Sunday, February 28, 2010

earrings and suits

Here are my latest creations :-) I don't take very good pictures of jewelry -- I haven't quite figured out how to get the best lighting and backgrounds. I'll get it right someday, but these give the general idea.

Without even discussing what they were wearing to church today, Jason and Luke picked matching suits :-) So of course we had to get a picture!

I've started going to Deaf church on Sunday nights now, too. Tonight for the first time, I understood a lot of what was signed without having anyone interpret for me! It was VERY exciting to me when my teacher's wife asked if I was getting everything, and I could honestly answer YES! That was in the first ten minutes, though; after that, my understanding quickly went "downhill." The first time I ever went there, I understood less than 1% of the conversations and lesson. Tonight, I'd guess that I understood about 10%. That's a great improvement in my opinion for three months of study. I'm pretty pleased :-)


today's song: "Say the Name" by Margaret Becker

A more sweeter sounding word
These lips have never said
A gentle name so beautiful
My heart cannot forget
Just a whisper is enough
To set my soul at ease
Just thinking of this Name
Brings my heart to peace

May I never grow so strong
That my heart cannot be moved
May I never grow so weak
That I fear to speak the truth
I will say this holy Name
No matter who agrees
For no other name on earth
Means so much to me

With all the honor I can find
With all my heart, my soul, my mind
I will say the Name
Without defense, without shame
I will always speak the Name
Of Jesus

Say the Name
Say the Name that soothes the soul
The Name of gentle healing
And peace immutable
I'll say the Name that has heard my cry
Has seen my tears and wiped them dry
From now until the end of time
I'll say the Name


today's verse: Isaiah 32:17
The work of righteousness will be peace;
and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


This picture is so spring-ish, but outside my house is NOT. It's cold again along with all the snow we got yesterday.

The boys went to see the Star Wars exhibit at the museum today. Then Makenzie joined them to see a model train exhibit. And then the boys went with their Uncle Richard to see all the excitement downtown -- ice sculptures, snow boarding tricks, carnival rides, fireworks . . . They are just now going to bed (almost 10 p.m.), so I'm really hoping for some sleeping in tomorrow!


today's song: "Perfect People" by Natalie Grant

There's no such thing as perfect people
There's no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are, broken and scarred
Lift up your heart and be amazed
And be changed by a perfect God

Thursday, February 25, 2010

twin superheroes

This is just funny -- you've GOT to be at least chuckling right now!!!!! They went to school dressed like this -- both of them!

Remember the picture of Luke chipping ice in the driveway yesterday? Now the driveway's completely white again. We got several inches of snow last night and all day today. We all knew it had to come -- this IS Alaska and it IS still winter. But the little taste of spring makes the snow seem like an intruder.


today's song: "Took my Place" by Third Day

Lost like a little child
Helpless as a baby
Searchin' desperately to find
Someone who could save me
Then along came from out of nowhere
Precious as the light of day
You gave me something no one could take away
When You took my place

Chained like a prisoner
From the day that I was born
Blamed like a criminal
For the things that I'd done
Then along came from out of nowhere
Precious as the light of day
You gave me something no one could take away
When You took my place

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Today was GORGEOUS outside!!!! The sun was shining, the snow is melting, it feels like spring! When we got home from school today, I noticed after a few minutes that Luke hadn't made it inside. I figured he was playing outside in the sun. I was close, but not completely correct. He was CHIPPING ICE! I didn't even suggest that he do this. I didn't even know he was capable of doing this. He just did it. This child amazes me in so many different ways!


today's song: "My Days are Better" by Overflow

Sometimes the past comes back to haunt me
Sometimes the future seems unknown
But today has enough worries of its own
Sometimes I'm deep in the valley
Sometimes I'm high on the mountaintop
But today none of that matters

Sometimes it's hard to believe that I've got You
And You're all I need
My days are better, my days are better with You
Every day I wanna see, more of You and less of me
My days are better, my days are better with You

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

so much

So many Thomas Kincade paintings inspire peace. I love those!!! They give me the feeling of actually being in that beautiful, tranquil garden or cottage or (in this case) bridge. They remind me that life won't always be this hectic. Someday, I'll find some peace and rest (hopefully before Heaven, but if not -- definitely in Heaven).

