In the desert…

“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Asking

“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  Luke 11:9-13

Heavenly Father, I ask for your Spirit now. I ask humbly and timidly. I feel as though your Spirit has left me. Although I don’t believe that to be true, it is how it feels. Like a body without blood I feel my soul is without your Spirit. Please return him to me. Don’t leave me alone. I know that you won’t, but don’t leave me.

I’m asking. I’m trying to seek you in your Word. I’m wanting to knock but I’m not sure where. Father, give me the “good gift” of the Holy Spirit or show me that I already have him.

What do you get…

When you mix 4 kids,  a husband with a day job and in preparation for a few sermons in the evenings, and me?

Well first, you get no new blogs.  Shocker, I know.  Secondly, you get circles under your eyes and lots of kid friendly meals because *someone* doesn’t feel like cooking a meal for just herself and fighting encouraging kids to eat 3 bites. Thirdly, you get more time to pray, do laundry, mop floors, and make applesauce.

I know that the whole applesauce thing sounds thrown in there, but it’s honestly what I’ve been doing with the 28 lbs of apples we picked with some friends a couple weeks ago.

The kids and I have been doing a lot of just hanging out and enjoying fall.  I mean it’s fall.  The BEST time of year.  Fall means walks, crafts, baking, soup, walks, researching new finds from outside, pumpkins, leaves, hoodies, walks, apple cider, hot chocolate, fires, farms, walks.

Did I mention walks?  Because we do a lot of that around here.  We NEED the outside.  And since, in the winter, I really dislike bundling everyone up just to have someone say they need another glove or hat or scarf or they have to go potty as soon as they’re in the car, we try to get outside as much as we can in the fall.  It’s just something about being outside that calms my mind and enables me to be quiet in my soul and remember the One who created everything.  It doesn’t matter if the kids are running and screaming and picking up every stick, rock and leaf that they see to save as a “treasure”.  It’s just something about it.  Anyway.

As you can see…I cherish anything that gives me calm.

I’m sure I have stories to tell, but quite frankly, there isn’t too much activity going on in the old brain right now.  So, instead of blabbing on and on without getting to the point, I’ll let some pictures tell what we’ve been doing for the past few weeks.  Enjoy! (btw, I’m sorry for the quality of the photos…they’re all from my phone!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

six and counting…

Tomorrow, will be our 6th wedding anniversary! I cannot believe we’ve been married 6 years already. I also cannot believe it’s only been 6 years with her, it’s hard to imagine or remember life without her.

Our relationship was birthed in sin. Its only attribute was sin. I remember thinking, and believing, for a long time, that there was just no way Amanda and I could be together because of how messed up and sinful our past was. At times it’s still hard to believe. As I think about it now all I can think of is how amazing Gods grace is. He has been so very merciful to us, and has blessed us with a wonderful marriage, and now 4 beautiful kids. It doesn’t make sense to me at all. But I guess grace doesn’t make much sense, that’s the wonder of the gospel.

So, in honor of our 6 years together, here are 6 things I love about Amanda (in no particular order):

1: She’s more amazed and thankful for Gods grace then I am. I love her broken joy when we talk about how God has blessed us. She is a delight to my soul.

2: She loves to serve. She is always serving somebody. With 4 kids there is much demanded of you. When they’re all 5 and under there’s more demanded. When your homeschooling there’s more. When your husband is as sinful and selfish as me there’s way more demanded. And yet she longs to be a blessing to more people! She has so much reward awaiting her.

3: She’s an awesome cook!

4: She makes our home, OUR HOME. She fills it with joy. I love coming home. But I really love coming home to her. When I came home tonight, I saw her and was immediately thankful for her in my life.

5: I get to brag about her to others. When I’m out with guys I get excited when our wives come up in convo. I get to boast in the grace of God in her life, always. What a joy that is!

6: She’s smokin’ hot! It’s like I hit the lottery with this gal. She’s off the hook.

Godly, humble, servent, cook, growing in grace, and beautiful!

God, thank you for hooking a brother up.

