March Birthdays!

It’s hard to believe it is March 30th already!  It’s funny how time flies faster the older I get.

So, we have 3 birthdays in March ranging in age from 4 to… oh 50?  Let’s see if you can guess who turns how old!

First, we have this sweet girl.  Katherine is growing into quite the outgoing little girl.  As our youngest she certainly keeps us on our toes and is very much loved by all her family.  How did she turn on March 6th?  A whooping 4 years!

After swimming, playing on the playground on a windy day!

Mid March – Swimming at the Ridge. Katherine loves the water!

Katherine at build-a-bear workshop to pick out her birthday present.

Katherine with big sister Natasha at their birthday party.

Katherine and mommy at her birthday dinner with mom and dad. She picked Red Robin!

Katherine and daddy at her birthday dinner.

This is a fairly common occurrence in our house with either Katherine or Jonathan!

Um, were you using a mouse on the computer at 4 years old? I know I wasn’t!

Katherine with her absolutely wonderful speech therapist Miss Sandra.

Katherine’s first car ride in a booster instead of a 5 point harness.  

We all celebrated Katherine moving up from that 5 point harness… wow what a pain in the rear!  She was very excited for Build-A-Bear, her first birthday dinner with just mom and dad, her birthday party and her new booster seat!

Moving on to Natasha!  WOW.. 15!!!  It’s so hard to believe that our first born is 15.  What a blessing she is to us.  She is so helpful and encouraging.  She loves to help with dinner or Katherine or play games with her siblings.  She has 1 piano student and hopes to gain more this summer.  She’s doing very well in school and is looking into pastry school after high school graduation.

Natasha making apples and pork chops for dinner.

Natasha and Daddy at her birthday dinner. She too picked Red Robin.

Natasha at her birthday party.

And last but certainly not least is my favorite brother-in-law Andy.  He turned 40 something or maybe 50 something in March and I’m grateful that he moved to Denver several years ago so that I can get to know him better.  I know he won’t mind me posting this picture… 🙂

Andy graciously holding Alex’s 2 build-a-bears! All that’s missing is that great smile!

Happy Birthday Katherine, Natasha and Andy!

 

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Worship

While looking for good historical fiction my kids can read I came across an article about worship written by Douglas Bond. It caught my attention because we will be starting the process of finding a new church home after Easter Sunday and worship is very important to us. I prefer to sing hymns but can worship with other songs. However, we do not want to land at a church that just sings KLove songs. While some music KLove plays is safe (stay away from anything sung by Hillsong and Jesus Culture to name a few) I don’t believe their place is in a church worship service… for the most part.

Anyway, take a look at this article. It’s long but I agree with the authors take on worship. It’s worth taking the 5 minutes to read to the end.

He is risen!

Gaylene

Finding Joy When We Are Others Focused

I listened to a podcast today by Leslie Ludy.  I really like Leslie’s podcasts because they aren’t too long (most last between 15 – 20 minutes) and Leslie truly seeks to encourage women to live a set apart life as it says in the bible.  Psalm 4:3 But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself; the LORD hears when I call to Him.

This week her podcast focused on finding joy when you are focused on others.  It’s easy to focus on ourselves or our circumstances and be discouraged and even hopeless.  But Leslie gives a few examples of women in history who chose to serve others despite their sometimes tragic circumstances.  That’s the kind of legacy I want to leave!

Take a listen!  Leslie Ludy Set Apart Podcast

Gaylene

New Year New Focus

Yes, I realize it’s January 19th so this post is a couple of weeks late but hey, at least it’s still the first month of the year!

God has put on my heart 2 different issues I need to work on. In a word or two… JOY and SIN. The world would say that there’s no such thing as sin and that joy is the same as happiness. Can I challenge you to look at joy and sin in a biblical context?

So, the bad news… Sin is real and believe it or not you are a sinner! Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Before, there was no death or pain or sin but Eve listened to the serpent and decided it looked too delicious to pass it up. Genesis 3:6-7 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

From that point on sin was in the world. Genesis 4:7 If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and it’s desire is for you, but you must master it. I think we can all agree that sin is real… right? If it wasn’t why would Jesus have to die such a terrible death to save us?

For me, I believe without a doubt that sin is real and I commit it just about everyday. What I want to focus on this year is living a righteous life. No, not perfect… only Jesus lived a perfect life. I want to take my sin seriously. I don’t want to just confess and repent (or appear to repent) just because I know God is watching… that isn’t true repentance and it reeks of the attitude of… well God forgives so I screwed up and I’ll do better next time. NO! I want to truly be sorry for my sin and actually take steps and make an effort not to do that I again. There are too many people in the world who call themselves Christian yet don’t take their sin seriously. Join me in coming to the foot of the cross, confessing our sin, turning away from it and living a righteous life. Not perfect… but with sincere effort… not just words. Remember, God knows our heart and our thoughts.

