Friday, July 4, 2014

About those parks...

So, to begin my review of the parks, let me first say that I decided to write these up half way through my adventure, so I don't have many (read...any) pictures for the first three.  Sorry about that!  I will do my best to give you a good picture though!
The first park, and really the park that started the whole shabang for me, was Southland Park.  It's located right behind Southland Pool and Clay's Mill Elementary.  It came highly recommended by friends and I became frustrated with myself that I have a four and a half year old and I still hadn't ventured out to other parks.  Hence, the Park a Week summer plan.
Well, Southland Park did nothing to disappoint all the rave reviews I had heard about it from friends!  We met a few friends there around 11 with lunch in tow.  I had my three kiddos ages 4, 2 and 7 months.  If my four year old were reading this she would quickly correct me "I am four and a HALF!"  Such an important distinction!  When we got there there was a end of school picnic going on for what looked like the 4th or 5th grade of the nearby elementary school.  I was a little worried since mine are so much smaller, but I was so pleasantly surprised!  The playground itself is great!  It is laid out so well!  It has a great variety of equipment that spans the ages really well!  The right side of the playground has things for slightly older children, while the left side is more geared towards the littles.  My friend and I spread out on a blanket under one of the very large shade trees lining the edge of the playground.  Notice I said SHADE!  That's a very important thing to find when looking for a great park!  The thing I noticed and LOVED about this park was these trees.  I'm not much of a landscaper or botanist, so I have no idea what kind of tree this is, but with age I have grown a great appreciation for large old trees.  Someone had great foresight to plant these beauties, and may not have ever lived to see them in their full glory.  Makes me want to go out and plant a tree for the next generation of mamas, who will certainly need some shade!
Ok, back to the park.  From our nice shady spot we could see the whole playground.  The playground itself isn't very shady, no problem for my kids.  My eldest plopped down underneath a slide and proceeded to get everyone involved in building a "worm castle" for all the worms who live in the playground mulch.  My son loved the mulch diggers, a mini-bulldozer piece of equipment he could sit on and pull some levers and dig up the mulch.  He wasn't quite coordinated for the machine, but that didn't stop him from trying!  The equipment has a nice variety to it.  We didn't even make it over to the right side and we stayed for a few hours!  The kids loved some of the smaller trees off to the side also.  They got lots of accessories for their worm castle from there!
Next to shade, there is one other all important factor to a great park...bathrooms!!  And this one comes well equip.  There is a shelter with picnic tables and restrooms.  The parks and rec website says this shelter seats 50, and rents for $50/day.  Sounds like a birthday party waiting to happen!
Well, I'm very sorry to say that I don't have any pictures from this adventure to share with you, but I hope you go and make some good memories for yourself!!
Grab a picnic blanket, set this address into your GPS and go!

625 Hill n Dale Dr.
Lexington, KY 40503

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Still changing lives

Two years ago we lost a dear friend in a tragic and inexplicable accident. No rhyme or reason, he just fell. We miss Jay all the time. We find our selves mentioning him often. Thinking he'd enjoy something we're seeing or doing. Telling stories about him, or when we just happen to be at the last place we saw him. For sure we have been changed by him. Both Bert and I each have our individual reasons. Jay saw each of us through some crazy hard times in college. But while he is gone, he is not done changing lives.
Like I said, Jay still comes up in our home often. He is mostly brought up by Tempie funny enough. Bert and I were both trying to remember if she'd ever met him. If she did, she was certainly too young to remember. But she brings him up any time she wants to have a spiritual conversation. Any time she wants to talk about God or heaven, she begins the conversation by saying "mom/dad you miss your friend Jay don't you?" She then proceeds to talk about him being in heaven and she'll ask whatever question is on her mind about God. But it always starts with Jay. Jay is the lead in to Christ for Tempie.
She's already talking about asking Jesus into her heart. She's so sensitive spiritually. I really wish I could tell him...I guess he already knows. Thank you are still being used by God.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Frugal Summertime Fun

