Two days after Christmas our van was stolen.  Phil filed a police report and started a claim with our insurance.  Needless to say it was a stressful day.   On New Year’s Day the police left us a voice mail at 3am stating the van had been found and was involved in a hit and run with 2 parked cars.  The thieves jumped out and stole another vehicle and escaped.  The next day I went to the impound lot to take pictures, take anything out that was left and of value (which wasn’t much) and to release it to our insurance so they could inspect the van.  In the end it was declared a loss as they estimated the cost to fix it would be more than $10,000.

There are several reason why I would prefer to have the van repaired and returned then a settlement.  It was a wonderful van and it made our weekly paper day run quite a bit more smoothly.  It was also nice to have a 3rd vehicle (in Oct the Lord blessed us by giving us my grandpa’s minivan after he had passed away) that my mom was able to drive.  It was a blessing to have a 3rd vehicle so that when the other van or the Honda needed work it wouldn’t have as much impact on us.  I know, these are 1st world problems right??

To add to my frustration, the van we still have has suddenly developed issues, some of which cannot be fixed by replacing parts.  The one and only side door is now broken and takes quite a bit of strength to open and close.  The sensor for the door doesn’t work properly and at times the van thinks the side door is open and will not stop the ‘open door’ dinging.   So, we are praying about using the insurance money to buy another van that will better suit our family and paper route needs.

Phil has had a really great attitude about the whole thing and has lead us in prayer, almost daily, about the thieves somehow being impacted by Jesus and coming to see the grace that only Jesus can provide.  He has been a wonderful example to me and the kids on how to handle this situation.  I was quite angry but his commitment to pray for the thieves has truly helped me work through my anger.

I do want justice for those that stole our van but the Lord has convicted me that their salvation is much more important…. and so I too pray for them and finally my prayers have been sincere.



A Day At the Zoo

It’s been a busy Saturday for our family.  Phil spent the entire day with other men from our church attending a Bravehearted Man Conference.  He pours so much into his family in so many ways that it’s great that he finally gets a day where he can be fed spiritually (and literally!) and enjoy some much needed guy time.  Alex was blessed to spend the day with Grandma Joanne making cupcakes and enjoying each other’s company.  That left me with Pooh, Belle and JT.

The girls really wanted to got to the zoo but at 33 weeks pregnant and moving VERY slowly I didn’t think I could keep up with JT so my mom volunteered to spend a few hours with him playing outside and having lunch together.  That left us 3 girls to wonder around the zoo for several hours admiring all of God’s creation.  The weather was gorgeous and we even got to see two tigers have a bit of a fight with one another.   It was pretty amazing to hear them growl and roar at each other.

Addie the sea lion did lots of neat behaviors (guess they don’t call them tricks anymore!) and showed off her amazing speed with laps around her pool.  Billy the 5 year old male elephant showed off his behaviors in the Denver Zoo multimillion dollar elephant habitat.  It’s quite extensive… still doesn’t look much fun to be an elephant!

We saw lots of fish, snakes and lizards.  The two brown bears were curled up on rocks sunbathing paying no attention to the crowds.  We quickly went through birdland…. I’m not a huge fan of birds and it was very hot inside so we didn’t stay long.  The girls said it stunk 🙂

Overall it was a very good day at the zoo.  I was blessed to spend some concentrated time with my 2 oldest before the newest Wilson arrives in the next 6 – 7 weeks.

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Happy Birthday to my Mom!

For various reasons this past year has been a bit tough for my mom but it has also brought about a major lifestyle change for her.  In April, 2013, I rushed her to the hospital and we were told she had a bad case of pneumonia.  She spent two nights in the hospital and was sent home with antibiotics and oxygen.  It was a scary situation but overall it was one that changed her life.  Because of being in the hospital and being sent home with oxygen she was strict to follow doctor’s orders of no smoking and guess what???  It’s been 8.5 months since she quit smoking.  She’s had many challenging and tempting days to start smoking again but has shown her incredible strength and made the decision to keep persevering.  We are so proud of her!  We know she will continue to have some rough days but am confident that she can stick to it.

Unfortunately, she is not insured (and Obamacare is a joke… the so called Affordable health insurance isn’t anything close to something she can afford) and she is paying for this hospital stay herself.  I was able to talk with the hospital and all of the various offices to get her bills lowered by more than 90%.  She faithfully mails her payments every month and hopefully will have most of it paid off by the end of 2014.

At the end of August, 2012, her wonderful dog Sadie became very ill and had to be put down.  This was a very tragic event for my mom.  Her and Sadie have always been close (Sadie was 13.5 years old) but became even closer once my dad died in Dec 2005.  They both missed my dad so much and relied on each other’s company.

On the bright and adventurous side she did get 2 cats; Callie and Lulu.  They both provide a lot of entertainment for my mom and for the kids!

A week before my mom’s birthday I again had to take her to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with gall stones.  For now, the doctor recommended a non-fat diet and my mom has been very diligent in following those guidelines.  She has been able to get the pain to a more manageable state.  Depending on the outcome of an ultrasound done on her mid section it will be decided if she needs to have it removed.  We would like to avoid that if at all possible!

Magaw, as she is affectionally called around here, continues to love all of us and help us take care of the kids.  The kids all love the fact that we all live together and are constantly asking when they can go visit Magaw upstairs.

She has a servants heart and we would be lost without her.

Happy 62nd Birthday Mom!  We love you!

Of course, Magaw avoids the camera like the plague but this is the only one I could find right now!



Scripture Memorization – Memory Project 2014

In all honesty I’m terrible at scripture memorization.  Every year I commit to some sort of memory project; every year I fail to finish the commitment.   Yet I believe wholeheartedly that God’s word is our armor in a fallen world and shows us the amazing grace and hope we have in Jesus!

This year, Ann Voskamp’s memory project is Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us: The Jesus Project.  The words of Jesus from the Gospel of John.  Ann has an absolute amazing way with words and uses them to encourage others.  Check out Ann’s link with all of the details of her memory project with free downloads and tips about effective bible verse memorization.  You can set different goals for yourself; memorize 12 verses for the year, one per month or double or triple that goal.  My goal is to memorize at least 24 verses throughout 2014.  Two verses a month…. how hard can that be?

In my bible time this morning I focused on John Chapter 1.  My first memory verse is John 1:1 but I meditated on verses 1 through 18.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[ait.

God’s word is TRUTH and without Him nothing was made.  His light shines in the darkness.   In a very dark world verse 5 gives me much peace and hope.  I don’t have to be the light; I just need to let Jesus shine through me!

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word became flesh…. JESUS became flesh and lived among us.  Can you imagine being in his presence as he walked on this earth?

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[b] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

I long to touch Jesus; to curl up at His feet and to be in His glory.

Will you memorize John 1:1 with me?  1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Where to begin…

I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a few years but the busyness of 4 young children and one on the way has been my excuse!  Becoming a Christian almost 14 years ago has changed the way I view the world and has enabled me to see joy in everyday life.  The Lord blessed me with my first child nearly 11 years old and our family has been growing ever since!

We homeschool our children and with a family of 6, soon to be 7 and an elderly parent who lives with us I’ve got a lot going on and a desperate need to prioritize, organize and stay grounded in my faith that energizes me.  I’d like to use this blog to share our family stories, recipes and ideas on organizing, crafts and homeschooling.  Of course, as my tag line mentions I’d like to share my thoughts on just about anything that fits my fancy!

Thank you to my husband, Phil, who is supportive and encouraging of my goals and desire to better serve our Lord, be a better helpmate to him and mother to our children.