Tuesday, December 10, 2013

What Love is This



**Originally posted November 2012

Yesterday, I sat down with each girl individually and gave them "cyber dollars" so they could privately shop online for their family members. Ardyn showed up with a list. Ashlin was definitive and decisive. Elizabeth was not happy her time slot fell during her one PBS show, so with eyes darting toward the tv, she hastily spouted, "I just want to get elephants for the little kids and monkeys for the big kids, ok?" That girl!

Anyway, when Mari sat down, she had three dollar bills wrinkled into a wad in her hand. Not understanding that I intended to fully fund her virtual shopping spree, she looked up at me and with those big brown eyes blinking slowly and sweetly, she whispered, "This is all my money. Can you please look up 'wedding rings'?"

I blinked a blurry tear away as I typed "gold diamond ring" into the search box, and she continued to talk. "This three dollars can buy you a really pretty ring and then - since my money will be all gone - I'll just make stuff for everybody else ... I can make a scrap book for dad and ..."

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Thankful Thursday


Counting blessings with Ann Voskamp today ...
a scavenger hunt for God's glory! 




3 gifts eaten - when "more is more":
whole wheat toast with crunchy peanut butter melting as it is spread
enchiladas with fresh spinach and tons of onions
hand-mixed guacamole - bad breath in a bowl;)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

First and Foremost

Landen and Asa introducing themselves up close and personal.

Today marks two months since baby Asa came to live with us.

I remember bits and pieces of that scary, exciting day. My mind was a fog of anxious nervousness. I wish I had written down my thoughts, but I know I didn't. I remember that part ... talking myself out of writing down anything.

The house was tidy. It was the big kids' first day of school. Philip was still off work, recuperating from hip surgery. I have no recollection of the chunk of time between carpool and lunch. Or was that the other home visit ... where the case worker and lawyer showed up late, so lunch sat on the stove until they left? See, I don't even know what time they brought Asa to us.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Korean Beef and Broccoli

I ran across a recipe for Korean beef bowl - a cheater's version, substituting for the flank steak. 
Of course, I didn't remember the details, and I was missing some ingredients. But having been inspired by the concept, the title, and the yummy photo, I added veggies and expressed myself in the kitchen last night.
Surprisingly, we all enjoyed the end result, so I have decided to share what I did .. well, I'm sharing half of what I did. If you, like I, have a small army to feed, you'll want to double the following:)

Monday, October 07, 2013

Simple Woman's Daybook: 10.7.13

FOR TODAY Monday, October 7, 2013...

Outside my window...
Bright sunny skies and cool crisp air.

I am remembering...
how often I've fallen short, and how patient God continues to be.

I am thankful for...
voices and instruments and folks who praise Him in my midst.

I am creating...

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Sniffles and All Things Sinful


Little Man is teething and he had some congestion when he woke up.  We know ear infections are a part of his brief medical history, so we are not playin' around with snot.

I vaguely remember writing the following post when Mari was a few months old. I searched and found it! It was the third post on my brand.new.blog. Seven years ago ... and I was on dial-up, so the photo is new because, hello.

There is REALLY nothing new under the sun:) These truths, both practical and philosophical, apply almost perfectly to my life today.

(originally posted October, 2006)

Mari Alice has a cold. I sheltered her the best I could, but with 4 siblings, an uncle, a dad and a bunch of friends, it was inevitable, I suppose. So, like I did with her older brothers and sisters, I have begun to use the (dun-dun-dun)NOSE SUCKER! It is now my goal in life to keep her sinus cavity free of mucus. A cold is one thing, but a secondary ear infection is quite another. So, to this preventive end, I arm myself with the light blue suction bulb, and boldly go where no mom likes to go....snot-sucking.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Multitude 9.2.13


Giving thanks to God in community for His gifts ...


3 Gifts White ...
Blank paper
New baseballs
Creamy yogurt

A Gift at 10 am, 1 pm, and 10 pm ...
Life Group
Lunch
Laptop

A Gift Outside, Inside, Upside Down ...
Cool rain
Even cooler shelter from the rain
Elizabeth's octopus made by tracing her hand

Monday, August 26, 2013

Our New Normal

Philip and Asa 
Big day of "firsts" at Southfield!