Eric

Interpretation

Keely this morning saying her verse:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is returnal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”

sweets, water and exhaustion

Image source

There are 4 things that I can 99.99% guarantee will happen when I put the kids to bed at night.

1. They will all (except Mae) ask for water in their cups. Not just any water…COLD water. No joke. We’ve tried to get away with just walking out of the room and walking back in as if we have filled it up, but we’ve only gotten away with it 2 or 3 times in as many years. They probably shouldn’t have water in their beds or be allowed to ask for any, but we pick our battles wisely around here.

2. Keely will pray and thank God for lollipops, chocolate, marshmallows, ice cream and donuts. Sometimes it will be one of those, sometimes it will be all of those. Most of the time she hasn’t had any of those that day, but she likes to cover all the bases. Tonight she asked me if we could have fruit smoothies for breakfast on Thursday…..which is in two days.

3. Ezra will ask me what we’re doing tomorrow. It’s also the first thing he utters in the morning. No slackers aloud.

4. I will be tempted and, at times, give into impatience and anger at the never-ending questions or comments or needs or extra potty breaks or whatever it may be that night.

So why is #4 on the list a constant struggle? Is it because my kids are intent on bugging me just to bug me? Doubt it. Are they trying to milk it? Sure. Should I respond in anger or frustration because they are being kids and just want some extra time awake with mom and dad? No, of course not. I SHOULD be showing them more love and affection to leave them knowing that they are cared for and loved. Instead of doing what I should do, I become selfish and angry because now they are cutting into ME time. You all know what I’m talking about, right? My thoughts swirl around all that I’ve done today for them, from cleaning spills to having heart to hearts….from teaching phonics to tickle games….from making meals to bathing. So of course I DESERVE for them to go to bed quickly and quietly! Here’s the kicker…who said I deserve any ME time? Who said my time is to be used for whatever I want? Uhmmm….yeah. So now I’m faced with a decision to make…..give into my impatience, or have self-control?

We all obviously know the answer, but it’s easier said than done and also very easy to do that for the wrong reasons. If my reason for having self-control is just so that the kids won’t bear the brunt of my impatience and so hurt their feelings, that’s not going to 1. last very long and 2. honor the Lord. Here’s where my motivation must come from:

15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16)

Knowing that Christ died for this sin that continually creeps up, is my first motivation. Praise the Lord I don’t have to atone for my sins, they’ve been paid for, forgiven, and forgotten! Secondly, I must remember how patient He is with ME….how can I be impatient with my kids at bedtime when Christ has been ever more patient with me?

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Ps 145:8)

Question

I fondly remember the days when I just had one or even two kids and I did my house work and planned my meals, served in some capacity at church regularly and played with the baby.  Such a sweet time.  Getting to see every little and big milestone and writing down (or videoing) every cute little giggle or smile.

Side note:  When we moved and were packing up everything, I counted the number of videotapes we had of Ezra in the first year.  It was over 15 videotapes.  Maelyn (baby #4) has about 5 or 6 video’s on my phone…not even whole tapes.  No matter what you say (such as “I’ll NEVER be one of those moms who doesn’t have any pictures or videos of subsequent children”), it happens.  I do have many pictures, but I have yet to even buy a baby book for her.  Sad.  I do have an app on my phone, but, still pretty lame compared to Ezra and Keely.

I also remember thinking I didn’t have time to do “anything.”  Whatever that means.

Ha. Ha. Ha.  Oh the foolishness that abounds.  I’m thankful now if I remember to eat.

Anyway, since officially starting school with Ez this year, I’ve become much more aware of many things.  I don’t have time to go into them right now (as I should be cleaning the bathroom and baking a dessert for tonight’s guests.  Sorry Smiths!), but one of them is the amount or quality of time spent with each child.  So my question for all of you with more than one child is……How do you specifically get time with each child individually?  I know that some of you go out on dates with your kids a couple times a month, but I’m more interested in the day to day or week to week basis…meaning, not an “official” date type deal.  I do get time with Ezra most days since he doesn’t take naps too often anymore and that’s when I do some school stuff with him.  We get to talk and learn and be free from the chatter of the girls.  I also get time with Mae in the early morning and sometimes in the evening too.  The two middle girls I don’t get much time with though…..any ideas from anyone on intentionality with each kid amongst the busyness of life and responsibility?

