Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Resources For Dyslexia and Anxiety

I love this BOY...every BIT of him!

I'm learning.

Always learning.

It doesn't stop after you finish school.

Or have your last kid.

Seasons change.

Kid's change.

Needs change.

Life...always changing.

After Zeke was diagnosed with Dyslexia and Anxiety (along with sensory and processing issues) everything made sense!  I had so much more patience with him while teaching him in school.

When Josh and I finally made the decision to put Zeke in school I had a complete and total peace about it...but when I got this text from his special resources teacher I was overjoyed!

I saw the first-hand proof that Zeke is exactly where he needs to be to THRIVE!

I've had several mom's approach me asking for information on what we are doing to help him with his anxiety and dyslexia, so I thought I'd link a few of our favorite resources and tips that I've gotten from other teachers and parents that have been a huge help for us!  A HUGE thanks to all of you who are walking this road with us and praying for Zeke (and us:).

Oil - we have a friend who introduced us to doTERRA.  She gave us a sample of this sleepy-time blend.  It is pretty pricy if you buy it directly from the internet so we have actually opted for another brand, which is only a fraction of the cost, but has almost the same ingredients and honestly seems to have the same effect:) We use it on all the kids every night.  They actually ask to "do oil" every night:)  Josh typically does the oil ritual, but when he is out at night time they are stuck with mom, ha!  It is a soothing aroma blend that is supposed to help the kids calm down and sleep.  When Josh applies it to the first foot he prays over each kid, and then on the second foot, they pray.  It has become a sweet, sweet time for all of us.  The added benefit is one-on-one quality time, heart-to-heart time with Christ and physical touch.

No-dairy - we have been working really hard to cut out dairy, and boy can we tell a difference.  The same friend who told us about the oil also told us about trying to cut out dairy.  We have substituted his cheeses, yogurt and milk with goat, almond and soy products.  The effects are obvious.  He is more even-keeled, calm, compliant, less emotional and typically more obedient.

No artificial flavorings and dyes - I've been reading labels and opting for the foods with natural ingredients for preserving and cutting out the foods with all those artificial flavorings and dyes.  We are also watching sugar intake.

Apps on iPad - we have found several helpful apps on the iPad.  All of the ones we have gotten are FREE and work on letter recognition and formation.  I also use them with Cai and Alethia!  Zeke is still struggling with writing the letters, even though he can now recognize letters A-K and consistently say the sounds they make.  He can write his name, and a handful of default letters like "B", "a", "s", "P" and "k".
The three apps I recommend are:
Little Writer
I Can Write

School - Zeke's school has an EXCELLENT special resources department.  I've heard some horror stories about children and the IEP's they have been assigned to, but thankfully that isn't the case with us.  He typically spends about 3 hours in his specialty classes.  Zeke is learning to really love school and we are seeing substantial progress!

Cozy Couch - I've written about our cozy couch on here before.  After school Zeke is really wired up, I'm guessing from sitting still for so long at school.  He also gets really fidgety when he is concentrating really hard for an extended amount of time.  So as soon as he walks in the door we grab him a snack and he "gets" to go sit and decompress on the cozy couch for a while.  He comes out a different kid!

No wrestling right before bed - Zeke LOVES to wrestle, but it gets him really riled up.  We've noticed that the bedtime routine goes much more smoothly if the wrestling matches occur around dinner time.

Preparing for transitions WAY in advance - this is important for most kids, but for a child dealing with anxiety it is a NECESSITY!  If Josh isn't going to be home tomorrow night we try to tell him at breakfast the day before. If our typical Sunday morning routine is going to be different, we lay out the series of events that will take place so he's not caught off guard.

Being proactive with potential triggers - being in tune with the things that typically trigger "freak-outs" is monumental.  A few of Zeke's triggers are: days with different schedules, places with lots of people, lack of adequate sleep, diet, rooms without windows, not being able to "pack his stuff" when we have to leave the house.

Think Positive - teaching him to think on the positive, not just on the things that go wrong.  For instance, read this post about his outlook on a typical day when sometimes just one or two things go wrong.

