Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas To Me...

Brent made a new blog for me!!!

Starting today, if you want to keep up with our fam, please check us out on


If you subscribe to the feed for this site, you will no longer receive anything. Please subscribe to the new blog. On the new blog, you can also subscribe to receive an email every time I post...

Well, what are you waiting for? Hurry and check it out. =) Brent did an incredible job with the site!! Feel free to leave comments telling him how fantastically gifted he is =)

I love Christmas presents!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Family Fun Day

We took the trip to see Santa today. It went much better than last year. Here are the kids all excited with the anticipation of sitting on Santa's lap.


Elliana wasn't so sure about this whole thing once she saw Santa up close...notice her eyes!
She put on her fake smile though when she saw the bucket of suckers next to his chair!We rewarded the smiles with some dollar hamburgers at the food court...
Then after naps, we took some dinner to friends and then drove around and looked at Christmas lights. We came home and surprised the girls by pulling out lights to put on our house. I love Avery's reaction in this picture! Christmas is such a fun time of year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

To Twitter or Not Twitter

My husband, the technology guru in this household, has tried to convince me to use twitter for a few months now. He even created an account for me...something about branding and getting my user name or something or other.

I wasn't too sold on the idea. I mean, who wants to know what I'm doing all the time. For example, if I had tweeted this morning, it would have said something along the lines of

"just pulled into the parking garage at the urologists and heard my 2 year old throw up all over the back of the car"

Followed a few minutes later by...

"as soon as the elevators closed, my 2 year old said she needed to potty really bad. No potty in site...slow elevator!"

I might have even ended with

"2 yr. old running around doctor's office in younger brother's diaper and nothing else. Extra clothes were used after the throw up incident."

Really, who wants to follow me and know all that? I'm not even sure I want to know all that.

Regardless, Brent seems to think its a fun thing so I thought I would give it a shot. Feel free to follow me or not. We'll see how well I do at this whole twitter thing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Good Friends Are Hard To Find


My best friend from college came down a couple weeks ago. I just love her to death. We were childhood friends but then I moved away in Jr. High. We lost contact sometime in High School and then reconnected Sophomore year of college when we happened to live on the same floor in the dorm. The University of Northern Iowa is a pretty big college so I like to think God had something to do with bringing up together again =)

Hanging out with her last weekend was a breathe to my soul. Its not often you get to hang out with someone who you knew way back in grade school but still loves you anyway! Thanks Jaimee for making the trip...I'm thinking Feb. in Minneapolis??? Maybe we can convince a few other girls to ditch some kids for the weekend =)

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Spiritual Journey

Finding Joy in the Simple Things.
My theme for the holidays =)

In the midst of a weekend of pain, a trip to the ER, canceled plans, and fun but busy holiday events, I'm determined to not miss the joy the little things bring to my life. The joy of listening to my 4 yr old sing the completely wrong words to every Christmas Carol, the joy of my 2 yr. old chasing my 4 yr old saying "wait, come back, I don't even know your name" as she plays Cinderella, the joy of my 8 month old giggling everytime I crawl towards him, the joy of having a husband who drops everything to sit with me in the ER on one of his busiest days of the week, the joy of having friends who change all their plans so that they can come take care of my kids, the joy of a beautiful day where we could get sunburned, the joy of having people to love.....the list could go on, but we'll just leave it at this. The Lord has been so faithful to give me joy in the simple things of life. I'm so thankful for joy.

Goals:
  • Pretty much the same. I'm still reading and re-reading the book of Daniel.
  • Still meditating on Ezekiel 35. The image of God giving me a new heart and his Spirit has become so real and powerful. I just love that image of a new heart. Such a great visual picture for me!
  • Still sitting down and going through the prayer of Examen twice a day. I've had people ask why, so here's my thinking. If you've never done the prayer of examen, you should try it. You sit down and evaluate yourself in front of God. Its a great way to keep yourself focused on how you are keeping God the center of life. I do it twice a day because I usually lose it at least once in the morning and need to be refocused and confess and then usually lose it at least once before I go to bed and so need to sit and confess again =) What can I say...kids are my refining fire!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Question of the Day

(Brent is getting ready to go hunting)

A: "Do deers hurt you?"

B" No."

A: "Then why would you hunt them?"

