Friday, April 29, 2011

on my heart today is waiting.
I'm in a season of waiting right now
(Justin and I, our family......)
and I'll admit I can go nuts--pretty much at any moment
because of the

who likes to wait?!
mercy, not me.

but I've noticed that it's a theme running throughout the Bible.
and (I'll admit) that does not thrill me.  at all.
because really, aren't all of us waiting for something (seemingly) all the time?

so maybe this is something I should really get better at
this waiting thing.

but I just get so frustrated with waiting
and my desire for instant gratification
that surely I'm not pleasing God with
my pacing.
my analyzing.
my answers.

(as if I really have any...)

I just don't want to jump ahead of God
and His perfect plan
but really?!
(I suck at waiting)

and so I pray
what else can I really do?
isn't that what God wants anyway
us to realize we have nothing in us but Him
that creates beauty and strength?!


it all rules supreme in my heart...
if I allow it.
but God
but God, in me, through me, refining me
forms a heart that can wait patiently
for the blessings and goodness and perfect plan He's got ahead

and so, if when you read this--
you think. wow.  she really needs to get her act together
but then you see that God
God is the master of my imperfect, struggling heart
then somehow
I've clumsily accomplished exactly what I wanted to.

God in me
waiting patiently
for the plans He has yet to reveal to my family

suddenly kinda makes it sound exciting, doesn't it?!

wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord
psalm 27:14


have a SUPER weekend, my sweet blogreaders!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

etc: ultimate sweetie edition

embracing the camera with my ultimate sweetie today
because without him I wouldn't have the other sweeties in my life
and....he was my first sweetie and all
he's the best
he's asking me to make this tonight for dinner
how can I refuse him?

look at that.
still madly in love.

I'm so blessed.
love you, Justin

it may be raining (again) today
but the weatherpeople have promised me sunshine tomorrow
I'll take what I can get.
Enjoying spring break with the kiddos

have a SUPER thursday!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

this. or that?

this one?
or this one?
mom and dad jumping around so everyone looks at the camera pic?

or James kids caught just chillin together pic?
"here, look at this egg" pic?

or "here, let me shove these flowers in your face to smell" pic?

serious bunny?

or happy bunny?

(either way, he's a keeper)

have a SUPER wednesday!
rain, rain, go away, so we can enjoy spring break today...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


who needs bath toys

when you've got big brothers

who'll act out scenes from Toy Story for you?!

(a little spring breaker 1-9er going on over here)
have a SUPER tuesday!

Friday, April 22, 2011

on my heart: easter

on my heart today is the death of my Savior. 
I'm so glad I know His death is not the end of the story. 
Can you imagine being one of His followers who painstakingly watched Him die,
who watched the world turn an eerie black in midday,
who watched as He was put in a tomb....seemingly to never be seen or heard from again?!

oh my.
on my heart today is the resurrection of my Savior.  I'm so glad I know the next chapter.  The raising from the dead part. 
It's powerful, miraculous,
holds great meaning for our everyday lives...and for all of eternity.
so how.
how do I help my kiddos grasp what is on my heart?

how do I pass on the love of Jesus in such a way that they want to know Him more
and never stop.
on my heart today is the passion to do the only things I can as their mom:
pray continually for their hearts
share with them what Jesus means to me
model for them someone who loves Jesus with her whole heart
....or at least more of it everyday

a celebration of Jesus and how love kept Him on the cross--for us
a celebration of Jesus and how death could not hold Him
a celebration of Jesus and how faith in Him is everything.  all we need.

He is Risen!  He is Risen indeed!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

embrace it, good tries and all

We had a 1st birthday bash for Charity this last weekend......and I (sillily) made the theme cherries
You know, cause we call her Cherry and Cherry Beary, and all that good stuff. 
Smart idea, right?  Well, I should've headed myself over to the party stores to check out the goods first.  Because.  Because they have NOTHING cherry.  It's just not the in thing, people! 

Someone should've informed me I can be so 2008 sometimes.  Where's Fergie when you need her?  Ok.

So for the par-tay we dined on shredded chicken sandwiches and stuff and lovingly crammed 11 adults and 7 kids into our home for the evening. 
Charity had quite the crowd gathered when she went to try her cupcake.  She mostly just squeeled and pumped her hands like she does when she's excited.  I think she was just admiring the fancy frosting her mama used.
Usually I just open a can and spread it.
But the Barefoot Contessa, (ahh....I want to be her sweet self when I grow up)  well--she showed me how cool it was to make ganache frosting for your cupcakes because all you do is dip the cupcakes upside down in the ganache to frost. 

