leis. We had the girls play a getting-to-know-you game by throwing around a beach ball that had questions on it. Since some friends were from church, some were neighbors, and a cousin was here, they all got to meet new friends.

We also played a Fishy game ... I strung gummi fish and dangled them from the ceiling in a line. They girls formed teams and had to eat the fish off the the string, no hands allowed. It was pretty funny.
And then there was place the coconut on the palm tree game. Lots of laughs with that one!
Cake and presents took up the next hour and after a relay race outside, using extra large shoes, it ws just about time for parents to pick up their kids.
16 young ladies at our house, along with a couple of younger cousins. We had a lot of fun!