Sunday, June 30, 2013


The past couple of weeks are a complete blur.

Josh has made the trip to the DC airport and back 3 times in two weeks as well as 2 trips back and forth to Richmond and Roanoke for a mission conference and his grandaddy's funeral.

We returned from VA on Thursday.  We had just enough time to unload the colony, fish out our instruments and gear, switch cars as we left the kids with Ms. Randa and headed to Journey for rehearsal.

Rainy's reaction to being home was priceless.  She slowly walked around with her arms spread out and then just laid down on the hallway floor and just smile, delighted to be in her own home again.

By the time we crawled into bed after rehearsal we couldn't even remember what day it was.

The kids slowly trickled out of bed the next morning, and after being asked a gajillion times to watch cartoons, we obliged and turned on the TV.  Only to find out that the internet was down.

Can I just tell you how nice it has been?
No email.
No Facebook.
No twitter.
No blog writing.
No blog reading.

Just me and my colony.
After 24 hours or so the last of them (Cai) finally caught on to the fact that the internet was not coming back until the "fixer guy" could come and check it out on Sunday afternoon.

So after the initial withdrawals from no Batman, Phineas and Ferb, printable coloring pictures, or Pandora playlists, we all began to awaken from the American technology hangover and started seeing joy in the simple things that surround us.

The kids made a bus that took them to Uganda.  They got to eat banana chips and play with their guinea pigs on their journey.

Legos were literally played with for hours.

The Superhero presence was in full force.

Babies were rocked, fed, burped and slobbered on (thanks Jude).

Yes, you read that right.  We have added 8 more little feet to the Colony.  We've adopted 2 guinea pigs, Tanny, the tan female guinea pig, and Geoffrey, the other female guinea pig.  (we don't want babies, but the boys wanted to have a "boy" pet:)  Sure, why not?!

I must admit to the near panic attack they almost induced upon their arrival, as I realized that I was now in charge of keeping 2 more living things alive.  They really are super cute and Jude absolutely adores them!

It's amazing what can happen when you lift your head above the haze of all the technology and multi-media entertainment.  Oh the things you find time for.  The things you can learn about each other without that kind of distraction.

Like the fact that Areyna is "so done" with her hooded kid's towel.
(Would you STOP growing up already!)

Or the fact that Alethia only needs about 5 minutes of undivided attention at a time to fill her little love tank.

Or notice that Cai can, in fact, still fit into Jude's 12 month clothes.  Yup, this awesome mama put one on him for church today and didn't even realize it until loading them up after 6 1/2 hours in, ha!

Zeke made endless craft "things".

Honestly it couldn't have come at a better time.  I just completed reading "7 an experimental mutiny against excess" by Jen Hatmaker, and man was it motivating!  I'll review it later this week, but let me just tell you that this has been a great kick start into the direction I feel the Lord moving my lifestyle.

Oh, I also began a new book and I can't WAIT to get deeper in!

That's it for now!  I've missed all my bloggy friends.

Happy Sunday ya'll!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Death, Burial million questions

I might be scared.

It might be a little cweepy.

Will he tell us something?

Can I touch him?

Will somebody come and close the box?
Can I see when somebody comes and closes the box?
Will Pawpaw be scared when they come and close the box?

My body will be stinky when I die?
Bugs are gonna get me when I die?

In a little bit Zekey will be old.  Then he'll die.  I no want him to die, 'cause then we won't have a Zekey anymore.

Pawpaw was laid to rest beside his daughter
who drowned at the age of four.
I can only imagine the other unasked questions or thoughts going through the little Colony brains as we experienced the wake, funeral and graveside for their great grandaddy.

With Josh in and out for a conference this week, I've been on my own to answer these deep theological questions in a toddler-friendly way to the best of my ability.

I didn't have answers for 100% of the questions that flooded their bedroom last night, but the few answers I did have seemed to quench their need for more, at least for now.

I'm not afraid to tell the kids "I don't know" when answers escape my abundance of knowledge;)

But one thing that I DO KNOW is that Jesus Christ came so that we can have hope.  And that very hope assures us that death here on earth is not the end.

What does the fruit of your life say about your hope?
Where does your hope come from?
Only Christ can satisfy.

So even though the treasures of this world will be eaten by moths and thrown to the wind, our eternal hope will be with us for eternity!

And I pray that is the ONLY answer they seek!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Story In Pictures ~ Home Away From Home

As I gather all these photos together Rainy is about to board a plane in Entebbe to head home.
(Her trip was cut short by a week and a half due to her great grandaddy passing away.)
Man am I ready to see her face again!

People keep asking me how Rainy did in Uganda.