Now onto joy. I believe there is a difference between joy and happiness. Webster’s dictionary defines joy as 1) the emotion evoked by well- being, 2) a state of happiness or felicity, 3) a source or cause of delight. Webster’s also lists well-being and felicity in its definition of happiness. For me, I believe that joy truly comes from the Lord and if we are seeking Him continuously He will give us joy whether or not our circumstances would declare joy.

I love what God says in Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” I love that the JOY of the LORD in my strength!

Psalms 5:11 But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them, ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You.

There are so many verses is just the Psalms that talk about joy. I want that joy no matter how good or bad my day is going. And even more important is that I want my family to see my joy no matter the circumstances. Fortunately, our children have a father that is much better then I at showing joy no matter the situation. He inspires me to seek our God and rest in God’s joy no matter what. I’m reminded of Paul in prison. When he and Silas were in prison they were praying and singing hymns of praise to God. To me that is a steadfast joy that can only come from God.

So, my spiritual goals for 2018… take my sin seriously and make sincere efforts to turn away from sin and live a holy life. I believe living this kind of life is a journey that takes your whole life to perfect. This is what sanctification is all about. Our lives are to be continuously pointing towards and living up to His standards. And to find joy in all my circumstances.

Will you join me?

Psalms 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.

2017 Year In Review

It’s hard to believe 2017 is now officially over. It was a busy year for our family… here is a quick run down of what our year looked like!

  • Maga celebrated her 28th birthday on January 13th. She’s been 28 since… well a long time!
  • Natasha turned 14 on March 2nd.
  • Katherine turned 3 on March 6th.
  • Uncle Andy turned… I think 40 on March 13th.
  • Phil successfully finished his 1st full year of self employment on April 1st… no joke!
  • We celebrated Christ is risen on April 16th with lots of family at our house.
  • I turned 46 on May 11th.
  • Mikayla turned 12 on May 22nd.
  • Phil turned 48 on June 9th.
  • Natasha and Mikayla sold their Busy Bees Creations at the CHEC conference in June.
  • Alex turned 9 on August 4th.
  • Gaylene joined Keller Williams DTC.
  • We went camping to our favorite spot at the end of August.
  • Jonathan turned 7 on September 30th.
  • Phil and I celebrated 17 years of marriage on November 16th. Have I mentioned that I’m the luckiest gal on the planet? Thank you Lord for blessing me with an amazing husband!
  • We celebrated Thanksgiving at home then joined the Buttons for dessert and games at their house.
  • Our dear Miss Renee celebrated her 35th birthday on December 6th.
  • Our 4 oldest children performed in a piano recital. It was Jonathan’s first recital since starting lessons in August and he loved it!
  • We celebrated Christmas at home then once again joined the Buttons and the Keels for dessert and games at the Button’s house.

I’m sure there are many events I missed… my apologies… I need to start writing this stuff down throughout the year!

Merry Christmas!

Yes, I realize we are past December 25th but since Jesus wasn’t truly born on December 25th I figured it would be ok to say Merry Christmas on December 28th!

Anyway, below is a link to a fantastic blog post about God’s promises to us by Michelle Lesley. She has quickly become my favorite female Christian writer on discernment and the importance of being in God’s Word.

Please click on this link and take 5 minutes to read about God’s promises… you will be encouraged!

Romans 5:8 but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

Merry Christmas!

Gaylene

Christmas Traditions

This week we started a couple of our family’s Christmas traditions. Sunday marked the beginning of Advent and for the 2nd year in a row we are reading a story book about our Savior. Author Arnold Ytreeide has written four books for Advent. Last year we read Ishtar’s Odyssey and enjoyed the story so much that I bought Tabitha’s Travels. So far we are loving the story but we are only on the 3rd day of Advent so we have much adventure to read about!

The other tradition we have is each year I individually wrap Christmas books and keep them in a basket under our Christmas tree. We unwrap a book each night leading up to Christmas and read that book. This is our 3rd year doing this and the kids really look forward to this tradition. Jonathan got to unwrap the first book tonight and as usual he picked the Charlie Brown Christmas Story. Alex will get to pick the book to unwrap and read tomorrow night. My goal is to have 24 books that we get to unwrap each year starting on December 1st. We only have 13 books this year but I try to add one or two books each year.

What are some of your family traditions?