Thursday, December 31, 2009

6 years ago today...

Six years ago today I was just a girl with stars in her eyes,

and you were the man of my dreams.

Six years ago today I put on a white gown,

and you put on a stunning tuxedo,

and I mixed up the strap on my left shoe.

Six years ago today we walked down the aisle,

promised to be there for better or for worse,

and we kissed,

and we kissed,

and we kissed!

We were thrilled that after six months of dating and two weeks of engagement we were finally married! (haha!)

and then we made our escape!

We hopped in the town car and started the adventure of our lives- just the two of us!

Now, six years later, it isn't just the two of us anymore- we have two more in tow!  Now we have seen the better and the worse, we have weathered the trials, we have felt the most incredible joys, and we are still here- together.

Everyday I think I learn a little bit more of why we were meant to be together.  We have both learned and grown so much over the last six years and although not all of it has been pretty, and we still have a long way to go, I can't think of anyone else I would rather spend it with than you.

I love you more than words can say!  I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for is in our 7th year and all the years beyond that!

Happy Anniversary Jer!
I will love you forever and always!!

Your Kenz!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Erg- I've hit a wall!

I'm exhausted!  Emotionally, physically- you name it, I'm there!  I have been planning my little buns off to get ready for the new year and today I just don't have it in me. 

My house is still in desperate need of after-Christmas cleaning- the decorations are down but there are toys and boxes galore!  I am behind on dishes and laundry, and I still have a fair bit of planning to do before 2010 actually hits!  I have people to call and e-mail, meals to plan, blog posts to write, and I just feel like there isn't enough of me.  Not today anyway.

Tomorrow right?  Tomorrow will be better.  I will do what I can today and do more tomorrow.

Maybe I just need to put on some good music.  And make some cranberry juice.  And grab a handful of almonds.  Yeah- I think I'll try that.

And tonight, as soon as the littlest one is in bed you can be sure where I'll be- in the bath!  Yup, I think that all sounds good.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Do You Hear That?

Shhhhh- listen! 

I don't really remember what they call it... maybe something like... quiet

Yes, I do believe that's it! 

By miracle of all miracles my crawling 6-month-old is playing quietly on the floor with trucks and his big brother is quietly watching a cartoon. 

let me savor it...
it won't last long. 

Oh, yup, there it goes...

Hey, it was nice while it lasted!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Terrible Twos?

Whoever coined the phrase "the terrible twos" had clearly never met a three year old, or at least none of the ones I know!  Sheesh!  As I battled my 3 1/2 year old today (again) about 1- leaving a friend's house and 2- saying thank you, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed and somewhat helpless.  Oh, and did I mention humiliated and exasperated?

How do you reason with these little people?  I feel as though I have tried every trick in the book, every form of punishment, every way to possibly get through to him, and I am left with the same defiant preschooler on my hands.  He balks in the face of consistency and challenges the author of every parenting book ever written!  His stone cold determination to not bend to my requests puts even the best politician to shame!

Frustration aside, I know he was overdue for his nap and hates abrupt change.  How then do you draw the line between just acting out from being tired and blatantly acting out in ways he clearly knows better than?  On the one hand I take comfort in the fact that he will not be a child (or teen) who easily bends to pressures (a born leader) but on the other hand I am faced with the incredibly challenging dilemma of being in charge of shaping the mind, will and heart of a child who, at times, is seemingly made of iron.

In general he is a good boy.  It is just these everyday challenges that I know I can't let him win, the battles that I know will mold his ideas on respecting authority and therefore must be won so that we are not waging the same battle when he is 8, or 11, or 15- these are what currently suck the life out of me!

