Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Merry Christmas! 2014 is coming to an end!

We’ve just had our quietest Thanksgiving ever, with just Grandma and Grandpa Fischer and Aunt Mary joining us for dinner. The kids missed having some cousins to play with. Now our stockings are all hung by the chimney with care and God’s tree is up and lovingly decorated by the kids. We finally have some snow and everything feels cozy. We are going to be having our quietest Christmas ever, with just Grandma and Grandpa Howard joining us as we celebrate.

There’s a theme going on here, I guess. Quiet is good in this season. I am experiencing peace and joy as I reflect on God’s grace and provision. This school year I have opted to take a break from most of my ministry activities to reflect and refresh and refocus. Keeping up with a strong-willed toddler and my household chores is keeping my time plenty filled. The one thing I have not given up is going to CrossFit 3-5 times per week. Landon enjoys getting out and playing with friends there as much as I do.

We are having a very busy basketball season currently, with Matt coaching Carson and Montana’s Boys and Girls Club team in addition to his middle school team. It is difficult for me to get to the games, because Landon does not do well at them and he also usually goes to bed much earlier than they end. I did, however, get to see Montana make her first basket last night! Carson’s playing is coming along and I am very proud of the way they handle playing on the same team, as well as their dedication to the game and fitness in general.

Carson and Montana are also in the same classroom this year! That is something I never thought would work out, but they are doing well together. This school year has had its share of struggles already, particularly due to a large staff turnover at the kids’ school and all the changes that ensued.  Carson is really looking forward to middle school next year and Montana is hoping to have a teacher with more experience. They are both enjoying Quest (gifted program) this year and the CrossFit Kids curriculum that is being integrated into the district PE program. Carson has decided to try out the saxophone this year and he’s doing so well! They are both so helpful to me at home and with the toddler.

Our middle-girl Hallie has a special, dramatic spirit! She is also very helpful with Landon! She is constantly cartwheeling, flipping and handstand push-uping. This summer she finally got her wish of being in a gymnastics class. She definitely has a natural talent for all things gymnasty! Unfortunately, schedule and cost has not permitted her to continue thus far in the school year. I hope we can get her back there to continue with guidance in the future. She is also really hoping for an American Girl doll for her 8th birthday in a couple weeks. Although I feel it is outrageous to spend so much money on a doll, she has been wishing for this for more than a year and saved up some of her own money to put towards it.  So, her wish just might come true!

Ollie is Mr. Kindergartener this year. His teacher is awesome and he is doing great in school! I can’t believe how fast he has picked up the letter sounds and numbers, because he had very little knowledge of it going in. Practically none! He is still meeting with his speech teacher and making big strides to becoming fully understandable. He loves to dress for success in bow ties and sweater vests and regularly looks quite dapper. His teacher tells me he is one of the most popular kids in class. Ha! A new side has come out at home, however, and that is a tired side that snaps at siblings in never-seen-before fits of rage when he is crossed. I have come to expect yucky new behaviors with each of my kindergarteners, as it is such a hard transition. Ollie builds amazing Lego structures in his spare time, prefers not to do homework, and loves to go play in his dad’s CrossFit gym, climbing ropes and swinging on rings.

And Landon, sweet Landon. He has a special character. He challenges me almost every minute he is awake it seems. He is very cute, his saving grace. All cheeks and curls. He prefers to wake at 5 am and I cannot get him to wake at a different time. He is loved by those who care for him at CrossFit and church, so I guess he saves all his battles for mom. I am praying fervently that he will simmer down before baby number 6 arrives.

April 4 is the estimated due date for our surprise ending, baby number six. As per our tradition, we are not finding out the gender prior to birth. Being unexpectedly expecting has been a challenge for me in many ways. But it has also been an amazing blessing God has used and is still using to teach me much. Babies are a gift from God and I am very excited to snuggle this new addition! Everyone is excited and six will be a very nice, even number.  I only wish I could fast forward pregnancy…

I cannot close this letter without mentioning Matt’s big happenings. This summer our two local high schools combined into one and Matt’s middle school moved into the abandoned high school building. In collaboration with a couple of the area high school P.E. teachers, Matt persuaded the district to provide CrossFit Level 1 and CrossFit Kids training to all the district P.E. teachers, which took place in his amazing gym, which he spent countless hours setting up over the summer. I am very proud of him and thankful that our kids and the rest of the kids in the district will have the opportunity to learn about and become hooked on fitness! We are a CrossFit family! Matt has seen many amazing things with his middle schoolers with the introduction of CrossFit, especially those that have had a bad attitude about P.E. or athletics previously. He is regularly thanked by students for giving them a confidence they never had or encouraging them to try things they wouldn’t have tried.  Students who might not be friends outside of class are encouraging each other. CrossFit is truly life changing.

