Friday, December 6, 2013

a little update

I love this little blog of mine. It just sits here for weeks waiting to see if I'll ever post again. And look, here I am, but with very little to say. The posts have been so few and far between I'm not sure where to start. We watched the leaves change colors, it was a beautiful fall. We loved walks and the crisp air. Almost all our leaves fell by the time we traveled to California. We spent a couple weeks there and got to enjoy an even longer fall. The weather was perfect. By the end Vanessa was missing daddy a lot, but Elijah still wasn't ready to go. Living apart from family isn't easy. We came back to winter. It was 16 degrees when I went out today. I know I'm different than most, but the cold doesn't bother me. I actually prefer 16 degrees to 100. But I do need a winter coat. 
I love this Christmas season and wish more than any other time of year that I could slow time. My mom knowing how much I love to have things done early, came over with my grandma and decorated my house while I was in California. I have a couple little things to do, but pretty much it's done. I'm so thankful that I'm not just now pulling out Christmas. I've been spending lots of time reading to the kids and doing little projects with them. It's been sweet.
 I turned 30 the end of November. 30 feels big. The step from 29 to 30 feels like a big one. Although, I was carded the other day for buying DayQuil, so I must still look 18. 
We're still doing things around the house. Our kitchen and living room are coming together and I'll probably share some pictures soon. Caleb works so hard while I'm away and usually tackles a couple big projects while the house is quiet. 
We're getting our Christmas tree tomorrow and I can't wait. I  have more to write so it won't be as long between posts.

The pictures are totally unrelated, but I thought I'd share. These are ones we had taken at the end of the Summer and soon to be going up on the walls. And we may have gotten our Christmas Card out of this shoot. If you want a card be sure to get me your address....

Sunday, October 27, 2013

New England.

 It's a quiet Sunday. I'm sipping tea, looking through our New England pictures. I love the East Coast and wish we'd had more time there. Even though, the timing of the trip was hard with missing my grandfather, we had a wonderful time. It was absolutely beautiful. October is definitely the time to go. We stayed with my Uncle Tim and Aunt Carre. They were the perfect hostess. We ate the yummiest food and really enjoyed the time just Caleb and I.

Boston is a wonderful city, one of my favorites. I love history and I'm sure that contributes to my love. Walking the streets with Caleb was so fun.

 One of the best and worst parts of the trip was when our flight was canceled. That was the bummer part, but the best part was being stuck in Chicago. My good friend Kirra lives in Chicago and we were able to spend the night with them. It was short, but very sweet. And I got to meet their little girl for the first time. It was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

what I didn't know.

(photo credit Lorie )
It was still dark this morning when Elijah wanted to cuddle with me in bed. We laid there and he asked me a hundred questions. He wanted to know all my thoughts when I was pregnant with him.  I told him about the day we found out he was a boy. I was excited, but nervous. I had no idea what to do with a boy. I told him I thought he'd look like his daddy. I prayed he'd be a leader and hard worker. I hoped that he would love the Lord with all his heart. I imagined all sorts of things about who this little baby would be, but I really had no idea. 
Then he started asking me what I didn't know about him. 
I told him I didn't know his favorite color would be green,
or that he'd love hippos,
or how smart he'd be and that he'd have the greatest memory,
or his love for laughing,
how compassionate he'd be,
or how he can be fearless and so fearful at the same time, 
or how he wouldn't care about what others think of him,
I didn't know how much he'd love his sisters or how much he'd look up to his daddy. 
I had no idea all that he would teach me.
He's so much more and so different than I could imagine. I'm surprised how much of his personality you can see at such a young age and how much of who he is is already being shaped.

I love moments when we talk like this. When he asks me questions and can't wait for the answers. I like learning how to be a better mama to him. Being a mama to a boy is different and I'm learning. I have to think more about what matters to him and how to show him love. The other day we had a mud fight and although I hate getting dirty it was worth it to see his excitement.

(vanesssa, who hates to get dirty, decided to be our photographer, I think she's on to something.) 

Monday, September 30, 2013


My grandfather passed away on Saturday. We got the news about 6 weeks ago that his health was failing, but we thought we had time. Maybe only months, but more than weeks. I grew up on stories of how tough he was and I couldn't imagine his body giving up. I thought he'd just will himself to live and he would. At least till Caleb could come see him. We booked our tickets, but it's too late. We'll arrive just weeks after he's buried. I know that God appoints a day for man to be born and to die, but my mind just couldn't grasp this was the end.
He took a turn for the worse a week ago and they said it was the end. It was a hard week with many tears and emotions. I had a little hope that there would be a miracle and we'd make it out there in time. A dark cloud followed me around last week that wouldn't lift. I didn't want to talk to anyone or do anything. Tears came without warning and I just wanted to pray and be quiet with God. The waiting and anticipation was hard. My heart is still sad and tired, but a strange peace has come now that it's over. There's no more wrestling, but just an acceptance. There's joy knowing he's out of pain and in his true home.
I've lost a number of people close to me. Each one leaves a hole that never gets filled again. It changes you and you can't go back. It's left my heart with a constant longing for something, something that will only be filled in heaven. It reminds me that this place is not my true home and makes heaven a reality. Sorrow has a way of drawing me to heaven that joy doesn't. It pushes me to want to know Christ in a deeper way and long for him more. And I'm thankful for the change in me and how it transforms the way I live now. 

"I have come home at last! This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this."
(c.s. lewis, chronicles of narnia) 

Randy Alcorn has written Heaven and In light of Eternity. I would highly recommend both. They've helped me understand a biblical perspective on heaven and made me so excited to go there someday.

Monday, September 23, 2013


Amelia started our Monday with a little excitement. I was doing my devotion when I heard screaming from down the hall. I could tell immediately it was bad. I ran down to my room and Amelia had her finger smashed in the door and it was completely shut. It took me a second to get it out and when I did her finger was totally deformed. I tried my best to calm her down, but after awhile she would stop crying and I called the dr. He said to come in. I managed to get the kids in the car and sometime while driving Amelia finally stopped crying. (almost an hour later) 

Thankfully no major damage done, possibly a slight fracture. We go back next week to take another x-ray. She's quietly napping now and I should be catching up around the house. But I find myself enjoying this quiet moment in the house and can't talk myself in getting up.

There is a lot of the last couple months that I wanted to document, but haven't made the time. I can't go back and do it all, but I thought I'd do a little. 
We've slowly been taking on little house projects, now that it's ours. I'm not one that really enjoys the process. I like everything in it's place and once I have it the way I like it I don't change it often. But I'm learning. I'm learning to appreciate making a house into a home. 
Caleb put this wainscoting up in our living room and I love it. We painted the walls a light grey, but the picture doesn't show the color very well. We also painted our kitchen cabinets white and our fireplace. 

I thought I had finished painting the fireplace and thought I had done a pretty good job, but I see I was wrong. Caleb redid almost the whole thing. 

I experienced VBS for the first time this year. My kids loved it and are still singing the theme song.

My sister came to visit. It was great, but a little on the short side. Looking forward to Christmas.

Caleb and I are trying to have special dates with the kids more often, He spent time with the girls, while I took Elijah out.

We celebrated 6 years of marriage this August. 

Lots of thunder storms lately. They are my favorite. 

The rains left us with plenty of mud to play in.

 Elijah and Daddy camped in the backyard and let us enjoy s'mores with them.

Elijah's in soccer again this fall. He's loving it this time around and doing so much better than before. 

This weekend Caleb and his wisdom teeth taken out and there was no lack of company to make him feel better. They didn't comprehend how it was hard for him to talk, but I don't think they were too worried, Elijah did enough talking for everyone. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I want to see God.

My little Nay is scared of the dark. Every night I pray with her and sing to her. Give her a flashlight and turn the nightlight on, but every time I start to leave the room she cries and tells me she's scared. She doesn't want me to leave. I lay down with her and reassure her that everything is going to be fine and that I'm always close by. Then I tell her that God never leaves her. He's right next to her taking better care of her than I can. He never sleeps and He's always watching over her. This seems to bring a little comfort, but she quickly says, I can't see him. I want to see him. 

I know what it's like to want to see him, hear him, feel him. I know he's there, but I want more. So, when she said, I want to see him, for a second my heart hurt for her. How was I going to explain God to my three year old? But my ever faithful God was right there with me and in the exact moment I needed words he gave them to me. I told her that she does see him all the time. She sees him when she's cares for Amelia. She sees him when Elijah shares his toys with her. She sees him when Caleb and I are loving towards one another. God displays himself all the time when we act like Christ. I love how the truths we know come to life as we explain them to our children. God used Vanessa to show himself to me in that moment. I was reminded of the kind of life I need to be living. 

I was humbled as I realized how often I take credit for my 'good deeds' or for the times my children are sweet. It's not my good works, it's Christ working in me. And I was reminded that every time I don't act Christ-like I'm loosing an opportunity to show my children and those around me my Savior. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

End of Summer

 I think one of my favorite things this Summer was going to the Spirit of Boise Balloon Festival. A friend of mine told me that it was incredible and even though I believed her I wasn't sure how watching some hot air balloons take off could be that amazing. Well, she was right, it was pretty amazing. We woke the kids up about six and made our way downtown before the sun was up. 
We easily found a spot to watch and right as the sun was starting to rise the first of 40 balloons took off. 
Watching the children's excitement was the best part. It was so magical to see their wonder as they tried to understand these massive balloons fly through the sky. I'm already looking forward to next year.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I'm not sure if you noticed, but my blog went MIA for a little while. If you didn't notice I don't blame you, cause to be completely honest I didn't realize it until my mom asked me why she couldn't find my blog anymore. It's kind of an embarrassing story that includes, ignored emails, credit card expiring, being completely illiterate with all things technological, freaking out to my sweet friend Katy trying to figure out what happened, crying to Caleb when it looked like I had seriously lost everything I've ever written, phone calls to tech support, and finally recovering my blog. Moral of the story, don't ignore important emails and back up your blog. 

Life isn't slowing down at all and I don't think it will. This is challenging for me, as I prefer slow and steady. Caleb and I are working hard and directing the busyness and being more intentional with our time and what we say yes to. It's put me in a very practical place of finding my peace and joy in Christ and not my circumstances. There are times when it's gone well, and times when I've failed miserably. I'm looking forward to a time, hopefully soon, when a lot of the projects we're working on around the house are finished. But I realize that once they're done something new will come about to fill the time.

Blogging is not on the priority list when there is so much going on, but almost loosing it did make me realize I'm not ready to give up on it. It has been a very convenient way to remember these stages of our family. And I have enjoyed this way of getting my thoughts out. So, while I won't promise anything regular right now, I think some more writing will happen.

Monday, July 29, 2013

a little bit of this and that

I should be in bed, but I'm enjoying the view from my living room window instead. My mind is full and it's nice to have a quite house to think and unwind. The mail was full of advertisements for back to school sales already. I still feel like Summer just started and everybody is getting ready for school. It hit me that this is our last year that a school schedule won't effect our daily life. The thought makes me a little sad. I like the simplicity of our life and these young years with my kids. 

Caleb and I are really thinking about what to do for school. As much as we love Idaho, their public schools are ranked pretty low nationally. I'm open to homeschooling, but right now it feels like more of a default option that one we're really excited about. We have some time to think and pray about it, but this evening it's heavy on my mind. The weight of wanting to offer the most for our children is a heavy one, but the knowledge that we can trust God with all the things in our life is stronger. 

As you've probably noticed with inconsistent blog posts, Summer has been busy. I could probably make more time to blog, but I've enjoyed the silence. Although, I find that I'm not as disciplined to write down things about the children that I don't want to forget. I've scribbled little things down and scratch paper and it's waiting to be put in baby books. We spent two weeks in California, that we're very sweet. Wonderful time with family and friends, and I was able to meet my newest nephew. We came home and jumped into VBS, a first for me. We had a good week. And now, my sister is in town visiting for a week. 

We are home owners, which requires a post to itself. We're very excited and have already jumped in to make it our own. The cabinets are newly painted and colors are picked for the other rooms. I'll be excited to get everything back in it's place, but for now I'm trying to embrace a little extra chaos so we can get it done. 

The day is done and maybe this is the start to some more posts soon. 

Monday, July 1, 2013


 Spring is far gone as we reached 100 today, but I found these pictures I took this when everything was just starting to bloom. As I took some of these I noticed Vanessa, who is always by my side, kissing the blooms. She's delicate and beautiful and I love that we do everything hand in hand. These are some favorite pictures of mine. 

We're off to California in the morning. I won't be writing while I'm gone, but I've got lots to write about when I get back. You can keep up with us through Instagram though if you'd like, jnbussell
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