Friday, November 7, 2014

The Adventures of Sunny

This is Sunny. He's alive and well...swimming and eating and doing all the other things fish do...

We were sure he would no longer be with us last weekend. In an effort to de-clutter my house, I decided that Sunny (K's fish...that didn't have a name until the fiasco) needed to move. So move he did. To K's room... It was a great opportunity to clean out and clean up her room and move the shelf from my kitchen. It was also a great opportunity to clean out his tank. 

I've never had a fish. I'm not a lover of animals. Any animals. So, the prospect of moving a fish tank and cleaning it up kinda stressed me out.  But I can do it. And teach k. And it will be a wonderful moment when we are finished and the tank is clean and we can sit in her room and admire our work.

Except that's not what happened. Did you know that you have to acclimate the fish to the water before you dump it out of your measuring cup back into the tank? Even if you squirt a bunch of fish tank stuff in the water.... Well, I did not know this. Handsome assumed I was knowledgable about not killing fish. I am/was not. 

The cleaned tank and fresh water was moved into sister's room. The shelf was organized and chair was placed perfectly for a reading/admiring my fish nook. Fish dumped. Checked off the to do list. Moving on the cleaning the house (or watching TV)...

As I sat on the couch "cleaning the house", 

K screamed: Something is wrong with Sunny. 

Me: Who's Sunny? 

K: My fish!!

Oh. Well ok. Now what.... So we sat on her perfectly placed reading/admiring fish nook chair and watched Sunny lay on the rock in the tank. 

Crap. I think I killed her fish. And we had just figured out a name for it after 10 months of ownership. I walked outside to Handsome to tell of the dramatic aquatic happenings when he asked about acclimating the fish. 


Whating the what? 

Handsome came in and concurred with K. I had indeed killed the fish. 

I apologized. Told her that Sunny lived a long time for a fish. And promised a shopping trip for Sunny Jr. 

K: It's okay mom. I think she's having babies. 

Me: ........(blank stare)..........

K: That's why she's about to die. She's about to have baby fish like in Charlotte's web. (please read that with growing excitement)

Me: ..........maybe..........

She continued to sit in her perfectly placed chair for reading/admiring her fish and I left the room to ponder the unexpected pregnancy and death of Sunny. (Where do we even go from here, you might on...)

A few minutes later I came back in to check on sister and Sunny. I found K in her perfectly placed chair for reading/watching the miracle of birth and she was crying. Because I had killed her fish. (Worst mother ever) We cuddled in the perfectly placed chair for learning about life and death. And she decided we needed to bury him. (please note: Sunny is still a "him" even though he's about to have miraculous babies and die....)

What a great idea! We can all sit crammed in our tiny bathroom and say a few words as we flush the fish. Nope. Unacceptable. We have to have a memorial. Katelynn got right on it. She decided the time of death was 2:30 and we would have the service at 3:00.  She got to work. Dug a whole right off the front porch so that every time we tripped and sprained our ankle in the hole off the porch, we could remember Sunny. 

We met at 3:00 on the porch...right beside the hole. (PLEASE NOTE THAT SUNNY IS STILL ALIVE,,,,THIS IS JUST A MEMORIAL SO WHEN THE FISH FINALLY DIES, WE CAN JUST FILL THE HOLE UNCEREMONIOUSLY) Handsome conveniently had to run to Lowe's and was excused from the service. Little Man tried super hard to get out of this but I explained in a compassionate and loving voice that he had to man up and stick this out with me. 

Sister created the "rip". 

I didn't know what that was either... Luckily, a week later, we still have it laying around...

The grave marker. His rip. MEMORIALIZED!

Michael and I had to write down what we loved most about Sunny. (And Michael asked who Sunny was during the service...was he not paying attention???) My words were picked to be said aloud. 

"I love that Sunny (is that his name?) was a good fish to Katelynn. I am thankful that he was a good fish for our family"

We had a moment of silence and then went about our day as if there wasn't a death in the family...because there WASN'T. But I feel like we have saved minutes of future time for when Sunny finally does get dumped in a hole right off the back porch. But we will have to dig another one because Handsome could no longer stand it and convinced K that the hole needed to be filled in on Monday. We gave the fish a good 2 days before we gave up on the burial.

Handsome has requested that K not be in charge of pulling his plug...

Joyful today for non-dead fish and for a sister girl that entertains *even while in mourning...

This is where the fish was... doesn't it look grown up (especially with the b-b gun on the ground...

