Sunday, December 12, 2010

Poppa Fisherman

I love this picture of Jeff. He is in his element. He is doing his favorite thing, in one of his favorite places, Quetico Provincial Park, Canada. To Jeff, it is as close as you can get to heaven on this earth.

Jeff is a fisherman. When he is not working hard to keep us warm and fed, he is playing chef, educator, family man, friend. He is an amazing man, and we are blessed to have him as the head of our family.
And because we love him so much, we either join him in his favorite hobby, or send him off to indulge in it as much as possible.
It is such a big part of our life, we even keep up a separate blog about it!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sweating the Little Stuff

Before the snow started falling...I snapped this pic. These are my yahoos...all four of them.

Still cannot believe God picked me to be their mama. How outrageous is that? This morning... I was praying with Jeff. Lately I have found it difficult to be their mama. It isn't that I do not want the job.... It's just...

I am finding the job a bit overwhelming for goofy little ole' me.
Then Jeff whispered..."You CANNOT care for them on your own, Kat. It is only in HIS strength that you can mange to get through the day. So start there. Ask HIM to give you what you NEED, to care for them the way HE needs you to." He held me, and prayed over me, that today would be different. That God would sent me encouragement...and help me through the day. These are the words God sent me.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by PRAYER and
Let your requests be made known to God. (Phil. 4:6)

So today, we have been taking each challenge this way. Whispering a prayer with each frustration that comes. Choosing to focus on what HE would have for us, instead of what I insist gets done.

Have you ever made a list of the things that frustrate you throughout the day? I am going to Every time I feel irritated about something...I am going to write it down.

And then give it to God. I am going to do this, because the reason I struggle with parenting my kids is I am too consumed with insignificant things. Things that Satan would love for me to be consumed with, and things that God wishes I would just give to HIM.


When you trip over the dirty laundry in the middle of the bathroom floor...pray.

When Mae does not get her math done in a prompt manner...pray.

When Li-Li does not get to the bathroom quick enough...pray.

When Kiki rips your favorite book to shreds...pray.

When Mac gives you that nasty look, that look she learned from YOU....pray.
He did not say, Just pray about the big things. He did not say...ONLY pray about the missionaries, ONLY come to me regarding your paycheck, or whether you should move into a different house.

He said, "In EVERYTHING, pray."

Sounds easy, right? Well, there's a catch. One I did not notice, until I screwed up writing this post, and had to do some rewriting. I kept wanting to make it so simple...In EVERYTHING, pray."

but it is not...

"but in EVERYTHING with prayer and supplication WITH Thanksgiving...

let your requests be made known to God."


We need to be thankful. THANKFUL?

Dear God, I am so thankful for my little Li-Li, who ONCE again was so utterly enthralled with the clubhouse she was building with her sister, that she forgot to head to the potty BEFORE she needed to, and thus not only wet all over herself, but ruined the princess costume she was wearing, as well as the pillows she was standing on! Thank you so much, Lord, that you have given this little munchkin to me!

SIGH. That's the trick, isn't it? How in the world am I to be thankful about THAT?

It's funny, though. When you come to the Lord, trusting the Holy Spirit to intercede when you are not quite able...the Lord takes your frustrations from you and starts your thinking down a different path. The Lord replaces the frustration with thanksgiving. Suddenly, that princess costume and those pillows are not so very important. The funny four year old wearing them is.

So there is a catch...Pray with THANKSGIVING.

But guess what. Usually, when God gives us a command....He also gives us a promise.

Something He assures us we will experience, if we follow through and do what HE commands.

If in everything...we PRAY....with THANKSGIVING...This is what HE promises...

And the peace of GOD,
which surpasses all comprehension...
shall GUARD your hearts,
And your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Phil 4:7)

This is the answer. This is what I was asking of God this morning.

Lord, how in the world can I manage to effectively, lovingly parent these four little people?

Be anxious for NOTHING!
In everything...PRAY..with THANKSGIVING!
If we do this...He promises....MY peace shall guard your hearts.

Have you ever met someone whose heart was guarded by God's peace?
I am pretty sure I met someone like that yesterday.

She is a YMCA mom, who brings her two youngest daughters into the nursery. Her daughters are adorable, easy little things to watch over. Mom is one of these youthful, blonde, blue eyed, soft spoken types that always, always has a smile on her face. Her every movement is graceful and sweet. Always calm, always a kind word.

I honestly thought she was about 27 years old.

We were chatting with her yesterday, telling her how wonderful her girls were...and how "pink" they were dressed. She mentioned that after having all boys, she really went wild with the pink outfits for her girls. We were a bit taken back, she looked so young. We did not realized she had any other kids.