Today was Landen and Luke's first day back in class at the high school,
Ardyn's first day of public school at the Jr. High,
Ashlin's first day to be OJR: "Oldest Johnson in the Room",
Elizabeth's first day to NOT be the YJR, because it was
Asa's first day to live in our home.
(Philip and Mari and I had fun too:)

We began snapping photos right after the case worker and lawyer drove away.
He was so happy all day long. We are all the way in love with this little guy!

This is Ashlin's third rodeo with a 7-month-old sibling. She's got this.


And here is video documentation exploiting Gizzy's not-so-subtle anxiety 
concerning her recent dethronement. Bless her heart:)
AND please note that in this video we are prompting for the word, "Ash" ... short for Ashlin:)
video

Hopefully I'll get photos of Asa with the older kids tomorrow. And maybe me.
Thank You, God, for a very good day!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Compare and Contrast



There are so many folks who drink health shakes. I know this because they post about it constantly. They post photos, statistics and earnest proclamations of success and happiness.

Some "friends" have even sent invitations to shake parties, and announcements of shake specials.

Gut honest: (pun intended) I find this mildly annoying.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer Sabbath

 
In the warmth of evening shade, the kids rolled out the slip & slide and had a blast!
 
Landen roars, Ardyn mocks, Mari Alice giggles at those silly people.
 
 
Mari thought she could make it farther if her older brother tossed her onto the slide.
 
 
Ashlin made it roughly a yard and a half on her first "run"... and cracked herself up.
 
 
Elizabeth is wary of this entire operation, Mari Alice is all in, Landen seems concerned.
 
 
Ardyn Grace ... "who me? say wuh?"
 
 
Landen spins around to find Elizabeth cringing at such perpetual moisture.
 
 
Sweet sloppy Mari Alice with Ash-bash, the photo-bomber.
 
 
And ... we finally got the He-Man, Luke to come join the fun.
 
 
 
Thank You, God, for these fantastic kids. Thank You for their handsome dad, for our backyard, for running water, and for all the memories we're making together. Knit us together in love so that we are a soft, secure space for Baby Asa. In this final week of "8 is almost enough", draw us each closer to You and help us love each other well. Thank You for loving us first and for promising to never leave us. Give us the courage to be hopeful, and the strength to be selfless. It's all You!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Daybook 8.1.13

FOR TODAY Thursday, August 1, 2013...

Outside my window...
A steamy summer shower is thundering through the neighborhood forcing skies to darken and grass to glow bright green.

I am remembering...
the summer I stayed a week at my Grandma's. Croquet, fireflies, and rhubarb pie.

I am thankful for...
faithful friends who speak lovingly, pray boldly, and laugh easily.

I am creating...





Thursday, July 25, 2013

Committed

I have trust issues. With humans mainly. I don't like it when people are dishonest. There are a lot of folks who simply don't tell the truth. If I interact with very many in a row, I'm sorta ready to live out my days in a cave.

When I was young, my family endured a betrayal of sorts. After that pivotal season, though what we understood of forgiveness had been offered, we each had to navigate relationships through wounded feelings. I subconsciously decided to dive deep into a dream world of denial. "Everything is fine. If it's good, it's probably not that good, and if it's bad, I simply cannot know about that ... things are really fine."

When circumstances looked favorable, I quickly considered all the many ways they could shift -without warning - toward my demise. When life was hard, it instantly proved all my fears were merited ... until the next second when I would ignore my honest feelings, deny any hurt, suck up any emotions, and move on. Healthy? Not quite.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Extra! Extra!

If I had a dollar for every time I've been asked ...

"Are y'all going to have more children?"

My enthusiastic and definitive response has often been:

"Well, I won't be birthing any more, but if God wants to bring more into our home, I'm happy to raise them!"

And now ... the time has come.

In January of this year, Philip's sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, but she is unable to raise him. After months of processing - emotionally, legally, and prayerfully - he has been placed with us in a foster-to-adopt relationship.

We are expecting baby Asa to join us the first week of August. He will be six months old and we are VERY excited.

I want to write more about this special journey, but I have a couple things to do around here...
I can't wait to share more of this precious child and the marvelous way God is writing us into his story.

Thank you for praying for us when you think of us. We KNOW God is all over this, so we wait in hopeful expectancy.

