Thursday, December 16, 2010


This morning I was awakened by Wyatt holding three flowers up to my cheek.
He did not know that I had overheard, just seconds earlier, him saying to Walker in a whisper "let's go surprise mommy!"

So when the flowers were literally in my face this morning, he said
"Mommy, we have something special for you!"

I was delighted. I gave the two proud, smiling, red-cheeked boys a big kiss and thanked them over and over again for their gift to me.

(My thoughts meanwhile were pondering where these sweet flowers had come from. the cold? (surely not! and surely they would not go outside disobediently)
- No. that wasn't it.

and then I realized...
where they had come from.

After Katey's wedding (pictures to come) Wes' mom gave us two of the bouquets to adorn our home with - sitting proudly in 2 little vases in our living room.

A sweet five year old "picked" them freshly just for me, his mommy.

Which explained why he said the following after he presented his gift...
"Mommy, I am giving you all that I CAN give you."

Now doesn't the heart behind the gift make every bit of difference?
Reminds me of the widow mentioned in Mark 12:41-44, who gave her "2 pennies" - all that she had- and how she was an example our Savior gave in how we should give -
she stood out far above the wealthiest givers.

Because while they gave from their excess - she gave from her heart.

"For they all contributed out of their abundance,
but she out of her poverty
has put in everything she had."
- Mark 12:44

**what a timely and tangible example the Lord woke me up to this day - in the season of "giving" - how I needed reminding of the heart in which I am to give (and receive) this Christmas.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Head of the House

This morning, I had breakfast ready and went up to get the boys (this never happens in this order by the way). They were both dressed in pirate costumes and deep in a pirate storyline. I informed them that breakfast was ready and Wyatt's reply, "pirates don't eat breakfast" was returned with a similar comment back from me. Upon realizing that they did not mean what they said, Wyatt asked if I would be their mommy pirate. I ofcourse replied, "yes".

So at the breakfast table Wyatt prays the following:
"Dear Lord, thank you for Christmas. Thank you for my pirate mommy and my pirate brother and my pirate sister. And thank you for my pirate daddy, who is the captain. Amen."

After praying he said to me,

"Mommy, Daddy is our captain."

I said, "that's right, Wyatt he is."

And he said, "yep, he is captain of our home."

I said, "that's right Wyatt. He sure is."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Can God Do All Things?

Q. Can God do all things?
A. Yes. God can do all His holy will.

This is one of several questions/answers Wyatt had to memorize for his sunday school class. We've been going over these after our family devotion time and I must say, it is sweet to hear his little voice answer these questions with confidence and truth.

Soooo...this particular truth came into play in a conversation he and I had today.

I had prayed for our lunch and added on at the end,
"Lord would you please help Brighty (our old dog) obey me by not coming onto the carpet."
(we are really trying hard to keep the carpet in a reasonable condition)

A good hour later, Wyatt and I are talking and Brighty walks right past me onto the carpet.
Me: Brighty! Off the carpet!

Wyatt: Well, I guess God didn't answer your prayer...

Me: oh, when I asked God to help Brighty obey? And not come on the carpet?

Wyatt: yes

Me: Well...what do you think that says about God?

Wyatt: (thinking) It must not be good for you.

I then had the opportunity to talk with my son about how good God is, even if what I ask, He doesn't give to me. He still has a good purpose in His answer.

(So even though my dog is a way that the Lord is sanctifying me, I will gladly endure in order for my child to grasp a correct view of our Sovereign Lord and not an incorrect one.)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jesse Tree - Day 7

Joseph's brothers and father, Jacob, upon finding out that God had protected and blessed Joseph's life greatly in Egypt as prime minister, second only to Pharaoh .

Day 7 - Joseph in Egypt - Genesis 37:3-5, 8a, 18-19, 23, 28
1. Who did Israel (Jacob) love more than his other sons?
2. What did he made his beloved son?
3. How did the brothers respond? Is favoritism good?
4. In verse 8, what made Joseph's brothers hate him more?
5. In verses 18-19, what did the brothers decide to do?
6. In verse 23, what did the brothers do?
7. In verse 28, what else did the brothers do to Joseph?

I placed the Joseph ornament (coat of colors) on the tree...

Our Jesse Tree: camel, earth, rainbow, coat of colors, Mary, apple and sheep

After the ornament was placed on the tree, we sang O Holy Night
specifically because of the second verse which says the following, which reminded me of Joseph's time spent as a slave in Egypt...

