Sunday, December 17, 2017

"That time of Year"....

It's here! In all it's gusto and glory!  That time of year. 

Uttering these 4 words gives a very distinctive, clear indication as to what "time" is being talked about. It creates an anxiety that is typically, and positively, worth it in the end but the process to get there can be a bit tricky (trivial??) at times. Stressful. Driven. Climatic.  Even harried as there is always more to do than not, and so much rushing about a time or two....or ten. (guilty as charged) 

For most, "that time of year" carries a tone of sheer jubilation and is shared in a voice that may be an octave higher out of child-like excitement. But for many it can carry a tone of dread and defeat, spoken in a voice that is much more somber than it's counterpart. I've met people recently that are very definitively on one side or the other. I've done my best to really pay attention and "hear" their heart, as much as they're willing to share anyway. And there are so many stories to be shared by the hearts of those we pass by daily, if only we'll take but a minute to really stop and listen. 

I. Love. These. Boys!!!
Yard work is so much fun!! :) 
Tree cutting 101

A small leaf pile....
...but it's sheer joy regardless!! :) :)

After what felt like just a few brief seconds, but was easily an entire minute or two, of engaging in what could be labeled a "surfacy" conversation with the person behind me in the check-out line at Cub Foods (grocery store), I get the feeling that she's looking for a Hallmark-movie-type-ending to her holiday season this year. There's so much more depth to her story. Wounds unhealed. Scarring taking place. Questioning and searching.  A choked-up "Merry Christmas..." with a warming smile is about all I could come up with to say as I slowly turned away from her, groceries fully bagged in my cart. A prayer lifted up for the beautiful brunette as I backed out of the parking lot, onward to my next destination.

 Legacy Soccer for Austin!

love that Grams and cousin Warren came! (even tho it was COOOOLD!!)

Deep Portage for Carson and Andy (5th grade trip through Legacy!)
father/son time!
Carson and buddy Kyle

they loved the rock wall!

Passing a parent in the hallways of Legacy, it's a brief yet practically blissful encounter that let's me clearly know the Christmas festivities are in full swing at their house, traditions being carried out to the enth degree! You couldn't erase that contagious smile stretching from ear to ear no matter how hard you tried! Eyes twinkling with delight. A spring in her step as she turned to exit the double doors to the parking lot.

Students eager with giddy anticipation as we count down the number of 'sleeps' in our classroom until it's finally Christmas. The energy is contagious. Family reunions that once caused angst now cause the shedding of long-awaited joyful tears. 

First snowfall of the season....


Austin before...
...and after!! Why does he look so much older?!?!

It's hunting time!!! And it's always better with friends. :) Anderson's & Mulvihill's
Love spending time with my Ames! :)
Playing a little fox and geese with Grandma!! :)
meat for the freezer! Yay!!!!
So many people this time of year are searching....yearning....longing for the "magic" of Christmas to be apparent in their lives. Evident. Real. Yet, deep down they know it's more than the beautiful twinkling lights that colorfully adorn the streets and snow-covered rooftops of neighboring homes each and every night throughout the month of December. It's something more than the snow falling picturesquely on the chilly Christmas parade that travels down main street. It's more than the tree-lighting ceremony and nightly Christmas office parties. 

And some of them come to realize it's not really "magic" at all. 

It's more like..... Miraculous. In every sense of the word. It all started with God's divine plan brought to earth. A plan that would be carried out in a young & humbly servant-minded Mary. With a baby born to be King. Born to die. And all because He loves an imperfect you, perfectly. 

(A few more picture highlights as we continue our Anderson countdown to Christmas!!)

Happy Birthday Mason!!! (8)

Birthday at the farm! Grandma knows our boy loves the Vikes!
So fun celebrating with the cousins :)

Happy Birthday Carson!!! (11)
Bowling party!
Birthday with his bros ;)

Legacy Middle School Basketball for Carson...love this team of boys!!!!
Carson has some up's!!!
Way to steal #54!
Praying before the game--it doesn't get much better than that.

He shoots.....he scores! :)

The stockings were hung...
I love it when the boys do the lighting and tree trimming! #HOME :)
To really capture the "spirit of Christmas" (if you will) means to capture Jesus. He's it. All of it. And while you're standing in one of the longest lines of the year buying that last carton of egg nog at the grocery store, share a little bit of Jesus with the clerk behind the counter and with that person behind you. Be a blessing. Let Him prompt you to help make another's Christmas real rather than magical. Without Christ, there would be no CHRISTmas! Make Him a big deal. And as you gather together with family & friends  & neighbors, we pray "that time of year" is one that brings a truly heartfelt, JOYful smile.  
I love my crazy fun family of gents :)
MERRY CHRISTMAS from our home to yours!!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Pre-teen Parenting....anyone??

