Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lily's Birthday

We celebrated Lily’s third birthday last Monday. Boy, did she have fun!

Her party had a Mary Poppins theme. We had white balloon clouds hanging from the ceiling along with a black umbrella and everyone got an umbrella-shaped cookie with a name tag on it which also served as place cards.

Her cake was Mary Poppins’ hat. For some reason Lily was scared of her candles this year. When I brought the cake to her she pushed her chair away from the table faster that you could say supercalifra- well, you know.

She got so many nice presents from everyone. ( Of course, the day after the party I went through the toy bins trying to get rid of stuff to make room for all the new stuff!) Grandpa B gave her a Judy Rogers CD which I absolutely love, but both Lily and Malachi like having it play over and over and over again all day long....

Lily’s Gramma and Grampa Gardner gave her this cool tricycle. Don’t you just love those red Radio Flyers? She had such a good time trying out her new bike with Olympia giving her a good push now and then.

(By the way, in all these pictures Lily is modeling one of her gifts from her Uncle Jonathan and Aunt Carrie. Cute shirt!)

I like having a three-year-old in my home now. Lily spices up this family in her own unique way. I love this little girl!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

For My Friend

Have you ever known one of those people that is always doing little thoughtful things for others that no one else might think to do? Usually this person has no idea of how much those little kind gestures mean to someone else. Well, I know someone like that. Her name is Barb.

Last night our church’s women’s group met at Barb’s house for our monthly gab session. Barb was so welcoming to all of us and she even had a vase of tulips sitting on her dining room table that lit up the room made us all feel more at home. During our prayer time I had mentioned how this last while has been difficult for me. After the meeting was over and just before everyone left Barb took all her tulips from the vase, wrapped them in some paper towels and handed them to me. When I got home that night I put my tulips in a mason jar and set them on my dining room table. I completely forgot about them as I dreamed my Adielish dreams. This morning when I went downstairs I entered into a field of chaos: unwashed dinner dishes from last night cluttered the kitchen, toys were strewn everywhere and baskets of unfolded laundry sat here and there. But the first thing that met my eyes was that mason jar full of tulips. The flowers’ simple beauty and their cheerful colors somehow told me that everything would be alright. Now, those flowers didn’t make my day a piece of cake. This has been a tough day for my little family, but every time I catch a glimpse of those tulips sitting so pretty on my table I can’t help but smile inside and think of my dear friend who loved me enough to give me her tulips.

Barb, I don’t know what I would do without you, your generosity and your great hugs. I’m so glad you’re my friend. I love you. Thank you for being you.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Beauty of the Evening Sky

Our Big Backyard

Today we worked out in the yard. Joshua smoothed out parts of our unruly lawn and I planted spinach. It was so fun to see the kids discovering new and exciting things like bugs and rocks. Lily loved seeing little bugs crawling around and when I showed her a baby bug (it was a gross grub of some sort) she wanted to take care of it and make sure that it got nice and cozy in the dirt. She listen wide-eyed as her daddy explained how worms live in the dirt and make little tunnels under our yard. And when Joshua found this frog (or toad or whatever it is) and showed it to Lily she was a little afraid at first, but then she agreed with us that it was really very pretty. (Aren't its eyes amazing?) Lily didn't want to even say hi to the frog, but I told her that we need to be polite- even to frogs. She quickly greeted the frog and then became more friendly toward it.

Malachi, on the other hand, was being a boy- he collected handfuls of rocks and dirt, trampled my newly dug garden and tried to eat a worm.

All in all, a very successful morning.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

More Faerie Cuteness

The Garden Princess Faerie

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My Oasis

I’ve been going through one of those “dry spells” lately. You know what I mean- everything feels disorganized and I haven’t been reading my Bible daily and my prayer life is erratic at best. It’s during times like these that I get almost afraid to pray and ask God for help because I’m positive that He’s mad at me. Why should He listen to me today since I’ve been neglecting to spend time with Him? Well, maybe He’s not “fire and brimstone” mad, but surely He’s a little ticked off at me, right? I mean, who wouldn’t be?

This is how I’ve been feeling the last couple of days. But then suddenly, for the first time in my life, I realized that God still loves me the same even when I’m acting foolishly. Even though I’m sinning like crazy, my Father still adores me. It seems too good to be true. And then it hit me. Have I really been sinning more lately or have I just noticed it more lately? Can it be true that I’m always a selfish, conceited, lazy woman? Yep. That’s exactly what I am. And yet, that’s who Jesus died for.

Yahweh looked down from heaven and saw a filthy mess called Adiel. He loved this mess and traded His own Son just so He could have this mess to call His own. I don’t know if I will ever understand why He chose to love me, but I do know that I will spend an eternity thanking Him, praising Him and loving Him for all that He has done to me.

So, you see, this started out as a dry spell, but as God has been using this time to bring me closer to Him it’s been feeling more like an oasis.
Don’t we have an amazing God?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

More Quotation

". . .the Lord does not in vain prepare nutriment for children in their mothers' bosoms, before they are born. But those on whom he confers the honor of mothers, he, in this way, constitutes nurses; and they who deem it a hardship to nourish their own offspring, break, as far as they are able, the sacred bond of nature. If disease, or anything of that kind, is the hindrance, they have a just excuse; but for mothers voluntarily, and for their own pleasure, to avoid the trouble of nursing, and thus to make themselves only half-mothers, is a shameful corruption."

