Monday, December 26, 2011

a few of my favorite things..

christmas pictures to be exact.

just a few.. there were TONS!
Lucy getting her slippers from Regiers

Lucy and Uncle B


 So, this wrapping paper was bought our very first married christmas together. Both rolls ran out on the same package.. TEN YEARS LATER :)
 Mom, and the son whom brainwashes her :)
 in the littlejohn house we decided several years ago that one of the ways we could truly communicate to our children the real meaning of christmas was to protect them from the overwhelming pull to saturate their hearts and desires with the things of this world. rather than the SAVIOR of this world. so that meant putting a limit on the things they received at christmas. they each receive  3 things; a need, a want, and a book, plus a stocking. i CAN NOT communicate to you how much we LOVE this system. it sets up such strong boundaries and clear expectations on both sides of the coin. our children do not feel neglected nor unloved. and we don't feel stressed out wondering all season if we have "given them enough". it also allows us to have the time and energy to focus on our Redeemer....SO WORTH IT!

anyway, the following are the kids receiving their "wants"!

anderson, and his new bike. he rode around all morning in his underwear. he is extremely fast and makes his mama a nervous wreck!!
 Lucy, and this stuffed horse that she just thought had hung the moon (before you judge and call us cheap, really this is what she had her heart set on :)
 julia, and her pillow pet (again, don't judge this is REALLY, REALLY, what she wanted. trust me, i only asked her a million times) doesn't that smile say it all?
 katie, whom is getting more sophisticated in her "wants" received an ipod shuffle! 
again, isn't that face priceless?

mark and i weren't buying each other gifts, we had bought tickets to Virginia for heaven's sake! BUT he surprised me with a classic Mark gift. He had me sit on the coffee table and cover my hears. zach and i joked that he had adopted me another baby and that's why i had to cover my ears. while he was retrieving the gift i was yelling down stairs and told him if it was an animal it wasn't staying :) but it was neither a baby nor an was a BIKE!!! so thoughtful!!

and probably my favorite picture of all: grammy and poppo meeting Jaxon for the first time via skype! so, so, special!

merry, merry, friends!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!
May the joy of our Savior's birth fill your heart and satisfy your deepest longings!
All of our loves,

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Where The Heck Are You?

my dear friends, I am not neglecting you, I promise. I am currently on a beach vacation  errr, i mean, i am here in boston celebrating the birth of my precious, little nephew. it is a high calling, but someone had to step up and take one for the team ;) we are just, well, introducing the little man to life in general. he is super, duper, fuzzy. (i will have plenty more pics to post when i get home. i've kind of gone crazy paparazzi aunt on him! :)

no worries. the kiddos are in amazing hands back home. a slew of people willingly have volunteered their time to make this a reality for me. to them, i am indebted.

i return home on friday, just in time to regroup for christmas festivities.

look for some fun posts in the near future.

until then, we hope you are finding some stillness in this season to reflect on the Redeemer who came to steal our hearts away and rescue His beloved children.

reporting from the east coast once again,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

is it any wonder?

with a father like this

and brothers like this:

that i married this?
happy thursday,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby Jaxon!

Our nephew, Jaxon Eliot, was born this morning at 2:47am (EST).  He was 8 lbs 12 oz.  We are SO, SO, excited he decided to come out and play. A very special Christmas present, indeed!

Can't wait to kiss those cheeks,

Auntie Sara

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Has Lucy Lost Her Goosey?

in the recent weeks i have been very concerned that our third born girl was beginning to lose one of the things i most love about her, her goosey-ness. if you know our Lu-Lu you know that her eyes convey all of goosey-ness. for a while i worried that she didn't even know that a world existed outside of her own little "lucy life". she has always been very unaffected by outside sources. never one to cling to me and mark. never one to be upset by changing circumstances, or concerned with the details.... that is until now. all of the sudden lucy has an opinion. she is so detailed orientated that i am having flash backs to katie. she is so on top of things she is putting her older sisters to shame. she is being so responsible that i've had to do double takes. she has been so assertive with her needs and hurts that i've been a bit startled.  then after really being excited that she was "coming into her own" i got sad, really sad... where is my goosey lucy? the girl notorious for her one liners, her carefree, wild, little lucy spirit... so, i mentioned it to mark and we began to watch a little closer. and while she in fact has grown in so many ways, we have observed that our little lucy goosey is still very much alive. just yesterday she and anderson were chasing each other and laughing so hard they both peed their pants...HILARIOUS! she still comes up with the best one liners, doesn't look at the camera when it's time to take a picture, and still has moments of complete unawareness to the world around her...

so no fear my dear lucy fans... lucy has definitely not lost her goosey!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Grammy as Santa Claus

Conversation between Grams and Anderson

Grammy: Anderson what do you want Grammy to get you for Christmas?
Anderson: Um, I would like a mountain.
Me: A mountain?
Anderson: Yep
Grammy giggling.
Me: Anderson, how is Grammy going to get a mountain here to Kansas?
Anderson: She will press a button.
Me: Hmmmm, well I don't think Grammy can get you a mountain, what else would you like?
Anderson: A girl!
Grammy nearly falling out of her seat she is laughing so hard...
Me: Well, maybe in 30 years Grammy can get you a girl, in the meantime do you think Grammy has super powers?
Anderson: Sure do!!

Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Living in the Storm: Dear Grand Baby Hall

Dear Grand Baby Hall,

Well, you are definitely causing a great deal of anticipation around here.  I am sure none are more excited than your very own Mom and Dad to finally meet you. But there is a certain someone else that is also very eager to hear about your arrival. She is your Grammy.  And although remembering days and events is not her strength right now, she can not get you off her mind. She asks about you and your impending arrival pretty much all day long. She knows the joy of anticipating something really great, and she knows you are really great! Sometimes she gets very sad when she realizes her condition and her inability to come and be apart of your birth. One of her many gifts is to come and run a home when a new born has entered it for the first time. She cooks like a chef and cleans like Mr. Clean. She is amazing. And in the days and years that follow you will get to meet her and hear all about her amazing ways. But until then, know that you have already found a very special niche in the heart of your Grammy that you will forever possess.

Now hurry up and get here, your Auntie (and a whole bunch of other people) is waiting!

Love you baby,

Aunt Sara

Monday, December 5, 2011


so i wish this title was original, but unfortunately it is not. a local morning radio guy was talking about "vague-booking" the other day and i couldn't stop laughing. so what is vague-booking? well, it when you post something very vague on your facebook status in order to draw attention to a situation or yourself that you couldn't just come right out and speak to.

Example: "whew...crisis averted", "horrible day", "heart broken", "unspoken request", "so angry", "unbelievably frustrated", "super, wonderful, lovely, stupendous day with someone special" etc...

Or it is a technique used to vent without really outing your source of frustration.
Example: "wish people wouldn't treat me that way", "if only things were different", ( a common southern tactic; God love her or bless her heart) etc..etc..

oh, i am sure at some point we are all guilty as charged, but it's very sad to me that we are culture whom is losing the ability to communicate verbally within the sweet confines of real relationships and community, but rather reverting to social media outlets to express our needs, frustrations, emotions, with vague-booking.

your 562 so called "friends" are mostly just facebook stalkers wondering who the heck "broke your heart" and they are eagerly anticipating a relational status update. they might comment with things like, "i am so sorry" "what happened dear?" "anything i can do?" but really 99% of the time they are just looking for the "dirt" as my mom would call it. am i right, or am i right, right?  i mean seriously people... we were not created for this garbage.. we were created for intimate, raw, real experiences, where maybe not 562 people care.. but one, genuine, real life, friend DOES care and DOES want to help carry the burdens and dance the dance of celebration with you. NOT via the internet, iphone, text message, google-bloogle, etc.. but

so here is to relational status updates via  romantic touches, a big bear hug, a bouquet of flowers, long talks at the coffee shop, dinners on the plaza, cookie decorating play-dates, chinese with the fam on saturday afternoons, monday night football at the bar, tears shed over a hand written card, and yes, skype dates ;)!

happy monday,

Friday, December 2, 2011

Jepordized Jonah....

*a post totally inspired by my smooch-able husband!*

i am going to quit reading my children bible stories from any other source than the bible itself. i am done with the fairy tale versions that publishers are putting out there. this includes sunday school lessons as well as children's films. i have yet to see someone really take on the nitty gritty of the some of these bible characters. we elevate them to a level of "hero"... when really their stories are suppose to let us see their failures and point us to the real Hero who rescued them.

last night mark read the book of jonah to the kids out of the bible. when we got to the end of the book i realized i have never actually heard the MOST important part of that story... the end... listen what jonah says to God after he has returned to nineveh and God had mercy on the people,

"1But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2And he prayed to the LORD and said, "O LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. 3 Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live." 4And the LORD said, "Do you do well to be angry?"

seriously, i laughed out loud. the part of the story when Jonah reveals his own angry heart towards God about God's undeniable forgiveness towards nineveh is mysteriously left out of most children's books (and adult books for that matter).  isn't jonah always portrayed as the hero who finally listened to God after he was swallowed by a fish? really, the major lesson here is the deep, deep, self righteousness Jonah possesses and how God deals with him. wow, that is SO much more applicable to my children's lives than "hey, obey God or you'll get swallowed by a fish". i can bring my children to this passage and say to them it doesn't matter if you go to africa, asia, or austraila if you don't understand your need for Jesus, and only out of that love you desire to spread His truth... you are a clanging gong. it doesn't matter if your Christian dance card is full of good works, if you don't understand love... you are nails on a chalk board.

The same exact thing happens with the story of the parable son. we always just talk about the younger brothers need for the Father. But really the younger brother and the older brother had the same heart condition, neither wanted their father's love, they wanted to use him for their benefit only. The younger brother realized his need while the older brother pouted outside the party. Tim Keller has written and FABULOUS book called "the prodigal God". READ IT!

when i grow up i am going to write a series of children's books entitled the following.

1. Noah and his drinking problem
2. Abraham and his lying tongue
3. David the adultery and murderer
4. Sarah the mocker
5. Rachel the Rotten
6. Leah the lame
7. Jonah, the missionary who got angry when God forgave

and on and on. pretty sure zondervan wouldn't be thrilled to market those books, eh?

the point is.. we don't need biblical heroes... we have One. we need to teach kids that God uses messed up, ordinary, lowly, rotten, lame, lying, deceiving people to do His good and perfect will! It is not the goodness of those people that elevated them to "Bible Character Worthy". rather, the extraordinary things God ordained in those peoples lives to reveal HIMSELF.

It's ok to let our kids in on the secret that Christians aren't perfect... far from it. within that message there is abundant grace to be explored. abundant grace that will show our kids just how forgiven and how loved we are.

so here is to telling the REAL story!