Friday, February 21, 2014


Alright I know most of you are ready for the snow to go! Not me!  (Yes I might be crazy...just a little!)  Really I love it!  I love any excuse to crawl under a blanket with a book or a movie to snuggle and watch the flakes fall out the big window in our living room. (Even though most times when it's snowing I don't always get to do this, I still love it.)

This winter has been so different for us. We had snow in Kansas City but it was different.  Most of the time there life stopped and you didn't leave your house.  I laughed at pictures of the grocery stores with empty shelves in KC.  I remember days where I stopped at the store with everyone to make sure we were set for a couple of days.  I remember school getting canceled with 3-5 inches of snow on the ground. I loved it then too!

Being in Mount Prospect/Arlington Heights/Chicago area has changed our thinking about the snow.
We just know that it's a daily routine to put on your snow boots, snow pants, gloves, hats, and heavy coats.  Part of life here is remembering that I need to pack Caden's snow gear for school.  Here they go out for recess if the "real" feel is 16 degrees or higher.  Even if it's snowing out the children go out for recess.  Yes that's right 25 Kindergarteners get the all bundled up and go out for recess.  Part of life here is that you have to shovel a spot for your trash can to go on trash days.  Here many people put reflector sticks at the end of their driveway so you can find the end of your driveway.  Here they have sticks on the fire hydrants so the fire fighters can locate the fire hydrants.

Most everyone I know here just takes it in stride and keeps on moving. No that doesn't mean that everyone around here loves it and isn't complaining.   Most people have told me it's been a horrible winter compared to last year and  how ready they are for Spring.  I love Spring also, okay I really love something about every season but I have really grown to love this Winter Season.  I think a lot of it has to do with the time, the season, the journey that Mark, the boys, and myself have had to go on together.  This has been a time where we've grown closer as a family and embraced living with all this snow! ;) We are still learning and have had our ups and downs but we are grateful for God's graces and love through it all.  He continues to be with us and wrap his warm, loving arms around us.

We have this great, big window in our living room.  Every time it snows here it's been beautiful.  Seriously, I was wondering one day if it always snowed such pretty snows.  The flakes have been always big and fall so calmly.  I often sit in front of the window watching the snow in awe.  I've been amazed at God's beauty in it all.  The reminder that he gives a fresh start all the time. I'm reminded of the grace and forgiveness he gives us. The fresh snow blankets the earth with a fresh start.  (I pay no attention to the days following when it melts and becomes gross and dirty.) I am reminded to be thankful for all that I have.  For the snow boots, gloves, coats, hats to keep me warm when I'm out there shoveling or playing with the boys. To be thankful for the warm house I have to sit in and watch the beautiful snow. Not everyone does. I am thankful for the joy I see in the boys when we go out and play in the snow or every time it starts snowing.  They squeal with delight that it's snowing again.

How can you not see God's beauty in the smile?! 

This is the boys on the mound of snow outside of church.  They were so excited to be on top of the mound, I wasn't sure I was going to get them to come down and I was worried we would end up with more stitches!  Thanks to some of the youth for helping Tate! 

This is life in Arlington Heights!  This picture is the view out our front door on a beautiful sunny day!
This is the view I get walking in the hallways at my school.  Snow boot City! You should see some of the big bags kids bring to get their snow gear to school.  Sometimes I think they should have rolling suitcases! 

