Thursday, September 30, 2010


Today, I'm overwhelmed.

And overwhelmed again.

No, it's not life, my children, my husband, or my house that's so overwhelming (although it certainly could be), it's the precious reminder we read in the Heidelberg Catechism this morning that overwhelms me.

Question 1: What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Answer: That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation.
Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.
Now isn't that overwhelming? To dwell on Christ's redeeming and sanctifying work in the lives of his people? To meditate on the perfect and complete salvation I have in Christ? To marvel at His wonderful provision and care for me, His child?

I'm overwhelmed.

And overwhelmed again.

Share your overwhelmedness thankfulness too at Grace Alone

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday--All Thumbs

Nothing tastes better than licking the bowl after Mommy whips up homemade brownies...

Except maybe a thumb

Join the fun with Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Baby talk

The other day, I was holding my sweet 5 month old, Noah, and listening to him babble and coo in that sweet baby talk kind of way.

Subsequently, I was doing my own fair share of baby talk too--oohing and ahhing over my chubby little one.

The funny thing is... when I said something like "I love you so much! You are just the cutest, sweetest, happiest, most adorable baby!!" immediately my 2 year old, Joshua, (who had been listening from the other room but not seeing that I was looking at Noah) piped up, "No, Mommy, I'm not a baby!!" as though I was clearly describing him.

So yes, my dear Joshua, even though I was talking to Noah. You are right. You are just the cutest, sweetest, happiest, most adorable baby big boy I know. And I love you so much!

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten {Tuesday}

Due to some of the link-ups I've been posting on, I have a number of new readers on my blog these days. In hopes of helping some of you get to know me better (at least until I get my "about me" page completed) here's a few tidbits! Enjoy!
Top Ten Tuesday--  10 random things about me
  1. I believe in Christ and him crucified.
  2. I met my husband when I was 15...and it was practically love at first sight. We've been together ever since.
  3. I'm a proud Army wife. My husband serves our country, and I do too. I'm a sucker for any and everything patriotic.  I often get teary eyed when I see the flag raised or hear our National Anthem sung, especially by these girls. Are you teary after watching that too? Wow!
  4. I have 3 little kids (and three sons at that!) and hope to have a bunch more (no word out on how many "a bunch" is yet, but we'll see...)
  5. I love spinach.
  6. I'm insanely good at word games...and so are my kids as seen here.
  7. I'm very competitive... and so is my husband. We do really well when we're on the same team and consequently, not so well when we're on opposite teams. Haha. But to date, no one's ever slept alone on the couch. And, Lord willing, never will.
  8. I'm a shy social butterfly. If that makes any sense. I love meeting new people, being hospitable, and organizing events, but I hate being the center of attention or receiving (too much) credit.
  9. I love getting snail mail
  10. My favorite quote right now is from Martin Luther:
"Learn Christ and Him crucified. Learn to pray to Him and, despairing of yourself, say: Thou Lord Jesus, are my righteousness, but I am thy sin. Thou hast taken upon thyself what is mine and hast given to me what is thine. Thou hast taken upon thyself what thou wast not and hast given to me what I was not."

And that's the list today! Enjoy your own Top Ten with Oh Amanda

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rain, rain, rain

I've been craving hot coffee this week. I'm wanting Fall to arrive and to revel in the goodness of a Pumpkin Spice Latte and a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha. Yet this wonderful Southern state that I live in just can't seem to turn the Autumn weather on. It's still 90 degrees most days and while the trees are starting to turn color, it's hard to justify a trip to Starbucks for hot coffee.

But.. it's been raining for the last 24 hours, and Starbucks is becoming almost irresistible.

Perhaps I sound a bit crazy, but there is a reason that Starbucks Coffee originated in the beautiful, wet, Pacific Northwest (which happens to be where I grew up).

And that reason is: RAIN.

