Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February Wrap Up

'Twas the month of love. Going into this month, I had grand visions of hours in prayer and song, snuggling up to the God of Heaven that I believe in. My main goals were to be mindful of regular and often prayer... to keep a heart of worship... to feel that deep satisfaction that comes only when we do connect with our God.

I am not disappointed in how the month went... but, it didn't go as I'd thought it would. Life didn't become less interrupted. Disappointments were not avoided. Hours didn't suddenly become available. But some very important lessons were learned.

While I had my goals in mind, my Heavenly Father had his own agenda with my heart. I don't see myself as someone who lacks in ability to love. But, we do not see as our Father sees. It's kind of like how we see what we think is our personal "good" and compared to some "not good" out there, we feel content with who we are. But, then our "good" is weighed in the balance with Righteousness and we are sorely lacking. God had some surprises for me this month!

I attend a women's Bible study each Tuesday and the past couple of months we've been wading through several Old Testament books. At our small group discussion one week we took a look at Isaiah 50:4 "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." (King James, Cambridge edition). Well, I read it and thought about education. I totally missed the point and I really don't know how I missed it, but I did. I thought the message was for us to learn. The message, as discussed by several ladies, was that we are to learn to speak words that build up... to learn how to speak to make a difference in other's lives. This was early in February and I decided that I needed to work on my words. I knew that already, but I figured I really, really needed to stop speaking. Because, as I confessed at the beginning of the month, I get rushed or sidetracked and a little stressed and speak too abruptly to my children. So, I determined to conquer my tongue. What a battle... I tell you I am still working on that!! Some mornings I heard Thumper, on Bambi, saying, "If you can't say somethin nice, don't say nothin at all..." What caught me, though, was that when I would find myself snapping, in those moments I was really lacking love for my child. My motive was to get through the moment, to get to the next thing, to get a child to stop something that was irritating to me, etc. So, I began stopping myself from speaking and thought about how to show love to my child. (Child here refers to teens, for the most part, but some of my children are adults now, too!) (I am not feeling young at all...) (sigh)

As I kept working on this, I reaped the fruit of love being sown... peace... I absolutely love a peaceful atmosphere! When I began speaking in love, the home became more peaceful. ***Disclaimer*** Because I am rather honest, I must say that I have failed many times this month. Seems for every victory catching myself, I had a few failures.***

Happiness. The whole idea of a "Happiness Project" is to set monthly goals, hold yourself accountable (I use a daily chart), and work on areas that you believe if you would change, would increase your overall happiness. In all honesty, to report on how that went this month... it was a rough month. I had an intense battle mid-month that warred on and on within me. I could literally feel myself battling "good verses evil". I kept my mouth shut. (Hooray! Shout for joy with me!!) It was an all out war to not act unlovely and it would have been so easy to give in and be hurtful. But, it would have been wrong. Fortunately, I had a couple of close friends who I could call upon and let out what would have been hurtful to tell to others. Ever been there? For days I had a choice to make. I could lift my eyes to my Maker and hand Him my hurts and declare that He knows what is best and will work all things for good (because I am called according to His purpose)(that's in scripture)(Romans 8:28) and then choose to love and let go. God is good. I am learning so much!

Other events in life swirl around me... things I cannot control... (Have you ever tried to control a teenager??) And I appreciate what Gretchen Rubin wrote of in The Happiness Project. She shared that when things are not so rough and we are going about life day to day and we put into practice little habits that are good for us and our overall happiness, those daily habits pull us through when the hard times hit. I am still having to work on time management, particularly getting more sleep and keeping a notebook handy to write things down that I don't want to forget... and I am quite sure I could ramble on a bit more, but, that's about all I've got for now!!

I hope those of you who have made a couple of decisions to work on some little changes will contact me again and let me know how you are doing! I'll be posting about my monthly "March" goals very soon...


Jeremiah 9:23-24 "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength, or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight declares the Lord."

Nature was showing off yesterday!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Give me a "B"! Give me an "E"! Give me a "K"! Yes, that spells BEK!!!

The sweet girl is my apple off the tree. I love it that without even knowing it, we find out that we pick the same things... we make some of the same choices... For example, I am taking a class right now and I have to take quizzes in pencil, correct in ink that is not black and I also have a red ink pen. I recently ran out of dark purple ink and I didn't want to have to keep trying to find a pencil, so I bought a few more. While Bek was here, I pulled them out and said told her about having to take quizzes in pencil, etc. and she starts laughing because she takes quizzes in pencil and corrects with dark purple in and keeps a red ink pen, too. I know it seems silly or coincidental. Goodness, there are probably many of you pencil, purple ink users out there who also keep red pens... and maybe you roll your eyes. But, for Bek and me, we look at each other and laugh because it's just one more thing we do the same when we don't even try! Now if she can start cooking like me.... lol.

