15 years later

Colby was hard pressed to decide on his birthday activity. His notions ranged from the gun range to a relaxing day at home (right!) or a trip to D.C. He ended up in D.C. with a couple of friends and a couple of siblings as well as dear old dad. They parked in Springfield and hopped on the metro for a trip to the National Archives. It was a trip to remember. Colby recently memorized the Bill of Rights with dates, the preamble to the Constitution and the preamble to the Declaration of Independence; so the destination was a natural choice for him. He really appreciated the history of the artifacts there as well as their significance. 
The boys have made some friends here in the neighborhood. Pictured with our motley crew are David and Jacob McCabe. They are the oldest 2 kids in a family of 11. That's right, a larger family than ours! They are good boys and appreciated the opportunity to take a city trip without little people who cry all the time.

The girls were decked out and thrilled to sport their cute hats and coats in the city.

Once home the boys hit the ground running and played nerf outside. Inside, Hazel cried to be held, the littles ran around smacking one another with balloons, Jackie set the table, Libby talked, and I made dinner. Colby had asked me to make him a surprise birthday cake this year. I decided to make the same recipe I did when the kids were baptized. It's a huge cake that serves a whopping 24 people. No need to worry, we didn't eat the whole thing, but we could have as it was delicious!! 
 I nearly burned my fingers trying to light the thing. 15 is a lot of candles.
Colby was pleased with the cake and really enjoyed his day. We're so thankful for you Colby.

I can remember very clearly the day he was born for it was the last day Jake and I spent together without children to care for. The weather had been drizzly and cool, so Jake and I stayed inside and set up this indoor putt-putt game. We hit golf balls around the house all day long. I had baked Jake his favorite lemon cake that morning, so that's what we ate for lunch. At the end of the afternoon right as we were going to take a nap the phone rang and it was a girl whom I had gone to high school with. It's the last time I spoke with her, I think her name was Erin.. We chatted and I felt something strange happen in my belly. I told her so and hung up the phone. When I stood up, I had been sitting on the end of our bed, I discovered that my water had broke. I was so excited and scared too. I had read that the first thing you should do when you know you are going into labor is to take a shower, so that's what I did. While I was in the shower I started hurting a lot. I didn't know anything about labor then, but I knew enough to think I had better get out of the shower and get dressed. We went to the hospital in Jake's old truck, Pearl. He drove like a madman, just like you see in the movies where the wife is heavily breathing and panting and she's says "Slow Down!' but the man keeps driving because he's been preparing 9 months for this moment to get his wife to the hospital on time... I think that's the last time he did get me to the hospital on time... That's not his fault though :). He flew through traffic lights and over speed bumps as though they were pebbles. We were at the hospital before I knew it and about 2 hours later Colby was born. He weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces, our smallest baby to date. He was very long, with an extremely long umbilical cord and had long feet. That was the only labor my mom was in the delivery room for. My father stood outside the delivery room door. I think that perhaps that's the harder place to be, hearing but not seeing and hoping all will be well. I remember holding Colby that night and looking at him knowing that life was now different, forever different. I knew a little then about mothering and I know a little more now. God wisely placed Colby first in our lives. He's been a pleasure to parent and raise, he's taught us much about ourselves and our Lord. He is a precious miracle; a gift of life. Colby we love you more than words can say, the first child, the first grandchild. Happy 15th birthday son!


Hazel is 6 months (on the 20th)

It is hard for me to believe that our little Hazel will be a half year old this week. The time has truly flown by since she came in such grand fashion. I am hard pressed to put into words how much this little girl has blessed our family. She is a joy, she is pleasant, she is happy, she is always smiling, she brightens the room with her dear eyes and countenance, she is so much fun, she has the ability to melt the heart of a 14 year old! Yes, she is that sweet. We love you Hazel. We are thankful for our time with you. We thank God for sending you here! 

