Monday, September 1, 2014


I finished reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker today. Since about a quarter of the way through the book I've been recommending it to anyone who will listen. It's that good. It has been very eye opening and inspirational for me, not to mention it is a super easy read. Jen Hatmaker is hilarious and there were several times I laughed out loud while reading this book. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess chronicles Jen's experiences as she spent seven months focusing individually on seven areas of excess in her life and in our consumer culture: food, clothes, possessions, media, waste, spending and stress. For example, in month one she only ate seven foods, in month two she only wore seven items of clothing, etc... There is so much that I took away from reading this book and so much I am still processing. A main point is that all this excess could instead be going toward people who don't even have their basic needs met. Some facts that I cannot stop thinking about include: * 25,000 people die of starvation every day * if you make $35,000 a year you're among the wealthiest 4% of people in the world; if you make $50,000 a year you're in the top 1% * there are 7 Christians for every orphan in the world * 66 children are infected with HIV every hour Talk about perspective. That information is overwhelming but also transformative as to how I want to live my life, what I find important, and how I want to spend my time and money. Even before reading this book, I feel like God has been emphasizing over and over to me to love Him most and to love others as myself. This is so simple yet often so challenging. This book reminded me of those priorities 100 times over. There is so much hurt and brokenness in this world. It can be overwhelming when I think of all the needs on a large scale, but there are so many ways to get involved and help those in need around us as well as around the world. It makes me think of a favorite quote of mine from Mother Teresa, "If you can't feed a hundred people, feed just one."

There is so much more I could say about this book, but I think you should just read it yourself. Then we can talk about it! :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

More Summer Fun

Clara and Atika love to play dress up!

burying uncle Daniel's feet in the sand

Our little monkey.  He's so strong.  And he loves making monkey sounds. :)

Our first attempt at going to the movies.  We made it most of the way through Planes 2...

visiting Great-Grandma Bisson

We love her!

We walked to the Milky Way after supper this night.

Michael's work had their company picnic at Thunder Road.

We went to the Canaries game all decked out in our baseball gear.

Davey's face was priceless when he tried cotton candy for the first time and Clara proved to be her mama's daughter once again. :)

Uncle Zach shared some licks of his ice cream cone.  Good thing it's not cold season. ;)

I love this picture of Atika sitting on her daddy's shoulders watching the fireworks after the game.

We all got free tickets to the game!  A very generous couple behind us in line for the box office offered Michael free ticket vouchers for all of us.  I was over checking out the seating chart at the time and when I came back over I recognized them as parents of a friend from high school.  Small world!

Atika reading to Clara before bed.  So sweet!  We loved having Atika sleep over several times this summer.

We went to Wild Water West with Daniel, Atika, Jacob & Zachary.  I hadn't been there since middle school!

Michael braved the crazy drop slide.

Thanks to my brother Daniel for taking care of our kiddos while Michael and I celebrated our 8th anniversary.  I have to brag on my hubby for a second because he planned the best date.  We picked out new sheets and pillows since he looked up the modern and traditional anniversary gifts for 8 years and the modern was linens.  We've had the same sheets and pillows for the past eight years so it was time!  He also set up massages and facials which needless to say was amazing!  And then we went out to supper.  It was a perfect anniversary date!  Love this man!

the four cousins

Atika and Clara had a whole play land set up on the deck.

reading books with uncle Daniel

I painted Clara & Atika's toes.

We visited the zoo.

We rode the train around the zoo grounds.

such little buddies <3

I volunteered the second night of our church's VBS and thought Clara would just stay with me at my station all night since it was set up for 4 years old to 4th grade.  She loved it so much that she just tagged along with the 5 year olds who were the first group at my station.  She did so well keeping up with the big kids and had so much fun.  Let me tell you, that sword of the Spirit, helmet of salvation and shield of faith were very precious to her those next few days after VBS and did not leave her side.

Atika with all her armor from both nights of VBS.  She was so excited both nights telling us all about each piece of armor.  Love her!

Davey & Stella :)

walking to the Jasper parade

They were very generous with throwing out treats!?!

Great-Granma Bisson was in the parade representing the Senior Citizens.  She is the oldest resident in Jasper.  Two of her 95 year old friends rode along as well.

My aunt Teresa drove them.

The kiddos made a haul!

Celebrating Heather's birthday at a Canaries game!

We check out the spray park for the first time.  It was fun when all the spouts were on, but most of the time there were just a few on...

riding bikes

eating some peas

Our old life group The Upper Room got together for a reunion.  Love them!

Phew!  That was a lot of pictures from the middle of July through the beginning of August.  I'm almost caught up now.  Up next is Billy & Heather's wedding weekend!