"Oh," she said, "I have ten kids."

We were shocked. She does not look at all like a mom with ten kids. She is so happy. She is so patient. She is peaceful.

Then she let loose on her age. She is ....43 years old. 43. No this sweet little fresh faced smiling mama of 10... 43 yrs old. I was in awe. How could that be?

She must pray with thanksgiving. Her heart must be guarded by HIS peace. At any rate...she LOOKS like someone who lives this way. More importantly...she ACTS like someone who lives this way. She is someone you would want to be around. She is someone you would aspire to emulate. The years and energy have NOT taken their toll on her demeanor at all. She is AT peace with herself, with life, with the LORD.

Does your family find you to be someone at PEACE?

(Are you shaking your head, no, right now?)

In our sinfulness...we muck it all up. Make life wayyyy too complicated.

Worry and fret over ridiculous stuff instead of giving it to God, and then get so stressed out we cannot enjoy the life God has given us. Cannot walk in peace. Cannot REST in HIM.

We are empty and worn from wasting all our energy on stuff that He can carry for us...instead of being FULL and alive with His peace He PROMISES to give us.

If we would just pray....with thanksgiving.

By the way, the very next verse in Philippians gives us the perfect way to stop sweating about the little stuff completely.

Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and anything worthy of praise...

dwell on these things.

(Phil 4:8)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

dwell on these things....

So yesterday the girls and I were reading about ...JOSIAH.

Josiah decided to fix up the temple. He sent his secretary to pay the workers to do so. While the secretary was at the temple, he found… the BOOK of the LAW!. He brought it to Josiah and read it to him. When Josiah heard the word of God, he tore his robes in fear and sorrow. He realized that they had fallen far from the Lord. They had not followed the Law. He inquired after the Lord, and the Lord responded.
Yes, Josiah, because the people did not listen to His words, He was gonna destroy them.

"Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Regarding the words which you have heard,
because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,' declares the LORD." 2Kings 22:18-19

Because Josiah had HEARD the Lord, and ACTED upon those words…the LORD HEARD Josiah.

Josiah did not stop there. He gathered the people together…to hear the Law of the Lord…

“Then the king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. The king went up to the house of the LORD and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD.

The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all art and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant.” 2 Kings 23: 1-3

The Israelites had fallen away. They had fallen away from the Law. Perhaps this had happened because they did not have a copy of it to read and follow.

And boy, did Josiah respond to the Law! He made it his mission to get rid of the idols that had infested the temples and high places.

The IDOLS. IDOLS. Why was God so angry? They were worshipping IDOLS.“Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. As long as he lived he did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their fathers.” 2 Chron. 34:33

The Israelites were CONSUMMED with idols.


When they found the book of the Law, Josiah got rid of them.

Do we even recognize the idols in our lives? How can we be sure we recognize them?

Fill our minds with the Book of the Law.

Our small group has been talking about being Radical. Man, Josiah was radical. He was so outside the box. Can you imagine what the people must of thought when he was going around destroying all the temples? Taking all the “stuff” out of them, and burning them to the ground?

“Gee, Josiah, couldn’t we save those chariots? They might come in handy some day. So what if they were consecrated to the sun god….no one will really care….”

All those little insignificant things…that seem like no big deal….add up to one great big pile of stuff…. that literally separates us from God…because we are spending most of our time thinking about all that little insignificant stuff, instead of meditating on…


The only way to clean out the idols, is to recognize what they are in the first place.
How do we know what they are?


How much time and energy do I put into things that just are not that important, when I could be pouring the word of God into my heart? Why don’t I cherish the Law… the way I cherish my favorite pair of socks? Or the last mini Hershey bar in the candy jar?
Psalm 119 (Haven’t we read that lately?)
Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, Who walk according to the law of the Lord
Blessed are they who keep his statues, And seek him with all their heart. Vs. 1-2
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law! vs.18
My soul is consumed with longing for your law at all times! vs. 20
Let me understand the teaching of your precepts then I will meditate on your wonders
My soul is weary with sorrow…strengthen me according to your word. Vs.27-28
On and on we could go.

The path to revival is thru the Word.
The way to a radical life is to meditate upon His precepts.
How much time do I spend worrying * ahem* idolizing what other people think?
Maybe I should replace that with discovering what God thinks?

All of this to say…it’s time to start memorizing the Word of the Lord.

So I will start with Phil 4: 8-
Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

He's gone....

Just a few hours after my last post, Grandpa Jay passed away.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What do you do...

when you cannot sleep? I usually watch old movies.

But I just cannot do that tonight.

