Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Deep Breath

Our sweet little family has had a lot packed into the last three or so weeks...

We celebrated this hottie's 29th birthday! Do you know what I LOVE about this man? God knows the absolute depth of my complete and total depravity and while my husband doesn't see all of it, he certainly sees more of it than anyone else, and yet he continues to love me unconditionally. Time and time again I see this man lay down his life for me...and every night - even those nights when I am not the nicest, he sets a glass of water on my bedside table. Every night and nearly every morning, he puts toothpaste on my toothbrush. Those things say "I love you." Happy belated birthday T. You are my hero and I am crazy in love with you. You are a gift from God and you point me to Him again and again and again. I am so thankful for you. I love you. Happy Birthday!

Two days later we celebrated my 29th birthday...(note the icing in my hair). For whatever reason, I am becoming keenly aware of how short life on this earth is...the years are flying and I hear they only pick up speed as we age. This realization has me pondering exactly what I am doing with my time and whether or not it's for eternal purposes. There is great joy and delight, as well as a good bit of relief in reminding myself that my purpose is to glorify God and right now He has called me to be a wife and mother...which is what I shall purpose to set myself about being. And that means that when in the middle of grocery shopping, and Little Man announces to everyone in the produce section that he needs to "poo poo," and my immediate reaction is to sigh and huff it in "that" direction...the Holy Spirit gently reminds me that potty trips at the most inconvenient of times can bring glory to God. And it is God who has called me to take this young man to the potty...so glorify Him in that. (It's hard and I keep failing and cling to the promise that He has begun a good work in me and will bring it to completion.)

On my birthday we had a family party for Little Man. (I'll admit, I'm selfish and that was kind of hard.)

And the day after that we celebrated Little Bit's baptism - which was really special - and had a small crowd for lunch!

But more on that later. (maybe)

Shortly thereafter, we built a "bunny" house...which is how icing wound up in my hair. Our neighbor joined us for the event. The boys didn't care which house version we made, but Sister fretted over the decision, even shedding a few tears. In the end, the icing didn't "thicken" quite right and in their delight, the children rushed into everything. All the embellishments got dumped together on a cookie sheet and the boys took turns squeezing icing into and onto one another. Sister shed a few more tears. Did I mention icing went EVERYWHERE? If there's a next time, we will do this activity OUTSIDE.

I've almost finished four yearbooks. Sigh. What a relief. Doing these has been enjoyable for the most part, but requires a lot of early mornings and late nights. The beginning of May will bring them to a close. Hooray!

Sister recently arrived home from art class tied up (with toilet paper)...I hear she was the slave of an Egyptian Princess and had been trapped in the bottom of a ship...(please ignore the toe nails...we do bathe regularly.)

Shortly after that, we celebrated Little Man's 3rd birthday!!! Oh my. I cannot believe he's three years old. Little Man, you bring such joy and delight to our lives. You also point us to Jesus. I treasure the way your eyes sparkle and I adore your mischevious smile. Seeing you struggle to wrap your mind around the mystery of the Trinity continues to be a rich experience. You are wonderful. I pray God will protect and grow you. I pray that your sins will find you out. I pray that God would draw your heart to His own and I pray that He will keep you pure. I also pray for your wife - should God lead you one day to marry...we talk about "her" often (at least every time you tell me you want to marry me or Sister) and how she will be your princess. Little Man, I could EAT YOU UP! I love you my little wild, wide eyed boy. You are full of crazy love and adventure and I treasure you!

So on Good Friday, April 2nd, Little Man's birthday, we had a party.

T bought and dumped a truck load of dirt in the backyard. Little Man and Sister called it, "Bad Guy Mountain." Little Man invited his two best friends and we made a day of it!

"Captain Hook" (note the wall hanger in his left hand) was out for revenge because the "good guys" had taken over "Bad Guy Mountain." He came out with a sword and sought to reclaim his mountain! (That was more like the size of a small hill.)

