Tuesday, May 21, 2013

time to bloom!

Yesterday was the last day of school, and Logan has officially finished kindergarten!  To celebrate the end of the year, the school held a "Blooming Night" - a time to congratulate each little kindergartner for their successful year and celebrate moving on to first grade. 

Logan's night included not only his class, but also three other kindergarten classes.  Each class walked out on to the stage and filled up the risers, and then they waited while the teachers got set and introduced the group.  Logan was wearing his "Tony Stark" shirt (meaning a button down over a T-shirt like Tony in Iron Man).  He had told me he was going out on stage with it all buttoned up, and up there he would unbutton it...and sure enough he did!

And once the shirt was unbuttoned, he had to button it right up again.  He struggled with this, and even though the little girl next to him tried to lend him a hand, he still didn't quite get the buttons lined up right.  It sure was cute to watch him and his little friend try to figure it out though!

Next up on the program...Singing!  And little poems!  And of course actions to go with each performance!

After the singing, each teacher stood up and listed off all of the students in the class.  Logan's class was last, and when his name was called, he gave me a big wave!

After the program, we got to go over to a table and look at all of the special work of Logan's that had been collected and put into a binder throughout the school year.  It was amazing to see how far he had come in just one school year!

Kindergarten hasn't been a smooth journey for Logan (or me for that matter), but we made it!  There is no doubt in my mind - or his teacher's - that Logan is ready for first grade this fall in all ways!  I'm so proud of my little man!  Way to go, Logan!

Signs of Summer

Summer is finally here...

Proof is in the fact that we could finally get out the sprinkler for some good water fun...

...and it was finally warm enough to take some sparklers outside after dark!  'Course summer is here, so it takes awhile to get dark enough to really have a good time with them.  We had to stay up until almost 9:00 - good thing it was a Friday night!

I gotta say...I LOVE me some summertime!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Joy Dare ~ May

So...this whole counting gifts idea isn't my idea.  It's hers.  She's pretty awesome in my opinion.  And so is her idea to count 1000 gifts.  I've been working on it since last fall.  And, when my small group at church decided to do her 1000 gifts study, I really gained some momentum on it.

And then the study was done.

And life got busy with the end of the school year approaching, and I just kinda stopped paying attention.  April's gift list was pretty short in fact.

So...when we moved into May I decided to do something to give myself a jump start, to get back into it.  Because, really, I'm a lot happier when I'm focused on counting gifts each day.  Turns out it really is the little things in life that bring joy.  And though big things are very nice, in the end, it's the little things that sustain us.  To do this, I decided to use her Joy Dare challenge.  She outlines things to look for each day of each month.  I used the month of May's list, but I didn't do it day by day.  I just counted my gifts and put them where they fit.  This left me unable to fill a few categories though, and also left me with a list of gifts that didn't seem to really fit anywhere (or just overfilled the three "requirement").  In the end, I didn't so much care about "getting it all done right," but just about getting back into the habit. 

I think it worked.

And I think next month I'll try her June list, and see what happens!

But for now, here's May:

3 gifts tasted
  • coffee black first thing in the morning
  • cool water sipped through a straw
  • strawberry, sweet and blended up...money for a good cause
3 gifts flat
  • late night movie on the flat screen TV
  • Boys sprawled flat across the rug taking in a new show
  • a spur-of-the-moment shopping trip for a picture perfect find
3 2 gifts found in difficult people
  • Logan's kindergarten teacher who stuck with us and despite all we got him through kindergarten happy and excited to move on to first grade!
  • A good conversation with a friend who hasn't been easy to connect with lately
3 gifts before 9am
  • Great big good morning hugs from my house of boys
  • My first run after recovering from an injury!
  • Seeing the sun rise

