Wednesday, August 19, 2015

new blog

moved the blog over here

thanks for all the love and support, people. xoxo

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

the uncommon core

as we wrap up our school year, i look at our unfinished math books and remaining spelling lessons and i can’t help but ask myself, “did we learn anything this year?”

it has obviously been the hardest season of my life. i think back to late august and of all the ideas I had for the school year… all the field trips and unit studies and planned projects we never began.

that was a lifetime ago. and this year ended up being far from ideal.

but sometimes, we don’t get ideal.

because sometimes your little brother dies unexpectedly on a sunday morning in september. and some days, your mom can barely breathe, let alone drill math facts or diagram sentences. and sometimes you don’t get to learn state history from an organized textbook. and unfortunately, you maybe won’t get to complete all the fun geography projects or science experiments your mom planned out in the lazy days of summer, back before unexpected tragedy hit us like a freight train and changed our perceived ideal into a much different and harsh reality.

and yet, in spite of the unmet expectations, i can see how God was with us every painful moment. and i can see that we learned.

sometime in the haze of late fall, my sister gave me the best advice (she often does). she told me of a homeschooling mom, going through a difficult season, who decided she would spend the year reading aloud to her kids and how she saw incredible benefits from doing so.

so… read aloud i did.

there were many days, and still are, when there isn’t a chance I’m getting out of my sweats or even brushing my hair. and so, we are often found gathered in our living room, with our blankies, coloring books, legos, or knitting… and I am reading. literary classics, missionary biographies, historical fiction…

i don't think i've opened a history textbook in the last 7 months. but i've journeyed with my children through the pages of the biographies of some amazing people...

we've lived through the legacy of corrie ten boom and imagined the courage and bravery it takes to hide the hunted in your home and face the fear of encroaching evil in WW2 europe. we traveled in a cattle car and cringed over the flea ridden beds and inhumane conditions of concentration camps. and mostly, we were struck by a woman's commitment to be thankful no matter her circumstances and her testimony in the epitome of despair brought hundreds of fellow captives into the knowledge of a gracious savior. and then, we learned about forgiveness. how corrie could watch her family members be tortured and killed and then ultimately forgive the very people who did it. what we learned, was the power of an almighty God at work in the willing hearts of his people.

we learned about the doolittle raid and horror of Japanese POW camps. again, the atrocities committed here made the contrast of forgiveness all the more powerful.

snuggled in our blankets on the couch, we read about other missionaries. and remote tribes of south america. and for a nice change from the standard history stories, we read how foreigners went to tribes without a desire to conquer and dominate or even control with superiority, but love and serve. and we saw how people groups were transformed for the better. how they stopped killing and started thriving.

we enjoyed thrilling accounts of sir francis drake and william wallace. we learned about courage and integrity and bravery.

and we experienced many magical adventures. we traveled all through narnia and middle earth and experienced true literature and the beauty of the written word. we enjoyed great symbolism and observed powerful depictions of the subtleties and deceptiveness of evil. and the courage and beauty of good. and we soaked in the beautiful allegory of heaven and tried to imagine through tears the inconceivable brilliance Mason is enjoying at this very moment.

we read God’s word. every year, i try to find some sort of bible curriculum, or devotional guide that will keep the interest of my kids and that we can enjoy as a family. after mason died, i just opened up my bible to matthew and started reading aloud from chapter 1. and my kids LOVE it. we spend our mornings reading the word of God and we'll talk about what it would be like to spend time with Jesus and how impulsive peter is and how funny james and john are and then we fight back a little jealousy as we realize that mason is hanging out with these very men right now. and we had a little laugh when we pictured mason meeting the man who hung on the cross next to Jesus and imagined him saying, “woah, dude. that was a close one…”

this year has taught me that i don't need to figure out the best way to make the word of God appealing to my kids. this is the work of the Holy Spirit and these last months I have learned his unfathomable power over and over again.

and while we didn't study the geography of our great state in a textbook, we journeyed in a motorhome for 11 days, a beautiful gift to us in honor of mason and his obsession of motorhomes, and we explored california. we saw the majesty of Yosemite and stood in the mist of the tallest waterfall in the United States. we experienced the diversity and beauty of san francisco, the breathtaking splendor of big sur and serenity of the central coast.

