Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas carols are being sung and again I find prayers escaping my lips.

From the archives:

Two weeks after Christmas still finds one of my little men continually singing Joy To The World. And I mean continually.... this morning as he sat there singing while he was building with his legos, I found myself thinking... pondering... praying...

Joy To The World
Yes, Joy to the world, my son.

The Lord Has Come
Our Lord has come. Our Savior. My son, grab the words...
He came for me, He came for you. He has come...

Let Earth Receive Her King
Yes, let us receive him. O Father, help us, help me, help us to receive You in Your fullness.

Let every heart prepare Him room
O Lord, let our hearts be fully open... Come, Come Lord Jesus. We want You. All of You.

And Heaven and Nature Sing. And Heaven and Nature Sing
Yes, Lord. May singing, may joy flow from the depths of our being. May our lives sing. Thank you Lord from coming... Thank you for the singing we see in nature, the singing that is all around us. All heaven and nature sings...

And Heaven and Nature Sing... And Heaven and Nature Sing...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our Week In Pictures...

...A week full of creating...

...a week full of special times with family and friends...

...and time spent outside...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The house sits quiet as the Christmas tree lights shine and the fireplace brings forth warmth. The little ones are asleep and my husband is working away. This is such a beautiful time of year and we find ourselves so full of anticipation... so full of gratefulness... so, so full.

This week has found us outside running and jumping, breathing deep, working hard...

our hearts and hands preparing for Christmas...

We slow down and look around, wanting to see Him...

And we find Him in a million different ways. We gather and we share, everyone joining in. There is so much to be thankful for...

A fresh Christmas tree, lights, Christmas Eve, Christmas songs, warm days and snow, Dad, Alaina, smiles and laughter, the stars, the Christmas party with our friends, making peppermint bark and decorating cookies, a break from school...


And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

Luke 1:46,47,49

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hands at work...

Making the season beautiful.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Little hands decorating the gingerbread house.

I discovered that I have a son whose favorite day is Christmas Eve. Oh, the anticipation of all that is to come.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

When home is ruled according to God's word, angels might be asked to stay with us, and they would not find themselves out of their element.
Charles Spurgeon

Oh Lord, let this be a home of peace and love. Help us, Father, to make this a home of quietness and trust and yet a home full of laughter and joy.... a haven for all who enter.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

To think... almost a year

It was a year ago that I was 38 weeks pregnant with our fifth little one. The Christmas tree was already up, the lights on the house were up and everything was ready for the coming Christmas season. I was seeking His grace as we entered a new season...

It's almost been a year since we welcomed this precious girl into our lives, almost a year since we became a family of seven, almost a year... And oh, how good God has been.

A precious baby girl joined our lives on Thanksgiving day. It's funny because as Thanksgiving day drew near and I just had this feeling that it would be the day she arrived, I grumbled. Yet, after her birth and as the days passed, it became so clear to me that it was the most perfect day for her to be born.

Our precious Alaina, Oh, how we are so thankful for you... for your life. You are busy now, exploring the world around you as you are learning to walk and talk and yet, your favorite thing to do is just to cuddle in with Mommy... or Daddy. We treasure these days with you... and we praise God for the gift of you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

White Days

We've had to say goodbye to our warm fall days. Last week we saw our first snow of the season. The kiddos have been thrilled and are happy to just walk around outside... and run around... and to lay on the ground making snow angles... and to throw snow balls...

It's Monday, a new day and a new week. Thanksgiving is quietly coming up and all that we have to be thankful for seems to be jumping up in front of us just begging to be noticed. There are so many gifts.

The warmth and light from the fireplace on these cold days.

The beauty of waking up to a white world.

The flu behind us.

A husband who so wonderfully helped me and the kiddos while we were sick.

Family. A dad and mom who brought us chicken soup and a sister who sent along her treasured tummy tune-up.

A little girl laughing in the morning after being up during the night getting sick.