We're struggling a bit to come coming up with a good answer to satisfy a 4 yr. old.
=)

More Dance

As promised, here's Aves recital.



Can you believe we have 8 Christmas obligations/events this week?!! 5 down and 3 to go. Maybe that's why my kids went stupid with the babysitter =)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Never Thought It Would Be Our Kids

Tonight we had the kids that all babysitters dread....you know the ones who take advantage of the "nice" babysitter.

I never thought our kids would do it


Tonight they did


Wow, they are not going to like what tomorrow brings =)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Dance Recital Time

I've been internet free for awhile. It just started working again so I thought I would post E's dance recital for all the grandparents. Today she was definitely more concerned about staying on her dot than she was with dancing which made it even cuter to watch. You gotta love 2 year olds in tutus!





Aves has her recital on Thursday so I'll post hers then. Have a great day!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

New Rules

Rule #1: You may not stick things up your brother's nose

Response to rule #1 by A: "really?!!!! I never knew that. I'll stop doing it then."


I guess this occurrence was more common than the one time I caught them.


Rule # 2: You may not call other people poo poo

Response to rule #2 by E: "OK!!!! Can I call Avery __________"

she picked random sounds and came up with the Spanish equivalent to the word poo poo. Of all the syllables she chose to put together! And no, neither Brent nor I speak Spanish or have used that word before!
=)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Family Fun Day

This pretty much sums up the activities for the day

video

Other than a quick trip to the gym and some house cleaning, our day pretty much consisted of dancing and playing dress up. You gotta love having little girls =)

And now Brent is taking the girls up to the Journey to the Manger at the church while I put Justus to bed. My best friend from college is flying in tonight so I'm off to finish cleaning up the house before going to the airport to pick her up. Its been 3 years since we've been able to hang out in person and I can't wait to spend the weekend with her! Enjoy your weekend =)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Cinderella

Elliana kept getting in trouble this morning for using mean words. She kept saying things like:

"Avery that's an ugly dress."

"I'm going to rip that dress."

"Avery you're going to cry."
Finally after the 4th time of her getting in trouble, I finally realized what was going on. She's trying to play Cinderella with Avery! She wants Avery to be Cinderella and she wanted to be her fairy godmother.

You know the scene from the garden where Cinderella runs out crying because the mean step sisters have just ripped her dress to pieces and the fairy godmother tells Cinderella that her dress just won't do and gives her a new dress. Elliana was trying to act out that scene; the rest of us just didn't know what she was doing and so interpreted her actions as using unkind words to her sister.

I think I need to start asking questions before I give out discipline!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow




You can't beat waking up to a snow covered yard!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

My Spiritual Journey

Do Holidays bring out the best in you or the worst in you?

I would have to answer that question with the worst.

The stress of traveling with 3 littles and the pressure of trying to keep the family sane all while operating on very little sleep overtakes me.

I don't want circumstances to overtake me.

I want the Spirit to overtake me.

Romans 7:15-8:4 "For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."


I guess the holidays are the "law" in my life that points out my sins. So for the month of December, I am waging war against the "law of sin that dwells in my members."


No books, no new disciplines, no new anything. Just God's Word and me. Nothing fancy and no grand plans. Just need to get out of the way and live according to the Spirit more. Back to the basics.


How, you ask? Great question with maybe not a great answer yet. I'm sure God will open my eyes as I walk forward. Its a journey that I've been on for awhile; one of dying to myself and allowing Christ to live in me, and I have no great answers or magic formulas for how to do it great and quickly. But I will keep pushing forward knowing that the battle has already been won and Christ already has the victory, and He will give me the grace I need to submit to His Spirit today.


So here's my plan to keep me submitted in the midst of crazy holiday stuff:
  • Continue my time in the morning in the Lord. Right now I'm reading through the book of Daniel
  • Read through the Psalms before bed so my thoughts while sleeping are of God's word and not of anything else
  • During afternoon naps and during the evening after the kids are down, stop and do a prayer examen. This helps me refocus and immediately confess and repent of any "sin that dwells within me" so that it does not linger or take root in my heart.
  • Continue to "pray without ceasing" by assigning my daily tasks a prayer request so that my heart and mind are continually focused on Christ.
Its funny. It takes the holidays to get me serious about denying everything I want to do with my time and replacing that with pursuing Christ.

What are you pursuing this holiday season?