Thursday, January 14, 2016

Double Days

I doubled up the boys' school work this week to see if we could get a little ahead of schedule. (Especially if I am able to try and make it down to visit FL in the near future) Although it's been a little overwhelming at times, they're getting it done and learning how to use time management, prioritize and organize. It's also helping me break out of the mentality that everything had to be done by a specific time in the day - every day. We're all learning and being stretched in the process and I think it was a good thing for us. I'm second guessing trying to do it like this throughout the winter though...although the older boys loved thinking about the fact that if they did things like this regularly, they could be done by April and make the most of the beautiful weather. 
Maybe we'll do every other week a double week...I do like the flexibility of homeschooling and am thankful for this season I am in with my boys. I know it is going to fly by and I'm going to have a whole different season as I really start to teach the little ones. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

10 Events of 2015

I can't remember the last year I did this but I always liked looking back on the years I did so in no particular order because I'm tired...& because this is more for my own future reflections haha 

1. Tim working for Betatronix
After almost 10 years working for a job that was literally breaking his back, Tim started a new company. There's been a couple of downsides (like not having an extra car or getting a Christmas bonus) but that's completely worth not worrying that Tim is going to hurt his back again..although the damage has already been done so he still needs to be careful) 
I love that he works 10 minutes down the road and can come home for lunch every day...and he's home before 4pm! I don't see it being a forever job but definitely a good transition job to remind Tim how quick of a learner he is & that he doesn't have to feel stuck doing something forever 

2. Road Trips 
We went on a few road trips this year. (one of our favorite things to do) We went to PA to celebrate Sarah's birthday in Feb, I did a day trip to NH to pick Josh up & went back to PA in Aug to visit Wade and Sarah to take advantage of them living so close because I know that season is coming close to an end again :( Our major trip of the year was in July where we headed to Maine to visit my cousins John and Diana, Canada to visit friends Tom and Nadine, & New Hampshire like we usually do yearly to spend time with my Uncle Gene, Aunt Deb, Ben & Sam ...& see the church house that we loved but was sold this year :( It was so good spending time with awesome people we don't get to see regularly. They were all gracious hosts and made our visit unforgettable. I love you all! 

3. Peter and Kim 
I gained a new sister in law when Peter married Kim in Sept <3 It made my heart so happy and excited for both of them!!! We had a great time celebrating the month after at Belmont - the rain stayed away and it was absolutely beautiful. The kids climbed trees, flew kites, climbed dirt hills and the family played a game of kickball. 

4. Mama moving to FL 
One of my least favorite parts of 2015 is when my mom moved to FL to focus on getting The Pink Piano wine bar she co-owns up and running. It's been such a weird season having her away and my dad still living here. I don't get to talk to her much because she's working like crazy. I'm hoping when my dad moves down there, it will take some pressure off of her. & I'm thinking of planning a FL road trip this year to visit them. Maybe end of April around her birthday :) I miss her so much :( Especially when she would drop by even if it was for just 5 minutes to say hi and give us all a hug. 

5. Weeds cleared/Yard work 
When we got back from our road trip in July, we were super surprised that the overgrown weeds across the street were cleaned up. Tim's brother Peter has always been kind, loving, thoughtful,& generous and is really good at expressing it in tangible ways. He still found a new way and it gave us the motivation to get the half court back in working condition. We also did a lot of yard work as a family - chopping wood, clearing poison ivy (bleh) weeding, seeding, power washing, the mountain of bottles & cans that had taken over our back deck haha. Hopefully this Summer we'll continue to maintain what we did and be able to enjoy the outdoors with our family and friends. 

6. 30th Birthday 
My Aunt (& Fairy Godmother) planned a trip to NY for my 30th birthday weekend. She pampered me like crazy & I got to spend a whole weekend with her, my mama, Sarah and Daniela. It was my very first time being away from any of my babies for that long (while nursing) & Tim did an amazing job being the awesome daddy he is. I think that's why him and Jacob have a special bond now. I loved having my aunt in NY for 2 weeks exploring and eating our way around Island - from Garden City to Montauk Point :) My favorite thing in the world is spending time with the people I love and making memories especially outside in nature (& good food is ALWAYS a plus) 

7. Becoming a mother of a teenager 
I knew it was coming but I still can't believe or process fully that I have a teenager! Joshua is an incredible, hardworking, motivated, loving, affectionate, caring, handsome young man and I'm so proud to be his mom. I love him so very much! He wanted to spend time with Tim for his birthday so we got them season passes to Six Flags (since it was the exact same price as a one day pass at the time) They had a great time and will probably make more memories there this coming year since we have the passes for them & there's days you can bring an extra guest :) I love rollercoasters! 

8. Navigators 
The boys went to their 2nd year of VBS at Gospel Community Church in Sayville. They had so much fun and I can't say enough good things about how great it is. We got an invitation after VBS to check out Navigators on Wednesday nights. I would compare it to something like Boy Scouts. They have their uniforms and can earn pins by learning new skills or memory verses. The boys went to a father son camp out put together through the group and the boys had a great time. I see a lot of growth in them through this group and its been a really good and life giving night for us as a family. 