Truly He taught us
to love one another,
His law is love
and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break,
for the slave is our brother.
And in his name
all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy
in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts
we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord!
Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory
ever more proclaim!
His power and glory
ever more proclaim!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jesse Tree - Day 6

Abraham laying Isaac on the alter, as God has commanded

Day 6 - Sacrifice of the Son - Genesis 22:1-14
1. How did God test Abraham?
2. What did Isaac ask his father?
3. How did Abraham answer his son?
4. Who stopped Abraham from hurting Isaac?
5. What was in the thicket/bushes?
6. Did Abraham pass the test God created for him?

Walker then placed the ornament of a ram on the Jesse Tree and we sang
"The First Noel"

The First Noel,
the Angels did say
Was to certain
poor shepherds
in fields as they lay
In fields where they
lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night
that was so deep.
Noel, Noel,
Noel, Noel
Born is the King
of Israel!

Jesse Tree - Day 5

Abraham looking toward heaven at the countless number of stars...

Day 5 - Blessing to Abraham - Genesis 12:1-3; 17:5
1. Who did God tell to leave his country and go to a foreign land?
2. What did God tell him He would do?
3. Did God change His name? What is his old name/new name?
4. Read Hebrews 11:8, 12
5. How did Abraham obey God?
6. Did he have many children (descendants)? How many did he have?

The ornament for Abraham is a camel - representing Abraham's faithfulness to obey the Lord in following the Lord.

We then sang "O Come All Ye Faithful"

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye
to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jesse Tree - Day 4

The animals heading towards the arc, two by two

Day 4 - Noah and the Ark - Genesis 6:5-8; 7:15-18
1. How does God feel about the human race?
2. Did God wipe out humans and animals?
3. Who found favor in God's eyes?
4. From Genesis 7:15, how did the animals get to Noah and the ark?
5. How many days did the flood come on the Earth? Was Noah safe?
6. Read Genesis 9:8, 15-16
7. What is the sign God put in the sky for the covenant?
8. What did this sign mean?

Our Jesse Tree
Earth. Apple. Mary and Rainbow.

After Wes placed the rainbow ornament on the tree, we sang "Joy to the World."

Joy to the World ,
the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart
prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven,
and nature sing.

20 Minutes in a Mom's Life

I sat down to nurse my daughter and in twenty minutes time...

I had to stop nursing my infant in order to discipline my demanding 2 year old
all the while washing a car seat cover that was tee-tee'd on on the way home
while there were shrimp that needed to be peeled now in order to serve dinner in a timely manner that were waiting for a free moment from me (when will that be? after the nursing...)
while I'm realizing that my infant daughter needed a diaper change, (as said diaper contents are spilling onto me) so therefore she also needed an outfit change... and consequently I
seeing the dog had chewed up one of the children's trios (again)
burped my daughter, who then graciously spat up on me...all down my shirt...
and my two year old required discipline again (which means, stop nursing in order to take care of it and endure a hungry Lalla cry)
still the shrimp sat and waited for me to peel them, (the clock is ticking)...
and my four year old needed something that has been placed on a shelf too high

Doing each and every one of these tasks is by no means unimportant. There are legitimate needs every day that need to be met. This mommyhood stuff is dying to self in the most realistic and tangible way I've ever experienced. (Thankfully, and consequently, to work of sanctification enables a believer to die to sin more and more).

The gospel is music to my needy, worn-out mommy's ears. It is the medicine for my soul. It is THE reason I am in these trenches I jump into each day. Not the kind with weapons and uniforms but the kind with spit up stains and messy floors.

It is my duty and it is my privilege and my humble responsibility to love my kids, take care of them, clean up their vomit and train them how to obey. It is my calling and it is my pleasure to instruct them in obedience and to train them how to use the potty. All while humbly relying on the Lord through His spirit to supply. They see my weaknesses. They hear my asking them for forgiveness (when I'm humble enough to ask for it). They are my little treasure-hunters in which I get to share the greatest Jewel with.

Because I know that Jewel.
And that Jewel is fulfilling, forgiving and foreseeing.
They are my little beggars in which I (also a beggar)
endure the calling of showing them
where to find the Bread.

Recently these words from Ephesians have resonated with me in the mundane, daily tasks of my life:

"I, therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called." Ephesians 4:1

I am encouraged and inspired by these words. Yes I will fail, but something really clicks as I glance back over these 20 minutes.
I am doing what I'm called to do.
I desire to grow in this role greatly.
I have much room to become better and to improve.
Or really is to become more weak, messy and ultimately that He can become more?

Consistently I land in the place where I am humbly relying on the Lord in order to achieve the tiniest of duties.
But I am here.
In my calling.
And I'm thankful that the Lord has placed me here.
With three souls that scream out for Jesus.
May I walk worthy of my calling.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jesse Tree - Day 3

Mary, calling herself a servant of the Lord upon the angel's word.

