Archives for March 2013

Easter Sunday

Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave….

The glory of God has defeated the night…

What I want our kids to take with them

JGirlsRon (640x427)In the middle of the minutia of parenting– the ‘did you take a shower today?’ and ‘eat 2 pieces of apple with your grilled cheese’ and ‘no pinching–use your words instead’ and ‘is that the same shirt you wore yesterday?’— it can be easy to lose sight of the really important stuff, the stuff that I pray our kids will stride into adulthood carrying deep in their bones.

JBabies (640x427)The willingness to work hard, to sacrifice on behalf of someone else, to see a need and fill it without being asked just because it’s right.

The ability to set aside a current ‘want’ for a more important long-term goal, to avoid being endlessly consumed with the desire for better, newer, bigger.

An unbreakable fidelity to family, a deep treasuring of the ones God put with you to share the journey of life.  The ability to really enjoy each other, and to decide to do so even when disagreement happens and folks don’t behave exactly how you want them to.

MomJulSThankfulness for what God has given you. Always thankfulness.  Because in thankfulness lies contentment.

And most of all a deep unbreakable faith  in the God who sometimes allows sadness and suffering but who never lets you go, a belief that there is something greater beyond this old world, faith that someday all tears will be wiped from our eyes.

What would you add to this list? What dreams do you have for your precious ones?


The art of the haggle

RockingHorse The other day we were wandering around a gift shop that had some rather lovely items made from wood.  Our 8 year old became enthralled with a HUGE rocking horse that was priced at a mere $3999.  Yes, that’s three thousand nine hundred ninety nine dollars. For a rocking horse.

After rocking away for five minutes or so, she was so in love that she declared she wasn’t leaving the store without the horse. I chuckled and told her there was no way we’d be buying her a four thousand dollar horse.

She said, “Can’t you talk the lady into taking it down a notch?”

I kinda doubt any amount of haggling skills are enough to bring that pony down into our price range.  But I am glad we got a shot of her enjoying the horse.

Little baby growing up now

Last weekend my hubby and teenagers headed off for snow camp in the mountains with our church’s youth group.  The teenagers always look forward to it, and my hubby gamely goes along as a driver/chaperone, leaving me at home alone with our two youngest daughters.  The little girls and I enjoy the break in routine as much as the travelers, and have gotten into the habit of treating it as a girls’ weekend.

With the girls on our walk.  It's a bad picture of me, but a good picture of us.This weekend we went for a walk by the pond, played oodles of dominoes, went shopping, met their big brother for lunch, went out to dinner with the grandparents, bought four new goldfish, stayed up late both nights watching movies, and slept on the couches in the living room.  The days were packed.

Saturday evening I tucked the girls into their sleeping bags, and as I hugged my 5-ft tall 10 year old, I half-playfully sang to her, “lullaby and goodnight, little baby go to sleep now…”  She giggled and snuggled in and I realized it’d been a really long time since I’d sung her that song.

Maybe the last time, I thought suddenly, and my throat clutched and my heart rebelled.  It all seems to have happened in a blink. I think I’ll keep singing her lullabies now and then, even if she is so big that it just makes her giggle. Sooner than I want to think about she’ll be singing to her own babies, and I want her to remember the melody.


About that ‘not breaking’ thing

treeThe other day I was driving along, listening to Christian radio– there are two stations on my radio dial– flipping from one to the other, discontent with one light ‘pop’ lyric after another.

This one from Group 1 Crew is one of several that I shuffled past quickly.

Don’t fear when you go through the fire
Hang on when it’s down to the wire
Stand tall and remember what He said

I won’t give you more, more then you can take
and I might let you bend, but I won’t let you break…

It’s a good song, one I’ve liked in the past.  But that day all I could think of was the people who had broken in time of misery, of the deliverance that sometimes doesn’t seem to come, not on this earth, anyway.  What about when the pain on this earth IS more than we can bear?

I choose to believe that amid all the pain there is some greater plan that I cannot yet see.  I choose to believe that God sees me and hears my cry, that someday I will see my Savior face to face, that He will wipe away all my tears, and that He cherishes each of my precious ones in the same intimate way.  But oh, my heart hears and understands the raw misery in the post Levi wrote today:  Strike Heaven Upon the Face

A peek into my week

This week we’re helping my daughter Erika and her hubby move into a new house.  Such fun to see sweet one-year-old Ranger toddling around his new digs, peeking out every window.  With a second baby on the way, their little family has well and truly outgrown their tiny newlywed one-bedroom apartment, and we’re thrilled they have room to stretch out.

