Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Snow Day!

After we came home from our vacation, I was ready to be back with my friends in California and I admit I have been a bit homesick for some of my favorite places. It was only a couple of days back in the routine of things when we got hit...

a snow storm!
And then I was reminded...Spring may be different here than in the terrain and weather that I used to know in California. And yes, spring here may not always be filled with the warmth of the sun as I once used to know, but there is one thing that spring time in Colorado brings ...

Snow Days! Gotta Love Them!

Things That I Learn On Spring Break

I didn't know how important it was to have a few days of relaxation. I confess I have felt we shouldn't do such frivolous things until our children are home, especially when I think of their hungry bellies and circumstances they live in. So we have continued to put off our needs of relaxation. But we finally did it. We addressed our needs, and took care of ourselves. We were hoping for a frivolous in Hawaii or in California, but soon realized God was addressing our needs of having time with one another and getting some much needed rest away from the everyday life. We didn't go far - Denver, to be precise. But it was perfect, and just what we needed. I was able to do my Bible study, cry as I read a good book, laugh with the family, and see my husband relax as work was set aside. I remember seeing lists of "Things You Learn in Kindergarten" or "Things You Learn in School", I have come up with my own: Things You Learn on Spring Break":
  1. Rest is a need. It is something we shouldn't put off. God even rested on the seventh day. Shame shouldn't be connected with rest, I should be obedient and do it. Rest prepares me for the events of the week, and takes away the stress from the previous. Rest is a need.

  2. I am able to get closer to my family and also to God because distractions are less.

  3. My husband is fun! When he is away from the pressures of work, and others telling him what to do and when...he is the man I haven't seen for a long time.

  4. My girls make me laugh. The things they think about and do make me giggle.

  5. Lindsay is overwhelmed by the demands she has and have put on herself. Getting time away she was able to put them aside and talk them out.

  6. Katie was feeling isolated. She was getting shuffled in between Lindsay's firsts and Courtney's health needs.

  7. Courtney's medical issues weren't as tolling on her during the time away as they are in her everyday life.

  8. Courtney LOVES family time. Nothing can be any better for her, if we are all together, no matter what we are doing.

  9. It doesn't take much to have relaxation: a hotel, being away from responsibilites of homelife, and each other is all that is needed. We bought a couple of games and played them over the days either spread out in the living space or on our bed. (We are all obsessive about winning).

  10. TV is a treat for us (since we don't have cable), and it only takes one channel to entertain the GIRLS of the family...TLC (What Not to Wear, Four Weddings, Say Yes to the Dress, etc.).

  11. Duane is still outvoted when it comes to the TV. Luckily he loves to read, and enjoyed doing so.

  12. We discovered that if you keep walking on the 16th Street Mall, there is a park at the way end. We saw loose rope walkers ... something new to watch.

  13. Saint Patrick's Day isn't the best time to hang out in Denver. My girls were able to learn a lot that day.

  14. 14. Pedicures are still welcomed to all of us girls.

  15. 15. Having a mall across from the hotel is all the entertainment you need when you have a house full of teenage girls.

16. Having a pool, hot tub and pennies are an added bonus to any vacation.

17. We finally found a great Mexican restaurant since our move here: El Senor Sol. YUM! Lindsay was able to practice her Spanish, and learn some more.

18. When rested, we are able to truly get to know others. We are friendly and welcoming.

19. We didn't miss our dog and to much of Courtney's dismay we will not be replacing our dog when the time comes.

20. The passion and love I have for my husband is great. I enjoy the man he is and hearing about his dreams and passions. He is tender and caring, and makes me smile. I can still get lost in his dark brown eyes and am able to stay there forever.

So, if you are looking at getting away ... do. But know, it doesn't take much. The girls all in all were looking for the time together over elaborate places to go. I felt foolish to spend money on something that was so close, but in the end ... it was all worth it!
You may have heard that one of the places we were hoping to go to was Disneyland. The added bonus, and the conclusion to our vacation was that Disneyland was brought to us ... Disney On Ice, to be exact.

We can't wait until our next Spring Break!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Reclaiming Our Family

Where do we even begin? I have not been kidding in the past few posts when confessing the chaos our family has been in. We have had someone sick constantly for the past two months, we have endeared financial strain, had a huge education decision to make, major crisis at Duane's work, Courtney's childhood health issues have resurfaced, and the list goes on. Through everything we are just plain exhausted, which makes it all that much harder to get through.

We have remained quiet, and have been put on our knees. Truly, there isn't a better place to be. Does that make life easier? No, but much more manageable.

Through prayer, bible study, journaling and listening - we have seen something that alarmed us. We are living in the future ... definitely not in the present. I believe it started the same time we committed to Elijah. We put everything on hold by saying "we'll do this when Elijah & Ruthie are home...", for example. Life has been on hold because we have stopped living. I haven't even taken a family picture because I keep thinking that Elijah and Ruthie will be home, and we'll just do it then. Honestly, the intentions are good (I'm always trying to save a dollar), but through the savings, we forgot about the treasures we have. You know those treasures we take for granted: the gift of a marriage, the beauty of three girls, the good health we are given, the wonder of creation and the best yet ... God's son, Jesus. When we stopped living, we put these things aside too.

Duane and I have been working so hard to "reclaim our family" (our current purpose statement). Because we have endured so much stress in the past few months, we are trying to reduce it. We are trying to do what is right for our family, and not the others down the street or those sitting in the same pew as us on Sunday morning. Through it we are trying to be prepared for the unforeseen stress that comes into the family, but most of all to bring our family together once again. Some of the things we have done are: we have decided next school year to put Katie and Lindsay in the public schools near our home , and Courtney to be home schooled. This will naturally put us at home more, and lessen the strain from our commute. It will also put me, the peacemaker of the home to do just create an atmosphere of peace. Home schooling will not be easy, and add it's own kind of stress but we will reap its benefits and know it is best for Courtney at this time. The change will naturally help us financially as well, as we can focus at getting out of debt. As long as we continue to owe, there isn't peace. Duane and I will also have more time to put aside for each other. We are both looking forward to this. If we aren't healthy in our relationship, the whole family will crumble and fall in the littlest strain that comes our way. And too, we have realized we haven't taken a true vacation for the past seven years. Duane's company has had a major catastrophe that didn't allow our original plans of a great vacation to work, but as we said to the girls ... "it doesn't matter where we are, but that we are together and learn how to laugh again". So with that we are escaping over the next few days.

As we stand guard to what may come our way, and as we try and get our life back in the present, I can't help but be thankful. For I am thankful that God doesn't put me on hold as He waits for another person or event. I am thankful that I have a God that has it all together, and takes the time to live with and through each of us. I am thankful He is my Redeemer and has claimed our family over and over again. And in my thankfulness, I will take His lead, and learn to stay in the current time and His presence.

So as for'll have to hold out about all the things we have been doing in our life, or what we are working toward doing. Today, we hold onto each other, as He is holding onto us and we are taking some time for a little get-away. See you later!