Giving Thanks (inspired by)

Thanks be to God, Father, Son and Spirit, for the abundance of good things he pours on His children.
We are but few, but His blessings are many.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Up North Highlights

We have just returned from a great week at my parent's cabin. Here are some highlights (the video is about two and a half minutes long)

In family news: The VW was totaled, but Josh is buying it back from the insurance company to fix it up again (for the sake of the children, of course.) Seth has dubbed himself "Big Hair." ("Daddy no big hair, Marcus no big hair, Seth BIG hair.) Soon it turned into "Little Big Hair" and Bump became "Big Big Hair." His big hair was filthy along with the rest of him the entire week. It amazes me that he always has a ring of dirt around his mouth but i never actually see him eating dirt! How does that happen? I suppose his extra sticky face from all the popcicles combined with the dusty road.... Anyway, I decided to give up on keeping him clean during the day, so that explains the pictures. Agnes and Lorraine smushed caterpillars, played with a toad, planted flowers and painted rocks Marcus had roseola while we were at the cabin, resulting in one of my hardest nights EVER with a baby. He absolutely would not stay asleep when he fell asleep. I think I nursed him 30 times (I probably lost five pounds!) Yes, he was quite fussy, but it also made me realize I have been VERY spoiled when it comes to babies. The toddlers also enjoyed a visit from the "Memorial Day Munchkin," a giggling little man who runs around the woods leaving eggs filled with candy for kids to find. Never heard of him? Neither had we, but it sure was a fun surprise!

The week had an undercurrent of sadness as we remember that trips like this will be less frequent when we move. But as I think over the week, my heart is full to bursting with the love of family. This family is so blessed by my mother and father. We thank God for them both: for their fun, rock-painting, flower-planting, frog catching Nana, and a golf-cart riding, guitar playing, egg hiding Bump!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Vacation starts with a bang!

Our vacation week started off a little rough: last sunday Lorraine got the stomach flu so the kids and I had to miss St. Paul's tenth anniversary celebration. She rebounded quickly however, so we hit the road for Indiana bright and early monday morning. Josh drove the VW down to save us a trip when we move, and I drove the SUV with a trailer behind it. The kids took turns riding with daddy in the VW. It almost made it to our new home....

Just north of Indianapolis, Josh and Aggie pulled off the expressway. Car problems, I thought, not a huge surprise with a car made in 1960. Then I saw Josh RUN out of the VW, grab Aggie and throw her in the grass on the side of the expressway, and run back to the VW. "Call 911 the car's on fire!" We called 911 and got the other kids out of the SUV so we could be away from traffic. Josh scrambled to get everything out of the car while I snuggled the kids and watched it burn. "My princesses!" bawled Aggie- she left snow white and sleeping beauty on the front seat- they melted away. Lorraine cried and cried "Is clickety-clack-boom dead?" (that's the kids name for the VW) As the car burned, Lorraine cried, Aggie and Seth played in the grass, and Marcus was just happy to be out of his car seat. Here are a few pictures of the adventure:

Josh comforts Lorraine.
We are so grateful that the princesses were the only casualities.

Bye bye clickety clack boom!

We arrived in Columbus a little later than planned. The rest of our vacation went smoothly! We stayed in the "lake house" and even found time to relax. We spent two wonderful nights getting to know some of the church people from St. John's. We got to see our house and begin planning the move. Everything we learn about this church makes us more and more excited to go!

Josh reads to the kids as we wait for guests to arrive.

It was a little cold for swimming, but after Seth fell off the dock I decided to give up- 65 is not too cold for toddlers! Here they are having lunch on the deck after a refreshing swim.

All in all our vacation to Indiana terrific. We are now back in Michigan spending time with the family before the big move on June 16. I will post more pictures as time allows!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The wandering begins

It's been a busy week of packing and goodbye-saying. It was so nice to be able to spend some quality time with Gretchen, Linda, Marlene, and Amy this week. Their friendships are one of the biggest reasons Hillsdale feels like "home" to me.

(A special thanks to my brave mom who had the kids for several days. They returned to a home full of boxes and are a little unsettled, but they are used to a measure of chaos.)

Monday morning bright and early we leave for our vacation to Indiana! We cannot wait to get a better picture of our new home! The people of the church are pouring themselves into the parsonage to get it ready for us. They are definitely going above and beyond to make us feel welcome! We plan to spend the week getting to know the area and the people, visiting kindergarden (sniff sniff!), and enjoying the beautiful "lake house" owned by a generous church member (see below).

This vacation marks the beginning of our wanderings- We will be bouncing from vacation to vacation with only brief stopovers at home for the next month. I expect only very sporadic email access, so do not be surprised if you don't hear from me! I will post pictures and news as I am able. Please pray for our safety and good health!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

So what do you do all day long?

Every year or so I do a "day in the life" of the family. I take pictures of all the little things we do all day and then write a little recap for the file. It is so fun to look back at the old ones and remember all those little things I would have completely forgotten. If you have kiddos at home I encourage you to make this memory for yourself and for them! Don't wait for a "typical" day, just leave the camera out and do it tomorrow!

