Friday, August 30, 2013

First World Problems.

I recently read an article on Babycenter entitled "Please Stop Buying Toys For My Kid."
 
I have no idea why, but the title just put me off.
 
This is such a first world problem. In fact, most all of our problems in this country are first world problems and it aggravates me.
 
This author goes on to basically complain that she doesn't have space for all of the toys people buy her child...once again, first world problem. I get it, ok. We are all surrounded by Toys R Us, Walmarts, Targets, etc, and it's easy to go overboard with toys for their birthdays and Christmas. I get it, it's hard to organize them. You feel like they are overwhelming your life. But I don't know - to sit there and complain that your child has too many toys is just insulting to me. There are kids in this world who will never have a toy bought for them for Christmas or their birthday and you are sitting there complaining that people are buying your child too many, like it's a real problem in life? Go donate those underused toys that he doesn't play with anymore to people or charities who need them. Like those children who are sitting in shelters with no home at all.
 
I just wish that we didn't always put our problems out there in such a way that makes us look like spoiled Americans with nothing better to do than complain about the amount of toys we have in our house. Can't you just quietly clean out your home of toys and not have to publically declare it and complain about it? At least acknowledge while you are complaining, that in the grand scheme of life, this problem has the significance of a chickpea and think about all of those children who have nothing and maybe think twice about complaining about it at all.
 
I hate even saying anything because there are so many things we all complain about that really don't matter, I am guilty of it as the next person. Facebook is the worst for complaining about insignificant things. "My cable is broken!" "I have waited in line for 10 minutes to buy groceries!" "I am not a huge fan of my teacher (in the education system we receive in this country that isn't even a right it's mandatory)." I realize I sound so hyprocritical right now, seeing as how I've probably said all of those things, and then some, on my own Facebook feed. But I guess sometimes, you see something that gives you a little perspective on just how good we have it, like being able to write whatever I want on my very own blog on my laptop computer that I appreciate now oh so very much more.
 
Ok, off my soapbox for the day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Good First Week!!

Well, the kids had their first day of school Monday!!
 

 
They came back to our house with a full report on their day. Sophia met some new friends, has the same teacher Jordan had in 3rd grade, had extended recess (OMG!) and loves her math. It's going to be a good year!!
 
We were informed that even though Sophia had started soccer this year, she was begging her mom to let her out of it. We all talked to her and got the same consensus, that maybe it wasn't soccer so much she didn't like but maybe circumstances like switching to a new coach and the heat of practicing. She mentioned that she wanted to do tumbling (she'd done gymnastics before and quit because she didn't like the balance beam), so maybe next year. It's hard to know when to make a kid continue on doing an activity or to just let them quit. I am glad her mom made her stick with it, though.
 

 
Jordan came back with a moment by moment telling of his first day in middle school. He got his own locker, went to all of his classes, really loves art and band (although he didn't actually get to play his instrument), likes his English teacher, but might not like math all that much.
 
I felt bad for him. He got an extender put in his mouth the week before and although I don't think he'd ever tell us, he was in pain that night. He barely ate dinner and didn't seem as jolly as normal. He's really grown into a kid with a pretty good attitude about stuff. Although, he did come in asking for his own DVR box in his room. I thought he was joking at first, surely he didn't think we'd give him that much freedom of TV at 11, but after the 4th time he mentioned it, I looked at him and smiled and said, "Jordan, do you really think that's going to happen?" I think he was actually disappointed. But, you never get if you don't ask, right?
 
I couldn't help but think about them both...
 
 
These two little kids, 4 and 7 here, changed my life completely the moment I met them. I can't believe it's almost been 5 years and they are getting so old. Jordan driving isn't too far off, Sophia will soon be double digits, I just can't even believe how fast time is going. And don't even get me started with Avery going into kindergarten herself, someday. No, I won't think about it!!!
 

Glad we are having a good first week of school. We get the kids this weekend for an extended weekend, I am looking forward to it!!!
 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Avery Got Her Hair Cut!!

Avery got her haircut by the best hairdresser in the business, her aunt Brooke!!
 

 
Before:

 
After!!
 
