Monday, June 6, 2016

Yes, it's sad but true...our family blog that has been found here for the past seven years has come to a close...but a new chapter has begun!

When I told Aaron that I wrapped up the family blog and that I was taking a long break from Facebook and Instagram he was like, "Why!?"

But when I explained the reasons and my plan he understood and smiled.

So, as mentioned in the last post...It's impossible for me to stop writing and journaling. I'm just going to be writing and journaling in a different place.

I feel like we have kind of transitioned form our younger days to our middle days and I feel like  that deserves a new chapter..well, a whole new book I guess.

If you are one of the few and faithful who have had kept up with us through the years here then you might enjoy my new place to write:

it's our own website of sorts and will be full of photos, thoughts, poems, ramblings, and more adventures as we journey through this crazy thing called "life" together.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

old cabins



I've been thinking for some time about how and when I would wrap up this little family blog of thoughts and events. I guess it can't go on forever. Life is always changing and challenging and giving us opportunity for growth.

Aaron and I were watching a program the other night. It was about people who live in the most remote areas of Alaska. A family featured was preparing to burn down their first cabin they had built in the woods. They lived in this cabin for over thirty years. They raised their children in this cabin. They built this cabin with their own hands. And yet they were preparing to set the whole place on fire.


Why not leave it for memories. It wasn't hurting anyone. They had built a new cabin not far from the existing one. They lived hundreds of miles from civilization. Why burn down a cabin that wasn't in the way of anything?

Their explanation left an impression on me.

They wanted to give room for the forest to grow again in place of where they had built their home.

They had no need for the home any longer but the forest had need to grow.

To them it was their responsibility to make space instead of take up space.

They filled the cabin with tree limbs and brush, covered the entire pile with gasoline and threw in a match.

They held each other as they watched it go up in flames.

They wept together.

I have never seen anyone intentionally set fire to their home.

To us, its unfathomable.

But to them it was giving opportunity for growth.


Don't worry, I'm not setting fire to any houses!

But, it made me search my heart a bit.

What do I hold on to that is getting in the way of a new work in my life?

Is the forest of my heart being overrun with old cabins?

Are these getting in the way of new trees?

Am I willing to let the old things go to make way for the new?

Back to this little blog...a sort of cabin I've come to write in for almost seven years now.

I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to record bits and pieces of our life and thoughts here.

But, I think it's time to wrap it up and make way for some new growth.

It's strange to say goodbye...sad really. This was always meant to be a journal of family life but over the years it involved into a way to communicate my heart. These words were meant for the kids to look back on in their future but some of you friends and family have come along this journey with me and I thank you for it. Your encouragement and sympathy, laughter and love along the way of these young mama years have been like water to my soul. Thank you.

I hope to keep writing...I hope to always write. Taking down this "blog cabin" is bittersweet.
But, I look forward to the forest full of life that will grow in it's place.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Teens and Beans

I know what you're thinking, and, no, this is not a post about teenage potty humor.

(Although I feel we could write a whole book on that subject alone.)

No, this is a post about being a grown up and learning how to make new friends.

(We'll get to the "teens and beans" part later.)

Friendship is a very precious thing. A very important thing. We were created to have friends.

I'm far from perfect at it...well...

let's be honest,

I'm not even very "good" at it anymore.

And it's a bummer 'cuz,

I was a pretty good friend as a kid.

I loved my friends.

I wanted to spend every day with my friends.

I didn't really have major trouble making friends.

In fact a good handful of my childhood friends are still in my life today.

That is just grace.

But, after marriage and..boom boom, two babies (that's marriage and babies all within a span of just a few years) I dreaded hanging out with new friends.

Maybe I was just trying to survive!

Seriously, the word "playdate"(for me) could be translated loosely as..."ulcer".

And it wasn't that I didn't try.

I tried very hard.

But every get together with other moms and their "angels" seem to become a roast fest about husbands, or a guilt trip about everything from snacks to birth control.

