Saturday, August 1, 2015


This evening Shannon, Chase, Bryce, Colton and I left Iowa for a mission trip to Canada.

We began planning this trip months ago. I have been going back and forth deciding whether or not I was going along. The original group was around 20 people interested, but as the date arrived, our number decreased to just 10.

We planned ahead and got passport cards for the kids. We made arrangements for the little kids while we would be gone. Everything seemed to fall into place.

And then I got cold feet. Could I really leave the country for nine days and leave my littles behind?

Yesterday I was ready to stay home. There seemed to be just too much to get done, and not enough hours in the day to complete each of the tasks.

It just didn't seem like it would be worth the hassle.

But we are on the road.

Katie, Naomi, Hudson and Macklin are at Grandma and Grandpa's house this weekend, and will be with Alex and Moriah the rest of the week. Although there were tears last night, our hugs goodbye this afternoon were handled pretty well.

Nine days.

These are the things moms long for. Peace and quiet. No cooking or cleaning or laundry. Beautiful scenery. Time to recharge and refocus.

And yet I miss them.

We won't have phone or internet service at the camp we will be working at. That worries me.

Nine days.

I won't hear Katie chatting incessantly. I won't get to brush Naomi's hair. I won't get to see the evidence of Hudson's imagination, whether it be a new game he has invented, or a picture he has drawn. And Macklin. EVERY morning he climbs in bed with me and snuggles. We sing 'our song' to each other.

Nine days with no Mommy-Macklin day.

Chase's car broke down and he is thinking of transferring colleges. Bryce was at camp. Our car needed to get to the body shop for repairs. Jackson rented a house and is moving out this weekend. So many things are going on.

And I am leaving the country.

I am confident that big changes will happen this week. I pray that I will be a blessing to others. I pray that I will come back a better mom than the cranky, harried one that left. I pray that I will come back a better wife, because Shannon deserves better than what he has been getting.

Nine days.

Please pray that lives will be changed. Pray for my babies, both those that are with me and those at home. Pray for those caring for my babies. They have a lot of fun things planned, and the kids will likely wish we would go away more often.

See you in nine days.

"For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man." Proverbs 3:2-4

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Little Boy Day

Today we decided to hang out with just the little boys. Everyone else has the opportunity to either go to church camp, a mission trip, or both this summer.

We initially planned to go to Adventureland, but then settled on going to the zoo instead.

I love Blank Park Zoo because it is close to home, and you can see the entire zoo in about three hours.

We stopped at Hickory Park in Ames on our way home. We ate here all the time when the big boys were little.

These guys thought it was pretty awesome, too.

We enjoyed our time with Hudson and Macklin. Our bellies are full, and our hearts are, too.

"Train up a child in the way he should go ,And when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

19 Games and Counting

What a way to end the soccer season!

1-2-3  The Rebels competed in the IHSAA State Soccer tournament on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines.  They were able to win two of the three games, securing a third place finish in Class 1A.  Bryce's team stayed in Des Moines, while we had the pleasure of making the trip three times.  It was a great opportunity for the boys, and an awesome way to represent our school district.

Colton, Katie, Naomi and Hudson each participated in the Cedar Valley Cup soccer tournament on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Cedar Falls.

4-5-6-7  Hudson played on a team with some friends from Grundy Center.  They won three of their four games, earning silver medals.  They are super fun to watch at his age.  They played hard and had a great time.  I suspect they will play together again some day.

8-9-10-11  Naomi's soccer team, the Hurricanes, played four really tough games this weekend.  They hustled and gave it their all, but were not able to secure a medal.  They played hard and had fun along the way.

12-13-14-15  Katie's soccer team was riddled with injuries throughout the weekend.  They earned bronze medals, and played some really close games.  Shannon takes these games and these girls very seriously, and mourns each loss.  He was proud of the girls and the way they played through their pain.  They're confident they'll bring home the gold next year.

16-17-18-19  Colton's team, the Runnin Rebels, placed third in the Cedar Valley Cup.  He had some hotly contested games, and some not so competitive ones.  They are a great group of guys, and he is looking forward to moving up to high school soccer next spring.

We appreciate all of the time and effort each of the kids' coaches puts in.  They sacrifice their time away from their families to practice and coach each week, and spend many hours on the road and on the soccer pitch.

Yesterday I packed away all of the soccer shoes and shin guards for a couple months.  We'll start up with league ball again in August.  I'm sure there will be many backyard games played in the meantime.

We love soccer, and cramming 19 games into a 3.5 day span really isn't such a bad way to pass the time. 

"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise" .Proverbs 11:30

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Last Day of School

Is it just me, or did this school year go by REALLY FAST?!?

