Blessed With Good News: Out Of The Blue On Thursdays

Last week my youngest saved the day with a cuddle .
On Monday, I received good medical news, the kind that makes you overflow with relief. The kind that, before you received it, made you stop, think about the what-ifs and re-evaluate a few things.
Why did I get the good news, while I am sure there were others in the same office, on the same day, that did not? A gift of grace for my day. For my life. My week was changed, my attitude changed, I hope my life from here on out, changed.
I have struggled this summer with a self-diagnosed lack-of-joy. Tired of the mundane, daily, repetitive chores. Tired of referring sibling squabbles. Just tired.
This week I have felt a relief, a refresh, a recharge.
I hope this feeling is not a fluke, but will transform me into a better Jesus follower, wife, mother, daughter, friend.


Taken at the St. James Park on Monday a few hours after my good news: Pretty proud of himself, cramming his big-boy body into a baby swing and expecting me to pry him out! And the socks, the wrong size bought by a friend and given to him the day before. He had to wear them, not his no-shows, in the 90s heat. Pulled up–all.the.way! Mr. Slick!

Psalm 30:11-12 (ESV)
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Five Minute Friday: Belong

Five Minute Friday


These people. These seven interesting, loud, creative, not-so-compliant, mostly strong-willed gifts are mine. They are mine. I belong.
I struggle with friendships. I like people. I really do, but they tire me quickly and I tire them quickly, when I end up blathering on about this or that in my odd introvertedness and haven’t been able to find a core group that “everyone” says you must have.
I have these people. God gave them to me and they are mine forever. Because, you know, I do know where they live 🙂
My husband thinks I’m a nut, he is waiting for me and started playing “Isn’t She Lovely” with his free trial of Spotify.
So, I’ll finish with this: I belong, they belong, we all belong. (That sounds like some preschool song!) We belong to God, to each other.


Squinting on the Jamestown Scotland Ferry last week after visiting Williamsburg.

Psalm 27:1 (NKJV)

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

When A Cuddle Is Just What You Need: Out Of The Blue On Thursdays

I was feeling out of sorts yesterday morning, anxious about an afternoon doctor’s appointment, when Paul asked if we could cuddle. He doesn’t do that as often anymore, he’s almost five and can usually be found tagging along after an older brother or two or chatting with his sister. So, when he asked, I knew that was the ticket.
I needed to quit mindlessly wandering the house going from task to phone to task to iPad, to interrupting the engineer’s work, to worrying.
We cuddled. We read a stack of library books. He enjoys the children’s non-fiction animal books, so our stack included an armadillo, cotton-tail rabbit and buffalo. All short and sweet, like Paul, and full of great photos.
Cuddle time lasted maybe 15 minutes before he was on to an activity with his brother, called out to the bonus room to see some fun invention, but it was just what I needed. A great gift to get my day back on track.

Telling me a story last week at the park in Glen Allen, (plain old) Virginia (as opposed to West VA) 😉

Matthew 18:1-6 (ESV)

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,[a] it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Sunday Smiles and Scripture: A Day Late


Churches in Barboursville, WV and Winchester KY we attended while traveling through on our way to Glen Allen, VA and from Washington, D.C. They were the fifth and sixth churches we have visited and been blessed by this year.

1 John 1:7 (ESV)
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

“No! No! No!” “Don’t Put Me On Your Blog!!!”

The Six Sibs and their Mama are enjoying Glen Allen, VA this week while The Blog Engineer works down the street from our Homewood Suites Hotel.
This morning we visited Crump Park, a Henrico County park.
Luke jumped into the bouncy animal and the blog title was his response to me grabbing my camera (aka phone). He was obviously in good humor about it and is honored (or should be) to be the subject of this post, after all, it was his idea!

He sees his mother with a camera. 🙂

Panicking as the photo shoot commences.

Realizing escape is futile.

Working toward freedom.


The youngest brother Paul, who is NOT almost six-feet tall, waiting impatiently for a turn.

Psalm 126:3 (ESV)
The Lord has done great things for us;
we are glad.

Five Minute Friday: Beautiful

Writing with the Five Minute Friday group tonight.
Here are the rules:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code in my blog’s footer}.
3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words meant to you. Every writer longs to feel heard.