For a number of years, as I was manning the home-front with my three energetically handsome littles underfoot, everybody always told me to "enjoy these preschool years because they grow up sooo fast" but nobody really warned me that it was indeed THAT FAST!!! So let me say it loud and clear, possibly with a voice teetering on shouting, to you moms of preschoolers (& toddlers & babies...)....enJOY these nonstop crying/toddling/tantrum-throwing-in-the-middle-of-Target years because it truly does go by THAT FAST! I'm serious on this one. THAT FAST! Not only will you be school shopping for that adorable chubby cheeky lil' toddler soon-to-be-kindergartner of yours all too soon enough, but those looming-locker-combination years of 7 different classes in a school day are chasing your child down the fast track just as quick. And it's all too surreal.

First day of school 2017!! We love Legacy!!!
How on earth did we get here?! And so quickly? 7th grade?!?!
And how on earth do you parent a 7th grader?!
7th Grade!!!
I could easily give the classically rehearsed Sunday School answer when questioned what to do when you don't know what to do---just pray. Pray to Jesus. Daily. And definitely do that!! And believe me when I say we have been doing that. Daily. But I need some hearty meat on that honest-truth, bare-bones answer. Like the daily solving of those unsolvable teenage issues. Those crazy hormones. The at-ti-tude. Oh the bossy-ness! And tears have already been shed. On his part. (not just mine)



And I have a BOY....I thought girls were the only hormonal tearful ones?!? Please tell me, other sweet moms-of-boys out there, that you too are seeing your once level-headed, straight-laced, even-keel son shed a tear or two...for some uncandid reason or another??! Even if it was due impart to homework? And oh those lovely little whiteheads that are now popping up (pun intended) as we make sure to keep that extra bar of Irish Spring soap on hand morning and night.  I'm not sure what it is about 7th grade that puts a knot in my stomach like I've been kicked by a horse's hind leg. Add to the fact that not only do we now have a junior high boy, but also a handsome middle school one right alongside his brother. 5th grade is a whole new world. And thrown in the kiddie mix would be the entering-halfway-through-the-elementary-years of the youngest brother. Ugh. The umpteen grey hairs that are forming simply as I type away....

Carson's a 5th grader
Mason's a 2nd grader

Ready for school pics!
So glad Grandma could be a part of it all!

Side-by-side with my fav...so blessed to be a part of the Legacy family!
We had to buy Austin a laptop for school this year. (insert HUUUUUGE gulp...) Forget dealing with hormones and attitude. Now we have to figure out how to parent those said hormones and attitude alongside dealing with technological temptations galore. That scares me/us much worse. (Technology, not the attitude)
Sometimes I look at my parents and think, man they had it easy. It was pretty 'cut and dry'. They could either say 'yes' or 'no'. There was no real worry about what was 'read between the lines' on a text because you had to actually 'read between the lines' on that friend's facial expression. Because it was face to face.  And you just knew. You were good at reading. The teenage pressures were and still are the same but they have intensified to the 'enth degree.
Tubin' with friends!
One thing I've come to be extra grateful for is the fact that it's not just Andy and I pouring into the lives of our children. And by that I mean others who are loving them while speaking Truth into their lives. Loving them genuinely as Christ does, speaking Truth in an honest manner, all the while giving room for growth to happen. Intentional discipleship is happening and we couldn't be more grateful as we prayerfully tred these parenting waters along so many who are in the same boat.

One final time on the lake before the fall chill sets in!

And in FFof5 fashion, here's your updated "photo scroll" of the latest Anderson happenings....

First Day of School FUN!
August 21, 2017


Buds--Drew and Carson!

 Family time!
Andy and Austin ready to "float the Rum River"

Andy & Carson's turn to kayak on the Rum River!
Sibling love! Never a dull moment.... ;)
Morris Carlson family....party of 8 :)

Love my sister time!!
So much fun having Kari & Jay stay with us

MN State Fair craziness!
state fair bound!!

Its the Minnesota great get-together :)
Cheese curds!! (a must at the fair)
drink break ;)

Malts from the dairy building of course!

 Legacy Mane Event 2017!!

7th graders with Mr. Nydam....let's do this! ;)

Mason's in the mud pit!!
Carson and Kyle...nice and muddy :)
Austin with his buddy Carson...the aftermath ;)
Mason racing with the juniors and seniors! (he thot he was hot stuff...haha!)
Austin and Brandon!

Wooohoooo Carson!
Mason attempting the wall ;)
Women's Retreat!!
Canoeing with my beautiful friend Melita! ;)

Love these amazing ladies!!! LCA moms :)

Backyard fun!
Hunting squirrels...in our backyard ;)

Love fall in MN!!!!
These boys are HIS boys. I'll fail as their mom. They'll fail us as our children. But whether it's parenting a 7th grader, a 5th grader, or a 2nd grader (or whatever the age!), I'm continually discovering that it all boils down to loving your child as Jesus does, unabiasedly and wholeheartedly, with Biblical Truth woven into daily living, disciplining with the 'rod' and also with extended grace. And it also takes a whole lotta laughter and purposeful, intentional time together. I love being a mom of boys!!!!
Family photo op...ready to cheer on those Vikes! ;)