He finally collapsed into bed for his much needed nap and I ran for the hidden bag of chocolate in my kitchen.  Now I am faced with the fact that this particular battle is sadly long from over.  Tonight will be one of those nights that he does have daddy to deal with (thank the Lord for cell phones!  "Honey, you hear that?  Yes, it really is that bad!).  Yet as he sullenly follows his father into the office for his due punishment, I know that my heart will break.  Perhaps it isn't easy being three and learning these life lessons.  I know I am not a huge fan of the lessons my heavenly Father is seemingly constantly doling out for me, but they are no less important or essential.

So Jesus,
Please pour out your grace on my little family tonight.  Help us all to have the hearts to do Your will and not our own.  Help us to learn from discipline and walk away changed.  Help us to have self-discipline so we can stop repeating these lessons!  Thank you for your kindness and compassion and please help us be more like You!

So be it!

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Years Challenges

As I have mentioned in recent posts, I have been trying to decide on what kind of challenge I may possibly want to participate in heading into the new year.  Now yes, I do have a list of goals and resolutions that I am working on and will set out to accomplish starting on that ominous date of January 1 (and will also be posting on soon), but some things I plan to embark on are just so big for me that I think I need to go a step farther and actually create a blogging challenge out of them.  If I declare, right here and right now, that I am going to follow through on these things, my hope is that I actually will!

So, wanna hear what they are?  First, I will be joining the challenge over at Mom's Toolbox to read throuh the Bible in 90 days!  Huge, right?!  I know!  It feels slightly crazy but also like a fantastic way to start my year!  Mom's Toolbox is offering a whole community of support and I think this act of discipline could really help shape my year. 

So, how am I going to come up with all this extra time to digest 12 pages of scripture a day?  Well, I'm glad you asked because that brings me to challenge number two- The Early Bird Challenge!  Yup, it's just how it sounds- I am going to wake up earlier (gasp)!  I know, I know- it's the bain of my existense really to even think about doing this (let alone make a public declaration of commitment to it), but after much consideration and prayer (the latter of which will definitely have to continue in large quantities in order for this to work) I have come to the realization that in order to get organized (and stay that way) and be successful in homeschooling R-Man, I MUST get up before my boys.

Here is what my challenge will officially entail:
I herby challenge myself to wake up each weekday (weekends, holidays and sick days excluded) between 6:00 and 7:00am, throughout the year of 2010.  

This means that my first "official" challenge day will be January 4 since it is the first non-holiday, non-weekend day of the new year.  It may sound simple to some, but this is a TREMENDOUS challenge for me and it is going to take everything in me to go to bed at a time that will allow me to be successful with this challenge, let alone the actual peeling myself out of bed at that hour part! 

I will be blogging all about my journey to health, wealth and wisdom (that is what they say after all, isn't it?!  Ya know- early to bed, early to rise and so on...), and hope you will enjoy the show!  Although I am not actually creating a meme out of this challenge because I really am just doing it for mysef and my family, I would love to have company on this little quest for self-discipline.  So, if you would like, please join me!  We can commiserate and share our struggles, and the blessings the Lord provides as we seek to become the (reluctant) Early Bird!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A few resources you might enjoy...

The other day I mentioned that I am working on my goals for the new year and since then I have found a few wonderful posts that I just wanted to draw everyone's attention to!

First of all, Carisa at 1+1+1=1 recently asked what kind of schedules people keep (or try to) for their homeschooling day and life in general and the outpouring of response she has received in comments has been invaluable!  So, don't just read this post (cause it won't be all that helpful- besides being reassuring that a seasoned homeschool mom has schedule issues!), but actually go and pour over the comments!  I am still working through them and have already gotten soooo many great ideas!

Next- this is a link I found in Carisa's comments and as soon as I went to this blog I was hooked!  It is called Raising Olives and I literally think that I could spend the next week just trying to digest all of the amazing wisdom and information she pours out in her blog!  So good!  I am very happy to add this blog to my reader!  She has got awesome ideas on everything from family worship, to scheduling, to appropriate chores for different ages! A gold mine!

