Thursday, November 21, 2013

Worms, Bats, Tractors and Lamborghini's

I take a lot of pictures with my phone. A. Lot. And I take a lot of screen shots because my memory is terrible and a picture is less frustrating to send to someone than trying to get my fat fingers to text the words I want... Since I had 180 pictures today, I thought I'd dump my pictures into my computer and see what my life has looked like since the last dump.

 Katelynn had a performance for music. She was a bat. It was a painful beautiful exhibition of one hundred 7-8 year olds moving their mouths/singing to songs about worms and snakes and bats.
 And, being the over-prepared, on-top-of-it mom that I am, I brought my camera and dead battery. So I took pictures with my phone from 50 feet away and zoomed in on what I think was her.
 She was thrilled with the performance. And her costume (even though it made her HOT and SWEATY which she did not whine about it at all. ;)


Tractor Bucket sitting. At the end of a dirty day.

 With a handsome daddy to drive us around.....


Below. Halloween. Sword welding princess. (With capri's on underneath like a proper princess)
I don't even know......


LAMBORGHINI....
 This may have been the highlight of his afternoon. (Although we did also eat cupcakes...so it's a tough call)

Christmas card contender....
 Nothing says "Merry Christmas! Look how we've grown this year" like a posed picture by someone else's fancy car.


If Michael had glasses that were too big for his face and the wrong prescription.... this is what he would look like. This is something everyone should be aware of - How you might look with glasses...


Sister working in class. (It's like catching a glimpse of big foot...)


So, mom found this notebook while she was looking for something completely unrelated and it was a list of my babies' days when they were super little. Yes, I'm that organized and it's because I would ABSOLUTELY forget to feed them if it wasn't written for me. Please note, she would totally keep and thrive on this schedule if naps and feeding were a part of 2nd grade.


This had to have been before Michael was 3 because that 2 hour nap has not been a part of this boy's life for a long time. Also, bathing isn't happening daily and we don't calm down before bed.
9 is a lot different from 2.

These children are so fun on Friday afternoons. (I kid.) There are moments daily that I love them to pieces and other moments when I feel like I'm falling to pieces. (Too many examples to cite just one!!)

I like my iPhone dumps because they help me remind myself of how fast our lives are going. And I snap those memories without thinking (I just want to look cool and attentive by taking those pictures in public), without even considering how they will look printed or on the blog. Or how in the world I will explain pictures like this....

(Child labor anyone?)

I want to encourage you as you face the day with a brave (fake) smile on your face to snap those mindless pictures. Screen shot things that are important at the moment. 
It was determined that turtle necks at the beach must have been all the rage in 1996!

And look back and laugh at how blessed you are for friends and family and random road shots that probably had a point that was lost because it wasn't written down. 

Joyfully full of it,

Tiff




Sunday, November 17, 2013

Almost lost

The Lewis family is losing it today. I'm blaming the humidity and 85 degree November day for this one. It doesn't explain the epic tantrums that have become our daily norm, BUT today...it's totally the weather.

And I feel lost and deflated when we lose it as a family. Whether at each other or with each other or alone, I just don't know what to do.

The boy just melted today. And I had no power to change the furrowed brow or the crocodile tears or the mixture of snot that they created. I tried grabbing and holding on for dear life....and that didn't work. It just made him angrier. I tried joking....and that didn't work.

As i walked to my room to pick up the laundry basket, I prayed that I wouldn't lose him. It's too soon to have these struggles. So, I made him help me with laundry. I threw towels at him. Then socks. Then the same socks. Then the same socks. Then the same socks. And FINaLLy he cracked. And smiled. And we played catch with socks for a few minutes. And he hugged me and was passed whatever the heck it was that shut him down for an hour this afternoon.

And my new mantra, "Do you need help or do you need a spanking?" Directed at my mini-me...doesn't work. And I don't mean to brag, but as I was typing this she ripped the shower curtain and bent the curtain rod because she's mad that I had the audacity to make her shower..

Take heart beautiful mothers and sisters and friends... There will be joy again...

Joyfully full of it...seriously, full of it today!

Tiff


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's all about Stage Presence

My children are a mess. Both of them. Equally. And the same and at different times. I'm proud of every new step we are taking together in life. And sometimes their excellence outshines all others excel-ers you may know. Sometimes, we just stand or lay on the stage... still, we SHINE!

