Friday, December 30, 2011

It's a....

So one of my favorite parts of this Christmas was making a little announcement....

We had both of our mom's open a present that announced the arrival of their next grandchild.....

little baby girl Buckwalter.

Yes, we are having another girl and could not be happier.

We had our ultrasound the Wednesday before Christmas which was an awesome early present to receive.
The ultrasound tech asked us what we had at home and i told her, "boy, girl, boy, girl "and she promptly turned on the machine and pronounced "girl"! We thought she was kidding at first because she literally just turned on the screen but she was not. Our little girl was in the perfect position to be discovered. We were shocked and excited and shed a few tears of joy. Such an awesome Christmas present.

Sarah was also overjoyed. She had been praying every night for the last several months "Dear God, please let the baby live and let her be a baby sister. Amen". Her faithful prayers were answered! 
I can't wait to watch her be a big sister to this special baby girl growing inside...

Monday, December 19, 2011

out of control

So I have now sat down and wrote and then deleted three different blog entries over the course of the last week. I was wanting to find the right words in the midst of my own proccess with the Lord and nothing seemed to be coming out right. Delete. Delete. Delete.
But what if it is not about having the right answers or the perfect words? Why do I even struggle to want to come across as having figured it all out?
And it seems like that is very issue the Lord is putitng his finger on in this season...
Last Tuesday Mark got laid off of work. There has been many postive things that have come with the lay off including more time with Mark over the holidays and a chance to pursue some dreams that have been on his heart for awhile now. We know God was in the lay off even if the timing was a surprise to us.
However, I feel out of control. Our finances, schedule, car situation (we now have one car), health insurance, and lives in general have been rearragned. Throw into the mix the holidays and pregnancy hormones and I feel very out of control. I know that the best thing to do is let go and just surrender to the rollercoaster. But instead I try to hold on and figure things out on my own and attempt to organize in the midst of chaos which leaves me stressed out and uptight and not who I want to be.
The solution is simple. Let GO. The funny thing is was I ever really in control anyways?
I want to be at rest in the midst of transtion and trust even when I can't see how it is all going to work. I have been here before and God has been faithful. My heart can be at rest.

p.s check out for Mark's side of the story....

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Jesus will provide..."

Last weekend we got away without kids with our church family. It was such a time of healing and refreshment....full of laughter, tears and great conversations. I came home feeling tired but full only to be thrown into one of the craziest weeks I have had in appointments, three kids to the dentist, babysitting, Sarah home sick for three days, the news of death, an unexpected visit to the mechanics. I felt like the rest and perspective I had received while away kept being threatened. On top of that it is Christmas time and I love Christmas...the decorating, time with family and friends,giving gifts, Christmas music...but what I hate every year is how stressed out i get about money. Every year I say I won't get stressed out but yet I do. Things always seem to get extra tight in November and December.
So in the midst of a crazy busy week and feeling the squeeze of finances I had a meltdown and was crying and stressing to Mark. In the middle of my little fit Moses comes into the room holding a piece of paper. While I am melting down upstairs he was downstairs rubbing pennies onto paper with a pencil and wrote these words,

Jesus will provide money when things are hard.

Mark and I both stood amazed. It was the word of the Lord. There was nothing else to say. I wish I could say the rest of my week I walked in complete trust but I want to be there. Knowing He provides and knows our every need.

Jesus will provide....And I can be at rest.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I had planned to sit down and write about my cell phone my lone and only means of communication with the outside world was lost and then stolen last week. And how disarming it can feel to be without a phone....
But somehow today all that seems of little relevance. Losing my cell phone is a small thing....a nuisance or an annoyance but still a thing.
My heart has been grieving today for friends of ours who lost three of their children yesterday in a car accident. I cannot get them off my mind today. At the dentist. Driving in the car. Washing the dishes. Sweeping the floor. They keep coming back. So I am praying for them. And in the midst dealing with my own fears and mistrust towards the Lord in allowing such things to even happen. Choosing to fix my eyes on the Lord and His goodness even when it hurts and I don't understand. I am rejoicing that they are with the Father in heaven but grieving for the empty arms that have been left behind.....
I am squeezing my children extra long and hard today, trusting them again to the Lord. Giving Him my fears, questions and worries. Thankful that today with the phone not ringing Him and I have a little more time to talk ....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

a little bit of life....

 So i am now 17 weeks and pulling out the maternity and my bigger jeans! Things are definitely getting snug but it is exciting to finally have a little baby bump.
This little girl keeps me on my toes. She loves to talk and is my sidekick throughout the day. We have a lot of fun together...

