"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thankful- prairie edition

This week has kicked my butt in every way.  For one thing, I finished this book, Cross Cultural Servanthood by Duane Elmer.  I have been doing a missions class at church with some ladies.  This book was perspective changing, and I honestly recommend it to anyone.  It's a pretty easy read and is filled with a lot of personal stories.  But it has changed the way I see people.  And convicted me of how I see people.  As in, I'm wayy more judgemental than I thought I was.  And I'm wayy less humble than I thought I was.  And I have a whooollleee long way to go before I can honestly say I'm as much of a servant as Christ was.  It's been good though because I have really seen how I am evaluating my interactions with people from a new filter- one that really desires to see them from the image of God.  That's been awesome.  I also understand myself more than I did, which is also good.  Just my personality being what it is, and that its ok to be comfortable with the way God made me.  I've always felt like there was something wrong with me because I was quiet.  But this class made me see how being myself can be useful for Christ too.  So I'm thankful for conviction and understanding and growing with community.

I am thankful that I get to watch this kiddo grow.  This week he figured out how to do this jigsaw puzzles by himself.  And he is so excited by this knowledge.  It's been cool because its like he just figured it out overnight.  He has shown almost 0 interest in these before.  It was like this week he just realized 'bam! I can do this'.  And he's been all over it since then.

This week was our annual field trip to Clear Creek Nature Center.  Which basically for our purposes is just a large field.  We study the prairie in Denton ISD during 2nd grade.  As a rather large Laura Ingalls Wilder fan, this is one of my favorite units.  I love being out there for the field trip too.  Is there anything cuter than these little guys drawing their observations.  No.  However, not pictured are my little hoodlums who did anything BUT observe.  If I could just take the studious ones, it'd be fab ;)

Quote of the afternoon belongs to the boy in the distance in the camo shirt.  He told me when he grew up he was going to move to the country and only come into town for bricks.  Why bricks I have no idea.  But I thought it was adorable.  He's actually just a straight up adorable kid though.

Thankful for 2nd grade, the prairie, field trips, and adorable children.  And even the crazies who make me grow in my virtues of patience and grace.

Jude made me this for Mother's Day.  In case you aren't a parent yet, I will just inform you that it is pretty much an instinct to be obsessed with anything that comes home with your child's hand or footprint on it.  This will be saved for all of time.

Thankful that Jude made me a mother.  And that his hands are still adorable and little.

I came home from Clear Creek and put my feet up like so.  Jude ran around the backyard in a t shirt and underwear.  Country boy don't care.  

I am thankful for the cool spring weather.  I am thankful for rest.  I am thankful for my backporch and that I had enough money saved up to get it covered.  I am thankful for porch furniture I can relax on.  I am thankful for Robert Frost books from the library I can read while I am out there.  I am thankful for a root beer from a coworker which I came home and poured over ice cream.  It was divine.

I saw this yesterday on my way to work.  I am thankful for rain.  I am thankful for sunshine.  I am thankful for rainbows.  I am thankful for promises.

Jude and I went on a walk around our lake by our house yesterday.  Actually we kind of ran around it together, which was great for me.  I love being out there, especially in the spring.  The thistles were right on the cusp of blooming.  Actually, I saw some had bloomed today as I was driving.  I will have to get back out there and take some pictures.  In case you didn't figure it out, that's my favorite flower.

I am thankful for thistles.  I am thankful for wide open spaces and grasses blowing in the wind.  I am thankful for the rustling sound of the grass which sounds exactly like an ocean.  I am thankful for pretty pink prairie primroses.  I am thankful for big trees and little boys.  I am thankful for the number of times Jude told me he loved me while we ran together.  I am thankful for his giggles as we raced.  I am thankful for the way he stopped and held my hand and walked.  I am thankful for the way he was tired and asked me to carry him.  I am thankful for the way he clung to me and snuggled in my arms as I held him.