Yesterday the kids had their first forum for the year. Its purpose is to show the parents what they are working on in class... It's a big deal to my kids. Michael even called me from his class to make sure I remembered (from when he told me 30 minutes earlier) that I needed to be at the school at 12:50 and sitting in the front row.

Since I have the best bosses and co-workers in the whole world, I was able to finish my work early and make it to the front row at 12:51.

Sister was first.

 That's her in the middle. Pink shirt, white sleeves. 
 Close-up...
 At one point she did actually hold up the bubble-lettered Algebra paper. I don't know how I missed the climax of her performance....
 And obviously, we don't even need practice... Just waiting for Hollywood to call. 



Then it was Little Man's turn. 
 That's him in the middle....standing behind the Alamo....in his "fur" hat because he is obviously Davy Crockett. DUH.
 Picture just before the war!
 That's the top of the "fur" hat. He was the first one to die in the battle... I'm not sure on the historical accuracy of his performance. We may have enjoyed a little artistic interpretation. He perfected death on the stage for the majority of the class performance. Excellence!

And I am just tickled pink and proud. My two little introverts made it to the stage...up there in the lights and all their glory.

After each "performance", they came to the first row and sat by me/on me. 

And that's why I will be at every practice and performance..because in the end, don't we all just want to sit down by our momma?

Joyfully full today!

Tiff

Friday, October 11, 2013

Two years..but I'm not counting

Tomorrow is October 12. This date will forever represent the day that it all changed. And if I said "good change" you would either think I was callous or normal.... Depending on if you have "that" date in your family or not. My daughter doesn't recognize the man in the picture....that's a tough thing to face. His face will forever make me smile.




This is a picture of my dad in 2008. Before my family started remembering dates that change our lives. And October 12, 2011 he went to heaven. I like to say his impatience and curiosity finally caught up with him and he won the ultimate race.

You can read more about it here...

http://www.mykidsmakemesmile.blogspot.com/2009/02/recoverybasketballtvtrains-see-last.html

(I don't know how to do fancy links on this app..sorry)

We were and are again, that nauseating beaver cleaver family that really loves each other. We had a hard couple of years but God has been so faithful and has held on to my family so tightly. Our first date was January 31, 2009. I won't rehash the details. I've blogged about it. So did my sister (www.heleekalesmom.blogspot.com). We've blogged and talked and cried and paid a lot of money to a shrink and we've survived.

And if my dad's death accomplished anything, it was bring us all back to the Savior's feet. Humble. Mourning. Angry. And in need of a little help.

In the beginning, I didn't think I would ever stop counting the days. Then keeping up with the weeks. Or months. But we finally made it to counting the years. I call this healing. We miss him. We will see him again.

My family was so supported by friends and family right after daddy left us. We received so many flowers and plants. And two years later, look what I haven't killed...



















The last four were all in the same pot. And I just about killed them. Last year I decided to repot them. And really had to pray about the fact that they could possibly fade away. I struggled with what that would mean. (And if it would make me cry....ugh).

As you can see, they are alive and look back at the pictures, NEW GROWTH. I just noticed it today. NEW GROWTH two years later. What a wonderful surprise and reason to celebrate.

My dad still sneaks up on us. He's like a 6'6" ninja. Sneaking up when we least expect it.

Just exactly when my soul needs it. I stop. Remember. And talk about this amazing man that was lucky enough to be my dad. ;) such a lucky guy....

My mom went to see dad today. To spend time with her best friend of 35 years. And to cry (probably) for the loss we feel. I bet she laughs too because my daddy brought such great joy to everyone around him.

Tomorrow will be a hard day for my family. And next year will be a hard day for my family. We'll have hard (ninja) days in between. We'll laugh at the days ahead and have no fear. Joy will fill our cups and overflow to those around us. And HIS peace will settle on our shoulders.




And soon enough... We'll see Toot-Toot again.

I bet he'll have lots of good jokes to tell us.

Joyfully full of it,

Tiff

Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged; The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Joy and Stuff

I found these pictures on the iPad. Sister and I spend a lot of time sitting at the baseball field. So, what are we supposed to do... Sit there and cheer??















I love this girl so much.

