Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The dinner table

"All great change in America begins at the dinner table" ----Ronald Reagan

Okay, well, maybe not really......but I get what he's saying. Family dinner was always a high priority for my family when I was growing up. Mom would fix dinner, and we'd work around everybody's different schedules to 'make dinner happen' together. And while I'm not sure any major changes for America happened around our dinner table....I do know that there was a sense of bonding, of togetherness, of fond memories made, of open discussions.....of just plain good times spent together as a family. In fact, when Joel and I were courting, we spent a lot of time sitting around my family's dinner table, laughing and getting to know one another. It was there that I learned he can't stand beets, cottage cheese, or feta. (Although, I've since won him over on the feta. The beets and cottage cheese are hopeless ;)

I still love family dinners, only now it's with my own table full of little people. I love that no matter how busy, crazy, or full our schedules become, we  almost always have this little chunk of time together in the evenings.  I've been learning that peace happens inside of me, despite outward situations/schedules/craziness. So I continue on, fixing meals, lighting candles, determined to let that 'inward peace' flow over a little bit into our family life. I doubt any great 'change for America' will ever happen around our dinner table.....but then again, little lives are being molded and trained and brought closer to Jesus, and change happens one person at a time, right? :)

 Looking at books before dinner. He's so sweet, I could 
gobble him up too! ;)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Summer to fall...and everything that lies beyond :)

(My mother-in-law took all of these beautiful photos this past week. All photo credit goes to her----I simply stole them off  of her facebook page. I don't think she'll mind :) She caught some precious moments!

We just got back from a week at the beach. It was pretty nearly perfect. Joel's parents came along too, and we had such a fun time! From the boys 'surf-boarding' to late night walks on the beach, to eating as much good food as we could fit into one week....well, it was great! Sometimes you just need time to take a deep breath, relax a little and spend some time having fun together as a family!

 I got very quickly spoiled having Joel there 24/7, and it's going to be hard sending him back to work tomorrow morning! Just like the long 12 hour drive yesterday was hard...and putting away ALL of our 'stuff' this afternoon was hard, and cracking those books tomorrow morning and getting back to school and chores and appointments and responsibilities.....ahhh, back to reality, folks! Life goes on!
But I think the Curtis family is refreshed and ready to face this fall with resolve, joy, gratitude, and a 'let's get it done' attitude! We have a lot happening over the next couple of months. I've got three kiddos home-schooling now, Joel's busiest time at work is August-December, we're trying to get a small group up and running at our house, and of course we're still working on all of the foster care/adoption paperwork, as well as hopefully getting a home study scheduled sometime in the near future. It's going to be a busy fall!

But the thought of everything that lays ahead excites me. I'm looking forward to finally getting into a solid school/chore/meal planning routine again. The excitement of everything that lays ahead with our adoption excites me as well.....who is this little one God will bring into our family? And when? When you're pregnant and expecting a biological child, you know that in nine months at approximately this date, a baby will join your family. The 'unknown' of this whole adoption process has added quite a bit of excitement to it for me!

 Love this sparkly photo! Just two of my favorite guys in the entire universe :) 

And then, of course, Joel and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary in early December with a week away. A WEEK away---like, as in, no kids whatsoever. Amazing! We've never done that before---that much time with NO children, so that is making me anticipate this coming winter more than I usually would :)

So we spent a week enjoying the beauty of summer---waves and sand and seagulls and sunshine. And then, we return home to find that fall arrived in our absence. So now, we are quickly moving from one season to the next......ready to embrace all that fall has to offer our family.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Picture perfect.....not so much :)

 I bought two packs of batteries for my camera last time I went to the store....and both packs were completely dead. I know, right?

So I guess you'll just have to imagine our first week or so back to school......warm and inviting candles lit on the table, homemade sticky buns for breakfast, three bigger kids sitting around the table quietly working on their school work while Leanna colors perfectly in the lines in her coloring book and Reagan sits like an angel on the floor playing with his toys......oh, WAIT....that was just my dream of the first week of school, haha ;)

In reality, nobody really liked the oatmeal I cooked for breakfast this morning (myself included), our dining room table AND floor were a MESS after school was over, it's still too warm to enjoy candles, and I'm not sure HOW many pretzels I fed Reagan over the course of the morning to keep him quiet, lol ;)

But, praise be to Jesus, I am finally learning to 'roll with the punches'. Note, I didn't say I've 'learned', I said I'm 'learning' in, the process is still happening! Yes, I am still tempted to get irritated when a lesson plan doesn't happen just like I had planned, or when the baby is more distracting than I had hoped he would be, or when I thought somebody understood something and I suddenly find them looking at me with a blank expression on their face.

But I'm learning to move on. I'm learning to be okay with it, to realize that 'real life' isn't always pretty and perfect like in the magazine pictures, and that's okay. What I DO with what life throws me is what's important.

I was reading this morning how anyone who believes in Jesus will have 'rivers of living water' flowing from his heart. Jn 7:38. What an opportunity----for my kids to see those 'rivers of living water' flowing from me, no matter the circumstance!

Yep, school is back in session.....math, reading, science, history, writing.....but I hope there's even deeper lessons of faith and love happening in my children's hearts this year!

Hoping to get my camera up and running again so I can share pictures soon! Hey, maybe I'll even light a candle during math one morning ;) 


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