Quick, before I get Sidetrack'd


Thoughtfully penned on March 17th, 2014 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life, The Glory of God

I am a runner. It’s true. I don’t currently run long distances and due to the time constraints of our schedules I don’t run often, but I am a runner.

I started running in high school. It was a good way to stay in shape in the off-season (I also played basketball). But equally, if not more, important to me at the time was the fact that my brother was a runner. My brother was (is) my hero, and I desperately wanted to be like him.

One thing I clearly remember from my days as a track athlete (and I use the term very loosely) is pacing. If you start a race too fast you don’t have anything left at the end. You struggle along that last distance as you watch your fellow racers pass you. The goal is to start at a moderate pace saving some of your energy and momentum for a final kick, a strong end.

Right now I am in that closing distance. The finish line of so many things looms just out of reach in the distance. And I am struggling to maintain momentum.

Last week was spring break from all of our activities, and we took the week off of school as well. I hoped the break would refresh, and I would come into this week ready to finish strong, ready to dig in, excited to get back to it.

But I’m not.

As I ran Saturday I prayed for endurance. I prayed that I will finish well. I prayed that at the end of these next seven weeks I can count victory in the name of Jesus. I prayed that each day I will press on, and at the end of the day I will raise my hands to heaven and praise my God because he allowed me to endure.

You see, I think these next seven weeks aren’t about the things I do. They aren’t about finishing the book work and learning to read and knowing how to multiply. They aren’t about preparing meals and doing laundry and sweeping the floors. They aren’t about having the best Bible story and pitching my hymns perfectly and answering all of the questions right.

I think these next seven weeks are about finding strength in weakness. They are about relying on God to take care of the things. They are about trusting that He equips me because He has called me. They are about enduring and finishing well.

Paul was a runner, too; a runner for the cause of Christ.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it…I do not run aimlessly.” 1 Corinthians 9:24, 26

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

Paul is one of my heroes, and I desperately want to be like him.

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Welcome to 2014!

Thoughtfully penned on February 17th, 2014 and generally concerning Goals

Yes, I realize I’m about six weeks late to this party, but if there is one thing at which I excel it is procrastination.

So, here is my first of the year post about resolutions…

I am not a resolution maker by nature. I find that using the term “resolution” and making them at the first of the year leads to a desire to do the exact opposite of that which I’ve resolved. Resolution to get up early and workout equals staying in bed an extra half hour (or more). Resolution to eat better equals undeniable cravings for everything chocolate. Resolution to let the kids watch only one show in the morning and start school at the same time everyday with everyone dressed and ready to go. Well, that’s obviously not ever going to happen.

I find that life works better when I ease into these so called “resolutions”. Yep, there’s that procrastination again. And I wonder why it takes so long for my children to finish their school work.

That being said, I do have a few things I’d like to achieve in 2014. Up to this point these goals have resided only in my head which means they are in imminent danger of being lost every moment. So let’s get them on virtual paper and we’ll see how it all plays out as the year goes on.

1. begin exercising regularly again (I actually started this 4 weeks ago, now to just carry on)
2. start and complete the Whole30 eating program/”systemic reset” (this begins tomorrow…yikes)
3. run a 5k in the spring and a 10k in the fall
4. lose some weight (right now I’m at 4 pounds lost, hoping for 22, but body shape and the way I feel is more important than the number)

5. begin recycling cardboard and plastic
6. have the kitchen redo/build-out quoted
7. paint the kids bedrooms and move M in with the girls and J into his own room
8. buy new bedding for our room and repaint the walls

9. incorporate the BSF school study into our Bible curric (starting in Sept)
10. finish school by the last week of April
11. have 2014/15 curriculum in hand by the end of May
12. begin working with S on early reading skills
13. create a read aloud list for the summer

Random personal goals:
13. read 30 books (I’m 9 in at this point)
14. find a Bible study to work through this summer between BSF years
15. sew at least one dress/outfit for each of the girls
16. complete the 2 cross stitch projects that I’ve started
17. blog regularly again

That looks like a good start on things. I’ll update, add, and revise as the year goes on. Happy 2014!

Weekend Antics

Thoughtfully penned on September 16th, 2013 and generally concerning Family, God's at Work in My Life

The weekend began with giraffes, just because it was Friday,


and ended with trampoline hair at small group on Sunday evening.


The time between was packed with fun, and work, and rest.

A freezer filled with meals for the days and weeks to come.

Hanging out with the cousins who we see much more often now, but not nearly as often as we’d prefer.


And long, good, intense (deep, not heated) discussions with our small group family.

I’ve spent time recently reflecting a bit on our time here, in this city that we now call home. Just over eight years ago God moved us to this place that we never would have chosen on our own, this place that would never have come up in a discussion about places we would consider living.

But oh, how good God is! He has placed us in family, not of blood but of Christ. He has blessed us with four lives and entrusted to us their care and training. He has given us work to do and sweet rest. He’s given contentment in places there was once only longing. He has made this home, and how abundantly thankful we are.

“For the Lord comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.” Isaiah 51:3

Waking up is hard to do

Thoughtfully penned on July 11th, 2013 and generally concerning Life with littles, S

My older kiddos roll out of bed early and hit the ground running. They’ve been that way from the very beginning.

Not S. No, my sweet middle girl takes after her momma. And that means waking up doesn’t come easy.

Every morning she rolls out of bed and walks down the hallway thumb in mouth, eyes half open, hair disheveled, blanket dragging. And, never fail, some of the first (very) few words out of her mouth are, “I want orange juice.”

She does not function well without her orange juice. It’s like her body doesn’t wake up until she has that jolt of fructose. In fact, we’ve been known to ration orange juice (or make a grocery trip just to get it) to make sure she has at least a small cup. It gets ugly around here otherwise.

Seriously, it’s like coffee for the three year old set.

Sometimes I wish I drank caffeinated coffee

Thoughtfully penned on June 13th, 2013 and generally concerning Uncategorized

Summer is in full swing around here. The heat was a little late to the party, but it rolled in just in time for VBS this week.

VBS week is always “tired week” around here. Evening VBS throws off all of our schedules, and by Thursday we’re in a bit of a tail spin. But we persevere and enjoy the insanity this one week a year.

This year the kids are also attending morning VBS with friends. They are loving every minute of it! There is nothing that says “Summer” to church kids like VBS; the more the better.

Our church’s VBS theme this year is “kids serving others”. Each night the Bible story is a launching point for another area that can be served. The areas we’re covering are family, friends, neighbors, community, and God. The kids are challenged to find ways to serve each day and bring them back written on paper hands when they come to VBS each evening. It is such fun to see the kids brainstorm ways to serve others and to see the excitement in their faces as they report their kind deeds.

So as we make our way through this week filled with VBS, late lunches, late naps, rushed dinners, evenings away from home, and being up past bedtime, I cherish the moments where my older kids think of ways to serve and reflect on ways they’ve helped others throughout their busy days.

Even as my weary mind and body crave caffeinated coffee and a nap.

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toddling through milestones

Thoughtfully penned on March 12th, 2013 and generally concerning Uncategorized

My baby girl isn’t much of a baby anymore. On Friday, she will be 19 months old; officially closer to two years old than one year old. I try not to think about that too much, though.

This is the first child that I’ve truly been able to enjoy this early toddler phase. When E and J were 19 months old I was 8 months pregnant. When S turned 19 months old I was 4 days from delivering baby M. It is so much fun to see her develop and learn and grow.

Most of her current milestones involve speech. The little booger is repeating everything and adding new words to her flourishing vocabulary by the minute it seems. At her 18 month check up (23.5 pounds, 31 inches, 25th percentile in both – for the record) I was asked if she had 4 to 10 words; oh yes, she sure did.

Mama (and now Mommy), Dada (now Daddy), ball, dee-dee (blanket), please, thank you, dee-bee (baby), i-eee (eye), ees (ears), nu (nose), be-dee (belly), schee (cheese), bi-bah (ipod), heh-o (hello), hi

And since then she’s added…all three of her siblings names, cu (cup and cut), wa-wa (water), no, my (mine), dog, kitty, ca (car), rah-rah (stuffed tiger), bu (book)

She waves, she claps, she signs please, thank you, amen. She says “I see” and “I want”. She smiles and plays and runs and loves to snuggle in your lap with dee-dee and rah-rah. She likes to look at books as long as she is in charge of turning pages. She loves her siblings and wants to do everything they do. She screams “peas” if you don’t catch on soon enough.

She is a perfectly imperfect full-blown, no going back toddler. As she is just as cute as she can be.

on saving daylight and spring

Thoughtfully penned on March 11th, 2013 and generally concerning Life with littles, Spring

They were still jabbering at 9:00 last night, happy sibling voices conversing instead of sleeping. And now they are still sleeping. Oh what a love/hate relationship I have with you daylight saving time.

So I have a few extra minutes this morning. Minutes to write. To fill this space that I’ve left empty for so many months now.

This week is spring break for our local schools. Since most of our normal activities for the week are cancelled for the break, we will join in the fun. Trips to the fire museum, the children’s museum, the zoo await us.

The weather isn’t as warm as I would prefer this week, in the mid to upper fifties instead of the seventies, but I don’t want to rush the long, hot days of summer, so we will put on jackets and enjoy the things our city has to offer.

The weekend was delightful, temperatures in the low 70s. We had a beautiful spring day on Saturday and enjoyed it playing in the yard with Nonnie and Pops, having lunch out, and visiting the park. Sunday was dreary and rainy, a great day to nap and catch up on that hour of sleep we lost overnight Saturday.

The daffodils have just started to bloom here. A late start this year, but a gorgeous herald of spring. Daffodils and tulips make me smile.

Last Saturday I ran in snow, this Saturday I ran in shorts. Oh spring, you are coming, and I welcome you with open arms.

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December FOUR

Thoughtfully penned on December 4th, 2012 and generally concerning FOUR

It’s been a day of moments.

Like this one…

They never would have posed like that if I’d asked them; it was just part of their play.

Or the one where S came into the room carrying a bag and said she’d just “got back from down the town to kafari (safari).”

Or the one where the four were headed outside to play safari with E in a fire fighter jacket, J in an Air Force flight suit, and S in her giraffe costume.

Or the one where J woke up asking if he could do more math today.

Or the ones where M nodded or shook her head (or whole body, rather) to answer a question.

Or the one going on right now where they are all happily playing in one room together.

December four is good.

Thanksgiving, Days 9-19

Thoughtfully penned on November 20th, 2012 and generally concerning Giving Thanks

So much for posting something every day! Believe it or not, I’ve actually had something to post each day and failed to take time to write. And I actually started this post on Friday, and here we are at Tuesday. So, here’s a catch up list. :-)

Day 9 – I am thankful for the ability to buy food for our family and the resources to feed our family the way we believe we should.

Day 10 – I am thankful for beautiful weather in November and a fun morning with Aunt Lu and her gang

Day 11 – I am thankful for our church and the ability to worship God freely.

Day 12 – I am thankful for the men and women who have and currently are serving in our armed forces. Especially my favorite Air Force Major, my brother Jason.

Day 13 – I am thankful for Christ and the salvation, grace, and mercy he pours out on me.

Day 14 – I am thankful for the churches in our community that support BSF, homeschool activities, etc that are a continual blessing to our family.

Day 15 – I am thankful for healthy children. So many families are going through so much. We are blessed.

Day 16 – I am thankful for homeschooling. We have our fair share of rough days, but the good days are great days. It is so fun watching my kids learn.

Day 17 – I am thankful for days of rest.

Day 18 – I am thankful for our small group. God has surrounded us with a wonderful group of friends!

Day 19 – I am thankful for our justice and court systems. But I am praising God that I was not chosen to sit on the grand jury!

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Thanksgiving, Day 8

Thoughtfully penned on November 8th, 2012 and generally concerning Giving Thanks

Today I am thankful for the grace of God. By his grace I have life, breath, and all good things. Praise God!

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