Posts Tagged ‘Phipps’

Worth 1,000 Words – Dance Dance Dance

For Sawyer’s 6th birthday, we signed her for dance lessons.  She’s taken jazz and tap lessons for the past year and has really enjoyed herself!

She finished up her 4th recital for the year and did so well (and looked as cute as a button)!

Beautiful dancer!

Beautiful dancer!

Quick photo with mom before she hit the stage

Quick photo with mom before she hit the stage

Blue suede shoes

Blue suede shoes

Space jam...with her tongue out!

Space jam…with her tongue out!

Cute little toot!

Cute little toot!

Brother was awfully proud of her and picked out a hot pink rose for her!

Melt. My. Heart.

Melt. My. Heart.

So sweet

So sweet

Seriously?!  Swoon.

Seriously?! Swoon.

We’re gonna take the summer of and see what this next fall will bring!

Save

Save

Christmas 2016

This Christmas has been one for the memory books!  It doesn’t hurt that I love this house and decorating it (even as minimally as we did) was a lot of fun and made being home something to be treasured…

My real live wreath from a dear, dear friend!  (I've always wanted one!)

My real live wreath from a dear, dear friend! (I’ve always wanted one!)

Welcome home

Welcome home

Dining room tree

Dining room tree

dsc_0023

He is with us

He is with us

The entry way

The entry way

Our tree full of special ornaments from years past

Our tree full of special ornaments from years past

and it doesn’t hurt that the kids are at such fun ages, where everything is exciting and they want to be a part of everything holiday…

She LOVED these antlers

She LOVED these antlers

There was lots of nativity play and Christmas store re-enactments

There was lots of nativity play and Christmas store re-enactments

and it doesn’t hurt that I love to invest myself fully into the advent season with a slow down in our schedules so that we can really focus on Emmanuel.

I remember fondly celebrating Christmas when I was younger.  We always had our family Christmas and would invite my dad’s parents (who lived across the street – if only I TRULY knew what an incredible gift that was at the time) to join us.  Then, we’d have a Christmas celebration WITH them and the rest of that side of the family.  Then we’d usually travel to my mom’s parents and do Christmas there, which was Christmas done BIG.  While we were there, we’d usually do Christmas with my grandmother’s side and my grandpa’s side.  Christmas was always this full, loud, joyful, family-filled celebration and  I loved every minute of it!

Things feel a little smaller now and while that’s not always a bad thing, I miss the multitudes of family and piles of paper and lots of cousins and aunts and uncles and mounds of good food and Christmas treats and the excitement of all of the different places we’d go and people we’d see.

This year, we traveled to Kansas to Waco’s for Phipps family Christmas.  They just built a beautiful new house and we all got to be the first house guests – a really big treat!  They were wonderful hosts and though it was a mad-dash, quick trip, a really good time was had by all!

ALMOST all of the grandkids!  (One REALLY didn't want her picture taken - ha!)

ALMOST all of the grandkids! (One REALLY didn’t want her picture taken – ha!)

We tried again on the stairs...

We tried again on the stairs…  Pictures are hard, unless you’re Sawyer or Breckyn.  :)

Beauty

Beauty

Sweet cousins and friends

Sweet cousins and friends

These 2 had fun together, too...

These 2 had fun together, too…

Present time is always a good time!

Present time is always a good time!

She's got this present opening thing down!

She’s got this present opening thing down!

This guy likes opening presents, too!

This guy likes opening presents, too!

Her favorite gift from RaRa and PaPa

Her favorite gift from RaRa and PaPa

He LOVES his Paw Patrol sleeping bag from Goo Goo!

He LOVES his Paw Patrol sleeping bag from Goo Goo!

We made RaRa's favorite iced sugar cookies!

We made RaRa’s favorite iced sugar cookies!

Stockings!

Stockings!

Wryder sure loves his PaPa!

Wryder sure loves his PaPa!

Sawyer with the bird she picked out just for RaRa

Sawyer with the bird she picked out just for RaRa

Playing dolls with Uncle Waco

Playing dolls with Uncle Waco

Bedtime stories with PaPa

Bedtime stories with PaPa

We came home on Christmas Eve and had our family Christmas over the next two days.  Since Wrex had the week off, we spread our gift-opening out so the kids could enjoy every last little thing!

For their big gifts, we splurged a little this year and got them each (save for Sayble) metal pedal tractors.  We knew this was a gift they would love and really have fun with and could pass on to their own kids one day.

Two hours of work later...

