Friday, May 31, 2013

In The Face Of Suffering - The "Why"

"Don't ever doubt God's love for you in the face of suffering!  Your suffering does not necessarily mean you are out of his will.  Christ was in the center of God's will - but he suffered more than we can imagine.  As we walk through suffering, we must always remember - as Jesus did - that the resurrection and the glory are on the other side."

"As I look back at the cross, the hardship of whatever Christ asks me to do pales in comparison.  We can embrace any suffering that Jesus asks us to bear with great courage if we remember God loves us and is using us to bring the light of the gospel to a dark world.  Our attitude must be the same as Christ's.  We must be willing to go anywhere and let go of anything for the sake of the gospel.  He gave us freedom, and now we must fight fearlessly for others.  Our motive must be the same as his - love.  Love for him.  Love for others."

~Aliene Thompson

When we start feeling as though we are suffering in vain and we can't figure out why God would give us such a load to carry, we need to remember that He gave His Son the greatest load to carry, and that in His love and through this suffering we will be refined as gold and shine, if we will only allow Him to work through us.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Words Worth Remembering

Cai: "Mom, can I tickle my feet because it is itching me?"


Cai: "Can you put my jacket with sleeves on for me?"

Me: "But it's like 80 degrees outside and you're gonna get all hot and sweaty!"

Cai: "But I want to be sveaty."

Me: "Uh, okay."

*Putting on jacket and zipping it up for him*

Cai: "Am I gonna be sveaty yet?"


Me: "That was so sweet of Chase to give you money to give to Jesus.  Did you give it to Him yet?"

Cai: "No. I gonna give it to Journey and Journey will give it to Jesus. I don't know where him is."


Alethia: "I want that thing with the trash on it."

Yeah, no clue...


Rainy: "You know the stuff that's inside the thing?"

Again, I got nothin!


Cai: "Is Daddy home yet?"

Me: " No. He's still in Missouri."

Cai: "On the roof?"



Zeke (as Batman): "Robin, it's time to go! Let's go. To the Batmobile!"

Cai (as Robin): "Hold on, I have to say 'Holy Jumbo, Batman!' first."


Rainy (as the lifeguard): "Okay everybody. Just let me know if you're drowning, k."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

If I Were An Inventor

If I were an inventor
I know what I'd invent
I'd invent a contraption
to tell me what to do.
That way I wouldn't have to choose
decisions would be made.
Oh, how I hate deciding things.
Now this one could get me paid!

If I were an inventor
I know what I'd invent
I'd invent a magic box
to place my kids into.
and when they would come out of it
the whining would be gone!
It magically would disappear.
Now, would that be so wrong?

If I were an inventor
I know what I'd invent
I'd invent a symptom sonar
to scan my crying kids.
It could detect the kinds of tears
causing such disarray
then I wouldn't have to waste a co-pay on that day.
(can I get an AMEN?!)

If I were an inventor
I'd make myself a pill
all that I would have to do
is swallow one at will.
this tiny little pill might make me happy when I'm sad
or give me motivation when the house looks really bad
this tiny little pill could help me see beyond the stress
it also would be nice for it to clean up a poopy mess
Geez, maybe it could was the dishes stacked up in the sink
or ease the crying kid whose brother wrote on them in pink.
The toothpaste on the wall would simply be a work of art.
And it would be much easier to parent to the heart.
Would it be too much to ask if it could make me tone and lean?
if so, then maybe simply keep my bootie not so "seen".
I sure know someone who wouldn't mind if it could "get me in the mood"
on those nights when all I want is to eat some crunchy food.
Oh, if I were an inventor
there'd be so much to make.
I'd spend my life creating things
but never quite making life that great.

So, maybe I'll just stop thinking of things to make it better.
And get up off my butt and really enjoy the things that matter:)


Ha!  That was fun:)
If you were an inventor, what would YOU invent?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Because We're Free

Thank you to all who have and continue to put your lives on the line to serve this country.
We are free because of you today!:)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Starving And Content

I finally have time to sit down and recap my week.

Only because it's quiet.  I had everyone bathed, family "devotioned" and in bed by 7:40.

It was a LONG, fun day, where 2-3 snow cones were completely acceptable, bouncy houses were jumped in until the leg muscles ached, multiple bags of chips were consumed by each colony member,  popcorn was eaten off the deck, Fanta was served and the request for skipping a nap was fully granted.

Our church was blessed with a block party trailer and who else to test it on than all the staff kids (so what if I had 5 of the 9 kids present, ha!).  The staff learned how to maneuver all the equipment and my kids enjoyed every second of it!

