Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Off to School Again

School has officially started. Today Alex, Amanda, and Joshua began 2nd grade and Isaac began 1st grade.
If you are Facebook friend of mine you probably saw our crying picture. (For those of you who aren't, sorry, I will not repost me with an ugly crying face.)  I was asked several times if I'm really sad.
Honestly, I would rather a lazy day at home with my family rather than doing anything else. I enjoy having my kids at home but yes, I do look forward to running errands by myself.
They all had a good day and have decided that they do want to be back at school. We'll see how long that will last!
Don't they look so old?

This is what happens when you try to take too many pictures.

As the kids head off to school, I have high hopes of getting many projects done.

A few weeks ago I found my list from last year. Four things crossed off, Nine still there. The four things crossed off all need to go back on this years list. I guess I wasn't too successful!

All I can do is try again this year!

First on my list is the lawn. It needs A LOT of TLC.

Next is cleaning vehicles and then we have the Spring cleaning the house which never got done. If I do it in the Fall, does that count for last spring and next spring?

And of course, organizing pictures and working on the kids baby books are on the list for the 3rd year now.

Now you understand why I don't want the kids to go back to school. I have work to do......lots and lots of work to do!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Looking Back and A Weekend of Celebrating

At our house we like to lump all our celebrations together. In July we celebrated Brad's birthday and then 4 days later it was Alex, Amanda, and Joshua's birthday.

Then in August we have our wedding anniversary and Isaac's birthday a day apart.

Of course in October, we have my lone birthday. I only mention it in case you were wanting to get a head start on shopping for my present. Of course, I will still take cash or gift cards in case you don't have time to shop.

Anyway, Brad and I went out on Friday night to celebrate our 12 year anniversary. We celebrated a day early. Here is a picture of us on the beautiful day 12 years ago.

So young and in love.....and clueless.

We were oblivious to fact that this someday would be our life.

Yes, I know I just posted an absolutely horrible picture of myself but I figured I just had a baby so nobody is allowed to make fun of me.

I often get asked, "How did you do it?" Honestly, looking at this picture makes me a little tired and I wonder myself how I did it. It was only by God's grace and Him giving me the strength to make it through each day that we have made it this far.

Here is a recent picture of Brad and I. Now...... when looking at this picture, I'm thinking that you are probably all thinking, "Wow! They've barely changed!" And then you notice all the wisdom in our eyes.

Ok, you can quit laughing now.

Yes, we've aged and I'm not sure we are wiser but I hope we are. I know we are more tired, that's for sure!

But seriously, I am very thankful for the past 12 years. God has truly blessed us. He has blessed our marriage and He has definitely blessed me with a man that I truly love, can call my best friend, and that I am extremely thankful for.

Then on Saturday night we celebrated the 7th birthday of my little baby Isaac. How did he get to be 7 already? He is having just as hard of a time growing up as I am with him growing up. We would both love if he could just stay my little boy. We've spent time snuggling this weekend and looking at baby pictures of him.

As I said, we went out Saturday night. We had a family night of miniature golfing and Isaac got to ride the go-carts with Brad. That was his favorite part of the night. Then we headed out to eat.

Today (his actual birthday) was celebrated with cake. He chose chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles.

I am feeling very blessed this weekend. I look forward to seeing where God leads our family in the years to come.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Couple Days Away

A couple weeks ago our family was able to sneak away for a couple days and have some fun.

The first day we headed to the Volo Auto Museum where we saw all kinds of........

Yep, you guessed it! Cars!

We saw expensive cars. This beauty was only $188,998!

We saw cute little convertible cars.

We sat in a racing car.

We saw old and shiny cars.
(The kids wanted to know why there were no seat belts in most of the cars.)

We saw famous cars. Lots of famous cars!

I was a little disappointed with Kitt. I thought he would be way cooler in real life. 

After the auto museum we headed over to Gurnee to check into our hotel, do a little shopping and get some food.

The next day we headed over to Great America and rode some roller coasters. At least the ones that we were tall enough to go on.

While eating lunch, I looked over and there was Brad flying this little airplane.

 We had a fun couple days and came home exhausted!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

No Matter How Far

Many of you know that our family loves to volunteer at the Children's Hunger Fund warehouse in Homewood, IL.  But you may not know much about the organization.

Not only do they work locally with churches to bring food and the gospel to many but they work in many countries around the world.

Here is a short video that shows some of the work that is done around the world.

You can also get more information on their website at

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Do you feel trapped in the machine of excess?



And Yes again!

That is the question on the back cover of the book 7 - an experimental mutiny against excess by Jen Hatmaker.

Recently I saw some women on Facebook discussing this book and I had to know more about it. I was told it was a must-read, so I moved it up on my list. High above the 200 books already on my pile.

My only regret.......I requested it from the library and I really wish I had my own copy. I finished it today and it was due back today. They won't let me renew it because someone else has requested it, so I am quickly writing a blog post before I bring it back tomorrow.

I'm not really even sure where to start with this book except to say that I LOVED IT!

If you want a book that is going to challenge you.....this book will do that!

Jen writes about 7 months that she took different areas in her life and fasted. Clothes, Shopping, Food, Waste, Possessions, Media, and Stress. She is very funny and I love her honesty. But she shares Bible passages along the way and shares her spiritual growth throughout this experiment.

I will just share a few things from the book, just so you get the idea. Each month involved the number 7 - hence the name of the book. Food month - she strictly at 7 different foods. Clothing month - she only had 7 articles of clothing she could wear. Media - her whole family fasted from 7 different types of media.

I really wish I had my own copy of this book because I would be underlining, highlighting and ready to share some of my favorite parts of the book......but "NOOOO...." I wanted to save my $10.

Even though Jen wrote the book, I would like to share a little bit of what her husband wrote at the end of media month:

One of Peter's early leadership lessons from Jesus was about letting go. He said the things we hold loosley are more likely to have eternal impact than the things we bind. When we hold too tightly to things, we lose perspective as well. While Jesus was talking about the kingdom in this passage, His words certainly give us insight to our created nature.

We like our stuff. We need our things. Usually the things we think we need become the very things we need a break from.......

.....Honestly, my biggest fear going into media month was that the world might stop turning until I was done, but I discovered others didn't need me to be as wired as I though. Most of my media involvement is simply about me (blah).

All told, media month offered some pretty good perspective. Someone once said, "Think about the things you'd most hate to lose (outside your family), and you'll identify your idols." These are not only the things we treasure too much but what we've likely lost perspective on. We place this stuff on a pedestal that wasn't built for it......

The dangerous part of our social media and technologically saturated world is not it's existence but what it distracts us from.....
So, what do I do next?

Do I just say, "Wow, that was a great book but doing all that is not for me. That is too radical."

I wish I could but I can't.

Tomorrow, before I bring this book back to the library, I will write down her 7 experiments. I will make notes. Next, I will try to get my family on board, so together we can determine areas in our life that we need to fast.

I will seek out my idols and find the things that I hold onto too tightly. I hope in the end, I not only find these things but I am able to let go of them and grow closer to God in letting them go.

I will keep you posted......

If you have read this book, I would love to hear from you and discuss with you what you think. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it and would love to hear your thoughts once you have.