and while i still feel i failed greatly at my responsibility of educating my 4th grader, i overheard my shy daughter, who prefers to never talk to people, asking the librarian if he could show her where the books on california's history are found. and she came home with a large stack that i find her reading in the early morning or long after her brothers are asleep for the night. and i am reminded that the Lord answers prayer because my early request in our homeschooling adventure was that my children would develop a desire to learn. a desire to always obtain information is far more important than the need to check off a list of things to learn every year that may or may not ever be retained. at the end of our homeschooling years, i pray not that my kids know everything there is to know but that they desire to always continue learning, seek answers, and obtain wisdom.

sure, we missed many things on the state standard checklist, but I believe we checked off some pretty significant things that can’t be measured…

we learned the importance of community. because it takes a village to educate your child. and we couldn't have made it through this year without an amazing classical conversations family who taught my kids the states and capitals and the periodic table of elements and encouraged them through grammar and writing skills. because most days, i don't wanna leave my house. and even if i was physically in the room with everyone, my mind was preoccupied with the fact that in that same building is an empty seat that was once filled with my rambunctious little six year old and truthfully, the reality of that is so incredibly painful. so in the many moments i couldn't function, there were loving, amazing moms around me who poured into me and poured into my kids and redeemed a year that at times felt shattered and impossible.

we learned how to love people. how to come alongside hurting and suffering people and just love them... because so many people did that for us. meals, trips, unexpected packages, goodie bags on the front porch… we learned that nothing could bring our brother back but a gift card in the mail for baskin robbins can sure put a smile on our face for the night. and that after a rough Christmas eve service where your mom has to leave because she’s crying too hard when we start singing the song that she and mason screamed for fun every night at bedtime, we can come home to a house that was mysteriously filled with gifts in our absence. filled! and we are reminded we aren’t alone and sometimes God brings comfort in the form of santa.

we have learned that there is no escaping pain, but there is also no escaping God's love. he has been so, so good to us. he has never failed us. we are not promised a life of ease or free from suffering. and boy, have we felt the pain. but we've also seen the hope.

we have glimpsed the world beyond ourselves. and while we are broken over the little boy that our family is missing, we are made aware of those broken little boys missing a family and we pray with hope for the home being established in honor of mason for the orphans of india. and through tears we thank Jesus for making beauty out of our hideous ashes.

and maybe, years from now, my kids will look back at this time they spent with me every day, and realize they learned other things too. that sometimes, you just have to fake it. that sometimes, you don’t want to go anywhere or talk to anyone. that going to yet another end of the year ceremony is so difficult you feel physically ill. but you just have to, so you put on a smile and take a deep breath to force the tears down deep, and you just go. and you can be thrilled for your children's accomplishments and so proud of how they weathered the storm this year and completed awana books and school projects all while at the same time feeling a rumbling crushing earthquake in your soul as you watch mason's class get their awards. and he’s not there. you can smile for honest joy at the accomplishments and at the same time you want to weep and crumble under the pain of this nightmare that never ends.
but along with learning to fake it, I hope they also learned that its ok to say no. they watched their mom say no to many, many things this year. sometimes for their sake, sometimes for her own sake. and its ok to not be at every church event or socialize with every wonderful person who asks. and its ok to skip family gatherings because sometimes, it’s just too hard to show up as a family of 5. and the weight of the hurt of every other family member who is still processing the sudden death of mason is just too much to pile on an already fragile heart.

i hope my kids will realize someday that bravery isn’t found only in the stories of warriors and missionaries and people who do the profound that makes the headlines and fills the history books. Sometimes, your greatest acts of courage in life can be getting out of bed in the morning and facing another day without your son. washing the breakfast dishes and folding the laundry and trying to keep life as normal as possible for your kids... hugging a crying child and not knowing any answers to the whys… and doing it day after day demands more courage than you ever thought possible. and it takes more bravery than any person has on her own.

