Monday, December 24, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Beds!

All the children have new beds!  and they are VERY excited about them.  We put the older 2 in bunk beds and decided that while we were rearranging things we might as well put up Elijah's crib and set up Hudson's old bed in Elijah's room.




Elijah posing for Parker













Switching an active toddler from a crib to a toddler bed can be scary, but honestly for Elijah we were not really anticipating much change.  This child was so proficient at jumping out of the crib that a toddler bed wasn't going to be much change for us.  We were right.....thank goodness.  He has been sleeping great and we are still working on training him what to do when he wakes up (we were having to do that with the crib too).  Our youngest seems like such a big boy now!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Out with the old and in with the new


The Old




























About 6 weeks ago we had a small air conditioner leak and it lead to a small section of our hardwood floors warping.  Total bummer!  We ended up filing it with our insurance and ended up with ALL new hardwood floors!!!!  Here is a small glance at what that process looked like.  And while we were at it, we decided to go ahead and replace the carpet in the kids' room......why not?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Discontentment and Joy

This morning, these words spoke to me deeply.  It is from the ebook, Mindset for Moms written by Jamie C. Martin.  She also has a blog, SteadyMom.com and writes for SimpleHomeschool.net.

"There's a dangerous force lurking inside our homes.  I wrestle with it at times, kicking it out the door in triumph.  But at other times it sneaks up on me so slowly that I don't realize until its claws are deeply entrenched in my mind.

     Discontentment.

     Why is it so easy to live in the past or future?  Why is it so much more work to remain in the now when the now is all we really have?
   
     The solution is so obvious it seems almost redundant, so clear it's almost pointless to verbalize.  The solution is to want what you have.

     In any aspect of life - from parenting  to blog growth, from marriage to book writing - another goal always lies ahead.  There's always another dream to strive for.  And that's good and right.  We invite beauty into our lives by living with dreams.

     But often we don't realize that the now we currently live in represents dreams of yesterday fulfilled.

     How many of us hoped for the day we could become mothers?  Yet does that hope seem as thrilling when our two-year-old screams for hours in the middle of the night?

     Last night little people interrupted my sleep three times:  two potty accidents and one nightmare.  As my groggy eyes slowly opened this morning, my first intentional thought was a phrase my husband Steve and I say often - "It doesn't get any better than this."

    Because right now, this moment, is my only guarantee.

    So today, in spite of life's hardships, pain, or disappointments, make a decision.  Make it for your children and your husband, but most of all, for yourself.

    Want what you have."

Thank you Jamie for these words.


Recently I have felt God's generosity towards me in form of great edifying conversations. In these conversations we have tackled insecurity, discontentment, lust (not just how we typically view lust) and pride. These are all things that I wrestle and war against at a deep level. What I have loved about these conversations is that they didn't end on the struggle. In each of the conversations we pushed through the darkness and into the beautiful light of Jesus Christ. We encouraged one another that He *ALONE* is enough, we spoke loving truth to one another, reminded each other that pure joy comes from Him. Yes I wrestle and struggle with these things (and other sin) but Jesus loves me and He loves me enough to die on the cross. How can I not find deep joy and delight in that!?!?

Last night in small group we were discussing lust. Lustful thoughts can, and often do, come in the form of I would be happier if......... Initially, we don't think that way, but if we really examine our thoughts it will often lead us here.  We then went around the room and shared our "I think I would be happier ifs". It was beautifully difficult.

With that, I want to encourage you to think about where you are discontent and answer the "I would be happier if" question. As difficult as it is, there is freedom to be found and joy to be had in reminding ourselves that even where we fall short and struggle that Jesus loves us and deems where we are and what we have to be good for us right now.  Joy is not circumstantial - Praise the Lord!!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

End of Summer






A couple weeks ago we had popsicles on a warm night.  Elijah and Parker were in a mood to be photographed (that does not happen often) and so I took advantage of some fun photo ops.  Elijah was just too cute not to take tons of pictures of.

I can't believe we have already said good-bye to another summer, school is already in full swing.  The kids have matured so much in the last couple months.  We had a wonderful summer together and have had a great start to school.  

As the seasons (low temperatures in Tx) change and my kids continue to change right before my eyes, the Lord has been gracious to remind that He never changes.  He creates change around us and as I view His changes it should lead me to worship.  Lord, help me to worship You in ALL things.  Change isn't always easy and can require sacrifice but if my eyes are focused on Him then it is all worth it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Soccer season has begun!

H *LOVES* soccer. I don't think I can adequately describe how much this kid loves to play; not just soccer, really any sport. My prayer for him this season is that he will begin to see his teammates in a new light and that he will have a desire to share Jesus with them.

