a blog about life, family, and faith

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The Shoe Invasion of Summer 2016

There is an invisible force in my house that draws all boys’ shoes to the end of my dining table.


These vortexes seem to invade my house mainly during the summer.

Matt comes home in the summer…

Could there be a connection?


This summer’s pull was especially strong!

My dining room table was invaded everyday, multiple times a day, whether they were home or not.

Just when I when I got rid of them…they appeared again…and again.

But, did it stop at the dining table?

Oh, no! There appear to be small vortexes that pull their shoes to other places, too.



Those last three pictures I took in a span of less than 30 seconds!

Somehow, the vortexes never pull them into their bedroom, much less into their closet or, heaven forbid, onto the shoe rack I only bought because one son in particular assured me he would use it.

But we all know a mom does not go down without a fight.

Next summer, I will have a battle plan!

Next summer Mom will win!

Living thru faith,



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The Heart of the Matter

Every year, especially during football season, my kids will ask me why I am not rooting for a certain player or team.  And I usually get a few eye rolls when I tell them it is because of their character.  How they play the game means more to me than their stats.  How they treat their opponent or the officials, how they respond to a bad call or botched play, how they walk off the field shows me a glimpse of their true character.  It shows me a glimpse of their heart.

I’m not looking at their outward appearance.  I’m not looking at the color of their skin, the tattoos on their arms, or the jersey they wear.  I’m looking at their heart.  I’m looking at their heart because my kids are looking at the person running those plays, making those choices, and setting examples whether they own up to it or not.  I’m looking at their heart because it is my job to help form the hearts of my kids.

One part of helping to form the hearts of my kids is to teach them to look past what someone looks like on the outside and to look at the person on the inside.  In light of recent events, that means teaching them that…

Just because someone is black doesn’t make them a criminal.

Just because someone is white doesn’t make them a racist.

Just because someone wears a uniform doesn’t make them a bad cop.

Just because someone goes to church doesn’t make them a Christian.

As parents it is our job to help our kids learn to make decisions and judgments on their own.  It is our job to teach our kids what to look at and consider when making those judgments.  It is our job to give our kids the tools they need to make those decisions.

We all have kids in our lives whether they are ours or not that look to us for examples on living life.  We even have kids we don’t know watching us.  The kid down the aisle in the grocery store is watching and listening.  They are watching how you react to the person blocking the aisle or listening to the words you are saying over the phone.  Even if you aren’t paying attention, they are.

So, do you want to make a difference in this world today?

Do you want to do something to counter act the evil like we’ve seen lately?

Then let’s get to the heart of the matter.

And while we are at it, let’s teach our kids how to get there too.

Living thru faith,


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Comings & Goings & Everything in Between

Oh my goodness life has been busy over the last few weeks!

Matt was home for quarter break and ended up staying about 4 days longer than planned due to the horrible flooding in North Louisiana.  LA Tech was closed for a couple days and even if he had tried to get back, portions of the interstate were also closed.  Although we were thankful for the extra time we got to spend with Matt, our hearts were saddened by the damages and losses experienced by so many back home.

In the midst of getting ready for our trip to Savannah and St. Simon’s Island, I ended up with a nasty cold virus that went on for about two and half weeks.  Unfortunately, I passed it on to Matt, Daniel, and Brian. Daniel, as usual, seemed to have it the worst (although, he was over his quicker than I was.)

Matt left and a few days later Brian’s parents arrived.  They were gracious enough to drive all the way up here to stay with Daniel and Sarah while we were in Georgia.  It was such a blessing knowing they were there to take care of the kiddos while we were gone, especially since Daniel was home sick for a few days.

Brian and I had never been to Savannah and enjoyed our brief time walking around the city and along the river.



We then spent the rest of the week on St. Simon’s Island.  It’s a beautiful place to visit and we had a wonderful time seeing old friends and meeting new ones.


Matt came home for Easter, which was a wonderful blessing!  It’s a long trek to make with only 4 days free, but he really wanted to be here and we loved another chance to have him with us. We had a lovely church service Sunday morning and then gathered with two other families and some of our seminary students for Easter Dinner that evening.  It was truly a blessing to celebrate our risen Lord with so many friends and family!


And last week we received a great surprise.  Sarah is going to be able to have 3 more weeks of horseback riding lessons!  These are supposed to be more individualized lessons, so it seems she will be able to spend more time riding. She starts back this Wednesday and is so excited!

Well, I’ll have to wait and share more pictures and stories with you later, because keeping in line with the crazy way our life is going right now I’m trying to get ready for another trip.  I leave Thursday for a homeschool convention (we have decided to start homeschooling Sarah next year).  I’m really looking forward to learning more about homeschooling and curriculum, as well as gleaning insights from veteran homeschoolers.  I also get to spend the long weekend with my friend Heather and her two girls. Party time!  🙂  As if that wasn’t enough to look forward to, Friday night we get to enjoy a concert by the Willis Clan! I just love their Celtic style music, and the two little ones are so adorable!

