Sunday, July 31, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Big Sister!

Let's face it.

My kids don't look like me. My firstborn has my eyes, yet everyone still thinks he looks like his dad. The girl has blue eyes, so of course the comparisons are to dad. And baby brother came out looking like dad.

However, in recent weeks, friends and family continue to say he looks like his sister.

What do you think?

Let's hope he's not as sassy as she is...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tutus, Wristbands & Jesus

Rob is getting ready to take our high school Young Life kids to camp at Crooked Creek Ranch in Fraser, Colorado! I absolutely L O V E  Crooked Creek! I have spent many months working and serving there, and it is the place where Rob and I first met! Together we have worked there as a family and look forward to doing so again in summers to come!

While at camp, our high school kids get to wear matching cabin uniforms for an all camp competition. The point is to build unity among your individual cabins. Each cabin is to come up with their own uniform, and over the years this has turned into the leaders coming up with some "cool" uniforms before they leave for camp. The uniforms have been unique (and sometimes just downright awful - I'm thinking of the Jorts (Jean shorts) that our guys wore a few years ago. When you give high school boys a pair of jeans from the thrift store and a pair of scissors, you know they will end up too short. They were borderline inappropriate. Funny... but not right.)

So... in preparation for this year, we have been making pink tutus and Captain American shields at our house. Our girls are going for a girly look sporting pink tutus made from ribbon and tulle from Walmart that we cut into strips and tied on. (Try this if you have girls. It's easy and makes a one size fits most tutu.) This will go with the lime green Powder Puff shirts donated from the Student Council Advisor at the high school. (I forgot to mention that the we want the uniforms to be awesome, but we are cheap a non-profit organization. We take what we can get - especially if it's free! The shirts were free! Not to mention the head and wrist bands donated to us from Skull Candy here in town. They were giving them away at the 4th of July Parade, and after a quick phone call and trip to the corporate office, we had some for all the guys going to camp! They work great with the shields we made out of blue plastic plates from Walmart and red and white duct tape. Fancy, I know. We don't mess around.

Of course our kids wanted in on the action - especially our firstborn who likes anything having to do with super heroes or action figures.

As you can see by the look on his face, you have to catch a super hero in action, which is difficult to do.  
You can't expect him to pose for a photo - and be happy about it.  

Tutus and wristbands aside, this is going to be an AMAZING experience for 66 high school kids and leaders from Utah. God does incredible things in the lives of kids during a week at camp. Please pray that they come to know Jesus during their time away. There are hurting kids on this trip - kids dealing with abusive parents, divorce, struggles with their sexuality, and so much more. Please pray for them! May they return home knowing their Savior loves them! 

Fun Fact: We are making history as 10 kids and leaders from Logan, Utah will be attending camp for the first time ever. Young Life in Logan started last fall, and this is their first summer trip! Good things are happening! God is so so good!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Things are changing!

Yep! The blog has a slightly new look - and new, updated photos.

That, and a new name as well.

Things are changing around here.

We went from a family of 4 to a family of 5.

Things are definitely changing.

I have actually blogged three days in a row!

I know...what has happened to me!


Ok...that's about it as far as change goes.

Everything else is pretty much the same.

We are busy.

Life is incredible.

God is so good!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A GREAT follow-up to a previous post!

Found here!
And clearly...way more articulate!

Thank you, Jenny, for directing me to this post!

Moms! PLEASE take time to read this.

Motherhood is a Calling!
A few years ago, when I just had four children and when the oldest was still three, I loaded them all up to go on a walk. After the final sippy cup had found a place and we were ready to go, my two-year-old turned to me and said, “Wow! You have your hands full!”
She could have just as well said, “Don’t you know what causes that?” or “Are they all yours?!”
Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won’t be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.

A Rock-Bottom Job?

The truth is that years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things. When abortion was legalized, we wrote it into law.
Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing.
If you grew up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood, to think like a free Christian woman about your life, your children. How much have we listened to partial truths and half lies? Do we believe that we want children because there is some biological urge, or the phantom “baby itch”? Are we really in this because of cute little clothes and photo opportunities? Is motherhood a rock-bottom job for those who can’t do more, or those who are satisfied with drudgery? If so, what were we thinking?

It's Not a Hobby

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.
Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.
Our culture is simply afraid of death. Laying down your own life, in any way, is terrifying. Strangely, it is that fear that drives the abortion industry: fear that your dreams will die, that your future will die, that your freedom will die—and trying to escape that death by running into the arms of death.

Run to the Cross

But a Christian should have a different paradigm. We should run to to the cross. To death. So lay down your hopes. Lay down your future. Lay down your petty annoyances. Lay down your desire to be recognized. Lay down your fussiness at your children. Lay down your perfectly clean house. Lay down your grievances about the life you are living. Lay down the imaginary life you could have had by yourself. Let it go.
Death to yourself is not the end of the story. We, of all people, ought to know what follows death. The Christian life is resurrection life, life that cannot be contained by death, the kind of life that is only possible when you have been to the cross and back.
The Bible is clear about the value of children. Jesus loved them, and we are commanded to love them, to bring them up in the nurture of the Lord. We are to imitate God and take pleasure in our children.

The Question Is How

The question here is not whether you are representing the gospel, it is how you are representing it. Have you given your life to your children resentfully? Do you tally every thing you do for them like a loan shark tallies debts? Or do you give them life the way God gave it to us—freely?
It isn’t enough to pretend. You might fool a few people. That person in line at the store might believe you when you plaster on a fake smile, but your children won’t. They know exactly where they stand with you. They know the things that you rate above them. They know everything you resent and hold against them. They know that you faked a cheerful answer to that lady, only to whisper threats or bark at them in the car.
Children know the difference between a mother who is saving face to a stranger and a mother who defends their life and their worth with her smile, her love, and her absolute loyalty.

Hands Full of Good Things

When my little girl told me, “Your hands are full!” I was so thankful that she already knew what my answer would be. It was the same one that I always gave: “Yes they are—full of good things!”
Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.
Stop clinging to yourself and cling to the cross. There is more joy and more life and more laughter on the other side of death than you can possibly carry alone.
Rachel Jankovic is a wife, homemaker, and mother. She is the author of "Loving the Little Years" and blogs at Femina. Her husband is Luke, and they have five children: Evangeline (5), Daphne (4), Chloe (2), Titus (2), and Blaire (5 months).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Excuses, Excuses...

I haven't blogged since May, and I am full of excuses as to why! They are all valid - and quite incredible!

I will let the pictures do most of the talking!

This sweet, sweet boy joined our family! 

And he is already smitten with daddy - and daddy is smitten with him!

And I am smitten with both of THEM!

 I have been very busy staring at this!

 Grammy came to visit!

 We have been doing a little of this.
(Just a little...we still have a ways to go!)

  Myame came to visit!

 I have been busy cleaning up lots of messes!

 These two keep me VERY busy. Just look at them.

 We celebrated the 4th of July!
And this boy turned 1 month old! What? So quickly?

 And... I don't know how it happened, but this girl went from THIS!

In just one year! 

 We had a fun water party in the yard...with all the boys. 
Fortunately, one other girl joined the fun.
Yep, our girl is still surrounded by all boys! 

 And look at that face! I have to stare at it too.
Especially since it keeps getting bigger!

 Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

 Yay! I'm 2!

 Even the little man joined the party!
Sweet Deb kept him safe from all the water fights!

There were many!


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