Two hours of work later…

They were a hit!

They were a hit!

She's a good tractor pedaler!

She’s a good tractor pedaler!

Little Say wanted in on the action, of course...

Little Say wanted in on the action, of course…

Ready to get to work!

Ready to get to work!

This little cutie loved to rip paper!

This little cutie loved to rip paper!

She got her own truck, trailer and horses so she could play with brother and sister!

She got her own truck, trailer and horses so she could play with brother and sister!

Train tracks might just be his favorite gift - who knew?!

Train tracks might just be his favorite gift – who knew?!

She has had her eye on this chicken house for months!  We were so happy to get it for her!

She has had her eye on this chicken house for months! We were so happy to get it for her!

Sayble LOVED the blanket Sawyer made for her...

Sayble LOVED the blanket Sawyer made for her…

Sawyer’s other special gift this year was a Calico Critters set.  She’s talked about them for a while and I had one as a little girl that I absolutely cherished!  I wish I still had that thing…  They were on sale on Zulilly one day so I got her her very own.  Sweet girl cried because she was so happy.  It was a special mother/daughter moment that I’ll always remember…

With her Calico Critters tree house...

With her Calico Critters tree house…

Wryder and his giant combine!

Wryder and his giant combine!

We’ve had daddy home all week and get home him for three more days!  I never look forward to the Monday after our Christmas break but I’m sure we’ll survive…

2016 has been such a good year for our family.  This has been a year of the Lord’s faithfulness (which I’ll share even more of later).  In a lot of ways, I hate to see it end.  I wish I could just freeze time right this very second…our kiddos are at such fun ages…we’re all healthy and whole…we love where we live…business is good…  I’m not a fan of the unknown, but I know that whatever 2017 brings, He will be right there with us.  He IS Emmanuel…

Random Rambles

We officially started school today!

What a sweet student I have!

What a sweet student I have!

Sandhills Sonrise Christian School had it’s inaugural day and it was a success!  Sawyer is such a good student and loves to learn, so teaching her is quite fun.  I’m sure there will be harder days down the road but today?  Today was a good day.

Also, just so we get it out there, Wrex totally laughed at me for getting her a first day of school outfit but I couldn’t resist!

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After Sawyer’s baptism last week, Wrex’s Grandma (and the kids’ GooGoo) stayed with us for a whole week!  She hasn’t gotten to do that in more than a year so it was such a special treat for us!

I love this pic!

I love this pic!

I know I’ve talked about her several times before, but she really is a magnificent lady.  She is leaving a legacy of the fear of the Lord and a legacy of familial love with all of us, and we can’t thank her enough for that.

The kids adore her and she spent more time playing with them than anyone I know!  She even got in and out of Wryder’s little playroom multiple times a day, despite her being “not as spry as she once was!”

Snuggling GooGoo

Snuggling GooGoo

They read every book on the bookshelf and watched a few fun cartoons and ate snacks and did hair and played farm and sale barn and Paw Patrol and Barbies and Uno until she was just plain tuckered out!  She even slept with one of the kids almost every night, which they loved.

Lots of time in her lap...

Lots of time in her lap…

My favorite moments where some of the quiet ones where I could hear her talking to them about being kind or using manners or how to show respect to someone or how to include someone that was lonely.  Wrex has always attributed a lot of his kindness and manners to her and I love seeing her pass a piece of that on to the next generation.

We took her to North Platte on Saturday so she could start her journey home and when it was time to say goodbye, there wasn’t a dry eye in the car…except for Wryder because he had just gotten a toy train from RaRa and that seemed to assuage his heartache.  *ahem*

We sure love our GooGoo and all that she does to pour into our lives and our kids’ lives…  Come back soon, Grandma!

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While we were in North Platte, we had to make a stop at Cody Park!  The kids rode rides with RaRa AND GooGoo!

Fun!

Fun!

So. Much. FUN!

So. Much. FUN!

I’m telling you, she’s the coolest!

We also checked out the Fort…

Love these people...

Love these people…

Here comes Sayble, riding on a pony...

Here comes Sayble, riding on a pony…

and the kids loved the wooden display in the back.

Sawyer was so inspired, that she came home and made a paper version!

Cowgirl, cowboy and horse

Cowgirl, cowboy and horse

Calf by a pond with water, complete with a boat and a DUCK!

Calf by a pond with water, complete with a boat and a DUCK!

I love that girl’s creativity and drive!

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Wryder got a special gift on Saturday, too!  The grands were going to wait until Christmas but decided he was gonna be too big if they waited any longer and let him have them now.

