Monday, November 26, 2007

Joy's day



A couple of photos to share our recent celebrations. We moved from Hud's camo to all things girly for Basden Joy's "Sparkle with Joy" party.

In addition to Basden's party, we enjoyed our 2nd annual "birthday tea party" with her sweet cousin Nettie May, who turned 4 just 13 days before Basden's birthday. Darling time, already looking forward to next year. Happy birthday, sweet girls!

PS - For those of you wondering about the absence of my "Wednesday Wonders" this week and last, I guess you've figured out I'm taking a break! Hopefully the WW posts will return, but not likely until after the holidays. Thanks for checking in...

Monday, November 19, 2007

New Skin

I took the kids to the zoo today. Gorgeous weather, with everyone out of school for Thanksgiving. And even though half of Fort Worth had the same idea, it was a great outing for our little family. I enjoyed having the kids to myself - I was able to purely focus on my own little ones without the distractions I often feel when we're with friends.
Our favs:
Bran- hippo (licking it's own poop, no less)
Hud - meerkats (big surprise)
Basden - turtles (watched them up close in the herpetarium)
Esther - don't know what her fav was, but she definitely didn't like the large lizards two inches from her nose licking the glass separating them. Ha!
The majestic Asian white tiger paced right in front of us, steadily meeting eyes with the kids as it passed back and forth. We watched a baby kangaroo snoozing in the sunshine, only to open one lazy eye and happily nod in our direction. Hudson almost passed out with amazement when an enormous eagle spread its wings and sauntered across a tree branch. Loads of God's creativity on display for us at the zoo today.
My fav?
In the snake house - herpetarium - we observed a snake shed it's skin. What a vulnerable, intimate privilege for us as spectators. This was actually our second time to catch a snake at just the right time, rubbing it's smooth, scaly sheath against the rough bark of a limb to rid itself of its former wrinkled saran-wrap. Not a quick process. Mesmerized, we watched patiently as the snake coiled itself around several branches before proclaiming liberty from the old skin. Celebration erupted on our side of the glass.
My thoughts immediately shifted to the beauty and creativity of God's design for this simple animal. And what I stand to learn from observing. What would it feel like to have brand-new skin?
Today was one of those "don't like myself too much" days. I feel out of shape from not exercising regularly. Haven't been careful with my eating, so I'm sluggish and tired. I've been spending more money than normal with parties and hosting and gifts in recent weeks. Besides just the physical, my thoughts the past few days have been negative and my responses curt. It's weighty and slows me down. Like crinkly old skin that needs to be shed. The new, shiny skin is sure inviting.
I'm recognizing the need for self control and sacrifice in the dailies of my life.
Thank you, Lord, that you give me new chances. You are generous to provide reminders and motivation for shedding old habits and forming new patterns. Just like that snake getting rid of the excess, You can help me get rid of unnecessary baggage. I'm reminded too, that the snake welcomed change and something new that would inevitably bring him more comfort and freedom. Let me not fear change and hard work!
And one more thing... does this mean next time I should bypass the ice cream parlor after leaving the herpetarium??

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hud's Birthday Campout






A few photos from Hudson's 6th birthday party last night, very fun! Corbin and I enjoyed the boys a ton, and Hudson felt very celebrated getting to have his buddies over for the party.
A few highlights:
- Our friend Jeremy came to the rescue, loaning us his (brand-new!) fire bowl, and the boys had a blast roasting marshmallows
- Corbin's "flashlight hide & seek" game, something he came up with at the last minute that worked magic with the kids!
- Cappy in the tent scaring the boys telling "The Big Purple Toe" - I hadn't heard that story in over 20 years! Basden was so scared she climbed out of the tent and into my lap. Wishing that Trey, Chris & Luke were there to hear it.
- Hud's grin while we sang Happy Birthday
- Hud's grin while he opened his gifts
- Mom came by and helped decorate the campout cake, turned out adorable. Again, Hud loved it, which made it a success.
Now we are switching gears and headed into Basden's birthday week, down comes the camo and up goes the glitter...

Friday, November 9, 2007

A Decline in Perfectionism

With each child's addition to our family, my perfectionist tendencies are decreasing. You should see Hudson's Kindergarten party invitations we sent out in August. If you compared his to the ones we did for Bran two years ago, it's a hoot. Great intentions, but not the follow through. And I have to say, there's a freedom and liberty that comes with letting go of having everything just perfect.

We are entering "tax season" for the Wilson family. Just celebrated Daddy's birthday and Halloween, and now we're preparing for Hudson's and Basden's birthdays this weekend and next week, before spending the week of Thanksgiving at the lake with both sets of grandparents. Hud will have an outdoor camp-out party complete with tents and sleeping bags, flashlight tag, frito pie and s'mores over the campfire ("what campfire?" you ask... somehow Corbin is going to build a (legal?) fire pit in the lower part of our yard between the time he gets off work Fri and before the party starts at 6:00), and an amazing campfire cake. Well, we'll see how amazing it turns out to be. The concept is amazing.

Basden gets to celebrate a couple of times. Her sweet cousin Nettie May is coming from the mountains for a girly tea party to celebrate both girls' birthdays, and then we'll also have a handful of girlfriends over for a "Sparkle with Joy" party. Think Fancy Nancy.

