Thursday, May 30, 2013


a while back all of Josh Garrels' albums were on noisetrade.  i downloaded all the ones i didn't have.  adam questioned me: 'don't you ever get tired of his music?'  i said something about how his music was helping making sense of the broken world for me right now.  this is my favorite song this week Anchor of my soul, You sustain.  when i'm in the storm, You remain good to me...

When it's a quarter past midnight, and the grey skies fade
to black. The waves splash and set me off track. So my vessel
might crash or collapse, I get attacked. And start
wrestling in my head with these bad memories from my past.
I'm aware of my guilt, overwhelmed and the smell of my
blood has the sharks that surround me cast under a spell.
They waited for me to fall but when I fell the water got
still. And the blood that was spilled protects me, it's
the same blood that cleansed me. My only defense against
my nemesis, now I can rest knowing that nothing can come
against me unless the Father gives consent. Evil intentions
will not disturb God's purposes or interfere so, who
shall I fear if my Anchor is secure? Learning to consider
it pure joy when I'm facing tribulations, praising God
instead of complaining or getting overtaken with bitterness.
Looking at the pages of the book of James and seeing
the ways that God works through the trials to make us more
mature in our faith. It reminds me how desperate I am in
this desert land, thirsty for your mercy and plan while you
give me the strength to stand. You're my greatest pleasure,
yeah, no matter the weather I face, Lord you never forsake,
my fragile life is safe under your sovereign grace.
At some point every human looks right in the eyes of agony
and through the tragedy asks himself how can this happen
to me? You might be the type with enough insight to hold
on for your dear life but slip because your grip is not as
tight as I might like. You aint immune to it, naw, and if
you true to yourself then you aint new to it. trusted in
self, lusted and lured to it. So when the darkness overwhelms
me and the tide of life rises and swells it is well
is what compels me. When faced with adversity your truth
constantly reminds me that you command the seas with ease
and with words you're turning wind to breeze. It helps me
to understand that we stand on solid rock not on sinking
sand. Through the providence of pain you perfect your plan.
Predestined to be tested when the works and the Words of
God cooperate and educate men in the great gift of Grace
and Faith. And even though its obvious when my outlooks
ominous you've bound my heart and my conscience and gave me
a constant calmness. So when the pain comes like rain from
the parts of life that maintains it's strain i can put my
trust in the hands that sustain. It's profound that with
all these sinking ships around me, He surounds me and he
anchors me with his grace abounding.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

violin recital

friday night marit prayed: "Thank you God that no matter what we think, you give us what we need.  Thank you that you give us what we want sometimes, but not all the time." 

before she went to bed, she complained of some soreness in her hip.  the next morning, she called me to come get her out of bed because she could not walk...hurt too much to bear weight on her hip.  adam was working, but i texted him and he thought she should go to the ER for x-rays...her hip dysplasia might be causing some sort of trouble.  thankfully, her x-ray was unchanged from the one she had a year ago, and the docs thought she might have overdone it on the playground the day before.  it was the first time since marit has been in her brace that we realized she might have some limitations because of that old might be a "thorn in the flesh" for her.  she might not be able to do high-impact sports if she wants.  of course, we don't know these things yet, and after a few doses of motrin, she seems totally back to her active self.  those moments of waiting and wondering (or knowing as the case may be) if your child will face some major challenge in life, God uses to refine our prayers, to weigh our hearts.  marit did not realize how profound it is to thank God for the things we don't want in life...He knows our needs and sometimes we need to be drawn back through trial.  this is a lesson we learn over and over and over. 

we were discharged from the ER at 11:40.  marit's violin recital was at noon and she was distaught over the thought of missing it.  we rushed, threw a dress on, arrived a few minutes late and she played her sweet piece calmly and with poise.  somewhere along the way, her teacher told her French Folk Song is a lullaby.  Marit took that to mean SLOOOW.  it amazes me that she can play it so slowly and controlled when i know she was nervous.  we have just loved her sweet teacher and all the things she has learned through music this year. 

hurray for daddy being able to come!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

on being 2

two-year olds are such a mess. i really love this age, though it can absolutely be perplexing at times. between the tantrums and poopy accidents, there are some adorable and hilarious moments. i really think their cuteness is God's grace. i talk a lot about marit and graham on here, but miles deserves a little notice as well. this kid cracks me up. he is constantly talking and I understand him about 70% of the time. he seems to think i am always trying to trick him or pull the wool over his eyes and can be quite suspicious at times.

 yesterday we had this convo:
Miles: "i'm hungry"
E: "want a carrot?"
M: "yes!" carrots offered
M : "no, that not carrot! i want a carrot"
E: "these are carrots. would you like one?" offer again
M: "those not carrots!" this exchange repeated about five times and finally
E: "want an apple?"
M: "ok, i eat apple"

he is constantly telling himself that the tomatoes and strawberries in our yard are "not ready be picked yet," but sometimes he forgets to listen to himself and picks a green berry. then he comforts himself by the thought that "daddy will fix it"...because daddy can fix anything.

he has been known to pray for sweet things, like for each family member to poop in the potty...probably knowing how much joy that brings to us when he is successful in this area!

yesterday, our violin teacher let the kids pick some flowers from her huge lantana bush. miles took it seriously. arranging them in the mason jar kept him entertained for at least 30 minutes, while the big kids and i made dinner. he then proceded to sweep the table and floor, insisting he could clean it up himself. and he did not miss a petal. i tried to catch a photo of his tongue sticking out (sign of his intense focus), but he was moving so fast.

i love how half of the flowers are stuffed down inside the water.  isn't it lovely?
i'm so thankful for this silly, sweet boy!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


sometimes when adam is working a lot, i get urges. it might be planting half a dozen rose bushes or rearranging furniture. usually it is something we have been talking about doing and i just feel the ability to knock it out one day. switching the rooms is one of those things we have been talking about for a while. marit and graham have shared since graham was 7 months old. it has been a sweet four years, but lately there have just been some signs that it was time for the boys to share now. marit is glad for a little closet of a room to decorate and make her own. she is glad for her jewelry box to be a little less accessible to her brothers. besides buying another set of black-out curtains for the boys super bright room so miles will continue to nap, this project mostly consisted of rearranging furniture. i would still like to get a little bookshelf for marit and the boys will have bunk beds eventually, but here are some pictures to document this change.
miles' happy little nursery

lots of fun has happened in this space

usually a bit messy

super excited about sharing a room.  miles says every night: "gam seep me?" (graham sleep with me?)

miles can easily climb in and out of his crib unfortunately, so it will need to be replaced soon

wrinkly blackout curtains

benefit of this room having a history of being a large bathroom, is the medicine cabinet where marit keeps "treasures"

and the sink light that is now her special reading light (she loves to read herself to sleep at night)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

water guns

g teaching how to load the weapon

good form

loves to squirt

but hates to be squirted!

already, not yet

we have been plowing through spring. it is flying by and we have been keeping it pretty simple around here. adam has been up to his eyeballs in work and tradgedy lately in the trauma icu. sometimes he comes home telling stories of families in carwrecks and victims of violence and i just cry. his hours are long (14 or so many days) and days off far-between, so we try to encourage and refresh when we are together.

it seems like the majority of our friends are in some sort of transition or another...with a new baby, or moving, or overseas adopting a sweet little one! i have been praying for God to give me opportunities to serve these friends, even while our time to hang out is less these days. the result: lots of playdates lately, while the mommies get some necessities done. we are pretty much done with school.  we just have a few more math lessons to do and of course daily reading.  i'm not sure that we will take the whole summer off, but it will definitely be a more relaxed schedule.

g wanted to "act surprised" together

don't tell them their popsicles are full of carrots!
oh, yes, miles has been potty training.  he is doing great with pee, but prefers a diaper for #2.  baby steps.

miles and his bud malachi on trash day 

it is a joy to grow flowers around here this time of year.  thankful for our sunny patches of earth and the joy the we all have when we see something new blooming.  there are many lessons to be learned from the simple work of growing things.  that reminds me i need to go read my wendell berry book...

the birds planted us some sunflowers!  none of the ones we planted on purpose survived, so we are extra thankful for this one.
graham watches out the window for creatures in the flower bed and as soon as the door opens, he runs out with his huge feet and tromps through trying to catch lizards.  this boy is focused. 

this weekend, we went to the house of adam's boss for a low-country boil.  i forgot my camera of course, but it was tons of fun.  these er guys live on the river and paddle board to each other's houses.  what a strange world (i should add, that while we were gone, a police chase from another neighborhood ended on our street and it was shut down...out-of-the-ordinary, but sometimes it  really does feel like our feet are in multiple worlds). it was cold, but so refreshing to play in the river.  graham sat in a kayak tied to the tree and rowed contentedly for a good hour, while marit bravely curled up on the end of adam's paddle board and chatted his ear off while they paddled all over.

our anniversary came and went!  hurray for 9 years.  thank you Jesus for my husband and for how we have grown, even in difficulties this year.  we did make it out for dinner, and it was delicious.  thanks to my sweet mother-in-law for babysitting on her birthday to make it happen.  below, we are heading out for a friend's surprise birthday dinner a few weeks ago.  too bad the only photo we took was in our school room...
remember the hawks that mated in our tree? their nest is right behind our yard and the kids have loved watching them come to feed the chicks, or to see the mocking birds chase them away.  we borrowed a telescope and could see the babes from our upstairs window.  so cute.  we tried to get a picture, but it's blurry.  then, the other day adam struck up a conversation (he does this with all kinds of people) with a photographer at one of our favorite nature spots.  adam told him about "our" hawks and the mr casey the photographer was so excited, he offered to pay us to photograph them.  ha!  of coure we refused payment, but he did come spend a couple hours taking pictures and promises to send them once they are done being edited.  the kids just loved looking through his amazing camera into the nest.  so cool!

these are sweet days...documenting them makes me thankful.  we pray for God to enable us to faithfully and joyfully do our ordinary tasks, that by His grace, they would be worship.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

momentary grace

oh this sweet moment...totally independent siblings making a cozy spot to read together melts me.  what you can't see is another family member having an emotional breakdown about something having to do with seating arrangements in the car on our last outing.  and this is motherhood and childhood and life: indescibable sweetness and joy coupled with challenges and disappointments (no matter how small).  sweet Jesus, give me eyes to see the momentary graces!  i love how my sweet friend describes it here.