August 29, 2011

Multitude Monday #1272 - #1304...

The endless gift of thanks continues...

a cool, windy morning that reminds me that fall is on it's way...reflections that help...a special note from him when I came home...a morning walk with a mentor...His reminders to trust that He will sustain...Grandma and Pap offering to come help for a few extra set of eyes as they ride on the street...the oldest one holding my hand as we walk through the mall...milkshakes with Pap...God's faithfulness never husband's provision for our family...the vividness of the colors after a rain...Will cheering as his brothers bowled (after he decided that it wasn't scary)...that Grandma and Pap were there to help with the others when I had to take Eli out of Chick Fil A throwing a huge temper tantrum (his second within an hour)...celebrating Eli's birthday with family and friends...meeting his teacher and seeing his cubby...that God protected Will from a collision with the swing...light saber's made out of pool noodles...seeing a Great Blue Heron...appreciating His creation as I cross the bridge at the Reservoir...preparing for the storm...Mom's treat at Chuck E Cheese...their excitement to spend a day with the cousins...a shelter from the storm...watching him try, fail, keep trying and finally succeed (I have so much to learn from him)...her encouraging words...Eli's 4th birthday...that the Sunday message was on Perseverance (yes Lord, I am listening)...laughing at Joshua's "stroller turban"...that our house was spared from any major damage from the storm...that our power was restored after only a day and a half (8 years ago with Hurricane Isabelle we were out for 2 weeks)...dinner on the back patio...boys singing Happy Birthday to their brother

August 22, 2011

Multitude Monday #1239 - #1271...

I need to confess that this week has been difficult. I'm tired...a little worn out and feeling like I can't meet all of the needs that come up throughout the day.

I was telling a friend this morning that I feel like my "mom of boys muscles" are being stretched. Eli is crazy on his bike now (without training wheels), looking for "dirt bike jumps" and hills that he can ride on (he's had a few bad wrecks but gets right back on to ride just as fast as he did before), Joshua is also all over the place on his bike, Will is fascinated with going up and down curbs and running (which leads to lots of falling)
, and since the Ravens game on Friday night, Micaiah has moved from baseball season to football season and wants to play tackle football with his brothers.

It's really interesting because I had an internal monologue with myself today as I was watching Josh and Eli ride their bikes, Will run down the sidewalk and Micaiah punt the football..."Maybe it would just be easier if I kept them inside. I would be able to 'control' the chaos a little better. Things wouldn't be so difficult." And then I thought..."huh, control...there's that word that I struggle with so often coming up in a different area of my life." That's when I began to think on the things of scripture that I know are true...God's promises to me...

2 Corinithians 12:10~ "When I am weak, He is strong."

Philippians 4:12, 13 ~ "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

1 Corinithians 13:7 ~ "It (love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

and what I feel like is my life prayer...

Colossians 1: 9-12 ~ "Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven't stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you'll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us."

And then...Joshua came over to me and said...

"Nonny, do you know what God does? He never breaks a promise!"

Wow buddy, I can't thank you enough for being His vessel to speak truth and life into your momma!

I am telling you that no matter how hard this gratitude thing is on weeks like continues to challenge me to see the things that He has blessed me with even when I feel like things are so out of sorts.

So the endless list of thanks continues...

Monday, August 15th
1239...hearing how he has put more of the Narnia pieces together
1240...understanding from others
1241...Eli learning to turn while riding his bike without training wheels he finds my eyes in the midst of 2 boys screaming from sword fights gone wrong and bee stings and says "I love you!"

Tuesday, August 16th breeze on an early morning run
1244...our son's repentant heart
1245...that I responded with grace when 18 eggs ended up cracked on the kitchen floor

Wednesday, August 17th adventure with Joshua afternoon invite to the pool for Josh and Micaiah
1248...a family celebration for Eli (he is now completely independent in riding his bike without training wheels)
1249...the way he loves his little brother
1250...baking with Eli

Thursday, August 18th
1251...watching spiders in the windows spinning their food
1252...kisses from Eli
1253...reminder to be content
1254...excitement and anticipation for an upcoming Bible study

Friday, August 19th
1255...a morning babysitter (I'm tired!)
1256...Micaiah's art show
1257...Eli pointing out the sun peeking through the clouds on our way home
1258...his Ravens preseason excitement
1259...that their were an extra pair of shorts in the box

Saturday, August 20th
1260...motivation for a 10 mile run
1261...hearing this song and letting the words soak in as I ran
1262...the van showing up at mile 6 with the boys and Daddy cheering
1263...Micaiah running the last mile and Eli finishing the neighborhood loop with me
1264...a morning at the park as a flying, bikes moving
1265...surviving a trip to the shoe store with all 4 boys to get school shoes

Sunday, August 21st
1266...His reminder to persevere
1267...her encouraging words
1268...his heart in wanting me to stay while he attended his friends party (he tried so hard to let me go!) at the playground
1270...sundaes on Sunday
1271...finishing our read aloud

August 19, 2011

Ravens Preseason Game...

We had 4 tickets to the preseason game against the Chiefs. I dropped Wes and Micaiah off at the train so they could go down early and take advantage of the two field passes...

I brought Joshua down later...he was so excited to go to his first Raven's game.
Micaiah was hilarious to watch...he was so fired up for each play.

Joshua was doing great, enjoying food in the front row seats of the box when I came down and found a seat to eat my Caesar salad and watch the game...well, the Caesar salad was a little too much for Joshua and his hypersensitivity to smells...let me just say that he destroyed the row and we left the game early!

He said to me today..."Nonny, the next time we go to a Raven's game, can you not get a salad?"

Will at 16 1/2 months...

~he waves bye bye and makes the same grunt every time
~gives his Daddy kisses before he leaves for work in the morning
~gets very excited when "Our God" comes on the radio...he does a little shoulder dance and then drums the beat
~loves to climb absolutely anything...stairs, the kitchen stool, the couch, small coolers, the train table
~likes to participate in "street scooter tag" with his brothers while he rides in his red car
~absolutely loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (this was the only way we could get him to take his nebulizer treatments a few times a day and now he's hooked)
~continues to need nebulizer treatments and singulair daily to keep his lungs healthy for the next round of sickness that may come our way
~has curly hair like Micaiah

~looks like a cross between Joshua and Eli
~was 27 pounds at his 15 month appointment...
~has 12 teeth
~is down to 1 bottle
~says the following words..."Da, Da"..."Ma, Ma"..."dottle" aka bottle..."Go"..."Ei" aka Eli..."hot"..."light"..."outside"..."bath"..."Iah" aka Micaiah..."Icky" aka "Mickey" and then he proceeds to try to sing a song from the show..."up" which means down, out, or up depending on the context..."rock"
~loves to stand on Micaiah's bed and activate the "touch sensitive" reading light
~loves to sit on Joshua's belly and bounce
~loves to have screaming contests with Eli

~loves to play in the toilet water and with the toilet brush
~"is the cutest baby ever" according to his big brother Micaiah
~beeps the horn on his car when you say "beep, beep"
~points to the sky when he hears an airplane and babbles
~has the most adorable little babble as he points to something around him and his mouth looks like this...

~blows "fish kisses"

If I've heard it once I've heard it 1000 times (ok...maybe 50)..."What would we do without Will?"

August 18, 2011

Josh and Eli...

First there was this...

and then this...

Yes...there are two new drivers on the more training wheels!

"Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero."
Marc Brown

I came across this quote recently and couldn't help but see the application in this area...Joshua inspired Eli to take the challenge...way to go Josh!

video: if you received this post via email, please visit to view the video

August 17, 2011

My Morning with Joshua...

He has always been our animal lover...he is the one that packs his backpack full of animals when we travel (so he can set up his zoo whenever we arrive)...he is the one that started the stuffed animal daycare...he is the one that still remembers the animals that we didn't buy him from our Spring Break trip in March...the one that really wants a dog to call his own.

So I thought that this adventure may be worth the price...

Let me tell you that he told Ms. Amanda that he would be back to take care of "Chippy" and to take him for another ride. Ms. Amanda gave him a shirt and a medal and as you can see he wore them both proudly before we even left the barn!

August 15, 2011

Multitude Monday #1187 - #1238...

