Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

2014 was an amazing year.  It was filled with so much fun and joy and excitement.  I got to see my two squirmy babies grow into little walking and talking toddlers.  I got to see Grace learn how to read and Abi start developing her little personality more and more.  It was also a really hard year - that's 4 (yes 4) kids to keep track of, a ministry to run, "extra" people in my home to care for, work to do and a house to keep running smoothly.  Oh, and I spent the last third of the year growing baby number 5 who will be here in March/April.  It's been a little crazy around here.

Looking ahead to the next year I don't want to make resolutions, I don't want to choose one word to meditate on for the year - frankly, my attention span isn't that long.  I do want to set some written, attainable goals though that have been on my heart.

1. After baby is born, I want to start training for and run 2 5Ks this year.  If all goes well I might like to try a 10K.  This also means making healthy food choices and working on my struggle with all things sugary.

2. My desire is to only commit to projects, tasks or events that I can focus on enough to do well.  My life is busy.  My season is at home with my kids.  That doesn't mean turning down every opportunity, but to really focus on what is attainable for me and won't leave someone else disappointed.

3. Finally, my goal is to honor my husband and my family by continuing to use some different programs and techniques (more on that later) to make sure my home stays welcoming, clean and enjoyable.  I also will be working hard to make sure that as much as it depends on me, our family stays on budget.

These may not seem like wild, earth changing goals.   I'm ok with that.  I am in the process of raising 4 (soon to be 5) little earth changers and my number one job right now is to train and equip them, as well as the older girls that live with us.  Demonstrating how to do the wife and mom role cheerfully and well equipped by staying in love with the Lord is my calling and I will follow that call with everything I've got!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

To Jacob, on your first birthday!

(Pictures to come)


You are a sweet teddy bear of a little man.  You absolutely love to be held and cuddled, mainly by momma but really by anyone who has their hands free.  You aren't anxious to walk because you prefer to be loved on.  You laugh is infectious and your smile can light up a room - but you definitely make people work for it.  Daddy called you our engineer but you are much easier to make laugh these days!  You are sweet and gentle.  You like to clap your hands when you hear other people clap.  Mama and dada are your only words right now, and we're ok with that!

J, you are such a sweet boy and I hope you never lost that gentleness.  I pray that you would just grow up to fall in love with the Lord and continue to care about and love on the people around you.  You are capable of anything and I can't wait to see who you will become.  Jakey, I am so glad you're mine!


To Levi, on your first birthday!

(Pictures to come)

Levi James,

Oh my goodness how I adore you.  You are such a sweet little guy and always quick with a smile.  You have an amazing little personality that just makes people light up.  You are quick, strong and you definitely know what you want (aggressive is the word Papa used)!  You are already taking a few steps walking and getting better at it every day!  Your favorite food seems to be quesadillas and apples although you'll eat almost anything.  You do NOT like sippy cups although we're working on that.

Little man, I hope you are always so cheerful and quick with a smile.  You have a little dimple that people just fall in love with and you have a way with making people just delight in you.  I told you moments after you were born that my prayer was that you would love the Lord and treat girls how they ought to be treated.  I continue to pray those things over you and can't wait to see the little boy you become!

Love you,

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

To Grace, on your 5th Birthday


I have so enjoyed watching you grow little girl!  You are getting to be such a big kid!  You told me today that you're 5 so you're big now and that makes you happy happy happy!  You have such a sweet spirit and you LOVE to be a helper.  You are always so quick to ask me for jobs when you see me working on projects around the house.  You are great at doing the dishes and vacuuming!

I love that you want so badly for people around you to be happy.  You like to make sure everyone is included!  Your favorite things to do these days are play board games with mom or Abi.  You LOVE when Daddy takes you on fishing dates (or really to do anything!). 

Bug, I love your heart!  I love how smart you are and how thoughtful you are.  You are growing and learning so much and I can't wait to see how you continue to grow and how you'll impact this world! 


For your birthday dinner you asked for:
 Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, broccoli

For your birthday cake you asked for:
 Chocolate - although tonight we are skipping cake and getting ICE CREAM at Youngs! :)

Your favorite toys are:
Candy Land, your Elsa doll and play dough

You don't like:
Being told you can't help or not being included in things.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pregnancy #5

It's that time again...although not quite THAT time because I'm usually pretty consistent about getting positive pregnancy tests in December or January - but hey, why not do this one a little earlier after twins!  :)

We are in our cautiously optimistic phase of this pregnancy meaning that it has been confirmed by a pregnancy test (ok, maybe three) but I haven't been to the doctor yet.  To answer the common questions, no, we weren't "trying" to have another baby.  No, we still don't use birth control.  Yes, we do know how this happened.  And yes, we believe children are a gift from God so we will continue to be joyful and celebratory about life.

