Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Only Thing Better Than Fresh Rosemary is...

Fresh Basil of course! I just love fresh herbs and it's great that we have a few in our garden. I love to walk outside while I am cooking and grab up the fresh basil. Smell the leaves. Freshly cut them and then put them into my dish....mmmm...can
you taste it yet?

So this thought got me thinking about something else. What is better than my husband's love? Most people would say nothing. For me the only thing better than my husband's love is God's love. Now for a human my husband's love is pretty unconditional. Just like our vows stated he loves me in sickness and health. If we are rich or poor. Till matter what. But no matter how hard he tries his love is still a human love. It can never match the love of God. I just finished a book and it outlined God's love vs. Man's love so well. There is so much I could write on the topic, but maybe every once in awhile I will write on it.

Man's love is dominated by emotion. We feel as though we are in love. So many different things help complicate these feelings and emotions. If someone you love hurts you often times you won't feel as much love for them. Your feelings have been hurt so your love meter goes down. A loved one buys you a gift or takes you out for a meal. Zip! Up goes the love meter. Depending on what people do and how you have been feeling determines where your love meter will stand on any given day.

God's love is committed. Now this is not to say that God doesn't feel love for us. He does. But his love does not fluctuate with feeling. His love is based on a decision to love us. He loves us...Period! Nothing that we do or say fluctuates that love. No matter what we have done in the past or now or the future His love stays the same of us. Are you glad that God doesn't have a love meter? I know I am!

Can you imagine if God did have a love meter? On the day that He sacrificed His own son who could have just been fed up with humanity. We just did too many things to get Him mad and so He could have made the choice not to give us the gift of His son. But His love is SO much greater. So much more that we could ever understand or deserve. His love is so great and so unwavering even when His son was praying in the garden He didn't change His mind. He went though the agonizing choice to give his son as a sacrifice because of His GREAT love for us!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Done With Book Reviews...for now

So glad I got those book reviews out of the way. I had been holding onto those books for sometime now. They were suppose to be done a LONG time ago. Thank God that Thomas Nelson is pretty understanding!

I love being able to do book reviews. Who wouldn't love to get a free book? And all I have to do to get those free books is write about them! WooHOO! I do have some others that I blog for, but I think the one mentioned above is my favorite. (Shhh! Don't tell the others!) They have the best quality books. So far I have given most of the books a 4 or 5 star rating. There is only one that I have given a very low 1 star.

Well not much to talk about right now. My kids are being great today and The Inquisitor made PB&J for everyone today!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Review: Max on Life

Max on Life
Answers and Inspiration for Today's Questions
Max Lucado

Thomas Nelson was great to send me this book for free in exchange for my review. Who would pass up on getting a Max Lucado book for free? I wouldn't! People sent in their questions about life to Max Lucado who, as we all know, is full of Godly wisdom. After you read the questions from searching people you get to read Max's answer. I have enjoyed so many books by Lucado. I have never been disappointed. This was no exception! I loved this book. I would have to say the best part of the book was the comparison of man's love and God's love. God's love is greater, but sometimes you need that reminder. Sometimes you need to hear it from another person.

I think this book would be great. I would recommend maybe using this as part of your devotional time. Read one question and answer each day along with your regular devotional or Bible reading time. As with any Max Lucado book...I highly recommend Max on Life.

Book Review: The Final Summit

The Final Summit

By Andy Andrews

Book Description

David Ponder is back. This time the fate of mankind is in his hands.

This is mankind’s last chance. Centuries of greed, pride, and hate have sent humanity hurtling toward disaster, and far from its original purpose. There is only one solution that can reset the compass and right the ship, and it consists of only two words.

With time running out, it is up to David Ponder and a cast of history’s best and brightest minds to uncover this solution before it is too late. The catch? They are allowed only five tries to discover the answer.

Readers first encountered David Ponder in The Traveler's Gift. Now, in The Final Summit, Andrews combines a riveting narrative with astounding history in order to show us the one thing we must do when we don’t know what to do.

