Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Everybody Falls Down

If anyone ever suspected that I was the perfect mom, I would just laugh at them. I really don't think there is even such a thing as a perfect mother. I think there are some very good moms out there, but everyone falls down sometime. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I don't even know what the problem was exactly, except I was very short tempered and a bit moody.

Last week we baked a cake for Gabriel's kindergarten teacher, it was surprise. We planned on driving it over to her house yesterday, and saying "happy birthday". I think I might have been stressed over that, since I don't know her extremely well. I knew it was something I wanted to do, that God wanted me to do, but sometimes those things just aren't easy. So we're getting ready to pack up and head to car when I did the ultimate thing for me, I yelled at my kids. That doesn't always mean that I yell loudly, I just sometimes take on this tone of voice, and I speak down to them. I hate when I do that.

I was trying to instruct Gabe on how to carry the cake so it doesn't fall off the plate. He takes one step out of the kitchen and one of the sunflowers falls to the ground. Sometimes it's so hard to remember that they're just children. They don't need to be treated like adults, or talked to like you would an adult. I could see that my words had crushed him, and even my daughter. That's the thing with kids. You can't yell at one child, without the other one hearing what you're saying and seeing the same flaws in themselves. The trip was not off to a good start to say the least.

So we pull up in front of the teacher's house, and all the kids slowly make their way to the front door. Gabe is still holding the cake, and Ariel's trying to ring the door bell that's actually just a knocker. I was able to muster up a little more patience because we were all on display for the neighborhood to see. I was still really frustrated over the morning, for what reason I still didn't know. We stood there for several minutes and finally realized nobody was coming to the door. I had the dilemma, do I leave the cake or take it back home. After seeing Gabe's tears, I decided to leave the cake on her steps; it was at least a little shady there. I got the kids buckled into the car, and we took off. Gabriel was crying, "I didn't even get to see her. I wanted to see her when I gave her the cake." Zech was screaming because he didn't get to go inside the house. And Ariel was just sitting in the back quietly, a little overwhelmed from the morning, and just waiting for the trip to be over.

As we drove away I couldn't keep my frustrations in any longer. I started to yell out at God. "please help me today! I can't deal with this right now. I don't know what to do with these kids or myself." I started to have second thoughts about leaving the cake behind in the sun, figuring it's not going to be good for anyone to eat so we might as well go pick it up. I told Gabe we would try to knock on the door one last time, but if she wasn't there we would have to just take the cake home and have our own party for Mrs. Mannell.

We made our way around the block, and came back to the front of her house. The cake was gone! The air in that car got so much easier to breathe. The tension was released, and Gabe was happy again. He said, "I knew it! This was God who did that. I prayed all the time that she would find her cake, and God did it. He answered my prayer."

God really did do it! Sometimes you just need to call out to God, and he comes running. I just wish that I remembered to call on God a little sooner. He is always faithful to meet you just where you are. As we made our way home to have lunch I knew that I needed to make a few apologies. Our pastor has a saying that I like to remind myself of when I've done something I'm not proud of. "When you Mess up, Fess up, Clean Up, and THEN MOVE ON." So often it's easier to just wallow in your guilt, instead of actually doing something about it. I sat each of my children down on the couch and explained to them once again that mom isn't perfect. I make mistakes just like they do, and sometimes don't obey God. I shouldn't have yelled or said those mean words to them, and I needed forgiveness. Gabe got some tears in his eyes, and said, "I forgive you." And as soon as he said the words, it was over for him. His next question, "can I go back and play on the computer now?" Children are so forgiving, and they don't hold grudges. I understand completely when God says we must be like a child.

After lunch I told the kids I had a surprise for them. All three kids put a blindfold on and I drove them to McDonalds where we all got ice cream cones. It was a beautiful end to a not so great morning. And as soon as we got home from McDonalds, my cell phone rang. It was Mrs. Mannell calling to say thank you for her birthday cake. She loved it!





Thank you, God, for your forgiveness and your faithfulness. You are always there when I need you. I just have to be willing to call out for help. And you come running. Thank you for my children; they are such a blessing to me. I know I don't deserve them, but I sure do want them. They are a constant reminder of your love for me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Life is Beautiful

Sometimes I'm just at a loss for words to describe how blessed I am by God. He has given me so much more than I ever could have imagined in life. There was a time that those three words, Life is beautiful, would have felt a bit like a joke. But now that God is the center of my life, I can truly see the beauty in it. He blessed me with a love that blows me away. Every day He showers me, and my cup overflows with His blessings.










Titus and I had so much fun climbing on the toys with the kids. Usually we just sit and talk while the kids play, but this time we joined in on the fun. It made it extra special for all the kids. Zech followed us around saying, "Come on, Daddy. Come here, Mommy."




