For family and friends – lately

Hello dear everybody! I thought I would share a few pictures I’ve taken recently. Sorry it’s been so long!

Big sis reads to littlest sis
Big sis reads to littlest sis
Reading on mom's bed. Hale Navy color in my bedroom - I love it!
Reading on mom’s bed. Hale Navy color in my bedroom – I love it!
Cutie pie
Cutie pie
Proud little kindergartener
Proud little kindergartener
Pigtails and favorite purple dress
Pigtails and favorite purple dress
Can't stay inside on such a nice day
Can’t stay inside on such a nice day


Got it!
Got it!
Spring wreath!
Spring wreath!
More about this on Monday!
More about this on Monday!


See ya next time!


Can and Can’t


Pardon a thought train here.

I look out the window and see my two oldest daughters attempts to free a kite that is stuck in a tree about twenty-five feet in the air. I’m fairly sure they will not be able to get it down.

But what if they could? If one of them figured out how to climb the tall pine tree and get out on the branch would I let them?

In the battle of attempting and achieving the impossible or staying safe, where do my loyalties lie?

We have certainly heard enough of the “if you can believe it you can achieve it” mentality. So many waste their life on useless pursuits, passing by a meaningful, ordinary existence.

I recently read (was it by Tim Challies?) “Seven things Fathers should tell their sons.”

One of them was “You can’t do it.”

And I totally agree. As finite human beings, and especially as believers we must admit our limitations.

However, when dealing with our kids – where do you draw the lines of hard, impossible, and foolish?

What if the Wright brothers parents had stopped them?

Which brings me to the next boxcar on this train – is there anything left to be discovered like that? If you could conceive something that had never been done before, something that would change human history – what would it be?

This is what I think about on a Thursday afternoon while making burritos.

Helloooo up there!

Hi there! It’s me. You can’t see me because I’m down here buried under halfway unpacked boxes, mile-long Target lists, and paint samples.

We moved!! And we’re rather in love with our new house. I hope that I will be able to write about all the wonderful experiences, challenges, and blessings this change has brought. We’ve been incredibly blessed by our church, friends and family.

School started back today, and we are woefully behind if you are speaking of lesson numbers. However, everything (especially homeschooling) always seems fresh and exciting after a little break. Or a long break, as the case may be.

Last, and certainly not least, I have a huge giveaway for you so stay tuned! Well, maybe you won’t be interested in it. It’s only for people who need to grocery shop. Hello! You will not want to miss it, but I’ve said enough already. = )

On to working on that giveaway post!

Talk to you soon!


This picture serves no purpose but to have a thumbnail to go along with the facebook post. It was however, taken at our new house, and will certainly amuse the Nanas, Grandmas, and Aunts. = )
This picture serves no purpose but to have a thumbnail to go along with the facebook post. It was however, taken at our new house, and will certainly amuse the Nanas, Grandmas, and Aunts. = )



The long overdue May goals review and “plan” for June

The past month has been a blessing. I have a lot to be thankful for. When I “should” have been writing this post in May, we were packing for our first family vacation ever. And oh my, it was wonderful.

Hopefully I'll be able to share more of these pictures soon!
Hopefully I’ll be able to share more of these pictures soon!

If you remember from my very brief review in May, there were two things that consumed that month.

Paul graduating from seminary. An amazing and profoundly sweet time for our family,

He did it! Woohoo!
He did it! Woohoo!

… and Hopey finishing kindergarten. These pictures make my heart hurt; she looks so much bigger and grown up!

First day of K-5, September 2014
First day of K-5, September 2013
Last day of K-5, May 2014
Last day of K-5, May 2014

We had a special pizza lunch celebration with Paul for her last day of school. She got a special gift for finishing, too! I was so happy with how we ended and am looking forward to doing it again this year. It is amazing how much more time we have during the days now that it is summer. Homeschooling technically didn’t consume that many hours, but it surely did change the whole look of our days. I am loving summer and the girls are having a blast playing together.