My Review

Thomas Nelson has given me this book for free for my review. This book is a sequel to The Travelers Gift. But it is also a stand alone book. The first few chapters do a good job of getting you up to speed on what the first book was about. It really took me a long time to really get into this book. It wasn't my favorite. I had a hard time figuring out if it was a novel or a self help book. I eventually made it through the book and come to a conclusion that I wouldn't recommend this book. The world is about to come to an end and David Ponder heads up a group of great historical figures. Their job is to figure out what is wrong with the world and fix it. Their conclusion is that man must do something. I understand this point of view a little bit. If we just sit around doing nothing then nothing will get done. If we never tell people about God then how will people hear? But at the same time I really disliked how it came out in the book. It was almost a sense of we have to save ourselves when really God is the only one who can save us. It just seemed like God was really put on the back burner in this one. I don't read a lot of fiction and I feel like this would not have been one that I would have finished if I hadn't have gotten it for my blog to review. I have read other books by Andrews and enjoyed them a bit more.

Where's my Medal??

So something I hear a lot right now is "You deserve a medal!" I have heard it before, but now that there are five little girls following me around I seem to hear it more. There are all kinds of different medals people think I deserve. Some of them I try to ignore and shrug off. Others I try to keep close to me and keep as a reminder that I am doing a pretty good job and I have five amazing girls.

There are the medals that say "You are crazy!" This one I just give a nice little nod to. Making too big of a fuss over this one would make me go crazy.

Then there is the medal of "I would never do what you are doing!" Normally I hear this one when I am in the grocery store with all five of them at once. At times I take this one as an insult, but then I try to remember that I can do what I am doing. I am able to take them all to the grocery store and not forget too much of what I needed. Most people probably wouldn't attempt taking them all. (Just so you know...I don't always take them all with me. I try to go when I have my husband to watch the girls or someone else who is able to help out.)

The one that bugs me the most is "Don't you know what causes that?" This one I heard most while I was pregnant. It's the one when people say it I try to ignore their comment. I try to pretend that they didn't even say it. I wonder how they would feel if they were with their parents and someone said that to their mom. Or even if they had their kids running around them and someone said it. This has really made me think about what I say to other people. How would I feel if someone said it to me? But really it's nice to talk to other people with large families because it's something we can all laugh about.

One that I kind of laugh about "Are they all yours?" Why yes...yes they are! I get this one really. I am young and my kids are all pretty young. Most people my age are just starting to have their first. Most of them aren't even married yet and are still in the party stage of life. So it's ok...I get the question.

The one I got on Sunday was the best. We only had 4 of our girls at Pizza Hut for lunch. My mom and dad had taken out our oldest. I was dealing with the girls and it seemed like they were all going crazy. I mean everyone had to go potty at different times. The pizza was too hot. They needed help blowing on their pizza. One dropped a piece on the floor and took a dive after it which caused her to hit her chin on the table. The baby needed to eat and as usual she was fussy the WHOLE time eating. So I was tired when we finished. As we were walking out this lady looked at me and said "You deserve a medal!" I laughed it off with a little chuckle sure that she thought I was crazy and that my kids were wild. Then after that she actually made me tear up a little. She said "You have such well behaved children!" WOW! It's times like this that I remember I really do have great kids. They listen, they are polite and they are good. Sometimes I just have to remind myself of that and remind myself that my kids are just that...Kids!

Lady I don't know who you are. But you made my day. made my week! So I am holding onto what you said to me. I am keeping it close to my heart and my medal says "She has well behaved children."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Charles Templeton

I don't know if any of you have heard of Charles Templeton. He had this amazing conversion story to Christianity. He had a wonderful ministry and did a lot of traveling with Billy Graham. He was a well known pastor and evangelist. I had never really heard a lot of his story. I recently watched Billy: The Early Years of Billy Graham. The movie was basically Charles Templeton's memories of Billy during his younger years. My heart was saddened as I watched the movie. It was great to see Billy Graham and see how he started and see how his wonderful ministry started.

So why was my heart saddened? I watched as CT talked about his struggle with God. How he started to believe that there was more than one way. That there were many different paths that all lead to the same place in the end. I saw how he struggled with how a loving God could stand by and watch as innocent people were killed by the Nazis. Graham reminded him "God didn't do this. Man did." But Graham's words didn't do him any good. I watched as he stepped down as pastor of his church because he could no longer lead them in something he no longer believed in.

