Friday, November 20, 2015

Treasure

here are the facts:

we're in full blown holiday happiness around here

sweet peach is just four days shy of turning....ahem...seven 
i cannot speak of it with dry eyes
hubby has reminded me several times that she's turning seven, not getting married and moving to the other side of the world.
noted.
however, she's over halfway to being a teenager so i will cry if i want to.

lists for santa are being made (and changed) with regularity.

i'm hosting thanksgiving at my house for like 50 people.

we've all had colds.

Peach was hit the worst...still in the thick of it.

it was a loooooooong, exhausting week.
i went four days without a shower - don't ask....issues with the water pressure in the new house.

and all i really wanted to do was curl up on the couch and have movie night with our tribe.

just one little glitch...we had signed up to help pack a gagillion bags of food for the hungry and homeless aaaaaaallllll the way up in st. paul.

we had a babysitter cancel at the last minute.

perfect opportunity to call it quits.

we tried, Lord...the babysitter can't make it.  la te da.....

i considered it.

but then i also considered how our kids would spend the next 5 weeks.
presents
parties
candy
me, me me....

i love to lavish my babies with all their hearts' desires.
it is such a blessing to show them how much i adore them.

but that's only half of their story.
and it is not okay to leave things there.

the other half is the part where we get to show them how to be kind.
and beautiful.
and how that starts and ends with what we give away.

j and i know that many people can show them this...
but it is our job and our joy to be the ones who model it most in their lives.

we scrambled and found a babysitter.
we got our attitudes in check.
bundled up.
headed out.

45 minutes of driving and singing christmas carols and we were in the mood to do some SERIOUS good.


let's start out in prayer, shall we?
thanking Jesus for the command to love and the opportunity to love...this place has my heart.
they get it.
i will never stop coming here.

i'm telling you...you cannot beat this place.



we got assigned to 5 pound bags of potatoes.
and i'll just go ahead and boast about the fact that our kids ROCKED the job.



little Tulip in a massive bag of potatoes...i thought i might lose her in there!
she crawled right in and tossed potatoes over her shoulder to me like she had been doing it all her life.



these little worker bees...they just kept plugging along.


we can do hard things.
we can fill 400 bags of food when we're not feeling 100%.
we can sacrifice our comfort to rally for people who really need it.


at the end of the night we had packed enough food to feed 10,000 people.
bam!  just like that.

most of the time we're a "do hard work and help people with no expectation of rewards" kind of a household.

however, when momma and daddy are looking at a long night of figuring out the water situation at the house and need a cup of coffee to get us through, we make exceptions and reward hard work with hot chocolate.


after we tucked them all tuckered out into warm beds and thanked the Good Lord for the roof over our heads and the food in our pantry, j and i both agreed that it was worth it.

the gas.
the time.
the babysitter.

small things, really.

let's face it.
giving is hard.
and for me, giving money is one thing.
however, giving time is something ENTIRELY more difficult.

but real treasure isn't usually easy to obtain.

and at the end of the day, one look at our check book and our calendar will tell us what we value.

it won't take long to find out where our focus is.
what we treasure.

it is our home?
things?
our church?
education?
entertainment?
travel?

...people?

i'm so guilty of letting my schedule and my finances be driven by things...stuff....pretty, glittery, temporary objects.

where am i spending my time?
my money?
i can tell you that it takes me about 2 minutes to realize how selfish i can be.

i live with such abundance.
and there are 10,000 people within an hour's drive of my house that are hungry and cold tonight.

i'm not okay with that.

why in the WIDE WORLD do i fuss like a two year old about sharing?
especially when i do stuff like this and realize...
giving my life away is actually fun.
and surprisingly not as difficult as i dramatize it to be.
it's simple, really.

Jesus modeled it.

I will provide for you.
You share with each other.
Some days you will have extra.
Some days you will need help.
if y'all obey what I say, everyone wins and it is heaps of fun.

duh.
and i am whining about what.....?

the world will do a very good job of teaching my kids about stuff.
the world will do just fine showing them what money can buy and giving them ten million reasons why they need it all.
they will want things and technology and vacations and clothes and music and opportunities without my help.
and there will be nothing wrong with that.

but i'm the one with the power to show them that there is more....that those things alone are pretty dim....that we are blessed SO THAT we can hold it all with an open hand...and find out that the great, great treasure is the opportunity to give our lives and our love away.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Duluth


okay.  so we went to Duluth in...June.

it is now november.

whoopsies.

here's the story in pictures.

as you can see, it was a blast.

i've entertained the thought of beating myself up for not writing about it until now because surely there were funny comments and little memories that have now escaped me but....

whatever.

i'm giving myself a huge pat on the back that i took pictures at all. :)


we did the zoo.
and momma and daddy drank a beer.


we walked and talked and felt small as we stood on the shore and threw tiny pebbles into an enormous lake.


oh my heart....nose picking and yawning and book reading.  this is our life.  it is not for the faint of heart.
i wouldn't change it.



there were fun parks and beautiful weather and there was hiking....with 4 little people.  bless it.
we do crazy things.
why not?

  

there was also, "when do we get to go back?"
soon, little chickadees.
when you find a happy place, you go back often.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Summer

um.....hi.  i'll admit i am writing this with blushing cheeks.  embarrassed that my last post was in spring.  i totally tanked the blog this summer.  oops.  i guess that's what happens when you have your house on the market and are busy playing with, disciplining and raising small humans.  


just a quick photo recap of summer.  it was wild.  summer with four kids is no joke. it felt like we were running a frat house at times.  late nights.  later mornings.  meals whenever we remembered them.  messes everywhere i looked.  pack a bag, go somewhere, drive home, drop it wherever.  do it again tomorrow.  the van was a constant nightmare.  

it was good.


i think the pictures speak for themselves.
although i wish there were more.
snapping a photo takes a back seat to wiping butts and wiping noses these days.

but maybe some memories are made for the heart and not for a scrapbook.
i'm starting to be okay with that.





can you even handle this outfit?


the naps.
oh, the naps.
necessary for babies and mommas.
best when they happen all together in one big bed.








must they make these faces EVERY time?






there was nothing overly phenomenal to write about.
lots of little trips here and there.
someday, we'll do a big vacation.
but for now, that idea gives me a migraine and they seem to be just as happy to go to the local park as anywhere else.














we've got the feel for this family of six thing.
it can be wild.
but wild is fun.


i'm back to work, peach is rocking first grade, tulip is doing the preschool thing like she was born for it and we sold/bought a house!

GAH!  there's a new motto in this house:  no pressure, no diamonds.
we can do hard things!


summer was good.
fall?...even better ;)