Sunday, July 24, 2011

it doesn't depend on me. phew.

God's faithfulness has a way of remaining so....
um, faithful, in our lives
that at times I think know I take it for granted. 
I'm so glad His faithfulness doesn't depend on me.

I love how faithfully God cares for our family
and pours His love so amazingly on us.
The way He creates each new day
and makes all things new.
The way He faithfully gives me new beginnings
and steadfastly keeps me right where He wants me.
Did I mention I'm so glad His faithfulness doesn't depend on me?!

I delight in giving God the glory for the faithful ways
He shows up in our lives and just does His thing
in and through us
We're so unworthy, but He uses us anyway.
Because God is so incredibly faithful

 pictures above:
*an incredible rainbow during Jon's baseball game last thursday,
*a visa gift card that arrived in the mail exactly when we needed it to
*the front of our church where Justin was given the opportunity to preach this weekend

have a super day reveling in the faithfulness of God!

linking up today with katie
 minivan diva
lover of Jesus,
and mama of 3 boys
*check out her sweet blog
and 'it's a God thing' link up HERE

Thursday, July 21, 2011

10 and 2 and random info 2

does anyone else have kiddos
asking for snacks every 3.82 seconds of!
I have this rule:  10 and 2
it's like....children of mine......why do you bother to ask
for a snack when you know I give you them
at 10AM and 2PM?
but they ask and ask and ask
and sometimes I give in
and we've gone through more
yogurt sticks, granola bars, and fruit snacks
than I thought was possible
----so I made up these snack packs filled with goodies---
I'm hoping they last for a few days
but who am I kidding?

bored boys = boys of invention
and I'm a big fan of that
so when my boys created this
(ahem) fort
I was all over it
can we eat our lunch in our fort?!
you bet, boys

I'm hoping Justin's becoming a big fan
of this wet hair sloppy summer bun thing
because it's about all he's seen for the last 9 or so days
and it's probably going to be around for awhile
it's fast and easy and cool
(like 'not hot' kinda cool)

I've resorted to gummy bear contests
to actually get my piano students to practice
It's been about 20% effective
but recycling my Starbucks cups for my home-brewed cold coffees?
100% effective at producing that hip feeling
produced by sportin' the awkward green logo on a cup
(or whatever, but I really like the cup)

there's these moments you just need to capture
of your sons taking turns shoving the fan up their shirts
to make them billow up 
and feel breezy in this hot weather
--I love the serious looks on their faces as they do it--

the wet look is becoming more and more popular around here
a sure sign we are deep into summer.

ahhh, summer will you please never leave me.
I love every moment of you.

have a super day enjoying what makes your summer days
so simple and great.

Friday, July 15, 2011

a trifecta of blog posts

                   can I please have a little shout for my 3 day in a row blogging spree?!
                                                                      welcome to
    a day in the life of the James fam.........
(brace yourself, it's edge of the seat stuff, you guys)

getting everyone out of the house before 9am
requires some serious diet coke
we're in 'summer mode' after all....

in hindsight the caffeine was prob not needed
to stay awake for a preschool t-ball game
hilarious of all hilariousness
Char located the graham crackers in my purse
in the first 2 seconds of the game.
It made the next 44.92 minutes seem long
especially when she was not amused by the singing book I brought along
(good thing, cause neither was the lady in front of me...)
garage sale find
i know, i know
naptime for the kiddos = blogging time for me
ahhh, Jessica from the Johnson fam
she's one kool kat
it's pretty sweet when your mom lets you nap in her bed
or at least Matthias, all cuddled in McQueen blanketness, thinks so
---a seriousWii competition---
between Jon and his friend.
who's a girl.  but not his girlfriend.
she's just a girl who's a friend.
okay?  okay.
(I've gotten the speech a couple times now....
I think it's memorized and all set for the teen years.)
 and to cool off in this extreme 70 degree WI heat
water balloons

(linking up HERE today.  go check it out!)
have a SUPER day, all!life rearranged

Thursday, July 14, 2011

etc: swimsuit edition

Charity and I,
we've got to hold our own in this house of boys.....
And I think we do it pretty well.

She's named Charity
because Justin was teaching through
I Corinthians 13
when we found out we were pregnant
and it just seemed so fitting.
But later,
her name became so much more meaningful....
we say of her now,
"Charity was our visible gift of love from God when we needed one most"

I love her.

Embracing the camera today in all our bathing beautyness....
(well, at least the one with the pink flower on her suit)

have a SUPER day embracing the fun of summer!
 embrace the camera

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

who needs the stand when you've got the pie

so this pie is pure refreshment
(in more ways than one, see HERE)
and who doesn't need that on a hot July day?!
WARNING:  must allow 4 hours to set in the freezer
(the longest 4 hrs of your life, but hang in there, Jesus has you in His hands.....)
so here's what you need:
1/3 cup sweetened lemonade drink mix (I used pink lemonade)
1/2 cup water
2 cups ice cream
8 oz tub whipped topping, thawed
1 graham cracker pie crust
It's pretty simple, really.....
just mix the drink powder with water until dissolved
then add the ice cream and mix
fold in the whipped topping
and pour into pie shell
(does it not all fit?  do you have some filling left over?!  whatever shall you do....)
**wait til your kiddos go down for a nap
and your hubby is outside working on a summer project.
Pour filling into a bowl, sprinkle some crushed grahams on top, and turn on 'HGTV.'
Indulge all by your lonesome.
Or whatever.
Like I would.
That would be so mean.
Place in your freezer for like 4 hours
and after it all sets, a piece should look like this while being eaten.
**This pic was taken on monday when we lost our power for 6 hours
due to a crazy storm lasting approx 45 minutes.
I was 'saving' the pie so it wouldn't melt in the freezer....
cause I'm all rescue-ish like that when it comes to dessert in my house