Therapy - Zeke has gone to some therapy sessions with an excellent psychologist to help him deal and cope with his anxiety.  Anxiety isn't something that will just eventually go away, especially when it is genetic like his (and mine).  It is something that we have to learn to live with and find ways to thrive.

Finding the things that they are good at and capitalizing on them will help you get through each episode.  Patience, understanding and constantly being creative and finding support from family and friends (and an occasional cry in the quiet of your closet) are key when parenting a child with special needs, no matter WHAT their needs are:)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Not Me Monday

I may not be good at many things...

...but there are three things that I am consistently good at.

1 - knowing my surroundings
2 - staying focused
3 - going to the bathroom as soon as I feel like I need to

And it's a good thing too, because if just one of those three things gets missed we are in big trouble around here.

And boy, if two of those three things gets missed then we are in even BIGGER trouble.

But if all three of them were to get missed...

...well, why don't we just put a "hypothetical" scenario out there for ya:)

Let's just say that I got caught up in straightening up the kitchen (for the third time in 2 hours. Again, I'm left asking myself how in the world this happens!) that I neglected to go to the bathroom until it was almost too late.

Realizing the, um, imperative need to quickly MAKE time for the bathroom break, I rush down the hallway toward my room.

About half-way to my bedroom door (or so I thought), Alethia shouts, "MOM!".

And being the good mommy that I am, I spin around to see who could possibly be holding her hostage what she needed, only to find her twirling her pretty dress super high.

What girl doesn't want her mommy to see her super high twirling dress!

As I gave a less-than-half-hearted, "awesome baby", I quickly spin around to complete the remaining track down the hallway...

...only to find that I have, in fact run out of hallway, and am crashing head-on nose-on to the door frame of our bedroom...with a hard thunk and a "CRACK".

As soon as my nose began to bleed I realized that I had most likely just broken my nose...

...simply because I waited too long to go to the bathroom.

And what 34-year-old has to be reminded to go pee-pee on the potty, ha!

Good thing that never happened last night;)

Because if it did, I'd surely make up a cool story for the broken nose like a bar fight or protecting my kids from a large bear.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Free-For-All


Just the word makes me all giddy inside.

Josh likes to mess with me and downplay it:

  "Babe, it's not gonna do anything."
"Anytime now. It's gonna stop snowing anytime now."
"Don't get all excited. It's gonna stop in a minute."

But I refuse to let his destroyer-of-excitement-over-weather games mess with my head:)

So, the fact that we are supposed to get some kind of wintry weather beginning this afternoon has got me all kinds of excited!

The older 4 colony members have all passed their first aid class in "scooping"!  They have mastered getting stickers, squinkies, Legos and various other small objects out of Jude's mouth with ease.  He doesn't try to swallow them, he just likes to chew on EVERYTHING!  The workers at the gym call him "PacMan" because he sticks everything in his mouth.

This is short and sweet today because Cai just said he wanted to do school, and the fact that he said that means that it needs to happen NOW, before he loses interest:)

So, I hope you have a GREAT day today!
Happy Friday Ya'll!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Zeke and his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

As soon as I made eye contact with Zeke after school his demeanor changed immediately as he came running up to me.  He started stomping his feet and punching the air.

I'm left wondering what in the world I had done wrong.

"Daddy said HE was going to pick us up after school!  I didn't have a good day!  It was a TERRIBLE day!" he shouted.

Trying to calm him down and get to the bottom of his "terrible" day as we walked home, I began probing him with questions.