All of the fuss in these pictures is centered around a train. Hazel is enamored of the whistle blowing thing. She rolls over to the tracks and tries to knock it off. She hears it whistle and instantly turns her head to discover the source. Colby and Jackie were hanging out with her this particular day and watching the train move round the tree with her. Who can blame them? Trains are fun and Hazel is sweet. It's the prefect combination.


Christmas Picture Failure

I attempted to have the perfect family picture taken. You know, the perfect postures, everyone's looking, everyone's having the time of their life. My dreams always come crashing down when the moment arrives. Somebody needs to pee, somebody has dirt in their eyeball, somebody is pulling somebody's hair, the baby spits up, somebody has seen a monster, people are smiling beautifully but their eyes are closed, somebody's done something terrible so they need a spanking, somebody forgot to take off their sunglasses.. Anyway, your Christmas cards are on their way but we are segregated according to types. The header on the blog will remain for the time being as well.

Merry Christmas dear ones!


Parable Under the Pillow

Perhaps you would be surprised at the amount of sin that dwells in this house. Perhaps not if you understand God's word and know that where there are many people there is much sin. One thing that surprises me about sin is that it is in a child from the beginning. It begins to manifest itself in different forms as the child grows. If not dealt with properly and appropriately at the right age it morphs itself into an ugly monster that is extremely difficult to deal with. The sins in a little person are far easier to deal with then the sin of a grown person.

Jake and I were shocked recently to discover that Silas had been stealing candy from the candy bowl. When I say steal it may sound harsh, after all the candy jar sits on the bar and all are welcome to a piece of it every now and then. If you are a little person you must ask first and if you are big you must use self control and be mindful of your neighbor. Well, our little Silas had been taking a piece or two as he was able and then hiding them under his pillow. At night he'd snack on them and throw the trash under his bed when he was all finished. It's amazing because it's outright thievery. He had it down to a science; grab the candy when no one is looking, hide the candy under the pillow, eat the candy during the course of what should be peaceful slumber, and then throw the trash under the bed when finished. When Jake and I realized that something was amiss, Silas continuously was waking up with chocolate stains on his lips and chocolate drool across his cheek, we asked him about it. His countenance fell and he was greatly ashamed. We marveled at how advanced his sin had become and we counseled him and gave him appropriate consequences.

If Silas was our first born we might have hid the candy bowl as that would be the easy course of action, but we now have many more people in the house who aren't stealing the candy and who know to ask.  Experience and wisdom have shown us that it is better to leave the candy bowl out in the open and train him to not steal, teach him to ask, and show him that he can trust us to give him good things. This all takes time of course, but it is good to train the heart now.

I do marvel at sin, it is clear that Jake and I didn't teach him to steal and how to do it well. It was there in his heart all along. I'm thankful for the discovery. Just as the Lord chastens those He loves, we as parents chasten our children whom we love whom we have been given from God. Blessed be His name!


The kids really were little once and other randomness

Well, as I was thumbing through pictures I discovered some older photos which I hadn't seen in a while. Below is a photograph of Colby and Jackie at a birthday party in Okinawa. What's bizarre to me is that when I look at the picture I am astonished at how little they are; yet when I think back to the party where the picture was taken I can still remember it very clearly. Jake and I were there together and shortly after I photographed these two darlings I handed Jake the camera. He dropped it and the lens jammed inside. We had to send it off to the states and have it repaired. Anyway, this thought isn't about broken cameras. It's about how much Colby and Jackie have changed so much in such a short time. I mean, just look at them!
Here they are about 6 and 4 years old.

Here they are 14 and 12 years old. Looking the same, but also much different. I fear that if I'm not mindful they'll be in college standing beside one another before I blink.

Off to the random. We headed down to the blessed NC coast this past weekend for a retreat with our former church. Can I just say that it was a retreat? It was truly refreshing. I've never taken a family retreat where I have come back... refreshed. While we were there Jake got to surf. The sweet man doesn't get to do much of that anymore and it's one of his favorite hobbies, if not the favorite! Can you imagine your favorite hobby being out of your reach?
Here he is, as the the surfers say, "Getting Stoked."

