Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 13, 2013

Sometimes after long days filled with mom-type duties, I can begin to struggle with feeling a little under appreciated. It’s not attractive. It’s bad, it’s ugly… well, its real ugly. And today was just one of those go ahead and feel bad for me, kind of rainy days. So, this morning as I was praying my way through this struggle, yet again, I came across Luke 17:7-10. This scripture follows the passage where Jesus warns against leading the little ones astray.  The disciples are then asking how to increase their faith and Jesus assures them that with faith the size of a mustard seed, a mulberry tree could be uprooted and planted in the sea.

And then Jesus says this to his disciples,

7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

The blessing of teaching, protecting, caring for and loving our children is certainly my greatest joy… usually. But on this day when selfishness had taken its ugly root in my heart, I was beginning to feel entitled to a little more praise and appreciation than little people in our home were offering. I am so thankful that God used this passage to work in my heart and remind me of who I serve and why. As I serve my family, I am first and foremost serving my King. Even though our children may never be impressed by the amount of loads of laundry I have done in one day, it is still my gift, my joy, my privilege, as His unworthy servant, to serve Him in my home. In light of all He has done for me, I have only done my duty by doing so.

Praising Him once again today, for His holy word and the way in which it molds my heart and my motivations.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Monday, February 20, 2012

What they are up to…

JD2 is our little Super-Cowboy, as he likes to call himself and has been trotting all over the house saving everyone from danger with his trusty horse, foam sword, and daddy’s screwdriver!  He's our little hero!
AN5 continues to LOVE basketball and is doing very well.  She also thinks that gymnastics would be fun but when given the choice between the two, she chose basketball for now. As usual, AN5 is perceived to be older than she is but she is quite happy playing with the other 5 year olds!
JB7 had her second Gymnastics meet yesterday.  At her first meet, she came in 3rd overall and yesterday she came in 2nd overall in her level.  She is having a great time with this sport!  Its an encouraging atmosphere and all participants go home with ribbons for each event, so its great fun for all!  JB7 is in Level 1, where they are mostly learning body control, balance, and basic moves for future levels. 

And Baby #4 is about 3 months along.  AN5 thinks we should call the baby “Uncle Bill Boy” until he/she arrives.  That just makes me smile.  What blessings our children are!

my beautiful blessings

Sunday, December 4, 2011

5K Pumpkin Run

There is no doubt that being the best wife and mother that I can be, is by far my greatest ambition.  But sometimes between the dishes and the homeschool plans, I often dream about having a goal that doesn’t revolve around the amount of chores or lesson plans we can get done in a day.  So this summer, my dear friend Jenny and I decided that we would set a new, personal goal.  We decided to start running.  For increased motivation, we decided to train specifically for a 5K.  I definitely had my doubts about this,  I haven’t run since before my first pregnancy 8 years ago.  But we tackled it one step at a time, using the “Run for God’ study I mentioned in an earlier post.  And to my pleasant surprise, it was effective! 

October 29th was the big day and it took a lot of planning to make it happen! It was the first day of hunting season for my husband, the girls had a big birthday party to attend, we had a Third Day Concert to go to that night and I had to plan all of the babysitting-transportation to make it all happen… crazy!  So thankful for Lynn who watched my girls at 5am so that we could get the day started!  Oh, did I mention that it snowed that night too? 

October 29th, 2011 we ran in our very first 5K!  It was so cold that day, it was in the 30’s!  We went into the race with three goals.  1. Run the whole thing without walking 2. Run the 3.1 miles in less than 35 minutes 3. Don’t come in last!

I am so excited to say that we met all three goals!  My finishing time was 32:57, which is a pace of 10:37.  I came in 26th out of 39 in our age group and 111th out of 165 overall.  Jenny did smashingly well also!  Training and running with a good friend, was my favorite part of the whole experience by far.

