Monday, October 31, 2011


They thought balancing baskets on their heads was 'indian like'!

One of the neighbors called the girl's 'twindians' tonight! We all thought it was cute, so it's what we kept calling them all night! We got to trick or treat with baby Henry tonight too! He was a deer, but you can't see his cute 'hooves' in the picture. Oh, I love these trick or treating years with the girls! Way too much sugar, but their giggles all day long just make my heart smile! These years are going to end waaay too soon! But I will have to remember to heed Dr. Suess' advice, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."

Henry's First Trick or Treat! 
Our Dinner!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What to do with 'Hell' on Earth

Our church has an outreach, called ImpACT (I like how it has "I ACT" in it). It's a strategic outreach to make a dent in the four global giants of poverty, disease, illiteracy, and spiritual emptiness. It's a huge reason I LOVE our church so much.  I always find myself challenged by the annual "ImpACT" talk.

Here are a few random notes from today's talk.

  • There may be 'hell' on earth, but we can bring a little bit of heaven.
  • Don't ask, Where is God (when you see hurting and brokenness and injustice in the world)? But rather ask, where am I? What am I doing to bring a bit of heaven to earth? 
  • Proverbs 31: 8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.  
  • Find where God's heart is. And join him there. And throughout scripture you see that his heart is with the poor and broken. 
  • I am in the center of God's will when I am in the midst of the poor and hurting. Matt 25: 35-40
  • And what if we get this thing right? What if we really are the hands and feet of Christ and love others well in our world? After I got home I read a beautiful example of this on a blog, and you can read about it here. One person, stepping out of her comfort zone, and loving those hurting and broken with the love of God. Beautiful. Inspiring. God can bring healing and hope to others when we choose to act.   
And I hope that which has been stirred in my heart today will lead to action. It's so easy to give excuses for inaction.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Day Off of School...

  • a quick trip to walmart for all stuff needed for our fun, and donuts to start the day.
  • a long walk with a friend and her sweet baby. Oops, forgot a picture!
  • an attempt at making our very first scarecrow.

  • carving our pumpkins. I tried drilling mine this year. Mike loves his Spartans. Sarah's has the biggest grin. And Morgan's has the cute tongue. 

  • and making some yummy new recipes. Homemade soft pretzel bites. Homemade mozzarella sticks. and our favorite, homemade chicken nuggets. 
  • and staying up late to cheer on the Cardinals!! We also made these fun baseball cookies to help us celebrate! Loved girls hilarious questions during the game, like: "Do they use pizza boxes for bases?" and "Why is the guy behind the batter wearing a tux?" 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Gift of an Ordinary Morning

Today was just an ordinary morning...the only thing making it un-ordinary was my choice to pause and notice all the joys the morning held.

Before the sun had crested the horizon, I crept into the girls room.  Kissing warm checks. Smoothing their crazy hair the fairies seemed to have danced in last night. Whispering into their ears 'good mornings' and 'I love yous'. Sleepy eyelids opening. Discussing weather and possible clothing choices.  Since I was not working today, I found a book I wanted to finish, flipped on the switch the fireplace, watched flames dance warmth into the room, fixed some hot chocolate, snuggled into my blanket.

Then, pausing to chat with girls during breakfast. Rice Krispies left spilled on counter tops. Listening to daughters make up songs in front of bathroom mirror. Daughter asking if she can wear said shoes. Not my first choice, but then I remember the quote I read "some girls are just born with glitter in their veins." "Sure, you can wear those shoes." Five minute reminder to finish up and head out the door to catch the school bus. No lunches to make this morning. They are happy to eat school pizza. School notebooks signed. School bags on shoulders, coats on. I make sure to make eye contact as I hug them goodbye. "Love you, Have a great day!" "You too, mom. Love you!" Kisses left to dry on foreheads.

