Sunday, December 23, 2012

Movie-addicted cousins

Keegan (almost 1), Aleah (7), Dylan (12)...these kids do so great together!

I love that my big kids love their little cousin so much!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Thoughts

Well, it has been way too long since I have posted. There have been so many things going on that I would have loved to post about, but because so many things have been going on, I haven't taken the time to post...a vicious circle.

It is nearly Christmas, which is crazy...
I am done teaching for the semester, which is great...
My kids still have school for another day, which is nice for mom...
My kids only have one day of school left, which is nice for mom...
I finished wrapping presents today, which is a relief...
I haven't gotten our Christmas picture and letter done and mailed yet, which is a little hopeless...
The picture we will be using is the one I had printed for last year and didn't get mailed, which is totally pathetic...
I am so thankful it is the Christmas season, which allows me to focus on the baby born in a manger...
It also means my kids are a little focused on other things...

But we are working on remembering the reason for this wonderful season...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My baby and me...

in sketch form, thanks to a very talented artist at our elementary school's craft sale today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Our church is having a "challenge" right now encouraging people to be in God's Word daily. It is called "Bring it to life" (BITL). Each day there is a different chapter to read. Today's chapter is 1 Corinthians 7. Wow, this is a challenging passage that makes lots of people uncomfortable I'm sure. It talks about marriage, divorce, sex, and relationships. Yep, that is all talked about in the Bible!

What struck me about this passage when I read it just now was that it really is all about priorities. Well, PRIORITY would be more accurate. We are called to have one main priority in life, and that is God. I think one intent of this passage is to point out that we should limit or minimize those things in life that will take our focus off that one main priority.

Even good things can shift that priority. Marriage is a good thing, but it takes a big commitment and can be difficult at times. Anything that takes this much work must not be entered lightly. This passage actually says if you can avoid temptation it is better to not be married.

In my own life, marriage has been both a blessing and a trial at times. Has it taken my focus off what should be my top priority? Absolutely. I have recently asked God to help me realign my priorities. I know this will ultimately help all my other priorities be more effortless.

Whew! Lots to think about! Where is your main priority?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tea Party

Today I got to have a tea party with my favorite girl. Nothing says "fancy ladies" like graham crackers with peanut butter and chocolate chips, fruit-flavored gum, and water in cute little cups!

Monday, September 24, 2012

I love...

I love that the weather is changing. I love that I am currently sitting on my couch wearing a cozy sweatshirt, covered with a blanket. I love that I needed to turn the furnace on for the first time today (I won't love paying for that later, but the coziness is worth it right now!)

I love hearing my kids playing (a little too crazy) together. I love hearing my husband make supper for them. I love that they were all playing Legos together just a bit ago. I love that they are planning to camp out in our camper tonight (in our yard).

I love that the week is done and I can enjoy more time with my family. I am glad the week is done and I can spend less time at work ;)

I love seeing the sun just come out after a nice rain. I love seeing it light up the trees that are just beginning to change color.

I love seeing my son play silly with the dog (being he is a big 6th grader now!). I love the joy that our pets have brought to our family.

I choose to find joy in everyday things.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

This is one of my very favorite verses. Hope overflowing...doesn't that sound wonderful? Sit back and rest in that for a bit. All joy and peace...what would that even be like? I know that I want to find out. So? I will trust in ALL things.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

An honest answer

"An honest answer is the sign of true friendship." Proverbs 24:26

How often do we give an honest answer? I mean a really honest answer shared in a "true friendship" kind of way? We share lots of "honesty" when we are frustrated or angry. Come on, you know that we do. We have "discussions" that involve lots of blaming and finger pointing that don't result in anything other than hurt. But we were just being honest. Really?!?

Or how about this:
"Hi, how are you?"
"Fine" (when really, things are anything but "fine")

Why can't we just honestly say "well, things are kind of hard right now. I'm trying to deal with...(fill in the blank: a health issue, frustration at work, at home, with kids, loss of a job, a struggling marriage, financial issues, etc.) and I really don't know how to handle it."

Or on a lighter note, how do these questions usually get answered?

"How do I look?"
"Do you like my...(hair, outfit, new item of any kind...)?"
"Is there anything I can do to help you?" (thinking of a time when you have company and this is offered, often is this question asked with the honest desire to help?)

and I'm sure there are many other examples like this that I am just not thinking of right now.

As I have been thinking about this verse today, I am so thankful that I have some true friends! I might not always like the honest answer, but isn't an honest answer, given in the spirit of true friendship infinitely better than a lie of any kind?!? Even a lie intended to be "kind"?

Can I ask you all something? Would you please be my friend? (and I don't mean in a "Facebook" kind of way) Will you please give me honest answers? Will you please be true friends to others around you as well? Will you please give honest answers to them as well?

