"make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,
so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."

--1 thessalonians 4: 11-12

Saturday, February 9, 2013

december 2012 & a year end summary

it is my goal to have our
christmas decorations up 
on the first of december.
as usual, i had an idea
come to me at the last minute...
you know, when everyone else
has been planning this for weeks:


instead of dollar store toys
and candy, we had an act of
service written down for each day,
in hopes of cultivating a spirit
of giving and gratitude in the 
midst of consumerism.

we called it "the giving tree".
the girls really seemed to enjoy it,
but the boys were a bit too young.

i set the giving tree up during the day and
 that night, we pulled out jason's grandparents'
old christmas records, decorated the tree, read some
christmas books and drank homemade hot cocoa.
there are always little squabbles between siblings,
but that night was seriously wonderful.

on the 6th of december, 
i attended my midwife's book signing. 
it was a joy to be there 
and i am so proud of her.
her book, Born to Deliver,
is an incredible story of redemption
and bringing beauty from ashes.
i wouldn't recommend it if i didn't mean that.
it's awesome. 
go read it.

we continued our yearly tradition
of driving around to look at christmas lights.
this year, jason and i had coffee from starbucks
and he bought the kids their own hot cocoa.
there's just something about that red cup!
they thought it was pretty awesome. =)

ali girl lost her first tooth
and cried once it was gone.
she refused to look in the mirror
because she was "afraid she wasn't pretty anymore".
it breaks my heart 
that kids worry about that so young. 
i think she's 
pretty darn cute either way,
and it is my prayer that she is seen 
not only for her outer beauty,
but for her inner beauty--
..."the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit."
1 peter 3:4

the girls and i spent
time preparing christmas gifts together.
they made chains and turned them into 
necklaces and rings

and i made scarves for their teachers and principal.

i also put together dish cloth sets for my mom, mother in law
and sisters in law and fingerless gloves for my sisters. 
i have since made a few dish cloths for myself
because it's such a quick project and i 
love having something to keep my mind and hands
busy, besides social networks!
 every year,
we each choose a new ornament
for the tree.
last year, we made them...
and it was kind of a bust.
don't ever by off brand 
sticky dots, mmkay? 
they don't work. 

so this year, 
we went to target instead...
which is always a good place
to go, if you ask me.
all sydney wanted was
a horse ornament, but
there were none to be found.
luckily for sydney,
she has a handy daddy
that is good at making 
things work--
they bought a horse figurine
from the feed store and jason
drilled a hook into it at home...

a horse ornament.
i have a feeling this
will always be an extra special
one to her...

the girls received a fish tank
as their "big" gift this year,
so jason snuck into their room
christmas eve night and set it up for them.


we had nice christmas with our families
and wrapped up the year with friends.


it was a really tough year.
i am thankful for this blog
and the fact that i wrote our story
down, because if i hadn't, i am
pretty sure i no longer would have
believed that we were led here by the lord.
we were so, so broke, so behind on bills
and crushed in spirit.
i asked jason one time if he thought
anyone believed us anymore or if they
thought we had been foolish.
i still don't know the answer to that question,
but truthfully, it doesn't matter.

in acts 21,
the lord told paul to go to jerusalem.
others came and warned him
--through the spirit, even--  
not to go because of what would 
happen, but he was obedient to the lord,
KNOWING he would be bound, saying he would
even die so that the lord's will would be done.

so you see, the focus is on obedience
 to the lord's will, not the opinion of others.
we had no idea what the year would hold.
we still aren't sure *why* 
we are doing what we are doing...
but it isn't necessarily for us to know,
at least right now.
we walk in faith, knowing that we are
here for a reason and search out the
heart and will of the lord for us.
we've had many, many opportunities
to have others into our home.
we have had many instances of tangible
ways the lord has provided.
we have a fuller, stronger testimony
that has blessed and encouraged others
to keep carrying on...
and that makes it worth it.
we aren't here for us.
we aren't here to be comfortable.
we are here for a reason
and though it brings trials
and suffering and tears,
there is beauty.
there is depth.
there is hope to carry on...
and the knowledge that this is only a season.
and for that, i am thankful.


Friday, February 8, 2013

november 2012

my sweet boy began november by melting my heart
when he offered his "$5" to go to the store and
buy new monkey slippers when i had mentioned
that i wanted new slippers.
he is so giving and it seriously does 
my heart good.

i made my first mocha meringue pie
and it was every bit as delicious as it looks.

max decided he wanted to potty train,
much to my despair delight,

he turned 2

and by doing so, i hit a milestone never
before reached in my childbearing years:

i was not pregnant.
i did not have a newborn.

and i am proud to say i have upheld my record ever since. ;)

sometimes i get all wistful and sad
thinking about how fast my babies are
growing up...and then we go walk trails
and none of the children are carried or
pushed in a stroller...or we send them all 
off overnight for our anniversary...and
i realize how beautiful this new chapter is.
very different, but very good.
 i really think each new phase is a gift,
though we are not even close to teenage years
and for that i am thankful because my heart
is too frail and my mind is still too close to
the teenage years i had...lord, have mercy.


moving on, 
sydney lost her first 
top tooth and forever
changed that grin i've 
known for 7.5 years.
if you can't tell, 
her eyes were still a bit red from crying.
for some reason, her teeth are hard to get out.
daddy has had to help her every time.

we don't actually "do" santa, tooth fairy, etc,
but we will play along with it...
as in, we say the tooth fairy 
is coming, but the kids know it
is just a game we play and we all have 
fun with it.
i try to make it special,
so each time they lose a tooth,
i look up dollar bill origami online.
this is a pixie shoe...
syd really didn't want to give up
her first top tooth, so the 
"tooth fairy" gave her something
special in return for the tooth--
her shoe. =)

in mid-november, the small town our kids
go to school in hosted a christmas tree lighting.
there was free hot cocoa, kettle corn and
lots of activities for the kids.
it was such a good time. 