Well, you can just see for yourself...

Uncle Baikes kept an eye on Rainy in the airplane
Just look at all those smiles!
cousins together again ~ trip from the Entebbe to Jinja
Pastor Godfrey greets Rainy back "home"
cousins doing ministry together in the villages

Rainy with old and new friends.  The little boy with her on the top right is Saffiki.
We have been supporting hims since he entered the babies home!
Rainy and Chickie #2:)
Since Chickie #1 passed away, RIP yummy sweet chicken,
her friend, Vicki, bought her a new one!
the girls leading a few songs at church one Sunday.
2 in English and 2 in Luganda:)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

From The Archives

This is me and my mom!
I'm guessing I'm about 1 1/2 or 2?
Not sure about you, but I see some Jude in me:)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Because I Love Him More ~ Sex Secrets Re-Written

Yes, I wrote a blog today about sex!

Yes, it was a great post!  If you missed it, you really missed out;)
(you can email or message me if you are really interested)

Yes, it was an honest look into a happily married Christian marriage and, well, sex.

But, because I love my husband, and respect him, and my story is his story, we decided that we would take it down for now.  He lovingly reminded me of just how many people read my blog (especially if the words "sex" and "secrets" are in the title).  He supports every word of what I said, and believe it is a message that needs to be heard, but maybe not for the entire world to read.

I tend to have a much looser filter on personal issues, and that is why my husband is my filter.  So, for now our "Sex Secrets" will remain "OUR Sex Secrets":)


Here are 5 key points I made:
1 - Make sure you have realistic expectations
2 - Don't be afraid to laugh
3 - Learn to communicate
4 - Make it fun
5 - Get out of your comfort zone

Alright, that's all you get for now.
I count it a privilege to live life with my husband and love that I get to love him!  Here's to finding the one you get to grow old with:)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Favorite Ethnic Hair Products


Shew, now that we've cleared that up...;)

I'm not scared to go up to complete strangers in the grocery store or fast food line (I must get that from my mom, ha!) and ask how they got their, or their daughter's, hair to look that good:)  The only downside is that everybody has their own opinion.  I'll think I've got it all down and then someone else will shake their head saying, "Oh no girl, that ain't right."  So, I pick, and choose, and try different products.  I've sampled dozens of products that are supposed to be "perfect for all hair types" and I have a few that have proven to be my absolute favorites for Alethia's hair!

Biolage - Just a quarter sized amount lathered up into her hair does wonders!  I can easily work out the tangles with my fingers while rinsing.

The rest of my products come from the same place.
I have fallen in love and am totally sold on Tacia Essentials products.
I could go on and on about Tassie Small's precious family.  Their wisdom in parenting.  Their talent and heart.  Their servant attitude.  But I'm just here to talk about Tassie's beauty line:)
Tassie hand makes her entire line of products with 70-90% organic ingredients.  I haven't tried a single product that I don't LOVE.  In fact, Josh and I may have stolen the body bar for our own personal use:)  I'm telling you, she knows her stuff!

She makes this hair growth oil that we can apply after a bath and even daily when it's styled.  Just massaging it into the scalp.  We could tell a difference within hours!  I'm not joking.  Alethia's hair used to be so dry and brittle and now it shines and feels so much softer.  LOVE that stuff.  PLUS it smells SO good.

We also use the Vanilla body and hair cream.  It smells so good that I could eat it!  We actually use this on Jude's excema to help maintain smooth skin.  It melts in your hands and soaks in so well.

Then there is the Hair Vitamin.  I mainly use this after a bath.  She told me you can't use too much, ha!  I use it when we fro it out to keep it full bodied and healthy.  I use it when styling, fingering it in as I work through the strands.  You can also apply it to the scalp to keep it moist while it's styled.

So, if you are looking for some new ethnic hair products or just some personal holistic products, check out Tacia Essentials!

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Last night Josh's granddad passed away.
He had been sick and it was expected, but that sure doesn't make it any easier.

News of a person passing away really has a way of bringing perspective and reality into light.

It makes the messes not so big and petty worries not such a big deal.

It makes my parenting more sensitive and patient.
Jude literally climbed up and went down the slide for a solid hour yesterday.
He is a determined little fella!

It makes friendships that much more treasured.

It makes moments like these so much more beautiful!
Josh and I laid out on the trampoline a couple of nights ago
and got to witness the sight of Venus and Mercury without a telescope.
It makes this picture all the more sweet:)
Rainy made it to Uganda safely.  Just LOOK at that smile!!!
Don't wait until it's over to reflect on the goodness God has given you right now.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

From The Gallery

because I hate piles of paper
but I love my kid's artwork

Zeke 2013
platypus tail ~ ostrich body ~ bunny ears

Areyna 2013
Areyna's Fun Park

Zeke to Areyna 2013
can you find the crab, fish, jelly fish, seaweed and octopus?

