Another installment of “Wondering Why Wednesday”
Why is the toothbrush stuck in the hair gel?
Another installment of “Wondering Why Wednesday”
Why is the toothbrush stuck in the hair gel?
If you missed part one or part two of the 14 Things I Love, go back and read them before you pick up here. For those of you that have already read the previous reasons, I’m going to keep rambling on about my adorable husband.
I consider my marriage to Britten one of the greatest blessing God has given me on this earth and there is no blog post that could possibly embody my love for him. 14 years of marriage and I’m still not done falling in love with him. Happy Anniversary babe, I pray the Lord gives us many, many more.
I watched the sun quietly set, reminding me I’d made it to the end of a somewhat lengthy day. We had been walking around the city for several hours with our five kids in tow as the rain began to fall. The rain caused the temperature to drop so not only were we wet, we were cold and weary.As I pushed the stroller up the last stretch of sidewalk into the hotel, I felt her hand rest placidly on my shoulder.
“I just wanted to tell you that I’m amazed by your family. I’ve been watching your boys and can’t believe how mature they are and how much they love each other. I can even tell how much they respect you and your husband just by the demeanor they take on when you speak.” I stood there silent, trying to form the words, but found myself unable to speak… so she continued on.
“I know sometimes as moms we second guess ourselves and wonder if the decisions we make raising our children are the right ones. So, I want to tell you how impressed I am with your boys and that I think you’re doing a great job. It’s been a true blessing just to watch you and your husband parent your children.”
I could feel my face getting flushed and my heartbeat quickening which meant I knew what was to follow. I tried to take a deep breath and blink away the tears but despite my efforts warm tears filled the rims of my eyes.
You see…what the woman in the hotel couldn’t have known is that the season of parenting we find ourselves in has proven to be quite difficult. Our oldest son is going from a little boy to a young man and the things we’ve learned in the last 12.5 years of parenting are practically irrelevant and more days than not I’m on my knees begging God for grace.It wasn’t the time for me to tell her that just last week my husband and I were fasting and praying on behalf of our boys, begging God to help us be the parents they need because it felt like we were failing at every turn.
There was no way that woman could have known the concern in this mama’s heart but we serve a God that knows every tear we cry (Psalm 56:8) and He knew that in that exact moment I needed to hear those encouraging words.
I’m sure to the woman it was just a kind compliment. She simply gave words to the thoughts running through her mind. But to this mom, it was the Spirit of God calming my soul and reminding me that He is in control.
As I continued up the steps to our hotel room I was astonished by the power of one simple compliment. One encouraging word, spoken from a thoughtful heart literally changed my entire outlook.
In that moment I made a promise to myself. The next time a kind thought lingers in my mind I won’t let it stop there. I will open my mouth and say the words because those words could be what the Spirit of God uses to breathe life into another person.
I was stuck on an airplane with no in-flight entertainment for five hours which made it the perfect time to continue my last post. If you are new to this post, go back and read part one first. If you’ve read the beginning, you won’t mind me diving right back in where I left off.
And if that weren’t enough to convince you why my love for Britten has multiplied exponentially over the years come back next time for part 3 of 14 Years and 14 Things.
I’ve read the articles and talked to enough couples to know that marriages change. That’s just reality when two people who say, “I do” live life together.
Things don’t stay the same. There is growth. There are setbacks. People develop certain patterns or ways of thinking. And sadly, often times those changes can have a pretty negative impact on the important relationship we call “marriage.”
Have we changed in our 14 years? You bet! Are we different people than we were the day we said, “I do?” Of course we are. But what those articles forgot to mention is that sometimes those changes can make you fall even more in love with your spouse than you were on the day you got married. There are so many things I love about Britten that I didn’t know about him in the early years of our marriage.
And in honor of our 14 years, I’m sharing 14 things I love about my man. Of course I love that he works so hard to provide for our family, he’s an amazing dad and that he loves Jesus Christ and loves to tell people about Him. But, if you’ve known him for any length of time you already know those things. I want to share the reasons I love him that you may not know about. So, without further ado, in no particular order here are 14 things I love about Britten.
