Friday, January 20, 2012

Keepin it Real

Warning: totally real, raw, not sugarcoated blog post coming up...

I really wish I had something fabulous to blog about this week. I wish I could say that we went on a fabulous field trip or did something inspiring to help the needy. The truth is we had a crappy week. Each of my girls is extremely challenging right now. Usually, I'm only dealing with one kid's issues at a time, but now I'm getting the triple assault. I'm barely keeping my head above water. My oldest is a hormonal hot mess. She goes from smiling and making jokes to sulky and hateful in less than 30 seconds. My middle daughter is having a really hard time with some aspects of school, especially math, and she is often frustrated and tearful. Cora, the baby, is still, at 6 years old, into everything. She disobeys me 9 times out of 10.

I honestly wonder where I've gone wrong. I've loved and adored them since the day they were born. I would say they are overindulged, but certainly not spoiled. What I mean is that they have everything they need and more than enough extra, but they don't have every single thing they ask for and all the latest gadgets the other kids have. We spend lots of one-on-one time together. We have a wonderful church. They are kind and loving children. People compliment me on their behavior and character. I feel like we've been consistent, mostly, with their teaching and discipline. Our homeschool is strenuous, and I require a lot of them. Not to the point of being impossible, of course, but I take this seriously, and I expect them to as well. They are bright children. I'm nowhere near perfect. Who is? I lose my temper too much. I fuss too much. But I am also always telling and showing them how much I love them and how smart and kind and important they are. I want to think I'm doing a good job. And their daddy is wonderful! He adores them and me. So why are these things going wrong?

Well, the answer is easy. They aren't perfect either. They are just little people with flaws and shortcomings and needs that are different than other people. They are my babies, entrusted to me by my Father, to raise up to be women of God. That's a big undertaking. But I'm up for it. I've been doing it for 11 years, and I'm not giving up now.

So for now, I've got to keep two things in mind. Number one, most important, is GRACE. Last week, God spoke to me loud and clear during worship at church. Anna had given us a fit all weekend, and we had decided not to let her go on the youth skating trip after church. She was so hurt, but I think she understand why. During worship, God said to me, "Nakia, I've shown you grace when you didn't deserve it. I've even heaped blessing upon your life when you didn't deserve it. Can't you do the same for Anna?" WHOA! Talk about putting me in my place, lol. So, Patrick and I talked and decided to let her go. The 2nd thing I need to keep in mind is that I must see my girls as God sees them. He sees them as beautiful precious daughters worthy of all the love and grace and mercy He (and I) can give them. He sees Anna as a strong independent girl who stands firm in her beliefs, more firm than most 11 year olds I know. He sees Emma as kind and compassionate and someone who thinks through situations before diving in; she is thoughtful, cautious, and wise beyond her 8 years. He sees Cora as a lively, happy go lucky child who understands things more deeply than most 6 year olds. All of them are going to do something great for His kingdom.

God is teaching me through these precious girls. Patience, of course, though I question if I will ever get there. But also that they aren't mine alone; they are His, and He actually trusts me to have them for 18 years. I have an amazing gift, and I want to treasure every minute of it. I am blessed beyond measure. So please remember us your prayers. We're running the race with our eye on the goal. <3


Thursday, January 12, 2012

My baby is 6!!!!

Two weeks ago, my sweet baby girl turned 6! She had a lot of fun for her birthday which included a day of cupcake baking and crayon making with her new crayon maker that my brother and his wife got her for Christmas, a shopping trip for a new Tangled comforter, and then a little party with some of her favorite people (grandparents, aunts and her favorite little cousin). I spent her birthday going quickly between laughing and crying. I always cry on their birthdays. I just do, so leave me alone about it. ;) It's so bittersweet to watch my girls grow while still remembering the exact moment I laid eyes on them. Cora was born on a beautiful December day, and she came into this world causing a ruckus and hasn't stopped. She is a spit fire, and she brings joy everywhere she goes. People absolutely adore her, and she makes a new friend (young or old) everywhere she goes. Her dance teacher told me last week that she loves Cora's spunk. She sure does have a lot of that! She challenges me every day, but she also makes me laugh every day. She amazes me with her ability to tell me exactly what she is thinking (even if it is that my belly is floppy) and what she is feeling. I hope she never changes. <3

Here are some pictures of her festivities. These are mostly from the cupcake making because that was the cutest part. I let her do every bit of it on her own. 

