Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Photo 31: Toothbrush (or 12...it's a story)

July Photo 31: Toothbrush

This is a picture of all the free stuff I got on my last shopping trip...

1 loaf of bread
2 packs of carefree liners
3 packs of stayfree pads
1 bottle
20 pens

....and 10 toothbrushes.

Meijer had a buy 1 get 1 free deal WITH a buy 3, get $3 off your next order.  The free ones counted toward the get $3 off deal so really it was buy 2 (2.50) get 2 free AND get a $3 coupon. 

Every time you did it, you got another coupon so I paid for two toothbrushes (2.50) and got 10 free.  And I have a coupon for four more....but that just seemed excessive.

Monday, July 30, 2012

July Photo Day 30: Calm

July Photo Day 30: Calm

The big girls were just hanging out - I think between tennis for one and work for the other.  Grace was LOVING the attention! I love that big girls like to hang out at my house!  It is my prayer that when Grace is older her friends will want to spend their time here - not because I will want to watch her every move but because I like being able to love on teen girls - such a hard age and they need all the healthy love they can get!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

August Photo Challenge


Here is the August challenge list as well as a link to the actual site where I'm pulling them from (FINALLY).  Come on, play along!

Disclaimer: I have not read anything else on her site, I just like the photo lists!

July Photo 29: Last Thing You Bought

July Photo 29: Last Thing You Bought

Fruit Snacks: Regularly 1.69, paid .69 each for them

Simple Bars: Regularly 1.25, paid .25 each

Tom's Deodorant: Regularly 4ish, paid .37

Ivory: Regularly 1.29, paid .29

Pacifiers: Regularly 3.99, paid .20

Regular Price: 13.91, Paid: 2.49

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July Photo 28: Cup

Day 28: Cup

We recently got invited to enjoy a baseball game from a suite.  It was AWESOME.  Grace had a blast and played a lot with a little girl that was there.  This is her cup of popcorn - a rare treat since I read something about choking on kernals.  :)  She is such a good kid!

July Photo 20-27

OK, lets just be honest going in - some of these I'm grasping a little bit.  Some of them are entirely too funny on the timing.  Here goes -

Day 20: Eyes

No, she doesn't wear glasses.
Yes, I know it is bad for her eyes.
Now isn't she cute?
 Day 21: 9 o'clock
My super yummy homemade sauce. Yes, I eat dinner
sometimes at 9pm.
 Day 22: Upside Down
My super silly sis-in-law who stayed with us this week.
 Day 23: Mirror
Sometimes I see so much of me in her it makes my heart
do flip flops.
 Day 25: Heart
Grace is holding Abi on her first ever
penny pony ride.  (Of course I am holding
Abi too which is why the picture isn't framed
super well...memories!)
 Day 26: Sunshine

Day 27: On The Road
Grace won't drive - so Abi is :)
They are playing with the radio.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Beyond

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

Five Minute Friday: Beyond


i had no idea what to expect that first night walking through the teen center doors.  i remember feeling awkward and nervous.  i knew that it'd be out of the box for me.  i had friends and hung out with them but i had never gone too far beyond my comfort zone.

this was way beyond my comfort zone.

my first night was rocky.  my second night was fun.  my third night these two girls ran and gave me a hug.  they never stopped running and hugging until they grew up and moved out of the teen activity age but by then other girls had adopted me as their go-to for advice.  it was weird. 

it was beyond what i expected.

then i became a manager.  then i became a mentor.  then i became a bible study leader.  each one pushed me just a step further.  and one day after bible study i knew i had said exactly what one young lady needed to hear.  i just couldn't remember what it was that i had said.  i knew God had said exactly what she needed to hear and i was convinced.

beyond a shadow of a doubt - our God is living and active.

our God takes people who are willing to be used beyond what they are comfortable with.  He gives them the realization that it is not about them, it is all about Him.  i think back not even that many years - where i am is beyond my wildest dreams and i am so thankful that God did not let me sit where i was but He pushed me beyond what i could imagine.  and when i remember that it is HIM and not at all me i am beyond words...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #67

It is time to think about some thankfuls again!  Seriously, how does Thursday always get here so fast? 

