Monday, July 28, 2014

Anticipation

I have heard of little else besides Gramma and Pappy's house for the last couple months.
How long until we go to Gramma and Pappy's house?
Can I call Pappy and tell him about my birthday party?
Will we get to fly on the airplane?
How long until it's time to go to Gramma and Pappy's?
Oh, Mom, I just love Spokane.
But I'll tell ya, the excitement escalated to new heights when Gramma sent these cute rolling suitcases in the mail!
The boys are downright giddy.
(So am I!)
It's difficult living so far away from so many dearly loved ones,
but it sure makes the reunions oh so sweet!
Washington State, we can't wait!

Lovely Little Laptop Case

I decided to randomly sew a case for my laptop...
 (You know, when I should have been packing or cleaning or otherwise getting myself organized for our upcoming trip!)
 We weren't originally planning on taking my laptop on the plane with us when we travel to see family in the Northwest, but when we were unable to borrow "the cousins'" portable DVD player (because they are traveling at the same time we are!) we realized that the necessity of boys sitting quietly and watching a movie outweighed the inconvenience of carrying my laptop everywhere.
So, I decided it needed some protection!
 And I even designed it so the boys can watch their shows without having access to any buttons!
If I'd decided to do this when I had a little more time on my hands, I would have probably added carry handles and a pocket for my power chord, but all in all I'm pretty pleased!
:)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book Review: The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert
By Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
This is perhaps the most insightful book I've ever read.
Guaranteed to make you squirm, no matter who you are or what path you're on, she'll step on your toes and make you open your eyes. This book was brilliant, and I would consider it a must-read for just about anyone.
It chronicles the complete upheaval that came when Rosaria left her lesbian, feminist activist lifestyle as an english professor working her way up the career ladder at a big university, and plowed through a train-wreck conversion to Christ. Because of what she refers to as her "R-rated testimony" she offers incredible insight into the way Christ loves people from all walks of life, and points out the often unnoticed collateral damage that His love can bring about in a repentant, new believer's life. Her conversion was earth-shaking, and her perspective can help us to understand not only how to minister to others going through similar situations, but to also understand the fear associated with allowing Christ to enter your life.
Her story continues on to show the way Christ changed her life, leading her to a new town, a new job, a new church, and eventually the godly man to which she is now happily married. 
The last couple chapters in her book describe their incredible experiences with foster parenting and adopting children of different races (she was too old to bear children when they were married), and how they teach and train their children through their rigorous homeschool curriculum. 
I have never read someone with more insight into more of life's various struggles than Mrs. Butterfield.
God has used this woman greatly in His kingdom, and her book is one I would recommend to anyone looking for insight, whether Christian or not.
Just prepare yourself to feel convicted, squirmish, and like she's talking directly to you.
I think she is.

And a couple favorite quotes to end with:

"You can't play poker with God's mercy-- if you want the sweet mercy then you must allow the bitter mercy. And what is the difference between sweet and bitter? Only this: your critical perspective, your worldview. One of God's greatest gifts is the ability to see and appreciate the world from points of view foreign to your own, points of view that exceed your personal experience. That is what it means to me to grow in Christ-- to exceed myself as I stretch to Him."

"When mountains move, the earth shakes. When you stand as close as we have to real life miracles, you will get roughed up."


[This book was one of the books provided to our family by our kind church.]


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Cool Mom Moment

When Daddy can't be home for the evening, I typically resort to snuggling on the couch for a movie with my littles, or reading books, or something else requiring little to no energy-- physical or mental.
Not tonight, though.
I had a cool mom moment.
This guy:
Oh, and this crazy hooligan:
I even went down it once!
It was not the smooth ride I was expecting. It apparently helps to weigh around 35 lbs, not... well... pregnant mommy pounds.
*bump, bump, bump, bump*
Please excuse the surplus of pictures.
Mommy has a new camera and I'm trying to figure it out!
(It's easy to play with it when your subject matter is so cute!)
They're a bushel of fun, for sure!!
XOXO


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Love Tough!

