Monday, December 5, 2011


It's been awhile since I've shared a story from the kids.....thought you would enjoy this one!

The kids are allowed to play the Wii for about an hour or two, 3 days a week.  They were getting ready to play a few weeks ago, when they realized that the light on the Wii console wasn't lit up red, and we were unable to figure out why it wasn't on.

The first thing Gideon did was to pray.  He said "Please God, please fix our Wii!"

To which Nolan responded..."Gideon, you shouldn't really pray that God fixes your IDOL!"

To which I responded....."If it really is an idol to you guys, then maybe God broke it for that very reason!"

The boys were not thrilled with my response.

It was working just fine the next day!  Gideon was happy that his prayers were answered.

Please Pray

Last week, I went to my ob for a routine appointment and anatomy ultrasound.

Once the ultrasound begin, the technician immediately asked me if I have had any placental problems before.  I told her no.

She then said that I have what is known as CPP or Complete Placenta Previa.  Which means that instead of a high implantation of the placenta in my uterus, it is completely covering my cervix.  Because I have Complete Previa, there is only a small percentage that it will move up and out of the way.

I ask for prayers that it does move up as my uterus continues to grow.

Because of this condition, some complications can arise...and I've put myself on modified bedrest, in hopes that these complications are prevented.

I go in for another ultrasound in January....where, hopefully, we will see some movement.

If it doesn't move, I will need a c-section, probably about a month before my due date.

The good news is that baby Millie is doing great and looks perfect!  She is a fiesty baby that is a quick mover :)  She's already preparing for being in a very active house!

Please pray!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's a.....

I went in for an ultrasound this week and.....SURPRISE....we're having our second GIRL!

Her name is: Millie Taylor!

My great-grandmother's name was Amilda, so she is named in her honor!  Millie also means gentle strength, which is an attribute we hope she will have as she grows into a woman of faith.

Taylor comes from the great missionary to China: Hudson can read about him here.

We are very excited and can't wait for April to arrive!

Halloween 2011

We have:
Gideon the hiker, Haddon the clown, Jamison the fireman, 
Nolan the superhero, Judson the pumpkin, and Paysie the rainbow!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

“Oh!  I love God’s ‘shalls’ and ‘wills.’  There is nothing comparable to them.  Let a man say ‘shall,’ what is it good for?  ‘I will,’ says man, and he never performs; ‘I shall,’ says he, and he breaks his promise.  But it is never so with God’s ‘shalls.’  If he says, ‘shall,’ it shall be; when he says, ‘will,’ it will be.  Now He has said here, ‘many shall come.’  The devil says, ‘they shall not come’; but ‘they shall come’.  You yourselves, say, ‘we won’t come’; God says, ‘You shall come’. 

Yes!  There are some here who are laughing at salvation, who can scoff at Christ, and mock at the gospel; but I tell you some of you shall come yet.  ‘What!’ you say, ‘can God make me become a Christian?’  I tell you yes, for herein rests the power of the gospel.  It does not ask your consent; but it gets it.  It does not say, will you have it, but it makes you willing in the day of God’s power… 

The gospel wants not your consent, it gets it.  It knocks the enmity out of your heart.  You say, ‘I do not want to be saved;’ Christ says you shall be.  He makes your will turn round, and then you cry, ‘Lord, save, or I perish.’  Ah, might heaven exclaim, ‘I knew I would make you say that;’ and then he rejoices over you because he has changed your will and made you willing in the day of his power.

If Jesus Christ were to stand on this platform tonight, what would many people do with Him?  If He were to come and say, ‘Here I am, I love you, will you be saved by me?’ not one of you would consent if you were left to your will.  He Himself said, ‘No man can come to me except the Father who hath sent me draw him.’  Ah!  We want that; and here we have it.  They shall come!  They shall come!  You may laugh, you may despise us; but Jesus Christ shall not die for nothing.  If some of you reject Him there are some that will not.  If there are some that are not saved, others shall be.  Christ shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hands.  They shall come!  And nought in heaven, nor on earth, nor in hell, can stop them from coming.” Charles Spurgeon

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cookies and Cream Fudge

WARNING: I will NOT be held responsible for overindulgence!!!

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or marg
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 cups tollhouse premier white morsels
1 jar (7ounces) marshmallow cream
1/2 cup finely crushed oreos
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup crumbled oreos

Line 9 inch square pan with foil.

