Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A whirlwind of an April

The fun of April and adjusting to life with three littles to take care of...  
It has to include some outdoor time, but then lots of hibernation due to the pollen.
Ezra is learning the ropes from the next in line cousin....time at Grammy's house.
And the Russell's brought us a meal.  I don't think it will be to long before Ezra is ready to catch up and join her in play.
Shiloh is such a messy eater!  You can't tell as much in the pic....but this girl doesn't care about cleanness at all!  Complete opposite of Zoe.
Zoe just adores Ezra and likes showing him her new fancy jewelry.
We made it as a family to a puppet show at the library.  It somehow feels major to get us all out of the house and to make it to something on time!
We hit up a garage sale on the way home, where we camped out awhile while daddy scooped up a great deal!
I've always been excited to be able to make things with my children.  Now that Zoe is getting older she can do a lot more.  So for part of her birthday/date with mom time, I took her to paint pottery for the first time. 
Two-week old Ezra joined us and did pretty well.
Zoe is so careful with things and really takes her time.
She wanted me to paint with her towards the end.  Her pink cupcake turned out perfect.  An artist in the making!
We braved Lexington Kid's day, with great weather and crowds.
We toured ambulances and waited FOREVER to get Zoe's face that was the only thing she really wanted.
I finally found a bench that wasn't supper crowded, so I could feed my man.  Poor thing, all the heat makes his acne stand out.
I was amazed that Zoe wanted to hug all the costumed characters.  She did not seem afraid at all!  She even got a hug from my favorite!
Tried a little hula action.  It's so much easier with daddy's help!
This was one was a HUGE mistake....we were in line for the face painting so long that I caved and sent Beach for the free ice cream near by.  He came back with four containers....I was just thinking the girls could share some of ours like we usually do for special treats.  However, Shiloh lucked up and went to town on her desert.  She is my messy one and could care less...this picture does not show all her damage.
However, the worst part was when we went home and tried to put the girls down for a late nap.  All the sugar and chocolate got to this handful two year old.  After awhile when I heard things from her room, I went to check on her and found this.
She had put many large toys in her bed and taken off her diaper. Her behavior the rest of the day = out of control.  Nothing like some crazy chemicals, chocolate, and too little sleep to teach this momma a lesson!
The girls have become very interested in whatever we are doing lately and want to join in.  It's fun to know that they have interest and to see how this will develop in the future!
And I love Him!

I attempt to squeeze some one on one time with the girls often, to help with the transition of having a third child and just to give them some special attention.  It helps me, too, as having all three I often get overwhelmed and annoyed.  However, I am reminded of how special they are when we are alone.
It is nothing elaborate but when I go out to get adjusted, Zoe is a great companion.  Shiloh loves to talk walks with me (and make silly faces).
Beach does the same, and this little lady got to help with getting supplies for church one day.
It was Poppy's (and Beach's) birthday and the girls made him cards (with the help of aunt Lauren).
The littles loved helping him open his presents.
Pictures of his future Wall of Fame (grandbabies).
Ezra enjoyed the event as well....but isn't quite old enough to hold himself up in grammy's rocker.
One of our community group members graciously offered to host our small group one night.  This was such a blessing to me.
We had a great time on their new property including a bonfire and marshmallow roast. 

So I got this email from Carrabba's inviting me to a free tasting.  I had no idea what this would entail, but if your going to invite me for some free yummyness....I'm in, as dates are far and few between.
We had some interesting fun people at our table and were very full by the end of the night from the many samplings.
I sure do treasure this guy, our time together and all the craziness that is life right now.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Loss, Compartmentalization and a Legacy

Compartmentalization.  That is how I deal with most of the emotions and work in my life.  It's a skill but one that can also be damaging, at times.  However, it is something that I have had to develop through my work with abused and neglected children.  Heart wrenching stories and struggles that we come across at work that there is no way I can carry it around all day, not without finding a little spot in my heart to tuck it into and return to it at a later time (or not).  It's a way I have survived being there for 10 years and could continue in the line of work.

