• Summertime.

    Summertime.

    Kids cannot WAIT to get out of school it seems like.

     

    About a month before the 2018/2019 school year was over Elijah began asking me every single day, ”Mom, how many days left of school?” I’m sure I’m not the only parent who has experienced this! Please GOD don’t let me be the only one who had to check her attitude every morning and answer him politely.

    I get it! I remember the last month of school was dreadful! All you could think about was going to the lake, staying up late and sleeping in. I remember daydreaming of ice cream and vacation and all of the things. What got even more exciting was when there was only a WEEK left! The classroom suddenly became more bearable and the air was fresher simply because you knew you wouldn’t be stuck in there much longer. The best day of all was the last one when you got to watch a movie, have extra recess, and clean off the desks with that foam cleaner! Then the bell would ring and… SUMMER HAD FINALLY ARRIVED!

    But I am sure that just like that countdown began so early, so did your kids boredom.

    One of the most frustrating things for me to hear is “Mom, I’m bored. What can I do?” Which usually comes up after his 30 minutes of video game time is up. What can you do? How about go get messy outside or play with the 8 trillion legos you have that I am constantly stepping on. It drives me insane! So this summer I decided to save him the boredom and save me my sanity.

    Summer Bucket List 2019!

    I stole this idea from our pastors wife but edited it some to things specifically for Elijah and I! All kids have different interests and all families have different budgets! So far we have made a pretty good dent in our list. We first had an “Adventure Day” where we packed snacks in our backpacks and put on our ball caps to go out adventuring.
    We drove a little over an hour to the Arbuckle Wilderness!

    I had never been but it was a blast! Their website had a $2 off coupon per admission so that saved a few dollars, and we bought 3 cups of animal food and a bag of fish food! The grand total here was $36.76, not too bad in my opinion! We drove with our windows down and fed the animals as they came up to our car. We saw PLENTY of llamas, donkeys, and alpacas! But we also got to see bison, zebra, deer, rams, geese, and we will never forget the camels! Beware of the camels! They are aggressive!! Also, the rams might scratch the paint on your car like they so lovingly did to mine. And the donkeys  might also decide to follow your car or not move their heads out of the way of your side mirrors. Whoops. After we drove through which took about an hour to an hour and a half we parked and went to walk around the outside area they have where we fed the fish and saw some kangaroos. There honestly wasn’t much to do or see in the walk around area but it was included in admission and we bought the fish food so why not!?

    After we left there we headed to Arbuckle Fried Pies –
    because who doesn’t love pie?

     

     For $11.77 we got 3 pies! Peach, apple, and a broccoli/chicken one. I am pregnant after all! I needed to make sure to have some kind of substance… even if it was fried! They were all delicious!  Highly recommend. We next headed back toward the city but stopped in Pauls Valley at The Toy & Action Figure Museum. It looks like a tiny place because it is located on a cute old downtown street in the middle of town! We headed in and it cost us $12.00 total! I don’t really care about action figures but if you like comics or that sort of thing you could spend HOURS in here. The walls are filled with pictures and toys and all sorts of collectibles. Pictures don’t do it justice! Even though I went here specifically for Elijah I still enjoyed looking at it all. They  also had a play area with a lot of action figures and toys and costumes kids could play with or dress up in! This pregnant momma had a nice little rest for about 30 minutes while Elijah set up action figures and battled them. I was exhausted and honestly could have taken a nap on that bench!

    We’ve done a few other things on our bucket list, but I will save those for another blog post! Follow along on instagram and facebook if you wanna see what we get in to before I write about it!

    And create a bucket list of your own!

    There is nothing like getting out and exploring with your kids! These are priceless memories they will cherish forever, and you’ll be thankful you set aside your phone to enjoy your children.

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  • Father’s Day.

    Father's Day

    I was talking to my son the other night while he was taking a shower and he was telling me how I am the best mom he has ever had.

    He went on to start talking to me about his dad and how much he loves him. If you know anything about our life you know that Elijah’s dad is not his biological dad. I usually don’t even have to clarify who he is talking about anymore when he says dad because he rarely talks about his biological one anymore. He went on to tell me “I would take a bullet for my dad.”

    This was the same evening I sat in Elijah’s bedroom crying my eyes out watching the Budweiser commercial about stepdad’s who stepped up. If you haven’t seen it, youtube it and get ready to cry. I sat there at his window looking out watching my amazing husband spend his evening playing baseball with Elijah and felt so overwhelmed with thankfulness that God had given him to us. There was a man pouring his time and love and knowledge into my precious boy, our precious boy, all out of his own choice to do so. Zach didn’t have to choose us. He didn’t have to choose to step into a dad role and what was at the time a very complicated situation. But he did.

