Showing posts from 2014

My Ungrind Article: Brave in the Midst of Weakness

My kids were sick with 104 fevers and asthma flare ups so I forgot my article was posting a couple days ago. This article was about my redefining bravery and courage. Ashleigh Kittle Slater thanks for bearing with my delay.

Kids are better! Fevers are gone.  Thank you God for your ability to heal. Thank you for providing essential oils and albuterol and flovent. Thank you for Vitamin C and Doterra On Guard. Thank you for diffusers and for Breathe (Doterra). We're still dealing with respiratory effects but we are on the mend.

And I'm thankful our God is kind and deals with us in the midst of our weaknesses.

And for those of you who are unfamiliar with UNGRIND check it out. It is chock full of encouragement!

My editor Ashleigh, explains it so well here.... Get a cup of coffee, cocoa, tea. sit down. take a breath. And get some refreshment!

Giving up "Christmas"

This year is not a year of "plenty" in worldly terms for us. I can't shop for gifts at Target. I can't stuff stockings. I can't buy my husband what I want to. I can't perform in my ideal, romantic way that I think Christmas should be.

This year has been a year of intense growth. Mike and I are getting our "feet under us". Moving out of my parents home and living on our own. Learning how to manage rent and utilities and helping plant a new church. Homeschooling all five kids.

A lot of the resources that we've used for help and support are no longer there to gird us. I haven't had an attendant to help us with the home and with the kids in over a year. I haven't received counseling in 6 months. Our financial resources are very limited.

But we are not growing personal debt with credit cards. Our son is not dying of cancer.

 God has provided and sustained us daily. We have food in our bellies. We have a warm home.We have CLEAN running water. …

Turkey Tom Jones and His Poor Smoky Bones... What happened Thanksgiving Night.

(True Story. Hope it made you laugh. My attempts at turkey stock gone awry.)

Turkey Tom Jones & His Poor Smokey Bones
                    by Jennifer Napier

                                                         Twas the evening of Thanksgiving, and I came back to my home
with the intent to prepare some soup and write a lovely poem
With a huge cooking pot and the carcass of Turkey Tom Jones
I filled up the pot with water and seasoned all the bones.

I started my gas range and began the most glorious of turkey stock,
that was my hope, what I planned, what I thought.
But I didn't realize that my gas range is not like a crock pot
And put the setting on high to get it real hot.

We gladly watched a movie, we whiled away our time
Our pot all a boilin', the stock bubbling just fine
The minutes turned to hours and I was distracted in my mind
I was completely oblivious to my culinary crime.

I was all excited at the thought of my domesticity
When my husband said to me quite simply

Grief, Gratitude and sleepless thoughts on God.

I was so exhausted I fell asleep yesterday at 4:30 p.m., woke at 8 and had dinner and got back in bed... where I've proceeded to be unable to sleep. And drat, it is 5 in the morning now.

People have asked, when I have told them I can't sleep, was something on my mind. why, yes. there was something on my mind. I had watched a tv series online and 3 episodes dealt with the following: child dying of illness, cancer, and a car accident that kills someone precious to them. So, yeah, it brought up some stuff.

First: Gratitude. I am thankful for God preserving the lives of my children. Way too many times could my children have died, in particular Samuel and Michael.  I've seen them stop breathing and turn blue on more than one occasion. Samuel's Infected CVL (central venous line). Reflux and aspiration (Samuel and Michael at different times). Etc.

Thoughts hang out on the back burner of my mind. I'm not consciously trying to think certain things, they just pop up. Samuel&#…

The Importance of Being 4

On the night of November 7th Peter sent the passy fairy a gift  when he released 4 balloons with an attached passy (pacifier) up into the sky . In return he received a jar with 500 pennies. He has let go of this much addicted substance with a lot of grace. He asked a few times for passy and there were a couple times when he was super tired and in need of a nap that he really felt the need to take a hit but we have persevered and his addiction is broken.

I can't believe my youngest is 4! What a difference in time and space when my oldest was 4. Libby had 3 younger siblings when she was 3!

Peter provides much needed comedy relief around here. He knows how to get his siblings to laugh. He gets away with a lot to because everyone says, "Well, you know Peter is the LITTLEST". Which is hilarious given "baby" moose's ample size.

What a blessing that God gave us this joy boy in the midst of difficulty and trial. I was pregnant with Peter when Samuel was diagnosed …

Gifts of Friendship.

There are some people in this life it's hard to live with... and there are others you can't live without. This would be one of them. Michelle. My friend for over 15 years. We have been through some amazing and difficult life changes together even while thousands of miles apart. God is amazing to have given me one of the kindest, encouraging, loving friends.

We don't always talk regularly and never see each other as much as we'd like to but I always know that Michelle has my back. Thanks for coming over and helping me with sick kids. For holding my hand and passing the tissues when I can't stop the tears. For bringing sunshine into my life with coffee and thoughtful gifts. For running to stores with me... or sitting in the cars with kids while I run in. For trips to the zoo. For tea time. For helping me clean.

For speaking truth in love. For telling me that I can do this with God's help. For helping me know and love God more.

I love you and I am praying for you.…



Aquarium (part 2)


my 2 favorite 6 & 1/2 year olds


My Two Michaels...


Kids with Kids

I was surprised at how much my kids loved the goats at the petting zoo.  We saw them on the way in and out of the zoo. The kids loved brushing the goats.


We recently enjoyed a lovely time at the Aquarium. Zoo members were given a chance to visit the Aquarium with our zoo passes.

Being Nice is not enough... Confronting in Love

Much thanks to my friends who bear with me and share the hard truths that I need to hear.

And thanks to the friends who forbear with me as I try to gently speak  to you out of love.

Read about my article here at Ungrind

Humpty Dumpty or Being Made Whole?

All the broken pieces seem unable to come back together. Who am I anymore? I’m lost in the daily grind of caring for my kids, doing dishes, making meals, washing, drying and folding laundry.
Absorbed in the midst of all my to-do’s. Where is my peace? This desperately trying to hold onto God and cry out to Him for rescuing from morning til my head hits the pillow at night. Restless. Unsatisfied. Discontent. Unable to be still.
Be still my soul. There is too much work and it never satisfies me. I will never get enough done or have the house clean enough… or the kids schooled enough. I will never be content with the mere work of my hands.
My hope is in something bigger, someone greater than myself.
My hope is in God who is always faithful, never changing. A rock unmovable. He is not shaken by my inconsistency or my feelings that fall and rise like the changing tide. He is not touched by my inability. My grasping. My pathetic attempts at striving and failing. He is not undone by my lack.
I w…

Celebrating a Decade... in the Big Apple...

The Big 10 is looming large... next month Libby will be a whole decade. And to celebrate we are going by bus to New York City (Girls Only!) Libby is so thrilled. She's never been to the Big Apple before but has done lots of reading and research on the "N.-Y.-C." as she calls it.

Her desire is to visit the Natural History Museum and the Empire State building there as well as Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.  There are some other things I'd like for us to do as well time and money permitting: see a Broadway show, take a double decker tour bus, and enjoy lunch at the American Girl Store Cafe.

I thought a trip would be a more meaningful gift than a run of the mill present.

She has been working hard finding little odd jobs to do to help make money. Most recently Libby has been making necklaces and bracelets to sell. Part of her money goes to Camp Sunshine (the camp we attended this summer- for children with life threatening illnesses and their families) and part she…

Last Day of Summer at the Beach...

Really, it's not quite fair to only have 2 pics that turned out okay on this amazing and fun day. Monday, we took a break and took the kids to the beach. The weather was glorious. Mike was home. We enjoyed just being together as a family. We even splashed in the waves. The weather felt like Fall but the sand felt warm and amazing the ocean was pretty comfortable once you got over the cold. So thankful for a last outing to wrap up the summer. 

Minor Discrepancy...

What I thought homeschooling would be like....

Actually reality of homeschooling....

Yes, you are welcome. It's sweet and crazy and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing... and it's challenging. My dependence on the Lord has continued to grow... we have ups and downs on a given day in a given hour.. and sometimes in a given minute. Lots of laughs. Messes. Mistakes. We are all learning around here.... especially this Mama!

An Unusual Game of Checkers.

I found this game board at a thrift store for $1.00. It's made out of wood. We didn't have the pieces to play checkers at the time so we used goldfish. Worked well except for Peter kept wanting to eat the game pieces... It's also really hard to "King" a goldfish...

More Than A Bullet...

"I would die for you." When it came down to it, we would be willing to put ourselves in harms way to protect and save our child, our spouse, our closest friends. How beautiful to make the greatest sacrifice!But what about daily life? Are we willing to sacrifice ourselves in the midst of the daily drudgery – monotonous, mundane, and maddening?
Check out my article entitled, "Taking More than a Bullet: Life and Death for Others" at Ungrind. And read other refreshing articles that talk about faith, family, love, friendship and so much more.

Christopher Columbus & other uncomfortable realities...

Libby had to write about Christopher Columbus for school as well as do a presentation in front of her small group of classmates. So, it was as Libby and I sat reading and poring over information about Christopher Columbus that we discovered some harsh truths. *

I grew up in school praising the man as the discoverer of America (as in U.S.A.) And also believing He was a Christian according to his own writings.

Yet, this same man forced the natives into slavery and hard bondage. Even going so far as to have their hands chopped off if they didn't produce enough gold. Not to mention all the people that died from being exposed to small pox and other new diseases their bodies were unable to fight.

This leaves us with a very mixed legacy. He did find the Caribbean and later other islands part of Central and Southern America... But he also treated people badly. To the point that Queen Isabella of Spain had an official come and get him and arrest him and bring him back to Spain in Chains.


Got Tired?


"Pet States"...

We are learning U.S. history and geography this year as well as states and capitals... Practicing the New England states and capitals today and this happened...

I said "Boston"

Kids said "Massachusetts"

I said "Augusta"

Kids said "Maine"

I said "Concord"

Samuel said "New HAMSTER!!!"