Friday, October 17, 2014


well, the big news of the week is that I FINALLY SQUEEZED INTO MY PRE-LAURELAI JEANS ON SUNDAY.  only thirteen months later, but whatever.  everybody wang chung tonight!  i kind of felt like my legs were in sausage casings, and i was having a hard time bending my knees, but whatever.  i conquered the villainous skinny jeans and i'm feeling like i should probably try out for the olympics.  if 'trying out' is even how you get into the olympics.  i'll probably have to double check that minor detail before my audition.

the other news of the week also centers on 'what the van voorsts wore.'  case in point, penelope's new velvet blazer and real-leather cowboy boots, given to us by a friend.  she is now a full-blown fancy cowgirl.

she also wore my (one-dollar-at-a-garage-sale!) shoes around the house, and every dream i've ever had of raising a preschooler daughter was realized. 

laurelai LOVES wearing hats, and gets super excited and goofy when wearing one.  i swear if she could talk, she'd be all, 'check me out. i'm proud of who i am in this hat.'

i love this next photo.  she looks like she just landed a b-girl spin move and she's all like, 'step off.'

the kids got to spend the morning with their friend naomi on wednesday.  i offered to convert the bunk beds into a covered wagon for the kids to play in, which immediately elicited a request from penelope for a head kerchief so she could be Ma Ingalls.  my daughter requested to play ma ingalls?!?!?!?!?!  i've never been so proud in my life... since the day that she wore my shoes.  so, essentially, i'd never been so proud in the previous four days.  but anyway, i got her a bandana, and knowing everyone else would want one, pulled out three more as well.  the boys immediately assumed pirate personas, penelope was absorbed in Little House Fantasy Time Land, and i'm pretty sure naomi was just trying to remain calm and not panic in the midst of the tornado of van voorsts.

they look like they're in a gang.  a really cute, only mostly intimidating, trike gang.  also, penelope looks like she's been stockholmed into participating.

well, anywhoooo.  that was our week.  LLAP, fools.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

video vednesday: what are you even playing? is that jazz?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

genuine praise as i climb out of the mud hole.

so, todd started a new job yesterday.  he is no longer a pastor at candeo.

it's not really a long story, and it's definitely not a reality-tv-style dramatic one.  the specific position simply wasn't a good fit for him, and him in the position wasn't a good fit for the church.  so he decided (with the support and agreement of the rest of the elder team) to step out of the position so that candeo could be freed up to quickly find a person who will be good at the things we need most right now.  which was the right decision.  but it meant that he moved out of the position before he had another job lined up to move into.

i say all this to preface this statement:  i've been a dirty old stressball for the last month over all of this.  the highs have been low, and the lows have been lower.  i got all in a panic about stuff like, you know, feeding our kids to keep them alive.  which, though not impossible, is infinitely harder to do without a steady cash flow.  and while i knew god would provide a job for todd eventually, i had no idea how long it would be, and i was prepared for the worst.  (i was all like, 'what can i sell?! MY BLOOD!')

and to top it all off, you know what i did AFTER he got offered this new job?  i laid in my bed and cried about how little the starting salary is.  i mean, i knew god would take care of us, but i was whining and complaining about the potential that it might not reach the standards i would choose for my life if given reigning rule over the laws and trajectory of the universe.  (because, you know, i have higher standards than god's and also am smarter than he is about how to go about reaching those standards.  ahem.)

i eventually roused myself from my snot-soaked pillow and came downstairs to find an envelope laying on the counter, sent from minnesota by a girl i (understatedly) hardly know.  and you know what was inside?  a note of encouragement and a staggering target gift card. and i clearly heard god say, in such a kind and compassionate and exasperated way, 'how could you think i wouldn't take care of you?  what on earth makes you think i've changed?'

and i was all, you're so right.  when has he EVER left me languishing in some hole and forgotten about me?  when have the trials of this life been used for anything but my ultimate good?  yeah, there are hard things that we've faced.  unemployment is major, sure, but so is deciding to move to a new town and sell your house by owner and find a new job for your husband and live apart for months just to move into someone's basement for the purpose of trying to help start a church from scratch, all while unexpectedly pregnant and house hunting and living out of suitcases until two weeks before your due date.  and this is to say nothing of the difficulty of actually helping to plant the church.  our whole life here has been insanely difficult and chaotic and jam packed, if i'm being brutally honest.

and our whole life here has been insanely, over-the-top, lovingly blessed by a sovereign god who knows our needs.  and sometimes we need hard stuff.

i have needed these hard things like i need breath.  it is GOD who sustains.  it is GOD who provides.  it is GOD who offers stability in the midst of crushing chaos.  and it is GOD who makes every. single. bit. of this the best thing that has ever happened to me.  i would not trade a single second of it away for an easier life.  

this morning i found myself laying on my face on the basement floor, pleading with god to 'let it be to me according to your word.'  whatever you pick for me, god, that's what i want.  i don't want him to give me my sorry idea of a cherry-picked life.  i want the hard, crushing, meaningful life of following him into unknown, scary territory and watching him work in amazing ways.  like he always has, like he always will.  because that's who he is.

so  THANK GOD for our (thankfully short-lived) time of unemployment!  and THANK GOD for the new job he brought to todd so soon!  and THANK GOD for whatever comes next for us, whatever it looks like.  i am so privileged to have such a wonderful father.

