Monday, December 29, 2008

The age of ...

Nate saw my birthdate on a form the other day and said, "Oh my gosh, Mommy, I didn't know you were born in the 1900's! Wow! Was that the Pirate Age or the Age of Exploration?"

I'm pretty sure it was the Age of Double Knit Polyester. Rock on Bicentennial Babes!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ummm, no

This week the children's Bible verse is Matthew 12:34b, "Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks."

While they were copying it from the board, I explained what the verse meant and asked them, "If the overflow of your heart is what comes out of your mouth, what is in your heart?"

Anna sat for a moment, looked at me, and said, "Spit."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving movie

My friend Kimberly is a missionary in Ireland. They are having a traditional Thanksgiving feast next week and she asked me if the kids would act out the story for them and then say what they were thankful for.

Here is our (not quite) high quality video:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

hard words

So, can I tell you how much God has been showing me His love lately? (Aside from the rockin' awesome full over twin bunkbeds with mattresses He gave us for FREE!)

Philip and I have been in a rough patch in our marriage. Busyness, illness, finances and everything seem to have ganged up on us all at once. I had seriously gotten to the point where I wondered why I was married at all.

Then, a week and half ago, God spoke to me.

After our homeschool co-op on Fridays, many of the families head to a local park for a picnic lunch. My friend Bonnie (who lives over an hour away) called me as I was leaving co-op to ask if I was going to the park that day. I said yes, and she said she had been heading home, but the Lord told her to come back. We met at the park and began eating.

As the kids played, I started to share a little bit about what was going on in my life, really just expecting to vent (isn't that what we ladies usually do under the guise of sharing - complain about our spouses?) Bonnie wasn't about to have that. She gave me some gentle, loving and difficult to swallow words about my heart and my marriage. She reminded me that I cannot change Philip, only myself. She talked with me about submission, freedom, wounds and a lot of other things. I found myself fighting tears (and I HATE to cry in front of people). She and my friend Alysia prayed for me and I drove home sobbing.

For the rest of the day I cried and prayed while I made dinner and cleaned house. I felt like God was breaking something in me. Like a wall that had been erected in my heart was being knocked down with a sledgehammer. But at the same time, I felt a lightness in my soul that I hadn't felt in a long time.

I've been trying some new things this last week and a half. Like shutting my mouth when I want to be sarcastic. And really focusing on keeping the kids on a schedule. And things are improving.

The thing is, Bonnie and Alysia didn't give me what I wanted that Friday afternoon. I just wanted to gripe and have someone commisurate. They gave me what I needed, and I am so grateful. Proverbs 27:6 says, "Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." I wish more of us in the Christian community had the courage to give wounds when they are necessary, instead of applying superficial kisses that heal nothing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Quacking me up

We were reading Proverbs this morning when we came across a verse about prosperity. Nate asked, "So, if we follow God we will always be rich?" I explained that this was not true. That God blesses us, not so that we can be rich, but so that we will have more to give others after our needs are met. I told him that if he needs 30 dollars to live on, but God blesses him with 50 dollars, it is so he can use the extra 20 to give to the sick or poor.

Nate smiled and said, "I'd give mine to the poor. 'Cause the sick should have asked about Aflac at work. You know, the duck that pays for your groceries and gas."

Saturday, November 08, 2008

What's that again?

Philip and I were talking last night when Susannah popped in with a question.

"Mama, how do make an earl?"

"Pardon? What do you mean 'an earl'?"

"Well, I made the 'g', but I don't know how to write the rest of 'girl'."

Philip and I just about died laughing.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Good stuff..

I love Mark Driscoll. I think he put my thoughts into perfect form here.

I'm reminded of the words of Isaiah (55:2), "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare."

Many people have been spending their time and money on what does not satisfy. I was at Walmart the night of the election and heard someone say, "Now that Obama's in office, all our troubles are over." In the coming months, these people are going to be sorely dissappointed. Obama may give them some of what they want, but he cannot fill that soul deep hunger for the presence of a living God. As St. Augustine said, "You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You." May we who know Christ be ready to offer living water to those who are parched, and the Comforter to those who are disillusioned and dissapointed.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Good news about the election!

Even though Obama will be President in 3 months:

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-annointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.

(Thanks, Em, for the email above)

I would love to see Obama's catchphrases come to life. I'd love to see people finding HOPE in Christ. I'd be thrilled to see folks' lives CHANGE as a result of rebirth. We should all have the AUDACITY to take a stand for truth and witness boldly for our Lord. It would be amazing to see us all UNITED, worshipping in spirit and truth.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Some pictures of the world's most adorable kids having a blast at our church's Trunk or Treat fest.

Still the same...

A lot of my Christian friends have been freaking out about the election tomorrow. While I absolutely agree that we need to be in prayer about it and am trepidacious about an Obama presidency, I don't think it will be the death knell for our country. (I remember folks saying similar things about Clinton in '92). Regardless of who is our leader, God is still in charge. Proverbs 21:1 says, "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases." Our God is not so small that He cannot get ahold of Obama's heart. And no matter what, come Wednesday morning, the Throne in Heaven will still be occupied. Our God will still reign.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Little poop

This morning Abigail was acting terrible. She just kept getting into one scuffle after another, harrassing her brothers and sisters constantly. The last straw was when Gabriel began to scream. I turned and found Abby sitting next to him trying to look innocent. I asked her if she knew why he was screaming. She smiled and said, "Yes, I pinched him."

"Abby," I exclaimed, "You are not acting very nice today. You are acting like a little poop instead of a little princess."

She grinned at me. "Oh Mommy, that is so silly. Poops don't do anything. They just lay there in the toilet. I don't ever lay in the toilet."

Can't really argue with her logic.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

To put it another way....

I love Randy Alcorn. He has a way of putting things in perspective. This is why he says he is voting for McCain instead of Obama:

"What would you think if a politician said 'I'm not pro-rape, I'm simply prochoice about rape. And though I would not choose to rape a woman, I believe that every man should be free to rape a woman if that is his personal choice.?"

Yet we accept this type of logic regarding abortion. Ack, my brain hurts from the cognitive dissonance.

Check out more of his insights here.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Taking a large brood of children to Target requires planning. I tempt them with the promise of a cookie (free over in the bakery) if I see good behavior. I strap Gabriel onto my back, put Luke in the cart seat and admonish the other three with the Prime Directive (Stay with Mommy!) We head into the store and are moving through the aisles with ease. No squabbling, things I need are on sale, all is good.

And then I realize Anna is not behind me. What? She was just with me in office supplies. I begin to shout for her and search the aisles. I find her two aisles over, staring straight ahead, frozen against the endcap with her arms in bent position.

I tap her on the shoulder. "Anna, why aren't you with Mommy?"

Anna turns, eyes incredulous, and says plaintively, "Mommy, don't you know? I'm a robot. I can only turn if you tap me on the shoulder and tell me how many steps to take. Duh!"

I explain that there is only one of me and five of them and I really need her to keep her eyes on me. Her lip pops out in a pout and she says, "Mommy, you can't blame me. The people at the factory made me this way. I'm just a robot."

O brother.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

So easy a child could understand

Nate asked me the other day why I was not voting for Obama. They had seen some presidential ads on TV and Nate said, "Mom, he talks really nice. And he wants us all to share and be nice to our neighbors. That's good stuff." I agreed and explained that while I do agree with and can respect Obama's positions on some issues, I disagree with him on others, like abortion.

Nate asked what abortion was. After taking a deep breath to consider how I should respond, I explained that sometimes when a mommy has a baby in her tummy, she decides for some reason that she doesn't want to have a baby and she goes to a special doctor who kills the baby in her tummy and takes it out. (I assured him that I would never even think about such a thing, and my doctors would never hurt a baby in my tummy.)