 
Brooke and Dave asked if she could come spend the night last night, so we had a good date night. We went to go pick her up this morning and got to see my niece officially taking steps on her own!! I couldn't believe it. She is so big these days!!!
 
This is my last week before I have my surgery next Tuesday. Prayers are appreciated, it's elective surgery but I am a little bit worried about recovery. I am so blessed to be able to have a job that allows me ample time to relax and recoup, so keep me in mind this week!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

"But, But, That's Not Fair!!"

This last week has been a trying time for our family. We had something happen that was a little surprising - nothing horrible or upsetting to our lives - just something that was, well, for lack of a better phrase, "Completely unfair."
 
My dad always told me, when I would complain of something being unfair, he would say, "The fair only comes once a year and it's in September." It was just his way of saying "Life isn't fair, kid. Better get used to it." I used to hate, hate, hate that phrase. It made me feel like he didn't care about my feelings, like he wasn't on my side. But now, I am glad I learned that lesson because man, life isn't fair sometimes. It can be blatently, ridiculously, incredibly UNfair.
 
Last week was one of those weeks. Jason and I have had to deal with a number of things in our almost 5 years together that really weren't fair. Times when we would have to turn the other cheek or just deal with it, no matter how upset it made us or how unfair it was. But, we did it. This last week was just one of those times that just knocked the wind out of us and just reminded us that sometimes, even when you do all of the right things, life just isn't fair all the time.
 
Now, sometimes, life is very fair. Sometimes, life is more than fair. Life gives us gifts we don't deserve. Yet, for some reason, we tend to look at the unfairness more than the fairness. Today, we had to pray to God to just let the unfairness of the situation go, and move on with our lives. That we can't harp on this forever. There are those people in life who hang on to the unfairness and won't let it go and it hinders their entire lives from getting past it. (Pieces of all of our childhoods, perhaps?) But sometimes, you just have to do the best you can and then move on. That is tough. Really tough. But you have to do it, sometimes.
 
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4  
 
I just thought I'd write that today, if anyone is in a current situation or circumstance that you find "unfair." For those of you who feel like everyone else's lives are working out just fine and yours isn't. For those who are in a predicament that isn't the most ideal. You aren't alone and you aren't the only one who sometimes has to "suck it up and move on."

Now, with that said, here are some pictures of how our lives are more than fair, these three little blessings. Jordan starts middle school this year. MIDDLE SCHOOL. When I first met him, he was in the FIRST GRADE. How did this happen? He is the same height as my chin. He is starting band. He is going to a new school. He is getting braces today! I am just floored with how big he is!!

 
Sophia is starting third grade and she is just a joy this year!! I am so looking forward to this year for her.

 
And then there is this little stinker.
 
 
Life is good.
 
 
 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hearing God's Voice

Last night I got to go to a Bible study at church and we talked about living out our lives according to God's word and how we go about doing that. We talked about testing our faith and living an examined life so that we may always be striving to be more like Jesus. I knew I wanted to write a post about that today, a post about how to make choices in your life according to God's will for you. My morning devotional had this verse and God was speaking directly about this very topic...
 
“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.”
II Thessalonians 1:11 (NLT)
 
Wow. That's a great verse about living a life in Jesus' call, isn't it?
 
The New Testament has beautiful, inspirational verses in it, doesn't it? I mean, FULL of them. But our Bible isn't just meant to inspire us. It's meant to teach us and guide us on living a life in Jesus' will and also teaches us how to listen to God's voice and have a relationship with Him that is set up in a way that we aren't just reading verses, we aren't just doing "good things," but we are applying those things in our lives on a daily, even hourly basis.
 
Last night, we talked about right things to do and wrong things to do. I mean, reading the Bible so that you may know the difference between something you should be doing and something you shouldn't be doing. While there are many of those "right and wrong" situations that pop up in life, sometimes the choices we find ourselves in aren't "right and wrong" choices, but "which good choice is best?" decisions and "what does God want me to do with my life right now?" decisions. Those are the hardest because there isn't a clear cut answer in the Bible to answer my own specific situation like there are about other things. That's when you have to hear God's voice telling you what you need to do.
 
