Friday, February 18, 2011

{thankful through pictures friday}

{a day set aside to list out some gifts i've found throughout the week & adding them to my running list of 1000 gifts!....captured through a lens}
I must admit that I've been SUPER SICK this week, I won't even bore you with the boring details of my days.....moving along! BUT in saying that, these pictures where captured Friday through Sunday before I crashed!

2. Catching my girls playing school {which is done OFTEN!}
3. Often admiring this row of plants that I inherited from my grandmother & somehow have managed to keep them alive
5. Gazing out the window over meals at my bird feeder contraption gifted to me by my sister.....we've really been making LOTS of new friends. Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker! He's gorgeous!
6. Having a date night with my husband & quickly realizing we were the only table with a BEAUTIFUL bouquet of flowers on it.......yep he snuck them to the restaurant earlier in the day!
I told myself in the midst of my sickness that I would find good in the middle of the HORRIDNESS I was feeling! SUPER EASY!
7. Sister & Mother who quickly stepped in & took my girls 1 day!
8. School days.....I was able to rest the sickness off while they were being edge-a-mucated!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Candle Light Dinner

Our yearly "Heart Day" tradition! Kids {oh who am I kidding....adults too!} love repetition! Repetition in daily & yearly happenings. I started our Valentines candle light dinner about 4 years ago & my girls LOVED every second of the a tradition it's become! It really is very simple yet I think just the added effort I put forth in setting the table extra special along with a couple small "gifts" & adding a handmade goodness by them makes it "fancy" in their minds! This year we had our dinner on Sunday evening.....thank GOODNESS cause this momma fell into a nasty sickness just minutes after eating {and still recovering}!
I found these FUN plates {1/2 off} right after Christmas, tucking them away for this extra special night! {you can find them here} The kids can decorate this female face with their food making dinner even more fun! I set a pink recycled {out of yogurt cups} toothbrush on top of their plates, quite fitting for this candy laden holiday wouldn't you say! {neat thing about this toothbrush is once your done with it, you tuck it back into the sleeve & send it back to the company who makes it! shipping is free on them!}
On the menu:
Salad with fresh veggies & ranch
Punch- equal parts of Pomegranate/Cranberry Juice & Orange/Pineapple Juice with dollops of Pineapple Sorbet
Mini vases with fresh flowers by each plate
Beeswax candles dispersed amongst the table
AND the happy feasting began!
Fun times.....not only with the food and plates......
......but flowers tops & stems!
Hope you are overflowing with love.....not just on this holiday but everyday! CHEERS!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Happy Valentines Day!
For the last few years we've tried to come up with something handmade for the girls to pass out to their friends & teachers at school! Something "from the heart"! It's been fun to collaborate together & also do some recycling! While out hiking several weeks ago I spotted some rocks & the idea was born {too bad I'm a HUGE procrastinator & this project JUST got started & finished last night!}! Paired with little sacks I sewed {material I SCORED SUPER cheap at a thrift store!} & little tags made from old book pages {also a great thrift find!} equalled 2 very pleased girls!
{of interest: notice difference in rocks.....Kayden's are from Michigan collected during a camping weekend at the beach, round & smooth}
I really enjoyed that Emery was able to do everything on her own this year! I made 1 rock as an example & she copied the rest! I love the imperfections of it all! That she doesn't get it yet to keep your name or words in 1 line.....if all the letters are there it's all good! LOVE IT!
{while Emery's are from Tennessee.....collected during an afternoon hike, jagged and clay like}
Happy Heart Day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

{thankful through pictures friday}

I am currently reading a book called "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. Highly recommend! HIGHLY. This will be a life changing book for me. As soon as I started reading this book I knew, I too, wanted to start recording 1000 things I was thankful 1000 gifts. And in doing this I pray that I will be overwhelmed with ALL that I DO have & less overwhelmed at what I do not have......along with slowing my life down just a bit, even if here & there! I enjoy taking pictures, NOT a professional, do not try to be or profess to be! But none the less you will usually find me with my camera attatched to my body! I decided that I would record my 1000 gifts via picture taking with a small caption to accompany it! I am going to make this my Friday ritual, no set number of pictures.....may only be one......doubtful, God has blessed me with FAR TOO MUCH! I would LOVE for you to join me, even if you're not reading the book!

1. The joy my girls & husband find in playing their instruments together along with the JOY their mother/wife finds in listening to & watching them.
I'm excited to know that I have 1 other partner in crime {heather!!} joining me on this journey.......I would love to know if you've decided to do this also so leave a comment along with the link to your {thankful through pictures friday......or words}!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

100th Day of School

Yesterday Kayden's classroom celebrated the 100th day of school! Isn't it great to see celebrate & school in the same's what learning should be all about!

I am reminded every time I go into a classroom what GREAT respect teachers are owed! Mrs Smith did the best job at making this day fun for the kids but that fun also involved learning!

