Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Thank You for Telling Me No

My family is a grateful one and, fortunately, I do get many thank yous around here. But rarely, barely ever do any of my peeps tell me thank you for telling them no. . . that is, until today.

Ash was meeting some friends. She sent me a text saying, _________ wants to go to lunch, but don't I have to be home? I thought this was strange. Normally she will just say, ____ and I are going to lunch. She knows very rarely do we ever say no, and if we don't want her to go somewhere, we'll just tell her she can't go.

She texted me the, "don't I have to be home?" twice. It takes me a long time to get a hint or even catch on. I almost said, "What are you talking about?" But I paused and I thought and I realized this wasn't our norm.

So I told her she needed to come home to do school. . . which is true. Then I showed Hanna (who is much better at taking hints than I am) our string of texts. Hanna confirmed what I suspected to be true.

Ten minutes later Ash called me and let me know she was on her way home. Over and over again she kept telling me, thank you for telling me no.

I'm going to pull this one out one day and use it to my advantage. That's what a mama is good for. . . for telling our kiddos no. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Spring Protocol

While my pictures are all on the Instagram, my thoughts are jotted out below. These are some of my favorite moments from Spring Protocol:

My girls telling me I could sit at their table.

Josiah being such a wonderful gentleman.

Sitting with Caroline and Melissa.

Amarriss calling me, being afraid of being overdressed, and saying, "Will you walk in with me?"

Excitement over the night from the kiddos.

A special evening.

Getting out of Wisteria late, rushing to the play, dropping the kiddos off at the curb so they could at least get in. Ash staying with me 'cause i know she knows I'd lolly gag and end up not making it in. She and I sprinting with heels on in the parking lot. Feeling like my food was up in my throat.

Hanna sharing her pumpkin hushpuppy and calamari with me. Etiquette, what etiquette? It all goes out the window when it comes to food 'round here.

Drive-thru at McDonalds for 40 minutes to get drinks for the kiddos.

A car full of teenagers. . . Josiah, Kirsten, Kenley, Shyanne, Ash, and Hanna.

Front row seats. As the German mother spoke wanting to stand up and give her a hug. Her performance was so moving and real I had to keep telling myself, "Michele, this is not real. This is just a play."

Hanna saying, "I've been dreading this play, but I loved this one."

The theater we were in, so small and intimate.

Everyone's parents picking them up late at night, sitting up late in the living room recapping the night with my girlies.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...
It's still dark and it's 7:12. I love the longer days but also love light mornings.

I am thinking...
I'm seeing how quickly i can get this done. I love doing these on Mondays, but Mondays are my CC mornings so they're quite jam packed.

I am thankful for...
This weekend. So full of so much good stuff. Thankful for how I see my kiddos love one another.

From the learning rooms...
CC is winding down. We have a break with Smarr this week so Hanna is taking her break there. She's has the luxury this year of going between communities.

From the kitchen...
Goodness gracious. We've been so busy I haven't had time to go to the grocery store for a good weekly trip. Not much is in there.

I am wearing...
Jeans with a hole in the knee, rainboots, red feather earrings, T-shirt with a plaid shirt wrapped around my waist. This is my "rainy day" outfit.

I am creating...
A home, being available for my family. This means saying no to things, cancelling and evaluating commitments. Worth it, though, totally worth it.

I am going...
To hopefully finish this post. I have 2 minutes left.

I am reading...
About to start "The Man and the Sea."

I am hoping...
Jon can make a decision about a buying a car or fixing our van today.

I am hearing...
Shower going off. The girls are getting ready for CC.

Around the house...
Laundry is half done. Things folded but not put away. Kitchen is clean. I need to go get the dogs out of the garage.

One of my favorite things...
Laughter. Always laughter. Tears. Happy tears. Sad tears. I think I'm a lover of emotion.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Lifegroup tonight. Group Power in the morning and Thursday afternoon. Jon playing tennis and kickball this week which means Hanna and I at home because Ash has soccer those 2 days. Hanna and I have started a new show on Netflix. We cuddle up, chillax, and veg.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing.. 
Gigi's bday was yesterday. As a family we didn't get to celebrate with her, but will on Wednesday. What a precious mother-in-law she is. She loves us oh so well. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Just So You Know. . .

That's how I started out telling him. I was cuddled up next to him on the sofa. Amazon was churning away loading one of our favorite shows. We had just finished a dinner at La Parilla of sharing tableside guac and La Parilla dip.

This was our third date this week. Last Friday both girls were gone so we went to Margos. Then we had our normal Wednesday night Netflix date. And here we were again. Ash was working at CFA. Hanna has girl prom again this year. She and some friends went to this ministry that gives out prom dresses to girls. Hanna was so funny. She kept telling me, "Mom, this may be for the underprivileged." It wasn't. It was for both. She told me, "This has to be for the underprivileged. The ladies were too nice for it not to have been." I responded back, "Maybe they just love Jesus no matter whom they're serving?" We laughed. It was a sweet night for her. They treated them like princesses. They had a fairy godmother who wouldn't let them do anything. They picked out shoes, makeup, jewelry, the works. They were given a Bible and each lady prayed over them. Precious, I tell you. Just precious. I'm so thankful my little cynic saw the love of Jesus in action.

