The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalm 16:6

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What Didn't Make the Cut

Over 100 Christmas cards to over 20 states - here are some of the pictures you won't be getting in the mail :-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I was always an angel. Always. I never seemed to get an interesting part in the St.-Thomas-a-Becket church pageant. Not that I cared too much. The angels were pretty. I liked pretty.

In my small 8-year-old mind I was always fixated on the part of the pageant story that seemed so unfair to me: “there was no room for them in the inn.” Couldn’t someone have given up their room? I thought. Surely, something could have been done – I mean, Mary was having a baby. She had just traveled many miles on the back of a donkey – nine months pregnant. It was all just so wrong!

I understand now what I didn’t then. That’s not the part that is unfair.

It’s not unfair that they had no room…I mean, they didn’t make a reservation. It’s not unfair that they had to birth a baby in a messy, dirty barn and place him in a feeding trough with the animal smell fresh and pungent. It’s not unfair that He had nothing to wear but some dirty strips of cloth to repel the chill of His first earthly night. It’s not unfair that they had to race off in the opposite direction of home to avoid being killed by Herod’s soldiers, or that it would be years before they saw their home again. It’s not unfair that He was despised and rejected. It’s not unfair that He was willingly nailed to a cross to comply with His Father’s will.

What is truly unfair is that I might benefit from His actions. A wretched, vile, over-eager and proficient sinner like me. I was not searching for salvation. I was not seeking forgiveness of sins. I didn’t even acknowledge that I was a sinner. I longed only for happiness and wordly wealth and fame and glory and…and…and…A very content traveler on that wide, well-populated road to hell.

He did all that – a humble birth, a perfect life, a cruel God-forsaken death – and I gain. Now that is unfair.

And awesome. Truly awesome.

May the Light of Christ and His amazing work fall on you this blessed season. May you be the beneficiary of what is truly unfair.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

what we did on vacation

We got very sandy

and watched some captivating sunsets.

We rode our bikes on beach-side paths

and stopped to enjoy some ice cream.

We got sandier...

and sandier.

We took photos of odd-looking birds

and laughed at 2-year-old's who refuse to follow directions.

We posed for pictures

and went galumphing in the chilly Pacific Ocean.

We were crustacean-eaters

and crustacean-phobics.

We ate at lunch at Ruby's Diner

and had a breakfast of s'mores,

and got very, very tired having so many adventures.

We collected shells

and made sand angels.

Oh, and got very, very sandy.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Funnies

Just a couple 'a funny things to end the week. Cause it's always better to end with the funny stuff. Beats the alternative.
*Kurt has taken to getting his own shoes on. Is it too much to ask for EITHER a pair OR the right feet? I thought so.

*Gretchen asked her Daddy this week, "What was the most difficult thing you did in math as a kid?" My smart-a$$ hubby responds, "Wait for all the other kids to finish." (The funniest thing about that is I'm quite sure it's true.)

*Kurt has gotten really into painting with his sparkly watercolor paints this week. He loves it...can spend up to 30 minutes doing it (which is just short of an eternity for a two year old). The problem? He likes to drink the water when he's finished. I told Gustav not to be alarmed if he spies a sparkly poop. Cause you know, that might be disturbing. (Did I just type 'poop' on my blog?)

*A Christmas Story has been a favorite this week on the extraordinary, life-changing XBox live feed from Netflix. Kurt has been heard to spurt out, "It's a major award!" more than once during his quiet play.

*Our poor Gretchen has been down with some kind of flu for the past 2 weeks. High fevers on and off, aches, cough, sore throat. When I mentioned to my beloved that it sounded like it may be swine flu, Gustav asked if she felt the need to oink. At her negative reply he assured me that it cannot possibly be swine flu. Did I mention he was a smart...

*The dog ate my squash, spinach, and radishes from the garden this week. Apparently, he has become vegan. The kids actually watched me fall apart at the seams and I do think there was a moment or two where they legitimately feared for the dog's life.

*Kurt has fallen in love with "the blue doggy", a.k.a. Blues Clues, this week. He asked for it 742 times per day, give or take. During one of thos times this week I calmly responded, "Mommy said no," to his insistent question. To which he calmly responded, "Kurties says yes." Well, there it is. He got me.

He also stated this week "I don't want to 'cause I don't want to." Toddlers have such a knack for saying what everyone else is thinking, no?

Have a funny-filled weekend, people.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Multitude Monday

holy experience

"If I allow any turning away from God in my private life, everyone around me suffers."
Oswald Chambers

And so I keep my face turned toward my God. And thank Him. Because He alone is worthy to be praised.


(44) Gabriel reached page 200 in Phonics Pathways! Almost done!

(45) Eating doughnuts from a string.

(46) Crisp fall moon rising over the hills.

(47) Three-legged races and smiling girls.

(48) Cool morning breezes through an open window. Curtains billowing

(49) Morning sun on blond curls.

(50) Interesting little critters.

(50) The delightful tinkle of hummingbirds everywhere.

(51) First tournaments (Nicholas is on the left).

(52) From The Valley of Vision:

"Thy grace can melt the worst sinner, and I am as vile as he;
Yet Thou hast made me a monument of mercy, a trophy of redeeming power;
In my distress let me not forget this."

(53) A thoughtful husband eager to be godly.

(54) "I love you, Mama."

Friday, September 11, 2009


I love that you were the first girl on both sides of the family, bringing all things pink and ruffly and feminine into our midst.

I love that you cried so much in your first year, because it forced me to trust God for strength and peace.

I love that you are so contemplative, seeking answers about the big questions and the small.

I love that you knocked your teeth out when you were four, creating that adorable toothless smile that graces all your pictures from ages four to seven.

I love that you are a faithful and devoted friend, who is willing to give friendships the time and attention they need.

I love your passion, even when it swells against me. It shows me that the Lord has created you to do big things in your life, hopefully for His glory.

I love your ability and desire to read so much. I am amazed by your ability to block out the din of a house of seven and focus so completely on the words on the page.

I love our conversations as you get older. I love that we can talk like friends.

I love your desire to get married and have a large family when you are grown.

I love that you are mature and innocent at the same time. That is a gift.

I love that you are not lured by the world and its clothes, music, and stuff.

But most of all, I love you and the great God who lent you to me for this short time.

Happy birthday, Little Pearl.
Enjoy eleven.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The View From My Window

Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday afternoon.

Friday afternoon.

Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What We're Up To

Here's just a little sampling of what we've been up to:

There has been a fair bit of this...

with a small dose of this...

add in some twirling for good measure...

and just a bit of serious business...

then there was a dash of this...

a trace amount of this...

and a whole lot of this...

a little of this...

and a bit of this.

When I climb out from under the new math books, literature lists, writing textbooks, ridiculously complex schedules, and online course instructions, I'll be back.Until then, just know we're enjoying our summer around here.