Sunday, February 24, 2013

Workin Out

You know I am changing.  You know I've shed a large amount of weight.  My church has changed.  My pastimes have changed.  My extended family has changed with the loss of my grandparents.  It's been a lot of change.  Change-Change-Change.  If you know know I am not a big fan of change!  The changes have brought loss.  Loss of complaints here.  Loss of friends.  Loss of comfort.  Loss of loved ones.  Not everything has changed.  I still love the Lord.  I still adore Randy and my kids.  I still live in the same house.  I still drive the same van.  I still home school.  I still am a part of the same co-op.  I still have a lot of the same friends.  I still think Shay and Linda are awesome.  I am thankful for some sameness in my life too!

However....the change that has been most profound lately is one of my pastimes.  I exercise now.  I actually run...and I like it.  I've even been pondering something lately and wondering if my running could possibly be worship?  I run early.  I listen to praise music.  I think.  I sing/pray the words.  I pray.  All with my eyes open and mouth shut mind you.  But my heart and mind are fully engaged.  I find I cry a lot when I run.  I'm not sure why.  I just do.  I feel like I'm being healed.  I'm not exactly sure what I'm being healed of.....I think part of the healing is of my idolatry towards food and tendency towards laziness, but I don't know.  Running is more then just exercise to me.  It is good for my soul.  It really is.  When I get back I always feel cleaner and like I've just come home from church. I really feel like running is more then just physical training in my life.  I really do think God is using it to sanctify me spiritually.  I may be totally wrong, but it just seems bigger and holier to me then exercise. 

I've definitely seen some themes in my life over the last months: Idolatry, Sanctification, Loss and Discipline are the big four. Hmmmm.....

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Our Week in Pictures!

We've had a fun week at our house....but it's been a bit cranky too.....coming off a week of birthday celebrations and Valentine's celebrations!

I surprised each of the younger 4 children with a box of valentines in their school work boxes this week!  They were so excited!  They are used to them having only schoolwork so they were thrilled to have valentines to fill out!

They all worked very hard on their valentines.  They were anxious to give the out!  I really love when they want to give to others and bless them!  Makes me HAPPY!

Another good part of the week was having Lincoln back!  The kids missed him so much when he was out sick the week before.  I loved this sweet moment: I caught Lydia and Lincoln holding hands.  My kids adore him!  So do I!!!  SWEET boy!

Then of course was Valentine's Day!
We started the day early with our 14th annual Valentine's Scavenger Hunt!
Usually we reserve this for the evening, but we had plans for the evening and co-op all day so we did it first thing...
I don't think everyone was quite awake yet!

First surprise was....Donuts!  


Now because we had co-op I tried to tie the clues to getting ready to leave.  So after a special breakfast their next treat was hidden in the bathroom and they had to brush their teeth before they got it!

Then the clues led them to the "shoe closet".  After putting on their shoes they got a bucket of popcorn and candy and learned that we were renting 2 movies that night for them to watch with Andrew while Daddy and I went on our date!

Not sure how excited Andrew is.

The final stop was in the school room where they got their last surprise, a small stuffed animal for the little kids, a shirt for Andrew, and PJ's for Sophie.
Then we loaded up the van and headed to co-op!

Co-op was filled with more fun Valentines and treats!

After a full day of classes at co-op all the kids enjoyed playground time!

Lincoln and his co-op buddy!

Love these two!

After Co-op we headed home. Randy was home and had Pizza and movies for the kids.  I had a list of activities for Andrew. Then Randy and I headed out for a date to the ANGUS BARN!

Randy and I don't go out alone very much, and we certainly don't go anywhere that fancy, so it was a HUGE treat!  We usually don't even celebrate Valentines, other then our scavenger hunt for the kids and maybe a card for each other. I was shocked when he told me he had made reservations for us 2 weeks before!  
It was wonderful, and he even shared my favorite desert, blackberry cobbler!

Love my sweet valentine!

Thankful to finally be at a stage when we can get away for a few hours once in a while! 
Grateful for Andrew taking such good care of the crew while we were away!