Here are some of the highlights. (A little excessive, I know, but realize that the picture file actually has 96 photos in it!)

Morning snuggles!

Let's all do our teeth and hair, do da, do da

My laundry buddies

Making our list!

Mommy can we pleeeeease do the job jar? (If you can't read it- they picked wash windows and take out the trash!) Somehow the excitement of picking a chore out of a jar makes housework FUN!

Hard at work!

Having too much fun gets you sent to the corner!

Painting beautiful pictures!

Painting doesn't keep Seth's attention for long so we're on to puzzles!
More time out- this is the "naughty chair."
So many helping hands! Lucky Marcus!
Who wants to smell a stinky diaper? (Who says moms need to grow up!?)
Come Lord Jesus be our guest and let these gifts to us be blessed.
Time for Seth's nap! This gives mom and the girls a more peaceful craft time! Sock puppets!

Lorraine helps mommy bring Marcus to the doctor.
He's getting big! 16lb 4oz and counting!
My dear sister comes for a visit and some cookies.
Aggie is bored so she dresses up in Seth's clothes.
Marcus is calm and snuggly for the first time in weeks!

Goodnight kiddes for daddy!
For everyone!
Goodnight dear children!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Dear Mom- Your steadfast love has always been a source of strength for me.

I love you and thank God for you! Happy mother's day!

Friday, May 9, 2008


This is a time of emptying for me. There are so many people to say goodbye to, so many things that I will miss. While I know that our family is going exactly where God wants us to go, and I trust His plans for our future, that doesn't make goodbyes any easier. It seems the closer the friend or family member, the harder it is to trust God to fill up what is lacking when we leave. Sadness and grief are undercurrents of everything right now.

Dear Lord,
Be my strength during this time of grief and change. There are those here that I love that have needs I will not be able to meet when I am away- instead of trusting you to make up the difference I struggle to hold on to them, or I pretend nothing is changing. Lord, your grace is my hope for myself; help me to remember it is also my hope for those I love. Amen

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Why "Queen Mommie?"

I have always been a tree-climbing worm-catching kind of girl. Being dirty and disheveled is actually a virtue in my opinion- proof that one has had a good, productive day. When I was young, I much preferred riding bikes and playing soccer with the boys over Barbies and makeup.

So wouldn't you know it, my firstborn happened to be a girly girl. She doesn't just really really really like the color pink... as if that wouldn't be bad enough. She likes (loves loves loves!) any and everything flowery, lacy, pretty, clean, and feminine.

Honestly I never really thought it was anything special to be a girl. It was something I accepted, put up with, but never saw any reason to celebrate. In fact, things too girly have always been the objects of hearty, snorty laughter on my part.

Then I had a baby. The lightbulb started going on even before I knew she was a girly girl. I remember being pregnant and looking at maternity clothes, and I said out loud "Oh, this is nice and feminine!" (My old self said WHAT did you just say?) As my belly grew I was absolutely amazed at the wonder of it all. I even began wearing mascara, EVERY DAY, and enjoying it!
What has happened to me? Now my little Lorraine is eight years old, and she and her siblings have opened my eyes to the joys of being a woman. It is not just having babies, it is nurturing, mothering, making the world around you welcoming and yes, even beautiful. I am only beginning to learn about these things, but every now and then I give in to my princesses, and play along with them as their Queen Mommie.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

stay-at-home mom musings

Interesting morning musings for this newly stay-at-home mom. (Look for What's in a Name?)

I am already savoring these days of being a a home-maker, child nurturer, wife and help-mate, and, of course, queen mommie. Though, after reading this post, I am wondering if it should be Queen Mother to YOU!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday's Open House

"If you clean it, they will come."

So whispered the trees in our yard, so said my heart as I worked on the house this weekend. Hours of cleaning and organizing, frustrations with toddlers (sorry kiddos!), finally an immaculate house to show for the open house today. We left, taking even the pets with us, resolved even to let the kids skip their naps for the sake of this open house.

"If you clean it, they will come."

As I scrubbed the dried play-dough out of the carpet, and as I picked up Seth's cars for the millionth time, I clung to this hope. As I wiped fingerprints off the walls, and chased the cat around the house to put her in her cage, I clung to this hope. As I cleaned the windows (something I planned to do only once the kids were grown) I clung to this hope.

"And hope does not disappoint...."

Well, sometimes it does. When we returned, the plate of brownies had only a couple missing.... and those were eaten by the realtor. Not a single person showed. That's right, not one.

Therefore I declare today a HOLY DAY OF ABSTINENCE from HOUSEWORK. Won't you join me?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Belly laughs

Need a laugh? These laughs are contagious!

Check out these two bonding last week. They are definitely two of a kind!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Introducing Queen Mommie

In the interest of keeping in touch with my dear friends and family, sharing the joys and insanity of our family life and our new adventures, Queen Mommie is making her debut.