30 December 2010

in the midst of the storm

Today I received some hard news.
My dad (who was diagnosed with cancer in October) went in for his second surgery
to remove tumors under his collarbone and on his neck. 
The doctors were not successful.
The tumor is larger than expected and embedded in a major artery.
They will not attempt another surgery.
Radiation and chemo are not viable options.

Reality is setting in,
my Dad will not be around forever.

I wonder how long he'll get to enjoy his new granddaughter.
I wonder if he'll be here for Sam or Ava's next birthdays.
I wonder if he'll enjoy another Christmas with the family.

So many thoughts are swirling through my head.
So many questions that there are no answers to.

But one thing I do know.
My Jesus is in control.
He is my Comfort and Peace,
the Arms That Will Carry Me,
my Assurance and Hope.

So in this moment
I will look to Him and take refuge in His strength.
Tomorrow (or the next hour) has it's own troubles.
But right now I will choose to rest in the soothing embrace of my Savior.

26 December 2010

comfort and joy

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

"Fear not then," said the Angel,
"Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan's power and might."
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Wishing you and your family the Comfort and Joy that comes from our Savior!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

08 December 2010

sam says

The other day Sam asked Marko,
"Do you know why I'm a redneck and you're not?"
"Um, nooo..."
"Because I have camo underwear and you don't!"

This morning was our first real "cold" day.
After Marko went outside and declared that it was 42 degrees, 
Sam said,
"Mom, we're gonna need muffins for our hands!"

And last, an entry from the dictionary of Sam:

PUMBLE: verb
1. Strike repeatedly, typically with the fists.

As in, Sam and Marko were wrestling and Sam said,
"I'm gonna pumble you, Daddy!"

04 December 2010

christmas creativity

Something about Christmas gets my creative juices flowing.
I get this huge urge to craft and create, to give handmade gifts
and invest time in making the perfect offering for my friends and family.

Here is the first item in a clutter of gifts I'll be making this year.

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.
Isaiah 49:16

I'd love to know, are you doing any crafting for Christmas this year?

30 November 2010

tick tock

This week brings me to 6 months pregnant.
I can't believe that I'm over half-way through with this pregnancy. 
I feel like I just found out yesterday that I was expecting.

Baby Girl is kicking and grooving up a storm these days.
Thankfully, she settles down at night and I'm still able to get a good night's sleep.
(Except for the 5 times a night I have to get up to pee!)
We have decided on a name (no, I'm not telling)
and it's fun to talk to/about her like a real person now,
instead of referring to her as "the baby."

Sam is getting used to the idea of another sister...
although he's still praying that she will come out a boy!
And Ava, she's totally clueless.
However, she is very, very interested in her newborn cousin.
And wants to be touching and playing with her whenever she can reach the baby.
So, I'm sure once her little sister arrives, Ava will be all over her!
Speaking of Ava...
she is walking all over the place now
and tries really hard to keep up with her big brother.

Her favorite questions are, "What's that?" and "Who's that?"...
questions she asks a hundred times a day!
She also says, "WOW!" about anything that catches her eye.

She has perfected the temper tantrum,
and looks up at us out of the corner of her eye
to see if we're watching her do something she knows is wrong.

She is obsessed with cell phones and, if there is one in a 20 ft. radius,
she will have it in her hands in 1.6 seconds.

The moment music hits her ears, she wiggles and jiggles like she's dancing for her life.

And she manages to wrap everyone around her little finger in a matter of moments.

I'm just wondering...what happened to my newborn? 

22 November 2010

a reminder from the Lord

Things are tough right now.
There are unanswered questions.
The path is not well marked
and the way is not clear.

It could be is easy to get discouraged and wonder
"why, Lord?"
But I am reminded of this verse,

"And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you."
Psalm 9:10 

And what is His name?

just to name a few.

He says, "I AM."
So I will remember His promises.

In the storm
He says, 
"I AM your Shelter."

In the drought,
"I AM your Refreshing."

In the confusion,
"I AM your Wisdom."

In the fear,
"I AM your Consolation."

I have expereinced Him to be all these things.
So I will trust Him once again
to be who He says He is.
After all, He is Good.

14 November 2010

how is it

that I got a little girl that loves everything girly?

At 13 months, she is completely smitten with babydolls

and jewelry

and fixing her hair.
She crawls around most days with a beaded necklace (or three) around her neck.
She feeds and pats and rocks her babydolls like a pro.