So, that’s basically May in review. = )

We were able to go on vacation the first week of June and since then it has been all things baby, and house, and car, and church. Thankfully, about the third week of June my nesting instinct kicked in hard. We ran around the house doing all sorts of stuff. (Remember all that spring cleaning that wasn’t getting done? Well, nesting took care of that.) = )

After about a week of that came days of extreme sleepiness, and now I’m in a strange mix of the two. It still feels like there is a lot to do before baby comes, but I think we’d be okay. = )

So to summarize, I’m not going to list specific things for June since it is almost over. Besides that it has basically been a wild dash to do as much as possible, whatever comes into my brain or whatever I’m motivated to do at the moment.

Lord-willing, I will do a normal end of the month the post for June and make plans for July. They will be complicated. (eat, sleep, nurse)

(Okay, I wrote this a few days ago and am just now editing it and getting ready to post… we will have to see about the July goals.) = )

How were May and June for you?

Until July! = ) or if the baby comes, September! *hopefully, just kidding*

What the fly on the wall heard

imageIt certainly has been a long time since we did one of these. There has been no lack of random, ridiculous and silly things said here; I have just not kept up with writing them down. Every time I’ve thought of writing them here, I’ve stopped because there have been so many I’ve missed. But here we go again, if for no other reason than to get back in the saddle again.

I’m afraid with one exception, this might be a solo Gracie routine.


As we pulled into the parking lot for our pediatrician’s office, one of the girls asked, “Will we have to sit on the sick side today?”

“Yes,” I replied, “we’ll have to sit on the sick side.”

Gracie: “I want to sit on the seven side!”


No joke. The next time we pulled into that same parking lot, the girls again asked which side we would be on.

“We’ll be on the well side.” I answered.

Gracie: “The twelve side?”


On the way home from church tonight, Gracie began out of nowhere, “Mommy, octopuses have soooo many legs! Like soooo much legs! Not one… not two… not three, but like zwewo legs!”


Sometimes the funniest comments come from a misunderstanding. Paul had returned from work one day, and everyone was hustling and bustling around him. He causes quite a commotion among the girls when he walks through the door. He was standing in the doorway of the kitchen talking to me when he asked the girls, “Guess what I had for lunch today?”

Simultaneously, Sophia began crawling in the cabinet right by his feet. (it’s their car they use to get everywhere) = )

Paul looked down and said, “Sophia…”

She scampered out of the cabinet with a giggle, “You didn’t have Sophia for lunch!!”

Think about yourself for once

photo credit
photo credit

This post was written a few months ago and has been tweaked here and there. I thought I would include it as part of this “anniversary week.”

Confession time here (and it’s painful because of pride), God has been convicting me lately regarding how I think about my husband.

I tend to be one of those “exhorters,” you might call it; very willing to talk about faults; always wanting to spur people on to that next step of sanctification. But the truth of the matter is that lately, it’s just been mean-old criticism.

I think the thought process started when it dawned on me, “Would you want him to be like that about you?” (Immediate NO!!) Why are you thinking about his faults? You want him to dwell on your good points.

Oh yes! Yes, I do!

I want my husband to think about my strengths, to reflect on all the things he loves about me. To be willing to help me and speak the unpleasant truth if I need it, but if I’m honest… I want him to think of me as amazing! And for the most part completely ignore that I’m a complete mess, can’t keep clean laundry in the drawers to save my life, can’t figure out how to make a good meal when people come over, can’t keep my counter cleaned off, and the list goes on.

A gracious light is shining into this dark compartment of my heart.

I’ve actually been thinking about myself more; seeing my selfishness, my laziness, my lack of devotion to Christ. Replacing my criticism of others with the Holy Spirit’s promptings about my sin has opened up the door again for love.

I’ve begun to see Paul differently. Admiring his strengths, thankful for his leadership, loving his company… does this guy even have any faults?

All along, it wasn’t really him I was seeing and criticizing… it was myself. But it’s so much more enjoyable to blame other people for our inadequacies!

Have I praised my husband yet on this blog for being patient with me? Oh yeah… several times. I’m so thankful for him. If I was him, I would have kicked me and my attitude to the curb a long time ago.

So here’s my word of experiential wisdom for all the oppressed, neglected housewives of America… just think about yourself for once! = )

The awkward blue belt for the cute maternity dress story

photo credit
photo credit

Do you like surprises? I LOVE surprises. Always have.

One of the coolest surprises I’ve experienced in my adult life are the things that make you feel loved. You know, like really loved. Like how you imagine that girl feels in the movies when the guy takes her hand, or meets her in the middle of a field and professes his undying love, or brings her flowers when she’s stuffy and sick.

When I imagined being married and experiencing things that really made me feel loved… I probably thought of candlelight dinners, snuggling, dancing to soft music in the living room, holding hands while we drove down some random road. But after being married for even only a year or so, I realized that it was totally different things that really made me feel loved.

We became pregnant very soon after we were married. There were a lot of reasons that this was exciting, but one of them for me was the chance to finally wear maternity clothes! I had been waiting my whole life! Seriously, I was the girl that would always look at the maternity section first in catalogs and daydream about browsing through maternity stores when I passed them in the mall. A little weird maybe, but that was me. Little by little, I began to pick up pieces; but one day, I found IT. The cutest blue maternity dress ever. At Target. Ridiculously priced. But that was okay because my sweet brother had given me a gift card. Happy sigh.

Okay, I can tell you’re needing some help picturing how cute this dress was. It was a solid blue; smoky, pearly, grayish, very wonderful medium blue. Knee-length with a pretty collar and buttons all the way down. Classy, but cute. (No elastic anywhere!) And… it had this awesome blue belt for right above the belly. I love belts! I love bows! I love knots! I couldn’t wait to get home and try it on for Paul.

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And that’s the end of happy Act 1. Let’s just say, the dress looked great; the belt looked horrid. But maybe I was just doing it wrong. It had to work, it was so cute! I tried everything I could think of and it all looked awful.

So I went to Paul with downcast heart and mopey face. I explained my frustration and how I just couldn’t get it right.

Then he started trying. Yes, him.

He tied it in the front. He tied in the back. He tied it on the side. And for good measure on the other side, too.

He tied it in a bow. He tied it in a knot.

He tied it above, below, and across my belly.

And somewhere in the middle of all that… I began to feel really loved.

At first, embarrassed. Then worried that I was taking too much of his time. But then I looked at his face, all concentrated. And I knew that he cared.

Something that was so small, so ridiculous, so impossibly removed from the important matters of the world, mattered to him in that moment. He gave me his time and creativity and didn’t make me feel even slightly silly.

photo credit
photo credit

We never did figure it out.

I ended up wearing the dress without the belt and it was just as cute. Paul doesn’t remember this happening; even though I’ve told him about it three or four times since then. But I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

What a surprise, that you’re husband fooling with getting your belt to look right for fifteen minutes could make you feel so loved.

But it did. And I love him.

The toilet paper stage

According to my estimation, there are three stages of your life with regards to toilet paper.

1. When you have no clue what it is.

2. When you think it’s a toy or a snack.

3. When you have (hopefully) moved beyond stage 2 and use it for it’s intended purpose.

All four of my girls have now progressed through stage two, save one who shall remain nameless in this sentence. And every time they reach that point, I’m reminded again of how annoying it is.

Okay, at first it’s cute. They come waddling down the hallway with a long train of their new found treasure; and it is kind of cute. Or least the huge smile on their face is.

But then, after you pick up 479 pieces of ripped up toilet paper a day; it’s not cute anymore, and you finally say “Enough!”

Mckayla, I love you; and I promise to remember this stage with some measure of fondness… once it’s long gone!

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Sometimes my mommy calls me T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
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I just can’t figure out why.
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I mean, look at me…
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…perfect angel. 100% o’ the time.