Joyfully full of it,


Friday, September 19, 2014

Life skills

Hip hop is a life skill. I feel very strongly about this. Sister-girl takes hip-hop classes because nobody uses jazz hands at the club in their early 20s...

Because this... (Please see Instagram video for the awesomeness that could not be blogged.)

And you can't learn real "street" without a little bit of shadow dancing. (Which won't upload here and I'm tired it trying to figure it out. Being tech-savvy is hard y' I'm not. 

My people make me laugh. 

We do crazy here at this house.

You're welcome for the perceived normalcy I just confirmed at your home!

I love my peeps. My kids, my handsome, my holler mommas. 

Thank you and word to your mother!

Joyfully full of it...seriously!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Her daily prayer

Sister. This mini-me God gave me. ThIs chick.....

This beautiful girl challenges me. I can't believe God trusts me with the girl. 

Every night she starts her short and sweet bedtime prayer with a phrase I think we should all use and live out...

Dear God, I love you and I always will. I will always love you because you are the best.

Every night. And I sure pray that she really always will. 

Try it. It's an easy thing to remember and a beautiful heart statement 

And then make this face and laugh....

Dear God, I love you and I always will. I will always love you because you are the best. 

I find these on the iPad. It makes me laugh. And snort 

Joyfully full of it (obviously)!


Monday, September 15, 2014


That's the name of a boy. 

And now my world has changed and grown and it's beyond anything I've ever imagined. He is in 3rd grade. He lives in Ethiopia. He has no idea who I am but I love him already. And here he is....

I don't know how to pronounce his name. I don't know where Ethiopia actually is. I don't know how old he is, what his parental status is, or if I will ever get to meet him. 

I do know that sometimes when you dig your feet in and avoid change at all happens anyway.  

You can read some books and blogs about changing the world and sit back, thankful that someone else feels called to do that so you don't have to. You can be supportive of people that have a world view even though you don't understand how they can see outside of their home much less their community. You can even tell your children that you only give money to your local church because "that's where you feel God wants you to tithe and the only place you've felt led to give money".

I don't want to be stretched and moved. I don't want to leave my safe life-bubble with eyes that see how broken the world is. I will buy the books (Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker, Chasing God by Angie Smith) and collect them like a good Jesus-loving girl but never crack them case I'm moved and stretched by the words. I'm not ready for that. I can barely keep my kids bathed and dressed (thank you handsome for keeping us fed...). I like my size and scope and feel really at peace that my "mission field" is right here where I can see. 

And then you can haphazardly read blogs like or and think how cool it is that they are out changing the world. 

But what if you change the world. What if you scroll through the pictures at and something in your heart stirs. 

I looked at the blogs and the kids. I looked through superficially and noticed the "cute" ones and decided that I had no business sponsoring....because I'm obviously not mature enough for that. Who looks for the cute one?? Seriously? I decided that it wasn't for me. I even prayed for God to open my eyes to one for our family if that's what he wants...but I continued to see "cuteness"... Clearly a sign! 


Then my sponsor BFF (sorry Michelle, we are in this for life now) mentioned casually as I closed my browser that she wanted to maybe sponsor a kid. Oooookay.  That's clear. 

His name is Sintayehu. And we love him. We love his toes and his snappy red pants. 

I can't wait to write him and find out how my family can love him and pray for him. And I'm so thankful for the stretching that I didn't even know I needed. 

Stay tuned for more... This handsome boy has a story to tell. 

Joyfully full of it,


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Silencing Crazy

Our summer bubble is officially gone and life hasn't quite amped up to full speed so I have a little time to blog. I often think about sending a little shout out to my mom and brother via a blog post. 

The boys are at baseball. Sister is preoccupied. I can sit by myself and tell you about silencing crazy. You know crazy, RIGHT? She's the chick in my head that says really mean (and sometimes inappropriate) things. She was pretty quiet all summer. I was able to lose a little weight over the summer and I kinda hoped that I starved her to death.... NOPE. She was just waiting to catch me off guard.

So, I sat in my chair. Quiet-timing my little heart out. On consecutive days... (what??) Feeling positive and good. Got my day going with Jesus. Ready to take it all on. And then WHAM. Crazy woke from her summer slumber and picked up right where she left off. She said all those mean things that make me feel inadequate and not good enough and just plain old crappy. 

Next morning...back at being quiet-timey like a good girl. But NOT feeling it. I started in on God. Why did you make me this way? Why do I constantly struggle with this? Why oh why? I can not possibly be used by You if I can't silence Crazy. 

