September 25, 2014


This has been a heavy week, my friends. Some very precious people lost a man they loved. He was an oldest son, an only brother, a husband of many years and a first time father of a brand new baby girl. Of course, he was much more than that to many more people, but these are the ones carrying the deepest pain in his absence. They are finding a calming peace in knowing that he is no longer in physical pain and resting safely in the arms of Jesus. Please send a multitude of prayers to them during this difficult time.

As ugly and devastating as death can be, something beautiful and captivating is left in its wake. 

A legacy of love.

Love for Jesus. Love for a stunning wife. Love for a teeny tiny brown eyed baby girl. Love for a brother and best friend. Love and utmost respect for a mother and father. Love for dearest friends. Love for a stranger. Love for the lowly, burdened and forgotten.

As it goes when someone leaves this world for eternity, there has been an outpouring of stories, comments, gratitude and testimonies. They have painted a most breathtaking portrait of the legacy he has left behind. They each speak of a man of integrity who humbly loved and served, consistently pouring out his life for another. A man who faithfully follow God and led others to the Father's heart with grace. Meek and gentle, strong and courageous. A truly loyal and selfless man whose steady character and well-founded faith touched the lives of all who had the honor of knowing him. What I remember most about Brandon is the genuine kindness he showed. A kindness that only comes from a heart after God. 

This is a legacy worth leaving behind. That our lives would be a testimony of God's relentless love, sufficient grace and enduring mercy. That we used this precious time on earth to share the heart of our Father with those around us. That we follow where He leads, that we answer His call. That His will would be done in and through us.

I want to leave that kind of legacy. 

Lord, give me the faith and strength to do so.


LEGACY by Nicole Nordeman

I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me 

And I enjoy an accolade like the rest 
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery 
Of all who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best 
At such'n'such ... it wouldn't matter much

I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights 

We all need an 'Atta boy' or 'Atta girl' 
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides 
The temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy 

How will they remember me? 
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough 
To make a mark on things? 
I want to leave an offering 
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically 
And leave that kind of legacy

I don't have to look too far or too long awhile 

To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy 
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile 
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy

Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred 

Just want to hear instead, "Well Done" good and faithful one...

September 23, 2014


It's me, Bette. You remember...maker of unkept promises.

Update this blog on a regular basis, send out christmas cards, workout daily and not drink sodas for a year, shower more than twice a week, etc, etc.

Now you remember, don't ya?

I have no excuses for the majority of those failed promises, though I think we can agree, my laziness, procrastination and lack of willpower skills are fully honed. Twenty-eight years in the making there. Be impressed.

As for the status of this poor, neglected family blog, I didn't write here or post any photos because my heart just wasn't in it at all. I always want to be honest here and I wasn't ready to be quite that vulnerable.

I'm not one to overdramatize things(my husband will be giving the the "oh really?" raised eyebrow look when he reads that), but the last two years have been pretty darn rough on this family of ours. I may share some of our experiences in further posts, if I feel the desire to do so. For now, suffice to say that ultimately, I let our circumstances dictate the presence of joy in my life. I chose to give in to the enemy's lies of failure and doubt. By the time I realized what had happened, it felt like I was already drowning and there was no chance for rescue.

Silly me, right?

My Jesus walked on water and He calmed the storm and he made provisions when the seas appeared empty.

Somewhere along the way I lost sight of Him. Like I couldn't quite stay above the waves long enough before the next blow came. Where was He? Couldn't He hear my cries?

But, silly me indeed. While I was busy doubting, I hadn't noticed that He had been holding me all along. I had been resting in the arms of the One I felt had forgotten about me and left me to fight alone. Holing my hand while I was treading in the waters of His love. In the breaks between the waves, resting in the stillness of His sustaining grace. Even joy that had become so elusive, had been waiting for me at the shore. I needed only to trust and swim towards it.

Here's the thing I've learned about promises. Sometimes they don't quite hold up. Sometimes we quit them. Sometimes they fail us. Sometimes they just leave us wanting. Joyless, broken, empty.

It is likely the waves will continue to come.

But, have peace, be still. 

God is a keeper of promises that are greater. Promises that never fail. Promises of a love without fear or condemnation. Promises of a grace that is enough. Promises of plans for our lives to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.

Surely, this is not new to most of us, but for me these promises have come alive this year like never before. My heart has been truly awakened from it's slumber and joy unspeakable has flooded through my soul. Fierce love is vanquishing my doubts and my faith has been set ablaze. 

In my desperation, God has made Himself known to me and I am learning to trust Him with my everything.

He is faithful. Always. Without fail. He never leaves us. We can let go.

I've had to let go of a lot this year. Expectations, guilt, fear, failure, doubts. It wasn't and still isn't always easy, but He carries me. He's replaced those things with love, grace, mercy and even joy. 

And oh what joy there has been...

little brother got engaged to a pretty fantastic gal!
another brother pops the question!



November 12, 2013


this was our first year celebrating halloween. paul and i never celebrated it when we were children, but thought it might be fun to let the kids participate in some way. we decided trick or treating is not really our thing, but the kids had the best time handing out candy to trick or treaters at home and seeing all the fun costumes.

they got some new costumes from grandma kelly and i must say, a more attractive bunch of creatures has never been seen. as you can see, they didn't really get that into it. especially madi, that kid just has no sense of adventure. i think they wore those costumes for almost six hours that day and were wearing them again by breakfast the next morning. these crazy ones. we love 'em.

happy (ever so very, very late) halloween!



When I have said my evening prayer,
And my clothes are folded on my chair,
And mother switches off the light,
I'll still be eleven months old tonight.
But from the very break of day,
Before the children rise and play,
Before the darkness turns to gold,
Tomorrow I'll be one year old.
One sweet kiss when I wake,
One little candle on my cake.

we visited wishing star farm for jesse finn's first birthday and it was such a fun little adventure. all kinds of animals to see and pet, games to play, ponies to ride, hay pyramids to climb, tunnels to roll in, family and friends to laugh with.


jesse's range of emotions on this day were anywhere from disgust to horror to annoyance to bitter anguish. he had a bad experience.

jesse finn doesn't like farms.

jesse finn doesn't like animals.

jesse finn doesn't like pumpkins.

jesse finn doesn't like games or hay or tunnels or many of his birthday attendees either.

all jesse finn likes is milk and mama's arms.

needless to say, it was not the grand festive occasion we had in mind, but madi and charlie had a fantastic time. jacks was at home sick.

hey, there's always next year right? and i promise we won't go anywhere that smells like poop.

happy birthday to our littlest love. hope you get over your farmaphobia someday.



madi and jack are attending a waldorf-methods charter school this year. this is an enormous change for us, as we have been homeschooling the past two years. we felt that we needed something different this year and god provided this fantastic, beautiful, magical school for the children. we couldn't be happier with our decision and the experience that the children are having there.

we had really been been lacking a community of like-minded families while homeschooling and the community that we've settled into here feels like it was just meant to be. we are so grateful for the wonderful teachers and staff at our new school and for all the many, precious friends we have made.

the photos above are of the opening ceremonies at our school. all of the children presented their teacher with a single flower to create a lovely bouquet and received a welcome flower in return. it was really sweet and special. i could ramble on for hours(or paragraphs) about waldorf education and how it aligns beautifully with our desires for our children. instead i'll just give a quick summary of what madi and jacks have been up to the past four months.

 drawing ~ watercolor painting ~ poetry recitation ~ singing ~ playing the recorder ~ finger knitting ~ crocheting ~ speaking spanish ~ cooking arts ~ eurythmy(movement) ~ jumping rope at recess ~ walking to the library ~ visiting a pumpkin farm ~ raising chickens, goats and rabbits ~ beeswax modeling ~ carving their own knitting needles ~ growing a garden ~ harvesting vegetables ~ building a greenhouse ~ storytelling

as you can see, waldorf education is much more than reading, writing and math. we love everything about our new school and are looking forward to all of the experiences that lie ahead. i'll share much more about school soon!