Sunday, April 29, 2012

The ordinary beautiful.

I've been reading " One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. Have you read it yet? Lots have been touched by her words and sometimes when things go "viral", I tend to shy away. Maybe that's pride and many times silly because I just miss out on great things. I mean, what's the glory in that?:) Anyway, it's a book about the transforming power of thankfulness. To God. Seeing His goodness and grace in the midst of our messy lives and naming them. As in, writing down these gifts from God. 1,000 of them and beyond. I'm on number 14 I think:) Today I was reminded of how the ordinary beautiful moments can easily slip away, the ones that don't get written down or photographed because they aren't new or exciting- they are just the daily. The ones you tuck away or that quietly warm your heart. Like this. Sammy watching Jubilee play- finding joy in her exploration and discovery. It was just a few minutes, but looking through the lens of thankfulness helped me really see it. And so I wrote it down as
14. A big brother finding joy in his baby sister.
There is beauty to be found and I believe it is from a God who loves us, even in our messiness and even in suffering. I hope more and more to see Him in the ordinary beautiful all around me,

Sammy and sister on Sunday:)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sam was getting dressed this morning and had picked out his tie dye shirt and striped shorts. I suggested his blue shirt and he declined and said" but mom, i wanted to wear this because my shorts look like the river and my shirt looks like the sun." My gosh. It was one of those moments where my heart just burst with love for him. At the last minute he grabbed the blue shirt and said, " it does look like the sky in the morning time when it's still a little bit dark."
Ok my little nature boy. How I hope your love for color and earth and sky and all of God's creation just grows and grows.

Amelia's dreams come true...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What a beautiful place! We are in Springdale, UT for the night. It's next to Zions National Park and oh my gosh is it wonderful! The backdoor of our hotel opens to a big green, grassy area and a river with the canyon in the background. So restful, and Sam and Amelia's dream play space. They found tons of caterpillars and chased and chased lizards this afternoon. Tomorrow morning we'll swim and then head home. We can't wait to come back and spend more time! A wonderful day for the most part and I end it feeling thankful.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Road trip...

We took a little road trip today to get to be with Joel as he accepted a "PA Humanitarian of the Year" award from the Utah Academy of Physician Assistants. Pretty special, isn't it? I think Joel just loves people and his ability to love and advocate for the homeless population shines. So, I was proud to be here to cheer for his heart and his work. I love that Sam and Amelia got to go up with him to accept it and that they got to hear his humble gratitude as he did.
Did I mention there is an enormous pool at our hotel? We had to walk through an enormous casino maze to get to the pool and Joel and I thought it was hysterical ( and wonderful) that the kids didn't even mention it! Their eyes were fixed on the pool:) Anyway, I think it's going to be a wonderful weekend away as a little family. Celebrating the work the Lord has blessed Joel with, really. It fits him so very well, and what a gift it is that we are both getting to do the work that we feel so passionate about.
All for now, Jen
P.S. Just to keep it real on the ol' blog, I must say that after I wrote this and was basking in the feeling of having a great trip down here, a fun time watching the awards, jubilee sleeping peacefully while the kids played with some new friends outside and Joel finished listening to the speaker nearby. Ahem. Suddenly, they all came busting in the hotel room with Sam and Amelia screaming and crying. There was trouble in "play land" and Joel told the kids they'd have to come inside and they proceeded to scream and cry as Joel led them past all of the conference goers into the hotel. Parenting does provide plenty of opportunities to grow in humility, doesn't it?!:)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rainy day fun.

We've had quite a few springy rainy days here lately. Today the kids got on their rain gear and headed out to the back yard for quite a while- they " collected rocks" then washed them and named them:) Then inside for hot chocolate, a warm bath, and some little Bear ( found it on amazon prime instant play- yay!) before lunch. Meanwhile, Jubilee worked on her alphabet/puzzle skills:) hee hee. This is one of her favorite things to play with though and it always makes me smile. Hope you are having a good one too! Jen

Monday, April 16, 2012


This was a special Easter season for me. I really wanted to clear my mind/heart for lent to open it up to Christ. So, I cut out watching any media for the 40 days of lent. It was so good. I didn't do perfectly, but that's ok, my mind and heart did feel significantly decluttered, and that was my hope. I also took the blog reader off my phone, which has limited my time reading blogs to almost nothing. Whew. I needed a mind/ heart declutter for sure! I loved both the Lent devotional I used ( again, not nearly every day did I read it, but every time I did was so refreshing) and listening to this JMT album was very worshipful as well. I figure if my heart is turned toward the Lord, it will naturally overflow into talking about Easter to the kids in a way that is deeper than Easter bunnies and egg hunts (though we love both:) as well.
It was also special to have Shanyn and Isaac visiting for Easter. They got to watch as we dedicated ourselves in front of our church community to raising Jubilee in a home that reflects God's love for us and for her. Oh, and the kids sang in front of church and Isaac bravely marched right up there and sang next to Amelia and that was so much fun to see as well. So, all in all a very special day and season (though not without its bumps. Think Sam screaming and crying that Joel hurt his feelings as we were getting ready for church and me getting mad that Joel was hard on Sam, etc. etc. Such is life I guess!:). Isn't Joel a hunkarama? Love this pic of him making his special french toast!
All for now! Jen

Time marches on...

Oh Jubilee, you are in such an exciting season of your little life. You are starting to crawl, you are banging things together ( much to your delight), you are babbling more ( nanana, lalala), you love to eat and smile at people and play with Mammy's necklaces. You are such a true delight i just love that I get to be your mama.
Here are some pictures of your 6th month:


What a wonder that our Sam and Amelia are five! I have so much to write about their birthday, their party, and just about them...but for now, a new pic of our big kids:)