Video: A Year of Sam on His Birthday!

Happy 3rd birthday to our amazing Samuel! We can’t even express how much we adore you, sweet boy!




Here We Are!

Our computer is on the mend! Can I tell you how happy this makes me? I was praying her issues could be fixed instead of requiring us to purchase something new right now. We’re trying to avoid extra purchases, of course, but a computer is hard to be without. We managed for about a month on the iPad, but it is far more time consuming for me to do anything with photos in a blog post on it. We were finally able to get the laptop to the Apple Store on Sunday and this morning it was back at my door. And we weren’t charged a thing. Talk about service! So now I kinda want to stay up all night catching up on photos and all things computer. I probably won’t, since I’m trying to get better about my sleep schedule, but maybe. Hmmm.


he loves scooting around on the zebra


I feel like we’re in need of an update! Biggest news? Sam is going to be THREE on Sunday! I’m working on wrapping my head around this before the day actually arrives. I’m hoping to maybe do a little photo shoot with him in the next couple days and to spend some time dreaming through the last few years. I love celebrating birthdays with the littles. It’s such a magical time for them. I don’t want to dread each time they roll around, getting sad over the fact they are growing older. God is doing beautiful things through them and that needs to be celebrated!


this kid is obsessed with popsicles!


Ella has just a few more weeks of kindergarten. The year has flown! We’ve all been learning how to work through the ins and outs of independence. She has made some very sweet friendships this year. We’ve been thankful for her opportunity to be at the Montessori school, where she’s had the same teachers the last three years. They know her very well and have guided her through some wonderful educational and social lessons. Next year, she’ll be at the same school where there will be about 15 kids total in first through sixth grade. I still think this has been the very best way to prepare her to be homeschooled with we get to Kenya.


Miss Ella’s before & after – a little pixie cut for summer


As for the summer, Ella will be having all kinds of adventures! I’ve registered her for morning activities through June and July and a little bit of August. She’ll be doing theatre camp, tennis lessons, VBS, and day camp at a nearby nature center. She’ll be busy, but not overwhelmed, since I only signed her up for one activity at a time. It might get a little tricky with just the one car, but we’ll make it work!

Pete will continue working hard this summer. He is doing an incredible job of paying off his medical school loan! This was one big hope we had with limiting our spending for these six months. We should be finished paying the loan off sometime this winter. Though he is working a lot, he is very intentional about spending good time with us each week. We are devoted to our weekly date night. He takes Ella out each week, too. When he’s home in the evenings, wrestling with the kids is inevitable, and he often naps with Sam in the afternoons. We love him and everything he is doing to get us to Kenya!


date night


Speaking of Kenya, how about an update? We recently sent out our first mailing to kick off our fundraising. Next, we’ll be meeting in person with people who have expressed interested in partnering with us in East Africa. We are also dreaming of a few event possibilities to share our hearts in the fall. As for training, this fall we will be taking an online course focusing on missions in the Bible and then a week of sessions at the mission headquarters in Indiana. Sometime next summer we will attend a month of intercultural training in Colorado Springs, and then we hope to be off for Kenya at the end of the summer of 2016. Lots of work before then! We love it, though. We’ve been dreaming of this for years and years, so there is so much joy in all the preparation. Will you please be praying for us as we continue to move forward with everything? And if you would like to receive one of our letters, please click here to send us an email with your mailing address and we’ll get it right to you. We would love for you to be a part of our team! Real lives are going to be touched through the medical training Pete will be guiding and through the education I hope to provide once we get there. I get so excited talking about it!


small group mamas helping with our first mailing


Oh! And me! I am working on gearing up for summer and all the fun stuff Sam, Ella, and I will get to do together. I’m getting ideas from Pinterest and talking to friends about play dates. I want to be outside as much as possible. I’m even painting a little table I found a while ago at Saver’s so we can take it out in the grass with us. It will be perfect for sketching in our journals, having tea parties, and eating lunch by the water. I’m also getting ready to start a new book with the moms’ small group I lead at our place on Tuesday mornings. We just finished The Best Yes (so highly recommend it!) and will be starting The Fringe Hours on June 2 (also so, so good). If you’re a mama in the Duluth area, you are more than welcome to join us. Send me an email for more information. The group does have child care! I also started P90X3 last week and am working hard at sticking with it this time. I haven’t had a good track record with that since Sam was born. I love the workouts, I love eating well, it’s just putting it all together every day and making it a part of my regular life again. I will do this! (And yes, I will take any prayers for perseverance you want to send my way.)

And that’s that! All updated! Be sure to check in on Sunday for sweet Samuel’s third birthday!


my Mother’s Day kiss!


Disclaimer: I was not compensated any way for the content of this post. All opinions are my own.


Video: A Chat with Sam!

I wanted to try something a little different today and have a little chat with Sam! Enjoy!



{inspired} She Reads Truth

I have been inspired by so many amazing resources in the last few months, and I keep thinking, maybe a few of you in my blog family would like these as much as I do! So I’m going to try to get a handful of {inspired} posts put together for you over the next few weeks. Let’s start with one I use nearly every day.
Do you know about She Reads Truth? It’s a super encouraging website consisting of many different devotional collections and Bible reading plans for women. Each day, SRT posts a new devotional to their current series, but you can access old collections for free on their website. A few recent plans include Esther, Hosea, Hebrews, The Risen Christ, and Hospitality.

In addition to their website, SRT has apps for both iPhone and Android. I love the convenience of their free iPhone app, which includes the complete Bible in a few versions and artistic lock screens and photos with inspiring verses and quotes. The actual devotionals do cost money, but they are only a couple dollars for each series and you can then get them right on your phone. Since we’re not spending anything extra right now, I added a link to their website on my home screen where I can access the devotionals for free. Both options are great!

If you’re looking for a beautifully written, encouraging devotion to help you get in the Word every day, I definitely recommend She Reads Truth.

Do you have a favorite devotional book or resource?


Discolsure: I have not been compensated in any way for my thoughts in this post. All opinions are my own.





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