Tuesday, June 29, 2010

WAY old...

Here's the postscript to my last post on my sister's birthday...


Me (driving around doing 4H errands): "Today is Aunt Gabe's birthday.  She's 39."


Emily:  "That's creepy"


Me: "What?!  Why is that creepy?"


Emily:  "Because 39 is old!"


Me:  "If 39 is old, what does that make me?"


Emily: "WAY old!!"

birthday wishes...

For a few days now, I've had the thoughts of this post running through my mind.  There is so much I wish to say and words fail me.


Thirty-nine years ago today, God blessed me with an incredible sister.  I wish I could say that I recognized the blessing right away.  According to the stories that I have heard from both my mom and my grandmother, I was less than thrilled at the prospect of being a big sister... to the point of not talking to my mom for a couple of days when she showed me my new baby sister.


I'm just stubborn enough that I didn't really realize the blessing of my sister until I was in my 20s.  Pathetic, eh?  


However, twenty years later, I can say that not only do I recognize the blessing of my sister, I love her deeply.  She is an amazing woman....


~my sister mothers five children all at the same time!  That blows my mind!!  I can hardly mother three kids.


~my sister has taught me much about speaking less and listening more.  I doubt my sister's mouth has very many accidents... mine mouth has accidents all the time!


~my sister's taste in decorating and clothing is incredible.  Some day, I am going to hire her to do a redo on my entire house.  Her home is so inviting and so relaxing... just the ambience I desire for my home.


~my sister doesn't talk the talk until she is walking the walk.  She loves Jesus deeply.  She works out her salvation with fear and trembling in her own heart and then shares what she has learned.


~my sister stands by her man.  She willingly talks about some of the storms their marriage has weathered and how those storms have strengthened them.


~my sister has a quiet confidence about her... though she may be rattled to the core inside, she rarely shows it.


~my sister is absolutely beautiful inside and out.  When we were younger I was often envious of her outward beauty.  The older I get, the more I am envious of both her outward and her inner beauty.


On this day, June 29th, I wish Gabe an amazing 39th birthday!  I love you!!


... feel free to stop by her neck of the blogging world to wish her a happy birthday as well...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday's Fave Five...

It's Friday again... time for Friday's Fave Five with Susanne at Living To Tell The Story.


Here are my five favorite things from this week...


1) my man... seriously, he's my favorite every day.  I feel like I don't give him enough credit and enough thanks.  Yesterday I allowed my mind to get stuck on the "little things"... those things that he does that have a high probability of getting under my skin.  If I don't take those thoughts captive and surrender them at the Throne of Grace, they multiply and take over my mind and my heart.  My man is amazing and I am so blessed to journey this path with him!


2) my mom... on Wednesday, my mom took my youngest to see her Ohio cousin for a few days.  Seriously, Ellen could not sleep because of the anticipation!   Sometimes it stinks being the youngest and watching your older brother and sister go do all of the fun things that they do... I'm so thankful mom came up with a fun and special thing for Ellen to do without her siblings.


3) my kids... we are in the throws of 4H right now.  Every June is like this and every year I forget just how crazy it can get.  However, each year gets easier because the kids get older and take on more and more of the responsibility of their projects.  I love watching them use their creative talents to follow a project from start to finish... especially when they just do it and not complain!


4) Benadryl and Pepcid... I have a bee sting allergy.  It's not life threatening at this point but I do have a prescription for an epi-pen.  When my doctor gave me the script 5 years ago, he said that each time I got stung I would most likely have a stronger reaction.  So, I've lived in fear of getting stung again.... until I found out about combining Benadryl and Pepcid....


Last night I was out fixing my grape vines that were blown around by the storm and a yellow jacket brushed up against my hand and decided to let me know he was mad I was there... he stung me twice!   Thankfully Benadryl and Pepcid took care of the reaction... cheaper and easier than an epi-pen!


5) my LORD... yes, my LORD and Savior is always on my list of favorites.  And, yes, He is number one....  Today, though, I couldn't figure out how to put into words all that is stirring in my heart, so I saved this one for last.... 


My friend, Cindy, and I have a saying "How do you say thank you to the One who created it all?  There are no words!"  Seriously.. I have no words today to thank the One who knows me best and loves me unconditionally.  I have no words to thank Him for His grace, His mercy, His provisions in my life.  So, I offer Him my bruised and tattered heart... my pitiful life... my pathetic existence to be used by Him and for Him as He sees fit to glorify Himself... and I offer it again and again and again because it is all He wants...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

new Friend Friday...




