Tuesday, January 24, 2012


331. call to be courageous in raising our children

My hubs and i watched the new movie Courageous by the Kendrick brothers and oh man was it good! It is by far their best movie yet! I cried a lot! The way it starts out even captures my heart! The movie is based on fathers leading their children and household, but its not only fathers who have the important task of raising their children. I am constantly being reminded by God that our children are gifts! they are precious and the only way I can love them and train them is by trusting God and asking Him for guidance! It is hard enough to take care of my self, my own righteousness and then to try and teach our kids, yikes.....

Thankfully God gives us tools, The Bible for starters, on how to raise up our kids right, teach them His ways and they will not depart. Friends and family can also be great tools, learning from others mistakes and successes. A loving husband to step in and help when he is home. Ultimately what matters most? That our kids know and love Jesus! How do they know Him? Love them like Christ loves them, show them that you love others like Christ loves them, spend time with them doing what they enjoy (yes even if it means sitting on the floor and playing with cars (i'm not a fan of this activity). Trust God to mature them and He will do it!

I am not a person who most people would deem capable of home schooling, I am not patient, I am too quick to anger, my kids can be difficult--regardless of correction, reproof, and instruction. Here is the thing though: God calls us to teach our children, to raise them up in Him, we are responsible for them-all of them, its on us. I never thought I would be taking on this immense task or that I was in any way capable of doing it, in fact I know that I am not capable of doing it, but I am stepping out in faith, trusting God and doing it anyway. I am faithful that God will guide me and teach me to teach them and love them. I am scarde of doing it wrong, I am nervous to teach other peoples kids at co op, I am concerned that I will screw up, but ultimately I trust Him to give me grace and mercy and step in when I am doing it all wrong and show me right. To help me be courageous!

332. Christian movies
333. Christian music
334. Christian books
335. all the tools to help me along the way, by God grace and design.

Friday, January 20, 2012

learning, never stop...

324. learning, about anything really, i very much enjoy learning, but especially about my Lord, Jesus Christ

I love to talk with people about all things, from the vague to the personal, but more than anything else my heart smiles most when I get to share or have someone share God, in story, testimony, plans, etc.

Park days are great because I get to hear from others, what God does for them, what they want to do for Him, and of course I get to share. One of my favorite park friends, G, told me a lot of things, but got me thinking and I really feel and know for us anyway-that God is calling us to be on mission including our kids. I am a practical person so I need to have examples and see how others are doing it to see if it would work for us. The Texas Baptist Children's Home responded to my volunteer inquiry and gave me an example, she said the best way to serve their when you have little kids, is to make treats or prepare healthy snacks and bring them in to the home for the various cottages there. Not only do the kids get to have fun in the kitchen with their mom and eat a few treats themselves, they get to give them to others who have less and be part of serving God's other children. I love this idea.

then we were driving to CVS last night for this weeks deal and we went by a Care Center, I wondered if that was an old folks home, then I remembered a while back that I had thought of what a great idea it would be for the kids and I and hopefully other people will want to join-to bring them cards, pictures, treats, whatever they let us bring. I love having asked how I can include our kids in mission and getting 2 answers for what we could do---for now it may be simple, but its doing and as they get older we can expand on what we do....

325. being excited to serve others
326. meeting new people
327. telling Tanner he gets to take a cooking class and him getting pretty excited!
328. ideas--seriously imagine not having any ideas,
329. feeling a little more confident about having to teach a class after registering today :)
330. G's blog--great info, great videos--you are never too old or too young to serve and be on mission
        Proof---an old woman lived in a brothel in India just to show love to the enslaved women there
        and teach them about God by studying the Bible and teach them to read and write and do math.
        More proof---what can a baby do? Babies bring joy to people, think of someone you safely
       visit with your baby and put a smile on their face (ex. an elderly neighbor with no grandkids)

**sorry no photos today

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I praise You, my savior and friend....

320. hearing other people's stories, seeing what God is doing in others
321. worshipping through tears
322. being overwhelmed with knowing how good God is
323. being reminded that God is in control of our path and He will give us wisdom to do what we need to do according to His timing and His ways

Church was refreshing to me on Sunday and God spoke to me there about our paths and how He is in control. He reminded me again about how blessed I am and what amazing things He can do, when we let Him do it and get out of the way!

