Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Small world

We finally had the opportunity to have this couple over for dinner. The husband works with Andy and has become his friend. They are from Turkey and come from Muslim families. The boys and I studied Turkey in history this year. So we've been very excited about meeting them and asking questions.
During dinner we pulled out the library books we found on Turkey and they smiled and told us of their own experiences with the places in the pictures. My favorite statement was "Ah, yes! I was a tour guide there as a teenager!". Small world. They brought two Turkish dishes, and we shared grilled chicken, hashbrown casserole, salad, and apple pie. After dinner, they taught us how to play Backgammon. (And we enjoyed it so much that we bought our own board and played it over the weekend.) Once the kids were in bed, they got their computer out of the car and showed us digital pictures of their wedding, home, and family. By the end of the night, we felt like they were friends. I think our prayers were answered for the evening, which were simply that "they would enjoy our company". I hope this is the beginning of something wonderful.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A weekend at Back Home Farms

"The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful."
E.E. Cummings

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ballet camp

Lydie was the only one who wanted to go to a camp this summer. So last week for a couple of hours each day she attended ballet camp. She got to dance, snack, and make crafts with new friends. Her little class of tutu-clad 3 year olds was about the cutest thing I've ever seen. She wasn't reluctant for even a minute to go. And I think that I had almost as much fun watching her!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thoughts on my calling as their Mama

"The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more truly artistic than to love others."

~Vincent Van Gogh

"Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of a genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of a genius."

~Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"I learned most, not from those who taught me, but from those who talked with me." ~St. Augustine

"The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom."

~Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our Father's Day weekend

"Where does a family start? It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl- no superior alternative has yet been found." ~Winston Churchill

"A Father is someone who carries pictures in his wallet where his money used to be."~Author unknown
"Thank God for the iron in the blood of our fathers." ~Teddy Roosevelt

"One father is more than one hundred school masters." ~George Herbert
"It is a wise father that knows his own child." ~William Shakespeare

Thank you Andy, Papa, and Poppy for caring and loving us so well! You are each AMAZING fathers! Happy Father's Day! Thanks for traveling over here to spend the weekend with us!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Good stuff

Baseball::Fireworks::Family::Junk Food

Friday, June 18, 2010

Loving Blue

"The Bible says that if you talk to someone with your mouth, and your heart does not love them, that you are like a person standing there smashing two cymbals. You are only annoying everybody around you."

"The problem is not out there, the problem is the needy beast of a thing that lives in my chest."

"Here is what I've started thinking: All the wonder of God happens right above our arithmetic and formula. The more I climb outside my pat answers, the more invigorating the view, the more my heart enters into worship."

::excerpts from Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer art #2

My friend Abby asked me to be a little bit more detailed about art projects with the kids. So hopefully this post will be helpful for her!
Today's art project required a sharpie, an ink pad (or paint), and paper. (If you don't mind the investment and want to go all out, you can invest in various colored stamp pads. We just used what we had (black) And, scrapbook paper works better than regular copy paper.
First, we checked out this book from the library:
Then the we copied some of the ideas and made Father's day cards. It was fun and the kids came up with some cute slogans to go with the artwork. They decided to make 5 cards a piece, one for each uncle, one for each Granddad, and one for their Daddy. This activity got a thumbs up!


If your table is not Magic Eraser-friendly, you might want to cover it in plastic before getting out the sharpie and the ink pad! And the same goes for clothing!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On being afraid

"...this strong, passionate sense of the nearness of our God; firm in this conviction, the controversies of the day will interest but not exercise us, for we are on the other side of all doubt once we know Him in whom we have believed."
~Charlotte Mason
Right now, many of my thoughts are consumed with fear. God has asked me to follow my husband to a place that seems very scary (foreign) to me. I have never been so reluctant to follow my husband before. And this is not the first time he has asked me to move to a place that I didn't welcome.

Andy has felt a little helpless as he has watched me struggle. I know it must be hard for him. It's always hard to watch someone find peace with God, knowing that you can't do a thing but pray and wait. Sunday night he told me again, to let him know if he could help. Some time in the middle of the night I tapped him and asked if he was still awake. Not sure if he would remember the next morning, I told him I figured out what he could do.

Yesterday he took a sick day off of work at my request. I asked him to give me the majority of the day to catch up on all the things that I have neglected lately. And while I was gone, I requested for him to pray for me and write down all the verses he could find on fear.

It was a healing exercise for both of us. The thing is, God never promises us comfort in this world. He never says that a big library, fun kid programs, nice parks, or plentiful restaurants are symbols that our children will grow up well-rounded and educated. He never says that suburbia equals safety. I am realizing that the "American dream" has become an idol in my heart. Somewhere deep down in my mind, below the surface where our secrets lie, I have equated programs and places with happiness. I have put comfort and ease ahead of service and love.

What I rediscovered in our quest to tame my fear yesterday is that following God is scary. What I mean is, faith almost always requires boldness and action. I couldn't find a single man or woman mentioned in the Bible who wasn't asked to leave his or her comfort zone. I have been selfish and self-seeking. Because boldness + action=inconvenience and difficulty. Thank God I am married to a man who has a crazy, passionate, irrational love for Christ. It pushes me to a life of faith, as well.

