Monday, January 16, 2017

Cleaning Up Messes

Last week I shared a brief devotional at Bible Study - and wanted to share it here in hopes that it may encourage a friend or two as we start off a new week in the "trenches of parenting". Love, The Pampered Bird


My three year old is adorable. She is also a pistol who knows all my buttons and can drive me up the wall with frustration.

In the last two days alone I have been on my hands and knees 5 times cleaning up significant messes she has made around the house. Some of the messes were on purpose and some of the messes were complete accidents. But regardless of her intentions – her 8 months pregnant mother ended up on hands and knees, scrubbing, vacuuming, sweeping, and disinfecting – in order to clean up the messes she made.

And in the midst of my frustration, bitterness and resentment of having to get into a very uncomfortable position and do tasks that were messy, smelly, and physically taxing – I was reminded that I was once the one in desperate need of being cleaned up after.

And my messes were and are also a combination of purposeful disobedience and stubbornness, as well as na├»ve mistakes. But regardless of my intentions – I’ve not loved the Lord my God the way I should; I have not loved others as myself; I’ve done things I’m not to do; and I’ve neglected to do the things I am called to do.

But my Heavenly Father, made a plan – even before the world began – to come and clean up my messes.

Philippians 2:6-8 says:
“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”

Jesus cleaned up after me. He did it without frustration, bitterness or resentment – but instead with an abundance of compassion, grace, mercy and love. He willingly scrubbed me clean so that (according to Hebrews 10:22) I can go right into the presence of God with a sincere heart fully trusting him. For my guilty conscience has been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make me clean, and my body has been washed with pure water.

Because of the massive clean up job that Jesus did on the cross: for me, for us, for the whole world -
Philippians 2:9-11 says:

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

So this morning, my prayer is that as we reflect on what Jesus did to clean up our messes, we can in turn be filled with joy as we enter into the messes of our Community Bible Study women and children (and our immediate families) – and we can serve them with the same compassion, mercy and grace shown to us by our Savior and Lord. 

-The Pampered Bird

Friday, December 30, 2016

August 2016

August 2016 started with a trip to Colorado with Mr. SA's side of the family. It was a wonderful trip full of cooler weather, time with cousins, memory making, and relaxation.

All the cousins out on a drizzly hike - complete with walking sticks!

Went on an adult only hike. It was so nice to have a few days where my queasiness was reduced!

One morning my sister-in-law and I wrangled the children and took them to a ski resort that was set up with fun summer activities. Rufflebum was so excited about the trampoline. Burrow thought she was excited until she got on it. Then girl freaked out.

This is her "you can't make me jump" face. I wish I had gotten a picture of her face when the woman accidentally pressed the button that raised Burrow's feet off the trampoline. She was so mad. And I had to crawl up there to help unhook her and get her down. Then she screamed and cried the whole way back to the car. Poor thing.

And we celebrated Granmommy's 70th birthday! She is very loved!

On our way home we stopped at the children's museum in Denver while we waited for our evening flight home.

This one is always game for playing dress up... no matter the costume!

This little goober was a pretty good sport while we waited a couple hours in the airport. Of course she wasn't as cooperative when she had to sit in her seat with a seatbelt on... our airplane co-riders were glad when the flight ended!

And the vacation aftermath... passing out on the sofa..

Falling asleep on the stairs and Mimi and Yaya's house...

And some calm swinging at a near by playground...

And that wraps up our August and our summer!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Summer 2016 Photos

Here are some pictures from May/June 2016:

On a beautiful spring Saturday we took the girls to the Cibolo Nature Center to go for a hike. It was muddy, and cool, and filled with exploring. The girls had a blast and Mr. SA and I enjoyed the slow paced day where the girls could run around as much as they wanted!

This is Burrow's "I do what I want" face. To my exhaustion... she has perfected this look and attitude this year. #twoyearsold

 Rufflebum giving me a silly smile. She doesn't like to stop playing/climbing/running/exploring to take a picture. I don't really blame her.

 Love these three so much!

On National Donut Day I took the girls to an "open gym" time at a local gymnastics place... let them burn off energy in the air conditioning, then picked up some donuts. Unfortunately the place we stopped didn't have anywhere to sit so we sat in the parking lot in the heat. None of us finished our donuts... it was too hot out and we would have preferred ice cream. Oh well - I tried!

 This was a better way to spend a hot day...

And I have no memory of what was going on here... except she's being a goober. I do know she has since broken this bucket by standing on it and jumping off of it!

