Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Gent Turns Thirty

Congrats, babe. As Jacob says, now you're as old as Mommy!

Our celebration was a low-key family day. The past few Saturdays our family has been split up in different directions, and the kids were getting desperate for some Daddy time. We enjoyed brunch, swimming, peach cobbler for cake, presents, and a night out for the Gent and me, thanks to Honey and Poppa.

Happy birthday, handsome. Love you and this life we've created together

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this one snuck in 'cause she's so darn precious with her bedhead
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Monday, July 27, 2015

One Thousand Gifts, 331-350

331. Wispy blonde French braids.
332. Pretty coffee mugs filled with (decaf) coffee.
333. Making plans for school this fall.
334. Ripe figs for jam-making from the garden.
335. Flipping through the Gent's childhood photo album with the big kids.
336. Celebrating the Gent's birthday!
337. Having fun with new recipes in the kitchen.
338. Delicious fresh produce from the Gent's garden.
339. First dahlia blooms.
340. Dog days of summer weather.
341. And daydreams of crisp, fall weather. ;)
342. Ordering fall shoes for Annie and Sophie.
343. Beginning to take stock of fall wardrobes for all the munchkins.
344. Finishing another inspiring book, Kisses from Katie.
345. Learning to read more than one book at once. I have three going at the moment.
346. Our local library and sweet librarians who enjoy my kids.
347. Playing alphabet games with Annie and Jacob.
348. Playing color games with Sophie.
349. Watching Nora learn to read/chew her cloth books.
350. A visit from my grandparents.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Beauty from Ashes

God is good and He loves to give good gifts to His children. Nothing is beyond His redemption. Making beauty from ashes--He trademarked it.

I have been reminded of these truths through beautiful stories about babies these past few weeks.

A sweet friend with three beautiful children and two little ones in heaven who recently gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Another newer friend who grieved over three little babies who were never born awaits her son's birth day any time now. Another who has a lovely family but dreams of just one more and waits to see how God will answer--however He does, I am confident beauty from ashes will be true for this woman, as well.

Jay and Katherine Wolf's story sums up what I'm trying to say beautifully. You can read more here.

However God writes your story, you can be confident of this. He is the God who makes all things new. New hearts, new lives, transforming our brokenness to look more and more like Jesus. God does all things well.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Independence Day in Tennessee

trying out a boat at Bass Pro Shops
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an attempt at a picture with Granny--it's like herding cats, y'all
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Papa Rick and Daddy took the big kids fishing and Jacob caught his first fish!
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posing with Bebe and Papa Rick after church
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my big girl
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Uncle Andrew and soon-to-be Aunt Anna!
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Papa Rick and the little girls
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Monday, July 20, 2015

One Thousand Gifts, 321-330

321. Listening to Annie sing.
322. Listening to Annie sing songs about God's truth.
323. Watching my babies sleep.
324. Having my whole family together again after a weekend on different adventures.
325. Trying out new recipes in the kitchen again.
326. Libraries.
327. Lists of books I want to read.
328. Completing two of the books on said list this weekend.
329. An uninterrupted bath.
330. Drinking my coffee while it is still hot.

Friday, July 17, 2015


Loved this post by Ann Voskamp last month. "All those mundane moments we live are making something holy . . . Every day that you do the hard things that you don’t want to do — you’re building the family you always wanted to have."

Happy Friday, friends.

Keep on!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Body for Life Update

I finished my 12 week Body for Life program a couple of weeks ago. So pleased with my results! I find this program easy to stick with. I like the exercise program and I am never hungry eating 5-6 small meals a day. I'm one pound up from my pre-Annie weight and ideally I'd like to lose four more total. But I think I've reached the limits of what I can lose while nursing a five month old. When Nora is weaned in a year or so I will probably do another 12 week challenge. Until then I am in maintenance mode and enjoying having my body back! Yay for health!

Monday, July 13, 2015

One Thousand Gifts, 316-320

316. Finishing one great book and starting another.
317. Spending less time watching tv.
318. Having more time to spend on more meaningful things.
319. Using my brain more!
320. Enjoying some hot, quiet days at home with the munchkins.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Baby C Update

Some of you may remember "Baby C," a baby boy we cared for during his first five weeks of life. He left our home so he could be placed in the same foster home as his older sister, as soon as he was old enough to go to day care. Last week the Gent and I attended a foster parent training meeting and had a God-ordained meeting with Baby C's adoptive family! I struck up a conversation with another mom, asked her about her children, and she told me she had a daughter and a 2 1/2 year old son with Baby C's name who was born in October. A few questions later and I realized we had the privilege of caring for her son as a newborn! She and her husband adopted Baby C and his big sister about a year ago. The Gent and I were so excited to hear that he now has a forever family and was able to stay with his sister. We typically don't know what happens to our foster babies after they leave our home, and it was such a blessing to be able to see how this little boy has thrived!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Family Reunion

A couple of weeks ago we went to the lake for a family reunion with Honey's side of the family. The kids tried fishing for the first time and roasted marshmallows for s'mores and did lots of swimming and slept better than I expected them to. All in all, a successful and fun long weekend!

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Monday, July 6, 2015

One Thousand Gifts, 311-315

311. Achieving my goal of exercise, Bible study, and getting dressed before all the kids were up this morning.
312. Finishing Randy Alcorn's book Heaven. So, so, so good!
313. "New" car for the Gent!
314. Zinnias and sunflowers from the garden.
315. A well-stocked refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.

And I'll get back to my regular posting routine of Monday, Wednesday, Friday this week...I know I am behind on pictures!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Nora: Five Months

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It just doesn't seem right that she is five months old already. And cute as a button. We are still amazed by her hair. It is growing in blonde in the bald spot she has from sleeping on her back. We'll see what color hair she ends up with. I'm also thinking her eyes may not stay blue, they may be more hazel like Daddy's. Time will tell! She is definitely our tallest baby. I've just moved her to 6-9 month clothes because the 3-6 month ones were too short. She is wearing size 2 diapers. Nora is rolling both ways, loves to play with toys, and "talks" all the time. She wants her share of the conversation, I suppose! I have been working with her on sleeping through the night. Last night she slept from 10pm-5:15am, so excellent progress. We will see what exciting developments next month brings!