LUCKILY God already knows crazy and came to my rescue. I'm confident that the time I have spent in the word and the things I have learned this summer have retrained my brain to go to HIM. 

A big shout out to Jen Hatmaker ( and find her on facebook... for her book A Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study. 

That's fancy photography when you use your feet to hold something up.

This particular morning I was told by Jen (Mrs. Hatmaker, I promise it's a very respectful first name basis)  to turn to Isaiah 45:8-12. I don't know about you but I wasn't really feeling Old Testament-y. I needed 1 Corinthians love and encouragement. Thank goodness He knows what I really need.

Isaiah 45:8-12
8 "Open up, O heavens, and pour our your righteousness.
Let the earth open wide so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together.
I, The Lord, created them.

9 "What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator.
Does a clay pot argue with its maker?
Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying,
'Stop, you're doing it wrong!'
Does the pot exclaim, 'How clumsy can you be?'
10 How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father,
'Why was I born?'
or if it said to its mother, 'Why did you make me this way?'"

11 This is what The Lord says- 
the Holy One of Israel and your Creator:
"Do you question what I do for my children?
Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it.
With my hands I stretched out the heavens.
All the stars are at my command.

HUH? Okay. Jen says to read it again. (I honestly read it about 5 times and read foot notes to figure out what the heck i was supposed to "glean from this passage"... God is speaking to the Israelites and reminding them that He is the Sovereign God. He set the earth in motion. Who do they think they arecriticizing  and questioning who he appointed as king?

Then it hit me. God made the earth and ME. Who am I to question the way that He made me? He made me perfect for my purpose. He made you perfect for your purpose! My "joke" is that God made me perfect, He just got a little off with His measurements. (Isn't this what the Israelites were doing? Kinda?)

God is preparing excellent things. I have no idea what Crazy has to do with it other than breaking me with her mean words so that the Creator could remind me...

Basically this is a "God don't make junk" quote that I've been looking for since Crazy started talking to me all those years ago. 

Do you trust that He loves you and made you for a reason with a clear calling on your life? YES!! So whatever that is - it's perfect according to His will and plan.

For me,  it was nice to hear Him and to have Crazy silenced. 

Joyfully full of it!

Monday, April 14, 2014


The song we are singing at church Sunday has blessed me beyond measure today and I wanted to share it with you. It's a video on you tube. (It's really long but worth every second) 

Here's the link:

Here are the words to the song and then the words that the guy speaks. 

Forever by Kari Jobe

The moon and the stars they wept
The morning sun was dead
The savior of the world was fallen
His body on the cross
His blood poured out for us
The weight of every curse upon him

One final breath he gave
As heaven looked away
The son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken

The ground began to shake
The stone was rolled away
His perfect love could not be overcome
Now death where is your sting
Our resurrected king has rendered you defeated

Forever He is glorified
Forever He is lifted high
Forever He is risen 
He is alive
He is alive

We sing hallelujah 
We sing hallelujah 
We sing hallelujah 
The Lamb has overcome

(Spoken words)
If there are words for Him then I don't have them
You see my brain has not yet reached a point where it could form a thought that could
Adequately describe the greatness of my God

And my lungs have not yet developed the ability 
To release the breath with enough agility
To breath out the greatness of His love

And my voice, you see, my voice is so inhibited
Restrained by human limits
That its hard to even send a praise up

You see if there are words for Him, then I don't have them 

My God. 

His grace is remarkable 
Mercies are innumerable 
Strength is impenetrable
He is honorable, accountable, favorable
His is unsearchable, yet knowable
Indefinable yet approachable
Indescribable yet personal

He is beyond comprehension
Further than imagination
Constant through generation 
King of every nation 

But if there are words for Him then I don't have them
See my words are few
And to try and capture the one true God using my vocabulary will never do 
But I use words as an expression 
An expression of worship to a Savior
A Savior who is both worthy and deserving of my praise 
So I use words. 