Nate's eyes got huge and wet and he whispered, "But Mama, that is wrong. How could someone do that to a baby? God says babies are a gift. Don't they know that?" I began to weep and hugged him close.

"Yes, Nate, babies are a gift. Some people just don't know it," I said as I comforted him.

"Well, Mama, why don't we tell them? Why don't we make a movie and show them how great babies are? Maybe we could give them our address and they could just give their babies to us when they are born. We need more babies, Mama."

I explained that people did not understand because they were held captive by sin. The eyes of their understanding are blinded because they are slaves to the devil. I told him we needed to pray that people would be freed. That they would come to know Jesus and believe in the truth. That when people know God, they understand His blessings. We prayed together and snuggled for a while.

Why is it that an eight year old who loves God can see clearly what many grownups cannot?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stay down....

So, I was really getting in the groove in mid September. We were getting into a great rhythm with homeschooling, the house was staying relatively clean, and I was attending a fantastic Bible study ("Lord, I Need Grace Just to Make It Today" by Kay Arthur - totally amazing and life changing).

And then, the sickness started. I spent a total of 13 days in the hospital. My kids missed out on a ton of school time (though we can make it up easily since hs'ing takes much less time than ps). I missed Bible study. Philip and I ended up stressed beyond belief and floundering financially.

Sound like the work of anyone we know? Why are we surprised that when we get moving in God's direction we get attacked?

I was napping fitfully at the hospital and had a dream. I was fighting in a boxing ring. I kept taking these hard jabs to ribs and falling to the mat. Each time I would struggle back up and keep fighting. Finally I fell and didn't think I could stand again.

I heard a voice whisper in my ear, "Stay down. Don't get up. Just stay down and you'll be okay." And I was sorely tempted to throw in the towel.

That was not the voice of the Lord. It was the voice of the enemy. Satan wants us to give up. He wants to convince us to lay low and not struggle. I know God has amazing things to do through me for my family and the world. And I know the enemy wants to stop me from doing these things. He wants to convince me to give up, to stay down and be a mediocre Christian. He wants me to go through the motions and walk a shallow Christian life, filled with activity but lacking true relationship with Christ. He wants me to be an antagonist to my husband, and focus on our failures as a couple. He wants me to let our dead culture raise my children.

But he's not going to win. I will hold on. I will persevere. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier to lay low, to not lead the charge and draw fire. But I know that when the enemy speaks, it is the language of lies, his native tongue. There is victory to be had if I will persevere.

To this end, I have posted encouraging Scripture around our house to remind me to press on. If you come over to see us, don't be surprised to hear us singing Scripture - my heart is weak and needs constant reminder of my purpose and God's promise.

The great thing is, I've read the Book. I know Who wins the fight in the end. I just need to do my best to stay in it and press on.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Naked and dirty

So, I was in the hospital again last week. Apparently the multiple rounds of antibiotics for the sepsis destroyed the good bacteria in my intestines, leaving me open for a nasty bout with colitis. But I am home now, and on the mend. My friends have come through for me, taking care of my kids and cooking meals and even coming over and cleaning my house. I tear up thinking of the amazing group of ladies I am priviledged to call "friend."

But, oh the humility that lies in true Christian community. I was lying in my hospital bed when my friend Stephanie called to say that a group of ladies from my homeschool co-op had descended upon our house and were cleaning away. I was thankful, but so embarrassed. I like to clean up before folks come over. I don't have the natural gift of housekeeping. I was mortified to hear that my dear friend Kathie was cleaning the toilet in my master bathroom (the last room in our house to ever get cleaned). How would I ever look these ladies in the eye when they knew what a mess I was?

But that's just the point. I am a mess and I need help. On a physical and spiritual level. And as long as I continue to tidy up and put on lipstick and go to church with a pasted-on grin, no one will come to my aid. It is when we finally break that we can be mended. When we give up on going it alone and admit our broken, shameful nakedness, others can step in to help. I was embarrassed to let others see the mess I had got my house into, but the only way for them to help was for them to fully see the need. (And so far, none of them has sent me any emails berating my dirty floors.)

And ultimately, this is how we are with our Savior. We try to clean up. We make an effort to show Him how sincere we are. But we aren't honest. Maybe it's a product of our cheap grace, self-esteem driven culture, but our conversions aren't what they used to be. Rarely do we hear these words from in the 1776 hymn "Rock of Ages":

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die

Past salvation, we continue to try and pretty ourselves up spiritually when we go to our Bible studies, never admitting our sins to one another. We might say we are "struggling" in an area or some other such nicety, but it is rare to hear honest confession of sin nowdays.

What freedom we would find if we could be honest, naked and dirty as that might be. What healing we would find if we could admit our brokeness to one another and our God. And what friendship we would find if we would lay down our defenses and let others see the truth about our situation. We are all in this together: broken, bleeding, sin drenched and pitiful.

But there is hope, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (Is 53:6)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Waiting for the day

Recently, a friend so mine went quite a few days "overdue" with her baby (since we know due dates are inaccurate at best). She was so patient, waiting for the perfect time for God to bring her baby into the world. And when her time came, she had a quick labor and birthed a ten and half pound baby boy with no problems.

She is much more patient than I am. I get to about 32 weeks and start feeling like a stuffed turkey. I moan and whine and wish for time to speed up until my baby comes. (Philip always tells me to enjoy it, because someday soon I will be wishing I were pregnant again. I roll my eyes like a petulant child and tell him that I won't. Of course, now I'm all twitchy for a new babe and totally wish I were pregnant again - but that's another subject). God, in His mercy, ignores my cries for deliverance and gives me strength to forbear until the proper time. And, when the time is perfect, the baby is born. And somehow, within a few days, I no longer remember the pains and travails of pregnancy. It seems like a very distant memory.

The Bible says that all creation groans for deliverance from sin (Rom 8:22). We too, long for the day of Christ's coming, when wrongs are made right and we are made into His likeness. Some days it just seems cruel that the earth continues to spin unaltered. So much sin, so much pain, so much evil exists. Like a heavily pregnant woman, we long for it to finally be the time of deliverance. Yet the Bible also tells us in II Peter 3 that it is the kindness of the Lord that causes Him to wait. He wishes that none would perish and so He lets creation groan in labor, knowing that every day more lost souls are found in Him.

But the day will come when His patience ends. Just as a woman cannot be pregnant forever (even though it feels like it), so creation will not groan in labor in vain. Someday, we will rise and find it is indeed that day, the day of deliverance we have longed for. And when it happens, we will count these days of trouble as a distant memory.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is puberty just around the corner?

A few weeks ago Nate came to me and said he needed to talk privately. He wanted me to pick up some hair gel for him at the store, so he could spike it up in the front (good luck, since he has my brother Logan's wirey curls) and "look handsome for the girls in my class."

Then today, at the pumpkin patch (which was a special piece o' heck to be discussed later), we rode on the hay wagon. He was sitting next to me, looking around. I asked if he was sleepy. He said no, he was looking for pretty girls. I said, "I thought you were going to marry Summer." (my friend Amy's little girl, we've joked about their betrothal since they were a year old).

"Oh, Mom," he replies, "Summer's not my girlfriend. I don't have a girlfried yet. But I'm looking."

Ack! I did not realize this would be happening at eight!

Monday, October 06, 2008


Today we began our Colonization study. When the littles were napping, Nate, Susannah and I began reading a book about two Pilgrim children moving to the New World. (I highly recommend the Sisters In Time series - both of my older kids love them). We discussed the prohibitions on religious expression under King James and how this type of religious persecution still persists today in some areas of the world.

As I snuggled my children on the couch, free to read to them and teach them about God, I started to cry. Do we realize how truly blessed we are? How many people in the world TODAY would literally die for the freedom to worship and and raise their children in faith? We are so foolish to take this for granted. I have a friend who talks about how Christians in America are persecuted. While I'm sure there are isolated cases of pressure against public expression of faith, for the most part we enjoy amazing freedom. How many in China, India, Indonesia, the Middle East, North Africa and Vietnam would rejoice to suffer the silly "persecutions" of America? Daily, there are Christians martyred for their faith, and we fuss about something as silly as wearing a Christian Tshirt or praying at a graduation.

