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 did...as...well...
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 just...less...so 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 aggression...so 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.