Got some time with this crazy today.  Love her.

It’s a long road.

It’s a journey, isn’t it?

The Lord has had me in this place of dying to self for a long time. He has everyone on that path I suppose, and some of us “get” it quicker than others.  I don’t think i’m part of that “some.”  There have been trials, though small in comparison to most, that have led me to really have to try and grasp that I can’t do it all.  I know, I know, confessionally I would say that I can’t do it all, but functionally, I really think I can, at least in theory.  I read blogs or books about these women who have 8 kids, train them in the Lord, homeschool,  make healthy and frugal meals, garden out the wazoo, disciple younger women, get discipled  by older women, have an etsy shop, get to sew or cook or make soap for fun, and of course they exercise 4 times a week.  They seem to have immaculate homes, a  healthy social life, witness to anyone they talk to at the grocery store or playground, have time to not only have devotions, but study the Word AND read the latest fiction book; they have every half hour organized, spend time on Facebook and STILL have time to be intimate with their husbands.  Oh, and they’re funny and charming and wear makeup everyday.

Are these people for real?

I will readily admit that I have talked myself into thinking that these are, in fact, real people.  I mean, their books are encouraging with some stories of failure peppered throughout.  Their blogs have the occasionally funny mishap.  But all in all, they’re doing pretty well.  Right?

Well, whoever they are (and I’m positive they’re not showing the whole story!), they aren’t me.  I fail daily at training my children in the way they should go.  I fail daily at exercising. (make that monthly!) I fail regularly at being a willing partner for my husband.  I fail daily at honoring the Lord as I should.  I fail. I fail ALL. THE. TIME.

Should this surprise me? No. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

Does this surprise me?  At times, yes.  In my self-righteousness, pride, and stemming from my indoctrination of a “you can have it all” American woman type of unregenerate belief (and thus, indwelling sin), I functionally believe that I can in fact do all of those aforementioned things.  Good things.  Things that God would want us to excel at as keepers of our homes and as helpmates and mothers.

Slowly over the past year or so as I’ve had more and more responsibility, more kids, and minimal time for myself (which is usually spent grocery shopping or planning school or doing other necessary things without kids around) i’ve started to realize it’s okay.  It’s okay to not be able to  cook meals for every person I know that has had a baby or is sick.  It’s okay to not be able to hang out with people because the kids need to go to bed or need their heart adjusted at the moment.  It’s okay to not be able to serve the church in certain ways or attend meetings because I need to care for my family in the mundane.  It’s okay to eat peanut butter and jelly for dinner for a night because we’ve had a busy day with school and lots of discipline issues.  It’s even okay to leave dishes in the sink.  (well, I’m still waiting to be okay with that one.)

It’s okay because God tells me “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (matt 11:30). It’s okay because I have been redeemed and the blood of Christ cleanses me from all sin.  (Not that it’s an excuse to sin all the more! Romans 6) The burdens I have been feeling when I’ve texted a friend saying “please pray, I am overwhelmed and can’t breathe” are NOT from the Lord.  They are from me.  In my pride I have set expectations where they need not be.  God asks me to be faithful, He does not ask me to be superwoman.  There is a new covenant!  He asks me to love, trust and obey Him.  He asks me to have joy in HIM and not in the things of this world.  All of my ‘good works’ are nothing in comparison to that.

Learning to be content in this season of snotty noses and diaper changes is hard.  It’s really hard.  I have no clue what I’m doing.  I know it will get harder as they get older and I’m dealing with a lot more heart issues.  Right now though, in this short season of childhood, I need to learn to fear and love the Lord functionally.  Laying down my desires, expectations, comparisons and my life to serve the Lord, my husband, and my kids is what I have been called to do.  That may look different for me.  I’m trying to figure out what it DOES look like.

