Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Easter Egg Hunt

Evelyn was happy to watch the big kids hunt for eggs 

Daddy is trying to turn this one into a Daddy's girl.

Friends, most of the time

Monday, June 04, 2012

Dying Easter Eggs

It's no surprise to anyone reading this post that I've not been blogging regularly. My computer has been in a box ready to move for a few months. My sister left town for a few days so I just took her computer and downloaded some pictures so I could post SOMETHING. I'm way behind.
And during my absence, blogspot has changed it's settings. I have to figure out this new way of publishing posts.
These pictures are obviously a few months old but I thought I'd throw them on here anyway.
 Ben made this egg drying rack out of an old cereal box. He sure is handy.
 It's no surprise that Aubrey cracked an egg by accident. She's my accident prone girl. It's also no surprise that she took a break from coloring eggs to eat one. She's my eater too.
 We used farm fresh eggs from Grandpa's chickens.

 Aubrey dresses herself. And since I'm thinking about it, I'd like to know - WHERE do you buy underwear that fit your little girl? Aubrey has been potty trained since she turned two. That's a normal age. She's a normal size. So how come the smallest underwear I can find are so big?!
 Evelyn was happy as can be to watch us dye eggs.

Aubrey's Loves Lotion

Aubrey loves lotion. And hand sanitizer. And hair spray. And toothpaste. And soap. You gotta keep your eye on this girl.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sleepy Girl

Aubrey fell asleep waiting for our Memorial Day cook out to start.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A letter to "Grama"

Last week my sister's mother-in-law brought over gifts for the kids. She gave them each a new bathing suit and a pair of goggles. They were ecstatic! For his writing lesson today I had Owen write a thank you note. He was very frustrated by my spelling of the word "grandma." He insisted that it did not have an "n" or a "d." He kept sounding out the word to prove his point. I tried to explain to him that you can hear the "n" and "d" sounds in the word but he thought I was sounding it out incorrectly. "Mama, it's pronounced gramma, not graNDma!" He reluctantly spelled it the correct way only to write it his way underneath. He's a thinker!

Friday, May 11, 2012


 Here's a post without pictures, but full of praise. We've been living with my sister for a number of weeks. I rarely get on her computer and my computer is packed up in a town over an hour away. So I'm not taking many pictures and certainly not downloading any to the computer. Kim lives out in the country where a strong cell phone signal is hard to come by so I have few opportunities to talk to anyone on the phone. If it weren't for the ability to connect to facebook through my phone I'd feel totally disconnected from the outside world. So while I don't have pictures to share and it's been over a month since I've posted anything on this blog, a lot has been going on.
We closed on our house May 1, a full six months after putting an offer on it. We didn't realize we were buying a "fixer-upper." It didn't seem that way six moths ago. But when we walked through the house before closing it became quickly apparent that we had a lot of work to do. The previous owners did not completely empty the house. They still had a couch, bed, desks, entertainment center, shelving units, clothes, dishes, books, car seats,  food and lots of trash still in the house.The walls were full of nail holes, some way to big to just cover with spackling paste. I wish I would have counted the number of nails I pulled out of the walls because there were hundreds. A couple of the rooms have walls and windows covered with stickers, and not the kind that peel off easily. These stickers are the kind that destroy the walls when you finally get them off with a razor. The baseboards had been painted pink and yellow in high gloss. The carpet is filthy, stained all the way down to the pad. Every square inch of the house, including ceilings and trim, needs to be painted. Flooring needs to be replaced. Cupboards and appliances need a deep cleaning. Showers and toilets need orange and yellow stains removed. We have a lot of work to do - and that is just the inside. We have another list of outdoor projects that need to be done too.
We've waited six months for this house and we now wait (and work!) for the house to be ready to live in. So why is this a post full of praise? It sounds like a post full of complaints. Let me get to that.
Our church family has been so wonderful. We had one family come to our house and completely empty out the junk the previous owners left behind. I can't tell you how big of a job that was. The junk filled up a huge dumpster! Yesterday a few ladies joined me and my step mom and helped clean out the refrigerator, the oven, the microwave and the floors. We chose paint colors, We pulled nails.We filled nail holes. We sanded baseboards. Ben came after work and we got all the carpet removed. A water softener was installed. Ben and I have been working every night until about midnight. While working yesterday a couple from our church brought us a home cooked meal. I am so encouraged. I am so blessed.
Today Ben is at the house. I don't know what projects are being done today but I know that a couple ladies and another family from our church are there working with him. I didn't have child care today so I'm home with my kids. Evelyn is worn out. It's 1:00 p.m. and she is still sleeping - not from her morning nap but from going to bed last night!
I am so thankful for a church family who loves us and ministers to us!

