Friday, September 28, 2012

A Tale of Two Friends

In our home resides a pathetic looking creature...
At first glance most can't determine what they are looking at...
Some disturbed pillow with knobby corners?  A lamb that has lived it's days in a mud puddle?
Upon further investigation it is recognized as not an abused creature, but as a loved and cherished kitty.
"Kitty Pillow" as it is affectionately known as around here was given to Esther last Christmas and was immediately an inseparable friend permanent fixture.
No matter the hour or the mood, Kitty Pillow always brings my sweet girl much joy!
(These photos were taken right after being asked her favorite question, "Do you want Kitty Pillow?")
As soon as Kitty Pillow is in her grasp, the fingers go in the mouth and any random foot is held up to her nose affectionately.
As soon as these two have met in sweet fellowship, no nap is looked on with disdain and snuggling propensities are at an all time high!

Kitty Pillow is beloved by all of us at our house.  

Keep smiling little friend!  You are much loved!

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Brand New Week!

This last week was a wild and wonderful one!  Along with starting school we had a baby shower, a baby born, amazing relatives from every corner of the country and a beautiful wedding of two of my favorite people in the whole world.

After holding off long enough for her mommy to go to her baby shower the night before,  Baby Ava Alivia made her grand entrance to this world September 20. 

This is cousin #7 and she is as precious as they come.  We are so excited to watch this little girl grow into a beautiful young woman.  And she has SUCH kissable cheeks!!!
Saturday was the wedding of my brother-in-law Isaac and his beautiful bride Stefani.  We had aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents from California to Alaska.  One of the many "best things" about marrying into the King family has been the relatives that have become so very, very dear to me.  I cannot imagine my life without them!  I know I can't name them all, but I think Aunt Donna and Aunt Millie hugs give me the encouragement to keep going for a very long time.  Some people just have love pouring out of every bit of them!
Did I say that Isaac had a beautiful bride?  I meant it!  Isaac is so very dear to me and Stefani is as precious as they come.  They are so perfect for each other and I'm so looking forward to not only having another sister, but to the incredible friendship I know we will have with Isaac and Stefani all of our lives.  I love them so much!!!

It's been a fabulous week.  And with another wedding coming up next weekend, a trip to Costco, starting piano lessons, and (HOORAY!!!) visiting with a dear friend from North Dakota this week doesn't look like it's going to be slowing down too soon. 

I'm so grateful to know that the Lord is with me everywhere I go and in everything I do.  It's in His strength that I pull my head off the pillow and pull out the school books.  It's in His strength that my back doesn't give out from a "baby" who wants to be held constantly.  It's in His strength that "we live and move and have our being.".  Praise God that through these joyous times and just the same through the tragedies going on, God is still God.  The God who's love and strength and sovereignty will continue to sustain us.

Monday, September 17, 2012

First Day of School!!!

As I'm writing this we are half way through our first day of school!!!  I have been looking forward to this for weeks now and I'm so thrilled to actually be starting. 

I can't believe I actually have a second grader this year!!!  We had to send in our "letter of intent to home school" this year because she is seven.  It is funny to me that we are "officially" home schoolers now (even though we've been doing it for several years!).
Bethany is in first grade.  Age wise she should probably be Kindergarten.  But she has her dad's mind. 
Havilah is a second year pre-schooler!  Her grasp of letter sounds and her math skills have grown by leaps and bounds even over the summer.  She loves learning and loves having a class mate this year!
That's right!  I have TWO pre-schoolers this year!  How blessed am I?!?  Ella is elated that finally she can do school.  So far we are studying the ins and outs of "E".  Pretty sure she will have mastered it before the year is over!
Last but not least, we have one more little "Blanket Time" student!
Esther did so fabulously this first day of school!  She was content, quiet and napped like a champ.  Hoping it continues on like this!
I'm sure there will be more blogging about school in days to come.  Today I'm just soooooo excited to be starting a new year!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Our Summer From the Inside

Last week I talked about different places we went and things we did this summer.  Today I thought I'd give more of an inside look into what life was like for us. 


This summer has had it fair share of highs and lows.  Some seasons of life seem filled with fun, laughter and peace.  Some seasons seem filled with turmoil in relationships, heart break and desperation.  I'm so blessed that through these rougher times I had my husband who is not only my rock and my defender but also my best friend.  I can't imagine going through life without him.

Even more than that though, the Lord has been teaching me afresh how sufficient He is for any place life may take me.  Whether it's a torrent of tears over strained relationships or a constant head ache from a screaming child, my Lord is with me every step of the way and His strength is proved so strong in my weaknesses.

Speaking of screaming babies.....

