Thursday, January 28, 2016

Celebrating small

This is the season in our big asian city when I lament the air quality produced by 10 million people sharing a small space. Asher's cough came back with a vengeance. Silas is wheezing. The air is thick every morning with smog. I'm contemplating a face mask.

My primary ailment however is nothing more than extreme sleep deprivation.  This comes with the motherhood package.  My main goals this week are to make sure every one is fed, bathed, kissed and clad.  Beyond that, we're considering all output a bonus.

I wanted to put something new on my podcast line up this week and stumbled across this episode with Emily Freeman.  Let's be honest, I was pacing a baby to sleep as I listened so I am sure I didn't catch everything, but there was one little line that startled my heart.  It's been rolling around my mind since I heard it.  She talked about a moment in counseling when some very simple words were spoken to her.

Celebrate your smallness.

As a young mom, I would say that I spend a good deal of time thinking about small details, encouraging myself and others to enjoy the small moments.  The way the baby smiled.  The five year old who just lost a tooth.  The noise of wild boys wrestling in my house.

But there is a very significant distinction for me between celebrating the tiny details of life, and celebrating my own smallness.

In fact, if I'm honest, I am constantly fighting against smallness. What project can I be a part of that will make a difference? What work can I do in this day that will really matter? Are we living our lives in a way that produces something…however good? None of these are bad questions.  But they are often lopsided in my life.

I spend very little time contemplating my smallness.  After all, our entire generation grew up believing that with a little bit of elbow grease, we could change the world. My mind rushes to what I can do and be and change.

But I want to spend more time bowing low, remembering that I am small. Celebrating my smallness. Relishing God's vastness. My life is a breath. He has always been and always will be. I am small.  God is big. He is in control.  I'm actually not.

With babies fussing and little boys' bikes crashing around me, I'm reveling in my smallness this week. Remembering that I am indeed the beloved creation, but HE is the Creator.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, 
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 
what is man that you are mindful of him, 
and the son of man that you care for him? 

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth. 

Excerpts from Psalm 8, ESV

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Film City Fun

The boys had the day off school yesterday, so we grabbed a few local friends and headed to the nearby amusement park. It's kind of like the local version of Universal Studios, with a very South Asian flare. The kids had a blast! 

Friday, January 22, 2016


Hubs made it back late last night. Our living room has been the scene of intense wrestling matches since 7 a.m. Tonight it turned into sumo.

These boys are happy to have their dad back!

Before we move on, here are a few pictures from David's week on the islands. He even has a really spectacular story about a native with a spear. Let's just say, he was deep into culture! Here's a peek. 

Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What's Cooking

Hubs is sending me pictures like this.  He really is working hard.  He just happens to have some pretty scenery.

He boards a plane tomorrow.  And distance sure has made this heart fonder.  Eight days is long time in mom-life.  This little album is helping keep me sane and fixed on bigger truths than my need for 5 extra hands at the dinner table.

 And so through all the length of days, thy goodness faileth never. Good Shepherd may I sing your praise, within your house forever, within your house forever. 

If you have Prime music, take a listen for free.  I think you'll love it. 

And as long as we are talking about the dinner table, let me tell you about my latest recipe love.  It's Tom's Blackened Seasoning on all recipes.  Slap it on some chicken and add it to a pan of 2 T hot olive oil.  Cook it for 5 minutes on med-low without moving it.  Flip it over and cook another 5 minutes without moving it.  Then cook a little longer to make sure it's done on the inside, and it might just be one of my easiest and tastiest chicken recipes.  Today I tossed the leftovers onto a wheat berry salad.  Friends, it was good. 

Toms's Seasoning Ingredients

1 tablespoon paprika
4 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper (I opt out of this)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (None for me, we have enough spice in these parts)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

I love a twenty minute dinner that looks like this! Happy Wednesday to you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Days of Asher

Grapes. Mischief. Friends. Sleep. It's a busy life. 

Monday, January 18, 2016


Where did last week go?

Actually, I know where it went. All my time flew out with hubs when he left for an eight day trip. Yep. Eight days with my boys. And guess what!? They were out of school Friday!!! And Asher had some sort of allergy attack that almost sent us to the ER. Thankful for prayers and nebulizers. (He is much better now.)

Mid-weekend I was feeling the need for some change in my life. So I took all three kids with me to the beauty parlor and said "chop it off."

Actually, that's not what I said. But it was in a foreign language and things quickly got out of hand. So I have a new hairstyle. And we made it through the weekend together.

We even went to church. We may or may not have been 30 minutes late. 

Tomorrow Jude is going to be an ant eater in a class production. I spent the evening finishing up a tail and snout. 

The boys miss hubs a lot. Tonight they were catapulting one another across the living room. They need some wrestling love.

That's all I've got for you today. Thanks for stopping in. 

I'll have to write something serious, reflective, meaningful....later....after the ant eaters and catapulting have slowed down. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Apparently a round of before dinner monkey-in-the-middle got out of hand. Hubs got the brunt of Jude's zeal in throwing. 

I'm predicting this is a small foretaste of years to come. The play in our house isn't exactly tame.  Silas doesn't think a day is complete if he hasn't been wrestled to the ground by dad.  If you reap what you sow, hubs is gonna reap some wrestling teenagers who might just give him some back one day. 

All in good fun, of course.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


We are home. And so, so happy about it.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Ice Rink

We decided to take it easy this morning at our hotel. So we had a late breakfast, and swam in the salt water pool the boys have been dying to jump in since our arrival.

Then we did what is only appropriate after almost a month on limited bath water at home. We kind of have a water theme going this vacation, now that I think about it. We're recovering from bucket baths. (Btw, our water is back on now at our apartment, in case your wondering;) 

Then we headed out for our first ever family trip to the ice skating rink. It's inside one of the biggest the world. 

It was b-i-g. 

Ok. So for the first twenty minutes it looked as though things were going to seriously bomb. Tears were welling up, skates were flying in the air, penguins were toppling. 

But then, this random man stepped in and whisked Silas around the rink, giving hubs a chance to help Jude get his feet on the ground. The guy was from Finland. Perhaps this is a false stereotype, but apparently the Finnish are big ice skaters. He was really fast. Silas, ever the daredevil, loved it. I almost had a heart attack just watching them. Jude took a little more time to warm up, but by the end we were all loving it! 

The seal ride was a big help. And not just for the kids! 

After dinner, we took the metro back to our hotel. Feeling the victory of marching our whole crew successfully through the chaos, we took a family selfie. After this little shot, Silas turned his sweet face up and gave me a hug as he exclaimed, "I love my family, Mom!" 

Me too, buddy. Me too.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Aquarium

Today we went spent the day at the Aquarium. The tickets were a Christmas gift from NanNan and PopPop. Gotta love some grandparent funding! Here's a peek at the fun:

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Waterpark

We took a friend's advice and wore off our jet lag at a fantastic water park this afternoon. It's on top of a mall. Weird, but true. It felt like we were in another world. The boys loved it. It was particularly friendly for smaller kids. (And their parents!) 

Vacation Day 1 = Big Sucess

I think we will sleep well tonight!

The View

We made it through the red eye flight with flying colors. And now we are taking in our view for the next few days.

Stay tuned.