Friday, March 29, 2013
At church on Sunday one of our worship leaders asked us to think about a time when we had to go in for a procedure that we were dreading. She asked us to remember what we were feeling in anticipation. She then asked us to consider what Christ might have been experiencing as he anticipated and faced the events of Easter. This was powerful for me. Immediately when she asked us the question a few things came to mind. There have been a few procedures in my days that I have dreaded... injections in my rib joints, the latest toenail removal (good gracious that nerve block is a killer). But there was one that I dreaded more than the others...not physically, but emotionally.
After we lost our baby Joy I had to have surgery to have her body removed from mine. I wasn't nervous to actually go through the surgery and we all knew it was what had to happen, but it was hard knowing simply that it would separate me from her physically for the rest of this earthly life. There was little physical pain involved, but it was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Today is Good Friday. And on that day God experienced the same thing that I did. He experienced the death of His child and the separation that resulted. With a few incredible differences. God did this willingly. Not only was He willing, but it was of His own plan and design. He was willing to bear the incredible pain of separation from His own child (from part of His very self) in order to rescue us. He was willing to endure the separation from His son to be with us.
I don't know how He did it. I don't know that kind of selflessness. I can't imagine having to make that choice. And yet I owe everything to that act of love and today I am feeling humbled by it.
Please watch this video and consider, on this holy weekend, that kind of love that He has for you.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
The other day I was putting some laundry away in our bedroom and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror (and decided to snap this quick picture). It seems that I am growing! Yep...there is no denying it. Just a few weeks ago I looked like I was maybe four months pregnant and now suddenly, seemingly overnight, I look like and feel like I am a good 7 or 8 months pregnant! Well, I guess it was bound to happen eventually!:)
Many people have been asking and I am excited to share that I am feeling quite a bit better than I was. Sadly, the nausea hasn't gone away all together yet (as it has in past pregnancies) and I am still feeling pretty tired by the middle of the day but the nausea and exhaustion are not as intense and all consuming as they were those first few months.
I'm not feeling great, but I'm not feeling horribly awful either so I'll take that as a win! And I am feeling our baby boy kick and move quite often which is always pretty incredible!
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
It may be spring here, but the day before the season officially changed we got over a foot of snow so it hasn't looked much like spring lately! Last week on Joe's day off we decided that we should take advantage of this (possibly) last big snow.
For Christmas Joe's parents bought the kids cross country skis and poles and a few times this year we have been able to get them out on the trails. So on our first spring day off we did just that! It was such a beautifully perfect morning to ski...bright and sunny and just warm enough. It is fun (most of the time) watching the kids learn to ski. They have wildly different personalities on their skis. Eli is slow and steady and rarely falls over. He also needs a little encouragement to keep actually moving and usually ends up riding in the sled behind Joe after just a little while! Lily on the other hand is fast and wild and emotional. She gets frustrated easily when she falls or is having a hard time but when it's going smoothly she cruises right along and loves it (She may take after me just a wee bit)!
And I am so happy that we went when we did because the snow is already quickly melting!
Saturday, March 23, 2013
When Joe was in Haiti his mom and I took the kids to this great jump house place. It was sort of a rainy almost spring day and the kids NEEDED to get out and burn some energy. We've been here before a few times with friends, but this was the first time that Eli was fully able to do everything by himself...which was good because there was no way I was hauling this baby belly up and down those slides!:) Eli just loved it all...his cheeks were bright red from playing so hard! The place is a little pricey, in my opinion, for regular visits but it's worth it every now and then (especially to get through soggy spring days)!
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Our St. Patrick's Day was rather fun and fairly laid back. Joe had just returned from Haiti and we were all feeling good, but a little worn. This was just the fun, mellow day we needed.
We went to church.
We had our annual clover hunt in the house...it never ceases to amaze me how much entertainment the children can find searching for construction paper clovers in our living room!:)
We made "magical green slime"...
And in case you are wondering that other beautiful necklace Lily is wearing is a handmade gift that Joe brought back from Haiti.
Also in case you are wondering...Eli is in his underwear because he got green slime all over his clothes...but then didn't want to put other clothes back on!:)
And we ended our day with a traditional Irish boiled dinner made by Joe and homemade mint chocolate chip shakes! Happy St. Patrick's Day indeed!
Monday, March 18, 2013
Joe got home this weekend from 9 days away in Haiti! Yes, Haiti! He lead a group of our students there for a missions/service trip over Spring Break. I think it was a pretty incredible, eye-opening experience and we'll share more soon with some pictures!
But what I can tell you is that we missed him greatly and we are so excited that he has no more long trips for quite some time!
These were the signs that the kids and I made to welcome him home (at 2:30 a.m.)! It's dot art using erasers as stamps with ink pads. Eli made the top one (stars, I believe), Lily and I did the one in the middle, and Lily made the picture on the bottom of our family. I especially love Lily's picture...though I think it's no coincidence that she depicted me as being the thickest around the middle area!:)
Friday, March 15, 2013
Well, we are about 3/4 of the way through our first homeschool year! We aren't that far along in our lessons, but since there are no requirements for kindergarten I'm just going with the flow and trying not to stress out about it.
Homeschooling (like many other things in life) has been good and bad, fun and hard. There are parts of it that we have loved and parts that have been really challenging for our family. Is it going to work for us after this year? I'm not sure. Really just about anything is an option at this point. And maybe that's just how it's going to be...each year figuring out what our options are and what is going to work best for that year, for each child, and for our family as a whole. I don't know yet what next year will hold...gosh, I'm not even sure exactly where we will be living...so I'm trying to just focus on finishing this year!
Most of our focus this year has been on reading...reading some great books out loud and also teaching Lily to read. I really had my doubts and fears in the beginning about my ability to teach Lily to read and her ability to learn this skill from me. And truth be told we both struggled a bit in the beginning. Parts of it just weren't clicking for her and she just wasn't making the connections. But thanks to some reassurance from my girlfriends and a determination to just take it slow and easy we have turned a corner. I dare say that Lily is reading!!! We are almost halfway through the reading curriculum we are using (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons) and Lily is doing great! We have a long way to go of course...but to listen to Lily read simple stories and to see how excited she is of her accomplishment is pretty amazing! I am so very proud of her for working to hard at this and giving it her best each day!
And there have been lots of other fun things we have been doing in school at home and with our homeschool group (which we love). I haven't taken very many pictures and the ones I do have aren't all that amazing...I guess I was focused on other things at the time...but here's a glimpse into just a few of the things we have done...
This fall when my parents were visiting my mom taught some of the kids in our homeschool group how to make soap! One of the boys said it was the coolest thing he has ever done...way to go mom!
We visited Old Fort Western and learned about daily life in the mid to late 1700's. Eli making cinnamon sugar. Lily learning to tighten and make a rope bed.
At our homeschool group learning to paint like Michelangelo! At home painting A Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
Building the temple for our Bible lesson. A few books from one morning. Our homeschool group visiting the Paige Home Farm Museum on the University of Maine campus.
Learning to make felt balls.
Jackson Pollock splatter painting!