Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Playroom

Remodel: The Boy's Room

This is my little boys room. Little bit like the 3 bears huh? Anyway, we aren't done. My hubby is going to build me a saddle stand for the saddle, and we are adding trim to the walls. Do you like the Roman Shades? I made those!!!! Wow! It's not easy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

10 Things I love about Judah

We call him "Judah-bear Tho-son" cause that's the way he says it. Here are just a couple of my favorite things I love about my middle son:
1a.) He makes me laugh a lot. Right now, Judah is definately going through a tattle-tale stage. It's getting funny, though. It's like he can't control himself. He will tell on his brothers for just the smallest of things. "Mom! Zion said a potty word." "Mom! Zion got out of his chair." or "Mom! Elijah said the Hulk is green."
1b.) His laugh! I wish I could describe it, but I can't. It's just cute.
2.) Of my boys, Judah is definately the most independent and content. His favorite thing to say is, "I do it myself." This used to frustrate me a little (even though it had it's perks) especially when "I do it myself" meant I just poured chocolate milk all over the kitchen floor. But I have come to appreciate it when I realize how it makes him so unique.
3.) Even though Elijah is my little gingerbread boy and Zion still has a baby touch, Judah has the world's softest skin. It is literally like silk. Sometimes I'll just be rubbing his face or arm or something and not even notice it until I hear, "Mom! Stop!"
4.) One more cool thing about Judah, he's an athelete! Elijah is my social butterfly, Zion is my comedian, and Judah is my athelete. He is built just like his daddy (actually, he is in almost every way exactly like his daddy), can hit a baseball 30 feet in the air, and tackle like a pro-football linebacker with perfect form (well...maybe a mom exagerates just a smidge, but it's still pretty amazing).

5.) Judah's usage of the word 'busy'. He knows what busy means, but he also thinks it means tired. The other day we were riding bikes and he said, "Mom, my knees are getting so busy."

6.) He's got this thing he does with his eyes when he looks at people sometimes. It's like he's a bee charmer, except he's a human charmer. He gets this shy look on his face (even though he's totally not shy) and bats his foot long eyelashes. It melts people. He likes to use it when we are checking out at the grocery store and the cashier starts talking to him. I think he has a thing for cashiers.

7.) He's so simple and considerate. I wish I could be more like him in this way. On his birthday, I took him shopping at Wal-Mart to get whatever toy he wanted (A gift from grandmother). We were back in the toy section and things were finally starting to get cool. We had made it through the bikes, balls, and pool section (where he had picked out a 3 Spiderman goggle and snorkel for him and one for each of his brothers), and were finally getting to the action figures and real toys when he started doing the pee-pee dance. I took him to the potty, and when we got done, he was "busy" shopping. He didn't even want to go back to that cool Dancing Hulk toy we had just found. Just wanted to go ride the race car ride once before calling the day a great birthday.

8.) Unexpected affection. With Judah, any affection is usually unexpected, but I love it when it happens. Like yesterday. We were walking out of the gym, which is always a little stressful with so many cars and 3 little guys who could potentially run away at any moment. But yesterday I looked over to see Judah grab Elijah's hand and hold it all the way to the car.

9.) Memories of kid ghost. Like I have said, this kid is very funny and very independent. So much so that if he ever came down from his bed after we had told him not to, he would stand in the shadows and just watch us until we saw him. (We were so not used to that. If Elijah ever came down (even if we told him he would get a spanking if he came down again), he would run straight to one of us and ask for his spanking). Well, Blake is freaked out by kid ghosts (like on movies, he thinks kid ghosts are the worst!), but that's exactly what Judah would look like...expressionless, would freak Blake out! Once we had our friends Clay and Jen over for dinner. It was getting late and we had put the boys to bed. We had been telling everyone about kid ghost, but they had never seen it first hand til that night. Judah snuck down and stood by the front door and watched us in the dining room talking. Clay saw him first and flipped out. Kid ghost!!!

10.) But the coolest thing about Judah lately is the way he prays. He doesn't wait and he isn't concerned with too much formality. If someone says 'we need to pray about that' he just starts talking to God outloud right then. I will leave you with a typical Judah prayer before I go answer yet another day's tattle-tale:

God, Thank you for our home and our food and our toys. And please be with Aunt Linda, Arni's sister, because she's sick. And please be with Jesus in heaven. And thank you for dear God. Amen.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Durham Family Reunion 2008

