"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

Monday, August 13, 2012

Here We Go Again

It’s that time of year again. The one where we say goodbye to summer and hello to school! Considering we spent most of June sick and most of July helping Ian to recover, I’m not even sure we had a summer. God had other plans for us it turns out—and His are always better so we’ll trust Him still.


All in all, it was a successful day. I’m excited for a few new things the boys are doing this year (for those of you readers interested in our curriculum choices, I updated the pages “The First Grader” and “The Fourth Grader”). Jacob is enrolled in a grammar/writing program called Essentials. Truthfully, I’m super excited to be learning this material with him! And the boys are doing an online self-paced history course through Veritas press that focuses on the history timeline we have been committing to memory. I love history too.

By the way, these pictures were taken in our newly re-decorated schoolroom! More pictures of all my projects to come soon (I hope).



Honestly, I don’t even know why I ask them to smile before noon, it never works Smile.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Austin


This handsome man is now three years old and I’m having a hard time believing it. I mean, wasn’t this yesterday?

Austin 035

Not any more. He’s a big boy now. He has his own likes and dislikes, his own friends, his own little will. There are so many reasons for which we are grateful for this little boy. His happiness is contagious. His laugh fills a room. His sense of wonder helps us remember the big picture. His curly hair is luscious. His independent nature is a big help to this very busy mom. He loves to pray to Jesus about everything. And his toughness will one day be an excellent protection for his family. We seriously love this little boy!

Happy 3rd Birthday Austin!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Say What??? 8 Months Old???


The little man is now 8 months old. Sigh. I freshly remember the early days when he still fit in a bassinet and would only sleep in my arms. When he was small enough that I could hold him all day and my arms and back wouldn’t ache. When all he needed was his mama. When his best naps were the ones when  he was close to me.

Now, he is too big to fit in his infant carrier, wiggles to get out of my arms and into trouble and is perfectly happy with a rice cake in his mouth.

By the fourth child I should understand that this is the natural progression. They grow up and get bigger. It still amazes me how fast it happens.

Evan should become a chef when he grows up (or a sumo wrestler) because he loves his food! He can’t get enough and we usually have to say “that’s enough!” He still loves his paci and night-night. He laughs so hard when Austin makes faces or noises at him. His smile is the biggest whenever Nathan plays with him. He is mostly sturdy when he sits up and has gotten on all fours a few times. But I’m in no hurry for him to crawl. I am a fourth-time mother after all Smile He has a new found love of toys. But mostly toys he shouldn’t play with. He doesn’t like the dog and makes a nasty face whenever she licks him. He still has only 2 teeth but seems to be working on some more. I keep thinking he would really love to use the old-fashioned walkers on the bottom floor of the house. Although, I also imagine his older brothers pushing him around as fast as they can so I just can’t bring myself to get him one. I wore him in the Moby wrap to church the other day and a friend said “I don’t know who’s wearing who!”.

Dear Evan, stop growing. Thank you, your mother.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Trials and Suffering

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

1 Corinthians 1:3-7

I have been meaning to write this post for some time now but felt I could not convey my sentiments properly with words. Imperfect as it is, I will try.

It’s easy during trials and suffering to find oneself remembering all the hardship. The fearful thoughts, scary moments, and pain. During this trying time, there were so many mercies, so much of God’s kindness we must always remember what He’s done for us. This is my attempt to do so. We have been comforted with such an overwhelming love and we know that comes from a love that runs much deeper. A love that roots itself in the greatest love of all—In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

Iphone 014

After discovering my husband was injured in a major car accident recently, I frantically dropped off all 4 of our boys with very gracious friends who were willing to care for them at 7:30am, not knowing when I would be back. Thoughts were running through my head as I quickly raced to the hospital where they my husband was being treated. All I had known at that point was that his car was totaled and he had a head injury. As I was driving, I kept thinking, “what if this injury is life threatening?”, “how will I raise 4 boys alone?”, “what will I do without my best friend?”. I called our parents to let them know the little I had known and to keep my mind from these thoughts. And then, a moment of God’s kindness for my doubting, trust-lacking, fearful heart. A dear sweet friend, who was made aware of what happened, texted me 1 Peter 5:7, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.  Thank you Jesus for this kind reminder. And it would be my theme, peace and comfort through our struggle.

Later, in the ER, while waiting CAT scans, and chest scan results, a young hospital staff member walks into Ian’s room. She asks what we may need and proceeds to care for Ian’s wounds and needs. I was there the whole time, holding his hand, looking into his eyes, rubbing his feet, whatever I could do to comfort him. And then, a moment of laughter, God’s gentleness with us. She asks “are you guys dating?”. Ian and I look directly at each other and laugh hysterically. Do we really appear that in love? Are we really that affectionate with each other right now? “No” I kindly say. “We’ve been married for 12 years”. We still laugh about that.

At home, one morning I was feeling completely overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with my own emotions, overwhelmed caring for my husbands emotions, physical needs and wound care, overwhelmed keeping my 4 rowdy boys quiet and still for their aching father, overwhelmed by the outpour of love and calls from friends and family. Just overwhelmed. And then, a moment of peace and comfort from God as a dear friend, who was halfway around the world, picking up her adopted children from Africa, emails me to say she was praying for us. A friend who had been waiting for months and months to go and get her children. A friend who had given everything to adopt children she did not know but loved already. A friend who was in the middle of a country full of poverty, need, sickness and suffering. And she was praying for us! God’s love to give us a small glimpse of His perspective.

So many. The stories could go on and on. Friends who loved us so well. Friends who gave up their days to watch our boys so we could check up with doctors. Friends who made and delivered yummy meals so I wouldn’t have to be busy with food. Friends who loved on our children by taking them to museums, the circus, the pool and movies. Friends who brought us cookie and fruit bouquets and gift baskets of goodies to amuse the boys. Amazing. God’s love causes His people to do amazing things and we are so grateful to be witnesses of that! It’s been almost a 3 week journey and we are still praying for healing and relief but we can’t help but sit back and rest in His comfort, care and provision lavished on us through His people!

Love you friends and family!