And then there was our AbbySue...unlike any child that entered the playground. A little soul with unashamed confidence and no self consciousness whatsoever, who hugged anything living without warning, and dressed like a walking rainbow.

Parents don't know what to think about a kids like AbbySue.

Kids are even worse.

I became protective. I didn't like feeling embarrassed about my own precious daughter just because she didn't "fit in". I decided then and there to just enjoy motherhood without the added burden of "mommy and me".

And I don't regret it. Those early years as a mom were full of adventure for AbbySue, Benji, and I. Those were precious times. Sometimes I would feel bad that I dodged another playdate but now, looking back, I'm so grateful for that time with my babies.

The other issue that was tough for Aaron and I was that most to almost all of our old friends who were around the same age as us, just didn't have kids yet. Our friends were so sweet and encouraging, and we loved hanging out, but it was hard to relate when it came to the season of life that we were in.

No one's fault, just the fact.

So, navigating our own friendships into adulthood, young parenthood, moving here and there and everywhere, has been a little tough.

Yeah, the moving part didn't help things.

Just when we would start really connecting with an awesome family it was time to move...again.


We had to make another "move" about seven months ago that inevitably changed some very deep and dear friendships.

We left our church.

We didn't want to "leave" our friends too, but when you aren't at the same place on a weekly basis anymore your dynamic naturally changes.

It's hard. And it's sad.

So, here we are again...struggling in the friend department.

And I don't mean friends like the kind you will always have and will always stay in touch with no matter how many miles or changes separate you.

Those are the gold friends.

The ones you will have forever.

I mean the "hear and now friends", the kind of friends that you allow inside your life today.

Enter Teens and Beans.

God is so very good.

I would have never imagined that He would bring friends to us through our teenagers friends but that is just what He did.

So, colorful AbbySue is now a freshman at Silverton High School and has connected with a group of friends that you could only pray that your child would find. These kids are so amazing. They truly love one another, pray for each other, encourage one another, and are all so imperfectly perfect together.

They are three boys and three girls. They are wicked smart and creative. They play poker and listen to records together. They are safe.

What a gift right!?

I mean, Aaron and I would've been satisfied with just this alone, but..

God had something even bigger.

These kids have amazing parents.

Parents who are funny, and cool, and easy to be around, and who love Jesus too.

Parents who are in the same season as we are...

and here's where it gets even crazier...even parents who went to High School with Aaron!

And it doesn't stop there, because these families have younger kids Ben's age and even Zibby's age...and get this...

They all get along!

So naturally we parents decided to start hanging out more.

Usually on Wednesday nights.

We share dinner and hang out...

we usually make Mexican food.

(That's the "Beans" part).

And I know it's good because it's not hard to hang out with these precious people.

We are one giant, genuine group of new friends, new stories, new memories.

We come from all different walks of life.

And for right here and how our paths have joined up.

I can't let them pass us by.

I have to open my hand and let go of my fears and just hold onto this gift right now.

Because He gives and He takes away and He gives again.

Blessed be His Name.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

an eight year old perspective

Tolerant kitty cats understand how much you love babies and don't mind if you zip them up inside  your jacket so that you can pretend to be pregnant.
 The term "stuffed animals" is for grown ups. Eight year olds understand that these cuddly friends have feelings and come alive when you are away at school. Therefore, celebrating a favorite teddy bear's birthday is reason enough for a tea party. 
 We see here an eight year old girl in the evening light...what we can't see are her translucent fairy wings folded neatly across her back as she collects magic petals to take back to her pixie world. 
 When you are eight years old, a field trip to Shellburg Falls is really more like an Everest expedition. You and your class are journalists for National Geographic and your work will be world renowned. 
When you are eight all you need is an old fashioned dress to transform your world into the Secret Garden of Mary Lennox. 