I was grateful today that my children can read the Bible in their own language. That I am allowed to teach them the Apostle's Creed and help them memorize Scripture. That we can sing songs about our Father and not worry about being overheard and reported to the police. May God give us the wisdom to take full advantage of our freedoms to raise up a generation of children who will take the Good News to those who cannot and have not heard.

Abby's stitches

Last month Abigail had the opportunity to check out our fine emergency room. She was jumping on her bed and fell, hitting the window sill and gashing her head. She got 6 fancy stitches placed on her forhead and we were home in under an hour (including a trip to QT for Slurpees).

I asked her a few days ago what she had learned from the whole experience. Her brow furrowed thoughtfully and she replied, "I learned to not jump on my bed. I should jump on Nate's bed. His is not by the window."

That, my friends, is why my hair falls out.

You may be wondering...

where I disappeared to.

I apologize for my absence. I was in the hospital twice over the last 10 days. But I'm home now with my IV line sewn in and I'm receiving antibiotics here. So it's all good.

More updates on fun and exciting happenings to come.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Our adobe dwelling and zoo trip

Last week we concluded our Native American study by building a Hopi pueblo.

We also went to the zoo and took pictures of animals found in America. Nate was so bummed that most of the "cool" animals were from Africa and Asia. The kids really wanted to feed the birds, so I gave in and bought the little sticks with birdseed. Guess who was the only one who liked the birds? Gabriel.

The girls loved riding on the horses though.

This week are beginning our study of Exploration and Colonization. Fun!

PS: I know y'all are jealous and wish you had tie dyed a tshirt to match ours. We made two sets (one "brights" and one "camo") to wear when we go out - makes it easier for me to see everyone.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


See this adorable little face? Do you imagine the depths of depraved thinking it hides? I think not.

One of the best things about homeschooling is the ability to turn everyday activities and errands into lessons. I am sure public schooling families do this too, but being a homeschooler has made me more purposeful in my teaching.

We were at Costco and had a few minutes to spare while we waited for them to make our pizza. So we sidled up to the window and watched them while they prepared pizzas. The kids speculated on how many pizzas they make each day, and studied each step of the pizza making process. Lots of fun.

Then Susannah slips her arms around me and whispers in my ear, "Mama, someone gave me a present!" I turned around and Susannah opened her mouth to show me a piece of chewing gum. Alarmed, I asked her where she had got the gum.

She smiled and said, "Someone left it for me, right here under the table!"

"Susannah!" I exclaimed, "Do you know where that came from? Some nasty person chewed it up and left under the table because they were too lazy to throw it in the trash! It has been in someone else's mouth!"

Susannah's response? "Oh." While she continues to chomp away happily.

Eww! I explained that the appropriate response is not "oh" - it is is "Gross!" and should be accompanied by prompt spitting of the gum into the trash can, followed by brushing of the teeth (or at least swishing water in the mouth).

She protested, saying the gum still had flavor. She then explained that all the stranger spit surely had been replaced by her own spit since she'd been chewing for some time. Kindergarten logic. I ended up buying her a gumball just to trade it out with her.


Saturday, September 13, 2008


Sometimes here in Texas I feel restless. I get so excited when we take a trip back up to Blue Springs (my hometown) or even to Tulsa (where Philip and I met and went to college). I walk around the familiar streets of my formative years and wonder if I'll run into someone I know. I feel this vaguely hollow sensation, hoping I'll run into someone to reconnect with. I fantasize about moving back home to Missouri.

But the truth is, the desire I feel is not really a desire to return to my childhood home, it is a desire for my future home. The one I was made for, Heaven. I feel unsettled and nomadic here because I am supposed to. God wired me to feel discontent here because He wants me to be mindful of my true citizenship. He wants me to feel a little uncomfortable and out of place here to remind me that I will only fit in at His place.

Lately, eternity has been weighing heavily on my heart. I've been watching my children and realizing my time with them is so short. While some days it can seem like at eternity until nap time, in reality I have precious few years to mold and prepare them. Before I realize it they will be taking flight and I must be diligent to prepare them well.

In the same vein, my time here is so short. And while I will have all of eternity to reap the rewards of faithfulness on Earth, I must be diligent to use my time wisely.

Someday I will be home for good. In the place where all my discontent is soothed and my restless heart is still. I pray that God would help me to stay focused on that day and work hard preparing for it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Our teepee

Being the industrious little beavers we are, we also built a teepee today in the backyard. We talked about how the Native Americans wrote in symbols and we wrote our own code. We used the code to write this story on the outside of our teepee:

"The USA and her allies fought the Germans and Japanese. The Navajo windtalkers made a code that could not be broken. They helped the USA and her allies achieve victory."

We scavenged some fallen branches from a local park to use as teepee poles. I think we should have used more than three.

We fastened them at the top and them tied on our covering:

Native American studies

We've begun our school year by studying Native America. We figured since we are doing American History this year we ought to start with the folks who were here first. Today we made Navajo fry bread.

We started with wheat berries and ground them into flour:

Next, we mixed 3 cups of flour with 1 tsp salt, 1 TBS baking powder and 1 cup warm water:

Kneaded it for a few minutes and then let it rest for half an hour:

Divided it into small balls and rolled them flat.

Then we cooked them until brown in hot bubbling oil. We sprinkled on cinnamon and sugar - mmmm!

We'll have more for supper, but without the cinnamon sugar. We are going to try them with beef filling. (Like a gordita).

We found that when we pricked them with a fork, they stayed flat. When we left them unpricked, they puffed up.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Messiah Complex

I've been watching the growing political fervor over Obama (especially among young people) with increasing nervousness. Sarah Palin joked in her speech on Wednesday that he could go to work after "he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet." And we all chuckled.

But truth is, we ALL have been guilty of the messiah complex surrounding Obama, and now , to a smaller degree, Sarah Palin. We humans have been doing this forever (check out the stories of Saul and Jesus in the Bible if you don't believe me.) We keep thinking that if we just get the right ruler, everything will be okay.

But God is not waiting for us to elect the right person. No human government can solve our problems. God tells us clearly in His Word what He is waiting for: "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (II Chron. 7:14). He's waiting for us, the Church, His Bride, to get on her face and repent and pray.

What if we spent all the time we waste on politics on prayer? What if instead of waiting for the government to overturn Roe v Wade we reduced the need for abortions by befriending and caring for the unexpectedly pregnant? What if we cared for the poor ourselves instead of fattening our own pocketbooks? When the Church does what she is supposed to do, and is humble enough to beseech the Lord on behalf of our nation, then we would have no need for a messiah from either party.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The birds and the bees

So, I've been rather intrigued to hear all the rhetoric coming from the left about Sarah Palin. They've put themselves in somewhat of a bind, as the inherent fallacy and inconsistency of their worldview will be apparent the minute they open their mouths.

First off, we hear that she was irresponsible for having delivered a Down Syndrome baby when sweet little Trig was diagnosed in utero. In a world where 90+ percent of Down Syndrome infants are murdered before birth, this seems crazy. The liberals talk about their sacred cow, choice, but then gasp and gawk when a family decides that its commitment to life extends to all children God creates in the womb, not just those with the standard number of chromosomes. So, in reality, the liberals only approve of choice when it means taking the easy way out.

Next, we hear that she should be home taking care of her children and that the rigors of the campaign will cause too much strain upon her family. Isn't this what the liberals wanted. Weren't the mothers of the feminist movement burning their bras just for this very day? For years they have demeaned the role of the woman homemaker and instead of embracing God's plan for the family, have declared that in order to be equal to a man a woman must become like a man. And yet when a woman who disagrees with their ideals comes into her own, they start squealing for her to go back to the kitchen.

