Thursday, June 22, 2017

Relationship Status

(The pictures have nothing to do with this post, but since I haven't uploaded our house pics, you get to see some of my awesome kids enjoying the summer :) 

So we're dating again...
 At least it feels like it, this whole house buying/building thing.  
 First you realize you're old enough for a serious relationship (home ownership) and start kinda looking around. There may not be a lot of good options in your desired area that fit your criteria for relationship material so you expand your search location. 
 You not only look at the options you see on a daily basis, you jump online to expand your dating search and even sign with a professional matchmaker (realtor) to find the perfect fit. 
 Finally you find something you're attracted to and try your opening line of "hi". But just like people, houses can look really good in pictures or on the outside and be a mess to run from once they open their mouth (door.)
 You might go through a slew of bad first impressions, a few "just for fun relationships" (open houses), and maybe even infatuations (not in the budget). 
 You may even begin your first real relationship. At first you both flirt, "I like your hardwood floors", "Aw, thanks, they should rewrite the alphabet, because I could totally see "u" and "i" together." "Oh stop it, but your open concept, just wow, kind of makes my heart beat faster!"
 And then you're head over heels, you go on first and second dates, you take a ton of pictures, you write your name down with his last name (potential new address.) You picture your life together. But sometimes first loves don't last. And horrible break ups can happen (another buyer, better offer, taken off market), and you're left heartbroken, wondering if you'll ever find love. 
 And then one day, when you least expect it, you find "the one". It's like you both know right away and the peace and excitement are indescribable. You flirt, date, really get to know each other, long talks (appointments to see the house or going to the model home over and over.) You get engaged (sign to start building) and plan the wedding (the house.)
 There's a thousand details. What venue (lot or location), what style dress (exterior options), do you want formal or casual, large or small, fish or chicken (Ok, houses don't eat, but some of the new build choices get ridiculous.)
 And then all the decisions are made, the date is set, the details are planned and the waiting begins. The days tick by as the details come together. Some weeks fly and others drag as you countdown to the big day! It gets harder to say goodbye each time you're together and you can't wait until there are no more goodbyes. 
And that's where we are now. We're so close we can see the "big day" on our horizon, but we're already picturing ourselves there so much it gets harder and harder every time we leave our new house. It hardly matters that there's no grass or floors or driveway or electricity we just want to be there. And suddenly the wedding ceremony details don't even matter because you just want to be married. It's a great feeling of anticipation, a little unknown, and a lot of joy. We're on the less than 30 days mark! It's almost time to say "I do!" (aka, close.) ;) 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Writing In the Walls

Long before we knew we would build a house...
Long before we knew we would buy a house...
Before we knew we would have kids...
Before we knew what life would look like after "I do"...
We dreamed and schemed, two twenty something newlyweds. 
We decided if we were ever blessed with the opportunity to build we would start from the foundation to dedicate each brick and stud to God. 
We would do that by prayer and also by writing His Word into the heart of the home. 
Over a decade later we have been granted this gift of a building a home. As the framing was completed we took to the halls and rooms with sharpie markers. 
Each of the kids wrote their favorite "swords" into the walls of their rooms. 
Matt and I wrote our life swords in our room, and our family sword in the living room. Matt wrote Joshua 24:15 over the front door and we wrote other favorite swords into the school room, dining room, hallways, office, foundation, back doors, and kitchen. 
Our walls are literally filled with the Word and I pray our home continues to be immersed in it as we move in and fill them. 
On the way out that day Harrison grabbed a marker and ran to write "one more thing". On the doorpost right inside our front door Harrison wrote "God's House." I love his heart and his love for his Lord and couldn't agree more that this gift of a home truly belongs to God.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pre-flight Checklist

Harrison recently was gifted a large styrofoam glider from his Mimi and Poppa. 
He was so excited to put it together and launch it. He just knew it would clear the whole field and maybe make the road before landing. 
He could barely contain his excitement as Matt helped him assemble it. Once it was flight ready he ran across to the field and let that pristine glider fly! It soared about ten feet up and promptly crashed at a dejected Harrison's feet. 
Matt encouraged him to try again but once again it crash landed just a few feet away from Harrison. 
My first born's personality is that of a perfectionist (which I would know nothing about! *sarcasm). He quickly surmised it couldn't be done and couldn't take the hit of failing again. 
Knowing he needed a good push Matt refused to let him walk away. He carefully walked Harrison through all the factors he needed to consider before attempting a successful take off. 
After examining the wind direction, the land elevation, his grasp and wrist angle when launching etc., Harrison started self adjusting and was soon able to make his flights longer and farther. He can now send that well loved styrofoam glider on a beautiful flight before smoothly gliding to a stop. 
How many times are we like that? We step up with gusto and excitement but when we crash land our first attempt, or even second or third, we're ready to pack up and go home. It's easier to just go about our regular business and play on social media than to keep putting ourselves out there over and over. But we are not alone and we have a good Father to patiently point out all the factors that may need self adjusting before we can successfully proceed. If the fear of failure keeps from at least checking out the wind direction, you may never know the elation of being in flight. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Month 3 of Mr. Washington