 When you are eight years of age, piano recitals fill you the brim with butterflies, but you know how to let those fluttery things loose so that your tiny fingers fly across the daunting keys with beauty and ease....
 and you smile really big when your mission is accomplished. 
 When you are eight years old, you pretend to be Cinderella and then folding the laundry is fun.
 When you are eight years old you don't feel bad about how you spend your time.
 Multitasking at eight years old means you get to help with the burn pile and roast a sausage for lunch while you're at it. 

 When you are eight you love Oregon State, almost as much as your daddy...
and you love flowers just as much as your mama. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Boxspring God

it's been on my heart for some time to write out my testimony of faith in Christ and in doing so I hope to not only remember all of this beautiful Grace that keeps me going each day, but to pass this on to our children, that they may walk in the Truth of this perfect Love all of their days. 

I guess my testimony really starts tangled up deep in the boxsprings of my mattress underneath the old Jenny Lind bed.
I was maybe three years old. And I was afraid.
I could here things hit the wall. 
They were fighting again. 
Hurting again.
And I was hiding, again.
At that moment I can remember Someone there with me in the boxsprings. 
In my heart I knew it was the One who created me and gave me life. 
I don’t remember anyone talking to me about Him. 
I didn’t know His Name. 
But I knew He was there. So I asked Him to please stay with me.
Not so long after that my mom packed a U-haul with a few of our things and we left our cabin in the woods of the Sierra Nevada mountains and headed down to live with my grandparents in desert hot Murrieta, California.
I have only seen my dad a few times since.
My mom worked at a local bank full time so my brothers and I spent most of our time at school and then day care.
Some days I went to a psychologist who watched me play with shapes.
I wondered why my brothers didn’t have to come with me.
I felt like everyone was trying to unlock me. Whatever it was that I wasn’t telling, or choosing to forget, made me damaged and untrustworthy. 
I could see it on their faces looking down at me. 
That was where the tiny seed of self consciousness was first planted in my wondering heart. No one trusted me. I must be awful. How could I make them all happy with me? And if they weren't happy with me how could God ever be happy with me? 
Down the country road from my grandparent’s house there was a small church. I would walk down to the Sunday school there on my own. There was a flannel board and an unhappy looking teacher who talked about how the world was created by God. And then the world was flooded by God. And then a man from God named Jesus came and was nailed through his hands and feet to a wooden cross with a mocking crown of thorns on his head. And there was a flannel about the cave grave that He was put into, dead. And there was another flannel of a glowing Jesus levitating between earth and heaven. And they loved talking about the 10 commandments. And the wrath of God. And hell. And from what I could tell I was hosed because I could never keep the 10 commandments and I wasn’t too sure about that pasty looking Jesus either, all white and glowing, so far removed from all of this brokenness in me and all around me. What I received from that Sunday school was a good dose of guilt and a heart full of dread. But I kept going back...always searching. 
Things turned around for me when I was nine years old and my mom remarried. 
For me the first proof that I was loved by a God somewhere was my new dad. He loved my beautiful and broken mom and he loved all three of us naughty rug-rats. 
He was not perfect but he talked about being loved by Jesus.
This was something new.
Not being perfect but loved by Jesus? This couldn’t be the far away flannel board Jesus I had heard about. And how did this all relate to church or God? 
I had not met anyone like my new dad at the church down the road from my grandparent’s house. 
I noticed right away that he wasn’t trying so hard like everyone else. He just had faith that he belonged to a loving God. 
After my mom and Mike were married we moved and started going to a new church together in Vista, California. It was in that Sunday school class that I first heard the message of the gospel, the love of God, and the forgiveness we have in His Son Jesus. I first put my trust in Jesus that little classroom.
From fourth grade until I was a senior in high school we attended that fellowship.
I know that for the most part the church was doing their best to love others and to share the love of God with the world. Unfortunately, I missed a few key points and my faith became tangled up more in the movement of that church than the unfailing love of Christ. 
