Saturday, March 30, 2013

Those hands.


I know that spring has sprung, because the pond near our house is a flurry of new fluffy downy covered ducklings. Mama ducks gather and lead, and baby ducks go where they please.

This is Bella's favorite duck. Her name is Princess.

When I was growing up, my dad used to take my sister and I for walks in the evening after dinner. We would talk about all kinds of things from dispensationalism to what was going on at school. Raising kids of my own, I'm beginning to realize that years of those little moments have framed who I am and what I believe. It does my heart so good to see my sweet girl walking and talking with her daddy.

The picture below:
I normally skim through a whole bunch of pictures, narrowing them down to my top tenish. And normally, this picture below would have been passed. Grady's hands are blurry, I missed getting a shot of the duck, ect... But tonight I am seeing more than just a picture of hands. I'm seeing hands that I hold and kiss, and love. They are open and gently reaching, and they are beautiful. And this picture made me stop and pause, and be thankful for little hands and strong hands, hands that provide and hands that were formed inside. Hands that I trust, and hands that trust mine.

This week I have spent a lot of time focusing on the cross of Christ, and what it means for us, and for me. Sweet baby hands grew into strong and loving hands, and then they opened and bled for me. I have a hard time sitting through a church service that depicts the crucifixion in detail. In fact, I can't remember a year that I haven't walked out within the first five minutes. I can't sit there, and be able to retain any amount of composure. The torture, the pain, the beatings, the blood, the separation. I literally want to throw up at the thought, and the tears flow. That Jesus is mine. And I love him. And he did all of that for me. 
And I am so very thankful. So very thankful.
Oh, praise the one who paid my debt
and raised this life up from the dead.
Oh, praise the one who paid my debt
and raised this life up from the dead.

Friday, March 29, 2013

From across the pond.

It's a good time of year, this is. Our sweet friends from across the pond have come for a visit whilst on holiday. Just when I'm beginning to think "I've not seen them for yonks", they're back! 
I met Kay when I worked in the PACU at Arnold Palmer Hospital, back before Winnie Palmer Hospital was even built. We bonded over late night discussions and nine o'clock rules (which automatically means if it's discussed after 9 o'clock pm, it can't be repeated), and a bizarre physician request (like weighing a pt in PACU). When WPH opened, we both transferred to PACU at Winnie. I can remember a specific day that I was walking into work, thinking to myself about how lucky I am to work in a place where I walk in and get hugs from friends. And I wondered how many other people have that privilege. Since we both worked the same evening shift, we seemed to encounter a vast array of strange, yet humorous (looking back) events, and she has become a friend that I am so blessed to have.

Kay moved back to England 3 years ago, but still manages to come for a visit with her parents every six months or so. Ever since she then, we make sure that we get a chance to have all three of them over for dinner every time they're here.

Here's a fun little look back through the past three years... 
 Baby Lilly was six weeks old, Grady was almost two and Bella was just three and a half.


There are a few things that are certain to happen when they come. They will shower us with way too many delicious chocolate and sweets, there will be piano playing and singing and clapping, there will be a large dinner, The Buckmans will eat dessert and coffee after dinner, and our guests will take theirs home (they must not have a separate dessert stomach like we do).

This was a first for us. Lilly was so tired at dinner, that she fell asleep while eating. However, not to worry, she didn't starve, because she continued to eat, even in her sleep.

Photo by Bella. Thank you Bella! Great job, baby! I love you!

Recently the game "blanket monster" has been added to the list of traditional fun activities, in which poor Mr. Keith gets covered in blankets, and then comes "rooooaring" out to scare the children. It's good fun.

Oh, how we enjoy their company and are so thankful that we get to spend some time with them while they're here. Come back soon, my friends!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

"Here fishy, fishy, fishy..."

There is something special about fishing. It's quiet and peaceful and still. It's repetitive and relaxing. It's also a little bit like gambling. I keep feeling like, "ok, maybe the next time will be the time I catch something. Just one more cast. Just one more cast..."

Our calender is almost like a sixth family member in our house. We tend to think about it frequently, we take it everywhere with us, we consult it often, and regularly discuss it. Sometimes we love that old schedule, and sometimes we groan at the sight of it. Bryan and I have chosen to work opposite days, so that one of us is always home with the kids. This is wonderful for our children, but it can be a little tiresome for the marriage. There are some times that we can literally go an entire week without more than a few hours of actual awake, alone (or just our family) time together. In turn, there are other weeks that we do have a few full days together, so I am not complaining, just 'splaining.

Anyway, this weekend we had a few hours of time set aside, just for our little family. We asked the kids what they would like to do, and the answer (mostly from Grady, but all agreed) was to go fishing. I love that they chose something quiet and relaxing, and outdoorsy, as opposed to like, the skating rink, or something.

We packed up the poles, and bait, and nets. It looked a little rainy, so Bella packed hats and every umbrella she could find. She is my little "prepared for everything" girl. She regularly wants to carry a purse full of band aids for "just in case", and is always ready to pack up drinks and snacks. 

There is a little pond near Bryan's parent's house, where Grady has been successful at bass fishing in the past. We unloaded all our junk, and then spent a few hours gambling... "Just one more cast, oh! maybe the next cast!" turned into not even one silly little fish caught. But that's the thing about fishing. It's just good to get outside, breathe some fresh air, stare at the movement on the water, and soak in a little time together.

And who cares about stinky little fish anyway?! I got to spend some time with my babes, and that is all I need.

In other news... this (now empty) box can only mean one thing!

Kay is here!!

Saturday night Kay and some girls from work (past and present) went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and catching up. Good times and interesting conversations...

Kay is my very favorite friend from England. We love her, and we love her parents too. And we are so happy to have all three of them in our lives. Plus they always bring us delicious chocolates and sweets.

Happy Monday my friends, and have a great week.
If you have any spare time, go fishing.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

This is the day.

This is the day that the Lord has made; I will be glad and rejoice in it.
Psalm 118:24
This verse hangs on the wall in my house, and reminds me that my attitude every day is a choice. I have the choice to start each new day by saying "thank you Lord for making this day".  And I have the choice to rejoice in it. 

This morning started out with these two critters crawling into my bed. Lilly has a strange habit of getting out of bed and gathering items before she leaves her room in the morning. This morning she was wearing a flower in her hair, and carrying around an etch a sketch.
The other night, at three o'clock in the morning, I awoke to the sound of Lilly's dresser drawers closing. I walked into her room, to find her hurrying to get back into her bed. She was wearing two necklaces, several bracelets, and hair clips in her hair... saying "Mama, no, don't take my bracelets".
Yesterday after school, we met some girlfriends and kiddos for a park and picnic that turned into a three and a half hour afternoon playdate. The weather was perfect, and it was wonderful just to sit and relax and chat with other mamas, while our kids played happily together. Bella & Grady were in baby-lovin' heaven.




What beautiful smiling faces. What precious little lives. They are all unique and so very loved.
While it's easy to rejoice in the days that are fun and filled with good times, making that choice each day is part of forming the habit to be thankful in all things.
Rejoice and have a great weekend!