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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ellie-isms: she scared a lady. Literally.

So.

A few weeks ago we went out to eat.  And, of course, Ellie had to go potty.  I personally despise public restrooms.  But Ellie has always loved them.  I always make her potty before we leave the house.  And as soon as we get where we're going, she has to go potty.  It has been this way ever since she was potty trained.  And, no, she doesn't potty that often when we stay home.  I'm telling you, the kid loves public restrooms.  Ugh.

But she absolutely hates when I go in the stall with her.  And, usually, I do.  Because YUCK.  She's always trying to run ahead of me to the restroom because she thinks she can beat me there and then lock me out of the stall.  Depending on where we are, there are times when I'll just stand right outside the stall and wait on her.  But, most of the time, I go in the stall with her.

On this particular day, she ran ahead of me as usual.  And, honestly, I just didn't feel like running after her.  Nor did I feel like yelling, "Ellie, stop right now and wait on Mommy," as we were making our way through the dining room and to the restroom.  I knew these restrooms would be fairly clean so I just let her go on ahead of me.  She quickly locked herself in the first stall.  I decided to go ahead into the second stall.  She finished before I did, flushed the potty and came out of the stall.

Usually, I'm all "Ellie, I'm almost done.  Stop and wait right there."  But I didn't.  I don't know why.  I was just tired of adulting, I suppose.

And then I heard another potty flush.  I didn't realize until right then that someone else was in the final stall.  And I knew what was going to happen.  I did.  I tried to hurry.  I should've said something, but I don't even know why I couldn't seem to open my mouth.  And then it happened.  In the meantime, I was frozen.  Not only could I not say anything, but I couldn't even do anything either.

I heard the click of the lock on the door as the lady came out.  She was walking towards the sink.  And right as she was about to turn the corner to the sink, I heard, "BOO!"  And then the lady shrieked and said, "Oh!  You scared me!"

Yep.

Ellie was "hiding" around the corner to the sink, and she didn't realize there was someone else in the bathroom.  She thought it was me she was scaring.  Only, it was not.  It was a complete stranger who had no idea Ellie was right there.

Let that sink in.

Ellie just jumped out and scared a lady in a public restroom.

Seriously.

At that moment, I just wanted the floor to open up and swallow me.  And I'm pretty sure Ellie felt the same way.  She immediately came over to my door and tried to open it.  As calmly and quietly as I could (because what I really wanted to do was yell and snatch her up by her toes) I said, "Ellie.  Stay right there.  I'm almost done."

So I walked out of the stall and around the corner to the sink, all the while holding Ellie's hand.  Very humbly I apologized to the lady.  She said, "Oh, I have a five year old granddaughter.  I understand.  But she did scare me."

Yes, ma'am.  I get it.  

She scared a lady . . . and an elderly lady, at that!

So we washed our hands, and I led her back to our table.  We had to pass right by the lady's table.  Ellie didn't want to go.  She tried her best to hide behind me, but you better believe I pulled her sweet self right alongside me and made sure she had no choice but to pass right in front of that lady.

And when we went to leave the restaurant, I did the same thing again.

That's the LAST time Ellie goes in a stall by herself!



Friday, February 02, 2018

When the days are long

If you're a mom, you've heard it.

The days are long, but the years are short.

You've heard it on the really hard day when all you really want is a listening ear or validation even . . . that the daily grind of raising children, complete with 4-day hair, leaky sippy cups and so tired from night after night of interrupted, or sometimes even no, sleep is important kingdom work.

You've talked about it on the day that you look at your tween-aged children when it seems like only yesterday they weren't even in kindergarten.

And then social media has that sneaky way of reminding you . . . this popped up last week, one of my all-time favorite pictures of Mason and Hannah Kate.
Mason was four and a half years old.  Hannah Kate had just turned two.  We were building our house.  On this particular day, I brought them over to help pick up wood scraps and nails and then I gave them a sucker while they were resting on the back porch.  Mason would be starting kindergarten that coming fall.  That was something we'd not even yet thought about.  At the time this was taken, I had no idea where he would be going to school.  I wasn't ready for him to go anyway so it was easy not to think about it.  Even though we were in the midst of building the house, which was a pretty significant project, the days were so simple.  Although I could so easily right now look back on those days as easy, there were some hard days.  But it was all just so simple.  Hands down, that was my favorite age with Mason and Hannah Kate.

