Saturday, June 30, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 30: Friend

Day 30: Friend

Grace is now at the age where she talks to her stuffed animals.  She tells them stories and secrets, sings them songs and loves on them.  Sometimes, when I'm lucky, I get to listen in.  I love her imagination and creativity.  I love her heart.

I believe I skipped bathroom (which just seems odd, although I do have a cute picture of Grace on a mini-potty but that just seemed awkward), where you sleep (because unless I get creative I'm not showing you my bedroom, we have a TON of teens at our house but have a no guests upstairs sorry, you're not invited), and soft because I can't think of anything soft and accessible to take a picture of :)  Not too shabby!

Here is the July list...who wants to play with me?

(again, totally stole it from the person tagged at the bottom!  This is NOT my creation, just participating)

Five Minute Friday: Dance

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Dance


my little girls were making me crazy.

why? when? now? can i? MILK!

i needed a minute to breathe.  to think.  to inspire and not to simply react. 

silently, i got up and turned on a cd.  loud.

then i turned around and grabbed my girl's hands and we danced.

the music took control.  the tears were gone.  the frustrations melted away.  our bodies were moving, our eyes were laughing and we got the relief we needed.

milk? yup, mommy needs some water too.  lets have a fun day ok?


PS, I've thought about this a few times before I had time to sit down and write.  Could also have written about...

...dancing with my husband at my sister's wedding (before we were engaged) and the comment that I'd always need a stair to stand on or my neck would hurt (he is 6'4")

...the dance of motherhood versus wife-ness versus ME versus life

...the dance that I do all by myself to celebrate the small victories kiddos' dancing at church, clapping loudly and saying ONE MORE SONG when the church band is done (hubs plays the drums!)

...and don't even get me started on song references...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #63

Be thankful, for what He has done, be thankful from the bottom of your heart
Be thankful, come on everyone, 'cuz Jesus is good to me!

1. I am thankful for popsicle molds from my Grandma and the fact that both yogurt and pudding make awesome frozen treats.

2. I am thankful for date night with my hubs.

3. I am thankful for a very calm, relaxing morning with my girls.  Grace and I played with play doh, went on the swings and I even mowed the back yard while Abi napped.

4. I am thankful for a God who gets me.

5. I am thankful for encouraging conversations with my teens this week.

6. I'm thankful my husband cooks!

7. I am thankful for amazing hair product deals!  (2 Pantene shampoos, 2 Pantene conditioners and 4 hair sprays for 1.33 TOTAL)

8. I am thankful for picnics with my dad.

9. I am thankful for THE FOURTH OF JULY!

10. I am thankful for close friends and the blessing of fellowship!

June Photo Challenge Day 28: On The Shelf

Day 28: On The Shelf

Grace's piggy bank where she puts her reward pennies.

Awesome painting from Amanda.

My Bible that is old and destroyed.

My Bible that is exactly the same as the old one...except for all my notes so I don't use it often.

Puff paint that I used when I couldn't find glue.

Prayer journal.

Experiencing God book.

Picture from Grace's 3 month shot.

Trevor Ettinger bobble head!

Monday, June 25, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 24: On Your Mind

Day 24: On Your Mind

Acts 6:38-39
Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone!  Let them go!  For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.  But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.

Working in ministry can be so hard some times.  I had someone email me recently telling me that if I think what we are doing is actually positive she prays God has mercy on my soul while I am in hell.  (I am paraphrasing but I am not altering the message she was sending.)  We work very hard to give kids a safe, positive place to go and God only knows the lives that have been changed.  When it gets hard and when I feel like there is pressure from all sides I love to run back to this - But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. And it gives me peace.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 23: Movement

Day 23: Movement

They just LOVE to be out doing stuff!  Grace is wearing Uncle Matt's new bike helmet.  I think we had six adults to two kids on that walk.  It was a lot of fun!  My dad is a fantastic wagon-puller! :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Risk

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Risk


sometimes i feel like there is such risk in trusting the Lord at His word.  i mean, while i know that He loves me and is in complete control my personality doesn't want to rely on that.  i want to keep looking, searching, figuring out.  but i think that is not really trust.

risk is when there is something to lose.  if i do this, then that might happen, i stand to lose something or not be better off in the outcome. 

there is no risk in trusting the Lord.  true trust means knowing and relying on His promises.  hope, in it's original sense meant being sure of what our faith was put in - therefore to hope in the Lord meant no risk, just certainty that our faith would be rewarded because the Object of our faith was True. 

no risk. 


