Monday, December 15, 2014


I was not going to do my regular 25 days of Christmas fun this year. We are/have been in the middle of moving twice, and I just wasn't up to planning all of the craziness. It worked out, because it has definitely been crazy around here, as well as full of sickness. All 5 kids have had what I think to be the flu. I googled the symptoms the other day and was laughing out loud at the exact accuracy. "Comes on suddenly, fever, aches, runny nose, watery eyes." Yep, yep, yep! They forgot to add, "whining, crying, incessant coughing like nails on a chalkboard!!!!!" 

Anyway, the other day, I got into the Christmas spirit and really wanted to make sure we pull our focus in on why we celebrate this time of year. I made a 12 Days of Christmas box and planned some of our usual Christmas fun ideas…some days are more involved and exciting than others :) 

We are looking at different sayings/words/phrases we see and hear around Christmas time and discussing what those things mean (to the world and then also to us as we look through a gospel-lens.)

Today's word was "Believe." We talked about the "belief" in Santa and the beliefs around how he came to be all he is today. We went to the mall and took a pic with Santa, but when we found out it was $25!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, we opted to just move on :) The kids were content with having had their picture with him. They got to see him, stand with him, talk to him, and were happy. (They also actually realize nowadays how much $25 is, so they appreciated my decision to eat lunch at the mall instead of paying that much for a little picture that we really couldn't do anything with. There are always lessons in life, aren't there?!) We took this picture to prove we went to the mall:

Anyway, we also took our annual pics in the Santa hat:

Josiah's the one with the flu currently. I wasn't sure if I was going to make him take a pic today, but he insisted…with his blanket and no shirt…but whatever!

(I wonder at what point these boys will refuse to participate in these yearly pictures?!)

This one…she is officially a toddler

with a mind of her own

full of cuteness 


and a lot of personality :)

This is from 2011:
(Look at all of them in their red shirts and how I put a collage together! Apparently, I had things together way more back then!!!)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Ninja Turtle Night

They fit their respective Ninja Turtles perfectly. They ARE the characters from the show/movie. It was only fitting that they all go as such this Halloween. If you know anything about TMNT, consider yourselves familiar with each of our boys. 

Oh and they gained a new baby turtle :)  

(the descriptions below are actual descriptions from TMNT…read  and know that it might as well be about our children (and if you actually do know our kids very well, be prepared to be astounded at the similarities) I think I actually birthed the Ninja Turtles)

Mikey aka Josiah
funny, the jokester, free-spirited, loving, M.C., class clown, stylin, and even has the favorite color orange, youngest turtle

Raph aka Eli
The rebel, fearsome and fearless, fighter, strong-minded, questions authority, has a temper and has trouble mastering his emotions, likes to be alone and have space

Donny aka Titus
brainy, creative, inventive, problem-solver, talker

Leo aka Justus
The leader, disciplined, the big brother, serious, and responsible, has a fragile ego

And of course, Master Splinter

Derek got to be the rat. I got to be the hot chick :) ha!
April O'Neil

And just like TMNT, these four get into all kinds of trouble together. Like April, I'm just here to report all of it ;)

Please note Master Splinter's tail below

Monday, October 27, 2014

Even when He says, "No"

We Christians say it all the time. "God answers prayers!!!" or of course, "God is good!" It is so right and good to say those things, but why don't we also shout it from the roof top when things don't go as planned? 

We didn't get the house we wanted!
"God is good!!!"

Our house still hasn't sold!!
"God answers prayers!!!"

Today I want to tell you why I still feel like those things are so true even when things aren't going the way we thought they would be going. We made an offer on a house that we thought was the one. This house had a huge backyard, was on a golf course, had secret hideaways, hidden rooms to play in, a large downstairs, and even a full-sized refrigerator and freezer side by side in the kitchen, not to mention the giant pantry (what more could a family with 4 boys ask for?!!) Well, here's the thing. It was at the top of our price range, and while we could afford it, we would have been living at the top of our means (something we don't like to do.) Were we being selfish? Were we walking in God's will? We prayed about it, had others praying about it, and moved forward. As is par for the course, we went through the counter-offer game, inspection, paperwork, more inspections by specialists, etc…we weren't feeling good about it. 

"Should we get it?" we asked God. "Close doors if not! Give us peace if so!" 

Through a series of events with the inspections and things that would need repair, we asked for a certain amount from the seller. They wouldn't budge much, and we just weren't feeling good about it. We worked on our budget to see how it would work, and we just didn't think it was going to be a wise decision. It would have affected the way we lived and served, and it just didn't seem like God was going to give us that peace we had prayed for. So we terminated the contract.

And now we have peace.

God is good!

We have also had people interested in buying our house, and nothing has come of it yet. We are waiting…and God has answered our prayers! He has us in this waiting period for some reason. We don't know why, but we are confident that this IS His answer. Wait. Does He have something great waiting for us? An even better house? Or maybe He's just molding patience and trust and humility in our hearts (and definitely in the hearts of our kids who are taking all of this in and having discussions with us way above their age level.) We would have never chosen for our feet to wander here, but our faith is being made stronger! Whatever the case may be, we know He's holding us. He has this house and our future house in His hands. He has our health (6 out of 7 of us have had the stomach bug this past week), our finances, our emotional well-being in His hands. God has GOT this, and while it might not always be fun and rainbows, we are trusting in His grace and provision. We are blessed beyond measure…seriously, we are praying about moving from one large house with air conditioning and heat and beds to another!! Derek has a car to drive to and from work in, while I have a car here to use for the rest of us. So many people don't have any of these things. God has blessed us so that we can bless others…may we be wise and open-handed in all of the "things" we have. 

Thank you for praying for us! Please continue to do so…and know that He's answering…and He's good!!

P.S. I also want to mention how much I love my husband. He is such a wise, wise man. He is a strong leader, yet he is so gentle in his leading of our family (namely, his wife who is kind of back and forth on a lot of feelings lately :) ) He is patient with me, listens to my opinions and thoughts/fears, and he respectfully takes on the roll of walking our family down this path God has placed us on. I am so thankful to be on this journey with you, Derek!!!!! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkins and Pictures Galore

haha I love Josiah's face! (not a fan of the pumpkin goop)

But definitely a fan of the tools

She couldn't take her eyes off of Umple Jack's SCARY costume!!
I think this was pre-cry.

Hamming it up :)

A little football of course!

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