There is something about the rain that makes you want to grab a good book and a steaming mug of authentic coffee... and just relax in the safety and warmth of your home. No wonder Seattle, in it's 226 overcast days a year, has a coffee shop on every corner. Starbucks Coffee owner, you're a genius.

So anyway, I've been craving coffee big time.

Last night I had a dream that this piping hot Pumpkin Spice Latte was waiting for me in the kitchen

But this morning when I got up, it wasn't. In fact, all that was waiting for me was a sink full of dirty dishes. Arg.

However, later on today, as the rain continued to pour, my "older" boys (2 and 4 years) began playing "Delivery Man." This is a game in which they pretend to drive a big delivery truck and bring special treats to people. Usually the boys are Ice Cream delivery men and they "deliver" different toys that second as ice cream cones.

I think my 4 year old knew that rain means Starbucks though, because amidst all his other important deliveries (what a busy morning!) he came running into the room, shouting, "Mom, I have your Starbucks delivery!"

So I took a picture.

After seeing my enormous grin, and something that was *obviously* picture worthy, my 2 year old added, "It's your Picey Latte, Mommy" (i.e. Pumpkin Spice Latte)

Boy, do I love these kids.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Photo Story

After Bible study the other night, one of the girls asked if she could hold Noah. She quickly added, "You can say No if you want, and I'll totally understand." I smiled and said she could hold him. The girl held him for quite some time, making him laugh and smile at her. It was quite obvious she was enjoying herself immensely!

And who wouldn't? He is so hard to resist!


With his contagious grin

 His chubby legs and wrinkly toes

His little personality

His kissable baby feet

His soft and smooth skin

His squeezable fat fingers

Yes! Who wouldn't want to hold him?

When it was time to hand Noah back, the girl said, "Oh, he's just the sweetest, cutest baby ever. He's just like the little brother I always wanted. Oh!!!! Can I have him for Christmas??"

I laughed. Have him for Christmas?
I wouldn't give up this chubby little wonder for anything!

Join the fun with Cecily and Loli 

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Last night, as I snuggled with my 3rd born son, my heart was filled with love and emotion. It was a dear moment of closeness; feeling his soft skin and sweet baby smell. I held him tight to my chest; treasuring the moment in all it's fullness. Is it not, one of life's most precious unions: a mother and child?

In my motherness, I thought of the life he has ahead of him. Laughing with glee while running through the sprinkler. Scoring a soccer goal for his team. Tassels waving in the wind as he graduates from college.

I admit, I also thought of life's challenges and hardships. My heart ached as I imagined him facing  disappointments and trials; of being bullied or pressured or feeling unsure of himself.  I felt myself worrying about the struggles he may endure, losing a loved one or experiencing real tragedy.

My heart ached. I was filled with a desire to just keep him close and safe and warm. It hurt to think of him encountering the world with all its horrors and harms. I wanted him to grow secure and protected under the shadow of my wings.

Tears welled up in my eyes. I could barely contain the emotion of watching my precious babe bearing the brunt of our sinful world. 

While I silently wept, the Lord in his mercy reminded me of the hope we have in Him. While He never promises an easy or carefree life, He does promise to be with us.

As always, when I lose sight of Christ the world feels overwhelming, but then, as I dwell on the Lord and His mercy and grace, I feel a calm knowing that whatever comes my way, or my child's way, God is sovereign. He foreordains whatsoever comes to pass. What a cherished thought to remember that I am in Christ. I am kept safe and secure under the shadow of His wings.

Though I had reached a certain peace and solitude, I found my heart still aching. This time it ached for something deeper, better, and indeed, more important than safety from any earthly trials or sadness-- my heart ached for my son to know the peace that passes all understanding, for him to know the Savior. Oh that he may never walk a day apart from the Lord and be able to encounter any trial or discomfort knowing he rests in Christ alone.

My heart now yearns with a plea and prayer for God's greatest gift for my son: salvation.

May this always be our prayer for our children. Not that they would merely grow safe and strong, but that they may know Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday--Reasons for getting up early

Top Ten {Tuesday}

It's early and the kids are all still sound asleep in bed. Kind of where I'd like to be right now.

