Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Faith of a Child

It was such a blessing to be back home and at church today. We had a wonderful vacation, filled with so many precious memories, but, nothing compares to worshipping the name of the Lord together with the body of Christ. At our fellowship the kids come in for worship and sit together as a class in the front row. Abby Sue loves to worship and usually sings her heart out (slightly off key) to Jesus each Sunday. The songs today were filled with words of adoration, honor, & glory to God. Afterwards, one of our pastors/worship leaders, Tom, encouraged the congregation to take the time and offer up prayers of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord. Aaron and I were sitting towards the back when we heard a little voice from up in the front boldly pray out loud,..."Thank You Jesus that we can all be at church today. Amen." That little voice was our Abby Sue. Needless to say my eyes filled with tears and I wondered how my 7 year old daughter could give thanks to Jesus without inhibition while I sat in the back, tongue-tied by my spiritual cynicism. Thank You Lord for using my own child to remind me about the kind of faith you ask for, the faith of a child, undiluted, unwavering, unaffected faith.

"Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3&4

Monday, June 15, 2009

Homemade Clay-Dough

We found the coolest recipe for baked clay-dough in a book we checked out from the library last week. It is very simple and easy to mold into shapes. Abby Sue & Ben made the sweetest little animals and then gave them to their friends to paint at home. It is a great gift idea if you have birthday parties coming up...and the best part is they are very inexpensive and made with love. I even used the remaining clay to make the kids handprints, which they loved painting. I put their little handprints out on the porch next to the flowers so we can see them when we are coming and going.

Baked Clay-Dough

1 1/2 cups salt
4 cups flour
Add water and mix dough until it forms into a ball

Bake shapes at 300 F for about 30-40 minutes

Cool completely before painting

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Mamo made Zibby the most precious doll for her birthday this year. It is called a shoebox doll because it fits perfectly inside a regular sized shoebox. My grandma (Mamo) covered the shoebox with Holly Hobbie wrapping paper and made a little afghan and pillow to fit inside with "Dolly". When I was a little girl my Grandma made me the best dolls, animals, pillows, and even my own cross stitching sewing basket. Each treasure is a work of art. I have never met anyone else with such gifted hands as Grandma. She is truly an artist, with an amazing eye for color and detail. I feel so blessed that Zibby will have always have her "Dolly" and know that it was made with love by her amazing great grandmother.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Let Them Be Boys!

Boys will be boys, and so they should be, but because God made me a girl I find it a bit more challenging coming up with fun things for Ben to do. I can think of a million things that sound fun to me (and the girls) but it has always been a little bit more difficult coming up with exciting things for Ben. It is a blessing that I grew up in the middle of two boys and have a vast knowledge of Star Wars, GI Joe's, Indiana Jones, Bugs, Dirt, Rubber band Guns, etc. I have noticed that our culture seems a little bit more "feminine friendly" these days. Boys are left on their own, usually in front of the TV or playing a video game, simply because society has taken away almost everything that used to be so exciting for them. We are told that it's okay for our boys to be girls. We expose our boys to a debase culture and wonder why they are left confused about sex, love, and their masculinity. Okay, I'll climb off my soapbox! Honestly though, I hope and pray that our son grows up to be a godly man with awesome memories of a fun filled childhood.
Anyway! Here are a few fun ideas for boys!

Ben's Fun Stuff List:

Playing Star Wars or Indiana Jones to the movie soundtrack. (You can download almost any soundtrack off of the internet. The kids love this even though they have never seen the movies!)

Making swords, guns, etc. out of cardboard and foil. We have also made whips by braiding felt matter how hard he swings, no one gets hurt!

Archeologist Digs...give him a magnifying glass (dollar store), an old make-up brush, and have him dig for treasures (that you have buried) in a sandbox or dirt pile. (ideas for treasures: shells, polished stones, a treasure map!)

Take it Apart...find something like an old radio, keyboard, phone at Goodwill, give them some goggles and a screwdriver and let them try to take it apart.

Cool Costumes...Goodwill has some of the best dress-up stuff for boys. We found an old black Karate jacket for a few dollars a couple years ago and Ben uses it all the time. You can also find army jackets, old cameras, wallets, etc.

Read a Classic...Aaron's mom gave us a treasury of great books that Ben and I love reading together, Robin Hood, Call of the Wild, Treasure Island.

Don't underestimate the power and potential of a cardboard box. Give them some markers and see what they come up with. we have had everything from spaceships to pirate ships.

Outside! Take the time to invest in them a love of the outdoors....let them get dirty! (We even got Ben his first swiss army knife in Austria...hopefully he still has all 10 fingers by the time he's 12!)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Time Flies




I remember when Abby Sue was born everyone told me to enjoy her being small because before I knew it she would be graduating from college. I think I have always tried to keep this in mind and treasure each  moment with the kids. That wasn't as easy during those times when I would feel overwhelmed by dirty diapers, nursing, cleaning, tantrums, and every unexpected event that might happen over the course of a single day. Still, time does fly by...especially this week. Benji graduated from kindergarten and won't stop reminding me that he is now "officially" a first grader. Elizabeth turned two and looks more like a little girl than a baby and Abby Sue is hanging out with friends, looking forward to summer camps and third grade. Yikes!  So much ahead...Lord give us grace!

Friday, June 5, 2009


...My big plan was to keep up on our blog about our travels through Europe but access to wi-fi was limited as was the amount of time we had to sit down and spend time on the computer. Then I thought to myself, "Hey...this your vacation, relax, soak it all in. You have enough things pulling you in a hundred different directions at home. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself!" 
What I did end up doing was using good old fashioned pen and paper (Mom & Dad gave us the coolest journal before we left!) and recorded favorite places and memories along the way. Looking back on our time I realize how adored I am by my husband. None of us is perfect, but he looks at me as if I am. His love makes me want bless him and to be a better wife. Kinda reminds me of the love of Christ...I guess that is probably the reason why God came up with marriage in the first place, to reveal to our hearts little glimpses of His love.
The moment our plane landed on the runway, Aaron's phone was buzzing away with business voice mails and messages. While he was on the phone, I was also busy, mentally making "to-do" lists and getting ready for the responsibilities waiting for me ahead. As we drove through the beautiful Oregon countryside I could feel my heart beginning to beat with a familiar excitement. Home....Our little cottage on Pine street filled to the rim with everything most precious to me. Nothing on this earth, no matter how famed or brilliant, could ever hold a candle to what Aaron and I have together at home...Abby Sue, with her infectious laugh, Benji and his quiet smile, and Zibby, to darling for words. 
So, after a few days of getting back into the swing of things (kindergarten graduation, birthday parties, t-ball games, homework, cleaning, more cleaning, did I mention cleaning?) I look back on our time and smile. Thankful for the adventure and the memories but content to hang up my "Indiana Jenn" hat and tie my apron back on...(at least for now!)