coffee thoughts.

the other day salem announces – “if i had three hands, i could play even more video games!”
this was clue number 341 alerting us salem might – just might – be addicted to video games.
aaaand he’s only 6 years old.
intervention needed immediately.

“mommy, can we watch something?”
“mommy, when can we watch something?”
“mommy, can we pick something to watch?”
“mommy, can we each pick something to watch today?”

“whhhaaaatttt??? stop asking me about watching t.v.!”

later that day, after several rounds of not-so-great behavior and over-reactions… i calmly said angrily yelled – we are not watching t.v. or playing any video games tomorrow!

kids (thinking) – what?!? 
did mom just say what i thought she said? 
yep. she said it. 
mom (simultaneously thinking) – why, why, why, why, why – did i do this to myself???
usually, it’s better for mom to have the t.v. on… the kids are sucked in and not fighting or whining.
but isn’t that the wrong approach?
[and no, i’m not against t.v. or video games, all together]

so the kids made it through the next day without playing any video games or having the television on… with two exceptions: a half hour episode of martha speaks in the a.m. and charlie brown in the p.m.
now before you give me a pat on the back and a hefty congratulations for being a mom that sets and keeps firm boundaries, i found out after they came home from school, each of them watched a cartoon in their respective classes. i guess because it was friday, movie day at school? i don’t know…

what i do know is this:
salem thinks about video games a lot of the time.
selah thinks about dora and diego.
and soleil thinks about barbie movies… or her new favorite show on netflix – d.c. cupcakes.

i don’t know about the rest of you, but i have coffee thoughts most of the time…
and adam does too.
this makes for great fun in our life and chit chat.
i am the one responsible for adams addiction to coffee.
he never knew good coffee until he started drinking with me.
he rarely drank coffee at all until knowing me.
i am so proud.
most of the time, when we are planning when and where to go somewhere, the first part of our planning process is – when and where will we have our coffee?

coffee is an integral part of our everyday life.
we look forward to our coffee everyday.
and this begs the question – does God really care about our $4 mocha?
yes. to a point.
we love coffee, but we don’t think about it more than God and His desires.
* we love coffee * but we can live without it.

what do you spend your time thinking of?
our thought patterns begin at a young age.
right now, our kids spend much of their time thinking of t.v., movies and video games…
but we know they can live without these things.
recently, we have had more days with less t.v. and video games swirling in the background.
this has been refreshing and wonderful.
there has been less sibling conflict.
there has been more communication.
and creativity and laughter have flourished.

our minds can be filled up all day long with whatever silliness, seriousness, selfishness, shallowness, or  simplicity.
my greatest desire is to fill my mind, my heart and my body with God’s Word and Worship…
after my first cup of coffee, preferably 😉

What do you desire to fill up with?

*thank you for reading 🙂 feel free to share and follow our blog! as always… these half written records are to be continued…
In Him, Leslie


7 chicks. 11 kids. 1 God.

on Tuesday’s i host a silly little Bible study…

it’s no big deal. it’s just a handful of chicks and their kiddos.
we just get together to drink…
a lot of coffee, and talk about God.

when we get together i fully expect
large amounts of coffee to be consumed.
meaningful conversations to carry throughout my entire house.
the kiddos to play, bicker, get over it, eat a snack, make a mess. repeat.
silly little Bible study to *magically* happen among the chaos of crazy kiddos and ourselves ~ distracted chicks who, if given a *moment* of silence, will easily bunny trail, interrupt each other and bounce back and forth around several subjects, while remaining a part of various conversations…
a silly little Bible study where we read a few Bible verses. have some discussion. say a little prayer. repeat.

really?! *magic*?! is that all there is to it? 
no. freaking. way.
it is so much more than a silly little Bible study.

the truth is
when we get together i fully expect
coffee consumed.
kid chaos.
shared faith.
prayers said.
hope found.
deeper love.
lives changed.
i fully expect God’s presence to show up. 