I cried. I mean I cried hard. I didn't just cry because of CT, but I cried because I know so many people like this. They once knew the one true loving God in a very personal way. They loved Him with so much passion that I looked up to them. Then one day it was like they gave up on it all. It's almost like they never believed or never knew Him. I wonder what we can do to help people like this. Sometimes it can be so hard. I watched as CT came up to Graham after they hadn't seen each other for a long time. Graham was excited to see him, but all CT could do was rebuke Graham for still believing. He told him to give up on it all. It was all foolishness and there was no need to believe. He was basically telling him to give up on God. Graham was shaken. But I remember what he said after CT had just stepped down as pastor. He said "Chuck is still a friend. We will not leave him and forget about him. It's important that we pray for him."

Now this makes me think a ton about what can be done. How can we help these people? How can we bring them back to God? But I start to wonder should our question really be...What can we do to prevent them from turning away from God? Should we be more aware of people who are having a crisis of faith? I have my own answers to these questions. But I wonder what other people think. So if you have any thoughts please leave them. I will be writing more posts on the subject later on.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day...Full of Love

There is never a dull moment in our house. I am sure pretty much any of you could have figured that out. We had a wonderful time on Father's day. The girls spent the days before coloring and drawing pictures for Daddy. They even made him a cute little necklace with beautiful beads and in the middle is says DAD. He wore it proudly! Thanks to our wonderful neighbor who helped the girls make that necklace! I am thinking he even wore it to work last night! :)

The girls were excited to see Daddy on the stage at church. He played bass this week and we always get excited when we see him playing! We also took Daddy and Grandpa (Gwampa) out for lunch. It was a loud lunch. But for once it wasn't because of our girls...there were just SO many people there that we could hardly find a place to park or sit and we could hardly hear each other talk. But because our church ended late we got there near the end of their rush time so shortly after we got there people started leaving. The end of our meal time was pretty peaceful.

My husband spent the day just in awe of our life now. 5 girls! A house full of noise, happiness and blessings. What a full life we have. God has truly blessed us!

The girls started VBS this week and it was great! My husband and I walked to the church to pick them up. On the way home one would say "God made you!" Then the others would respond "Thank you God!" Makes us smile to hear them say something like that!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Sheep Was Driving Me NUTS!!!

So I had this meeting the other day. Had 3 of the 5 kids with me and they were SO good! They played with all the little toys and had a wonderful time with the other kids that were all there.

So there I was talking to a lady. She was asking me questions and I was trying my hardest to answer, but at the same time I was so distracted. There was this puzzle sitting on the table right next to me. It was one of those wooden puzzles and it was animals. All the animals were nicely put into their place, but the sheep was not in at all. It was sitting kiddy wampus on top of it's space where it should have been nicely put! When I first sat there I tried to figure out why just the sheep wasn't put away. I figured the kids just got tired of the puzzle or maybe there was just something harder about the sheep and the kid gave up! But by end of this bugging me I was sure that the kid who had been working on it had it out for me. He just wanted to leave that sheep like that just to drive me nuts.

I was working so hard at trying not to focus on this crooked sheep that all I could think about was the sheep! How does that work? I didn't want to move it cause I didn't want to look like I was crazy. So instead for the longest time I sat there unable to answer the questions very well or hold much of a conversation cause I was so focused on this sheep and focused on the fact that I didn't want to move it.

Well I ended up breaking. This sheep was just to much for me. The lady has asked me another question and I asked her to hold on for a second. Then I reached over to the puzzle and slightly moved the sheep so it would slip into place. Ahhh. That felt so good. And really I think waiting so long and trying my hardest NOT to move it made me look crazier than if I would have just moved it. So...moral of my story...If that sheep is bothering just move it!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


My verse today is Isaiah 41:13
"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."
The Lord has made this clear to me the last couple of days. While I still am not feeling like my good old happy self I am thankful for people who are making it easier for me.

Thankful for my husband who spent all night feeding and rocking the baby when she just didn't want to go to sleep.

Thankful for our neighbor in the "big brown house" who had words of understanding for me and allowed the two oldest to come over for a fun morning! This gave me a much needed break and I was able to get a few things done.

Thankful for my parents who sat with three girls during church today and took one out after church. She is still out with them having a blast I am sure!

Thankful for my friends at church who care enough just to ask how I am doing. I am blessed.

So today I am thankful for all the people God has put in my life.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Book Review: Unleased

Release the Untamed Faith Within

Erwin McManus

I was so excited to get this book from Thomas Nelson to review. The description of the book made me think a bit of "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. I had just finished that book and was ready to take on another book like it!

Book Description

Unleashed gives a call to escape a tame Christianity and become original, powerful, untamed Christians—just as Christ intended.

