Friday, February 26, 2010

About a boy

I know a boy who is tough, eager, impulsive, sweet, stubborn, full of energy and crashes hard. This boy can push everyone of my buttons before 8 am and every hour there after. This boy can, after pushing one of those buttons, completely melt my heart with his big brown eyes and sweet gestures. This boy remembers what it's like to sit all alone at the dinner table long after everyone else is finished, and now chooses to keep his younger sister company while she finishes her dinner. This boy surprises me daily as he learns to read and compute, both of which he is amazing at and loves to do. This boy loves to clean and organize (on his time of course). He can often be found, making all the beds, organizing toys and putting away clothes, all in secret, just to surprise his mom.
This boy will. . .

try to sled down a snow pile and think it's fun, even when it failed.
This boy will. . .

succeed at EVERYTHING he puts his mind to, because he's got "it". Whatever "it" is.
This boy will. . .

never be as special to ANY woman as he is to his mom.

P.S. - This was originally published on our family blog, Crisp Happenings.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What you get

Here's what a 2 year old captures with a camera. . .

Here's what a 4 year old captures with a camera. . .

Here's what a 7 year old captures with a camera. . .
And that's what you get when the digital world rules. Without it, my children would not have the luxury of taking pictures. Thank you digital cameras for giving me these moments.

Oh, and a small confession: The picture of Gideon was taken by me (not Es) - but it was just too cute to leave out.

P.S. - The post was originally published on our family blog, Crisp Happenings.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


One year ago, on February 18th we packed our lives into a truck. We made a last minute decision to forgo sleeping on the floor in the empty parsonage for one last night and instead, started our cross country trip to our new life in New Jersey. We had dinner at our friends house at 6pm and by 7, were saying some tough goodbyes to dear Michigan friends.

Packed to the limit, we started our journey. Josh and Indy in the rental truck. Me and the four kids (baby in utero) in the van. We weren't sure when or where we would stop for the night, but wanted to get as far as we could. At around 1 am on the morning of February 19th we pulled off in western PA. Desperate for a bed and some much needed sleep, I went to the front desk to see what the damage would be for a last minute room for the night. I guess it was the weary look in my eyes that caused the man behind the counter to have compassion and only charge us $60.00 dollars for a 100.00 dollar room.


The morning greeted us with some snow flurries, nothing we were worried about. The kids were excited to eat breakfast at the hotel's continental spread (okay, so were the parents!). We filled up on waffles, bagels, cereal and OJ. One less meal to buy on the road. The whole hotel experience was refreshing. Looking back, I see our needs being met in such huge ways. Ways I didn't see at the time.

After following the slowly moving truck for a couple of hours, I said goodbye to my husband and picked up the pace. I beat him by a little more than an hour. I can't tell you what I was feeling when I pulled into my parents driveway. One reason may be that I knew it wasn't our last stop. I knew we had so much more to do.

Wait for Josh. Let him stretch out. Unload the truck and repack the truck with our necessities for our next stop. Drive to our temporary home. Feel out our new home and the amazing people who inhabited there. Unpack the truck. Set up our sleeping space. Feed our family. You get the point.

I forgot one thing that I had to do. And it was major.

Check my pride at the door.

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people who have cared for us in the past year. Tangibly loving us. Selflessly giving to us - not asking anything in return. It's way more than I deserve and can EVER repay.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So blessed

Seriously, I am so blessed. Josh and I were talking the other night, about our plans. You know, the ones we had almost 9 years ago when we got married. Our plans of having 3 children, about him being a pastor, about our kids starting school, AT a school. Ahhh, how life changes. At the time, Josh would have been happy to stop at 2 kids and we thought about what life would look like if we only had Olivia and Garrett. Both in school all day, the quiet in the house, me probably working outside the home. And you know what? It didn't sound better than the reality we live in. Five kids, at home all day, with me, the stay at home mom. The noise that is deafeningly joyous and at times, excruciatingly painful. I'm sure, if we didn't know any different we would be happy with our 2 kids, but thankfully, we do know differently.

I am blessed beyond comprehension. Overjoyed to live in my chaos lined in peace.

Nora is almost 5 moths old, rolling from belly to back and almost has back to belly. She lights up when any of her siblings talks to her - and definitely isn't the 'forgotten fifth child'.

Nora and her biggest brother, Garrett.

I could kiss everyone of their faces - couldn't you?? (And notice the shirts that Gideon and Esther have on. . .they LOVE their Colts jerseys).

Our circle of love.

Blessed, blessed, blessed!!!!

P.S. - If you are reading this on Facebook, it was originally published on our family blog, Crisp Happenings.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Never before

Never before have I participated in Lent. Never before has there been something so a part of my life, that I felt compelled to give it up. Caffeine wouldn't do, I gave that up for pregnancies and nursing, for a time. TV - done that too - really not that tough. I know people who give up meat, soda, a bad attitude (although I don't think that one really can count, b/c that's awfully hard to control).

So I've got my "sacrifice". I use quotations because in the big picture what I'm giving up for the next 40 days is nothing compared to what Jesus gave up for me. And isn't that what this is all about? A preparation for the Holy Week, culminating with Easter. So I will deny myself, based on my human desires and temptations and prayerfully walk through the next 40 days, expectant of a fresh perspective on my God and my life.

I don't really know the rules to Lent, if you're suppose to talk about what it is you're giving up, but I'm going to anyway. Mostly because, if you know me at all, you'll know how much this is going to test me, and would love the prayers of my friends.

I hope to blog more in this time and hopefully, will be able to share what it is God is teaching me while I fast. . .from Facebook.

Monday, February 08, 2010

It's just a game

There we were. Ready. Donning our new Colts jerseys (and anonymous gift to our family). The food was prepared. The kids were tucked away in a far off room (well, upstairs). Let the game begin. . .and end. . .sadly. We are so sad not to be celebrating a Colts win today, but as I look at the world at large, and even at the lives of those all around me, I am pleasantly reminded that, IT'S JUST A GAME. That's all.

So, Rest in Peace Colts season. Thanks for the ride. And next year, let's do it all over again (except win the BIG one, OK?!?!).

We were so blessed by our jerseys that surprised us on our doorstep a couple of weeks ago. Each member of the family got their own. Here's the rundown of who got which player.
Josh - #44 - Dallas Clark
Jess - #18 - Peyton Manning
Olivia - #29 - Joseph Addai
Garrett - #93 - Dwight Freeney
Esther - #21 - Bob Sanders
Gideon - #87 - Reggie Wayne
Nora - #18 - Peyton Manning