"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

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Let me count the ways…

There are many reasons why I love each one of my boys.

But there are some things I never want to forget that started early, specifically with Nathan. These boys of mine can be so rough and rowdy sometimes. I savor the sweet moments because normally there is a lot of noise and chaos. A lot.

It’s no surprise to anyone that Nathan is our kind hearted, lover boy. There seems to be a natural tendency in him to love and consider others. He’s completely thoughtful and caring, to his core.

For instance, there’s the time we were having lunch in McDonald’s and the bigger boys were playing in the playground equipment. There was also a little girl playing who suddenly decided she didn’t enjoy being up so high. Her mom was carefully trying to call her down. Her big brother even climbed up and attempted to coax her down. All with no luck. And I watched as I saw something that didn’t surprise me but rather, melt my heart further. Nathan saw the girl’s need, left what he was doing and helped her. He used his sweetest voice and walked with her, ever so gently, to the direction she needed to get down. She was a perfect stranger, but that didn’t stop him. He was so kind and so gentle. How did I deserve this kid? He’s precious.

Then there was the “I don’t want to waste you money on night time pull-ups” comment. We’ve been working on night training for oh, several months. One night I was having a conversation with Nathan and asking him if he’d be more comfortable at night wearing pull-ups until he figures out how to wake himself up at night. His comment to me was not what I expected. I expected “I’m a big boy, I don’t wear pull-ups” or “that would be too embarrassing”. But his response was filled with concern for me. “Mom, I don’t want to waste your money having to buy so many pull-ups for me. I want to keep trying”. Where does he come up with that stuff? Sure, it may have been an excuse to not wear pull-ups but that’s some pretty mature logic if so.

And the way he served his brother with a warming towel after their wet bodies left the bath. Austin and Nathan were taking a bath the other evening and they both decided they were done. They slipped out of the tub and little Austin was shivering and cowering from being so wet and cold. Nathan was already opening the cabinet to get himself a fresh towel when he saw his little brother’s condition. He then selflessly gave up his towel and carefully covered his little brother. Sigh. What can I say? His brothers are blessed to have him.


I would like to tell you that there’s something we did to create this. I’d love to tell you I read some awesome parenting book, applied it and ended up with these results. But I can not boast. It is the kindness of God to give us each of our wonderful boys. It is God’s mercy to give us such a lovely child. I pray that we can be faithful parents to meet each of their developing needs and strengths.

Let me count the all the ways I love them…1,000, 2,000, 3,000…

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Truest Friend-A Tribute to Mom

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.  ~Washington Irving


When I was young, my Mom was my lifeline. She did everything for me. Once I could do everything for myself, her role changed. Somewhere through that awkward phase, she became my friend. Then I had children, and she became a grandma. And that’s when I learned to appreciate her like never before. The extension of her love for me, given to my children is priceless and beautiful.


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She really loves my children so well, and equally, she still makes the effort to spend girly time with me! Such as…

pedicures and coffee!

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Whether you call her Mom or Grandma. She’s one awesome lady!


Happy Mothers Day!!! I love you Mom.

The Rest of My Life

On this day, 12 years ago, how could these two kids have known?


How could they have known all the new friends they would meet outside of their hometown and through them get to experience the kindness of God through strangers? How could they have known the adventures they’d have in Europe and see history come alive? How could they know how elated they would be at the birth of each of their FOUR SONS and how they would worship God through His gift of life? How could they have known how incredibly difficult an 18 month deployment was and how sufficient the grace of God is? How could they have known that God’s promise of a good plan was true when they left life in the Army and moved to a strange metropolis?

How could they have known how amazing and difficult marriage can be? That even though it wasn’t always easy, God’s design for marriage was reflecting His love for us. That celebrating meant so much more with the one you love by your side.  That communicating, forgiving, compromising, humbling yourself and sacrificing was possible only through the help of the Holy Spirit. That love on earth could be so binding. That God would so graciously work in each of their hearts to make them more like Christ through their relationship in marriage?

How could they have known that 12 years later, after all those ups and downs, that they would still love each other so much? That holding hands would still be so special and being together was still more fun than being alone. How could they foresee the joy they would experience together and how much they would grow as one?


Happy Anniversary my love. I can’t foresee what the next 12 years will bring but I hope they will be as wonderful as the last 12.

As the words from our wedding song goes “When I said I loved you well, that’s what I meant. I plan to show you if it takes me the rest of my life.”