There's always something demanding my attention right now, either from the kids or the house, or my own interests. I guess that's "normal" life for a mom with kids at home. It's best, I know, to enjoy all the good times and making good memories with these four precious little people.


I'm kinda copying an online friend for today's song. She put this song on her blog; I heard it, loved it, went right to to buy it: "All I Want" by Michael W. Smith

All the journeys I have walked
I know You've walked them, too
All I want is to be faithful
All I want is You.

To be a friend of God is all that I desire
All I want is to be faithful
All I want is You.

Monday, February 22, 2010

moose -- homework

On the way to speech therapy this morning, Seth and I saw THE craziest sight!!!! Two moose were crossing a 65 mph highway! They just climbed up the little hill from the ditch to the highway and jogged across, not caring that people were probably inches away from killing them. I was cutting it close on time, so I couldn't slow down to make sure there wasn't an accident (they were climbing up the ditch as I passed them, so I didn't have to stop). Crazy animals!!!!

After therapy and errands, I started a little project to help me remember my ASL vocabulary -- flashcards. I bought 3x5 index cards and started writing all my vocabulary on the cards so that I can quiz myself. I was using a list on paper or flipping through the book, but that's not working very well for me. Apparently the easy way is not my way this time. So I'm gladly taking the more time-consuming way if it means learning more.

I tried to take a picture today while Seth was watching a movie, but he heard me get the camera out and ran over to jump in the shot. So this is his "mischievous" face -- I can just see the "ha! I AM going to get in this picture, so THERE!" look in his cute little eyes :-)


today's song: "Every Day" by Joy Williams (if that link doesn't work, try this one and click on the "play song from")

Sometimes life is like a roller coaster
Flying away
I get caught up simply just surviving
From day to day

But in the midst of all the lists to do
I need some help to change my point of view

Every day I'm giving You everything
Every thought, every word, every song I sing
It ain't no matter what life may bring
I lay it down
Every day You make sense of me in the midst of my insanity
Give me hope, give me love, give me strength, make me free
Every day of my life

If I love You with my heart, my soul, my mind
Then my life has found a new direction
It was never mine
Cause when my heart is truly fixed on You
I find meaning in the things I do

Not simply just surviving
There's so much more I'm finding
Than living life so blinded and confused
Cause where I find my freedom is serving at God's feet and
I'm listening, searching, just waiting, working
Every, every day

Sunday, February 21, 2010

tired eyes

God loves righteousness and judgment. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. (Psalm 33:5)

God's way is perfect. The Word of the Lord has been tested. He is a shield to all who trust in Him. (II Samuel 22:31)

My eyes are tired and want to sleep, but I can't take naps or (just like a little kid who is outgrowing naptime) I'll be up way past my bedtime. I haven't taken any pictures of my gorgeous children today, so I'm sharing some of my favorite paintings by Thomas Kincade. I'm not sure if it's legal to post pictures of his work on my blog, but since they are all on a website called "kincadeartwork," I'm thinking it's ok. I have a calendar this year that has a different Thomas Kincade painting for each day along with a Scripture verse. I'm hoping that whoever published this calendar makes one every year because I'm REALLY enjoying it!!