I was intrigued.  I googled ganache recipes. 
NINE dollars later and completely bitter frosting and I was ready to yell defeat and pop open a can of Betty Crocker.  No fear, I just kept adding sugar until it tasted right.  And boy did I get it to taste right....
Later my sister-in-law and I had a discussion about "bittersweet" chocolate (like the recipe called for) 
Yeah-it's definitely NOT the same thing as unsweetened chocolate. 
But thankfully I'm a frosting taster and realized the nastyness of my conncoction before it was too late.

So for embrace the camera this week I'm sharing this one of me, Justin and the birthday girl.  We always take a pic of us with ONLY the birthday kiddo. 
It's one of those things we do to make sure our kiddos know they are unique and special in this fam. 
You know.....not just one of four kids in the pack.  It's kinda like when Justin and I do this.

If you have time......try this out to bring home the "empty tomb" surprise of Easter. 
I say try.....because we did. and failed.  But we had a great time trying!  Recipe found here
Tasted delish but the whole idea about Jesus being gone from the tomb kinda lost it's effect when the marshmellow just shrunk.  Maybe next year.  If I can get over all the health code violations I observed in this great try of 2011.  mercy.

Have a SUPER Thursday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

sig giveaway to all and Matt Maher rocks

so here's the thing:
don't be looking for commentaries by Laurie James on the shelves of your local Christian Bookstore anytime soon.  seriously, I can't even make sense of what God is showing me in His Word...
I went back and read yesterday's post and was like "HUH?" 
But at MomTime (you know, the refreshing Tues. morning activity I reference in the same post?!) I had a great time in our small group talking about how Romans 8:26 and Romans 8:28 were only 2 verses apart from each other.  That was what I was trying to get across in the post. 
It's like....okay, sometimes we've got these things in our heart that we really want to pray for and we have NO.WORDS.  (can I get an AMEN?!) 
This happens to me a lot and it's really weird actually because you can just ask Justin about how I talk.
 A. Lot. 
Especially post-11PM but that's an entirely different post labeled under "marriage" and how he graciously puts up with me......ANYways,
I love how God works.  Because I wasn't even the one who brought up the passage in Romans 8 yesterday, it was the sweet newbie to our group and she was sharing how God was really speaking to her through verse 28. 
So I chimed in and shared how cool it was to me that verse 26 was only 2 verses before that
 (simple math, people....)
and how that rocked my "I-have-no-words-to-pray-right-now prayers connected with the idea that
God is working all things to the good of those who love Him
(um, even those of us who can't get our words straight in the prayer closet?!  Yes, Laurie, even those......)
Then one of the other sweet girls in my small group spoke up and said how verse 26 had been on her mind recently, too.....and how wild was it that God was speaking to both of us on the same verse.
Hmmmm......pretty wildly awesome, I'd say.
Does this even make a lick of sense to any of you, my darling blog readers?!
Well, if you are just the least bit encouraged OR are wondering why you even logged on to the Justin and Laurie Story today....

(if it wasn't to see an absolutely adorable Charity pic w/her Gramma...)

because I've become such a rambler--let me tell you.  I have a gift for you that almost made me do cartwheels yesterday.  Well, it's really only a gift if you are a blogger like myself, but let me tell you, are going to be stoked.

It's the gift of a signature and I've been wondering how to do one on my blog posts for some time now.  And one of my blogger b's sent me this here link:
and it pretty much gives you step-by-step instructions to hook yourself up with a cool sig like I've got going on. 
So no need to be jealous. 
And it took me like 12 minutes and I'm not so skilled in the computer department.  So you could prob rock it in like 7-9 minutes and then we can all be so impressed with your sig, too. 
Comment me up and let me know if you do it, cause I'd love to stop by your blog and admire......

for all my blogger b's who are still darling but don't do the blog thing, I've just got to share this sweet song with you one more time before this Sunday.  I love Easter Sunday and all the preciousness it is.   Seriously, I can't blast this Matt Maher hit loud enough in my van or in my house.  Which is probably a blessing to the world around me.....but they just might be missing out
So for all of you who don't have access to K-Love radio station and hear this tune every 3rd or 4th song (kid-ding) you go.  Again. 

The best Easter song.

have a SUPER wednesday.....go out and buy some crescant rolls and large mellows cause we're going to be making some edible empty tombs tomorrow.  I think.
(note to self:  put crescants and large marshmellows on ALDI list.  check.)

p.s. now if I only knew how to change my font on the rest of the post I'd feel super cool.......

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

titles for posts are over-rated.

