Friday, December 23, 2011


I was so excited when I found this advent calendar, I'd been looking for one for years that didn't have Santa and candy canes as the main theme, that was wooden. Isn't it cute? It even came with little chocolates inside.

I also did an advent calendar craft this year every day (well, ideally every day) with our kids that went through the Bible telling the story leading up to Christ's birth. I was going to make my own but it just took too much time so I went with the online one....

Each day we would read through the Bible and make an ornament that related to the story, and then sing Christmas songs. I'd like to say it went perfect every day and that the kids learned SO much...but there were days where we had to do like 3 ornaments to catch up, and the amount of crayons everywhere and cut paper etc was a little overwhelming for me sometimes, and with a newborn it didn't go perfectly cause I'd have to sometimes feed/burp in the middle of it all. BUT the kids were learning about the true meaning of Christmas, and that's what mattered to me.

My prayer is that each year we go through the advent calendar my kiddos would see the beauty of the Messiah coming. How the people LONGED for a rescuer from their sin, and how amazing and exciting it must have been for Him to be announced, and born. And THAT'S what we are celebrating. The long awaited rescuer. The only one who can forgive us.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Card

This year I didn't mail out any Christmas cards...I had planned to do it, even from South Africa but found it wouldn't arrive to anyone before Christmas, so here it is! Merry Christmas from all of us!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"It's just a season"

I was so thankful that Clint looked after the kiddos so I could go to our church's women's conference a couple of weeks ago. The lady who taught at the conference really encouraged us to LOVE Christ more, even in the little moments; those mommy-frustrated moments, those moments where the juice spills on your freshly mopped floor and you can't find the pink sandals that were there just a minute ago so you can leave for church on time. Or when you find out that your daughter took off her underwear to use the loo, and didn't put them back on, and you find this out AT church when she's wearing JUST A DRESS! Yikes. Oh yes, this did happen to me, TWICE.

But that it's more important to LOVE Christ in that moment than to give into the sigh, even the inward sigh when your situation tests your limits. The joy of loving Christ should outshine your desire to sin by complaining in your heart, or externally to your kids.

It was really awesome.

But there was one thing she said that I couldn't get over.

She said that the phrase "It's just a season" should never be used by mommies. This hit me like a brick out of nowhere. Really? I thought. I use that all the time! She mentioned that a husband she knew once told his wife to never use that phrase because it was like she was complaining that she really didn't like where she was, and she just wasn't happy with what the Lord had given her, and wanted another season life. A different season to come, and she was just enduring this one.
It made me think hard about how and why I use the phrase "It's just a season." And I discovered that I think it's not always wrong to use it. I use it to help myself gain perspective. It's not complaining, it's just me trying to see the place that I'm in, with three small children, and know that "this is the season" for me to be fully devoted to child-rearing. I have 3 children who are not in school, who need me the whole day. Thinking about the season I'm in helps me to not be discontent at all the other things I could be doing. That because my children are small this is the season that I must choose to say no to alot of things that pull me away from my home, to say yes to raising our kiddos the way we think God would call us to.
My husband is a pastor, so I often feel like I'm not the typical "pastor's wife" who plays piano, serves tea, teaches all the ladies, hosts elegant dinners, does door-to-door missions, sews quilts, visits widows. etc. etc. Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing enough for the Kingdom because I'm "just" changing diapers, doing laundry etc. My husband has to often remind me that my ministry is right in front of my nose. If I'm so focused on "ministry" but forget my real ministry...(my home and family) that this is the SEASON (yes, I said season!) that I must be fully devoted to raising these little guys in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Lately I've run into alot of women in their 40s where their kids are grown, at school, or out of the house. They are in the season with more time on their hands to do ministry or go to gym or to the mall or have a cup of hot coffee, or go out with their husband more than twice a year for a date. But they look at my small children and say, "They grow up so fast, enjoy every moment." And a few have told me how they wished that they had had more babies, and now it's too late.
It is the season where I don't fit into my skinny jeans, and my coffee is normally luke warm by the time I get to it, and I can't do a lot of ministry alongside my husband... but that's OK! It's GOOD for me to remind myself it's just a season, a short while where my priorities aren't jeans and a cup of joe. But rather my priority is the three little faces that look at me everyday, knowing that I'm the one showing them what it looks like to walk with my Savior, whether by good or bad example. So the convenience and coffee pale in comparison.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


When I asked alot of moms with 3 children how it is with three when I was pregnant, I heard most often "oh they just slot in to the family" and "you don't have three hands, that's the hardest part!" Both are very true.