Friday was basketball.....ALL. DAY.

The boys won their first game and made it to the second round.
Unfortunately they lost in the second round. 
I really enjoyed watching them play.
What a great group of guys!
Flight Fan Section!
All these siblings are troupers!

Saturday morning was SURPRISE....SNOW!!!!

Sooooo Exciting!

They spent most of the morning running back and forth from our house and the neighbors.
Then Nikki (my neighbor) made them hot cocoa and Brian (her husband) played with them....they had a blast!

Saturday afternoon brought two more basketball games, Jackson and Sophie.  I really am ready for basketball season to be OVER!  Saturday evening we had a Q&A at church with a potential associate pastor.  It was good.  Finally, we headed over to Starbucks to hear some of our friends that were playing in the band.

To top off a very full and very fun week Lydia and I got to go see Mary Poppins this afternoon.
Randy's mom and dad have season tickets and gave these to us to use.
I debated on who to take and decided I would take Lydia, because I have done a lot of one on one things with Sophie and I thought Audrey may be a bit young to sit through the entire show right after sitting through church and it was really close to Lydia's I invited Lydia to go with me.
She has been sooooo excited about our special date.
After church we had lunch together at McDonald's and headed to the DPAC.
As we were headed to the car she exclaimed, "I am so glad you choose me!"
It was pure elation!
I'm glad too.
I couldn't help but think.....
I'm so glad God chose me.  So glad!  I need to have her same joy over being chosen!

It was a great week....BUT as we loaded up to head to Home Fellowship tonight the wheels fell off.
Too much going.
Too much sugar.
Too much fun!
We had a van full of
Fussing.  Fighting. UGH!
So Randy made the VERY wise decision to turn around and go home.
We had family fellowship instead and dealt with some heart issues and cleaned up from a week filled with too much coming and going and getting.

Now....I'm tired and going to bed!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Birthday Weekend

Saturday night we celebrated the twins birthday with family and friends.  It was a simple get together at the house.  We had chick-fil-a nuggets, soda, fruit salad, chips, salad, cake, and ice cream!
The twins picked the menu!

They enjoyed playing with their cousins, but MISSED their cousins that were sick!!!

They LOVED opening presents!!!!

They had a great time.

Sunday we had a great family time celebrating.

Jackson chose breakfast: Golden Corral....complete with Cotton Candy!

We bounced through lunch at Monkey Joe's!  Whew....I was worn out after a dozen trips up that slide!

Sunday evening Lydia picked dinner: Subway!

Then we had a family movie night.......Barbie Mermaid!

Good Times.....mostly....there was a meltdown from an overly exhausted and over sugared birthday boy....

But I will focus on the positive!

Their favorite gifts:

Lydia LOVED her BIG bear from Kroger....Nanny got it for her.  Each week we went grocery shopping since January, she has longed for it.  It was in their Valentine section.  She loves her new bear.  His name is Snowfire.

Jackson's favorite gift is either the Star Wars Lego game he got for Wii or a book we gave him called, "The Dangerous Book of Boys".  He begs Daddy to read it each night!  

My favorite gift came from Denny and Debra.  They got Jackson and Lydia a Money Tree!  

SOOOOO CUTE and the good news is that the soil at our house doesn't grow money trees very well, but they had it tested at both the grandparents houses....and the money tree grows very well at both of the grandparents houses!  HA HA!  LOVE IT!!!

The twins had a special weekend of celebration!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Monthly Weight Update

It's the second Tuesday of the month, which can only mean.....WEIGHT UPDATE!  So here are the stats:

Randy lost a total of  77 pounds!  That is a Jackson and an Audrey!!!  WOW!  He exercises about an hour a day, almost everyday.  He burns over 1,100 calories per workout.  His workout consists of elliptical training and running.  He is doing great on his diet.  Eating a lot more veggies and fruits then he used to and a lot less fries and candy!  I am trying to talk him into running a 5K with me in April.  He runs just over a 10 minute mile....for all 3 miles!  That is good stuff!!!