The Trendy Treehouse and The Girl Creative are teaming up to host New Friend Fridays... so I thought I'd jump in and introduce myself to a few new blogging friends.


... and, yes, I do know that this is the fourth post today.... 


This is what happens to me when I get some time at home, some "me time" and a nap... I start reclaiming areas of my world that have been neglected... today I worked on reclaiming my bedroom, the camper, the kitchen and my blog.   


Feels good!


I'm off to visit a few new friends...

glow sticks... who knew?

Last night we had a doozy of a storm here in Northern Indiana... tornado sirens... torrential downpour... thunder... and, no electricity for 3 hours.


One of the joys of having big kids (as opposed to little people) is that sometimes they actually think on their own... and sometimes it is nothing short of amazing!  


As we were gathering items to take to the basement in response to the tornado sirens (including two not-very-willing dogs), our electricity began to blink off.... While gathering our things, we grabbed a few flashlights as well.


Once settled in our dungeon, 11 year old, Emily, says "here Mom, I grabbed my glow sticks!"  Ingenious!  Seriously, we all turned off our flashlights and grabbed and snapped a few glow sticks.  For less than $1, we all each had a couple of glow sticks in our hand... much cheaper than C or D batteries for the flashlights and just as easy to see by....


So... my plan is to go to our local dollar store and stock up on glow sticks... not only do they provide light in the darkness... they make storms more fun... who knew?

TOS Crew and first impressions....



Sometimes I seriously wonder why things happen the way they do.  You may remember (if not, read it here) that I applied to be a reviewer for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  


I have been so looking forward to this opportunity.  I see it as a chance to combine two things I love... writing and homeschooling.


Unfortunately, for me, someone hacked my old yahoo email address right before the TOS Crew tried to contact me to let me know that I was a new crew member.  Even though I promptly changed my email address, it seems like so many emails have been lost in cyberspace... including, of course, the emails from TOS.


I'm afraid that the TOS Crew has had second thoughts about choosing me to be on the Crew.  It is said that first impressions are most important.  It really stinks that this is the Crew's first impression of me.


It seems like this has been all uphill... even to the point that the first post I wrote tonight got erased.  Seriously!  I'm wondering why....


...in the meantime, I can't wait to start reviewing and writing and hopefully changing any negative first impressions....

a day between...

Today is one of those days... a day between... according to the forecasters, a day between two heat waves.... a front of raging storms last night ushered in cool and dry air for today.....  this day between feels so good!


So often, life feels like heat waves... hot and muggy... grumpy and tired... pain and sadness.... hurrying up to wait... racing, racing, racing to get no where... storms fast approaching and raging winds blowing....




... and then a blessed day between... 




...but I almost missed it.  I don't often stop to notice the between days... the days of cool and calm... peace and rest.  


Again, I am my own worst enemy because I take a between day and make it a heat wave.... trying, trying, trying to cram as much in as I can and racing, racing, racing to get no where.


...if not for the sweet, soft whisper of my Creator to my heart... "peace, be still" I would still be running the rat race.   The One who knows me best, knows my heart.... He knows I need down time... quiet time... time to myself.  He created me to be this way and He provides my every need.


Today He has provided me a day between and a gently reminder to enjoy the gift from Him.


.... so I will close my computer, take a cool shower and open my new book and reveal in the peace and joy a day between heat waves brings....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

summer love...



These little jewels are my absolute favorite thing about summer...




Over the years, our little patch has spread and spread... to the place where it only took me 15 minutes to pick all of these...




...to make my favorite summer snack...




...mmmm....



Monday, June 21, 2010

the things we do as moms...

I've never been very athletic.  Because of my height and large bone structure I used to pretend I was athletic and most people would believe me... at least until they watched me play some sort of game.  


I can't tell you the number of times I've struck out, tripped over my own two feet or missed the shot.  More times than I care to remember, I guess.  Due to extreme embarrassment, I've blocked out most of those memories....


So, needless to say, I don't often volunteer to play organized games.  For many years, I had the easy excuse of either being pregnant or having a little one to watch.  I loved having a pliable excuse....


Now that my baby is almost seven, my excuses have all grown up and tonight was Emme's last softball game... the annual team vs. parents game.  I knew this ahead of time but was not at all worried because I knew that Chad would willingly be the parent from our family who played softball... he even took his glove.


