Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sights of Christmas at the Suemnicht Home

Well, it is the day before Christmas Eve Day. You know what that means? COFFEE CAKE DAY!!!
Tyson's family has a tradition. I don't know how long it has been around, but every Christmas Eve the whole family would gather at Grandma's house after the Christmas Eve Church service. They would always have the same meal every year and exchange gifts and play cards and just enjoy being together. Then, at the end of the night, Grandma would send everyone home with a homemade coffee cake to have on Christmas Morning.
Many years ago, she decided that the family was too big and it was too difficult for her to make that many coffee cakes for Christmas in addition to everything else she had to do to get ready. We all understood, but were sad at the thought of the loss of this special and delicious  tradition. 
So, Tyson and I asked her to teach us how to make them so that we could carry on the tradition for her. She is such an amazing woman! Her husband died when he was 33 and leaving her to raise their 4 children on her own. She did an amazing job! I respect and admire her in so many ways and for so many reasons. It is such a joy and honor to have this tradition to carry on for her. 
It is a bit of work making all these coffee days, but I look forward to it and have so much fun. The years I was pregnant were the hardest years to get them, done, but I think we've only had to miss one year.  Anyway, here are some sights of coffee cake day in our kitchen...wish I could share the smell!! It is heavenly. 
Maybe someday I can do a Coffee Cake Tutorial :-) so that my brother and sister who currently live out of state can and can't always get home for Christmas Day will still be able to make their own coffee cakes. As you can see, my kitchen is JUST the right size for this undertaking. :)

 It takes every bit of counter space. We still have to make the sugar glaze to spread over the struessel...that is Tyson's job when all the cakes are cooked and cooled.
Wish I had one to share for every one of you!

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

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sights of Christmas at the Suemnicht Home

Hanging on our coat closet door...because there is no where else to hang them :) are the stockings. This is the first year that I plan to actually fill the stockings. I don't know why I haven't, but now just seems right. I made these. I made the top two one of the first years we were married. I just made the bottom two in the last couple weeks. The star is for Lucy, our light. The tree is for Judah,our praise. The candy canes are for Mayme, our treasure. The ornaments are for Selah, our rest. I'm not going to explain them anymore than that. It makes sense to me. I don't know if it will make sense to others, but I don't want to ruin it by trying to stretch and elaborate. :-) Anyway, they are fun. Oh, yes, and that is Lucy's Nutcracker. She has always wanted one and we found this one on sale at the fabric store...I couldn't resist letting her get it. 

We have the simple Willow Tree Nativity set. I love nativities. I wish I had more places to set them up...maybe as the kids get older, I'll safely be able to start a little collection. :)
Oh, and please ignore the upside down doll in the background. Grandpa fixed Lucy's broken doll and set her there to dry...and I was in such a hurry to take some pictures while the kids were busy playing
 that I neglected to move it first. :-)

This is a new addition to our Christmas decorations this year. It is called a Jesse tree. We are very behind on it, but that is ok. I still plan to catch up and finish it. I've wanted to do something for Advent season for years with the kids, but never find something and always fail to start on time. This year, I happened to find this little "Jesse Tree" Devotional information...the day before it started! I was so excited. I don't know all the details of what a Jesse tree is because this is our first year and I just jumped right into it, but basically what we are doing is touching on main stories in the Bible starting in Genesis and leading up to Christ. I don't really use the suggested devotional readings, just the suggested scripture readings, and the picture ornaments that we color together and hang from our branch.

Isaiah 11:1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; 
   from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 

So, that night or the next day, when we started doing our Jesse Tree, I ran outside for a few minutes to find some sort of branch because it was suggested it should be used to display our "ornaments". Thankfully, it hadn't snowed yet and I was able to find branch. Then I gathered some other dried grasses and flower heads from the yard. I also cut a piece off the Christmas Tree :) and used a red ribbon to tie it all together. I hung it above our piano and prayed that Tyson wouldn't mind. He is the one with the eye for decorating in our family. :-) I can decorate...his eye for it is just better than mine. Thankfully though he's taught me a lot and I've listened because when he came home, he was so excited and really liked my addition. Yeah! He would have been supportive of it though even if he didn't really care for it too. He's so sweet and would have understood the meaning and value of it as we go through this time of Advent with our children.

