Thursday, January 31, 2013

what the kids are up to

Abby, the one with the passive and quiet personality, has taken to basketball.  She got 3 fouls in a game!  The 6th grade boys and girls from our school are both playing for the district championship tonight. She recently began taking piano lessons.  Thankfully, no interest in boys yet! She is such a help right now while we have to keep our house clean for showings.

Carter turns 17 Saturday!  They are planning an all night airsoft war game. Let's just say that academics are not what gets him fired up.  He loves music more than anything and has a heart to serve others selflessly.  He is tickled to death by his little brothers and generally a delight to all who meet him.

Dillon also is playing basketball.  He loves to shoot baskets outside and takes defense seriously.  If you could see the way he worships at church, you'd wish you had his heart and spirit.  He is the king of the pull-out special classes at school.  The teachers will text me that he is couging and they are going to let him stay in their room during recess so he won't cough more.  Charmer!

And Hudson, well, he is crazy!  He grins all the time and talks non-stop.  Eyes pop open in the morning, and the commentary on life begins. He adores school and I hear a million times a day "He is SO cute!".  He is pre-reading and scares me with his intelligence.  Oh, he has turned in to a hypochondriac.  At least 5 times a day he tells us something hurts or is sick.  I'm trying to teach him about the boy who cried wolf.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How to know if God is speaking to you

Pastor Robert Morris says that you can discern if God is speaking to you by putting it to 3 tests:
1. He confirms in his Word.  Does what He is speaking to you line up with His Word, can you see it confirmed in Scripture?
2. He confirms in circumstances(those crazy coincidences that just happened at the right time, and you can't believe that "it" just happened while you were praying something specifically)
3. He confirms with other people(do His people speak it to you and feel it lines up with God's character?)

Thursday, January 24, 2013


We listed our house Monday!  Our dream house on the hill that is stuck in the 80's was still vacant and it was just time to try.  This is why we want to move: 

our backyard view is of houses and a crowded street and below is the backyard of the "new" house!

  It has 1 acre, a flat drive-way for Dillon to shoot baskets(his fav past time), a separate bathroom all for Abby(the princess of the home), and a little sunroom away from the bedrooms that will be Carter's music room so we doesn't rock the little boys' sleep with electrical guitar sounds at night.  The house has cool, original Parquet floors in the kitchen/breakfast nook! 

Anyway, I'm conflicted these days.  Big things swirling around in our heads.  And, after all my preaching about living to serve others, it is kind of hard to reconcile us wanting a different house when we have a perfectly nice one right now.  I think of all the people in the world with no home and feel shame at being discontent.

If you have a little time:  pray would ya?  Not for our house to sell super quick and for a good price.  Pray for the Lord's will to be done and for him to be glorified in our lives AND for our sanity as we try to keep the house "perfect" for showings with 4 kids, 2 poodles, and jobs!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Jen, my twin brain I've never met, did it again!

  Good gracious sakes, that crazy Jen Hatmaker(author of the greatest book EVER..."7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess") posted a great entry about parenting.  Coincidence, you say?  I think not! She doesn't know this, but she and I share the same brain--except she's a great writer and even more adventurous than I am. Her recent blog post is fantastic, hilarious, thought-provoking, and dang funny.  In the post, Jen addresses our society's crazy over-parenting syles where mommas stifle all the masculinity and bravery out of the boys and princess-ize their daughters to death.

"I like a little grit in my story. I often feel suffocated by my generation’s insistence on safety and control and perfection and hegemony. I genuinely like my kids to be a little wild and free. I want to have to say to my sons, “Only boys would think something like this up,” and pretend to be put out when really I’m enamored" (Hatmaker, 2013).

Why don't you go read it for yourselves.

PS. Meredith, we've simply got to find a time we can go see Jen together! Darn my stupid job in healthcare--how dare people need nursing care on the weekends???

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I have no idea what I'm doing

I'm good at faking competence!  People seem to think Mike and I know what we are doing with the parenting gig.  Apparently, we are good at pretending to have it all together. Yesterday, Mike and I were videoed giving some parenting advice for a teaching series that a man in the area is filming.  Then, a mother called me last night and needed to vent/cry about some struggles with her child.  Some days I think to myself "man, it is a good thing there is no video camera hidden in my house!"  I have many short-comings in the parenting department.  Numero uno is the tongue--oh what a destructive device.  I have a sharp tongue and have a hard time controlling it.  If you struggle with the same, read Robert Morris's book The Power of Your Words. Second, I like to be busy and task-oriented which can often translate to my kids not getting quality time with me.  Third, I'm inconsistent.  I'll threaten and give an ultimatum, then either forget about it later or am too tired to follow through.  Really, it is one day at a time, and lots of mistakes coupled with prayer. 
The truth of our inadequacies is out.  However, there are a few tips we've learned over the past 17 years(will be in 2 weeks) and 4 kids later that might help some folks out.