This is just a beautiful picture under the pier.
More randomness in the form of sweetness. Hazel adores Colby. Colby adores Hazel. It's a strange day if Colby hasn't whisked the little miss up in his arms for lots of loves. She and he have a sweet relationship. Colby has always adored the babies that God has brought into our family. Well I should clarify. All of them except for sweet Jackie. There was the time with Colby, his tricycle and Jackie inside her bassinet.. he tried to run it over, then there was the time that Colby threw Hotwheels inside Jackie's bassinet while she was sleeping, then the time that he nailed her in her car seat with his loaded sippy cup... I can't blame him though, he was only 2 years old and had been the only child, maybe he knew it was the start of a long life of babies, babies, babies. Since Benjamin he's adjusted very well and is a shining example to everyone else of how the babies should be treated.
Dear souls.
Enough of random posting. I'm off to therapy for Samuel. Because he doesn't say more than 10 words and most of his language consists of the word "no" we decided we'd bring him to therapy. His therapist likes him very much. I don't blame her, he is pretty awesome!


Bloggy Facelift

I tried my best to form a collage. Once we get an updated picture of us all that meets my standards i.e. everyone must be facing the camera, with their eyes open, and no holding of various body parts, I'll give the blog another facelift.


Thanksgiving, Kids, and Trees (Random Post)

We had a most wonderful Thanksgiving. Jake was given a 4 and a 1/2 day weekend. We made the most of it by feasting, playing, and exploring.
Wednesday night before the big day Jake grilled us tubular steaks (hot dogs) for dinner. I've come a long way folks. There was a time where I wouldn't dare eat those things for dinner. But, out of necessity and in need of a break every now and then, I joyously put them on the dinner menu. Hazel was pleased I took Thanksgiving eve off.
We set the table for the feast. The settings were beautiful. It was the first time that I used the silver my mom bought me for my birthday two years ago. When she had come to visit us in Monterey we spent an afternoon strolling along Pacific Grove popping in and out of the fun little boutiques that beset the streets there. Mom caught a glimpse of a set of silver for a very reasonable price. She offered to buy it for me for my birthday instead of giving me cash. This was great because I know I'd never buy a set of silver with my birthday money. Instead I'd make about 20 trips to Chick-Fil A and buy their number 6 or sink it into 10 yards of nice fabric.  Colby buffed the silver for me and was so pleased to see that there was actually service for 12. We could all eat with matching Silverware!! Jackie polished our silver napkin rings so everything looked perfect. We ate turkey with the fixings like almost every other American. I had help with the pies this year too. I handed Jackie her own pie responsibility, so she and Louisa popped out the best pumpkin pie ever. Yummy.

Friday took Jake and big sons down to the beach while the girls, little dudes and I dug out the Christmas decorations and strolled down memory lane. We also were saddened to see some of our favorite ornaments destroyed by the last move. Sad. Oh the effects of a cross country move. Anyway, most things were intact and we had fun putting everything out.

Saturday brought us to the tree farm. We have a tradition of cutting down our own tree. It's fun for us to all go find the perfect tree. We ended up at a spooky old Christmas tree farm. We decided to load back up and go find another place with healthier looking trees and less dogs...
Samuel found a tree that was perfect for him. Sorry buddy, it's a bit short for the rest of us.
We cut down the tree and took a hay ride to the front of the lot. Colby kept the tree from rolling out.
Silas was in his element. He looked very much like a real farm hand with his oversized woody hat.
Hazel hung out in the Moby Wrap. She likes it most of the time. Jake and I like to say, "Help me Moby Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope." Ha, ha we think it's funny. I took this picture by holding the camera out to the side of the sweet little girl. I love how it turned out.

We are now decking the halls and celebrating. The kids are super excited for the big name swap and we've busted out the Christmas hymns for our nightly singing before dinner. Such fun!


Coffee Anyone?

For Christmas this year Jake and I are going to purchase a new coffee maker. The one we currently have is temperamental and no longer operates as was intended. Because piping hot coffee is such an integral part of our day every day, I'm curious what, if any, coffee maker would you heartily recommend? We don't one that makes a single cup. Jake brings an entire carafe to work with him each day so the single serve won't work. With that said it needs to be the real deal.


