Kids, conversations, and convenience

Last night, I almost – almost wished we could just have a flat tire episode so the girls would learn everything they need to know about the “extra tire” and stop asking me questions!

Also on the docket for conversations last night (all of this just on the drive home from church) was Gracie’s manifesto on why cupcakes are better than muffins and cake better than cupcakes, and an in-depth discussion of prisons and jails and juvenile detention centers including but not limited to whether I had ever been to one personally; why; why someone might end up there; would it always be for something wrong or bad; and what kind of questions do those staying there ask. Don’t forget the long, long, long, long, long conversation about spare tires.

And just in case you were unaware, driving home on a Sunday night while you are thirty-seven weeks pregnant is not an optimum time for brain function, patience, or creative teaching moments.

But then again, God doesn’t usually choose to hand us important teaching moments during optimum times. “Thanks for that opportunity, Lord; I was completely prepared,” said no one ever.”

Not sure why I thought a shot of big sister trying to help little sister eat her spinach was appropriate here, but there you go.
Not sure why I thought a shot of big sister trying to help little sister eat her spinach was appropriate here, but there you go.

It’s come to my attention that “important” conversations with your kids will occur at a time that could be described by some or all of the following :





Spiritually weak

Et cetera

Before we’re parents we imagine having these heart-to-heart conversations with our kids on a neatly made bed while the smells of dinner are wafting around from the crockpot and the other kids are in the next room praying for sister to grow in grace. Or something like that.


But more than likely you will find out what they’re thinking through when you get in the car at the end of a long day or are rushing out the door to the grocery store.

I love that my girls ask things at random times and little by little I’m learning to be amused and thankful for the opportunity to talk. You never quite know what they will remember or really learn from so I pray for grace to be faithful in those opportunities.

Nothing we talked about last night was all that earth-shattering, but it did remind me of other occasions where we were able to talk about pretty important stuff at hilariously unpredictable times.

Does this happen at your house? I’m guessing we’re not the only ones. = )


For family and friends: well that was close…

Since you all know about the soon-arriving boy now, you will understand how I very nearly let this blog expire! The past two years I have questioned myself whether it’s worth it to continue, but the truth is if it’s a blessing to you all to see snippets of our life here, then it’s twenty-six whopping dollars well spent.

So in honor of another year of mass communication, here are some pictures from life lately.

My new dishwasher assistant.
My new dishwasher assistant.
The shot that didn't make it into the Father's Day present #thanksmckayla
The shot that didn’t make it into the Father’s Day present #thanksmckayla
sweet summer vacation photo
sweet summer vacation photo
Never a dull moment
Never a dull moment
Yum! A fourth of July salad even I liked (minus the lettuce).
Yum! A fourth of July salad even I liked.
Birthday cupcake!
Birthday cupcake!
One-year-old cutie
One-year-old cutie
Birthday date with Daddy. No wonder she doesn't want to get married.
Birthday date with Daddy. No wonder she doesn’t want to get married.
Five-year-old sweetie
Five-year-old sweetie
This girl
This girl
Mckayla and her colors
Mckayla and her colors
What happens when I say, "Can you watch her for just a minute?"
What happens when I say, “Can you watch her for just a minute?”
You know those moms who can line their kids up against a brick wall, have them look off in the distance and turn it into an amazing photo? Yeah, I'm not one of those.
You know those moms who can line their kids up against a brick wall, have them look off in the distance and turn it into an amazing photo? Yeah, I’m not one of those.
But this style we can do all day long!
But this style we can do all day long!
Don't miss the fact that Gracie actually let go with one hand for that thumbs up.
Don’t miss the fact that Gracie actually let go with one hand for that thumbs up.
Love my big girls
Love my big girls
Reading with Daddy
Reading with Daddy
Kindergarden desk
Kindergarden desk
Looking for a promotion to floor sweeper
Looking for a promotion to floor sweeper
Had to capture this when it happened
Had to capture this when it happened
Those mornings when your sisters get to you before mom...
Those mornings when your sisters get to you before mom…
How many times have we eaten burrito bowls since I've been pregnant, honey?
How many times have we eaten burrito bowls since I’ve been pregnant, honey? (a lot!)
I couldn't quite take her seriously when she came inside whining about her sister and looking like this!
I couldn’t quite take her seriously when she came inside whining about her sister and looking like this!

And that’s that!

Feeling caught up? Me too. = )

Love you all,


small detail, big surprise

There’s something rather important that I haven’t quite gotten around to saying here yet. It may or may not be responsible for the sporadic writing of, oh the last thirty-four weeks.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? We have another baby due to arrive in six weeks!

Yay!!! It seems like it would become ordinary after doing this six times, but it is still just as exciting. and exhausting. = )

This business of being a part of God reproducing his image in the world is absolutely amazing. We pray for the health and safety of this little ones body; we pray that he would be used to glorify the grace of God and to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In other news, I have really missed writing here recently. Time will only tell if that will turn into more frequent posts or not. There’s a dream of just sitting down for fifteen minutes every day to write. So many thoughts constantly swirl around my head. (And yes, like we feel about most others, it’s probably good they’re not always shared.) = )

But – at least now you know that we are having another baby so I can talk about it! = )

Did I mention it’s a ***boy***???