In other thoughts, I watched Julie & Julia last weekend (just be posting that you probably all know what I am about to write), and of course, like any serious female blogger, I couldn't help but be inspired and ready to blog up a storm!  I love that Julie's blog was so focused and vibrant!  And although I am opening a new blogging project at the beginning of the year (as I have been teasing you all for weeks) I still seek greater direction and purpose for this blog! 

I am considering giving myself some sort of challenge- not as lofty as Julie's (since it would never work with these kiddos) but something that would drive me to accomplish and give me fuel to write. I have a few ideas floating around in my head (one that would be totally awesome if a particular company comes through on a review product for me!) but I would love to hear your ideas too!  Jen @ Momma Blogs A Lot also had some ideas on this topic!

That's all for now!  Have a happy weekend!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Aloha Friday- Contentment Addition

 An Island Life

Well, it is another week for Aloha Friday over at An Island Life, and this is how she explains her brilliant little meme:
In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link [on her blog]. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

So, my question for you this week is:

Are you a glass half empty or glass half full kind of gal?

To answer my own question, I think I tend to be glass half empty- but I'm working on it!!  I am currently going through this wonderful study on contentment by Linda Dillow called Calm My Anxious Heart. I plan to blog more about it soon (so stay posted), but in the mean time, I highly recommend it for any of you ladies who may be struggling with this!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Christmas Card to All of You!

As I am preparing to send out our Christmas cards I thought I would post one to all of you!  I greatly appreciate all of my readers and consider you my friends!  Thanks for all your support and I am looking forward to bringing you fun new giveaways, how-tos and even a super secret new blog in the coming year! 

Merry Christmas!

New Year Planning

So, are any of you beginning to think of things you want to accomplish in the new year like I am?  I have been considering this topic for quite some time and, as always, feel like I just have so many things I want to change/do with the fresh start of 2010 (and by the way, I am having a hard time getting used to calling it 20-10 instead of 2,010- is anyone else having this hang up?!  Maybe it's just me!).

So far I have in mind to get back on track with FlyLady, establish more of a family schedule/routine (including earlier to bed and earlier to rise- ugh!), be more diligent with our home-preschooling, and more, but I am still working out the details. 

Do any of you have any wisdom to pass on to me?  Or ideas for how to be more successful with all this?  I would love to hear!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I can't believe I won!!

I have won a few things I have entered in bloggy contests but for the most part it is a big zilcho!  This weekend, however, I was shocked and elated to find out that I won an ENTIRE YEAR of Itty Bitty Bookworm curriculum from Homeschool Creations!  EEEEEEEK!!!!  I am sooooo stinkin' excited!!!!

Check out Jolanthe's Blog (she just won a Homeschool Blogging award!  And yes, I voted for her!):

And of course I will be blogging about my win on R-Man's blog as we begin to use the curriculum in January! 

Thanks again Jolanthe- such a huge blessing for a mama who can't afford much of anything right now!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

hmmmm, Tuesday already?

So, I didn't mean to take a bloggy break, but a week and a half ago things became utterly crazy!  We went from rarely having anywhere to go or anything to do to having at least one outing every day for EIGHT days!  It was nuts!  Then, as soon as we had a full day at home (well, technically my husband and I were supposed to go on a date that night) both boys came down with colds (hence, canceling date)- so that pretty much did us in for the weekend!

Now, here we are on Tuesday and I am wondering where time went!  To be honest, much of the holiday season will probably look like this on my blog, despite my best efforts.  Many times throughout the day I longing stare at my computer as I hold a screaming baby in my arms, wishing for some quiet alone time!  But let's face it- it's just not happening much these days!  And when I do get a chance to be on the computer I am usually working on Christmas gifts or attempting to catch up on the boy's blogs (a couple weeks behind) and I just have to adhere to some sort of priority list. 

So it is.  I just need to get over it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Treasured" Book Review

Can I just say that I think the cover of this book is simply beautiful!  I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but man, the stunning image wrap on this one sure makes you want to!  Better yet, the inside truly lives up to the beauty of the cover!

