Saturday, October 21, 2017

Our sweet Hazel is 8!

Thank you God for Hazel Jane!
Happy Birthday to one of the sweetest girls EVER!!!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Happy 15th Merit!!!

 Watching this kid grow has been a dream!!
Such a naughty three year old! Such a great teenager.
Watching his hustle and determination in sports is amazing!
He is a prayerful friend, a fantastic older brother and a fun, compassionate son!
We love you so much Merit!!
Happy 15th Birthday!!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

October Goodness

I was a substitute teacher in second grade Friday morning. At snack time, the children had rice krispy treats. We were one short. I wish I would have realized all of this sooner, but by the time we realized it many had started eating and I was not sure what I would do for the little boy who was without a treat. One girl who had not yet opened hers, looked at me. I asked her if she would be willing to break hers in half and share with the little boy. She agreed. She happily agreed. And the boy didn't whine or complain about only getting a half. It was one of my favorite second grade moments.

A friend texted me and said her house was in shambles. Piles everywhere and was not sure where to begin. She asked for a little help and accountability. The good thing is, this was my situation two weeks ago and I had a friend encourage me to set a timer. (thank you Shannon) Ten minutes in one room and you can't leave for anything. Not for the dryer buzzer, not to refill my coffee cup, not to call someone and tell them about my recent thrift store finds, not to go grab a granola bar. The progress I felt after ten min. in one room made me want to set the timer for another 10. Three or four afternoons of this over the course of a week and things looked MUCH better. I was able to give my friend the same advice. (this sort of comes from the Fly Lady too) Another favorite is to go into a room and find seven things to throw away and seven things to donate.

Another thing that is great is before and after pictures.

There is a still a lot of work to be done.

This is a good weekend of pumpkins and pumpkin carving, applesauce in the crock pot, football, a visit with Papa and Grandma, a delicious dinner at Porterhouse, kitten cuddles and good times...

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Things Big Kids Say and Do

Raising bigger kids is good and hard and messy and beautiful.

We were at the Farmer's Market Saturday. We went to buy apples and raspberries, mainly. We bought our apples, we bought a couple of hot dogs (delicious). We got to the raspberries and I asked the man, "how much for a flat?" $15 he tells me (6 boxes) I reach into my wallet and see there is just a $10 left. How many boxes for $10? "3" the man tells me. So this is Willem, he quietly says: "Mom, don't buy them. If you can only get three boxes for $10 but could have gotten 6 for $15, the 3 for $10 is not a good value." I assure him I still wanted to buy them, knowing they would get eaten. We get to the car and he asks me why no one listens to him. This kid is SMART. Merit tells me that Willem will make millions some day. He also says Willem is a great person to have on your side but you wouldn't want to go up against him at anything. He is LOYAL. He won't eat any fat on meat. He likes two vegetables. His favorite food is pizza. He is a straight A student. He is a fierce competitor.

*note to self; listen to Will

Hazel got a new jewelry box at Goodwill, it is really more like a jewelry "tower." Watching her place her jewels in there was darling. And in the bottom of one of the drawers, there is a card I wrote her last summer. She kept that simple, special card.

We met our new niece and cousin Quinn today. Hazel adores her. I think watching Hazel look after Quinn and dote on Quinn will be a whole lotta sweetness.

I now hear things like;
"That candle smells good mom."
"Could you make more applesauce mom?"
"You did a good job on that."
"Thank you for your help."

Raising big kids has a new level of kindness. Well, on many days.

I went kayaking with Willem Sunday. Kayaking away from home was easy and relaxing. Heading back for home there was some paddling against the current. And then there was a small area where the current was swift. Wild Will and I could not paddle against it. He got out. The water was COLD! He walked his kayak to shore and came back and got me. He did not want me to have to get wet.
Our big boys are often gentlemen and for this I am so very grateful.

It has been a fun season of watching Willem play football too! 
He is playing well! 

Merit is an encourager. At home, with his siblings and his friends, through school and sports. Merit offers a lot of encouragement to his football team. I get as CLOSE as I can to the field, with my camera. I get close so I can take pictures. But I get close so I can hear what those boys and coaches are saying. There is a lot of learning going on out there and in many cases a lot of encouragement. 

I am praying for good rest. Sleep is something I do not do well at. 
I think that I know to appreciate each of these days, I also know that on the tired days it can be a struggle. 

My hope is I can just ENJOY. Not look too far ahead, not live with regrets, sleep well and keep on keepin' on. 

Monday, October 2, 2017


Her laugh!! 

Her kindness
Her Humor
Her Beauty
Her gentleness

Thank you God for Hazel Jane

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The perfect Sunday afternoon activity

 It has been such a good weekend.
I took the Bong's pictures Friday night and the lighting was great. Their family was wonderful to walk with and talk with. Vance made a big pot of spaghetti and meatballs and it was so good!
Saturday we enjoyed Willem's football game, the Farmer's Market and hanging out at home.
 I love it when the kids are well and our days are good and full, but I so dislike it when my brain makes me worry or fret or when I fail to ENJOY. So this Sunday afternoon kayaking hour was PERFECT!

 So much beauty!!
Willem is an adventurous guy!
I went a little further on Crab Creek than I have gone before. But Willem has kayaked miles on this creek.

 He pulled me up the water fall, against the current. The water was COLD! He was a gentleman.