26 May 2015

More Than a Conqueror

More than a conqueror

So, what’s the latest in our house?

Well, we found out Zachary needs to wear GLASSES. It’s no surprise, really. We noticed his left eye was drifting a bit and took him to see his Pediatric Ophthalmologist at Loma Linda. Turns out he’s far-sighted in his left eye so he was primary using his right eye to see. For two hours a day, we also patch his right eye in order to strengthen the muscle in his left eye. We were told this has nothing to do with his prematurity. “It’s simply the way God made Him.”

He’s had his glasses for a week now and we’ve all been helping him get adjusted. 

photo 3 (15)

“Mama, do these make me look smart?” Looking quite studious and serious in his new specs.


photo 2 (23)

Rockin’ that great hair of his, too.


photo 4 (8)

Too adorable for words!


photo 5 (2)

He loves the breeze in his face and going out with me on my morning runs. Messy hair don’t care. :))


photo 4 (7)

My handsome little boy.


photo 3 (14)

Here he is with his cool patch on.


photo 1 (26)

Learning to see things and grab toys by using only his left eye for vision.


Zachy 007

Zachary has already faced much adversity in his short life so wearing glasses isn’t something that’s going to deter him from God’s plan. In fact, it is God’s plan and He makes no mistakes! He plans to use this all for good. We’re so grateful the glasses help him to see better at such a young age. God definitely put him in the right family. :))

Wearing glasses has already led to random strangers coming up to us and asking us questions. What an opportunity we have to give glory to God and share a little bit about His faithfulness through Zach’s story.

As a dear friend of mine put it, “Zach will use his eyes to lead others’ eyes to Jesus.” Amen!

Our boy is more than a conqueror in Christ and as far as we’re concerned, we think he’s positively precious and absolutely perfect.

Being more than a conqueror comes from one of my favorite bible passages in Romans.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:31-39

21 May 2015

The Easiest Sausage Breakfast Casserole


This is it!! The EASIEST breakfast casserole I’ve ever made. Sure, I like the make ahead casseroles when you’re feeding a crowd but usually, when I’m feeding a crowd (my fridge is always jam packed full of other food. I know, first-world problems, right?). Anyhow, this winner comes together so quickly, there’s really no need to make it ahead of time. I actually browned the sausage the day before but otherwise, everything was thrown together right before it got popped into the oven. It also takes no time at all to cook. Love that! 

I made this on Sunday before church when my family was in town this past weekend. It was super tasty and perfect for holidays, a special brunch, or even to enjoy for lunch or dinner (which we did!).

Recipe & photo cred: Bran Appetit

Sausage Breakfast Casserole:


  • 1/2 – 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1 package crescent rolls
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp rosemary or oregano (we used rosemary and loved it!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place a skillet over medium heat and add the sausage. Break up the sausage as it cooks, letting it brown completely.
  3. Unroll the crescent rolls and spread them out in the bottom of a 9×13 pan, pressing the seams together to make one large sheet of dough.
  4. Spread the sausage over the dough.
  5. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the sausage.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the casserole.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden and the eggs are set.

19 May 2015

Baby Dedication

Zach's Dedication 005A

Looking so dapper. And YES! He does own SHOES. :))


Zach's Dedication 001A

Big and little.


Zach's Dedication 006A

Yay for cousins!


Zach's Dedication 024A

Morgan had the opportunity to share some of Zach’s story at church before the dedication. He did an AMAZING job!


Zach's Dedication 019A

Giving glory to God for His faithfulness, our church, and the many prayers lifted on behalf of our family.


Zach's Dedication 029A

Pastor Brian praying over us as we dedicate our son back to the Lord.


Zach's Dedication 037A

Grandma looking beautiful!


Zach's Dedication 040A

Family of FIVE. Just perfect. :))


photo 3 (13)

"For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there. ~1 Samuel 27-28

What a glorious and full circle moment it was to be able to dedicate our boy back to the Lord.

Glory to God for His faithfulness and mercy!

What is a baby dedication?

In Protestant Christian denominations, a Baby Dedication is the act of giving back to God the gift he has given you as parents (Mark 10:14). It is an act of worship, thanksgiving, dependence, trust, and commitment. The practice of Baby/Child Dedication has been modeled throughout the bible.

Hannah brought her long-awaited son, Samuel, to the priest, Eli, to dedicate him to the Lord (I Samuel 1:24-28). Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus to the temple for his dedication (Luke 2:21- 31).

A Baby Dedication is a public commitment you make before God, your family, and your church. The dedication service provides the parents the opportunity to express publically their desire to lead and spiritually nurture their child to love God and others. The congregation also affirms that they, as a church family, will also seek to encourage the parents to bring up the child in the faith. 

Dedication does not imply salvation in any way. Salvation comes only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, by faith and confession (Romans 10:9-10).

Spring Recital




Spring Recital 010A

Faith holding cousin Madilyn.


Spring Recital 013A

Bravo, girls! So proud of you both. This is right before Zachary ate those yellow flowers!


Spring Recital 016A

Grandma and Grandpa joined us as well.


Spring Recital 012

We’re going to miss Miss Hannah so much when she goes away to college in the fall.