The culprit(s) to Zeke's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day were as follows:

  • a lost water bottle at lunch
  • a crown that got left behind in his classroom
  • the realization that his Uncle Heelz wasn't going to be at our house which meant he couldn't wrestle with him that night
  • Daddy didn't come to pick him up
  • he ran out of time to eat his snack
  • he didn't get to check out a book during library time
After a long talk about how God has given us a choice to respond to disappointments in different ways, and about how that response can redeem a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day we walked through the different things in his day that made it seem so terrible.
  • His water bottle can always be replaced.  (It was later found inside his lunchbox while I was cleaning it out.)
  • His crown could be replicated. We can always make a new one. (It was later found in his cubby at school waiting for him.)
  • His Uncle Heelz lives close by and the fact that his family didn't need to stay with us that night was a blessing for them because they had better arrangements.  It just means that patience would have to be practiced while waiting for his next wrestling match with his Uncle.
  • Yes, Daddy said he would be the one to come and get you after school, but plans change and we have to be thankful for and proud of daddy for the hard work he does to provide for our family.  He'll be home very shortly and then we'll have daddy for the rest of the night all to ourselves!
  • It's true that running out of time to eat your snack is devastating, but now you get to eat that snack as soon as we get home.  We can sit and tell funny stories while you eat it.
  • It's a good thing you go to the library every week.  Now you have plenty of time to decide in your head what you want to pick out for next week so when the time comes you won't have to waste that time deciding on the perfect book.
What a great reminder this little conversation was for me.

So often I let my circumstances determine my response and outlook of the entire day.
Like when someone spills a freshly poured cup of milk on my freshly mopped kitchen floor, or a vase gets broken, or I miss out on an important event for Areyna at school because of poor communication, or I run out of time to go to the store...

Gosh, my list could go on and on.  But if I let those little things effect my entire attitude then I'm going to be the one responsible for the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day...and make it that way for the rest of the people around me.

So, I'm working on perspective today (and I'm putting that milk in a spill-proof sippy cup this time too:)!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ethics In Birthday Partying

There are certain RULES that one must take when preparing a child for a birthday party.

First of all, and most importantly I might add, is to differentiate between a "cousin birthday party" and an "outsiders birthday party".

This very important first step will determine the outcome of the entire remaining birthday party prepping process.

After you have categorized the party you will then need to guide your child through the following steps in order to prepare him/her for what is about to follow:

Step 1: The Gift - If you are going to a cousin's party your children are free to rummage through their personal belongings (and sometimes their siblings belongings when they're not looking) to pick out the perfect gift.  My kids have a special knack for hand-picking the sweetest gifts from their own stash that ensure delight from the recipient every time! (Hey, if you have over a dozen cousins that all live within minutes of you and there is a birthday every couple of weeks for one of them I'm pretty sure you'd do it too!)

Now, the trick is, to try to explain to your 6-year old virgin-outsider-birthday-party-goer that there are different "rules" for picking out their gift.  Don't get discouraged.  It will take some time, but they will eventually get the concept that the gift they picked out from under their bed (a Lego guy without the lost helmet, a half-sheet of stickers and a Frisbee) will not likely get the same reaction from the "outsider" that the cousin would give.

Step 2: The Attire - When going to a cousin birthday party anything goes.  No battle will be fought over the Batman costume and rain boots selection.

But when picking out a birthday outfit for an outsiders birthday party, you must try to defer your child away from THE birthday suit or any other costume-type of clothing.  Try to stick with the basics: shirt, pants, socks and shoes.  Most importantly, leave the Spiderman mask at home...it may scare the other kids;)

Step 3: Socializing - This one is mainly for those moms who tend to despise small talk for fear of becoming tongue-tied.

At a cousin birthday party, you will most likely know the majority of the party-goers.  Which means that they will most likely know you, and your fear of crowds, especially in the context of birthday-party-chaos, so there is no need to fret.

At an outsiders birthday party, on the other hand, you may not even know the host of the party, much less all the other party-goer chaperones, and small talk is inevitable.  Just pray this little prayer (like I do) "...and God, please help me to socialize to the best of my ability..." and hope for the best!

It'll all be over soon:)

Zeke and his class-mate, best bud Kian at his other classmates b-day party this weekend
Happy partying friends!

Monday, January 21, 2013

The View From Here

The Birds and The Bees with a side of Mashed Potatoes

After scarfing down dinner way too fast I began getting that Sunday-Night-After-Church-Social-Feeling that comes after waiting too long to eat something.

I made the frowny face as Josh lovingly patted my belly.