More important than pen and pencil choices, though, is the heart of the matter. Bek loves so deeply. She understands the big picture. She works behind scenes to bless others without personal notice. The greatest thing for a mom who loves God is to hear from her child that they, too, love God. To have Bek begin to share her personal prayers and working through her faith gives me more to hold before God in my own prayers.

I knew my daughter needed some personal attention and fireworks for her birthday. So, after Jayden's birthday, we headed home for her birthday party. Scott and Nick spent time grilling ribs, which were accompanied by asparagus and salad. I don't have pictures of the most fun part... the games Bek and I picked out for the evening! Sometimes I drop the ball as the photographer, but I was having fun with everyone, not taking pictures!

So, we put an identity on each person's back and asked everyone to give clues so that we could each guess who we are... When we found out who we were, we then had to act that role throughout dinner. It was funny. I could not help but give Nick the identity of Johnny Depp. Clayton was Blake Shelton. Scott was John Wayne. Cody was the Crocodile Hunter. Lily was Hannah Montana. Bek and I were Mary Kate and Ashley Olson, which was funny because neither of us care about make-up or fashion... but, we knew how to pretend to be twins!! Scott made the very best John Wayne!!!! Then, at dinner, we were each given a card with two statements to make during dinner conversation... as often as we could in the normal course of conversation.

So... it went something like this:

Can I have some more?
Warning! Warning!
Has anyone seen my lip gloss?
My meatball rolled under the door!
And that's when I lost my button...
This is a test!
But, that doesn't explain the french fries in my shoes...

Anyway, there were a lot of laughs... just no photos!

By the way, have you ever seen Johnny Depp in goofy glasses??

It was fun to bless Bek with goodies... she appreciates every little thing and nothing goes for granted...

First, belated Christmas gifts from her Grandma Cathy and Great Grandma Lyn:

I knew that she would like pretzel sticks dipped in chocolate to stash away and pull out for a fun treat!

She loved her fuzzy, plush robe...

We'd picked out a fitted, smart looking "jacket" for her... She is always out and about and it's often in slightly chilly weather. She has to do a lot of footwork reporting this semester... She loved the smart jacket!!!

I love the tilt of her head, here. She's so dear to me. Like her momma, she isn't in a lot of pictures. Because she's busy taking care of something or someone. I love her so much.

Monday, February 6, 2012

And he turned ONE!

*** Alert *** This post is entirely about Jayden's first birthday. So, If a wee one's first birthday does not interest you in the least, there you go! *** End of Alert ***

It was a football themed birthday, since his big day fell on Superbowl Sunday.

There were several lovely guests of the celebration:

Birthday Boy:

Sweet little Chloe:

Sonia, my daughter-in-law and Tara, girlfriend of Corey:

Sonia, with Zoey:


The birthday boy's dad... lol... Chris!

Chris's mom, Heidi and her parents, great-grandparents to Jayden:

Now, prior to this day, if Jayden procured a stick, he whacked at anything he could...
And so, of course when we give him the stick to hit his pinata, he would not...

He tried his jedi powers...

Christopher got the job done!

And Chloe enjoyed a lolly!

He didn't really eat the cupcake... just played with it...
And after clean-up, sharing gifts!

He took it all in quite seriously...

Sonia found the most perfect shirt for him!!
I'm honored... really...

Then it was game time... so, on went the football faces! Yes, I have it on, too... You have to have fun and live life, you know?

I have hopes of putting together a slide show to a favorite lullaby for his first year in review... and will take just a moment to get all sentimental-gooshy... I knew I would love my grandson. I had no idea just how much he would capture my heart, though. It's really a most amazing thing to be a grandma. For the past year Chris has wondered when Shasta and I would stop being so crazy over him. He has now come to the realization that we will never stop.

When Christopher calls me "Betty-Grandma" it's just so sweet. When he shares little things with me, some funny, some serious, it is remarkable to know that I am sharing part of his life with him and will add to who he is as a person. Today he told me, "Betty-Grandma, sometimes people just don't understand." I agree. He said it three times today. It's a joy to spend time with him. And last week I stopped by Christopher and Chloe's house for a bit and Chloe heard my voice and came running, arms open wide to me. There are no words for what you feel in your heart in moments like those! She was so happy to see me and to babble, pointing at all the things around her home. Then she snuggled down on me, falling fast asleep.

Yes, being a grandmother is a most wonderful part of life.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012