Monday, November 25, 2013

Random Stuff and Stuff.

Here are just a few quick pics of random things that we've been up to!

1) Homemade Caramel Apples

I tried my hand at making caramel for the first time. It was so good! We didn't have corn syrup, so I used pure maple syrup instead ... um, yum. And sticky. The kids had fun rolling the apple slices in sprinkles after I dipped the slices in the (very hot) caramel. I used this recipe, with a few adjustments.

Naomi was especially a fan, even after the other kids had moved on. :)

2) Giving

We participated with Operation Christmas Child this year and I had fun being in charge of it for our class at church. We collected a lot of boxes and the kids had fun picking things out for each box. This is one of our favorite traditions, for sure, and I love that it starts the Christmas season by pointing our kids towards giving, not getting. 

We also did Thanksgiving Baskets (tubs) at church. Cub had fun helping me load ours.

3) Lydia Is Getting So Big.

She is. She'll be two in January. TWO. Sob. The End.

4) Annual Family Christmas Trip

We love to go to Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, before the Christmas season begins. We go with my husband's family and it's always a great chance to get away and enjoy our time together in the midst of an inevitably busy season. This year's trips definitely ranks up there as one of the best so far and I think it's for the simple fact that we really all just enjoyed being together. I cherish our time together. 

5) Half Marathon Number Two, Done!

It was 23 degrees and frosty, but, I did it! Yay! I really thought last year's race would be my first and last, for the simple fact that it was a random one-time goal in the midst of what was arguably the craziest year of my life, after the birth of my third. But, the running bug actually hit me again this year and I found myself training and doing this race again! I think I've decided that I like running because it causes me to constantly challenge myself in something that is separate from my daily grind. I love my daily grind, but I've found great satisfaction in challenging myself personally in the midst of it. And who would have thought that I would decide to start running after having three kids? Not me! But wow, what a trip it's been! I crossed the finish line at 02:03:07, seventeen minutes faster than last year. It felt great.

There you have it--some random updates!

Have a lovely day!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mother Knows Best.

While vacuuming cheddar bunny crumbs underneath the breakfast nook table today, I realized something:

When it comes to my kids and our house, I think I'm always right.

Let me back up. So, on Saturday, I found myself getting a little ... bossy? with my hubby. It was a great day, really. We went to a Children's Museum, perused the Christmas trees at Hobby Lobby, and had lunch together, before naps and dinner with friends. The kids did great and it was, for the most part, a happy day.

But, my husband and I just weren't, um, "clicking". We couldn't seem to connect--like we were in a constant state of misunderstanding each other. Everything we said seemed to get lost in translation, amidst a big kid riding his scooter around the kitchen and a baby girl helping herself to cereal bars in the pantry. Constant movement and me moving right along with it.

By the end of the day, I was frustrated. I felt like he wasn't listening. I sat there, pouting, when God, in His good and gracious and always-timely wisdom, brought this proverb to my mind:

"Better to live on the roof than to share a house with a nagging wife." Proverbs 21:9

Oh boy. As my mind wandered through the events of the day, I could see the parts where I rushed my hubby, barked orders to help me get the kids ready and out the door, complained that his guitar and amp and other superfluous speakers were crowding our den .... nagging. Nag, nag, nag.

And my frustration and pouting quickly turned to remorse.

I imagined our roof and my husband perched on top of it, enjoying the PEACE AND QUIET. I laughed out loud. Oh, the poor guy. Apologies quickly followed my revelation.

The next day in our Sunday School class, we discussed how humility precedes wisdom. We have to humble ourselves before we can ask for it. I knew that my Naggy Saturday had been full of I Know Better Than You pride. No humility, therefore ... no space to ask for wisdom. Had I taken that pause and considered my attitude, I can guarantee my actions would have been different.

I fall into this trap easily. Since I stay at home, and all of our kids are home most of the time (Cub is in school two days a week and that's it), I feel that I am more entitled to make decisions concerning our household. Does that make sense? I don't even realize that I'm doing it (until I envision my husband on our roof, apparently) because throughout the day, it's just how we roll. Our home is a ship and I'm the captain of the crew. But, when my husband comes home and is home, it's okay for me to mosey on over to First Mate. To give him the opportunity to lead, to relax (oh man, I'm bad at letting him relax at home, eek), to take charge and navigate our day.

Before I find him clinging to the crow's nest.

My thoughts on this Monday. Naomi is crawling in my lap, asking for snowman pictures to color .... time to go!

Have a lovely day!