Monday, April 20, 2009


I'm so excited that a friend showed me how to add music to my blog!  I don't listen to music as much as I'd like only because I don't have time to really enjoy it with 5 children in the house.  Sometimes it just adds to the chaos that I'm trying to manage!  But then there are other times when music makes all the difference.  I have a friend whose blog I visit almost daily and she has some really good Christian music on her playlist that really blesses me and helps me to understand what she is experiencing.  Sometimes I just pull up her blog and let the music run.

You can view my playlist in the sidebar and click on any of the songs to change what you are listening to.  Can you tell that my Christian music education is very limited and so far I've only featured two artists?  I'll print the words below to "First Song That I Sing" by Sara Groves because I think they are worth commenting on.

In the morning when I rise
Help me to prioritize
All the thoughts that fill my day
Before my schedule 
Tells me that my day is full
Before I'm off and on my way

I want to praise you
I NEED to praise you
Let the first song that I sing
Be praises to my God and King!

Before my curtains part
Before my day is starting
Before I make up the bed
Before the snooze alarm
Reminds me that it's morning
Before the dreams have left my head

I want to praise You
I need to praise You
Let the first song that I sing
Be praises to my God and King

Before my feet hit the floor, I'll praise you Lord, I'll praise you Lord
Before I fill my cup, I'll lift you up, I'll lift you up
Before I start my day, I'll sing Your praise, I'll sing Your praise Before I start my car, before I get too far . . . 

This is one way to renew your mind. Start the day with praise! May God transform me on the inside for it is only when this happens that I will be able to minister to others. In the presence of God is where we find fullness of joy.  I need that joy.  I want His joy. Sometimes God seems to be just waiting for me to take that initial step, to take action, to show my desire to bask in His presence. 

It's too easy to get too busy to even think about our Savior.  So many times I find myself going to bed at the end of a crazy day and my mind has not been renewed.  The Holy Spirit will not fill me if up if I act like I don't need Him.  

Oh, may I take the time to acknowledge my Lord and give Him the praise he deserves!

Romans 12:2  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Friday, April 17, 2009

God's Interruptions

The Lord is so good.  I just have to say it.  I am overwhelmed today with how many blessings are bestowed upon me daily. God seems to give me just what I need, when I need it most.  Some days I don't even recognize his goodness. Like today, most of my family is gone and I got to spend the day with just Micah and Reece.  This is a rare occasion for sure!  Right now, Micah is sleeping and Reece is playing in the backyard with the neighbor boy.  Quiet moments at my house where there is time to relax are almost non-existent except for when it's time for bed. How many times do little blessings fall on me without me realizing it? I'm sorry, God, for not recognizing your goodness and taking the time to acknowledge you in all things.

Everything that happens during our day is ordained by God.  A spontaneous visit from a friend, a phone call from someone unexpected, a baby waking up early from a nap, bad weather that changes our plans, the list could go on and on.  Are we so caught up with our itinerary that we cannot see the beauty in these interruptions? 

I guess it's easier to see the hand of God when things go better than expected.  Like for me today.  I had no idea that Julia was going to spend the day at a quilting class at church until last night when a friend offered to pick her up.  I didn't realize that Micah would take a third nap (he never does this anymore) and that I would have time to get supper ready ahead of time.  I didn't count on the neighbor boy coming over looking for Reece to see if he could play.  So here I am, praising God for time to just ponder His goodness.

It's much harder to appreciate God's intervention in our lives when those unexpected events appear to us to be interruptions.  Last night I went to a monthly Ladies Meeting that GFA puts on once a month.  One of the gems I brought home with me was that God wants to train our character.  How does He do this? He puts pressure on different areas to challenge us.  He wants to show us our lack in Christlikeness so that we will willingly cooperate with the Holy Spirit.  

Knowing and becoming are not the same.  We know how we ought to be.  We are to become what we know.  God is after our "becoming" so that we can walk worthy of our calling!  Maybe you have heard all this before (I know I have) but God is meeting me where I'm at right now so it seems profound! He has been putting pressure of me lately in many areas but I haven't seen it as a blessing.  My perspective needs to change.  I will not see Biblical results if I have the wrong mindset.  

God met me last night and I am so grateful for His intervention.  His input in my life is my ultimate desire.  Nothing can compare with Christ's guidance especially when you know you need it!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Wild fires, waterfalls, caves, and camping

The smoke had cleared up when we reached Norman and we were sure glad to see our friends, Jay and Amanda.  The winds howled and the temperatures dropped to the 40's but we were snuggled safely in a nice warm house! I'm so glad we were not camping that night.  I know our tent would have blown away!

Who is this cutie? Our friends, Jay and Amanda have a little girl, Anna, and she is only 2 weeks older than Micah.

We parents had fun introducing them to each other.  They have only met once before but we're sure they don't remember. 

Funny, babies at this age do not really play together.  They just take each others toys and . . . 

pull each others hair!  Ouch!

We spent the morning catching up and having breakfast together and then decided to walk around a local nature preserve to get the feel of being outdoors like we had planned.

Micah just loves to reach out and touch faces.  If he is close enough he will pull at your lips, nose or hair. We are trying to teach him the meaning of the word, "gentle".  A very important element if we're going to allow him to do this.

This is my wonderful friend, Amanda and little Anna in the floppy hat.