It felt so good to set a challenge for ourselves and to then follow through and finish well.  I am not sure what the future will hold in terms of running for either one of us.  I definitely do not see myself as a competitive runner, but there is something very motivational about setting personal goals and having something to be working towards.  So who knows, maybe there will be more 5K’s in my future!  Either way, I am so glad we did it!

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  -Hebrews 12:1

Sunday, October 2, 2011

FAAN Walk 2011

We were overwhelmed by the generous support of our friends and family, as we walked for FAAN on Saturday. 

Thank you to everyone who supported our team,
"James and His Anti-Nuts"

as we walked in the rain to support the
Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, 

working to keep children with food allergies a little safer!

Rain and all, the events went on... live bands, face painting, bouncy house and more!

We are looking forward to FAAN Walk 2012!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How many foods in your pantry are contaminated with NUTS? Helping Kids with Food Allergies

Our Family will be walking in the annual FAAN (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network) Walk, to help raise funds as FAAN works to increase safety for people with food allergies. Our youngest child has food allergies to both eggs and peanuts. It has completely changed the way that we shop for and prepare the food in our home. It is our hope that through diligent research, advocacy, and education, FAAN will help create a safer environment for the 12 million Americans, including 3 million children, who currently live with life threatening food allergies.

Our Family Story:

Throughout our marriage, my husband and I have always had to consider food allergies when choosing groceries and restaurants due to his seafood allergy. And now with our son, we must also consider peanuts and eggs when choosing our foods as well. If you have ever read the labels to the food in your pantry and fridge, you know how many foods are contaminated with eggs and nuts! Anaphylactic reactions are no small thing and we live in a great big world of potentially contaminated foods! As labels become more accurate, as restaurants become more informed and more cautious, and as factories become more diligent in preparing our foods ... the more people with food allergies (and their parents!) can relax and safely enjoy food! Awareness truly makes all the difference!

Thank you for wanting to help.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The puppies have come and gone, Summer Reflections

Our sweet Chocolate Lab, Kinsey Montana, had her puppies on June 12th this summer.  The litter looked like a soft-serve twist, with black and yellow labs snuggled all together.  Whelping puppies, raising them for 8 weeks and then watching them go home to their families is just one of the coolest things. The children were able to watch the puppies being born and then loved on them every day until they went home!  What a blessing…
Added Bonus: We kept one. 
Our new little love is known officially by the AKC as “Kinsey’s Lady Lakeside East Pond Pria,” but is less formally known in our home as “Miss Pria.”
“Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot about puppies.” –Author Unknown

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Special Day, Summer Reflections

What a FANTASTIC Summer it was!  We made a very intentional effort to prioritize family time in every day and way possible.  What a joy it is to just be together!

One Special Day was when one of our daughters turned 5!  It was a big day!  AN5, who has an artistic flare, used her markers and paper to design exactly what she wanted her birthday cake to look like.  We then went shopping together to get the supplies necessary to make her dream cake.  When we came home, we made the cake together, just the two of us. It was such a joy to see her excitement!

Homeschool Prayers Straight from the Scripture

Saw this list of scriptural prayers over at Mama Hall and loved it, thanks for the encouragement Mama Hall!

10 scriptures to pray specifically for your
homeschool days, lesson plans, and children:

1. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

2. Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

3. 2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

4. Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

5. James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
 6. Isaiah 41:10 do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

7. Psalm 23:4 I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

8. Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
 9. Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

10. 2 Timothy 2:16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.

And our personal favorite verse at the Family Forest Academy:
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord..." Colossians 3:23

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Princess Tea Party

Our eldest just turned 7! 
She had a fantastic Princess Tea Party hosted by her Meme.
All the girls who attended, were given true princess names. 
Our girls were Princess Elizabeth and Princess Charolette.

The sweetest bunch of birthday princesses!

My little girls.

 Each princess got a chance to serve the "tea."

It was a very big deal to be welcomed at her big sister's party!

Tea Cup Races

The birthday girl

The End of the Day Crash.

