Wednesday, August 31, 2011

God Provides...

The other night I had a dream that still haunts me. I was trying to convince someone why living a life dependent on God is really a good thing! In the dream they were telling me how wrong I was to not live "practically" to have a good job that provided security. They were telling me how foolish we were being involved in ministry (which doesn't pay very much) and that God doesn't help those who don't help themselves. I remember pleading with them to see that a life that doesn't acknowledge our dependence on God is a wasted one! No matter whether you recognize it or not we NEED God. I woke up praying that God would give me the courage to live a life where we HAVE to see Him work... where we NEED Him to work.

I remember back when Micah and I first got married. We were poor! We slept on the floor the first 8 months of marriage until we were able to buy a bed. We had a food budget of $50 a month and yet we were able to finish college, pay rent and have enough food. It doesn't make sense how it all worked out, but it did. God provided and I have list after list of how He did!

When we first talked about moving to Bozeman... I felt fear! How are we going to make ends meet? How are we going to afford to live on what Micah was going to make. It didn't add up... it seemed foolish. I didn't want to go and leave my comfort. Yet I clung onto the promise that God would go BEFORE us and WITH us.
He would provide!
This past weekend I saw God's provision. Ethan has gone through a growth spurt and he is running out of clothes that fit. I have been praying that God would provide the clothes we need to clothe him! This weekend I went to a clothing exchange at a local church. All the clothing was free... I found some shirts for him. I was so thankful! This is a tangible expression of God's love... His way of taking care of us. I am so thankful that I have a God who KNOWS me... and I have really begun to see how He may not always provide what I want, but He ALWAYS provides what we NEED - I want to be thankful and grateful for the things He provides! I have lots of examples like this... and I want to share them all because by retelling -
I am remembering God's faithfulness!

"Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say,
'Who is the LORD?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God."
Proverbs 30:8-9

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Photo Shoots...

Every once and awhile I try to get some pictures of the kids together.
It doesn't make sense to go to get their pictures taken at a studio since their dad is a photographer and I am a wanna be. But getting them together in the same area... is challenging.
And unless I am carefree about the whole thing... I can get rather frustrated.
I have ruined them with my camera... When I call them - they WON'T look at me.
But I will continue to take pictures of their cute little faces - because that is what I do! And I need to remind myself that the goofy pictures are just as cute as the serious ones... so I should lighten up in the moments of frustration, because they won't always be this silly or goofy or this little!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

House Tour: Ethan's Room

Here is Ethan's room. It is actually the kid's room, but for now Eden is sleeping in the guest room. It makes naps and bed time so much easier... they sleep better and so do we!
It is a great area for playing. They play often in here. I didn't have to do much to the room. Really all I did was arrange the furniture and make curtains...
It is a fun place... completely kid proof! Well... Ethan proof... Eden can always find SOMETHING to get into or destroy!
When I hung Ethan's curtains he was ecstatic and exclaimed, "Momma, how did you know my favorite color was BLUE!?" I just smiled... I should have said, "Honey, I know everything there is to know about you. I stalk you, watch you while you sleep, pray for you every minute of the day, and love every bit of you! I know what you love and I devote myself to studying and learning about whatever makes you excited. I go out of my way to give you the best... even if it is not exactly what you want or desire. You are a gift from God and I adore you!"

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Saturday Stroll...

We were itching to get outside today... itching to be in God's beautiful creation! So we packed a lunch and drove up Hyalite canyon.
I love Bozeman... in just a few minutes you can be surrounded by natural beauty...
We stopped at a campsite by the river and went for a short hike that strolls by the river then loops back through the wood to where it began.
It was a mere 1/3 mile, but it took us nearly an hour...
Each time the path branched off towards the river, we took the detour.
The four little feet we brought with us were wading through
the sparkling water every single chance they got!
Pretty sure every rock around the banks of the river was examined, thrown,
placed in a pile... or overturned!
The sun was bright... the splashes where cool.
We looked at every flower, bug, butterfly, tree, bush... you name it.
We were amazed by these beautiful butterflies that hide on the trunks of the trees... when their wings are closed you can't see them at all... they blend right into the bark. I was thankful they opened their wings long enough for me to take a few pictures of them...

Half way through our hike we stopped and tried to get a family picture...
It was hilarious... here is the best one we got...
Yes, Eden's eyes look like that in EVERY single picture...
...except this one...
I love it!

I am thankful that God made beautiful places for us to enjoy, explore... breath deep and praise Him for His glory and His majesty... every flower, branch, and bug shouted out praise and adoration to their Creator today... I am glad we were there to see and hear!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cherishing Simple Things...

This morning I had to chuckle to myself - I was doing a extra special cleaning job in Ethan's room so that I could take pictures of it (which I will post soon). I love being able to blog... I love being able to record and ultimately remember the daily thoughts of our day. I love to go back through these pages and remember! Some entries make me smile, others make me cry.
This morning as I vacuumed it made me laugh because I had to think... why am I spending so much time making everything in his room look perfect? AS IF my almost four year old happily folds all his blankets before jumping off his bed (with a chipper attitude -mind you) and before darting to give me a good morning hug - he lines up his cars and makes sure all his stuffed animals are straight and organized by size!!!! AS IF our life is perfect and AS IF I want you to think that by the pictures I post or the words I type.
Being a Momma can be challenging at times. Most of the energy expended is on tasks that quickly unravel seconds after they are completed. Meals that are nutritious are received with frowns and comments about how gross the contents are before even they EVEN taste the colorful, artistic arrangement! Wiping faces, changing diapers, monitoring fights, swallowing frustrations, and praying for wisdom take up the majority of the day.... but what amazes me is how crumpled flower heads hand delivered to my lap suddenly brighten my day... love bursts from my heart and covers up the morning offenses. Any frustration or discouragement is absorbed in that innocent gift. It makes the hard times bearable.