The kids counted out 10 pieces of 10 different snacks
I am constantly in LOVE with this girls imagination: "a bear lifting weights"
They sat on their squares & did various activities involving 100.....reading 100 words, jumping 100 times, standing on 1 foot for 100 seconds.....
*do you spy my child giving the "quit taking pictures eye?*
Prior to coming to school yesterday each child was given an assignment to decorate a shirt or hat with 100 things.....their choice! Mrs Smith then had a fashion show for each child to walk the runway & show off their personal designs!
I had thought it would be fun to glue 100 eyes on a shirt which was promptly bashed down with "that's NOT fashion mom"! 100 diamonds instead was deemed "fashion"! Heart on the pocket was her idea & doing!
We then visited grades 1-5 to wish everyone "Happy 100 days of school"!!
The day ended with a group photo.....much like trying to take a family picture...HARD!
So grateful for a school where fun & school coincide!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Practice makes perfect

1:19 am a little blond dashed into our room with a very unwelcoming yet familiar croupy cough. The next 1 or 2 hours were scary for all 3 of us........mommy & daddy trying to keep her calm because with any crying her breathing became more & more strained. I went back & forth with "should we go to the ER or just ride it out at home"? We ended up with the latter of the 2.....because usually by morning that croupy cough dissipates. Her daddy took her out under the star covered sky for several minutes to see if the cold air would open her airway.......NOPE. She finally gave into her exhaustion & spooned with me the rest of the night. Jon & I lay awake for a long time just listening to her breathing, making sure it wasn't worsening until we too gave in to our exhaustion! She & I slept till 9:40 am......croupy cough still lingering but no signs of sickness. Which left me this really croup that she seems to get on a monthly basis? Or are we dealing with asthma.....which runs on both sides of the family. The pediatrician will tell us in just a short couple hours. We need some assurance here.....that scary difficult breathing is NO fun.....especially for the little blond!

So our morning has been quiet......a game of memory, bird watching over breakfast
& perfecting those letter & number writing skills
I LOVE the childlike letters & backward #'s......after all she just turned 5!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

God Slap

2 books that are currently happily consuming my "quiet time"
This may just end up being a whole lot of mumbled jumbled no sense making sentences.....but I'm gonna type it out anyways cause it's "where I'm at"!
I am not a new Christian in the sense that I grew up in a Christian {Seventh Day Adventist} home. We went to church weekly. We went to Christian schools. We prayed religiously. We read stories from the Bible. We had worship. I am not making light of this mom and grandparents BELIEVED in God with everything in them & their intentions where completely intent. I'm merely stating that I grew up doing what I was taught & never put much thought or emotion into what I was living.....this "Christian" life of mine.