1.  We only are as wise as the wisdom we receive from our constant helper--the Holy Spirit who leads and teaches us       The fear  of the LORD  is the instruction  for wisdom,  And before  honor comes humility Proverbs 15:33

2.  Mothers should not wrap up their whole existence and sense of worth in  their children.  Children cannot fulfill all your heart's desires and it isn't healthy to expect them to do so.  Mother's need to develop their own personhood outside of being a mother(like hobbies, interstests, job, friends, ministry, read books...etc).

3.  Model an outward-focused life to your children and show them that loving others is important.  Mike and I see this all the time.  Parents demonstrate to their children that the most important thing in the whole world is themselves and their family.  The kids grow up with a narcissitic, self-important world-view.  They don't care about loving others as themselves and are consumed with what makes them happy.
For the whole  Law is fulfilled  in  one  word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR  NEIGHBOR  AS  YOURSELF." Galatians 5:14

4.  If you ever utter the words "my child would never..." OH boy, you just stepped in it big time.  Children are born with a sinful nature.  They will disobey, lie, hit, steal, cheat, and basically, break rules.  We pray that when, not if, our children are deceitful that they will get caught quickly; before they become ensnared by sin.
Romans 3:10 as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;

5.  Don't give them everything they want.  If your 5yr old gets an XBOX for Christmas, before he/she even really wanted one, then when do they learn how to wait and want and work for anything?  Make your kids want something big for a long time, delay that gratification--even if you have more money than Midas!  What will you get them when they are 6--their own iPad?!

6. Teach them the value of hard work and handling money!  I tell you what, our almost 17yr old LOVES having a paycheck.  He has bills:  1/2 of his car insurance, buys all his own gas, pays for the data package with his phone, and pays for his own entertainment.  He feels like a man and is living on the Dave Ramsey Cash Only plan.  This will lead him into manhood so much better than being handed money for every whim.

7.  Delay passing out consequences to big infractions.  Mike and I make the kids sweat it out for a few  hours while we chat about the best way to handle the offense.  This makes them crazy!  Hahaha.  Read Love and Logic for this technique

8.  Share your faith journey with your children.  We share big prayer concerns(maybe not all the details of it) with our kids so that they can see how prayer changes things.  Let them celebrate when God moves in the family's life.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

the rest of the story

You see, there is this beautiful and healthy 2yr old boy in Korea who is listed on a Waiting Child site. Thus, we started talking and praying about how, surely, someone we know would step forward and love this kid.  Well...what about us?  We are pretty good at this Korean adoption thing! Certainly the reasons not to pursue the child were daunting:  time, space, energy, grad school just started, and 5 kids seems crazy, we weren't planning to grow our family, Hudson's adjustment was HARD!  Mike really felt drawn to this little boy and made up a nick name.  Did I mention the child is beautiful?? We talked about rearranging bedrooms and how we'd adjust school and childcare with him in our family, we even decided that Mike and Carter would travel to pick him up cause my last flight from Seoul to home nearly killed me(ok, I'm exaggerating--but it was miserable). We may end up with no college funds and a tiny retirement, but think of how much fun we'd have with a house full of kids and oodles of grandkids one day!  Soooo much fun and laughter! Carter and Abby were both on board with the plan.
A few mornings ago my Scripture passages in my daily Bible reading plan was in Deuteronomy 24-26.  Ever read it?  Boring laws that Moses was handing down to the Isrealites from God.  But, over and over he talks about caring for the aliens, the fatherless, and the widows.
When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.Deut. 24:19

 I've mentioned these verses on here before, but it was BAM, fresh to me.  There was a plan in place.  Every person was instructed to reserve a portion of his income to care for the less fortunate(alien, fatherless, widows).  Dont you see?  God was telling the people to not spend or use up every dime of their income on themselves, but to share and care for the orphans!  Then, not even exaggerating one bit, I finished up my Old Testament reading and flipped to the day's designated New Testament portion.  Guess what passage?  The Good Samaritan in Luke!  It was like God was hitting me over the head saying "take in that precious boy, the details of how will work out!"
As I mentioned in the previous post, we ventured out in faith and inquired with our agency.  Currently, it seems a family is going to speak for him!  Hooray, after all that is the important thing--a family.  But, we have felt a strange mix of relief and loss of a child.   This was an interesting journey and even if we aren't the boy's family, I'm thankful we were willing to say yes. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Red light...Green light...Yellow light