Combine sugar, butter and evaporated milk in a medium heavy duty saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Stir in morsels, marshmallow creme, finely crushed oreos and vanilla extract.

Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle crumbled cookies on top. Gently swirl cookies into the fudge with a knife, without touching the bottom of the pan.

Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Lift from pan and remove foil. Cut into 48 pieces. Store in airtight container in the fridge!

Great reminder to moms of young girls!

A Girl's First Domestic Domain

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Something to think about....

I’ve learned over the years that the simplest way to judge gray areas in the Christian life like movies, television, and music is to ask one simple question: can I thank God for this? (We are to give thanks in all circumstances, right?) Not too long ago my wife and I went to the movie theater to watch one of the summer blockbusters. It was a fun PG-13 movie, and you’d probably say it didn’t really have any bad parts. But it was very sensual and suggestive in several places. I got done with the movie (yes, I watched the whole thing) and thought, “Can I really thank God for this?” Now, I’m not a total kill-joy. I like to laugh and enjoy life. I can thank God for the Chicago Bears, Hot N’ Readys, and Brian Regan. But I wonder if after most of our entertainment we could sincerely get down on our knees and say, “Thank you God for this good gift.” Something to think about.

--Kevin DeYoung

Monday, June 20, 2011

Homeschooling 101

Okay, okay....I know it's summertime, but it's never too early to plan and organize for the upcoming school year! John thinks I'm crazy for wanting to get things figured out a couple of months ahead of time. Oh well. Better to be over-organized than unprepared, right??

I've got a large family room downstairs that is to become our main Learning Room. I can't wait to get things configured in there! Even though I've been homeschooling for FOUR years (has it really been that long?), I feel that I am still kinda new at this. Last week, I began to search around to discover the way other homeschoolers have organized their rooms, manipulatives, schoolwork, etc.

I found a blog carnival from a couple of years ago, where so many other homeschooling bloggers linked up pictures and ideas from their own homes! I urge you to check it out! You will find a huge range of rooms and ideas. I found some great blogs and discovered new ways of doing things!

As I searched around, I also discovered new curriculums that I had never heard of before and also rediscovered things that I had forgotten about. I'll explain my curriculum decisions in a future post. I saw that the same blog that hosted the homeschool room carnival, also hosted a curriculum carnival. If you are looking for some new ideas, go check it out!

Among my findings was a blog that is LOADED with FREE PRINTABLES and UNITS! Confessions of a Homeschooler is a great resource! Plan on spending some time on there!

Through that blog, I came across another blog by the name of 1+1+1=1. She also has a lot of free printables and units. For a fee of $15 you can gain access to her members section where things are more organized and there are some extras. It's a one time fee and well worth it!

As I discover new things, I'll be sure to keep you posted!

Right now, I've got a couple of projects for John and I to do before the school year starts. I plan on making some ledge shelving for children's books. I am intrigued by the rain gutter shelving, but I think the ledge shelving will work better for us.

We're also going to make our own inexpensive white dry erase board! I love finding ways to do things myself and save money too!

Right now, our downstairs room is pretty empty. Once it's done, I'll show you all before and after pics of our Learning Room! As for now, have fun browsing through the links I've can literally spend hours looking through it all!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jay Adams on True Love

True Love
May 13, 2011 by Jay Adams
Have you ever noticed how closely love and the Holy Spirit are connected in the Bible?

“Can’t say that I have.”

Well, love is the first piece of fruit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. Some even think it’s the basic quality from which the other items listed flow.

“Of course, now that you mention it, I remember it as the first fruit of the Spirit.

And, sometime, check out Colossians 1:8 where, in passing, Paul mentions “your love by the Spirit.”

“What do you think that means?”

Much the same as the longer reference in Romans 5:5 where Paul wrote,

God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who was given to us.

Before regeneration (of which the pouring is a picture) no one is capable of expressing God-like or God-pleasing love. Others may love with a sort of ersatz love, but the vertical dimension is totally missing from it.

“What does that mean?”

It means that God is left out of the picture; that such love has a heavy self-focus rather than an other-focus (and, in particular, leaving out God as the significant Other).

“Tell me more.”