Well, that's all for now. More to come soon!
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Sights of Christmas at the Suemnicht Home

I finally have a little bit of time to continue sharing how we are preparing our hearts for Christmas. you enter our home, the next thing you'll notice is our tree. These aren't the best photos, but I tried. I love our Christmas tree. We wanted it to be simple and to remind us of why we celebrate Christmas. Tyson and I made this star out of lights, beads, and wire one of the first years we were together....because I surprised him with a huge tree in his apartment.
On our tree, we have simple burlap ribbon, wooden red beaded garland (that I found at Menards one year for very cheap), white crocheted snowflakes (which I made one year...before kids :-), and applesauce/cinnamon ornaments. I love these ornaments! They are so simple. We cut them out using shapes that remind us of Christmas too...a star, a cross, angels, trees, people. Hopefully the meanings behind those shapes are obvious to you, but as we put them up, it gives us a chance to talk with the kids and remind us all of what Christmas is all about...Christ coming to this earth ultimately to die on the cross for each of us. There is a little boy or girl ornament to represent each one of us in the family.

Jude wanted Daddy to put his cross ornament at the highest spot is just below our star at the top of the tree.

Oh yes, there are a few little silk poinsettia flowers too. That was Lucy's contribution one year. I had them scattered around the house and she thought they should be on the tree. :-)
I love seeing other families' trees too. There is something so magical and wonderful about a Christmas tree. It warms our hearts and stills our bodies. It draws us in and invites us to slow down and reflect and enjoy Christ and family. What does your tree look like?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sights of Christmas at the Suemnicht Home

Hold on to your britches! I went around the house and took pictures finally! :-) I have a lot of them to I'm going to do it gradually over a few days. Most of our time has been filled with the Buzz in Bethlehem, but in some of our free time, the children and I (and Tyson when he can) have taken time together to focus our hearts and eyes and minds and souls on Christmas...and the anticipation of the birth of our Savior. So, come on in and take a look...
The first sight you'll see as you approach and enter our home are the paper snowflakes hanging on the windows. This is something that we started doing a couple years ago. The kids do a few. I did some (that I copied patterns from off the internet :-) And...yes...Tyson lets out a LOT of creativity. Aren't they amazing! Well, maybe not as amazing as God's snowflakes, but pretty good for a human. We so enjoy the feeling of being inside a "snow globe". :-) It is such a magical feeling that brings the awe and wonder of winter alive in a new way. Theses are some of Tyson's creations. The last one however, the kids and I was a simpler project for them to help with as far as cutting and taping goes.


Come back again soon for more of the tour! :-)
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Multitude Monday

It has been a long Monday preceded by a long weekend. I'm tired and a bit worn. Today has been a bit of a struggle. You know how it is when life is chaotic and busy and you finally have some chance to return to "normal" but don't know where to start and feel like you are losing control of it all. That was kind of like my day. I know some of you have been experiencing that more severely than me in recent days/months. Anyway, to try to feel like I was in control (haha) I wanted so desperately to get the house spotless. However, I have a houseful of little ones who NEED attention and structure and discipline and sympathy. It was a battle of will (well, and maybe the two year old's too) against my wishes. It was a long day, but God's love is long, his mercy is new, his grace is great, He is good. I'm thankful that He gently leads those with young (231). I'm thankful that He answers prayers for wisdom (232). I'm thankful that He makes all things new (233). I'm so thankful for the growing relationship He is giving me with Lucy. She really wanted to play with her tea set today. I really wanted to let her, but the table was full of supper dishes, the sink full of dirty dishes, and the dishwasher full of (thankfully) clean dishes  (234). Mayme was in the tub (cleaning up after another potty training accident) and Selah was wanting to be held. I explained to Lucy my dilemma and why she couldn't play with the tea set right then. She said, "Oh, well, I can unload the dishwasher for you Mom!" So, I let her. She helped me put all the dishes away (235). Maybe it is time to make this one of her regular chores. :-) (with Mommy's supervision of course) Anyway, the sink is empty (236), the counter is mostly cleared (237), the table is cleaned off from the messy tea party (238), the children are in bed (239), the room is still and quiet glowing with the lights from the Christmas tree (240). Lucy's long time longed for Nutcracker (which we found on sale at a store last week) is standing guard next to me. :-) And, though it was a long, trying day, my heart is filled with thankfulness...this is the song the Lord put in my heart today, even though I could only remember the first line :) it helped keep me on track (241). Thank you Lord! Oh yes, one more thing: Selah had her 4 month check-up today and she is a healthy baby! She jumped (in 2 months time) from 25th percentile in weight to the 90th percentile! She's a whopping 16 pounds and 8 ounces! It feels like it too. Is she going to take after Lucy? Thank you Lord for a healthy baby! (242)