Lexington grows on me more and more every year.  A large part of that is our "framily" that lives here.  Each year we grow another year closer to one another.  Each year contains something new.  Sickness, death, babies, more babies.  Lately babies have been the story.  I couldn't begin to imagine leaving these people I love so dearly.  
Another piece of my love for Lexington has everything to do with the city itself.  Lexington is big enough to have offerings for everyone, yet small enough to still feel like home.  After talking to my "framily" members recently it occurred to me that I do not take advantage of enough of Lexington.  I have a tendency to stay in my little corner, my little pie piece (Lexington is laid out like a giant pie...another great reason to love it...who doesn't love pie?). 
As we were looking forward to the summer and making plans, I knew I would need to get the kiddos out of the house often.  If Tempie stays at home for more than 6 hours straight, she begins to whine and ask..."when can we get out of the house?"  Funny coming from my reserved introvert.  Interestingly enough, my extroverted charmer would just as soon be at home than anywhere else.  However, as long as he's with the ones he loves...or with people at all...he's fine.  So, getting out of the house is on our agenda. is saving money...hmm.  Dilemma. 
We were all getting a little bored with our usual free places to go.  So I came up with the idea to visit a new park in Lexington each Friday (a little routine in there to please my eldest's need for schedule).  There are so many amazing parks in Lexington, and we stick to the ones within a mile radius of us.  Bert informed me yesterday that there are over 100 parks in Lexington.  100!!  Now, I'm looking for parks that will suit my 4, 2 and 8 month old children.  So playgrounds are pretty essential.  So far we have made it to three new parks.  We are enjoying it very much!  
This past Friday while enjoying a park with some friends, one issued a challenge to me.  It didn't come out like a challenge, it went something like this:

LB: "Hey, you should...wait nevermind...I'm not even going to say it..."
me:  "What?"
LB:  "I was going to say that you should blog about your visiting the parks.  Give reviews on each one, etc.  But you have no time to blog."
LS:  "Yeah, that would be a great resource for people."

Now, you can see that with my stubborn personality how that came out like a challenge.  Everything she said would be true.  I don't have time to blog.  It would be a great resource.  It may be crazy to try.  But try I will.  

Be looking for the first few posts soon.  I already have three to review!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Beautiful, Messy, Winter

Musings from a snowy Saturday...
Being stuffed inside for more than a week from bitter cold and snow made a 20 something degree Saturday an invitation out of doors!  We bundled up the kids and ourselves in many layers and played in the fresh snow.  J.J. really didn't like the snow.  Tempie didn't last long either.  I got outside later than Bert and the kids, and I was no where near ready to go inside when the kids did, so I started an impromptu snowball fight with my dear husband!  He's been asking for more spontaneity in our lives.  Haha!  At one point I decided to sit and bury my legs in the snow.  I called out to the kids "Help, a snow monster is eating my legs!  What should I do?!"  My very literal 4 year old responds "Well, you could just stand up."  So much for that one!  

After a while Bert went inside too.  It was just me, the sunshine and the snow.  So, I shoveled the front driveway and sidewalk.  As I was doing so, I was aware of how my actions were disturbing the beautiful perfect serenity of freshly fallen snow.  But I couldn't make my self go inside yet, so I shoveled. Then I went to the back porch and just sat, and listened.  It was quiet...peaceful!  Beautiful.  Once I sat still and looked, I could see the ridge lines in the snow where the wind had blown it.  

I got to thinking about last year's word...winter.  I realized that winter can be beautiful...if you don't disturb it.  Disturbed snow isn't so beautiful!  

But, it encases the footprints of fun had, or work well done.  

