April 27, 2009


This morning I feel like I'm cleaning up mess after mess that my boys seemingly delight in making. Some are from attempting something new. Some are from trying to be helpful. Others are just childishness -- boys being boys. I could get upset or I could view it with humor. I've done both as well as a variety of mixtures between the two extremes. In the midst of sweeping my floor, I thought about Scripture verses regarding "pouring out sacrifices" and chuckled then started to think about how many messes God deals with.

God isn't afraid of messes. He's like, "Bring on the messes!"

God can handle the mess. Sometimes people mess up their lives. Sometimes messes are thrust upon you. Sometimes messes just happen. When we take our messes to God, He can make something beautiful out of it. Nothing and no one is too messy for Him to love, comfort, heal, redeem and make new again.

Just last week a young man came to our church. It took him an hour to come inside -- such was the battle raging with him. Before entering he said, "I'll just see if there is acceptance for me in God's church!" He was welcomed. And God accepted him when he prayed and asked Jesus into his life. God does that.

This morning I was reading a sweet though painful story of the short life of a baby. Through the mess of disappointment and grief, God will heal, restore, and bring peace and beauty. Beauty out of ashes.

When I bring to mind how God handles messes in my life, it is so much easier to deal gracefully with these little boy caused messes.

God doesn't get tired either! He'll handle as many messes as we will entrust to Him.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9

April 26, 2009


Sometimes people get scared. Fears can be real or imaginary, with or without basis; however, they can also be overcome. When I get scared, I can assess the situation and deal with it. "Where does this fear come from? Is there reason to be afraid? Should I change direction or plough forward and conquer the fear? What does God say about this?"

This week my boys have shared some fears with me. Dealing with this may be harder than fighting my own fears. My heart longs to comfort them and rid them all their fears but I cannot see inside their minds to know where the fear is coming from. I will comfort them the best that I can without making promises that I don't have the ability to keep. Most importantly I show them that God can be trusted with their fears. And so we rely on God to be our strength and to give us courage and wisdom. When I entrust my boys to God, they are in good hands.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." I Timothy 1:7

April 20, 2009

Push Ya Belly

Grandpa stopped by to visit. Nathan got to play his favorite Grandpa game: Push Ya Belly. Nathan climbs up in Grandpa's lap and says, "I wanna push ya belly!" Then he proceeds to push with all his might. My dad sucks in his belly and holds his breath dramatically then blows it all out. Nathan delightfully laughs and laughs then says, "I wanna push ya belly!!" This will go on for as long as Grandpa can handle it.

TEA Party!

Our family went to the Erie TEA party last Wednesday!
It was inside The Brewerie, across from the post office.

We really liked the one man band!
John mentioned possible anti-protests. "What? People want to pay higher taxes?" I didn't see any.
Lots of people.
Fun music.

There were a lot of great quotes on the screen from different founding fathers and authors.

Good speakers and good conversations.

Josiah and I went to the balcony to see the view from there. He was having so much fun, he didn't want to leave. As we left, I took this picture of several people outside holding their signs and flags.

April 19, 2009


One day Nathan started carrying around one of my dolls. I don't think he's ever done this before. I told him that the baby doll's name is Jonah and to please be careful with him.

It took me a moment to figure out what Nathan was talking about when he started commenting on his donut. Toddlerese. Jonah. Donah. Jonah. Donut. See?

A couple of times, Jonah's head "accidentally" bumped the wall or the baby fell down but Nathan took good care of him and asked, "Are you okay, Donut?" Nathan had me pray for Jonah's head.

When I was distracted, Nathan came to me and told me that he was feeding Donut. Uh huh. WHAT?!?

Oh no! I had to tell Nathan that Jonah could not eat chocolate icing or any real food for that matter.

Nathan watched as I cleaned out Jonah's mouth and wiped his face and hair clean. Nathan helped with the finishing touches and tested out cleaning his own mouth with Q-tips too.

I must admit, it was fun to watch him taking care of Donut. I tried to snap the pictures of the icing-mouthed baby doll on the sly so as to not encourage more feedings. Sometimes it's hard to keep a straight face. It's probably a good thing for the doll's sake that caring for Jonah has not become a regular pastime for Nathan.

A Hunting We Will Go

The boys had two egg hunts on Easter. One indoors and one outdoors. Both were lots of fun.

Josiah ran off and started finding eggs right away. He's a good egg hunter. He's also very smart; he didn't turn down any assistance that was offered.

Nathan took his time, found an egg, opened it, took the chocolate, then left the egg and the coins on the floor. He's got his priorities. I showed him that he should put the whole egg in his bag and keep looking for more.

John helped Noah with his hunting. Noah would find an egg on the floor, pick it up, miss the bag and then be happy to find "another egg!" It's a good thing he doesn't count yet; otherwise, he may have thought that we stiffed him some eggs.

Nathan amused everyone with his exclamations. When he found an egg, he would do a jump-ready pose and yell, "I found one!" He was really excited about it all. He got lots of assistance reaching eggs from helpful older cousins.

We had to leave quickly after the first hunt to go to my folks' gathering and hunt. More fun! After lunch and before the outdoor egg hunt, there was time for a rest.

Aw! So cute. Nathan really needed this. I'm sure it made for a much better end to the day.

Here are the cousins waiting for the okay to go.

Is it time? Can we go?

The menfolk hid the eggs high and low. Nathan picked up two eggs right away and left another. Noah found that one later. Josiah enlisted Uncle Micah's help to reach two really high eggs. The last egg to be found was in the wood pile. Katherine spotted it first but the fence was in her way. Josiah ran around the fence to try to get it from the other side. Meanwhile, Katherine jumped up and scaled the fence. She grabbed it first. She got a "that's my girl" from her dad.

Handsome Fella

Josiah favorite hairstyle is "natural." He loves to go to bed with wet hair so that his hair will be crazy in the morning. Easter morning he let me know that he didn't want his hair combed like his brothers' hair. "Alright, what do want done with it?" "Like I normally have it."

We messed with it a bit. I combed it down "like normal" but it didn't look right to him so he put it in a mohawk. I asked him if he would like it to stick up all over. That sounded great to him!

After gelling it up, he posed for some pictures. The hairstyle lasted for a little bit but before church, he told me he wanted to go back to "normal." Heh heh heh. That was my plan all along....

Where's the Loot?

The boys woke up early Easter morning. I don't know what they were expecting! Their baskets weren't ready for them. We locked up the baskets from the previous night so that we wouldn't have rabid kids running around first thing in the morning.

Josiah asked why the baskets were hidden so I told him, "We didn't want you to eat all the candy at one time then throw it all up. That would be wasteful." :0) He's been sick before so I think he appreciated that answer.

I was so laid back about it all this year that they even watched me get their baskets ready. Josiah chose the color of grass that he wanted in his basket and picked his favorite eggs which he had decorated. Even the play dough was mixed and kneaded before their very eyes. (I think they liked it.)

Josiah and Nathan each got a pair of gardening gloves and a small terracotta pot to decorate themselves and plant a seed. Nathan broke his within a few minutes! It seemed as though he thought it would bounce. Oh well. I've got back ups. Noah's pot is still in one piece. Now it's time for some gardening! Boys and dirt. They go well together.