What I Learned in April

What I learned in April is that it was the busiest month of my life and now I need a vacation.

End of post.

Well, I guess I can share some details to make it a little more interesting for you, though.

what i learned in april

1. I Now Know How to Make a Zazu Costume.

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Most of my life this month was spent measuring a cutting and sewing strips of feathers to the wings I made for Julia’s Zazu costume. I wasn’t necessarily stressed out about this, but it did consume me because I so wanted Julia to be happy with the whole thing and not embarrassed to wear it. I ended up purchasing her hood which saved me. As it turned out, it got rave reviews from everyone and she really stood out in her musical, but mostly because of her amazing personality and acting skills. It’s not an exaggeration to say that she steals the show when she’s on stage. I’m so proud of her.

2. Revive Our Hearts has Revived My Heart

Since I clearly haven’t been writing anything these days, cue “busiest month of my life” phrase, I’ve been listening to old podcasts from Revive Our Hearts, particularly the parenting ones.

I’ve found myself in a lull for wisdom in parenting older children these days. It seems like in the churchy circles you can get plenty of advice on training your children to obey the first time and on how to get your kid to sleep through the night, but I’m finding it lacking in advice for preteen and teen years. It’s just not as cut and dry as it used to be, and I don’t want it to be.

The series with Bill & Holly Elliff was particularly encouraging to me, starting here with part 1, as these parents have a lot to say about building your relationship with your children and not shutting them down, and making sure that you have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ in order to be able to pass it on to your children. I also listened to a conversation with Elisabeth Elliott, which of course was amazing.

3. We Threw the Ultimate 13 Year Old Birthday Bash

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Yes, Amaleah turned 13 this month, and we brought the teenage years in with a bang. We invited some of her closest friends over for laser tag and then we served them a fancy 7 course meal. Luke thinks we are awesome and we can now open up our own restaurant because we rocked it, but I think I would die if I had to do it again anytime soon. I literally fell into bed that night and woke up sore all over.

All in all it was an extremely fun party to throw. We collected pretty things along the way and of course pulled out a bunch of stuff I already had, redecorated the front room, made a chandelier out of a hula hoop, and strung lights everywhere. Julia got into it and helped serve the food–we truly couldn’t have done it without her help.

I also made games for the girls, like “slip it in,” which consisted of sticky notes I had put underneath their plates at the beginning of dinner with phrases they had to insert into the conversation without getting caught. Of course I made up phrases like, “My armpits are sweaty,” and “I just don’t know why my eye keeps twitching,” or “I’m just so glad to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.” I did those at midnight the night before and I had myself cracking up so hard and really could have made a million more phrases if I hadn’t needed to go to bed.

4. I Love Love Kindness

That’s not a typo. I am reading Love Kindness, by Barry H. Corey, and am finding that it is the perfect book for our current times. He addresses in such a personal way his concern about how we Christians are handling hard topics in America. His heart is to encourage us to have firm, Biblical centers, standing on our convictions, but to lead with soft edges–building relationships and treating others with kindness. I haven’t finished it yet but I am still highly recommending it.

I’m sure other things happened this month but I’m just too tired to search my brain for more. Here’s to month 5 of the year 2016!

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Oh yeh! We also traveled to College Station to meet our new twin nephews! That was a huge blessing that I cannot forget!

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  • Naomi

    hey! I’ve missed you on this space! Welcome back . . . here’s hoping that May is filled with less busy and more blogging 🙂 Also . . . I pretty much sorted boogers out of my nose while reading the phrases you came up with; you’re amazing . .

    • I almost snorted boogers out my nose just reading your comment! If you had been here I feel certain we would have come up with awesome Slip it in phrases, oh man!` Hoping to write a bunch in the next few weeks as I brace for summer and my limited writing time then.

  • Miranda

    Love these updates and hearing what your pondering for the month. I am SO with you in this season of being so hungry for wisdom in these budding years with my kids! It seems good resources abounded for the little years… and this is so much more complex than little years but so sweet. I can’t wait to hear those podcasts. You know what I’ve been reading that has been so good for my heart? Age of Opportunity by Paul Tripp. It’s been reminding me what healthy goals I should have and how I should pursue my pre teens/teens. Job will be 12 in June! I think I’m more awkward figuring this thing out than he is lol. Maybe you should do a series of posts on how your walking this season out (without giving gory details but sharing overarching truths…) in parenting. I’d love to read that kind of thing from you! Blessings 🙂

    • Ah thanks for the book recommendation! I will totally have to read that, I’m drinking anything up these days. I can’t believe Job will be 12, how come our kids keep growing up so fast and right before our eyes? In so many ways I feel time just slipping away from me, and I’m struggling to grasp onto it and make every minute count. That’s such a good idea for a series. I’ll have to think about it–I feel so inadequate to talk about what we do in parenting sometimes because who knows if it’s going to work out in the end?? But so thankful for God’s grace and allowing us to encourage each other even through the imperfect parenting. Thanks for reading Miranda, I love that you are such a faithful reader.

  • Jerri Miller

    Wow, that does seem like a very busy month! I loved your tablescape and the decor for your 13 year old’s party! Your “slip it in” game sounds hilarious.

    I agree with you, there doesn’t seem to be as much parenting advice for tweens and teens …

    I enjoyed your post today.

    • Thanks for reading, Jerri! It was really fun decorating for that party, and for some crazy reason I love finding silly games for kids to play–I love hearing them laugh, it makes my heart sing!