It reminded me of a scripture in Proverbs.
"Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean; but abundant crops come by the strength of an ox." Prov. 14:4
I've learned a lot from God by meditating on this word 'winter'.  Life in winter isn't always pretty, but it can be fun and it can be meaningful.  In order for it to be either though, it will be messy.  I know my winter isn't over yet, but I also know it is just a season.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

It's all about Jesus

There was a visiting pastor speaking at our church this past year.  He was talking about the Christian Missionary Alliance denomination and how really they are just simply all about Jesus.  (One of the reasons I LOVE this denomination and my church!!)  But he began to talk about the Bible as a whole, and I think this is a basic teaching about the's all about Jesus!  All of the Old Testament is pointing to Jesus, the Gospels tell His story, then the letters point back to Jesus.  John Soper, the visiting preacher said it this way:  "God told us what he was going to do, then He did it, then He explained it."  It is a look at the Bible from God's perspective.  Because of where I am in life, I instantly thought about my parenting.  Isn't this the model!  I need to teach (verbally) my children the values I want to instill in them, then model them, then explain my actions.  It is God's model...I'll imitate him and make it my own...surely He knows best!  He is the Good Father after all!
This model also works for discipline.  "Tempie, I am going to put you in time out now...{Time out}....Tempie, do you understand why you were in time out?"  Works the same with spankings or any other form of discipline used.  By the way, I choose the word discipline intentionally over the word punishment.  But this model for discipline is the same God used for His people.  God warned the Israelites many times...stop or you will go into exile...{exile}....Do you understand what just happened?  It's intentional, it's measured, and it's discipline...not anger, or punishment, or even simply consequential.  Discipline is to be so much more.  Discipline comes from the same root word as disciple.  It is to grow a person into who they are made to be.  It is about encouraging growth and change.  Not just about beating a bad habit out.  That's what punishment and consequences are about.  They are about what you are not to do, not about who you are to become.  I believe that having kids is all about making disciples.  It's my reason for having them.  I intend to learn as much as I can from God about how He has made disciples.  Who else has His track record?!

Things I want to remember

There are some things and some moments I want to be sure to record and remember somewhere about the first week of baby Zeke's life.
  • The first to come to mind is his first birthday party. Tempie wanted to make him a birthday cake, so that's what she and my mom did while we were in the hospital. They brought the cake up and we had a birthday party for Zeke.  It was a brilliant big sister moment for Tempie!
  • I want to remember God's gift of an hour during labor, just before pushing, and how He gave me Psalm 126 & 127.  Zeke is a reward...not sure what for....
  • I want to never forget Zeke cooing at us for the first hour of his life.
  • Sitting at the kitchen table, by the window, nursing Zeke & watching Bert play outside with Tempie, Ada and JJ.  Beautiful fall leaves, weather, lots of laughter.  I want  to remember JJ's face as he jumped into the leaf pile.  It was a taste of Heaven!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I may be crazy...

but, I think it's possible that God has given me some insight to the spirit of my children through my pregnancies.  Perhaps somewhat mystic, but who knows.  It's certainly possible. 
When I was pregnant with Tempie, I was so passionate about the poor and about social justice.  All I wanted to do was to minister to the homeless.  And I did give some to that.  I actually got to know my first homeless person.  Her name was Rose.  I lost contact with her.  I have never before and never since had that kind of passion for homelessness.  Not to say I don't care about it now, but it's not the same. 
With JJ it was all about preaching the name of Jesus!  I wanted to shout the name of Jesus from the roof of every building.  Again not to say it's not true now, but the intensity is different.  I did some street evangelism on campus.  That's not something I'm particularly gifted at or often bold enough to do, but I just had to at the time.
With #3 (still yet to be officially named), I'm wondering if this little man may be one who works with his hands.  Not the kind of think I think of when I think of the spirit of a least not till now.  I just can't sit still.  Thinking is not enough for me (usually it can occupy me for hours!), I need to be doing something....making something with my hands.  So far I have built some bookshelves, made curtains and curtain rods, repaired some things around the house like the laundry room doors.  I've never had this type of spirit in me that needs to work with my hands.  At least not to this degree or intensity.  Crocheting a blanket just won't seem to do. 

Who knows really.  Maybe I'm just a crazy pregnant woman, with strange non-food cravings!  Only time will tell if these spirit predictions come to life in my children.  I will try not to feed them into them but rather wait and see what naturally develops.  We shall see...