August Fun.

Silas is going to be 6 months old in just a few days. He has been army crawling, getting up on his hands and knees and rocking, and sitting up (mostly) by himself. Toppling over is still a pretty common occurrence, so I'm always staying close by. Another new hobby of his: scooting his way on over to the floor vent, propping himself on hands and feet, and letting the ice cold air blast him in the face. I'm not sure if I should be alarmed by this or not. It seems weird. But, then again, Joe is kinda like a polar bear insisting on arctic temperatures, so the apple must not fall too far from the tree. Silas also responds to his name, and has pulled himself up to a stand one time. It was at Chrissy's house, on this adorable little cube, which is just the perfect height for Silas and Titus to do reckless tricks on. I like to pretend that was a fluke.

Judah is talking up a storm these days. He is putting 4 and 5 words together pretty consistently, and naturally, making us all laugh until we cry. One my favorite things that he does is tell me all the things he likes. It usually goes something like this: We will be rocking wrestling before nap time, and he will start the list (which is always pretty random, but you can sometimes see connections between the items). " I wike outside. I wike Grandma. I wike Maggie. I wike birthdays. I wike cake. I wike swings. I wike church. I wike cheese". What a guy. He has become increasingly infatuated with sweet baby Silas which just melts my heart. And scares the crap out of me. The kid still has zero concept of gentleness. Let me tell you how Judah/Silas interactions usually go: Silas is laying on the floor minding his own business. Judah is playing/jumping off of something/being a renegade. You see him recognize Silas' presence. He zeroes in. Judah sits down on the floor a couple feet away from Silas and scoots his little bottom right over to the baby's head, all the while yelling/growling his name. (if you've heard it, you know what I mean). Silas becomes wide-eyed and clearly concerned for his safety. Smart baby. Judah either says "hold it!" in an attempt to ask permission to hold Silas or just drags him right up into his lap using whatever limb is closest. Yikes. And that's why I can't get anything done during the day, my friends. These boys require constant supervision. :) They are oh so entertaining, though!

Roman is currently obsessed with bugs. Grandma Suellen has got to be loving this (I wish she were closer!) and I'm trying to learn enough to encourage him to keep learning about what interests him. In the last couple of weeks, we have caught butterflies, a caterpillar, a dead cicada, and an ant. He tells me about his love for bugs and how they are "so beautiful". Oh my. Roman is in a bit of a hoarding phase. Well, at least I hope it's a phase. It has been going on for a while now. I know most of his hiding spots though. For example, I couldn't find some papers that were in my Bible {under his bed}, or my hand mixer {under the trampoline in the toy room}. He will make a pile of toys in a chair and sit directly in front of it so no one can reach them. Roman's current favorite book is a compilation of four parables that we got him for Easter. He loves to retell the story of the foolish man who built his house on the sand and the wise man who built his house on the rock. Coincidentally (or not!), that was the gospel reading we chose for our wedding. Makes me so happy every time.

Speaking of our wedding, let's talk about how great my husband is.

The other day I was cleaning up supper dishes while he played with the boys in the toy room. I spoke his name and it all came rushing back to me. In the simplicity of such an ordinary moment, I flashed back to knocking on this very front door and being welcomed into this very home by his mother. I remembered praying with his family right here. Listening to him play guitar in the basement, toasting our engagement at this very table, celebrating our rehearsal dinner in what is now our living room. So much has happened here, within these walls. We started our family here ...before we even knew that's what we were doing. God is in the details. I'm so grateful for the way He has orchestrated all of these moments to create this life that we are living.

And, I am so thankful for you, Joe. I always knew that you were a good man, a Godly man, a generous man. One of the first times you spent an afternoon with my family (before we even started dating) my grandma made a comment about you having a gentleness about you. And you do. It's not always the first thing that someone would notice, because you're strong, a good provider, you're funny and you're confident and you're outgoing. But, it's the gentleness in your strength that makes you easy to trust.

It's the love in your leadership that I have leaned on all these years. The way you encourage my faith and yet challenge me to grow. The way that (three times!) your eyes have met mine in that delivery room...and in the greatest possible pain, as you brush the tears away, nothing needs to be said because I am so comforted just by knowing you're with me.

Every girl wants to marry a man who is thoughtful and kind. One who would lay his life down for his family. I just had no idea I would be so blessed to have one who would pick up groceries for my grandma; one who would fabricate the most elaborate, silly stories to make red headed boys giggle the night away; one who would always put my needs before his.

I didn't foresee any of that when I knocked on this very door.



by Nichole Nordeman

....just a song, for days when He feels near and days when we are desperate to feel His presence.


A Political Post

I don't write much of these, but I can't help myself tonight.

Have you heard about the new mandate that says insurance companies must provide contraception with no copay?

If you know me or have read this blog for very long, you can probably guess that I have a moral opinion on this matter.

But, let's set that aside for a moment.

I do have a moral objection, but I also have common sense.

Has anyone else heard that we're in the middle of a bit a debt crisis?

Even if you do not share my moral stance, is this really a wise thing for our country to be spending money on given our current financial state?

If I had the chance (to say my piece about morals AND common sense), here is what I would say.

Dear Mr. President,
First, I want you to know that you have my respect. You hold an office that demands honor and I believe that you are doing the best that you can. You took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Big job. I'm glad it's not mine and I appreciate your efforts to uphold that oath.

When you promised healthcare reform, I didn't understand that this was going to be part of it. I, personally, don't see contraception as "healthcare", since it prohibits the normal, healthy functioning of the reproductive system. There have been studies showing how it can be dangerous for women (not to mention babies!), especially when taken for long periods of time, and has been linked to breast and uterine cancer, miscarriage/early abortion, and problems with fertility.

When I pictured healthcare reform, I was thinking about individuals without insurance, the boy at my church whose family is probably losing all of their savings paying for his chemo treatments, caring for widows and orphans, or decreasing the cost of my grandma's heart medicine -that keeps her alive...$700/month. (That's AFTER insurance pays $1000/month).

It seems like we need to step back and look at our priorities. How much money is going toward providing free contraception while we are in the middle of these debt talks? It seems like an unnecessary expense. It seems counterproductive. Why is this beneficial? Who is this helping?

Mr. President, we watched you address the nation the other night. Our children watched too. In fact, Roman told me today that he wanted to "watch President Obama again".

We pray for you everyday.