There are days where I wish I could just put my other two children on hold so I could just ENJOY Jude, love him, watch him breath while he sleeps. See every smile. But I snatch small times. Some kisses here, a bath with just the two of us there.

My special time (3-5 stolen minutes) is when I put him to sleep. My new rule is when I put Jude down for a sleep N&A aren't allowed to talk to me. I found myself yelling down the hall to my other two kids who are saying "MOM! I'm thirsty" or "MOM! (fill in the blank!)" and I'd call back "JUST a minute I'm changing Jude's diaper" or "Wait, Jude is trying to fall asleep" and I'd feel all anxious, and torn between grown kid needs and baby needs. And then Jude would start crying more than normal to sleep. I realized he thought I was yelling at HIM, or maybe he was feeling me be all tense. Then I'd remember that I'm not glorifying the Lord by being all tense with my kids...who wants a frazzled "anxious for everything" mommy?

So now I tell my kiddos "ok, Jude needs me now, I'll be 5 minutes, remember no calling me unless it's an emergency, God wants me to take care of Jude too!"
And whew, 5 minutes of just us. Quiet. Change diaper, a few cozies, and bed! That's when I get to sing a little, play with the new little soft toes, and just WATCH him. Then back to the tornado of legos, dollies, crumbs, juice, and funny conversations.
I remember with Noah AND Autumn having all this time to just fall in love...quiet moments. Noah still slept twice a day when Autumn was born, so I had some Autumn wakey time when Noah was sleeping. Now I feel like I have to fight for that time, but it's so sweet when I get it!
But I'm learning to tell my kids that I just want a few minutes to ENJOY Jude while he's so small, and THEN I'll make them lunch, get their toy, or juice. And then we enjoy him together, usually it's trying to instigate a smile.
2 months have soared by at rocket speed, and I wish as if I could just slow down the clock. But with my floor most of the time looking like the crumb monster had a party, and endless juice cups to be filled, laundry folded, and sweet teaching moments (sometimes discipline ones) it makes it fly by even faster.
So I'll slow down the clock right now and write about Jude....

I love how you smile in the middle of a feed, looking up at me like we have some secret. I love how you lift your head up in your cot when you sleep to stare at your favorite car when you doze, and when I go in to check on you your head is still a little cocked up from staring at it. I love how you manage to get very icky stuff between your fingers and refuse to let me pry them open in the bath to get them clean. I love how you smell after a bath. I love how patient you are when I can't feed you right away. I love the soft coo sounds you make when your happy, and the times when I CAN just watch you sleep.

Ok, back to rocket speed!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

It's a bird, it's a plane....

It's SUPERNOAH! Noah got a shirt from the Niednagels that had a Superman symbol on it, he's worn it forever, but one day he asked....what does this mean on my shirt? So I told him about Clark Kent and how he changes into a superhero by taking off his glasses that is his disguise etc...well...the fact that Noah has glasses made this just way too easy. With a red shirt from daddy as a cape....this was HOURS of fun.
He'd say..."I'm just Clark Kent....I'm not Superman!"

And then the metamorphosis began...
Check the "I'm taking off my glasses and changing into Superman face" it cracks me up.
And we are flying!
Super face
He'd make the "shhhh" sound of an airplane, cause Superman can fly, and things that fly make that sound right? :)
I love that all boys want (long) to be a hero. It's way cute! In our house we kind of limit things that are quite magical or fairy tale like (not that we don't expose our kids to this stuff, we just don't OVER expose them with lots of it) because I feel it takes away the special-ness of the Bible especially for Noah. He'd often say "but only Jesus can heal, or only Jesus can raise people from the dead, why is (the character) able to do that?" and get a bit confused between fiction and the Bible. We watched a magic show at a fair one time and he said "he's doing MIRACLES mommy!" Anyways, I love love love that he likes to pretend to be superman, don't get me wrong, it's super cute. :) He now is able to "get it" and say "only Jesus can heal, I know that mommy" or whatever, so it's fun for him to pretend. :)