Monday, October 29, 2012


Like the rest of the world, I was horrified to read the reports of the nanny in New York. I can't even type what she did because it's unthinkable. I was even more shaken to realize we have a mutual friend. When it hits closer to home, it's just more shocking. It's personal. I can't stop thinking about this family, yet every time I think too deeply about it, I stop. It's a luxury those outside the tragedy have, to be able to just stop.

The last three miles of the race I did this weekend, my friend and I turned on our music and I was alone with my thoughts for the first time since this happened, so I let my mind dwell there. It makes me sick, sad, and scared. I feel my heart beat faster when I think about it. So I started praying for this family and I didn't even know what to pray. Peace? Strength? They just want their kids. So I prayed for God to remember his promises. He promises to make beauty from ashes, give dancing for mourning, work all things for our good, give new mercies each day. He says his thoughts are higher than our thoughts and our ways aren't his ways. The Psalms say we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I want to see it. I want THEM to see it.

My prayer is justice for this family; it's God fulfilling his promises in their life. I can't even fathom what that might look like, the heartbreak is so deep and seems so final. But this is the same God I joyfully served yesterday, the same one that has rescued me countless times. He is no less good or sovereign for the tragedies I see. It makes me realize even more that this world is so broken. We weren't made for death and destruction. We were made for Eden. I don't know and will never, this side of heaven, be able to understand why the unthinkable, the unimaginably horrific, happens. For now, I want to weep with those who weep (Rom 8:22) and bear a portion of their burden (Gal 6:2).

When Jesus comes back, he will wipe every tear from every eye and there will be no more sadness (Rev 21:4). I know he waits for others' salvation (2 Pet 3:9) and he will come without delay (Heb 10:37). 

I don't write this to preach; I write it to honor the memories of these children. I write it to affirm to myself who God is and that my faith is intact. I need to write down his promises and remember he told me I wouldn't understand his ways. And I don't. So instead I'm just hanging onto what I know is true.

"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living."
Psalm 27:13

For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Isaiah 61:8

Monday, October 22, 2012

As crafty as I'll get

THIS is our pumpkin carving. Thank you, Target, for plastic stick-ins. It's all my boys will ever know.

Alllllll my pumpkins.

They have had haircuts since then. Poor Walker was starting to get 1970's bangs.

In all seriousness, which item is rounder?

More of my peeps.

Don't be fooled by their long sleeves. It's still 80+ here but they had fall pics made this morning and I just didn't want them in shorts and t shirts. Sorry guys. At least you weren't in plaid pants and sweatervests because we all know I'm not above that.

This has just been a random picture dump because things have been the best kind of ordinary lately. I've just had time to hang out with my little ones and marvel at how they're growing.

Doesn't he look 14 here?? A few mintues after I took this picture he walked in the living room and told me, "It's a mess in here." Hahhahahahaha, you know things are bad when your 3 year old is concerned about toy clutter. Notice, there is no picture of that. There was probably one book on the just-vacuumed floor, nothing to see, really.

This one is growing faster than I can handle. I shouldn't be surprised though, look at what it takes to fill him up.

Yes, there are THREE baby food containers there. That's why he's beaming. This sweet thing also learned how to sign for a bottle. It appears that food is a priority for him.

Harris has stayed busy building elaborate creations with these spinning gears. I'm not clear on how they work, actually, but he has it figured out.

These are our days right now and it's been so nice. No rush, no agenda, just hanging out and enjoying each other's company. Of course, there comes a point when we we've had our fill of each other's company and then we sit on the driveway and wait for Tom to come home. Don't pretend like you all haven't been there too.

The Bible study I do (Community Bible Study, thurs mornings, if anyone wants to come!!) has been studying Genesis and it's been so interesting. I saw this quite awhile ago but was really struck again by what all Noah had to go through. It was so interesting to me that God gave him very specific instructions on how to build the ark but then didn't give him explicit information about the rest of the ordeal.

This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. (Gen 6:15)

Then Noah had to wait around and send out random birds to figure out when it was time to leave the ark. Seriously?? God told him what sort of wood to use and dimensions of everything, but not how long he would have to be there? Surely Noah's family was getting antsy and wanted to know when they could get out. I would be OVER the bird thing, sending it out, waiting around for it to come back, on and on. But it's a promise that God will be a lamp to our feet, not a spotlight, and to supply our needs, not our wants.

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus
Phil 4:19

Noah NEEDED to know how to build the ark and only God was able to tell him. While he also needed to know when they could get out, he didn't need to get information directly from God about it. He could wait and it would become obvious. For me, the takeway was that I don't need all the information that I want. Furthermore, I'm not going to get all the information that I want anyways, so I better learn to settle down and wait. Hmph. Noah was probably praising God for sparing his life because the first thing he did when he got out of the ark was build an altar. That is how he used his wait. So am even better takeaway would be to focus on God in the wait, rather than circumstances, and remember what he's done. This is why I love this bible study, because answering pointed questions about scripture is so helpful in noticing these things. I love that the story of Noah has real world application today. This is also why I like blogging because I didn't catch what Noah must have been doing while he was waiting until I started writing about it.