And this is the conversation that followed:

Zeke: "Mom! You have a BABY IN YOUR TUMMY?!"

(because apparently you may not rub a belly unless there is a baby inside, ha:)

Josh and I: "NOOOOO!!!"

(because our Colony is complete...my sanity says so:)

Areyna: "Yeah, because mommy told me that daddy had an appointment that made him not be able to anymore."

(it was a while ago, so he's okay now, don't worry:)

Josh and I: "Yes, that's right. Because God made babies to come from mom's and dad's.  They have to work together or you can't have a baby."

(straight forward, but truthful, for all the little ears listening)

Zeke: "That's good, 'cause the baby would have to come out of your bootie" 

(said with a grossed out look)

Areyna laughed out loud.
Cai and Alethia looked completely disturbed.

Josh and I began to explain the, "well, not really..."

and then Rainy interrupts with: "Not exactly.  It's really out of her private parts"

Oh the look on Zeke's face as he tried to figure that one out..."but...it's little..."

The conversation continued on until all the questions were answered.

I'm not quite sure this conversation should necessarily be repeated over ham and mashed potatoes next time, but when the Colony is too curious to move on to any other topic, I guess we ran out of choices, ha!

The birds and the bees have been unleashed.
Watch out world (and just tell them to ask mommy and daddy if the questions come your way)!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday Sift

With the 2-hour delay because of the snow and my grocery shopping with the Colony, my Friday got away from me.  And since every post needs a clever name you're stuck with me as I sift through my thoughts and reflect on this past week.

Last night at dinner I was cleaning up the dishes while Zeke finished up his 4th helping.  He looked up at me and said, "You know, some people don't have anything to eat.  That's sad.  What do they do when it's time to eat?"  I tried to explain that some people just don't get to eat when it's time to eat.  Then he said, "Well why don't they just use rocks?  That's what they used to use for money."

If only it were that easy:)

Cai told me he wanted to go to the store and buy me a dress for my birthday.  How sweet is that?  Oh yeah, I turned 34 on Thursday.  Another birthday gone by.  But I'm not skurd!  Bring on the mid-30's!

Jude is a meatatarian.  He doesn't seem to be satisfied until he has consumed some kind of meat, ha!

The kids had a blast in the snow...except for the fact that Areyna's snowman kept falling apart and Zeke got hurt going down the hill on the sled...and Jude, well, he was just having a hard time getting around in all his snow gear:)  It reminded me of  David, the shepherd boy in the King's armor, ha!

Yesterday I found myself with family all over the world.  My father-in-law was on his way home from the Philippines, my parents are in Africa, a brother-in-law is in Afghanistan, and another brother-in-law was finally reunited with his daughter in Uganda...what a blessing technology is!

On that note, I'm hopping off of my technology pedestal and going to watch Rescue Bots with my boys.

Happy Saturday ya'll!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sideways Energy

I have really been struggling with anger and bitterness this week.

I have a tendency to want to prove people wrong when I know that I am right.
I want them to know the truth, and I want to be the one to tell them.
Sometimes the people are well-meaning, but are basing their whole case on misinformation, because they have never gone directly to the source to sort out the truth.

It almost always comes out of a desire to "put them in their place", especially if they have all the "facts" wrong, and not out of love.

It becomes all I can do to hold my tongue and keep my opinion to myself.

It begins to affect my outlook on life and my attitude toward my family.  It is draining of energy, and sometimes paralyzing.

I was talking with my husband about it.
We like to talk about things.
He is such a godly voice of reason in this head full of raw emotion.
I think I might be falling for him;)

He wisely reminded me of what our Pastor always says about things like this.
He simply, but matter-of-factly, shakes his head and says, "sideways energy", and moves on.

That's it.

It is a distraction.

We are never promised that when we make bold decisions for Christ that it is going to be easy, or that everyone else (even if they are believers) will not find fault in the decision, or throw false accusations our way.

When I hear this I can't help but think about the passage in Philippians 4 that commands us to think only on true, honorable, just, pure and lovely things.