I long ago promised myself that if I ever saw someone with something embarrassing (food in their teeth, something in their hair, clothing inside out, tag left on clothes, toilet paper dragging behind them...I think you get the idea), that I would let them know. Why? Because I hope that someone would do the same for me. See? We can be true friends to people we don't even know, at least for that moment!

I am resolving to be an even better "true friend" to the people around me: my husband, kids, family, friends...

I want them to surely know they can trust the words I share with them.

Don't you want people to know that too?

"An honest answer is the sign of true friendship." Proverbs 24:26

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


My dear husband and I had an unexpected productive evening yesterday! Both of us had had busy days, but decided to keep working on things when we got home: he worked on the playhouse he is building for our kids, and I worked at the unending task of keeping house with a busy family ( much laundry can four people create? Wait...don't answer that, I think I already know.). After getting the kids to bed, we both ended up in our "den" where we started going through things in our desk. We started throwing away so much old paperwork and all kinds of things. It felt great! (i think we are safe without the insurance statements from 10 years ago...)

Our goal? Ultimately to get rid of the desk entirely. We don't use a desktop computer anymore, and we proved that a majority of what was in the desk was unnecessary. Now to just figure out what to do with the things that still need a home, but don't need to be in our monstrosity of a desk. Any great ideas out there? I'm open to suggestions!

Next up? My bedroom closet! Every year or so I go through and get rid of what I haven't worn in the past year. It is sometimes hard because I think "well, I COULD wear this...", so I have decided to be firm with myself and stick to the plan ;) I love the idea of simplifying. I actually have more thoughts about simplifying, but it has been a long day, so I think that will need to be a post for another time.

We are busy purging in our house and it feels great!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Being supportive

My idea of gardening is nice neat planters on the edge of the patio. No weeds. Easy access.

Mike's idea of gardening is a bit more lofty. Lots of plants. Much larger. Lots of weeds (ok, that wasn't in his plans...)

Somehow it became my job to "harvest" his garden. The weeds...are mostly "sand burrs".
Sigh...someday I will get them all out of my clothes.
But at least I was being supportive, right?!?

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Great Lake!

I had an unexpected little vacation this weekend that was such a joy! I had to visit one of my students who is on a clinical experience in Superior, WI which is about 3 hours North of where we live. I had planned to go there and back in the same day which would have been fine, but a lot of driving. As I was driving to the visit I remembered that my parents were camping somewhere "up north" so I gave them a quick call. Turns out they were at a campground about 25 miles from where I would be, and their motorhome had an extra pullout couch just waiting for me! A quick call to my husband later, I had a mini getaway with my mom and dad!

They were there for a campout sponsored by the Minnesota Street Rod Association, and it turns out that Mike and I are members too, so I got my tickets for a free supper, and packet of other goodies and I was good to go! As a bonus, the campground was right on Lake Superior, and shortly after I got there, I looked up to this breath-taking sight:

Wow, what a great lake! Ok, the photos wouldn't go in the order I wanted from my phone...and the weather didn't cooperate for most of the pictures. The rainbow one is the breath-taking one I referred to. is incredible, and incredibly frustrating sometimes!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One of my favorite places...

Is it one of your favorites too?

Click on this link to see other posts on how we can build our homes up!

Friday, August 31, 2012

My gifts!

I don't make my way into too many pictures it seems, so here is one of me with my best gifts ever!
I love you Dylan Michael Caleb and Aleah Faith!
You are the answers to many prayers
and true living examples of God's faithfulness

Because they won't be this age again...

Here are some pictures that we took earlier this summer

I just had to share them

The kids are growing up so fast

And they won't ever be this age again...

Don't they look like they actually get along in this one?!?

ok, this one just makes me smile

and I want to remember them just as they are at this age.
Aleah: 6 1/2       Dylan: 11 1/2

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Party #4: Old-school style

**I apologize ahead of time for the poor pictures in this post. My nice camera was MIA so this is a combination of pictures from my phone and an old camera**

As I shared in my previous post, we celebrated my daughter's 7th birthday with a "friend party" just a couple days ago...several weeks after her actual birthday.

She didn't really know what she wanted to do for her party (other than things that were really expensive!) so mommy took charge and decided to do a party like I always used to have when I was little. "old-school party" needed to have:

Some "Pin the tail on the donkey" (a classic!)

 Some clothespin dropping (is there an actual name for this game??)

Some crafting (foam door hangers...thank you Dollar Store!)

Showing off their finished projects
Some tire-swinging

Some swingset playing (ignore the weeds in the sandbox please)

Some horn blowing and present opening

Some silly playing (found fun dress-up kits on clearance that were our party favors!)
ok, this picture is really terrible, but the activity was too fun to not include! They all sang a couple songs together. Hilarious!
Some supper eating

Some pinata breaking

and finally, some cake-eating (Missed getting any pictures of this somehow...)

All in just over 2 hours. This momma was really tired after that whirlwind!

An "old-school" party?  Just what the girls needed!