Friday, June 28, 2013

This and that

I feel like I should blog more instead of all my thoughts just getting out through facebook status updates. Oh well, here I am.

Just a few things going through my mind and heart lately, all here in this post because I know better than to think I'll write an individual post all about each one.

* I am super duper happy about the small group of moms that has formed within our church. We have a facebook page to communicate about get-togethers, personal thoughts, etc. Play dates and meeting in one of the moms' home for fellowship, bible discussion and prayer has been a real blessing. As primary caretakers of little ones it's all too easy to get secluded and drown in motherhood, so it's incredibly important to build friendships with eachother. I'm hoping to connect with an older mom in a mentor-like relationship in the near future!

* Finishing kindergarten with Julia was hanging over my head so I decided to cut the stuff that wasn't working well for us and just plow through the rest so we could be officially done before the end of spring. Success! Of course, counterintuitive as it may seem, I already picked out and ordered some of her first grade curriculum for the fall. I'm looking forward to it and hope that she will continue to soar as she has been doing thus far. Although, I'm reminded once again of the truth that it's more important to sow seeds of God's word into her than academic education. Lord, help me prioritize this in my time with her! And Josiah, of course... Which leads me to the fact that sometimes I feel like he takes the back burner... like I'm just running along with her to help her grow and he just follows and copies and doesn't get as much personal attention as she does. That's so not how I want it to be! Lord help me focus on him more and meet his needs and teach him with the intensity that I give to his sister.

* I am really proud of the Summer Passport I made and gave to Julia as a kinder-grad present. The idea was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest, and it turned out to be even better than I set out for. It's super cute and Riley spiral-bound it and everything. It has pages of Places to Go, Places to Eat, Play Dates, and Fun at Home. With all kinds of fun stuff to check off. We've already done A LOT of it and it's only been 2 weeks. I will insist on at least a month break from school but we may be starting back early! Or not. We'll see. Life is learning, learning through life is joyful.

* I thought once I got down to one book, I would blaze right through it, but no, the real me is still here. I get all excited about a new book, dive into it, then plateau and ever-so-rarely pick it up to read the last 3/4 of it. And it's not because I pick boring or hard-to-read books, it's just me. I don't know if it's because I don't think I can get through a whole chapter or really focus on the topic, or what... but I wish I could just read all the books I see that look interesting, fast, learn and apply immediately, and onto the next one in a heartbeat. But no. Hmph.

* Josiah is crazy about playing with daddy, airplanes, helicopters, balls and sticks. Julia is crazy about reading. Reading, reading and reading. And I have zero complaints about any of that. What I really wish though is for them to love Jesus with all their heart. I want them to be what I want to be, what I have yet to achieve and what I sometimes doubt I ever will. Hmmm.

* The Lord has really been tugging on my heart lately, which is so good, but honestly, I haven't been responding like I should, wish I had the desire to, part of me wants to, and I know he holds out the strength for me to choose him over all other distractions, so I'm not quite sure what keeps me from running to His presence every moment that he invites me!

* Ok I guess I do know. Satan wants to sabotage my relationship with Christ. Duh. How can I sit by and let him have his way?! That's it, I'm publishing, closing the laptop and going to have some time with the Lover of my soul.

Monday, June 3, 2013

My baby girl is SIX!

We've been in California over a year now and this is the first blog post I've written. Hmm....

It's crazy that my little sweetheart, Julia Brynne, is turning six. SIX. SIX!!! I became a mom the day she was born and it has been quite a ride the last 6 years. We've had ups and downs, and being a mom has been harder than I ever imagined, but just as fulfilling as I always hoped it would be. But enough about me! 

This girl. This girl, I don't even understand how she can be so smart. She is constantly making our eyebrows raise and our chins drop. The way she discovers things and invents and creates and figures things out is absolutely astounding. The last time I checked, her reading and spelling level was that of a 4th grader or something. Woah. And her heart... oh how she LOVES to serve. Like, almost to a fault. I'm trying not to squash that in her... but sometimes she just wants EVERYONE (not just in our family, like if we're at a huge event) to have something to eat or drink, and wants to keep holding the door open well after the rest of us have already walked through, just in case someone else comes along.