Day 3 - (Genesis 3:14a, 15, 20)
1. Is the snake punished for what has happened in the garden? What is the snake's punishment?
2. In verse 15, is this talking about Mary and Jesus?
3. Read Luke 1:26-38
4. In Luke, who visited Mary?
5. What did the angel tell Mary?
6. What was Mary's response?
7. Read Revelation 12:1-2, 17a
8. Is the woman in this passage from Revelation Mary?

Today, it was Wyatt's turn to place the "Mary" ornament on the Jesse tree, but he said, "Mommy, I would like for you to put it on the tree" - (I believe he was being shy because our neighbor impromptu-style had breakfast with us and participated in our Jesse Tree devotion) so I put Mary on our Jesse Tree - north of the planet earth ornament. :)

We then sang "What Child is This?"
What child is this, who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

Everyone sang well and loud!

Jesse Tree - Day 2

Day 2 - The Fall (Genesis 3:3-6, 3:9-11)
1. What did God say about the fruit on the tree?
2. Did Eve eat the fruit?
3. Who told Eve to eat the fruit?
4. Did Adam eat the fruit?
5. What did God say to the man?
6. From the reading from 1 Corinthians, we are sinners as Adam was a sinner.
Who gives us life...makes us alive?
7. Read 1 Corinthians 15:21-22

Walker hung the apple ornament after Wes read the scripture and asked questions. Then we sang "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" because the lyrics say:

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Jesse Tree - Day 1

The idea of the Jesse Tree comes from a passage from Isaiah:

"A shoot will sprout from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit."
- Isaiah 11:1

Jesus was a part of Jesse and David's family tree. People waited a long time for the birth of our Savior. The season of Advent is a season of waiting for us, too. We wait for Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

My sister generously gave me a whole set of Jesse Tree ornaments for my family to celebrate Advent. Wes cut down a branch from a tree and hung it on the wall yesterday and we began Day 1 last night.

Day 1 - In the beginning (Genesis 1:1-31; 2:1-3)
1. Who created the Earth? Who created Heaven?
2. Who created the birds in the sky?
3. Did God create man and woman in His image?
4. On what day was God finished created the Earth? What did He do?
5. From the reading from John, who was the Word?
6. Read John 1:1-5, 14

After the scripture reading and questions, Wyatt hung the first ornament.
Then we sing a Christmas song after each ornament hanging.
We sang "Joy to the World"

5 Little Monkeys...

This past weekend, we spent Thanksgiving with the Bigger family. All the cousins loved their time together - 5 is most certainly livelier than 3! We really enjoyed the excitement, the laughter, the noise and even the busyness of 5 children in this family. We are thankful for the Lord's faithfulness in growing our family and providing these sweet opportunities to feed on His faithfulness.

My mom gave all her grandchildren these sweet monkey jimmy-jams!

Here are all the monkeys lined up (from l to r)

Anna Grace, T, Walker, Lalla and Wyatt

It took several pics. Several tears. Several re-positionings. Several arms-in-faces. Several encouraging pep talks. But we got a picture of our 5 monkeys on the bed.

Also, on this trip, my sister surprised me with an entire box of ornaments for a Jesse Tree! She and some friends in Florence got together and did a Jesse Tree ornament swap. Kayne made 2 ornaments so she received 2 complete sets of ornaments and GAVE one complete set to me! I am so excited about this fun new tradition. Last year we began the Advent tradition in our home - and this year, what a fun, tangible way to read scripture from the Old Testament and New Testament while placing this cute little hand made ornament on our Jesse Tree.

Advent begins on November 28 (Sunday). I plan to post some on this soon...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Sweet Moment...

with my little girl...

I've been jotting down thoughts over the last week for a post on mommyhood. I was struck the other day by the intensity of a twenty minute period where the needs of the persons in my home outweighed the brainpower, arms and legs that could meet those needs. Put much more simpler, my kids needed me in more ways than I could fulfill. And I was overwhelmed by 2 things - the needs that couldn't be met and my need for Jesus. I am unreliable without Him. He supplies all that I need and all that my children need.

But this was a sweet moment captured in the midst of a busy season.

(thank you Tyler LaCross for capturing this so well)

Monday, November 15, 2010


"Encourage him to use scissors at home." were among the final words that Wyatt's teacher shared with me before our phone call ended. She had called for a routine progress report on how he's doing in school. I decided to encourage him more in this area as he prefers me to cut things out because he values neatness.

Soooo I've been encouraging him to cut things out instead, daily. He is improving every day at cutting edges straighter, etc.