Not that I think there's anything wrong with this...at all.
I love that she loves all these things.
It's just that I was so, so different growing up.
Instead of dolls, I loved drawing.
Instead of baubles, I loved books.
There were no frills or lace or pink (gasp!) around me if I could help it.

And now, I have a daughter, who at a very early age
is showing serious signs of girliness.
This is definitely a stretch for me.

God has such a sense of humor!

09 November 2010

pumpkin patch fail

All I wanted were a few cute pumpkin patch pictures.
Is that too much to ask?
Apparently my charming children thought so.

They were bound and determined not to look my way.

It was like they had plotted before we even got to the pumpkin patch,

"Ok, here's the plan: if mommy calls your name, look away.
Anywhere is fine, as long as it's not at her!"

"Like this?"

"How 'bout this?"

"Yep, that's great! Looking down is always good too!"
(Man, is she gonna be frustrated, or what?)

"Uh oh. There's that look. We better cooperate or bad things might happen..."

"Sucker...you fell for the 'ugly face'?
I'm still not looking!"

"I'll just pretend to be distracted by this pumpkin stem."

Oh well.
There's always next year, right?
And adding a 7 month old to the mix is bound to make it easier...or not.

08 November 2010

raw(e) little

This week's theme over at Sailor & Company is


And since it's officially fall here in the south,
I thought it would be fitting to take a photo
of my itty bitty pumpkins.

Aren't they adorable?

If you love the little stuff, take a few baby steps over to Sailor & Company to see all the other itty bitty cuties.

01 November 2010

take a look

at these incredible chalk drawings!

Yesterday I grabbed my camera and headed to the downtown Chalk Festival. 
A city block was closed off and over 250 street painters from around the world
gathered to display their amazing talents!
The theme this year was 'halloween' (not a fan!)
but I figured there would be a huge variety of interpretations on the theme.
And I was right!

I love the 3-D quality of these two.
In person it seemed as if you could actually step down into them.

I think my favorite part though, was watching all the artists at work.
What incredible talent!

What a groovy way to spend an afternoon!

27 October 2010


Well, the results are in and it's a


We are all shocked and surprised.
Sam is a little sad.
Poor guy, I know how he feels.
I wanted a sister more than anything, and got a brother...twice.
But time will ease the disappointment.
And by the time the baby is here, he will be excited to see her.

Otherwise, she is healthy and right on target according to the ultrasound.
She is very wiggly and even sucked her thumb for a second (just like her brother).
Whether or not she has CF, still remains a mystery.
We have opted not to do an amniocentesis (same as with Ava).
But the ultrasound markers were clear, which is a good sign.

Thank You, God, for another little life!

26 October 2010


is the day that I find out the sex of babe #3.

Marko and Sam are totally rooting for a boy.
Honestly, I'll be surprised if it's not a boy.
My pregnancy symptoms have almost been identical to what I had with Sam.
And nothing like what I had with Ava.
Sooo, we'll see.
I'll keep you posted!


24 October 2010

does this

ever happen to you?

I had one of the best times with the Lord on Friday morning.
And then, by Friday afternoon I felt like the biggest heathen ever.

Giving in to temptation,
snapping at the kids,
being lazy,
the list goes on and on!

I find myself exclaiming with the Apostle Paul.

"Wretched person that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"
 (Romans 7:24)

How can I be walking in the presence of the Lord one moment
and then totally not walking in it the next?

The answer:
my choices.

In 10 minutes
I can make enough wrong choices
 to take me from

here is my comfort.

Jesus rescues me.

He picks me up,
brushes me off,
lifts my face,
and speaks tenderly to my heart.

"I love you.
Let me help you up
and together we can continue on."

O, what a wonderful Savior!

22 October 2010

open up the sky

I woke up this morning with this song in my head.

Waiting for His touch,
immersed in the shower of His presence,
satisfied with nothing less than Jesus.
Looking at my Savior,
awed by the glory of my Lord,
Face to face with Love Divine.

What a spectacular way to start the day!

18 October 2010

in other news

Alternately titled: Random thoughts that have nothing to do with each other.

Tomorrow I will be 18 weeks pregnant.
Now that I am fully into my 2nd trimester, my energy has returned and my stomach has settled.
My tummy is starting to pop out a bit and the maternity clothes have come out of hiding.
Can I just tell you how much I love wearing maternity clothes...cute ones, anyway?
I love them.
I love that I can have a tummy and people look at me with a twinkle in their eye,
instead of giving me the stink eye because they think I've had one too many twinkies.
Just kidding. I don't really normally get the stink eye.
Only if I'm walking passed a gym eating twinkies.