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who bore my pain;
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again;
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness
And clothed me in His light
And wrote His law of righteousness
With pow’r upon my heart.
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside;
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
And causes fears to fly;
Whose ev’ry promise is enough
For ev’ry step I take,
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace.
My heart is filled with thankfulness
To him who reigns above,
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace,
Whose ev’ry thought is love.
For ev’ry day I have on earth
Is given by the King;
So I will give my life, my all,
To love and follow him.
My Heart Is Filled with Thankfulness
Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music

Join the gratitude community here

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 2 (for me anyway) Behind the Scenes at the Buzz

Here is what some of "my" finished work looks like- I put the costumes together
and then wrap all their headpieces each night.

Well, today was my second day of "work" on set for the Buzz in Bethlehem. I had four kids with me! A six year old eager to help with whatever we would let her do. She attached herself to some of the kind gentlemen working today. A four year old boy, who got to follow Daddy around. A two year old...who is potty training...who especially loved playing with the nails, screws, long sticks, drumsticks (we don't know where she found those), bathroom soap, bathroom, and saw dust! She kept us busy, but still, she was good. And a 4 month old! They did great! Then we had to hop in the van and head to Madison to run a last minute errand for Daddy who needed more fabric to complete some of the set. So, I ended up at JoAnn's Fabric Store with 4 kids. Thank goodness that Lucy is tall enough to push their carts! We had fun and again, they were great! God is faithful and His grace is amazing!

So, I have "my" (the) costumes all put together and ready to go...except for 3 capes which I need to put gromets in tomorrow morning. A couple things need to be ironed, but I'm ready to go otherwise.

Like I said yesterday, Tyson reminded me of how sweet it is to trust in Jesus. That was the hymn that we memorized this term for home school. I said to Tyson yesterday morning when we were both just feeling flustered and overwhelmed (well, me more than him), "How are we going to get this done!" Because we seemed to be short on time and hands. His answer was, "I don't know, but in the end we're going to be saying 'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus'!" That statement of faith was just what I needed. It was so neat how God has worked through that reminder (and many prayers) to strengthen my faith and change my attitude. I'm so excited to finish the coming weeks of the Buzz with faith and joy! It is a time that I get to minister not only to all who come to see the show, but to the cast and crew too.

Well, I better get back to Selah...she is begging to be held and stared at after a long day of patiently and contently waiting on Mommy and siblings.

Thanks for all your prayers! keep them coming though because the enemy is hard at work.

God Bless You!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Multitude Monday

219. Christmas Trees twinkling softly ornamented with reminders of God's Good Gift to the world.
220. Old and New Traditions
221. a successful completion of our first homeschool term for the year.
222. opportunities to serve and minister to others even if they keep us dreadfully busy at times.
223. anticipation of the first snowfall.
224. the innocence of a child's thoughts
225. a husband who gently reminds me of how sweet it is to trust in Jesus.
226. Mom's Chex Mix and Wassail (hot apple cider)
227. Precious restful moments spent with family and friends
228. the joy of preparing and making a gift for someone
229. the time to work on those gifts (which I haven't had much of lately...but it will come)
230. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!

Hello friends! Well the week is here! It is Buzz in Bethlehem time! We're in full swing Buzz mode and schedule! I'm excited, but also feeling the stress and strain this brings on our family and schedule...and we haven't even gotten to rehearsals yet! :-) The truth is, it will probably get easier when we do get to rehearsals! Then I won't be able to get anxious about everything. I hope to find some time though to post a few things that we've been working on. I don't have pictures though...that is the part that usually holds me back. I always want to put pictures with my posts. So, hopefully in a couple days, I'll get those pictures taken (and loaded onto my computer!) and put a couple posts out. In the mean time, I trying to make the most of every moment with the kids and keep up with laundry, dishes and meals. I hope that you are all doing well. I pray that you also are preparing your hearts for Christmas (like I am trying to do) no matter what your schedule looks like. We don't have to miss the gift just because we are busy. It can still be treasured. God Bless You.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lessons from Childhood

So recently Lucy had two loose teeth. She surprised herself and pulled one out Sunday morning. I tried to talk her into pulling out the other tooth that night because it too was dreadfully loose. She refused!