a gift in a sign, a smile, a snack
  • "Jealousy is counting someone elses blessing" - literally a sign created outside of a church in town.  Love that!
  • Big smiles from my boys after the first run through the sprinkler!
  • caramel ribbon frappuccino and blueberry scone...yum!
3 2 gifts found in Christ
  • The Holy Spirit given to us on Pentacost
  • His words read in church while sharing a Bible with Justin
3 gifts about your home
  • New furniture delivered right on time
  • spare room, clean and everything in it's place
  • A back patio big enough for a table full of food and extended family gathered around to eat
3 one gifts inside a closet dresser
  • New, SMALLER workout clothes (okay, actually they are in my dresser.  Same difference)
3 gifts found in the dark
  • A hug to comfort my oldest after a nightmare
  • Iron Man 3 at the movie theater with my boys
  • Lightning bright across a night sky
a gift outside, inside, upside down
  • a bird's nest tiny, eggs hatched, babies flown away
  • A new garbage disposal installed and running beautifully - all by Justin!
  • Trees reflected upside down in the still water of a pond
3 gifts about your parents
  • Always a phone call away...no matter what
  • Their absalute love and devotion to their grandchildren
  • All the help they have given us in all ways through the last difficult year and a half
3 gifts held in hand today
  • A tiny fish painted by Gavin for Mother's Day
  • A handcrafted card made by Logan
  • Logan's hand in mine as we took a nature walk on our Logan/Mommy day
3 gifts found in your mother
  • Mom's successful hand surgery!
  • A source of good advice ("Why don't you use that gauze that sticks to itself to wrap up Gavin's foot blister since band-aids don't stick?" - GENIUS!)
  • A great place to get a good hug
a gift picked up, put away, put back

3 gifts about you
  • My body - the one that has conceived, grown, and nourished to beautiful children
  • A double ear piercing...proof of my success in getting healthier and growing stronger
  • My newfound independence and confidence in who I am as a person, a wife, and a mother
3 gifts found in His word  (Proof I didn't really read my Bible this month.  At all.  Ooops!)

a gift in a box, a bag, a book
  • A puzzle, bright and colorful
  • Presents from Mimi and Papa's trip to the beach (cups for the boys, shirts for the grown-ups)
  • Love Wins by Rob Bell...a picture of heaven so beautiful

3 gifts unexpected
  • A friendly neighbor's help mowing the lawn
  • Mud squished up between my toes at the park
  • Flowers sitting on the front porch from my in-laws - Happy Mother's Day!

3 gifts from your childhood
  • Friday nights, family sprawled all together for TV
  • Nights gazing out an open window counting fireflies in the park
  • Rides on the riding lawn mower around my grandparent's farm
a gift sweet, sour, salty
  • A Hershey bar wrapped up to show teacher appreciation
  • The first Starbucks strawberry lemonade of the season!
  • French fries...fresh and hot with a salty bite on the tongue
3 gifts found in little people
  • "Motorcycle" sounds created by Gavin
  • "Underdogs" on the swings for Logan
  • "Knock-Knock" jokes told by both boys at dinner time
3 gifts that made you laugh
  • Corny jokes shared by a student
  • Logan and Gavin's knock-knock jokes during a long car ride
  • An ecard shared on facebook by a friend

3 gifts found in community
  • Stories and laughter shared over cinnamon rolls at small group
  • Coupons passed among friends
  • Friends gathering together to take a walk
a gift in a plate, pot, package

3 gifts hard giving thanks for
  • Roller coasters ridden in the rain
  • A chiropractor (many visits and lots of $) to fix my aching back and hip
  • A dishwasher back from the dead (maybe, HOPEFULLY) - why did it have to break in the first place and NOW of all times???  (Thanks again, handy husband!)
a gift worn, white, whispered
  • Summer dresses, light and cool
  • White flowers discovered on a nature walk with Logan

3 gifts found in church
  • fellowship - a taco party - for Cinco de Mayo
  • Hanging out and discussing our individual "quirks" before taking Communion
  • Friendships
3 gifts in today's work
  • A senior party with subs and cake to celebrate success!
  • A competitive game of Clue with my 5th block students (I won!)
  • Flexible schedule allowing me to go to Logan's last day of school picnic
a gift at 8am, 12pm, 8pm

3 gifts blue
  • Playground equipment, blue paint chipped
  • Tic-Tac-Toe for Gavin
  • Blue jay outside my bathroom window
3 gifts you gave today
  • Baby things packed up and mailed out to a friend
  • An end of the year gift to Logan's kindergarten teacher
  • A picnic lunch for Logan on his last day of kindergarten!

