Sunday, December 18, 2011


Zinnia Naomi and Esther Gwynne,
Happy Third Birthday!  I treasure the miracle of your lives, you are an abundant gift.  Zinnia Naomi, I love your loud voice, your giggles and huge smiles, your questions, your vocabulary, your spunk (you're totally twin A), and your heart.  Esther Gwynne, I love your singing and dancing, your sweet little voice, your hugs, and your gentle love.  You are perfect blessings, and I love you.

Love, Mommy

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Delicate Magnificence

The fog lifted revealing trees thick with beauty.  Branches bare, dipped in frost.

Branches clothed in ice.  A magnificent canvas.

I am moved to worship my Creator, in awe of the delicate strokes of His mighty hand.

    O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
    You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
        you discern my thoughts from afar.
    You search out my path and my lying down
        and are acquainted with all my ways.
    Even before a word is on my tongue,
        behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
    You hem me in, behind and before,
        and lay your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
        it is high; I cannot attain it.
    Where shall I go from your Spirit?
        Or where shall I flee from your presence?
    If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
        If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
    If I take the wings of the morning
        and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
    even there your hand shall lead me,
        and your right hand shall hold me.
    If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
        and the light about me be night,”
    even the darkness is not dark to you;
        the night is bright as the day,
        for darkness is as light with you.
    For you formed my inward parts;
        you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
    I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
        my soul knows it very well.
    My frame was not hidden from you,
    when I was being made in secret,
        intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
    Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
    in your book were written, every one of them,
        the days that were formed for me,
        when as yet there was none of them.
    How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
        How vast is the sum of them!
    If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
        I awake, and I am still with you.
(Psalm 139:1-18 ESV)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The heavens declare the glory of God,
   and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Patio

It's funny about my house, I think I like the outside better.  When you back to an open space and get to enjoy sunset views like this, how could you ever want to stay inside?!

Feel free to stop by anytime...I wish I had a better camera to do the views justice!  Yes, the train comes by and it's cool...the whistle doesn't blow, just the cars rumble by.  They are mostly freight cars, but we've seen a few passenger trains and once we even saw tanks and other military vehicles.  The kids are full of reverence for the tracks. Zinnia often will run in the house and in a sweet, gentle voice, quite matter-of-factly state, "Mommy, Thomas scare me."  She doesn't really cry, mostly just announces it

One fun feature of our backyard is a great patio and tonight we spent a fun family night on the patio.  We ate dinner and then used our fire pit for the first time.  For it's inaugural fire, we made s'mores. Anthony even taught us how to melt the chocolate on the side of the fire pit.  It was fun and I felt like a grown know, grown ups do things like roast marshmallows with their kids.  Woah!

 Rourke has lost 3 teeth.  Actually he's lost two in the traditional method and the other was given a head start by a rope he tied across the swing set.  His tearful account was, "We were swinging and Mommy, Frannie said something funny and I laughed and my tooth got stuck on the rope!".  We took him to the dentist and x-rays showed it was going to come out soon anyway..thankfully, no broken teeth...yet.  Rourke's currently into space shuttles and night crawlers. We watched the launch a couple weeks ago and he picked out 8 books about space shuttles from the library.  He's also planning for his future.  He said that on Mondays he will fly space shuttles, on Tuesdays he will be a train conductor, on Wednesdays he will fly jets, and the rest of the time he will be a geologist.  We learned about rocks a few weeks ago in school and he's been investigating rocks ever since.  He said he might be a good fisherman someday because now he knows how to hunt night crawlers because his Uncle Casey came over for some man time and they dug in the dirt and found some huge ones.  They are still in the fridge if anyone needs some fishing bait!

Lydia is such a sweet girl.  Look at the way she's holding that s'more.  Pinkies raised and everything.  She loves anything pretty, fancy, and shimmery.  Dresses are her preferred attire.  Lydia has a beautiful heart and is our most spiritually sensitive child.  She is keen to the heart of Christ and very compassionate and kind.  She loves to help, which is an amazing gift to me.  When we named each of our children, we did so with a prayer request and character quality in mind.  Lydia in the Bible is an amazing woman who was eager to help others and I am often stunned how accurately my Lydia is named and am thankful that He is building in her the character we've requested. Last week she was sitting with me at the table before breakfast and said, "Mommy, I had a wonderful dream last night.  Rourke and Frannie, and I got to spend the whole summer with Jesus and it was so fun."  She gave me a little giggle and then said, "It was such a nice dream." 

