Monday, April 30, 2012

Dear John

Dear John,

You are the love of my life and I don't know what I would do without you. You are the most selfless person I know - never complaining, always seeking out  ways to help me around the house. You are a blessing and bring such excitement and joy into the house. I love the way the kids run to you and giggle when you come home. When you aren't home for dinner we all notice. Life seems to be on pause while we wait for you to get home.

:: Thank you for sending the package back to Amazon last week even though I said I would put it in the mail.

:: Thank you for cleaning the kitchen and clearing off the counter tops just the way I like them!

:: Thank you for putting the boys to bed each night with Bible stories and helping Drew with his reading.

:: Thank you for making me laugh and changing your schedule to help more this weekend.

:: Thank you for eating healthier and asking for more vegi's in front of the kids and encouraging them to take seconds because they make you "toot!" I am very jealous that all this healthy eating has dropped you 12 pounds and I can't seem to loose more than a few - despite the fact that I work out 2x more than you - so unfair!

:: Thank you for fixing everything I break and picking up the broken glass from the kids cups! I smile every time I walk in a room and realize that you must have changed the light bulbs  because I can see again! BTW - the television is broken and needs to be fixed.... sorry!!

:: Thank you for being the best father and husband in the whole world and asking me to marry you 9+ years ago. I'm so glad I said yes to the best ride of my life!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Names of God

We learned the names of God over Christmas - sadly I've been a little behind and I just now uploaded the video's! Here were the kids reciting the names of God before Christmas.

Energetic Flash Card Lesson

Isn't this how all parents teach their energetic child  site words?


I can't believe my baby went from this:

To This in just two years!!!

Joy & Tortillas

One year ago I wrote this crazy blog post about joy and Tortillas. Today I sit and smile, glad  I chose joy. I needed a sweet smile and a reminder like this post from myself, to search out and find joy - God is the author of joy and will not disappoint!

I left them alone for just 5 minutes.  All three children were outside playing together, nicely for once! I was so thrilled that Abby wasn't whining and the boys were nicely playing in their makeshift tent. I went inside to put groceries away and then ran upstairs to tidy up a few things. As I looked out the window to check on them I see it - hair rises on my arm, I feel my blood pressure skyrocket and I think out-load, "What the heck are they doing, I leave them alone for 5 minutes and they go straight to mischief!" I went outside to begin ranting and stopped to pause for a quick second - what happened to my joy? It was here just 1 minute ago, the  day was going to well! Am  I going to let this be the climax of my day? When I lay my head down tonight am I going to  regret my actions over a silly bag of tortillas?

I pause, pray, call my husband to talk me off that ledge of anger. Then, with just a tad bit more patience, the Holy Spirits conviction and a child like perspective I go into the backyard, I grab the giant Costco package of tortillas and begin throwing them all over the yard. My children, stare at me in horror , I rip a tortilla in half, give a piece to the baby and another to the dogs who were out stuffing their faces with my children's fun. I smile, my children run after flying tortillas and I breath. Then it comes - a smile.

Nope - my joy is not going to be ruined over $3.50 in tortillas. We will earn back that 3.50 with smiles, fun, a lesson on aerodynamics, Frisbee tosses and UFO sightings.God is my source of Joy and I won't be relinquishing it today!

God is a satisfying good — the soul cries out, ‘I have enough.’
God is the chief good.
That which is the chief good must ravish the soul with pleasure!
There must be in it rapturous delight and quintessence of joy!
God is the chief good.
Therefore the enjoyment of him
is the highest felicity.

~Thomas Watson, Puritan Sermons: Man’s Chief End is to Glorify God

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"The days are long but the years are short."

The last few months I've had some really long day!!!  I was looking  back at pictures of Abby's 2nd birthday and couldn't  believe how much she has changed in just 4 months! These days I'm having a hard time keeping up, putting articulate sentences together seem hard too. I'm not exactly sure why life seems overwhelming - nothing too new or crazy has taken place.

