Category Archives: Son

2012: A Year In Review…

 It’s been a roller coaster kind of year.  Our family has experienced many blessings while at the same time, we’ve faced many trials.  Through it all, we’ve grown closer together and closer to God.

My year began with turmoil between friends.  It was difficult facing the reality that relationships don’t always last forever.  I realized that I needed to put my focus on moving forward in my life, building and growing my relationship with Christ and let go of the life I was trying to hold on to.  My heart still aches for the losses but I know I am growing and going in the direction God has laid in front of me.

Our boys are doing great in school.  They both excel and we are very proud of their accomplishments.  Our oldest, Noah, enjoys Math, Spanish and Chess Club.  Math, Science and Soccer top the list for our second, Caleb.  Miss Olivia has several years before school begins but among her favorite daily activities are anything Dora, lots of dollhouse fun, drawing and writing.  She is quite the social butterfly and has most certainly never met a stranger.

In July, we faced our biggest struggle in years.  Our home was broken into while Tony was away at work and the kids and I were out with friends for a 4th of July celebration and fireworks.  We came home to broken doors, busted walls, shattered lamps, and many of our favorites taken.  One of those that I struggled with most was my laptop.  Most of you know my life revolves around my computer – both my work life with my photography business as well as my God called life with this blog.  I lost so much stuff and worried about the information someone else now had.  We got through it with no other explanation than God saw us through it.  I leaned on His word, prayed like crazy and found an overwhelming peace through it.  I won’t say it isn’t still hard.  I still struggle and worry but God has proven to be my Prince of Peace.  I don’t think I will ever get back to the stage where I’m not constantly checking doors and windows, hiding my pocket book and laptop in my own home and feeling just a lack of security.  It’s not a constant worry, but more of just a change in life.

We also faced mounting auto repair bills and the death of our beloved Minivan.  What, at first, seemed like the end of the world and led to one of my little mommy rants, soon turned into such a blessing from the Lord and I was quickly reminded that His plans are far better than my own.  We said goodbye to our Oldsmobile Silhouette and introduced an almost brand new Kia Sedona to our family.

And speaking of introducing newness to the family, we also added another family member this year.  After our break-in in July and a little convincing to Tony, we visited the local Animal Shelter.  While there, we fell in love with this quiet, sweet, beautiful Border Collie mix.  She’s been a great addition to the family (shy of all the hair!) and is quite vocal when she wants something!  She has made us all feel a little more secure here at home and for that, I am so thankful.  If we can survive the hair and daily vacuuming, I believe she will be our “fur”ever friend!

Throughout 2012, I had the opportunity to lead several evening classes at church.  I look forward to continuing with that in 2013.  It has been such a blessing to me.  I have learned so much through teaching and it’s only fueled the desire to continue pursuing writing, speaking and teaching.

A few weeks ago, my mom, Olivia and I, had the opportunity to visit my great aunt Henny.  She had been moved to Hospice House.  It was a great visit and her mind was as sharp as ever.  She loved on Olivia and what a joy it was to see the two of them together.  Last week, she earned her wings and we said goodbye to a strong, loving, beautiful woman!

Tony continues to work with the Fire Department.  He recently faced his toughest call of the year when a nine year old boy died in a house fire.  Please say a prayer for Lareik’s family as well as his school family and the emergency workers that responded.  

The boys and I spent an evening packing gifts for local families.  It’s part of an annual ministry ran through some folks from our church and a group called Toolin’ in Town.  Saturday morning the boys and I loaded up with many other volunteers and we distributed these toys to families in town.  I can’t even begin to tell you what a blessing it was to see the smiles on these kids faces.  Many of them won’t get anything more than the gifts we gave them.  What a joy it is to be a part of this and to know my boys are learning to not only help others, but to reach out to them with love, encouragement and understanding.  

My blog is growing and I hope that you have gained something through my year.  I know God has done a lot of work in me through this place.  I look forward to what God has in store for me in 2013.  I pray that I continue to grow closer to Him and seek Him with all my heart.  I pray that for you as well!

On top of the kids list wish list this Christmas are…

Olivia – Hello Kitty anything, Baby Alive walking baby, Fisher Price Loving Family Dollhouse
Caleb – Monopoly Millionaire, money & jeans
Noah – Tablet, money, phone

We’ll see tomorrow if they’ve all been good enough for their Christmas wishes.  I have a feeling they won’t be disappointed ;)

I’m signing off until 2013 but first…

Some of my personal favorite posts from the blog this year:

Who You Are
The Not So Lovely Truth About Baggage
Heart for Home
Security in Christ
Some Things Never Change
Role Model Wife
My Own Prison
All Glued Together
Baby Steps

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31 Days | Day 17 – Late Night

So, boy number two, aka Caleb, had a sleepover at a friends house last weekend.  When he came home, he was telling me all about his night, sleeping on the sofa, staying up late, etc.

“We stayed up until, like, 10:40!”

(“like” included because of course it wouldn’t be cool to say that sentence without it in there!)

As the parent who’s up that late every night, it’s easy to minimize his excitement but as the eight year old boy, who’s bedtime is 8:30p every night, it was a huge deal to him.

