Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ramona Quimby- Sharing My Childhood Friend With My Girls

Would Hollywood
Ruin a Classic?

This weekend, I took my girls on a Mommy/Daughters date. We went to see "Ramona and Beezus" at our local dollar theater.

It's funny- sometimes I forget that Ramona isn't a real person. She was such a prominent part of my childhood, she feels like a real-life friend.

If you are a fan, too, you should check out Beverly Cleary's website here. I just know she and I are kindred spirits.

When I first heard of the movie, I was excited but hesitant, too. I was afraid of Hollywood ruining the books.

I was thinking, "Selena Gomez as Beezus, really?"

Pleasantly Surprised:

As the first few scenes of the movie unfolded, I realized different moments of all of the books had been combined into one story. It took me a few minutes to switch off the "That's not how it happens in the book!" filter in my brain. After that I was able to really enjoy the movie, especially the laugh out loud parts, and more than one scene made all three of us cry.

I fell in love with Joey King, the little girl who played Ramona, and John Corbett made a great Mr. Quimby.

Although the movie was different from the books, I'm not worried that it ruined the books for my girls. Instead, I think it sparked a desire to read them again for all of us. I'd actually like to buy the movie and watch it again.

The Need to Be Creative:

I think maybe one of the reasons I enjoyed the movie so much was my ability to relate to Ramona's father and his need to be creative. In order to be truly content and happy, I need some type of creative release in my life. Whether it is blogging, scrapbooking, painting, decorating, or writing, I'm the happiest when that part of my heart is exercised everyday, even if for only tiny bit of my day. I think that desire in a lot of us is a reflection of our Creator, and our creativity can be an expression of worship to Him.

And judging from the fact that after we came home Littlest Princess was more interested in making her elaborate tiara out of sparkly pipe cleaners than she was in eating lunch, I think she may have inherited some of the same need from her mama.

I smiled in understanding when I asked her about lunch and she said, "I'm busy being creative!"

Like mother, like daughter
(Well maybe not the skipping lunch part) : )

Speaking of being creative...

I'm quietly working away on my first novel. I'm still not sure if I have enough talent to do it, but it sure makes my heart happy to try.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Like a Glass of Cool Water to a Thirsty Heart

It's Friday night, and I'm closing this week with a sense of satisfaction I haven't felt in so long.

I've been sitting here contemplating what changed this week to make me feel so "right." I suppose its a new beginning, a return to a predictable schedule, and a sense of order after a busy, chaotic summer.

More than anything, though, I think it has to do with me finally listening to that Still Small Voice. I never decided to drift, but somehow I got wrapped up in swimming lessons and vacations and summer busyness. I ended up neglecting the most important element of my life, and made it to August dry and thirsty and with a bad case of the blues.

One of the sweetest parts of this week has been my early morning "Dates With Jesus." Each morning this week before anyone else woke up, I read my Bible, drank my coffee, and prayed over the new day.

My dry heart soaked up words like these I read this morning:

“That we might not rely on ourselves, but on God”

“For no matter how many promises God has made they are ‘Yes’ in Christ”

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

(All from 2 Corinthians)

I think the rightness I feel tonight is just my thirsty heart saying, "ahhhh" like you do when you've been really parched, but then get to drink a big glass of cool water.

It's one of those things I have to ask myself, "Why didn't I do this sooner?" And, it's one of those things I know will be a challenge to continue.

Why do we fight the things that are best for us?

I'm not writing this to pat myself on the back because I got up early every day and did something spiritual. It's more of a confession of how unspiritual I have been and a reminder to myself of how much I need that time with Him everyday.

Tonight sitting here feeling filled up and content, I'm so thankful for this truth:

If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.

- 2 Timothy 2:13 NLT

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weren't You Homeschooling?

When I finished this post, I asked my husband to edit it for me.

After he read the ten paragraphs it took me over an hour to write, he told me it sounded stupid and I just needed to say, "We tried it. It wasn't for us."

