Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Monday, 10 November 2014

Mom's Birthday

Today my mom would have turned 58. It has been a hard day. I'm sad, the kids are sad, and dates like this just make the missing that much harder. We are all remembering mom in our different ways. Kevin and Emily are meeting up for dinner, Katie is making my mom's favorite cake for her family and my Dad, and since today is my one day to stay home and get things in order, I cleaned my house and matched socks.

My sock pile drove my mom crazy. I swear that my children put one sock in the hamper and hide the match in some secret spot for a few weeks before tossing it in the laundry. Thus, even though I carefully match up all the pairs to come out of the dryer on any given laundry day, I have a sock pile. Whenever Mom came to visit she would get out the sock bag (which has since been upgraded to a cute basket) and lay them all out and match them all up. Then she would harass me to throw away the unmatched socks. So today I conquered the unmatched sock basket, which I'm pretty sure hasn't been touched since her last visit a year ago, in her memory. I even threw out a handful of socks for her. That would have made her happy.

Although today has been very hard, I have enjoyed having the space to reflect on my Mom and what a blessing she was to me, and my kids, and to all of you who have been leaving comments and messages for our family. I wish I could be celebrating with her tonight, but since I can't, I am so thankful to be able to celebrate her memory and her legacy.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Windy City Project 2

I am still playing catch-up, but this was one of our favorite activities this summer, so I wanted to make sure I shared. We recently began attending a church that is much closer to our new home, and were thrilled to find out that they had a family friendly mission project happening this summer. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to serve alongside our kids, our new church family, and the organization we partnered with to complete the project. We worked with a group of teens from Lawndale, called YMEN, and together we served a few buildings in the suburbs that help people transition out of homelessness, and we also worked on the YMEN property in Lawndale.

Our family spent three days working on the Lawndale project. We got to help beautify an existing urban garden and to put up a new one, and participate in a sports camp and a VBS. Now, you can all imagine how helpful we really were, what with most of my time spent trying to prevent the kids from slowing the project down, and with the children chasing chickens more than they pulled weeds or moved dirt, but the beautiful thing was that everyone was okay with that. It mattered more that we were working to build relationships with our fellow workers and that we were teaching our kids how to serve God by loving their neighbors. Our boys loved the time they spent at YMEN, and we did too. We received far more than we gave (really, by leaps and bounds).

Since the projects were split between multiple locations, the only day that everyone spent together was Sunday. That day was spent at our church, worshiping together (outside!) and enjoying a great meal, amazing music, and lots of fun games. Aside from the time that we spent with out family in Wisconsin, this was probably my favorite day of the summer. It is such a blessing to see my kids excited about worshiping God and serving Him!

Can't think of a better way to spend our 11th anniversary

Monday, 1 September 2014

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Goodbye Summer

This summer has been action-packed. In order to maintain my sanity and ensure that all three boys survived the summer with no severe wrestling/fighting over toys injuries we got out of the house a great deal. I dutifully took pictures of our many activities because I intended to blog, but then I was so exhausted by the long days I never got around to it. I may do some catch-up posts (mostly because certain aunties have been clamoring for pictures), but it depends on how quickly I can scrub off the sticky film that summer has left on every square inch of my house (maybe we will cut back on popsicles next year), and whether that will be done before our CRAZY Fall schedule starts up. Sports are going to drive me into my grave.

All that to say, here are the pictures from our last day of summer. We took a nature walk at a forest preserve and then went and ate lunch with Jeff in a new spot, the new building his group is transferring too. It is a significant upgrade in terms of scenery, as we were able to eat on a cool sheltered balcony instead of the usual windowless room decorated with outdated credit union calendars. We may be visiting Daddy more often in the future!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

And so it begins, or Le premier jour d'├ęcole

Both of the big boys started school last week and Kenny is back in "Mommy school" (although he is quite eager to go to "Tommy's school").