This conversation was  a reminder to me to get out of my adult mind sometimes and into their child minds.  When we lose all the ability to get on their level, we lose out on their joy.  He was excited, proud and happy and in my adult mind, it seemed so silly but to get on his level, I could feel the excitement and remember the magic of being young again!

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31 Days | Day 9 – 3 Feet

Over eight years ago, when I was pregnant with Caleb, Noah would have just turned four.  The house we lived in had two living rooms, one open to the kitchen.  All the bedrooms were on one end of the house.  You had to go through the back living room to get to the kitchen.

Noah had stripped off his pj’s, down to nothing, and was running through the house to take his clothes to the laundry room.  He got right where the carpet changed to linoleum and stopped.

He yelled “Mommy, snake!”

Of course, I nearly jumped out of my skin.  There, on our kitchen floor, all curled up, was this big, ugly, black beast.

Noah said, “Mommy, it stuck it’s tongue out at me!”

I had no idea what to do but finally came to my senses and called the hubby.  Tony was out of town so he called a couple of his fire department buddies (Thanks Pete & Lynn!) to come save the day.

Later, when asked how big the snake was, I answered, “About three feet.” 

Noah corrected me and said, “Mommy, the snake didn’t have any feet!”

Oh, what a day that was!  I am not a fan of snakes, mice or bugs.  I prefer a bubble, thanks!  Even through all that, I do at least have a funny memory in my head of my little guy and the funny things kids say :)

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31 Days | Day 7 – Good Job Kid

Our oldest son is twelve, 7th grade.  He’s very much an intellectual kid, though sometimes we joke with him about his lack of common sense.

In the first week of school this year, I noticed he was coming home, going to his room and closing his door.  We’ve always had a rule that when you get home from school, you sit at the dining room table and do your homework before anything else.  This works very well for our family.

Since Noah was doing his own thing, I went into his room and asked why his door was closed…

Mom:  “Noah, what are you doing?”

Noah:  “My homework!”

Mom:  “Why is your door closed?”

Noah:  “So they (brother, sister, dog) won’t bother me!”

Mom:  “Okay, that’s fine and I don’t mind you doing your homework in here but if this becomes a problem and you’re not getting your work done, you’re going to have to go back to doing it at the table!”

Noah:  “I know mom!  I know if I don’t get my homework done, they won’t let me stay at my school and then I won’t get into a good college!”

At that point, I’m sure my jaw hit the floor.  This, coming from a twelve year old?  My twelve year old?  Wow!  Needless to say, I left him alone and let him do his thing.

Not to say that he’s perfect (very much imperfect – he gets that from me!) and he has plenty of twelve year old boy quirks but I was probably the most proud of him in that moment, that I have ever been.  What twelve year old thinks like that?  He was doing what he needed to do to ensure he gets to stay at his school so that he can get into a good college.  I love that kid!

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31 Days | Day 3 – Soccer Mom

A friend recently invited me to an awesome weekend of worship in which I felt I had to turn down.  Caleb has his last two soccer games that same weekend and I already have a client photo shoot scheduled for one of the evenings.  I could probably have rescheduled the photo shoot but I hated the thought of missing Caleb’s last games.  I told my regrets to my sweet friend and the next day, just out of curiosity to see what Caleb would say, I asked him, “Caleb, how would you feel if I didn’t come to your last two soccer games of the season?”

His reply, “Well, I’d be okay with you not being there yelling at me!”

Tony and I both busted out laughing as the innocence of his comment.  Caleb’s already figured out that I am his biggest, or perhaps the right word is LOUDEST fan.  Not only am I cheering him on from the sidelines, I’m also trying to encourage, coach and teach at the same time.  Perhaps that’s my early lesson in taming my soccer mom voice, but it’s so hard!

In the end, I will still turn down the retreat in order to be his biggest fan, however, next time the opportunity arises for a weekend of worship, I hope I can join my friends in some cheers full of love and thanks for all God has done in our lives!

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!   Psalm 141:3

View the rest of this series here.

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31 Days | Day 2 – Yard work

Just the other day, while eating lunch and discussing the plans for the rest of the day, I asked Tony if he wanted Noah, our twelve year old, to help with the massive clean up efforts of acorns in our yard.  He agreed it would be a great physical thing for Noah to do and when Noah heard the conversation, he chimed in, “Well, today’s gonna suck!”.

Needless to say, that did not improve his day in the least.  This is the beginnings of a teenager.  We have had our fair share of drama with Noah but the attitude that has reared it’s ugly self lately is so hard to stomach.  This was a great opportunity to remind him just how hard his dad works to supply us with all our needs and wants and how little he has done to help with that as well as how he needs to put in some effort and help his dad.

In the end, he had a great time.  This morning, I asked him if he was proud of all the hard work he’d done yesterday and he of course replied, “Yes, I enjoyed it!”.  I said back to him, “So your day didn’t suck after all, huh?”

And while that may not have been the best choice of words, sometimes you just have to meet them on their level (though at the right times!).

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22:6

View the rest of this series here.

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