This morning's conversation:

K: momma do I have to go to Target. (Off site "gifted" class)
Me: yes, I thought you liked it.
K: I do but we made jello in class yesterday.
Me: o...k...
K: and we get to eat it today at school but I won't get to eat jello because ill be at target and I wanted to eat some jello.
Me: I'm sorry. (Because I'm at a loss for words.... I didn't know jello was so important to my daughter...do I even know her at all)
K: maybe they'll save me some and I can eat it at the end of the day.
Me: oh, I bet warm jello at the end of the day would be really good.

Note: I don't know what I'm going to do when she starts picking up on my sarcasm. It really will change our relationship...

I hope you have a day full of jello!!

Joyfully full of it,

Tiff

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Love Notes

In an effort to solve our family problems.........

Nope, that's not right. In my attempt to help my sweet children as the painfully grow into little people, I've started journaling with them. They each have a spiral notebook we are using to write notes back and forth to each other.




You write your love note and leave it on the (unmade) bed.




This is Michael's. I've written that I love him and he is a prince. He wrote back to stop writing in cursive. (Very deep stuff going on here)

But I have noticed a small improvement in his behavior. Small, teeny, tiny improvements.



I also have a journal with Katelynn. I'm an equal opportunity parent..super fair and balanced. (You can take a break from the post to laugh, it's okay.)

Sister and I write nice things. Like how lovely you looked today or acted today. (Not today....no loveliness happening today... She just threw something out her bedroom door...maybe it's my "love" note for today.)




She expresses her desire for me to practice silence and give her money. (Thoughts to cherish)

She also draws cute little pictures of a little backside and a hand spanking it. (Her work will be hanging in galleries soon! )

This also gives them the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with my mothering... In case the outward expression of the disapproval is not enough, sister left me a note regarding her desire to not attend bible study...




"I have to go to stuped bible sudy"

One day I'll write a book so that you can parent with excellence with me.

Joyfully full of so much more than I deserve...even on the hard days!
Tiff

Lemons and Love




Well, you know the saying...."when you buy a bag of lemons at Walmart, you make lemonade with the hope that you can use the time to bond with your son who is struggling." You've heard that right? ;)


So that's what we did Monday. We made lemonade. Just me and my sweet little man. His idea. We googled the recipe just like Martha Stewart would do and make sugar filled lemonade.












And it was delightful. The minutes we spent together as well as the delicious lemonade. I have missed this sweet boy and his smile. I miss having days that are tear filled and painful.

In fact, we are having a hard day today. But I'm clinging to that handsome smiling face today and pressing into him until I find a way to love him through this mess of growing up.

I'm claiming a verse my mom reminded me of that got us through a rough patch before....

Ephesians 3:17b-21
And I pray that you [Michael], being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you [Michael] may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all the generations [even this current generation], for ever and ever! Amen.

There some real power in those verses that I need to cling to when I'm deflated and beat down by the burden of parenting my beautiful children.

Joyfully full of whatever I can get....
Tiff

Monday, September 30, 2013

Drowning in Blessings

We spent a part of our afternoon at a funeral yesterday. My sweet friend lost her daddy a week after he had a massive stroke.... just like my daddy. Husband, Michael and I went to show our love for my friend and her family.

(Insert honesty: Michael went because he is still pulling his "crap-kid" moves and we didn't want to expose this alter ego to the sweet family that watched Katelynn during the funeral).

(I also want to insert that I think attending funerals is an important life experience. I think seeing and feeling grief and sadness for the loss of life gives value to life itself.)

So we went and sat at the service. And listened to beautiful words being said about a kind man that loved Jesus. I'm reminded of the hope my family felt when we knew that my daddy was with Jesus. And although I have this hope and peace, I still feel sad and miss my dad. Yesterday this was exaggerated. And I was emotionally spent and exhausted by the end of the day.

And then, my mom sent me this video she recorded for her church. It is perfect. It communicates our sadness and hope. And it's something I just wanted to share with you.

video

She recorded this for her church. So, if you ever wondered where some of my awesomeness came from, here's the maternal half of it. I have my dad's height, girth, and wit. ;)

The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace
Numbers 6:24-26

Let me also go ahead and say, if you don't know about this peace we have or understand this love for Jesus, we'd love to tell you about it.

Joyfully full of it...blessings!

Tiff

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Summer Highlights

Pictures from the Summer.... (Started this post in early August....never finished...)
In no particular order....
Air-U
Tennis
"Nanny" Claire
Pinata
Rodeo
Destin
Couch-Time (**Favorite)
Cousins