Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Mission Project 2010: Our House!!

(My computer says it doesn't have enough memory for my pictures from my camera! Argh! Thanks to Janice for letting me borrow some pics from her blog! Janice, thank you for working so hard for me--This picture below is how everyone will remember you! Did you ever take a break??)

There are not enough words to thank those who helped and/or prayed us through this past weekend! Side note: I was about to say on this post how I wished the English language had a lot more words for "thank you" like how the Eskimos have tons of words for "snow," but to be accurate about the number I googled "number of Inuit words for snow" and found that this is actually an urban legend! (Play NBC's "The More You Know" music in your head right now)

My wonderful sister and amazing friend, Dori, planned a service project for anyone who wanted to help me at my house last weekend. I needed help fixing some things around the house and also several rooms had a gray-ish paint and we needed to put some "spring" cheer into our house. I wasn't even able to count (someone said around 30) how many people came, my eyes are filled with tears right now as I think about all of those people who out of the goodness of their hearts gave up their ENTIRE Saturday to work for me, my sweet kids and to glorify God.

I truly believe that Northwest Arkansas has more selfless, caring people than anywhere else in the state. (I did not complete a scientific survey on it, but I am really good at observing.)

Autumn had the great idea to let people write bible verses on the walls before we painted them. I LOVE knowing that these verses are forever on our walls under the new paint and, of course, etched in our hearts.
What amazing people I have surrounding us.
I have to admit I was a little worried that it was going to be left up to me to climb the ladders and finish the trim once the crazy March blizzard hit. It dumped 13 inches of snow! But it could not keep Dori, Clint, Becky, Travis, Tyler and Nellie from coming back the next day to finish up! I need not every worry. I have amazing friends who are examples of what Christians should be to each other. LOVE YOU GUYS! Now that the bulk of the painting was finished, Tara H. has spent several days helping me organize my house. She truly has a gift! At one point I pulled out everything out of my bathroom cabinets and about gave up and shoved it all back in, but she did not miss a beat by showing me how to tackle the job! I have joked in the past that I have .05% hoarder in me, but I can say that I am now a recovering hoarder. I feel that I have been cured! I can now say I completely understand the value of a label gun and numerous plastic tubs. It was extremely difficult to come across some items from Thomas and I's past as we progressed through the miniature archaeological dig of our twelve years of dating and marriage together. I have kept every thing of Thomas's because I want Caroline and Baby T to use it all to get to know their daddy. I enjoyed seeing his handwriting on burnt CDs of music and thought how neat it will be to listen to it with the kids as they get older and "share" that with their dad...
Enough about that part of it for now... I can say that more laughs were had than cry fests this week. Dori, Nellie, Becky and I had a ton of fun taking snow pictures in our "Spring is here" t-shirts Becky made for the weekend. How ironic that it would snow 13 inches on the first day of spring--or is it coincidental? Thomas and I used to talk about how people wrongly use the "ironic" term. Now I can't remember how to use it. I hope to get help w/ my computer and have before and after shots of my house on my next post. Stay Tuned!

Things I don't want to forget from this month: Caroline listening to the "God of Wonders" song says, "This song makes me cry. Sometimes people cry when they are happy."

Caroline kissing her daddy's picture.

Baby Thomas ALWAYS smiling. Always.

Baby T lifting his tummy off the ground in the crawl postition! (Not close to crawling yet, 22 lbs is a lot to get moving!)

Bare arms and snow angels. (I laughed so hard I cried about how we look like "Flat Stanlies" in this picture. The snow was so deep, our bodies were even with the top of it!)
Caroline seeing her trampoline for the first time. She is speechless!

Becky and I watching and listening to Caroline on the baby monitor go into Thomas's room to rub his head, kiss him and tell him "I love you" without her knowing.

Cutie Caroline at Sara and Aiden's Gymnastic Joe's Bday party

Caroline, Aly and Thomas at the Walton Arts Center. All the way there Caroline kept saying, "I'm so excited!"
(She's eating fruit snacks provided by Robyn--Thanks, Rob!)

Last, but not least...Becky's birthday dinner with the family tonight. We are so blessed.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Frog Sounds are Back

A picture taken by Thomas with his cell phone: (thanks, Adam for helping me get them onto my computer!)
My title means we've just about made it to spring. I was putting Thomas down to sleep in his crib and I heard the familiar "chirping" noises coming from the frogs singing their hearts out across the road in the pond. My breath stopped in my throat for just a moment as I remember posting about these very sounds last year and the piercing pain it brought because that was such a special memory for me. And here they are again.Thomas telling Mollie that we are supposed to pat the bible, not eat it. Too cute.

What do those sounds mean to me? So many things. I've made it another year. It means the spring I have been longing for all winter is here. (Don't get me wrong, I know in Arkansas you do not run out and plant your tomatoes until the last freeze that is sure to come in March, this warm weather is just a tease for now.)
But, spring is working its way through to us. I stepped outside for just a minute and listened, and then noticed the hint of warm spring on my skin while standing in the dark of night, but only feeling the warmth in between the wafts of the cold breeze that is trying its best to let us know winter has not quite let go of its grip on us. The elation and excitement that comes to me each time a season changes was so short lived tonight, I was not sure it even happened. I have been moaning about how awful and long the winter has been and how I can't wait for spring, blah, blah blah--and here it is, just what I wanted, and yet, it is an empty feeling I am left with. Replaced in about 1.5 seconds later with the realization that this is a lesson from God that I have been faced with over and over. No matter what we want, or think we want or need, once we get "it," we realize it doesn't fulfill that longing. Only God can do that. So, as I am eager to shed our coats and jackets once and for all, I go confidently into tomorrow knowing that there is a way to fill that "hole" in my heart and it is not going to come with spring. It is coming from my growing relationship with Jesus. Of course, the spring sunshine and being able to explore the big outdoors with Caroline and Thomas will do great things for my spirits. Yet, I just know that the only way to feel as complete as possible after suffering a loss like we have and for anyone feeling God is not giving them what they need or want: I ALWAYS feel more alive and more "okay" the closer I am to Him, and when I take my eyes off of Him for even a few moments I can tell the difference. So please, all of you, hold me accountable and keep my sweet little family of 3 on the path to know and experience God in all the ways we possibly can. Thank you for all your prayers. Now go outside and enjoy God's creation!Happy 1st Birthday, Ben! We LOVED your backyard!