Monday, December 29, 2008

Mondays Mania

For today....

This week's goal > to enjoy the rest of our school break.

I plan > to declutter the school books to prepare for the 2nd half of our school year.

I see > clean counters and bare walls. We took down the tree and decorations, so now I need to put our usual stuff back out.

I hear > kids playing upstairs. We have several friends of all ages over today. The hope is that they will all play happily so I can get things done ;^)

I smell > the lingering smell of syrup. We had waffles for breakfast.

I taste > a plan of having porkchops for dinner. I will use my new kitchen aid mixer to attempt mashed potatoes tonight. biscuits and salad will compliment our meal. note: I am not a cook, but I do try to make an effort ;^)

I feel > relaxed. My honey was home for several days. A great time for us all to wind down a bit. I am an organizer maniac, and our schedule has flown out the window the past several weeks which has been a great lesson for me to grasp... to go for the ride when needed, to enjoy the small moments in every day. Life continues to go on, so I am enjoying the scenery as I go!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Our 1st Christmas with snow!
we had lots of soft snow at first! we laid in it like a bed but it was too fluffy to make angels. Later we had snowball fights. we built a snowman. we went sledding down our driveway we ate snowcones. then we made bird seed feeders for the birds.
we had lots of fun playing together.
by: katie

Monday, December 22, 2008

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!
Note: the kids are enjoying their slushy 'snow' cones, yet for the picture, TJ is in bare feet for the picture outside our back door...brrr! ;^)

Oh, such abundance of snow we have! It is so beautiful! I can't help but smile when I go outside... really, lol. Now, I am fully aware that when this stuff starts to melt we are in for a muddy, slushy mess... but for now?...

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas... yep, that will be most likely in our area, simply amazing for us 'rainy day folks'.

Christmas is quickly upon us, yet I can't help reflecting on "gifts" already received this blessed season!

Things that are making my heart smile this week...

*seeing T.J. rock baby Bryson to sleep.

*fresh made "snow" cones from my honey!

*My Katie-girl singing 'Away in a Manger'

*having Nick help put chains on my van.

*Andrew's expression as he recognizes the Charlie Brown Christmas theme song on the radio.

*T.J. cookin' up tasty hamburgers all on his own! Yum!

*Friends who call 'just because'!

*Fred & Nick shoveling our driveway; phew! That was a lot of snow!

*sharing weather reports with Joe (although, admittedly, I rather prefer if he were here with us already, Christmas IS in a few days)

*curled up on the couch with family and a warm fire, giggling about good times!

Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights James 1:17

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We seem to be extremely blessed this past week, even as our home budget is at it's very modest, God is good and faithful in all circumstances.

1) The ladies in our homegroup "treated" me to a generous shopping spree (with the guise of me not having a baby shower; yeah, that would be, like, last May~ they are just too sweet for words! ) which in turn gave me something lovely to wear out with my honey!!

2) A Mystery Dinner Train Exursion for Fred's Christmas company event. Our Joe and Miss Sara were also able to join us! (HA! Joe moves out, and Dad is still boss ;^)

3) Shelby, our sitter, gave us free service as a Christmas "gift" for our special night out! What a beautiful young lady!

4) Nana went all out for a craft day day for our kids! Picture frames adorned w/ sea shells and buttons... along w/ photos taken of the project-at-hand to place in the frames! precious!

5) We have snow~ the kids love it, and we are blessed with an extended visit with Joe!

6) We enjoyed our "annual Gingerbread Man decorating party" w/ Angie and the girls!! (Mmmm, the aroma was delightful)

7) Until this past year, I did daycare for years. One of the families that I cared for (3 children) has just given us bags of baby clothes, a high chair, and a playpen! All were very much needed and on my 'want' list! wee hoo!

8) A lovely, large, sectional couch gifted to us from a stranger ~ ALL of us snuggled on a couch for movie night will be priceless!

Wow, those are just a few of the most obvious blessings I am sharing... tomorrow I will share the littlest things that snag at my heart strings also...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bryson is 6 months old

Our oldest with our youngest...
sons...priceless at any age!

It is official...
Our littlest guy?
not so little...
22 lbs 11 oz!

