In Christ Alone

For some background, check out this post.

To hear the song (performed by friends in our church family), go here.  (Half way down the page is a "listen" link.)

Such encouraging words for each day.

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine - 
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.



Found an old card today.  My Mother's Day card from my parents.  The timing couldn't have been better.

To Daughter on Mother's Day

You Are a Blessing

Daughter, your life
is a thing to be proud of -
you're God's special gift
in a wonderful way...
Thank you for being
so loving and caring...
Thank you for being a blessing each day!

Praise her for the many fine things she does.
Proverbs 31:31 (TLB)

While I needed the encouragement this brought, it is also a reminder that I have so much to live up to.  I want my life to truly be a thing to be proud of.  To be loving and caring.  To be a blessing - every day.


Phoenix is 9 months!! (pic heavy)

Phoenix is such a joy!  
He's *usually* very smiley.  
He's finally beginning to sleep better *most* nights.  
He enjoys his food!  
Just recently he started eating much more regularly, and at supper will polish off two jars of food, plus what ever little Gerber finger foods (the kind that "melt" so reduce the risk of choking - I found out he's not quite ready for Cheerios yet...) we dole out.  
He still naps like a champ.  
He is just on the brink of starting to cruise the furniture, but at this point only takes one step either direction.  
One of his favorite pasttimes is pulling his sisters' hair. ;)

Hanging out with his buddy, Issy. :)
Love that smile and those BLUE eyes!

Just for fun, I've thrown in one pic of Levi at 9mo. Did anyone notice on their way through the photos? ;)



We have a wedding to attend this afternoon.  Since I need to wear a dress (or skirt) I decided it would be a good idea to shave my legs.  This doesn't happen often... the hair is blond, no one around here cares much if they are clean-shaven or not, and I don't like to take the time to do it.  ;)

When I do take the time, I often use Tim's old electric razor to accomplish the task.  I was sitting on the couch and Levi came in to ask why I was shaving my legs.  I said it was just something girls do when they get older.  With his nose about 2 inches from my leg, Levi says, "My, you look young!"  LOL

Hmm.  Maybe that's why we shave our legs! :)



My phone rings.  I know before answering that it's my parents.  I figure they're calling to say that they are on their way to pick up the three oldest to spend the weekend with them at the cabin.  Usually my mom makes the calls, so that's who I'm expecting.

(answering phone) "Hello?"

"Hey there.  How are you?"

It's dad.  I pause, thinking how to answer.  It's been a rough morning.  How do I answer?


Yep.  It's been that kind of a morning.  That one word sums it up nicely. 

My blog title says "Gotta' Love My Life".  And I do.  Most days.  Today, I think someone else's life might be better.

But whose?  The friend, reeling yet again upon learning, despite exhausting all possible medical avenues, that she is not pregnant?  The friend who has discovered, quite unexpectedly and in the course of dealing with some other life-altering physical issues, that she is pregnant? The homeless couple who sits daily next to a well traveled route hoping motorists will take pity and help them out?  Maybe the niece who is sick, miserable, struggling through the last few weeks of pregnancy and hoping baby is big enough to be healthy, all while living with the reality that there is no income in her home?  How about the neighbor whose life has been turned upside-down by a nasty divorce?  Or maybe one of the many disadvantaged children born with DS or other serious medical conditions and facing a life chained to a crib in an institution?


Maybe - no, not maybe - my life isn't so bad.  I won't bore you with the details of my pity-party, but suffice to say, not one thing that happened this morning was too horrible.  God has a plan for me.  His word proclaims it.  I have - we ALL have - a future and a hope!

Leaning on that promise today.  Praying for contentment in my circumstances.  Trusting that, through Him, I will have ALL I need.

Perhaps you, too, are struggling today.  Maybe all you need is a little perspective.

update:  I wrote this post this morning.  After a wonderful phone call with a friend, I was feeling encouraged!  I almost felt I didn't need to post.  And then, I was blindsided with some news that left me reeling.  While I can't share details, I will ask for prayer... and when I can, I'll share more.  Struggling with why, but still trusting...


I know you missed me! ;)

Random updates:

Everyone seems to be keeping up an acceptable pace.  I am, however, still trying to work out some "kinks" in our schedule. (I've always been great at MAKING schedules... it's KEEPING them that's difficult!  LOL) I've discovered that Victory is EXCELLENT at learning memory verses.  For those of you that see her on a regular basis, perhaps next time you see her you could ask her to recite one for you? :)  Each of them have moments when they excel, and moments when I wonder just where their brain has gone! ;)
This week, the two older boys began an Institute of Excellence in Writing (IEW) class with two other families from our church.  We're doing the "Student Writing Intensive Level B".  The class is facilitated by my friend, Devona Emerson (a teacher, now homeschooling her own 2 kids) and is also attended by the three eldest Theis' kids.  I am anticipating that the addition of this class will benefit the rest of our schooling in great ways as the boys learn how to (correctly & efficiently!) write a good paragraph and beyond.
 *baby boy
Phoenix is close to 20 lbs, and beginning to grow hair just like Levi did around this age. He has the cutest little cowlick that sticks straight off his head on one side... sometimes, it's on both sides.  :)  He is crawling everywhere, and pulling up on everything.  He loves to eat -- but doesn't like turkey (I'm guessing it has more to do with the texture of that nasty G*rb*r baby food than anything... LOL)  Last night, after a very rough start, he rewarded me with 7-1/2 hours of consecutive sleep.  The best part?  I was asleep for ALL of them!! :)

*extended family
This last weekend we were able to go stay at Tim's mom's for a few days.  Tim cut down somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 trees for his mom, and got them cleaned up and out to the fire pit.  The kids spent most of their days outdoors wearing out the tires their cousin's bikes. :)  The weather was cool, and PERFECT (in my opinion) for being "up north".  Late nights with the brother-in-law and some of the older nephews sitting out at the fire pit... reminiscing about the past, dreaming about the future, singing, joking... reminded me, once again, that I'm no longer a kid.  LOL  Must.Have.Sleep! ;)
My parents have been down a few times.  Yesterday we enjoyed the buffet at Pizza Ranch (kids 10 & under eat free on Tuesday!) courtesy of Grandpa and Grandma.  On Friday, they will come down to pick up the three oldest kids for a weekend up at their cabin west of Two Harbors.

*looking forward
Mid-week church activities begin again soon.  Alex will be involved in his second year of youth group with Junction 180.  This Sunday marks the beginning of Sunday School for the year, and Monday will be our first UPLIFT of the year.  (UPLIFT is the Christian homeschool co-op we are involved in with about 40 other local homeschooling families.)  I'm looking forward (albeit with some trepidation) to teaching a class at UPLIFT this year with my friend Karri.  Everyone is looking forward to again seeing friends we've made in previous years as well. :)