Thursday, February 16, 2017

Round here

Lana's class has been studying WWII, and had a veteran visit their class.
What a wonderful learning experience!

This is #pklife at its finest.
Sometimes you have to wait a really long time.
pk = preacher's kid

This was one of Tucker's spelling tests he took
while his collarbone was broken - 
he wrote this all with his left hand!
I was impressed.

A broken collarbone has some perks:
particularly, big sister spoiling you to death.
 He clearly adores her.

The kids recently celebrated 100 days of school!

We used 100 M&M's for Tucker's collection of 100.
Unfortunately, we left it out to dry where Pepper could reach it.
The dog really did eat his homework!

Given just a minute of free time,
this is how and where we'll find our girl:

This is where we'll find THIS girl!  :) 

I've not been running nearly as much as I like or need to.
I snuck in late afternoon jog around the neighborhood a few weeks ago:
a sunset like this is just good for the soul.

Dan and I went to the Coffee Cup for breakfast for the first time a few weeks ago-
I loved their corned beef hash!

We discovered a new, locally owned, YUMMY bakery inside of Kountry Girl Boutique:
it's called Southern Specialty Sweets and it is such a great little local treasure!
This mom & daughter duo bake everything themselves from scratch,
and the prices are incredibly low!
Check out that king cake fresh from the oven!!  WOW!

The plant ledges in our home have been empty for all 5 years we've been here, 
because I kill plants and I don't do knick-knacks, 
so I didn't know what to put in them.
When I saw these signs at Smallwoods, and spotted them on sale for 75% off,
I knew I had found just the right thing for our home!

sweet morning hugs

I love spying this stash of oils in my husband's desk at work!!

We were waiting on Night of Praise to start -
this little crew of boys found an electronic of some sort to keep them busy.
Love this little pack of boys!

These girls are pretty darn adorable, too!

Florida winters are something really special.
We are loving the weather that allows for after-school visits to the playground,
and late nights outside, playing and inventing and making paper airplanes.
She's got skills.

The church staff went off-site for a one day retreat a few weeks ago.
I'm utterly thankful for this group of people,
and how they love and serve the Church so selflessly.

Oh my.
This is the picture our school secretary Mrs. Kathi sent me the other day.
Will he ever get less clumsy?!

Fortunately, he's got a great group of buddies to take care of him.

I took these pictures of them plotting against me.
We were waiting at Lana's piano lesson,
and Tucker wanted to go play on the playground with his sister
but his collarbone is broken
so I said no.
They were hatching a plan to convince me to change my mind.
I think it worked.

We go back to the orthopedist today for a re-check.
I think he's healing up just fine.

freckles and froyo with Daddy

I had the great honor of joining my friend April in teaching at a women's retreat for First Baptist Prattville.  This is the view outside my window!  Beautiful!  I could have stayed there for many more days enjoying the peace.

While I was away teaching, Lana joined her friend Hana to celebrate her birthday!

Magazines are a highly valued mail item;
our kids get Highlights and Adventures in Odyssey.
Any others we should add to our list?

I love this picture of these 2 peas in a pod.
I snapped it while they were giggling at something one morning,
and it makes my heart happy every time I look at it.

Tucker has always loved her soft ears.  :)

We finished the Upward basketball season,
and enjoyed the awards ceremony!
Up next: coach pitch baseball!

Mrs. Rita snuck Tucker into Pastor Jim's office one afternoon.
Those are big shoes to fill!

She knew she wasn't supposed to be on that couch,
so she made herself as adorable as possible.

Dan & Tucker are going to a new barber.
He gives a GREAT haircut - with a little something extra!

This picture of the people who came to cheer Lana on 
in the finals round of basketball
make me so thankful.
Sometimes you get to choose your family, you know.

One morning, the kids wanted homemade muffins,
and I was busy with something else,
so I tossed them the recipe and told them to try.

The muffins turned out great!

We are still having a blast playing with Dan's Christmas gift from the kids:

Valentine's date with her daddy.
She couldn't be any more lovely.

This is what "work" looks like for me sometimes - 
I couldn't be more grateful for these people to do life and business with!

