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Small Graces

Today I turned 31. Truth be told, I'm glad 30 is over. In many ways it was a good year - I grew a lot. That growing, however, required that I come face to face with the depravity of my soul and my human weakness like I never have before. I learned to depend more on my LORD, to run to HIM in my times of need. I also learned to be more honest with the people he's placed in my life; to let them know when I'm struggling and ask them for help. They were/are good lessons but my stubbornness also made them hard ones. 

My sweet family made me feel very loved today. Jeremy sent me back to bed this morning because the boys wanted to make sure I woke up to a birthday surprise. On the kids' birthday I always hang streamers and balloons and we have a special little breakfast. This is what I "woke up" to today. 

a tunnel of streamers

coffee, a pumpkin muffin and an apple donut served on our "extraordinary" plate

the boys also built me a wooden steamboat. mini man excited told me "it will float
in your bath!"
*i asked jeremy to build me a classroom chalkboard for my gift this year - it's
almost finished. he will also be taking me on a chicago birthday date soon
Our church's monthly potluck was today as well. Since it was my birthday I was allowed to cut in front of all this kids and take a turn on the zip-line.

The beginning of week was not as fun-filled as today. Big Buddy came down with a fever on Sunday and wasn't himself again till Tuesday. We are not sure if it was a virus or just exhaustion from his birthday party but thankfully he was the only one of us to get ill. I was very grateful for the new treasures his friends had gifted him; they helped keep my normally rambunctious boy entertained and somewhat still. 

dinosaur excavation!

he was able to build this lego set all on his own and was glowing with pride!
the little spark these cap guns create bring them a crazy amount of joy

While Big Buddy was recuperating Mini Man got some one-on-one time with Jeremy helping with yard chores and such. 

On Wednesday when Big Buddy was feeling better, V, the girl I babysit, and another firends' son, spent the day with us. I love having extra children in our home - getting to know them and love on them is a great blessing. 

a quiet craft break

Our gardened has exploded with bits of red - lots of tomato soup, caprese salad, pasta, and bruschetta in the weeks to come!

the kids have come up with their own creative way of washing vegetables

mini man got the shin guards for his birthday from his aunt em. they have become
part of his daily uniform "these are my leg armor"

One more highlight of our week was finishing Stephen Lawhead's Riverbank Stories series. They are delightful stories and perfect chapter books for reading to young children. 

I'm pretty sure that I've shared before that Jeremy and I are lovers of the written word. It warms by heart to see our children enjoying books. Reading aloud to them is one of our favorite daily rituals. This week I caught Little Lady "reading"/mimicking me a few times - my heart could have exploded, it was so full. 

my bible on the couch

to her baby on our porch

at night when she should have been sleeping

This post is part of weekly series inspired in part by Bob Bennett's song "Small Graces".

these are the small graces,
little moments when the miracles come...
small graces leading me to the larger one...

sometimes they slip by without notice
sometimes they are very hard to see
other times it's very clear when they are happening to me

they are a reminder to the heart there is more to this life than meets they eye...


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