The week of July 21 Grace and Abi had VBS so we were up and out the door early every morning.  I was also training for my first 5k and running three times a week.  I just felt really run down though and felt like I couldn't catch up on sleep and never really felt "good".  On Saturday the 27th I decided to start ruling out possibilities and took a pregnancy test, not expecting anything from it, while Aaron was heading over to the church to help out with a wedding. 

Well, funny story, I got two pink lines.  I called him a few minutes later - I tried really hard to wait until he got back home - and caught him right as he got to the church.  He seemed surprised (as was I) and I told him I was going to go take another test.  The girls were still napping and the boys were crawling around their room.  I remember looking at them and laughing at how they were still so small and there were two of them and this was going to add a whole new level of crazy to our lives - but my goodness, if we can rejoice and love having twins, we can conquer anything!  We told my parents and Hub's parents the next day. 

Side note: on my 30th birthday, July 30, I ran my first 5k, while pregnant in 34 minutes.  This was a HUGE accomplishment for me and a goal that I had set for myself at the beginning of the summer.

I still am grateful that God has seen us fit parents and continues to trust us with life.  And yes, it is hard and crazy and fun and amazing.  I can't wait to continue this journey, this trusting and meet this amazing life that I get to be responsible for!

First doctors appointment was August 29th and we heard a strong heartbeat!  Too early to tell how many might be in there :)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

To Abi, on your 3rd birthday!


You are such an amazing little girl.  I'm so glad you're mine.  You have such energy and spunk!  You have such an amazing little sassy side but are so kind and gentle and sweet.  I LOVE how you adore your brothers and sister.  You are always quick to be mommy's helper and you don't want to be left out of anything!

I love watching you grow and learn.  Already I feel like you are such a verbal little girl - sometimes slurring words together in your hurry to communicate and other times slowly and carefully choosing your words to articulate your thoughts.  You are so little with these flashes of big-kid that I'm just not ready for yet!

I'm thankful for your heart, your love for life and your easy smile.  Your a stubborn kid, but I can't wait to see how you will use that to stand up for what you believe in and to serve people around you.  God crafted you, my precious second daughter, in such an exciting, unique way and I cannot wait to see how you continue to grow.


For your birthday dinner you asked for:
Chicken tenders, tater tots and broccoli

For your birthday cake you asked for:
Strawberry short cake (although mommy made you chocolate cupcakes too because I didn't think you'd actually eat strawberry short cake...I was right :)

Your favorite toys are:
Don't Break the Ice with your sister and your baby dolls

You don't like:
Being told no or when mom forgets to have a cup in the fridge for you in the morning :)

Kiddo, don't ever forget I love you!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kindergarten Homeschool - Week 1

I have an official Homeschooler!  Ok, not quite "official" as I don't have to register her with the state for another year, but as far as I'm concerned, we're official this year! 

I have had a great time and completely stressed out about what, how and when to teach Grace.  She is such a smart kid and I have been searching through ready-made curriculums, piecing subjects together and of course had the complete "what am I thinking" meltdown.  After I went through all that and my husband gently reminded me that at the Kindergarten level I can't really mess her up, we settled for a pretty simple routine.

Calendar - Basically we talk about what day of the week it is, the day number, what the temperature is and what it looks like outside.  I want her to start to understand the mechanics of how a calendar works and begin to put weather and temperature together - I also want to move to "and what does that mean for how we should dress?"  It is basically a fun, quick start to our morning and while she draws in what the weather looks like, I have time to make sure I'm not missing anything for reading or math!

Reading/Writing - We are using "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" that I borrowed from Stephanie (my homeschool friend, mom of 5!).  So far so good!  We are moving slowly but just like I remind Grace, we want to take it slow now because when it gets harder we want to be at the right pace.  There is a writing portion at the end of each lesson so that covers our writing section, but we also incorporate writing into Bible and as we get more proficient at letters we'll do more writing activities.

Math - We are using a first grade math book this year that is set up for a classroom.  I again think that activities are too simple but we will soon be getting into things she hasn't seen before so those will require more time and repetition.  I think this pace is good for us now and we are working on things like counting higher numbers, using a number line and memorizing the names of the higher numbers.

Bible - My goal here is to pick a verse each week then do various activities with it.  We'll write it, memorize it, illustrate it, talk about meaning and why it is important, etc.  This week we are doing Philippians 2:14 (Do everything without grumbling or complaining) which I picked specifically so that as we are getting into this new routine I can remind her to do it cheerfully, although I've gotten no complaints so far.

Read Aloud - Right now we are reading Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.  I was going to start with Little House on the Prairie but I couldn't find one in time so I picked up this book for $1 at Target!  I told her there is a movie based on the book so when we finish reading it we'll have a movie night.  At a chapter a week it will take us a little while.  My goal here is to expose her to good books but also to see how she does with story line retention, focus and not immediately seeing resolution to the story.  We might switch to picture books, but I want to see how she does before we make a decision here.

