"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up."

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My New Name

It feels like spring here in Houston. God has been kind to give us perfectly gorgeous weather. So a few weekends ago I wondered what may happen if I threw some seeds in the garden. But I knew that first, I would have a lot of prep work to get it ready.

Around July last year, I had to let the garden go. We had one of the worst droughts in years last summer. I couldn’t keep up with the demand for water and, my growing baby belly made it difficult to weed. In order to start a new crop, I would have to rip everything out, weed, add compost and so on. And while I was out there digging and ripping and adding, I found something.

This is not the first time I’ve found something surprising in the garden. And last year, it was my basil that spontaneously seeded itself that was most fruitful. For these reasons, I am now calling myself “The Accidental Gardner”. In fact I should practically write a book about how to successfully not-plan a fruitful garden!

In fact the whole thing reminds me of my continuing life lesson that God is always trying to teach me. That is, that I am not in control, no matter how much I think I am. And a good thing that I am not, knowing how selfish, unkind and sinful I am. How sweet it is to remember that God who is perfect, just, good and loving is working ALL things for good. What’s more, just like the seeds I plant, thinking I’ve done this great work, sometimes amount to nothing. God redeems them and makes them bountiful. He is the giver of good gifts, our talents and good deeds.

Back to my story, I was about to pull up what I thought was a weed until I remembered that in that spot, I sowed lettuce seeds last year. Not realizing it was too late in our season for lettuce, I never got any. So surprisingly, I accidentally have lettuce growing in my garden!


Now let’s see if the seeds I planted intentionally grow Smile

Friday, January 27, 2012


Having 4 growing boys in our house, we have the privilege of witnessing lots and lots of milestones. There are first soccer goals, first steps, first time sleeping through the night (I am still waiting for Evan to reach that one!). Perhaps one of the most fun milestones is…


loosing your first tooth! Although, this milestone was forced. What else are big brothers there for but to kick out your loose tooth on the trampoline? I’m wondering how they still located it once it was knocked out, oh well.

I’m pretty sure he didn’t care how it happened, so long as he gets paid for it!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Morning With Evan

Spending the morning with my sweet baby is such a treat, but isn’t usual. A normal morning is usually pretty busy. There are little boys to be dressed and fed, dishes to be put away, laundry to be started and school work to start. Throw a new baby in the mix and it can become hectic. I find my day filled with jumping from one task to the next and so on. Even in these busy moments, I remind myself of the great calling I have as their mother and what a joy every bit of time with them is. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sometimes on the weekend, I get to spend a slow morning with my family. And I am grateful God created these moments of rest for us to enjoy. This last Saturday, I chose to spend my morning with our newest gift from God.

How could I not resist this face?


So we started with a bath…


And were later joined by one helpful big brother…


Admired our cuteness in the mirror…


And after being dressed, crashed out for a nap.


Life is good!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Remembering God’s Kindness

We have all found ourselves in those moments where we don’t know what to do or we don’t know what we’re supposed to do. It’s even harder to find yourself in that moment with 4 kids!

Recently, I had a morning that was like that. The baby had a one month checkup and I had all four boys with me. Going to the doctor’s office with my healthy children is one of my least favorite things. I am not a germ-a-phobe by any means, but when I think of how many sick children have been through those doors that my children are now touching, I cringe at the thought of how long our family will be sick with that bug. To make this trip even better, I find out, after we’ve checked in and been called back, that it was unnecessary for me to have brought Evan in at all. Great!

I tell myself it’s okay and that I will make this trip worth it by taking the boys to the library to replenish their reading supply. While leaving the library and feeling accomplished, the baby reminds me he’s hungry. So I nurse him, in the car before we leave. As we prepare to go, I turn the ignition and “click, click, click”. The car won’t start. All I can think is, UGH! It would have been easy enough to ask someone for a jump but we’ve had issues with the battery before and I wanted to be sure we could start the car. So I called our Roadside Assistance.

First they tell me it will be a 45 minute wait. 30 minutes later they tell me it will be over an hour wait to get help. So here I am, at the library, with my four small children, ready to despair, ready to cry and ready to freak out.

Then, something wonderful happened to remind me that I am never alone or without help. Here we were, sitting in our car waiting and I realized what a blessing it was that the weather was so beautiful (70 degrees and sunny). It could have been worse, cold and freezing. And I thanked God for his kindness through the great weather that day. A little while later, a mom with two small children approaches me and asks if we’re okay. Of course, I fake it and say “yes”, even though I’m clearly not okay at this point. She wishes us the best and leaves. A few minutes later, she returns and says “I know how hard this must be so please take these” and she hands us a bunch of kid friendly snacks to hold everyone over. A sweet, simple act of kindness to remind me that God is good, all of the time!

It reminds me of the account of the disciples in the book of Matthew. And how Jesus continually reminds them of all He’s shown them and done for them. How often I forget that He does provide all our needs and never leaves or forsakes us. I’m so grateful that even through my despair, doubt and sin, He loves us enough to extend kindness (sometime through complete strangers) to us. I have to remember these moments. These sweet times when the Lord reminds me that nothing is in my control and even better, that he is good and in control of all things.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Top Eleven


Looking back on 2011, there were so many precious memories. And as I practiced with my new camera, so many cute pictures of my family. So I thought I would start an annual collection of my favorite pictures from the previous year. Here they are the top 11 of 2011, enjoy.

#11- I love this shot of the boys, taken on our trip to Flagstaff, Arizona. They were really happy playing in the snow that day.


#10- What I love about this picture is not it’s composure or exposure but that it commemorates a special day for Nathan. This was taken before his very first ride down the zip-line at Camp Tejas. He is still so proud that he conquered the fear of that very tall tower and jumping off it. My boys are growing up so fast!


#9- While practicing with my camera, I got (by accident) this cute shot of my cute little boy. I just love those big brown eyes looking at you.


#8- This year, we said goodbye to world’s best dog. This picture reminds me of our Glory when she was happiest, running free and playing with the boys.


#7- Again, this picture isn’t amazing but what is amazing about it is my Nathan played his first season of soccer this year-and was really good at it! He really enjoyed having his own team and getting to make so many goals.


#6- Another memory of firsts. Jacob competed in his first triathlon. He worked really hard to train and did really well. We couldn’t be more proud of him.


#5- This marks my fifth year as a homeschool mama. I had a third grader, kindergartner and toddler. My sweet boys were headed out for the first day of co-op this morning, and they  look so handsome if I don’t say so myself!


#4-Every year, our favorite summer activity is heading to the beach. I love this father and son moment by the ocean. So peaceful.


#3-Baby number four was well underway. Our first surprise baby (we didn’t find out the gender) was due in December.


#2- We welcomed another boy to our family on December 2nd, 2011. Most certainly the highlight of our year. Evan is a sweet baby and great addition to our family.


#1- All four of my boys together. What a great bunch!


Monday, January 2, 2012

How is it possible?

My baby is one month old today! How can time go by so fast?

Evan is a sweet little baby. He also goes by "tank" or "beast" because few people actually believe he's only one month old when they see his size. He loves more than anything to be held, rocked and to hear mama's voice. He also likes it when his big brother Nathan, gently rocks his bouncy seat until he drifts off into sleep. He sleeps great at night, only waking 2-3 times although he is a very light sleeper during the daytime. He has become more and more alert as he tries to look for features in mom's face, responds with a cry when his brothers are being very noisy and recognizes the soft touch of his favorite blankets. Sometimes when I kiss his cheek or chin, I even find a little smile on his face.

We love him so very much and can hardly imagine our family without him anymore.