Although the people at that fellowship said they loved others outside of the church I didn’t really see them trying to live outside the church in someone else’s shoes long enough to even understand how to love them. 
There was an unspoken thread of self righteous theology that began to weave a web of spiritual misunderstanding in and out of my heart and mind, the theme of which being, “we are the best Christians around because we really understand what it means to love Jesus.” (What about what it means to know we are loved by Jesus?) 
That kind of doctrine along with that damaging seed of self consciousness planted all those years before was slowing growing out of control and the only way I could keep it under wraps was to keep pretending like I was a “good girl” and that everything was ok and that I would do anything for Jesus. 
At that time within that church movement there were these “Purity Conferences” where we had to pledge our virginity to Jesus and stay away from boys until we found the one were were supposed to marry and then not touch that boy until we had free reign on our wedding night. (Free reign just because we are married? Heaven help me if I ever teach our children that kind of damaging lie. Kids, purity is only from Christ and Christ alone...unmarried or married.) I remember really struggling through these kind of messages because I didn’t know if I was pure enough.  Anything that may or may not have happened to my body as a young girl, may or may not have disqualified me for a pure marraige or worse yet, made me vulnerable to allowing other men to take advantage of me. I began to ration in my head that if I was the kind of child that allowed myself to possibly be abused than I would never be pure enough for marriage and that marriage, most likely, wasn’t for me. Game Over.
Throughout my high school years, I threw myself into my faith and in following Jesus as never before. Maybe I was trying to prove to Him or maybe to myself that I was of use. 
At my youth group on Wednesday nights I was taught that the way to be a true follower of Jesus is to let go of all your dreams, your talents, your interests and leave it all for Christ. 
To even consider going to a University after High School would be thought selfish unless it was Bible College. 
By the end of my senior year I stopped going to my high school counselor who advised me to use my grades and creative gifts to apply for scholarships.
There were a few universities that she felt would suit me very well and that I could develop and grow in. 
I remember trying to explain to her that I wanted to be a missionary and that going college would keep me from that or worse yet “stumble me” in my faith. She argued that going to school would possibly prepare to be a better missionary. She was a wise and kind woman but in my developing self righteous naiveté I stood up and left her office inwardly shaking my head at her lack of spiritual understanding.
With a hard earned "Jesus Freak-Purity Ring-Nun-like" reputation I graduated from high school and left my sunny Southern Californian life and dear friends for wet and soggy Oregon with only my guitar and yellow VW bug for Jesus. 
I was a “missionary” sent to serve at a newly planted church fellowship related to the one we had come from in Vista with my older brother and his new wife.
I found a job at as a preschool teacher in the mornings and I worked at a nursing home in the afternoons. Every evening I was at church, leading worship or bible study with a group of young girls who became like little sisters to me.
I will say that in all of my stubborn zealousness the God of grace was at work and leaving California for Oregon was clearly His way of getting to me.
I was working hard (sometimes up to four jobs at a time) and serving even harder. I was struggling with homesickness and that self conscious sapling was now a deep rooted ugly growth of the soul. 
Everything took so much effort. 
My love always fell short, 
my words weren’t enough, 
my sacrifices lacked any genuine emotion. 
I was a phony and I hated myself for it. 
Any words of affirmation were gobbled up in an attempt to boost my deteriorating spirit and likewise and criticism crushed me. 
I felt out of control. I began to loath being looked at. 
I felt like everyone was judging every inch inside and outside of me. 
I stopped eating in front of people. I stopped talking to old friends. I continued to serve and tried my very best to love the people around me but deep down I knew I didn’t. Not the way I should. I was miserable. I wasn't being honest with God or myself and I knew it. 
I was beginning to feel restless and anxious. 
Sometimes I would come home after a long day, curl up in my closet hugging my knees completely overwhelmed with what my life had become. 
What would happen to me or to my faith if I just got in my car and left it all? Would God follow me? (I know now that He would have followed me to the ends of the earth and back again.)
