Our Journey Home

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It sounded like a good idea at the time...

About a week ago, we had some really hot weather! The girls love to be outside and they wanted to play in their swimming pool. The three of us climbed into the storage space beneath our house to look for their pool. When we found it, I realized it was way too big for me to blow up all by myself. We had a few empty tubs in the storage space and the girls begged me to allow them to 'swim' in the tubs instead of the inflatable pool. It sounded like a good idea at the time- it was a win-win situation! The girls would get to swim and mommy wouldn't pass out from a lack of oxygen! wink! However, we failed to consider one little detail. The water from the hose would be VERY cold! Here are some funny pictures of the girls attempting to enjoy their chilly adventure!

"Bear with eachother and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."- Colossians 3:13

Monday, April 25, 2011

It wasn't the nails...

Our wonderful daddy wasn't home tonight for our bedtime routine, and it's never the same without him! I have to admit... I was really tired while I was putting the girls to bed. We had a busy weekend- a sweet visit from Papa and Nana, an Easter egg hunt, and church activities-so today we worked hard to get back into our daily schedule. I knew Emma Grace and Bella were exhausted; I considered skipping our 'regular' bedtime routine, but we pressed on. And I'm SO glad that we did. Even though I was pooped, the Lord really blessed that extra ten minutes with our precious girls. It's ALWAYS worth it when we take the time to share God's word and truth with our children.

It just so happens that are reading about the crucifixion in our Jesus Storybook Bible. We have been talking about Jesus' death on the cross and His ressurection almost daily during this Easter season. Even though the girls know this story, they were hanging on every word. I watched their little faces as I read about the Roman soldiers that whipped, beat, and spit on Jesus. Emma Grace was heartbroken when we read about the crown made of sharp thorns, and Bella was so sad that nails were driven into Jesus' hands and feet. But then, I read something that really caught their attention...

"Father, forgive them," Jesus gasped. "They don't understand what they're doing."

"You say you've come to rescue us!" people shouted. "But you can't even rescue yourself!"

But they were wrong. Jesus could have rescued himself. A legion of angels would have flown to his side- if he'd called.

"If you were really the Son of God, you could just climb down off that cross!" they said.

And of course they were right. Jesus could have just climbed down. Actually, he could have just said a word and made it all stop. Like when he healed that little girl. And stilled the storm. And fed 5,000 people. But Jesus stayed. You see, they didn't understand. It wasn't the nails that kept Jesus there. It was love.

Jesus could have stopped it all... but He loved us too much. We have read the Easter story many times but we have never discussed this aspect. We had a wonderful discussion about Jesus' love for us, and His choice to give His life to rescue us. Reading this beautiful, true love story certainly humbled me and my 'sacrifice' to take the time to read aloud and have a eternally meaningful converstion with our girls, rather than just put them straight to bed so I could rest after a long day. After this time with our girls, I felt refreshed and encouraged. His perfect love teaches me how to love others.

"The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all the tears from all the faces."- Isaiah 25:8

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Fusebeads

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,"-Romans 12:12

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Embarassing Moment

The Lord has been blessing us and providing abundantly for some beautiful changes in our home. We just finished our bedroom (we traded our master bedroom for the girl's old room) and we love it! The girls love their new big bedroom, which they will also share with J.J., and we love our cozy smaller bedroom. We are currently working on our office and living room. All this to say, after my doctor's appointment today, we stopped at Michaels to do a little shopping. Spring flowers are 50% off! We needed to pick up a few more tulips for an arrangement and when I went to pay, I totally went blank when it was time to type in my pin number. I made two failed attempts at entering my pin number and I could feel my checks turning pink! I had to show my driver's license before the clerk would allow me to run my card as a credit card. I think this pregnancy is sucking out what is left of my brain cells! wink! Below are a few pictures of our new bedroom. This room used to be cotton candy pink and filled with princess decor!

