recipes. whatever is true. adoption. whatever is just. redemption. whatever is honorable. modesty. whatever is pure. motherhood. whatever is lovely. think about it.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Rehearsal

"This is the day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice in it!"

My oldest son is a ring bearer in a friend's wedding today! Here is a shot of him and his cousin (flower girl) as well as little brother and another flower girl. It's going to be a wild day!

Just as they were about to go down the aisle, his cousin whispered to him and said, "I'm a little nervous, okay?". He took her by the arm to comfort her and lead her down the aisle! So cute!

Traffic jam. Halfway down the aisle. 10 minutes later we got going again! :)

A concerned flower girl stops to 're-load' her basket of flowers. Others stop to help as well.

Bride and groom on their way down after being pronounced!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Of Bubby's, Bubbles, and Backyard Camp-outs

"Behold, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

Psalm 127:3

It's 4pm on a warm spring afternoon. Do you know where your children are? Of course! Camping out in the back yard with my couch pillows!

Taking a "smile" (as youngest calls it) ob my two favorite 'bubby's' from the back porch steps.

Little one chasing after bubbles in the backyard.

Little one still chasing bubbles in the backyard. I never want these times to end...

TRI Update

My triathlon is exactly one month from today! I have not been training as much as I should have at all. I've chalked it up to a complete and absolute lack of personal discipline. I encouraged a friend to do this along with me (from my running club) and she's been super busy and unable to train with me on our 'assigned' days. So, instead of just going on my own (like I have for other races in the past), I've opted to stay home or do something else. Bad Angelena!

Last night I went to our local gym for about three hours and busted it out! I jumped on the stationary bike for 5 miles of 100+ RPM; ran to the locker room and changed into my running shorts and ran laps on the indoor track (approx 2.5 miles) and then ran back to the locker room (it's all about quick transitions, you understand) to throw on my suit and do laps. I must have looked absolutely ridiculous (and apparently on the edge of drowning) because the lifeguard kept leaning forward as if he was getting ready for a rescue. All in all it was a good night.

I have to admit that I feel very prepared for the run (only 2 miles) , somewhat prepared for the biking portion (only 12 miles) , and absolutely scared out of my whits about the swim. I think I can make the 1/4 mile without too many problems (I hope!), but the 'open water' issue has me cringing!

When we have vacationed to the ocean- I DON'T go into the water. Never past my ankles and even that is pushing my boundaries. I like to SEE where I am going. I like to know that large fish (aka: sharks) aren't going to feast on my flesh. You understand, right? The picture above is likened to the water I'll be swimming in. Eechk! What if it's freezing cold? What if I get confused and swim the wrong way? What if a giant duck attacks me!?

Truly, I'm looking forward to the race. It'll be good to tackle my fears and push my limits. I think that the reason I've done a lot of these races is because of the mental boundaries that can be crossed. In the past, I've been a person that opts out of doing things or going places because of that 'fear of the unknown'. I'm constantly reminded that 'God has not given me a spirit of fear, but rather power, love and a sound mind' to deal with any circumstance that comes my way.

So, you big algae infested lake-just watch out! Here I come! :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thank You

The One That Got Away

This past weekend our family went fishing off a lake about 45 minutes from our house. We have some dear friends who live off the lake and spent our time on their dock. My husband loves to fish (as do I), but rarely finds the time to do so. It was such a relaxing weekend with the boys!

I have to brag about the 'one that got away'. I caught a really BIG bass (biggest one of my life so far), but didn't get a picture. Granted, it wasn't big enough to swallow Jonah, but I was proud of it! So, I'll just have to describe it for you... approx 18 inches long and a good 7+ pounds. Unfortunately, he got away before we could get the picture! All told, I think we brought in about 20 fish between was a slow night, but we had a great time!

I had to pose with something! This is a little catfish I caught around 11pm that night.

Oldest and his catch! He was a little trooper!

Waiting patiently on the dock...

My parents came out and surprised us our second day out and stayed into the night. It was nice to have them there!

Daddy and the boys early afternoon getting all the hooks baited.

Little one waiting for his "big catch"!

We had such great weather this weekend! Daddy helps oldest with some pointers...

Daddy and his catfish. We sure had quite a time getting the hooks out of 'em! Mean little fish!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Chat

My neighbor pulled me aside yesterday to inform me of a conversation that she and my oldest son had a few days ago.

Our Awana program at our church ended for the summer about two weeks ago. My son has been really missing his friends and teachers...

He told Miss B. (our neighbor) in a very matter-of-fact way, "Yep, they had to just shut Awana down; I guess everybody got tired of praising the Lord. "

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Birthday Party

A little brotherly help with gift opening.

Some great friends sport the party hats for a quick kodak moment. Well, they were great friends...not so sure since I posted the pic. :)

My sister-in-law and and neice; go girl- it's outta there!

Enjoying Lego's on the back patio after the party.

E. & M. posing for my camera! We had so many cuties at the party!

Grandpa W. and the kiddos out in the overflow party area; aka: the garage.

