Thursday, September 3, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
The last several weeks were spent packing up her home. That is part of the reason I haven't kept up with my blog. Michael did most of the packing and all the cleaning. I wanted to help but physically I wasn't able. Although if I was truly honest it was more of an emotional battle for me. I didn't want to face the reality of her leaving. I didn't want to embrace how this move would be good for her. I wanted to spend most of my days feeling sorrow for what we were going to lose. I realize now how selfish and immature it was to act that way. I also realize that Grandma impacted me in more ways than I'll ever be able to express. When it finally came time to say goodbye to her there was so much left unsaid. Will she ever understand how grateful I am for the time we got to spend together? Will she ever know that she was never a burden to us? Will she ever know that she filled a void in my own heart since I wasn't able to grow up near my grandparents? Most importantly will she know that she will always be loved and cherished and we will miss seeing her on a regular basis! Hopefully with prayer and time the sting of her absence shall heal. In the meantime we continue to take it just one day at a time.
Grandma - "We love you all to pieces"
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Last week we had a chance to visit my friend Becky. She had surgery in her foot and has been resting at her parent's farm. Even though the girls don't know Becky very well they were thrilled to go to the farm. Victoria was getting so hyper in the car (which is rare for her) and she finally said "Mom, Dad when you are happy about seeing your favorite thing it is hard to act normal for so long!"
Thursday, June 25, 2009
On Thursday June 4th we went into Heritage to speak with the principal. At that time we figured we'd say our goodbyes and seek his counsel. We know he has helped other homeschool families in the past. As we walked through the doors, however, I just couldn't walk away. I've come to love HCS for the past 10 years. Not being able to send our girls there would crush me. It has been my passion as a former employee and now as a parent. However, if God was asking us to leave, I'd do it despite having a disappointed heart. I truly believe that he'd carry me through it.
We had our meeting with Mr. Annis and a miracle occurred! We quickly realized that with the money saved up, some money Michael's grandmother gave us and TWO surprise anonymous donations HCS was still a possibility. Michael and I looked at each other and we couldn't believe it. I immediately felt the weight lift off of my shoulders. Even though I'm becoming more passionate about homeschooling I need more time to process it all. I want to take time to study curriculum, learn about the girls' learning styles, and get my home in order.
We may still homeschool at some point but for now, we are thrilled to send our girls to HCS in the fall! Thank you to one and all who prayed for us during this roller coaster ride. I'm glad the ride is over...at least for now!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Sick Day/Late night with Cristina
C - Mom if we were homeschooled what would we do if I was sick?
Me - Basically what we did today hon
C - You mean we'd lie on the couch, watch some TV and have no homework?
Me - Yep
C - Ohhhhh Sweeeeet! Yeah baby!!
To Homeschool Or Not -
Being the analytical mind that I am I've actually created a pros/cons list for homeschooling. The #1 item on the con list is "fear". My girls saw that and....
C - Why does it say fear? We're not afraid
Me - I know sweetie but I'm afraid. I'm afraid you won't like it. I'm afraid you'll miss your friends. But mostly I'm afraid I won't be a good teacher.
V - (rather surprised) But mom you are a good teacher everyday!
Getting ready for the Spring Concert
Me - (I bent down to pick up something and apparently my shirt is too big)
C - Mom that shirt is too big on you
V - Yeah mom I can see your girls!
Me - LOL my girls?
V - yeah that is what we call 'those' in front of the boys so we don't have to say the word!
Me - oh (LOL again!)
Monday, May 11, 2009
Victoria loved touching home plate. She knew she scored a run for our team and was so excited. Even though nobody kept score it was great for her self-esteem.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Our dear friend Jon (aka Big Jon) came to visit a few weeks ago. He has faithfully served in the Marines. He's been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and has undergone some amazing things. Right now he is stateside but apparently will be sent overseas again in October. The girls know he is their hero. Not because of his military service but because he can carry both of them at once! He lets them climb all over him and tackle him. They adore him! I love the fact that he thought my cooking was great. He has obviously served for far too long! It is hard to imagine him in full marine gear protecting our country when I see him rolling on the floor with the girls.