We are all scared of something God has asked us to do. I can think of four or five mountains God has set before me over the course of my Christian life (the past 17 years) that literally put the fear of God in me. Here are a few of mine: being made fun of for my faith, having a budget so tight that purchasing a snack from the gas station would throw it off, having a child with a disability, extending forgiveness to someone that required deep sacrifice, parenting the children alone due to my husband's work schedule, losing a baby, dealing with family members with addiction problems. Living in a broken world is excruciating sometimes. If you are facing something that stretches your faith to the point of suffering, maybe these verses will encourage you, too.

Exodus 14:13
"Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today."
Job 6:21
"Now you too have proved to be of no help; you see something dreadful and are afraid."
Psalm 56:3-4
"When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?"
Isaiah 12:2
"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." (*not comfort, not programs, not people, not health)
Mark 4:40
"He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
John 14:27
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I DO NOT GIVE TO YOU AS THE WORLD GIVES. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (*emphasis for myself)
Psalm 111:7
"The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy."
Hebrews 11
Isaiah 42:16
"And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known. I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, I do not forsake them."
"We die daily. Happy are those who daily come to life as well."
~George MacDonald

Monday, June 14, 2010

Needing this song today

You have my heart and I am yours forever
You are my strength God of grace and power.
Everything you hold in your hand
Still you make time for me I can't understand.

Praise you God of earth and sky
How beautiful is your unfailing love.
And you never change, God you remain
The Holy One and my unfailing love.
And I will praise you.

You are my rock the one I hold on to.
You are my song and I sing for you.
You are unfailing.

*Love this picture of Papa. Want to be like this before Jesus today. Total surrender.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The derby race

J's good friend was in his second soap box derby race today. Wow, what a wonderful hobbie, with rich history. (It seems so All-American. I could imagine my Grandaddy loving this type of event as a kid. So many different aspects- getting sponsors for money, building the car, the precision of learning to race it, and of course learning to win and lose gracefully.) I was so impressed with the craftsmanship of the cars, and the organization of this event. Making a mental note to encourage Josh to try it out in the future! It was a scorcher, but we really enjoyed cheering on Wes and being with our friends!


Jackson yesterday in his swim suit:
"MOM...GUESS WHAT? I discovered the tips of these round things know when I get cold!! (He's pointing to his nipples) See, they aren't soft and flat. It means I am cold! They're like secret detectors. Cool, huh??"
Lydie at dinner:
"Mommy, I don't want to ever go to jail. " (Cue tearful eyes)
Me: "Well then, just do not break the law and you'll be just fine."
L: "I don't know her. But I don't want to break her. I will never break Law, and you be her friend, too."

Friday, June 11, 2010

Clear shining

"Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;

It is the Lord who rises
With healing in his wings.

When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again,

A season of clear shining
To cheer it, after rain."

(Caedmon's Call)

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Fine arts Friday (on Wednesday)

This summer I hope to do some arts/crafts projects with the kids. I had the idea of "Fine Art Fridays", but now I think it will just be for a morning when the kids are antsy. This morning was the perfect time to start! There is only one rule: the materials must be CHEAP (if not free).

We took some frames leftover from a birthday party, our sea shells from the beach, my glue gun, paint, and ribbon for our first project. All we need is our beach pictures to fill the frames, and they will be complete! Here's Lydie's frame:
*Can't wait to get our beach pictures developed for our new frames!

Then we decided to make thank you gifts for Mimi and Papa for hosting us on vacation. Along with a hand-written note, the kids each made a crayon resist with blue watercolor paint. I loved the finished products. Here's J's:
3 "peanut butter spoons" + 3 glasses of milk + 2 art projects=

2 hours of quiet fun for FREE!

Monday, June 07, 2010


Vacation moments and conversations that remind me that my loving, heavenly Father is always extending grace:
~Trying to appreciate and imagine a God that can count the sand, and stars, and numbers of hairs on our heads.

~Patient, kind, humble, and hard working husband. Oh, and funny.
"Mommy, I figured out how babies got in your tummy. First you got married. (Mommy gulps.) Then, Daddy kissed you and his DNA passed over his lips and into yours. Then it went into your tummy and got all mixed up with your DNA. Then Jesus added skin and all the body parts. Then we grew and later we were born." ~Toot, 7 yrs. old, in the car on the way home ~Cousins that are so precious and sweet! (Including Clay who is not in this picture!)

~My daughter's way of dancing through life and into the hearts of those who are around her.
Lydie was whining about having to leave mini-golf and go back to the beach house. Suddenly, in mid-whine, she stopped and said, "I think I'm gonna change my attitude." (I don't even use this phrase with the kids, but I assume she picked it up somewhere.) And she smiled and did just that and has done it again many times since. ~Three sweet children who love each other! (Although admittedly I did pose them for this picture!)
~The timing of our trip. We swam in the ocean just hours before it was closed indefinitely due to the oil washing up on shore. We had a great time enjoying the water all week long, trying not to think about how long it will be until we swim in the Gulf again. I grew up coming here every summer. It is surreal how things are going to change.