Friday, June 29, 2007


As some of you know, schooling is always a laborious choice for me. I have an early education degree, many opinions on curriculum choices, and love to be with my kids. So the homeschooling option is always a possibility. We try to seek the Lord from year to year on our schooling decision and follow His leading. For the upcoming year we have chosen to keep #2 at home and give him one more year to prepare for kindergarten as his 5th birthday is the last day of August. For #1, we will be sending him back to the Christian school that our church sponsors. But I think that after this school year we will be homeschooling again, maybe.

My favorite curriculum is called Veritas Press. It is a classical curriculum, which is the education style that best fits our family's personality and goals. The "phonics museum" and history/Bible track is amazing! The history/Bible starts in second grade. So we would hope to start #1 the following school year and #2 could come along in kindergarten.

I don't know why I am sharing all of this, except to say that we have finally come to accept the fact that our family is different. All Christian families should feel different, in a way. But God's will for our family has been somewhat unpredictable and not the norm. I don't have many friends that put their children in a school not knowing how long they will be there or praying through the decision from year to year. I don't know of many families who have the ability to utilize "Dad" in their homeschooling as much as we hope to. I don't know of many families who have moved around as much as we have (we are in our fourth house in 8 years!). I am very thankful that after many years (atleast the first 7 of our marriage) of wanting to just look like a regular suburban family, I am not at peace and even exciting about just being who God has called us to be. I can't help but wonder what God has in store for us. I wonder what He is preparing us to do. I can see that He is getting us ready for something different. Hmmm...I wonder?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

9 Months Old

My baby is 9 months old. She is so full of spunk and determination! She has learned to crawl faster, scale the stairs, cruise all around from one piece of furniture to the next and pull up quickly and effortlessly. She still loves to clap and wave and has recently started pointing. She also gives kisses sometimes, especially to her rainbow bear. She has started bouncing to music and loves to hear us sing. Her eating habits have changed. She stills loves nursing most, but otherwise prefers table food. She likes green beans, peas, carrots, corn, beans, bananas, watermelon, cantelope, yogurt, nutrigrain bars, pasta, and chicken. She really loves to try anything that I will let her eat. Her Daddy taught her to sword fight with her little spoons. He will feed her cereal with one spoon and she will have her own in her hand. After each bite, he holds up his spoon and she swats at it, giggling, with her own spoon. Thanks a lot, honey, for introducing swords to my one and only girl!
She is back in the habit of getting up between 4:30 and 5:30 for a ten minute quick feeding. I really need to try to break her of that habit! But we have both learned to succumb to the ten minutes and go right back to sleep. So it's okay for now. She still has 9 teeth, but seems to always want to knaw or bite something. One year molars are on their way!
This has been a big month cognitively. Mainly it seems that she has built on previous skills, but still I can see that she understands so much more. She babbles many sounds back and forth with us, trying to converse. She mimics "ni-ni" for night night, "da-da" for Daddy and "na-na" for mama. She will be talking soon, I think. If we ask where her family members are she will turn toward them and look.
I am so humbled and very, very thankful for a healthy baby. I praise God for how He has graciously and generously blessed us!


The other day #1 and #2 were arguing non-stop. I was biting my lip trying not to lose my temper. Finally, I called them into the kitchen and gave them the "brothers" talk. The talk usually consists of reminders: we are to build one another up and not tear one another down, out of the billions of people on earth God chose you two to be brothers, you are to watch over one another and protect each other (including protecting the insides as well as the outsides), etc. The "brothers" talk is usually quite effective. But not so much that day.