It most definitely does not look like lipstick on my lips.

This sums it up.

School starts in a few weeks (and I still haven’t finalized curriculum, much less done any scheduling or organizing!) Ministry starts back up in a few weeks. Ezra starts soccer in a few weeks. We just moved and are trying to get settled. That’s why this article sums it up:

http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2010/08/the-essential-back-to-school-preparation.html

Birthday girl

We had Lila’s birthday party last night….I can’t believe she’s two already!

Han Solo.

So, the title has nothing to do with this blog.  Other than the fact that Ezra, at 4 years old, has become Star Wars-comic book hero obsessed.  Which is funny because he’s never seen any superhero movies.  Boys are so weird.

So I bet you’re wondering what’s been going on with the ol’ Price clan, right?  Right?  Anyone there?

…..right.  Okay, well even if you’re not wondering, here’s a breakdown of what’s been happening around these parts for the good part of the last 5 months….AKA  since Maelyn was born.

1.  Mae.  Or as the kids call her “Mae-Mae” (which, coincidently I found out from a friend that Mae-Mae means “little sister” in Chinese!)  She is doing absolutely wonderful!  In fact, she’s a big chunk and hasn’t had any health problems since her 2 week stint in the NICU!  Praise the Lord!  She’s absolutely adorable and the kids dote on her all the time.  Keely is like a 2nd mother to her (well as much as a 3 year old can be), even wants to help change her diaper.  We’ll see how long that lasts.

2.  Pastors College. Fact:  Eric was accepted.  Fact:  They didn’t run the Pastors College this year due to the economy affecting (effecting?) a lot of things within not only the program but men being able to go.  SOooo, we’re still here waiting on the Lord and trusting that His timing is perfect and that He is good always!

3.  Because of the aforementioned PC stuff, we bought a house.  What the what is right!  It’s actually a really cool story….a woman from our church recently got married and needed to sell her house.  Long story super short, we walked through her house and she told us afterward that she felt that the Lord wanted her to bless us with the house at an amazing price which was exactly what we had decided we could afford! Woop woop!  So, as of a month ago, we are homeowners!!!  We didn’t actually move in until last weekend because we were doing a lot to the house. God provided people to help with babysitting, painting, tiling, plumbing, electric etc….it was so kind of Him to bless us in that way and we are so thankful to those people who willingly gave up time that they could’ve been doing something fun to serve us instead.  We are SO excited to be able to have people over and be hospitable in our own house….can’t even explain how excited!

4.  There have been a lot of things going on with parts of my family and Eric’s family that can’t necessarily be mentioned here, but they have been hard for those involved.  Super hard.  For us, being on the outskirts of it, it’s been really cool (and also sad) to watch the way that God has sent his Spirit to those that know Him…to empower them to rely on His word, follow His ways, and find joy even in the midst of some big trials.  Very encouraging…and also very sad for those who do not know Him.   It always make me think of the verse

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us, who are being saved, it is the power of God” (1 Cor 1:18)

What an amazing God we serve–one who doesn’t command us to do anything that He won’t send his Spirit to help you do.  It really has nothing to do with us and ALL to do with Jesus.

5.  Due to the fact that we have a basement that has 2 parts, I will now be able to leave my sewing machine and stuff out so that I can sew when I have a spare moment.  That might not actually be until the year 2020, but I have a lot of daydreaming going on about those days, so it’s almost real!  I do have a rather extensive list in my head of my next projects, but we’ll see if I can really get things happening.  School starts soon….

6.  Yes, school starts soon.  We homeschool….which means I need to get on the ball with a schedule and what we’re actually going to be doing.  The past month has been crazy ,crazy non-organized as far as the kids are concerned and it’s definitely wearing on all of us.  I don’t know how people do life without a routine….and those who say that giving kids structure and routine are harming creativity and imagination have probably not had more than one child.