Plans being made for Thanksgiving. A menu, shopping lists and fun activities.

Little children stopping to make their own "tree of thanks".

Dad, snow, Grandma coming to visit, Jesus... are just some the things listed on these leaves

Quiet Sunday afternoons full of games, reading and creating.

A little girl making her first necklace and bracelet.

A new week.

In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 16:11

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It was Friday night and we were getting ready for prayer at a friends. Dinner was finished, dishes being loaded and everyone was busy grabbing their books.

The chatter started just as quickly as we got in the car. Livie sits in-between the boys and just as we were pulling down our street, she yells, "The boys smell like women!"

The car irrupts in laughter.

The boys smell like women?

Where did she get that? Why does she think they smell?

Just as quickly as she blurted that out, the older of the two boys, one of the two boys that was being accused of smelling like a woman, blurts out, "No, Liva stinks!"

The younger of these two boys quickly corrects, "No. Dad, Liva does not smell very good."

The laughter is dying down just a little bit and questions are starting to be asked.

Slowly the truth begins to unravel...

A little girl getting ready for prayer. She ran into Daddy and Mommy's bathroom and found Mommy's body spray. She quickly sprayed some on herself... wanting to be just like mommy.
She just put a little too much on and it was discovered in the car. She just thought it was the boys who smelled.

Oh. my. goodness. How I love these little ones. They bring so much laughter into our lives.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Our week in pictures...

This week has been absolutely beautiful. Right now the temp outside is 68 degrees and tomorrow has promises of being in the 70's. So often this week I have found myself questioning if the calendar really reads November. How can it only be a couple of weeks until Thanksgiving?

I know that we need to vacuum downstairs and some laundry is waiting to be folded. I've promised a sweet little girl that we will make some cookies today. Yet, we slowly find ourselves creeping outside. I think I want to be outside just as much as them. I quickly grab the little one and some knitting and go to join the others out under the sun. I know that soon our days will be colder, snow will sit on the ground and we won't be as anxious to open the door and walk out. So today I let the other things sit. It's good to just sit and watch, letting my heart store up these moments, letting myself breath deep, and to laugh and play.

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

It's been a while since I've done "a week in pictures". I grabbed the camera today as I sat outside and enjoyed the beauty.

::: this chair calls my name so often :) :::

::: trampoline fun :::

::: the breathtaking view :::

::: a little one ready to go explore :::

And now it's time to go make those cookies and fold that laundry. Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

God's voice speaking peace is the sweetest music an ear can hear.

C.H. Spurgeon

Oh Lord, may my ears be open to hear.

Friday, October 29, 2010

What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen
each other in all labor, to minister to each other in all sorrow
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other in all the silent
unspoken memories?
George Eliot

How thankful I am for this man.

Happy Birthday Love.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It was time to think about getting our family pictures taken. Now that we have another little blessing in the family; now that Christmas is coming and a picture is needed for our Christmas card... but I wasn't sure it would happen. I had resolved that this year we might just end up setting up the tripod in our backyard or maybe we could steal my dad away for a couple of quick shots. It wouldn't be that bad.

But, I quickly mentioned something to a gal in our Church who takes beautiful pictures. A couple of phone calls later and it came together. I told her that I just wanted to do something quick and simple... a couple of different spots and we'd call it good.

She loves taking pictures of kiddos and grabbed a couple of fun ones. I'm so thankful that we were able to spend an hour with her one evening.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The fruit of the Spirit is... joy
Galatians 5:22

It's been on my mind continually.

I want to be full of joy. Joy that bubbles up from the depth of my being.

When I look for joy, I find it everywhere and see God's hand in my life in very intimate ways.

When I look for joy.

Stopping to look changes everything.

No longer do I see things just as they are.

a mess that needs to be cleaned up or stopping to see...

the joy of sisters playing together quietly during school.

I choose the latter. I smile, they play and when school is over we work on cleaning it up together.