Sister and Little Man immediately jumped in and went for it. The "best friends" kind of stood there with puzzled expressions, unsure of how to respond. I assured them it was a game and eventually they joined in.

Unfortunately, Sister was captured and carried off. She fought back every step of the way.

Her brave brother, Little Man, came to her rescue and freed her and then Captain Hook ran away...

And they broke out the dump trucks...

and the wagon...and the hose...and it got real muddy real fast. One little boy didn't want any part in the mud...but the others had a mud slinging, water spraying, dirt digging, splashing and laughing good time.

Before lunch, we rounded them up, hauled them in, and bathed 'em. Post bath, I found this little guy in the tub. I'm about, um, 99% positive this guy made his way in intentionally by one of those boys.

So we ate and then sang Happy Birthday...and I had it so together I bought cupcakes at 11pm the night before from Walmart and scraped off the pink icing 'cause that was the only color they had left, and squeezed green icing out of a can all over the top made cupcakes!

It was sweet to see his expression...

He ate up all that attention.

He blew out his candles in one breath. They all licked the icing off the top and were done. We loaded them in the car, delivered each one to his family, and called it a day.

While it was a happy day for birthday reasons, it was also a day my heart was a little bit sad. It was the second anniversary of my parents' divorce. God is good. He is teaching me that He has a plan in all things. Nothing escapes Him. He is sovereign and He is working this to our good - to the good of me and my sisters and my mother. He promises that. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 He knows the beginning from the end and He is teaching me to be content and to rest in Him. I know and have known these things in my head for years, but fleshing them out, living them, well, it hurts. The cuts are deep and the pain is real and again I say, God IS good. God IS faithful. God IS sovereign. And I am glad that I am His.

The next morning, I packed up the kids and headed for my baby sister's house where we celebrated Easter. (T had to work all weekend.) The ride there was almost unbearable. I lost it with the kids. I yelled at them. While at a red light. In heavy traffic. I know the cars around us saw. And then I pulled into a parking lot and let them have it more. It was ugly. Then we stopped off for a breather and to drop in on the great-grands because I simply couldn't handle another second in the car. The "greats", upon helping me reload all three children, said, "I'll never understand why people with young children travel." Amen to that, Grandaddy!

Regarding the above photo: Baby Sister's almost two year old and Little Man camped out together. Little Man couldn't have scooted closer to cousin's crib. It was pretty sweet.

Here's baby sister and her baby.

Saturday the 3rd was also baby sister and bro-in-law's anniversary!

I tried, tried, tried to get one good shot. It seems the more kids there are, the harder that becomes. They were tired and hot and tired and really, really, really tired.

Sister has been helping out in wonderful new ways. Oh the blessings she is to me! One day she might understand.

Ugh. I smile. This guy is INSANE. He had been playing with his trains. Had been would be key. At some point he retrieved the air mattress pump from the hall closet, attached it to the bathroom faucet, filled the base with water, and pump, pump, pumped water ALL OVER THE BATHROOM. He also put the tube down the drain and pumped out sink gunk. Great.

He knew he was being bad. What an engineer. It was so funny, I couldn't hide my smile. We chunked the pump...couldn't get all the water and sink gunk out. Ick.

A few days later the hot water in our guest bath quit working. T broke out the toolbox and set to work. Turns out a certain Little Man had crawled under the sink and turned off the hot water. We laughed and told him never to do that again.

And during all of this, Little Bit has cut a front tooth entirely and is diligently (as in waking during the night and fussing frequently) working on cutting the other.

We also hosted a baby shower for a sweet friend of ours whose son is literally a miracle baby. He was born very prematurely and weighed only 1lb, 9oz. It was a joy and delight to celebrate God's goodness to their family!