I am thankful for my secret pal who has seriously spoiled me.  And for the relaxing bath I had last night after a very good, but physically tiring week.  And I plan on having another one tonight :)

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Back Porch Weekend

I sort of started this weekend early on Thursday afternoon.  I used my 1:00 release pass to come hang out with Jude, and while I did work on Friday, it felt like it started Thursday.  I picked Jude up from school, which was a first for me.  We randomly decided to go to the library.  He picked out a pirate book and 2 Christmas books, which was fitting since our HIGH was 45* that day.  In May.  In Texas.  Needless to say, we came home and snuggled the rest of the afternoon.  Jude even fell asleep on me as pictures above.  Such a precious, precious moment.  I always worry about the day where Jude no longer feels like a baby to me.  Very thankful that day hasn't come just yet.


 This weekend Jimmy's parents and nephew were in town while his father spoke at a couple churches around here.  To say that Jude loved Elijah would be a gross understatement.  He thinks Elijah hung the moon and is possibly the coolest person alive.  Elijah is one of the most tender, patient 9 year olds I've met.  It was the sweetest thing to see them together.  Jude kept asking Elijah to hold his hand :)  We spent Saturday afternoon exploring 'Mars rocks' and the lake near my house.  It was still kind of cold, but super sunny and gorgeous.  The perfect day to just sit outside.  Plus, there is something about walks along the prairie grasses as they rustle in the wind that soothes my soul  in such a deep way.

We also took the boys down to the playground where they enjoyed swinging.  Jimmy ever the amazingly tender and patient man that he is pushed Jude most of the time and took his picture for me.  I wish there were words to describe the ways I love his heart, but there just aren't.  All I know is I wish I could be half the person he is.  

And this shot- oh my.  The sunlight on those golden locks.  I don't know how he is mine sometimes.


I got in a bit of reading this weekend.  While at the library, I checked out a collection of Robert Frost poems.  Don't you just love that book?  I am seriously considering not turning it in so I can keep it.  Half my house has teal.  And I love vintage books more than almost anything decor wise.  And Robert Frost makes my heart swoon.  

**Side comment- I have been reading my kids a poem a day from a 'poet of the week'.  We started with Robert Frost and have since also read WB Yeats, Emily Dickinson, Robert Browning, and Rudyard Kipling.  However, it's been amazing.  Remember I teach 2nd grade and 'low income'.  My kids have made amazing poem to poem connections and poem to life connections.  And we are reading Classics! I mean I never would have given kids so young the credit to be able to do this, but they are doing it amazingly.  When my kids and I were on a field trip a couple weeks ago, we went on a path in the woods which divided 2 ways.  My kids were soooo excited because it was like the road not taken.  It's been a huge lesson for me.  Never underestimate what kids can do if you expose them and believe they can understand.  Beautiful!**

I also finished the top book Friday night.  It's written by a lady who struggled with depression.  I struggle more with the anxiety piece, but they somewhat go together.  It's pretty good if you struggle with those things.  The thing I think that helped me the most was remembering to think on what is true and real.  I am so guilty of overanalyzing things until they are completely contorted from reality.  This is a good challenge for me.  Especially, as the book points out, when it comes to people's actions.  It encourages you to take people at more of a face value instead of trying to figure out what they really mean.  This will be a big lesson for me, but the way the book explained it was powerful for me.  It's not an amazing read, but if you struggle with those issues, it has some good pointers.  

I started Jane Eyre tonight (Sunday).  I am 3 chapters in and hooked.  I never was required to read that one in any of my classes.  I can already tell you I missed out!

I have been working on sprucing up my back porch as you can see below.  Today was sunny and in the 60s and you better believe I spent 75% of my day out there.  Just sitting mainly.  Hanging with Wild Jude Pie.  He actually has been super energetic this weekend.  It's one of the more stressed parts of our relationship.  I am a true introvert.  I love quiet and alone time.  Jude is a true extrovert.  He loves people and talking and loud.  I sometimes feel like I'm going to go insane if I don't have a moment's peace.  He probably gets his feelings hurt because I am not as excited about talking as he is.  God always seems to put the people in your life who will cause you to grow the most.  As much as I adore my child, it's a stretch for me to serve him sometimes.  But if he were like me, it wouldn't be much of a selfless act.  Him being so different really causes me to lean on God's strength to parent.  I have no doubt of my being ill equipped to parent him.  Today I started struggling with the constant activity.  But keep reading, because God was faithful to redeem!

