Category Archives: family

Hearing my 14 year old worship….

 Last night (Wednesday) was my long-awaited “Mercyme” concert.

I am a fairly HUGE “Mercyme” fan…the lyrics of their songs penetrate my soul.  Their song “Bring the Rain” was almost a motto for our Guatemalan adoptions.  

Happily, last night Chase and Trey got to experience “Mercyme” IN ACTION for the first time!

Of course, they know most of the songs because I play them all the time 🙂 I have to admit to not really “loving” music like my husband…I don’t remember band names, song titles, lyrics, or…really..anything…

UNLESS the song stirs me.

(like Cindy Morgan’s “How Could I Ask For More”… and Etta James’ “Sunday Kinda Love” … and a few others- but not many. sigh)

So, as a result, I play the SAME songs over and over and over 🙂  This behavior drives my music-fanatic family quite insane……what can a girl do?!

Anyways, after they got used to be being CRAZY (read: dancing 🙂 screaming 😉 the boys really settled in and enjoyed the band.

“Mercyme” concerts have a huge “worship” component.  LUV this.

I LOVE worshiping the Lord in a huge group where there is no pressure, no pews, no expectations.

Apparently, so does my 14 year old.

I was nearly brought to (more) tears as I stood by my oldest son as he sang just as loud as everyone else.

As he lost himself to the love of worship.

He let his teenage insecurities drop and he became part of a larger whole that was lifting praise to God simply because God is God.  Not for what He gives us…but because He is “I Am.”

I, as a Mom, really and truly want NOTHING more for my children than to love the Lord with all of their heart, soul, and MIND.

Oftentimes, I think I focus on “the MIND” part a bit too much…because it was not focused upon during my upbringing.

I’ve managed to get information in front of my kids that make them feel, intellectually, secure about God.  About good vs. evil. About Heaven. About the Bible.


Last night…Chase was learning, more, to Love the Lord with his Heart and Soul too.

I really can’t ask for more than that…For if they love the Lord with all their Heart, Soul, and Mind then all the other pieces will follow.  

It was a special night.  

One that, I hope, my boys will remember as penetrating their Hearts and Souls in a way that only God can…

The whole event was fun…but this “moment” … hearing my Chase sing with no cares….was a “true moment” I will never forget…

 (I was trying DESPERATELY to get a stage dude to take my bowler hat (which is a clone of one on “Mercyme’s” latest album cover…back to the band to get it signed. Um. Yeah. Well. That didn’t happen and, actually, the stage hands were sorta mean 🙂

Before the concert…We enjoyed the fair…

It was just us and ‘the big kids’. This is unusual for us. Yet it was a BLAST! Trey, with his sassy sarcasm, repeatedly mentioned just how “nice” it was actually…eyeroll 🙂
 (we won four new fish…welcome ‘home’ fishy friends…mmmwwwhahahaah…)
(and, I ask, WHY is the Momma always the ‘pack mule’? huh? huh?)

Yet….the moment of hearing my son sing his heart to the Lord…remains the highlight of the day…actually of my parenting life in a way …..

I PRAY that this is a moment that it is a glimpse into the future for my Chase…and my Trey…and my Zane….and my Tye..and my Avenita.

Andrea..and my 5 monkeys

Enough pictures to last us a…..few days :) AND…What is YOUR child’s "ELEMENT"?


Um …. just a “few” pictures of mi familia :O)  Alot of summer fun along with amazing memories and plenty of silly antics.

“Why so many pictures Andrea?”

Oh there are many reasons …. a few:

1. to prove to my kids they had a great childhood 😉

2. to look at when I am wondering which continent Chase is currently in, how Tye’s doctor practice is going, if Zane got bit by a boa constrictor at his Zoo, if Trey gets a sabbatical from Oxford after he earns tenure, and if Aven will be home by curfew 🙂

 Zane was a hot mess with that cast at the Lake last week.

We tried …valiantly…truly! 

But, alas, the day after we spent at the Lake…

Zane & Jim spent at the Ortho getting a fresh cast 🙂


We were trying EVERYTHING to keep it try. Nothing worked.

Only today, on, did I discover “vacuum sealed swim covers”” for casts! 

And THAT was only after our neighbor told us about them! oh vey….

But…we think the day was worth a ruined cast….

You can replace a cast…You cannot replace a day with family!


I am IN THE WATER!! Not only ‘that’…but I am IN THE WATER on a skinny raft with a 4 yr old AND a little pup on my lap!  

Somebody “ROAR” for me! booyah! (see I don’t “do” cold water…but this lake water was -literally- past warm! JUST the way I like it 🙂

My sweet nephew, Bruce.  He is his own person. Sticks to his guns about his ideas. I like that about him…He preferred to sit by a hot fire on a  hot day than splash in the water. And that’s exactly what he did 😉

What a divine picture of my Zane…He is IN HIS ELEMENT.

Does your kid(s) have an “element”? Some environment in that they seem to think all is right with the world?

Zane’s is fishing/outdoorsy stuff

Aven’s is her bedroom 🙂

Trey’s is behind a guitar!

And Chase’s is working within  a leadership position….

It is FUN to see the kids’ hearts flutter and leap when they get to experience “their” element.