Sam has finally decided that he is okay with the boy name that we've most likely chosen.
Now he wants to name the baby Charlotte Leah, if it's a girl.
Not our first choice, but it sure beats Gator!
Anyways, my 20 week ultrasound is coming up soon and all mysteries will be revealed.

Speaking of Sam, his mouth is healing well.
He had his stitches removed yesterday, and the scabs have all fallen off.
Unless I look into his mouth, I can hardly tell that he was a bloody mess one week ago.
His teeth have not shifted back into place yet, and I'm not sure that they will.
I'm just happy that they are all baby teeth, that will eventually come out anyways.

Ava is taking her first steps, and will soon be on her way to full-on walking.
She has also acquired several new words and has become quite a chatterbox.
She is fascinated with babies (baby dolls, specifically)
and anything with a face-that is smaller than her-is a "baby."

The S.W. Florida version of fall is finally here, which means pumpkin patches and fall festivals. 
It also means weather that is NOT scorching hot! 
I'm thrilled that our highs are in the 80's and the lows are in the 60's.
Outdoors, here we come!

13 October 2010

the hiatus is over

What a slacker I've been. 
I can't believe that it's been almost a month since my last "real" post.
Much has happened in the past several weeks.
There have been births,
and birthdays,
a trip to Sea World,
and most recently, our first kid ER visit.
(Gorey picture ahead. Consider yourself warned.)

Sam was swinging on a baby swing on the neighbor's patio (read: brick floor) 
Sunday afternoon, and decided to jump off of it.
The landing was less than perfect and the bricks caught his fall. Heh.
Marko came running into the house with him and
Sam was bleeding so much that I couldn't even see inside his mouth.
So, off to the ER Marko and Sam rushed.
Once there, they discovered that Sam had knocked out one of his bottom teeth
(not adult, thank the Lord!)
and needed about 6 stitches on his lower lip.
A trip to the dentist the next day revealed that there were no fractures or permanent damage to the bones in his mouth/jaw.

Well, I guess all's well that ends well.
Sam has learned his lesson, and will now be traveling the preschool circuit extolling the virtues of swing safety.

07 October 2010

happiness is...


a ladybug smash cake,

and turning ONE!

Happy Birthday, Ava!

To see what others are happy about, check out this blog.

Happiness Is...

23 September 2010

raw(e) smiles

This week's RAW(e) photo challenge over at Sailor & Company is


Miss Mischief.

I have discovered something about Ava.
She is FULL of mischief.
Even at 11 months, she gets that glimmer in her eye
and I know that some naughtiness is about to happen.
You can almost hear the "MUAHAHAHAHA"
running through her little head.

She is so completely different from Sam in that respect.
He was my calm, totally compliant baby/toddler.
If we told him not to do something, he didn't.
No questions asked.
I actually thought for awhile it was because of our fabulous parenting skills.
Now I know that it was just his laid-back personality.
But not his sister!
Oh me, Oh my!
She is proving to be a little handful.
And this is just the beginning...

17 September 2010

i wonder

I had my first OB appointment a couple of days ago
and it got me wondering...

...why you wait for an hour and a half to be seen for 30 mins?

...why they can't come up with a better name than "Advanced Maternal Age"
to describe those of us that are over 35 and pregnant?

...why all the cute maternity clothes in the pregnancy magazines cost over $100...I mean really, for a t-shirt?

...why the office scale always says I weigh 4 lbs. more than my scale at home does?

...why "the cup" is the size of a thimble?

...why the paper on the exam table induces butt-sweat?

Any answers?

14 September 2010

raw(e) snacks

I had to laugh at this week's RAW(e) photo challenge over at Sailor & Company.

 Since I've been pregnant, the only thing that consistantly sounds good to me
and settles my yucky stomach is

And what is the theme this week?

So, here are my beloved Cheez-its.
Preserved for all eternity as a testimony to my pregnancy craving with babe #3.

13 September 2010

you know you're a CF mom if...

...your entire meal is dominated by the sentence, "Please keep eating!"

...conversations about the frequency, density and color of poop are a normal part of life.

...your entire day is scheduled around breathing treatments.

...you secretly rejoice when your offspring asks for additional food.

...you feel weird giving your non-CF child food without enzymes.

...the words "negative culture" are music to your ears.

... you never thought you'd have such a dislike for the words "crackles" and "wheezing."

...you feel especially blessed that the Lord has entrusted this precious life into your hands.