When I was 22 my heart surprised me and fell in love with a gentle giant of a soul. Aaron was the opposite of any man I was supposed to fall in love with. 
If I were to be married someday shouldn’t it be a missionary or a pastor? Nope and Nope. 
God had a beautiful and unexpected rescue plan for my tormented soul and it came in the form of an offensive lineman from Oregon State University. Even better than that, this guy was new to the church I was serving in and was (gasp) raised Catholic... the cherry on top? He was majoring in Psychology!  Psychology was like taboo to the church that I was raised in. (Just typing that out makes my heart sick. I was clearly holding to a tight-wire act of faith and it was only a matter of time before I would fall.) 
But Aaron loved me for me. He loved my laugh and the fact that I had broken out two front teeth laughing. He loved talking with me and we generally just loved being in the company of one another. When I realized that my heart began to love his heart I was afraid. Deep down I knew that I would have to commit to trusting this man..and trusting anyone was my worst fear. Still my heart pressed on in this love. Aaron was demonstrative without apology. His love was like an ax slowly chopping away at the rock hard root of that self conscious growth taking me over. The deeper his love cut into me the more of the ugly was revealed and Aaron wouldn’t stop loving me. No matter the ugly he saw. He just kept chopping and loving until that ugly old thing that had defined my life for so long came crashing down. And I was left, just me, naked and vulnerable, excepted and beloved. Aaron looked at me with trust and believed in me. God used this love to break through my brokenness and allow His healing to begin. 
We were married when we were only 21 and 23 years old. 
Obviously there was so much learning that we went through together. 
I can say that it was my marriage and vulnerability with my husband that started me in on seeking the old and safe voice of my boxspring God once again. Aaron is by no means my Savior, but my Savior used my husband to teach me how to allow my heart to be loved. We have fallen and failed one another countless times, but Grace keeps picking us up and dusting us off and bringing us together again. And I'm learning that to truly love and allow another person to love me I must first understand that I'm loved by God.
Being honest and truthfully coming to God with everything and watching Him take those things and transform them into something beautiful is still an ongoing process.
Aaron and I have been covered in this grace and love in marriage for almost seventeen years now. We have moved all over this country together, even traveled over much of this small world hand in hand. 
We’ve been blessed with three beautiful souls who call us mom and dad and that is humbling to say the least. 
My deepest desire is that they will know His voice and live to hear Him speak everlasting love over their hearts.
My faith has slowly but surely become a genuine thing.
I still struggle with my anxieties but I’m learning not to flog myself for it.  I’m me, and God loves me for it. 
In my weakness He is strong. 
He knows all about those dark things that still war against my soul form time to time and He is always ready to protect me and set me free.
When I allow His truth to sink into my life I naturally want to walk in that truth, not in a religious way but in a melody of liberated dependence on Him…the Savior of my soul.
I’m continually seeking the heart of God as a follower of Christ. 
In the seeking I come to understand just how very close He has always been.
I know without a doubt that it was His voice  that I heard in my three-year old spirit, tangled up in the boxsprings, and I have come to believe for myself that He is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life.
I’ve seen Him in action. 
I don't fully understand Him but I trust Him.
Every mysterious layer of His character is held together by all that is Good and all that is Love. 
I'm grateful for the church that we were a part of for so many years but at this point in life I shy away from movements, non denominations and denominations. 
I still go to church and I know that worshipping together with the body of Christ is important but I don't want the church that I attend to be my identity. 
I simply want my identity to be in Christ alone. 
I want to live simply knowing, by faith, that I’m loved by Him and that I am the apple of His eye.
Not because I’ve earned this but because He chose me to be His.
And so I let Him carry me and I cling to Him.
I’m chosen by Him and I’ve chosen Him.
By grace I have been saved not by works, 
but I rejoice when the way that I live reflects the fullness of His love over me. “This is my story this is my song praising my Savior all the day long.”

