Saturday, January 4, 2014

Out With the Old and On With the New Year (My Musings)

(Daddy and his littlest girl)
I can't believe we are in a new year already! What in the world happened to last year? It has been pretty silent on this blog, because I have been enjoying having my kids home from school. We have had down days and busy days, but they have been wonderful. I do not take breaks from school for granted. I so enjoy having my children around me, caring for them, hugging them and talking with them.
(Josh is looking sharp at my Grandpa's funeral. He honored Grandpa Fay by wearing his dress coat. Grandpa would have been so pleased)

We have got to see lots of family during the holidays. I am so thankful that all three sets of our parents are within 3 hours driving distance! Also, my brother and his wife and children are just 45 minutes away and my sister is now just two hours away. We are such a close family because of it.

Our children have had the opportunity to be part of our little church's Christmas Story again. I love watching them participate with cheerful attitudes (the first this year) as they play shepherds and angels. Marcus got to be King Herod this year.

(I have been able to watch my brother and SIL's children a few times this past week. They are such sweeties! Our children LOVE to play with their cousins.)
Before school got out, Steve and I so enjoyed watching the children perform in their Christmas program at school. They sang some really fun songs and made us all laugh with their adorable antics!

We were hit earlier this December with some REALLY cold weather. Cold for us, anyway. I think the lowest was -1. Brrrr! I was praying that our heat pump wouldn't quit on us. But it pulled through! Thank you, Lord! We stayed warm and just holed up watching movies, playing games and reading.

Yep, Josh is officially taller than me and Marcus is getting pretty close. They are both trying hard in school. Proud of both of them and the effort they are putting into it. I am not a mom that requires A's and B's, I just want them to put effort into whatever it is they are working at. I try to be a cheerleader that encourages them when they stumble and fall. I use phrases like "What are you going to do about that?" or "Is their anything I can do to help". I am really trying to not micro-manage my children as much as I used to. It seems to be working because everyone is much more relaxed when "Perfection Mom" is not on the rampage!
We are in the thick of basketball season, so starting next weak we will be averaging three games a week, not to mention practices. I used to have such a hard time with this. I was not a sporty person, so I never thought I would make this a priority for our children. But when some of your children seem to excel and enjoy something, it is hard to say no. I just don't want to do it all year. Spring and summer is when I refuse to let them play anything. We all need to rest, recoup and not be running around all the time. I am OK with sports if I know it is just for a season.

(Lily begged for a gingerbread house this year. I bought it for them and let them figure the whole thing out. I love that they are getting older and can figure things out for themselves. That's half the fun, right?!?)
I have had time to read some really good books lately. My favorite one that I couldn't put down is called "Confession of an Imperfect Mom: A Path to Less Guilt and More Grace" by Julie Barnhill. Through this God's Word and the encouragement in this book, God is teaching me to relax more and realize that my children's future isn't all up to what I have done and what I haven't. Man, I am just soooo controlling. I need to give myself more grace. God can work through my mistakes that I have made. What a relief! I am also reading Lynn Austin's new book "Return to Me", which has been excellent so far. Her biblical fiction is amazing. I am learning all about the Israelite's return to Babylon. So many lessons for me!

Even though life is still very hard and stressful, we continue to wait on God's perfect timing in many areas. We are still wanting to move closer to the children's school and our church. We have a buyer for our house, so now we are waiting for a house to go for sale that is within our price range and is big enough for our large family. In His way and His time.
I find myself reflecting that this truly was a year of "Reconstruction".


aimee said...

Hi Stacie!
Happy New Year to you and your family.
Totally agree with your priorities and it's really neat that your family lives so close to you! That is a definite blessing.
It got very, very cold here too and I also prayed that our source of heat (old furnace) wouldn't quit on us:) God was good and we made it through the arctic freeze.
Congrats on finding a buyer. I pray that God will bring along the right place for you to move--as he did for your sister and her family.
PS: Great family photos!!

Becky L. said...

What a fun post with all the children getting taller and cuter/handsomer?! Good to hear from you. Glad you have a buyer for your house. God will provide the house you need soon, for your family. It was cold here for a week as well. I couldn't believe it hung around so long but didn't have any snow. Only frozen fog on Dec. 12, which was picture worthy. Finally! Hugs and have a great New Year and may God bless you in many ways!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Thank you Aimee! I am so glad your heat source kept running too! Thank you for your prayers. We need them very much. You have been such an encouragement to me this past year :)

Grandma Becky, wasn't the frozen fog pretty? Have a wonderful year too!

Wanting What I Have said... good to hear from you!!! Glad y'all are well and enjoyed your break! Your Christmas tree is beautiful! And Josh looks so handsome in that coat. I'm thankful for your reminder that our childrens futures aren't limited by what we do or do not do...I struggle with control, too. Much love to you and yours!!!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I'm so excited for your many victories this week! Thanks for taking the time to come up and spend New Year's with us. It was wonderful having you.

Camille said...

Happy New Year to you all my friend. The Lord is Good and walks this path with you. How precious HE is! Hang in there and follow Him wherever He leads...He will never fail you. Thank you for sharing your family with us here...


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