Strange Day

Anytime one of the kids throws up I know it's going to be a strange day. Anytime more than one of the kids throws up I know my day will be even stranger. Anytime more than three kids are throwing up I struggle with a bad attitude. Today I was struggling. It was good I was struggling or I might have missed the opportunities God gave me to laugh.

This is a post without pictures. It is good that it is this way.

This morning after one of the girls was hugging the bowl I grabbed the cleaning supplies and headed up stairs with my supplies to tackle the mess. As I was humbly hunched over the bowl cleaning up another's mess I found a tooth. This was an indication to me that my cleaning skills had been neglected for a while. I reached further behind the throne, grabbed the tooth, some bobby pins and other items less interesting. In so doing there was a large ripping sound. Upon examination I discovered I had completely torn the crack of my pants. Full on, wide open. Very humbling. These were one of the two pairs of pants I have that fit me right now. There are other pants I own that I wear, but I have to jump into them. They are more along the lines of a "tight fit." Bummer. I finished my chore laughing to myself at the irony of the situation and headed down stairs to sanitize my hands and dump supplies where they should go. I caught a glimpse of the Hazel girl swinging away. She was smiling. Libby informed me that she had "smelt her" and that something needs to be done with her diaper. Sure enough, it was one of those full on infant diaper explosions. You know, the kind where you look in disbelief and wonder where to begin. I took the baby into our room to get started at the next job. Thankfully my huge tear was concealed and it could wait for a moment.

Libby followed me in and watched me caring for Hazel. Libby has the gift of gab. Most of the time, like 88% of the time, I converse with Libby. There are those times where I'm guilty of the, "Uh-huh", "Oh yes", "You don't say" responses. Perhaps you've done the same thing with your kids?? Perhaps not. Anyway I do this sometimes, I nod my head, smile, and agree without really listening to what's being said. I only do this with Libby because she talks so frequently that I struggle to keep up with her. So today was one of those days. I'm knee deep in baby issues, I had just scrubbed up the toilet after an oral explosion, I discovered somebody's molar, and the seat of my pants was completely torn in two. So Libby is talking and I'm falsely responding and nodding. I'm smiling at Hazel who is so pleased to be cleaned up and to have my undivided attention :). I finish with Hazel, look up and make eye contact with Libby. I tune in to what she's saying just in time to hear her say, "And when I grow up I'm going to move to America!" I'm thinking this is an indicator that I should be listening more.

There you have it; a strange day that isn't done yet. More people have since vomited and I'm feeling a little strange myself.


Lame Lyrics form the Late 80's

Sometimes when I'm parenting or just thinking, lyrics from old songs pop into my head. Tonight the lines, "If I could turn back time..." popped into my head. Would I be willing to turn back time? NO WAY! I am convinced that every single joyful moment, every single hurtful moment are all sweet Providences of our Holy God. They shape us and make us into who we are to be or not to be. Don't we learn from those difficult times? Don't we learn from those sweet moments? Have you ever wanted to relive a moment? You know, the moment that was perfect, so fun, so free, so right... with all the right people, the weather, the food, the smells.. oh the smells. Or of course perhaps it's to forget a moment. The moment that crushed your bones and wreaked havoc on your soul. The moment you think you wished never would have happened, but then find that you are better for it?

Through all that is good and all that is bad, I wouldn't turn back time. No, I wouldn't. God has ordained all things and is a lover and care-taker of our souls. He longs to exemplify His mercies to us. To show us that we are His, no matter how dreadful and no matter how good. We are His.

Somehow the faith that I've been given enables me to look to the future and to be excited. All things are for our good if we love God and are called for His purposes.

That is me, I am called.

So, I will not be afraid and I will not be discouraged, but will look forward and trust with great fear, trembling and excited apprehension to what He has in store for me.

Looking forward.



