Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ren has a beautiful voice!

Ren is such a beautiful singer and I love listening to her.  She sang this song at our Potter's House Christmas event in front of about 500 people.  Beautiful.

Also, fyi, I just learned how to get videos on my blog so it may possibly be a little video overload the next few posts!  :)   

Monday, February 25, 2013

silly song

Madeline learned this silly song at pre-school & quickly taught it to Simeon.  They think it is hilarious & I think they are absolutely precious!

Friday, February 22, 2013

i am not a crazy person

The other day I joked with some friends that I need my husband to tell me every night that I am not a crazy person.  Everyone kind of nodded and shared an agreement type giggle but the truth is, I am serious.  Sometimes I really do have him tell me I am not a crazy person.  I could sit and write out the list of all the reasons my mind and emotions and parenting and children and husband and wife-ing and cooking and cleaning and laundry-ing and so on make me feel like a crazy person but I know you mama’s know what I mean.  Or at least, I am hoping so.  Because if not, maybe I truly am a crazy person. 

When the day is all said and done, and the knowledge of tomorrow’s day being much like today, I sit and assess.  I list and question and analyze and worry and generally just, as I like to say, have a freak out moment.  Am I too hard on my kids?  Do they know I love them?  Should I show them more grace?  Am I making Madeline frustrated more because of my attitude?  Will Anna e.v.e.r do her business in the potty?  Will I be able to answer the hard questions from Simeon when they come?  How can I get myself to Ukraine faster?  What does it mean to truly love Jesus?  Am I showing my family more of Christ & less of me?  Enter crazy person world.  Now clearly I know that these topics have varying degrees of importance and should have some thought put into them but my problems center around  a basic truth that Jesus has been laying on me hard and heavy lately. 

Where is He in all of my crazy freak outs?

His love and grace are overwhelming me these days.  I can’t describe it well, but daily, at some point, He draws me into a minute of quiet and reminds me.  He loves me, He has been and will always be gracious to me.  He is trustworthy and good.  He cares for me.  He loves me.  I am working at believing this and knowing that believing this will change me.  Will change the way I seek Him, the way I serve Him, the way I parent, the way I run my home, the way I love my husband, the way I do everything.  It is simple to hear but overwhelmingly powerful to actually believe.  And in my crazy freak out moments I am learning to look away from myself and look up to Him. 

I am doing a Bible study on Genesis and this verse has been a catalyst in my heart to knowing His love.  God makes this promise to Abram, I am your shield & your very great reward.  I love this picture.  And I am very challenged by it as well.  Is He truly my very great reward?  Do I walk in that personal and intimate of a relationship with Him?  Loving Him & being loved by Him.  Knowing Him as my very great reward.  I certainly do want to. 

 “After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lent & Easter

These last few years with our kids we have done some basic Lent devotions that we hope will be building blocks for them to understanding Christ, His death, & Resurrection.  This year again we will be doing these as a family & have reserved each Thursday night through Lent to make no outside commitments and spend the evening eating dinner together & going through our devotions as a family.  Outside of that, we try to read the nightly stories as much as possible.  

Lent & Easter

Weekly Night Devos-Jesus Storybook Bible
1. Washed with Tears-Mark 14, Luke 7, John 12
2. The Servant King, Last Supper-Mark 14, John 13-14
3. A Dark Night in the Garden-Luke 22, Mark 14, John 18
4. The Sun Stops Shining, Crucifixion-Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, John 19
5. God’s Wonderful Surprise, Resurrection-Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20

Week of Sunday, February 17
 Memory Verse: “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."  John 1:5
 Words to Know: Light, Darkness
 Ideas: Jesus is the light, hiding

Week of Sunday, February 24
 Memory Verse: “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."  John 1:5
 Words to Know: Sin, Holy
 Ideas: Holy/sin (Clean vs. Dirty)

Week of Sunday, March 3
 Memory Verse: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
 Words to Know: Remembrance, Repentance
 Ideas: Last Supper

