The Voyage of Life: My Favorite Art Works in D.C.



We lived in D.C. (both inside and outside the Beltway) for 5 years, and during that time we always had at least 2 preschoolers, sometimes 3. If it wasn’t at the ‘Space Museum’ or the ‘Dinosaur Museum’, we couldn’t stay long. Art museums were terrifying to even attempt with them, so like most parents, we just didn’t.

One year I sent the boys to stay with their grandparents for a week, and I had the rare opportunity to wander the District alone. It was a BLAST!! I adored every minute of it.

That was the year I walked into a genealogy conference at the National Archives and became hooked. It was also the year that I discovered the under appreciated jewel that is the Smithsonian art galleries. My favorites were the National Gallery of Art, located on the Mall, and the National Portraiture Gallery, located closer to Chinatown.

While browsing through the National Gallery, I came across Thomas Cole’s Voyage of Life Series. I was frozen to the spot, studying each individual painting. It’s a series of 4 enormous canvases, packed full of meaning and inspiration. » Read more

The Gray Jacket, The Road Trip, and The OCD Workshop

Check it out. We found photos of all four boys wearing this gray jacket. We own two of these jackets, both in a size 5/6, so that made it a little easier. I think it’s fun to see them all side-by-side wearing it. There are striking similarities. I think Joshua and John David look the most alike here.

In case you’re having trouble telling who is who, it’s JD, age 3, Daniel at age 5, Caleb at age 3, and Joshua at age 5. I’m a firm believer in buying clothes with wiggle room.


We spent the weekend in Alabama for DaddyO’s birthday. (Photos of that to come soon.) All went well. It’s amazing how much more pleasant it is to take a road trip now that our age range is 11 to 3!!! The difference is astounding.

No one wore diapers. No one peed in their car seat. No one needed a sippy-cup or a bottle. Best of all, no one cried.

On the way home I had to stop to get gas. It was just Joshua, Daniel, JD, and me in the car. Alan and Caleb rode separately. I had promised the boys that I would buy them each one snack at the gas station, as a treat. My dad used to do that for us on road trips when I was a child, and I remember how special that always was to us.

But when we pulled into the gas station, John David was fast asleep.

Years ago, that would have been a problem, especially since Daniel had to pee, but JD was asleep. A couple of years ago, I would have built Daniel a barrier, and he would have watered some grass and gravel. The last thing I want to do on a car trip is wake up a toddler or a baby!

But this year was nothing like that. I have an eleven-year-old now! Joshua said, “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take Dan in, and I’ll buy us some snacks.”

Y’all!!! The joy!!!!!

Poor John David was a little confused when he woke up an hour later and went straight back to the gas station search.

“There’s one, Mom! There’s one, Mom!”

“Oh, sweetie, we already stopped and got gas, and now we’re almost home.”


Children that sleep on car trips are such a blessing.


The OCD Workshop

Many people in our family are OCD. Not me. I probably annoy the OCD people to no end. One of them is our little Daniel. Daniel was going through a phase where he was clipping his fingernails every single night!

They were starting to look a little hurt, so we made him stop. The other day, he asked permission to clip his fingernails, and lo and behold. Look! He actually had nails to clip!


I was so proud of him! I mean, yes, I am also proud that he clips his own nails. Daniel is very grownish for a five-year-old. It’s funny because people look at him, and he’s a little short, so they often think he is four, and they wonder that I give him so much freedom. But you see, not all five-year-olds are equal, and this child…..I don’t suppose I know of too many things that big boys can do that he can’t handle.

One day a friend of Caleb’s was over here playing with Caleb and Daniel, and Caleb’s friend said, “I never let my kindergarten brother ever touch MY Legos!”

Daniel quietly pointed out, “Yes, but your brother is *Ziggy.* (name changed, of course.)”

Caleb and his friend all quietly agreed that yes, that was completely different from playing with Daniel.

But Daniel’s still human. Many mornings he is the very hardest one to wake up:

Out of bed and right back to sleep in the hallway floor

My husband’s theory is that we non-morning people types are simply not happy or excited to start our day, that we are perhaps a little depressed.

While that can be true, I can assure you, even if this is the day I’m going to Disney World itself, I don’t want to get out of bed.

Now I’d love to tie these three stories together with some sort of brilliant……um POINT, rather than be yet another story with no point at all, but folks, that’s about all I have today. I’m laying in my bed on a hot pad as we speak because I completely over-hauled, scrubbed,  de-cluttered, and re-organized Dan and JD’s room today. By 4pm, my right hip was SCREAMING at me, so here I am. We will be having pizza tonight.

Wall-E by Caleb


And now here’s little JD, rolling all over me, making typing quite impossible. How thankful I am for him! We wish you all a wonderful week!

“Life’s limitations are God’s invitation to change our expectations.”  –Kristen Strong in Girl Meets Change


“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”  Mark 6:31




What’s this Bible journaling craze all about?

What's this Bible journaling craze all about?

I have been taking a blog coaching class, taught by Crystal Paine. I never realized exactly how much I don’t know about the blogging business.

One of the things Crystal has taught me is that it’s important to do videos sometimes. Apparently, videos should help my audience connect with me better. So I am making my very FIRST DIY selfie video. The video skills are horrible. It’s literally like my talking head showing you some Bible journaling pictures. But hang with me, we’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

Have you heard about Bible journaling?

I want to show you my own Bible journal: (Just watch the video below. If you read this in your email, you will need to go to my website to see it.)


Here are a few more photos. I did NOT draw these. I got these pictures from the speaker who came to our MOPS group:

What's this Bible journaling craze all about?

I gotta say. These bold images DO help me remember the scriptures better. It gives a brilliant visual.

What's this Bible journaling craze all about?

What's this Bible journaling craze all about?

What's this Bible journaling craze all about?

Fruits of the spirit! Love this one!!

So, in my next post I will share my very first attempt at drawing in my Bible. It is extremely amateur, and it wasn’t over the top fun for me because drawing is not my thing. But it wasn’t unpleasant either.

If you are interested in trying your hand at Bible journaling, I found a few excellent resources for you:

This blogger did a how-to post on Bible journaling that was good: How to Start Bible Journaling

And here are some cool supplies you can buy from Amazon. (Yes, these are affiliate links.)
This would be a great instructional book, if you have no skills (like me).

This is a devotional book that actually has built-in room for your masterpieces.

These are colorful pens like the pros use.

And if you just want to do good ol’ alphabetized dividers like MY journal, well, that’s a lot easier. You’ll just need a large binder, paper, and a few packs of dividers! My favorites are the write-on tabs. People with arthritis don’t do folding up tiny pieces of paper and sticking them in a tiny little sleeve.

I can see why Bible journaling is so popular right now. You can express yourself, learn scriptures, and create a visual in your mind that helps you learn your Bible better, all through your own art work. It’s definitely something worth trying out.

I dare ya to try it! I’ll show you my attempts in my next post. I’ve done 1 so far, but I want to try a couple more first because my first attempt was….not that good…Be sure to share pictures with us if you do try it!! I’m on Instagram now as well as Facebook!

What's this Bible journaling craze all about?

Excellent verses



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