My oldest and his cake; carrot cake that was fabulous!

Opening one of the gifts- a baseball bat...How did they know?!

This is my adorable neice, M. Isn't she precious? And- she gives just about the best hugs you can find on this side of the Mississippi. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Strong Willed Son

My youngest son and I just spent well over 35 minutes in "negotiations" over one blue pillow and one twin sized down comforter-aka: the blanky. Allow me to set the scene for you...

In the left corner weighing 27 pounds, the strong-willed, blonde-headed 2 year old.

And in the other corner weighing...ummm-none of your business..., the also strong willed, also blonde-headed...Mom.

The most dreaded...the most feared time of all...Naptime.

Little one was asked to get into his bed. To lay his head on his pillow. To pull his all-time favorite twin-sized down comforter up around his little sweet warm belly.

Little one would have nothing to do with obedience. Nothing.


35 mintues later- Little one has acquiesced to mom's authority, but his heart is not happy.

Mom has to leave the room for a moment to deal with older brother, but desires to return quickly to assure that there is a happy-hearted obedient son ready to sail into nappy time.

Mom returns to the bedroom to find little one asleep. With his head on the pillow. And his blanky pulled up around him...

On the FLOOR.

My little Legalist.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Godly Heritage

I was thinking today about how my boys are truly blessed. The Lord has put three wonderful men in their lives (among many others) that have passed on to them a love for others and the desire to know Christ.

PaPa D. went to be with the Lord two years ago at the young age of 61. My boys may have not known him well at their tender young ages, but he will never be forgotten. His love, humor and passion for Christ will live on. He will forever be with our Lord and we are so excited to be with him one day!

Daddy taking time with the boys to explore the maps of the Holy Land after a time of study.

Grandpa W. loves his boys! We are so blessed that he has the ability to spend time with them and share in their lives on a daily basis.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

1000 Miles; 4 Days; 23 Hours; Road Trip

Hello bloggy friends! This weekend our family (including my parents) went on a road trip to visit my mom's family in Illinois! We started out on Friday morning and returned on Monday morning! We drove over 1000 miles and spent well over 23 hours in our van together! My parents drove their van and we did a nice little caravan. One might ask how 1000 miles turned into 23 hours of driving?! Oh, the joy of potty excursions and pizza hunting! Enjoy our weekend in pictures...

We stayed in my aunt's ranch out in the country on 40 acres. The boys had a wonderful time enjoying the weather (when it wasn't raining) and the rolling hills!

Road trip! Hold up those granola bars, boys!

Isn't he precious? Little one FINALLY fell asleep after a serious case of the traveled-out grumpies!

Kisses from my grandma! Isn't she cute? She is a few years from 90 and still going strong! She is my only grammy and is well loved!

Oldest plays a game of checkers with my cousin T. and her fiance.

Cousins! My poor T; She was stranded in Pennsylvania after a week long hospital ordeal with nobody around, so as soon as I arrived I booked her a flight home and she was able to spend some time with us. We were so glad to have there there to recoup!

Oldest and my Uncle R playing a game of "cards".

The birthday boys and girls celebrate together for the month of May! Oldest will be five this week! (There's that cute granny again as well as my aunt, mom, and son)

Some of the grandkids get together for a kodak moment with Grams. We were missing more than half of the cousins. There is a big handful of us! (My youngest was apparently very tired of pictures at this point)

Uncle B., Grandpa W. and little one get ready to ride the four wheeler around the property! Mommy was prepared with the helmet.

Is this not hysterical?! It was really really chilly one of the evenings and I hadn't brought any coats! My cousins' daughter lent oldest her coat (complete with pink fur trim) and her Barbie bike! He is totally posing for the picture! Do you love the hat or what- it really completes the outfit. Ha! :)

Wanted to throw this one in... We visited the Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal, Mo. Something I will probably never do again. I do not consider myself a claustrophobic person- but the thought of being totally underground in basic darkness had me completely on edge the entire 60 minutes of the tour. (Hubby walking ahead of me...)

Grandma & Grandpa W., Grams, and our family after our family reunion dinner.

Oldest and Grandpa take a ride on the four wheeler! Super cute and still loving that jacket! Hubby and I took our turn on the 4W and I just kept screaming like a banchee the entire time. Too bad we didn't have video of that- would have made for a very interesting blog posting!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cauliflower, Cycling, and Corelle

Don't you just love that completely random title? Instead of bunches of separate posts, I'll give you the highlights of the week thus far.

1. Decided to make a variation of mashed potatoes that turned about fabulous! Mashed cauliflower! First, you boil the cauli's until they are falling to pieces; then add a small amount of butter and milk, sea salt and blend with hand mixer until they look like mashed tater's! I added one large potato to mine to give it a similar flavor since I was serving it to the boys- but next time would probably just go it alone!

