Thursday, March 31, 2011

S & S

We had the chance to have my niece Sage over...
she has the sweetest voice and demeanor.
Watching Sage and Sophie together made me want to be a little girl again:
their play, enthusiasm and sweetness
had me reminiscing of dollhouses, playing house with my sister...
swinging high in the air and practically living outside!

love them <3

Friday, March 25, 2011

easy to be busy~

This photograph attempts to capture a piece of my favorite minutes of today.
It was late morning.
Sophie was working on her checklist
(a list we have created-we all have one-of the most important things for her to do in her day: 
reading a book, practicing violin, listening to her Suzuki music, set the table, make her bed and clean her room)
Reading was what she wanted to do.
Usually we read one book and hurry to what might be next.
She wanted to read on her bed.
I sat and waited while she grabbed 4 books 
(Ruby the Copycat, Pinkalicious, Goldilicious, Catalina Magdilena Hooopenstiner Wallindiner....).
We read and read and read.
Snow was falling outside.
We were warm in her room---Charlie curled up next to us.
All of the worries I have carried around this week were melting away.

"Let's be honest; it's rather easy to be busy.  We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules.  Some might even think that their self worth depends on the length of their to-do list.  They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meeting and minutia---even during times of stress and fatigue.  Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives."

I was reminded of this by my friend Bianca this week: here.

I have been thinking about it since then.
I want so much for myself, for Danny and for our girls.
There is so much I want to learn.
There are so many ways I want to improve.
There are so many opportunities I want to give to my girls.

My thoughts have been obsessed with this balance.
I have been going over and over again in my mind---
how I can fit in more...
Extracurricular activities,
learning over the summer,
their school work,
my responsibilities....
music lessons and teachers...

Every empty check on our checklists have felt a bit like failure.
I had reached a point this morning---
something had to change.
I was squeezing out all of the joy.

My answer today was to be still.
I spent my first moments of the day reading from Matthew in the New Testament.
I usually read a chapter and go on to the next thing...
This morning I just kept reading.
Then---I was still.
I didn't move.
I spent time just breathing in and out.

I let the girls sleep in.
I received an answer....
Let them sleep.
That was not a solution that I anticipated.

Once the house was quiet and it was just Sophie and I-
we received a gift.
Snow falling.
Our world was quiet.
Have you noticed how quiet it is as snow falls around you?

We were able to focus on the best things.
Those things of value.
We enjoyed being together.
I was excited when we would all be home together in the evening.

I am grateful for these words.
Being busy is easy....
Slowing down will be a challenge,
but I am up for the challenge.

"Let us simplify our lives a little.  Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship- the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness and peace."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

a violin recital

Sophie had her first recital.
She was not nervous in the least little bit.
She stood up as if no one else was in the room.
She loved every minute of it.

We love Mrs. Grover.
The patience she exhibits---
and the way she motivates them for learning inspires me!

(Just look at those four in the front...Ethan, Isaac, Sophie and Lucy...they are all is Sophie's group!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

our lil' magnolia

Kate danced in Romeo and Juliet.  She and her class were magnolias.  She LOVED every single minute of it:
getting dressed, wearing lipstick!, her costume, family coming to watch, spending time with friends backstage, the anticipation...and finally----

being on stage!
She has come a long way from her first dance recital where she covered her eyes with her hands and froze like a statue.  (A "if I don't see them they wont see me" manuever!)  It was the cutest thing ever! 
I love to see how happy she is on stage now.  It is sometimes hard to get her off the stage :)
We love this lil' ballerina!

Monday, March 7, 2011

you say it's your birthday....

It was a birthday weekend!!!!!!

Friday (your actual birthday):
breakfast of your choice (blueberry muffins)
a carpool frozen custard cones after school!
a little photoshoot!
the Lion House (your choice) for dinner
a tour of the Beehive House
go to Build-a-Bear with your sisters

sleep in :)
get ready
you helped prepare vegetable trays...and loved it
perform at your piano recital!
a family gathering with you as the birthday guest of honor!

My favorite memories:
doll your great grandma gave you that she made her self!
the smile and appreciation you showed to Sharon for the card and special words she gave you
cuddling with you at church and reading on the couch Sunday evening
watching you play in front of family, friends and strangers the songs you had practiced so well
just being together as a family the night of your birthday

We love you Ellie!
I CAN NOT believe you are already NINE years old!!!!!
I hope the next nine years will go by more slowly than the first nine :)