Friday, December 20, 2013

Blessings And Struggles

         We have been living in our new house for just over 2 months now. It was surprising to me how quickly we all adjusted. I feel as though i have barely even thought of our old house. Isaiah will mention it every once in a while; referring to an event that took place there, or the possibility of one of his toys being left there, when he cannot find what he is looking for. Nothing to heartbreaking....
We were able to spend quite a bit of time here before moving in, which in turn, made the entrance of all our possessions feel quite natural. Unpacking has also been very easy and quick. I still have some cupboards and closet spaces that i would like to rearrange or organize, but that will happen....when it happens.
I am loving the colors that we chose to paint the walls with, and they have been one of the most helpful tools in keeping this stay-at-home-mom from getting cabin fever. Our living area is so bright and cheery and spacious compared to our last house.

 I can't even begin to express how much of a blessing this house is, and will be to us, as a family. I love to have friends and family over, but never felt as comfortable doing that at our last house as i do here. The layout is much more open and we are even able to have our table fully extended with plenty of room all around. Dan and i are eager to live more in community with those around us, and to learn how to make people feel more "at home" in our house. We have been entering into some amazing relationships with people in our area (finally), and i look forward to having an "open door" to them. It feels so nice to be grounding ourselves here, in this community. We have lived in Belding for over 6 years now, and have had the hopes of leaving, but God has certainly changed our hearts on that matter!

The most difficult part about this move has been our health. Oh man, has it been frustrating! I try incredibly hard, to do what i can, to keep my family healthy and nourished. I have spent much time researching, reading and acquiring information, on what it is that would best keep MY family in tip-top shape. So it has come as a big hammer on the head when we have spent the last 2 months fighting sickness. It has literally been one thing after another. Just when one of us is recovering from a cold, another gets the flu...etc..! We have experienced so many different types of sickness' in such a short period of time. Ezra seems to be getting the worst of everything, followed by me. I keep hearing that it is fairly normal to get sick after moving into a new house. It is a new environment and your body doesn't have the chance for a rest, like you would get when you return home to your own germs. Not to mention the time of year we are in. It makes sense to me, but doesn't make it any better.

I do blame myself for a lot of it though. During the move, we completely failed when it came to eating healthy meals. It was all quick and easy junk, amid our busy schedule. We spent many late nights prepping and painting as soon as Dan would get home from work. As anyone who has moved would know, its a tough job, i don't need to explain it. Something i know for next time, is that i will be most definitely making meals ahead of time that i can easily heat up in the oven or put in the crock-pot. Lovely hindsight.

Another challenge, that i had to face last month, was my Dad having a heart attack. I experienced so many emotions that week, which were all very hard to process. Inwardly and outwardly i was a wreck. I spent quite a few days whipping tears away, and casting all my burdens upon HIM. The Sunday following his hospitalization we had communion at church. It was incredibly comforting, emotional and timely. I am so thankful for HIS Peace that surpasses my understanding and HIS mercy in sustaining life.
My Dad is doing well, if you are wondering, and adjusting to the changes he has experienced.

Sorry that this post may seem a little all over the place.... i do have the excuse of having just recovered from the flu, myself. As well as the fact that i just typed this out with one hand, as i have a sick little guy sleeping on me at the moment.

Until next time....

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Beginnings of Homeschool!

One of the exciting adventures we are embarking on, this Fall, is the beginnings of Homeschool!

Dan and i came to the easy agreement that we wanted to Homeschool our children. I feel as if i began the process of teaching Isaiah's little spongy brain the moment he was born. As for technicalities, now that he is 4, he has started Preschool like many of his other peers. So far the transition is unfolding very seamlessly for Isaiah.

A couple years ago i started becoming familiar with a group of Homeschool families in our area. Since then it has grown increasingly! This year we joined the Homeschool Cooperative that meets once a week for classes as well as the Soccer team. It is absolutely perfect for us.

There have been a lot of changes going on this past year for our family and i was unsure how Isaiah would handle yet another unknown. I did my best at explaining to him what to expect.
We got him a backpack and he picked out a lunch box. He was ready to go! ..... but the first morning of, i realized...i wasn't. I was a complete bundle of nerves. I hadn't slept a wink, my heart was beating out of my chest and i felt sick to my stomach. I stopped to get gas on the way, as well as to pray and gather myself. I didn't want Isaiah to pick up on my anxiety, and i think i did a pretty good job at hiding it from him. I realized that my biggest fear was that he would feel the same ways that i did when i was his age.
I want him to be confident, not hindered.
Fearless, not afraid.
Strong, not intimidated.
Bold, not ashamed.
To know that even if he is in a room full of strangers, that he has his friend, Jesus, by his side.