today's song: "Rejoice in the Lord" from Glory Revealed II

Whatever is true . . . noble . . . right . . . pure . . . lovely . . . praise-worthy,
Think about these things.
Rejoice in the Lord always.
The Lord is near -- there is peace.
The Lord is near -- He is with you.
Rejoice in the Lord always.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

the goal

Ever since I don't even remember when, I've wanted to learn ASL (sign language). I learned to sign the alphabet sometime in my childhood, and my mom gave me a couple books so I could learn some vocabulary. But I could never really focus myself to learn. When I was in college, I knew a Deaf girl at work and we signed a little (wrote notes more often). She tried to teach me some signs; but our job was data entry, so we didn't have much time to use our hands to talk much. Then when Seth was born, I had a real motivation to learn to sign since my baby would almost certainly be delayed in his speech development. I got "Signing Time" dvd's and started learning and teaching him basic signs so that he could communicate his wants and needs. This year, a Deaf minister and his wife whose children attend the same school as mine started teaching ASL at our high school. They and the administrators allowed me to take the class along with the high schoolers. Since the wife is an ASL interpreter, I was both learning ASL and receiving information about what I could do with this knowledge besides communicating with Seth (who by now has started talking more and signing less). So after all these years of trying to figure out "what I want to be when I grow up," I finally know! I'm going to be an ASL interpreter! I've started reading and studying the books that UAA requires for their ASL classes and been in contact with the head of that department. To further learn ASL and Deaf culture, I've been attending Deaf church services on Wednesday nights. And (here's the reason I'm sharing all this information) this weekend I was able to interpret four songs at a ladies' retreat. My teacher and the Deaf ladies said I did a good job, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience! One of the messages God put in my heart from this retreat was that I need to focus more on this goal that He has set before me. Of course, I live with limited free time after all the mom responsibilities; but there is some time that I've used for less than productive activities. I should use as much free time as possible to work diligently at reaching this new path for my life. I'm SO very excited about this gate that God's opening for me -- words typed on a computer screen can't express the excitement at ALL!!

Here's one of my favorite pictures of Seth from a couple years ago. He has SUCH a sweet baby face!!!


today's song: "You Move Me" by Susan Ashton

You move me
You give me courage I didn't know I had
You move me
I can't go with You and stay where I am
So You move me.

You move me
You get me dancing and You make me sing
You move me
Now I'm taking delight in every little thing
How You move me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

water park birthday

Today was my nephew Gavin's third birthday party at the water park. I discovered last night as I was gathering all of Seth's and my swim wear that somehow the bottom half of my swim suit got ripped. So this morning, Seth and I went to Target to try to find a new one. I detest swim suit shopping! A flattering swim suit does NOT exist for middle-aged mommy flab. I did find a bottom half that counts as "good enough." I also found this ADORABLE swim outfit for Seth:

I couldn't decide between these two frames for this picture, so I made both :-)

I'm not sure if the picture is quite clear enough to be able to see that the pictures on the swim trunks are monkeys -- REALLY cute!!!!

Anyway, we had fun as we always do at H2Oasis. Seth gets more and more daring every time we go. Today he got very close to the waterfall umbrella and even put his hand into the "rain" (the waterfall umbrella is like a giant umbrella with rain pouring loudly off it -- this has been one of the few parts of the water park that Seth has always avoided until today). He also walked so far toward the deep end that he lost his balance and went under for a second. That scared him a little, but not enough to stop him from going back to the deeper water repeatedly (not too deep -- just up to his neck). He's so much fun to watch and play with!


today's song: "Keep on Shinin' " by Third Day

Keep on, keep on shinin'
Wherever you may be
Keep on, keep on shinin'
For all the world to see

Having faith in the long run is easier said than done
It's hard to live out in the light of day
You're bruised and you're battered, your dreams have been shattered
Your best laid plans scattered over the place

Despite all your tendencies, God sees it differently
Your struggle's a time to grow
And you, you're a miracle, anything but typical
It's time for the whole wide world to know

Thursday, February 18, 2010

princess pictures

I took Makenzie to a nearby greenhouse to take her nine-year-old pictures. Again, I must remember that I'm not a professional photographer so the kids' birthday pictures are not professional quality which bothers their ocd mother. But if this is the biggest tragedy of our lives, we are certainly blessed people!!! Makenzie is SUCH a great little model! We took almost all of her pictures in less than fifteen minutes (another piece of evidence of my being non-professional!). We had fun being in the greenhouse -- the warmth and all the plants and trees and little pools of water with tiny waterfalls are beautiful and comforting to frozen Alaskans.