June Photo Challenge Day 22: From A High Angle

Day 22: From A High Angle

Probably not the glaring heights they were hoping for but she's short and cute!  We have been having so much fun swimming this summer!  I think we've been in the pool at least three days a week so far and have just really enjoyed the time together with no electronics to get in the way!  She alternates between saying "Just keep swimming just keep swimming" from Finding Nemo and "Go Gracie go! Go Gracie go!"

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thankful Thursday Top Ten #62

I am thankful that my friends and family are understanding when I get behind in things like photo challenges and blog posts :)  I'll get them, it just make take me an extra day or two.

Thankful Thursdays...

1. I am thankful for my husband who is a hard worker and a great friend.  I am thankful for his encouragement and strength.

2. I am thankful for the Lord's comfort.  I feel helpless as a friend is going through an amazing struggle but it is wonderful to know that even if prayer is all I have to offer that is enough.

3. I am thankful for pregnancies going well for a couple family members...who and when shall be left to them to reveal (and no, not me!)

4. I am thankful for my mom who shares awesome clothes coupons with me and suffers through my hate of shopping to help me look better :)

5. I am thankful for my kiddo's potty training going so well!  She is doing great and I am so proud of her!  Less diapers to change, more trips to the bathroom...ah well :)

6. I am thankful for the Bible studies I am doing - especially my own little private study of Acts.  The Lord has revealed Himself in wonderful new ways.  I am always delighted when I slow down enough for that to happen.

7. I am thankful for the remote entry working on my van again.  Such a silly thing but such a wonderful help.

8. I am thankful for my kiddo trying new foods!  (Getting her to eat anything is kind of a struggle but we are doing much better lately!)

9. I am thankful that I have a wonderful young lady who has been helping me with babysitting this summer.  She is such a joy to be around!

10. I am thankful for my daughter's joy and I pray she never loses it!

This has been a pretty hard week for some of the people around me and my thankfuls and moments of joy big and small have seemed all the more intense.  I am thankful for those who have rallied around those people and tried in some way to help carry their burdens.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 20: Face Photo You've Ever Taken

Day 20: Fave Photo You've Ever Taken

The first thing that pops into my head is a landscape that I took in a photography class in high school...I know it is around here somewhere but I'm not going to dig it out :) Maybe one day.  For real value though, this one is my favorite.  What you see are my Grandparents holding hands at their 50th Anniversary celebration.  Behind them is my Dad with his head bowed, my uncle with his head bowed and my other uncle is praying.  Godly people leaving a godly legacy.  I love it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 17-19

I'm a little behind - although not as far as I thought I was!  Poor people who follow me on instagram are going to wonder what the heck I was thinking with these pictures.  Ah well. :)

Day 17: In Your Bag

In my bag? My super awesome wallet, shopping list, coupon binder and receipts! :)  Always looking for the deals!

Day 18: Something We Don't Know About You

I CANNOT STAND dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter.  It makes me nuts.  Not sure why, I can have cheerios all over my floor (by the way, happy 71st birthday Cheerios!) and it not really bother me, I mean, I don't love it but it doesn't make me postal but dishes in the sink send me over the edge.  Worst is waking up to a sink of dishes.

Day 19: Imperfect

My office needs help.  My dad built me those awesome shelves but I have thrown all sorts of stuff on them.  Anyone want to come pack up my house and unpack it so it is organized and makes sense?

:)  Sorry for the delays - been a little crazy around here!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 16: Out and About

Day 16: Out and About

I spent the day at my parents house with my parents, my grandparents, my cousin Sarah and my sister and brother in law.  Of course my kiddos were there too.  What a great time.  My grandma has been wanting some time with the girls - Grace said to her "YOU go outside with me?" so they went out and played, and chatted -just the two of them.  I got to sit with my grandpa while we ate lunch and hear about his time in the military.  I loved the way he lit up when he talked about it.  What a blessing those two are in my life.

All in all a great day but lots of work to do still and I'm already tired :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #61

In my quest to keep up on my photo challenges I may have forgotten to do my Thankful Thursdays.  Sooo, here they are!

