The heart of a child

January 1, 2014

Our daughters, aged 5 and 7, have been playing with their new drink dispenser all afternoon having tea parties and pretending to be princesses. This “drink dispenser” resembles a Keurig coffee maker, so they feel like adults.

After hours of playing and many cups of “tea” later, they approach me with a plan…

“Mommy, we want to use the drink dispenser to have a lemonade stand and send all the money to an orphanage so that those kids can have a mom and dad some day.”

Wow. WOW! Where did they come up with this?!?

Yes, we have been talking a lot about orphans lately because of the command in the Bible…

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27 ESV)

We have been praying about how we, the Flener family, can take care of orphans and widows in their distress.

But…I had no idea that our kids were processing any of it.

They notice. They hear. They listen…even when it doesn’t appear that they do.

And, I guarantee you one thing…this Mommy is going to do everything in my power to make sure that lemonade stand is successful! I am, after all, an entrepreneur at heart. 🙂

So, in the Spring, when the grass is turning green, the flowers are blooming and we are all struggling with allergies…the Fleners will be selling lemonade, homemade donuts, bread, bracelets (and whatever else we can come up with) to raise money for children who are far less fortunate than my sweet children.

Anyone thirsty?!?


My baby is 6

March 25, 2012

It’s crazy…where has the time gone…

Grace turned 6 on Thursday.  How is that possible.

Last year I took Alyssa on a date and asked her some questions (you can read the answers here).  Recently, I saw the same idea on Pinterest with the idea of doing it every year on your child’s birthday.  Genius!  🙂

So…here are my 20 questions along with Grace’s answers.

  1. What is your favorite color? Red
  2. What is your favorite food? Cake
  3. What do you want for your birthday dinner? Tilapia, mixed vegetables and homemade rolls
  4. What do you want to do for your birthday party? Bowling
  5. What was your favorite part of the day?Being the line leader all day at school
  6. Who are your favorite friends? Jacob, Kalena, Owen, Olivia, Ms. Sutton (I had to stop her because she would have gone on forever) 🙂
  7. What are your favorite movies? Sound of Music and Pocahontas
  8. What is your favorite cartoon? Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  9. What is your favorite book? Snow White
  10. What is your favorite restaurant? McDonald’s
  11. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Roller skate
  12. What is the best thing about school? Lunch
  13. What is your favorite thing for lunch? Macaroni & cheese and peaches
  14. What is your favorite breakfast food? Toast with jam and butter
  15. Who is your favorite character in a movie? Ariel
  16. What was your favorite present? Knitting machine and Lite Brite
  17. Why are you so excited to be 6? To be 6 like Owen and Kyle
  18. What is your favorite outfit? My new Easter dress
  19. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
  20. What is your favorite lovey/stuffy? Isabelle (Pillow Pet), Roselle (Happy Napper), Lily (Husky), Bunny, Flower (Gray Cat), Lilla (White Cat)

I really enjoyed hearing her answers and I can’t wait to compare them to next year’s…

bunny & school field trip

October 6, 2011

We found bunny!  Thank goodness…  Daddy found her in the toy room.  We had looked there a MILLION times, but   oh well.  The important thing is she was found!!!

Yesterday I got to go with Grace & all the Kindergarteners to Mile High Farms.  When Grace first heard about the field trip she said, “Mommy, can you please go?!?!”  Fortunately, a friend and I had made an agreement at the beginning of the year to help each other out with the kids so we can go on field trips, help with the parties, etc.  So, I told Grace I would make it happen…I was determined to find someone to watch the kids (even if Adrian couldn’t) because in preschool Grace never wanted me to go with her on field trips.

Adrian was able to watch the kids, so I rode with 4 other moms and Grace took her first school bus ride.  🙂

We had a great time at Mile High Farms.  We learned about corn and pumpkins, went through a corn maze, had a hay rack ride, and picked pumpkins.  I really enjoyed getting to know Grace’s classmates and some other moms better.

It was a fun day and I’m so thankful that I got to go.  Before we left the farm Grace ran up to me and said, “Mommy!  Thank you SO much for coming on the field trip with me!!!”  Melt my heart.

For whatever reason, my kids have had really thankful hearts lately.  During dinner they’ve been saying “Thank you SO much, Mommy, for making this dinner!”  The other night (while I was making dinner) Grace came into the kitchen and said, “Mommy, I am so thankful for you because you make us delicious meals.”  WOW.  I’m not sure where it’s coming from or how it started, but I love it.

As moms it’s great to see some fruit from all the blood, sweat and tears that we put into our kids.  We don’t always get a glimpse of the results of our day-to-day labor, but every once-in-awhile when we do…grab it and don’t let go.


lost bunny

October 4, 2011

When Grace was a year old, we visited Nana after her double knee replacement surgery.  It was around Easter time and a friend had given Nana a cute little bunny that Grace was instantly drawn to.  A few months later we visited Nana…and again, Grace was drawn to the bunny so Nana gave it to her.  From then on, Grace had a buddy…or should I say bunny.  The bunny’s name has always been “bunny” …even when I tried to get Grace to give it a “real” name, all she wanted to call it was “bunny.”

Well, in the last couple of days this “bunny” has gone missing.  We have torn the house, the cars…everything..apart to find this bunny.  No signs of her.

Today when Grace got home from school, she asked for some blank paper.  She sat down at her little table and got to work.  Before long she brought me two pieces of paper that she had decorated with “bunny missing” messages and pictures of her and bunny together.  She begged and begged and begged and begged for me to help her hang the signs on the trees in front of our house.  That way, if someone else has seen bunny they could return her to her owner.