After our little "photo shoot," Joel and Makenzie had their annual doctor visits. They both did SO well, even Joel who had to have two shots! Joel is in the 90th percentile for his height and weight; Makenzie's in the 45th. That just cracks me up, but I'm so glad that two of my boys are big and my princess is petite. Seth is just right for Seth :-) After the doctor appointments, we went to City Diner as a treat for them for doing so well.


today's song: "East to West" by Casting Crowns

I start the day the war begins
Endless reminding of my sin
Time and time again
Your Truth is drowned out by the storm I'm in
Today I feel like I'm just one mistake away
From You leaving me this way

Jesus can You show me
Just how far the East is from the West
Cause I can't bear to see the man I've been
Come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
Cause You know just how far the East is from the West
From one scarred hand to the other

I know You've washed me white
Turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through
To get me through this night
I can't live by what I feel
But by the truth Your Word reveals

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Seth's friends

Today was a super busy day with appointments for both Seth and Luke. We still made time, though, for our weekly City Diner adventure. Seth has made some really good friends in that restaurant! The previous day-shift manager and her husband, the previous day-shift cook came in because they knew that Seth would be there. Seth doesn't understand how special he is to people for them to come to work on their time off just to see him, but I sure do! And "our" waitress gave Seth a Valentine's Day gift -- a cute little stuffed monkey (the black monkey was the gift, the white monkey is mine):

Such nice, friendly people! I had contemplated leaving Seth with Jason while I took Joel and Makenzie to their doctor appointments and then City Diner tomorrow, but I decided that we might get thrown out if we don't bring Seth with us :-)

Luke and Seth saw their orthopedic doctor this afternoon and got GREAT reports! Seth doesn't need his own appointment anymore because the doctor is pretty sure that Seth's feet are just fine now. Luke still needs to be re-checked yearly, but he doesn't need his braces at night anymore. He does need to increase his stretching to three times daily to make sure his Achilles tendon doesn't get too tight. The doctor calls Luke his "poster child" for club feet correction :-)


today's song: "Praise the Holy Lord Above" by Eden's Bridge

Praise the Holy Lord above,
You people in His temple.
Praise Him for the Lord is good,
And you are His possessions.
The Lord above is Lord of all,
The earth is here to please Him,
From deepest sea to cloudy sky,
And wind and rain in season.

Praising the name of the Lord

Your name O Lord and Your renown
Endures through generations,
You will free your people,
Have compassion on your servants.
All the nations of the earth,
Come to Him and praise Him.
All ye who fear the Lord,
Come to Him and praise Him.

Praise Him, the name of the Lord

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Makenzie's 9 :-)

This is how Makenzie woke up and came upstairs on this beautiful birthday morning :-)

She got to open one gift before breakfast:

books (i really should've gotten her another bookSHELF instead of more books)

I took cupcakes to Makenzie's lunch today. The poor girl was so busy handing out cupcakes to everyone that she forgot to eat any and we forgot to have her stand up for all the cafeteria to sing "happy birthday" to her (gradeschool tradition).

Since I already had the polar bear growth charts out, I actually measured and weighed Makenzie on her birthday. This RARELY happens.

Right before dinner, Makenzie got to open another gift: a movie to watch for dinner (clam chowder, just in case you're wondering what the little princess chose for her birthday dinner).

After dinner, she opened the rest of her gifts: the board game "Tea Party" (a girlie version of "Cootie") . . .

. . . and some jewelry (because a princess can NEVER have too much jewelry!)

After a game of "Tea Party," Makenzie finally got to eat one of her birthday cupcakes :-)

I have incredibly beautiful children. They are the greatest blessings that God can possibly give to me!

today's song: "Charmed Life" by Joy Williams

Just sit tight
Don't you even think about going anywhere
Stay where you are
Open up your eyes to what's already there
What I'm about to tell ya
What I'm about to say
Don't even let it throw ya
It just might change your day
We're living in a charmed life

Monday, February 15, 2010

he's growing!