And I can't forget to mention how affectionate and loving she is! I've lost count of how many precious "I love you Mommy" decorated notes she has written and given to me or hidden for me to find. She randomly comes over, gives me a hug and tells me in the sweetest, most sincere voice, "I love you Mommy"... and I know she means it, despite all my parenting failures. Julia is also INCREDIBLY curious! I am 100% sure she got that from me. People say she looks just like me, to which I always respond (either in my head or out loud), "Yep, a younger, cuter version of me". Personally I take it as a compliment because she is absolutely beautiful! I tell her that often, but I also hope she learns the value of inner beauty... gentleness, kindness, patience, humility, wisdom, bravery...

She's growing up so fast! They were right. There have been, and are still, days and weeks that seem so long but looking back the years have flown by. I almost feel guilty that I can't remember everything about her lifetime thus far! Maybe it was the sleep deprivation that blocked out some of those early memories ;) 

So right now, her favorite things to do are-- dance, sing, play games on the iPad, play with friends, swim, cook, go shopping, climb trees and READ. Her favorite TV shows are Curious George and Berenstain Bears, and her favorite songs are Ave Maria, I Would Walk 500 Miles, Jukebox Blues, Angel Eyes, Time Is A Flooded River, One Thing Remains, Happy Day.

The best part about the past year has been how her heart for God has blossomed. She's asked SO many questions about Jesus, heaven, being a Christian, etc. There were a lot of homeschool lessons at the beginning of this year that included salvation topics and I could see the wheels turning in her spirit, but didn't want to push her into saying a shallow prayer so I just waited patiently for her to make the first step. Well, on March 23rd, the Sunday a week before Easter, her teacher at church told me that during class she had raised her hand to accept Jesus in her heart. I had a lot of questions and wished that I had been there but regardless, it was the best news ever! She's still pretty shy about praying, at least in front of us, but I know that Jesus has her heart in his hands and will continue to draw her to himself and I look forward to seeing their relationship grow. The thing I want most for her is to know Jesus intimately and to walk with Him her whole life.

This little lady is a great buddy, too. I love taking her on dates and so does Riley. She's so much fun and has a great sense of humor. Her laughter is so pure and silly. She loves ice cream and just about any opportunity she has to pick where she wants to go you'll hear her say "Tutti Frutti!" (just like Josiah would-- it's our local frozen yogurt shop). It's been pretty nice getting free dessert the last couple times we've gone out to eat because of her upcoming birthday.

Julia still hasn't had her hair cut, but she does have a loose tooth! Well, two but the first one is really wiggly. Seeing that milestone come to pass will definitely be a dose of reality in how much she's growing up! We are finishing up her first official year of homeschool this month and will be moving up to first grade in the fall. Woohoo! She has been a great kindergarten student and makes my job pretty easy. Watching her handwriting improve, as well as her math skills, memorizing bible verses and learning science and history, has been so awesome. She got to go with Josiah, Lolly and Poppy to Disneyland for the first time ever in April and had a blast! I'm so thrilled that they get to live in a place of so much natural beauty. They see mountains (or at least really big hills) every day and we get to the beach every now and then too. Another highlight of her 6th year was being a flower girl in my dear friend Amanda's wedding last summer. Instead of petals, she got to scatter glitter down the aisle... how fun is that?!

The next couple weeks bring some promotion for her, too. Our church moves the kids up to their next grade class in mid-June, so she'll be moving out of the 4-5 year old class into the 1st-2nd grade class. AAHHHH!!! Also, she and Josiah take gymnastics and turning 6 will bring her out of the kinder class into the girls only 6-8 year old class. She is super excited about both of these changes!

Her friendship with Josiah has been fun to watch this year as well. Of course sometimes they scream and fight and hurt each other and refuse to share and what not, but seeing them help each other and entertain each other and work together to accomplish a goal and invite the other one to go to another room or outside to play because they have an idea and want a playmate, is so cute and totally warms my heart! I'm glad they are buddies and I hope they will always have a good relationship.

I'm so excited to give her her birthday presents! Especially her first full-length Bible! I look forward to watching her soak up God's Word =) She has requested donuts and orange juice for breakfast, hot dogs for lunch, swimming in the afternoon and burgers for dinner. As you wish, princess!

Here's a very quick trip down memory lane:
7 weeks old, first smile
2 years old
4 years old
about a month ago =)

So without further ado, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULIA!!! You are such a blessing to our family and you bring a smile to our faces every single day. We love you so much and hope this year of being six is the best year you've ever had!