Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mommy and JUST Me

self-checkout at the library
Today was a 'mommy and me' day for Samoosa. She wasn't really feeling herself so I asked if she just wanted to hangout with me while the other three were at school. A resounding yes was her answer and off we went to do what mommies do on the 'I have no kids at home today', library, Easter dress shopping, coffee, etc.

We had a fabulous day just being together - the two of us. It rarely happens so today was extra special. I was able to see more and more of who she is and what she loves. I am pretty sure today was the first time she has been through the bank teller drive thru (not ATM) because she was astounded that the lady sent a sucker back to us. I was the astounded one when she asked 'did you order my Easter dress online since that's what you do when you don't want to go to the store?' Four year olds knowing about e-commerce is just crazy. Her favorite part of the day was 'playing librarian' at the self checkout line in the local public library. The favorite part of my day was enjoying the blessing God has given me in our third precious child all to myself. She is a joy and I love doing life with her!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Made it to Worship on the Big Day

I only have one goal on Sunday morning......get 5 Linos to worship on time
with happy hearts. Always easier said than done. Sunday mornings rarely go
exactly as planned or the same as any other Sunday morning at the Lino
house. The one constant is that Daddy has long been at the church when the
rest of us finally roll out of bed. I can always count on being by myself to
face whatever surprise Sunday morning holds. If I wasn't prepared for
surprises, I'm sure I would be a little crazy.

Today's surprise wasn't actually a surprise. She had been running a fever
all weekend. The fever was up over 103 (probably just the fourth ear
infection in 3 months - not worried) at midnight and sleep was light and
restless when it came. The problem was that today at NEHBC was the day we
were saying 'yes' to God. As a church, we were getting on board with His
plan for our future. It was to be a huge day in the life of our church.
Baptisms were planned for after worship. So, I continued with my plan to at
least make it for one hour to sit in the lobby and participate in worship
through the TV screen.

As the pastor's wife, my plan to make it to and through worship with four
young children does not involve my husband. Not only is his mind focused on
what the Lord wants him to share with His people, but countless other people
are vying for his time and energy on Sunday mornings too. Don't worry, we
are not neglected. He worships with us and steps in to the family dynamic
when absolutely necessary (translation: discipline issues.) Please don't
hear that as a complaint.....this is our ministry and I am thrilled to be a
part of it. My role as his helpmate is to minister as I am able and give him
the freedom to minster to the people. I am completely on board! I always
have a family or two on standby to help with the children in the event that
I spend the worship hour in the lobby with a sick kid. In the lobby, we do
our best to sing along, open Bibles if possible and engage with the sermon
as much as I can. One special family is also willing to pick up and care for
any of our children if I need to stay home with some of the sick kids. We
usually make it to church and have a meaningful worship experience.

The effort it takes to get us all to worship is completely worth it. Our
week is set into motion by what happens on Sunday morning. If we don't make
it to worship, our week just flounders as we struggle through the week
because we were not set or recalibrated on God and His Word with His people.
The time we spend with God's people rejuvenates us and encourages us to live
on mission throughout the week. Being in worship, no matter how difficult it
was to get there, teaches our children how important it is to us and the
Lord and having even an hour of worshipping the Lord Jesus in the lobby with
a toddler will always be better than being at home missing out on the
blessings of being with believers and lifting up His Name.

Even though my String Bean is still not well, I am so glad I made the choice
to do whatever it took to get to worship this morning! I will always
remember our family being a part of the NEHBC commitment to continue His

PS - No, I don't take extremely sick, contagious kids to church.......we are
talking ear infections, allergies, etc. No vomit, flu or any of the other
stuff you don't want from us.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The First Part of the Slow and Steady Plan

sausage & pineapple pizza on homemade whole wheat crust
With Daddy missing dinner last night, I decided to try something different. Not toooo different. I have been looking into different options for our eating habits lately and one of the changes I am considering is switching from enriched flour to a pure whole wheat - tortillas, bread, any doughs, etc. I actually feel fairly confident about the Six Linos being able to easily transition to this since we already only eat a 'honey wheat' bread off the shelf.

So, I, for the first time in my life I think, actually made pizza dough from scratch. It was much easier than I anticipated.....whole wheat flour, olive oil, water, salt and yeast....all in the mixer and no problem. I skipped the tons of veggies on top and went with good ol' sausage that the Linos know and love with some pineapple and mozarella. My thinking was to only make one big change at a time. The toppings were things the kids would eat so it would only be a test on the dough. There was only an eighth of the pizza left after the five of us finished.

Overall, the feedback was good. In response to 'how'd you like the pizza?' I got a 'loved it', 'more', indifferent and 'can we have different dough next time.' For now, I am going to give it a few more tries. The machine homemade whole wheat loaf is on the counter for lunches and then tortillas are next. I don't have any scientific research and numbers at the ready to say this is best (although there are many bloggers who say it is), but I think some slow and steady changes will benefit our overall health.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Three Girls His Way

Three girls was not our plan. It was the Lord's plan. I trust He knows what He is doing and that is such a good feeling since I can often become plagued by thoughts of inadequacy and down right ignorance. Sometimes I hear, 'but you're a'll know what to do' in response to my musings of mothering three girls and I just want to scream 'I'm an ONLY girl!' Growing up with two brothers did not fully prepare me for this. There are tears, drama and hormones in such doses that they cannot be quantified. And the girls are only 2, 4 and 6.

String Bean, Girly Girl & Samoosa - March 13, 2012
I know I will not be a perfect mom to these three unique little girls. I choose to believe that God will be faithful to equip me to fulfill my role in their lives. I choose to allow God the freedom to make them into the women He designed them to be. I choose to not mother them in my own power. These choices are the only ones that will allow the four Lino women to thrive amidst the tears, drama and hormones.

His plan. His way. Not mine.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Growth Comes from the Cutest Places

I am not sure how we would survive without this ray of sunshine in our lives. Our sweet Samoosa keeps us laughing and throwing up our hands all at the same time. She is passionate about absolutely everything she does. She is also the little Lino I think the Lord uses most in my life to teach me and stretch me. My sanctification process would be incomplete without her. I love her to pieces!!!

This snapshot is before we left the house for preschool picture day. I can't wait to see how the hair held up for the actual pictures.......hopes aren't as high as the Houston humidity was that day.

Unscheduled Weekend On Mission

My favorite Team Beaumont members………..the Six Linos. Our first mission trip with all six of us. The littles did their best to keep up and we all had a great time doing a variety of ministry endeavors with Amelia Baptist Church. A great and worthwhile way to spend our free weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Addition to My World of Lists

There are a number of things that I am intentional about in my life, but reading has not really ever been one. I have always enjoyed a good book, but never set goals or made a list of books that I just had to read. I know it’s good for me and I should have always been more intentional. Well, there’s an app for that. Seriously, it was not until I found the goodreads app that had a reading challenge on it that I made a plan. So my plan is in full force. I am participating in the Around the World in 80 Books challenge. The idea is to read 80 books that are set in different regions of the world so that you are exposed to different cultures, authors, and genres. There are guidelines for how to navigate the world and so far I have been successful. I have enjoyed most all of the books I’ve read so far and am looking forward to reaching my goal.

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