Today I Smiled

My t-shirts were put away all in the wrong place, and it made me smile.It seems someone has been putting away the laundry when I wasn’t looking.Isn’t he the best.

A Day in the Life of the Birthday Girl

Part I: The actual day of the big event…Tuesday.

3 is an important b-day, and mommy insisted the day revolve around her. Of course that meant she got to pick the menu and activities for the day! Cinnamon rolls for breakfast, PB & J for lunch, and mac n cheese for dinner. I’m hoping her desires stay this simple forever! She also took cupcakes to her dance class. I think more because she wanted cupcakes then that she wanted to have a party with her class…my girl does like her sweets!

Part II: The actual birthday party

We needed some painting
Followed by some jumping
A few presents
Some food (Els picked out the menu for the party =) )
Some Dora cake

And we end with a very happy but messy little 3 year old
Happy Birthday Els!! We love you.

Hijacked Post

So my friend posted this on her site and I totally had to hijack it and post it as well. If you have 3 min., its worth a watch. Promise it will make you smile =)

Parenting Fail

Els has been having bad dreams lately.  I mean really really bad dreams where she wakes me up screaming.  She gets scared during the day too.  Which brings me to last night.

Let me set the scene…Me and the kids eating dinner and Els starts to talk about her scary dream. In an attempt to distract, I said “how about you all go take the biggest bubble bath ever!”

This was met with lots of excitement, and I secretly patted myself on the back for coming up with such a great distraction.

Bath was going great.  All three kids were playing and laughing and having fun until….

“Justus, sit down.” He looked at me, smiled, and sort of bent over so his backside was over his oldest sister’s head as she was attempting to swim in the bathtub.  About the time I realized what was about to happen, it was too late.

“ahhhhhhhhh!!!  He pooped on my head!  He pooped on my head!!!”

And sure enough, he did.  As I’m trying not to gag myself, I grab all three kids out of the bubbles, put the older two in the shower with some soap and grab the youngest one and take him to his room to get him ready for bed.    Finally got him in bed, the girls out of the shower, and think to myself that Wednesday nights are supposed to be our fun nights so I need to redeem the night somehow.  This leads me to my second great parenting thought of the evening.

“Girls, while I clean out the tub, would you like to watch Clifford the movie?”

They wanted to watch Dora instead but I convinced them Clifford would be much better.  I figured there would be nothing in a Clifford movie that could trigger bad dreams, so I got them set in front of the TV while I went to go pick up the lovely present the little man left for me in the tub.  Everything in the bathroom was bleached and clean, and I walked back into the TV room to find both girls holding each other and sobbing.

“What’s wrong girls?” I asked as I picked them both up and put them on my lap.

“Clifford iiiiiiiissssssss lllllllooooooooossssst  and and and  heeeeee caaaaannnn’t fiiiiind hhhhisssss hoooooooooome.”

Ahhhhhh…Maybe Dora would have been the better option!  Needless to say, we fast forwarded to the end of the movie where Clifford and Emily Elizabeth were reunited so the girls could see that Clifford wouldn’t be lost forever.  The tears finally stopped, and I put them to bed.

I’m pretty sure that instead of eliminating bad dreams, I just added more bad dreams into her head.  Maybe next time I’ll just keep my grand parenting ideas to myself.

My Spiritual Journey

This week I had a troubling thought.  This thought led to this post. A necessary post for me to write and for anyone reading to understand.  Hopefully, most already understand this, but my soul feels burdened to share anyway.  Are you curious about my thought yet?

I was stopped in my tracks by a comment someone made about legalism, an attempt to gain holiness through works and actions.   As I listened to this comment, I was instantly gripped with the fear that, because of my goal setting and holding myself accountable, I may give off the impression that I put my belief in my system rather than in God.   That is far from the truth.

I started this journey because God called me to begin pursuing the spiritual disciplines.   I began by attending a Renovare conference and reading a book by Richard Foster entitled “Celebration of Discipline”.  The book and conference revolutionized my thinking about the disciplines.  Foster states in the opening of the book “the purpose of the Disciplines is liberation from the stifling slavery to self-interest and fear”.   The self-interest and fear was all I had ever been introduced to in regards to the disciplines.  The fear of making wrong choices so being confined to rules and regulations.  The self-interest of everyone looking and acting perfect so again the rules and regulations were thrust upon all believers.  But those exposures to the spiritual disciplines were wrong.  Those organizations, while trying their best to instill godliness in its members, forgot about grace and the need for dependence on Christ to do anything.   Those disciplines definitely brought the outward change they wanted, but the inward change that I desired never happened.  That inward change is what I’m after today.

So in a nutshell, why do I set goals and reflect on my week?  Because “the Disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that he can transform us.” (Richard Foster).   I set goals so I won’t waste away my life WISHING I had time to sit down with God.  I set goals because time goes fast and I’m tired and my flesh continually pulls me toward earthly desires.  I set goals because I desire to put myself at the feet of Jesus so that HE can change me into who He wants me to be.   I hold myself accountable to Him each week knowing I live under His grace which he showers over me as I yield myself to Him.

