Monday, November 12, 2012

Give. Serve. Rest. Eucharisteo.

These are the words rolling in my mind these days. I don't know where they are leading, but I know Who is.

He has something for me, and I want to hear.

I love that He always speaks, if I wait and listen.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

There's nothing like that smile to melt our hearts. Especially after so many years of shyness, to see her whole personality shine thrills our hearts. I'm especially thankful for this sweet smile when she is in the midst of a three girl pile up, as they all called the ball at the exact same time, and landed in a heap.
I love that she sees the humour and keeps it in perspective.
 Ready for the serve, they have different funny hand holds they do. I'm so glad shes having the experience of team sports, unlike her Momma who really doesn't enjoy sweating.  I had no idea how she would love volleyball, and be surprisingly (to me) good at it. Even better than her powerful serve, though, is the grace she shows when mistakes are made, both her own and others. Consistently smiling and encouraging her team mates, she has made us so proud.
 Cheerleaders in the dunk tank. Quite the fund raiser!
 I love these girls. Good friends make all the difference, and this one is a special blessing to my girl.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

I'm Sorry Your Sunday School teacher Sat On You

Added to the list of things I never thought I would say as a parent...

"I'm sorry your Sunday school teacher sat on you!".

New teacher. New style of discipline for sophomores including telling them "they are not ladies, they are sophomores", "I am loud and so much fun, all my previous classes love me", and my favorite, sitting on them if they are talking in class.

And we wonder why our teens disconnect. As Cailin said, very succinctly. "Instead of telling us how much fun she is and trying to make us like her, why doesn't she try to just be likable?".

It isn't that hard. Kids just want a safe place to be heard, and to be encouraged. Being a teen is soooo hard. Why can't adults get that? Love them. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Don't praise the pastor's daughter, who wears modest skirts, but accesorizes with a critical eye towards others. Praise the girl who notices a lonely newcomer. Or the one who boldly shares her fears and humbles herself as imperfect.

Love them. LOVE THEM!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

That Girl

image from google

To say that Cassidy is not a fan of math, is putting it mildly.

In fact we've had quite a few screaming matches gentle discussions  over it through the years. So at Back to School Night, when her teacher shared reasons the students liked or disliked math, there was no doubt which side my Cassidy would land on.

Mrs. Copeland encouraged the kids to voice their opinions, so she would know their perspective and how to best help them.  She shared a few of them, from the 80 plus students. Not surprisingly Cassidy's were mentioned on two lists, and I identified her without any clues from the teacher. Just knowing my girl.

Why I dislike math?

"I am more of a spelling person!"

Who do you go to for math help when you have a question?

"My sister, because my parents are terrible at math!"

Not true. I mean, she does ask her sister for help, but just because we make her crazy, and she refuses to believe I know what I'm talking about. That girl!

Friday Night Lights

Cailin's first game as a varsity cheerleader for football.
 My favorite part of every game is seeing the guys run through the banner.
So much anticipation.
 I love that we get to spend our Friday nights as a family.
Rusty has to be there since it's his school, and because he loves football
and wouldn't miss a game!
I love the excitement in the air, the hint of fall air, and I especially love the food!
Barbecue, hot dogs... things I only eat at games.
This game was at a tiny school. So small, in fact, that we were sitting on the baseball
outfield! The two fields were that close!
Cassidy spent the evening doing back  flips, mostly avoiding the red clay dust.

Monday, August 27, 2012

They wanted to watch tv alone, with out Mommy. (Cailin did let me snuggle with her eventually, much to Cassidy's dismay.)

They wanted to do one another's nails.

Giggles abounded.

When Cassidy was crushed with the devastating news that we weren't going to allow her to go to London woth her best friend next summer (Hello! London is far. And expensive. Did I mention far?) she wanted only Cailin to comfort her.

Long days of school and practices have made these two miss one another. I can't praise God enough.

Oh, how I love them, even when I am the odd man out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Days of School 2012

8th Grader
Last Year of middle school.
Be still my heart.

10th Grader- Sophomore
Carrying her cup for making coffee in daddy's office keurig as soon as they arrive.
So apparently, my emphatic no didn't keep the girls from going back to school.
Off they went, happily, at least.
Me? Not so much.
Oh well, it will be a great year, I just miss having my sweet girls at home all day.

Monday, August 20, 2012


I feel like a toddler, my "no" has no power but I am going to say it anyway.

I might even add a foot stomp. It just feels good to say my piece.