last Tuesday, God’s amazing presence poured over us.
a glimpse of *Heaven* came down to earth. in. my. house.

sure. i was prepared for these 7 chicks and 11 kiddos {6 and under} to come busting through my door.
i changed out of my stretchy pants, and briefly tapped into my inner ‘Martha’, while preparing to sit as a ‘Mary’ {their story is referenced in Luke 10:38-42} i cleaned up the living room, meanwhile shoving everything else into the bedrooms.
{out of sight, out of mind is my motto}.

i was ready for this silly little Bible study.
i was ready to drink coffee, share in conversation and read the Bible with the kiddos playing and laughing {sometimes screaming and crying} making their beautiful {and sometimes painful} sounds in the background.

i was fully expectant, hoping for God’s presence to show up. and it did.
prayers were shared.
truth was spoken.
bondages were broken.
God’s love overwhelmed us.

the truth is
if we are not expecting God’s presence to show up, it is just a silly little Bible study.
without God’s presence it is meaningless to get together, share faith, offer pray and gather hope.
it’s all about Jesus.
we fully expect God to do His thing. to love us. change us. renew us. and lead us to go out into the world. guiding us to love the ones in front of us. and for Heaven to touch earth thru us.

I’m a lover of God’s presence.
i can’t wait to see what God will next with these chicks and these kiddos.
i fully expect His presence to overwhelm us, as we enter it with Thanksgiving {Psalm 95:2}.
how are you expecting God’s presence to move?

Celebrating 15 years of Marriage!

8.9.97 ~ 8.9.12

*We have been Married for 15 Years*

If you are just getting to know us / our blog ~ you can read here about how we met and fell in love, and read here about how our friendship with each other and our relationships with God are the foundation of our marriage.

We had a wonderful date on our anniversary, eating at one of our favorite restaurants (Northstar Cafe), drinking our favorite beverages (mochas) and walking thru a beautiful metro park (Inniswood Metro Gardens).  We were caught in the rain, but that didn’t stop our fun.  By the evenings’ end, we were completely soaked with rain ~ fully enjoying our life, laughter together and love for each other.

To celebrate our Anniversary early, we took a lil trip to the Pacific Coast and left the wee Babs with the Grand Babs, while we were visiting Adam’s family there a few weeks ago…

The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse in Newport, OR

Of course, there’s nothing like hiking rocks in skinny jeans and converse 🙂

Adam at the edge of the rocks – such a daredevil 🙂

The “Devil’s Punchbowl”

Exploring Tide Pools

The next morning, we went running 4 miles along the coast.  We ended up with blisters and completely soaked, but it was SO FUN!  In case you don’t already know this about the Pacific Northwest… the weather can be unpredictable. The Oregon coast leans more on the side of being a sweatshirt beach, not a swimsuit beach. It was cloudy and rainy most of the time we were there, but we didn’t care.  We simply enjoyed God’s beautiful creation and each others’ company.  

We can’t wait to see what the next 15 years together holds ~ with God and each other…
We praise God for each day, for the opportunity to love each other, love others and fully live the life He has called us to. 
There’s nothing better.