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourself."- Phillipians 2: 3

Hippity, hoppity

On Saturday, we went to the Easter egg hunt at our local library with some of our dear friends. (We made it back home before the tornado weather arrived! It was especially dark for mid-afternoon but I just thought a strong thunderstorm was looming.) Due to the stormy weather, the egg hunt was moved indoors. The girls loved talking to the bunny, spending time with their friends, and opening up their eggs!
We are looking forward to celebrating Jesus' ressurection this weekend! Even though our girls enjoy colorful eggs filled with treats, they understand that the real reason we celebrate is because God loves us so much that His only Son died on a cross for our sins. Here are the girl's responses when I asked each of them, "Why do we celebrate Easter?"
Wubs-"Oooooh! I know, I know, I know. We celebrate Easter because He rose again. You know, Jesus rose up out from the tomb? Because He got killed on the cross. These people killed him but God let them. And Jesus died for our sins so that's why."
I asked Bella the same question separately, just to see if she could answer without Wub's help. wink! Bella didn't really understand when I asked her "Why do we celebrate Easter?" so I rephrased the question. "Bella, we celebrate Easter because of Jesus. Do you know what Jesus did for us?"
Bella-"Died for our sins. On the cross. And they put Him in a tomb and an angel comes."
"They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus."- Luke 24:2-3

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cutie Patooties

Sometimes I can't believe that we are about to have another baby! We are all getting very excited! (I still feel a bit nervous about having a boy, but luckily J.J. is going to have the best daddy ever. ) Last week we took a little break from the hustle and bustle of our everyday activities and played at a local park. As I watched our cutie patooties play, climb, and run, I was just amazed at how big they are now. It seems like time has passed so quickly since Wubs was a baby. And now Bella is already three and a half...it doesn't seem possible! Here are some really fun pictures that I wanted to post. "As iron sharpens iron, so one mans sharpens another."- Proverbs 27:17

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lost Little Girl

Our family works in children's ministry. I started to write 'David and I work in children's ministry' but that didn't seem fair since our girls are BIG helpers. They help turn on lights, take out garbage, shop for the monthly supply of Goldfish, carry curriculum bins into the classrooms, etc. They never complain about our frequent trips to the church mid-week or the fact that we are always one of the first families to arrive and some of the last to leave. They love to serve and be with their sweet friends! So, as I was saying, our family works in children's ministry. And it is a blessing! Last night was a regular Wednesday night for us. We were all at church together and after discipleship wrapped up, we all started the 'closing down process' in Kidztown. However, we had a little problem. I thought Bella was being Daddy's helper, and David thought Bella was with me- but neither of us assumed correctly. wink. So as I was turning off lamps in the nursery hallway, and David was on the other side of Kidztown checking doors and turning off lights, I could hear a faint cry of a little child. And I froze because I knew that cry. Our amazing God has equipt mothers with this incredible gift of recognizing the sound of their own child's cry and I knew right away that cry belonged to our Bella. I also instantly realized what must of happened. If you have ever been to Faith, you know that we have a very large church. I can only imagine how big our church feels to a three year old! So, I called and called out Bella's name, reassuring her that mommy was coming. I found her sobbing in a corner by the maintenance room and as soon as she saw me, she ran to me with her arms out. I swooped her up and dried her little tears. I apologized and hugged her. David also realized what had happened and he came to love on her as well. (There goes our parents of the year award, wink.) Our little incident reminded me how scary it can be when you feel alone and you don't know which way to go! Before I accepted Christ, there were many, many times when I felt like I was in the dark and I didn't know which path to take. Praise the Lord for his love and mercy! He opened my eyes to His truth and He has shown me His ways! We are continuously praying for our children, that they will also come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior! Here are some pictures from this morning. Wubs and Bella have a new favorite toy- Squinkies!

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."- Psalm 34:18

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

An extra peek!

Today at my doctor's appointment, we got an extra peek at J.J! I wasn't expecting an ultrasound but it was our lucky day! The doctor felt my tummy to try to determine J.J's position and since she couldn't decide if he was breech or not, the nurse wheeled in the ultrasound machine. I was so excited to see our sweet boy but I was also nervous! Emma Grace and Bella stood beside me while my belly was covered in jelly (which they thought was hilarious). Then we eagerly enjoyed an extra peek at our baby! And he was head down, bottom up! Praise the Lord!!! After the ultrasound, the doctor measured my belly and looked at my chart from our past pregnancies. Then she said, "Sarah, I think you are going to have about a nine and a half pound baby at delivery." Wow! Before we left, we scheduled our next appointment for one week from today! Can you believe that we're already down to those once a week visits? Our little boy will be here so soon! "Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements and his paths beyond tracing out."- Romans 11:33

