when you've got a good man

...his absence is felt even more so. 

I've got a great man. really beyond great. 

On the day of his departure, he was doing this...

...grilling up our dinners for the next week.  Last night, all I had to do was heat dinner up in the microwave. Up until the last minute, he was taking care of his family - trying to make his absence felt as little as possible.  But...we feel it.  Because he is just plain awesome at this whole husband/dad thing and his presence is such a blessing to us.

I'm not sure what it is like to struggle with respecting my husband.  I always falter when someone looks to me for counsel on how to show respect to their husband when he doesn't love her well because I know that I've got a husband that does loves me well.  I also know that even in a great relationship like ours, both parties are still sinners saved by grace.  We are imperfect human beings that are going to have days where we are more unlovable/unrespectable than other days.  But this is a key in our marriage that I think helps make it great....We really believe God's Word is true and totally applicable.  So we take Ephesians 5.33 seriously.

 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

He loves me on the days where even I would say with certainty that I am pretty unlovable.  I am a sinner who messes up daily and no one sees that more clearly than my man.  But his love keeps coming - even on the days that it has to be REALLY hard to love me. 
Same for me when it comes to respecting him.  There are days where Keith is super easy to respect and there are days where I would honestly rather be a little sassy to him and let him know I see his shortcomings.  But, just like he loves me on my good days and my bad days, I respect him on his good days and bad days.  

That choice is much harder than giving in to the desires to withhold love or respect.  But when you choose to obey God and make the hard choice daily (DESPITE HOW YOU FEEL!), blessings await....I double dog dare you to try it for yourself and just see what God might have in store for your marriage :-)

PS - I wish I could show you a pic of me lovingly helping him pack or baking him treats to take on the trip with him, but I was needed at the ER instead with our third son who got a couple of staples in his knee...


when catching ladybugs takes priority

With five kids and a husband in full time ministry, I feel like I have to say "no" or "hold on a minute" often when the kids want me to do something.  Last Wednesday was one of those days - I'm especially full of "not right now"'s between 4:30-6:15 every Wednesday when I am frantically getting ready for our RLG that meets in our home.

So you can imagine my delight when I lived life outside the box and said yes to Kamden's request to take him to the school at 5:15 because that's the perfect place and time to find lots of ladybugs. 

I'm so thankful I said yes - this memory is tons better than running around cleaning my house.  It was even more fun because they found ladybugs that were mating.  I would have missed this conversation that occurred on the way home from the school if I had said no....

Kale: "Why do ladybugs mate?"
Kamden (who just read Book #2 of the God's Design for Sex Series with his dad):  "Oh, it's because they're married."
Kade: "Nope, girl ladybugs mate with lots of boy ladybugs. They just go from one to another."

Your turn....surprise your kids by saying yes to a crazy request and let me know what fun story God gives you to tell!


pity confrontation

I have told myself for over a year now not to even bother with posting on the blog because I was so far behind but I want to record our life for my sake so bad.  I love looking back and reading all the posts from the past and want to treasure this time in our family's life too.  The memories I treasure most are ones I stopped and took time to write about.

The past month has been full of health issues for our family.  I miscarried for the fourth time in February and had to have an emergency D&C. Krue was throwing up the day I had surgery and that kicked off a whole week of Norovirus attack on our family.  Everyone except for Keith got hit - including E.  We got a brief break while we were in Haiti and on vacation in Tyler but then came back to a visit from the Flu virus for Keith.  Just as we thought recovery was in sight, today Krue was diagnosed with the Flu and a double ear infection and Keith was diagnosed with a secondary sinus infection from a weakened immune system that the Flu left him with. 

We have missed countless fun events throughout this run of sickness....lots of missed Bible studies, church, Pastor's Wives lunch date and retreat, birthday parties, friend lunch dates, Marriage Gala and the latest was a visit from E. and Papa and a dressy date night at a nice restaurant with my man that we had made plans for tonight.  So....how are we holding up?

Actually, I have enjoyed this evening thoroughly.  Granny blessed us with a Chuy's dinner and then we watched Tangled in our bedroom with all our kids piled on the bed with us.  I have had time to hold my baby boy while he cries through his miserableness and laugh with my big kids watching the movie.

At 4:30 p.m., I was ready to just sit down and cry.  I was on the verge of giving in to a strong bout of pity.  But God, in His mercy, took me downstairs to dinner to hear my oldest pray this, "God, thank you for blessing us with more than we need and for our large family."  Pity confronted and replaced with the truth that God is good and worthy of our hearts full of thanksgiving and praise to Him even when life isn't as "fun" as we would like it to be.  He doesn't desire to make our lives comfortable and fun, He desires for us to glorify Him all the time, in all circumstances, in our tears and in our smiles.  I go to bed tonight meditating on 1 Thes 5.18, "Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 


growing up milestone

He has been asking to do it since he was in 1st grade. We live about a mile from the school - a pretty good distance to cover when you're tired at the end of a school day. But he did it...I never doubted him. His independence and confidence have always been catalysts in his life to take on new life experiences with ease. Way to go, Kade!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Is anyone even still out there?

So...I took Bryn on a super fun field trip (Thank you, Tiffany!) to the Blue Baker this morning. Kelly Hobbs (yes, I'm calling you out :)) took this opportunity to rib me about my lack of blogging, but she also had a solution for me...a wonderful app called Blogpress. So, here is my first attempt at blogging on-the-go...

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


10 free ebooks from Scholastic

Check out this link on Deal Seeking Mom Blog

My friend, Kendall, sent me this link a couple of days ago.  It is good thru the 20th, so you better get on it, because it takes awhile to look thru all the available ebooks.  It really works - I paid nothing and now have 10 ebooks waiting to be printed :-)


learning about horses

Our sweet friends, Mike and Nikki, invited us over last week to teach the kids some basics about horses.  We met Jewel and Blues, two of their horses.  


First item of business...to learn about horse hooves.

Second, Nikki taught them a couple of horse walking tricks.  They walk when you walk.  They stop when you pull the rope back.  Don't ever get behind a horse.  Basic stuff, but they loved it!
Then, Nikki showed them how she grooms Jewels.  I think there were five different brushes and a couple of sprays that the kids got to use to help clean her up.

Finally, the part Kade had been hoping for the whole time - they got to ride on Jewels!  Kade loved it, but the other three just stayed on long enough for me to snap their picture :-)

Thanks, Mike and Nikki, for the field trip fun!  The kids are still talking about it :-)



i treasure these days

I don't know how long God will lead us to homeschool, but I can tell you that I wouldn't want to be doing anything else right now besides teaching these boys (and Bryn - when she chooses to sit in on the lesson).

I'm not even going to lie - it is HARD for me to stay focused and to not talk on the phone or answer e-mails during our school day. I feel like I have to die to my wants a little too often and can wallow in pity for myself occasionally. But, wow, God is growing me and bonding our family in a way that I am so thankful for. I took this a couple of mornings ago to capture our patio time when I read to them while they swing. We are almost finished with Charlotte's Web and I am fighting a strong urge to pick up and take them to the State Fair of Texas sometime in October. The perk that does come with homeschooling is that I'm the only teacher, so I get to make all the field trip decisions - and this teacher thinks that the State Fair is an excellent teaching opportunity ;-) I wonder what Principal Ferguson will have to say...