Friday, March 27, 2009


Although the term "Spring Break" means nothing to my kids, it does take on a new meaning for a homeschooling mom. Normally a Friday at 11:30 at Out of This World Pizza and Play is a relaxing time for mom while the kids run freely in the massive play space with one or two dozen other children. But not during Spring Break! Oh MY! We were parked in the back lot and were met by more people than we had ever seen, even on the busiest of Saturdays!

As kids tend to be, my children were basically unaffected by the hundreds of other children. We met our cousins, Isaac and Averie there. (For anyone keeping track, their Mom, Christie is Shane's cousin on his Mom's side... which, I believe, makes them our kids' second cousins). Noah and Isaac have been buddies from the earliest of diaper days, and so, of course, Averie and Hannah have also found a special friendship. It was nice for me to catch up with Christie, and the kids had a blast.

I was really quite impressed with Noah. At one point, a much smaller boy amidst the crowd, somehow came to bite Noah on the fore arm. The teeth marks were deep and, in fact, broke the skin. We were able to put ice on it, and when the boy's parents became aware, and the boy was told to come and apologize. Noah told him, "its OK, I forgive you." We found ice cream to be a great distraction at that point. About 20 minutes later, I see Noah running past me on the way to the play structure, and I ask "how you doing"... but he barely has time to wave.

What a great kid? He could have retaliated at that boy. He didn't, he walked away. He could have let it ruin his day. He didn't, he really forgave. I love that kid!

So, when we realized the opportunity to have Isaac come and stay with us, it seemed the perfect idea. The boys spent the afternoon running around the yard, ate a great dinner, played Wii, got on some PJs and hunkered down to watch a movie. I love hearing the little laughter and joy that these cousins get from their friendship. I hope that they always stay good friends.

Of course, it is hard for the other kids, seeing Noah with a special friend, sleeping in sleeping bags down stairs. But life isn't fair, as my mother always used to tell me. I know they will have their turns at sleep overs and special friends. And although Zak was quite upset for a bit, I had to remind him that his is only 3 (he does need that reminder!). Hannah and Zak did get to watch a movie in the boys room together - with popcorn, and have their own sort of sleep over. Hannah slept on the bottom bunk.

Happy quiet house, wonderful kids, tired mom - good night.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Exciting News

Vertner Baby #5 is preparing for an early November arrival!

Each of our children have been such incredible blessings to our whole family, it is exciting to know that the Lord has seen to bless us, yet again.

Psalm 127

A song of ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.

Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

This is the perspective you need

We all do....

(this was recently posted on Thingamababy , a blog I enjoy.)

Below is a transcript of the Coke commercial, because the font is a wee bit small.

This is a true story. In these hard times we bring together the eldest man with the youngest baby.

[Images of a pregnant woman in car] Madrid. Aitana Martinez. Three hours before birth.

[Images of an old man at home] Mallorca Josep Mascaro. 102 years.

[Image of the man on a phone] Hello Aitana.

[Voiceover on a long car trip and plane trip interspersed with images of birth]

My name is Mallorca Mascaro and I am 102-years-old.

I’m a lucky guy. Lucky…

For having been born, like you.

For being able to embrace my wife.

For having known my friends and for having been able to say goodbye to them.

For still being here.

You will ask yourself what is the reason I’ve come to visit you today.

It’s because most people will say what a bad moment you’ve chosen to come into the world.

We’re in crisis, that’s not a good thing…

Well, it’ll make you stronger.

I’ve lived worse moments than this one,

but in the end, you’ll remember only good things.

[Image of the man now at the hospital visiting the baby]

Don’t waste time with nonsense, there’s plenty of it,

and go and find what makes you happy while you can,

since time slips away very quickly.

I’ve lived for 102 years and I’ll happily live a few more.

Because I promise you that the only thing you won’t like about life it that it’ll seem too short.

You’re here to be happy.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cling tight for you life

The Mom's Bible Study at our church has been discussing authority and obedience, how it applies to our lives and how to teach it to our children. I wanted to share my notes from this week's gathering. We listened to a recording of Mrs. Nixon, who had given a talk on this subject to a homeschool co-op.