1. I am thankful for a potty trained little girl!  She is doing so well!  (At this point I consider day time potty trained to be "complete"...I don't care about naps/night until she gets more control over her body).

2. I am thankful for three days in the pool (and the best tan I think I've ever had).

3. I am thankful for simple rewards like nail polish being a BIG DEAL.

4. I am thankful my little little girl is starting to stand up.  I know a lot of parents complain when their kids are super mobile, but I really do enjoy it when they can walk!

5. I am thankful for the day with my grandparents tomorrow and that they and my parents will be going to church with us on Sunday.

6. I am thankful for some park time with Steph and her kids - I love them!

7. I am thankful for my husband who cooks me amazing meals.

8. I am thankful for rest and calm.

9. I am thankful for day of the week underpants - for Grace, not for me.  She picked them out herself and was pumped...and I didn't even have to "steer" her toward those ones.

10. I am thankful for impromptu swim dates with my parents!

June Photo Challenge Day 15: Yellow

Day 15: Yellow

5 Things About Yellow...

1. There are a severe lack of things that are yellow in my house.

2. My daughter Grace never wore yellow, she looked best in pinks.  Abi however has red hair and darker skin and looks awesome in yellow.

3. I am currently on a search for a yellow dress for Abi's birthday.

4. Green peppers are not ripe, yellow peppers are almost ripe, red peppers are ripe.

5. I may be addicted to chapstick..."lip balm", excuse me. :)

Five Minute Friday: Path

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Path


Two paths diverge in a well known park
One was lit and the other dark
And since I did not wish to die,
I took the path more travelled by.
~No idea :)

my husband is a great encourager to explore, try and discover.  i am the kind of person that will go to a restaurant and order the same thing every time because i know i like it.  he will usually not get the same thing on the menu twice - if we ever even make it back to the same restaurant.  i think we have been to every mexican restaurant in a 25 mile radius.

i tend to try to play things safe.  stick to what i know. not stray too far. i am so thankful to be blessed with a husband who encourages me to try things, explore, and stretch who i am and what i know.  he is such an encouragement.

when we were dating we would often grab something to eat or get some coffee, then go to a park and wander.  i can't count the number of times we got completely lost. or we'd just drive, back in the good old days when gas didn't cost an arm and a leg and we'd often end up completely turned around...but together...and it was fun.

thanks hubs for encouraging me and the girls to stretch what we know and who we are.

happy fathers day love!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 14: Time

Day 14: Time

Any time?  How about POOL time!!!

 Although the day wouldn't be complete without "resisting mommy's peer pressure" time...  I was trying to get her to shove a rather large bite of egg in her mouth. :)  I'm such a good influence.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 13: Art

Day 13: Art

These aren't the best photos...but I was ahem, finally inspired to do something to one of my walls after being in the house for four years.  I love updating them with the seasons!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 12: From A Low Angle

Day 12: From A Low Angle

I could have probably found a better/more pronounced low angle to take a picture of...but I figured if I was able to capture the smile in her eyes while we played peek-a-boo that'd be better. 

Today one of my big kids (she's not official...but she needs to be!) came over to babysit.  Abi napped and she took Grace out on the swings almost all morning.  It was nice!  Then we took her home and the girls took naps while I worked some more.  (I may have floated in the pool for 20 minutes while they slept...I think God likes prayers from the pool too.) 

Once Aaron got home from work and the girls were up from their naps we all went out and got in the pool for a little while.  Grace is getting more comfortable with it so that is nice.  It has been a fun summertime treat.  I never thought I'd be a pool person, but I'm enjoying it.  (It is about 3ft deep and 12ft across - not huge, but big enough to float in!)

I've got lots to do and only 38 minutes left before I'm calling it a night.  Sweet dreams!

Monday, June 11, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 11: Door

Day 11:  Door

Really?  Door?  Ok, fine.  This is the door that guards two of my most important treasures.  Behind this door my angels sleep soundly and all is right with the world.  This door sometimes has little eyes that peek out underneath of it because little girls don't stay in their beds, anxious to be a part of whatever mommy is doing.  This door hears echos of songs and laughter - sometimes tears and frustration.  Best door in the house.

