Wednesday, December 08, 2010


I'm in the basement, *watching* Simon play Star Wars on the wii. This is his love language, I think...or at least, time...or closeness...something like that.

He doesn't want to be alone. But he is perfectly content to play alone, provided that someone - even Clare - is in the same room. He's a funny kid. :)

I've said no to a lot of commitments this year in order to just be with the kids, and it has been a very good thing. Sitting and talking, reading books together, playing on the floor with them...they crave this. And it isn't always possible when I am running around, always late to something and cranky because of it.

Nearly every week an opportunity presents itself to add something to our schedule. Leadership opportunities, Bible studies, business ventures, play dates, sports, moms night out....I have had to weigh things very carefully this year. It is hard to say no to a good thing! But sometimes saying no to a good thing frees us up for what is best. It is a difficult balance for me.

I'm realizing more and more that my attitude sets the tone for our home, and when I am stressed because of things I'm doing, I'm not the mom I want to be. Not the mom the Lord wants me to be.

pics from Reagan's baby shower a few weeks ago

This year has been a gift, in that way. So much less stress, so much more time to just grow closer to my children.

Next year Simon goes to kindergarten. I can hardly believe he is old enough for that! School means less time here, so the time we do have together is a precious commodity. A friend of mine gave me some good advice, and I've been attempting to practice it. She said to have everything done - cleaning, dinner prep, bills, etc.. - by the time school was out. That way you can really focus on your child when they get home from school. Find out what what is going inside, and what struggles they are facing. Seems really common sense, but it was so helpful for me to have that as my goal. To be done for the that Ethan knows that when he gets home, I have time to talk! I am available...

and next year it will be Simon going to school too... sob!

He just beat Darth Maul!!!! Oh the excitement!!!!!

I love this kid! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday thoughts

Almost December...its a busy time of year! We made it through Thanksgiving, traveling to my parents' and then hosting Dave's family, and some wonderful days of just us too. We have reached the stage in family life where time together with just the 5 of us is really, really fun! Playing games or wii together, talking, laughing...I am very thankful for this. As much as I love my babies, I love the relationship that age brings.

This should be a quieter week, I think. Today has been anyway. Time to read my Bible and plan the meals while little people play, no urgent chores or events to rush off to. Dinner is in the oven, and we'll pick up Ethan from school before too long. Days like this are such a gift!

And just for fun...a few pics from Halloween. :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bunch of Pilgrims

I was able to help in Ethan's class today. Love, love, LOVE to do this! Someday when all my kids are in school I want to be up there way more than I am now, but for the time being, I volunteer when I can find a sitter for Clare (she's not the quietest kid!).

Today was the 1st grade Thanksgiving Party, and Simon and I were in charge of bringing the stuff to make mini cornbread muffins. It is so much fun to be in the classroom and get to know E's friends. They are just so cute! Simon just sits and takes it all in...probably thinking about his turn to go to school. ;) It does look pretty dreamy!

Every time I am there, Ethan's desk is in a different spot. I think he talks a little too much. ;)

Actually, I know he does...but he has been working on it. This year has been considerably harder for him - not academically, but definitely behaviorally. He of course has trouble sitting still (from the looks of it, most of them do), but its not just that. He flies through his work and then while others are still writing, he talks. :) Or tries to make someone laugh. Or gets out of his seat. Not good. So we've had lots of talks and creative discipline...and it seems to us (and to his teacher) that his heart is to do what is right, even though he struggles making the day to day choices about it.

He is learning to take more time on his school work, focus on penmanship and making things neat. And to write his *observations* down for his teacher to read later, instead of blurting them out right away. :)

It has been so encouraging to us to see him actually succeed. To see his face light up when he can give a good report at the end of the school day. It has been a good opportunity to talk about authority and respect...and God's grace for when we mess up. And His ever present help too. So many things to learn when you're 6. :)

This Thanksgiving I'm very thankful for a school where the Word of God is taught and where they place value on applying it to the issues of life. For teachers who love your children and pray for wisdom in how to train their hearts. And for little boys who truly want to obey.

Even when it's way more fun to make the whole class laugh! ;)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Reading about Joseph this morning. Genesis 45. What an example he is to me! Despite being mistreated by his brothers and sold into slavery (and presumed dead by his father), when he sees his brothers again, he is gracious with them. He doesn't want them to feel guilty about it! (how is this even possible???)

He says, "God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So not it was not you who sent me here, but God..." (vs.7,8)

Two things stuck out to me this morning. First, it seems to me the reason Joseph could so quickly forgive those who had hurt him was because he had a firm grasp on the sovereignty of His God. He knew that ultimately it was God who sent him to Egypt, not his brothers. He could say with confidence, "You meant this for evil, but God meant it for good."

Wow, I could use a little more of that attitude in my own life!

Second, I was just really impressed by Joseph's ability to see the purpose of God in the situation. He could get past his own feelings and look objectively at what God was doing. How many times have I let my feelings get in the way of walking in faith??? Focusing on the frustration, instead of imagining the bigger picture. Too many times to count!

And yet, in Joseph's life I see a peace that I want. He had vision for what great things God could do with his life. And he embraced it, even when it was hard. Lord, help me to think this way! Cause me to see the spiritual significance of my day to day circumstances. I want to be available to You!

Going through pics's been awhile since I've posted anything, so there were lots to choose from. :) These are from back in October. We met my sister and her kids at the pumpkin patch for lunch.

These two really love each other. It's so sweet!

