...with a husband and 5 sons, I am truly outnumbered....stories and thoughts on life from a mom in a houseful of little men!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Thinking of you

Tony and I are winding down in the quiet stillness of evening.  Our five are snuggled safely and soundly in their beds, bodies blissfully resting after warm hours of play in the spring air and sunshine.  But...one...or two of us are missing.

I'm thinking of you tonight, as I often do...as I often have over the past nearly two years.  Are you cold?  Are you hungry?  Are you lonely and missing the arms of your mother and father and brothers?  Are you even born yet?  Are you even conceived yet?  Whatever the answers to these questions, you remain in our hearts and in our dreams and in our prayers.  Most importantly, you remain in our Father's care.  We pray He'll bring you home to us soon, because even though we've not yet seen you or held you,

we miss you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

He is Risen...and our boy says "yes!"

This past Easter was the best ever. It really was the most amazing Easter weekend of my life. I don't even know how to put it all into words, so I'm going to settle for at least getting it down in some form so that it will spur my memories later on.

Good Friday. I had been looking forward to attending our church's beautiful, reflective, Christ-at-Center Good Friday service. That service is a highlight of my Easter celebration every year. The week prior, however, had been standardized-testing week. We were all quite on-the-edge, and quite frankly, exhausted by Friday. Though I wanted to go to the service Friday night, I was pretty sure it would REALLY be pushing it.

"Baby's 1st Easter"

I remember last year, that I had wished I'd have begun a tradition of making Hot Crossed Buns on Good Friday. So, this year, I went ahead and went for it. They take a few hours to make, so I got them started and then put the babies down for their naps--the first afternoon naps they'd gotten to take in their own beds all week because of testing. While the babies napped and the bun dough was raising, I pulled out The Jesus Film, and watched it with the three older boys. It was the first time they'd ever seen it, and I know they will always remember. It was really, really special to have that experience with them. After it was finished, we were all pretty somber. The boys asked to paint. We pulled out watercolor pans and large sheets of white paper. They painted in response to what they'd just watched. The results were heartfelt and beautiful.

I finished the Hot Cross Buns, Tony got home from work, and we all sat down to a nourishing family meal with yummy buns for dessert. What a relief and joy after a hard week--time for just home and family. A couple of the boys and I decided to walk some plates of buns down to a neighbor family and neighbor widow. The family wasn't at home, so we left their plate on their porch as a surprise for them. Our sweet, sweet neighbor widow, insisted we come into her home so she could give us a tour, visit, and show us some things. She showed us paintings her grandmother had done and told us the stories behind them. She showed us pictures of her late husband and told us stories about him. She showed us a picture of them together--young and beautiful. It was one of those visits that bridges the generations, and you get the sense of time and life and purpose. We walked home in the dark--two delighted little boys and their pensive but happy mommy.

Holy Saturday. We woke up to SNOW. Not flurries, but bona-fide snow showers and four inches of accumulation added to our two feet still in the yard. It snowed the entire day. The temptation was to be sour and glum over the ever-elusive spring break-up. However, after praying and thinking and reading some wonderful words of encouragement, I realized how fitting it was for it to be gray and snowing. I chose to....and began to see the beauty. I saw this transformed, white world as a metaphor for what my Jesus has done for me. He has made me white as snow, though my sins were as scarlet. The gray skies reminded me of the sadness over my King's death. The falling snow reminded me of the tears Father God surely shed as He watched His Son, bleeding and suffering the consequences of my sin, as He hung nailed to a piece of wood.

We spent the day together at home, and I cooked up a storm a day in advance for Easter dinner. The boys and I dyed 3 dozen eggs...and as a note to myself: we must make more next year.

Easter Sunday! We woke to glorious...GLORIOUS sunshine! It was one of the most beautiful sunrises I've ever seen, particularly striking after the prior days "gloom". With all the beauty nature can afford, the message was clear: HE IS RISEN! Four positively electric little boys raced upstairs to find their Easter baskets. I was just sure the baskets were hidden well, as I had duct-taped them to the underside of the kitchen table and put a table cloth on. Eaglet had already found them by the time the other boys woke, however, as he had sat up to the table to draw in the early hours and his knees bumped into them! And I thought I was so clever.

We headed to 2nd service at church, bringing along a few extra items needed for the BAPTISM service happening afterward. Yep--our boy Spunky decided last January that he wanted to follow Jesus, and he told us he wanted to be "babbletized" (baptized) to show it. He'd been looking forward to it for nearly three months, and today was the day.

There is absolutely no greater joy than to see your son declare their heart for Jesus. There is simply nothing more important in life than this. I am so thankful for God's working in our sons' hearts....and in Tony's and my hearts. I'm so thankful God is good, and He is love, and He loves perfectly--all the time. Our boy testifies to this:

"Secure in his Jesus"

We had a sweet, sweet time with friends after the service...just milling around joyously...and taking fun pictures!

Back home, my parents joined us for dinner. We had a fun day, filled with good food, time with one another, and our traditional egg hunt and treasure hunt.

We even had an unexpected guest:

We thought she may be a permanent guest (we're suckers like that) until we realized two days later (with some relief, because although she was sweet, she was also soooo big...) that she belongs to a neighbor!

It was a memorable weekend, to be sure. I love Easter time--a time to remember and realize new beginnings--all because of the love of God.