 And this i love her. But lately we seem to be butting heads a lot. Sometimes it feels like she is six going on sixteen...and other days she is still my little girl. I feel like I am in uncharted territory at times and need the Lord's wisdom and heart in parenting her. To know when to release and give freedom and when to discipline and draw boundaries...

On Saturday afternoon Sarah and Daddy had a little date to McDonald's and a walk around the city. She was so excited. She could hardly wait for him to get off work and come pick her up! It was fun to watch her pick out her outfit and get ready for her date. She loves her Daddy. i was only slightly jealous....
 And this little man has been growing up before my very eyes. Becoming his own person. With his own opinions. I find I need to seize these days I have been given with him as I think about him starting school next year. He is growing up.
And this boy is also growing up. Yesterday he was very excited to be part of a lego contest at the lancaster museum. He loves to build and create and i can't wait to see how he uses the gifts inside of him...

 And here are a few shots from thanksgiving...some of the only ones we took that day. We hung out with the Buckwalters and all 17 cousins, 14 of which are 8 and under. Our kids love their cousins and any chance to play with them. Here is Mark's grandma with the two youngest cousins, Piper and Karolina.

Just a little bit of life on this rainy Tuesday afternoon.....

 Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Man is a Blessing

I am thankful for my man. He has put up with the hormonal and emotional ups and downs of the first trimester. He has continued to push me to be a better person, woman, and mother. I am thankful for a best friend to walk through this life with. I love you Mark.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Children Are A Blessing

"My children are a blessing" reads the little sign I posted over my bathroom sink to remind myself daily of the truth of these words. Believe it or not I sometimes need to be reminded...

On days when I feel more like a WWF referee than a mom or I have to say "stop it" ten times in a row for the same misdemeanor and I feel like an underpaid maid...these are the days I need to remind myself of the blessings these little lives are. This week as we focus on the things we are thankful for at Thanksgiving I have found myself anything but thankful at times. I have been irritated and annoyed with my children too often. I need a change in perspective.
I need to remind myself of the Hopey's sweet  kisses and hugs that she bestows on me throughout the day, snuggling with Silas in the afternoon on the couch reading a  book, the nightly bedtime conversations on the edge of Sarah's bed, watching Moses's love of learning and creativity and so many other ways they bless and enrich our lives. Right now as I am writing Hope is standing on the back of my chair massaging my shoulders repeating "This make you feel better". Yes, my children are a blessing. And I am very thankful for their lives and the joy they bring....along with a little craziness!

 Thank you God for the gift of my children. The lessons they teach me, the way the challenge me in my walk with you, for the things they surface in my heart, their laughter, the hugs, their child like faith and the way they bring joy to our lives. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

little apple

 So I am now at the end of my 15th week of pregnancy. It feels good to be out of the first trimester. The nausea has subsided and my belly is growing. At 15 weeks the baby is supposed to be about the size of an apple. Here is me and my little apple.

And here is another little apple....

To see some more recent family pictures check out Hingework ( Mark posted some recent pictures of our family that I love! I am so proud of him pursuing his love for photography!

Friday, November 18, 2011

our little indian girl

 Sarah's first grade class had a little Thanksgiving skit and feast this morning. Sarah was a little Indian girl. She was so excited for her part, which was to stomp her feet, put her fingers to her mouth and say "shh". The skit was short and sweet. The teacher joked that it is like the small towns you drive through, "if you blink you will miss it". 

Sarah did a great job and was so thrilled we were there to watch! We love you girl!

(I can't believe it is Thanksgiving next week already. Let the festivities begin! )

Friday, November 11, 2011


I have written before about perfectionism and how the Lord has been highlighting perfectionism in my life. And also how perfectionism is not being perfect but trying to live up to unrealistic ideals.
Over the last year I have really enjoyed reading home decorating/do-it-yourself blogs. I often come away inspired about a new way to decorate or rearrange my furniture or sew throw pillows or even paint my dining room chairs! But sometimes I can come away from the computer feeling like I wasted time and feeling discouraged about how far from ideal my house is. I start to build ideals of what my house should look like and list in my head all the ways my house does not meet up. This can be very defeating. Oh those stupid ideals.
While looking at home decorating blogs I started to get this picture in my head of what the "perfect" living room would look like along with the "perfect" couch. It would be sleek and clean and white and well, perfect.
So in the meantime friends of ours were going to sell their sectional couch on craiglist but felt they were to give it to us instead and approached us about it on my birthday none the less. Here's the catch, I almost turned down their offer because I wasn't looking for a sectional. It wasn't in my ideal picture in my head of what I wanted the living room to look like. But in the end we accepted their offer and you know what? I love it! It is perfect for our family and the stage we are in now. We can all lay and prop up our feet at the same time while we eat popcorn and watch movies. It is super comfy and great for lounging and reading books.
I realized recently I almost missed out on what was being offered me because of my ideals. The funny thing is if I would have gotten my dream couch I probably wouldn't have let anyone sit on it because it would have been too perfect! :)
The couch may seem like a little thing but it opened my eyes to how much ideals can hinder us from enjoying what is being offered to us now!