And finally, the kicker. Bristol Palin's pregnancy. First the rumor mill swirled that baby Trig was not Sarah's son, but rather her grandson. Then, when the Palin family shared the news that their 17 year old unmarried daughter was indeed with child, they immediately pounced upon this pregnancy as a failure of abstinence only education and Republican family values. Hmmm. Notice any glaring hypocrisy?

The liberals want to teach our children about sex, including information on contraceptive usage, abortion, and homosexuality as a normal and valid choice. They do not want to teach our children about sex with the benefit of any moral framework to hang their decisions on. Yet when a seventeen year old becomes pregnant and chooses not to kill her unborn child for the sake of convenience, they declare this to be an invalid choice. So, they want to teach our children how to have sex without moral guidelines, while reserving the right to tell them that they have done wrong later, when the natural consequences of sex (pregnancy) come to fruition. Can't have it both ways, liberals. Either it's wrong to be having sex and we should be teaching that it is wrong, or we should applaud and embrace teen pregnancy and unwed motherhood as wonderful life decisions.

Bringing us to my final point. I'm seriously doubting that Bristol Palin got pregnant because she had no idea how sex worked or that you should use contraception if you desire to prevent pregnancy. She got pregnant because she chose to engage in an adult behavior, probably without using adult precautions (who knows though, as contraceptive devices do fail, even when used properly). A liberal blog link that was sent to me suggested that because her mother supports abstinence education and creationism, Bristol probably assumed that babies were brought by the stork or that God left them under your pillow. Good gracious. Even my eight year old knows basically how babies are made (and that God's best plan is that we wait until marriage). If our children are going to act like adults and have intercourse they should be prepared to assume adult risks such as pregnancy.

I am going to start praying daily for the Palin family. Even though the choices Sarah Palin has made are not the ones that I would make (my heart is here, with my kids, and I look forward to the day I can devote all my time and energy here), I still believe she is an excellent candidate for VP.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Little joy

My little Luke said "Mama" today for the first time! (He's in speech therapy to help with his delay). He came running around the corner and yelled, "Mama!" When I jumped up and kissed him he thought it was soooo funny. So he's been jumping out and saying it all day long, and then dissolving into giggles.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Today we went to Hawaiian Falls to enjoy the last couple days on our passes. Abby and I were floating peacefully in the wave pool. I was pretending to be a whale, spouting water up at her (no snide remarks about whether me in a swimsuit should be considered "pretending"). She thought it was funny, and then one time when I did it she really started giggling. She fell off the raft. And then came up grinning and whispered, "Mama. I just pee peed in the water. AND YOU DRANK IT!"

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I don't often take fantastic pictures like my sisters...

...but I thought this one of Abby at the park was pretty darn good.

And who can resist this little face?

And then we have Dad of the Year (look, a man that multitasks!):

Friday, August 29, 2008

I heart Sarah Palin

These pictures say it all:

You go, babywearing mama!

But seriously, what's not to love about this woman? She's a prolifer that walks the walk (she refused to abort her Down Syndrome child when he was diagnosed in utero). She is well known for fighting corruption in her state. And she's a breastfeeding, babywearing mom of five! Go McCain - Palin!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy birthday Gabriel!

My littlest munchkin, Gabriel, turned one on Sunday. I can't believe it's already been that long since the doctor pulled him screaming from my belly and Philip shouted, "It's a boy!" What a sweet, lovable, huggable boy he is!

The birthday boy had a little cold, so his poor nose is all chapped. :(

Called to joy

I really appreciated the sermon this week at church. Our rockin' family pastor, Ben Forbes, shared about how being faithful in the role God has given you now is how we will win folks to Christ. So many times we assume that the only people who are "called" to ministry are those who are in full time positions as vocational pastors or missionaries. But this is a false dichotomy. The Hebrews and Greeks had no such delineation between the secular and sacred. The truth is, all of us who have been saved by Christ are called to be a faithful minister wherever we are. Even if we cannot use our words to preach our faith, we can still make a powerful witness just be doing our job with cheerfulness, industry and integrity. This makes a statement as it is contrary to the world's work standard: whining, slacking and lying.

A few months ago I walked into work, humming a bit of praise and worship I'd been listening to in the car. As I strolled down the hall, my charge nurse stopped me and said, "I'm so glad you are here today. I know I can count on you to not whine and to be cheerful. Everyone else is such a complainer, it really brings me down." And just like that I had an opportunity to share Him - the One who gives me grace and joy to not whine. The One who puts a spring in my step and gives me a light heart.

I remember back in high school when I went on a missions trip to Venezuela. During our commisioning service the leaders prayed over each of us and had a word of prophecy for some folks. I was all excited, waiting my turn, wondering what thrilling thing the Lord would say to me. When they got to me, Susan (whom we named our daughter afer) laid put her hands on my shoulders, looked me straight in the eye and said, "Your joy will be your gift to the people of Venezuela and the world." I was so disappointed. Joy? Seriously? That was it?

But as I have grown older (no wise cracks here), I have realized that this really is a gift. Our world is not joyful. We are entertained and amused, but rarely do we find that deep-in-the-soul joy that springs from true life in Him. So when my friends see that there is something different here, a joy that springs from the indwelling Christ, instead of the fleeting amusement of the moment, their interest is piqued.

I think this is the essence of the Christian calling. Some are called to work in a Christian vocation. But all are called to the ministry of countercultural living, where we live as lights and stand ready to give an answer for our hope.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh Mommy.....

Abby was being silly while I was cooking super. I set down my spoon and started tickling her, and asked her, "What are you made of, Abigail Elizabeth? Silliness?"

She looked at me, very serious, and said, "Oh, Mommy, don't you know? I'm made of MEAT!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

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

is what my son's shirt said today.

I should have known better.

My sweet two year old cracked 4 eggs into the bottom of the art easel and was drawing on the chalkboard with runny egg goo.

And while I was cleaning it up he decided to paint the baby with BBQ sauce.

I need to buy him a shirt that says, "I love to obey my mommy and play quietly without making a mess." Do you think they sell that one?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Writing Scripture

We were at the dinner table Tuesday night when Nate says, "Mommy, Daddy, do you want to hear the new Scripture I wrote?"

I explained that we do not get to write our own Scriptures, but God loves it when we write songs and poems for Him. So he decided he had written a prayer song. It was very sweet:

God, You are so mighty.
God, You are so mighty.
God, You are so mighty.
Help us do our best to serve You.

Not bad, eh? Maybe we'll have a little Chris Tomlin on our hands. As soon as he's done being a knight and vanquishing the forces of evil, that is (Nate's current job aspiration is knighthood).

Adult language

Nate and I were talking in the car a couple days ago about my birthday. I said that Grandpa was coming over for the evening and Daddy and I were going to go on a date and see a movie. He protested, saying he wanted to see it too.

Me: No, Nate, this is Mommy and Daddy's special time and we are going to see a grown up movie.
Nate: Eww, is it about love?
Me: No, but it has some bad language. Not for kids.
Nate: Hey! I know LOTS of bad words! Wanna hear? Stupid! Lame!

Whew! I'm so glad that stupid and lame are the worst words he can think of. God must have covered his ears the other day when I had a kidney stone and said the "d" word a few times.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic yearnings

I confess. I'm a sucker for the Olympics. I love the pageantry, the stories, the heartbreak, the triumphs. I love it all. I'll stay up til the wee hours of the morning watching any bizarre sport I can.

Yesterday we were watching the opening ceremonies. Pretty stinking awesome in my opinion. The sheer number of coordinated folks dancing was just mind boggling. And then they came to the parade of nations. The kids and I got out the globe and tried to find each country as they came on screen. The announcers kept talking about how just coming and marching in the parade was the highlight of many athletes' lives. They discussed various conflicts and issues dividing countries. They embraced the Chinese theme that through human work and struggle we can achieve peace. The show included many images of children and birds of peace as the idea of one world and one people was extolled.