As happens a lot in life, things didn't go exactly as planned.  As I was contentedly eating nachos for my supper, Emme's coach said "Heidi, are you playing?"  


"Ah ... NO!" 


Then... as I realized he was standing at home plate with Chad and one of the other coaches trying to find more than three players to make a team, I hear these words...


"Pllleeeaaasssee, Mom!" and there is my 11 year old with big, brown eyes begging me to play against her.


Seriously, the things I do for my kids!  So, this 41 year old mom kicked off her flip flops and played softball barefoot all for those big brown eyes and the excited girl behind them.


Thankfully, I don't think there are any incriminating photos of me running barefoot around the bases.  


I'm equally thankful that I didn't strike out.

a belated birthday celebration...

Last week, Emily had a very belated surprise birthday tea at the Peony Tea House...






This past year, Emily discovered she has a twin... so who better to celebrate your birthday with than your long lost twin sister...




Meet Miss B.   Miss B is 24 hours and 10 minutes older than Emme.  They are practically the same size and height and have many shared interests.




Miss B's mom and grandma and I planned a surprise twin tea party for the girls 11th birthday... complete with matching dresses made by Miss B's grandma and matching earrings from Grandma as well.




Do to a series of unfortunate events, we had to cancel our original birthday surprise and reschedule... the new date, though, provided a surprise blessing for Emme... her grandma could join us as well.




We enjoyed our Edwardian Lunch complete with choice of tea, soup/salad, sandwich, and pastries... delicious and quaint!  Though her celebration was delayed, I think Miss E enjoyed her day with her twin Miss B!



Sunday, June 20, 2010

14 years later...

It was 14 years ago... Father's Day, 1996... 


the first time anyone ever called my man "Dad"... 


discovering that in seven months we would be parents... 






and again...




and again....




When I first called him "Dad" in June of 1996, I thought I knew that he would be an incredible father...










I had NO idea how amazing he would be...




and how amazing he is...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday's Fave Five...Father's Day...

Once again, I'm linking up to Living To Tell The Story for Friday's Fave Five.  I'm finding my life is too full to link up to many memes but this is one that I look forward to each and every week.


In honor of Father's Day and my dad, here are my five favorite things about my dad...






1) Dad has many euphemisms ... dad-isms.  I didn't realize, until I went away to college, that many of our family's catch phrases were foreign to the rest of the world.  I assumed that everyone knew what "she goes up and down like a toilet seat" meant (for those of you who don't know... it simply means that she changes her mind a lot).


2) Dad's favorite phrase isn't a euphemism.  My Dad says "Praise the Lord!" often... really, really often.  I love it!  It doesn't matter to whom my father is speaking, if there is something worth praising God about in the conversation, he will.


3) My Dad still occasionally calls me "lamb y".  I'm so glad I haven't outgrown this!  It's not often and it may even be a slip up but I know that though I am 41, he still treasures me.  Honestly, I'm not sure how many of my friends can say that about their own father.


4) My Dad loves my man.  I think there was a time he had some serious reservations about the man I fell in love with but you would never know.  My parents decided that they would have no in-laws.  Instead, their family just grew larger and still hasn't stopped growing... the 22nd member of our family is due to arrive in December!!


5)  My Dad loves being a grandfather.  He could hardly contain himself when within 4 days in 1997 he had two grandsons!  After 11 grandchildren, he's still excited about the new one on the way (btw... in case there is some confusion... it's my sister who is blessing our family with a new little one).


6) My Dad loves people.  I've never met anyone who can put people at ease quite like my father.  Over the years, he has invested much of himself in the lives of people around him.  It won't be until he reaches Heaven that he will know the impact he has had on so many lives (yes.. I know I said "Friday's Fave FIVE" but I couldn't resist a bonus one!)


Happy Father's Day Dad!  I love you!!  

Thursday, June 17, 2010

reclaiming...

That's it.  It's time.  I've had enough.


It's time to reclaim my home, my time, my life!


I don't know a mom out there who hasn't at one time, or another, been in the position I'm in.  And, if we were honest, most of us find ourselves in this position all too often....


It doesn't seem to matter how many times I say "NO!",  I still seem to be running hither and yon (5 days in a row of taxi driving does not a happy mom make...).


It doesn't seem to matter how many times I step down from committees, I still seem to find myself busier than ever (how quickly I forget how busy June becomes when 4H projects are due the beginning of July) .