All the pregnancy books say that I should refrain from doing any activities that could cause trauma to my abdomen... but I can't exactly take a break from being mommy to two rambunctious little boys (who seem to have no spacial awareness of their elbows, knees, or heads for that matter)!!! 
Lois is bound to be one tough little lady!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Review: Leave it to Psmith

LEAVE IT TO PSMITH
By P. G. Wodehouse
* * *
We. love. Psmith.
(The "P" is silent.)
This book is absolutely hilarious! Each night we like to read as a family together in the living room. Up to this point we've chosen books that Riley and I want to read (either to expose our kiddos to good literature subconsciously, or simply because it's fun) but this was the first novel that we really noticed them paying attention and following the story-- and even they enjoyed it! 
(It could have been that Mommy kept laughing out loud throughout each chapter!)
Couple P. G. Wodehouse's perfect character development, rich use of metaphor, and brilliant plot weaving with Riley's entertaining ability to create (and keep straight) different voices for each of the characters, and you're in for some serious entertainment!
While I enjoy british humor, it's not typically my favorite. But, I have to say this book is British humor at it's finest. And we simply adore it! It's one of those books where you truly can't choose a favorite character, because they're all so unique, so endearing, and the perfect mix of realistic personality and outrageous hilarity.

I've procrastinated this review (we finished it a couple months ago!) because I wanted to really do its wonderfulness justice... but it's a worthless endeavor. I am no writer. Wodehouse is the master. 
If you've never experienced Wodehouse, it's time.
I'm tellin' ya. We LOVE Psmith!
(And you can bet we'll be getting our hands on some more Wodehouse in the near future!)
Cheers!

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4, 2014

Happy (belated) 4th of July!
[Some crazy, cute cousins!]
We celebrated Independence Day in a very relaxed, fuss-free manner.
We started at the cousins' pool, and got good and worn out by the sun. 
[The boys trying out their new goggles before we left!]
Then came back to the Walkers' for a cookout. 
(Check out that spread! Ribs, burgers, hot dogs, sides, and then three different desserts to try to stuff into our bellies after all of it!)
Then we sat outside and enjoyed the unseasonably cool weather until heading to the local golf course that shoots off a lovely fireworks show every year.
(And lit sparklers while we waited for dark!)
What a blessing! Celebrating the freedom found in this great country of ours.
God bless America!

From Lois to Lois

Here's a little something fun: 
This darling Summer dress from my childhood was sewn and embroidered by my sweet Grandma Lois, and I remember cherishing the coordinating doll when I was little!

I can't wait to share these treasures with my Grandma's namesake... if only they could have met each other!
XO

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Better and Bountiful

Today marks my due date for the baby we lost in November.
If I hadn't miscarried, I would either be large and uncomfortable and giddy with anticipation, or holding a precious bundle of joy in my arms right now.
I was delighted with that little life for the short amount of time that I had it, and while I did not get the blessing of holding his or her body close to my chest and breathing that fresh scent of new baby, the Lord answered the prayers of my broken heart... 
Lord, please fill my womb with life again before my due date comes. 
Please let my body carry a child within it, and bless our family with another baby.
[26 weeks... well, 26 and a half... *wink*]
Sometimes we don't understand God's plan for our lives, but He always works all things for good.
His plans are better, and His blessings bountiful.

And it is at this point that we are thrilled to introduce to you God's better and bountiful plan for us by name.
:)
Meet our daughter,
Lois Idelle
[Lois @ 20 weeks]
We named her at our ultrasound when we found out she was a girl, and have been giddy with excitement about our little Lois ever since!
Lois is of course my grandmother's name, and means "Better." 
While this could cause some sibling tension in the future (ha!) we know that she is the outworking of God's good plan for us, and since His ways are better than our own, we found the name to fit her perfectly.
Lois Jean Meili Doughty with her four oldest children.
(She went on to have three more!)
Isn't she stunning??
:)

Idelle is a family name as well. Riley's great great grandmother was Sarah Idelle (she went by "Della") and she was a godly wife and mother who raised 10 children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Sarah Idell Ramsey Sublett (1867- 1951) and her husband
William Joseph Sublett. Married in 1888.
Idelle means "Bountiful" and I'd say that the name fit her just as well as it fits our own daughter!
Our very own bountiful blessing.
We sure can't wait until we get to snuggle our little Lois Idelle in our arms!!
Just three more months!
XO



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Audrey Pearl

A precious niece was born this week.
Audrey Pearl Mason.
She's practically perfect in every way!
And a very special gift, born the same week our third child, her precious cousin, was due to enter this world and my arms.
I've longed to hold her since we lost that sweet babe.
My heart is full, God is so kind!!
And last night little Audrey rested in my embrace, making darling little newborn faces and squeaks while my daughter within gave her tiny kicks of approval.
New life... it's a miracle!
XO