Friday, July 31, 2009

Split Emotions

Well, this is it. Today marks the "official" end to my summer! Monday I will begin a new job as librarian in a very new elementary school in this county. I have had several people ask me how I feel about going back to work after having been at home with my children this past year, and I have to say that I have what I like to call "split" emotions about it.

Since my oldest child was born, I have dreamed about the day he would join me at school. I can hardly believe that day is here! I am excited about John Owen and I being in the same building every day and that he will actually come to my library for classes! (It'll be almost like home 'cause I'll still get to read to him!)

This job that God has led me to (and I truly believe He has paved the way for it) is something I have always had a heart-felt desire for, so turning it down was not an option in my mind. And staying at home for another year was not an option in my husband's mind. :-) Wait...I should not leave you with a comment like that about my hard-working husband. He even said he wished he wasn't so scared to take a chance and that I have been the best "nanny" we've ever had! He and I both share a belief that God intends for us to be wise with our finances and family and future. And together...that's what we are trying to do. 'Nuff said about that! :-)

I find comfort in the thought that I have found a wonderful Christian lady who will be here to take care of Mary Claire and Jonah. We have spent the last couple of weeks getting to know each other and getting the children adjusted, so I feel like this is also God's plan. I started praying about this person a while back and feel like she is the one God sent for us. She feels the same way about us, too, so it must be a "God thing."

Now, I am not gonna lie, I have cried. Heck, I am crying right now as I THINK about leaving Mary Claire & Jonah, but I keep telling myself the same thing I have told myself in the past when faced with having to do things that I fear doing...What doesn't kill me, can only make me stronger. And I'll just be honest, some of the strongest moms I know are those who clean their own houses, work full-time jobs and take care of their families' needs. I have done this before, I will and can do it again!

So here I am...happy and excited about being a school librarian and having John Owen with me, but sad about leaving my other two children and my house and job as full-time mom. Besides all of this, I feel extremely blessed in my life. Blessed that I have the ability to go to a job that I enjoy, blessed that I have a wonderful, loving husband and three loving, wonderful, healthy children. Knowing that we are all in this together as a family is comforting. Knowing that the Lord is with us as we make this change is all the comfort I need.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Zoo Trip

I mentioned in a previous post that I had promised my boys a trip to the zoo and we hadn't been yet this summer. So last Friday I decided it was way past due, and off we went! It was a great day for the zoo! Perfect weather, I thought. We went with some friends and had the best time! Here's some shots from our long anticipated trip to see the animals!

This little guy came out after the giraffe feeding began. I imagined he was saying, "Hey! Why didn't anybody wake me to say it was time to eat?!" He went straight over to the others and worked his way closer to the "zoo guy" for his share of the food.

Did you know the average height of a newborn giraffe is 6ft? And its average weight is 150 lbs? Whoa! And I thought Jonah was a big baby! :-)

Gimme a high five, man!

At this point, Mary Claire started making monkey sounds and the people next to us started pointing at her! Guess she didn't like those monkeys getting ALL the attention!

My feelings exactly!

I'm sorry, Mrs. Hippo, but if I were you, I'd have my large self in that cool water on a day like today and not be lying on the hot concrete sleeping!

Pandas! They hardly moved, so Jonah's question to me was..."Mommy, are they real?"

Me and the kiddos!
Everybody smile! OK, Mary Claire might have been a little thirsty! :-)

And this is what a fun-filled day at the zoo will do to you!

Friday, July 24, 2009

I Gave In...

This past Tuesday, Jonah had his 4 year checkup with his doctor, so I decided that if the rain held off, we would just make a trip over to the zoo while in Memphis! My boys have been asking me for most of the summer about going back to the zoo, and we haven't been yet! So, I put it on my "to do before school starts" list!
Well, Mother Nature had other plans on Tuesday and they were not conducive for an outing to the zoo. In an attempt to appease my somewhat disappointed children, I let them choose from 3 different FUN places to eat with INDOOR play places...Chick-Fil-A, McDonald's or Chuck E. Cheese's. I secretly hoped they'd choose the first, but deep down, I knew which one they'd go nuts over! CHUCK E. CHEESE'S!!!