My Own Shack

Sunday morning I woke to a knock at the door of my shabby chic, rustic, barnwood, old stress shack. With the major burden of the year off my back, I feel like my 2008 can now begin. I so regret embracing the stress with such open arms and allowing it to encompass so much of my mind and energy. Missing out on the full joy of this half year is definately my own punishment (not that it has been all bad, but even positive change can be stressful). And now that it is lifting, it is so much like making up with a close friend after a long fight. The weight of the world is gone, and now my maker and closest companion and I can get on with practing being in each other's presence.
It was fitting that the morning after the anticipated reunion was over, I finished the very popular book 'The Shack' by William Paul Young. It was, by the way, probably the best book I have ever read. It was so true to the heart of a Savior I could serve. I hate how I forget how good He is sometimes and start comparing him to the same God Mackenzie had known (concerned with performance more than relationship, and cruel enough to let such horrible things happen in the world). I blame the bible, and,of course, the way it has been molested over the years. I have struggled with whether I should go public with my true feelings regarding the world's most acclaimed book. A book that I do believe was inspired by the holy spirit herself. But there it is. I don't like it, atleast most of it. How could I love the Maker so much and still virtually hate his manuscript/love letter to humanity? The answer is not simple and it is not a judgement I am proud of (not that I am ever proud of myself when I pass judgement). I think it has something to do with the fact that I have never read it or interacted with it at all the way God intended me to. It has been a book of rules, secrets, principals, confusion, misunderstanding, injustice, anger, hurt, and yes, love, but not one that I could begin to understand. Mostly, it has been a way that I judge and dislike myself based on how much of it I have memorized and can quote, so that I may impress someone or recall it should an occasion arise. I feel certain, this is not the purpose God intended for it. But, unfortunately, there it sits looking at me, begging me to pick it up, read it, and interact with it, struggle with it, disagree with it, and learn a little about myself in the process. Or don't, there's no hurry, Abba is not going anywhere, and He can speak with me in a number of ways just as he does people who can't read at all. There again, He is not looking for me to perform for him. He is wanting me to be who He created me to be and interact with him as genuinely as I can. Wow! What freedom is found in that. So, thank you Mr. Young for beautifully painting that lesson again for me as a reminder! I applaud your journey and the strength it took to pen and publish it for your children (and let America get a peak as well). But more than the work itself, the ability of everyone to put all those words together in amazing literary form, the success it has had, etc etc, I am just so thankful to Her anytime I come across a follower of Jesus who has the surrendered soul enough to be authentic about life and the difficulty of it all. It is so so so rare! There are too many Christians who want to paint themselves perfect and belittle the rest of us by sharing how much they tithe or giving out soggy unapplicable advice to make themselves look so wise. But so few who just enter into relationships.
Attempting, there again, not to judge, I will say that I find myself way way too often being one of those people as well. After all, I like my shack. The dust, cobwebs, and stale air are all too familiar and comfortable sometimes. It's easy to be alone. Stress can be a welcome friend. After all, it is a good excuse to binge eat chocolate. However, She always rewards me when I step off the porch and into the garden of life. Maybe all this has been to say that, even with God, it is sometimes nice to fight just so that you can make up. For this time I know that stepping out into the sun is definately nice.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Elijah

Our first born son, we often call him. What a beautiful mess! That boy is full of new tricks like being able to whistle and wink. I can't believe he just turned 6!! It's true what they say about them growing up so fast.
This weekend we celebrated with a "big boy's only" spend the night party. His brothers were with my mom so it could truly be just the big boys. 3 boys from the neighborhood came over with their sleeping bags and sleep-over gear. As they played super heroes, watched Justice League, ate pizza, popcorn, skittles, and cake, I couldn't help but feeling like I was losing my baby. That he had turned into pre-teen without me knowing it somehow. They were confident, fearless, and mature drinking out of Army canteens with their faces smeared with war paint. Finally came a glimmer of hope when the sugar buzz started wearing off, the paint had been scrubbed clean and teeth brushed. It was time to climb into the tent. Suddenly came the forewarned fear and predicted panic. 2 of the 3 knew they wanted to go home to their own beds. My shout outs to Connor who held out until 10pm! With everyone gone, my own little boy returned to himself, climbed up in between mommy and daddy, and was himself asleep within seconds.
I hummed him Lone Star's 'Let them be Little' as he slept...
Let them be little, cause they are only that way for a while.
Let them cry, Let them giggle,
Let them sleep in the middle.
Oh, just let them be little.

They grow up too fast...
This morning as I sat with my coffee and book waiting to see which of my boys would come down first. I heard footsteps and looked to see it was my Elijah. He came over to me with a huge hug. As I held him and he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, I said, "Elijah, I had a really fun weekend with you." Always honest, I almost expected him to tell me how it could have been better or something, but his only reply was, "Mom. You Rock!"

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Little Girl

So, God totally knew what he was doing when he gave me boys. They are low maintenance, affectionate, protective, easy going, and best of all...mommy gets to maintain her princess status without any competition ;). However, my desire to decorate the world, leaves me wishing I had a little girl to doll from time to time. However, since it just wasn't in the cards for me, I pass my time with my wonderful doll puppy, Meredith, who brightens my world every day. I affirm that hands down, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the greatest breed of dog! Meredith was more or less a rescue from a puppy mill and had no positive interaction with humans until we got her at 5 months old. So, she is very shy when it comes to people. Plus the boys aren't always completely gentle with her, so that doesn't help. Still, she is the best pet ever! I truely cannot wait to get another Cav. I can't imagine how good one would be under all the right circumstances. Meredith wakes me up every morning ready to go lay in front of the heater during my shower and ends ever night cuddled up at the foot of the bed. She is my pretty little girl!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Remodeling Continues

The thing that comsumes my world lately is our home remodel: A 2 year long process which has entered crunch time for an upcoming Family Reunion July 19. Anyone with experience in this field doesn't need me to tell you what a headache it all has been, but I must admit...I am LOVING it! I hope to post some pictures soon and get some opinions (HGTV's Rate My Space is my new obsession, by the way, for that purpose), but in the mean's my master bedroom in process. I am open to thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.