It doesn't seem to matter how many times I give up activities that sound-like-fun-but-we-just-don't-have-time, I still seem to have WAY too many things to do (as if being a wife and mom were not already 2 full time jobs).


Lest you think I need to go to a 12-step program or seek out personal counseling, rest assured I do know what causes this rat race... the proverbial hamster wheel that is spinning, spinning, spinning faster and faster and faster and yet not going anywhere...


I am very familiar with the cause... and, I am very familiar with the effect!  I'm also learning to become very familiar with the answer... my answer...


RECLAIM...


I'm at the point, again, where I have to STOP and RECLAIM my home, my time and my life.... because, very slowly and with very good intentions things creep into my life to clutter my home, rob my time and choke my life.  Usually these are good things but rarely are they the best things for me and for my family.


Unfortunately, I've got to finish the ride called 4H.  I can't get off in the middle and so it will be after State Fair in August before this ride comes to a complete stop!  


However, that doesn't mean that I can not start on other areas that need my immediate attention... 


~ my home for instance.  My Magic Cleaning Fairy came today and I wonder how she managed to clean around the clutter.  Seriously, it is that bad!  One area at a time, 10-15 minutes at a time... and in no time I can conquer what has accumulated like weeds in a flower bed (and yes, I have to deal with those too!).  


~ my time.  Thankfully tomorrow is my last day of spending most of the day behind the wheel.  I've committed to setting aside an hour on Saturday before our Sabbath Celebration to map out my appointments, the kids' music lessons, kids' volunteer times and any more 4H errands next week ahead of time.


~my life.  When my life becomes busy and the tyranny of the urgent sets in, it soon seems to be spinning out of control.   However, when I start my day in the Word and at His feet and ask Him to orchestrate my moments, He simplifies everything.  When I commit to doing what He has enabled me to do... nothing more, nothing less, nothing else... His peace and joy fill my days and stress becomes a thing of the past....


It is time to reclaim my home, my time, my life!... again...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

when it's hard...

Honestly, it's been hard lately...


... much to be thankful for and much to pray for...


even in the hard, God is there... 


His plan doesn't change 


His purpose doesn't waiver 


His procedure isn't altered 


...even when it's hard

Sunday, June 13, 2010

seeing grace...

I've had the privilege of seeing grace...


~grace lived out as a friend of mine awaits a lumpectomy and is now awaiting the pathology report.... living life trusting in One greater than she who has a plan bigger than hers... gracefully honoring Him and allowing others to minister to her.


~grace personified as I watch a friend allow people to do a fund-raising car wash to offset the medical bills of her cancer treatment... graciously ministering at the car wash to the very people working the car wash for her... two days post chemo with a smile on her face and joy in her heart.


~grace defined by a friend who often says "when I fail you, please forgive me because I will fail you... just so you know."  I've decided I want this t-shirt.  I want to give grace that way and receive grace that way... because we all fail each other every single day....


~grace in action this morning as I go to my man during our worship time at church and have to say (for the ten zillionth time) "I'm sorry" and I hear "I forgive you and I love you" (for the ten zillionth time as well)...


~grace... it's what makes living this wretched life with other sinners worthwhile


LORD,
My prayer tonight is that I would give grace in more measure than I expect to receive it from others.  Though even asking this prayer is hard, I pray that You would fill me with the grace I need to keep my mouth shut, my heart open and my knees bent.
Thank you Jesus!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Do the hard things...

Do the hard things...


This is something I've been telling my kids.  I want them to know how to do hard things in life.  I want them to know the whys... the hows... the whens... the whats... the wheres of doing hard things.


Know what I realized anew?!  Intentional parenting is hard work.  It is doing hard things.  I'm sure, at this point in this post, my parents are shaking their heads at me wondering why I'm just now getting this after 13 years....


I'm not just getting it now.  I'm just realizing it anew watching other another set of intentional parents doing a hard thing....


I've been following Abby Sunderland's blog for several months.  Abby is the California teen who set out to do something hard... she set out to sail solo around the globe.  At sixteen she has shown more maturity and moxie than many adults I know.  She stuck with her goal of doing something hard even after having to pull into South Africa for equipment failure.   She stuck with her goal even after she learned that someone else would get the world's record.... She stuck with her goal and did the hard thing and started out again from Port Au Prince.  She stuck with her goal until the end... after 30 ft waves (that thinking about make me sea sick sitting here in my house) broke her boat, she did the wise thing and activated her emergency beacons.  She did the hard thing by holding on until help arrived.  I've seen her in action before the media and I'm guessing she will do the hard thing by meeting the media, yet again, with a smile on her face and a tone of politeness and grace in her voice as they ask many, many hard questions.


