15 things I love about my mom

Many of you don’t know my mom, and likely never will. She’s a quiet lady – one that I think many don’t know too well. But I was thinking last night about all the reasons I love her – so in no particular order I’m going to list some thoughts about why I love her so much.

1. I love the way my mom tries so hard (and in so many ways!) to make her hair straight, even though it has incredible and adorable natural curl. All without ever taking herself too seriously.

2. I love the way her face lights up when she sees her grandchildren.

3. I love the way my mom makes lists and keeps herself organized with oodles of post-its and notebooks.

4. I love that my mom can answer any tax question known to man or will find out for you within hours of your asking. I also love that she will get her feathers up -in a sweet, quiet way- if she doesn’t think how it all ended up for you is quite fair.

5. I love that my mom put up with a goat, dog, birds, cats, owls and who knows what other kind of pets while we were growing up so we could enjoy them.

6. I love that what I remember of my mom from my kid years is not someone who hated housework and just wanted a break from us kids, but a woman who cheerfully fulfilled her responsibilities and genuinely wanted to be with us in whatever we were doing.

7. I love that my mom loved hearing my sister and I play the piano and told us that quite often. My girls are taking piano now and #1, Mom, you were an amazing woman, and #2, I know that the influence of your positive attitude helps me to appreciate the “music” they make for the treasure that it is.

8. I love that my mom loved our teenage years.

9. I love my mom for being the best “driver’s ed” teacher ever. EVER!

10. I love that my mom was a college cheerleader; even though many don’t see that side of her anymore she still has that same fun and spunk with those she’s closest to.

11. I love when my mom tells me about a new outfit or “look” she likes and how she’s trying it out.

12. I love that my mom is so cold-natured that she wears boots about 10 months out of the year, despite living in Florida. This may be a slight exaggeration, give or take two weeks. = )

13. I love that my mom was never too anxious for us to be in bed that she wouldn’t take time to pray with us.

14. I love that my mom was so honest with me about how hard labor is before I gave birth for the first time.

15. I love my mom for being an encourager. She is the one that no matter what I tell her about what’s going on in life, she thinks it’s great. “Mom, we’re about xyz days behind in homeschooling.” “You are doing so great! I don’t know how you do it.” “Mom, we bought a house.” “That’s the best thing you could have ever done.” “Mom, look at these pillow covers I made.” “Oh, they’re beautiful!” “Mom, we’re having another baby.” “Oh, that’s so exciting!” “Mom, it’s been a rough day of potty training and no one is taking naps like they’re supposed to.” “It’s okay, it will get better!” I love telling her about what’s going on and I love that the reaction will always be something positive and encouraging. I want to be that person for my girls when they’re grown.

"Grammie" in her happy place.
“Grammie” in her happy place.

Mom, I love you. This list feels so insufficient for all the love you’ve shown to us, and for all the things that I love about you. You are a gift from God to my life; chosen to be the one that would bring me to the point of being a wife myself and then graciously letting me go into the new life that God had made for me. I’m so thankful for your love and your friendship. Miss you! 

New Year’s questions for my kids {2015}

Last year I made a list of questions that I asked my girls on New Year’s Day. Their answers surprised me!

I didn’t have chance to do that on January 1 this year – didn’t even have the list made – but it’s not too late! I decided to make a brand new list just to keep things fresh. ; )

Here are twelve questions to ask your kids at the beginning of the year:

1. What was your favorite thing that happened last year?

2. What was the saddest thing that happened last year?

3. Where was your favorite place you visited?

4. Where is somewhere you would like to visit this year?

5. What did you most appreciate about your family last year? How could you communicate that?

6. What did you learn from the Bible last year?

7. Are there any specific sins that God convicted you about?

8. How do you think you could grow in your love for God this year?

9. Are there any things that keep you from loving God? any things that you find easier to love than God?

10. What did you most appreciate about your church?

11. What could you do to love your church family more this year?

12.What would you like to learn this year?

Zoe can wait a couple more years. = )
Zoe can wait a couple more years. = )


This is just a place to start! I’ll probably vary it depending on the age of who I’m asking. Let me know if you try it!

What would you add to this list?

*Happy New Year!


365 days


We experienced God’s faithfulness every day last year. Three hundred and sixty-five days of meals, transportation, shelter… who knows how many millions of breaths.