Also, I (rather impulsively) decided to trim both of the boys' hair last week. Wyatt was very interested in how I did it, how I cut it, and watched when it was Walker's time. Very. Observantly.

All of this came to mind the other day.
The two of them were playing and it became silent. I was actually just coming home from running an errand. Wes was holding Lalla and greeting me at the door as well as a neighbor who stopped by to see if Wyatt could play. All of this was happening at the same time when Wyatt and Walker come out of the playroom and there are blunt snips of hair...just...gone. One right in front, one right at the crown of his head.

We had a conversation about the proper use of scissor and clarified that brother's hair is NOT included in those uses.

And ofcourse, Wes shaved it.
And he was (once again) a trooper.

3 "haircuts" in 1 week

finished product (in the bath)

finished product, dry.

5 Years!

I can't help but get teary as I think over the past 5 years. I have known this little guy for 5 years. He made me a mommy! He was my guinea pig. We figured it out together. And I am so thankful for the Lord's grace in parenting and in specifically, mothering my Wyatt. He has blessed me immeasurably with this gift. I love him with all my heart.

This year we celebrated Wyatt's 5th birthday a week early. We did a small pirate party with all boys. It was very simple and yet, a lot of fun for the boys. I am thankful for how it all came together. Wes was a champ with his impromptu pirate games and leading the boys on a treasure hunt with a finale of bonking a good ole pinata :)
The pirate cake - which came from this great website my friend Brandy shared on her blog

goody bags
(brown lunch bags, pattern-scissors, stickers and some ribbon)
the pinata - i could not believe how well those boys followed instructions! they were awesome!!

(Wes put Walker on his shoulders and was chasing them onto this boat as the 'two headed sea monster')

I am so thankful for our Wyatt.
I love you, birthday boy :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Little This and a Little That

The boys are continuing to love on Lalla, sweetly and gently. I am amazed as I've seen answered prayers to this end. I am just waiting for a little bit of far they have been soft and tender towards her.
a Walker and Lalla moment
Also, Walker has been sick 5 times in 9 weeks. 4 times he's had colds that have quickly progressed to restricting his airway and one time, the stomach bug :( He has been a trooper (mostly) through his many breathing treatments. He is being treated a little differently through the winter and spring as though his has asthma to hopefully prevent this from happening as severely as it has been in the past.
Walker (and his breathing treatment pipe) and Wyatt helping to entertain him as he sits...again...and breathes.
This year for Halloween we tried something new. Wes had a great idea for our family after a "scary" one last year for the boys to dress up, put in a movie, make some pumpkin icing cookies and give out candy to our neighbors. We tried it and the boys had a blast. They loved the candy and visiting with friends at the door. It was really a lot of fun and they got to "serve" a little. :)
even Lalla dressed up as Raggedy-Ann
We have a chest full of costumes that my boys wear often. Dress up is a very normal for them. Walker was spider man, compliments of the dress-up chest and Wyatt chose to create a character - "Bat Dog". He created his own costume as well - an orange shirt he asks to wear every day, batman shorts, a bandana around his neck and mask that he asked me to paint on him. ?
This year Wyatt requested a special design for our pumpkin...
and his Daddy more than delivered. :)
the cookies we decorated on Halloween night in between trick-or-treaters
Our Bat Dog

...and Lalla started sleeping through the night :)
(and rubbing her head while she sucks her fingers)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Difference Between a Male and Female

I had some time with just Walker yesterday, unplanned while we were waiting for Wyatt to come home. And we decided to play "flashcards". Its where I hold up a flashcard and Walker tells me what the picture is. So this is how it went down:

Me: What is this? (bird)

Walker: a bird!

Me: Good Job! And this one? (bear)

Walker: a bear! I go get one!

Me: Okay, great idea!

And then he went and got a stuffed animal bear and propped it right next to him.

He then asked if he could be mommy and I be Walker.
I said sure. And this is how THAT went down.

Walker: what is this? (bird)

Me: um. a bird!

Walker: good job! And this one? (bear)

Me: um. a bear! (and then I pretend to be afraid of the stuffed bear and let out a big SCREAM!)

"AGHHHHHHH! Help mommy!"

Walker: I go get a gun and shoot it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

He Gently Leads

I was having a hard time with mothering my little ones and my wise friend, Dottie, shared this passage with me. It was/is exactly what I need during these precious (and difficult) days.

"He tends His flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young."
Isaiah 40:11

Friday, October 22, 2010


Me: Babe, I think when we get out of school you should learn to play the guitar.

Wes: ?

Me: Seriously. I think it would be a good thing to have in your back pocket in ministry. Maybe it could even be included as a budget item (guitar lessons).

