Something So Big

Monday, May 31, 2010


Memorial Day is about remembering all of my loved ones who have passed away from this life into the next one with our Lord Jesus. I'm so thankful for their contributions on this earth, especially those who served our country and sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Thanks to those vets who are still living, and for the men and women who are currently serving. Freedom is not free! God bless you!!

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” --Galatians 5:13-14

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Waterboy (and girls)

No, it's not an Adam Sandler sequel. It's just a hot May afternoon at our place!

Sometimes I look around and almost pinch myself. I'm married to my high school crush, we live in a beautiful house with a great big yard, and these kids running around belong to US.

They get their good looks from their Dad...and their white legs from me!

This kid has no ankles. He's not fat, but just look at how thick he his. I mean, he's only nine and he already weighs twice as much as his sisters two years younger.

The bookends! I should have taken a picture last night; Ally curled Wynne's hair so cute. Thank goodness we finally have a hair stylist in the house!

Mark likes to refer to our place as County B Funpark whenever the kids ask, "Can we go anywhere??" Well, who needs a commercial waterpark when you have 9 acres to roam, a pump, a hose, trees to climb, a swingset, a clubhouse, a creek, and a place to sun yourself? It doesn't get much better than this.

Not sure why Cy is wearing his socks. (Okay, now I get it - he must have just taken off his rollerblades.) Stylin'.
Nope, it doesn't get any better than this / these.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord--Psalm 127:3

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Living by the Word

In the style of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid", we asked the kids at Sunday School to journal about what they learned this year in Sunday School. I scanned their entries into a Powerpoint which we showed at church the other day. Here are my kids' entries.

Ally really captured the spirit of the Wimpy Kid journaling with her 2-page entry about the Christmas program.

Cy didn't like this entry on the 10 Commandments, but I did. I like how he took one commandment and personalized it for himself. I sometimes question if it's TRUE (as evidenced by his Lego-infested room and inordinate amount of time he spends working on them), but I still like this entry!

My ambitious son went beyond his one-journal requirement and chronicled the visit from our friend Dennis Siler of Living Waters Bible Camp. Dennis brought slides, bones, fossils, and replicas of dinosaurs back in November.

When I asked Wynne what she remembered about Sunday School this past year, the first thing she talked about was singing at Orchard Manor for the residents there. Wynne LOOOOOves to sing! (I helped get her started on the musical notes.)

Shae recapped our Journey with Jesus, where families re-enacted the last week of Jesus' earthly life. I like her Rebus-type journal entry!

But it was this entry of Shae's that started the whole idea for the "Diary" slide show. In April we were studying Psalm 23 and how Jesus is our Good Shepherd. The younger children were asked to draw a picture of how the 23rd Psalm made them feel, and this was Shae's response.

How simple and yet reassuring is that?

Our last study of the year was on Esther. Paige eagerly re-told the story:
“There was a brave queen. The king wanted to have a queen. He picked Esther! Haman tried to trick the king to kill all the Jews! Esther was brave. She told the king,‘Haman tried to trick you to kill all the Jews! And I’m a Jew.’ The king said to kill Haman. And Esther's people were saved!"

While I'm bragging on my kids, I just have to say how proud I am of all of them, that they love the Lord and love His Word. When Paige and Shae received their first Bibles four days ago, Cy and Ally were SOOOO jealous. "How come WE didn't get a full Bible like that when WE were in first grade??" (I had to apologize for the fact that we weren't attending a Sunday School while the older two were in first grade, mainly because Wynne was a baby and it was hard enough getting to worship for one hour, let alone an hour earlier for Sunday School! I know, lame excuse.) In all fairness though, we did give Ally and Cy these really cool comic book Bibles, Ally just received a beautiful faux leather Faithgirlz Bible with snap enclosure for Easter, and we gave Cy a Bibleman magazine (including the full New Testament) for Christmas. (I should own stock in Christian Book Distributors!! I HEART CBD !!)

I remember back to receiving my first burgundy (vinyl?) Bible in Sunday School and a beautiful white leather Bible with silver-edged pages (and my name imprinted in silver) for confirmation. The latter was part of my wedding bouquet because I just loved looking at it so much. But the sad thing was, "looking at it" was about all I did when I was a kid. I never truly dug in there and read those stories from cover to cover, putting together God's plan for us until I started teaching Kids Club and Sunday School over the past decade or so. I'm so thankful that my kids have a love for God's Word and we have a chance to talk about it and try to apply it to our day-to-day lives. He's not just for Sunday anymore! Granted, our kids are no angels and do their share of eye-rolling when I remind them when they're not following His Word...but the seed is being planted by lots of young parents at our church and in our community who model His love and His Word in their daily actions. I am really grateful to be a part of that and to see how He is working in our kids!

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you. --Psalm 119: 9-11

Monday, May 24, 2010

Get Hot! Stay Hot!

Yesterday we were encouraged to GET IN THE GAME! GET HOT and STAY HOT!!

It hasn't been too tough to get hot these past couple of days. The temperature has reached into the 90s, add in a little Midwest humidity and now we're cookin'!

