Weeks in Review: 2014 {Weeks 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, & 35}

Sometimes the need, the drive, to put words on paper, characters on screen….sometimes it’s deep and maddening and yet the words won’t come or time won’t stop long enough to let them flow.  And so a list or two and some photos.  Because time goes so fast and I don’t want to forget these moments or how to find my words.

July was:

  • Grace going to Kanakuk
  • a glorious time on the lake with friends for the Fourth
  • Grace going to Haiti
  • Ellie enjoying her first year at Camp Enosh and Chandler enjoying her last
  • celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary
  • a week of nothing but laying by the pool with the girls
  • sorting through nine years of school files and still keeping too much stuff
  • Chandler’s first trip to Schlitterbahn
  • a LeCrae concert
  • back to school preparations and planning

August was:

  • our oldest turning fourteen
  • littlest one losing her two front teeth and learning to ride a bike (not related events 😉 )
  • the start of fall sports with volleyball and soccer practices
  • finally getting all of Amania’s documents updated with her American name
  • a few days away with my beloved soaking up the sun and burning through a stack of books and nourishing heart and soul, mind and body
  • the return of Friday classes for the girls
  • lots of race prep as Capitol Craze draws closer
  • friends in for the weekend to close out the month
  • a tour of our newly renovated Capitol building – architectural beauty

And of course, both were filled with countless good gifts…….

Jesus looked up at said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me.’ (John 11:41)

 The sequence of events in this passage seems strange and unusual.  Lazarus was still in the tomb, yet Jesus’ thanksgiving preceeded the miracle of raising him from the dead….Jesus gave thanks for what He was about to receive.  His gratitude sprang up before the blessing had arrived, in an expression of assurance that it was certainly on its way.

Streams in the Desert, August 4

And as I teach my girls that feeling follows action, I’m reminded that the practice of counting the gifts, looking for the gifts, often shows us just how much we have to be thankful for and a grateful heart starts to overflow.  For God is a gracious and generous giver.  We need only to open our eyes to see.

3006.  a God who tramples our iniquities underfoot and casts all our sins into the sea (Micah 7:18-19)

3007.  oldest off to Haiti for a week; this mama heart leaking just a bit

3008.  fifteen years of marriage – lessons of love, sacrifice, friendship, and intimacy

3009.  faith

3010.  fire pit, friends, and s’mores

3011.  girls all home

3012.  mild evenings

3013.  a broken Saturday – tears, struggle

3014.  a Sunday that makes strong – music, sermon, concert

3015.  beautiful Monday and little projects completed

3016.  grocery shopping with Minion #4

3017. a fourteen year old in the house

3018.  summer ending, but not quite over

3019.  August thunderstorm; heavens declaring His glory 

3020.  weekend and school planning and the super moon

3021.  September weather in August

3022.  window shopping with my people and so much race prep finished

3023.  weekends and friends and laughter and new church additions and a day of rest

3024.  a week and the beach and my beloved – resting, reading, reconnecting

3025.  G’s Frozen Custard and last day of summer treats

3026.  the first day of a new school year

3027.  meeting with Jesus in the early morning quiet

3028.  remembering that gentleness toward them is worship of Him

Time flies, my friends.  Treasure the moments.  List the gifts.  Be all there for this one life you have to live.  

For His Glory ~


Week in Review: 2014 {Weeks 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, & 28}

Really, I should just start calling this series Month in Review.  And after you read this, you’ll understand why I can’t keep this blog updated.  :-p

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June blew by like a hurricane and left us all kind of wondering what just happened to half our summer.  The older two spent a week at Summer Sizzle, our church’s week long event for junior high and high school students to kick off the season.  With events every morning and evening, they stayed crazy busy. Ellie had ballet camp the same week, and the younger two both had swim lessons.  Can anyone say “lots of windshield time” for this mama?

The following week Chandler attended Kanakuk Kampout (please, people, stop misspelling words in the name of being catchy or clever; it is neither).  An all day “k”amp for grade schoolers, also hosted at our church, she had an awesome time.  Since she will be joining her sisters at Summer Sizzle next year, this was Chandler’s second and last year at Kamp.