My work has been a little more time consuming, a sweet boss of mine has taken leave due to illness,  which has left a large void. I'm not sure all he did but I know it was a lot. We're all filling in and learning new duties. I've added some new stuff onto my plate and that may be why I'm a little out of sorts?  I've been sleeping more, tired more, and well more irritable too. I'm working out more, it takes a lot of time out of my day which may account for my lack of  energy? I know working out gives you more energy, but I typically go in the afternoon so  the mornings drag on and then I can't go to bed on time.

The kids are great, Drew is reading much better. I also had him in to an eye specialist  and we're working on getting his right eye to see better. Drew's last day of Venture is Thursday, he spent last week at Pine Cove camp with his school  and daddy. He went off a zip line, rode horses and jumped off the high dive! What a bold boy I have!!!! Drew is excited for summer camps to come - he has some tutoring in reading this summer, Camp Invention and Vacation Bible School. Gabe is going to camp for two weeks  in June through Little Sprouts Preschool.  He is excited to spend a week learning about dirt and another week learning about mammals.

John is finishing up the school year with testing this week. He just signed up for Summer School so we're praying he gets picked as it will help pay for Drew's tuition next Fall. Drew will  be going to Alliance Christian which is 3 days per week.  Next year will be a huge change for me - I'm a little sad about not having my big helper Drew home all the time, but I know he will learn a lot and thoroughly enjoy being so social and meeting new friends!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Spring Friday

My kids delight me and exhaust me! I love listening to all the things they say, like today while playing Lego's, Gabe told his brother it would take 1008 years for his Lego creation to be complete. Drew responded back with, "Gabe you'll be dead by then!" Gabe was not happy with his  brothers answer and told his brother he doesn't want to die which led to a very spiritual conversation between the 4 and 7 year old (going on27).

Today is Spring Cleaning! We are getting rid of lots of clutter! I'm sorting and Drew is reading for 5 minutes, playing Lego's for 5 minutes, then Gabe gets to "read" and on it goes. Even Abby insists on sitting on my lap and pointing to the words while she pronounces the words in baby speak.

Such a great morning yet I feel very off. It has been a long week, the clutter and mess of the house is getting to me. The exhausted body is craving the gym but we've had things all week long and I haven't been able to get there. Ouch! I did get some Vegi's and spices planted in my garden and some of the backyard weeded this week. I love the Spring planting and making the flowers grow, my favorite times are at night when I hand water all my plants and marvel at God's creation and creativity and all the little creatures serenade me with their songs.

The Lord has been very much convicting my heart about some issues in my life. It is ruff when the Lord prunes you with the Word of God.

Have a blessed Spring Friday!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why Their Baskets Were Empty

Did you know that "In South Asian culture, most widows are seen as a curse and shunned from society. Abandoned children face similar conditions and often have to fend for their own livelihood." That only a few dollars can "provide for these beloved women and children of God. They are given the chance to hear about the God who created them and loves them so much that He gave His life for them."

So on this Easter my kids baskets were empty just as the tomb was empty on that wonderful Easter morning. Easter is celebrating the risen Lord who overcame the sins of the entire world! Doesn't it seem like the whole world should hear! We are instructed to seek and save the lost people of the world, there are still so many who have never heard the blessed name of Jesus.  So, we celebrated Easter with  family, food,  resurrection rolls, and empty baskets. We worshiped the Lord in gladness at church with amazing music that penetrated the hardest of hearts. We served babies in the nursery and prayed over little ones whose parents were receiving the Good News!  Those empty baskets could have been filled with candy that my privileged children don't need, they could have  been filled with toys that will soon break or that will cause me to stress about all the "stuff" in our house.

Instead I felt so very convicted that the Lord had some different plans for Easter traditions.  Instead of items that "moth and rust" would destroy, we chose to donate funds to Gospel for Asia so that widows and orphans, in dire need, can hear the Good News that we are already so blessed to hear and know.  I love that 100% of our donation goes directly into the field - there is nothing taken out for "management or advertising."

I fear as a parent in America that I am raising narcissistic children. It was confirmed when they woke up on Easter and grumbled about empty baskets - forgetting the fun egg hunts the days before or the sweet notes they found in their eggs or our tomb and play-mobile knights or the Jesus storybook Bible we read or the eggs we dyed together. How do I convey to these 6 blue eyes that stare right through me;  that though the tomb was empty and their baskets are empty - the emptiness brought forth hope - redemption - purpose - promise of blessing for those who overcome just as Christ overcame death and a grave?