 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,  to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Book Review: Atonement Child

If you know me, you've heard me talk about "my Kathy". I use this possessive modifier as a term of endearment. I plan to love her forever and even though she knows me through and through, she still loves me well. She is smart and thoughtful and quick to laugh. She is a bridge-builder ... constantly connecting people and resources to encourage and inspire.

Welcome my dear friend, Kathy, as she shares her response to her most recent read. -cdj

In the past months, while trying to avoid the details of the Gosnell trial, I've prayed with someone who had an abortion, I've watched the 180 Movie, and have read Atonement Child.  God speaks in themes, doesn't He?

Have you ever really thought about abortion?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Trades of Hope {giveaway}

You know those adult friendships that happen so easily that you wish you could be together more often? Not necessarily the neighbors or church buddies, or even that really cool mom you see at all the baseball games. I'm talking about the cousin who lives in another state, but every time you instant message, you literally laugh out loud. Or the wife of your husband's cousin ... how those holiday chats seem effortless and completely refreshing.

Christy is a girl [read: grown woman, mom of 3] who went to college with me. I can't remember a single time we conversed one-on-one while we shared a campus, but we knew and loved the same set of people. So when we reconnected in Bloggerville, we realized we are delightfully like-minded. We read. We write. We parent. We minister. We opinionate and commentate and pray for grace to trust God more. We enjoy friendship from a distance in a peaceful, inspiring, easy way:)

Last year, Christy introduced me to Trades of Hope.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

AMH: Sharper in Real Life


 
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up." Ecclesiastes 4:10

I'm blessed to be blogging over at A Martha Heart today.


Click here to be a part:)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Children are GIFTS: Part 5

Thank you to my friend, Nicki! I invited her to post here all week to continue the celebration of Mothers, and WHAT a blessing!

Nicki and her husband, Brad, are faithfully raising three cheerful kids.

I love her comforting smile, her humble determination, and her rumbling hunger for more of God's Word. I know you'll enjoy this week-long study of Biblical Motherhood.
 
We've been looking at five moms in the Bible and learning how to grow as a parent. Children are GIFTS. Each day this week, we've looked at a different letter in the word "GIFTS".

Here's Nicki...

G is for God-centered (Click here for Monday's post.)
I is for Individuality (Click here for Tuesday's post.)
F is for Fear or Faith (Click here for Wednesday's post.)

T is for Teach. (Click here for Thursday's post.)
S is for Servant's Heart.


Our final Mother is none other than Mary, the mother of Jesus. I love her love for God, and I pray often to have a heart so willing to surrender to the will of God. After being told of the unplanned pregnancy outside of marriage, most women, especially during that time, would have been scared to death. Joseph could have had her killed, but it didn’t even seem to phase her. In Luke 1:38, she says
"I am the Lord's slave ... may it be done to me according to your word." That's a picture of a Servant's Heart!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Children are GIFTS: Part 4

Meet my friend, Nicki! I have invited her to post here all week to continue the celebration of Mothers.

Nicki and her husband, Brad, are faithfully raising three cheerful kids.

I love her comforting smile, her humble determination, and her rumbling hunger for more of God's Word. I know you'll enjoy this week-long study of Biblical Motherhood.
 
We're looking at five moms in the Bible and learning how to grow as a parent. Children are GIFTS. Each day this week, we'll look, at a different letter in the word "GIFTS".
Here's Nicki...

G is for God-centered (Click here for Monday's post.)
I is for Individuality (Click here for Tuesday's post.)
F is for Fear or Faith (Click here for Wednesday's post.)

T is for Teach.

Today I want to talk about Eunice, Timothy's mother who is mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:5. Paul writes to Timothy to encourage him and says, "I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother, Lois, and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues in you.” Eunice taught Timothy just as her mother had taught her the greatest commandment which is “to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your might.”

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Children are GIFTS: Part 3

Meet my friend, Nicki! I have invited her to post here all week to continue the celebration of Mothers.

Nicki and her husband, Brad, are faithfully raising three cheerful kids.

I love her comforting smile, her humble determination, and her rumbling hunger for more of God's Word. I know you'll enjoy this week-long study of Biblical Motherhood.
 
