Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rainy days and a thankful heart

Yesterday was a rainy day for most of the morning.  And I don't know about you but there is just something about a rainy day during the fall that I just adore.  Maybe it is because it's a bit cooler so everyone is dressed a bit snugglier. Maybe it's because I take the opportunity to light candles because it makes the house feel warmer and less dreary.  Or maybe it's because my kids are at those sweet ages where imaginations are beginning; they are playing together; and I am there to witness it all.  I am so thankful for this time at home with my boys.

I am thankful to soak up extra snuggles with my boys.

I am thankful for the moments I get to listen in while Hudson "reads" his books during lunch prep.  It never ceases to amaze me how many books he has memorized and with the exact rhythm and cadence they are read to him in.  *so sweet*

I am thankful for the squeals of delight as the boys pull EVERY pillow from the couch to play on.

I am thankful for the floor that needs mopped 1892 times a week because all our meals and snacks seem to be messy.

I am thankful that Hudson loves to help me with all kinds of chores.  I pray that servant spirit is one that grows in him and that he will one day bless others with it, including his future family.

I am thankful even on the days when the boys don't nap because it's a couple more hours of time with them that I won't ever have again.

I am thankful on the days they do nap because..well, let's just keep it real, mama NEEDS nap time some days!!

And I am so thankful for a God who continually pours His blessings over us so I can be at home majority of the time.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pumpkin Patch 2013

I just love fall.  Pumpkins, mums, the leaves changing, apple crisp, cooler temps, boots, scarves, sweaters, candy corn, football, bonfires.  What's not to love?  One of my favorite fall activities is a trip to the pumpkin patch.  Andrew and I did this for the first time together when I was pregnant with Hudson.  And we have gone every year since, adding to our group.  This year was was by far my favorite year!! I am not sure if it was because of Hudson's age and how excited he got or because I absolutely adored the patch we went to this time, but let me tell you it was great!

Since moving, Andrew and I realized we are going to have to be very intentional about seeing our family and friends.  We don't live in a town that is exactly booming with activity and attractions, which is fine, nor do we have a lot ANY extra room to host a ton of visitors.  Fortunately, we have *amazing* family and friends who are ready to be just as intentional as we are.  My sweet sister in law, Rachel, suggested doing a family pumpkin patch trip in Springfield this year so we could get our boys together. I posted here about how close our boys are in age.  Springfield is a middle ground as far as distance to travel and it is also a big enough city to find things to do with our little ones.  I was all over this idea and started looking up pumpkin patches to visit. Our family had always gone east to a pumpkin patch in Champaign so this would be a new one for all of us.  I came across the sweetest website advertising Bomke's Patch.  It seemed like such a neat family that began this patch (and tree farm!) and I couldn't wait to go. Like seriously, I made a calendar to count down the days! I.Love.The.Patch!

My family went to middle church that morning and left straight after.  Our boys took a little snooze as we drove to Springfield.  Perfect start.  Add to that sweet little start was the weather.  It was cool and crisp out, with a breeze. Jeans, long sleeves, fleeces: perfection!

We met at Culver's first to fuel up our little men! I could not believe how much sweet Emmett had changed in the past month! He was smiling from ear to ear and the most happy, teething baby I have ever seen! (Unfortunately I did not take my camera into eat lunch so I did not get any pics of his sweet face. FAIL.) As we ate lunch it clouded over a bit, but call me crazy, it added to my good mood.  Where we live a stormy looking sky over a field of corn only adds to the beauty that surrounds us. Check at these sweetie pies walking into the patch!

They had a pre-picked section that caught our boys' eyes as we walked up.  There was a whole group of large pumpkins and, being all boy, they both ran to climb, push, and try to pick them up!

See all boy!! Ha!

There were little wagons and tractors in that same area for little ones to ride around on. The boys did that for a few minutes, in between running back to the big pumpkins!  I just hung with the little guy! It was Beau's first time at the patch! :)

Next to the pre-picked area was this beautiful barn.  It had crafts, popcorn, home decor and an assortment of little gourds and mini pumpkins laid out.  It smelled like popcorn and cider and wood..heavenly.  It was lit up with soft twinkly lights.  It was so, so cozy.  My pictures do not do it justice.  I read on the website that they host wedding and receptions and oh my word, I totally get why if that is the theme you want! Attention, Springfield brides--check it out!

 After collecting a mini pumpkin and "rattle"- it was a gourd shaped like a rattle so Hudson insisted that it was a rattle, we made our way to the play area...while stopping at the big pumpkins again, of course!