Thanking God again today for the blessing of each of our children. 

Ni Hao Yall

Monday, June 20, 2011

Preparing for the Mops 2011-2012 Year with a New Theme

The MOPS International’s 2011-12 Theme is MomSense: Bold • Loving • Sensible 
Equips moms to embrace their mothering instincts and develop their own parenting style while navigating through the myriad of daily mom decisions.
Most women wonder:

*How do I decide what to do when I really don’t know what to do?

*Should I trust my intuition?

*With so much available information, how do I discern what’s best?

*What are the most important family values?

Developing a mothering strategy is somewhat like playing a game — and this year’s theme is appropriately game related. Have fun being a mom! Playing games involves being bold and taking risks, loving those in the game with us and being sensible while figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

Just as in real-life, sometimes in games, unexpected, “chance” events occur, abruptly changing our paths. We must regroup and determine our next steps. Sometimes we follow the instructions of “experts.” Sometimes we follow the advice of trusted friends. Sometimes we decide our “house rules” work best for our family. Teaming together with other moms is a great strategy. Relying on a spouse or mentor can help us play more effectively. And, most of all, developing a strong God-Sense is essential for mothering. Growing as a mom through the analogy of game playing assures every mom gains confidence in her abilities as a mom.

Combining her mom intuition and her common sense helps a woman discover her own unique MomSense. 
(Mom Intuition + Common Sense = MomSense)

Our New Book for the 2011-2012 Year of MOPS! 
This year’s theme book, MomSense: A Common Sense Guide to Confident Mothering, delves further into the topic of finesse, one of the elements introduced in last year’s theme book. Finesse involves being the mom God intended you to be while intentionally loving your children and nurturing their growth. Topics addressed in the book include decision making, mom’s intuition and working through specific parenting dilemmas (“Mama Dramas”). MomSense reminds moms that they are the best mom for their kids and that they can develop contentment and confidence in their roles.
MomSense, Jean Blackmer, 978-0-8007-2022-3
"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power,
love and self-discipline." -II Timothy 1:7

If you have a child under the age of 6 (this includes babies!) and you could use a little extra support from other moms, look for a MOPS group near you. 
Check it out at

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

TTLL: Summer Plans

Is there anything greater than time with family?

This summer we plan to slow down on the outside activities and just "be" together more.  Thats our plan.  In fact, we've already made good use of our pool and plan to have many days full of wrinkled fingers and toes! 

The children just love when daddy plays along too! 

As we dive into summer, what is one thing you hope to do with your family this summer season?  Any fun plans that you are looking forward to?

To share the link to your TTLL blog post, please leave your link in the comments below!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

AKC Labs on the way!

This is Kinsey, our first baby and
she is currently very, very pregnant! 

Kinsey was born in June of 2003, before we had any "real" children, she was the first addition in our family.  My husband took her to work with him, I let her sleep in my lap... oh yah, she had it good.  Now, she just gets a new kind of love from three small children who think Kinsey is the greatest thing God ever created!   

Kinsey is due to have her second litter of puppies next week!  We are so excited!  We breed her because she has been an amazing dog for us: gentle, protective, quickly obedient, and sweet as all can be.  Because she is now 8 years old and this is her last litter our family will be keeping one of the puppies as well!  We are all very excited for their arrival! But at this point, I think Kinsey is the MOST anxious for the puppies to arrive.  Poor-uncomfortable girl...

Can't wait to share puppy stories and pictures! 

Preparing Our Children for Puppy Birth!
We let our children watch this video in preparing them for what they might see as our dog goes into labor and the puppies are being born.  We didn't want them terrified in the middle of it all! Needles to say, we had lots of education conversation over this video!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Running for God

Just came across this study online.  What an awesome concept!  And fun idea for the summer! 

Run for God
 Run for God The 5K Challenge Student Book

This study can also be used in large groups, the whole kit can be ordered HERE

Run for God The 5K Challenge Instructor Kit