Saturday, August 27, 2011


   Eight years ago today I began this journey called mothering. After an intense and quick hour long labor a baby boy with a head full of hair and the cord wrapped around his neck came forth. His face was blue. We all held our breaths until he took his first breath and let out a cry. And we cried too. We prayed and felt his name should be Moses Elijah. A strong name for a strong little boy. We were instantly in love.
   Moses proved he had a strong will right from the start. When frustrated he would hold his breath till he turned blue. He cried a lot and slept very little. For the first three months we would take turns bouncing him up and down, up and down to keep him content.
   Moses was not the only one crying. I think I cried every day for the first month. Mark did not know who he should comfort first. I thought I could never do this birthing thing again and I did not have what it takes to be a mother.
   But as days turned to months things got better. Our good days far outweighed the bad ones.We were sleeping more and crying less. We began to enjoy parenting more. Our introduction to parenting was not an easing into but  rather a baptism by fire but we had come forth stronger.
   When God had prompted us six weeks into our marriage to get off birth control we had wrestled. After all we had only dated 9 months before getting married and were we really ready for a baby? I remember crying out to the Lord for a mother's heart not really knowing what was ahead. But I look back with no regrets. Moses has taught us so much...about the Father's heart, each other, and life.

   This morning I looked at Moses and could not believe 8 years had gone by so fast. Eight years. I am now the mother of a third grader. And though I thought I could not do this mothering thing, the Lord has blessed me with three more, and has spoken time and time again, "Yes, you can".

   Moses we love you and are so blessed to call you son. Thanks for all you have taught us and continue to teach us. You bring great joy to our hearts. Though you are small in stature, you are strong in spirit. We are blessed by your vision for life and your diligence to get a job done. We love your creativity and sensitivity. We love how you are a great leader and a helper to your younger brother and sisters. We bless your gifts to build and design. We love you Buddy!

Happy Birthday!

Father and Son. Nine months old drumming on Daddy's head ....and our hearts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

a grateful heart

It's been quite the week  ear infection and a bad case of poison ivy are an interesting combination (and when i say bad i mean i had poison on my arms, legs, thighs, stomach, neck and face!) On the way to the doctor's this morning for my ear I began thinking about what God may be trying to teach me through this. Although both minor things the two together have gotten my attention as I alternate between a scratchy body and pounding ear.
The word I heard as I drove along and listened was "Gratitude". He is teaching me to be grateful. When I am sick I began to see how much I really do have to be grateful for...starting with my health. And I see how often I am not grateful or thankful.
So today I was thanking him for all that He has given me...which is really a lot. An amazing husband, four beautiful healthy energetic children, a big farmhouse to live in on a gorgeous property, food to eat, great friendships and so much more.
I can look at my house and see the perpetually sticky old linoleum floor and orange shag carpet or walk out the front door and look at the view of rolling meadows and flower gardens. It is the same house...just a different perspective.

"Sometimes all we really need is a fresh perspective on our circumstances. We need someone to open a window and let a breeze blow into the room that we didn't realize had gotten so stuffy." ~Nancy Wilson~

Give me one thing more, a grateful heart.~George Herbert~

Saturday, August 20, 2011

little girls...

 The other night we had some friends over for dinner. As us adults sat on the porch talking I noticed it was unusually quiet. Then four little girls appeared from upstairs, dressed in fancy dresses with fresh bouqets of flowers they had picked from the garden. "We are playing wedding", they said excitedly.
Their hair was uncombed and dinner and dirt still on their faces but when they put on the dresses and Mark took their pictures they felt like princesses.
They laughed and twirled and ran through the grass feeling beautiful and free.
There is a lot I can learn from watching little girls...

 If you look closely you will see the girls were not the only ones dressing up!

 While we try to teach our children all about life
Our children teach us what life is all about...
(author unknown)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Last spring while browsing through the toy section at Target I ran into a veteran home school mom. It was in the midst of the Lord starting to put home school on my heart and I confessed to her that I was thinking about doing it. I remember her saying, "Homeschool is really about what the Lord wants to do in YOU." And I also remember me thinking, "Yeah, that is exactly why I am scared !"
The first few weeks of summer were very hard this year. I was surprised by how used to I had become of my "relaxed" afternoons with only two children. The adjustment to having all four kids home all day was difficult for them...and for me. There was no where to send them or no where to run from the issues that were coming up in me and in them.
I am excited and scared about homeschool for these exact reasons. Even more than the school work aspect, the mothering part is just as overwhelming. I know there are areas the Lord wants to strengthen and grow me in but it is also hard for my perfectionist self to not take myself so seriously.
A few weeks back I was wrecked by this article on mothering. I literally sat at the computer and bawled as the Lord touched places in my heart. (check it out at I actually went and bought the author's book, "Loving the Little Years...Motherhood in the Trenches". I am really enjoying the perspective and challenges she brings...