The following photos were all taken by Mr. SA during June and July. Those months were a blur for me this year because I was sick in bed with "morning sickness" that lasted 24/7. I vaguely remember some of these events and some of them I didn't attend at all. I am so thankful for all the ways he stepped in while I wasn't feeling well!

I believe this is from a neighbor's birthday party or maybe a 4th of July party? Regardless, Burrow obviously loved her cupcake!

I think this is when Mr. SA took Rufflebum to a church event and since it was out in the country he let her "drive" along the mile long "driveway" that was on the private property - she still talks about this and asks all the time when she can "drive" again!

For my birthday I wanted to get out of the house so we took the girls to see The Little Mermaid at a local musical theater. The girls loved it! I spent the whole time nibbling gold fish so I wouldn't throw up!

I think Mr. SA convinced the girls to help him "clean" the house - Burrow was so excited to wipe the table down!

We spent a lot of time at birthday parties over the summer - here are some photos at another neighbor's birthday party.

This friend had a karaoke birthday party! It was so cute! But again, I spent the party inside in the air conditioning trying to keep my stomach calm. Mr. SA held down the fort outside - watching the girls in the pool, getting them fed, and socializing with people he didn't know. He was such a huge support this summer!

And here is just a sweet picture of Burrow snuggled on the sofa. Mr. SA must have taken it one day, but I'm not sure why. Love this girl!

 And here they are doing a quiet activity with me one day. We hired a part time nanny for the summer while I was so sick to take the girls on fun outings around town - which gave me a chance to rest without feeling guilty for not entertaining the girls. And gave them more patience to do quiet activities when they were with me.

We were so thankful for the morning sickness and the good news that the pregnancy was going well! But boy was it a long summer for me in bed. I'm thankful for these few photos to remind me that it wasn't such a long time after all - that we got through it together - and that the girls weren't "ruined" by my inability to do as much with them or for them for a few months. God really did bless us during that season - with endurance, patience, and the provision of so many family and friends!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Highlights from April and May

I'm glad I have this place to "force" me to look back at pictures and remember some of the things we've been up to - because honestly I don't remember a lot of what we were doing when these pictures were taken!

Looking at the background - it appears as though we were getting breakfast ready when I snapped this picture of the girls loving each other!

I believe this was over spring break - cousins Charlie and Luke were in town and I believe they went with us to the zoo to see the new Giraffes. The girls always love climbing on the lion statue as soon as we enter the park.

Another day during our cousins' visit we went to a near by park and played and had a picnic. Auntie Sarah snapped this photo of me keeping Burrow from falling out a window!

Aaaaah. This is a good memory. The week of Easter I helped the girls make "Resurrection Rolls". You roll marshmallows in butter and cinnamon/sugar and then roll them up in crescent roll dough. The marshmallow is supposed to be Jesus... the sugar are the spices his body was treated with before his burial, and the dough is the tomb. You bake them and the idea is that when you bite into the roll it is hollow - because Jesus has risen!

Except this is how our turned out. Rufflebum told me Jesus melted. The funniest part was that I posted this photo on Facebook and a recruiter from the show "Worst Bakers in America" contacted me and said that she thought I'd be a perfect candidate to apply. We had a great laugh over that!

Here are the girls in their Easter dresses! My parents picked up these dresses last year on their trip to France. I can't remember why Rufflebum was so grumpy in this photo... but it cracks me up. The face Burrow is making is very typical.

My girls know their way around a cheese tray.

Aah. Here is my happy girl. All ready to hunt for eggs that Auntie Bri and Uncle Scott filled up with little goodies.

That face!

Sweet Rufflebum was helping Burrow find eggs.

This girl has my heart!

And so does this one!

Oh my word. One day the girls decided to sunbathe. I tried really hard to not laugh at their poses.

Then in April our city got hit by a horrible series of hail storms. Our house got pretty beat up... broken window in dining room. Broken windshield. Destroyed roof. Holes in the shed. And the list goes on. Thank goodness for insurance. And for a handy Mr. San Antonio who was able to fix some of the issues.

One day Rufflebum got a surprise present in the mail from Auntie Sarah. She was thrilled!

We also spent a couple weeks house/dog sitting for my parents. One day while I was cooking dinner Burrow came over to me to proudly show all the artwork she had done on herself.

It's a good thing she's so cute!

And this sums up the 6 weeks of rain we had around here. Two girls with a LOT of wiggles. And a poor sofa that became their playground!

Love, The Pampered Bird


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