1. I am thankful for my sister in law Olivia!
She is spending the week with us and a delight to have around.  She is so sweet and helpful and I am so thrilled to have her here.  It is nice to have the one-on-one time with her - and the poor kid has NEVER had Mexican food before (she is 14) so we took care of that need for her. :)

2. I am thankful my husband "gets" me!
Sometimes I get worked up and have a hard time calming down.  I like that he doesn't think I'm crazy :)

3. I am thankful for some work challenges!
I have a lot going on and a lot to think about but I'm excited to see what happens!  (Vague much?)

4. I am thankful for my momma!
Ever since Mothers Day I've just been thinking about how awesome my mom is.  She has been there through some of the best and worst moments of my life and I can't even say how much I appreciate it!

5. I am thankful for challenges!
I told my Hubs I was going to meet my dad to play tennis this morning at 8am.  To which he said: yeah right.  (He wasn't being mean, I have a history of "I'm going to get up early to work out" and then not getting out of bed)  Buuut since standing up your dad is highly frowned upon I got in a great workout this morning and we're meeting again tomorrow morning!

6. I am thankful for my parents lovin' on my kids!
My parents (and 'Aunt' Sarah - my cousin) took Grace to Dr Suess' Suessical the Musical on Wednesday night (while we were educating my sis-in-law on Mexican food).  She came home SO excited and loved all of it.  I was also told she was on her best behavior so I was pretty pleased about that!

7. I am thankful for my grandparents!
They are going to be in town this weekend.  My Grandpa and I share a birthday - July 30 - so for 95% or more of the past 28 years we have celebrated together!

8. I am thankful for my big kids!
With Olivia here I have also seen a steady flow of my big kids coming and going to visit and hang out.  Can I tell you, I LOVE the giggling and fun of card games late at night around my kitchen table.  I hope when my girls are big they will love card games and let me play with them.  If not, Morgan is going to have to live near me forever.

9. I am thankful for Ragu de Carne!
My Great Aunt gave me a recipe for a sauce I had at her house and we made it from garden tomatoes and had it tonight for dinner.  SO delicious!  It is a rich but not heavy tomato sauce with tons of great veggies and flavors in it!  This is going to be my go-to "oh, we have company and it is dinner time" meal.

10. I am thankful for free stuff!
I got a crazy amount of free stuff (and really cheap stuff) at the store this week.  It is fun to save money, get "gifts" for friends and it's just kind of fun.

11. Oh yeah, and my baby started walking!  SOOOO excited about that!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Enough

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

Five Minute Friday: Enough


did she eat enough?

did she play enough?

did i love enough?

did i discipline enough?

did i teach enough?

did i listen enough?

sometimes i think children should come with checklists of their every need so that at the end of the day i can know that i accomplished everything she needs to become a wonderful adult.  i think though that sometimes i need to just pull her into my lap and love on her and let that be enough.

i worry sometimes that i am not enough for her.  that my shortcomings will take over and play out in her life and i don't want that.  of course, i also worry that sometimes it is all too much - especially when i feel the need to compare myself to every blog i read and wonder how my family will fit in to all of this and what my version of these things will look like.  i see their pretty pinterest crafts but i forget that they probably have the hour meltdown before the ten minute craft project in their worlds too.

at the end of the day i get a kiss and a hug when i tuck her into bed and she calls out

"i love you mom"

the rest of it fades away and it is enough.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

July Photo 16-19 (Sign, Your Addiction, Plate, Animal)

Day 16: Sign

A sign we watch too much TV at my house?  Also a good sign she is going to be walking VERY soon!

Day 17: Your Addiction

Coffee is about as close to a food/drug addition as I get, but I do like me some ice cream!  This mug my sister in law painted for me before I got married.  We painted instead of the "traditional" bachelorette party!

Day 18: Plate

Salmon with an amazing pesto/garlic sauce, spinach and potatoes.  SOOOO good.  My husband is amazing.