And then the very next day this gem popped up on social media.
Hannah Kate had just turned five years old.  Ellie was six months old.  Mason was in second grade and at school all day so I spent all of my time with these beauties.  Hannah Kate has always been the sweetest big sister and the sweetest little helper.  I knew Ellie was likely my last baby.  And because of how "quickly" the other two were growing up, I knew to soak up every single moment.  And that's what I did.  But it's almost like I was hoping she would just be a baby forever.  Of course, I knew she wouldn't be, but I was still hoping.  Crazy, I know.  It's just so hard to believe my "forever baby" is five years old now.

Those two pictures are a very vivid reminder that the years, indeed, are short.  It doesn't seem quite possible that we built the house eight years ago.  I feel like I just blinked, and Ellie is in kindergarten.  And I wonder . . . have I done enough?  Have I enjoyed enough?  Have I taught enough?  Have I spent enough time?  Am I enough?  

Nope.

No.

But you know what?  As much as I want to say a resounding YES, I can not, and I never will.  I'm learning to be okay with that.  Because all of the voids and cracks and "not enoughs" are all the wonderful places for Jesus to fill.  And you know what?  He is MORE THAN ENOUGH.  

MORE THAN.  

I have to keep reminding myself that every. day.  Because this has been a L O N G week.  Not necessarily a bad week.  But a very long week.  Wednesday was like the day that was never going to end.  And it wasn't because there wasn't anything to do.  From the time my feet hit the floor at 5:00AM until I put the kids in bed around 8:30PM I did not stop.  It was a very full day.  And a very LONG day.  

The days are long.

The days are long.

When is this day ever going to end because I'm just so over it?

And then I'm reminded of those two pictures.

Just breathe.  Take it all in.  One step at a time.  One foot in front of the other.  Because Jesus is enough.  He's most than enough.  He's all that matters.  The years are short.  They'll be married before I know it (or not).  The years are short.

There's something about every day putting the date on the calendar.  Not just turning the page to the new month of January where the dates are already there.  But actually taping those dates down day after day after day.  And then, all of a sudden, there are no dates left.  They are done.
And it's time for a new month.  Time to start over.  So the dates go up day by day by day.  And those long days turn into short months, those short months into even shorter years.
It doesn't feel that way right now.  I was seriously thinking earlier today that 7th grade is the year from down under.  And I'm not talking Australia.  We've accomplished so much.  I mean, we just finished The Odyssey so now we can say we've read The Odyssey AND The Iliad.  Surely, that should be enough, and we should be ready to move on.  But not yet.  I'm certain we have some more long days ahead of us.  But.  Jesus is enough.

His grace is enough.

His strength is enough.

His love is enough.

HE is enough.

Last Thursday night was winter Celebratio, time we take twice a year to honor and thank our Lord for the gift of learning through His Word, poetry, literature and song.  They always look forward to this night.  We dress up, eat a nice supper out and then listen to our children recite literature, poetry and Scripture. 
There are four different passages of Scripture printed on the cover of my original mom binder.  They are the ones that God very specifically gave me when we finally figured out Mason is dyslexic.  One of those in particular I speak every. day.  And it's funny.  Because, at the time, I questioned whether or not it was supposed to go on my binder.  God was like, "Really?"  I'm so serious.

Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, "Have I also here seen Him who sees me?"  ~Genesis 16:13

I love so many things about this verse . . . These are the words of Hagar.  She was Sarai's maidservant.  And since Sarai had not yet been able to conceive, she decided that it would be okay for her husband to father a baby with Hagar.   As you can imagine, that didn't turn out so well.  Hagar eventually ran away, but she had nowhere to go.  She eventually sat down by a spring of water in the wilderness, and that's when the Angel of the LORD spoke to her.  God revealed Himself to her as THE GOD WHO SEES.  God revealed Himself to AN EXPECTANT MAMA as THE GOD WHO SEES.  And Hagar was able to know Him as THE GOD WHO SEES.  That tired, worn out, hurting, expectant Mama was met right where she was at . . . GOD SAW HER.