After loading up the Colony to head back home, an angel my friend, Julie, said she had a couple of hours to spare and asked if she could come hang out with the kids so I could get a breathe of fresh air all by myself.  Who does that?!  I told her I'd rather not.  I told her I'd just stick it out until bedtime...hahaha!  Just kidding.  As soon as she came over I gave the kids a kiss and took off.  Thank you, Julie!  You blessed me big time this afternoon!

Josh left for Missouri early Friday morning for a student camp.  He'll be home sometime on Monday:)  Hey, I can't keep up with EVERYBODY's schedule:)  When I talked to Josh this afternoon he said the key speaker got called out to do a funeral a couple hours away so he got to speak!  He was pretty stoked about that and said it went really well.

I have an addiction.  It's not alcohol or drugs or sex (shocker on that last one, I know;).  But it takes my focus off of the Lord, nonetheless.  Therefore, I am working on starving those desires and praying for contentment and peace in my heart.  I want nothing else to consume me!

And because I am starving those desires I have a little more time on my hands to snap shots like these...

Happy Saturday ya'll!

The View From Here ~ Chasing Shadows

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Running Interference

On most mornings, when Josh is able to sit down with us for breakfast, my job is to run interference.

Running interference looks something like this:

As the colony members crash trickle into the kitchen like a herd of elephants one at a time, patiently remind them to go ahead and take their seat at the table instead of crawling into the cabinet and munching on stray chocolate chips, almond slices and crutons

Preparing the appropriate bowls and pairing them with the appropriate spoons to hold the appropriate breakfast cereal (or eggs, or toast...) for the appropriate child.

Listening to the dad shepherd little Colony hearts in preparation for the day.

another bowl of cereal poured
filling up cups
picking up dropped spoons
more cereal
more bananas
an ice cube for the oatmeal
interject a thought
wipe up a spill
pour more cereal

I like this job of running interference.
Most mornings, anyway;)

Monday, May 20, 2013

On A Day Like Today (yesterday)

On a day like today (yesterday) nothing is typical.

On a Sunday morning, when the kids get to wake up AFTER the sun, because the mama took a weekend off from the worship team, you know it's going to be a different kind of day.

On a Sunday morning where divine appointments interrupt a morning message.
And another divine appointment surfaces in between the two.

On a Sunday where I get to sit in the last service with my handsome hubby, as a normal attendee.

When the heavens split open as soon as I gather my change at the check out, resulting in a Colony of sprinters to the car, with prizes for the kids who can cling to their appointed grocery bag without dropping it in a puddle.

On a rainy Sunday afternoon where naps are skipped and movies are watched, waiting patiently for daddy to come home.

On a rainy Sunday afternoon when the rain finally subsides and the sun comes out...and so did we.

We go to check on our new turtle friend, we call Lucy.
She was happy to come out and play.

Then swinging takes precedence.


He is finally here to fill my tank:)
Even mama's need their love tank filled from time to time.
While quietly catching up on the day's events we hear Rainy call from the living room
"MOM, there's a hummingbird!  A hummingbird is in our LIVING ROOM!"

Excitement.  Squeals.  Delight.  Amazement.
So close.
SO cute.

We carefully scoop him into a box.
(***calm down everybody.  We did NOT capture freedom and keep it forever!***)
Snap a few pictures to remember this sweet adventure.
And let him fly away to go find his "famiwee".

Josh is off to fill the girl's tanks.
Butterfly catching near the bunny bush.

Then to top off the boy's tanks with a friendly wrestling match (which I STILL cannot bare to watch).

Oh no! Blood!
Who got hurt?!
There is a tooth on the floor.  The one Zeke told us was ready to come out DAYS ago, but was reluctant to let us get:)
Cheers ensue!

Time for bed.
The Colony kids slip into their beds and final kisses are given as the parents sigh with contentment.

Out on the porch in the dark go mom and dad.
Rain pours.
Soaking us through as we rock back and forth.
Back and forth.

On a day like today, when everything seems different.
Different is okay sometimes.
Today different was good.

(ATTENTION: No animals were harmed in the acting out of this story!)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Words Worth Remembering

Cai:"Oohh, mommy, it's raining outside!"

Me:"No, it's just the breeze on a pretty day."

Cai:"Well, sometimes when I eat a big popsicle I get a bweeshe in my tummy."
(ie-brain freeze)


Cai:"Mommy, can I spwit dis bwownie up in my bowl so it makes more to eat?"


Cai:"Mom, I'm fwee."

Me:"Yes, you are three."

Cai:"No, I'm FWEE!"

Me:"Yes baby, you're THREE."

Cai:"No, 'FWEE' means I'm alive!"

Me:"Oooooh. OK. You're FRee.  And who made you free?"

Cai:"Alethia! Because I want her to."