Friday, April 06, 2012

179 Days Later

179 days, just shy of six months, we finally have a closing date! Lord willing, we will close on this house April 27!

I can't tell you how excited I am to be living 5 miles from church as opposed to 75, to sleep in my own bed every night, to be with my entire family every single day, to not be living out of a suitcase and traveling every weekend. I AM SO EXCITED. And thankful. Thank you, Lord!!!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Understanding the Real Easter Story

Earlier today I was telling my children the true story of Easter using Resurrection Eggs. Each egg from the dozen contains an item related to the story to help the child connect the story together. The eggs contain the following:

- a donkey to symbolize Jesus riding into the city.
- silver coins to represent the money Judas received for betraying Jesus.
- a cup to represent the last supper.
- praying hands to symbolize Jesus praying in Gethsemane.
- a leather whip to remind us of the beating Jesus received.
- a crown of thorns to recall the way the soldiers mocked him.
- nails in the cross to picture the punishment Jesus took on our behalf.
- a die to represent how the soldiers gambled for his clothes.
- a spear to remind us that His side was pierced for our sins.
- a linen cloth symbolizing how Joseph cared for Jesus' body to give Him a proper burial.
- a stone to picture the stone that was rolled in front of Jesus' tomb and was then rolled away.
- and lastly, the final egg is EMPTY, reminding us that Jesus did not stay dead. Jesus came back to life and He is alive today!

As I read the Bible to my kids and tell the resurrection story they take turns opening up the little plastic egg and sharing how the item inside fits into the story. I used these eggs for the first time last year and haven't referred to them since last Easter. To my delight, Owen remembered the entire story and was thrilled to have me use them again today. I plan to use them to teach my little preschoolers at church this Easter Sunday. If you've never used Resurrection eggs, considering picking up a set. I got mine at Hobby Lobby for $10.
I love seeing the excitement on their little faces when the last egg is empty after just moments before seeing the sadness on their faces when explaining to them that Jesus was killed. Throughout the story I asked, "Since Jesus has all the power, why didn't he stop the soldiers from killing him?" Owen replied, "Because our sin had to be punished. He took the punishment for us!" I LOVE seeing the light bulb go on in his head and pray that it draws his heart to Christ. To help him understand I began our lesson today by pretending that Aubrey needed to be disciplined because she had disobeyed. But instead of disciplining her, Owen stood up and offered to be punished in her place. They both thought that was silly but it seemed to help them understand that this is, in fact, what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross.
I asked Owen how his Daddy would feel if he (Owen) had to be punished for the sin of someone else. He replied, "OH, boy! That was be Daddy's worst day EVER!" I then said, "And how would you feel if like Jesus you had to be separated from your Father?" He quickly answered, "That would be my worst day ever!"
Thank you, Lord, for helping Owen to understand!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Owen's Reading Lesson

Owen read the following story to me this morning:

The White Tooth Brush

A girl liked to brush her teeth. She had a white tooth brush that she liked. But she did not see her white tooth brush. She looked for it. She said to her mother, "Where is my white tooth brush?" Her mother said, "I do not have it."
The girl was walking back to her room when she fell down. She fell over her dog. That dog was brushing his teeth with her white tooth brush.
The girl said, "You have my white tooth brush."
The dog said, "I like teeth that shine like the moon."
When the girl looked at the dog's teeth, she smiled. Then the dog smiled. The girl said, "We have teeth that are white, white, white."
The dog said, "We have teeth that shine like the moon."