Dave surprised me and took the day off. That's just about the best surprise ever! :)

We didn't have much luck with the family pics. :)

Having too much fun with my sister living close now! I am very, very thankful for the blessing of family, especially for my kids' sake.

All for now...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Not going to miss those early Saturday morning games...

...but there is something so amazing about watching your 4 year old break away with the ball, take it all the way down the field, and score!

Clare was impressed!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Isaiah 1

Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth!
For the LORD has spoken:
"I reared children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against me.

The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?" says the LORD.
"I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats...

When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even if you offer many prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood;

Come now, let us reason together,"
says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool...

If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the best from the land;

but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword."
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

I will turn my hand against you;
I will thoroughly purge away your dross
and remove all your impurities.

I will restore your judges as in days of old,
your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you will be called
the City of Righteousness,
the Faithful City."

I am so thankful for the Lord's purging work. He sees my apathy, the way I get wrapped up in my own little life and practically forget about Him. As a Father, He won't allow me to stay this way. He CAN'T allow me to. But His purging, while sometimes a very painful process, is designed to bring redemption. To ultimately heal. To bring me back.

Being a parent and watching a child choose to disobey (to their own detriment), has really opened my eyes to how my heavenly Father feels and responds to me when I choose my own way over His.

He takes it seriously, He aches over hard hearts, He will not stop pursuing...

I am so thankful for this glimpse into the heart of God as He deals with His children. Surprised to find it in Isaiah, but now I'm really excited to study this book as a whole (we're going through it this year at BSF).

Final challenging thought from this morning's study comes from these verses:

You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks
in which you have delighted;
you will be disgraced because of the gardens
that you have chosen.

What are the sacred oaks and gardens of my life? What am I choosing over Him? What has become more important and more of a priority to me than my relationship with the Lord? Really made me think this morning...

*And just for fun, some soccer pics. The season is in full swing!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A New Year

Well, we moved. And it was crazy. Maybe all moves are like that?

This new home (only a couple miles away) feels like home now, but I still find myself driving to the old house by accident sometimes. Just out of habit, I guess. We lived there for 7 years! It was a great home - plenty of space, and we had made it ours. I loved the kitchen...sad to leave it. :( But this new home has a better layout, more yard for the kids, and most especially, no more stairs in the entry. So we are just very thankful to be able to start over and make this new place our home. Lots of work, but I know it will be worth it.

And just like that, the summer was over. What a nutty 3 months. I tried my best to play, to just enjoy the break with my kids, but it still feels like it went way too fast.

I was realizing today that although Ethan's been back at school for a couple weeks now, I haven't really processed it yet. Haven't taken the time to think about the fact that my son is now in first grade, going to school all day...he's grown in height for sure, but it's more than that. He's maturing. Something is happening to that kid. He's longing for relationship, to talk together (alone, without sibling interruptions!). Maybe I am just kinda pensive by nature, but it just hit me...I haven't even been paying attention, and here he is, just growing up!

I'm going to do my best to start writing again. I've really missed it, and I can tell it has been too long...the words just do not come easily like they do when I'm writing consistently. But the Lord has been teaching me so much recently, and I want to record it. To remind myself of His faithfulness, so that I can see more purpose in the *hard* days. I know that He is always working...I just have to take the time to notice.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

The other thing we've been doing this summer

Baseball season is upon us again. I can tell this is a sport I will be watching for years yet. Better learn to enjoy it! ;)

He is a good hitter. Dave has taught our boys well. :)

There aren't any outs in the instructional league, but he's still gonna try to get to second.

She and Simon are just along for the ride. And the snacks, I guess. :) Good times!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Wedding weekend

Rehearsal dinner set up.

Love this girl!

Sweet children, patiently waiting for the storm to pass.

My first attempt at wedding flowers.

I only captured a few shots of the wedding weekend. I had good intentions and had my camera ready, but things just got too busy. And wet. :) It was such a gorgeous wedding though, despite the rain. Probably should say because of the rain...definitely gave it a romantic feel. It was just lovely.

Sitting in the heat makes me nostalgic

We just finished two weeks of swimming lessons.

Clare loved to sit and watch her brothers.

This year was infinitely easier than last year. No newborn melting in the heat, no fearful 3 year old clinging to my leg. I am very thankful for this stage of parenting we are in.

It has its own challenges, I guess - after all, my sweet one year old needs lots of training! But really, life is just a joy right now. I am overwhelmed frequently with just how blessed we are to have these 3 little children, and how quickly our time with them is flying by!

Ethan is swimming on his own now. A sign of the times, I'd say. And he starts first grade here in a few months too. Just growing up so much.

But that's still several weeks away. For now we are just soaking up summer, and having as much fun as we possibly can. I'm resisting the urge to paint our new house, and choosing instead to PLAY with these kids while I can. I love summer!

Monday, June 21, 2010

She thinks she is so big

It's been a busy spring. I have missed posting, recording tidbits from our fun little life. We put our house on the market, sold it, had the whole family come for a visit, moved to a new home (crazy, crazy move...long story), all the while keeping up with family birthdays, date nights, baseball games, VBS, swimming lessons, family weddings, etc...

In the midst of the chaos, my baby turned 1.

She is walking now, just in time for her cousin's wedding. It's such a funny walk...very wobbly, but VERY fast. :) And she is babbling up a storm. No real words yet, besides Mama and Dada. But she has learned to sign, and combined with her "talking", she can communicate fairly well.

She's a very happy girl, almost all the time. Such a blessing to us all. We love you, Clarey.