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Friday, August 31, 2012

God's Grace and forgiveness



It seems like more than ever before I am thankful for God's grace and forgiveness to me as a mother. And feel the huge responsibility to somehow tell my children about it, and show it to them. Right now I feel like Carson's stage is the hardest so far, but I think that's probably a little skewed because we forget how "bad/hard" the past was and only know what we are in right now!

It seems a few times in the past weeks I have specifically been praying and focusing my mind to call on God to help me react with kindness, love, forgiveness, to unselfishly deny my desires to be fulfilled by other's being nice to me and to be a light to people around me including my kids, but not only them. And literally less than 5 min later I'm bombarded with trying social situations or a temper tantrum from a 3 year old and I react in frustration or annoyance or even anger sometimes. It's ugly and sad and heartbreaking to admit it. And I failed!

There have been many nights I go to bed thinking about my thoughts from the day and attitude from the day or my reactions to my children's sinful behaviors - defeated and burdened and saddened by how I handled things.

But that is when I have to claim the Gospel. That there is nothing whatsoever good in me. But God in his love for me, reached down, died for me, forgave my past/present/future sins against Him. That he loves me no matter what, that he called me, adopted me and is blessing me. (pretty much read the whole book of Ephesians if you want to verify that theology :) ) And he gives me the grace to pick myself up, to look to him, to call on him to forgive. He forgives me, so I must forgive myself. And move on to the next day. To rest in his love and through that show it to others, especially my two wonderful sons. I have to remember that I do not deserve his love but he still loves me. I am a mess, a sinner, and angry at times, resentful - but he still LOVES me and Forgives me! And so I must be that way with others around me.

Who am I that any good can come from me. But I must depend daily, minute-ly upon God's power working through me to react in love with a very trying 3 yr old, or obstinate 2 year old, or a social situation that is difficult for me.

So here I am, a mother, a daughter of the King, a wife, and coordinator for Children's ministry. A sinner and ashamed daily of my thoughts and reactions. But I am loved and forgiven by a holy, righteous God. I will try to confidently live life in that truth and hopefully God's love can be shown to those around me. Not I, but God be glorified b/c I know more than anyone else only He can use this wretched sinner as His light,  in the lives of these small children or the people that surround me daily.


Never before has a Sunday morning gathering spurred me to be so thankful for God's forgiveness to me and to live in light of that than here at our gatherings on Sunday mornings. I am always refreshed and thankful leaving the services. And for that I'm thankful - I leave worshipping my God and I think that's how it is supposed to be.

Tonight we leave on a weekend getaway, big birthday bash! :)
goofs
I"ll post more about it later - but suffice is to say - I'm so PSYCHED! I cannot wait. And these last few hours waiting for Richard to get off work are taking Forever!!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Generations

This weekend we had the awesome privilege of hosting my Grandparents for a couple of nights.
I love it so much! Not only do I love having company and someone to spend my days with, I also love the opportunities that my children have to get to know and spend time with family members. How wonderful that they can spend time with their Great Grandfather! I have some memories of one set of Great Grandparents, and I love it. I hope that my boys will remember a little of it. 

I loved this moment of both my boys hearing a bedtime story from their Great Grandfather, and I'm sure this picture is one we will have for many years! Just another way we can be thankful to God for his mercies in our lives and the good gifts he allows us undeservedly.

My Grandparents love gardens and flowers. So it was really fun
to take them to this beautiful Garden that CSU and Fort Collins has. 
So many varieties of all flowers that I had no idea were so diverse.
Just absolutely gorgeous

Finding something interesting



Learning about the flowers from  Great Grandma. :)

I really wish I would've thought about it and gotten a good picture of both my grandparents with the boys. It will have to be another time. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Red Feather Lakes

As many of you know from my FB and twitter updates, and instagram of course, that we had a fun camping trip this past weekend.
We planned it with our "Lifegroup" and had 2 other families come with us. We had a great time. We only went for one night, but it was a lot of work. I love camping and hope that this is just the beginning of many camping trips with our family and with other friends. Carson's best friend was one of the boys and boy did they have a fun time exploring and playing with dirt and sticks. It's so good for them!