Monday, April 11, 2011

One good flip, please

All I need is one good flip from J.J. That's all. One flip that would get him in the 'head down' position. I know it's getting tight in there for our little boy, and I'm not trying to be impatient. There is going to come a point when J.J. won't be able to perform this amazing trick, and I'm getting concerned that we are teetering on that stage of pregnancy. Tomorrow morning I have a doctor's appointment and we'll find out how if there is still hope to deliver naturally as opposed to a scheduled c-section. Emma Grace was a c-section, but I had a v-bac with Bella. I know that God is in control, and if I have to endure another c-section, it is because it is the very best thing for our son. But I can't promise that I won't cry. wink. Praying.... "I am with you always."- Matthew 28:20

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pure Joy!

For the most part, our girls enjoy each other. They can always make one other giggle, they share their toys, they share a bedroom, they have fun participating in many of the same activities... they aren't simply sisters, they are friends. All that being said, our girls are also sinners, just like me and you. Sometimes I feel like we're training and disciplining for the same 'offenses' over and over again. But then, there are those moments of pure joy in parenting! I have to share what happened one night last week, right before bedtime. Our bedtime routine consists of putting on jammies, potty time, brushing teeth, Bible story, prayers, and lots of kisses and hugs. Some nights this routine works beautifully and other nights there is, well, drama. Silly things, like someone's favorite jammies are in the dirty laundry, someone wanted to squirt their own toothpaste, etc, etc. We were having one of 'those' nights and I was pooped. It had been a long day for all of us and I knew as soon as the girls hit the pillow, they would be fast asleep. The problem was getting them to their pillows. wink. So, as we trodded through the bedtime routine, things began to esculate. One little girl antagonized her sister, which caused her sister to retaliate, and soon two little girls were crying. (For the record, I was about to cry too... hormones, I tell ya! ) Bella retreated up to her top bunk and Wubs crawled into her bed while I went to retrieve some books from the library basket. Then the most amazing thing happened!!! Completely unprompted by mommy, Bella crawled down from her bed, still sniffling, and said, "Wubs, I am sorry I hurt you." Then Wubs, still wiping tears replied, "I forgive you." PURE JOY! I was so excited I could have popped with pure joy!!! After time and time again of practicing apologies, asking for forgiveness, and working on forgiving others- it happened! It happened when I least expected it and I had to rejoice! I squealed with praises for the girls, smothered them in sugars, danced a silly dance, and hugged our babies! It's worth it. Every trial, every challenge, every teachable moment- even the ones that seem to be mundane... it's worth it. wink. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."- Ephesians 6:1

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A little uncomfortable

I'm getting to that stage in this pregnancy where I'm feeling a little uncomfortable. Up until this point, each pregnancy has seemed so different. With Emma Grace, I don't remember having hardly any nausea and although I was working full time, I don't remember feeling very tired. With Bella, I had terrible heartburn all the time and a strong adversion to specific smells. With J.J., I experienced a metallic taste in my mouth for the entire first trimester. But now... now this pregnancy feels, well, familiar. I remember feeling like this towards the end with both of the girls. I wouldn't say I feel 'bad', I just feel a little uncomfortable. And I've found myself admiring people who are wearing belts. It will be nice to have my waist back again. wink.

And speaking of 'uncomfortable'... I have got to write about what I read in my Bible this morning! I am reading through the book of Acts, and today I was reading about a man who was crippled from the day he was born. He was carried every day to the temple gates so that he could beg from the people entering the temple courts. When Peter and John were going up to the temple to pray, they saw the crippled beggar, and in the name of Jesus, they told him to get up and walk. He stood up and walked and jumped and praised the Lord! He went running into the temple courts, and all the people were amazed because they recognized him. They knew that they were witnessing a miracle! Peter saw their astonished faces and he began to preach the Truth. Many who heard the message believed but there were some who were feeling, well, uncomfortable. In fact, the priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees were feeling so uncomfortable, that they seized Peter and John and put them in jail for the night. The next day, the high priest Annas, and other men from his family, had Peter and John brought before them. The high priest began to question how the miracle had been performed. Ooooh, and I love this part. Listen to how Peter responds to their questioning: (Acts 4:8-12)

"Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who you crucified but who God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone'. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Wow! I love it when the Holy Spirit gives us just the words that need to be spoken to give God glory!

