Deuteronomy 4:35

You have been shown these things that you might know the Lord is God besides him there is no other.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Celebrating Our Biggest Girl

Fifteen years ago, God made me a momma and I was hooked.  I LOVE being a mother.  My children have given me a greater purpose and more JOY than I could ever write.  Yesterday, we spent the day celebrating our Em who turned fifteen.  We got her permit (heaven help us), had chocolate chip pancakes with candles, opened presents in bed, and had a chocolate death cake with fifteen candles with 30 of her friends at youth group.  It was a special day and it just reminded me that we are one year closer to a grown up girl....YIKES! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014


 Last week, we had VBS and I had the pleasure of hanging with lots of incredible kids.  A few of those precious kiddos just happen to have lost their momma in a car accident about three weeks ago.  She was 39 and had 15 children-half of which were adopted. Though I had only met her a few times and didn't have the pleasure of knowing her well, I could tell by how she lived that she was a Godly woman and one who was devoted to her family and the orphan.  Being with two of her precious babes last week every day made me stop and think about what I would leave behind if the Lord chose to take me home today.  I want to do the best I can to be Jesus to my kids.  I want to communicate love, patience, and understanding as often as I can.  I want to teach them to serve others and I just want to take time to have fun with them.  I want to live each day believing that God has a great purpose in it even if that purpose seems small like placing band aids or blowing bubbles.  I am being intentional about stopping and enjoying the beauty that is my precious treasures these days because death has a way of causing you to do that.   

Because of this, we put a tarp on the hill in our backyard, covered it with soap, and hit it running.  The giggles could be heard throughout our neighborhood as my girls slid down our hill into the muddy fence area in our side yard. 

We used a lot of water and made a lot of beautiful memories.

 These are the moments that I want to live for.  These are the times in my life that I want to desire above all else.
I want to stop getting caught up in business and take the time to truly teach my girls to live.  I am grateful for the time that the Lord has allowed me to spend with these beautiful girls of mine in the last few weeks.  I am only wishing it could be summer forever.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Freezer Cooking with My Favorite Three Year Old Side Kick

 It is hard to believe how cool it has been here the last few weeks.  Generally, I would avoid making these pizzas (because the oven has to be at 500 degrees) this time of year, but it has been so pleasant that we made a batch last week to freeze for lunches.  I love knowing these wholesome, yummy pizzas are waiting to feed my crew.
 My Anna Mei loves everything about cooking.  She is always next to me on her stool doing everything that I am doing independently.  For the most part, I let her.  It means more time spent working, a bigger mess, and some imperfections in our product.
It also means bonding, giggles, memories made, a feeling of pride when sees Daddy eating one she made by herself, learning to complete a task and care for the ones you love, and much, much more.  I am grateful to have this little munchkin always under my feet desiring to be everything that is me these days.  I know this time goes by so very quickly and soon she won't be near as thrilled about helping me in the kitchen so I embrace the mess, the extra time, and the imperfections because there is a much bigger task I am trying to accomplish.  I want to build into my girl.  I want share who I am with her and hear the words I heard the other day when I said "Anna Mei when you grow up you are going to be such a wonderful mommy."  She said in response, "Just like you momma."  Melt my momma heart.  Just about fifteen months ago I was a stranger to her and now I am a wonderful momma in her eyes.  To God be the glory for great and amazing things He has done!

(Check out her folding skills as they are so cute.) 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hanging on the Fridge

Hanging on the fridge in my home is a black spider with googly eyes.  This spider is not a classic work of art or evenly cut or any sort of beautiful.  It is something very extraordinary though because it came home with a note from my sweet treasure's summer school class that said she cut a circle and four straight lines to complete this project 100% independently.  Independently!  She did it.  We have only started cutting with her in the last three weeks.  She is picking it up so very fast.  After hanging this spider on the fridge, I teared up most of the morning looking at this miraculous little girl of mine because there were those who thought she would never and yet she is proving them wrong again and again!  This spider is so much more than a craft because it is proof that baby girl can and I believe she will continue!  I can't wait to see where next year brings her.  WAY TO GO SWEET GIRL!!!
Here is my little sweetie beginning to learn to cut just about two weeks ago in OT...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What Walking Beside Those Growing Old Has Taught Me

We are blessed enough to be able to swim indoors at least once a week at a warm therapy pool here in our new city.  My little girls love the water and so I take them to swim for a few hours during the day in this beautiful facility.  We are, by far, the youngest swimmers present each time we go.  We usually crash the water aerobics class that takes place for senior citizens.  In addition to this class, there are also a few other stray men and women, well on in their years, who share the space with my rowdy littles.  Today there was a man there who was probably close to eighty.  This is only about the third time we have seen him here.  He seems to have had a stroke, as he has serious mobility issues, and his face is always mangled like he has been defeated by the neurological issues that plague him.  He is always stoic, always quiet, and goes about his business of walking up and down the pool which in and of itself is a true struggle.    Today, we walked up to the pool expecting the key to be hanging by the door for the class participants as it always is, but there was no key and the pool was locked.  This meant we had to trek back down to the desk to pick up a key.  My Jillian was beside herself with despair.  She thought for sure we weren't going to get to swim.  She began to cry as I scooped her up in pursuit of that key.  When we finally got back to the pool and unlocked the door, she was thrilled though you could see that she had been crying.  And that man, that man who always looked so stoic..the one who never smiles and always looks defeated and in pain..smiled at my sweet, special treasure.  He offered her his floating dumb bells and continued to interact with her throughout his swim.  When my girl swims, it is hard not to catch a bit of her exuberant joy as she jumps, drives, shouts, and laughs with decibels hardly reached by this group of seniors.  At one point, he came right up to her face and she looked him right in the eyes.  He touched her nose and she squirted him plum in the face with water.  It made us all smile.  This sweet treasure, who has known defeat herself before knowing the love of this family, touched this man so deeply that for a moment I saw a glimpse of who he once was apart from his broken body.  This moment made me think that one day in the blink of an eye my babies will be grown and my body will be aging.  I won't be chasing these wild, Chinese monkeys forever because they are going to grow up.  In the craziness of my days, I long to just remember to take a moment to look my girls in the eyes and take in a bit of the joy that having them near should stir in my heart.  For just a moment, I want to stop thinking about missing quiet or hobbies or rest and just simply desire to be the best momma I can be for them in this crazy, active season because this season will soon be over.  One day, my house will be clean, the laundry will be caught up, and I will be the one going to this pool for the water aerobics class missing my babies in my arms.  God is so good to have brought so many into my life because of these girls whom have taught me so very much!  I am thankful for each and every lesson.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Something to Smile About

This beautiful, sweet girl has reached yet another milestone...

She has lost her first tooth!  She does not like anyone in that mouth of hers.  She barely lets us brush her teeth and so when/how it came out is a mystery, but it is gone.  Daddy was taking her out of the bath last night and noticed it was missing.  I have kept showing her in the mirror.  I can see her pushing her tongue in the hole!  This sweet baby is growing up and I don't like it one bit, but am grateful to God that I am the one walking with her through it.  Praise God for another childhood moment that this treasure is smiling through!  God is so very good!