A Very Special Party

I love hosting parties at our house but the size doesn’t really lend itself to having them very often. We’ve never had Dieter’s birthday parties at our for that very reason, with family alone we would pack our house out. But this time I decided to go for it, especially because we just did a bunch of landscaping and Dieter got a nice big swingset earlier this summer. The weather was absolutely beautiful the day of the party and I’m hoping everyone has just as much fun as we did.

Dieter wanted a train birthday party so I did my best to deliver. Sorry for the horrible quality pictures, the sun was great for the party but not for taking pictures! IMG_1559
This gluten-free cake ended up being delicious!
All aboard!
Happy birthday Dieter! These signs were tedious but pretty easy. The “all aboard” and “choo choo” banners are going into the playroom, I can’t bear to throw them away.




3 Years Already??

My goodness, I can’t believe that Dieter is turning three today! He is such a wonderful boy and has been such a blessing. God certainly knew what he was doing when he placed him in our family. Dieter is funny and energetic.  Never stops moving and loves everything that involves wheels or balls.  His imagination amazes me and he can turn just about anything into whatever he needs for that moment, whether it be a fishing pole, a sword, or a car (out of a cracker, usually). He is inquisitive and soaks up the world around him, remembering details that slip past me. Just ask him what year the Twins were established (1961). The thing that warms my heart, though, is his love for God and desire to learn more about him.

IMG_1433 IMG_1435

Dieter, we love you so very much and are so thankful that we can be your parents!


Here are some questions I asked Dieter today.  We’ll do it every year and see how it changes…

What is your name? I’m Dieter

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite TV show: Thomas

Favorite food: Oatmeal

Favorite restaurant: Chik-a-fe (Chick-fil-a)

Favorite animal: Bear

Favorite song: Jesus Loves Little Children

Favorite book: Thomas book

Favorite place to go: To chik-a-fe

Favorite drink: Apple juice

What do you want to be when you grow up? Work on power lines

I took a video of it too but we only got about halfway through…I’ll post it on Facebook.


Why My Son Has THE BEST Grandparents

And why I have the coolest parents…


Nana and Papa weren’t using their garden space anymore and it had a tarp over it to keep the weeds out.  Little did we know that they were keeping the weeds away so that they could create this AWESOME dirt pit/construction site/little boys dreamland. The only problem is trying to tear him away to come home.


Getting the Stink Out


I’m a little bummed I have to write this post. I’d like to think that I smell wonderful all the time and glisten instead of sweat, but let’s face it I’m human. And it’s summertime. And even though it’s very irregular I do have a workout routine that gets my heart pumping. And then my shirts get a bit smelly.

I’m also a little disappointed because my homemade laundry detergent just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I used it for a good year and a half but lately I just didn’t feel like our clothes were getting clean. Maybe I wasn’t using enough or the recipe I had wasn’t the best out there but nevertheless I had to switch it up. Lately I’ve been using an all-natural store-bought detergent that I’m very happy with but some shirts were still a bit stanky. And I say “were” because they no longer are! Thanks to Pinterest I was able to combine a couple tricks to get my shirts smelling fresh and clean.

First I washed them (whites and colors separately) in hot water with a cup of vinegar. This didn’t quite cut it, even though sometimes I think it will, so I washed them again in hot water but this time with 1/2 cup of baking soda. After that I threw them in the dryer with two felted dryer balls that I added 4-5 drops of orange essential oils to. You could do any kind of oil you want depending on what smell you would like. And after this treatment my clothes came out smelling wonderful!

You can make your own dryer balls using this tutorial. I highly recommend it because they replace dryer sheets and can cut your drying time down while still making your clothes nice and soft..double win!

Fancy Pants

The most dressy pants I had for Dieter before last week was a pair of khakis. Great for the average Sunday but not so great for a wedding where Jeremiah is wearing a tux and we’re getting family photos done. Of course I could have bought or borrowed some but I thought I’d give this tutorial a try. I did decide to make these two days before the big day so I did have a backup plan. I do have to say I’m so happy with how simple they were to make and how great they turned out. I used a pair of my pants.


We had such a great time celebrating Ben and Angela’s special day!

Construction Site

The threat of rain means we’re getting creative inside this morning!


After I took his picture Dieter said, “Why Mommy taking my picture? Because Dieter cute?”
Well yeah Dieter that is why I take your picture!

God’s Design in Detours

I read a great devotion yesterday that really struck a chord with me. When you’re in the midst of a period of life full of trials it’s often easy to use that as the lens through which you view and interpret almost everything. I try not to let the last 2 years affect my view of
the world but it’s almost impossible not to and sometimes it’s really helpful to apply a certain sermon, verse, or devotion directly to this season in our life. John Piper really spoke to me through this devotion.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)

Have you ever wondered what God is doing while you are looking in the wrong place for something you lost and needed very badly? He knows exactly where it is, and he is letting you look in the wrong place.

I once needed a quote for a new edition of my book Desiring God. I knew I had read it in Richard Wurmbrand. I thought it was in his devotional book, Reaching Toward the Heights. I could almost see it on the right hand side of the facing pages. But I couldn’t find it.

But while I was looking, I was riveted on one page, the devotional for November 30. As I read it, I said, “This is one of the reasons I have had to keep looking for my quote.” Here was a story, not for me, but for parents of broken children.

Having broken children is like looking in the wrong place for what you have lost and cannot find. Why? Why? Why? This was the unplanned reward of “wasted” moments.

In a home for retarded children, Catherine was nurtured twenty years. The child had been [mentally handicapped] from the beginning and had never spoken a word, but only vegetated. She either gazed quietly at the walls or made distorted movements. To eat, to drink, to sleep, were her whole life. She seemed not to participate at all in what happened around her. A leg had to be amputated. The staff wished Cathy well and hoped that the Lord would soon take her to Himself.

One day the doctor called the director to come quickly. Catherine was dying. When both entered the room, they could not believe their senses. Catherine was singing Christian hymns she had heard and had picked up, just those suitable for death beds. She repeated over and over again the German song, “Where does the soul find its fatherland, its rest?” She sang for half an hour with transfigured face, then she passed away quietly. (Taken from The Best Is Still to Come, Wuppertal: Sonne und Shild)

Is anything that is done in the name of Christ really wasted?

My frustrated, futile search for what I thought I needed was not wasted. Singing to this disabled child was not wasted. And your agonizing, unplanned detour is not a waste — not if you look to the Lord for his unexpected work, and do what you must do in his name (Colossians 3:17). The Lord works for those who wait for him (Isaiah 64:4).

This detour in my life is not a waste. In fact, as agonizing as it is to wait and wait and wait for a pregnancy that will make it out of the first trimester, God has shown me that blessings can come out of even the most painful experiences. If I had never experienced loss (and may very well continue to experience) how would I ever be able to see that the gain is something he has gifted me? So as I continue to take the detour from my carefully planned life, as I travel down this road of complete faith and trust I can know that whatever I find at the end is a gift from him. And the process to get there is a way for me to grow in immeasurable ways.