Obedience needs to be three things to be true obedience:
  1. Prompt, quick and with out delay
  2. Cheerful
  3. Thorough, complete, not the bare minimum
Yet, the most important thing in teaching our children about obedience is that they know

GOD will NEVER leave you

GOD will NEVER forsake you

Jesus literally went to the depths of the worst Hell. There is nothing that our children will be able to do, no where they can go, to escape God's presence.

With authority comes a covering. Think about an umbrella. It will protect you, but only when you are under the umbrella. God has instituted authority to protect us, but we have to be willing to bow our own wills to go under the umbrella. If a parent is self centered, that parent can't be under the covering of God's umbrella. We need to be submitting to God to help our children to see HOW to bow their wills to go under the covering.

My goal will NOT be to have 100% perfect obedience every time.

My goal is and will be to see my children clinging to Jesus.

Heb 12:4 "You have not yet given your lives in your struggle with sin"

Have you seen that guy in a movie who is on a plane when the door gets blown off and there is no cabin pressure? He's holding on to something, but his body is horizontal, the air pressure attempting to suck everything not strapped down out the door. And slowly one finger at a time, he looses his grip, but he's literally holding on for his life. I don't know that I have considered that it would take that kind of effort to cling to Jesus. (I have a new pursuit.)

There are times when I can't see what is going on. But we must trust in and rely on Him in times that are clothed in darkness and times that are clothed in light. There are times God will want us to go through things and we can try to avoid them, but it is just delaying the inevitable. Remember, God will find us (or our children) where ever we are.

When training our children "in the way that they should go," it can be like creating a path in the snow for a sled. If we want to go to a certain point in the base of the hill, the best thing to do is to establish your path. You may need to try out the path, and still end up running into a tree. So you start again from the top and rework the path to make the track straighter. So as we are training our children, it takes thought, preparation, trail, error and reworking.

Hebrews 12 talks of earthly fathers who do the "best that they know how." I will not be a perfect parent. But the best way to teach my children to cling to Jesus, is to be an example, and cling to Jesus, as if my life depends on it. It does.


I just love this age of Maggy. She is quite good at communicating what she wants, and screaming at what she doesn't want... we are working to tone that down.

But my absolute favorite are her hugs.

She, in the last week or so, has started wrapping her thin little arms around my neck and coming in tight for a good squeeze.

I am amazed at how quickly one squeeze around the neck, which is usually followed by two or three more, washes away all the frustrations and challenges of toddlerhood for both mommy and child.

I would include a picture of said squeeze, but I would probably spend hours trying to get the right "organic" pose. And we just don't have time for such orchestrated blog posts :-)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

We have the keys, we have the car!

Late Friday evening, the sales person from the dealership pulled into our driveway to exchange the loaner vehicle for our NEW (to us) 2002 Chevy Suburban.

Isn't she pretty??

We're still considering a nickname. It's really cute to hear the kids try to spit out "sururan" or "busurban". Maybe we'll call her BOSS-lady... her great big 22 inch tires say "BOSS"

We are finding her to be a great balance between my need for a practical vehicle and Shane's need to have a toy. (but honestly, I think he's pretty excited).

The kids are quite comfortable as well.

Lots of space, and oh! the entertainment!We took her for a trip to Dallas, OR to see Shane's Mom for the day. Even Dex was able to come along since her crate fits nicely in the back. (and after a day of running through the river with Louey, no way is that dog getting loose in this nice clean car).
We were very blessed by our last car. My husband has said that he feels much we are much safer in this vehicle and "it's fun!". I think we're just blessed!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Now we're cookin!

I love to cook. ...and I love my new apron that I got at a scrapbook event last month.

Did you see the new recipes at Savory Suggestions?

Tonight I thought I'd try to cook the bacon on the grill. I've heard of others doing it, and since I was cooking the burgers on the grill, I figured I'd try.