Day 19: Animal

We went to the pet store yesterday and I tried to convince Aaron to let me get a cat, a dog and some fish.  He vetoed all of them.  I told him he was probably right and the only living thing I'd be ok with adding to our family would be another human.  But we did think this little guy was cute...and we left with a picture :)

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #66

It is Thursday again already?  I have not reverted to my old ways - just been a hard week.  I will catch up and I have some content ideas bouncing around my head. But for now, here are my top tens...

1. I am thankful for all the blogs that said "When it's hard and overwhelming, just do the next thing."  Every time I read that I thought, hmm, obvious much?  But this morning when I felt completely overwhelmed I thought ok, all I have to do is the next thing.  I can't tell you how thankful I was for that bit of advice then.

2. I am thankful for play dates at the park with Miss Stephanie and her five babies!  (She has two babies and three big kids but Grace decided they were all her babies - and I'm sure she wouldn't disagree)

3. I am thankful for impromptu park dates with my parents.

4. I am thankful for exhausted, sweet smelling children who played hard and took a bath then crashed in bed.

5. I am thankful for a wonderful date night with my husband, good conversation, silliness and buy-one-get-one-free smash burgers :)

6. I am thankful for knowing that God has my back.  Without that I think I'd be lost.

7. I am thankful for energy, excitement and revitalization - more on that later!

8. I am thankful for my "Experiencing God" study and Miss Abigail who meets with me faithfully every week.

9. I am thankful my father in law's car broke down on Monday (shh, don't tell him!).  I really needed some quiet time with God and when I went to pick him up I think I got it.  I also got to spend some quality time with my father in law so that was nice too!

10. I am thankful my kids love to cuddle.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July Photo 13-15 (Open, Building, Finger)

Day 13: Open

Isn't she cute?  She told me "Mom, I want to sit in my car. My white and purple car.  But I do NOT want to drive."  She likes to play and pretend she is going to the grocery but she will NOT push that gas pedal!

Day 14: Building

At our church/teen center we have four HUGE front windows.  Last Saturday kids threw rocks through two of them.  Thankfully we have insurance but it is just frustrating!  It God is for us, who can be against us?

Day 15: Finger

And my bling!  5.5 years later and I still think my diamond looks huge :)  My husband is GOOD!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #65

So when it gets to 10:30 on Friday night and I haven't done my thankfuls yet somebody remind me mkay?  I thought it was really weird when Five Minute Friday was cancelled today (vacation with no internet) because of course it wasn't Friday yet!  It has been a bizarre week.

Monday: "normal" day of babies, office work and teaching two Bible studies ending with searing pain in my mouth
Tuesday: "woke up" after only sleeping an hour Monday night still in a TON of pain.  Called Dentist and got an appointment
Wednesday: dealt with another night of pain although not nearly so bad.  Had the best night's rest I've gotten since having babies.  Dentist appoint #2.  Spend the rest of the day with my family and in a fog.
Thursday: Tried to catch up...tried being the operative word.
Friday: Hung out with babies, went to zoo with the fam and now am back in the office!

I am thankful for...

1. Getting this tooth pain dealt with quickly!  And so thankful that my Doc called today just to check on me!  Love it!

2. Zoo day with the family!  The girls (mainly Grace) loved the animals.  She said her favorite was the horse which of course was the second animal we saw today.  Ah well :)  Aaron liked the monkeys.  I liked the bears and the lions.

3. Friends who cover for me when I'm in no position to lead a Bible study due to incredible tooth pain or get anything useful accomplished. :)

4. Co-parenting.  I am so thankful that I don't have to do the parenting thing alone and that my husband backs up my decisions and I back up his.

5. A new air conditioner in our bed room. 

6. A night off of work for the hubs!

7. Trading the treadmill that I don't use for a photo session that I'm sure I will love!

8. Catching up with friends I haven't seen in a long time!

9. Losing some weight!  (Not a lot but I love that it is enough that I *feel* healthier!)

10. The beautiful zucchinis and tomatoes in my garden!!

July Photo 12: Texture

Day 12: Texture

This is the texture at the park we played at. I also think it would make a great poster background.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

July Photo 11: Letter

Day 11: Letter

Ok, so it is more of a card then a letter but I love it and that's what counts right?  My best friend has a way of sending me the right card right when I need it.  This one hangs on my file cabinet next to my computer and another one she sent is tucked in my Bible.  (Good for when I need a pick me up, Jesus and her encouraging words!)  I also have wonderful cards from my husband scattered through my office and tucked away through my house.