It made me cry…seriously.  It was so sweet…so innocent…and so desperate.  And she did it all on her own.

I’ve got to find that bunny!  I’m on a mission and it’s driving me crazy.  I tore the house A-P-A-R-T tonight looking for it.

Tonight Grace prayed asking God to help us find her bunny.

Please, Lord, help us find bunny!!!

a proud mommy moment

September 28, 2010

Grace attends preschool at the YMCA on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She loves it, to say the least.

Normally when we go to pick her up, the kids are playing on the playground or are out on the soccer field. Not today. They were still inside having “large group” time. We were a few minutes early, so we got to observe.

At the end, they sang a few songs. The teacher asked several of the kids what songs they wanted to sing. She asked Grace. Grace’s choice…”Jesus Loves Me.” The teacher’s response was that she didn’t know that song. Sad, but true. So, she asked Grace to sing it for everyone. Grace belted out “Jesus Loves Me” at the top of her lungs with all the kids and teachers watching her. She had a smile on her face and I had tears in my eyes.

At that very moment, even though she didn’t realize it, she was proud to sing the name of Jesus. She wasn’t denying Him. She was proud and happy and there was nothing else she’d rather sing about.

It made me realize something about myself. I deny God too often. When I first heard her say that her choice was “Jesus Loves Me,” I tensed up. What would the teacher’s think? This is a secular classroom. But, when I looked at Grace’s face, I realized…I need to be more like her. Proud to sing, say, shout…whatever!

In the Bible it talks about coming to Jesus like a little child. I have a great image of what that means now. When I read that verse or think about that idea, I’ll think of Grace….sitting in the middle of the “large group” time, with a bright smile on her face, singing “Jesus Loves Me” to people who don’t know the song. Sweet. Precious. Genuine.

My favorite moment as a Mommy so far…

Sick and Tired

March 30, 2009

Sick and Tired

Sick and Tired

Carrie told you in an earlier post about our crazy weekend of sickness last weekend.  This picture typifies that entire weekend.  Grace had just told Carrie that she was about to get sick.  Carrie took her to the bathroom, and both fell asleep as they waited for Grace to, well, get sick.  She had already thrown up nearly a half a dozen times by this picture.  And my beautiful wife did what she does best, comforted Grace.

I am a journalist at heart.  I love to tell stories with pictures.  After helping with Grace throughout the evening, and realizing Carrie had control of this situation, I felt compelled to get my camera out to capture the intimacy of the moment.  It was a moment I will never forget.  Both girls were so tired from the entire day. You can see the expressions. Yet, you can see the warmth of Carrie’s embrace with her hand as Grace fell back into her.

Carrie made me fall in love with her so much more during this first “big family sickness.” After all, she and Alyssa got sick as well.  She is a true champion of taking care of both of our girls, remaining steadfast in her devotion to God, to them, and to me.

Grace dancing at the Domain

Grace dancing at the Domain

This weekend has been a blast.  Not “fun” as in – crazy, wild, fun.  But “fun” as in – I love being with my family, “fun.”  “Fun” as in – I’m refreshed and ready to start a new week, “fun.”  Here’s what we did.

I had a baby shower to go to Saturday afternoon, so Matt took the girls to get an oil change and car wash.  Fun for Momma because I had some time with friends.  Fun for Daddy and the girls because they had time together.

After nap time, we were antsy to get out of the house.  Matt suggested going to the Domain to walk around.  (For those who don’t live in Austin, the Domain is an upscale, outdoor shopping area).  Matt had a little extra work clothing allowance burning a hole in his pocket, so we went to Macy’s first.  As we walked out of Macy’s and started checking out the other shops, we noticed that they had blocked off the main road running through the Domain.  A stage was set up and signage said there was a fashion show.  In the distance, we could hear live music which sparked our curiosity.  We walked to the opposite end of the Domain and asked a security guard what was going on.  Come to find out, the fashion show had an after party with a live band, free drinks and desserts!  One of our favorite things is to stumble upon something cool.  This fit that criteria.  It was so much fun!  Grace danced the night away.  Alyssa shook her booty in the stroller.  Matt and I enjoyed watching them.

Today we had another great day!  After church we drove to Marble Falls and ate at the Blue Bonnet Cafe.  AMAZING!  Good, comfort food.  They are known for their pies.  DELICIOUS!  We had the peanut butter pie and it was fabulous.  We practically licked the plate clean.  After we had stuffed ourselves silly, we went to Sweet Berry Farms and picked strawberries.  It was perfect weather to be outside and the farm was a great time.  Grace really got into finding good strawberries, picking them, and putting them in her basket.  By the end, she had strawberry juice all over her clothes and face.

I’m so far behind on posting pictures to our flickr sight that it completely overwhelms me.  I’m trying to upload a bit at a time.  HOPEFULLY by the end of the week I’ll be caught up.  At that point, I’ll post pictures from our fun weekend.  Sorry to do so many posts with no pictures!!

Tonight’s activities

March 20, 2009

Tonight, Carrie’s Uncle Dave and Aunt Mary Ann Routzhan came in from Dallas for Grace’s birthday party tomorrow.  We ate at Sago in the Triangle tonight.  It was perfect weather, and great to see them.  Can you believe Grace turns 3 on Sunday?  We’re expecting about 30 people tomorrow for the big party.  It will be a blast!

We’re Moving…

March 5, 2009

Did you think I meant to another house?? Gotcha! We’re actually moving blog addresses.

From now on, check us out at It’s way cooler and Matt was able to import all our posts from this blog to that one.

See you there!!