Every year, I measure and weigh each child on his or her birthday (or sometime close to the birthday). Obviously, I was a little late this year; but at least I got Joel measured and weighed before Makenzie's birthday (which is tomorrow). He is only a half-inch shy of five feet! He's not just growing physically, either. He is becoming more logical, more understanding of consequences, and more aware of God's presence and work in our lives. Watching my baby grow up a little more every day is a scary adventure. I try to guide him and influence him to do what's right, but ultimately it's up to him to choose God's way instead of human or Satanic ways. I could easily drive myself crazy (a short putt, as my mom would jokingly say) with worrying over what he's doing, saying, thinking when he's away from me and what other people are doing or saying to him. I have to constantly remember that God sees my baby and loves him even more than I do.


today's song: "Blessed Assurance" by Third Day

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blessed,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Makenzie's birthday party

Today after church, we had Makenzie's family birthday party. We ate taco lasagna (one of our all-time favorites!), then Makenzie opened her gifts:

She has to wait until her actual birthday on Tuesday to get her gifts from her parents and brothers (I'm just mean that way :-). After gifts, we had birthday cake. I made this BEAUTIFUL (if I do say so myself -- and I'm only saying it because I'm amazed that it turned out) ice cream cake:

We all thought it was even better than Baskin Robbins' ice cream cakes -- me because I could eat it since I made it gluten-free, everyone else because I used whipped cream instead of frosting and this family prefers whipped cream. So we were all happy with today's sugar intake :-)

Poor Joel, though, was not happy because he has been sick for over a week. He feels nauseated all the time, but has no fever and never vomits. We're thinking he might have developed an intolerance for dairy products. If this is the cause of his nausea, I will personally be glad because it's easy to fix. He's not so happy, but he's old enough to think logically that it's better to know the cause so that we can take care of it.

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal for myself to post on my blog every single day this year with a picture and an encouraging or challenging song. I failed at that goal yesterday because I had a KILLER headache. I barely made it from the door to my bed without barfing from the migraine. There was a big mix yesterday of stress and weather conditions that my poor little brain just couldn't handle. Thank God I'm better now! Being incapacitated is not conducive to motherhood!!!


today's song: "Love Without Limits" by Natalie Grant

He loves without limits,
Sees us every minute
Wherever we're walking,
He's near.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Today was a CRAZY busy day! Seth helped start the craziness by waking up at FIVE A.M.!!!! I wake up at that time so that I have some time to get myself ready and get a head start on some work before the kids get up. No children should wake up before 6:30 on a school day. No day is a school day for Seth, so he should be sleeping until 8 a.m. every day -- NEVER 5 a.m.! Anyway, after getting everyone out the door for school, I made a dozen sandwiches for Luke's Valentine's Day party at school. I had planned on taking Seth to the parties, but he didn't feel like cooperating with me today, so he went to work with his dad! He hadn't been there too long before this:

Luke's class had a Royal Tea Party today because they had been studying the verses in the Bible about the armor of God and about how God is the King and we are His children (princes and princesses). So all the kids were supposed to dress up as princes, princesses, or knights. We had lunch all together and then each child went up to the teacher, knelt down like they were going to be "knighted," and received their crown from the teacher. It was really cute!

Then I had about an hour to run home and switch the laundry before helping set up for Makenzie's class party. They had pretzels with cheese and rootbeer floats :-)

After all the candy from Valentine's cards, no one really felt like eating much for dinner and were a little wound up and grouchy. I was very glad to announce bedtime tonight!


today's song: "At About Midnight" by Sarah Kelly

One of the times Paul was in prison, he started singing praise to God at about midnight.

At about midnight, I'll call
At about midnight, I'll call out Your name
'Cause I need You beside me
Through these seasons of change
At about midnight, awaiting the dawn
I'll find contentment just singing Your songs
And here in this valley,
Though the shadows lead my way,
I know You are with me
Where the past

Thursday, February 11, 2010

internet annoyance!