Letter writing seems to be a lost art.  I used to write back and forth with my Grandma all the time but that seems to have slowly faded.  I think it is a delightful way to let people know you are thinking about them and care about them.  I remember a letter I wrote to my dad for Father's Day one year after I got married with memories and things he taught me - how powerful are words but even more so tangible written ones.  I owe my mother a similar letter and by owe, I mean I want to write it but I need to get it done!

I love letters!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July Photo 10: Your Favorite Color

Day 10: Your Favorite Color

Abi's first ride on the grocery store horse.
Very hard to hold onto her and get far back
enough to take a decent picture.

My favorite color: PINK.  Although I'll admit I'm kind of thinking some blue in my life might be fun.  We'll see!  (No, not an announcement).  Grace has been such a sweet kid today.  I am learning and re-learning that she is absolutely a touch kid so when she wants to be held telling her no crushes her.  I learned that the hard way (again) Sunday when I was just too busy to stop and hold her in the morning - then at night she went to bed and screamed "CUDDLE ME MOMMY" for about 10 minutes until I went in and hung out with her for a bit.  Sweet, but I should not forget these things.

My mouth has been crazy hurting lately.  I have a tooth the Dentist is going to fix tomorrow but it brought me to tears (a couple times) today and Grace was very sweet about it and gave me lots of kisses.  Christine brought her boys over to watch the girls while I went to the Dentist today to look at options and when I got home she greeted me with "hi mommy, your tooth is all better?".  What a sweetie.

I am so thankful for my community of friends who I can call for babysitting, advice and friendship anytime.  And I love that they know they can call on me.  It's amazing and it really does take a village! :)

Alrighty, that was my long, more of an update post.  I am loving these picture posts but am looking forward to some more "content" posts soon.  I think thankfuls and five minute fridays are still the best though!

Monday, July 9, 2012

July Photo 9: Big

Day 9: Big

Isn't she so big?  Ugh, I love this kid.  She now says HI (every time she sees my phone) and Uh-oh.  She makes me laugh!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July Photo 8: Lunch

Day 8: Lunch

French toast with homemade vanilla syrup.  Cooked apples in sugar and cinnamon.

Because my kid rocks.  She has been doing such a great job lately being a good listener and a good helper.  It is fun when we get to have a "good" lunch together instead of an "oh yeah, I suppose we should eat something" lunch.  Still working on that schedule thing.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

July Photo 7: Garden

Day 7: Garden

Fresh off the vine!  I am so thankful to have two tomato plants that looks like they will be giving us a TON of tomatoes!  We also have two bell peppers growing beautifully and two crazy zucchini plants.  So far we've only spotted one zucchini but there promises to be more!

Friday, July 6, 2012

July Photo 6: Chair

Day 6: Chair

This is a chair that we bought before Grace was born (or was given to us - I can't remember).  It is a chair that has been in swimming pools, covered in paint and seen more than it's fair share of cheerios.  It makes my babies part of family dinner, gives me a place to keep them restrained and has held many "firsts" for both girls.  Seems silly, a high chair having that much significance to me but it is where a lot of growing up happens and I love it!

July 2012

July 2011

Five Minute Friday: Story

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

Five Minute Friday: Story


i am thinking about the story of my journey toward being a wife and mother - where to begin.  it really began when i was in seventh grade and my father in law was my sunday school teacher.  i knew his whole family back then but didn't know he had a son that was old enough for me to marry - neither did he.

see, his son was born when he was sixteen and he had just moved across the country.  he didn't know she was pregnant and she didn't know how to track him down.  when my husband was in his early 20s he found my father in law and began a relationship with him, moving here from his former hometown.

