Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

6.10.2014

Summer Goals.

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Summer is almost officially here. But, in my mind, it always starts June 1st.  If you've followed me for a while, you may have already read that it is my favorite time of year.  If I could spend 11 months out of the year in full-on-summer-95-degree-heat-beachbound mode, I would.  (I'd save the twelfth month for fall, because I do like a few days of sweater wearing.)  Because I want to make the most of my favorite season, I usually plan out some ways to spend it well.  Nothing too concrete; just 'this is what I'm aiming for' sort of ideas.

Here are my top five for the family.

1.  Continue learning.  Summer is perfect for exploring, discovering, and playing.  I am going to embrace the dirty feet and hands, sweaty foreheads, and rugrat appearances and focus on spending a lot of time outside, in nature, at the beach, and in the midst of God's created beauty.  It is the perfect backdrop to continue our education well into the summer months.

2.  Live slowly.  Philly loves sloths.  We talked about their living habits the other day... that they aren't really lazy, but just like the slow life.  Hello, sloths... you are totally onto something.  Here is to slowing down and enjoying the small pieces of summer that make it so, so good (i.e. buttery corn-on-the-cob; coconut-smelling lotion; and iced afternoon coffee, just to name a few).

3.  Day trips.  We have a tiny, three-day vacation planned (hopping over to NYC for Yankees, a Broadway musical, and a visit to a museum), but I want to be sure we spend at least one day a week (or so) trying something new, visiting a place we love, or trying something local we have not done before.  

4.  Outside living.  All we need is a sheet, a tent, and a few good books...and we are set for the day.  Light up the tiki torches, the barbecue, and the fire pit.  Break out the bug spray.  Spend some nights sitting under the stars, talking/dreaming/laughing.  This is what I hope the kids grow up and remember about summer.  

5.  Be creative.  Encourage it in the kids.  Encourage it in each-other.  Write the book.  Try a new art medium.  Give the kids brushes and paper and paints.  Find ways to cultivate it in Phil (he is a huge reader, total music geek, and even writes occasionally, too).  Take the opportunities daily to push ourselves in new ways of creating; no limits, boundaries, expectations.  We are made to be creators, so I think it is a good way of worshiping our God and especially want the kids to know this while they are young.   

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Oh, and one more!
The occasional afternoon nap. 
Niamh is already taking me up on that one:).

What is on your summer goal list?
Or winter list...for you guys across the globe:)...

5.27.2014

C.S. Lewis Says it Brilliantly...(And a WiseDecor Giveaway!)

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While we were on spring break at the beach in March, one night, right before bed, Niamh asked me a question that I wasn't prepared for.  We had spent the day in fun and lightness- just relaxing and enjoying ourselves, kids playing, laughing...So I was ready for kisses and sweet dreams.  And she parent-bombed me with 

"How do I really know that God is real? 
What if I am wrong and somebody else who doesn't believe is right?"

I'm pretty sure I looked like a deer in headlights, stumbling over re-assuring words.  But as I worked them out...and pulled myself out of that initial desire just to make everything 'okay' for her... we were able to have a good conversation about the Gospel and our hearts.  Looking back at that night before bed, I probably did an inadequate job in explaining theology to my daughter...but I think that is okay.  I don't think she needed theology that night.  She needed to wrestle-out her own doubts and fears...And I know that is a good place to be.  

Recently, I read the line 

"The great artists keep us from frozenness, from smugness, from thinking that the truth is in us rather than in God, in Christ our Lord.  They help us to know that we are often closer to God in our doubts than in our certainties, that it is all right to be like a small child who constantly asks: 
Why? Why? Why?"
~Walking on Water

It is difficult for me as a parent to not strive to just "fix" my children's heartaches.  That is what I want to do right out of the gate...just make everything okay.  Happy. Calm.  Brilliant.  But I fully believe that I, in my own heart, have experienced God on much deeper levels in times of doubt and uncertainty than in the happy-go-lucky.  When I am crying out for help and answers-- and sometimes just 'Jesus, give me faith because I have none right now on my own'-- those are the times I have looked back on and seen rescue, love, and miracles worked.  

When WiseDecor offered to host a second giveaway on my blog, I new exactly which quote Niamh needed.  It is by C.S. Lewis: 

"If I find in myself desires that nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world."

Leave it to C.S. Lewis to put my stumbling thoughts into a beauty-filled, short-and-sweet sentence.  (When I get to Heaven, he is on my "Top Three People To Find and Hug" list.)  So, I carefully applied the words to Niamh's wall, right above her bed.  (The wall decals apply just as nicely to wallpaper, at least for us!)  She thanked me 100 times for the words...But I think it was more for the space to be allowed to figure some things in life out for herself.  Phil and I can either teach our kids in a way that they adopt what we believe because it seems the right thing to do; or we can encourage the doubts and wrestling with hard things, and have them come to a place where they believe because they believe.  

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In order to enter the giveaway, you can do any of the following follows.  (For each additional one you do, please leave a separate comment to increase your chances of winning!)


Words are just my thing...I have them tattooed on my skin and applied to my walls and numerous books so marked-up they are difficult to re-read...So maybe I am biased.  But, I think a beautiful quote is something that, when offered to friend or family, can stick with them for a lifetime.  WiseDecor will customize any quote for you; so keep them in mind for special gifts and graduation presents. 

Giveaway ends Saturday, May 30th.
All are welcome to enter.  
Good luck, friends.

5.10.2014

Spring, How I Love You...

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It is warm out now and the kiddos are hard to keep track of. 
They like to be outside, 
digging
or having a catch.
The old truck that doesn't work in our driveway becomes a tower.
And Philly has plastic guns and taped together army knives dropped all over the yard,
in an effort to protect his sister from whatever is lurking in bushes or shadows.
Grass stained knees.
Dirty toes.
Messy hair.
(Have you seen Philly's mop? I might try and dread it out just to keep it in some sort of 'style'.)
Fans blowing in the house.
Open doors and windows.
Picnic lunches.
Swaying hammock.
Nothing is fancy here, 
But spring gives everything a magical shine.
And I love it.

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You can check out their crazy, fun shop here.

3.24.2014

Spring Break - Beach Living.

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My mom and dad treated everyone to a beach week in Ocean City for spring break. We went down for most of the week (kept a couple days for homeschooling and a sick Philly at home).  And even though Phil and Philly were not 100%, we all had a blast.  

There was lots of exploring and shell collecting.  We have bucket-fulls of nature in the kitchen right now.  The kids watched the sunrise two mornings with my mom and talked about heaven, barely visible fishing boats on the horizon, and shifty characters called seagulls.  We watched The Walking Dead in the dark, all lined up on the couch.  Phil read on the deck, snuggled in a hoodie.  And he talked about how God loves change.  Then we decided that change is a beautiful part of growth~ so we like it too. 

I love my little triangle house.  Next to a field and car lot.  Across the street from old airport hangers and a still-used runway.  It is the opposite of fancy and on a good day, maybe gets labeled 'quaint' or 'somewhat charming'...But, I am thankful and satisfied to the brim with it all.

But if I ever get to pack up and move to the beach, you better believe I'll be there.  I'd move in a heartbeat if I got to watch sunrises over the water and collect shells with the kids everyday.  There is nothing like breathing in the ocean and sleeping with the sound of waves in your ear.

What is the one place you'd jump to move to?  
Or, do you already live in your dream spot?
Do tell.

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