(Also see, Remembering Our Vows, and Our Dating Story)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Had to Share

I just had to share this. Just.had.to.

Recently on a trip to a mall in Houston, the boys discovered a motion sensory dance game. The screen shows the moves and you copy them. Needless to say, they had a blast. Those games are fun! So we splurged and got a game we could use on our Playstaion Move at home. It's called Just Dance 4.

You ought to see how sweaty they are after doing a couple of the songs. They love it.

There's one dance in particular they like. I'm not sure why, but they do. They like it so much they have it memorized. I love it! They let me record it so I could share it with you.

Enjoy. It's pretty awesome.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just Like a Baby

Puppies are funny creatures.
Boys are funny creatures.
Now it makes sense that boys and puppies go together!
This little puppy (who remains nameless. And now we’re testing out “Daisy”) is convinced she is a baby!
For instance, she likes to be held like a baby. Ian is all too happy to oblige.
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She thinks the bouncy chairs were bought just for her.
She marvels at how well made a Boppy pillow is for sleeping puppies. Even though it was strategically placed on the couch so she couldn’t reach it.
It’s like we have child #5 in the house!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Making Your Own Mother’s Day Gift

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. I thought it would be a perfect time to share a little craft I made this last week.

I’ve been on a jewelry making kick these last few months. For my 6 year olds superhero birthday party, I made bottle top superhero pendants as a party favor. When my mom and sister came to visit, Nathan and I made beaded bracelets for them.

This weekend, with church friends, I was celebrating some new babies and their mamas and I wanted to make something special for them. I saw this tutorial online and thought it was a perfect gift. I’ve really been inspired by birds and nests lately (see this post). So I created my own bird’s nest necklace for my friends. It’s so easy, you can make your own too.

You will need these items:

Assorted beads, I used pearls and glass beads

Jewelry wire, I used 24 gauge

Jump rings

Necklace chains


The first step: Cut off a long section of the jewelry wire and arrange the desired amount of beads at the end of the wire. As an extra precaution, I tucked the end of the wire into the last bead on the end.


Second Step: wrap the wire around the beads. The first necklace I made I wrapped them tightly and it turned out okay. I liked the look better when it was wrapped looser and in more of a circular fashion.


Third Step: loop the wire around the created “nest” in desired sections. When I used 4 beads, I made 2 sets of loops. When I used 3 beads, I created 3 sets of loops. You can loop them twice or 3 times. I liked the exaggerated look of 3 loops. When I finished the loops, I cut the wire and tucked the end into the “nest”.


Final Step: add a jump ring. I used one of the wires from the “nest” but you could also create an extra support by adding a twisted loop on the back of the pendant.


Add chains and the necklaces are finished! Easy right?


A perfect gift for the mothers in your life. Or, if you’re like me, and have 4 small boys, you make your own Mother’s Day gift Smile

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Being 5 Months Old

How did we get here? How does 5 months go by so quickly?

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Can you tell what his newest trick is? Just last week, Evan decided he needed to be mobile. Twice, he rolled over from his back to his belly. Although, once he got on his belly, he decided he didn’t really enjoy being there but then he was stuck. Mom had to come rescue him.

It’s a true statement that each child in a family is completely individual, and Evan is no exception. He is our first baby to be a screamer. And I mean, SCREAMER! When he wants to be noticed or tended to, he can release some high-pitched, mighty screams. I don’t mean crying, it is certainly screaming. It’s almost comical because he’s capable of turning it on and off like a light switch. We figure as the youngest of four boys, he’s just making his voice heard.

He’s not so sure about our new puppy. He is very fascinated by her crazy antics. Surprisingly, I think he even enjoys when she nibbles on his toes ( but Mommy does not appreciate it at all and puts an end to it). Having a crawler and a puppy ought to be interesting!

Evan hasn’t been weighed recently but he must weigh 20 pounds already. Are all those rolls a giveaway to his weight? He still loves to be snuggled and rocked in mom’s arms. With all that weight lifting, no need for the gym for me, ha!

Everyday, we love to kiss those sweet cheeks, tickle those tiny toes and hold those precious little fingers. And I know this won’t last forever. One day he’ll be 2 years old like his big brother, then 6, then 9 and so on. I held each one of them this way and they just kept growing. Evan is such a bundle of joy. We love him so much and we thank God for this little blessing.