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Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year!

2018: The Year of More of You, Less of Me.

2017 has come to close and today marks the first day of 2018. New year, clean slate, fresh start, endless opportunities. I’ve not been one to make resolutions because I’ve found more times than not they get abandoned around February. However, this morning I found myself writing them out in my prayer journal. Figured this may hold myself more accountable than in years past.

1. Have a teachable spirit

2. Pray about everything

3. More of God, less of me.

4. Spend individual quality time with each family member

5.  Display more patience

6. Make the time to do things I enjoy things I used to enjoy- photography, blogging, sewing, etc.

7. And the obligatory ‘clean eating’ (for good measure)

We have loved being on Christmas break- time at home wearing pajamas all day, some days doing a lot of nothing while other days doing a lot of somethings. We’ve cleaned, lounged, binged watched The Crown (and working my way through Dontown Abbey again starting with Season 1), painted four rooms, visited with friends, took kids shopping to spend their Christmas money (sorry Mike, they aren’t savers), lounged some more, used my label maker for everything I could get my hands on, set up a media room for the kids, undecorated, cleaned out the attic, organized drawers, baked, cleaned some more and enjoyed every second of it. These two weeks are most definitely my favorite time of the year because the best gift is the gift of time.

And speaking of gifts, I guilted the girls into allowing me to take their photograph (see #6 above) by telling them to consider it a Christmas present from them to me. It worked.

Happy New YEAR 2018 via grateful simplicity

 

Happy New Year 2018

Happy New YEAR 2018 via grateful simplicity

 

Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year 2018

Cheers to 2018!

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This is my story, this is my song

This is my story.

On Sunday morning, we awoke to mild temperatures and I gently reminded my children, “Get dressed. We’re going to church.”  Then came the response from Unnamed Child 1, “What?! Why do we have to go to church!” Looking at me as if I must be kidding. Or had two heads, I couldn’t quite tell.

 Kidding? Me?

But it got me thinking. Perhaps the joke is on me.  We miss enough Sunday morning services, for this excuse or that excuse, and suddenly my children are asking me, as if it were an option, “why do we have to go to church?”  When we consistently attend worship service, they do not question but rather come to expect. And maybe even look forward to it.

After I did my best job explaining the why we go to church, we get into the car and begin driving towards downtown when suddenly Unnamed Child 2 points to a fancy car in the adjacent lance and nonchalantly tells me the make and model. While there is nothing wrong with knowing that information, it just did not sit right with me. She can recite a luxury car model, but can she name many bible verses? She knows the lyrics but does she know the scripture?

Have I been I falling short in my mission to teach my children?

As we were walking up the sidewalk in downtown T-town, towards the sanctuary, Unnamed Child 1 now asks, in a whiney voice I might add, “why do we have to sing in church?”  Once again, I did my best to explain to her The Why. Incidentally, it was ‘music Sunday’ at our Methodist church the sermon was geared towards worshiping through music.  

There’s your sign, sweet girl.

I am reminded of this book which I loved, and lessons still apply today.  Every now and then, I need a good reminder.  We will be more intentional with carving out the first part of our week for worship. It sets the right tone, gives praise where praise belongs, and shifts priorities back into focus.

This is my story via grateful simplicity

This is my story via grateful simplicity

“This is my story, this is my song.”

Merry Christmas from the Robinsons

If I were super organized and sent a Christmas letter to family and friends it would read a little something like this:

 

Twenty sixteen came in quick and is quickly turning into a year ending with a seven. We have settled into our no-longer-so-new house with two three kids, two dogs, Meme, and her over-weight Persian cat named Lilli.

Britton is in 8th grade and spends her time playing soccer, studying (straight A’s! this year) and listening to music. She also tried volleyball for the first time this year and is getting ready for the opening of tennis season.  She went on a mission trip with our church youth group this summer and, despite my faults, has turned out to be a wonderful teenager. My prayer is that she continues to make good decisions, put others first, and remember Whose she is.

