Tonight

Tonight I miss my daddy.

Tomorrow is Sunday and I haven’t dreaded Sunday this much in a long time. I want to talk through it with my daddy and hear his thoughts. I want to tell him about the places we have visited and the things Honey and I are struggling through as we contemplate joining a church family.

One thing you could count on about my daddy was that he would shoot straight with you. He was honest. He had integrity. he stood for what was right and he would not back down. I would love to hear what he had to say if I shared that we have visited three different churches and liked the sermon at one, the children’s ministry at another, and the worship at the third. One sermon was fantastic, one was moralistic, one felt like the party line (if you could follow it).

People say there are so many good churches in town but my heart screams out wondering how I am supposed to see them as such. There are so many things I value that I am not going to find at a community church. I know those things are not Gospel things, but I do not know how to lighten my grip on them enough to say that I will be a part of a community.

Then thinking for Little just makes my head nearly explode.

Did I say I missed my daddy? I’m never going to sleep tonight.

Oh, Heavenly Daddy, You know more than my earthly daddy ever did and you even love me more (though it seems impossible). Would you make clear your plan for our family? Would you guide our steps and make our paths straight as You have promised? Would You work in my heart to know how to navigate these waters of church in 2014 America and help us parent these little ones you have trusted us with. You know I miss daddy and I need to feel YOUR presence and care in a new way in his absence. Give me faith. Help my unbelief.

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Staying Home to Make It Home

We live in a three level house here in Colorado and the bottom floor is now a family room/office/crafting space. I kinda love it already, but I’m confident that when it is “finished” it will be my favorite place to be.

I decided this would be a relaxed space and a place where Honey can feel some ownership.  Translated, that means that there are Star Trek posters on the wall, a Firefly poster, artwork commemorating Batman and the Bluths, and a huge framed print of God’s Story, by David Arms (oh yeah, we are multidimensional here). That’s the side of the room where you can find the TV and Wii.

As you move past the desk you look upon a different feeling corner/nook.  There is a bright yellow hutch full of fabric and crafting goodies, a red locker with cookie jars full of markers, crayons, and incomplete projects, and a sewing table.  There is a huge empty wall space just waiting for me to make it my own and I have been debating on just how to do that.  It’s been a long time since I have created wall art, like this one for a friend:Daniels pirate hands copyI’ve been too busy making things for the church, like this:Seminary Invite blog

I decided it was time to get back on the horse, so to speak, and make this wall my own many ways.  I have ordered a HUGE piece of turquoise vinyl cut to read “Create” and beneath it I plan to hang three pictures.  One was a free printable I downloaded a couple years ago from Pinterest. You can download it for yourself from my “i like printables” board.craftprintable2

 

Isn’t it cute? And the colors are perfect! So, I created two others for my wall. There was this one idea I got from another blogger but her printable was the wrong shape and colors so I re-created my own:Love sewing

And then this simple and playful little button:button Button

It’s simple and cute . .  . just like me! *wink* I can’t wait to have it up, have all the stray “stuff” unpacked and put away, and to get started on curtains for the living room.

I just got chills.

 

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Roadtrip Remembrances

If you found out you were going to move in ten days, what would you do? Look for a house? Check out schools? Download Roadtrippers and check out fun places to stop along the 14 hour drive west? That’s what I did! I knew that God would provide a place to live AND that He would lead us to the right school for the kids, but 14 hours in the car with the children was truly daunting.

A call from my sister, asking if she could come drive with us, was the first sign of promise. Honey and my Uncle pulled out-of-town on Monday morning and my sister flew in on Monday night.  We stayed at the airport Marriott and awoke refreshed and ready to hit day one on the road. Doesn’t everyone look refreshed?

Before we could leave St. Louis behind us, we had to have one more cake photo. The Chesterfield Airport was on the way out-of-town so we stopped by.  This was the one and only cake photo I was in – benefit #1 of having Anna along for the drive. It might be my least favorite cake and very favorite cake photo!IMG_20140805_105126

Anna’s job quickly became to keep an eye on the app and give directions as needed.  Every few miles I would think of a question to ask Siri and Anna would take care of that as well.  For example, Fort Collins has a population of 151,000 and that is approximately the same size as Savannah, Huntsville, and Chattanooga. I digress. . .

Our first photo-op-stop was in Kansas City.  The parking deck for the public library looks like a bookshelf and I just knew Bubba would love it. . . and I wanted to see it.  Turns out Little was the most enamored with it and wanted her photo taken on the steps made of books.P1000442 P1000445

Our next stop was a 50 foot cement teepee.  You can rent this place out for weddings and receptions.  I think that is hilarious.

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We had dinner at Bobo’s Diner.  Now the fun facts about this fun place include that people will still roller skate your meal out to your car, a lady bakes fresh apple pies in the back every day, and when we arrived my sister recognized the place from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on Food Network. P1000449

Just down the road from Bobo’s Drive-in was the “World’s Largest Wren”.  By now the kids are getting into it a bit more and jumping out of the car for the foolishness that is their mother’s plan. IMG_20140805_191456

The sun was beginning to go down and we had reservations to stay overnight in Salina, Kansas so we hit the road and decided to only make one more photo-op-stop on day one: the “world’s largest spur”.  Seriously. . . who comes up with this stuff? Still, we pulled over and there was an actual rodeo going on.  The kids peeked through the fence a bit and we grabbed a photo before we lost all light. Yes, I did have to teach the children what a spur is.