When the girls were younger they would pray for him almost every night. The prayers were consistent "Dear God I hope Big Jon has fun with his friends at the war." "God, I pray it is a sunny day at the war" Those were the two prayers we said for almost a year. Jon later told us that parts of it were fun (considering the circumstances) and it was hotter than he ever imagined. So their simple prayers were answered! They can't wait for him to return for another visit.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I'm slowly realizing that my focus has been out of focus. Even though I continue to passionately love Heritage Christian School, I realize I need to seek God first. My passion for HCS runs deep and I doubt it will ever go way yet God is much bigger than where my kids go to school. He is much stronger than my lack of faith. He is in the center of my heart but I had really lost touch with that. My fear and lack of trust have really caused a lot of stress. There is still hope that our girls will be able to continue at HCS. Yet, today I have let go. I am really willing to trust God with what is most valuable to me...my heart! He isn't going to disappoint me. No matter the outcome He will continue to uphold me and our girls. In the meantime my deepest desire is to glorify Him and to lovingly submit to my husband.
I found this picture of Michael and I back in 1995. It reminded me of simple dreams and hope. When our love for one another was new and fresh. I had a hope of a future with him. Now as I look at that picture I know that those dreams and desires haven't diminished at all. They have grown stronger as the bonds of friendship, trust and love have grown with each passing year. I am not saying the path has been easy but each step has been worth it! Michael has supported and encouraged me through rough physical ailments, surgeries, and crazy emotional drama. I have never doubted his love for me! More importantly, though, he has shown me that no matter what happens God is always for me and NEVER against me. Knowing that brings great peace, comfort and tremendous joy!
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
We went to the Stultz's house for dinner. We got to hold baby chicks. They felt very soft and fuzzy. They are so cute! I really didn't want to play anything else. All I wanted to do was hold another baby chick. Some of them were brown, some were yellow and brown, and some were just white. Some were small, medium and big. My favorite ones were the small brown ones. We had to sneak up behind them to pick one up.
Mr. Stultz built a special pen for them. It had food and water for the baby chicks. It also had a heating lamp to make them hot (but not too hot). If they got too hot they could go to the other corner. Most of them liked the heat and not the cold. On the bottom of the pen he put special wood chips for them to lay down on. The white ones grew VERY fast! They were very wobbly.
I can't wait to go back to their house! Next time I want to see their dog and the rest of the farm. My mom says we will have to wait until the weather is a bit warmer.
We also got to see chicks at Hills Bank. We were not allowed to pick them up this year or take pictures. My favorite was light brown with black spots. I named him Chip because it looks like chocolate chips!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
For those of you that are super neat freaks, love to organize, or somehow have a great handle on keeping your home clean you may not understand this post at all. However maybe you are the ones that can be praying for me, sharing helpful tips, or encouraging me along the way. I REALLY struggle with keeping a neat home. Partially because we have too much stuff but it is mostly because I get overwhelmed very easily. I have a hard time breaking down tasks into manageable pieces. Instead of asking for help I rant and rave and have a mental and emotional breakdown. This strategy has yet to work or bring joy into the home. Lately, I found something that is really working. I have been PRAYING about it! Amazing, eh? Although I do admit I have had my tirades too. (Sorry Michael!)
Sunday night began what I am calling Operation Clean Sweep! I just began with the pantry. I got the girls involved and they loved it! It now looks spectacular in there! One of the things I realized is that I kept buying more food but didn't even know what we had. I had lost control! When the girls told me "mom, we have 3 bags of whale crackers", plus, I had just bought another box thinking we didn't have any, I knew I was in trouble. They were a bit amused by me but I was just embarrassed. It is mortifying to me to not have things neat and tidy for my family. I am not teaching my girls the basic skills that they will need someday. So, I admit I spent (wasted) a lot of time beating myself up about it. God had to forcefully remind me to quit it. He didn't condemn me and I shouldn't either. Surely if he could forgive the woman caught IN THE ACT of adultery he could forgive me. I am a woman that was caught in the act of disorganization but there is hope in Him.