I'm not ready to let my girls head back to school, although one already has! I'm still comfortable in denial since Cailin is still home, but that will all change tomorrow.

My 8th grader has enjoyed her first days and is eager for volleyball tryouts.

The sophomore is eager to cheer at her first varsity football game, and I'm sure her AP English is also on her list of "can't wait"! Ha. She has outfits selected for the first week, and notebooks spread all over her floor in various stage of readiness.

This is my 11th first day and I am no more excited than I was for the first 10. I adore my girls and love having them home, even if I am just working while they are doing nails and watching endless episodes of "Bones".

Having them near just makes all well in my world. Back to school? No.

At least for today.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I thought I would be super sophisticated. (The fact that I prefaced sophisticated with "super" probably shows there was never any danger of that.)
I thought I would be wealthy and a gourmet cook and have a fabulously decorated home, with a roster of famous clients.
I assumed we would entertain weekly and have a circle of friends who would share a tight history and inside jokes.
I think I might have even seen myself as taller and thinner, if I let myselfreally get carried away.
I know I thought I would never lose sleep or worry about my children and their decisions, because they would be blameless, and my only concerns would be the injustices of the world around them.

But God. As in everything, He had so much more. Sometimes what looks like less is a huge gift wrapped up and tied with a bow.

I really am not sophisticated, but I have so much fun! I laugh a lot. Loudly, and at the same time as I am talking. It's a skill my bunco group recognized and taunts me with, this laugh-talking. Throw in some knee slapping and you almost have a cardio work out! I love nothing more than laughter, I think it trumps sophistication every time.

I'm really not wealthy, nor do I have famous clients. I do, however, have a job allowing me to work from home, and clients who are mostly reasonable and likable. Funny how design paled in comparison for my passion once two giggly girls entered my life.

We have whittled that circle of friends, as we have matured and interests have changed. Turns out we don't need such a big circle outside our home, but love the one within desperately. Talk about inside jokes! The ones within our own four walls are our favorites, and often un-shareable!

Turns out my kids aren't as perfect as I expected, and most of the sleep lost has been over their own poor choices (not doing homework is such a bad idea) or worry over my own imperfect parenting. They have had more than their share of worldly yuck, too, but all those concerns have brought me closer to the One who always answers. He has never let us down. He has always been one step ahead.

He is so good. He took the plans of a naive girl, shook them up, and handed, instead, a map to a hidden treasure of a life to dig through for all the days of my life.  My life is a treasure. Turns out I am pretty wealthy, after all.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Everything you hear about teen girls?
Pretty much true.
Which is why I need these sweet pictures to remind me that I really do adore them.
They really are sweet, and they are just temporarily aliens that argue over clothes,
doubt that I have even a fraction of fashion sense,
and sleep until all hours of the day!
I am certain that one day they will leave hot water for their Daddy and I to shower with,
and remember before they shower that they will need towels when finished. (How many times will they call me, dripping wet, needing a towel?!)
 One day soon, they will stop rolling their eyes at my very existence, and rise up and call me blessed.
A girl can hope, at least, right?

Monday, July 23, 2012

A new day, a new week.

Even though I much prefer weekends with all of us home, I have to say I face each Monday with some excitement. I love starting new things, and each week gives us a chance to do things differently. I'm working on menus for better eating for all of us, and a chore list so the girls can help out just a little bit around the house.

Somehow I'm thinking neither of these changes are going to thrill the girls.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

overshadowing my joy

In the morning I love to scroll through decorating and family posts of some of my favorite blogs. Before long I am inspired to cook healthfully for my family, do devotions with the girls each day, and redecorate the whole house in a new style. I'm invigorated and encouraged, which is good, and the benefit of so much information readily at our fingertips.

But. Then I find myself take it one step further, and start a downward spiral of "why". Why didn't I do this when my girls were younger, why didn't I do that for our home? Why do we not eat this or shop there? Why am I not as "fill in the blank" as that person, and why don't my children do this and why does my husband do that? Why, why, why?

I completely lose perspective.

The truth is that I have an amazing life, a wonderful husband, and girls who set the sun (as far as I am concerned)!  I have done lots of fun and educational things with my girls, have filled our home with love and laughter, and insist on organic on the days we don't have fast food. Ha!  I have done my best, which means not perfect, but always striving. Sure, I have missed the mark, but we all have, we just don't all advertise it on the internet for everyone to see.

What I see on pinterest or blogs or facebook is what people want us to see. They're sharing the best of their lives, to encourage and inspire. I'm  the one who chose to compare.