This is our first day of school picture.

And here is our last day of school picture.

Yesterday afternoon I received a call from the Middle School.  My heart usually skips a beat when I see the caller ID from the school.  I'm not sure why, because I've never gotten a call saying my kid was in trouble.  Actually, my first thought yesterday was that someone must have gotten hurt during Track/Field day.

The middle school and elementary school secretaries and I speak often.  I have them on my 'favorites' list in my cell phone.  Each day it seems someone needs to go a different direction after school for practice or to a friend's house.  I think Angie and Joan would be pretty disappointed if they didn't get to speak to me each week.

The reason I got a call yesterday was to let me know that Colton would be receiving a special award at their end of the year ceremony and we were invited to attend.  Although Shannon had to work, Grandma Shirley and Papa Ken were able to come with Macklin and I.

Both Katie and Colton were recognized for their service on Student Council and for having grade point averages over 3.5. Katie also participated in Battle of the Books.

Colton received the Gladbrook American Legion Auxiliary Citizenship Award for the Middle School. We are very proud of him.

Naomi and Hudson also had an awards ceremony today.  Naomi received recognition for being the student who has learned by Leaps and Bounds (along with a frog beanie baby), a certificate for being 100% all Three Trimesters, and a Certificate of Participation in the IFAW Animal Action Art & Writing Contest. 

Hudson received The Baby Ruth Award for being a team leader inside the classroom and out.

Shannon and I have a bunch of pretty awesome children, and we are proud of each and every one of them!

"To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity; To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion—A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel," Proverbs 1:2-5

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Five Left Shoes

We have five left shoes that fit Macklin. Today we have no shoes that fit his right foot. We just want to go out to the pasture and run. We don't care if they match. We just want shoes on him.

Perhaps this is God's way of telling us we have no business going out to the pasture to run.

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are safe". Proverbs 18:10

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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Papa Joe Turns 90 Years Old

On Wednesday Papa Joe turned 90 years old. We celebrated by having dinner with the family. Shannon's brother John flew in from Virginia, but the rest of his family were not able to come along.

Today we had cake and ice cream at Papa Joe's house. Several of Papa Joe's nephews and their wives visited, as well as my parents. I did not get a photo of the entire group, but did get one with the great-grandkids.

Papa Joe passed his driver's exam,so he is legal to drive for the next two years. We're trying to convince him to stay within city limits.

Jackson was in charge of cousin patrol. What could possibly go wrong?

Riches and honor are with me, Enduring riches and righteousness. ". Proverbs 8:18

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Little Boys

If you are a little boy, and you are four years old, and it is a quiet, rainy afternoon, and your mom is lying on the sofa watching TV and ignoring you, and everyone else in the family is busy doing something else, then you can absolutely sneak downstairs to the craft room and put as many dinosaur stickers on your belly as you possibly can.

And if you are super sweet and love your mama best, you will share some of those stickers with her.

"A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24

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Thursday, May 28, 2015


Today is Colton's 14th birthday.  It has been a memorable day for him...but not in a good way.

Early this morning he missed the bus.  Shannon had the honor of driving him to school.  Then he got a crappy grade on his algebra test...along with the rest of his class.

We brought him home some leftover pancakes, but Macklin ate them.

We made the MONUMENTAL decision to get him a puppy, but the one we were interested in was not available by the time we pulled the trigger and made the call.

We pulled him out of school early so we could go get his driver's permit.  Then I remembered that we do not have his birth certificate because we had to mail it in with his passport application.  There was a chance that we could get a copy of his BC at the Grundy County courthouse, but then discovered that it has to be done at the original county of birth.  So he was not able to take his permit test.

No one baked him a birthday cake.  Katie is I am now in the process of mixing up a pan of brownies. Maybe that can salvage a little bit of his day.  

We have a substate soccer game tonight for the Rebels, then we'll decide if he wants to go out for dinner after that.  He mentioned something about Hickory Park.  I'm not sure we are up to that this evening.  We'll see.  

Colton is so much fun to have around.  He is funny.  He has a great personality.  He does a great job in school (despite his algebra test).  He is great with his little brothers, and has fun hanging out with the older brothers.  He is having an awesome soccer season. 
He enjoys serving in our church, and is looking forward to the planned mission trip this summer (thus the passport application).  He's going to do great things in high school this fall!

Being stuck smack dab in the middle of our large family is not always easy, but it's not often that Colton doesn't have a smile on his face.  I know that I can depend on him to help me out when needed.  Despite his crappo birthday, I suspect if you see him yet today, he's gonna be smiling.


"My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands."  Proverbs 3:1