Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Choose Joy

Joy is a choice; It's something you have to choose every single day. There are other things you have to choose everyday as well...reactions, feelings, love, happiness, fears, etc. I've been thinking a lot about this since Ilya was born. I look at her and see so much joy; everything is new; everything is an experience of some sort. She has her moments of fussiness but she is easily distracted into a new moment of joy (sometimes by simply moving her to the back door to stare at the dogs for a moment).
Something happens as we grow up - we let our emotions overwhelm us and take control over our day, even our year. If one thing goes wrong in the morning we tend to let it dictate how the rest of our day is going to go rather than look out the window for a moment. I am extremely guilty of this. I tend to let worry get the best of me and before I know it I am more negative than I wish to be.

I just finished the new Francine Rivers book Her Mothers Hope. Amazing book! If you didn't know she is one of my all time favorite authors. I highly recommend it. It is complicated to explain without giving away the entire book.

It really got me thinking about what I have let shape me as a person; past experiences that have made me the person I am. I then think about what I am passing on, what my hope is for my children. What have I done to "shape" them without even thinking about it. I know I have talked about this before on here but it is something that plagues me every single day. For example, one of the most common that we hear is, "I don't want my children to ever do without the way I did" or "I want my child to have the opportunities that I never had." Interesting thoughts though they are, it seems completely harmless but can turn into something that destroys the child rather than liberate them - and in the end can sometimes even destroy the parent/child relationship. We tend to want to be the potter and mold our children into something better than ourselves; We push and probe to the extreme out of fear of their/our failure. The true potter is God himself; He is the ONLY potter. We are the clay.

I'm still thinking things through and have in no way come to any conclusions. I can only turn it over to God and trust that he knows my heart and intentions - that he cleanses me of all my selfish thoughts and ways. I want to be a servant and do His will. I pray that I am the mother he calls me to be.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cry out in your weakness...

First, I must apologize for the delay in my writing. Sean always says it is better to not make a promise and just do the things you think rather than to proclaim something and then let everyone down when it doesn't happen.

Ilya has celebrated her first full year of life with us. What a blessing she is! It really is true what they say... time flies! She is walking around everywhere and wants to be outside at all times no matter how hot it is. She amazes us.

In April, Sean and I found out that we are expecting again! Baby number two will be here around January 3rd. We are ecstatic and can't wait. We have been shuffling around the house making room for another baby room. We are having a lot of work done to the house this summer. We are truly blessed to live in a school house, in a great town, and work for such amazing people that take care of us. As soon as all of the work is done I will hopefully post pictures of the "remodeling". As for decorating the baby room...that will have to wait until we find out if the new baby is a boy or girl. We should find out in August or September.

On June 18th, Sean and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary! How amazing...we have only grown stronger through the years and I look forward to the rest of my life knowing that I get to wake up and fall asleep with him beside me.

Out of all of these changes, my mind has begun to get the best of me. I cannot tell you enough how grateful I am to have Sean in my life. He is my strength and my peace in the storm. We truly were made for each other. He has a calm that I desire and long for and he says I keep him on his toes. Most importantly he has a way of pointing me back to God and helping me find my "strength within me" (psalm 46:5). When fear rears its ugly head at me...when that voice screams within me that I can't do this or that I am not good enough for the task at hand...somehow through the tears I hear God saying "No you can't do this...but I can." And I stand back up with renewed strength.

In my weakness I cry out and remember that it's not about me. I am human and cannot do the things marked out before me without the help of God. God must go before me at all times or I will continually fail. In my weakness God makes me strong. Part of the process is saying goodbye to my selfish thoughts that I have it all together, or that I can do it and I don't need any help.

God blessed us with Ilya, and now with a new child growing within...and Sean and I have said over and over that they are not ours...we are just raising them and loving them until God calls them. This house is not ours, the money we make is not ours, the yard we tend to is not ours, and we ourselves are not our own. We are God's property and here to fulfill His calling and will.

In my weakness I have discovered that spending time with the ones I love is the most important thing I can do right now. I am cherishing every second with Ilya and Sean, wonderful moments and memories that I am treasuring in my heart to draw upon from time to time. I am loving life and knowing that even on those bottomless pit days - there is a light shining from above and I will stand strong.

