Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Step Out On Stage

One of our Summer highlights was a theatre production at Camp Grammie & Papa.
Each year I am indulged with a week alone as my folks take the children for an awesome week of camp.
(This year I lost my week alone indulgence to serve as the camp nurse instead -
more on that in a later post!)
On the last day of camp, which happened to be my birthday, we were treated to a wonderful theatre production, 3 productions actually!
Earlier in the week a pile of props were left in the gazebo and the children had the freedom to play dress-up and create their own original plays.
Tickets were sold and we were told, "you must use real money," smart kids!

Concessions were sold as well, again, we had to use "real money"!!

 The stage was set...

The crowd was ready...

And it was showtime!
First up was an original production of Marty Benson

The show was actually really good!  I mean, we've sat through our share of "plays" by the children and after 20 minutes we are shouting, "ok, land the plane!  Bring it on home!" as the plays go on and on and on!  But this one was really thought out and had a nice conclusion!

As they took their bows and everyone applauded wildly!

This morning at breakfast, I told the kiddos that exactly one week from today - next Wednesday - they'd be at their first day of school.
At these words, one of my little ones lost her appetite.
She came and found me in the kitchen to tell me that she was a little bit scared to go to school.
I brushed it aside and said, "oh, you'll be fine, it will be great."  
But that didn't settle her.
We sat down and had a more in depth chat and I realized that she truly is scared to go to school.
"what if my tummy hurts?  what if I cry?  what if I don't like it?"
I gently encouraged her to simply try, take the first step, and then we'd see if she liked it.

Often times, waiting in the wings behind the curtain is much scarier than stepping out on stage!
Our imaginations go to the worst case scenario, we speculate, "what if" begins and we can talk ourselves out of an incredible opportunity.
But there are moments in life when you just need to step out on stage.
Those moments that cause your stomach to twist in knots,
moments when your mouth goes dry,
moments when your eyes dart for the nearest bathroom!
In that moment, we are faced with a decision - escape, or step out on stage!
More often than not, stepping out on stage leads to a brilliant, original performance of who you uniquely are and concludes with wild applause.
Step out!
The world needs the unique gift that is you.

One more week until the curtain goes up!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Watching From the Shore

10 days until school starts!

We started our Summer with a little trip up north to visit our Grandparents.
We had a wonderful time hiking in caverns, learning how to make Granny's fried chicken, playing with their dog, and swimming in rivers!

 From the day we arrived, it was hot.
Down south our temps were still mild, so we assumed it would still be cool up north, be we were wrong.  It was like Summer slapped us in the face.

Except the day we went to the river.

All the kids had been talking about was wanting to swim in the river like Daddy did when he was a kid.  There are awesome rocks to climb on and the water is calm... an ocean swimming kid's dream!
We saved the river for last and wouldn't you know we woke up to pouring rain!
The temps dropped about 30 degrees and the rain didn't stop.
There was a little break in the afternoon, so we headed to the river and the children didn't mind the chilly water, they went right in.

I stood on the shore and watched.

I was warm, content and happy to click away at their joy and freedom to explore on their own.
They were so proud of themselves and I could tell they were empowered to venture out into the water, no parents trailing behind them, and indulge their little hearts with adventure.

Truthfully, I didn't really want to go into the water, it was still cloudy and drizzly outside, the water was freezing, and my spot on the shore was just right.

Their swim back from the rocks got a little rough.  The chill of the water was really getting to them and at one point we wondered if we were going to have to go in after the little guy!
But they made it, and didn't stop talking about their swim in the river all the way home.

 We're embarking on a new adventure this year - school!
We decided not to homeschool this year and the children will go back to school in 10 short days.
I feel much like I did standing on the shore of the river.  I'm content to watch them venture out on their own and explore.  I'll be standing by to snap many pictures and cheer them on, only a few strides away in case they need me to step in and help them when the waters get too cold.

They're excited to to swim in new waters and be empowered by the independence.
I'm happy to watch from the shore this time......
especially if me and my girls are rockin' the messy bun!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Appendectomy, Road Trip and LEGOLAND

There's been a lot going on around here!
My husband was in the hospital again to have his appendix removed! 
He was just recovering from knee surgery and I guess he needed a little more attention!
We wrapped up our homeschool year - praise the LORD!
We headed up north to visit with Grandparents for a week and came home for a ballet recital, only to hit the road again and visit LEGOLAND for a few days!
Whew, we're wiped out and need a vacation.
So glad Summer is here!