7.  We celebrated Independence Day with a few friends and their kids…..it was really nice.  I have nothing to say about it other than I really loved being there with good friends and watching the kids all play together.  It was comfortable and fun and laid back.  Here are some pics:

7.  I recently made homemade bagels the other day from this recipe (except I did half wheat, half white flour), and I must say, they were stinkin’ good.  So good in fact, that I got greedy and wanted just another half of one before heading out to church yesterday ….which subsequently led me to the hospital needing stitches because I cut my finger open while drooling over the bagel.  Smooth.

I really don’t know what else to update about, it’s all a jumble in my head.

Oh–Lila turns 2 tomorrow!  What?!

Off to plan a party…..

The latest.

“Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!  You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;  none can compare with you!  I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.” Psalm 40:4-5

We have been blessed with another daughter!  Maelyn was born a little over a week ago 3 weeks early!  She’s a beautiful little girl, and we are both humbled that God would desire to bless us with another child.  Maelyn has unfortunately/fortunately been in the NICU since birth with some lung issues.  BUT, she is much improved from the initial problems and hopefully will be going home sometime this week.  The doctors can’t be totally sure about what was causing her lungs to have “hazing” and “deposits”, but they think it’s a combination of RDS (respiratory distress syndrome) and pneumonia.  She’s been on a 10 day antibiotic which ends tomorrow and has gone from needing a lot of oxygen pumped into her at rest, to not needing it at all except occasionally during feedings.  She still needs prayer though….the lung issues compounded with her being premature has caused a lack of the reflex of “suck, swallow breathe” which basically means that when she eats, she forgets to breathe and the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange in her lungs is all wonky.  Please pray that she will “get it” soon and that we’ll be able to take her home!

We have really felt God’s peace upon us during this whole trial and again in the “unknown.”  We acknowledge that He is good AND sovereign and have not doubted either of those things during this time…but it has also been a trying time emotionally.  Thankfully we have wonderful friends and family who have prayed for us and cared for us by serving us with childcare and food! Quite frankly even though this has been a strange time for everyone because of the 3 feet of snow on the ground, God has provided this time for us to be able to get to the hospital almost everyday AND have childcare easily accessible since Eric didn’t have work and neither did his mom and dad!  In any other time this would’ve been a lot more difficult, but God in His wisdom provided a crazy history-making storm which allowed us to be able to be with our baby pretty easily considering the circumstances.  Of course, our plans would’ve been different (read:  more comfortable and easy), but God has a different and good plan to grow us in dependance (again!) and trust in Him to not only heal Maelyn, but to humble and carry us.  And so we again praise the Lord!

Here’s a recent picture of her:  (her IV is in her head…bleh!)

Super cute, right? :)

dun dun dun duuuhhhhhh

Introducing the NEW and IMPROVING……

KEELY!

Our big girl got her glasses last week and it’s going well!  We’ve had to get them adjusted (and will probably continue to have to do so), but she’s done so great keeping them on and NOT complaining!  Praise the Lord!

In other news….the baby is still inside.  Which is a good thing developmentally for the baby.  Physically for me, not so great, but that’s to be expected with having 4 babies in less than 5 years, right?  I have an appointment this friday, so we’ll see what the doc says.  Probably nothing….just wait.  Waiting and patience have been the theme of my (and our) life for the past 3 years.  It’s been an interesting thing to learn–to wait on the Lord.  I have not done it well a lot of times, but God has been gracious and gentle to show me my sin and helped me to see that there’s really no better place to be except in dependance on Him and His ways.  Easy? No.  Satisfying?  You betcha.

That’s all.  Really just wanted to post a cute pic of my kid. :)

Wow. Well, okay.

By now you all know how horrible we are at keeping up with this blog.  I do think of it from time to time, but life just kinda, well, doesn’t stop. Having 3 kids in major training phases means that things like blogging or emailing or thinking just get pushed right to the bottom of the list.  Today the little punks are all still sleeping so I thought I’d update.  Here goes.

