Saturday, October 25, 2014

4 boys + 1 man = the lights of my life | Day 25

Life isn't always perfect. Sometimes, life is hard. But I recently heard it said, that if life is hard, but the relationships in your life are good, then really, life is good. But if life is good and your relationships are bad, then really, life is bad.

I'm thankful my life is good. Not without problems, or issues to be worked through, but good. The Lord is faithful and never leaves us and he has blessed me with a husband who is the same. Faithful and loving. He has made our quiver full, and even when life with 4 boys seems so loud and crazy, we wouldn't change it for anything! Even when Hubby and I work through difficult times, the Lord brings us out stronger. I would not want to do life without my man!

Thank you Lord, for my boys and my man--my pumpkins!
The lights of my life!
I love my family!
I am truly blessed!

Friday, October 24, 2014

bringer of light | Day 24

A couple of weekends ago, we took a family trip to Waco, TX to show our boys some of our old stompin' grounds, to see a football game (their first in-person actual game) and to visit friends. It was a wonderful trip!

And during our trip away, our oldest had a birthday!

Luke, our first child to hold in our arms, the one who made us Mommy and Daddy, turned 9 years old!

When Hubby and I were dating, before we were even married, we talked of future children and what we would name them. We both loved the name Luke. It's a strong name, but we especially loved the meaning of the name, Luke. It means, bringer of light.

Before Luke was born, we prayed for him and we still pray for him. So much. So often. We pray that he will in fact, be a bringer of light to others. That he will be bold and that in his love and kindness for others, they may see the Lord. What a name to grow into!

I can safely say, he brings light into our family! He has a sweet smile and spirit. He's gentle and tough. He doesn't have to be the center of attention and can be such a good role model for his younger brothers. He's sensitive toward others and has such a mind full of adventure!

For two years in a row now, we've been off on some adventure for his birthday. Luke has been great with it. Up for most things when it comes to family time! What a treasure we have in our Lukey!

Happy celebrating in our hotel room and he chose his birthday lunch---the Health Camp (which is uber-famous in Waco and more like heart attack in a box rather than healthy)!

Luke, we love you more than you'll ever know! Thank you for being a light to our family and others! We are praying for you everyday and know the Lord has you in His hands! We are so proud of you and so thankful the Lord has given you to us to love here on earth. Make this your best year yet! Happy 9th Birthday! Love, Mommy and Daddy


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

getaways: you need them | Day 22

**The winner of my itsy-bitsy Fall book giveaway is Stephanie! Stephanie--will you email me your address at and I'll send your book to you?!

It still seems too early for Christmas decor and Christmas music in October. I think that every year and every year, it seems to arrive in the stores earlier and earlier. But, today, Way and I were in a store and came across the Christmas scene above. After my initial nose-scrunch-too-early-thinking, I embraced the music of the little scene and talked to Way about snow and of course, my snow-lovin' self felt a little lighter!

I think I might just start my yearly prayers for snow now! Never too early for that, if you ask me. That little scene also got me even more excited about a trip, Hubby and I will be taking with some friends in December! We are headed to NYC for a long weekend getaway! Ohhhhhhh! Aren't getaways wonderful? You NEED to get away with your spouse, every once and a while. Sure you are tired, maybe you have children, don't have time, etc. But if you can find a way to getaway, so many good things happen to build and strengthen your marriage! I'll save my little rant, because I preached it here, a couple of years ago, but seriously! Hubby and I are truly blessed to have had several getaways since our children have been born. Vancouver, Florida, the Grand Canyon, and Hawaii are some of our faves, and our last trip to NYC together, was way back in 2007, when we looked lots younger!

Lots of big plans for NYC this time around! Gotta convince my friend that on her first trip to NYC, she cannot miss the ice-skating! And of course, we will see some shows, eat yummy food, see the sights, etc! I've heard great things about Aladdin and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder! Any of you been to NYC recently? Other suggestions on things to do?

Our trip is definitely something to look forward to! Sometimes, especially with children and busy lives, taking a breather and spending time with ones you love does a heart good!

Monday, October 20, 2014

how Rend Collective saved our morning | Day 20

Oh, how I wish I was able to post this for your Monday morning, but it looks like afternoon will have to do!

Let me back up though, and tell you a true story. It happened this morning. Our three biggest boys were gathering around for a quick breakfast before school. I announced it was a yogurt and cereal bar/Kind bar morning and one of our three oldest boys threw a fit. Went into full complain mode and even yelled that he didn't want that! I spoke to him gently (praise God) and reminded him he couldn't talk to me that way and that if he didn't eat his breakfast, he wouldn't be having a snack when he returned home from school. At first, he said he didn't care, but when his brothers came to eat, he decided maybe he should too.

But, then. Then, there was a dreaded banana on his plate and he lost his ever-lovin' mind! Oh. My. Stars!!! The child was out of control!!! He was screaming at the top of his lungs (which is window-breaking loud) so I made him go to the laundry room, for the rest of our sakes. He continued screaming and after five minutes, I was about to lose my ever-lovin' mind!

So, what did I do?

It was Rend Collective to the rescue!!! I pumped up some loud, foot-stomping, dance around, praise music, the song My Lighthouse, to be specific! Our other two boys were eating and dancing and the next thing we know, out walks the one who had been screaming with a pleasant face and a silent mouth!! BOOM!!!! We were then able to talk about what the song meant and finished the start to their day pointed to our Lord!!