For the next 2 months we will spend an hour or 2 at the soccer field each saturday. Pray for our relationships with the parents and for H's relationships with his teammates.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

1st Day of School Interviews

It took me longer than I had planned, but here they are.  I hope you enjoy them.  We are almost a month in to school and H and P are *LOVING* school!  Tuesdays they have music class, Wednesday is library day and on Thursday Hudson has spanish.  It has been so fun to watch them grow and enjoy all the different things they are learning.  Parker had loved all the painting and projects!  Last week Hudson learned about AB, ABC, AABB, ABB patterns and talks about them all the time - he even colored his memory verse in an AB pattern.  Wow, does this boy love to learn!




Friday, September 21, 2012

Words of Encouragement

"Teaching our children whose they are and what it means to be made in God's image infuses their lives with meaning and fills even the mundane nooks and crannies of life with significance."

Zan Tyler: 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child's Potential

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Arboretum part 2





The kids loved all the sculptures at the arboretum and they couldn't wait for Daddy to go see them.  On Labor Day we loaded up the car and headed to the Arboretum for another wonderful morning.


Monday, September 10, 2012

New routine

We have started a new morning routine at our house and it has been GREAT!!!!! The kids can come out of bed at 7am and once they come out they have a few minutes to just hang out.  After that they start either reading or individual Bible time.  Some days I tell them which one and other days it is their choice.  During this time, I make breakfast and try to get a few other things in order.  Next up is breakfast followed by either reading time or Bible time (depending which one they did before breakfast).  All 3 kids have done a great job with this.  Elijah doesn't usually last as long as the other kids, but what can I expect......he is just under 2.

Part of my prayer for this time is that they will have a love for the Scriptures and individual time with the Lord and that they will have a passion for reading.



I love that my kids LOVE to read!!!!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Join me

In praying for the Untouchables (Dalits) in India.

I am currently reading No Longer a Slumdog by K. P. Yohannan.   It is a great but extremely difficult read.  The book talks about the caste system in India and how children are affected.  Previously, I knew that it was bad in India but as I am reading this there are names and true stories about little ones that are absolutely heart breaking.  My first response is to want to get on a plane and go, but reality for us right now is that we can sponsor a child and pray, pray and pray some more.  It is easy in our little bubble to forget and/or disregard what is going on all around the world.  My prayer is that the Lord will continue to remind me and bring me to my knees before Him.

This poem (found in No Longer a Slumdog) is written from the perspective of a Dalit child.

I am nobody
Worthless my life is
To Untouchables I was born.
A Dalit child my fate sealed.

I was born in slums 
Rights? We have none
To upper-caste our lives we owe
Slaves to serve all their wish.

Poverty and hunger
Is all I ever knew
If there is hope
Tell me how?

What is my future?
Do I have any?
It all looks so dark
And I wish I was not born.

As I think about these children and the situations that the Lord has placed them in, I am brought to tears and am extremely humbled by where God has placed me and my family.  We did nothing to earn this, it is only by the grace of God that we are where we are.  

Lord, may we be a family that is moved by compassion for those around us and around the world and may we weep for the lost and hurting.  May these children know You as their Redeemer, for you alone can redeem.  

If you have never checked out Gospel for Asia, please do!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

1st Days of School

                   

Hudson and Parker both started school today!  They are both attending the same school.  Hudson is in the 3 day Kindergarten program and Parker will be attending preschool 2 days a week.  Both of them had a WONDERFUL day!  We are so thankful for the school they attend, they love our children well and they do a fantastic job teaching the kids about God's character and His Word.   In the next few days I will post a video interview with each kid from the first day of school.....It was so much fun!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fabric Fun!

Friday morning the kids and I went to Joann's Fabric to pick up some paint pens.  While we were there I let the two older ones choose a little fabric to make something with.  Parker chose a fun pink and Hudson chose a football.....no surprise with either of their choices.

After naps/rest time we got to work on our projects.



Parker wanted to make a blanket and a pillow for her animals and babies




Hudson wanted to make bean bags.  Here are 2 of them, we still have several more to make.


The kids had a blast!  I have to be honest, it was a little difficult with Elijah wanting to play with the sewing machine but this is something we will just have to work through.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Dancing for the Lord!!!!!




The Village Church and Michael Bleecker, thank you for putting the kids memory verses to music.  My children *LOVE* them and love dancing to them.....oh the joy!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new

We use to have these, but honestly they have driven me crazy from the beginning. Really, it's just the lids that bother me.


And now we have these!  Plus now Elijah has some too


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer,

we will miss your swimming, but not your mosquitos!


video

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Arboretum

Recently, we went to the Dallas Arboretum to enjoy the Chihuly exhibit. And enjoy we did! It was amazing. Hudson was so excited about the sculptures and talked about them the rest of the day. If you have a chance to get out there, it is a MUST SEE. Thank you Lynsi, Aiden and Addy for joining us, what a blessing to spend a beautiful morning with friends.

