Happy 236th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps. As the children, Jake and I were sitting around for bible reading at 5:15 this morning, my husband asked who was thankful for the Marine Corps. Not a lot of happy responses. This kind of shocked me. The Marine Corps has been a very good living for us. I mean there we are sitting on leather couches with a fire going, cuddled under blankets with soft pillows and longing for our warm beds... You get the picture. God has used the Marine Corps as His source of worldly provision for us. We are thankful for the Corps. Despite the politics of a worldly, godless, institution which now promotes and protects homosexuality as a safety among its members, it could be worse. That sounds really bad, but it's true. Anyway, we are thankful for work and provision and will faithfully serve in a manner which pleases God until the end of our required time.


In celebration of the Corps we will be doing 236 pushups tonight. Divided among 6 people that's only 39.33 apiece.
Benjamin aged 4, wanting to be like poppa.


All Knit Up.

Before I was pregnant with Hazel and during my pregnancy with her I spent a lot of time knitting. I knit like crazy for others. The church where we attended had mounds of pregnancies taking place which meant mounds of showers. How delightful! I knit up sweaters and I know I posted about it here on the bloggy. By the time Hazel was getting close to her grand arrival I was a bit burned out from the sweater pattern that I had labored over for everyone else. I also had begun a sweater for myself, the first one ever. So, I didn't want to pick up another project at that time. What a blessing to have a mom who knits. Mom kept seeing the sweaters show up on the bloggy here and hassled me to send her the pattern. She only hassled because I'm forgetful ;). She knit up this sweet purple sweater for the little miss in the same pattern I knit for everyone else. Now that the cold weather is here, I'm delighted to put little Haze in it. She looks so good in purple!
Hazel love, you look so good in purple, I think it's your color!


All in a Days Work?

The following update isn't from one day's work, but it is the work of several days past, present, and eventually future. The life around here is very much hurricane-like. You have the fabulous sunny days, the dark cloud days which signal something is brewing, the wicked storm itself, the eye of the storm or the seemingly everything is fine part of it, and then of course the tail end of the storm which could last longer than its' beginnings. Then the rains stop, the winds cease, the messes are tidied up and behold the sun is out again and the days are lovely. So here's a small glimpse of what's been going on:

Colby Brett has been plugging away hard at school. He's involved in a Co-op for Biology and it has been wonderful. I fretted big time last Spring over what we were going to do about Biology come Fall. Biology isn't a class to be self-paced through. It requires in depth discussion and teaching as well as some foreknowledge of the subject. Obviously I know that God is the Creator of all things and all life stems from Him. Without Him there would still be the empty, void, nothingness. The question is how to teach that in scientific terms. When we arrived here in VA the only Co-op that was highly recommended had filled its' Biology class. That left me feeling a bit stranded. I decided I would somehow fill in my day with another class and teach Biology. Colby and I would learn it together and have a good time doing so. Then into my lap fell the hand of Providence. It is always sweet when that happens. We had an email in our inbox about a Biology Coop being taught by a woman with her college degree in the subject. For $50 plus supplies Colby was in. What a sweet answer to our needs. The funny thing is, I hadn't been praying for a co-op, I had given up and there the gift was in my inbox!
Colby at a local pond drawing observations.
Hazel has outgrown her bassinet, so we needed our crib back from Samuel. In order for this to happen we needed a bed for Samuel. In order for that to happen we had to go shopping. I brought Libby along as my test subject to see if there would be enough head clearance for Samuel to sit up. Indeed there was, so we purchased the below bunk bed. Hazel got her crib and the littles have bunk beds in their room now.
Hello there Libby.
 Speaking of Libby... She informed me yesterday that she wants a new mother. One that speaks Spanish.

Then there's big Ben. Check out the Cowboy jersey. Go Boys! He's been trying his hand in the kitchen and can now successfully make Macaroni and Cheese and

Bake Cookies!