Thanksgiving Day photos

above: Nick w/ mom (me)

above: our family piled on the couch ;^)

Joe and Dad (Fred)

Katie, me, and T.J.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Life's Blessings 101

ok... so I humbly admit that life for the last several months have felt like a rollercoaster (I do not enjoy rollercoasters by the way) ... clank, clank, clank, up, up, up we go, slow n steady, fighting hard to get my ducks-in-a-row (routines, schedules, children, my sanity)... then....whooooooosh!!! Ahhhhhhhh! Normal folks? arms flailing, hair swooshing, crazy laughter, going with the ride, so to speak. Me? white knuckled, eyes closed, screaming (more like hyperventilating at times). It never looks that bad at the beginning, and really it is not so bad after it is over, but during? it sucks the life right out of me. For the last two months the ride has been consistantly repetitive really (no loop-d-loops, thank God literally), yet draining none the less...
up-no one has been sick
down- there is always someone who is not sleeping, thus momma duck is not sleeping.
up-Fred is employed by a great company who treats us well!
down-he is working...a lot (really!)
up-we are out of debt, so to speak
down-root canals? broken windows? always something to challenge our budget.
up-did I mention that Fred is working a lot? a blessing in this economy...
down- his blur of work, eat, sleep, in the midst of my blur of holding the fort down (so to speak)
up-homeschool is going well...learning curves balanced, attitudes in check, willingness present.
down- I am so exhausted from cat naps through the night, minimal shower options, being a one-armed she-rah packing a 20 lbs munchkin (ok...just because he is a cutie pie doesn't make it any easier, lol) on my hip all day while multi-tasking anything at hand with my right side, that I don't have enough energy to push the education button to the potential I think it could go

-am I whining? ...yes
-too hard on myself?...probably
-selfish attitude? times
-grateful?... always

Give me the strength to be joyful always, pray continually, and to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is your will for me! 1 thess 5:16
In Christ Jesus' name, Amen

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Do I dare say "I love this time of year?"

~The Christmas music... although I do not enjoy it before Thanksgiving, I do truly enjoy the good ole classic festive tunes, My favorite... caroling on a haytruck, hot cocoa at hand, w/ my children aside us.

~The Christmas lights... although our own lights run on the simple side, my eyes twinkle at seeing fancy, eloquent, or creative displays of lights! My favorite... going to the local city's raceway display of lights; lots of visual creativity in the warmth of our own van (bonus: if I go late enough, the littles go to sleep on the way home ;^)

~The Christmas tree... although a challenge year to year to actually get one, a tree is a sensory pleasure to enjoy. My favorite... sitting in the still of the night curled up on the couch just to observe the little lights reflecting off of the ornaments (much like Jesus' light reflecting off of us onto our children).

~The Christmas baking... although difficult to not overindulge, it is delightful to receive a plate full of homemade treats made from the heart of someone who cares! My favorite... passing on my Grandma's special melt-in-your-mouth fudge making tradition to my own children.

~The Christmas Spirit of Giving... although we are not fond of the commercialism aspect of this time of year, we have, in the past, been over abundantly blessed during true times of need, thus... My favorite... blessing others as God allows us!

~tis the season to be jolly...fa la la lalala...
May the God of hope fill you (and yours) with joy and peace as you trust in Him this blessed season!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Andrew is "4" today!

Our simple guy... much like his dad! No thrill, no fuss, living the norm is a must. Birthday cards from the mail seemed to briefly shake up his mood?? (don't most kids LOVE mail?). Later, a simple gathering w/ his siblings and bestest pal Aria (w/ big sister Monique) was more receptive. He even let us sing "Happy Birthday" to him, and blew out his own candles.
Sounds odd to those that don't know him well, but he really does drum to his own beat... very active and imaginative, but truly enjoys his down times to himself, in which we have found to respect his needed space through out our busy daily life.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving is more than giving thanks... may we also reflect how the blessings that we have affect us internally.

I am surrounded constantly with things that I am thankful for ~ humbly I admit I don't always show my appreciation as I should... thus....

Bryson ~ Thank you for those 'eat your face up' kisses you so eagerly is a lesson in gentleness.

Andrew ~ Thank you for your imagination... it is a lesson in creativity.

Katie ~ Thank you for your curious spirit to learn... it is a lesson on patience.

TJ ~ Thank you for your insightful conversations... it is a lesson in communication.

Nick ~ Thank you for your calm strength ... it is a lesson of mercy.

Joe ~ Thank you for letting me matter in your life... it is a lesson in compassion.

Fred ~ Thank you for all you do to serve our family; the work, the play, the patience displayed... it is a lesson of gratitude and integrity.