Lord help me let go of my ideals and open my eyes to see the goodness that lies right in front of me. Amen.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

full time ministry

   Recently I was thinking  how I got into this thing called mothering. No, not literally, but rather how this whole journey with children started...
   When Mark and I first got together we were sure we were headed towards full time ministry together. After our fast engagement and short relationship we wanted to wait at least two years to have children and had even prayed that if the Lord wanted us to we would not have children so we could be better fit for the ministry!!!!(makes me laugh every time).
   So about six weeks into our marriage a young couple came to our house that we did not know that well. Next thing we knew they were opening up to us about intimate things and sharing how they felt they were to get off birth control and trust the Lord. It was one of those times that the words they said felt like they were coming out extra loud and hit me like a train wreck. I looked over at Mark and he had the same kind of look on his face. After the couple went home we talked and prayed. It seemed like the Lord was getting our attention but this was not exactly how we had thought it was all going to work. So after much tears and prayer I flushed the birth control bills and my fears and decided to trust God.
   A month later I took a pregnancy test and lo and behold I was pregnant. I had gotten pregnant just two weeks after the ceremonial flushing of the pill. And with the positive pregnancy came more of a mother's heart.  I often wonder how different our lives would look if we had not obeyed.
   And full time ministry looked a lot different than I imagined. We did spend the first three to four years of our marriage in "full time ministry" but most of my ministry looked more like "full time mothering".  I can sometimes forget to see mothering as ministry and fall into a mindset that I am just feeding, clothing, and taking care of children. But i want to have eyes to see these little lives as my more than just something that fills my days.
   Lately I have been thinking a lot about what it will look like to add one more to our gang. For some reason a family of seven sounds like a lot more than having a family of six. I know more is going to be required of me. And I want to rise to the challenge. I want my heart to expand... to love more, to grow in patience and kindness. I know asking for these things means at times being stretched. Just like my belly is stretching and growing right now and making my pants tight. The Lord is stretching me in the area of mothering. I can either fight it or embrace it.
   I also know that the mothering I am called to is not always limited to children. As a senior in college I wrote in one of my papers that I was called to be a mother to women. I sometimes stray away from that whole idea because I can feel like I don't have a lot of offer right now. Heck, I don't always have my own life figured out how can I help others? (Lliterally after I was writing this I talked to a mom and I found myself sharing with her things I have learned over the last few weeks of being pregnant. And it was like the Lord was showing me I DO have things to offer)

   So I am writing all this to say I want to embrace the fullness of my call to mother.Somehow to write it all out this morning refreshed my memory of things on my heart. I started writing this a week ago but it felt incomplete. And this morning the Lord was reminding me of college and the things He put on my heart even back then. The funny thing was I did not want to go to college. I hated the "C" word. I just wanted to get married and have children. But God used the four years there along with Tuesday Night Bible study to plant things in my heart (plus I needed something to do while I waited for Mark)!
(a little picture from the archives and the days of full time ministry)

It feels scary to write all this. To say I want to grow as a mother when I know full well that means I will be stretched and pushed out of my comfort zone. But I am not totally fulfilled right now in just life as normal so I want the fullness of what the Lord has for me. Being stretched out of my comfort zone was after all how this whole journey got started in the first place.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The big 5

Time is racing on and today Silas turns 5. The big 5. As in now he can hold up all the fingers on one hand to show how old he is!

Silas is growing up and becoming his own person. And where Moses eats, sleeps and breathes legos, Silas is really into Cars....and anything to do with the movie and the characters. 
This morning Grandma Yocom stopped by with a Car's scooter. He was so excited to say the least...

And Silas came home this weekend from Grandma Buck's with a bag full of Car's stuff. He was all grins showing off his new toys. Here he is with Mater...his favorite.