bravery isn’t not being afraid. bravery is doing what you fear, moving forward when you don’t want to. trusting God and knowing he will provide the strength to take your next breath.

so ultimately, I pray that my kids have learned that we really can do nothing on our own. that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. and that our only hope in this life, and especially eternity, is in him.

we learned that there aren’t answers to every question. and that our many “whys?” asked through tears and deep pain may only be answered when the world has been redeemed and Jesus himself wipes every tear from our eye and takes away all the pain in our heart. we learned we can hope for this day with certainty.

my kids haven't just learned. they have experienced. and that is more valuable than common core or ivy league acceptance or a lifetime of comfort and ease and straight A's. my children have learned, i hope, wisdom to navigate the fire of life. and I pray, that above all else, they have truly experienced a God who will never fail them.

so, this year has been far from ideal. but ideal keeps us comfortable. it has an element of self reliance in it. when I can rely on my pinterest page, or my own skills, predictability, or my own perceived wisdom, I’m much less likely to cry out in desperation for the strength that comes only from a Creator who loves me.

this year was a lot of crying out.

and it was also a lot of answering.

we learned that we’ll never have enough strength for the suffering of this life, but we have a God who gives abundantly and loves extravagantly and his grace is sufficient for us. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

only a glimpse

i woke up this morning acutely aware of where i was exactly 4 months ago.

four months ago, i was watching mason’s final moments on this earth. i heard the terrifying words “no pulse” and watched with horror as my son began to receive chest compressions. he was already on a ventilator and surrounded by nurses and doctors giving him meds, checking his vitals and helping him fight for his life.

at 7:13 am he entered eternity. i see that day through my eyes, a heartbroken hurting mother who looks back at the course of only a few precious hours and still wonders with shock, “wait… what happened?”

i finished reading The Last Battle with my kids this week. the final adventure in narnia ends with narnia itself ending and heaven beginning.

my poor kids had to, yet again, sit through the discomfort of their mother sobbing as I read the beauty and the glorious depiction of the perfection of heaven. (they are more than slightly used to my tears, but still…)

"'isn't it wonderful?' said lucy. 'have you noticed one can't feel afraid, even if one wants to? try it.'"

at one point there was a description of fruit. and after trying and trying to explain how amazing it is, the author simply says, “if you had once eaten that fruit, all the nicest things in this world would taste like medicines after it. but i can’t describe it. you can’t find out what it is like unless you can get to that country and taste it for yourself.”

with tears filling my eyes I said to my kids, “imagine how great it is for mason today. imagine the delight!”

repeatedly, the newcomers to aslan’s country (heaven) are told to come “further up! further in!” but… how can you rush so quickly through the perfection and glory and beautiful detail of heaven? in fact, even as they try, they can run faster than ever imagined, never running out of breath, never running out of wonder and happiness to absorb.

today, mason is going further up and further in. exploring, enjoying, laughing.

i wouldn’t want him to come back to this earth. don’t get me wrong, i never, ever, ever would have chosen him to go in the first place. i do want him here. i ache for him. but now that he has seen Jesus, now that he as experienced true perfection, why would i make him suffer through this existence?

the chronicles of narnia have been a beautiful comfort these last months. while the reality of heaven is so far beyond our simple comprehension, c.s. lewis does a beautiful job creating a picture, a glimpse, a thought, of something spectacular.

and in narnia, death is never the ending. not for those who love aslan. its only the beginning!

griffin woke this morning at 6:44, yelling for daddy, disoriented after a night of sleep. i went in to get him and was met immediately with the question, “sun up?”

griffin has an obsession with day and night. everything revolves around “sun up.” he’ll ask for something at night… a snack, a trip to the park, a movie… and if the answer is no, he’ll respond with, “sun up?” which means, “can I have it tomorrow when the sun is up again?”