In it all praise God for this time of year.  It won't last forever.  It will be Spring soon or even Summer and we will be wishing for cooler weather.  Be thankful for the snow and what it brings to your life.  I am reminded of this song by The Afters that is truly is a beautiful life we lead.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

If I had a blog

Coming from Mark's facebook post a couple of days ago,
 "So, if I had a blog, I would talk about how blessed we feel right now and all the exciting things happening in our lives. 
1. How Caden is learning so much, starting identifying letters in words by hearing them, how he is perfecting riding the bike without training wheels.
2. How Tate is doing such an awesome job with potty training and how the end of diapers is in sight!!!
3. How Sara is becoming a pro at fixing computers, how great it is to have her working at a school 1 1/2 blocks away from the church and how she walks to the church several times a week so we can have lunch together.
4. How wonderful it is to have our own home with huge trees and a great yard for the boys. And how much potential there is to do ministry here.
5. How excited I am to jump into ministry at my new church. How much fun it has been to start new relationships with people of all ages there. How supported I have felt from my new sr. pastor and staff. How excited I am to build relationships with and walk beside students.
We have seen God's hand at work in our lives. We praise Him for where we have been (even those early mornings during the hot summer days on the farm) and we look forward for the days, weeks and years to come." 

Hey honey I have a blog!  You can post on here anytime! :) 

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I know I have not done a post in a long time.  It's been a bit crazy in my world for the past month.  But as I sit and reflect over the past couple of months it has become aware to me that I am overjoyed with life!  This summer I've watched as Caden and Tate spend time with their grandparents, cousins, and new friends.  I've listened to Caden and Tate sing-a-long to vbs songs at the top of their lungs. I laughed at Marks rants about the farm. I've celebrated with our nephew Merrick and our niece Brynn as they were baptized. I've enjoyed the Omaha zoo many times.  The only word I've been able to explain our summer. Overjoyed! Yes there have been tough days too but the good outweigh the hard days by far.
Now I've had the chance to celebrate with Mark and the boys as we go on this journey towards Mark's new call at Northwest Covenant Church in Mount Prospect I am overjoyed at how God has worked in our lives this summer.
So we moved to Arlington Heights, IL almost a month ago.  It seems like we've been here longer with all the things that have gone on.  August seemed like a tornado. Searching for all our things in Omaha to pack, a quick trip to KC to square up the movers, and  a lot of phone calls to set everything up at our house. We also tried to fit in as much time with family as possible.
I am overjoyed that our move went smoothly, that my mom could ride with Tate and I, that we all had safe travels, and to open boxes and see our stuff again. I know it's just stuff but it makes me feel home.
I am overjoyed by the blessing of Northwest Covenant Church. From the help with unpacking, cleaning, meals, stocking the pantry, to the warm welcome to the area. We've had a chance to spend a day worshipping with the church at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp on Lake Geneva.  As a family we spent a day exploring the city, riding trains and buses to see the big buildings and lake.
I am overjoyed that I got a job.  I began working at Fairview Elementary School in Mount Prospect two weeks ago as the Building Technology Coordinator.  I'm not in a classroom all day but get to work in a beautiful computer lab classroom and see the entire school throughout each week.  I started in the midst of testing so every class has had a chance to meet me.  I'm learning about all the systems, websites, and troubleshooting for all teachers.  It has been lots of fun.  It's different role for me in education being able to support the teachers and students but I am enjoying it.   The students and staff are very kind, respectful, and welcoming.
Caden has started all day Kindergarten and is loving it.  Tate is still adjusting to his school but he will get there.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.  My heart leaps for JOY, and with my song I praise him." Psalm 28:6-8

Chicago Skyline one of the days we've ventured into the city. 

First day of school! 

Loving playing in the sand at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp on Lake Geneva. 

Caden was enjoying swimming in the lake with his new friends. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


 The past couple of weeks Caden took swim lessons and has really been enjoying swimming.  He thinks he is really good and can do it all by himself.  He tells his teachers, "I can do my floats all by myself!"  Then tries it and it doesn't go so well.  He has had this "I can do it myself" and "I'm brave.  I'm not afraid of anything." mentality for awhile now.   He has also been wearing a red cape that was made by our friend back in Shawnee about everyday all day long.  He has only taken it off for sleeping because we wouldn't let him sleep in it.  Yesterday he wore it to the zoo.  Every time a person made a comment about it, he would puff up his chest with pride, smile, and say, "I am brave and strong but I'm not the real Superman." He's so funny.  Running fast and jumping off things to make the cape go up like he was flying.  I love how Tate has been following right behind Caden thinking he is a superhero too.  I pray everyday as both boys do get more brave trying new things they are making smart choices and relying on God when things get hard. 