So I have to make a choice, and admittedly probably more than one time for most circumstances, not to dwell on the sideways energy that the enemy tries to use to derail the truth.

Today This morning This moment I am choosing to dwell on Christ, and when the next moment comes I'll have to make that choice again.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Story In Pictures - Making Room For One More

A Better Life

Lately I've been thinking a lot about what it is that Alethia has gained from stepping out of her old life into her new life with us.

We ration the milk and cereal.

We don't buy our kids whatever they want.

We have to tell "no" sometimes.

But our kids' needs are met.
Not by our doing, because it NEVER makes sense on paper.  The Lord provides it all!

But what is it that we have given her that the Babies home could not?

She once lived in poverty.
She no longer does.

She once was alone, without a family to love her.
She is no longer alone, but part of a family that chooses to love her.

What is it that makes life better for her now?  It isn't what she can accumulate.  It isn't what she can get. It isn't the amount of groceries stocked in the pantry or the number of pretty dresses hanging in her closet.

It is, however, a family that loves her. Takes care of her. Shares Christ's truth with her in every practical sense.  Siblings that see her as their own. It is more than her last name that proves that she IS a Via, but the love from her forever family that God has placed her in, even when her skin color shows no sign of the connection.

That is what adoption is.

Loving her enough to tell her "no", yet loving her enough to tell her "you are ours".

Monday, January 14, 2013

Not Me Monday

When Josh has an outside gig on Sunday mornings I never stress over getting all five kids dressed and ready for church on time.

I just don't.


The only thing I need is a mental checklist of things I need to accomplish before walking out the door, like:

~dry hair
~Jude's sippy cup
~extra pair of undies for Cai
~de-lintify (yes, that is a permanent word in my vocabulary now!) Alethia's hair and do something with it...ANYTHING with it.

Yup, just mental notes

that ALWAYS get completed

before walking out the door to head to church.

And since I always get everything on my mental checklist completed BEFORE walking out the door to buckle the Colony up in their carseats, I never get half-way to church...

...before looking back in the rearview mirror...

...and let out a gasp...

...because I have just realized that the one thing on my mental checklist that did NOT get accomplished was the ONE THING that R-E-A-L-L-Y needed to be completed.


And it's a good thing that NEVER happens.

Because then I'd have two options:
1-turn around and go home, and just resign myself to the fact that I'm going to be late. Linty hair is just NOT an option!
2-stop and get something, and just resign myself to the fact that I am going to have to pay a ridiculous amount of money for something to fix the "issue".

And since I hate being late I'd have to choose option 2, and be forced to find a store, on the way to church, carting 5 kids around, that was open, on a Sunday morning, to find a hair SOMETHING to beautify my ethnic-haired daughter, so as not to cause a scene when we walk in the front door.

Because we all know that a white mama, with a brown-skinned beauty has GOT to make that hair priority!

So it's a good thing I didn't have to stop at Rite-aid (wait, they were closed!) Food Lion to pick up a 3-pack of the most obscenely priced hair-bands EVER.


That's silly to get all worked up over a linty, fuzzy hair mess.

And I NEVER get worked up over silly little things like that!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Year Gone By

We'd been writing "Letters To Alethia" for weeks.
Not knowing how all this was going to play out.
We'd gone from thinking that we may not ever see her again,
praying that somehow, someday, she would be with a loving family,
even if that loving family couldn't be ours,
to the realization that she would in fact, be placed with our family FOREVER!

I had butterflies in my stomach.

1:27pm couldn't get here quick enough.

We'd been counting down the days...

I feel like I drifted through the morning and early afternoon on a cloud.
It's all so fuzzy, yet all so clear.

We were greeted at the airport by so many friends and family just as eager 
to see Josh and Alethia step off of that plane as I was.

I had a hard time believing it was really going to happen.
Until she was in my arms I just couldn't allow myself to completely believe it.

We had setbacks from day one.
Nothing went as planned.
That's not entirely true though, is it.
It just didn't go as WE had planned.
But God graciously allowed us to see His hand all along the way,
and made a way for Alethia to make it home so I could safely give birth in America.
His timing was perfect.
His plan always is.

