Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What was I thinking?

Here's a pic of my best friend from college, Jill, and her family. They currently live in Russia. Jill has been telling me for months to download Skype. So, it's been on my to do list forever.
Well, today I downloaded said Skype. Once I called Jill and saw her beautiful face coming through my computer AND heard her voice clearly, I promptly jumped into my car, drove to the store, and purchased a webcam. I could see and hear her, BUT she could not see nor hear me.
Once I got everything set up we had the best conversation (1 1/2 hours). It was so INCREDIBLE. It was FREE (apart from the purchase of the web cam). What was I thinking? Why did I wait so long?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Steve Saint

This week very well could be the most memorable of 2008. Two events occurred. One I'll share in this post and the other I'll save for another post.

Our church hosted an evening with Steve Saint (pictured here with Mincaye). I am so thankful me and Hannah were able to attend together (David was also there, but he was working). Our neighbor, Cindy, kindly watched the boys so that I would be able to focus (rare in my world). So I sat and soaked while Steve Saint shared experiences from his life.

For those of you who do not know...he is the son of Nate Saint. His father along with four other men were matyred in Ecuador when they made contact with the Auca Indians. Then, by events that can only be explained by God, some of the women and children went and lived with the very people whom had killed their husbands and fathers. This tribe went from being violent to being loving.

That surprises us. As christians, why does it surprise us? Much of the New Testament was written by Paul who went from being a christian-killer to a leader in the church, a missionary with a tender heart for God's people. And really, if we look at our own hearts we know how vile they can be apart from Christ. So, I digress.

While I can't tell you everything Steve said, I can tell you my impressions. Steve was real. He was down to earth. He was funny and engaging. My strongest impression was sitting beside my daughter and watching her face light up as she listened. She was 100% engaged. She loved every minute of it. Of course her favorite part was when Steve was asked what was his first impression of the people when he went to Ecuador. His answer was "It was very revealing". And yes, he meant their nakedness. My girl thought that was FUNNY.

Personally, my deepest impression is that God has a plan and a purpose for all of our lives. Sometimes we get derailed because we do not choose to walk His path...we'd rather go our own way. What if those five men had said...no way man, I am not going to the jungle? Maybe they would have lived long lives. But, would their lives have impacted the world. What if those widows had said...no way man, I am not going to live with those savages who killed my husband? Would they have seen how God can redeem the darkest circumstances?

My take away is that each day I must listen carefully to the voice of God and follow him. Wherever He Leads I'll Go!! You know the really cool thing...Steve and Mincaye are speaking at our church this morning. It feels like Thursday night may have just been a warm-up

My saddest moment was to hear that Elisabeth Elliott is not well. I remember seeing her speak when I was a newly wed twenty-three year old. She of course has influenced my life in countless ways through her books.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Odyssey of the Mind!!

Our homeschool group has been doing a class entitled "Odyssey of the Mind". It has been a blast. We have twenty students who come together to solve problems creatively. These pictures are from our first class where they were given the problem of creating the longest rope with a few basic materials. They had a great time and worked together quite well.
Noah got to go to "class" this last week because he was on holiday. This afternoon he asked me when we were going to work on his project from the Odyssey of the Brain class.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Noah's quote for the day while I was giving him a hug..."Mommy, sometimes when you hug me for a long time, it makes tears come to my eyes." Then, he leaned back and said "See, they are happy tears".
And sure enough, his sweet, clear, beautiful blue eyes were welling up with tears. And a big smile was on his face. Words cannot convey how that tender-hearted little man touched my soul in that moment!!!
Love deeply!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Elijah is Three!!

Elijah is growing up before our very eyes. He turned three on January 27th. His verbal development is amazing. Here's some of my favorite quotes from this past week.

"The poop is hiding" - While sitting on the toilet during our first attempt at potty training.
"You're a sweet boy" - to Hannah when he was trying to convince her to do something.
"Your burgers (boogers) are hiding" - While cuddled up in my lap during reading time. He was holding my nose at the time, tightly I might add.
"Fire" - when Clara's friends Molly and Caroline took away the candle lighter from him (scary actually)
"I'll be a sweet boy and will not knock over the trash can" - after being sent to time out for knocking over the trash can. What remorse!!
"E-L-I-J-A-H, mommy is my name" - While trying to sing the song I sing to him. The lyrics are actually "E-L-I-J-A-H, Elijah is my name. I am three 1-2-3".
"I'm too busy" - when we ask him to do something. How many times has he heard that before?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Weekend Guest at Hotel Smith