I could fill the world wide web with the many reasons I love my husband but in an effort to keep this post from getting too long I’m going to stop at five. Join me later this week and I’ll finish out the list.
I can’t speak for every expat but I can speak for our family.
When we first moved to the Middle East four and a half years ago everything felt new, strange, unfamiliar and different. Adapting to a new culture is no easy task especially when everything is no longer “what you’re used to.” Our senses were assaulted from every possible angle and somedays we didn’t know which way was up.
Fast forward a few years and give us a few countries under our belt and you may find us having a good chuckle at just how “normal” our unusual life is.
In an effort to help myself remember these days I’m going to post them here.
We live in a completely Muslim country where it is illegal to produce, consume or import any form of alcohol. In light of the “no alcohol” rule it is very popular to see a wide variety of non-alcoholic drinks in restaurants (don’t be fooled by these fancy mocktails)grocery storesand convenience stores.
Several of the non-alcoholic drinks have fun fruity flavors and colors which make them especially appealing to children. My boys will generally choose one of these fruity soda-like beverages if given the opportunity.
New moms. You hold an incredibly dear place in my heart.
Maybe it’s because the desire to have more children has never gone away & the phrase “just one more” flows easily from my lips.Maybe it’s because when I hold a newborn baby for the first time I’m in awe of the truth that the Lord found me worthy to shape the life of another human being created in His image. (Genesis 1:26)
Or maybe it’s because when I look into the weary eyes of a new mom I’m reminded of the sleepless nights and I desperately want to commend you for the countless hours of work you put in that nobody ever sees.
Being a new mom in suburbia American can, at times, feel like you’re in the octogan with Conor Mcgregor. It’s not for the faint at heart. As if the rapid mood swings, uncontrollable crying and night sweats aren’t enough, today there is a surplus of new things to worry about.
-vaccines causing autism, sunscreens causing cancer, insect repellents damaging the nervous system, screen time affecting language development, contaminates in baby food…the list goes on and on.
Then there are the opinions…
-natural childbirth vs. epidural, co-sleeping vs. crib sleeping, bottle vs. breast, scheduled vs. demand feeding, passive feeding vs. baby led weaning, working vs. stay at home moms, crying it out vs. soothing.
The immense worry and desire to “do what’s best” can cripple a mom. The various opinions can lead to self doubt and make us think we aren’t doing enough, being careful enough or giving enough.And that is why I wish I could sit across from you over a cup of coffee that’s been reheated in the microwave multiple times. I desperately want to squeeze your hand and with tears in my eyes remind you that you aren’t just enough….you’re God’s perfect plan.
You are the one the Lord chose to parent your child. Out of the millions of other women in the world…the Lord graciously chose you to be the mother of your child. It doesn’t matter if you gave birth to that child or that life was formed in another’s womb…you were chosen. There is no one else in the world more suited for the job at hand and no one that knows more about what your child needs than you. Breathe that truth in deeply and relax in His abundant grace.But I also want to tell you that as the days pass and the weeks turn into years you’re going to learn who you are as a woman and who you are as a mom. The decisions that today make you anxious and apprehensive will become second nature and be made in complete confidence, often times without a second thought.
It’s a gradual progression and if you aren’t careful you’ll miss it but you’re going to settle into this whole “mom thing” and find a rhythm that works for you and your family. One day you’re going to look up from the beautiful chaos of diapers and onesies that so accurately portrays your life and realize that you’ve made it through the trenches of new mommy-hood and graduated to the ranks of seasoned mom.
And my one piece of advice is that when you find yourself in that new season remember those exhausting, uncertain days and let those memories drive you to take the hand of a new mom and offer a kind word of encouragement. There isn’t a mom on the planet that fondly recalls the suttle rebukes, or the underhanded jabs. But, we all remember the woman that lovingly took our hand and encouraged us along the path.
We love family game night. Board games, card games or party games can be a lot of fun but the new digital group games on our devices have brought a new excitement to our family game night.
Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite family game night apps in no particular order.