The next day during breakfast, she kept crying because every time she took a bite, her food would hit that loose tooth and make it painful. Tearful bite after tearful bite...we were quickly growing frustrated. We knew the best thing would be to just pull the tooth, but she kept refusing. Finally, we attempted one last time to calmly explain to her why we felt she should try to pull her tooth. At last, she conceded.

I led her to the bathroom and got some toilet paper for her to grasp it with. It came out with no effort at all. She looked into the paper with utter shock. Could it really have come out just like that? She couldn't believe it. Relief. We then enjoyed a wonderful breakfast together.

Why is it that we often refuse to turn from the sin that entangles us for fear of the pain it may cause? Christ has already won the victory for us. I know it isn't always as easy as pulling out a tooth that is ready to fall out by itself, but still, you see my point (I hope). I know in my life, there are sins that I cling too because I fear. There are so many things that are toxic to me and my family that I just won't let go. Lord, help me to trust you. Help me to walk in your victory and give you glory. Consecrate me. Make me wholly yours. It hurts to be shaped and molded, but this is what I want Lord. I want to glorify you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Multitude Monday

192. Freshly laundered, cut, folded fabric pieces waiting to be sewn into wonderful gifts
193. Sewing Machine
194. Prayer
195. The ability to learn and understand
196. Lights
197. Warm blankets
198. Cinnamon
199. Healing natural medicines that Mother can sneak into her child's applesauce or yogurt.
200. The joyful sounds the children make when Daddy comes home
201. The sound of spraying water in the washer
202. The hum of the dryer
203. Clean warm towels
204. Fun mugs to drink from (thank you...)
205. Surprise "just because" presents from dear friends (Thank you .... & .......)
206. The way that a gift giving can bless the giver and the receiver
207. Young minds exploding with creativity and ideas that they just have to try out
208. Nutella
209. The way that our God can redeem the time
210. Rediscovering an old love (like a book, movie, hobby, Jesus)
211. The sound of a house full of sleeping children
212. The feel of wooden knitting needles working soft yarn
213. A husband who knows the name of a plant only because it is the name of a guitar too :) or some other instrument
214. Heated mattress pad
215. Safe birth/arrival of a friend's new baby girl
216. Homemade applesauce
217. Alarm clocks
218. Bedtime

Join the gratitude community here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Multitude Monday on Tuesday

Before I begin, here is a quick note: I've started a new page to my blog called "Homeschool". This is obviously where I will post anything about our homeschooling adventures. I don't think you will get notices when I add things to this page, so check it out from time to time if you are interested in seeing what we are learning and doing. 

191. Our Sweet Selah

               I wonder what we will do when our home is no longer filled by the blessings that a sweet little baby brings to it?! I am so thankful for babies...right now, this baby, Selah. She is such a good baby! Let me share a bit about her:
                        Baby Grins: Selah is such a smiley baby! She has the cutest smile too. It is amazing how her little smile that stretches as wide as her chubby cheeks will permit, can make everything stop. It doesn't matter where you are or what you are doing when you catch her smiling at you, everything stops. You stand there and smile back absorbing every little second of that splendid little smile. That smile is magical too. It doesn't matter what kind of mood you are in, it will put you in a better one when it appears. There have been many times where I have been grumpy, sad, upset, etc, and I've walked by her almost completely absorbed in myself, and out of the corner of my eye I happen to see her sweetly gazing and smiling directly at me. I melt. She makes everything worth it, everything better, everything easier. Everything else just fades away, and my spirit is ministered to, my soul revived by that magical little smile.
                         Baby Giggles: She hasn't started giggling yet, but I'm waiting and watching in sweet anticipation every hour for that first little laugh. I make a fool of myself right now trying to get her to laugh...mostly I startle her and then she smiles and coos at me. :) When she starts laughing though, I can guarantee that the rest of us will be looking and sounding very silly trying to do whatever we can to make her giggle. I still remember very clearly the first time that Lucy laughed. She was 3 months old and I had no idea that a baby so little could laugh so much. Uncle Dan was visiting and I don't think he knew he could be so silly. He made her laugh and laugh and laugh!
                          Baby Gas: I bet you are laughing now. Let me share a funny Selah story. We were at my cousins wedding last weekend. We sat in the last row so that hopefully the kids wouldn't be a distraction and if they were, we could make a quick exit. I kept my eyes glued on the older ones. Selah sat quietly in her car seat, sweet as can be, until they came...those little baby gas bubbles that can be startlingly  LOUD as they echo through the diaper and the car seat. That was Selah. The young, childless couple in front of me didn't know what to think. I could hardly keep in my laughter as I watched them look back and forth at each other as inconspicuously as possible as if to say, "Can you believe that! Who would do that now. I can't believe how loud that was." Someday they'll understand.