I lost 8 pounds this month.  I am averaging 1.6 pounds per week.  I am at a grand total of 64.2 pounds.  That is a Lydia and an Audrey!!!  I workout 5 days a week and I run exclusively now.  I really hate the elliptical.  I only work out for 30 minutes most days....although I did do a one hour workout this weekend....because I wanted BIRTHDAY CAKE and I did not want to gain weight!!!  WILL RUN FOR CAKE!

So...all together that is 141 pounds.  That is an Andrew....and that is a lot of weight!

Yet....the journey continues!

I still have food issues.  I want to horde my points (that is weight watchers lingo for calories).  I want to indulge in private and celebrate with food.  I want to eat a lot.....more then I need.  I still like food too much.  The Lord is still dealing with some idols in my heart concerning food/weight/laziness/gluttony.  I still want to sit and blog....or watch TV....or read a book......or surf the web.  I still want to do what is easy.  Not that anything is wrong with any of these things.  What is wrong is the place I want them to have in my life.  In my affections.  I want them to refresh me.  I want them to treat me.  I want them to indulge me.  I want them to make me feel better.  This is not a quick fix.  This is not a diet.  This is not a makeover.  This really is a heart change.  I've been actively losing weight for about 8 months now....but the Lord has been dealing with my heart on these issues much longer!

I feel fantastic.  

I feel healthy. 

 I feel strong.  

I feel prettier.  

BUT I also feel concerned.  I am concerned that knowing how good I feel, I am still tempted to sit on my laurels and eat more then I need.  It really is a daily dying to myself.  Trusting in God.  I am weak.  He is strong.  

I also feel frustrated.  I have come a LOOOONNNNNG way.....but my journey to fitness is a FAR way off.  There is a looooonng way left to go.  Sometimes it seems too far.  IMPOSSIBLE.  I just keep reminding myself.....the daily matters.  Time is going to pass and it can pass with me taking better care of myself or destroying myself.  So I am trying not to get too hung up on a timeline, but it is a struggle, I want to have arrived!  

I also feel weak.  Yes...I know I just said I felt strong....and I do...because I really didn't think I could lose 64 pounds in 8 months.......but I also feel weak.  I feel like I could slip and fall and quit.  I don't really trust myself.  That is why I am choosing to trust he who is in me!

I do feel prettier.  I feel like people notice me more and are nicer.  I know some of that is because I put off better vibes and am friendly because  I feel better....but I have issues.  For so long, growing up, my identity and self-esteem was LARGELY based on my appearance.  I DO NOT WANT TO GO BACK THERE.  I like when people say I look beautiful but I just want to be very careful, not to like it too much.  I want God to think I am beautiful.  His standards are not the same as the worlds.  I just want to make sure I'm pleasing the one that really matters!

So that is where I am.....things are plugging along.  Sometimes slower then I wish....but headed in the right direction!

My current goals are to complete a 5K run in April
Currently I am trying to improve my time.  I can run a 5K, no problem, but I am slow!
So I am focusing on improving my speed from now until April
I plan to start a 2 time a week toning routine in March.....My skin is loose as a goose!

Just Keep Swimming!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blogging about it AGAIN! is February 10th....and if you know me well at know what that means....

I am going to blog about it AGAIN!

Sorry.....I can't even help myself.  God showed himself in such a real and personal way and I just can't help but write about it and tell about it....EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR!

We even have this little shelf of remembrances, of things God has done for our family, in our foyer and the little calender on the shelf stays on February 10th.  

February 10th is a BIG deal for me.

So for the ONE person who may not know the story....Here it is:

I was eight months pregnant with a much wanted, much anticipated baby boy.  The year was 2001.  His name was Matthew.  It means, "A Gift from God."  He was going to be Andrew's little brother.  We were so excited.  Matthew was due to be born in March.  My ultrasound in December showed that he was growing smaller then to be expected, but everything else looked healthy.  No other signs of a problem.  Just small.  Strong heartbeat.  So they decided they wanted me to go on bed rest, but assured me everything would be okay.  

