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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Morning Chess...

Anyone who knows Luke knows that he loves a good game. This week he has learned to play Chess. I am thankful for cousins who fill the gaps where I surely lacking as I have no clue how to play! So each morning, Luke rises and after his coffee (yes, still his first request) asks to play chess.


Luke is usually the first one up so he would run to the board and set it up. Look at his little brother eyeing those pieces. Yes, he loves games too!


We would warn him with words, tell him not to touch the pieces but alas, he would run and swipe them. You would think it was a tower of blocks at the speed he would flash over there and destroy all of the neatly placed pieces!


And Luke would just crumple. How patient he was with Jake but still he was frustrated. Thankfully, we diverted his attention and gave him his own pieces - although not a total replacement without some redirection.


Family... Jon's dad Jerry was in town and continued the obsession with Chess. He took his time to teach Luke the rules and he also honed his ninja like skills to deflect Jake and most importantly just to spend time.



So lesson plans are in the making for Jon to teach the game to Kylie and continue working with Luke. Jake on the other hand will have to be occupied by maybe something different! And preferably not eating the game pieces...


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jake is 1 and a Half!

How this time has flown by... Jacob has been in our lives a year and a half and while I feel as though we have lived each day with purpose and not missed a single second, it has sped by so fast. He is learning new things every day and it brings me joy when Kylie and Luke enjoy watching him grow as well. Just this morning at breakfast, Kylie mentioned how much she loved Jake and how he was her favorite toy! I hope and pray this sibling bond my kids all share will continue to deepen.

Because Jake's birthday is 4 days after Christmas Jon and I have talked about the idea of a half birthday. While Jake doesn't know any different now, I can only think to the future where he will have thoughts of his parents so worn out from the holidays, that won't revel in our own son's birth! I refuse to make his birthday any less special of a day though and since birthdays and Christmas aren't about "things" and gifts maybe it won't make a difference afterall. I am thankful that we value relationship most of all...

Jake was God's gift to us...



I love to pause and think about the times leading up to Jake's birth. Here we were at the Children's Home, just about to be out of a job, my Mom recovering from surgery in my living room, boxes surrounding us and an uncertain future. God gave us such peace about all the situations swirling around us. We knew He had prepared the way for Jake's arrival.

Peace...


Kylie and Luke took to Jake like nothin'. While I wasn't sure how they would respond to a new little child in our home, they welcomed him in beyond my wildest dreams. Each day I was waiting for them to give him back to the hospital but they didn't....




He has grown and provided our lives with such wonder.... His eyes speak loudly to the personality inside this small body. 


His peace that surrounds him while all the time inside such fierce determination.


He enjoys life to the fullest. Never missing a beat and always wanting to be in the middle of the action.


And at times, expressing all angles of his emotions.


We equally wear eachother out.


But at the end of the day, our lives are so much richer for Jake's presence. Many people doubted our sanity as we welcomed Jake into the world but I couldn't think of life without him. Heck, I think we will celebrate half birthday's as it gives us one more reason to celebrate our gifts. Each and every good one from Our Creator in Heaven. Jake is our gift...


Make this day a great day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Goings On...

Life has been going like the speed of light. During the winter I was looking forward to the easy lazy days of summer and wow was I wrong.

We have been mountain climbing...


Surfing...


Hockey camp...



Cooking camp...


 Modified mountain climbing...

And other random trips doing quite insane things!


We have thrown in woodworking too for good measure.




Jake had to try his hand in hula hooping. He didn't quite get it!



Naw!!! In actuality, that was one really fun day with Jon's mom at Marbles Kids Museum. We had a blast doing some really fun things. Family time has been great. It has been such an eye opening experience when you cut yourself off of what seems to mean so much to you. The computer that is. Life has seemed so much simpler and my thought life has decluttered itself. I feel as though my thoughts are focused instead of random jumbles of facebook status updates! 

This is where my time has really been spent.


How proud I am of these guys. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought Kylie and Luke would have been involved in swimming. They loved it! Were they the fastest and the best? No way but I enjoyed taking a step back and watch their character shine. They worked hard and didn't complain6 one bit. They jumped in and tried their hardest and completed the task. Our kids were so excited that they helped the Rays get to Number 1 in the city!! First time in 20 years. Go Rays!




This week Kylie is in camp so that means it is me and the boys at home. Luke is adjusting to life without a constant playmate and it is only tuesday and it is taking its toll. While I have tried my best at filling his time, he has to entertain himself too. Stretching, growing, learning. Hard sometimes not to be entertained 100% of the time but it is such a good lesson. I would fail as a parent if I didn't allow him to wallow in his own self stuff. So this afternoon has been a good lesson for both of us. 