What is it?

What is it?

He got PaPa’s chaps from when HE was a little boy!  His mom had them custom made and he wore them and then Wrex wore them and now Wryder will wear them.

Pure joy!

Pure joy!

In case you can’t tell, he was FIRED. UP.

Is that cute or what?!

Is that cute or what?!

He’ll wear them proud, PaPa!

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While I bought groceries, the kids played at the park with daddy.  Sayble had a BALL!

One of my new favorite pictures of her!

One of my new favorite pictures of her!

That smile!

That smile!

Seriously, she's darn cute!

Seriously, she’s darn cute!

Wrex and I were talking the other day about how her adventures and discoveries and her new tasks and words are still just as exciting as they were with the other two.  It never gets old…

I’ve said it a million times – and I’ll say it again – these ARE the best years of our life!

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This week marks the beginning of the busy fall season for us.  Sawyer starts dance next week, Awana starts this week (Cubbies next), Wrexy’s sales start getting longer and of course, school.  All of these are such good and fun and wonderful things but they can leave us scrambling to get from one place or event or thing to the next.  I’m such a lover of peace…I’m trying not to spread myself too thin.  I want my the Lord and family to come first and to truly come first…not just get lip action.

As I was shutting off the lights in the school room last night, I was uttering little thoughts to the Lord about our school adventure and my heart shouted, “Lord, I just want to be pleasing to you.”  It caught me off guard, yet settled my soul.  Though I care about what she learns this year, more than that, I just want us to be a family that pleases Him.  Let it be so, Lord…

 

A Week Ago Today

A week ago today, Sawyer took a big step in obedience to the Lord and got baptized!

She was first!

She was first!

Nervous smile

Nervous smile

Comforting hug - she needed that!

Comforting hug – she needed that!

Dead to sin...

Dead to sin…

She was pretty nervous when it came right down to it, but she did so well and had a great big smile on her face when it was all said and done.

Joy!

Joy!

It was a joyous occasion and we had so many sweet friends and family join us to celebrate her big day.  THANK YOU to each of you who helped make her day special!

We all had lunch together and spent time feasting and visiting and thanking the Lord for all He has done for us!  (Can you believe I didn’t get a picture of the actual lunch festivities?!)

Let's feast!

Let’s feast!

A timeline of some of the things that have lead her to Jesus...

A timeline of some of the things that have lead her to Jesus…

Sawyer girl, we are so proud of you and Jesus is, too!  We love you dearly and know that the Lord has specific plans for your life.  We pray that you will seek Him with all of your heart, all the days of your life.

The day she asked Jesus into her heart, 2014

The day she asked Jesus into her heart, September 2014

A week ago today was one of the best days of my life to date!  So proud of sweet Sawyer and so thankful for the group of people He has given us to do life with…the day was PERFECTION.

Updates and Upstairs

Oh, sweet friends!  Were you wondering if I’d ever return?!  Life has been crazy and GOOD – crazy good!

To catch you up in one, simple run-on sentence, we had the opportunity to sell our house, rent an upgraded (read: bigger, newer, central air having, more-than-one-bathroom-and-an-actual-dining-room) home that answered all of our prayers…so we packed our things and cleaned out barns and buildings and took way longer than we ever imagined to move in because apparently we have a lot of stuff and like things just so…BUT we are in and feeling settled and LOVING. IT. HERE.  The Lord blessed our socks off and we feel this is exactly where we are supposed to be for the here and now – not much better than that!

And?  Apparently, I have some of the sweetest, most encouraging friends on the planet who want to see pictures of the place so what better day than today to get me back in the saddle of blogging.  I’ve missed it so!

Moving had been on our minds for a while for lots of reasons, one being that we had bought our home on what we had called a five-year plan.  It suited us well and we loved that sweet, little 100 year old farm house but with the addition of two other children, things started to feel a little tight.  (And, I know, that is definitely a first world problem.  We have never felt anything but blessed to live there - remember that awesome story!? – but we felt the Lord prompting us towards something different and we were ready to go!)

We had heard about the house from friends from church.  They told us where it was so we drove by just to see if it was even something was an option for us.  Whoa. Nelly.  It was like dream-home material!

Yes.  Just YES.

Yes. Just YES.

A month or so later, we took a tour, prayed our faces off, sold our home and moved in here!  We LOVE IT.  I’m afraid, no other home will ever compare – truly!  Obviously, there are things we might change if we owned the place but for now?  It’s perfect for us!  The Lord answered all of our requests and desires and then some!