Three months go by much faster when you're watching a baby grow. 
I felt like I was waiting forever for you to arrive and now the days fly by as I watch you change drastically from infant to baby and before I know it, a little boy wrestling amongst your brothers. 
We're starting to learn more about your personality. You can hold a grudge. Example, you hate, loath, detest the carseat. If you have to ride in it for too long you take an upwards of 10-15 minutes after we eventually get you out to stop your ballistic protesting of having been kept in it. 
But other than the carseat you are very laid back. You are sweet and content to study intently the crazy antics of your siblings. If one of them stops to come talk to you, you are quick to reward them with a smile and plenty of "coos". 
You are a phenomenal sleeper! At 8 weeks you started sleeping through the night and haven't looked back. You sleep 13+ hours a night and three two hour naps a day. 
With your crazy family that means most of those naps are inside baby carriers, carseats, or lying on picnic blankets. This past weekend you took a long warm nap on the beach. I have to admit I was pretty jealous. 
You are in size 3 month clothing and size 2 diapers. You have finally started really enjoying bath time and have just begun intentionally kicking at the water to splash.
You are starting to grab at things and figure out what to do with these perfect baby man hands you have. 
This past month you have made another beach trip, practiced more rolling from front to back, tasted goldfish crackers thanks to Madison, and got to "write" a Bible verse down inside your new house being built. 
Ash, we love you deeply and you know how to melt my heart with those deep blue-eyed grins. You are a gift and treasure and I am so thankful God gave us you! Happy three months Washington! 

Friday, May 12, 2017

One of Millions

Let me try to describe the level of nostalgia my boys' possess...
As example, Harrison has a scrap of material from an event he went to a year ago, just so he can have the memory. 
Jefferson found a piece of wood at our new home's site and "will keep it forever to always remember building". 
I can't blame them. While I am the far opposite of a hoarder, I am nostalgic and have my own small box of treasures of memories. 
But every now and then, these nostalgic kids like to relive moments and events and right now they're stuck on last year's VBS. They pulled out the CD of songs and we have been listening to the playlist on repeat. Everyone down to Madison has them memorized backwards and forwards. 
They each have their favorites but one they all love has a verse that strikes me. The lyrics state, "I'm only one of millions that your hands have made, and even out of millions Lord, I'm amazed that you know me." 
Funny how a song aimed towards elementary kids can still grab an adult heart but it did. There are billions of people on this Earth right now and add to the count those that have come before and those that are still to come amidst the humanity, chaos, cosmos, and currents, God knows me. 
I look around me at these sweaty heads, muddy hands, and skinned knees and You know every single hair, fingernail, and epidermal abrasion. Your hands hold the universe and command the galaxies and you know the deep blue ring around Madison's dark brown iris. You know Jefferson has one white eyelash. 
You know Ash's crooked grin appears at blowing raspberries. You know Wils' laugh is so loud and long he loses his breath sometimes. You know Harrison's chicken pox scar on his shoulder blade and the one over his eye. You know them, us me. 
And out of the millions, that Your hands have made, I pray these incredible little people never forget, that they're not a number. They are a beloved, hand-knitted creation, loving formed for a purpose, and the details are preciously chosen and known by You. 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Happy Birthday Madison

Dear Madison,
You are two years old now and those two years have been an incredible gift to all of us that get the privilege of calling you our daughter or sister. 
You are a joy-filled, giggling, sparkly, twirly, pink, glittery, princess. You are shy to those you don't know but when hanging with your fam you are one crazy awesome kid!
You have this laugh that must come all the way from your toes, you love "Snow" (Frozen), and you love to read your Jane Austen books. 
You are in size 18-24 months clothes and size 5 shoes, and oh the shoes! You love your shoes. You are constantly dumping your basket out and trying them all on. Your Daddy bought you brand new Easter shoes and you giggled incessantly while trying them on in the store and then carried them around the house until you could wear them. 
You love toast and homemade butter, blueberries, peas, oranges, hotdogs, and yogurt. But you do have quite the sweet tooth. You're big enough now to maneuver the stool to the counter and raid the candy bowl. I've found large piles of hershey kiss wrappers after one of your assaults. 
You love music and singing and dancing. Your brothers will put on Toby Mac and you will choreograph a whole routine as only you can do. You love to sing and clap after your performances. Your current favorite songs are "The B-I-B-L-E" and "Wheels on the Bus" (you the love the babies on the bus and the mommies on the bus part.)
You love to help clean up and for right now I'll take it while I can. You are the best 2nd mommy to your baby brother. You are close by with a burp cloth or a fresh onesie and you love to sing to him and smother him with kisses and hugs. 
But you can also hang with your big brothers and dive right in with playing LEGO's, Avengers, Star Wars, or Transformers. You're not one to shy away from tackling a big brothers and wielding your princess charm to get a horsey back ride from one of them. 
You've bought out a sweet, gentle, protective side in these tough boys and they cannot stand to see you sad. They race to be the first to greet you in the morning and tuck you in at night. They are your fierce protectors and love you deeply. 
We've loved finding sequins amid the green army men, and tiaras among the light sabers. Having you in our family has been the greatest joy. Madison we pray you continue to grow in your Heavenly Father and that the joy you bring will point others to Him! We love you deeply and all the pink, sparkly, giggly, twirliness you bring to this family! Happy Birthday Princess! We love you!