I just have to say

I. love. my iPhone.

I have always felt convicted that a data plan was an indulgence for which I was not supposed to pay.  (Not that you should not be paying for it.  I’m talking about me here!) I’m a stay at home mom who really stays at home a lot!

Well, my phone died last month.  Because we have a lot of family travel scheduled for this summer, and much of it in areas we’re not used to, Robert wanted me to have the GPS and the flexibility of changing my plans mid-day without a computer and printer for directions.  It actually seemed justifiable.  So I traded my sister for her upgrade and ordered it.  I won’t say I did not feel guilty (though I did not feel convicted… I’m so thankful for that difference!).

I. love. it.

I love that I can use it as a point and shoot camera and get pictures worth printing.  And that I have it with me because it doesn’t weigh as much as my DSLR camera.

I love that I can put stuff on my google calendar before I forget the date or lose the reminder card, which means before I walk out the door of any particular medical office.
I love that I can find a McDonald’s, Dunkin’, Taco Bell or Starbucks just by asking Siri. And that that allows me some spontaneity previously lost with my kids’ food allergies. 
I love that I can write a grocery list by talking to it. And find that grocery list when I get to the store.
I love that I can google that question to which I do not know the answer and my child wants to know.  Now.
I love that I can get my favorite recipes when I’m not in my own kitchen.
I love that I can find out if the nearest gas station is within my typical gas light on warning range.
I love that I can get lost and not worry if any other stay at home woman in my family is home to google map my way to my destination for me! 
I love that I can read a chapter of the Bible – in any version – whenever I want to.

I am completely aware that it’s a luxury.  And one I don’t take for granted! But it is a luxury that has simplified my life in both trivial and legitimate ways. 

I don’t love it like I love my man or my children or my siblings or my dearest friends, but as much as one can love a small, white, inanimate object, I love it.

Cousins!

 Here are all seventeen grand kids on Robert’s side of the family!  It’s rare that we’re all together, so it was fun to get them all in one frame.
 
They had been playing in the rain for about an hour before it occurred to me that we had all of them in the same place!  It’s far from a professional photograph, but we captured a moment in time.  And I dare say the children had a lot more fun!

Ten!

 
My miracle is TEN years old today! 
This boy made me a mama all those years ago.  I longed for him, and he filled my empty arms.  Little did I know, he’d be the only miracle to grace my womb.
When we got to bring him home after eight long days in the NICU, I wanted to keep him all to myself.  I didn’t want to share!  We had worked hard and waited 2 1/2 years for him.  Adding those eight additional days was not easy for this hormonal mama!
Jacob has always been very serious and a heavy thinker.  His wheels started spinning the day he was born, and I don’t believed they’ve ever rested!  As soon as he could crawl, he spent more time at his book basket than any other toys.  He went through a stage with a strong bent toward all things Thomas, but his love for books remains.  I often find him out in the sunshine reading a book.  That love for books has translated into a talent for writing as well, though he wouldn’t say yet that he loves it.  When he’s not reading a joke book, mystery, or humorous novel, he’s building with Legos.  Like most ten year old boys, he would be playing wii at any given time of the day if we’d let him!  He survives with the limited time he’s allowed.
Jacob loves to laugh!  He loves to tell jokes, loves to watch silliness on tv or on youtube, and loves to add humor to his school assignments.  The sweetest thing I watch him do with his humor is pull out all the silly stops to make Mattie laugh when she’s upset.  He has a tender heart toward others who are hurting and is quick to do what he can to help them.
It has not escaped me recently that this boy who challenges me has completed over half of his growing up years already.  How is that possible?  
He wants to be like his daddy and needs him more than he needs me now.  He is trustworthy when it matters.  He has a sensitive heart that helps keep him on the right road.  He already has a strong worldview that is rooted in Truth.
I pray that these feet will walk roads that change lives and point people toward the God who created them.
Thank you, Jesus, for these little boy feet you gave me ten years ago!  Thank you for all the challenges, joys, and tears you’ve given me with him.  Thank you that I’ve had to allow You to mold me to be a better mama.  This boy has pushed me toward You as I’ve desired to do my best for him.  
Thank you for giving us this one miracle!  He is one in a million!

She’s growing up!


How can you not smile back at that proud grin?  She has worried this tooth all. week!
When I tucked her in, she put her tooth under her pillow and asked me to give her more than two dollars this time!  I guess I’m a cheap tooth fairy.
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Mattie’s Art

We are alive, but more on that another day.  I have 4 months of pictures to share!
Today we talked about illustrating the effects of wind in a picture. I told the kids to draw an outdoor scene including stuff that was being blown by the wind. Look very carefully at the bottom of the picture.  You may have to click on it to see it full size.
I guess Mattie’s wasn’t up for drawing much!