From the moment I walked in, I could SEE us making memories here.  I could see myself in the kitchen, cooking with Sayble while looking out the window at the other 2 playing outside.  I could see Bible studies and card parties in the big ole family room and loud family dinners in the dining room.  I could see kids playing for hours in their big kid rooms and looking out over the pastures from their windows – I could just see us here!

Some people probably think we’re crazy for renting but for us, this was the best option for now, for several reasons. (And just so you know, I don’t feel the NEED to explain myself, but if you don’t know that I’m an open book by now…)

1) We had reached a point with our old home that we felt we had maxed out or profit potential without doing something drastic…and we weren’t up for drastic.  2) Moving is always on the table when you work for a company 3 states away.  While we love this area and home we never have to, it’s always an option.  3) Building costs mega $$ these days!  I don’t know if we built what we’d like and then had to move, if we’d ever get our money out of the place. 4) There aren’t very many farmsteads in the area that AREN’T either a modular or a 100 year old farmhouse and we’ve been there done that.  5)  It was the Lord.  All Him.  I won’t argue.

So, to recap…moving with 3 small children is hard.  Moving with livestock is harder.  Moving 112 chickens is hardest.  We love our new home and can’t imagine life anywhere else!

Here are some pics of the new digs!

We’ll start upstairs.  The stairs come up out of the dining room, up to the kids’ floor.  All three of their bedrooms and their bathroom is up here, which is so nice!  They’re all together and it’s REALLY quiet for them…which means good sleep for them, so good sleep for mom and dad!

Don’t knock the paneling – ha!  We weren’t gonna mess with that!

Upstairs - empty

Upstairs – empty

Upstairs - empty

Upstairs – empty

Top of the stairs

Upstairs after; top of the stairs

Now, why did I start with that picture?!  The bookshelf.  Sigh.  I have visions of it being artfully arranged…but then I remember that I have 3 small children who I want to LOVE to read so I’ve given up the fight on the perfect bookshelf and have gone with the “we use it all the dang time so it’s always disheveled look.”  You should try it, too!

Upstairs after

Upstairs after; truly a happy place!

My brother-in-law got me that dreamy pew last year and I was so happy to have a place for it in our new home!  I started out like this:

Pew before

Pew before

and after a good sanding and a fun color, it’s one of my favorite things in the house!

Pew after

Pew after

The kids’ bathroom isn’t huge but I think it’s perfect for them!  I’ve been so impressed with how clean they have kept it!

Kids' bathroom before

Kids’ bathroom before

Kids bathroom after!

Kids bathroom after!

Kids' bathroom after!

Kids’ bathroom after!

Kids' bathroom after!

Kids’ bathroom after!

Since then, they’ve gotten a new faucet, as this one bit the dust about 2 weeks in, but it’s just a fun, sweet little bathroom – I love it!  (It was the first room that was completely finished in the whole house!  Gotta love small rooms that didn’t need paint – ha!)

Wryder’s room DEFINITELY needed paint.  It’s hard to see in the pictures but the walls were in pretty bad shape as far as scratches and dings.

Wryder's room before

Wryder’s room before

Wryder's room before

Wryder’s room before

Wryder's room before

Wryder’s room before

We painted it a pretty, neutral grey and I love how it turned out!

Wryder's room after paint

Wryder’s room after paint

Wryder's room after paint

Wryder’s room after paint

Wryder's room after

Wryder’s room after

Wryder's room after

Wryder’s room after

Wryder's room after

Wryder’s room after

Wryder's big closet!

Wryder’s big closet!

Sayble’s room is the smallest, but it suits her needs just fine for now!  I love how it turned out…so sweet and cute – like her!

Sayble's room

Sayble’s room

Sayble's room

Sayble’s room

Sayble's room

Sayble’s room

Sayble's room

Sayble’s room

Sawyer got the biggest room.  It was an easy choice for us as far as layout goes…and?  The girl’s got a lot of stuff.  There’s a hoarder gene on the Phipps side and by golly, the girl’s got it!

Part of why she needed the big room was for this:

LOVE LOVE LOVE

LOVE LOVE LOVE

There’s just something about a cute farm house with two twin beds in a room!  I bought those headboards at an auction one day for $5 each.  They are vintage 20’s and just cute as a button and I’ve been storing them for this room!

Headboard before

Headboard before

Headboard after paint - Sweet Caroline, to be exact!

Headboard after paint – Sweet Caroline, to be exact!