My heart extols The Lord
Blesses His name forever
He has won my heart
Captured my mind
And has bound them both together

He has defeated my rebellion
Conquered me in my sin
He has welcomed me into his prayer
Completely invited me in

He has made himself the object of my sight
Flooding me with mercies in the morning
Drowning me with grace in the night

But if there are words for Him then I don't have them
But what I do have is good news
For my God knew that man-made words would never do
For Words are just told that we use to point to the truth

So He sent His son
Jesus Christ is the word
Living proof
He is the image if the invisible God

The firstborn of all creation
For by him all things were created
Giving nothingness formation

And by his words he sustains 
In the power of his name
For he is before all things and over all things

Holy is his name
So praise him for his life
The way he preserved his strife

The humble son of God becoming the perfect sacrifice 
Praise Him for his death
That he willingly stood in our place
That he lovingly endured the grave
That he battled our enemy
And on the third day he rose in victory

He is everything that was promised
Praise him as the risen king

Lift your voice and sing
For one day he will return for us
And he will finally be
United with our savior for eternity, eternity

So it's not just words that I proclaim
For my words point to The word
And the word has a name
Hope has a name
Joy has a name
Peace has a name
Love has a name

And that name is Jesus Christ
Praise His name forever!!!

Joyfully full of it,

Monday, March 31, 2014

My Star

Tomorrow is that dreaded day. It's time for the stupid STAAR test. And little man has test anxiety that flares up like a hemmoroid. I knew it was coming. We don't talk about and our avoidance does nothing to postpone the stupid test. 

You may gather from my post so far that I think the STAAR test is stupid. Little Man is an excellent student. He even brings home 100s on his report card (looks from me, brains from Handsome). But this day will leave him almost in the fetal position. He will question his knowledge, skills, and worth by the numbers we will be eagerly awaiting in a few months. 

Stupid test. 

So, I want to show you my STAR before he is beat down my the (stupid) staar.

This boy is a rock star. No matter the outcome of a test. 

I just needed to make sure you knew it too. 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Girl

She is a beautiful mess.
She challenges me daily.
She lives dramatically.
She is an amazing little girl.
She is not so little anymore...

Joyfully full of it,

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Elevated Parenting

Sunday, March 23, 2014: Sister decided she is ready to be baptized and be a follower of Christ. We are so excited. She will be baptized in Easter Sunday. 

This is such a wonderful decision for her. And it means that it's time to bring my "A" game. (Whatever that is... I feel like I'm a solid B some days but A?? Aaaahhhhh) 

I've been just parenting her and teaching her and loving her. I believe now this adds a new parenting "level". I need to show her what this decision means and how to live it out. I need to show her how a relationship with Jeus works day to day because this determines many future steps for her. (No pressure....)

And as I've been distracted by this new level of parenting with Sister, I was a little blindsided by some needs Little Man is having. He's 9 and being "cool" is beginning to matter. And believe it or not, this incredible little man feels like he's on the outskirts... So we discussed loneliness last night. (This is a heart-breaking topic.)

I know loneliness well. I'm well versed in all the feelings and defeats that lonliness will throw in your face. As an adult I felt this lonliness frequently. It has only been in the last few years that God has answered this plea to fill my friend hole with someone. And He filled me and continues to answer this prayer the more I seek Him. 

How do you show your kid how to be cool? Not just liked, but cool. Can someone show me how to be cool so I can show him? 

It's time to step out of my comfort zone and loosen my grip on my Little Man and let him discover "cool" all my himself. No one's mom walked them up to the "cool" table and found them a seat! 

See? Elevated. "A" Game. Bringing It. 

I have a feeling that this is just the first of many steps I'm going to have to face. But I don't like change and I don't like my peeps to face challenges....and I'll just have to get over it. 

Don't be surprised if you see a new level of "excellence" here at the Lewis compound. Flying by the seat of my pants...for real!!

Be encouraged. Love your peeps. 

Joyfully full of it,


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Planting....just a planting

This is year 13 of the Lewis Garden. It moves, it weeds, it's unsuccessful every single time. But I try. A lot in the beginning. And today was planting day.

Shoes to PROVE I was working the dirt.

This is where the magic will hopefully happen.

I did not grow this. Handsome gave me this for v-day. I hope I don't kill it.

Spring. Time for renewal and beautiful weather. The compound will be flowered this year. That's my goal. Are you planting and growing? Are you feeding your family with the fruits of your labor?

How do you celebrate spring? We celebrate with dirt and water.

I hope you enjoyed the day and are reminded of beautiful newness for the spring.

Joyfully full of it.

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Swinging... Just a Swinging

New rope swing. Handsome rocks again.

Welcome to the Lewis Compound. We have a rope swing.

Joyfully full of it.


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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Almost Bach...

Videos from the recital...trying again. Follow link to our YouTube channel... It's not as high tech as it sounds... I can't figure out how to upload them here.

Joyful...but really tired...

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Piano Recital Excellence

Recital was today. We were almost late and didn't know our pieces...

The videos won't post...just take my word for it.

