Saturday, October 30, 2010

What's made me smile this week

Many, many things made me smile! Here are just a few:

A successful second grade science experiment! Cosette was learning about yeast and how it breaks down sugar to create carbon dioxide, and we succeeded in blowing up this plastic bag :)

Before you look at the next set of pictures, I have to put a disclaimer here. We do not celebrate halloween. I'm not trying to knock anybody who does, we just don't feel comfortable for our own family celebrating a holiday that rejoices over such evil things---witches and ghosts in our front yard? No thank you! But, regardless, my kids DO love to dress up. So when Cosette asked if they could get new costumes to dress up in and have cupcakes one night when Grandma was coming over, I couldn't say no.

I was a little unsure about Eli's choice of costume until he informed me that he was a 'knight, going to fight the bad guys'. Well okay, I could live with that :)

My two matching bunny rabbits

And finally, my Elmo. As forlorn as he looks in this photo, he actually loved the costume, and hasn't taken it off since last night---uh-oh! ;)

This is a random picture of my birthday cake from last week at the beach. I forgot to post it, but my Grandma made it for me, and it was so pretty I had to share the picture.

My silly kids making 'cake in a cup'. The cake actually turned out kind of spongy, but the process was fun!

And lastly, my little guy helping dad carry in his lunch box after a long day. Gotta love those sunglasses on top of his head!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Twisting words to your own advantage......

So we were having this family discussion the other night around the dinner table about how all of our 'things' actually belong to God. Joel was trying to emphasize the idea that the kids should be willing to share their belongings with others because the 'stuff' really isn't theirs anyway, it's Gods. He said that he was sure that God would be happy to let other people use His things.
Well, today, Eli came running to me with this crying, whining tone in his voice that I really can't stand. Whenever my kids whine like that, there is no way they are getting what they want until they ask nicely and change their attitude. Anyway, he came whining to me and said: "Mommy, Cosette has that pen, and I want it!"

I replied "Well Eli, Cosette was using that pen, and besides, it's not your pen, it's Cosette's"

He looked at me and said "No, it's not Cosette's pen, Mommy, it belongs to God, and I want to use it!"

Haha, I think he got Joel's message from the other night a little twisted around :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Taking up the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God

I had a dream last night. My mom was in it. I walked up to her and gave her a big hug, and saw her smiling face, and heard her voice, and just felt her closeness. It was so real. And in my dream, I was so relieved to know that she was okay.

But then I woke up. And I got that 'ick' feeling all over again. It washes down from your head all the way to the tips of your toes, and it just feels, well, 'ick', as you realize the truth all over again. That awful, terrible, empty feeling of loss that almost has a physical pain with it. Man, I hate mornings like that!

Now, I know what I believe in, I know WHO I believe in, and I know what my faith stands solid on. But that doesn't keep Satan from trying to knock me down. Losing my mom was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, and the tormentor, the one who walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, has been doing his best to 'get at me' during my time of loss.
He throws all kinds of lies and doubts at me, and just as I start to feel myself falling, I throw this right back at him:

When I hear: "You'll never actually see your mom again, all your hope, all your belief, is just silliness", I come back with: "No, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" 2 Cor. 5:8. And also: "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." John 6:40

When I feel doubt as to whether I can actually continue on day to day without her there, I remember when Jesus said that He came to bring us life, and that in abundance.

When her face, laying there in her hospital bed is all that will fill my mind, I choose instead to dwell on this: "God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

And so, that stack of Bibles and devotionals you see in the picture above stays in an easily-accessible place in our kitchen. When I find myself missing mom through the day, feeling empty and alone, I pull out His Word and am reminded that I am never alone. My doubts, my fears, go running away. "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." Eph. 6:17

Monday, October 25, 2010

I stood in my new kitchen today, mixing up pumpkin whoopie pies with maple-cream cheese frosting while my older kids napped. The kitchen had a strange, pleasing aroma of goodies baking and that gas-oven smell that I'm still getting used to. This precious little lady sat on the floor, keeping me company:

She loves that raggedy ann doll. It's her favorite toy, and that just about melts my heart! Every now and then she'd drop it, and I'd look over to see it on the floor, and she'd be about beside herself trying to 'talk' to me so I'd get it for her :) As I picked it up for about the up-teenth time, I smiled to myself and thought "Life doesn't get much better than this" :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sorry, I got side-tracked with vacation and forgot about posting :) But we're home now, so back to life as normal. We had a beautiful week of enjoying the ocean and time together with each other (and the hot tub and oreos and sea-food and manicures and flying kites), and now we're going to 'finish' moving into this new house of ours now....a few more shelves to hang, all our family photos yet to go on the walls, a table to buy for the school room.....but we're glad to be back home! The trip home that should have lasted about 8 hours stretched into about 10 as we got stuck for a little while in bad traffic, and little voices from the back seat kept saying "I need to go potty''. Yeah, traveling with three little people plus a nursing infant was challenging, but they all really did do great! When we got back, our sweet kitty had left a present for us---two dead mole-type creatures, right on my kitchen floor. Joel was thrilled to know we have such a good 'mouser', and I had an immediate talk with the cat about where to leave such presents in the future (NOT my kitchen floor!) :)
So, we're going to spend a quiet afternoon home tomorrow before we dive right into the hustle and bustle of fall and back to work and school on Monday. Have a blessed Sunday, everybody!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yes, today is my birthday---at the beach :) It just happened that way when we planned our vacation. But my, what a birthday! It started out last night with a really cool gift from my sister (which I'll have to share with you all at a later time) sleeping in this morning, eggs and toast and a homemade cinnamon roll (made by Joel's mom!)for breakfast, shopping with my siblings while Joel watched the kids, a (3rd) piece of birthday cake that my Grandma made for lunch, flying a kite on the beach with our children, swimming in the pool and then a soak in the hot tub, chocolate strawberry smoothies, and then my sister's going to try to tame my un-ruly hair for me so I can go on a date to Outback with this certain guy whom I happen to be crazy about. I may have to have my birthday at the beach every year ;)

The only thing missing from this perfect birthday is my mama.....but thanks to all my other wonderful family who are making it special for me anyway. I'd post more pictures but my camera battery died :( I'll pick up more later so I can finish recording our fun week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Aunt Kristin, what is this? This isn't the size of my normal bath tub. I'm not so sure I'm liking this!"

"Hey, watch out Eli! Now I'm seriously wet! Nope, I definitely don't like this"

"Eli, would you please tell Aunt Kristin that this is about enough?"

"Oh no, wait, I see what we're doing now. Motorboat. Yeah, this is fun, I think I could really get into this..."

"Hey look, quick, everybody smile, I see my favortie person in the whole world---mom!"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our new home

Hello, faithful blog readers :) I haven't fallen off of the face of the earth, don't worry. We are in our new house and pretty much settled in. We are, however, still lacking phone and internet connection. Joel called two weeks ago to get the details worked out so we'd have phone the day we moved in---but apparently it was not meant to be, so we're still waiting. Hopefully tomorrow :) We're also waiting on a new plug-in part for our dryer. So, while I was here at my sister's doing laundry, I thought I'd post a few pictures of our new place.
Let me just say that I love it! It suits our family perfectly, and there are so many things about it that are just right for us. It's an older home, which I love (think 'character'). We also like the yard, the neighbors, the road that it's on---we're quickly feeling 'at home'. So, without further 'ado', our home......

The front view, obviously. LOVE my big front porch. You'll have to excuse the piano on the front porch that is in pieces---it was an incredibly old piano that the former owners left, and Joel literally took it to pieces last night so we could get my mom's Steinway moved over :)

Our back yard. I love that it's so flat---our old backyard had quite a hill to it.

The dining room is still a work in progress, but it's getting there. We still need to get the area rug under the table and pictures up on our bare walls. (By the way, sorry for the darkness of some of the photos--I was taking these this morning before the kids woke up)

Another corner of the dining room.

Joel built this book-case, and one just like it in the school room.

It's hard to see in this picture, but this is my beloved banister ;)

The kitchen--waaaaaay bigger than our old one.

This is the pantry/computer area on the other side of the kitchen.

Had to post a couple of Cosette's room---it's one of my favorites.

The whole thing is very 'pink', which SHE loves!

And finally, the master bedroom--kind of a greenish/grayish color scheme.

These are the main rooms, although I haven't shown you the boys room, the laundry room or the schoolroom/music room. We are so grateful for our new home, and pray that we can use our new space for raising our family and ministry to others.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Where I came home to

Dear little Rancher,
You have been a good little house. The past 7 years have been quite an adventure for you! Exciting times, sad times, happy times, quiet times, noisy times......we lived them all right here in you.
It was here that Joel and I came home to after our honeymoon. It was here that he chased the flying squirrel around the kitchen one night. It had escaped into the kitchen through a little hole under the sink, and it was quite the entertainment to watch Joel try to get it back outside!
Dear little house, it was you that heard our happy voices when we found out our first little one was on the way. It was you who helped us to welcome our little girl, then our little boy, then our second little boy, and finally, our Leanna Rose, just four months ago.
And dear little house, it was your floor I sank to just seven weeks ago when we got that devestating call at midnight one night. It was you who heard my sobs as I cried out to God to please, please spare my Mama. It was you who offered me shelter those following weeks as I mourned the loss of my dear Mom.
Your walls have the crayon marks of an artistic little four year old. Your kitchen smelled the aroma of my first bread attempts. Your windows have suffered the dirty neglect of a Mama who is too busy with other things to worry about cleaning them. You have heard the happy sounds of children playing, the sweet sounds of their voices praying.
In short, little house, it is here that we have lived our lives for the past 7 years. And while we rejoice to be moving on to new and different things, you will always hold a special place in my heart. When I look back on my children as babies, it is here that I will picture them. Call me a sentimental fool, if you must, but a very small part of me is sad to be leaving you. Even though you lack the staircase, the fireplace, the big kitchen, the extra bathroom, and the big front porch, I wouldn't have traded the past 7 years living in you. Thank you, little house, for memories that will last a lifetime.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

In the midst of our busy week of packing and cleaning and painting and hanging curtains, this is just for fun. With four little ones, 'fun' is never lacking :)

Friday, October 01, 2010

And we're in!

Well, in the house, with the keys, but not actually moved in yet. Here's how our day went:

6:45: Joel left for work, I fed the baby

7:30-9:00--Mad rush to get myself and all the kiddos ready for the day, plus pack diaper bags for all the different directions everybody was headed today

9:30: Drop three big kids off at Grandma's house and pick Joel up from work

10:00 Final walk-thru of the house

11:00: Closing

1:00 New fridge is delivered to the NEW house :)

2:00: Pick up kids from Grandma's

3:00-5:00 Check out the new house--cupboards, stove, where light switches are, (decide that we are definitely not painting over the pink paint in Cosette's new room after all because it is, apparently, the coolest thing to happen since sliced bread.....) that type of thing :)

5:00: Pizza Party! All our family came over for pizza and a 'tour', which I was more than happy to give them :)

7:00: Noah goes home with Aunt Bekah to spend the night and be 'out of the way' while we paint tomorrow

7:30: Start slapping different paint options up on the wall to test them----doubt myself over and over and have trouble deciding on a paint color.

8:00: Head 'home' (which now doesn't feel quite so much like home anymore), and fall into bed exhausted, ready for a good night's sleep and a full day of painting tomorrow!

Don't worry, I'll be posting some pictures of the house as we get it painted and moved in :)


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