the quarterly (or so) update

It’s bad when you can’t even remember the last time you blogged. I just checked, and it was February. #trueblogger over here.

I like to document the things and share the pictures and write about the things swirling around in the ole brain. Getting it on paper helps clear the chaos and weight of it in my head and heart. The last couple months have been pretty full. Josh’s dad came and stayed with us for almost a week and got to experience some of Grand Junction. We also had some visitors over spring break that came and stayed all week…it was a blast! With all the million new things and places and people our family has experienced since we moved almost 10 months ago, it was so refreshing to see some familiar faces.

So far a quick sort of overall summary, let me try to break it down into 5 bits.

  1. Baseball. The bigs take gymnastics/ninja class (like American Ninja Warrior) once a week, and we let them choose either soccer or baseball. They all chose baseball, and I sort of had no idea. Where we moved from games were either Mon/Thurs or Tues/Fri or something like that anyway…whatever the case, it was predictable when you’d play. Here, you could play any day of the week (Mon-Sat)…there was no consistency, which made for a plethora of weeknights and Saturdays spent at the ballpark. But you know what? It also made for lots of great opportunities to meet people in the community. Don’t get me wrong…getting kids dressed, cleats on and tied, shirts tucked in and those BELTS thru all the freaking tiny little loopholes….all of that equals ANGRY MOM. It’s just for a short bit before we finally all make it to the van…in straight up tears but with water bottles in hand. Thankfully their coach didn’t care too much about the belt (he must be heaven-sent). He must have seen me coming with our crew and knew I needed some sanity.  Truly though, other than about 15 (or maybe 30) minutes of getting dressed and loaded in the van, we so enjoyed being there and getting to know the other kids and parents on their teams.
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I have lots of videos of the boys hitting, but not very many normal pics.

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Sometimes it just hurts to take a picture with your siblings.

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She’s been enjoying the Tball life again this year.

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So professional

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They all rotate and get a chance to play each position at some point. It’s hilarious watching these tiny kids try to move with all their gear on. If you need a good laugh just come to a Grand Mesa Tball game and watch the catchers.

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Kinsley’s fan club. As you can tell from most of these pictures, Paisley chose her clothes and shoes carefully.

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Josh helped coach the boys’ team, and I helped out in the dugout just making sure they bat in order and such…this is what the girls did.

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This ladybug was such a good sport through it all.

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2. Church planting. I don’t often write about church planting, because most of you are updated through our newsletter, but I’ve had some people ask recently, and well, if you know me well at all, I’m not a sugar-coater. We had our first gathering as a church in a location other than our house. Very simple and small, but even the simple takes organization. For now we’re meeting 2 mornings a month in a building we are renting and then each Sunday night in our home. Church planting has stretched me and stretched me some more.  It’s been so hard and so good. And so hard. You never really know what things are going to be like until you’re in the midst. And we are iiiiiin the midst.

Before we planted, I had a few friends recommend a book by Christine Hoover called The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart. I read it before we moved, and I picked it up again recently. When we lost Baby Riley four years ago, I read multiple books from women who have been there, who have experienced that same/similar loss, who have walked that road. They spoke directly to my heart. Something about reading/listening to words from someone who has been there is so good. It’s not that words from others aren’t ever encouraging, they just haven’t been there. And just like I can’t personally relate to growing up in a broken home or struggling with infertility, I can relate to losing a parent and feeling like I might actually go crazy as I attempt to raise this nest of littles.  Similarly, hardly anyone in my circle can relate to being a church planting wife. And gosh, I am in such constant need of the Lord and his grace. He is teaching me such dependence on him. In her book, Hoover states…

Dependence does not develop from obligatory quiet times but from an intimate relationship and daily reliance on God. It is not something a Perfect Church Planting Wife checks off her list; it is a necessity for survival. If we don’t cultivate dependence on God by spending time with Him, we will certainly be tempted to take on responsibilities that aren’t ours, experience burnout, and look to people to meet our heart’s needs. Without dependence, we start going through the motions and playing the role” (p. 41 bolded words are mine)

I just can’t do all the things or please all the people. I don’t want to play the role.  I’m me. That’s it.  A mess of a wife, mom, and friend. And I may technically be a church planting wife, but really…I’m just me. I want my relationship with God to grow and be more and more consistent, I want to love my husband well and be his biggest fan…to hold up his arms when he is weary and remind him that we were called here together. I want to be a faithful, consistent, patience, loving mama. And I want to serve and connect with and lead and mentor others as I can.