The kids really did a good job. I'm very proud of how hard they worked this time.

Joyfully full of it,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Dear mom that worked all day in or out of the home,

Thank you from your people.

Thank you for waking us this morning and making sure we ate something before we started our day.

Thank you for fixing our lunch or paying for lunch or making sure that the school would feed us while we were away from you.

Thank you for working so hard today and for pushing through the moments when you just feel defeated and want to crawl into a small space.

Thank you for making me wear my coat today.

Thank you for picking me up from school/Bgc/daycare/grandma's.

Thank you for feeding me "gourmet" cheese pizza for dinner and for folding my clothes.

Thank you for making me put away my clothes and teaching me responsibility.

You are a rock star every day to me.

Your people love you. Even on days that are hard.

Even on days when you are annoyed. Even if you have to grab a bid knife to open the stupid box of Tide so you can wash ANOTHER load of clothes.

Be blessed momma.
Be joyful momma.
Be thank-
filled momma.

Joyfully full of it,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Favorite Things

Do you ever have recurring themes or things that repeat? Do you ever learn a new word and then hear it used on the news or on Facebook and think.... What did I think they were saying before? Or does the world revolve around my new word? (Much like every one shows up at Walmart when I just need a few things)

My recurring themes recently are "favorite things" and "craving something else".

So my favorite things (because I know you must be dying to know)....

1. The Following (on Fox). I rarely follow shows but this one sucked me in last year and its starting again. Besides... Kevin Bacon... The hero from footloose...

2. Clean eating. Not really my favorite but I'm trying to pretend like it is. (Truth: when I typed "pretend" and looked up to watch tv, the iPad replaced pretend with pretentious... How does it know? Ha ha )

3. The Big Mama blog. Especially on fashion Fridays. It's a terrible guilty pleasure. She (Melanie Shankle) is excellent during the week but Fridays are the best. Her taste is divine and expensive. But it gives me something to search on eBay.

4. Sciatica homeopathic remedy. I bought these homeopathic sublingual pills for my lower back pain...then went to my doctor and got muscle relaxers. Well, I've had terrible pain the last few days and took them last night out of desperation...and the pain was dulled, then gone today. I'm telling you, there is something to herbs... ;)

5. Apron back tankini. I want one. I can't find one. I need a white or navy blue top because I have excellent swim bottoms and just "need" a new top for our vacation. Google it. So cute and never in navy blue.

So the other theme... It's a little more difficult. It's a total work in progress.

I'm reading Made To Crave by the amazing Lysa Terkerust. She is the author of Unglued. And she speaks like she is my friend. I'm not very far into the book but it is speaking to me.

So basically, i had a nutrition counseling session. The gist.... I should be eating food that can be found the way God made them. Not packaged in cardboard or chemically modified to taste good. Easy to understand. Hard to stick to in real life. All the things that are found on the perimeter of the grocery store.

Then I found another book: Take Charge of your health; A Biblical Perspective.

It's good. Quick read. Written like a long infomercial. bUT. Same theme. Gods eating plan. The way he created it.

I agree...He created me. No matter how wrong I think he got some things (thighs...ghetto booty) He made me.. Perfect. I trust Him to lead me on how to live and be a good mother and wife. I believe all the instructions were written and given to me. Doesn't it make sense that he would provide the same type of instructions for taking care of my body, the holy spirits temple?

I'm working on it. And struggling with it. And hungry, if you want me to be honest.

I thought I'd share. This journey is difficult. It's a total beat down sometimes. But maybe there's actual strength in numbers. Join me in struggling though life!

Joyfully full of it,


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Freezing Start

It's flipping cold. Ridiculous. Not fun. I don't have the right clothes for this type of weather. So, to celebrate my disdain for this cold weather, we made a winter wonderland in the back yard again.

This is the best way to celebrate the weather and prepare for school starting tomorrow.

Handsome is always ready for the cold weather and sets this winter wonderland up for the babies at the mention of an overnight freeze. He's been doing it for years.


(Insert commentary... So I couldn't find this blogging app since its been so long since I blogged.... I also am unclear on how the link function works... And we had a beautiful Christmas with my family.... I plan on blogging "more"... Stay tuned.)

Our own little WW.

Isn't it wonderful.

And cold....

Happy 2014 from the Lewis Family.

Let me share this in lieu of a family Christmas card...

If that doesn't drip Peace and Blessings....I don't know what does!

So, to you for 2014....

The Lord Bless you and keep you
The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26 NIV

Joyfully full of it!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad