Sunday, December 28, 2008


It's been a while since an installment of Daniel-isms. I had to share these with you since 75% of my readers are also my kids grandparents(:

1.) The other day as we were leaving to get the kids from school Daniel pitched a big ole fit about something. I fussed at him and sent him to the van. We rode to school in silence. Then as we sat in line to get the kids from the back of the van I hear,

"I just love you Mom."

"I love you too buddy."

"I'm sorry I was mean to you" (remember he is FOUR!)

"It's ok D, I know you were just sad you couldn't go with Poppy. But thank you so much for saying you're sorry. That makes me so happy."

"It makes my heart feel better."

How amazing is that? My four year old gets that saying sorry makes his heart feel better, AND he can actually verbalize that thought. I know adults that can't do that! What an awesome little soul he has. I can't wait to see what God does with him!

2.) The other day the boys were being kind of wild in the house (weird right?) and Jason told Daniel to settle down. His response..

"Daddy, I just got some fight in my body."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Please Help!

MAT has received a matching grant to help get Bear and Fedna here. Please help if you can.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas, so far

We went to Daniel's Christmas Program at school. The irony of the wiseman role did not escape us!

We found the perfect tree.

We decorated it.

We set up the nativity....and then Daniel proceeded to play sky dive off the roof of the manger with the wisemen.

We celebrated with Emily and Noah since they were leaving for FL.

We baked.

And baked.

We tested our wares.
All is well here and we are ready and waiting for the big day. I feel so blessed in times like this. I look at my kids and my home and my life and I just marvel at how abundant and lavish God's love is. I pray this Christmas the birth of the saviour is real to you, and that you experience His love in new and amazing ways!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Gettin' Real

Real honest that is. I may not publish this, but it will do me good to get it out. Here goes. At family devotions Jason has been talking about coveting. With the whole consumer Christmas thing happening we want our kids to be content with the things they have and not obsess about this or that toy. Anyway, I sit there and nod my head wisely all the while feeling the hypocrisy rise within me. Honestly, I don't covet things. And it's not because I am so holy or something. It is just not my particular weakness. What I do covet is so much worse. I don't covet what someone else has, their new car, or house, or outfit. I covet their entire life. Wow, this sounds weird even to me. Let me explain. An example could be that I find a blog of someone with like 10 kids or something and they're all, "we are so blessed, our children are a gift, we homeschool them all, blah blah," and I start wondering why they can handle 10 kids and I can't, or why God saw fit to use them that way and not me, or why they can homeschool 10 and I am about to pluck my own eyeballs out homeschooling one. Or I read about missionaries in other countries and think their life must be so much more interesting than my hum drum days. I mean, they are on the battlefield for goodness sakes. What do I do? Cook. Clean. And Repeat.

So what does this boil down to? Discontentment. Pride. Lack of faith in my Saviour and what He is doing in my life. It is, as Phillip Keller describes in his book, "A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23" the epitome of spiritual fence jumping. I am not happy with the field my shepherd has placed me in and so I look for greener pastures.

Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Truly, truly I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk where you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go." This He said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God. And after saying this He said to him, "Follow Me."

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?". When Peter saw him he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?" Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come what is that to you? You follow Me!"

John 21:17-22

I LOVE Peter. I can so relate to him. Impulsive, over-eager, under-intellectual. He means well. He really does. And here is the Lord giving him a chance at redemption after Peter had denied him. It is beautiful...right up until Jesus prophesies for him a gruesome death (which can be read about in church history - try the Book of Martyrs or Josephus' writings). Then all of a sudden Peter is like, "hey what about him (John), what do you have planned for him?" Jesus replies with a 'mind your own beeswax '. Jesus just asked Peter if he loved Him, Peter said yes, and Jesus says you will die for following me, now come on let's go. He makes no apologies for His plan. He does not try to make things even or equitable. In fact John does go on to live a long life and dies a natural death on the island of Patmos.

He is my shepherd and I am his sheep. I don't want to be a discontented, wandering, fence jumping sheep.