A little while later we were having lunch. Out of the blue (or in other words, as God prompted), #1 asked, "Who was the first baby on earth?" That lead to the story of Cain and Abel. It brought us full circle back to the "brothers" talk. We were able to look at the life of Cain and reflect on how envy, strife and anger can lead to the very worst outcome. I was so excited because it was evident that God was giving me a teachable moment. I love those moments! This time the talk worked and #1 and #2's hearts were softened. God is so good to send His Spirit even in the hearts of our little ones and open their eyes to the messages in His Word. I am so honored to get to watch Him at work!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Camp Stinky Feet, day 3

Camp is over. After a trip to the farmer's market, the town square, pizza, ice cream and swimming, we said our farewells. It was so much fun having an extra little set of stinky feet around here. My boys were beyond exhaustion when we finally tucked them in bed. #1 began to cry because he missed his cousin. #2 fell asleep during bedtime prayers. Times like this pull at my heartstrings because we do not live closer to family. Although we are only three hours apart, it does feel odd to be the only members of our family that are in a different city. Simultaneously, I feel at home here and know we are exactly where God wants us to be. I am very thankful for this precious time together, and I hope that Camp Stinky Feet will be a lasting tradition.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Camp Stinky Feet, day 2

The kids were up early for donuts and a canoe ride. Thank goodness the canoe did not tip over...I had a dream that it did and I was worried!
After lots of legos, dress up and transformers at home, lunch at McDonalds.

Then we went to this really cool kid gym to play. #1 practices his balance.

My nephew does a twisty twirl into the foam pit. This foam pit provided hours of entertainment!
Even #3 found a place to have fun!
We decided to have a cookout for dinner. Good old mac and cheese and hot dogs. (We did have carrots and fruit, too!)

#3's second time to get in our pool. We always swim when she is napping. She really loved it! (The last time we put her in she screamed and kicked furiously.)

Swimming was real hit tonight. We splashed and played for several hours.
My nephew enjoying more sugary desserts. This was him devouring a vanilla cupcake.

We promised a bonfire on the last night of camp. But then we thought about the drought and the woods around our house and the law...and we decided it was NOT a good idea. So this was our compromise. Our neighbors must have thought we were CRAZY when they saw smoke rising out of the chimney.
This has been a great day for us all. I knew it was a hit when #1 asked if my nephew could be adopted as his brother. I am looking forward to our last day tomorrow. Now I'm going to go fall into bed!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Camp Stinky Feet: Day 1

Lil' Stinky Feet

#1 was the only successful fishermen! Two fish!

And this is just day one! We are having a blast!
Three boys and one little baby = empty pantry, dirty house, lots of noise, happy momma

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Camp Stinky Feet

Tonight my nephew arrived for our first annual "Camp Stinky Feet". I read an article in Family Fun magazine about grandparents holding camps at their house for their grandchildren during the summer. Immediately, without hesitation, I call my sister-in-law and invite my nephew. My family won't miss out, by golly! It sounded so fun!

I do this quite often. I get a great idea and act on it without forethought. Honestly, I have wondered many times since that phone call a month ago what I was thinking! I am a little nervous to add another little critter to the mix. But I am also excited for the kids! Our nephew is 6, just 9 months younger than Jaybird. So the three little men are all within 2 years apart, stair stepped. My hope and prayer is that this will be the beginning of a tradition for every summer of their childhood. I hope they can look back on these weeks with fond memories. And we can't wait until our other little nephew can join the crew next summer. He is three and doesn't meet camp criteria. (Must be beyond napping age and potty trained.) :) And in a few years there will have to be a second camp for girls. Oh my goodness!

Camp Stinky Feet lasts from dinner tonight until lunch time Saturday. I wrote out an agenda, literally keeping them busy every hour of each day. Our activities include: canoeing, roasting marshmallows, swimming, trips to various parks, Monkey Joes, the Play Place, board games, arts and crafts, catching fireflies, bike rides, baking, water balloon fights, playing in the creek, a cookout, a trip to the farmer's market, and Daddies and Donuts. The idea is to tire them out so that they sleep well! goes nothin'! Pictures and adventures to come!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

i HATE it!

"Drink from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for sharing with strangers. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. May her breasts satisfy you at all times; may you be intoxicated always by her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, by another woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For human ways are under the eyes of the Lord, and He examines all their paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare them, and they are caught in the toils of their sin. They die for lack of discipline, and because of their great folly they are lost."
Proverbs 5:15-23

I am so angry tonight. I have just heard of another marriage destroyed by the Enemy through the avenue of po*nography. I am sickened and so tired of it! As some may know from this post, our marriage has not been without valleys. And it's only by the grace of God that I enjoy a wonderful marriage now. I think that's why I feel such deep down sadness when I hear of another Christian marriage ending in divorce. I have had the experience of what the Psalm means when it states, "Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." My soul can rejoice in knowing that the gospel is TRUE! But I see some people not experiencing this in their own valleys and I am heart broken.

