Sunday, May 26, 2013

Summer, We Welcome You!

This past Friday was the kids' last day of school.  They had an awards ceremony where the girls made the honor roll.  Katie was thrilled to get a Latin trophy for the 2nd year in a row.  Haley's special award was the Teacher's Helper award.  We are super proud of all of our children this year.  They all worked really hard and grew so much this year.

We are so very thankful for their school and their precious teachers and principals.  They have invested a lot of time in our children and we are so very blessed.  God knew who we needed this year to help us with our children.  We are also thankful to have had the opportunity to home school Kylie.  Really, it was the best decision for our middle daughter and she learned and grew greatly with the one-on-one instruction.  God is so good!

This past Wednesday Tim, Kylie and I attended a special awards breakfast in Haley's class.  It was a belated Mother's Day breakfast and Haley wrote a special card to me.  It was pretty special. 

The first few days of summer we have had cookouts, swam in the pool, played outside on bikes or the trampoline, baked some home made bread with our new bread maker we bought with some of our anniversary money and hung out with friends.  We hope to have more of the same all summer.

As far as plans for the summer we will travel a bit, and we especially look forward to a (Tim's side of the family) reunion in July.  Katie-girl hopes to go to a Christian summer camp (we are still working on finances for that one).  The little two girlies will continue their riding lessons.  Most of our time will probably be spent outside at the beach or in the pool!

Anyway, I've posted a bunch of pictures.  Happy Summer, Everyone!!!

Kylie, our surfer girl

Haley and her friend relaxing by the pool

Kylie & some neighborhood kids helping Bella swim

My Mother has long, brown, beautiful hair.  She is very funny.  And she tickles me and her hugs are squishy.
I love you mom, love Haley

This whole wheat bread was SO delish!!
Katie Bug cutting strawberries for me

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

This weekend my heart was particularly heavy for those women who don’t fully enjoy Mother’s Day.  There are women who are birth mothers thinking of the babies they’ve given up, mothers with failed adoptions, mothers who have miscarried, mothers waiting for a referral to adopt, mothers who have lost a child to death,  mothers who are grieving over difficult or special needs children, women who are far away from their children globally, women whose husbands are away overseas in the military, women in the midst of hard pregnancies and daughters (and sons) who will be celebrating without their mothers who have already died.

I started out feeling down in the dumps because I miss my son Brandon so much.  Two years ago today I was spending Mother’s Day in Ukraine waiting for Brandon’s passport to come in so we could head to Kiev and begin our travels back to the States.  He had no idea that the day was even special to me as a mother and the language barrier was difficult to explain so I didn’t even try.  I was missing my three girlies and hubby back home.  Yet, I was filled with joy because I got to spend it with my new son.  I believe we visited a carnival and zoo.  It is a special memory with Brandon that I will always hold dear to my heart.

This year my family spoiled me with homemade cards and gifts.  Tim folded our mountain of laundry and the kids put everything away. We went to church and Sunday school in the morning and then we went to Red Robin for lunch.  I like Red Robin because it is not crowded on Sunday mornings at 11am when we get out of Sunday school. 


Our pastor presented a challenge to moms.  He asked what legacy we want to leave for our children.  When I’m dead and gone, what do I want my children to remember about me?  I thought about this challenge the rest of the afternoon and I came up with a few things I want my children to remember about me and I’m going to try to realign my life with these goals in mind for the future. 1) That I love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind.  That my entire life, finances and priorities consistently line up with His will.  2) That I love my husband passionately.  That I honor, serve and cherish Tim.  That life is not always easy, but together we are stronger and together God enables us to stand against anything the enemy throws at our family.  3)  That I love my children and that I see them as precious gifts from God.  That I love them enough to discipline them and that I care enough to show them to do right when the rest of the world does wrong.  That God’s Word never changes and it is the standard to measure all things against. That I spend time with them, teach them, play with them and give their life order and security.  That I pray for each one of them to receive Christ, and follow Him every day of their lives. That they will never turn wayward, but rather walk in the Light and bring forth lots of fruit so there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that they are children of God’s.  I pray for their purity in an impure world.  I pray for their future spouses to love the Lord and follow Him all the days of their lives. 4)  That I love orphans and I have compassion for them and I will reach out to orphans one way or another for the rest of my life.  5)  That I care about the lost and dying that are going to spend eternity in hell because of their unbelief.  That I regularly pray for eyes to be opened to the need of a Savior.  There is so much more that I could say, but these are the top five I could come up with this afternoon.