There’s more moving tomorrow, so I only have a few minutes for a post.  Do you like to peek into other people’s grocery carts in the checkout line at the grocery store, trying to guess a bit about their lives?  I do.  Along those lines, I thought it might be fun to share what’s in my amazon cart right now.  I love the convenience of shopping on amazon, and almost always have a thing or two I’m thinking about buying. These lids screw onto canning jars and are high on my list this month. They’d be perfect for homemade salad dressing. I’ve found that parmesan cheese lids work for Italian dressing but are downright sloppy with ranch dressing.

In April our teens will be doing dissection in biology, so I’ve got my eye on this frog dissection kit. I’m trying to decide if I should spring for extra frogs so each kid could do his own or let the kids dissect in pairs. I suspect they’d learn the most if they each did their own. But I’m not sure if the more squeamish of our teens would welcome that challenge.


Our old juicer went toes up a few weeks ago. This Hamilton Beach juicer has good reviews and is the price is right. Still thinking though.  Anybody own it who can vouch for its longevity?  Things age in dog-years at our house, and I really need something sturdy.

This game is on its way to our house within the next few days. It looks like a fun one to bring on vacation or to take on a camping trip this summer. I love games that lots of people can play together!

Kindness: keeping it real

At the beach a few years agoRemember the secret kindness project I blogged about in January? We have SO fallen off the wagon. The youngest kiddo, who teases the older ones the most and therefore receives the least charity from the teens, is really feeling unhappy.  And the bigger ones are feeling totally justified in continued unkindness because she is being such a pest.

After a big upset this morning with multiple kids airing grievances, I’ve re-instituted the kindness project. Part of the reason the project got derailed was because I wasn’t remembering to assign new ‘buddies’ each week. So I’m taking it back to its original form, with each of the older ones doing three kind things for the youngest one. The youngest one also has the assignment to do one kind thing for each of her older siblings each day.Tillamook, OR a few years ago

To provide a dab more motivation, I’m setting out a candy bowl for awhile.  Kids can show me their chart and pick a treat once they’ve checked off their 3 nice things each day.

I also talked with the kids about loving like Jesus does. He loves everyone, even the ones who offend him.  And I prayed with the kids for gentle hearts towards each other, and also prayed that I will through God’s grace be able to steadily model gentleness and love even when kids offend me.  Such a hard job for us all.  I am so grateful for the grace that God has shown me when I blow it.  I hope that by showing more love myself, I can encouraging our kids towards love too.

And chocolate as a partial incentive can’t hurt. 😉

How do you encourage a reset in your family when attitudes get out of control?


“You kiddies…”

Lidya and meOur 5th child is going to be 18 in a few months.  Kinda crazy to think that yet another kid is on the brink of adulthood, and how fast it seems to happen.  The fact that she didn’t arrive in our family til the age of 11 makes her childhood really feel like the blink of an eye. But here we are, teaching her how to drive, and talking about what she might like to do after she graduates next year.  Maybe become a dental assistant?  Maybe save some money and do mission work in Ethiopia with my sister?  We’ll see…

As John and I moveJohn and me, age 19 towards parenting more and more grown children, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what blesses young adults as they move into adulthood.  What do they most need from us?

When I think back to our years of early adulthood, I always think of John’s grandma.  Whenever she saw us, she’d almost always say, “You kiddies are doing so well!”  No matter how rough the current moment felt in our lives, somehow her cheery praise made us feel like we must be doing okay. There may have been moments when she wondered how things were going to work out for us, but I never felt anything from her other than confidence and pride.  What a gift.

When you think back to your late teen years and your early years of adulthood, who blessed you and encouraged you along the way?  How did they do it?  I hope you’ll think about the question and comment below.  I’ll be sitting back, taking notes.

Sunday: Good To Be Alive

This video is a little silly, and a lot of praise.  Today may you breathe in and breathe out, feel the beat of your heart, hug the precious ones around you, and truly enjoy the one wonderful life you’ve been given by God.