Only 1 “today”

January 5, 2014

A few days ago, I was having a conversation with our 5-year-old daughter, Alyssa. She was filling out a new calendar she got for Christmas and asking what our plans were for each day.

When she got into February, I became overwhelmed. “Alyssa, I don’t even know what we’re doing next week!”

So, she resolved to talk about our plans for that day, January 3rd. After many questions about the month, day and year, she said, “So, there’s only ONE January 3rd, 2014?!?!”


There IS only one January 3rd, 2014. And only one January 4th…and 5th…

You only have one shot at making today worthwhile. ONE SHOT. No do overs. No redoes. No second chances. Only one today.

This has challenged me to take captive every day…every hour…every minute…every conversation…every teachable moment…every text, phone call, Facebook message, and blog post…because it might be my only opportunity.

I’m trying my best to love this out and be an example for our kids not to waste their lives or a day or a moment. But, to seek first the Kingdom of God and follow Him even when it might not make sense to anyone else.


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?!?


January 18, 2012

This is most definitely the hardest thing I’ve done.  Being a mommy is hard.  It’s fun…rewarding…exciting…the best thing I’ve ever done…but also the hardest. 

On Sunday, I had to watch Alyssa (our middle child) go through something I had hoped to avoid. 

Chase was napping.  I was resting.  Matt took the girls on a bike ride.  They had a blast and went two miles.  Our house was just around the corner, but Alyssa was going too fast and her bike tipped.  She tried to catch herself and hurt her wrist.

I could hear her crying as she came in the house, but that’s what Alyssa does.  She was tired, so I figured she got a scratch on her knee and she was overreacting…until I heard Matt’s reaction.  I could hear the concern in his voice and affirming her tears.  Uh oh.

When I saw her wrist, I could tell.  I’ve had my fair share of broken bones and I can almost always recognize the signs. 

Alyssa was holding her arm and making funny noises because of the pain she was in.  Matt put ice on it and then we came up with a plan for him to take her to the doctor and I’d stay with the other two kids at home.

It was hard for me to stay at home.  Being a stay-at-home mom, I witness almost every significant moment of my kids’ lives.  It was difficult for me to miss this one and to not take care of her when she was in so much pain.  However, Matt becomes “Nurse Daddy” and is almost always the primary caretaker when the kids are sick or hurt.

Matt kept me up-to-date about the process and notified me when the x-ray showed “broken.”

Immediately, feelings arose inside of me that I didn’t realize were there.

You see, I’ve broken quite a few bones.  And, I still vividly remember the feelings associated with breaking a bone…frustration, missing out on things, frustration, sadness, frustration…get the idea??

I’ve cried several times (after Alyssa has gone to bed) because I hurt for her.  I hate that she has to go through this and I want to take it away.

She has done AMAZING and has only had a few moments of crying.  But, tonight, while getting jammies on, she got frustrated and started crying.  I reminded her that I’ve broken several bones and asked if she wanted to see a picture.  Her face lit up and her tears dried up.

I was 8 and had to have my arm set out in front of me.  Horrible.  I missed summer, I had an awkward cast, and it was my dominant arm. If that will help her through this, than it was worth going through!!

As her mom, I keep thinking about my parents…all that they had to watch me go through…and just stand by my side and help me through it.  How frustrating to not be able to take away the pain or do anything but just hold your child.

Well, now I’m that parent.  Oh, sweet Alyssa, if I could take away your pain I would.  If I could have a broken arm instead of you I would.  If I could make it all better I would. 

But since I can’t, I’m going to trust the ONE who can.  I’m going to trust that God will heal you…take care of you…teach you…and show you more of Himself through this process. And, always remember, I’m your Mommy and I’ll be helping you through this…praying you through it.  We can do it together with God’s help.




out on the farm

September 28, 2011

Last year we went with some friends to this fun little farm. They have some fun activities for the kids, but the best part is going on a hay rack ride through the farm to pick your own veggies. It is amazing!

We were trying to find a good time to take the kids, but our schedule is super busy. So, we settled on a Tuesday since Matt is off work. Unfortunately, that meant Grace didn’t get to go because she is in school. That’s been my biggest (and really ONLY) struggle with the school schedule. I feel like if we do anything while Grace is in school, then she misses out. However, I remind myself that she’s getting to do super fun things (including a field trip to another farm!) and I can’t deprive Alyssa & Chase of fun activities during school hours.

So, all of that to say, we went to Miller Farms on Tuesday…and had a BLAST!  Another family from the Denver area was on our veggie-picking-tractor and we had such a great time with them.  We even exchanged phone numbers.  🙂  And, she inspired me to re-start this blog.  They too have family far away (in Texas!), so she’s very diligent to update their blog with pictures, videos and updates.  I’m going to do the same.  🙂

Speaking of which…here are some pics from our day on the farm…

To enter the farm, you pay per person and each person gets 5 shopping bags to fill with goodies.  We had 20 bags to fill, which is a ton of food.  Our kitchen is now stocked with a plethora of corn, potatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots, celery, melons, pumpkins (orange & white), tomatoes, many different types of peppers…am I forgetting something?!?  We had so much food that we decided to bag up some groceries for our neighbors and share the wealth.  It was fun to share.  🙂

I’ve been busy making homemade spaghetti sauce, decorating with pumpkins, and searching for other recipes.  In the near future I’m going to make (and freeze) some potato soup and salsa.  🙂  Yummy!!


Through a new lens…

March 16, 2009

So, Carrie and I just upgraded to two new lenses for our Canon Rebel XTi. We are still learning quite a bit about them, but they are capturing some beautiful (and hilarious) pictures of the girls.  Here is a sampling!

Grace Flener poses for the camera

Grace Flener poses for the camera

Alyssa Flener poses for the camera

Alyssa Flener poses for the camera

With Carrie's Sunglasses

With Carrie's Sunglasses

Grace is human

Grace is human