To my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ ~ whom died so that I may truly live ~ the ultimate lesson in love... THANK YOU!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A change of plans ??

Ever experienced things not going as planned? Ah, yes, well, that would be my past week end. Original goal? To escape, to rest, to absorb peace and quiet, to nap, to read a book even, to sleep ...ultimately, to have a "day off". Now, even this thought really is humorous as I knew full well this original plan included Baby Bryson coming with me. but hey, I just took it in stride and figured it was a great time for a mommy/baby bonding time without all the hub bub of daily life.
My reality week end? Fred having to work both Sat & Sun; Nick was off to a friends' for his own break, and me? Too late to cancel my reservation, off we went to my upgraded kingsized bed w/ a fireplace hotel stay...yep, me, TJ, Katie, Andrew, & Bryson. New plan? to survive! ;^D
Clearly with no expectations now, I humbly embrace my little blessings and go for the ride...
a 2 hour drive. The first hour? one emergency "pee pee" stop, a Burger King pit stop, and a nurse the baby (again) stop. Second hour? baby nods off, Andrew drifts asleep, and Katie is peacefully enjoying music. TJ and I enjoy scenery (a dark version by now), and discuss survival and navigational skills as we search for this remote place I once called my "escape".
The excitement of arrival stirs everyone, they all tag with me for check in, the lady at the front desk graciously gives me the eyebrow raise of counting my little tykes as I proudly claim that not ALL my children were with me! We get our room number, park, and now are faced with the journey of carrying luggage... TJ with his backpack and a large box with a top that will not stay closed, thus not being able to see where he is going; me w/ Bryson in his infant carseat, a overstuffed diaper bag, and 3 sleeping bags (did I mention Bryson weighs 20 lbs w/o the carseat?), Katie with her back pack and a pillow, and Andrew with his bubbling energy! Ah yes, to walk through the main lobby, past the gift shop, through the entertainment (pianist and flute player), up the elevator, down two hallways to our final where we stare at each other? Who's going to open the door?
All things drop with exhaustion, and in we enter our glorious room of relaxation! Giddiness (sp?) infects us all, as Katie searches the closet, TJ checks out the TV, Andrew test the durability of the bed (much like Tigger would), and I announce the need to search for Gideon... Gideon? yep, had all of 'em searching around, not quite sure what they were seeking out, lol, 5 minutes later they embrace the hotel Bible.
Next on our agenda? to explore our new environment of the the hotel, enjoying the sites of what we passed previously, but with a different approach, lol. Instead of being overloaded, now we were "searching for monsters" as this was the only way to get Andrew to whisper and tip toe versus the first method of bouncing off the walls (literally).
The rest of the night went amazingly well... a movie night really. We went to the local market for snacks, then watched a few movies. Proudly, we only had one complaint for the night, as the sleepy, angry gentleman below us called around 10 pm. Crime in progress? Andrew's knees hitting the floor while playing peek-a-boo with Bryson...not bad I thought. Again, the children drifted off one by one, TJ and I were last, somewhere between 1 or 2 a.m.
I awoke at 5:30 ish, turned on the fireplace, texted Fred a "good morning", and this...this is where/when I found my quiet peaceful time... grateful for the cherub faces surrounding me, reflecting on the things I need to be more appreciative for. All the while seeking the Lord's comfort for my worn out, exhausted, overlooked self. Humbly, I was reminded that it is not in my job description to have a "day off"...I will have plenty of those to someday enjoy in eternity...for now? to love, to guide, to nurture, to teach, to serve, to appreciate, to honor, to respect my life and the loved ones I am blessed with!! and with that, I took an hour nap before my little crew awoke.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

battle of the sexes? not

Living with a houseful of gentlemen, I am in constant reminder that 'boys will be boys' and guys are just that...guys. Practical, factual, and easily humored by bodily noises ;^D
Then, to the mix is added our princess; smart and practical, all the while glazed with expectations and emotions...and to my awe, not afraid to express them.
Myself? compassionate and caring, yet raised to conceal inner thoughts and feelings.
Thus our home is not full of much foo foo or fluff. As a stay-at-home mom of many, with many tasks at hand, along with a few off kilter weeks (root canals, colds, demanding work schedules, ending soccer season, teething, potty training, family van in shop for 5 weeks, financial setbacks, and an overlooked anniversary) I am at a realization of how much my feminimity is overlooked. Frumpy housewife/stressed mom is not my idea of defining who I am, nor the legacy of remembrance I want to leave behind!
So...just as I have embraced raising boys to be strong, fun loving, competitive beings with integrity filled leadership qualities, to walk the walk as much as talking the talk of our Christian values, with a stressed point of defining who they are in Christ Jesus...I am in the need of a quiet moment with God to reflect upon who I am, what God expects from me, and a renewed spirit of service to my family, our community, and most importantly to my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, whom I owe my blessed life to.
All that, lol, to say I am taking a overnite retreat with my God this week-end, so keep me in your prayers when you may have a chance. Love ya all!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jesus, a Guidance Counselor