Anyway, this afternoon my parents, sister, niece and nephew came over to swim and jump on the trampoline.  It was nice to be able to spend Mother’s Day with my mom along with being able to spend it with my own children. It was the best of both worlds. My dad and Tim kept busy tearing down the playground.  The playground was actually a lot more dangerous than we even thought.  The whole thing just crumbled apart.  Dad and Tim could pull it apart with their hands.  I’m sad to see it go down because of so many fond memories of the kids playing on it, but I’m grateful that it came down so that no one else was hurt.  Dad and Tim found a giant Black Widow nest with at least 10 Black Widows and several of their white nests.  That was yet another hazard with the playground. 

Today certainly was a beautiful day around here with perfect blue skies and 80 degrees.  I am so thankful and blessed to have been called “Mama” by my children.  I love you guys so very much! 

Mothers, I hope you had a blessed Mother’s Day today. 

Kylie with her cousin
Tearing down the playground

The playground came down easier than it went up

Dad & Tim tearing it down

It's just a pile of rubbish ready to take to the land fill

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Men Are Boys in Men Bodies

I asked my hubby what he wanted for our 14th wedding anniversary gift and he said a batting net and a tee.  ????????? Men are just little boys in men bodies!  Whatever floats your boat, Hunny!  Happy Anniversary a little early, Tim.  (I asked for the entire 10 seasons of Friends.) 

We had a little scare 2 days ago. The kids were playing on our playground out back and Kylie fell through the floor and scraped herself up pretty bad. It could have been much worse, but now the playground is off limits to the kids and we are probably taking it down. We've only had it 7 years, but since she's fallen, we've discovered several of the planks are dry rotted.   We've weather treated it a few times, but still it is in bad shape.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kids Are Fun...Funny...Fun

Tim and I love the part about being a parent where kids are the excuse for us to act like kids again.  It’s always fun to take the kids to the newest Disney movie, or go rollerblading.  We get a kick out of watching all the wipe outs that occur at the skating rink.  We love to go to the water park and ride the slides “so the kids aren’t scared.” In the grocery store, we can throw a pack of Skittles on the counter and smile and say, “It’s for the kids, of course.”  At Christmas we bought a large trampoline “for the kids.” It’s hilarious when Tim gets on there with his massive jumping skills and to watch him knock all  of them over like bowling pins and they bounce around uncontrollably knocking into one another.  They are just crazy enough to holler, “Again, Dad!  Again!” I’ve even been known to go out there to jump and knock a couple of kids over.  They call me “Popcorn Mama” because they bounce around like popcorn.

Something else that is funny to us is hearing them communicate.  Girls are quite expressive, but when you add a couple of Ukrainian boys into the mix, really it’s quite entertaining.  We gave up our television 4 years ago and frankly I haven’t missed it much.  The kids are all the entertainment I need.

Here are a few of my favorite dialogues from our crazies.
I put my ice cold hands up the back of Haley’s shirt to tease her and she said, “It’s okay, Mom.  I keep my back nice and warm just in case anyone wants to warm their hands on it.” She was dead serious. 

For the Spring Elementary program Katie was trying find something dressy enough to wear within the dress code guidelines of her school and we realized her growth spurt since last time it was Spring left her with hardly anything to wear.  Kylie says to Katie, “No offense, but the clothes in your closet are SO 10 years ago…..and you are only 11.”

Katie says it is more enjoyable to hug me than Dad because I’m “soft and squishy” whereas Dad is “rough and hard."

The kids were eating ice cream one day in our unseasonably cold Spring weather.  They are so random!

Child #1 says: I am so cold.

Child #2 says: I am so freezing.

Child #3 says: I am SO getting diarrhea tonight (lactose intolerant child)

Child #4 was speechless

Brandon: Mom, you’re so fun.  No. You so funny. .. Fun..... Funny. Fun? (laughing).  He always got the words “fun” and “funny” mixed up.  I still do not know if he thought I was fun or funny???

Brandon: Oh, look! Sponge Buggy.  Katie: You mean Punch Buggy (for Volkswagen Beetles).  Brandon:  I said dis Sponge Buggy.



Something else I love is my love notes I get from the kids.  I keep a stash of them tucked away in my Bible and in my lamp stand to go back to and they always bring a smile to my face.  I’ve included some of these precious letters below & left the spelling errors in place.


Katie, 5 years old: Dear Mom, You are so pretty.  You’re my butterfly mommy and I love Dad too.



Kylie, 8 years old: To Mom From Kylie: I love you verry, verry much.  You are a gift from God.  You are the loveliest women in the world.  You have a kind heart.  God made you the best mother in the world.  PS, Dont show Daddy.  I wrote him a letter too (which basically said exactly what my letter said).