A review: The Dog Who Was There

I try to take my children to the cross in a thousand different ways.

when we read the bible around the table
when we pray for the car accident on the side of the road
when we find ways to give generously, secretly
when I lose my temper and have to ask for their forgiveness
when we memorize scripture
when we make corporate worship on Sundays a priority
when they mess up and need forgiveness
when they are afraid
when we are making a decision as a family
when Dan and I argue

I do my best to take them to the Cross, to make it come alive for them.
It's the only hope they have, and there is such wonder to be found in the Cross of Christ....

when some look at it, they see a tragedy -
but oh, when we look at the Cross, we see triumph and redemption and the greatest Love the world has ever known

and so I don't want them to see that old rugged cross as something that happened way back then,
something that is done and, I want it to come alive for them, for us every day!

One of the ways I've found to do that, especially with Lana, is by reading historical fiction as it relates to Christ.  Books like The Donkey Who Carried a King, Jotham's Journey....there's just something that resonates in our hearts as we read about what it might have been like to live in the time of Christ.

The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco makes it all come alive for us in the same way.  The main character is a dog named Barley.  He finds his way into your affections easily, and as he encounters the Messiah near the time near His crucifixion, you are afforded a view into this rich, heartbreaking, victorious time in our history as believers.  The time upon which all of our great hope hinges.

Lana, my 10 year old, read this book, and to my delight, she prepared a review of it for us:

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity for this review. 
All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

If I Ever Run Away:

We found this list Lana is making,
and it's a little alarming
and a whole lot hilarious.

It's incomplete, to stay tuned.....more tips to come.

If she starts being "extra good," 
we'll know to keep an extra close eye on her!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Her shoes.

She leaves them laying around everywhere.
by the front door, in the middle of the living room, in our bathroom.
and maybe they're just clutter.
and maybe they're evidence that she's messy or irresponsible.

but I tell you,
when I see those shoes,
or stumble over them walking through a room
my heart squeezes a bit inside my chest
and I don't dare move them an inch

because she's growing so fast, you see
-those shoes are nearly bigger than mine-
and it's flying by faster than I can stand.

I remember when her shoes were so tiny I could hold both of them in one hand.
I remember when her little ankles were so chubby we could barely get shoes on her feet.
I remember when she wanted all the shoes to be in a pile by the front door,
and would gather them from all over the house to put them there.
I remember the summer she would only wear Crocs, all the time.
She had a little pair of pearly pink ones she slept with at night.
I remember painting those little toes for sandals.
I remember good, long days of playing without shoes,
when the soles of her feet were black at bathtime.
I remember her putting on my shoes and clomping around the house,
smiling proudly in mommy's shoes.
I remember shoes of all kinds and colors and styles,
chosen especially for those feet of my little girl.

And I also remember when she became quite opinionated 
about the style and color.
I remember when the little girl sizes didn't fit her anymore,
and we had to move up to women's sizes.
I remember when her feet grew 2 sizes in as many months.
I remember the first pair of my shoes that she stole from my closet:
a pair of gray Converse.
I never liked those shoes, they didn't fit me right.
But they were perfect for her.

I'm seeing her personality in her shoes now.
comfortable, a little funky, tried and true. reliable.

And I can look ahead,
into the not too distant future,
and know that her shoes won't always be scattered around our home.
her feet will carry her off
on adventures and to activities
and our home might be slightly neater,
but it will much more quiet

and maybe she won't always want to shower in our bathroom
maybe she'll want privacy and she'll hide in her room
or take her time getting ready
instead of rushing out to be with us,
leaving her shoes where they fall.

But I hope that this house will always feel like home to her.
Whether she's 10 years old or 42,
I want this to be the place
where she can come in
and take off her shoes
and breathe a sigh of relief.

I want this to be her refuge,
the safety net at the end of the day
or the end of the semester
or the end of the plans
or the end of the rope....

this is home, my precious Lana.
a place where you can untie the laces
and drop the shoes
(and the worry and the burdens and the pressure)
and be loved.

I love these red shoes.
 I never know where I'll find them,
but they always make me smile

because these shoes aren't clutter to me anymore.....
they're a reminder that she's more than halfway to adulthood,
and we have the great privilege of watching her grow.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Resource: Biblical Theology

Here's the bottom line about Biblical theology:
we should all be theologians because we can't believe what we do not know.

Here's a great introductory resource to Biblical theology:

The Bible Project: Free, Animated Biblical Theology

Because it's animated, you might think it's only for kids, but you would be wrong.
Super, very wrong.  Go check it out!