Sunday, February 19, 2012


From a few weeks ago:

It's dreary and rainy outside today. The rustle of the bushes up against the house and the soft drizzle I see on the window make me glad I'm staying in for most of the day. But I love it. Little people sleep longer on days like this, and when they are awake they want to cuddle under blankets and listen to book after book. We've done a few chores today, but mostly we've just snuggled.

In all honestly, I prefer the sun over grey skies. Summer is my season, and I love the heat and the vitamin D-induced mental stability. :) But I have learned to see the benefits of a day without sun - and other less than favorite circumstances too.

The Lord has been teaching me about His perspective recently - learning to be thankful for what He brings instead of only viewing it from my own vantage point. Because there are always two ways to look at something. Just like grey skies. Will I choose to really see His hand in things? Or will I focus on what I would rather be doing?

For me, this has been the key to joy - thankfulness in all things.

Today while I was studying for BSF, this thought jumped out at me in the notes. It was in reference to Paul's third missionary journey {we're studying Acts}, and the continuous persecution and physical and spiritual hardships he faced along with his daily tent-making. Yet some of his weightiest books were written during this time.

Let us not pray for easier lives but for greater power...blessing out of every pressure and trial.

It challenged me - when I am tempted to be discouraged or overwhelmed, I can cast myself on Him and ask for extra strength to face the trial. Who knows what blessing God will bring out of it!


From today:

The kids are in bed, and Dave is out getting the last of my groceries for the week, sweet guy that he is. Tomorrow the boys are out of school, so I didn't want to grocery shop on their day off - and besides, after my last grocery shopping trip with everyone {after which I called him and ranted on and on}, he informed me that I need to stop doing that {shopping with kids, not the ranting, although he'd probably prefer I not do that either}. I should say, the kids aren't really the problem...they are pretty well-behaved in the store, actually. It is more that I can't think when I'm in there with everyone, or even a few of them. And that leads to very lengthy shopping trips and major frustration on my part. Pretty sure this fourth kid is just sending me over the edge. ;) How did I ever manage multiple patients in the ICU??? Anyway, he is sweet, and always has a solution to every problem I ever face {smile}. Today that meant I went to Aldi in the afternoon, and he went to Dillons for me later. Love him.

I have been sitting here praying over this crazy week ahead, asking the Lord for grace and strength to do His will each day. On paper, it looks almost impossible, and I'd already rather hide at home instead {not an option}. But I was reminded again of what I wrote above, and how an easier life is not my goal. More blessing from the Lord, more of His strength, more glory to Him - these are my goals. I think I will be praying a lot this week!

Here is my list of thanks for the week - the Lord has been so faithful to me:

130. Mondays and the chance to lay all my plans at His feet

131. Sick girlie snuggles

132. Rearrangement of schedules

133. A very kind Headmaster who understands boys

134. Encouragement from those who have already trekked this road

135. Give Them Grace

136. Valentine's breakfast with the fam

137. A gentle dentist

138. Saturday jobs

139. Peace in our home

140. The most loving, amazing daddy for my children

141. Snuggling the oldest - a rarity!

142. Sushi and dark chocolate, a grocery store treat from my dearest

143. God's evident goodness, despite the raging storms in my heart that threaten daily to overturn my boat. Yet He remains faithful to His Word and to His character; my part is simply to cling to Him.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

5 months

My little guy is 5 months old.


I am just cherishing these sweet days with him.


Things I want to remember:
  • He's cooing and giggling, just start screeching too. He has found his voice!
  • He loves to grab for toys
  • Sometimes he sleeps through the night, sometimes he doesn't. Getting close though.
  • He rarely fusses.
  • Still wearing 3-6 month clothing.
  • Loves his exersaucer.


I'm still eating dairy free for the babe - he is worth it though! He is a much happier guy when I do!

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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's a magical age

Oh how I love my little Clare Bear.


She loves all things girly. Princesses, dress up, baby dolls, jewelry, make

2 1/2 years old and she already talks my ear off. Her happy chatter makes my day though.


Tonight at bedtime she said, "Sing me a song, Momma," as she wrapped her sweet little arms around my neck. "A song about kitties."

So I did. :)


Can I just bottle these days up and make them last forever????

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm Back

I started running again a few weeks ago. Granted I'm not running that far yet, or for very long, but I have really missed it. The chance to pound out miles...all the while pounding out my problems too. I do most of my thinking and praying while I'm running, maybe just because it is the one time during the day when I'm not in survival mode or needed at once by every kid in the room, I don't know. But as soon as I get on that treadmill and the endorphins start flowing, I find myself overwhelmed with thankfulness for this blessed little life I lead.

Even though the past year has literally been the hardest thing I have ever done.

There has been shock over a new pregnancy, months of severe morning sickness, extreme mommy guilt over missing out on so much because of it...and then now that he's here, it has been even harder, to be honest. So much to juggle. So many little needs - emotional, behavioral, spiritual needs. I have 4 children now, and they are all so important to me! It breaks my heart to turn a child away to wait while I try to soothe a screaming baby.

{But Jonas doesn't scream much anymore, thankfully. When he was about 8 weeks old I figured out that he was sensitive to dairy, so I've been eating diary free for the last month. Good news is, he is happy and content most of the time now...and I have lost 5 lbs in the process. :) Turns out a lot of what I like to eat falls into the dairy category. }

The last couple of weeks have been so much better - still hard at times, but there have been glimpses of the sweet gift of having a family of 6 too. And that God is good all the time.

It's been awhile since I listed His gifts, so tonight I'm thankful for -

97. Laughter around the table

98. Our nightly talks with the boys

99. The special bond we see forming between certain look-alike siblings

100. Help from family

101. Dairy-free chocolate

102. Daily reports home from a precious teacher who loves our son

103. The conviction that came after much prayer and discipline

104. A 5 year old's excitement over salvation!

105. That both my boys professed to come to know Him this month

106. Grief over sin

107. A husband who doesn't lose heart

108. Restored fellowship with sons, and the closeness that it brings

109. Basketball season

110. Obvious fruit in little people's lives

111. Sharing morning devotions with my oldest

112. Renewed passion for motherhood