Friday, October 29, 2010

Family Time

Mr. Hubs made it home this past Tuesday, so we've been happily enjoying lots of family time together.  It seems the girls got so used to him being gone, that they keep forgetting he's actually here.  Then, when they remember, their eyes light up, and they get so excited all over again.  I wonder how long they'll keep doing that.  Even this morning, they walked into our bedroom and when they saw him, they squealed, "Daddy!!!" as if it were the first time seeing him.  When he came downstairs later, Baby D literally ran up to him with her arms held out, hollering, "Daddy!  Daddy!" repeatedly.  It was so cute. 
He surprised them while we were waiting in the car.
Today, we drove out to a local "Pick Your Own" farm and let them pick out pumpkins.  The girls had a blast.  It was a beautiful day.  The weather actually felt fall-ish, instead of the summery weather we've been having the past few weeks.  Now that the Halloween loving Mr. Hubs is home, I think we're officially ready for getting into the Fall season.  I see some pumpkin carving and some baking on the agenda this weekend. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Miss Dainty's Answered Prayer

Back in July, Miss Dainty found a caterpillar in our basil box.  She desperately wanted to keep it so we could watch it turn into a butterfly.  The next day, after searching high and low for a jar of some sort, I went outside to get it and couldn't find it anywhere.  A few days later, I was adding a cilantro plant to the planter, and what did I happen to dig up?  A maroon pupae.  So, Miss Dainty was very excited.

We put a little bit of dirt into the jar, and buried it in there, just like it was in the basil box.  A few weeks went by, and eventually a moth made it's appearance into the world.  It was after bedtime when it happened, so I took the jar upstairs to show Miss Dainty.  I let her watch it flit around the jar for a few minutes, and then told her I was going to have to let it go, because we didn't have any food for it.  She was a little upset because she didn't get to see it hatch, and also because she just wanted to keep it.  But I convinced her it wasn't fair to the moth. 

"Do you think we'll find another caterpillar?" she asked me.

"Well, I don't know, maybe," I answered.

"Can I pray for one?" she asked sweetly.

I smiled, "Sure, you can pray for one."  And so she did, very sweetly asking God for another caterpillar.

The summer continued to pass by, and Mr. Hubs and I did find a few caterpillars while doing yard work once, but I wasn't sure which plant they were eating from, so I left them alone.  We eventually went to Botanical Gardens with a homeschool group, and Miss Dainty had her fill of caterpillar and butterfly watching at the butterfly house. After that, we didn't see anymore, and it seemed she forgot about them, especially with Fall approaching to distract her.

Fast forward to two weeks ago.  I went outside to cut some basil to cook with.  I really haphazardly chopped four stalks down with scissors, not paying attention to which ones I was choosing, not being careful at all.  In fact, I shook them off before taking them inside.  Once inside, I grabbed one stalk at a time to pull the leaves off and rinsed them off.  I used 3 of the stalks in dinner that night.  While cleaning up, I grabbed the last stalk and as I was about to throw it away, I figured I might as well put it in a jar of water and use it later.  Didn't think twice about it.

Another week went by, and I started noticing some of the leaves were being chewed away.  I figured my cat must have been getting up there to gnaw on them.  Although, I did think it strange, since she's never gone after my basil before.  She's never liked it.  But I dismissed it, and didn't think about it again.

Then last week, I looked over again and realized the leaves were almost gone!  I assumed, again, that my cat must have suddenly acquired the taste for basil, but as I looked I noticed something I hadn't before: black dots on the counter.  What is that? I thought.

I got closer to take a better look and thought, is that poop?  I looked the plant over more thoroughly, and sure enough, I found a little green caterpillar munching away on one of the last few leaves.  I couldn't believe that it was there, and had been there the whole time! 

Some might say it was coincidence, but I personally don't believe in coincidences.  I cannot believe that 1) he was one of the stalks I just happened to grab, 2) stayed on after the basil was shaken, 3) was on the only stalk I didn't use that night to cook, 4) for some reason I didn't throw that stalk away (even though I had a ton more outside!) and 5) that it didn't fall into the jar of water.