Cai:"Dad, me and Alethia are having a bad day."


Cai:"Because Alehia's been hurting my life!"

Alethia:"But I said I was sorry!"


Cai:"Mom, where is that boo-boo I got last year on my foot? Because it hurts."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

So What If It Doesn't Happen

Sometimes my to-do list seems unbearable.  I find myself scurrying around, with a frantic air about me, as I snap at my children, oblivious to the sunshine and blessings all around me, all for the simple fact that I HAVE to get all these things done.

But why?

Is my completed to-do list really so important that it must define my day?

I mean really, so what if I don't finish Alethia's hair before rehearsal.  She is still alive and breathing, and everyone will get a kick out of the MC Hammer doo she gets to sport for an evening.

What if I don't get to the grocery store today.  What's one more night of a simple dinner made up of crescents, bacon and cheese that I still have in my refrigerator:)  (One of my favorites now, Kelly!)

What if the house doesn't get dusted.  Nobody is going to die in my house today just because I ran out of time to de-dustify my house.

What if we run a little late to the appointment.  It just means we are a little late, try not to make a habit out of it, and start the process of getting out the door a little earlier next time.

What if the kitchen dishes don't get cleaned or the laundry goes another day without washing.  It doesn't change a thing about the health or well-being of my family.  It doesn't mean I had an unproductive day.  It doesn't define me as a mom who just can't get it together.  And it most certainly doesn't mean that I can't just pick up a sponge and chip away at the never ending dishes piled up in the sink or swap a load of laundry, even though I still can't figure out how to get it to fold itself, ha!

What if I can't get that one kid out of pull-ups.  It means nothing except that we continue to encourage her progress and keep working at it.

This whole "get-it-done" concept even bleeds into other areas of my life.

For instance...Jude was happy and content in his new big boy bed.  For several weeks.  Enough that I felt confident enough to disinfect his pack-n-play and store it away until I can sell it at the consignment sale.  Only to be bombarded with a new fear of going to bed and separation anxiety by my sweet little ankle biter, resulting in a constant battle at bedtime, which brought the pack-n-play back down from the attic and into his room.  I can either get annoyed that my plan had been foiled and disrupted, and write it down as "another failure" in my mom book, or simply look at it in the view of eternity.  So what if he is back in his baby bed.  It doesn't mean that I failed as a mom.  It doesn't mean that he will be in a pack-n-play until he goes to college.  It doesn't mean anything, except that he is in a new season and needs something else right now.

If you view everything in the scope of eternity, and quietly whisper to yourself, "so what if _____ doesn't get done today", I promise you will feel the burden lifted and a new freedom to just rest in GOD's plan for your day, and not the mental list that makes you feel like you have worth and accomplishment for that day.

PS-I do NOT suggest adopting this mentality when it comes to paying bills or changing diapers;)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happenings And Words Of Wisdom From Cai-bo

I'm sitting here with all the windows open and a warm breeze blowing through the house.  It is a wonderful day.

It is so nice to have some sunshine!

It is so nice to have a day with no agenda, free from all the demands of a typical week.

Jude is sleeping soundly in his big boy bed, which all of a sudden is more fun to climb out of this week than to sleep in:)

We finally finished Alethia's hair (my hands are VERY thankful for a break from twisting and turning).  We had to get done so she could go on a lunch date with her daddy.

I'm sitting with Cai on the floor while he makes car and train noises with spurts of intermittent superhero theme music while his shape puzzle carries on conversations with themselves.  I guess you just have to be here, ha!

He just told me that he no longer wants to stay yittle, but he wants "to stay big, like Rainy. Because he loves Rainy. But sometimes she is grumpy."

I am taking Areyna away for the night for a weekend of conversation about sex, periods, boys, peer pressure, and who knows what else.  Prayers are appreciated!  We are heading to a friend's farm and staying in a little trailer on their properties where we can enjoy the goats, pond and outdoors.  We are both super excited!

Cai just informed me that sometimes he is a little kid, but sometimes he is a teacher that teaches me how to do things, like put puzzles together.

I finished up preschool with Alethia and Cai this week.  What a great year it has been!  They are really catching on.  Alethia is a whiz in school and picks things up VERY quickly.  We still have another year of preschool before they both enter Kindergarten.  Because of their birthdays they will both be in the same grade:)  They will be treated like twins when they enter school and put in separate classes.  It will be good for them.  But for now I will soak up the time I have with them at home.  Besides, I'll be starting Jude shortly after they head out!

Apparently making lunch is what makes me a good mommy according to Cai.