The story that I am currently refering to is a friend from college. Her husband was (until the recent turn of events) an elder in his church. He and his wife have two children. Any way, long story short. He was caught looking at por*ography. It turns out that this "secret" had caused him to be very distant over the past few years, both physically and emotionally. (I have discovered through experience and the testimonies of other couples that mens' isolation is often blamed on work load or some other believable excuse. Quite often men who are emotionally distant are hiding something and feeling guilty and fearful of being exposed.) After finding out about her husband's dark, unbelievable secret she had an affair. They got separated and recently divorced. Last weekend instead of coming to her niece's baptism, she went to Hawaii with her boyfriend (the man she had the affair with). She returned with a new wedding ring.

Sounds like a soap opera! It breaks my heart. I hate pornography and I hate that so many men are being seduced by it. I am at a loss for words.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ten things that make my man the best Daddy that my kids could ever dream of...

1. You have taught the boys to kneel down on the side of their bed at night when they pray to Jesus. Watching the three of you makes time stand still for me.
2. You have shown the boys how to fish, hike and build a campfire. You have given them your love of God's creation. How many kids go in their back yard and find salamanders, grow pumpkins, build bonfires and watch birds hatch with their Dads?
3. You take the kids out and spend time with them individually. Whether it's Daddies and Donuts or a trip to Home Depot. You take time to look into the whites of their eyes and soak them up.
4. You are strong and defensive. One day when the kids have to defend themselves, their families or their country, they will remember the good example you have set for them. (And our girl will look for a similar sense of security in her husband one day.) Recently, when our front door was left open and we thought there was an intruder inside, you marched right in ready to defend our property. #1 said, "Wow, look at that! I have a brave Daddy!"
5. You read God's Word and pray for us. Thanks for giving us this treasure.
6. You listen well to each of us. We all love to talk, bless your heart. Thank you for not only listening, but caring.
7. You are wise with our money, but you also allow plenty for family fun. I am very thankful that we have had a family vacation each year and that we eat out each week. And the kids have so many memories of us all going to movies, parks, concerts, etc. They're probably a little spoiled in this area. But they certainly will not grow up and have to think really hard to remember time as a family.
8. You encourage me in my challenges of being a stay-at-home mom and you are willing to make any sacrifice to support me.
9. You give lots of hugs. And we need them!
10. You are quick to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Because of your humility, we have two boys that are generally quick to admit their faults as well. Hopefully this will point them to their need for Jesus!

You are amazing. You are a dream come true. Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Home, sweet, home

TJ Maxx find: pink and green toille! $9.99
tablecloth or future pillows for #3's room? $4
Garage sale steal: Lavender dress $1
I love beautiful things, especially when they're cheap. Well, I survived the week alone. I am so glad it's over! We have had some fun times with friends, though. When Daddy is not here to come home to...we just don't come home! We have been swimming, the mall, out to eat an embarassing amount of times, to the park, to Monkey Joe's, to a friend's, to a birthday party, etc. The boys actually commented, "Let's just go home and stay home." So this weekend should be pretty peaceful...until the next birthday party. :) Home, sweet, home.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The part that will live in heaven

"The Author of grace will himself draw my children to I rest in his ability to work through the life of my family. Perfection is not a standard he requires of me as a mother, for his grace extends to me as well as to my children. My heartfelt trust in him will be the fuel that energizes my days as I see him draw my children through this gift (grace) that will serve them their whole lives." from The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

We were on the way home from being with friends today. From the back of the car #1 quietly says, "Mama, what's our soul?" Disrupted from my mental to-do list, I quickly reply, "Our soul? Oh, our soul is... Our soul is... Hmmm." What a doozy! "Well, you know that part of you that loves Mama? That part of you that loves Jesus. That part of you that cried yesterday because you miss Daddy. That part of you that was happy today to play with Will? Well, that's your soul." Silence. "Oh, so that's the part that will live forever in heaven. Oh."