Amanda comes from a family of 9 and was home schooled.  She is one of the sweetest ladies I know.  Her feathers were not at all ruffled by our family of 7 spontaneous arrival.

Once we got out in the sunshine, we realized the wind had died down and we began dreaming of camping again.  We had all the stuff and had come all that way so why not?  We found out that the campsite was open again and the weather looked good so within a few hours, we headed back to Turner Falls to pick a site.

This is Oklahoma terrain.  Not really my opinion of beauty but it was nice to be out in the open air and camping again after a 2 year break.

Early in the morning when everyone was waking up, Rich decided to check the weather from his Blackberry since we knew rain was in the forecast.  We were trying to figure out if we could stay a second night or not.  By Micah's expression here I think his vote is no.

"let me see that.  What does it say, Daddy?"

This is a goofy picture of Rich being just that, goofy!  He was playing all the options for the different rings on his phone while dancing in bed.

A.J. really got into this and was entertaining us all!

Fun in the Lodi tent!

Memorable times

One happy girl!

A very happy boy!  A.J. was in heaven because he loves to explore.  He could not wait to hit the trails (or cliffs, I should say).

Ever try to light a propane stove with a baby on your back pulling on your ears?

I don't know who took this picture but I posted it to show how many times my heart fell out of my chest at this place.  It was very rocky and steep in many spots.  The kids just went for it but I kept wondering once we went down, how would we get back up?

Another "oh my! I can't look" moment. Rich was crawling in and out of these caves with Micah on his back.  I was just sure he was going to hit his head!  

Like Father like Son. 

Cool Cave

The boys really had a great time at this place!  Boys and climbing just go together.

A.J. spent a good part of the day trying to reach this cave.  He never did it because it was so steep.  The girls were having fun playing in the water below, but the boys were spending all their efforts trying to meet the challenge of getting to that cave!

We were so sore after hiking around this place.

This is advertised as the highest waterfall in Oklahoma.  It's a whopping 77 foot drop.
It sure is pretty.  

Micah did so well, missing his naps and being flexible with our plans.  He was happy the whole time and just glad to be outdoors. 

Nothing more precious than a sleeping baby.

Well, I think that covers it.  I've hit all the topics in my title. Wild fires, waterfalls, caves and camping. Thanks for looking at my little scrapbook of our weekend.  

We did pack up that night and made it home just before a heavy thunderstorm hit and dumped tons of rain on us. We were sun burnt, wind chapped and very sore but so grateful for a hot shower and cozy bed.  That really is the best thing about camping!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Blessings, blossoms and baby feet

I decided to put some pictures on this post so it would be more attractive to read.  But I really want to talk about the blessing I'm experiencing.  You see, blossoms are an example of new life.   I'm beginning to experience somewhat of a new life with perfect sight again!  My eyesight has improved so much this week!  Everyday I noticed more improvement that I believe I just might be able to get behind the wheel of a car very soon!

Just like plants go to sleep in the winter and then come to life again and actively grow, the muscle in my eye is now working actively instead of resting.  For reasons unknown, it seemed to need some time off to rejuvenate itself.

For the past 3 months I have had to hibernate in the house with my children.  No errands, no field trips, no play dates.  With the exception of Sunday services and Tuesday night prayer meetings where someone drove me to these events, I have had to slow down significantly.  "You must have gotten so much done around the house," you say.  Well, actually I haven't achieved any more success in house keeping than I had before.  Some days I was quite frazzled with my lack of accomplishments!  It made me wonder how I kept up with everything before this all happened.
Some weaknesses have reared their ugly heads during the past 3 months and we have turned over a new leaf, so to speak.  With 4 helpers who are more than capable of contributing significantly to keeping the house in tip-top shape (so that mom doesn't go out of her mind), Rich is implementing a fabulous idea.  Each child has been assigned a room in the house as their responsibility to manage. They need to check this room periodically throughout the day to make sure it is picked up.  If it isn't, when Dad gets home, they answer to him.

  They have each made their own little signs with fun decorations that announce their responsibility for the room.  In about a month we will switch rooms. This takes the pressure off of me always wondering who made what mess and nagging the kids all day to pick up after themselves.

What do baby feet have to do with this subject?  Well, nothing.  I just think they are cute and had to share them with you. :)

There are many other changes that have been made to our home life and maybe I'll share them later. I'm just filled with gratefulness that this chapter of seeing double might be coming to an end soon.  When I tilt my head down and look up, I still see double.  When I tilt my head back and look down, I see normal! This means if I was talking to you face to face, all I would need to do to see you perfectly is tilt my head back a little.  I know, it makes me seem snobby and I probably have my nose in the air most of the time, but who cares! Each day I notice that I don't have to tilt my head as much to see fine. Isn't this incredible!  This also means I can read again without covering one eye.  Anything I do looking down is now not a problem.  Doing dishes, measuring ingredients, and playing with my little guy on the floor is all seen perfectly.

I have a trip planned at the end of the month to go visit my parents in Idaho.  Because of their own health issues, they have never met Micah and he is almost 8 months old.  My prayer was that God would heal me by this trip so that traveling with Micah on the airplane and maneuvering through airports would not be so difficult.  A.J. will be going with me so I won't be traveling totally alone with Micah.  

Looks like God is going to answer my prayer and maybe even a little early!

Filled with thankfulness and a fun perspective on Spring,