Sunday, June 27, 2010


How quickly we go from this to this to now, my big five year old girl! This week Ella turned five and I didn't get to post about it yet since our Internet has been down but we have been doing quite a bit of celebrating.
My summer baby, June bug. You had a early breakfast date with daddy and chose a pink velvet cape. We spent the day with Nana and some cousins having a picnic and playing in water downtown and going to your favorite museum. I can't believe you're big enough but daddy is teaching you how to ride your big girl bike. You can't wait to join Daddy and Juden. You are so proud of yourself but we are not quite ready to take off the training wheels yet. This week you insisted I cut your hair short like Dovey's and I reluctantly snipped off about 4 inches and my, now you really look like a five year old. You are still pretty little though and everywhere we go people ask if you and Naya are twins. You are such a good big sister to Naya and little sister to Juden. God placed you in such a perfect spot in our family. You are my little artist drawing constantly on everything; butterflies, rainbows, sun shines and faces. I adore them and you love to give them away. This year you learned ballet and had your first crush. You decided you loved Pa from Little House on the Prairie (and I must say, I approve.) Even though we'll miss Juden when he goes to school this year, I am looking forward to having days with just my little women and teaching you kindergarten. Some days my heart misses my little dimpled baby Ella, but I am so proud of the little girl God is making you. You bring me so much delight with your gentle spirit, my quiet little one who takes in everything softly, noticing, with wonder. My little bird, I love you.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

sweet baby James

I will always remember today. Last night I got the call that it was time. It seemed to be happening faster than we thought so I got dressed and ran to the car. She had just gotten to the hospital but it looked like he was coming soon. It was a dark, hot night; quiet, except for the brilliant fireworks display I watched from the window as I neared the highway. It seemed fitting I think for his arrival. I prayed for this little child, my nephew that would enter the world tonight, that he would be safe and strong that he would grow in truth, justice and a deep love for God. I prayed that he would enter the world peacefully to the family waiting to love him. I got there fast and stepped into the same place I gave birth to my three and how quickly those moments flooded back. How is this possible that my little brother who I remember being born and treating him like he was my own baby, was becoming a daddy?
It was time for her to push and I held in tears at the sounds of her pain. Anxious , waiting... and then it came his first cries. What a magnificent sound! He was here after a short and smooth labor. And all at once her hard work changed to a tired and beautiful smile. All the waiting was done, he was finally here. He was perfect and angry and cried until they placed him on her chest. Sweet baby James arrived at about 12:30 this morning on his mommy's birthday. The best gift ever for his dad's first Father's day. As we all miss our dad we welcome this new little boy and marvel at this precious life full of promise and hope. We're so happy you're here. We love you to pieces already.

"I think babies really do make you believe in God. They make you believe in God because there's something just beyond understanding about their freshness and fragility and their smell and their toes. When they take their first breaths, and when they land floppy and slippery on your chest under the bright overhead light in the otherwise dim delivery room, when you watch their tiny sleeping selves, when you hear their thin wild animal cries, you know, you just know in your guts that God is real, and that babies have been with him more recently, have come more directly from him than our worn out old selves have."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

the boy* and the things I don't want to forget

I can't help it, I love this boy for a thousand reasons and here are some of them...
we went to a few yard sales a couple Saturdays ago and Juden was so thrilled with his purchases that they became his uniform for a few days. Hey, who can't use a good pair of goggles, tiny hammer and third place martial arts trophy?

Sometimes he prays, "Dear God, help the people that are sick, can you take all the sickness and throw it at another planet like Jupiter maybe?"
The other day in the car Ella was telling him that a little boy was mean to her and made her cry. He got very serious and said, "Ella if that ever happens to you again, you just tell them that they better stop or they will have to deal with me and then just run." The love of a big brother.

When the weather heated up a while back Juden announced that he was having a lemonade stand. He set to work on the sign and set it up in a very untraveled little alley behind our house. When I came out and noticed leaves in my freshly made pitcher he said it was his secret special recipe. Our kind neighbor overheard and brought him some fresh mint from her garden. I was thinking he might be a tad disappointed when he didn't have customers but that was before I witnessed his business tactics. There was none of that waiting for them to come to him. He would knock on our neighbors doors bringing lemonade and yelling to any stranger that passed by. He was so excited I think he was hard to resist. He did pretty well despite the fact that Ella sat beside him drinking about half of the pitcher. I had to laugh when my neighbor told me she had said she didn't have cash to which he replied, "Well you can use a credit card." Playing along she got it out and asked him what to do with it.He said to swipe it across this rock. She did as he started laughing and said he was just kidding, and gave her the lemonade. So cheeky, this boy of mine!

(thanks for the picture Kelly)
We had some dear friends stay with us and I think Juden wanted to adopt their one year old as his baby brother(I wouldn't have minded either.) Little Ben even made his way into Juden's family portrait later that day. I love how he loves babies and can't get enough of playing with them.
He never gets tired of my kisses and because he always wants just one more chapter.
I love how he fills sketch books and looks at things with wonder. I love how I see his heart growing bigger everyday. He brings me joy every single day.
My, I hope these summer days are long and slow.

Monday, June 14, 2010


A beautiful song for a beautiful little niece Meadow who turned nine yesterday.

Friday, June 04, 2010

I was up early this morning so I went out in the garden to savor those few moments of stillness in my day before all the kids woke up. I wasn't out there but a few minutes before Ella trudged out beside me in her rain boots and nightgown. I don't mind though, I know it's just a brief time that I will have the 4 year old version of Ella. She's always my early riser.
"Good mornin', Mama."
"Good morning, sweet pea."
I read a little more then heard what I would hear again about a thousand times before the day was over, "Mama... Mama."
"The flowers are talking to me."
I watched her walk around humming and looking at all the flowers and having pretend conversations with the snapdragons. She loves to see what's blooming everyday, to learn their names and help me prune the dead blooms. But she loves the snapdragons the most. I did too at her age when my dad would pinch the sides of the soft petals and make them talk to me in funny little voices. After a little time in the garden she moved to her other favorite thing, drawing and coloring. I recently pulled out this special coloring book because she is getting so big and she loves it. She has even requested that we call her Mallow after the Mallow flower fairy.
The name Ella means light or light of God and with each day I spend with her I see more deeply how very true to her name she is.

I finally sat down tonight after a long day of mopping floors, homeschooling, disciplining toddler tantrums,grocery shopping, making food, cleaning up food, ect. But honestly as I knelt to pray with my family all I felt was how much I love every bit of it. Because it is real and it is life and it is where God has put me and everything I do in a day speaks to the immense blessings he has given me. I picked up this book tonight and read this portion which is pretty much exactly how I feel.
"There's normal life, kind of day-to-day, make breakfast, do-the-dishes kind of life, but just underneath that, like a throb of bass you feel in your chest, I feel a whole other thing going on. In the midst of taxes and email, there is something sacred, something special dipping and weaving within that same old thing, like a firefly, like a great song, and it reminds you that the dishes and the taxes are real, but so much more is real too. The sacred mixes in with the daily when you have a conversation with someone you love, when you read a great book, or when you do something courageous. It's still just a normal day, but there's something bigger, something more compelling going on."
~Shauna Niequist~

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

"All the time we wondered and wondered, who is this person coming/growing/turning/floating/swimming
deep, deep inside."
~ Crescent Dragonwagon

These are my two sisters-in-law carrying my two new nephews, one of whom we will be meeting later this month. Just look at those bellies. Aren't they lovely?

Trish's first baby shower...

the proud parents...

Keith looking like, "How did this happen?"
getting a little practice with baby Jude...

We can't wait to meet you precious ones.