I feel like I’ve been in this state of on-the-verge-of-tears for over a year. Before we moved, as we moved, when we moved, since we moved. I wonder what it means and when/if it will end. I think it will end. I think I’ll eventually transition to being ok. I think. 🙂 One thing I know….it’s kept me depending on him like I never have before, to wake up hungry for him and his word.

We have a wonderful group, albeit small, that we’ve been able to link arms with so far, and we are thankful! We are making connections and building relationships in the community. We hope to keep spreading the love and hope of Jesus to those in this city….God is in our everyday interactions….at home, giving baths, making lunch, at the store, at the ball field, in the post office, anywhere we are is a chance be patient with others, love others, serve others. It’s not rocket science…just Jesus in and through us.

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Easter morning

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Sunday nights we have what’s called a Missional Community at our house. Now that it’s warming up, the kids get to play outside quite a bit.

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3. Hiking sans kids. I hiked at Arches National Park (Moab, UT).  I had a sweet friend visit over Easter weekend. She was amazingly helpful with the kids, cooking, dishes, and she helped me with the kiddos during our church gathering on Sunday as well. But we also drove to Moab (1.5-2 hrs away) and did a little sightseeing. I wasn’t carrying 25lbs of a toddler on my back, and it was amazing. We spent a few hours just driving around the park and walking around and taking pictures. Gosh, it was so beautiful! Here are some pictures to give you a small taste.

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Balanced Rock

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The Windows.

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We deciced to do the hike called Delicate Arch, which is up to the arch you’d see on magazines and such. This was about halfway up. I mean….it was a bit of a climb and my not-in-shape legs were burning.

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We made it!

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It was so awesome! Josh is usually the one that does more outdoorsy adventurous things….not this time, hubs.

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My face..haha! It was SO windy up there! But that view!!!

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Paisley got especially attached to our visitor 🙂 Debbie, thank you for coming to visit, hanging out, helping, and loving on our kids. You are a treasure!

4. Birthday Month. We got to celebrate two of our crazies in April. They share a birthday, exactly 3 years apart. Cason turned 8 this year (someone tell me it’s not true), and our oldest gal, Kinsley, turned 5. Kindergarten? Here some some pics we snagged.

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We had a dual bday party (as usual), and this year I busted out the big guns with a Batman AND princess cake. That’s how it’s done, folks. You don’t tell them any different, and they just think it’s the best thing ever to share a cake. Never thought we’d have two kiddos that share a birthday, but nevertheless….here we are.

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This is the morning of their birthday. Cason had been up for 2 hours, and Kinsley had just rolled out of bed. No idea of Pax is doing back there. #normal

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They chose Chuck E Cheese for their bday lunch becuase duh…it’s so awesome overstimulating. But you know…I took one for the team.

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Cason got a new bike. He’s all set to hit the trails with Josh.

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This kid is a girly one, and I just love her to pieces. She sported her new outfit, shoes, bracelets, and necklace, and a couple days later we had her nails painted.

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I just can’t believe she’s 5!

5. We bought a house. Yep. You read that right. 13 years of marriage….Biggest purchase of our lives, yessirree.

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We’re all moved in, but far from being unpacked. We’re excited to get settled in. We have space for visitors…come one, come all!

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And just for kicks, here are a few more….

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We went to a college baseball game a few weeks ago. It’s been fun getting to know some students here. We were having college-student-withdrawals there for a while. 🙂

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The bigs all go to Awana here, and their last night for the year this is how we picked them up. Ha! These sweet kids have had lots of change and transition this year…Awana was something they loved in Arkansas, and they so enjoyed going again this year.  I’m thankful for those that have poured into them this year.

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Morning time.

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She’s such a hoot. She’ll be 3 in July, and I’ll have to pull together more pics of her outfits to share.

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I went with a friend on a weekend getaway. Words really can’t express how thankful I was…it was such a gift!

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That’s what you call a view from your hotel window.

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Cason is officially finished with everything but math. Yay! 

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We went to a festival downtown, and they kids were super into the mime that made them balloon animals (and swords) 🙂

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Chipotle love.

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Mom came for a visit and was crazy awesome unpacking all our kitchen stuff. Super thankful she was able to come!

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These two did some early morning coloring one day. They grabbed their jackets and sat outside for a good while coloring together.

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Italian ice outing

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These are some tired faces, but I’m real thankful for my teammate. We’re learning a lot together and about one another in this journey.

 

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