The next week we took a mini-vacay as a family to St. Louis / Bloomington, IL.   While not what I would classify as a true vacation (I did not come home rested.  In fact, I came home desperately needing a nap.), it was a wonderful trip for our family.  We visited the Arch, Six Flags (thank you, Read to Succeed program!), and the zoo.  Then we drove up to Bloomington to visit friends and represent Lifeline at a benefit race there.  Amania was able to see her two friends, Sophie and Tessa, and we were all able to connect with a really great group of people we would not know if it were not for adoption and our involvement with Lifeline.  During our time in Illinois, I couldn’t help but reflect on how much larger our family’s world has gotten because of adoption through Lifeline.  We have gained so many wonderful friends by serving with the ministry and because of our now forever-connection to Haiti.  It’s a beautiful thing, really, how adoption expands the family by much more than the addition of a child.

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After returning from St. Louis / Illinois, the older two girls promptly started a soccer camp for a week.  Chandler celebrated her 11th birthday.  Grace had fundraisers to help pay for her trip to Haiti.  Then she left to serve in the kitchen at Kanakuk in Missouri for a week.

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The next week we all breathed a small sigh of relief as life slowed down just a smidge.  Although it still ended up being a rough week for other reasons.  For the 4th we went down to Wichita where we stayed with friends on the lake.  Now that was a vacation.  Seriously, much-needed and uber-appreciated downtime spent on the lake, in the pool, on a lounge chair….all doing nothing but soaking up sun and laughing with friends.  Glorious.

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Last week Emma went for three days to Junior High Rampage, our church’s three day retreat for, well, junior highers.  She went to Schlitterbahn in KC where she got a sunburn on top of a sunburn (from the weekend in Wichita) and came home with some of the most horrific blisters I’ve seen from burning.  Still makes my skin hurt to think of them.  Chandler also got to attend her last week of Camp Enosh.  The girls have attended this camp, put on by a local church, for years.  It’s a bittersweet year for this girl as she closes the book, so to speak, on some of her favorite activities, knowing some really fun stuff of a different kind is coming up for her next summer.

On the other end of the spectrum, Ellie is attending her first week ever at Camp Enosh this week.  She’s been watching sisters go for years, and she’s finally old enough.  She was super-excited this morning to finally get to experience all she’s been hearing about since she was a toddler.  We are also preparing to send our oldest off to Haiti for a week soon.  Once she gets back, that signifies the end of major activities for the summer, and I’m pretty sure I will be very happy to have all of my chicks back in the nest.

Meanwhile, over the past few weeks, we’ve been working on some projects around the house.  I purged some more spaces.  Honestly…..I don’t think I’m a hoarder(?!), but sometimes I frighten myself with the amount of **stuff** I continually find to get rid of.  The guest room got a little update.  We removed the overly formal bedding, put in a lighter, more contemporary set, added curtains, a side table (that needs to be painted), and changed up the decor a bit.  Matt hung a calendar command center in the kitchen for me that I’m excited about.  This should keep the fridge less cluttered and hopefully help limit the number of times I answer some of the same questions every day/week/month.  I also bought and hung a fun little chalkboard piece with my favorite, oft-repeated Katie Davis quote.  Then my love surprised me last week by staying up all night (crazy man) and painting the school room.  I didn’t realize just how much I hated the old color until it was gone.  It was an awful 1970’s-hospital-green.  Flat and dull and depressing.  Now, grey and orange, with fun accents….I’m actually (kind of) excited to be down there and start school again.

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Our school files from over nine years of home schooling.  I threw away a full three tubs of papers and still ended up needing just as many tubs.  I’m not sure how that happened. I really should check with someone who knows….I’m not sure I even need anything that’s over a year old, but if we do, I have it, by golly!

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This wreath should arrive this week.  It’s going to hang on the old window in the previous picture.  So excited!

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All I need today…

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The  freshly painted bar area, conveniently located in the freshly painted school room.  I’m currently very in love with the mirror, the light, and the ram’s head.  And the orange paint.

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This is snake number two in less than a week.  Found in our basement.  Thankfully we have our very own St. Francis living with us, so this snake had a much more peaceful departure than the first one we found.

