Wednesday, November 25, 2015


They say 40 is the new 30. I believed them until I woke up exactly one day after turning 40 with a back ache. I still hold out hope for my 40s because I love this stage in life. As much as I adore baby smells, toddler talk, and snaggle-toothed smiles, having teenagers and a preteen aren't bad either!  I can have really inspiring theological talks with my boys, leave my kids home alone, date my husband regularly, and spend more time with my friends.  We are all terribly close, but also involved in a lot apart from one another. And next year there will be another driver in the house!
On our way to the mystery overnight destination

We stayed in a beautiful hotel in Montgomery overlooking the Alabama River
 All this while being comfortable in my own, albeit wrinkly, skin!  I am beginning to understand how devastating expectations can be and learning to let go. I enjoy my family more than ever before because I can see their unique beauty without any fears lingering. My boys are beginning to see my as someone to confide in and we really have fun together.  The days of intense "training" are over and now they just seek advice and prayer.  It's so good.
At the Alabama Shakespeare Festival to see A Christmas Carol- fabulous!

Delicious Southern Living restaurant- City Grill
During this decade, all three of my beautiful children will become adults. My oldest boys will graduate college.  One of them might be married and even have children by the time I am 50. There is so much to look forward to!
Handsome date

 A decade ago I had just had a miscarriage and was just about to enter the harder challenge in our marriage.  But in the midst of that difficulty I found a deep, profound fellowship with Jesus that has enhanced every year since. And my marriage was shattered and rebuilt into something really wonderful.  If I could whisper to my newly 30 year old self I would say, "The next couple of months are going to be full of unbelievable sadness. But before you turn 31 you will welcome a beautiful daughter into your family and your life will be better than you could ever imagine!"
Glass of the bubbly

I'm 40. I love Jesus more every day. I have been married 19 years. I have an amazing husband that I can never get enough of. I have three children that I truly enjoy. I have made precious friends here in Birmingham. I am part of a church plant and continuing to slowly feel at home there. I live in my hometown, a dream come true for me. Our parents are still able to enjoy us and our children. I am determined to enjoy every minute! Here's to a new decade!

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Booklist for Summer
The Scorch Trials (James Dashner)
The Death Cure (James Dashner)
The Weight of Glory (C. S. Lewis)
The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency (Alexander McCall Smith)

Booklist for Fall/Christmas season
Go Set a Watchman (Harper Lee)
A Voice in the Wind (Mark of the Lion series, book 1 by Francine Rivers)
Echo in the Darkness (Book 2)
As Sure as the Dawn (Book 3)
Gilead (Marilynne Robinson)
Every Good Endeavor (Timothy Keller)
For the Love (Hatmaker)

Books for Winter
The Talks (Johnson)
Eternity Changes Everything (Witmer)
The Secret Keeper (Morton)
The Lake House (Morton)
The Distant Hours (Morton)

Books for Spring
The Forgotten Garden (Morton)
Unafraid: Trusting God in an Unsafe World (Davis)
Love Walked Among Us (Paul E. Miller)
Gods and Kings (Chronicles of the Kings series, Book 1, by Lynn Austin)
Song of Redemption (Book 2)
The Strength of His Hand (Book 3)
Instruments in the Hands of a Redeemer (Paul Tripp)

Books for Summer
Quiet (Cain)
Living Well Spending Less (Soukup)
The Problem of Pain (Lewis)
Raising the Shy Child (Fonseca)
Parenting Today's Adolescent (Rainey)
Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Son (Courtney)
Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman (Ortlund)

Friday, November 20, 2015

November already

These days back at home and home schooling again have turned into seasons and it is almost time to buy our Christmas tree!  To say this has been a sweet season for us is an understatement!  I have enjoyed so much a slower pace, focus at home, and all day with these precious souls.  It isn't perfect, but it is oh so good.

Jack and Josh are 95% independent learners. I help mainly with Math and Latin.  I grade their work and review what they missed and they move along.  They require very little teaching.  And by God's grace, they are 100% self-motivated.  As with so many things, Jack seems to set the tone for his younger siblings. He has his sights set on film school and is motivated daily by this big goal. He practices for the ACT every day.  He has made straight A's.  It's a joy to see him work hard and succeed. 

Most of my time is spent with Lydie.  This was my goal from the beginning, as she spent her kindergarten, first, and second grade years with a very busy and tired Mama who was a full-time teacher.  She and I snuggle and read, paint together, play review games with balloons and chalk, and have good days together.  She is doing so well.  She thrives with one-on-one time together!  Of course some mornings I drag her along, or have work to do or appointments and have to rush through the fun stuff.  But every moment is a gift and I am incredibly thankful for this year together.

My only thought looking forward to the new year and the second half of school is to pray it will be as smooth and enjoyable as these last months! 

"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."
Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Random beautiful moments

"When someone shows up for us they echo the divine promise that says, 'I am with you!'" John Sowers
Lydie's precious little friend shares her love of roller skating. This picture is hysterical.

Perfection. Rainy Monday and homemade chicken noodle soup. Ahhh.

First birthday present a couple of weeks early. The BEST smelling candle ever from my precious friend.

Lydie and her best friend Ella. These two together. Loads of fun.

My two dearest Birmingham friends. Fun, godly women. So many laughs and prayers with these two sweet ladies.

Daddy has been on the road for work a lot. My new roommate.  She is the quietest, stillest little sleeper. So sweet and peaceful when she is asleep. Love her.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Integrity in the little things

A math test is such a small, unimportant thing when looked at as an isolated event. But as a whole, it symbolizes this kid's determination and hard work this year. He puts in A LOT of time with numbers, even though they are NOT his language. And his grades are excellent. These are good lessons that I am enjoying seeing him learn. Integrity in the small things builds integrity in the big things of life. These children teach me so much more than I could ever teach them.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Running their race

"If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race."
Eric Liddell

Such a pleasure to see God using their running as an instrument to teach them so much. Running presents so many easy parallels with life. Praying they find them.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Sweet whispers

This sweet heart. Driving down the road I feel her hand hold mine and her voice whisper, "Mommy, you are my favorite girl in the whole world." Love her. When she gets tears in her eyes over mental math or rushes through writing, I will remember these little words before I react. Best little friend.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Lovely day

Dear self,
SOAK THIS DAY UP! Enjoying getting our hands dirty! Water colors and studying fruits and seeds up close! And then hours on the sofa with books! History stories, learning about the prophets of the Old Testament, a handful of books on plants, and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. This was a great hour or two out of a full day of learning! Now a breather and a second cup of coffee before afternoon practices! These are GOOD days!

"When people are bored, it is primarily with themselves." Eric Hoffer
Mixing oil and water

Studying fruits and vegetables in our plant unit

Turkey art