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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

A Love Letter

Floey,

It’s been a while since I wrote you a letter.  I know I don’t always do a great job of communicating verbally, so let me tell you in writing: I love you.  I believe in you.  I trust you.

You are a great mother.  I knew you would be.  You’ll remember a letter I wrote to you about seven or eight years ago (before we were married).  I wrote that I could see you like a mother lion – strong, protective, relentless.  I know it is a serious, difficult job, but you are doing wonderfully.

I want to encourage you, but sometimes I don’t really know how.  I want you to be happy.  I want you to have peace.  I want your heart to be full of joy.  I will continue to do everything I can for you.

I know this upcoming move across the country is a little scary.  Selling our home, finding a new one, moving the kids, leaving our friends, being farther from family… I’m not going to lie and say it will be easy.  But I know we can do it.  I know you can do it!  I know God goes with us wherever we go.  I pray that he continues to speak to you and give you peace and hope and courage.

Floey, I am blessed because of you.  I am a fortunate man, and I realize it.  I don’t take you for granted.  I am proud to be your husband.  I am proud you are my wife.

Yours,

Greg

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my place in life.
Where do I belong? What am I supposed to be doing?
I’ve had this question in the back of my head for such a long time…
And I’ve always known it, but it’s just now that I have clarity for an answer. 
I’m meant to be a mother!

It’s funny! I’ve heard older people tell me again and again how the most important job you will have in your life is being a parent. And I really didn’t understand it until now.

Growing up, I didn’t have much guidance from my parents. I really don’t remember my dad being around much. I see pictures of me with him when I was a child, but his presence was not very memorable to me. Perhaps most of what I heard others say about him was what sticks in my mind now as reality and most of it was not positive.

And because my dad wasn’t around much, my mom couldn’t be around much. She was constantly working to support the family. As a result, we really didn’t get much of a chance to talk to our parents about life and growing up.

So now I’m really thinking if I am a good mom…or what makes a good mother.

Sharing life is what parenting and being a child are all about. Teaching your kids about life…and all that it entails via example and through everyday experiences is what matters most.

I read a FB status from a friend – the mother of two boys – the other day which read…

I guess I’ve been moody. I’m in the restroom and my 2 yr old opens the door and in his sweet little voice says “you need a tampon mommy?”. To which my husband in the next room says “you’d think so, wouldn’t ya buddy”

I love how open she is with her kids – her boys even about her life. Sometimes I wish I was more open, but then I guess I wouldn’t be me.

Then it got me thinking about why I’m not as open as some parents are with their kids…and part of it has to do with the fact that I’m not confident in my own skin. I don’t think I have ever been. I’ve always done what others wanted me to do and never taken the time to think about what I want to do…and if I did…I didn’t vocalize it to anyone.

(For those that know me…yes I know it is hard to believe, but it is true.)

Well, that ends today! I believe that change can only come in one’s life when they begin to make decisions for themselves. And today, it starts with me.

I’ve started a list of things I want to do and the things I want to complete, and things I just want because I want them.  I’m inspired and I’m gonna go get em’!

Be inspired! Be Healthy! Be Well!

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I haven’t had much time to think or write over the past few days. This past weekend was a busy one in our household.

SATURDAY was the beginning of our busy, three-day weekend. Greg spent the morning working around the house while I ran my grocery errands.

In the afternoon, we took a meal to some of our good friends who recently welcomed baby #3 – their first girl into the world. (We don’t get to see these friends often, but to us they are like kindred spirits. It’s like we don’t miss a beat in between the time we don’t see them.) And she is beautiful. She looks so much like her mother.

Saturday evening was the first official small group service for City Bible Church Baltimore – aka CBCB. Having never participated in a church plant before I can’t really compare it to others, but I can say that it was the first service. The service was very informal and felt more like a small group – which I’m sure it will for a while – than a church service.

We Skype-ed (via computer) with another couple – from VA – who is moving to Baltimore soon to be a part of the church plant team. It was interesting and a testimony to how God is working and expanding his church in this century. Who would have thought 100 years ago that something as complex as the internet would connect people – the church – across a continent??? I love it.

SUNDAY was Valentine’s Day. Our family took an impromptu trip to the beach on the Oregon Coast – aka Fort Stevens1. Fort Stevens was the primary military defense camp for over 84 years in the Northwest. It is located on the the Pacific Ocean just west of Astoria, OR. Fort Stevens was decommissioned as a military base shortly after World War II and today serves as a historic exhibit.

We visited several batteries where the ammo and guns were housed and fired, a museum – which showcased replicas of many of the guns and ammo used during the hey day of the base and a miniature sized replica of what the base looked like when it was at its prime.

Greg and Daphne enjoyed it immensely. I didn’t think I would enjoy it, but I guess I do like history more than I thought I did. I found a cookbook – though I didn’t buy it – which contained many recipes indigenous to the United States from the colonial times to the present.

We ended Valentine’s Day at Baja Fresh for dinner and New Seasons where Greg bought me a beautiful bouquet of purple tulips. It was a wonderful day.

MONDAY Greg wanted to go on a morning motorcycle ride – as the day was sunny and bright. So, I took the kids and I drove to the Woodburn outlets on a quest to find a good deal. There were not many to be had that day, but we did come away with a pair of PJs for each of them and a black skirt – from my favorite store – White House Black Market, for me.

Greg had a dentist appointment Monday afternoon and returned in mild pain, so I tried to do what I could to keep the kids quiet. We ended the day watching the Olympics.

It was a busy, but fun weekend.

1Oregon State Parks and Recreation

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Weekly Meal Plan

MONDAY French Dip Sandwiches

TUESDAY BBQ Chicken Pizza –Foccaccia Bread Sticks

WEDNESDAY Leftovers

THURSDAY Baked Potatoes & Salad

FRIDAY Chili

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Sometimes, even if you want to do something really, really badly, you must postpone it to focus on something else that is more important.

This was what happened in our home tonight.

I really really wanted to spend time on the computer, but my little boy needed me. He is teething. He is 9 months and has four teeth (two top, two bottom), but it looks like his canines are coming in now.

You might wonder why someone else couldn’t hold him or rock him to sleep. Well, he only wanted his mama and I did my best to console him – with a little help from Baby Orajel.

It’s funny how the littlest people can make you think about what is really important in life. Before I was married and had kids, having friends and making money were the most important things to me. And anything that did not fall into those categories was the furthest from my mind.

Today, I place greater importance on other things as my perspective has changed as I’ve aged and come into a different season in my life. The categories have expanded and now having friends – which is great if balanced with other things – and making money are important parts of my life, but they are not the most important.

Take some time to walk with me and look through my eyes as I discover how to live life to the fullest.

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Life is Easier with Routine

I love bedtime in our house.  And bedtime in our house is all about routine.

I think that Greg and I learned quickly after Daphne was born that routine – at least for the kids – is great for starting the night off right.  And for the most part, it has been a blessing for us and our family.

Maybe we have super easy kids, when it comes to bedtime, but I also would like to think that it has a lot to do with the fact that we do a good job as parents creating and establishing a routine that they are comfortable with.

I can remember when Daphne was only 6 months old…and the routine we started with her.  It was obvious that she loved books – even at 6 months.  I’m sure it was not the words, but more the pictures that fascinated her and the time she spent with her dad reading books and focusing on pictures…one word at a time.  Around 8 months, we added another step to the routine, whereby I would sing a song to her to try to get her to sleep.  Once again…in the beginning it was a struggle.  She fought it – almost nightly – thinking that after singing it was time to play.  But slowly, she began to accept it as one more thing we would do before she went to bed.

By 1 year, it was reading, singing (the ABCs) and then teeth brushing.
By 2, we were reading, singing, brushing teeth, and the number of songs had increased from one to three.
By 2 1/2 (maybe 3), we were reading, singing 3 songs (still) and saying a bedtime prayer.

Did she sleep though the night every night because of this routine…?  No!  But over time she came to realize that a routine is good.  (We are still working on the concept of “change” when it alters routine.)  🙂

Things like colds, teething, being afraid, tummy issues, late night meetings and life have arisen which have upset the natural order of the routine at bedtime in our home, but we have always done our best to try to go back to the routine…with slight deviation.

Daphne is 4 years old today…and that same routine continues. At bedtime, she heads upstairs to get her pjs on.  She brushes her teeth.  She picks out 3 books that she wants her “papa” (Greg) to read.  He reads the books to her…although she is close to reading some of the words on her own now…and then she is ready for singing, prayer…and on the nights when there are no colds to pass around in the Wheeler household…eskimo kisses and butterfly kisses.

What a wonderful way to end the night.  Good Night!

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Elliot…

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