Of course, my husband has been up for hours by now (the busy life of a Company Commander)--- but not being a morning person myself, I haven't quite disciplined myself to get up when he does. Granted he is up by 4am, and I think we'd all agree that THAT is asking a lot of a busy mom of 3 little boys.

But please note that despite the early hour, I numbered the page correctly AND have reasonable spelling!! Okay, so Blogger numbered it and I hit the spell check button...but still! Be impressed!! Getting up early is entirely against my nature.

Ten reasons I force myself to wake up before my kids

  • 1) I get to wake up on my own. Stretch, relax, sip my coffee or tea and just adjust to the day having begun. This, of course, is opposed to being jolted out of bed by my 2 year old's favorite morning phrase (shouted with extra excitement because he caught mom still in bed),  "Hi Mommy, I waked up!!!" Not that I really mind the good morning from my little Sweetheart, I just like to wake up on my own.
    "Hi Mommy!! I waked up!!"
  • 2) I get to read my Bible on my own. I'm not sure if I've found any better time to do my devotions than first thing in the morning. The Scripture talks about giving of our first fruits... and despite how many years I've tried to do my devotions at bedtime, I am just now realizing the importance of giving God the first part of my day.
  • 3) I get to pray on my own. Again, the morning hours, before the kids, the chores, the phone, the computer...are simply the best time to focus and meet with my Savior
  • 4) I don't have to share my steaming cup of tea or coffee. With 3 little boys who love to come steal share my morning cup, it just lasts longer this way.
  • 5) I get an early morning wake-up call from my breastfeeding 5 month old anyway...and newborn babble is so much nicer than an alarm clock. I get the gentle snuggles and sweet softness of my baby for a few moments before laying him back to sleep.
  • 6) I'm happier the rest of the day
  • 7) I get to blog/email/surf without interruption. It takes me all day to do these things otherwise--and I just can't spend (dare I say, waste??) my whole day on the computer. I may not have a boss or be paid by the hour, but I'm accountable for my time too.
  • 8) My productivity is incredible. Sometimes it seems that between the hours of 5am-7am I get more done than I do all day. Well. Sort of. It's a different kind of getting things done than when the house is bustling in full throttle.
  • 9) I get to watch and hear my kids stretch, stir, and smile as THEY wake-up. Ha ha. I know just why my 2 year old loves giving me that morning greeting. There is something so nice about seeing someone you love first thing when you/they wake up.
  • 10) Because I am too tired to think of something really clever for Top 10 Tuesday, and this seems like a good idea. Can you tell that despite all the perfectly perfect reasons to get up early, I still struggle with it from the depths of my being?

Check out the fun at Oh Amanda

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wildly famous

Last night I had a dream that my blog was wildly famous. And its not the first time either. But I'll tell you, the wheels are turning.

Do all  blogger's go through a phase of wishing and wanting their blog to be something more? something better? something that could reach hundreds of people, encourage others, bring laughter, delight and even tears to your lives? Is it even possible for a reformed Christian woman to have a popular blog?

And even more so, is it a good thing to seek after?  Would it take me away from my duties and responsibilities as a wife and mother? Is it something I would still enjoy if I did it "full time" or "for a living"?

Of course, "full time" and "for a living" are hard phrases to explain or live up to. As a hardworking wife and busy mom of 3 boys, "full time" does not mean "8 hours a day"-- I already have two full time jobs (husband/house/kids)!! I'm not quite sure what "for a living" means either, since my husband is the one who provides for our home. Maybe "for a living" could mean something like, "for a new pair of shoes." Hmm, I like that.

