The Land After God’s Own Heart

The things I see…






Lizard Catchin’…


Got him! (And later released him. Dear PETA…please don’t come after me.)


I think Jesus loves palm trees more than all the other trees.

I don’t know if that’s theologically accurate but I feel like it might be based in some pretty solid Truth.

(And it’s probably best if you don’t mention this to the other trees. I don’t want to offend…)

We’re at the beach for the next couple of days basking in the glow of God’s beloved land.

White sands and rippling waves beckon as summer settles down and who are we not to answer her blessed call? 

If you need me, I’ll have my toes buried in the sand and my nose buried in a book. Something about the beach seems to unbraid the knots in my neck and the pangs in my shoulders.

God speaks to me here. 

Probably because He loves the beach. It’s a land after His own heart.

Again, feel free to question my theology.

(But before you do, think about how often Jesus seemed to be walking along the shores. A LOT. Jesus loves sand between His toes, I’m certain of it.)

(Just kidding Kansas and Nebraska. Jesus loves you, too. *wink, wink*)

Summer Rules. Amen?

And we all said amen…

Spring Break Photo(s) of the Day: Magic Kingdom

First time on Thunder Mountain Railroad: Nervous

IT WAS AWESOME! (So awesome, in fact, she made us ride it three times - once in the dark under the fireworks, which was a really amazing experience.)

Happy Thursday, friends! We’re headed to Animal Kingdom next. The kids are having a blast and are showing no signs of slowing down (if you ignore the fact that Landon passed out on my back tonight on Main Street). I, on the other hand, am completely exhausted. This is one of those vacations that require a second vacation to recuperate.

Or I could just send the kids back to school and lay comatose on my couch for a couple of days.

Yeah…I’m going to hold on to that dream.


See you soon!

Spring Break Photo of the Day


Florida is Awesome.

Hide Yo Kidz. Hide Yo Wife.

Let’s lighten things up around here a bit and discuss roaches, shall we? Let’s dicuss roaches and HOW I FIND THEM ALL THE FREAK AROUND MY BEDROOM AND BATHROOM!

That’s sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Join me in my horror. It’s super duper over here.

Remember when we lived in St. Louis and we had a problem with Cave Crickets, or as I like to affectionately call them – Satan’s minions? Well, I’ve officially decided that if Cave Crickets are the devil’s minions, then roaches are the verman that crawl about his feet and fetch his slippers at night.

That’s right. You read that correctly.

(Incidentally, I believe he keeps yellow flies as his pets. He feeds them and pets them and gives them pithy names like Betty and George.)

(On a related note: We clearly have issues with bugs.)

(On another related note: I’m fairly certain that I am raising neurotic children when it comes to multi-legged, scurrying creatures. You should see them run and scream at the sight of an insect. It would be funny if I wasn’t leading the pack of psychotic freak outs…)

What was I saying?

Ah yes. Roaches. They have become my nemesis. And don’t try to make them sound romantic and pretty by labeling them Palmetto Bugs. I Googled roaches to see if they provide any benefit to the ecosystem and do you know what I came up with?



Actually roaches provide a huge source of food for predator insects such as scorpions, spiders, crickets (some species are very carnivorous), centipedes, praying mantises, and other carnivorous insects. In additon, some animals prey on roaches such as lizards, birds, and birds. So, they fill a gap in providing a ready food source for a variety of animals and insects. As far as a helpful role in the ecosystem (other than being prey). They do not provide any helpful benefits. Roaches are scavengers and scavenge on rotting and filthy sources of vegetation and decaying meat. Because of this, they can also be plague carriers of various diseases. Which goes to show you how helpful they are to society.

To translate the above statement – roaches serve no real purpose other than to feed the other insects that bring me horror.

Now before you roll your eyes and tell me to stop being so dramatic, I would like you to look at this picture:

So that’s a roach.





Freaking roach in my freaking bed. I’ve killed two of them there – little perverts. Shortly after seeing this picture, my friend Carol felt it necessary to inform me of one of her nursing friends who had to dig a roach out of a woman’s ear in the ER once.