the truth is…

i didn’t know what a blog was until this past summer.  in fact, i didn’t even know they existed.  and now i’m all about blogs.  bloggin’.  lovin’ the blog life.  blah, blah, blah. blog, blog, blog.
it can be hard to write blogs, but i am lovin’ it.  the truth is… i was planning to write a blog with P.A. (in honor of v-day) about having a marvelous marriage; in all areas-friendship, communication, trust, selflessness, respect, intimacy, sex, etc… but i changed my mind.  as usual.  but look for it soon. 
so the truth is… 
i have coffee breath 90% of the time, and if i don’t… i will check to see if I have a fever, because there is probably something wrong with me.  i don’t typically chew gum or suck on mints, so if you talk to me, most likely you will also be talking to my coffee breath.  hope that won’t affect our relationship.
i carry a cup of coffee with me 90% of the places that i go, and if i don’t… it’s because i am on my way to buy a coffee… OR, i might have a fever, because there is something wrong with me.  if it’s the latter, i will probably not go anywhere and just stay at home, where i have access to a coffee maker as soon as i’m feeling better.
i LOVE driving fast.  contrary to what we are taught in drivers ed, i like to drive aggressively, not defensively.  we live in central ohio where most of my life consists of driving up and down a 2 lane road, that turns into a 4 lane road with tons of traffic lights along the way.  the truth is… it takes me longer to get out of town than it does to drive down the highway into downtown.  i love the challenge of getting from my house to the highway as fast as i can, speeding up to coast thru the yellow lights, and weaving in and out of the slower drivers around me.  which are basically all the other drivers. 
i miss driving in new york city.  for the 3+ years we lived there, we were those crazy people who wanted to live like suburbanites in the city; and also keep our car and deal with all of the parking tickets, lack of parking places, and all of the stress that comes with driving in nyc.  i loved the challenge of finding and fighting for parking places, cutting people off and weaving in and out of lanes.  never too fast in the city though, because you can’t drive much over 20 mph due to traffic.  
our house is medium sized (about 1,800 square feet), but i wish it were a little bit smaller. our fam of five loves being together.  with the exception of school and work, we spend most of our time in the same room.  or within a few hundred feet of each other.  i rarely go to the bathroom without the pitter patter of little feet nearby.  and i really don’t mind. wasted space makes me cringe.  
if you come over to visit and my house IS clean, it’s most likely because i transferred the piles of papers and moved the dirt from one part of the house to another.  out of sight, out of mind, ya know?
i wish my fam didn’t have to work or go to school.  i love and long for the days when the wee babs are out of school and P.A. is not working.  i wish we could just be together all the time.  the truth is... i would love that!
i think way.  too.  much.  about.  clothes.  and shoes.  and wish i didn’t.  it takes up to much brain space in my head.
i waver between insecurity and confidence.  shocking.  i know you probably thought i had it all together.  just keep reading my blogs, you’ll see the ‘real me’ 😉
i trust GOD, but i also worry about all of the things i can’t control.  which is a lot of things.
and this is the truth about me.  what are some truths about you? 
with love, happy valentines day.

Does God really care about my $4 Mocha?

This is the last of my 3 Panera stories… I know you are saddened, but no worries – I am sure we will go to Panera again soon, and some sort of Chronicle will emerge out of our visit there…

After visiting the Grands in Oklahoma over the holidays, we set out for our long drive home.  We made it 3 seconds down the road… and decided to turn around.  After packing all of our crap up the night before, we had planned to leave by 10am the next morning.  So, about 2 hours later, we were really leaving right on “Bab time”.  We always hope to get somewhere sooner than we ever do.  We have high expectations, but rarely meet them.  We are okay with this fact about ourselves.

So, 3 seconds down the road, we realize we are already hungry for lunch and that our original plan of leaving at 10am – 10:30am at the latest – left us on Bab time leaving at noon and we really should have eaten lunch before we left the Grands house.  We go back to their house, I knock on the door and enter the kitchen to find my mom saying, “I hope you didn’t come back for that coffee you left in our fridge…” She is saying this as she is pouring out $4 worth of peppermint mocha into her sink.  GAAAAHHHH!!!!!!  Crap!!!  As she is pouring, I am remembering that I had left my leftover $4 mocha in her fridge and I had planned to re-warm it and take it with me!

