Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Discipling Soldiers

Bedtime always seems the favored time for our boys to raise deep theological discussions. Maybe it's a bedtime stalling technique, maybe fatigue leads to deep pondering, but those bedtime talks lead to all of us learning a little more.
Last week Harrison had some heavy "end of times" questions while snuggling into his covers. "Can I be there when God defeats Satan forever?...Can I help fight in that battle?...That will be the best battle ever because God wins forever, and I want to be there with Him when He does!"
His chain of thought was precious yet grave in a mix of confusing emotions for my momma heart. I've wiped their tears, put bandaids on their cuts, kissed scraped knees, and soothed broken hearts.
I spend my waking hours (which are waaaaayyy more than my sleeping hours) to make sure they are protected and well. Yet I've prayed for them, myself, our family, a life otherwise.
We've chosen to give these precious boys to God and our family over to His will and ways. We've established ourselves as an enemy to this world and the powers in it. We are discipling soldiers, front line fighters, and battle is inevitable. 
We've taken God's side and the lines have been drawn. Choosing Christ is not the easy choice, it's not a free walk, it's choosing to live as a marked enemy of this world. We reminded our "soldier" that he's already engaged in a great battle even now, every day.
We talked about the temptations he fights, the bad dreams he rebukes, the persecution of Christians we pray for, all battles we daily engage in.
"For our war is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, and against the powers of this dark world..." (Ephesians 6:12)
Discipling soldiers is heavy work, but in the heat of battle I pray they will be ready to stand firm.
Life is precious and sweet, but there is a contrast we cannot see and even more, we cannot ignore. Living this life ignorant of the war waging unseen is not living. We know the end, we win, God wins, but we aren't there yet. There are more soldiers to train and disciple, more battles to conquer for these little souls, and more days to disciple mighty men who long to battle alongside their Heavenly Father.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

24 Weeks

How Far Along: 24 Weeks
Size of Baby: About 12 inches, the length of an ear of corn, and 1  1/3 lbs
Gender: Girl!
Maternity Clothes: I wore a maternity dress on Sunday but most maternity things still look awkwardly large and baggy. I'm in that weird middle stage where regular clothes are getting too small, but maternity clothes are just still too big.
Movement: Starting to notice more specific movements, like a foot pressing out or hiccups - which all are reassuring and precious, love feeling this baby girl move.   
Cravings: I sound like a broken record, but it's all about fruit these days. If it wasn't January with everything being out of season or ridiculously priced, like the watermelon I really wanted but did a 180 at the $8 price tag, I'd be raiding farmer's markets with reckless abandon:)
Symptoms: Only change is baby girl shifted her position. The day after we took the above picture I woke up and Matt asked, "Out baby is still in there right?" Looking down, my tummy was drastically smaller. The midwife checked on everything and baby girl is still measuring 24 1/2 weeks. She explained that our little girl had probably been sitting or laying sideways and shifted into an up and down position to get ready to be snuggled in and gaining weight until her birthday. Her shifting completely changed my appearance and tummy size. I have never had any of the boys shift in any way that created such a drastic change, but glad to know she is doing great and growing strong!
Best Moment of the Week: We had the 24 week appointment yesterday and the boys went with me. They all loved hearing their little sister's heartbeat and in typical boy fashion described the sound as "bombs being dropped and exploding!"

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lava Jumpers

I love the outdoors. I live and breath wide open spaces,warm sunshine, and going barefoot.
But y'all know how much I just don't do cold, at all. And since we're right in the prime of winter, we stay inside to ward off hypothermia.
Don't feel too bad for the boys. They're cut from the same genetic cloth I am and hate being cold and numb as much as I do.
So we make being stuck indoors work somehow. We pull up picture albums of past beach trips, we make smoothies that taste like summertime, and we look for creative ways to get out energy.
And when I say "creative" I mean any ways that don't involve risking life or limb, a specialty of my boys.
So after being the party pooper of the their "bike down the stairs" idea, I came up with a "jumping over the lava" idea and somewhat redeemed some cool mom points.
Hours of lava jumping, crashing, flying, rolling, and flipping left three little men worn out, happy, and thankfully forgetful of their bike and stairs combo.
But even with our couch jungle gym, I'm looking forward to jumping "lava" outside very soon!

Friday, January 16, 2015

23 Weeks

How Far Along: 23 Weeks
Size of Baby: 11 1/2 inches, about the length of an eggplant, and weighs around 1 lb.
Gender: Girl!
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but that's mainly due to my bella band and the fact that tunic tops and leggings are in style (please don't go out of style before May!)
Movement:  Little lady is still quiet for the most part, but she has really started responding to outside noises, like when her big brothers are engaged in an epic light saber battle or her Daddy is talking close by.  
Cravings: Still on my fruit kick, most any kind of fruit, in any kind of way - fresh, dried, smoothies, sherbert, jelly bellies (they have real fruit juice in them so they count right?!)
Symptoms: Nothing new, in fact this pregnancy so far I haven't had the usual degree of RLS I developed with the boys by this point, so I am extremely grateful for that!   
Best Moment of the Week: Being able to now watcher her kicks and movements as she grows and have the boys little hands pressed against my tummy to feel their sister move.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Snow Day

Last week we woke up to excited shrieks coming from the boys' room.
Harrison's morning routine after waking up is to open the blinds and report the day's weather.
So once he caught a glimpse of the piles of icy white, sleeping time was over for the entire house.
We were rushed by giddy boys making their plans to take full advantage of the winter wonderland.
My plans involved extra down blanketed layers of clothing and multiple cups of hot coffee.
But how can you resist three sets of handsome blue eyes begging for snow day fun?
I definitely wasn't paying attention to the weather, so I had no idea the snow was coming, but ignorance is bliss.
Once the world is covered in white it's pointless to fight my anti-winter'ness and just go with it.
So for the next 45 minutes we got everyone bundled in their 18 layers of snow gear and then headed out for sledding, hiking through the woods, and snowball fights.
But then Wilson hit his winter limit. This kid is definitely mine. He was done. Done with cold, done with numb fingers, and done with the 18 layers surrounding his summer loving self.
So while the boys continued to track animal prints through the snowy woods, intent on finding a bear, Wils and I headed inside to lick our hypothermia wounds. 
Our snow day wrapped up with board games in front of the fire and mugs of hot chocolate. I guess if it has to be winter it was a pretty great way to spend a snow day, but the countdown for summertime is on! :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

22 Weeks

How Far Along: 22 Weeks
Size of Baby: 11 inches, about the size of a spaghetti squash
Gender: Girl!
Maternity Clothes: Still haven't switched over to maternity, but the bella band is a permanent fixture to my wardrobe :)
Movement: Little lady stays pretty quiet but when she does decide to explore her space she does so with reckless abandon. I can only imagine that not feeling so cute when she's full term :) 
Cravings: Pretty much any kind of fruit or vegetable
Symptoms: No new symptoms; working out, chasing the three big brothers, playing in the snow, and enjoying picturing life with our little lady in the mix.   
Best Moment of the Week: Harrison and Jefferson wrote a song for her called "Baby Girl". It's the most precious little lullaby and I love hearing them talk about looking forward to singing it to their little sister.

Friday, January 2, 2015


This is the post where I flood you with pictures.
You know, the pictures I snap hastily in between shrieks and giggles.
The ones that capture smiles and "ooohhs" and "aahhhs!"
The pictures I compare each Christmas to the year before and catch my breath at how fast these men are growing and changing.
The ones that keep us laughing as we can hear the sounds and relive the chaos through each frame.
The pictures worth a thousand words, a thousand moments, and a thousand hugs and kisses from thankful giddy boys.
The ones that see inches grown, skills mastered, character developed, and relationships deepened with each Christmas.
These are the pictures I stole a few moments of Christmas morning to capture before I set the camera down.
Because the boys could care less about the pictures I'm snapping.
They care that I sit side by side huddled inside a huge pile of discarded wrapping paper and catch the excitement of each opened gift.
And so this post is filled with choppy moments of paper and lights, surprises and awe.
This Christmas my hands were full of hugs and bows and less shutter and lens which was good because there were a lot of toys to figure out, assemble, and find batteries for.
  This Christmas was the one Harrison got all serious about his gifts with hardly a smile in any picture as he took his unwrapping duty seriously.
   This Christmas was the one Jefferson decided to take half an hour playing with each new gift before possessing a remote desire to open another.
 This Christmas was the one Wilson ate pretty much every piece of stocking candy before breakfast and confiscated Matt's new football.
 This Christmas was picture perfect, richly blessed, and it couldn't have unwrapped in any better way.