How quick I am to fill my time with something instead of just being quiet before our Creator God. How He desires to spend time with us and usually we give him scraps. I know there is something brewing deep down inside of me and I hope to embrace it and learn from it. Simplify. 


Make the most out of your week!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

took the plunge...

With a gulp and a sigh, I deactivated my facebook account. Seems as though I feel like I need an Anonymous group since I feel like my link to the outside world has just left me but I know on the other side is so much more... No dates as to a re-entry if any, just going to take it "one day at a time."



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Can people live without it?

The computer that is...

I am craving a simpler life. One that we pour over books, laugh, create and enjoy what is before us. We have time to work hard and feel good about our accomplishments.... Thinking...

Is it time? Would it be a bad thing instead of racing to the computer to look up every impulse to just wait? To take a trip to the library and search? To talk about it and be content with what you already have?

Dropping facebook and all of its information. Too much in fact.Outings you weren't invited to, articles you really don't have time to read, outings that you could go to but should be focusing more on home duties?
 Hurt feelings and shallow friendships? And is that elementary friend really that important? sigh...

But what is important... hand written notes to friends showing you are thinking about them. A phone call inviting someone over for a playdate. Meaningful conversation not over a computer screen... Or a phone screen for that matter. Am I wasting my day glued to a monitor watching life go by when my own life is surrounding me? How does those interactions change because I am not present? Double sigh...

I don't want that to be my life. I don't want my kids to say, "mom, can you put away the computer, PLEASE?" Just one more moment...

Time for a change...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ahhhh... Family Day!

The past few weeks have been rather hectic for us as a family. Swim team, Jon's work schedule and other assorted commitments made us sorely lacking in family time. We needed to get away for the day and just be together. Mountains it was. What better place than the simple life of mountain living to allow us to reconnect.

We went into Virginia and hit the Blue Ridge Parkway. Mabry Mill to be exact. And simplicity is what we found. The kids learned about Sorghum processing that took place during the Civil War when sugar was scarce. You can't see the hitch to the right, but the kids thought they could hook Jake up and he would turn the poll around in circles to crush the cane. Nice...


Look at all of that beautiful hand spun yarn.


Have I told you that our kids are competitive? They love a good checkers game and this one was made from red and white corn cob slices. 



Don't mess with her concentration...



This man was working hard on baskets. 



 

Just because he was cute...


 Again, they wanted to hitch Jake up for their wagon.


My kids are going to be pro's at explaining blacksmithing. I think we have now watched every blacksmithing demo in our area!



We walked along the mill and this was showing how all of the water came to the water wheel.


Jon was teaching the kids about the versatility of the mill. It was used to cut logs, run a jigsaw, and mill corn and wheat into flour.


I am a sucker for weathered wood and my kids... What can I say?




Inside the mill were things for sale.



And they could feel the difference between corn meal and corn flour.




Nothing like a good game of peek a boo to make all the kids smile!



Again, in love with weathered wood and the trees!


Jake loved climbing up these mill stones and practicing his jumping. He is rather wild in fact. He thinks he can do it well even after he jumped off the sofa this morning and put a nice gash on his head! I am sure he is going to enjoy life to the fullest...



The front of the mill was so beautiful. So inspiring in fact that other states has used it on postcards claiming it as their own! I am sure it would be even more picturesque during the fall.



Beautiful Rhododendrons all in bloom. They were just covering the mountains. Never ceases to amaze me how the mountains change monthly.


We decided to go into the gift shop to check things out. Nothing like a little patriotism to make your heart swell.


Noticed this right off... Wish I had that at the foothills. Thankfully, my hubby let me drive after the first warning of car sickness. Blech. Sure love to visit, but I could never live here!


Of course, Jake found the brooms...




And the olders found the candy. Who could resist for only 25 cents!







Poor Jake didn't get one of his own so he tried the kids. He didn't want to give them up so Jon had to up the anty. Guess a good full breath is better than candy!


Just sitting enjoying the mountain music. I couldn't coerce the kids into dancing though!



After leaving there, we went out for a drive. Love these views!


Of course we all deliberated on our hike. Jon would seriously hike 20 miles without batting an eye. I would be the one stuck in the back with three screaming kids!


We settled on a hike off the parkway which was only a mile. Jake was strapped to my back so it was fun for all of us! Unfortunately my batteries died on my camera so only my phone worked as a back up camera. Just picture beautiful mountain lakes, meandering hills, deer and so many wild raspberries... Mmmmm...

So this day made for one happy Momma. I needed it...