A woman shared her story with me about how she was trying to Foster/adopt and how her MC leader was not getting her letter of recommendation done and she was so eager to get all of it in so they could get a kid. When she finally let go and let God give her a child in His timing, it happened at the perfect time, bringing exactly the child she was meant to have. A 5 week old baby boy came into the hospital and should have died, he was being resuscitated, he had several broken ribs, his intentestines were torn in half due to abuse---how can anyone abuse a tiny little baby--how can a parent who carries their child for 9 months, labors him and births him, harm their precious gift? those are the parts we don't understand, but God was working good for this little boy-His little boy and for the family who fostered him. The day the paperwork was final for this woman and her husband she met this little baby and was able to foster him, had to drop him off with his abusers for 9 months before finally having that stopped and when he was 17 months adopted him as theirs. He is 100% healthy now and she told me that she gets it even more with her realationship with God. We are adopted by God and He loves us as His own, just like she loves her little boy as her own--he is her son and we are God's children and He would do anything for us.

God is soo good and He knows what He is doing, get out of your own way and His way and let Him do it. It doesn't matter what you can do, step out in faith and trust Him, He will provide whatever you need.

I thank God that His mercies are new each day because I seem to screw up and drop the ball each day, but I am allowed to try again the next day, and maybe some days I will start to do it right, not because I can, but because if I get out of my way God will!

Most parents think their kids can do no wrong and I regret to admit I am not one of them (in some ways this is good, in others it is not) Example, at church a woman came up to me and said is Tanner your son? I immediately thought "oh crap what did he do" as I said yes and she told me that her daughter just thinks Tanner is wonderful and is always talking about him and excited to see him at church. I was literally beaming. He is such a good kid with a great big compassionate heart, yes he does wrong, but he is good and he is capable of so much more than I even give him credit for! Its me that needs to change, then he will. God help me to change, change my heart and my thoughts and my words (my words!).....whether its good or bad your kids look up to you and want to be like you, what example are you setting? I have learned that I set an example of frustration and guess what? now he gets frustrated and makes the same irritated sound I do. But, today is a new day and God's mercies are new today and I am going to try and get out of God's way and let Him help me!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


316. today was so much better than yesterday,
 though it started very very rough--with horrible sleep and horrible trees screeching across the windows-waking me and Kenni

317. bought me some big ol' loppers to chop the heck of the trees branches to make the screeching stop!!! yay yay amen for peaceful sleep tonight

318. anticipating the hubs coming home tomorrow feels pretty awesome!

319. finding ideas from some amazing ladies blog on how to make super cool gifts for people--Christmas next year is going to kick off early---and this time I am really going to hope it is more than just talk to get done early so there can be one less stressor at a time of year that is suppossed to be focused on joy and Jesus

well I am going to bed earlier tonight so i must go for now, but i will leave you with some awesome photos of my awesome people:

so cute i can't take it

 just like mommy finishes first and wants to "help" others out
 Romeo wants a piece of Tanner's new bike
 i mean really, are you kidding me with this: i love love love it---look at daddys proud happy face
 more of that precious dimple
 getting so big and so cute

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I just put the kids down for bed and I am still a little shaky and my heart is beating a little faster than normal and I just have to stop and start counting some gifts because i am about 2 seconds from exploding....
301. baby hand dimples (thanks to M for bringing this back to my attention)
302. a son that is able to do most things by himself, even getting better at brushing his teeth
303. even though it was super stressful, the Lord is good and provided so many free things tonight from Walgreens! a blessing to bless others is headed my way (and others) very soon

304. a missional community meeting planned that I am more excited for than normal even!
305. thinking of some great ways to serve others today and just waiting on their responses to bring back to group---feels good to have a deadline and bigger purpose for our M.C.

306. back to kids---Kenni found great joy in just screwing on and off a vitamin container lid--no worries she cant get the seal off so we are good :)
307. a boy finding security in a Lightening McQueen night light--can't blame him i fall asleep to a show every night (usually friends or scrubs--back when I lived at mom and dad's and had cable in my room {their spare room-nothing done for me in that no worries} I would fall asleep to the food network, often Alton Brown's good eats-good times)
308. being reminded of just how cute my kiddos are by strangers in a store-not that I need reminding, but it always makes me smile anyway--gift :)
309. cowboy boots and warm up pants on a 4 year old that he recieved as a wonderful gift in the form of hand me down by his favorite boys---truly one of the best gifts are hand-me-downs!