I've also been reading Abby's parents' comments.  I don't know these people.  I won't stand in judgment of their decisions in rearing Abby and her brother Zac (who circumvented the globe a few years ago on a solo sailing mission).  Instead, I see parents who are doing hard things.  I see parents who have chosen to parent intentionally.  I see parents who have reared their children to do hard things.  I also see parents who are being ridiculed and judged for their decision to allow Abby to do hard things.  I see parents who are now answering the hard, hard questions by the media.


It doesn't matter if I agree with the Sunderland's decision to allow Abby to solo sail the world at 16.  It doesn't matter because I am not responsible for Abby or for the Sunderland's decision.  


I am only responsible for my decisions concerning my children.  


I want to parent intentionally.  I want to raise my children to do hard things.


Why?.... because life is full of hard things and adventure comes to those who do hard things.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Friday's Fave Five... VBS style...

I'm a few hours early on my Friday post of my Friday's Fave Five...  I've got a few minutes tonight to do this.  Tomorrow VBS ends and I may be too wasted to think, so I thought I'd rather be a little early than too late on this post.


Here are my five favorite things from VBS this week...


1~the park where we hosted VBS... in one word... tranquil!  Absolutely beautiful wooded lot with stone cabins, outdoor ampitheatre and a great view of the lake!


2~the kids... at present count, we have had over 60 kids come to VBS this week!




3~ Silly Songs with Eric and Ridley... sometimes it's the spontaneous things that turn out to be the most memorable... the most talked about... the most fun!




4~ teaching Bible class... there is nothing that thrills my soul more than teaching kids about God from His Word.  We had a blast this week learning about the Children of Israel's exodus from Egypt.  I think the kids enjoyed the Sword Drills more than anything... (definitely not the most flattering pictures of me... but that isn't the point, is it?)



5~ there's always one... one child who steals your heart when you least expect it... one child who connects... who "gets it"....  

one child whom you hope you've made a difference in their life... or at least made their life memorable for five days...

This year... this VBS... this week... ... this is my one...


Silly Songs...

Silly Songs with Eric and Ridley....





This is the part of VBS when Eric and Ridley come out and sing a silly song...








"I'm singing in the rain,
Just singing in the rain,
What a glorious feeling of shsh, shsh, woosh! shsh, shsh, woosh!
Arms out... thumbs up... knees bent... butt out... head up...
I'm singing in the rain,
Just singing in the rain, What a glorious feeling of shsh, shsh, woosh! shsh, shsh, woosh!"






This was yesterday's song... today's song was "Herman, the Worm".  I'm remiss to mention that I do not have pictures of the silly song "Herman, the Worm."


I'm sure tomorrow's Silly Song will be equally spiritually stimulating...  


oh the fun of being a kid!

So you had a wife...

I've been meaning to blog this post since last week.  Somehow, though, it kept getting lost in the deep recesses of my mind.... not intentionally... just got squeezed out several times.  So, here it is...


When I was preparing to travel to my sister's home to keep her five kids for five days, I realized that it would not be possible for Chad to go with me.  He was scheduled to work and because it was Memorial weekend, it is nearly impossible to trade shifts.  


Amazingly, I didn't freak out become concerned.  My nieces and  nephews are all really good kids and I figured we would just make it work.  Besides, the two oldest boys are 13 and could hold down the house, if I needed them to while I ran to the store or took kids to school.


Even though I didn't become concerned, that didn't stop me from thanking God when my mom called and asked if she could come too.   Of course, I was very diplomatic about the entire thing and instead of yelling "yes! yes! yes!", I calmly said "if you want to....".  So, Mom drove here early in the morning and jumped into my truck with the kids and I and we started our adventure.


The adventure was just that... a really fun adventure.  Often Mom and I commented on what a great tag-team we were.  Honestly, I could not have done it without her.  In fact, she asked me several times "what would you have done if I wouldn't have come?"  In hind-sight, I think I had three options.... a) lock everyone in individual rooms, slide their food under their doors and let them out for one hour a day for recreation... b) crawl under my nephew's bed and refuse to come out until my sister got home... c) allow them to have incredible fun and let my sister's house just deteriorate around me.   I would have chosen option C and I would have had to write a long letter to my sister apologizing for the mess in her house (as it was I had to apologize for the dead grass that the superslide left behind...).