I didn't take any new pictures today, so I went to the first website I used to make yesterday's picture. It didn't work. So I spent some time trying to figure out a "plan B," and finally came up with something -- not exactly how I wanted it to look, but still cute because my kids can't help but make everything look cute :-)

Poor Joel was home from school today because of his "swirly" stomach. He couldn't eat anything until about noon. He never actually "got sick" and didn't have a fever, but he didn't look so good all day. I'm hoping this little bug, whatever it is, LEAVES tonight, never to return. The poor child is miserable.


today's song: "Agnus Dei" by Third Day (with Michael W. Smith)

Hallelujah for the Lord God Almighty reigns
Holy are You, Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb -- You are holy

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"stealing lumby"

I finished another book :-) "Stealing Lumby" by Gail Frasier. This is the second in the Lumby series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love a good story that draws me in and makes me feel like I know the people and want to get to know them even better. These books are about a small town with all of its quirks and oddities, so they're pretty humorous.

I love looking at pictures of my kids all through the years. They're gorgeous at every stage, but the younger they are, the more cuddly they look :-)


today's song: "How Can I Keep From Singing Your Praise" by Chris Tomlin

There is an endless song
Echoes in my soul
I hear the music ring
And though the storms may come
I am holding on
To the rock I cling

How can I keep from singing Your praise?
How can I ever say enough
How amazing is Your love?
How can I keep from shouting Your name?
I know I am loved by the King
And it makes my heart want to sing

I will lift my eyes
In the darkest night
For I know my Savior lives
And I will walk with You
Knowing You'll see me through
And sing the songs You give

I can sing in the troubled times
Sing when I win
I can sing when I lose my step
And I fall down again
I can sing 'cause You pick me up
Sing 'cause You're there
I can sing 'cause You hear me, Lord
When I call to You in prayer
I can sing with my last breath
Sing for I know
That I'll sing with the angels
And the saints around the throne

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

sunshine for this grouch

today i'm feeling tired and incredibly grouchy. i'm glad beyond words that today is almost over. realistically, i have nothing to be grumpy about -- i'm not hungry or abused or cold or living on the street. i know the one true God and know that He loves me and takes care of me. and yet i'm irritable today. why? because i look at the to-do list and it seems impossible. i look at my house and wonder when it's ever going to look the way i want it to (a.k.a. CLEAN AND NEAT!). i feel the complete exhaustion of body and mind and wish for more sleep and more time to finish even one of the many projects that i've started. i could really use some sunshine. here's some:

this isn't really a recent picture, but she looks so sweet!


today's song: "You are the Sun" by Sara Groves

You are the sun, shining down on everyone
Light of the world, giving light to everything I see
Beauty so brilliant, I can hardly take it in
Everywhere You are is warmth and light

I am the moon, with no light of my own
Still You have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold, dark night
I know I cannot be a light unless I turn my face to You

Shine on me
I have no light of my own
Without You, I'm a cold, dark stone

Monday, February 8, 2010

busy week

This is going to be one SUPER busy week! Besides all the normal activities each day, I have Valentine's Day things to prepare for the kids AND Makenzie's birthday to prepare for. Friday, both Makenzie and Luke have class parties, and they both asked me to attend. I'm glad one is at lunch time and the other is at the end of school. Knowing that kids don't always want their mom at school activities, I was happy to agree to attend :-)

Seth and I went to Walmart this morning and found these cutie-pie penguin jammies:


today's song: "Taking My Time" by Susan Ashton, Margaret Becker, & Christine Dente

Oh, but I won't worry
Cause there's no hurry
The world's not passin' me by
'Cause the Lord He knows
Just where each day goes
I know He won't leave me behind
And I won't be bringin' a single thing
That my heart can't carry inside
'Cause I'm goin' home
And I'm only takin' my time

(I love this song, and I'm hoping that I can sing it and mean it someday. Right now, though, there's so much to do and so little time. Worry is not the right way to handle life, though, so I listen to songs like this to remind me to "chill out" and rely on God and His care of me.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

super bowl Sunday

This year, Makenzie, Seth, and I decided to skip the boredom of the Super Bowl and do something that we enjoy instead. We had lunch at City Diner, then came home to watch movies, put a little puzzle together, and work on ordering Joel's 11-year-old pictures.

