Recycle Project
Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dylan had a school assignment to make something for the class garden by repurposing a recyclable. (Sidenote: I love that the class has a garden! Flowers, fruits, veggies, composting, and a butterfly garden. They learn about soil by studying about it, but also by growing things in it. Love!)

He worked fairly independently and did a great job. He only turned the spray paint nozzle the wrong way and painted his entire hand green one time. Life lesson.

On E
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I did not run out of gas, thankfully.

I was in line to pick up the kids from school and noticed the gas warning light, having no idea how long it had already been on. I was quite sure I was going to sputter out, but I made it all the way thru the line and coasted into to the gas station. Whew!

It was raining, I was in a very long line, it was only the kids 3rd day at their new school, and all I was thinking was "Well. It will be really embarrassing to run out of gas. But at least I have shoes on, and I'm wearing real clothes and not still in my PJ pants. Score."

Including vs Shooing
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The week before we moved here to Georgia, we spent a great week with our friends Greg and Cheri and their three kiddos.

My kids love and adore Ms. Cheri.  She has a super fun house and neighborhood, and she teases that the super fun house and neighborhood are the reasons my kids always wanted to be at her home, but I know it's more than that.  Among the many things that endear her to my kids,  Cheri is great about including them. She doesn't shoo them away when it's time to cook or clean or work in the garden or run errands, she instead includes them in the process.

I read a blog post last week, where the author was explaining the positive impact her grandmother had on her life, and the deep love that all her grandchildren felt for her.  Her explanation of how special they were made to feel made me think of Cheri: ...she simply let us dwell with her, and we worked, ate, slept, served, and worshipped alongside her. She didn't remove herself from us just because we were children....

I am getting much, much better about embracing rather than shoo-ing. ( I'm grateful for 5 years of watching someone do it well - thanks Cheri.)  Admittedly, "Get out of the kitchen so I can cook dinner!" rolls off my tongue much easier than "Sure you can help me make dinner!", but I am making strides and trying to be intentional about finding ways to include the kids rather than exclude them.

This little girl in particular is an eager, eager helper. Lauryn loves and adores being given a job to do in the kitchen, and she loves the conversation that happens around the working.   I am learning to love it too.  Plus, how adorable does she look in her apron?!?

Shooing is for pests.
Embracing is for children.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Few emotions rival feeling a healthy pride in your kids.  Watching them navigate this big move we all just made, has left me nearly bursting with it.

When we sold our home without a new one to move into, those three kids sailed out into the vast unknown right along with me and Jonathan.  We didn't have firm answers to their questions about where we would be moving...where or when they'd go to far away they'd be from Texas and their beloved Texas Rangers....we just honestly didn't know.  And those three amazed me.  There were questions and fears that sprung up, certainly, but they had a (you guessed it) child-like faith that their Mom and Dad knew what was best.  They accepted our assurances that everything would eventually work out for their good, and accepted the challenge to enjoy the adventure in the meantime.

People. That'll preach.

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me a lesson about trusting in the love of a Father.  
Help me to enjoy the ride  even when I don't know where it's taking me.  

There are my three troopers on their first day of school.  Their school started 3 weeks ago and was already in full swing when we arrived.  The Cliff crew marched in with what I called "excitement and bravery!"....but there was also quite a bit of sheer resolve I'm sure. No complaints or [voiced] fears from any of them.  Thank you Lord.

If they look a little tired in that picture, it's because their mama got lost in downtown Atlanta the night before.  I was following Jonathan, and I missed an exit.  I was soon after hopelessly, frustratingly lost. lost that I had hoped to have us home by 9:00 and it was 10:30 by the time I pulled in the driveway.  Turns out that driving in the rain, in the dark, in a new place, in a big city, with lots of traffic....transforms me into somewhat of a beast.  A short-tempered beast who yells a lot at tired, cranky children.  Apologies were rendered and graciously accepted.  

The Cliffs have landed.
Friday, August 24, 2012

So it turns out, homelessness is not conducive to blogging. And homeless we have been.

pulling out of Lubbock

On July 25th, we sold our home in Lubbock, TX, and until this week had been living in some variation of hotels, vacation rentals, and in the extra bedroom of gracious friends.  So, obviously, as "homelessness" goes....we were doing pretty well!

This spring we felt the Lord stirring some things in our hearts, and knew clearly that a change was a'comin'.  After a series of sacred echoes pointing the way, we made the decision to transition out of one great place, and into another great place.  (Click the links for Jonathan's take on all that.) We put our home on the market, and it sold! Quickly! Before we knew exactly where we were going.  (It was okay, we were confident there was a plan and that sooner or later God would let us in on the details.)

His plan was a good one.  A good, good plan. The Cliffs are the newest residents of Oconee County, Georgia!  We will be playing, learning, serving and working with the great people of Athens Church. Northeast GA is a long, long haul from West TX --- we were pretty thrilled when we finally arrived!

So. Here we are! We two Okies, with three little Texans in tow, have somehow found ourselves in Georgia.  God knew all along.  We have learned that whether in the green country of Oklahoma, the plains of West Texas, or the rolling hills of North Georgia, God is faithful.  Amazed yet again at His goodness.

Many more stories to tell.  Stay tuned.

Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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