Thursday, February 18, 2016

So this is Love and Ninja Parenting Skills

Days in Life...

Monday morning Mom was recovered enough to workout again. We did a week of Cize review, starting with the first one. Compared to the other routines that one is rather boring, but definitely still a good workout. Dad has gotten back to his normal weight lifting regimen and did not join us. (He is a body builder.)

I did not have small group to babysit for so Mom, Dad, Nana, and Grandfather went out that evening. After dinner the others watched more Star Wars. 

Tuesday Kate did not come. 

In the afternoon I did all the baking I could for the week and put white chili in the crockpot. After 3 hours with music and a whole bunch of dishes we had baked oatmeal, granola, muffins, banana bread, and snickers cheesecake bars. I finished a lot faster than I thought I would (that only happens once in a blue moon), but it wore me out! 

I got to go finish school before getting everything ready for group. 

The final head count was something like 26 people this time. 

Dad took these pictures of food preparation in process. 

Aron was making grilled cheese sandwiches 
and Kristina was baking brownies. 

There were two babies at our group that night and I was so happy. I was told I could not hold both at the same time. 

Being in community with other believers is so important; sharing our needs, praying with and for each other, watching those prayers being answered (sometimes even as soon as they are spoken), and praising God together for what He is doing. Except for the fact that we meet on Tuesday nights so people have to go home and sleep to be ready for another weekday, we would talk all night. The ending time of 8:30ish is very loose. 

Wednesday was full for me. I nannied starting bright and early, snuggled and rocked Calvin to sleep, studied hard during his nap time, and arrived home mid afternoon in time to leave again. 

This captures productivity. (Hopefully.)

Aron took Christian and I to play disc golf, me for the first time. I opted to "learn as I went" and Aron and I played as a team taking the best shot for each throw between us. There were 5 shots of mine that ended up being better than his and Christian is definitely better than me. I really enjoyed it, and the weather was beautiful! 

Aron and I won. 

Dad and the littles were gone when we got back. They were out purchasing fish for Ava's new fish tank. She saved more money so she could upgrade her system for a larger one that holds more fish. 

Aron and I made dinner and then he took Christian and the littles to Dollar General to purchase hot chocolate for us to enjoy while viewing "Cinderella." 

I love the days that I crawl into bed completely worn out from hard work, and exercise, and fresh air, and being startled so that I jump 27 times. When I know that I have been productive, been a blessing, and enjoyed time with other people. 

How do you find joy in the ordinary?

Thursday Kate came for the middle portion of the day. 

Because I love her, I fed her cheese. 
I do not like cheese. 

That smile!

When she realized I was taking her picture. 

Of course dancing was involved in the day and this time for well over an hour. 

I took Kate, Ava, and Mia to the library, bank, and to get gas. They all rested very well after that outing. 

Chloe drove Christian and I to debate where Grandpa met us. I then went to Starbucks to study until they finished. 

Meanwhile, Mom and the littles met Aron at the Denton Dollar Theater to see "In the Heart of the Sea." 

Friday morning I must have turned my alarm off in my sleep because it was not 7:00 when I woke up, it was 9:00. Thankfully I was not babysitting until 11:00. 

I got to care for all three Reed children and it was so much fun! After two of them fell asleep on me, I got a start on school. 

From their house I went to go have dinner with a lady from church. That time blessed me 100's of times over. 

The others ate the dinner I'd put in the crockpot and watched a movie. 

After my dinner was over I went to Aldi to get groceries for the next week. 

Saturday morning Chloe and I went to the Gerlach's house for Bible study. We did not stay quite as long this time because I had to get home to get ready for church and leave to go to another nannying job interview mid afternoon.

While we were gone Aron came over to help Christian with some stretching as disc golf made him very sore. Then Christian went with Grandpa to some sort of fishing thing in Dallas.

Mom, Dad, and the littles ran errands in Denton. 

In between my interview and church I went to Target and then Starbucks to breathe for a little while. 

I met everyone else at church. Grandpa brought Christian back and stayed for the service. 