"Full time" and "for a living" aside, I do love blogging. I love collecting my thoughts and putting them on paper so to speak. And I think I've always loved writing. As a child, I wrote "books," journaled frequently in my secret diary, and, of course, penned letters to friends. But I think it was in college, when I really discovered it was something I enjoyed. Sure there were papers that I agonized over writing, but there were also essays I agonized over in a good way. Each phrase and word  had to mean exactly the right thing. I'd pour over the pages, edit and re-edit, and received stellar grades for my efforts. I enjoyed it immensely, I just never had the TIME  to really pursue it (I was a busy college student X 3). I don't know that I really have the time now either. I've already realized that blogging in this house means rising before the sun (and the kids)! And oh nuts, I can hear them stirring in their bedroom already!

So...wildly famous?? We'll see what happens. For now, suffice it to say that my "Follow Me" button is just waiting to be pressed and my comment box is waiting to be filled. Beyond that... we'll see!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Little Ballerina?

Or is that a future Olympic sprinter chewing on a would be Olympic torch?

Either way, this is definitely the latest trend in the 5 month old category. Leaning, reaching, stretching, not to mention pointing your toes and posing in awkward positions! Oh, to be 5 months old again!

Okay, so not really. I think if my thighs were that chunky I'd avoid the tell-tale onesies like the plague!!

But that's the beauty of being 5 months old, isn't it. Rolly-polly thighs and mid-forearm creases are the coolest-- and the cutest way to be. And probably the best part, you don't know and don't care. And everyone smiles and grins at you and tells you your gorgeous.

So yes! Oh to be 5 months old again! :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen reasons why I love my husband

  1. He's my husband!! Six years ago I said, "I do" and made a lifelong commitment to love and cherish my spouse. And that promise still means something to me...and so does my husband.
  2. He doesn't snore
  3. He helps around the house. No joke. This man can (and does) do laundry, scrub toilets, wash dishes, change diapers, cook breakfast, and everything in between. I'm so thankful.
  4. He runs like a gazelle. Not literally. But he is a marathon runner and a good one at that-- and I love his athleticism and strength.
  5. He leads our family in godliness
  6. He spoils me rotten. Now THAT is always a lovable character trait, is it not?
  7. He has the voice of an angel. Seriously. My husband is a former Glee Clubber and sings a strong tenor.
  8. He trusts me
  9. He loves reading
  10. He never thinks I look fat
  11. He's smarter than I am. Yes, that is a good thing!! I think a woman always needs to be able to look up and admire her husband.
  12. He is the best looking soldier I've ever seen. (And I'm not a bit biased either. *wink wink*)
  13. He works hard every day to bring home the bacon.
  14. He loves me too

I guess I got a little carried away there. Just 13 reasons today.

Just for fun, try Thirteen Thursday yourself!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Dear Nana,

I'm 4 years old now!!! I'm getting big just like my Daddy!!!

I got the birthday box you sent in the mail last week. Mommy helped me open the box and I was SO excited to see what was inside. I could barely wait to get the wrapping paper off.

I love the puzzle books so much! I counted them up, and there are ELEVEN puzzles total!! Mom said that doing all 11 puzzles at once might be too much fun, so we did one puzzle at a time. It was so fun!! I'm good at puzzles and if I ever get stuck, Mommy shows me how to do it.

Mommy seemed to like the puzzles a lot too. So...since it was my mom's birthday earlier this week, and I forgot to get her a gift... I thought I would do something really special and super fun. I waited until she was busy changing the baby's diaper and then I quickly and quietly took ALL the puzzles and ALL the pieces and mixed them up in a big pile.

And what a big pile it was!!! Cool!!

Then when Mom came back into the family room she was SO SURPRISED!! She kept saying, "My, oh my!!" At least I think that's what she was saying, a few times I thought I heard her say that she was going to paddle my bottom, but I think I just heard her wrong.

My mom said there must be a gazillion pieces on the floor now with all 11 puzzles mixed together. But don't worry, I reminded her not to exaggerate, because it was really only

6 puzzles with 48 pieces
4 puzzles with 24 pieces
1 puzzle with 50 pieces
11 puzzles with 434 pieces

And we all know 434 pieces is NOT a gazillion.