I began marveling at our souls. I began to be refreshed at the simplicity of the Christian life. It's all about the soul. It's all about living for eternity. My son gave me fresh perspective. Honestly, I don't do so well when my husband is out of town. I miss our bedtime conversations. I miss feeling safe. I miss his coffee breath, truly I do. I miss his laugh. And a phone conversation is just not the same. So today is day 3 of 4 without him and I was really feeling discouraged about the tasks ahead. What if I don't get this or that done? What if I am so overwhelmed that we just sit at home all day tomorrow and every one is grumpy. What if? My son pointed me to Jesus, once more. Through our conversation, I felt a humble sense of worship and joy for serving Him and my husband this week. It really is all about the soul.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just wondering

You know those mamas who say that after two kids, adding one more (or two or three more) is a piece of cake? What planet do they live on?

Monday, June 11, 2007

I finally did it!

I have finally gotten down to my pre-pregnancy weight! Now granted, it is not my ideal. But I have met my first goal. The key was giving up Coca-Cola, a long time addiction. I have had an afternoon Coke as a "treat" since my second son was born. I started my Coca-Cola-free life 7 days ago and I have lost 6 pounds. No kidding. It makes me cringe to think of all of the sugar that I have consumed over the years!
I prayed 8 days ago that God would show me a system for getting my body, all areas of it, in order. I love a plan. God gave me the idea to spend the next 100 days in deep prayer over making good choices for my mind, body and soul. I started on Monday, just really thinking about how I spend my time, what I eat, what I talk about, what I do with my spare time. I decided to s-l-o-w down and pray. God has taught me a lot so far. I can plainly see that my diet was not the best, obviously. And I have noticed that although I would not consider myself a big fan of the tv, I watch more than I realize when I need to relax. I have wasted many minutes staring at the tube and not walking away with anything positive to show for it! I have also realized that I want to capture the moments with each family member, including my husband, where we just rest or talk and really look at the whites of each others eyes. No places to be, no goals, no questions, just getting to know each other. This is what I love about summer! A time to reflect, play and live slower.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A little art fun

This summer I have a goal of doing school review two or three times a week and an art project once a week. Before you feel impressed, let's see how well I am doing in four or five weeks. After all, this is our first week of summer. Any how, we met our goal this week. Our first art project for the summer was to make new piggy banks. Our old ones were bread crumb cans covered in construction paper with slits cut in the top. They were fine, but not very durable. So I found a Crayola kit for 6.99 (at Kroger in the school supply isle) that came with the ceramic banks, paint and a paint brush. The kids had fun and hopefully their banks will last as a keepsake. Now that they are getting allowance and open their bank frequently (they are working toward a $10 reward of going to Chuckie Cheese), there is a good chance that the banks might not make it long. But until then, we will enjoy our little $7 pieces of art.

*Note: If you decide to purchase this kit, DO NOT use the paint brushes that are included. They are cheap and if your child is a vigorous painter you will be up half the night picking paintbrush bristles out of the paint!)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Heart break

Tonight we received an email from my very first college roommate. We have been friends since 8th grade. She is this vivacious, beautiful person that seems to captivate anyone she meets. My husband arranged a surprise dinner for she and me for my 30th birthday. I had no idea who was going to be at the restaurant, I only knew to go and look for someone! There she was at the bar sharing a glass of wine with a complete stranger. That's her!

After 4 or 5 years, maybe more, of trying to get pregnant she was thrilled to be expecting her first baby this month. To my shock, her email shared that she has lost her baby at 36 1/2 weeks. I don't know the details, only that the loss was sudden and completely unexpected.

I am so heart broken for her. I know the pain of a miscarriage at 14 weeks, with three healthy children. That pain runs so surprisingly deep for me. I have no idea of her pain and loss. Please pray for Allison tonight. I am praying that the Lord will be rich and alive and undeniable for her in her grief. I pray that His Spirit will be so present that she will find joy in Him even in her loss.