And I was struck by how close it was to perfect. And yet, it was all still a shadow. We are created for one parade of nations. We are created for one giant spectacle of celebration. The one described by the apostle John in the 5th and 7th Chapters of Revelation:

"I heard a company of Angels around the Throne, the Animals, and the Elders—ten thousand times ten thousand their number, thousand after thousand after thousand in full song:

The slain Lamb is worthy!
Take the power, the wealth, the wisdom, the strength!
Take the honor, the glory, the blessing! Then I heard every creature in Heaven and earth, in underworld and sea, join in, all voices in all places, singing:

To the One on the Throne! To the Lamb!
The blessing, the honor, the glory, the strength,

I looked again. I saw a huge crowd, too huge to count. Everyone was there — all nations and tribes, all races and languages. And they were standing, dressed in white robes and waving palm branches, standing before the Throne and the Lamb and heartily singing:

Salvation to our God on his Throne!
Salvation to the Lamb! All who were standing around the Throne—Angels, Elders, Animals— fell on their faces before the Throne and worshiped God, singing:

Oh, Yes!
The blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving,
The honor and power and strength,
To our God forever and ever and ever!
Oh, Yes!"

That will be a sight for the ages. While the Olympic ceremony was lovely, it just created in me pangs of homesickness. I long for that day. The one where the commentators are shushed and we all turn our attention to Him. The only One who truly deserves glory. Where His work on the cross and His love are truly enough to still conflicts and create peace.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Seriously messed up

We are very blessed to have many friends with children older than ours. Probably at least once every 6 wks or so a friend will drop off a big bag of hand me down clothes for the kiddos. Anna and Abby squeal with delight and immediately start pawing through the piles of clothes and shoes as if it were Christmas morning. Most of the time we get really rocking awesome stuff and I am so grateful that God provides for us. Then, sometimes, we just get odd stuff.

Case in point. The panties.

Let's set aside the squeamishness at used undies and just move on to the wording on this particular pair. "This is what a Diva looks like (Insert tiarra)" First off, I believe the word is actually "tiara". Secondly, insert tiara where?

Needless to say, these are going into the trash can.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Children's Day

A month ago, when we were celebrating Father's Day (I'm chronically tardy), Nate got in a little funk. I asked him what the problem was and he replied, "It's not fair, Mommy. You get Mother's Day and Daddy gets Father's Day. When do we get to have Children's Day?"

Only every single other day in the year, Nate. Every single day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Devil's Food

We enjoyed Nate and Abby's birthday party today at scenic Hawaiian Falls Waterpark in Mansfield. Lots of fun (except for the inevitable sunburn). My rocking g-ma Nancy shared a fabulous trick for cookie cake with me. You mix up a cake mix with 3 eggs, half a cup of oil and a bunch of chocolate chips. Pat into a cookie pan and bake for 15ish minutes at 350. Voila! A cookie cake to rival Mrs. Fields. And cheap to boot!

So to make our cakes we picked up some cake mixes at Walmart on Sunday after church. And as we stood in the aisle Nate and I argued over cake mixes. He was insisting on a certain brand because it "looked chocolater" on the box. (I wanted the cheaper one). Finally he read out that it was "Devil's Food" flavor, so it must be good.

Back up the train. When did something super rich and wonderful come to be associated with the devil? Why do we call luscious foods sinful? Is it because they make our tushes big, or have we swallowed the enemy's lie, yet again? Do we believe that God alone has everlasting pleasures for us, or do we secretly believe that the devil really has the goods?

Oh that we would have the faith to believe that the things God says about His place and His pleasures are true. If we could just grasp for one second the magnitude of Heaven I think it would forever change the way we operate here on Earth.

And his Jesus' food cake was pretty darn tasty.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pajama Party.

So, sometimes we have pajama parties with kids. You know the drill. Everyone puts on jammas, we pop popcorn and watch a movie. Lots o' fun.

Yesterday the older three went with Philip to the water park. They came home all worn out and after dinner they went up to put on jammas. As they came down stairs I heard Anna begging to have a pajama party. To which my dear husband replied, "Hmm, Anna, I'm kind of worn out. Maybe we could just have a pajama get together."

Hee hee.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Box day requests

I've been eagerly scanning the horizon for the Fed Ex man, as I'm awaiting the arrival of our box from Rainbow Resource. The kids and I are thrilled when our box of homeschool materials shows up and we get to rifle through, looking at all the neat books and games we will enjoy this year.

We went to the library this morning and on the way home I mentioned that I hoped the box would get here today. Nate says, "Yeah, and I hope there's food in it too, 'cause I got the munchies."

Um, yeah, doubt it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Good gifts

Recently, I've been obsessed with reading missionary and overseas blogs. I was reading about a young couple in South Asia who recently lost a baby and nearly lost the mommy. The husband recounted the harrowing ordeal and ended by talking about their tiny stillborn daughter as an offering to God (not in a creepy Molech way, but in a "here's my grief, use it, Lord" sort of way.) I was reminded about how the Bible says in Revelation that we will receive crowns as our rewards for good deeds on earth. And how we, in turn, will cast those crowns before the Lamb, as only He is worthy to receive honor and glory. I was thinking what a beautiful crown this couple will have to lay at His feet.

What will my crown look like? Will I have a lovely thing to lay at the feet of my King? Will anything I have done survive the fire of purification? Or is it all done in my self-interest? I want to learn to live my life looking, as the Puritans said, with a single eye for His glory.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What do I want them to remember?

Philip and I were talking the other day about our memories of childhood. I was remembering all the fun things I did with my parents and wondered what things will stick out in my children's minds about growing up. I pray that they will remember the fun things we did and the love I showed, instead of the times I was short tempered or too tired to play with them.

I remembered what our beloved ORU campus pastor used to say. His favorite catchphrase was "hindsight in foresight position." In other words, when you think about the future, what decision are you going to wish you had made? This can apply to everything from laundry to childrearing (ie, tomorrow, when I'm frantically trying to find a clean bra, will I wish I had gotten off my keister right now and done laundry?).

So what do I want my kids to remember? I want them to remember me that I was patient. That I was gentle when I disciplined. That we laughed a lot and played a lot of games. That I read them lots of books. That I included them in my daily work and taught them how to keep a home. That I delighted in spending time with them and was genuinely joyful in their presence.

I don't want them to remember me as a disengaged computer-addicted mom who only disciplined when a behavior annoyed her. I don't want them to remember being treated like a nuisance. I don't want them to feel as though they were not valued, or that their contribution to the family did not matter. I don't want them to feel spiritually adrift and undisciplined in their pursuits of God.

In order for these things to happen I must do as the Psalmist said. "So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." (Ps 90:12). I must remember how short my days with my children are (is Nathaniel really going to be eight in two weeks!?!). It is wisdom to realize that this time of diapers and runny noses and toddler squabbles and soft, teachable hearts is short - I need to make the most of it.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Deep thoughts from Nate

Nathaniel and I were talking last night and he was very upset. He said that he was mad at God because God isn't fair. I asked what he meant and he replied that he didn't think God was fair to the devil. He wanted to know why the devil could not repent. He thought if God was fair He would give the devil a chance to say he was sorry and be forgiven. I pondered this for a moment and realized that Nate was giving me a great jumping off point for discussing the devil's schemes.

I explained that the devil knew God personally in all His glory and still chose to rebel, so the chances of him being sorry and even wanting to repent are slim to none. But that aside, the gift of repentence is huge. We are blessed with the ability to come to God and have Him forgive us and wash us clean. We can have our slate wiped and start again with renewed fellowship. But the devil can't. No wonder he is out to steal, kill and destroy. He can never undo or make right the trespasses he has committed. So he tries to take as many of us down with him as he can.