Here are a few pictures I wanted to post that I took yesterday. The girls were playing Go Fish at the kitchen table while I was cooking dinner .

"By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see."- Acts 3:16

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Yesterday, the girls decided they wanted to make a cave in their bedroom! (At first, I thought they were building a tent but Emma Grace corrected me. It was a cave and they were little bears. "Mama, we are hibernating!") I love those sweet little bears! David and I were convicted this weekend about our own 'hibernation' this winter. We seem to always stay so busy, and our calendar seems to stay filled. When we finally do have a 'free' weekend, or a day 'off', we usually stay at home to rest and enjoy our family. Not that rest and spending time together as a family is a bad thing- it really restores and energizes us! But we've been craving a healthier balance with our time. Our pattern tends to look like this: go-go-go-go-go-go-crash. Repeat. We have been like little bears- when we are at home, we are tucked inside our house, eating or sleeping! wink! Now that it's spring, it is our goal to spend some time enjoying the beautiful weather and talking with our neighbors! No more hibernating for us! "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."-Proverbs 15:1 ps- I'm sorry that I have have any spaces between my paragraphs anymore and my 'Quote of the Day' on the side of our blog is all mashed together. It's like our blog has a mind of it's own now! I can't undo the new spacing, nor can I correct it and then try saving it again. It's the strangest thing!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mission: Disinfection

We're at home. It feels strange, since we are usually at the church from about 7:45am until 1pm on a 'typical' Sunday morning. Since David and I both work in children's ministry, Sundays are always busy and exciting! But today is different. Daddy left for church all alone, and I stayed behind with the girls. Bella has been running a fever since last night and this morning, she has vomited twice. Emma Grace seems fine, but I am a big advocate of the family quaranteen! wink! (I would hate to send Emma Grace to church to spend time with her friends since she might be carrying the 'bug' too.)

So today, in between snuggles, I am officially on mission disinfection! I am washing sheets, towels, and blankets. I'm cleaning the bathrooms and wiping off every surface. I have opened the windows on this beautiful spring day to help air out any germs. I refuse to let this virus take us down without a fight! wink!

"Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advise."- Proverbs 13:10

Friday, April 1, 2011

Field Trip Fun!

Wow! We had such a fun day today! Our field trip to the fire station was filled with adventure and excitement. When we arrived, we split up into two groups of about 12 children each. Our group started off in the 'bay' area which is where the firetrucks are parked. Emma Grace and Bella got to climb up on the firetrucks and sit inside! Then, we got to watch as fireman Jonathan put on his entire gear for us. It weighed nearly 85 pounds with the oxygen tank- whew! (Apparently the gear used to 'only weigh' 70 pounds but now they have new oxygen tanks that have a tracking device, in case a fireman falls through the floor, gets lost in the smoke, etc. I was learning a lot on this field trip, too! wink.) It was almost time for our group to go see the living quarters when all the alarms began to go off. Just a few miles up the road, a truck carrying a load of fireworks had overturned and caught on fire! We all gathered in the corner of the bay area and watched as the firemen ran to grab their gear, jump onto the trucks,turn on the sirens, and ZOOM-drive away! We certainly got a glimpse of the real fire station experience! After the trucks pulled out, we weren't sure if our field trip was over... everything was really quiet and empty. One of the mothers went to the administration office to ask if we should leave but there was still a chief left at the station, who was kind enough to finish our tour. (There are five chiefs in all- I think they rotate due to the long shifts.) The fire chief quickly became VERY popular because he gave every child a red fireman's hat, a sticker badge, a pencil, and a dalmation tatoo! I wish I could have taken more pictures but our camera batteries died. Here are the few that I did snap before it was too late! Emma Grace and two of her sweet friends, Genevieve and Ruby. It was SO chilly outside and the wind was really blowing!
Emma Grace, always eager to pose for a photo! Bella was still in her 'shy stage' since we had just arrived. I wonder when (or if) she'll outgrow this stage... wink.
Wubs was waiting her turn to climb onto the firetruck!
Group picture! Well, only half our group because we were split up in the beginning. After the alarm rang, we did combine groups but my camera had already died for any of the large group pictures. Bummer.
Emma Grace was pretending to be a firefighter after we got home. What a wonderful day!

"The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth speaks."- Luke 6:45