This is a wonderful book to use as a devotional.  I have found it to be especially insightful as I have been using it in companion with a Bible study I am doing on contentment.  It helps reinforce the fact that God remembers us, no matter where we are in life and that He treasures us.

This is also highly relevant to my current life circumstances, with my husband nearly completely out of work.  Sometimes the Lord can feel so absent, but you read Treasured and are reminded that He does indeed know what you are going through, and beyond that He has a plan and can be trusted.

I thought that Leigh did a very nice job of incorporating her own applicable life events to bring these classic Bible stories into a modern light and make them seem very tangible.  I especially connected with her recounting of Hagar's story and Noah's as well.  Treasured is beautifully written and I think it would make a fantastic gift to the women in your life this Christmas.

Here is the publisher's summary, if you would like a little bit more insight into the book:
In Treasured, Leigh McLeroy considers tangible reminders of God’s active presence and guides readers in discovering evidence in their own lives of his attentive love.
            “The idea for the book came from a cigar box filled with odds and ends of my grandfather’s life that arrived a few months after his death. Sifting through the objects in the box, I experienced him in a fresh new way. This made me wonder what treasures might be tucked away in Scripture that could frame God for me in an equally intimate, tangible way. This process also helped me uncover my own “treasures” of my walk with the Lord: objects that remind me of my history with him and his faithfulness to me,” says McLeroy.
            Drawn from the pages of Scripture, the author considers twelve such treasures and personalizes their meaning for readers, such as a green olive branch that offers  proof of God’s “new every morning” mercy and a scarlet cord that demonstrates his willingness to adopt “strays” of every sort.
            Weaving these treasures together with scenes from her personal history, Leigh McLeroy invites readers to discover God’s heart for them and embrace their unique role in his redemptive story. Treasured offers readers a guided experience of God’s love and character and invites them to consider their own treasures that point to their part in God’s ongoing story.

To purchase your copy of Treasured you can visit Random House.
You can also find out more about Leigh McLeroy on her website.

This book was provided by the publisher for honest review.
To find out more about reviewing books for Waterbrook Press, you can go here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Talk softly...

"MOMMY!!!  I need a napkin!"

The noise I just heard clammer upstairs begins to register.  He spilled his milk.  The very last, eansy bit of (expensive) milk that I had been saving for his breakfast. 

I stop doing the laundry and climb the stairs in frustration. 

"What happened?  Why did you spill it?  How did you do it?  Were you messing around?"

Of course he was messing around!  He is a three-year-old boy!

As I spew out my litany of questions and kneel on the floor to mop up the mess, certain humbling and convicting thoughts begin to enter my mind.

Would Michelle Duggar get this upset over a little spilled milk?  Nope- she would talk softly.  Does it really matter that much?  At least it was in the kitchen and not on the carpet.  Change your tone.  He didn't mean to. 

But he woke up like a whirlwind!  Did someone sneak him a Redbull sometime in the middle of the night?  How can he have this much energy?!  Can't he just sit still for 5 minutes?!  He is already driving me crazy and he has only been awake for an hour!

Just calm down.  He is three!!  You are doing a Bible study on peace and contentment- prove it.

But I was going to do that study right now, while they were both being good and content for that precious half an hour I have every morning!  Now I may not even get a shower!

HEY!  Knock it off!!  Get it together!  This is no way to have peace in your house!!!  Be the example!  STOP and pray- right now!

Give me patience today.  
Help me stay calm.  
Help me to not use an exclamation point at the end of every sentence (or word) today.  
Help me think of the good things.  
Thank you for my little boys.  
My vibrant, crazy, unique little boys.  
Help me see them as your gift and not my inconvenience.  
Help me to honor you in the way I care for them.  
Help me follow your plan for my day instead of mine.  
And most of all... 
give me GRACE!