It was raining that day.
Just like it is today.
Reminding us that His love and faithfulness is constant,
even in the storms we have to go through.

(You can see more pictures of that day HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE)

As I reflect back today in thankfulness to Alethia's homecoming,
I can't help but think about Alethia's best friend (and now cousin) Chloe,
who is still in the throws of this process.
The red tape and politics will not allow her into America (yet).
But I know for a fact that God is sovereign.

The plan is already unfolding as we ourselves are challenged to evaluate our own lives.
As others prayer lives are brought to life.
As they move to a country with a faith and peace only HE can give.

We do not take lightly how fortunate we are to have had the ending we did.
It could be us moving to Uganda, and we know that.

What a story God allows us to tell in the midst of the hardships we face,
if only we can be faithful and focused to run this race strong.

To God be ALL the glory!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Living Life Offended

There is nothing more difficult than being around someone who is easily offended.

You feel like you can never please them.

You feel as though you have to walk on eggshells around them, worried that the next thing that comes out of your mouth will be offensive to that person, whether it is rightly justified or not.

You know those people.
The ones who keep a laundry list of all the injustices that happen to/against them.
Even from years past.
The ones who view life as half empty.
The ones who always have excuses for the chip on their shoulder.
The ones who rationalize their negativity to the bad hand dealt to them.
And you better believe their hand is worse than anyone else's.

It is exhausting to be around.

Sometimes that person is me.
I can take things too seriously.
I can view my circumstances in a "poor me" or "that's not fair" mentality.
I keep records of wrong.
I temporarily forgive.

But that is not love.

Love is patient, not irritable with other's shortcomings.
Love is kind, not resentful.
It does not envy, but instead is thankful for the blessings bestowed on their own lives.
It does not boast, but is sensitive to other's and what they are going through.
It is not proud, but humble.
It does not dishonor others, but seeks to give them the benefit of the doubt.
It is not self-seeking, but seeks to put others needs above their own.
It is not easily angered, but strives to keep a soft heart toward others.
It keeps no record of wrongs, but offers grace, knowing that they have been offered never-ending grace.
It does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, even if it feels justified.
It always protects, never seeking to fight back.
It trusts, in faith.
Always hopes, in faith.
Always perseveres, even when life seems impossible and like everyone is out to get you.
Love never fails.

We need to stop living as though we deserve something!
As if the world is against us.
As if the only bad things happen to us.
As if things are just so unfair for us!

Let's shift our thinking.

We have been given grace abundantly.
Life is NOT fair!
Crap happens...to ALL of us.

Take a deep breathe.
Choose to let all that stuff go.
Choose to rest in Christ's love in order to overflow Christ's love and grace on other's.
God has allowed your hand to be dealt to you, and you can choose to blossom in it or drown in bitterness and blame.

Stop living life offended.
Instead, choose love.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Jude Warren - 11 Months

Jude Warren ~ 11 months

Still happy
Still content
Still sleeps well
Still eats well

More mobile
Pulls up without effort
Better at wrestling
Hardly ever cries when being treated like a baby by the girls
...or a horse by the boys;)

Does NOT like the word "no"
(what is it with our bathroom that he has a fascination with anyway?!)

Playing games is a favorite!
Tickling matches are a close second

Stealing food off his siblings plates and scavenging leftovers under the table are becoming a consistent activity

Preschool is getting a little more challenging when he is awake

He has been relocated from our closet to the boys room
This transition has been loved by all 
(except maybe the girls because they feel left out from all the cute Judisms that happen without them)

Clapping, throwing his head back in jolliness, dancing and "singing" are among his new activities.

Still a joy
Still a highlight of my day
Still a perfect little bookend to our not-so-little Colony.

Happy 11 months sweet Juju!

PS - You can stop growing now.  Crawling is fun, but lets just stop while we're ahead!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

There Is No Telling What Could Happen

"Like a city whose walls are broken through
is a person who lacks self-control."
Proverbs 25:28

I don't know about you, but if I owned a big city I'd want big strong walls surrounding it.  I'd want to know that it was safe. I'd want to know what the plan of attack was if bad guys were coming.  I'd want to know where the weak links were so I could be prepared for what was coming.