I helped Mom work on putting the puzzles back together for a while, but she kept saying, "This is just how I wanted to spend my day" so I let her finish them on her own. I was glad to let mom spend her time the way she likes.

She was really fast at putting the puzzles together, I think it only took her like, 2 hours or something to put the gazillion    434 pieces all in the right places. My mom had so much fun, I think she looked a bit crazy when she was done!!

Anyway... it was AWESOME!! Thanks for the puzzles, Nana!!

I love you!! And Papa too!!

Your 4 year old grandson,


P.S. Mom says I should mix the puzzles up for you sometime. Wouldn't that be cool?? Love you, Nana!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

"No, Mom!! Don't kiss me!!"

I was just downloading and reviewing pictures from my old camera before it retires (Yes this means that I have a new camera---but more on that and my incredible husband to follow), and decided that this picture, of my grimacing infant and his loving mother is the definite favorite from our Labor Day trip to the beach.

I think I could title it, "No, Mom!! Don't kiss me!!" But... I like to think he enjoys my kisses as much as I love giving them. Typical mom, right?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

August Books

I just keep reading. Really, it's becoming quite a habit again. And I'm so glad. It's so nice to rediscover a first love, so to speak.

I'll be honest and say that my reading is directly correlated to the absence of television in our house. No joke. Since we moved in June, we have also NOT had television. Well, we have a TV but don't get a signal/cable/any TV channels, not even PBS!!

Again, no joke. While I admit in my sinfulness, it was a bone of contention between my husband and I (guess who wanted her Food Network and HGTV?), I gradually came around to full submission on the issue. I wish I could say I was a more excellent wife, but even now, as the fall television season gets ready to rock n roll, I'm feeling a little apprehensive.

My angst aside, my husband had very good reasons for giving up the tube. And I agree with his reasons too:

  1. The expense-- do you know what cable costs these days? Even the "deals" out there will rope you in for $700+ a year. I don't know about you, but I'd rather spend that on SHOES!! Especially when you can watch most things online for free these days. Thank you, hulu!
  2. The time--doesn't it always start with, "I'll just see what's on," before 2 hours are spent watching "The Next Food Network Star?" (are you catching my Food Network vibes here?)
  3. The trash-- how did TV/movies get so bad, so fast? Almost nothing is appropriate anymore. Bad language. Bedrooms scenes. Disobedient/defiant children. The list goes on.
  4. The example--It can be such a big time waster, and, personally I'd rather my kids see me reading, cleaning, playing soccer in the backyard, than sitting in front of the TV. I actually kind of feel the same way about the computer. I have mixed feelings about email/blogging/Facebook/Internet games/chatting that so often are really a means of procrastination and idleness. There, I said it. Even if I'm incriminating myself!

So... all the reasons my hubby and I discussed made perfect sense, yet my human nature had such a hard time letting go. Ahh! I love to unwind in front of the TV. Or to watch a good movie and sip hot cocoa.
But... I will say that in the 2 1/2 months we've gone without TV, I've not really missed it. Honest and true.

So enough of my preamble...and onto the books I read in August.

  • The Persecutor by Sergei Kourdakov

This book is a biography of a modern day Paul. This young man, who grew up in Communist Russia, served Communism and all its ideals, even as far as persecuting and sometimes killing Christians. Shortly before the book draws to an end, he tells of the saving work of Christ in his life. I admit I felt a bit disappointed of the ending, wishing that I could see this young man who had done so much evil, now turn around and serve God. But his life was cut short (22 yrs) and he barely had the chance to serve the God he had spend so long fighting. Yet in his lack of time to perform redeeming works, the beautiful message of the story is actually made more striking--we are justified by faith alone, not by works, lest any man should boast. Additionally, despite our sinfulness there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

While the boys were picking out books in the children's section at the library, I saw these books on the shelf and decided to see what all the fuss was about. And I've found these books to be well written, fast paced, and enjoyable. The disclaimer, of course, is that they are filled with wizards and sorcery in a very likable and enjoyable put on your filtering glasses and enjoy! Or judge me. Your choice.