Monday, October 13, 2014

south carolina: the kids' first fishing adventure.

my mom and the kids went fishing off the dock.  both kids actually caught fish and had a great time.

Friday, October 10, 2014

weekly whut update.

YOU GUYS, IT IS FRIDAY.  already!  there is hope for the rest of this life if it can be friday already.

things that happened this week:

1.  my sister got us hooked up with netflix for the first time ever, and oh my word, y'all, we have watched so. much. 30 rock. it's almost embarrassing.  three words: awwwwwwesommmmme daaaayyyyyyte noooyyyyyt.

2.  since todd's been home all week (more on that later), i've spent the week trying to get the house deep cleaned.  i got a chance to make it happen for the first time since we moved in last summer, so i snatched up the opportunity. needless to say, my house is all torn up right now, since i've been cleaning out cupboards and closets and pulling up rugs, but have not gotten everything put back... todd is rethinking his decision to enable me in this.

3.  in art, the kids are learning about fra angelico, who painted all kinds of religious frescos for the vatican and such.  there are like zero lesson plans out there on this guy, so i just winged it and taped some paper to the wall, and let them pretend to paint a fresco.  

fra angelico's 'thing' was illustrating stories from the life of christ, so i asked the kids to choose a story from jesus' life to paint.  atticus chose the birth of jesus, penelope chose the baptism of jesus.  this is what the painting turned out looking like:

yes, that is definitely a black hole and also a fire truck.  just like in the bible.

4.  finneas had a pretty normal week:

and the big kids joined in.

5.  we found a ladybug!  like, a real, live lady bug, not a japanese beetle.  it's been a while since we've seen one of these.

6.  and best of all, laurelai is beginning to walk!  she's regularly taking steps here and there.  exciting times.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

video vednesday: some motivational speaking, courtesy of apollos hester.

so.  much.  jibberish.  i.  can't.  even.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

south carolina: now, there's a first.

i bought gum for the (biggest) kids to try for the first time.  it was a perfect time to give it to them, as we were waiting for our food at a restaurant and y'all know how nuclear that can turn in no time flat.  their responses were positive, though not easily and accurately captured on film memory card.  (that doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it?)

and just because i like being gratuitous (i'm a giver at heart), here are more restaurant photos of some of the same-old, same-old: the little kids being adorable and hungry.

you know what they say:  at some point in their lives, all the greats have chewed gum OR eaten a sandwich in south carolina.  now, i'm not implying anything here, but the van voorsts have done both.  so there's that...

Monday, October 6, 2014

so, we went to the zoo like a million years ago.

i'm pretty sure this trip happened in like august.  but they're perfect it's-cold-and-it's-monday-let's-pretend-life-is-different photos.

we went with my sister and had a blast, blasts, and half a blast.  (thanks for taking all these photos, lauren!)

i think finneas may have instigated a sword fight with his burger.  as per usual.

oh good gracious, how i love this photo.

(todd inadvertently appearing to be grabbing his tortoise-boobs.  whoops.  when at the zoo, do as the zoo do.  assuming the zoo do that.)

one of the many joys of going places with others is that we actually get photos with all of us in them.  of course, not everyone is looking at the camera, but what else is new?


so, not to brag on my bicep or anything, but...

so that was the trip we took to the zoo back before the dinosaurs were invented.  i'm just going to pretend like the sunshine is still around and that tank top is still an active part of my life.  and that, friends, is how you successfully utilize some serious denial on a cold, october monday morning.  blech.  

Friday, October 3, 2014

weekly 'what's up.'

atticus' biggest news of the week:

a popcorn party for a superhero.  a superhero named Word Boy who carries his own homemade guitar.

penelope's biggest news of the week:

since school began, the kids haven't been required to nap everyday.  penelope is having a difficult time adjusting.

finneas' biggest news of the week:

punk cakes.  hmmmm.

he looks like he's celine dion, singing it a power ballad.

laurelai's biggest news of the week:

yeah, i know.  she's thirteen months old and still using a bottle.  the other kids were weaned like day numero uno after they turned one.  i'm not prepared to undergo such extremes at this point, so she still gets to milk babyhood for all it's worth.

and that was our week! how was yours?