In case you're wondering, yep, that's a hickey on my shoulder. Small friend loves sucking on his thumb, his fist, his bunny rabbit from Nana... and apparently my shoulder. :)


fellowship and community

I have a little more time to think on my hands lately... time to think while I bake, time to think while I feed Burkeybaby, time to think while I clean and organize... Most of the things I think about just aren't that important (which deserves some consideration, actually). However, I have spent a decent amount of time these last several weeks thinking about fellowship and community.

We have been blessed with fantastic friendships here in Denver. We feel like the Lord has really given us so many people to share life with, celebrate with, mourn with, seek wisdom from... And then there are so many of you that are scattered around the globe that provide encouragement, support and friendship to us as well.

I guess I've been wondering if our relationships are the community and fellowship that God intends.. or if perhaps we are only partly there. I heard a sermon while I was in Lubbock about how community provides a place to be real, but then also propels you forward out of your sin toward greater sanctification. I wonder if we're doing that right now... I wonder what that even looks like?



I think I have issues with guilt, y'all.

Part of it is good guilt, the warrented kind over time misspent or misused.

The source of the rest of my guilt is a little more difficult to pin down. This is what I've come up with... I think that I sort of feel guilty for the life that God has given me right now. I get to hang out with the Wild One, who really is possibly the easiest, most low-key baby in the world... My house gets to be clean and organized... I get to find all sorts of fabulous deals so that we can somehow stay within our can't-be-done budget... I have a husband who loves me, is a fantastic father, is smart and talented and wonderful... we have everything we need and more... we have not one but two supportive, Christ following, functional extended families... I just kind of feel like I should pinch myself. Or feel guilty for having it so good. And so far the second option is winning.


little clothes?

he'd rather that I just not put any clothes on him at all- haha!

Because of the fantastic generosity of family and friends giving us clothes and letting us borrow hand-me-downs, I haven't really bought many clothes for the Wild One. But today, as I packed up all of his 0-3 month (and lots of his 3-6 month!) clothing, I had a little moment of panic. We don't really have that many 6+ month clothes for Burke... which means I am now entering the world of "personal shopper for the Little Love."

Like everything else, the clothing budget is down to the bare minimum... so, dear friends, where do I begin? Do I get a few staples and do lots of laundry? Are there great places out there to get kids' clothes on the cheap? Any ideas or words of wisdom for me???


what to do with zucchini

With the help of recipezaar and our larger than life zucchini plant, the gentry kitchen has been abuzz with new recipes this week. And our freezer is stocked with more frozen zucchini bread than you can imagine.

These are some of our recommendations:
Chocolate Zucchini Bread (I cut the oil and sugar by 1/4 of a cup each)
Coconut Zucchini Bread (again, I cut the oil and sugar... I think you'd like this even if you aren't a huge fan of coconut)
Regular Zucchini Bread
Fried Zucchini (we used less oil and ritz crackers instead of saltines for the breading)
Shredded Zucchini and Chickpeas Over Polenta (I know, I already told you about this one, but if you still haven't tried it, you should!)
We've also been tossing zucchini in a bag with italian dressing to marinate a couple hours before dinner and then grilling it as a side for our meal a few times a week.


new love

When we were in Lubbock, Jord and Drew introduced Burke to the exisaucer... which he LOVED! Now that we're home, our good friends Ben and Heidi are letting us borrow theirs. :)


trying new things: what to do with baskets of tomatoes and peaches

Our house has been a flurry of new endeavors this week... At one point on Saturday, there were tomatoes "sun-drying" in the oven, peach preserves cooking on the stove, I was stewing tomatoes to freeze and my darling hubbie was roasting a batch of green chilis on the grill. Yep, I felt like Martha Stewart... or the girls from Little House on the Prairie.

Anyhow, your suggestions for using the fresh produce from our garden prompted some serious salad making, baking, and then some searching on recipezaar (our friend Megan has me hooked on this website! If I ever need a recipe for anything, this is the first place I try!) this week. I began the weekend armed with directions for stewing and freezing tomatoes, oven drying tomatoes, making peach preserves and a recipe for a peach pie. I'll be honest, I've never had my own garden and I've never done any canning, so I was a little nervous about how all of this would turn out... but everything we made was delicious! If you're going to try one of these recipes, I think I'd go with the oven-dried tomatoes- they are worth going to a farmer's market and buying tomatoes if you don't have a garden!

