Many things have been celebrated since my last post. Joyce turned 10 years old on December 22nd and we had her first Birthday party, ever, at Kate’s Skating Rink. Joyce was a bit nervous since she had never skated before, but we could not pass up the free birthday party she won as her prize for winning a 5k race in the Spring (yes it was quite nice and convenient). She did fall quite a bit, but so did all of her friends. I think she was most excited about the smash cake that I got for her. She insisted upon having a cake like Zori did for her party, and I agree everyone should have one smash cake once in their life, even if they are 10 years old. Joyce was completely unashamed and unembarrassed as she smashed her face into that cake! She even did it for us a second time, since we were so shocked and missed our photo opportunity. Unfortunately, I don’t have that picture yet, I will post it when I do. After the party we surprised her with a trip to the mountains. This was not quite as fun as the party. The trip was saved for the kids by the indoor pool, but it was more of a learning trip for Mommy and Daddy. We learned there will be no sleep (at least for Mommy) with 5 people in one room, when one of those is a baby! I’m guessing Zori just felt like it was a big slumber party so she was too excited for the “slumber” part. Also, we tried to take them up the mountain on the big tram but it was so foggy you couldn’t see anything. All in all, I learned we should just drive up to the mountains when it snows, go on a hike, and come home. And we could have just gone to Great Wolf Lodge for the night and spent less money, but like I said, it was a learning experience.
We also just had our first Christmas as a family of 5! This was Joyce’s first Christmas with a tree and presents and all the festivities. On Christmas Eve
morning as she threw sugar in my face (not in a playful way) I was wondering if this was the “Sabotage” moment I had just read about on Jen Hatmaker’s blog
(http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2014/12/15/parenting-kiddos-who-sabotage-big-days ). As most of you know, our relationship is fragile, but it has been a very good month. Somehow she hit her reset button and it ended up being a great night with family. When Dane came home Christmas morning from work, we finished setting everything up and watched our traditional John Piper video, then prayed for what the morning would bring. We were both pleasantly surprised. All the kids were beyond excited and happy about their gifts and were pleasant all day long.
Last night was New Year’s Eve. We spent the evening watching the movie, “Mom’s Night Out” with my Mom and the kids. By 9:00pm Faith actually told us she was ready to go to bed, and Dane took her to her room and she went right to sleep. Joyce stayed up and finished watching the movie with us. She was the most compliant she has ever been with going to bed after allowing her to stay up with us. By the way, if you have not seen the movie, “Mom’s Night Out” it is a must see for all my mommy friends out there. It was just what I needed after a day full of “Moments” for myself.
So I have a few New Year’s resolutions other than the normal cliche, “get fit”. I am going to do my best to extend more grace to my kids, my husband, and myself. Mommy guilt is a legitimate problem and can ruin you if you let it. It really is wasted energy fretting over never actually getting around to all those pins on pinterest. I have spent most of 2014 complaining and frustrated and I’m so over it. As mothers we need to be speaking God’s truth into our lives on a daily basis. Yes, being a Mom is hard, one of the hardest jobs to have, but it is one of the biggest blessings. Dane got me the book, “Mom Enough” for Christmas and it’s perfect for busy moms. It is packed with life changing perspective to start your day, of course accompanied with the Bible. I am also going to try to have more time to myself. This sounds selfish, but I have found it essential to my state of mind and my perspective. You cannot extend grace when you are depleted. So whether it is running errands alone, going to try to have more time to myself. This sounds selfish, but I have found it essential to my state of mind and my perspective. You cannot extend grace when you are depleted. So whether it is running errands alone, going to the grocery store alone, or really splurging and getting your nails done, this time away helps put our perspective back to where it needs, and should, be.
Here is a brief paragraph from the book “Mom Enough”; “The good news is you don’t need to graduate from some elite mother’s training camp to apply the gospel in your life. You need to believe. Trust God. Give thanks. Laugh. Believe, and that will feed your children. Rest in God, and your children will learn to rest in God. Extend God’s kindness to you, to them. Forgive them the way God forgave you. You have everything you need to spiritually nourish your children, because you have Christ.” (Rachel Jankovic).
I hope everyone has a Blessed New Year! I’m hoping 2015 will be a little more calm than 2014. We are currently still living in my parents house. Hoping when Dane gets home from Uganda we will start to figure out something more permanent. Please pray for Dane’s upcoming two week trip!