Read the rest here

An encouraging letter on modesty

By Carolyn Mahaney

My husband, CJ, received the following email last week, thanking him for his sermon on modesty. May we all be provoked and encouraged by this woman's example!

Here is the letter that he received!

That women could all be humbled as this woman has been.....

Keven DeYoung on Parenting 001

Parenting 001

Does it seem like parenting has gotten more complicated? I mean, as far as I can tell, back in the day parents basically tried to feed their kids, clothe them, and keep them away from explosives. Now our kids have to sleep on their backs (no wait, their tummies; no never mind, their backs), while listening to Baby Mozart surrounded by scenes of Starry, Starry Night. They have to be in piano lessons before they are five and can’t leave the car seat until they’re about five foot six.

It’s all so involved. There are so many rules and expectations. Kids can’t even eat sugar anymore. My parents were solid as a rock but we still had a cupboard populated with cereal royalty like Captain Crunch and Count Chocula. In our house the pebbles were fruity and the charms were lucky. The breakfast bowl was a place for marshmallows, not dried camping fruit. Our milk was 2%. And sometimes, if we needed to take the edge off a rough morning, we’d tempt fate and chug a little Vitamin D.

Trial by Error

I don’t consider myself a particularly good parent. I was asked to speak a few years ago at some church’s conference. They wanted me to talk about parenting. I said I didn’t have much to say so they should ask someone else (which they did). My kids are probably not as crazy as they seem to me (at least that’s what I keep telling myself anyway), but if I ever write a book on parenting I’m going to call it The Inmates Are Running the Asylum.

There are already scores of books on parenting, many of them quite good. I’ve read several of them and have learned much. I really do believe in gospel-powered parenting and shepherding my child’s heart. I want conversations like this:

Me: What’s the matter son?
Child: I want that toy and he won’t give it to me!
Me: Why do you want the toy?
Child: Because it will be fun to play with.
Me: Do you think he is having fun playing with the toy right now?
Child: Yes.
Me: Would it make him sad to take the toy away?
Child: I guess so.
Me: And do you like to make your brother sad?
Child: No.
Me: You know, Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. That means loving your brother the way he would want to be loved. Since Jesus loves us so much, we have every reason to love others–even your brother. Would you like to love him by letting him play with the toy for awhile?
Child: Yes I would daddy.

I try that. Really I do. But here’s what actually happens:

Me: What’s the matter son?
Child: I want that toy and he won’t give it to me!
Me: Why do you want the toy?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: What’s going on in your heart when you desire that toy?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: Think about it son. Use your brain. Don’t you know something?
Child: I guess I just want the toy.
Me: Obviously. But why?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: Fine. [Mental note: abandon "why" questions and skip straight to leading questions.] Do you think he is having fun playing with the toy right now?
Child: No.
Me: Really?! He’s not having fun? Then why does he want that toy in the first place?
Child: Because he’s mean.
Me: Have you ever considered that maybe you are being mean by trying to rip the toy from his quivering little hands?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: What do you know?
Child: I don’t know!
Me: Nevermind. [I wonder how my brilliant child can know absolutely nothing at this moment.] Well, I think taking the toy from him will make your brother sad. Do you like to make him sad?
Child: I don’t know.
Me: [Audible sigh.]
Child: He makes me sad all the time!
Me: Well, I’m getting sad right now with your attitude! [Pause, think, what would Paul Tripp do? Thinking . . . .thinking . . . .man, I can't stop thinking of that mustache. This isn't working. Let's just go right to the Jesus part.] You know, Jesus wants us to love each other.
Child: I don’t know.
Me: I didn’t ask you a question!
Child: [Pause.] Can I have some fruit snacks?
Me: No, you can’t have fruit snacks. We are talking about the gospel. Jesus loves us and died for us. He wants you to love your brother too.
Child: So?
Me: So give him the toy back!

Then I lunge for the toy and the child runs away. I tell him to come back here this instant and threaten to throw the toy in the trash. I recommit myself to turning down speaking engagements on parenting.

I encourage you to read the rest

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

T4G 2012

T4G 2012 Teaser: The Game from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo.

About my Gideon

It has now been nineteen months since the discovery of Gideon's brain tumor...very hard to believe that it has been that long!

I am pleased to say that he will have his last physical therapy session on Monday, May 9th! It has been a long road to recovery for my boy. When I think back to when he first started therapy and wasn't even able to walk, I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God!