We had our 2nd followup sonogram on Monday to check on the size of the baby’s gallbladder.  Previously her stomach and gallbladder were both enlarged…then the stomach went back down to normal and the gallbladder got bigger….and now, the gallbladder is back to almost normal!  The doctor said that it’s only slightly above the normal range so it’s probably just a developmental variant and she thinks she’s fine.  Praise God!  I will be 33 weeks tomorrow…and I feel like it.

I will be 30 in a month from today.  30 and pregnant.  ‘Nuff said.

Eric preached his second sunday sermon on Dec 27th (here’s the link if you want to listen: http://www.gracecommunity.org/index.php?pID=37)  The pastors will decide on whether or not he can apply to the Pastors College after his final interview tonight.  A little nerve-wracking, but I think we both are trusting in the Lords timing and will be excited either way to see where He will lead us.  We are thankful that our pastors have taken the time to really serve Eric through this whole process of evaluation the last few years and have sought to help him (and us!) to grow in love and knowledge of the Lord.

Christmas and New Years were wonderful and it was great to see family that we normally don’t see that often.  The kids were totally spoiled by the grandparents, but that’s what their job is, so it’s okay.  Definitely looking forward to getting back into a routine next week with homeschool and whatnot.  Not having a normal routine is starting to drive me crazy.  Of course, this will all change in a little over a month once the baby comes, so….yeah.

Took the kids to the eye doctor because 1. My mom has been asking for a long time (she works there) and 2. Ezra started squinting randomly.  We thought we might as well just take Ezra and Keely just to check things out and make sure they’re a-okay.  Welp, not so much.  Ezra might need glasses next year (his eyes are both astigmatic and have some refraction issues, but they’re pretty balanced with each other so it’s not totally necessary yet), and Keely has to get glasses.   Her eyes were pretty bad with one eye amblyopic (lazy eye, though you would NEVER be able to tell by looking at her) and both eyes astigmatic.  My poor girl.  Doc said that she would probably need glasses (and perhaps patching early on) until she is 10!  Praise God that we noticed Ezra squinting and decided to take them because we really didn’t notice anything else and probably wouldn’t have taken them for awhile.

Lila is crazy.  I love her and she’s adorable and joyful and sleeps well and all those other things that really do make life easier for a toddler.  But she’s crazy.  Pray for us!

Book resolution update:

Neither of us made it to 52 books.  I’m not even sure how many exactly.  I think I was in the low 30′s, that’s about it.  The sidebar hasn’t been updated for a good long while and I’m not going to bother updating it now.  But, all in all, I read more books in 2009 than I have in a long while (probably since I was in high school!) and I KNOW Eric read more books in 2009 than he has in any year of his life, so it worked out!  We both are planning on trying to hit 52 again this year, so we’ll see.  I am able to read more when I have a nursing baby in the middle of the night, so that should help the quota.

Baby Lucy (our niece) was born 2 days after Thanksgiving and she’s extremely adorable.  We love her and are excited for her to be in our family!  Ryan and Janet have been blessed!

Pete & Naomi had their baby boy on Christmas morning!  Israel Josiah…he’s adorable and blond and yummy :) So now when we hang out with them we’ll have an Ez and an Is.  Good times ahead.  I’m sure they’ll love that.

I wish I had pictures to show you babies and other random times since this hasn’t been updated since the summer….but alas, we haven’t even dumped them from the camera to the computer.  See how behind we are?

Kids are no longer sleeping so, I’m out.  Thanks for reading!

Some fun in the sun.

Just a few pics from our mini-vacation down the ocean a few weeks ago….(literally, a few, only took some at the beach the 1st day.  Lame.)  Erics’ brother Ryan and his wife Janet graciously invited us down for a few days to stay with them while they were on their vacation…so we accepted and had lots of fun!  (And LOTS of ice cream!)

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We had a wonderful time and the kids REALLY loved the beach and spending time with Ryan and Janet too….but let’s just say the word “vacation” takes on a different meaning when you have 3 kids 3 and under.  Riiiight.  I think Eric was sanctified just by being somewhere with sand, not to mention all of us in one bed! :)  Makes for good memories that’s for sure!  Thanks Ryan and Janet for inviting us to stay with you and having a lot of extra mess and people around on your vacation!

Picture update

Okay, this won’t be much of a post, but wanted to let everyone know a few things:

1. I finally added pictures from June on the pic site so if you’re one of those people who keep asking where all our pictures are…well, here ya go:
Price pics

2. We are joining the throngs of people that are pregnant right now! Well, I guess I shouldn’t say joining, but have joined. Yup, pregnant with our fourth child and due at the end of February. The Lord has surely blessed us!!! When we told the kids, they didn’t seem surprised–joyful, but not surprised. Though, Ezra told us that he only wanted a boy baby…and he’s still pretty adamant about it, so we’re praying for God to prepare his heart either way :)

3. Our Lila girl turned one a few weeks ago…I can’t believe it! She’s such a joy to our family, literally smiles all of the time! It’s really a testimony of an answered prayer because I remember praying that she would be a child filled with joy…how fun :)

That’s all I have for now….off to eat some ice cream!

a wonderful encouragement

Yes, I know that I haven’t posted in 2 months just like I said. Lameeeee-o. And really, this post has nothing to do with what’s going on in our lives as far as activities, but I thought it might be an encouragement to some.

I’m reading 2 books right now: Knowing God by J.I. Packer and The Autobiography of George Muller. Both of them I am reading quite slowly so as to apply what I’m learning to my life. I have been “slow” in my prayer life recently and due to an assignment from our care group leader that asked us to list the roles we have and goals we had this summer in regards to those roles, I decided to read these 2 books as part of my goal to grow more in communion with God and pick up my prayer life. Anyway, I wanted to post these two paragraphs from George Mullers’ book because I think that it is both convicting and encouraging at the same time. Hopefully you think so too!

These paragraphs come at the end of a chapter highlighting Mr. Mullers’ testimony and subsequent growth (or lack thereof)….

“I was growing in the faith and knowledge of Jesus, but I still preferred reading religious books instead of the Scriptures. I read tracts, missionary newsletters, sermons, and biographies of Christian people. God is the author of the Bible, and only the truth it contains will lead people to true happiness. A Christian should read this precious Book every day with earnest prayer and meditation. But like many believers, I preferred to read the works of uninspired men rather than the oracles of the living God. Consequently, I remained a spiritual baby both in knowledge and grace.

The last and most important means of growing in the Lord, prayer, was also something I greatly neglected. I prayed often and generally with sincerity. But if I had prayed more earnestly, I would have made much more rapid progress in my faith. Despite my slowness to grasp spiritual principles, however, God showed his great patience toward me and helped me to grow steadily in Him.”

First of all, who of us can’t relate to the first point in some way? Even when we are reading the Word everyday, it’s much easier to sit down with a book! But God doesn’t call us to only know about Him, He calls us to know Him. Period.

Secondly, well, it’s pretty self explanatory. All of us can agree on this point about prayer. Praise God for his patience and faithfulness to continue sanctify and show us abundant mercy!

Psalm 119: 103: ‘How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!’

Simple thoughts.

They’re popping out everywhere

So, just found out something about these two crazies:

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One of them is gonna get fat.

(In a cute, baby belly kinda way)

Praise God!  Congrats Pete & Naomi!

15 things you’ve missed in 2 months. whoops.

dsc0573511.  An official Marine!  Graduated, home, training, now stationed in CA.

dsc058322.  Eric trying his hand at making crepes.  Delicious!

dsc058753.  A birthday for sweet Keely.  Two.  She wants you to think she’s really this sweet.

dsc059154.  The last snowfall of the season.  Not so great for sledding…we were the only ones out there.  Brave…or lame.

march-2009-0065.  A wonderful, beautiful wedding.

march-2009-0276.  A big girl potty.

march-2009-0427.  Sibling bonding time.

march-2009-0458.  My life, as I know it, being over.  A.K.A. Crawling.

march-2009-0619.  Mischief.

march-2009-14210.  Boy time at FanFest at Camden Yards.

march-2009-11511.  A little crafting of Calvary for Easter.

dsc0588812.  A pregnancy!  Woot Woot!

march-2009-06913.  Growing…

march-2009-10614.  Growing…

march-2009-07215.  Growing…

Hopefully we’ll be able to keep up the posting a bit better than every 2 months.  But, probably not.

