Author Archives: reneegrace

About reneegrace

A place to record my journey of creating a life of balance. First as God's child and bride, "wifing", mothering, homeschooling, leading worship, neighboring, mentoring, teaching piano, and the myriad of other things that clamor for my time and energy. And a place to put pictures to show my family whom I miss incredibly, and who live so very far away from us here in Alaska!!

Homeschool Mother’s Journal

In my life this week…  I am on my own as Bryan goes back to work…, 5 kids and me.  It proves to be as chaotic and challenging as imagined!!

In our home school this week…  Letter A and beginning Letter S for Shand… The boys are studying a little sun and ocean currents and the water cycle… all the usual stovetop / kitchen experiments ensued… and we are beginning YOGA  for the Flexibly Impaired. 🙂  Sounds like us!! Some great mornings at the park with the soccer ball.  I just hold Zeke and Talia when she screams from dog-fear and lawn mower-fear

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… Just our usual… Sports and Drama class, Keenan’s QUEST Language Arts classes, and we began the Swan Valley Rally… completing 5 of the clues before we had to end so the girls could nap.  Sister back from Melbourne trip… SO good to see them when they flew in!!

My favorite thing this week was… eating outside with the kids this evening, going to the park with the whole family in the mornings

Things that are working / not working for us… Bryan working the afternoon / evening shift.  I miss him in the evening, but it definitely works for now having him home to help get the day started!

Day 4

25. dirt lined bathtub from active girls

26. Shand kissing Zeke… over and over and over…

27. catching up with a friend from long ago…

28. Talia freaking out every time Zeke fusses

29. Blessings – Laura Story

30. cheap pizza after a LONG day

Day 3


15. two big climbing trees

16. cool wind blowing most of the morning

17. lost pacifier found

18. cool nights

19. surprise ‘bullets’ (chocolate covered licorice) from my mom

20. Talia’s fat soft cheeks

21. lavender essential oil for mosquito bites

22. breastfeeding

23. inexpensive bike pump

24. Jesus Storybook Bible

Day 2


7. Mom and Dad’s POOL

8. Kiddos increasing confidence in the water

9. Grace and forgiveness from my children after mama’s meltdown

10. Keenan’s statement “It’s ok.  I can take it Mom”

11. Thadd and his never ending super-hero-ness and goofiness

12. Shand trying so hard to gain control over her tears… and don’t I understand!!

13. Talia patting her pillow for me to lie down

14. Zeke and his milk-drunk face

I think I need a new way of uploading pics.  I also need to learn the photo shop thingy…

Happy Anniversary – PROJECT 365

I got a new camera before the new baby was born (more on that later!!)  And I am trying to figure out how to use it, how to challenge myself in a fun no pressure way, how get better and get great shots of my kiddos…

AND SO I am going to document our 14th year of marriage… Our 13th anniversary was the 28th, we are in a new country (as of 5 months ago – Australia), we have a new baby (our 5th living)

Mixed in with my 365 days of pics, will be my GIFTS LIST.  In other words, there won’t be only one pic a day… but not every gift will be captured in a picture either.

Here is the intro pic… I didn’t actually take it either!  And quite frankly, I don’t like seeing all the extra pounds it shows… just a wee bit of pride rearing its head.

We spent the evening at the night before at Preston Beach, courtesy of my mom and dad… we mostly slept! 🙂  It was lovely to have only the 3 wk old’s interruptions and not the other four’s… 🙂


1. my husband, Bryan

2. my mom’s generosity / gift of the night at a hotel

3. beautiful sunshine, beautiful waves, beautiful sand

4. my  Moby Wrap

5. waves a little bigger than you think giving legs a sandy wash

6. wine and cheese

Living In Australia

So.  We moved!! 🙂  Finally, after months of preparation, and trying to get visas and citizenships and passports, etc… We arrived in Australia.

It is fabulous to be with my family, though it has been much harder than I thought it would be.   My dad’s health is poor and it is hard to watch.  Our family has been in transition since July when we sold our triplex (kind of before that, too, when we were getting it READY to sell) so we are well and truly READY to settle down and find a home and a routine.

More later… it is past time to update this, if for no other reason, than I’ll have a record!!

