Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Double Digits, Little Man!!

Our baby is now ten.

Excuse me while I go have a tearful mom moment.

Okay, I'm back.

I'm thrilled that Little Man is growing and learning and maturing as he should, but there is a part of me that knows I will miss having kids in the single digits.  For so long I couldn't imagine NOT having children that young, and I woke up this morning and found that none of them were anymore.   It's cool but kinda weird too.

We started celebrating his birthday a couple days early when we took two friends to see the third Hobbit movie!  It was enjoyed by the boys and declared "awesome."

His requested birthday dinner was mac and cheese and jello.

Art kit from his oldest sis!

Minecraft play figures from his brothers.

Lego play book from his WA grandparents.

Oh wow....could this really be.....

the Minecraft "diamond" sword and battle ax????  Cool!

Happy, happy birthday to the fun, delightful, sweet, lovable, smart, and tender-hearted youngest son God blessed us with!  We love you!

Friday, December 19, 2014


I have had one of the hardest weeks of my life this week.

It's Friday and I am so glad to have made it to today, by God's grace.

He is so faithful.

I have much to learn about parenting a child with depression.  But I am thankful for all that God has taught me so far, and for just BEING with me as I struggle, and learn, and soldier on.  Our girl has had such a difficult fall and at times her grief has very nearly overwhelmed her.  In an attempt to not feel it to the point of being overwhelmed, she masks her grief and pain in anger.  And because I am in authority over her, am a safe person who has shown her unconditional love, and mostly because I'm here, that anger is nearly always directed at me.

It is a hard, hard thing to endure, even when I cognitively understand it.

And it is made even harder by the fact that the other children take up offenses for me.  At times the needs of various children appear to be at exact polar opposites, and meeting the needs of one can seem to have the effect of harming another.

BUT GOD.....

God can take what appears to be emotional harm and transform it into something else.  Something beautiful.  My mama's heart aches for my children who are in the midst of transformation.  I'm sure the butterfly isn't comfortable just before it breaks out of its crysallis, either.  But when God gives me glimpses of what He is accomplishing in my children's lives, it is absolutely amazing.

Please pray for our girl to let us comfort her.  Pray that she will trust completely in who God is.  Pray for daily strength and wisdom and grace for us as her parents.  And praise God with me that He is who He says He is, and He does what He has promised to do!

Go Navy, Beat Army!!!!

This and the Super Bowl are the only two times during the year when it's a football day for the whole family! :)  (though a couple are missing from this pic)  We were a tiny bit happy for Army that it wasn't a blow out, but VERY happy that Navy won again!

Gingerbread House Decorating

One of daughter G's oldest friends has had a really cool Christmas tradition that her mom started with her when she was four years old ~ they invited a few friends over and decorated gingerbread houses together!  The host mom provided the houses and all the friends brought candy and food to decorate the houses with.  Daughter G was invited to join this tradition when she was 6.  Other friends have come and gone from these parties, but daughter G is the "longest running" friend, at 12 years!  It has been such a fun thing for the daughters and the moms through the years.  This year daughter G decided to go with an Oz theme.

The friends with their finished houses.

I loved this even has a carport (with car!) and a balcony!

Loved this one, too!

Such beautiful girls.  All of them homeschooled, and nearly all of them seniors this year!  We joked about how for the host daughter's wedding shower some day, the girls should get together and decorate houses!

So thankful for fun and meaningful traditions.

Monday, December 8, 2014

We have tree!

Our "count down to Christmas" has begun!  

It is mind blowing to me that this is the last year our daughter G will be a "child" participating in our Christmas traditions and routines.  Of course, I hope she will be present in our home for many more Christmases, but it will feel different when she is out of high school.  A little bittersweet, but mostly sweet.

In the black and white picture behind son L, he is the toddler on the far left.  That was 12 years ago.  A lot of life lived since then.....I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

Singing while decorating!

This is a new one in our home....the teen brothers proving their manhood by showing their armpit hair to their sisters.

Who has more? 

Never a dull moment!

Giving Thanks

So very much to be thankful for....


 dramatic, flamboyant sons who like to photo bomb ;)
 good food, a warm house
 the ability to create
 the gift of laughter

 new friends
 a new game (Spot It - a big hit!)

surprise 16th birthday parties

 the birthday niece!

young friends
 "old" friends

 cheap gas! (Kroger fuel points at work)
 And most of all....

A Savior who made me, loves me, and is not far off.  Amen!