Friday, September 28, 2012

Grasp This Moment

Dear Zane,

Today is your last day of being under one years old.

Tears surface when I think about how a year from now I was belly swollen so ready for you to come out!

Can I take pictures of you every second of today?

You have that sweet squint grin that makes my heart leap with joy.

You hide behind the couch, wait a second, then emerge in expectation of my surprised reaction.  I react big- I am addicted to that giggle I get in return.

You crawl away in joy looking back at me wanting me to chase you.  I don't want to miss any moment-I chase!  I sweep you off your feet not wanting to waste one minute of today.  Your last day of being 11 months old.

They told me time would go by fast.  Savor.  Now I breath deep the understanding that comes with that statement.  Your baby months have gone by in like flash of lighting that suspends me staring at that spot even after you've grown out of those clothes.

Today dear son, my heart if full.  Loving the fact you are growing, yet not wanting to miss any snippet of opportunity to be by your side.

I smile as I recall when you got into the flour and make that ridiculous face.  It is worth it.  Messes are worth it.  You are more important than my floor.

Love you my little Z-man time traveler,
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Homemade Christmas Gift for Grandparents!

Turn 4 square wooden blocks into a cute and affordable picture puzzle.

Great homemade Christmas gift for the grandparents!

 Supplies you need: 

  •  Four 2"x2" wooden blocks (8 for both sides of the family)
  • Modge Podge
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors &/or straight edge cutter
  • 6 photos (duplicate if making two sets)
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Pencil

 Step One:  Label

  • Lay blocks down and label side 1 that is facing up by drawing a circle in the middle of the blocks to see how they will connect with each other.  You can also put a #1 on each square that has a part of the circle so you don't get confused later.  
  • Open the blocks up like a book by taking the two blocks on the left and on the right and turning them so the circle you drew is cut in two and facing away from each other.  Now you have 4 new squares to draw a NEW shape on.  Draw a square in the middle of these blocks with #2.
  • Cut the square in half by turning the two blocks on the bottom and top on their side so the square is facing away from each other.  You should have another 4 blocks with no writing on them yet.  Draw a triangle and label each piece of the triangle #3.  
  • Continue turning over blocks in this fashion until all 6 sides are labeled with 6 different shapes.

Step Two: Create Photo Collage

  • Create mini scrapbook style photo collage for all 6 sides of the blocks with your picture, scrapbook paper, and glue stick. 


 Step Three: Cut 

  • Measure and cut the photos in 4 parts to the exact measurement of your blocks.

 Step Four: Modge Podge like crazy

  • Modge Podge your first photo on the four squares labeled with a circle and the #1.  
  • Turn the blocks over until the square shape with #2 shows up complete.  Put your second photo on those squares.
  • Do the same for the #3 Triangle side as well.  
    • NOTE:  Let the first 3 sides DRY completely before doing the last 3 sides.  This way you won't have your beautiful photo ruined by sticking to your table.

 Step 5: Decorate!

  • Set them on your mantle or coffee table for decoration.
  • Safe present for kids to play with.
  • Enjoy another way to display those pictures you love!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dear Alaina, my teenage self

Dear 13 year old Alaina,

Your baby sister is about to be born.  She will be a joy to hold, take care of, and play with.  She will also only be 5 years old when you head off to college.  Heads up- that will be very hard.  You will miss her a lot and can't believe how much she grows when you are away.

(good news! When your baby sister is 13 years old you will be in south america again married and with a little boy.   You will enjoy getting to know her as a teenager who loves Christ.  Fun fact: your son will be closer in age to your baby sister than you are!)

Your 7 year old tom-boy sister is full of energy.  She will become a lady passionate for young children being raised and educated in good environments.  She will be a wonderful aunt.  You can trust her with anything.

baby sister: 4 years,  middle sister: 12 years, Alaina & Loren Seniors in HS.
Your 11 & 1/2 year old brother who is passing you in height will end up supporting you as a missionary overseas.  All those fun-filled crazy ideas of his will put on maturity and before your eyes he will care for you in the most manly sweet way even when you live countries apart.