Thoughts on Psalm 90

v1 You are my dwelling place!  You are… from everlasting to everlasting!! – from “Once upon a time” to “Your Kingdom Come”

v4: Timing: For a thousand years in Your sight is like one day pasing.  Grab onto His perspective on timing (specifically in relation to WAITING for my citizenship to come through so we can visit my family in Australia for a while.

v8. In Your presence… let me LIVE and BREATHE there… the hidden places of my heart will be revealed and You will transform me

v12. Teach me to number my days… That I present to You a heart of  WISDOM, grown in me by You in Your presence… Each day, fully given over to You and You alone. 

v14. Satisfy me in the morning with Your lovingkindness: SURPRISE me with Your love at daybreak!! – That I may sing for JOY and be glad all my days:  THEN I’ll skip and dance ALL DAY LONG!!

v16. Let Your work, Your power, Your majesty and Love be seen by us and our children

v17. Let the favor, the LOVELINESS, of our God rest on us, be UPON us, confirming the work that we do…

More healing… of a more dramatic nature

Don’t you love how God doesn’t leave us how we are and moves in us and cleans us and heals us.  step by step.  slowly and subtly sometimes.  dramatically at others.

A couple months ago I got an opportunity to go to the first teaching night of a 24/7  BURN.  It was amazing.  I came hungry to lose myself and embrace Jesus in that evening.  Words were spoken over me.  The Holy Spirit was upon me and moving in me and bubbling out of me.  It was lovely.  glorious.

At one point the leader had us pray for our neighbor that God would fill us with His love.  As my friend came to pray for me, she said that though it sounded strange God wanted her to pull something out of my mouth.  So I opened up… still full of absolute joy.  As soon as she began the motion of pulling, hand over hand, something out of me, I began sobbing and had to fight the urge to spit on the church’s carpet… It didn’t take too long.  Then she said now open and lets pour God’s love into you.

What amazing love and cleansing did He bring!!  WOW… what a difference it has been.  The power of anger has been BROKEN over me.  There are still habits to change, and some days are hard.  I am a mother of four and pregnant in the 1st trimester and we are moving and in much transition… it is LIFE after all!  I have much still to mature and change and grow in… but it seems POSSIBLE now, because the stronghold is gone.  The demonic presence has fled.  And in its place, the love of God is growing.

Had I heard someone share this to me a few years ago I wouldn’t have known what to think… how is that possible for a believer.  Was I possessed?  no.  I was not possessed.  But there were was an area in my life, because of sin… fear, I believe, in this case that gave the enemy permission to stay and ‘latch on’.  I can’t explain it really well, but it happened.

All glory and honor to God, who is the victor over the enemy, who will reveal the root of sin in our lives if we ask and are willing to make the journey to His healing!!

why I am glad my kids talk back


When I bark instructions and Keenan begins stomping down the hall sighing, and I stop him and ask what’s up.  And he says, ” every time you ask me to do something you say it so mean and it just makes me not want to do it!”


Feeling small.  In an appropriate and good way.

I am glad that even with too much yelling and tones of voice that are  barky and mean and not conversationally inviting, they are still willing to put themselves out there and say how they feel.  And I am thankful that we are all… dad included… working on our tone.  On NO sarcasm.  Even the slight subtle kind. And sounding friendly if firm. On speaking gently.  On giving instructions clearly and precisely.

It definitely makes for a happier home.  One where the talk-backs become fun and induce giggles and smiles and hugs.

A Spiritual Cry

That is an understatement, actually.  The last couple months life has been getting progressively harder.  More emotional and deeper down days and more sporadic anger (that sounds mild to the reality) and less hope.  Lies in my mind overcoming the truth that I was trying to whisper  back to it.  Knowing I needed more time to myself to think and renew.  (I think when you get to the stage that you get butterflies in your tummy and feel mildly tipsy and giddy when you get to leave the house with no littlies – maybe its a sign…).

Then a close friend had her baby prematurely, and her experience started mirroring ours… and I cried off and on for the next three days.

THEN I started talking to Bryan one night.  and crying.  and sobbing.  and wailing.  and travailing.  It was not of this world… it was like I was birthing something bad out of me.  Almost like I wasn’t part of the whole experience.

And since then… over a week now… life is great!  The hope is back.   The joy is back.  My sanity is back!!!

For God has not given us a spirit of FEAR… but of power, of love and of a sound mind!!!

Thank you Jesus!!