Shine Like Stars

Shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the Word of life (Phil. 2:15)
We're not trying to be rock stars but just shed some light on a sad and lonely world. Stay tuned for how God works through weak and tired, sometimes really cranky vessels.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Done and done.

Our kitchen floor is finished! Yay! I've hated our floor since the day we moved in almost 6 years ago but I just lived with it. The last couple of years I really started to hate it. I felt like I was always cleaning it yet it still looked dirty. We were planning on having my dad help us put ceramic tile in and when we pulled up the old floor we found hardwood underneath. It was underneath years and years of adhesive glue and lots of other layers of flooring. We found a guy who said he would finish it for us for cheaper than we could have bought materials for the tiling project so we went for it. Here's how it turned out....
It's a lot darker than our other floor (as you can see)
but it's a heck of a lot better than what we had before
so I'm happy.

The older kids got to sleep in our room tonight
since their room is downstairs and it's
really smelly down there.
They were excited about the impromptu sleeping party.

Now for Kids Say the Darnest Things....

Nathan spent a good chunk of his day with my dad aka Bubba. We had to be out of the house all day and my dad stopped by this morning to check on the floor situation. Nathan hitched a ride with him and hung out with him for the rest of the day. Which was great for him. He's my little introvert who's forced to be around all of us all day. He enjoyed being the only child with Grammy and Bubba today.

For some reason, he decided my dad was an "old man" and told my dad that numerous times today. Tonight at dinner he looked at my mom and said "Grammy, I have bad news for you. Bubba's an old man." Hahaha. I love that funny kid.

Then tonight as I was tucking the kids in Addie asked me to pray for her. I started praying... "Lord, I pray for Addie." She interrupts me... "Mom, my first name is A-dul"
Another funny kid. I love it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Inside out?

Maybe I'm the only mom that thinks this but my children are way harder to parent while we are around other people. They are excitable and attention-seeking, they are mommy-needy and sometimes do inappropriate things.

I know I'm not painting them in the best light.... they really are amazing kids. At home we have a pretty good flow going on and aren't as crazy. And the other day I took them to a playplace at a busy mall and while we were leaving I thought "Wow, my kids are great. Those crazy kids at the playland made them look like angels." So, they really are great... but shocker of shockers.... they're kids!

I realize that the busier that I am the more irritable I am with the poor cuties that are stuck with me. We have a lot of things going on around here and we drag our kiddos along on that ride. I need to be better at saying "no" to some things so I won't be quite so cranky. I also feel the need to care less about what others think of my children and my parenting. I'm not a super self conscious person, but sometimes when we are around other people I feel this yucky feeling rising up in me. I want my kids to behave well because that reflects well on me. My focus often turns from caring about what's going on inside of my kids or myself and quickly turns to having a good outward appearance.

Earlier this week I was reading about a time when Jesus was talking with the religious leaders of his day and they were challenging him because his disciples had "unclean hands" and didn't wash as the religious people did before eating meals.
Then Jesus in his amazing way of calling people out said "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.' You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of man."

Jesus wasn't (and isn't) concerned about outward appearances. He cares about what's going on inside our hearts. That is super reassuring to me. I don't need to be concerned about what our sometimes crazy family looks like to other people. I need to focus on blessing the little people I have been blessed with and as I continually refocus myself on His Kingdom then I have no space to focus on my/my kids outward appearances.

Maybe that makes sense to you. Maybe not. It felt good to write out some of the thoughts that have been bouncing around in my cloudy head.

I enjoyed these posts about mommy busy-ness and the need to slow down. Thanks Angel and Aimee.

Monday, November 15, 2010

All I want for Christmas...?

Tonight at dinner Caleb randomly asked "So Dad, what do you want for Christmas?"
Michael was pondering his answer when Caleb piped in with...
"Now that Melia's home you don't want anything, huh?"

That cute, random boy made me realize that Melia hasn't even been home for a year yet! It seems like she's been here forever. I love that every Christmas time we will get to remember the awesome gift we have in her. That's going to be a fun thing to think about as advent is coming up around the corner.

Last year our Christmas season was a whirlwind. Usually, I'm an elf. I love to decorate (I usual end up putting up my sister's tree and help my parents with their's, I love Christmas music and just get really excited about everything. But last year we were preparing to leave the country and I was a basket case. I just wanted to have Melia in my arms and I did not want to leave my other babies. In all the chaos my Christmas elfiness was lost. This year elf will be back (Caleb's my sidekick) and I'll be decorating away! I'm so glad this year we'll get to relax and bask in the blessings the Lord has given our family!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This is our dishwasher.
We found it on the side of the road 5 years ago. It works great. It's a little irritating that you
have to move it to the sink in order to turn it on but it works and it was free so we're happy.
Just so we're clear, it is not attached to the floor.