I know that you all could probably say the same sweet things about your own babies. They are such a joy and such a blessing. It is amazing how someone who is so small, so helpless, often times so demanding can bring so much joy and meaning to your life. I am so thankful that God thought to give us babies. I am so thankful for  Selah.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Breakfast in Bed, Mary Cassatt
If this post is too long for you to read, just skip down and read the last paragraph. Sorry, I tried to not write too much because who has time to read long posts like this.  Just don't miss the quote at the bottom. :)  Heather

Frustration has set in. I know how a two year old feels when she wants something but doesn't have the words to express herself. I want to write. I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head but have the hardest time getting them to flow correctly on "paper". Suddenly, however, I feel the desire to write growing, so I'm going to try. Perhaps this is the moment of inspiration.

Where to begin? Too many choices. I'll just begin with this thought and hope it makes sense.

Recently, I heard a pastor on the radio speaking basically about being "intentional" when it comes to turning from our sins. I don't remember who he was or everything he said, but what I do remember was how he explained that we make lists and plans for so many things like going to the grocery store, ordering product online, gift purchases, daily tasks, etc. I am a list maker myself, so this caught my attention. We make lists and plan out our steps for these "trivial" things, however, when it comes to something big, like trying to change a bad habit or a sin of ours, we often don't think about it beyond the small superficial prayer that we offer up. This of course isn't always true, but often it is. I know this is true for me in many areas of my life. Let me go further.

After I had Mayme, about 6 months after I had her, I found myself, well, I suppose you could say in a state of depression almost. I don't know what technically qualifies for depression, but I certainly was struggling. I would have sudden outbursts of anger toward my children and even towards Tyson. I had a VERY hard time controlling myself. These times came in waves I began to see with my hormones fluctuating. I knew that something needed to change or I was going to become destructive. I seriously was going to call my doctor and ask for medication to help control these waves I was feeling. I understood completely how and why that medication is necessary at times for certain people and looked on them in a new light of understanding and sympathy. Sometimes, that kind of help IS necessary. After praying more in that moment of frustration while I sat on our stairway trying to calm myself down, I felt the Lord nudging me and telling me to try to exercise first. Part of the reason I was so frustrated was because I hadn't lost any weight since my two week check-up. I also knew that exercising can have a big impact on your overall well being...emotions, hormones, etc. So, probably the next day, I started working out and determined to stick with it. It helped tremendously! I immediately began to feel better and little by little things came under control.

Needless to say, with Selah's arrival I've been waiting for this to return and determined to NOT let it take over as it did before. I've been watching and praying and hoping and wishing and purposing in my heart. While, I'm not anywhere close to where I was before, I have been having some problems. I think though this time it is more normal. I have only been able to gently exercise randomly. That will come with time I know.

Last week though I noticed more struggles surfacing. I don't want you to think that I yell at my kids all the time in private because I know rarely do you hear me yell in public, and if I did you would argue with me and say it isn't yelling (because I'm pretty sure I used to tell my mom that that tone of voice I was speaking with wasn't yelling. :-). Anyway, the anger and frustration behind it, in my eyes, makes it yelling. I have this struggle that most moms have, I think, where we don't address the "issue" properly when it should be addressed. We try all these quick fixes or just ignore it completely because either we are busy or lazy or selfishly don't want to stop what we are doing to take care of things. Yes, this happens to me too. Then my frustration and anger are allowed to build and build until I can't take it any more. Then, most of the time, I don't handle the situation correctly. Some of the time I do though and the results are glorious.

