Friday, April 5, 2013

Packed Up

This past week we closed on our new house and began life as home owners again.

We've been renting for the past 3 1/2 years, and between living in Missouri, North Carolina and now way out West, there was no reason to buy until we knew we'd be settled.

And so... here we are.

Settled. Well, aside from the mountains of boxes in every room. Haha.

But truly, we are well on our way to being settled. We're putting down roots. We're calling a house our own.

And can I just say that getting all packed up and now unpacking for perhaps the last. time. ever. is just kind of wonderful?

It's scary. But it's wonderful.

This is home. This is HOME.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spitting Image

I better date their baby picture before I get confused… cause boy, oh boy, don’t these boys look a like?


Oldest and youngest.


Biggest and smallest


And boy, oh boy, do I love them.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Peter’s Reply

I’m reading through the Bible in a year this year.

I try to do this every few years so that in my regular devotions I don’t lose sight of the whole story, the big picture, if you will. I’m using Robert D M’Cheyne’s bible reading plan, which is great because not only will I read through the entire bible in a year, but will get to read the New Testament and the Psalms twice.

In my daily reading, I came across this portion of Scripture that stayed in my heart and was the cause for meditation for several days, even the whole week.



Matthew 16:16, “Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

I echo Peter’s word in my own heart as I bow before my Lord and submit my will to his. You are the Christ. You are the Redeemer. You are the Savior. You are the Son of the living God. And you have saved me.

Little old me.

Imperfect. Sinful. Willful. Disobedient me.

The Christ came to earth, my Christ came to earth… Yes, the very Son of God humbled himself, took on flesh, and bore the sins of the world through his suffering and death on the cross.

No wonder these words have stayed with me. What a wonderful and incredible miracle, that the Savior came to this world to save sinners.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sweet sweet sweetness

I know you’ve been waiting for these sweet sweet pictures of this sweet sweet guy. Especially you, Mom.


While I can’t say that life’s been terribly busy, it has been busy. Perhaps more of a getting-into-a-routine type busy, than a my-schedule-is-so-packed type busy.

Which is nice.


I’m such a planner, organizer, all my ducks in a row kind of gal, that its been really really nice to have had these first months in a new place to settle in and figure out the new normal before the schedule started packing up.

So…instead of running too and fro with things outside the home, we’ve been able to adjust to our new home and to have an inward focus.


Which, again, is really nice. God is good to allow this time to sort out the kinks and get rid of the dust bunnies.

And I think we’re just about there (if you ever really get there with four little kids! whew!). We’ve figured out what a clean house looks like. Finally. When unpacking, and repacking, and sorting and sifting, often the piles of stuff (okay, the piles of junk that I just insisted we needed to bring with us, only we don’t really use, and don’t really need, but I just couldn’t part with because sometime, someday, we might need to use them) hang out in corners and surfaces and become “normal,” but even those piles of stuff are finally organized or better yet… carried to Nick’s Jeep which was then driven to the Salvation Army and donated for some other person to enjoy (or pile into junk piles and carry with them over the hundreds of miles they move just like we did, haha).


We’re also getting settled in how we order our days. Its great to get into a home routine, to know what we do each day, and what to expect for the regular type stuff.

The homeschooling routine was the hardest, since we were off school the week of Thanksgiving (yes, I’m actually going to go back that far in my discussion!), and then we moved the following week, then took a week to drive out to our new home, and 2 weeks before all our stuff had been delivered, then Christmas and New Years and… it really took a while before we were ready to hit the books full force and even able to get into a school routine.

But with that too, we are just about there. The kids now expect to do school every morning, instead of me trying to convince them over and over again, that yes, regular people do school every day, and that’s what we’d been doing all year until we moved, and yes, I know its hard, and I know you’d rather… etc etc etc. Ya know how it goes.


Perhaps the best part of our school week is that we joined a local Classical Conversations homeschool group. This group has been an amazing encouragement and support for staying with a regular routine. I love it. And the boys do too. CC is a little more expensive (okay, so really it’s the first homeschool group we ever had to pay more than just a supplies fee—there is a tuition), but it is clearly the best group we’ve been a part of. More for its academics and teaching style than anything, but so worth it and we so love it. We’ve only been going for 2 weeks, so I can’t say we love it because of the friendships and the fellowship yet, but Lord willing, that will come too.


Nick is getting into a routine at work (well, mostly) and we’re getting used to, (!!!!! and absolutely loving !!!) having him home more. He is through the door at a regular time each day, and is not only enjoying his work, but he is invigorated and rejuvenated and is happier and more laid back than I’ve seen him in years. Not that Nick was ever “unhappy” or ever really “stressed out,” but just not really enjoying his job and all the extreme demands and the high stress work environment that the Army brought… it had really burnt him out. More than I realized too. But anyway, it is wonderful to have my man around so much more, and we are literally soaking in God’s goodness in bringing us here.

And now that I’ve got a husband who is regularly home for dinner again, I decided it was high time to whip up masterpieces in the kitchen again. Haha.


You all know I love to cook, but having a 4th baby and moving and settling and all that jazz had put my culinary genius on hold. Haha. (I always laugh a little when I call myself an extraordinaire in the kitchen. I mean, I do love to cook, and I can cook fairly well, but I’m practical too, and really have only the Food Network and my own intuition to thank for my expertise, haha, so laugh with me). On hold, until two weeks ago, when we were in enough of a predictable schedule, that after I got all the kids down for quiet time, I started getting dinner ready in my downtime, and what? Wow? Can you believe it? This gal can cook again. And truth be told, I’ve cooked up some dream of a meal EVERY day for the last two weeks (well, except for one fast food run when Nick was out of town). Oh man, did I miss that part of the regular routine. I haven't really cooked anything amazing and new and delicious since before Sam was born. Four. months. ago.


Which leads me to the last point of this post. Sam. He’s four months old tomorrow and his mama has just finally settled into a routine enough that she took out her big amazing DSLR and snapped a few beauts to share with the masses. Can you believe it? I know its not much, but my camera is not something I’ve even wanted to deal with the last few months. No energy or creativity to figure out the right lighting or the right ideas or even just to pick up the camera and ask the kids to smile. Isn’t that sad? Sigh. Oh man, I’m so glad to be back into a regular groove again. God is good.


And his goodness is poured out on me in so many ways, not the least of which is this angel of a baby we call Sameram. Boy, do I love him. He is content and cheerful. He smiles and coos and smacks on his thumb (yes, we’ve got another thumb sucker here!). He melts my heart with a single glance, and I love that I’m loving on him again too. Glad to be past the stress and focus on leaving and moving and meeting and greeting and to instead focus on getting my home in order.

At least for a month or two.

Because basketball practice and games, bible studies and homeschool groups, and church, and house-hunting and… well…we’re back to running around like crazy. Haha! Such is life during this stage.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Fresh Start

Oh friends, what a whirlwind these last few months have been. A good whirlwind, with fun and adventure, but a challenging whirlwind all the same.

We left everything we knew, from the Army greens, to our church family, to our beautiful home in the South. And moved West… to the mountains, to a new job… to a new beginning.

I’ve always loved a fresh start. I’ve loved jumping into the newness like putting on a new coat. I love embracing its feel and shape, getting used to its length and the fabric. The trimness. The smoothness. The great beauty and joy of something fresh. Yes, I love it. I love a fresh start. The possibilities… the adventures… the people… I love it.

But oh, oh I hate it too. I hate taking off the old and setting it aside. I hate saying goodbye and leaving. I hate the emotional pull to live in the past, instead of the present… to wonder and worry what is going on in the life behind me. I find I want to hold on to my safe and comfortable home, with all its familiar creaks and drips and groans; its strong friendship and warm conversation instead of plunging into this world of coldness and unfamiliarity.

And since early December, this has been my challenge.

This has been my beautiful mess.

This place we now call home is bright and lovely. The mountains beckon us, with their snowcapped beauty and unexplored wilderness. This busy little town, with new shops and new streets, it calls to me, it whispers my name. I’m filled with longing to explore, to taste and see. The new faces, the new perspectives, the new personalities… they are exciting too. I find myself wanting to jump in, converse, and soak.

But I also want to shrink and hide. At times, I’m overtaken with the newness. And instead of being wonderful, its scary. Its lonely. The mountains, the cowboy boots, and the frigid temperatures…it is different. And it is not home. I struggle to be the new person. The awkward person. The sore thumb. The one who desperately wants to be a part, but struggles to put herself out there, to be vulnerable, to let her own awkwardness show.

Its humbling. And hard.

The kids feel it too. “Mom, they ask, will we make new friends?”  “Will there be any kids there?” “Will I have anyone to invite to my birthday party?”

And so together, we dive in. Heartstrings suitably pulled, we press on, as a family with a united front. Not just for ourselves, but this time for the children also.

We join a weekly Classical Conversations group and a Wednesday evening children’s group. We enroll in Upward Basketball. We get library cards and meet the story time ladies. We go to church, Sunday School and evening prayer meetings. We bring Christmas cookies to our neighbors. We walk to the park and chat with locals. We bring dinner to Mr. Milton. We stop and talk with people at the grocery store and at Starbucks. We host meals and play dates. We push. We pull. We work.

And slowly we’re getting there.

But even still I must remember--in my quest to belong and feel part of this new place-- that this world is not my home. I am a stranger. A pilgrim. A sojourner.

And while I may long for that comfortable coziness of home… I must remember that this side of glory nothing will ever fill that need. I’ll never be home. And the reality must yet again hit me: our old home? It wasn’t home either. The home before that. Nope, not it.

Never. Never on this earth have I been home. And never will my need and desire be filled. 

But even still, I need to keep pushing, and plunging, and pressing. I need to keep serving, keep stretching, keep meeting, keep putting myself out there. But not for me. No. Not for my kids either.

But for Him.

To be His instrument. To be His messenger. To be His servant. To bring the hope of Christ, the joy of salvation, the beauty and newness of life that comes from walking in and with God alone.

That’s my purpose. And that’s the beauty of this fresh start—its a chance to share that joy and bring that hope to others.


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