I called Miss Dainty over and after she saw it, she got so incredibly excited.  We placed it in a safer environment, using a smaller jar for water and placing paper towels in it just in case he fell.  I asked Miss Dainty if she remembered what she asked for last time we had a caterpillar.  She thought about it for a second, and her eyes lit up.  "I prayed for another caterpillar!" she exclaimed, "God answered my prayer!"  It was such an awesome moment for her, a wonderful faith building block.  I'm so glad Mr. Hubs and I didn't bring the caterpillars that we had found inside.  I'm so glad I did not interfere, or try to arrange something myself.  This was so not my doing, and it encouraged me as well. 

So this past week, he has been very content in his personal basil buffet.  He's been constantly eating, and the girls have been happily watching him do so.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Tommy

My stepdad used to tease me about being vegan, but once he said, "You know what drives me crazy about the way you eat?"
And I said, "What's that?"
And he said, "I can't cook you nothin' to eat.  I don't know what to make you.  And it drives me crazy."
He thought for a minute with this perplexed look on his face, and then his expression suddenly lit up.
"What about fruit?!  You can eat fruit, right?"
I laughed, and just said, "yes, I love fruit."
"Okay, then.  I'll make you a fruit salad.  A huge fruit salad.  Can I do that for you?"
"Of course.  I'd like that."
And he always made me fruit salads, huge ones... with all kinds of fruit, every single time I visited.
Happy Birthday, Tommy.
We miss and love you.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Best Friends Forever: Part 2

I've been thinking about my last post... a lot actually.  It was a tough week for me.  But after talking with friends yesterday and today, I'm feeling a lot better about things.

Today, we met for small group and discussed the "relational wisdom" portion of the study.  It was a wonderful discussion, and I had quite a few light bulb moments.

I realized that this is the perfect time for me to be facing the issue of my holding people at a comfortable distance, because now that I recognize what I'm doing, I can fix it.  In fact, now that I want to stop doing that, I find myself in the perfect place to go ahead and do it.  God has already placed amazing women in my path, right here, right now, that I can reach out to.  It never fails to amaze me how much He provides for me, before I even realize I needed what He's already provided!

I do miss my friends from past duty stations, dearly.  But I realized this week, that those friendships are not over. (Thanks Ang!)  And I do hold those friendships close to my heart.  I also realized that if I don't invest in new friendships now, I could truly be missing out on many blessings, and on many chances to be a blessing to others.  I now have a fresh perspective.  I am really looking forward to growing my friendships with these ladies.

Perhaps, we'll even be lucky enough to get another tour here.
*gasp!  Did I just say that?!?  =)  heh.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Best Friends Forever

Right now we are studying Proverbs at church and in small groups.  Last week, our pastor talked about having relational wisdom with friends.  Since we shouldn't be 100% emotionally dependent on our spouses for all of our friendship/relational needs, we should all have wisely chosen close same-sex friends, apparently. (As in "inner circle" close friends, a Best Friend Forever type friend, one who knows you best, will tell you the "truth in love," etc.)   

I realized I haven't had a "BFF" since junior high.  Then she moved and left me stranded.  No not really, I mean she did move, but it was my own fault not finding a new best friend.  Or maybe not, I just really couldn't connect with anyone on that level through high school. I actually still keep in contact with my junior high BFF.  She's great and I miss her.

The only person I connected with after that was Mr. Hubs (who back then was Mr. Boyfriend.)  He has been my very best friend for the past 11 years.  He knows me best.  He accepts me.  He loves me anyway, despite my flaws.  And I him.  During the sermon I thought, I have the best kind of best friend.  Why do I need any more?  However, doing the Bible study portion last night, I really got to thinking.  Am I relying too much on my husband for my friendship/relational needs?  Am I missing out on something that could be great by not having a best friend?  Why don't I have a best friend?

At first I thought about the surface reasons.  First, it's hard for me to find someone that I have a lot (or even enough) in common with.  I admit it, I feel weird and out of place compared to today's "normal."  Second, I feel I don't have much time to invest in friendships to begin with.  With two small children at home it's hard at times to even find time to do the things I need to get done at home.

