Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Calling I Have Downplayed

Two weeks ago when the ice/snow storm hit, our family was cooped up together for six days before we could get out of the house. We were incredibly thankful that we mainly received snow and our electricity remained on. Having been through two ice storms in the past, I know how awful it can be to go a few weeks without power or running water.

Anyhow, during the week we were snowed in I was excited to do all my little Pinterest projects with the kids. We baked, we crafted, we decorated, we played in the snow, we watched Christmas movies, we did it all. Then we ran out of things to do...and the temperature remained below freezing. It was impossible to get out of our driveway, and even if we could have the highway was iced over. We were beginning to go stir crazy. Our children began to grate on our nerves. Each passing night as I watched the weather, I was begging the weatherman to say, "Tomorrow will be above 32 degrees and all this will melt away." I also watched the school closing list scrolling by hoping to not see "Keys School" when the K's came up.

After a week, the kids were finally able to go back to school. This mama was happy. However, the kids would come home and continue their new obnoxious routine of being loud, fighting, being loud, getting in their baby sister's grill, making huge messes...oh, and let's not forget being loud.

I have become very short with them the last few days. Tonight after they went to bed I started to reflect on the day
and I felt terrible. As much as these two little monsters drive me crazy, I love them one hundred times more. I crept into Hayden's bedroom where they were both sound asleep, sat down on the bed, and began to pray for them both. I also begged God to forgive me.

More than anything, I want my kids to see God in me, but a lot of time all they see is grumpy mama who just wants them to be quiet or go play.

So often I fail to recognize the fact that I am a missionary in my own home. God has blessed me with the responsibility of raising these babies and pointing them to know Him. Yes, I am to focus on the lost world around me, but being a godly mama and wife is the main thing he has called me to do. Yet, I often take that responsibility lightly. I often think because I'm not reaching the masses that my role isn't significant enough.

Shame on me.

God forgive me.

God has called me to do an amazing thing. I have a huge responsibility. I want my kids to know Him, and follow Him. That needs to begin with them seeing Him working in me. I pray that I stop forgetting how important that is. That I stop forgetting how blessed I truly am to have the gift of Hayden, Deacon, and Ainslee. This gift of raising my children to love God is the biggest calling of my lifetime. May I never downplay it again.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Two Months of Ainslee Blake

This is month two of Miss Ainslee Blake.

I think she is warming up to Carl.

Ainslee's likes:

  • Ainslee loves to smile and stick out her tongue. 

little ham

  • Ainslee loves her siblings. Hayden loves to sit and talk to her, and Ainslee stays content the entire time. This is incredibly helpful to mama, especially when I need to get things done around the house. 

Serious conversation with big sister.

  • Ainslee likes to be talked to. Deacon likes to entertain Ainslee. Sometimes he "reads" to her. Most of the time he just acts goofy. He loves to make her smile, and is working super hard to get her to laugh.

Story time with big brother

  • Ainslee is still a mama's girl. If someone else is holding her she usually follows me around the room with her eyes.

  • Ainslee likes sleeping. When Ainslee turned five weeks old she slept through the night. Kerry and I thought it was just a one night ordeal. Turns out she thought it was fabulous idea, and she never looked back. She has seriously been sleeping through the night ever since. I thank this precious baby each and every morning for sleeping so well!! All you moms out there, please refrain from throwing items at your computer or feeling the urge to hate me. I promise I paid my dues with the other two children! And yes, I realize how crazy lucky I am!

  • Ainslee is fascinated with my leopard throw blanket. I keep the blanket draped over our recliner. Every time I hold Ainslee up to face me she immediately averts her eyes to the blanket, gets a huge smile on her face, and begins a lengthy conversation with it. She coos and squeals all with a big grin. I'm not sure what this blanket tells her, but she enjoys every bit of it. If you follow me on Instagram I actually have a video of her chatting it up with the blanket. My handle is cassieraye1.

Ainslee Dislikes:

  • Ainslee does not enjoy modeling clothing...especially hats.

  • Ainslee is still not a big fan of the car seat, but she is getting better.

  • Ainslee does not like when Mama hands her over to Daddy when she is hungry. She is highly offended by this.

  • Ainslee does not like to be held like a baby. I have to warn anyone that holds her not to cradle her...she hates it. I don't think she realizes she's a baby, she wants to be held like a big girl.

One of my best friend's from high school was pregnant with her son, Kason the same time I was pregnant with Ainslee. (Eight years ago were actually pregnant with our oldest daughters at the same time too.) Kason was born the week before Ainslee was born. A few weeks ago, Ainslee and I made a trip to Tulsa to see Terah and meet Mr. Kason. Let me tell you, Kason is a big healthy boy!

Sweet babies
Lastly, a week ago Monday, we took the kids to see Santa. Now normally I am anti-anything Christmas before Thanksgiving, but we had a free day and it was honestly the best time to go. We only waited in line for five minutes.
Waiting to see Santa
Ainslee was super excited...well, really she didn't care. But she did look cute in her pictures. I think Santa was pretty comfortable, Ainslee was very relaxed and completely content in his arms.