     I heard part of a story the other day on K-Love and since I didn't catch it all I had myself and Mark listening for the next two days to try to find out who the music artist was that was sharing their story.  I finally figured it out with the help of Mark...okay Mark figured it out.  I was very excited.  It was the story of a new music artist band named, Love and the Outcome. Basically their story is that they sold everything they had to go on the road and tour.  They don't know the outcome of their future but they know that they trust God and through His love they will make it through anything.  Their song He is with us speaks for so much of where Mark and I are at on this journey.  Right now we can't see the outcome but we know God's love is great and He know's what he's doing.
I love the lyrics.  This song is such a great reminder that He's holding on to us and He is always with us.
Even Superheros need a reminder.

Remember when your hope is lost and faith is shaken
Remember when you wonder if you're gonna make it
There's a hand stretched out through your deepest doubt
We can't pretend to see the ending or what's coming up ahead
To know the story of tomorrow
But we can stay close to the One who knows

We can trust our God
He knows what He's doing
Though it might hurt now
We won't be ruined
It might seem there's an ocean in between
But He's holding on to you and me
And He's never gonna leave, no
He is with us, He is with us
Always, always
He is with us, He is with us

We believe there is purpose, there is meaning in everything
We surrender to His leading
He wants nothing more than to have us close

Our faith is sealed
Our hope is real
Come what may
We're not afraid
Our faith is sealed
Our hope is real
Come what may
We're not afraid
We're not afraid

Joshua 1:9 (The Message) 
Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Baseball, Baseball, More Baseball, and dreams

It's Baseball season in Omaha!  College World Series has taken over Omaha.  I LOVE IT! My family has had tickets for the series every year since I can remember.  I remember going when I was young with my Grandma and Grandpa.  Some of the best days of summer and makes me miss my grandparents. When I was in high school I used to work at the stadium as an usher and College World Series was my favorite week to work.  Watch baseball, hang out with awesome fans, and get paid.  This is the first time in many years that I've been able to go to the games, the first time Mark and I could go together, and Caden's first series game.  This is the week in my family's summer that is all baseball. It's a little bit different atmosphere now from then, when the stadium was down by the zoo but Omaha has the same feeling.  It's an exciting time for Omaha.  If you haven't ever experienced the College World Series you really should!  Here's a little video that I found on Youtube that gives a bit of what Omaha is like during the series week!

 I've been missing my HGTV shows and TLC shows during the series because if we aren't at the game. The game is on TV.  Don't get me wrong I love baseball and I love the series it's just sometimes I just want to watch House Hunters.  So I've been sneaking in bits and pieces of shows when I can.  I think they help me dream of places that we could be living in the future.  To dream about what our next house will look like and even how I can decorate it. To dream about where God will send us and where we will live.  As if I don't have any furniture or decorations packed away.  I'll continue to let it be a dream because I know that someday when we are where God places us I will unpack all those boxes and remember all the beautiful decorations, pictures, and memories that are in storage.  Then I won't have to dream anymore.
In all my dreaming over the last couple of weeks while watching HGTV my friend Laura sent me this devotion that she read from a friend of hers."Rest in Me, my child. Give your mind a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen. Pray continually, asking My Spirit to take charge of the details of this day. Remember that you are on a journey with Me. When you try to peer into the future and plan for every possibility, you ignore your constant Companion who sustains you moment by moment. As you gaze anxiously into the distance you don't even feel the strong grip of My hand holding yours. How foolish you are, My Child! Remembrance of Me is a daily discipline. Never lose sight of My Presence with you. This will keep you resting in Me all day, every day."
It reminded me that as I dream of the future God is right here.  To give my dreams and worries of the future to God.  He's got this!  
I'll continue to watch HGTV and of course I will still watch baseball.  I will just now remember to "Rest in Him" and let His grip take my dreams.  It's not easy to do but it's all I really can do right now.