A new adventure awaits!
A new adventure awaits!

Love to all,



Giveaway winner!

We have a winner for our Christmas in July giveaway!!

Congratulations to Liz!! (you’ll hear from me soon) = )

Even if you didn’t win I encourage you to get Prepare Him Room for yourself. I’m finally starting to memorize many of the songs and they are such a blessing to my thinking as I go throughout the day.

If you missed the challenge, we made lists of all the people we needed to buy Christmas presents for, trying to be ready long before the holidays hit.

Now that we have out lists let’s start brainstorming about what those people might like! Keep an eye out when you’re out and about and try to buy at least a couple of things in the next month.

We’ll check back on our progress in August!

Thanks so much to all who entered the giveaway and shared how you prepare ahead of time for the holidays. For those of you like me – this is our year!!

Talk to you soon,


Christmas in July – is your list ready?

Hi everyone! If you didn’t catch the last Christmas in July post, we’re working on having presents bought and ready before the crazy holiday season hits.

Apparently a lot of you are way ahead of me in this – high five! Just kidding I’m jealous. = )

The challenge was first to have a list made of everyone you plan to shop for. Next we’ll work on keeping our eyes open while we’re out, and picking up things little by little. But we’ll talk about that when we announce the winner of the giveaway.

Giveaway? Yes, I’m giving away my new favorite Christmas music Prepare Him Room. Those of you who have already commented that you have your list are entered for sure. I will announce the winner this Wednesday, so anyone else who has their list ready and let’s me know will be entered as well – yay!!

Thanks for all the fun comments and ideas you all have shared – I’m really inspired!

Talk to you soon!


Christmas in July – a challenge and giveaway!

You know it; I know it; We all know it; we should start Christmas shopping earlier than we do.

Every year by that fifth trip out my husband and I are saying to each other, “You know, if we just bought a few presents here and there throughout the year….”

But we never do.

Somewhere I read the phrase, “Wrapped and done by December 1.”

Sounds rather dreamy.

I will admit that I do love the hustle and bustle of being out during the season; but! there are always last minute gifts or parties that seem to come up which would satiate said desire for hustle and bustle. Or you could always try to make Christmas cookies with five children.

Wait; stop...don't make fun of our tree.
Wait; stop…don’t make fun of our tree.

So here’s my idea: let’s first make a list of everyone we usually buy for, brainstorm and keep an eye out for that perfect present for them, and buy them little by little -one or two things a paycheck- from now ’til December. And actually do it.

What do you think?

I even have an incentive for us!


Prepare Him Room from Sovereign Grace Music was our absolute favorite Christmas CD last year. (And as is my usual custom to enjoy some lovely Christmas music to combat the heat ofJuly, we have pulled it out and are enjoying it again!)

As a musician, how hard is it to find fresh, fluff-free Christmas music?

**Pretty hard!**

These songs are gospel-centered, theologically driven, and stylistically diverse. You’ll love them.

And…cue infomercial music… whoever has their list of people they need to buy Christmas presents for by this Friday is entered to win either a CD or a download of Prepare Him Room!

All you have to do is make a list.

Come back on Friday, comment here or on facebook that you made your list (spare us the details), and you have a chance to win my new favorite Christmas music.

Happy list-making! And Merry Christmas (in July). = )


The summer bucket list continues

Summer is glorious. For me it’s not about long days, fancy vacations, or a long-list of must-do activities with your kids. It’s just about watching them when they don’t know you are, looking in their eyes more attentively as they explain their ideas to you, saying yes when they ask to build a fort, and having a few minutes to post about it while they’re on the front porch eating pretzels and drinking water.

Not sure why I call this a bucket list? I’m recording the small, unexpected happy moments of summer – as they happen. You can read more here.

4. Completely unplanned, we took a bicycle-pulled “carriage” from our parking lot to a baseball game. The girls faces were priceless!

5. Painting. There’s been a lot of this going on. The messy table that doesn’t have to be cleaned up at night, the intent faces while working, and the excitement to show Daddy their “masterpieces” all make this mama’s heart happy.


6. Holding Mckayla on my lap, rocking her and talking with her for no reason at all. One word for ya, margin.

7. This morning Sophia and I stayed long after breakfast to do the puzzles and games on the back of the cereal box.

8. Searching for Fourth of July breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas on Pinterest. (also with Sophia) We actually picked a few easy ones and bought the stuff, too. And made an extra trip to Walmart for skewers, cupcake liners and special plates and napkins. These things don’t happen during the school year.

9. Watch the little girls hold up five fingers as they oh-so-excitedly tell us that our tomato plant now has four tomatoes. = )

10. Get soaking wet from a sudden rain in the middle of an afternoon Bible club. Hear the child who was scared of the rain say, instead of complaining – “I’m thankful our car has a top on it!” once we were all in the car.

11. Sit on the front porch with Paul listening to the crickets after the girls had gone to bed.


How’s your summer going? Believe it or not, this is a kind of crazy, hectic summer for us. Writing these things down helps me to find the joy and the space in the little moments instead of being overwhelmed by all that is going on. Let me know if you try it!