I am blessed that the Lord loves me where I am at but He also loves me too much to leave me here...

"I didn't write this book because mothering is easy for me. I wrote it because it isn't."
-Rachel Jankovic

Sunday, August 14, 2011

a little shout out

Here's a little shout out to Zion Rae on her eighth birthday!
We love you and are excited to have you living close to us again! Sarah is especially excited and is counting down the days till your arrival! Hope you have a very special birthday!
love, Uncle Mark, Aunt Heather, Moses, Sarah, Silas and Hope

quote of the day

I stumbled across this contraption the other day hanging from my cabinet. Then I came across this quote which pretty much sums it up.

"Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the snow before it stops snowing."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

taking the plunge.

To me sky diving and home schooling my children are right up there with things I would NEVER do.
But I am learning to never say never.
I never thought I would  home school my children because I was just not that "type" of mom...there was no way I could ever do that. I had frequently said "I will never home school UNLESS the Lord  puts  it on my heart" (notice the clause).
Well, starting in the spring time home school was on my heart where it never was before and it seemed that every blog and every other mom I ran into was homeschooling which only fueled my curiosity. I started praying about it, looking into curriculum's, talking to other moms, and praying some more. Sometimes my prayers were more like circles in my mind that went round and round with the pros and cons of home school versus public school. On a good mothering day I was all about home school but if you caught me on a bad day I was sending them back to school
Finally a few weeks ago it just felt like it was time to make a take the plunge into the unknown and go for it. So I am homeschooling. There I said it.
I am making a decision to draw the line in the sand. I am going to take the jump. Laugh at the unknown and the challenges along the way. And maybe even have fun....
I am still not sure about sky diving though.

a little kiss from heaven...

~a sea of sunflowers at sunset on an evening drive~

Saturday, August 6, 2011

time out

 I put myself on a " time-out" today. I have heard of other mothers doing this and if ever I needed one it was today. Coming off of a week of helping out with vacation bible school I felt wiped out and irritated. But what happens when the children don't leave you alone on time out? More frustration.
My "time-out" finally came after dinner when I could do the dishes and sweep the floor in silence as Mark played with the kids outside. Sometimes this evening routine is a chore but tonight it felt like a welcomed respite. My broom and my thoughts working together.
Last night we watched the movie "Soul Surfer" and one line in particular jumped out. Paraphrased it went something like this "It is hard to look at things up close but only later after you step back can you get a better perspective". I feel like mothering is like that. When I am constantly in the throes of it I can easily lose perspective and focus on minuscule things that aren't important. But when given a chance to step back, even a few minutes of alone time, helps to clear my perspective.

I think I might put myself on time out more often...

Friday, August 5, 2011


Mark started a new blog called HingeWork. A place for photography, coaching, and perspective.
It seems like these are things that keep coming back to him and passions he wants to pursue more. This blog is a first step in that direction. Check it out:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

just a little bit of life....

Sarah's first ever friends party-she loved every minute of it!

Welcome to our newest neice Karolina Grace....Mark got to meet her and snap some pictures of her 12 hours after her birth!

Our garden is at its peak and has kept me busy the last two week as we picked, husked and froze 50-70 dozen ears of corn! I will be glad in February but for now I have had my fill of corn!

I love summer time for the fresh flower bouquets from the garden that adorn my table!

Tree of life-glad to be where we are.

We have been eating lots of fresh salsa from our garden. LOVE it!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


"Yet  I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, will he not much more clothe you?" (matthew 7:29-30)

A reminder that God cares about the details of my life. From the zinnias and marigolds that grow in my garden to the bills that need paid to the lives of my children and our dreams for the future. He cares. I can cast my cares upon Him.

Monday, August 1, 2011


A little perspective from the sunday newspaper....

What voices am I going to choose to listen to today?