If we desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried, and therefore, through trial, be strengthened. George Muller

The past week or two Mike and I have looked upon something that would stretch our faith(totally unrelated to the need that I alluded to in Tuesday post).  It has been scary, fun, humbling, and exhilerating to even ponder another jump in to the unkown.  We seem to have gotten a closed door yesterday, after many wide open ones.  I think sometimes God presents cool and crazy opportunities in front of us, waits to see if we are really willing to obey and trust Him, and then doesn't actually bring it to fruition.  We are learning!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

first awesome faith test of 2013

Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends. George Meuller

I really am too tired from work to share the whole story.  Suffice it to say that God never lets us fall.  I prayed and trusted, and, more importantly...waited!!!  He answered one of my big prayer questions, just as His word says he will.  If you've not read the autobiography of George Meuller and he cared for 5000 orphaned children in Great Britian--with no debt--no begging for support, you must do so.  Anyways, 2013 is off to great faith journey. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 is off with a bang

It is 6 days in to 2013 and I can tell it will be a wild and fun one!  Ok, maybe a stressful one.  Whatever word we use to describe it, this year will be one in which Mike and Libby and our 4 kids learned to listen to God's word and follow His lead.  My Nurse Practitioner classes start this week.  We are also praying about the house thing that just doesn't seem to go away(the fixer upper on 1 acre with huge oak trees is still vacant).  And, possibly, God is leading us to follow Him in some other adventures also-some near and some far.  Just enjoying this thrilling life we are leading and trying to not control and over think every possible bend and bump in the journey.  Today we took the new youth pastor and his wife(of 3 weeks) from church to lunch. We learned of how they met and dated and reminisced of our own whirl-wind love story.  It was fun to tell those old stories of when we were newlyweds and really had no idea of the adventure awaiting us.  Remember the old Steven Curtis Chapman song "Saddle up your horses, we've got a trail to blaze, through the wild blue yonder, of God's amazing grace, we'll follow our leader, into the glorious unknown, this is life like no other.......this is the great adventure!"  I can still sing every word to that old CD. We want this adventure to be a story that our God writes, not one that Mike and Libby orchestrate. 

Speaking of old songs-  Dillon had his first Upward basketball game yesterday.  They announced the players names while playing Eye of the Tiger and flashing a strobe light--Dillon was in heaven!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas pics

First off:  Hudson's Christmas party in PreK.  So stinkin' cute to see preKer's praying

Next up was my side of the family's Christmas celebration.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, they have sold the family home of 27 years and are living in a friend's RV while gutting a 100yr old farm house.  So, we had our party at my sister Melody's house.  Here are Ma and Poppa at one of the kid's tables.  Melody made beautiful table decorations. 

Here is my sis Katy(currently growing baby Nora in her belly) and my neice Maddie.  They won the snowman building competition(aka Dillon).

And below is a pic of what happens to kids after Christmas celebrations! 
Below are my neice and Dillon.  We were at Aunt Barbara's for my mother's side of the family Christmas sing-a-long.  I LOVE Aspen's face.  That girl gives 110% to anything she does(just like my mother)!

Here are our angels Christmas morning.  Dillon and I were up almost all night for various reasons.  It was not exactly Silent Night or a peaceful post card of Christmas Eve.  We had a sweet few hours enjoying celebrating Jesus' birthday and family(of course, nobody knows if Jesus was born on Dec 25--but don't sweat the details right?
Here are my neices(Alyssa and Taylor) on Mike's side of the family.  The girls wanted to see the snow that was beginning to fall but it was freeeeezing!!
Nana plays games and puzzles with the boys.  That is why they prefer her home over mine--I truly dislike playing games.  Thank God for Nana's and Ma's.

Here is Carter in the snow that miraculously fell on Christmas Day.  We were gone when it fell but got to enjoy it when we returned home.  Beautiful!! 

All in all, Christmas was great.  However, I'm glad it is over for another year!  I've cleaned up and cleared out.  Ive made a new calender and set personal and financial goals(including no sodas, running a 10K in Feb and beginning grad school).  New years, new starts, new goals--love it!