I don't believe my children will ever grow up wondering, "Did Mom and Dad really love each other?" I think Titus and I have a very special relationship that is a wonderful example of the love a man and woman are supposed to express to each other. I pray that they grow up happy and secure and try to find that special love for themselves someday. It's truly a gift from God.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the
Father of the heavenly lights." James 1:17

My True Love



We looked specifically for this fallen bridge to walk out on. Ariel and Gabe really like to get wet, and this is the closest thing the museum has to offer in that way.



It started to sprinkle on us a little bit out there, but that didn't stop us from having fun.

Another favorite place at the museum is the swinging bridge. Titus gave Zech a thrill by running down the bridge with the stroller. After jumping pretty hard on the bridge, we lost a Gatorade overboard too. Whoops!!





My beautiful daughter...
On our beautiful day!

Fun with the Family

I really love spending time with my friends, but nothing compares to spending time with my family. We enjoy each other's company so much, and I don't think there is anywhere I'd rather be then with them. It's always the small things in life, that really are the biggest things. This Saturday we spent the afternoon playing in our new pool. It's not a large pool at all, but it has enough room for all of us to sit and cool down in the hot summer sun. Life is good when you're with the people you love. I cannot stress it enough, I love my family!






There's nothing like taking a break and just sitting, watching your kids having fun together. This is what life is all about!



After a few hours of water fun, Zech needed to take a break and snack a little in air conditioning. He was standing inside eating his pop-tarts, while he watched Ariel and Gabe swim. Every time he saw my camera, I could see him mouth the words, "No, Pictures!"



Titus and I got these tattoos when we were dating, and I just recently realized I've never taken a photo of them. In August it will be 10 years ago! We were in England when we got them done. "We complete each other" is what we've always said they stood for. It never even occurred to me then that I may not end up marrying this guy, and I could get stuck with an unwanted tattoo on my back. I knew right from the start that I never wanted to be with another man. Titus is my other half, sent by God, just for me. I love him so much!


After a day in the sun, Zech was pretty wiped out!
It was a perfect day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cake Decorating

The kids have many favorite things, but I know they really look forward to cake decorating! It's a time when they get to let their creative juices flow, and put together wild and pretty creations. And what better way to be creative, than to be able to eat it when you're all finished!

Gabriel worked on his own cake today. This morning we baked a German chocolate cake, and frosted it with pink icing for a very special lady. This coming Monday is Gabe's kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Mannell's birthday. We are planning to drive to her house, and surprise her with this tasty cake.

Gabe was very diligent in putting all the finishing touches on the cake.

These sunflowers are leftover from a wedding cake that my mother made a month ago. The nice thing about that kind of icing, they can last for months and months. Although they never really are very tasty.


Mark and Cynthia were busy putting some grass on their cupcake so their sunflower had somewhere to grow!

Ariel was very pleased with her cupcakes, and she even made them all by herself. She named each of them, and thinks they are good enough to go on display at Daddy Cakes.



Zechariah really wasn't too interested in decorating the cupcake, as he was in eating the icing. He licked that cupcake clean! He didn't like the cake part, but he definitely enjoyed the frosting.


Gabe was another hard worker, who planned on displaying his cupcakes at Daddy Cake's. He had a great deal in mind for people too, only 10 cents for the cupcake!


I couldn't leave our friend, Josiah, out of the pictures. He worked hard crawling around everyone's feet and pulling himself up into a standing position. What a big boy!

Our completed cupcakes... don't they look good??

These are the ones I made for Titus and myself. An Owl City one for me, and a guitar for Titus.

We'll probably all be eating a good dinner tonight so we can spoil ourselves on dessert!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CAMPOUT

Oh, the joys of summer! We took an overnight trip to Shawnee lake for some camping. The weather was sunny and HOT. It may have been a little uncomfortable at times, but I think we all loved every moment of it. One of the best parts of our camping trip, Jaime came with us! I think a person is very fortunate when you have a great friend, that it doesn't matter how often you see each other, you can always just pick up right where you left off. I know Jaime and I will always be lifelong friends.


This was what I call an adult playground. Three stories high is a little much for a two year old, but Zech loved it just the same. The other kids, some very big grownups, had fun on it too!

No matter where we go, my husband will always be there for us to grill our dinner. We actually chose to camp at Shawnee Lake because we love our husbands and daddys so much we wanted them to be able to eat some dinner with us, and hang out for awhile before bedtime.





We are not afraid of putting our kids to work! We made sure they all had a job in cleaning up the dishes. As you can see, they had a little fun with their jobs too.


Smores!!!! We made them with Reese's peanut butter cups, very yummy!


Rise and Shine! It's 6:30a.m.!
Poor guy was still half asleep. He woke up in the night crying for "water, water". Somehow we left his sippy cup at home, so he was a little out of sorts when he couldn't wake up and get water out of a sippy cup, and fall back to sleep. He had to really be awake and drink out of a cup. I think all of us lost a little sleep over that.


Good morning!

An early morning sword fight, just what everyone needs

After a wonderful breakfast of pancakes and eggs, we headed off to the lake for a swim.








And the tent must come down sometime.. it was a fun trip! Ariel mentioned several times she wished we could stay there forever.