Monday, June 13, 2011

What's different

Normally when I have a toddler this age. . .

I look like this.

But SHE is that age. . .

And I look like this! 

No, this post isn't about what I look like!  It's really about what I don't have growing inside of me.  We are about to enter a brand new season.  One in which we have never entered before.  Soon we will have a 2 year old and NO new born baby.  I have to say, I'm not sad about this new season.  I can get my "baby" fix via my sisters who are all still makin' babies.  Thanks Ange, Corrie and Cheryl! 

There are moments when I look at Nora and think, "She's going to need to be potty trained in the next year, then there will be no more diapers in the house."  Part of that does make me sad but the other part of me is happy to have the extra 20 dollars a week for groceries. 

I love that our whole family can take bike rides together.  That we can go to the beach for the day without a stroller.  I don't need to worry about a baby monitor when I'm outside.  I don't have to plan my day around feedings.  And many, many more things.

I will miss the new baby smell.  The soothing, only mommy can do.  Falling asleep on the couch after a feeding.  The first eye contact, smile and giggle.

Ahhh, but I am so happy we are entering a new phase of life.  One that is unfamiliar and exciting.  One that, I know, will bring new memories, experiences and opportunities.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Sometimes I look around at the dinner table and I wonder how we got to this?  When did we have five kids?  These are the days I feel blessed beyond what I deserve.  I am thankful for 5 times the laughs, 5 times the I love yous, 5 times the hugs.  Children are a blessing from the Lord.  They teach me more and more about my need for the Savior and the weaknesses that He saves me from.

Crazy dinner time.  

Nora expressing her displeasure with being told no.

Nora cheesing for the camera.  As her personality emerges, we are finding that we have a "mini Josh" on our hands.  The most like daddy, in personality, of all the kids.

Esther lives up to her namesake, "A Star".  She is 100% girl.  She wears dresses everyday.  Here she is painting her nails, an almost daily occurrence.

Gideon at 3 1/2, loves to get himself dressed (here his shirt is backwards), ride his bike, and play ball.

Garrett has always done these mosaic drawings.  As he gets older, they get more detailed and creative.  I'm excited to see where this passion takes him.  This one was for dad and mom (although, you can't see my name b/c it's written in pencil.  I guess I was an afterthought.).

The kids have been listening to the Narnia books on CD at night before bed.  They are currently on the final book, The Last Battle.  Here Olivia drew the 4 children from the stories and Aslan.  

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The latest on school, life and the kids

School for us is almost out.  6 weeks and counting - and I can't tell you how excited I am about it!  As I sit here nose, fingers and toes ice cold, I am dreaming of summer.

Beach days.

Pool days.

Hours and hours outside.

Grilling out every night.

Bike rides, roller blades, swings and slides.

New this year, will be hours spent at the baseball field, cheering on Garrett.

The kids are just as antsy for summer as I am.  At dinner every night Gideon prays this prayer:
"Dear Jesus, help us love each other and that we can go to the beach.  Amen."

Here's the latest pictures of the kids.  Growing up so fast and so beautifully.  I thank God for them everyday.

Here's Gideon ready for the beach (and a fight). 

Garrett - such a great kid.  We are really excited to enjoy baseball with him this season. 

Nora, loving Garrett's helmet.  She does the greatest "daddy dance" when Josh gets home.  Her love for him melts my heart. 

Olivia with her cousin, Avery.  Olivia is great with the littler girls.  She loves to read and play with them. 

My little princess, Esther.  Everyday she needs to know if she's going to be able to play outside, because it dictates whether she gets to wear a skirt or not.  As girly as she is, she is BY FAR the dirtiest kid at the end of the day!!  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Garrett turns 7

Intensity, passion, extreme.  These are the words that describe you Garrett.  You certainly took his time coming into the world 7 years ago.  3 days late and 2 hours of pushing, our 8 lb. 9 oz. baby boy was born.  You have forever changed the way I love.  Your affection and intense desire to love deeply and and as hard as you can drives me to love in ways that stretch what I am comfortable doing.

You are the first person to greet strangers, high five buddies, and hug/hang on all available family members.  You are learning how to be a friend.  How to love people before yourself.  And are quick to remind me when I need to pray about MY attitude.  Thank you bud.

You initiate school on your own. You love math and anything that has to do with numbers.  You work hard to get things done but also like to get it done quickly.  Sometimes that's not a good combination but most of the time that means you get school done first!!

You are becoming a better reader and are not discouraged when you come up to a word you don't know.  You show perseverance in phonics and spelling.  A great attribute.