(please ignore the fact that max looks like he's about
to throw up everywhere. he wasn't.)


we celebrated thanksgiving with jason's family
and had a lot of fun shooting his dad's guns.
i hadn't shot a gun since i was 18 and
i'm not sure if i had ever shot a hand gun.
it was great. 

i think we had 3 thanksgiving
celebration days in a row
and this was max waiting to leave
after our last one.

i think we all felt that way and that was just the
start of the holiday season!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

october 2012

october marked one year in
our new house. almost a year
to the day, we got a renter
and a new chapter as landlords began.
in case you didn't know,
that warrants celebratory starbucks.  
prior to us renting our house out,
our church family and my dad came over and helped
repair everything that needed to be done
before the house was rented out.
this included paint, a new kitchen floor,
replacing siding and faucets, etc.
the kicker?
they paid for *all* of it.
we are so blessed.

my younger sister had her first baby,

the boys and i got to watch the costume parade
at the girls' school,
for some reason the picture i had of sydney disappeared.
you can see it on my instagram feed here , but it
won't let me transfer it over. =( 

 sydney's fall party was in the morning
and they don't allow siblings, so i couldn't
make it to hers, but i did make it to ali's fall party
in the afternoon.
i know it makes me look like an awesome mom
to not have syd's parade picture AND not make 
it to her fall party, but i *am* in her classroom
every week to volunteer. ;)

we didn't have plans to trick or treat that evening,
but the kids were really bummed and some of our family
was going to a halloween alternative at our old church
so at the last minute, they put on costumes they had from
home and we went.

the kids had a great time and it was nice to
see old friends as well as 
family we haven't seen in awhile. 
we were glad we went!

september 2012

september was a tough month.
there were plenty of good things,
but financially and emotionally,
it was really tough.
i will go into more detail once i finish
the summaries of past months,
but for now, this was our september:

a tearful goodbye to a sweet friend moving out of state,

a little saturday morning sleeping in,

a little undressing on the way to take the girls to school,
followed by our brakes totally going out
just a few minutes after this picture was taken.
we were barely able to miss being in an accident
and are so thankful for the lord's protection (and
the emergency brake after the accident was avoided)! 

i was lamenting our financial situation to jason
one night and the fact that i missed working on the house.
he gathered materials we already had on hand
and put together this desk to make our mudroom
more functional.
he is the best at lifting my spirits.
that is where i sit typing now and 4 months later,
 i have yet to paint that thing. ha.

i had another heart to heart with jason (i told you it
was a tough month) about my desire to enjoy the kids,
but the housework and self imposed guidelines of having
it totally clean when jason got home were preventing me
from doing so. the great guy that he is, jason told me
he would be much happier to see me playing with the boys
and have to help me with dishes when he gets home then
to not enjoy them and miss out on this time...so i took his
advice and the next morning, we went to the park. 
i hate going to the park...
but boys are amazing. i only had to endure equipment playing
for about 10 minutes and the rest of the time we explored the woods, which i loved! 

as an early birthday present, my dad gave me his
record player. i have wanted one forever and i loved his.
he couldn't find one like it, so he just gave it to me.
he's really great.
i think of him each time i listen to my 
glenn miller records, especially, since we danced
to glenn miller at my wedding.

i love this thing (and him, of course).

we celebrated my grandma's birthday,

and i got to take my boy on a froyo (frozen yogurt) 
and shopping date to spend his money from his birthday(?) 
that had fallen behind the drawer i kept it in and i had
found again. i love it when that happens. it's like finding
a $20 in your coat pocket from last winter.
anyway, we had an awesome time. 
he's hilarious--he chose 1 toy and the
rest were clothes.
this kid loves clothes but is the epitome of
"rough and tumble" at the same time.
i love him.

so we went out on a much better note than
we started on!

more updates to come...
thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

august 2012

at the beginning of this month,
i was able to photograph my first birth.
i was so honored to be able to share
such a special life event with my
best friend and her husband.
it was worth being up all night for!
 don't worry, nothing graphic is ahead. ;)





mid-august brings back routine
and we had such a great summer
playing and hosting ultimate frisbee
every week, that we wanted to send 
summer off the right way.
 we set up camp at the back of our property
and had an evening full of swimming,
hot dog and marshmallow roasting and
we finished off the night with a movie
in the tent.
the night was cold and the ground was
sure hard, but when we woke up in the morning,
jason already had a fire going outside the tent.
the hard ground was worth the memories!


sydney started first grade this year

and at the end of that week, ali started kindergarten.

go figure that this was the only 
picture (with the pose SHE chose)
that had a natural smile.

 i had a hard time with *both* of my girls 
being gone all day.
i held it together fine on the drive home,
but once i got home i gave the boys
a snack and that was when her presence
was so missed...it was silent!
i realized the very thing that
sometimes drives me crazy,
her incessant chatter,
was the thing i missed the most.
so i went to my room, had a good cry
and then baked a chocolate cake.
really, i did...and it helped.

the rest of august was spent
getting used to having only boys
in the house,

attending a free ice cream social at the girls' school,

taking rides on daddy's motorcycle,

and playing in the rain as if we've
never seen it before, because let's
be honest, it sure felt like it!
this drought has been tough!


isn't it funny how differently boys and girls
"play" in the water and mud? the girls were insistent
on their umbrellas. the boys? ha!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...