We're looking at five moms in the Bible and learning how to grow as a parent. Children are GIFTS. Each day this week, we'll look, at a different letter in the word "GIFTS".

Here's Nicki...

G is for God-centered (Click here for Monday's post.)
I is for Individuality (Click here for Tuesday's post.)
F is for Fear or Faith

This brings me to my next mother who's story is told in the Bible and that is Jochebed, the mother of Moses.
Found in Exodus 2:10, the Israelites were enslaved to the Egyptians and the Pharaoh had sent out a decree to kill all Hebrew baby boys. The population of the Hebrew people was growing and the Egyptians feared being outnumbered. But Jochebed didn’t parent out of fear. She went against the edict and hid her baby for three months, and when she couldn’t hide him any longer, she put him in a basket and sent him down the Nile River. This took faith!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Children are GIFTS: Part 2

Meet my friend, Nicki! I have invited her to post here all week to continue the celebration of Mothers.

Nicki and her husband, Brad, are faithfully raising three cheerful kids.

I love her comforting smile, her humble determination, and her rumbling hunger for more of God's Word. I know you'll enjoy this week-long study of Biblical Motherhood.
 
We're looking at five moms in the Bible and learning how to grow as a parent. Children are GIFTS. Each day this week, we'll look, at a different letter in the word "GIFTS".

Here's Nicki...


G is for God-centered. (Click here for Monday's post.)
I is for Individuality.

Another Mother who I find interesting is one whose name is never mentioned. She is mentioned in Judges 13. We know her as Manoh's wife, or Samson's mother. She too, like Hannah, was unable to conceive, but then by the power of God, she was blessed with a son who was to be raised quite differently than other little Jewish boys. He would be a Nazarite from birth. He could never eat anything that came from a grape, never cut his hair, and couldn’t be defiled by a corpse. This boy was to be raised according to God's individual calling on his life ... and shouldn't we as Christian mothers raise each of our kids on an individual basis? Each of our kids are different and have a natural bend to their personality and the way God designed them.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Children are GIFTS: Part 1

Meet my friend, Nicki! I have invited her to post here all week to continue the celebration of Mothers.

Nicki and her husband, Brad, are faithfully raising three cheerful kids.

I love her comforting smile, her humble determination, and her rumbling hunger for more of God's Word. I know you'll enjoy this week-long study of Biblical Motherhood.
 
We're looking at five moms in the Bible and learning how to grow as a parent. Children are GIFTS. Each day this week, we'll look, at a different letter in the word "GIFTS".

Here's Nicki...

G is for "God - centered." First, we must raise our kids in a God-centered environment.

The first mother I want to mention is Hannah, the mother of Samuel.
1 Samuel 1:9-18

Hannah was married to Elkanah and Elkanah had two wives. One was Hannah and the other was Peninnah. Peninnah began having children but Hannah was unable to conceive. This was hard for Hannah, and Peninnah didn’t make it any easier.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Road Trip

Last weekend, we drove to Arkansas to celebrate my Grandma's 85th birthday. Philip and Landen stayed home to prepare for and photographically document prom. JW went with.

As we drove home, our only agenda was to find a "mountain to climb" and a "creek to throw rocks in". We found both!


Monday, April 29, 2013

Multitude 4.29.13











Giving thanks to God in community for His gifts ...


A Gift in Sky, Water, Memory...
steamy, dark clouds racing through - leaving cool breezes to follow their tracks
dry, floating assaults of pollen trapped and tranquilized for the day by merciful moisture
the little strawberry dress -worn by many sisters - brought out from storage for more classic cuteness

A Gift Wrinkled, Smoothed, Unfolded...
the printed softball schedule that seems to order our days
the situation where I found just enough courage to be gently honest
this marvelous narrative He's finishing in us

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Thrilling Agony


I don’t know a lot about victory. I’m neither an athlete nor a conqueror. I know about hard work and careful preparation. I have won some awards and there are a few music-related trophies with my name on them, but to fight and struggle in order to win … this gives me a rash.

If you were to list the things in my life where I find "success", you would notice it includes many of the things that come naturally and easily to me.

My husband leads Bible study with high school boys. They all LOVE to win! However, he grieves over all the obstacles and snares our culture presents these young men. He is well aware of the temptations John mentions in the Bible: “Lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life.”