Gideon has always looked forward to seeing his therapists....they have become almost family to us. They have been such a large part of our lives for a long time. When we first started, we were going three times a week, to physical, occupational and speech therapy. A few months ago, we were down to just physical therapy, mainly working on his core strength.

If you were to see my boy, you would see a normal, active, rambunctious seven year old. I am so grateful that he is doing so well. Believe me when I say, I have seen many children who see his same therapists who will never get better in the same way that Gideon has. They will have a lifelong struggle to just do basic tasks.I only experienced a glimpse of what it is like to have a child with special needs....and that great affected me and gave me a newfound appreciation for those caring for their disabled children.

I feel that as we prepare to move to a new city and become members of a new church...we are closing a chapter in our lives. In some ways, it is sad, but we are very excited to see what God has in store for our family.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Every child needs a super hero cape....

I just can't believe it's taken me this long to make the kids their own cape!

The kids have been really into Super Why lately. It's a cute show that helps kids learn how to read better. If you've ever seen it, you know that Wyatt wears a cape. Needless to say, that means I received several requests yesterday for a cape.

I searched online for tutorials on how to make a cape. I found one that I liked and tweaked it a little. You can find it here.

In between feeding the kids, getting them dressed, keeping up the house, and homeschooling, I managed to make 5 double sided capes, with each of the kid's initials. It took me all day to make them. It would have been quicker and easier had I not been constantly interrupted, but then, I cherish my life with all of the interruptions!

The kids are thrilled and so am I! They came out so adorable! It was hard going through my fabric stash, trying to find boyish fabric....but I did :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dress Function - The Sacred Church Dress

The Sacred Church Dress

Judson.....sweet potatoes or yogurt

There is a struggle at each mealtime. A struggle with what one wants and what one gets. For my youngest boy that I get to eat what I LOVE...or, do I have to eat what I dislike.

More often than not, it's a vegetable or a fruit that he would rather do without. But then there is that special meal where the yogurt flows like honey.

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo

Yet another book to warn your loved ones about.

Tim Challies reviews Heaven is for Real

He sums it up nicely with:
"So reject this book. Do not read it. Do not believe it. And do not feel guilty doing so."

You are in danger!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

False Guilt and The Sympathy Card

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

- Matthew 5:11-12 KJV

I recommend reading this article: The Bible Post blog

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Changing Diapers in Christian Faith

via the Girl Talk Blog

Today was the same as yesterday, which was the same as the day before that, and so on--for about as long as I can remember now. I changed diapers, made lunches, put toys away, corrected bad attitudes, prayed for ouchies, and imagined what it would feel like to take a really long nap. The days are long and the days are ordinary; and sometimes I lose sight of an eternal perspective. But this quote from Martin Luther on Justin Taylor's blogbrought me fresh encouragement today. It is written to fathers but applies all the more to us moms:

Now observe that when that clever harlot, our natural reason . . . , takes a look at married life, she turns up her nose and says, “Alas, must I rock the baby, wash its diapers, make its bed, smell its stench, stay up nights with it, take care of it when it cries, heal its rashes and sores. . . ?” [LW 45:39]

What then does Christian faith say to this? It opens its eyes, looks upon all these insignificant, distasteful, and despised duties in the Spirit, and is aware that they are all adorned with divine approval as with the costliest gold and jewels. It says, O God, because I am certain that thou hast created me as a man and hast from my body begotten this child, I also know for a certainty that it meets with thy perfect pleasure. I confess to thee that I am not worthy to rock the little babe or wash its diapers, or to be entrusted with the care of the child and its mother. How is it that I, without any merit, have come to this distinction of being certain that I am serving thy creature and thy most precious will? O how gladly will I do so, though the duties should be even more insignificant and despised. Neither frost nor heat, neither drudgery nor labor, will distress or dissuade me, for I am certain that it is thus pleasing in thy sight. . . . God, with all his angels and creatures is smiling—not because the father is washing diapers, but because he is doing so in Christian faith.[LW 45:39-40]

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Parenting: It’s Never an Interruption by Paul Tripp

Parenting is all about living by the principle of prepared spontaneity. You don’t really know what’s going to happen next. You don’t really know when you’ll have to enforce a command, intervene in an argument, confront a wrong, hold out for a better way, remind someone of a truth, call for forgiveness, lead someone to confession, point to Jesus, restore peace, hold someone accountable, explain a wisdom principle, give a hug of love, laugh in the face of adversity, help someone complete a task, mediate an argument, stop with someone and pray, assist someone to see his heart, or talk once again about what it means to live together in a community of love.