This schedule so far has given us about 45 minutes of desk time.  Now, I know that she needs active time but I think at this age the rest of her day is active so it's ok to have her sit still for some time.  She is also a great "worksheet" kid and has the desk mentality, at least for now, so she enjoys this structure.  We will spend time outside of scheduled "school time" to do some hands on things - baking, measuring, cause and effect, etc.  I'm just not concerned about formally doing much more than reading, writing and math at this point.

I'm excited to be able to move at her pace, enjoy learning with her and have this quality one-on-one time with her.  We have a happy, busy family and I want to make sure she gets the focus that she needs!  I want my children to get a quality education, at their own pace and really excel and I can't wait to see what this journey will look like. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014



tear down walls, one brick at a time.

wipe tears.

create a safe place.

pray for protection of angels.

cry out to Jesus.

bind up hearts.

bandage up boo boos.

love fiercely.

protect honestly.

nourish bodies and souls.





speak truth and life.

offer advice.

try not to hide.

but I also fail.  and I'm not perfect.  and I don't want to ever pretend to be.  it is of no value to anyone around me if I can't own my shortcomings and point to Jesus even through those.  all of the list above is only by His grace and His power.  On my own, I am still just a kid who is trying to figure things out.  in His power there is hope and redemption and grace and justice and forgiveness and healing.

how great is it that I am nothing on my own.  oh what He can do with this lump of clay.  mold me and make me God, continue to create and refine me.  give me wisdom for when everything hurts and I don't know how to put people myself back together.  I will seek and find rest in You.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The things I'm not doing

I think on this season of life it is sometimes hard to celebrate accomplishments because of that looming feeling of things not being completed. I feel like the list of things I want to do but am not accomplishing is enormous.

I love to work with teen girls, but that is not something I can fit into my schedule. Reading, studying and pondering seem to take a back seat to potty training and diaper changing. I am still working on an updated chore chart for myself....roughly 3 weeks after I started the process. Meal planning just scares me, but something has to be done.

I want to think and grow and inspire and encourage and I know that in some ways just being real about how things are right now is the best way to do that, but oh I long for more. I want to plan homeschool and teach Sunday school well and so I will focus on my home life first.  But I want to be able to say yes to heading up the church rummage sale or helping with the other church ladies projects and be able to just follow through on those things.

I am happy with where I am. I am happy with my little ones and would not exchange this season for a season of freedom without them, but the struggle to balance it all out is a skill I have yet to master.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

What My Days Look Like

i know we have a lot to catch up on.  we'll get there. right now i thought i'd just give you a taste of what my normal day looks like.

8am - Wake up and shower.  I may be up with the boys at this point but I try to leave them in their cribs until I am out of the shower.  (And yes, cribs - we got to borrow one from a friend, so thankful!).

8:30am - Get boys dressed and fed.  Abi dressed maybe.  Think about breakfast.

9am - Breakfast

10am-12pm - House chores, errands, counseling, park fun, coloring, games, whatever.  This is our anything goes time slot.

12:30pm - Lunch for all the kiddos, tv show for the girls


1pm-3pm - I work from home, clean, do projects I can't do with kids...ya know, those things.  I wish this were a longer window ONLY because I always feel like I'm playing catch up.  Ah well, it's a season.

3pm - Homeschool...which consists of learning letter names and sounds right now although the kid already knows most of them.  We are going to start Learn to Read in 100 Easy Lessons soon!

3:30pm-5:30pm - House chores, outside time, whatever.  This is a flexible window but usually at home because I don't wake kids up from naps so there is little predictability. Feed the boys somewhere in here.

5:30pm - Start thinking about dinner, get kids cleaning up

6:30pm - Family dinner and clean up

7:30pm - Watch a bed time show with the girls, feed the boys and get everyone ready for bed.

8pm - Everyone in bed, story with the girls.

At this point my days start to look different :)
Monday and Tuesday I work from 8-10pm from home
Wednesday is date night!
Thursday is Bible study at our house
Friday I get some time out of the house starting around 7
Saturday and Sunday are family days!

So there, that's my normal life...with my crazy family :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We are still alive.

Ya'll, I haven't posted because well...

i'm a mom.

i have twin 6 month olds...and a 2 year old...and a 4 year old...

i homeschool...kinda...

i teach sunday school...

i mentor and fellowship and community with people...

i have 3 extra people living in my house (making it a total of 9)...

and i have a ton of ministry, life and other demands that take up my time and attention.

But ya know what, i have stuff to say.  i am woman, hear me roar!  ok, maybe i won't roar.  i want to post again.  i want to use this as a place to record these memories, because never ever in my life will i get to relive these days.  i want to remember them.  i want to look back and think, i did THAT.  ya know?  you get it, right?

so here is my goal.  i'm going to go schedule posts for the next four fridays (to go live on saturday morning).  hopefully by the time they go live it won't be a sad reminder that i didn't follow through...ha ha, i'm hoping the pre-scheduled posts will help my motivation!

i'm also thinking about moving to a new blog.  i think i want a fresh start where i don't feel like i need to go back and re-read every post before i can spread the word.  we'll see.  i'll keep you posted :)