Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Days

Forget December.  Never mind the other ten.  The month of May, hands down, wins the award for the busiest and most memory-making month of the year.

May has had me moving back and forth from the urgent to the important and back again that I have completely neglected this little blog for over a month.

So I thought I'd catch us all up, including myself, on what our little family of four has been up to the past five weeks.

Let's start with softball.  Around here we love ball.  The oldest plays.  The youngest is preparing to play.  Daddy coaches and Mama cheers.  We were fortunate to have had an amazing little team this season.  Our favorite team by far.  It was a joy spending most of this month in the dirt with them. 

Biggest lesson the team learned this season:  Listen to your coach.  Trust him, no matter what.  When he says, "Go", go.  When he says, "Stop", stop.  Such simple instructions for young softball players. Resonates loudly with us adults as well.  Yep. That'll preach.

Next up in May was Mother's Day.  Spent some quality time with my Mama the night before.  A little dinner.  A little shopping.  Some new accessories.  Win-win for all.

Received some super-sweet, heart-felt gifts this year, including a desperately-needed flat iron from my girls and my husband.  So long, frizzy, untamed hair. 

Abandoned the family after church and took off with my friend, Terri, for an atypical, unorthodox way of spending Mother's Day.  Lunch and shopping at the mall.  Just the two of us.  Absolutely loved it.  New tradition?  Maybe. After all, we moms spend the other 364 days of the year with our kiddos, right?

Wrapped up our fifth year teaching AWANA Cubbies at our church.  Such a huge blessing for us to be a part of such a great program and to teach some really precious children.  So proud of our own girls for working so hard memorizing scripture and hiding God's word in their hearts! 

Concerning the adoption, we worked on completing some necessary requirements for the home study portion of this process.  Physicals.  Fingerprinting.  References.  Lots of reading.  Lots of paperwork. We also went to our first adoption support dinner, connected with some new friends, and followed along as a family from our agency was the first to complete an adoption from India.  We rejoice with them as their nearly four-year journey to adopt their daughter has officially and finally come to an end.  You can read some of their story here

We had another very, or should I say, "berry" blessed fundraiser.  Following two trips to the local strawberry patch, and after making one batch of homemade jam, my husband suggested we make and sell additional jars of jam to raise funds for the adoption.  We did.

The result:  "Pearl Jam".  Appropriately named for our little Pearl in India.  (I plan to blog about her name and how we came to rest upon it soon, so stay tuned.)  Thanks to so many friends and family, we sold 50 jars of this strawberry goodness.  I'd say "Pearl Jam" was a "jam-up" success!

What would May be without a graduation?  Even though we predominantly homeschooled this year, my youngest also attended Pre-K three mornings a week.  She had a wonderful year and is excited to be home with us full-time in the fall for kindergarten. Congratulations to our little graduate who is growing up way, way too fast!

Another big event this May...Celebrating Little Miss's 5th birthday!

This year it was all about beautiful, fluttering butterflies, so we gathered every thing that had wings and could fly. 

For starters, we ordered ten caterpillars from an online insect company.  We wanted to raise some butterflies, and then release them at the end of the party.  Prior to the party, we got to watch the ten fuzzy, crawly creatures eat their food over a period of a week, climb to the top of their container, change into a chrysalis and another week later, emerge into stunning butterflies. 

Even as many times as I've watched this process take place (when I taught first grade in a public school, and the times I've done it with my own girls here at home), it never fails to blow my mind.  The metamorphosis is indescribable. Creator God takes the greatest of care of every tiny detail in every tiny life.  Off with the old.  Hello to the new.  Two words.  Simply amazing.

Because the caterpillars arrived much earlier than we expected, we faced the tough job of keeping the butterflies alive until the party, which wasn't for another three weeks.  We fed them.  We took care of them.  And since we had moved them into a large butterfly pavilion, we could sit inside and observe them--how they ate, how they fluttered around, and how they interacted with each other (yes, they seemed to get along pretty well, if you know what I mean). 

 And just as we planned, at the end of the birthday party, we let them go. They were able to fly as they were created to do.  Out of the tent and into the world. 

It was happy moment.  But it was also sad.  After caring for these tiny creatures for almost a month, I was glad they were free, spreading their wings and fluttering everywhere. But at the same time, our house suddenly seemed a little lonlier and a little less active.

I couldn't help but think of all the parents whose children just graduated from high school this May and are headed off to explore new places, moving from the constant care they've known and the security they've relied upon.  A season filled with mixed emotions for sure.  A season marked by metamorphosis.

As this fifth month of the year comes to an end, I am choosing to hold on to the fleeting moments with the two little butterflies still reliant upon my care.  I want to watch them grow, change, and prepare themselves for the future God has waiting for them.  And when it's their time, they'll spread their wings and fly.  Just like they are destined to do.

I'll admit, I'm not looking forward to that day.  Not. At. All.  Whether I'm ready for it or not, that day will be here soon enough.  No, instead, I am perfectly content to be living in the midst of these busy, yet memory-making, May days right now.

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