Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Many people ask why we celebrate Ash Wednesday as well as many of the other holidays. We really value investing the time and energy into the children by teaching the meaning behind all of the liturgical holidays. It is a great way of integrating our faith into our every day lives. We spend time as a family during the Lenten season in a time of service, self-sacrifice, repentance and remembering the redemption through the cross.
Symbolism of the ashes
  • Death comes to everyone
  • We should be sad for our sins
  • God made the first human being by breathing life into dust, and without God humans are nothing more than dust and ashes
  • Symbolize the way Christ's sacrifice on the cross was an atonement for sin and replaces the Old Testament tradition of burnt offerings.

"Turn away from sin and believe the Gospel. Remember you are dust unto dust you shall return".

We do a devotional service on Ash Wednesday, that incudes discussing the meaning of Lent. Talking about ways to sacrifice our needs for the needs of others. As well as alms giving. Each year during Lent we make a small financial sacrfice in an effort to give back. This year we are saving change (something the kids can relate to) to help send our dear friend Megan to Ethiopia to work with orphans.

Here is some information on Lent. I have pages and pages on it, but I thought that I would steal Beth Lambdin's description :)
"In most Christian denominations, Lent is the forty-day liturgical season of fasting and prayer before Easter. The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the desert, where according to the Bible, he endurede temptation by Satan.
The purpose of Lent is preparation of the believer-through prayer, repentance, alms giving and sacrifice-for the observation of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus as celebrated during Holy Week.
Lent lasts from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday. The six Sundays in Lent are not counted among the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini Easter", a celebration of Jesus' victory of sin and death."

The color of Lent is purple, a sign of penanace and prayer.
We eat pretzels on Wednesday's during lent as the the tradition of monks many years ago first made them to remind others to pray during this time. A fun tangible way for the kids to learn about prayer and how it ipacts our daily lives.

First Day of School

The first day of school for most children is a big deal. For Mykah, it was a HUGE deal!!! She has been asking to go for weeks. We wanted to wait and give her some time to adjust to all of the changes. We would take Maddie and she was able to see the school for about a month and now it was HER day!!! I honestly think she realizes what a blessing an education is. She had a great time and was absolutely exhausted when she came home. The boys had some fun of their own while the girls were gone!!! Gracen was ready to take included!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I know that the kids are young but I want them to grow up with fun memories of the holidays. We had a nice dinner together (as quiet as it can be with 5 kids) and talked a little about what we love and appreciate about one another. I worked today, so where we usually have a steak dinner, we had fondue :) No one seemed to mind.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Living in Hawaii makes for a great stay-cation! We were able to take care of some business like doctor's appts, immunizations, dental appts, taxes, the list goes on...but we were able to relax and enjoy some down time together.

Due to some sneaky planning and LOTS of help, Chris and I were able to escape for two nights to Ko Olina. On Monday the kids joined us and we just played in the pool and enjoyed some shaved ice.

We truly cherished the two weeks and it is hard to believe that it is over all ready. Chris heads back to work on Monday and it is back to business as usual!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Out of Order

That could be the new theme to my life, but in this situation I am referring to the pictures. I found these and thought that I would share. Our last day in South Africa, I took the kids to the zoo for the first time and they had a great time!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Day in the Life

Every one keeps asking me what it is like with 5 kids under 5. I thought that I would show you some pictures!!!!

First THREE weeks!!

Wow! I can't believe that it was three weeks ago that Carrie and I were on planes both heading to Atlanta from opposite parts of the world. That's almost a month!! It definitely doesn't seem like we've been together a month...mostly due to the 2 week time warp I experienced upon our return as I lost myself in the library in ways that reminded me of medical school! I was definitely thankful that my research year allowed me to study like this, but even more thankful when my test was over last Sat afternoon! I'll get the results early in March and am just trying to rest in the peace of knowing that I gave it my best and stayed focused through all the changes in our house. Yet again, thank you Carrie!!

So, this week has been SO enjoyable getting to play with the kids. Definitely weird all of a sudden having a three year old (that's smaller than our baby Gracen) and four year old that don't have any of the same expectations as their ages. They are doing so well and learning so much, daddy just has to remember to be patient and remind himself to help them learn not be frustrated!

They are both so precious though and it's been wonderful to see their personalities and to truly experience them. Jackson is the sweetest thing ever and I just want him to be the size of the things he wants to do!! I can't get over how tiny he is, but he's going to catch up with time! Please! Carrie had told me how much I was going to love Jackson because he's such a snuggler, but that role has undoubtedly belonged to Mykah. You can tell she really needed a daddy and she finds so much comfort in my arms and reassurance. She's definitely got some spunk in her and I now somehow have acquired three beautiful girls with amazing wills that mirror and will one day challenge even their mother's! That's saying a LOT! I can wait till the teenage years and beyond for sure! We just pray those wills are put to great works for the Lord!!

Carrie mentioned the other day how "quiet" it was when I had a Jackson and Colin at the store and she "only" had three of them! Wasn't too far back that we thought three was wild! Getting anything done during the day is nearly impossible, so quite the sigh once they finally go to bed and we can rest...I mean accomplish things. Going to bed had been going well until Gracen learned the other day how to consistently get out of her crib at her will and today even learned how to open the door on her own as we found her in the kitchen when she was supposed to be napping!! Twice a minute for about 15 min of repeated trips into the room to put her back in the crib tonight before I finally laid down on the floor next to her for a 1/2hr before I low-crawled out of the room Ranger-style. You love them learning until they learn what they want, not what you want them to! :)

Anyhow, enjoy the pics!

Also, please pray for our friends Melanie and Jeremy. Melanie arrived a week before Carrie in Nov and is still there with no signs of the end in site! We need God to move for them and reunite her, their three adopted kids and their 15mth old girl with their daddy and brother and sister back home in OK!!!!!!