12 September 2010

the beauty of homeschooling

Unlike most families,
we are finishing up our school year this month.

Why, you ask?
Well, for several reasons.
1. "Fall" in southwest Florida (aka October,November, December)
is undoubtedly the nicest time of the year weather-wise.
We like to capitalize on that
and be free to enjoy the fleeting moments of nice weather while we have them.
Long walks, bike rides, mornings at the park...fabulous.

Summer, on the other hand, is brutal.
When the thermometer hits 90 degrees before 9am,
there's usually not a lot of incentive to be outside for very long.
And, in light of the fact that Sam gets dehydrated faster than you can say "hot and humid,"
we practically have to strap a water cooler to his back to keep him hydrated in that kind of heat!

2. This time of year, November and December especially, are stuffed with holiday activities!
Parties and Fall Festivals, excursions to the pumpkin patch and live nativities.
Instead of trying to cram school in there too, we will use the time to do some community outreach, bake some goodies and maybe create a lap book or two.

3. Because we can!
One of the most appealing aspects of homeschooling, to me, is the flexibility that it affords.
I love that we can study at 9am or 7pm,
in the sunshine or under a tent made of sheets and chairs.

That, my friends, is the beauty of homeschooling.

10 September 2010


I stretch out my hands to You;
My soul longs for You, as a parched land.
Psalm 143:6
For several months now my soul has been parched.




I've been wandering around like I was in the desert
when water was easily available to me at every turn.

But I was too busy,

too tired,

too nauseous,

too distracted.

Until last night.

Last night at church, the Lord broke through
and started to rain on my parched soul.
It softened the hard, dry places
and the tears began to flow.
Tears of gratitude and repentance,
unworthiness and hope.

And I was swept away in the flood,

the deluge,

the down pour,

the torrent of His love.

Kim Hill says it best in her song "Rain of Your Mercy"

I see the clouds out on the horizon
I feel the wind blowin' in my face
I hear the sound of a rollin' thunder
I know a storm is about to break

It's the rain of Your mercy
It's the rain of Your mercy

Now I've always heard about Your greatness
How showers of life flow from Your heart
Your death on the cross proves how much You love me
But I'm still surprised at how good You are

In the depths of my sin
Your mercy comes in
And shows me the depths of Your love
And it humbles my heart, tears me apart
Moves me to thank You my friend

For the rain of Your mercy
The rain of Your mercy
Is fallin' again
(Is comin' again)

I'm bein' washed in the water from heaven
Sweet tears of joy pourin' down on me
I lift up my head, drink Your forgiveness
Your spirit is here to set me free
If you find yourself parched right now,
let the Rain of His Mercy fall on you today
and be refreshed.

04 September 2010

cupcake heaven

Have I mentioned that Marko likes to bake?
Well, he does.
And he's really good at it.
spiced breads,
and, as of this weekend,
Delicious cupcakes.

This weekend we had a surprise 60th birthday party for Marko's dad
and Marko made 120 cupcakes.

Chocolate Mocha cupcakes with Cinnamon Mocha frosting.

Blueberry Pancake cupcakes with Maple frosting (don't knock it til you've tried it!).

Cream-filled Chocolate cupcakes with Cookies 'n Cream frosting.

Peanutbutter cupcakes with Nutella and Whipped Cream frosting.

And my favorite...

Oh yum!
The picture doesn't even do them justice.
They. Are. So. Good.
Excuse me, while I go eat the rest of them.

01 September 2010

31 August 2010

sam says

The other day Sam was telling me something and (positive that I wasn't listening to him) he kept repeating himself...over and over and over. Finally I looked him in the eye and said,

"Yes Sam, I heard you the first twelve times!"

Always the literalist, he responded,

"But mom, I only said it three times."

One of things that makes me laugh most often, is when Sam gets his words mixed up.

The other day, worn out, he exclaimed,
"I'm sooo white!"

And then, I heard him singing at the top of his lungs,
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, meat, patience, kindness, goodness."

What do your kids say that tickle your funny bone?

raw(e) yellow

Rubber ducky,  you're the one...

This week's theme for the RAW(e) challenge is

Float on over to Sailor & Co. to see the rest of the yummy yellow-ness.

29 August 2010

rice krispie treats (not a recipe)

Rice Krispie treats are evil.

In a good way though.

This is the one treat that I can't get enough of.

This ooey-gooey, sweet and crunchy yumminess.

I could easily eat the whole pan by myself (but I didn't!).

This time, I had a little help.