So I realize God has shown me something through this. It is good to encourage one another, in all areas of our life. But it is up to us to remember that He gave us each a unique life. We are to walk our own walk, and enjoy our own journey, not look to the left and right to see how our trip stacks up to our neighbor. If we stay our own course, the view is fantastic, it is a voyage planned  just for us by the master travel agent. But if we start to compare, we not only go off course, we lose our joy.

I want the joy. I want to absorb every detail of this wonderful life God has given me. When he says He has given us this day, and we choose life or death in our words, I am going to be intentional in choosing life. Life and life abundant.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Random thoughts...

A day with a breeze and no humidity makes your life seem almost instantly problem free. I'm convinced the breeze carries hugs from God.

I love the fact that my girl's friends know there is always sweet tea in the fridge, and help themselves to it. Ditto with anything else they need, nothing makes me happy like knowing people feel at home in my home.

Cailin has always rubbed our elbows for comfort. I used to fuss at her to please (!) give me a break, knowing I would miss it one day, and yet still needing my space. I love that she now still grabs my forearm upon awakening, for that connection, even though she outgrew the elbow rubbing.

I have an amazing life. Sometimes I think I forget that!

I really need to give up diet coke for good, and yet it is so addicting. I am weak!

Life is good, as these pictures prove...

Moongate at King's Wharf Bermuda

 The girls at Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda
 Cailin and her hearts. The girl IS love.
 The ones I love. More than life.
 Captures the crazy that we are, and that I love.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Days Will Come Again

It has been a rough week, a rough couple of years if I am being honest.
Changing schools was the beginning of what has felt like a roller coaster ride that won't stop. Have I mentioned that I hate roller coasters? Constant questioning and doubting has worn me out. I know God has a good plan, I just don't know if we are even close to it.
I needed these pictures as tangible proof that there are happy days in the midst. And happy days will come again. If I just trust.

Nahum 1:7 “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. ”

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

No Boys Allowed

Rusty sent us to Virginia Beach the last weekend of spring break for some much needed "girl time".
There is absolutely nothing I love more than hanging out with my girls, and some time away from home was just what we all needed to gear up for the last few weeks of school.

Baby Girl

 Little Bit
 Miniature Golfing. Cassidy broke the end of her club swinging at the ropes... oh my gosh Cailin and I laughed so hard! This is after Cassidy stuck the end back on. Nice try!
 In every other shot we got the other end of the animals, thinking we were hysterical.
Cassidy did not agree, which only made us laugh harder.
 Silly facebook shot in the mirror!
 "Don't touch me!", she said. Of course I had to do it...
 Laughing at Cassidy saying we looked like a married couple in this pose.
 Pierce's Barbecue in Williamsburg. Worth the trip for this alone. Yum!
 Sweet tea for sweet girls.

Love spending time with these two!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Despite Rusty being out of town, we made it up on time, to school on time, and I am almost fully made up for the day. Eyeliner missing due to its abduction by one of the teenagers in this house! We even managed a detour to Starbucks on the way. Woohoo! So out of the ordinary that it is definitely noteworthy.

Also worth mentioning, I slept peacefully all night, without the usual terror that accompanies my "home alone" nights. That is a first for sure, maybe resulting from the fact that I crashed with Cailin in the king size guest bed she has claimed for herself. Discovering that she talks in her sleep was a bonus, a fact that made her very nervous. Hmmm..

So today I am feeling very thankful, for sleep and a relatively happy morning, but there is more, always more to remember...

red bud tree in full bloom outside the kitchen window
thunder and gray skies
a lunch date with fun friends
parents who still fret over me being home alone
my electric lap blanket that keeps me toasty
remembering my Power of a Praying parent book

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

In "The Batlle Belongs to The Lord", Joyce Meyer reminds that we are to stay in our calling, using our energy for that which God has called us specifically to. Though many things are good, they are not our best, and could be better served by others, working in their particular area of gifting. She recalls a time when her ministry was in a building phase, and instead of overseeing the project, she assigned someone else to the task, so she could remain focused on praying, studying, and ministering. She relinquished control of things that were not essential so she could remain in the narrow will of God for her life.

It made me question what I would consider my priority? What would God say is my first ministry and focus in this life?I have to say first, obviously, is relationship to Him. Guarding my time alone in His Presence, soaking up His wisdom and love, filling my spirit with that Holiest of Holies. I need this before there is anything else in my life. All else follows from the anointing of His Spirit in me.