 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."  Matthew 6:34 (The Message) 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Beautiful Things

Friday morning Mark got me up early to go work on the farm with him. He has been teasing me that I couldn't do it. Ha! I'll prove him wrong!  It is not my first choice for getting up early but I did it. I Went out in my pink Nikes and husker hat to crawl around in the mud through tomato plants.  Doing a job I didn't like but I did it.  Mark and I enjoyed each other's company while the birds chirped on a cool morning.  I continue to tease him that I'm not going back and he should of given me a job that I'd like to do first so I will come back.  When it comes down to it I will go back.  Even in the mud I enjoyed my time digging in "God's Country!"  In his creation, listening to the birds sing, watching the chipmunk run around the garden, and spending time with my best friend.  What more could a girl ask for!
Later that day we went to the Zoo and met up with some friends we haven't seen in awhile.  It is always great to be with friends and at the zoo.  The boys love the zoo.  We are so thankful to a friend who gave us a zoo membership.  We have been twice since being home and foresee many more trips this summer.
Saturday Mark and I went down to Kansas City for the day to support a friend of ours and his son as they celebrated the life of his wife and mom.  She was a beautiful women of God and now resting in peace in the arms of our Lord.  She will be missed.  Even though going down to KC for a bit was hard because of the circumstances it was nice to get hugs from those we love and miss.
As I reflect on a few things we did this past week I am reminded of this song by Gungor, Beautiful Things.   I love that as I was getting mud in my nails, I could see beauty growing in that tomato plant with pretty little yellow flowers.
God's creation is all around us and that morning I was reminded to continue to pay attention to the beauty out of dust.  It also reminded me to enjoy every minute of time "home" because it will not be for long and time goes fast.

Psalm 97:10-12 (the message)
"God loves all who hate evil, and those who love him he keeps safe, snatches them from the grip of the wicked.  Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God's people, Joy-seeds are planted in the good heart-soil. So, God's people, shout praise to God, Give thanks to our Holy God!" 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bubbles and Suckers

We have been in Omaha for little over a week now.  We've been busy!  The boys have been wanting to be outside most all the time.  The weather here besides some rain has been beautiful.  So our days and evenings are out in the backyard blowing bubbles, LOTS of bubbles!  Tate has figured out how to actually get the bubbles to work.  It's a very exciting thing for a 1 1/2 year old. 
 Caden is putting many miles on his bike! Yesterday we went to a playground area at Chalco Hills which made me miss Lake Lenexa and the playground.  So we are on a summer quest to find great parks in the Omaha area.  Today with met with a playgroup from First Covenant Church at another park Walnut Grove Park.  A great time for the boys and mommy to get to know new friends and get out of the house on such a beautiful day!  The park itself was approved by Caden.  He said, "This park is great, it has nice walking trails for my scooter and bike, and sand for Tate to play in. I like it's name too it's like Grover from Sesame Street!" I love that boy the things he says are so funny.  I think we found one park we will frequent this summer. 
Mark had several conversations with churches all over the U.S. for some pretty exciting positions.  Mark has been working out on a farm picking the suckers off a lot of tomato plants and various other farming duties. Like driving 100s of posts into the ground. He is coming home each day with tons of sermon illustrations.  I am getting a sermon daily! :)    He is getting some great talks together for the next youth group! 
I bought some material at the fabric store.  I have been determined to try to find a purse that's not too big and not too small.  It has been impossible!  So I begin my journey on Pinterest to find a pattern to use my material and make the perfect purse.  Happy sewing! 
Here is a picture of the boys today after they got their free bike helmets thanks to Kohls giveaway.  They are safe not only on their bikes but in the car! 

This is the material I've bought to make my perfect sized purse. Wish me luck! 

The Farm! 

    Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with meand you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11: 28-30