Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Year, New Grace

Another year has flown by, faster than I care to acknowledge. Three of my kids are in school, and when I smell that eraser/glue/play-doh cologne that wafts from their hair each afternoon, it transports me back to Reardan Elementary where I can still see my name tag on my little desk, and I can still feel  my tears steaming against my cheek as I  hid in the kindergarten closet. How can my kids be this old? How can I be this old? I sometimes feel like I'm about to wake up and be five all over again, after all- how could I be a wife and have four kids? But there it is. Wrinkles stare back at me from the mirror, framing my grey eyes. Time has passed, playground stresses have turned into mothering worries- and yet the same God rules over all. The God that carried me through all the childhood bumps and bruises will carry my little lambs as well.

Elijah is in first grade now. It's hard. I don't envy him- having to learn to thrive in a new school, new culture, and new language. But he does it with grace. He is kind-hearted, and he perseveres. He is slowly beginning to read and write (in cursive), and comprehend more words in Spanish. He tells me it's hard to keep up in class as he often just sits there wondering what Heaven will be like. He talks a lot about that these days. If an almost 7 year old can  have genuine faith, I believe he does. The other day I overheard him sharing the gospel with a little Finnish boy who was here on vacation. He takes God seriously.

Levi, despite all my initial concerns for him, has excelled in Spanish. He not only has learned to be social, but he's actually starting to tell jokes in class, and doesn't hesitate to use his newly acquired arsenal of Spanish vocabulary (including telling me my "barriga is muy grande!). He LOVES his teacher. We LOVE his teacher. The minute he walks in the door from school, he lugs out the lego bin and starts creating. He is my artist. He is intense. He doesn't care what others think about him. He is very thoughtful. I think if he couldn't draw or dance or create, he would simply die. We see him taking active steps to try to please God with how he treats his siblings.

Eliana is a beauty who's soul runs so deep. Understanding her is like trying to grasp smoke out of the air. She is very bright and social, and VERY emotional. She was the first in her class to learn everyone else's names. She is always swirling around the house singing lines from her favorite Spanish kids' songs. We are learning how to tread tenderly around her, and how to help her plumb the depths of her emotions and learn to control them. Her eyes fascinate me. I wish I could dive into them and see the world as she sees it!

Lucas has suddenly found the key that unlocks fluency of the English language. He went from speaking broken phrases last week to suddenly speaking perfect complete sentences this week. What last week weeping and clinging to Nathan's legs is "Daddy, can I please come with you?" this week. He is finding his fit amongst his siblings as a peer and not just as the baby. He loves to help. His new chore is putting away the silverware, and he does it meticulously. He is the frosting on the cake that is our family. None of us can get enough of him.

We were blessed to have Nathan's parents here with us for six weeks this Christmas season. It was so nice to have family close. We love them, and so appreciate their humility and godly examples. Having family come and go makes me long for Heaven where there will be no more goodbyes.

Nathan and I continue to love each other- truly, madly, deeply. These first 8 years of our marriage have been so full of surprises and changes, and yet I am thankful to look to the future with a God I know is good and a husband that I trust.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

2010 in Review

These are videos only family would love, but since they're too big to email, I'm putting them here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Marshmallow Test...

Ok, I redid the video to include some funny footage and make it shorter. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I love how God always provides what we need, and so often, what we think we need. This last week was full of pleas from my eldest. He LOVES science, and he is constantly asking me if we can do experiments. Well, my genius expired after mixing baking soda with vinegar, so I've been fumbling about trying to find other things to do with him. After all, you can only take so much, "I want to see ANOTHER chemical reaction!" before you just give in. 

I was feeling particularly desperate a few days back, when by God's providence, I stumbled upon a gift. It was a gift from my dear, sweet friend Sandy Hardy. Ironically, it's something she sent almost two years ago in a box of blessings, and I'd set it aside for a future date when the kids were old enough. There on my bookshelf was a book of 13 science experiments to do with kids! Elijah was SO excited, especially when I read him the sweet inscription inside. He wanted to Call Sandy immediately. 

It got me thinking- God often provides for our needs, even before we realize it. 2 Peter 1:3 says, "seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence."

He has ALREADY granted to us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness... through CHRIST. What a gift! He even throws in little things like science experiment books, and friends who think of things you might need before you do!

Here are the boys learning about osmosis....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


This morning I walked the brisk three miles from the health clinic in La Orotava to my house in Santa Ursula. As I walked, I was overwhelmed with the simple sounds of early morning life. The sweet melody of the caged song birds perched on balconies. The soft and barely audible howl of a Husky lamenting the lack of frost and snow. The TAKK…TAAk…TTak…tak…of a workman’s hammer bouncing off the canyon walls. The whir of a blade coming from behind the sausage factory’s wall. The THROOOOM of the city bus as it zoomed a few inches from my shoulder, whipping my hair violently across my face. The baying of hungry goats rummaging along the mountainside. The steady hum cars shuttling tired workers to their daily grind.  The strange absence of sound from the ocean that is ever present and never heard. All of this swirling together to form the steady pulse of life—life sustained by the heart of God.