But what next is of greatest value? My job? Friendships? Making our home beautiful or keeping up with the laundry? All of these are important, "good", but none of these are essentail or eternal. The eternal value in my life is sharing my faith with my girls and training them up in the way they should go.

God says where your treasure is, there your heart is also. I can look at my life, and see where the bulk of my time and resources are spent to see where my heart is. Is it on my girls and things of faith? Or is it on facebook and blogging? Mindless pursuits that are not bad, but are not furthering my goal of living out my calling.

I want to have an eternal impact, I want to fulfill that wonderful call God has placed on my life. I will.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

He is Here

Mean girls abound in middle school. Gossiping and criticizing, whispering behind hands, and laughing when you walk in the room.

Christian mean girls are the majority, unfortunately. Pious in their separate status of "Christian school". Saying one thing while living another, their words are both clean and bitter water from the same "spring". Displeasing to God, I know, yet where is He?

Sweet girls with broken hearts and tear stained cheeks tear at my spirit, as I cry out to God, protect my girl, protect her from those who profess to love you, and yet hate her.

A sister, flawed and often the source of much irritation, yet deeply adored. When pain swirls around, she draws near and loves, offering words of encouragement and empathy. Heads drawn together, laughter bubbles up, and I see God.

He is here. He is here.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Walking the dogs in the newly dark morning (daylight savings time always throws me off), I could see the lights in the kitchen, barely shining through the dining room windows. My bedside lamp was on, and another light  shone downstairs.

Even though it was my own home, I found myself peeking for a glimpse of the life inside. So cozy and inviting in the cold morning air, and knowing a fire was toasting the living room, I eagerly ran the dogs the last bit to get inside.

There is truly no place like home. Sometimes in the midst of living inside, I forget to step back and glance through the windows of my life to remind myself of how truly blessed I am.

Friday, March 02, 2012


What Were You Thinking?

Cassidy refused to let Cailin look in her closet for a t-shirt to wear this morning. Not unusual, Cassidy struggles with sharing, and sometimes we force ths issue, while others we think Cailin is just pushing her buttons and say "move one"... "you have a closet full of your own things".

Today I opted to tell Cailin to just wear her own stinkin' clothes, so much fussing and debating ensued, with me spending some quality time lecturing Cailin on respecting her sister's clothes, and not always sneaking in to "borrow" them.

I reminded her that, while Cassidy is definitely not as generous in sharing as she herself is, Cassidy has her own gifts, and Cailin can also be selfish in other ways.

Basically lots of lecturing and eye rolling, but Cailin wore her own things and left for the day.

Within 5 minutes Cassidy had shucked the denim jacket she had on and appeared in one of Cailin's hoodies.

Monday, January 09, 2012


I really hate being sick, but am thinking a sick day may not be all bad.
I don't feel well enough to clean the house, or get dressed for that matter.
But I do feel well enough to do my Bible study.
I think I can make a menu plan for the week. Maybe on that one. Food still doesn't sound so great.
I can definitely nap, and who doesn't love the chance to nap uninterrupted?
It isn't what I planned for today, but a day of rest is starting to grow on me.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

A Moment In Time

Random shots of the girls with no relevance, other than to remind me of what life in our home looks like right now.  Someone is almost always jumping or tumbling, and when they do slow down, they are frequently loving on one of the puppies, who think they are the littlest sisters the girls never had.
Parenting 13 and 14 year old girls is challenging (as is every age!), but even more rewarding. They are so fun and full of life and laughter.
I feel like we are living on fast forward. Time- slow down!

Thankful for...
1. Being a Mommy
2. A husband who heats up my cozy and tucks me in when he is staying up late watching football
3. Parents who love to be with us and their grandchildren
4. The shakes that have helped me lose weight and have more energy
5. Each new day, even when it includes impatience and spilled cereal

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Happy Days Are Here Again

His mercies are new every day.

Praising God for that sweet truth, and choosing to dwell on it for 2012.

Each day, each moment is a gift that I am choosing to cherish, and not squander in "what if's".

I have allowed a fog of worry and unrest to dominate too much of my life lately, and God has shown me that He cannot move in my life when I am stuck in the quagmire of doubt.

My heart is filling again with the lightness of remembering He is good, always was, and always will be.

Monday, January 02, 2012

It Was a Very, Merry Christmas

From a week in the mountains to a day with the Brammers in D.C.,
we enjoyed our Christmas break fully.

 I have loved every minute of being with my family and off work.
So blessed.
Now to spend January settling into my intentions for 2012.
To (1) Seek God and (2) Be intentional.