After church was over we went to Rosa's for dinner with a few other families. 

I drove Chloe and Christian home by way of Fort Worth. No, it was not on our way. Yes, there were times I didn't really quite exactly know precisely where we were. 

Sunday, Valentine's Day, Mom and Dad took us to Celebration in Dallas which is the restaurant they met for the first time 20 years ago Valentine's weekend. Us kids had never been there before. 

So this is love. 

My parents' love and their example of a godly couple are two of the biggest reasons I have desired marriage one day since before I can remember. I've watched them go through trials and triumphs in almost every area of life and they have never let anything come between them and the Lord. Their union is strong because Jesus is woven through every fiber of their relationship. Each of them models sacrificial love in its most beautiful form. They honor, trust, and respect each other. When I see them, I see a stunning representation giving me a glimpse of what Christ and His church will one day be. 

After our delicious lunch meal we went to Costco and then home for some rest time before preparing our normal Sunday brunch meal to share with Aron. 

We finished our sweet, memorable Valentine's Day by watching "Sense and Sensibility." 

I've Been Pondering...

I so appreciate the wisdom of my parents in so many ways, but one being how they have raised me and the experiences they have given me and responsibilities they've placed on me so that when they send me out, I will be prepared to live my life as an adult and not a child. 

A phrase they like to use is, "we are raising adults, not children." Their job is not to protect us and care for us so much that by the time we have reached the age of 18 we are still completely dependent on them. They are called, as our parents, to teach and train us and place us in situations and give us experiences (based on our age and level of maturity, of course) that will cause us to learn and grow and come to an understanding of what is expected of adults in a world that is so self-centered and in desperate need of a Savior. 

We have never been given an allowance. Each of us were given jobs to do daily and weekly, based on our ages and abilities, that we were responsible for and knew we needed to do without being constantly reminded. Payment for those tasks was measured by our attitude while working, our thoroughness, and our initiative to complete the jobs without reminders. 

We never knew that you could actually get toys not on your birthday or Christmas. Mom and Dad rarely, if ever, bought us something just because we wanted it. If we saw something we wanted, we saved our own money and bought it, or waited until gift receiving occasions (our birthday or Christmas).

Around the age of 10 we began buying our own clothes for the most part. Shoes and clothes needed for special events were not on our dollar, but most everything else was. We learned to shop at thrift stores and consignment shops to get the best deals. We learned to budget well and take care of the clothes we had because we were the ones who had to replace them if they got ruined for any reason. We also learned to appreciate the times Mom and Dad blessed us with extra clothing money or decided to give us a new outfit just because. 

Not too long after we began buying our clothes, we also became responsible for our personal care items. 

Once we became teenagers and had some form of a job (yes, a job whether that was a business we started, or something else) we no longer were paid for doing things around the house. Our responsibilities were ours to complete as contribution to the family. 

Another "experience" I am currently being given is menu planning, shopping, and cooking all meals for the family for the month. I began cooking when I was really, really little because Mom was often sick during pregnancy and I could do some things to help. Several years ago I was "officially" in charge of lunches for a school year and I've made dinners regularly as well. Working in the kitchen and knowing how to prepare healthful meals is something I'm very grateful I have been trained to be comfortable doing. 

This month has really not been nearly as time consuming as I thought it might be and I would not say it has been at all challenging. I know I will be even more excited when I live on my own and find that cooking for one is so much easier after cooking for eight. 

That Moment When...

You can either parallel park or walk a long ways. 

The Herd: Quoted 

"Gabe and me's worst favorite part was..." -Mia using the worst possible grammar. 

"I will try not to kill us driving home." -Chloe 

"Are you taking us to Denton?" -Chloe Saturday night while on 35.
"No, there's an exit for Ponder off this highway. But I thought we should go ahead and check out Oklahoma while we are at it since we just left Fort Worth." -Me 
"Please. No." -Chloe  
"Come on, where's you sense of adventure?" -Me 
"I left it at Rosa's, we have to go back!" -Chloe
"No, because then we'd end up in Dallas." -Me 

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