Ahhhhhhhhhh! Relief in so many ways!! I am such a fan of Rend Collective! They are an awesome, inspiring band from Ireland and I'm smitten! I've written about them before, but if you haven't heard of them and like singer/songwriter/folky/praise/preachin it good music, then you should check them out!!

I'm thankful for the light Rend Collective gave our family this morning! Here's their official video for My Lighthouse and the lyrics below!! Enjoy!!

**Also, don't forget if you have littles and are interested in any of the Fall books I mentioned on Saturday, leave me a comment telling me which one by noon tomorrow, and I'll pop your name into a drawing for a free copy!

My Lighthouse

In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won't walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea (oh oh)
You are the peace in my troubled sea

In the silence, You won't let go
In the questions, Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea (oh oh)
You are the peace in my troubled sea

My Lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse
I will trust the promise,
You will carry me safe to shore
Safe to shore
Safe to shore
Safe to shore

I won't fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I'll rise and sing
My God's love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea (oh oh)
You are the peace in my troubled sea (oh oh You are my light)

My Lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse
I will trust the promise,
You will carry me safe to shore
Safe to shore
Safe to shore
Safe to shore

Fire before us, You're the brightest
You will lead us through the storms x 4

My Lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My Lighthouse, my Lighthouse
I will trust the promise,
You will carry me safe to shore
Safe to shore
Safe to shore
Safe to shore

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall books for your littles (and a giveaway)! | Day 18

They say it's not how you act when you win that matters, but how you act when you lose that counts. Or something like that, right?

Ugh. I'm coming off fresh from a Baylor Bears loss. #4 goes down to an unranked team. Bummer. And, what I really want to do is kick and cry and pout, but my sweet and wise and amazing Hubby, who also bleeds Green and Gold, encouraged my boys (and also me, it turns out) to handle ourselves in a much more positive way. Plus, he said we'll get em next game! So, tough loss, guys, but we still love you, BU!!!!

So while this was us last week, when we were in Waco, at McClane Stadium for our amazing win over TCU, we are not looking like this now!

And just because I want to throw in another pic from that game, I'll also acknowledge that I missed my FYI Friday post I had planned for yesterday. You could say I was asleep on the writing. . .

You just melt me, Buddy!

But anyway, moving on. . .

I intended for yesterday's FYI Friday to be about fall books for the littles. A little light reading! Wink!

I was inspired by our recent trip to Target where Luke was eager to use his recent birthday gift card. While he was busy finding his perfect item, I was glancing at the end of the aisle book display. There were lots of Halloween type books for children. Several board books, lots of character books (think Dora and Clifford do Halloween) and a couple of counting pumpkin books.

We don't own any of them, but as I glanced through them, they don't hold a candle to our 3 favorite Fall books we do own! You ready?

Our Fall Faves--3 books for your child's library

1. The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz -- We absolutely love this book! Our oldest was given this book as a birthday present when he was 3 and we've laughed and eagerly awaited the first seasonal reading of it each year since. Maybe because Chad reads it with the best voices and enthusiasm around, but I also think it's because it's kinda endearing! You can make a lesson out it, I do, or you can just enjoy it for it's rhythm and rhyming and happy ending! Just a fun little book to have! *I do need to add that though the pictures are whimsical, and in my opinion not scary, there is a skeleton in the book. Just FYI.

2. P is for Pumpkin, God's Harvest Alphabet by Kathy-jo Wargin-- This book has cute childlike and colorful Fall illustrations as well as a rhyming text. I'll admit that our 9 year old might be past this book, but it's definitely one our 6 and 4 year old can read and enjoy! A gentle remind of the Lord in this beautiful season!

3. The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs-- My personal favorite for the season! I just love how the Farmer in the story grows his pumpkin, cleans it out and puts a light in it, and it is compared to how God grows us up, washes our sin away and gives us His light! So simple for young children and yet such a miracle for all of us!! This is the sweetest Fall book around!

And okay, here's why this could be even more exciting to you. . .I'm going to give a copy away to one of you! And even more exciting than that? I'm not some huge blogger, where you might have a 1 in 888 chance to win! If you leave me a comment on which book you'd choose to win, and maybe some other sweet comment (think, Poor Baylor! or You have the cutest family! :) ) you will probably win! Don't get me wrong, I'll do this the fair and square way. . .like put names in a hat and have Hubby draw or something like that. . .

Because it's Saturday afternoon, I'll keep this going to Tuesday at noon. Afterall, I can't wait too late into the season to send your book to you! Happy reading!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

we are lightweights | Day 16

You know those days when you feel like you just. can't. do. it? I do. My husband does. And sometimes? Sometimes even our little boys feel it.

We can feel overwhelmed. We can feel discouraged. We can feel like failures in all of our sin.

I've been praying recently that the Lord will show me my sin. Because honestly, I can go through a day thinking I'm pretty good and pat myself on the back. But I miss or justify the way I speak to my children or my husband. Or, I let bitterness grow because someone hasn't called to check on us and then I do the same thing in response. Or I allow envy and pride to invade my heart, but sweep it away with thoughts like, "It's okay to feel this way, you're his Mommy. Of course you want him to be noticed."

All of it is sin. Period.

But, take heart!!

Psalm 73:26 says,

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

We mess up daily. We will stumble again tomorrow. But God is our portion and He holds us through it all. He is the strength of our heart and no matter how heavy our hearts are, we are lightweights compared to His strength. He is strong enough to carry us all!

So when we are overwhelmed, tuckered out, or discouraged by our sins, we can know that the Lord is our strength and all we need. He loves us!


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