Monday, April 14, 2014

Just for Today, I choose Jesus.

Recently a group of ladies from my church started meeting together over a meal to encourage and to exhort each other.  This month doubt came up.  One of the ladies said that her sweet little child was asking questions like, "How do I know God is real?" and "How come if God is good bad stuff happens?"   My sweet, tender friend admitted to struggling with these same questions in her own heart, and she wasn't sure how to answer her baby.
Here's the thing:  We all doubt.  We all question.  Anyone that says they don't?  They're lying.
I cannot even tell you the number of times that I got up in the morning and prayed, "God, I don't feel like you are real today.  Is that OK?  I want to believe in you, I do.  So just for today, I choose to believe.  Today is all I can manage.  Is that OK, God, if I just choose you today?"
Honest.  That's what they sound like.  And God always meets my tiny faith where it is.  He has never told me that my tiny faith was not enough.  And, usually, I wake up with enough faith for the next day.  If I don't, I go through it all again.
Sometimes all I have is a mustard seed.  And it's enough.

Matthew 17:20b
if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Since January: April

This year, Abigail decided that she would take the step of obedience and be baptized.  She met with the pastor to confirm her decision to him, and then the worship pastor recorded an interview of Abby saying what baptism means to her.  They played the interview just before her actual dunking.

2013 April Baptism interview - Abigail G. from Jason Chollar on Vimeo.

April 14th, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Since January: March

In March we were finally able to adopt our youngest son.  After living and loving in limbo for two years, we made Levi our forever son.  He's stuck with us now.
We had a VERY quick ceremony at the court house on a Friday morning (my mom and dad missed it while they were parking the car), and then we took some family pictures.

On Saturday we had a blessing and dedication done by our pastor.

And then it was time to PARTY!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Since January; February

In February, Elizabeth turned 12.  She shared her birthday with her Great Grandma who would have been 92.  Every year, she and Great Grandma would do something together.  When she was tiny, Great Grandma came to her parties, and we always had a gift for Gigi, too.  As Elizabeth got older and Gigi was no longer able to travel, it evolved into lunch with Gigi and Grandma at Gigi's  house, and became extra special when I had to take her out of school to do it.
For the last two years Elizabeth, Grandma and I have made the trip to Gigi's gravesite.  Elizabeth leaves a pinwheel, since February is so blustery, and the three of us go have lunch.
I am so glad that for the years that my grandma was here, I was able to foster that special bond between them.  One day, Elizabeth will grow up.  She might not have time to have lunch with her grandma and I, and she might not want to trek out in the rain to visit a gravesite.  Until then, I treasure all of these special days.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Moving On...And How To Pack Seven Lunches

...Because it's my blog.  And if I need a nine moth break before I can look at it again that's my prerogative.
I always look at the lunches I make and shake my head at how much food it takes to pull this off for 6 or 7 people.
I mean, look at my counter.

 I do it for a couple of reasons:

  1. I'm cheap.
  2. I want my family to eat marginally good food- I am not a health nut, but neither do I want them eating out or all the junk they serve in the school cafeteria.
  3. We have a lot of behavior altering allergies.  I need to know what some of them ate, so that if they go "off" I can eliminate the suspect item(s).
  4. I'm cheap.

 This is Levi's lunch.  He's 3 and doesn't have a very big tummy.  He gets some yogurt, half an apple sliced into thin slices, and some Goldfish Puffs

Abby, my gluten free girl, gets gf crackers, chicken salad (with the rest of that apple diced small and mixed in), home canned peaches, and Goldfish Puffs

Caleb doesn't appreciate chicken salad, so he gets lunch meat and cheese.

Jonah, bless his socks off, eats pretty much whatever I put in his lunch.  Since chicken salad makes the bread soggy, I just lightly toast the bread and bag it up, then I send the chicken in a small container.

Sebastian neither appreciates apples in his chicken salad, nor Goldfish crackers.  He got lunch meat loaded with veggies, chips and salsa, and peaches.  He'll be a happy man.  He's actually the easiest one to pack for since he will take left overs as long as I remember the fork.

Jesse and Elizabeth both have pretty much the same chicken sandwich lunch as everyone else, so I spared you the picture.

Here is everything in the fridge ready for a lunch box reload in the morning, and they just have to grab a bottle and put some juice in it.
My mom and I sewed some cute lunch boxes for the kids this year.  They were a variation on this tutorial.  We made these to fit around a wipie tub with no lid so that if something spilled, I could just pull out the tub and clean it, and not have the bag be so wet.  Also, there is no disgusting vinyl to crack and mold, and these are completely machine wash and dryable.

As a side note, I found these in the grocery store and Levi and I decided they would be a good snack,  They are not terribly expensive as far as a bag of chips/crackers goes.  I think they were just under $3.

THEN, I turned the package around to look at the ingredients, and this is what I saw! 
Hallelujah!  Abby and I can eat them!  And now, that $3 bag of Goldfish became a screaming deal.  Do you know how expensive prepackaged gf snacks are?  They are usually 2x the price of their traditional counterparts, and 1/2 the size.
I was so thrilled that I took the time to comment on the Pepperidge Farm website.  I am kind of hoping they reward my enthusiasm. *ahem*
So, that, my friends is how you pack 7 lunches.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Month

A month has gone by.  A month of weird.   A month of returning to normal.  A month of sweet memories, hard memories, tears, and laughter.  Kris, I miss you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013