Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wonderful Wednesdays

Yes.  I know.  It's been a long while without a blog post.  I've had every itention everyday during the past two weeks to post, but by the time I actually have time to sit down at my computer, I'm just too tired.  It's fair to say I've reached a new level of exhaustion.  I'm not saying that as a bad thing.  I'm just saying I'm TIRED.  And it's not necessarily Ellie's fault either.  It's second grade and homework and dance lessons and Boy Scouts and homework (oh, I already mentioned that one) and laundry and mealtime and homework (there's that word again) and church and . . . I won't even bother to mention nursing . . . because we'd be here all. day.

I took Mason to a birthday party yesterday.  This was after I'd taken him to get a haircut and we'd waited for an hour before I finally had to leave without getting him a haircut because it was time to nurse Ellie, and we were also going to be late to the party.  He's in desperate need of a haircut.  But it just didn't happen.  Anyway.  So we finally made it to the birthday party.  I was talking to a friend I hadn't seen in awhile.  She asked, "So what have you been up to lately?"  And I found myself speechless.  I mean, where do I even begin?  And then, when I do begin, it just sounds like a lot of nothing, and I start to wonder what in the world I do with my time and why in the world I continue to stare at so many unfinished projects that seem to be taunting me and reminding me on a daily basis that I'm falling short.

Awhile later another friend at this same party got a phone call.  She was standing beside me so I heard her end of the conversation.  Obviously someone asked her why she couldn't do something or go somewhere.  She responded that she was busy.  And then they obviously asked her what she was busy doing.  Her response?  "I'm busy being a mom.  What are you doing?"  That pretty much sums it up.

Nearly three weeks ago, Hannah Kate and I began going to our usual Wednesday morning Bible study.  She asked all summer when we were going back to "VBS in Baton Rouge," as she calls it, and we were both excited to be starting back.  Last year we studied the book of Acts and Paul's epistles.  I love this Bible study because that's just it.  That's all it is.  It's studying the Bible.  It's a group of women from all different walks of life, ages, backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities and churches.  But the one thing we all have in common is the study of God's Word.  I think there are nine different denominations represented in that sanctuary each Wednesday morning, but we don't talk about our churches or our "religion."  We talk about God's Word and what He has revealed to us through the study of His Word.  There are no commentaries.  We have "homework" everyday.  We read a passage of Scripture, and we answer questions based on the Scripture we read.  We do not research the internet or consult those big study Bibles with notes in the margins.  It's all about what God is revealing to me personally through His Word.  And I. love. it.  It takes awhile to do the homework each day, and it's been difficult this year to find the uninterrupted quiet time I need to do it, but I'm just plugging away at it.

The children's program is awesome!  They study the same passages of Scripture we do, only it's presented to them in a way they can understand.  They have snacks, sing hymns, play games and even have a 5 minute quiet time in which they sit on their towels and think about God.  Yes, it works, even in the 2-year old room!  I saw it first hand when I volunteered in the children's program last year.  So Hannah Kate and I are able to talk to each other about what we learned and what we've been studying.

Here she is on our first Wednesday back.  She insisted on wearing her "Big Sister" patch, as she calls it, which is a button she got at the hospital the day Ellie was born.
And as for Ellie, she's right there with us, too.  Thus far I've kept her with me during our small group and large group times, but she will soon go to the infant class.  Every Wednesday morning I wrap her up in my moby, and we go to Bible study!  Here we are:
Initially, I was nervous about Wednesdays.  I have to get up earlier than usual, coordinate Ellie's nursing schedule accordingly (I'm not pumping so I'm all she's got right now!), get Mason fed, dressed and off to school and get Hannah Kate fed and dressed as well so we can make it to Bible study on time.  I can honestly say that after three weeks, Wednesdays have become one of my most favorite days of the week!  I enjoy getting out of the house, I absolutely adore my small group and the women God has surrounded me with in my group this year and I just crave the study of the Word.  A sweet friend blogs about her Wonderful Wednesdays.  Initially, that was the day of the week she did not work and spent time at home with her son.  She dedicates her blog to her family and the time she spends mothering and teaching her boys.  So I can't help but say my Wednesdays are wonderful, too.

We are studying the book of Genesis this year.  We spent two weeks on chapter 1.  Yes.  Two weeks.  How is that possible?  Well, I knew God created the world in six days, but we've been digging deep, and I have learned so much more about God through just that first chapter.  You know, God's Word is absolutely amazing!  It's alive and active and powerful.  If you doubt that, I dare you to start reading.  Don't just skim the page.  Read it.  Study it.  Read it some more.  Study some more.  Eat. it. up.

I love the book of Genesis.  It's so fascinating!  On the first day of class, my small group leader asked us if we'd share what we wanted to be when we were little and how what we've been through had brought us to where we are and how we ended up at BSF.  And I hadn't even thought about it until she asked . . .

The first 2 years I spent in Louisiana were definitely not the best 2 years of my life.  As a matter of fact, they were probably the worst.  I was trudging through a valley, and I saw no way out except the desert.  I was parched and thirsty.  I was beat down.  It was about that time that one of my favorite Bible study teachers (Beth Moore, anyone?) came out with a new online Bible study (Believing God).  So I signed up for it.  As I began to go through the study with her, God had a Word for me (more than one, actually), and He transformed my life, my thoughts, my attitude, my heart, my desires, EVERYTHING.  The truths that I learned in that particular Bible study are still with me today.  I can quote them to you even now, ten years later.  And guess where we studied?  Genesis.  And, now, here I am again.