His are the chocolate chips in the front of the picture. They were from a nestle package which came with a pizza.
(I know what you're thinking, Frozen pizza, Frozen cookie dough? You betcha!)
 My mom came for a visit. She is so dear! We took her back to the airport yesterday. That's where some of my kids think she lives. Salt wishes he could go live with her. Sorry Salt, your curse is to spend forever with our wild family.
 Okay, look at the picture below. Need I say more? Look at those crazy eyes and that wild hair. I had scheduled a date to cut his hair off. It was going to be October 28th. Obviously that day has come and gone. I will try to better at the next scheduled time.
Sammy T., you are a crazy boy!
 Ahhh, time for a coffee break.
My fine man. Coffee is always a help in the throws of life.
 Hello there little girl Hazel. She is pleasant and light brown. She is 4 and 1/2 months old.
Yes, I'm talking about you now.
 Her hair is flattening some because it's growing a bit longer. She is so sweet.
Hazel, you are precious.
 She is a joy and breath of fresh air. She is extremely observant and already moves her mouth as if she's trying to talk. She's working on cutting a tooth as well.
Don't grow too fast love.
There you have it. A glimpse into the peaceful part of hurricane season.


Learning as we Go.

When did we start this race? I remember being pregnant for the first time and being stunned and amazed at the life that was growing in my womb. If I had known then what I know now I would have said way back when that we will have lots of kids instead of the timid response of maybe 1 or 2 but definitely no more than 4. To think I actually used to think that way. I didn't know then what beauty God had in store for us if we would but trust Him. We love having so many little faces to kiss and big hearts to nurture. The stretch of our family and responsibility has been nothing short of hard and nothing short of the best days ever. I remember being that young timid girl afraid of the future and living for the moment. Never an ounce of thought about next week, much less next year. How God has has flipped my backwards heart around and shown me a glimpse of the future in light of eternity! It is humbling.

As Jake and I have bore children, disciplined children, and loved children, we marvel at what a beautiful gift it is of the Lord to have the privilege. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine what fun and what a humbling experience it would be. We have learned so much along the way. Still each day brings struggles and joys of its own. As our bigs (Colby and Jackie) grow older we are learning that each day takes a different face. Parenting is more fun and completely exhausting!

From spanking the bottoms of the littles (Samuel, Silas, Libby and sometimes others) to late night counseling with our bigs we are learning a new definition of what tired is and a more excellent definition of what fun is.

We are loving each day and are thankful. We are so glad that we have friends, you all, who are along for the ride of this God-given life with us. Bless the Lord oh my soul. Let all that is within me bless His hold name!

The news is frightful and the economy worse. Occupy Wall Street, really? How about occupy your home and recreate the messes that have been ignored there. My mind marvels at why our God has us here on this wild earth and then I'm reminded that it is good. Dominate it, rule it, make it glorify the living God.

Happy weekend dear ones.

"Our marriage shall be a yes to God's earth; it shall strengthen our courage to act and accomplish something on the earth." Dietrich Bonhoeffer 


Two Subject Post

To begin with, the little lady pictured below is 4 months old. She is an absolute delight. She has some crazy, crazy hair. The girl has a poof of blackness that stands on end every day of the week. After the bath, after brushing, even after oiling, it stands up. What's funny is that Jake thinks it's a sign. If you were to look closely at her hair from a certain angle, you can see that it forms a "perfectly peeling wave." Those are Jake's exact words. He thinks it has something to do with the fact that he's being drawn back to Santa Cruz for a surf session. Hmmm.
Sweet little lady.

Jake's perfect peeler.
The second subject I want to mention are the beautiful sunrises that God's been delighting us with here. The photographs below are from my front door on a clear morning. The leaves have started to turn and the skies resemble something of a Carolina sky. It's just so magnificent. It's so kind of the Lord to show us a glimpse of such splendor. I feel so refreshed when I step out the front door and the chill of fall cools my face and the light of the sun causes my eyes to adjust to the bright beauty of it. So wonderful!
Tips of trees bowing to fall.

Down the grassy meadow out front. 

Feathery drifty skies.
Okay, maybe this is 3 subjects. If you haven't checked out Josh Garrels you must. We are all hooked here. We bought the album Jacaranda from iTunes and can't get enough. Dare you to listen!