A totally sweet moment at Charity's birthday party
was when her biggest cous wanted to serenade her on the piano.
As he plunked out the keys for Happy Birthday
Charity squealed in delight and added a duet at times
Totally. Sweet.
Do you ever lose focus in life?
Well if you don't let me introduce you to someone who does:
"Hi my name is Laurie and I lose focus in life sometimes."
Probably more often than I'd like to admit

---but anyways---
I love how I can find a page in my Bible that is totally and completely
all marked up
(I still use my high school Bible)
and yet something pops out at me like I'm seeing it for the first time

"... the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him,
who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:24ff)

 It's like all these well-quoted verses come together in this passage
and it's good.
I suppose that's why my profs in college always told us
not to pull Scripture out of context.
Not only to misrepresent what the text is trying to convey
but even further to not miss the connectness of all the words together.
they're even more powerful when they fit in the context

so that's it.
some Scripture to send you along your way today.

I love tuesdays--
coffee with vanilla creamer, a yummy breakfast, chocolates waiting for me at my table
an encouraging lesson from the Bible
and chatting it up with other moms
while my kiddos are cared for by....
not. me.

and for 2.5 wonderful hours at MomTime
I get to complete my sentences
and hang out with other moms
who totally get how awesome it is to complete a thought in life
(that isn't actually related to Bubble Guppies...)

do you get it?

have a SUPER tuesday!
love, Laurie for the fam

Monday, April 18, 2011

fondue is fundue

this picture says a couple of things:
#1 love is grand
#2 monday night date night is the bomb
(does anyone use that word anymore?)
#3 I'm in need of some sunshine to knock out the pasty white skin

last week Monday...
Justin and I went to The Melting Pot
and enjoyed a fun, sexy dinner of fondue
if you have one in your area (yay for you!)
you need to check out the
GNO special on Monday Nights
I called ahead to see if the hubs and I could qualify for the awesome pricing
so for $16 a piece we enjoyed
a cheese fondue, a salad,
and a dessert fondue our waiter lit on fire.  flambe!
Justin paid a little extra to get a meat course thrown in--
I think it had something to do with the waiter
and how he kept repeating
"Girls Night Out special"
everytime he referenced our food
the meat course clearly counter-acted that

my friend, Lynn, has an incredible recipe for fondue
and she throws incredible fondue parties.....
like the one I went to about this time last year.  oh my.
(Lynn, if you are reading this I'd totally make the 3 1/2 hr trek to come again!)
she shared with me her recipe for chocolate fondue
and I made it last summer for my sister Holly's bridal shower
isn't she pretty?
yeah....I totally didn't get a picture of the delish fondue
however....that trifle to the left there?
yep, that one
I'm going to need to blog up that recipe sometime
cause it's a keeper for sure
but I get off track because you're still wondering about the
you're going to be running to the store for the ingredients to make
so here you go--

Fondue is Fundue
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag butterscotch chips
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 jar marshmellow fluff
1/2 c milk
1 t vanilla

mix all ingredients over LOW until melted through
add milk if it's too thick

totally meant to make this over the weekend....
maybe tomorrow!

have a SUPER day!

love, Laurie for the fam

Thursday, April 14, 2011

embracing the little memories

when Charity was cuddled on my lap
I took a moment to embrace the camera with her
I captured her little feet
and tiny hands holding her fav treat
my little baby girl,
somedays I'd love to keep her little forever

but if I did I'd miss moments like these....
Caleb was so excited to get the surprise box in 4K
I just had to snap a pic before he bounded up the step to his class

and I'd miss seeing accomplishments like this....
Jon was so proud of his homemade jiffy mix cornbread muffins
and I got the thrill of watching him
read the box himself
mix everything together
and even (gulp) put the muffins in and out of the oven
all. by. himself.

and I'd miss the thrill of newfound talents.....
like watching Matthias balance on his scooter
and ride it all around the backyard patio

so if I can't keep you little forever
children of mine
I'll enjoy all these memories along the way
and thank God for giving you to me
for this preciously short amount of time

(even though somedays.  well...somedays it feels long....)


embracing the camera with emily
and all the fun friends in blogland (hello!)

have a SUPER thursday
and weekend.  some words about fondue on monday.....
see you then!

love, laurie for the fam

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

our gift of Love

Dear Charity
you are a sweet gift of love
straight from God above
what a joy you have added to our lives
a sweet joy that we didn't even know existed
until you made your entrance into the world
this very day last year
at 3:33 PM
we are so thankful to Jesus
for the gift of you in our lives
and can't wait to see all the dreams
He has planned for you
we love you with a love that is so deep, so intense
--only Jesus loves You more---

we pray
that someday you will grasp this love that He has
for you
it's the best gift we could ever share with you
better than anything you'll unwrap today

Happy Birthday, our sweet Charity!

Love, Daddy and Mommy

happy april 13th to all!

love, Laurie for the fam