Alec had texted me earlier in the evening. It was about 7:20 p.m. and he said he was still at work. I know he and Chase (his roommate and the guy he shares his office with) had a big project they were working on for the CEO, and all the C's that go with the upper echelon. I asked him if all was okay. He replied, "Not really." To which I replied, "Need to talk and vent?" He said, "No." I told him I would stop right them and pray for wisdom, clarity, and resolve. He responded, "Thanks." He's seen God answer prayers in my life, prayers over him specifically. I believe in the crevices of my heart that's why he sent me the first text. . . so I would pray. Although he doesn't yet know just how much love God has for him, I do think he sees how much love God has for me. Step by step by step, God continues to show himself to Alec in the biggest of small-big ways. I'm thankful. Oh, so thankful. He texted me about 20 minutes later. . he was leaving work and going to grab a bit to eat. Amen, Jesus. Amen.

So this was the night of the Fab 5. All in different places and spaces. It was Jon and I who were nestled in at  Pit Stop from a fun evening out. At dinner he told me, "I don't think we're going to have a problem being empty nesters." We started to talk of how excited we would get when the children would return home and how we wanted to get all the grandchildren at the same time. I told him if my personal plans for the future, of where I feel God is leading me (another blog post). He, of course, listened with full support and love. Our conversation in the car led to a conversation about a family member who is dating a shockeroo for us. Jon defended her saying, "If something happened to me, you wouldn't date a man that came from . . ."

We never talk about Jon being the first to go. I've always told the children if Jesus takes me home first that I want their Daddy to find love again, but they better not call her Mama. :) That's about the extent of the death of one another that we chat about.

As our Amazon show started to play, I let him know, "Just so you know, there will never be another. I've thought about this before. I wouldn't want another after you. No one will ever love me like you have loved me. It wouldn't be fair to another to always have you as their comparison."

The sweet expression on his face was beyond priceless. . .

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Funnies

Here's some funnies from Hanna this week:

"Mama, I need a new razor. The hair on my leg is as long as Nanna's."

"_________ must be a really good washer. Every time I see her she's wearing the exact.same.thing."

"Mama, you know Daddy is getting old when he thinks a Buick looks sporty."

One serious and sweet comment. Compliments of Ash:

"If the church would love the world like a mother her unbelieving son, the world would be a different place." Now that will preach!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Netflix Dates

Jon and I have gotten into having"our shows" again. We did this when the kiddos were little. Once they no longer had a bedtime our shows became their shows which this translated means. . . their shows became our shows. I remember the days when we were into Downton Abbey, before we'd let the kiddos watch it. They would be so mad when we talked of the different characters. . . as if they were real people.

Our church only has youth on Wednesday nights. This year I couldn't commit to being a leader because my role in CC expanded to directing 2 Challenge levels. There's so much reading and preparing I have to do. I knew better than to overstretch myself. This means the girls head to church on Wednesday nights and Jon and I. . .well, we watch our shows.

Normally we will all have dinner together. The girls will leave for church. I may get the kitchen clean. I may not. Jon and I both get into our comfy clothes, get our blankets for TV watching. I'll normally brew me a cup of hot tea and we get to binge watching.

It's so much fun!!! One Wednesday night he offered to take me out to dinner. I was like, "Can we just eat at home and watch our shows?" I've coined them Netflix dates (although one of them is on Amazon). We switch it up right now between The Crown and The Man in the High Castle. This is also what we do early Saturday and Sunday mornings before the girls get out of bed.

Jon is so good to me. He knows how I love history so he purposely picked shows he knew would keep me awake. The Crown is based more on facts, so it's funny when he and I have our phones out fact checking what we're seeing. The Man in the High Castle is more mysterious and suspenseful,  a what could have been if Germany would've won WWII.

So good and so much fun.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Ways They Love One Another

Jon called me at lunch today to check in. He had his review and was excited to share. I love how every year the thing that always stands out the most with him and his job is his integrity. Each year Richard tells him the same thing, "You have the most integrity of everyone in this company." I told him of the day for the girls and I.

Ash had taken Hanna out for a surprise treat. . .getting her nails done (fake fingernails). Spring Protocol is Saturday night and Ash wanted to treat her to something special. These two girls fight, but oh boy has it been precious to see Hanna just go up to Ash and give her a hug. Hanna often cooks food for Ash because Ash and the kitchen don't jive. Hanna loves Ash well in this way. As I ate lunch Hanna was putting makeup on Ash, practicing for Saturday night.

Jon mentioned how even though the girls fight they will grow up and be the best of friends. I agreed. I told him, "I hope they take care to include their brother." Jon, "Oh, they will. Ash will make sure of it." We then discussed how Hanna adores him, how she would want to reach out, but just wouldn't. I think she's a chip off her ole Daddy's block. He gets her and she gets him. I joked and said, "Yeah, when we're dead and gone Ash will make sure they all stay tight."

Alec was home on Sunday. He came to lunch at Gigi's. Ash decided to ride home with him. This makes her a brave girl. Although my boy is a neat freak when it comes to his work space and his apartment, when it comes to that car. . . I think there may be something dead in there. It's a big joke around here. The two of them sat side-by-side at our Uganda meeting. Both of my girls fight for their brother in different ways - Ash will hold his butt to the fire. Hanna just loves him, listens to him, and defends him tooth and nail. He is such a protector over the girls and everytime he's home if one of them isn't here he's quick to pipe up, "Where is Ash/Hanna?"

Many, many things make my Mama's heart happy. But I think the thing that makes me the happiest is them loving one another, fighting for one another, being for one another, being kind and thoughtful of each other, and serving one another.

I wonder if this is how God feels when it comes to His children, the church, His body? Is He most pleased and delighted when we are loving one another well? If the parent/child relationship is a shadow of the substance of His relationship to us, I would think so. I would think so.