peace of my mind

peace I leave you; my peace I give you… Jn.14:27

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Yes! to tending a tree

26:31 days of Yes!
This year we planted 3 trees and 4 grapevines.  My garden was a bit of a wash as I tried to keep the trees alive through the drought last summer.

I’m reminded this week of sermons our pastor has given on parenting. Raising children is like tending a tree.

Little saplings require much care and protection. With thoughtful placement, stakes and supports are fixed in the ground to steady their sway and keep growth in the right direction.  Fencing is necessary to dissuade pesky rabbits from eating the tender bark that they love so much. Lots of consistent watering and some extra fertilizer all give room for optimal growing conditions.

Caretaking and protection are required in abundance in the early years.  As saplings become younglings, the roots are established.  The rabbits no longer want to chew the thicker, stronger exterior. Continued watering and fertilizing are needed. But a big concern at this stage is helping the tree to stand tall and to eventually let it stand alone after it has been trained so that it can grow true and tall.

Good reminders even for the kids to  help them understand why parents put on restraints and corrections and why we sometimes let them weather the gusts of wind without the supports.  All in the name of growing true and tall trees in earnest and with prayers to the grower. Continual care is needed here too, but oh, all the more!

31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day. Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.


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Yes! to being *Here*

15:31 days of Yes!

“Mmmhmm…Mmmmhmmm…yep, I see”

These are often the utterances from my mouth paired with a quick glance to my children. An acknowledgement satisfied, I hurriedly return to stir the pot, fold the laundry, or check the phone. Too often I can mindlessly say the words, “I’m here” but my children aren’t dummies. They know that though I may be physically present, I am at times very far from here. Truth be told, it is often time pressures that occupy my mind and energies…just trying to catch all the balls I hit up earlier in the day.  Working through my list to make sure they have food in their tummies, clothes to wear and that they get where they need to be on time. Sadly, sometimes it is just that I mentally do escape.  I don’t like being like that! I am always amazed how my kids eat it up when I pause and look them in the eye at times like these.  A sober commentary as if to say, “you ARE listening!”

Today God graced me with a day of listening (most of it, anyway). Since most of the kids had off school, we did some Yes! things.  Made a few paper dolls with Amelia. Helped Gabe with Scout stuff (though he tried to do some through the dinner-making hour, which just cannot be done!) Read lots to the little ones.  Colored with Britta. Looked them in the eyes while they talked to me. Played Memory with Jack and Amelia. Stayed up later with Ty talking about school and stuff. Snuggled with Piper for her nebulizer treatments (she has a cough). And just generally took a slow day to Be here.  It was wonderful! How I need to do more of this!

31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day.  Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.

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Yes! to contending prayer

Source: via Erika on Pinterest

14:31 days of Yes!

When troubles come it’s my instinct to duck tail and take cover. But instincts aren’t always right.  When faced with troubles with my children (and troubles come to us all), taking cover or hiding till it all blows over doesn’t help them one bit and though it seems like a safe thing to do, it is faithless.  My great weapons against fear are to Stand in the armor of God with the sword of the word and the shield of faith. I must trust that He is able to protect His own for His glory and His name’s sake.  I must be an instrument in the process and obey what He puts before me in a day to do. This includes discipline and correction; encouragement and unfailing love.  Still, the results are His! My role as a helpmeet to my husband and mother to our kids is to stand in the gap, speak truth, remind us what the word says and not to be overlooked… to pray.  This is a powerful Yes!

But from everlasting to everlasting, the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. Psalm 103:17,18

31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day.  Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.

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Life in Progress

Well we’re managing to get along a little better with each passing month. Here are some memorable captures.

Sweet babe
My mom took this picture and I’m so glad she did. He’s such a sweet babe.

Quite a Getup!
Quite an ensemble compliments of our 4 year old.

Brothers making big plans on the bow of Papa’s boat.

Two sweet sugar plums.

Ukranian Egg and a Loose Tooth
A Ukrainian Egg (thanks to some missionary friends) and a front loose tooth.

L's Musical
Fifth grade musical…he did a great job!–even though he isn’t smiling here.

I’m hoping to put up a few more posts in coming weeks. Thank you for reading and Happy Spring!

