Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I’ve got a joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Down in my heart, down in my heart

I’ve got a joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay.

And I’m so happy, so very happy
I got a love of JESUS in my heart
And I’m so happy, so very happy
I got a love of JESUS in my heart

I’ve got the love of JESUS down in my heart
Down in my heart, Down in my heart
I’ve got the love of JESUS down in my heart..
Down in my heart to stay..

I’ve got a peace that passes understanding
Down in my heart, Down in my heart! Down in my heart!
I’ve got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay.

*I remember singing this song as a little girl at Sunday school.  I remember that "Joy" I felt signing it, meaning every word. I have loved Jesus for as long as I can remember.  He has been "down in my heart" all these years, even though there have been times that I haven't necessarily reached out to him.

*I have been reading A.LOT lately.  All kinds of books about all kinds of subjects. I am gleaning so much from so many of the authors, all of them moms just like me that love the Lord and strive to live a Godly life. And just like me, they are all human and often fall short.  The amazing thing is though that God never takes back His grace and He is oh, so willing to share His mercy.

*An underlying theme in some of the books that I have been reading is about J.O.Y.   To find joy in all things.  The way to do this is to keep Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.  I have to say that I am amazed at the changes that take place in my heart when I do this.  This is also hard for me to do because I can be a selfish and self centered person.  And even though I think I will always struggle with those traits at varying degrees, I also know that they can be changed and that my heart can be softened even further.  My heart has come a long way, but has even further to go.   Today, I am choosing to live with J.O.Y in my life.

*I also want Trent and our children to know that I find complete joy in being his wife and their mother.  There is no greater job for me, no where I would rather be.  Everyday I say prayers of thanksgiving to God for the family I have been blessed with.  My heart often fills full to the point of overflowing when I think of how much I am in love with my husband and how dear our children are to me.  But how often do my dear sweet ones know those true feelings, and not because I have told them 1,000 times, but because they feel them and SEE them in my actions?

*Something else I am taking away from my list of good reads is to keep a gentle spirit and a quiet voice.  I am really trying to not get frustrated with the kids and raise my voice or ask them 10 times to do something...which only makes me more frustrated. I have started to correct their behavior right away and do so in a loving but firm way.  I have stopped yelling requests from a different room only to not be "heard".  I have also started to praise them  more and encourage them more, trying to see all the good things that they do and give my expectations to the Lord.  When asking them to complete a task, I am now showing them how to do it and then letting them do it while I observe them and then offering further instruction if needed.   Seems pretty basic, simple common sense methods, but sometimes I really need things spelled out for me.

I have been really trying to keep my voice low and come to the children from a place of complete love and patience.  (As I write this during our quiet time, Tommy just pushed the limits and ending up head butting me in the mouth, a bloody fat lip is the result.  I can honestly say that I am trying to do these things, but sometimes, like 3 minutes ago, my first impulse is to react.  )  But even though I am still prone to not react from a gentle, loving place, there are more times of late that I do react in a positive way.  Within a few days of trying on my new gentle voice Charlie told me 2 times that I was being so "kind" to him.  Both boys have also been much better with their listening and I don't get frustrated with them as much.  

*There is so much joy in my life and I want those that I love dearly to see that joy on a daily basis.  I am encouraged to know that I don't have to be "perfect" in this quest, that there are other moms out there just like me who are trying to raise Godly children and live in a Godly marriage.  I am also excited to know that the flaws and character defects that I have held on to for so long can be changed.  All I need to do is continue to give my life to God, He will do the rest.

Some of the scripture that I have been encouraged by lately:

The Holy Spirit-he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.  So don't be troubled or afraid.   John 15:26-27

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world  John 16:33

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.  Matthew 6:21

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.  Keep on seeking and you will find.  Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Everyone who seeks, finds.  And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  Matthew 7:7-8

This is my favorite.  Every day I find joy in the life the God has provided but I am still a sinner, imperfect, fearful, selfish.  If I were made perfect I would not need to seek the mercy and grace of the Lord.  I truly believe that it is through my struggles and moments of doubt that my relationship with God deepens and becomes stronger. 

My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.  2 Corinthians 12:8

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lake Trip Part III: Midway Park

Midway Park is one of our favorite places to visit when at the lake.
Trent often went here when he was young and most of the rides are still same from way back then.

All of the boys LOVE this roller coaster.  Charlie opted to ride by himself this year, so brave!

This photo proves I should always listen to my gutt.  My gut said "Don't listen to the 16 year old carnival boy who says that Tommy can ride on Charlie's lap because if he does they are going to fall off this slide".  10.2 seconds later they fell off the slide.  Thankfully, no one was hurt but they didn't ask to go on it again!

Me and My Babies

Daddy and Tommy.  

Charlie's favorite ride, the Handcar Train
Even little brother could ride this year!

