Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Preschool Field Trip

Its field trip week here on our gravelly road.  On Monday I helped with an end of year play day for our daughter's preschool class (was supposed to include a trip to the park but that got rained out) and today chaperoned our son's preschool field trip to a local farm.  Little sister got to join in on the fun as well.  Not to be left out, big brother's first grade class field trip is this week as well.  I can feel the end of the school year coming...

Here's a few pics from the day at the farm.

A fun day of memories for these two exploring a farm not far from our gravelly road.

Friday, May 13, 2016

First Grade Field Day and Preschool Program

It was a big week for the boys last week.

Big Brother had his first field day on a cold and blustery day Thursday.  

He got to pick his 4 events so he did the 50m run, long jump, football throw and soccer kick.

Dad took part of the afternoon off plus Aunt Becca joined us.  It was a fun (chilly) afternoon as a family cheering on Big Brother and his friends.

Then on Friday Little Brother had an end of year preschool program complete with songs and actions. Each class had coordinated tie-dye shirts and teachers gave kids a certificate and gift.  So fun.

End of school year memories are filling up our days on Life on the Gravelly Road.

Monday, May 9, 2016

New Bike Adventures

Big brother had outgrown his old bike from previous summers.  So Saturday he sold his old bike, his first bike, the one he learned how to ride on, and this took the money from the sale and the money he'd been saving to the store with Dad to buy a brand new bike.  When they got home, they took the unnecessary training wheels off and adjusted everything and off he went.

He broke in the new bike with a long ride with Dad down our gravel road to a neighbor's who asked we check on their animals while out of town.  He loves that its faster and easier to handle on hills than his small bike.

Excited about his new wheels on the Gravelly Road.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review: The Mother Letters by Amber and Seth Haines

 "The Mother Letters: Sharing the Laughter, Joy and Struggles and Hope" by Amber C. Haines and Seth Haines started as a simple request from Seth to writers and friends from all walks of motherhood to write "Dear Mother" letters of encouragement and motherhood lessons to give to his wife Amber who at the time was in the trenches of mothering their three (now four) young boys.  The request resulted in over 600 letters that since have been culled and compiled into a lovely book of encouragement, wisdom, and reminders that mothers are in this together.

I enjoyed reading this book, going back to read a few of the letters a second time already.  Of course not all letters struck a chord with me, most of of them did, many reminding me what I already know but spoken from a place of grace and simple wisdom that the truth sinks in deeper.  Slow down.  Live your whole calling.  Give yourself grace.  You are not alone.  God picked you to be the mother of your child.
I appreciated the variety of voices included in the books, mothers of little ones, mothers with older kids, step mothers, mothers by adoption, and expectant mothers to name a few.  Yet through it all the letters echo hope and encouragement, funneled from the source of all Hope.

In addition to the encouraging words for mothers in all walks of life, the book's small size and the lovely photos would make it a great gift or a cute book for your own bedside or coffee table.  The fact that each letter is short makes it accessible to moms who only have a few moments to sit and read, soaking up encouragement a few pages at a time.

If I was to write a letter to encourage other moms or share what I've learned in my own motherhood journey, it might be something like this:

Dear Mother,

As I sit here pondering what to write, I'm amazed where God had led me on this motherhood journey and there is still a lot of road ahead of me (my oldest is only seven).  Maybe you've had more unexpected or unpredictable seasons as well.  Maybe like me your motherhood journey was prefaced or sprinkled with years of waiting, wondering and praying.  

On a recent chaotic Sunday, when my three precious and loud children were overly energetic in the church hallways and I was feeling a bit exasperated, someone who knows our story reminded me "You prayed for this".  

I did.  I prayed, pleaded, and cried to my Heavenly Father during those hard years of infertility and the long years of our adoption wait.  Yet never in my wildest dreams could I picture my present reality -- mom of three precious blessings, one by birth and two by adoption, each only 13 months apart.  Gods plans are so much better than my own.

And so I treasure this.  I count it all as blessings.  The loud battle games in the basement playroom, kitchen dancing, the adventures and fort-building in the grove, the giggles at silly costumes, even the ridiculous arguments about imaginary ipads in the car (yep they do).  Yet I need to be better at joining in the silly, adventure, and imagination.  I need to get in the picture instead of just staying behind the camera.

So when life's surprises make you catch your breath in worry, remember God's got this and His plans are better than ours.  When you feel like you've said something 50 times and you've used all your mom voice and loud whispers, choose thankfulness for the blessing of the child challenging you at the moment.  And when your house is loud, crazy, chaotic or full of imaginative adventures, treasure it and join in.

Krista @ Life on the Gravelly Road

NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Revell for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Father Daughter Dance

She was so excited to get dress up for her date with Daddy to a Father Daughter dance at a local church.  Fancy clothes, fun activities and she came home with a pink rose.  Big smiles.

The boys and I enjoyed our evening too -- watching some star wars on the couch :)

Weekend memories from Life on the Gravelly Road.
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