This one is fun if you have multiple devices in your home and your kids can read pretty well. Each person needs to download the app on their device and be in the same room on the same wifi network. Each person will have a control panel on their screen and you’re all working together as a “space team” to get the rocket ship to the next sector.
A command will appear on your screen and you have to read it aloud so the person with that control panel can perform the necessary task. You’ll also be receiving commands simultaneously that you’ll need to perform on your device. For instance, I may give the command, “Engage Hydrofusion” but you’ve got the Hydrofusion flip switch on your device so I have to give you the command so you can perform it. Other commands require all players to participate together. You can play with 2-8 people so playing with my boys means we all end up screaming with excitement. Accurately complete enough of the commands and you’ll arrive safely at the next sector. Beware…the levels get increasingly harder the further you go.
2. Heads Up
I’m sure it tells my age but this one reminds me of a favorite childhood gameshow- $25,000 Pyramid. One person holds the device on their head and the rest of the group uses words or actions to describe the word on the screen. When the person holding the device guesses the word correctly they tilt the phone down to move to the next word. If a word is too difficult you can pass by tilting the phone up. I was originally leery of this game because of the rating but we’ve had it for a while now and have never come across anything inappropriate. As always, use your own discretion and check it out for yourself before turning the kids loose unsupervised because I said it was ok.
This one works for 2-8 players with one device to play. It’s a cross between the old Telephone game and Pictionary.
You’ll choose a word to draw and do your best to draw the picture on the tablet/phone. When your time is up you’ll pass the phone to the next player. They will attempt to draw the same word without seeing the other drawings. Continue passing the phone around until everyone has drawn. The last player does not draw but guesses the word based on the drawings. You then vote on the player “Who Can’t Draw” and that person receives the Worst Artist award which can sometimes lead to hurt feelings in our house- I choose to use that as a life lesson. You’ve been warned.
This one is my favorite. It’s like the Just Dance games you’ve probably played on Wii or PlayStation but without needing a specific game console and without buying new versions of the game to have access to new songs. Simply download the game on your device and then connect it to an iPad, laptop, Apple TV, etc.
There are a few free songs but $2.99 gets you 24 hour access to all the songs and $24.99 gives you a years subscription to all the songs. Using your phone as the controller you can dance your way to a five star finish. Our favorite part is that we can compete with family and friends from around the world simply by entering the room number and having them enter it as well. As an added bonus, I reached my exercise goal on my Apple Watch after just a few songs without even going to the gym. There is also a “workout” section that still has you dancing but with a focus on exercise.
This one is geared towards the younger kids and works well with non readers too. Adults and kids can play together on one screen but have tasks of varying difficulty based on their age. You’ll go on interactive story adventures and try to defeat Dr. Excuses through a series of minigames, some that require all of the players working together at the same time. This one works on a phone but is much easier to navigate on an iPad or tablet.
I love how each of these games fights against the usual iPhone isolation and causes us to play together, talk to each other and work together as a team. They work great for family time, summer boredom busters or even your next social gathering. Have fun!
Sure you’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt but was the t-shirt too big?
Don’t throw that too big T out just yet…grab some scissors, take a deep breath and snip away. It’s super simple.
To go from the oversized t-shirt on the left to the cute up-cycled creation on the right you need a t-shirt, scissors, pencil and a ruler.Start by folding your t-shirt in half and cutting off the sleeves and neck to make a tank top. Decide how long you want the shirt to be and cut off the needed amount from the bottom.
Use the ruler to draw a straight line down the arm hole side of the shirt while it’s still folded in half. I made my slits an inch and a half but you can make them bigger/smaller depending on the size you want the shirt to be when completed.
Cut strips through both sides of the shirt all the way to the pencil line. Open the t-shirt up. Remind yourself that it’s just a shirt you were going to throw away and cut a straight line along the fold on each side. Don’t stress over that fact that you just cut the shirt completely in half.
Now tie the fringe together, one knot at a time, all the way down both sides of the shirt.
Wash and dry the t-shirt as you usually would and then take a selfie of your adorable creation while your kids play WWF Smackdown on your bed because they know you are distracted.