I can't believe that we needed all this just for one night

 
Roasting Hotdogs for supper

The Crew!


No camping trip is complete without marshmallows and Smores!

My boys in our tent


The boys found this tunnel and kept going through it! ha

 

And of course we had to go fishing too!




I love that these two boys are literally best friends.
and what better friend to have than your brother!
They don't know what to do when the other
one is not around. I hope it always stays like this!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Where do I even Start????

I have been thinking about this post for a long time! You see, I am one that is always looking ahead to the  next event or milestone that we will experience. So since the very first day we moved, I've been daydreaming about being able to say "We've been here a year". I think how we grew up we always talked about milestones like this and even celebrated things like this. So my mind is geared to always be thinking about how long it's been or what age my kids are etc. So when we had been here 6 months I couldn't believe it and was wondering what it would be like to be able to say we've been here a year!

An ENTIRE YEAR!!!!!! that means everything from now on will be "last year we were here in CO at this time" or whatever. As the time grew closer to being a full year - i got very nostalgic about it all. Thinking about and talking with Richard about - this time last year - where were we? What were we doing? what kind of emotions and decisions were we facing??! Looking through old blog posts and remembering the raw emotion of it all, the uncertainty of it all, and the excitement of it all - All at the SAME time!

Last year - August 15th we pulled out of PA for the last time, with Richard driving the HUGE yellow truck, and I was driving the car with both boys - for a long 15 hour drive to IL! It was a Monday! By Friday, the 19th of that week we would be walking into our apartment in Colorado, meeting the landlord and unpacking the truck. PHEW! It was quite the week.
The big Truck



 The view I had all week!

  The boys in the car with me



Now here we are! An entire year later and boy! has it been a wonderful blessing.  I want to be careful b/c I don't want to paint a negative picture at all about our time in PA. Our lives were shaped as a couple and family in wonderful ways, and we have some amazing friends b/c of it! And we do not even come remotely close to wishing we did not live there. But at the same time! For us, moving to Colorado at that time in our lives was EXACTLY what the LORD had planned for us!
The Crossing is absolutely wonderful fit for our family. WE have grown in ways that I didn't know we could grow spiritually. Our worship to our Savior is so sincere and wonderful in the services. We are constantly challenged to live out "the gospel" to our fellow church members, and neighbors and acquaintances. We have been challenged so much. We're excited about what's happening there at church, and we are also excited about the experience in leadership we are gaining and what the potential future may hold for us one day somewhere else. It's been amazing. I have friends and people I can call to hang out with and relationships that are building and growing. I'm challenged to be a better servant of God and to be more selfless b/c of the friendships that I have.
Not only do we love the church, but who does not love Colorado! It is absolutely beautiful and the weather has been amazing all year! It's so sunny here and I love that. So many parks and things for me to do with the boys. I have an awesome network of friends that I run with often and who do things outside of running - and it's amazing. In the last year I have gone from running about 12 miles a week to 20 miles a week or more sometimes.And I ran my first of hopefully many half marathons. And it was one of the most difficult around.  That's AMAZING!  We are closer to a lot of family which has been wonderful and we've tried to take advantage of that also.

My boys have changed so much. Landon wasn't even walking yet. And now he is a full toddler almost "little boy". Carson was still in diapers - now he's potty trained all the way! Landon was still on a bottle which seems like light years ago! They both play together imaging things in the living room as the jump from couch cushion to cushion. They can both sit through a half hour of reading books to them! Parks are the best for them now! Landon talks non stop and Carson talks even more, telling me whole stories and answering questions about his days and he remembers things from months or a year ago. They've changed so much!

Now lest you think our lives are perfect - this move has not been without it's challenges. I have had to grow and think differently about relationships and to stop having expectations about relationships. I have been pushed out of my comfort zone many times relationally - and also been challenged to think very selflessly about them which is not easy at all! Richard's job is good - but it has had it's financially challenges also where we have learned more than ever that God is who provides for us. We still live in a 2 bedroom apartment on the third floor with two very active boys! People operate differently here and I have really had to adjust to that and learn to not criticize but to accept and embrace it!