 Now I am all for making a living but man alive, when did a weekend at the pumpkin patch turn into paying an arm and a leg? Seriously?! Last year we spent over $80 on our little trip to the pumpkin patch.  And that didn't include us doing the play area.  Not here, friends.  No. Bomke's patch was seriously family friendly: clean, great staff, and gentle on the wallet.  Everything was free for kids 2 and under! Including their awesome play area.  They had swings and jungle gym areas.  They had those neat little swings made out of saddles.  And they had a corn box.  Imagine a sand box. Now take the sand out and insert corn.  Just look at the pictures.  The boys had a ball!

Can I just say nothing makes my heart melt more than a dad and his boy? 

Or my brother and his nephew  Melt.My.Heart 

 They also had a giant slide that our boys went down time and again.  Even the dads got in on the action!

Do you see the joy on that face?!

I lied.  I said I had no pictures of sweet Emmett.  I did not have any at Culvers.  I do have one of his precious face at the Bomke's.  Check out that lil' man! We got cold and hungry so Rachel took him to the car for a bit.  Sidenote--she is one of the best mothers I know. I have to put that out there.  Not because she does everything right (which she does A LOT right) but because she is so amazingly calm in her mothering. She just knows how to go with it. 

While they were in the car, we went on a wagon ride. Do you see what I mean about the sky? Cloudy? Yes. Beautiful? YES! The ride stopped at this little area with farm animals you could feed and pet! Hudson wasn't completely sure of it but he really liked seeing the animals!

We joined back together after the wagon ride and decided to do the corn maze (again, FREE for the little ones!).  We found out that none of us big kids had ever done a corn maze. I know, shocking!! We were all pretty excited about it!

Until we saw other people carrying maps. MAPS??!!? This corn maze was intense.  Like, "Don't make a wrong turn or you could be stuck in here for days!" intense!

Andrew's artistic shot 
The sky looked less beautiful and more ominous as the wind whipped the corn and we realized we were at checkpoint 2 of 10!

So we started following people with a map, and Andrew starting shooting pictures of checkpoints.  To document our journey, obviously!

Our little guys were winding down by this point and the winds were picking up.  We opted to choose from the pre-picked section of pumpkins and call it a day!

The boys with their loot!
I am so thankful to have these memories with not only my little family but my extended family too!

Got faith? God has this!

I have posted several times in here about how Andrew and I felt God was calling us to take the leap and accept the job in Pittsfield.  I even posted about my fears of leaving our family and friends, the comfortable and embarking on the unknown.

But can I be real for a second? One of my biggest fears concerning the move was money.  This move was taking us from two incomes to one income.  The decision in me not working was the fact that we know no one.  Our boys had been through such a transition all summer with Andrew working out of town, us packing and moving; the thought of leaving them with someone they had never met was too much.  So in essence, we were consciously making this choice but at the same time it was a part of the move.

We discussed at length the choices we would make to help compensate for me staying at home with the boys.  We downsized our mortgage, we didn't have a daycare fee, etc. But still, there was that part of me that kept saying, what if? What if this expense comes up? What if your car breaks down? The boys get sick? One of us gets sick? Yes, we have savings but some things can eat that up quickly.  Money seemed to be the glitch we kept getting stuck on when trying to make our decision.  Every time WE (Andrew and Bekah) decided that the sacrifice would be too much, GOD showed up.  In a sermon; in a small group lesson; in a blog I read. And we knew what God was saying, "TRUST me. I have this!"

Proverbs 16:9 "In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps."

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path."

Philipians 4:19 "And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

Well, we moved. Obviously. And I stopped worrying about money and our finances and all has been well in our world.  Right? WRONG! I'd like that statement to be true but it isn't.  But here is the great thing about my God.  He is greater than my fears, worries and anxiousness.  He is real.  He is active.  And he recognizes our faith.

This week Andrew and I got two unexpected bills. And this week we also got a refund check for something that was overcharged throughout the year because of a high estimation.  God has this.

Andrew and I budget for every penny and know where it's going to go.  Looking over the budget this month, rechecking what was coming in and out, discussing Beau's birthday and other upcoming events, we realized that somehow we were going to come out ahead this month.  GOD has this!!

I'm not saying that we can become lazy people and say God has this and rely on him to pay our bills.  What I am saying is that God is capable of meeting our needs in ways we can't ask or imagine if we follow His call on our lives.

What is waiting for you on the other side of where God's calling you to go? Heed the call, friends.  His path for you is so much greater than you imagined.