(the other night I was putting him to bed and he asked, “go pool?” um, its january and freezing (or the equivalent of freezing in southern california). “no, we can’t go swimming.” his response was, “sun-up?” there is always the hope the answer will be different tomorrow.)

and if its “sun up,” it means he can get out of bed… a new day of hope and endless possibilities. i took him to the kitchen to look out the window, to show him “sun up” and saw the beginnings of the most glorious sunrise. the sky was bright red. glowing. the clouds varying in different degrees of crimson. even griffin lifted his head from my shoulder and breathed a surprised, “wow!”

we watched the sky for a moment and i looked at the clock. 6:47. at this moment 4 months ago i was watching a big, strong man doing chest compressions on my sweet, tiny boy. No pulse, no ability to breathe on his own. i was holding my own breath at each 2 minute break in compressions when they’d check yet again for a non-existent pulse and then yet another person would resume compressions for yet another 2 minutes.

i can still feel that room. i can see the worried glances of nurses in my direction. i can hear my husband whispering desperate prayers to God. i can hear the calmness of the doctor calling out orders. i can see the paramedic who transported us… with sirens wailing, sailing through red lights… standing in the hall, still next to his stretcher, wiping tears from his eyes.

i can easily see all these things. i live this moment over and over. but when I looked back from the clock to the beautiful radiant sky, i heard God tell me, “only a glimpse.”

this sunrise, this beauty and glory, is only a glimpse of what mason is seeing right now. while i see that hospital room as an ending, it really was a beginning. a beginning of such perfection and delight that i simply can’t even begin to imagine.

“But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” 
–CS Lewis, The Last Battle

Thursday, December 11, 2014

c.s. lewis has a way with words

i recently finished reading "the voyage of the dawn treader" with my kids. 

even before mason's death, i have been known to shed some tears at the symbolisms, the beauty captured in the character of aslan. a lion... a powerful, allegorical depiction of a sovereign, strong God who stops and cares and saves and takes time to reveal himself to children.

this time was no exception. 

in the last chapter (spoiler alert!), i'm reading about reepicheep, my most favorite talking mouse ever. he's brave and adventuresome, and with sword always in hand, never shirks from fighting for what is right, even though he is mere inches in height. 

someone is needed to be left behind at the worlds end, in order to save others.

"go into the utter east and never return into this world?" reepicheep responds. "that is my heart's desire."

what is so powerful to me is reepicheep's eagerness to reach the end of the world and not return. he knows aslan's country awaits him. he isn't doing this out of bravery or even sacrifice. he is excited! he knows that a world with aslan is better than anything else.

as they near the very end, reepicheep says, "'this is where i go on alone.'... then he took off his sword, 'i shall need this no more,' he said, and flung it far away across the lilied sea."

a brave warrior mouse leaving behind a sword he is never without? this means only one thing...

there is nothing to fear!

nothing to fear because he knows aslan.

"then he bade them good-bye, trying to be sad for their sakes, but he was quivering with happiness."

quivering with happiness!!!

this is how we can leave with this world when we truly know what awaits us in the next. when we truly understand the love and power of salvation of our aslan.

"safe? course he isn’t safe. but he’s good. he’s the King, i tell you.” 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


my inbox is filling up again. with texts and emails... from amazing people who love me and hurt with me and want to hold me up when i feel myself falling apart.

and i hardly have the energy to read them, let alone respond. (so if you are one of my friends i'm neglecting, don't take it personally.) (i haven't even called my own mother)

a dear, dear friend, who has experienced grief no person should bear, recently said to me, "i wish there was something... anything... i could say or do to make it better. but the truth of the matter is, this is not what we were created for. our hearts weren't meant to grieve this kind of loss. it wasn't a part of His design."

this is one of the most comforting things that someone has said to me. comforting in the sense that it's ok to recognize that there really isn't anything comforting anyone can say. its just painful. it just is. and no one can fix it.

the emotions are overwhelming. and exhausting. sometimes i feel like my brain shuts itself off from thinking and processing and just maintains. its moments like this that i am incapable of making a decision. or sweeping my kitchen floor. or completing a math lesson. (its moments like these my kids pounce on the chance to have halloween candy for breakfast or watch tv instead of complete schoolwork.) (i actually admire my savvy little opportunists. this quality will get them far in life.)

its moments like these that thoughts of responding to friends asking for coffee dates or offering to clean my house or watch my kids or thanking people for amazingly thoughtful gifts are not remotely close to the forefront of my mind. my thoughts consist of, "Jesus, help me."