And for that shower, my precious mother came to my aid! I'm not sure what I would have done without her help. Literally. She was cleaning the guest bathroom fifteen minutes before the guests were due to arrive. She was the hands and feet of Christ to me. She served behind the scenes in all those hidden ways. She did the things no one sees, but that make all the difference in the world. We had a blast together! The older I get and the more I study God's word and the more I learn (and now that I have three babies), the bigger a hero my mother becomes to me. As a wife and mother, my respect and admiration for her has grown by leaps and bounds. Mom, you amaze me. I see God's fingerprints all over you. I love you.

I should also mention that T worked himself weary preparing for the shower. I made two "to do" lists. One was the "we have to get this done" list and the other I titled my "dream list" - as in, it would be nice, but understandably, probably won't happen. That man crossed off almost every item on both lists. The day of the shower he moved a chandelier and painted exterior trim until 5:15pm when I told him he had to put down the brush and get the kids out of the house. He is amazing. Stinkin' amazing! (And good lookin' to boot!)

And in the midst of all this, we've had a new arrival!

Four to be exact. The baby wrens are here!

And they are precious. I stand watching them and my heart sings. To know that God is intimately acquainted with them, that not a sparrow falls without His knowledge... Here are these four little babies tucked into some straw in a basket on our front door, and God knows the moment they were born. How deep is His love for us.


  1. WOW J! What a great post!! What a LOT has been going on in your lives!! Thanks for sharing...I always enjoy my visits with you.

    I *love* the pic of your lamp with the house in the background...that is a VERY gorgeous shot!!

    How fun for your little man to have such a wonderful BOY-ISH party! How great that they all got baths...THAT's a GREAT plan at a party like that! :)

    Congrats on your Birthday and Your Hubby's...it's a milestone year...you will hang onto this age for awhile...trust me! ;-)

    The LORD shines through you J...it is beautiful!!


  2. Okay, that was a lot. Happy Birthday, anniversary, and shower to everyone and their brother and their sister. You guys are one celebratin' family! I totally agree that our husbands see or worst, and yet, they stick around. Trust me, there are times recently where I surely would not have stuck around for ME. I'm that bad {I would blog about it, but I don't want everyone to REALLY hate me :-)}

    Love the pics!!!

  3. Wow, that was a LONG catch up post! I am so glad to be updated on all things that have been going on. I LOVE the pic of Little Bit and T at her christening-so pretty! I didn't know you had another sister-I knew Katie via her blog/lactation questions before she went private.
    Glad to know all is well, I have missed you!

  4. Sigh... a lovely post, so good to get caught up with your world. You HAVE been busy, so much celebrating.

    I didn't know Baby Sister was born on Little Man's birthday. That makes me smile. April 2 is also my youngest sister's birthday.

    Happy Birthday to you, and T, and Little Man!

    I want some baby wrens. We had them when we lived in SC and they melt my heart.

  5. Whew! I don't even know where to start! You have been so busy. Lots of love and laughter. I like to see that.

    Blessings, my friend!

  6. J, what a busy wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend you have been lately! I can tell you are such a blessing to those around you, esp. T and the kiddos. Sweet post about your sweet mama too...love the picture of you two!


  7. Wow, J! You have had your hands and heart full lately! I have loved sitting here taking a peek at all the fun events! Happy birthday, to YOU! You look FANTASTIC, by the way! I cannot believe you are 29. You will always be 20 to me, dear one! :) happy anniversary, birthday, shower, christening, etc to all those wonderful people you have in your life! I miss you so much and I'm working on my classes so that I can come and play with you and work for you! I adore that picture of you with your camera!!! (You look so CUTE!) And I also LOVE that shot of T and Sister, him in his "zorro" type garb and Sister in her sweet otfit. It's just like a fairytale! Aw, I miss you SO much. You are my inspiration and drive to finish my classes! Love you, friend! Continue to act 20! ;) You are such a blessing to me; I'm privileged to have a friend like you. Have a lovely day!

  8. So glad you're back from the whirlwind! :)

    The king of the mountain party looks FUN!