Door closes. I snuggle back into couch and continue reading.  Two pages left to go on my book and the phone rings at 8:22. Can I work today? School begins in 8 minutes.  "Sure! I'll be there shortly!" And so my 'to do list' for the morning had to wait, and yet, I am thankful for the extra few moments I had to pause and remember what a gift the everyday ordinary-ness of my life is!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Getting Dunked

We've been talking with the girls this past year about baptism. Obviously, we wanted to make sure they understood what it was before they got baptized. Well tonight, at our church, was "Fall Splash" and they decided they did want to get baptized. I asked them to write down why they were getting baptized. 

Sarah wrote,  "I'm getting baptized because I want to show people I made God my forever friend." So I asked her how she knows he's her forever friend, to which she responded "I did my ABCs. A - [admit] tell God you are a sinner. B - Believe Jesus is the son of God. C- Confess Jesus is your savior."

Morgan wrote, "I'm getting baptized because I want to show everybody that I chose Jesus as my forever friend. I want to show that I believe in Jesus and he died for me and the world." And again, how did she know he was her forever friend? "A - I admitted to God that I sinned so I have to turn away from my sin. B - I have to believe that Jesus is my forever friend and my savior and my lord. C- I confessed that he is my savior and he is my friend forever."

God wants relationship with us. And that's what I want them to understand. Yes, the God of the universe, cares deeply about us, and desires to be in relationship with us. He has made a way (Jesus) for this to be possible. He will always be there for them. I hope this is a day they remember for always, and when 'life happens' and gets rough - I hope they remember that God is there, walking with them, desiring relationship with them. He has purposes and plans for their lives. Baptism isn't salvation. They make that choice in their hearts. But it is a beautiful act, of faith, showing others the choice their heart made. 

Our church has baptized over 1,000 people this past year!! I'm not sure how many will get baptized this weekend, at least a couple hundred, I'm sure. I love the excitement and celebration of baptism (as you will see in the video)! So, without further ado, here is the video from tonight. "I baptize you in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit..."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

True Beauty

My beautiful daughters. 
Each passing year I get to be these girls' mom, I am more and more aware of how deeply I want them to understand true beauty. To know that even more important than how beautiful they are on the outside, it is what's inside of them that will carry them well through life. To have positive self-esteem. In a world that seems to insist little girls grow up too quickly and 'sexy' seems to be encouraged at a younger and younger age (do you hear my sigh?) - I want them to know that being modest is beautiful too. That's why I love, because they exist to help instill the value of true beauty into tween girls.  Secret Keeper Girls has a national 'pajama party tour' for tweens and their moms - and I had a fun night with the girls at the event earlier this week!

We ate dinner at Andy's before the Secret Keeper Event! & of course I let them get hot fudge jackhammered into the middle of their concretes!
Lucky us - we have wonderful neighbors!
The girls (and their moms) came with us! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Sky is Falling!!

This time of year, I find myself saying "the sky is falling, the sky is falling!" quite often.  You see, before there were houses in our neighborhood, there was a walnut farm here. So needless to say, the walnuts are sure falling everywhere around us this time of year! Think, pool balls falling from trees, okay maybe not that heavy, but certainly that large!

Additionally, the school book fair is this week and the girls wanted extra money to buy books.  So, I challenged them last week to begin picking up walnuts. The trailer was full today, so we took them to the huller.  Side note: The majority of black walnuts sold in the united states come from Missouri! And for all their hard work...they got $27.72! Of course they had divide it among their friends who helped them out this past week, but they still ended up with $8/each. So, they are filling the trailer again! :) The walnuts have to be picked up anyways, and the neighbors appreciate the help, and they are outside enjoying the fall weather! It's a great thing!  I guess money really does grow on trees!

Update: 10.7.11 - Sold another load for $31.20!!
Update: 10.11.11 - Sold another load for $34.20!!
Total: almost 800 lbs of hulled walnuts!! $12/per 100 lbs. 
Updated: 10.27.11 - Sold another load for $49.10 (491 lbs of hulled walnuts! $10/lb now)

Waiting our turn at the Huller. That's a lot of walnuts!!
Putting our walnuts into the huller.