every day i have a choice. the only decision i'm able to make some days is the choice between emotion and truth. i can dwell on the pain. its everywhere. it rushes into my reality the second i open my eyes in the morning. i feel it in my heart. it's deep in my bones. i can crumble and cry and just hurt. 

or i can focus on truth. 

every day, every morning, i open my bible. every day i soak in God's truth. he will never leave me. he will never forsake me. he will give peace. he is compassionate. he will wipe every tear from my eye. he is sovereign. he is good. he is God.

it doesn't always make the pain go away, but it takes my focus off of it.

God is good. regardless of my emotions, this truth will never change. God is good. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

one month ago...

one month ago today, i lost my son.

that was actually quite a hard sentence to type. i've been sitting at the computer many times over the last few weeks, wanting to blog but not knowing how to make the transition...

my last entry, a couple years ago, was all about mason. how does one go from a frazzled, sarcastic, sleep deprived, overwhelmed mother of 4 who laments the woes of homeschooling and laughs about the naughtiness of her children... to a mother of 3 who can't quite seem to function with that missing number?

the world stopped in many ways one month ago today. i was overwhelmed (in a wonderful way) at how many people shut down their lives to grieve with us. we were flooded with love... meals, groceries, cards, flowers... essentials for life like chocolate and toilet paper. we would just start to think about something we needed, and it would show up at our doorstep (not kidding). God met us so completely in the midst of our heartbreak. it was beautiful and our friends and church family along with our own extended grieving family, loved us and responded immediately to us.

and in many ways, it feels now like the world around me, and many people around me, have kept moving on. this is a good thing. this is a natural thing. (it was weird those first weeks to look at news for the first time and be genuinely surprised that there were headlines. like, surely everything had stopped. i mean, my child is dead. how can we still have crises like ebola and ISIS?) 

and while i know that the lives of people close to me have been profoundly changed forever along with ours, i still feel like life keeps moving and i'm stuck.

lost somewhere between what was once wonderful and beautiful and carefree (though at the time i thought i was overwhelmed and exhausted) and...

well, between that and not knowing how to find a new normal. 

and truthfully, not really wanting to.

i miss you, mason.

Monday, November 12, 2012


i feel guilty.

there was a time in my life that you completely overwhelmed every waking (and sleeping) moment i had with your screaming and high maintenance-ness.

those times i often turned to the blog to process.

or complain. whatever.

it was cheaper and much more convenient than therapy.

but now you have outgrown all of that and are actually quite a hilarious, funny, delightful, little boy.

and i'm just too overwhelmed with everything else these days to sit down and write about it.

so i'm sorry. someday you may look back at this blog to see what your childhood was like. (since your search for a baby book laying around the house will be futile.)

(don't judge. you were my 3rd child. and we moved. and then homeschooled. and then had another baby. and then mommy went to live at that psychiatric hospital...)

so anyhow, here is my attempt at redeeming your childhood.

because you are pretty much awesome.

for real.

you have recently renamed yourself moose.

and you are dead serious. you correct anyone who calls you mason.

the nerve.

you introduce yourself as moose with no shame whatsoever. you put your hands up as moose ears to your head when you pray, when you worship at church, for pictures... and pretty much just whenever you darn well please.
(this is your 4th birthday. never mind that i started working on this blog post long before this huge event and your birthday itself deserved its own post.)

when you first saw griffin at the hospital, you leaned in real close and whispered, "me moose. you baby moose." i knew it was love if you were sharing your sacred title.

your intelligence level impresses me. 
fortunately, for the sake of my own pride, i can take absolutely no credit in this. as i spend zero time each day actually attempting to educate you. sorry. but you figure things out on your own. such as the first 17 presidents, the books of the bible and random biology tidbits such as the fact that your lungs are filled with tiny air sacs.
(note to parents: don't underestimate the educational value of letting your children climb on your kitchen counter and play with water. it fosters creativity and creates geniuses.) (at least that's what i tell myself when i haven't the time to prepare a science lesson.)

you are obsessed with cars and legos, cereal and yogurt (and poop and behinds but never mind that...).

its funny to me that you will randomly declare you are tired some evenings or even afternoons and will just head on into your bed and put yourself right to sleep. i mean... what???? if anyone would have told me the first year of your life that this would be happening i would have laughed in their face.

or cried... and screamed, "don't tease me!"

it's super sweet how after i get griffin to sleep and lay him down in the room you two share, i sometimes turn to see you still awake on your bed with a big ol' grin and you whisper real quiet, "tell me a God story?" our snuggle times at night are some of my favorites.

but one of my favorite theological discussions transpired just the other night when we discussed heaven. and how you only get there by knowing Jesus. and other cool tidbits about heaven which you translated in your head and passed on to others, such as, "and then you walk around on top of your piggy banks! and you can just pick up pennies and put dem in your pocket!" and then i saw you laying on your tummy in the hallway trying to talk under the bathroom door and i hear, "but bennett! there are even all deez monster trucks and you don't even have to pay for dem!"

oh to be four...

your sheer honesty, when not completely frustrating, is actually kinda funny. like when dinner isn't up to your standards and you refuse to eat it and we insist and then you look at us completely serious and declare, "but me frow up!"

the way you demand stuff all the time as if the world completely revolves around you is really annoying (and a little bit funny)

i love that you need "gasoline" for your chapped lips...

and the way you brought me your plate after lunch and said, "fanks, mom" and then saluted me...

and your laugh. how it lights up your whole face and comes from down deep in your belly...

and then how you kinda sigh when you are finished laughing and say to yourself, "me so funny..."

i love how you completely love your family...
(ella, this was your eighth birthday. it was super fun and you loved it.) 

and how you wear your cowboy boots EVERYWHERE. everywhere.

the truth is, i could go on forever about how much joy you bring to this world. 

but this blog entry has spanned the last 10 months of interrupted computer time and is beginning to turn into a dissertation. and its currently 4:38 and i haven't heard from you in the past 45 minutes so i'm wondering what kind of mess awaits me and i also have no idea what i'm gonna cook for dinner and am slightly curious as to what ella and bennett are doing with griffin in their bedroom. so, this brings me to the end. for now.

i love you, moose. so much.

and so i conclude with my favorite prayer of yours:

"dear Jesus, thank you for me. amen."

Friday, September 28, 2012

life is good

still here. still wiping bottoms and reviewing vowel sounds and incessantly reminding my children to close the back door and wash their hands and to SHUSH!cuzifyouwakethatbabyi'llgiveyou500spankings!

school is in full swing. i've got a 2nd grader, official kindergartner, a would be preschooler if i ever got around to doing actual fun preschooly things (but i just found out the other day he has the first 15 presidents memorized so there's that...) and a 9 month old who hates to miss out on the fun so he'd rather not waste much of his day napping.

and they still wear clothes that need to be washed one million times a week and still actually need to eat. every day! sheesh. life is crazy. 

and its incredibly good. i feel like God is teaching me a lot this year. in the words of my dear friend lisa, a lot about "self-death" and the wonderful reward in being filled by Him daily and making the most of the opportunities to love my kids.

(even if it means fewer opportunities to blog and be a decent friend that returns phone calls...)

and while we've had many fun events happening in our life such as camping (not me! are you crazy? like i'd camp with a baby...) and beach outings and a super special visit from my amazing sister and her equally amazing family and many other fun memories... i'll just leave you with the pictures from tonight. 

i'm glad i have a husband who is actually fun and has energy and is excited to do fun things like take a picnic to the beach and roast s'mores under a full moon.

and if this guy were food i'd eat him up! i know i'm biased, but... come on. seriously!

btw, did you know how much energy little boys have? 

well, times that by 3. and then you won't need to ask me why i have dark circles under my eyes and i walk around in a daze.
 little dude CAN NOT get enough of the sand. he loves it. 

does it get any better than this?

Monday, July 23, 2012

joy. contentment. patience.

i'm not gonna lie. life's been a tad overwhelming for me as of late.

hmmm... can't imagine why.

this whole having 4 kids thing is crazy. and despite my best efforts to the contrary, my calendar just keeps getting filled up.

somedays i'm ok with craziness and kids running through the kitchen dripping wet from sprinklers and water gun fights.

but other days i fear the mess of my house will bury us all.

and i know, i know... there's a season for cleaning, a season for home cooked meals served on pristine platters, a season for sleeping, a season for responding to emails and returning phone calls, a season for blogging....

many wonderful, encouraging women have told me, "don't worry about your house. just soak up the time with your kids."

i agree.


people. when i lament the disaster of my home, its not anxiousness about alphabetizing the spice rack or organizing sock drawers. i'm worried about the possibility of mold growing on my kitchen counters.

for real.

alas, last week was my birthday. and there is something freeing about birthdays. while i don't want any wild party or extravagant gifts (unless of course you wanna buy me a housekeeper) i thoroughly enjoy a day to be completely guilt free. 

what dishes?

laundry? ha. 

homeschool prep for next year? not today. 

calories? as if!

responsibilities do not exist. 


i even did something wild and crazy.

i learned to surf.

(dont be fooled. i am not cool. me = poser) 

(however, my good friend on the right is. for real. but she's gracious enough to still be my friend anyway.)

so kat (cool friend) and her equally cool husband taught me to surf. and while you will not see me in any competitions (or another skin tight wetsuit) in the near future, i might just mention that i did indeed catch my very first wave on my very first try.

all due to chet. and his cheering wife. kat.

i love my friends. 

(and i didn't even get eaten by sharks. my biggest fear.) 

kat also called me today just to say, "how can i pray for you?"

she does this often. and i know she really does pray. and it means the world to me.

my answer is often the same. 

joy. contentment. patience.

in reality, i don't wish that my life to be any different than it is. (i mean, i would like to be skinny... but what woman who has birthed 4 children wouldn't?!? come on...)

i just want joy in the chaos. contentment in the overwhelmingness. and patience through the frustrating and long afternoons.

(oh, and to really be that cool friend who encourages others half as much as kat does me)

"... for a happy heart, life is a continual feast." proverbs 15:15

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

check this out

so yeah, i've neglected the blog for quite some time. been a bit busy around here. but had to share this video of our little buddy owen (mason's bff). guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

(and it's ok to wish you were as cool as a 2 year old)

Monday, April 16, 2012

sunday evening outing

hi there! yep, i'm alive over here. buried under piles of laundry, unfinished art projects and a sink full of dirty dishes. i have numerous blog posts started yet never finished and even more formulated in my head... inspired by such things as fruit smoothies being smeared all over the back window, anthony's son throwing mud balls at passing cars and me not knowing until some irate lady stopped to inform me, and being covered in spit up at 3 am and being too tired to change or even care.

life is good around here. but incredibly busy and i rarely have a spare moment when both of my hands are free.

yet last night, i decided to shake off my old stick-in-the-mudness and actually join my family on a sunday evening outing instead of seeing it as i usually do... a golden opportunity to sit in a quiet house and stare at the wall.

we had a super fun hike. "hike" being a very generous description of the trail on which we meandered.

the kids loved it and kept exclaiming "this is the best place EVER!"

gotta love nights like that.

there were sticks to throw and stumps to climb.

and even a bee tree!
which is super fun since we had just learned about them. (i recommend patricia polacco's the bee tree to you homeschoolers out there. and then you can come visit and see a real live bee tree for yourself! ahem angie) not that this picture is all that great or anything but it wasn't as if i was actually going to get up close and unleash a flurry of bees on myself.

we even met a horse.

ella is in love.

she proceeded to talk to me about how much fun it would be to have a horse. and how she would just love to take riding lessons.

yeah, well, i'd really love a nap but we don't get everything we want around here.

this one has become super camera shy.

which is a shame since he's so darn cute.

well, they all are.

and why does mason look like this whenever i ask him to smile?

do we still wonder why i wanted a girl?

oh well. i'll keep him.

and now i leave you with me and my little lovebug:

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

a day in the life of a sleep deprived homeschooling mother of a newborn

i have the greatest husband in the world. every morning he feeds the kids, cleans the kitchen, goes to work. comes home for lunch where he does dishes and cleans the kitchen again. throws the boys around a bit and fills the role of "fun parent." comes home at the end of the day and makes dinner. cleans the kitchen. brushes kids teeth (the job i detest the most in all the world). prays with them and puts them to bed.

this leaves me to do what exactly?

i'm not real sure.

but i'll tell you what i don't do... shower, sleep, clean the house, iron (oh wait, i've never done that), return phone calls, blog... and yet, each day feels extremely full and goes way too fast and leaves me completely exhausted.

so basically here is a rundown of my day:

stumble out of bed with a crying baby and hear such things as "me eat." "mom, what is my schoolwork for today?" "mom, can we go somewhere today?" "me watch movie!"

change diaper. remind kids about such things as getting dressed and cleaning up their rooms.

feed baby while trying to also feed myself.

cry when anthony leaves for work.

feed mason again.

get griffin to sleep. leave him in baby swing in the kitchen since this is the room where i spend most of my day. that way i can stick the pacifier back in his mouth when he wakes up.

feed mason.

remind kids again about cleaning their room and getting dressed.

be thankful that they have yet to notice the irony that this rule apparently does not apply to me.

feed griffin. remind myself to brush my teeth when finished.


change diaper.

feed mason.

make coffee.

wipe rear ends. wipe kitchen counters.

make snacks.

start schoolwork.

feed griffin.

change diaper.

threaten kids to not wake up griffin, asleep in the kitchen.

attempt more schoolwork.

feed griffin.

feed mason.

it's lunch already? i still haven't brushed my teeth.

make kids clean up the schoolwork we never finished in order to make them a lunch they'll most likely complain about and i'll respond that if they don't show some more appreciation they'll have to eat mud cakes like the poor kids in haiti but it doesn't really change anything because we all know i'll never actually do that.

rejoice because daddy's home for his lunch break. and he doesn't even point out that i'm still in my pajamas.

take a moment to walk around in a daze and wonder what i should do first... brush my teeth, get dressed, wash my face, make my bed, plan a history lesson, wash a load of laundry... instead, i check facebook.

feed griffin.

impatiently attempt phonics instruction and yet give up and send my kids outside to play so i can get griffin to sleep.

make more coffee. my dear friend kat reassures me its ok because drinking coffee helps my sanctification. (this is her godly way of reminding me its ok to drink coffee all day so i don't turn into a raging psycho of a mother. i'm wondering if the same principle applies to tequila shots.)

get mason another snack.

change diaper.


feed griffin.

brush my teeth.

finally get a few minutes of schoolwork done. and then let the kids watch youtube videos of snakes eating alligators so the lessons of reptiles will forever stick in their heads.

feed mason.
(seriously this kid eats all day long)

threaten the children to not wake griffin, who is asleep again in the completely logical location of the middle of the kitchen while they run back in forth in their swimsuits into the frigid backyard, shooting water guns at each other.

change diaper.

feed griffin.

change myself. finally. since i have baby poop and spit up all over me.

feed mason.


rejoice because anthony is home for the duration of the evening.

do such things as eat dinner, feed griffin, clean up the house, tell my kids 1 million times to put on their pajamas and clean up and wonder why they have given up minding me and then watch them cower in fear when their dad tells them just once to do the exact things i've been asking of them forever.

read stories like George Mueller to my kids and remind myself that prayer is a powerful thing and God will do amazing things when we have the faith. pray my kids grasp this concept and other powerful spiritual lessons in spite of the fact that their own mother can't get it together enough to teach them a consistent bible study each day.

clock out at 8 pm. bedtime. hallelujah. i love you, you are a blessing and treasure from God. good night and don't come out of your room unless its on fire.

contemplate working out. bake brownies instead.

prepare for another unproductive day of homeschooling where we never get done everything we should be doing.

go to bed. wake up to mason's nightmares. feed griffin. change griffin. feed griffin. change griffin.


and repeat.

(ps i totally love my life and although its crazy right now, i wouldn't rather be doing anything else.)

(well, except for sleeping of course.)