P1000454That night we stayed in a horrible motel.  While I did such a super job planning for the drive, I left a bit to be desired in research of a place to stay.  I just went on Priceline and looked for cheap with at least three stars.  This place was proof that the stars LIE.  KB literally started crying when we went into our room and said, “I can’t sleep here, momma.” It was ugly and a bit yucky but I just kept telling myself that there were people around the world sleeping on dirt and I should be thankful for a roof over my head. I told KB that too and then we all climbed into the king size bed and fell asleep. Downstairs and over two doors, Anna and Bubba climbed into their king size bed and started sawing logs too. My comment to my mom the next morning when she asked how we slept? “Remember when Howard Johnson’s used to be one of the nicer places to stay?”

I had only planned two stops on the second day . . . I wrongly assumed that the anticipation, approach to Colorado, and the mountain views would be enough to sustain everyone. Thankfully the Lord did what Colorado could not.

The first stop was supposed to be a photo-op-stop with this monster prairie dog.  Friends had filled me in on the fact that there was a “zoo” of sorts where you could see “incredible” animals and the prairie dog was also there.  Turns out it’s $8/person to enter this museum and the giant prairie dog is inside the museum.  There are few photo-ops in this world that are worth $40 to me and a giant prairie dog beside a five-legged cow is just not one.  We were disappointed but pressed on.IMG_20140806_112124

The drive through Kansas was surprisingly prettier than what I remembered from our cross-country choir tour in ninth grade.  I didn’t even nod off until we got to Colorado. Actually, the last cool sight before Ft. Collins was the “world’s largest easel – complete with a Van Gogh”. This is also where we found out that my brother-in-law had gotten a job and there was much rejoicing.  See Anna rejoicing:

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After this it was all dvds and pushing through.  Anna and I felt lied to about the terrain of Colorado.  She actually put a picture on Instagram of a Colorado brochure and the view from our window; her caption read, “It’s a lie!” We did find 41/50 state license plates on the trip; a first for both my sister and me.

When we arrived, Bubba actually said, “I am never going to see any of my friends again because I don’t want to ever drive that boring drive again.  It was no fun.”
My response was, “Was it boring to see the bookshelf parking deck?”
Bubba, “Oh, no.”
Me, “Was it boring to see the teepee and spur?”
Bubba, “Oh, no. You know what? We had a really fun trip, didn’t we?”

Yes we did. Thank you, Jesus, we did.

(This could actually be considered a VERY LONG commercial for the Roadtrippers app. Heeeeeeeeeeyyyy. . . )

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Number Nine

bubs

My boy turned nine today. It’s been coming for a while now . . . 364 days to be exact. It’s a funny age, nine.  He wants to be a big kid in some ways and then grabs my hand to walk into the movie theatre today because he didn’t know a lot of the kids at the birthday party. He wanted me to stay during the movie but he sat with the boys from his class and just peeked to make sure he could get to me if he needed me.  I like it . . .the thought of helping to form this little guy into a man but knowing I’ll always be his mamma and that’s special.

The day was good.  Morning to Evening was all about Bubba and he knew it.  He had cinnamon rolls for breakfast because that’s his favorite – the other day I heard him open the frig, see the rolls and say, “YES! Those are for my birthday. Dear God, Thank you for a mom who does great for birthdays.”

He had a birthday party this morning for a set of twins in his grade. I went along to meet moms and met two.  One actually said, “It’s nice to have new moms/kids to shake things up a bit.” (She is the second parent to say that to us since we arrived. Hmm.)

We had lunch at McDonalds (Bubs choice) and then headed out for family fun. Honey’s birthday was 14 days ago and we spent the day at Estes Park. We had passed this huge slide and Bubba had wanted us to go ride it. My response had been that this was dad’s birthday and so we were doing things he liked but Bubba’s birthday was just around the corner and we could do his fun then.

For two weeks I have heard Bubba talk about his birthday and how I said we would go back to the slide. I got on the computer and started looking around.  It turns out there is a place IN TOWN that has a similar slide and lots of other fun things to do.  That place? Fort Fun:P1000512We hit the bumper cars right away and it was  favorite for everyone.  Only four of us could go at a time and that was fine for the kids. . .it meant they got to ride more times so that both mom and dad could have turns.P1000519There was a game of mini-golf:P1000524Arcade games and then the Pièce de résistance, the SLIDE.  Everyone loved the slide!P1000528 P1000529 P1000530

 

It was a great day.  Bubba had a great time. How do I know? As we walked to the slide I overheard Bubba say, “Dear God, Thank you again for a mom who plans such great birthdays.”

We went home for a “string spaghetti” dinner, cupcakes, and presents. P1000535P1000543As I said, the day was fun.  This mommy. . . the one who planned such a fun day . . . she fell asleep at 6:50 p.m. and cat-napped until 8 p.m. Apparently, I am too old for the fun I plan.

