Monday, May 31, 2010

overheard at our house today (food edition)

overheard 1:
random five-year-old boy beside me at IHOP:  i'm going to eat sausage and pancakes for breakfast.  do you like that?

me:  well, i love pancakes, but i don't really care for sausage.

random five-year-old boy (with a touch of disdain in his voice):  oh.  so you're a vegetarian?

overheard 2:
jack (singing to the tune of "all for the glory of you"):  every moment, all i say and do, let this life i live be all for the glory of steak!!  

somewhere out there, a certain 6' 4" carnivore is loving the new version of that song (you know who you are, missile!)

overheard 3:
abby:  mommy, look at how much of this book i've read.

me:  that's awesome, abby!!!  it's wonderful that you love to read so much.

abby:  why, mommy?  

me:  well, when you read, it helps your brain to be healthier and stronger.

abby:  oh, so reading is kind of like eating salmon?!?

Friday, May 28, 2010

as far as we're concerned, summer has officially begun

we're not done with the school year, and my calendar says that summer is still four weeks away. 

but the little ones say otherwise...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

big lessons from little people

today has been one of those days when i looked around me and decided that josh and i must have no idea what we're doing as parents.  in the first four hours of the day, we dealt with disrespectfulness, disobedience, unkindness, selfishness, screaming, and several other types of un-pleasantries that seemed to explode from our kids all at once.  and i'm embarrassed to say that i hit a point where i was no longer interested in training them in kindness, gentleness, and self-control.

i was done.

we were trying to get out the door to meet bethany's crew, and as i was upstairs gathering the diaper bag and keys, i heard a virtual volcano of nastiness erupt between abby and jack.  i could feel my blood pressure rising, but rather than stop and pray for patience and wisdom in training their hearts away from that behavior, i flew down the stairs and went a bit "volcano" myself.  i raised my voice and barked out something to the effect of, "HOW MANY TIMES DO I NEED TO TELL YOU TO USE A GENTLE VOICE?!?"

(the irony in that is definitely not lost on me.)

the next few minutes were just yucky.  i immediately felt the weight of how i had spoken to them, but i was still wrestling with the frustration of the morning so i just took them to the car and got everybody strapped in and ready to leave.  once we were driving, i began talking them through how none of us had treated each other with love and kindness.  i explained how they could have each handled the situation with one another differently but before i could go much further, a quiet voice from the very back of the van said, "mommy?"

"yes, abby?" i said.

abby replied, "i'm sorry that i didn't act kindly.  and mommy?"

"what pumpkin?"

she meekly said, "i read your necklace.  you didn't really act the way it says."

i reached up to touch the necklace around my neck and realized what she was talking about.  last year when we were preparing financially to adopt our little guy, i did a fundraiser in which i sold custom-designed notecards with the words "faith, hope, love" on them.  so several months ago when josh and abby were out on a daddy-date at lifeway christian stores and they saw a necklace with the same phrase, they bought it for me to remind me that god is intimately involved in this process and that i would someday hold that precious child.

i don't think abigail has a full grasp of the depth of those words, but she knows this: they are good, they are of god, and they're not the ingredients of harsh impatience.

as i drove down highway 119, i managed to simultaneously pry the dagger from my heart, apologize, ask for their forgiveness, and pray.

our thursday didn't have such a great start but the painful exchanges of the morning led to repentance, reconciliation, and joy for the rest of the day.

but the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  galatians 5:22-23

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

what i've learned as i've been preparing for our home sale

1.  we have an amazingly caring and generous realtor.  we've known dawn kirkland (with real estate starz) for years now, and because of the blessings she's shown us over the past week, we're no longer trying to sell ourselves.

2.  people aren't always honest.  i have zero desire to throw anyone under the bus, so i'll give no details other than this:  what was supposed to be a minor couple-of-pieces-of-siding repair quickly turned into a chimney rebuild and a half-house repaint.  (**this wasn't related to our contractor...he was fantastic!**)

3.  contractors can't tell time.  poor guys -- i know of some great homeschool curriculum to help out with that.

4.  windex creates a magnetic force field between glass and sticky little fingers. 

5.  expecting a contract on the house the day after it was listed (with no sign even in the yard yet) might have been a tad unrealistic.

6.  vacuum lines in the carpet make me really happy.  like OCD happy.

7.  vacuum lines in the carpet only last 3.7 seconds when you have six little feet skipping through the room.  seriously -- i timed it.

8.  i really, really love our house (especially with all the cleaning and sprucing up we've done these last two weeks), but the lord has moved our lives in a new direction (to pearl ministries), and we have amazing peace over the decision to move homes along with with it.

speaking of that peace, this afternoon we were strolling with dawn through one of the two houses we've settled on, and we were talking about how the lord is working in each of our lives and how he continually shows himself faithful in all situations.  we shared with dawn, she shared with us.  josh was walking around in one of the bedrooms when suddenly he grabbed the kids and took off through the back door.  a minute later, the kids ran back into the house yelling about the big wainbow (in jackanese) that they saw outside. 