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I can hardly believe three months have passed since last I posted.  Yet three months of quiet on the blog are indicative of some robust living in real time.  Since last I wrote we have welcomed our 7th child into our family.  He was born on a calm and cold day in December and we are enjoying this good gift from God. Since his homecoming, I have slowed our outside pace to a near crawl to receive him properly and adjust to all that another chick in the nest entails.


As life gradually resumes, I find myself doing random head counts to account for those who come in and out of these doors; frequently followed by me commenting to myself, “Woa, are these all mine?”  and then feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of being responsible for the well-being of 7 humans.

Little Hands

It’s all an adjustment…this season of newborn days.  I’m trying to remember that it will end all too soon and then I will wish it back.  Helps me embrace the chaos a little more.


Home Cafe

Here’s a few more picts of happenings around here the past few months.


Old costumes downsized for the girls.


Two of our future men.

Always wanted to try socks

Finally, an attempt at the thing I’ve wanted to knit most….socks! So far so good.


How is she 2 already!!! Such a sweetheart going through some radical emotional changes, but I have faith she will surface just fine.


Little army man insisting I catch him in his glasses

Father Son Cake Bake

Father Son Cake Bake…a collaborative effort. 1 dad + 3 sons + 3 cakes = Blinky, Pac-Man and Pellets

Dealing with disappointment

So proud of how he handled defeat. It was almost better than watching him win last year.


His last pinewood derby.


Helpful big to trusting little


8 is Great!

To the boy who is always two steps ahead of me…you’re 8 now! You were born one month after 9-11. You came at a time when the world changed in an instant. You were hope in the midst of confusion. New life starkly born into a dying and fallen world. It was always fallen, but I never noticed it like I did in 2001. It was a difficult year on many fronts, but you brought hope and joy to our family. How eight years have come and gone so quickly, I can’t understand. It’s the cliched saying of a mother or father, but it’s cliche because it’s true…where does the time go?

GS' Birthday

You’re quick at everything you do, Gabe. God has given you a good mind. You are our budding linguist…our first to talk (at 15 months) and now able to do verbal gymnastics better than most kids I know. You are genuinely witty and, as Dad notices frequently, good at thinking outside the box. And speaking of boxes, you like to salvage any that you can for future projects. In fact, you like to salvage many things…like chicken bones. We all still marvel that you thought saving them under your bed for your imaginary dog was a good idea. Last week you wanted to tape a pancake to your bed because Luke made breakfast in the shape of everyone’s initials. You have a perpetual sweet spot for babies and are excited to have another brother whom you may get to room with.


You love 2nd grade and are reading up a storm. You look up to your big brothers as if no one else matters though you all can fight pretty well too. I marvel how you and Ty can play all day on any given theme: from cowboys to soldiers to horses to star wars. Amelia cried the first day you moved out of the Sunday School you were in together. She holds pretty tight to you too. You are our middle child in so many ways, but as I see our family grow, I see the middle is the glue that binds them all together. You are reflected strongly in each of your siblings and of course in our lives.

School Snack

I pray in the coming year that you will feel the great extent you are loved. That you will grow in wisdom and stature with God and men. May you humbly learn to look to Him! Happy Birthday dear Gabe!

The birthday snack idea came from Gourmet Mom on the Go.  If you give it a try, make sure to follow her directions and use paste rather than liquid food coloring.  I didn’t and had a gloppy mess, so we reverted to white crayons which worked out just as well though not quite as authentic.

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Looking Matronly

These fabrics caught my eye in the spring and were headed straight to the emmaline apron which I have admired for quite some time now.  I did find some modified versions online in a search just now which weren’t reversible and therefore a bit more cost effective than this 2-sided version.


I had half a mind to donate this apron to our school’s spring auction, but once I finished it I couldn’t part with it.   On the other hand, I thought it would be cute to wear in public with capri jeans and mules.  But I suppose the best option was the way it all ended up….over top a growing baby bump. Kinda makes a girl want to nest.

Apron plus baby bump

Just a formal announcement to baby seven’s pending arrival.  I’m not sure I’ve ever felt less myself than I did during those early days of this pregnancy.  But what grace to be back to myself once those early months broke.   We’re all looking forward to this new babe!   And one thing I’ll never grow tired of is hearing the first heartbeat and feeling the swish of my growing babies.  It’s still amazing!

Apron: bun in oven