But in all seriousness, God wants us to get off our duffs and live this life for Him. The No Strings Attached puppet group came back to our church to remind us of that very important fact yesterday. Looking back over the past few days, I couldn't resist including some footage from our Christian Kids Club's sports camp. Our kids got a chance to try a few skills needed to play football. Not an easy task, but definitely a fun challenge!

Okay, this wasn't much of a challenge for our kids, but I think Cole felt a little challenged after pulling the entire club!

A new twist on the David-Goliath story?

We all have different gifts that God has given us. The biggest challenge, I think, is figuring out what those gifts are. Some of us (like my husband) are gifted in Leading and Teaching.

Others of us are gifted at Serving and Giving. Like the 100+ people who raised money and walked for the Arthritis Foundation on Saturday. (Go Team Allison!!)

Or friends who sacrifice a Friday night to watch our kids, and then come back for more on Saturday. Now THAT's what I call Giving! (And, in our case, the gift of Mercy!)

Then there is the gift of Exhorting, or encouraging. Some people have a special knack for being a breath of fresh air, an encouragement to us. And sometimes we encourage others without even realizing it!

The gift of Prophecy is one that I haven't had much experience with, but who knows? Maybe these kids (some of whom are VERY excited to receive their very first Bibles!) will tell others of things that are to come.

So what is your gift?
The key is to surround ourselves with others who seek the Living Water like we do. I heard one time, "sometimes you have to grow a gift", and I really think that's true. I don't think we can sit back and wait for our spiritual gifts to emerge. I think that sometimes we have to take that leap of faith...jump in and get our feet wet!

Like Sid the Saint (Private Eye) pointed out, we who are called have a partner. "You can't see Him, but He's always there!"

Here's to the Holy Spirit!
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. --1 Corinthians 12: 4-6

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Funny Faces (and Paws)

Just some funny pictures taken over the past few weeks...

Wynne has this thing about not making eye contact when you take her picture. It isn't that she's shy (HA!)...she just doesn't look into the camera for pictures. She's all over the "Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese" and smiling, but we think she inherited the look-away-ness from Grandpa or Grandma E. Not sure though. So after talking with her about it, she made a point of NOT LOOKING IN THE CAMERA for this one. Stinker!!

On our Mother's Day gift-making session, we painted Mickey's nails without even trying. (Purple passion, anyone?)

I never noticed that Mickey snuck a kiss on Wynne until reviewing this picture!

Okay, this picture isn't that funny but it's cute. I am a mother and I have the right to put cute baby pictures in my blog. (and YES she is STILL a baby!!)

Another s'more shot at one of our first campfires of the year. Ally has perfected the art of goofy picture-taking!

A dentist's dream.

You should have heard the reaction Cy made to this flame-ball in his face! Mark likes to keep him on his toes.

And now a parting shot, an all-too-frequent glimpse into our supper table. This may look like Paige is happy, but oh, no-no-no-no-no-no-no-no-nooooo. Not happy. In fact, this is not a funny face at all. This is a scary face that means "I hate what is being served for supper and even though I haven't tasted it, I still hate it!!"

The fire in her eyes. Would make a pretty good Halloween mask, don't you think?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Playing Hookie

Last week Mark took Ally and Cy out of school to see their first major league baseball game.

I think I was 8 or 9 when my sister and her husband took us youngest three girls to a Brewer game. It was an away game at the Minneapolis Metrodome, and it was the biggest place I'd ever been. I remember feeling engulfed by everything and trying hard to see the little ants on the field below (the Brewers and the Twins). It's a neat experience, seeing a professional sporting event, and I'm glad my kids had a chance to go with their dad!

When I was a kid, the Brewers' home field was County Stadium. My first trip there was the summer I graduated from high school and was just starting to date Mark. We went with my older brothers, wives, sisters, and boyfriends. It was pretty fun except for some dysfunctional family arguments that occurred over the weekend (I remember thinking, if Mark isn't scared away by all of this, I'm a lucky girl!!). Anyway, County Stadium has now given way to Miller Park, dome and all.

I haven't personally been there, but is that place HUGE or what?!

Back in the day, Bernie Brewer slid into a mug of beer on every Brewer home run. Now I guess he slides down this huge thing into a ?

Back in the day, we were just happy to be at the ballpark. Now of course, there are kid zones and plenty of photo opps!

Back in the day, they had a huge scoreboard with cute little cartoons made by different lights. Now there is a jumbo-tron television screen. Complete with cute kid in the background!!

This is Prince Fielder, the only Brewer player I can name. Sorry Dad, I don't follow the Brewers as closely as I used to! (but I hear these days I'm not missing much!)

Unfortunately, there were no Bernie Brewer slidings or Brewer victories for the day. But there were still two perfectly happy kids!

And they had a bonus of seeing their cousin Kaleb warm up for the UW-Milwaukee Panthers after the Brewer game! I love this southpaw pitch.

Coincidentally, cousin Claire and her parents were also at the park that day, celebrating Claire's golden 12th birthday!

Mark doesn't take off from work very often. This one was worth it!

Oh, how sweet the light of day,
And how wonderful to live in the sunshine!
Even if you live a long time, don't take a single day for granted.
Take delight in each light-filled hour--Ecclesiastes 11:7-8, The Message