I hope you are able to slow down during this busy season and reflect on CHRISTmas. What a wonderful time of year!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Letter

As I sit and reflect over 2013, I wonder which parts to share; which are the most important things to preserve in print to look back over and remember in years to come. December has arrived and, with it, joy for me. I am not a big fan of winter, but December allows me to slow down (yes, I prefer to slow down, rather than fill my calendar), focus on the joy and love of Jesus, enjoy warm fires, twinkle lights and festive d├ęcor. Savor my family. November was a particularly hard month for me, due to an injury that kept me in pain the entire month. It makes the joy of this December even sweeter, as I entered it nearly pain free.

I want us to remember this last summer! It was a really good summer. Full of many warm and sunny days and lacking the financial stress that is often present.

Last summer was a gift. Maybe one of the reasons it was so wonderful to me was that I was finally sleeping after discovering all of the things baby Landon cannot eat. It was a long road. It was a very long winter with a poor, sweet baby who is intolerant of much. After much research and trial and error, I finally developed a coconut milk formula on which he thrived, grew plump, and began sleeping easier! He is now a healthy, happy chubber, 14 months old, who loves to eat but has a very limited diet!

Or maybe what I loved most about the summer was getting to go to CrossFit every day kid free! I loved getting my wod in every morning at 6 or 7 am! CrossFit is definitely a new love in my life. Started in January, during my darkest hour, it literally got me back on my feet again. CrossFit changed my life. I have never been driven towards athleticism, but I was hooked after just one day. I knew I needed that hardcore exertion and subsequent exhilaration to survive the winter. CrossFit has made me more active, playful, and fun because I now enjoy finding out what my body is capable of doing! Olympic lifting, flipping giant tires, climbing ropes, doing handstand push-ups, and swinging kettlebells are just some of the fun things CrossFit provides me. And I finally got Matt to join me in August! He’s just as hooked as myself now, if not more so. He is looking forward to becoming certified as a CrossFit trainer in the future!

A little about the kids….the kids are so awesome. Carson and Montana continue to excel in their classes as a 4th and 5th grader. Carson has his first male teacher this year and I think he is his favorite so far. Mr. C is pretty cool. J They played basketball together in January with Dad as coach and then Carson played again this Fall. Watching them play has gotten more fun as they improve! They are both very helpful to me, especially with the baby. Carson loves technology and building and playing in the snow. Montana would want you to know she is a tom boy and NOT a girly girl. She is very creative, imaginative, thoughtful and kind.

Hallie is in first grade. Her best friend is a boy. She still loves dolls and princesses, and Barbies, as much as I’ve tried to dissuade that. I’ve given up and guess what she is getting for her birthday? J She is our only late sleeper and every school morning is a trial with her. There is no right side of the bed for her to wake up on! And all of her clothes feel bad on her! She longs to spend time with her big sister and be a gymnast. She would also like to be holding Landon constantly, even though he weighs nearly as much as her! She loves her baby brother!!!

This school year we have four kids at Sterling Elementary! Ollie is attending a Pre-K class there in the afternoons. He loves it! I guess Landon and I are not exciting enough for him. If we are doing work at home in the mornings, he is asking constantly if it is time to go to school! He loves his teacher, Miss Williams and he also gets to work with his speech teacher, Miss Amy, twice a week. His speech is improving. Ollie is all boy! He loves dirt, mud, water, climbing, swimming, and passing gas and blaming it on someone else.

We are currently enjoying watching Matt’s middle school basketball team kick some butt this season. We all take ownership of Dad’s team! J And we had the best Thanksgiving ever hosting all the local Fischers and my parents. We are looking forward to another relaxing, fun Christmas break hanging out with Aunt Katy and Uncle Jesse and Grandma and Grandpa Howard. We are also all looking forward to another spring break vacation with Grandma and Grandpa Fischer at their Arizona home in March!

We are so immensely and undeservedly blessed! It’s hard to even express how grateful I am for Christ’s sacrifice and His daily presence in my life. I pray daily to be shown how to serve, how to love as He loves, and how to help my children develop hearts for him, full of love and kindness, and gratitude.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

the hardest year

I thank God for giving me another sweet baby to love.

I thank God for giving me one last chance to learn I can't ever have it ALL together, that I will NEVER have it all together.

I thank God for wrapping his arms around me and holding me all together.