Because we all know that if I owned a city and got lazy when the walls began to show signs of wear and tear, and didn't make the wall a priority, there would be no telling what could happen.

But what if I told you I do have something worth protecting.  I don't have a big city, but I do have a small Colony.  And I am that wall.  I am supposed to keep them safe and they should be aware of my human weaknesses so they can be prepared.

Not only am I (and Josh too, of course) the protectant wall around my small Colony, but I have to keep a strong wall around me for protection too, and the only way to keep that wall up is by spending time with/on it.

Layers of protection make the core stronger.

If I don't spend the time on my wall that I need to then I am more likely to have more weak spots in my wall and less self-control.

And when I lack self-control my kids won't feel safe and won't have a clue how or when they'll find another crack in their wall.

And if that happened, there is no telling what could happen.

Active relationship with Christ.
That's what keeps our wall standing strong.

PS-I know I'm not taking this verse in context, but this is where my mind went when I read it and it was a good reminder for me, so I thought I'd share in case you needed a little reminder too:)

Monday, January 7, 2013

So Much To Say

Actually, I don't have much to say.

Shocker, I know:)

I process life through my fingertips, yet I can't seem to find anything to process.

Maybe it's the overabundance of things to process right now!
Life has a way of moving, shifting, goodbye's, hellos, relationships, friction, grace...

So, I'm handing my baton over to you.

My life is an open book, obviously, so what would you like to read about?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Free-For-All

Well, this year began with a bang...or not, ha!

The entire Colony has been sick with something that has pretty much laid us out for over a week.  NO FUN!  It was all I could do to keep Josh up with me to watch the ball drop and kiss in the New Year with him:)

Rainy and Zeke tracked back in this week.  We were anticipating another huge transition, like started back at day 1, but surprisingly, after finally getting Zeke wrestled out of bed, forcing clothes on his flailing limbs and carrying him (kicking and screaming) to his class where Ms. Williams waited for him (I texted her to see if she could meet us), I got a text just minutes later saying that he had already settled into his desk!  Shew...

When I went to pick them up after school and asked how their days were Rainy replied with a "1" because she was still feeling pretty miserable, and Zeke said "I had a pretty bad day...WAIT, it was a GOOD day, I forgot!"  Oh to be able to swim around in his thoughts...

They stayed home on Thursday to get one more day of rest and we were ALL ready for them to head back to school this morning!  They gave hugs and kisses and walked right in!

Nothing new to report here.  Just a normal week, with an abnormal amount of snot, sneezes and coughing fits.

Happy SUNNY Friday ya'll!!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let Your Hair Down

New Year's resolutions.

It's hard to enter into a new year and NOT be aware of all the things you'd like to change, do better at, accomplish or stop doing.

There is just something about a new year that feels free.  As if you can let go of all the hurt and/or failures of the past year and start fresh!

My resolution lists are typically lengthy and cover many areas.  I am pretty good at attempting most of the things on my list, but most of the time at least a few of the items slip through the cracks from time to time.

It just happens.

But this time around, as I prayed for the direction the Lord wanted to take me this year, only one little phrase kept coming to mind:
"Let Your Hair Down"

I know, it sounds silly, 'cause it is!  But that's the point.

The more I thought about it the more I realized just how hard I work at keeping my hair pulled back in so many areas of my life.

The thing about having this one resolution is that it can cover every area of my life: wife, mom, housekeeper, Christ follower, and even my appearance.

I tend to be a bit rigid and uptight.  I have to consciously make an effort to relax.  Flexibility is NOT my middle name, ha!  I naturally take things too seriously and can be easily offended.

But this year I want to learn to "let my hair down", literally and figuratively.

This means thinking and living with eternal perspective.  This means being thankful.  This means pausing my to-do list for a couple of minutes to read my kids a book.

So, come on girl, let your hair down!