My Savior, my mentor, one whom loves me unconditionally...always! Carried me through the trials of childhood, simply waited for me as a teen, guided me out of poor choices as a young adult, whispers to me now...always the same clear messages ~be still; trust in me; Go and love, as I have loved you (love your neighbor)~
As we head into the bermuda triangle (Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years) yet once again, I sit calmly, reflecting on what these things really mean. I have been very guilty in the past of getting caught up in the whirlwind of 'stuff'...the hype, the glitz, the frantic attempt to find the 'right' gift, flawless homemade cards, picture perfect family portraits, glorious outside lights, the evenly adorned Christmas tree *blush* (yes, I have "rearranged" my dear children's attempts at decorating our lovely tree), the wanting to bless everyone/anyone that walks into our path ... I have also been where the uglies sneak out; overspending, worrying, over doing/under sleeping, and the pure meltdown of falling behind on simple chores of daily life...
Our family motto for this school year is TIME, TALENT, & TREASURES, and as fall set in, I was determined we would enjoy this season. While the commercialism of Christmas is pounding on the door, and regardless of my personality flaws, my family does know the real reason for the season... this year will be different, simple, thoughtful, and most importantly, thankful! It is said that 'slow-n-steady' wins the race which is definitely the process when it comes to the shaping of hearts and sculpting of character, in myself, and our children... yep, there is that *whisper* again... go, and love...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Day in the Life of...

soon I will share my thoughts and practicalities on why we homeschool, but for today, I am sharing a simple moment in time...

Today is no school for our public school friends, which does not always mean we have it 'off'. As I see it, life's journey itself seems to always have a lesson on hand.

Our plans for today:
9:00 a.m. Friends & Family Craft time~ I have tons of huge pinecones that need some attention, so we will be making turkeys and bird feeders with them, along with probably a story and simple puppets for my younger ones.
10:00 Ladies Prayer~ a time to regroup and refocus my thoughts to the Lord.
12:00 Lunch w/ my Angie & our kids.
1:ish "Get 'er dun" time~ Christmas cards are on the agenda today...I do not feel very creative today, so we will see how this goes, lol.
4:00 Our 'power hour' cleaning in which the kids will help tidy the house before Daddy gets home so he can just relax. (aka...the mice have been at play all day while the cat was away, now he will also get to play.)
Evening Hour: dinner together, sharing our day, and I have a feeling that "Blind man's Search" (hide-n-go seek in the dark) may be on the agenda tonight...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Katie-girl is 7!

Katie had a lovely time for her birthday this year. A few of her favorite people came: Nana & Grandpa; her BFF *M* w/ little sister A.J.; Big brother Joe & Miss Sara. We enjoyed cake and presents with her. It was a short, yet charming visit.

And after the guests left?? Her brothers, (Andrew 3, T.J. 11, Nick 15, along with friend Corbin 15), provided more entertainment. Katie was able to model the dresses Nana had given her. Then those boys humbly played 'pin the tiara on the princess' with a great attitude! She is blessed to have such wonderful Knights in her life! No pictures to share with that, but the memories of kindness is priceless... thanks guys!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Friends

I am using Fridays as a time to think fondly of friends in our lives....

First on stage...MY ANGIE
Much like a rose... strong, durable, lasting, yet beautiful, soft, inspiring.
She is my mentor, my sounding board, my encourager, my saving grace to sanity...never judges, but gently guides; always graceful in difficult situations; a rock to righteous things; witty and humorous when she so chooses;

We blended lives almost 5 yrs ago as neighbors, our young daughters connected wonderfully, and we shared our pregnancy news with one our "babies" are turning 4! (My Andrew and her A.J. will be a fun profile at another time).