here's the boys during the first 15 minutes of the 6 hours of power loss
where they were thinking this whole thing was a good idea

here's Caleb a moment later
reminding himself of the memory verse we have on our wall:
2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of fear
but of power and love and self control
and here's Charity at lunchtime
with (finally) an amused look on her face.
she was not enthralled, not even for a moment,
with the loss of power.
but a cheeseball on her plate?!
that's where it's at for my girl.

every good blog post should end with a cheeseball pic, don't you think?!

have a SUPER wednesday, all!
(click HERE and HERE to find fun recipes from around blogland)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

it's the little things, really

I love all the little things we can do in life
to help someone feel the love of Jesus

It's simple, really
and yet so often we forget (I forget)
to do and say the very things that speak His love into others' hearts.

There is really nothing I love more than to share
the incredibly wonderful things God has done for me

And so
I was excited to (finally) have a weekend filled with
lazy summerness and blogging time to do just that....

First I want to show you a pic of this incredible pie
(And while it is extremely tasty)
It is a reminder to me
of the sweet encouragement we can bring to one another.

You see, last summer
when the 'Justin and Laurie Story' didn't look like we thought it would.....
A friend brought over this pie
(along with a meal.....but it was really about the pie for me)
And I felt the love of Jesus through Lynn and her bringing me a meal.  And pie.

And around that same time....
A couple stopped by our house
A couple we barely knew but we shared a love for Jesus
And we felt His love flow through them as they dropped off this stuff at our front door.
Such a blessing.

And then, of course, there were the precious gifts of time
And anonymous surprises left on the front porch
And sacrificial gifts of money....
(that I don't ever want to forget)

And really I could go on and on about last summer
And how the love of Jesus was poured out on us from people who
Well, people who cared about us
But also people who listened to Jesus
And reached out when they could've just stayed away.

Staying away from hurting people is much easier, you know.......
But it's just not what Jesus has modeled for us.

So usually this blog is about the current 'Justin and Laurie Story'
But today I wanted to take a trip back
And share about God's love that was so incredibly tangible
In a time that was painful for us

And to remind me (and you, perhaps...)
It's those little things
we can do any day
That can make a big difference in spreading His precious love to those around us.

'And let us consider how we may spur one another on
toward love and good deeds'
~Hebrews 10:24~

have a super Sunday spreading the love of Jesus
to all those around you
in all the ways you can possibly think of

linking up here with my blogger buddy, Katie
who shares my love for Jesus
and joins me in the wild ride of raising 3 boys
thanks for the link up, Katie!

Monday, July 4, 2011

may the 4th be with you

when 5 boys get together
you just never know what creative play they're going to come up with
I'm so proud of this human slingshot game they came up with
especially as I watched my 3 year old get shot all the way across the yard
---well, maybe he exaggerated a little....---
I guess when you're a boy you never get tired of creative play
and blowing things up is especially intriguing

I'll just say that our time together with friends
involved not only burgers and star-spangled brownies
but also some exploding 2-liter soda bottles
who knew 
aluminum foil and toilet bowl cleaner had such a volatile relationship
(this is not a tutorial on explosives, blog readers.....
this is a warning not to flush Reynolds Wrap and then go on a cleaning spree....)

at one point Justin
came out of the house wielding his machete from Grenada
to save the day when one of the experiments went south
-----such a proud moment for our boys----

moving on....
the parade was the highlight of the morning of the 4th
and Caleb, especially, was LIT UP
about the whole experience
the music, the candy, the brochures that he collected.....
he was one amped up 5 year old by the time we returned home

I'm sorry I just had to capture this on my camera
I'm laughing just looking at this pic of my hubs  

I was really excited about being the super mom who brought scissors
 to the parade to cut the tops of her kids popsicles
I how prepared is that anyways?!
Sorry, Babe, the joke was on you as you cut and cut and cut
all the random parade goers popsicles that were sitting around us

such a servant's heart, I tell ya......

and here's the girlie cousins hangin
together at the parade
it would've been really nice to get a shot of Charity actually looking
but we're 14 months old now
and all you experienced moms out there know exactly what that means
(good luck with the cute posed smiley pics of the past....)
sparklers are the bomb
excuse my reference to the late 90's
but I just love watching the sparklers do their thing
(oh.  and the delighted looks on my kiddos faces.....of. course.)
I'm not exactly sure
if I've secured coolest aunt ever award yet.....
but my nephew Josh had some fun pouring these patriotic drinks
happy birthday, Josh!

that was our fun weekend....
how was yours?!

have a SUPER day, all