Hope to be back on a blogging schedule.
For some reason I can't post any pictures :(  not sure what's going wrong.

Happy Summer!!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

100% Redeemed

I cried a lot today.... over a crashed hard drive.  My back up system apparently didn't work and it seems that 10 years of photos and documents are gone, just like that.
As I got in the car to take my crashed hard drive back to the computer technicians, I cried, just like I had through pieces of the morning.

"Do you see a lot of people cry?" I asked the tech.
"Yea, about one a day," he said.
"Well, I cried in the car, so I won't make your quota today!"
"I can usually recover about 10-70% of what was lost. 
It's a big range, I know, but we can't make any promises."
"Well, I believe in a big God and I'm praying for a miracle! 
Are you ready to recover 100% for the first time in your career?"  I joked with some hope of truth.
"I have a lot of people praying," I told him.

I left and wrestled with the feeling of such a great loss.  10 years of photos of my babies and countless sermons and talks I've written and probably much more that I haven't yet remembered was on my computer.  I've wrestled with losing these things, and knowing that what matters most is still with me.  My kids were all with me at the computer store and I kept looking at them thinking, "I still have them, the real them, not just the photographs."

Then this evening, while the techs still try to recover data off my hard drive, I read a post from Ann VosKamp.  A post that made me too cry like much of my day.  A post that talked of great loss, far greater than photographs or documents.  A post that talked of a loss where there are no technicians to recover 10-70% of what is now gone.  A post that made me more upset than a crashed hard drive.

A post that I hope you'll read too and plead with me to a BIG GOD who can recover and restore all that is lost.  There is no 10-70% with God.
He's 100% Redeemer.

Please read this post from Ann:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

101 and 1/4 Years

I have a little boy who is obsessed with WWII war planes.

Most specifically the B-17 Bomber that his
Great Grandfather flew 52 missions in and came home alive.
So when I heard that some of the WWII planes were coming to a little local airport,
I knew we had to go.


The roar of the planes coming in was awesome and getting to crawl around inside them was even more awesome!
But then this happened.
A woman pushed a man in a wheelchair over to one of the planes and I overheard her say, "I'm so upset that I didn't bring my camera."
I walked over to her and offered to take some pictures for her and e-mail them to her.
"I don't have e-mail."
"I can text them to you, do you have testing on your phone?"
"Yes," she said, although she didn't have a phone with her!
It was a moment not to miss because she was there with her 101 and 1/4 years old husband!  He dispatched these planes from their manufacturing plant in Michigan during the war. 
John McClellen, nick name "Mac."
I ran and got my little Mack out of the B-17 and told him he must meet this very special man,
 a once in a life time experience.

We sat and talked and listened to this incredible man for quite some time.
We heard all about life stateside during the war.
We heard about the precise inspection of the planes that left the US for Europe. 
We heard about his amazing 100th birthday party and letters from Presidents.
We even heard about his experience carrying the Olympic torch in Utah!
101 years old, and a quarter
Pretty incredible. 
Then he took the hand of his young bride and said,
"these, right now, are the best years of my life," and he kissed her hand.
That really hit me.
Of all the years he's lived and all the incredible things he had accomplished,
this moment, right now, was his highlight.
I think that is the secret to his long and happy life.
His present moment is his best.

Be present in this moment and make it the best moment of your life!

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Royal Princess(es)

A little Princess was born a few days ago!
And my little Princesses turned 9 a few days ago!!!
Oh Princess Kate, get ready for the days to fly by as Charlotte Elizabeth Diana
grows far too quickly into a lovely lady!

 A dinner party with an ice cream sundae bar was all they wanted.
And pink balloons!
Thank you Target for having gold letters and glittered gold numbers just when I needed them!


I feel so very blessed to have 2 Royal Princesses who still love pink and sparkle!
Happy 9th Birthday little ladies.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Proverbs 31 - How Do You Measure Up?