Lord, fill me with the grace I need to live the life you have given to me. I so love you, and I want to honor you with what I have. Help me to seek what you want for me, and not seek what you have already given to someone else. My life is for you. Help me to quit trying to reclaim it!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Merry Christmas From Leo

Yes, that is a chihuaha ornament, and no I didn't buy it. It sure does make me smile though(:

Friday, December 12, 2008



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Urgent Need

This was in my in box this morning. I personally can vouch for this organization and the people invovled. Please pray about helping these babies get the care they need. Thanks.

Dear friends,

You know I hate sending out mass emails, I really try to only do this in urgent situations. Well, this is one of those of urgent situations.

We have two babies in Haiti that are in desperate need of help. Both babies have Spina Bifida. Fedna, the older of the two is actually pretty stable. The baby, Berlange, is in critical need of surgery and is fighting for his life. We have a doctor and hospital here in the U.S. ready to provide medical care for both of these babies, but the medical clinic that is processing their paperwork is very low on funds. They need about $500 per child to process all the necessary paperwork in Haiti. That is $1,000 that they just don't have. PLEASE if you feel called to help, check out our blog and follow the link to donate. Any amount would be greatly appreciated.

Also, feel free to share this need on your websites, blogs, or with family and friends. We greatly appreciate all your help and prayers for this sweet babies.

Salem Richards

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chaos and Peace

This is how it felt to let go of P-Bear. My whole heart is trying to balance the contradictions. Everything in me loved him like a son, but I knew he wasn't going to be mine. I feel overhwelming peace about his family, but I want him back in my arms. It's nice to have more time on my hands, but I'd give anything to be crazy busy again. I know God is directing his life and it's not really about me. So I surrender to whatever He's doing.

Please pray for him and his new Mama. This adjustment time can be so hard. And the Enemy hates to see a child enter a family of believers, so he will be on the prowl.

Progress and Homeschool

"I recently went to the dr. and had only one complaint. Headaches. If it is a headache day it's over. The headache dictates that I accomplish nothing and will ultimately leave me wanting to die. I cannot predict them. They come. Then they go. I have no control. In the realm of family I have an attachment challenged child that is kind of like that. When that child is capable of acting calm and loving then the whole family is peaceful. When that child is not capable of being calm and loving then the entire family pays the price, I get nothing done but damage control, and I fall into bed that night feeling spent and stripped down to nothingness."

The quote above is me in late October. I don't remember what had happened to make me say it. That alone is progress. I truly feel a genuine bond, a genuine sense of love and security happening with G. And quite honestly I attribute it to homeschooling. Of course some days it makes me want to kill him and vice versa I am sure. But the amount of time we spend together creates lots of moments. Chances to get to know each other. Opportunities to make decisions about how we are going to interact. And lately we are both making better choices. Add to that the fact that school caused HUGENORMOUS amounts of stress for him and you now have a much more peaceful child. He is really making such progress in the areas of impulse control. It is both funny and scary that now instead of doing whatever pops into his head (slamming a door, throwing something, whatever) he dialogues it. This morning I asked him to do something, which in the past would have caused a tantrum. Instead, as he walked up stairs to do it he said, "I'm just gonna go downstairs and knock over the tree and break all the ornaments." Of course he didn't, and I think the fact that he heard himself say it out loud made HIM see the ridiculousness (is that a word?) of it. He did what he was asked and came downstairs in a normal mood. Progress.

I also have to put in a good word for a new curriculum I just found. Five In A Row. It is truly wonderful for any attachment challenged child. It is the most low threat curriculum I have ever found. It encourages snuggle time and is very adaptable to what your child can handle on a given day. So, if you need something like that, go check it out or email me for more details(:

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Beach

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday P-Bear!

We Love You and we know God has such big plans for your life!!!!!

Please pray with us today for P-Bear's Haiti Mama. She is surely hurting as she remembers her sweet boy and can't be with him.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

PMS much??