Spring Recital 018A

Vivien and the girls.


Spring Recital 023A

The girls brought Halmoni to tears with their performances.


Spring Recital 022A

Enjoying the moment with more girlfriends.


Spring Recital 020A

Hanging out with Grandpa.


Spring Recital 024A

So fun to have my whole family here!


Spring Recital 025A

Celebratory lunch at Desert Willow. Scrumptious!


Spring Recital 027A

Morgan & mom.


Spring Recital 031A

Enjoying the amazing weather and the beautiful golf course view.


Spring Recital 035A

This is what it’s like to have TWINS! Both Zach and Madi weighing in at 23 lbs! So blessed by these two!


Spring Recital 034A

“Oh, no.  She’s playing with my ear again.” :))


Spring Recital 040A

Giggles with Halmoni.

The weekend was definitely one to remember!

The girls had their Spring Recital on Saturday and it was lovely to have my whole family come out to share in this special time with us. Faith and Grace have been working diligently on their pieces and it’s always so rewarding to see their improvement and how the Lord works through them to bless others.

We celebrated with a yummy lunch at Desert Willow, followed by an afternoon of swimming and pizza!

On a side note: I missed my dad so much at the recital. He always looked forward to coming and I know he would have been so proud of the girls. 

12 May 2015

Mother’s Day Weekend Badgers Race

Badgers Race 026

Grandma came out to watch her boys race for the day.


Badgers Race 009

My sweet but tough little guy.


Badgers Race 017

Cousins having fun in the back of the toy hauler.


Badgers Race 019

Smothered in kisses by his 3 favorite girls.


Badgers Race 023

Extra cuddles from Grandma.


Badgers Race 029

Almost go time.


Badgers Race 032

And, they’re off!


Badgers Race 034

Most importantly, they’re back in one piece! :-)


Badgers Race 037

Yay, daddy! He took 2nd in his class.


Badgers Race 053

Uncle Ben raced TWO races and also took 2nd both times in his respective class. Way to go!


Badgers Race 049

Vantage point and cheering section.


Badgers Race 044

Tickles from Grandma.


Badgers Race 013

Grace got in some riding of her own.


Badgers Race 057

Faith enjoyed the freedom of the open desert.

Last year, at this very race, Morgan crashed and broke his collar bone so we were quite thrilled that he was able to complete the race this time, without injury. You gotta hand it to the guy. He’s got tenacity and determination!

We thank the good Lord for his protection.

Grandma, who hasn’t seen the boys race since they were teenagers, came out to join in the festivities for the day. 

The best Mother’s day gift for her was that the guys made it back safely. :))

Praise the Lord for another fun and successful weekend of family racing and riding!

05 May 2015

Stop the clock

These are just some of the precious moments around here I wish I could freeze.

photo 3 (11)

Morning story time with sissy. Look at his hand on hers… Adorable!


photo 2 (19)

Big belly laughs with Grace.


photo (34)

Everyone learns something during school time.


photo 1 (22)

Ready for church and looking like such a BIG boy!



So happy to be bouncing.

Oh, Zachary.

You’ve brought so much joy to our family already. Your smile that lights up the room, your infectious giggles, your funny facial expressions, your curious little mind, and your deep belly laughs keep us entertained and falling in love with you more each day. How silly of us to ever think for a second that by adding a 5th member to our family, it would change anything but for the better. There is definitely more love (and faith) in our family because of you.

There are some days when I truly wish time would just stop. I wish I could keep you just the way you are and I would gladly take care of you, forever. But then, I realize that I would have to stop growing older, too. And sigh… judging by the recent sightings of gray hair appearing on my head (eek!), I know that that’s just not possible.

There’s no doubt about it. You’re getting bigger, buddy! You’re almost 10 months old and you weigh over 22 lbs. already. In fact, you’re bigger than your sisters were when they came home at almost 12 months. 

Speaking of your sisters. Aren’t they AWESOME?! To say that they love you would be quite an understatement. Have you received enough kisses from them yet? Between all of us, you’re probably feeling smothered in kisses. :))

Well get used to it, buddy because we just can’t help it. We’re making up for lost time and then some.


photo 1 (23)

Birthday Suit. :))


photo (35)

His favorite: BATH time!


photo 2 (18)

My darling little boy.


photo 3 (10)

Because of you, son I think I may have a better understanding of what Abraham and Sarah must felt like when Isaac was born. You will forever be my visible reminder of God’s providence and faithfulness in my life. You’ve already taught me so much more about Him and about love and courage. And how the two are often accompanied by the willingness to lay down our lives for the sake of others.

In many ways, I feel like I’ve been given a second chance to parent. And although I love all my children the same, there’s definitely something to be said about a “daddy’s girl” and a “mama’s boy.” They hold your heart just a little differently, don’t they? The girls’ first word was “da-da” but I swear yesterday, I heard you say, “ma-ma.” :))

I’m so grateful to God (and to your birth mom) for choosing us to parent you, Zach. I feel so undeserving yet so honored and privileged to be able to watch you grow and help shape you into who God has called you to be.

What a purpose He has for you!


On Instagram

© Brave Soul. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.