Sunday, May 30, 2010

great pics!

One of my new favorite things about my kids hanging out with their aunt Holly...  I get some great pictures of them! Aunt Holly has an AWESOME camera (plus a really good eye!!) and I have to admit by saying I'm pretty excited when I know my kids will be with her long enough for her to pull it out and grab some snap shots :)  Here are a few recent ones of Austin boy...  Thanks Holly!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

a borrowed post

In the last 11 days I have found I have no words for what life has shown me. Though my family itself is healthy and fine, we have watched our friends endure any parent's worst nightmare. Never have I seen faithful followers stay focused on Jesus the way I have recently.  A precious sweet little boy was lost on this earth, but he has shown life to so many in just a short 22 months of being here. His parents have shown great faith... the kind you wonder if it really exists.  Now I truly know. It has been pouring out of them from the moment this happened. Jesus created us to love Him and love one another.  No other Truth can set us free today.  I am borrowing this post below from a great on-line ministry I belong to, Proverbs 31 ministries.  I hope they don't mind.  I just found their devotions to be so fitting this last week.  I know it is long, but please take a few minutes to read below. The abundance of faithfulness I have witnessed recently has taught me so much about living a life for Jesus and with one another. Greater things are yet to be done...

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32 (NIV)
Whatever we are facing in this moment we can choose to grab on to the truth. Let everything else go. Let go of the anxiety, fear, uncertainty, and frustration. Park our mind with what is true. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).

What truth can do for us is really amazing.

A few weekends ago I was wrapping up at a conference where I'd been speaking. My friend Beth and I were talking about where the team would be meeting for dinner that night. Suddenly, a very frantic arena staff member came over and told us there was an emergency and we were needed right away.

A lady attending the conference had just been told her two grandchildren had been killed in a fire that day.

We rushed over to find a lady surrounded by her friends. She was sobbing to the point she could hardly breathe. She'd just been with her grandbabies ages 8 and 4. They'd spent spring break with her last week. She'd held them, rocked them, stroked their hair, and kissed them all over their faces. How could they be gone?

It was too much for her brain to process.

The EMT stepped aside so we could hold her hands and pray over her. At first I stumbled my way through requests for Jesus to pour His most tender mercies into this situation. I prayed for comfort and the reassurance that these children were being held by Jesus in this moment.

It was so hard. My mommy heart ached so deeply for this woman. My eyes welled up with tears refusing to stay contained.

As Beth took her turn to pray I noticed something miraculous. Every time we said, "Jesus" her body calmed, her crying slowed, her breathing stopped sounding so panicked.

So, when it was my turn to pray again I just said His name over and over and over. This sweet grandmother joined me, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."

As we said "Jesus" over and over, truth flooded my mind.

I remembered what I'd written in last week's devotion about fearing death... Death is only a temporary separation. We will be reunited again.

I remembered this truth from 2 Samuel 12... When David's infant child died, David confidently said, "I will go to him, but he will not return to me" (v. 23b). David knew he would see his child again- not just a nameless, faceless soul without an identity, but his very child. He would know him, hold him, kiss him, and the separation death caused would be over.

The only thing that seemed to calm my devastated sister was the name of Jesus and His truth.

What a powerful reminder to us all.

Hold on to His Word, sweet sister. Speak His truth and the name of Jesus out loud in the midst of whatever you are facing today. Our souls were formed to recognize and respond to the calm assurance of Jesus and truth.

Never has this been clearer to me.

Please pray for my friend and her family.

And remember in the midst of whatever you face today...

We can choose to grab on to the truth. Let everything else go. Park our mind with what is true. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free," (John 8:32).

Dear Lord, I lift up my friend and her family today. I also lift up my mind, and ask You to help me remember to speak Your Name and Your truth in any situation I'm in that seems overwhelming- little things and big things. Truly my soul was formed to recognize and respond to the calm assurance of truth. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

hair-cut time!