God's voice has always become clear in different ways for me. You have to really listen with more than just your head. You have to listen with your eyes, your circumstances, your heart. Sometimes, it takes a while for God to answer prayers on direction for your life. Sometimes, you have to wait and see what God says about it. But the trick is to wait and see, not make choices based on your own knowledge and understanding. It's knowing that God has plans to prosper you, not harm you, and to give you hope for a bright future. All too often, we look at circumstances that are uncomfortable and upsetting as setbacks to our Christian walk, but when you start walking with God, reading His word, and praying, you start to see those situations as curves on a race track, if you will. They are those bumpers on the side, that are bumping you to drive in another direction. Being bumped is jarring, sure, but it redirects you to where God wants you to go. Once you change your mindset, once you start to see all of these things in life as possible opportunities to grow and become closer to the person God wants you to be, you stop looking at things as frustrating and aggravating and you say, "God is really wanting me to learn and grow from this right now, I am going to keep my eyes and ears open to Him and see how He wants to me to go forward or where He is trying to lead me."
 
Last night, we read a verse talking about the "basics" of being a Christian and how Paul said he was tired of preaching the basics over and over again, how we should get past the basic ideas of Christianity to a knew understanding and maturity of living our lives.  "Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God," (Hebrews 6:1) Your walk will only grow if you allow God to really mold your life. Watch for situations, every day, that God has put in your path that allow you to grow into a "new creation" for Him. Those situations aren't always "bad," but rather, situations that allow you to learn and grow towards the person He wants you to be.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Beach

Well, we just got back from the beach. I am tired. Jason is tired. Avery wasn't tired (once we got home). The dogs were very happy to see us!!
 
Avery was the cutest two year old on the beach!!
 
 
It was such a pretty beach!
 
 
Although, I wasn't thrilled to get stung my a jellyfish all over my legs.
 
The drives down there and back were long. 12 hours on both trips. But, everything worked out OK and we got where we were going without any major incidences, like blowouts or accidents.
 
 
Always a favorite of mine is sitting on a patio drinking coffee, even if the beach is hot and so is coffee.
 
 
The beach was so much fun, especially for the girls. Colbi loved the sand so much that she ate a little bit.
 









 
We ate at two really great restaurants while we were down there. This place was called Lulu's and it is owned by Jimmy Buffet's sister. It was an open air seafood restaurant right next to the water. It was great!!
 





 
And of course. there was lots of relaxing and hanging out. And love. And goofiness.
 





 
Isn't she precious???



Friday, August 2, 2013

Super Excited - Netflix Profiles is Coming!

 
In our house, we probably watch more Netflix than anything else. I love it mainly for the TV shows and Jason loves it for action movies. I will also add several chick flicks from time to time. Jordan watches Merlin and other older-kid movies, Sophia watches She-Ra and Littlest Pet Shop, and Avery watches Sesame Street and Super Why.
 
Without a doubt, the kids watch Netflix more than either Jason or I do, so in our recommended sections, or all of the other streaming videos, they mostly end up being stuff for kids. It gets very aggravating because most of the time, I will end up having to search for stuff I want to watch (I know, first-world problems), or end up floating through a sea of little kids movies, The Avengers cartoons, or all four of the Mission: Impossible movies and any and all movies or TV shows kind of like it.
 
Beginning this month, for the same monthly price of $7.99, they are now adding profiles onto Netflix to allow each member of the family to log in as themselves, allowing them to only have movies and TV shows that cater to their tastes. Hallelujah!! From what I understand, you can have up to 5 profiles per account. I have also heard that, unfortunately, Roku won't have the profiles up and running for a while. That's a bummer. We also get Netflix through our TV and it's even less sophisticated than our Roku. Not quite sure why all streaming devices are so different, but hey, at least it's on the horizon, right?
 
Netflix now apparently has some great original programming. I've heard a few of the TV shows they've created are pretty awesome. I probably need to watch those at some point.
 
I have a feeling before too long, things with cable with be going the way of corded phones and how we watch stuff will be completely different. Hopefully, Netflix will stay at the low monthly price of $7.99 and I can continue to get great stuff to watch!!