Valentine's Eve

I forgot to post these before my last post.

This was the sky on Sunday night as the sun went down, the night before Valentine's Day (and just a side note that these are completely unedited...God doesn't need my help making things more beautiful :):

Isn't it incredible?  Did you see the little cross that shines on the top two pictures? 

This reminded me that God's love is the greatest love ever given...and the best love we can ever receive.  It's stretches farther than this sky, is more vibrant than these blinding colors and fills any need we have, if we allow it to

For me, it's a blessing and a treasure to know that the One who pursues my heart every moment of every day can make skies that are gray at times look like this.  I can't wait to see what He will do with this tired, insecure, imperfect girl when He comes back.  What a beautiful day of forever love that will be!

This is how we've come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God's love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.

My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality. It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we're called children of God! 
1 John 3:16-20, 1

I L*O*V*E You

First off, I want to say thank you to so many of you who have sent Facebook messages, emails or words through my mom :) to let me know that you enjoy this blog.  The message I keep hearing is, "Don't stop writing!"  Well, while I have stepped away from writing before, I'm not planning on doing it any time again soon.  I may not have a post on here every day but this has been the best place for me to journal our family moments and my crazy thoughts on life so you can be sure I'll keep on writing.  Although, let's be real - you really love this blog because of the adorable children whose faces adorn it!  I can't say I can argue with that.  But just so you know, even though pictures come first...

I am so thankful for your sweet comments and love you right back!

Now!  On to LOTS of pictures that have to do with a day devoted to L*O*V*E!

Our family "heart attacked" our house to get in the mood for Valentine's Day.  Each of us wrote something we love about every person in our family on a heart and we hung them on our cupboards.  These are a few of my favorites:

Jake was being a smart-aleck and wasn't writing a heart for me.  I was a bit upset since I wrote a heart for him and thought it only fair to get one from my one true love.  But then I woke up in the morning to this:
If that doesn't make your heart melt, then you are made of stone.  Just saying.

You can be sure I'll be taking all of our hearts down and putting them in a scrapbook!  It will be so fun to do this year after year and to see how the kids change with each other, don't you think?

We had our first official shot at making a Valentine mailbox for the school party and I'm here to tell you that we failed.  Miserably!  I would like to contend that it should be put in the newsletter that making a mailbox isn't just making a mailbox.  It's an all-out war between parents on who is the most creative.  From Star Wars to Spongebob to Spiderman, there were pieces of art mailboxes all around.  And Cole showed up with his construction paper and markered football mailbox. 
 While he wasn't too upset, I knew the truth.  Thank goodness there's always next year...and that preschoolers don't choose their friends based on the parents' performance...that doesn't happen till at least 1st grade, right?

Cole had his Valentine's party at school and I was able to be there because my great and just all around incredible friend, Stacie, watched the kids for me.  To say thanks, I got some great shots of her son, Will, too.  And if you haven't heard much about Will, that means you haven't talked with Cole.  Will is Cole's


It's going to be a sad day when we have to move (more on that later).

But this was a day for sugar and cards and L*O*V*E!

Enjoy this sequence of what I call "Fine, I'll stand here and smile for you" pictures.

 Cole told me he "liked-ed" the cookies :)

The class played this game similar to a cake walk but when the music stopped, the kids had to find a heart and hug whoever was on the heart with them, sharing that L*O*V*E.  It was SO cute!

 I love the look on this little girl's face...she obviously was NOT a fan of being on the same heart with a boy. 

 This one is blurry but I love the boys' faces in it...Cole made sure never to be with a girl...which sort of makes this momma happy.  :)

Only one heart left means a HUGE class group hug!

 See the little girl sitting next to Cole?  That's his first-ever crush.  He told me he thinks she's pretty and nice and he likes her because she is little...which I'm not sure exactly what that means.  I really think she's the only girl in his class who doesn't boss him around and he likes that!  And I'm okay with it because she sang me "The B-I-B-L-E" one day when I was volunteering.  She is just the sweetest thing.

 Will was SO excited there was not only cards but CANDY in his mailbox too!  His expressions were hilarious.
One last shot of best friends...can you tell it was painful?  We really need to work on not saying "cheese" for pictures.  Oh may not be able to feel the love toward my camera and me, but there's definitely love between these two buddies!

Where I Live

This morning, our sunrise looked like this and I just had to take a picture. 
 Doesn't it look like God's majesty blanketing the sky?  I love His beauty that He shares with us.

Food for Thought

First off, I love Francis Chan.

I mean, really love him.  I tell Jake that if ever I were going to have an idol in life, Francis Chan would be it.

If you've never heard of him, you should check him out.  He's written this

and this

for adults and has taken both of these books and put them into the form of these children's books:
 We've read both of these to our kids and they love them.

And now I love him because he's challenged me with this.  Take a look.  Just some food for thought on this cold, snowy morning.  :)

A New Spark

June also brought with it a somewhat new adventure for Maurah.  She joined MainStage Academy of Dance in the winter and showcased her work t...