Sawyer's room

Sawyer’s room

Sawyer's room

Sawyer’s room

Her room is so sweet and so totally her.  She loves her double beds; she loves the little table for tea parties and such and she loves using the toybox as her desk/office.  And?  She has a huge closet – a must for a girl with a penchant for cute things!

Sawyer's room and a few of her fun things!

Sawyer’s room and a few of her fun things!

Sawyer's room

Sawyer’s room

Sawyer's closet

Sawyer’s closet

And, yes…that is exactly what you think it is!  She has a “secret room” behind the bookshelf in her closet!  We turned it into a toy room for her and all of us love spending time in there.

I wish I had taken before and after pictures of it because we did the works in there!  New carpet, new lighting, boarded the walls…

Sawyer's toy room after

Sawyer’s toy room after

It is so fun and the perfect place to store all of her Barbies and babies and doll house things.  And?  Wryder has one, too.  How did we luck out like that?!

Wryder's playroom before

Wryder’s playroom before

Wryder's playroom after

Wryder’s toy room after

We put in new carpet, painted everything and put in new lighting.  I LOVE this space and he does, too!  I love having the toys out of sight, too, I won’t lie!

Wryder's toy room after

Wryder’s toy room after

Wryder's toy room after

Wryder’s toy room after

And?  Sayble has a little crawl space in her room that we can turn into a playroom for her one day.  But we’re tired.  And she’s still a baby.  So we’ll wait.

Thank you for humoring my little house tour with my awful iPhone pictures.  ;)  We’ll hit downstairs tomorrow.  Maybe, all of my pictures will have uploaded by then.  Oh, how we miss our good internet service!

Random Rambles

The weather was SO nice last week so we tried to be outside as much as possible – always a good thing for small children with lots of energy.

This girl LOVED riding the little car...

This girl LOVED riding the little car…

Forgive the two-toned fence in the picture above.  We replaced the boards earlier this spring after Wrex left his pickup in reverse when I waved him back to the house.  Apparently, he thought there was a sincere emergency (I just had a a letter that I needed him to drop in the mail) and came running in without shifting into park.  Thankfully, there’s a small hill in the pasture behind it and it stopped it – on this flat farm ground, who knows how far it would’ve traveled!

We had a cheeseburger picnic one day last week after an impromptu trip to town.

Aren't they cute?!

Aren’t they cute?!

They played at the park, ran their hearts out and tried to sneak up on a little robin.

Quiet...

Quiet…

It flew off, but it was worth a shot.

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The impromptu trip to town was to get a little chicken house we found.  It. Is. ADORABLE.  We wanted it to put close to the house for some of our momma’s and babies.  So far, it’s just housed cats and dogs…

Peanut being patient

Peanut being patient

A new breed of chicken....

A new breed of chicken…

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We went to town on Friday to buy groceries and someone wasn’t too thrilled with his attire.

Doesn't he look handsome?

Doesn’t he look handsome?

He swore this was a girl’s shirt.  It’s not.  I made him wear it.

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Saturday we strayed from our red meat diet and had some roasted chicken.  This was Wryder’s first experience with a chicken leg and he was a HUGE fan!

Yum!

Yum!

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We also had some fun visitors last week!  Our sweet friend, Diane and our NEW sweet friend, Katherine stopped by!

Awwww!

Awwww!

The kids adored them and Wryder wanted them to stay to tuck him in bed.  They doted on the kids and took a tour of the Phipps farm and ate cookies and punch with us! They even brought the kids supplies to do a fun craft which Sawyer did this weekend.

Ms. Diana brought her a bunch of torn up tissue paper and some mod podge and Sawyer made a box for a baby shower gift for our neighbor.

Cute - both of them!

Cute – both of them!

It turned out so cute!

You ladies come back ANY time!

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Saturday was equally beautiful and we took the kids to walk around the little fishing pond in town.

Beautiful evening, beautiful kids

Beautiful evening, beautiful kids

We saw 1 goose, 4 ducks but no fish or turtles.  They had a ball exploring and running and checking out the water…and we had a ball being with them.

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This little dandy showed up on Facebook this morning:

5 years ago...Sawyer and Uncle Blake

5 years ago…Sawyer and Uncle Blake

Be still my heart.  Sweet girl has grown a little since then, yes?!  (Blake is just as dashingly handsome, just FYI.)  I love seeing all these clothes in Sayble’s closet now.  We put her in some of Sawyer’s old jammies yesterday and it just made her even cuddlier!

