Our Journey Home

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Photojournal: Church Cam

Last Wednesday night, I had our camera in my diaper bag. I took a few fun pictures of a typical discipleship night at Faith. We love our church family so much. It's a joy and priveledge to serve, worship, and grow with this body of believers!Gracie, Wubs, and Katelyn had just finished painting masterpieces in the bonus room. (The bonus room is for extended childcare, for children whose parents serve in our church.) Will,JJ and Zachary, all wearing camoflauge! How cute...uh, I mean, how manly. wink.Bella and Gracie stopped just for a moment to let me snap their picture!Stacey and Andrea with their BFF necklaces- hilarious! Andrea's husband, Mike, had suprised the two of them with these very fashionable (wink) necklaces since they are besties! You had to be there, but trust me... it was so funny! Amanda, Pam, and I laughed when we realized that we were all sporting our gray shirts! Great minds think alike... ha ha!
"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."- Matthew 18:20

Monday, January 30, 2012

Good morning!

Our three children share one bedroom. Early one morning last week, I was ironing in our laundry room, when Bella came running in for her good morning hugs and kisses. She said, "Mommy! JJ is awake!" I thanked her for telling me and then I said, "Please go tell JJ that I will come to get him just as soon as I finish ironing daddy's clothes, okay?" Bella ran away to report my message to her brother. wink.
When I went to go get JJ out of his crib, this is what I found: Bella said, "I told JJ that you were coming, but he wanted me to climb in with him while he waited!" Precious little Bella! I have no idea how she climbed in, but somehow she managed! wink.I laughed and grabbed the camera to capture this sweet moment!

"I will praise you, O LOrd, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High."- Psalm 9:1-2

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Funny: Orange Tax

On Sunday morning, after we had arrived at church, Bella looked up at me and said, "Oh no, Mommy!"
"What is it, baby?"
"I forgot my tax! I forgot my tax at home!"
"Your tax? What is tax?"
"You know, my tax! Remember, I was going to bring my orange tax and share them with my friends?"
"Oh! Your Tic Tacs! That's okay! We'll share them next time."
*sigh* "Okay. I was going to give everybody one for snack." *sigh*

"For where your treasue is, there your heart will be also."- Luke 12:34

Thursday, January 26, 2012

deAr mOmMy

pLeaSe foRgivE me. i juSt wAntEd tO shOw yoU hoW sTrOnG and sHaRp mY nEw liTtLe teEtH cAn bE! My bAd. i loVe YoU! frOm jj
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."- Colossians 4:2

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Top bunk sweethearts

(Bella's expression in this last picture makes me laugh! She is so silly!) "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."- Hebrews 10:35

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

'without complaining or arguing'

I made Wubs write sentences for me as a punishment for whining. Emma Grace had to stay at the kitchen table and write ten sentences in her best handwriting, after she had finished all her other homeschool work. When she completed her assignment, she handed it to me, hugged me and said, "Whew! I hope I don't have to do that again!"
I looked over Wub's work and I got to thinking, what if I had to write sentences every time I whined? Or what if I had to write sentences every time I even had a pity party in my thoughts? (Because regardless of whether or not I voice my discontentment, the Lord knows my every thought.) Yikes.
I am praying that the Lord will continue to show me my own sin, and fill my heart with a joy that only comes from Him. I am praying that my own whining words would be few and my thoughts would be pleasing to God.
"Do everything without complaining or arguing,"-Phillipians 2:14

Monday, January 23, 2012

Eight. months .old. (...unbelievable.)

JJ is eight months old this week! Unbelievable. The time has been going by too quickly! Here is an update on our little man:
Favorite activities: JJ loves to play with his sisters, and he especially likes to throw toys! He also likes to be outside, wrestle with daddy, dance with mommy, and splash in the bathtub.
Sleep habits: JJ takes three naps each day and then he goes down at about 7:30pm for the night. He wakes up around 6am and he is all smiles!
Favorite foods: JJ still likes pizza the best, but some other favorites include chicken nuggets, cheese cubes, and grits.
Dislikes: I know this will sound bad, but JJ doesn't like fruits or vegetables. (Well, unless they are mixed in with some meat.) JJ also strongly dislikes being buckled into his carseat. He enjoys riding in the car, but he really doesn't like getting buckled. Whew, let me tell you- he is strong! wink!
Motor Skills: JJ can sit up, scoot on his bottom, and roll everywhere! I have a feeling that once he starts walking, he is going to be fast!
And, so I won't forget his sweet little rolls, here are a few pictures of JJ in his new train conductor hat from Nana. I could just eat him up. We are so blessed! "I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders."- Psalm 9:1