You are my best running buddy.  You love to ride your bike along with me while I run.  You don't like when I go across the bridge, you think it's going to fall.  You've been asking me lately if you can run too.  I know you think you're fast enough, but right now the bike will have to do.  Thanks for talking to me and just keeping me company.

 I love you dude.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Two years

Things change.

Things stay the same.

The themes of the last two years.

February 18th marked our two year anniversary of moving to New Jersey.  Honestly, I still don't know what's going on.  I have no idea where God is taking us - what the next step is - or when change is going to come.

Here's what I do know.  As frustrating as it is to be in a hold pattern for the last two years, I believe that God's future plan for us is better than the immediate gratification of what I think we need.  I have faith that this journey is to get us ready for God's perfect plan, not Jess's.  I am challenged daily to sit and wait.  I want to wait as faithfully and patiently as Joseph.  I mean, come on, he was given a clear vision of what his future would look like.  Yet as his life twisted and turned in ways that seemed to not move in line with what he knew, he didn't falter.  He didn't get angry when he was sold as a slave.  He didn't ask "why?"  every day he was in prison after being falsely accused.  He didn't pray for his future, telling God how to get him there.  He didn't wonder.  He didn't break.

Here's the other thing I know.  We are healing.  Our family at Sovereign Grace Church has been the most amazing support, encouragement, and life line we could have asked for.  We are being challenged to see our sin.  We are growing in care for others.  We are growing in our love for the God who controls everything.  Challenged to take that love out.  Share it.  Live it.  For real.

I know that without moving here I would have never home schooled the kids.  I know that for our family this is the best option for us.  I know that I am being stretched and my relationships with my kids are growing deeper because of our choice to home school.  I am so grateful to get to stay home and influence their lives 24/7.  A lot of days it's exhausting.  By 6pm, I'm done.  I am learning to put aside my desires and  wants, not just for the day, but in every minute.  Because, sometimes, that's what it takes to get through the minute.

Finally, this is what I know.  Ultimately, I know nothing.  Things can change in the blink of an eye.  This is a hard place for me to be.  I am being stretched in what and who I put my trust in.  I am walking blind along a path that is dark.  But I hold onto hope (this is my light), knowing that He who began a good work in me, is faithful to complete it.

Shine on.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Just a bunch of fun pictures of the kids

Here are pictures from the last month.  Enjoy.

Esther and Olivia can often be found doing photo shoots.  Yes, this is Esther, on top of a dresser, laying on a pillow, posing like a model.  Hilarious!

Gideon in front of the tree.  Photo by Olivia.

Nora with her cousin, Finn.  She loves him.

Nora and Esther.  Again, the ears were a prop of the photo shoot.  Photo by Olivia.

Olivia and Esther in the middle of a photo shoot.  Photo by Garrett.

This picture was taken by Garrett, while I was in the kitchen.  It actually annoys me, because it's one of the best pictures of the kids I've seen to date.  And it was organized by Liv and taken by Garrett.  Amazing what they can get accomplished when they work together.

Garrett's turn for a picture, because he wasn't in the last one.

More posing.  Photo by Garrett.

I love this picture!  Photo by Esther.


Big brother, little sister love.


Nora and Gid "playing" the DS's.

Nora and her cousin, Joshua.

Esther and her partner in crime  best cousin, Avery.

Garrett reading to Nora.  I love these moments.

Gideon and Nora. Another sweet moment.

After we took down the tree, Esther found the tree skirt and thought it was a perfect spin-a-round skirt.  And she was right!

Sleeping sardines with the Crisp kids.

Nora, really into the dancing.

The 3 olders watching TV on our bed.  Right before I took this, Garrett was playing with Esther's hair.  Again, with the sweet moments.

Gideon enjoying the snow.

Nora eating the snow.

Christmas, Christmas, and more Christmas!!

Christmas went on for weeks this year.  Here are a couple of the times we were with family to celebrate Christmas.

Grandma and Grandpa Ledbetter with the Crisp great-grandchildren.  

The John Crisp family.  We are so blessed.

Gideon opening presents with Uncle Steve.

The Crisp men.  From left to right.  Eric, Mike, Steve, John (Pa-pa) and Josh.

Christmas with my Nana and Pop-pop.  The kids waiting patiently.

Olivia likes her toes socks.

Nora liked them too!!

Garrett excited about his microscope.

Christmas with my family.  The one year olds, Brynn, Nora, and Joshua.

Brynn and Nora.

All the kids (minus Finn, the newest baby) ready to open presents.

Watch out Grammy, you might get trampled!!