But I kept considering it.  My heart began hurting.  I began missing my friends in Sicily.  Then it hurt even more to realize that most of them are not even in Sicily anymore, and what hurt even worse than that, was thinking about some of the things I've missed out on in their lives.  One really good friend recently gave birth to her third baby boy.  So wonderful, and I'm so incredibly happy for her, and yet, I'm sad because I couldn't be a part of that after I was part of her second pregnancy, and she was a huge part of my second as well.  Oh, I miss her.

Nothing seems constant in this military life.  I reflected  back on how long it took me to start building true friendships in Sicily, and in Florida before that.  It took me two years to really let those walls down, to really start allowing people into my inner circle.  The last year I was in each place, I developed wonderful friendships with some wonderful people, and then so quickly, I had to move.  And it was gone.  And it hurt.  And it still hurts.

So, here I find myself, a year and a half into our duty station here, and I wonder if I'm keeping my current friends at a comfortable distance, to prevent that hurt from happening again.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rainy days are good for....

"Rainy days are good for naps," I told Miss Dainty, as I laid my head down on the dining room table.  If I was expecting sympathy from a five year old, I was definitely misguided.

She laughed at me instead.  "No, that's being lazy," she countered.  Oh, well, thanks.  Now I'm tired and lazy, I thought to myself.  She beamed as she placed the last piece to the puzzle we were doing; it was our first time with that particular one.  Her smile was contagious, and I smiled back.

1. Rainy days are good for fellowshiping, sharing, and learning at small group Bible study.  This is my first time ever leading a small group.  This morning was our second meeting.  Everything went very well, except for our sitter not showing up, but thankfully a wonderful mom stepped up to watch the kids.  We're studying Proverbs, and I'm very excited to grow with this great group of ladies.

2. Rainy days are good for magnetic dolls.  They are Baby D's favorite.

3. Rainy days are good for cuddling and naps (at least Baby D agrees with me.)  I love it when she comes up to me and says, "Mi Mi," for night night.  I look forward to rocking her to sleep every afternoon.

4. Rainy days are good for puzzles (but only during Baby D's naptime.)

5. Rainy days are good for fun reading.  I love this Aesop's Fables edition I was able to find off of paperbackswap!

6. Rainy days are good for modeling Momma's latest knitting project.  This particular one is a Christmas gift, but I doubt the recipient will check this blog.

7. Rainy days are good for an afternoon cup of coffee and knitting while the girls play "pretend birthday" while listening and dancing to fun kiddy music.

Rainy days are good for quality time.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CSN Giveaway at Creative Disaster!

My friend, Emily, is hosting a CSN Giveaway over at her blog Creative Disaster.  The drawing is Friday, so hurry and get your entries in!!  Good luck.  =)

Time for a New Blog

Why a new blog? 

Oh, I don't know, really.  It's not like I'm just now starting a new phase in my life, which has been the reason for past blog changes.  Actually, I've been in this current "phase" (readjusting to living in the states) for over a year, but it's taken me this long to get settled, to get re-focused, to get re-centered. 

Maybe it's because Mr. Hubs is out at sea right now.  It's given me a lot of time to think about things, to depend on God more, to realize there is a need for certain changes in my life.  I want to grow more, and I'm tired of holding myself back out of fear, out of the need to control. This is not what I want to teach my girls.  How can I teach them to trust God, if I don't?

It doesn't help that I'm also growing tired of Facebook and it's few line updates.  =)

What about the blog name?

Dandelion Days.  I look at my girls and this is what I think of.  They are so free spirited, so innocent, so lighthearted.  My days are filled with this, and it's wonderful really.  (They are also growing like weeds....)  They really do balance me out.  They challenge me to go more with the flow, to realize I don't have to control everything, (I mean really, how can anyone control dandelions?!?) 

Their trust, their faith, their freedom remind me that in Christ, I, too, am free.  I'm free to let go of past hurts and failures, free to live life to the fullest, and free to grow into the woman He had planned for me to be all along.  Just like they are my sweet little children, I know I am God's. 

So, now, this is truly my life.  Growing in Christ.  And this is a huge difference from my life (and blogs) before.  I think that's why I felt the desire to start a new one.  I am really so excited to fully embrace this journey.  I am so ready to cross that bridge.