Hopefully I will post many, many pictures of the last few months.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ilya is 11 months old, and we just found out that she will be an older sister in 9 months!!! What a life we live!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

These are pictures from the real Easter this past week. Kyler, Colt and Ilya all had coordinating outfits. They were precious! It was almost impossible to get a picture of them together though. Ilya and Colt can't sit still for more than two seconds...Kyler is the only one that can sit and pose for the camera.

Sean and I keep laughing at this picture. It looks like Kyler and Colt have grown fangs and Ilya is trying to escape with her life!
Ilya is so funny with Papa. She wants him to constantly look at her but not to touch. If he isn't looking or watching her she will grunt until he does.

Ilya loves it when Nana tickles her. If you didn't know Nana is who Ilya inherited her dancing rhythm from. She dances just like her!

We had to have Kyler and Colt ride in front of the camera so that Ilya would look in the right vicinity of the camera. It was almost impossible to get pictures of her or any of the kids that day. They just wanted to play, play, play!

As soon as we arrived Ilya made a mad dash for this egg! It wasn't even time to hunt eggs. It was like Ilya was thinking "Hey, I remember this! I'm supposed to pick these up!" We were going to hunt eggs after we ate but Colt also grabbed his basket and began loading up before we ate. Lesson learned! Don't put the eggs out until it is time!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

There have been lots of things happening around the Grose residence! I've been cooking, cleaning, and Sean and I have even been able to work outside a little!
The other night I cooked steak, baked potatoes, salad and beans. Yum!
One night I cooked Sean's favorite meal - Chicken enchilada soup.
Sean fixed the gate to the garden.

I got to finally trim the tree outside our house! I hadn't been able to get to it in over a year.
It looks much better now!

Sometimes Ilya tries to fit as much food in her mouth as possible!

She thinks she is so funny when she puts her pacifier in sideways. She does it and then laughs!

Here is a picture of Ilya and her friend Jerzee sitting with Mrs. Teresa at Thursday School.

This is a fun video of Kyler and Ilya playing on their human jungle gym. So cute!
If you were to ask me what my favorite holiday is I would have to say Easter, hands down! I love everything about Easter! Every year my aunt Patty has an Easter party out at her house. Our whole family loads up, goes to church and then to Patty's house for amazing food, fellowship, egg hunting (little kids and BIG kids) and THE AMAZING RACE! The amazing race is just like the show on T.V. you are on teams and you must race to find the clues and then compete to finish each task. The great thing about the race is that you can be in dead last up until the last task and then still win! This year we had to wheelbarrow two eggs without breaking them (it took me four times and Sean twice), make a bunny headband (they had to match perfectly), use chopsticks to fish pennies out of jello (by the time Sean and I got there our jello was frozen), dig through a bucket of rice and find four colored pieces of rice, and then throw a Frisbee through three obstacles. Sean and were in dead last until the Frisbee throw, then we moved up to second place!
It is such a blast! That and hunting Easter eggs. I think it is so funny that we have a little kid Easter egg hunt and then have a big kid Easter egg hunt (that is all of us cousins), we are just not ready to grow up! Also on the big kid Easter egg hunt my aunt has written our names on three eggs to ensure that we at least end up with three eggs a piece. If you have ever been around my family you know that when there is a race or a game everyone is out for blood! I have the best memories from all of our Easters together as a family! I am the worst Easter egg hunter in the world! I seem to be extremely slow at finding the eggs, or maybe because it is a "race" to find them I get discouraged and can't think straight. One year, I had a basket full and I fell and my eggs went everywhere. My cousin Greg came and stole all of my eggs on the ground. Haha! I remember being so sad! Needless to say that I think Ilya is going to be following in my footsteps. This was her FIRST Easter egg hunt. I had been putting eggs in her basket for her and she pulled on the basket and the eggs fell on the ground. Her (second) cousin, Allie, came running up and said "Ilya, you better hurry and pick these up before someone steals them!". Allie then proceeded to pick up Ilya's eggs and put them in her own basket and then run away. I wish I could have caught it on tape! It was so funny!

O.K. enough talk - on with the pictures!

Ilya's first Easter egg hunt.

Out of all the eggs she goes after a rock!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ilya and I visited the gin office today and her cousin Colt was there too. It was time for both of them to have a little snack so Meggan and I thought it would be a good time to teach them how to share.

Take One: Listen carefully and you will hear Colt make Ilya say "please"

Lets try this again...Take Two:

O.K. Hmmm...Take Three:

Success!!! Well sort of...we will need to work on it a little more!