And on the longest days, God sees me.  He sees it ALL.  He sees all the sacrifice, all the love, all the little things day in and day out that nobody else sees or acknowledges . . . all. the. things. you do because you LOVE them so fiercely . . . even on the worst days when you just feel like you haven't done anything right, and you feel like you just messed the whole thing up (and you're just praying you don't mess THEM up) . . . GOD. SEES.  Even when it seems like nobody else does (and most days it probably seems as such!), GOD SEES.

The days are long.

But they are worth it.

And God sees.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Frozen

There was that time it snowed in south Louisiana in December.  And then, a little more than a month later, it snowed in south Louisiana in January.  I mean, I couldn't even make this stuff up if I tried!  Whoever in the world would've thought?!

Seth came home from work last Monday and asked about the schools being cancelled the following day.  What?  Obviously, I missed something.  But then the news channels and social media began reporting school closures.  When we went to bed that night, a little snowflake showed up on my weather app.


Tuesday morning at 5:30, I began receiving texts . . . Sequitur was not going to have class, and Bible study was canceled, too.  By mid morning there were three snowflakes!


Snow finally started falling in the late afternoon.  It didn't take long for the Mississippi River bridge to close.  When we woke up the next morning, there was a very light dusting of snow, and the entire interstate system was closed.  It wasn't the fluffy-build-a-snowman kind of snow.  It was the crunchy, icy kind.  



There really wasn't a whole lot of playing in the snow.  The sunshine came out, but the temperature didn't warm up enough to melt the ice.

The best place to play was actually on the trampoline.

The interstate system and a lot of highways were closed until Friday.  So we still schooled, but we didn't have Sequitur.  All of the kids' extra-curricular activities were canceled, too.  So we basically spent three whole days at home without going anywhere, and it was absolutely glorious!  We didn't take our pajamas off until it was time to shower and put on a new pair.  I even read an entire book!  We ate lots of soups and stews.  There was a fire in the fireplace.  I have to say I even got cold this time around.  It was just perfect.



Friday arrived, and it was back to regularly scheduled programming.  We had a field trip that morning, Mason had a dodgeball tourney that evening with some friends and we took the girls to the LSU gymnastics meet.  And, of course, we were back up in the 70s by Sunday.

One of my friends said it best.  The Lord gave us an opportunity to enjoy His season of winter in south Louisiana this year!  For me, it was such a gift.  Truly.

"Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered."  ~Psalm 40:5



Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Night Heights

Last Friday night we attended LSU Gymnastics' first meet of the season.  This girl right here was so excited and had been looking forward to it for several months.

It's even more fun when your little BFF is there, too.  I'm tell you, these two girls are like two peas in a pod!

Ellie INSISTED on wearing her LSU "gymnastics outfit," which is really Hannah Kate's old cheerleader outfit.  But who am I to spoil her fun?! 

Before the meet started, I looked over to see this.
She was studying the program and pointing out each gymnast that is new to the team this year.  She pretty much nailed it.  I've no idea how she remembered so much from last year.

Huge new video screens were installed in the PMAC during the off season.  We made it on there at least twice.  Both times Ellie nearly died of embarrassment and jumped over into my lap.  My friend captured us and sent me this pic.  We're on the bottom row.

I didn't put those little decorations at the bottom of this picture, but this is the only picture I have of Hannah Kate from that night.  You can see Mason two rows behind her.

Tonight LSU was at an away meet in Gainesville so we watched them on TV.  We also had our own little gym cat performing her routine in the middle of our family room for our viewing entertainment.

And, oh, the entertainment!  She's still convinced she's going to be an LSU gymnast one day.  She asked me tonight how long it will take for her to learn how to do the bars and vault.  A long time.  A lot of practice.