310. deep breaths--they really do help a little, now repeat

311. my camera finally letting me upload pics
312. friends checking up on me
313. North East Metro Park in Pf---really good park with Kenni currently

314. knowing that God will show me grace (heaps of it tonight) for my less than stellar parenting today-with high stress and yelling and all the fun stuff that always is brought out of me when daddy is away training and that his mercies are new every morning

Tonight was a little on the....okay it was really rough, but we all survived and the kids went down easy (315. kids went down easy-no tears) and I get to spend time focusing on all the gitfs that filled my day inspite of the stress.

 that's my boy
 couponing wears Hank out too :)
 Photography by Tanner :0
 Little Miss is really gettin into her eating and or once keeping her bib on--nice
 best things I ever found in a toy box.....
 check out this cool dude, he came out ready to dance
 dimple :) :) :)
 Aunti--we miss you <3
now to get about cleaning and all that fun stuff--have a great night all

Monday, January 9, 2012

God is moving

289. recocilliation
290. My dad praying over dinner---this is a huge huge gift, for those who don't know my dad well, we didn't grow up in church, praying together, or anything like that--we simply believed there was a God. This is so awesome to see God working on his heart, holding hands and leading prayer with my mom and sister!
291. my sister's faith growing leaps and bounds daily!
292. Fil being such an awesome Godly man and amazing influence in the Van Etten and Pierce homes!
293. my hubby stepping up to lead at missional community group
294. actively chosing to be on mission, not just with words, but with homework to back it up
295. crying (or trying really really hard not to cry) with friends
296. being inspired and challened by great friends (G  that is you!) I can never truly explain to you what you do for me with words, but thank you from the bottom of my heart!
297. friends who encourage you to do somethign you are afraid to do (M that is you)
298. freinds who call to check on you and pray for you, making time just for me (thanks to B and G.B.)
299. being encouraged to read and pray with intention every day--and finding a way to make time even when you get up early to do it and your baby wakes up right as you grab the Book!
300. walking into my daughters room to see whats going on with her and daddy to find them both sleeping on the guest bed cuddled together--so precious--too bad it was too dark for a picture!

We don't know what is going to happen next--not an easy concept for someone like me who just thrives on planning, but i know that no matter what God is in control and so long as we seek His widom and clarity and His will above all else, it will all work out! The tough part is just in the waiting and not knowing. We are unsure if we are going to move to base and which one it will be or if God will shut those doors to keep us in Texas to finish our time in the Marine Corps---regardless God will have His will and i am just so thankful for where we are right now. I am so proud of my husband's leadership skills and for what we are doing as a family and as a community and i can't wait to see what all God has in store for 2012---one thing is for sure, He is moving!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

happy new year

286. remembering what God did for you through 2011

Vacation to Oregon was lovely (as it always is), but I have to say it was a blessing to be back at our church on sunday at the Austin Stone! Our sermon reminded me of waht God did for us the last year.

We started 2011 on a bad, well not so great.....no it was bad note! Our 3 month old baby was very sick and when I took her to the doc I was sent to the ER immediately because she was having trouble breathing and was dehydrated. We spent 5 days in the Dell Children's Hospital
287. Dell Children's Hospital

Our good friends took Tanner and we stayed in the hospital watching our poor baby try to get better. She had RSV--no cure, just waiting.

This pic was when she was getting better and would actually take a little milk. She was hooked up to IV's and Oxygen. One night they told us they might move her to ICU, that was about where I was starting to lose it. Up to that point I just kept waiting, but then I was a little more than worried. I hated to see her in her hospital bed and feel like there was nothing i could do to make her better or help her.

Good thing God is in control and reminded me shortly after my worry that she was in His hands. I hated that all she had was a diaper on though, eventually they gave her big socks for her feet and of course she had a blanket, but I still just didn't like it.

 our bed, thankful to be able to stay in her room with her!

 getting better......

wanting to comfort our precious girl!

 feeling better, but not that better dad come on
 Iv out yay
 what just happened????
 288.worn out and happy to be rid of all those tubes and finally have some jammies on :)
its been a year since all this and now:

oh my gosh I am filled with gratitude for a loving heavenly Father who gave us a beautiful gift (2 beautiful gifts) and both are healthy and sweet and smart and that is what God did for us in 2011.....among many other things!

Take a moment to reflect on what God did for you in 2011 and remember that nothing happens to you, if you are in Christ, God allows things to happen for you Romans 8:28 "All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose"