Sunday, December 26, 2010

Packing Day

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to our parents: Rick & Barb, Dan & Diane [not pictured], siblings, uncle [not pictured] and amazing friends! We love you! A special thanks to my Mom, for watching the girls!

christmas gifts

Here's the girls ripping into their gifts from us, Christmas Morning! These smiles were John and I's favorite presents, for sure!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

a moment in time

This morning was the start of day three at home doing the everyday grind [no moms group, playdates or appointments]. My mind was whirring with my own disjointed thoughts, as I responded to and directed the girls. Lauren had thrown up at Sadie's Homeschool Co-op yesterday morning. I decided to keep us all quarantined until the end of today to be sure whatever germs there may be, didn't spread. [Lauren is doing great now!]

So. It was art time, then lunch (interupted by garbage truck watching).

In the midst of flying marker caps, paper clippings and sippy cups; I decided to grab the camera and breath in my perfectly wonderful crazy normal day!

I love black and white pictures! They sure have a way of drawing your eye to the best part!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

fine fall fun

Today, John and the girls and I went to a local orchard with my parents! The weather was warm, the scenery was stunning and the smells were amazing!

Enjoy this visual recap!

Pumpkin patch in 80 degree weather!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

waiting [with hope]

So much of life is waiting. I often wonder why the timing of one event doesn't always back right up to the next new endeavor. Why are there so many grey area's of... silence?

The last 3 years have been a lot of grey for John and I. But looking back on it, I see how much we've grown in charactor and stregnth as individuals and as a couple after being exposed to our selfishness and pride [and continuing to be]. I see how all the uncertainties have given us [silence] the ability to see clearly the dream God has placed in our heart - as well as a vision for our family.

Quiet times are uncomfortable, but I'm learning to embrace them and the people who so graciously stay by our side as we walk through our shadowy valley.

Our shadowy valley = no solid job, death of loved ones, broken relationships & financial strain.

Some trials last 2 months, some 2 years, some a lifetime. Trials = eternal perspective. The best is yet to come. We have hope and rich blessings [family, friends, beautiful children] surrounding us everyday.

Hope looks like unfailing love.

God is love.

Just over the last few months I have experienced healing and the ability to see color in the grey times. As well as not judge the way others face their trials. I credit all this to a loving God and the fact that putting my trust in Him has proven I can't do life in my own stregnth. But HE can. What a relief!

A few months ago, a sweet friend who I don't see often emailed me saying that she had been praying for me. That was such a reminder that God loves me and sees my situation. I love how when we're willing, Gods love moves through us.

Solid hope.

A while back I had a dream. John was at the grill in the backyard and the girls were a bit older and running around with their brother! He had black hair and a great laugh! I woke up just a moment later, and smiled.

I like to think that God gives us our passion [dream] and then a few idea's - often while walking through our shadowy valley. Followed by various opportunities to support anothers dream. And then one day an open door in the right time for our own.

"3. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."

-Romans 5:3-5 (New Living Translation)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


At this moment, I have more swirling in my head than I could ever put into words on this white screen. I think that if some thoughts became words and hit 'paper' they'd lose their original intent.

Earlier tonight, I pondered writing a post about how I've saved about $150 these past two months by using coupons from: The Sunday paper, Target mailers, Cubs in-store add and The Happenings Book. And, how I've bought what was not a match for more than a few intended coupons - shoot!

Or, perhaps an update about homeschooling with Sadie: How I've been blessed with the oportunity to watch her eyes light up as she sounds out words, adds m&m's and discovers how love wins! Like in the bible story of Ruth and Naomi. And, how I've pulled my hair out [at times] regretting taking on this huge commitment.

I also considered sharing a brief book review about Francine Rivers' story of Ruth [it's absolutely amazing] which I'm currently reading...


Tonight, I am a "quiet waters run deep" sort of gal, who wears her heart on her sleeve. Sometimes to a fault.

Especially when it comes to this digital memory catcher I call: //wethehouses.blogspot//

So, I want to share a moment in time with my very tender-hearted 5-year-old [as well as remember John and I's 5th 'little baby' who lives in heaven.]

At bedtime:

Sadie: "Be-member (Remember) like 100 weeks ago when you had the baby in your tummy?" "I was so ub-cited (excited)."

Jen: "Yes, sweetie." "I Remember."

Sadie: "Why did that baby die?"

Jen: "We don't know." "The doctor didn't know." "Sad things happen sometimes."

Sadie: "Is your tummy still puffy?" Is the baby still in your tummy?"

Jen: "No, the baby is alive and happy and playing in Heaven with God and Uncle Dennis."

Sadie: "I wish I could've got to hold him."

Jen: "Me, too."

[hugs, tears.]

Sadie: "I'm gonna ask God to put another baby in your tummy."

Jen: "Well, God has a plan for how He'll bring the next child to our family."

Sadie: [grin.] *she's been praying for a little brother since her little sister was born.

Jen: "He might not be a tiny baby." "He will probably be a little bigger than Nini is right now." "But, he will be the right brother for our family."

[shared smiles through hugs and tears.]

I went on to tell Sadie about when I was 14 and visited children at an orphanage in Mexico, with Teen Mania Missions. The children rushed up against the side of our [parked] bus like a wave. Each child was smiling ear-to-ear and had both their hands high in the air - flashing the universal 'I love you' sign! I'm sure that is one of the most beautiful sights I have and will ever see.

I think of those children tonight. And their ability to believe the best [Gods love and grace in action] in the midst of their pain.

Years later the memory still brings me hope.

Somewhere out there is a seemingly hopeless situation.

[God placed it on John and I's heart to adopt.]

It's exciting to think that God will use our familys' loss and another childs' loss to write a new story for all of us.

"Our tears are sacred. They water the ground around our feet so that new things can grow." -Rob Bell

Friday, September 10, 2010

a [snapshot] of my girls


[lauren faith.]

[sadie elizabeth.]

and, now.

Here are some silly things you might overhear; over here, these days!


"hi" = telephone.

"eyes" = sunglasses.

when she is upset she will say: "HEY-eeeeeyyyy" like a little pre-teen.

when she agree's she will say a soft, breathy "yea-ahhhh".

common questions include, but are not limmited to: "WHE-re DA-da?", "CEE-CEE!!!" (Sadie) - while looking at her with adoration and mimicking everything she does. And, "Maaaa-meeeee HOO-waahhhh's?!" (Mommy where's my shoes, can we go somewhere?)


Most recent conversation topics include: babies. animal babies. bugs. rocks. the color orange. God. the 'debil' (devil). strangers. friends. family. Uncle Dennis. heaven. homeschool. reading three letter words. baby 'Libia' (Livia).

her cutest words:

'be-side' = decide
'be-member' = remember

Aren't children the best?! Today was a hectic day that is part of a more hectic previous year paired with recent discouragement. But, I don't have to look any further than my daughters faces to see that God is good.

Tonight, I sat and listened to the rain while looking through baby photo's of the girls. The sweet memories filled my head. Thankfullness was found again. Precious friendships and family members counted. Hope, remembered.

As my Mom has told me of Motherhood: "The days are long, but the years are short."

May we all enjoy our days more than we simply tolerate them.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

field trip

Sadie is an amazing artist!

I picked up a free pass for two from the library.

So, the girls and I went to the big art museum down town!

Sadie brought along her journal and sketched her favorite pieces of artwork! She also learned about 'cool' and 'warm' colors!

At the end of the trip, she said: "I want to work at an art museum someday"!