Category Archives: kids



   Summer is here . . .  while I welcome the release of a schedule and activity driven life that the school year brings .. I’m realizing it also takes some adjusting to the the change of pace and establishing some new rhythms of summer that include relaxation and some intention too.

Today we started some of that  .. sleeping in, breakfast, bible study.  This afternoon we will run some errands, read some library books and maybe make some cookies!

I want to soak up every minute of the summer, engaging with my family, friends, and take advantage of opportunities to look way beyond myself and serve others.


Kindergarten screaming!


Today was the day .. you could say ‘the anticipated day’ or ‘the dreaded day’, depending on Evangeline’s mood at the moment …

The event is known as kindergarten screening, where ‘soon to be’ kindergarteners come to Fairview and spend an hour in the classroom while being observed by the teachers as they play and interact.

When Emma first starting talking this up with Evangeline, our future kindergartener heard ‘screaming’ not ‘screening’. After all what context does she have for ‘screening’? What is screening?

So, when Emma first asked, ‘Evangeline, are you excited for Kindergarten screening?’

Evangeline replied, ‘Screaming!!?? Kindergarten screaming?!?! Why are they going to scream? I’m NOT going to that!!’

She’s been terrified of it ever since!

I had fun sharing that with the principals and kindergarten teachers at the parents meeting!

When I picked her up she was pleased to report, ‘No screaming .. just playing!’


savoring the final days


I’ve been savoring the final days with Evangeline at home.  She ‘graduated’ from preschool last week and her sisters have a few weeks of school yet, so, it’s just her and I for a few weeks with a nice, open schedule.

Running an errand today, I made a point to savor her passionate singing in the car … as she sings along with whatever song is on the radio.  It’s amazing that she knows most of the words to most of the songs … but even if she doesn’t, she fakes it well.  The passion, the facial expressions … priceless!

So, today at lunch I had the Getty’s kids cd playing, (Words Jesus Said), which is basically scripture put to song.  The song about Zacchaeus came on and she  says, “I know about him … he stole money from people!  I’ll go get my bible, you can read it!”  And she did … and I did.  We read Zacchaeus, the Prodigal Son and the story of the woman anointing Jesus’ feet with perfume.

The Jesus Storybook Bible is such an amazing bible story book that captures the story and highlights Jesus on every page.  I was hit fresh today with each of these familiar stories as I was forced to look again at the Truth of the Gospel.

“Jesus loved Zacchaeus when nobody else did.  He was Zacchaeus’ friend, even when no one else was.  Because Jesus was showing people what God’s love was like – his wonderful, never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.”

From the Prodigal son …

“Jesus told people this story to show them what God is like.  And to show people what they are like.  So they could know, however far they ran, however well they hid, however lost they were – it wouldn’t matter.  Because God’s children could never run too far, or be too lost, for God to find them.”

And the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and spilled precious perfume on his feet …

Jesus said of her, “This woman knows she’s a sinner, She knows she’ll never be good enough.  She knows she needs me to rescue her.  That’s why she loves me so much.”

“You look down on this woman because you don’t look up to God.  She is sinful on the outside, but you are sinful on the inside.”

“The more Jesus loved people and helped them, the more Important people and Leaders hated him.  They were afraid people would follow Jesus instead of them.  They were jealous.  And angry . . . Angry enough to kill Jesus.”

Wow!  Quite encouraging words for me today.  Thank you Evangeline for leading mommy to the Word today . . .

standing girl and skating girl


Let me introduce you to Standing Girl and Skating girl.  If you don’t recognize them, they are polly pockets, sort of.  They are McDonalds happy meal toys, a simplified version of polly pockets.  These were the happy meal toy of the summer of 2006.

These particular girls got their names, Standing Girl and Skating Girl,  from our at the time, one year old, Evangeline, who is now five going on six!  As you look at them closely, you can understand her naming process!

What’s amazing about Standing Girl and Skating Girl is that they have been around now for almost 5 years.  I have a very hard time coming up with many things in our life that we have had for that long.  Amazingly, we just can’t manage to lose them for good.  We moved to chicago in the summer of 2006 and endured many happy meals on our many voyages to and from Minneapolis.  That’s how we got these fine girls.  They disappear often and show up again when you least expect them in the most unlikely of places.

This weekend we did some much needed work in our basement, sorting toys, getting rid of many toys and things we don’t need and we were all (well maybe not Jon quite as much) thrilled to find, once again, Standing Girl and Skating Girl.

Evangeline especially is enjoying playing with them again as if they were the newest, hottest toy on the market!

I’ve become sort of attached to them now, and sentimental about them . . . I’m tempted to save them and put them away and give them to Evangeline when she leaves for college …. just kidding .. kinda, not really 🙂

discipleship and parenting


Our sermon series at church continues in Matthew … this Sunday we looked at what it means to follow Jesus by looking at His calling of the disciples to follow Him.

Our church doesn’t do holiday messages  … so there was not an overarching  ‘mother’s day’ theme.  I appreciate that.

However, application was made to parenting  with the emphasis that applies to all followers of Christ that, at the end of the day, it’s really just all about our walk with the Lord.

I’ll just share some of my notes … it was a sobering and encouraging message for me.

We were in Matthew 8 and 9.

Jesus goes at the heart of discipleship … our allegiance is to be to Him.

We were challenged to not let our hearts elevate family over Christ, which we can be easily tempted to do.

He talked about how raising kids in a Christian home can easily lead them to not feel so much like sinners … after all, their behavior may appear better than some of their peers who don’t know Christ.  I relate to that.  I feel like at 40, I’ve finally come to understand my sinful heart for what it really is.

As parents (or adults of any kind who influence children in any way), we can model that we know we are sinners and to be open (appropriately) about our sin.

Some application questions:

Is your walk with the Lord fresh?

-what is God teaching you right now?

-are you excited about it?

-do others see the fresh wind and fire in your life?

Raising kids isn’t about the kids, it’s about our walk with the Lord.

I am sinful and I need the gospel … daily.

My kids will catch way more about the way I live than about what I say.

What’s most important is, “Am I walking with Jesus?”

-if I am, grace will spill out and others will see it!

Here’s a great link our pastor posted on the topic that gives some great perspective

Emma’s Birthday


This past week we celebrated Emma’s 8th Birthday!

I wanted to share a few photos . . .

This was a ‘non-party’ year … finding that with three kids, we can handle friend parties every other year.  So, we invited our friend Jordan to join us for the day.

We enjoyed an afternoon of sledding as the weather was great and still had plenty of snow on the ground from our most recent blizzard.

I personally had a blast sledding with the girls .. and even got some real praise from a nearby dad .. as Emma and I raced down the ‘big hill’ hit a bump .. went airborn .. and landed safely ON our sled and cruised down the remainder of the hill, un-injured!  The impact of the bump was so great that I lost my hat (and some of my dignity), midway down the hill.  This kind dad retrieved my hat for me.  Upon returning my hat, he  praised my sledding ‘skills’ and gave me ‘mom of the year’ recommendations.  He also referenced a current ad campaign that uses the slogan “mom got air”!

“You definitely got air on that run!” were his parting words to me 🙂

Emma and Jordan getting ready for their first run!


Evangeline enjoyed being pulled around on the sled most of the time


these signs were posted all around the sledding hill .. funny thing is, none of the 100+ sledders and their parents seemed to notice them.  More points for the ‘mom of the year’ award!