Maybe you already knew that or maybe you always wondered, but I felt strongly the need to put it out there this week.  Thanks for reading =)


  • Still getting up and spending time with Jesus in the morning.  This week’s James Experiment is a bit harder for me =) Also still reading in Mark.
  • So I still haven’t found a new book to read yet.  Unless of course you count Harry Potter…my kids’ babysitter got me hooked =)  But this week I’m on the hunt for a new book.  I need something to push my mind into gear.
  • Didn’t get all the way through memorizing James 1 yet.   Will definitely have it finished by next week!
  • So I made it 4 out of the 6 times I wanted to work out last week.  A trip to the ER with Aves is my excuse about what happened the other 2 days.  Not a bad excuse right?!  I’ll make it all 6 days this week…Lord willing!

(Click here if you want to read the whole story about what led up to me writing these weekly posts)

Things I Never Want to Forget…

The way the 2nd born says “Ganana” instead of “Banana”When I think the girls are sleeping late but actually they got up at normal time,  went straight to the dress up clothes, and  came out dressed like this and ready to playWhen the girls play Cinderella but the whole game consists of the younger one chasing the older one around the house saying “Wait, come back.  I don’t even know your name. ”  While the older one casually drops a shoe every once in a while so her sister has something to pick up while reciting her lines.The way J starts singing and dancing anytime he hears music.  He belts out in his singing voice while shaking his entire body.  Soo cute.A showing E “the neat trick” to keep from going potty in your panties.  It consisted of holding yourself, crossing your legs, and jumping up and down whenever you feel like you have to go.

How A always said “wikkers” for whisker and “pippow”  for pillow.The way little man starts playing with the hair behind his ears whenever he gets sleepy.The way the kids call everything “Spicey” if they don’t like it.  For example, the grass is wet and slimey…”it’s spicy”.  The first time they drank Sprite…”its spicy”.  The medicine is a little bitter…”its spicy”.  Everything but actual spicy things are labeled “spicy” by my kiddos.  Actual spicy things they love!The oldest’s version of “Jesus Lover of My Soul”    Jesus, lover of my souuul.  Jesus, I will never let you go home.

Family Fun Day…video version

And just because I didn’t capture these box race cars on video, I wanted to add a little pic. Our weekly babysitter made these with this kids. See why I said she’s the best?!!!

A Typical Trip to the Grocery Store

Can you see the excitement in their eyes?

Loving the Spring Weather

In honor of me being tired, we spent the entire day out of the house yesterday.  For some reason its a lot easier to not be grouchy when I’m not stuck inside my house with the kids! 

Early morning dance class followed by some time at the zoo.

Made a brief stop at home for some quick naps followed by a drive to Central Market to meet some family friends.  The kids played on the playground and then we all had a picnic dinner.

We got home right at bedtime, hosed the kids off and put them in bed.  A day spent almost completely outside…my dream day =)

My Spiritual Journey

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
Matthew 23:1-4

This past weekend I was the speaker at the woman’s retreat at church. After weeks of preparing, a weekend of speaking, and tons of fun with a bunch of ladies, I am now utterly exhausted. Yesterday morning it was tempting to just push snooze and roll over. But when I finally did get up, I started reading in Matthew 23 and the above verse is where I started.

Talk about being hit over the head with God’s Word! I spent the weekend telling and encouraging women to chase after God and learn to live like His child and then I so desired to just sleep and be lazy. “so practice and observe what they tell you-but not what they do”. It was as if God was literally asking me if I believed the truth I spoke this weekend, and if I believed it, then I needed to continue to live it out. I never want to ask people to change but then not be willing to change myself.  To do that would be living a life of hypocrisy.  To live that life would be unacceptable.

So I am dragging my lazy bum out of bed, sitting down during the kids’ nap, and forcing my eyes to stay open right now so that I too can join the fight to live like a child of God. I am fleeing from hypocrisy as I’m learning the truth of James 3:1 ” Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” You gotta love God holding you accountable to what He’s given you to teach!


  • Still getting out of bed at 5:30 most mornings.  T/Th I am up between 5:00-5:15 so I can spend time in the Word before I go run.
  • Need a new book to read.  Any suggestions? Hopefully I’ll have one and begin reading it this next week.
  • Getting back into reading through the Gospels.  I took a bit of a break as I was studying and meditating on being a child of God as I prepared for this past weekend.  I’m currently in the book of Mark.
  • Still working on memorizing James.  It is slow going right now!  Hope to have most of chapter 1 done by next week.
  • Continue to use nap time as a time to log on to and go through the Prayer of Examen.  It is such a great way for me to refocus and to continue to live in the presence of God.
  • Going to the gym 6 days a week now and eating healthy those 6 days.  I am giving myself one cheat day a week to eat whatever I want though.  Really would like to lose the rest of the weight from the 3 pregnancies in 3 years sometime in the next 3 months =)

That’s all for now.  And even though its only 8:15pm, I may head off to bed already.  Brent just started a new biography so I’m pretty sure he won’t even notice I’m missing =)