Three hundred and sixty-five days of kindness, goodness, patience, forgiveness and grace.

Three hundred and sixty-five days closer to the image of Christ – in ways we can and cannot see.

Normally on New Year’s I’m looking ahead – planning, making goals, working out for the first of five times in the year. But today I’m just thinking about what all of the sudden is “last year.” We were given 365 days to image God and spread His glory. How I hope to be more faithful to that task in the next few hundred days. But I am comforted by the memory of God’s faithfulness last year and confident of His faithfulness for every future day He gives.


Due dates, birthdays, what-nots and so forths


Hello dear readers, from a nine months pregnant, not currently sleeping birthday girl.

How are ya’ll doing?

The first thing on my mind right now is how much I love my husband. I will try to spare you ushy-gushy details that you really have no desire to hear and just say that, though he’s technically not a birthday gift, he is by far what I am most grateful for right now. His love and care, his laid back, easy-to-live-with style of doing things, the way he loves our girls, the way he tells me the details about his golf outings…that, and so much more have me loving him like crazy. (also included is the fact that he totally knows that times like this can be horribly hormone-induced and gone tomorrow, but he still puts up with my sentiments.) = )

Next is that, though I’m obviously excited to have this baby, I’m so thankful for these “extra days” with our girlies. My mom is here now, so I can play and cuddle more than I feed and direct so that is making these times so special. I know that once the baby comes, they will all look so much bigger; that I will hear them laughing and playing outside my room and want to go join them, but fall back asleep from exhaustion. In some ways, I think they sense it to; I’ve been on the receiving end of so many sweet hugs and kisses. We can hold out for a few more days if that keeps up.

As far as the baby goes, I still feel really good. She still moves consistently, so I don’t feel any need to worry. I guess when you’re the fifth you have to break new ground however you can. (all the others have been early, and I am now two days late)

I dread going through labor. It’s constantly on mind. I’m trying to exchange fear with prayers for strength, faith and mercy. We never take for granted the little life that lays inside; I pray for her to be safe, to be healthy and strong. I want to hold her so badly. I pray for God to help me trust in him and rejoice in him in whatever he chooses to give us. I pray that by his grace he would be glorified.

And at night, I ask my husband to get me a watermelon airhead. And a Milky Way, just in case.

Everything is all ready, though I’ve certainly lost my ready-to-go edge. I wonder how it all will go down.

As far as my birthday goes, my list of things to do might sound a little strange. No special foods or restaurants really sound appealing. I think it might be fun to go to Salvation Army, redo a lamp just for fun, drive to Anthropologie and walk around looking for inspiration (and breathing in the awesome smells), hold my girls, and sit next to Paul at night reading together. Oh and do a workout video with my mom. I really want her to see how cute the girls are when they do it. Honestly, having a baby on my birthday would not be tops on my list, but at this point we really can’t be too picky. = )

That’s about all I have to say for now. Maybe I can fall asleep soon??

So this is how I looked three months ago - you can imagine how big I am now. Aye-ay-yay!
So this is how I looked three months ago – you can imagine how big I am now. Aye-ay-yay!

lyrics i love


Before you close your eyes to sleep
I have a promise still to keep
As I hold you in my arms.
I pray your little frame grows strong
And that faith takes hold while you are young;
This is my prayer for you.

Hold my hand;
I’ll teach you the Way to go.
Through the joys, through the tears,
The journey of these years,
May you trust Him ‘til the end.
May you trust Him in the end.

This world is not as it should be,
But the Savior opens eyes to see
All that’s beautiful and true.
Oh may His light fill all you are
And the jewel of wisdom crown your heart;
This is my prayer for you.

Hold my hand;
I’ll teach you the Way to go.
Through the joys, through the tears,
The journey of these years,
He is with us ‘til the end.
He is faithful ‘til the end.

You’ll travel where my arms won’t reach
As the road will rise to lead your feet
On a journey of your own.
May my mistakes not hinder you
But His grace remain and guide you through;
This is my prayer for you.

Take His hand
And go where He calls you to.
And whatever comes, seek Him
With all your heart;
This will be my prayer for you.
mmmm Father, hear my ceaseless prayer;
Oh keep them in your care.


Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, and Fionan de Barra; © 2012 Gettymusic and Fionan de Barra (adm. by MusicServices.org)

An Easter idea for the neighbors

A few weeks ago, I had this idea for Easter. It’s normal to “do something for the neighbors” at Christmas. Not that I ever actually have. But we’ve been thinking the last few years about how for the believer, Christ’s resurrection is our biggest celebration of the year. The greatest moment to exalt in. Anyways, I thought, we should “do something for the neighbors” and maybe write them a card or note explaining why celebrating Christ’s resurrection on Easter means so much to us.

So fast forward to about two days ago and I think we’ve got a plan!

There are little kids in every apartment near us, so we’re going to give them this book.

More Than a Story
More Than a Story

More Than a Story, Easter book

More Than a Story, Easter children's book

The illustrations are beautiful and the words have a beautiful rhythm. It outlines some of the fantastic miracles throughout the Bible and then gives the defense that if Christ had the power to rise from the dead, that all of that is possible. It’s a wonderful presentation of the gospel, of the authority of Scripture, and of God’s revealing Himself to mankind.

Not to mention our girls love it, and we love reading it to them, too! (In fact, I think the idea came while reading it to them)

And then for fun, we’re going to try to make these fun treats!


I should probably make some practice ones. = )

It’s a simple start, but it’s something. I know it’s a little late in the game to post about this, but maybe it could start some ideas of how you could use this season to spread the glory of Christ.

Looking forward to celebrating!!

My kids answers to their New Year’s Day questions

imageIf you remember, I came up with some questions to ask my kids on New Year’s Day. And we actually did it!

Let me tell you, their answers totally surprised me! Isn’t it fun to ask a question and then be surprised by the answer?

The biggest realization for me was just how small their world is. When I asked, “Where is somewhere you want to go this year?” I was imagining they would answer Washington D.C., California, or England. But nope, it was a local park, the mall, and Chick-fil-A. All of which we have been to more than once this year. Wow.

Also of note before you read is that Gracie rather got stuck in a rut. Just so there’s no confusing that she’s the most spiritual three-year-old in the world or anything.

So here, for those interested, are my kids answers to their New Year’s Day questions.


*What was your favorite thing about last year?
H- my birthday, breakfast with daddy
S- being in the waves at the beach, camp, pool with Daddy, birthday
G- that we read the Bible
*What was the worst thing that happened last year?
H- when my sister’s pulled my hair
S- when I was sick
G- we were bad
*What do you think you learned last year?
H- about money, Abraham Lincoln is on the cent
S- how to read
G- about Joseph, their Dad
*What is one thing you really hope happens this year?
H- to start playing my violin
S- go to the mall
G- that we don’t bad things
*What would you like to do more of this year?
H- decorate more
S- go to the mall and bounce on the bouncy thing
G- to go to Walmart
*What part of obeying Daddy and Mommy do you think you should work on this year?
H- all of it more
S- I can’t think of anything
G- trust them, to not disobey
*How do you think you could be more loving to your family this year?
H- helping if stuff breaks
S- give Daddy a big hug
G- to be good, for us to not be bad
*How do you think we should try to help other people who don’t have as much as we do this year?
H- give extra pillows, maybe old hats and scarves
S- can’t think of anything
G- to trust in the Lord
*What is something you would like to learn this year?
H- about bugs
S- I would like to learn about tying the tree skirt around the Christmas tree, putting glass ornaments on the tree carefully with not breaking
G- to trust in God
*Where is somewhere you would like to go this year?
H- “C” Park
S- to the mall
G- to Chick-fil-A
*If you had a choice between Mommy reading to you more or teaching you music and piano more, which would you choose?
H- music and piano
S- I don’t know
G- reading
*What is one thing you want to work on this year?
H- playing the violin
S- better at standing on my head
G- the Christmas tree
*What would you like Mommy to do more of this year?
H- cleaning
S- play games with us this year
G- play music and piano
*What would you like Mommy to do less of this year?
H- I don’t know
S-less grocery shopping
G- make lunch
*What do you want to pray for about this year?
H- help us be good at Pastor N and Miss J’s house
S- Miss S
G- for Jesus to come back
These cracked me up. And a few gave me some insights for things to do this year.
Did you try this with your kids? Get any funny answers?
Thanks for reading!