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Funny: a lesson in spending

(*I took this picture of our children yesterday morning at about 6:45am. The girls picked up JJ using teamwork and he loved it!)
This week, I splurged at Sam's Club and I purchased a mega-box of assorted rice krispie treats. (It was actually a pretty good deal- 40 bars for only $8! wink). Anyway, that evening at dinner, Bella told daddy that I bought her some krispie bars with my 'credit card'. We quickly used this opportunity to explain to the girls that daddy and mommy do not use credit cards, but instead we only use our debit cards. We tried to explain the difference between debit and credit, and the girls listened intently. At the end of our discussion, David asked, "Okay Wubs, so what is the BEST way to pay when you need to buy something?" Wubs thought for a minute and replied, "A gift card!" David and I both burst out laughing. That's one smart girl!
"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the Lord."- Jeremiah 9:23-24

Thursday, January 19, 2012

waiting in expectation

Last month, when we officially moved JJ from the bassinet in our bedroom into his crib in the children's bedroom, I'll be honest- I was expecting the worst. He had been in our bedroom for seven months, and while I know that sounds like a long time for our little man to be in a bassinet, he just wouldn't sleep through the night. I was in survival mode. wink. It was simply easier to feed JJ in our bed at 3am and then allow him to sleep the remainder of the night with us. Not ideal, but definately easier.
So, when Christmas came and David had a few weeks off from work, we decided it was time to transition JJ to his crib and train him to sleep through the night. We have all three children in one bedroom, so we explained to the girls that they would probably hear JJ crying in the middle of the night, but he was really okay and he would eventually go back to sleep. Wubs and Bella were so excited to have JJ joining them in the bedroom! As I laid JJ in his crib that first night, I was anticipating lots of crying (from both JJ and mommy). But guess what? JJ slept for 10 hours that night! And he woke up SO happy the next day! Apparently, he hadn't been sleeping through the night because he was so cramped up in that bassinet! It has been an entire month now of beautiful rest for our whole family.

I am sharing this story because through this small experience, the Lord showed me how often I tend to expect or anticipate the outcome of a situation. As a mommy, I have a tendency to think about several possible scenarios, over-pack the diaper bag, analyze the situation, etc, etc. Not that it is bad to prepare, assess, and plan ahead... but there comes a point when I tend to rely on my own strength and stop trusting the Lord's plan.

Yesterday morning during my quiet time I was reading in Psalm 5 and the Lord spoke very clearly to my heart. "In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." I realized that by God's design, it is okay for me to 'wait in expectation'! The problem arises when I have expectations from anything or anyone other than our sovereign God. He alone is always faithful. His ways alone are always perfect. I know that the Lord knows my heart and He hears my prayers. Today I am waiting in expectant faith that the Lord will love me perfectly, refine me a little more in His image, and guide me as I grow closer to Him.

"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."- Psalm 5:3

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday:Splish Splash!

"Neither height no depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."- Romans 8:39

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Three children and a box

On Saturday, our children had so much fun with...a box! The girls took turns 'driving' JJ all around the house while he laughed and laughed. He was a great little passenger! I was a bit nervous while Bella was driving because she accidentally crashed JJ into the couch and the wall a few times, but he giggled anyway. It blessed my heart to watch the three of them having so much fun together with a simple box. I think this is one of their new favorite games! JJ can't wait until we need to buy another box of diapers again. wink! "I praise God because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."- Psalm 139:14

Monday, January 16, 2012

big church

Emma Grace attends 'big church' each week with daddy and mommy. (Sometimes Bella choses to attend 'big church' with our family, but until she goes to kindergarten, she has the option of attending the 8am worship or playing in her Sunday school class. ) After we sing, Emma Grace usually entertains herself during the sermon by coloring in a coloring book, doodling, or playing with a few small toys she has tucked inside her backpack. David wanted to challenge Wubs to listen during the sermon and take a few notes. I am SO thankful that we have such a wise daddy because Emma Grace truly enjoyed paying close attention and writing down what she heard! She filled one whole side of her paper and then drew a small illustration on the back. Yesterday's sermon was all about prayer and Wubs really tuned in! Here are her sermon notes:Translation: prayer, ask, heavenly, He loves you, is not asking, the hero of the story, what is your father, we are inside the house, he is a good father, we should pray specifically. (I love the way she spelled specifically! ) I was so blessed by Wub's efforts! She was really trying and it was precious to watch her look up from her paper, listen thoughtfully, and then busily write down what she had heard! Below is the picture she drew of a little girl praying beside her bed, and she tried to write 'God's children'. As we were walking out of church, Wubs said, "Mommy, I had my listening ears on!" Praise God!
"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."- 1 Samuel 16:7b