It may seem silly to pray about something like this if this comes natural to you. Well this does not come natural to me at all. The only reason I share this is because I desperately need and desire help. Ultimately my help comes from the lover of my soul. He sees my messy heart, home and attitude. Despite it all He loves me more than I'll ever understand this side of Heaven. But, I also know that my help comes from those around me. So, as hard as this is I invite you to stop in anytime. I would prefer a phone call first but I'll still let you in. It is VERY difficult to invite people into my mess but if you have read this and you actually know me then consider this your invitation. You may not want to bring little ones with you just yet though. I have a lot of work to do before that can happen.
As my dear friend, Emily, suggested I am working on one room at a time. Within that room I'm working on one area at a time. I'm working within my physical limitations and time constraints. I am understanding my personal boundaries so that I can do this for healthy reasons. I seriously want victory in this area which had held me in bondage for far too long! So, I covet your prayers most of all. Maybe soon I'll be able to post pictures but for now trust me...it ain't pretty!!! (but it will be soon.)
To be continued....
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
My dad, Pepe, and the girls had a great time making Ines' birthday cake. Victoria loved cracking the eggs. She was so happy that none of the shells fell into the bowl. Some of us were slightly concerned that we'd get a small cupcake to eat because the girls wanted to lick too much of the batter. I was worried about the mess they could make. My father isn't one to enjoy making a mess even if it was his own granddaughters. I was happy they had a good time and the cake turned out pretty good too. Everyone wanted a second slice so I suppose that is a very good sign!
Cristina helped put the frosting on but by then Victoria had lost interest. I think she had run off to play with Carolina. After the cake had been baked and frosted I couldn't find Cristina. It was too quiet in the house so I knew I had better investigate. I found her happy as can be trying to lick every part of the cake batter out of the bowl. She was covered in chocolate. My maternal instincts kicked in and I had her and the kitchen cleaned up long before I considered taking a picture of it for the blog.
We took my mom to Azucar Restaurant. It is a very nice, upscale Mexican place. My parents have been there before so some of the waitresses knew them already. The food was off the charts! We had a fantastic time celebrating and eating. The tables had a white paper covering so the kids were able to doodle while we waited for our food to arrive. My nephew, Gabriel, is an amazing artist. He didn't consider his drawing to be very special but I was amazed. He was able to sketch out a scene with minimal effort and it looked great. My sister-in-law, Angie, also has some talent. Her and the girls made a Dora The Explorer scene. I can barely draw a stick figure so I watched instead.
While we've been away I had my first taste of what it would be like if I homeschooled the girls. Hmmm...let me just say I'm now even MORE grateful for Mrs. VanOtterloo and Heritage Christian School. We lasted one day before the whining and crying began. I'm not sure if I was whining louder than the girls or not. Even though it is only 1st grade curriculum it was quite the challenge for me to try to explain the basics. I have discovered that I'm not very creative. Although my favorite thing to do is have the girls read to me. I could listen to them all day!
I commend anyone that does homeschool but I've come to realize it is not for us. Of course I imagine that if we did pursue this venue of education we wouldn't be doing it at grandma's house. There are too many distractions here which made it a LOT harder!! My sister, Sara, also joined in the fun. She actually made it a lot easier. Victoria loved playing school with her. Sara reassured me that it is always easier to teach other people's children.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Our first official stop was in Galesburg, IL. We visited the Welcome Center and the girls each received a coloring book and candy. They were quite happy we had stopped there! Outside the Center there was a huge Adirondack chair. We couldn't resist climbing into it. The chair was FREEZING and I'm glad I had gone to the bathroom first! Brrrrrr!!! I guess the snow on the ground should have been a hint.
We had the opportunity to stop in Normal, IL for the night. We visited the Stoneking family. We hadn't seen Troy and Sally in about 14 years so we were overdue. They made us feel so welcome and my girls wanted to know if we could stay there for our whole vacation. They had guitars, a keyboard, Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution plus a huge variety of chips, pop, snacks and cereal. My girls were thrilled!
Victoria and I had a great time singing. American Idol here we come! I also tried Dance Dance Revolution and although my score didn't reflect my awesome moves I had a blast. I was surprised because Michael knew most of the lyrics. While his knowledge of the lyrics left me impressed his dance moves provided great comic entertainment. Even though I was laughing apparently the computer judge liked him better than me. I demand a recount! Oh well I know full well I looked better than him and that should count for something.