And all of that is just our life for March.  There is more excitement to be had in April…if I can just make it!

Living thru faith,


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Our own Jonathan on The Voice

Life has been crazy since the calendar switched over to March.  I spent a week sick from some nasty cold virus right before Brian and I left for an evangelism conference.  Somehow we made it onto the plane and ended up having a wonderful week in St. Simon’s Island, Georgia.

I’ll share about our trip later in the week, but today I wanted to make sure you knew what you needed to do tonight.

Watch Jonathan on The Voice! 🙂

Many of you already know that one of the contestants is a friend of Daniel’s from school.  Jonathan Hutcherson is a great kid with an amazing story.  I was blessed to met his mom and his brother Eli a few years ago.  Oh my gosh, that boy is adorable!  Traci and her husband have done a great job raising four boys and are in the process of adopting a little girl.  You can read about Jonathan’s hearing loss story and keep updated on his journey on Traci’s blog

We don’t know when his battle round will be, but grab a bowl of popcorn, snuggle in and enjoy all those awesome performances!  I know I will be!

Living thru faith,



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When I Swallowed a Penny

Yesterday I was going through some of Sarah’s papers sent home from school and found a paper she wrote about when she swallowed a penny.


FYI – I’m not correcting any of the spelling, since this is her story.

When I Swalowed A Penny by Sarah

One night I was lying down on my couch while I was flipping a penny in the air.  Well, I flipped it in the air and I yowned, and it went down my throat!  I started choking and ran to the bathroom and hung over the sink, still choking!  So, my mommy called her friend, Miss Kristina, to ask what to do because we had never gone to the Emergency Room before.

After she got off the phone, we went to the Emergency Room.  When we were there, we had to wait until the Emergency Room doctor could see me.  She was rely nice!  Then, we had to wait some more until one of the rooms were open.

When we got to the room, there was a bed facing a TV.  So, I watched TV until the X-Ray room was open.  When it was, the X-Ray person took an X-Ray of my tummy.  When she looked at it, the penny was in my tummy and I was fine.  So, we went home.  The next day, my nan called.  My mommy had put the story on her blog.  Nan had read the story and got worried.  But after that, it was just fine.

(You can read my version here. 🙂 )

Living thru faith,


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Towers to Heaven

Last week I posted some pictures of Mt. Rainer from our trip to Seattle in October.

While we were there, we walked through the Grove of the Patriarchs.

The trees in and around the Grove were like towers reaching up the heavens.



For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.  Psalm 57:10


The only way to the Grove of Patriarchs is over a suspension bridge.

Those who know me know I have a fear of falling and a fear of drowning. However, as long as I have a solid structure surrounding me, I’m ok.

FYI..I do NOT consider a suspension bridge a solid structure.

But, I overcame my fears and made my way across the huge chasm beneath me.

(Ok, the bridge wasn’t that high.  I wouldn’t have fallen to my death and there was no chance of drowning in the stream below, but my brain was not agreeing with me on those two facts.)

I made sure Brian documented my bravery so the kids could see Mom’s heroic actions!

{insert my children’s eyes rolling here}


Ok, back to the trees…

Did I mention the trees were huge?!

They’ve been growing for something like 1000 years!


The picture below was from another area near where we were staying.  The trees may not be as big around, but they were definitely towering to the skies.


I just loved how the sun was shining through the trees!

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  Isaiah 55:12

Living thru faith,


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Me and Downton Abbey

Have you ever seen the “fan scene” in Princess Diaries 2?  The part where Mia is making faces behind her fan? (skip forward to :39, unless you just want to watch the whole scene)


This is me watching the last season of Downton Abbey.

One minute I’m smiling because Tom walks into the wedding reception of Mr. and Mrs. Carson and announces that he and Sybi have returned for good.


The next I’m frowning because it just hit me (again) that this is the last season.

Then I’m happy because Daisy finally has good news for Mr. Mason…then I’m sad.

Then I’m happy….then I’m sad…

What am I going to do?!

It’s just not going to be pretty around here next January when I sit down on a Sunday evening and there is no Downton Abbey.


And just so you know…it’s all Brian’s fault! (But I still love you, sweetie!)

He started my infatuation with the Crowley’s and all those precious downstairs staff (ok, Barrow’s is not so precious…).  If he hadn’t insisted on showing me this “new show that’s getting good reviews”, I wouldn’t be in the shape I’m in now!


But then I also wouldn’t have been able to cheer on Bates and Anna during their numerous ups and downs or cry my eyes out when Lady Sybil passed away.  Oh, and I would never have gotten to laugh at the Dowager Countess’ numerous one liners.

“At my age, one must ration one’s excitement.”


And last night…his Lordship?!  Oh, my!!

(Don’t worry.  No spoilers.)

I refuse to look at the schedule to see how many episodes are left in this season.

I need to live in denial for just a little while longer.


Living thru faith,