But overall - God has truly been faithful to us! He has poured his grace on us lavishly. He has taken care of us over and over again. My view of God and his mercy and Love towards me has grown so much. To think that He is so loving towards me to take care of my every day needs, and bless me with things is absolutely encouraging to me! I don't want to go into a list of all the ways he's provided for us, b/c I know I would forget things and really the every day person has no care for all the little things, but just so you know - we are truly BLESSED.
I have had the opportunity to encourage a couple people that are entering this "new phase" of moving because of my experience. One thing I always say is "it will be so wonderful to look back a year from now and see how God took care of you. " (b/c it's always incredibly difficult to see or think that when you're in the midst of uncertainty) - and now I'm looking back a year from when we completely uprooted and moved across the county - and I can honestly say I'M THANKFUL to GOD for his never ending mercies to me! I'm know that without Him watching over us we are nothing!

And I am THANKFUL!!!

this is what my boys looked like when we first moved - this
was like a month after we moved!

this is what they look like now! They've grown so much!
(The most recent picture I have of them both)

Friday, August 10, 2012

10 Random Facts Friday

1. I went out two nights in a row without the boys, just to hang with girls and that was really nice. One was a book club with my running buddies, the other was a goodbye for a friend from church.

2. According to number one - that means I have the most awesome husband in the world because he has come home from a busy day/weeks of work and feeds, wrestles, bathes, and puts them to bed for me on nights like that!!!

3. A friend completely gave us her whole train table with most of the track/bridges/trains! probably like $100 worth or more of stuff. Needless to say - the boys room is super crowded now, but how do you turn down an offer like that?

4. I went to the library for the first time this summer I think and I remembered why I liked going there so much. Hoping to get back into the habit! Boys love it too and love me to read them books.

5. August is SUPER busy for us!

6. I'm still sad my parents left. :(

7. My birthday is coming up - and I think since it falls on Labor day we will be taking a trip to celebrate! WOOHOOO!!! Anyone who knows me, knows I love my birthday - but I am finding that the older I'm getting the less excited I am about it. I think 30 is going to be really hard for me when I get there!!!!

8. Carson listens to everything Richard and I say or talk to each other about! We are realizing that more than ever! recently he has started saying some phrases or things that I'm surprised to hear him say and didn't realize he was listening to me when I was saying that. Reality is hard! I need to watch my attitude and how I react to situations b/c that is what Carson is really picking up! Wow!

9. We are planning our first camping trip of the year for next weekend with some other ppl from our lifegroup! First of all, i cannot believe this is the first time we're getting to go camping! that always happens, we say "we;re going to go every weekend". but then life happens and it's now August and we are just now getting to it! Second of all, I cannot wait! I think it will be so fun and I'm hoping the boys love it!!!

10. Our neighbors just had twins last week - they have 3 kids under the age of 2!!! YIKES! I don't know how you can do that! I know my mom did it - and several other families - but that doesn't make it any easier I imagine! Hoping I can help her out alittle!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

just keep swimming, swimming, swimming

I know I posted this on Facebook earlier - but I wanted to make sure that I had it on my blog too. It's so fun for me to look back over the years at all the posts I have done, so i want to make sure this one is in here too. I'm truly having so much fun going to the pool every day. A wonderful lady from our church just gave me a key to her HOA pool b/c she never uses it. And it's only about a mile and half from our house, with hardly anyone there ever. It's such a great summer activity. Sometimes I take friends with me, and sometimes just me and the boys go. it's so awesome!

video

My parents just left my house this afternoon for the last time. They were in Denver for a about a week, and stopped here one more night before they head east for the remainder of their "furlough". :( Boohooo!!! I'm so sad about that. I loved having company throughout the days. I loved that my boys got to spend so much time with them. And of course they spoiled us rotten. I loved having company when Richard had to work long hours or got called to do a late late job. I loved having somewhere to go and someone to do it with every day! Definitely a people person around here! But mostly it made my heart so happy to see my boys absolutely adore them and get so excited everytime it was morning and they were here still, or when they woke up from their naps. I'm dreading them waking up from their naps and having to answer the questions "where are gramie and Grampie", But I'm also so, so, so, thankful for awesome grandparents on both sides of the family! my children are truly blessed by God to have Godly gracious, fun grandparents!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Horsetooth Baptisms

This Sunday we had the privilege of watching two of our dear friends follow in obedience and proclaim their decision to accept they are sinners and God's forgiveness and follow Christ with their whole heart. When we showed up a year ago - the second week we were at church was a baptism, we met them for the first time that Sunday a year ago. They are part of our weekly Life Group and this last year getting to know them has been wonderful. To see Brian's life completely changed and renewed over the past year has been a wonderful thing! Angie and Brian are dear, sincere, honest people who have the joy of the Lord inside them, and who are learning every day about the Bible and are being changed into Christ's image! And to walk along beside them helping them has been so encouraging to my Faith!