When you see the pictures of that clean room... I hope you will see the love that washed over it, because those pictures will merely reveal a room.... a room on the verge of unraveling... a room that will house uncontainable energy and life. And I hope when you read this blog you will not see perfect pictures, but lives that are washed in love... I hope you get glimpses of our choices to cherish the small things... and hopefully you will observe lives that are living out grace. Because that is what I want you to see... and that is what I want to remember!

A Family Affair...

Last night as Micah came through the door we were getting out our twister game...
I knew it was going to be a fun evening when he joined in....
While he wrestled and played with the kiddos... I whipped up a pie...
Not just any pie... (and yes... I did have some cute snitchers)
Remember our huckleberry picking from earlier this week...?
Oh yeah... a huckleberry/blueberry pie!
(Eden was sitting in golden light... I couldn't help, but take 100 pictures... it was fabulous lighting...)

Micah had the fabulous idea of riding to the store for some ice cream to go with the pie... so after dinner we loaded the kids and pedaled to the store...
After ice cream we crossed the streets and played frisbee (aka kid-catch to burn off the ice cream sugar!!!) Who would have known how lovely an evening could be...!!!
I love our little family! (See Eden's golden light... marvelous.. isn't it?)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kitchen Art...

When we first moved into our new home... I was excited to get my kitchen up and running. It didn't take me more than 5 minutes to realized that the kitchen was A LOT smaller than I originally thought. Not only is it small, but the spaces are difficult to use and... to put it simply - a challenge.
I was discouraged at first. Usually my favorite place (in all the houses we have lived) is the kitchen. When I am creating an artistic masterpiece
the kitchen is where it comes together.
The colors, smells, textures... each one ordinary until combined together to make the delicious! For the first few weeks of being here... two large boxes sat right in the middle of the kitchen floor. I tripped over them, kicked them... and had a pretty bad attitude. Each time I walked through the kitchen I would feel exhausted and become overwhelmed - so I would make a cup of tea and go sit down and sulk for awhile. Meals were difficult. I couldn't find things... but each time I tried to make a place for my cooking supplies I would easily get discouraged and move onto something else... Finally... I got over it!
I put away stuff, threw away other things and determined to make friends with the awkward cupboards... I only have 3 very small drawers (in the whole kitchen) and they never stay on their runners. I have decided that they will build more character into me than anything else ever has! I am not going to post pictures of this "place" until I fully conquer it and tame it!
I should say something nice about my kitchen... soooo here goes - I love the counter... when I am preparing meals my favorite people sit and play... together we listen to our old record player... and enjoy the closeness...

I want this space to be a blessing... Even in the 29 days of living and breathing in this new home we have welcomed more than 24 former MWSB students + other friends. I pray this home will continue to serve and welcome many more dear friends and family... I am thankful for the gift of my kitchen... I really am... its just taking me awhile to warm up to it's eccentric cozy-ness (again, when we are in love with each other... I will post pictures).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Huckleberry Picking!

Finally after 7 years of living in Montana I got to go huckleberry picking!!!
A former student (Rachel) invited us to go with her and we couldn't say YES fast enough!!
The kids were pretty thrilled about the whole adventure!
We climbed through the forest looking for berries...
They were great little pickers for about an hour and a half...
which is longer than I expected!
The morning was a bit chilly... and little leaves like this remind me of the soon approaching FALL... I LOVE FALL!
When we were almost finished we ran into a little creek... that was it for the kids!
They were all about the distraction and the new fascinating place to explore and play!
After playing for a bit, we hiked down the mountain and ate our lunch by the river...
It was a perfect day...
The kids loved it and we "actually" took home a few cups of berries... which surprised and amazed me... so glad we got this opportunity... thanks, Rachel!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

House Tour: Living Room

These first two pictures are off the internet because I didn't take before hand pictures of our living room....
So here is our living room before...
Here is a before picture that I took and this was after we (my Dad included) painted all the ceilings and the walls. Those first coats of paint freshened and brightened up our home and made it feel clean and warm.... I am so thankful I picked the colors I did... at first I wasn't sure! Picking paint is hard... you have millions of colors to choose from and so once you decide you wonder if you chose correctly... I believe I did!
I really love how the living room looks... warm and inviting - just waiting for you to come visit... yes... I would love guests! It is kid friendly and it even catches the morning sun which is an added bonus!!!
If you hadn't noticed I am obsessed with RED... I love painting furniture red... Thankful Micah sighs and puts up with me. It is a happy color... and I love it! The picture collage in this room is new. I printed off recent pictures... it is delightful! I made the curtains in this room and it reminded me that this is the 8th home we have lived in... and the 6th place I've made curtain for... this time around I was able to hem a lot of the ones that were already made!!!

Welcome to our new living room!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saying Goodbye to 60 Hours...

Yesterday we celebrated that Micah is done (as of today) with his second job! We miss him... he has been working 56-60 hours a week this summer... and it is not worth it! I told him we could eat rice for dinner every night... relationships are way more important than money!
Evenings have always been family time in our home... the kids wrestle with their Daddy, we eat dinner together... go on walks... etc, but with Micah working we have missed this precious time!
We still have made the most of our time... last night we had a picnic dinner at the park... it was nice!
But what was even nicer is knowing that Daddy will be with us next week!