Today, I am going to give thanks again for the marvelous privilege of repentance and reconciliation. We serve a good God.


Gabe was quite the little flirt when we visited Grandma Jean.

He sees a pretty girl:

He crawls over to squeal at her:

And then he quickly moves in for a kiss:

Quite the ladies' man, eh?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

More ER advice (Adults only)

Since it is summertime, I am working more while Philip is off from school. I am meeting some high class folks and want to share some wisdom I've gleaned from them.

Ambulances are awesome. But not the appropriate mode of transport to the hospital for your sore throat or runny nose.

I cannot tell if you are pregnant over the phone.

Nor can I diagnose your rash, tell you if your arm is broken or determine if you need stitches.

The ER doctor is NOT your primary care physician.

You did not get herpes from the toilet, you got it from sex, really.

You might need to reevaluate your life choices if you have to look in your date book to determine who might be the father of your baby.

A fever of 100.6 and 106 are two entirely different things. Decimals mean a great deal.

Abcesses or boils are generally NOT brown recluse spider bites. If you did not see a spider bite you, chances are a spider did not bite you.

I tell you that you are pregnant. You cry, "How did this happen?" Do you really want me to explain it? 'Cause I'm pretty sure the Immaculate Conception was a one time deal.

Vomiting one time does not mean that you need to go directly to the ER. Many people vomit and go on to live happy, productive lives.

If you are unhappy about your inability to afford a dentist for your 3 month toothache, perhaps you should stop smoking 2 packs a day, save the cigarette money and use that to pay the dentist.

Some holes are "out holes" and should stay that way, if you get my drift.

Tell us the truth about your injury. We will not believe you when you say you fell and accidentally had a plastic banana/glass bottle/lug wrench/etc shoved up your rear. We are not that dumb.

I'm sure there are more wonderful things I will learn from my patients this summer. So stay tuned.


How can you not love this face?

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Here is my 3 yr old angel, see how sweet she is:


Abigail: Mama, what's for dinner?
Me: Chicken nuggets, rice and broccoli.
Abigail: That is sooooo lame.
Me: Excuse me?
Abigail: Chicken nuggets are lame-o.

My mother says that she is my payback for being a sarcastic smart aleck. I'm guessing she'll be the one we send to military school.

Monday, June 23, 2008


We just returned from a ten day vacation and the kids were thrilled to be heading home to their own beds and toys. As we crossed the Red River into Texas, I asked, "Do you know where we will be when we get across this river?"

Nate pipes up, "The Promised Land?"

Some Texans think so.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bra talk

Susannah asked me the other day if she could wear a bra. I asked her why and she said she wanted to be more of a "lady".

I suggested she start with sitting with her legs closed in a dress.


Inspired by the rockin' awesome AV poems over at Stuff Christians Like, I wrote some haikus just for you:

Carry your own bag
Of dolls, cars, toys, balls, dinos
Mom's not your sherpa

Nursing in the morn
Blissed out sighs and dribbles of
Liquid love seep out

Please, kids in the back
Don't hit/punch/bite/kick/scream/wail
Mommy is driving

Okay - your turn!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

If it stinks....

We were riding in the car yesterday when I detected the odor of skunk wafting through the van. I commented to the children, "Ewww, skunk!" (Even though I secretly enjoy the aroma of skunks, in limited amounts of course). Nathaniel objected. "There's no skunk! I have excellent eyesight and I don't see a skunk. If I don't see a skunk there isn't one." Despite the olfactory evidence to the contrary, he would not change his mind. Dh and I thought it was pretty funny, as he was quite vehement in his protestations.

Isn't this how we are though, when someone confronts us with an area of sin in our lives? We don't want to admit that we have a weakness or blind spot. Despite the evidence of sin in our lives (broken relationships, strained fellowship with the Father and our peers, etc), we insist that there is no sin. Because we cannot see it. But if other folks are smelling a skunk, maybe there is one. As Proverbs 27:6 says, "Wounds from a friend can be trusted."

I am praying for courage. So the next time someone tells me they smell a skunk in my life I won't pull a Nate and insist that there isn't one because I don't see it. I want to be brave enough to accept criticism and take it to my Father, who will lovingly help me to see if it applies and use it to mold me into the likeness of His Son.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lonely flooring?

This morning Susannah was lying on the floor in the living room. I asked her to please get up and help me with cleaning up after breakfast. She looked shocked and said, "Mom, I am pretending to be the floor! You wouldn't want the floor to be lonely, would you?!?!"

Um, yes. Yes, I would.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dangerous relationship

I was talking to a friend recently about her birth plans (she's due next month). She's an observant Orthodox Jew and has hired a friend to be her doula. She was telling me to pray that she doesn't go into labor on the Sabbath because her friend is also Orthodox and will be severely limited in what she can do on the Sabbath. Anything that could be considered "work" is forbidden, so the doula will be unable to give massages and they were trying to decide if "work" included opening bottles of essential oils or preparing baths.

I surely don't want to slam her faith (in fact, I find her devotion a thing of beauty), but I was immediately struck by the difference between our faiths. She follows a set of rules in hopes of forging relationship with an unknowable God. Her rules are unbending. The put the focus on the outward action instead of the heart motivation.

We, in contrast, serve a Person. A God who wants to be known by us. Who desires to reveal Himself to us and asks us to follow Him with complete trust and utter abandon. Which can be more dangerous than just following rules. Rules are simple. They are black and white and don't require is to interpret shades of grey. Following a person is much more difficult. Sometimes we get things wrong. We think we are hearing a still small Voice but are only hearing our own desires. But Jesus has called us to trust that as we follow Him wholeheartedly we will learn to hear His Voice and will follow more closely. What a thrilling privilege this is.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The "D" word

The children heard the word "damn" on television and decided to try using it around the house. I sat them down and explained that it is not a word we should be using. I told them that it meant that you wished that person would go to hell. I then told them that the fifth chapter of Matthew says that when we say that it is like murdering someone in our hearts, and that we should love one another instead.

They were quiet for a minute.

And then Susannah pipes up, "Well, I know who I'm going to say 'damn' to. The devil! 'Cause he should burn in hell!"

Can't argue with that. So I agreed and told her that princesses don't say "damn" because it's not ladylike.

She agreed not to say it, since she's a princess (just ask her!)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

10 minute rule

I have this love/hate relationship with the Flylady. Sometimes I do really great with my control journal, sometimes not so much. But I do agree with the idea that you can do anything in fifteen minutes. For the kids, because they are young, I've modified this to 10 minutes. So we have a new housekeeping procedure. We start by reading one chapter of our book (right now we are reading The Magic Treehouse books). Then I set the timer for 10 minutes and the kids and I race around and try to clean as much as we can before the timer goes off. Then I read another chapter, followed by another cleaning race. The kids love it and we get a lot done. Try it with your kiddos and let me know how it works for you!

Middle names mean business!

Nate asked me yesterday what my middle name was. I told him and he ran off. Later I hear him shriek from the other room, "Mommy LYNN Pfanstiel, are you even listening to me?"

Oh my!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Swimming in the deep end

We decided that it is high time that our children learn to swim. Frankly, it's a bit embarrassing that we have not taught them yet. By the time I was Nate's age I was a practically a fish. So, to that end, we bought passes to a local water park this summer.

It is rockin' awesome! I took the kids twice on Monday (by myself! I know, crazy!) and we all went yesterday. The wave pool is perfect for the older three as it deepens very gradually. They seem to have gotten over their fear of water and no longer cling to me like drowning monkeys.

So I just sit at the edge of the water with Gabe in a sling and let Luke walk around in the very shallow (5-6 inch deep) water. The problem is, Luke hates the water. He screams and fights me if I try to help him walk any deeper than his ankles. Monday night Gabe went with Daddy to a meeting, so I was able to focus more on Luke. After 30 minutes of alternately wailing and scowling, I was able to slowly ease Luke out into the deeper water in my arms. And, lo and behold, he liked it. He splashed and laughed and grinned. Just like I knew he would.

