Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lessons Learned So Far

"If home is where the heart is, than mine is where you is."

3rd Grade Homework can really pile up when you are out with the flu."One Eyed, One Horned, Flying Purple People Eaters" are very good at "gettin' down". When you are only 2 years old it's okay to have an imaginary friend named "Huebert" and draw pictures of him all day long. And when you aren't feeling so good, nothing cheers you up like snuggling with daddy and your new kitten.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving Thanks

Starting with the annual Evergreen Thanksgiving Feast (making costumes for my 2 little Indians), decorating a "Thanksgiving Tree" (complements of my MOPS group), getting the house ready for the family dinner, the Turkey competition (it was a tie again), a Thanksgiving Carnival (another one of Abby Sue's fun ideas that ended up being a hit), tables laden with yummy food, love all around, Uncle Terry being with us, Grampa Papo's blessing, the Crazy Cousin Thanksgiving Sleepover (incomplete without our Barrett & Audrey), Daddy's pancake breakfast, and a lazy 3 day weekend...just too many blessings to count, we give You thanks dear Jesus!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I am so excited to celebrate Advent as a family this year. Our Jesse Tree Advent candle holder came in the mail yesterday just in time to prepare for next Sunday. I have always wanted to do this as a family since it was a big part of Aaron's childhood growing up in the Catholic church. Aaron's dad was an ordained Priest before he married and still faithfully serves in the Catholic church. He is a very special man whom I have come to love and respect dearly. It is because of Paul's faith that Aaron came to know and love Christ, those seeds that were planted in his heart as a young Catholic altar boy grew into a desire to seek God and serve Him with all of his life. That is why I felt that advent was a way to kind of "bridge the gap", so to speak, and share with our children the beauty of symbols and scripture that point to Christ. The Jesse Tree Advent wreath tells the story of His lineage through symbols and readings from Scripture, one for each day of Advent. The Advent season begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas up until Christmas Eve. Each day in Advent, often at the main meal, the candles are lit. Each lighting is accompanied by a blessing, scripture reading and the singing of a verse from "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." (My favorite Christmas hymn!) A different member of the family, starting with the father, leads the ceremony and lights the candles each evening.
I think this will be a very special way to help us as a family keep the focus on Jesus throughout the busy season.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Book Talk"

Today in Abby Sue's class each student (3rd-5th grade) had to give a 5-8 minute speech that they composed on an animal of their choice. Abby has been working on her report, about Kittens, for 2 weeks and asked me today if I could bring Marshmallow to school for her speech. Mrs Potter, her teacher, also thought that would be a fun idea. So...I had the opportunity today to watch my daughter give her "Book Talk". I think it might have been one of the most hilarious reports I have ever heard! I have to say I struggled to compose myself, tears streaming down my face (and Mrs. Potters), but at the same time I was beaming with pride over my creative, confident, brilliant little girl.

This is a copy of her "Book Talk"..word for word


I first want to start with how cats are born. Now, first of all, what dose the female cat do? (Here she asked the class to raise their hands if they knew the answer! One boy said, "They get married?" and Abby agrees!) Right! They mate with a male cat. The male cat has to chase away a lot of other males before the female has kittens. Now! I have a special gest today, and her name is Marshmelo. Now she is not coming up because she is taking a cat nap. So, on the count of three, I want you guys to say, "Wake up Marshmelo!" (The class responds and up pops our kitten snuggled in Abby's arms.) Now, she is going to tell us how she was born. (This is when Abby starts actually asking the kitten a question and then has Marshmallow answer it in a kind of kitten voice!) Now, tell us Marshmelo. How was it like to be born? "Well, it felt good and wonderful!" Can you give us some facts about it? "Shure. Now, I could not see. I could hear, but not very well. But in two weeks, my eyes were open, so I can finaly know were I'm going. I could hear better too." Well, that is great Marshmelo! Lets all give Marshmelo a round of aplose. (Here, she puts the kitten down to roam around the classroom, much to the joy of every student, then continues) Now, as I was saying, kittens play with there mother's tail. This is when they are four weeks old. Kittens love to play with things that move. The kittens are still nursing, but they are also starting to eat solid food. Sometimes, kittens play fight, but it dosen't hurt. When kittens see a frog, they get themselves bigger by puffing themselves up. Here comes little Marshmelo! Now, watch her how she plays. Isint that cute! Kittens love to play. Feel her soft fur. Did you know that when they are ten weeks old, they are very curious? They love to climb trees. Climbing up was easy, but it will be harder to climb down. Kittens and cats almost always land on thier feet. This is because they can turn around in the air. Soon, they are about a year old! The life cicle of a cat was very exiding. The circle of life goes around and around. Now you know how kittens turn into a grown up cat. Thank you! (She ends with making sure everyone had a chance to pet the kitten and has Marshmallow wave bye-bye.)

I pray that Abby Sue (who prefers to go by "Abigail" these days) continues to grow in her gifts of creativity, confidence, and communication. I know that God has a very special plan for this unique little girl! I love her to bits!

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Smile

After about 25 years of continually messed up teeth and mouth pain I finally have a new smile! I'm just so thankful to have this chapter of life complete. I was 7 when I broke my front tooth, 10 when I broke the one next to, over the years it has been bondings, infections, crowns, surgeries, flippers ( don't ask!), 4 failed bone grafts, etc. But today it is all done and I just can't stop smiling! YAY!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


It's looking more and more like Boston will be our new home. Aaron has been there all week and told me today that he has been offered the teaching position once it becomes available in January or early February. Many things are still up in the air but we are both feeling in our hearts that God has an adventure ahead for our family, that we need to step out in faith, and trust Him. We also found out that we will have to sell our sweet little house here to afford a mortgage there, something about the fact that the company will help us with a mortgage but not if we have two of them. I understand. It's still sad though. We really have put so much love into fixing this place up and filled it with countless precious memories, ones that I will hold in my heart always, and that will go with us wherever God leads. So...we'll see what happens, I love God's surprises...they keep my faith growing and protect me from getting a little too comfortable here.

This is a picture that I took about three years ago when I visited the Boston area for the first time...Hydrangea's in Martha's Vineyard. At least the flowers are beautiful there!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Here is something that I made recently. It's the first one I have done to keep. I have made others for friends, especially new babies. I came across this print of a Van Gogh sketch. I love nests and eggs. They represent home, family, and faith to me on so many levels. For this, I used the Van Gogh print and adorned his rendering of an empty nest to one full of 3 little blue speckled eggs. On the right I wrote our children's names and birthdate. On the upper left is a heart that holds our initials, A & J, and our wedding date. On the bottom I wrote my favorite scripture about entrusting our homes to the care of Christ found in Psalm 84:3. I like how it turned out and hope to make more for family and friends in the future. I put mine in the middle of a wreath in our living room just above my "quiet time" chair.

Friday, November 6, 2009


They (The Kuenzi family) named her Marshmallow (she looks like a burnt one). She came from a farm. Her mother was hit by a car. She needed a home. The kids fell in love. Dot (our tabby) has not. We call her "Mel". I think she's a keeper.


One of the many blessings of living in this old house is our grape vines. On both sides of our yard we have fruitful old vines that are full of grapes in the fall. Another blessing is our sweet neighbor, Miss Gladys, who has been a widow for over 25 years, had 6 children, and has lived in her little white house since the early 1940's.
A few years ago, Miss Gladys, had a garage sale. I, of course, was more than excited to see what treasures she would be letting go of. I came back across the street that day with a baby doll cradle, play tea set, old recipe book, canning pot, and the juicer (pictured above). She told me that it was perfect for juicing grapes with, which I had a lot of! The first year I attempted to make grape juice, Aaron helped me, and we both ended up burning our hands and covering the kitchen floor with the sticky, boiling juice. Trial and error has helped me to become much more efficient and this year the juice was made without any catastrophe. I love the way each bottle of juice is a different shade of pink to purple. There isn't a room in the house can escape the sweet earthy smell of the steaming grapes.
The jars are now resting peacefully up on the high shelf above the stove. Sometimes, I find myself looking up and admiring them with pride. This year I hope to make some grape jelly out of the juice. I'll add that to my "good ideas for christmas gifts" list. For now, though, I think I 'll just let them adorn my kitchen with their beauty :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Two Year Old Theology

After Zibby got up from bed this morning, she pointed to the Nativity snow globe way up high on her dresser and said, "I want God!" I'm hoping that she is referring to baby Jesus and not the globe itself!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


The best parts of life for me lately have been when everyone is happy and enjoying each other for more than five minutes. That is when I feel like God has pushed the "pause" button and I can step back for just a moment, catch my breath and sigh with thanks. Being a wife and a mom is such a humbling job. If I don't choose to get on my knees in prayer, God has all sorts of ways of getting me there..(to tie shoes, cleaning up anything & everything that finds itself on the floor, looking for a lost blankie, wiping noses, washing little bodies, etc.) I have been overwhelmed with the fact that 4 lives depend so much on me. Sometimes I just want some peace and quiet..time to myself. The best part is knowing that my Maker knows my needs, my weaknesses, and all of the other junk that comes along with being me. When I trust Him to provide...(especially these days), a little reprieve, He so faithfully does.

Dear Jesus, for those who depend on me to take care of them I pray that they may find in my actions and words a peaceful dependence on that I don't fail...I need You to be my Keeper. Amen.