Yesterday, I sat down to create my list, my plan for tackling this problem. Not as easy as it sounds. I know that changing these attitudes and wrong behaviors that have been established in us over time, isn't always as easy as flipping on a switch. It also isn't something that we can do by ourselves. Anyway, I attempted to write down what I was struggling with and the consequences that action produced. Then, I tried to start finding some helpful verses for my struggle, hoping that as I prayerfully did this the Lord would lead me to some revelation. Time interrupted, time to stop, time to shower and get on with the "schedule", so I put my things away and moved on eagerly awaiting more study time tomorrow (which is today).

The morning began and after all that time thinking about my struggle, what did I do, but fall headfirst into it again! I failed miserably. Of course I knew I would still struggle and fail. I have a goal though that I'm running towards. I share this all partly for accountability, partly to gain your prayers, partly to encourage others struggling with the same things. We are not alone. We have a great high priest who understands our weaknesses, that we are but dust, and who intercedes for us. Think about that! Jesus at this very moment is praying to God the Father on your behalf! Wow! I don't think about that enough. I think that may be one reason we struggle so much: we are so busy thinking about our BIG problems that we make God so SMALL. It should be the other way around. When we make God BIG (or really just attempt to see Him as He really is) our problems become so SMALL. Things get put into proper focus. Our worship is directed towards God and not our issues. We become people of praise and thanksgiving rather than...the opposite.

That is who I want to be. That is what I want to do. I failed, but I'm getting back up and trying again. One thing I'm learning is how to fail and get up again. We often feel hopeless when we fail, but really failing can be a blessing in disguise. In the same way, being caught in sin is a blessing because it gives us an opportunity to repent and know God's grace. I read this last night in the book that I'm currently reading, "Jim White wrote recently, 'One of the devil's key strategies is to convince a Christian that God has no future for failures. The truth of the matter is, failure is sometimes the very experience that enables God to later use us and still get all the glory.' Properly viewed, weakness can be wonderful."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Multitude Monday

165. Soup simmering on the stove
166. Crunching leaves
167. Intense fall colors
168. Cool nights
169. Band-aids
170. Food for my family
171. Freshly baked cookies to surprise Daddy
172. Forgiveness
173. Chances for repentance
174. The Word: For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
175. Failure
176. Growth
177. New hope
178. Accomplishments, both big and small
179. Knitting projects
180. The feel of bamboo knitting needles working in soft yarn
181. The ability to make homemade gifts for loved ones. 
182. Memories of baby's diaper leaking all over you at church when neither of you has an extra change of clothes
184. Blankets to cover the previously mentioned messes...(you would think I would have learned by now to never leave home without extra clothes for at least the baby. :-)
185. Baby monitors
186. Baths
187. Fingernail clippers
188. Cuddly pajamas
189. Story time
190. Children who love to pray and even fight over who gets to pray first

What are you thankful for? Can you list ten things? Once you get started, it is hard to stop! 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Multitude Monday

152- Our new bookshelf!! Which I enjoyed filling with our books...there's still a lot of room for more too. 
153. Our group of eager learners on our "first" day of school. 

154. Experiments with Daddy inspired by imaginations of the young and young at heart.

155. Homemade boats

156. Lessons learned and a chance to revisit the drawing board in days to come...but still lots of fun. 

157. Feet (mine are missing, so don't get too confused trying to do the math :-)

158. Thumbs

159. Bigger sisters (Mayme) who will always make sure you have a baby to sleep with.

160. Ballerinas in boots

161. Big brothers

162. Golf Cart rides with Grandpa

163. Rocks!!
164. Doing laundry (more to come on this later, so stay tuned).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Now is the time...

You can barely see the puddle here, but we took a moment to enjoy it.
When we were done, the puddle was completely splashed away.
Go figure, the only puddle on the block was in front of our house. :)
God knew just where to put it. 

Now is the time to get things done...
     wade in the water, 
     sit in the sun, 
     squish my toes
     in the mud by the door, 
explore the world in a boy just four. 

Now is the time to study books, 
     how a cloud looks;
     to ponder "up,"
     where God sleeps nights, 
why mosquitos take such big bites.