Sawyer/Sayble

Sawyer/Sayble

That Sayble…she is just pure joy, I tell ya!

Look at that face!

Look at that face!

She hams it up for the camera, that girl!

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Today, we got to shower our sweet neighbor who is expecting a sweet baby girl in about a month!  Sawyer got to see two of her favorite girls (and fellow flower girls from Gillian’s wedding) and they had a ball together!

Hugs!

Hugs!

2.5 years ago...

2.5 years ago…

They’ve grown a little…

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Gillian has some of the sweetest family members a girl could ask for.  Two of her aunts (and ladies I’m proud to call friends) were there today and were just so encouraging to me regarding motherhood.

One of them told me that if the Lord would give her any day to do again, she’d choose one when her kids were around the age of mine because they are just so fun.  And it’s true.  This right here:

Heaven on earth

Heaven on earth

This is the closest to heaven I’ll get on this earth.  I love them with every ounce of my being…

I love the way Sayble NEEDS me right now and needs me with ferocity!  I love to hear her little jabbers and her sweet smiles.  I love the way she pats me when I pick her up and the way she only wants to be where I am.

I love the way Wryder is all boy.  I love how he wants to mow and shoot guns and eat dirt and poop outside.  I love how he helps pick up after meals and how much he loves his sisters.  I love how he always hollers, “love you!” one more time as I close his door after tucking him in.

I love the way Sawyer has entered a self-sufficiency of sorts.  I love that she and I can go anywhere and she’s fine and I’m fine and we can go and do without a lot of planning (or extra bags)!  I love that she loves so many of the same things I like.  I love that she loves to talk to me and is, truly, one of my best friends.

Tomorrow is Monday and before I know it, Friday will be here again.  Another week done and gone.  It happens so fast…  Lean in and love it, momma…

Pressing In

I have a temper.

And I hate it.

I’m an opinionated, passionate, perfection-loving, anxious person and the unsanctified parts of those things tend to rear their heads through frustration and anger.

I try to be even keel – that helps when you have small children – but sometimes, it gets the best of me.  After the 300th time that I have to repeat the rules that have yet to change since the beginning of rules – no banging on the table, no back talking, no pushing your sister, no jumping off of the coffee table, not getting ON the coffee table, no pulling Sayble around by her legs, no dumping out the dog food, no putting food from our plate on the floor, no sneaking snacks without asking, no screaming while Sayble naps…you get my drift – my flesh takes over and I go into angry-lecturing parent mode.

It doesn’t happen all of the time or even the majority of the time, but one time is one too many and I find myself fighting with that urge more than I’d like.  The Lord gave us emotions and He gave us the ability to feel anger but He does not give us the ok to sin in our anger; when I raise my voice or roll my eyes or let an exasperated naughty word slip or lecture on and on and on hoping they get the point?  That doesn’t please Him.

Anger is one of those really difficult emotions because in the moment, you feel completely justified.  Whatever you feel like doing in rebuttal MUST be ok because of what the offender did or said.  BUT?  That’s just not the case.

The Word says repeatedly that the Lord is slow to anger and abounding in love.  While He’s flipped some tables for the sanctity of His holy place, we don’t see Him on this constant rampage with a furrowed brow and venomous lips.

Parenting is HARD.  HARD, I tell you!  In this stage, with three littles under the age of 6, it can be exhausting.  There is so much physicality to the job right now.  One day, it will switch to more of a mental exhaustion and we’ll be craving those dirty diapers and untied shoes again, won’t we? 

As a mom – especially one that has the luxury to be with her babies all day, every day, weekends-mean-nothing – we are constantly pouring ourselves out to tend to their needs and mend their hearts and navigate their emotions and guide them back to the trail to kindness and righteousness.  Add in the daily chores of laundry, dishes, meal prep, feedings, cleanings, prayers, school work, yard work, etc. and the weight of all of those duties can pile up and sends us teetering on the edge of a meltdown.

While I do want our home – our sacred place – to be a place of peace of righteousness, how I respond to the sins of my children will determine the tone of my household more than their choices do. 

They’re not perfect.  They’re gonna sin.  That’s what they do!  But how I handle that will either lead them TO Jesus or AWAY from Him.  Another big job to add to our list, yes?

This weekend, I felt like we had all been really busy this past week and because of that, our prayers had become choppy and repetitive and insincere.  We regrouped together as a family on Sunday night and we began praying things that aligned with the heart of the Lord.  When we take our desires to Him – things that HE desires for us as well – He is faithful to move on our behalf.

