Thursday, February 25, 2010

Field Trip!

Jacob looks like he just whipped that dinosaur.

Today we took a field the Creation Museum!

This is the second trip we have made to the museum and I was just as impressed with it this time around.

I had a lot of thoughts today, and I will be posting on some of them soon. I'm too tired tonight!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This One

Last night I made a trip to the grocery store. I'd planned on going by myself, but at the last minute Emily decided she wanted to tag along. I was fine with that, because it is a rare treat to get to spend a couple of hours with just one kid.

In the car, I had the radio on at first, but then I decided to take advantage of this occasion and have some uninterrupted conversation with my 5 year old.

She had been to ballet the night before, so I asked, "Emily, what do you like best about dancing?"

She thought, and answered with a drawn out, "Well...."

She thought some more. "I like it because....."

And some more. "Well......"

She looked out the window thoughtfully and thought some more. "Ummmm......"

Finally she said, "Hmmm.....I don't know."

"Really? After all of that thinking you don't know? Why do you like dance so much?"

"Well....I just like the way she teaches me."

I smiled.

I had promised Emily that we could buy a new fish for our aquarium at the store. She was so excited. We walked back to the animal department and starting evaluating all the different types of fish, trying to decide on just the right one. There were some lovely fruit tetras and some very colorful glo fish--even pink ones that I was sure she would choose. There were other sorts of colorful fish that I thought would add some interest to our tank.

But there was one aquarium with a lone fish. He was a small fellow--a little black tetra with a beat up fin. He wasn't nearly as outstanding as the colorful fish that we had seen, yet this was the one Emily chose, because, she said, "He looks lonely".

I smiled.

I so enjoy those moments when I get to spend one on one time with my kids. In Emily's case, it just reminded me of her compassionate heart and her thoughtful spirit. She enjoyed the opportunity to be my helper in the store without having to take turns with anyone. I think times like that are important every now and then, and it made the usually dreaded trip to the grocery store a more enjoyable one!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Answer

It had been a long day.

We had first driven thirty minutes north to our family doctor to have Jacob's finger checked out. For those of you who don't know, he pulled a marble lamp off of the table Saturday night and it landed on his index finger! The doc thinks that it could be broken, but because of where the swelling is, it probably isn't. We will get an x-ray tomorrow if he hasn't increased his range of motion. He's a tough little guy!

After that, we came home, grabbed some lunch, then drove thirty minutes south to Ashlyn's first orthodontist appointment. She gets a retainer in four weeks.

Now, to the typical person, that may not seem like very much to do in one day. But for the five of us,

two hours of driving
+ waiting for doctors
+ missing of naps
+ trying to figure out when to fit in Evan's mealtimes
a really long day.

As we were approaching home, tensions were rising. Emily was kicked by Jake as she got out of the car, and then she hit Ashlyn because Ashlyn was being rude to her. Having had enough, I put them all in separate rooms. After a few minutes, I gathered them together on the couch and I said, "Are you all being unkind to one another?"


"Why are you doing that?"

Ashlyn's reply surprised me. "Because Adam and Eve sinned."

I was taken aback. I mean, yeah, we've talked about the sin nature of humankind since the Fall of Man, but....she had actually been listening!! She wasn't using that as a scapegoat--she was exhibiting some real understanding about our sinful nature. We went on to talk about how we are all in need of the grace of God through Jesus, and when we were finished, they apologized to each other without any prompting from me--for the first time EVER! That was huge to me.

I praise God for giving me that moment, because it lets me know that they realize (or are realizing) that righteousness comes only through Christ, and that they recognize their need for a Savior. It was just one of those rewarding moments that I will never forget.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

That Jacob

Tonight we attended "Family Game Night", an event at church hosted by our children's ministry. It was such a great time. We had supper and then each family sat together to play the games that were planned, including racing against other families to work a puzzle, build a straw tower (drinking straws), and "shave" whipped cream off of the dads' faces while blindfolded!!!

On the way home, Jason said, "If you had fun tonight, say 'The Liddle Family!'"

So I said, "The Liddle Family!"

Ashlyn said, "The Liddle Family!"

Emily said, "The Liddle Family!"

Jacob paused and then said, "The Big Family!"

Living In the Light

The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble.

Proverbs 4:18-19

As humans, we naturally associate darkness with fear and evil. We associate light with goodness and comfort. The Bible is no different, since God associates light with the righteous and darkness with the wicked.

Consider this:

Darkness hates light,
because light always overcomes darkness.

Where there is light, there will never be complete darkness.

As I ponder these truths, I think about how Jesus is the Light of the world. I think about how this world is full of darkness, because it is inhabited by the powers of darkness. Christ's light has already overcome the darkness of this world. Therefore with His power in me, I need not be afraid. This is a truth that I not only want to remember for myself, but that I want to embed into the hearts of my children as well.

The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
That shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
The way of the wicked is like darkness;
They do not know over what they stumble.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Three Weeks

Three weeks ago, Jason went on a ski trip with some friends.

When he returned, he gave brought me back a bouquet of flowers.

I took this picture yesterday, three weeks from the day I received the flowers.