Brandon, 11 years old: To Mama, Happy Birthday, I love you, Brandon Kerr


A2, 10 years old: Mama, (picture of a cat and stick figure family).  I like my family.  A2, Mama, Papa, Katie, Kylie, Haley and Me, Mama, Papa, Sister, Sister, Sister, and Brother


Haley, 7 years old: Happy Birthday Mommy.  I love you.  I hope you have a grate day.


Kylie, 9 years old: Dear Mommy, I am going to be praying for you.  I hope you feel better real soon.  If you want anything I will give it to you.  You are a blessing in my life.  Take Care.  Hope you feel better.  I don’t like it when you are sick. I hope your stumic feels better.


Haley, 4 years old: Haley. Mommy. I love you.  Yer pritty. 


Kylie, 6 years old: To Mommy From Kylie.  I had fun at the beach.  You look rilly nice in your blue sundress.  Thanks for bringing us to the beach.  You look prettier than a peacock (she was obsessed with peacocks at the time).  I live you.


Kylie, 8 years old: Thank you for being so kind.  I Hope you have a fun time with us girlies when Daddy is on his man date.  Thank you for taking good care of me and loving me. I love you.  My mom loves me whenever I do wrong or wever I lie.  Your just to kind.  I don’t deserve to have just a kind mom like you.  Thank you for all you do.  I love you.  I love you.


Kylie, 9 years old: To mommy and daddy: Thank you for loving God and your family.  I’m also thankful that I get to go to a Christian school.  I love you two.  Your more than a mom and dad.  Your God’s children.  Daddy + Mommy.  I love you.


What can I say?  I love all of my babies.  They are just precious and they make us laugh continuously.  Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3

Thursday, May 2, 2013


The Bible says, “Woe unto them that call EVIL good and, GOOD evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto them who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight” (Isaiah 5:20-21).


A few weeks ago I went out early in the morning on a Saturday to get groceries for the family to beat the crowds.  On my way home I came across an UPSIDEDOWN car on the side of the road.  Being the law abiding citizen that I hope to be, I pulled over and asked if everyone was out of the car, if 911 had been called, if everyone was okay, and offered them something to drink while they waited for the paramedics to arrive.  There was a woman with a newborn baby, a man and an elderly woman.  Upon asking them if they wanted something to drink the woman laughed in a mocking tone of voice, turning to the elderly woman and said, “This FOOL is axe-ing if we want some water!  Ain’t she think we got bigger problems? Ha ha..You are a fool.” They both laughed at me.  At this point there were other cars around, so I said, “Okay, I hope your day gets better” and drove off.  I am really glad I had the restraint to NOT say what I was thinking which was, “YOU are calling ME a fool for offering you water?  I’m not the FOOL who has my car upside down on a clear day with no ice on the roads.” I’m so thankful that I had enough sense to recall the Scripture that says, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  How is it that our society is so turned upside down that person offering water to someone in distress is a FOOL? 


The closer that we get to Christ’s return, the more we see EVIL being called GOOD and GOOD being called EVIL.  We see it all the time where Christians are told to keep their faith to themselves while people living a gay lifestyle are supposed to be bold and proud of who they are.  Good, solid parents are criticized for disciplining their children, while parents who allow their children to rule the roost are called good.  Planned Parenthood murderers are praised for “saving lives” while innocent babies are slaughtered every 9 seconds.  Funding for military is cut, while funding for welfare benefits and funding for Muslim countries are increased.  Everything is UPSIDEDOWN!!!


It really can be disheartening to see the downward spiral upon which our country is descending.  It seems people’s rights are more important than doing right as it lines up to God’s Word.   I try not to watch too much of the news or television because it can be really overwhelming.  It’s hard enough for me to do right and teach my children to do right in this crazy-world!  It is encouraging though to think about heaven and all that is waiting for us there.  It is nice to know that all of this garbage we are enduring now will not go on forever and we won’t even remember these troubles when we are in eternal glory!  I am excited for that, but I am praying for all my family and friends who have not yet received Christ.  I want all of my family and friends to be in Heaven.  I love them all so dearly.


Just like those ladies called me a fool for offering them water, many people think I am a fool for talking about “living water,” which the Bible calls salvation.  In John 4:14.  Jesus says, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” I pray daily that eyes will be opened to the truth of the Gospel.  Thinking life is about this earth and politics and money is UPSIDEDOWN.  Life is about the life we will live beyond this earthly life! 

 On this National Day of Prayer, let's remember to pray for our president, our country, our families, our pastors, our teachers, the orphans all over the world and for the unsaved all over the world.

   For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17&18).