Jude, oh Jude.  He is walking from room to room now!  Not much slows that boy down anymore.  He has conquered going UP stairs, down, not so much, and is FINALLY picking up his sign language during meal time.  He is getting increasingly opinionated and hard-headed (oh boy).  He totally laughs in my face when corrected and smiles when doing something wrong that he KNOWS he should not be doing.  I was really hoping to have a child that didn't possess that sinful heart that we were all born with.

"Zekey is a good brother to me.  But he is kind of grumpy too, but I take his toys and that's why he is grumpy." ~Cai

I don't have anymore updates on the progress of our house, but I did come up with a cool headboard idea.  I had gotten some cool wall stickers for Christmas and was just waiting to paint our room to put them up.  We finally got our room put back together and I found the perfect place for it!

"Mommy, we don't say rude words. We don't say 'I will beat you up', or 'that's not fair'. That's not nice." ~Cai

It's Friday.
It's sunny.
It's warm.
Have a GREAT weekend ya'll!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Don't Wanna Grow Up

Cai wants to be yittle.

Cai wants to be cute.

Cai wants his toes to be tiny.

When asked why he doesn't want to grow up he always responds the same...

"I just don't want to grow big.  I want to be yittle."

But WHY?

"Because daddy say he want me to stay yittle."

That's good enough reason for me.

Cai-bo buddy,
Please stay little as long as you can.
K, thanks!
Love you oh-so-much,

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Well, after our plumbing fix got postponed THREE TIMES because of rain, and the fence quote needed a surveyor before getting their astronomical quote to us, I was getting antsy to get SOMETHING done with this house we now call ours.

So, first things first...our bedroom.

It was this dark, hunter green.  Not the most romantic atmosphere booster:)

And this is what we came up with...

...and the unedited nighttime shot with the phone:)

(Kelly, this post is for you!:)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The View From Here

From Homeschool To Public School : No Regrets

Making the choice to transfer Rainy and Zeke into Public school was one of the best decisions we could have made for them!  With all of the special needs Zeke has in the classroom there simply just wasn't enough of me to go around.  I would have never been able to get him to where he is today on my own!  And I'm okay with that.

Because when we have nights like the other night, where Zeke asks for his extra workbook from his special resources teacher to practice his writing, the thing he most despised and feared about school at first, my heart rests assured that he is exactly where he needs to be.

Yes, he still gets many letters mixed up that look similar and he still writes many letters backwards or upside down, but he can now tell me all the letters in the alphabet, make their sounds, match the capital and lower case, sound out words, read through simple books and has numbers 1-20 down pat!

And now when asked what his favorite thing about the day is, he more often than not, replies with an enthusiastic, "WRITING!".

Yes, I have days where I pout about how long they have to be in school away from home, but then they come home and tell me about their cool field trip on the big yellow bus, or how they conquered their fear of buying a lunch all by themselves, or listen to them pray for a classmate who has been making foolish choices, and I KNOW they are at the right place in this stage of their lives.

Nope.  No regrets.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Story In Pictures

a nest was made

eggs were hatched

fuzzy little birdies were brought to life
we watched and waited
they got bigger
they got stronger

until one day they grew up
and we witnessed their flight away from their nest

Areyna cried because she was so proud
she was so happy

...then she was so sad...

Yes, a real Colony pet is in the very near future;)

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Chloe and Alethia ~ December 2011
Sweet Cousins
I can't wait for their reunion!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Dare You

A couple of months ago I was sharing what my daily quiet time looked like and I mentioned that I like to have a book going for each main area in my life.  I also mentioned that I was reading a book on marriage that was a secret.

Well, the secret is out and I believe it will have lifelong impact on our marriage if I will allow it to.

I didn't really feel as though my marriage was falling apart or anything, but there is always room for improvement, (BTW-if you feel as though your marriage is fine and not in need of any improvement then you NEED to do this dare), and I'd heard some really good things about "The Love Dare" taken from the movie "Fireproof".

To be quite honest, I kind of made fun of the whole concept and dare, but I also thought, "Hey, why not? It'll be fun!"

So I went on Amazon, found the book for $1 and dove in, without Josh knowing.  I wanted to do it under the radar to just to see what would happen:)

I also kept a journal of the daily dares, how I implemented and carried it out, Josh's reaction, and lessons I learned along the way.

Yesterday I presented him with the little blue book.  It was really sweet to see his reaction as he skimmed through its content.

It took me 4 months to go through the 40 day challenge because some of the challenges couldn't be done immediately.  Some days seemed inapplicable to our personal circumstances, but I found a way to make it work.  I kept each dare simple and from the heart.

I DARE YOU to go get a copy and go through it.  Find ways to knock the socks off of your spouse.  You'll be surprised at how quickly selfishness and pride can get in the way of the blessings and simple sacrifices you could be offering instead!