This book is currently at the top of the stack.  Not amazing, a little hard to connect with, but some very good bits throughout.  Definitely worth the read.

Lastly, I was challenged / encouraged this past week by a friend to start counting the gifts again.  Somewhere in the past six months I stopped counting.  The gifts I was listing were starting to sound so repetitive to me so I quit looking and listing.  And I became ungrateful without realizing it.  So I was thankful to be reminded this week to always be look for those gifts, to keep my heart and eyes open to the good things God is up to in my life.  Because He’s always up to something good.

2996.  chaos and finding our way

2997.  middle girl and turning eleven

2998.  oldest child off to camp and my heart breaking just a little

2999.  a weekend of rest

3000.  God speaking, revealing, leading me back to His way

3001.  husband who loves, serves, sacrifices, gives

3002.  newly painted school room

3003.  hospitality

3004.  recognizing spiritual dryness

3005.  choosing not to stay there

Wishing you a wonderful week, my friends!

For His Glory ~


Week in Review: 2014 {Weeks 19, 20, 21, & 22}

I’m a broken record….how does an entire month keep slipping by between each post?  Not cool.

May was our first month of “summer”.  School ended and activities wrapped up.  We experienced a full week with no where to go and nothing to do.  That was glorious.  June has started and with it bursts of crazy interspersed with some slow spells.  I have high hopes for a great summer.

May wrapped up Emma’s first soccer season.  We resisted sports for so many years, partly because I didn’t want the crazy schedule.  Practices, games, and the constant changes due to weather and other conflicts; I just wasn’t interested.  But this year we relented with volleyball for Grace in the fall and soccer for Amania, then soccer for both Amania and Emma this spring.  The schedule was nuts, but it was actually also quite a bit of fun.  Getting to observe Emma as she starts to come into her own and doing something her older sister has never done was a gift.

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We also wrapped up ballet for the school year with the annual spring recital.  Ballet is so very different from sports (duh), even down to its very predictable schedule and year-long build up to a two-minute performance.  But it was a blessing to Ellie this year, as she also had a chance to sort of come into her own with an activity that has been done by all of her older sisters, but only by her right now.  Watching her in class, I saw this silly, squirrelly girl mature and focus and take this opportunity very seriously.  She was lovely in her performance and is very excited about moving up to pre-pointe in the fall.

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We celebrated off the “official” end of our school year earlier in the month with a trip over to Kansas City and an afternoon of shopping at the Legends.  It was a wonderful afternoon with my girls and a gorgeous day to walk around and shop.

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May also meant Mother’s Day, the opening of the pool, and a sweet baby cardinal in our bushes.  I don’t think things ended well for this little guy, but we try not to think about that.

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So my big goals for the summer include going back through every room in the house, decluttering, cleaning, organizing, and hopefully wrapping up some small projects that don’t involve my very own general contractor’s assistance.  I’ve come to the conclusion that moving is some sort of multi-stage process (probably another “duh”).  Last summer we packed, unpacked, purged, and put away.  But we had to move fast because nothing was really planned and it turned out to be a much bigger project than I think either of us anticipated when we said, “Hey, let’s make an offer on that house!”.  Now that we’ve had a year in the house and I don’t feel the pressure of the deadlines, I am going back through and being as thorough and ruthless as I can be.  I’ve only been through four rooms and we’ve already sold quite a bit of stuff and hauled five good-sized boxes to the local rescue mission.  As I’ve been purging and cleaning, I’ve been aware of a recent run of shares by friends on Facebook about minimalist living.  I’ve read the articles and there is so much that appeals to me about the idea, and we are certainly continually working toward having less, all the while consuming more, and it seems to be a bit of a merry-go-round for us.  As I talked with one friend this week about how to actually pursue a minimalist lifestyle, we both agreed that really, the most effective way to get there would be downsizing one’s house.  And since I’ve already declared that I am never, ever, ever moving again (at least not for a very long time, Lord willing), that’s not going to work.  Just the change in storage space has forced me/us to re-evaluate what we hold on to, but I know we can continue to do more to reduce our possessions, eliminate excess, and simplify life.

My other big goal is working through the book Cleaning House with the girls.  I cannot recommend this book highly enough, even if your kids are already hard workers around the house.  I will do another, more focused post on it and our experience, but her analysis of where our “helpfulness” as adults is taking our kids is eye-opening and motivating (and maybe a little frightening).

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That’s pretty much it for us.  This week is going to be a fun one for the kiddos, so hopefully I’ll be able to post again soon….like less than a month.


Have a blessed Monday, friends!

For His Glory ~


Weeks in Review: 2014 {Weeks 13, 14, 15, 16, & 17}

Whoops.  A whole month got away from me again, didn’t it?

April was a wonderfully full, fun, whirlwind type of month.  Emma and Amania kept us busy with their soccer schedules, and the unpredictable Kansas weather gave us rain outs (and snow days) that offered much-needed reprieve (even though we are all still so done with cold weather, yet it just keeps coming).  We finally processed the paperwork for Amania’s name change (now it is actually, legally spelled the way we’ve always spelled it).  We celebrated Easter.  We forgot the frock.  We had out of town guests for a weekend and I slept through my alarm for a half marathon that I trained for.  We had the girls’ spring choir concert and art show at the beginning of the month.  We finished the school year (almost- one week of outside classes remain for the oldest, so we’re not “official” yet).  And I was blessed to travel to Haiti for a week (more on that next week).

And now we settle in for summer.  I’m soooo looking forward to some organizing and creative projects around the house, pool days, dining al fresco, and time to just relax.  For now, some photos from the past month….

new friends

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 new shoes for a race I didn’t run

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way too much money spent at Starbucks in an effort to just.keep.moving

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calendars for each girl to inspire us all to finish the school year strong (and quickly)
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we are all adopted

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a pile of human puppies as we attended another soccer game

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and spring flowers that survived the interminable winter

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Next week will hopefully bring stories from Haiti and the next few months will hopefully bring many posts that have been on my heart but not yet ready to share.  Until then, have a wonderful weekend, friends.  May you know your God and enjoy Him.

For His Glory ~


2014: Week in Review {Week 12}

Here I sit on this March Monday, watching the snow fall once again outside the window.  And I could complain because we are all more than tired of the cold, but today I choose to give thanks.  This snow has taken a manic Monday and turned it into a mellow one.  One that was much needed.

Last week was characterized by dragging ourselves through another week of school.  This week is half days of testing/half days off, a full day off, and a day of fine arts in KC.  This is what we count as our spring break (snow and all) and we’re all so happy for the change of pace.

We had the privilege of hosting Amania’s friend Shela for her spring break week.  She did lots and lots and lots of hair braiding. 🙂  She was also a wonderful blessing in many other ways, including cooking a real Haitian dinner for all of Matt’s family (approximately 30 people) on Wednesday night.  She did it all with grace and a smile.

We also had round one of MAACS competition on Friday in Kansas City.  Emma and Chandler performed with the choir.  Grace competed in art, with her acrylic taking first place.

Amania celebrated her first birthday with us on Friday.  It was an exciting time for all of us and for the first time in about a month (or two), I haven’t heard how many days until her birthday since then.  🙂

Our week in photos….

the cat that thinks she now lives on my truck…

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Starbucks that keeps me going through our own version of March Madness…

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 Shela doing her thing with all the hair…

  an Ellie sandwich…

Chandler after her braids were taken out.  We said we should have dyed her purple so she could be an evil minion….

three of my favorites and me after a long / fun day at MAACS…

this beauty and her first place acrylic painting…

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and this beauty turning seven…

and these two up early on a Saturday to build…

and some Discovery Center fun for everyone….

and one to remember that week that we had six girls….


2939.  a multiplied Monday

2940.  tired legs – ten miles, slow and steady

2941.  first day of spring

2942.  girls with braids

2943.  the start of “spring break”

2944.  littlest one turning 7

2945.  a day in KC with my bigs

2946.  beautiful music, excellent speeches, incredible art

2947.  oldest with her 1st place painting

2948.  presents, cake, and ice cream for one very grateful seven year old

For His Glory ~


2014: Weeks in Review {Weeks 10 & 11}

The past two weeks have been the normal blur.  God has worked on my heart regarding our schedule and our season of life and we plow onward learning to go slow in the midst of the busy.

sunshine and blue skies

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We have done school, gone to a Young Life banquet, and had new friends over for dinner.  Grace and I have cleaned a couple of projects for Matt and we’ve had a birthday party or two (or four….I don’t know, but it’s been a bunch).  We went on an awesome field trip to visit the Trash Mountain Project Aquaponics facility.  They’re doing some really fantastic stuff out there.  We’ve worked outside and enjoyed open windows and doors and the coming of spring.  We’ve figured out how to use essential oils to manage our allergies.  I was able to have some ladies over for some good, low-key fellowship, and I was able to enjoy fellowship with a completely different group of women at an IF: Tables gathering.


I’m continuing to train for my half marathon next month.  I’m doing this one solo, so I’m also doing the long runs solo.  Nothing makes a long run seem longer than running 10 miles alone.  On a treadmill.  But at least I have Jack Bauer and season one of 24 to help pass the time.  That is, when our internet isn’t buffering.  I’m praying about whether or not this will be my last half for a while.  I love/hate them so much.  I love that they scare me into getting my miles in (except that January one, it certainly didn’t have that effect).  I love how I feel **after** a really long run.  I love being able to eat whatever I want and not having to think about calories (not that I think about them a whole lot anyway….but today, as I snuck a brownie before lunch and one child caught me I honestly looked at her and said, “I just ran for nearly two hours. I  can have a brownie.”  She wisely agreed.).  But I hate how much they cost (how much to torture myself for three months???).  And I hate how much time they take.  I don’t mind the normal length runs in the mornings, but setting aside two hours for a long run plus another hour to get cleaned up and recovered afterward…it’s just a big chunk out of an already full day and as I’ve been examining our schedule and praying about the best use of my time, this is one of those areas I’m on the fence about.  That said, six months from now I may be telling this same story all over again.  Those races have a way of sucking you back in.

skies that demand a road trip and a dog that really misses her people when they’re gone

We also launched our version of Forget the Frock with Haiti Lifeline Ministries (a post on that tomorrow).  I’m super-excited about this year’s shirt and about taking back Easter for a cause close to the heart of Christ.

a little teaser for this year’s FtF shirt

And as we head into a new week, I want to start again with recounting the gifts….

2924.  cardinals on bare branches, red on a backdrop of grey

2925.  nurturing my marriage

2926.  Lent and reflection and seasons of pause

2927.  seeing God at work in the lives of teens

2928.  nights of no sleep; leaning on God for strength for the day

2929.  long dates

2930.  sunny Sunday and kids outside

2931.  a long forecast of better weather

2932.  8 mile run

2933.  repentance

2934.  practicing flexibility

2935.  a grace that chases, pursues

2936.  birthday parties, sleepovers, time with friends

2937.  working through issues with little ones

2938.  IF: Tables and thoughts on friendship

Oh restless heart – beating against the prison bars of your circumstances and longing for a wider realm of usefulness – allow God to direct all your days.  Patience and trust, even in the midst of the monotony of your daily routine will be the best preparation to courageously handle the stress and strain of a greater opportunity, which God may someday send.

~ Streams in the Desert, March 17

For His Glory ~


2014: Week in Review {Weeks 7, 8, & 9} and Starting a New Week off Right

Donut! (As our accented child would say.)  I was doing so well staying up with my Week in Review and somehow the whole month of February just blew right past me.  Sheesh.  Between the pace at which it came and the winter weather it brought over the weekend, I would say March definitely came “in like a lion”.

February was a great month filled with more cold weather, a trip to Arizona to be refreshed by sunshine and time with friends, then more cold weather, and normal crazy life.

Some pictures from the last few weeks…

So we left this
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For this
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And this

And this (like my mug? 🙂 )

And we came back to more of this
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugbut at least it was warm enough to get outside a couple of days.

Even the little shoots are ready for the warm sun
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And at least the sun is starting to come up a little earlier
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We even had a day of open doors and windows
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And my sweet Haitian girl is reading so well. I could cry. And maybe I did as she laughed her way through this BOB book last month.

Then March came in with more snow and cancelled concert plans but lots of extra girls at our house, so fun was still had by all.
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And, oh, look, a happy little planner. I love my techie gadgets, but I just can’t quit my paper planner.

Last, but not least, what happens when you fill a latex glove with water and stick it outside overnight in sub-zero temps? You get a frozen hand and this picture on your camera.

And to start the week and the month off right, counting just some of the amazing gifts from the Father’s hand.


2889.  days that wear you thin

2890.  leaning hard and trusting Jesus to do a new thing

2891.  a happy outing with the littlest

2892.  sweet baby Cora

2893.  morning walks

2894.  four days with good friends

2895.  warm sun, palm trees

2896.  morning hikes, good talks

2897.  long dinners, laughter, wine

2898.  home

2899.  walks with the middle child

2900.  65*

2901.  windows open, kids outside, hope for spring

2902.  busted laptop, mouse in the house, weighty conversations

2903.  God glory spilling everywhere

2904.  rain and thunder

2905.  view of the sky

2906.  thunder, rain, hail, snow, sunshine – a day in the life of Kansas weather

2907.  mom’s night out and high school prep

2908.  an SUV that gets us home

2909. yard work on a sunny Saturday

2910.  cheerful girls

2911.  home improvements

2912.  Sunday worship and Sunday rest

2913.  snuggles and cat naps with the middle

2914.  long runs

2915.  ugly cries

2916.  sunshine and better days

2917.  days full of driving

2918.  opportunities for these kids

2919.  catching up – just a bit

2920. girlfriend sleepovers

2921.  changed plans and more snow

2922.  Sunday afternoon naps

2923.  Monday morning sunshine

May your week be filled with God’s glory and all things good.

For His Glory ~


2014: Week in Review {Week 6}

Last week turned out to be a crazy, whirlwind week.  Clearly when I thought February would be another month of slow and restful to prepare for March I was smoking something.

I (wisely) abandoned my normal go-nowhere-on-Monday schedule and hit the grocery store early last week before the Polar Vortex descended upon us again.  It was a gamble to believe the forecast, but I made a good choice.  Tuesday and Wednesday meant everything was shut down and no classes and 14+ inches of snow.

And so we hunkered down for two days and somehow, still, life kept on crazy busy.  But such is the life with five kids and I think I need to release the idea of it ever being slow for more than a few hours at a time.

This weekend was BIG Weekend for our church youth.  We were privileged to host eight lovely high school girls for the weekend.  It was also IF: Gathering.  I was blessed to spend half of Friday and all day Saturday sharing a table with some amazing women as we listened to speakers share on pursuing our calling and rising up for such a time as this.

And there was date night, and Sunday afternoon naps, and (finally) watching a little of the Olympics.

So as we reflect on the goodness of last week, let’s go into this new week giving thanks and remembering all He has done for us.

2880.  groceries bought

2881.  more snow coming

2882.  watching the endless snow fall

2883.  over a foot of white powder

2884.  snow days ended; back to the hustle

2885. grace upon grace upon grace

2886.  IF: Gathering

2887.  amazing, God-loving women – a table full of them

2888.  a new week to live out obedience

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^ cupcakes with this cutie on grocery day


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^ snow


^ snow


^ and more snow 😦

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^ first “real” sledding


^ and sledding with my girlies


^ snow day project – finding clothes that fit these ever-growing children


^ pre-dinner coloring session

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^ date night coffee love

When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate.  When life is bitter, say thank you and grow.  

~ Shauna Niequist

May you see the evidence of God’s goodness and grace this week, friends, and may we give thanks in all things.

For His Glory ~


2014: Week in Review {Week 5}

So, as I’ve mentioned before, last week was not a banner week.  BUT we made it to the weekend and on to the start of a new week.

Friday, while the girls were at my mom’s, I spent part of the day purging boxes in our storage room.  My sentimental saver/hoarder tendencies do me no favors in this house, so the efforts to minimize continue.  I went through probably 8 or 9 boxes or tubs of papers and misc stuff…..wedding magazines and catalogs and planners, old photos, yearbooks, old college and high school papers and assignments.  I managed to cull out four file boxes of paper to shred, burn, or toss, and everything else found a home NOT in a box.  Progress.