June Photo Challenge Day 10: Best Bit of Your Weekend

Day 10: Best Bit of Your Weekend

The best bit of my weekend was watching some awesome kiddos so another mom could take a break.  Or maybe it was the delicious steak dinner my husband cooked me last night.  Although it might have been the 22 minutes I spent floating in the pool yesterday in complete silence.  Perhaps it was getting to share Harvest Youth Ministries with a LOT of people at an event yesterday.

But of course, I have no pictures of any of those things.  So instead I leave you with a picture of my kiddo looking adorable wearing her daddy's shirt.  Because it made me smile.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 9: Your View Today

Day 9: Your View Today

This morning I went over to a friend's house to play with some babies while mom and dad had some time out of the house.  The picture is of miss Mary who only likes to sleep while being held.  Since the two seven year olds were entertaining my two year old while my nine month old and the other two month old were sleeping, that worked out just fine for us.

My dear little girl and I have been butting heads a LOT lately.  So tonight I crawled into bed with her and quietly whispered all the things I love about her.  I wish I could have taken that picture.  I think sometimes just like I just need to be held, she just needs to be held.  So that is what we did.  Such peace in the quiet.

Friday, June 8, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 8: 6 o'Clock

Day 8: 6 O'Clock

At 6pm my daughter was in her room.  Again.  She has just been crazy today.  And frankly, I don't think I was helping.  Sometimes we are entirely too much alike.  I didn't think it'd be good parenting to take a picture of her closed bedroom door while she was on the other side of it and both of us were wondering where today took a wrong turn.

I sent my mom a text that said "Abi won't stop crying and Grace won't stop whining.  I don't think I'm helping."  And she said, "What do you need?"  And I thought for a minute and replied - to calm down.  No one was getting hurt, no one was doing anything terribly wrong.  I needed to take a breathe, confess my sins and move on.  So I went in and held my little girl - tight.  She needed to know that regardless I love her.

Then my parents came over.  And my dad took me on a motorcycle ride and for ice cream.  My mom watched a movie with Grace and got her in bed.

It is days like this where it is so hard to remember that this is a phase.  But it is - and she will soon grow in wisdom - hopefully I will too.  Tomorrow, tomorrow is a chance to try again.

Five Minute Friday: Expectation

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: Expectation


i remember when i was just married having a hard time with something and asking my mom when she finally felt like a grown up.  i mean, here i was married, thinking about babies and i still felt like such a kid.  i'm not sure if i expected the wedding ring to make that change - or birthing a baby - or almost ten years doing the same job. 

i expected to feel like a grown-up by the time i was 27.  that seemed reasonable. i heard a quote once that you know you're a grown-up when you stop calling them that.  i guess 27 isn't the magic age either.

one day.  but i think what i've learned in this unmet expectation is that every day is new and a chance to grow.  i can either be afraid of what i don't think i can accomplish or meet it head on.  maybe the expectation should be daily evolving and growing and changing.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #60


1. I am thankful for my June Photo Challenge!  I've enjoyed "searching" for the pictures and it's been fun posting more often!

2. I am thankful for a revised work schedule.  It has helped me get more done and feel like I am spreading my time out appropriately.

3. I am thankful for my kid's sickness to be over it seems!

4. I am thankful for family fun time in the pool!

5. I am thankful for the tip about the inexpensive and awesome portraits!

6. I am thankful for my funny kid.  Grace has been getting in trouble for putting things in Abi's crib (from hangers to stuffed animals) so tonight she put these two giant stuffed animals in and I decided to remove them from the room completely.  Grace said "MOMMY, I need my boys!"  It was FUNNY.

7. I am thankful for Noodles and Company and That Crepe Place - what a fantastic date night!

8. I am thankful for a great turnout at Princess Program after the date change!

9. I am thankful for sleeping in this morning.

10. I am thankful for Miss Morgan's 22nd Birthday!!!

June Photo Challenge Day 7: Drink

Day 7: Drink

Tell me she isn't old enough for sippy cups yet!!  The goal is by about a year old to move her from a bottle to a sippy.  That is only a few months away!  She was getting so excited about Grace's cup that I got her one of her own.  She got the right part in her mouth but I'm not sure anything came out.  I think if I put her formula in a cup she would go to that instead of a bottle.  We shall see!  Maybe I'll try it tomorrow!