The End

We are at Lesson #73 in the program, "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons." By the time he finishes lesson #100 he is supposed to be reading at a second grade level. I don't have any other curriculum to compare this program to but I really do like it. This is the first time I've ever taught a child to read so I admit I have no experience. But my 4.5 year old son loves it and he's doing great. When he read the above story he paused periodically to laugh. He's not only reading, but he's comprehending!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Evie Kate's 6 Month Pictures . . . at 7.5 Months

Yes, I'm a little behind on the six month photo shoot. But here she is at 7.5 months. She is sitting up on her own, has two teeth and is becoming a little more interested in solid foods. She's still the happiest baby around! I love this sweet blessing from the Lord!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Learning to "Count It All Joy"

I'm in the middle of doing laundry right now and decided to sit down and glance at my calendar. I wanted to figure out how many days we'll be gone and what activities we'll be at so I can better pack up my family of five. Today is March 20. Near as I can tell, the earliest we'll be back home again sleeping in our own beds is April 15. That's right, we'll be gone for almost a month. So instead of just packing up church clothes and a few extra outfits like I do every other week, I'll be packing up Bible study materials, home school materials, vitamins, medicine, Easter outfits, Easter baskets, Easter eggs, food from our freezer, a stroller, a pack and play, all of the necessary items to complete our taxes and everything we might need for a conference we're attending. And since this weather is so crazy (which I'm enjoying, by the way) I'll need to pack both summer clothes and winter clothes. Throw in some baby food and bikes for the kids and I should be all set.

I'll be honest . . . I want to cry.

I'm overwhelmed. And I'm reminding myself of the verse I share with friends who are going through difficult times, Psalm 61:2, "When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."
I realize that my life is not hard. I have three healthy children. I have a faithful husband. I have a wonderful church. I'm not fighting any diseases and I haven't lost a job, a house or a loved one. Every time I get on Facebook I hear about another friend who is facing a major trial: the death of a spouse, a frightening diagnosis, a divorce, or other life altering obstacles. In my head, I know my current trial is a drop in the bucket.
So, what is my trial? Well, after writing the above I'm now ashamed to even admit it.
We still don't have a house. The home we are renting is almost an hour and a half from our church so we spend most nights (and the next 4 weeks) in another home sleeping in another bed. I know, I know. It's not that big of a deal, especially since that "other" home belongs to my sister. It's not so much that I want my own house. What I crave is some consistency to our schedule. Family time. Alone time. A routine. A schedule of my own. These things are not possible when you're always on the go. Don't misunderstand me. It's not the hectic schedule that has me frustrated. It's that at the end of a busy day my family doesn't have our own little haven to rest and recharge together. We've been testing Aubrey for allergies and the lack of consistency has made it next to impossible to treat her. It's challenging to monitor everything she is exposed to when we are in so many different homes and eating in someone else's kitchen.
Please believe me when I say that I am exceptionally grateful for the hospitality extended to us. My sister and brother-in-law make us feel totally welcome in their home. The kids love spending time with their cousins. Individuals in our church have encouraged us by helping us with the cost of gas and treating our family to lunch on Sunday afternoons. We appreciate all of these acts of service.
However, the homemaker in me, the wife and mother in me, still desires a home of my own. We put an offer on a house 141 days ago. We're still waiting to hear if the house is ours.
I know God has a plan. I know there is a reason He has not moved us yet. I know He is in control and I know He cares about me. And while I am often tempted to respond to this trial with irritation and frustration, I'm learning to "count it all joy" as James, the half-brother of Jesus, encourages me to do. I am confident God has called us to Springview Community Church. I've never questioned that. And in this long period of transition I am learning many lessons along the way. I know that years from now I'll look back at this time and see it for what it is - just a bump in the road. In the meantime, please pray for me and my spirit. Pray that I choose joy. And if you'd like to go the extra mile you can also pray that we close on our house soon. I'm praying that we hear news before March is over. I know that's only 11 days away. I'm asking a big God to do big things!