Thursday, March 28, 2013

More expo School Hunt and Easter beginnings

How did Easter sneak up on me?!  I have been on a mad dash since Tuesday to get things ready for this weekend.  It makes me a little sad I don't do more preparation for Easter.  I wish I had put as much effort into it as I do Christmas.  Next year, right?!
Last weekend we were BUSY!  We took the kids back to the expo so Caroline could see the animals and go to the steak lunch.  This is so different from my childhood, but I love it!

Steak lunch

The boys spent the rest of the weekend fishing with their new fishing poles!

dying Easter Eggs

Blake at the school hunt

Caroline was NOT interested in eggs...she only wanted to swing!

Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Grace and the expo

A few thoughts and them some pictures!
We had an exciting week around here.  Blake flushed some toys down the potty.  I am not really sure what came over him (maybe 4 year old boyness?!)  They have tried this once before when some buddies were here and they got in trouble and I never thought he would try again.  I guess I was wrong.  The temptation of those toys laying on the bathroom floor must have gotten the best of him and he just couldn't help himself!  So he flushed one.  He tried two more things that luckily, for us, wouldn't go down.  He didn't even tell us.  Owen did.  After trying to retrieve it ourselves (I will spare you the humorous details:)) we gave in and called a plumber.
We talked with him, told him what a big deal it was, punished him....he was sorry.  He really was/is.  He asked us to forgive him and so we did.
I have been thinking so much lately about how when God forgives us, he completely forgives us.  He doesn't hang things over our head.  He doesn't whisper into our hearts and minds of times we have failed.  The Bible says he has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west.  So why is it so hard for me to do that?
Why do I feel like I can guilt my son into feeling more sorry.  What would that prove?  Why do I feel the need to do it?  Why do I do that to my husband, too?
If God can forgive in such a way, shouldn't I?
If I get to receive his grace, shouldn't I extend that to others?
I have been holding my tongue all week everytime the urge comes to me to drag his nose into it again.  I trust that he is sorry, trust that he has learned his lesson.  But it is not about that.  Forgiveness means you forgive.  You let go.  You don't guilt and you don't try to rehash the past.  It truly is an amazing grace.

On another note here are two of the cuties at the youth expo with their school this morning.  Allied Waste is a sponsor.  So we took pictures in front of daddy's banner and dumpster!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Just for you Grammy

I texted Peggy, my MIL, a picture of the boys last week and her response was "i need more pictures in my life!"  So, Grammy, here you go!

Owen is in the background riding at the trike-a-thon at school


Blake, "My legs are so tired!"

Owen at the zoo over spring break

Caroline confsed why she isnt in the trike-a-thon

Boys with their friend Luke at the zoo

Blake and the slide

Cowboy Blake



Owen riding

Might just be my favorite picture ever of Blake

CJ playing in the playhouse

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A boy and a dog

As I was running this morning, I got a little tickled at a thought. It's very similar raising 4 year old boys and a dog.
Last night I was watching a show and a dog trainer, Cesar Milan, was on. He said to raise a happy, obedient dog you need three things: affection, discipline and exercise. See boy=dog.
While I was running I saw a man walking his dog with no leash. If you know me well, you know that might be my biggest fear. It actually would have been my biggest fear if the owner had not been there. As I ran WAY around him, the owner called out, "don't worry he is really harmless!" I thought to myself- how many times have I said that to some unassuming person at church as my boys come barreling down the hall. The bi-stander looks a little wide eyed and well, terrified, at the unleashed boys just to hear me call down the hall, "Don't worry they won't bite!"
Except, they aren't totally the same.
As the dog whisperer talked about dog training he kept sept saying things like, "that breed is like that. That breed is known for that."
Wouldn't parenting be easier if I could say, "oh you have a blue eyed, blonde haired boy. Let me generalize and tell you what they are like and how to properly parent them."
But, you see, I have identical twin boys and that theory does not reign true.
One lights up when you tell him good job.
One lights up when you sit on the couch with him and snuggle.
One responds to time out.
One responds to a wooden spoon.
They are different. I thank God that even though they look the same, they aren't. They are special, unique, fearfully and wonderfully made.
I am thankful for that, but it sure makes parenting hard.
I can't generalize. I have to think before I react. I have to be intentional in what I say and do.
I have to figure out why I am trying to get them to do what I am asking them to do. Is it because it is necessary? Or is it because I just decided that was the thing I wanted them to do.
Every night before bed I run through all the "good" things and the "bad" things I did as a mommy that day. (I wish I gave myself more grace!) I always end up with the thought. Who am I trying to raise?! Children who just obey because their mom said?
Dogs? Who simply obey because their master said?
While obedience is of uttermost importance (I have a friend whose parenting philosophy is that it is the Old Testament from birth- 12 and the New Testament from 13 on) and I believe that we need to teach our children to obey authority. We also are not raising dogs. It isn't as simple as exercise, affection and discipline.
As parents, we are training their hearts. We are helping them learn to muddy through life. How to handle emotions, desires, and disappointments.
We are not just striving for simple obedience.
If we could have kept every command we would have no need for a savior. But we all fail and we all need a savior. We can not raise our kids to be perfect and have no need for help. Nor can we raise them assume that obedience = perfection. Our righteousness is found in Christ alone.
I also want to stress that as a parent we can not place our value in the way that our kids act.
It is not as easy as raising a dog.
We do the best we can (give them the exercise, discipline and affection), point them to God, show them our need to for God and well, pray!
We all need a savior!
Thank you God for saving me!
Grateful that God entrusted me with these cuties to love.

Final thought: As I was running I was listening to Chris Tomlin and Phil Wickham's "Thank you God for Saving Me" from Chris Tomlin's Burning Lights CD... so good. Go download it!