Just yesterday, some friends were asking me how the trip went.  I think they were secretly hoping for some great survival stories of how I barely survived parenting eight children and escaped insanity by a slim thread.   Instead, all I could say was "It was great!  We had so much fun!!  The kids played all day every day and Mom did all the meals, dishes and trips to WalMart.  I did laundry and played with kids.  It was really an easy weekend."


To which my friend Rachelle said "Oh, so you had a wife for the weekend!" ... sure enough, I got to experience what it is like to have a wife in the house.  I highly recommend it for all moms!!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

a little revved up...

Ok... so I get a little revved up from time to time... and today just happened to be time!

Our VBS lesson today was Passover and the Night Flight from Egypt.  I managed to teach the lesson three times without getting too riled but by the time we got to our morning "wrap-up" session... I could hold it in no longer!


You see... today's lesson was all about the tenth plague that God sent in judgment of Pharaoh.  In His love and because of His grace, He made a way that the children of Israel could avoid the plague... the death of their first born.  If the children of Israel obeyed Him and put the blood of a spotless lamb around the door posts and door frames of their homes, the angel of death would pass over their home and everyone inside... everyone covered by the blood of the lamb would be safe.  However, the angel of death took all the other first-borns who were not covered by the blood of the lamb... man and beast.


I told the kids that this is my favorite story of the Bible because it foretells God's plan of salvation for all of mankind (I also told them I would probably have another favorite story tomorrow....so this was my favorite Bible story for today because I LOVE all of the Word of God!!).  John the Baptist saw Jesus coming and said "Behold the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sin of the world".


This is where I got really riled up!  After teaching this lesson three times, we all met in the ampitheatre for our morning wrap-up session.  This is when I review the Bible lesson one more time for the day.  Today I did more than review.... Seriously, picture me clutching my Bible, tears streaming down my face, yelling talking in a loud voice so all could hear me"Jesus did this for us! He is our Passover Lamb!!"... I think I may have frightened one or two today.


I can't help it.  I hope I never tire of this story... am never not moved by it... am never callous toward it.  


When it comes to telling children about the blood of the Lamb that can cover their hearts and protect them from eternal separation from God... I get a little revved!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

VBS...

It's VBS week here on the home front!


I have great memories of VBS as a kid.  Some times I went to the Vacation Bible School at the church we attended.  Other times, I went as a visitor to a friend's VBS.   For me, VBS was almost as good as camp.

Our church does not, yet, own our own building.  So, we rented one of our local parks to house VBS.  The park has a gorgeous lake view, suitable ampitheatre and great cabins to host Bible class and craft class.

We've been on a Journey To The Promised Land.  Thus far, we've learned about the sons of Israel who later became slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt.  We've met Moses and his blood brother, Aaron.  We've walked with them as they have approached Pharaoh over and over again asking him to release God's chosen people.  We've observed plagues... 9 of them to be exact....

Tomorrow the journey continues with the 10th and final plague and the night flight of the Hebrews as they left their lives of slavery in Egypt.


As it often is, as I have been writing and preparing these Bible lessons, God has taught me much more than I could possibly communicate to the kids. Today I was moved by how well they participated and answered the questions.  Praise HIM these children love Him and His WORD!!


All of these years later... I still love VBS!



Sunday, June 06, 2010

an incredible ending to Sabbath...



Though we've gotten into the swing of starting our weekly Sabbath, we haven't mastered the art of ending it.  Usually, the end gets lost in Sunday chaos or we wake up Monday morning to a new week.




One of my goals is to add an ending to our Sabbath celebration.  Something that marks another time of family worship to usher in the week.   Something to again remind us of the gift of a day of rest.  Something more to look forward to for the next Sabbath celebration.




Tonight we had just the thing... a cookout with brauts and hot dogs... chips and lemonade... marshmallows and s'mores... and lots and lots of fun and laughter.




We tried different ways to roast our marshmallows... daddy's way...


or Grandma's way...


another Sabbath done... a mom refreshed... a family renewed... thank you LORD for the gift of rest!



Humbled to be her mom!





My children never cease to humble me.  This one humbles me the most.  