So Convicting!

I just read a short, powerful little article over at Femina. Click here to check it out if you want.


Moments in Homeschooling.

I've been doing a bit better with using the recording feature on my iphone. At least my parents will appreciate the contents and perhaps a couple friends. 


Hospitable Hospitality.

Now that we've settled in to our home and now that the baby has been born, the days have slowed down just a touch and the normalcy of life has taken over. The house has its own ebb and flow and Jake, the children, and I have established our routines. Jake comes home sometime after 6:30 in the evenings and that's just how it's going to be. He puts in twelve and half hour days and if I think for a moment that I'm putting the kids to bed early then I need to think again. I really can't plan to have the meal on the table at 6:30. For one thing, Jake may not be home yet, for another, the man really needs to unwind, kick off his boots and don his poppa clothes. This has us eating between 7 and 7:30 depending on how organized I am..

As a wife and a friend I'm realizing that hospitality is a day to day thing, not just a once in a while ordeal. Being hospitable should be woven in the fabric of my everyday life. Particularly if I call myself a Christian. How I keep the house, fold the clothes, set the table, prepare the meals, put the pillows on the couch, hang the pictures on the wall, treat the guests, love my children, respect my husband... is hospitality.  It's a sweet thing.

Our Lord in heaven is the most hospitable of all. He designed hospitality. In creating the earth and all that fills it up was the first notion of hospitality. Take a look around. Have you ever had your breath taken away by the wonders of creation, the leaves of fall, the chill of winter, the cool of the evening, the warmth of the first sunlight? The Lord has created all things for his glory and our enjoyment. What a blessing to his creatures.

I could never be just like the Lord, but he has given me the ability to see what is beauty, to recreate and decorate.  Making the home the best that it can be is a little bit to that end. Having friends over and blessing them with good food and fun is more of the same. Having dinner flow around my husbands schedule is what I am called to do. I won't always have these times to be busy cleaning, cooking, and warming the home for all the souls that abide here. Now is my time, not tomorrow, not next week, not in a year when friends come again, but here and now, in this moment. I will enjoy it now even though the days are long and my eyes are dark. Even though my body is tired and my head pounds. Yesterday won't come again.

True hospitality is sharing your life and dying to self. This should happen inside and outside of our dear family circles.


Guess who's 6!

It's Libby, that's who. The sweet, dear little thing had a birthday. We had so much fun celebrating her. 
 We ate spaghetti and meatballs, her request of course.
 There were party hats. Benjamin took 4 of them. Go figure.
Hazel came and celebrated too. I think this picture is so sweet. It's one that will bring memories back to us of a sweet day. ;)
 Jackie is lovely and had a beautiful set of gifts for Libby. All of them were handmade and included a marble bag, a quilt, and some homemade play dough. The play dough ended up as a gift from Colby. I'm not sure how that came about. I don't care to know either.
 Samuel was very excited about the party. In the morning, once the decorations went up, the little guy was beaming. Good thing the cake was up high. Otherwise he might get into it..
Smothered under the pink frosting was a yummy, moist devil's food cake. It was fabulous!
 Here's the little beauty. She was so pleased and was the star of the evening.
 Samuel was just too cute to miss the opportunity to snap a picture.
 Jackie and Silas. Sweet babies.
 Louisa Jean, the closest sister in age to sweet Lib, was pleased to celebrate her first baby sister.
Look closely. You'll see the ceiling is sprinkled with sticky frogs and fingers. We had a great time with the party favors. If any of you, who know us well, were to come into our home you'd probably be able to guess that we were celebrating Libby Lee. 

Libby Lee, age 2.

Libby Lee, you are one of my greatest treasures. I can't imagine my life without you little girl! We all enjoy you so very much. Thank you for bringing so much laughter into our home. May you enjoy many more wild birthday parties with us and even more with your own children one day. Happy birthday darling.

Below is a video from Jake's phone of a very small portion of the birthday event. Enjoy.