Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Kids

How can it be that Mallory is 4 and half? Oh, how time flies. She's a sweet, sweet girl who LOVES to please and help me. She loves deeply and fervently and this girl LOVES her Daddy! She does have foibles that cause us to chuckle, like always wanting to be on the right side or acting out entire episodes of Kipper the Dog or knowing which places around town has hand dryers so we can avoid them (she GREATLY despises hand dryers). She is a reader and a speller and is very good at both. She's reading words like "underneath" and "enough" and "thanksgiving" and "knife". She spends more time reading the backs of her soccer team's (and soccer opponent's) shirts than she does kicking the ball. Needless to say, she gets distracted very easily. She thrives on praise and does her absolute best whenever she knows we will be proud of her.

This little guy is going to be 3 in just a few weeks. Ethan is full of energy - more than enough to make up for this big sister and little brother! He's VERY smart and tries to read like his big sister and he's starting to catch on to 3-letter words. He has a very sweet disposition, though he is as hard-headed as they come. I think he'll be really good at sports if he can focus on game-play rather than seeing how far and how fast he can run and who he can recruit to come with him. He loves deeply, like his sister. The boy can become afraid of the silliest things, like a volcano he sees on Dora or a pink butterfly he dreamed about the night before. Ethan lives up to his name: "Strong and impetuous one". But his bright blue eyes and silly grin melt my heart into my toes.

Evan, Evan, Evan. Oh, what a delight! He's been walking since he was 10 months and is now showing signs of running and he's not even 1, though he'll reach that milestone very soon. He's at the stage where he's curious about EVERYTHING and the task of "picking up" has a whole new meaning with this fella. His favorite "toy" is the swiffer dry mop or the broom. He can walk around the house for quite a while carrying one of these cleaning devices. He's a big guy and is already not wanting to cuddle up with me anymore. My heart is heavy, yet delighted at the same time, that my littlest is not so little anymore.

These are the three that fill my quiver. I love 'em.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Changing Habits

I've been making an attempt to better my life in several ways. I hope and pray that the richness of these changes will continue to bless my life through perseverance.

1. I've been waking up at 5:45 rather than 6:30/7:00, which is when the kids wake up. This leaves more time for prayer, bible reading, journaling and spending time with my husband (and drinking my hot coffee in peace). Though difficult to waken, I've had more energy throughout the day (surprisingly) and more time with God. The benefits of this routine has been beyond refreshing and rejuvenating, even though my sleep is less.

2. Walking in the mornings has been something I have been doing, too. Patrick watches the kids for about 30 minutes while I enjoy some peace in the morning. This has been good for my physical well being and my mental health before I start the day with 3 young kids.

3. I've been reading more quality books. I absolutely love fiction. I love fiction that is easy to read with some kind of love story mixed in. It's a crutch for me because I can get so engrossed that my other tasks are neglected. Since vacation, I haven't picked up a "brain-candy" novel. My good friend (one-time local friend, now cyber friend), Kelly, recommended "Stepping Heavenward" by Elizabeth Prentiss and this book just totally changed my life. I devoured it over the course of my vacation in August, succumbing to tears a few times and felt challenged to change many of these habits I'm listing now. I'm actually reading the book again in my devotion time, highlighting passages that have brought me to my knees. I'll have to blog about this more later, but in the meantime, I've read other books way out of my comfort zone that have been enjoyable for many reasons. Since vacation, I have read "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen and "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, both classics I used to turn my nose to. I'm hoping to add more classics to my list, though now I'm going to read "The Attitudes of a Transformed Heart" by Martha Peace, a book I started a while ago but didn't have the attention to finish. I will most likely read "Restorations" by my good friend Susan Ball. This is her first work of fiction and in her support, I will purchase it and read it (no need to twist my arm here!). Congrats to Susan for this accomplishment!

4. I've been eliminating the amount of TV I watch. I still watch some of Dancing with the Stars, though not much since Mondays are busy, and I watch The Biggest Loser while folding laundry on Tuesday evenings (I spent 2 hours folding 6 loads of laundry last night!!!). I watch The Office, too on Thursdays. You know, I've been hardly watching football this year. I just can't sit down for that long to watch a game. With the children and other commitments and a hubs who doesn't really care about football, it's just something that has been phasing out. I'll watch my Gators when I can, though. I do watch a movie almost every weekend with my husband. We've had a lot of fun together in our newly "enhanced" basement and have enjoyed classics and new movies that have been fun to experience together.

These are the main habits that have been changed. I still have a lot to do, though. I need to find more time to spend with the kids rather than clean, straighten, check Facebook, email, etc. I need to start considering homeschooling options.

Also, my husband is starting a new job on Monday that is going to "encourage" us to change our spending habits, though the benefits of this will be great, leading us to be better stewards of what God has so richly blessed us with and increasing our faith in Christ.

God is good. I'm glad I've been prompted to eliminate that which is frivolous and replace with that which is richer. It's a discipline. And I pray that God will lead me to encouraging others to do the same. You wonder how you will survive with the things that give you pleasure but have nothing to do with building relationships, serving, or honoring God. I've wondered it but continue to choose to go on with my changes. And do you know what? There is a lot of frivolity that has been removed and I don't miss it.

Glory be to God.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Better use of my time

I am not apologizing this time about the obvious neglect to my blog.

I have been challenged to make better use of my time and I find that blogging takes a lot of time and time is precious. Time is something I used to have in abundance and now time seems to be a valuable commodity in my life.

Blogging, as much as I love it, is sitting idle because I am, like I said, trying to make better use of my personal time.

And it's OK with me that my blog is idle.

I think.

I love writing, I love sharing pictures, I love recapturing life as it fleets and floats away. It's funny as I write all of this because yesterday it seemed as though I had absolutely nothing to do. I fretted about it and as I was fretting, I looked over at my camera, which has been sitting idle as well, and I felt reminded that photography is something I love, something that God has decided to enable me to be somewhat good at. Why not use my time to get out, enjoy the delicious fall afternoon with its warm, autumnal light and take a few pictures!?

We spent an hour together in the rolling hills behind my house. And it was such fun.

Recreation that stimulates my interests and which allows me to exercise the talents with which God gives can be nothing except worship when done with the right heart. I'm thankful that God has given me the means to (somewhat) understand light and reflection, capturing it through a lens and manipulating it to be even better in the end. It's invigorating. Truly.

What have you done for recreation to exercise the talents God has given to you?