I am excited.  During the past year, God has called me to some things that I never imagined I would do or even wanted to do.  He has blessed me tremendously.  I've often felt like I was on the verge of something, but I still don't know what that something is.  I have a feeling that my time in Genesis will, perhaps, be just as transformational as that first time.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ellie: Two Months Old

Dearest Ellie:

You are two months old today!  And I still marvel each day that you are ours!  You are the sweetest, gentlest little thing.  Your second month of life was rather eventful.  Mason went back to school so now it's just us girls at home during the day.  Hurricane Isaac came for a visit.  You saw Dr. K for your 6-week check-up.  You'd gained two pounds and weighed 9 pounds 14 ounces.  You were in the 50th percentile.  And you grew an inch to 23 inches!  Again, the 50th percentile.  You are still wearing size one diapers, but as soon as we finish the current box, I am going to move you up to size two.

Your personality has really begun to shine!  You are stingy at times with your smiles, but you were smiling big for me today.  You seem to smile most often when I'm changing your diaper.  I'm not exactly sure why that is!  You are a very happy baby, especially in the morning times.
I'm so glad you have Hannah Kate for your big sister!  She loves you so much and just dotes on you day after day.  I know the two of you will be the best of friends.  At least . . . I hope you will . . . if she doesn't drive you crazy first! The other day she insisted on wearing her headband since you were wearing one.  And then we had to take a picture.  And, of course, Emily Bennett had to be in the picture, too! 
Hannah Kate refuses to change your diaper . . . I don't know why . . . but she's always right there climbing up on the changing table with you.  On this particular day, you were so precious in this sweet daygown that Abbie wore as an infant.
You absolutely LOVE your bath time!  And then you are ready to go to sleepy town for the night.  During the past four weeks or so, I would nurse you around 10:00 or 10:30, and you would then sleep until 3:30 or 4:00 before nursing again.  I would put you back down, and you'd sleep until 7:00 or so.  But the past three nights you slept until 5:30!  You usually nurse twice between then and 9:00.  You prefer your swing in the morning and take a long nap.  After lunch you prefer to play on your play mat.  And then it's time for another nap.  You are awake a good part of the evening, but you like to be held.
I really think you are a Mommy's girl . . . but here you are with Daddy.  I seem to always be the one with the camera so there aren't a lot of pictures of you and me.  You are a snuggle bunny.  While you are content most anyway, you do enjoy being in our arms.
 Have I mentioned that Hannah Kate is never too far away?  I just don't want you to forget . . . And I have to apologize that there aren't any pictures of you and Mason this time.  I didn't realize until I was going back through my pictures that I obviously haven't made time after school to capture him with you.  I guess we're just too busy with homework and the evening routine that I don't think about it.  But that will change this week! 

And the other day I put you in the bouncy seat while I was cleaning the kitchen after lunch.  I came around the corner to find that you had a few friends lined up next to you:
It's been two months already . . . can time not slow down just a little bit? 

I love you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Summer's Last Hoorah

Just so you know, there will be nothing astounding in this post, no words of wisdom, no anecdotes, no funny stories . . . I'm posting this simply to "catch up."  That's it.  I am so very tired these days that I just haven't felt like posting anything.  By the time I get a minute to myself, it's really late, and it's time for bed.

Isaac came and went.  Rather slowly, I might add.  The worst part, of course, was being without power for three days.  The first day and a half was okay.  And then it went down hill from there.  There were some tired, grumpy, HOT people in this house, including myself.  I really tried not to go there, but I still have a lot of selfishness bound up in this old flesh.  Seth's parent's got their electricity restored the second night so we did what all desperate, hot parents with three young children would do.  We packed our bags to go sleep in the air conditioning!  Besides being hot and without electricity, the children handled the storm so well.  It didn't seem to bother them at all.  We had a generator so we didn't lose anything in our refrigerator or freezer and kept the fans, lights and the all-important TV running.  Since we have a gas cook-top, I was able to cook our meals.  We had warm water, too.  We were so blessed.  We remained on the western edge of the storm so it wasn't nearly as bad as what had been predicted for our area.  But the best part was that Seth didn't work that week, and Mason didn't have school.  So I got really spoiled.  That led into the Labor Day holiday weekend.  So we were all here together for a whole week!

Our summer ended much like it began . . . a weekend with all the cousins and pool time.  Avery and Beau were here for the long Labor Day weekend. Here are a few random pictures, most of which are at the pool.  And, by the way, you won't see Beau in any of the pool pictures.  I mentioned our summer ended much like it began.  Well, it did so in more ways than one.  When the boys were here Memorial Day, Beau couldn't swim because his arm was in a sling after having fallen out of a tree.  This time around he arrived with eight stitches in his foot so, yet again, he couldn't go swimming.
Oh, I guess I could mention that Isaac took with him another tooth!  Now Mason has two missing teeth on the bottom.  There are three others that won't be far behind.
 After it was all said and done, we had to get back into the swing of things with school and dance and work.  That was no fun, as we'd finally settled in to our new normal, but everything worked out okay.  This week will add two other things to our schedule and then we should be good to go.  The Bible study I attended last year starts again tomorrow and will be every Wednesday.  Hannah Kate is so excited to be going back to "VBS in Baton Rouge," as she calls it.  I'm interested to see how Ellie is going to do.  I'll keep her with me.  And then Mason has his first Boy Scouts meeting on Thursday.  First of all, yes, that's the same day as dance lessons.  So thank goodness Boy Scouts meet only once a month.  And second of all, I just have to be honest.  I'm not looking forward to it.  I really don't know anything about Boy Scouts.  My brother never did that.  And I guess I just equate Boy Scouts with camping.  For those of you who don't know me, you should know that I do not like camping.  My idea of camping is a Holiday Inn with a black and white TV.  But, anyway, Mason is really excited about this whole Boy Scouts thing, so I'm just having to grin a bear it.

And with that, it is late, and I am going to bed.  Right after I nurse . . . story of my life . . . nursing, that is, not going to bed!