I feel like it is free therapy of sorts 🙂 (not that they NEED therapy..but..well…I AM their Momma so ….maybe!) but…

A therapy that EVERYONE needs….to be in ‘their environment’…

…Where your heart feels lighter, your cares slight, and your contentment soaring…

My element is my art studio…I FEEL LIKE ANDREA IN THERE! phew.  She IS still under there after all these years of parenting! good to know!

So, I ask again, what is you and/or your kids’ elements?

Then there are those AMAZING times…

When “life” is put away…When time “settles”…When a moment becomes breath-taking…awe…sweet heaven.

I feel “that way” when  I see my kids “liking each other”.

Seeing your kids love on each other is SURELY one of the best rewards a Momma could get.  

I want my kids to be siblings but also FRIENDS. There IS a big difference and we are FOREVER encouraging their friendships!

It seems to be ‘taking’ …. perfectly?! ha. no. never.  

But – improvements are happin’ 🙂 


I have a newly discovered passion..UMBRELLAS! I think we should move to Seattle so that I can use one almost EVERY day!

The more I look at them, the more intriguing I find them. 

They have SO much utility – keep you try, coordinates an outfit (smile), a weapon (!), a great photo prop?!! 

{weird. I know. whatever. I can hear ya’ll rollin’ your eyes!!!}

Then there’s my Trey….

Trey was mesmerized all day by keeping “the fire going”. The boy would make a GREAT cowhand I’m telling ya!

This is my twin “in Heaven”….

A new phone (that has internet access which she has never had or at least not in India) AND a can of the REAL ‘Mountain Dew”…

Heaven for her!

My kids seem so “big” in these pictures. I think I will only photograph them from the knees up now! 

HOW the heck did Chase (above picture) suddenly become a “man-boy”?  No one asked MY permission..No one asked if I wanted my first baby to grow up all of a sudden…growl.

But his is dang cute isn’t he?!!! To bad he can’t date until he’s about 28 🙂  bbwwwhhhaaahahahaha

How much do I LOVE (like oh so LOVE) that my girl though that hair band around her waist was “just where I thought it should go today Momma!”  

Oh my heck I LOVE her sass and her creativity. 

Thank you Sweet Jesus for giving her to me…THANK YOU FOR ALL FIVE OF THEM PRECIOUS GOD!!! What would I do without my Collection??? sigh. 

YOU knew JUST what my life would need…I, personally, had NO idea that THIS is what my heart would long for….You started giving me the desires of my heart before I even had them 🙂 shiver.  [i hadn’t a CLUE nor inclination to be a Momma to Many when I was younger or even newly married….God smiles at my cluelessness surely :)]

YES! Tye caught a fish!

BOO that he thinks it is now a true pet and has a meltdown when, after an HOUR of kissing, watering, and petting it Jim has him release the fish back into the lake.

Tye really might need therapy for that one!  But, really people…If Tye gets his hands on ANYTHING new (alive, dead, just needs to be tangible!) he DEMANDS to take it home.

Either I am raising  a ‘hoarder’ or Tye is still working out some mental difficulties about ownership, etc….Which he never had the opportunity to do in his orphanage. 

Everything, except his shoes, were communal property. 

As a result, the boy gets a massive snap of HAPPY when he “owns” a new thing…..I wonder when this phenom will end with him?!

If you are new here…beware.

I have a “FEW” areas where my self-control goes out the blogging window…

A few are:

*My kids’ toes! oh how I adore them!

*I write ALOT here 🙂 I lose track of time when I am blogging.

*An abundance of pictures…as you can tell from this post 🙂

*Opinions…MY opinions but I’d always love to hear yours!

*Art (I pretend to be an artist during those 23 free minutes I have every 4 days or so 😉

*Truth. I love writing IN a truthful way but also about how truth/trust are SO very important…and I’m always asking my readers for advice…So count yourself duly warned!!! 🙂

That, pretty much in pictures, was our “day at the lake” last week…Our first FULL day spent with my sister and her family. 

It was beyond awesome to see how resilient kids are…the kids just pick up where they left off and “get ova it!”  I want to be more like them!

Hope you enjoyed the pictures…. 🙂  

And…as I am about to close my eyes for the night…I SURELY hope it is not another 31 hours of sleep that will sneak up on me ….. because then who will be ornery and dorky to the kids tomorrow? 

Who would pretend to have forgotten Trey’s name and call him “Fred” all day?! huh? who?!

And, WHO, I ask would remind all these little people to  put the milk jug AWAY ..

,,,AND WHOOOOOOO would remind my 5 males to put the stinkin’ (pun accidentally intended but I’ll roll with it!) toilet seat down?!

No One! Only ME! 

I have to be up & at’em and get on “Toilet Seat Duty” asap tomorrow!

So…I need to be fully charged and roaring when my eyes open! (well…let’s not get CRAZY…I will be happy with one OR the other of those too!  *wink*)


Well…Oh Snap..Who Cares…Even a Momma of Many can still be super silly…See…

I wasn’t going to include these due to the high level of “stupid” that I look in these here pictures…but….I will [this whole ‘transparency thing I got going on here on my blog bites me in the buttocks sometimes!]

They are of myself [in the middle] with two of my high school “girlz” … and their spouses, friends.  Yep, we were and still are THAT dorky 🙂