First was City Diner. Our list of friends in that restaurant is growing. Our daytime manager had to switch to the evening shift so that she and her husband (one of the cooks) could whip the evening staff in line :-) We miss her a lot!!! But now we've met and become friends with the new daytime manager. And today we learned the names of two more waitresses, one of whom always says "hi" to us. The other one doesn't talk to us, but maybe she's just shy or really busy. I learned her name just in case. And of course, we have "our waitress" who reminded me today what a blessing God gave me when He sent my sweet angel Seth from Heaven. "Our" waitress told us as we were leaving today that she had been having THE WORST day today until we came in. Seeing us made her smile and laugh and realize that she COULD enjoy the rest of her day. PRAISE GOD for this sweet child who brings smiles to everyone who sees him! Even the man at the end of the counter was getting a kick out of Seth's cuteness today. We also saw a family from church eating lunch there today. I hope they enjoyed the food (and Seth's entertainment) as much as we always do :-)

After spending hours finding the right borders for Joel's 11-year-old pictures, I got completely irritated by the web site I was using because I can't figure out how to ORDER the pictures! Here they are, though -- I can't seem to order them, but we can all look at them on the computer screen :-)


today's song: "It is Well With my Soul" by Jars of Clay

Whatever my lot, You have taught me to say, "It is well with my soul."

Though the devil will ruin,
Though trials will come,
Let this blessed assurance control:
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And He shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well with my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought,
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Oh my soul!
It is well with my soul.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Joel's picture day

Today was Joel's 11-year-old picture day :-) We went to Campbell Creek Park for some outside pictures . . .

. . . and Luke and Jason built a fire for some inside pictures.

I am by NO stretch of the imagination a professional photographer, but that's not the point of the birthday pictures. Each child feels special to go out just the two of us to take pictures that are ALL about that one child. Joel had a certificate for free food at Denny's, so we also went there just the two of us. It was nice to spend time with such a cute, sweet companion :-)


today's song "Take My Hand" by Shawn McDonald
Take my hand to the promised land
And on You I want to stand
'Cause I cannot do it all on my own.
You're what I need, and I need to be
Right by Your side 'cause I cannot hide
Lord, I know that I need You.

(all the lyrics are on the right side of the screen of the link if you click on "more info" in parentheses under the video maker's name and date)

Friday, February 5, 2010

then & now

A friend left a comment about my being glad that the kids are becoming more independent, but at the same time missing their being little kids. She's SO right! My kids (I'm sure all parents would say the same about their kids, too) were ADORABLE little kids!!!!! They were cute to look at, fun to watch, hilarious to listen to :-) Every stage they grow through is an exciting new adventure, but nothing compares to the first few years when they're all cuddly and "squishy."

I attempted a new creation (for me) in the kitchen yesterday, and I'm calling it mostly a success. Joel wanted an ice cream cake for his birthday, so I bought one from Baskin Robbins. That was a one-time deal, though, because those suckers are EXPENSIVE!!! I thought to myself, "How hard can those things be to make really?" So I made one yesterday. It really wasn't hard at all, at least with my lazy "i don't like to spend any more time in the kitchen than necessary" techniques :-) I learned valuable lessons from that practice run-through. Now Makenzie's birthday ice cream cake should be perfect. HA -- that's just a joke. My cooking/baking is NEVER perfect! But it should at least be acceptable. The taste-testers all voted that my ice cream cake was even better than Baskin Robbins, so taste isn't the issue. It's the looks of the thing that I need to refine a little bit. I had to walk on the treadmill tonight to burn off a few of the calories from eating the practice cake today!


today's song: "It's Your Life" by Francesca Battistelli
Every day, the choices you make
say what you are
and who your heart beats for.

The Hofacker Family 2008