happy birthday rory

rorysbday from Becca Groves on Vimeo.

I captured a little slice of our life today when we made this video for Rory's birthday. It has it all: silly potty talk, blueberries smooshed on Elsie's bottom and a smothering big brother.

Happy Birthday Rory. The best gift? Our sweet family.

a few thoughts for you on a Monday during nap time

+Pumpkins are my favorite. I loved watching them grow all summer long. I loved piling them high in the wheelbarrow when it was time to harvest. And I LOVE giving them away. People get happy about a pumpkin and it has led me to think we should make a bigger pumpkin patch next year. 

+We got to have my niece Mara here for an overnight this weekend. I have sort of one-upped myself each sleepover with her and Sonna and I knew I had to come up with something fun for us to do. So we drove to the fabric store and got all the stuff to make our own free hand hoop art. If you are on pinterest, you may have noticed I've been really excited about hoop art. Check out this page of inspiration. And as soon as it's done, I'll show you the sweet little beginner art I'm making. 

+A few months back we got cable. And I am here to confirm that even with hundreds of channels, there really is very little worth watching. But I started watching 19 kids and counting, the show about the Duggar family, and I love it. Michelle Duggar is so calm and thoughtful and to hear her reflect on her parenting feels like some sort of motherhood meditation for me. I reflect on my own mothering and am inspired by her family. Her first daughter is about to get married and it's really fun television.

+I recently ordered a book that I have been eyeing for a long time. It's by Lisa Jo Baker called Surprised by Motherhood. I have read Lisa Jo's blog off and on for a while and already knew I liked her mothering perspective, and this book has confirmed that even more. I am about half way through and feel like I would recommend it to everyone. A great read. (And I just found the promo trailer...watch this video until the end. It's so good.) 

+I speak at the women's bible study on Thursday and I'm super excited. I spent a few hours out in the cabin yesterday after church and studied the chapters I have been given to speak on. The fire was cracking next to me and I am so ready to share all that I learned. That's the fun part about speaking and teaching...God speaks and teaches me first and then /i just get to go and share His awesome, life-giving message. It's an honor, a privilege, a true responsibility and a huge joy.

immanuel lutheran church

On Wednesday I loaded up the kids and we drove two and a half hours to my grandma's church. I haven't been there since her funeral but I wanted to see it again. I have lots of great memories tied to this building, like the time we all walked out of the church after my cousin Joanna's wedding and saw an escaped cow calmly walking down the street. Or when I spoke at my cousin Sarah's wedding shower in the church basement, using barbies as my props for the whole talk. We have had family reunions on the lawn, and attended a few pointed funerals. I'll never forget watching my grandma weep in the basement just before her best friend Minnie's funeral.

And there was the Good Friday service when my grandpa read the story of the crucifixion. He was older, the church was only lit with candle light and he was having a hard time seeing the words in his Bible. And I remember realizing in that moment that he was getting older and that this whole death and resurrection story meant something very real in my own life. As he read the words of Jesus' journey on the cross, I pieced together that Grandpa would die one day. But that he actually would live forever because of the very words he was struggling to read.

And then there is the story tied to the very bricks themselves. My grandpa's dad was a part of the group of men who mixed the bricks for the foundation of this church. You can see the original bricks in the picture below, the ones on the very lower level. Way back in 1903, after farming his own land, he would drive his team of horses four miles into town and helped mix and lay the bricks for the original church. And those bricks are still there.

I went back to Immanuel because this church speaks so loudly to me of the firm foundation I have been given in Jesus Christ. I have ancestors that I have never met who literally built a foundation for me to build my own faith. And I am so grateful.

I was lonesome for Grandma and Grandpa when I was there. I was homesick for my childhood and all of the people that filled my life with love who are now gone.

We walked down the sidewalk and played at the Dunnell park for a while and then met my Aunt Annie and Uncle Ed for lunch at the Dunnell cafe. Ivar excitedly told me, "Mom! I get to sit next to Uncle Ed!" And I was happy that he is surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses too.

And then we drove to find the combine in a field where my cousin Sarah and uncle Jake are farming together. Sarah is seven months pregnant with her fourth baby and still full time farming, coaching volleyball and being a mom. She is exceptional.

Uncle Jake came up the row and we got to go for a ride while watching the combine tumble over the soybeans below and pour the beans in the bin behind our heads.

It was a great day trip that left me filled up with gratitude. I want my kids to know the foundation of faithfulness they have been born into. I want them to know the people who have built that foundation for our family. I want them to feel the same responsibility that I do to one day raise their own kids to recognize this firm foundation we have been given through Jesus Christ.

It was a glorious day. The kids slept on the way home until the last half an hour when they woke up in terrible moods. So twenty minutes from our house we stopped at the A&W and remedied their exhaustion with root beer floats. Which was just enough sugar to get us home and tucked into bed, grateful for an awesome five hours of driving for four worthwhile and wonderful hours of family.

my new happy place

Oh man. I'm trying to figure out what we're going to call this place. It is otherworldly. It is stunning. And in the few weeks since we were there last, the park turned from green to yellow.

Today my sweet niece Ruby joined us, with Auntie Lisa. They are having a special auntie sleepover and included a visit to our place so I could join in the auntie love. Ruby is a great photographer and took pictures the whole time.

As we walked back to the car I tried to capture the snow globe we were walking through, with all little yellow leaves floating down all around us. What am I going to call this happy, heavenly, sunlit place?

fall leaves from Becca Groves on Vimeo.

kid quotes

Ivar drew his first picture of me. I was so touched. And equally excited by my uncanny resemblance with Mike Wazowski.


Daddy: Ivar, I want you to be good and to follow Jesus. Other than that, you can do whatever you want with your life.
Ivar: Okay. I don't want to follow Jesus, I just want to play.


Rory had to run into Menards and I stayed in the car with the kids. To help keep everyone occupied I conducted a little interview.
Becca: What is your favorite thing to eat?
Elsie: Lunch!
Ivar: Hot Dogs!

Becca: What is your favorite place to be?
Elsie: Buttya!
Ivar: The haircut place!

Becca: What is your favorite song?
Elsie: Jesus!
Ivar: doodoodoodoo (Thomas theme song)

Becca: What is your favorite store?
Elsie: ABC Toy Store
Ivar: The new YMCA!


Elsie: Oh, new socks?
Becca: Yes, they are new.
Elsie: Oh! From Target?
And later that day we were in Macy's and she got all caught up in the purse section, trying them on, adoring herself in the mirror. Houston, we have a girl.


I taped a little rectangle of paper towel onto Elsie cupie doll when she told me her baby was poopie. It was a pretty awesome little diaper and I showed Ivar. He replied, "Mom. That baby is plastic."