Kenley stays busy with her running club and cheer leading. She is on the Lower School Student Council and recently gave a speech titled, ‘Why Tallahassee is the best place to live.’ Bet you didn’t know that we have one of the nation’s first Christmas service?! At any given time she is readying 2-3 books but, I am sad to say, loves her iPad equally. She has grown so tall over the past year that she has all but caught up to both her sister and me. She has scored some new clothes in the process, is quite the writer, and she constantly reminds (and often times shows) us that the middle children are so sweet.

Five year-old Raynes wakes up happy, asking questions (no less than 194 a day)– and stays chatty and upbeat all day every day. He is quite the artist and likes dart guns, riding his bicycle, Poochie and hunting with his daddy. He doesn’t like it when we tell him he looks like the Elf on the Shelf and I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a professional greeter at a big store like Wal-Mart one day. What can I say? The boy loves people.

Mike is managing to balance work and home successfully – which is no easy task! His business continues to grow and this summer he earned a rewards trips to California and we had a sunny CA grand time.

I am enjoying my job at my alma mater, and the children’s school, where I work year-round in administration. It affords me the ability to be at every school function, and get to see my babies during the day and Mike is so supportive.  There’s not much time for hobbies but I do try to pick up my camera and keep up my ol’ blog from time to time.  Exercise doesn’t exactly count as a “hobby” but more of a necessity like breathing, eating, and coloring hair. 2017 be a big year with my 40th birthday and 16 year wedding anniversary coming in the next couple months. Sometimes, if I stop and look at the blessings that surround us I am afraid they will suddenly disappear. Perhaps that is why the camera doesn’t leave my hands, I tend to ‘over-share’ on social media, and why my right eye twitches. But for now, I’ll take it all in, appreciate the heck out of it, and celebrate a wonderful year full of His graciousness.

 

Ho Ho Ho via grateful simplicity

 

Merry Christmas from the Robinsons via grateful simplicity

Merry Christmas from the Robinsons

 

Britton (age 13)

Britton (age 13)

Kenley (age 10)

Kenley (age 10)

Raynes (age 5)

Raynes (age 5)

 

Sow bountifully, reap bountifully

“…Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

 

Sow bountifully, reap bountifully is really what this parenting stuff is all about. When Mr. Robinson first built my garden beds (best anniversary present ever!) my girls were so excited. Excited as in they researched what to plant, when to plant it, how it grows best, etc.  And that lasted for um…. about one week.  Now? Now Raynes and I visit the local garden center (no other takers), strolling through the green foliage-lines aisles to choose the perfect seeds, shovel and bag our mushroom compost, till the two little beds, plant the seeds… We’re talking an hour long planting session. Then we all, Raynes and girls included, watch them grow!

This planting, nourishing, growing and blossoming is truly, the essence of parenting. At least in my little humble opinion. How is that for deep thoughts on this finally Fall hump day?

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Sow bountifully, reap bountifully

Sow bountifully, reap bountifully via grateful simplicity

Sow bountifully, reap bountifully via grateful simplicity

Sow bountifully, reap bountifully via grateful simplicity

 

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Easter

It started raining Thursday and has not stopped. That’s four days if you do math about as well as me. I can’t remember that last time we had a rainy Easter.  Homebodies like myself love a weekend with an excuse to stay home and nest, rest, organize and catch up on television. The rain didn’t stop our crew from hunting eggs (Britton opted out since she weighed the cost of running around the front yard with a basket– versus the potential benefit of a ‘golden egg.’) Hence, The Littles ran around like crazy people in between the showers.  This was our first Easter (and hunt) in the new house.  During the move, either my Easter decor wasn’t holding up after many years or… I got tired of looking at it for many years because all I could find was a  ceramic egg and glittery, pathetic bunny. So not a whole lot of decorating going on at twelve fifty nine. And I’m okay with that. Easter simply isn’t Easter without worship so we got dressed up, grabbed umbrellas and drove ,wind shield wipers swaying, downtown to church followed by a yummy shrimp luncheon at Sassy & Pops.  Come to think of, Sassy & Pops would make a great name for a cute restaurant. Luckily Raynes’ PreK egg hunt was earlier in the week several hours before our monsoon hit.   The rain, the water it’s all very fitting actually. A clean slate. The tomb is empty. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Happy Easter!

 

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