Monday, June 18, 2012

from a friend. . .

To my Christian friends, I caution you. Love is not a well-behaved child. Love is not the sterile portrait of a perfect family who hides its imperfection to please others. That is an illusion. Love is messy. Love is when a woman is dragged from bed while committing adultery, half-naked, drenched in shame…and the one who could have accused her writes in the dirt to preserve her dignity and disperses her accusers with one sentence. Love is when a prodigal son limps home, dirty outside and in, and is met not by a lecturing father looking to score points…but by a tear-filled father who runs and hugs him. Love is the servant Jesus on his knees washing his disciples’ feet. Love is a prostitute given another chance. Love is what compels an innocent Savior to be whipped, beaten, spat upon and nailed to a cross. This is where love lives. If you learn to embrace the imperfection in your daily life–that husband who means well but doesn’t always know the right thing to say, the overwhelmed wife who lacks self-respect because she’s always trying so hard to make everyone happy, the little boy with the huge mouth and heart to match, the teenager flailing away searching for himself and his independence–then you will discover that right in the middle of this mess is where love lives. Yes, love is cleaning up your child’s vomit. Love is seeing the best in others even when they are mean to you. Love is having the self-respect to tell that abusive spouse you would rather be lonely than treated that way. Love doesn’t run, hide, ignore or hope the mess goes away. Love sees the imperfection and courageously faces it, forgives it, teaches it, works through it. I hope you find beauty in imperfection today.

Monday, January 9, 2012

family pictures

I haven't uploaded these pictures yet because I used some of them for our Christmas greetings. My friend Mandy was the photographer and if you are interested in her work here is her fabulous website - Mandy Mary Photography

Sunday, January 8, 2012

books for Christmas

I liked this blog post. It made me smile
A Girl You Should Date

I love to read and December has always been a good month for the building of the library, with my birthday and Christmas both in the month. A few new ones from 2011. . .

1. Community by Brad House
This book was recommended to me by our pastor. I'm excited to finally read this one and a fun side-note; my brother Ben also got it for Christmas so we can read it alongside each other. :)

2. Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson
This is the book that a group of friends is currently reading together. It's an parenting book that has got me thinking about many things. One in particular a friend and I were discussing a couple months ago. She said, "I need something else to say to them; it's just Jesus over and over." I started agreeing with her but then we both stopped and realized how amazing it would be if the legacy we leave our children if they said of us, "They couldn't talk without speaking of their Lord Jesus!"

3. Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian
Troy got this one for me after hearing it mentioned in several circles. I've read some interesting reviews of this one and I'm excited to start it soon.

4. Blessings by Laura Story
This one is not a book but a cd from my sister-in-law. (I love music as much as books so it makes the list)
I like many of Laura's songs and have found them to be encouraging to me as I toy with my own musical aspirations.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

An article that my sister-in-law shared this morning; I can relate to this woman's perspective. :) Thoughts?

Don't Carpe Diem

Madelyn's birthday

December 31, 2011

Dear Madelyn,

I can't believe that you are eight years old. You have left babyhood and entered girlhood and it's beautiful to watch. I love your love for your younger sisters and your sweet heart towards any baby. God is shaping a love for children in you. God has also given you a brilliant mind - your reading reminds me of myself when I was little; voraciously reading book after book after book. This year, I've also noticed a love in you to teach what you've learned to your little sisters. It's thrilling to hear you upstairs patiently teaching the sounds of the alphabet and other things to them. 
I pray that the Lord would use these gifts He's bestowed on you for the glory of His Son Jesus. That you will give Him back what you've been given. I pray that you would seek Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. I pray that He will humble your heart before Him and you will fully receive His love in abundance this year. 
Let's keep writing in our journal back and forth, go on many outings, snuggle and talk past bedtime, draw and paint, create music and sing. . .together. 
I love you my sweet first girl. 

We had a church family wedding the morning of Madelyn's birthday but later in the afternoon, she invited several friends over for a spa party. The girls all got pampered with foot soaks, lots of soaps and lotions, and even sparkling juice and chocolates. 

party favors: pedicure set, bath poof, towel
Alissa and Madelyn

pedi time

Daddy gave her chess; she's been asking to learn and was very excited
Thank you Nana and Grampa
Bathrobe from sister
lots of toes
Charlotte, Ella, Alissa, Abby, Sophie, Madelyn
Sophie teaching Madelyn the Knifty Knitter

Friday, January 6, 2012

Yes, that was quite a long time away

Well, that was a much longer hiatus than I was planning on. It always seems so much harder to start again when it's been a long while that I've written. The only thing I've missed is all of my girl's birthdays and Christmas. :)

When we left off, Grampa and Nana were here for a visit. What fun was had by all. We decorated for Christmas before they left and they got to celebrate Charlotte's birthday with us and have a little early party for Ella. 

Charlotte's birthday was the day after Thanksgiving and then Ella's was a week later. We call it our birthday season as my birthday is also within days of theirs. 

I've always wondered how many pictures a post will hold. I don't usually just share crazy numbers of pictures and some of these are even a bit blurry or are not the greatest resolution (off the iPhone). But I will post them anyway. 

We had a joyous relaxing Christmas break and this week have been slowly starting back to our regular schedule.
helping set up the Christmas tree 
Annual Hill Christmas party

Denver Art Museum with friends

No more toddler bed - three little monkeys in a bunk bed 
Yes, we live here!

making snow cubes in the unmelted front yard snow
Christmas cookie painting

snowy Christmas break day 
Ella watching the snow pile up
peanut butter balls - my girls live in their pajamas in the winter 

Luke 2 in Troy's Greek New Testament

Madelyn was so excited about this gift for Daddy - a coupon book 
Baby quilts from Gramma Myers 

diva girl modeling at Costco 

crafts with Grampa
spinning girl
Nana and Grampa took Madelyn on a long bike ride to Starbucks! 

Ella's K class, lining up for art

Aunt Nicole always gives the girls whipped cream in a cup when we visit her store

Madelyn reading to our baby friend Sean 
Happy Birthday morning 4-year-old! 
snowflake pancakes for breakfast 
making snowflake cookies for the party at lunchtime 

Happy Birthday morning 6-year-old Ella! 

ready and bundled for school on her cold birthday
Ella's birthday lunch with Grace at Whit's End 

singing happy birthday with candles in her pizza 
movie night birthday treats 

Ella with baby Sean

one of my favorite Christmas pictures