So... I have lots and lots and lots of thoughts and ideas for these parties.
And I can even cram in most of the preparations.
BUT, I've sensed the Lord's cautioning all week. Last night leaving Fuddrucker's for our 2nd end-of-the-season soccer party this week, He nudged me, "Is it really worth taking 3 kids into Target after dark to buy supplies for a GREAT party favor, but one that will take literally hours to make?"
I promptly thought, "Of course!"
So He insisted, "No. I was hoping you'd have enough sense by now to come to this on your own. No more projects for this party. My thoughts trump yours."
(With hesitation) "Ok."
The amusing thing is that we already have party favors. But this new idea was even better than the others - original and personalized - and I had convinced myself that it would be the party of all parties if I could pull this other favor off. But God said no. That's the pattern for me right now. Pushing, pushing. (And I wonder where my son gets it?)

Instead of running in circles wanting everything to be perfect (original and personalized!), I really long for a satisfied heart. And nothing satisfies my soul like resting in God's Word, and the way He makes it seep into my heart. My friend Krista just posted a great resume' of God's work in her life through Scripture, and the importance of His powerful Word in our lives. And just yesterday the Lord directed me to a passage Corbin and I can pray over our oldest that makes me cry, simply because it's so perfect. But I have to be quiet and still before Him if I want to discover the beauties in His Word and in hearing Him. Well, last night I heard Him pretty clearly in a car of wired kiddos pulling out of Fuddrucker's parking lot, but then again, He spoke loudly.

Two verses I've come across today that quiet my heart and remind me of the necessity and beauty of being still with Him:

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it. Ps 39:6


How do you like that? Bustles about in vain... sadly that describes much of my efforts in parenting and in life. And who is the recipient of all this "work?" All my kids want is to play a game of Candyland or Scrabble. Or to watch them skateboard. Or just blow bubbles in the front yard. Just last night while reading with Hudson, Basden took my chin in her hands and turned my face to hers, and she said with a gentle smile, "Mommy, reading is a good thing for us to do."

He who dwells in the shadow of the Most High will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty.
Ps 91:1


Not brain surgery. Abiding brings rest. You'd think I'd have learned it by now. But instead of just feeling desirous of rest and communion with the Lord, I am ravenous for it.

Thank you, Lord, for your availability. For speaking to me both in the chaos of sugar-high children and in the stillness of our living room. Thank you for nudging me down a path of less perfectionism and leading me to laughing with and enjoying my kids and husband. I know I'm going to continue to need your gentle (and not so gentle) prodding. All I desire is rest in your Shadow!
(and by the way, Lord, you know what I'm thinking for Basden's party... are we still a thumb's up on that?)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wednesday Wonder & A Perfect Stocking Stuffer



When you think of a stay-at-home mom who loves gardening, oil painting, writing, and photography, and who happens to be gifted and accomplished in each area, do you wonder how she does it with three young boys?
Now add to that list Olympic trials, international fashion modeling, a degree in Mechanical Engineering (from Perdue) and experience with a Fortune 500 Company. Yikes. The resume' might be intimidating, but the girl is not. Meet Jennifer King, one of the kindest and most interesting friends I met at Mt. Hermon last Spring. We sat next to each other during a meal, and I was excited to learn that this young mom juggled life with 3 kids who are similar ages to mine. Little did I know at that point the depth of her talent...
Click on Jennifer's site, and don't miss the unbelievable photos of flowers and landscapes - and then look again knowing they're all from her own backyard!
The most impressive things about this girl is that she's as down to earth as they come... it's exciting that Jennifer's thoughts and perspective are now available to women everywhere through this One Year Devotional.

Check out Jennifer's new book, The One Year Mini for Busy Women.
Just released last month, the book is a 365 day inspirational, published by Tyndale House Publishers. Congrats, Jennifer, proud to call you friend!

** Look for my Wednesday Wonder posts week - please forgive the cheesy name - as I highlight friends and people making decisions in light of God's leading... enjoy! **

Monday, November 5, 2007

Must read

This posted yesterday by Kyle Ogle on his caringbridge site...
Be sure and go to his journal from Sunday, Nov 5th.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Clean

We are not typically a "bathe our kids every night" family.
Shocker, I know.
But given the effort involved, combined with our full evenings, we just never got into routines of bathing our kids every single night.
Things change when your boy turns 7 and runs hard at recess every day. I can't imagine sending our eldest to school without a bath at this point, I don't think his tablemates could make it through the day. He can shower completely on his own now, and it's a nightly ritual we don't skip.
I've noticed on my late-night rounds, tucking & kissing the slumbering children, that Bran smells of lavendar shampoo - clean. It's a wonderful smell, and I go to bed feeling that somehow deeper sleep and sweeter dreams come with freshly-washed bodies.
So last week was a rough one with this little guy. In a nutshell, Bran is giving us opportunities to pull in the reigns of discipline a little more tightly. Not fun, but necessary. I had to follow through with some very difficult consequences one day last week, and within minutes of executing them, the "old Branson" I hadn't seen for weeks reappeared. Amazing that this stuff really works.
That night I sneaked into his darkened room well past midnight, checking to make sure he was snuggled under his covers. No bath that evening. But as I stood on my tiptoes and stretched across the top bunk to kiss his cheek, somehow his smell was more clean and fresh than it had been in months. He was clean from inside out, and it smelled beautiful.