-John Calvin, Commentary on Genesis 21.7

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Quote

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it’s hard to remember it all the time.”—The Letters of C. S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves (20 December 1943)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

My Lack of Wisdom

I got my wisdom teeth taken out last Friday. It was an ouchy, yucky experience. I was given laughing gas to make things a bit easier, but the gas ended up making me cry. Go figure. The dentist said that happens with some people. The upside of this yuckiness was that my family waited on me hand and foot for the whole weekend. I’m back on solid foods now and I don’t want to see another package of pudding mix or can of tomato soup in this house for a long time.

My dear husband was good enough to take photographs of my misfortunes.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

They Come Cheaper by the Dozen

Ever since as far back as I can remember I wanted to be a mommy. About four years ago I met the man of my dreams and I knew that I wanted to have a beautiful family with him. I wanted to have six kids. That’s a nice, even number I thought, the kids will have plenty of playmates and, because there will be an even amount of kids, no one will get left out.

Well, then I had a kid... and another. And I saw how much work goes into being a mommy, how difficult every day can be and all the craziness that these two children brought into my once peaceful life.

Now I want twelve kids.

I know, I know. I should be checked into an insane asylum. What sane adult would actually want to bring this chaos and torture upon herself? I’ll tell you who- a mommy. If someone asked me why I love being a mommy I don’t think I could give them a very coherent answer. All I know is that taking care of Lily and Malachi and loving them and wiping their noses and bums and holding them when they fall down and cry is the only thing that I want to be doing with my life.

Being a wife and mommy is a high calling, an important task and a tough job. To be totally honest, I’m really not a very good mommy. I yell at my kids when I should be patient with them. I grumble when my sleep is interrupted by a pitiful cry in the middle of the night. I’m selfish and lazy when I should be a servant to my family. The only way I’ll do any good at all in being a mommy to two kids- much less a dozen- is by the amazing grace of our God. For some reason He picked Joshua and me to raise these beautiful children and so He’s the one that will see us through to the end and teach this Gardner family to serve Him with everything we’ve got.

I don’t know how many kids God will give us, but I do know that however many little people that we have running around this house is the perfect number for this family. And I’ll thank God for the craziness.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Lion, the Witch, the Wardrobe and Me

Back in January, Joshua and I went with Joshua’s sister, Jen, to see The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I really enjoyed it, though there were some changes that were made to the story that were disappointing. On the drive home after watching the movie, Jen asked us which character we most identified with. I immediately said Edmund and she said, “Yeah, me, too. But I wish I was like Lucy.” What a way to say it! Yes, we saw ourselves as traitorous sinners, but we wanted to be the one with the childlike faith. Joshua said that he most related to Peter in that he was struggling to accept his responsibilities as the leader and to be able to lead well. ( I think you do a great job, dearest.)

As I’ve thought more about that question I’ve realized that I am no longer so much like Edmund, but I’m more similar to Susan. Susan was the one to always be drawn to the world and to doubt the things she could not see. By God’s grace, I’m becoming less and less of Susan and I’m becoming a little more like Lucy.

So here’s my question, which character are you most like? Pick any character from any of the books. This isn’t a gimmick to get more comments on my blog. I’m really curious to see who everyone will pick.

On a side thought, did anyone else think the Witch’s costume was a little bizarre?

Those Embarrassing Bath Pictures

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Praise You in This Storm

When I first heard this song on our Christian radio station I was utterly shocked. Could it be that WCTL has lifted their ban of good songs from their broadcasting? It must be a fluke. This song must have slipped through their strict song control security. I mean, this song actually quotes Scripture! And a Psalm at that! Well, I've gotten over my shock now and I have to say that this song is wonderful. It brings tears to my eyes when I hear the honest words being sung that my own heart has sung many times.

I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away


I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Praise You In This Storm
by Casting Crowns

Monday, April 03, 2006

My Chubby Artist

This picture was taken about two seconds before he started eating the crayons. I think the blue ones are his favorite flavor.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Thought on Community

My family that still lives here in Erie talks frequently about the idea of community. I know this is certainly not a new idea to most of you reading this. I long for a community to be established here. I long for my church family to be truly bonded together as a family. I long to feel a part of a group and for each member of this group to care for the other members. I long for an openness with my siblings in the church that goes far beyond the polite greeting on Sunday morning. I ache for it.

This week was a tough week for me. My family was sick, Joshua has been dealing with job pressures and I’ve been exhausted. On Thursday morning I called my father because I simply couldn’t do this on my own anymore. He came over and helped me clean and watched the kids so I could take a shower. His help was the thing that kept me sane that day. He is my community.

So I’ve realized through that experience that if this is what I want, if building a community is something I am willing to work for, I need to be willing to do my part. I need to be willing to ask for help. I need to toss aside my silly pride and tell other people that I can’t do this alone. I need to become a burden to someone else so that they know that when it’s their turn to be a burden I will carry them. It sounds strange, I know, but it sounds true.

I pray that God would grant each of us the weakness and humility that we need so that we can rely on each other the way He intended us to.

Some Quotes

"Homes are for free expressions- not for good impressions."

“I am convinced that toddlers have a sort of power to see into the immediate future. How else could they constantly manage to be in the exact space which you had hoped to occupy at the exact moment you had hoped to arrive there? It’s uncanny. Of course, they look so cute and innocent while they are getting in your way that even as you are tripping over them and about to fall headfirst into a boiling pot of whatever you were making for dinner you can’t help but admire the cute chubbiness of the little toes that you were swerving to avoid stepping on- even though it’s because of those toes that you are about to receive a few second degree burns.”