i met him while serving in a ministry that my father in law started to help troubled teens (he could relate).  when i met my husband, i knew there was something special about him...it took him a little while longer.  for a year we danced around the idea of dating...me because my longest previous relationship lasted two painfully awkward dates so i had no clue how this whole dating thing was supposed to work and him because i think he thought i was nuts.  :)  finally, after building a friendship for a year we dated.

two years after that we had our first kiss.  on a bridge.  after he got down on one knee and slipped a beautiful diamond on my finger.  that was the only way to get around the no kissing rule ;)

six months later we were married.  i tried to convince him we could plan a wedding in three but he talked me out of it. 

this story, my story is definitely one that was written by God Himself. i work with teens and we talk all the time about dating and relationship and breakups and boys.  i'm not a whole lot of use when it comes to the heartache and breakups part - i never really did that.  my husband is the first and only man i've ever kissed and i am so thankful.  i always tell teens that God definitely protected me from myself but if i found a man willing to wait through TWO YEARS of dating, they certainly can too.  it is so worth it. 


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thankful Thursdays Top Ten #64


1. I am thankful for a working camera on my phone.  It is nice to flip through my pictures as a reminder of what I am thankful for!

2. I am thankful for right-before-bedtime-because-we-need-to-get-out ice cream runs which become bath time which become relax time which leads nicely into bed time.

3. I am thankful for a nice long visit with my best friend.  Oh, I needed that!

4. I am thankful for my little girl with a TON of personality - she lights up my day. 

5. I am thankful for a wonderful (and not too hot!) 4th of July celebration with my family!

6. I am thankful for my people - my family, my friends who spend time with us, love my kids and are there for me and let me be there for them.

7. I am thankful for my hubs being back from his trip.  I do NOT like it when he is not here at night. 

8. I'm thankful for my girlies loving on each other!
whisper whisper whisper grandma's house...

9. I am thankful for technology so we can let those we miss know that we miss them!

10. I am thankful for lots of unexpected sleeping in this week - probably because of staying up late.  I'm a fan. :)

July Photo 5: On The Floor

Day 5: On The Floor

My phone is currently eating my pictures so I apologize for the terrible quality.  On our floor we have toys, babies and a four inch sponge.  It is a bed topper but we took it off because it holds heat in terribly.  Hubs thought it'd be fun for the girls to play on (and would keep the doors to the toys closed so there'd be less mess!).  Good fun!  There is also probably an entire box of cheerios on my floors but we don't need to see pictures of that - just the cute babies :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July Photo 4: Fun

Day 4: Fun

We had a blast for the 4th of July.  The girls both stayed awake through the entire fireworks display.  It was crazy.  They were even really good and went right to sleep when we got home.  The picture above was taken by a teen from the youth center!  Love it! 

It was a really fun, relaxing day.  One of my favorite things about the 4th of July celebrations is just the sense of community and togetherness.  It makes my heart happy.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July Photo 3: Best Part of Your Day

Day 3: Best Part of Your Day

My favorite part of the day is usually in the morning when we get to play and relax together.  I feel like evenings are somewhat stressful because I get caught up in all that has to be done, but the mornings I've come to accept that nothing is going to be accomplished before nap time (work related, house related non-deadline stuff doesn't stress me out in quite the same way). 

This was when we were painting while Abi took a quick morning nap.  I love one-on-one time with the kids.  This morning one of my big kids came over to play with Grace while I took Abi to the Doctor (she's great! 22lbs, 28inches) and it was nice to have time just to love on Abi.  My kids play great together but I love alone time with them too.

One of my other favorite bits was captured in Day 1.  That is the time that Abi is usually in bed and Grace and I get to snuggle and watch a show before her nap.  I love that time to just chat and relax with her!

Monday, July 2, 2012

July Photo 2: Busy

Day 2: Busy

Busy busy busy.  Maybe messy is a better word for it.  One day I'll catch up.  Until then, I'll enjoy the crazy!  My goal is that by the end of Saturday night I'll have a complete office clean up!  Maybe I'll post an "after" picture :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July Photo 1: Self Portrait

Day 1: Self Portrait

Me...and my girl who looks a lot like me. 

I think that self portrait could have so many different aspects - just me, the roles I fill, etc etc but what better than me in my favorite role as momma to my little ones!