Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our family blog. This may be your first visit here, or you may be a friend from across the globe, or family that we have just seen. Who ever you may be, thanks for taking the time to read about our little family, and all we are learning on this adventure the Lord has called us to live! Here you will find, the random thoughts, funny stories, prayer requests, and the journey our family and Jack is on with his battle with Leukemia.

.good CLEAN fun.

Often, during our craft time, Tyler and I have found out the hard way, that things are just messy. Unnecessarily messy sometimes. So, I am very wary of paint activities, because in my experiences with Tyler and painting, it is usually more mess than I bargained for! But my boy LOVES to paint. He asks me almost everyday to paint. I have tried a lot of different painting things, from those little sun catchers, to water colors, to regular little paint in those little plastic holders to finger paint. All have been fun, but all have been messy and the paints all get mixed together despite my efforts to keep them apart.

Introducing Parents Easy Squeezy Paints. They were a gift, and we LOVE them. They are completely washable, and are clean! I cannot believe I said paint is clean!!!! Tyler was able to paint, mostly on his own for an extended time, and there was little to no mess after wards. And after (what I thought) he was squeezing the life out of them, he had barely made a dent into the amount of paint in the tube! The colors are bright and dry quickly. So fun.

I think I will be saying yes to painting more often now! Just wanted to pass this good craft time idea along. Happy craft time!

.starting out.

It is often referred to as "the wrong side of the bed" ... and the opposite would be "starting out on the right foot." I would have liked this day to start in the latter, and yet I find myself being tempted to be quick to anger at every turn. We are training our boy to stay in his bed until a certain time each morning, to ensure he gets enough sleep and we also get enough sleep. 

He doesn't like to do it though. In the course of 45 mintues, I was up out of bed 5 times this morning. The first was because he didn't want daddy to help him, but mommy. This was an hour and a half before the determined wake up time arrived. The second and third times, he just wanted to get out of bed because he just wanted to.

The fourth and fifth times, he was just shouting my name so loudly, I grew angry so quickly, my heart was beating fast before my feet hit the ground. I hurried into his room to silence his calls to keep him from waking his brother, and certainly not with a heart to care for his needs. 

So all this has me thinking about the choices I make. The fleeting moments that pass, and in those moments, there is a choice made... to give into anger and to be impatient or chose love and show kindness. I think that in those brief moments when the choice is made, my cravings for sleep and ease are having a shouting match in my head with the voice of truth that God's word is stating clearly in response.

I want so much the bedrock of the truth of God's Word to be what gives me faith to step out in kindness "on the right side of the bed" and to fight my sinful desires to be angry with my 3 year old. I want to believe with all my heart that He has given me my portion and my cup, that the day is sovereignly ordained by him, and because of that, it is for my good and there is grace for all of it! Oh to fight the wicked cravings of my heart and choose to give Glory to God by obeying his word and simply showing kindness to my child. I know I would be happier for it, I know it would satisfy my soul in a way that a few more minutes sleep never could!

Sweet temptations that they are... God is after my heart in all of it, and I am made more aware of my desperate need of him from the very rising of the sun. 

.baby steps.

I have two very messy boys. They are like magnets to anything dirty. They love it. And in a way, so do I. But this post wasn't meant to be about the messes they create, play in and are drawn to... it was to tell you about one of the little boys who steals my heart multiple times a day!

Jack (or Jackers as Tyler calls him) has finally begun to take his first steps on his own!!! He will be 15 months in one week, and I am have hope that he will start walking by then (just like Tyler did)! He is so cute and gets so excited when we cheer for him after he has taken a few steps!

He also loves to be with me, no matter where I am. And he has gotten very good at creating fun for himself....

I think he was going after his sock he had thrown in there...

I just love him so much! I cannot believe he is getting so old. Time is going past too fast!

.Warm Days.

It was a sunny windy lovely day! We ventured to the park with our friends, the Russells, and enjoyed some play time together! It was so nice just getting outside! Tyler had so much fun, and Jack was filthy by the time we left- which means it was a successful time!

When we were leaving, Tyler had to pee- so I took him behind a tree and he did his business. As he was going, he was very intentional about going on the tree trunk. Afterwards, he told me that the tree was gonna grow now, cause it got water. Love this age! Here are some picts of my sweet boys at the park!

Can't wait till Spring!

Drama Drama Drama

Things around here have looked a lot less exciting than usual. We have been spending lots of time at home with two main objectives- train the little grumpy boy and keep the house clean to show it to potential renters (this has been tricky- for example- someone called today at 3 asking to come and see the house at 6!). Between the two, albeit things have not been exciting, they have been busy. And mostly due to the training of one very feelings-driven 3 year old.

So, when Ty was 2, the big things we were working on were obedience- right away, all the way, in a joyful way. Setting up boundaries and teaching him how to obey us! We are still working on those things, but it was pretty clear cut, and I felt like I had an idea of goals I was shooting for. Once we had trained him on what to do, it became a matter of training to get him to do it all of the time, and me being consistent and slow to anger. He is a very responsive little boy, and we saw much fruit in his little life during year 2.

So far, in year 3, we are still working on obedience- by no means have we arrived! But with it has come a side of Ty that I just wasn't prepared for. He now knows what he "should" be doing- not all the time of course, and not perfectly- but he has the basic ideas-- for example- when I say, "Come to mommy" he knows what is expected of him.... however, it seems a little bit of the dramatic has been added to his daily responses to me. If we can get through the day with out 10 bursts into tears, a couple tantrums, and a few moments of crazed hyper running in circles... well, the lack of those thing would mean we have had a calm day.

He has become more and more expressive of his love and tenderness to me and Jordan and Jack. And there are moments when he is so compliant, and joyful.... but then I end up saying no to something and the tear fest returns! I don't say all this to paint the picture that he is behaving horribly- it has just been a lot of drama and training-- I think more than I thought was heading down the road for us!

So- all of this has me realizing more than ever the importance of being faithful to parent him lovingly and diligently. The reality is, we are in a season of sowing. We do see fruit- but the majority of my day is working hard to help this little boy- who is feelings driven! He reminds me of me!

This season has made me more aware of my desperate need for joy to be found in the savior, to be diligent, not growing weary of doing good, and to just love my boy and look for grace. Blogging has not been high on the list of things to do, as have many other things I would love to spend my day doing. I am seeing how important it is for me to be the best mom I can be to my children 100% and not try to give my time away to things of a less eternal value.

My task has been set before me- it is clear- to train this boy for the glory of God and by God's grace, help him to understand his need for a Savior. I hope that during this time of sowing in his life, will one day reap a harvest, not only of good behavior, more importantly, of eternal value.