2. I did my first real outdoor bike ride with a real helmet and a real riding jersey on Sunday afternoon. I did six miles and it went rather well. I remembered all the terms that I'm supposed to shout out as I pass innocent bystanders. Didn't run over a single one of them. I count this as a big bonus. AND I stayed on the bike. AND I didn't slip the chain. AND I bought a gel pad for the seat that barely helped. It has been YEARS since I have ridden a bike, but it's like they say, "It's like riding a bike". Yep, that's what they say. :)

3. Well, I think the Corelle lasted an entire week. I am down to three plates. Not good. Hoping that 3 year warranty in the box will still be worth something. Perhaps I should just give in another week and wait for the rest of the plates to fall to pieces, then do the entire rebate at one time. Aargh.

4. The boys and I have been studying the book of 1st Samuel over the past two weeks. I am finding our scheduled passages very appropriate in a very conspicuous way...

Last Friday my youngest decided to pull a "parent trap" on me. (if you have seen the old movie- this will make sense) He climbed up and brought down my five pound jar of honey while I was out of the room. In a New York minute, he had 'decorated' all the hardwood floors in the kitchen, the newly upholstered kitchen chairs and our newish living room carpet. Yeah- nice. Double Aargh. Well, during our Bible time later that morning we read about Jonathon eating the honey in the woods and how God did not honor his attitude in response to his father's command. It prompted a very good discussion.

Then, yesterday we were discussing how 'obedience is better than sacrifice'; basically I desire obedience from the boys more than their help to do something that ultimately is defiant to the action of which I first required- whether it be "good" or not. Then, this morning we ended up reading that portion of the passage where Samuel comes to Saul (after he disobeyed the Lord's command to destroy EVERYTHING that belonged to the Amelikites) and reminded him that even though he was going to sacrifice the animals to the Lord; what God requires is absolute obedience- no matter how great or worthy your action might seem to be.

I think this concept is sticking with the boys...mostly. My youngest was doing something opposite of what I had asked and my oldest says to him, "Little Bub, remember- Obedience is better than being annoying." Close, honey...very close. (Although- you can't disagree with the kid, right?!)

Have a great week, friends!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Family Integration

If you know me well, you will not be surprised to hear that my heart and that of my husband's, is wrapped around the idea of family integrated worship (FIW). I am currently reading the above book and enjoying the pastor's humor as well as his message about families.

Our desire is that our boys would be with us during the entire church service, small group fellowships and other times of corporate worship (as opposed to a nursery, classroom, sunday school, etc.). Although there is nothing inherently wrong with these classes (my father has been a children's pastor for many years; my husband and I were youth leaders when we were first married), our main concern is that we have come to church to worship and the modern church culture tells us that we must separate at the door.

We are excited to have them with us during the music, prayer, communion, baptisms, and preaching because we see it is as not only great teaching moments, but also a lesson in discipline, respect, submission and responsibility. Will my two year old pick up on every part of the service? Not yet, but we are training through our inclusion that we want him to participate- and one day, as he matures, he will understand. We have had wonderful times to communion and fellowship together and it has sparked many conversations in our home.

Our children are social and love the friendships of children from our home group. I am not concerned that they are missing out on any Biblical truths or socialization because we have kept them out of the classrooms. We study the Word daily with them at home (as I know many do who have their children in church classes).

I have two VERY energetic little boys. It is not in their nature to sit still and be content to read quietly. When we first visited a FIW church about one year ago, I went away feeling quite discouraged. My oldest, then three years old, had rolled under the pews, did somersaults on the pews, and tried to write with crayon in every hymnal he could get his hands on. I was mortified, to say the least.

In the past year it has become very clear to me that I was expecting too much of them at that time. Not because of their ages, but because of their training. They were used to the toy filled nursery with sound proof walls; the gymnasium filled with games and loud play. They had never been required (by us) to sit still during a worship service; to learn to whisper instead of shout; to submit to their parental authority in the midst of other adults and children. Now, granted, we're not pushovers, but they were only 1 and 3, right? Could this truly be asked of obey and respect our authority? (I am not being sarcastic in this statement, but this was truly the cry of my reach what seemed impossible)

I found out that it is possible. Honestly, 100% possible. My boys are now 2 and almost 5 years of age; still very WILD and all boy! Do they always listen? Absolutely not. That is why, however, God has given us the blessing of discipline. Can I tell you the joy that is felt by both parent and child when there has been restoration after the sin?! A sunday school teacher does not have the authority or the time to discipline each child, obtain repentance and restore that child to a right spirit.

As I mentioned before, we do not attend a FIW church. We have been going there for approximately 7 months and we have many wonderful friends in our small group that have welcomed not only us, but our children to sit alongside them during our group discussions and Bible study. This is so encouraging and had made us feel so comfortable! (thank you!)

Many Christian families are going to choose to do many different things within their lives as the Lord directs and leads through wisdom and maturity. My desire is not to judge the motives of a fellow brother or sister in Christ as they do what they have prayerfully considered for their family, but rather to share our family's vision.

Have a wonderful week, friends!