Okay so I'm not sure what had me so agitated in that last post. I mean, the heart of what I was trying to say was good, but I am cracking up at myself and how it bothered me at the moment. I am seriously PMS-ing and sorry if that is TMI. I should not be allowed to blog at this time of the month.

A Good Read

I just spent a bunch of time looking for a good book to read while at the cabin. I've heard many suggestions. I've read reviews. I just finished up reading two really great and life changing books and I realized that I was looking for that to happen again. But wait a minute. I already own the most life changing book that exists and I haven't even read IT cover to cover yet. I have gotten sucked into the world of Christian non-fiction. Let's face it - EVERYONE has an opinion. You've got the 'everything must change camp', and the 'don't mess with a good thing camp' and everything in between. There are the 'prayer changes things' camps and the 'God's will cannot be changed' camps. There are the, ' let's DO more' camps and the, 'we can do nothing' camps. Quite frankly, it is starting to annoy the crap out of me. I wonder what Jesus thinks about us reading commentary about what He said rather than WHAT HE SAID. Don't get me wrong, I understand that their are men and women with biblically sound things to say. BUT, when I go looking for a book and find SO MANY that claim to explain the TRUE Christianity, or claim to "change your life" or "open your eyes" I get that feeling in my gut. Do you know the one? It is telling me to read the original first. So, for this trip I will take my Bible. Hopefully I will not be too mentally or spiritually lazy to actually get it out and read it! Hopefully God will be gracious to kick me in the butt and make me open it a few times. And THAT will be life changing. Meeting with the eternal God of the universe always is.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You should watch this

Go here and then click on watch video. And then pass it on to your friends. If you want to know more check out the HIV to Home button or the "Stitch that Makes the Sweater Perfect" blog.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

YES, Forever, YES

While we were in France I read Kay Warren's book, Dangerous Surrender. It was really wonderful and a great follow up to my previous read, Irresistible Revolution. I spent alot of time in France evaluating myself, and acknowledging what I was and wasn't ready to surrender. In her book Kay asks the question, "Will you say yes to God before you even know the question?" I decided right then and there to say yes. I would say yes no matter what the request was. But, I'll let you in on a little secret... I thought I knew what the question was. I was pretty sure I had it all figured out. So, even though I meant to say yes to ANYTHING, what I really said yes to was THAT. And wouldn't you know it, I was wrong. Big shocker right? So on Monday I sat crying and wondering what in the world God was doing, and He reminded me that I promised to say yes. Turns out what I said yes to was being broken...again. I said yes to giving away a little bit more of my heart. I said yes to loving, and saying goodbye...again. And now my instinct is to draw back, just like last time. To find a place where I am shielded from this ever happening again. But I know that God is not in that place. So this time I will sit in the valley and let my Comforter come, and I will say yes. In the midst of the pain, this time I will say yes Lord if you so desire to use me again in this way my answer ...will... still yes.

Insights on the Election

from the perspective of a seven year old.

Me: "So, Gabe, you are getting to witness history. Our nations first black president was just elected. Isn't that cool?"

Gabe: "Was he your first choice?"

Me: "Well, no, but God is in control so clearly God wanted him to be elected. And I'm happy that we have a black president."

Gabe: "I think God picked Obama cause McCain is older and old people sorta forget stuff sometimes."