“But don’t worry,” she said. “That lady was sleeping on the floor. That’s how the roach got in there.”


I now sleep in ear muffs. Lee thinks it’s hot.

(Kidding. I don’t sleep in ear muffs. I just curl up in the fetal position with my hands pressed firmly over my ears. I haven’t slept well in a month…)

Not long after that, I opened the medicine cabinet in search of…well, medicine. As soon as I pulled the door open, the roach was standing there pointing a gun at my head. He was all “Tell me about it, punk.” I slammed the door shut and ran. He was found belly up a few days later.

(While the cave crickets always took on the personality of a Japanese warrior, roaches are more like tough Italian mob bosses. No, I haven’t been drinking. This is how my mind works. Roll with it.)

Last week we saw a rather large roach high up on our bathroom wall. I think it was the Godfather of them all. He kept opening and closing his wings like he was going to parachute down on my head while I showered. We just left him there because sometimes I feel like denial is better.

If you ignore a problem, it goes away, right?

That was a week ago and there had been no sight of the Godfather since. Until last night. I made the mistake of letting Lee order me a chai tea latte at 5:30 yesterday, which means I was still wide awake at 12:30 last night. I stumbled into the dark bathroom and just as I rounded the corner, he was there.

The mob boss.

He scattered around in an effort to throw me off his trail. I think he was trying to make me dizzy so I’d stumble and fall and he could attack more easily. But what he didn’t know was I wasn’t alone this time. I ran shrieking to Lee that I’d found the leader of the pack and with shoe in hand, Lee ended the life of the roach who has been watching me sleep at night just waiting for an opportune moment to burrow into my brain.

In an effort to shake off the horror, I’m going to the beach today.

See how I did that? I turned and rolled and sifted it all around until a trip to the beach was both justified and warranted.



Happy Monday to you all. *wink, wink*

Until later

We are home from a bang up time at Disney World. Turns out it truly is the most magical place on Earth. No one does fun like Disney.


Unfortunately, we brought home a sick little girl, so today it is lots of laying on the couch, watching Disney Princess movies and trying to recuperate. There are more pics to post later, but for now I thought I’d share with you the one thing I found less than magical at Disney World. Just…wait for it…

For. Real.

I found this costume wildly creepy in a hilarious sort of way…

It was the only thing in three days that I questioned. Everything else truly was magical and amazing and I will carry the sweet memories with me forever.

But for now, I’m off to administer more medication, wash germ filled sheets, walk a jittery dog and try to figure out what in the world to make for dinner. My kids ate like Buddy the Elf all weekend. Suger, Syrup, Candy Canes and Candy. The was basically it.

No lie – Friday night they ate Cotton Candy, Cinnamon Rolls and Ice Cream for dinner. That either makes me Mom of the Year, or the worse Mom ever. I’ll let you know after we visit the dentist.

Bye friends!

The swell of spring and new life awaits

Florida spring is beautiful. Crisp mornings give way to hot days signaling summer’s swift descent. But as we await the sweltering days, I’m struck by the new life springing up around us. Even in Florida, when nothing goes dormant, spring brings a pleasant crop of welcome change.

Spring also means that swimming season is upon us.

Speaking of new life, my cousin Summer brought home her two sons from Ethiopia just five months ago and in a few short weeks she will welcome a daughter into the world. The ladies of the family gathered together to celebrate this much prayed for baby girl last week.

May your weekend be filled with sunshine, flowers and the welcome relief of a warm breeze.

Friday Fotos

Are you all not completely blown away by my stellar titles this week? Pure genius.

A few photos fotos for you this Friday morning. These were all taken by our friend Sarah who, along with her friend Kristiana, spent the week loving on our family. Awesome? I think so.

Check out those tiny little muscles. My four year old is ripped.

Sweet girls

We have watched this sweet girl grow up and love her so much.

Happy weekend, everyone!