I’m loved by a God Who lives beyond the vastness of space and the confines of time and yet makes Himself small enough to fit under the bed, untangle my broken heart, and carry me out safe into to His marvelous light.
"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine" 
Isaiah 43:1

ps...lots of typos because I'm just fine with not being perfect:) 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

a good reason to blog

Life on the acre is always eventful.

We have been tackling a bathroom renovation, the flu, a budding flower business, violin, cello, and piano lessons....kempo, ballet, and a high school musical.
In between all of this Aaron had to work in O'ahu and because he would be away on his birthday and because I wouldn't want the birthday boy to be alone I felt the need to come along with him and let the kiddos enjoy some quality time with Nana, Papa, and Grandma.

Speaking of the kids they won't stop eating or growing. Their friends eat a lot too. In fact our favorite days are when the kids and their friends fill this place up with their craziness. But did I mention they eat a lot!

AbbySue is loving life at Silverton High School...especially theatre. She loves to spend time with her friends. She loves violin and art. She loves listening to music and going on long walks with her chubby dog. She loves her family. She loves to have a day with nothing to do but rest and read and draw. All of these years I thought she was an extrovert but I was wrong.

Ben is in that awkward in-between stage but weathering it like a champ. He is very scientific and continues to astound us with his imagination. He started playing the cello at the beginning of the year and he loves it. He still loves his legos, weapons, and books. He loves youth group on Tuesday nights and he loves listening to The Beatles in Grandma's car on the way to and from Salem on those nights. Ben told me the other day that he believes he will live in England for a little while when he grows up.

Zibby is our servant hearted girl. She lives to bless others. Her favorite way to show love is to take care of her loved ones. She is always making us waffles, or surprising us with flowers and notes, or asking us if we need anything at all. Zibby has endless energy. She is always dancing, singing, playing her piano, dressing up as a Chinese princess or Jedi in training. Zibby's prayer is that someone would bring her a baby to take care of. She also prays for a best friend. Zibby is our song.

So life is sweet and we are blessed and that's a good reason for a blog post in my opinion.

When you are too sick to do anything on Valentines Day and you've been stuck inside the house for way too long...folding your eight year old's laundry may turn into a little surprise for your man. 
I present...
"Valentine Chewbacca Aloha Heart Undies Princess" 
You're welcome honey. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Time together is my favorite

Just a little post to say that we had such an amazing time together at Disneyland last month. 
Even the photo bombers are happy! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

fears (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised)

Just when I think I have my worst fears under control, I'm reminded that I'm not in control at all and I must trust every moment. If I don't surrender every fear to Him than I'm subjecting myself to spiritual disaster. One little tremor in my emotional fault line will eventually trigger a tsunami of fear barreling right down at me and I will be swept away.

We all have fears.
Fear comes in different shapes and sizes.
One fear to some might look ridiculous to another.
We seem to judge each others fears as if to downplay our own when we respond to someone who is struggling, 

"Get over it!"

"Get a grip."

"Why can't you just let it go?"

But when it comes to our own set of demons we cower in the corner. 

The fact is that, everyday, we have one of two choices;
we can decide to let fear dictate our every move or
we can surrender our worst fears to Jesus and trust Him for whatever the outcome may be. 

This is not easy. 

Imagine your worst fears. 

I know mine right off...

losing my husband to adultery or death, 
losing my children to death, 
someone abusing my child, 
and the fear of what others think of me. 

My heart is tested by one or more of these fears on a daily basis. 

I know that my fears have a hold on me when I have fooled myself into thinking that I have a hold on them and then before I know it I'm the one shackled. 

Yesterday, in just minutes and moments Aaron and I thought that Ben was going to die. 

A normal morning turned into calling 911 when Ben routinely took his inhaler then passed out falling backwards and cracking his head open on the granite countertop. 