My husband just left for work.
It's still dark out.
I kissed him goodbye and returned to my bed to read alone before the children wake up.
My reading took me to Proverbs 31.
As I read this famous and familiar passage, I tried to insert myself and see if I "measure up."
"It is hard to find a good wife, because she is worth more than rubies."
My birthstone is a ruby!
"Her husband trusts her completely.  With her, he has everything he needs."
He does trust me, but not so sure he has all he needs.
"She does him good and not harm for as long as she lives."
Um, he's a cop, there are guns in our house, so yea, I don't try to pull anything on him.
"She looks for wool and flax and likes to work with her hands."
I buy amazing chips from Trader Joes with flax seed in them!  And right now I'm working with my hands preparing some fun things for a birthday party (and I'm typing with my hands!).
"She is like a trader's ship, bringing food from far away."
I go to Trader Joe's, it's too far away to walk, and I bring food home from there.
"She gets up while it is still dark and prepares food for her family and feeds her servant girls."
NO WAY!  I just got up in the dark to make my husband a sandwich! 
But wait - servant girls?  I knew it's was God's plan for me to have some extra help. 
Where are they?
"She inspects a field and buys it.  With money she earned, she plants a vineyard."
Now this is just getting ironic - today I'm taking the children to the nursery to buy plants for our garden.
"She does her work with energy, and her arms are strong."
Remember that lawn mower I rocked?  Yep, big, strong arms!
"She knows that what she makes is good."
My tacos last night rocked.
"Her lamp burns late into the night."
I did stay up until 11pm watching Shark Tank.
"She makes thread with her hands and weaves her own cloth."
Um, what?
"She welcomes the poor and helps the needy."
We had 2 college students over for dinner last night :)
"She does not worry about her family when it snows,
because they all have fine clothes to keep them warm."
Check!  I can promise that I have never ever worried about my family when it snows
 here in Southern California.
"She makes coverings for herself; her clothes are made of linen and other expensive material."
Does Old Navy use expensive material?  If so, I'm good.
"Her husband is known at the city meetings,
where he makes decisions as one of the leaders of the land."
Sergeant Newquist, heard of him?  He's well known downtown!
"She makes linen clothes and sells them and provides belts to the merchants."
Once I led a mission trip of college students to Kyrgyzstan.  The only boy on our team didn't have a belt.  Daily his unders were exposed as his pants hung down.  When one of the Kyrgyz teens pointed out how embarrassing it was, I gave him a belt.
Does this count?
"She is strong and is respected by the people."
Well, not sure about the respect, but I think I'm pretty strong, again, remember the lawn mower?!
"She looks forward to the future with joy."
Yes!  Everyday I look forward to 8pm with great joy.  (that's bedtime for the kids)
"She speaks wise words and teaches others to be kind."
Emma - gentle and kind.  Georgia - be kind.  Mack - are you being kind?
yep, I say these words all day long.
"She watches over her family and never wastes her time."
Contrary to popular belief, I do not think RHBH is a waste of time thank you.
"Her children speak well of her."
Best Mommy in the Universe - they tell me every night from bed.
"Her husband also praises her, saying, 'There are many fine women,
but you are better than all of them.'"
WHAT?  You know other fine women?! Hmmmmm
"Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you, but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised in public for what she has done."
What I call the 'escape clause,' I'm not that charming and any beauty is quickly fading, but I do my best to live and love like Jesus.  So today I'm going to stand outside of Starbucks at 2pm for any passers by to give me some words of praise and encouragement.
Ah, the famed Proverbs 31 woman.  Seems like an unattainable goal.
The bar is set so high.
Or is it?
When we read this passage, or listen to our friends, or read blogs and magazines, aren't the words just left up to our interpretation?  We often take what we read or hear and elevate it to places it wasn't intended to go.  We compare ourselves to others.  We fall short.  We are discouraged.
We are our own worst critic.  We make many standards and goals unattainable. 
But you know what?
If we are following hard after God, doing our best to know Him and love Him more, making it our mission to raise our children to know Him and sharing His love with all we come in contact with, then we've escaped the pressure and unattainable goals of society.
Today, do your best to fear the Lord.
Nothing more.
Nothing less.
It's ok of the house is a mess and the dishes aren't done. 
 Heck, it's ok if you forget to brush your teeth! 
 Just love the Lord.


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