However, as we would soon learn: Everything was NOT going to be okay.  On February 7, 2001 I was not feeling movement....AT ALL.  So I went to the doctor.  They checked and heard a good strong heartbeat.  They sent me home and assured me as he got bigger I would feel less movement and also because I was on bed rest...he would also be resting more and have less movement. I lay the whole day....and did feel movement....AT ALL.

Something was wrong.  We called the doctor AGAIN.  It was after hours. 
They told us to come to the hospital.  We did.  They couldn't find a heartbeat.  Don't worry they said.  Sometimes the babies like to hide.  They ordered an ultrasound.  
Then it happened.  
My world shattered.  I saw his body.  But the little flash I knew was a heartbeat....wasn't flashing.
I crumbled.  I was devastated.  I wanted my baby.  I was just 25.  A mere child myself.  It was 2001.  Fully formed, healthy, American babies do not die just weeks from delivery.
Until....They do.

I was so naive.  Filled with questions:
How does the baby get out of  me?  Will it feel like real labor?  Will it hurt?  What happens to him?  Are they going to just throw him away?  What will he look like?  Will he be decayed from dying inside me?
I know these questions aren't pretty, but they are real.
The doctor explained that the baby would come out of me through labor.  I was so far along that was the only method available for delivery.  He assured me that it would feel just like real labor, except that it would probably take longer because my body did not want me to go into labor this early and would try to protect me from it.  The doctor told us that we could decided how to handle the remains.  They would not throw him away.  He would look like a baby.  He would not be decayed because of the fluid would preserve him.  

So....they induced labor.  I labored, and it hurt, for three days.  My body did not want to let go.  He was born around noon on February 10, 2001.  He was precious.  He looked like Andrew.  He lived up to his name.  He truly was a Gift from God.
We had a small family service and buried him.
Then began the hard, long, painful work of healing.

God used Matthew to teach me so much about himself: his goodness, his character, his plans.
God used Matthew to teach me so much about myself: my control issues, my trust issues, my selfishness.
It literally has taken years of pain, time in prayer, time in Gods word.  But he is faithful and he has healed my broken heart.  He is good...and he was good February 10, 2001 when my sweet baby boy was born dead.

Then, 5 years later, God showed off......
On February 10, 2006 he gave us Jackson and Lydia.
They were not due to be born until March, but God had a different plan.
5 years to the day after Matthew was born, he gave us Jackson and Lydia....only God!

He gave me this verse from Job during my healing process, after losing Matthew.
It became my mantra.
It is so true:
"The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, may the name of the Lord be praised."
Last night our family gathered to celebrate two of his gifts:

We had balloons

We had family and friends:

We had Cookie Cake for Lydia

We had an army tank cake for Jackson!

After everyone left.  I also spent some time remembering his third gift:

God has been good to us and he has been faithful.  Through the good times and the bad times and February 10th will always be a day that reminds me in a very real way of his goodness.
HE is Good even when life is not.


Monday, February 4, 2013

My Morning at the Grown up Table

I sat at the "grown-up table" this morning.
Such a blessing to have a part of Granny and Papa's home now a part of mine.
I feel a bit more grown up now.
Its bittersweet....this business of growing up.

 It was a quiet morning.  Filled with gratitude. 
I think one of the good parts of growing up is learning to see things more fully.  The world is not just good and bad and happy and sad.  Sometimes the good of being well loved comes with the bad of a broken heart.
So does that make it good or bad?  Does that leave you happy or sad?
This morning I am thankful for Granny.  I am thankful for Papa.  I am thankful for my parents.  I am thankful for God's Word.  I am thankful for tokens of remembrances.  Thankful for warm tea, quiet mornings, and pretty glasses. Thankful for a big table and lots of sweet children to fill it up!   
God has been good to us.  
He has given me a legacy of godly grandparents and parents who love each other.  
He has given us the blessing of children, a pleasure denied many.
Blessing upon Blessing.

I am thankful.