Saturday, January 14, 2012


Is there anything better as a kid?

Eli has been anticipating this moment for weeks. Norah, not so much. But she also found the snow delightful-although we discovered that she is absolutely terrified of riding on the sled, or sitting on the sled, or walking next to the sled, or even having the sled within her line of vision...

*I assure you that I was also out here freezing my fingers off for this winter family bonding experience. However, I looked more miserable than delighted in my Kodak moment so you'll have to just take my word for it.*

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Little Moments

It seems that most of the significant conversations I have with Eli happen the in car. Probably because he's strapped in his seat with a captive audience (me), and he doesn't like to let a second of silence go to waste. So he chatters continuously and asks a million questions.

Yesterday we were driving home from playgroup and listening to the song "Oh you can't get to heaven"  from a kid's praise CD that Eli knows every word to and he was singing his little heart out. He started telling me how silly it was to think that you could get to heaven in a rocking chair when the only way to really get there was to drive your car right in. The comment made me laugh and then I started reminding him of our prior conversations  about our sinful hearts and how God sent Jesus to die for our sins so that we could someday live forever in Heaven with Him. And I reminded him that we have to believe in Jesus and ask Him to come live in our hearts to help change us to be more like Him.

After a few minutes of conversation Eli told me he wanted Jesus to come live in his heart and asked me to help Him "get in there." I hesitated for a moment, because I wasn't sure how much he understood of what I was saying and thought maybe he was too young for all of this. But then I looked back at his innocent face staring at me in the rear-view mirror and when he said "please mommy" I knew that now was just as good a time as ever. So I lead him through a very simplified version of the sinner's prayer and he repeated everything I said in almost a whisper with his eyes closed and hands folded. When we finished, he immediately looked down at his coat and said, "Well, I don't see Jesus's head sticking out of my chest yet, so I hope he's in there." And he went right on back to singing along with the music and laughing with his sister.

So although I'm still not sure what his mind understands about salvation at 3 1/2 years old, I got a true glimpse of what Jesus was talking about when he tells us to have faith like a child. It was one of those moments where I thought my heart might absolutely burst. You always wonder as a parent if the lessons and values you are constantly teaching (and sometimes forcing) on your children are getting through at all to them. I am so thankful that God showed me in an ordinary car ride that there is fruit coming from my struggles, and prayers, and heart to raise kids that grow up loving Jesus.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


We got to peak in on our little peanut this morning at my 19 week ultrasound appointment and he or she is absolutely beautiful. It is unfathomable to me how one could not believe in a loving Creator after seeing the images of this perfectly formed, complete human being that is so tiny and yet so unbelievably intricate at only 19 weeks along. The wonder of it never gets old for me and I lay there awestruck that I get to be a part of God's miraculous creation and that He is entrusting us with another baby for our family.

We remained faithful to our decision not to find out the gender (although we were VERY tempted), but we do know that this baby is healthy, and growing, and already very much loved. God is so good.

I mean how could you not love this sweet little face and these impossibly tiny arms?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Organized with a side of crazy

This post is mainly for my sisters, Kim and Sarah. They love to tease me about my mad love of all things neat and tidy. I blame my Grandpa Harry. He and I both see the world through color coordinated-clearly labeled in the correct drawer- lenses. Its just in my blood. Either you get it or you don't. So laugh away girls, this one's for you...

Over Christmas John had some time off work to relax, sleep-in, and cross a small project off the ole' honey-do list. I have been longing for a sink in the laundry room for some time now because I do quite a bit of stain management around here and have grown weary of lugging heavy buckets full of sloshing water between the bath and laundry room. There is always something soaking in Oxy-clean here. So John and my Grandpa Harry worked on the plumbing, drywalling, and counter-top installation together- enjoying 2 days of close quarters and jamming to the oldies station on Pandora.

And it turned out beautiful and is now oh so convenient to soak, rinse, wash, or even just get a quick drink should I become suddenly parched while folding.  I wish I would have taken a before picture to give you a better idea of the changes, but I didn't. So just imagine this room looking not nearly as pretty...and without a sink.

Is it really so weird that I sometimes like to shut myself in my laundry room to enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet? I think not.

So here are my tips for optimal organization of this very frequented, too often neglected space for you aspiring OCD'ers out there. 

Bright, cheerful colors just make washing dirty socks and crusty peanut-butter way more fun. And don't forget to use color-coded hangers for each member of the family. This makes putting clothes away in the right rooms a snap, even for your husband. 

Who says you can't have a decorative plant and and fancy hand-soap in there? I say Yes You Can! Because if it makes you smile on sheets day, then you're worth it.

Oh how I love wicker baskets. It doesn't matter what kind of crap you put in them, that crap is guaranteed to look fabulous. And for Heaven's sake, label them! You don't have to use these fancy tags, but I say its craft store money well-spent if you do.

Do I look like a millionaire? Please. Inexpensive cafe curtain rods double as excellent drying racks and only cost about $5 apiece. So don't shrink your favorite pair of jeans just because you don't have anywhere to hang them. That's just silly.

Is that wall-art you ask, in your laundry room? Why yes, if you consider an old spray-painted
frame turned stain-removal 101 chart art, then it is. Free and educational is always a good idea. 

And last but not least, don't settle for that unsightly cardboard box cluttering up your beautiful space. Are they paying you to advertise for them? Instead, put your detergent in a simple glass canister for a much more elegant look. And it couldn't be any more convenient when you're in a hurry. Which is probably always.

Are you inspired yet? I think I can already hear you powering up your label maker.