This is our beautiful daughter....

Addie vs. Dishwasher...

The dishwasher won.

I'm not exactly sure what happened. I was in the dinning room. She was in the kitchen talking about the colors of the plates in the dishwasher (we were actually discussing the differences between dark and light blue) then I heard a crash and ran just in time to pull the dishwasher off of my baby. Lots of screaming and dishes breaking and other children running to the scene to find out what happened.

She was such a trooper the doctors said she was an amazing patient. She was a shell of herself for hours as she tried to cope with the pain. Meanwhile I was running through the worse case scenarios wondering if the dishwasher hit her in the head and knocked her senseless because she wasn't acting like herself and didn't want to talk, just wanted to cuddle and looked really pale.
While the docs were examining her arm she was so brave. She didn't want to cry and did a great job at coping with the pain.
Then the x-ray lady showed her face. I know she was just doing her job but it takes a special
person to be able to twist a baby girls broken arm through all the screaming in order to
take a picture. To add to that she made Michael hold the hand in place while she took the x-ray. That was the worst part though and it was over quickly.
When the doctors came in and said she needed a cast I was relieved. I was envisioning surgery and a closed head injury.
Literally a minute after the cast was on Addie completely perked up. She started smiling and got off my lap for the first time in hours. It was amazing. Her arm felt so much better!
I feel blessed that she wasn't hurt more and that we had
a great experience at the hospital.
Of course in 8 weeks I probably will be complaining about being sick of the cast,
but for now I'm praising the Lord!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I (heart) AR

I love Africa Revolution and I think you will too. Check them out. Oh, and I'm happy to say that we're related to this awesome couple!!

What this video about their vision to include Africans in their volunteer work. It's an awesome idea and they need help in supporting the Africans volunteering this next year. Allan explains it better than I do....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Great chapter...

So weeks ago I shared that I was reading this book... Christ of the Indian Road. Well I finished it and I loved it. I wrote a little about it here.
This chapter so stuck out to me that I'm going to share it. I know most people won't read it and that's cool with me. I just feel compelled to share it.


Jesus taught but he did not speculate. He never used words such as "perhaps," "maybe," "I think so." Even his words had a concrete feeling about them. They fell upon the soul with the authority of certainty.

He did not discourse on the sacredness of motherhood-he suckled as a babe at his mother's breast, and that scene has forever consecrated motherhood.

He did not argue that life was a growth and character an attainment- he "grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."

He did not speculate on why temptation should be in the world- he met it, and after 40 days' struggle with it in the wilderness he conquered, and "returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee."

He did not discourse on the dignity of labor- he worked at a carpenter's bench and his hands were hard with the toil of making yokes and plows, and this forever makes toil of the hands honorable.

As he came among men he did not try to prove the existence of God- he brought him. He lived in God and men looking upon his face could not find it in themselves to doubt God.

He did not argue, as Socrates, the immortality of the soul- he raised the dead.

He did not speculate on how God was a Trinity- he said, "If I by the Spirit of God cast out devils, the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." Here the Trinity - "I," "Spirit of God," "God"- was not something to be speculated about but a working force for redemption.

He did not teach in didactic way about the worth of children- he put his hands upon them and blessed them and setting one in their midst tersely said, "Of such is the kingdom of God," and he raised them from the dead.

He did not argue that God answers prayer- he prayed, sometimes all night, and in the morning "the power of the Lord was present to heal."

He did not paint in glowing colors the beauties of friendship and the need for human sympathy- he wept at the grave of his friend.

He did not argue the worth of womanhood and the necessity for giving them equal rights- he treated them with infinite respect, gave them his most sublime teaching, and when he rose from the dead he appeared first to a woman.

He did not teach in the schoolroom manner the necessity of humility- he "girded himself with a towel and kneeled down and washed his disciples' feet."

He did not discuss the question of the worth of personality as we do today- he loved and served persons.

He did not discourse on the equal worth of personality- he went to the poor and outcast and ate with them.

He did not prove how pain and sorrow in the universe could be compatible with the love of God- he took on himself at the cross everything that spoke against the love of God, and through that pain and tragedy and sin showed the very love of God.

Ok, I was too ambitious. That's only a couple of pages and I'm too tired to keep going. The chapter is called The Concrete Christ. I love ESJ's focus on the person of Christ.