Author Erwin McManus wasn’t raised in a Christian home, so when he came to Christ as a college student, he didn’t know the rules of the "religious club." He didn’t do well in Shakespeare courses, so he didn’t really understand the KJV Bible he was given either. But he did understand that prayer was a conversation, and he learned to talk to God and wait for answers. Erwin’s way was passionate and rough around the edges—a sincere, barbaric journey to Christ.

Barbaric Christians see Jesus differently than civilized Christians. They see disciples differently, and they see Christ’s mission differently. Unleashed is a call to escape "civilized" Christianity and become original, powerful, untamed Christians—just as Christ intended.

My Review
I read a few reviews that people had given this book. I read one that said the book was slow and boring! WOW! Really? To me the only way you might find this book boring is if you are happy where you are in your faith. Maybe I am wrong and maybe the book is just made for different people and not everyone is going to like it. Me...I LOVED IT!

I found the book challenging. Made me look at how I treat my faith in Jesus. Is it just something I do on Sundays? Am I just doing a few good deeds to make myself feel better and think that, that's all I have to do to follow Jesus? Really in reality following Christ is being unacceptable to the world. Something that I have been thinking about for quite sometime now.

One thing that really caught my attention was his referring to Braveheart. I love movies and I love when an author does a great job of describing someone from a movie and using them as an example. He likens being a barbarian Christian to the character Stephen in Braveheart. While I think there are a few things about that character that I don't think really fit I see his point. This man talks to God all the time and not always quietly. He has no shame in being different than everyone else.

One thing I did find a bit frustrating about this book was the over use of the word barbarian. Now if he had not changed the title of the book, it use to be titled "The Barbarian Way", then it wouldn't have bothered me so much. I think since he renamed the book he should have gone through and edited out or changed a few of the words. But really it was easy to get past...and see that it was a great book!

So anyone looking for a challange??? Got a great book for that!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day Goes From crazy crazy to CRAZY CRAZY!

So my day got very interesting. It started off pretty nice with my husband taking care of the girls. He helped me get them dressed and we were going to be off to the Art Center for a nice day of being creative. It's pretty wet outside so I appreciate that we have a few things indoors that are free for the kids to do.

So what could go wrong on a great day like this? Well it all started right before we left. I was getting myself ready and finishing my hair brushing my teeth. You know all that great stuff. So I went to put the tooth paste back and what happens? The mirror falls off the medicine cabinet and breaks. Really??? Only this could happen to me!

Then we get to the Art Center. And I love it because no one else is there. I normally don't mind if others are there...but today I just was not in the mood to deal with others. Well this lovely couple came in with two little girls. The Inquisitor just wanted to play with the girls. But I could tell the parents weren't all that excited about it. Which got me a little frustrated. They went on the other side of the room to play with their girls and started "whispering" to each other quite loudly. "Are those all hers?" "If they are she needs to stop having kids!" Really??? I wonder why people care so much...

So that got me in a bad mood and I quickly rounded up the girls and we left. Hopeful to find some kinder people. I needed to stop at Walmart to pick up a few things...BIG mistake. I have to tell girls did amazing! Most people would not want to go with 5 kids to Walmart, but sometimes you don't have a choice. The kids can make it better or worse and my girls made it a bit better this time because they were so good! But it was so crowded. Normally a crowd would not bother me. I love crowds of people...take me to a concert and I am in the crowd crammed in. Send me to a country in Asia and I love to get on the buses! But today Walmart bothered me. I can't count the number of times people almost ran into my cart or my girls. So we were in and out pretty fast.

Then when we got home it was like everything was bothering me. I think my nerves were just on edge and nothing was ok with me anymore. The girls are dealing with their emotional mom pretty well. I have been getting lots of hugs and kisses today and The Inquisitor has been very helpful with getting everyone to do quiet play. Not something that happens around here very often. So on the verge of tears since early this morning...I think I am feeling better. I have a wonderful homemade pasta dish in the oven and the smell of it is making me feel cozy. Also having a cup of coffee! :)

I know to some of you it may seem silly of me to write my weird day down. To others it may not seem like a big deal. But really this is helping me process my thoughts on how I am feeling. Also it's helping me look back and realize that it really wasn't a horrible day.

Proverbs 3:5
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."

Oh my Blogger Friends How I Love You!