When we returned the next night, I was hoping he would remember that he liked the water. Nope, we get within a foot of the water and the screeching recommences. Oy. So I guess this will be a work in progress.

But isn't Luke just like all of us? God has so much He wants for us to experience. He calls us to walk with Him into the deep end and trust that He will keep us afloat. But we fight and wail and screech and generally make things much harder than they need be. We lean on our own understanding and forget that He has been to the deep end and is a great judge of what we can handle. So, He hangs out in the shallows with us, knowing that there is so much more we could be doing, until we are ready to ease our way in.

And then we take a leap of faith and land squarely in His arms and find delight in the deeps.

But do we learn? Nope, the next challenge comes up and we screech again and refuse to go farther than ankle deep. Praise God that He is patient and waits on us, even though He knows where we could be if we would just trust.

Yes, these pics are from last year. He is a bit bigger now.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Nate had made some comments about my big behind. I told him Mommy was sensitive about her weight and asked him not to do it.

Later, we were working on his reading lesson. He read a word incorrectly and asked him to sound it out and try again. He looked at me and said, "Mom, please don't point out the wrong words, I'm sensitive about my reading."

Oh brother.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


I was reading the news yesterday at work (it was a bit slow for a change) and came across this article. It really struck home with me. We've heard so much about the human rights issues in China. Steven Spielberg pulled out of the Olympics planning to protest China's dealings with the Sudan. Other countries have called for boycotts of the opening ceremonies to protest human rights issues. And yet, for the most part, the issues they are concerned with are Tibetan autonomy and military supplies to the Sudan. While both of these issues are important, a figure that bothers me is this: in several recent years, the abortion rate in China has passed 10 million a year. Yes, that is correct. Over 10 million Chinese sons and daughters, people made in the image of God, are killed each year. Many of these are unwanted abortions, forced through China's one child policy.
When we think about China over the next few months and see the sparkling cities of Beijing and Tianjin at the Olympics, let us be reminded to pray for China's little ones and the genocide that takes place in the mothers' wombs.

Meaning in life

Today my dh was watching the MTV Movie Awards and I sat down to nurse Gabe. As we watched I was struck by how self-aggrandizing the whole thing was. These stars get together to basically worship each other's fame. Adam Sandler (who was getting some sort of "life time achievement" type award) even sang a song about how awesome he is. And everyone thought it was hilarious. If that's not idolatry I don't know what is.

Aren't you glad we have a purpose in life? That we are not here just for ourselves, but have an eternal purpose that is much bigger than our tiny lives? I am so grateful that God chose to save me. That the eternal and infinite King of the universe chose me to be His friend and gave me a unique purpose for this life and the one to come. How blessed we are to have a destiny that is greater than glorifying ourselves.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I have the sweetest little boy. We had a good day today. Worked hard cleaning house (the children are very motivated right now because they are earning money for new swimsuits), read in the afternoon after school time, made a yummy supper together, went to the splash park and got Slurpees on the way home. An all-around great day. We were driving home and Nate says, "Mama, if they have phones in Heaven, I hope you call me when you get there. That way I can find your house. I'm sure I'll want to come over a lot once I get there. And I think, when you die, I'll buy your house. That way I can come and sit in the living room and think about you and have good memories. Like about days like today, 'cause it was the best day ever."

Sigh...if only I could put a brick on his head to keep him from growing. Seven is such a great age. What a sweetie.

Little heathen kids

Okay, not really. But sometimes they act like it! (Case in point: they were playing in the hose this morning outside and decided to spray water into the kitchen to make a "pond". I took Gabriel up to bed and came down to a good inch of standing water in my kitchen and laundry room. Took every towel in the house to mop it up. And turned the 25 lb sack of flour in the laundry room into one giant, heavy block of glue. But I digress.)

Anyway. My friend pointed something out to me the other day and it really stuck with me. She said it's no wonder that some Christians' children rebel. She said that some Christian parents seem to treat sinners better than their own children. That struck a nerve with me.

So many times we talk with our kids about how we should treat people in the world. We sing "This Little Light of Mine" and talk about shining our light in the world. And then we are harsh and impatient to the little sinners in our own homes.

Not that we shouldn't discipline our kids or expect good behavior. But we should treat our children as the first and most important prospective converts that we know. Just as God woos us to faith, we should woo our children to belief with love, patience, and kindness. We cannot expect them to act like they are full of the fruit of the Spirit until they are actually full of the Spirit, right?

This week I've been trying to whisper with my kids instead of yell. I've been focusing on lowering my voice and speaking firmly, but gently. And I've been seeing good results.

The next time you want to scream at the kids, take a breath and ask yourself, "Would I treat an unsaved friend this way"?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Just some free advice! (PG 13 rated)

I have to share you some wisdom I've gleaned in my years as an Emergency Room nurse (Warning, not for young eyes!)

There are some things you should not bring to the ER with you. Unless it is truly necessary (a parasite that you passed, etc) leave it at home! Here are the top few things I've seen (and didn't want to):

Urine in a pickle jar
A Gladware container full of stool
The tip of someone's finger, still in the glove he was wearing when it was ripped off by the machine
A LIVE snake in a milk carton (kill it first, please!)
A wild boar that had tusked a man - his family had gone out and stabbed it to death and hauled it in the back of their pickup.
Multiple Kleenexes full of phlegm, showing the progression in color of the woman's chest congestion.

Other free advice:

If your head hurts, try a Tylenol before immediately running to the ER.

It takes antibiotics 48-72 hrs to work. Don't run back to the hospital when you're not better the next day.

It is a staph infection, not a staff infection.

Douching with Coke is not birth control.

If you notice a funky smell "down there", check to see if you left a tampon in at the end of your last cycle.

Speaking of tampons, no, your tampon cannot escape and float freely in your abdomen. If you can't get yours out, squat down and try again.

You have to actually fill your prescription and take it for the medicine to work. Just having the piece of paper really doesn't do anything.

There is no cure for stupid.

The ER does not do "check ups" or immunizations.

Tylenol is not a one time deal. Yes, you may have to give your baby more than one dose during the course of his illness. The fact that his fever returns 6 hr after you last dosed him does not mean he is deathly ill.

Try to use correct terminology on your triage forms. Especially if you are going to leave it face up on the table so God and all His people walking by can read it. We really don't need to read about your illness in X-rated terms.

There is a magical place called Walgreens. They sell pregnancy tests for cheap. So does The Dollar Tree.

Make a list of your medications and keep it in your wallet. I really DON'T know what you are talking about when you say "I take the green pill and the white one."

If you have had abdominal pain for 2 yrs and show up at the ER with it, don't expect me to be in a hurry to help you. Obviously you have not been in a hurry to get it taken care of either.

Wounds must be sutured within 12 hrs. Putting bleach and duct tape on a wound does not count as first aid.

We live in Texas. It is summer. If you go out on your boat all day and drink beer in the heat, you will get sick. Really.

Lawn mower blades are sharp. Don't put your hand it it while it is running.

Table saws and narcotic cough medicines are a bad mix.

Yes, the man having the heart attack WILL go before you when you are here for a sore throat.

If you have not had a period in nine months, have gained 30 lb in your stomach area and are having severe abdominal cramps it is called labor. You don't have a tumor, you are having a baby. Really.

That's it for now!

Friday, May 23, 2008

10 great years!

Just wanted to post a little shout out tonight to my wonderful husband, Philip. We celebrated 10 wonderful years of marriage today. It's been a (mostly) fun ride and I thank God that He gave me such a great husband and fantastic father to our kids. You rock, honey!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Yesterday, Nate and I discussed the Sixth Commandment. He wanted to know what the difference was between killing in wars and murder. We had a very thought provoking discussion and I was surprised at his depth of insight.