It has been a hard, hard summer with Esther.  She is still not walking or communicating at all and so most of her time is spent screaming.  She has a very strong spirit and thinks that her little fifteen month old person should be able to rule the world.  It's hard.  Very hard.
HOWEVER...... it is NOT helpful or encouraging as a mother to hear constantly what a "grumpy baby" I have.  Please don't tell other young moms that you hope their baby doesn't end up like mine.  Please don't come up with "funny" nicknames about what a fussy girl she is.  It is really not helpful or encouraging and for someone striving every day to raise their child in a way that glorifies the Lord, it's simply not helpful at all!
The truth is, I adore my daughter.  The moment the clouds part, she fills our days with sunshine and laughter.  She is so affectionate and loving.  Her kisses make the whole world brighter.
We've dealt with strong wills before.  We know it's a battle.  We know by the grace of God that we will get through this and we look with confidence and hope towards that day!
This summer has been such a refreshing opportunity for me to reflect on my girls and what a treasure each one is.  It astounds me when I look around and see all that the Lord has blessed me with.  Each of my children have been so perfectly and lovingly created with such beautiful purpose.  I'm so blessed to have the job of raising them and getting to know them each as they grow into the special people God made them to be.
About a month ago I was playing around on movie maker and I decided to make a slide show for my sweet Lydia.  It was such a sweet thing for my heart to look back on the tremendous gift she has been to our family.  I thought I wanted a boy first.  I'm so glad that God knew better!
(The slide show is really long so don't feel like you have to watch it!)

I'm so thankful for all that this summer has taught me through the highs and the lows.  I'm so blessed by those of you who have encouraged me (your comments have brought me to tears!).  I'm so thrilled to enter into this new season (my favorite!) with fresh inspiration and excitement!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Our Summer From the Outside

Here is just a quick run down of some of the highlights from our summer! 

My baby turned one.....

We had a BLAST camping......

We spent some perfect days with our best friends (a.k.a. brother, sister and cousins!)...

Spent the day at the County Fair...

Painted our house (WOOOOHOOOO!!!)....

Got to meet some amazing people, like my dear friend LaNel whom I'd only known online for several years...
 And David's sweet cousin Callia whom the girls had never met...
And possibly the best part of the whole summer, meeting the newest cousin, Baby Micah!  I am so hopelessly in love!
In between these wonderful times you could have found us playing in the sunshine, working in the garden (with what the deer didn't demolish!), at the library (our new favorite thing!) or just living life as usual!
I can't believe summer is almost completely over ( although being the fall lover I am I can't say I'm too sad!).  We have had so much fun!  We may not have hit everything on our bucket list (maybe we'll go to the zoo in the fall instead...) but it was such a wonderful time to live life together! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Real Me

Hello blogging friends!  I have truly missed you all.  It has been quite a summer.  My natural inclination is to say that I've been "too busy" to blog, or that blogging got "put on the back burner".

Next I would probably claim that I was "too lazy" about blogging.  Since self-discipline is one of my greatest foes it's easy for me to blame that.  But that's not even the truth.  There has been one underlying  culprit that has kept me away from my blog and my facebook.


Time to be real and honest here.  I'm just a real, little person here.  Sitting at her dusty computer with the sticky keyboard.  My big girls are eating granola at the bits of table that are not covered in pears, making up jokes one minute, squabbling with each other the next.  Esther is in her high chair screaming at random, because that is what she does these days.  She screams.  Ella just spilled her entire bowl.  On Bethany.  Intentionally.

(Back from cleaning and disciplining!)  I wake up every morning with five little girls that are real, sinful, childish children just like any other children in the world.  I'm married to a man.  An amazing man.  A godly man.  But still a man, and marriage takes work!  There are ups and downs that make my head spin. 

Life is not easy.  In fact, sometimes it is hard.  Really, really hard.  Super, DUPER hard.  But that is NOT what has had me discouraged

What has me discouraged is that I can't seem to find a way to let people actually see my heart.  Somehow my words are not getting across a genuine picture of who I am, what I believe, and what I think about YOU!

Just because I find joy, peace and fulfillment in a life that would "drive you up a wall", does not mean I'm a fake person who can't see or wont share the "reality of my situation".

Just because I enjoy every day with my five children and hope for more, please don't be waiting for "reality to catch up" to me.  Please don't be waiting for me to fail.  The truth is, I fail daily.  Almost hourly.  I need your support and encouragement.  I really don't need you searching for my weaknesses.

Just because the way we school, dress, speak, train our kids, have our kids, enjoy our kids may look differently from the way you do things, that does not mean I think less of you, think I'm better than you, or think I have "everything figured out".  My heart is in no way to judge you.  My desire is to encourage you.  I need your encouragement too!

So often I feel trapped in silence.  If I share the good in my life, people think I'm a crazy person with no grasp of reality, being fake or trying to rub it in your face that my life is better than yours.  If I share the hard stuff going on in my life people think, "See!  I knew her world would come crumbling down some day!".

But then there's you.  You are the one who leaves the encouraging comment on my post.  You are the one who sends me a note just when I need it the most.  You are the one who walks along life with me, holding me up, praying for me, knowing that I am just as weak and discouraged as anyone else.  I hope you know who you are.  There are many of you.  And I need you in my life! 

Truth is, I'm going to keep on blogging.  Just like before.  I'm not going to complain or go into bitter diatribes.  If that's what you like to read you'll find it elsewhere.  When I started this blog I knew that I wanted it be a place where I would stay reminded of the goodness of God.  "Grace is Blessed By God"  (goofy of a title as it may be!) is a built in reminder to me that I am blessed by my heavenly Father and I want to be a blessing to others around me. 

And I'm going to be real.  I think I always have been.  (My husband tells me maybe I'm too real for my own good!).  Please take the time to see me as I am.  I'm not looking for readers, comments or popularity.  I want to glorify the Lord in all that I do, including my blogging.  I'm sure discouragement will set in again, but it wont defeat me. My joy and strength come from the Lord!

I love you all!