Tonight, I am lying in my bed, alone. I am alone, because my favorite guy in the whole world, is keeping watch over his favorite guy in the whole world. Jeff is sitting with Grandpa he eases from his earthly home, into the next.

It is hard to even contemplate what our life will be like, without Grandpa Jay.

The other day, Li-li was bouncing around the house, saying...."Hey....bayyyybayyy! Hey....bayyyybayyy!"

That's what Grandpa Jay always says.

Jeff is so much like his father. I am so incredibly thankful that he is.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Remembering Grandpa...

I love this picture of Grandpa Jay. Just looking at him makes you smile.
Always thought the best of you, no matter what.
We should all be more like him.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I'll be back at some point. Things are just too crazy right now to maintain this thing the way I would like!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

How we do Li-Li's beads!

This is what our Li-Li looks like after we wash and condition her hair. Isn't she a ham?

We start sectioning her hair using long clips and metal comb. I'll post pictures of the tools later.

Sometime we get creative in our sectioning. It is popular to do zig-zags. Just a note...we have been told to straighten her hair as we section it...but we have not been able to pull that off!
Straightening makes the hair much shinier and not as fuzzy when you braid and bead it. The best way to straighten is using a hot comb. We have not tried that yet.

This time we made bigger sections, using a small black elastic to hold each section. The larger sections we split into 5-6 braids per section. The smaller section only needed 1-3 braids each. We add 8-9 beads to each braid. The more beads, the heavier and neater the braid. We use a beading wand to add the beads. Once you string the beads on, you secure the braid with a black elastic. You wind the end of the braid around the final bead, and secure the end ABOVE the last bead, to make a loop. Again, I'll post pics of the tools, and how to use them, the next time we bead her hair. I just did not get around to it this time!

It can take 2-4 hours to bead her hair, depending on the style and how many sections we are using. We keep her happy by doing this later in the afternoon or evening, and having a good DVD playing as we do it. She is pretty patient about it!
We can usually leave the beads in for two weeks, although she does get a bit fuzzy headed by the end of the second week.

Gypsy and her babies!

Gypsy has been working hard to keep her babies well fed. They seem to be getting stronger...we see their heads popping out of the nest quite a bit today. Papa Robin has been busy watching over and protecting them, too. We are anxious to see how quickly they will attempt to hop out of the nest!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A note about Swagbucks...

It is really true. If you are interested in earning gift cards towards almost anything you can imagine..(we are big fans of Amazon) than why not try using swagbucks? Make it your home page and use it as your primary search engine. The bucks add up fast. In two months we have managed to win $20 worth of Amazon gift cards! By the end of the summer we will have a good stash to put towards our homeschool books!

Click on my referral link..."here" and check it out.

Great Website...

If you are at all interested in the migration and habits of the Robin... click "here!"

Backyard family time...

We were all hanging out today, and Mac decides that every Saturday should be just the family, hanging out back, enjoying each other. has been a good day!
There are three altogether. This little guy was probably a bit warm, and needed some air.

They hatched!

Gypsy's babies have hatched. We will try to document their progress this summer!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Li-Li and Kiki

The two of them are really tight. It will be hard to see our Kiki go!

Gypsy is back!

We have no idea if this is actually the same Robin, but for the last 3 years, "Gypsy" has settled in over our drain pipes to raise her littles. Last year she actually "nested" 3 separate times. Each time she laid 4 eggs..and every single one of them hatched.
It was amazing to watch this all play out.
But every single time Gypsy's babies finally flew away... WE WERE away. We have no idea how far they made it once they left the nest...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Remember Mama

Check out THIS movie sometime before or on Mother's Day. It is one of our favorites.
We watch it around this time every year.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mac and Mae decided to act out the Civil War one day.
This is Mae, pretending to be Robert E. Lee.
Mac was Ulysses S. Grant.
I guess they are learning something, ehy?
I love Jeff so very much. He is loyal, sweet, tender, and funny. He is selfless and supportive.
He is also really good at bringing home flowers for no apparent reason whatsoever!
However, I found these waiting for me on Valentines Day.
I love this pic of Li-Li..and just felt compelled to load it to our blog! We are relaxing her "mood..."

Spring is here...

Aren't these lovely? They have bloomed and faded already...but that just means more color is on its way!

Monday, March 29, 2010

This is Gypsy. She lived with us all summer, and we were blessed with lots of baby robins last summer. Her nest survived the winter, so we are eagerly wishing for her return this spring!

Here's a comparison pic to Mac's self portrait below. What do you think?

Good Grief!

Has it really been that long since I bothered to post anything here? I am feeling the need to update our blog, although I am not quite sure why! This is Mac's latest piece. I think is it suppose to be a self portrait! Enjoy!