We've giggled, we've cried,
we've rolled our eyes;
softly whispered, spoken up,
followed thru to see what's up;
a gentle smile, a soft grin,
a look that makes me search within;
fun outings, simple days,
true friendship is always displayed.

Thank you Angie~ I am blessed to call you friend!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ghost Hunter?

Andrew loves the dark! One of his favorite things to do is turn off light switches at inconvenient times. Last night was one of those times; I was upstairs, in my room, getting Bryson ready for bed...

The doors shut, lights go off, the pitter-patter of one small set of feet shifts across the room. One single tiny dim flashlight clicks on as the face before me glows, "sshhh, dere's a monster". Then the light fades to under the bed, with a whispered "monster??". Next is the closet search, a faint "sshhh" is heard amongst the dark air. Light tip-toes are heard as he inspects around the crib area, the walk-in closet, and the dreaded dark bathroom! Up pops his glowing face again, "mom!" he whispers, "where's da monster?" With as much seriousness that I could muster, "I don't know Andrew, how bout you check behind that door?" With anticipations he replies, "tay", and bravely heads for the main door with a final "shhh, dere's a mons..." ~~~"AAHHH! IT'S A DHOST!" and bolts to hide under my covers! What does he discover, but only a brother! Go figure!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Season of Sentiment

I use to overlook this time of year. I always looked at it as cool, wet, and dreary. Fall was the season that came only to prove that summer was over, a season of change. I always dreaded change as a child as I never knew what was around the corner. Then as I was a young adult, I looked forward to change as an escape from whatever crisis was in the moment. Both ways tend to overlook life; one looks back at what should have been, the other looks forward to what should be. What about the beauty of the moment? To be still, to slowly exhale, to 'just be' for a moment. With chaos comes missed memories, this is especially true for me while being 'mom' to many. Housework, school, sports, bills, and errands do not get done themselves, yet at the end of the day what treasures have I encountered?... A "thanks mom", a precious giggle, thoughtful insights that need to be explored, light-hearted laughter, random acts of kindness (that can easily be overlooked), a snuggle and a hug just because, and a twinklin' eye from the love of my life!
Just as God's art is displayed in Autumn, His heart is displayed in our lives. What miraculous array of colors can you discover?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another Toothless Grin!

Katie girl lost her top four teeth in the last couple of weeks! The tooth fairy's visits make her grin all the more!
Keep smiling girl,
you are beautiful!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Baby Bryson

Truth be known, I am actually just trying to figure out this
blog/picture thing... but what better way than with Baby Bryson!

He is our newest guy, and he is absolutely precious!
His happy-go-lucky personality is infectious already...
~photo was from today at T.J.'s soccer game. It was a bit chilly yet sunny, and we were all happy to see T.J. make a goal!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Joe ~ We are so proud of you!

You did not rush to move out (thanks for breaking me in easy). It was a wonderful gift to still have you home when Baby Bryson was is priceless! Some folks were worried (more like observant) on how your mom would handle your new independance. Although childhood seemed to have gone so fast, it is exciting to watch your 'new beginnings'... you are ready, you are strong, you are wise (for your age ;^), and remember that you will always be able to define who you are through Jesus Christ.

*minutes old~
the first time I saw your amazing blue eyes (this mom can be bias)
*2-7 yrs~
Mr. Dress up ~
could dress up and act like any Action Hero he ever saw!
*4-16 yrs~
The Brick Wall ~ awesome soccer sweeper!
*5 yrs~
learning to spit with dad over the bridge (we will just leave it at that)
*10 yrs~
going on a "4th of July" walk w/ Aunt Chanelle...thickets, nettles, ouch
*12 yrs~
you staying calm when your bed was catching on fire
*13-19 yrs~
going to concerts with you...we rock, lol.

Things I wont miss:
*your laundry :^P
*HWY 30 worries

Things I will miss:
*Our late night talks
*You playing the guitar.
*HI JOE! from Andrew

~~You will always be our Joey~~

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Some Pictures From the Hospital.......

To New Beginnings...

Ah yes, the changing tides of life are upon is so fast, and as one child begins his new journey in our loving home, our oldest son ventures out to face the world...thus the desire to share 'the little things' with those we love...Life is a journey, not a destination!

Welcome to our site!

Well here you have it. Our latest and greatest site for our entire family to visit, and keep updated on what is going on with our family, and even come and post information on upcoming events, and family related news. Please be patient as we work on getting everything set up.

We will have photos and other stuff for you to look at soon.