dawn and i just smiled at each other.  what greater encouragement could i ask for as we walk this sometimes uncertain path?!?  (if you look close, you can see that it's actually a double-rainbow)

let me go back to pearl ministries really quickly.  as you know, after much prayer and subsequent clear direction from the lord, josh went on staff with them in december.  pearl is a very small not-for-profit organization here that exists to empower and equip individuals and churches in uganda to care for their orphans and vulnerable children.  orphan ministry is very close to our hearts, but much more importantly, it's close to god's.  scripture says that he is the "father to the fatherless" (psalm 68:5) and that one outflow of "pure religion" is compassion and care of orphans (james 1:27).

with that in mind, i would love to give you the opportunity to join me on thursday, june 3 for a drop-in african jewelry party from 7-9pm.  the full-time gals at pearl are going to come to our house and set up a gorgeous smorgasbord of crafts and jewelry, all of which were made by hand by women in east africa.  pearl ministries' goal isn't to simply financially support its primary partner, ranch on jesus orphanage, but to focus on sustainable community development and growth throughout the area.  and one way they do this is by supporting the women whose exceptional, god-given talents help feed their families. 

and you can take part!!!  please pass this along to all of your friends and let's make this a huge night for pearl!  facebook it, tweet it, or email me for an evite that you can pass along to everyone you know.

if i've got your email address, you'll probably be getting the evite from me soon, but if you don't hear from me and would like to come, please comment on this post or send me an email to let me know you'll be here (  i can't wait to see you (or even meet some of you for the first time)!

one more shot before i go -- this was my view on the way back from the new house to the old house (aka sticky-windowville).

great is the lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.  psalm 145:3

Thursday, May 20, 2010

overheard at our house today...


i'm way behind on photography work, so josh let me sit down at the computer to get some editing done after dinner.  here's what i just heard:

josh (as he walks into the bathroom to help jack):  izzy, what are you doing in here?

izzy:  i helping jack.

josh:  what did you do?

izzy:  i wipe jack's bottom.

josh (under his breath):  oh wow. 
(to izzy):  what did you use?

izzy:  this!

josh:  your hand?!?

jack:  no, she used tolwet paper.

we're hoping jack's right but as i type, josh is administering a thorough disinfection protocol in the bathtub.  and he's wearing a hazmat suit.

(note to self:  #1 item of importance on tomorrow's to-do list?  teach jack to wipe his own hiney.)

UPDATE (this is what i can hear going on upstairs in the bathroom):
abby:  daddy, will you bury me when i die?

josh:  why are you asking that?

abby:  i'm just wondering.

josh:  well that makes me really sad.  but yes, if i'm still alive, i'll bury you. 

abby:  in the back where the chipmunks are?  (we've had a very busy cat)

josh:  no honey, i wouldn't bury you in the back yard.

abby:  oh.  (thinking, thinking...)  i would get to be in the front yard?!?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

wordless wednesday (drum set)

(in case you can't tell, he's watching himself drum away in the reflection of the window.  hysterical!)

Monday, May 17, 2010


when i sat down to write this post, i saw that it's been more than two weeks since i last visited the blog.  normally i would probably feel bad about that, but in this case, i think i've got a pretty good excuse.  josh and i have toyed with the idea of moving for a while now but the timing just hasn't seemed right.  but last week as we were on our way home from visiting with my family, we took a detour through the neighborhood we've had our eye on, and as we looked at a few houses, everything seemed to fall into place.  we found a house we love (actually we found a couple of them) at a price we adore and after talking with the builder's sales agent about interest rates and buying incentives they had going then, we decided to start praying earnestly about moving.  now.

(and no, this isn't a joke like the last time i announced that we were moving.)

door after door seems to be opening so we've continued the process of getting our house ready to show, all the while praying for god to direct us -- and close the doors before us if this isn't right for us now.  i won't go into all of the details surrounding this decision, but a pending adoption, a new job at a small non-profit ministry, and a general desire to cut the amount of money we have going toward us all factor into this decision.  the first two also drive our decision to try to sell our home ourselves.

which brings me to this post.

i'm all about the new digital age of communication, and we're hoping to put it to good use as we spread the word about our house.  if someone you know is house-hunting right now and you think they might be interested in seeing our house, please pass this info along.  here are some of the vital stats:

area of town:  oak mountain (off of highway 119)
schools:  oak mountain
home built in 1997
3/4 bedrooms - 2.5 baths

here...let me just walk you through the house via pictures.  come on in!

each room on the main level has 9' ceilings and hardwood floors (w/ the exception of the living room).

in addition to the formal dining room, there's a breakfast area in the kitchen.

the living room has an arched entrance and wooden shutters on each of the four large windows.

upstairs are the bedrooms and bathrooms (there's a powder room on the main level but i forgot to take a photo of it).  the master has a large walk-in closet and its bathroom has a vanity area with double sinks, a linen closet, and a separate room with a shower and jetted tub.

the big kids' room is huge, and it also has a walk-in closet.

the nursery that overlooks the big backyard:

the kids' bathroom:

we recently finished the basement and made it into a playroom/guest room with smooth ceilings and recessed lighting.  it has a good-sized closet and could also be used as a 4th bedroom.

we're really going to miss that and this:

the backyard is really large, flat, and fenced.  the kids spend so much of their time out there!

i've also got a few photos posted on facebook so feel free to send your friends there if they're interested (  we're hoping to move soon so we can be settled before our baby comes please help us talk it up!!!  send questions to me at 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

pinktails (as izzy would say)

cute, huh?  not nearly as precious as these