  • Homeschooling: take a deep breath, you can do it by Terrie Bittner
  • The Homeschooling book of answers by Jane Dobson

Can you tell I'm gearing up to potentially homeschool my boys? Isaiah turns 4 in September so schooling is still a ways off... and I admit that I'm fighting it. Fighting homeschooling, that is. I really feel like it is the best option, especially for us a Christian military family, but...still I fight it. And would appreciate your prayers.

  • Bringing up Boys by Dr James Dobson

If you have boys, you should read this book. While Dobson is a believer, he writes the book using his vast psychological and medical training as well-- which happens to be the only caveat I have with the book. While I learned so much and feel that I am better equipped to raise my brood of boys, I also felt a twinge here and there when I saw Dobson fail to call sin, sin (e.g. homosexuality, addictions). So again, put on your filtering/discerning glasses, and enjoy. I think we would all be better/have better parents if we understood so much of what is in this book.

  • The Bible-- keeping up with reading the entire Bible in the year, I read Isaiah, Jeremiah& Lamentations.

Whoot! I love my daily Bible reading!

Parking lot

The other night, I sat down to play the piano and discovered it had been turned into a parking lot. Yes, they steam rolled paradise and put up a parking lot.

I actually found it quite brilliant. The spaces in between keys make perfect parking spots for Matchbox cars---and who else would figure that out than the little ones? And I know, when my children are all grown, I will miss the days when the entire house expresses that I have 3 little boys. In fact, I can actually see myself crying over this picture, and saying to my husband, "Remember when...?"
So today, I'll put my piano playing aside for a bit, and let my boys enjoy being boys.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why is it?

Why is it that even when I've kissed my baby's sweet cheeks 100 times, I still can't resist kissing them just once more?

Why is it that I'm back at my pre-pregnancy weight, but my clothes still don't fit?

Why is it that I would rather work at a slow computer than delete my (excessive) precious pictures from the hard drive?

Why is it that I spend so much time cleaning my house, when it just gets messy the next day? (or more commonly, by the next minute?)

Why is it that even when I'm exhausted, I always have energy for a snuggle?

Why is it that chocolate tastes so good? Yum!!

Why is it that people don't seem to drink Starbucks in the South? (come on, people!! It's Starbucks!!)

Why is it that regardless of how much I love spending time with my kids, I LOVE their afternoon naptime with a real passion?

Why is it that I talk outloud when I'm blogging?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Birthday, oh birthday

It's just 4 days till my birthday.

And like a little kid... I can't WAIT!!

How many twenty-something females do you know who would say that?????????????

I'm an oddity, I know. I do love birthdays though. I love the cake and ice cream. I love blowing out candles. I love cards and I love gifts. But most of all, I love to be reminded of the time God has given me here on earth and to bow before Him in thankfulness.

Twenty-plus years now, I've lived in this world and grown from a wee babe. I learned to read and write. I learned to drive and have had (relatively) few speeding tickets. I graduated from college. I passed the NCLEX (nursing boards) with flying colors. I married the love of my life and had 3 beautiful babies. I've bought 3 homes. I've traveled far and wide. The list could go on and on...

And I suppose, the list could also include the things I have not accomplished in my lifetime, though I wish I had! Like driving a stick shift, having my Master's Degree, and selling 3 homes.

But my life is really not (and should not) be a story of my accomplishments, or even failures, but rather a story of God's mercy and grace. In the twenty-something years I've lived, God saved me from my sins. He washed me clean and clothed me with His righteousness. He justified me. And now He's conforming me to His image with abundant mercy and grace, for I am so stubborn and stiff-necked.

When it's put like that, how can you NOT rejoice and be thankful for all your days? How can you not be filled with joy and thanksgiving--when you see the work God is doing in your life, in spite of you and your sinfulness?

Oh Lord, "teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."~Psalm 90:12)


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