Many times I have said "No one loves Jesus the way Emme loves Jesus!"  Her life... Her spirit... Her example... have convicted me over and over and over again.  

Last week, she and her brother went to 4H camp for 3 days.  They had a wonderful time and were tripping over each other's stories all the way home Friday night.  Both kids were excited and equally exhausted... though many stories were told, one was forgotten for the evening.

On Saturday, I heard Emme and Chad talking but I was busy working on VBS and cleaning up the house and so I didn't stop to listen.  She told her Daddy a beautiful story from camp....

Today in church, I heard my friend and pastor say "We're thankful that those of our kids that went to 4H camp had a safe and wonderful time.  Emily even took a golden opportunity to tell the kids around her about Jesus."

WHAT?!?!?

How did I miss this?  In my busy-ness... my hurry to prepare for VBS... my desire to clean my house, I didn't take the opportunity to listen to a beautiful 11 year old tell her Daddy a story that started with "Daddy, I have to tell you what happened one time with the kids in my line at camp...."

Rest assured that I took the first opportunity I had after church to pull Emme aside and ask her to tell me the story!  

I pray often that I am preparing my kids to have an answer for those who ask about the hope that is in them.  I pray often that I am preparing my children to not be ashamed of the Gospel.  I pray often that I am preparing my children to love the LORD their God with all their heart, their mind, their soul and their strength and to love their neighbor as themselves.  

I realized anew that I can pray this but it is really God who is preparing them... not me.  He may chose to use me or not.  This is His thing with each one of my kids, not mine.

For those of you who subscribe to Emme's blog, she is working on a post with the entire story.  It's best in her words.  However, the synopsis is that while the kids at camp were working on their craft, in the camp chapel, one boy spoke up and said "I don't believe in God!"  Soon, Emme was defending her God to several boys and giving answers for all of their questions.  

Emme said to me, "Mom, it made me mad that he would say he doesn't believe in God while we were in the chapel!"

With tears in my eyes and a mile-wide smile on my face, I am humbled to be her mom!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Sabbath rest

Tonight will mark our 8th family Sabbath Celebration, and I'm not sure I've needed one more than I need tonight.  

I'm tired... plain ol' worn out... seems like we've had more crazy days than normal around here.

I'm drained... I put the finishing touches on VBS late this morning.  In two days, we will embark on 5 day Journey to the Promised Land.  Writing always drains me.  There is something incredible about leaving it all on paper and walking away completely drained.

I'm spent... emotionally this has been a tough week in more ways than one... an emotionally charged week with high peaks and low dips.

I'm craving rest.  I'm starving for some quiet time at His feet where He will faithfully refresh and renew my soul, my spirit, my heart... through some Sabbath rest.

My treasure...




It's been a while since I blogged a post bragging on my man.  


He works hard for us.  Often I take my status as a stay-at-home-mom for granted.  I forget that this privilege wouldn't be possible if he weren't willing to work hard for us. He's worked in our local ER for over 11 years (6 as a Paramedic and 5 as a nurse).  Not only does he work hard, but he is really good at what he does.  


I was reminded of this yesterday when I got the following message from my friend, Kelly, on facebook.  I met Kelly years ago before either of us were married.  She just realized, this week, that the paramedic that helped her infant son in our local ER 8 years ago is my man.  


Her message was a great reminder to me that my man is amazing and I am blessed beyond measure to be walking this path of life with him.  My heart always knows this... sometimes my brain needs a reminder!




We think he is wonderful! When my son who is 8 now was a month and a half old we were at the ER with a high fever. The person attending the ER tried to do a spinal tap, which we were not able to be in the room, but your husband was. The person doing the tap was not nice to us at all. Your husband kept apologizing because the guy was really rude and didn't get the spinal tap done after sticking our baby several times. They admitted our son and Dr. K came in later in the evening to do the tap and your husband came up from the ER to be with our son while they did the tap and then came and talked to my husband & I. He was awesome! He told us that he was doing his round in the ER for Multi that evening. We knew that God had placed him there to reassure us during that difficult time! 
You've got a special guy there! Just wanted to let you know we appreciate him!


I love that not only does my man work hard, he plays hard with us too.  This picture is from our 4H Fair last summer.  He saves his vacation days to take the week of Fair off to help with 4H animals, to watch the kids show their various projects and to camp at the Fair with us.  


My brain needed the reminder this week of the treasure that I call MY MAN!