Wednesday, August 22, 2012


We are thrilled to begin our journey of homeschooling....The homeschooling seed was planted in our minds & hearts about 3 years ago. Over time it has grown & grown. Kasey & I feel totally at peace with this decision, a decision that has been prayed about for many days, nights, weeks, months, years. We go into this knowing that often times others aren't quite sure how this will work or what a typical day will look like for the kids & I....we are ok with that. We would so appreciate your prayers as we start our 2012-2013 school year here at home!! The 7 of us couldn't be more thrilled!!!

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” ~Deuteronomy 11:18-19

 our 2012 "memory keeper"......the kids were beyond excited to add this to their jar:)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

{grant's b'day continued. sun & sand. savoring summer. Bring Love In.}

Thanks for all the sweet birthday wishes for Grant...he had a super special & fun couple of days!! This past weekend, some friends of ours invited us to hop on the boat & head out to the river!! The kids were thrilled about the idea, so we put our suits on, packed some snacks & headed off!! Thanks Ashlee & Luke for the great day!! The kids (& us!) had a really relaxing, fun day with your family:) It was so fun to experience this "1st" with Ariyat. When she got in the water, she basically just froze. After a bit of touching the water with her toes, she was all in!!! She loved the sand on the shore, as does her momma!! She could have laid in the hot sun & sand for hours....she tells me often.."momma, Ariyat no like cold, Ariyat like hot!!" Hopefully, this coming winter is mild...not sure what she will make of it:) Her beaming smile is one of the many things that we love about her...her sweet, kind, gentle, lovable, giggling personality is contagious. She truly shines from the inside out.

With school starting in 2 days, we've been really focusing on spending our minutes, hours & days enjoying one another. Summer always comes to an end way too quick..what a nice, family-oriented, relaxing summer we had!

Finally, THANK YOU to those of you who came to our home on August 14th to support Levi & Jessie Benkert and their ministry, BRING LOVE IN!! I know everyone who was able to attend enjoyed their time getting to know their family & learning about the work they are doing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia! If you haven't had the chance, you should definitely hop on over to their Bring Love In page..

Savoring the last couple of days of summer & our children before they head off to school....

Saturday, August 11, 2012

grant. the big 10. our joy & delight.

Our boy. So much to say about our Grant. Our first child. wow, were we/are blessed! He entered this big, wide world a whopping 7 lb. @ 6 pm on August 12, 2002. He was an absolutely beautiful little boy & still is. He captured my heart then & he still has it today. This boy of ours has an amazingly compassionate little heart, wise beyond his years & continues to tell us on a daily basis how much he loves each & every one of us. His heart is overflowing with love. He is such a kind, genuine, gentle, sweet little boy. Yes, I still consider him my little boy, even though he starts double digits tomorrow. He is definitely a first-born. As much as we tease him about being our family police officer of his siblings, he has their backs just as much. He is one protective dude!! He is a delight!! Most days, he can be found playing with his siblings, practicing his guitar, playing outdoors, reading books, riding bike or taking the time to help around the house/yard in any way he can. 10. I can't believe he is 10. He has had quite an adventurous 10 years. And, he says he's up for more!! Watch out world, with his new never know where he might go!!!

He is a night owl, just like his dad. But, a morning guy too, just like his momma!!

We celebrated today with our family...he wished for an Ethiopian cake & Ethiopian food. That was it. He said he really didn't need anything else. But, we knew his eyes have been set on a pair of TOMS. So, TOMS it was!!! It's 11:15 pm & he's still laying here thanking us for the his day today:) What a sweet boy we have!!

Grant, 10 years. Where has the time gone, buddy? Time flies when you're having fun, huh?? What a joy you are to our family. We celebrate you today & always. We know that God has incredible plans for your future. We feel so lucky that we are your mom & dad, brothers & sisters. You amaze us with your kind, gentle spirit, sense of humor, compassion, & love you have for others. Each day when you are in your room, I hear you reciting your favorite scripture...Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." You have quite the future ahead of you, my boy. I love you more!!! love, mom 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

{sweet & silly sisters. kate & ariyat. love}

these two. they crack me up. they are sisters through & through. whether they are playing tea party, chasing each other around the house giggling to the point of falling on the ground, talking & talking, Ariyat hysterically laughing at Kate...yes, she's silly, Kate gesturing with her hands when chatting with Ariyat....they were so made for each other. God knew what He was doing. As I'm typing right now, they are in the background singing..."Here I am to worship", very loudly, with their earphones on! Even though Ariyat does not speak much english, they communicate unbelievably well..we hear alot of..."Paleeeeez Kate, comie on...aka...please Kate, come on:) Kate is so very patient after hearing these same words over & over throughout our days. To say that Kate is smitten with her sister is an understatement...what a joy it is to witness the love of our girls. sisters forever.