9. Baby Joel - July 31
Ahhhh! Look at that sweet face!!! Our newest nephew Joel was born this year & he is the cutest happy little boy! The few times Jacob saw him he loved him too and was giving him kisses and toys. This is Bobby & Jill's 3rd child and our 8th nephew :) Donna has 17 grandchildren now! 

10. Tim's Trip to the ER 

2015 didn't want to end nice and mellow. A few days after Christmas we were watching Back to the Future III to complete our Back to the Future marathon (thanks to the public library!) Noelan was being loud and jumping everywhere so Tim stood up and moved closer to the TV so he could hear better. All of a sudden he passed out, hit his head on the shelf that the DVD player is on and started shaking on the ground. I ran to him, saw that he was bleeding (as it pooled on the floor around his head) & I put my sweatshirt on his forehead/bridge of his nose where I could see blood. I told Josh to call 911 and he did a great job giving them the info needed to get here while staying collected. When Tim came to, he was saying he was fine and his glasses just broke on the way down and that's why he was bleeding. I showed him his glasses fully in tact and said that he was bleeding from the fall not his glasses. Josh then brought Noelan in another room (away from the chaos) and set up a game. Evan was really upset and he rarely cries so that was sad as well. Tim thought maybe the passing out was his blood sugar but I tested it and it was normal on the glucose monitor I had from when I had gestational diabetes. The cops and ambulance came and took him to the hospital. He was at the ER for about 5 hours or so. He got 3 stitches and tests. The EKG & CAT scan showed everything was fine. Blood sugar was fine, blood pressure was a little high. He got the stitches removed & is supposed to get a heart monitor for 24 to rule out anything with his irregular heart beat. Possibly follow up with a cardiologist. But we think that dehydration was the cause. 

So that's 2015 (give or take a bunch more events inbetween) 

I hope that 2016 is filled with just as much family & friend quality time, road trips and nature & no more trips to the ER. 

Pete posted this on NYE or day and I loved it: 

& I had taken a picture of the dedication page of a book I started reading and a friend reposted it as a prayer for the New Year and that's a good way to look at it:

So Amen & Amen 
Welcome 2016! 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Day In & Out - My current prayer and beginning of a song

When things are weighing heavy on my heart
When the days are in a fog
When life keeps passing before my eyes
I will choose to worship You God

You are Worthy
You are more than what my feelings say
You are Holy
Here is where I want to stay

...and say...

You are Worthy
You are more than what my feelings say
You are Holy
Here is where I want to stay

Day in & out, I lift my eyes to You
Day in & out, I give my heart to You

...and say...

You are Worthy
You are more than what my feelings say
You are Holy
Here is where I want to stay

Trust vs. Faith (an old saved draft)

I was watching a show a few weeks ago and a line caught my attention "Trust is difficult without proof." (-Victoria from Revenge haha)  I was thinking about how much I felt like I agreed and related to that view...and what made me feel not so great about it was that she is one of the 'bad guys'.

As I sat there I also started thinking about 'faith' & what I know to be true: " Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." I know the first quote is just from a TV show butthe way trust was spoken about seemed like the complete opposite of what faith is - But I really feel like those two words/actions are not as opposite as I felt in that moment. These thoughts stayed in the back of my mind for weeks until I sit here at one o'clock in the morning when I really would love to be sleeping but just couldn't get my mind to stop and rest. So i looked each word up and just as I thought, the words are connected:

Faith is COMPLETE Trust of confidence in someone or something. &Trust is the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective - or an assured reliance on the charter, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.

As I read those definitions I realized that I am a long way off from my healing process. I thought maybe by sitting here, I would have an 'a-ha' moment and I would start trusting everyone around me and everything would be sunshine and wild flowers and I'd be running through the field with my arms open wide, head back soaking in the sun, laughing and spinning in freedom. hahahaha Instead I'm sitting in my dark bedroom with the glare of the computer screen being my only source of light as I look at a whole bunch of words and jumbled thoughts that I'm still trying to piece together, trying to make sense of it all and figure out how to move forward and get to that free place in my head that I pictured just before.

Opening yourself up when you've been hurt over and over again feels near impossible. I know I've learned things over the years & I know I've grown - But I'm at a place right now where I feel kind of stuck. I have my feet glued to what feels like thick black sticky tar and I'm trying (unsuccessfully) to move forward and get unstuck. I feel like the ability to trust those around me would be the thing that will help me move forward in the direction I want to go. 
Instead I hear "faith, hope and love"

1 Corinthians 13:13 (MSG) Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

It makes no sense to want to open up to people around me (& I feel rightfully so) when in my head I know that there's going to be plenty more pain to come. Is the wise thing to move forward with caution? Open up slowly? Right now, yes I think it is for me. In the show, you're beginning to see why Victoria is the way she is, and the situations and painful life events that formed her into who she is now. **

Romans 10:17 The Message (MSG)14-17 But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it? That’s why Scripture exclaims,A sight to take your breath away!Grand processions of people    telling all the good things of God!But not everybody is ready for this, ready to see and hear and act. Isaiah asked what we all ask at one time or another: “Does anyone care, God? Is anyone listening and believing a word of it?” The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 13:7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