If anyone wants to come with me, it is definitely worth your time!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith
Hebrews 12:1-2

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Thomas and Camping.

Walker's belated birthday present was a trip to see Thomas the train. Someone came up with the genius idea of building a Thomas look-a-like and taking him across the country.

Walker didn't know what to do with himself because there was some sort of Thomas paraphanelia everywhere he looked. He was so excited to see the conductor but then something else caught his eye while I tried to get a picture.

They had little activities to do so you could make a whole morning of it.

The bounce house was train shaped, of course. 
You could take your pic with Thomas but Walker just wanted to stare at him.

By far Walker's favorite thing was handing his ticket to the conductor. He probably handed it to someone 10 times and this VERY nice man would always play along with him. Here he is gearing up to hand his ticket.

Checking out the new whole punches.

I'm pretty sure this was the best day of his life. The actual train ride was pretty funny. You just went backwards for about 10 minutes, then forward to the starting point. They didn't care and I'm not sure they even noticed. They were both glued to the window the entire time.

I'm glad we went to the trouble to do it, because both boys loved it.

My fun friends had an idea to take the older kids camping. This was SO FUN!!! I don't know if the moms or kids had  more fun! We ate and ate and ate while the kids played with sticks
 and ran around. It's just so fun to be out in nature away from any responsibiliies and just relax.

That was our setup. The tent directly above looks like it would be easy to set up. It's not.

We did it up right and roasted marshmallows and even had story time and craft time. Big props to Retta for setting up the tents AND starting the fire AND providing 99% of the vital equipment. It was so fun, can't wait to do it again!

I heard something recently that I think is really applicable to me right now. The speaker was saying that you're going to talk to someone about your unresolved issues, you better talk to the RIGHT someone. You need to take it to God and get it off your chest and if you feel it's appropriate, take it to whoever you think needs to hear, but make a decision. Be intentional. Don't just let the emotions sit idle because they're going to surface. I'm a woman, OF COURSE we want to talk it out. As obvious as it sounds, it really never occurred to me to sit down and think "Who do I need to talk to about this to be done with it?" After I  heard the speaker say that, it still didn't click with me until I found myself in a situation talking to people I shouldn't have been, purely because I had the need to talk it out.  I think I had been content to ignore certain things because there's no action needed by anyone. I'm not angry, nor do I have reason to be. No one owes me an apology or needs to make something right. I just want to be heard, simple as that. Considering I overshare on the internet regularly, I'm sure it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that I would want to be heard. What was such a shift in thinking for me was that wanting to be heard was valid. That it's ok to just need to have a discussion without any expectation or need of a particular outcome. The discussion IS the desired outcome. That was my relevation for this week and in the spirit of continued oversharing, I wanted to blog about it.

That's all I have. If anyone wants to go camping, please invite me. And be prepared to provide equipment and survival skills.

And I love this scripture beacuse I can't even count the ways I fall short, daily and repeatedly. What good news this is for people like me.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Romans 3:23-24

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Catching up.

I was clicking through pics and realized I hadn't put first day of school or Walker's bday up yet. Confession: I don't have first day of school pics. I was rounding everyone up and hustling out the door and forgot. But I have 2nd or 3rd day pics. Close enough.
Harris is in Pre-k.....real live pre-k. As in the year immediately before kindergarten. <sob>. He's going two mornings a week and I actually think he could do 3. He is ready for some more action than what we've got going on around here. But two it is, so that's fine. He loves it and asks every day if it's a school (skull) day.

Carey, are you reading this?? Love that sign!! It has saved many a naptime.

I was unsure about Harris' school this year because it's new to him. I asked him before we switched him if he minded going someplace new and was specific that his old friends wouldn't be there. He didn't care and was excited about new territory. After a few days at the new place I asked him if he was happy. He looked at me and said. "I'm always happy, mommy." Sweet boy. I could just eat him up.

We had a little family party for Walker's bday. This was his reaction to us singing to him.

We sang to him at my mom's house and it was the same response. I think he liked it but just wasn't sure what to do with all the attention.

I had a challenge finding some cake mix that didn't have red dye. As I'm typing this I realize I could have just made something from scratch. That didn't occur to me until just now. Maybe next year, because the cupcakes I made were pretty gross. That didn't get Walker down, though.

This is the face he makes every time I say, "look at me."

He does it every single time. Except the time I asked him to look at me just so my friends could see his weird face. Then he looked totally normal, with just a hint of a smirk. I think he knew what was up.

Hayes is fine. He thinks he's five.

He just watches his brothers, DYING to get in the mix of what they're doing. I am so, so glad he can't move. Both the other two were crawling at this point and Hayes is nowhere close, HALLELUJAH.

This is what he does when he realizes food is on its way.

He kicks his legs so much they're just a blur. This one can eat!

If you want a great workout song that's also a worship song, this one is soooo good.

That's it! Hope everyone is having a good week!

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Phil 4:8