True enough...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Last night as Noah, Emily, Jason and I got together to discuss Shane Claiborne's "Irresistible Revolution" the word "purposeful" kept coming up. Shane is purposeful in his mission to be like Jesus. He and his friends may look like hippies that float on the wind of anything that comes, but they are not. They know whom they serve and everything they do is to reflect Him to the world. It all has meaning. It got me thinking about my kids. They are being raised in a culture in which we must be purposeful about our lives. Our culture does not, by design, cultivate community. We are independent, look out for number one, autonomous...we're Americans. I see families like the Livesays who are raising a whole batch of kids in Haiti, and I think how blessed they are. Their 12 year old, Paige, is already full of vision and compassion to start her own ministry. I'm sure, if she were still being raised in the states she would be just as kind and compassionate. Yet, her experiences on the mission field have deepened it probably. And the need is right in front of her. My 11 year old is one of the most kind hearted kids you could meet. But her days are taken up by drama club, guitar lessons, youth group cook outs, and horseback riding. She is a delightful child, and she loves the Lord very much. I have no doubt that she would want to serve if she saw a need. I guess that's what I'm getting at. I need to purposefully show my kids the needs around us. They need to see homeless people, hungry people, lonely people. My seven year old lives for the next trip to Toy's R Us. He starts writing his Christmas wish list on December 26th. He loves stuff. Of course if I am honest, so do I. But I try to fight it. What is it that Kendall Payne song says? "Children are only uncostumed humanity." So, how do I do this? How do I raise kids in this culture who have a heart to serve and sacrifice for the gospel? No, these are not rhetorical questions! Please anyone with ideas, chime in on the comments. I'll try to do my own brainstorming and get back to you(:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Interesting Food For Thought

Pay special attention to the nuclear fuel part. Jason designs nuclear fuel and he has been saying this for years!

Friday, October 17, 2008

OK, I'll Vote

I have wrestled and prayed and debated myself. Funny thing. It was a conversation in the car with my girls that made me realize what I have to do. When you are breaking things down into language that an 11 and 9 year old can understand all of a sudden the lingo, spinning, and brainwashing are left out. You find yourself staring at something that actually is right or wrong, good or bad. Madeline, you are wise beyond your years. Thanks for setting me straight(: The beautiful thing is that SHE also knows that God is our ultimate leader, and so we all got out of the car feeling quite peaceful. God is not taken by surprise by anything, and no matter who is in office, HE is in control. I have no illusions that a man can change things, or that a man is going create for America a new moral compass. So, I will vote my conscience and let God sort it out.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quote I Stole From Ange's Blog

calling is "the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need"

Frederich Buechner

Love it!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why We Don't Need TV

Example #1: Box Forts

We have a visitor(:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Living in Laodicea

Somewhere between the hot and the cold
Somewhere between the new and the old
Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me
Somewhere between the wrong and the right
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Somewhere between who I was and who You're making me
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me
Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control
Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle
Are we caught in the middle
Somewhere between my heart and my hands
Somewhere between my faith and my plans
Somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves
Somewhere between a whisper and a roar
Somewhere between the altar and the door
Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more
Somewhere in the middle You'll find me
Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control
Lord, I feel You in this place and I know You're by my side
Loving me even on these nights when I'm caught in the middle

"Somewhere in the Middle"
Casting Crowns

late edit: Amy says it well here :

Friday, October 3, 2008

Not voting??

OK, for the first time in my life - ever - I don't think I will be voting. I am at a loss. I didn't want to make this blog political, but I just have to vent and cry and be sad about this for a minute. I have always cherished my privilege to vote. I have always wanted to honor those who fought for my right to vote by doing so. But honest to Pete, I am baffled this time. I will pray for my country, and my world, and ultimately I will pray for whoever is elected. Lord please have mercy on us. We are fallen, and sinful and lost without you. We need you. We need you. We need you. Please don't leave us to suffer the consequences of our mistakes, but in your grace and mercy help us. We NEED You. We need YOU.



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Je Suis En France

Day one in Paris. Bubba and me in front of L'Arc De Triomphe.Bubba and the Eiffel Tower

The Louvre

Notre Dame was just amazing. The intricacy of the carvings is really mind blowing.

Above, Jason and I in front of Notre Dame, and below sitting on the bank of the Seine having a coke - crazy cool!
Smoky, Pinky and I on the TGV from Paris to Angers.
Smoky and Pinky visit Chateau D'Angers. It is a castle smack in the middle of the city - extremely awesome.

This is the church inside the castle.
Then we took a road trip (quite eventful, funny and looong) to Bayeux. This cathedral(below) is in the center of the village. It was a beautiful litttle town. From here we got the tour to Omaha Beach and the D Day memorials.

This is the statue at the cemetary for D Day.

It was windy, rainy and somber.

Then we road tripped again to Pornic, which is on the coast. This is our hotel, and below is the view from the room.