With his best inspirational coaching voice, he has admonished them, “Guys, this is going to be a battle … every, single day of your life … so learn to be victorious today!” (I love that guy:)

I know he means to inspire and equip them, but my passive, wimpy ears perceive discouragement when I think about this daily struggle we call ‘life’.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

AMH: Mommy Moment


Sharing some fresh fruit over at
A Martha Heart today.

Click and Enjoy:)

Friday, March 01, 2013

AMH: Self-Control

I'm learning that bearing fruit is not something I can do. God has to do it through me. My responsibility is to dig down into the truth of who He is with deep, abiding roots. He'll bring about fresh evidence of His grace in due season.

Sharing another fruit of the Spirit "Mommy Moment" over at A Martha Heart today. I hope you'll find the time to hop over and enjoy!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Man


14 Reasons why I love my funny valentine...

1. Blue eyes...can't get enough of 'em.

2. Accented slang...he talks like a hick, and ironically, I dig it.

3. Friendly...he's just a really friendly guy.

4. Strong hands...he refused to use the bar of soap in the hotel once because he couldn't wash his hands with "something that snaps in half every two seconds"...brute?

5. Affectionate Dad...all the kids bask in his tenderness.

6. Hard work...he possesses not one ounce of laziness.

7. Home Run maniac...that boy got skills.

8. Blossoming musician...he has always had a song in his heart, and after years of my "nearness", he can actually sing on key.

9. Fixer-guy...I never pay a repairman, rarely a mechanic, only seldom a plumber. I tell ya - the boy got SKILLS.

10. Optimist...things in Philip's world are either "all good" or "awesome".

11. Provider...I never have to wonder if we'll have what we need. PTL

12. Chatter box...he uses twelve thousand minutes and 700 texts per month just making people feel known and needed.

13. God lover...though I truly feel loved by Philip, I always have the sense that he loves Someone else more...and I wouldn't want it any other way.

14. After all these years, he still thinks he loves me more than I love him ... it's just so precious. Incorrect, but precious.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bring It!

Snuggled in my recliner, perfectly comfortable in every way, I confessed aloud - breaking out of my own denial of the inevitable - "I really need to get up and use the restroom."

*several more minutes of cozy lounging come and go*

(Speaking of "go" ...)

Philip soon lets down the foot rest of his recliner and stands up, so I tease,
"Hey, while you're up, could you run to the bathroom for me?"

He rolls his eyes while my sheepish smile admits the absurdity of my request.

There are a lot of things that other people could do on my behalf. They could cook supper, they could make a phone call, run errands, refill my drink, get me a blanket, substitute for my teaching ... the list goes on. But there are some things that ultimately cannot be done by anyone but me. Going tee-tee in the potty (as my toddler likes to say) is one of them. No one else can do that job but me.

I wonder if there is something to be learned from this phenomenon.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Joy Dare 1.31.13











Giving thanks to God in community for His gifts ...


A Gift in Sky, Water, Memory...
a storm front gusts - howling fear and vulnerability - commanding a trust and fear in the Creator
brimming ponds lapping abundance onto banks
the first tornado we shared as a young married couple ... silent and scared, but secure

A Gift Wrinkled, Smoothed, Unfolded...
that middle of my forehead from all the moments of concentration or contemplation
our bedspread for the start of a day
all my kids clothes that lay in their drawers ... "ain't nobody got time f'dat!"

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

AMH: Mommy Moment - Joy

I'm posting over at A Martha Heart today.

"This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!"
Enjoy today,
cdj

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Landen!


Landen Paul (2yr) in 1998. "Ninny-Pah" since his sisters met him.

Our firstborn. The poor soul who was destined to receive the brunt of my inexperience and insecurities as a parent. And yet, he emerges surprisingly healthy in so many ways.

He is kind and hard-working; friendly and helpful. He is strong and handsome...much like his dad. He loves to sing and dance...half-way like me.

So grateful to be able to trust him whole-heartedly.
So blessed that he offers to help with cheerful enthusiasm.

He is learning the art and importance of being authentic. I know in my heart that he will do amazing things for God's Kingdom. I'm glad to be a part of his sweet life.

Thank You, God, for Landen Paul!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

AMH: Bigger Picture


Today I'm posting over at A Martha Heart.