It was pouring rain that first morning. All my fears were washed away as we ran from our car into the school building. I stepped inside in complete peace!

          All the families gathered in one room and we each took turns introducing ourselves.
(Side note, Isaiah has come into the habit of putting his hand up by his face whenever he is feeling insecure or embarrassed, and so i expected to see that when it came to his turn for introduction.)
Instead, he stood up, with his hands by his sides, clearly and loudly shared his name, age, and when asked about his favorite experience of summer, he said "Kipper the Cat". I was SO proud!
         Later, during recess, he was playing on the playground and some of the older boys were very rigorously jumping across the "moving bridge". This in turn was making the younger kids scared and hold on for their dear little lives. Isaiah gently and confidently spoke up to one of the older boys and said "Hey, can you stop doing that, your making them scared" (pointing at a boy) "Look at his face, your making him sad." The boy replied that it was just his brother. I then pipped up, "Well than if he is your brother you really need to stop and help him out."
         Isaiah is learning to "Love his neighbors as himself" and i wanted to shout "Way to go!" but....
I have learned that one of the many roles of motherhood is trying to contain your external cheering section at times that it wouldn't be the most appropriate. Isaiah and i share a little "wink and thumbs up" combo system for those moments.

         The best part of these weekly Homeschool gatherings is the pure joy all over Isaiah's face on our way home. He absolutely loves it and has had a blast so far. This week i was helping out in the nursery and was tending to Ezra. Isaiah went to class alone. Every time i would peek in on him, he just seemed so happy. Afterwards, when were getting ready to leave, one of the fellow moms said that Isaiah was the best listener in the whole class, and had done great.

         To say that it is going well is an understatement. I am seeing him completely blossom and soak it all up. What an answer to my prayers. God is blessing him so much through this change and i absolutely love that i get to witness it all.

Here are a few pictures from his first day....
A mouth full of Almonds.

Blurry, but i loved his little confident walk!

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Home Inside.

The boys just crashed after a busy day and i have a few moments to myself. I have been dying to write in my blog the last couple weeks or months, but we, as a family, are coming off of a very busy Summer and headed into the Fall with a full schedule. Pretty much all of my hobbies have been put in the back seat since Ezra's birth.

Anyways, Speaking of putting things in our back seat... We Are Moving!
I never thought the day would come, but in a few short weeks we will be saying goodbye to our first house of 6 years.
So many emotions have been running through my heart as i have slowly packed up boxes of all. our. stuff.

This house held our first home.

My husband bought this fixer-upper 6 years ago this past July, and spent endless hours preparing it for his Bride. As a Wedding gift to me, he finished our bedroom first. Red, hard wood floors and get the picture. He wouldn't let me see it until we returned from our Honeymoon. Lets just say, I was pleasantly surprised.

We spent the first week back home....remodeling our kitchen. ;-)
We spent the first year of our marriage learning how to be Husband and Wife in our house. (and failing over and over again).
We spent the second year watching my belly grow as God was knitting our baby in my womb. Later that year I gave birth to Isaiah Paul in our living room.
We spent the third year learning all about parenthood. The long nights, endless nursing sessions, exhausted bickering, and indescribable joy filled our house.
We spent the fourth year celebrating yet another child entering our house. I also gave birth to Ezra Jude in our living room.
We spent the fifth year learning to parent 2 boys. Practicing patience. Watching our oldest grow and our youngest fit in.
We spent our sixth year full of endless questions, exciting changes, lessons learned.

It has been a full 6 years for us.... full of love, joy, heartache, anxiety, peace, forgiveness, messiness, hard work, confusion, laughter, disappointment, impatience.....oh, i could go on forever.
Simply put, these walls have been a house for us. They have not been a home. Our home lies within 4 beating hearts that are all intimately intertwined by the grace of God.

I am in love with our home, and i am taking it with us. Which is why i know i wont find it very hard to say goodbye to our house.