Monday, December 3, 2012


I feel the need to testify for a minute.  It is so easy for me to come here and talk about the trials and hardships of life.  It's easy to look at the downside, and it's easy to get discouraged.  In general, I think it's more difficult to remember to be thankful - to go back and thank God for His faithfulness - to pause and flex those unused muscles.  The more we use them, the bigger those muscles get.  I want to use my thankful muscles today.

Last week Michael and I shared our testimony again with a group at our church called "Marriage Reconciliation."  What a wonderful reminder for us, to remember how far God has brought us.  It was more difficult to share our story this time, because we can't remember how bad it was very well anymore.  When we were talking and preparing for the class, we looked at each other several times and said, "Did that really happen??"  What a blessing to be so far removed from that painful, ugly time in our lives - like the east from the west.  Thank you, Lord, for complete healing and growth!

Our boys are just beautiful - can I just say that?  They are both in a sweet, simple time of life and I love soaking it in.  I get so overwhelmed by them sometimes.  I know there are people (and I know several of them personally) who struggle to conceive and have children of their own.  I know that I am blessed to be a mommy.  God didn't have to open up this unending joy in my life, but He did.  Thank you, Lord!

This work we are doing fills me and Michael both with so much purpose and purposefulness.  It is difficult and stressful and painful at times, but the joy always comes in the morning with what we are doing, and that is amazing to see happen over and over again.  The change and growth we see here cannot be measured, all to the glory of God.

God has brought me out of the desert and has led me to streams of water.  He has given me back my joy and my song.  I am so thankful to know that seasons are just that: seasons.  And they are temporary.  Even when I am in a very dark place, I know God will bring me out of it.  He always does.  I have been in a strong, wonderful place spiritually and emotionally for 2-3 months now.  Thank you, Lord, for being with me during that dark, dry season, and thank you for showing your mercies by bringing me out on the other side!

Our church is amazing.  The people who lead us are Christ-followers.  Our new worship center opened up this past weekend, and they asked people to go and pray over it.    When Michael and I went, the prayer packet our leaders prepared for us to use blew our minds.  It is beautiful to be part of something bigger than us - something that brings glory to the Lord and brings others to Him.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Our family of four went to Zion National Park on vacation with Michael's family in mid October.  We were there for almost a week and it was absolutely fabulous.  The views were breathtaking.  We stayed in an amazing condo, and when you walked outside onto the patio, there was a fenced in front yard surrounded by gardens for all of the cousins to play in, and when you looked up, you were surrounded by mountains.  Unbelievable.

The whole time we were there, I felt God telling me, "How could you ever doubt my power in your life, when I have made all of this with my own hands?"  Michael and I talked about the possibilities of how God made the mountains.  Michael thinks God created the tectonic plates under the Earth's surface, then shoved them together with His hands to make them.  I think God, being the creative artist He is, sculpted them all by hand, even knowing what the weather and environment and surroundings would make them look like today.  Either way, it's amazing.

Just about everything that went along with the trip was fantastic, and a wonderful experience for the boys, especially.  They got to ride on their first airplane, and both of them LOVED it.  I will never forget the sound of their giggles and the ecstatic looks on their faces the first time the plane took off.  I sat between the two of them and kept looking back and forth, trying to soak in every moment.  I packed a ton of little $1 activities from Target for them to do, and they were both so well behaved, even in their excitement.  It was so much fun to see the trip through the eyes of little boys.  I love knowing their little brain synapses were firing on overload the whole trip with new things to see and explore and process.

For the first 2-3 days, our family went out hiking and exploring in the park, stopping to collect things, and take pictures and videos.  We bought souvenirs to bring back to the girls and ate at fun local restaurants.  I got to read a lot of books and do a lot of resting, which was glorious.  I think I took a nap every day of the trip.  That alone was worth it!  It was also so much fun to watch Bennett and Jasper play with their cousins, Caleb and Ethan, and Baby Lydia.  Their favorite things to do together were playing tag, playing soccer, and playing with two lizards Michael found (that was the highlight of the trip for the boys, I think).  Bennett named them Lizzy and Tizzy, and he and Ethan played with their "pets" for almost an hour, until they started chunking them across the yard like rocks, at which point we called it quits with the reptiles :).

On the last full day before our family left, we (our family, Michael's sister's family, and Papa and Nanna), drove out to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and hiked one of the trails out over the mountains.  It was indescribable.  I went once with Michael and the boys, then I went back a second time with Michael's dad, Dan.  I couldn't get enough.  I wished we could stay for hours, and I definitely want to do it again.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Here comes August through October, in Picture Walk form.

Ready for "College Day" at school.

Open House
(M won the girl's yearly award for children.  We are so proud!)

Our awesome kids.

Veggie Tales Live Show!
(the boys LOVED it!)

At the circus!

Pumpkin painting and carving.

Poppy's Birthday

Fun at a local carnival! 

(bounce houses)

(first boat ride!)

(riding on the roof of a fire truck!)

(fake tattoos)

(fun hair dye)