Later there'll be time
     to sew and clean, 
     paint the hall
     that soft new green, 
     to make new drapes, 
     refinish the floor--
Later on...when he's not just four.
                        Irene Foster           
                        "Time is of the Essence"

Monday, September 20, 2010

Multitude Monday

2 large eggs
2 Tbs. ground coffee
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
1 bar chopped Ghiradelli Bittersweet Baking Bar

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Alpha and Omega

So, I had a neat thought a few weeks ago while lying in bed at night. I finally have a chance to write it out, so here it is:

God has always existed. He has no beginning and no end. He is and was and always will be. He also knows all things. He's had "the end" planned out since before it even began. Right?!

He knew me (and you) before I was even born. Before I was even created or formed, I was a thought in His mind. He had the details of who I would be and all of my life planned in His mind. Right?!

So, isn't it neat to think that we have ALWAYS existed as a dear thought and precious plan in God's mind?! Not because we are great but because God is great and He chose us and wanted us for His glory. 

Wow! Isn't that a neat thought! God loves you. He always has and always will! He is Great!

Selah at 6 weeks old

Psalm 139 (New International Version)

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
 1 O LORD, you have searched me
       and you know me.
 2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
       you perceive my thoughts from afar.

 3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
       you are familiar with all my ways.

 4 Before a word is on my tongue
       you know it completely, O LORD.

 5 You hem me in—behind and before;
       you have laid your hand upon me.

 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
       too lofty for me to attain.

 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
       Where can I flee from your presence?

 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
       if I make my bed in the depths, 
[a] you are there.
 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
       if I settle on the far side of the sea,

 10 even there your hand will guide me,
       your right hand will hold me fast.

 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
       and the light become night around me,"

 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
       the night will shine like the day,
       for darkness is as light to you.

 13 For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother's womb.

 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

 15 My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be.

 17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
       How vast is the sum of them!

 18 Were I to count them,
       they would outnumber the grains of sand. 

       When I awake,
       I am still with you.

 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
       Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

 20 They speak of you with evil intent;
       your adversaries misuse your name.

 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
       and abhor those who rise up against you?

 22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
       I count them my enemies.

 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
       test me and know my anxious thoughts.

 24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
       and lead me in the way everlasting.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is always difficult, since we think them happier than they are."
     -Charles-Louis de Secondant, baron de La Brede et de Montesquieu

Why I share so openly...

Lucy, age 4, sharing her thoughts with someone :)

Some of you may wonder why I share so many details of my life, especially the hard ones that we often want to hide from the sight of those around us. Let me share my reason why with you. :-)

I always try to be open and honest with others, especially about my own shortcomings and struggles, my sins. James 5:16 tells us to "confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another that you may be healed." I don't feel like this is a legalistic commandment for us. However, I have found that the time when I have confessed sins and struggles of mine to Tyson or a trusted friend, I find tremendous freedom and healing take place in my heart. It is not because at that point of confession to another person my sins are forgiven, for the Bible tells us that Jesus' blood alone has the power to cleanse us and forgive us of our sins, and that we can be assured that when we confess our sins to Him and ask for His forgiveness, He will forgive us as far as the east is from the west. Perhaps it is the act of humbling myself, admitting that I am not perfect and allowing another person to pray for me and help me in my weakness that brings such release and freedom. Whatever it is, sharing in this way brings healing to my heart.

I've also seen how much another person can be encouraged by hearing about my struggles. Let's face it, we all struggle! Sometimes, however, we feel like we must be the only person on the world going through a particular struggle. All my years in MOPS listening to and working with other Mothers of Preschoolers, has taught me that none of us is alone. I'm amazed at how many moms/women feel like they are the only one who are struggling with an issue, when in reality there is always some other family/mother/woman who will or has struggled with that same issue at some point in their lives. I LOVE being able to encourage another person by sharing my struggles and shortcomings and sins!! That's all there is to it. I know it encourages me to hear from others that are facing struggles like mine. In the same way, I hope to be an encouragement to as many around me as possible, even if it means I have to share a side of my life that normally we would lock up in a closet in fragile hope that even the Lord wouldn't see it. He does see and know all things. Yet, He loves us and wants desperately for us to turn to him for help and forgiveness, for comfort and strength, for abundant life and satisfaction, for peace and healing.

I hope that I never sacrifice discretion for myself or my family in my sharing, but I hope that my honesty and (hopefully) humility will be an encouragement to you in your times of joy and your times of sorrow and weakness.

God Bless You friend.