**I never finished this or posted this all for some reason but I could still completely relate as I re-read it so I will add this & then post: Let this be a wake up call for me to keep moving forward even when I know that life is messy and pain is part of the process of loving and being loved. Help me to put my faith, my COMPLETE trust in You God, that you have my back and will never hurt me. Lead me to the places You want me to go, lead me to the people and relationships that will be life giving for all involved and even when things get messy, Help me to put my faith/complete trust that You will be there every step of the way to mend the brokenness, pour out mercy & bring redemption. I love you Jesus. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Good Father

Yesterday I asked Caleb to do his chore which was to sweep the floor. He kept saying he was done when there was clearly stuff still on the floor. After about the 10th time...I don't even think that's an exaggeration, Tim stepped in and sent Caleb to his room. About 5-10 minutes later he told him to come out and go with him because he was going to teach him a lesson. I could tell Caleb was shut down and Tim was frustrated so I was hoping things wouldn't get worse. They went in the car and drove off. Josh says "Dad's probably going to buy Caleb something." Evan chimes in "yea like a broom! Haha" I say "no, why would he buy him something when he wasn't listening and dad was upset?" About 30-40 minutes later they come back home. Tim had a Home Depot bag with rubber feet so the coffee table won't keep scratching the floor and Caleb walked in with an Air Hog remote stunt copter. Josh yells "Seeeee!!!!!" (He knows his daddy) Later on I ask Tim (and then Caleb) what they talked about/did while they were gone and they both said the same thing: Tim asked why he doesn't listen, Caleb responded that he tries but has a lot going on in his head , they ran Tim's errand and then Tim asked Caleb if he wanted anything. Caleb responded that he left his money at home and Tim said "it's on me" Caleb responds "I thought you were going to teach me a lesson?" Tim replies back "I am, I'm teaching you that even though you don't listen at times I still love you - I'm not rewarding you for not listening - I'm getting this because I love you and want you to remember that. Plus, we haven't spent one on one time in a while" 

Those of you who know me, know that I think Tim is one of the very best dads I know. He's not perfect - nobody is, but I  am so thankful for him and the love he demonstrates to all of us. Once again, Tim's actions & words made me reflect on God's love for me: Even when I don't deserve it, even when I don't do what I'm supposed to be doing or when I do things half heartedly, even when I tune Him out, he STILL loves me. He wants to spend one on one time & lavish me. 

Matthew 7:11 
"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

(The cherry on top was that this toy was usually a $60 item and they got it for $15 because it was no longer sold in the store - yay haha) 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Motherhood is hard enough

Sometimes as I'm getting the boys' school work together for the week ahead I get this wave of nausea and a knot in the pit of my stomach. I can't believe I'm on my 3rd year of homeschooling already. Evan is the age that Caleb started & I'm about to have a teenage son next month!! Where have the years gone?! The majority of the time I feel like this has been the best decision for my family. I've seen growth and progress in so many areas - then there are other times like tonight when I get that wave and feeling in my stomach and I'm like "what the heck am I doing?!? - are they learning enough, are they doing enough - am I failing them?" It would be so much easier in ways to pass the pressure onto the public schools. 

Sometimes I don't know if I'm doing enough specifically for Caleb because when he was in public school he was excelling and compteting in spelling bees and getting awards & certificates. His progress seemed effortless even though he never loved school. It's so hard not to compare and second guess every day. Motherhood is hard enough. Adding homeschooling on top brings it to a whole other level of insecurity & self-doubt. 

Then I have Joshua, whose last year of middle school work is this year. Next year he starts high school and we have to start his high school transcript. Oh man, just thinking about that stuff makes me feel sick. Again, on top of dealing with the fact that I have an almost teenager who's on the last few years of school until he graduates - then figuring out what he wants to do in the years that follow. Aye. 

I don't know how to really shake those feelings. I know it's a regular part of parenting. Watching your children grow and hoping that you instilled enough into them to carry them through becoming a self-suffient man (or woman) 

I see the good that has come from homeschooling and we have met a lot of nice & encouraging people along the way -  Some whose kids are in or have already graduated from college (which gives me hope) 

One of the things that helps calm my nerves a bit is looking around and knowing that even when people finish school, & get a job... or change jobs...multiple jobs - they're not even sure if that's what they want to be doing the rest of their lives or if they even wanted it in the first place. 
For me, I've known that I always wanted to be a mom (& wife) so I am actually doing what I love even though there's no income from it (which is a whole other topic) If I can remind myself of that and be the best I can be and love and encourage my kids to be the best they can be & go after what they're passionate about then I think it will be okay. I'm reminded of the quote:

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Howard Thurman

So that's what I'll continue to try and remind myself even time I start to get that knot in my stomach and questioning "am I doing enough?" Nobody has it all figured out and even if I mess up tremendously, I have to have done something right through the years that will help the boys stay grounded and excel in one way or another.....even if the only thing they ever learn from me is to love deeply then I'm okay with that.