I went through a bit of a rebellious time in my life.....started at some point in high school & lasted until I had my 1st child.....even lingered around here & there until about a year ago. And in saying rebellious I mean I only went to church because I had to [per school rules} or if the parents/grandparents were visiting. I prayed when I was extremely desperate & in need of God answering a prayer on MY terms & in MY favor. I had Kayden in '03 & instantly felt the need to raise her "right"......going to church, praying with her, & teaching her about God....even though I felt EXTREMELY unfit for that job. For years, though, I still went to church because it seemed the thing I "needed" to do for her to "turn out right". And again I seemed to only pray when I was desperate......or before Kayden's meal times and bedtimes cause that's "what you do"...right? *I must intercede here & say that I wasn't trying to live a purposely fake Christian life......I think/believe I wanted to live my life for God & I wanted to do right & I wanted to have a God centered home, I just didn't know how & furthermore I had not a 1 clue where to begin living that intentional life.* Yet I seemed stuck because I never felt "good enough" to believe that he listened to me or cared for me or that my concerns where important enough to him. I am soooo good at comparing myself to others that I never felt I could tune into God & really listen to him like all these other God loving/serving people I see & soooo want to be like! I believe you can only keep yourself "stuck" for a certain time period until you just start feeling flat out "blah" with life. BLAH. Blah enough to know that I had NO reason to complain about my life. I have a wonderful husband, 2 beautiful healthy girls, a good job, a comfortable house, clothes, food, cars, family whom I love & loves me right back, friends and friends and friends. What was I lacking to leave me feeling so blah? Maybe that close close close in tune relationship with God??? At that point I only knew to start praying.....I wanted to SERVE HIM. DO YOU HEAR ME? SERVE HIM! I wanted to have that happiness that I see in other people who SERVE Him! What could measly little unimportant me do to serve him though?? I'm a "behind the scenes" kinda girl....well at least to keep me comfortable, do you know what I mean? I want to be a comfortable Christian. So I'm down on hands & knees begging God to LEAD ME....LEAD MY FAMILY. PLEASE GOD LET US SERVE YOU. Through a series of events {which is a WHOLE other story for another blog post} I have felt completely & overwhelmingly lead to adopt.....not domestically but internationally. Um HELLO God, my husband is not a fan of adoption cause you know God I've talked to him about this several times over the last several years {when we can birth our own} & we....well....we don't have $35,000. How in the world am I to bring a starving, clothes-less, homeless, parent-less child into my home with those 2 major factors standing in my way? I'm not sure God is leading me down that smooth comfortable road I.....I you hear's been a bumpy uncomfortable road to say the least, but you know what? My eyes are being opened to the fact that this isn't a "what I did story" or "what I want story" or "comfortable Christian road story". It's His story. It's what I'm praying for but don't really know what I'm praying for story. I want to serve Him, this much I know. I know I need to calm down & rely on His timing, NOT mine. I know I need to let Him take the lead & let His story unfold in my life. Let go. Let go. Let go. Oooooo that's hard. Through many many talks with my husband, which NEEDED to happen. To start talking together as a couple about what GOD wanted us to do with our lives, not what WE WANTED, what He wanted. They were not all easy happy in complete agreeance talks, yet we have come to agree on something..... to one day bring a child into our family. We do not know the details as in: when this child will join our family or how old that child will be or where that child will come from or what the gender of that child will be or HOW IN THE WORLD we will fund the HUGE bill that comes with international adoption. But we know that God has placed the burden on our hearts [even if on mine first & then persisted through me to annoy & pester Jon until he HAD no choice but to pray & think about adoption} to help a child. We are in a "holding phase" if you will, working towards paying off debt so that we can then save money for that child who NEEDS us. There are mountains to be moved here people, but you know the funny part? I KNOW HE CAN MOVE THEM? I'm there at this time in my life, I have that trust that He CAN & WILL move those mountains. Where I'm lacking in faith & trust right now is this: I want this process to happen TODAY. I want to win the lottery TODAY so that we can pay ALL bills today & we can move forward TODAY with bringing home a baby/child TODAY. Sitting still & listening & trusting is where I'm having trouble today. Learning that we are going to have to say no to certain things, hard hard hard as those decisions may be {we've had to say no to 2 HUGE things in the last couple weeks that were very important to me & my family} I have to trust Him. Trust that He will bring us out of this a stronger couple. Stronger Christians who LOVE Him & love to serve Him. Stronger individual people who learn to listen to Him more, to what He wants us to do & less to what we want us to do. I can't expect that this journey will be easy, He never promised easy. I still feel so "virgin" to this relationship I have with Him. I still don't fully understand SOOOO many things.....I'm unsure about Grace? How do I know when He is talking to me or leading me? What in the world does that Bible verse mean? And more importantly how does it apply to my life?......Oh the uncertainties are endless. BUT I took that 1st blind step just about a year ago trusting that He would help me begin. Begin a relationship that's mine.....not what I think others have or what I was taught to have but MINE. I've fallen a thousands times over. I am not perfect, I do not claim to be. I may not do things that you deem "good" but I'm finally choosing to walk my road with God....not the road I think you want me to walk or what I think roads others are walking. My road. Me & God. I. AM. A. SINNER. But a sinner begging God to walk with me daily, leading me to serve him daily......even in those "holding times".
Well I think I'm done, I may have lost you completely & quite possibly you're not even reading anymore. That's ok, I just typed out all the craziness that's been hoarded up in this brain of mine & even had a couple aha moments along the way!

And the book above: "One Thousand Gifts" AWESOME. LIFE CHANGING. I opened my Bible to Daniel this morning & read several chapters....closed the Bible & thought: "what in the world did I just get out that for my life today? what in the world were You trying to teach me God? was it a refresher course in Bible stories from my younger days?" I then moved on to reading Chapter 3 of this book. Is is coincidental that several verses from Daniel, which I read this morning, where found in that chapter? NO WAY! I have had to pray that God will SLAP ME IN THE FACE.....really at this point {in my new ever growing relationship with Him} I need some slapping cause otherwise I don't know if He is talking to me or I'm talking to me?? So He slapped me, in the most beautiful kind of way! I had chills. I have chills. Then I came here & without meaning to or pre-planning to I opened my heart to you & better yet opened my mind {through typing} to more of how I really am listening to God but didn't even know it!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Kindergarten Round-Up

A few weeks ago {like 3 to be exact, but turning 5 AND kindergarten round up is all to emotional for 1 momma to blog about at once!} Emery had Kindergarten Round-Up at AW Spalding. We know the routine there & we know she's 100% going to school there as here sister has paved the road before her! BUT we went get her to start thinking about the idea that she will be attending school next year too, along with her cousin and sister!

{please know that I'm totally bawling as I type this because it's my baby leaving for school...MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY people!}
She was a bit anxious....ok a WHOLE LOT anxious! She didn't want to go AT ALL!! We had to force her. Bebe {her blanket which NEVER leaves her side} was in tow along with her ugly doll as we made our way through the school and down to the "meeting area".
After a short meeting with the principal we dropped her off with 1 of the kindergarten teachers.....she was leery. I was too. I don't want her to leave my side just as much as she wants to stay by my side! Sure we have our bad days, doesn't everyone? But that does not negate the fact that I am really having a hard time letting her go.
We passed her in the hall as she was headed for some play time and we went to meet with the kindergarten teachers....she looks so grown up.
By the time I picked her up she was a bit more confident & had a GREAT time!
None the less she was ready to leave. I was too.
Over lunch I said "mommy is gonna be really sad that next year we won't be able to have our special you & me lunches" to which she replied "it's ok momma.....cause I'm gonna have SO. MUCH. FUN. LEARNING. AT. SCHOOL.
Indeed you are my love, & hopefully by August I will be ok with you leaving.....or be medicated!!