They are still beautiful...even after three weeks!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


A few months ago, my brother gave us a plant that had set on his shaded deck during the summer. It's an indoor plant, and it sat in our garage for a while, though I had intentions of bringing it in "soon" (do you know how that is?).

One fall night (it was closer to winter), it got very cold. The plant sat in the cold garage all night.

I finally brought the plant in.

The plant died a slow death. The leaves began to wilt, and then they became dry. What was once a beautiful, thriving plant had become a brown, dry eyesore.

And eyesore it was. I don't know what is with me, but I let the dead plant hang out in our dining room for several weeks. Even when we had visitors who had never been to our home, I still did not remove the plant.

Why? I don't know!!! Probably for the same reason it took me so long to get the plant inside!

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I spotted something incredible. I saw green on the plant. It was trying to grow back! (Perhaps if you have a green thumb, you may not find this incredible. I do NOT have a green thumb and did not expect to see this!) I got my pruning shears and cut back all the dead that was there...basically every bit of foliage there was.

Now, the plant is thriving and is becoming beautiful again.

When I think of the spiritual application of this, one word comes to mind.


When all looks to be dead, there is Hope. His name is Jesus Christ.

He was dead, and now He lives.
I was dead, and now I live.

Thank You, Lord, for Hope.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Word War

I don't consider myself to be the most outspoken person in the world, but there are, undeniably, words that slip from my lips that should have never even been formed in my heart to begin with.

Words of hurt. Words of anger. Words of sarcasm. Words that bring no goodness whatsoever to anyone.

It breaks my heart to think that many of the times when those words are actually spoken, they are aimed at my children or my husband--the people I love more than anyone in the world.

Why is that?

I don't think it's as important to know the answer to that as it is to actually realize how damaging my words can be. I mean, it doesn't happen all the time. Many times I don't actually say what I'm thinking (especially when I'm angry). But also many times I do. Sometimes I am more harsh with my kids than I realize (like if there was a hidden camera I would be so embarrassed). Sometimes I spew words of hurt towards my husband when I think he deserves it. Since when did I become judge?

The past couple of days I read, as I do sometimes, the chapters of Proverbs which correspond with the date. Yesterday I read chapter fifteen and today, sixteen. These words pierced my heart:

Proverbs 15:1 - A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:28 - The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

My words can make a difference, and a soft, well-thought-out answer can turn the tide in the midst of conflict.

Proverbs 15:2 - The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.
Proverbs 16:21 - The wise in heart will be called understanding, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
Proverbs 16:23 - The heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips.

Listening is good. We are wise when we instruct our mouths.

Finally, here was our family's memory verse for last week:
Proverbs 16:24 - Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Not only do pleasant words foster an atmosphere of understanding and forgiveness, but they also yield the fruit of love, self-control and kindness. Our words can bring healing to others, and when we have the kind of heart and attitude that brings about pleasant words, healing comes to us as well.

These are many thoughts to ponder, and just a few of many Bible verses pertaining to our speech. I will ponder them, and pray that I can make my words count for goodness and edification, especially to the ones I love the most.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Yay for New Life!

Emma, me and my little bro.

My sweet new niece was born this past Thursday! She weighed only one ounce less than Evan did, but now Evan looks HUGE next to her!

It's amazing how fast they grow.

She is named Emma Elizabeth, after her mother, and both of them are doing great!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why We Like Thursdays

Today, on the way home from co-op, I asked Jake, "So what did you learn in co-op today?"

Without hesitation, he replied, "I learned about snacks."

I laughed, because I know my kids, and I know how much they love snacks. So of course it is only natural that snacktime is what stood out to him!

Jake loves going to co-op. So does Emily. So does Ashlyn. So do I.

It's a great break from the normal routine, and for them, a great chance to see their friends and learn about things that perhaps I am not so good at teaching. Things like art.

For me, it's a chance to get to know other moms who are in the same stage of life as me, facing similar challenges and experiencing similar joys. It's a chance to check myself against other homeschooling methods, curricula and schedules, not to compare, but to gain insight and ideas (I need plenty of those). It's a good chance for me to just enjoy having conversations, knowing that my children are in good hands-- learning, playing, and of course.....snacking.

Thank you, my co-op friends. You are a blessing!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Face of Love

Lately, feeding Evan has been...sweet.

Not that it hasn't always been sweet. As a nursing mom, and especially knowing that this (barring a miracle) is my last child, I have a particular fondness for Evan's mealtimes. But the little guy is stealing my heart even more these days.

He seems to be having trouble focusing on his need for nourishment.
Instead, he wants to focus on my face.

It takes me twice as long to nurse, because I can't deny myself--I spend as much time gazing back as he seems to desire.

Yeah, I know that all babies love faces. But still, he's studying me. He's getting to know me. I like to think that he's telling me he loves me.

There's something about looking directly into someone's eyes, isn't there? There's an intimacy, a manifestation of the desire to really know someone.

It reminds me of my need to constantly seek Someone's face. Someone who loves me with a love even greater than mine for my children (though hard to imagine). Someone who will give me all the nourishment I need to live in this love-starved world. Someone whom I desperately long to know better.

"Your face, O Lord, I shall seek."
Psalm 27:8