I thank God for hard experiences that have made me stronger and wiser and more compassionate.

I thank God for new friends and old friends.

I thank God that my baby is healthy.

I thank God.

Monday, April 29, 2013

walking the narrow path

This morning I came across this passage.

There are many whose conduct show they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and all they think about is life here on earth. Philippians 3:18,19

This has been on my mind a lot lately.  In this world, we have many opportunities to be around many types of people.  I do not think we, as Christians, should sequester ourselves among other Christians. I think we need to be a light unto the world.  But, how easy it is to get sucked into it!  We must be on guard at all times.  Recently, I found myself getting sucked into the world.  Satan is a sneaky devil and knows how to tempt me when I am at my weakest.  I thank God he opened my eyes to what was happening. I am strong when I rest in the Lord.  He is my Rock.

Professing to be a Christian but bragging about shameful things (the list of what is considered shameful to God is extensive, get familiar with scripture) is not doing God any favors. You could be a stumbling block to other Christians or a barricade to the lost finding their way to Jesus. Consider your conduct carefully, and what you "brag" about, particularly on social media.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spiritual Awakening

I love this infographic, because it reminds me of the way I felt after God reached into that dark pit I was dwelling in and pulled me back into the light. When I started relying upon him and reached out to serve others no matter the cost. Being filled with the Spirit the the ultimate high. Right now I could use some Spiritual refreshment in this dry and weary land.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What's been going on?

Surviving: Landon is approaching five months.  The last three and a half months have been some of the longest of my life. There is just no way to describe how high-maintenance he is. And how sleep deprived I am.  None of the other four, not even Carson, were as difficult as babies as he is. I thought I understood babies.  I've had five.  I have managed to get all of them sleeping well and into a routine by four months.  Not Landon.  It's all due to gas, but you probably won't believe that.  I have tried EVERYTHING.  I can only pray that he is an easy toddler.  Now, when you see him, he will flash you a huge adorable grin and possibly even woo you with his sweet voice.  It's all a show, folks.  I promise!  Due to this current status, I haven't had much energy to put towards anything else. That's okay for awhile.  But it is beginning to drag me down. Wear me out. Take it's toll.  I miss having a somewhat tidy home.  I miss doing other things that give me satisfaction, such as cooking for fun, scrapbooking, writing, reading....Bible study!  I miss friends.  All of my relationships are suffering.

MOPS: I still love it. I am still committed to MOPS and passionate about reaching moms.  But, as is everything else, my MOPS work is suffering.  I am barely present to support the local team.  I haven't been able to really plunge into developing relationships as I would like.

Health: Being almost 30 pounds overweight and stuck in maternity clothes for months has had its own effect on my emotional well-being. That, combined with my usual wintertime issues, following Christmas I struggled to eat healthy and couldn't get motivated to work out.  With so much to be done that never gets done, how could I take the time to exercise? I was on a downward spiral.

CrossFit: This is the glimmer of light in this tunnel. Thanks to a friend who was brave enough to do it first and then encouraged me to try it. The truth is, all the stuff at home will never get done.  I can leave the house and go to CrossFit for an hour and forget all the stuff I left behind.  When I am at CrossFit, I get an hour free from thinking about anything else because I am so focused on getting though a really tough workout.  My brain gets a rest.  I fight through and leave full of adrenaline and satisfied because I accomplished one thing that day.  I got one step closer to being healthy.  And, many days, the high of CrossFit is what gives me the energy to accomplish just a few more tasks.  And, even though I started out supremely out of shape, every time we come back to a lift or exercise that we haven't done for a week or so, it's so exciting to find I can do it better or heavier.  I am excited to be getting stronger, as well as leaner.  Thankfully, with CrossFit and getting back to Paleo, I have lost 10 pounds over the last month.  I am getting closer to fitting my regular clothes again.

So, there you have it.  That's what's been going on.  I am here, praying ceaselessly for baby to get over his gas issues and sleep like a good boy.  And counting down the many, many, many days until summer. If I could have one wish granted to me, I think it would be to live somewhere else from Jan-April.  Somewhere warm and sunny, of course!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Introducing Landon Paul Fischer

I've been wanting to get to this for awhile! I guess I'd forgotten how much time a baby takes up. Especially a gassy one.  Even now, I am pecking with one hand while nursing this sweet boy.

I have been composing this post in my head for quite some time. I planned to talk about the days leading up to, the birth, and the weeks following. But, words aren't really necessary, I've decided. Not sure why the picture quality diminished once I uploaded the movie; I apologize for that.