Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday update

The weekend is here, and we are relishing it. I love to relax with my precious babies, watch my big boys play sports, eat long meals all together {and laugh - lots of laughter}, and just get to know them. Every time I look around the table, I feel so incredibly blessed.


Little man is growing, almost 5 months old. World's easiest baby, I'm pretty sure. He is such a delight to us all - we cannot get enough of his sweet cheeks with tiny dimples. He gets kissed a lot around here.


He sleeps through the night and takes nice long naps for momma, and the rest of the time he is generally a happy participant along for the ride that is our crazy life. Oh, but we love our crazy life.


Clare is beginning to potty train {although I am reluctant...why do I dread this so much? Probably my least favorite milestone}. She is our little chatterbox, and is naturally joyful and talkative most of the time. I am never lonely. :)


We realized the other day that she has been learning the boys' Sunday School verses with them. Isaiah 9:6,7 is really long, but she can pretty much do the whole thing without help. Pretty cute to hear a 2 year old with a lisp recite, "The government shall be upon His shoulder..."

The other day I heard her singing to her babies, "Hosana, Hosana, Hosana in the forest..." :)

{new hat from Grandma Renes}

I don't have any pictures of the older two. They don't stay still long enough for me to catch them, and when they're all home I usually don't have time to pick up the camera anyway. We're in the midst of an overlap of sports sessions - indoor soccer and basketball - and they both play both.

Today they both had soccer games at noon, on side by side fields. :)

Simon is playing with the boys he played fall soccer with - 3 of them go to CPLS with him, and they practice every day at recess. He has improved so much since the fall. I've been encouraged to see him growing up a bit, pushing himself harder even when he's tired, learning to think as a team instead of just as an individual. Simon is just so competitive - team sports help with that, I think. It's an outlet for healthy competition, but there is a chance to learn to share the spotlight and to work with others. Kinda like being a part of a big family. That helps too. :)

The indoor soccer games are out south of town, and we've been having lunch afterwards at different mom and pop cafes out there. Today the sweet waitress complimented our kids on their good behavior right before we left, and afterward Simon leaned over to Dave and said, "Yes! Do we get a trophy because we were so good??"

Nice. Not all of life is a sport, little boy.

Ethan played really well today, more aggressive than I've probably ever seen him play. He came out of the game red faced and sweating like a pig - made me laugh. He is a natural at soccer, especially indoor. Since there are no out of bounds, the play hardly ever stops. And constant running has never been a problem for that boy. ;)

It's been a wonderful Saturday, slow and fun. We're just so thankful for time to spend together today and with God's people tomorrow too.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


It's semi-quiet in my house tonight. The game is on in the other room, but compared to the noise of regular life with kids, it's hardly noticeable. ;) Recently Dave and I have been cracking up because there will be 2 or 3 of our kids at a time singing {different songs} in the same is sorta comical, but mind-numbing too. I know there could be worse things, I really do, but still, if you sat through the crazy that is dinner time with us, you'd understand...

Today was a good day though.

Not without it's issues or attitudes to adjust. But still, it was relatively peaceful, and I'm finding myself very thankful tonight. Pretty sure a lot of it just has to do with my attitude. :) The Lord has been challenging me to examine my tendency toward defeat - and wow, it has been hitting me hard.

You know, we'd never allow our kiddos to spend a lot of time wallowing about how they can't obey because its too hard, that would obviously be something we'd want to talk them through. To teach them that obedience is simply a choice, and that they must determine to obey with the Lord's help even when its hard.

But here I am. I have cried to the Lord many times in the past year {and to Dave} that what He has asked of me is just too hard. I've felt beaten down, overwhelmed, not able to keep up...basically, a defeatist attitude. I don't always feel that way, but there have been many moments like that, when the pressures of raising 4 young children get to me and there doesn't seem to be enough of me to go around.

I am so thankful that the Lord loves me enough to still use me, despite my resistance. That He stretches me, asks hard things of me, strips me of anything I was clinging that I won't be able to keep going in my own strength and will have to cast myself on Him for help.

He is so very faithful to me. When I really take the time to open my eyes to the goodness of my God in my life, it's overwhelming, really.

Continuing to list my soul needs this exercise.

113. Good days

114. Dairy free chocolate

115. Books finally read

116. An 8 year old in the house

117. His obviously unique qualities and enthusiasm for life - cannot wait to see him as an adult!

118. An excuse for us all to eat healthier

119. Completed laundry day - this is a good feeling!

120. Time to spend in the Word

121. New phones

122. Listening to my love talk to Siri

123. Hearing the 2 year old quote her older brothers' memory verses - priceless!

124. Dimples

125. Good reports from school

126. Sweet friends for my darlings

127. Watching the boys play legos with their sister

128. Sweet arms that grab my neck to hug me

129. A husband who gets me, but still points me to the truth

Ethan's 8th Birthday

Eight years ago our oldest son joined our family, and I'm pretty sure there hasn't been a dull moment since. :)

Ethan, we love you so much and thank God for every day we've spent with you. You are enthusiastic - always planning what we're going to do next. You are so smart - concepts at school come very easily to you, and you rarely struggle with school. You are friendly, light-hearted, and fun to be around. Your dad and I have been so impressed this year with the character God has been developing in your life too. We've seen you make hard choices and learn to submit to authority even when you don't understand why. This is precious to us!

One of the most special things about your 7th year is that you came to know the Lord as your personal Savior a few months ago. There is nothing more worthwhile than living for Him! We know He has amazing plans for your life, and we pray that you will seek to follow Him as you grow.

Yesterday we took Jayhawk cupcakes up to the school to celebrate. Half the class boo'd us as we walked in. ;)



Playing Heads Up, Seven Up with the class


Chosen birthday gift - a snowboard. :)



Celebrating with the other just-turned 8 year old



Happy birthday, sweet boy!

Sunday, January 01, 2012


We call him Jones, or Jonesy, or Super Grover. Nicknames are big at our house. :)

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He is such a delight to all of us - his calm temperament and easy smiles make him pretty irresistible.

4 months is a fun age. He is playing with toys, sitting in his exersaucer, laughing at his siblings.

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One of the sweetest things about Jonas is that he loves to cuddle. He'd happily snuggle in my arms for a nap any day. But he easily lays down in his crib too - so, best of both worlds!

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I love this little sweetie.