What did YOU do today?

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Mornings at Little’s School

IMG_20140820_132358Taking Little to school in the morning is quite an experience. It looks something like this:

  • There is no “drop-off” for Little so I must park and walk her to the backside of the building; the location of her classroom.
  • A large percentage of kids walk, ride bikes, or ride a scooter alongside their walking mother.
  • An equally large percentage of parents use this as an opportunity to walk their dog and so there are canines everywhere.
  • Everyone hangs outside while waiting for the bell to ring. When the bell rings, kids run in every direction to line up outside their classroom (all classrooms open to the outside . . . and inside) door and wait for the teacher to open the door and let them file in.

Now, imagine if you will what happened this morning and know that this has been the routine for the past week+.  I park the car and Little and I cross to the sidewalk in front of the school and begin the walk to her classroom; the distance to her room is about that of a football field. As we walk I try to make eye contact with other mothers so as I have the opportunity to say hi, but other mothers are busy chatting with their neighbors/friends and making sure their dogs are not jumping on anyone or attacking another passing dog.

Today someone calls out “Hi, Little!” This is a first, but I am sure it will only increase in frequency as folks grow to know her and fall in love with her personality and voice.

Between our car and the classroom we pass seven dogs. Each time we pass a dog Little gets distracted, stops, turns and says, “I like your dog, ” and then follows that up with either “What kind of dog is it?” or “What’s your dog’s name?” I get her focused and walking again, only to hear “I like your dog. What’s your dog’s name?” and turn to see that I left her seven steps back and I need to go get her walking and focused again. This happens at every dog. We have gotten to school on time everyday but she has almost been late everyday this week because of dog chats on the way to her classroom.

Once I get Little to the back she walks away as I say, “Have a great day! Honor Jesus.” Today she calls back, “I will! You have a great day at home and honor Jesus at home.” Then I walked the football field back to the van and thought about how funny my life is AND how every parent is dressed like a Berry student who grew up, got a dog, and moved to Ft. Collins. I think that every morning. And then I go get coffee.

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Getting Stuff Done

I’m not at the moment – getting stuff done.  I am remembering why I accomplished so little as a stay-at-home mom before.  Today I have talked on the phone with my mom and given her a Facetime Tour of our new home, talked with my former landlord and dealt with a bill I didn’t know I missed, emailed a teacher and a child’s case-worker, and read an article my Uncle sent that was well worth the time.  Now it’s noon.

I was supposed to be finishing up Bubba’s room and doing laundry. I’m going to get to it. . . right after I blog about the update in Bubba’s room and the “fun” we had putting it together.

Bubba got a new bed and, like everything else in 2014, it was bittersweet for me. The bed Bubba has slept in for the past 6+ years is a captain’s bed that I bought (with 2 side tables and a large dresser) off Craigslist for $30.  Honey painted it the perfect chocolate brown that I picked out and it was the perfect little boy bed for our little boy.  Deep. Sigh.

The house we rented without ever walking through it is a nice little house. Bubba’s bedroom is a small room and his perfect bed is not small or flexible.  It HAS to go along a wall and it is bulky – it filled the room and left little space for anything else.  When we went to IKEA a couple weeks ago, Bubba saw a loft bed and actually told himself how much he would love to have that.  I overheard the conversation and had to admit that he was right – a loft bed would really open up his room and allow for some versatility.

Since our van was filled to the top with the items already purchased at IKEA, we didn’t get the loft bed BUT I started combing Craigslist and quickly found a family in town (vs. Denver) selling a loft bed with a desk and bookshelf for the price of the bed at IKEA. We finally put the bed in Bubba’s room Sunday evening.

Everybody got involved . . . Bubba helped with the screws:photo 1

Little practiced “ballet” while the men worked:photo 2

Basically, everyone tightened a screw or held something in place for another person and the job got done.

P1000502Then it hit me. . . I can’t lay down beside my little boy to pray with him anymore.  No more back scratches while we talk through his day. My little guy is turning nine in a couple days and this bed pushed him toward growing up much more quickly than I planned.

When I mentioned I was bit sad that I couldn’t reach to kiss him goodnight, Bubba said just the right thing. . . “I guess I’ll just have to come back down.” And he did.

 

 

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GOGNO – Guardians of the Galaxy Night Out

There is one couple who lives in Ft. Collins who was in seminary with us.  Bless their hearts – it is a calling in itself to be the only people the new family knows. Today they did us a solid and let our kids come play in their yard while we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy. Jewels in their crowns, people.

Have you seen the movie? It is very fun – – maybe ridiculous – – too endearing to be off putting. The music was GREAT. I kept wondering how much Vin Diesel was paid to repeat one line 10-15 times (I’ve since Googled it and can’t find out anywhere). When sweet Chris Platt starts singing near the end i just love it.  Good times.

Honey pointed out that our first movie outing in St. Louis was Star Wars – one of the yucky ones. This was definitely better. 

We’ve offered to watch the Hughs’ girls so they can catch a show sometime too. We’ll see if they take us up on it.This could be the beginning of something beautiful!!

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