"So let my whole life be
A blazing offering

A life that shouts and sings

The greatness of our King

Glory to God, Glory to God, Glory to God Forever."
Excerpt from the song Glory to God Forever by Fee

the endless list of thanks continues...

stream walk with our cousins...crayfish, salamanders and frogs in their new temporary home...Star Wars on the porch...forts in the bedroom...the Yough river salamander...building dams...Topps Attax games...Josh's first sleepover with Ry and Nick...cousins sleeping over at camp...skiing at sunset...Grandma's apple pie...vast expanse of clouds and line rides...waking to gently falling rain...campfires...rainbow lollipops...boys retrieving water and discussions about our friends in Africa doing the cream for lunch...waterfalls...and hikes behind bike ride along the river...wind chimes making music in the wind...brave boys...all three boys tubing together...hanging clothes on the line to dry...Joshua learning to ride his bike without training wheels...and Eli following very close behind...9 mile float trip down the river...lunch along the river...that Micaiah made it all the way in his own ducky...the beauty of God's mountains...visits with family...a walk through PA's largest cave...kayaking on the lake at sunset...boys jumping off of the hour or two spent trying to catch minnows...Western Maryland Adventures...that the three older boys caught fish...Eli's large mouth bass...finding his footprints on the rock...his aunts gift of a pedicure and massage while she watched the boys...stopping at the fair on the way home...riding the Ferris wheel as a family...

and some of the "Ugly" things that challenged us to see the beauty in these too...

forgotten bike seats...dead batteries...rain...missed naps...a tube going under instead of on top of the water...scrapes and bruises...a dock ladder thrown in the water...a river rat that went in to drink...forgotten camera battery wall charger

Random pictures from our week away...most taken with Wes' iPhone...

August 3, 2011

A Day Trip...

A visit to the American Visionary Art Museum...

followed by lunch atop Federal Hill...

It had been a morning of bickering between the boys...
"I want to push the button first"
" I will be the first up the steps"
"I don't understand why you're scared of the steps"
"You're taking too long, it's my turn to push the button."
"Let's go over here."
"Let's go over there."
"I am hungry."
"I just want to go home."

So I was thankful that I stuck to my plan for lunch. The boys enjoyed watching the various ships go in and out of the harbor, and spotting different sites that we had visited on previous visits to the city.
But most of all, I am thankful that as we sat there eating lunch a women and her husband, son and daughter-in law walked by (a mother of 4 grown boys I later found out) and she repeated the words that I feel like God continually reminds me of again and again...

"Those were the best sure to cherish every minute of it."

August 2, 2011


We're halfway through the year...we asked our neighbor to take this picture as we were leaving for a bike ride after dinner tonight. Josh and Eli take turns on the trailer bike behind Wes. Micaiah does a great job pedaling on our trip around the neighborhood. I turned around at one point tonight and caught a glimpse of Will clapping...I think he likes the adventure.

if you would like to see pictures from previous months please visit this link 6people 12times

August 1, 2011

Multitude Monday #1150 - #1186...

“If I have a hope, it’s that God… put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, ‘Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.‘”
-A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story

the endless list of thanks continues...

Monday, July 25th
1150...the start of a new week afternoon nap
1152...mid afternoon jam session with the boys
1153...a thunderstorm that draws us close

Tuesday, July 26th
1154...a walk to the snowball stand
1155...a weeping willow tree by the pond

Wednesday, July 27th
1156...Will blowing me kisses after I lay him down for a nap
1157...Micaiah coaching Josh and Eli in baseball
1158...that they were willing students for a little while
1159...that he arrived safely in Texas
1160...encouragement from a friend

Thursday, July 28th
1161...a scripture from a friend ("His way is in the whirlwind and the storm" Nahum 1:3)
1162...Micaiah taking a risk and working through failure
1163...catching up with a friend
1164...that God is strong in my weakness
1165...opening the door for him to return home

Friday, July 29th early morning solo run with worship
1167...a scripture text sent at just the right time
1168...sunlight streaming down Mill Run
1169...worship around the campfire

Saturday, July 30th all day boat day
1171...a boat shuttle out to the baptism "point"
1172...5 families (10 adults and 16 kids) from our small group gathering at the "point"
1173...Joshua sharing the story of how John the Baptist baptized Jesus
1174...watching Wes baptize Joshua

1175...the way he walked into the water toward his Dad
1176...watching Wes baptize Micaiah

1177...knowing that he could cross of the first thing on his list of things to do this summer
1178...seeing others from our small group take the step of publicly professing their faith in Him
1179...dinner together...yes, a little crazy but oh so good!
1180...Mom's gift to Micaiah and her words that I hope will run deep

Sunday, July 31st line runs with cousins
1182...high fives while double tubing
1183...swimming, swimming, swimming
1184...the beauty of tree covered mountains leading right into the water
1185...spending time with family as the sun goes down
1186...laying all four of them softly into their beds at home after a fun-filled weekend at the lake