Humpty Dumpty strikes again.

So while the kids were taking a bath tonight, Ez came out with this one:

Ezra:  (laughing hysterically at Keely)….MOMMY!  I’M CRACKING UP AT KEELY!

Me:  (laughing that my 3 y/o just used the phrase “cracking up”)  I know, you’re silly!

Ezra:  I need glue!  Get me glue!

Me:  Huh?  Glue?  Why?

Ezra:  Cause I’m CRACKING UP!!!

Genius.  Pure genius.

Wow.

So, through catching up on some blog reading while the kids are somewhat quiet in their rooms (supposedly “sleeping”), I picked up some interesting information from Tim Challies blog.  Basically Lifeway Christian Bookstores are starting to label some books in their repetoire with the phrase “Read With Discernment.”  Now, I am not a big Lifeway Books fan basically because they carry a lot of shall we say “bad” books.  Meaning, unbiblical.  So, when I read this little tidbit about them labeling books with this “Read With Discernment” phrase, I was intrigued.  Low and behold, the authors that are labeled with this phrase are none other than Rob Bell, Brian McClaren, and Donald Miller.  Go figure, right?  Praise God!  If Lifeway Books, who sell study bibles by Joyce Meyers (!!!), are putting the “Read With Discernment” phrase on these emergent guys, doesn’t that say something?

Here’s the link to WHY they’re doing this.

wow.

Hard at work.

My favorite pic of the week:

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We didn’t teach him this, really.

Ezra:  “Mommy, you’re my favorite, best girl!”

Me:  “Aw, thanks Ez!  Why did you say that?”

Ezra:  “You’re my favorite, best girl because when you growed up, you’re gonna be a man.”

Growing the next generation of chauvinists right here in MD.

Plenty.

So, I just finished another book to add to my New Years Resolution list.  Yes, its taken me awhile to finish this book…but wifely duties and a good bout of the stomach flu will thwart anyones good intentions to read.  Anywho, the book is called “Plenty… One man, One Woman and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally” by Alisa Smith & J.B. MacKinnon.  Disclaimer:  I am already half obsessed with food and wanting to make all different kinds of foods organic, sustainable and local (though my living situation and budget do not allow it at this time!), so I might be a little biased.

Basically it’s a book about this couple who decide to eat only things that are locally cultivated within 100 miles of their Vancouver, BC home because of varying factors that I need not go into now.  Its very well written, humorous at times, inspiring (to those food types who are prone to question foods origins etc), and not preachy.  Very environmental-hippie-but-not-wanting-to-be-hippie kind of book.  I must say that it can be a little arduous  to get through some of the geographic explanations and histories at times, but I think part of that is because I know nothing about Canada or the Pacific Northwest in general.  The second half of the book was a fly-through.  I also liked how even though it talks some about evolution, that it gave me more of a sense of the beauty of God’s creation and provision for us.  Anyway, there you have it.  Recommended.

Why we love the age of 3.

Ezra:  “What’s that sound?”

Grammom:  “What sound?  The clock?”

Ezra:  “The clock?  Yeah, the clock.  But the hands aren’t moving.”

Grammom:  “Well, the hands move very slowly, it’s hard to see”

Ezra:  “Whats that other sound?”

Grammom:  “Uh, I don’t know.  Gilligan maybe?” (the dog)

Ezra:  “No,  not Gilligan….I think it’s the sound machine in my brains.”

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Comes with the Season

A Child and his/her puke. I hate it. Cant stand it. Keely’s puke wasn’t too bad, real watery, not much substance. Lila’s puke was a little worse, mainly formula and baby cereal, but she only hurled a couple times. Ezra however, his body really gets into it. All the food from the past week is apparently still in there and wanting splash on the floor.
It’s just that season I guess.

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