So...I gave in! :-) And we had the best time! I was so happy to see that they had renovated the whole place. New games more age appropriate for Jonah and more rides which both boys enjoyed. We ordered our pizza and drinks and proceeded to indulge ourselves in using those golden tokens as fast as we could on whatever they wanted to do!

John Owen loves video games...I think it's a gene he inherited directly from his daddy! He's in hog heaven with a good race car game or shooting game or anything that tests your skill!

Jonah loved the rides most of all. He was even a handsome prince helping his little princess sister to ride in the horse-drawn carriage!

And Mary Claire just loved that she could scream all she wanted while sitting in her high chair and it bothered no one since the shrills were drowned out by the boops and beeps and ringing and shrieks of joy inside Chuck E. Cheese's!

We don't go to Chuck E. Cheese's very often, so this was a special treat for the boys. They even thanked me when we left for bringing them to Chuck E. Cheese's! Without me having to prompt their that's something! hehe

Never underestimate the power of video games, pizza and a little Chuck E. Cheese's!!!

Oh, and by the way...we did make it to the zoo later in the week! That post is coming soon. :-)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Our Little Monkey Turns FOUR!

This past Wednesday marked the birthday of our little "monkey", Jonah! I wish I had posted on his birthday, but we were so busy celebrating and preparing for his party with friends and family that I just decided to wait.

He had such a great 4th birthday! We celebrated Wednesday night with his birthday supper and invited the grandparents to join us for this celebration.

Blowing out his candle!

Then Friday we had his birthday party with his special request "monkey cake"! He had a blast with his special friends jumping around and eating pizza and cake at our church's family life center.

Roby & Jonah act like monkeys in a cage!

Happy Birthday, Jonah! I am so glad that you have celebrated your 4th birthday and that I have had the pleasure of being your mommy since July 15, 2005! I will never forget the first time I saw your face that special day and how much I thought you looked like Uncle Christopher's baby pictures! You bring me laughter everyday in the things you say. You make me feel so loved when you give me your special hugs. You are a GREAT big brother to Mary Claire. I know that being a little brother is not always easy, but I think you handle it quite well. Your blue eyes are special and beautiful! I love you and thank God everyday that He gave you to me! Happy Birthday, Jonah!

Love, Mommy

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Anniversary Post

Well, last week while we were enjoying our vacation at the beach, an anniversary was celebrated.

It wasn't forgotten, but was put off until I could find the time to rightfully acknowledge it. This anniversary would be the 1 year anniversary of our family blog! That's right, one year has come and gone.

I took the time today while my little ones were napping to look back over the posts and pictures from this past year and cried as I saw how much all 3 of my babies have grown in one year! Especially Mary Claire! I started this blog with a post about her last July.

I got a knot in my stomach as I thought about the memories I will have of my year at home with my children and how I will miss this more than anything as I will return to teaching in just a few weeks.

I am going to challenge myself to continue with our family blog so that we will have a yearly document of our experiences. So much can happen in a year, can't it? I like the idea of looking back on what we've felt, seen, done, but most of all what we've LEARNED in a year's time.

So, what have I learned? I have learned (or been reminded) that just being with my children is FUN!

I have learned that I need to make sure he knows I love him and that I tell him every chance I get because I do not know when God will take him. (or me)

I have learned to trust God through scary times with doctor visits, CAT scans, surgeries, etc.

I have learned so much about others and their values and their friendships.

I have learned that time won't stand still.

I have learned that I really like blogging about my family, and I have deepened my understanding of family love through all of this.

Love never fails. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
(taken from I Corinthians 13:4-13)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Beach Trip 2009

Ocean waves rolling to the soft, white sand.

See our footprints together as we walk hand-in-hand?

Searching for seashells, toes sinking in.

Small fish in a net...Look! Do you see the dolphin's fin?

A beach chair made for lounging, a canopy tent for shade.

A cold drink and ocean breeze...Well, I think we've got it made.

Many things out of sand we would build, but destroying it proved more fun!

Spending almost endless hours playing, walking, swimming in the sun!

A boat ride to see the dolphins as they jump, roll and play!

Eyes beholding colorful sunsets at the close of a spectacular day.

Eating tasty seafood...Try the scallops, they're delicious!

Look up! I see some pelicans and seagulls flying above us!

Memories we've made, fun things we've been blessed to do...

But the best blessing of all was spending time at the beach with YOU!