Family 2005

Notice how when you go into mom's room and you see her kneeling on her bed in prayer?  Keep that memory with you for the rest of your life.  Now follow the wonderful coffee smell down the hall into your dad's office to tell him something important and he shows you on his computer the prayers typed out that he prays each morning for each member of the family while drinking his blackest of black coffee.  Copy what you see.  Pray to God fervently at all times in every circumstance.

Enjoy the moments of being at home now.  Home will keep changing.  You have already lived in 3 countries and have one more to move to while under your parents roof.  Saying goodbye is hard.  But NEVER regret making those deep friendships even if its for a short time.  With the changes the internet will take in the next few years you will be able to keep 'close' contact with most of your old friends from around the world.

Above all, with the transient life style of growing up as a third culture kid, hold on to the truth that although your circumstances will change there is one thing that never changes.  Even when you move out of the house.

You can find your 'home base' in Christ.  God always stays the same and constant no matter where in the world you live.  That will help you get through the many days of culture shock.

In a few years God is going to call you to be a missionary.  Spend time with God so you don't miss his voice.  Now you can spend un-interrupted hours in the Bible.  Soon that will change when you have a family to take care of.  Learn as much now as possible.  And know that every stage in life has business and it doesn't give you an excuse to not spend time with the God of this universe.  Set apart time to spend with your creator, your life will be lived to the full if you do this.

Don't date a guy unless you could see yourself marrying him.  Don't date to please someone else or you like the feeling of being liked.   Neither of those are good enough reasons.  And when your friend comes up to you and tells you maybe you shouldn't be dating a guy- listen to them, they know what they are talking about!

Your grandma will ask you on your birthday if you are sweet 16 and never been kissed.  You can proudly say that you haven't let a guy kiss you!  You will be very thankful for that later.
The only man you will ever kiss will be your husband, who by the way you will meet at 17.  Yet you didn't have your first kiss until after dating for a year and a half.  That will be a wise choice.

Friendship must develop first before the physical.  When you choose to date him the reasonings will be right.  You will see Christ radiating out of his life.  Make sure his words are seasoned with verses of the Bible.  He will show you that he spends time studying the Word!  His passions need to line up perfectly with yours:  wanting to be a missionary, work with youth, and wanting to digest the Bible together.

High School Best Friends
When you make the choice to date long distance through college, it will be hard.  Lots of struggles, missing each other, and talking on the phone.  He will break up with you.  But he'll come back.  Unfortunately, you will never eat at Waffle House again.  Yet through that stage in life you will learn to lean on God more than your boyfriend and that is a truth you must embrace the rest of your life even when he becomes your husband.

In college you will find a mentor at the church you go to.  She is such a treasure.  Spend time embracing everything she says.  She will be a life-long person you can go to for advice.

Your engagement will be absolutely amazing.

SPOILER! You will think you are going to a mother-daughter's tea with your roommates from college but really Loren will fly thousands of miles to surprise the socks off of you in the most romantic way possible your senior year of college!
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

In June of 2009 you will marry the man of your dreams.  That doesn't mean life is always easy.  Life is messy, hard, and you will constantly be learning.  You might not even like him at all times.   But you will make a life-long commitment to love him.  Love is a choice.  (unlike popular media that says 'just fall in love'- well that leaves room to 'fall out of love' and that is NOT an option!)  Choose to always seek Christ for your fulfillment and serve your husband well.  Tell him up front what you are thinking.  Never play the guessing game.

 It is worth the wait.
Believe me- it is totally worth it!

Stay up all night reading those mystery books.

You are smart, don't act dumb to get attention.  Don't be afraid to say your opinion, even if it is against the majority.

Continue the tradition on Christmas eve to play board games with your siblings all night and have sleep overs in the same room that night every year.

Love, Me
13 years later

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