Monday, August 20, 2012

A wonderful weekend!

We headed to The Woodlands the first weekend of August for the THSC (homeschool) conference. We stayed with my (Erin) Uncle Pete and Aunt Sue's house and my mom came and stayed with us. We all had an amazing weekend! The kids got lots of "Grammy time" and plenty of swimming. I was able to attend the conference all weekend - BY MYSELF!!!!! Christian came with me Thursday night and it was wonderful for him to be a part of it and get to hear the 2 speakers for the night. Both talks were amazing and encouraging. I have been to this conference 3 times now and I think this was the best one yet. Maybe it has to do with where I am now but I thought the speakers did an outstanding job and I was highly encouraged, challenged and refreshed during this time. I also walked away with some "practical" things, which was great too. Plus, after the conference I got to spend some great time with family and enjoyed some down time. I am thankful for the time we were able to "get away" and for my time at the conference, what a blessing the whole weekend was to our little family.

now for some pictures

Enjoying an evening swim in the hot tub or little pool


love him!


How can you not smile when you see this picture?


air hockey!!!!!! Elijah is quite the little player. Hudson did a fantastic job playing with him. Hudson can play a mean game of air hockey if he is trying to win


This boy *LOVES* to swim! He will just jump in the water, enjoys going under and will just float around with his water wings on. Maybe next summer he will learn to swim!


deep in conversation

love this....

for so many reasons!

1. Elijah climbed into Hudson's lap without any kind of prompting
2. They both are carrying balls
3. Hudson is trying to explain something to Elijah. My guess is that they were either watching baseball or something from the Olympics

and

4. Both my boys are sitting still!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Feeling Isolated

Recently, I have had several conversations with friends about feeling isolated and disconnected. These conversations have been encouraging, beautiful and difficult. Each person has a different standard and so isolation and disconnection are going to take on slightly different meanings for each person, however, that is not at the top of importance.

In one of these conversations one friend asked me, and another friend, what we have done to cultivate the relationships around us. I have continued to wrestle with this question for the past week. The answer to that question is going to look different for each of us and for each relationship. For me, I have focused on the friendships that have brought some feelings of discontent recently. It has been extremely helpful and healing for me. In this same conversation, the Lord so kindly revealed to me that I am looking for Jesus working in these relationships and not necessarily going to Him. I tend to be one that processes aloud and with others. The Lord has reminded me to bring all things before Him and to trust and rest in Him alone. Jesus is working in and through several of my relationships and I am so thankful that the Lord reveals Himself to me in and through the lives of others.

Again, this topic came up the other night with a couple of other friends. As we continued to talk through these feelings we were reminded that sometimes we will go through seasons like this. Having young kids is one of those seasons. We are giving all we have the little ones and at home (and work) and to our husbands that it is hard to pour into our relationships with others. I know for me it tends to sneak up on me. All of the sudden I feel disconnected from some friendships that are usually pretty close. I am learning to not focus on the frustrating or the disappoint moments but to rejoice in the Lord for blessing of where He has me now. My satisfaction is to come from the Lord alone, my worth is only in Him. He knows my heart and desires more than anyone. I can (and need to) trust in Him alone.

Outside of pursuing the Lord. What does this look like for me? Pursuing relationships with those that have similar desires for their friendships. Sometimes we are called to share with others, regardless of how the other person might respond. Often I have a difficult time sharing if I feel the other person will "dismiss" me or if I perceive they are too busy to care. Sometimes, not all the times though, I will just have to share regardless. Reaching out to others when I need to, not just waiting to see if they will pursue. These are difficult things for me, but when I am resting in Lord and pursuing Jesus wholeheartedly this will happen more naturally and with less anxiety and frustration. I am blessed with the relationships around me, but I have a strong desire for them to be deeper. Lord, may I wrestle well with this and trust completely in You.....You alone are enough!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Parenting......

"Parents are to think about and remember Jesus Christ and then train their children to understand how everything in their life - their joys and sorrow, their trials and labors, their doubts, sin and shame - is to be understood and approached in the light of Jesus Christ, who descended from David rather than from Levi, died and rose from the dead." From Give them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Olympic Party

With the upcoming Olympic Games, we decided to host our own Games for kids and families. It was an absolute blast!!!!! Now everyone is ready for the Olympics to start. We had each family choose a country to represent and we made a flag for each one. We started with the opening ceremonies and announced each country. We then moved on the different events: long jump, archery, hurdles, gymnastics, javelin, soccer shoot out and fencing. Thank you to all the families that came out to join in the fun! Sorry for the picture overload and the random order....there was no way around it