He doesn’t want me to be angry.  He doesn’t want me to sin in my anger.  He doesn’t want me to speak harshly.  His desire for me is to be slow to anger and abounding in love.  And that has been my prayer.

Prayer is not an argument with God to persuade him to move things our way, but an exercise by which we are enabled by his Spirit to move ourselves His way.

While I desire obedience for my children, let the sanctification and obedience start with ME.  I still pray they choose obedience but oh, I pray for me to be more like YOU.  I want to move myself your way…

Lord, we want to be more like You, simple as that.  Isn’t that the goal?  That with each day and week and year, the maturing Christian would look less like the world and more like Jesus?  Pressing in to get there…

Worth 1,000 Words: Easter Edition

I’m behind.  I know.  But we had a SPECTACULARLY MARVELOUS Easter!

We stuffed 100 eggs to take to the cousin egg hunt down in Oklahoma…

Yum yum!

Yum yum!

We took communion together and remembered all the Lord has done for us…

Sweet girl

Sweet girl

and boy

and boy

He spilled his juice LITERALLY as Wrex was saying, “This is my blood poured out…”  It was perfect timing…

We colored Easter eggs.  We tried the fake ones this year as the others never really get eaten.  Not a fan.  The real ones are better.

Serious business

Serious business

I made cookies for all the cousins (and the RaRa) for their Easter baskets I took down…

Yum yum for sure!

Yum yum for sure!

We gave the kids their little goodies before we left…

Lots of pink!

Lots of pink!

This cute girl…I just love her to pieces!

Hip to the max

Hip to the max

We headed south, loaded for bear!

Thank the Lord for the Suburban

Thank the Lord for the Suburban

Uncle Waco and Aunt Amber surprised us and came to Aunt Tootsie’s too!  We all had such a good weekend!  The kids went on a MASSIVE egg hunt!

All the grands in one place - love.

All the grands in one place – love.

There were eggs EVERYWHERE!

There were eggs EVERYWHERE!

The boys were quite competitive!

The boys were quite competitive!

The girls, too!

The girls, too!

She was so cute!

She was so cute!

The girls looking through their loot...

The girls looking through their loot…

Sunday morning was a typical Sunday morning.  I got one good picture!

Surely, WD will take this good of pics when he's 5, right?!

Surely, WD will take this good of pics when he’s 5, right?!

Most of his looked like this:

Sigh

Sigh

Sayble wasn’t much better…

This was the best one I got!

This was the best one I got!

She was good DURING church, though…

She loves GooGoo just like everyone else!

She loves GooGoo just like everyone else!

Sawyer snuck in a little snuggle time with Uncle Waco…

She adores him!

She adores him!

And we got to see GooGoo’s new house and try the picture thing one more time!

Np dice.

No dice.

This was the closest we got…

That'll work, yes?

That’ll work, yes?

We got to see Uncle Waco’s new house that they’re building!  Sayble took the tour with him…

Swoon

Swoon

and his little girl took the tour with Wrex…

Cuties

Cuties

It was so much fun, I’m not sure any of us were ready to come home…especially those of us who had to unpack and do the laundry.  ;)  I’d do it all again tomorrow if it meant we were all together though…

Random Rambles

The chicks are alive and well and getting lots of attention.  Sawyer named hers Dot and Penguin Cindi.  Wryder named his Corny and Wheater.  If that boy doesn’t farm or sell tractors one day, I’ll be shocked.

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Sayble has mastered pulling herself up – watch out world!

How we found her this morning in her crib

How we found her this morning in her crib

She has been pulling up on the dishwasher, the coffee table, any chair she kind find, the back of my legs – honestly, anything!  She got herself into quite a pickle the other day when she did this:

What do I do, mom?!

What do I do, mom?!

She was so proud of herself but then had no idea how to get down!  That’s been the biggest problem lately.  After she went to bed tonight, she started screeching 20 minutes later.  I went in to check on her and she was standing up in her bed but didn’t know how to let herself back down.  This could be fun for a while…

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We talked a lot about Palm Sunday yesterday and what exactly this week means for us as followers of Christ.  During supper, we were reviewing with dad all we learned and Wryder excitedly exclaimed, “Saywer!  Jesus is our King!”  I melt.

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It was such a lovely day on Sunday that the kids just had to ride horses.  Sawyer has gotten really good at riding and understanding general horsemanship and, of course, Wryder thinks he has.  :)

He really likes to say, “Ho” or “Whoa.”  The only problem is that he likes to say it all the time.  That makes going anywhere a little difficult.  Regardless?  He looked darn cute.