What you do know is that Scripture gives you the wisdom that you need, and your always-present Messiah gives you the grace that you need to be ready to respond to the moments of opportunity he will give you. Along with this, you and I must remember that our Lord loves our children more than we ever could, and his commitment to their growth and change is more faithful and persevering than ours could ever be. Because of this, in his grace and love, he will manufacture moments that expose the needy hearts of our children to us. He will faithfully employ the little moments of everyday life to expose to us and our children their need of rescuing and forgiving grace. And he will not do this only at the moments that you feel are appropriate and when you feel most prepared.

Let me give you an example. We had planned a day at a local theme park with our children. I was anticipating a day of familial amusement park bliss. I was hoping that on this day my children would be self-parenting, and if God could throw in a fully sanctified wife, that would be cool! Well, we’re getting out of the van at the park and one of my children said, “Dad, may we have something to drink before we go into the park?” It didn’t seem like a dangerous request. I opened the cooler, which was full of soft drinks, and all of my children sighted in on the one can of soda that they all knew was the best. Immediately global nuclear war broke out. They were pushing and shoving, grabbing and pulling, throwing ice at one another, saying unkind things and hitting one another’s hands out of the way. I couldn’t believe it. We weren’t even in the park yet, and my day was already ruined!

So I jumped in and said, “Do you want to fight? We don’t have to pay all this money for you to fight. I’ll take you home, put a cooler in the backyard with one can of soda in it, and you can fight forever!” Soon my children aren’t fighting anymore because they’re watching the crowd gather as I lose it in the parking lot of the theme park.

Let’s analyze what’s going on in this moment and what’s happening inside of me. What’s going on is that a God of grace is taking a mundane moment of daily family life and using it to do something wonderful for my children and for me. He is making the condition of their hearts visible in order to produce concern in me that would hopefully result in awareness and a desire to change in them. But I’m not at all encouraged in this moment with what God is doing. You see, I’m not angry in the parking lot because my children are sinners. No, I’m angry that God has exposed their sin, and because he has, I have to forsake my agenda for the day and parent them! It all seems like a huge imposition, a hassle that I just didn’t want to deal with.

But the reality is different from God’s perspective. The sin, weakness, rebellion, or failure of your children is never an imposition on your parenting. It is never an interruption. It is never a hassle. It is always grace. God loves your children. He has put them in a family of faith, and in relentless grace he will reveal their need to you again and again so that you can be his tool of awareness, conviction, repentance, faith, and change. And because in these moments he asks you to forsake your agenda for his, this opportunity of grace is not just for your children, it’s for you as well.

But my problem is that there are moments when I tend to love my little kingdom of one more than I love his. So I’m impatient, discouraged, or irritated not because my children have broken the laws of God’s kingdom, but the laws of mine. In my kingdom there shall be no parenting on family vacation days, or when I am reading the paper on my iPad, or after ten o’clock at night, or during a good meal, or . . . I could go on. And when I’m angry about interruptions to my kingdom plan, there are four things I tend to do.

1. I tend to turn a God-given moment of ministry into a moment of anger.

2. I do this because I have personalized what is not personal. (Before we left for the amusement park that day, my children didn’t plot to drive me crazy in the parking lot.)

3. Because I have personalized what is not personal, I am adversarial in my response. (It’s not me acting for my children, but acting against them because they are in the way of what I want.)

4. So I end up settling for situational solutions that don’t really get to the heart of the matter. (I bark and order, I instill guilt, I threaten a punishment and walk away, and my children are utterly unchanged by the encounter.)

There is a better way. It begins with praying that God would give you new eyes; eyes that are more focused on his eternal work of grace than on your momentary plans for you. This better way also includes seeking God for a flexible and willing heart, ready to abandon your agenda for God’s greater plan. And it lives with the confidence that God is in you, with you, and for you and will give you what you need so that you can face, with courage and grace, the parenting moment that you didn’t know was coming.

Originally posted at The Gospel Coalition