This and That


Sometimes I find that the focus of my blog tends to revolve around the big news and events sprinkled throughout our weeks, but every now and then I feel compelled to pen a “catch up” sort of blog that shares more of the day to day happenings in our life. Since none of these small happenings justify an entire blog entry I tend to  lump them together in a “this and that” blog.  The big breakthrough sort of moments of life may determine the course of our journey but it is the small day to day happenings that are the building blocks of our life.

Here is a look into the day to day moments that make up our life:

We have taken this time of respite, while Ozzie is getting some much needed and effective therapy to address his history of trauma, to really focus on the needs of the other children. Part of our plan to reconnect and assess everyone’s wellbeing has been for Toby and I to schedule a one-on-one date with each of the kids so that they can share their hearts with us in an uninterrupted setting. It has been a blessing and good for everyone. We schedule our dates following a visit to see Ozzie. We have taken the kids to visit him one at a time so that they can have one on one time with Ozzie. This has been good for Ozzie as it encourages deeper attachment with each sibling individually, but also good for the kids to see where Ozzie is at and see the work he is doing. The experience has made them more understanding and empathetic of Ozzie’s struggles as they gain insight into the hurt and trauma behind the behaviors.

Following our visit with Ozzie, Toby and I take that child out on a special date to the restaurant of their choosing (something more financially feasible when you are paying for 3 meals as opposed to 7.) It has been fun to see what everyone’s picks have been. Molly chose Five Guys, Grace chose Chipotle, and Rusty chose Dynasty Chinese buffet. Tyler has his date night coming up and I suspect McDonalds is in our future.

As part of Gracie’s date we stopped so she could get her haircut. This task is significantly easier and more enjoyable without little brothers tagging along.

Here is her before and after:

The kids have been busy with school as their 3rd quarter comes to a close. Rusty has been studying DNA which means he had a fun assignment in science. His teacher sent all the students the candy and supplies for an online class to make DNA chains using sweet treats. I must say Rusty was even more engaged in the lesson than usual, knowing that at the completion of the lesson he would get to eat the “fruits of his labors.”

Grace is still involved in mural club, with Molly and Rusty joining her occasionally for a mural they are interested in learning to paint. Two weeks ago they were learning to paint roses. Grace decided to veer off from the teacher’s sample and create a stain glass version of a rose. (Can you see how excited she is for the new Beauty and the Beast movie that is going to be released soon?!) She was on a role and followed that art project with a craft project of her own by making the enchanted rose from the West Wing. Here are her finished projects:


This summer my three oldest kids will be going on Trek. Those that have been following our blog for a while will remember when Grace participated in a pioneer trek four years ago with other youth in our church. They spent 3 days trekking through the rolling hills of Virginia, pulling handcarts and cooking over a fire so as to gain an appreciation for the sacrifices made by the pioneers who trekked westward. This year Grace, Molly and Rusty will be able to experience this together and I am so thrilled for them!

A few Sundays ago we attended the kick-off fireside that inspired, instructed, and got the excitement going for this upcoming July event. Grace is on the youth committee that is helping adult leadership with the planning of the event and was given the responsibility of creating a short, fun video to help the youth get ideas of how to easily and inexpensively put together the outfits they will wear on trek.


She did a great job!

This Wednesday was a theme day at co-op. In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday we had Wacky Wednesday…and this is what the kids came up with. I think Rusty wins!


In preparation for Family Night Grace donned her apron to create a Disney World copycat recipe of raspberry macaroons. Yes, they were as delicious as they look!

For our family night message we had a lesson on the life of Job. As we read about Job’s trials and likened them to our own we were humbled by all he had to endure and how faithfully and graciously he endured them. It gave me cause for reflection as I considered my own earthly journey and the challenges in my life, which seem so shallow in comparison, but more striking was the comparison between how Job endured compared to the way I have endured certain seasons of life. It made me desire a deeper and more faithful relationship with my Heavenly Father so that I might handle the trials that come my way more humbly, graciously and faithfully.

This lesson was followed by a Pixar short entitled, “Paperman,” that led us into the hands-on portion of my lesson.


I began by giving everyone a sheet of paper and asked them to see who could make that flat piece of paper soar across the room. With much laughter and taunting we found none were able to get their flat piece of paper to travel more than a foot or two.


I asked what we could do to make our paper fly better, to which the kids suggested we fold them into paper airplanes.

Using some YouTube tutorials we created all sorts of magnificent paper airplanes.


We then lined up and tried again. This time those pieces of papers soared gracefully across the room.


I asked the kids what had changed.

They replied, “We had to fold it into the right shape so that it could fly.”

I then brought home the point of the lesson,

In order to fly, that untouched, pristine, piece of paper had to be bent, folded, and torn to be molded into an object that could soar above the pull of the world.

And so it is with us.

It is the trials and challenges that we live through that we learn the most from. An untouched piece of paper doesn’t fly, and life of ease doesn’t help us soar. We need the creases and the folds to fly, and we need to allow God to use the lessons we learn during those hard times to mold us into someone that soars beyond the pull of this world.

I prepared the lesson for my children, but it was I that really needed to be reminded of the truth. God is using this season of life to work mighty changes in me so that I might fly higher and closer to Him.


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