Friday, November 30, 2012

Clayton is 4!

I love this beautiful girl!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Family Pictures- Cross style

Family pictures, what a fun thing for a family to do!  Well not in real life, and definitely not for a 6,5,4 and 18 month old.  Even Jesus could not make all the kids sit and smile and look like catalog models.  But who wants catalog models as kids.  I am so thankful for my children’s minds, creativity, and personalities.  Yes they are crazy, yes they are naughty, yes they are stubborn (which they got from their Dad ;) ), yes, they are rambunctious, yes they are imaginative, yes they are a little nerdy,  and yes they are beautiful the way God made them.  So these are family pictures, Cross style. Thanks to my friend Leigh Madewell, for making art out of rough material.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Clayton is 4!!

Clayton Kass is 4 years old, I love this girl.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kenndall at 5 years

I love this girl.  She loves to write, she is teaching herself to read, she loves to play princesses and superheros, she loves helping me with laundry, dishes, cleaning.  She loves her friends.  She has a naughty streak that only comes out once in a while.  She is always ready to share, ready to help, ready to make someone else happy.  She is a people pleaser.  She loves school, and asks to go everyday, she will be so ready for Kindergarten next year.  She loves to sing, loves to dance.  In her prayers she never asks for anything for herself, only for everyone to feel good and have a good day.  Her heart is so big that it scares me a little.  Her best friend is her sister, Clayton.  They can play all day together!  She loves beautiful clothes, dresses, sparkly, feathery things.  She is a little bit of a scaredy cat, she is scared of dogs, peacocks, and most large animals.  I cannot wait to see what God has in store for her.  I can't believe He chose me to be her mother, I am so blessed.  I love this girl.  My Kenndall.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What I want my kids to know....

How do I show my kids how to love others with the love of Jesus?
How do I show my kids how to see others with eyes of Jesus?
How do I show my kids that even when bad things happen, Jesus is right there with us?
How do I show my kids that living in the moment, ears open to the Spirit, is vital to a strong faith?
How do I show my kids that our mouths, hands, feet and bodies are the mouth, the hands, the feet of Jesus?
How do I show my kids that they are never entitled to anything?
How do I show my kids their lives of absolute luxury should never be taken for granted?
How do I show my kids that good things require time and hard work?
How do I show my kids that judgement is never an option?
How do I show my kids that forgiveness is a way of life?
How do I show my kids that pain and struggle lead to growth and fulfillment?
How do I show my kids that each individual is a precious child of God?
How do I show my kids that love is a way of life, a choice, a decision?
How do I show my kids that loving friends doesn't stop, even when they don't love you back?
How do I show my kids that if someone steals something from them, they must give them something more?
How do I show my kids that someone hurting them never justifies hurting that person in return?
How do I show my kids that church is only  a small part of a relationship with Jesus?
How do I show my kids that houses, cars, clothes, technology, do not matter?
How do I show my kids that people and relationships are the most fulfilling thing on this earth?

By showing them.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Apologies for the neglect....and my sabbatical.

I have been terribly neglectful of this old blog.  The reason is I have to use all my available brain power for writing papers and doing research this summer.  What is left of my brain is used to think up somewhat creative activities to keep these kids busy!  This is the summer that never was.  I detest summer school, but unfortunately I have to take 6 hours this summer for my residency requirement.  I will be done with that in August then, the real work begins.  Data collection in the fall, comps and propose in spring, defend in the summer.  I feel like Alice when she falls in the rabbit hole, strange pieces of my life floating around me and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.  But behind the madness is a purpose and a goal, and I am almost there!! Praise God!  I think after this I will have had my fill of school FOREVER.
Regardless.  God is good.  My kids are healthy and they get along about 50% of the time.  The other 50% of the time, they are learning to work through their fights, in time out.  HAHA.
I cannot post anything else till after mid August, when my writing is done.  This is my sabbatical from writing for fun. So sorry!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Karsyn 14 months

My precious baby girl at 14 months.  A little ball full of personality.  I never want to forget her like this!  Thanks Matt and Wendy, again for some fantastic pictures.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

5 minutes revisited

It is amazing what a kid can do in 5 minutes.  My kids take 5 minutes to eat, 5 minutes to go from fighting to laughing, 5 minutes to scarf down a snack, 5 minutes for a power nap, 5 minutes to change clothes 5 times, and 5 minutes to spread out every toy they have on the living room floor.  Today I made a discovery about what God can do with 5 minutes from a child.

Awhile back I wrote a little blurb about the power of spending 5 minutes alone with God each day.  For me it is every morning, I read a few verses on my iPad and drink my coffee.  It does wonders for me.  God uses that 5 minutes to make me a better person, better wife, better mother, and better friend.  I can handle stress in a more graceful way, I have a greater amount of patience, and my heart hears the whispers of the Spirit much better than when I go without my 5 minutes with God.