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
There is no reason to get irritated instead I seek to find joy. Joy even in the little things.

John 15:9-13

Continue in His love... that joy might remain in me...

And yet another mess. Did you notice that this girl knows how to make a mess?

I want to choose joy... to let love fall down.

A sweet little girl playing... finding joy in being a mommy.

I sit down and we play together. She tells me her babies name and where they are going.

A smile crosses my lips. Joy flows and my heart whispers praises to God. We have to much to be thankful for.... so much to be joyful over.

Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.

Mother Teresa

It happens in a million different ways each and every day. A choice. Irritation, frustration, even anger... or choosing to find joy... choosing to let a smile cross our lips.

Lord, help me to always see with your eyes. To let love fall down. To choose joy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Our day...

It's been a while since I sat down to record my day but I quietly wanted to join in today...

FOR TODAY... October 25th

Outside my window... the skies are gray, the wind is blowing and we are suppose to get rain.

I am thinking... or wondering... how long it will take me to finish this. :)

I am thankful for... a little one who is snuggling with me right now, a husband who works hard and a quiet morning.

From the learning room... Yesterday one of my little men found a large garden spider on her web. The boys "fed" her a grasshopper and everyone is excited to go out and check on her today. The beauty of learning...

From the kitchen... baked oatmeal is in the oven.

I am creating... I'm starting to work on some Christmas presents but truthfully, the most important thing we are creating right now is future adults.... we are in the midst of training, teaching, and encouraging little ones. What is more important?

I am going... to enjoy this day.

I am hoping... and praying (!!!) that we have a home of peace and joy.

I am hearing... the babbles of my little one and the sound of wind outside our windows.

Around the house... today is our laundry day. School and laundry will fill our day.

One of my favorite things... a warm cup of green tea

Here is picture thought I am sharing..

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This boy of mine...

I love this picture sequence that we captured while we were outside yesterday. It captures his relationship with Alaina perfectly... whenever she starts crying, he'll go to her rescue. He'll lift her up, hold her tight and start talking with her. A brother's love...

He makes my heart smile...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A fun fall project.

A little girl decorating the front door with it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

some of our morning favorites...

Baked Oatmeal

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup Agave nectar
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups of oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1 cup milk
1 cup berries

Mix all ingredients together and let soak overnight. Bake in a greased 9" pie plate uncovered for 40 minutes at 350. Side note: We use rice milk as we have a little man allergic to milk.
I think our favorite berry to add would be fresh strawberries but we also love blueberries in it and we've done apples and cinnamon with great appreciation. :) Recipe found here.


Bran Muffins

2 cups wheat bran
1 c. boiling water
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 T. molasses
1 1/2 cup flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine bran with boiling water. Add remaining wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients and add to bran mixture. Bake at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes. We will also add raisins sometimes.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Where are my eyes?

Title: Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

Author: Elisabeth Elliot

  • Count your troubles, name them one by one--at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.
  • Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.
  • Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.
  • Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man's gotta live.
  • Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and where they're going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it.
  • Stay away from absolutes. It's what's right for you that matters. Be your own person and don't allow yourself to get hung up on what others expect of you.
  • Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people's. You have your life to live, they have theirs.
  • Don't fall into any compassion traps--the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people's troubles, you may neglect your own.
  • Don't let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what's really relevant--things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones--they're where it's at now.

Truth spoken.

Lord, help me to keep my eyes on You and only You. I don't want to get lost in this world. I don't want to loose sight of You, to loose sight of Your greatest gift, or to loose sight of answered prayers. Because really? You have blessed us with so much. May thankfulness and joy flow from our hearts continually.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10 days, 3000 miles

The journey started early on a Saturday morning. With the cars being packed the night before, we were ready to go. We met my parents and my sister and her family at a Safeway parking lot, the walkie-talkies were turned on, gas tanks were filled and off we went.

We would be gone for ten days.

3000 miles lay ahead of us.

Our first stop found us enjoying a day at Legoland and a day at the ocean. Then we drove north, enjoying some special moments with Brent's mom. But, the reason for this trip? My Uncle's 70th birthday. We told them that we would not miss the celebration for anything. My sister quickly added in, "we would have gone to China if that's where you wanted to celebrate it".

Lake Tahoe was our final destination, the place where we would spend the weekend celebrating. We enjoyed the beautiful surroundings, swam each night, took an adventure on the Tahoe Queen and enjoyed the birthday dinner on Saturday night.

Memories were made. Sweet memories.

There was love and laughter and smiles.

Each moment was enjoyed to the fullest.

And now we are home.

We now find ourselves getting back into school and back into routines... Enjoying the cooler autumn days... Making plans for school and plans for the holidays.

Home is a beautiful place to be.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


She stops, pausing for a minute and then looks at me.

My favorite name is Mama.

Quickly she starts playing again.

My heart ponders her words.

I just want to soak in what she said.

Some days are long and hard.

Some days are full of joy and laughter.

But there is nothing else I would rather be doing.

Again, she stops. She's been thinking of names for a baby and she looks at me.



My favorite name is Mama.

Her words are a balm

They are sweetness.

I pause again. To soak in.

To remember this moment.

It's a moment to treasure.

A moment to store away.


And then I stop.

How our Father must love it when our favorite name to call on is His.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Colors Abounding
Trees Stand In All Their Glory
Autumn Days Are Here

Sunday, September 19, 2010

a little girl and fashion

Yesterday we found ourselves with our very first cold morning and this sweet little girl just did not know how to get herself dressed. She naturally grabbed her shorts and short sleeve shirt, yet she was cold so she quickly found a long sleeve shirt to go over her first shirt and added some socks. And then to go outside? A scarf, mittens and snow boots was the answer.

The funny thing is that her older sister was not dressed much different.

They make us smile.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I'm sitting outside right now. Enjoying the afternoon and it's warmth, enjoying the gentle breeze... The first day of fall comes next week but it's here already. I can feel fall in my bones. I can smell it and taste it and oh, how it makes me smile.

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself wanting to hold onto summer. I didn't want to let the warm days go, I wasn't ready for a daily schedule to return, or for our evenings outside to end earlier. But, here we are. School has returned and how good it feels to fall back into a routine. Evening walks find us walking under the moon and stars and then all of a sudden I start to remember. I remember how much I love fall. The cooler mornings and the warm afternoons. It will soon be time for soups and candles.

So, maybe we can just hold onto fall a little longer this year and maybe the holidays won't be here so quick? :)


We spent our morning outside doing school. Reading our books on a blanket, painting pictures and exploring. We found ourselves simply enjoying all that surrounds us. Enjoying His creation.

This afternoon we enjoyed a bike ride and piano lessons. We climbed up and picked fresh peaches from our tree, quickly eating one and then two, laughing as the juice ran down our arms.

Fridays are beautiful.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

doing the next thing

Last week just seemed to be one of those weeks. Looking back, I can see that there were several things making it one of those weeks. The days were long. The kids were tired. My attitude was bad.

It was in those moments that I would remember just do the next thing.

I would whisper a prayer for help. I'd stop and seek out the beauty that always surrounds me yet I fail to see sometimes. And then, I'd work on doing the next thing.

And I'd be changed in the process. Thank goodness!

It's funny because I don't remember the story around do the next thing. I just remember the words, do the next thing. So I stopped and looked it up.

The poem says, "Do it immediately, do it with prayer, do it reliantly, casting all care. Do it with reverence, tracing His hand who placed it before thee with earnest command. Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing, leave all resultings, do the next thing." That is a wonderfully saving truth. Just do the next thing.
From Elisabeth Elliot

Yes, that's just what I needed.

And today? We're thankful for a new week.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A princess in the making

How precious this little girl is. She makes us smile.