I hope you'll click the link and pop over to enjoy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Joy Dare 1.20.13











Giving thanks to God in community for His gifts ...


3 Yellow Gifts of Fresh Mercy...
lemon slices in a clear glass of ice water
creamy butter melting in a skillet
kitchen lemon hand soap from b&bw

Something Above, Below, Beside...
bright starry night
freshly vacuumed carpets
Philip's recliner ... right by mine.

3 Things About Yourself for which You are Grateful...
I can plan
I can cook
I am a fun girl

3 Startling Graces of God...
Philip's new work schedule
unexpected time with lovely out-of-town guests
victory - when defeat was hissed and haunted by the deceiver

A Gift Worn, Given Away, Shared...
The awesome Tshirt Philip brought me back from Snowshoe
hopefully my sofa and love seat ... very soon:)
a crock of chili and snicker doodles dipped in coffee

3 Witnessed Blessings...
sweet words from preteens
truth shared among 6-yr-olds
kindness between the man cubs

A Gift Bringing Laughter, Prayer, Quiet...
Banana-grams and Catan with friends
a struggle for peace
arriving half an hour early for the worship service

3 Gifts from God's Word...
Be strong and courageous.
Be of good cheer.
Be not afraid.

3 Gifts that Might Never Have Been...
a Sabbath spent with her dad - if Mari had not had a cough.
Aryn - if our miscarried baby had thrived.
Elizabeth - if we had submitted to the doctor's suggestion.

3 Gifts Only Seen Close Up...
the birthmark in Elizabeth's right iris
brow hairs that beckon to be tweezed
all reading material without my glasses - now that I'm in my 40's :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day in the Life

I needed to search my blog earlier today for some long, lost idea. I stumbled across this post from forty-seven months ago. I am so glad I keep a blog! Before reading this, I had little memory of any of it. Thank You, God, for encouraging me to jot things down ... and thank You for bringing me back to this snapshot of joy captured from the fleeting days. It's remarkable how much we've grown and changed ... and remarkable how so many things are pretty much the same.

Enjoy the blast from the past:)


FOR TODAY Monday, February 16, 2009...

Outside my window... cold and dark.

I am thinking...that there is nothing of value on television. The house is empty (except for Mari sleeping) and I am finally free to watch whatever I wish. Seppin' thar ain't nothin' on! Good to know.

I am thankful for...my husband, my kids, my home, our food, and my car. I am a rich woman!

From the learning rooms...Ardyn struggled today with concentration. She didn't get to go to her brothers' baseball practice because she wasted her day away. She was literally in anguish as we drove away from the park. I'm hoping the tough lesson will manifest a fresh focus for tomorrow. The boys accomplished a huge load of work today. It's nice to be ahead of the eight ball for the rest of the week. Ashlin is diligently reading and writing better each day. Her lisp is fading as she regularly reads "Dick and Jane". Those books use so many s's! "See silly Sally. See Spot, Sally." Wonderful progress! Mari can sing her days of the week and she is consistently identifying her colors --correctly. And our littlest Johnson is developing motor skills daily -- as evidenced by the incessant kicks and jabs within my belly.

From the kitchen...We had leftovers for lunch AND dinner. Pretty lame, I know, but the kitchen is tidy! When JW brought the groceries in this afternoon, it might as well have been Christmas morning for Mari Alice. She unloaded each sack with pleasure and joy. "Yay Milk! Beans! Crackers! and Turrrrrkey, too!!" She is such a happy girl.

I am wearing...wind pants, tee shirt, and bare feet. But I wish I had socks on. It's getting pretty chilly in the house.

I am creating...next year's school calendar. We're hoping to get started in May and get the first few weeks in before the baby arrives. Then we'll take it slow until she sleeps through the night. Then we'll rev our well-rested engines and take it strong into the Fall.

I am going...to paint that last stupid door from the hall bathroom. There, I said it. It must be done.

I am reading..."Can We Talk?" by Priscilla Shirer, my Holman Bible in a Year, and Daughter of the Mountain to the kids after lunch. (and growing slightly weary on all counts...pray for me.)