Striving to be counter cultural is not an easy job, it takes a lot more work to plan fun and meaningful times that demonstrate love and tradition without getting caught up in materialism. Some days I lack determination to act on my convictions. Other times I act and have to find rest in Jesus for the results because my children do not always bring praise and acclimates for counter cultural responses. So today I find great rest in my Risen Savior who brings  hope and salvation to not just the whole world - but also my little home in Texas.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

From The Photo Album!

We've been busy with lots of wrestling!

Abby's been talking up a storm and getting so big!

Gabe can almost take Daddy!

School time can involve blowgun practice.

Drew lost another tooth - naturally - his brother didn't use him as a blowgun target... promise!

Curly top has been spending more time in time out - she hates to go to sleep and loves whatever her brothers are playing with.

Petty Zoo fun - not so fun for the animals!
Fun at FBC Keller for their outreach to the community.

Big  boy Gabe can keep up with the best of them!

Drew was in heaven with all the bouncing!

Abby loved her pink balloon.

We visited firemen and toured the truck.

Fireman Gabe!

Fun science experiment on pules and traps.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Inscriptions for John

To my sweet and loving husband,

I am madly in love with you! I beam with great respect and love when I hear of you witnessing to prostitutes and the poor. I never question your love or devotion to me. You are my hero and I wish I were more like you. Your bold witness is one to be modeled and I pray our children grow up to be more like their father each day!
I'm proud of you and am so blessed to call you my husband.



It has been a blessed three weeks! We've recovered from a relaxed but busy Spring Break, with John in Oregon visiting family. It was fun and very wild having all three kids for 5 days all to myself, but we had a blast! We scheduled a lot of  great play dates  with my friend Robyn, we  went to the library twice, went to a snake exhibit and learned everything there is to know about snakes. It was a great time of just me and the kids - we sure missed Daddy while he was gone though.

We were a little behind schedule since I'd taken a few days in Oregon and a few extra days off because work was busy, so Spring Break wasn't exactly a school break for Drew,  but he didn't mind too much. We recently finished Handwriting without Tears and all the  1st grade modules in Time4Learning so Drew is off working on second grade, He is so excited. Drew is only 5 chapters away from finishing the MathUSee Alpha curriculum - we loved the program and are excited to get his working on Beta next year. Drew loves science and math and all his computer work. The struggle for him comes with handwriting and reading. Drew is a great reader, but he hates it. We've been working through sight words and reading new books he picked out at the library, but he isn't very excited about reading.  

We've used our Science museum pass a ton this year, we've visited twice in the last month and just love the tactile lessons they are learning and developing while we're there. Abby and Gabe are doing well, Gabe started his Time4Learning kindergarten curriculum which he already did on Drew's account. Now he has his own and I thought it would  be wise to re-do all the lessons again. Abby is her adventurous self, we're working on coming when called and staying in bed. Abby delights my day and keeps me on my toes! Her brothers help keep her in line too! Abby has been doing great being off dairy and looks so healthy. We are so blessed with her health!

Easter is upon us and we've been playing in our tomb and retelling the Easter story a lot. I've enjoyed having lots of family time and cuddles on the couch. Most of the kids lessons that they get take place through conversations all day long - like "mom why won't she be my friend," or "what did Jesus do before he was resurrected."  I love all their great questions!

The boys started swimming lessons, Gabe needs to learn to swim and Drew is working on his skill (he isn't very coordinated). This coming Monday Drew leaves with his Daddy for Pine Cove camp - they are so excited. Drew has been looking forward to Pine Cove all  school year. He gets to go with his Homeschool class at Venture. Sadly, we will not be returning in the fall, we have signed Drew up for Alliance Christian for the 2012-2013 school year. It took a lot of prayer and wondering, but John made the final decision a few weeks ago. We both decided that a 3 day a week program for a few years might encourage his academics a little and allow his social needs to be met. This will also allow me to work more one on one with Gabe and Abby during the days.