Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bible Club

I received this text from Lana's teacher today:

3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are 
walking in the Truth.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lana's 3rd Grade Musical: Summer Camp

This lovely little thing performed in the 3rd Grade Musical today.
She had a couple of big speaking parts,
and we are so proud of her!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Characteristics of our children

Today in BSF, one of the home training pages discussed how to handle our children's useful and unattractive character traits, and how all can be redeemed for the glory of God, through intentional parenting and discipleship.

I love how the Lord has made my precious children!  I jotted their names beside the ones I can see clearly in their lives - may I always encourage and challenge them to use them for the glory of God.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pelt nuts

I don't want to forget this.
That he calls these "pelt nuts" because you can pelt people with them.

That he grins so big when I say yes, he can stop on the way in to Target to collect some.
That he literally fist pumps the air he's so excited about that yes.

That he fills his little pockets with them.

That he promises not to pelt anyone inside the store.

That he shows a handful to every one we meet, 
telling them how excited he is to find pelt nuts for his collection.

That nearly each person he tells throws back their head and laughs,
declaring "pelt nuts" the perfect name for them.

That he holds my hand on the way back to the car,
and tells me thank you for letting him get pelt nuts at Target.

That sweet 5 year old innocence and joy.....
I do so wish I could stop time right here.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

M3: professional paintball

Before we got married, and through part of the first year we were married, Dan played on a professional paintball team, traveling all over the country to compete in top-level tournaments.  The sponsor of that team recently emailed him some pictures from those years:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Round here.

Lana's class won a "Study Island" grade-level contest
to prepare for standardized testing.
Pictured with their teacher, Mrs. Celis (middle),
principal Mrs. Sanders (left),
and assistant principal Dr. Quarells (right).

I let the children have rest time together over the weekend,
instead of their rooms, as usual.
They loved it.
and I got to nap.

The Moore family came over for dinner last weekend,
and the kids played outside until way after dark.
They were filthy and sweaty and exhausted and happy.
I'm so glad they are getting this kind of childhood.

Mom & I snuck away together for 24 hours.
No interruptions: just good food, relaxation, massages, late-night movies....
I'm so glad she's mine.

Lana's cursive is improving every day.
This note she left for her daddy on the whiteboard in his office makes me smile.

Dan went away with the church staff for a quick overnight retreat in Atlanta.
I don't have words to say how much joy it brings me
to see my husband building relationships and doing ministry with
some of the finest, most humble, godly people I know.
It's more than I could have asked for or imagined.
We are so thankful he has the privilege of serving with this team of people!

This is how Tucker felt when he woke up Tuesday morning
and realized Daddy wasn't back home yet.

This is where they waited for Daddy to get back home on Tuesday night.

 Warmer weather has officially arrived in Florida,
and we greeted it with our traditional batch of cold brew coffee.
We have used The Pioneer Woman's recipe for cold brewed coffee for years now,
and just snagged this Hario cold brewer to make it a bit easier.

Friday, April 10, 2015

X marks the spot

Tucker said he put this x on his face to show he's unmarried.

When we asked him what made him think to do that,
he said
It's just like the girl in Island of the Blue Dolphins.

We listened to it on audiobook a few weeks ago,
and that must have stuck with him.

I hope you have that unmarried x on your nose for 30 more years.

Your mama loves every bit of that precious face
from the freckles
to that little smirk
to those beautiful blue eyes
to those mile-long eyelashes
to those edible lips.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Resurrection Day 2015

Graffiti Bridge, Easter morning 2015
photo courtesy of WEAR

Some Easter mornings....
you've been out of town for a week.
so the Grace garden didn't get planted.
and the crown of thorns didn't get completed.
and the Lent readings didn't get finished.
and the Resurrection Celebration isn't nearly as elaborate or beautiful as it has been in years past.
and the traditional celebration breakfast didn't get cooked.
and the church outfits don't match.
and mama feels like a failure....
like I've failed to do justice to this beautiful, holy, joyous morning,
the holiday, the holy-day, that I love most of all
because all our faith hinges on this resurrection morn.
and I haven't done it justice,
I haven't managed to make it sacred enough for my children,
because that's all I really want in life,
is for them to get how sacred and beautiful and glorious this is.
and instead of feeling triumphant in Christ this morning,
the sun rises and I feel defeated.
like a failure.
and, in His great mercy,
I hear His still, small voice say:
in his great kindness,
He reminds me that this is exactly the fruit I reap
when I try to do it on my own,
and make it all about me,
and put the weight on my shoulders.
He reminds me that I will never,
in all my strivings and workings and plannings,
cause my children to see the wonder of what He alone offers them.
that my only responsibility is to love Him wildly,
and in my brokenness, point them to Him,
and HE ALONE will cause new life to grow in them.
and I count this morning of defeat and gentle correction from the Lord
proof that I am His daughter,
because He loves me enough to remind me
that I am nothing without Him.
that I have no hope, that my babies have no hope,
without His Spirit,
and that "the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in me."
so here's what I'll do now:
I'll cover the table with brightly colored cloth,
and hang the streamers
and pen Words of Life on paper for their chairs
and serve the breakfast
and it will be very simple,
but then I will go
and wake my children up with JOY instead of defeat
because, oh my friends.....
and I know, because I spoke to Him this morning.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Touch and Feed at Marineland in Palm Beach, Florida

We had a wonderful time feeding the dolphins in Palm Beach!  When Lana is 10, she wants to do the deep water experience where she gets to actually swim with the dolphins - what an adventure that would be!  For now, we loved getting to spend a few minutes touching and feeding these incredible creatures.