Men! Leave it to a man to get straight to the point. : )

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Maybe I was a LITTLE bit nervous...

Ahhh, I finally have everyone tucked in for the night.

I've been dying to get on here to do my "Back to School" post. For the most part, it was a great start with only a few Mommy Blunders.

(It wouldn't be me without some of those) : )

An Early Start: It felt so good to get back to a set routine. My alarm went off at 6:00 AM, and it didn't hurt as much as I expected. I didn't realize how long it t has been since I've found some true solitude and quiet time. I read my Bible, prayed for our day, and enjoyed the quiet. : )

Then the girls' alarms went off and we watched the sun come up while they drank hot chocolate and I drank my vanilla soy latte. We prayed together about the day ahead at their brand new school. And then it was time to get serious about getting pretty!

All Ready for the Third Grade!

All Ready for the Second Grade!

It is impossible to get her to stop posing. At least she's confident. : )

I was so glad they had each other today.

Chill Out Mom!

I couldn't believe how nervous we all were. Too nervous even to eat breakfast, and believe me that doesn't happen often! : )

Thankfully, Grandma is visiting, and she and Prince Charming tried to keep us calm. But that was a tough job.

So maybe the nerves made me A LITTLE bit scatter brained, and overprotective.


Maybe I couldn't spell my name for the lunch lady


Maybe I slipped and asked one of my girls if they needed to use the potty in front of other kids,


I May have had to be told to put my camera away

But, all in all it was a sweet start to what I think is going to be a GREAT year!

I've had some ask about why we aren't homeschooling again this year, and I'll write about that later.

I need to go to bed early now, you know.

It's a school night! : )

Monday, August 23, 2010

Celebrating Today

I'm sitting in my comfy chair at the end of a very busy day and thought I'd journal some highlights.

1. One of the sweetest was taking the girls to their new school for a quick visit. Oldest Princess was finally able to meet her teacher and it was such a relief.

If you read yesterday's post, you know how stressed she has been. I wish I could capture in words or on camera the difference between the little girl who walked in and the little girl who walked out. I was so impressed with her teacher and the way she expertly put her at ease.

She came home full of excitement and that did her mama's heart good.

Thank you, Lord, for a quick answer to prayer and for caring for a little girl's burdens. : )

One of the ways the teacher connected with her was talking about dogs and that, you know, is Oldest Princess' love language.

2. Speaking of dogs, I was sorting through summer photos tonight and came across this one from a few weeks ago. The girls dogsat "Princess" for a week while her family was on vacation. With a name like that, how could she help but fit in around here?

When I looked at this photo tonight, I was amazed at how grown up both kids looked. Time really is flying, and I'm finding I need a fresh reminder of the reason I started this blog in the first place:

Stop straining your neck looking ahead for the fulfillment of future goals and dreams and celebrate what is right in front of you now.

And what precious gifts are in front of me right now.

3. Which brings me to the third highlight of the day- Catching a little girl in my closet playing dress up with Mama's high heels. I love her little girl spunk and joy.

I have three unique, gifted, beautiful children-
(and I'm only a little bit bias)


To my little fashionista,

To my sweet dog lover,


To my tender hearted toddler,

I say:

I loved being your mama today. : )

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Getting Rid of Worms

The worship leader leaned into the mic and invited all the kids up to the front of the church this morning to sing before they were excused for Sunday School.

The girls drug Prince Charming with them, but he was more interested in taking off his new shoes than singing, so he ended up back with the grown ups as a spectator.

As I settled him into the chair next to me, I heard her announce, "We're going to sing, 'Cast Your Burdens Upon Jesus'. How many of you know this one?"

Instantly, I lifted my head to make eye contact with Oldest Princess and we shared a knowing smile between each other.

She could not have picked a more perfect song, I thought as I looked at my daughter on the stage.

This week my girls will be starting a brand new school. Homeschooling was a wonderful thing for us for a season, but God has opened up a new door and another great opportunity for the girls. I'm excited about it. I see it as an awesome opportunity, but poor Oldest Princess isn't so sure.