All the gifts that didn't land in a category:
  • Logan singing praise songs ("Our God is greater, Our God is better...") on the patio.  (Yes, it was a conglomeration of lyrics and made up stuff, but so awesome!)
  • My little boys singing along joyfully during praise and worship (Logan even knows a lot of the words now (see above gift) and Gavin just sings nonsense, but he does it with gusto!)
  • A family first:  a Springfield Cardinals ball game!
  • Introducing Cold Stone Creamery to my kiddos for the first time - Yum!
  • Hiking out to "Logan Lake" on April & Phil's new land to watch Logan fishing
  • Logan casting his very own fishing pole with expertise...
  • ...and cheering Logan on for catching the biggest fish in the cooler...and then catching SIX more!
  • Logan teaching ME how to cast a fishing pole  ("No, Mom!  Like this!  There you go!  You got it, Mom!  It's okay that you didn't catch a fish though.")
  • Painting on the patio with my boys - Happy Memorial Day!
  • Crayola Paint that washes right off - and out of clothing (mine) - with water!
  • Journaling outside with the breeze rustling through the trees
  • Steaks, medium-rare, fresh off the grill (yes, I like my meat that way.  So do my boys!)
  • Rain falling in the sunshine while the boys run around in it with glee
  • A date to the movies with my Logan on another Logan/Mommy day (we saw "Epic" - good flick)
  • First swim of the summer in our backyard swimming pool
  • The weightlessness of swinging back and forth, higher and higer.  I still love the swings at the park!
(92 gifts in May!  Woohoo!  Thank you for all of it, God!)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day

Happy May Day, everyone! 

(The first of May is "May Day"?  Right?  I'm not just remembering this wrong am I?)

(And what happened to May Day baskets?  You know that tradition of making up styrofoam cups filled with candy and stuff, dropping them on door steps, and running away?)

Okay, enough parentheses.


So...I haven't been much of a blogger as of late.  I mean, I put up my Easter post a zillion weeks after the fact, and even my 1000 Gifts posts have been lacking - both in print and in my brain. 

And...I haven't been much of a "photographer" (that's in quotes because I'm not really a photographer in the first place) lately.  Meaning I don't think I snapped one picture with a camera since Easter. 

Oh...and I haven't been reading either.  I've finished like two books in April.  Maybe three.  That's like a week's worth of reading for me typically.

Hmmm...haven't been scrapbooking either.

Or cooking delicious new recipes.

There's been bare minimal cleaning.

Seriously, looking back on the month of April I'm tempted to ask myself, "Self, what did you do all month long?  I mean, your house is messy, your blog is empty, your camera is dusty, and your books still have fresh binding!"

Here's what I have been doing:
  • playing with my children outside
  • watching movies with my husband
  • playing with my children inside
  • lounging around talking to my husband
  • reading to my children
  • snuggling up in bed with my husband
  • tickling my children
  • being tickled by my husband
...and the list goes on...

And it all involves my family.  Almost every minute of my spare time I've spent living and enjoying each moment with people I love more than anything else in this world.  I don't have pictures or lists to remember April by, but I do hope to always have this feeling of overwhelming joy everytime I look back and think of April 2013. 

April was amazing!

Now, I'm ready for May!

(Please bring on the sunshine, warm temps, and fun!)

(May May (hehehe) be even more awesome than April!)