I LOVE this picture.  This is such an accurate representation of Francesca..  She is just digging in, determined, and really happy to be eating her s'more.  Frannie doesn't really like to eat.  She never has, even as an infant I had to work so hard to get her to nurse or take a bottle.  We went through a zillion brands of bottles and she would just sort of move the nipple around in her mouth like she was annoyed.  However, the girl likes her dessert.  We had ice cream at a birthday party last weekend and her container was nearly licked clean!  This sweet girl is fiery and wears her honest heart on her sleeve...whether she's upset or full of love.  Recently it's been a sweet, tender heart.  God has really grown my Frannie Beth.  She has grown in patience and affection for Zinnia & Esther and for others in general.  Some of the things I've been hearing from her are, "Sweetie, you're okay."  or "Come here, Esther, I can help you with your shoes."  My favorite part of this is her reaction when I tell her how blessed I am to see her showing such love and that Jesus is pleased with her heart for others.  She crinkles up her nose, shrugs up her shoulders and offers a sweet two syllable giggle, "tee, hee."  She is a delight, a joy, and brings so much life to our family.

Zinnia is hil-ar-i-ous.  She thinks she is funniest girl alive...she might be!  I was in her room last week in Sunday school.  There is a large mirror on the wall.  She was pacing back & forth in front of the mirror, waving to herself, giggling, shrugging up her shoulders.  Then she walked right up to it and started making faces and laughing out loud at the hilarity coming back to her.  She does this thing where she leans forward and just belts out a loud laugh, it's 3 big, "HA, HA, HAs!" in a too deep for a two year old girl voice.  After her performance laugh she sorta chuckles, if a chuckle could talk, Zinnia's would say, "yeah, that was awesome."  If she doesn't get a reaction from us she tries again.  What a turkey!  As someone else in the Sunday school room commented, "Well, you better sign her up for drama, it seems like she's a natural."  Either that or stand up.  Oh, and Zinnia LOVES her daddy.

Esther loves to eat.  She eats and eats and eats.  She enjoys her food...she likes to feel it, to see what it sounds like, to see what happens when you splash it, to see how it works as shampoo, and she can eat as much as her older siblings.  Esther's affections for mommy are fierce.  She often just wants to be held and she makes it clear when she's not ready to be done.  Often I'll sit with her and have my arms tucked around her frame.  If I move my arm down to my side, even for a second, she picks up my hand and draws my arm back across her belly. Very sweet.

Tonight was a fun night.  It was relaxed and refreshing.  We just enjoyed each other.  I'm looking forward to enjoying many more nights like this, together, on the patio. 

 Did I mention she loves her daddy?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ant Rourke, Ant Lydia, Ant Francesca

Next week in school we are learning about I-i-insects and will be observing ants.  Our ants came yesterday, so we set up our ant hill and dumped them in our habitat.

Pretty much ever since then the kids have been staring at the ant hill.  I don't really like bugs and ants creep me out, but they are fascinating.  I was amazed at how delicate their bodies are yet how strong they are, that the sections of their bodies connect through sections that are so small they are difficult to see.

This morning they started to tunnel and I was trying to tell the kids how much work it is for the ants, that those ants are carrying pieces of sand nearly as big as them.

This was their application. 

After they used their mandibles to toss all of the pillows and couch cushions down the stairs they brought them all back up and put them away, then they asked if it was rest time because they were tired from being hard working ants. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

The dailyness is a gift

Anthony dresses Zinnia & Esther many mornings, but the mornings I get to do it are a treasure, one of my favorite things to do.

After I get one dressed, I pick her up. Give her a kiss and a hug. She is still small. She cradles my hip and holds on tight.

As I carry her out of their room, down the hall and into the sunshiney living room, I am happy and so is she. She is clutched to my side, smiling, peaceful, and at rest.

We get into the kitchen and I strap her into her seat and she eats. And then I get go back and do it again.

I plan to carry them to breakfast as long as I can because the dailyness of this task is such a gift.