Hotel Smith welcomed a VERY important guest this past weekend..."Little Bear". Little Bear is a stuffed animal that goes home each weekend with the star of the week from Noah's class.
You guessed it, Noah is star of the week!! This child was more excited about little bear than a snowstorm (maybe not). He and little bear had many adventures that are picture journaled for your viewing pleasure.
My husband brought up a great point. He observed that "Little Bear seems to me to be a breeding ground for germs and sickness". Well, I'm not a germaphobe, but I did pull out the Lysol Can!!
Little Bear went back to school today.
Hotel Smith awaits our next guests...we have plenty of openings this winter.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Lake House

Thirteen Ladies.
Mounds of food, not laundry.
Movies galore and Miss American, not Dora or Little Einsteins.
Space and time to pursue scrapbooking, reading, jewlry-making, haircuts.
Total girl time.
Uninterrupted conversation.
Sweet God time.
Roaring Fire.
Tranquil setting.
Time with friends is truly a precious gift.

My trip to the Lake House was wonderful and I'm so thankful to David for taking up the slack at home so I could get away with friends for the weekend.

Thank you Jennifer and family for opening this beautiful home to us and for the reminder of how God the Father lavishes his love on His children!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Another View of Tornado

Another view of the tornado that passed by really close to our house. We've decided that tornados are really scary and so incredibly unpredictable.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Here's a pic taken from our neighborhood yesterday. Our house is located right in front of the trees pictured.

Thankful for our home!!

Yesterday afternoon as David was driving home, he watched a tornado develop very close to our home. After dodging lightning, he ran inside and encouraged us firmly (yelled loudly) to get into the bathroom.

As I got the children settled in the bathtub with blankets and pillows, my husband does what? He goes outside on the back porch to watch the tornado. As he points out, he could get to the bathroom in one minute.

It was a difficult time for our little man Noah. We are learning he is tender-hearted and watching the weather really stresses him out. His questions and comments for the day were: What is a tornado? Does it kill people? What is a tornado made of? Why does God live in outer space?

While we were in the midst of the storm we couldn't promise Noah that everything would turn out fine. That is out of our control. We could promise that God would be with us no matter what happened. That seemed to settle him down. The faith of a child!! We're still trying to come up with an answer for why God lives in outer space.

We are thankful that our home is still standing today. And yet, we pray for those who were deeply impacted by the storm that ripped through this area yesterday.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

What do we take for granted?

I ran across this in a book written by Elisabeth Elliot. It was written by her father. It tied in nicely with my earlier post.

"Blessings taken for granted are often forgotten. Yet our Heavenly Father 'daily loadeth us with benefits' (Psalm 68:19). Think of some of the common things which are nevertheless wonderful.:
  • The intricate, delicate mechanism of the lungs steadily and silently taking in fresh air eighteen to twenty times a minute.
  • The untiring heart, pumping great quantities of clean blood through the labyrinth of blood vessels.
  • The constant body temperature, normally varying less than one degree.
  • The atmospheric temperature, varying widely it is true, but never so much as to destroy human and animal life.
  • The orderly succession of day and night, spring, summer, autumn and winter, so that, with few exceptions, man can make his plans accordingly.
  • The great variety of foods, from the farm, the field, the forest, and the sea, to suit our differing desires and physical needs.
  • The beauties of each day--the morning star and growing light of sunrise, the white clouds of afternoon, the soft tints of a peaceful sunset and the glory of the starry heavens.
  • The symphony of early morning bird songs.
  • The refreshment that sleep brings.
  • The simple joys of home-the children's laughter and whimsical remarks, happy times around the table, the love and understanding of husband and wife, and the harmony of voices raised together in praise to God.

So many reasons to be thankful!!


Thanks for all your prayers, comments, e-mails and calls about my dad. He is doing great...still in pain, but working hard in the recovery process. My dad is in good health and the early discovery of the cancer was a miracle straight from God. Yesterday he walked around the hospital floor and even asked if he could take another lap!! Today he has requested special Super Bowl snacks (the hospital food leaves lots to be desired).

We should remember to thank God regularly for our health. It is something we take for granted when we are healthy. Hannah and I have been studying the different systems of the body. Did you know an adult heart pumps blood through 75,000 miles of blood vessels? Did you know that it is very important that lungs be kept clean and the key cleaners are cilia, tiny hairs you can only see in a microscope? By the way smoking is way bad for the lungs!! And, exercise is way good!!!!

My question for the day is why do we do things that are bad for our body and not do things that are good for our body?