I am hoping...to get our sheets out of the dryer and onto the bed before Philip gets home. He is irritated by VERY few things in life. Beds without bedding tops his short little list. It's the least I can do. And, my, how I love the scent of freshly laundered bedding. If I can hurry up and post this, happiness shall abound!

I am hearing...nothing. Mari is asleep, JW is at the movies, and Philip took the other 4 to a basketball game. It has been a LONG time since I was seemingly home alone. Blissful silence. Let's just soak it up for a moment.............................................................................
...................................................................................
...................................................................................
.............isn't it grand?

Around the house...the rooms are playing charades. The living room is exhibiting "remains of the day", the bathroom - where 5 kids took 5 showers in 25 minutes - demonstrates "gorillas in the mist", and the laundry room jives to "Help! I need somebody. Help! Won't you PLEEEASE, please, help me? Help me!"

One of my favorite things...ice water. So often, I try to quench my thirst with a diet DP or lemonade. When what I truly need is a huge glass of iced, filtered water. There is no substitute.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Bible Study, Choir rehearsal, gymnastics, baseball, horseback riding, and we're driving down to Johnathan's first birthday party on Saturday. HUGE fun!

Here is picture thought I am sharing... How many years have we been "loving" baseball?? This photo is from the bygone era of "mommy has so much extra time, she can sew cheerleader uniforms from last year's jerseys!" Here's to a brand new season full of life lesson and street clothes.

To participate or simply enjoy more daybooks, visit The Simple Woman.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

19th Anniversary

I love this picture because it's undeniable that I'm in love. In that moment I thought Philip Johnson was the greatest thing ever...and he's never given me reason to change my mind...in fact he has patiently and lovingly offered every kind of security for both my heart and mind.

These were my bridesmaids, Rachel, my very first and closest friend; Tracy, my dearest friend from OBU; Jami, my confidant and colleague at ETBU; and Rebecca, my roommate & sister-in-law. What a rich gathering of character, beauty, and grace to offer laughter and support that day.

wow. There is really no telling. My brothers plus Tyler buds plus Longview pals equals a good, good time.

Isn't this sweet? Our dear, sweet parents. Is it my imagination or do our mothers look like they could be sisters? Beauties! And my dad is cracking me up...now I know from whence I inherited the "open mouth concentration" gene. Ever seen me use a pair of scissors? I get it honest:)

Thank You, God, for giving Philip the courage to chase me down twenty years ago...and for giving him wisdom and patience from on high. Thank You for granting me courage - if even for a moment - to step out in faith and take hold of one of YOUR greatest blessings in all my life. You are so wise and kind. You have taught us how to love and we give You all the glory!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Joy Dare 1.10.13

3 Gifts Heard...
60,000 young adults lifting praise at Passion 2013
Philip patiently explaining fraction reduction to the 4th grader
the voice of a sister-friend for more than an hour on a long-needed phone chat

A Gift Outside, Inside, On a Plate...
batting cage
the settling of Catan
Ardyn's famous fried eggs

3 Graces You Overheard...
"Isn't she a sweet child?"
"This is the best."
and from the wee one in the backseat: "Dear God, please help my brother not to say bad words."

A Gift Old, New, Blue...
the rocking chair I was rocked in 40 years ago ... still lulling late evenings away
the ring my daughter chose for me
the toddler swing is a dot of primary color in the backyard expanse of browns and greens

Something You're Reading, Making, Seeing...
the Father Brown Mysteries
a Piano Lesson flier for my mom
the floor of my bedroom ... finally, after a long holiday overflow

One Thing In Your Bag, Your Fridge, Your Heart...
chapstick
clementines
countless choruses

3 Graces from People You Love...
cheek-kiss "good-bye" from Kathy
sweet, humble words from Mom
laughter and giggles from Celina

Dusky Light, Surprising Reflection, Dusty Shadow...
friends circling a fire pit at the lake shore
seeing a grown person's baby pictures and realizing not much as changed
the forsaken corner of the stairwell

A Gift Held, Passed By, Sat With...
cup of crushed ice brought home by the firstborn
another job opportunity - our roots grow deeper
my man and his pizza

A Gift Sour, Sweet, Just Right...
my attitude when the phone woke me up (opportunity to receive grace first thing)
"black and white" chocolate drizzled kettle corn
Ardyn saying, "Do you need a hug? I need a hug."