When we got to him we didn't know what happened. He regained consciousness but there was blood everywhere and the back of his head was literally filleted open. He was as white as a ghost but we were all still a little under control at that point because he was somewhat alert as we assessed the situation. (I'm so grateful that Aaron was home.) When we decided to get him up to take him to to ER he started mumbling and rolling his eyes back into his head..and just like that, his whole body slumped over on me and the only word he said before he lost consciousness again was, "Mom, help me." I gently got him to the floor but he was almost gray at this point and both Aaron and I instantlioulsy thought the very worst.."brain bleed?, cardiac arrest?, what is going on!? Jesus please help our son!" Ben regained consciousness again and started making a little more sense.."I'm fine, I'm fine." The paramedics came and we all got him in the car and took him to the hospital. Long story short he has pneumonia and he passed out because his blood pressure was low and he was holding his breath too long after his asthma medication. They had to pull his scalp back together with five staples and by the afternoon he was home playing legos. Thank God. 

But that paralyzing moment of fear was the worst.
All those "what if's" and the temptation to replay in my mind what happened or what could've happened.
All of it oozing up like a backness ready to take me over. 

I truly believe that we do not have to live in constant fear and worry.
Yes, the worst can happen and it might happen,
but to live in fear of something you don't know for sure will happen can ruin your life and paralyze your faith. 

As followers of Christ we are promised "Peace that passes understanding to guard your hearts and minds..." Philippians 4:7 

This kind of peace is available to us at every second of every day...
but we must choose to put off fear to put on peace.
It is a faith filled conscious choice. 

When the fear tides rise we have to take advantage of the opportunity to practice building up our faith on the higher ground through the study of God's Word, spending time in prayer, and worshipping him rain or shine.

Jesus talked about this truth in his parable of the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”

My peace cannot be dependent on the fact that Ben is (miraculously) back at school today.

My peace is in knowing that my Savior keeps all of my loves much safer than I ever could. 

Ben has been to the ER so often I wonder he may become a physician when he grows up. 

(This is the gross part.. but Ben will look back on it and brag I'm sure) 

Friday, January 15, 2016

cubic zirconia is not gonna cut it for this girl

It was the first snow 
and while most kids throw on their 
mittens, hats, scarves and snow pants 
she prefers heels
(and ice super powers.) 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Name...Again!

Because it's a new year and I love change! And because we just celebrated our fifth Christmas together on this Little Acre Farm. In a few months we will have lived here longer than we have lived anywhere else as a family. This place is becoming so much a part of us and we are grateful for our beautiful home, our small piece of land, and all the memories we have made and those yet to come.
Crazy cousins playing Star Wars with a cat in a's breathing, I checked. 

worth the time

I'm always looking for good books, music, and movies. Our time is precious and any free time is a treasure so I would rather not waste it on crap. There is so much junk out there when it comes to media in general but the ones noted below were well worth the time. Trying to redeem the time is not easy these days...especially with so many time suckers to choose from! These were worth it. And instead of sucking away my time they gave me so much in return; lessons that have enriched my life. 

"Beautiful Boy" by David Sheff

This book was very hard to read but incredibly powerful. It is written by the father of drug and alcohol addict. If you or someone that is close to your heart has walked through the darkness of addiction I highly recommend this book. It is not written from a "Christian" perspective but it spoke volumes to me of the love of a father for his child. It also set my heart very free in terms of loving and struggling to heal if you have experienced addiction from the outside looking in. It shed light on the mind of an addict and the reasoning behind many behaviors that are not only self destructive but detrimental to their loved ones. It took me some time to get through it because it really is heart wrenching but well worth the effort. I give this book two thumbs up and will be sharing it with our kids when they are older. 

"Floodplain" by Sara Groves 
"The Burning Edge of Dawn" by Andrew Peterson 

Lyrically brilliant and musically layered these albums have some true insight when it comes to love, life, and our faith. I have been texting the songs to many friends in hopes that they would lift up their souls as they have mine. Another double thumbs up! 

"On the Way to School" 

A documentary that follows the humbling and inspiring lengths it takes for some children to receive an education. I watched this film with Zibby just last night, (it's free on Netflix), and both of us were speechless by the end of it and even started it over so that Daddy could watch it with us. I would highly recommend this movie if you would like to get a little insight on how blessed we are to have so much knowledge readily available to our families within our homes and in our schools.