Wes: Shaking his head. Smiling.

long pause.

I also think I should learn how to fly a plane so that I can fly youth to remote parts of the Congo.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"The More Deeply... feels his or her
sin debt,
the more intensely
he or she feels
the wonder of its payment."

-Tim Keller

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

You'll Never Guess...

who I got to talk to today!

A friend and I met for coffee at Caribou today after I dropped my boys off at preschool.
I had Lalla with me and my friend, Sam and I were enjoying catching up.
We were just talking away when Angie Harmon walked in the door along with another lady. Sam and I both took a double take (nonchalantly, ofcourse).
And we both kinda said,
"is that?"
"yeah, I think so".

So Sam and I continue.
And then one of us says "everyone around here is acting so nonchalant"
and "yeah well no one wants to be that person to rush up and offer your napkin to sign" and we laugh about that and then say "or have her sign your baby!"
and we giggle.

Then a few seconds later while Same and I are talking I notice she (ANGIE!) is looking at my baby and making sweet faces - "aahing and oohing" and saying "She's precious" from across the place.
And I smile.
And from across the place she comes over and says "Ahhh. She is beautiful!"
And Lalla is just chilling out on my legs which are sort of crossed. She is just smiling and looking all around and they are talking to my baby and she is just smiling right back.

It was a little surreal.
I must admit.
Having a (stunningly beautiful famous) woman peak over your shoulder and carry on with your baby.
What does one do?
What is appropriate?
DO you ask her to sign something?
Take a picture with you?
Ask her "are you Angie Harmon?"
Say "I know who you are and I'm a huge fan!"
As the conversation progressed I took the
"act normal, genuine as if she were anyone else" route.

Her friend asked how old Lalla is - I said 8 weeks and they were really sweet and affirming about my weight loss since her birth. They asked if Lalla is my first and I said that she is my third and they asked what kind of baby she is and I said that she is my best baby so far and that "she makes me want to have another one" and she said "Don't do it! My third made me want to have another one as well." So I asked her her children's ages and what their genders are and my friend mentioned that she has 2 and has been wondering about a third and she encouraged her to "go for it!". It was just a real sweet conversation. Just like I have with other moms all the time. She apologized for taking up too much of our time.
So she left.
And Sam and I were giddy.

It was really neat.
And she was/is such a sweet and genuine, down to earth and really beautiful person.
And...I really wish I'd gotten a picture.
Oh well.
Next time.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Really Do Love Having Lalla

It is hectic and we're all still adjusting.
But I really do love having this sweet little girl in my life.
She is very sweet and easy all things considered (namely 2 big brothers that adore her but are nonetheless loud and boyish).

She started smiling at 4 weeks and cooing at 5 weeks.
We've had some long night stretches at 6 weeks - making 5 and 6 hours.
She is very flexible and has begun smiling when she hears her brothers talk.
Her Daddy began saying "Hey Beautiful" this week when he greeted her.
Brighty makes her jump and scares her when he barks.
She started to catch on to the pacifier this week. She spits it out some, but is taking it better.
She took her second bottle this week (1st one, not such a fan, second one - drank is down quick).

Her big brother got sick for the 2nd time since her life began 7 weeks ago. We're trying hard to keep his snot and hands away from her! It's a real challenge! But so far, we've managed to keep them pretty separated.

I smashed my finger in the cardoor yesterday and have been managing to pick her up without the use of it (my right hand index finger). She's been fine with her care minus that finger. :)

Its been lively around here. I've been relying on the strength of my Heavenly Father. My mother came up and lived a very chaotic day with me and at the end of the day called me to say "I'm proud of you. You are doing such a good job. You are a great mother."

I really liked (and needed) hearing those words :)

Kinda Rainy

'Round Here.

But that means puddles.
So Wyatt and Walker aren't too sad.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Feelin' Crafty

the boys have this toy chest in their room (see above). My mom painted ivy on it a long time ago. Its been in many rooms throughout our marriage and in the last year ended up in the boys room. I've been saying for some time now that "I'm going to paint it to match their room someday." Well I was inspired this weekend to take on the project.
Not sure if it is so much time at home
or just my (extreme) need to feel productive
but I achieved the goal of painting it!

this is the boys' bedding and my hope was to paint the chest to match these colors and design. But it was going to be tricky for me to achieve it with the locations of the ivy design (two big ones on top!)

so this is how it turned out!

front view

top view

ivy covered up - check!
(designs random in times, - hence the strange plaid angles
but nonetheless it matches)

My favorite part is that the total cost was under $6!
(for 5 bottles of craft paint from Michaels)