As I was sorting, I realized a few things about myself….First, I must have some kind of sickness when I think about some of the stuff we have moved to four different houses (bridal magazines from 1999? Why???).  Also, I miss my old Franklin Covey planner.  And I used to have pretty nice handwriting.  I do not miss the bulk and weight of my old Franklin Covey planner, though.  Also, my to do lists used to be much shorter but were still very ambitious, all things considered.  (Three babies under three anyone?  Or four, five and under?)  Lastly, part of me misses college and I think I realized why….first, I love learning and love the classroom environment.  Second, my major required a lot of writing papers and I loved that.  It was fun to sort back through some of them and remember things I totally forgot ever doing.  And the positive affirmation received on said papers was always nice too.  That said, I have no idea how I could ever go back to college now.  I’m pretty sure I would have to give up sleeping entirely.  I know lots of busy moms and dads do it and my hat goes off to you all.  You’re amazing.

Saturday we took the girls to see Frozen (finally).  Can I be honest here?  It was really cute and well done and a great story, but I’m not entirely sure it was as a-mazing as everyone made it out to be.  Just sayin’.

The highlight of the weekend came Sunday afternoon (no, not the Super Bowl) when Amania asked to pray to receive Jesus as her Savior.  What a gift and blessing to have her not only in our earthly forever family, but also our eternal one!  We are thankful to have had the opportunity to pray with each of our daughters as they each made that decision.

As we go into a new week, I want to keep the habit of counting the gifts.  What a blessing to start a week recalling the Lord’s goodness (especially as one child sits in the room down the hall weeping over her penmanship papers)….


2865.  gentle, loving, ever-present God

2866.  hot coffee on cold mornings

2867.  blanket, Bible, and quietness

2868.  coffee (clearly, I’m very thankful for this nectar of the gods)

2869.  sleeping til 8 am on a Saturday

2870.  fresh snow

2871.  boxes of papers purged

2872.  backseat confessions (of the humorous sort)

2873.  laughing hard

2874.  February on the calendar

2875.  Sunday rest

2876.  fifth daughter sealed by God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness

For His Glory ~


Week in Review: 2014 {Week 4}

Well, we survived semester two, week three of the 2013-2014 school year, which also included all the prep and activity involved with the girls’ fine arts preliminary competition.  It’s always a crazy week, but they did well, a lot of stuff is going on to the regional competition, and we can lay low (on that front) until March now.

It’s crazy how anxious we all are for school to be over already.  This early in the semester, that’s a little dangerous.  I’m not sure if Christmas break spoiled us and gave us our first taste of real time off in nearly a year, or if it’s just that the end of the school year also means consistent warm weather (which we are all also ready for), but it’s made January seem very, very long.

I survived my half marathon last Saturday with minimal suffering.  The temps were not quite as warm as they were predicted to be and the winds were gusting at 35-40 mph, sometimes straight at us, so it was challenging, to say the least.  But the miles went surprisingly fast thanks to good company.  And I finished under my (very generous) time goal, so that made me happy.

We were given tickets to the Kansas City Symphony this week.  It was a lovely time with friends and a fun opportunity to get inside the stunning Kauffman Center for Performing Arts.  If you ever have the opportunity, go.

Yesterday, my beloved gave me the gift of a painted dining room.  No more old-lady-Florida-flat-paint-peach!  It’s all gone!  What a remarkable difference it made.  It’s fun having my husband excited to work on our house again.  This is something we loved doing together in the early years but, for whatever reason, was always stressful at the last house.  It’s been fun to make this house our own.

I think that’s about it for me.  I’ll leave you with a few fun photos from the past week.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugmy finishers medal

Kauffman Center for Performing Arts (taken a year ago)

opposite side of KCPC (taken Friday night)

Helzberg Hall inside KCPC – I would love to hear that organ being played

dining room before…..old-lady-peach and brass chandelier

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dining room after – muted yellow and painted chandelier

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tonight’s sunset….the heavens declare His glory

For His Glory ~