Sunday, June 23, 2013


Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
- Psalm 127: 3-5

I am a mother. I love that. Love the sound of it, love the meanings of it. I even love the down and dirty job it gets to be sometimes. Well, maybe I do not love that part, but he cliches are true...there is no greater joy, there is no tougher job. It is the one thing in this world that I have feared more, fretted over, tried to organize, simplify, out-do, succeed in, and get right. I was reminded, for the fifth time, just how sweet and precious the gift of motherhood, and fatherhood for that matter, truly is. On Mother's Day 2013, we had the honor of taking part in a ceremony, dedicating our fifth child, Adalynn Shiloh West.

It is simplistic in ceremony and deep in spiritual meaning. On each occasion that I stand before our church, I am reminded that these children are not my own, but precious jewels belonging to One far greater than I. They belong to the one true God. He has graciously bestowed the privilege of nurturing and caring for them in this life to us undeserving parents. He has also placed the high calling of guiding them on a path that leads to Him. Our dedication service had us pledge before our church, and at time even with our church to raise them in the admonition of the Lord. We have to give them back. Wait, what? We just got this little girl! Spiritually speaking, we give our children back to the Lord for Him to use for His kingdom as He sees worthy and fit. It takes not only a slice of humility, but the whole pie, to grasp that these souls were handpicked for us with a specific purpose and not merely our pleasure. I believe we have such little to do with the timing of bringing these children into our lives. If we are not careful we can get caught up in the "I want..." of having a child and lose sight of the sacrificial aspect. Dedication means giving up the dreams we may have for them, in exchange for much bigger ones. They are not our possessions to dress cute, buy stuff and parade around in hopes of getting some sort of affirmation toward our parenting skills.What a failure to be given these beautiful little lives from our loving God and never lead them back to Him. They are here to make His name great! I am thankful for the period of time from Mother's Day to Father's Day where our family, specifically my husband and I, can bask in the enjoyment of being parents and reflect on our calling.

Thank you, Lord, for these children and a a spouse who takes his job as father to heart!

Blessed! So unbelievably blessed!   

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Abe turns THREE!!!!!!!!

Three years ago, on Father's day our second son was born. Today he turned three! What a blessing he is! He has added an element of spunk to our family. He is 100% rough and tumble boy, living life with reckless abandon...well, he does have a wreck here and there, to be honest! He loves sword fighting, numbers, letters and music to name a few. You can always catch him singing a song! He has the ingredients of a type-A (from his mother); he knows every, single numbered track and title to our Toby Mac CD, with #5 being his favorite. And he certainly has healthy doses of fearless fighter (undoubtedly from his father); he will have a swimming noddle upside you head before you know what hit you! He is strong, loud, stubborn, boisterous, sweet, loving and so full of life! 

Our Abe!

Happy Birthday to our sweet boy!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

School's out for SUMMER!!!

Can you hear Alice Cooper singing the lyrics to one of his most favorite songs? I did for what seemed like 3.7 seconds. School has officially been out for a few weeks at our house. The kids have worked very hard completing our curriculum and compiling our notebooks. We enjoy reviewing as we glace back at our accomplishments this year. We will lay Flying Creatures of the Fifth day to rest, or realistically NOT! they have already taken note of the family of mocking birds that are constantly dive-bombing Lila and Blackberry, our cat and neighbor's cat respectively. They have a cup nest built in the eaves of an empty house across the street with newly hatched babies. Abe has already been stung by a flying insect, either wasp or bee. I could not tell since there was no stinger remaining, so it was likely a wasp. They will not likely forget much about the flying creatures that are sure to surround us this season. History was our bulkiest notebook. The kids treasure their crafts and projects, so we stuff what we can in a 3 inch 3-ring binder. It is filled with maps, crafts and photos of the many activities that they enjoyed this year. We are leaving behind the knights, samurai warriors, the renaissance and the many battles for control of the world, in the Middle Ages. We will pick up with Early Modern Times in the Fall. Eli finished Gamma, which included his times tables, factoring and the ever frustrating multi-digit multiplication. And Mia finished Beta, her multiple digit addition and subtraction, measurements and gauges. We plan to read a lot over the summer, since both kids are enthralled with the Boxcar Children series. I am super proud of their accomplishments!!!

I certainly had high (and obviously unrealistic) hopes of catching up on my blog posts. Although,we have certainly been too busy having fun to blog about it. These past weeks have been filled with enough activity, popsicles and milestones to last an entire summer. We have swam (only sort of), rode bikes, played in the mud, danced, sang, picnicked, went to boy scout day camp and ball games, had a ballet recital, started cruising, built tents, and tried our best to stay up all night (well some of us are desperately trying to get a full night's sleep). Summer does not officially start for a few more days, but it is in full swing in our neighborhood.  But when the street light come on, another days is charted in the books. We wash off the remnants of the day and retire, until tomorrow!



Currently, I am pausing from my own final exam from Hades. I am at the final stage of my Bradley Childbirth Instructor certification. I have fulfilled all of my training, teaching and reporting requirements. I have seven sections, 75 discussion questions and 88 definitions to complete my final exam and become affiliated! I am close to the half way point with five days to go.

As I sit in my yard enjoying a Hershey dark chocolate bar, and reflect on another school year complete and the brink of summer before me, I am thankful. God has blessed me so!

Monday, June 10, 2013

10 Months!!!

Shy is now in double digits! She is ten months old today. She is crawling, pulling up and even cruising! She raises her hands above her head. She is so big! She has finally cut not one, but two teeth with in days of each other! Those are some sharp little boogers! She is becoming more vocal, knowing Mama and Dada, and adding the sometimes No no no no no, and bye, bye, bye, bye. Although, she does not always get the wave right. We catch her practicing, sometimes waving to "no no" and even Dada.  She still naps at least two times a day. On busier days, she has a harder time settling in at night. She nurses five times a day and wakes once or twice at night. She has a cheerful disposition most often, quite noticeable by those who know her. She still channels Gene Simmons on most days. :-)


I THINK we have mastered eating. She happily feeds herself, but does not care to be fed by anyone. She enjoys peas, beans, cantaloupe, potatoes, broccoli, cheese, eggs and bananas. She was not a fan of strawberries, but we will try again. It can take up to twelve tries before a child accepts a new food, I read. Try, try and try again!

Ten terrific months!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ballet Recital 2013

Mia's big Recital day has come! What a festive ballet week we have had! We started with our Studio Rehearsal where we drop our student off at the door, no parents allowed inside. Then followed two days later with our Dress Rehearsal, which is full on performance, taking hours to get everyone comfortable with their places backstage, on stage and procedures for parent pick-up after the show. It took FOUR hours, complete with loss of power due to a thunderstorm! Luckily Daddy was on duty for that!  Our ballerina has been working hard every week for 10 months for her big day! It all came together Saturday, June 1st 2013 for the 48th Dance Recital for the Pat Brown School of Dance! This year's theme was "You Can Be...", which focused on career choices. We enjoy watching all of the classes (or as many as our small children will allow) perform their much practiced numbers. This year our family tried to play it smart by traveling in shifts. Mom, the ballerina (Mia) and the baby (Shy) went in the first phase, arriving 20 minutes before showtime, saving a handful of seats for our family, getting dressed backstage (with pictures, of course), and drop-off in the Miss America Room with the various classes. Shy and I took our seats and watched ALMOST the entire first act. We did have to take a lunch break for little toot. We then met our second phase, consisting of Dad, Abe, Eli, Eva and Nanny, at intermission! We again took our seats where Abe wiggled throughout the entire 2nd act, but enjoyed the show nonetheless. After letting the anticipation build for what seemed like eons, it was finally time for the "Jewelers" to take the stage. Mia's performance was #32 out of 38 performances!

Our little ballerina did such a great job!We are so proud of her hard work!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Eleven Years

Eleven years ago we said "I do!" Little did we know that God had such a full life planned out for us! It has been amazing to live it as it unfolds. Our marriage has grown in ways I did not expect. There is nothing like a godly marriage to a supportive, godly husband! I am humbled by the blessings God has chosen to bestow upon me! While it seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago all at the same time, I could have never anticipated the beauty of it!

Eleven years and look where He has brought us! Looking forward to where He continues to take us! 

We were lucky enough, even after a last minute babysitter cancellation, to have a date night out to celebrate, JUST THE TWO OF US!!!!  And, dessert was waiting when we got home!