She loves cracking those eggs!

Pure joy!

sneaking some batter :)
cream cheese icing--YUM!

No cupcake is complete without sprinkles!

the finished product <3
her Tangled cake

So cute!!!

So happy and so adorable!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

That's pretty much how we can describe the first snow of 2012--Here Today, Gone Tomorrow. After a beautiful sunny day, the evening brought a burst of frigid cold and a blast of beautiful snow. We were so excited! We got all our snow gear out and made sure the sleds were ready. But, it was all for nothing. The snow in our yard didn't even last until lunchtime the next day. We were left with a sloppy, muddy mess. Our road, on the other hand, was a different story. It doesn't get much sun and kept refreezing, so my van stayed parked for a couple of days, and so did the girls and I. I didn't even get any good pictures of the snow! So, here are some pics of what was left of it the day after, lol. That's the best I could do.

just a little snow left on the leaves

In this one, you can just barely see our road in the background--solid ice!

See that beautiful blue sky!

one last chunk left on the van

 Oh! Something exciting happened during our snow day! Diesel didn't like the snow, so he decided it was a good time to learn to go up the porch steps. Isn't he stinkin' adorable????

And now, the Ensleys are ready for some REAL SNOW!!! Bring it on!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

And here we go again!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you're excited about the new year; I sure am! 2010 was really really hard for my family, and 2011 was much better. I know 2012 is going to rock, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what God has for us!

I really don't do New Year's resolutions. Why? Because who really keeps them? It's like you are destined to fail when you make New Year's resolutions. I think I will do a bucket list for 2012 instead. No, I don't think I'm going to die this year, lol. But I want to make a list of things I want to do before 2012 kicks the bucket. :D

So I give you Nakia Ensley's 2012 bucket list (in no particular order):

*Eliminate people from my life who don't challenge, inspire, and/or truly love me. I don't mean I'm taking them out ninja style or anything. I just mean I am letting go of relationships that tear me down. I will still love and pray for those whom I let go of. But I will not be bound by those negative influences anymore. 

*Buy a designer purse.

*Do art with my kids every week. Go on a field trip every month or every 6 weeks. Find someone to teach my kids Spanish.

*Fall in love with photography again. 

*Read at least one book per week.

*Date my husband at least once a month. Even if it's just a special evening planned at home after the kids go to bed, I will make an effort to show him what he means to me. 

*Blog at least once a week. No, blog twice a week; one time showing my favorite photos I've taken during the week and one post about life and just stuff. 

*Learn to cook new foods. I love to cook, but I'm tired of the same boring ole things. 

*Show my girls what a Godly woman is supposed to look like. Show them how to love, how to live, and how to forgive. See them through His eyes. Appreciate their unique personalities. Show them more grace than I thought I could every day.

*Learn how to do at least one thing I've never done before. I have no idea what it will be, but something will come along. 

*Go thrift shopping a bazillion times with my bff. :D

*Welcome my brother home from Afghanistan!

*Redecorate our master bedroom, the room that is always last to have anything done to it. New floors, new paint, new bedding, new lamp, new curtains, and the beautiful photos of me and Patrick on the wall. We celebrate 14 years of marriage this year; we deserve a nice bedroom.

*Finish our 2011/2012 school year with a bang, and plan and purchase the right curriculum for the new school year.

*House train the puppy.

*Pray and read my bible at least 365 times. Sounds lame, huh? That's just once day, right? Well, sometimes I'm lazy or selfish or "too busy" and don't spend time with God every day. But this is the year when I really commit spend to time with God every single day. 

*Take better care of me. Sleep more, be more active, eat less junk food. :)

Well, I guess that looks a whole lot like a list of resolutions, huh? But I don't think it is. It's more like a list of goals. Or a list of things I will do this year to make it a great year. And it's a LONG list! But I can do it. I am excited about every single thing on the list! Let's do this!

It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good