Due to my need for quiet, I put Jude to bed about 30 minutes earlier.  It was just getting too hard for me to be patient, so I avoided a problem by creating some space.  I got him in bed and I took myself to the quietest, most peaceful place I have right now- my porch.  I had been on the porch all afternoon, but with Jude, it was constant car ramming, dumpster trucks slamming down the slide, don't climb that, don't scream at the top of your lungs kind of afternoon.  But this time, I had an introvert's dream.  I laid down upon my loveseat, wrapped a blanket around me, faced the rose bushes which are about to bloom like crazy, and read Jane Eyre.  The air was cool and breezy.  The sun was setting to my right.  The only sounds were cars going down the Farm Road near my house and birds chirping their evening songs.  These are the moments that feed me.  I need these times of quiet to rejuvenate.  I can't give to Jude and all my little kiddos without these moments of serenity.  And oh how perfect this moment was. Complete 1000 gifts....

After 3 glorious chapters, I heard Jude crying inside.  Probably because he got up and realized I wasn't inside.  But after that peaceful time, I had the ability to love and serve him with every ounce of me.  I was able to fully hug him and be present for him.  He came outside with me and we laid under the blanket together for the last remaining 45 minutes of twilight.  We saw the first stars rising, airplanes flying.  He told me all about the bible story he learned at church today.  I was able to give him the extroverted people and conversation he needed to be filled because I had had my time alone.  It was a beautiful thing.  And I love how instead of ending the night feeling frustrated at myself because I couldn't give him what he needed, God redeemed the time so that it came full circle, and I was filled just enough to serve so completely.  This weekend was one of the most simple I've had in a long time, but also one of the most fulfilling.  And what a great reminder that God is with us teaching and guiding in the most simple.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A beautiful April- thankful post

It's been awhile since I've done a thankful post.  And these posts date from all through April because of that.  I've gotten way behind with blogging this month because sometimes real life takes precedence.  But just because I haven't blogged it, doesn't mean I'm not thankful for it.  (you should follow me on instagram, because I am always posting my thankfulness there... @thistleashd)

* thankful because Jude is all about going big or going home.  He creates the most elaborate places of relaxation I've ever seen.  His favorite thing in the word is to concoct pirate campouts like you see above.  I wish I could know all that was going through his brain in these instances.  Thankful for his creativity.

* thankful for little boys in cowboy boots.  Enough said.

* thankful that still today his feet are little and cute and smell sweet.

* thankful for bluebonnets.  Texas has a lot of wonderful things you just can't help but fall in love with. I love farms probably more than anything.  And that flat, prairie land up there?  Oh it makes my heart go pitter patter.  In my dream world, I live on a farm.  Just preferably one that has more water :)

* Denton Arts and Jazz Fest- which is literally my favorite holiday.  I have gone every year since I discovered its greatness with a friend back in college.  It's basically a hidden gem here in North Texas.  Full of *free* concerts and the quirkiest people imaginable.  I can't imagine anything better to do on a Saturday night than sit with my guy under an oak tree listening to music.  Seriously.  Perfect.

* relaxing on a Sunday afternoon, feet up.  with my room actually CLEAN

* this face.  It was actually cold this morning so Jude and I took the blankets out onto the loveseat and sat under them.  It was cloudy and cool and we were snuggling outside.  And his face- oh my gosh!

* a new windchime for the porch.  although it doesn't ring at all that i've heard.  it looks pretty :)

* This happened today.  Jude played in the sprinklers in the back, naked.  He also informed me that he peed out there.  I think his precise words were 'I left my pee out there'.  It was warm and lovely and he's 3 so why not.  nevermind tomorrow the high is like 55 or something.  Today, we embraced spring and played in the water.

* thankful for long blonde goldilocks and long lashes

These posts are my favorite to do.  The reflecting on how blessed I am never fails to nourish my soul.  So good to remember the beauty in life!