Monday, March 13, 2017

Ups and downs - in the weather and in life!

Here are four happy kids today, after a late winter snow.  Now, granted, we have had a very mild winter and the kids were so excited about the possibility of snow.  But really???? On the day AFTER the dreaded "spring ahead" time change?  When you already feel like you are getting up extra early (and you want to have extra time to travel, because, well the roads are not going to be good).  At any rate, the kids did have a wonderful time and the snow was perfect for sledding.  They have a good sized hill on the side of their house, which was just perfect for lots of fun.  Zeke said he made a "roller coaster" track (of course, since he is currently obsessed with them).  Even Anna finally warmed up to going down the hill on the snow tube!  I had a difficult time getting them to come in the house for lunch.  HOME SCHOOL FOR THE WIN!

It was sort of an interesting conclusion to a somewhat up and down last couple of weeks.  I have gotten to spend lots of time with baby Grace.  While this is certainly an UP for me, it was not so much for Susie, who has been having some really bad back issues.  I am so thankful that I have been able to help her out during this time.  It is not pleasant to see someone you love, hurting so much.  Thankfully, Grace has cooperated by being a really contented newborn.  She eats, sleeps and fills her diapers.  Which is exactly perfect.  We had some really wild weather at the start of last week - winds that would pick up almost anything!  Along with those winds, we had some thunderstorms and severe weather.  It was really crazy.  Certainly a downer!   By the end of the week, we were so grateful for the absence of that killer wind.  We were grateful also, that Susie was feeling better, with less back pain.

Because life is always busy, this weekend Ellie got her birthday "family fun day" (thanks to Doug and Susie) and she decided that she wanted the girls to get a pedicure!  Last year it was warm enough for the boys to go fishing on the day the girls went to the salon.  Sadly, it was 24 yesterday and the lakes were iced over.  So no fishing for the boys!  They found a great playground and had a fun time while the girls got their toes painted!  Grace came to the salon and slept the entire time!  Here is Ellie getting her toes done! This was certainly an UP part of the week for us!
After the nail salon, Ellie requested an ice cream treat (actually Frosties).  And Grace finally woke up for all of us to at least get a peak at her!  Great up ending to a fun day with the family!

This morning when I got to Gwen's house, the kids informed me that they had opened their own nail salon (in their bathroom).   I was invited to have my fingernails painted.  Lia was hard at work giving Anna a pedicure (she was not old enough to go to the salon with us).  So Ellie decided that she needed to paint my finger nails.  
Yes, that is black nail polish and there are blue and red "flowers" (which are actually just dots of polish). Not bad for an eight year old stylist!  I guess this is what you have to expect from girls after a visit to the nail salon!  

There you have it....... the up and downs of Chicago weather.  Sunny, warm, windy, severe thunderstorms, rain, more wind, and then cold, followed by snow.  All in one week.  It is said that you can experience all four seasons in one week in Chicago and this past week proved that to be true! And there were a few ups and downs in our family also.  No health issue is ever good and was certainly a bit of a downer for us all, as we were concerned about Susie.  The good news is that she is on the "UP" swing and Grace is doing great!  

I am always surprised when I  hear someone comment that Christians should always be UP!  That is just silly.  Over and over in the Bible, we are told that there will be ups and downs!  That is just what it is to live in this world.  The secret to living like Jesus is to walk THROUGH the down times and keep looking up!  When you keep your focus on Jesus, you won't get stuck in the muck of those inevitable nasty things that just happen.  He will help you to keep on putting one foot in front of the other so that you can get through those downs.  It is good to remember that every situation, every bad thing, every really tough issue you might be in the middle of right now, will come to an end.  Just like the weather, things change.  

This was my view from Doug and Susie's driveway as I left last Thursday.  I just love when God paints the sky with colors!  This sure had me looking UP!   I am so thankful that we have these wonderful reminders - right in the middle of a week of crazy weather - that Jesus is in control.  And I am thankful that a beautiful sunset helped me to remember to look up!

Jesus, thank you for this amazing week, filled with family time.  Holy Spirit, help all of us to remember that we need to move through those bad, down times.  Give us courage and boldness to walk on, and hope for the good times that are to come.  Thank you Jesus, for health and healing!  Amen

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