Dec 26, 2015

this Christmas

I simply love that this Christmas, you got to choose who opened presents first and you didn't pick yourself.
I love that when it was your turn, you wanted everyone to open the gifts you'd given them first--you anticipated giving more than getting.
I love that we visited a nursing home and you "weren't shy" in handing out cards.
I love that you wanted to write "God loves you" inside of them.
I love that you sang so loudly in your microphone.
I love that you shimmied in your sparkly dress.
I love that you sat in my lap and we binge-read new books.
I love that you laughed out loud.
I love you, LJTN.  You are a precious gift from God!

Dec 21, 2015

Jesus Storybook Bible Advent

Merry Christmas!

I really want to keep all the warm, toasty, sparkly, wonder-filled awe of Christmas centered in Christ.  Who he is and what he did for us is so beautiful, but it can get lost in all the busy and rush of the holidays.

One lovely way to keep the focus on Jesus is to celebrate Advent.  Every night in December we read a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible.  Each story from the Old Testament tells how it ties in with Jesus.  For example, in the story of David and Goliath, it doesn't teach:  So trust God and be brave like Daniel.  That's a fine thing to take away from that story, but it's not the main thing to take away.  The JSB points to Jesus, who, like David, would one day take on the enemy of God's people and rescue them.  On Christmas day, we'll read the one where he's born.

Last year we read the stories in order in December and it was simply lovely.  The stories are so beautiful, that I find my voice catching and my eyes filling as I read them.  I think you would be blessed by reading these stories leading up to Christmas, no matter what age you are!

This year, I found this blog which had small circular pictures of the stories in order and with a small number at the bottom, and I thought I could put them on ornaments.  Then I found this tree (at Homegoods, so even cheaper!), which had magnetic ornaments just the right size and shape.   I painted the ornaments, leaving the gold "hook" on top unpainted, and part of the base.  Then I cut the story pictures out and modge-podged them onto the ornaments.  My crafting skill level is LOW, so this is an easy one!  (It's also inexpensive.  I used paint I had on hand, two 50 cent foam brushes (one for paint and one for modge-podge) and the tree ($15ish).  You also need the Jesus Storybook Bible, but I already had that and it's totally worth it if you need to buy it!)

This is what we started with:


Here's the finished product:


The ornaments up close.

I love it!  Lucy has enjoyed this special story time we spend together so much!  She likes looking for the number of the ornament that comes next.  She finds the right one and we read that story.  We also light a candle for our story and then blow it out at the end.  I'll definitely be using this year after year, and I wanted to share it because it's a (cheap, easy) fun way to celebrate Jesus all through the month.

Happy celebrating, and Merry Christmas!

Christmas girl!

This girl was my buddy at our candle light service at church yesterday.  It was beautiful and wonderful and special and she is beautiful and wonderful and special.  Merry Christmas!

Dec 18, 2015

you, lately

Sweet child, you are my heart.

You think about letters and writing, and take big dramatic pauses with your eyes to the ceiling to sound out the word.

You love watching KC Undercover and now you have to put on your "KC clothes" at any random relaxing point in the day.

You sing with a lot of soul.

You read "Just Like Mama" with me and then... you brought me breakfast in bed!

You are so big that you can tie shoes and belts now!

You are still little enough that you use your block of wood "phone" quite often.

You often refer to me as "Mother" when we're talking, so I say, "Yes, daughter?"

You scolded Pap for walking in with dirty boots.  "I just cleaned up that floor," you exclaimed, as you scurried over to get the broom."

Your drawings have more details now:  (Note:  this is you, NOT you as a bird.  It was so silly of me that I even asked about birds when I saw this masterpiece.)

You love the movie "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"

You have found a spot in the yard where you plant all your seeds and you garden and you make mud pies.

You have been making a warbly bird-call noise in your throat.  One day it turned into a word:
Cooooperate!  After a few days of "Cooperate!" reverbrating around the house, we were debating on which outfit to wear and you belted out "Cooooompromise!"  You're so delightfully quirky.

You are just super-awesome, Lucy Joy, and I love everything about you!

Dec 6, 2015

a talk we had

Lucy and I were talking about different ways we can learn about God.

I told her, with emotion swelling as I went, how very much God has taught me through her.
You've taught me to be a noticer--you notice so many little things that I would have missed.  God has used you to teach me to slow down, to be more patient, to not rush through life.  God has taught me about love and about how much he loves us, by showing me how much I love you....

She nodded along, then interjected with eyebrows raised, "And we're working on your manners."

Apparently, my development, both spiritually and socially, is kind of an "all hands on deck" situation at present.  Pray for us :)

Nov 25, 2015

Thankful girls

I'm so thankful for YOU, Lucy!!

We made some "thank you" cookies for people we're thankful for in our community.  You were a little shy at first, but you handed them out and said thank you at each place.  I was so proud!

Thank you for having the library and letting us read books so we can learn."  and "I love books."  The library
(You kept writing and saying, "Oh man, I made a 3.  Oh man, another three?!"  Like they just showed up and surprised you!)

"Thank you for loving me and taking care of me."  Mrs. Connie

"Thank you for keeping us safe, from Lucy."  Fire station

"Thank you for keeping us safe."  Sherrif's office

Nov 11, 2015


I'm reading a book about prayer.  It's rocking my world.

One thing it talks about is just asking for what we want.  Not trying to be spiritual or worrying about being selfish, just asking. 

Lucy's prayers lately have blown me away.

In the last two days, she's asked beautifully:  God, thank you for making the stars, and for decorating the trees for us.I

She's asked bluntly:  God, will you help us find a kid?   She wants a little sister, and she just went for it.

She's asked thoughtfully:  And will you give John and Rachel a kid, too?  Thank you.

She's asked for things that surprised me:  And help the people who don't have a house to find one.  Like us.   A beautiful prayer, but I was thinking about homeless people, not necessarily... us.

But she's asked.  I think that's how God wants us to approach him.  (In fact, he invited us to approach him as little children.)  He wants us to delight in the beauty of this world he's made, and he wants us to lay out hopes and wishes before him, no justifying, no explaining, just asking for them.  He wants us to ask for big, life-changing things and for the mundane things we need each day.

Nov 2, 2015

speaking of...

From today:

In the car, I mentioned a girl's cute hair.  "Cute as me?"  She asked.  "Oh baby," I told her, "You have my heart.  No matter what I think about anyone else, no matter how great they are, I always think you're amazing, and I love you with my whole heart, forever and ever."  Her face squinted up and she said, "I'm going to start crying," and started bawling.  "What?!" I asked, "What's wrong?"  She tried to get it out, "Just you said..."   "You said..."  "You said that nice thing to meeeeee."

In bed, after the Bible story about Adam and Eve in the garden, you started asking about how God made us.  Like out of dirt?  Well, Adam and Eve, yes.  But us?  Well, in a mama's belly.  How does it get in there?  Well, God makes the baby from the mom and the dad.  And what about me?  God made you from your birth mom and birth dad.  (Umm, a little caught off guard, but going with it...)  She thought for a second.  "Well, how did the the birth dad get involved?" you asked.  Get invovled?!?  You crack me up!!!

We talked about a recent outing.  "Speaking of the park, we saw ice cream and you said big mouth."  She paused delicately.  "Were you speaking to me?"   She's a hoot!  She saw a woman walking by with big ice cream cones and I said, "Don't even think about it, big eyes."  She heard "big mouth" and then brought it up to clarify it five hours later.  I can't believe she said, "Were you speaking to me?"


Pap said she was sounding out queitly:  C-c-c  ongratu L L L ash h h h ns

tights and tutus

She wheeled up, ready for dance class.  Pretty dang cute.

After class, showing off her moves.  She loved the dance class, but they went on a pretend trip to the beach, and she ran up and whispered to me, "I don't want to go to the beach with these people."  She's so funny!

Oct 24, 2015

Lucy lost her first tooth!

She lost a TOOTH!  See on the bottom!  (She's feeling pretty good about it!)

*Update:  1 week later--TWO teeth!

Oct 12, 2015

Mermaid Party

Aunt Rachel made you the coolest Mermaid Cake!

You girls played a lot!  You did a little obstacle course outside (watch out for alligators!) and then had to have a music break).

You made mermaid crowns.
You had a treasure hunt, and then chilled in the poos and shared treasures.