This coping strategy, also, penetrates into my personal life.  I lost one of my grandmothers a few months ago and the other just last week.  Amazing Godly women, who I adore, cherish and wish I got to spend more time with (they lived in Florida).  The passing of a generation.  Loss.  It brings up so many emotions.  Thinking of losing those so dear to my heart.  Thinking of my own parents losing their mothers and trying not to think about the loss of my own mother, then I can't stop the tears.
So it is through tears (and many tissues), when the house is finally quiet this midnight that I allow the walls to come down and I write.  (Therefore, if things are not totally clear, perhaps you can understand why.)
Right behind my relationship with my Lord, my family is the most important thing to me - nothing else truly matters (even if I get caught up with other things from time to time).
  Both my grandmothers were amazing.  Losing the first was somewhat easier, though, as she had began the struggle with Alzheimer's/dementia. Such a cruel disease when your mind begins to fade.  So knowing she was brought to her forever home in heaven, where her mind was in perfect peace with our savior - that brings comfort.

My maternal grandmother's mom, lived to be 100, in her own home.  It's hard to imagine but I had thought the same would be the case of my grandmother.  Expectations will always get you.  My Grammy was so full of life; sure she had slowed down but still life was there.  My grandfather seemed to struggle a lot more with his health problems and  I thought for sure that he would go first.  But this...this was not what I expected.

I was lucky if we could get down to Florida once a year since having kids (traveling with littles is no joke!).  But she had always loved the computer (she even made all our birthday cards, inserting pictures of who knows when) and had been on facebook for years.  I felt connected when she would "like" a picture or blog that I would post.  It bridged the divide of the many miles that seemed impossible to cross. She was there, interested, wanting to be involved in my life.  She would usually like them late a night...a true night owl, staying up really late.  I suppose that may be where I get it that is when I function best.
I wasn't able to go to the funeral, not with a newborn and traveling.  I haven't made it out of the house but a handful of times since the birth and still having anxiety issues.  I must confess that part of me does not want to go.  I don't want to face that she is gone, really gone.  That you really can lose your mother, even when you don't expect it.  That your spouse could be left alone, like my grandfather now is, lost in a world mostly of his own, as he can barely hear and is so quiet anyway.  Thinking of the countless souls in nursing homes that struggle with loss of so much physically and emotionally.

My grandmother had a massive stroke and was then moved into hospice care.  My mother, her siblings and my grandfather waited over a week for her to pass.  A week of waiting on death.  Of holding the hand of the mother that held your hand through childhood and beyond.  That knows your heart like no other.  Whose face and features have been changed, not just by old age, but by the very incident that will soon take her.  Seeing your grandfather struggle with understanding to let his wife go, as it was her wish, and holding her hand in the silence.  Looking into the eyes of the soul you love so much, not knowing how much she can truly understand now and not wanting to accept a loss so great, but knowing that it truly is the sovereign will of God.

In my Bible reading this week it went through the Sermon on the mound and I am again struck by Christ's words: Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)  Come Lord Jesus, come.  Comfort those that are so near to my heart, comfort my heart.
Thank you Lord, for the legacy of amazing women that you have truly blessed me with in my family.  I know that they are both dancing and praising you in heaven.  Thank you for my own mother, who I treasure so dearly and never want to let go.
Please Lord, help me be the example that these women were so clearly of Your love and service to my own family.  May you be glorified above all else.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Loving the Lauren time - the animal way

Yahhhh for spring breaks for teachers (esp. when I'm on maternity leave).  I suppose I have missed my sister, Lauren, as most of the pictures I took were of her with the kids.  Oh, how they love her (and so do I).  I'm so glad she enjoys spending time with us so much.
Cutest 2-year old loving!
My how things have first born - same tiger....three years ago.

Danielle and I were on stroller duty.  Ezra likes to hang out of the Moby Wrap often when asleep, looking rather uncomfortable!
Lauren is a great sport....even kissing cow when instructed to do so.

We rode the "train" to Zoe's favorite part of the zoo...a walk through the gardens to the "pink house".

Until we meet again zoo!  Wish Lauren could come every time!  We had a great visit...Ezra is hanging in well with all our gallivanting around!