A trip to the lake would not be complete without a trip to Midway Park. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lake Trip Part II: Fishing with Daddy

*fishing off the dock with Dad, both boys caught fish this year and after one fishing adventure where 3 fish were fighting over Charlie's worm, he came running to me on the beach yelling "it is AMAZING MOM!!, just AMAZING!!"  I think he finally caught the fishing fever!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lake Trip 2011 Part I

Our beloved lake.
We spent a glorious week at the lake, Lake Chautauqua in New York state.  It is one of our favorite places, we truly love it there.  I think a sense of true serenity just drapes over us. I know that the boys will have fond memories of our summers spent by the lake and that is so  important to us!

Things we loved about the lake this year:
1. swimming at Mayville Beach and spending the 4th of July there at a small carnival that was going on.  It was so much fun to be right on the end of the lake, swimming, tasting yummy food, dancing, playing on the playground, listening to live music and being together as a family.
Being cute

Tom riding on the train at the 4th of July carnival
Charlie playing games with Dad at the carnival
Dancing at the 4th of July carnival
*playing on the "Train" playground, even though the train was under construction.  But the tug boats were a second favorite.
I love this boy!
 *Ice cream at Bemus Point, except for when Penny decided that it was now a good time to break her week long hiatus from her normal plumbing routine and I had forgotten the wipes.  Lovely :)  But the ice cream was good and we always enjoy Bemus Point!

*visiting with family
Spending time with Great Grams

*Traveling around to all of Trent's old haunts.  I think it is so cool that we get to spend our summers where he spent his first years as a small boy.
T1 Our Lake House
 *nightly fires making smores with Daddy
*spending lots of time with Daddy, such a treat!
Our annual wooden model extravaganza with Daddy

View off the porch, the lake is beyond the trees

*watching the boys finally sleep in the same room together without trying to kill wrestle each other to sleep ;) (and they are now going to sleep at the same time in the big boys room at home!!! Halleluiah!!!)
*going to bed early and the feel of cool sheets from home while laying next to my sweetie!
Early morning breakfast and crafts!
*having meals out on the deck, especially early morning breakfasts with the kids as Daddy caught some extra sleep
*having that feeling of not needing to be anywhere at any certain time
*spending time as a family.  It doesn't matter where we are or what we are doing, as long as we are together!
*doing one of our favorite things as a family, going for a hike in the woods

Thanks Baby for working so hard so that we can enjoy this time together at one of our favorite places!  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Penelope Jane 8 months young

Penny at Lake Chautauqua
Our Penelope Jane has just blossomed this last month.  She is doing so many new and exciting things.  I am in awe of how quickly she is changing  and cherishing each day with her.

Her new "tricks" this month are:
*waving "hi"
*clapping hands especially when you say "Yeah!".  She gives you that big beautiful smile and just squeals.  It is so precious!
*army crawling ALL over the place.  Now she can chase the cat!  Sammie is such a glutton for punishment though, and will just sit there as she beats pets him with her little hand.  He has loved all the babies and you will often find him curled up laying with one of them.
*sits completely independently now, and can get herself from a sitting position to her belly to crawl around.
*she is babbling and squealing all the time.
*she self feeds, loves steamed apples and carrots.  She almost always refuses baby food now.  I am trying to come up with soft foods that she can eat.  She pretty much has liked everything I have given her so far, avocado, brown rice, Spanish rice, cheerios, puffs, freeze dried fruit, chicken, pork, turkey, spaghetti.
*Still on the same sleep schedule.  2 naps, in bed for the night between 6-6:30pm and up by 7:30am.  She still wake 2-3 times a night to eat.  However, just last night she went to bed at 6pm, up at 10pm to eat and then slept until 7am!!  It was the longest stretch she has ever had.  Yes, I like my sleep but I am not in a hurry for her to drop all of her middle of the night feedings just yet. I know once she does I will miss them.
*weighs 20lbs
*still only has 2 bottom teeth and I don't see anymore coming through
*her hair is getting a bit longer on the sides, she often sports little strawberry blond wisps and they are adorable.
*she LOVES the water and tries to swim in the pool and drink the water (gross!).  she kicks her little legs in the water and splashes and squeals.  Looks like we have another little fish on our hands :)
*her best friends are Charlie and Tommy.  Those boys can seriously make her laugh.  Charlie has been so attentive to her lately and is always wanting to hold her.  Tommy sings her silly songs and speaks baby to her, which she loves to no end.
*she is also becoming a Daddy's girl.  If Trent is in the room she always reaches for him and flashes him her beautiful smile.
*she is still a very content baby.  She only fusses when she is tired or hungry and is full of smiles and belly laughs.

Being your Mommy is such a joy.  I smile every time I see you.  Your little face is so beautiful. I love your big sparkly blue eyes and that ear to ear grin of yours is just precious.
    I love how you give your Daddy and brothers kisses before bed and how you snuggle your head in the crook of my neck when I get you up from naps.  I love peaking in on you as you sleep on your belly with your tooshie in the air and arms tucked under your belly, little feet crossed at the ankles.
   You are the sweetest girl and all of us are so grateful for you.
    Love you to pieces little girl!