Then today he comes up and says, "Mommy, how come if God hates murder, and we're supposed to love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates, you like to watch CSI and Law and Order? Aren't those just about murder? I don't think you really love the things God loves if you think those shows are so interesting."


Out of the mouths of babes...

Ten Commandments, continued

So, does anyone know a good way to explain adultery to a seven year old? I thought I had explained it decently until Nate was watching Dancing With the Stars and started shrieking for me to come into the room. "Mommy, Kristy just committed adultery!" Actually, she just kissed Bruno on the cheek during their routine.

Monday, May 19, 2008


We've been memorizing the Ten Commandments. Nate was reciting them tonight for Philip and got stuck. I prompted him with "Remember..." He looked at me triumphantly and said "Remember the Fourth Commandment!"

(The Fourth Commandment is "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy" - in case you forgot too. :) )

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bad housekeeping

So, I'm not the best housekeeper. Our house is not a pit, but it will never grace the cover of Ladies Home Journal. And now, I have scientific data to back up my preference for "good enough" instead of perfect.

Scientists have found that rising rates of asthma and auto-immune disorders may trace back to having oversanitized our environments. Our immune systems are like elementary school boys. If we don't give them challenges and obstacles in the form of germs and dirt, they will over react to minor threats, causing us to be sick. This is one cause of the swelling tide of lupus, crohn's disease, asthma and severe food allergies. We're doing it to ourselves.

I'm going to cut this short and go vacuum. Or on second thought, take a nap.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Does God lie?

So, the Bible is pretty clear about children.

They are:
Rewards (Psalm 127:3)
Crowns (Proverbs 17:6)
A Heritage (Psalm 127:3)
Gifts (Genesis 33:5)
Arrows (Psalm 127:4)
Fruit (Genesis 28:3)
Known and Ordained by God (Jeremiah 1:5)
Olive shoots (Psalm 128:3)
Blessings (Genesis 1:28)

While some of these things seems strange to us, if you really think about them they have have a deep and rich meaning. Olive shoots, for example, were very special to the Hebrew people. They would grow into olive trees, which were symbols of Israel itself, and produced life-giving olive oil (which has many symbolic meanings: anointing, gladness, joy, healing, etc).

The question is, why don't I always think my kids are blessings, rewards, gifts, etc? Is God a liar, or have I failed to train them to be blessings.

Recently, we went to the zoo. While we were there, I had some problems with Nathan. He kept wandering off. It is difficult enough to keep an eye on 4 kids (Gabe was sleeping in the sling) without having one of them running off. Finally, I took him aside and said, "Nate, you are old enough to obey Mommy. You should be a blessing and helper to Mommy instead of being a problem." He came to me later and apologized for running off. He was very helpful for the rest of the day.

I think one issue in our society today is that we do not train our children to be helpers and blessings. They spend so much time sitting in desks at school, being shuttled from one activity to another, and doing homework that we feel guilty making them do anything around the house. So we wait on them like servants and then wonder why we feel put out and slavish. Maybe because we are not expecting them to fulfill the role God has made for them.

Philip teaches in his class that when you do good things you feel good about yourself. His students have been taught for years all this psycho babble about self-esteem. That they are inherently worthy of feeling high self esteem. But the kids already know deep down that self-esteem based of false praise is worthless. The best way to truly feel good about yourself is to do something good (and deal with guilt, but that's a whole other post).

There is a family in Arkansas that is expecting their 18th child. They have been featured in several specials on TLC. I have heard so much criticism of this family. People complain that the older children must have no childhood because they have to work hard, or that the younger ones have no individuality or time alone with Mom and Dad. But the children appear very happy. They seem content in knowing what their responsibilities are. Compare that to the dissatisfied smirks and general petulance of most American teens. We have reared them to be tiny dictators instead of helpers and blessings.

The next time you find yourself bemoaning your child's attitude, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you have helped create their sense of entitlement by not training them to be blessings.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Many of my friends enjoy horror movies. I hear my co-workers discuss how terrified they were at the latest slasher flick and recount with joy how they had horrible dreams afterward. When I say I don't like horror films (I still have occasional nightmares about "Silence of the Lambs"), they act shocked. "You have to work up to it," they say. "The more you watch, the more it won't bother you." Possibly true, but is that a good thing?

Should we inoculate ourselves against fear? Should we scratch ourselves with the sandpaper of horror flicks/books/media until we develop spiritual calluses? Should we desire nice little numb spots on our souls where we can't feel fear? Because there are real things in life to fear. A death without Christ, eternal damnation (yes, it's real, folks!), falling prey to the devil's schemes, the wrath of a just God: these are all things to be feared. But when we have numbed our souls to fear we cannot rightly feel the fear we should. Pain is a gift (just ask a leper), just as real fear is a gift. We are scared of jumping off a cliff because of a little thing called gravity.

The old hymn says, "'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved..." God has given us healthy fear so we will understand the gravity of the judgment to come. But He has also given us a release from fear - the assurance of salvation through His Son. I think this is what is meant by I John 4:18, "There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out all fear." We need not fear judgment and damnation when we are saved by the One who loved us and gave Himself up for us.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Texas Rubies retreat

I just got back on Sunday from my first Above Rubies retreat. Gabe and I had a great time and I really came back refreshed and renewed with vision for my children, home and marriage. I wanted to share a few little observations from the weekend.

1. Austin is lovely. I really had no idea that there were parts of Texas that were so hilly and green and gorgeous.

2. My husband is totally stinking awesome! I came home to a wonderfully clean house and happy kids.

3. Nancy Campbell and her daughters are very tall! And very sweet. They were all very gracious and approachable. It was amazing to me that they would take the time to come do this retreat with all the stuff going on in their lives right now.

4. There are humble, kind women from all walks of life. I was somewhat trepidacious about going to this retreat. I'm not the kind of lady who is quiet and meek and gentle all the time. I prefer capris to dresses and occassionally (working on this!) say bad words. I think my spiritual gift may be sarcasm (kidding!) I was worried that I wouldn't fit in. I was just overwhelmed with acceptance, from ladies who appeared Amish to those who dressed more like me. Everyone was sweet and kind. Several even told me that they were glad that I had come and they appreciated my joy and humor. I can't tell you how much this blessed me. So often I fall into the trap of thinking God can't use me as much as someone else because of who I am. I start thinking that I would be a better Christian if I covered my hair, wore long dresses, and stopped watching TV. But I don't think that's true.

Sure, I am supposed to be working towards holiness. And there are certainly times that I need to work on keeping my mouth shut. I need to listen more and talk less. I need to be discerning about what I watch on TV and not allow it to eat up my free time. But I also need to realize that God made me the way I am. He chose an outgoing, ebullient, joyful personality for me. When He formed me in the womb He must have been saying, "THAT one is going to be a firecracker! She's going to crack Me up!" And it's okay. God needs all kinds of folks in His Church. And I need to stop being a whiny baby about my place. Some folks are feet and some are hands and some are kidneys. And each of us is vital. Instead of trying to be each other, we should all be emulating Him.

5. God convicts us all about different things, and we need to be more sensitive to HIS voice than our peers'. For instance, there was a time not too long ago when I considered covering my hair and wearing dresses. (Honestly, I was just hoping that the outward sign would help my change my disposition towards submission). Dh was not on board. I realized this weekend that while other women may be led to do these things, for me it would be disobedience. My sweet husband does not want me in a prairie schooner dress or kerchief. So for me, adopting that style of dress would be the opposite of submission. It would be rebellion.

Nancy made a great point. She talked about how she went through a phase of dressing plainly and wearing no make up in order to show that she was "set apart". One day the Lord convicted her, saying "Is that the only way you can show you are different?" Ouch! I think putting on love (Col. 3:14) is more important than any physical garb we put on our bodies.