    When Elijah was telling me how much he loved me and his dad, I suggested he let Zach know how much he loved him. When he got out of the shower he went into the living room and I heard him say, “Dad, I love you so much. You are the best dad I have ever had.” It was so sweet and I of course was just overwhelmed again. 

    It wasn’t until two days later

    on the car ride home when Elijah said, “Mom, Can I tell you something?”. I said, “Of course, what is it?”. He continued on to tell me that it was very easy for him to tell me I am the best mom he has ever had because I am his only mom but it was a lot harder to tell dad that because he has two dads and he loves both of them. Wow. I had not even THOUGHT for a second about my simple request to let his dad know how much he loved him would make him even consider his biological dad. I immediately let him know that is completely normal and it’s great for him to love both dads. I apologized for not thinking about that before suggesting he convey that sweet message to Zach and how thankful I was that he shared it with me.

    If that’s not enough to get your heart pounding…

    he came in to me last night after we had celebrated Zach for Father’s Day and said, “Mom, is it okay if I tell dad what I told you the other day about it being hard for me to love two dad’s?”. I of course let him know that was okay. He walked his cute little rear back to our bedroom and I heard him explain it to Zach who answered in the best way he ever could have.

    “Buddy, I understand how that would be hard. And it’s okay. It’s okay for you to love both of us. Just know that I love you so much and I am so thankful for you because you are the whole reason I even get to be a dad at all. Thank you for letting me be your dad.”

    Cue the waterworks.

    Our story of redemption is not over. GOD is moving in our family. This Father’s Day is Zach’s first official one to celebrate and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to call the father of my children. Everything he does is for GOD first, and then for us. I respect this man beyond what my words could ever write or speak.

    Pray for Zach. Pray for. Elijah. Pray for the baby on the way. Pray for my dad, and your own dad. If you aren’t married pray for the man who will father your children and lead your family. And also, pray for Elijah’s biological dad and all of the dad’s around the world. Pray for everyone who have lost their dad. Pray for the broken father/child relationships.  We serve a good GOD who will work everything for His good.

    Happy Father’s Day!

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  • Abandoned.

    Abandoned.

    Nothing hits your heart harder than hearing your eight year old son say out loud, “I know what it’s like to be abandoned.”

     

    This simple yet profound statement coming from the mouth of my child should have left me in shambles. A natural thought process after hearing this should have been, “Is my greatest fear starting to manifest?” I should have played those words over and over again in my head to the point of exhaustion. I should have had the tortured thoughts of how my dumb mistakes in the past are wrecking his future. I should have realized that my innocent son was beginning to believe that he was not good enough for his biological father to want to be in his life. We’ve all heard the stories. A child is abandoned at a young age and every aspect of their life afterward is a picture of how badly someone broke them. 

    That’s how I should have processed his statement, but I failed to mention one little thing. Context. The context in which my son made this statement is absolutely key when understanding how I chose to process this information. The entire conversation went something like this:

    Elijah: “Mom, Dad, we need to make more of those bags for the homeless people because we gave out our last one today.”

    Me: “Yes buddy, we do. And we will. It makes God so happy that you like to give to people and help them.”

    Elijah: “Yeah, I know. And I can help them a lot because they got left and I know what it’s like to be abandoned.”

    This is why context matters so much. Context allows us to see something for what it really is. His statement reveals so much truth. Has he been abandoned? Yes, his biological dad did choose to step out of his life. He knows in his heart that someone who was supposed to love and care for him decided not to. He also knows that God will never leave him. He knows in his heart there are other people who are dealing with similar pains. He also knows that God wants to use him to help them. He knows that his biological dad isn’t around and may never be. He also knows that God brought Zach into his life to be everything he needs. He knows that his heart is sad. He also knows he can go to God, and us, and share his heart.

    I remember one journal entry I wrote a couple of years ago while praying specifically about Elijah and his life. God spoke so clearly to me about this exact issue. He comforted me in a way that only He could. “Elijah will be a rock for many people because of the difficulty he has faced at such a young age.” The context of our conversation proves that this word from God is already coming to pass in his life.

    So, how do we handle this? We pray for his dad. We talk about how unfair life can be. We allow him to be confused and upset and angry at times because those are all normal emotions. We tell him it is okay to love his dad and want to see him. We are honest with him when he asks us the hard questions and we do our best to share Gods love for him while he is processing his pain. I believe context revealed that what the enemy meant for destruction, God is redeeming.

    At eight years old my son understands that his pain has a purpose and his purpose is bigger than himself. 

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