Having boys I figured out a long time ago that I needed to teach myself to cut their hair or pay about $1700 over the coarse of 18 years just on 1 boys haircuts!! I can think of about 50 better ways to spend that money!  When Jaxon was about two I started to gain some confidence in taking on this task myself.  Thankfully, he has pretty basic hair... no colics, curls, or fineness to worry about. A little buzzing here and there and his is easy to maintain.  
Then I had Austin.  This kid has my hair and lots of it.  His fine, thick, and very straight hair would apear easy to trim, but there is a fine line between too short for him and too long.  If I cut too short it sticks straight up! Everywhere!  If it goes too long, he sweats along his hair line all summer long. So... every so often I call the neighbor guy :)  AKA our good buddy, Jacob!  He is not a professional, but like many of his other rare talents, he has mastered trimming hair amongst them.  Austin actually sits still the best for Jacob and he does such a good job I can maintain it for about 6 mnths before we need to make the call again. Whew, thank you Jacob!  Now.... to decide where to spend that extra $1700 in about 15 years......   :-) 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I love these crazy kids!

I know some people think my kids are crazy, but I have to say I love them that way!  While I want them to behave, be polite, and respectful just like any other parent wants for their kids... I also want them to be themselves.  Anyone who knows my husband knows my kids don't fall very far from the tree :)  When I met my husband I was so attracted to his enthusiasm for every little thing he did. He loved life, always had something to say or do, was a busy body, and made anything we did fun.  I was never bored or not entertained when with him.  Sigh... while this does wear me out some days, I'd be lying if i said I didn't like it that my boys take after their dad. They are crazy and fun and keep me on my toes. But, we have a ton of fun together. They make me a better person and mom. I just love these crazy kids I get to call my own!!!

An attempt for a "mother & sons" picture on Mother's Day resulted in this...  a little document of my wonderful crazy two boys!

Monday, May 10, 2010

how cute are they?

May 2nd is a popular date at our house! We celebrate FOUR family birthdays on this day!!  Dave's dad Cal, our nephew Curren, my brother's wife Katie, and now our newest niece...Alyvia! (Katie's new daughter and herself share a birthday!!)  While we were at our house celebrating with Curren and Cal we got a phone call that Alyvia had arrived. What a festive day for her to make an appearance.  We are happy she is here and can't wait to get to know her as she grows. Welcome baby Alyvia Marie!!! 8 lbs 12 oz and tons of hair! Isn't she so cute?

And speaking of cute...  could my three toddler's be any cuter these days???  I get to stay home with my baby boy AND spend my days with these two adorable tots! We have some fun times you can see.  I rarely get a pose of all three looking at me. One of them is usually making the other one's laugh! Seriously, how cute are they?



Sunday, May 2, 2010

Love Cedar Valley

Last weekend was Love Cedar Valley in the, well, where else... Cedar Valley! 
Check out this web link for more info...

The last 5-6 years we've been able to be a part of this day each spring.  Each year we do something different and I love the mission behind this day.  I also love this day because 3 years ago I found out I was pregnant with Austin the morning of Love Cedar Valley.  After a lot of loop holes jumped through to get pregnant, that day will always stand out to me.  Each Love Cedar Valley since then just brings me full circle again to the love I felt from receiving such a gift of my own. 
The idea behind LCV is to show acts of love and kindness to anyone and everyone.  Random acts of kindness that show people we care and offers some positive light into this world.  Tons of area churches come together to share this event and I love the community that is created so freely amongst people of different backgrounds, cultures, denominations, ages, and stages in life.  It is a great event!  This year we decided to have some college students join us to decorate cookies and then pass them out downtown Waterloo. It was really neat to spend that time together and give back to our community.  
We ended our day at one of the Fire Stations and they were so kind to us!  The kids were with us and we got our personal tour of the entire fire house and trucks. It was pretty cool.  The best end to this event was having a chance to worship with an AWESOME variety of musicians and music. It was really sweet and warmed my heart to see so many people reach out, share talents, and glorify God.  If you haven't participated in this event watch for it next year! We'd love to serve with you!!