Week of Sunday, March 10
 Memory Verse: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
 Words to Know: Crucifixion, Sacrifice
 Ideas: Death, Suffering, Christ’s Sacrifice/Punishment

Week of Sunday, March 17
 Memory Verse: “I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me will live & not  die.” John 11:25
 Words to Know: Forgiveness, Resurrection
 Idea: Crucifixion/Resurrection, Death/Life

Week of Sunday, March 24-Palm Sunday
 Memory Verse: “I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me will live and not  die.” John 11:25
 Words to Know: Salvation
 Ideas: Salvation/Redemption, Savior/Rescuer

Thursday, March 28-Maundy Thursday
 Words to Know: Remembrance, Repentance
 Ideas: Last Supper

Friday, March 29--Good Friday
 Words to Know: Crucifixion, Sacrifice
 Ideas: Death, Suffering, Christ’s Sacrifice/Punishment

Sunday, March 31-Easter
 Memory Verse: “I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believes in me will live & not  die.” John 11:25
 Words to Know: Forgiveness, Resurrection
 Idea: Crucifixion/Resurrection, Death/Life, Rejoice

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Little Light

Finally, finally we have every document we need to send off our dossier!  We are so thankful and so very eager to meet our daughter and bring her home.  If you don't mind, we would love your prayers that all our paperwork would get there safely & quickly and that there would be no delays.  Pray for peace for me as we wait to hear and peace also as we prepare for our next steps.  Pray for Paulina as well.  That she would be healthy & growing, that her heart would be prepared for us, for her transition, and truly anything else you can think of!  

I came across this song recently, Little Light by Matt Hammitt, and have officially claimed it for our sweet girl.  Brings me to tears & I absolutely love it.   What a beautiful hope that we can know God is near to her.  She is beautiful because she is created and loved by her Creator God.  He gave her life and guards it now, tenderly holding her every moment.  What love He has for us!

Look at all the angels watching you
They're singing songs that we have never heard
And their voices ring like bells over the mountains
Oh, if only we could hear their words

God is near, little girl
God is near, little girl

Your eyes are brilliant, deep sky blue
Their quiet wisdom is an evening song
And the angels must be breathless at Your beauty
Like the world catches its breath before the dawn

God is near, little one
God is here, little one

Jesus bends to hear you breathe
And His tender hands are holding you tonight
And His heart is ravished when you look, when you look at Him
And oh, the endless mercy in His eyes

God is here, little light
God is here, little light
Oh, God is here, little light
God is here, little light  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

the little things that happen

Every day 1000 little things happen that probably happened the day before and will probably happen again tomorrow.  We wake, eat, play, laugh, cry, discipline, teach, create, learn, rejoice, read.  There are so many littles that are making up this big picture of parenting and I certainly do love them and definitely don't want to forget them.  Even though I so often have no idea what I am doing or how I am going to figure out the next thing these kiddos make it all worth it. 
 sister lovin'
 Madeline drew these pictures to decorate Paulina's crib, melt my heart!
 Madeline LOVES Razorback gymnastics & we have gone to 2 meets together.  Such a joy to get one on one time with her.
 Simeon being a great big brother!
 All dressed up and looking so big!
 Anna visiting with Gram while she was having her heart surgery.
 me & my little mini-me
 Madeline dressed Elijah up & called him her prince :)
 no words for this one.
 again, Simeon is so good!
 Madeline goes to pre-school 2 days a week & seems to always sleep in on these days.  So hard to wake her when she looks so peaceful!
 Just chillin' like a big girl.
 Anna loves to be like Madeline!!
 A stormy afternoon sanity solution for me-Mama's big bath tub!
 Madeline & Simeon spent a long time swapping up lego people heads.   It was funny!
 These two cuties make it very hard to get much make dinner.  And Anna's smile is just so good.
My little helper!

Monday, February 4, 2013

big boy hair cut

This cute boy is too much for words sometimes!  He wanted his haircut by his Aunt Lauren for weeks.  When I finally got around to it his hair was a bit out of control, to say the least.  But oh my, he looks cute with a fro!
 in progress...
 handsome little boy
finished & unbelievably big looking!