It's true....I do love you! It's like on a day when nothing seems to be going right people who read my blog...both those I know and don't know...can give such encouraging words. You guys are a blessing to me. Not that I feel 100% better, but you guys sure can put a smile on my face!

The Baby seems to be doing well. I have been doing a mixture of nursing and bottle feeding. She doesn't seem to care either way. Today and yesterday she has been giving me the cutest smiles and I just love it!

The rest of the girls are still adjusting a bit. Not that they really understand what is going on, but I see it. All their personalities are on hyperactive mode! So I have been going crazy with extra everyone here.

My husband has been doing a great job of helping me out. He does a ton for me and I appreciate it so much. Like right now he's getting the two oldest to clean up their room and playing games with the other two while the baby is sleeping to give me some time. Funny that I am sitting and writing a blog during my free time. But...writing helps me. Right now my husband really should be sleeping. He works nights and never gets enough sleep. I am blessed with a wonderful husband.

I look at my wonderful family and I think...WOW! I have so much more than I could have ever asked for. I have great daughters and an awesome husband. Sometimes I wonder why I am so lucky to be so blessed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Is it THAT Difficult?

That's what I have been asking myself these past two weeks. I can really describe exactly what I am feeling. But my emotions are on an extreme path right now. I know that it's pretty normal after you have a baby, but this is a bit more than normal. I am happy one moment, crying the next and then angry minutes after that. The only other time I remember feeling like this was after our oldest was born. But the circumstances seemed different then. She was in the NICU and sick. I had the hardest time nursing her once she was actually able to eat. At 2 weeks old she went back into the hospital. Also she was my first baby and I had no clue what I was doing.

So I sit here and think this time. Is it really this difficult? This is your 5th child you shouldn't be feeling like this. This should be much easier than the times before. There is nothing I can pin point that is going wrong. It's just my emotions are all out of whack!

So even though nursing is going well I gave my tiny baby her first bottle today. It's hard for me to admit this. There is guilt that seems to go along with this. Why feel guilty? Well because everything that is around me tells me that giving my baby a bottle is cheating her of the special bond she gets with me when she nurses. It tells me that I am giving her second best. So I have come to this place where I feel I need to start this. Part of my hormones being crazy is just having a baby, but also nursing doesn't help your hormones stabilize at all.

Now I have come to this place. Do I do what's best for one child while the others deal with my emotional behavior? I need to do what's best for my whole family. I need to do what's best for all of us in the long run and right now if that means giving my baby a bottle then that's what I need to do. I can't know for sure that this is what will do it. And maybe I will still feel like I am feeling, but it's a step to see. And if this isn't it then I will have to continue to pray about what to do.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What's in a name?

Many people have been asking about our newest little girl's name. We are known for being creative, but this seems to be a bit more than anyone expected from us. We had a name picked out, but something ruined it all for me!

Our pastor got up and talked about the importance of prayer. This is something that my husband in I stress in our lives and our children's lives. We always let them know that things can be taken away from us. Our home, our churches, our Bibles and so much more. But one thing that they can't take from us is prayer. They can try to regulate it, but it's not something that can be done. It's our connection with's how we communicate with Him how we talk to Him. So here I am listening to this sermon about prayer and our pastor shares this verse.

Daniel 2:16-18
So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king.

Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

I heard the name and something just clicked in my head. That's her name. Yes technically it is a boys name, but when I found there was a feminine spelling of it....I just knew it was right. Something I want for my children is to have a strong emphasis on prayer in their lives. What a great person to name my daughter of the people Daniel went to asking for prayer. And because of their prayers God helped Daniel and spared their lives.

I also love another verse about Azariah...

Daniel 1:18-20
Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s personal service. As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.

The king found them 10 times better than the magicians and conjurers! They stood out and I believe this is because they had God on their sides. They were loyal to God and they trusted in God and He was on their side! I also love the story about them being thrown in the fire when they wouldn't bow to the king. But my favorite part is not when God saved them from the fire...that's a great what is it that I like so much? That when they were confronted they made it clear. God can save us. He can save us from your hand. But they knew that He may not save them. But they wanted to make it clear either way that they would never serve or bow down to the kings god's. I love that!

So there is the story behind her name. Azariya means "Whom the Lord saved". Seems like the more children we have each of their names has a longer story to go with it! But that's ok...I enjoy telling the stories. I just hope you enjoy hearing them!