The looming unknown is killing her. She's had tummy aches and isn't sleeping well and keeps asking me a million "what if" questions. I've been worried and anxious for her, wishing school would just hurry up and start so she could settle in and stop fretting.

I heard the worship leader ask, "How many of you like to fish?" This time both of the girls perked up. This was definitely an analogy they could relate to!

They raised their hands high in the sky, and I heard Littlest Princess bragging to the kids standing next to her, "I caught a King Salmon" as if that made her more qualified to sing the song than the rest of them.

"Well, I want you to take the things you are worried about and pretend they are worms. OK, now hook those worms onto your hook and cast them upon Jesus to take care of for you. And grown ups, I want you to stand up, too, because I know you have burdens, too."

It was so sweet to watch us all casting our lines of burdens away and on to the Lord's capable shoulders. I began thinking of all the burdens that have weighed me down this summer and decided I wanted to be free from them as well.

After church we took a picnic lunch to the park, and Oldest Princess and I found some time alone. Walking across a bridge, we looked down at the stream flowing below it and talked about how much we both needed that song this morning.

She smiled and said, "Mommy, I hooked ten worms onto my hook."

I asked her what her ten worms of worry were, and she ticked them off one by one on her fingers, "School, school, school..." and then giggled. So right there on that bridge the two of us started singing:

Cast your burdens
Upon Jesus
For He cares for you!

We cast our worries right off the bridge and imagined them washing away down stream. Feeling lighter, we ran from the bridge to the swings, competing to see who could swing the highest as we sang even louder this time.

Higher, higher, higher, higher
Higher, higher, higher, higher
Lift Jesus higher

Lower, lower, lower, lower
Lower, lower, lower, lower
STOMP Satan lower.

It was one of those impromptu moments that will remain a sweet memory for me. It felt so good to be the crazy lady in my church dress swinging and singing at the top of my lungs with my little girl as we released all our cares and worries.

If anything is burdening you today, I hope you'll join Oldest Princess and me. I highly recommend finding the closest swing, hop on, and start singing. Feel the freedom that comes as you cast your burdens upon Jesus and lift Him higher.

Do you have any specific worms on your hook today? You can leave a comment or send me an email and I'd love to pray for you.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Did I Really ASK for This???

Remember this post from a little over a month ago? The one where I said I couldn't wait to hear Prince Charming say, "Mama"?



Be careful what you ask for.

That little boy says, "Mama" alright.

He screams it from his crib at 3 A.M. just because he misses me.

His nap time has shrunk to half the time it once was because he used to be content to play until I came for him.

That was before he discovered the magic of his own voice! And the magic of calling for a mama who waited months and months to hear him say her name.

This recording is the mild version of his before nap, "But I don't want to go to bed" version of "Mama." (Ignore the sideways picture of the door, LOL)

I didn't have the where-with-all to videotape the 3 A.M. screaming my head off version. : ) Besides, I'm not sure you'd want to hear that.

Seriously, I am amazed at how quickly he is catching on to speech. It seems like new words are popping up everyday. He's still struggling with certain consonant sounds, but his SLP has a theory about why that I'll be running by his pediatrician next week. But all in all, the progress has been awesome.

I love observing his SLP appointments. When something doesn't come easily, each new word, each step of progress feels like a huge victory. Sometimes I just want to shout, "Did you hear that world??? He just said cow!"

I'm proud of my boy.

Please remind me of that fact when I'm paged around 3 AM tonight. : )

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Four Heroes

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a long time. I've been working hard on getting the new website content written so I can share it soon.

And I've been working hard on staying off the Internet more so I can be a better mom and wife. More on that to come later.

But I HAD to share something with you.

If you have a box of tissues handy, and want to feel good and grateful. Head over here and take a look at these pictures of an awesome homecoming.

Dawnita, Brad, and boys!! Thank you for being heroes for all of us. I'm crying all over again.

Please pass the Kleenex.