This was my lunch milkshake.  It was mocha/banana and better than the picture would indicate :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 6: Hat

Day 6: Hat

We are not big hat wear-ers in my family.  Hubs will wear a hat occasionally so I thought about asking him to pose with one on for the picture.  Abi has a really cute baseball cap I thought I could dig out if needed.  I was thinking I could do a more non-literal interpretation with a post of the 'hats' I wear in various parts of the day.  And then we were playing legos.  And Grace said, "mommy, look at my hat" here you have it:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 5: Sign

Day 5: Sign

This is probably not what they had in mind when making the assignment "sign" for the day - but when you have a two year old and you leave the room and you come back to find them laying under a blanket on the couch with their baby dolls and not doing much that is a definite sign something is not right.  Grace has had an on again/off again fever for the past few days and I don't like it!  It is not a temperature I think warrants a doctor visit just yet, but we are keeping an eye on it.  In the meantime we are drinking lots of juice and watching lots of VeggieTales :)

Hope you are all having a nice, relaxing evening!

Monday, June 4, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 4: Close Up

Day 4: Close Up

This is a picture of one of our zucchini plants!  We decided, rather spur of the moment, to add some vegetables to our back yard.  Eventually we'd like to do more plans around the outside of the whole yard, but for now we have two tomato plants, two pepper plants, two zucchini plants and two herb baskets.  None of my sunflowers made it :( 

It is fun to see the plants flower and grow.  I can't wait until we can eat food from our backyard!  I read a study that kids who's parents raised vegetables were more likely to develop a taste for them - I'm guessing mainly because if you have 100 zucchinis that is what the kid is going to be offered, but either way, I'm hoping having plants will be good for us.  If nothing else, I see lots of chocolate chip zucchini muffins in my future!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June Photo Challenge Day 3: On Your Plate

Day 3. On Your Plate

Hopefully I'll replace this with a picture of my awesome dinner and a better story later.  I made orange chicken for church lunch today.  It was terrible.  Not bad, not eh, terrible.  So I came home and ate a peanut butter sandwich.  And because I have a case of the grumps I may have eaten a spoonful of chocolate icing.  Maybe.  You can't prove it.

Today is one of those days where I feel like there is SO much to be done I'd rather sit and do none of it.  Do ya'll get like that?  Maybe it is just me.  I don't know why but it seems like the more that I have to do the less I feel capable of tackling any of it.

So on that note, pray for me - I'm off to make a dent in this craziness.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June Photo Challenge - Days 1 & 2

A friend of mine is doing this June photo challenge...

So I thought I'd participate!  (I have no idea where the challenge came from or who the tags link find those are your own caution.)  Although I'm going to do it here (obviously) and not on my facebook page because then I can write with them too...and hopefully it'll be a good reminder to write more! :)

Day 1. Morning

 My mornings start slooow.  I am not a morning person.  Usually I wake up to the girls and usually laughter is involved.  After getting out of bed, getting them up changed and dressed, I like to spend some time waking up and drinking coffee.  Then, on days when I'm feel like sunshine (I'm also not an outdoor person) we go play and when we do, moments like this occur.  I should do that more often!

Day 2. Empty

Homemade popsicles are my new favorite treat to give Grace.  SUPER easy to make.  1. Buy yogurt. 2. Put yogurt in popsicle mold.  3. Freeze.  4. Serve.  She loves them, they are healthy and it's easy to do!  Much better than the sugary ones or other treats I give her!  Speaking of treats, I need to stock up on M&Ms.  This kid is doing GREAT potty training!  The biggest thing now is when we are out doing things and I forget to ask her if she needs to go.  She doesn't want to stop the fun and go to the bathroom so I need to be more aware of asking her.  Other than that, she is doing great!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Five Minute Friday: See

Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking

Five Minute Friday: See


i wish sometimes that my eyes were cameras.  i know there are so many moments of life i wish i could replay over and over again (ok, and some that particularly feature my bad behavior that i suppose i would not want recorded).  it is sad to know sometimes that the quirky smile she just gave me or the "i'm spacey" phrase she somewhere picked up complete with head bobbing and hand gestures will only live on in my mind.

if i could record everything i could see, or even just take still shots of the moments i would maybe feel like life wasn't going so fast.  but even now, as i am updating the photos on my wall to reflect the season i see how much the girls have grown, changed and become more and more like the people they are going to be one day. 

i don't want to forget these moments although i am excited to see who they will be in the future.