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Funny: Responsibility

I was digging deep into the diaper bag, trying to find my car keys. No luck. I reached into my coat pockets to search- not there either! Wubs asked, "Whatcha doing, mommy?"

"I am looking for my car keys. I can't find them anywhere..."

Wubs looked at me thoughtfully and replied,"Well, I'm sorry to hear that, but, your keys are your responsibility." (Her response sounds awfully familiar! She is a little mama in training!)

"All a man's ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart."- Proverbs 21:2

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pie eating contest!

It's no secret that I have a crush on my husband. wink. He is amazing. He loves the Lord, he loves our family, and he loves others. He is kind, a servant, smart, unbelievably handsome- the list goes on and on! I am so proud of him and I couldn't be more blessed to be his wife. All that being said... last night my husband had blueberries up his nose! Eeewwww!
David works as the children's minister at our church and he does a great job keeping the gradeschool children excited to learn about Jesus. David wants children and their families to grow in Christ, and sometimes he'll do some crazy things to keep kids wanting to come back for more! Last night was no exception.
David and one of our Wednesday night discipleship teachers, Ben, had a blueberry pie eating contest in celebration of Mr. Ben's birthday. The kids were SO excited to watch David and Ben challenge one another after the large group time. It was absolutely hilarious and even though it was pretty gross... it was pure entertainment! The rules were as follows: one minute, no hands. Four minutes, whatever it takes to get the pie down. Ben was the officially winner, but David knows he is always number one to me! wink. Here are just a few pictures of the fun:

"My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long."- Psalm 35:28

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Getting back to the basics:homeschool in 2012

Our Christmas decorations are packed away, holiday traveling is all done, old toys have been purged, daddy has gone back to work, and homeschool is back on track. We are getting back to the basics in 2012! We are re-establishing our routine, and I have to say, it feels wonderful! I haven't done a homeschool post in a while, so I thought I'd blog about a few of our highlights. Bella still LOVES doing her 'work'. She especially likes it when I teach her one on one... it can sometimes be hard for her to stay on task if I leave her side. But, I have tried to be creative since it is not realistic for me to sit right beside Bella at all times. wink. She likes to paint, use shaving cream, pour water, and play with manipulatives, so I like to give her activities that involve some of these favorites while I am teaching Emma Grace. Bella is an eager learner, so she makes being a mommy-teacher lots of fun!Wubs is reading, reading, reading these days! She reads everything from street signs to labels on food packaging to favorite books. It blesses my heart to hear her sound out words and watch her face glow while she reads aloud smoothly. She is also getting stronger in her math, and she loves being challenged. What a treat to teach such sweet girls! I know I am incredibly blessed!JJ is now napping three times a day, so we try to do the bulk of our school during his naps, and while he is awake, we all do chores together and then enjoy some free time. (The children LOVE to go outside when weather permits or play with their toys for 'free time', and during my free time, I catch up on household chores and return emails/ complete work for my part-time job at the church. And as you can see, I sneak in a little blogging time if possible! wink!)I took a few pictures today of our homeschool day. I'm guessing the last one will make you laugh! Wubs' Bible story today was about Cain and Abel. She couldn't believe that anyone would actually kill their own brother!Bella is working on her number recognition. Here she is doing a little water-coloring with the number two!Sweet little man. He wears a bib all the time because his top two front teeth are almost in and he is a droolin' non-stop!Our next door neighbors moved to New Mexico but their house hasn't sold yet. So, sometimes we walk over and 'borrow' their swingset just to enjoy a different play structure. Today, Wubs wanted all of us to work on doing tricks. Here is Wubs' with her one handed rope climbing trick...And Bella will her climbing up the slide trick...And mommy doing a flip off the trapeze bar! (I tell you what, the girls cheered me on like I was an Olympic gymnast! Wubs insisted on taking my picture and I thought you would get a giggle out of it! wink!)
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."- Matthew 7:7