And here is my winking birthday boy. My sweetheart who rubs my arm and makes sure I am feeling okay. Our little hugger who loves to give squeezes. And our sensitive boy who will always volunteer to pray when asked. He is also all boy and loves to be outdoors, wrestle, climb trees and build forts...which is fitting since Silas means "man of the forest". We love you Silas!!!
We have loved these last five years and what you add to our family. We can't wait to see all of what God has for you in the many years to come.....HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

it's really all about perspective

job perks

*So i wrote this Monday morning but never posted it. And this morning I wasn't not feeling so perky or grateful or so sure I should even be eating barbecue chips. So in faith I am posting this reminding myself that mothering is a great that I am called to and one that is full of rewards. I need to just let off the pressure and enjoy this season...and maybe go eat some more potato chips too!

I remember as a teenager at times getting into the station wagon and finding a half eaten bag of chips shoved into the glove box. As a weight conscious teenager I didn't understand my mom's occasional chip eating on the way home from the grocery store. I would not even allow myself to eat the sinful things that is until I was pregnant with Moses and rediscovered what I had been missing all those years.
So today on the way home from the grocery store I ripped into the bag of potato chips that were calling out my name in the snack aisle. I savored each bite. Ahh. There was only two little ones with me so together we enjoyed the chips as we sang along to the radio. I was starting to understand my mom. Sometimes you just want to enjoy a snack without other hands grabbing and asking for some. And sometimes you want to open the bag of chips before you get home because you can. Funny how these things come around.
There are some job perks that sometimes get unnoticed in the midst of the mundane. I can shop and get the stuff I am hungry for and even indulge in a few chips on the way home if I want to. I can take a nap in the middle of the day. I don't have a boss man screaming at me. I can blog, journal, read a book or browse the Internet throughout the day. I can make my own schedule. And I get lots of time with my kids.
Somehow driving along eating chips with my kids today reminded me of all the perks of my job and what I have to be thankful for...

Friday, October 28, 2011

lessons from the dinner table

Well there is a first time for everything. Last night Mark was away over dinner time. I discovered when I was ready to serve dinner that the ham I had glazed and baked was still frozen in the middle. So we had chicken nuggets and peas instead. Halfway through dinner Hope looked at me and said, "Mommy I have a pea up my nose". WHAT! I looked but did not see anything. We tried blowing her nose a few times but nothing came out so we continued dinner and I forgot about it.
A half hour after dinner she was still blowing on her nose and sniffing. I asked her if the pea was still there and she said yes. I took the shade off the office light and shined it up her nose. Sure enough the little green culprit was stuck up her nose. I could just see the end of it.  I googled "pea up the nose" and lo and behold there was some ideas. I tried one and it didn't work. Then I tried holding her other nostril shut while she blowed. First she sucked it up further. Then she blew really hard twice and the pea shot out of her nose and propelled across the room. Hope and I were cracking up. I was laughing and praising God the little pea came out.
Hope is now retelling the story over and over of how she blew the pea out of her nose. She is such a little ham and loves to tell stories.  I am hoping a lesson was learned not stick peas up your nose!

P.S. I learned a lesson too...make sure your ham is completely defrosted before cooking. Four hours later at 7:30 my ham was ready to come out of the oven. Ugh. Lesson learned.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

turning the corner

    I think I may have turned the corner in this pregnancy. I have only thrown up twice in the last two and half weeks (yeah!) and now can make it through a day without a nap (yeah again!). I still struggle to stay awake past 8 pm. and I don't remember when I last saw the bottom of the wash pile... but that might not have anything to do with being pregnant. Evenings still tend to be my hardest time of day as far as feeling sick, which is a blessing since Mark is home during those times (although Mark may not always see it that way! )

   Photography has been something on Mark's heart and as been a hobby he has pursued over the last eight years. Over the last month he has had four photo sessions, three of which were in the last week. I have become his editing side kick/prop and design girl. So if it has been quiet here on this blog it is because I have been editing and posting pictures over here at Check out some of Mark's pics and I hope to be posting some more soon.

   This week I also started crossing some things off the "to- do" list that was accumulating in my head as I spent afternoons laying on the couch. It feels so good even if I pay for it in the evenings. Monday I sewed three pillows for my couch. Mom graciously came and gave me a sewing 101 since I had not been on a sewing machine since 8th grade when I got a C in sewing class. It was fun and I may even think of something else to sew! I also have been wanting to paint my dinning room chairs so I have been working on them little by little when I have energy. Small things really but it feels good to be creative and start feeling like myself again.

Here's to turning the corner....