This afternoon, my sweet husband and I were having a discussion about things that he needed to do and why he thought we should skip church that evening.  I argued the other way, I say, "the fact is we have to show our kids it is so important to take time out of our day specifically for God no matter how busy we are."  He says, "we should do that everyday."  I said, "But we don't."  He says, "Then lets do that tonight at home.  Put together a lesson that the kids will get something out of, and we will take time out to show our kids the importance of spending time with God."  At first I resisted.  Then I said, "ok, we can skip church, but we are having our own Bible lesson tonight."

I found a neat little idea online about the verse from Dt. 6, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might."  So I printed up some little flash cards for the kids, and I told Brian when he got home from work that I was ready when he was to do our Bible lesson.  I was sure it would be a little bit awkward, just because we had never had an official family bible study time.  We talk a lot about God and Jesus, but never had we stopped what we were doing to sit and specifically study the word of God.

He read the verse, we talked about it as a family.  The kids talked about the flashcards.  We all talked about the importance of having the love of God in every part of us and talking about Him in all we do.   The whole thing was around 5 minutes.  We all stopped for 5 minutes and thought about 1 small Bible verse.  That moment was an absolute breakthrough for my husband and I.  After it was over, he said, "we should do that every day."  I agreed with him wholeheartedly.  It was almost as if we had both fulfilled an innate responsibility.  My heart was at peace because I knew that I was doing the work of God.  The kids were engaged, responsive, and excited.   The normal stress and exhaustion that I exhibit before bedtime was completely gone and a huge sense of fulfillment and peace settled over me.  It was a 5 minute break.  All of that family bonding, spiritual fulfillment, inner peace, and wonder in the moment came from 5 minutes of worship.   I cannot help but be amazed at a God who can do so much in such little time.  What is even more amazing about this is that I can begin to train my children at this age (3,4, and 6) to choose to stop and focus on their relationship with God for 5 minutes.

My kids need that 5 minutes of family communion time with God, just like they need food, sleep, and air.  It was obvious, they soaked it up like little sponges.  The rest of the evening, they were happy, obedient, and even said yes ma'am with out me asking.  Too good to be true, maybe.  Worth trying again?  Definitely.

The best way to teach your child to pray is to pray with them.  The best way to teach your child to serve is to serve with them.  The best way to teach your child to worship is to worship with them.  The best way to teach your child to study is to study with them.  The best way to teach your child the importance of setting aside time for God, is to set aside time for God for them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cooper Keith, 6 years old

Thanks to Matt and Wendy for these fantastic pictures of my sweet boy!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cooper the T-ball player

We got Coop's tball pics and they just made me smile! This kid is not the best player on the team, but he is everyone's buddy! And that is a great sign of a successful tball season!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cooper is 6!

 Coop with his awesome Wolverine Cake decorated by his daddy.
 With his gifts.
 Loves Lego!  Especially Star Wars or Superhero lego!
 His sweet Wolverine Mask.
 Neat Captian America from Aunt Kim and Uncle Cameron

The best lego ever!  The Batcave.

Coop had a great birthday!  I need to record a couple of things about this kid at 6 years old.  He loves to talk, and he feels the need to talk a lot.  He is very interested in animals, bugs, anything nerdy.  LOL!  He also loves superheros and power rangers.  He likes to jump on stuff and say he has Spider skills.  He likes me to read to him, but he is not a big fan of reading.  He likes to play with his sisters as long as they play his way.  He has never met a stranger, and will often go give random people hugs.  He loves hugging his friends from school.  One day he hugged every kid in his kindergarten class on his way out.  I thought it was sweet, and his teacher was annoyed.  He is friends with everyone, even the mean and naughty kids, even kids that have been mean to him, he is still friends with them.   He has an inquisitive mind and can remember everything he is told.  He knows more about superheros than most people.  He also enjoys learning about historical characters, George Washington and Teddy "Rosabell" are two of his favs.   Most of the time he says "yes ma'am".  He loves learning Bible stories and about God and Jesus.  Some of his prayers lately are, "Dear God, help me to learn about God and Jesus, help me to be kind, and I like Jesus and He likes me.  In Jesus Name, Amen."  It makes me laugh.  I love this sweet boy! 6 years has gone by in a flash....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easter 11 with the Cross cousins!

We had a great time with all the Cates and Killoughs for Easter Sunday 2012!    Here are a few pics of the kids!

 Karsyn never gets any attention from any of her aunts!!

The group picture!!  Don't look at Cooper or Kent's faces, they were ready to eat candy!!