Sawyer and Ozark, Wryder and Ernie

Sawyer and Ozark, Wryder and Ernie

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Today was one of those days where we didn’t do anything really over the top – we were just together – but it was one of those days I’d do 100 times over.  We played Barbie Pop-Up Camper and learned more about Easter and read stories and did school and explored the back pasture and searched for pine cones and played with chickens and did chores and sang songs…

We have some friends – several friends – who are in the trenches…fighting for answers and fighting for life.  We are so thankful and humbly grateful for our whole, healthy family.

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Sawyer wanted to color and create this morning so she got busy with her crayons and made this beauty.

Hosanna!

Hosanna!

In case you can’t tell…that’s Jesus riding on a donkey while someone waves their palm branches.  Be still my heart…

He Is

Today is one of my favorite days of the year when it pertains to church.  Being Palm Sunday, all the cute little kiddos parade down the aisles of the church waving their palm branches proclaiming, “Hosanna!  Hosanna!  Hosanna to the King!”

After we all ooed and awwed over their cuteness and returned to worship ourselves, the weight of Palm Sunday really dropped into my heart.  As I was thinking about Jesus, Palm Sunday marked the beginning of the end.  As He rode into Jerusalem to ultimately meet His death, He was greeted with such celebration and splendor with people laying down their branches and coats in submission and allegiance to Him.  Hosanna…

As I think back on my life, I feel like the one name or attribute of the Lord that is most marked  for me is that of Hosanna.  He IS the God who saves.

He has saved me from a life of mediocrity.  I know a lot of lukewarm Christians…or followers that believe the Lord exists but don’t truly have a vibrant and thriving relationship with Him.  Most of my life, those were the only kind of people I knew.  When I entered college, the Lord changed that for me.  Through some incredible mentors and an extremely handsome guy named Wrex, the Lord showed me what a real relationship and walk with Him looked like and I’ve never looked back.  I’m big on living a life of excellence and that has to start with Jesus.

He has saved me from mediocrity in other ways, too.  For me, there were certain areas of my life that I always assumed would look exactly like what I’d seen lived out in front of me, even though I desired something different.  I can admit that I had high hopes for marriage but there was a part of me that was skeptical.  Did the type of relationship I hungered for really exist?  Today, I can attest that it does, indeed.  Because I was obedient to follow His lead (even though that meant hurting someone else), the Lord gave me an amazing husband!  My relationship with Wrex and my kids is something I treasure (and try not to idolize!) and I’m so glad I didn’t settle in my search for Mr. Right.

He has saved me from warped views regarding myself.  I went through a period of my life where I felt like I just wasn’t good enough…for anyone, anywhere.  I wasn’t smart enough for these people, I wasn’t wealthy enough for these people, I wasn’t thin enough for these people, I wasn’t outgoing enough for these people, I wasn’t funny enough for these people…I wasn’t ever enough.  Sadly, I held these people in the highest of regards (at the time) and I can look back now and see how they really reinforced these ugly things I had started to believe about myself simply by the way they were treating me.  It’s taken a lot of years to untangle some of those webs and I wouldn’t even say that they’re all undone, but I do know that the Lord has used some people from the opposite end of the spectrum – people who really “see” me – to save me from those lies and help set me free with the truth.

He saved me from my own stupidity.  Poor decisions, poor choices, flat out disobedience…  Times I should’ve been dead.  Times I shouldn’t have made it out of horrible circumstances.  Times I should’ve had stiffer consequences.  Times I should’ve never been given a second chance, yet time and time again He has shed His grace on me with loving-kindness and patience.

He saved my life.  Literally, my life.  There are memories related to my health and well-being engrained in my mind that still cause me anxiety.  There are times I made poor choices and He was merciful to me.  There are times when I was trying to be tough and probably should’ve gone to the hospital but He was my healer.  There have been times where I’ve just had some of the weirdest, freak incidents and He has spared me every single time.  Even this winter with the tumor on my thyroid, His mighty hand has saved me (literally!) again and again and again.

He saved my life, my whole life.  I am not a slave to death.  He paid the ultimate price through His death and resurrection and I get to LIVE because of that.  Not just in the here and now…forever.

Palm Sunday is the beginning of the end…but it’s also the beginning of the beginning.  The beginning of the new covenant…the beginning of our salvation through faith…the beginning of the cleansing of our sin…the realization of Hosanna…the God who saves.

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