It was going well, but as to be expected, the grease was causing some flames. Once I moved the bacon to one half of the grill and placed a frozen burger on the grill. The ice crystals on the burger hit the hot grease creating a 4 foot flame, searing my eye lashes and the right edge of my bangs. I rarely got good grades in science classes, but I had no idea that could happen!

oh, and this is what Maggy does while I'm cooking. She sits on the counter, convinces me to let her ruin her dinner with snacks like graham crackers, and loves to say "cheese" whenever she sees the camera come out. Obviously, she doesn't understand that the pictures are just for the blog.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

waiting.... and waiting...

I know you all saw that the van is gone and that it went to a dealership, so obviously, its part of a trade.
Maybe you are starting to wonder what we traded it for???

I'm trying to remember.....

We gave the dealership some money on Sunday...

That's Mike, the guy who got our money (a nice sales guy with lots of great stories)

but the car needed to go through the shop and get detailed. It had just come in on a trade in from another deal.

So we are waiting too.

Hopefully we'll have it in our driveway tomorrow and you (the world of the internet) will be one of the first to know!

*disclaimer: I will use any excuse to show of pictures of adorable children

High Fashion of a 1 year old

I may not be known for a stellar or sharp fashion sense for myself. But when it comes to dressing my children, nothing but the best!

And when ever possible, the attire should match their eating utensils.

To fully understand this post, please read this from my friend's blog.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Saying good bye

Hannah was only a few weeks old when we found and bought our van.

Over the course of the previous 6 years, we had made more than our share of bad financial decisions and were finding ourselves unexpectedly facing bankruptcy. And so came the new era...

We were making efforts to be good stewards of the material things we were blessed with, and we were trusting the Lord to help our hearts change to truly be able to be good stewards. Our first good decision was to pay cash for a vehicle.

Great idea... only, we didn't have that much cash. What kind of car could we get with less than $3000 cash?!

At that time, you could still buy cars on eBay. We found a 96 Ford Wintsar that was being sold in Oregon and had about 145,000 miles on it. We won the auction, sight unseen, and started to pray.

God, we are trusting you, and asking that as you teach us to be wise with your blessings, that you will bless this car too.

There were some small quirks: a driver's window that doesn't go down; wipers that work better when the turn signal is on, door sensors that think doors are open when they aren't. But really, over all, this car was so clearly blessed. It got us from point A to point B and point C through Z well and comfortably with so little hassle. I often found myself amazed at the blessedness of this car.

But I do know this, that God has blessed us, not the car. God might use our material things to show his love and grace to us, but really, we are the ones that are blessed.

Today, we said good bye to our van.
I loved this car. So many places it took us, so many memories!
It has been on borrowed time for a while. The last trip the mechanic for an oil change confirmed that we were due for a severe repair bill any day now, but likely wouldn't be worth doing.

Upon handing the keys over to dealer, it was obvious that the blessing was on us, and not on the car. The car immediately went from running perfectly to struggling and a Check Engine light. As a result, the return on the car was not as great, but my faith is stirred. Now I know, God used this car to bless us and teach us how to trust in him more.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A March Day

Today was so drastically March, it is almost as if the clouds saw me flip the calendar.

Before noon, the sky was a beautiful stellar blue with small wispy white clouds. A warm yellow sunshine washed and refreshed every inch of our world.

An hour later, heavy gray clouds covered the sun, and what appeared to be a light sprinkle, quickly turned into a total a rush of drops chorusing from the sunlights.

And all afternoon, the teasing sunshine, the roaring showers, the brightness of the spectrum, the ominous clouds. Welcome March!

This morning I found myself with a rush of energy and, even, motivation. It is just one day, so I worry about even saying anything, maybe it is too soon. But no! It definitely felt like the sun was coming through the clouds... my head was coming out of the clouds. Warm yellow sunshine was radiating from me, as well as the sun.

And then...with the passing of lunch and a full stomach, I felt a slump. So, I'm not cured completely. But I have such great hope. I am on the right path. The alternating sun and rain in Oregon is a sign of what is to come - spring and then summer. My fluctuating energy and motivation, as I will take it and declare, is a sign of what is to come, wholeness of me!