The perfect blendship

It’s amazing what happens when you move away. Friendships change. It’s inevitable, of course. Not seeing someone every day or every week is bound to altar the dynamics of any relationship, but I’ve found in the times I’ve moved that I’m always surprised at the way the meaning of a friendship can change shape.

I’ve also found moving to be an amazing barometer of the significance that friendships play in your life. The people you miss the most are not always the ones you thought you’d miss the most. The people who reach out and make the effort to maintain a relationship take you by surprise because, sometimes, they aren’t the people you thought would reach out.

And then there are times when you have a friendship so deep that you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that that friendship will withstand the miles that grow between you.

I am blessed by such friends. So very, very blessed. And this past weekend we basked in the love of friendships so deep that the momentary pause between our face to face interactions didn’t even cause a hiccup. It was as though we hadn’t been apart. I have precious few friendships like that and I give praise for each one.

(If you’re a Broadway nerd like me, you’re going to want to listen to this song while viewing the following pictures….)

My dear and precious friend.

A weekend of playing with our friends at the beach, the aquarium and even a Russian birthday party solidified in my heart this lasting relationship. How grateful I am for this precious family.

So what about you? Have you hugged a friend today?


Playin’ Hooky


February in Florida is divine.

So much so that I do believe we’re going to play hooky today and spend some time at the beach, because really…what good is home schooling in Florida if you can’t dip your toes in the ocean on a school day now and then, right?

Besides, we learned multiplication (Sloan), subtraction (Tia) and sentence diagramming (everyone) this week. I think we’ve earned a break, yes?

Happy weekending everyone!

The Need to be Known

We sat in a circle, the porch lit up by a string of lights and the air around filled with youthful squeals and the unabashed laughter of little ones filled with delight. For three hours we sat and when we finally rose, my cheeks ached from the smile stretched wide.

It felt good to be known.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of this move has been the feeling of having to put on airs. When you walk into a room full of strangers, the natural reaction is to put on a smile and those people aren’t going to know if my smile is fake or not because they don’t know me. It’s not their fault. It just takes time to get to know someone.

But this golden lit circle of people was not a group of strangers. They were family. My aunt and uncle and cousins. The people we vacationed with growing up. We’ve watched one another get married, rejoiced in babies born, mourned in loss.

There is just something comforting and familiar about family. Though I haven’t lived in the same state as my cousins since we were all in diapers, we still hold fast to the bond of family that seals us together. We know each other. We’ve traveled roads together that no one can understand. We experienced heartache and joy that binds us tight and holds us fast.

On the 21st anniversary of one of the deepest hurts our family experienced, we gathered. We didn’t plan the gathering on this specific day – it just happened. And we laughed and loved and relished in one another. Many were missing, and how I wished they all could have been there, but for Lee and I the meeting was perfect. We needed to laugh. We needed family.

Sitting with them late into the night, Lee and I didn’t have to pretend and my family didn’t expect a mediocre answer. When they asked how we were doing, we told them. This is hard. Moving is stressful in a lot of ways and the last six months have been the most trying of our entire married life.

It was cathartic to share – to be able to open up and be honest. The rest of the evening was spent laughing…hard.

Our kids ran around, screaming and shrieking, delighting in one another the way my cousins and I did when we were little. It was so good and so sweet to be known. Like walking through a fountain after traveling the desert. Refreshing and cool, Lee and I came home rejoicing.

And tonight, as two teams I didn’t care about played for a title that meant nothing to me (I just broke some hearts…I’m sorry), we talked and laughed with friends. New friends who, over the last few weeks, have allowed us to open our hearts and share and laugh and cry, and old friends who not only know us from back home, but who also know well the path we’re on right now.

They’re on it too.

I have asthma and on the days when breathing in is just a little more difficult, I always relish in that one moment when I’m finally able to fill my lungs fully. My head spins a little and the panic that has begun to well up dissolves as I can finally take a much needed deep breath and I can actually feel the oxygen circulating through my body.

This weekend was a deep breath. It was needed and we drew it in deep.

My head is still spinning a little.