The day started off not-so-beautiful. The house needed some tlc and I was feeling really martryish about it. After a beautiful shower, I was feeling much better and my wonderful spouse had tackled yesterday’s leftover dishes and most of the children had pitched in in one way or another to tidy up a bit for Grandma and Grandpa’s visit.
Mom and Dad arrived around 10 and we visited, grilled burgers, visited more, the children swam and had an good time. They left at 2:00 and the eight of us listened to Daddy read aloud, swam some more, snacked, rested, packed, watched the rain, grilled again, watched a movie and snacked again.
It was a day filled with an unusually high amount of unity–yea!! Lots of downtime and some good productivity too.
Here’s to more beautiful.


(16 seconds early, for once!!)


Independence Day lunch.

Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 (ESV)
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

Independence Day 2013

A few shots of the morning and afternoon:

Yummy decaf mocha with homemade whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings made by my favorite daughter and her daddy.


The favorite daughter putting the finishing touches on our red, white and blue dessert.

Grandpa doing a cool “How do you tell if gold is real?”experiment with the boys–Scratching his wedding ring, then iron pyrite on a concrete block!

Grandma getting Isaac.

Independence Day lunch. Simple and enjoyed.

The group photograph photographer was photographed by his father.

Paul and John concentrating on something in the pool.

Me and my Buddy. She turned 12 last month and we adopted her 12 years ago next month. She’s still miffed at me for making her get a bath last week 😉

Paul’s pineapple pop!

Psalm 107:1 NIV, 1984

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

Five Minute Friday: In Between

Writing words today with the Five Minute Friday writers.

In Between


You would think, I certainly would think, that I would have this summer thing down by now. I’ve only been doing it a few years.
This year seems different, we are in between trips, which I do not take lightly or for granted. The trip out west was huge and interesting and bonding. The next trip to Virginia, for work, will be a great blessing in a different way.
We are also still in between sorting relationship-marriage-type issues, which is good and hard at the same time. The past four years have been enlightening in an unpleasant, showing how selfish I am kind of way.
And, we are in between school years, trying to figure out who needs what, when and how. With a senior and a kindergartener in the fall, life will be interesting.
I want to enjoy all of the in betweens God gives me!


Me and Him, leaving the North Rim. (Yes, I am standing on a rock because I am a foot shorter!)

The whole family, enjoying life’s in betweens!

James 1:2-8 (NIV)

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Five Minute Friday: Rhythm

Linking up the Five Minute Friday writers, after missing last week without wifi in Colorado.



Rhythm, oh rhythm, where are you? I have been looking for you all week! After 16 days on the road, saying my energy waned a bit this week is an understatement.

Trying to figure out a routine for the summer, keeping up with necessary work and adding in summer fun, without being a big grump.

The unpacking is finally complete, unless you count the odds and ends from the children in the van, plus the Utah red dirt. It is really a mess. Rachel has volunteered for van duty in the morning. Thank you!

The boys told me there was a spider in the downstairs bathroom this morning, so I caught it. She cooperated rather nicely, then we searched the conservation site to identify our find. We let her go after an hour or so, satisfied with our summer science learning.

A church friend called to invite the children to the new monster movie that opened today. That threw me for a loop, as I really, really dislike those goofy animated movies, especially paying full-price. So, after hyper-ventilating and getting overwhelmed, (Why, oh, why do I do that??), it was decided that the older three would go and pay their own way.

I let Adam drive us into town, then was a softy and gave them $10 for snacks, bought the younger three and Kyle a large frozen custard to share and need to leave in about five minutes to go to the WM neighborhood market and the movie theatre again.

Not the rhythm I expected for the day, but all is well!


(I added two minutes to my timer to get finished!)

The “friend” I caught in our downstairs bathroom this morning!

Researching…Only a wolf spider.

Psalm 40:5 (ESV)
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.

Sunday Smiles and Scripture: Three weeks, three churches, three states


Home tonight after being blessed by churches in Albuquerque, Kanab and Dodge City during the course of our southwestern vacation adventure.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another,
and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.