What a beautiful place to have a baptism!!!! 



Monday, August 6, 2012

Butterflies!!!!!

This Saturday, Richard had an all day meeting at church after a busy week of work. So I decided to get out of town and go and visit with my parents who were still in Denver. We went to the Butterfly Pavilion!!!! It was amazing! I couldn't believe it! Even us adults enjoyed it. The boys had a blast too!!!

My mom and Carson


  Carson would not touch the tarantula, but Landon was all about touching as much as he could!!!











Friday, August 3, 2012

10 Random Facts Friday

1. This past week I've been chilly enough to put blankets over me to sleep - and it's absolutely GLORIOUS and so welcomed! I'm hoping we made it through the worst part of the summer. This week's weather has been much more bearable and wonderful.

2. Did I mention ever on here that Fall is the best time of year! LOVE wearing Jeans (and now I have skinny jeans) being chilly but able to open windows sometimes still too! I'm already getting excited thinking about Fall being right around the corner.

3. I'm realizing more than ever lately how "easy" it is that my boys are so close in age. Right now I think they are at a good stage. I like this stage a lot I think. (now, some days I go crazy and want some peace and quiet but overall I like it)  They are in a good routine. They play and entertain each other pretty well for the most part. Parks and pools are easy b/c they are both pretty independent. And even though we have our hours of whiny and screaming and disobeying - it seems a little more controlled and they understand all commands and instructions I give them. I know they both understand so I know I can expect them to follow the directions given. And although they seem older and are growing so fast - I love right now that they are still here at home all day with me. I love that they are getting independent with eating, clothing, bathroom, playing etc. but I still have them with me all day long and can control things. I'm dreading the day I have to face when they start going away from me for hours for school. :(

4. Landon is using full sentences now! And even though I can't understand everything he is telling me, he remains calm and repeats things for me to try to figure out. He is communicating so well.!!!! Anyone considering getting their child evaluated and possible speech therapy I would highly recommend it! It has been truly amazing! Where Landon wouldn't say even sounds regarding words, now he is way past all other kids his age and constantly talking with me, mulitple words at a time, clear pronunciation for his age, and even starting to interact with other people. It's amazing!!!!

5. Carson is getting older and older. He is so helpful sometimes I can't take it. (othertimes, not so much, but hey I take what I can get)

6. Richard's work is always Feast or Famine! A little while ago it was Famine! This week is FEAST! I just need to be thankful for all things! Trust God to take care of our needs! and get over it! God's still working on me!

7. I've realized more than ever how perfect Richard is for me! I think he is the only person on this world who has the patience to deal with my weird antics or quarks. Seriously! No other guy would put up with some of the crap I give him, and he always remains faithful! It is so true that you don't realize when you get married all the ways you really are good for each other! A good Marriage is truly a gift from God in this sinful world!

8. I cannot wait for something else besides gymnastics and swimming to be shown on tv for the olympics. don't get me wrong, I'm all about team USA, but I'm getting a little tired of those 2 sports! :)

9. This may be controversial and I don't usually address things like this b/c I'm kinda apathetic - but this whole Chick-fil-A deal and all other situations similar to this - are driving me nutzo! As a church - let's love our neighbor and each other and show the world by our light and love who Jesus is!!!! Enough said from me anyways.

10. I just finished "UNBROKEN" by Laura Hildebrand!!!! It's been a best seller for a while. It was pretty long and I finished it in like a month! WOW! I said to Richard I have read more the last 2 months than I have our whole marriage. hahaha. Can't wait to see what's the next book we read!

and now - excuse me while I get ready to head to the pool. :)
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