Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bad Remus, part 2

What good is 5 inches of snow if you can't play in it,
make snow angels, and build snowmen?

Building our first snowman in years!!

Meet Sylvester the Snowman!

Once the Finnlings built our snowman, they helped our neighbors with theirs:-)

Date taken: February 26, 2015

St. Patrick's Day

For fun on St. Patrick's Day, we let the kids eat Lucky Charms cereal.
Though the pictures don't show it, they all really liked it...
though one or two may have tried to pick out the marshmallows only
(I NEVER did that as a child, did you?)

Baxter had to have cavities filled on St. Patrick's Day, 
so I rewarded him (and all the Finnlings) with a shake from Sonic
--half price shakes on St Patty's Day!--
No picture of my big, brave boy, but I snapped one of me

Date taken: March 17, 2015

First sno balls of the season

Pelican's Snoballs is a favorite stop during the spring and summer,
so when it opened back up last weekend, we had to go!
Nothing says spring is coming better than a yummy snoball

This little monster stole my snoball for his own
(okay, I'll grant you, I intended to share it, but just ended up giving it to him)

Date taken: March 16, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bad Remus hits Wake Forest

You may know that winter weather systems are now getting names like summer hurricanes.
Last week, Wake Forest was hit by Remus.
My friend and I started calling it Bad Remus (#badremus) because, frankly, snow just messes up our lives here in the south. Bad Remus hit us on Thursday, Feb 26, just two days after a surprise snowfall cancelled classes and big activities at Southeastern that Nathan was in charge of (boo!).

The average snowfall for our area from #badremus was 5.75".
That's the most that has fallen since 2000, and the most we have ever seen.

The snow started on Wednesday evening and continued through the night

The delight in my children's faces to wake up in Narnia was priceless

On our back deck, we were measuring just under 6" of accumulation!

Our winter wonderland

These panoramic shots are some of my favorites.
If you click on the picture, you should be able to enlarge it

When you don't have snow-proof shoes, you break out the fancy footgear

I tried to coin a new term: Snelfie, a snow selfie. It hasn't quite caught on yet!

I think my house is super pretty in the snow!

Date taken: February 26, 2015

Seizing the little moments (or, what God taught me through changed plans)

As I am sure you know, the best laid plans don't always (often? ever?)  turn out the way you hope they will. The Lord gently--or not so gently--reminded me that 
His plans are better than my plans this past fall.

It wasn't anything overtly 'spiritual' that happened. Nothing life changing.
But MY big plans had to change, and honestly, I wasn't very happy about it.
I was down-right ugly and mean about it. Yet God took my ugly, mean, selfish heart,
and softened it, and gave me new plans,
and new eyes to see, and precious, precious, precious things to enjoy.

Normally I wouldn't document it quite so closely, but I want to remember this 
in days where my selfishness rears its ugly head again.

Here's how it went down:
My two big kids were eligible this past fall to attend New Life Camp in north Raleigh.
NLC is a non-denominational Christian camp that provides all kinds of wonderful activities for children, including homeschool enrichment classes once or twice a week.
Baxter was old enough to attend in the fall, and Georgia had attended fall of 2013.
The spots for these classes fill up lightning fast.
I debated the classes I wanted the kids to have and I made sure to set the alarm on my phone to register when it opened last spring.

Do you know where we were living last spring? Jackson, TN.
Time zone: Central
When I set my alarm, I set it for Central Time, not Eastern Time. That one hour delay in registering meant the NLC classes THAT I WANTED were almost filled.
I cried, and probably swore silently, and tried not to throw the computer.
There were spots available, but either they were not for the classes I WANTED 
or there were not two spots available.
Lo, and behold, as I searched, I found two slots for an afternoon class.
Again, it was not what I WANTED, but I took it hoping that other spots would open up.

See, the reason I didn't want the afternoon class was because I had this grand plan worked out in my head. My big two kids were going to take two classes in the morning at NLC. 
They would also stay for lunch. That is about 3.5 hours that they would be busy.
I was planning to hire a babysitter for the little two, and 
once a week or twice a month at least I would have 3.5 hours alone.
Me, alone, without the kids. Time to shop alone. Go to Jubala alone. 
Sit in the van and read alone if I want. It was MY PLAN.

The classes never opened up like I wanted. I never hired a babysitter like I planned.
Instead, from 12-2 every Thursday for approximately ten weeks,
I had time with just my two littles.
I am a stay at home mom who homeschools. It is a honest and hard thing 
that my children do not always get individual time with me.
This time with the little two became precious.
Eleanor especially delighted in it. We most often spent the time at Lafayette Village,
enjoying coffee from Jubala, and cupcakes from Upper Crust Bakery,
and popping into Savory Spice Shop just to taste their spices.
When the weather was pleasant, E and F would run their little hearts out
on the lawn of the shopping center.
Sometimes we ran errands or bought groceries, but most often
we just returned to the coffee shop and savored our time together.

It was precious. And this spring, instead of reverting back to my original plans,
I kept the same schedule as the fall.
Why? Because now I look forward to the time with my littles.
I want to hang out over coffee with them, and watch them laugh as they run around in circles.
Eleanor will be bigger soon, and able to attend classes with her siblings
before I can even blink my eyes. I long for her to treasure her time with her momma
when she is older, so I need to build that in now.

I rejoice that the Lord overruled my selfish plans, and gave me these uninterrupted
little moments with my smallest kiddos.
Sometimes I forget to talk to them, treasure them, just BE with them.

But for a couple of hours on most Thursdays, I have that chance.
To God be the Glory.

Date taken: November 20, 2014