Monday, January 14, 2019

Driveway Ice Ball

Melting snow then quickly froze to ice, leaving a fairly solid layer of ice on our gravel driveway.  Slippery, and according to these two so much fun.  They have started playing a new game that appears to be a cross between hockey and stick ball maybe.

Laughter, falling down, and lots determination make this an activity on repeat here on the gravelly road.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Book Review: Made for the Journey by Elisabeth Elliot

Made for the Journey: One Missionary's First Year in the Jungles of EcuadorMade for the Journey: One Missionary's First Year in the Jungles of Ecuador by Elisabeth Elliot
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Made for the Journey” by Elisabeth Elliot is a short memoir that transports readers to walk with her through her first experience as a missionary to a remote area in the jungles of Ecuador as a young linguist missionary in the early 50s. The author’s transparency and detailed descriptions help readers slow down and really enter into the day to day life of that first year, from the physical and comfort challenges of adjusting to a new life style in the jungle, the practical challenges of trying to do the translation work to create a written alphabet with unclear direction or helpful native speakers, to challenges of the heart and faith that happen along the way.

The book is written almost journal like, bouncing back and forth between the everyday challenges (bugs, snakes, food issues) and the internal faith questions and devotional thoughts of a young missionary struggling with her purpose. Because this book only covers one year of her missionary life, much remains unresolved at the end of the book and those who are not familiar with her life story or other writings, can easily feel “left hanging”. There is an epilogue but in my opinion it did only a little to “tie up loose ends” in the story shared.

I enjoyed the read as it was interesting in detail and encouraging in how she experience God her first year in the jungle but likely wouldn’t recommend it often to others unless they were already interested in the life of Elisabeth Elliot or missions to remote unchurched areas.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, and Interviews and Reviews, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Christmas Letter 2018

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! 

Instead of a printed Christmas letter with the photo cards we sent out, we decided to summarize and reflect on 2018 here on our family blog.  It was a year of blessing, growth and changes through out the seasons.

During the winter at the beginning of 2018, we celebrated each of  kids in turn as they became nine, eight and seven years old with Harry Potter, Minions and Trolls parties respectively. The excitement of birthdays at this age is so much fun!  The boys continued to wrestle with several more tournaments over the winter and our daughter continued her weekly dance class.  The new year also brought us to the annual MN Weichert awards dinner where Jason celebrated his success as a realtor in 2017.

The start of spring was filled with tears as we said good-bye to Jason's grandma Evelyn right before celebrating Easter.  The spring was also included a big dance recital for our youngest, elementary track and field days for our boys, field trips, the end of a great school year and lots of time outside.

Our summer was filled with baseball games for our oldest, gymnastics for the other two, lots of camping, and participating in lots of parades with on the Weichert Realtors float (this mom prefers kids throwing candy to others instead of bringing it home).  Zman got to take a special vacation with Grandpa and Grandma with so many adventures, including horse riding and a rodeo.  At the same time, Ike went to Canada camping and fishing with Dad while Peaches and I had a girls week at home.  As a family we spent time up north camping at a favorite state park and then  at Camp House for family camp, an annual favorite. 

Then we ended the summer by road tripping to Colorado for my cousin's wedding seeing some great scenic points along the way.  It was an amazing and  full summer of family memories.

The fall brought us back to the school routine with a 1st grader, 2nd grader and 4th grader this year.  Weeks have flow by fast with the school schedule, apple picking, a special trip for Mom and Dad to the Bahamas, Halloween, and Thanksgiving (a poignant one as my parents are moving so it was the last holiday in the house I grew up in).  We just had a full weekend with a dance show and the first meet of the wrestling season (this year just Zman is wrestling) and look forward to the church Christmas program this weekend.

As the snow covers the ground and we decorate for Christmas, we turn our minds toward the reason for this special season as we treasure our memories from the year and wish you and your family the very best for 2019!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Book Review: Calming Angry Kids by Tricia Goyer

Calming Angry Kids: Help and Hope for Parents in the Whirlwind by Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer’s book “Calming Angry Kids”provides exactly what the subtitle state “help and hope for parents in the whirlwind”. The book provide accessible tools, biblical insight and wise advice alongside the real life experiences of the author’s family walking the road of healing during times of intense anger.

The book addresses so many useful topics from journaling your own anger moments, noticing the anger patterns of your children, understanding triggers from the past, anger cycles, and building up a child’s understanding of their feelings. Through it all the author stresses relationship and connection over unbending rules, helping to create a safe place for kids to process their big feelings and overwhelming stress. The encouragement and wisdom in this book, with biblical connections plus the experience of therapy and a seasoned parent (Tricia is the mom of 10 which includes several children that joined the family through adoption) makes this book a unique find and true resource.


I read this book slowly to really study the anger triggers in our home, to try to apply the advice within, to build new patterns of parenting the change the cycle of anger. This book is worth the investment, the money to purchase it and the time to read and really digest it. It truly is both help and hope for parents.

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