Originally, my plan was to come into their house, slap together a few pb&j’s and be on the road again.  But as I’m listening the $4 mocha drip down the drain, my plan is suddenly highjacked by a range of emotions.  I hold in my frustration with my loss as I  throw together the pb&j’s, holding back tears.  Stay calm, Leslie.  Calma-down-down.  It’s not that big of a deal, you can buy another coffee, I tell myself.  My mom didn’t know I had planned to keep the coffee – I had forgotten it on our original departure in the first place!  Had we not decided to go back for pb&j’s, I would have never known the mocha was tossed away like a meaningless piece of trash.  Don’t be upset with your mom, Leslie.  Keep your cool.  I tell my mom, “It’s no big deal, it’s not your fault, you didn’t know…”  But even as I am speaking the words, there is a part of me that is still upset.  I am not moving on…

A few more minutes down the road and P.A. decides he wants to stop by Taco Bueno.  Ugh!  I say, “Why can’t you just be okay with a pb&j?”  Seriously!  We really need to get on the road, get out of town, be done with this place already!  But P.A. is stubborn, so we stop at Taco Bueno.  The T.B. in my parents town is always busy.  It is located across the street from the church I grew up in, so my youth group friends and I were regulars there.  And it was always packed.  And today was no exception.

We drive up and the drive thru is about 15 cars long, so P.A. decides to “run in” and get the food “real quick” while me & the 3 wee Babs wait in the car. HA!  About 25 minutes later he returns with anxiety thinking I am going to deck him for making us stop at T.B. in the first place and for it taking so stinkin’ long to get our food.  But my response isn’t anger.  It is peace.

While P.A. was running into T.B. “real quick”, I had myself some quiet time with Jesus.  The wee Babs were content eating their pb&j’s I had slapped together earlier. The smallest Bab was now sleeping, and I was journaling to Jesus.  I was asking Him to take away the anger & disappointment I felt about “losing” my $4 mocha, the money wasted, the feelings I had toward my mom for accidentally throwing it away.  I didn’t want to be upset.  I didn’t want to feel those things (Romans 7:15).  I didn’t want to feel ridiculous.  There are so many things in life that produce emotion.  A $4 mocha shouldn’t be one of them.
While P.A. was in T.B., God was doing a work in my heart and soul.  He was changing my thoughts.  He was settling a battle between my flesh & spirit.  He was replacing my anger with His Peace.
So we set off on our journey.  We finally left town.  We made it to our half way stopping point – a Panera.  We went inside, got settled, ordered our food, went to the bathroom and saw poop on the toilet seat.  (btw, if you missed this chronicle, it was the one I posted a few days ago called “Poop and Panera”).  After getting our food – this time at  a much more timely rate (btw, if you missed this chronicle about our late food at Panera, read my recent post called “Back off old lady”), I realized Panera was prepping to close.  Oh no!  I’d better order my coffee for the rest of the evening’s journey.  I went up to the register and noticed they all said “closed”.  Oh no!…  But I wasn’t going to flip out.  I calmly asked the Panera worker if I could still order a peppermint mocha and I would pay cash, but didn’t need any change.  He said, “Sure.” He made me the best peppermint mocha I’ve ever had from Panera.  And he gave it to me.  For Free.

Whoa.  I was floored and thankful.  After the fit I threw earlier behind gritted teeth, a battle in my mind, and anger in my heart… God replaced my $4 mocha.  I felt like He was telling me, “I see and care about every detail of your life.  Even the menial ones.  Trust Me.”  What a gift.  

Some of you reading this might think, who cares about a $4 mocha?  Why would you get upset about that in the first place?  Why would you even take the time to write a blog post about it?… But what are the menial things you value?  a tv show?  maybe you get upset when your child is wanting your attention while you’re trying to watch?  a material possession you want?  maybe you get upset because you can’t have it?  or even time wasted on something you regret doing?

Many times our anger is exhibited as an underlying lack of Trust.  We lack Trusting God and that He knows what is best and He is taking care of our every need, the menial ones and the most important ones.  Matthew 6:25-34.  God is always teaching me how to trust in Him.  He really does care about my $4 mocha.

Noted. By Les Babs