Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for May, 2009

His grace is sufficient

20th May 2009

I know y’all have had those days, whether your a mom or not, THOSE days.  Not even the worst days, because they’re almost easier to put words to.  But the days when things are ok, but hard.  Days when you just feel like you’re letting everyone down.  Today’s been one of those days.

It’s 11:30 pm, and as I was about to fall into bed, aching from moving and cleaning a fridge yesterday, I couldn’t help but fall to my knees in tears at the side of the bed.  One of those days where you manage, but barely, and not with any semblance of grace.  You feel like you could have been a better mom, a better wife, a better friend.  You feel like you aren’t doing anything well… the house is a mess, the fridge is unorganized, you could do so much better at managing money, walking in the Fruit of the Spirit, keeping up with the laundry.  You could play with the kids more, snap at them a little less, have more patience with your husband.  The best intentions of the day got taken over by distractions and necessity.  You know that you could have found quiet and rest in the Word, and you fully intended to first thing in the morning when your spirit most needed to be grounded in Him but the day just got away…  and now you feel like you’re letting your Heavenly Father down most of all.

And so the tears fall and the only prayer is for His grace.  Thankfully, blessedly, His Word sweeps into your soul…”My grace is sufficient for you.  My Power is made perfect in your weakness, child.”  Tomorrow, dear Lord.  Thank you that your mercies are new every morning…

*I’ve turned the comments off because I mostly wrote this for myself, obviously.  I didn’t write it for any encouraging words, though I’m sure you would have plenty.  But I wrote it because I know you’ve been or will be there, and His glorious grace can speak to all of us.

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My Sweet Mother’s Day

11th May 2009

Well, I took my own advice and kept my expectations low for Sunday.  And you know what?  It was a fabulous day.  I got to sleep in (albeit a tiny bit, since we were going to early church).  At church, they gave the moms huge, chocolate dipped strawberries.  Our lunch plans with Toones were scrapped because they were a little worried about Josiah’s germs (though he was 100% by Saturday morning).  Oh well… that meant I didn’t have to cook and clean for company 🙂 Brian scrapped his plans to ride home from church, and joined us to go to the mall to ride the escalator, elevator and the carousel and let the kids get Happy Meals while we had Panera.  Fun for all!   Brian helped the kids cut flowers from the yardfor me and paint canvases I’ve wanted to hang in the entryway with their handprints.  They aren’t exactly what I had imagined, but hey… the kids did it, and I didn’t have to clean up, so they’re beautiful 🙂   It was just a lovely, relaxed day with my beautiful, much beloved family.

Funny story… Saturday while Brian was riding, I was trying to figure out something to do to break up the day.  I’d seen a sign at the grocery store that kids could decorate cookies for mom, so we headed over there.  Analise and I had a long discussion about who the decorated cookies would be for.  She was NOT into the idea of decorating them for me or Grandma.  We had a bit of a heated discussion about “giving”, and I ended up telling her she could find a cookie for herself when we were done.

When we arrived, we found it was not cookies, but CAKES to decorate for $7.50 .  Huh.  Well, before I could stop her… and really, how could I stop her?  She was so gung-ho to decorate something!  (And I was going to get $7 worth of coupons with the cake, so that sold me!)  She ran on up, picked the little sign for her cake, and grabbed a huge, unwieldy frosting bag.  The tips were so tiny, it was nearly impossible for even me to get anything to come out.  And the young guy running the show was asking, “What do you want to write for your mommy?  How about ‘I love you’?”  I’m thinking, hm… she is just now writing her name with a pencil, and you’re expecting ‘I Love You’ with a frosting bag?!?

She squeezes out a tiny little bit before the head bakery guy comes and swaps the tips so it comes out a bit more easily.  A crowd gathered to watch her intense work at making little squiggles and lines with comments like, “They’ll put you to work in the bakery, you’re doing so well!”  I had my hands full keeping an energetic Josiah from knocking over the long table of cakes, poking the frosting on Analise’s cake, and touching all the tips on the other frosting bags.  What a boy!  I had to laugh as we checked out and the kids were dancing around, feeling all the puffy bags of chips, pretending to eat the treats in the checkout line.  Here I was, juggling the kids to make my own Mother’s Day cake.  How funny!

The cake was YUMMY and my sweeties gave me a good photo to remember my lovely day!

All the sweetness I need!  How blessed I am!

All the sweetness I need! How blessed I am!

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To the mothers…

9th May 2009

I’ve had a fabulous week.  I was still basking in the glow of my weekend away.  But between sickness invading the house yesterday (that seems to have run its course, thankfully), an early wake-up call, and bored grumpy kids, I’ve wound up in an irritated, unappreciated mood tonight.  It’s Mother’s Day weekend, and I’m not expecting any gifts because I’ve been TOTALLY spoiled this past month (see birthday, necklace, iPhone and weekend away).  But I really was hoping for a little extra obedience, less whining, and overall TLC, generally leading to a feeling of being appreciated.

As I wallowed a bit, God nudged me out of my lonely pity party.  So I sat down to write a prayer for my dear mom friends, old and young, who I’m sure have all felt similarly, when I remembered a poignant post that moved me to tears last Mother’s Day.  And it served to humble and prick my heart again tonight.  So please, please click on over to read it and be blessed…

7 Keys to a Happier Mother’s Day

Praying prayers of much love, grace and joy to you, my dear and precious mom friends…

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So I got…

9th May 2009

an iPhone 🙂  I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, because I really DON’T want to “keep up with the Jones'”.  But we’ve mulled it over for a very long time, and finally took the plunge.  We have never had internet on our phones before, so that is the REAL exciting part.  I can tell lost of pre-iPhone stories about pulling off the Interstate to find a hotel with wi-fi, digging out our huge laptop, hoping the battery wasn’t dead, trying to find an email or look something up online.  We’ve always joked about how there needed to be an “internet superhighway” that we could connect to while driving.  Lo and behold, we’ve finally found the Internet Superhighway with our iPhone.

It’s already proved itself invaluable to me.  On my recent trip to Indiana, I lugged my laptop along, but aside from my family checking their email, I didn’t really use it.  My mail and the internet were right in my plam, and man, was that nice!  And on our recent trip to Athens, GA, we didn’t even bother to take the laptop (which is unheard of for us!) because we knew Brian wasn’t going to work, and we were able to do everything we wanted on the phone.  I particularly like being able to find restaurants and Starbucks that are close to wherever we are AND get turn-by-turn directions from our exact location.  Last weekend was plagued with really bad weather, and I was able to keep close tabs on the storms, and we ducked into a restaurant just as the worst of things passed over us.  Simple pleasures 🙂

I’ll skip the technical review except to say that I love it.  The kids love it too, and they’ve very quickly learned how to play their favorite apps that I’ve downloaded.  Analise said to me on one of the first days we had it, “Mommy, can you load-down some more games?  I’m bored.”  And when they’re playing on it, it’s very difficult to get it back.  But it’s served us well at the doctor’s office and waiting at restaurants with games and videos.

I have a few links I wanted to post, in case you’ve got an iPhone, too…  I’ll probably check back in and review my favorite apps, too.

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The past month in bullets and links

8th May 2009

Ok, I apologize from disappearing from the blog.  Whew.  This past month has totally gotten away from me.  Let me summarize it in bullet-form, and maybe I can get quickly caught up so I can blog some other fun things from the more recent past!

  • I got bronchitis in mid-April, and I’m just finally now feeling like I’m not coughing.  Ug.  I hate it, and believe me, Brian hates it too, but hopefully I’ve turned the corner…
  • I flew to Indiana for my grandpa Charlie’s funeral.  It was a whirlwind of planning to get ready to leave Brian and the kids for 4 days, but it came together really well, and they did wonderfully without me.  It was a great time of celebrating Charlie’s long, friend-and-family filled life, and being with my family.
  • I’ve been super busy winding up the year with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).  I’m on the Steering (leadership) Team, and I was a part of the committee who chose the leadership positions for next year.
  • Brian’s been racing LOTS – and racing REALLY well!  If you haven’t checked out his blog, head on over there.  It’s got exciting race reports, interesting data from the races, and the occasional photo. (TIP! If you want to subscribe to a blog, click on the little icon at the end of the address bar of your browser!  Feel free to subscribe to us and Brian’s blog!)  Highlights below…
  • We traveled to Athens, Georgia, staying with friends for the Athens Twilight Criterium, one of the fastest, craziest races in the country.  180 racers, most of them pros.  His goal was to finish for the first time ever, and instead he was in a late-race breakaway that made me CRAZY excited even though it got caught with just a few laps to go, and he finished 27th.  WOOHOO!
  • Wayne and Jane Lunceford were awesome hosts, and Jane even kept the kids so Wayne and I could go to Brian’s 9pm race.  This is the 2nd year we’ve stayed with them, and we’re already looking forward to next year!  Analise had so much fun meeting her friend, Heather.  They bounced and bungy-bounced, rode bikes, had a princess tea party, and shared a bedroom.  Josiah was mesmerized by the older boys’ Lego collection.  Oh and he rode alot too, including into the wading pool… I’ve got a photo somewhere…
  • We visited Athens Church with the Luncefords, a strategic partner with North Point Community Church.  We heard a great message by Pastor Andy Stanley called “It’s Personal-Undeniable“.  (I think you could also find it on iTunes, if you search Andy Stanley’s messages.  Seriously, I highly reccommend it.).  He’s a great speaker and the message had some very good thoughts.
  • Ended up that weekend in Roswell, GA with a trip to Trader Joe’s (WOOHOO!), the first visit inbout 6 months.  Brian had to replace a cracked handlebar from the Saturday Athens’ race, and he trudged through another pro-stacked field in Roswell to a 38th place finish.
  • The next weekend (last weekend) was a wonderful weekend away for us, compliments of my lovely mother-in-law.  The kids were so excited to spend the weekend (Sat and Sun nights) with the Toones, while Brian and I headed to races in Anniston and Sandy Springs, GA.  The Anniston Sunny King Criterium was an AWESOME race for Brian.  Again, a loaded pro field, and he raced hard, stayed near the front, and worked his way into good position for the sprint to finish 17th!  They had a VIP dinner for the racers afterwards, and we relaxed and ate well while chatting with the many pros.
  • We made it to our Priceline hotel in Atlanta (a Marriot) at 1:30am Sunday morning, but slept in until nearly 10.  Ah, the joy… Seriously, just an occasional weekend away with my husband is such a treat.  Quiet breakfast for 2 at IHOP, relaxing at Starbucks before the race, a leisurely stroll around Trader Joe’s (again 🙂 ), and the pleasure of watching 2 whole races by myself.  We both enjoy having the kids with us at races – and they have fun! – but it’s nice to take a little of the stress off both of us while Brian’s getting ready to race.  And I can even manage to take photos instead of keeping the kids from dashing onto the race course.  In a crash-filled race, I was very happy he finished upright and unhurt, but he even managed at top-30 finish.  Woohoo!  Brian can hold his own with the pros :), AND be “in the money” for 2 big races!
  • This week has been busy with a Mother’s Day Luncheon at Analise’s preschool, registering her for kindergarten (!!!!?!!!), a Kindergarten Kickoff visit/informational session, a Women’s Banquet for me, Brian’s student presentations, and an end-of-the-year picnic at Samford.
  • Josiah has been coming into our room and snuggling in bed with us after his early-ish wake-up, and this morning he said, “My tummy has a headache”.  Hm.  Brian and I both thought he was just hungry, but when we were at the playground before our grocery store run, he got sick.  Ug.  I’ll spare you the details, but I really hope it’s a short-lived bug that doesn’t dampen our Mother’s Day weekend.  Nothing special planned, except a bday party tomorrow, church Sunday, and lunch here (taco soup and homemade chocolate cheesecake).
  • Oh, and we’ve been diligently been watching Lost, discussing our theories and anticipating the season finale next week.  What a crazy, addicting show!

Ok, I hope I’m about caught up!  Be back soon with a post I’ve been wanting to write for about a month now…

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