Our little harvest isn't over yet... I think I'm going to try this recipe for oven-dried tomatoes this week (especially since you can use green cherry tomatoes and I have hundreds, seriously hundreds, of those in my backyard right now) and also try these directions for preserving tomatoes.

I'll let you know when I conquer the army of zucchini on my kitchen counter...



When Jordi and Drew lived in the middleeast, I was always so blessed to watch the Lord take care of them above and beyond their needs. I remember one time in particular, this sweet American couple who were living in Dubai treated Jord and Drew to a weekend of eating American food and a stockpile of fresh fruit (Jordi was pregnant and craving produce)... It was such a blessing to them! I thought at the time, "What a testimony to God's extravagant provision..."
Now that the budget is in full effect, Adam and I are experiencing similar extravagant provision from the Lord. Whether it is a freezer stocked by my dad with organic brats, chicken breast and cookie dough, a Sonic card in the mail from a dear friend from college, gift cards and fresh baked bread from Adam's mom, not one but two birthday dinners at restaurants this week, we are being well, very well, taken care. And we are abundantly thankful... won't you join us in praising the Lord for his extravagant provision?


celebrating mama

Things I'm celebrating about mom on her birthday:
-her love for learning
-her love for God's Word
-the way she makes friends at every single 7-11, Starbucks, and grocery store she goes into
-her heart for the poor
-her commitment to exercise and nutrition (even though we tease her relentlessly about it)
-her gift for cleaning and organizing... seriously y'all, you should see her go!
-her generosity
-that I couldn't have a better role model in motherhood and in life...


happy birthday

Happy birthday love of my life!


garden goodness

Thanks to my dad's and adam's hard work in may, our garden is a bounty of delicious vegetables and fruit right now... Any ideas for what to do with a ton of tomatoes and zucchini???


three kids on boppies

I was glancing through the pictures I took in Lubbock and decided that this one deserves its very own post- aren't they darling???


all caught up in a book

I know that all people don't get as emotionally involved in their reading as I do. But "getting into a book" is a consuming thing for me...

Case in point- I read A Thousand Splendid Suns this week (it's been on my to-read list for awhile now)... There were whole chapters of the book where I was curled up on the couch, hand over my mouth, bawling... and I couldn't see the words for the tears streaming down my face for many other parts. At one point, I stopped reading for awhile for dinner... during that break, I picked a fight with Adam over something inconsequential because I was so distraught for Laila and Mariam and actually kind of mad at men in general (that jerk Rasheed!).

Aside from the senseless fight picking, I think that this kind of emotional involvement in my reading actually has a couple of benefits... First of all, learning about the plight of the characters in a book prompts me to pray for their real-life counterparts... For the last few days, after reading about Laila and Mariam, I have been praying and praying for women in the middleeast, praying for those who are under the bondage of Islam, praying for people who are living in Afghanistan and other tumultuous, war-torn places, praying for wives/girlfriends/people who are trapped in abusive relationships. I know that the books I read are (mostly) fiction, but I also know that there are people all over the world facing the same heartbreak that these books portray.

Another interesting side effect of this emotional reading is the overwhelming gush of thankfulness I have for my life after reading about someone else's really hard, crappy, terrible life. Seriously, y'all, I have it so good. I am so thankful that I have never had to worry about starving, or about finding a way to feed Burke. I'm thankful that I live in a place where I've been offered an education, a chance to pursue whatever career path I feel called to, a chance for freedom, a chance to express my opinion. I'm thankful that our justice system (and our society for that matter!) doesn't value men over women. I'm thankful, so so so thankful, for my family. I'm thankful that the gospel of Christ offers mercy and grace instead of requiring false, unattainable piety. I'm thankful that I had a say in the guy I ended up with and that he's a really fantastic guy- more than I deserve actually. I'm so thankful that my needs are provided for far more than the majority of the world and then, above and beyond that, I have a truly amazing quality of life- people to love and be loved by, security, joy, a relationship with my Creator.

Anyhow, if you haven't already read it, or if you want to be so very thankful for your good, good life, grab A Thousand Splendid Suns... Even if you don't get as emotionally attached to your reading as I do, it'll be time well spent.



It was so fun to be back in lubbock these last two weeks... I feel like it is another home for us because we love jord and drew's friends and church so much. It is always great to be there with them...

And it was even more fun to be there and meet Sayla Grace. She is seriously such a doll, y'all... what a precious little baby girl! It is always rough on my heart to leave, but even more so this time. I already miss those remke's so much and now there are more of them to miss!


"bay-be book!"

Y'all know sweet Keadryn's love for baby burke... she is such a doll to him! All day, we hear her chattering, "Bay-be Book." And she LOVES to help me get him up from a nap. She dashes to the room we're staying in and stands on her very tiptoes to peek in his pack-n-play. I can't wait to see their friendship as they get older... precious.


missing adam

It's great to be in Lubbock... but we are definitely missing Adam! Two weeks is a long time to be away... Lots of studying time for Adam, which is great, but not any family time, which is a bummer.


reflections of a labor coach

I am finally sitting at home (well, at jord's home...) after a whirlwind of busyness this last 24 hours... I am still tearing up at the thought of my darling new niece and her wonderful parents and I thought I'd try to get some of this written down before I lose the moment.

Jordi's labor was pretty average... about 13 hours with some laid-back parts (where we were talking about the first starbucks each of us ever visited- haha!), some REALLY tough parts (Jord breathing through those contractions at the end!), some scary parts (little Sayla Grace had the cord wrapped around her neck when she came out- poor purple little thing) and some superexciting parts ("meet your precious baby girl!"). I think most labors and deliveries have those components- exciting, scary, difficult... What is so amazing is how those pieces come together into an absolute miracle.

It is a miracle that last night Jord was just her normal, albeit larger than average, self with a teensy person inside her and that tonight there is a new member of their family out here on the outside. It is a miracle that Sayla has her own destiny from the Lord- her own gifts, her own calling, her own part to play in history... and that Jord and Drew get to be a part of that. It is a miracle what the sleep-deprived human body can do- truly a miracle.

I guess it is just a miracle the way God chose to do this- to let us be a part of bringing a whole new life into the world. I would never do things this way; I am way to much of a control freak and I think people are a little to chance-y and irresponsible to be trusted with something this huge. Luckily the Lord is smarter than me...

Tonight I am praising God for the miracle of new life.


welcome sayla grace!

I mentioned earlier this year that we were so thrilled to find out that baby keadryn would be joined by a little sister. AND SHE'S HERE!!!

6 pounds, 9 ounces, 19 inches long, born at 2:27 this afternoon... her mama was a CHAMP in labor!

Sayla Grace, you have the most wonderful family that I can imagine. Your parents are fabulous and love Jesus so much... and Keadryn is going to be the best big sister ever! I can't wait to get to know you and to see the unique role that you play in this family as y'all serve the Lord together...


new discovery

The Small One has discovered his thumb... and loves loves loves it! :)


if only you could bottle rest...

killing time (and eating free chicken strips) at chick fil a

after a few laps around the mall

Since Burke came early and I went to the middleeast more than a week after Keadryn was born, my experience with past-your-due-date-waiting is fairly limited. I mean, I know most people have babies after their due dates. And I've talked to several (very frustrated) friends about how stir crazy you go when you are waiting on an overripe Little One to pop out. But I've never experienced the sit-and-stare-at-the-belly-and-wait phenomenon firsthand.

It's tricky. You can't really make plans because really, you'll be going into labor any day and what if today is that day? And if your mom is like our mom, there isn't any cleaning to do because the cabinets and pantry have already been organized, the kitchen floor was scrubbed yesterday, the laundry is all washed and folded and the bathrooms were just cleaned. Even the front walk and drive way are all swept clean. Seriously.

We've been eating spicy food, popcorn and pineapples (don't worry Laura, Jord likes pineapple), going on plenty of walks, and rubbing Jordi's feet and acupressure points, but to no avail. When she was pregnant with Keadryn, Jord even drank castor oil- it ruined her for ever trying that again.

I keep thinking about how chill things are right now and fast forwarding in my head to a few days from now when things will be anything but chill around here. If only we could save a little bit of this time and rest for later.