Areyna 2013

Zeke 2013
Vampire (yes, it is a little disturbing;)

Zeke 2013
Safari Animals

Areyna 2013

Areyna 2013

Areyna 2013
a portrait of mommy

Zeke 2013
all about sharks

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Copy Cat

where they go, he goes

when they stand, he stands

when they run, he runs

when they read, he reads

Jude is following right behind his siblings, copying every action they take.

It's nice to know I've got another protector out of the bunch:)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Only For A Time

It seems like only yesterday
my little glowworm was born Feb. 28, 2005
cradled in my arms
In her Africa outfit from Nonnie and G-daddy
3 months old

although she's always held her own
She's been little miss independent from the day she was born
8 months old
our home was where she'd run

but her sensitivity toward her family is something I'll cherish
1st day of preschool
but knowing that she's growing up

a princess she's become

and beauty from the inside out

her rebirth just begun
Rainy just gave her life to Jesus on May 28!
I've known from the beginning

she couldn't stay this close
I don't think we would have ever imagined how Uganda would take root in Rainy's heart
a daughter of the King she is

her life, His plans, my open hands
relinquished back to His
I said goodbye to my little girl yesterday.
Today she will board a plane to the other side of the world.
She's going to Uganda for 3 1/2 weeks
to encourage much-loved and missed missionaries
and minister to the people in the villages through medical clinics and sharing the gospel.
Our children are not our own.
They are the Lord's.
Given to us for a time.
Hold them tightly while they are close, 
but hold them loosely to allow them to freely follow the Lord,
wherever He leads.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Flash Centers

It takes our family a while to get used to anything new.  Even if that "new" is a good summer break.

We'd been having a less-than-par first few days with a lot of griping, whining and arguing, all from the kids of course;)

So, one rainy afternoon I decided to implement a little structure to help the day move along a little better.


I created 6 different centers.
Intentionally things they like to do but don't necessarily GET to do very often.
(does any other mom love creativity, but HATE cleaning up the aftermath?!)
I also intentionally had centers that they could do completely on their own.

I wrote each center on a note card and laid them upside down.
Turned on some "simmer" music.
They each drew a card.
I set the timer for 15 minutes and started it once everyone was in place.

When the timer went off they would do a quick clean-up of their area to get it ready for the next person.
Come back to the carpet and draw another center.

We did this for almost 2 HOURS ya'll!

Two solid hours of quiet, solitary play!

*I forgot to get a picture of the Nuudles center*

Play-Doh has been a big hit this summer so far
Arts and Crafts
there were NO boundaries here and every supply imaginable
Color Wonder
iPad learning games
learning manipulatives
This will definitely be a repeat activity during the summer break.  And I imagine we'll switch it up with different stations every time.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Do You Love It Enough To Go To Hell For It?

Everybody has their crap.

Some people's crap has outward consequences that EVERYONE else can see.
    addictions like sex, alcohol and drugs ~ pornography ~ impulsive behavior ~ lack of self control

Other people's crap is much more internal than others.
     criticism of others ~ internal judgements ~ pride ~ jealousy ~ fear ~ lust

But it's crap none-the-less.

Crap that separates us from our loving Father.
Crap that most often times separates us from our families and/or the ones we love the most.

We can find all the excuses in the world for why we simply cannot overcome the crap in our lives.  We can rationalize with the best of them.  But if these things stand in the way of a growing relationship with Christ, and the family we have been blessed with, is it not worth humbly laying it down at the feet of Jesus?

Something I read last night put it all in perspective for me.

This specific article is speaking about pornography, but it greatly applies to any sin that we are battling to give up.

Here is what Challies asks his readers:
"Do you love pornography enough to go to hell for it?"

Let's just keep going...
Do you love your feelings of entitlement and pride enough to go to hell for it?
Do you love money so much that you'd be willing to go to hell for it?
Do you love the fear you hide behind enough to go to hell for it?

To those friends of mine who are not Bible believers, or HELL believers for that matter, ask yourself if you are willing to give up your family for it?  Whatever is creating that barrier, is it not worth giving up for the sake of those relationships?

Monday, June 3, 2013

From The Lost Archives

Summer 2010

Cana ~ Zeke ~ Kayil

Cai ~ Zeke

"Come on guys, let's cuddle up. Cuddle up, cuddle up!"
Photos courtesy of Kelly Via