We leave here on Friday morning and take the TGV back to Paris. Friday night we are going to try to book a dinner cruise on the Seine, Saturday we hope to go back to the Louvre and see some old art(: and possibly get to the top of the Eiffel Tower! Sunday we head home.
It has been so fun being here. I have spoken French with French people and it is so cool when they actually understand me and I understand them. When we rounded a corner our first day in Paris and I saw the Eiffel Tower I honest to goodness cried. I really don't know why except that it is something I have dreamed of for so long, and never really thought would happen. If it never had happened I would've been fine - I'm sure heaven holds better sight seeing than this, but for this side of heaven it was just plain neat to see it(: So far I have not found the French or even the Parisians to be snobby. They have all been kind, if not a little amused by us.
The main thing that stands out to me is the godlessness of the culture. It is strange to see cathedrals and church history dating into the middle ages, and yet feel no sense of the Lord in daily life.
I have literally hundreds of pictures , but hopefully this will give you a glimpse of what we are seeing. I'm having a blast, but honestly I am ready to come home. I miss my kids like crazy. I love to get away, not just because I get to refresh and relax, but also because it reminds me how very dull life would be without my kids. M, S, G and D, if you are reading this - I love you so much and I can't wait to see you. I will come in your room and kiss you on Sunday night when I get home(:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pray and Give

Please go to Licia's blog and read about their struggles since the storms. PLEASE pray for them and then go to Lori's blog and click the paypal button to donate some money. The process they are currently having to use to get clean drinking water is costly. Plus now food prices will go even higher and they have over 70 people in the rescue center to feed on a daily basis - many of them babies who need formula. So please, just go and send them some money. I'm serious. Don't think about it or pray about it - as if God wouldn't want you to. Meet the urgent need. Don't put it off. Just go do it. Yes I am begging, and I'm not ashamed. Give up your latte's for the month or don't go out to eat or something. Anything. And when you are done giving just keep praying. Haiti is in a literal state of devastation right now. As if the food shortage and gas prices weren't bad enough, not crops are destroyed and food will be even more scarce, plus thousands of people have lost what little they had - I mean everything. My heart is heavy right now. There are many people I love in Haiti and many more I have never met who are beautiful, amazing, resilient people. Don't push this out of your mind because they are far away or different. They are just like you. They love their kids - they want to feed them and send them to school. They have dignity and courage the likes of which you may never encounter. They need our help, and we are able.

Here you can see some video of the mass devastation:

Proverbs 3:27

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it's in your power to help them.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pics are easier than words right now

I DID get D's first day of school - he started a week later and I was determined not to miss it! Here he is with his teacher. No one will ever be as great as Ms. Stacy, but she'll do.He shares a cubby with "Pida Man" (who you can meet here : They are great buds now.

This is what D and I do when all the big kids are at school and we get a little punchy(:

And if you get a chance please visit Licia's (new) blog with the link to the right and pray pray pray and then pray some more for her family, the rescue center, the clinic and all of Haiti for that matter.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Can't Do It

Shoot. I can't make this blog political. If you caught the last 5 minutes my political ranting was up I apologize. As I walked away from the computer God asked me if that is what I want this to be about. I said, no I want it to be about HIM and his faithfulness in my life. So, politics is out. It is too polarizing. And God is not about that. The end.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Your Family Can Help a Child Come Home

Fifth Day of School

Yeah, you read it right - FIFTH day of school. Don't mock me people. I'm doing the best I can.
In other news, last night D took his first karate class. Here he is showing off his tough "kiah" face. Jason said the instructor couldn't stop laughing(:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Picture Pages - totally random

D's new playmate now that all the big kids are in school... Me and my girls...

Seen at local farmers market...

The girls finally got their ears pierced this summer. Here is M - cool as a cucumber...S is a little more dramatic...and vocal...And then Mommy had to have a stool and a lollipop so I wouldn't pass out. M just had to take a picture - she thought it was sooooo funny...

How gorgeous and grown up are these two????